• When Was The Last Time The Yankees Woke Up On July 1st And Found Themselves In 4th Place?

    Posted by on June 30th, 2013 · Comments (45)

    Besides 2013?  According to my research, you would have to go back to 1992 to find the last time this happened.

    And, as I wrote this morning:  The Yankees are on pace to win 85 games this season. The last time the Yankees won 85 games or less in a 162-game season was 1992.

    For the record, in December of last year, I wrote:

    For the record, the last time the Yankees finished lower than 3rd in the A.L. East was 1992. For those scoring at home, that was 20 years ago. Could it happen in 2013? Maybe…

    That “maybe” is looking more and more possible each day…

    Yankees: The First Half Of 2013

    Posted by on June 30th, 2013 · Comments (11)

    We’re now 80 games into 2013, Yankeeland.

    Overall, the Yankees are 42-38, in 3rd place, 5.5 games out of first and 1/2 game ahead of 4th place. They are on pace to win 85 games this season. The last time the Yankees won 85 games or less in a 162-game season was 1992 (for those scoring at home). That year, they finished 4th out of seven in the A.L. East.

    In their first 40 games of 2013, the Yankees went 25-15 with a team BA/OBA/SLG line of .252/.317/.416 and a team ERA of 3.67.

    In their second 40 games of 2013, the Yankees went 17-23 with a team BA/OBA/SLG line of .227/.287/.344 and a team ERA of 4.06.

    How about a June swoon? The Yankees have lost 12 of the last 17 games that they have played. Their team ERA is 4.75 during this span and their team BA/OBA/SLG line is .221/.284/.321.

    The Yankees really haven’t hit all season. And, now, their pitching is starting to go south. And, there’s no help in Triple-A for either of these fronts.

    Yes, Cervelli, Teixeira, Jeter, A-Rod, Youkilis and Granderson have been out for basically the whole first half. But, Cervelli is average at best and Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman knew that A-Rod was going to be out for a long time this year – way before the season started. And, he should have known that about Jeter, given his age and injury. Also, Youkilis was cooked last year already. So, if you want to cry injuries, you can only really say Teixeira and Granderson. But, that’s probably only cost the Yankees about 11 homeruns this first half. (Figure Tex and Curtis would be good for 30 combined now – and take out the 19 that Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay hit in their place.)

    In any event, what do you think the Yankees next 40 games will be like?

    Big Brothers

    Posted by on June 28th, 2013 · Comments (0)

    Lately, Pete Gammo’s columns leave me a little confused. But, I thought this one was great – esp. this part:

    “No one understands the process of going from prospect to big league responsible teammate and player than Buck Showalter,” Mets vice president J.P. Ricciardi says. Indeed, in Showalter’s last season with the Yankees, he brought Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada to the majors, which prepared them for the run of four world championships in five years.

    “It never would have worked the way it did if Don Mattingly weren’t in that clubhouse,” Showalter says. “Those guys got to Yankee Stadium, looked at Donnie in the room and all said, ‘that’s the way you’re supposed to act.”

    Last year, Showalter made the decision to bring up Manny Machado for the run to the Orioles’ first postseason appearance since 1997. Showalter had the minor league staff work him at third. “But I think what really made it work was having J.J. Hardy right next to him,” Showalter says. “J.J. adopted him, showed him how to play and what to do.”

    To this day, Hardy and Machado warm up and stretch together.

    When Adam Jones, who has reached star level in Baltimore, was with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, he expressed how pleased he was that Willie Bloomquist was chosen for the team.

    “I owe a lot to Bloomquist,” Jones said. “When I got to Seattle, I thought I was something special. First draft pick. Big money. You wouldn’t have liked me.

    “I didn’t hustle the way I should have on a couple of ground balls and Willie got all over me. I mean, he killed me. I watched the way he played, hustling all the time, and learned from him. If he hadn’t cared enough to do it, I wouldn’t be here in this tournament.”

    Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson took heat this winter for trying to fill out the Diamondbacks’ 25-man roster with team guys. Martin Prado, one of the most popular and respected Braves. J.J. Putz. Eric Hinske, even if he’s hitting .174. Miguel Montero makes sure he catches every bullpen session of every starting pitcher in spring training.

    “Baseball teams are not rotisserie teams,” Towers says. “There are a lot of down periods during the season that teams that have talent, especially pitching, and the right mix of 25 players can get through.”

    When Dustin Pedroia got to Boston in the second half of the 2006 season, Alex Cora was a .238 hitter and blogger target. He was also called “the smartest baseball player in the game” by Paul Lo Duca and Jim Tracy when he was with the Dodgers. Pedroia was the scouts’ punching bag. But at Arizona State, coach Pat Murphy considered him “the best leader I’ve ever been around.” In fact, the year after he signed with the Red Sox and the Sun Devils finally made the College World Series, all the ASU players wrote “Pedroia” on their caps.

    Cora and Pedroia were a perfect mix. Cora got Pedroia and other young infielders to take infield practice every day at 3:30, not having to duck batting practice line drives. It still carries. When Jose Iglesias arrived for his first spring training in 2011, Pedroia worked with him every day, and when Iglesias didn’t get to the right spot in drills, Pedroia would take him aside and say: “Here, I’m Fidel Castro.”

    Pedroia had Iglesius to his house for cookouts two or three nights a week. Then in April, after a road trip, Pedroia called Iglesias out in front of a media member by asking, “What would you think if I told you Iggy took the bus to the park in Oakland rather than getting out early?” Lesson learned.

    As much as I love the stats, even I would confess that this stuff doesn’t show up in a box score – but, it’s huge.

    A-Rod Has No Clue When He Will Be Back?

    Posted by on June 28th, 2013 · Comments (5)

    Via Bob Klapisch today -

    Let’s face it, in terms of entertainment value, all the Yankees have is the Alex Rodriguez-front office war – a real doozy, at that. Club officials have nothing but contempt for A-Rod, a sentiment that goes both ways. But they’re also stumped by the slugger’s recent behavior and public comments, which one insider characterized as “bizarre.”

    Despite Rodriguez’s optimistic updates on Twitter on Tuesday, indicating he was ready to begin playing rehab games, he told GM Brian Cashman and team president Randy Levine the exact opposite. According to a source, Rodriguez said during a 30-minute conference call, “I don’t know when I’m coming back. It could be in July, it could be in August. It might not be this year.”

    That directly contradicts the timetable A-Rod laid out on Twitter, when he announced he’d been cleared by Dr. Bryan Kelly to accelerate his regimen. News of the setback was first reported by the New York Post on Thursday. But as if to dramatize the now-seemingly false announcement, Rodriguez included an Instagram photo of himself chatting with Kelly at the club’s Tampa training facility.

    But, again, there’s more to this than Rodriguez was letting on. Kelly, a New York-based surgeon, did not examine A-Rod this week, nor had he been dispatched by the Yankees to do so. The doctor was at the facility only to check in on other players and happened to run into Rodriguez by chance.

    Furthermore, while Kelly successfully repaired the tear in Rodriguez’s right hip labrum, he’s not the one overseeing A-Rod’s rehab. That’s the domain of Christopher Ahmad, the Yankees’ physician. And, as the Bombers have been saying all week, Rodriguez has not been given permission to play extended spring training games.

    “He’s not ready for that, that’s all there is to it,” said one official. So the more pressing question is why Rodriguez would bother spreading good news, knowing it was nothing more than wish-casting – if not a boldfaced lie? To this, the Yankees admit they have no answer. The player Cashman once went to such lengths to protect – interceding on his behalf with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter – is now in his own orbit, without a single ally in the organization.

    I’ve said it before, and, I will say it again: A-Rod is really starting to head down that Pete Rose & Barry Bonds path…

    The Yankees Are 14-20 In Their Last 34 Games

    Posted by on June 27th, 2013 · Comments (56)

    That’s not very good, right?

    Favor

    Posted by on June 27th, 2013 · Comments (0)

    If any friends of the blog are skilled graphic artists – boy, that can be taken a couple of ways – and are willing to do some “pro bono” work for me (not to help this site, but, another) please let me know.  Thanks!

    A-Rod To Retire?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2013 · Comments (25)

    Via Bill Madden -

    Alex Rodriguez has 114 million reasons for telling the world that he has the green light to play baseball games again.

    According to sources close to the ongoing drama surrounding the star-crossed Yankee third baseman, Rodriguez and his advisers are so concerned that Major League Baseball’s drug posse is quickly closing in on him that they have racheted up the timetable for him to return to game action.

    Once he’s back playing in rehab games, the sources say, he could then claim he is physically unable to perform because of the serious hip injury he is recovering from, “retire” from the game, and still collect the full amount of his salary — $114 million over the next five years.

    “It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” one source close to the situation told the Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money — all of it.”

    One way to do that is for Rodriguez to return to game action, find he can no longer perform up to his standards, then retire before he’s hit with a suspension without pay. A player who retires because he is physically unable to perform, even if he’s later suspended, would still get the full amount of his contract.

    Albert Belle suffered a similar hip injury that ended his career in 2001, and he was forced to go on a series of 60-day disabled lists in order to collect the remainder of his contract.

    Be honest: Of all the stakeholders in the A-Rod situation, would any of them be upset if this plan came true?

    Yanks Thinking Of Trade With Phillies?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2013 · Comments (15)

    Via Jim Salisbury -

    News that New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira needs season-ending surgery to repair a right wrist injury could ultimately be felt in the Phillies’ clubhouse.

    The Phillies have struggled to reach the .500 mark all season and could end up trading away players if they don’t make a serious move in the standings over the next few weeks.

    The list of trade possibilities is long: Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and Michael Young head the list.

    Three of those players –- Utley, Ruiz and Young –- could be of serious interest to the Yankees, who are in the market for catching and corner-infield help.

    According to a baseball executive, the Yankees have already kicked around Ruiz’s name as a possible upgrade at the catcher position. Ruiz, 34, is in the final year of his contract.

    Utley and Young and can both play first base and could be of interest to the Yankees as they look to get by without Teixeira. Young played a significant amount of first base in Texas before shifting to third base with the Phillies this season. He could also give the Yanks depth at third as they wait for Alex Rodriguez to return.

    The Yankees, 2 1/2 games back in the AL East, had a scout in Philadelphia last weekend. His mission was unknown but the visit coincided with Utley’s coming off the disabled list. Ruiz came off the disabled list earlier that week.

    Utley and Young are also in the final year of their contracts.

    It would be interesting to see what the Yankees are willing to give up – in any trade.

    Brian Cashman Apologizes

    Posted by on June 26th, 2013 · Comments (25)

    No, not for Kei Igawa, Cito Culver or Lousie Meanwell; but, for his A-Rod comments.

    Cito Culver & Dante Bichette

    Posted by on June 26th, 2013 · Comments (10)

    They put the “dog” in River Dogs…

    Age G PA R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
    Dante Bichette 20 69 302 22 55 4 37 26 73 .204 .285 .289
    Cito Culver 20 62 283 36 52 6 19 33 83 .211 .302 .332
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/26/2013.

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    And, yes, Culver was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (32nd) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft. And, Bichette was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (51st) of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft.

    Nice work, Brian Cashman.

    Byron Buxton

    Posted by on June 26th, 2013 · Comments (3)

    The next Mike Trout?

    By the way, whatever happened to Mason Williams?

    Cashman To A-Rod: Shut The F*** Up

    Posted by on June 26th, 2013 · Comments (23)

    Via Andrew Marchand

    Livid over Alex Rodriguez’s decision to tweet an update on his rehab process, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had a message for the third baseman.

    “You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will],” Cashman told ESPN New York. “Alex should just shut the f— up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.”

    Rodriguez tweeted Tuesday that he has been cleared to play in rehab games. Rodriguez’s comments seemed to contradict what Cashman told ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews on Monday.

    “Visit from Dr. [Bryan] Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news – the green light to play games again!” Rodriguez tweeted.

    On Monday, Cashman shot down a report that Rodriguez had been given the go-ahead to play in games.

    “He has not been cleared by our doctors to play in rehab games yet,” he said. “He’s getting closer. There’s no doubt about it. But we don’t have a date for him to start playing games yet. It could be July 1. It could also be July 5 or maybe June 25.”

    Cashman explained that Dr. Kelly had no jurisdiction over Rodriguez’s rehab once the third baseman left New York to go to Tampa. Dr. Kelly had been approved by the team to perform the surgery and oversee Rodriguez’s recovery in New York. It was now sole in the team’s hands.

    “There is always a chain of command with injuries,” Yankees manager Joe Giardi said after the Yankees’ 5-3 win on Tuesday. “And there has to be. That is the process. It goes through our training staff, our doctors, our GM and then it probably gets to me.”

    Girardi said he always understood that Yankees’ team doctors needed to clear Rodriguez before he could play in a rehab game.

    Cashman ended up emailing Rodriguez and did not get an immediate response.

    I think it’s time for A-Rod to ask Mary Bresnan out for a date. Then, this whole thing could really get interesting.

    The Best Hitting Bad Fielding Catchers In Baseball History

    Posted by on June 25th, 2013 · Comments (5)
    Rk Player Rbat Rfield From To Age G PA R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
    1 Mike Piazza 414 -63 1992 2007 23-38 1912 7745 1048 2127 344 427 1335 759 1113 .308 .377 .545
    2 Joe Torre 301 -28 1960 1977 19-36 2209 8802 996 2342 344 252 1185 779 1094 .297 .365 .452
    3 Jorge Posada 206 -60 1995 2011 23-39 1829 7150 900 1664 379 275 1065 936 1453 .273 .374 .474
    4 Ted Simmons 171 -33 1968 1988 18-38 2456 9685 1074 2472 483 248 1389 855 694 .285 .348 .437
    5 Mickey Tettleton 144 -52 1984 1997 23-36 1485 5745 711 1132 210 245 732 949 1307 .241 .369 .449
    6 Victor Martinez 128 -48 2002 2013 23-34 1222 5124 612 1360 287 149 779 482 567 .299 .365 .461
    7 Mike Stanley 120 -59 1986 2000 23-37 1467 4989 625 1138 220 187 702 652 929 .270 .370 .458
    8 Darren Daulton 62 -27 1983 1997 21-35 1161 4340 511 891 197 137 588 629 726 .245 .357 .427
    9 Bob Brenly 25 -26 1981 1989 27-35 871 3002 321 647 119 91 333 318 438 .247 .330 .403
    10 Don Slaught 18 -30 1982 1997 23-38 1327 4503 415 1151 235 77 476 311 559 .283 .338 .412
    11 Mike Lieberthal 9 -32 1994 2007 22-35 1212 4695 534 1155 257 150 610 335 571 .274 .337 .446
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/25/2013.

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    Who will be the next guy to crack this list?

    Sterling, But, Not Sunny?

    Posted by on June 25th, 2013 · Comments (11)

    Via Bob Raissman

    You don’t need a room full of Sabermetricians, those binders Joe (Joey Looseleafs) Girardi relies on, or even the most astute baseball minds in town to know exactly where the Yankees are at.

    All it takes is a radio. The words exiting the mouths of John (Pa Pinstripe) Sterling and Suzyn (Ma Pinstripe) Waldman on WCBS-AM, along with their tone of voice, mimics the team’s heartbeat, or lack there of.

    While the illustrious history of Ma and Pa is marked by a severe case of pom-pom breath, even they can hit low points. When this happens, when things are just not going well for the Bombers, the sounds can be irrational, even defeatist.

    Sterling took Yankee loyalists down that dark alley Sunday afternoon. It was a command performance by Pa. On Old-Timers’ Day, no less. This is an afternoon dedicated to honor tradition and the past. With Yogi, Whitey, Larsen, Guidry, Sweet Luigi and assorted other Bronx heroes (including Derek Jeter) in the house, Sterling did what many would consider unthinkable, even blasphemous.

    He quit on the Yankees.

    Or was he just being realistic?

    The frustration level, produced by the Pinstriped Pea-Shooter Offense, had been building in the booth all afternoon. In the top of the eighth inning, with the Yankees down 3-1, it got to him. Frustration turned to resignation.

    “Isn’t it something, Suzyn,” Sterling, raising his voice, said. “If the Yankees would have won this game today they would have been tied with Boston in the loss column for first place and one (game) ahead of Baltimore — amazing.”

    Again, Sterling did not make this pronouncement on the postgame show. This was the eighth inning. The Yankees still had two cracks at coming back from a two-run deficit. And just in case you didn’t hear him, Sterling made the same point (the exact same way) a couple of minutes later.

    Guess he thought this was a risk worth taking. If the Yankees made up the two-run deficit and won the game, he would’ve come up looking like a buffoon.

    Sterling was willing to gamble. Even he, in his 24th season of screeching platitudes, has no faith in the Yankees offense.

    Sterling’s declaration of capitulation means that offense is now officially punchless.

    Then again, maybe he lost track of the innings. Would that be a first?

    The Greatest Baseball Player To Wear #23

    Posted by on June 25th, 2013 · Comments (11)

    Who would be your pick and why?

    Player Yrs WAR ▾ Team – Year
    Ryne Sandberg 15 67.58 Chicago Cubs (82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97)
    Luis Tiant 11 66.69 Boston Red Sox (71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78)

    New York Yankees (79, 80)

    California Angels (82)

    Robin Ventura 11 55.88 Chicago White Sox (90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98)

    Los Angeles Dodgers (03, 04)

    Ted Simmons 21 50.22 St. Louis Cardinals (68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80)

    Milwaukee Brewers (81, 82, 83, 84, 85)

    Atlanta Braves (86, 87, 88)

    Javier Vazquez 7 46.02 Montreal Expos (99, 00, 01, 02, 03)

    Arizona Diamondbacks (05)

    Florida Marlins (11)

    Don Mattingly 12 42.24 New York Yankees (84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95)
    Claude Osteen 9 41.62 Los Angeles Dodgers (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73)
    David Justice 13 40.42 Atlanta Braves (89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96)

    Cleveland Indians (97, 98, 99, 00)

    Oakland Athletics (02)

    Virgil Trucks 6 40.15 Chicago White Sox (53, 54, 55)

    Detroit Tigers (56)

    Kansas City Athletics (57, 58)

    Kirk Gibson 15 38.15 Detroit Tigers (79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 93, 94, 95)

    Los Angeles Dodgers (88, 89, 90)

    Mark Gubicza 14 37.95 Kansas City Royals (84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96)

    Anaheim Angels (97)

    Bobby Thomson 6 33.10 New York Giants (46, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53)
    Zack Greinke 8 32.74 Kansas City Royals (04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10)

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12)

    Johnny Logan 12 32.56 Boston Braves (51, 52)

    Milwaukee Braves (53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61)

    Pittsburgh Pirates (63)

    Adrian Gonzalez 7 31.40 San Diego Padres (06, 07, 08, 09, 10)

    Los Angeles Dodgers (12, 13)

    Greg Vaughn 12 30.65 Milwaukee Brewers (90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96)

    San Diego Padres (98)

    Cincinnati Reds (99)

    Tampa Bay Devil Rays (00, 01, 02)

    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/25/2013.

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    The Knife For Teixeira?

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (14)

    Via the Daily News

    Mark Teixeira’s right wrist still hurts, even after getting a cortisone shot just over a week ago, which has set off alarm bells in Yankeeland.

    “Our doctors are obviously discussing it and working through it,” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman said. “He’s having discomfort and that’s really all I can tell you.”

    Asked if the discomfort perhaps raises the chances of Teixeira needing surgery on the partially-torn tendon sheath that has caused him to miss much of the season, Cashman said, “Surgery’s never been off the table. If I have something more, I’ll report that.”

    The first baseman has played just 15 games this season because of the wrist injury he suffered as he prepared for the World Baseball Classic with Team USA in March. He came back on May 31 but was back on the disabled list after coming out of a game in Anaheim on June 15.

    A subsequent MRI revealed inflammation in his wrist, but no further structural damage. However, the cortisone shot that was supposed to ease pain hasn’t worked.

    If there is no underlying structural problem with the tendon sheath, the combination of cortisone and rest “can solve the problem for good right there,” said Dr. Michael Hausman, the Robert K. Lippman Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and vice-chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

    But if the symptoms can’t be controlled, surgery might be necessary, which the Yankees have acknowledged since Teixeira was hurt. “You generally try a couple of cortisone injections,” said Dr. Hausman, speaking generally because he is not treating Teixeira specifically. “The question is whether they’ll try to tide him over with the injection so he can finish the season and then, if he’s still symptomatic, perform the surgery in the off-season.”

    It’s the curse of Tino Martinez. Every big money first baseman that the Yankees have brought in since 2002 has eventually become a shell of the player that they signed. It’s either that, or, Cashman couldn’t smell a player full of PEDs just waiting to breakdown if it sat on his face.

    Cashman: A-Rod To Start Rehab Games Soon

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (18)

    Via the Daily News

    For the last six months, Alex Rodriguez has been linked almost daily to a shady Coral Gables anti-aging clinic and its founder, Anthony Bosch, but there is finally some good news for the star-crossed Yankee: he has been medically cleared to play in rehab games beginning July 1, should the Yankees decide he is ready.

    Rodriguez, who is embroiled in Major League Baseball’s investigation into alleged steroid provider Anthony Bosch, can return to game action as soon as a week from Monday, according to his doctors, and is expected to then join the Yankees’ Single-A team in Tampa, where he has been rehabbing since hip surgery in January.

    “He has been told by the medical staff in Tampa that he can begin playing in games on July 1,” said a source close to Rodriguez. “He is so excited to get into games. He wants to prove something to himself.”

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman told the Daily News Sunday that while he hasn’t discussed an exact date for A-Rod’s return to game action, “it sounds like it’s on schedule. He’s been running, throwing, fielding, and I know it’s approaching. It’s coming.”

    Rodriguez would begin his minor league rehab assignment in Tampa, then would presumably move up the line, according to Cashman, to “Trenton, then Scranton. Normally, position players need 50-75 at-bats, or 20 games.”

    The Yankees are quietly watching MLB’s investigation into Bosch, whose now-defunct Biogenesis clinic is at the heart of one of the biggest steroid scandals in baseball history: Bosch’s star client reportedly is Rodriguez, who has adamantly denied getting PEDs from Bosch. The Daily News reported on Jan. 26 that MLB was looking into Bosch and at A-Rod’s possible association with him. The Miami New Times reported three days later that Rodriguez’s name was linked to documents from Bosch’s clinic, along with an array of performance-enhancing drugs and amounts owed for them, and other reports have subsequently linked him to Bosch, who is cooperating with MLB’s investigation.

    According to Cashman, the team thoroughly supports baseball’s investigation, and will simply await its conclusion before deciding how to proceed with A-Rod or any other Yankee linked to the investigation.

    “All we can do is rehab the player,” Cashman said. “We 110% support the commissioner’s efforts. Their efforts are our efforts. Anyone guilty of cheating the game needs to go down, whether they’re a Yankee or not a Yankee. It’ll get resolved one way or the other. We’re waiting. All we can do is play the players we have.”

    Betcha Alex comes back on July 30th. That would give him five games on the West Coast, most of them late, to try and fly under the radar of the New York media and ESPN.

    Trade Joba Or Hughes?

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (15)

    Forget it. Via Andy Martino -

    Given their depth in the rotation and bullpen, and their need for a bat, it seems like a tidy little solution for the Yanks to look into moving Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, both of whom will be free agents — and both of whom have been rendered less important this year by inconsistent performance and the emergence of others.

    Only problem? Rivals doubt that either pitcher would bring much of a return. “They’re not going to get much from those guys,” said one National League executive whose team could be looking for pitching in the coming weeks, and who is not impressed by either Hughes or Chamberlain. “Nobody is giving up an impact bat, or a prospect, especially because you’re only getting half a season of those guys.”

    Don’t you think (I asked this NL exec) that a senior circuit team, especially one that plays in a large ballpark, would be tempted by the fly ball-allowing Hughes? “Again,” he answered, “I don’t think teams would give up a whole lot.”

    The former phenoms have been average at best in 2013 (and, really, through most of their careers). Hughes is 3-6 this year, with a 5.09 ERA; Chamberlain has a 5.60 ERA in 18 games, with 21 strikeouts and one icon shushing.

    Highest Career BABIP, Min. 3000 PA

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    Here is are the leaders:

    Rk Player BAbip PA From To Age G AB H BB SO BA OBP
    1 Ty Cobb .383 13082 1905 1928 18-41 3034 11434 4189 1249 681 .366 .433
    2 Shoeless Joe Jackson .366 5693 1908 1920 20-32 1332 4981 1772 519 234 .356 .423
    3 Rogers Hornsby .365 9480 1915 1937 19-41 2259 8173 2930 1038 679 .358 .434
    4 Joey Votto .362 3412 2007 2013 23-29 805 2887 916 485 628 .317 .418
    5 Rod Carew .359 10550 1967 1985 21-39 2469 9315 3053 1018 1028 .328 .393
    6 Derek Jeter .354 11895 1995 2012 21-38 2585 10551 3304 1039 1743 .313 .382
    7 Mike Donlin .353 3698 1901 1914 23-36 905 3312 1106 281 244 .334 .389
    8 Shin-Soo Choo .352 3316 2005 2013 22-30 773 2830 814 390 709 .288 .386
    9 Matt Kemp .352 3817 2006 2013 21-28 944 3456 1010 304 903 .292 .349
    10 Harry Heilmann .351 8966 1914 1932 19-37 2147 7787 2660 856 550 .342 .410
    11 Tris Speaker .351 11992 1907 1928 19-40 2790 10195 3514 1381 394 .345 .428
    12 Bill Terry .350 7108 1923 1936 24-37 1720 6428 2193 537 449 .341 .393
    13 Miguel Cabrera .348 6818 2003 2013 20-30 1586 5955 1910 756 1159 .321 .398
    14 Joe Mauer .348 4867 2004 2013 21-30 1133 4209 1361 594 535 .323 .406
    15 Michael Bourn .347 3585 2006 2013 23-30 921 3218 883 311 730 .274 .340
    16 Ron LeFlore .347 4872 1974 1982 26-34 1099 4458 1283 363 888 .288 .342
    17 Ichiro Suzuki .346 8984 2001 2013 27-39 1980 8328 2671 532 841 .321 .363
    18 Kiki Cuyler .346 8100 1921 1938 22-39 1879 7161 2299 676 752 .321 .386
    19 Riggs Stephenson .346 5134 1921 1934 23-36 1309 4508 1515 494 247 .336 .407
    20 Eddie Collins .346 12041 1906 1930 19-43 2825 9949 3315 1499 468 .333 .424
    21 George Sisler .346 9013 1915 1930 22-37 2055 8267 2812 472 327 .340 .379
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/24/2013.

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    It’s a fun list, no?

    Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth & Barry Bonds

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    If you had to pick just one, which one would you take, and why?

    Old-Timers

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (11)

    Nice.

    Bye-Bye in center?

    Man, Yogi and Whitey.  They are up there.

    The Mystery Of Eduardo Nunez

    Posted by on June 24th, 2013 · Comments (4)

    Via the Times, three weeks ago:

    When Eduardo Nunez felt a twinge in his left side during a game against the Oakland Athletics on May 5, forcing him out of the lineup, the Yankees did not think the injury was serious. Nunez thought the pain was from indigestion.

    “We thought he was ready to go again, but he took swings and I guess he’s not ready to go,” Manager Joe Girardi said.

    General Manager Brian Cashman said Nunez would have a magnetic resonance imaging test this week to see if the injury had worsened.

    “They keep testing the rib cage area to see what’s going on there, and so far it’s been negative,” Cashman said. “He keeps hitting a wall.”

    The setback was a bewildering twist that extended what had already been a longer-than-expected absence. Girardi said it was typical for the Yankees in a season full of injuries.

    It’s been almost two months now hat Nunez has been out. Something is fishy here.

    COB 6-23-13: Yankees Are 1-Game Back Of 1st In All-Important Loss Column

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2013 · Comments (6)

    Yeah, I know, how the hell does that happen?

    Here Come The Jays

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2013 · Comments (14)

    Via ESPN -

    Jose Bautista came up with the perfect response to Darren O’Day’s taunting: a tiebreaking home run.

    Bautista hit a two-run shot in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays won their 10th consecutive game Saturday, beating the Baltimore Orioles 4-2.

    Maicer Izturis hit a solo homer in the fifth for Toronto, on its longest winning streak since a 10-game run late in 2008. The Blue Jays, 14-4 this month, are one victory from matching the franchise record. Toronto had 11-game winning streaks in 1987 and 1998.

    “It’s been a great run and hopefully we can continue,” Bautista said.

    The Blue Jays (37-36) are above .500 for the first time since last July 29, when they were 51-50.

    Bautista traded angry words with O’Day after striking out to end the seventh inning Friday, stranding a runner at second base.

    On Saturday, the Blue Jays slugger renewed the argument, yelling at O’Day while rounding the bases after his pivotal home run.

    “I told him just to keep talking like he was yesterday because he kind of ran his mouth a little bit after he struck me out,” Bautista said. “I don’t know where that came from but I didn’t appreciate it. I let him know that yesterday and that’s a little reminder today.”

    O’Day declined to talk about his spat with Bautista, while Orioles manager Buck Showalter chalked it up to a clash of competitive personalities.

    “Darren is a competitor, he likes to compete in those situations,” Showalter said. “Sometimes he wins, sometimes Bautista wins. You’ve got two great, talented athletes competing out there and they both take it personally.”

    Can Toronto keep it up?

    Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, And Heartbreaking World Of Fantasy Sports From The Guy Who’s Lived It

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2013 · Comments (1)

    For years, I always thought that Sam Walker’s “Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball’s Lunatic Fringe” was the best fantasy sports book ever written. And, I would still say that it’s the best fantasy baseball book ever written.

    But, now, for the claim of best overall fantasy sports book, ever, I have to throw Matthew Berry’s new book, “Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It,” right in there.

    If Berry’s book is not now the best ever, it’s certainly in the team picture.

    Part memoir and part fantasy sports tales anthology, Fantasy Life is a wild and fun ride. If you’re a fantasy sports addict or once was one, you’ll see yourself and your friends from your league in this book.

    For 12 years (from 1989 through 2000) I served as a commissioner (and franchise owner) in what many would consider an intense fantasy baseball league. After a dozen seasons of serving as a fervent rotisserie den mother, I suffered from severe burnout and quit the game, cold turkey, following the 2000 campaign. But, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have great memories from that time…as well as some wacky tales about things that happened and which we (fellow owners) did to each other. And, reading Fantasy Life brought me back to all those good times.

    Some may consider this book to be a little heavy on the fantasy football side. But, that’s a small quibble considering how much I enjoyed Fantasy Life. Again, if you’re into fantasy sports, you owe it to yourself to get this book. And, maybe sure you get a version with the photos. Those are part of the fun.

    Issues With Yanks Looking For Bats

    Posted by on June 21st, 2013 · Comments (18)

    Via Jon Heyman

    The other day, one Yankees person neatly summed up their offense in four words.

    “Our offense is offensive.”

    So when the Yankees say they are “open for business,” as general manager Brian Cashman said the other day, it’s clear what they’re seeking from the trade market: hitters.

    The makeshift lineup that had surprised so many folks for two months and kept them afloat has turned into a pumpkin in June, when the Yankees have scored the second fewest runs (54) in baseball and posted the worst OPS (.591). Not very Yankee-like.

    However, in looking for offense, Cashman is confronted with a few issues.

    One is that it’s still hard to know which of the many injured players are going to make it back, and when. Except perhaps Mark Teixeira, whose timetable is listed as “TBD” on Yankees.com, they are all at least a few weeks away, and already there have been surprises and setbacks throughout.

    Should he seek a third baseman (Alex Rodriguez’s rehab is said to be going “fantastic”), a shortstop, an outfielder or something else?

    A second issue is that the Yankees, for now at least, haven’t given up hope of getting the payroll down below $189 million for 2014, which means they’ll likely shy away from folks on big long-term deals.

    Yet another issue — and this is the big one — is that the hitting market looks less than great. The best hitters are largely on the better teams, and thus not going anywhere.

    While the Yankees are “open” to do business, there’s no proof anything serious is taking place yet.

    You have to figure, when Granderson comes back, he’ll be in left (with Wells going to the bench or into a platoon with either Ichiro or Granderson). So, more than likely, the next spot the Yankees need to worry about is third…since you figure MLB is going after A-Rod. But, what about DH and first? I don’t think you can count on Teixiera coming back. So, maybe it makes sense to get someone who is an upgrade on Overbay and/or Hafner?

    I know that I left out catcher and short. But, as long as you have good gloves there, you can live with what you have…Stewart and Nix. They’re not great. Yet, I wouldn’t say they are the Yankees biggest problems.

    Closing The Pinstriped Bible

    Posted by on June 21st, 2013 · Comments (0)

    The story.

    I only met Steve once – it was back in 2006 at Alex Belth’s book party. I couldn’t say it at the time, but, now, if asked, I would say that he reminded me of Aaron Pittman. That night, although we only chatted for a bit, he seemed like a nice guy.

    Further, after that time, I have met several people who had more involvement with Steve than me in the past. And, to a man, they all had wonderful things to say about him. The dude is well liked and respected in these circles. And, the closing of his blog is sad news.

    Meet Your 2014 New York Yankees

    Posted by on June 20th, 2013 · Comments (40)

    Here’s who the Yankees currently have contractual rights to next season:

    Age 2014
    Alex Rodriguez 37 $25M
    CC Sabathia 32 $23M
    Mark Teixeira 33 $22.5M
    Vernon Wells 34 $21M
    Derek Jeter 39 $3M [FA-*]
    Ichiro Suzuki 39 $6.5M
    David Robertson 28 Arb-3
    Brett Gardner 29 Arb-3
    Brennan Boesch 28 Arb-2
    Shawn Kelley 29 Arb-3
    Jayson Nix 30 Arb-2
    Ivan Nova 26 Arb-1
    Eduardo Nunez 26 Pre-Arb-3
    Michael Pineda 24 Arb-1
    Francisco Cervelli 27 Arb-1
    Chris Stewart 31 Arb-1
    David Phelps 26 Pre-Arb-2
    Reid Brignac 27 Arb-1
    Adam Warren 25 Pre-Arb-2
    Austin Romine 24
    Dellin Betances 25
    Thomas Neal 25
    Melky Mesa 26
    David Adams 26
    Preston Claiborne 25
    Corban Joseph 24
    Brett Marshall 23
    Vidal Nuno 25
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/20/2013.

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    Yankees GM Brian Cashman has his work cut out for him, over the next 8 months, trying to add to this roster and make it a contender in 2014, no?

    And, how confident are you that he’s going to make that happen?

    Ichrio’s Lower Crown Cap

    Posted by on June 20th, 2013 · Comments (2)

    More on this here.

    I have to say, my wife hates the “traditional Brooklyn style crown” cap. When I wear it, she says that I look like Herman Munster. Yet, I’m an old-school guy. So, I wear it…when sporting a Yankees cap.

    That said, I do like the feel, sometimes, of the low/no crown cap – as long as the bill of the cap still looks “right.” (There’s nothing worse than a bill that’s not wide enough where it makes it look like someone could walk the plank off the top of your head.)

    Back to Ichiro, I believe that he and Joba Chamberlain are the only two Yankees to go with the lower crown cap. Am I missing someone?

    And, I am surprised that the Yankees, with all their tradition and uniformity allow them to wear it. Then again, they’re letting Ichiro  get away with those black on the outside, gray on the inside, spikes that he’s been modelling this season at home (and the reverse version on the road).

    A-Rod’s Lawyer & MLB Get Into Spitting Match

    Posted by on June 20th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    Via the Post -

    David Cornwell, the attorney representing the Yankees third baseman and several other players embroiled in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal, told USA Today that Major League Baseball’s investigation “despicable” and that the evidence being gathered is “irreperably tainted.”

    “The conduct of Major League Baseball with the Tony Bosch investigation is despicable, unethical and potentially illegal,” Cornwell said. “Paying for evidence. Offering to pay for evidence. Intimidating witnesses. One thing we know: that evidence is unreliable. They have tainted the evidence beyond the point that you can rely on it, from their own conduct. And it’s because of this hysterical reaction to the concept [that players procured performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch's anti-aging clinic]. It’s absurd.”

    MLB has confirmed that it paid for records from Biogenesis and Porter Fischer, an associate of Bosch, said baseball offered him $125,000 for his swon testimony and affidavit, according to the Miami News Times.

    Interviews with players are expected to be concluded in the next two to three weeks, a source told USA Today. MLB officials will have to determine whether their findings in this probe will hold up in front of independent arbitrator Frederic Horowitz.

    “At the conclusion of this investigation we hope that there will be a full airing of what we have learned about what Mr. Cornwell and his clients have done, so that the public can decide who has behaved despicably, unethically and illegally,” MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said.

    Oh, this, is going to be good…

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