I cannot believe this one is now 30-years old. Seems like it was just yesterday…
Via MiLB.com -
The Tampa Yankees have the best record in the Florida State League, and their center fielder, Melky Mesa, has been rewarded for personal and team success with the FSL Postseason Player of the Year Award, which was announced Tuesday.
Mesa has been slugging for the Yankees all season and sits second in the FSL in home runs (19) and slugging percentage (.475) and third in RBIs (74). The 23-year-old is not all brawn either, as he is fifth in the league with 31 stolen bases and third in triples with nine. Mesa’s play has the Yankees on the cusp of clinching the FSL North’s second-half title and the postseason berth that goes with it.
Here are Mesa’s minor league numbers to date:
We probably have another three years, at the least, before we can start to re-cycle those “Got Melk?” T-Shirts in Yankeeland. Maybe longer…if ever? Still, for the moment, it’s a nice achievement by the kid.
This evening at 8:00 p.m. ET, “Greatest MLB Rivalries: Red Sox vs. Yankees” will debut on VERSUS.
This one-hour special, created by MLB Productions, is the final chapter of five episodes that aired over the past month (others included Cubs vs. Cardinals, Mets vs. Phillies, Dodgers vs. Giants and A.L. vs. N.L.), taking viewers inside the most compelling headtohead matchups in the game today, providing perspective from players, coaches, fans, media and team management.
Reportedly, the Red Sox vs. Yankees show is the most comprehensive treatment of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry that MLB Productions has ever put together. The claim is that every notable moment is covered, as well as many that most fans have either forgotten or have never seen before.
The 2003 and 2004 ALCS series are covered extensively, as is the 1978 season, the early days of Babe Ruth, the 40’s and 50’s featuring Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio and much more.
Some of the more interesting rare nuggets include:
- An extensive look at the late 70’s rivalry, including footage of multiple brawls, the Carlton Fisk-Thurman Munson rivalry, and the 1978 regular season comeback by the Yankees
- Don Zimmer talking recently about the 2003 ALCS brawl that included his altercation with Pedro Martinez, saying “I was wrong in doing what I did. They said ‘Pedro threw an old man to the ground.’ Pedro didn’t do nothing wrong [sic].”
- Interviews with fans from both sides expressing how deep the rivalry goes, including comments from noted Red Sox fan, actor Denis Leary.
The show features new and/or archived interviews with a who’swho of notable figures from both sides, including:
- Aaron Boone
- Johnny Damon
- Bucky Dent
- Dwight Evans
- Carlton Fisk
- Nomar Garciaparra
- Joe Girardi
- Goose Gossage
- Reggie Jackson
- Derek Jeter
- Fred Lynn
- Kevin Millar
- Thurman Munson
- David Ortiz
- Jonathan Papelbon
- Dustin Pedroia
- Lou Piniella
- Mariano Rivera
- CC Sabathia
- Curt Schilling
- Mark Teixeira
- Joe Torre
- Don Zimmer
Sounds like must-see TV, eh?
Fun facts from Martin Fennelly -
Remember it well, for it might never happen again.
After all, it has never happened before, at least not this late in a baseball season, at least not for this long.
The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees were together again atop the AL East as Monday turned to Tuesday.
The Siamese baseball teams live. Eight days and counting.
Never before have two baseball teams been tied for first place this many days in a row, this late in a season. The old record, apparently, belonged to the Dodgers and Astros, who were locked up atop the NL West for seven straight days in July in 1980. They eventually needed a one-game playoff to settle things (the Astros won).
But this thing, it’s getting extraordinary.
“It’s been methodical,” [Joe] Maddon said during last weekend. “We go up a little bit, they go up a little bit. We win, they win. We lose, they lose.”
There are 31 games left for both teams.
Both have 16 home games and 15 road games left.
The Rays have 15 games left against teams with winning records. The Yankees have 22.
The Rays have 15 games left with the AL East. They’re 30-19 in division play, the best mark of any AL East team. The Yankees have 22 games left against the East. They’re 27-20 against the division.
The last stretch might be telling.
The Rays finish up with 10 games against teams with losing records: three at the Trop with Seattle, then three with Baltimore, then a four-game trip to Kansas City to wrap up the regular season.
The Yankees? They have three with the Red Sox, three at the Jays and finish with three at Fenway Park.
Of course, we haven’t even mentioned the seven games left between the Rays and the Yanks, three at the Trop (Sept. 13-15) and four large at Yankee Stadium (Sept. 20-23).
Great stuff. Too bad the wildcard makes it all moot – meaning both teams will make the post-season, no matter what. What a race this would be if it was loser go home, huh?
No, it’s not happening – at least, not now.
But, when I thought about how funny it would be, if this were true, for the heck of it, I googled “Roger Clemens Dancing With The Stars” and saw that I was not the first person to think this would be an interesing event.
Via Baseball Musings, here are the numbers:
Player G AB HR RBI BA OBA SLG B. Gardner 74 218 3 25 .275 .398 .385 M. Teixeira 77 290 21 58 .290 .387 .583 R. Cano 79 303 15 50 .300 .377 .528 M. Thames 34 89 8 18 .315 .361 .607 N. Swisher 78 310 15 50 .287 .354 .506 J. Posada 69 225 10 35 .231 .349 .413 A. Kearns 19 56 2 6 .250 .344 .411 E. Nunez 11 28 1 7 .286 .333 .429 C. Moeller 2 5 0 0 .200 .333 .400 D. Jeter 79 323 5 28 .245 .323 .344 C. Curtis 22 43 1 8 .256 .319 .395 C. Granderson 79 271 12 34 .244 .308 .435 A. Rodriguez 63 240 14 56 .242 .298 .479 C. Huffman 9 18 0 2 .167 .286 .167 J. Miranda 11 17 1 2 .235 .278 .412 F. Cervelli 46 133 0 9 .203 .274 .248 L. Berkman 12 39 0 4 .179 .273 .282 R. Pena 50 84 0 11 .226 .258 .250 K. Russo 16 24 0 0 .125 .222 .125
Thank goodness for Gardner, Teixeira, Cano, Thames and Swisher, eh?
And, I wonder, looking at his numbers here before he got hurt, how A-Rod will perform over the last month of the season once he returns? How terrible will it be for him if the Yankees are fighting it out with the Rays over the last month and he tanks during that time?
Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in the Yankees rout last night. And, coming into that contest, since June 2nd, his BA/OBA/SLG line was: .244/.322/.342 (in 355 PA).
Yes, in his last 78 games, Derek Jeter is like a .240 hitter.
That’s a half-season worth’s of games.
Now, maybe Jeter is playing hurt. It’s very possible. But, that’s not a buddy pass on being accountable.
At this point, isn’t it time for Derek Jeter to be a team leader and go into Joe Girardi’s office and say “Skip, I’m not getting it done and I haven’t been getting it done for the last three months. You have to move me down in the line-up. I don’t deserve to bat first or second. I should be batting closer to seventh. I’m not helping the team where I’m batting now the way that I’m hitting”?
I’m back from a week in Ireland…what’d I miss?
Getting to watch tonight’s 11-5 destruction of the A’s is about the best way I can think of to get back into the swing of things. True, Dustin Moseley pitched poorly and, true, the A’s aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees at the plate but there was still a lot to like about this game:
- The Yankees pounded out 13 hits to go with their 11 runs and chased Cy Young contender Trevor Cahill (4 9 8 8 2 2) early;
- Seven of the nine Yankee starters registered at least one hit (only Jeter and Granderson missed the hit parade);
- The Yankee 3-4-5 hitters (Teixeira-Cano-Swisher) went a combined 9-for-11 with three doubles, two home runs and nine RBI;
- Marcus Thames continued his absolutely ridiculous hitting, blasting his sixth HR in the past six games; and
- Javier Vazquez showed once again that he cannot be completely dismissed as a viable major league pitcher. In relief of Dustin Moseley, Vazquez (4.2 2 1 1 1 6) picked up his 10th win of the season.
The Yankees are 81-50, tied for first place with the Tampa Bay Rays. We all do a lot of complaining about a lot of things as fans but does anyone else realize that the Yankees are 31 games above .500? That’s pretty remarkable.
Please consider taking the following poll:
Thanks in advance. And, please feel free to add comments on your opinion in the comments section.
An email exchange between me and my buddy, and fellow Yankees fan, Phil today:
Phil: Can we put the whole “payroll=playoffs” argument to bed? Five of the lowest 10 payrolls are playoff bound…..Rays, Reds, Padres, Rangers and Twins.
Steve: Yup. Astute GMs can put together a playoff contender without having to spend boat loads to get it done.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with Phil? How about me? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this entry.
No, it’s not Kei Igawa and Jonathan Albaladejo fighting over who is the best Brian Cashman pick-up to ever grace a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre uniform. It’s LuzerneCounty going after LackawannaCounty over…well…money. The story via the Times Leader:
Luzerne County Commissioners voted this afternoon to sue LackawannaCounty and the Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority of Lackawanna County over agreements involving the Triple-A baseball franchise occupied by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
LackawannaCounty officials approved 2007 franchise agreements that allow a sale of the franchise without input from LuzerneCounty, even though each county owns a share of the franchise stock and paid $1 million to buy the franchise in 1986.
Talk of a potential franchise sale to the Yankees has been surfacing as an option to fund millions in repairs at the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium, where the team plays.
LuzerneCounty commissioners also voted this afternoon to hire Reed Smith LLC to file the lawsuit.
A franchise is a claim to a minor league team. LuzerneCounty commissioners have said the county owns half of the franchise and that it can’t be sold without their OK.
The county had prepared a lawsuit in 2007, but former countyCommissioner Greg Skrepenak had abruptly canceled the filing of the lawsuit without explanation.
The statute of limitations to challenge the 2007 agreements may expire this September, which is why Luzerne County Commissioners could not wait until their next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 15 to initiate a lawsuit.
According to the 1986 franchise purchase agreement, franchise sale proceeds must be split equally between the two counties, after reimbursing the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority $345,000 for its cost to bring the franchise here.
Scranton attorney John McGee has been pushing for a legal challenge over the 2007 agreements, saying the region will lose its claim on a Triple-A team if the franchise is sold. McGee was instrumental in bringing the franchise to the area in the 1980s.
Picking up on Mike Silva’s thought today, I thought I would throw in my two cents on projecting Ivan Nova.
Now, keep in mind, this is totally by eye-ball and 100% subjective. It’s a gut feel thing. And, it’s not based on any sabermetric principles or the like.
But, if I were pushed to offer an opinion on it, on the fly, I would say that, at his best, Nova could have an Edwin Jackson type ceiling; and, at his worst, we’re looking at the next Boof Bonser. And, in the end, what he’ll probably be is somewhere in between that.
How about you? What do you think?
Via Andrew Perloff:
The MLB Network’s Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams joined the [Dan Patrick Show] to talk about Stephen Strasburg’s injury and more.
Dan asked Williams his favorite in the AL East. Williams will go with Tampa, because of all the arms the Rays have. And he thinks the Yankees won’t even make the playoffs. “Boston has more pitching. Tampa has more pitching. And everyone knows in September and October, pitching wins,” Williams said.
Well, the Red Sox do play the Yankees 6 times within their final 10 games. But, in order to cash in on those, the would have to get within 4 games of New York over the next 3 weeks. Can they do that? A lot, I suppose, depends on how the Yankees play over their next 20 or so games too.
Via the Worcester Telegram -
Former New York Yankee pitcher Tanyon Sturtze was involved in a fight inside a Water Street bar Saturday night.
Police said the Worcester-born right-hander was at The Perfect Game bar at 64 Water St. Around 11:32 p.m., police were called for a report of a fight.
When police arrived they found a large group of people. A man identified as Peter J. Boudreau, 22, was found injured. There was no report saying how bad his injuries were, but one friend said that during a large fight inside the bar, Mr. Boudreau was hit over the head with a bottle.
Mr. Boudreau, who declined to comment when contacted by a reporter, was taken to St. Vincent Hospital.
Police said Mr. Boudreau told them a tall man was harassing his girlfriend inside the bar. He went over to confront the man about it. The man was later identified as Mr. Sturtze.
Mr. Boudreau told police the former major league pitcher punched him several times. Police found Mr. Sturtze, 39, who had a facial injury. He told police Mr. Boudreau attacked him for no reason.
Officers on scene received conflicting reports on what happened. Neither man wanted to press charges, according to authorities.
One of Mr. Boudreau’s friends, 21-year-old Christopher Nussey of Auburn, was at the bar Saturday night and said he was also attacked when the fight broke out. He said he found out later Mr. Sturtze was involved in the fight, and didn’t recognize the former ballplayer.
Mr. Nussey was at the bar with his older brother, Patrick Nussey, another friend, and Mr. Boudreau when, they said, they saw a tall man talking to Mr. Boudreau’s girlfriend and one of her friends.
“We saw this guy putting him arm around her and near her,” Christopher Nussey said.
Christopher Nussey said he had words with Mr. Sturtze and they began fighting. Another man came over and punched Christopher Nussey in the face, he said. After he fell to the ground, Christopher Nussey said, he was kicked several times but does not know who attacked him.
“I booked it. I ran out the front window,” Christopher Nussey said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
Christopher Nussey said his brother, who ended up with a black eye, stayed and talked to police. Christopher Nussey said he went to UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus with a gash underneath his eye and a black eye. Hospital officials said he had facial contusions.
Christopher Nussey said he plans to talk to police today.
“I want to press charges. There was no need for any of that to happen,” he said.
It’s a steep downward step down from grappling with Gabe Kapler in 2004 to punching out a couple of Nusseys in 2010, ain’t it?
What a difference a year makes, huh? Last season, at the close of business on August 31st, the Yankees were in first place by 6 1/2 games. They’re not going to match that cushion this year – and it appears that we’re going to have a September to remember in Yankeeland in 2010. But, when was the last time that we had such a thing? It wasn’t 2008 – that’s for sure. At the close of business on August 31st 2008, the Yankees were 12 1/2 games out of first place.
Heading into September 1st 2005, the Yankees were 2 1/2 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox. And, heading into September 1st 2004, the Yankees were 3 1/2 games ahead of the second place Boston Red Sox.
But, in terms of being really, really, close, you have to go back to 1993. That season, heading into September 1st, the Yankees were 1 1/2 games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays. And, the last time before that, if you ignore the broken season of 1981, you have to go back to 1980. That season, heading into September 1st, the Yankees were 1 1/2 games ahead of the second place Baltimore Orioles.
Should be fun to see how this September works out for the Yankees. Will it be more like 2005, 1993 or 1980? My money is on 2005. What do you think?
This was a good win.
What can you say about Ivan Nova? There’s no chance anyone thought he’d come up and be this good against 2 decently armed offenses. He’s making his push for the playoff roster, and could end up being a huge gun out of the ‘pen.
I can’t get too excited about Cervelli’s 4 hit night because of how cold he’s been. Before yesterdays game, Cervelli needed 12 games (36 PA) to gather 4 hits.
How hot is Marcus Thames? That’s his 5th home run in the past 4 starts he’s made. People like to talk about all the bad moves Cashman’s made during the offseason, this is one that he got right. With A-Rod and Tex down, he couldn’t have gotten hot at a better time.
Combine this win with Tampa’s, and Boston is now a comfortable 6.5 games back from a playoff spot. The Yanks are almost at the point of cruise control.
O.K., here it is, with 32 games remaining for the Yankees and Rays, and, 31 games remaining for the Red Sox.
TEAM W L GB Tampa Bay 99 63 - NY Yankees 98 64 1 Boston 91 71 8
How’s that for close?
To hear a replay of Mike Silva’s interview of me, that aired tonight on New York Baseball Digest Radio, click here.
The interview (with me) starts 3 minutes into the clip (found on BlogTalkRadio via the link).
Well, given the sorry state of the Yankees starting rotation, sans CC Sabathia, lately, albeit just after two starts, Ivan Nova is looking as pretty as a vintage Linda Harrison at this moment, in Yanleeland, for sure.
Andy Pettitte threw 35 pitches in the bullpen today – with the last 20 pitches or so at normal intensity. All reports from this are positive. But, it will still be at least 2 weeks before we see him pitching again for the Yankees.
Anyone who’s played baseball has had an injury like Teixeira’s, and you know how truly painful it can be. I’m hoping that all he needs is a handful of days of ice and rest. That leaves quite the hole in the lineup with the team’s 3 and 4 hole hitters out. At this point, it almost forces this Yankee fan to root for the Rays tonight. Anything to drive down that magic number.
The other story in this game was obviously the offense. Eduardo Nunez had the best game of his young career. His night included 3 hits featuring his first career homer and his first career stolen base. Cano added 3 hits, Posada was on base 4 times, Swisher added his second homer in as many at bats and Marcus Thames continued to tattoo the ball.
Marcus Thames hit 2 blasts, one off of a lefty and the other off a righty. In his last 3 GS, Thames has hit 4 homers. With Teixeira and A-Rod out, you have to keep Thames in the lineup against Floyd today. I know day game after night game, Posada should get the half day off and DH, but you need to put as many hot bats in the lineup as you can. You’re just giving games away, otherwise.
I know Singleton and Kay kept talking about the ball jumping out of the park to LF, and they were right, but the Yankee pitching was pretty bad last night (sans MO). Sabathia gave up 5 runs in the first 4 innings including homers to both Konerko and Andruw Jones. Man, Jones ALWAYS hits Yankee pitching.
Joba came in and was throwing gas, but Jones tagged him for a double with Carlos Quintin on first. That double I put blame on Posada. Posada, over the course of 9 pitches and 3 hitters, did not go inside once. Nothing but outside sliders and fastballs. Jones was looking for the fast ball out over the plate and it doesn’t matter that it’s 99 MPH when you know it’s coming and it’s straight.
Robertson also had nothing out there, giving up a homer to Alexei Ramirez and allowing Rios to score after a gift triple. In a game that Mo had no business entering, he came in and relieved Robertson earning his 26th save of the year. At least it wasn’t a total waste of Mo, as he needed to get some work in having not pitched in a week. I know I say it every time Mo pitches, but it amazes me that he’s having his finest season at the age of 40.
Via George King –
Late last night, Mark Teixeira didn’t sound or look like a player who would be in the Yankees lineup today.
Teixeira had his right hand in a compression wrap after leaving a 12-9 win over the White Sox early in the game with a bone bruise he suffered diving for a ball Friday night.
Teixeira, who came into the day having hit .059 (1-for-17) with runners in scoring position over his previous 15 games, said his early hitting work was affected by the sore hand. So, too, was his batting practice.
“I thought the adrenaline would kick in but I had nothing,” said Teixeira, who fouled out in the first. “I was swinging with one hand.”
Manager Joe Girardi, who moved Nick Swisher from right field to first base, wasn’t sure if Teixeira will play today.
If you ever hung out at the Paramount Theatre down in Stapleton, Staten, in the early 1980′s, this one is for you.
Joe Girardi is looking at his starting pitcher options. Via Chad Jennings -
This was the question asked of Joe Girardi after tonight’s game: I know you don’t have a lot of options, but are you still committed to (A.J. Burnett) as a starting pitcher?
This was the answer: “I’ve said we’ll evaluate after this weekend where we are and what we need to do.”
Girardi said more or less the same thing earlier this week, but those comments seemed directed at the rookie Ivan Nova and the recently demoted Javier Vazquez. They might have been directed at Phil Hughes and his innings limit, but they certainly didn’t seem to be aimed at Burnett. This time, Burnett was the question and that was the answer.
“Take it the way you want to take it,” Girardi said.
General Joe should look at it. Check out these numbers:
- A.J. Burnett, last 15 GS: 6.86 ERA (370 BF) and the Yankees went 3-12 in these 15 games.
- Javier Vazquez, last 15 GS: 4.19 ERA (373 BF) and the Yankees went 10-5 in these 15 games – but, that was thanks to their bullpen because Javy went just 6-4 in these contests. Plus, in his last 7 starts, Vazquez has been hideous.
- Phil Hughes, last 15 GS: 5.03 ERA (374 BF) and the Yankees went 10-5 in these 15 games – but, that was thanks to run support as the Yanks scored 7+ runs in 7 of these 15 games and scored 6 runs in another one.
- CC Sabathia, last 15 GS: 2.22 ERA (448 BF) and the Yankees went 13-2 in these 15 games. An ace, period. But, his W-L is totally offset by the one from Burnett.
- Dustin Moseley, last 6 GS: 4.63 ERA (148 BF) and the Yankees went 4-2 in these 6 games.
Note that we’re talking “last 15 starts here,” sans for Moseley, and that’s not chump change as it represents a half-season in terms of starts given to a regular member of the rotation.
Sabathia has been all you can ask for, and more. But, his efforts have been totally offset by the failures of Burnett. Hughes has been lousy – but lucky with run support. Vazquez, overall looks decent, and the Yanks have survived his starts thanks to the bullpen. But, let’s not forget that Javy lost his last turn in the rotation (to rookie Ivan Nova) because, in his last 7 starts, his ERA was 6.69 (in 35 IP) and batters were pasting him with a BA/OBA/SLG allowed of .327/.383/.673 (168 BF). And, Dustin Moseley (filing in for Andy Pettitte) has been, well, Dustin Moseley.
Oh, and, by the way, the earliest that Andy Pettitte will return to pitching for the Yankees will be September 15th – when there’s just 14 games left to the season. So, what’s Andy going to get from here to season end, maybe, three starts?
Since June 1st, the Yankees have gone 47-30, which is outstanding. But, it hasn’t been because of their starting rotation – outside of Sabathia. It’s their offense and bullpen which deserves most of the credit for that mark. But, lately, even that hasn’t helped – as New York is now 13-14 since July 30th.
Bottom line, the Yankees starting rotation, excluding #52, is a mess. It’s a shame that the Yankees front office has turned a blind eye to this as it has been unfolding. Because, now, it may be too late to do anything about it.
Ugh. This was one of the more painful games to watch of the year.
It started off on a good note, with Brett Gardner making it to third on an infield single thanks to an errant throw by Freddy Garcia. Jeter knocked him in on a ground out, and the Yanks were up with an early lead. That did not last long.
Burnett gave it right back and then some. Man, he stunk last night. While we were saying the same thing last year (From August 1st-Sept 12 2009 over 9 starts Burnett had a 6.14 ERA in 55.2 IP) it was not nearly as bad as this. After that stretch last year, Burnett turned it on right before the playoffs in his last 4 starts. Could he do it again this year? It’s hard to say yes after outings like this. You know it’s a bad time for ya when Sergio Mitre may well end up taking your start next time through the rotation.
It wasn’t just Burnett who was bad, the whole team seemed out of it with Swisher showing off his arm in right and Cervelli having trouble behind the plate. Freddy Garcia was made to look like the Freddy Garcia of 2001. Bottom line, if you missed this game, you didn’t miss anything.
Good thing Girardi hands the ball to CC today.
Seriously, since May 9th, through today, over his last 20 starts, A.J. Burnett’s ERA is 6.35 (78 ER in 110 2/3 IP). Wasn’t Dave Eiland supposed to fix him? What a joke. Oh, and, by the way, if the Yankees go on to lose this game today, they will be 6-14 in those 20 starts by Burnett. He’s killing this team and needs to be sent away. Perhaps to another planet?
Once the Yankees are done in Chicago, playing the White Sox, they have 32 games left to play this season. This includes:
- Seven vs. The Rays
- Six vs. The Red Sox
- Six vs. The Blue Jays
- Six vs. The Orioles
The Rays and Jays have played the Yankees close all season. And, the Red Sox will be fighting for their life. Lastly, the O’s under Buck Showalter are no longer a gimmie.
Man, it’s going to be a September to remember in Yankeeland this year, don’tcha think? Let’s hope it’s better than the one in 1974.
Most of the immediate media reports say that Andy Pettitte threw 25 pitches today in his bullpen session and had no discomfort. However, he didn’t throw at 100% effort. So, who knows what will happen when he turns the dial to max effort?
Mike Francesa, a few minutes ago, said that this all means a September 15th return for Pettitte. I suppose this makes sense – should he start making rehab appearances next week. However, that’s coming back with just two weeks left to the season. For the Yankees, sake, let’s hope that’s not too late.
Update: Girardi on WFAN now said that Pettitte had “no grabbing” and would throw another bullpen on Sunday. And, that the earliest return would be two weeks from Sunday.