• June 30th vs. The Mets

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

    Once again, the Yankees struggle to score runs. And, this is strange, as every Yankees starter reached base in this game, at least once, with the exception of A-Rod and Cairo. You have to tip your cap to El Duque. He battled. He came back out after the rain. And, he battled some more. He may be a PITA to some, but, if he can stand out there, he’s going to go at it. And, while he might bend some, he won’t break a lot.

    It’s just a good thing that the Mets offense is even more inept right now than the Yankees offense at this moment.

    Everyday Scottie Proctor and Kyle “Do I play polo? Not really, sir.” Farnsworth were huge in this game. I know that there are not many options for the Yankees these days, out of the pen, sans Rivera. But, I was still repeating “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is being afraid but doing it anyway.” to myself in my head when they came into the game – thinking this is what Torre should be thinking as he went to these two in such a close game.

    Man, if not for the rain delay, this game would have been over around 9:45 local time. Two and a half hour games are nice once in a while.

    Lastly, thank you Florida Marlins (for showing the world that the Red Sox can be beaten) tonight.

    Yes, Even He Was Booed

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

    “I never heard a crowd boo a homer, but I’ve heard plenty of boos after a strikeout.”

    - Babe Ruth, quoted in Grand Slams and Fumbles, by Peter Bellenson (as referenced in Baseball’s Greatest Quotations).

    Yeah, Yankees fans used to boo Babe Ruth. This sort of puts some perspective on all the “How can the fans boo?” talk today. Last time I checked, this Ruth fellow was a pretty fair ballplayer. It just goes to show – everyone gets booed at one time or another.

    YES, A-Rod, Justice

    Posted by on June 30th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    From the Daily News:

    David Justice’s pointed critique of Alex Rodriguez Tuesday night on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network was not a solo act.

    A variety of moles, some embedded inside YES, said Justice, the network’s pre- and postgame studio analyst, was strongly encouraged – perhaps even ordered – to criticize A-Rod, by YES brass, including the network’s production boss, John Filippelli.

    “It (Justice’s A-Rod rip) was verbatim what they wanted him to say,” one mole said.

    The question is, did the order to verbally hit A-Rod come directly from the Yankees’ high command?

    Justice was not the only YES voice approached to put the wood to Rodriguez, who was mired in another slump until breaking out Wednesday with a game-winning home run. The three voices who worked Tuesday night’s game on YES – Michael Kay, Jim Kaat, and Al Leiter – were also “encouraged” to come down on A-Rod. Saying Rodriguez was not the only problem the Yankees have, they flat out refused to single him out and trash him.

    When asked about the situation, Eric Handler, a YES spokesman, would only say: “As always, there is a healthy give and take among production personnel regarding the direction of the show.”

    Just a little drama for you mammas……..

    Yankees Are Slowing Down

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

    I’ve always been a fan of CoolStandings.com.

    Everyday, they simulate the rest of the season (1 million times) for each team. They take into account a team’s strength of schedule and whether remaining games are at home or away. Most importantly, they take into account whether a team is improving (rather than just use their performance over the entire season).

    According to their findings, on April 26th, the Yankees were on pace to win 98 games this season. Here’s where the Yankees are today:

    cool630.jpg

    That 98 win projection is now at 92.

    At this rate (92 wins) New York would miss the post-season, completely, according to CoolStandings.com’s overall projections.

    They Wouldn’t Dare, Would They?

    Posted by on June 30th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    I just read that Jeff Weaver might be available for free. (Hat tip to Dodger Thoughts.)

    There’s no way that the Yankees would try him again in New York, would they? Not even if it was just to block Boston from getting him, right?

    We saw enough of this guy in 2003, right?

    Cash: Hey, Theo, Take Your Best Shot!

    Posted by on June 30th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    From The Hatford Courant -

    “Boston is throwing their best punch at us right now in this fight, and with all that’s going on, we’re still standing,” Cashman said. “I think that’s a good sign. There’s a lot of fight and character on this team.”

    Now, if only Cashman was a greasy fast G.M. tank………

    AL Does It The Stein Way

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

    From the Dallas Morning News -

    George Steinbrenner turns 76 on the Fourth of July. His legacy as owner of the New York Yankees is secure.

    The Boss made the American League into a powerful beast.

    In the B.S. era (before Steinbrenner), the AL had turned meek and out of date. In the A.S. era (Year of Steinbrenner), the AL has been a jungle.

    Follow the money.

    Steinbrenner freely spent on the Yankees, showering free agents with cash. Since 2000, the Yankees have had a total payroll of $1.07 billion. The rest of the AL had two choices: find a way to compete with Steinbrenner, or give up the ghost.

    Some, such as Minnesota and Oakland, turned into guerrilla fighters who showed imagination and ingenuity in the front office. A few fell into the abyss.

    And others spent at close to Steinbrenner’s aggressive pace.

    What Steinbrenner has wrought shows in the AL’s domination of the World Series, the All-Star Game and interleague play. The humbled National League suffers for never having a Steinbrenner.

    The AL has won 10 of the last 14 World Series, going 50-29 overall in that span. The AL has an eight-game All-Star streak, sandwiched around the 2002 tie.

    Maybe they should rename the league after George?

    The American League can be called the “Steinbrenner Super League” and the National League can be called the “Waiting For Mark Cuban League.”

    The Mets Test

    Posted by on June 29th, 2006 · Comments (12)

    BlueBooks.jpg

    Tuesday June 27th
    NY Mets 4
    Boston 9

    Wednesday June 28th
    NY Mets 2
    Boston 10

    Thursday June 29th
    NY Mets 2
    Boston 4

    Yes, the New York Mets, the team that everyone is picking to win the National League this season – and the team that many are picking to win the World Series this year – were swept in their recent series against the Boston Red Sox. And, the Mets had their two best starting pitchers throw in these games.

    Seeing this result, I believe that the Mets coming into Yankee Stadium now is an excellent test for the Yankees.

    If Boston could make the Mets look like Mutts for three straight without breaking a sweat, then the Yankees, if they are as good as Boston, should be able to man-handle the Mets as well, right?

    And, if the Mets whoop the Yankees this weekend, on the Yankees home turf, then that is a strong signal that the Yankees are inferior to both the Mets and Boston, correct?

    It’s a simple “If A > B, and if C > B, then C could be at least equal to A” thing. And, for sure, “If A > B, and B > C, then it’s probably true that C < A as well as B."

    In a prefect world, this Yankees fan would like to see Alex Rodriguez, fresh off his Back-Monkey-Repelling homer on Wednesday, take it to the Mets this weekend, say, to the tune of a 7 for 13 series (with 3 walks) including 3 homeruns.

    Is that asking for too much? Even considering that the Mets will be throwing a 50-year-old El Duque, a close-to-five ERA Steve Trachsel, and the less-than-legendary Alay Soler in these games?

    If A-Rod can parlay the clutchness of his last At Bat into this upcoming series with the Mets, and carry the Yankees over the next three games (and enable his team to repeat what Boston has done in their last three games), he will build a cache of fan appreciation that will probably serve as a Get-Out-Being-Booed Card for the remainder of the summer.

    Of course, if Alex Rodriguez goes 1 for 15 over the next three games with six whiffs, well, then you, I, and the rest of the world knows what will follow.

    Yankees, A-Rod, you may now lift your pencils, turn to the first page of the test, and begin.

    Andy Dandy

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

    The site autigers.com has a nice interview with Andy Phillips. Here are my favorite parts:

    APS: When you came to bat the first time as a major league player and hit a home run on the first pitch at Fenway Park in Boston, did you reflect on some of the people who influenced you?

    AP: It happened so quickly from being told I was getting the at-bat to when I actually came to bat. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to reflect on everything. I think when I reflected on it was after the year was over. I thought about getting called up for the first time and getting my first major league experience. You think about it from day one playing Little League baseball all the way up. You start to think about the coaches and players you played with thru the years. Then you reflect on all the people that have had an influence. So I don’t think it was until that off-season that I was able to sit down and appreciate the fact that I had gotten called up to the big leagues for the first time and been able to hit a home run my first at-bat.

    APS: What is the scouting report on Andy Phillips?

    AP: The scouting report is probably “Easy out, can’t play defense and can’t run.” Other than that I feel pretty good about what I’ve got going. I think the biggest thing hopefully that I bring to the table is competitiveness, energy and a passion to play the game. I feel like there are some tools there. You can overcome a lot by going out and competing. Ultimately that is all I can control.

    APS: As a member of the Yankees, sometimes you are afforded an opportunity to meet some unique people and have some interesting experiences. Have you had either?

    AP: Yes. First of all when you look around this clubhouse, you are playing with guys like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and others. That says enough. But also in this organization you get a chance to meet guys like Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson. You get to play under guys like Don Mattingly and Mr. Torre. The list goes on and on inside this game. So it’s been quite a unique experience for me and one that I appreciate.

    APS: After having your first chance to experience the Old Timers Game at Yankee Stadium this past Saturday, June 24th, what does it mean to wear the pinstripes?

    AP: To me, it confirms my respect that I have had for those guys all along and the respect for this uniform. You realize that the name on the front of the uniform is a lot bigger than the person wearing it. You see that with all the greats that were in here. There is a certain sense of pride they all had wearing it. Certainly, I hope I can hold up my end of the deal wearing this uniform.

    This is unrelated to the interview, but, I just noticed this today. Phillips’ first name is actually “George” (and “Andrew” is his middle name). I’ve never heard that mentioned on a Yankees broadcast. It’s an interesting fun-fact.

    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.

    It’s nice that, after eight years in the organization, Phillips is getting a chance to play at the big league level. Knowing that, and reading this interview, it’s almost impossible not to like the guy.

    Michael & Alex, Sitting In A Tree……

    Posted by on June 29th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    This is what I hear every time that Alex Rodriguez is interviewed by Michael Kay:

    Kay: We’re happy to have New York Yankees great, multiple MVP Award winner, and future Hall of Famer, Alex Rodriguez with us. Alex, thanks for being on the show!

    A-Rod: It’s my pleasure Michael.

    Kay: Alex, you’re the greatest player in the game today. You can run, hit, hit with power, and field – do it all – better than any player in the game can do all those things. But, people “boo” you. I don’t get it? You’re the greatest player today – and will be the greatest player ever when you’re done with your career. I wish that I could have ovaries implanted into my body so that I could have your baby, because I think you’re so great. Why does anyone “boo” you?

    A-Rod: I’m not sure Michael. I know that I wouldn’t “boo” me.

    Kay: Alex, you were the league MVP for the Yankees last year. You had a great ALDS in 2004 against the Twins. You were the A.L. Player of the month for May this year. What’s not to love? If you were a vampire, I would want to be your familiar. Why do people say that you’re not “clutch”?

    A-Rod: I’m not sure Michael. I just know that I am the type of player who cares about trying as hard as I can everyday. Whatever happens after that is whatever it is.

    Kay: I just don’t get it. I mean, I would want you at the plate in any situation. I would want you anywhere. Are you doing anything for Halloween this year? It would be great if we could “trick or treat” together this year – dressed like a groom and his bride. If you say “yes,” I swear, I can get a wedding dress to fit me by then – I’m not kidding.

    A-Rod: I hope to be busy in October. I want to be on a team that wins a World Championship in New York. There’s nothing better that can happen to a player than being on a team that wins in New York.

    Kay: I hope you get that ring Alex. You deserve it. You’re a special player. Some day, everyone is going to realize that they’re watching the best player to ever play the game. I know that I will always cherish the position that I’ve been in these years – to watch you everyday. I want to remember it all and tell it to my children and their children some day – that I saw Alex Rodriguez. Heck, if you ever had hemorrhoids, and had them cut off, I would ask you for them – and I would have them added to a necklace to pass down in my family throughout the years. As far as I’m concerned, nothing you do should be lost or forgotten.

    A-Rod: Well, Michael, I like to leave it all on the field. I like to think that no one works harder than I do. I’m a grinder. I put in lots of repetitions. I get up early in the morning. Just ask my wife, Cynthia.

    Kay: I’m glad that you mentioned Cynthia. She’s so smart – like a lawyer. And, she’s so beautiful – like a fitness model. And, you’re so beautiful too. Do you think that’s why some people resent you?

    A-Rod: I’m not sure Michael. That’s a good question.

    Kay: Well, thanks for your time Alex. You’re the greatest. I know it. I don’t know why others don’t. Maybe they’ll see it after you’re done? I hope so. No one can play the game as great as you do. You had 3 homers and 10 RBI in just one game! But, some people just see what they want to see, I guess? It’s just awful that you’re not appreciated more.

    Am I the only one who hears this each time? Is it just me? Or, is Kay’s A-Rod genuflecting getting so overt that it’s intolerable?

    Sweet Lou To The Rescue?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    From The Record:

    “I felt great at the plate all day,” said [Alex] Rodriguez, who said he had some extra tutoring after going 0-for-4 in the Yankees’ 5-2 loss Tuesday.

    Rodriguez told Suzyn Waldman of WCBS-AM that he had a private batting-practice session with Lou Piniella, which lasted until 3 a.m. Wednesday. Piniella was “like an angel coming out of the sky,” Rodriguez said.

    I guess those sessions with Donnie, ten days ago, were a waste of time.

    June 28th vs. The Braves

    Posted by on June 28th, 2006 · Comments (18)

    As I type this, it’s 3-2 Braves, top of the 12th…….

    even if the Yankees come back and win this game, it’s bothersome that they have to struggle against teams like the Braves, Marlins and Nationals.

    This weekend against the Mets may be very painful for Yankees fans.

    If the Yankees lose today, they will be 4 games back of Boston – and maybe 4 1/2 if the Red Sox win tonight. This time last year – after 76 games – they were 5 1/2 back of Boston. The more things change, the more they……..

    I hope the Yankees comeback in this game. But, I don’t expect it. Why should I, given the way they have played this month?

    The shame is that they are blowing games where their starting pitching has been OK. Today was another prime example of that. Who would have thought that the Yankees offense would be the weak link this season?

    Update: 6/28/05 5:06 PM – Yanks down by one. There’s one out in the bottom of the 12th, Giambi on 1st, A-Rod up……could he???????

    Update: 6/28/05 5:08 PM – OK, now, that was clutch!

    The turning point of the season?

    TradeARod.com

    Posted by on June 28th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    I just saw this site.

    Amazingly, there was no www.tradeTonyWomack.com site last year.

    Go figure.

    Playing Cashman

    Posted by on June 28th, 2006 · Comments (14)

    If you were Brian Cashman, and the Phillies called you today, and offered (to trade you) Bobby Abreu, David Bell and Brett Myers in exchange for Alex Rodriguez, Jaret Wright and Kevin Thompson – straight up, no cash involved – what would you do?

    It’s an interesting question.

    The thought of playing in that bandbox in Philly and getting away from New York might interest A-Rod. And, while Myers has serious baggage, he would be (talent-wize) a welcome addition to the Yankees rotation this season.

    You could bat Abreu second in New York, and just let him take his walks, and then bat Jeter in the 3rd slot. Bell has no stick – but he can catch the ball and he plays hard all the time.

    The Phillies could just slide in Shane Victorino to take over for Abreu. And, A-Rod at 3rd would give Philly one of the best offensive infields in the National League.

    If this was a real situation, because of A-Rod’s contract, etc., it would take weeks to be worked out. But, assume that you could do it with a quick pull of the trigger.

    As a Yankees fan, would you make his deal, today?

    Giambi & A-Rod Failing Since June 6th

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

    From the Star Ledger:

    Since scoring 13 runs against Boston on June 15, the Yankees have scored 77 runs in 19 games (an average of 4.1) and been held to two runs or fewer eight times.

    There’s an error in this statement. The Yankees have played 11 games since June 15th – not 19 games. I think they mean “June 5th” and not “June 15th.”

    So, let’s check the stats since June 6th:

    SinceJune5.jpg

    There’s your answer (as to “Why are they not scoring?”). It’s the following: Giambi’s playing “all or nothing.” And, A-Rod, well, what more can you say?

    Sure, you could also finger Cairo, Bubba and Melky. Or, Torre for playing them. But, if A-Rod and Giambi would produce to the level that their salary suggests that they should, well, then you can carry some “good glove, weak stick” guys.

    What I find interesting about this list is the split. All the guys in green, who are doing well, are home-grown sans Damon. And, in the other color, meaning the guys not doing well, are all imports sans Melky.

    This split may mean nothing – after all, it’s just a 19 game sample. Still, it’s interesting.

    June 27th vs. The Braves

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    With the exception of Jaret Wright and Melky Cabrera, the Yankees played (today) like a team that partied way too hard last night. They were flatter than Debra Messing before she had her baby.

    Really, where was the Yankees offense in this game? Or, the last four games (for that matter)?

    Just look at the 8th inning of tonight. Yankees down by two, runner on 2nd, one out, and the batter has a 2-0 count. Who’s the batter? A-Rod. What does he do? He whiffs. It’s almost predictable.

    Looking at how Atlanta has played this month, and how bad their starter for this game pitches on the road, the Yankees have to win this game. Throw in 6 good innings from Jaret Wright and it stings even more.

    I’m starting to think that the month of May was a fluke (for New York). The Yankees were just about a .500 team in April. And, this month they’re just about a .500 team.

    Really, if the Yankees played .500 ball for the next two months, I would not be shocked (at this point). They’re not playing like a playoff contender. That much is obvious.

    If they lose tomorrow, then I expect something to happen on Thursday (in terms of a trade). With the Mets coming into the Stadium, George will want something to shake the Yankees cage. It’s an even money bet.

    Carlos Lee

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (12)

    From the Boston Herald via SI -

    The Yankees may be on the verge of acquiring slugger Carlos Lee from the Brewers. Former Sox executive Lee Thomas, who is now an assistant to Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin, was seen in Trenton, N.J., on Friday night scouting Yankees pitching prospect Philip Hughes, who allowed one hit and struck out eight for the Double-A Thunder.

    Carlos Lee. His nickname is “El Caballo.” Great year in 2004. Pretty good season last year and this year, to date. Defensively, he’s challenged. He’ll be a free agent after this season. If I recall correctly, he’s been a good citizen with the Brewers. And, he’s durable.

    That all said, is he worth Philip Hughes?

    Is a 1998 Ford Mustang worth a 2006 Dodge Viper?

    He Couldn’t Tell Him In 2004?

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

    From the AP -

    He points to one moment, one conversation with his pal from Cuba.

    Jose Contreras was struggling, and his friend Orlando Hernandez wanted to know what had happened to the pitcher who triggered an auction between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox before ever slipping on a major league uniform.

    So El Duque asked: “Why’d you stop throwing sidearm?”

    The answer was that a coach in Cuba had told Contreras to stop, saying the herky-jerky motion would scratch valuable years off his career.

    Contreras smiles.

    “I regret it all the time, because I lost four years,” Contreras says through an interpreter.

    But the turning point probably was that talk with El Duque.

    Contreras started dropping his arm and rediscovered his form, going 11-2 after the All-Star break and winning his final eight regular-season starts. He helped the White Sox hold off Cleveland for the AL Central title and started the first game of each postseason series, going 3-1 in four outings.

    These two – Duque and Contreras – were together, in the Bronx, during July 2004. Why couldn’t they have talked about this then?

    Imagine how things might be different if they did – just starting with the 2004 ALCS.

    Marchman: Reyes Better Than Jeter

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    In the New York Sun, yesterday, Tim Marchman wrote (about the Mets Jose Reyes):

    To put it another way, salary considerations aside, I not only wouldn’t trade Reyes for Derek Jeter straight-up, I would laugh at the idea. His numbers will go down, but Jose Reyes has arrived.

    Reyes might end up as good as Jeter, in time. But, then again, Wil Cordero looked good at age 23 as well (in terms of being a great offensive SS).

    I want to see more than three great months from Reyes before I start putting him in the Jeter class.

    Two Parties In One Week For Jeter?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    You can have dinner with Derek Jeter on Thursday this week. But, it’s going to run you at least ten grand to get in the door.

    Still, it’s for a good cause.

    I wonder if any other Yankees players will be there as well? Many were there last year.

    Between his birthday party last night, and this on Thursday, it’s a busy four days, partying, for Derek. Think Big Stein minds?

    Mark Hendrickson

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    From the St. Pete Times:

    …interest in starter Mark Hendrickson is building, with the Yankees among the possibilities

    Hendrickson is having a decent year this season – which is atypical for him. Basically, he’s a “Pitches Well Against The Yankees But Stinks Against Everyone Else” type pitcher.

    If the Yankees are smart, they should call Lou Piniella before making a move on Hendrickson. He could tell them whether he’s worth it or not.

    It’s Not All Right

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    An interesting stat that I saw on the ‘net today:

    The Yankees have a .700 winning percentage vs. lefthanded starters, and a .529 mark against righties.

    I know that A-Rod is only slugging .410 against RHP. And, Bernie is at .375 vs. RHP. But, the rest of the Yankees do well against RHP.

    I wonder why the Yankees don’t do better against RH starters?

    July 2nd Is Francisco Pena Day

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel -

    The Marlins met with 16-year-old Dominican catcher Francisco Pena in New York over the weekend.

    Pena, the youngest son of Yankees coach Tony Pena, is considered among the top amateurs on the international market. The Yankees, Mets, Nationals and Reds have been the most aggressive. The international signing period opens Sunday. …

    Considering how bad the Yankees system is with respect to catching prospects, and the fact that Tony Pena works for the Yankees now, I would hope that the Yankees can get this deal done quickly.

    June 26th vs. The Braves

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

    Seeing the Braves’ Bobby Cox come out in the 9th of this game, to beef with home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, after getting tossed, was sad. He looks very old. Maybe it’s just the combo of the huge pot belly and the bad legs? But, he looks more like a 75-year old than a 65-year old. Maybe he should retire?

    Hey, a win is a win, right? And, the Yankees won tonight – with Randy Johnson looking great in the process. What’s not to like about the results of this game?

    Actually, two things tonight concern me.

    First, why can’t the Yankees batters play a full nine innings lately? It just seems like, at least to me, again, these days, the Yankees score some runs and then take the rest of the game off.

    This evening, thanks to Giambi, New York got five on the board in the first two. Then what happened?

    3rd inning: They get the first two batters to reach (with no outs!) and score none.

    5th inning: They have a runner on 2nd with one out and cannot get him home.

    6th inning: Same thing as the 5th inning.

    7th inning: They get a runner to 3rd, albeit with two outs, and he’s left there.

    8th inning: The lead-off batter in the inning reaches with the top of the order coming up. And, they cannot move him over and score any runs.

    It just seems like the Yankees line-up is not capable of an A-B-C type attack. And, that’s bad. Good teams can do that.

    Secondly, and this might just be me, but, I did not see many smiles on Yankees faces during the post-game high-five parade tonight. (In fact, the only player that I noticed cracking a smile was A-Rod.)

    What’s up with that? Were they just pissed that Mo had to come into the game and that he was off a bit? Or, is this team not having fun – even when they win?

    I’m just starting to get the feeling that, maybe, this Yankees team is lacking the proper attitude that seems to go with a winner. Maybe they had it in the Spring and all the injures have sucked the life out of them? Or, maybe they never had it at all?

    I don’t know the answer. And, this all may be the wrong take (on my part). But, something just seems missing. I hope that I’m mistaken on this read. Because, if I am right, it’s going to be a long summer in the Bronx.

    Randy Velarde

    Posted by on June 26th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    When I saw this list, I did a double-take. It’s most games played for the Yankees for the period 1981 through 2005:

    Rank/Player/Games

    1 Bernie Williams 1945
    2 Don Mattingly 1785
    3 Derek Jeter 1525
    4 Paul O’Neill 1254
    5 Dave Winfield 1172
    6 Jorge Posada 1145
    7 Tino Martinez 1054
    8 Willie Randolph 997
    9 Mike Pagliarulo 703
    10 Randy Velarde 673

    Yes, prior to this season, in the last quarter-century, only 9 men played more games for the New York Yankees than Randy Velarde.

    Wow.

    But, then I remembered something that I wrote 14 months ago -

    Randy Velarde appeared in twenty more games as a member of the New York Yankees than Reggie Jackson did as a Yankee.

    Velarde was in New York for a while, eh? Maybe they should write a song about Randy? How about…..

    Velarde, oh, oh!
    Cantare, oh, oh, oh, oh!

    OK, so, it’s been done before. Still, how many Yankees fans think of Randy Velarde in terms of being a Yankees icon?

    Before seeing this list today, when I thought of Velarde, I would think of one of five things:

    1. He had Rickey-Henderson-like low body fat.
    2. His wife (once) referred to him, over the air on a Yankees broadcast (one day) while she was in the booth, as “My sweetie.” (If I recall correctly, they showed him on the screen and she said “There’s my sweetie” in a Texas accent.)
    3. He fielded the grounder that was the last out in Jim Abbott’s no-hitter.
    4. After leaving the Yankees, he turned an unassisted triple-play against them.
    5. He got busted in the BALCO scandal.

    I guess now I should think “Modern day Yankees staple” when I think of Velarde. The numbers back it up.

    Jesus Is Coming?

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

    Just some Jesus Colome news from OurSports Central -

    The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced that RHP Jesus Colome has been promoted to Columbus (AAA of the International League) and RHP Francisco Butto has been transferred to Trenton.

    Colome went 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three appearances for Trenton. He was signed by the Yankees to a Minor League contract on April 15, 2006.

    For those who don’t know it, Jesus Colome is Spanish for “Tanyon Sturtze.”

    Ducks On The Pond

    Posted by on June 26th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    One of the cool things that they track over at Baseball Musings is RBI Percentage. Here’s how the Yankees have done in this stat, so far, for the month of June:

    JuneRBIPct.jpg

    Melky, A-Rod and Cano have not been getting the ducks off the pond this month. That’s been a big part of the Yankees poor record during June.

    Tony Solaita

    Posted by on June 26th, 2006 · Comments (2)

    My recent observation on # 51 led to this e-mail from Repoz on the subject:

    A little note on Tony Solaita wearing #51…If I’m not mistaken, the Yankees gave him that Sept. number call-up number because he had just come off hitting 51 bombs during his just finished minor league season (49 big flys at High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms in the Carolina League (A) and 2 taters skinned during the Carolina League Playoffs for a total of 51).

    Trust me in saying that in Yankeeland…Solaita was the talk of the season…and the wait was on…for one stinkin’ Yankee at bat!

    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B09160DET1968.htm

    And his sad obit…

    http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Solaita.Tony.Obit.html

    OK, so, Solaita was the hot-shot power prospect at the end of the ’60s. And, we had Bam Bam Meulens at the end of the ’80′s. Where’s the one for now?

    It should be one every twenty years, right?

    June 25th vs. The Marlins

    Posted by on June 25th, 2006 · Comments (12)

    The Yankees have now scored 2 runs in their last 21 innings at the plate. How is that possible when you have players like A-Rod, Giambi, Jeter, Damon, and Posada in your line-up?

    And, now, with Cano’s hammy, it could be more of a struggle to score runs – if Robinson is out as long as it took Bubba Crosby to heal his hamstring.

    Thank goodness for Mussina’s effort in the first game today.

    The Yankees are now 11-11 for the month of June – with 4 games to go this month. That’s bad news. This was supposed to be an easy month for New York.

    The Yankees schedule in July and August is tough. We may just be looking at a killer June swoon here. The Yankees better play better against the Braves now – with the Mets coming after that.

    Carl Pavano’s Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me!

    Posted by on June 25th, 2006 · Comments (11)

    This morning, I was lying on the floor playing with our new puppy – who is now 4-months old.

    He was making this whiney-type noise, and, I decided, trying to be cute but really being stupid, to mimic him. Well, I guess that whiney-noise is puppy-speak for “OK, sucka, let’s rock!”

    Because, the second that I started making the noise, he pounced out at me and got his mouth on my right ear. And, his teeth sunk into the top of my ear like fish hooks. I quickly went one way, and he went the other, and, well, let’s just say that my ear got ripped open like a bag of potato chips. So, it was quickly off to the local ER.

    Long story short, I’m fine. I just needed to get some stitches – so that they could put my ear back together. I should be healed in a week – with a small scar at the worst.

    But, as I’m sitting in the ER, waiting to get the stitches, I noticed that there was a radio playing at the nurse’s station. And, what song was playing? True story: It’s was Stuck in the Middle With You by Stealer’s Wheel.

    Anyone who has seen Reservoir Dogs can appreciate this connection. I just starting to laugh out-loud when I realized what song was playing. The nurses probably thought “This guy is nuts!”

    Funny song-story aside, this whole episode has given me a new level of understanding for when ball players get injured doing stupid things. Trust me, it can happen quickly and easily!

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