• July 31st @ The White Sox

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (10)

    With this loss, the Yankees are now 0-10 this season against teams with the word “Sox” in their name.

    Not even Eric “Possessed By The Spirit of a Rookie Kevin Maas” Hinske could save New York in this one.

    Man, was that seventh inning brutal, or what? And, it could have been worse if not for Johnny Damon making a “Pete Reiser catch” doing a header into the fence. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 3-4-2 infield RBI single before – like the one Scott Podsednik hit. Is it just me, or, did Alfredo Aceves lose a glass slipper on his way into the dugout when General Joe gave him the hook today? Yikes, between “Ace” and Sergio Mitre it was not a good night for Yankees pitchers of Mexican descent.

    Damn, the White Sox just ran circles around the Yankees in that seventh inning. Jorge Posada is going to have some bad dreams after this one.

    Back to Mitre, he was given a three-run lead before he took toe to the rubber in this one – and he blew it. But, that wasn’t the worst thing about this game…

    …how about A-Rod in the ninth inning? Down by five, with one out, and you get thrown out at second, after not busting it out of the box, trying to stretch a single into a double…when you were dead by six feet? Michael Kay, on YES, suggested that Girardi should fine Rodriguez for that bonehead play. Me? I take it a step further – bench him for a day. Hey, why not, we have Jerry Hairston Jr. to play third now! (He types, tough in cheek.)

    The Yankees have now lost four of their last seven – and have looked really, really, bad in those four losses. Don’t look now guys, but, Boston is just one game back in the loss column after today…could it be possible that the Red Sox actually pass the Yankees in the standings before Boston comes to the Bronx next weekend?

    Wow. Talk about ugly….

    Cashman’s Bluff

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (6)

    Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman’s only deal today, before the expiration of the non-waiver trading deadline, was to acquire bench player Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Reds (in a trade). I guess we, as Yankees fans, should have seen this coming based on what Cashman said the other day (via Ken Davidoff):

    A few reporters got Brian Cashman before the game, to discuss the clubs’ needs as we head toward the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline.

    And one of the Yankees’ GM’s most interesting thoughts was that he doesn’t believe this deadline holds much value anymore.

    “I think over the years, this trade deadline is no longer even in existence,” Cashman said. “…The waiver stuff is not going to prevent deals in August. Guys are going to get through because people are going to be afraid to afraid to claim and get stuck with money that they can’t afford. And so the July 31 trade deadline is more of a fictitious one now, anyway.

    “It’s not like it was when Steve Phillips (when he was the Mets’ GM) and I were going haywire, claiming everyone on the wire. Those days are dead and buried, because no one can live with a mistake like they used to. Because the economy has changed and has affected everybody both in and out of sports. Although July 31 is approaching, it’ll affect some level of players. Most, most likely, will clear. There’ll be a very large population to pick from as we move forward, anyway.”

    Are the Yankees, and, more specifically, Brian Cashman making the right move here? The Red Sox and Rays are chasing the Yankees in the A.L. East at this moment. And, should one of those teams catch New York, then the Yankees will find themselves fighting with the other, along with the Twins, White Sox, Tigers, and Rangers – and possibly the Angels – for the A.L. Wildcard.

    If the Yankees have a chance to pick up a decent player – say, a pitcher, which is what they need now – Brian Cashman thinks the Red Sox, Rays, White Sox, Tigers and (maybe) Angels are going to be afraid to take on a player’s contract by putting in a waiver claim on him (and block the player from going to New York)? O.K., maybe the Rays might not have the salary room…but Boston, Detroit, Chicago and L.A. are not going to let spending some money outside their budget get between them and a World Series, are they?

    Time will tell if Cashman’s bluff here is the right play…but, in the interim, what do you think?

    Do The Yankees Have The Next Paul Konerko?

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (1)

    So, I’m watching the Yankees play the White Sox this evening – and Paul Konerko comes to the plate in the bottom of the first inning…and I start thinking about him…which leads me to go back to my STATS Inc. Minor League Scouting Notebooks from 1996 and 1997. Here’s what was written about Konerko then…

    First, from the 1996 Edition:

    Konerko was the Dodgers’ first round pick in 1994, from a high school in Arizona. Scouts questioned his defense behind home plate but they loved his bat, and he has shown potential and performance with the stick. His first full season, in the California League, was very impressive for a 19-year old. He was 10 percent above the league in OBP+SLG, showing power and some measure of plate discipline. San Bernardino is a great power park, but it’s impressive that he played as well as he did against much older competition. He caught only 20 percent of the runners trying to steal on him. If I were the Dodgers, I would move him out behind the plate, to avoid injury and help him concentrate on his offense.

    Next, from the 1997 Edition:

    August 16, 1996, San Antonio vesus Wichita. Paul Konkero comes to the plate in the first inning, and a hush falls over the scouts sitting behind home plate. The anticipation is palpable. He swings, and there are audible gasps from the scouts. (I am not embellishing.) His bat speed is incredible, his hitting mechanics nearly flawless. He pulverizes fastballs, hangs in tight against breaking stuff, and pull for power or lash liners to the opposite field. He knows the strike zone. His OPS was an excellent +24 percent, and he was very young to be playing in the Texas League. Oh, yeah, San Antonio is a tough park for a power hitter. The only question about Konerko is his position. He used to be a catcher, but moved to first base to concentrate on hitting. The Dodgers are trying him at third base, but I’m not convinced his hands are good enough for the hot corner. Another positive is his personality: he is intelligent, mature, and hard-working. Normally, when a guy is a proven hitter but has a position question, I won’t give him a pure “A” grade, but Konerko is such an offensive force that I’m going to make an exception.

    And, the 1997 Edition ranked Paul Konerko, then 21-years old, as the 5th best overall prospect in the minor leagues behind Andruw Jones, Vlad Guerrero, Nomar Garciaparra and Scott Rolen.

    I don’t know about you, but, when I read these scouting reports on a then young Paul Konerko, it sure reads like what we hear today about the Yankees prize prospect Jesús Montero – doesn’t it?

    Konerko didn’t make it with the Dodgers – when he was 22-years old they traded him to the Reds for some bullpen help (during the middle of the 1998 season). And, the Reds later traded him, that off-season, to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Cameron.

    Once with the Chisox, Konerko found a home and went on to have a nice 11-year career (to-date) there. On average, Konerko is good for 30 homers and 100 RBI each season – along with a BA/OBA/SLG line around .275/.350/.490. However, as a batter, he’s not in the Albert Pujols, Frank Robinson, or Edgar Martinez class that his early scouting reports may have led some fans to believe he would be…someday.

    It will be interesting to see if the Yankees Jesús Montero ends up as a “Paul Konerko” type hitter…meaning a right-handed first baseman good for a 30/100/.275 season more times than not and playing at that level for ten years or more. And, it will be interesting to see, if Montero stays in New York, if Yankees fans will be happy with that production from him…given the hype around him now as a prospect.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 7/31/09

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (15)

    Click here for more information about this entry.

    July 2009 Survey Question #5

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Please consider taking the following poll:

    {democracy:69}

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

    Roy Halladay To The Angels?

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (9)

    That’s the rumor, as per Jayson Stark on ESPN News now…Joe Saunders is reportedly in it with three other Angels…but, as Jayson says, this is not confirmed.

    If true, what do you think? Should the Yankees have been in play here?

    Update 4:22 pm ET: Now, on ESPN News, they’re saying that Stark is sharing there is no deal here.

    Update 4:38 pm ET: Via ESPN News, the Jays are issuing a statement that Roy Halladay will not be traded.

    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (0)

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

    Yanks Trade For Jerry Hairston

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (6)

    Via Joel Sherman.

    Now, if the Yankees can only trade for Scott Hairston, then we can start having flashbacks to 1973 when the Yankees had Felipe and Matty Alou…

    Yanks & Red Sox(?) Add Bats At Trading Deadline

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (24)

    Reports say that the Boston Red Sox have traded for Victor Martinez.

    To counter that move, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman has called up Shelley Duncan.

    O.K., I’m joking a bit here…but the player moves have been reported.

    Has Phil Hughes Proven Himself As A RP?

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (6)

    The Yankees moved Phil Hughes to the bullpen at the start of June 2009. And, Hughes has been lights-out since the transition. Check out these numbers:

    Hughes has pitched, to date, in 19 games coming out of the pen – facing 102 batters. While doing this, he’s logged 27.6 IP, struck out 32, and limited opposing batters to a .156 Batting Average.

    Like I said…lights-out..and then some…

    But, I just noticed that the Yankees have been careful with Hughes – in terms of bringing him into games where there is no one on base. In the 19 games were Phil has come out of the pen, there have only been 6 runners on base, overall, during this span. (And, only one of those six has scored.)

    But, this leads to an interesting question: Does Phil Hughes need to prove that he can consistently pitch, out of the pen, in high pressure situations – meaning with runners on base – before he can be deemed a success as a relief pitcher? What do you think?

    Canseco: More to Come

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (19)

    As an addendum to my comment in the water cooler yesterday,  here is the article from ESPN. If you do the math, there’s only 1 player in the Hall of Fame that was in the bigs during the 2003 test and was a former teammate of Canseco’s…

    - Posted By Corey

    Another 2004 Bosox Confession On PED Use

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Via “Arroyo: Andro was rumored tainted” -

    Bronson Arroyo, a former Boston Red Sox teammate of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, said he would not be surprised to find his name on a list of 104 ballplayers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, after he had heard a then-legal supplement he was using was tainted with steroids, the Boston Herald reported.

    Arroyo, now with the Cincinnati Reds, told the Herald he does not know if Ortiz or Ramirez, who were identified in a New York Times story as also being on the list of 104, were taking anything. He said his knowledge of what his teammates did ended at the clubhouse door. But he does not believe their accomplishments should be diminished as a result.

    “In my mind, I think you have to lump the whole era together,” Arroyo said, according to the report. “A lot of people were doing it, a lot weren’t. I think pitchers probably gained 3 or 4 mph on their pitches and power hitters got some more power.

    “But guys like David and Manny, if they did something, it didn’t make them who they were. Did it make them a little better? Probably,” Arroyo said, according to the Herald.

    Betcha this is not the last one…cough, Trot Nixon, cough, cough

    Another One Bites The Dust

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (9)

    According to Fox Sports Jarrod Washburn is now a Tiger. Either the Yankees are going to make a big splash or they are going to stay put, because I certainly think they could have parted with a better pitching prospect than Luke French.

    - Posted By Corey

    Do The Yankees Have Pitching Prospects?

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (1)

    I was just looking at John Sickels top prospects list, for the Yankees, at the start of this season. Here’s the pitchers on that list:

    Dellin Betances, RHP
    Zach McAllister, RHP
    Mark Melancon, RHP
    Jairo Heredia, RHP
    Andrew Brackman, RHP
    Phil Coke, LHP
    Alfredo Aceves, RHP
    Wilkins de la Rosa, LHP
    Humberto Sanchez, RHP
    Jon Albaladejo, RHP
    David Robertson, RHP
    Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
    Christian Garcia, RHP
    George Kontos, RHP
    Kanekoa Texeira, RHP
    Eric Hacker, RHP
    Manuel Banuelos, LHP
    Jeremy Bleich, LHP
    Mike Dunn, LHP
    Alan Horne, RHP
    Brett Marshall, RHP
    D.J. Mitchell, RHP
    David Phelps, RHP
    Ryan Pope, RHP
    Matt Richardson, RHP
    Pat Venditte, RHP-LHP
    Kevin Whelan, RHP

    When I see this group, I see more guys who have struggled this season and/or who have been seriously injuried than I see guys who are on the verge of doing something great at the big league level. Would you agree with that? And, if so, what does that say about the young, and reportedly up-and-coming, pitching in the Yankees pipeline?

    SNY Daily News Live Daily List: Top 5 Big Stein Ruthless Moments

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (1)

    Here’s the video via SNY.tv:

    Some bad things here? Sure. And, was Big Stein someone who would throw someone under a bus, without breaking a sweat, to save his own skin? Yes. But, I still think the Yankees miss him – because he was a mover and a shaker. What do you think?

    Shaughnessy Lets Loose On Big Papi

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (10)

    The CHB rocketh -

    David Ortiz lied to you. It seems safe to say that his entire Red Sox career is a lie.

    And those life-changing Red Sox championships of 2004 and 2007? Are they forever tainted?

    You bet.

    Red Sox Nation is stunned and saddened. Boston fans have taken great pleasure in harpooning the Yankees and their fans since the Sox’ historic comeback against the Bronx Bombers in the 2004 American League Championship Series. It was tons of fun to ridicule 21st century Yankee steroid cheats Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield, Andy Pettitte, and Jason Giambi. When Alex Rodriguez was outed last winter, it was a national holiday for Red Sox hubris.

    Now this.

    Our cheaters were better than your cheaters.

    Nothing else flies. For the longest time the Sox flew under the radar of the steroid cloud. Big names fell, but the BoSox remained clean. The infamous Mitchell Report, compiled by former Maine senator George Mitchell, who happens to be Red Sox team “Director’’ (fifth from the top on the team masthead), barely acknowledged the existence of the Boston ball club as an MLB franchise. When Ramírez was caught cheating this spring, it was easy for Sox fans to contend that Manny didn’t start juicing until he went to the Dodgers.

    Now this. Big Papi, everybody’s favorite, is on the list of those who tested positive for PEDs in 2003 – which just happens to be the year that his career magically turned around.

    Overnight he became a baseball Rambo. He was the Dominican Babe Ruth. He was the greatest clutch hitter in Sox history. He got all the big hits in 2004. In 2006, he hit 54 home runs, bouncing Jimmie Foxx from the Sox record book.

    He wrote a book. He opened a restaurant. He kissed babies. He was the heart of the team. He was a gentleman and a gamer. We all loved him.

    He was also outspoken about steroids.

    And now David Ortiz looks like one of the television evangelists who gets caught in a seedy motel with a hooker.

    How could he have been so stupid? Or bold? He must have known. Players who tested positive in 2003 must have been told by the players association.

    The timing and the numbers are particularly damning for Big Papi. He was ordinary before 2003. Then he cheated. Then he was great. Now there is testing and he is less than ordinary. You don’t need Jose Canseco to connect the dots.

    As for Manny, what is left to say? When he got caught this year, Sox fans wanted to believe he started cheating after he left Boston. Now his entire career is flushed down the toilet. Along with Ortiz.

    The 2004 Red Sox really were Idiots. Just like the Yankees and everybody else.

    Our cheaters were better than their cheaters.

    Yahoo.

    Tweet dreams John Henry, tweet dreams

    Essential Baseball Library

    Posted by on July 31st, 2009 · Comments (22)

    As shared in past comments, my “Essential Baseball Library” recommendations have been added to WasWatching.com. Click here to see it.

    A few comments on this:

    1. It’s limited to books that I’ve personally read and/or have used for reference. Therefore, if there’s a notable work out there that seems like it’s missing – i.e., “Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville” or “Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life by Richard Ben Cramer” – it’s because I haven’t read it (yet).

    2. If it seems like the list is heavy towards the time period 1980-2009, there’s a reason for that: My date of birth. Granted, it would be nice to have more works listed here covering the time period pre-1980. However, I was 17-years old in 1980 – and, until that time, I was more into playing and watching baseball than reading about it. It wasn’t until I was in college, and thereafter, that reading about baseball became one of my favorite baseball-related activities. As such, I was more likely to read baseball books released after 1980, etc.

    3. Some of the books listed have publication dates that differ from what you might see in other sources. Basically, for the most part, I listed the publication dates as they appear in the copies of these books that are in my possession.

    4. I decided to exclude “annual” baseball books from this list – although there are many great ones, especially the old Bill James Abstracts. Perhaps, at a later date, I’ll decide to include them on the list.

    5. Related to the above, this list is very fluid – and a work in progress. And, I’ll be updating it appropriately, as needed.

    Please feel free to use the comments section below to discuss this list – and thanks in advance for your interest and feedback on it.

    July 30th @ The White Sox

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (9)

    On so many levels – the score, the inning, it being against the White Sox and Ozzie Guillen, the number of outs, the fact that he had struck out his three previous times up – that was a huge, clutch, homerun by Nick Swisher, to tie the score, in the top of the ninth with two outs (and with Matt Thornton pumping gas).

    And, then, to lose this one, in the bottom of the ninth…with two outs…on a hit by DeWayne Wise…DeWayne Wise? Wow. This one stings…

    Hey, don’t look now, but, the Yankees are now 3-3 in their last six games…

    …that’s not terrible. But, it ain’t great either.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 7/30/09

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (14)

    Click here for more information about this entry.

    Red Light Rings In On Big Papi

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via Curt Schilling from his blog

    What was your initial reaction?
    Disappointment, more than anything. We all respond with a lot of personal bias, and in players cases these guys are close friends, or enemies and there can be no doubt that taints our response from one to the other. David is a close friend, and my goal at home is to make sure that my kids understand that being a good person, treating people right and being kind doesn’t excuse you from making stupid mistakes and bad decisions. As long as you own up and are accountable.

    Should any of the Sox’ accomplishments in ‘04 or ‘07 be judged differently because of this?
    This makes me laugh. I have already seen the bandwagon fans start the *04 and *07 threads and remarks, people with teams who are far deeper into this than most other teams — as if this makes it all OK. Every team going back 10-15 years needs an * if you want to consider giving it to anyone. The hard part is that it’s turning into a situation where we are seeing every single GREAT player in the past 10 years caught, and they’re dragging what we thought were the majority, and are now turning into the minority, down with them.

    Regarding this whole matter, and the issues/questions it brings, you can expect everyone in Red Sox Nation to start pulling an Irving Berlin and sing:

    Ev’rybody’s doin’ it
    Doin’ it, doin’ it
    Ev’rybody’s doin’ it
    Doin’ it, doin’ it

    And, I get that – I really do. You see…I’m now in the camp of those who believe PEDs were the thing to do in baseball from some time in the early-to-mid ’80s through 2003. One guys does it, has success, and the word gets out. Then, yes, “Ev’rybody’s doin’ it” – whether it’s wearing golf/batting gloves, using Nautilus equipment, having LASIK eye surgery, opting for maple bats, or dosing yourself with PEDs.

    But, that said, I can still hear my mother’s voice in my head, from somewhere around 30-35 years ago, asking me “If everyone jumped off the Verrazano Bridge, would you do it too?” when I suggested that I should be able to do something because “Ev’rybody’s doin’ it.”

    It’s quite a conundrum, eh? Do 104 wrongs make a right, and, therefore, we should look the other way when someone gets nailed for doing something that is perceived by more than some as being wrong? Or, should everyone be held accountable for their own decisions and have to bear the burden that follows – even if it means the stripping of some previous accreditation?

    In the end, I suppose the answer is determined by your predisposition towards the person and/or group in question. (As Schilling said today: “We all respond with a lot of personal bias.”) And, we know how Red Sox Nation feels about David Ortiz….say…is it too late to trademark “Red Sox Rationalization”?

    Not Pulling His Weight?

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    To date, the Yankees record this season in games started by:

    	
    CC Sabathia	  11-11
    A.J. Burnett	  14-6
    Joba Chamberlain  14-6
    Andy Pettitte	  13-7
    Everyone Else	  10-9
    

    Interesting stat, huh?

    And, yes, I’m just kidding with the title here – I know that CC is giving the Yankees mega-innings and therefore is directly impacting the bullpen and probably helping the other starters by allowing a rested bullpen to be available for them.

    Big Papi On PED Users – A Look Back

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (14)

    As a follow-up to MJ’s post on Manny and Big Papi reportedly testing postive in 2003 for PEDs, I thought it would be fun to look back at what David Ortiz had to say just five months ago on this topic:

    David Ortiz wants players who test positive for steroids to be suspended from baseball for a year instead of the current 50-game penalty.

    Taking players to court, though, for cases involving use of the substances before players were subject to penalty is not the way to clean up the game, the Boston Red Sox designated hitter said Monday.

    “I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody,” he said. “You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that’s about it.”

    And if a player tests positive for steroids?

    “Ban ‘em for the whole year,” the slugger said.

    “I think you clean up the game by the testing,” Ortiz said Monday. “I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I’m going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody, and I don’t want to be facing that situation.

    “So what would I do? I won’t use it, and I’m pretty sure that everybody is on the same page,” he said.

    He drew a distinction between the use of steroids through 2003, when it was not penalized, and the period since then when testing with penalties has been in effect.

    “All the drama, bringing that to court and acting like those [are] serious criminals, it doesn’t look good for the game,” Ortiz said. “It’s not like something that is happening right now. Everybody that has been taken to court, it’s because they did it in the past when it wasn’t banned from the game.”

    Alex Rodriguez has said he used banned substances between 2001-03, when he was with the Texas Rangers.

    Ortiz said that at that time, “I would say it was certainly low, the percentage that wasn’t using it. Like he said in the interview [with ESPN], that was what was going around the league at the time.”

    He praised Rodriguez for saying he used banned substances and said that after 2003, “he’s been playing clean and he still produced and he’s still been the best player in the game. So if I’m a fan and I had to judge the guy, I would put that in the past and move forward.”

    Now, Ortiz said, he believes the percentage of users is very low. And he said he might even accept blood testing for banned substances.

    “I don’t care. Whatever,” he said. “I just want to go out there and make sure that people are not looking at you like, ‘Oh, look at this guy. He’s big now. What’s going on?’”

    …He drew a distinction between the use of steroids through 2003, when it was not penalized, and the period since then when testing with penalties has been in effect…

    And, now, we know why, don’t we?

    Hmmm…Is Anyone Surprised By This?

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

    David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were apparently on that list of 103 names from the 2003 survey.  While I have no personal interest or opinion on the steroids issue, it does make me at least a litle happy (schadenfreude, they call it) that Red Sox fans will have to eat some of their words.

    Report: Manny, Ortiz tested positive in ’03

    Ortiz has spoken out about steroids…wonder if he wishes he could take all those words back.

    -Posted by MJ

    Close Game Test: Yanks Good, Or, Lucky?

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    I thought these stats were interesting. It’s results for teams in the A.L., this season, through last night, in games with “Less Than or Equal to a 2 Run Margin of Victory” -

    Rk	Tm	G	W	L	W-L%	RS	RA	pythW-L%
    1	NYY	52	33	19	.635	252	228	.546
    2	DET	48	29	19	.604	195	174	.552
    3	SEA	58	34	24	.586	211	203	.518
    4	TEX	47	25	22	.532	194	193	.502
    5	TBR	49	26	23	.531	214	207	.515
    6	BOS	47	24	23	.511	197	196	.502
    7	LAA	47	24	23	.511	213	221	.483
    8	KCR	43	21	22	.488	157	153	.512
    9	BAL	46	21	25	.457	203	210	.484
    10	MIN	52	23	29	.442	215	225	.479
    11	OAK	43	18	25	.419	196	205	.479
    12	CHW	43	18	25	.419	165	173	.478
    13	CLE	47	18	29	.383	218	241	.454
    14	TOR	50	19	31	.380	207	222	.468
    

    The Yankees are killing in these “close” games, going 33-19, so far. But, according to their pythW-L%, they’re doing much, much, better here than expected. So, what does this mean? Does it mean the Yankees have been lucky in these close games? Or, does it mean that they’re just so good that they come out on top in these contests because they deserved to win these?

    I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer here. What do you think?

    SNY Daily News Live Daily List: Top 5 Yanks Catchers

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (6)

    Here’s the video via SNY.tv:

    Related, on August 2nd, 2009, from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm, author and historian Marty Appel will be at the Yogi Berra Museum to discuss the influence of former Yankee great Thurman Munson on the 30th anniversary of his death, followed by a signing of his book, “Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain.” If you’re in the area, this is one that you might want to check out!

    Josh Anderson Joining Yanks?

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via Steve Kornacki:

    Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed today that the New York Yankees have interest in outfielder Josh Anderson, whom Detroit has 10 days since Friday to assign to another team via trade or have clear waivers before possibly sending him out-right to Triple-A Toledo.

    “It’s a possibility,” Leyland said. “They are interested. I think one other club is interested.”

    The Yankees are looking to replace center fielder Brett Gardner, who has a fractured left thumb but is listed on the club’s Web site as expected to return in mid-August.

    Anderson can play any outfield position, is good defensively and provides speed. He batted .242 with four triples, 13 steals in 15 attempts, 22 runs and 16 RBIs in 165 at-bats for Detroit.

    I’m having a Gary Thomasson flashback here…but, Anderson is not a terrible 5th outfielder…if that’s your need…

    Garza: Plunking Tex No Coinkydink

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Via Marc Topkin:

    Tampa Bay Rays RHP Matt Garza acknowledged it was more than coincidence than he hit Mark Teixeira the inning after Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain threw a pitch at the head of Evan Longoria, and noted the Yankees threw inside to Longoria and hit him Monday too.

    “I just kind of got tired of people brushing him back,’’ Garza said. “It’s about time someone made a statement. They did it on Monday night and we didn’t do anything, they didn’t do it too much (Tuesday) and (Chamberlain) did it again tonight.

    “I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say, “You know, we’re tired of it.” You can go after our best guy, well, we’ll make some noise too, and that’s what happened.’’

    Paging Mr. Watson, paging Bob Watson…

    Power Bats(?) In Yankees Outfield

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (9)

    Check out these stats covering the period June 26, 2009 through July 28, 2009:

    Johnny Damon: 102 PA and a BA/OBA/SLG of .221/.343/.395
    Melky Cabrera: 92 PA and a BA/OBA/SLG of .288/.370/.400
    Nick Swisher: 92 PA and a BA/OBA/SLG of .240/.359/.413

    As a team, during this period, the Yankees had an overall SLG mark of .482 (in 1,100 PA). And, New York went 21-7. Hey, thank goodness for that slugging infield and DH, right?

    Big Stein Sighting

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    Via Erik Boland -

    As they ascended the stairs leading from their dugout to the clubhouse after batting practice, Yankees players found a surprise visitor waiting for them.

    George Steinbrenner attended last night’s game, spending about 40 minutes talking with players and Joe Girardi in the manager’s office.

    Steinbrenner was said to be in good spirits beforehand and what he watched only could have lifted them as Joba Chamberlain turned in his third straight stellar start since the All-Star break in leading the Yankees to a 6-2 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

    Chamberlain, matching a career-long outing, shut out the Rays over eight innings, allowing three hits.

    These days, a public sighthing of Big Stein is about as rare as some Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin video of Theo Epstein leaving Fenway Park in a gorilla suit. So, when it happens, it’s worth noting. Related, has anyone seen Hank Steinbrenner lately? Sometimes it seems like ol’ Hank went on a fishing trip with Sal Bonpensiero and Luca Brasi, doesn’t it?

    July 29th @ The Rays

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (9)

    Joba Chamberlain’s Game Score for this one was 79.

    The only other time he had a Game Score that high was on July 25, 2008 (which was also 79). The only other times, besides this game and that one against Boston last year, where he had a Game Score of 70+ were on July 24, 2009 (72) and on April 29, 2009 (70).

    So, you can say two things here:

    1. In this game, Chamberlain pitched one of the two best games that he’s ever thrown as a big league starter. And,
    2. With this game, Chamberlain has now thrown his best back-to-back starts as a major league starter.

    Oh, and, by the way, he could not have picked a better time, or opponent to do this against, as this was a big game for the Yankees. Now, if Joba keeps this up, will the Yankees still look to limit his innings pitched this season? Ah, that’s a tough one, huh?

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