• The Sign Of The Awful Mariners

    Posted by on July 25th, 2011 · Comments (2)

    It begins with that starting line-up that they threw together to face the Yankees tonight.

    Are they kidding me?

    Reminded me of the Yankees Opening Day line-up in 1989…when Tom Brookens was their three hitter…

    Letting It All Fly

    Posted by on July 25th, 2011 · Comments (22)

    If the Yankees bundled Phil Hughes, Dellin Betances, Manny Baunuelos and Jesus Montero in a trade package, what do you think they would be able to acquire, in exchange for those four players en masse?

    Of course, they would never do it…

    Bosox Looking To Deal With Phillies Or Giants?

    Posted by on July 25th, 2011 · Comments (6)

    I was at the Augusta GreenJackets/Lakewood BlueClaws game last night. Sitting two rows in front of me was a guy with a radar gun and what seemed like a ton of chart printouts. I told my kids that he was a scout and asked them if they wanted to go talk to him. (This was before the game started.) They did – and he told them he was working for the Red Sox.

    Could be nothing…could be something. Who knows?

    The Next Six Days In Yankeeland

    Posted by on July 25th, 2011 · Comments (8)

    The more I think about it, the more shocked I will be to see the Yankees pick up a quality starting pitcher between now and month end.  I just don’t see it happening.  So, when the post-season starts this year, it will be CC in Game 1 and then, probably, Colon in Game 2.  And, then the debate begins on Hughes or Burnett for Game 3.  Ugh.

    C.J. Wilson

    Posted by on July 25th, 2011 · Comments (4)

    Why do I have a feeling that Wilson and CC Sabathia are going to play off each other this off-season and make whomever signs them really pay through the nose?

    Allan James Burnett

    Posted by on July 23rd, 2011 · Comments (31)

    If I had to describe A.J. Burnett to someone, without the benefit of being able to look at any stats, etc., I would say that “Once in an infrequent while, he’s dominant on the mound. Yet, more than a few times, he implodes during a game and is terrible. And, for the most part, he seems to always pitch just well enough to lose.”

    Related, one year ago, I wrote this about Burnett:

    Hey, this is what you get with A.J. Burnett. Sure, the walk-off pies are all the rage with the under thirty crowd. But, look at Burnett’s lifetime stats. On a 162-Game Average, he’s good for 34 starts and 218 innings pitched – but, with a win-loss mark of 14-12. Yes, he wins less than half his starts and loses just about as many games as he wins. Just look at last season, in a great Yankees team year, he made 33 starts, won 13 and lost 9 games.

    And, today, I would update that to say: On a 162-Game Average, he’s good for 34 starts and 215 innings pitched – but, with a win-loss mark of 13-12.

    I do give Burnett credit for taking a regular turn. He’s done that better than I thought he would when the Yankees signed him. But, watching him now for three years, I don’t see anything special about this guy. If he doesn’t have lights-out stuff on a given day, he doesn’t tough it out on the mound. And, more times than not, his lack of being able to throw strikes and/or his frequency of throwing wild pitches gets him into trouble.

    Coming into today’s action, you could make a case that Burnett is no better than Brad Penny:

    Rk Player SO/BB ERA+ IP G From To Age W L H R ER BB SO ERA HR
    1 A.J. Burnett 2.15 107 1894.2 301 1999 2011 22-34 118 107 1701 926 843 801 1722 4.00 189
    2 Brad Penny 2.15 103 1806.0 307 2000 2011 22-33 115 94 1861 890 830 571 1225 4.14 174
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 7/23/2011.

    And, I don’t think anyone would say that Brad Penny is any great shakes.

    Brian Cashman gave this guy a $82.5 million contract for five years.  Yeah, I know, the Braves, reportedly, wanted to sign him too.  But, that’s like saying “Sure, I soiled my underwear.  But, there’s a bunch of guys in the nursing home who poop in their drawers too.”  The fact that someone else either did something stupid, or was willing to, shouldn’t take you off the hook for your own asinine actions.

    In any event, Yankeeland has two more years of A.J. after this season.  That’s alotta “pitching just well enough to lose” games to come…

    Cashman & Afterman’s Ishtar

    Posted by on July 23rd, 2011 · Comments (11)

    Via Bill Pennington

    In the middle of a bright Manhattan summer afternoon, the Yankees’ $46 million pitcher steps from his fashionable East Side apartment building and slips into a waiting Lexus for a chauffeured ride to the ballpark.

    But the car does not turn north for the five-mile drive to Yankee Stadium. The destination is instead Trenton, N.J., or Scranton, Pa., where for the last five years Kei Igawa has pitched for two Yankees minor league teams. Day after day, start after start, complete with the return trip to Manhattan.

    Plucked from a Japanese baseball all-star team roster in 2007 and introduced at a lavish news conference, Igawa was expected to be a staple in the Yankees’ starting rotation. He lasted 16 games, most of them regrettable outings that were sometimes spectacularly inept. Booed off the field, he was called one of the worst free-agent signings in Yankees history.

    After his last, losing appearance for the Yankees in early 2008, he was banished to the farm system and has not come back.

    Except for his nightly returns to Manhattan. But Igawa’s unusual commute is only part of a long, strange journey.

    The five-year saga is a story of a giant mistake of a contract and an overmatched pitcher, a huge organization digging in and a quiet, somewhat mysterious Japanese pitcher with a sense of honor and a durable love of the game. The Yankees made it pretty clear Igawa would never pitch again in the Bronx, but they were determined that he pitch somewhere for his $4 million a year salary. They tried to return him to Japan, too. Igawa refused to go, standing fast to his childhood dream of pitching in the American big leagues.

    And so, the stalemate — remarkable, if almost entirely un-remarked upon — continues.

    The Yankees let him gobble up innings before small crowds in distant outposts as a cavalcade of younger prospects push past him on their way to Yankee Stadium. Igawa never complains, and in a tribute to either willpower or lower level longevity, he has set farm system pitching records. And with just a few months left on his contract, he still dreams of the major leagues, if no longer as a Yankee.

    Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Igawa signs with a team like the Padres next year and wins 18 games?

    Those Were The Days

    Posted by on July 23rd, 2011 · Comments (1)

    Oh, the stories these two could tell…and they did. If you’ve never read Balls and The Bronx Zoo, or haven’t read them in a while, think about checking them out.

    YES, A Sense Of Humor

    Posted by on July 23rd, 2011 · Comments (5)

    Today’s YES Network Totoya Text Poll is a good one:

    In a movie about the YES Network, who would play Michael Kay?

    • Jeff Garlin
    • Jim Belushi
    • John Goodman
    • Kiefer Sutherland
    • Vince Vaughn

    Funny stuff.

    Thanks Yanks

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

    No, this one is not about Ralph Houk’s boat.

    Last night, my seven-year old son was watching (no pun intended) the Yankees game just before his bed time.  It was 8:29 PM.  (Bedtime is 8:30 PM.  But, he’s allowed to listen to the game on the radio thereafter until he falls asleep.)  And, it was at 8:29 PM when Tex hit his slam – and my son was thrilled.

    He often gets up before me on the weekend.  And, this morning, he was up at 7 AM and watching SportsCenter, as usual.  Then, he came crashing into my bedroom and woke up my wife with “Mom, I have to tell dad something.  We need to wake him up.”  At that point, I was up and knew what this was all about.  So, I told him, “Dude, I know, the Yankees won 17-7 last night.”  The smile on his face was worth a million dollars.  He then went on to tell my wife about the game – giving her what seemed like a replay of the entire third inning.

    On my side, after he went to bed, the score was 14-2, Yanks, in the third inning.  Related, I knew this one was in the bag.  And, yesterday, we had free EPIX on FIOS – including On Demand.  So, I ditched the game and decided to watch a movie.

    My wife was at a party last night.  (One of those Girls Nights Out things.)  And, this meant I had free pick on what to watch.  I never saw “Kick Ass” before – but, had heard a lot of people say it was good. 

    Having now watched it, you betcha it was good.  Fun movie.

    Therefore, thanks Yanks – for putting that smile on my son’s face and for killing the game early, freeing me up to watch the flick.  Two bonuses on one game.  Sweet.

    For The Love Of Jesus

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

    Donnie Collins tells us why we should heart Jesus Montero.

    Me, I just want to know if the Yankees are going to issue him #21 when he gets called up.  If they do, I’m ticked.

    But, seriously, the more I think of Montero, I see more of a Cliff Johnson or John Ellis type player than I do a Mike Piazza or Lance Parrish.  Maybe that’s just me?

    Sojo’s Mapache Partido

    Posted by on July 22nd, 2011 · Comments (1)

    Via the AP yesterday –

    Yankees minor league manager Luis Sojo has had many unexpected visitors in his office, including late New York owner George Steinbrenner and one-time teammate Bernie Williams.

    After a recent game involving his Class-A Tampa Yankees, Sojo had his most unique guest. Sitting on the couch as he entered his office was a raccoon.

    Sojo quickly departed after seeing the animal staring at him.

    “I never moved so fast in my life,” Sojo said before watching the New York Yankees play Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. “You don’t expect something like that.”

    It is possible that the raccoon came into the ballpark from Al Lopez Park, a recreational area across the street that has lakes and wooded areas.

    Although the raccoon has not returned after being coaxed out of the office, Sojo is staying on-guard just in case.

    “I check everywhere (in the office),” he said with a smile.

    I am surprised Louie didn’t think it was Kei Igawa being kicked down from Trenton to A-Ball.

    Thames Mean Less PT For Posada?

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

    Did the Yankees pick-up Marcus Thames because they plan to have him be their right-handed batting DH? Then again, what does that say about Andruw Jones?

    Four Slices Of Yankees Season (To Date)

    Posted by on July 22nd, 2011 · Comments (19)

    Here are the Yankees “W-L” results, this season, to date, using some selected end-points:

    March 31st through April 24th: 12-6
    April 25th through May 25th: 15-15
    May 26th through July 2nd: 23-10
    July 3rd through July 21st: 8-8

    Basically, outside of the month of June, where the Yankees got fat on a lot of inter-league games, and the month of April, where the Yankees feasted on Baltimore and Minnesota (when they were struggling), New York has essentially been a .500 team this year. Is this cause for concern in Yankeeland? Or, is this just the way it works – beat up on weak teams when they’re on the schedule and break-even against everyone else?

    In either case, what does it say about the Yankees chances if they reach the post-season this year? There are no soft-spots in the schedule there.

    Hughes Hype

    Posted by on July 21st, 2011 · Comments (19)

    From the minute he was drafted by the Yankees, the hype around Phil Hughes has been…well…huge. Expectations were very large – albeit fair or not.

    At this point, it’s becoming clear that Phil Huges is not going to be the type of pitcher…say…like Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Tommy Hanson, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Josh Johnson, et al.

    So, does that mean that Hughes is a bust?

    By the way, since May 17, 2010, through yesterday, Hughes has pitched in 30 games for the Yankees, throwing 158.6 IP, and has an ERA of 5.45 during that span.

    Bad News Bears

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

    It’s a sad story.

    The Rock and the King must be wondering where they are…

    Cutting Room Floor Material

    Posted by on July 19th, 2011 · Comments (6)

    Between the read on Ruggiano’s fly ball and the throw to try and get Rodriguez at the plate, I’m guessing that the 7th inning of tonight’s game will not make the Grandyman Yankeeography.

    Folly Floater & Lemon’s Big Day

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

    It was two for one – 15,000 days ago.  Chris Jaffe has the details.

    Related, I was there for La Lob, in person, at the Stadium.  It was one of those games I will never forget!

    Tex’s Batting Average Per Season Since 2008

    Posted by on July 19th, 2011 · Comments (3)

    Here are the BA/OBA/SLG numbers for Mark Teixeira since 2008 through yesterday, per season:

    Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB BA OBP SLG
    2008 28 TOT MLB 157 685 574 .308 .410 .552
    2009 29 NYY AL 156 707 609 .292 .383 .565
    2010 30 NYY AL 158 712 601 .256 .365 .481
    2011 31 NYY AL 92 407 347 .239 .344 .496
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 7/19/2011.

    Two-thirty-nine on July 19th? Really? At what point does Yankeeland start to turn nasty on Tex?

    Ashmore & Cashman

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

    Mike Ashmore had an Exclusive Q&A With Yankees GM Brian Cashman.  Great stuff, as always, from Mike.

    I can’t believe he found him sitting outside the stadium, during the game, sitting on a park bench.  I guess that’s where Cash does his best work…

    Brian Ready To Bolt?

    Posted by on July 19th, 2011 · Comments (4)

    Via Ken Rosenthal

    Even some of [Brian] Cashman’s friends in the industry think he might be ready to bolt. He started with the Yankees in 1986 and became GM in 1998, but he has turned increasingly blunt and outspoken in recent months, as if job security is the least of his concerns.

    Then again, Cashman actually seemed more disenchanted in 2008, the last time he was in the final year of his contract. He signed a new deal then after gaining more control, and perhaps he will centralize his authority again.

    Is it just me, or, does anyone else think part of Cashman’s fate sits with how the Yankees pitching does in August, September and October?

    Man, I Really Thought The Rays Would Have Been Better This Season

    Posted by on July 19th, 2011 · Comments (6)

    Tampa is just about cooked. They almost have no shot at the post-season now.

    Good win for the Yankees. Without this one, the story of the game would have been Posada’s pouty lip curl in the 8th inning.

    Now, it’s all about the “W.”

    I wonder if the Yankees will do anything for Jorgie on September 25th? If not, the fans better do something on their own. Clearly, his days in Yankeeland are over. Imagine if the Red Sox don’t sign Papi and ask Posada to come to Boston as a left-handed DH and bacl-up catcher. Would Jorge do it? Probably a stupid question. I can’t see Epstein making that offer.

    Happy Birthday Ramiro Pena!

    Posted by on July 18th, 2011 · Comments (0)

    Some timing, huh!

    Well, if you have to spend a month on the D.L., it’s better for your pocket to do it on the big league one rather than the bush league one.

    When Should Yanks Celebrate Mo Rivera This Season?

    Posted by on July 18th, 2011 · Comments (9)

    Mariano Rivera needs 18 saves to get 600 on his career. But, he needs just 20 saves to set the all-time saves record. So, when Mo gets #600, should the Yankees not go crazy on it…and just wait until he gets two more to really celebrate his milestone?

    Deja CC?

    Posted by on July 18th, 2011 · Comments (9)

    Why is it, every time I hear some Yankees fan say (now) that CC Sabathia will sign with the Yankees again, after he opts out, no question, I feel like these are the same Yankees fans who, this time last year, swore that Carl Crawford would sign with the Yankees (to play in 2011) without a doubt?

    Captain America Opens On Friday

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

    When I was 13-years old, I went to a Halloween costume party – as Captain America.

    My mother actually made the shirt and mask for me…she’s very talented with the sewing machine…and I made the shield.

    I had a Metal Snow Disc Sled from when I was younger – it was probably made in the late 60’s. (It looked like this one – without the dents.) And, I painted it to look like Captain America’s shield (to bring to the party).

    After the party, I put the Disc Sled/Shield down in our basement since I didn’t have any need for it thereafter. Years later, when I moved out of the house, I left it there – again because I had no need for a sled, etc.

    Sometime after I moved out, my folks needed to have a plumber come to the house and my mom took him to the basement (where all the pipes were) and, when he saw my item hanging on a hook down there, he screamed out to my mother “That’s Captain America’s shield!” I guess he thought he was working on Steve Rogers’ mother’s hot water heater or something.

    My mother still likes to tell that story because she thinks it was very funny.

    Not sure what happened to the sled. They either gave it away or trashed it when they moved to a retirement community. Of course, now, today, with the movie and all, you can probably buy a shield somewhere.

    Cashman: Yanks Absolutely Have Enough Pitching

    Posted by on July 18th, 2011 · Comments (10)

    Tweet via Bob Klap today –

    Yankees are on Jimenez but Cashman says there’s “no urgency” to trade, says he “absolutely” has enough pitching as is.

    Another Bubba Crosby smoke-screen?

    Hughes Pressure On Yanks Today?

    Posted by on July 17th, 2011 · Comments (4)

    With a loss today, the Yankees will have dropped 7 of their last 11 games. And, two of those four wins were one-run squeakers.

    Of course, with a win, the world will seem a lot better in Yankeeland…at least better than it will with an “L” this afternoon…

    Three People Who Have Never Been In My Kitchen

    Posted by on July 17th, 2011 · Comments (1)

    Blondie, Grandpa Al Lewis and King Kong Bundy…

    How Important Is CC To The Yankees?

    Posted by on July 17th, 2011 · Comments (0)

    Check the numbers, through yesterday, via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia

    RSAA                           RSAA      BFP      IP       ERA    
    1    C.C. Sabathia                24      630    153.2     2.64   
    2    David Robertson              11      154     35.1     1.27   
    3    Mariano Rivera                9      135     35       1.80   
    4    Luis Ayala                    8      117     28.1     1.59   
    5    Freddy Garcia                 7      411     97       3.43   
    6    Bartolo Colon                 6      376     90.2     3.47   
    7    Joba Chamberlain              4      110     28.2     2.83   
    8    Cory Wade                     3       44     11.2     1.54   
    9    Hector Noesi                  2      118     28.2     3.45   
    T10  Lance Pendleton               1       62     14       3.21   
    T10  Jeff Marquez                  1       18      4       2.25   
    T10  Boone Logan                   1      100     22.1     3.63   
    13   Kevin Whelan                  0       10      1.2     5.40   
    T14  Brian Gordon                 -1       46     10.1     5.23   
    T14  Buddy Carlyle                -1       34      7.2     4.70   
    T14  A.J. Burnett                 -1      503    119.1     4.15   
    T14  Ivan Nova                    -1      406     91.2     4.12   
    18   Rafael Soriano               -2       69     15       5.40   
    19   Sergio Mitre                 -6       30      5.1    13.50   
    20   Amaury Sanit                 -7       40      7      12.86   
    21   Phil Hughes                 -11       78     15.1    10.57
    RSAA                           RSAA      BFP      IP       ERA    
    1    A's                          81     3567    853.1     3.13   
    2    Rangers                      53     3579    849.1     3.81   
    3    Yankees                      47     3491    822.2     3.54   
    4    White Sox                    30     3588    852.2     3.79   
    T5   Mariners                     26     3435    837.2     3.30   
    T5   Angels                       26     3620    869.1     3.26   
    7    Red Sox                      21     3484    820.2     3.98   
    8    Blue Jays                     3     3691    855       4.14   
    9    Indians                      -4     3480    821.2     4.00   
    10   Rays                        -21     3390    817       3.65   
    11   Twins                       -30     3487    812       4.22   
    12   Tigers                      -48     3569    828       4.30   
    13   Royals                      -65     3674    848       4.55   
    14   Orioles                     -69     3566    817.1     4.82
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