• Vote For Freddy

    Posted by on September 24th, 2011 · Comments (3)

    Jack Curry tweets -

    Gotta wonder if Freddy Garcia, who has made 6 starts in the Yankees’ last 51 games, is now the favorite to start Gm 3 of Division Series.

    It’s a fair question. Burnett sucks. Hughes is unreliable and hurt. Colon’s last outing was very concerning. What other choice do the Yankees have but to consider using Sabathia, Nova and Garcia in the ALDS – even if the latter is a contact pitcher who needs to be on to have a chance in the game?

    Soxy Serendipity

    Posted by on September 24th, 2011 · Comments (7)

    As great as it is to see the Boston Red Sox tank this September, standalone on it’s own merits, I must admit that I’m also digging how much it’s bringing cause for the media to resurrect and mention what the Mets did in 2007.

    Cashman: I Played Sox With Crawford Dinner

    Posted by on September 24th, 2011 · Comments (8)

    Via ESPN -

    New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted Thursday that he feigned interest in Carl Crawford last offseason to drive up the price for the Boston Red Sox to sign the free agent.

    “I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up,” Cashman said. “The outfield wasn’t an area of need, but everybody kept writing Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford. And I was like, ‘I feel like we’ve got Carl Crawford in Brett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.’ ”

    The rivalry continues on the field Friday night. The Red Sox are clinging to a two-game lead over the Rays in the wild-card standings going into a three-game set in the Bronx against the AL East champion Yankees.

    It wasn’t long ago that the Yankees were looking up at the Red Sox in the standings, but Boston has slumped badly in September after leading the wild-card race by nine games, and Crawford hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    And now it turns out the Yankees didn’t even want him. They had put all of their eggs in the Cliff Lee basket this offseason, but Cashman had to scramble when the left-hander chose the Phillies.

    The GM was even ready to deal top catching prospect Jesus Montero to land Lee.

    “I wanted Lee badly enough to move Montero,” Cashman said. “You take all the players traded when Lee went from Cleveland to Philly, Philly to Seattle, and Seattle to Texas, and Montero would’ve been by far the best player moved in any of those deals.

    “But now I’m just happy fans have had a chance to get a better feel of why I was hesitant to make that deal. I’m not saying I was right in not doing that deal for Lee; that’s to be debated. But the young players we held onto have at least proven they were worthy of the angst as far as including them in a big trade.”

    Smart move by Cashman. But, why disclose it now? Nothing to gain from that – outside of trying to make yourself look good.

    Yup, Guess I’m A Sucka

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (6)

    I waited on Yankees Weather tweets as long as I could today – but, then I had to make the call and head out to the Stadium.

    I left my house at 4 PM – and, thanks to the rain and rush-hour traffic, I didn’t get up to the Stadium until a few minutes past six.  Yes, two hours, bumper to bumper, door to door. 

    Once there, I parked – for forty bucks – with my pre-paid parking ticket.  And, then, my daughter and I grabbed some sandwiches from our favorite deli and went into the Stadium.  I’m guessing that we sat down around 6:40 PM, thereabouts.

    Around 7:10 PM, I knew the game wasn’t going to start on time.  So, I asked my daughter if she wanted to go out to Monument Par…Kave.

    She did – so, we went.  As we were coming back to our seats, we took a look at the Great Hall, from up above, and I saw people walking out of the Stadium.  And, then, I figured bad news was coming…

    We went into the Yankees Museum and then I saw the announcement that the game was called.  I reached out to my wife, via the cell, and she said that the Yankees just called our house with an automated message – saying that the game was rained out.  Duh.

    So, back to the car, where I just pissed away $40 on parking, and time to head home.  We left the garage around 7:45 PM and I got home around 9:15 PM.

    My daughter had fun – enjoyed her sandwich, liked the Monument Park and the museum.  And, she likes the fact that now she can see another game…maybe Sunday…or next year.

    But, boy, do I feel like a sucker.  I should have stayed home, never left, saved the gas and tolls – and the time in traffic! – and got a credit for the parking – and I still would have been able to get my rain-check on a game that anyone with a half a brain would have called this afternoon, based on the forecast.

    MLB sucks for allowing this to go until just past seven to pull the plug.  It’s just stupid and inconsiderate.  And, I’m a sucker for playing into it.

    Cashman & Francesa

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (0)

    Mike Francesa met today with Brian Cashman to discuss the Yankees’ roster moves throughout the 2011 season and his expectations for the playoffs. Good one. Click here to check it out.

    The Bartolo Bubble Has Burst

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (14)

    Via Chad Jennings -

    Bartolo Colon hasn’t won a game since the beginning of August. He has a 5.09 ERA with a .298 opponents batting average since the all-star break, and he’s lost his past four decisions.

    The lightning might be out of the bottle.

    “When we went into this year, we weren’t sure how many innings we could get out of him,” Joe Girardi said. “There is some concern there, so we’ll continue to evaluate as we move forward… It’s location, it’s movement and it’s some velocity, as well. That’s why there are concerns.”

    Great. Colon is cooked. Sabathia cannot command his fastball. Hughes stinks and has a bad back. Burnett is Burnett. Garcia has been very hittable.

    It’s Nova and a prayer in the ALDS for the Yankees. This thing could be a three and out job for New York.

    Martin Not A Fan Of The Boys From The Fens

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (10)

    Via the boys at MLB.com -

    Russell Martin’s views on the American League Wild Card chase won’t win him any buddies in Boston, but his sentiments should gather plenty of support in the Bronx.

    Martin said on Thursday that he’d love to see the Yankees play spoiler this weekend at Yankee Stadium and try to knock the reeling Red Sox out of the postseason completely.

    “Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me,” Martin said. “They’re coming up next, so it’ll be fun.”

    Asked why he felt so strongly, Martin responded, “Because I hate the Red Sox.”

    A career Dodger before this season, Martin said that his first season in pinstripes formed a healthy disdain for the team’s AL East rivals.

    “Of course it’s this year,” he said. “They are fun to play against just because they have a quality team and are gritty and play hard and stuff, but I’d love to see them lose. … I guess it just comes with the territory, you know? When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way, I guess.”

    The Red Sox were one of the teams Martin considered signing with last offseason, along with the Blue Jays. But Martin thought the Yankees were more aggressive in their pursuit, convincing him to ink a one-year, $4 million deal.

    Yankees manager Joe Girardi seemed to be amused by Martin’s comments.

    “I don’t ever like to fuel anything, that’s the bottom line, but boys will be boys,” Girardi said.

    Of course, this will all change if the Red Sox offer Martin a $8 million contract for next season…

    Roger That

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (2)

    Via Chad Jennings -

    The New York Yankees will hold a special pregame ceremony on Friday, September 23, to honor the 50th anniversary of Roger Maris setting a then-Major League record with 61 home runs in 1961.

    The Yankees ask that fans take their seats by 6:20 p.m. with ceremonies slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., prior to the Yankees-Red Sox game scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.

    Joining the Yankees for the day’s celebration will be the families of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, as well as former teammates.

    The group will be introduced as part of an on-field ceremony emceed by actor Billy Crystal. In addition, Roger Maris bat as well as the 61st home run ball on loan from the Baseball Hall of Fame will on the field during the ceremony. Following a video tribute, the Yankees Foundation will present a donation to the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo, N.D.

    Cheryl Howard, daughter of Yankees All-Star catcher Elston Howard who was a teammate of Maris from 1960-66, will sing the national anthem.

    This is a nice treat for the fans who will be there this evening. I just hope it doesn’t rain during the ceremony.

    The Hangover

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (8)

    On one hand, I totally understand why this one was so sloppy.  But, on the other hand, it’s a tad upsetting that the Yanks couldn’t put up a better showing in this game. 

    How did you feel about this effort last night?

    The Derek Jeter Plays

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2011 · Comments (0)

    Crazy stuff. Via the Daily News -

    Yankees superstar shortstop is all over the lineup in a downtown theater festival leading off on Wednesday.

    “The Derek Jeter Plays,” at the Algonquin Seaport Theater on Pier 17, features six one-act works inspired by the A-list athlete.

    “The idea for the festival came out of a joke,” says Tony Sportiello, artistic director of the Algonquin Theater troupe. “An actress in the company is a huge Jeter fan and kept pressuring the writers to write about him.”

    That led him to put out a call for submissions for short works — no more than 20 minutes — inspired by the Yankees captain.

    More than two dozen pieces came in, some with Jeter at center stage while others mention him only in passing.

    Among shows on deck: Bo Wilson’s comedy “I’m Derek Jeter,” which follows a guy who pretends to be the ballplayer to pick up women.

    The joke is that he looks absolutely nothing like the ballplayer, but the ruse still works.

    “Hardball” by Mike Folie takes a more serious route. It finds a teenage girl sparring with her dad’s girlfriend at a Yankees game.

    Also in the dramatic dugout are Paul Buzinski’s “Pasta Diving Jeter,” about fanaticism, and Susan Barsky’s “The Jeter Report,” which finds a girl bonding with her father while doing a paper about sports.

    In Robin Rothstein’s “3000 Reasons,” a Jeter milestone brings collateral damage, and “Bottom of the Ninth,” by Sportiello, recalls a key playoff game.

    Asked if Jeter’s ex-girlfriend Minka Kelly appears in any of the works, Sportiello says no.

    “But Mariah Carey’s name comes up. Either Jeter dated her or Alex Rodriguez did.”

    I Miss Scott Brosius

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2011 · Comments (6)

    So, the MLB Network, right now, is playing clips from the 2001 World Series. And, then I see Brosius.

    I miss that guy. Paulie and Tino too. Heck, most of those guys from 1998-2001 were special dudes.

    Not the best players in the game. Not OPS+ gods. Just a good bunch of ballplayers. They were so easy to root for…

    Cashman: The Red Sox Are My Role Model

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2011 · Comments (11)

    Great stuff from Evan Brunell today -

    Hidden in a fantastic piece about the impact of Moneyball on baseball by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, with reverberations felt today, is an admission by Yankees GM Brian Cashman that he tried to emulate what the Red Sox had done to turn them into one of baseball’s powerhouses on the backing of unexpected contributions and strong pitching. And yet, while Cashman has largely succeeded, it would appear that Epstein has regressed.

    “[The Red Sox] were having a great deal of success with players of lesser ability,” Cashman said. “I studied what they were doing to some degree, adjusted accordingly, brought the Yankees up to speed, brought us into the 21st century.”

    The Red Sox’s transformation began when John Henry bought the club in December 2001 and encouraged increased emphasis on objective analysis. That coincided with the wooing of Moneyball darling Billy Beane, the A’s GM, who was at one point on track to become Boston’s new general manager before abruptly puling out, clearing the way for Theo Epstein to take over.

    “When I got to the Red Sox, our roster at the time had plenty of star power, but the second half of our roster was not strong,” Epstein said. So, he set out looking for undervalued assets using a process he cut his teeth on in San Diego. The Padres were and are a small-market team, which added emphasis to seeking out low-cost players who could return their value and more.

    “I spent the vast majority of time focused on players who were undervalued for some reason or another, trying to build value through small acquisitions, through looking at players through a slightly different lens than the marketplace,” Epstein said.

    That led to a host of players entering Boston that became instrumental in its 2004 World Series victory. Most notably, first baseman Kevin Millar, third baseman Bill Mueller and designated hitter David Ortiz were brought in. Millar would provide a steady presence at first, Mueller won the batting title in 2003 and Ortiz went on to be a Boston legend.

    It’s no wonder then, that Cashman sat up and paid attention after years of the Yankees throwing gobs of money at free agents to come to town and fail. He hasn’t stopped extending major dollars, but has also found success acquiring undervalued players such as Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Boone Logan and more.

    But Cashman wasn’t done trying to figure out what made the Red Sox so great. He hired former Red Sox pitching coach (and interim manager in 2001) Joe Kerrigan to peer into how the Red Sox approached their pitching. Kerrigan was let go when Henry came aboard, but still had a deep knowledge of the organization.

    “How they approached their pitching program was of interest to me,” Cashman says. “I was throwing out much more (pitching) talent than the Red Sox had and they were having more success. It goes to execution, game plans, stuff like that.”

    What’s interesting is that while Cashman has put together a strong team, founded partly on principles gleaned from Boston, Epstein has regressed.

    No longer is Epstein finding undervalued commodities in the trade or free-agent market. Instead, he’s opted for higher-priced veterans that have fallen flat on their face. Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Daisuke Matuszaka, Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria (and some would count J.D. Drew)… the list goes on. And many of Epstein’s holes have been glossed over by a trade he had nothing to do with, sending top shortstop prospect Hanley Ramirez to Florida for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. (Epstein would later extend Mike Lowell in a contract that also ended up a net loss.)

    How come we never hear any other G.M.’s saying that they want to be just like Cashman, in the way he runs his team?

    It’s A Lock

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2011 · Comments (8)

    Great job by the Yankees this season. Of course, Boston helped too. (Imagine if the Yankees had actually played well against the Red Sox this year? This thing could have been over weeks ago.)

    Now, on to the ALDS…and waiting to see who wins the wildcard…and who the Yankees will play in the first round.

    Enjoy the next few days. Hope for the best in the ALDS. And, don’t think beyond that point until it happens. It’s still extremely uphill for the Yankees from here. But, you have to be in it, to win it…and, they’re in it…now…it’s a lock.

    Happy Berthday To All of Us

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (6)

    Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Yankees clinch against Boston, but this will definitely do.

    The new magic number is now 3 (to clinch homefield in the ALCS).

    The Yankees also extended their record streak to 19 consecutive years finishing at least 12 games over .500 (1993-2011).  The old record was 18, held by (who else?) the New York Yankees from 1926-1943.

    And one wild thought:  What if the Wild Card is neither the Bosox or the Rays but the Angels?

     

    True Story?

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (4)

    Hey, I remember this guy.

    16 For 17

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (10)

    October baseball.  Always nice…

    Leader Jeter

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (5)

    Is it just me, or, does Derek Jeter have an excellent shot at leading the Yankees in hitting this season?

    Batting average, that is.

    Wouldn’t that be something?

    Andrew Friedman

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (1)

    Heyman is right – he’s one heckuva G.M.

    He doesn’t fit the profle – in terms of background – that I usually like to see from my G.M.  But, you cannot ignore what he’s done on such a slim dime.

    I’d love to see him swap payrolls with Cashman and see what each of them could do in reverse environments.  Now, that would be fun…

    Sabathia’s Heater Not So Hot?

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (4)

    Great stuff, as always, via Mark Simon -

    In case you couldn’t tell from watching, the numbers show that something’s wrong with C.C. Sabathia’s fastball

    Since the beginning of August, hitters have been crushing Sabathia’s heater like few others in the major leagues.

    Overall, it’s been hit to a .408 batting average by opponents over his last nine starts. Entering Tuesday, there were only three pitchers whose fastball had been hit for a higher average in this stretch.

    The unfortunate leader happens to be Sabathia’s teammate, A.J. Burnett (.466).

    The pitch location hasn’t mattered. If the ball is in the strike zone, it’s getting pummeled. The Rays bopped Sabathia’s fastball for four home runs the last time they faced him last month (they hit five against him in the game). Since then, Sabathia has yielded only one long ball with his fastball, but he’s given up 34 other hits with it.

    Sabathia’s fastball velocity is not down at all comparatively. It’s still coming in at an average of 94.4 miles-per-hour. It’s going out at a faster velocity too, particularly when Sabathia throws it waist-high.

    Since August 1, opponents are 27-for-53 (.509 batting average, .849 slugging percentage) in an at-bat that ends with a belt-high fastball. They hit .290 against it, with a .355 slugging percentage (meaning it was mostly hit for harmless singles) prior to this slump.

    Since the velo is still there, I wonder what the issue is?  Lack of movement?  Maybe?  But, it’s probably all command.  And, maybe that’s a matter of being too strong…because of the six-man rotation and all…

    Bosox September To Remember

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (3)

    At the close of business on August 31, 2011, the Boston Red Sox had a 1.5 game lead on the Yankees and a 9 game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays.

    And, in the 20 days that followed, Boston lost 15 of 20 games. 

    Yes, the Red Sox went five and fifteen.

    Man, if Boston blows this thing…it’s going to be great.  This is even better than when the Red Sox folded in August of 2006.

    I have tickets to one of the games at the Stadium when the Red Sox come to town.  And, boy, will it be a pleasure not to have to listen to Red Sox Nation up in the Bronx.  They should be real quiet by then…

    Is Today Clinch Day In Yankeeland?

    Posted by on September 21st, 2011 · Comments (3)

    Could be…

    And, today, all I can think of is: 

    1. Let’s give Joe Girardi some major credit for getting the Yankees were they are today, and
    2. Boy, are the Red Sox doing a major choke job, or what?

    Happy Birthday To All of Us

    Posted by on September 20th, 2011 · Comments (2)

    Today was Tom Tresh’s birthday.  And mine.  And this morning my niece in Maryland (who’s a huge Yankees fan)  gave birth to an 8 pound 11 ounce baby boy.  What could possibly make this day better?

    How about the Yankees reducing their magic numbers to clinch a playoff spot and a divisional title to 2 and 3 respectively?   What a thoughtful present!  I must send that Ivan Nova and that Jonathan Papelbon some “thank yous.”

    John W. Henry & Larry Lucchino

    Posted by on September 20th, 2011 · Comments (4)

    Is it just me, or, are these two very quiet these days?  No emails, tweets, etc.

    I guess the Rays got their tongues or something…

    Ian Kennedy, Cy Young Candidate

    Posted by on September 20th, 2011 · Comments (29)

    It’s true.

    It’s O.K.

    We kept Joba and Phil the Franchise.  That’s all that matters.

    Mo Is The King Of Saves

    Posted by on September 19th, 2011 · Comments (9)

    Nice!

    Too bad there were probably less than 40,000 there to see it.

    A.J. Being A.J.

    Posted by on September 19th, 2011 · Comments (8)

    Yo, Cash, lay off the objective pipe!

    Yankee Stadium Hotel?

    Posted by on September 19th, 2011 · Comments (1)

    Via the AP -

    Officials in the Bronx are hoping to put a hotel and conference center on the site of one of Yankee Stadium’s parking garages.

    Condos, shops and a high-end penthouse restaurant are all part of the plan.

    The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. on Monday invited developers for proposals.

    The site to be developed is at River Avenue and 153rd Street, bordering the park where old Yankee Stadium stood.

    Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said developers and hotel operators have expressed interest in such a hotel for years.

    Chuck Lesnick, vice president of the agency that manages the stadium garages, said he hoped visiting baseball teams as well as tourists would be attracted to the hotel.

    This is the best idea that I’ve heard since someone suggested opening up a chain of Chuck E. Cheese’s in Somalia.

    Yankees Starting Pitchers Since The All-Star Break

    Posted by on September 19th, 2011 · Comments (9)

    Here are the numbers:

    Player Games GS W L ERA
    Ivan Nova 9 9 7 0 3.32
    CC Sabathia 12 12 6 4 3.52
    Bartolo Colon 12 12 2 5 4.64
    Phil Hughes 11 10 5 3 4.76
    Freddy Garcia 9 9 4 2 4.99
    A.J. Burnett 11 11 2 4 7.32

    Pretty safe to say that Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have come back down to earth, eh? So, are they still “Great finds by Cashman?”

    In any event, Burnett still sucks – no matter what he does today. And, Phil Hughes cannot be trusted. More and more…I don’t see how Ivan Nova cannot be starting Game 2 of the ALDS for the Yankees.

    Three Big Days In Yankeeland

    Posted by on September 19th, 2011 · Comments (0)

    Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday could be huge for the Yankees.

    Four games in three days, including today’s afternoon contest against the Twins.

    There’s a chance that New York could put the A.L. East and the wildcard chase to sleep with three or more wins between now and Wednesday.

    But, if the Red Sox beat up on the O’s while the Rays beat up on the Yankees, then New York could see their lead in the A.L. get down to something like 2 1/2 games by the time the sun comes up on Thursday.

    Yeah, that’s a reach. But, you never know…

    It’s A Good Question

    Posted by on September 18th, 2011 · Comments (3)

    Via Danny Knobler -

    So how will Yankee fans feel about this week’s NYY series vs. Rays, knowing that every TB win puts Red Sox in danger of missing playoffs?

    So, will the Yankees treat these games like Spring Training contests?

    « Previous PageNext Page »