• Joba’s Cap

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

    What was going on with Joba Chamberlain’s baseball cap which he wore in the game that he pitched today?

    JobaHat

    Sorta looks like it was made out of scraps from Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress or something?

    By the way, is it just me, or, is Joba starting to look like a young Art LaFleur?

    Verducci: Mariano Saves

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

    If you haven’t read this one yet, what are you waiting for?

    Where Have Yanks Bats Gone?

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

    Since September 7th, the Yankees have played 22 games – including the contest of September 30th. In these 22 games, New York has scored 111 runs – which is an average of 5.05 runs per game. And, that’s a nice rate.

    However, there are three games during this 22-game span which make this R/G rate seem better than it should be…and they are:

    September 7, 2009 – where the Yankees scored 11 runs in the second game of a double-header…pounding Andy Sonnanstine, who had nothing in that game.

    September 13, 2009 – where the Yankees scored 13 runs…feasting off the soft-under-belly of the O’s bullpen, plating 8 runs in the 8th inning.

    September 19, 2009 – where the Yankees scored 10 runs…beating up on a 25-year old rookie starter by the name of “Douglas Wildes Fister.”

    When you remove these three “gimmie” games from the picture, it means the Yankees have averaged 4.05 R/G in those other 19 contests. Oh, and, by the way, the American League average for runs scored per game is 4.82 R/G – which means the superior Yankees offense, since September 7th, sans three lay-up laughers, has been below league average in terms of scoring runs (on a R/G basis).

    Or, in other words, for just about the entire last month of the season, outside of three games, the Yankees batters are plating runs like they are the Kansas City Royals or Seattle Mariners – the bottom two team in the A.L. this year, to date, in terms of their R/G ratio. (The Royals R/G mark is 4.2 and the M’s are at 3.9 R/G.)

    If this carries into October, it could be bad news for the good citizens of Yankeeland in the post-season.

    September 30th vs. The Royals

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

    Joba and the Yankees bats? Not tonight…

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 9/30/09

    Posted by on September 30th, 2009 · Comments (44)

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    Big 45 For 27 In Game 5

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

    No matter which ALDS “option” the Yankees choose this October, Game 5 of the 2009 ALDS is scheduled to be played on October 14th – which is also Joe Girardi’s 45th birthday.

    I wonder what kind of birthday it will be for Joe this year?

    2009 A.L. Manager Of The Year

    Posted by on September 29th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    This has to be a race between Joe Girardi, Mike Scioscia, Ron Washington and Ron Gardenhire, right?

    For what it’s worth, Girardi was the 2006 N.L. Manager of the Year. And, the only Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland have won the award in both leagues. If General Joe can pull it off the season, he’ll be only the 5th MGR in big league history to do it. Sure, the awards only been around since 1983…but, getting one in each league still says something…

    What do you think? Should Girardi win the award?

    Count On Jose Molina Catching A.J. Burnett In Post-Season

    Posted by on September 29th, 2009 · Comments (17)

    As recent as August 23rd, we heard that A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada were not working well together. So, what’s happened since then? Here it is:

    August 27, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 6 IP and allows 3 ER.

    September 1, 2009: With Jorge Posada catching him, Burnett goes 5.3 IP and allows 6 ER.

    September 7, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 6 IP and allows 1 ER.

    September 12, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 7 IP and allows 6 ER. A second inning grand slam by Brian Roberts did Burnett in - but, A.J. finished his outing by retiring 17 of the final 19 batters he faced, including eight straight after Roberts’ big fly.

    September 18, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 7 IP and allows 1 ER.

    September 23, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 5.6 IP and allows 2 ER.

    September 29, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 6.3 IP and allows 1 ER.

    O.K., so, check it out…

    …since the reports of Posada and Burnett having issues, Jose Molina has caught Burnett six times (compared to just once for Posada). And, the one time that Posada caught Burnett since the reports, A.J. got ripped. Further, in the games that Molina has caught Burnett, since that August report, A.J. has done very well.

    Looks like Jose Molina will be catching A.J. Burnett in the post-season this year for the Yankees, no?

    September 29th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on September 29th, 2009 · Comments (24)

    The minute I saw Kyle Farnsworth come in and attempt and close this game for the Royals, two words came to my mind: Walk-off.

    And, New York did it. In what might be the most bizarre 9th inning comeback ever…when you look at who did what…and the nature of the first and last hit of the inning.

    This makes 50 come from behind wins this season for the Yankees and 15 walk-off wins to boot. What a magical season, huh?

    Yankeeist

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

    There’s a brand new Yankees blog on the scene: Yankeeist

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

    Biggest Loser Season 8

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

    Jillian’s reaction after Tracey’s weigh-in was priceless. But, if you saw it, you already know that. And, if you didn’t, then you have no idea what this is about…

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 9/29/09

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

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    Chuck Knoblauch In The News

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

    Via the Houston Chronicle with a h/t to BBTF

    Former New York Yankees star Chuck Knoblauch surrendered to authorities this morning after being charged with assault.

    The former major leaguer is accused of choking his common-law wife Friday night after drinking heavily and taking the anti-anxiety prescription drug Xanax, prosecutors said.

    Assistant District Attorney Kari Allen told State District Judge Hazel Jones that the couple was arguing and Knoblauch’s wife was trying to take his car keys away from him when the alleged assault occurred. She said a family friend saw Knoblauch beat, punch and choke his wife.

    The two are divorcing and have a 5-year-old child.

    Knoblauch, 41, was charged with assault of a family member, a third-degree felony. He is being held in Harris County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

    Knoblauch’s attorney, Dan Cogdell, called the incident a dispute between two divorcing people and said charges should not have been filed.

    This goes back to my Mell Hall beef back in 2007.

    Chuck played with the Twins for seven seasons – and he played in New York for four years. Yet, when it’s bad news to report…they’re always a “former Yankee.” It’s just not right…

    September 2009 Survey Question #4

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

    Please consider taking the following poll:

    {democracy:75}

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

    Interview With The Chicken

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

    FamousChickenWhen I was much younger, one of the more enjoyable moments of watching “This Week In Baseball” during the late 1970′s and early 1980′s was seeing highlights that featured “The Famous Chicken,” also known more commonly as “The San Diego Chicken.” Related, it was also fun to see “The Chicken” do his thing, during the early 1980′s on “The Baseball Bunch” show (with Johnny Bench).

    However, my “Chicken” viewing was limited to what I saw on T.V. – until 2008.

    While attending Lakewood BlueClaws games last year and this season, I was very fortunate to be there while “The Chicken” was making an appearance. It would be an understatement to say he stole the show – both times. It was incredibly great fun.

    If you’ve never seen “The Chicken” appear in person, you owe it to yourself to check him out the next time you get a chance.

    Recently, I had an opportunity to conduct a “Q&A” with Ted Giannoulas – who has been the man inside “The Chicken” suit all these years. Indeed, he is the one and only “Famous Chicken.” Our exchanges follow herein.

    WW: The Chicken has been performing at ballparks and other venues now for 35 years. How have you managed to maintain your zest and energy after all these years and performances?

    Giannoulas: I can honestly say that, at the risk of sounding cliche, it’s the audience’s energy I tap into and feed off with real zeal. The laughter, adulation and applause are all currency to any comic and is quite motivational. Hearing the roar cascade from thousands of people in the grandstand each night on my visual jokes is virtually spiritual because you know you’ve touched the hot button on hearts.

    It’s like the old adage goes — “Don’t laugh, it only encourages him.” Well, as irreverent of a career as I’ve had, that’s certainly proven true. Man, I love this country!

    WW: After what must seem like countless performances, is there one appearance, above all others, that you will always remember because of the energy the audience provided (or because of some other positive reason)? Which appearance was that? On the flip side, has there been one appearance or venue in your career that, in retrospect, you’d like to do differently, or not have done at all – and why?

    Giannoulas: Yes, there have been many performances that each had an significant impetus on my career, but there is one defining moment that stands out. It’s my Grand Hatching ceremony at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego) on June 29, 1979 when I debuted my new outfit of feathers after being fired by my radio station employers seven weeks previously. This was my first game back, even under the threat of a court order not to appear.

    In a story that was actual front page news in San Diego and attracted national attention (even Walter Cronkite dispatched a reporter), the station had filed a lawsuit to prevent me from working in any chicken suit — which I was contesting (and obviously eventually won). Meanwhile, I designed a new costume and presented it in an elaborate ceremony before the Padre game on this night. Baseball historians have called the event, arguably, the greatest promotion in the history of the game.

    A sellout crowd of 47,000 (rare back then) turned out for the Hatching, complete with a 10 foot sculptured egg (where I was enclosed), entry onto the stadium field atop an armored truck with California Highway Patrol escort and the assistance of the entire Padre team to lower the egg from the truck rooftop onto the diamond. It was there I hatched to an enormous standing ovation that lasted 10 minutes, even the game time was moved back 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, as for the flip side, there isn’t a game I wish I had done differently or not at all. However, there was a single night at the Continental Arena in New Jersey in the 1980′s that stands out for it’s unique non-reaction from the audience.

    I was invited to perform at a MAAC Conference playoff basketball game between Fordham and St. Peter’s where the crowd simply did not care for any of my comedic antics during the game and time outs. Instead, the respective student bodies in attendance were bent on screaming trash talk at each other across the floor throughout the whole game, non-stop. Only when it was time for me to take to the court for my bits, did both sides go quiet, watch the act quietly (without any laughs) and then, upon completion, resumed their loud tirades at one another. It was the only time at a sports event where I felt like a fish out of water.

    WW: I would assume that most of your appearances have been at baseball parks with the majority of them being Padres games as that’s where you got started. During your time at the ballparks, were you able to establish any relationships with the players? If yes, are there any players, retired or active, that you consider to be a good friend today? Who is it? Is there someone who you wished you could have had forged a relationship with, in baseball, via your appearances, that you were not able to connect with?

    Giannoulas: Actually, I haven’t done as many Padre games after the ’70′s because of the volume of requests I began receiving from other teams across the country, MLB and their farm clubs, to perform for their fans. As a result, for more than 25 years, my career has been a schedule of one night stand engagements, making the premise of developing friendships in the industry a little fleeting.

    Still, I can count on many good acquaintances from every era of all sports with all kinds of athletes, broadcasters, executives and officials. The more notable ones in baseball are Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Guillen, Terry Francona, Ozzie Smith, Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, the late Ray Kroc, Ted Turner, David Wells, Buck Showalter, Mickey Lolich, Rick Dempsey, Jose Canseco, Bill (Spaceman) Lee, Jim Bouton, Felipe Alou, Don Sutton, umpires Rich Garcia, Don Denkinger, Harry Wendlestandt, Joe West, Frank Pulli, the late Durwood Merrill, all three generations of the broadcasting Careys and hundreds more. They’ve all bestowed immense kindnesses toward me over the years.

    Meanwhile, there isn’t anyone in baseball I can think of being curious to meet other than perhaps, the late Bill Veeck. When he ran the White Sox in the ’70′s though, surprisingly, it was the Cubs who reached out and brought me to Wrigley Field as a marquee promotion for several years. What made the situation unprecedented was that, during the ’70′s, the Cubs were the most buttoned down, traditional organization in the game! (Not only did they refuse to play night games at home, they never even sold programs or allowed advertising anywhere, including the beer cups).

    After my debut in Wrigley (summer of ’78), the Chicago Tribune ran the headline: Cubs Out-Veeck Bill Veeck. Yet, it would’ve been nice to meet someone who was so fan friendly. The Padres’ Ray Kroc was also immensely favorable to fans and his good faith was a blessed catalyst in my career.

    WW: Agreed, it seems like Bill Veeck would have been drawn to The Chicken like a moth to a flame. It’s interesting how things do and don’t work out sometimes. Speaking of legends from baseball’s past, did you ever have a chance to meet Al Schacht and/or Max Patkin? If so, what was the like? And, which current mascot or ballpark performer do you enjoy working with and/or watching – and why?

    Giannoulas: I never was presented with the opportunity to meet Al Schacht and only met Max Patkin on three occasions, briefly. Interestingly, I never knew any of them for several years when I began as a mascot for a San Diego radio station and learned of them in the early ’80′s.

    Whenever I did meet Max, sad to say, it was a letdown of someone who called himself the Clown Prince of Baseball. He seemed cynical and truly bitter about many things in the game, to put it in the politest terms. Eventually, I also came to learn that he wasn’t very positive about me, either. By the same token, players and umpires privately cringed in discussing him.

    As for a favorite current mascot, I enjoy the KC Royals’ Slugger. He’s creative in his bits, original, energized and has the ability to improvise with fans. He’s the best of the MLB characters, but doesn’t get the attention he deserves being in the Midwest (although there’s a cameo shot of him in a current soft drink commercial).

    In the college ranks, the University of Florida’s Gator, Albert, always makes me laugh. The turtleneck letterman’s outfit is great, that snout can lip-sync the national anthem and the tail just adds to the humorous ridiculousness of it all as he acts out his sideline bits.

    WW: What would be your best advice for someone who expressed an interest in getting into the mascot/entertainer business? Does the old adage of “If you enjoy sausage, don’t ever go work in a sausage factory” apply? Or, do the positives outweigh any negatives? What are the best and worst elements of the job?

    Giannoulas: Surely, there are easier ways to work in sports or earn a living than in what I do as a performance comic. Yet personally, I have always enjoyed merging two of my favorite passions, sports and comedy.

    But in giving newbies advice, I suggest that they be very knowledgeable of the game, in fact follow it, have a high degree of energy, obviously enjoy people and know who their audience is. In addition, they should obtain an outfit that works well on their body type.

    The positives always outweigh the negatives. If you have a creative side, it’s a great outlet to improvise theatrics to a ready audience. If one wishes to further the image of the team or the sport itself, it’s a unique venue to represent because, in a general sense, a mascot does serve as a quasi-ambassador at large.

    The negatives are the inherently heated conditions of the work, the painstaking upkeep of the outfit and, for some, the mostly evening hours for the job. If you don’t have a true desire to be at the ballpark, this is not the employment for you.

    WW: Speaking of costumes, yours has been on exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York. How did that come about, and how do you feel about it being there?

    Giannoulas: Having me stuffed and mounted (which umpires would wholeheartedly love to see at any time!) in Cooperstown, is truly the highest honor of recognition possible. It’s profoundly touching and it always takes me aback whenever I pause to reflect on it.

    In 1999, the Hall made an unprecedented decision and approached me, out of the blue, about making a donation of the chicken suit for their archives. It was unique and historic because, for the first and only time, they reached out to honor an actual fan in the San Diego Chicken. (It should be noted that, despite all the Padre games, I’ve never been their employee. For years, I went to the games without charge and then later they would hire me as an independent contractor, much like a fireworks tech).

    A few years later, the Hall also began to collect the MLB teams’ mascot costumes as well. But to my knowledge, they haven’t displayed them for any long period of time as they have mine, which was featured in their seven year national museum exhibit tour, Baseball As America.

    Needless to say, being under the same roof with outfits worn by Ruth, Aaron, Robinson and other titans of the game, is as heady as it gets. As a result, I like to think that the Hall not only honors statistics, but lore as well.

    Moreover, it’s not lost on me that the only reason – the only one – that my feathers are presented in Cooperstown is because of the fans themselves. It’s of their laughter, their applause and their engaging, good faith embrace of my work that’s brought the attention that it has and for that, I am deeply and forever grateful.

    WW: Speaking of the fans, what’s the most common request made to The Chicken by his fans? On the other end of the spectrum, is there one fan request, above all others, that stands out the most to you? What was it and why was it so unique?

    Giannoulas: Easily the most common requests are for autographs and personal photos. But while that answer may seem cliche, what’s novel about it is that in 35 years, I accommodate every request of fans, starting late in the game and refusing to turn away anyone on any night. Because of that, I estimate that I’ve signed more than 1 million signatures and posed for hundreds of thousands of snapshots. Those have to be some kind of world records.

    Meanwhile, while performing, the most requested inning routine is the Baby Chicks bit where a series of toddlers dress as me and follow onto the diamond to copy my antics. It has become a staple of every performance because of its endearing nature.

    One request that stands out happened a few years back in Columbus, Ohio when I was appearing for the Yankees’ top farm club there at the time. A teacher approached me in the grandstand and asked if the class she was accompanying could say hello. I agreed and she then explained that they were all young blind students. As they were escorted to me, they started touching and feeling the whole outfit en masse, like bees on a honeycomb, squealing with laughter in utter delight and awe. I doubt that even lotto winners have been as happy.

    What’s significant was that they came to see a visual comic perform and could only watch with their ears as the audience would laugh around them throughout the evening. Yet, they seemed just as entertained and it was one of many moments that will always stay with me.

    WW: Well, I’ve seen you perform twice in person. Both times I had my wife and children with me. One time we had both sets of grandparents with us as well. And, I can share that the Baby Chicks routine went over big – with all us, each time. That moment at the Columbus Clippers game is quite outstanding. It’s interesting that the (one-time) Yankees farm club had you appear once, since the Yankees, at the big league level, seem to have a policy about not allowing mascots and the like on the field. Have you ever appeared at Yankee Stadium? Would you like to, if you haven’t? And, assuming the Yankees do have a no mascot on the field policy, what are you thoughts about a big league team having an approach like this towards not allowing entertainers on the field?

    Giannoulas: Actually, the Clippers have invited me to perform in 28 out of the last 29 years and I’ve seen many of the current and past Yankee stars play through, from Dave Righetti and Bernie Williams to Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

    Meanwhile, the farm clubs and MLB teams have always allowed me the free reign to perform with a few, insignificant exceptions in 35 years. That may stem from the trust that I’ve been lucky to accrue of players, umpires and executives in that I never try to impede the dignity of the game with the antics. (In fact, all of them have even suggested sketches for me to improvise during the game, some of which have since become regular Chicken routines).

    While I’ve never had the distinction of appearing at Yankee Stadium, I have tried to reach out for an invitation, but received no response in the past. Obviously, the front office culture is buttoned down and that’s to be respected because it succeeds for them. (By the way, the players’ attitude is superb when I’ve encountered them on the road).

    Still, it may come as a surprise that I favor the policy of denying mascots field access – for others. Frankly, with all due respect and no offense, many of the characters are unfunny and out of place for the diamond and nothing is an audience buzz-kill than jokes gone flat. The times I take to the field during inning breaks are with a confidence that I’ll exit a minute later with a jackpot gag for the crowd.

    WW: Three months ago, you were quoted in an AP feature on The Chicken saying that you would make a determination at year end as to whether or not you would “go another season.” What does the future hold for The Chicken?

    Giannoulas: Yes, I’ll be scheduling another summer of games nationwide for 2010. Like anyone else, I make decisions for the future on a relative basis these days, seeing how things like my energy level shake out. Pretty good, so far. No one can play forever though and eventually there may be a consideration to move onto other personal life experiences.

    To think that I’ve performed for audiences over 35 years when there are TV sitcoms that don’t even last 35 days says something for its staying power. In a future after I hang it up, the San Diego Chicken can always have life in computer animation, films, merchandising and a variety of other venues. I often wonder what Walt Disney first thought when he drew a caricature mouse on a napkin.

    That being said, when the day comes I stop performances at games, I’ll probably still continue with personal appearances for TV commercials, card shows and such, much like retired ballplayers. But as long as I own the character, it’s unlikely I’d send out a protege to take my place.

    It’s merely a thought that, just as no one else ever wore Yankee uniform number 3, no one else will don my coat of feathers.

    That’s it – and, of course, my thanks to Ted Giannoulas for granting WasWatching.com this interview!

    September 28th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on September 28th, 2009 · Comments (20)

    With Robbie Cano-don’tcha-know’s grand salami in this game, the Yankees now have 5 players this season with 25+ homeruns. Here are the other teams with 5+ players with 25+ homers in the same season:

     Year Lg Team              Number Players Matching
    +----+--+---------------------------------+------+------------------------+
     2003 AL Boston Red Sox    6 Garciaparra/Ramirez/Millar/Varitek/Nixon/Ortiz
     2005 AL Texas Rangers     5 Teixeira/Blalock/Soriano/Mench/Dellucci
     2002 AL Chicago White Sox 5 Ordonez/Konerko/Thomas/Lee/Valentin
     2000 AL Anaheim Angels    5 Vaughn/Glaus/Anderson/Salmon/Erstad
     1997 NL Colorado Rockies  5 Castilla/Galarraga/Walker/Bichette/Burks
     1996 AL Baltimore Orioles 5 Ripken/Palmeiro/Bonilla/Anderson/Hoiles
     1977 AL Boston Red Sox    5 Rice/Hobson/Scott/Fisk/Yastrzemski
     1956 NL Cincinnati Reds   5 Robinson/Bell/Post/Kluszewski/Bailey
    

     

    If Jimmy Rollins gets super hot this last week of the season, the 2009 Phillies can also join this club – as Rollins has 21 taters…and Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, and Raul Ibanez all have 25+ now.

    If Johnny Damon can hit one more homerun this season, it would give the Yankees 6 players with 25+ homeruns this year. And, if Jorge Posada can hit 3 more homeruns this year, the Yankees will become the first team in baseball history with 7 players with 25+ homeruns in the same season.

    By the way, none of the 8 teams to make this 5+/25+ list before the Yankees this year have managed to reach the World Series in the season they turned the trick.

    Week 25 – 2009

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

    What stands out the most in my mind, this past week, is how the Yankees played against the Angels and Red Sox.

    But, first, you have look at how New York was going before they met up with Los Angeles and Boston (in back-to-back series). In the nine games prior to the six games against the Halos and Bosox, the Bombers went 4-5. And, they were not looking good – at all.

    Nonetheless, the Yanks took two of three against the Angels – on the road; and, then they took three in a row from the Red Sox. Nice turnaround there – for sure.

    Granted, some of the games were close – by scores of 6-5, 3-2, 3-0 and 4-2. And, while the Yankees batters reached base 37% of the time in these games, New York only scored 27 runs, overall, in these 6 games – which is an average of 4.5 runs per game. (Something tells me that scoring 4.5 runs a game, in the post-season, will make things pretty tight for the Yankees – if they’re going to score that way in October…prittay, prittay, tight.)

    But, in the end, the Yankees won these big games – locking up the A.L. East and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Not bad for a week’s work…not bad at all.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 9/28/09

    Posted by on September 28th, 2009 · Comments (14)

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    Wild Thought: Pavano In 2009 ALDS Game 5

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

    Suppose the Twins manage to take the A.L. Central this season – and go on to face the Yankees in the ALDS. And, suppose that the ALDS goes down to a fifth and final game…with Carl Pavano pitching for the Twins, against New York, at Yankee Stadium.

    And, this leads to today’s wild thought: What if Carl Pavano ends up throwing a five-hitter and beats the Yankees in that fifth game, to advance the Twins to the ALCS?

    What would you do if this happened?

    Me? Well, I potentially have tickets to that game. So, if it goes down like that, my first reaction would be to throw myself off the Macombs Dam Bridge immediately following the game. But, I know that would then deprive those who like to bellyache about my blogging. So, I would probably count to ten and come up with another plan to relieve my pain. But, oh, boy, what a pain that would be…how about for you?

    Yanks Who Really Dish It

    Posted by on September 28th, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Here’s a fun little list – it’s Yankees with the most seasons where they had 700+ Plate Appearances – with 2009 being through yesterday’s game:

                       From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
    +-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
     Derek Jeter       1997 2009 23-35       8 Ind. Seasons
     Lou Gehrig        1927 1937 24-34       6 Ind. Seasons
     Bobby Richardson  1961 1965 25-29       4 Ind. Seasons
     Frankie Crosetti  1936 1939 25-28       4 Ind. Seasons
     Red Rolfe         1935 1939 26-30       4 Ind. Seasons
     Roy White         1970 1976 26-32       3 Ind. Seasons
     Alex Rodriguez    2005 2007 29-31       2 Ind. Seasons
     Alfonso Soriano   2002 2003 26-27       2 Ind. Seasons
     Chuck Knoblauch   1998 1999 29-30       2 Ind. Seasons
     Steve Sax         1989 1991 29-31       2 Ind. Seasons
     Don Mattingly     1985 1986 24-25       2 Ind. Seasons
     Phil Rizzuto      1949 1950 32-33       2 Ind. Seasons
     Snuffy Stirnweiss 1944 1945 25-26       2 Ind. Seasons
     Earle Combs       1927 1928 28-29       2 Ind. Seasons
     Hideki Matsui     2005 2005 31-31       1 Ind. Seasons
     Rickey Henderson  1986 1986 27-27       1 Ind. Seasons
     Horace Clarke     1970 1970 30-30       1 Ind. Seasons
     Tom Tresh         1962 1962 24-24       1 Ind. Seasons
     Lyn Lary          1931 1931 25-25       1 Ind. Seasons
    
    Seasons/Careers found: 19.

    Derek Jeter may have an Yankees record there that may never be broken, eh?

    Looking Back At Yanks Last 3 ALDS Pitching “Efforts”

    Posted by on September 27th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Here’s how the Yankees pitchers have done in their last three ALDS efforts:

      Cnt Date      Series G Tm   Opp GmReslt  IP    H  R ER BB SO HR Pit   ERA
    +----+-------------+------+-+---+----+-------+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+
        1 2007-10-08 ALDS   4 NYY  CLE L  4-6   9   13  6  6  5  7  1 168  6.00
        2 2007-10-07 ALDS   3 NYY  CLE W  8-4   9    9  4  4  3  9  1 170  4.00
        3 2007-10-05 ALDS   2 NYY  CLE L  1-2  10.2  9  2  2  7 10  0 177  1.69
        4 2007-10-04 ALDS   1 NYY  CLE L  3-12  8   14 12 12  5  4  4 156 13.50
        5 2006-10-07 ALDS   4 NYY  DET L  3-8   8   13  8  7  1  3  2 132  7.88
        6 2006-10-06 ALDS   3 NYY  DET L  0-6   8   10  6  6  3  7  1 132  6.75
        7 2006-10-05 ALDS   2 NYY  DET L  3-4   9    8  4  4  1  7  1 129  4.00
        8 2006-10-03 ALDS   1 NYY  DET W  8-4   9   12  4  4  2  5  2 141  4.00
        9 2005-10-10 ALDS   5 NYY  LAA L  3-5   8    9  5  5  2  6  1 127  5.62
       10 2005-10-09 ALDS   4 NYY  LAA W  3-2   9    4  2  2  1  7  0 126  2.00
       11 2005-10-07 ALDS   3 NYY  LAA L  7-11  9   19 11 10  1  6  2 151 10.00
       12 2005-10-05 ALDS   2 NYY  LAA L  3-5   8    7  5  2  0  1  2 105  2.25
       13 2005-10-04 ALDS   1 NYY  LAA W  4-2   9    7  2  2  1  6  1 141  2.00
       

    Is it any wonder why the Yankees have lost 9 of their last 12 post-season games played (all of which were in the ALDS)?

    Let’s hope that Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte have a little better showing than guys like Chien-Ming Wang, Roger Clemens, Jaret Wright, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina did in the recent ALDS past. Then again, Wanger, Rocket, Unit and Moose were supposed to do well in those games…right? At the least, that’s what we thought going in…back in the day.

    Maybe It’s A Good Thing The Rangers Are Not The Wildcard?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    I thought this split was interesting – it’s “2009 A.L. team’s records where the opponent’s season W-L% is >= .550 ” – note that it does not include today’s games:

    Rk Tm Year G W L W-L% RS RA pythW-L%
    1 TEX 2009 36 22 14 .611 178 171 .518
    2 NYY 2009 39 19 20 .487 228 219 .518
    3 CHW 2009 33 16 17 .485 160 163 .492
    4 LAA 2009 43 20 23 .465 220 226 .488
    5 BOS 2009 38 17 21 .447 190 200 .477
    6 OAK 2009 59 26 33 .441 275 289 .477
    7 SEA 2009 57 25 32 .439 216 261 .414
    8 DET 2009 37 16 21 .432 162 179 .454
    9 TOR 2009 57 23 34 .404 273 285 .480
    10 TBR 2009 53 21 32 .396 250 280 .448
    11 MIN 2009 36 14 22 .389 157 196 .400
    12 CLE 2009 31 10 21 .323 157 181 .435
    13 BAL 2009 59 17 42 .288 276 397 .340
    14 KCR 2009 33 9 24 .273 115 183 .299
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 9/27/2009.

    The Rangers have gone 17-7 against the Red Sox and Angels this season. Maybe the Yankees should start pulling up the tapes from those games and see if there’s a trick to be learned that could come in handy this October?

    September 27th vs. The Red Sox

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

    You can now write story of the 2009 A.L. East standings, with six games left on the schedule…because it’s over. And, the New York Yankees have won the division, have locked up home field throughout the post-season, and have turned out the lights on the regular season for the rest of the A.L. East – including the Boston Red Sox.

    I’ll be honest…I’m a little worried about the Yankees offense right now. In their last 12 games, including this contest, they’ve scored 54 runs. But, 10 of those 54 runs came in one game where they beat up some pitcher by the name of Douglas Wildes Fister. Take that contest out and they’ve only scored 44 runs in their last 11 games. New York will have to score more runs than that in October to have some hope of getting past the ALDS.

    But, in any event, right now, there’s only one question that’s really important in Yankeeland: Twins or Tigers? And, that’s because the Yankees have wrapped up the regular season, now, and the next step is who will they play in the ALDS.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 9/27/09

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

    Click here for more information about this entry.

    Ten CC

    Posted by on September 27th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    With his win yesterday, CC Sabathia became just the tenth left-handed pitcher in Yankees history to win 19+ games in a season. Here are the others:

                       From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
    +-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
     Lefty Gomez       1931 1937 22-28       4 Ind. Seasons                   
     Herb Pennock      1923 1927 29-33       4 Ind. Seasons                   
     Andy Pettitte     1996 2003 24-31       3 Ind. Seasons                   
     Ron Guidry        1978 1985 27-34       3 Ind. Seasons                   
     Whitey Ford       1956 1963 27-34       3 Ind. Seasons                   
     Tommy John        1979 1980 36-37       2 Ind. Seasons                   
     C.C. Sabathia     2009 2009 28-28       1 Ind. Seasons                   
     David Wells       2002 2002 39-39       1 Ind. Seasons                   
     Fritz Peterson    1970 1970 28-28       1 Ind. Seasons                   
     Ed Lopat          1951 1951 33-33       1 Ind. Seasons                   
    
    Seasons/Careers found: 10.

    It would be great to see Sabathia get one more win this year – and join the 20-win club.

    Twins, Bosox, & Yanks To Bid On Mauer After 2010?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Via Charley Walters last Thursday -

    Joe Mauer, despite catching regularly for the Minnesota Twins and missing the first 22 games with a sore back, still has 179 hits this season — without steroids. That’s just two fewer hits than Barry Bonds had in one season during his 22-year major league career. The most hits Bonds had in one season was 181 in 1993 for the San Francisco Giants.

    Mauer is not only leading the American League in batting average (.371), but in on-base percentage (.442) and slugging percentage (.606).

    Mauer, 26, can become a free agent after the 2010 season. When contract talks get serious after this season, the Twins are expected to try to sign Mauer for about $120 million over seven years.

    The New York Yankees, however, with catcher Jorge Posada at 38 years old, are expected to offer more money and possibly more years.

    For instance, the Yankees have first baseman Mark Teixeira, 29, under contract for $180 million for eight years. C.C. Sabathia, 29, is pitching with a $161 million, seven-year deal. Mauer is every bit the commodity.

    Boston catcher Jason Varitek is 37, and it’s clear the big spending Red Sox would love to have Mauer for the next seven or eight years.

    There’s no question in my mind that the Red Sox will make a hard run at Mauer if he hits the free agent market. Should the Yankees get involved too? Probably depends on where New Yorks current crop of catching prospects – Montero, Romine, Murphy, Sanchez, Cervelli, and Higashioka – sits this time next year…

    What’s In A Number?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    I think I’ve mentioned this opinion before…but…let me say it again. Yankeenumbers.com is the greates Yankees-related website that doesn’t get mentioned as often as it should…

    For example: Where else can you quickly find a list of every Yankees player to ever wear the #29?

    Maybe it’s just me…but, if you’re into Yankees uniform numbers, there’s no better resource for it out there.

    September 26th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on September 26th, 2009 · Comments (11)

    And, the magic number is now one

    CC was the man in this one. Enough so that one may be willing to turn a blind eye towards the Yankees bats going limp today with runners on base…

    So, the Yankees have shown us this week that they can beat the Angels and the Red Sox, right now, today, as the ballclubs stand at this moment…

    …does this mean, assuming the Tigers or Twins don’t upset the apple chart in the ALDS, that it’s smooth sailing to the Fall Classic for General Joe’s Boys? Time will tell…

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 9/26/09

    Posted by on September 26th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Click here for more information about this entry.

    A-Rod, The Chicken, The Egg & The Fence

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

    You can read all about it here. So, which side of the fence are you on?

    And, here are my points in this one – just to be clear:

    1. If someone want to say that A-Rod only has big days in games that the Yankees lose, well, we now know that’s not true.

    2. In 63% of these games where the Yankees won and Alex Rodriguez had a big day with the stick, the Yankees won the game by 6 runs or more. And, in 43% of these games where the Yankees won and Alex Rodriguez had a big day with the stick, the Yankees won the game by 8 runs or more. These are stats and facts. Whatever conclusions you draw from these are probably subjective.

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