• E-Rod

    Posted by on May 16th, 2011 · Comments (10)

    In the big picture, in terms of Sunday’s game, this play really didn’t mean anything – most likely. But, when you consider how bad the Yankees have played over their last 12 games, how the heck do you miss a ground ball like that one? To me, it says your heads not in the game. A seven year old could have stopped that grounder – if he was paying attention and applying himself.

    The details, via Bryan Hoch -

    Alex Rodriguez winced as he paced near third base, staring into his glove with an expression of disbelief, as though he might suddenly find a huge hole about the size of a baseball.

    In a week filled with team lowlights, an easy ground ball shooting between Rodriguez’s legs was the capper. The Yankees wrapped up an awful homestand with a 7-5 loss to the Red Sox, their season-high fifth straight.

    “Not good,” Rodriguez said. “We can talk about it over and over again; the bottom line is, we’ve got to play better. We’ve got to play winning baseball.”

    Rodriguez evoked memories of Bill Buckner’s iconic miscue in the 1986 World Series with his misplay of a Kevin Youkilis grounder that gave the Red Sox an all-important seventh-inning insurance run.

    “It seems like when things are going bad, they’re going bad,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s going to turn around.”

    When Was The Last Time Things Were This Messed Up In Yankeeland?

    Posted by on May 15th, 2011 · Comments (18)

    We have the Posada thing.  And, we have the team losing 8 of their last 11.  And, they’re set up to be swept by Boston at home.  And, we have so many players on the team not playing up to their reps and/or salary – albeit that not all are sucking and are playing semi-decent.  (See: Teixeira, Mark – who should be hitting more like Votto or Adrian Gonzalez than he is now.)  There’s a lot of things that are just flat-out messed up in Yankeeland right now.  You could say that they seem less organized than a dung fight at the monkey cage in the zoo.

    When was the last time, during the regular season, that we saw this much out of control with the Yankees?  Yes, the 2006 ALDS was a low-point.  But, that was October.  When was the last time we saw this outside of the post-season spot-light?  1989 or 1990?  It does seem like a long time…unless I’m just forgetting something more recent.

    Who is to blame for all this?  Cashman?  Girardi?  Both?  Neither?  What do you think?

    Yanks Leak Personal Info On Season Ticket Holders

    Posted by on April 27th, 2011 · Comments (23)

    I really hope the MSM picks up this story and the Yankees get nailed to a cross for it.

    Phil Hughes Not Phooling Anyone In Fenway Today

    Posted by on April 8th, 2011 · Comments (13)

    At this rate, Joe Girardi could sub Charlie Wonsowicz in for Hughes and get the same results.

    Yankees/YES Trying To Hide Cashman At Soriano Presser?

    Posted by on January 19th, 2011 · Comments (10)

    Reportedly, Rafael Soriano’s new contract with the Yankees represents the fifth highest average salary ever paid to a relief pitcher.  Only Mo Rivera, Brad Lidge, K-Rod and Joe Nathan made more on an annual basis than what New York will pay Soriano.

    And, the press conference to officially announce his deal is today at 10 am ET. And, what’s on the YES Network right now at ten AM?   Not the press conference.  Instead, it’s a Yankees Classics game from 2009. Why? Is this not big enough news for YES to carry live? Or, are they trying to hide something here?

    At least the Baseball Channel at MLB.com is broadcasting this one.

    Update: 10:20 am ET. The press conference finally starts. Levine, Cashman, Girardi, Trost, and Afterman are there from the Yankees front office. Cashman talks first. Basically says nothing for ten seconds and then hands the podium to Girardi.

    Girardi gives Soriano uniform #29 and Cashman places a Yankees cap on Soriano’s head. It’s photo-op time.

    Update: 10:25 am ET. Soriano speaks. It’s all in Spanish. Yankees have a translator there to help him with the media Q&A. Soriano says he’s happy to set up Mo now but he hopes to be the Yankees closer in the future.

    Update: 10:34 am ET. Soriano still doing Q&A. And, I think I figured out why YES is not carrying this one. The presser is about as exciting as being stuck in traffic on Geroge Washington Bridge. Soriano is 31-years old and has been playing baseball in America since 1999. But, evidently, he’s got no ability to speak any English.

    Update: 10:35 am ET. Soriano is done. That’s it – Jason Zillo says they will break into groups now in the back of the room for media members to ask questions informally. MLB.com drops the feed. Wow. A whopping 15 minutes. I guess we’ll have to read the papers to get the Cashman reaction to any questions.

    Update: 11:13 am. Via Peter Botte – Cashman: “Its not my team. I don’t own it. They do…In any job you better be prepared for every decision to not go your way. I think 29 other GMs would love to have their owner shove Rafael Soriano down their throat.”

    Down their throat, or, up their poop chute, Cash?

    The Javier Vazquez Nightmare

    Posted by on August 21st, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Bob Klapisch shares the following today –

    Javier Vazquez spoke in long, seamless sentences, sticking to his what-me-panic script after a horrific outing against the Mariners on Saturday. But the longer he spent at his locker, the more obvious it became that neither Vazquez nor the Yankees have any idea what’s happened to what was once an elite right-hander.

    Vazquez was lifted after three innings, having given up four runs on eight hits. Vazquez faced 18 batters in three innings, 12 of whom hit the ball hard — including three home runs. He continues to live in a pitcher’s purgatory, stripped of his fastball, unable to locate his secondary stuff, glancing over his shoulder after every hit, as if Joe Girardi was on his way from the dugout.

    “Man, I wish I knew. We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Vazquez said wearily when asked for an explanation.

    “I’m not locating; I’m not getting ahead; I’m behind in every count,” Vazquez said. He’s right, of course, but there’s more. Vazquez’s bad counts are attributable to his fear of throwing strikes, which stems from fear of contact. That’s what happens to pitchers who’ve lost their confidence.

    While no one has suggested Vazquez is hurt, his trendclearly is disturbing club officials. It’s not just the fastball that’s shrunk from its peak 92 mph to 88 mph a month ago to its current lower 80s. It’s the way hitters are loading up against him.

    Reading this, all I can think about is all those who wrote, before the start of this season, about how this is not the “Javier Vazquez of 2004″ we were going to see this season; and, about how many, during this season, have opined about Vazquez being a “representative 4th starter” and exactly filling the expectations of what the Yankees had for him this season.

    Well, to me, if sure looks like Javy Vazquez, this season, is the same turkey who was pitching for the Yankees in ’04. And, if this is what you expect from your 4th starter in a big league rotation, then I have a used “Brian Moehler” that I would like to sell you…

    A-Rod Misses Yankees Team Photo Today

    Posted by on August 3rd, 2010 · Comments (24)

    Via Kevin Kernan -

    A-Rod misses team photo, Girardi said he didn’t read the memo

    No worries. I’m sure they can CGI him into the picture – as a centaur, of course.  (No word on whether or not it will be possible to CGI his 600th career homer into today’s boxscore ‘tho…)

    Now, why everyone else on the team got the memo and Alex missed it…is anyone’s guess.

    Bleich’s Shoulder Injury

    Posted by on May 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via Tim Bontemps -

    Left-hander, Jeremy Bleich, one of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects, appears headed for a lengthy stint away from the pitcher’s mound after Double-A Trenton placed him on the disabled list Wednesday with a shoulder injury.

    Bleich has been meeting with doctors this week, and surgery seems like the most likely outcome.

    Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president of baseball operations, was downcast when asked about the issues with Bleich’s shoulder yesterday.

    “I don’t know,” he said when asked about Bleich’s return. “We’re (still) getting some information back from the doctors … he had more tests (yesterday).”

    Bleich, the Yankees supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, entered the season as the ninth-best prospect in the Yankees organization, according to Baseball America. He was 3-2 with a 4.79 ERA in eight starts this season with Trenton, striking out 26 and walking 28 in 41.1 innings.

    The Yankees first three picks in the 2008 draft were Gerrit Cole, Jeremy Bleich and Scott Bittle. Back at the time of these picks, I called it The Great Disaster Draft Of ‘08. And, I still stand by that statement. Here are just some of the prospects that the Yankees passed on to select Cole, Bleich and Bittle: Lonnie Chisenhall, Casey Kelly, Jaff Decker, Anthony Gose and Tanner Scheppers. There’s still hope for David Adams, David Phelps and maybe Pat Venditte turning out to be something from the Yankees 2008 picks. But, man, did they ever whiff on the first three…

    The Mess That Is Javy Vazquez

    Posted by on May 3rd, 2010 · Comments (19)

    Via Tyler Kepner

    The decision not to use Vazquez in Boston, then, is a stinging indictment of a pitcher the Yankees privately believed would perform like a No. 2 starter. Instead, Vazquez will pitch Monday at Comerica Park in Detroit, against a Tigers team that has hit much better than the Red Sox. It reinforces the notion that he cannot handle a big stage.

    “When you’re struggling like this in a market like this, it’s louder and it’s harder,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “It just is. No one’s going to run from it. It bothers him. It hurts. He wants to do right by everybody, and he’s fighting himself to keep doing it.”

    Vazquez did not make himself available to reporters Monday, but Girardi said Vazquez told him he wanted to start at Fenway. Girardi said that he understood but that he told Vazquez he believed he would benefit from extra days off.

    By starting his second New York stint with a 9.78 earned run average, highest in the league among pitchers with five starts, Vazquez has called into question his stomach for pitching here. It is safe to say the Yankees believed they were past that.

    Vazquez is a genial person, but staying hidden from reporters before Monday’s game was not a good sign.

    But the Yankees are convinced that Vazquez is so lost that he could not win on the road against a Red Sox team that looks strikingly ordinary. A victory at Fenway could boost Vazquez’s shattered confidence. By not giving him the chance, the Yankees revealed just how worried they are.

    “Unfortunately, there’s a clear recognition that there’s some major struggling going on here,” Cashman said. “It’s an opportunity for us to show we’re going to do everything we can, in our power, to fix this on the run.”

    You know, at the end of last season, Big League Stew said that “Vazquez’s worst ERA+ years — with the exception of his first two seasons — all came with contenders: the ’04 Yankees, the ’05 D’Backs and the ’06 and ’08 White Sox.”

    Maybe the Yankees should have considered that?

    Me? Well, when the Yankees made the trade for Vazquez, I wrote:

    But, the big thing with Vazquez is: Can he pitch in the American League? If you look at his career, in terms of his component skills, Vazquez is pretty consistent. Yet, for some reason, his bubble-gum card stats, outside of 2007, are much better when he’s in the N.L. than when he’s in the A.L. (where the Yankees play). In the Senior Cicuit, he’s a Cy Young contender. In the Junior Circuit, he’s a league average pitcher. Perhaps it’s the A.L. ballparks that do him in? (By the way, his lifetime ERA while pitching in the Bronx is 7.09 over 6 games.) But, even at his worst, Javy should be good for close to 200 innings pitched and somewhere around 12-14 wins.

    And, I really meant that – in that I thought it was fair to expect 200 innings pitched and somewhere around 12-14 wins from this guy in 2010.

    Of course, that could still happen…but the clock on that hope is ticking fast…because it sure sounds like Javy Vazquez is one messed up little dude.

    May Day For Yankees Javy Vazquez

    Posted by on May 1st, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Right about now, I’m not even sure that Vazquez could beat a baseball team made out of the Emma Willard School (for girls) May Pole Dancers…and, no, I don’t mean the exciting pole dancers

    Feds Going After A-Rod’s Scheduling & Financial Records

    Posted by on April 9th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via Michael S. Schmidt

    Federal agents have reached out to several people who have worked for Alex Rodriguez in an effort to learn more about his relationship with Anthony Galea, the Canadian-based doctor under investigation by various federal authorities.

    According to two people briefed on the investigation, which is seeking to determine if Galea distributed performance-enhancing drugs, agents want to question people associated with the Yankees’ Rodriguez — particularly the assistants who have handled his scheduling and finances — to determine the number of times he met with Galea, where they met and how much money Galea was paid for his services.

    The effort to talk to people connected to Rodriguez comes as he and his lawyers have put off several meetings with federal agents, who have yet to question him about Galea. Those delays have aroused the curiosity of the agents, the two people said, and helped prompt them to contact others in Rodriguez’s circle.

    The two people said that the agents looking into Rodriguez have had communications with Angel Presinal, a well-known trainer who was banned from major league clubhouses nearly a decade ago because baseball officials suspected he was providing players with performance-enhancing drugs.

    How the agents communicated with Presinal, who is based in the Dominican Republic and has worked with Rodriguez in the past, and the extent of those communications is not known.

    Although Rodriguez has yet to meet with federal authorities, he will have to do so at some point, said one of the two people with knowledge of the investigation.

    That person and a third individual said authorities plan to subpoena the notes from Rodriguez’s meeting last Thursday with investigators from Major League Baseball. They said the notes from the meeting — which took place in Tampa, Fla., and lasted three hours — would be used to either question Rodriguez as part of an eventual meeting with federal agents or in an appearance by Rodriguez before the federal grand jury in Buffalo that is looking into Galea’s activities.

    James Sharp, who is based in Washington and is one of several lawyers representing Rodriguez, did not return a telephone request for comment.

    In last week’s meeting with baseball’s investigators, Rodriguez stated that he had been treated several times by Galea after he had surgery on his hip last March, according to several people in baseball with direct knowledge of that meeting.

    Rodriguez said that he had been treated by Galea in Tampa and New York after the surgery, which was performed in Vail, Colo. Rodriguez told investigators that he did not receive performance-enhancing drugs from Galea, the people said.

    Galea has acknowledged treating Rodriguez, stating in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he gave him anti-inflammatories for his hip last year.

    Remember all those times last month that A-Rod said “This is about someone else” when referring to the FBI wanting to talk to him about Galea? Well, now, it sure seems like this is about him too, no? When the feds start to go after your assistants who have handled your scheduling and finances, that tells you that it’s not just about “someone else.”

    Anyone else notice that Kevin Russo played third for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last night – after playing there just 18 times last season? Maybe the Yankees are thinking about a possible Bronx fill-in…in case this thing with Alex really blows up at some point during the season.

    Yankees Sr. VP Of Baseball Ops Busted For DUI

    Posted by on March 9th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via the AP -

    A top New York Yankees executive was charged with driving under the influence in Tampa.

    Hillsborough County Jail reports show that Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president of baseball operations, was arrested Monday night. He reportedly refused to take a blood-alcohol test. He was released several hours later on $500 bail.

    Team spokesman Jason Zillo says the Yankees can’t comment at this time.

    Newman did not respond to a message left on his cell phone by The Associated Press.

    Jail records did not list an attorney.

    As I have mentioned before, DUI is a terrible, terrible, crime – in my opinion. It’s inexcusable.

    Keith Law said it best three years ago: Baseball needs a backbone regarding DUIs.

    And, The Talk Of Yankees Camp Now Is…A-Rod. Surprised?

    Posted by on March 2nd, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Everybody’s talking about Alex Rodriguez, the FBI, and a suspected HGH dealer. Check it out:

    Mike Lupica warns that A-Rod better tell the truth this time and not work off a script.

    Ian O’Connor writes that Alex Rodriguez’s steroid stain will last forever.

    George King notes that when “Rodriguez is involved, even the smallest issue has the ability to quickly grow into a colossal one.”

    And, there’s probably much more to come today.

    With six, you get eggroll. With A-Rod, you get all sorts of stuff, eh?

    The Damon Drama Continues…

    Posted by on February 16th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via Sam Borden -

    [Brian Cashman] says the notion that the Yankees didn’t “engage” with Damon is just plain false and that, despite media reports that Damon might sign for $7 million a year, he fully expects Damon to get the Bobby Abreu-type money of at least $9 million a year.

    “I mean, that’s what they said when they turned down our last offer,” Cashman told me. “I told them I was at the level of two years, $13 million and they said ‘no bleeping way’ and then we even floated the one year, $6 million with deferred money and they pointed to the Bobby Abreu deal. So I fully expect him to get Abreu money, unless they were playing us the entire winter. That would be like playing poker without any hand at all and, you know, maybe they did that.”

    “I’m sure in the past, I have, I’ve put some things away but in this case, we did what we could,” he said. “We absolutely did what we could. The information we got from them was loud and clear. We followed Johnny’s guidelines, Johnny’s path. What’s happening now is a lot of spin doctoring by the agent. It didn’t work out. Don’t try to make us look bad or the Yankees look bad. That’s not right.”

    And people laughed when Bob Raissman called Cashman thin-skinned

    Brian, it’s over. He’s not going to play for your team. Why even talk about Damon and Boras anymore?

    Did Cashman Allow His Anger At Boras To Bring Cause For Damon’s Exit?

    Posted by on January 28th, 2010 · Comments (27)

    Via John Harper

    First and foremost, it’s obvious that Johnny Damon screwed up a good thing here by allowing Scott Boras to antagonize the Yankee front office with his contract demands even after GM Brian Cashman’s warnings that he wasn’t playing games with the agent.

    Damon either let his own ego get in the way of a perfect situation with the Yankees or he paid a price for trusting Boras too much, but in any case he’ll miss his old team more than it will miss him.

    Still, that doesn’t mean the Yankees won this standoff. You can make a case that both sides lost, and, indeed, you have to ask whether Cashman allowed some ego to get involved here as well.

    Several baseball people say they believe Cashman became furious with Boras’ negotiating tactics, with one person close to the situation saying he once heard the GM screaming at Boras via his cell phone.

    In the end, Cashman had the hammer in this negotiation. Maybe by October we’ll know if he used it wisely.

    This ties back to what Chad Jennings shared this weekend:

    “How long it’s taking certain people to wake up and smell the coffee, that’s what surprises me,” Cashman said. “When you get on the phone with agents, they tell you one thing, and certain agents can’t honestly believe what they’re trying to convey. Do they think I’m stupid?”

    Sure sounds like Cashman allowed Boras to get under his skin. Was this a wise move? Like Harper suggests, we’ll see over the course of the 2010 season.

    When You Spell Yankee$, You Cannot Leave Off The Last “S” For Savings

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2009 · Comments (30)

    Via Cot’s Baseball Contracts:

    Starting pitchers
    The highest-paid active starting pitchers, by average annual value:

    CC Sabathia, $23,000,000 (2009-15)
    Johan Santana, $22,916,667 (2008-13)
    Carlos Zambrano, $18,300,000 (2008-12)
    Barry Zito, $18,000,000 (2007-13)
    Jake Peavy, $17,333,333 (2010-12)
    A.J. Burnett, $16,500,000 (2009-13)

    Relief pitchers
    The highest-paid active relief pitchers, by average annual value:

    Mariano Rivera, $15,000,000 (2008-10)
    Brad Lidge, $12,500,000 (2009-11)
    Francisco Rodriguez, $12,333,333 (2009-11)
    Joe Nathan, $11,750,000 (2008-11)

    Catchers
    The highest-paid active catchers, by average annual value:

    Jorge Posada, $13,100,000 (2008-11)
    Joe Mauer, $8,250,000 (2007-10)
    Kenji Johjima, $8,000,000 (2009-11)
    Ramon Hernandez, $6,875,000 (2006-09)

    First basemen
    The highest-paid active first basemen, by average annual value:

    Mark Teixeira, $22,500,000 (2009-16)
    Ryan Howard, $18,000,000 (2009-11)
    Todd Helton, $15,722,222 (2003-11)
    Albert Pujols, $14,285,214 (2004-10)
    Lance Berkman, $14,166,667 (2005-10)
    Justin Morneau, $13,333,333 (2008-13)

    Second basemen
    The highest-paid active second basemen, by average annual value:

    Chase Utley, $12,142,857 (2007-13)
    Brian Roberts, $10,000,000 (2010-13)
    Robinson Cano, $7,500,000 (2008-11)
    Brian Roberts, $7,150,000 (2008-09)
    Dustin Pedroia, $6,750,000 (2009-14)

    Shortstops
    The highest-paid active shortstops, by average annual value:

    Derek Jeter, $18,900,000 (2001-10)
    Michael Young, $16,000,000 (2009-13)
    Miguel Tejada, $12,000,000 (2004-09)
    Hanley Ramirez, $11,666,667 (2009-14)
    Rafael Furcal, $10,000,000 (2009-11)

    Third basemen
    The highest-paid active third basemen, by average annual value:

    Alex Rodriguez, $27,500,000 (2008-17)
    Miguel Cabrera, $19,037,500 (2008-15)
    Aramis Ramirez, $15,000,000 (2007-11)
    Chipper Jones, $14,000,000 (2010-12)

    Outfielders
    The highest-paid active outfielders, by average annual value:

    Manny Ramirez, $22,500,000 (2009-10)
    Andruw Jones, $18,100,000 (2008-09)
    Torii Hunter, $18,000,000 (2008-12)
    Ichiro Suzuki, $18,000,000 (2008-12)
    Vernon Wells, $18,00,000 (2008-13)
    Carlos Beltran, $17,000,000 (2005-11)
    Alfonso Soriano, $17,000,000 (2007-14)
    Carlos Lee, $16,666,667 (2007-12)
    Magglio Ordonez, $15,000,000 (2005-09)
    J.D. Drew, $14,000,000 (2007-11)
    Vladimir Guerrero, $14,000,000 (2004-08)
    Johnny Damon, $13,000,000 (2006-09)
    Hideki Matsui, $13,000,000 (2006-09)

    When you see these numbers – and how the Yankees have the most “expensive” player (or close to it) – at just about every position, it’s hard to defend those claims that the Yankees bought a World Series ring this year. Perhaps the 2009 Yankees were the best team that money can buy?

    When you add up those annual averages for the Yankees players highlight here, it totals $170,000,000 (a year) for ten players. That $170 million for those ten players is more than any other total team payroll in baseball last season (outside of the Yankees payroll).

    Burnett Yanks Biggest Choker This Post-Season?

    Posted by on November 3rd, 2009 · Comments (17)

    I know that Nick Swisher, to date, has ALDS/ALCS/WS batting averages of .083/.150/.167 this post-season. And, Robbie Cano’s mark is .167/.261/.167, to date. Also, Mark Teixeira’s line is .167/.222/.105 through Game 5 of the World Series. But, has any Yankee “choked” this off-season as much as A.J. Burnett?

    Yeah, there’s Phil Hughes…facing 33 batters so far this post-season and allowing 15 of them to reach base…

    And, true, Burnett had an effective start in the ALDS and a very good start in Game Two of this World Series…

    But, look at Game Five in both the ALCS and the World Series this year. Both times, the Yankees were up, three games to one, with a chance to finish off the series with A.J. Burnett on the hill.

    What happened? In Game Five of the ALCS, Burnett allowed four runs in the first inning. And, in Game Five of the World Series, Burnett allowed six runs before he could retire his seventh batter.

    Talk about being in the spotlight and just melting…

    Burnett may be a great teammate and all that; but, when it comes to being in a big spot, I don’t feel comfortable with him on the mound…based on these two Game Five situations…do you?

    “Fatigued” A-Rod Caught Out Partying Till Early AM With Celeb Gal Pal

    Posted by on June 21st, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Via the Palm Beach Post with a hat tip to Pete Abe -

    Benched for alleged “fatigue,” slumping New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez partied until 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Miami Beach. He then disappeared into the tropical night with actress Kate Hudson in the back seat of his chauffeured Maybach.

    And while it’s pretty obvious A-Rod and Hudson are an item, the third baseman wasn’t too fatigued to continue pretending otherwise. Indeed, it must be a coincidence that Hudson, the star of Almost Famous and Fool’s Gold, is in Miami just as Rodriguez’s New York Yankees are playing the Florida Marlins in SoFla this weekend.

    And it must be another coincidence that they “ran” into each other at a private party on SoBe late Friday.

    And also blind luck they both ended up in A-Rod’s set of wheels about 2:30 a.m., even if they left the fiesta 15 minutes apart, a spywitness tells me.

    Alex being Alex.

    Remember, back in April, when A-Rod said he had recommitted himself to baseball and the Yankees and planned to have “tunnel vision” this season? I guess now we know what type of “tunnel” he was talking about…

    Bruney: Ump Delay On HR Review Blew Elbow

    Posted by on May 18th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Via the AP -

    Ready to return from the disabled list, New York Yankees reliever Brian Bruney blamed an 8 1/2-minute wait during an umpires’ video review for causing a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow.

    Bruney went on the disabled list April 25, six days after he was warming up in the bullpen during the seventh inning when umpires checked video before upholding a home run by teammate Jorge Posada. Bruney then entered in the eighth and got three outs.

    “Major League Baseball needs a way to figure out if it’s a home run or not,” Bruney said Monday. “It shouldn’t take 8 1/2 minutes, and I think that’s what screwed me up.”

    Bruney pitched just once after the April 19 game, throwing an inning on April 21 before going on the DL. He said it was obvious to him from the first replay that Posada’s drive just over the right-field wall against Indians reliever Jensen Lewis was a home run.

    He called the players’ association and learned only then that replays are provided to umpires from a central location.

    “I don’t know what the 8 1/2 minutes was all about,” he said. “I don’t know if like somebody was on lunch break or what.”

    Bruney kept on warming up, not sure how long it would take for umpires to return to the field.

    “I could have quit throwing, I could have waited and started again,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s coming out in 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes. It turned out to be the latter. I mean, that’s a long time for a reliever to be throwing or any pitcher to be throwing.”

    Bruney allowed one run in one inning during a minor league rehab appearance Sunday and is slated to be activated Tuesday.

    Mike Port, Major League Baseball’s vice president of umpiring, declined comment on Bruney’s allegation.

    …I could have quit throwing, I could have waited and started again…I don’t know if he’s coming out in 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes. It turned out to be the latter. I mean, that’s a long time for a reliever to be throwing or any pitcher to be throwing…

    Hey, Brian, what if it had been a situation where Posada was hurt, on the field, running the bases – instead of a situation where the umps had to review the video tape – and there was an 8 1/2 minute delay while the Yankees trainers worked on Posada? Or, what if the Yankees just kept getting two-out hits, over and over, for an 8 1/2 minute period? In the case of Posada’s injury, you wouldn’t have known if it would take 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes to tend to him. And, with the two-out hits, you would have not been able to tell if the inning would last another 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes.

    Dude, you made the call to keep throwing – assuming that the umpires might make a quick call. Therefore, this is your fault – and not the umpires. Geez…I thought Bruney was better than being a blame-layer. Guess not?

    Yanks Misled & Mistreated Fans (And Legend) At Stadium?

    Posted by on May 5th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    Via the Daily News -

    Hundreds of irate fans – some who claim Yankee employees told them the game had been rained out – stormed away from Yankee Stadium before Monday night’s game against the Red Sox even got underway and couldn’t get back in, resulting in a an ugly scene at one of the ticket gates.

    With rain falling for hours and no start time announced until shortly before 9 p.m., hordes of fans began leaving the Stadium and heading home – some who said they had been advised that the game had been called by Yankee employees who walked the concourse holding pinstriped “How may I help you?” signs.

    When a 9:20 p.m. start time was eventually announced over the public address system, a crowd on the sidewalk outside Gate 6 tried to get back into the Stadium, only to have the employees working the turnstiles promptly close the doors in their faces. Panicked fans began racing up and down the sidewalk, trying to find a way back into the ballpark, while others remained at Gate 6 either pleading or demanding to be let back in.

    “We talked to the security personnel, who said there was zero chance they were going to play the game,” said Tom Stuart, a 27-year-old from Astoria who waited out most of the rain delay before leaving with his girlfriend. “We spent three hours drinking beer – you can’t drink much because they’re 10 bucks apiece – now they’re going to play a game in front of 35 fans.”

    Becky Wright, who flew in from Oregon for Monday night’s game, had bought two tickets as a birthday present for her 16-year-old son, Seth O’Neil. They left the game because “the guys holding the ‘How may I help you signs?’ said they weren’t going to play,” said Wright. They were among the hundreds of fans outside Gate 6 trying to get back into the Stadium.

    Jason Zillo, a Yankee spokesman, said the team has a firm no-reentry policy. He also said the NYPD and Stadium security hadn’t let any fans back into the ballpark.

    “We’re a part of hundreds of people, if not thousands,” said Martin Watson, a 39-year-old New Yorker who spent $800 for four tickets and tried to reenter through Gate 6. “This is not fan-friendly. This is B.S. You pay money for a top-of-the-line franchise, and you get bottom-of-the-line customer service.”

    “I built this Stadium and they won’t let me in it,” a man wearing a local union jacket said before storming off.

    While fans were being rebuffed outside Gate 6, scores were having their tickets rescanned outside Gate 4 and being allowed back into the Stadium, but that lasted only for a limited time.

    One fan, who was wearing a No. 2 Derek Jeter jersey and a backward Yankee hat, approached a reporter to say he had been let back in, but couldn’t do so because the Yankees wouldn’t rescan his father’s ticket. A turnstile supervisor directed the reporter and several fans to the customer service window, which was locked.

    At least one fan was arrested outside the Stadium. Roseanna Franco, 25, of White Plains, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after she allegedly kicked a New York City police officer after not being let back in.

    Stadium security also threatened to revoke the credential of Daily News photographer Robert Sabo, who was shooting the scene outside Gate 6 – a location photographers weren’t prohibited from working at on Opening Day.

    “They were super-embarrassed and told me to go back to my position on the field or they’d take my credential,” Sabo said.

    After most of the crowd had dispersed outside Gate 6, turnstile workers opened the doors and began letting people back into the Stadium. But it was already too late for hundreds of fans.

    Hey, the fans shouldn’t feel bad. For what it’s worth, at the new Stadium, the Yankees recently also rudely treated Paul O’Neill and his wife too.

    Strange. I would bet that the Yankees try and write this stuff off as being the bugs of opening up a new Stadium. But, really, did they never have a two-hour rain delay before a game at the old Stadium? And, did they never have a former Yankee, and current broadcaster, and his wife visiting the park at the old Stadium? These are not situations that are unique to the new Stadium, and, therefore, they should have been handled better by the organization. Hopefully, we’ll never hear of these types of situations happening in Yankeeland again – because, they should just not be happening, period.

    (H/T to BBTF on the stories.)

    Almost 3 Years To The Day, Yanks Embarrassed Again By The Full Wind-Up

    Posted by on April 26th, 2009 · Comments (7)

    During tonight’s Yankees-Red Sox, on April 26th, Boston had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th inning, with Jacoby Ellsbury on third, and two out. On a 2-2 pitch to J.D. Drew, New York’s Andy Pettitte, throwing from a full wind-up, allowed Ellsbury to steal home.

    Let’s flash back to April 21, 2006. Remember what happened then, when the Yankees told Worm Killer Wang to pitch from the full wind-up, on a 3-2 count, with two outs, and the bases loaded? Via Tyler Kepner back in the day:

    With two outs and Millar on second, Wang lost his control, walking Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to load the bases. From the bench, the Yankees told Wang to work from the windup, thinking he would be more comfortable.

    But Wang is slow from the windup, and on the 3-2 pitch to Melvin Mora, Roberts and Markakis took enormous leads. Mora smacked a grounder to shortstop Derek Jeter, but his only play was to first, and his throw pulled Andy Phillips off the base.

    By the time Phillips landed on the bag, Mora had slid in safely. He also had accomplished a rarity, knocking in two runs on an infield single.

    Brian Roberts, three years ago, took the Yankees to school on what can happen when you go to the full wind-up with the bases juiced, two outs, and a full count…and, this evening, Jacoby Ellsbury showed us that New York learned nothing three years ago…because, again, the Yanks got embarrassed by sleeping on the field in a big spot.

    Yeah, I know it was a 2-2 count this time. But, that’s close enough to it being a full count in a situation like this…

    Felix Lopez Kid Busted in ’02 For PED Possession

    Posted by on February 21st, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via the Post -

    The son of Yankees senior vice president Felix Lopez Jr. – who is the son-in-law of Bronx Bombers owner George Steinbrenner – was busted in 2002 for trafficking in a banned date-rape drug that has been used by athletes for muscle recovery, and for possession of anabolic steroids at his Tampa, Fla., apartment, records reveal.

    Felix Lopez III, who in recent weeks has been spotted at the Yankees’ minor league facility in Tampa working out in official team sweats, served 19 months of probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges in 2003.

    Lopez, 30, had been arrested at his Tampa home in September 2002 as part of a nationwide Drug Enforcement Administration sting, which cooperated with local law enforcement authorities, for trafficking in a drug known as GBL.

    Earlier this week, a source told The Post that Lopez had been acquired as a strength trainer for the Yankees minor league facility, which his father, Felix Lopez Jr., oversees.

    Lopez Jr. is married to Jessica Steinbrenner, the younger daughter of the Yankees principal owner.

    But Lopez III, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, and Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for George Steinbrenner, all denied that the younger Lopez had been, or was going to ever be, hired by the Yankees.

    “I have not,” Lopez III said, when asked if he had been hired. “I’m not a hire … I wish.

    “No, it’s always best to let family just do kind of their own thing. I don’t work for the complex at all, no W-2, no paychecks, nothing.”

    Lopez III did confirm he has visited the minor league complex, noting that his dad works there.

    The Post’s questions about Lopez’s criminal record caught a number of highly placed Yankees sources by surprise, as they were completely unaware of that aspect of his history.

    The Stein family is starting to look more and more like the Bluth’s…everyday.

    Report: Alex Rodriguez Tested Positive For Steroids In 2003

    Posted by on February 7th, 2009 · Comments (30)

    I just turned on the MLB Network and saw Tom Verducci talking about this in a Breaking News segment…

    My thanks to those who left comments here in other entries, also alerting me of this…

    Here’s the scoop from SI.com -

    In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.

    Rodriguez’s name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s ’03 survey testing, SI’s sources say. As part of a joint agreement with the MLB Players Association, the testing was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.

    When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. “You’ll have to talk to the union,” said Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, “I’m not saying anything.”

    Phone messages left by SI for players’ union executive director Donald Fehr were not returned.

    Wow. If true, Jose Canseco was right again. And, all of a sudden, the Joe Torre book doesn’t seem like the biggest news in Yankeeland any more…

    Update, 12 noon EST, 2/7/09: How many times do you think this video clip will be replayed in the next 24 hours?

    More Details On Joba’s “Valuable Lesson”

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    More on Joba’s wild night out – via the Daily News:

    Yankees star Joba Chamberlain downed vodka-and-sodas and caroused at a Nebraska strip club in the hours before he was busted for drunken driving, the Daily News has learned.

    The 23-year-old pitcher went drinking at a bar in downtown Lincoln and then capped off his Friday night at a local jiggle joint, where he got into a tiff with another customer over the rival Red Sox, witnesses said.

    Chamberlain – who had a blood-alcohol level more than 1-1/2 times Nebraska’s legal limit when he was nabbed – was heckled as he and friends watched the dancers at the Night Before Lounge, witnesses said.

    “Some guy yelled out, ‘If you played for the Red Sox, you wouldn’t be sitting here,’” clubgoer Gary (Bo) Bohaty said.

    Boston was knocked out of the playoffs Sunday night.

    “That got a rise out of him,” said Bohaty, owner of the Beacon Lounge, a bar next to the strip club. “[Joba] turned his head and said, ‘What did you say?’ and the guy yelled it out again.”

    As Chamberlain kept shouting back, one of the pitcher’s friends got into a shoving match with the heckler, said the club’s manager, who asked not to be identified.

    Once order was restored, Chamberlain and his five friends stared at the gyrating dancers for nearly 90 minutes before leaving just after midnight. Chamberlain paid the $145 tab and left a $100 tip at the club, where the cover charge is $3, the manager said.

    His estranged mother, Jacqueline Standley, has said her struggle with alcohol and drugs led her son to be raised mostly by his wheelchair-bound father.

    The father snapped at reporters outside his home yesterday.

    “Please get off my property,” said Harlan Chamberlain, who then pointed to a woman in a neighboring driveway. “If she got a DUI, would it be a story?”

    Harlan, who seems to enjoy all the media coverage that he gets at Yankee Stadium, etc., has to learn that the media is a two-way street. Well, at the least, he’s learning it now…

    As far as Joba, hey, he’s not the only ballplayer to hang out in nudie bars…but, the DUI thing is still inexcusable. Dude, call a cab. I’m sure they have car service places in Lincoln, Nebraska, don’t they?

    Joba Chamberlain Busted For DUI

    Posted by on October 19th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via the AP -

    New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, speeding and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

    Deborah Collins is a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol.

    She says Chamberlain was stopped for speeding on U.S. 77 near his hometown of Lincoln at about 1 a.m. on Saturday.

    Collins says Chamberlain was taken to the Cornhusker Place Detox in Lincoln, which she says is the normal protocol.

    Chamberlain was lodged at the center on charges of driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol and speeding.

    Collins says the county attorney likely would file formal charges on Monday.

    An e-mail sent to Chamberlain’s agent Saturday was not immediately returned.

    As I have mentioned before, DUI is a terrible, terrible, crime – in my opinion. It’s inexcusable.

    The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this was Jim Leyritz. Chamberlain is lucky he’s not in that type of situation right now.

    Maybe the Yankees should set up a session for Joba to meet Matthew Wasser’s parents this off-season – so that Chamberlain can hear from someone close to it just how terrible a choice of DUI can be?

    Chamberlain is young and he can learn from this incident. Hopefully, he will learn from it. But, until he proves that he has learned from it, his status as a guy who “gets it” has to be moved down – several pegs.

    Who Cost The Yankees A Post-Season Berth?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    In the end, the Yankees finished 6 games behind the Boston Red Sox this season – and six games back from being the A.L. Wildcard team.

    On the season, the Yankees went 51-46 when playing “winning teams” (meaning they had a winning percentage >=.500) and 38-27 when playing “losing teams” (meaning they had a winning percentage <.500).

    It was New York's play against "losing teams" that hurt them in the standings this year - as Boston went 46-18 against "losing teams" and Tampa Bay went 42-19 against "losing teams." The difference here between New York, Tampa and Boston is why the Yankees finished where they did in the standings.

    In total, when the Yankees played the Reds, Pirates, Indians, Tigers, Royals, and Rangers this year, they went 15-21. And, those are ‘bad’ teams. If you want to say that those 7 games under .500 against these ‘bad’ teams is the difference between the Rays, Bosox and Yanks this season, I would not fight you on it.

    In particular, from June 6, 2008 through July 10, 2008, the Yankees lost six games to the Royals, Reds, Rangers and Pirates that they should have never lost. Here are the games – and the player on the Yankees who probably had the biggest hand in that loss:

    June 6th vs. The Royals – Goat: Johnny Damon

    June 9th vs. The Royals – Goat: Melky Cabrera

    June 20th vs. The Reds – Goat: Jason Giambi

    June 30th vs. The Rangers – Goat: Jorge Posada

    July 1st vs. The Rangers – Goat: Melky Cabrera

    July 10th at The Pirates – Goat: Alex Rodriguez

    Damon…Melky…Giambi…Posada…and A-Rod. Hey, what can you say? It was a team effort, right?

    Do Hank & Hal Need $ This Badly?

    Posted by on August 27th, 2008 · Comments (8)

    The Yankees version of Mortimer and Randolph Duke – and, yes, this would make Brian Cashman to be Louis Winthorpe – reached a low-point to me with this one. Via the Post -

    The Red Sox fan who paid $175,100 for the tattered David Ortiz jersey buried in the foundation of the new Yankee Stadium had the best seats in the house at last night’s game: The Boss’ box.

    Massachusetts car dealer Kevin Meehan rooted for the hated Sox from the Steinbrenner box after snapping up the luxe seats in a charity auction. Boston won 7-3.

    He bought the seats months before the jersey was found buried in two feet of freshly laid concrete.

    “I suppose I could have worn the shirt, but it would have caused a bloodbath,” Meehan said. But he called his first ever trip to the Stadium “a great experience,” adding, “Everyone was really friendly.”

    The Ortiz jersey was jackhammered out of the concrete in April after Sox-loving Bronx hardhat Gino Castignoli buried it behind home plate in an effort to curse the Yanks. Proceeds from its sale went to a cancer-research charity.

    Com’on guys – just leave the box empty, rather than sell it to a Sox fan, if you can’t be there. And, if you want to give money to charity, then just reach into your pocket and do it that way. You still get the write-off.

    Cashman: Pavano ‘One Of The Hardest Workers We’ve Got’

    Posted by on August 19th, 2008 · Comments (32)

    Via the Daily News -

    “He’s not the villain he’s cast as,” Cashman, who signed Pavano to the contract, said Monday. “Carl Pavano has worked his butt off. He’s always tried. He just hasn’t stayed healthy. No one is trying to avoid him. When he’s healthy, he can pitch. He’s one of the hardest workers we’ve got. People don’t want to realize it or look at it, but that’s true.

    “He hasn’t laid down on us, he just hasn’t been healthy. People lose their objectivity and make it things it’s not. The bottom line is, he’s had every intention of helping us, but between all the injuries, we’ve had a lot of stuff that hasn’t worked physically. When he’s healthy, he can do what few can do.”

    Yeah, that’s Carl – he’s all about helping the team.

    Great quote here Cash. It’s an insult to the intelligence of Yankees fans around the world. But, it’s an instant classic in the making.

    The Great Disaster Draft Of ’08

    Posted by on August 16th, 2008 · Comments (14)

    The Yankees had the 28th, 44th and 75th overall selections in the draft this year.

    What happens? With the 28th pick, they take a kid, Gerrit Cole who will not sign. With the 44th pick, they take a kid that many feel was an “over-draft” – Jeremy Bleich. And, with the 75th pick they take a kid, Scott Bittle, with a bad shoulder.

    As a result, in the end, the Yankees only sign one of their first three picks in the 2008 draft – and it was the one who was an “over-draft” – Jeremy Bleich.

    Basically, the Yankees threw away two of the first 75 picks in this draft because of bad decisions on who to pick. They didn’t do their homework in terms of sign-ability and health.

    Sure, they get some extra picks next draft as a result of the “no signs.” But, they also miss the chance to have some premium talent mature in their system over the next year.

    Great job here by “Ca$h-money!,” huh?

    Kennedy On Being Rocked: “No Big Deal” & “Not Real Upset About It”

    Posted by on August 9th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Have you seen the post-game quotes from Ian Kennedy on his effort last night? Mark Feinsand and Cliff Corcoran were right on them. The ones that stand out to me, from “IPK.”

    “It’s the first bad outing I’ve had in a long time. I’m not going to look much into it. I felt like I made some good pitches. Yeah, I got the leadoff hitter on quite a bit, but got out of it in the second inning. I’m not too upset about it. . . . Even on their singles, like, what, ground balls? So, that’s not a big deal.”

    “A bunch of singles and three doubles or so. I’m just not real upset about it. I’m just going to move on. I’ve already done that.”

    Well, now we know why the Yankees were so slow to call up Kennedy – despite the fact that he was beating up on weak Triple-A hitters. When you hear comments like these, it’s clear that he’s a horse’s patootie in terms of his attitude.

    If I’m the Yankees, and I’m hearing this, I send him right back down to the minors – now.

    « Previous PageNext Page »