• April 30th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on April 30th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Crack!

    That was the sound of Tony Womack’s game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th today. What a wonderful sound. It’s music to the Yankee fans ears. Let’s hope that it serves as the symbolic strike of midnight where this team now turns into what it should be (instead of what we’ve been watching so far).

    Just like Clark Kent has a toilet that needs an occasional cleaning, your friendly neighborhood Yankees blogger has a house to clean. And, I must confess that I decided to do some cleaning during the game today. And, while vacuuming this afternoon, I just happened to look up at the TV screen at the exact minute that Koskie hit his HR off Gordon to tie the game at three. The minute he hit it, I yelled out “Noooooooooooo!”

    I bet the neighbors on both sides of my house heard me – even though I had vacuum running, and Billy Idol’s Greatest Hits blasting in the CD player, as a filter. And, truth be told, at that minute, I started to think “This team is still snake-bit from the ALCS. They’re playing close games just waiting for something bad to happen – and that attitude is making the bad things happen.”

    If this was true, let’s hope that 9th inning rally today takes off the whammy-hex.

    The kid Wang looked real good today. He looked so good that we’ll probably trade him now for Rick Rhoden Jr. In any event, why, oh why, did they have to give him Andy Hawkins old number?

    ……..

    Back in 1984 and 1985, for some crazy reason, I kept a game log of sorts, for every Yankee game. Just a few notes per day, etc. (I guess I was blogging then in a way, twenty years before it existed?) I just ran across those notebooks today. Here’s what I had down for 4/30/84:

    - @ Chicago, Lost 5-3
    - April record (8-13), last place, 10 1/2 back (Det. 18-2)
    - Curt Brown now w/club, Montefusco disabled – 4/28
    - Mattingly played centerfield

    Thoughts on this today:
    1. Thank goodness no one in the AL East this year got off to a 18-2 start.
    2. Who the heck is/was Curt Brown?

    I’ll try and post a few more of these “look backs” throughout the season – for fun.

    Attaboy Alex!

    Posted by on April 29th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Just this afternoon, I shared my displeasure on the A-Rod 10 RBI Ball issue.

    Now, this evening, I’ve read a report that says the following:

    The New York Yankees’ All-Star third baseman was criticized on talk radio all afternoon for trying to cash in on his big game as quickly as possible.

    “That to me is one of the most special nights of my career,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not here to capitalize on any game or season, I’m here to play baseball.”

    Rodriguez said he never told the company it could put the balls up for sale, and he got upset when he was told about it before Friday night’s game against Toronto.

    “When someone does something without my consent and my permission, to me it’s the wrong thing to do,” he said. “Because of that, I’ve taken immediate action.”

    …..

    Rodriguez said he did not plan to pursue legal action against the company. He thinks cutting off ties will send a strong enough message.

    “From this point forward,” Rodriguez said, “there is no Arod Authenticated.”

    Attaboy Alex. It’s the best play that you’ve made so far this season. Thank you.

    April 29th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on April 29th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    With all the leather flashed at the Stadium tonight, this game would have been a great Yankee Classic game for YES – except the Yankees lost.

    In the 17 seasons prior to this one, Randy Johnson has allowed only 21 HRs to LH batters (in his career). That’s 1.24 HR to LH batters per season. So, what happens tonight? Unit gives up a 2-run HR to the only LH batter in the Jays line-up and the Yanks lose 2-0. It’s really starting to look like this is not going to be a magical year.

    On the bright-side, the game was only 2 hours and 8 minutes long. With a 9:17 pm EST end-time, at least people had the rest of their evening to go find something fun to do.

    In 10 of the Yankees 14 losses so far this year they have scored 3 runs or less. I’m starting to believe that the team’s ranking in On Base, Runs Scored, etc., is very misleading and inflated by the games where they have won 19-8, 11-2, 11-1 and 12-4.

    What do you think would be happening now if Rick Down was the team’s batting coach? Stein has an untouchable in Donnie Baseball. If George thought the Yogi thing was bad, he’s seen nothing – if he takes the ax to Mattingly. I wonder if Torre realizes this too?

    At some point, Stein will feel that he needs to do something to try and jump start the team. And, George does not have many options. This is all starting to point to one thing that can happen.

    A-Rod Cashing In On A Big Night

    Posted by on April 29th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    Bob Raissman and Michael Kay have been going at each other for a while. It’s to the point now where: a) it’s really annoying and b) you have to wonder if they actually do like each other and just do this so the two of them have something to talk/write about.

    In any event, in the latest shot fired from Raissman, we have this bit of news:

    No sooner had Kay advised listeners not to hold the $25 million per against A-Rod, ESPN-1050 aired a commercial for a Rodriguez autographed ball commemorating his three-homer, 10-RBI night.

    Yes, less than 24 hours after he hit the three homers a company called “A-Rod Authenticated” was selling this “once in a lifetime” autographed baseball, complete with Rodriguez’s Tuesday night stat line, for $399. Order quickly. Only “113″ basballs are available.

    Does A-Rod really need the $45,000 that this is going to generate? Actually, he probably gets less than that – as the outfit pitching these balls gets a cut too. Why not just pass on the offer and avoid the possibility of being painted as a memorabilia-whore?

    I have a friend who likes to refer to A-Rod as “Me-Rod” – and, I’m starting to think that my friend might be right.

    This saddens me since A-Rod was once one of my favorite non-Yankee players (before he came to NY). Among all the Yankee pictures on the wall in my personal office, I even have a 16×20 of Alex, batting, in an M’s uniform. Other than Ripken and Aaron, A-Rod is the only non-Yankee to share the walls with Bucky, Reggie, Thurman, Boone, Bernie, Torre, Mickey, Matsui, and Paulie. So, you can imagine how excited I was when he joined the Yankees. Now, I read stuff about him like this and it’s a huge turn-off.

    I would expect this stuff from someone like Jim Leyritz. A-Rod has 25 million reasons to be above it.

    April 28th vs. The Angels

    Posted by on April 28th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    It’s pretty darn depressing when the Yankee highlight for the game is Jason Giambi hitting a ground ball to the left of second base.

    New York actually got a decent start out of Kevin Brown and wasted it – being held to run one by a pitcher with a lifetime road ERA over five and an overall ERA this year that was just as bad.

    Discounting April 18th through the 21st, where the Yankees split a two-game series with Tampa Bay and then won a two-game series in Toronto, the Yankees have now lost 5 three-game series in a row.

    This is the first time in the last 15 years that the Yankees will have a losing record for the month of April.

    In two weeks, the Yankees have a west coast road trip and then a Mets series (with a Boston series not far behind that). Things better improve before that time – or else I could really see Big Stein making a change.

    Lastly, is it just me, or, does Vladimir Guerrero look like he’s playing in Frankenstein’s body? When he swings, runs, fields, etc., it has “kids, don’t try this at home” written all over it. Sure can’t argue with the results though……….

    Brown and Mussina Get Fingered

    Posted by on April 28th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Through last night’s game, the Yankees lead the AL in On Base Avg. @ .367. They are also 4th in Slugging Pct. (@ .441) trailing only Boston, Baltimore and Detroit. Related, the Yanks are 3rd in the AL for Runs Scored at 118 – behind Boston @ 119 and Baltimore @ 125. Player-wise, Jeter’s batting over his head and Posada is below his usual numbers. Those two sort of cancel each other out. Mostly everyone else is about where you would expect them to be – assuming you expected down numbers from Giambi this year. The Yankees offense is doing pretty much what they should be doing.

    On the pitching side, it’s not pretty. The Yankees are next to last in On Base Plus Slugging Percentage (OPS) allowed (@ .823) and only Tampa Bay is worse (@ .831). Interestingly, Boston is 12th in OPS allowed – just ahead of the Yankees standing. However, Boston is allowing more than one-half of an earned run per game less than the Yankees (so far this season).

    Most Yankee fans would probably say “It’s our pen. They stink.” But, in reality, the Yankees RP’s OPS allowed is .757 – which is 7th in the AL right now. Boston’s RP’s OPS allowed is .841 (which is the worst mark in the AL). Right now, the Red Sox pen is worse than New York’s RP.

    Boston’s SP’s OPS allowed is .777 (which is 11th in the AL). The Yankees SP’s OPS allowed is .855 (which is 13th in the AL – with only TB’s SP being worse in the league).

    So, in a nutshell, the reason why the Yankees have a 9-12 record at this junction in the season is the fault of their starting pitchers. But, that’s not 100% fair to the Big Unit and Carl Pavano who have been OK so far this year, for the most part. It’s been Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina, and Jaret Wright who have been sinking the ship – each of them averaging around 2 baserunners per Inning Pitched, to date.

    Wright is still a question mark for the rest of the season in terms of being able to pitch. That leaves just Brown and Mussina. If these two can turn it around, the Yankees will be fine. If they can’t, then the Yankees will be getting a whole lot of nothing for the $35 million they’re paying for these two this year – and the season is going to be a looooong one.

    April 27th vs. The Angels

    Posted by on April 27th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    I elected to watch Blade Trinity on DVD tonight instead of the game. Based on the outcome of the game, looks like I made the right choice. (For the record, Trinity was OK. Not as terrible as the box-office results and reviews would lead you to believe. It was not as good as the first two Blade movies – but, if you’re a fan of the genre, it’s worth checking out on your own terms, meaning when it’s a good fit for you in terms of your mood and time.)

    On the game today, I’m not sure, but, I would guess that the majority of the time that you have less than a dozen baserunners in a game, hit into three DPs, and have a guy thrown out at the plate, you’re not going to light up the scoreboard. One run a game is just not going to do it in the Bronx. No shock on the “L” tonight.

    Mussina is vexing, eh? I’ve done some statistical comparisons on him. There are not many pitchers who have the same relative results as him, career-wise, through the same age – and few of those that do were RHP. Therefore, I can find nothing that screams “A pitcher like Moose is usually toast once he hits 35.” Still, he had the worst year of his career in 2004 (albeit shortened due to injury) and he has not got off to a fast start this year. At some point, the questioning on him has to get more severe. And, that point is probably about three weeks away.

    Brown goes tomorrow. Oh, boy. Maybe he’ll surprise us? Maybe I should see what else has come out this week on DVD?

    April 26th vs. The Angels

    Posted by on April 26th, 2005 · Comments (11)

    It’s Rabbit Season.
    It’s Duck Season.
    Rabbit Season.
    Duck Season.

    It must be Duck Season because the ducks were on the pond tonight and A-Rod cashed in with, in his own words, a “magical” night: 4 for 5 with a big fly hat trick and 10 RBI. Personally, I’d rather see Alex hit one homerun and drive in three, for three days in a row, than do it all in one night. Maybe this is the start of something for him? But, didn’t we say that on April 18th when he went 5 for 6 in a game? And, after that, A-Rod went 3 for his next 21. Let’s see tomorrow’s game for Alex.

    If this is how Colter Bean is going to fill out his Yankees uniform – today, at the peak of his athletic prowess – then, I shudder to think about how he’s going to look in the pinstripes at Old Timer’s Day 2020.

    It’s official: Torre referred to Carl Pavano as “Pav” in the post-game. That’s his nickname. Too bad that Carl is not a more of a street guy. “Pav-Dog” just has a “ring” to it.

    By the way, enough about Mo Rivera. Let’s talk about Keith Foulke for a while. OK?

    The Bronx Zoo

    Posted by on April 26th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Today, my wife and I and the kids (ages 3 and 1) decided to go to “The Bronx Zoo.” No, it was not that Bronx Zoo – it was the real Bronx Zoo. You know, the one with the lions, and tigers, and bears – Oh, my!

    We had a good time – it was the first time there for both kids and it has been at least 5 years since we were last there. But, to the point to be made here……

    ……..the next time that you hear someone complaining about the traffic/cost/crowds/stupid people at Yankee Stadium, please, please, please, tell them to try another “Bronx Zoo” – the real one – on a sunny spring day when the kids are off from school for the week.

    After experiencing the traffic/cost/crowds/stupid people at the zoo today, you can give me the traffic/cost/crowds/stupid people at the Stadium, any time. The traffic/cost/crowds/stupid people at the big ballpark in the Bronx is almost nothing compared to the traffic/cost/crowds/stupid people at the zoo in the Bronx.

    All it takes is some perspective to realize that there’s a lot worse baggage than what’s at the Stadium.

    Reggie Jackson & Rickey Henderson

    Posted by on April 25th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Randy Velarde appeared in twenty more games as a member of the New York Yankees than Reggie Jackson did as a Yankee. In fact, Reggie played in just 5 more games than Roberto Kelly did as a Yankee.

    In terms of Yankee-time, Jackson is in the Boggs and Rickey range (Games Played as a Yankee follow the names below):

    Reggie Jackson 653
    Wade Boggs 602
    Rickey Henderson 596

    The Rickey part is interesting when you think about Offensive Winning Percentage (OWP).

    OWP is the percentage of games a team would win with nine of a given player in its lineup, given average pitching and defense. If you look at the Yankees’ OWP leaders, through 2004, min 2,500 Plate Appearances, you see:

    1 Babe Ruth .857
    2 Mickey Mantle .801
    3 Lou Gehrig .797
    4 Charlie Keller .749
    5 Joe DiMaggio .741
    6 Rickey Henderson .714
    7 Reggie Jackson .705

    There’s Reggie and Rickey neck-and-neck.

    Runs Created Above Average (RCAA) is the difference between a player’s Runs Created total and the total for an average player who used the same amount of his team’s outs. If you look at the Yankees’ RCAA leaders, through 2004, you see:

    1 Babe Ruth 1634
    2 Lou Gehrig 1247
    3 Mickey Mantle 1099
    4 Joe DiMaggio 708
    5 Charlie Keller 386
    6 Bernie Williams 361
    7 Bill Dickey 339
    8 Yogi Berra 323
    9 Earle Combs 307
    10 Don Mattingly 293
    11 Tommy Henrich 280
    12 Derek Jeter 251
    13 Roy White 242
    14 Tony Lazzeri 221
    15 Roger Maris 203
    16 Dave Winfield 200
    17 Bobby Murcer 199
    18 Rickey Henderson 195
    19 Reggie Jackson 180

    There’s Reggie and Rickey together again.

    How many people would say that Rickey the Yankee was just as good as Reggie the Yankee before reading this? How many will say it now?

    A-Rod and RISP

    Posted by on April 25th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Many learned baseball statisticians consider the ability to get on base and the ability to hit for power to be the two most vital offensive abilities of a batter. Thus, one measure of a player’s prime offensive talents is to simply combine his On Base Plus Slugging Percentages (OPS).

    As it has seemed to me that Alex Rodriguez has been struggling in his Yankee career with Runners in Scoring Position (RISP), I decided to look up his OPS for the last 4 seasons when he bats with RISP. The numbers back up what I thought:

    2002, with Texas: 1.231 OPS with RISP
    2003, with Texas: .904 OPS with RISP
    2004, with NY: .785 OPS with RISP
    2005, with NY: .658 OPS with RISP

    Granted, 2005 is only 19 games old at this point. But, there’s a trend here. When it comes to batting with RISP, as a Yankee, A-Rod is no where near his production levels that he had his last two years in Texas. At the current rate of decline, A-Rod will be soon be answering to the name of Ed Whitson Jr.

    Lefty Gomez

    Posted by on April 25th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    Lefty Gomez pitched for the New York Yankees from 1930 through 1942. (Gomez also pitched one game for the Washington Senators in 1943.) From 1931 through 1939, the case could be made that he was the second best pitcher in the American League (trailing only the great Lefty Grove).

    In terms of relative pitching value, no starting pitcher in Yankees history (to date) has ever put together four seasons as good as Gomez did in 1931, 1934, 1937 and 1938 (combined). Justly, Lefty became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Gomez passed away in 1989 just about three months following his 80th birthday.

    Whitey Ford is considered the greatest pitcher in Yankees history and few could argue with that selection. Gomez did not pitch as long as Ford – and, therefore, he would have to rank 2nd to Whitey on the all-time great Yankees pitchers leader board. Nonetheless, on a pound-for-pound basis, Gomez was just as good as Ford when he manned the mound for New York.

    During the majority of his time with the Yankees, Lefty Gomez wore # 11. There seems to be no reason why the Yankees have not retired this number in honor of Gomez. Lefty is just as deserving as any of the other players whose numbers have been retired by the club.

    Yankees History

    Posted by on April 25th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    On some off-days during the season, and as time allows during the off-season, I will be posting items that pertain to Yankees History – with the hope that they both educate and entertain. The first one of these entries will appear later today.

    April 24th vs. The Rangers

    Posted by on April 24th, 2005 · Comments (2)

    I saw Andy Phillips play a game during his first professional season. This was also the first year of the Staten Island Yankees – in 1999 – when they played on the field of the College of Staten Island (and before they had the ballpark down by the Ferry). Phillips was doing very well that season – coming off a college year where he was a Baseball America Third-Team All-American.

    That was an interesting S.I. squad. Alex Graman, Brandon Claussen, and Dave Walling were the three big studs in the rotation and the future of Yankee pitching. That worked out well, huh?

    Andy Brown was on that team – a 1st round draft pick, taken by the Yankees before they took some HS RHP pitcher by the name of Mark Prior (who elected to go to college instead). Brown might be one of the all-time worst 1st rounders taken by the Yankees. They stayed with that kid forever and he could just not make contact.

    Chad Sutter was the catcher on that team – Bruce Sutter’s kid. In fact, at the game where I saw Phillips, Bruce Sutter and his wife were there – sitting way out in the CF bleachers, by themselves, to watch their son. Chad could not hit at all either and was soon gone.

    But, Phillips looked good that night. The next year, a friend of mine was looking for names of prospects – as he wanted his son (who was 11, I think, at the time) to send out some balls to promising minor leaguers for autographs. I mentioned Andy and my friend did send out the ball to him. Phillips signed the ball and returned it to my friend’s kid.

    The funny part of the story is that Andy made a reference to the bible on the ball under his signature – something like “3:11″ – and when my friend’s son got the ball in the mail, he called his Dad right away at work and said that Phillips signed the ball and that he even put “the time” on it. Hearing the story later, I had to explain to my friend that it was not really the time that he wrote on the ball, etc.

    Long story short (too late?), Phillips seems like a good guy who has put in his time in the minors – six years. That’s a very long time for someone who was drafted as a college senior. It’s very nice to see something good happen (like today) to a person like that.

    Yanks are now 8-11 on the season – the same mark that they had last year at this time. However, last season, when they reached 8-11, they then went on to win their next 8 games in a row to push their record to 16-11. Can they do that again now? I hope so.

    April 23rd vs. The Rangers

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2005 · Comments (0)

    I feel bad for Jaret Wright. Yes, his pitching performance to date this season makes one recall past seasons such as 1991 – and pinstripe pitching disasters such as Wade Taylor and Chuck Cary. However, at least to me, it seemed like Wright cared and was trying to do well – and was very upset that he was failing. That’s all you can really ask from a player – to care and to try. And, to be upset when he does not succeed. I’d rather see that reaction than what we see from A-Rod each time that he fails with RISP and less than two outs. (And, it seems like this happens everyday.) That “How can this me happening to me, I’m a baseball god” reaction of Alex’s is starting to play a little thin after seeing it repeatedly.

    There could be something positive to come out of this situation. For a new pitcher to get a chance to prove himself, many times, an unexpected and undesired opening needs to occur. On April 29, 1977, Mike Torrez was late arriving from a trade and the Yankees gave some skinny LHP from the pen a chance to start a game – because they had no one else. When the kid was done, his # 49 ended up retired in Monument Park.

    Maybe someone like Chien-ming Wang can take advantage of Wright’s misfortune? He’s 25, can gas it up to 95, and has a slider and a split. Put it this way, could he do much worse than Wright was doing?

    More importantly, the boys are now 7-11 on the season. This is their worst start since 1997 (the last year they did not win the AL East). And, in losing 11 of their last 16, they have not played well at all. If this continues, say, up until the one-quarter pole, and they’re 15-25 (or something worse) at that marker, I would not be shocked to see Torre get axed. Two-hundred mill buys a lot of expectations.

    And, whereas Joe was an untouchable this time 4 years ago, the fans would be less upset with him going now given his pushing of Mo in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series (using him in the 8th and 9th innings), the ugly and complete collapse in the ALDS in 2002, using Jeff Weaver in the 2003 World Series, and the greatest flop ever in the 2004 ALCS. Perhaps the big question now for many Yankee fans to noodle is: Who would be the best man to rally the troops this season?

    In the interim, until the worst happens for Torre, perhaps Joe should reconsider his choice of batting A-Rod and Giambi BTB in the line-up (as he has done the last couple of days). It’s a free “get out of jail free card” for the opposing pitcher when those two come up with runners on. Funny, when Jason first came here, he was supposed to be the team’s best hitter. And, the same thing about Rodriguez when he showed up. Now, they’re probably the two guys on the team that you least want to see up with RISP. Thank the heavens for Matsui and Sheffield. Where would the Yankees be without those two? I don’t even want to think about it.

    April 22nd vs. The Rangers

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2005 · Comments (0)

    When it was announced that Channel 9 would carry Yankee games this year, I thought it would be creepy to watch them there – since WOR was a Mets station for most of my life. Actually, it was no different from watching on YES. Cool.

    Speaking of cool, it would have been fun tonight to see Sheffield face Cordero with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th representing the winning run. Triple-digits heater against one of the best fastball hitters in the league. Oh, so, close. Shoot, that’s baseball.

    Part of me wants to give Kevin Brown some credit for tonight. He could have went mushroom cloud right there in the first when Texas started Charlie Browning him on the hill. That would have been a killer for the pen. It takes weeks, sometimes, for a pen to recover from that. Instead of pulling his usual Dr. Dr. Zachary Smith routine (You know, I have a delicate back, my dear), Brown was able to hang in there for six. That’s a good thing. On the other hand, the last time that Kevin was able to make 5 or more starts in a month for NY, and have an ERA under 4.05 for that month, was April 2004. I’m starting to think if it’s Brown, we have to flush it down.

    Isn’t it time to start thinking about letting Roy White coach 3rd and put Sojo at 1st? Louie’s baserunning style as a player was pretty much run until you’re tagged out. He’s coaching the same way. White was a good baserunner – and smart. Maybe it’s time for a switch?

    When we traded for A-Rod, he was supposed to hit for us the way Manny hits for the Sox. Instead of Manny, it looks like we got the second coming of Danny Tartabull. If anyone wants to say “Com’on, A-Rod had a good season last year. Better than you think” – to that, I say, check A-Rod’s 2004 vs. Tartabull’s 1993. It’s about the same. When it comes to being an effective batter, right now, Alex can’t carry Manny’s bottle of Prozac.

    On the bright side tonight, the Red Sox lost. Eduardo Perez taketh away and he giveth. It only seems fair.

    Lastly, a thank you to David Pinto for a mention today over at Baseball Musings. Very kind and always appreciated!

    Book Review: The 50 Greatest Yankee Games

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2005 · Comments (3)

    The good people at Wiley recently sent me a review copy of Cecilia Tan‘s book “The 50 Greatest Yankee Games” that came out a couple of months ago.

    While I have not had time to fully read the book, I did have a chance to sample through it and I thought some here might be interested in my findings.

    Cecilia is a Yankee fan extraordinaire. She’s been writing about the Yankees at sundry outlets for a long time now. Personally, her name has always stuck in my head because of the Simon & Garfunkel hit “Cecilia” that was out when I was around 9-years-old:

    “Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
    I’m begging you please to come home
    Come on home”

    Even though it was 33-years ago, it seems like it was just yesterday that I would get a big thrill when that song came on the radio in my folk’s car as we were driving around. (Probably on an AM station, I should add. Man, I’m old.) In any event, Cecilia gets two major thumbs up for the amount of research that went into this book. Most notably, she personally interviewed 28 members of the extended Yankee family. These include the likes of Yogi, Bouton, Bucky, Whitey, Girardi, Reggie, Gator, Murcer, Mattingly, O’Neill, and Stick. On the Spicoli-meter of cool, this alone deserves a “Whoa!”

    Unfortunately, I have to quibble with some of Cecilia’s selections. For example, having a game where Tony Fernandez hit for the cycle in 1995 and the Andy Hawkins no-hitter loss of 1990 in the “Top 50” whereas games like games like Guidry’s 18-K night and the Brosius and Tino HR games of the 2001 World Series miss the cut is, well, somewhat inexcusable to me.

    Nonetheless, because of the amount of detail that this work provides on the games included, it appears to be the type of book that most diehard Yankee fans would want to have in their essential baseball library. I look forward to having some time soon to be able to read it fully. Thanks to the folks at Wiley for sending it to me.

    April 21st @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on April 21st, 2005 · Comments (9)

    File tonight under: Nail-biter. Some random game thoughts:

    Regarding the play that Tino made on the pop-up in the 9th – and, put a star next to that puppy – if he makes that play in the same spot during a World Series game, we’d be talking about it for the next quarter-century. Also, what are the odds that Giambi makes that play in that spot if he’s playing 1B? About the same odds of someone confusing Yao Ming for Pam Anderson.

    I’m not really into the latest law enforcement regs, but, when did it become a crime to throw strikes to Orlando Hudson?

    It was encouraging to see Tom (I swear I didn’t toss my cookies in Boston) Gordon touch 94 a few times on the gun tonight. Maybe he’s on the way back?

    Joe having Quantrill warm up tonight and then ditching him for Gordon was interesting. Torre usually warms a guy to bring him in. In Gossage’s book, he said that RP in the past would call this getting a “dry hump.” (Being warmed up and not getting into the game.) Ballplayers create the best slang.

    Gustavo Chacin (who’s full name is Gustavo G. Adolfo Chacin, by the way) is something with those shades. I’ve already seen some ‘net references to him and Corey (Sunglasses at Night) Hart. Personally, the first thing I thought was “The dude reads too many comics and thinks he’s Scott “Cyclops” Summers of the X-men.” Turns out it’s just a prescription thing – like that Punky QB Jim McMahon doing the Superbowl Shuffle. (Chacin actually reminds me of a young David Wells, talent-wise, that is. He could be a good one.)

    Lastly, I want to thank Alex and Cliff of Bronx Banter for the mention of WasWatching.com there today. Alex and Cliff are classy dudes, great Yankee fans, and their site is highly recommended.

    Karma at work: Mel Stottlemyre getting a sore heel. Only fair, and all, with him being the Yankees Achilles’ heel for a few seasons now.

    Yankee baseball. You’re soaking in it.

    April 20th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on April 20th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    Carl Pavano is starting to remind me of a right-handed version of Andy Pettitte. Both of them have that Betty Davis eyes thing going at times. Both of them are big body pitchers that you would expect to throw harder than they really do chuck. Their uni numbers are close – 45 now for Carl, 46 then for Andy. And, it seems like they are alike in the sense that they’re capable of throwing a great game or a hosting Tee-ball session. I know many were down on the signing of Pavano based on the “one-year wonder” theory. But, I think I’m going to like him – as I did Pettitte.

    Joe T in the post-game said that Big Rube will be a few days with the bicep strain. Now that Bernie’s knee is barking – and we can thank Torre for that expression, we never used it before he was here – it could be interesting over the next week or so if an OF goes down or gets tossed from a game. We might see Womack do some emergency OF time.

    Those electronic signs on the OF fences at the SkyDome/Rogers Centre are like a nightmare after watching “Bladerunner” and then taking cold medicine. Please, please, please, Big Stein, do not put them in the new Stadium in the Bronx!

    The Ceremonial First Pitch

    Posted by on April 20th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    Up until the time I was 34 years old, I had the pleasure of listening to Phil Rizzuto broadcast New York Yankees games. For those who cannot do the math, the Scooter did Yankees games from 1957 through 1996 and I was born in 1962.

    Talking about some long-term baseball announcer, someone once said (and I think it was Bob Costas but I could be wrong) that the announcer’s voice was the male voice that was most heard in their house after his father. Listening to Phil for nearly a quarter-century, it was something like that for myself as well.

    Phil was always entertaining to me. And, one of the items (with respect to his coverage) that always stayed with me was his habit of scrawling “WW” on his scorecard for plate appearances where he “wasn’t watching.”

    As a result, when I decided to start a Yankees-focused Weblog, almost out of the chute, I thought that WasWatching.com would be an appropriate handle. After all, my intent for this blog is to provide running commentary, personal musings, and the like, on the Yankees. In order to do this, I will have to do the opposite of “WW” – meaning that I have to watch what is going on.

    Paying (in a way) some homage to the Scooter in the naming process is the icing on the cake. Or, should I say that’s the powdered sugar on the cannoli? I could go on some more about this; but, I want to beat the bridge traffic. Check in soon for some more good stuff.