• Posada: Yankees Going Through The Motions

    Posted by on June 30th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    From the AP -

    [Johnny] Damon thought the Yankees hit some balls hard [on June 30th] and were particularly unlucky, but catcher Jorge Posada was more critical of his team.

    “Luck comes when you go after it. It seems like there are times we go through the motions and today was one of those games,” Posada said. “I think everyone knows what I’m talking about.”

    This, just two days after Mike Myers said that there’s a lack of “mental concentration” on the field that’s been a problem for New York this season.

    It’s starting to sound like the 2007 Yankees are an apathetic tribe. And, if true, look forward to more losing until those who are the problem are purged from the system.

    Nineteen Ninety – Again

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

    The Yankees are now 3 games under .500, as we close the books on the month of June (2007). When was the last time the Yankees were 3+ games under .500 after their game on June 30th?

    That would be 1995. However, 1995 was a season that started late and the Yankees were 26-31 on the morning of July 1st that year.

    So, when was the last full season where the Yankees were 3+ games under .500 after their game on June 30th?

    That would be 1991. At that time, the Yankees were 33-38 and 7.5 games back of first place.

    O.K, how about this one? When was the last full season where the Yankees were 3+ games under .500 after their game on June 30th and they were 10+ games out of first place?

    That would be 1990 – when they were 28-44 at C.O.B June 30th and 14 games out of first.

    1990 – again. Some season, so far, this year – huh?

    June 30th vs. The A’s

    Posted by on June 30th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    If you had to sum up the Yankees 2007, to date, in terms of a one-game, nine inning snapshot, this game would be the ideal choice.

    Kei Igawa provided a decent start today. Not great, but, not terrible. Actually, in terms of what’s reasonable to expect from most fifth starters, Igawa’s performance was just about there. And, that was the highlight in this game for the Yankees today. How sad is that?

    It was the perfect day for a baseball game today in the Bronx – in terms of the weather. It’s a shame that the Yankees hitters and bullpen decided to do something other than play baseball today.

    Tomorrow should be fun. Yanks get to face Dan Haren and his ERA of 1.91 (so far this season).

    Man, the All-Star break cannot come fast enough this year, can it?

    Bronx Keystone Study

    Posted by on June 30th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    Bob Klapisch on Robinson Cano:

    Without the numbers to back him up, Cano’s cool becomes transparent; his flaws are more obvious today than a year ago. He doesn’t run particularly well. He doesn’t get on base enough. He doesn’t swing at enough strikes.

    The Yankees, however, insist they have no problem with Cano’s future or his intensity level. Cashman says: “I know for a fact that kid cares about us winning and losing and the way he’s playing. If anything, he cares too much. He’s trying too hard.”

    The numbers seem to bear out that sentiment, as he sees only 3.37 pitches per plate appearance, the fewest among the Yankees. The majority of Cano’s at-bats are over in just one or two pitches. Call it anxiety or pressure — or fear of striking out — but Cano hacks at the first good pitch he sees, a philosophy that runs counter to the Yankees’ system-wide indoctrination.

    Why, exactly, does Cano become so anxious? The second baseman shook his head and said: “Because I’m trying to make things happen all at once. I know it’s a bad thing. I know I have to be more patient. I’m trying.”

    Jack Curry on Derek Jeter:

    “They think they know who is saying this and who is saying that,” Jeter said of the team’s critics. “They think somebody should say this or say that. In reality, people have no idea what’s going on.”

    Jeter acknowledged, grudgingly, that there was something going on. There are daily discussions happening on a team that has underachieved, and Jeter initiates many of them. While Jeter, the team’s captain, did not specify whom he had spoken to or what the topics had been, he said that he spoke “to people constantly” to cajole or counsel.

    Jeter has never been on a club that has been this dreadful this late in the season. Now in his 12th full season, Jeter has been in the playoffs for 11 consecutive years and has helped the Yankees win four World Series titles. But this is a different team and a different time.

    When Jeter was asked if the Yankees’ malaise had caused him to be more vocal than at any time since becoming captain in 2003, he said, “Ah, umm, yeah, probably, I would think.”

    Last season, Jeter and Cano became the first middle-infield teammates in modern baseball history to bat .340+ in the same season.

    It’s pretty obvious that they both have baseball talent. This season is an interesting study in what happens when pressure and talent meet head-on. Some still do well – like Jeter this year. Others struggle – like Cano this year. Yogi was right – “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.”

    June 29th vs. The A’s

    Posted by on June 29th, 2007 · Comments (7)

    Totally missed this one. I went to see “Live Free or Die Hard” tonight. (If you’re a fan of John McClane, you’ll like this one.)

    When I got home, my dad (who was watching the kids with my mom) filled me in on the game – including giving me the low-down on Farnsworth’s fit.

    Time for Torre to give Kyle the Dallas Green to Stanley Jefferson “Look in the mirror, big boy” speech…if you ask me.

    It’s great that the Yankees won. And, it’s great that Mussina went seven. But, let’s face it: New York barely beat an Oakland team tonight (by a score of 2-1) – an Oakland team that had lost 10 of their last 16 games coming into this contest.

    The Yankees had 9 hits in this game – off of the likes of Joe Kennedy and Dallas Braden – but one-third of those hits came from Alex Rodriguez.

    Like I said, great to win a game…but, it’s not like the Yankees just took the best pitcher on the best team in the league and pounded him for 15 hits and 6 runs. I have to see more before I’m ready to pronounce the Yankees as being out of their current rut.

    Get Ready For Cash’s Garbage-Picking Time?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    If anything, Brian Cashman has shown us that he loves to pick through other people’s garbage.

    This is how the Yankeees have acquired players like Felix Heredia, Karim Garcia, Nick Green, Craig Wilson, Alan Embree, Matt Lawton, Wayne Franklin, Terrence Long, Mark Bellhorn, Donovan Osborne, Scott Erickson, Tim Redding, Darrell May and Sidney Ponson (among others) in recent years.

    Sure, some of these “pick-ups” have served the Yankees well, even if just for a brief period – like Aaron Guiel, Shawn Chacon, Brian Bruney, and Tanyon Sturtze. But, for the most part, whenever Cashman adds a player to the team, with the hope to catch a spark, the player usually performs at the poor level which made him available in the first place.

    Just something to think about…if you think Cashman going after someome like Shea Hillenbrand is going to help this team.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    Cashman Blames The Players

    Posted by on June 29th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    Via Peter Abraham -

    Cashman said he is shocked the Yankees are under .500 three months into the season.

    “What has me scratching my head is that I think we’re a better team offensively than we were last year when we led the majors in runs,” he said. “People say we can’t hit lefties, but these same guys hit lefties as well as they hit right-handers last season. This season has made no sense.”

    “Our problem is that the players we have on the roster now are not living up to their potential. I don’t have to name the names, everybody knows who they are.”

    File this one under “A bad workman quarrels with his tools.”

    June 28th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    The Yankees have scored four in the top of the 8th to take an 8-6 lead against the O’s in this game – - during which time the rains came. (The game is in a long rain delay now as this is being penned.)

    At this moment, all I can think about is August 13, 1978. On that day, the Yankees were also playing in Baltimore. The Yankees scored five runs in the top of the 7th inning during that game to take a 5-3 lead over the Orioles before heavy rains led to a delay of the game.

    O’s manager Earl Weaver stalled the umps during the rain, and, with the help of the Baltimore groundskeepers working in slow-motion, the game was eventually called after the delay.

    At that time, in that type of situation, the score reverted back to the last complete inning. So, Baltimore ended up winning that game, 3-0 (and the Yankees’ 7th was wiped off the books).

    If I’m correctly reading the baseball rules in place now:

    4.12
    SUSPENDED GAMES.
    (a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:
    (1) A curfew imposed by law;
    (2) A time limit permissible under league rules;
    (3) Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment);
    (4) Darkness, when a law prevents the lights from being turned on;
    (5) Weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead;

    …we should not have a repeat of August 13, 1978 with this contest. Whew. Therefore, I’m going to sleep now. It’s been raining so long in Baltimore that I expect we won’t see this game finished until late July.

    It’s Not Happening

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    I have to confess that there’s some “Yankees Fanboy” within me that still feels/hopes/expects the Yankees to go something like 56-20 after the All-Star break and stage one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history (to win the A.L. East). After all, as a “diehard” Yankees fan, I’m supposed to always have this program running in the back of my head.

    However, the realist in me also is looking at the following:

    It’s just about the end of June and the Yankees are double-digits back of first place and near double-digits back in the Wildcard chase.

    This is a Yankees team who went 9-14 in April thanks to the stupidity of it’s G.M. – who banked on Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa to hold down 40% of the team’s starting rotation. The failures of Pavano and Igawa, coupled with injuries to Mike Mussina and Worm Killer Wang, brought cause for the Yankees to run a rookie to the mound way too often at the start of the season.

    This is a Yankees team who went 13-15 in May – but, they also went 8-14 against all teams not named the “Texas Rangers” over the course of the month.

    This is a Yankees team who has looked better, on the whole, in terms of winning games in June – however, like the gift from the Rangers in May, New York’s record this month has benefited from going 6-1 (in June) against the White Sox and Pirates (who are two teams with issues, so far, this season).

    Trying to ignore my heart and looking at this Yankees team with only my eyes and my head, I see a starting rotation that has three pitchers (Igawa, Mussina and Clemens) who would be lucky to give you more than six innings each turn. I also see a bullpen with many more guys that you can’t trust (Myers, Villone, Farnsworth, Bruney, Vizcaíno, and Proctor) in terms of limiting base runners than guys who you can trust (Rivera). And, I see a starting line-up full of guys having sub-par seasons albeit due to injury, age, or something else (Giambi, Cano, Matsui, Damon and Abreu). Lastly, I see a bench full of guys who probably shouldn’t be in Triple-A, much less be on a big league ballclub – like Chris Basak, Kevin Thompson, Andy Phillips and Wil Nieves.

    Let’s review: The Yankees have played poorly against any team with a pulse (so far this year). Most of their starting pitchers are five-and-fly guys. They have a bullpen full of arsonists. More than half of their offense is under-performing. And, the team has no players of quality on their bench.

    I have to keep reminding myself of this summary every time I start to think that New York will go 56-20 after the All-Star break.

    The 2007 Yankees are probably the worst team to play baseball in the Bronx in the past 15 years.

    Sure, there’s a chance that guys like Igawa, Abreu, Farnsworth, Cano, Villone, and Damon can all play like All-Stars in the second half of the season. And, there’s a chance that Mussina and/or Clemens can go 10-2 after the All-Star break. But, would you be willing to bet on some of that happening? Would you be willing to bet on any of that happening?

    I’m not. It’s not happening. Not this year. I wish this were not true. But, it’s not happening.

    Last Stat Of The Day

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

    Really, I promise!

    The season, the Yankees are 11-1 against the Pirates, Diamondbacks and Rangers – combined. Against everyone else, New York is 25-38 (to date).

    As a Yankees fan, I just want to say “Thank you Pittsburgh, Arizona and Texas.”

    Help Me Find The Bad Luck

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    Pythagorean winning percentage is an estimate of a team’s winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed. Many believe that the difference between the team’s actual wins and the team’s pythagorean wins is a matter of luck.

    The difference between the Yankees actual wins and their pythagorean wins, right now, is minus six.

    So, in your opinion which 6 of the Yankees 39 losses, to date, were because of bad luck? Please list them in the comments section below. Thanks in advance for your help with this exercise.

    What’s Wrong With The Yankees Offense?

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    The Yankees batters, as a team, month by month, so far this season:

    Month – (AB) BA/OBA/SLG%

    April – (810) .268/.347/.421
    May – (968) .276/.351/.431
    June – (836) .293/.368/.459

    Strange, huh? June has been their best month with the bat? Go figure.

    Here’s the catch.

    In April, they scored 131 runs – best in the A.L.
    In May, they scored 137 runs – 7th best in the A.L.
    In June, so far, they’ve scored 132 runs – 5th best in the A.L. (And, they’re just 3 runs away from being 8th in the league.)

    So, the hitters do better, month by month. But, the team scores less, compared to the league, month by month.

    I guess this means it’s not the amount of hits and walks that you get – it’s when you get them that counts the most.

    Hot Milk

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    Melky Cabrera, month by month, so far this season:

    Month – (AB) BA/OBA/SLG%

    April - (75) .200/.238/.213
    May - (59) .254/.338/.424
    June - (85) .306/.365/.459

    Melky’s season, on the whole, has not been good – with the bat. But, at least he’s trending in the right direction.

    Getting The Runner In From Third

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    In a recent comment made to an entry here, I was asked:

    What’s the “percentage of times [the Yankees] score a runner from third and less than 2 outs”?

    Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index, I can share the answer.

    It’s 45% of the time.

    Here’s the results for the Yankees, to date, when there’s a runner on third with no outs:

    On3rdNoout.jpg

    And, here’s the results for the Yankees, to date, when there’s a runner on third with one out:

    On3rdOneOut.jpg

    From the two charts above, you don’t want Miguel Cairo or Robinson Cano up in this situation. Guys like Matsui, Jeter, Cabrera, and Damon are a better bet.

    Myers: Yanks Lack Execution & Focus

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

    I heard the Yankees’ Mike Myers being interviewed on X-M Radio this morning. When asked about the Yankees troubles, Myers said that everyone on the team was amazed that they’re playing so poorly.

    Further, he said (in his opinion) that the root cause for the Yankees failures this year has been a lack of execution on “fundamentals” and that there’s a lack of “mental concentration” on the field that’s been a problem for New York.

    Paging Joe Girardi. Paging Mr. Girardi….

    SOTD: Yankees Missing Bats To Blame For Team’s Record

    Posted by on June 27th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    You can look it up – by clicking here.

    June 27th @ The Orioles

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

    This is what it’s come down to: The most exciting moment for the Yankees, and their fans, in this game tonight was a loud (pinch at-bat) flyball out that almost made it to the warning track by Andy Phillips in the 8th inning.

    “Now look at me.

    I’m wet nurse to a last-place, dead-to-the-neck-up ball club…

    …and I’m choking to death!”

    Those are the words that come to my mind when I watch this team play these days. Lifeless. The Yankees play with about as much energy as a koala on quaaludes.

    An electric cattle prod! An electric cattle prod! My kingdom for an electric cattle prod!

    Actually, I could use about ten of them – just to try and get this team to show some life.

    Do Numbers Not Adding Up Provide An Explanation?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    Via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, I was just looking at the A.L. team totals, to date, in RCAA and RSAA. Here are the leaders:

    RCAA062707.jpg

    RSAA062707.jpg

    So, in terms of team totals, the Yankees offense is third best in the league and the Yankees pitching is fourth best in the league.

    Then, why do the Yankees have the 10th best record in the league?

    It seems like a team with the talent of the Yankees should have least the fourth best record in the league. Since they’re six slots under that expectation, they’re under-performing.

    This all begs the question: What causes a team to under-perform?

    Well, if it’s not lack of skill, it’s got to be lack of motivation and/or lack of leadership, no? Oh, wait, it’s “back luck” – right? Really?

    What do you think?

    Scouts Talk About Yanks Minor Arms

    Posted by on June 27th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    Via the recent edition of Baseball America -

    Brett Smith, rhp

    “He’s a guy that has to hit his spots to be successful,” a scout from a National League club said. “He’s not going to overwhelm you with anything.”

    “I really like the arm action on his changeup, which for me is probably plus right now,” the scout said. “I liked the curveball better than the slider. He’s got the ability to command the fastball to both sides of the plate. He’s going to have to be real fine at the upper levels . . . not much room for error.”

    Scott Patterson, rhp

    “You start looking at him and think it’s just unbelievable,” a NL scout said. “You don’t want to like him, but you come away liking him because of the stuff and the intimidation factor. He throws that fastball overhand that makes it look like it’s coming out of the sky and then it sinks down . . . very heavy sink. The other stuff is just OK. He throws at 91-92 (mph), but that’s like a 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 guy throwing 93-94. He’s very aggressive and attacks the zone. He’s not an elite guy, but he’s interesting.”

    Jeff Marquez, rhp

    “He’s got a real quick arm and works very fast, good rhythm,” a scout from an American League club said. “His curveball is a little too soft, too loopy at times. He can really get around it and doesn’t have the consistency you might think. But he’s a power arm with an awful lot of upside. He could really be a groundball machine.”

    Alan Horne, rhp

    “He can sometimes get a little too long in the back with his arm action–he’ll fly open on the front side and the arm will drag behind,” another scout from an AL club said. “But he’s a very good arm with explosive life on the fastball and his changeup was one of the best ones I saw in that league this season.”

    Michael Dunn, lhp

    “He hides the ball extremely well,” a scout from a NL club said. “It’s tough to pick it up coming out of his hand. He repeats his delivery well. He still has some of that residue from the outfield in his arm action and you’d like to see him field his position better, but he’s still learning that muscle memory of being on the mound. He’s definitely got upside.”

    It’s always interesting to hear what other people have to say about Yankees prospects. There’s some good stuff being said here about some Yankees prospects other than Clippard, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, et al. Nice to see, indeed.

    Still Looking For Cashman

    Posted by on June 27th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    Is it just me, or, has Brian Cashman not spoken with the media since that Saturday game on FOX – last weekend – where the Yankees blew the lead and lost it in 13 innings?

    Why so quiet?

    If anyone can find a quote from him – made after that date – please post a link to it in the comments section below. Thanks in advance!

    The Secret Diary of George Steinbrenner

    Posted by on June 27th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    There’s a relatively new Yankees blog on the scene: The Secret Diary of George Steinbrenner

    If you stop by, tell them that WasWatching.com sent ya!

    June 26th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on June 27th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    Scott Proctor, from June 21st to June 23rd, threw 86 pitches (combined) in the three games where he appeared. That’s like a full game for a starter. So, what does Torre do in this game? He brings in Proctor – to pitch the 9th of a tie game – on “two days rest.” Would you have a starter come back on two-days rest after throwing 86 pitches? No. Scott Proctor should have never appeared in this game – or any game – until he had at least three or four days rest.

    And, worse, during the ninth, you could see that Proctor gassed. He was red in the face, sweating, etc. Once he allowed the first two batters to reach, he should have been lifted.

    Blame this one on Joe Torre – for having Proctor in this game.

    And, give some blame to Abreu as well – for playing that Millar fly ball into a hit. Good heavens, he is a terrible outfielder.

    So, the Yankees are now 4-13 in one-run games. So many point to that as “bad luck” and use that as a spring board to say New York is due to turn this around as they are overdue to have better luck.

    Was this game bad luck? Was the one-run loss against the Giants where Bruney blew it in the 7th bad luck? Was the recent one-run loss against the Rockies where Jeter ran the Yankees out of an inning bad luck? Was the one-run loss in Toronto where Aaron Hill stole home bad luck?

    The “bad luck” in these types of losses is really the Cashman/Torre effect. Cashman built a starting rotation with issues (Mussina, Pavano, Igawa) that led to a bullpen being cooked by this point in the season. This is why the Bruneys, Proctors, etc., are losing games. And, it’s Torre who has not rallied the team to be focused – which leads to things like Abreu misplays in the outfield, baserunners killing innings, allowing opponents to run wild on the bases, etc.

    If you want to know why the Yankees record is so poor this season, look to Cashman and Torre. The “luck” stops there.

    Teams Hot For Chamberlain & Kennedy

    Posted by on June 26th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    From Jim Baumbach -

    During the most recent homestand for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, the White Sox were represented by pro scout Bill Young. That the White Sox sent perhaps their most respected pro scout instead of one of their regional minor-league scouts indicates a more serious level of interest.

    And there’s no question which players they’re interested in. Two of the Yankees’ best pitching prospects are currently with Trenton, righthanders Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy. Every time they pitch, the number of scouts in attendance doubles.

    More than 10 teams have scouted each pitcher’s most recent starts, including the White Sox, Athletics, Rockies and Orioles, to name a few. The Orioles had major-leaguer-turned-scout Dave Hollins watch the Thunder when they were in Erie last week, and he was said to be extremely high on those pitchers.

    Chamberlain receives more attention from scouts than Kennedy does because Chamberlain is a power pitcher; his fastball consistently hits the mid-90s. But there is a sentiment among the scouts that right now Chamberlain is destined to be a closer in the major leagues unless he develops his changeup into a better third pitch. That’s not out of a realm of possibilities because Chamberlain is only in his fourth season as a full-time pitcher. Only 21 years old, he is 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 starts this year split between Trenton and Class-A Tampa. He was the 41rst overall choice in the 2006 draft, a supplemental first-round pick.

    Kennedy, the Yankees’ first-round pick last year, is considered a complete pitcher. His fastball tops out at 90, but those who have seen him pitch regularly say he controls it especially well. He also throws a changeup, slider and curveball, and that deep arsenal has helped him surge this year. He’s 9-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 15 games split between Trenton and Class-A Tampa. Opponents are hitting only .190 off him; he’s allowed just 55 hits and 28 walks in 84 innings.

    So, is Ian Kennedy the next Scott McGregor in Yankees history and will Joba Chamberlain be the next Doug Drabek?

    Good News!

    Posted by on June 26th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    Brian Cashman is hard at work.

    Well, at least he’s doing something.

    Lupica On Yankees Losers

    Posted by on June 26th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Mike Lupica goes after select members of the Yankees:

    Abreu, until he does pick things up, is the worst contract the Yankees have this side of Giambi’s. Once Abreu was a 30-home run and 100-RBI guy in Philadelphia. Now he is a big Yankee who goes to the plate looking for a walk. Now he has gone from a 30-home run guy to one who has a grand total of four right now in New York. At $16 million a year.

    Matsui? He has not looked like the same hitter since he came back from his wrist injury. The guy known as Godzilla when the Yankees got him from Japan has eight home runs in 60 games and 11 home runs in his last 79 since coming off the disabled list last September.

    Damon is a center fielder for whom the Yankees paid $52 million to get away from the Red Sox. Now he is more brittle than a swizzle stick and plays at half speed half the time and isn’t even the center fielder anymore and looks older than Clemens.

    Mussina is 3-5 and has Randy Johnson’s old Yankee earned run average, which means five a game. Cano is still a kid. It is still fair to say that we may have been a little premature clearing space for him in Cooperstown, or Monument Park, especially now that he is hitting 68 points less than he did last year.

    You can put Kyle Farnsworth, wildly expensive setup man, nearly $6 million a year, on this list, too. If Farnsworth is still the eighth inning after the trade deadline, it means Brian Cashman couldn’t get Eric Gagne out of Texas.

    Matsui, due to past performance and his personality, gets a pass from most Yankees fans. Actually, if you check the stats, via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia (min 10 PA), you’ll see that Matsui (in RCAA) has been a league average batter so far this year:

    YanksRCAAPA10_62607.jpg

    The Yankees offensive issues, on the whole, have been Abreu, Cano, Damon, and Melky this season – more so than Abreu, Cano, Damon, and Matsui – along with Mientkiewicz and Phelps.

    Still, Lupica does have a point in that Matsui seems to be about 80% of the batter now that he used to be – before he got hurt.

    So, if you look at Matsui, Damon, Melky, and Abreu – in terms of the “Yankees OF Unit” and Giambi, Cairo, Mientkiewicz and Phelps as the “Yankees 1B/DH Unit,” you can see that the Yankees are getting little offense from the three areas (1B, DH, OF) where most teams have their big boppers. Throw in a slumping Cano and the picture gets worse.

    Basically, the Yankees offense has been just Jeter, A-Rod and Posada this year. If teams are smart, they give these three nothing to hit – until the other guys start to show that you need to fear them too.

    Happy Birthday Derek Jeter

    Posted by on June 26th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    D.J. turns 33 today.

    Think he had a party yesterday – with the off-day? Some great Jeter stuff from Ed Price:

    Jeter has hit in every spot in the batting order — except fifth. He batted cleanup once (July 10, 1999, against the Mets) and sixth once (June 16, 1996, against Cleveland after coming in for Mariano Duncan).

    Jeter was the second-most searched term in June on the Web site of Steiner Sports, a collectibles company. No. 1? “The Sopranos.”

    Jeter has not gone hitless in four straight games since June 2003.

    Including the $700,000 bonus he received after being drafted, Jeter has made about $131.6 million in salary from the Yankees. He will make another $74.6 million before his 10-year contract is up in 2010.

    Since the start of the 1996 season, Jeter has 659 multiple-hit games, more than any other player in the majors.

    Since Jeter became a regular in 1996, the Yankees have sold 38,310,634 tickets at Yankees Stadium — more than the population of Canada.

    Looks Like The Yankees Could Use Some Help At First

    Posted by on June 25th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Some W-L stats for Yankees players, to date, when they play in the line-up… via Baseball-Reference.com’s 2007 Game Logs.

    First, most of the team…note that the Yankees are usually a .500 team when these guys start and/or play:

    Jorge PosadaTeam Record in Appearances: 33-36 / in Starts: 28-32

    Robinson CanoTeam Record in Appearances: 35-37 / in Starts: 35-36

    Derek JeterTeam Record in Appearances: 36-36 / in Starts: 35-36

    Alex RodriguezTeam Record in Appearances: 36-37 / in Starts: 36-37

    Hideki MatsuiTeam Record in Appearances: 30-30 / in Starts: 30-30

    Melky CabreraTeam Record in Appearances: 32-31 / in Starts: 28-26

    Bobby AbreuTeam Record in Appearances: 36-37 / in Starts: 35-35

    Johnny DamonTeam Record in Appearances: 31-33 / in Starts: 29-23

    Wil NievesTeam Record in Appearances: 10-9 / in Starts: 9-7

    Miguel CairoTeam Record in Appearances: 19-15 / in Starts: 12-7

    Now, the Yankees three-headed 1B/DH combo of Phelps/Giambi/Mientkiewicz:

    Josh PhelpsTeam Record in Appearances: 15-22 / in Starts: 10-12

    Jason GiambiTeam Record in Appearances: 20-25 / in Starts: 20-22

    Doug MientkiewiczTeam Record in Appearances: 23-27 / in Starts: 15-21

    Note that, when Josh Phelps or Jason Giambi played (period) and when Mientkiewicz started at first, this is when the Yankees were really bad (in terms of wins and losses).

    Phelps & Mientkiewicz. Great plan Mr. Cashman.

    Fixing The Yankees

    Posted by on June 25th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Tyler Kepner asks:

    [W]hat is wrong with the Yankees? And, at 36-37, is there still hope that they can turn around a season they thought was headed in the right direction just one week ago?

    I’ll take the second question first.

    Yes, there’s still time for the Yankees to win the Wildcard. There’s not a lot of time for them to get into it. But, there’s enough time if they start to play better now.

    The first question is tougher. The overall stats say that the Yankees have a good offense, an OK defense, and have four “brand name” starters in their rotation. And, the bullpen is not terrible – compared to most team’s bullpens.

    So, what’s the issue? It’s consistency. As I wrote yesterday:

    When the Yankees are hot, they’re red hot. But, when they are not, they’re down right terrible.

    Someone needs to take charge of this team and have them ready to play, hard, everyday. Each game, at this stage, must be “take no prisoners.” Sure, that’s not how you usually attack a baseball season. But, we’re no longer talking about six months here. It’s now a three-month season – where you’re starting from a hole and trying to ice-skate uphill. Every game, without exception, is urgent now – and the team needs to play that way.

    It can be a player or a manager who makes sure that this team goes into each game with a sense of urgency. Or, both. But, someone needs to do it. And, if that person is not here now – the Yankees need to find that person ASAP and get them on the team, pronto.

    What do you think?

    A-Rod Loves New York…But, He Loves San Fran Too

    Posted by on June 25th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    From the San Francisco Chronicle -

    A-Rod, in his fourth Yankee season, says he finally likes New York.

    “As far as comfort level in New York,” he said, explaining his splendid first half, “I’ve always said it may take some people a year, half a year, but for me it’s taken three or four years to get comfortable in New York, and I’m there now.

    “At the end of the day it’s just a game, and you’ve gotta enjoy the game, and I’ve kind of gone back to that this year, keep it more simple and enjoy the game, enjoy my teammates, enjoy the city of New York.”

    But a few minutes earlier he said, “I love San Francisco, man. I was really looking forward to making the (All-Star) team, and I think it’s gonna be an awesome event.”

    What does he like about the City?

    “First of all, I love the stadium, this is one of my favorite stadiums.”

    Love it? Crikeys! The only other time Rodriguez played here, with the Mariners in 2000, he went 6-for-11 in three games, with a homer and 5 RBIs!

    The man was born to play in the cool, gray city of love. He’s DiMaggio with a better suntan.

    “I love where it (the ballpark) is in the city,” Rodriguez added, “and I love the vibe of the city, it’s kind of like a West Coast New York, only with better weather in the summertime.”

    I told you. Just watch, if Alex opts out at year-end, the Giants are going to be an option for him.

    The King and Straw – And Bernie Too

    Posted by on June 25th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    From the AP -

    Coming to a theater near Yankee Stadium: Darryl Strawberry and Turpin High grad Jim Leyritz in “The Boy of Steel,” a one-act play set at the stadium.

    Strawberry and Leyritz, who were teammates on the Yankees’ 1996 World Series championship team, will make their acting debuts in the play based on the book of the same name by Ray Negron, a special assistant for the Yankees. The play will be part of a fundraising show at Utopia’s Paradise Theater in the Bronx scheduled for Aug. 18.

    Another former major leaguer, Bernie Williams, now known as a guitarist and music composer, will participate in another part of the show, the “Peace, Unity and Hope Concert with Jose Feliciano, Bernie Williams and Friends.”

    “The Boy of Steel,” published by the Regan imprint of HarperCollins, tells the tale of Michael Steel, a young boy afflicted with brain cancer, who becomes a bat boy for a night and, through the magic of Yankee Stadium, meets Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

    He also encounters George Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ owner, who in a realistic part of the story, points to a batting helmet and tells him, “I want to be able to see my reflection in that helmet, son.”

    I want to say something sarcastic/caustic/witty here…but, it’s for a good cause, so, I’ll just share the news and keep my mouth shut.

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