Great stuff on the Yankees today via Bob Klap -
That tense, surreal final out still was vivid in the Yankees’ memory, which went a long way toward explaining the expression on Brian Cashman’s face. It wasn’t a celebratory look as much as relief, or, closer to the truth, pure exhaustion.
The general manager is the first to admit the Bombers aren’t a very good team these days. The Yankees squeaked by the anemic Royals, 3-2, on a night that could’ve dropped them into dead last in the East. Only the Red Sox’ loss to the Orioles spared the Yankees, along with Alex Rodriguez’s ability to quickly negotiate Alcides Escobar’s grounder with two outs in the ninth and the tying run on third base.
Had A-Rod not fired a perfect, across-the-infield missile, and had Mark Teixeira not made the perfect stretch, the Yankees’ slump might’ve mushroomed into a full-blown crisis. The sense of unease about the Bombers’ decline is that great. Even Cashman said, “We’re bad right now.”
The core of the problem is A-Rod, who simply can’t hit home runs any more; he’s gone 52 at-bats without clearing the wall. And without his power threat, the Yankees don’t have the resources to dominate as they once did. Not when their rotation, ranked 11th in the AL, continues its journey toward mediocrity.
Think of it: CC Sabathia no longer is the blow-away ace of his first three years in pinstripes. Hiroki Kuroda may never make a full transition to American League excellence. Ivan Nova’s WHIP has ballooned from 1.33 in 2011 to 1.65 this year; he’s always in trouble. And Phil Hughes, who pitched relatively well over six innings Tuesday, can’t finish off hitters. Of his 104 pitches to the Royals, 26 were fouled off, including 14 with two strikes.
Point is, the Yankees need more runs if their pitching isn’t going to match, say, the Rays or the O’s. But how can any of that happen if A-Rod continues to deteriorate into a $29 million singles hitter? He’s lifting 10 percent fewer fly balls this year than in 2011. His ground-ball ratio is at 51.3 percent, the highest of his career.
Girardi continues to say all the right things about A-Rod, how he believes in the slugger’s track record. “He’s done it before,” is the manager’s favorite line of defense, which technically is true. But Rodriguez never has been an almost 37-year-old, either.
The age issue is a sensitive one for Girardi and Cashman, because they know the Yankees have no other options available.
The GM dismisses the warning signs that others see, saying instead, “I hear the same thing every year. It’s like déjà vu. We’re going to get through this.”
Yet Cashman knows there are no can’t-miss prospects waiting in the farm system.
There are no trades likely to happen, not if it’s going to cost the team younger players and increase payroll.
This is the roster Cashman and his bosses have hand-picked, or as the GM said, “We’re like a ship that’s set sail across the ocean. We’re out to sea.”
O.K., I’ll just hang up now and listen to your reaction…
I never would have guessed Nick…
|1||Nick Altrock||48.015||1924-09-30||WSH||BOS||L 1-13||1||1||1||1|
|2||Julio Franco||46.309||2005-06-28||ATL||FLA||W 9-1||5||4||1||1|
|3||Julio Franco||46.036||2004-09-28 (1)||ATL||NYM||L 1-2||4||3||1||1|
|4||Julio Franco||46.007||2004-08-30||ATL||SFG||W 7-6||5||5||2||1|
|5||Julio Franco||45.310||2004-06-28||ATL||FLA||W 6-1||4||3||1||1|
|6||Pete Rose||45.094||1986-07-17||CIN||PHI||W 7-6||6||5||2||1|
|7||Pete Rose||45.055||1986-06-08 (1)||CIN||SFG||W 7-3||5||5||1||1|
|8||Julio Franco||44.334||2003-07-23||ATL||FLA||L 4-5||4||3||1||1|
|9||Julio Franco||44.265||2003-05-15||ATL||SDP||W 15-6||5||4||1||1|
|10||Carlton Fisk||44.210||1992-07-23||CHW||MIL||W 6-2||5||5||1||1|
|11||Sam Rice||44.159||1934-07-29 (1)||CLE||SLB||W 11-5||5||5||2||1|
|12||Pete Rose||44.150||1985-09-11||CIN||SDP||W 2-0||4||3||2||1|
|13||Tony Perez||44.097||1986-08-19||CIN||STL||W 6-1||4||4||1||1|
|14||Omar Vizquel||44.044||2011-06-07||CHW||SEA||W 5-1||4||4||1||1|
|15||Pete Rose||44.029||1985-05-13||CIN||PHI||W 7-3||4||4||2||1|
|16||Julio Franco||43.290||2002-06-09||ATL||TEX||W 9-3||4||2||1||1|
|17||Luke Appling||43.168||1950-09-17 (1)||CHW||WSH||W 4-0||4||3||2||1|
|18||Sam Rice||43.161||1933-07-31||WSH||NYY||L 9-13||1||1||1||1|
|19||Sam Rice||43.153||1933-07-23||WSH||DET||L 8-12||5||5||2||1|
|20||Rickey Henderson||43.153||2002-05-27||BOS||TOR||W 8-6||5||5||1||1|
|21||Luke Appling||43.119||1950-07-30 (2)||CHW||NYY||L 3-4||4||4||3||1|
|22||Sam Rice||43.089||1933-05-20||WSH||CHW||W 7-0||5||5||4||1|
|23||Omar Vizquel||43.067||2010-06-30||CHW||KCR||L 6-7||3||3||1||1|
|24||Pete Rose||43.060||1984-06-13||MON||CHC||L 4-7||4||3||3||1|
|25||Luke Appling||43.035||1950-05-07 (1)||CHW||PHA||W 7-3||5||5||1||1|
Best ever “Alt rock” player?
The site is a unique reading experience. The entire issue loads into one page, so give it a few moments to load in. The up and down arrow keys will allow you to cycle through “pages”, there is a table of contents at the beginning of the issue that will zip you to the main stories.
Alex Rodriguez is off to a rough start this season. He appears to be a shell of what he once was – in terms of his offensive production. And, this downturn has been a trend for him over the last five years or so.
At this point, assuming that his days as a star player are indeed over, A-Rod could create a new and special legacy for himself (in the history of the game) if he would just pull a “Gil Meche” and say “You know, I’ve made over a quarter-billion dollars in my baseball career, to date. Money is not an issue for me. Rather than perform at a level below my expectations, I am going to retire from the game now and give up the last five years of my contract with the Yankees.”
If Alex Rodriguez made a move like this, then people would forget all the stupid stuff that’s he done and said in the past. He would not be remembered for being a self-absorbed prima donna. Even his PED history would take back seat to this news. A-Rod would be known as “The Guy Who Walked Away From $114 Million Rather Than Milk The Yankees.”
I know, I know…”Walk away from $114 million?” Yes, it seems insane. But, what could that money possible buy you, in your lifetime, that you could not already buy with the quarter-billion dollars that you already made? Seriously, a quarter-billion. I mean, come on…
But, you know this will never happen. And, it’s too bad. It could be the best $114 million that A-Rod ever spent….if he cares about his place in baseball history.
Here’s what their record was after their first 42 games in the twenty five years prior to this season:
There’s a good chance that the Yankees will win less than 90 games this season…if you go by the feel of their season so far. Just like they did in 2008.
I’m a little late on this one. But, man, as a dad, it’s hard to watch this and keep a dry eye.
A saw a comment left by Sean Forman over at BBTF that said, according to B-R.com’s SRS ratings – which consider strength of schedule and margin of victory – the AL top six are: Texas, Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa, Red Sox, and the Yankees (in that order).
And, the White Sox are right behing the Yankees.
I wonder if Brian Cashman is smoking this in his objective pipe today?
Here is the list:
Of course, A-Rod’s numbers are through yesterday’s game.
A-Rod, Mantle, Sosa and Reggie make an interesting study…
It’s the Curse of Elliot’s Bovine Loudmouth Bimbo Ex-Wife.
Seriously, ever since this woman was on TV, the Yankees went into the tank. Go west and get glammed up, Janice Soprano? (Then again, you can put a pig in a party dress, but, it’s still just a pig.)
Any guess as to who this is – with a SLG% decrease five years in a row now?
Hint: He’s under contract for the next five years with the New York Yankees at a salary around $23 million per year.
Better late than never. I just found this great post from a year ago. Wonderful photos!
From 1985 to 1992, Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo authored “The Baseball Hall of Shame” series which were a collection of baseball “goofs and gaffes” tales from Major League Baseball history. If you’ve ever read any of these books, you know that they’re full of fun stuff for baseball fans.
After a 20 year break in the series, Nash and Zullo are back and have released The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown. This new offering covers the zany, goofy, and wacky things in baseball from 1885 through 2011.
What I like most about this collection is that the authors aim to share the fun and true little known stories over the widely known ones.
Inauspicious debuts, wacky plate appearances, fielding fiascoes, practical jokes, post-season screw-ups, nutty habits and idiosyncrasies, hothead meltdowns, and undignified ballpark promotions are just some of the things that you’ll find covered with this book.
There’s something for every baseball fan in The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown.
Curtis Granderson has 180 career homeruns through yesterday. Of these, 120 have come with the bases empty. Yes, one-twenty.
Picking up on what I mentioned two years ago on this, 68 of those 120 have come with no outs.
So, two-thirds of Granderson’s career homeruns are solo homeruns and half of those have come with no outs. What does that tell you?
Via C. Trent Rosecrans -
Major League Baseball has suspended Bob Davidson one game for “repeated violations of the Office of the Commissioner’s stanards for situation handling.”
While MLB says this is a culmination of several incidents (and they’re not wrong) it would appear Tuesday’s incident with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel put it over the top. Manuel was also suspended a game, but for just the one incident, not repeated violations.
Against the Astros, Davidson obstructed Philadelphia catcher Brian Schneider’s attempts to pick up a dropped third strike from Cliff Lee and then when he was confronted by Manuel, he had several choice words for the Phillies manager that any amateur lip-reader could easily make out.
Davidson has the reputation as one of the game’s worst umpires and has earned the nickname Balkin’ Bob because of his penchant for calling balks. Last season he ranked fourth on a players’ poll of worst umpires by Sports Illustrated.
While one game isn’t as much as we’d like to see Davidson get for his lack of professional behavior, it’s at least a start for what many fans see as the rising arrogance of Major League Baseball umpires. Sure, some will yell that he should be fired, but it’s at least a start.
Is this the first of more to come?
Have the Yankees ever had a dynasty run without a home-grown All-Star caliber catcher?
In any event, Russell Martin is trending towards Girardi or Molina territory with the bat this season.
Can the Yankees afford that?
El Cañón de Juguete?
Via the Daily News –
An off-duty NYPD cop ended up arrested Wednesday night for moving to a better seat at Citi Field, then refusing to budge when security cried foul.
Officer Eduardo Cornejo had a legit ticket to the Mets’ sad 6-3 drubbing by the Cincinnati Reds, but ballpark management confronted him once they realized he was stretched out in a seat better than the one he had purchased.
“He was in a section he wasn’t supposed to be,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “They asked him to leave. He wouldn’t. [A] supervisor asked him to leave. He wouldn’t. The uniformed police sergeant asked him to leave. He wouldn’t, and he was arrested as a result.”
The obstinate 30-year-old was arraigned on criminal trespass charges Thursday and released.
When Cornejo and a woman arrived at his Staten Island home afterward, he was sporting a Mets cap.
“I’m sorry but I have no comment,” Cornejo said.
He works within the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn and has been with the NYPD since 2005.
Pretty stupid. This all could have been avoided if he just went back to his seat when asked.
Andrew Marchand thinks that they do.
However, when you look at the Yankees over their first 38 games of 2011 and 2012, they’re pretty much at the same place. And, last year, they ended up in first place by the end of the season. See the stats…
I just finished reading R.A. Dickey’s Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball.
In a nutshell, from the minute I started reading Wherever I Wind Up, I could not put it down. This book is a true page-turner.
Dickey’s story is full of interesting things – including his struggles with some terrible childhood tragedies and constant self-doubt. Of course, there’s also his unique place in the history of the baseball draft and elbow issues – coupled with the conversion from being a conventional pitcher to becoming a knuckleballer. Lastly, there’s Dickey’s spiritual journey which is also detailed in this memoir.
However, I think what got me most with Wherever I Wind Up was Dickey’s gift as a writer and a storyteller. This just may be one of the best written baseball autobiographies that I have read in the last 35 years. And, if it’s not the best, it’s in the team picture, for sure.
I highly recommend reading R.A. Dickey’s Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball.
Club Diamond Nation is set to launch an online instructional website. More details will come later, but for now the site is offering a “sneak peek” with a friendly competition between the online instructors, who include Kevin Long, new Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, future HOFer Tom Glavine, softball legend Jennie Finch, and Jack Cust (who founded Diamond Nation with his father Jack Cust Sr.). Click here to check it out.
On May 18, 1945, the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics both ran up a streak where they had seven straight games postponed because of rain (over a four day period). Overall, in the American League, every game between the 14th and the 17th was rained out.
Imagine what a mess that would be if it happened today…
Great stuff from Ed Marks on A-Rod today:
From the time [Alex Rodriguez] broke in as a major leaguer in 1994 through the 2007 season, Rodriguez averaged one home run for every 14.2 at-bats, good enough to make the career top 10 list in that category. But since 2008 he has been merely a good power hitter, not a great one, and the dropoff since the start of last season has been startling.
Since the start of the 2008 season, when [A-Rod's] hip “irregularity” was detected, Rodriguez has been averaging one home run for every 17.1 at-bats. His 1994-to-2007 average translated to 42.3 home runs for a 600 at-bat season; his average since then yields 35.1 home runs per 600 at-bats, a decline of 17 percent. He hit 35 homers in 2008, and 30 in 2009 and 2010. In his first four seasons with the Yankees he averaged 43.3.
And it’s getting worse. Much worse. Last season he averaged one home run for every 23.3 at-bats; so far this year, with a total of five home runs in the Yankees’ first 37 games (two fewer than Raul Ibanez), he is averaging one for every 27.2 at-bats — a rate that would give him 22 homers if he has 600 at-bats this season.
And he ranks only eighth on the team in slugging percentage (.412); even Eric Chavez (.523) and Andruw Jones (.472) are ahead of him.
If you think that sounds ominous, consider this: After this season there are still five more years left on his contract. Five more years. If his current trend continues, Rodriguez might finish that contract as the best-paid player ever to appear in an Old-Timers’ Game.
If A-Rod gets 600 At Bats this season and hits less than 25 HR, playing half his games at Yankee Stadium, then he is, indeed, cooked as a power hitter. But, we have to wait for the season to play out to see what his final numbers will be this year.