• April 25th @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 25th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    From a Yankees fan perspective, could this game and the one from yesterday be any worse?

    Before the start of this series, I was asked by NESN.com to answer some questions about the Yankees and these games against the Red Sox. Here’s a clip from that Q&A:

    NESN.com: What are the keys for the Yankees to winning the three-game series at Fenway Park?

    Steve Lombardi: The Yankees starting pitchers all need to go at least seven innings and provide a decent start. If the Yankees’ pen is coming into the game in the sixth inning or earlier, that’s trouble for New York. And the Yankees pitchers have to be careful with Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay, while also not allowing David Ortiz to wake up this season when the Yanks come to town.

    So, how was that for soothsaying?

    Let’s hope that Andy Pettitte has his “A” game on Sunday night. Right now, the Yankees need that…and then some.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 4/25/09

    Posted by on April 25th, 2009 · Comments (2)

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    Hope For Today?

    Posted by on April 25th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    In his big league career, to date, A.J. Burnett has made 3 starts at Fenway Park.

    In those outings, combined, he’s thrown 22.6 innings and allowed just one earned run. And, by the way, he’s won all three of those starts.

    Maybe Burnett is one of those guys like Jim Palmer, Mike Mussina and Roy Halladay who just digs coming into the Fens and stickin’ it to the Nation? Let’s hope so…

    Greg Rybarczyk On ESPN Regarding Yankee Stadium

    Posted by on April 25th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Less than a week after appearing at WasWatching.com, Greg Rybarczyk made it to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight to talk about the new Yankees Stadium’s homer-happiness. (Hat tip to BBTF and THT.) Maybe WasWatching.com is just as big a launching pad as the House That Stein Built? [wink]

    April 24th @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 25th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    Sometimes, you can just feel it coming.

    Dunno why, in this one? But, the vibe was there.

    Maybe it was all those runners the Yankees left on base during the game? Going four for nineteen, in the end, with runners in scoring position is ugly.

    Maybe it was Joba Chamberlain throwing as many balls, just about, as strikes today, and pulling Houdini Act after Houdini Act to dodge a cave in?

    Maybe it was seeing Mo Rivera come into a game in the 8th inning during the month of April?

    Whatever it was, as we entered the bottom of the ninth, and having that hearing footsteps feeling, I fully expected Bill Mueller to come out of retirement and bat for the Red Sox in that frame against Rivera…

    I guess that Jason Bay is the new Bill Mueller, huh? I will say this: Bay impressed the heck out of me with his homerun trot this evening. That is how a professional rounds the bases in a spot like that one. The dude truly earned my respect there.

    And, when Damaso Marte entered the game, you knew it was just a matter of time…

    I guess Damaso Marte is the new Paul Quantrill, huh? Sure, Flash, Conie and Kay in the YES booth were congregational singing about Marte being pumped up, and looking like a new man, etc. But, I knew…again, I had a feeling…that it was just a matter of time.

    And, then, Kevin Youkilis provides the crusher.

    Lovely. Just effing-a-lovely with a cherry on top.

    Burnett verus Beckett tomorrow. Let’s hope that A.J. has the game of his life for the Yankees. It couldn’t come at a better time.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 4/24/09

    Posted by on April 24th, 2009 · Comments (14)

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    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on April 24th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    To watch SNY.tv’s New York Baseball Today, which features a rotating panel of experts, click play below:

    Loud Mouths: Yanks Are Ready To Go On A Roll

    Posted by on April 24th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    Adam Schein and Chris Carlin, yesterday on SNY’s Loud Mouths, discuss where the Yanks are now and what should happen in the immediate future with respect to their results:

    Me? The Yanks have to face the Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox again, and Rays over the next two weeks. And, then, soon after that, the Selena Roberts book comes out…

    well, if they’re going to go on a roll, this would be an excellent time to do it.

    Going Behind Enemy Lines

    Posted by on April 24th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Neil Keefe, of NESN.com, asked me a few Yankees-related questions earlier this week. Click here to see what Neil and I discussed. (And, of course, my thanks to Keefe and NESN for asking!)

    Did Yanks See This Coming With Wang?

    Posted by on April 24th, 2009 · Comments (9)

    Just about this time last year, Chien-Ming Wang wanted to sign a long-term contract with the Yankees – as Robinson Cano did – but the Yankees weren’t interested. And, at the same time, stories started coming up about Wang having a torn rotator cuff that was never repaired.

    Thinking about this now, it makes me wonder: Did the Yankees see this coming with Wang – with “this” being him losing his velocity/stuff on the mound?

    If true, do the Yankees deserve a gold star for not signing him long term last year? Or, should they get a demerit for counting on him to be a big part of their rotation this year?

    Yanks Selling Phantom Tickets

    Posted by on April 24th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Via the Bergen Record -

    Yankees fan Roberto Cuanof Teaneck was feeling awfully good about landing a pair of $15 bleacher seats at face value for the Yankees’ opening day of their brand-new billion-dollar stadium last week.

    That is, until he reached the left field bleachers that day.

    The tickets, purchased in early March on yankees.com, were for Section 237, Row 14, Seats 35 and 36.

    One problem — the row only has 35 seats.

    “It’s not a bargain if your seat doesn’t exist,” said Cuan, 34.

    Cuan said he was told by stadium personnel to grab another pair of seats in the section. But as Cuan — a Yankees partial season-ticket holder since 1997 — had feared, before game time the last empty seats in the section for the historic and sold-out game were claimed.

    “Now I leave my father in the one seat, and I miss the first pitch and part of the ceremonies while I’m waiting in line at the ticket office,” Cuan said.

    “The [employee] takes my tickets, disappears for a while, and finally comes back with two tickets in another bleacher section,” Cuan added. “But he won’t give me my old tickets back, which I wanted as proof when I contacted Ticketmaster, and he won’t let me speak to a supervisor. Not a pleasant guy to deal with. He told me that if I didn’t step aside, he’d have an officer remove me from the premises.”

    Cuan said when he went back to see his father — the game was now the second inning — another fan overheard the story and said the same thing had happened with the same “phantom seat” at a Yankees-Cubs exhibition game earlier this month.

    “If this gentleman was treated inhospitably, for that we apologize,” said Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion, who added that the team would offer Cuan tickets to another game to underscore that point. “No matter how many times you walk through a stadium and double-check the inventory, there’s always a handful of seats where this happens.”

    I never heard of Alice McGillion before this season. She sure is a busy lady these days though…having to answer many questions about the new Stadium, etc.

    So, the new Yankee Stadium has seats behind home plate that they can’t sell and go empty…along with seats in the bleachers that don’t exist and are sold. Bizarro, huh?

    Is Hughes Ready To Pitch In Bigs Like He Does In The Bushes?

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (9)

    Phil Hughes is off to a great start at Triple-A this season with the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees in the International League. To date, he’s made three starts, throwing 19.3 innings, allowing 17 hits and 3 walks, whiffing 19, going 3-0 with an ERA of 1.86. What’s not to like about that?

    Well, actually, I think there’s something even more to like in what Hughes has done so far in AAA. And, to see that, you have to look inside these numbers:

    Start	  P-Stk	  IP	P/IP
    1st Start	  96-63	  6.0	16.0
    2nd Start	  96-64	  5.6	16.9
    3rd Start	  105-75	  7.3	14.4

    The numbers above are Phil Hughes’ first three starts this season in terms of Pitches Thrown and Thrown For Strikes (P-Stk), Innings Pitched (IP) and Pitches Per Inning (P/IP).

    These numbers tell us that Hughes has been able to pitch into the 6th or 7th innings of his games, so far this season, and he’s doing it with an overall average of 15.6 pitches thrown per inning.

    Now, if you have a pitcher at the big league level who can reach the 7th inning of a game and who averages about 16-17 innings pitched per inning, he’s someone who is going to help your team.

    Of course, the question here is: Can Phil Hughes average 16 P/IP for 6-7 IP per start against big league batters like he does against Triple-A batters? After all, there’s a big difference between Triple-A and the major leagues. Just go and ask Shelley Duncan and Kei Igawa, if you don’t believe me.

    I’m hoping that, should the Yankees have a need for a starting pitcher this season, Phil Hughes gets a shot to show us what these minor league numbers really mean for him. It should be interesting to see how it works out.

    MLB & MLS Commishes Dish On Yanks New House

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via the AP -

    Bud Selig has noticed those empty seats at the new ballparks in New York, too. Should the Yankees and Mets lower their tickets prices? The commissioner said that’s up to them.

    Selig said Thursday the teams will consider adjusting the cost of their premium seats. The Yankees declined comment, and the Mets said they weren’t thinking about such a move.

    Speaking to the Associated Press Sports Editors, Selig said it was not an issue for Major League Baseball to decide, and added he wouldn’t make any recommendation.

    “They’re going to discuss it, and whatever adjustments they want to make, they should make,” Selig said. “I wouldn’t be presumptuous talking about what they should or shouldn’t do.”

    The Yankees are charging $500-$2,625 for Legends Suite tickets in 25 sections at the new Yankee Stadium in the first nine rows around the infield, an area that contains 1,895 seats.

    While those seats were filled for the April 16 opener, they were more than half-empty for the remaining five games on the homestand.

    “Hal Steinbrenner did say a couple of weeks ago that he thought that, you know, they may have overpriced tickets and they’ll look at it. Well, good for him,” Selig said of the Yankees managing general partner.

    “And I know the Wilpons. They’re very sensitive about all this,” he added of the family that owns the Mets.

    Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion wouldn’t discuss Selig’s remarks, saying: “We’re still not talking about ticket prices.”

    Selig said too much is being made in the media of the top-priced seats.

    “They’re off to a very good attendance start. One team is averaging 44,000 — the Yankees are at 44 — and the Metsies are averaging 37,000,” he said. “So it would be hard if I went to Pittsburgh or somewhere today and tell them, gee, you know, those two New York clubs are really struggling.”

    At a separate APSE meeting earlier in the day, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said he had taken notice of the unsold seats at New York’s baseball parks.

    “It’s incomprehensible that you watch a game, and there will be front row seats empty,” he said.

    Garber said the league’s law firm had canceled its Yankees season tickets this year. Proskauer Rose represents both MLB and MLS, but Proskauer spokesman Josh Epstein said no cancellation had been made.

    “We had only 20 games in the old stadium and we decided to upgrade to a full season of 81 games behind the New York Yankees dugout,” he said.

    Bud’s “no advice” and “no recommendation” approach makes sense. After all, it would be foolish to say something that could possibly anger the party who has their hand shoved up your rectum and who’s controlling you like Madame Oglepuss on Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

    April 2009 Survey Question #3

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (11)

    Please consider taking the following poll:

    {democracy:56}

    Thanks in advance. And, please feel free to add comments on your opinion in the comments section below.

    Big Papi To Joba: Leave My Youk Alone

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Via the Post -

    If young Joba Chamberlain misbehaves tomorrow night, he might face a spanking from someone else’s Papi.

    With Chamberlain scheduled to start for the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox, David Ortiz yesterday said the talented right-hander should avoid using Kevin Youkilis’ head as a bull’s-eye.

    “None of that, man — just play the game the way it’s supposed to be, and that’s about it,” Ortiz said, referring to Chamberlain.

    “This is a guy, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everybody in the league. He’s not a bad guy, but when things like that happen, people get the wrong idea.”

    Considering he has fired four pitches either near Youkilis’ head or behind Youkilis in the last 20 months, Chamberlain quickly has emerged as a villain to Red Sox Nation in this rivalry.

    There were the consecutive pitches to Youkilis — one of which sailed behind him — in August of 2007 that got Chamberlain suspended. Another close call occurred last July at Yankee Stadium, when Chamberlain threw high-and tight to Youkilis, nearly starting a bench clearing brawl.

    Chamberlain uncorked another fastball three weeks later at Fenway that sent Youkilis to the dirt. Angry glares were exchanged.

    Why always Youkilis?

    “I don’t have an explanation,” Ortiz said.

    Talking to reporters at his locker for about 20 minutes between games of yesterday’s split doubleheader against the Twins — the Yankees’ game against the Athletics was on TV in the clubhouse — Ortiz said this weekend will not feel like the normal Yankees-Red Sox circus.

    “This one is an easy one — they are missing A-Rod,” Ortiz said.

    Though Ortiz considers Alex Rodriguez a close friend, the Red Sox designated hitter said he hasn’t spoken recently to A-Rod, who is continuing his rehab from arthroscopic hip surgery. Nevertheless, Ortiz said he will not miss him this weekend.

    “You don’t have the best player in the game in your lineup, it makes it different,” Ortiz said.

    Gee…I guess it was a different story when Pedro Martinez was peppering Alonso Soriano and Derek Jeter with pitches…

    Well, whatever memo Ortiz wants to issue, let’s just see if he cc’s Josh Beckett on it too.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 4/23/09

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (13)

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    Wild Thought: When Will The Stein Sons Sell?

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (28)

    Today’s wild thought: How long will it be until the Brothers Steinbrenner (Hank and Hal) realize that it’s not going to work in Yankeeland…meaning having two parties leading the organization who are somewhat not fully -engaged and who lack the über-controlling nature of the predecessor owner, their father, who was on top of the team, twenty-four-seven, like a fly on a road apple…and then elect to sell the team?

    Will it be two years from now? Five? Seven? Ten? Or…never? What do you think?

    April 22nd vs. The A’s

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (3)

    The attendance for this game was announced as being 43,342. And, from the highlights that I’ve seen of Melky Cabrera’s game winning homer in the 14th inning, it looks like 342 fans stayed until the end of this game. Hey, this new Yankee Stadium is starting to get a 1966 feel to it – in some ways.

    Moving on to the game. Forget Sabathia’s numbers. He’s a bad April pitcher and that Kurt Suzuki homer was a close call. If CC is this bad in his next two starts, then I’ll start to get nervous.

    Give the credit for this game to the boys from Santo Domingo and El Cercado: Melky Cabrera, Edwar Ramírez and especially José Veras. Without their efforts, this one is probably an “L” for the Yankees. And, given the nature of this game – the extra innings, sloppy play, etc. – it would have been a painful loss to have…the day before an off-day in front of a series at Fenway Park. It’s much better, this way, with the “W” – and allowing that to ruminate in Yankeeland until Friday night in Beantown.

    Subway Squawker Swan’s Stadium Story

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Did you see Lisa Swan’s review of the new Yankee Stadium today? Having been to the new Stadium, twice, myself already, I thought Lisa’s review was very well done – and spot on…in terms of covering everything, etc.

    For me, it’s funny. It took the arrival of the new Stadium to make me fully understand how much the old Stadium was home to me. I thought I knew that already – but it’s really starting to hit me, hard, now. Even just seeing clips of the old Stadium, from last year, during YES broadcasts now, gives me goose bumps and a sense of longing for the old park.

    But, in any event, it’s time to get over that – no matter how the new Stadium rubs me. It’s here. The old one is not coming back. It is what it is, right? And, as Yankees fans, we probably better start learning to love it.

    A-Rod Makes It To “Lie To Me” (On FOX) In Episode 10 Of Season 1

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Did you see the episode of “Lie To Me*,” entitled Better Half on FOX this evening?

    If you’ve never seen the show, they do a cool little thing with real people that’s been well described by the blog Entertaining Ideas. So, I’ll just highlight what’s there to share some background on what the show does:

    One fun thing “Lie to Me*” does is incorporate photos of real people (Bill Clinton, Saddam Hussein, Kato Kaelin and even Simon Cowell) creating facial expressions to go along with the the acts of lying or feeling shame and disgust. When a few of the show’s actors seem to be making an exaggerated facial expression, they’ll flash to a photo of a famous person making an expression almost exactly like it to show that the signs are there if you’re willing to look.

    Well, in this evening’s episode, about 8 minutes from the end, they framed a picture of the face of a character caught in a lie with two “real life” liars…on the left was Jim McGreevey and on the right was…Alex Rodriguez.

    It was pretty funny. If you missed it, check it out. It will probably be on hulu or something soon.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 4/22/09

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2009 · Comments (37)

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    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2009 · Comments (0)

    To watch SNY.tv’s New York Baseball Today, which features a rotating panel of experts, click play below:

    Some Yankee Stadium Math

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2009 · Comments (12)

    48,271
    45,101
    45,167
    43,068
    42,065

    Those are the attendance totals for the 2009 Yankees first five official home games in the new Yankee Stadium. Last season, in the old Yankee Stadium, the team’s attendance for the their first five home games was:

    55,112
    48,544
    47,785
    49,255
    52,247

    So, here’s the difference, from last year to this year, per game:

    -6,841
    -3,443
    -2,618
    -6,187
    -10,182

    That’s an average of 5,854 less fans per game.

    Now, reportedly, old Yankee Stadium (in 2008) had a capacity of 56,936 whereas the new Yankee Stadium has a “seating capacity” of 51,000. That’s a difference of 5,936 between what the old Stadium could hold and what the new Stadium can seat.

    Isn’t that capacity difference of 5,936 close to the average 5,854 less fans showing up in 2009? Betcha that’s what Lonn Trost keeps telling the Steinbrenner Brothers…

    I can just see it now…

    April 21st vs. The A’s

    Posted by on April 21st, 2009 · Comments (1)

    For a while, in the second inning, it looked like the Yankees were going to have their turn at a “big inning” – like Cleveland did to them on Saturday. But, it was not so big – just enough to win. And, it was assisted by some questionable A’s defensive positioning and plays – like where Mark Ellis was on the Brett Gardner hit and then Ellis’ non-play on Derek Jeter’s liner.

    In the end, it was another close win this season for the Yankees – with Andy Pettitte having a big hand in it. (More on Pettitte’s night to follow.)

    It was interesting to see the A’s Andrew Bailey in this game. Just the other day, I was reading Cormac Gordon’s nice feature on Bailey. Speaking of A’s pitchers, I got a huge smile this evening seeing Josh Outman’s old-school socks. Attaboy Josh. I’d love to see that look make a comeback.

    Back to Andy Pettitte. The big lefty went seven innings this evening without walking or whiffing a batter. When was the last time a Yankees starting pitcher went 7+ innings in a game with zero walks and zero strikeouts? You have to go back all the way to October 6, 1991 when 17,863 fans were on hand at Yankee Stadium to see the Yanks’ starter, Dave Eiland, do that trick. Yup, that’s the same Dave Eiland who is now the Yankees pitching coach. Man, that’s a long time ago.

    Betcha Phil Coke Is Happy He Didn’t Get That Other Name

    Posted by on April 21st, 2009 · Comments (2)

    The bleacher creatures already have a chant lined-up for that one…

    (more…)

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 4/21/09

    Posted by on April 21st, 2009 · Comments (20)

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    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on April 21st, 2009 · Comments (0)

    To watch SNY.tv’s New York Baseball Today, which features a rotating panel of experts, click play below:

    Help Wanted

    Posted by on April 21st, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Do you know any “famous” Yankees fans? Or, do you know someone who should be “famous” because of their love and devotion towards the Yankees? If so, could you ask them to contact me? There’s a few questions that I would like to ask them. Thanks in advance for your help with this request – if you know someone who fits the criteria and you ask them to contact me.

    Bosox To Add Veteran Presence When Facing Yanks

    Posted by on April 21st, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Via WWLP-TV’s site -

    A Connecticut man is set to fulfill a life-long dream this weekend at the tender age of 100. He’s going to be a Red Sox bat boy.

    Arthur Giddon will take the field at Fenway Park this weekend, when the Red Sox take on the Yankees.

    Tickets to the game were the only thing the life-long baseball lover wanted for his hundredth birthday. That and the chance to be a bat boy for the first batter.

    He’ll get his birthday wish during the team’s batting practice.

    And he won’t be hard to spot. He’ll be sporting a “Big Pappy” number 100 on his jersey.

    He does have some experience at this, over 85 years ago. Giddon was a bat boy for the Boston Braves back in 1922 and 1923.

    Cool story – even if it is on the Red Sox side of the fence.

    Maybe the Yankees can go on the counter-attack by using bats this weekend (while up in Fenway Park) that are made out of an old tulip tree from Alley Pond Park?

    Sherman: Yanks Made Mistake On Marte

    Posted by on April 20th, 2009 · Comments (30)

    Via Joel Sherman

    The big worry to me in the pen is Damaso Marte. The Yanks had three choices with him in the offseason: 1) Let him leave to free agency. 2) Pick up his $6 million option for 2009. 3) Sign him long-term. The Yanks went with that final option and signed him for three years at $12 million, and that looks like a big mistake. First of all, as the offseason progressed, the lefty relief market stayed saturated and the prices fell significantly. So Marte was clearly overpaid for where the market ended up. But Marte also had established a reputation around the majors as a guy with top stuff who did not handle pressure extraordinarily well. And now some Yankee officials are wondering about his passion.

    He is here to dominate lefties and so far he has faced six in 2009, and hit one while also allowing a double and a homer with no strikeouts. He has the potential to go into the long line of lefties such as Chris Hammonds, Felix Heredia and Gabe White who simply could not do the job as Yankees.

    I’m guessing that Sherman’s “The Royal Order of the Cashman Kool-Aid Brigade” newsletter copy, addressing the Marte signing, got lost in the mail. You know, it’s the one with the headline that read: “It seemed like the right move at the time.”

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