• July 27th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on July 27th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    So, is Jeremy Guthrie a power pitcher? Probably not – but, he is a guy who does pound the strikezone.

    You know, when you’re in a chase for an October play-off slot, and there’s just 60 games left to the season, and your starting pitcher (in this case, Andy Pettitte) gets you to the 8th inning where you’re just down by a run, you have to find a way to win that game.

    Think about it, down by one, in the 8th, and the Yankees have their 3-4-5 hitters due up…and nothing. Then, in the bottom of the 8th, first batter up, boom, homerun – and now it’s a two-run hole heading into the ninth.

    The Yankees are now 4-40 this season when they start the 8th inning of a game where they are behind in the score. This does not mean they are a terrible team – few teams have more than a half-dozen wins in a season in these situations. But, what it does mean is that the Yankees are not an above average “late comeback” team. And, one would think, given the fact that they throw names out there like Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, etc., that they would be the leaders of the pack in terms of coming back late in the game when down by one or two runs. Not so – especially tonight.

    The Yankees still have an excellent chance to take the next two games in this series – based on the pitching match-ups. But, if they blow the next two games, and the Indians win the next two, then you can kiss the Wildcard hopes away in a hurry and use August and September to start planning for next year.

    Igawa Scranton Bound

    Posted by on July 27th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    From the AP -

    The New York Yankees sent struggling starter Kei Igawa to Triple-A Scranton and recalled infielder Chris Basak from the same club Friday.

    Igawa (2-3) was the losing pitcher in a 7-0 defeat at Kansas City on Thursday. He allowed five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings, a lackluster outing that raised his ERA to 6.79 in 12 games.

    The Yankees signed Igawa to a five-year contract on Dec. 27. The left-hander was 86-60 with a 3.15 ERA in eight seasons in Japan.

    “There is nothing he needs to work on other than consistency,” Torre said. “We took time explaining it to him and he’ll be reminded when he goes down there.”

    How many pitchers in Yankees history, to date, have made 10+ starts in a season and had an ERA of six or worse? Here’s the list:

    Shawn Chacon 2006
    David Cone 2000
    Kei Igawa 2007
    Ramiro Mendoza 1996
    Kevin Brown 2005
    Terry Mulholland 1994
    Tim Leary 1991
    Wade Taylor 1991
    Randy Keisler 2001
    Shane Rawley 1984
    Jaret Wright 2005
    Doyle Alexander 1982
    Bill Stafford 1963

    Nice company there for Igawa. Hopefully, he stays in Triple-A for the rest of the season and then is moved in the off-season.

    This Year’s Dominican Republic Market Haul

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

    News on the Yankees international signings this season – from Baseball Amercia -

    The Red Sox’ rival in the Bronx had signed more players so far, with five of the Yankees’ signees considered among the elite of this year’s market. And that begins with Dominican outfielder Kelvin DeLeon, who was tagged as the top outfielder available.

    “I wouldn’t say he’s at all like Melky Cabrera, however,” said Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, referring to an earlier scouting report. “Body-wise, he’s more like Ruben Rivera. This guy’s got all kinds of potential. He’s an above-average to plus runner and he could be a big power guy.

    “He’s probably a right fielder with a plus-plus arm, but he could be an average to slightly above-average center fielder also. We’ll play him in different spots out there, but he’s probably going to be limited to right just to allow the bat to play.”

    Newman refused comment on DeLeon’s signing bonus, but several sources indicated it was well below the $1.6 to $1.8 million initially reported. One source verified it was in the $1.1 to $1.2 million range.

    The Yankees also signed four other impact players considered among the top talents in the Dominican Republic market: righthander Andogious Vizcaino, third baseman Elio De La Rosa, and outfielders Henry Pena and Edwardo Sosa. Vizcaino has a projectable body with a plus fastball that is already in the low 90s and repeats his delivery well. Newman called Vizcaino the top pitcher in the Dominican, according to the Yanks’ international scouting department.

    Pena is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder that will likely be designated to a corner spot. “We like his bat a lot,” Newman said. “He’s a left-left guy who throws very well and has good instincts. He uses the whole field and has a smooth, advanced swing.”

    Sosa is more of a slashing center fielder in the mold of a young Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras, with plus speed and outstanding range.

    “Definitely a plus run guy,” Newman said. “We like the bat. He’s a guy who’s going to hit for a high average, be a threat on the bases and we think there’s some power in there to come. But his strengths are plus speed, plus quickness in the outfield.”

    Andogious Vizcaino. Great name.

    Canseco: A-Rod Not Whom He Seems To Be

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

    From Steroid Nation, with a hat tip to Deadspin and WasWatching.com commentor Garcia -

    Jose Canseco, author of ‘Juiced’ and purveyor of the juice, made a few of the shows on the media circuit today. One was the WEEI (Boston) ‘Big Show’. (First blog to point this out is here)

    Canseco answered Curt Schilling’s charges, then he talked about other subjects. One was Alex Rodriguez.

    Canseco says he is coming out with a new book, with much more information. Canseco shows no great love for A-Rod as evidenced by his comments.

    Canseco says this about A-Rod:

    “I have other stuff on Alex Rodriquez” and “He is not whom he seems to be”.

    The announcers asked Canseco directly: “Has A-Rod ever taken steroids”

    Canseco: “Wait and see”

    Is Jose Canseco implicating Alex Rodriquez as a PED user? He certainly hints at it above, in his new book which will be “better than the first book by a mile”

    Canseco talks about A-Rod at about 20 minutes into the interview. He says his new book will be titled ‘Vindicated’, with ’10 times more information’

    I read Canseco’s first book. It was interesting. Lots of finger pointing. But, if Jose had something on Alex, why wait until the second bok to release it? Given the amount of dirt that Canseco threw around in the first book, it didn’t seem like he was saving anything for another day.

    Poor Alex – right around the day of his 500th homer, now, he’ll have to address this with the media now too. It will be interesting to see A-Rod’s reaction to Jose’s claim.

    Alex Gordon On Joba Chamberlain

    Posted by on July 27th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    From Tyler Kepner -

    Count Alex Gordon among those who think Joba Chamberlain can help the Yankees’ bullpen down the stretch. Gordon, who hit a double, triple and homer in the Royals’ 7-0 victory here on Thursday, has known Chamberlain since he was 10 years old and later played with him at the University of Nebraska.

    “I think his attitude, the way he carries himself and the confidence he has in himself would be a great fit for the Yankees,” Gordon said tonight. “When he goes out there, he brings a lot of energy and a lot of excitement. I know he has the stuff. It’s just the mental part, and I know he has that, too.”

    While Gordon was starring at Nebraska, Chamberlain was trying to make it at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He came to the Lincoln campus when Gordon was a junior and Gordon could hardly believe what he saw.

    “He went to (Division II), and he was OK,” Gordon said. “Then he came to Nebraska and something must have clicked, because he was throwing 96 with a curve and a changeup. I don’t know what it was, but something happened, because he was lights-out.”

    Here’s a question: Has Joba Chamberlain replaced Phil Hughes as the best pitching prospect in the Yankees organization? The way people talk about Joba, it sounds like he’s “1A” to Hughes’ “1B” these days.

    Wildcard Or Bust For Yankees

    Posted by on July 27th, 2007 · Comments (8)

    With 60 games left to the season, the Yankees still find themselves looking for a way to get into the post-season this year. (The “60 games to go” count includes an assumption that the Yankees, tonight, go on to win the completion of the suspended game from June 28th.)

    There are two ways into October baseball: Win your division or win the Wildcard berth. So, with 60 games to go, where do the Yankees sit in comparison to these two goals?

    For the A.L. East, the Yankees are 7 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the loss column – who also have 60 games to play.

    For the Wildcard, the Yankees are 4 games back of the Cleveland Indians in the loss column – and they also have 60 games remaining this season.

    Is it possible for the Yankees to close the gap on the Red Sox or Indians before the end of this year? Let’s look at the numbers:

    YanksRaceWith60GamesToGo.jpg

    As you can see, if Boston goes 30-30 in their remaining games, the Yankees would need to go 38-22 (.633) to pass them. And, if Cleveland goes 30-30 in their remaining games, the Yankees would need to go 35-25 (.583) to pass them. Can New York play .583 or .633 baseball over their last 60 games? Sure, yes, I believe that they can – but, will Boston or Cleveland only play .500 baseball from here to the end of the season? I doubt that.

    Let’s assume that the Red Sox or Indians play .583 baseball the reason of this year – which is a reasonable, if not conservative, projection. This means that the Yankees would have to go 43-17 (.717) to pass the Red Sox and the Yankees would have to go 40-20 (.667) to pass the Indians.

    What are the odds of the Yankees only losing 17 more games this season – over the next two-plus months? Let’s face it, that’s not going to happen for New York. However, can the Yankees win at a rate of “two out of every three games” from here until season end? While that’s an uphill fight, I think it’s possible – with a few breaks.

    Therefore, the Yankees, at this junction, with 60 games to play, should forget about hoping to catch the Boston Red Sox in the A.L. East. That’s not going to happen unless the Red Sox tank in their last 60 games – and play .500 baseball or less from here to October. However, even if Cleveland plays well in their last 60 games, the Yankees can overtake them in the Wildcard chase. This is why the Yankees focus should be to win the Wildcard – and why Yankees fans should not concern themselves with Boston, but, more so, Yankees fans should be root for the Indians (and the Seattle Mariners, who are also in the Wildcard hunt) to lose their games.

    Again, outside of a huge Boston letdown, the Yankees only hope at October baseball is winning the Wildcard. But, on the positive-side, that’s an attainable goal – and one where the Yankees can somewhat control their own destiny – by continuing to win series after series until year end.

    Winning series after series, alone, will not allow the Yankees to pass the Red Sox. Again, if Boston goes 35-25 from here out, the Yankees can only allow themselves to lose 17 more games this year to pass them.

    It’s Wildcard or bust for the Yankees this season.

    Proctor’s A Wanted Man

    Posted by on July 27th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    From the Post -

    Yankees fans may be tired of watching Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth pitch ineffectively for their team, but that hasn’t stopped other major league clubs from being interested in the erratic right-handers.

    According to talent evaluators from AL and NL clubs the Yankees and Devil Rays are moving closer to a deal that would send Proctor to St. Petersburg for utility infielder Ty Wigginton.

    “The Devil Rays really want him,” the source said of Proctor, who may be converted into a starter for Tampa Bay. “The problem is that other teams want him, too.”

    The Dodgers, who had a scout watch Proctor pitch an inning in Wednesday night’s 9-4 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium and were on hand again last night when the red-hot Yankees attempted to bag a four-game sweep, have an interest in bringing Proctor back to the organization where he started his professional career.

    “He didn’t pitch very well [Wednesday] but at least he had his fastball,” the scout said of Proctor, who wasn’t with the team Monday and Tuesday in order to be in Florida for the birth of his son, Cooper.

    I’ve mentioned that Wigginton brings some things to the table. But, now, with Giambi coming back, where would Ty fit in on this team? How much playing time would he get? Is that worth the cost of losing Proctor’s innings?

    It’s almost as if the Yankees are looking at Wigginton with something else in mind…like to play third next season? Nah, that can’t be it, can it?

    July 26th @ The Royals

    Posted by on July 27th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    OK, show of hands – how many people turned this game off once A-Rod grounded out in the 8th inning?

    Didn’t this game have a, sort of, “Let’s watch for A-Rod’s 500th homer tonight because Igawa’s pitching and we’re going to lose” feel to it?

    Is that why the Yankees batters took the night off for this contest?

    Too bad. The Yankees cannot afford to be letting any games get away for them at this stage – even if they are expecting milestones or have someone like Igawa (who once again gave up too many long flyball hits) starting for them.

    Salomon Torres

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

    From mlb.com -

    In a market that is desperate for relief pitching, the Pirates bullpen is getting scrutinized. A day after Salomon Torres had been mentioned in a possible trade to the Yankees, the Newark Star Ledger reported the Yankees are interested in the right-hander.

    From 2004 to 2006, he was pretty good. Torres had a severely strained right elbow this season – along with some issues with the Pirates brass – but, he’s pitched OK since he’s returned to action this month.

    This could be an interesting pick-up for New York – depending on the price, of course.

    Melky To Hit The Pines When Giambi Returns?

    Posted by on July 26th, 2007 · Comments (17)

    Sure sounds like it when you read in between the lines. From the Daily News -

    “What Johnny [Damon] is giving us right now is really important,” Torre said. “At the top of the order, his bat is coming alive, his legs are feeling good and his stolen base percentage is terrific.”

    Damon’s 19 runs this month rank third on the team behind Hideki Matsui (24) and Alex Rodriguez (22), who leads the majors with 95 on the season. Damon, who has stolen 18 bases in 20 attempts this season, leads the Yankees in July with five thefts.

    Despite his low batting average, Damon believes his ability to get on base and score are the most important aspects of his job. His team-leading 19 walks this month indicate that, even when he has slumped, he’s still been able to help the Yanks go.

    “Batting average has never won games,” Damon said. “Scoring runs and driving them in do.”

    Throughout the course of the season, Damon has been forced to deal with nagging injuries. Those issues have left him day-to-day in terms of being in the lineup, but Jason Giambi’s injury allowed Torre to utilize Damon as the designated hitter and put Melky Cabrera, the superior fielder, in center, two moves that have benefited the Yankees.

    With Giambi due back in the coming weeks, Torre will have to balance the playing time for all of them, but it would be difficult to take Cabrera out of center field.

    “When it gets closer, we’ll figure it out,” Torre said.

    “Hopefully I’ll get more playing time and stay in the lineup; we’ll just have to ride it out,” Damon said. “I think we have a good mix now. Whatever Joe decides to put out there, we’re deeper on our bench and a lot more players are fresh.”

    Matsui, Damon, Abreu and Giambi are all going to play – money talks, after all. That means either Phillips or Cabrera have to sit. And, since Joe won’t play Giambi at first, it’s looking like bad news for Melky when Giambi comes back to full-time duty.

    Shame, Cabrera deserves to start – based on his performance over the last three months.

    Maybe it’s time to reconsider the Damon to first base move? Keep Phillips for late inning defense and for when you want to sit Abreu against a nasty lefty. Nah, it makes too much sense.

    Tigers Want Farnsworth?

    Posted by on July 26th, 2007 · Comments (20)

    From the Post -

    In what only can be described as a strange twist, the Tigers have an interest in taking Kyle Farnsworth off the Yankees’ hands.

    According to multiple sources, the Tigers are looking to make a deal that would bring Farnsworth back to the team he pitched 46 games for in 2005. Ideally, the Tigers would like to add Texas closer Eric Gagne but he likely will balk at a deal that sends him to a team where he can’t close.

    Tigers scout Dick Egan was at last night’s Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Royals in which Farnsworth didn’t pitch in. What the Yankees would get back depends on how much money the Tigers want to pay on Farnsworth’s salary.

    This does make me a little nervous – only because Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett have done so well for the Yankees since they joined the organization. Brian Cashman is way over his head when he has to deal with a guy like Dave Dombrowski.

    Still, to get Farnsworth off the team could be a plus – by subtraction alone.

    July 25th @ The Royals

    Posted by on July 26th, 2007 · Comments (16)

    Mike Mussina looked sharp in this game. He had some nice bite to the knuckle-curve and when he missed with his fastball, he didn’t miss by much. Still, five and two-thirds is not great from him. Moose has to give you at least six innings in a game when he’s on with his pitches. I’m still concerned about his value to this team – both in the short- and long-term.

    Switching gears, let’s talk about Melky Cabrera. Where are all those scouts, fans, and media-types who kept saying last year that Melky was not a full-time big league type player? Have we seen enough yet? How about some retractions from those critics of Cabrera now?

    This was a big win for the Yankees – with the Indians beating the Red Sox.

    New York is now 6 back in the loss column of Boston in the A.L. East. And, New York is now 4 games back in the loss column of Cleveland in the Wildcard standings.

    If you count the suspended game in Baltimore as already being played, this means the Yankees have 60 games left after their July 26th game with the Royals.

    If New York is 5 games back, in the loss column, or less, of either Boston or Cleveland with 60 games to go, you have to consider them as being legit contenders for the post-season this year. Five games with sixty to go is very doable. Therefore, to have a chance at being 5 back of Red Sox, the Yankees need to win their next game. Is Kei Igawa up to it? We’ll see…we’ll soon see…

    If Igawa bombs, and Boston wins, and the Yankees fall 7 games back in the loss column of the Sox, with 60 games to go, I think it’s then time to start thinking only about the Wildcard and focus your win-loss wishes for other teams in a manner that helps the Yankees get the ‘card.

    Yeah, it’s only a one game difference. But, the clock is ticking…and New York does not have a ton of games left with Boston…at least not enough to make up for 7 games in a head-to-head fashion.

    SOTD: A-Rod & Damon (?) Getting Big Hits For Yankees

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Check out Johnny – getting the job done.

    A-Rod’s Strange July

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (20)

    Alex Rodriguez has played in 21 games for the Yankees, so far, this month – getting 95 Plate Appearances (PA).

    For the month, to date, he’s only batting .234 – but, his OPS is .900 (!) for the month (which is why Batting Average is a crazy stat to look at).

    Further, if you take out the 8 games (and 35 PA) that A-Rod has played against Tampa Bay this month, he’s batting .200 for July – but, again, Batting Average is a bogus stat.

    So, how’s his OPS this month, in games against teams other than the Devil Rays?

    According to my rough count, A-Rod’s OPS in July, to date, in games not played against Tampa Bay, is around .753 – which is near Tony Womack territory.

    Of course, we’re talking about 60 PA here – and there’s still about a week left to this month. So, small sample size, yadda, yadda…

    Still, in terms of showing something this month, A-Rod has been kind of MIA-Rod, and it’s somewhat masked by some terrible D-Rays’ pitching.

    Hopefully August will be a better month for Rodriguez.

    A-Rod: Connecticut Story Is Wrong

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    So much for this story.

    From the Post -

    One thing A-Rod is not doing is buying a $25 million mansion in Connecticut.

    “I’m not buying a house in Connecticut, that’s completely wrong,” he said.

    There is no need to buy in Connecticut when the baseball world will call after the season when Rodriguez figures to opt out of his contract. All his talents will be on sale again to the highest bidder and you can be sure the Red Sox and Angels will make a huge run at A-Rod.

    Makes sense. Rich people moving to Connecticut is so “1980′s.”

    Wildcard Dreams

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    According to Coolstandings.com’s “Smart” Wild Card Standings this AM, the Yankees have the highest probability of winning the Wildcard this year (at this moment):

    WCHopes0725.jpg

    How funny would it be if the Yankees edged the Indians by just one game to win the Wildcard this season – and this game turned out to be the difference between the two? If that turns out to be the case, maybe the Yankees should send Henry, Lucchino and Epstein 51,100,000 “Thank You” notes?

    Not As Easy As 1-2-3

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Kyle Farnsworth has pitched in 43 games for the Yankees so far this season. In none of those 43 games has he pitched more than one inning. In fact, in 38 of those 43 games, he has pitched exactly one inning.

    In those 43 games, Farnsworth has allowed at least one base-runner during his appearance 88% of the time.

    Further, to date, there have only been 5 times this season where Farnsworth has come into a game for the Yankees, pitched an inning, and retired the side in order. He did it once in April, once in May, two times in June, and once (so far) in July.

    Anyone else having Lance McCullers flashbacks here?

    Yanks, Chisox – Still Eye-Balling Each Other

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    From George King -

    Yankees brass met in Tampa yesterday for 3½ hours. Though they came away knowing what they would like to improve the club with before Tuesday’s trade deadline, it doesn’t mean the Yankees will make a move.

    “It went fine,” was all GM Brian Cashman would say of the Legends Field gathering that included George Steinbrenner for about 90 minutes.

    Also in attendance were Hank and Hal Steinbrenner; Felix Lopez; Steve Swindal, The Boss’s son-in-law; minor-league head Mark Newman; amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer; scout Gene Michael; club president Randy Levine; and COO Lonn Trost.

    Billy Connors, a close ally of Steinbrenner’s, was originally invited to the pow-wow via letter last week but informed yesterday to stay away.

    The meetings were going on the Yankees and White Sox continue to eye each other. The Yankees had scout Jeff Wetherby watching the White Sox yesterday against the Tigers in a doubleheader in Chicago. Since the Yankees play the White Sox next week, Wetherby likely is doing advance scouting. However, the White Sox have heavily scouted the Yankees recently and had scout Bill Scherrer at Kauffman Stadium last night.

    It could be just advance scouting on the Yankees part here. But, last year, when Wetherby went to Philly, it led to the Yankees picking up a player.

    When I look at the White Sox roster, I don’t see anything there that the Yankees really need. But, who knows what the Yankees might be thinking here?

    Please, please, please, just say “no” to Vazquez and Contreras – if you’re listening, Mr. Cashman.

    July 24th @ The Royals

    Posted by on July 25th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    With this game, Chien-Ming Wang’s road ERA this season is now 4.44 – compared to a mark of 3.40 when he pitches in the Bronx.

    Last year, Wang’s ERA was 3.03 at home and 4.35 on the road. In 2005, his ERA was 3.55 at home and 4.65 on the road.

    Anyone seeing a trend here? Home ERA near three – and the ERA is around four-and-a-half on the road. I think Chien-Ming likes Yankee Stadium – or vice-versa.

    It’s great to see the Yankees win these games that they’re supposed to win. Now, it’s time for Mussina and Igawa to show us something over the next two games. I’m less than sure that they will show us something good. That’s why the last two games from Clemens and Wang are so important to the Yankees recent run.

    1977 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD Set

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    For the last week or so, I’ve been playing around with the Yankees 1977 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD Boxed Set. This is a new collection that was released three months ago. If you haven’t checked it out already, you’ll want to get this one for your collection.

    There are seven DVDs in the set – All six ’77 World Series games against the Los Angeles Dodgers plus Game 5 of the ALCS against the K.C. Royals. There’s also lots of post-game footage following Game 6 of the World Series and interviews from people like Reggie Jackson, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Lou Piniella, George Steinbrenner, Paul Blair, Brian Doyle, and others.

    The video quality is not always the greatest – in terms of being what one expects from a DVD – but, it’s not at the level where it’s an issue for your eyes.

    Personally, it was fun to watch Game 1 of the ’77 Series – since I never saw that one on TV (as I was there, in-person, at the Stadium that night). Heck, it’s just interesting to watch games at the Stadium from that time period – with the distances in the outfield being 430 feet to left-center and 417 feet to dead-center. Billy Martin had a lot of confidence in Lou Piniella – playing him in that big left field.

    Speaking of Piniella, in one of the later-day post-series interviews found on the bonus footage, Lou said that he couldn’t remember Reggie’s third homer from Game 6 of the Series…even though he knew that Jackson had three that night. How bizarre is that?

    It was almost as bizarre as watching the 1977 post-game footage of Reggie being interviewed after Game 6…and seeing a baby-faced Dan Shaughnessy (aka “the CHB“) looking like a deer in head-lights during the whole thing.

    Like I said, there’s some cool stuff in this set. And, watching the games on these DVDs is easy…I love the way the menus are set-up…so that you can go to any half-inning that you want at any time.

    The World Series games were covered by ABC – so, for those games you get Keith Jackson, Tom Seaver, and Howard Cosell doing the games. (Cosell was in Cosell-form for these games too.) But, for Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS, you get the WPIX coverage of the game.

    For me, having this game, with Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer and Bill White covering the contest, is the prize of this set.

    First, just watching the game is awesome. It reminds me that George Brett and Hal McRae were the Manny Ramirez and David Oritz of their time – as they were major pains for the Yankees. And, it reminds me of how important Mike Torrez was to New York in the ’77 post-season. (If there’s such a thing as an overall MVP to the post-season, Torrez was it for the Yankees that year.)

    Secondly, you get to see how Rizzuto, White and Messer handled games back then…mixing and matching between play-by-play and color (while also doing the radio on WMCA).

    In this game, White did the play-by-play, with Rizzuto doing color, in the first three innings – with Messer on the radio. For the middle three innings of the game, Rizzuto did play-by-play, with Messer doing color – and White did the radio. And, for the last three innings, Messer did play-by-play, White was the color man, and Rizzuto closed out the game on the radio.

    As a kid growing up, following the Yankees, this broadcaster set-up was the norm for me. And, I think it was the best – everyone got to do it all…and you, as a fan, got to hear your favorites…no matter if you were watching on TV or listening on the radio. Ah, memories.

    And, that’s what this DVD set is all about – bringing back some great memories – for me. For others, who are not as old as me, I think it would be a great primer to see what it was like to watch the Yankees, thirty years ago.

    I highly recommend the Yankees 1977 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD Boxed Set. It’s the story of a great team’s October. And, it’s a time-machine dream for Yankees fans.

    Problems With Posting

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

    I understand that there’s an issue with leaving comments here now. I believe it’s a TypeKey issue. I’m looking into it. Thanks for your patience with this issue. I’m hoping that it will not take long to resolve.

    The New Luis Vizcaino

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Luis Vizcaino’s stats since May 28th:

    27 games
    27.3 IP
    26 K’s
    .160 Opp BA
    .234 Opp SLG
    0.99 ERA

    You really can’t ask a relief pitcher to throw any better than that.

    Looking For Yankee Stadium Stories

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments Off

    Have you ever been to Yankee Stadium? Do you go to Yankee Stadium often?

    Related, do you have an interesting story about a time when you were at the Stadium? Maybe you were there for a famous game? Or, maybe you once saw something there that you’ll always remember for some particular reason – because it was wacky or moving? Perhaps you once went to a game and that day will now always have great personal meaning to you? Maybe you have learned some tricks about getting to and around the Stadium through the years that you think are special? Have you noticed a change in the Stadium “experience” through the years? Do you have a Yankee Stadium foul and/or homerun ball story? Have you ever been ejected from Yankee Stadium? What sections of Yankee Stadium have you sat in that you enjoyed the most – and/or the least?

    It seems that most Yankees fans have at least one “Yankee Stadium” story – heck, I have more than I can count – how about you?

    If you have a “Yankee Stadium” story, and you’re willing to share it for a project that I’m looking into, please send me an e-mail to author [at] baseballsamegame [dot] com

    And, if you know of anyone else who has a good Stadium tale, please do pass this request along to them. Thanks.

    Paul Priore Wants To Write A Book

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

    Remember the Paul Priore story? According to Deadspin.com, now he wants to write a book. It will be interesting to see if someone decides to pick up this project. I’m guessing that it won’t happen – because someone would have taken it by now, if there was any interest in such a book.

    Jon Garland & Matt Thornton

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    From the Post -

    Just because nothing is hot on the trade front isn’t going to keep Yankee brass from convening for meetings in Tampa.

    General manager Brian Cashman arrived last night and was spotted watching Single-A Tampa play Clearwater in a Florida State League tilt. More executives, including president Randy Levine, who gets involved when decisions involving money are on the table, are expected today. Minor-league head Mark Newman will be on hand as will various scouts.

    Of all the teams following the Yankees, the White Sox seem to be paying the most attention. And while the Yankees don’t have an interest in bringing Jose Contreras or Javier Vazquez back, industry sources indicated last night they could be interested in 27-year-old right-handed starter Jon Garland or 30-year-old lefty reliever Matt Thornton.

    The White Sox had Bill Scherrer and Dave Yokam – special assistants to GM Ken Williams – in St. Petersburg, Fla., recently to watch the Yankees, and Scherrer was on hand last night at Kauffman Stadium. In addition, the White Sox have had scouts following Single-A Tampa.

    Garland, who makes $10 million this year and $12 million in 2008, is 7-7 with a 4.15 ERA. His career mark is 89-75. Thornton, 30, is 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA. Left-handed hitters are batting .296 (16-for-54) against him.

    Garland is not terrible. But, clearly, 2005 was a career year for him. His plus-side is that he’s durable. But, he’s really just a tad above league average in terms of effectiveness.

    If the White Sox want to look at this as a salary dump, like the Phillies/Yankees deal last year for Abreu, then I would take Garland for a low-level prospect and plug him into Igawa’s spot, without question. But, if the White Sox want someone like Clippard, or at that level of prospect (or greater) in return, then I would pass on this one.

    Thornton? That’s a joke. Why not bring back Randy Choate too?

    A-Rod ’07 = Best Offensive Season Ever At 3B?

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    Without going into the stats, it’s safe to say that these players represent some of the best offensive seasons ever by a third baseman (since 1900):

    George Brett, 1980 & 1985.
    Chipper Jones, 1999.
    Alex Rodriguez, 2005.
    Wade Boggs, 1987.
    Al Rosen, 1953.
    Mel Ott, 1938.
    Eddie Mathews, 1953.

    [And, I would give Mike Schmidt an honorable mention for 1981 here, as well.]

    To date, Alex Rodriguez is on pace to match or better all of these aforementioned seasons.

    Yes, this season, in the Bronx, we just may be seeing the best season ever – with the bat – by a third basemen, in the modern history of the game.

    If you’re going to pick a season to have, in the option year of your contract, you can’t do any better than having the best offensive season in the history of your position, can you?

    Pitching Prospects On The Move

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments (11)

    From Ed Price -

    The Yankees last night promoted right-handers Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain — their top two draft picks last year — from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Both started the season with Class A Tampa.

    There is some thought in the organization that Chamberlain could help the big-league team this year out of the bullpen.

    Lefty Chase Wright and right-hander Tyler Clippard, both of whom made starts for the Yankees this year, were demoted from Scranton to Trenton.

    Of all these pitchers, it will be interesting to see how Tyler Clippard responds to this move. I hope he takes it well and pitches his way back to Triple-A soon.

    Ian and Joba are really fast-tracking this season. I wonder if they’re going to become joined at the hip…in a Koufax & Drysdale kind of way. Seems like they are friends…From the L.A. News a few days ago -

    Ian Kennedy has a championship ring with a large “NY” on it. Sometimes for fun, when people look at the ring he covers the side that says “Penn League” – in reference to the short-season Class A New York-Penn League – and observers are often fooled into believing he plays for the New York Yankees.

    He’s spending this summer playing for another first-place team and rivaling Joba Chamberlain as one of the hottest pitching prospects in the organization. Kennedy said the two are good friends and their willingness to share advice make them both better.

    The question is: Will they make the majors at the same time? Would the Yankees have two rookies in the rotation at the same time? I’m not sure that can happen – even with two rookies as good as these two.

    July 23rd @ The Royals

    Posted by on July 24th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    In this game, A-Rod becomes the first batter to reach 100 RBI in (a season) in fewer than 100 of his team games since Manny Ramirez did it in 1999. What a year for Rodriguez. I take back what I said about Alex and Manny – at least for this season.

    And, a tip of the cap to Clemens for his effort in this game. In his last five starts, Rocket has averaged almost 7 innings per start. I never thought we would see that from him – going this deep into games – and I was not the only one. Roger is showing us all something special here.

    I caught the start of this game on the TV in my local gym. But, I was watching it in the mirror – as the big screen TV was behind where I was working out. Because I was watching in the mirror, the game was backwards. It’s strange to watch Roger Clemens pitch as a left-hander and to see Johnny Damon bat as a right-hander…but that’s what happens when you watch a baseball game on TV through a mirror. If you’ve never experienced this, try it some time. It’s very bizarre – especially when it’s players that you’re so used to seeing.

    A View From The Top

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

    DontLookDown.jpg

    I thought this was a pretty cool picture of the Stadium. I “liberated” it from a Reuters report about the increasing costs of the new digs.

    This is pretty much where I sat, behind the plate, upper-upper-deck, for the “Getcha Tokens Ready!” game. It was a great section to be in – in terms of the view and the surrounding fans – for a game of that excitement.

    Our “Mr. Joshua”?

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

    Anyone else seeing this?

    Well, if anything, Shelley Duncan has lit a fire under the Yankees in the last few games.

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