• Next Fortnight Telling For Cash & Joe

    Posted by on April 30th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    According to Big Stein today:

    “…Brian Cashman, our general manager, Joe Torre, our manager, and our players all believe that they will turn this around quickly.”

    I’m going to assume that Boss George means the month of May, in terms of turning it around “quickly.” Can it be done?

    The Yankees play 28 games in May – 15 on the road and 13 at home.

    The road games: Three games each @ Texas, @ Seattle, @ The White Sox, @ The Mets, and @ Toronto.

    The home games: Four with Seattle – then three each with Texas, Boston and Los Angeles.

    We know that the White Sox, Mets, Red Sox, Angels and Blue Jays will be up for their games with the Yankees. That’s 15 of the Yankees 28 games in May.

    The other 13 games for the Yankees next month are with the Rangers and Mariners. In fact, New York plays Texas and Seattle for their first 13 games in May.

    So, how good have the Rangers and Mariners been so far this season? Actually, both of these teams only have one more win this year than the Yankees (to date). Neither the Rangers or the Mariners have batted very well this season (so far). And, their pitching has been about just as bad as the Yankees.

    If the Yankees are going to turn this thing around “quickly,” there could not be a better chance to do it, schedule-wise, than these next two weeks.

    Of course, if the Yankees drop nine (or more) of their next 13 games, that should be enough to force the team to make some decisions. It will be a very interesting fortnight for Brian Cashman and Joe Torre. Very interesting, indeed.

    Stein On Yanks Start

    Posted by on April 30th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    From Yankees.com -

    “The season is still very young, but up to now the results are clearly not acceptable to me or to Yankee fans,” Steinbrenner said. “However, Brian Cashman, our general manager, Joe Torre, our manager, and our players all believe that they will turn this around quickly. I believe in them.”

    “I am here to support them in any way to help them accomplish this turnaround,” Steinbrenner said. “It is time to put excuses and talk away. It is time to see if people are ready to step up and accept their responsibilities. It is time for all of them to show me and the fans what they are made of.”

    “Let’s get going,” Steinbrenner concluded. “Let’s go out and win and bring a world championship back to New York. That’s what I want.”

    Define “quickly.”

    2007 WasWatching.com Gear Is Here!

    Posted by on April 30th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    Thanks to Pete Mrsich, WasWatching.com has a new gear for sale. For the most part, it’s shirts – that look like this:

    Click here to see what the front logo looks like and click here to see what the back logo looks like.

    Again, thanks to Pete for all the work on the graphics.

    Here’s the cool part…in addition to these being unique shirts, etc., you help support this blog with each item purchased from the WasWatching.com Shop (as $2 from each item goes directly to WasWatching.com).

    Click here to see all the goodies. Happy shopping!

    And, I promise, if I ever see anyone wearing one of these shirts, I will go out of my way to come over and say hello (and thanks!).

    Yanks Worst April In Nearly A Quarter Century

    Posted by on April 30th, 2007 · Comments (36)

    WorstStartSince1984.jpg

    For this reason alone, someone should get a pink slip. This isn’t “just a bad start.” This is a major break-down. Yankees fans, do you agree? If so, who should pay the price for this? Your comments are appreciated.

    April 2007 Survey Question #3

    Posted by on April 30th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    What will be the Yankees record *during the month* of May 2007 – in your opinion? (Note: Not their overall record at the end of May – but their record DURING the month of May.)

    Update, 5/10/07: This poll is now closed. Click on the thumbnail below to see the results:

    April 29th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 29th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Long day today. I live about 55 miles from the Stadium. So, I left the house at ten this morning to meet my friend John in Fort Lee (NJ) before the game – so that we could drive over together. Once the game was over, and I dropped John off (back at his car), and then drove home, it was seven in the evening (when I walked in the door). Seems like a lot of time – nine hours of your day – to carve out for a 9-inning baseball game. Welcome to the new world of trying to go to a Yankees game by car. It doesn’t seem that bad when they win…but, when they lose, it doesn’t seem right to have burned your whole day for that cause.

    Oh, and for the record, the uncivilized and cutthroat manner in which Yankees fans treat each other, exiting parking garages around the Stadium, and while accessing roads to leave the Bronx, is disgusting. Seeing what I saw today, trying to get home from the game, made me embarrassed to know that these were my fellow members of the Yankees Fan Nation. Rude and obnoxious behavior. No wonder why some like to give Yankees fans a bad name.

    Speaking of giving Yankees fans a bad name…and I know that I’ve mentioned this before…what’s up with allowing Red Sox fans to take over Yankee Stadium? I know that I’ve mentioned this in the past…but, there’s more and more Red Sox fans showing up at the Stadium for these games than ever before. When Crisp hit his triple today and then again when Cora homered, the ovations from Sox fans in my section where extremely loud. Later in the game, I went to visit a friend on the field level – and mentioned this about the Sox fans. They told me: “Look around here. I’ve got five of them right behind me, two to the right, and three more in front of me to the left. And, they’re screaming like crazy at everything.”

    Why are Yankees fans letting Red Sox fans buy so many tickets to these games at the Stadium?

    Lastly, to the game. What can I say? If the Yankees pitching situation was not bad enough, now the hitting has gone south as well. Today was a Chinese Homer from Rico Bergman and a Han Solo from Jeter. Dat’s it. Damon, Abreu, Matsui – and to an extent Cano – are ice cold.

    On the bright-side, it’s close to being at rock-bottom for the Yankees. And, I’m beginning to think that they have to hit rock-bottom for changes to start happening and for improvements to follow.

    I’m just glad that Brian Cashman fessed up to what I said yesterday:

    Cashman couldn’t say whether Torre’s job is in jeopardy but understood that any losing streak by the Yankees provokes speculation.

    “That’s the nature of the beast. There’s no doubt. We’ve hit a rough spot and when you hit a rough spot, especially here, it’s rougher and louder,” he said. “I take full responsibility for this start, just because that’s my job. This is the team I put together. And so if people are looking for blame, I say blame me.”

    Part of any effective solution is finding the core of the problem. The above self-identification is a start.

    Big Papi On Kei Igawa

    Posted by on April 29th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    Yesterday, I wrote:

    I did see Igawa get out of the first. Sounds like he did a great job today, overall. Six innings…when the team really needed it…4.04 pitchers per batter…15.5 pitches per inning…that’s all good stuff. But, when I see that he threw 42% of his pitches for balls…I have to wonder. Did the Sox help out Igawa in some way today? Sure, 58% of pitches for strikes is not terrible…but, it’s not what you usually expect to see on six shutout innings.

    Later, I saw that the Red Sox David Ortiz was not that impressed by Igawa:

    “He [Igawa] was all right, nothing special,” said Sox slugger David Ortiz. “A lot of hittable pitches. We were just not hitting them.”

    Interesting quote. I’m surprised to see this from someone like Ortiz. He must really mean it. We’ll see what happens the next time Igawa gets to pitch again. Maybe having hope for him is a mistake?

    Jeter’s Letterman Top Ten

    Posted by on April 29th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    From Neil Best -

    Derek Jeter presented the Top-10 List on “Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday night, at times seeming amused and at times a little uncomfortable as he recited “little known facts about Derek Jeter” while standing on the field at Yankee Stadium during batting practice. Here they are:

    10. In 2002, I set a major-league record of 97 consecutive games without scratching myself.

    9. I can put five baseballs in my mouth.

    8. Remember I missed a game last year with a “pulled hamstring?” I actually had Streisand tickets.

    7. When Johnny Damon cut his hair, I put it in my scrapbook.

    6. I’d trade my four World Series rings for a spot on Late Show’s “Impressionist Week 2.”

    5. When Red Sox fans shout “Yankees suck,” it really hurts my feelings.

    4. The thing I love most about being a baseball player is seeing a child’s eyes light up when I give him an autograph … oh, and the crazy paycheck.

    3. Between you and me, I don’t get all the ass-slapping either.

    2. So I’m not bothered by fans, I check into hotels under the name “Dave Letterman.”

    1. Rosie quit “The View” so we could spend some more time together.

    Yawn.

    Just One Of Some Fifty Five Odd Thousand…

    Posted by on April 28th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    If you see someone up at the Stadium tomorrow, wearing a Yankees 100th Anniversary Cap and a Nike Yankees Practice Tee, there’s a good chance that it will be me.

    Say hello if you’re there and you think that you’ve spotted me.

    April 28th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 28th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Is there any truth to the rumor that, when poor Jeff Karstens cracked his fibula today, Carl Pavano said “Damn, that should have been me out there! Good-bye ‘The Summer of Carl!’”?

    Karstens switched his uniform number from 17 to 58 before this start. Number 17 got him pounded in Beantown. Number 58 got him the D.L. Maybe it’s time to go back to #17? It seems like that number was better for his health.

    I have to confess…I only saw the first inning of this game…and then heard the top of the 9th on the car radio. (The 4 pm start didn’t match up well with our plans for an early dinner out today with family.)

    I did see Igawa get out of the first. Sounds like he did a great job today, overall. Six innings…when the team really needed it…4.04 pitchers per batter…15.5 pitches per inning…that’s all good stuff. But, when I see that he threw 42% of his pitches for balls…I have to wonder. Did the Sox help out Igawa in some way today? Sure, 58% of pitches for strikes is not terrible…but, it’s not what you usually expect to see on six shutout innings.

    In any event, today was a big win for the Yankees…especially when you factor in what happened on the first pitch of the game. This could have been a 7-pitcher game for New York…when they could least afford it. So, no matter how he did it, you have to give the game ball to Igawa.

    Let’s hope this is a step in the right direction for him – and the team.

    Q-TB^2T: Should We Trust Brian’s Brain Trust?

    Posted by on April 28th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    At this moment in time, only two teams in baseball are playing worse than the Yankees (8-13): The Nationals (8-15) and the Royals (7-16).

    Does this mean that Joe Torre is in trouble? Maybe. From Joel Sherman today:

    It is no secret around the Yankees that George Steinbrenner wanted Torre’s job after the AL Division Series debacle last year, and only GM Brian Cashman’s assault of reason calmed down the savage Boss. But this is not a moment of strength for Cashman, not with so much of his hand-picked personnel – on the roster and around the team – feeding a last-place team. Cashman probably will not be able to serve as a human blockade to save Torre if this is what Steinbrenner really wants, especially because there is still a pretty strong anti-Torre faction with Steinbrenner’s ear in the organization.

    Should it be Torre who pays the price for the way the Yankees have performed, so far, this season? Or, should it be Cashman, himself? From Peter Abraham a couple of days ago, when discussing the Hughes call-up:

    I blame Brian Cashman for this. He had way too much faith in Carl Pavano’s ability to stay healthy and for whatever reason invested a lot of money in Kei Igawa. Now they’re paying the price.

    I agree with Peter here. The Yankees pitching rotation, of lack thereof, is the reason why this team has imploded this month. And, it was Cashman who built the rotation and the plan for its back-ups. Should we be shocked by any of this? Back on January 6th of this year, I wrote:

    Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. The Yankees won the World Series in 1998, 1999, and 2000 – because of their pitching. The good pitchers on those 1998-2000 teams were Mariano Rivera, Orlando Hernandez, Roger Clemens, Ramiro Mendoza, Jeff Nelson, David Wells, Andy Pettitte, Graeme Lloyd and David Cone.

    Of that strong pitching group, Cashman inherited most of them – I think his only moves were to pick up Clemens and El Duque.

    What does this all say about Brian Cashman’s track record in terms of being able to build a very good pitching staff?

    At this junction, adding what we’ve seen so far this season to what we already knew, I would offer that the only thing Brian Cashman knows about pitching is that he can’t tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones.

    But, Joe Torre only has six months left on his contract – whereas Brian Cashman has twenty months left on his deal. This leads me to believe that Torre is more likely to pay the price for the Yankees being one of three in the “Less Than 9 Wins Club” – rather than Cashman.

    Nonetheless, bottom line, the current state of the New York Yankees may never change until Brian Cashman is gone. It seems that the Yankees were better when someone with a scouting background was in charge of acquiring talent.

    Actually, if you look at the Yankees “brain trust” now, you’ll see that it’s basically Randy Levine (Team President), Brian Cashman (Senior Vice President, General Manager), Mark Newman (Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations), and Jean Afterman (Vice President, Assistant General Manager). Of those four, only Newman has a “baseball” background.

    Maybe that’s the issue with this Yankees organization – too many white-collar, pencil-pushing, general-ledger types and not enough people who have grown-up in the game calling the shots?

    The only way we’ll know for sure is if the Yankees make a change – and then we can see the results. At this point, I would suggest that Yankees fans should begin to consider making the call for the experiment.

    April 27th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 27th, 2007 · Comments (7)

    If you’re a Yankees fan, and you’ve been paying close attention to the team this season so far, and you’ve just watched this entire game tonight from start to finish, the only way this exact moment in Yankeeland could feel any uglier for you would be if Joe Torre just appeared before you wearing nothing but tassel pasties and a thong.

    If there was any bright-side to this evening, it was at the very end of the game, watching the Yankees leave their dugout and heading into the clubhouse…except one person who remained seated on the bench…looking somewhat shocked…Rico Bergman. Once the dugout was clear, Rico stood up, took his bat, and passed it over the roof of the dugout to a fan. I take that as a signal that Mientkiewicz knows his days on this team are soon to be over.

    If this is true, sure, it’s just like tossing a deck chair off the sinking Titanic, and, tossing Rico is not going to make the Yankees pitchers any better…but, right now, Yankees fans need to feel good about something – and we’ll take whatever we can get now.

    Anyone up for “Project M-11,” aka “Adios Rico”? Com’on Yankees, throw us dogs a bone, huh? It’s not like we’re looking for Cashman or Torre on a platter. This request is small. It’s very small…but, it’s something. And, again, at this stage, seeing the Yankees do anything well/smart/good/positive would be a pleasant sight for sore eyes.

    Do it now before Karsten’s start tomorrow. After that one, we may need something bigger, if not granted this one now.

    April 26th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on April 26th, 2007 · Comments (19)

    Man, it seems like it’s been forever since that big comeback win against the Indians. Talk about a long week.

    When you factor in his age, and the way he was rushed to the big leagues, and the fact that it was his big league cherry today, I thought Phil Hughes was impressive tonight.

    That said, this evening, while watching Hughes, I still see “Andy Benes.”

    The key is watching Hughes against proven batters like Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas and then again versus batters like Jason Smith and Adam Lind. Sure, Phil gets the “B” batters out. But, what happened when he faced “A” batters?

    Bottom line, I saw Hughes tonight as having excellent stuff – but it’s not electric stuff. When Roger Clemens and Doc Gooden were babies, they had electric stuff. I did not see that from Hughes this evening. Case in point: A.J. Burnett, after throwing 100 pitches, was still hitting 96 MPH on the gun tonight. Phil Hughes, after 80-something pitches was just touching 90 MPH on the gun.

    Of course, this was just one night – and it was Hughes first major league start. Things can change in time…and maybe that electric stuff shows in later starts? But, for now, again, I see “Andy Benes” when I watch Phil Hughes pitch. That’s not the worst thing in the world for Hughes. But, it’s probably not in line with the hype and subsequent expectations that are around the kid now.

    Moving on to the bigger picture, tonight’s loss puts a ton of pressure on Andy Pettitte tomorrow. With Karstens pitching on Saturday – and, thank goodness that Igawa has been yanked from the rotation – a loss on Friday could mean that the Yankees are looking at an 8-game losing streak heading into Sunday’s game…along with being 7 1/2 games back of Boston on the morning of Wang’s start on Sunday.

    The Yankees need a win on Friday. I know it’s only April – and it’s hard to say a game in April is a “must win.” But, if ever there was a “must win” game in April…tomorrow is it for the Yankees.

    Was It A Mercurochrome “Stained” Sanitary Sock?

    Posted by on April 26th, 2007 · Comments (12)

    From ESPN.com -

    The story of Curt Schilling’s famous bloody sock from the 2004 playoffs is turning into a bloody mess after a prominent broadcaster claimed one of Schilling’s teammates acknowledged the blood wasn’t real.

    Fast-forward to Wednesday night’s Mid-Atlantic Sports Network’s telecast of Red Sox-Orioles.

    In the bottom of the fifth, according to multiple media reports, Orioles play-by-play man Gary Thorne said on the air that he had been told by Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli that the substance was paint, not blood.

    “The great story we were talking about the other night was that famous red stocking that he wore when they finally won, the blood on his stocking,” Thorne told broadcast partner and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, according to media reports.

    “Nah,” Thorne said. “It was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR. Two-ball, two-strike count.”

    After the game, Mirabelli flatly and angrily denied Thorne’s story.

    “What? Are you kidding me? He’s [expletive] lying. A straight lie,” Mirabelli said, according to The Boston Globe. “I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood.”

    To me, the key is simple here: Why would Gary Thorne lie? What’s the benefit to him by making up this story?

    As far as Mirabelli, I stand by what I said last year, around this time: Doug Mirabelli is a sphincter-head in red socks.

    It would be cool to see Thorne’s claim be proven true. While it would not make up for losing the 2004 ALCS, it would be nice to see the Schilling legacy take a hit.

    New York Yankees Baby DVD

    Posted by on April 26th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    Being the father of a 5-year old girl, and a 3-year old boy, I’ve watched more than my fair share of Baby Einstein, Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Maisy, Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer, and Go, Diego, Go! videos over the last few years. Therefore, I somewhat have a feel for what works for the little ones with respect to video entertainment. However, when it came time to review the DVD “New York Yankees Baby,” I decided to go with the reaction of someone better suited for the task…specifically, my aforementioned kids.

    First, allow me to scope out “New York Yankees Baby.” It’s a 30-minute DVD program, Yankees-themed, that’s broken into ten segments – nine “innings” of learning topics (such as “Let’s Go to the Ballpark!” or “Baseball Stuff” or “Baseball Colors & Shapes”) followed by an “Extra Inning!” of “Outtakes!” (from the production of the video). This DVD has everything that you would expect to see in an Infants/Toddlers video – plenty of songs/dancing and recognition/learning tools for things like counting, spelling, shapes and colors. Of course, it’s all accompanied by heaps of footage of Yankees gear, highlights, sights, etc.

    Now, to the more important items here: Did my kids enjoy “New York Yankees Baby“?

    Upon receipt of the DVD, we watched it all, together, for the first time ever.

    My 5-year old daughter was glued to it – from start to finish. She especially liked the sections where the learnings were on the parts of the baseball field, baseball colors, shapes, spelling and counting. She enjoyed singing along with “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” – of course, that’s one of the first songs she ever learned…I made sure of that – and she laughed out loud during the “Outtakes!” section. When the DVD was over, her first reaction was “Can we watch that again?” (I told her that we would – another day as it was close to her bedtime.)

    My 3-year old son was just as excited as his sister to watch it, at first. However, about halfway through he began to wonder off on to other things. At first, I was curious as to whether this reaction was due to lack of interest or perhaps the shortness of his attention span. Given his age, most would suspect that it could be the latter. Still, I’ve seen him sit through 90-minutes of watching Max & Ruby without ever leaving the room, so, I know that he can get locked into things – when he wants to be zoned-in. In any event, he came back to the room before we were done watching “New York Yankees Baby” – and he laughed just as hard as his sister during the “Outtakes!” section. Therefore, I suspected that maybe he just was wandering for the moment…as the DVD was not holding his interest.

    At first blush, I took his reaction as a sign that perhaps this DVD was better suited for little ones closer to “sightly older than toddlers” (like my daughter) than for actual infants/toddlers. However, I soon learned otherwise.

    After my kids and I watched “New York Yankees Baby” together on the family TV, (days later) I popped the DVD into my PC to watch it again – in order to prep for this review. While I had it on the PC, my son entered the room – and he started watching “New York Yankees Baby” with me – and he would not leave. He seemed just as glued to it as his sister did when she watched it the first time.

    So, maybe his reaction that first time was just his mood at that moment? He certainly was interested to watch it when he unexpectedly found it playing on the PC.

    Further, towards the end of our “PC” viewing of the DVD, his sister also walked into the room – to say “good-bye” as she (and my wife) was on her way to pre-school for the morning. When she saw what was on the PC-screen, she said “That’s the baseball DVD. Can we watch that again when I come home from school?” And, you could tell that she really wanted to stay and watch it (along with me and my son) – and was somewhat disappointed that we were watching it at a time where she had to leave the house. (She was probably thinking to herself “Hey, you promised me we could watch this again. Why are you watching this without me now?”)

    I took this all as a good sign that “New York Yankees Baby” had the power of keeping kids interested during a repeat viewing. That’s a big thumbs-up when it comes to a kid’s endorsement of a video.

    You probably get the idea by now: My kids, again, ages 3 and 5, did enjoy watching “New York Yankees Baby.” This DVD even got the “Can we watch it again?” seal of approval from my daughter. What more needs to be said?

    Personally, I thought the narration during the DVD, done by George Steinbrenner, was not animated enough for kids. (Someone cartoonish – like John Sterling – would have been a better pick in my opinion.) But, my kids didn’t seem to mind at all. Between the music, dancing, baseball action, colors, counting and spelling, etc., there was enough to keep their interest.

    There are two things in particular that I will remember about this “review” process.

    When we watched it the first time, together, my son left the room before the “inning” where the DVD had the sing-a-long of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” And, actually, I stepped out of the room for a moment as well – to see what he was up to, elsewhere. It was at this time my wife said to me “You might want to get back in there and see this.” When I did get back to the TV, I found my 5-year old daughter in the room, by herself, singing along, out loud, to “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” As a dad who’s a baseball nut, that was a cool moment.

    Later, when I was watching the DVD with my 3-year old son, via the PC, I noted that he had the same reaction each time we saw a highlight of a Yankee making a great play or getting a big hit. It was one word, said with passion: Whoa! As a dad who’s a Yankees fanatic, in addition to being a baseball nut, that was music to my ears.

    This all said, I would recommend “New York Yankees Baby” to any Yankees fan who has little kids. This DVD is entertaining for the little ones – and it’s not all fluff…as there are learning skills built into it (on spelling, counting, shapes, etc.) Further, for the parent who is a Yankees fan, “New York Yankees Baby” is a nice primer to introduce your kids into something that interests you as well.

    Having your kids share interests with you, and vice versa, is a pretty important tool towards keeping the lines of communication open with your children – in my opinion. “New York Yankees Baby” lends towards building that shared interest. For that reason alone, picking up this DVD will be a good return on your investment.

    Would You Convert A Mint 1968 Dodge Charger Into A Compost Bin?

    Posted by on April 25th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    Of course not. Certain things should just not happen.

    A tip of the cap to Paul Katcher – for saying something that is well said today.

    Barry Likes A-Rod’s Eyes

    Posted by on April 25th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    From the Oakland Tribune -

    When Alex Rodriguez hit 14 home runs in the New York Yankees’ first 18 games, most people watched his swing.

    Barry Bonds paid attention to his eyes.

    “I can see it on TV. I see it in his face,” Bonds said Tuesday. “You can just see that his eyes are just different. He is just different, and it’s just phenomenal to watch. And I can see it as a player. We’re able to pick up on little things you guys aren’t able to.”

    What if A-Rod hits 74?

    “I would be ecstatic,” Bonds said. “It wouldn’t bother me one bit. … I’m so happy for him. It’s great. … I hope you guys enjoy it too, because it’s just phenomenal. I hope he hits 100. I really do.”

    Can you imagine how insane it would be, around A-Rod and the Yankees team, if Alex managed to get near 70 homers this season? It’s almost better if it doesn’t happen – at least for the team, in terms of cutting down on the media attention/heat.

    The Moose Call

    Posted by on April 25th, 2007 · Comments (12)

    Do you know how many games Mike Mussina has won for the Yankees since June 26, 2006?

    Six.

    Or, to state it another way, “Five more than Carl Pavano.”

    In the second-half of the season last year, opponents batted .268 against Mussina. For the year, the league batting average was .275.

    This season, Mussina was injured during his second start of the year.

    Many Yankees fans feel that the return of Mike Mussina (from the D.L.) will help the Yankees current issue with respect to their lack of starting pitching depth. But, when you look at what Mussina did over the second-half of last year, and this season to date, is that a correct assumption?

    The First 19 Games Under Torre A Clue To Yankees Pitching?

    Posted by on April 25th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    So, the Yankees have started this season with a record of 8-11. How does that compare to other starts under Joe Torre? Here’s the answer:

    First19Games.jpg

    This tells us that the Yankees’ start this season is the same, just about, as 1997, 2004, and 2005.

    This is interesting to me. One of my recent studies, suggested that the 1997 Yankees were an underachieving team and that the 2004-05 Yankees were much worse than their win totals suggested (because of their inferior pitching).

    We know that the 2007 Yankees pitching has been bad to date. Will it get better? That all depends on Mussina, Pavano, and Hughes (or Karstens). If they can join Wang and Pettitte, it should be better. This also assumes that Igawa is removed from the rotation.

    But, if Pavano is a bust, and Hughes (or Kartsens) can’t handle the bigs yet, and Mussina proves to be an older pitcher (and shaky) this year, this season could be just like 2004 and 2005…in terms of how good the Yankees will be (compared to teams that can actually pitch). By this, I mean, sure, they still might win 90+ games – and maybe even finish first – despite the poor start. But, in the end, come October, they will have no chance.

    April 24th @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on April 24th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    So, last place, huh?

    Personally, I like Mike Myers. I’ve heard him interviewed a few times on X-M Radio. He seems like a stand-up guy. I’ve also heard that he’s someone who is interested in the history of the game. So, there, we’re kindred spirits (of sorts). Reports say that Myers is great in the clubhouse. And, I like the fact that he was willing to work with Ron Guidry, and adapt to pitching from both sides of the rubber, so that he could pitch an inning (or two) in blow-out games (without getting pounded by right-handed batters).

    But, the fact of the matter is that Mike Myers’ role on this team is to get lefty batters out in big spots. And, because that’s his main role, he needs to be lock-down solid in those situations…meaning getting the job done 90-95% of the time (against lefties). And, to have value, he must never allow a homerun to a left-handed batter.

    If Mike Myers can’t do the above, then he should not be on this team. Again, I like the man. Therefore, this is not easy to say. But, it’s true. When your lefty-specialist is not special, he’s got no value.

    On the bright-side, if there was one today, Worm Killer Wang looked good – and he pitched into the 7th inning. I know for some teams that may not seem like much…but, hey, we’re talking about the last place New York Yankees here. You take whatever you can get.

    Phil Hughes Uni Number?

    Posted by on April 24th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    Hughes wore #50 with Trenton last season. In Spring Training this year, as well as in Scranton this past month, Hughes wore #65.

    What number will he wear in the Bronx on Thursday?

    #65? #50? Something else?

    If Kevin Thompson is sent down, maybe Phil will get his #19?

    I’d like to see that. I think it would be a good number for him.

    Do I Hear A Baker’s Dozen?

    Posted by on April 24th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    I was just wondering to myself “How many pitchers, in general, have had good seasons in the major leagues, at age 20 or younger, since they started using the D.H.?” Thanks to the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, I have the answer. Click on the thumbnail below to see the results:

    So, in the past 34 years, there have been only 12 pitchers to throw well in the big leagues at an age of 20 or younger: Dwight Gooden, Dave Rozema, Dennis Eckersley, Rick Ankiel, Fernando Valenzuela, Dennis Blair, Bret Saberhagen, Mike Witt, Zack Greinke, Storm Davis, Frank Tanana, and C.C. Sabathia.

    Can Phil Hughes make it 13 in the last 35 years? That’s something that Brian Cashman should be asking himself – or, rather, asked himself, two days ago.

    Falling Out Of The Gate

    Posted by on April 24th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    From Tom Verducci -

    The 2007 Yankees are the first team since the 1994 A’s to score as many as 116 runs in its first 18 games and still post a losing record.

    For what it’s worth, at the time of the ’94 work stoppage, the A’s were still a below .500 team.

    This was not the start that most Yankees fans expected this year – for sure.

    Hughes Facing Long Odds – Because Of His Age

    Posted by on April 24th, 2007 · Comments (6)

    What do Jose Rijo (1984), Don Johnson (1947), Bill Stafford (1960), Gene Nelson (1981) and Ray Keating (1912) have in common?

    These five are the only Yankees in history to make 5+ starts in a season (for New York) during a year where they started the season as a 20-year old (or younger).

    What do Jose Rijo (1984), Hank Johnson (1925), Don Johnson (1947), and Bill Stafford (1960) have in common?

    These four are the only Yankees in history to throw 50+ innings in a season (for New York) during a year where they started the season as a 20-year old (or younger).

    However, there’s never been a pitcher in New York Yankees history to have a season of 9+ games started or (not “and” – it’s “or”) a season where he’s thrown 68+ IP during a year where he started the season as a 20-year old (or younger).

    Therefore, if Phil Hughes makes 9+ starts for the Yankees this season – or – if Hughes throws 68+ innings this year for New York – it will be a record for someone under the age of twenty-one.

    I don’t think he’s going to do it. And, that’s no knock on his talent…it’s just based on his age and inexperience.

    April 23rd @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (8)

    Kei Igawa. The Yankees needed him to provide innings tonight. He gave them four-and-a-third. To quote a line from “The Natural” -

    Another brilliant find from our scouting system. Geniuses.

    It’s time to start thinking about sending the “Skinny Pussy Iguana” down to Scranton. I would even consider doing it to make room for Worm Killer Wang tomorrow.

    A-Rod Sets April HR Record

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (11)

    With his two taters this evening, Alex Rodriguez set a long-ball record and tied another.

    He became the first player in big league history to hit 14 homers in his team’s first 18 games (of a season). And, Alex tied the record for April homers ever – which was set by Albert Pujols last year.

    It’s been a month to remember for Rodriguez. Amazing to witness, no question. But, at this point, I see one of two things happening for A-Rod:

    1. Aided by his record-setting start this year, Alex posts the best season ever in his career – even better than 2005 (or 1996, 2000 and 2001). And, then, he uses the opt out clause in his contract, along with this season’s results for fuel, and gets a new deal to top the one he has now. Or,

    2. The law of averages catches up to him, and, he hits “only” 30 homers over the next 5 months…and then gets killed in the media for only putting up big numbers in “meaningless” April games – and then “only” hitting six homers a month during the parts of the season where there’s more “weight.” (It is, and will be, a lame attack on him – because six homers a month is still impressive…but the charge will have some sticking power because that “May to September” rate is still under the bar that he’s set now this April.) This latest attack (if it happens) will bring cause for A-Rod to use the opt out clause in his contract to get out of town (and away from the media that will never give him a break).

    That’s the sad part in all of this…it’s incredible to see what A-Rod is doing…but, one way or another, it probably means this season will be his last in New York (for the Yankees, at least).

    Phil Hughes To Start On Thursday

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (6)

    From the AP -

    “It’s a necessity for us,” Torre said. “They don’t think it’s the wrong time for him. His ability, his presence, I think he’s mature enough.”

    When he makes the start, Hughes will become only the 17th pitcher ever, age 20 or younger, to start a game for the New York Yankees – according to my quick research. Dave Righetti (1979), Gene Nelson (1981), Jose Rijo (1984) are the only ones to do it in the last 40 years.

    It’s anyone’s guess as to how this move will work out for the Yankees and Hughes…both in the short- and long-term.

    Melky Cabrera To Triple-A?

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (16)

    With Godzilla Matsui coming back today, and Jason Giambi tucked in at DH, given the way that Melky has hit so far this year, will Torre place Melky on the bench, pretty much full time now?

    Is that the best thing in the world for Melky Cabrera – to ride the pines in New York? Will the Yankees decide that it’s better for him to play everyday in Triple-A to get his stroke back? After all, he did not hit in Spring Training this year as well.

    As much as I love Melky, I think Cashman and Torre have to consider it.

    Royals, Rangers, D-Rays, Oh, My!

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (0)

    So far, this season, only Kansas City, Texas, and Tampa Bay have allowed more runs (than the Yankees) to score against them. (Seattle is tied with New York in Runs Allowed.)

    On the bright side, there’s plenty of room for the Yankees to move up in this department.

    Stay Classy, Olde Towne

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Adult Red Sox Fan Taunts Kindergartener in a Yankees Cap.

    Anyone shocked?

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