• Getting Two-Hit (Or Worse) At Yankee Stadium

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Tonight was the 37th time that the Yankees have been held to two-hits or less in a home game since the Steinbrenner family has owned the team. Here are the others:

    Rk Date Opp Rslt PA R H SO
    1 2007-08-31 TBD L 1-9 31 1 2 5
    2 2007-08-14 BAL L 0-12 39 0 2 7
    3 2007-06-30 OAK L 0-7 33 0 1 6
    4 2006-09-28 BAL L 1-7 30 1 1 5
    5 2006-09-02 MIN L 1-6 27 1 2 5
    6 2004-09-04 BAL L 0-7 29 0 2 4
    7 2003-06-11 HOU L 0-8 33 0 0 13
    8 2002-06-08 SFG L 3-4 32 3 2 13
    9 2000-09-18 CLE L 0-2 29 0 1 13
    10 2000-08-02 KCR L 1-4 35 1 2 5
    11 1999-09-10 BOS L 1-3 28 1 1 17
    12 1995-07-17 CHW T 1-1 25 1 2 6
    13 1992-04-29 TEX L 1-5 33 1 2 8
    14 1991-09-17 MIL L 0-2 30 0 2 1
    15 1991-06-24 MIN L 0-5 30 0 2 6
    16 1991-05-11 OAK L 2-10 34 2 2 4
    17 1990-07-12 CHW L 0-8 21 0 0 9
    18 1990-05-20 KCR L 3-4 35 3 2 9
    19 1990-05-18 KCR L 1-4 29 1 2 4
    20 1989-09-15 SEA L 1-3 31 1 2 6
    21 1989-05-26 OAK L 0-4 27 0 1 1
    22 1989-04-10 TOR L 0-8 32 0 1 5
    23 1988-09-09 DET W 3-2 29 3 2 3
    24 1986-07-20 CHW L 0-8 29 0 2 0
    25 1985-06-29 MIL L 0-6 29 0 1 4
    26 1983-06-03 SEA L 0-5 31 0 2 8
    27 1982-09-22 CLE L 0-5 22 0 2 4
    28 1982-08-04 (2) CHW L 0-7 29 0 2 3
    29 1981-09-12 BOS L 1-2 31 1 2 9
    30 1980-09-18 TOR L 1-2 33 1 2 4
    31 1979-08-09 CHW L 1-5 30 1 2 3
    32 1979-07-05 MIL L 0-3 28 0 2 3
    33 1978-06-01 BAL L 0-1 32 0 2 2
    34 1974-05-25 BAL L 1-5 31 1 2 1
    35 1974-04-25 KCR L 1-6 30 1 2 5
    36 1973-05-31 OAK L 0-6 29 0 1 3
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/30/2010.

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    June 2010 Monthly Win Expectancy Review

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (8)

    Heading into this month, I thought that it would be reasonable, all things considered, if the Yankees went 15-11 for the month of June.

    And, in reality, the Yankees went 16-10 – which is one better than I expected. Give credit to the schedule here – as the Yankees went 13-3 this month against the Tribe, O’s, Astros and D’backs who are all terrible this season. In any event, this all warrants giving the Yankees a birdie for the month of June 2010.

    How about a review of the first three months, now that they’re in the books? Here goes:

    • April 2010:I expected a record of 13-9 and the Yankees actually went 15-7.
    • May 2010:I expected a record of 17-12 and the Yankees actually went 16-13.
    • June 2010:I expected a record of 15-11 and the Yankees actually went 16-10.

    In total, overall, for the first three months, I expected the Yankees to go 45-32 and the team went 47-30 in reality.

    Therefore, at this junction of the season, the Yankees are just two games better than I would expect them to be – all things considered.

    Is that good, or, bad? You tell me…

    Arodys Vizcaino Bum Elbow

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via Knox Bardeen

    Top Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list by the Advanced-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans because of an elbow strain.

    He was flown to Atlanta for the exam and the Braves have decided to shut the 19-year-old Dominican down.

    And, this is why you shouldn’t be afraid to deal a young pitching prospect

    Hector Noesi

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (8)

    Kevin Goldstein shares this on Hector Noesi –

    He doesn’t have a ton of stuff, but he sure knows how to pitch. He doesn’t have a pitch that any scout would put a 60 on, but his fastball has average to plus movement with some cutting action, his curveball is solid, his change is good, and he absolutely pounds the strike zone and pitches without fear. After giving up five runs over six innings in his Double-A debut, Noesi’s ERA in 1.17 in seven games, including 44 whiffs and just seven unintentional walks in 46 innings. It’s not a crazy high ceiling, but Noesi sure looks like a major-league starter and could be a nice trade chip in the coming month.

    Then again, Noesi had some issues in his past. So, don’t forget about those too when reading this report.

    Who’s The Yanks Best/Worst @ Plate With Runners On?

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    RBI Percentage is 100*(RBI-HR)/Runners On – and thanks to BaseballMusings.com we can look at this stat for the Yankees batters so far this season:

    Player		   Run On    RBI	HR	RBI Pct
    Alex Rodriguez	     217      54	11	19.82
    Fr. Cervelli 	     147      29	0	19.73
    Nick Swisher	     199      47	13	17.09
    Robinson Cano	     227      53	15	16.74
    Derek Jeter	     203      39	8	15.27
    Mark Teixeira	     240      48	13	14.58
    Jorge Posada	     132      28	9	14.39
    Marcus Thames	      66      10	2	12.12
    Brett Gardner	     192      23	3	10.42
    Cur. Granderson	     151      22	7	 9.93

    Great jobs here by A-Rod, ‘Cisco, Swish and Cano.

    Most would like to see better results from Tex…I know that I would.

    And, Granderson? He’s got to do better than that…it’s just too many runners left on base.

    Yankees Lead A.L. In Defensive Efficiency

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (19)

    For those not aware, Defensive Efficiency is the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by a team’s defense. Here’s where the Yankees rank in the A.L. right now -

    Tm R/G DefEff 6 G Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld%
    NYY 4.12 .709 75 5961.0 2720 1987 705 28 75 .990
    TBR 3.79 .707 75 6081.0 2818 2027 743 48 69 .983
    TEX 4.27 .702 75 6078.0 2790 2026 716 48 67 .983
    SEA 4.28 .702 75 6006.0 2793 2002 739 52 67 .981
    OAK 4.19 .701 77 6138.0 2897 2046 802 49 59 .983
    BOS 4.60 .695 77 6267.0 2900 2089 765 46 67 .984
    LgAvg 4.48 .692 76 6066 2832 2022 764 45 70 .984
    TOR 4.40 .692 77 6168.0 2931 2056 836 39 80 .987
    MIN 4.07 .690 76 6114.0 2825 2038 759 28 67 .990
    KCR 4.88 .689 77 6123.0 2827 2041 735 51 65 .982
    DET 4.47 .688 75 5928.0 2797 1976 768 53 80 .981
    CHW 4.41 .684 75 6021.0 2824 2007 779 38 73 .987
    BAL 5.33 .680 75 5907.0 2744 1969 731 44 61 .984
    LAA 4.79 .676 78 6225.0 2873 2075 745 53 58 .982
    CLE 5.16 .674 75 5913.0 2904 1971 877 56 93 .981
      4.48 .692 1062 84930.0 39643 28310 10700 633 981 .984
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/30/2010.

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    So, the good news is that your defense is doing a super job so far this year. Of course, the bad news may be that they’re going to have to keep it up in order for your pitchers to look as good as they have so far this season…

    June 29th vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on June 30th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Whenever you’re facing an ace like Seattle’s Cliff Lee — whether you’re the ’62 Mets or the defending champ Yanks — a win won’t be an easy thing to come by.  Unsurprisingly, then, Seattle beat the Yankees 7-4 last night although I’d hardly classify Cliff Lee as having been as sharp as I expected.  He did pitch his third consecutive complete game and he was effective and efficient when he had to be but the Yanks still managed four extra-base hits (2 HR/2 2B) of the eight hits Lee allowed.

    The real culprits in last night’s loss were Phil Hughes’s ineffectiveness and the nagging problem of Yankee impatience at the plate.  I’ll try to briefly cover both issues:

    1) Phil Hughes.  Although it was his first loss in six starts and only the second loss on the year, Hughes’s performance against the Mariners was fairly putrid.  The seven runs allowed (six earned) were the most he’s given up in 2010 and the most since allowing eight runs against the Orioles at Camden Yards on 5/9/09 (a game that both Corey and I attended).

    It’s hard to know exactly what went wrong for Hughes last night (5.2 10 7 6 2 3) or, really, over the past four starts (24.1 31 18 17 7 17) although the overall picture is still solid.  Even with his poor start last night and recent bout of ineffectiveness, Hughes’s ERA sits at 3.58 (3.40 FIP).  The metrics indicate that there’s no reason to believe Hughes will fall off much beyond where he is now and my hope is only that some form of a “Hughes Rules” won’t destroy him the way it played a part in destroying a certain other young pitcher (whose name I don’t intend to ever speak again).

    2) Lack of patience.  Last night’s game was frustrating in that individual Yankee batters seem to no longer work pitchers into deep counts as often as they used to.  While that may only be my impression and unsubstantiated by actual numbers, I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen too many impatient AB’s this year.  Of the nine Yankees batters last night, four — Jeter, Teixeira, Huffman and Cervelli — saw a total of 35 pitches in their combined 15 plate appearances (2.33 P/PA).

    While one might expect very little from the bottom of the lineup (and rightly so), Jeter’s lack of patience in 2010 has been alarming.  At this point several Yankee blogs have covered Jeter’s uneven 2010 campaign so there’s no sense in rehashing what we already know other than to say that Jeter is seeing 3.54 P/PA in 2010, his lowest figure since 2004 (also 3.54).  Perhaps not coincidentally, Jeter posted his career-worst mark in OBP which, if things don’t change in 2010, will be “bested” by his current .346 OBP (vs. career .386 mark).

    Hughes Losing It?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Don’t look now, but, in his last 24.3 IP, including today, Phil Hughes has allowed 17 earned runs.

    Yes, that’s Burnettian type pitching over his last 4 starts…

    Starring Michael Scofield As Sheriff Woody

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Took the kids to see Toy Story 3 (in 3D) this evening.

    It was sort of like Prison Break for the young ones with a happy ending. Seriously, there were people clapping and crying at the end.

    What I mean to say is…this is a very good one. You’ll laugh and you’ll be touched – and it’s not just for kids. I was glad that I saw this one.

    Randy Levine: Jeter & Rivera Will Remain Yankees

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Via Brian Costello

    Yankees fans have nothing to worry about this winter if you listen to team president Randy Levine.

    Levine virtually guaranteed the return of icons and impending free agents Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera next season at a speaking engagement in Manhattan last night.

    “We don’t negotiate in public,” Levine said as part of a “TimesTalks” program. “But I would find it highly, highly unlikely if both of them were not back with the Yankees.”

    The expiring contracts of Jeter and Rivera has hung over the franchise all year. Jeter turned 36 over the weekend and Rivera will be 41 next season. Both of them are still performing at a high level, but their age and price tag could make negotiations sticky.

    “Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are the Yankees,” Levine said.

    General manager Brian Cashman also appeared on the panel, but did not show his hand as much as Levine. He did speak about the difficulty of finding a successor for Rivera when that day comes.

    “It’s going to be hell replacing him,” Cashman said. “He has been the most meaningful Yankee during this stretch.”

    So, does this mean that Levine will be handling the contract talks with Jeter and Mo – and not Brian Cashman?

    Phil Coke Doing Just Fine In Motown

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Via James Schmehl:

    Phil Coke doesn’t receive quite the same attention or praise as starter Justin Verlander or closer Jose Valverde, but the late-inning reliever has arguably been just as important to the Tigers’ pitching staff in the first half of the season. So much so that The Daily Fungo’s Mike McClary says the unknown left-hander deserves All-Star recognition.

    As McClary notes, Coke has retired the first hitter he’s faced 71 percent of the time, and allowed just eight of his 30 inherited runners to score. Besides, the fun-loving 27-year-old led a Mohawk revolution in the Tigers’ clubhouse. What more of a reason to cast a vote for Coke do you need?

    Hey, who needs Phil Coke when you have Chan Ho Park and Boone Logan?

    Is A-Rod A Twi-Hard?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Here’s the answer!

    Oh, boy…

    If A Horse Won’t Eat It, Jose Reyes Don’t Want To Field On It

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Just as an amusing sidebar, did anyone else catch “the highlights” of Jose Reyes’ game yesterday, playing defense, on the artificial turf in P.R.? Man, he was terrible, wasn’t he? Good stuff.

    The Best Pitchers In The Year Of The Pitcher

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Here’s a question for you: Which pitcher would you rather have?

    Pitcher A: 108 IP, 1.83 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 107 SO, 4.1 WAR
    Pitcher B: 113 IP, 1.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 102 SO, 4.5 WAR

    Pretty close, right?

    Player A is the Marlins’ Josh Johnson, who has a 0.83 ERA over his last nine starts. Player B is the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez, who has hit a bit of speed bump lately, but is still having an amazing season overall.

    Both players are having near identical seasons. The difference is that Jimenez is 14-1 while Johnson is 8-3.

    Yet another reason why pitching wins and losses never tell the whole story.

    Dave Eiland Vs. Mike Harkey

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Yes, it happened – back in 1993.

    H/T to Raphy on this one – for passing it along via e-mail with the comment: Do you think the Yankees ever show the team this game, as a pitching clinic?

    Does Anyone Care About A-Rod’s Milestone HRs?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Via Mark Feinsand today –

    With six more home runs, Alex Rodriguez will become the seventh player in baseball history to reach 600. So why does it seem like nobody cares?

    Rodriguez’s admission last year that he used performance-enhancing drugs surely has something to do with it. The 156 home runs he hit during his three years in Texas may as well be placed on a separate list stamped with a giant asterisk.

    If and when A-Rod hits No. 763 to move past Barry Bonds – and based on the nagging injuries and lack of home run power he’s shown for most of this season, that can no longer be considered a lock – it may very well conclude the most joyless pursuit of a major milestone in sports history.

    When Bonds chased down Hank Aaron in 2007, there was plenty of speculation that he had injected himself with enough drugs to make a professional wrestler blush. But unlike Rodriguez, Bonds never admitted to anything.

    The home fans in San Francisco continued to idolize Bonds in a way the New York fans have never taken to Rodriguez, turning every game into a celebration of San Francisco’s favorite son.

    Will fans be able to put A-Rod’s drug history aside and celebrate his accomplishments? Based on the lack of interest in his pursuit of 600, it’s hard to imagine his quest for 763 being anything other than forced and robotic.

    I’m not sure if he’s correct or not here, but, I give Feinsand all the credit in the world for not being afraid to express an opinion such as this one when he’s covering the team on a daily basis. It’s hard, at least for me, not to respect that type of conviction.

    How About Javy Vazquez & Prospects For Cliff Lee?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (43)

    Jay Greenberg thinks Brian Cashman will not trade for Cliff Lee.

    And, many seem to believe that the Yankees don’t need another starting pitcher – given how the season has unfolded so far.

    Me? I’m not sold on the Yankees starters.

    Hey, I’ve got no worries on CC Sabathia. He seems to have hit high gear and he’s a horse, period.

    Andy Pettitte has been super – better than one could have hoped for, in truth. But, he’s no spring chicken. Can he keep it up? I hope so…but, I’ve also seen pitchers his age wear down as the season gets into the second half.

    Phil Hughes? He was outstanding at the start of the season. But, he’s come down to earth recently. He hasn’t been terrible. But, will he stay “not great but not terrible,” or, will he slide down from that position now? I don’t think we can say that he won’t slide down, for sure. Young pitchers sometimes have these issues.

    And, then there’s A.J. Burnett and Javy Vazquez – the great when they’re good and terrible when they’re bad twins. Hey, with these guys every start is a roll of the dice. And, that’s risky, if you ask me.

    So, you have “The Ace” (Sabathia) and “Old Reliable” (Pettitte) followed by “The Kid” (Hughes) and “The Unreliables” (Burnett and Vazquez).

    Because of Pettitte and Hughes’ age, and the concerns on counting on Vazquez and Burnett, if the Yankees could swing a deal with the M’s – giving them Vazquez and some prospects for Lee – I wouldn’t be too upset about it…even if it is a rent-a-player deal for Lee.

    Modern Day Billy, Reggie & Stein?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Not Yankees related…

    but, this one looks like a hoot. Have you seen the clips for it?

    Thank goodness they didn’t have this Real World, Hard Knocks, stuff back in the day when Big Stein, Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson all had red light fever…

    Moseley May Join Bullpen

    Posted by on June 28th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    According to Chad Jennings of The Journal News, Scranton starter Dustin Moseley has been pulled from his scheduled start – a strong indication that the Yankees will add him to the big league roster before the deadline of his opt-out clause. This could be the end for Chan Ho Park in pinstripes.

    Moseley, coming off hip and elbow surgery, signed with the Yankees at the start of spring training and was never in the mix for the long reliever job. Fast forward to July: Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves are hurt. Chad Gaudin is inconsistent. Park cannot pitch multiple innings. It seems like everything has fallen into place for Moesely to get a shot in the pen.

    Although his Triple-A numbers are somewhat underwhelming, giving Moseley a shot is not a horrible option. The Yankees need to identify their needs prior to the trade deadline, and if they are able to solidify the pen, they can simply focus on acquiring a bat. If Moseley falters, they know that adding a bullpen arm is the better option.

    That said, I think we can expect a league-average showing from the former Angel. He’s demonstrated that he can be a somewhat effective pitcher in the past, and although he’s struggled at times in Triple-A, he’s also had some very strong performances. Only time will tell, but I thin we’ll be seeing him with the Yankees very soon. It might not be for long, but at least the Yankees will get a fresh arm in the bullpen.

    Really Expected More Mo

    Posted by on June 28th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Gotta say, I’m shocked to see Mariano Rivera make this list only as many times as Phil Hughes did…

    This Date In Yankeeland, 21 Years Ago

    Posted by on June 28th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Rags ruined it for Dave Eiland.  Bummer.

    The Last Lion In Baseball

    Posted by on June 28th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    I saw this photo of Big Stein, taken last month, in a Joe Henderson Tampa Tribune feature mentioning Bill Madden’s book on the Boss:

    If I saw that guy on the street, I wouldn’t know who it was…

    Now, in my mind, George Steinbrenner looks like he did back in the late ’70′s/early ’80′s. It’s just the image that I’ve filed away for him. And, if I had to “age” him, I’m think “George Steinbrenner” circa 2000-2004. But, never, do I think of him as appearing as he does now…and it’s always a shock to see the rare current photo of him.

    Speaking of the Madden book, I’m up to 1981 now and loving it. It’s a great read.

    Recently, as I was reading it, I wondered what things would have been like in Yankeeland if blogs were around in 1977-1985 and just as popular as they are today. Would Steinbrenner be reading them and flipping out on what he read? Or, would “The Boss” have had his own blog – and how much trouble would that have gotten him into?

    It would have been interesting…that’s for sure.

    Yankees July 2010 Monthly Win Expectancy

    Posted by on June 28th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    For more on what this is, click here.

    For the month of July 2010, the New York Yankees should win 16 games and lose 10 games – all things considered, and being reasonable about it.

    The Yankees really beat up on some bad teams in June. And, I expect them to take advantage of the weak teams who they will play in July as well – meaning the A’s, M’s, Royals and Indians. And, if New York does play 6 games over .500 in July (or better) I suspect that the bulk of that spread will come via wins against Oakland, Seattle, Kansas City and Cleveland.

    June 27th @ The Dodgers

    Posted by on June 28th, 2010 · Comments (17)

    Figures.

    5 innings, down 5-0, on ESPN, I said alright I’ve seen enough I’m going to bed. Well you know the rest. Lesson learned. Use this as your post-game thread as I didn’t see enough of the good stuff to write a true recap.

    Chad Huffman & Colin Curtis

    Posted by on June 27th, 2010 · Comments (15)

    Now, be honest, isn’t much more fun watching, rooting and celebrating those two ninth inning At Bats this evening by Huffman and Curtis than it is watching guys making somewhere between $20 and $30 million a year play the game?

    Ke-mo Sah-bee Yanks To The Rescue?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via the Trentonian:

    Ten days after it was taken from his desk drawer, Trenton Thunder clubhouse manager Tom “Tonto” Kackley’s 2009 World Series ring was back where it belonged — on his finger.

    The ring, given to all full-time employees of the New York Yankees after last season’s World Series title over the Philadelphia Phillies, was presented to Kackley last Thursday — but went missing shortly thereafter.

    Yesterday, as the team was cooling off after its loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Kackley exited the clubhouse and flashed the ring to members of the media. He did not say how he got it back.

    Afterward, in a phone call with The Trentonian, Kackley expressed “phenomenal gratitude” toward both the Yankees and Thunder organizations for their sympathy and effort in recovering the keepsake.

    “Teams talk about tradition and history and excellence. This organization lives it every day, from the bottom up,” Kackley said, referring to the Yankees, who he said have gotten a bad rap during his long tenure under their employ.

    Asked to describe his feelings after the ring, which he called one of his most valuable material possessions, Kackley simply said “relieved.”

    Great story…talk about taking one back…over the fence, eh?

    Evan Longoria

    Posted by on June 27th, 2010 · Comments (40)

    I’ve always felt that Evan Longoria was the new Derek Jeter. But, today, Longoria took it to another level. I would trade A-Rod for Evan in a heartbeat. And, I’m not just saying that because of the age, health and salary difference.

    CC Will Probably Not Pitch In All-Star Game

    Posted by on June 27th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via Barry M. Bloom:

    Under the most optimum of circumstances, the Yankees could send as many as six players to the American League All-Star team — four pitchers and two position players.

    But if things stand as currently planned, CC Sabathia, who threw his way to a 9-3 record on Friday night, won’t be able to pitch in the July 13 All-Star Game at Anaheim. Sabathia is slated to start on July 11 at Seattle just prior to the break, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Saturday before the Dodgers clobbered the Yankees, 9-4, at Dodger Stadium.

    By new rule, any pitcher starting on Sunday before the break can be named to the team, but can’t pitch in the game. That pitcher can participate in all All-Star activities, but is not eligible for the roster.

    “I don’t care either way,” Sabathia told MLB.com on Saturday. “I hate to make it sound that way, but I really don’t. I’m here to help the Yankees win games. If I’m slated to pitch that day, then that’s the way it will be.”

    Phil Hughes (10-1), Andy Pettitte (9-2) and Mariano Rivera (17 saves) are real possibilities to make the squad, which will be managed by Girardi, who skippered the Yankees to their 27th World Series title last year in six games over the Phillies.

    All three of those hurlers would be eligible under the rules. Sabathia, though, said he’d be content just to take part in the festivities.

    “Oh yeah, I’d be happy to show up and go, hang out with the guys and be part of all the hoopla,” said Sabathia, a three-time American League All-Star and Cy Young Award winner when he pitched for the Indians. “My son would enjoy that. If I’m selected, I’ll definitely be a part of it.”

    Sabathia has the perfect attitude here.

    And, given the way Burnett is pitching, the “ya-never-know” nature of Vazquez, and with Hughes coming back down to earth, the Yankees are going to have to ride Sabathia and Pettitte as much as possible in the second half of the season. So, why risk having one of them get hurt in the All-Star game?

    Ann Likes Red, Will We?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Well, this one looks interesting…

    The Return Of Dave Eiland

    Posted by on June 27th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    First, we saw this headline from John Harper this AM:  New York Yankees must bring back Dave Eiland or hire another pitching coach to tutor A.J. Burnett.

    And, here’s a few snips from that feature:

    Where’s Billy Connors when you really need him?

    Suffice to say that if George Steinbrenner were still The Boss, A.J. Burnett would be on a plane to Tampa today for a fun-in-the-sun tutorial from Connors, famous for years as George’s pitching guru, who either did or didn’t help many a struggling pitcher over the years, depending on who you asked.

    Mostly Connors was an annoyance to many a Yankee manager or pitching coach who considered him more of a “bleep-disturber,” as Joe Torre once privately described him, than the problem-solver Steinbrenner seemed to think he was.

    And these days Connors, while still employed as an organizational coach in Tampa, has minimal presence in the Brian Cashman regime.

    But the point is, with Dave Eiland gone now for three weeks for still-unexplained personal reasons, the Yankees need to throw Burnett some kind of life preserver to keep him from drowning.

    Whatever Eiland’s circumstances, the Yankees need to get him back here or bring in a real pitching coach. By all accounts, Mike Harkey – the bullpen coach who is filling in for Eiland – doesn’t have the type of grasp of mechanics needed to make a difference with someone such as Burnett.

    Joe Girardi, whose friendship with Harkey dates back to their pitcher-catcher relationship while playing with the Cubs years ago, is defensive whenever the subject is raised.

    Yet surely it was revealing that when Burnett got himself into immediate trouble in the first inning Saturday, Girardi decided to go to the mound himself.

    And, boom, next we now hear via Marc Carig that Dave Eiland will rejoin the team on Tuesday after nearly a month away from the team on a personal leave of absence.

    So, where was Eiland? Well, there’s one rumor going round that he was in rehab. If true, hopefully Dave has some good results from that.

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