• Brett Tomko? See Ya!

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Peter Abraham writes :

    UPDATE, 5:46 p.m.: Brett Tomko was released.

    To think, 1 day he might get a world series ring. ;)

    - Posted by Corey

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 7/29/09

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

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    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (0)

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

    The Two Sides Of Damon’s 200th Homer

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    I just noticed this on Pete Abe’s blog today, about Johnny Damon:

    With his 200th career homer on Monday, Johnny Damon is now one of 14 players all-time with at least 200 homers, 300 steals and 2,000 hits. The only other active player is Bobby Abreu. The list also includes Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson, Willie Mays, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan and Ryne Sandberg.

    It’s funny, just yesterday, Lee Sinins told me that Johnny Damon is the only player in history to hit 200+ HR and be more than 50 HR worse than the league average:

    PLAYER		DIFF	PLAYER	LEAGUE
    Johnny Damon	-54	200	254
    Roberto Alomar	-48	210	258
    Paul Molitor	-44	234	278
    Derek Jeter	-38	217	255
    Craig Biggio	-23	291	314
    Marquis Grissom	-19	227	246
    Robin Yount	-12	251	263
    Buddy Bell	-7	201	208
    Rick. Henderson	-5	297	302
    Brooks Robinson	-2	268	270
    

    Sorta like being a fly on the wall during an arbitration hearing, huh?

    Yanks Out Of Another Option

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    ESPN Sources: Lee to the Phillies

    h/t to G.I. Joey

    With this, the Red Sox become favorites in the Doc Halladay sweepstakes and the Yankees lose yet another potential trade partner today to fill the void vacated by Chien-Ming Wang. With news of Wang’s need for surgery and that he might miss a good portion of next season, Cashman has to at least kick the tires on Halladay, if for nothing else, to drive the Red Sox cost up.

    - Posted By Corey

    Snell, Wilson Headed To M’s

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (18)

    ESPN – Snell, Wilson headed to M’s

    The Mariners would not make this trade if they were not going to try and make a playoff run. How does this affect the Yanks? Well for one, this means that Washburn is no longer a trade option. Also, the Yanks had been scouting Snell as another possible option for a trade and now that’s also out. So, with those 2 options out, how do you fill the hole vacated by Wang? And what about Joba and his innings limit?

    - Posted By Corey

    Daisuke Matsuzaka Making Kei Igawa Look Good?

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (6)

    Via Tony Massarotti

    As it turns out, they have divas in Japan, too.

    They have multimillion-dollar athletes who take all of the credit and none of the blame, and they have overpaid excuse-makers just as proficient at passing the buck. Apparently, at least in Daisuke Matsuzaka’s house, they just don’t have mirrors.

    “I think we all share, in a word, that it’s disappointing,” Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell said a short time ago in the Boston clubhouse — veins all but bulging from his neck — in response to critical comments made by Daisuke Matsuzaka. Added Farrell when asked if he was frustrated, “The disappointment comes in airing his dirty laundry.”

    Disappointed? No, no, no. The Red Sox are not disappointed. They are downright angry. At instants during an impromptu gathering in the middle of the clubhouse prior to tonight’s game with the Oakland Athletics, Farrell looked as if his head were about to explode. The truth is that the Red Sox were tired of Matsuzaka’s high-maintenance act a long time ago, but they kept their mouths shut and put up with it because Matsuzaka won games.

    Now that Matsuzaka is the possessor of a 1-5 record and 8.23 ERA, the gloves are coming off, though it should be stressed that Matsuzaka threw the first punch here. As the saying goes, you truly find out about a person’s character during the bad times more than you do the good times. Matsuzaka returned from Florida on Friday to check in with Sox doctors and officials, a meeting after which Francona sat before assembled media and expressed optimism that the lines of communication were more open than ever with his struggling pitcher.

    Within days, based on an interpretation that first appeared on WEEI.com, Matsuzaka told the Japanese media the following: “If I’m forced to continue to train in this environment, I may no longer be able to pitch like I did in Japan. The only reason why I managed to win games during the first and second years [in the United States] was because I used the savings of the shoulder I built up in Japan. Since I came to the Major Leagues, I couldn’t train in my own way, so now I’ve lost all those savings.”

    Is he kidding with this? Really? Last season, while going 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA, Matsuzaka became the first major league starter in history to win 18 or more games with as few as 167-2/3 innings pitched. He ranked fifth in the majors in run support. Matsuzaka threw the shocking average of precisely 17.3 pitches per inning in 29 starts and, on average, pitched roughly 5 2/3 innings per outing, which means he got support from than just the Red Sox offense. He got support from the Boston bullpen, too.

    But ask him and Matsuzaka will tell you the only reason why I managed to win games during the first and second years [in the United States] was because I used the savings of the shoulder I built up in Japan.

    What Matsuzaka did not say, of course, was that he showed up in camp this year looking like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. (What’s the Japanese word for doughboy, anyway?) Asked about Matsuzaka’s strength when the pitcher returned from the World Baseball Classic, Farrell said at the time that Matsuzaka graded out well when the club tested the pitcher’s shoulder. In retrospect, what Farrell did not say was that Matsuzaka looked like he spent the winter eating cheeseburgers, which the Red Sox believe contributed to the pitcher’s problems.

    “It’s not just the shoulder,” Farrell said tonight when asked about the importance of proper conditioning. “When the overall body is not in the condition necessary to support that, there has to be some responsibility taken [on the part of the pitcher.]”

    Like we said, Matsuzaka apparently doesn’t have many mirrors in his home.

    Hey, is Farrell calling Matsuzaka a fat pussy toad? Gotta love it…

    Wild Thought: Yanks HOF Lobbyist Trio Forming?

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (19)

    Today’s wild thought is a two-for-one special – meaning you get two wild thoughts for the price of one. And, boy, are they wild!

    It’s pretty much a given that Joe Torre, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, someday. And, it’s a pretty safe bet that Mo Rivera will retire before Derek Jeter – so Rivera gets in before Jeter. Unless…

    And, here’s wild thought #1: Should the Yankees, and Rivera, set it up so that Mo Rivera comes back to throw one meaningless pitch in a September game during Jeter’s last season – in order to set up a situation where Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are on the H.O.F. ballot, for the first time, together – and therefore have a chance to go into the Hall together? Yeah, I know – that’s crazy. But, I thought of it today – and, this is supposed to be about wild thoughts…

    O.K., moving on to wild thought #2 – which is not as wild as the first one. Assume that Torre, Jeter and Rivera are in the Hall – and, as such, then have a chance to vote on players who are not elected by the baseball writers. Does this help the future chances of guys like Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada – should these three not get elected to the Hall by the writers? Think about it. When Torre, Jeter and Rivera talk, the other Hall of Fame members will listen. And, you would have to think that Torre, Jeter and Rivera would be talking up Bernie, ‘Sado and Andy as much as possible – when the time comes, no?

    What do you think?

    Randy Levine On Yanks Tickets Sales

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Via Darren Rovell, Randy Levine comments on Yankees tickets sales. Per Levine:

    “We’ve sold over 90 percent of all tickets available this year in our new stadium, which as the mayor will tell you, is an absolutely beautiful stadium. It has lived up to all our expectations. We’re very sensitive to the economy. We’re reviewing everything and looking to see where we can be better and where we can improve. In a couple weeks, hopefully we’ll be prepared to come out with our new plans and programs for next year.”

    Imagine if they actually try and raise prices for next season?

    Abraham: Major Surgery For Wang

    Posted by on July 28th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Via Pete Abe -

    [Chien-Ming] Wang needs a tear in his capsule repaired, apparently. The capsule is the soft-tissue membrane. Typically, the capsule is tightened in surgery.

    The Yankees either don’t know or aren’t saying how long Wang will be out. But it will be for the rest of this season and quite likely some of next season as well. This will be Wang’s second shoulder surgery in eight years.

    There’s no way the Yankees are going to give Sergio Mitre ten-plus starts, with Wang out, from here until October. Considering that every decent Yankees starting pitching prospect in the minors is disabled, or so it seems, expect a trade for a starting pitcher soon.

    July 28th @ The Rays

    Posted by on July 28th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    What a bizarro game. CC Sabathia only goes 5 2/3 innings pitched and Scott Kazmir goes 7 innings pitched. What are the odds of that happening in the same game? (Although, Sabathia was done in by some bad fielding from Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Derek Jeter.)

    Michael Kay, covering the game for YES, described the Yankees play in this one as “flat and sloppy.” As much as many often like to disagree with Kay’s calls, I doubt many who watched this game could beef about this one. Dead, solid, perfect, Michael. Flat and sloppy, indeed.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 7/28/09

    Posted by on July 28th, 2009 · Comments (15)

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    Red Sox Making A Push For Halladay?

    Posted by on July 28th, 2009 · Comments (15)

    Via Gordon Edes

    The Boston Red Sox have offered at least three players – no-hit pitcher Clay Buchholz, Triple-A pitching prospect Michael Bowden and top outfield prospect Ryan Westmoreland – to the Toronto Blue Jays for ace Roy Halladay, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Because the Blue Jays, who are vigorously shopping Marco Scutaro, are also looking for a shortstop, the Red Sox may be trying to draw a third team into negotiations to satisfy Toronto’s need.

    Both of Boston general manager Theo Epstein’s trading-deadline blockbusters of the last five years have involved multiple teams: When the Red Sox traded shortstop Nomar Garciaparra at the deadline in 2004, three other teams were involved – the Twins (who sent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to Boston), the Expos (who dealt shortstop Orlando Cabrera to Boston), and the Cubs (who acquired Garciaparra and prospects). Last year, Epstein traded Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers in a three-way deal in which the Red Sox acquired left fielder Jason Bay from the Pirates.

    Beckett, Lester and Halladay in the same rotation? Should the Yankees be scared?

    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on July 28th, 2009 · Comments (0)

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

    Do Yanks Really Rake, Or, Does It Depend?

    Posted by on July 28th, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Here’s how the Yankees offense, as a team, has done (to date) this season split by opponent:

    Opponent	PA	HR	BB	SO	BA	OBP	SLG	BAbip
    Texas Rangers	251	10	26	31	.349	.428	.560	.371
    Oakland A's	256	9	32	45	.308	.395	.509	.353
    New York Mets	249	11	34	29	.271	.378	.514	.267
    Minnesota Twins	285	10	30	41	.300	.380	.490	.323
    Balt. Orioles	453	24	49	62	.266	.350	.518	.260
    Tampa Bay Rays	352	17	36	48	.260	.337	.508	.258
    Tor. Blue Jays	285	10	32	46	.278	.368	.476	.306
    Sea. Mariners	108	5	8	18	.281	.333	.500	.289
    Cl. Indians	319	12	41	40	.266	.369	.461	.273
    L.A. Angels	241	9	26	38	.282	.369	.459	.305
    Atlanta Braves	132	3	19	19	.275	.388	.422	.310
    Detroit Tigers	229	8	24	34	.277	.355	.455	.298
    Boston Red Sox	329	10	33	67	.267	.347	.420	.315
    Ph. Phillies	112	6	2	21	.266	.279	.477	.280
    Florida Marlins	112	1	11	20	.257	.330	.366	.313
    K.C. Royals	111	1	11	29	.222	.300	.333	.304
    Was. Nationals	105	2	11	9	.204	.286	.312	.205
    

    As you can see, New York has beat up on the pitching staffs of the Rangers, A’s, Mets, Twins and Orioles pretty good this year. And, on the flipside, New York has not done all that well against the pitching of the Nationals, Royals, Marlins, Phillies and Red Sox.

    What does this all mean? Well, I think you can throw out the numbers against the Nats, Royals, and Marlins, and Phils – since they had less than 150 PA (each) against those teams.

    But, the O’s, Twins, A’s and Mets all have below league average pitching this season. So, does this mean the Yankees can only bash against below average pitchers? What do you think?

    July 27th @ The Rays

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (39)

    O.K., be honest, were you a little nervous about this one when it was 5-1, Yanks, in the sixth, when the Rays had runners on first and third, with no outs, and Evan Longoria at the plate?

    O.K., how about during the eighth inning, when it was 7-3, Yanks, when the Rays had runners on first and second, albeit with two outs, and Carlos Pena at the plate? Were you nervous then?

    Com’on…be honest.

    Well, I was nervous in the eighth, for sure. But, New York got out of that one and then blew the game open in the ninth. Good thing, too – since the Rays came out swinging in the ninth as well.

    The Yanks had 22 baserunners in 9 innings during this one. But, even with all those great At Bats, I’m going with A.J. Burnett as the star of this game – as he was all you could hope for in a big game like this one. A very impressive win for Brian Cashman’s eighty-two-point-five million dollar man. And, a great game for the Yankees to win – given the opponent, location, standings and calendar.

    I Fell Asleep During The 9th Inning Of Today’s Yankees Game…

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    …and I had this crazy dream where Yankees Assistant G.M. Jean Afterman reportedly went into the clubhouse of the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate for the Yankees, and she ripped off her shirt during a team meeting. Immediately afterwards, the Yankees organization attempted to extinguish reports on the story although the New York media ran crazy with it. (The back page of The Post carried the headline “Yanks Brass Special: Two Fried Eggs, Grade AA” the day after the incident with Afterman happened.)

    Eventually, the Yankees had no choice and dismissed Afterman. And, then, it really got wacky. During a press conference to address the termination, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman accused former Yankees beat writer Moss Klein for causing all this trouble – despite the fact that Klein had been off the Yankees beat since 1992 – claiming that Klein once asked former Yankees G.M. Harding Peterson (who is also the father of former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson) for a job in the Yankees orgainzation, was turned down, and never really got over it. As Cashman put it at the press conference:

    I had gone up to Westchester. I go there every Tuesday. I do charity for the blind in my spare time for the Lighthouse. I was in the middle of a game of Parcheesi with an old blind man and I excused myself to return a text message from Moss Klein as he was very depressed lately because he never became a Yankee. You see, it’d been his lifelong dream to be a Yankee, and, he, uh, just the day before he was turned down by another Yankees ballclub. I believe it was the Manufacturer’s Hanover Yankees for a Little League in Teaneck. That was the third Yankees team to turn him down so I was…I was a little concerned. I wanted to see how he was doing. Well, members of the media, he was barely texting. But I distinctly recall him writing…if Afterman goes topless in Trenton one day, and the story gets out, can I have her job?

    Like I said, crazy dream, huh? I wonder what the heck brought that all on? Oh, well, as Jean Afterman, in the dream, reportedly said to Trenton Thunder catcher Jesus Montero during her meeting there, “Ta-ta for now…”

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 7/27/09

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (12)

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    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (0)

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

    Wild Thought: The Tampa Series, What If?

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    So, the Yankees head into Tampa today for a three game set with the Rays – and New York has their three hard-throwers in the rotation set up to pitch this one (meaning Burnett, Sabathia and Chamberlain).

    This leads to today’s wild thought: What if the Rays take it to A.J., CC and Joba and sweep the Yankees in this one – putting themselves just 4 games back, in the loss column, behind the Yankees.

    Will New York just shrug it off, and move on to their next series, or, would a sweep by Tampa (against the Yankees stud starters) set off all kinds of crazy things in Yankeeland that will mean bad news for the team? What do you think?

    July 2009 Survey Question #4

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Please consider taking the following poll:

    {democracy:68}

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

    Lamster On New Yank Stadium & CitiField

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (15)

    I’m a week late to the party on this, but, in case you missed it, check out Mark Lamster’s feature on the two new ballparks in New York. It’s a very interesting read. Here’s a snip:

    When I first started attending games on my own, some 20 years ago, a ticket to the Yankee bleachers cost $1.50, pocket change even for a kid on a tight allowance. That same ticket now costs $14: not an unreasonable sum, but more than a movie and enough to keep a student on a limited budget from making it too much of a habit. The new stadium, for that matter, doesn’t beg that kind of relationship. It’s a special-occasion place, somewhere to visit a couple of times a season. Why empty your wallet for an entertainment event that might not be entertaining? (Even the best teams lose roughly 40 percent of their games.) When you’re stuck in the nosebleed seats, and a beer, a dog, and a bag of peanuts cost upward of 20 bucks, thoughts of exploitation inevitably percolate through the mind. It is in those moments that the fan-team compact seems hopelessly broken, and one begins to wonder about the difference between being a fan and being a chump. Sometimes it seems like there’s no difference at all.

    When Mark says that the new Yankee Stadium is “a special-occasion place, somewhere to visit a couple of times a season,” I believe that he’s dead-on with that one.

    And, that’s sad. Me? In a perfect world, I would go to Yankee Stadium about nine times a season. And, I would want to bring my wife and kids with me at least half of those times. But, today, I cannot afford to do that.

    It was possible in the 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s. Heck, it was even possible in 2001. But, today? No – not at all. Shame. I hope the Yankees realize what they’re doing here…squeezing out the diehard fan with a family who wants to go to games more than just four or five times a season…

    Week 16 – 2009

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    What stands out the most in my mind, this past week, is that the Yankees beat up on the Orioles and A’s, going 6-1 in the process. And, watching that, it’s sad to see what’s happened to Oakland and Baltimore.

    I became a baseball fan in 1973. And, at that time, the O’s and A’s were the two best teams in the American League.

    Now, granted, 1973 was a long time ago. But, Baltimore was very good in 1996 and 1997 – when the Yankees began their return to glory. And, while the Yankees were going great under Joe Torre, New York had to deal with Oakland in the post-seasons of 2000 and 2001.

    And…sure…the Orioles and A’s have some good prospects today…but, right now, I’m not so sure if the starting line-ups of Oakland and Baltimore are better than the Louisville Bats or Durham Bulls?

    Wait. I take that back. They’re better – just not all that much better. The Yankees should have gone 6-1 this week. Actually, it was almost a gimmie.

    G-Force

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    We took the kids, ages 5 and 7, to see G-Force this evening. It’s sort of Alvin and the Chipmunks meets The Transformers.

    One bad sign: I didn’t hear a lot of people – kids or adults – laughing at some of the lines that were supposed to be funny in this one. And, myself, I probably only chuckled at a few of them.

    Our seven-year old thought the 3D in Monsters vs Aliens was better – but, then again, that one was all animated. Our five-year seemed to like the soundtrack most of all from this one. (However, he’s really into the Black Eyed Peas, so, his reaction is expected.) My wife’s review, when asked: “Well, at least this one had a story to it.” Me? As kids’ movies go, I’ve seen worse – but, I’ve also seen much better too.

    My recommendation: If your local movies has a discount day, like Tuesdays or something, and you really want to see this one, go then – and don’t pay the full price to see it. For the four of us, this evening, it was $52 for the four tickets – and I didn’t come away with the feeling that we got our money’s worth.

    Actually, my kids might have gotten just as big a kick from watching this promo/commerical that they showed before the coming attractions:

    I told them that was Derek Jeter as one of the knights. But, they were more interested in Usain Bolt’s Mr. Potato Head.

    Wang’s Wing Whacked

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Via Pete Abe -

    Here’s an update on Chien-Ming Wang: When he got the second MRI on Tuesday, it revealed a possible rotator-cuff tear. The question is whether it’s a new injury or scar tissue from the operation he had back in 2000.

    Because Dr. James Andrews did that surgery, he will examine Wang on Tuesday and figure it all out. If Wang does have a new tear, he’ll be out the rest of this season and part of 2010.

    Lisfranc? My foot! Here comes your demerit, Mr. Cashman.

    July 26th vs. The A’s

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (7)

    The big hits for the Yankees in this one:

    The two-out RBI by Godzilla and Cano in the first.
    And, the first-pitch, one-out, RBI single by Jeter in the sixth.

    Without those three hits, and bringing Rivera into the game in the 8th, then New York doesn’t win this game.

    But, in any event, the days of just sneaking by the Tigers and feasting off the O’s and A’s are over now. Next, the Yankees hit the road for three in Tampa, four in Chicago, and two in Toronto…before coming back home to face Boston for four and Toronto for another three.

    The Yankees next 16 games will be very interesting. And, here’s why:

    With today’s results, New York has a 2.5 game lead in the A.L. East.

    If they tread water over their next 16 games, and find themselves still just 2.5 games up at the close of business on August 12th, then it could get ugly for the Yankees after that – because they have a west coast trip starting on August 13th (with seven games against the M’s and A’s, combined) and, next, they head into Fenway Park for three tough games. And, you want a little more cushion (than 2.5 games) in the standings before that west coast trip and Fenway set.

    Related, you don’t want to lose any games off that 2.5 game lead over these next 16 games, because then you’re on thin ice, or have fallen through the ice, before you head west and then hit the Fens.

    Ideally, you’d like to see the Yankees go crazy – well, if you’re a fan of the team, like me – and see New York win 11 of their next 16 games before that west coast trip starting on August 13th. Can they do it? I really don’t know…

    To be honest, while I’m wishing for the Yankees to go 11-5 over their next 16 games, it would not shock me to see them go 7-9 during this span as well…

    So, maybe I should just split the difference and expect them to go something like 9-7 between now and August 13th? Then again, that would be just about treading water, no?

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 7/26/09

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (2)

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    O’s Reporter Shutout By Yank Stadium Muscle

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via Bob Raissman -

    Yankees security people, aka the Trost Toasties, continue to play bully-ball. On Tuesday, they prevented a scene, one that would encourage more parents to bring kids to the ballpark, from getting maximum exposure.

    Happened Tuesday night (Orioles-Yankees). On the Baltimore TV broadcast, viewers got pictures of a kid, wearing an Orioles cap, having a great time. He was sitting in primo (front of the moat) seats. So happy was this young man, O’s voices Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer kept commenting on him.

    They suggested their grandstand reporter, Amber Theoharis, interview the child. She tried. Well-embedded (concrete) moat moles report as Theoharis made her way toward the young fan, she was intercepted by the Toasties. When it was suggested she just pass the microphone down to the kid, the Toasties would not let the microphone travel in front of the moat.

    Fortunately, Theoharis just split. Dissing a Toastie could be hazardous to your health.

    Holy Elaine Benes Batman!

    I wonder if the Toastie told Amber Theohans “Who would cross the Trost Moat of Yankee Stadium must answer me these questions three, ere the other side she see….”

    Brett Gardner Disabled Due To Broken Thumb

    Posted by on July 26th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Via Pete Abe’s Blog -

    Brett Gardner is on the disabled list with a broken left thumb. He did it sliding into second base yesterday when he broke up a double play in the first inning. Amazingly, he stayed in the rest of the game, had an RBI triple and made two great catches in the eighth inning.

    Ronnie Lott and Carlos May jokes aside, this is a bummer for Gardner, the Yanks, and their fans. Hopefully Brett will heal fast and well. However, that said, a thumb injury for a hitter is terrible – and you have to make sure it’s 100% before you come back to ensure you don’t risk re-injuring it. This could be a while…

    Tomorrow’s Fun: Rickey Time!

    Posted by on July 25th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Via John Shea:

    He hit. He walked. He ran. He stole. He scored. Now he’ll speak.

    Rickey Henderson, let’s hear it.

    Today’s has to be the most anticipated speech in Hall of Fame history, doesn’t it? There was Yogi Berra, whose unique style of word usage has gone commercial. Dennis Eckersley, who had his own language, “Eck-speak.” Bill Mazeroski, who said basically nothing in his Hall of Fame speech, too broken up to read his 12 pages.

    Now it’s Rickey’s time, and nobody does English like Rickey.

    Asked if he heard from Hall of Famers on what to expect with his speech, Rickey said, “They told me don’t be too long because they’ll talk about me and go to sleep. So I’m trying to keep it under the time zone.”

    And …

    “It’s been hectic, man. You know, speech and me don’t even get along sometimes.”

    And …

    “I wasn’t a doctor or professor. So me trying to write a speech or read a speech, that’s kind of like putting a tie too tight around my neck.”

    Until now, the speech Henderson is known for most came after he broke Lou Brock’s all-time steals record at the Coliseum in 1991. “Lou Brock was the symbol of great basestealing. But today, I’m the greatest of all time,” he said, drawing heaps of criticism.

    It was one sound bite in a longer address in which he thanked God, fans, Oakland, the A’s, ownership, friends, Billy Martin and, most of all, his mother. But the “greatest of all time” line is what’s played over and over.

    Regardless, it was all Rickey. From his heart.

    That’s his aim today, too.

    “You try to leave out nobody,” Henderson said. “You tell the story of how you got there, the road you took, and thank everybody. You talk about the organizations and the people you played with, all the people who helped me along the way, who gave me the opportunity for being where I am today.

    “That’s what you try to do, and I ain’t going to get it all in. The guys already told me I’ve got a short period of time, and they don’t want me to talk fast because I’m going to mess up everything.”

    That’s why Henderson sought help and went back to school. Literally.

    Before coming to Cooperstown, he attended a half-dozen of Earl Robinson’s speech classes at Oakland’s Laney College, reading his speech to students and accepting critique. Robinson, who played for the 1958 Dodgers and early ’60s Orioles, got to know Rickey when working for the A’s in the ’80s and was reintroduced to him by Fred Atkins, Rickey’s close friend, and Jim Guinn, the scout who signed him.

    At first, Rickey read Robinson a rough draft. Then Robinson suggested some class time, and Rickey was all for it and tweaked his speech after getting input from Robinson’s students.

    “He’s prepared as well as he can be,” Robinson said. “I anticipate he’ll give a heartfelt speech.”

    While nothing will ever beat the Scooter’s speech, I’m really looking forward to hearing Rickey Henderson tomorrow. Should be a blast.

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