• Applauding Alex

    Posted by on July 28th, 2010 · Comments (24)

    Sweeny Murti likes the way A-Rod has handled the chase for #600 this season. Here are two snips from what he’s written on it –

    I don’t usually give Alex Rodriguez much credit for things he says. When he does his talking on the field, there is little to argue. He is one of the greatest players of all-time. But when he opens his mouth, he usually ends up sticking both feet in it. There are no “thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee” or “luckiest man on the face of the earth” moments here. So it is with great wonder, amazement, and downright admiration that I applaud A-Rod for his public comments leading up to #600.

    During the prelude to 600 A-Rod has steered away from any statements remotely celebrating the achievement, continuing to preach the importance of the team’s winning ways. The guy who used to be all about ME is now about WE. I don’t know if it’s calculated or not, but it’s the smartest move A-Rod has made in a long time.

    A-Rod brings enough scorn upon himself just for being A-Rod, the highest paid player everyone loves to hate on the team everyone loves to hate. If he chose to make celebratory statements about reaching this milestone it would take about a nanosecond for people like you and me to crush him for conveniently ignoring his three-year period of admitted steroid use.

    But if A-Rod never pats himself on the back, he doesn’t open the door to all that criticism. Sure, we can all look at the home run total and make of it what we wish. But for those of us who have made a habit of taking what the guy says, shaking our heads and laughing at him…well, we are all out of luck this time.

    The guy who is a walking, talking PR nightmare is actually saying the right things for once.

    Of course, there’s an “after” to be considered here as well – not just the “before.” And, hopefully, once A-Rod does hit #600, Rodriguez handles it as well as he is handling the “before” period. I’m not saying that Alex won’t or can’t do this – just saying that the possibility still exists that this event could turn into a bad PR thing, if not handled tastefully, and that would erase how it’s been handled up to this point.

    July 27th @ The Indians

    Posted by on July 28th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    The Yanks lost 4-1 to a rookie pitcher making his MLB debut, a pitcher that pretty much soft-tossed his pitches up there and whose fastball/offspeed velocity delta was around five miles per hour (90 mph FB/85 mph offspeed).  How do the Yankees lose to a guy like that?

    They lost tbecause the game had all the hallmarks of “Frustrating Loss 101″ — making outs in early counts, sloppy defense, not-good-enough starting pitching — and, frankly, I couldn’t stand watching it.  So I didn’t.  I tuned out.

    I won’t go “Good/Bad” on this game.  No one did well.  To make matters worse, the Rays beat Detroit and Anaheim dropped to 0-6 against Boston this year so the Yanks lost a game in the standings all around.

    The only way to make it up to me is to win tonight on my 35th birthday.  If AJ Burnett can find it within himself to put his mediocrity on ice for just one game, all would be forgiven.

    September’s Chase

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    This one could be good…

    Moving from the small to big screen, by the way, if you could only see one, between Salt and Inception, which flick would you pick and why?

    A.L. East Race Pulse Check @ 99 Games

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Don’t look now, but, at the close of business for July 27th, there are 99 games in the books for the 2010 season and the Tampa Bay Rays trail the first place Yankees by just two games in the A.L. East race. Anyone who thinks the Yankees have the East locked-up needs to check their rear-view mirror.

    A-Rod Sets HR Record On His 35th Birthday

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

    Well…kinda

    Prior to this season, of all the players with 600 career homeruns, Willie Mays took the longest in between #599 and #600, needing 21 At Bats to reach the milestone.

    Alex Rodriguez hit his 599th career homerun on July 22nd (this season) in the bottom of the 7th inning in a game against the Royals. And, he’s gone “homer less” in the 21 At Bats to follow that blast – including tonight’s game, which was played on his 35th birthday. This ties the “21 At Bat” spell set by Mays. And, considering that A-Rod’s next At Bat will be his 22nd since his 599th career homerun, he will now own the “Most At Bats needed between HR #599 and #600″ record – locking it up with his “collar” this evening.

    No Truth To Chan Ho Park For Joakim Soria Trade Rumor

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    O.K., I’m kidding with the title.

    But, the Yankees are trying to trade Chan Ho Park.

    And, Joakim Soria has the Yankees on his no-trade list.

    And, those stories are from the media, and, not made up.

    I Hope A.J. Burnett Is Paying Attention…

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

    Post-game pie throwing can sometimes be dangerous.

    2010: The Year Of Defense

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    It seems that everyone has labeled the 2010 baseball season as “the year of the pitcher.” And rightly so: offense has been down this year as a result of more dominant pitching. This is especially characteristic of the Yankees: their 3.94 team ERA would be the lowest since 2002.

    But what has been overlooked is the rise in solid defense in baseball. This has been a trend for quite some time now. In 1975, the average errors committed per game was 1.9. Now, that number is about 1.2.

    You can attribute any number of factors to that: better field conditions, better training, more strikeouts. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the 2010 season might be their best defensive season…ever. Take a look at the number of errors Yankee teams have made since 1974:

    I used this cut-off because Fangraphs only has fielding data back to 1974.

    First, a few explanations: the data for 1981, 1994, and 1995 are considerably low because they were strike-shortened seasons. And obviously, the data for 2010 is low because the Yankees have only played 98 games.

    The Yankees have made 41 errors this year, which means they are on pace to commit about 68. That would be the lowest since 1974, including the strike-shortened years.

    The infield, especially, has been excellent this season. Here are the amount of errors the starting infielders are on pace to make this year:

    Mark Teixeira: 3
    Robinson Cano: 2
    Derek Jeter: 7
    Alex Rodriguez: 10

    And this is the amount of errors the starting infielders made in 2005:

    Tino Martinez/Jason Giambi: 15
    Robinson Cano: 17
    Derek Jeter: 15
    Alex Rodriguez: 12

    But the amount of errors per season doesn’t reveal everything. A fielder could take a safer route to a ball to avoid committing an error. An official scorer can rule an obvious error a hit under a number of circumstances. Just because a team commits less errors doesn’t mean it is a better fielding team (though it does help).

    I went to another fielding stat to analyze the Yankee defense: UZR. For those that may not be into sabermetrics, UZR stands for Ultimate Zone Rating. It puts a run value to defense, so the UZR from a player or team would be the amount of runs saved or given up over a certain period of time. I don’t understand how it is calculated, but it works.

    Fangraphs has UZR data back to 2002. Here are the Yankees’ UZR totals since then:

    2002: -36.3
    2003: -61.2
    2004: -72.0
    2005: -138.0
    2006: -79.9
    2007: -22.9
    2008: -42.1
    2009: -4.7
    2010: 5.8

    Pretty revealing stuff. The 2010 season is the first season (in the UZR era) that the Yankee defense has actually saved runs. It’s a far cry from 2005, when the Yankees had the worst defense in baseball with an absurd -138 UZR.

    Based on those numbers, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Yankees struggled in the playoffs from 2005-2008 and succeeded in 2009 with significantly better defensive stats.

    But above all, the Yankees have just gotten better over the past few years. Mark Teixeira is a huge upgrade at first over Jason Giambi, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner have been much better in the outfield than guys like Bernie Williams or Bobby Abreu were (or Gary Sheffield and Bubba Crosby), and Robinson Cano has emerged into one of the best second basemen in baseball.

    There are still 64 games left, so anything can happen. But it’s safe to say that the Yankees will continue playing solid defense. And I imagine that when the season is over, the Yankees will have their first positive UZR season ever.

    Big Stein To Be Fast-Tracked Into The Hall?

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Sure sounds like it. Via the AP -

    The baseball Hall of Fame has changed the way that managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players will be considered for election. The rule change means former Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner, who died July 13, could be elected to the Hall of Fame as early as this December.

    Candidates will be reviewed in three eras: Pre-Integration (1871-1946), Golden (1947-1972) and Expansion (starting in 1973).

    One composite ballot will be considered in each era. The Expansion Era ballot will include 12 candidates, while the Golden and Pre-Integration era ballots each will have 10.

    The changes were announced Monday. The first election in the Expansion category will be held in December during the winter meetings in Orlando, Fla. The Golden election will take place in 2011 and the Pre-Integration vote will be held in 2012.

    “The board feels this change will allow for an equal review of all eligible candidates,” Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement.

    Cool beans.

    Ben Reiter Salutes The New A-Rod

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Click here to read the feature.  There’s too much good stuff in there to decide which to snip – so, I’ll just say “Check it out!’  The quotes from Torii Hunter, CC Sabathia and Francisco Cervelli alone make this one an interesting read.

    Feinstein On A-Rod & His 600th: I Don’t Care About It

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    John Feinstein offers some opinion on A-Rod’s pending 600th career homerun. Here it is:

    The greatest myth about the steroid era is that there were no rules against them until the union and owners finally got together on drug-testing in 2003. In fact, Fay Vincent banned steroids in 1991 after they were declared illegal by the government but the ban was toothless since there was no testing and the government wasn’t exactly storming clubhouses demanding that players be tested. The players knew the drugs were illegal and against the rules. They also knew they weren’t very likely to get caught.

    Of course a lot of players have been caught: some by good reporting and some by The Mitchell Report. Others have simply been considered guilty due to overwhelming circumstantial evidence—which, given that this isn’t a court of law and we aren’t talking about sending people to jail in most cases—is evidence enough.

    So, back to the question: Does anyone really care about A-Rod hitting his 600th home run?

    My answer is no. I didn’t care when Bonds hit 756 and I was horrified when Henry Aaron showed up on that video congratulating him. It was bad enough that Bud Selig trailed him for a while during the chase; bad enough (though hardly surprising) that ESPN glorified him but really depressing when Aaron gave in and did the video.

    Now, A-Rod isn’t as surly a guy as Bonds. He tries to say all the right things—though he often fails. But he’s just as tainted as far as I’m concerned and just as un-deserving of the Hall of Fame down the road as Bonds is undeserving of it now. Here’s my bet: A-Rod will make the Hall on the first ballot; second ballot at worst. Why? Because the excuse-makers are already coming out of the woodwork on his behalf; because there will be a greater passage of time and because people will by the argument that only 136 of his 868 career home runs were steroid-induced. And let’s not forget the ever-popular, “how many of the pitchers he faced were juiced?” argument.

    Here’s what I think and have always thought: None of these guys should ever go in. Not Bonds, not Sosa, not Clemens, not A-Rod, not McGwire, not Palmeiro—none of them. If there’s any evidence at all (and in most of these cases there is plenty) then they’re guilty. My 600 home run club is Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Ken Griffey Jr. That’s it. Forget Bonds, forget Sosa and forget A-Rod whenever he gets there.

    There sure is a lot of opinion on A-Rod and this event, isn’t there?

    If Jim Thome hadn’t got hurt in 2005, and was going for his 600th career homer this season, would as many have cared about him and the milestone?

    Yeah, I know, Thome was never caught or named as a PED user – like A-Rod. And, for many, that’s the difference, I suppose…

    July 26th @ The Indians

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (16)

    The Yanks bested the Indians 3-2 last night on a night where they were being two-hit going into the eighth inning.  Fortunately for the Yanks, Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate with one on and none out and he lifted a ball out to the stands in right field to turn a 2-1 game into their one-run margin of victory.

    The Good:

    • The aforementioned Granderson went 2-for-3 last night and drove in the winning runs with his 10th HR of the season and his third in the last two games.  Since the All-Star break (10 games), Granderson is hitting .306/.375/.583.
    • OK, this is a little sarcastic but I wanted to praise Girardi for avoiding the natural instinct to use #62 last night.  By going with Robertson, Logan and Rivera, the Yankee bullpen pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit ball and preserved the win.
    • Javier Vazquez wasn’t brilliant (7 5 2 2 3 5) but he was effective and efficient and kept the team in the game before turning it over to his bullpen.

    The Bad:

    • Tribe starter Jake Westbrook was on his game so bad hitting performances will happen.  I’ll spare the majority of the Yankee lineup for their lack of impact last night and simply point out that, for the second time in three games, the umpiring crew made calls that instant replay showed were incorrect.  Note to the umps: next time, instead of Gatorade between innings, try some Red Bull.

    Matt Garza pitched the Rays’ franchise first-ever no-hitter over Detroit and Boston shelled Danny Haren and company in Anaheim thus the Yanks gained no ground in the race to October.  Tonight it’s CC Sabathia (13-3, 3.18) pitching against his former club.  The Indians will send rookie Josh Tomlin to the mound in his MLB debut.  Hopefully A-Rod can hit #600 on his 35th birthday.

    Barra On A-Rod, Yankees Fans & The N.Y. Press

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (23)

    Allen Barra writes about “The unpopular case for A-Rod’s brilliance.” Here’s a snip -

    I’m suggesting that it might be good idea for Yankee fans to get used to the fact that Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest players in baseball history, which they haven’t so much denied as simply declined to consider.

    Rodriguez gets plenty of press in New York, but even after leading his team to a pennant and World Series win last year, most of it is still negative. For all the ink on him, including Selena Roberts’s 2009 book, properly called by former New Times columnist Murray Chass “a journalistic disgrace” — we really know very little about him.

    No one, to my knowledge, has even attempted a genuine in-depth profile of Rodriguez. We know which movie star he’s dating, which nightclub he was at last night, and, every couple of months, when he gets together with his children – but that’s about it.

    Exactly why the New York press and fans have never warmed up to Alex Rodriguez isn’t clear. None of the most popular reasons provide a satisfactory answer on their own. Some still insist that he’s arrogant, though egotistical might be the more appropriate term. At any rate, he’s nowhere near Reggie Jackson’s league when it comes to arrogance, and fans here loved Reggie. His brief association with steroids while he was with the Texas Rangers didn’t help, but then both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have also been tainted by steroid use, and it didn’t hurt their popularity with their home teams (or even at the New Yorker). Has he really lost favor with fans just for dating celebrities?

    So, what do you think? Why has “the New York press and fans have never warmed up to Alex Rodriguez”? And, is A-Rod “…one of the greatest players in baseball history”?

    A Yankees Fan’s Rosebud?

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    David Pinto shares a very interesting Yankees-related story today.

    Phil Hughes Last 12 Starts

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Since May 17th, here are Phil Hughes stats – including yesterday’s game:

    12 Games Started
    72.3 Innings
    307 Batters Faced
    .290/.330/.500 Opposition BA/OBA/SLG Allowed
    5.47 ERA

    Now, Hughes’ poor performance has not cost the Yankees – as New York has gone 9-3 in these 12 games. But, should we, or the Yankees, be concerned about the way Hughes has been pitching (outside of his first 6 starts of the season)?

    What If Gene Orza Had Stayed Out Of It?

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (16)

    Boston’s beloved CHB addresses a a question that I’ve always wondered about.

    And, in there, he writes:

    …in more than six seasons since it all went down, I have never once heard a Red Sox fans say, “I wish we’d gotten A-Rod.”

    That’s probably true, and, interesting, no?

    July 25th Vs. The Royals

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (8)

    Curtis Granderson showed up!

    Yesterday (before the hurricane hit the stadium),  Hughes put in a serviceable performance. He wasn’t horrible, but he wasn’t great either. Some may want to point to the near quality start that was shortened by rain and say that he pitched pretty well. Anytime Scott Podsednik hits a homer off a pitcher, I can’t say it was a good performance. (And somehow he hit 2 homers this game, the other off Joba)

    BS call by the umpires that allowed one of Hughes’ Park’s run to score, though. The ball was in the dirt, and Jorge threw his mask to the side to look for it. The ball then proceeded to roll right underneath the mask, accidentally. The runner was then permitted to score by the umps, as it states in the rules that the catchers mask cannot touch the ball. Odd scoring on that, as Posada got an error but Hughes was still given an earned run. Not sure how that works out. (My bad, in my mind I remembered it happening in the beginning of the game. Beers and a rain delay’ll do that to ya)

    If anyone missed it, I just want to take a second and say WOW to Ankiel’s homer off of Hughes. It hit off the facing of the upper deck. That was a moonshot, and he was the closest to a right field upper deck shot that we’ve had.

    I can’t lie, when the ball hit Rodriguez, I thought it hit his hand and that he’d be out till the playoffs with a broken hand. Thank goodness it just looked worse than it was. Prior to that, A-Rod went for 600 with a few swings yesterday but overall he has kept his swing tight in an effort to avoid going into a slump while he goes for 600. Much different than when he went for 500.

    Is it really possible that Joba is worse than Chan Ho Park at this moment in time?

    Joba’s Comps This Season

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    It’s not a pretty group. So, why is Chamberlain still in the big leagues right now? It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it?

    Rk Player ERA+ 5 WHIP G Tm IP BB SO ERA HR BF BA OBP SLG
    1 Chad Qualls 53 2.114 41 ARI 35.0 15 32 8.49 4 179 .373 .426 .544
    2 Joba Chamberlain 68 1.606 43 NYY 42.1 17 47 5.95 3 191 .295 .356 .422
    3 Tony Sipp 84 1.556 42 CLE 36.0 26 40 4.75 6 158 .236 .372 .441
    4 Jason Frasor 88 1.603 43 TOR 38.2 19 41 4.66 2 179 .276 .365 .397
    5 Bobby Jenks 89 1.569 40 CHW 36.1 16 44 4.95 2 166 .281 .352 .377
    6 Nick Masset 92 1.588 51 CIN 45.1 23 51 4.57 5 205 .278 .361 .409
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 7/26/2010.

    .

    Loss Mutts Tanking July

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    To date, the Mets are 6-15 in the month of July. And, coming into this month, they were 1 1/2 games out of first place – and, now, 21 games later, they’re sitting 7 1/2 games back of first.

    Is the New York media going too easy on the Mets during this dive? I mean, imagine if this were the Yankees – and what the reaction to this would be?

    Pssst, At Yankee Stadium, Don’t Drink The Chivas Regal Whiskey…It’s Spoiled!

    Posted by on July 26th, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Via ESPNNewYork.com:

    Watch what you eat at the ballpark, stadium or arena.

    That’s the message from an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report that detailed the findings of health-department inspection reports for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American arenas and stadiums that were home to MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL teams in 2009.

    The “Outside the Lines” report found that at 30 venues (28 percent), more than half the concessions stands or restaurants had been cited for at least one “critical” or “major” health violation.

    At Yankee Stadium, 48 percent of vendors were found to be in violation of health codes. The OTL report, citing an inspection-report excerpt, said that five hot dogs registered 91 degrees in a hot-holding unit when they were supposed to be no cooler than 140. Inspectors at the Yankees’ home also had a vendor dispose of a bottle of Chivas Regal whiskey containing dead fruit flies.

    Citi Field fared slightly better than the ballpark in the Bronx. Forty-five percent of vendors at the Mets’ home park were cited with violations. Inspectors found 20 pounds of grilled chicken registered at 70 degrees in a refrigerator at the ballpark, which is about 30 degrees warmer than allowed, according to an excerpt of inspection reports.

    They found…a bottle of Chivas Regal whiskey containing dead fruit flies…at Yankee Stadium?

    Isn’t it just possible this was a case of mistaken identity? Could it not be possible that this is actually a historical artifact containing Babe Ruth backwash?

    O.K., seriously, you eat out, you take your chances. Doesn’t matter if it’s Yankee Stadium, a five-Star restaurant, or the corner deli. Anyone who has ever worked in a food service establishment can tell you stories that will make you want to never eat out again…until the next time you eat out again, of course.

    Dan Haren To The Halos

    Posted by on July 25th, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Via the USA Today -

    The first major pitching trade of deadline week came Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Angels acquired Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for left-hander Joe Saunders and three other players.

    Haren, 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts this year, was one of the major pitching targets among contenders before the July 31 deadline for non-waiver trades. He won at least 14 games and pitched more than 200 innings in each of the previous five seasons with Oakland and Arizona, topping out at 16-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 2008.

    Haren, 29, is owed at least $29 million through 2012, including salaries of $12.5 million in 2011 and ’12.

    Also going to Arizona in the deal are left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin, right-hander Rafael Rodriguez and a player to be named later.

    Interesting. And, the Yankees couldn’t/didn’t want to make an offer better than what the Angels gave up here? Then again, maybe New York just felt like they could live without Haren this season?

    Will A-Rod Be Stuck On #599 For A While Now Thanks To Blake Wood?

    Posted by on July 25th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Well, for sure, I don’t think those who stuck out a 2 hour and 32 minute rain delay at Yankee Stadium were hoping to see this in the 8th inning today, for sure…

    It’s 6:40 pm EST now.  We’ll have to wait and see if Wood plunking Alex Rodriguez will cause A-Rod to miss a lot of time…

    Update 7:15 pm ET: Per Joe Girardi in the post-game, Alex has a bruise on his hand and there’s no plan for any X-rays. That’s good and strange news. Nice to see it’s not worse. Weird considering the Yankees usually send a guy to the hospital for a battery of tests and scans when he just has something as minor as jock-itch…

    July 24th Vs. The Royals

    Posted by on July 25th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Ok, some may want to point out that Posada’s miscatch in the 1st of A-Rod’s throw home led to the first 2 unearned runs. Some of those same people also think that Mitre starting off on the wrong foot could’ve lead to all the runs. Not me. Mitre stinks. But, since he’s effectively our 5th starter at the moment, you really can’t complain too much about him as long as the rest of the staff picks up the slack in Pettitte’s absence.

    For those in the other camp, don’t get your heart set on Dan Haren, though. I really doubt the Yankees go get another starter. There’s not much of a point since Andy keeps saying he’s ready to roll.

    If A-Rod had come up in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, I just had that feeling like he’d get the walk off. It just had baseball magic moment written all over it. It’s too bad the ump blew the call (it was extremely close, so I can’t really fault him on this one).

    Don’t look now, but with another double dip in the home run department yesterday Tex is on pace for 33 homers. It was not even 2 months ago where we all thought there was a slight chance he might hit .270. He’s already at .261. The guy’s slugging over .800 for the month.

    The Not So Great Gamere

    Posted by on July 25th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Coleman made up the Yankee play by play team in 1969.  Why do I bring this up? Well, Bill White was discussed earlier in the day in a post done by Steve.   Bill of course joined the broadcast team of Messer and Rizzuto in 1971, so we have a slight continuity problem, who was the third man in 1970?  Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you the sad tale of a man named Bob Gamere.

    Bob was barely 30 years of age when he signed on for the 1970 season as the third man in the booth.  Before “burn baby burn”, before “AROD has just hit an ABOMB”, there was “see you later Danny Cater” the home run call for the Yankees first baseman at the time.  It was a Gamere creation (and not exactly overused, Cater only hit 6 homers all year).  Gamere had another one used from time to time, when a Yankee reliever started warming up he would give his name (let’s say it was Jack Aker),  he’d say “Aker is throwing up in the bullpen”.  With material like that it should come as no surprise he was let go after the 1970 season. 

    Gamere did not go gently into that good night emerging in 1973 as the host of a local show in the Boston area known as “Candlepins for Cash”.  Candlepin Bowling is a variation of 10 pin, these type shows were popular in the 1970′s, Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy hosted a show of this type on Channel 9.  Gamere’s show had a very nice 7 year run (1973-1980) which he then parlayed into a sports anchor position on a local TV station in Massachusetts.  Bob was let go after he ran into some legal trouble (sorted to say the least) and reinvented himself again hosting a radio sports talk show. 

    The name “Great Gamere” followed in the 90′s as Bob became a football betting expert.  His ad’s ran in the Post and News (I own Monday Night Football  1 (900) etc kind of stuff).  As that business concluded in the early years of the 21st Century, Bob found himself in more serious trouble this time with the Feds.  Bob was charged in October 2008 with using his home computer to send emails with child pornography videos attached!   I’ll save you the rest of the very sorted details.  Bob pleaded out in September 2009 and was sentenced at the beginning of 2010 to 5 years in prison, plus after his prison term ends, a lifetime term of supervised release. 

    It might interest fans to know it was none other than Howard Cosell who recommended Bill White to Mike Burke (Yankee President at the time) when Gamere was thankfully let go at the end of the 1970 baseball season.

    Six Years Ago Today In Yankeeland & Beantown…

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    Yikes. Pete did you have to remind us?

    Mr. Smith (As In Charley) Goes to The Bronx

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Colin Curtis two strike pinch hit appearance this week brought me back to some bad old day memories with the Yankees of the late 60′s and a two strike pinch hit appearance by a player named Charley Smith.  Curtis as we all know blasted one into the seats two strikes and all, Charley Smith, well let’s go back and meet Charley….

    Charley’s career spanned the 1960′s his first major league appearance was in 1960,  with the Dodgers, his last in 1969, with the Cubs.  If you were to look up the word journeyman in a baseball dictionary, Charley’s face might appear next to the definition.  Between 1960 and 1969, Charley played for the Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox, Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, Giants (spring training 69) and the Cubs.    

    Charley’s career numbers, 771 games played, 2,686 plate appearances, 69 homers, 281 RBI, .239 BA with OBP of .279,  while not spectacular were enough of an inducement to involve him in some pretty big name trades in the 1960′s.  In 1961, Charley was traded by the Phillies to the White Sox for Roy Sievers, who led the American League in homers in 1957.  In 1965 Smith was traded by the Mets to the Cardinals for 1964 NL MVP winner Ken Boyer.  In 1966 he was on the move again this time to the Yankees for two time MVP (60, 61), single season home run champ, Roger Maris.

    Charley’s stay with the Yanks was not a good time for anyone.  Smith was brought in to replace the sure-handed Clete Boyer at third (he was even assigned Boyer’s number 6).   He certainly was no Boyer in the field, or at the plate, his two year power totals, 10 homers and 45 RBI were less than Boyer’s final year in pinstripes.  In fact (and now we come full circle) his only Yankee claim to fame was a mini pinch hit streak, he had five consecutive pinch hits and was closing in on the record at the time.  It was late in the game, a Yankee batter (can’t remember the name) had a two strike count on him, Houk looking down the bench decided to pull a surprise move and go with his hot pinch hitter.  He waved the batter back to the dugout and sent Smith up to the plate.  This was it, Charley’s day in the sun had arrived (well not exactly, it was a night game), but alas it wasn’t to be, Charley struck out.  Things were different for the Yankees in those days, most things didn’t have happy endings. 

    Charley is one of two players I can think of (the other is Dick Tidrow) who played for both New York teams and both Chicago teams, I don’t know if there are any others.

    July 23rd Vs. The Royals

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (3)

    I missed much of this one as I was at my friend who’s moving to California’s going away party, but here’s a few notes:

    - Burnett was throwing the ball well up until the rain delay forced him out. Very economical, 58 pitches through 5. Too bad, he might have gone the distance in this one.

    - Not that Cano cooled off too much, but it appears he’s starting to get hot again. He’s hitting .353/.500/.706 over his last 22 PA with half of his hits going for extra bases.

    - As hot as Cano has been over the last few games, it still makes me nuts that he got Jeff Nelson’ed (Fake to 3rd, throw to first).

    - Tex was kept hitless for a rare time during this torrid July for him, despite drawing 2 walks. He’s hitting .388/.494/.746 in his last 83 PA with 14 XBH.

    - While it didn’t come tonight, ya gotta give A-Rod credit, he doesn’t appear to be pressing for 600.

    - Congrats to Jorge Posada on his 1000th RBI.

    - Tampa lost and Boston won resulting in the Yankee lead in the AL East improving to 4 games.

    Traded: Inside The Most Lopsided Trades In Baseball History

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Traded: Inside The Most Lopsided Trades In Baseball HistoryI just had a chance to check out Doug Decatur’s book, Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History, which was released eight months ago.

    Having read Decatur’s last book, four years ago, and finding that one to be very enjoyable, I was looking forward to reading this one. And, now done, I can say that “Traded” did not disappoint me.

    Decatur has worked as a statistical consultant for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. And, in “Traded” he uses stats to determine the 306 most lopsided baseball trades of the twentieth century. Bascially, Decatur adds up the future Win Shares for each player after the trade for the two teams- and the net difference determines a score that allows for rankings . But, this book is more than just a ranking of trades. The author also provides a team-by-team overview of the best and worst trades in each team’s history as well as providing countless “fun” stories about the people involved in, or behind, these transactions. Also, as a bonus, Decatur shares thirteen red flags that might indicate a lopsided trade now or in the future.

    The Yankees? Well, the have the second best trade ever according to his analysis – when they swapped cash for Babe Ruth. But, they also have the third worst trade ever – when they traded Fred McGriff, Mike Morgan and Dave Collins for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. Ouch.

    What I enjoyed most about “Traded,” aside from it being a great chronicle of some crazy baseball trades, is that it provides a ton of data and commentary, makes you think, and sparks some debate. And, what more can you want from a baseball book – especially one that focus on baseball history and statistics?

    Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History” is a fun and informative read and a worthy addition to every baseball library. In a word, this book was “stimulating.” I recommend this one to baseball fans of all levels – as there’s something in there for everyone.

    Yankees OF Who Can Hit Dropping Like Flies

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Per Chad Jennings:

    Brett Gardner has a sort of acid reflux problem and is currently in the hospital getting it sorted out.

    And, per Mark Viera:

    Nick Swisher was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game because of a sore left heel.

    Walking through the clubhouse this morning with a heavily taped left ankle, Swisher said that he planned to go through his full pregame workout, which included hitting and running, but that he would be held out of the lineup for cautionary reasons.

    Who ever thought Colin Curtis would become so useful to the Yankees this season?

    Posada’s Milestone 1,000th RBI

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Need some context?

    Here it is!

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