• May 31st @ The Tigers

    Posted by on May 31st, 2006 · Comments (9)

    Mussina screaming from the mound to Torre, as Joe started out of the dugout, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th: “No, stay there!

    I love it.

    Moose was the man tonight. Pefect timing too – when the pen needed the rest. Must be something about Mussina and Motown – one year and a week ago, he did it to them as well.

    Gold star to Andy Phillips for his play on the bunt to nail the runner at 3rd in the 6th (when the score was only 2-0 Yanks). That could have been the turning point in the game.

    Tonight was a great ending to a very nice month for the Yankees.

    Studio 54

    Posted by on May 31st, 2006 · Comments (4)

    Today, I was wondering “How many former Yankees are currently still active with other major league teams?”

    So, I asked Lee Sinins if there was a way to get this list from the raw data behind the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia. Here’s the answer:

    Mark Bellhorn
    Armando Benitez
    Aaron Boone
    Joe Borowski
    Tony Clark
    Brandon Claussen
    Jose Contreras
    David Dellucci
    Alan Embree
    Tom Gordon
    Todd Greene
    Jason Grimsley
    Brad Halsey
    Chris Hammond
    Orlando Hernandez
    D’Angelo Jimenez
    Nick Johnson
    Steve Karsay
    Randy Keisler
    Matt Lawton
    Ricky Ledee
    Travis Lee
    Jon Lieber
    Ted Lilly
    Esteban Loaiza
    Kenny Lofton
    Mike Lowell
    Dan Miceli
    Terry Mulholland
    Dioner Navarro
    Jeff Nelson
    Andy Pettitte
    Juan Rivera
    Felix Rodriguez
    Kenny Rogers
    Ruben Sierra
    J.T. Snow
    Alfonso Soriano
    Russ Springer
    Mike Stanton
    Marcus Thames
    Javier Vazquez
    Mike Vento
    Jose Vizcaino
    David Weathers
    Jeff Weaver
    David Wells
    Jake Westbrook
    Rondell White
    Bob Wickman
    Chris Widger
    Todd Williams
    Jay Witasick
    Tony Womack

    No wonder why it seems like every time the Yankees play someone there’s a Yankees alum on the team. There’s 54 players on this list.

    Thanks to Lee for answering the question.

    Bernie’s May Days

    Posted by on May 31st, 2006 · Comments (4)

    During May, to date, Bernie Williams has produced at a rate of .315/.367/.427 in 89 ABs. Sure, an OPS of .794 is not awesome – but, it doesn’t stink either.

    I just thought it was fair to point this out as many – including myself – have been on his case about not producing this season.

    If Bernie can keep his OPS around .800 for the rest of the season, he can help this team. Will he? We’ll find out. Stay tuned.

    112 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall……

    Posted by on May 31st, 2006 · Comments (4)

    On April 26th, I predicted that the Yankees would go 18-11 for the month of May.

    Well, there’s been one rain out this month, and the Yankees still have to play tonight’s game (which will be the last one for this month). But, as of this moment, their actual record for the month of May is 17-10.

    A win tonight gives them the 18 wins that I predicted – and a loss just means that they would have the exact number of losses that I predicted. And, this prediction was made before the bad news on Matsui and Sheffield.

    So, clearly, the month of May has been a great month for the Yankees. As of this morning, they are tied for first place in the A.L. East (with 112 games to go). New York controls its own destiny at this moment.

    When I look at the Yankees schedule for June, I see a 10-game homestand starting next week and a 9-game homestand at the end of the month. (Actually, the last 2 games of the 9-game string are in July – but, work with me here.)

    In total, the Yankees play 17 of 27 games at home during the month of June. Personally, I expect the Yankees to have a great month in June. And, they should build up a lead large enough to carry them through the rough months of July and August (this year).

    It would be nice to see someone on this roster place the team on his shoulders and say “OK boys, ride with me!” during June. It could be a pitcher going 5-0 for the month or a hitter batting over .400 with 8 homers and 25 RBI.

    This is the time where the Big Units, Giambis, A-Rods, and the like need to come through for the Yankees. This is why they were brought to New York. It will be interesting to see who rises to this occasion.

    Sheff To Return To DL?

    Posted by on May 31st, 2006 · Comments (3)

    From the Daily News -

    Just as the Yankees thought Gary Sheffield was getting healthy, they find out he may be heading right back to the disabled list.

    Sheffield was frustrated and despondent last night as he exited Comerica Park, stopping only briefly to talk with the Daily News and one other reporter. Wearing a heavy wrap on his left hand, Sheffield admitted that he has suffered a new injury to his already-ailing wrist and believes he could be facing another long layoff.

    “Yeah,” Sheffield said when asked directly if he thought he might need to go back on the DL. “As soon as I picked up the bat to warm up (yesterday afternoon), it felt like my wrist came off. …I don’t know what’s going on. I felt like (the previous sprain) was getting better, but it’s in a different spot now. It’s right on the wrist, right on the bone. It’s really painful.”

    And, if that’s not bad enough, check out this news from Newsday:

    Count out Richard Hidalgo and Jason Romano as potential outfield options. Both former major-leaguers no longer are working out in Tampa. “We’ve decided to pull the plug on that,” general manager Brian Cashman said.

    So, expect to see Melky in RF – which is great – and some rotation of Bernie, Bubba, Long and Damon filling the slots in LF and CF while Sheff is out.

    May 30th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    OK, as annoying as that Yankees fan sitting on top of the field microphone (during the YES broadcast) was all night – “Come number one-two!” (etc.) – I must admit that I found his shrieks of joy pretty amusing when Giambi finally hit that homerun.

    Considering that this game was starting to get that “2004 ALCS Games 4 & 5″ bad feel to it, hanging in there to get the win back was pretty important. And, with the Tigers having two good pitchers go in the next two games, it could have been a disaster to lose this game (after being up 5-0).

    And, clearly, a gold star for Mo Rivera tonight.

    And, now, for something entirely different………

    A woman nuts over Elvis decides that she wants a tattoo of the legend’s head on her inner thigh – and she went to a tattoo joint to get it done.

    When the tattoo artist was done with her, she looks at the tattoo and freaks – saying “That’s not Elvis and I’m not going to pay for this!”

    After long debate, the tattoo artist agreed to do another tattoo of Elvis’ head on her other inner thigh. But, when he was done, the woman flipped out again saying “That’s not Elvis either!”

    So, the tattoo artist said to her “Let’s get a third opinion” and he pulled in a guy who was in his waiting room. And, he asked the guy “Who does this look like?” (while pointing to the tattoo heads on the woman’s exposed legs).

    After staring at the woman’s legs for a long time, the guy said, “I don’t know who the guys on either side are, but the one in the middle is definitely Fernando Rodney.”

    Wickman, Mendoza……..

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    …….Rasner?

    Yankees have called up Darrell Rasner. Yes, he’s been a starter in the minors. But, I bet that Torre turns him into the “get me a DP” guy that he loves to have in the pen.

    Let’s just hope that the infield catches those ground balls.

    S.I. On Cano

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    S.I. did a fun First Person interview with Robinson Cano. My favorite part:

    On his nicknames

    They call me Ray Charles because they say I’ve got a big smile like him. And Jeter doesn’t call me Canó; he calls me Canoe.

    Ray Charles. Funny, I see a little Rickey Henderson in Cano’s face sometimes when he grimaces. But, I guess the Ray Charles thing works too.

    Hey, It’s Not Boston Either

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    From Newsday -

    Roger Clemens is making yet another comeback with the Houston Astros, Newsday has learned. An announcement is expected as soon as today.

    Clemens, 43, has signed a one-year deal that is believed to be worth about $3.5 million per month, which will probably equate to about $10.5 million for the season, depending on when exactly he returns to action.

    Good. Now everyone can move on.

    Donnie’s Boy

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    From the Courier and Press -

    Three reasons why Preston Mattingly is a hot baseball commodity:

    * Of the 30 major league teams, 24 have shown an interest in drafting the Evansville Central High School star.

    * Ten of those organizations had representatives at a Central batting practice and at a recent game last week. Altogether, 18 scouts showed up to watch Mattingly that day.

    * The New York Yankees’ scouting director, Damon Oppenheimer, has paid a visit.

    All this has deeply impressed Central baseball coach Jason Engelbrecht, who is himself an associate scout with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He has seen scouts much farther up in their respective organizations come watch Mattingly play and file enthusiastic reports.

    What this could mean for Mattingly in terms of the major league draft in early June is simple: being selected on the first day.

    “Maybe he’ll sneak into the first 10 rounds,” said Engelbrecht.

    Gosh, how hard would it be for this kid to try and make it in New York? His best bet would be a National League West Coast team – as far from Yankeeland as possible.

    Let him grow into a star somewhere else, without the pressure of New York, and then sign him as a Free Agent if he wants to play for the same team as his Dad.

    Sox Busher Report On Hughes

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    From a Baseball America’s Prospect Q&A: Brandon Moss -

    A lefthanded hitting outfielder in the Red Sox organization, Brandon Moss is trying to re-establish himself as a top prospect.

    Baseball America: You recently faced Trenton’s Philip Hughes, the top-rated pitching prospect in the Yankees’ organization. What is your opinion of Hughes?

    Brandon Moss: For a 19-year-old, he has very good composure. When he doesn’t make a pitch, he’s not sitting there arguing, he’s getting the ball back and throwing it. He’s sticking with his plan. Honestly, he’s probably the best pitcher I’ve faced this year. He has good stuff.

    Sounds like Mr. Hughes is all business on the mound. That’s good.

    Yankes Check Out Philly OFers?

    Posted by on May 30th, 2006 · Comments (8)

    From the Post, via S.I. -

    Yankees scout Jeff Wetherby’s presence around the Phillies over the weekend prompted speculation he was looking at outfielders Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu. However, the Phillies are looking for starting pitching and that’s the Yankees’ No. 1 priority. — New York Post

    Fitting that Mr. “Weatherbee” is sent to check out a couple of Jugheads like Burrell and Abreu.

    Don’t the Yankees realize that, now, their outfield is fine, and, if anything, it’s pitching that they should be looking for?

    Why are they wasting time looking at outfielders in Philly?

    The King’s Game

    Posted by on May 29th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    John Nemo recently sent me a review copy of his new book – The King’s Game.

    I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of baseball fiction – even though I have enjoyed reading books like Man on Spikes, The Natural, Wild Pitch, and Double Play in the past. Nonetheless, The King’s Game kept my attention – from the start of the book to the end.

    It’s the story of a man’s life told as he’s pitching the biggest game in his career. And, yes, even though this format has been used before, I still found myself wanting to keep reading – to find out what would happen next. Nemo does paint a pretty interesting story for the main character in his book.

    It’s important to share that there’s also a strong Christian message throughout this book. Personally, I took it as being part of the story. But, if you’re the type of person who feels that such a message is an attempt at proselytizing, then this is not a book that you will probably enjoy.

    Basically, if you’re a fan of the movies “For Love of the Game” and “What Dreams May Come” – and you like reading baseball fiction – then you might want to consider checking out The King’s Game.

    I’m sure that the appropriate audience will find Nemo’s book to be a nice, quick, and fun read.

    May 29th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on May 29th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    Today was, by far, the best game that Randy Johnson has pitched this month. And, considering that 7 of his last 8 starts (prior to today) have been uber-duds, today’s effort is very nice to see.

    Seeing today’s results, I can’t help but wonder if John Flaherty’s findings had anything to do with it?

    It would have been cool to see a no-hitter today. I was having some Righetti flashbacks around the 5th inning. This, from the AP after the game was interesting:

    Ivan Rodriguez broke up Johnson’s bid for his third no-hitter — and second against the Tigers — with a single to right.

    “I couldn’t have cared less,” Johnson said. “If I had a perfect game, I would’ve come out after seven innings.”

    Somehow, I find that very hard to believe.

    In any event, now I’m looking forward to seeing Johnson’s next start.

    Lastly, is Ron Villone the new Mike Stanton? I know that he’s been doing well. But, I still worry about him against a RH batter in a big spot.

    666

    Posted by on May 28th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    When the Yankees return home, they have a ten-game homestand. I have tickets for the 2nd game of the stand – against Boston.

    I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while. I’ve kept reminding myself “June 6th, June 6th, June 6th……..” so that I would remember the date.

    And, until now, I’ve never made the connection. That game will be played on 6-6-06.

    Should I be nervous? Then again, it’s probably safer than going to this game:

    Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 at 7:15 PM
    at Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg, FL.

    There’s way too many strange things happening there.

    The only thing that I’ll probably have to worry about is that it’s looking like my game will be either Small or Chacon against David Wells.

    May 28th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on May 28th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    This one was too close for comfort. But, at least the Yankees won.

    It’s now official. The clock has struck midnight for Scott Proctor. In his last 4 appearances, he’s allowed 8 hits, 2 walks, and 8 earned runs – in just 3.2 innings pitched. He’s now back to the point where he cannot be trusted. Too bad, it’s probably Torre’s fault for burning him out in just two month’s time.

    In Spring Training, if I would have asked you “Which pitcher would be more useful in the month of May, Randy Johnson or Jaret Wright?” – what would you have said? This entire month – Wright has not had a bad start. He’s been a big part of a good month for this team. Go figure.

    And, now, the Tigers. Yes, they’re playing .700 ball so far this season. But, they’ve beat up on the Royals and Twins to get that record. (If I counted right, the Tigers are 15-2 against K.C. and Minny so far this year.) The Yankees better take three of four in this next series.

    On a personal note, I saw X-Men: The Last Stand today. If you were a fan of the last two X-Men movies, don’t let the reviews scare you off this one. It’s fine. And, with all the action and CGI/FX stuff, you’ll want to see it on the big screen.

    21 Club

    Posted by on May 28th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    Using the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, I decided to look at how some recent Yankees did at age 21, in terms of stats, compared to what Melky Cabrera has done already this season at the same age:

    21yanks.jpg

    Right off the top, notice that it’s been 30 years since a 21-year-old has played (for the Yankees) as much as Melky Cabrera has to date. That’s impressive.

    Secondly, Melky (again, to date) has had more success at the major league level than Jeter and Mattingly did at the same age.

    Can Cabrera be as good as Derek or Donnie? Well, no one knows right now. He might. He could turn out like Grady Sizemore or Johnny Damon, for all we know. Or, his career could go the Claudell Washington or Chet Lemon route.

    How about Dwight Evans-like? That would not be too shabby.

    In any event, it is exciting to watch a home-grown kid like this get a chance at such a young age. It’s like Cano last year, Jeter in 1996, Bernie Williams in 1991, and Mattingly in 1983. As crazy as this might sound, at this moment, Melky Cabrera might just be my favorite Yankee.

    Of course, if he goes 8 for his next 75 ABs, things could always change.

    May 27th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on May 27th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    After the first game of this series, I wrote:

    The Yankees better smoke the Royals over the next two games. Then it might make up for the loss in this game.

    After today’s game, I can now write: OK, that’s one!

    Yes, A-Rod hit two bombs today. And, Cairo and Stinnett did well. (On the latter, just goes to show what I know.) But, the thing that I’m really grooving on now is Melky Cabrera. He went two for four with 3 RBI today – and has now hit in 8 of his last 9 games.

    To borrow from the old band The Church, here goes:

    Sometimes your best plans come up empty
    Hope from the bench fades with the light
    Forget last year’s act of rush desperation
    Under the Melky Way is right

    At this point, when it comes to Cabrera, I only have three wishes:

    1. He keeps doing what he’s doing.
    2. That the Yankees keep him and play him.
    3. That he gets a better number than # 28. That’s not a star’s number. Maybe # 24?

    There’s no need to trade for a LF this season or get a RF for next season. Cabrera is proving that he can fill both needs.

    May 26th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on May 27th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    I have to pin this one on Farnsworth.

    It’s the 8th inning. Game tied at four. You’re playing at home – and it’s May 26th – against a team that was won just two games on the road all year. You’ve got a runner on 1st with two outs. The batters due up are Tony Graffanino and Angel Berroa (both hitting under .250 on the season).

    And, you allow a walk and a homer. Now the score is 7-4, Royals, after seven and a half innings. At this point, the probability of the Yankees winning this game drops like a lead balloon.

    Congrats to Derek for career hit # 2000. Great job by the fans for giving him his due.

    The Yankees better smoke the Royals over the next two games. Then it might make up for the loss in this game.

    Teixeira & The Red Sox

    Posted by on May 26th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    Alan Schwarz at Baseball America recently shared a chat with Mark Teixeira regarding the baseball draft. I thought this part was very interesting:

    AS: Then again, it kind of backfired on you. You wanted to sign out of high school, but teams got the impression you weren’t signable, and you fell to the ninth round.

    MT: I thought I wanted to sign. The day of the draft I realized that I didn’t. I realized that I wasn’t ready to go into professional baseball. I wanted to go to college. I thought as a young, naive, 18-year-old, because I played well and because I was honest with everybody, I would just be a first-round pick, million bucks, and start my career. Because of the way things occurred, it occurred to me–you know what? I don’t want to be a professional baseball player, I do want to go to college. It really was a blessing in disguise.

    AS: But the Red Sox offered you $1.5 million before the draft, which was pretty darned fair in 1998.

    MT: They said take it or leave it. It was a decent bonus, but it wasn’t what we were looking for, and we didn’t want to cap our negotiation before the draft even happened. It’s unfair and illegal to go to a kid and say, “We haven’t drafted you yet, we may or may not draft you, but if you don’t take 1.5 we’re not going to draft you.” What would you say? There’s 29 other teams out there–why would I ever cap myself before the draft even happens? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s unfair to those kids. Say, “Draft me and I’ll let you know.”

    I have a very cynical approach toward the draft. I was naive. It was my first realization to the business in baseball. The Red Sox told everybody that I wouldn’t sign, and when it got to a late enough round, they said, “Let’s take a flier on him.” So they spoiled me for everyone else–the only one that would draft me was them.

    Note that last part: The Red Sox told everybody that I wouldn’t sign, and when it got to a late enough round, they said, “Let’s take a flier on him.” So they spoiled me for everyone else–the only one that would draft me was them.

    Boy, those Red Sox, they’re a first class group, huh? It’s too bad that the MLBPA didn’t go after them on this. Then again, they couldn’t – since Teixeira would not be part of the union at that time. At best, his agent would have to be the one to make the protest – and, where would that have gone?

    Well, maybe, at least, if Teixeira ever becomes a Free Agent, perhaps he will remember all this and tell Boston to take a leap.

    A-Rod Is Not Clutch……

    Posted by on May 26th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    ……at least this year, so far. Some Alex Rodriguez batting stats to witness (via the Baseball Musings Day by Day Database) in certain game-score situations:

    arodclutch.jpg

    It’s pretty obvious, in close-game moments, during 2004, Alex did an OK job with the bat. And, in 2005, in close-game moments, Rodriguez did a very good job.

    However, so far, in 2006, when the Yankees are down by one or two runs, A-Rod has batted like he was Al Leiter up there in the box. Granted, there’s only 33 ABs in this group – and Alex can improve on these numbers over the rest of the season. (Shoot, it would be impossible to do worse.)

    Still, based on the numbers, this season, when the chips are slightly down, Alex Rodriguez has been a no-show with the lumber (to date).

    Dave Winfield Is Safe

    Posted by on May 26th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    Jason Giambi cannot be Mr. May – at least not this season.

    So far this month, Giambi is batting .182 for May – with 21 whiffs in 66 At Bats.

    Just for the record, the worst that A-Rod ever batted in a full month, during his Yankees career, was .263 (in June 2004).

    Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees

    Posted by on May 26th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    I’ve been a Yankees fan since 1973.

    Naturally, the 1976 Yankees were the first “special” team for me. And, I’m sure that squad was special for many fans – as it was the first Yankees team to win a pennant in a dozen years. (The Chambliss homer to win it helped make it even more special.) But, the 1976 Yankees, in terms of their place in history and fan memories, take a ding as a result of their poor showing in the World Series.

    The 1977 Yankees were exciting. But, perhaps because they followed the 1976 team, their ring season, while impressive, is not a year where I look back to and say “Wow, that 1977 team, it was a season for the ages.”

    This brings us to the 1978 Yankees. Now, there’s a story, huh? And, this is the team that I would always refer to as “My favorite Yankees team of all-time.” And, for the 18 years that followed, I had no reason to change this opinion.

    Then came the 1996 Yankees. Looking at the big picture, I think many Yankees fans today look at the 1998 Yankees for their dominance and the 2000 Yankees because they beat the Mets, and they lose sight of the magic that happened in 1996. (Related, the 1999 Yankees really fall into the shadows for some as well – which is sad, because they were an excellent team too.)

    As I look back at it all today, I’m inclined to say that the 1996 Yankees are now probably my favorite squad of all-time, even over the 1978 Yankees. Sure, the 1978 team had the great comeback and the Dent homer. But, when you factor in the 18-year ring drought prior to 1996, the horror of the post-season in 1995 for New York, and the magic that happened in the ALDS, ALCS, and the World Series in 1996 for the Yankees, it’s a tough thing for any championship squad to match-up with all that.

    And, now, we have Joel Sherman’s new book, Birth of a Dynasty, that serves as the chronicle of that 1996 Yankees season.

    I’ve just finished reading Birth of a Dynasty and can share that this is a must-read for every Yankees fan.

    In terms of the essential library for the modern-Yankees fan, I place Birth of a Dynasty right up there with Steinbrenner’s Yankees, Pinstriped Summers, Damned Yankees, The Bronx Zoo, Bombers, I’d Rather Be A Yankee, and The Last Night Of The Yankees Dynasty.

    What really sells Birth of a Dynasty for me is all the insider-behind-the-scenes stuff that this book provides.

    How many people know the important role that Lou Piniella played in the Yankees obtaining both Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez? How many people know the oral act that Buck Showalter promised to perform on Gene Michael if he would trade Tim Leary? How many people know that Joe Torre called Michael Kay on the carpet, in front of the entire team, when he thought Kay was trying to sabotage his relationship with O’Neill?

    If they had read Birth of a Dynasty, they would know. Sherman’s book has more dirt on the 1996 (and, as well, actually, the 1995) Yankees than a fat man has in his belly-button. It’s really good dish.

    And, along with the items that you have never heard before, Birth of a Dynasty does an excellent job of documenting the story of the 1996 season. Nothing is missed.

    In summary, I highly recommend Birth of a Dynasty. If it’s not the best Yankees-related book published in the last decade, it’s in the top-five for sure.

    Good Cano Story

    Posted by on May 25th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    From LatinoSports.com -

    Ray Negron, longtime baseball executive and currently special advisor to the New York Yankees recently announced publication of his children’s book, “The Boy of Steel.”

    At a press conference with the Hispanic media last week, Ray appeared with Yankee sensation Robinson Cano. The slugging second baseman features prominently in Negron’s book, as well as in the Bronx Bombers’ pursuit of a championship this year.

    Negron explained how Former Yankee Ruben Sierra frequently went to see kids in the hospital. When Robbie joined the team, Ruben asked him to come along. “I was interested to see if Cano would keep coming back and he did,” Negron observed.

    Cano was able to relate to and connect with these children facing life and death challenges; he had an instant rapport with these kids. During one of these visits coordinated by Negron, the Yankee front office man observed an exchange between the ballplayer and a seriously ill young boy.

    “The back and forth between Robbie and the child was unbelievable. But unfortunately, this boy did not make it. That’s cancer; some make it, some do not,” Negron noted.

    The night he died, Negron talked with the parents, and they recounted Cano’s visit with their son, and how happy it made the young man. “The next morning when I woke up, this book was there. It was something that was just God given,” Negron said.

    Nice story. Great guy.

    Sheff Knocking On 1500

    Posted by on May 25th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    Gary Sheffield presently has 1,494 career RBI. With 6 more, he hits the 1,500 milestone mark.

    There are only 21 right-handed batters in baseball history with 1,500+ RBI. And, by rough eye-ball scan, I would say that 99% of them, who are Cooperstown-eligible, are in the Hall of Fame.

    Nice company.

    For what it’s worth, Frank Thomas and Manny Ramirez should enter the 1,500 RBI club later this season as well. The next RHB to make it would be A-Rod or Jeff Kent, but, it will probably take them around 2 years to get there.

    Mike Redmond

    Posted by on May 25th, 2006 · Comments (2)

    From wire services -

    Yankees manager Joe Torre said he would wait for results of an MRI exam Posada is scheduled to have today, an off day, before deciding whether to add a catcher to the 25-man roster.

    If it turns out that Jorge Posada will be out for a month of longer, I hope the Yankees call the Twins and make an offer for Mike Redmond.

    Nothing crazy, of course. I would start with Wil Nieves and Colter Bean. If that’s not enough, I would throw in some cash.

    Redmond is not a great player. But, he’s probably going to offer more at the plate than Kelly Stinnett.

    And, the way the Twins are going this year, losing Redmond is not going to matter to them at all.

    The Flash Unit

    Posted by on May 25th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    John Flaherty on Randy Johnson. From the Daily News of Newburyport:

    As Randy Johnson strolled to the mound last night, John Flaherty assumed his position.

    …….

    Flaherty, who now works for the YES Network after retiring following a brief stint with the Red Sox in spring training, knows Johnson better than most. More than 30 times last season, he attempted to guide the lefty through the ups and downs of an appearance, playing part pitching coach and part psychologist along the way.

    “What you’re going to want to watch for is that (Johnson’s) going to try and throw a fastball in on Kevin Youkilis that actually ends up inside and true, as opposed to running back over the plate,” said Flaherty moments before Johnson’s first pitch. “If he’s doing that, everything is going to be good, because if he’s doing that, his mechanics are right. You should also see a slider that goes down and not just a spinning one that goes across. But the first thing is a fastball that is true.”

    “He’s trying to get it inside and he can’t get it there, so he pushes everything back over the plate,” said Flaherty, almost resigning himself to the fact that his former teammate has not yet figured out what at least two people in the Fenway dining area already knew. “It does a few things — obviously you see the ball earlier, and the ball doesn’t go where he wants to. He was doing it earlier last year, then he got it fixed and he really started throwing a lot better.”

    “It’s a bunch of things that kind of go hand-in-hand,” he continued. “When you throw a baseball, you kind of got to have a guide as to where you want it to go. When Randy goes bad, he just drops his (right) forearm (down) and you see the ball so much earlier. So he’s throwing 92 mph, but from a hitting standpoint it looks like its 88. Whereas you have a guy who hides the ball really well, like Mike Mussina, and he’s throwing 88. But you get swings like its 93. If he can straighten out his front side, he’ll be much better.”

    “He’s not showing the emotion and fire everybody is used to seeing,” said Flaherty, who later watched Johnson take 10 pitches to put away weak-hitting Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez. “In the past, he was always very animated, which is what he was last year when he got going. It’s like the chicken and the egg — which comes first? You can act like you’re intimidating, but you have to have intimidating stuff in order to act that way.”

    Can all this be as simple as getting Johnson to straighten out his front side and not drop his (right) forearm (down) when he delivers?

    Man, I hope that Flash is sharing this information with the Big Unit too.

    Forbes Asks Stein

    Posted by on May 25th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    Forbes has a running a puff-piece on Steinbrenner. A sample of it:

    What was your big break?

    Undoubtedly, back in 1973, when I assembled a group together to purchase the New York Yankees from CBS.

    What has been your biggest failure?

    There have been so many, it’s impossible to select only one.

    How many hours do you work in an average week now?

    Too many. I work from my home office from 8:00 a.m. until noon. I get to the office at 1:00 p.m. and work there until 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. I take my last phone call at home about 11:00 p.m.

    What is the worst thing about work?

    Time. There isn’t enough of it to accomplish everything you’d like to get done.

    What is the best thing about work?

    The challenge, the personal sense of accomplishment, the leading of people and the sharp mental edge that working enables you to maintain.

    It would be interesting, someday, to see that list of Yankees failures (in his mind). I wonder if it would synch up with the list that Yankees fans would put together?

    Spira? Yogi? Being in The Scout? What would you say should be on the list?

    Mirabelli Math

    Posted by on May 25th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    From the Post today:

    According to several Fenway Park sources, Alex Rodriguez called Doug Mirabelli over late yesterday afternoon and challenged the Red Sox’ backup catcher over what Mirabelli said about A-Rod’s actions at the plate Tuesday night, when A-Rod homered but looked around for the ball as if he didn’t know where it went.

    “He told him he should know better than that,” the source said. “He told Mirabelli that he wouldn’t disrespect the game or show up Tim Wakefield. He told Mirabelli he should know better to say anything like that because they played together.”

    Mirabelli, a teammate of A-Rod’s in Texas, was miffed that A-Rod didn’t know he went deep. His comments indicated Mirabelli believed A-Rod was grandstanding, one of the few acts A-Rod hasn’t been accused of by his legion of critics.

    “The guy’s got 450 home runs,” Mirabelli said. “He doesn’t know when he’s squared one up? I don’t believe that.”

    Now, let’s add on my observation from this past Tuesday:

    The guys on YES might have said something (which I missed), but, man, Doug Mirabelli must be made to pay for that attempt to take out Jeter on the DP in the 6th inning. I only caught it in the flash-summary at the end of the game. Nonetheless, Mirabelli went a good 9 feet away from the bag to try and get Derek. Next time he bats against the Yankees, he deserves a shot on the elbow.

    And, also consider what Mirabelli said when we rejoined Boston this year:

    Doug Mirabelli stressed he did not ask for or demand the trade that got him back to Boston on Monday, but it was clear he did not shed too many tears.

    “I didn’t want to be traded from San Diego,” said Mirabelli. “I wasn’t trying to be traded. Once I heard (the Red Sox) were interested, the one thing I made clear was ‘Please, don’t trade me to the Yankees.’”

    OK, so, one plus one, plus another one, equals……..

    ……..Doug Mirabelli is a sphincter-head in red socks.

    Nick Green

    Posted by on May 24th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    From the Sports Network:

    The Yankees recalled pitcher Matt Smith from Triple-A Columbus and sent down outfielder Kevin Reese to the Clippers before the game. New York also acquired infielder Nick Green from Tampa Bay for cash considerations.

    Nick Green? Sure, he’s an OK second baseman with the glove. And, he can do a good job with the bat when he’s facing left-handed pitching. But, where does he fit into the Yankees big league team?

    Maybe the Yankees feel that Robinson Cano has been over matched by LHP and want a platoon partner for him? But, who would go to make room on the roster, Andy Phillips?

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    UPDATE, 12:04 am ET, 5/25/06:
    Never mind – I just saw that the Yankees assigned Green to to Triple-A Columbus.

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