• September 30th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on October 1st, 2006 · Comments (1)

    We left the house yesterday at 11 am ET. And, we were out of the house until 5 pm ET. During this time, I had no access to any media – none, zero, nada, zip. And, by the time we got home, I had a full-blow, totally-crippling, migraine headache. The best that I could manage was to take some mega-pain-killers and pass out. Twelve hours later, I woke up and found out that the Yankees lost this game.

    I know, this sounds like an Aaron Stampler “I lost time” story – but, it’s the truth.

    So, all I can talk about from this game is what I saw in the boxscore this morning.

    Looks like Karstens held his own and Jeter put himself into a spot to win the batting title.

    It would have been nice to see the Yankees win this game – just because it would have locked up the best-record-in-the-majors title. But, a win on Sunday, weather providing, can do that as well.

    September 29th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 29th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    Is it Tuesday yet?
    Is it Tuesday yet?
    Is it Tuesday yet?

    That’s all I can think about now. Gosh, I can only imagine how this is driving the Yankees players crazy too.

    Nice to see Moose be sharp – given the Unit news, Mussina better be wicked sharp in the post-season for the Yankees to have a good chance at this point.

    The LDS has always been a tricky beast – given that it’s the best of five. It’s OK to lose one game in the LDS – but, the minute that you lose two games, you’re one game away from going home. Therefore, just about every game in the LDS is must win. This all said, if Randy Johnson is going to be a question, it’s best to leave the Big Unit off the squad. If David Wells in 2003 and Kevin Brown in 2004 have taught the Yankees anything, it should be that you don’t show up at the marina unless you know for sure that your boat can float.

    Joe, Cash, here’s some advice for you. Better to take your chances with a possible shaky five that Wright and/or Lidle can provide than to run Randy out there on an epidural high and all of a sudden it’s the second inning and you’re down by six.

    Remember, in the LDS, once you lose one, you’re next door to losing two. And, once you lose two, you’re on life-support.

    Right now, there’s a big part of me that wants to hear that Unit tried to play catch on Saturday (meaning tomorrow) and had to quit after three throws – and then the Yankees will have no option than to pass on him.

    The Big Unit and I are close in age. (I am 9 1/2 months older.) I’ve never had a herniated disc; but, I’ve had my back go out on me, every once in a while, over the last few years. As any one with a back issue can tell you, when it goes, you’re toast. You probably shouldn’t even drive – much less start a playoff game.

    Unless the Yankees can find some doctor who is willing to staple Johnson’s back together and dab some fake blood on his jersey…….oh, forget it. There’s no way getting Johnson out there like this is going to be good for New York.

    The Yankees need to look at this Johnson news and say “Two tears in a bucket, mother [bleep] it.” Stuff happens, move on. I hope that they take this approach to it.

    September 28th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 28th, 2006 · Comments (6)


    That was close.

    Needless to say, this was a game where you tried to keep yourself busy – in an attempt to ignore what was happening on the field. (Actually, to what was “not happening” – truth be told.)

    I went to this one with my friend, Willy G.

    How was it going for us? Well, during the game, poor Willy was getting text messages on his phone from his friend and his girl-friend – most along the lines of “Some game you got there.” That about summed it up.

    Game score be damned, Willy and I chatted through the innings, waiting for that first Yankees hit. And, we also struck up a conversation with two guys who were sitting behind us – one from Clifton (NJ) and his game-mate from Queens (NY).

    We four talked about the Yankees, the Mets, the Astros-Cardinals chase, the soggy pretzels at the Stadium, owning and splitting season tickets (since I do it and they do as well), the Yankees policy towards season ticket holders reselling their tickets, whether Giambi or Sheffield should play first, and some other stuff – waiting for that first Yankees hit. The fellas that we met even complimented/teased me for “almost not having” a Staten Island accent (after I shared with them where I grew-up).

    Did I mention that we were all waiting for that first Yankees hit?

    But, we were somewhat alone. Around 9:30 pm EST, I looked around the Stadium and saw many people leaving the park. I didn’t get it – why not wait, with us, for that first Yankees hit?

    By the 9th inning, the Stadium was down to about 10,000 fans – like me and Willy, waiting for that first Yankees hit. And, then, just before it was almost too late, Robinson Cano delivered. And, the wait was over.

    When I got back to my car, I turned on the post-game and John Sterling was recapping how the fans gave the O’s Daniel Cabrera a standing ovation just after he lost the no-hitter in appreciation for his effort. Huh? I don’t know about the other 10,000-something fans, but, I was cheering my butt off for Cano – and his sparing me a night without sleep and a life-long memory that was going to be very unpleasant.

    One last thing – in the 9th, after Cano singled, Torre had Jeter in the on-deck circle, ready to bat for Giambi – just before Abreu banged into the DP to end the game. Considering the score, the standings, and the fact that the no-hitter was over, why bother with that? That was sort of interesting but also strange – much like this game on the whole.

    September 27th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 27th, 2006 · Comments (27)

    Can the Yankees play the Mets, right now, please?

    O.K., from a Yankees fan perspective, how cool is it, at this moment, watching guys like Matsui, Sheffield, and Giambi come back to start mashing – at the same time seeing Pedro The Mango Tree Sitter and the Mets falling apart – just before the start of the post-season?

    Sure, it helps that the Yankees are playing a team that checked out a long time ago, but, they were rockin’ and rollin’ tonight. (I do think Cano hot-dogged it on his HR a bit though.)

    Congrats to Worm Killer Wang on win #19. I look back now at April 26th and June 18th – and all I can think of is how this kid should have had 20 wins this year. So, close, eh?

    A ring will make up for it.

    September 26th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 26th, 2006 · Comments (8)

    Maybe Cory Lidle ’06 can be Jim Beattie ’78?

    According to Yankees.com

    Abreu’s blast gave the Yankees 200 home runs for the seventh consecutive season, tying them with the White Sox for the longest such streak in Major League Baseball history. Both are active streaks.

    Hmmm…… 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000. Something happened in a lot of those years – yeah, that’s right – no rings.

    I’d be more impressed to see the Yankees put together seven years in a row where the team AB/SO ratio for batters was 5.7 or higher.

    In any event, totally unrelated to this game, what’s going on with the Cardinals and Astros? More so, check out Andy Pettitte since the All-Star break. Wouldn’t Andy look good back in the Bronx next year? Pettitte’s been in the bigs now for a dozen seasons and has only one year on his bubble-gum card with a negative-RSAA total. I don’t think it’s a cowinky-dink that the last time the Yankees were in the World Series was when Pettitte was on the team.

    If Houston can work a miracle and get back to the Fall Classic, and the Yankees do as well, it’s going to be painful to watch Pettitte face off on New York.

    September 25th @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 25th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    Well, that’s more like it, huh?

    I know that both Randy Johnson and Jaret Wright have some lucky wins this year. But, with his 11th victory this evening, Wright has given the Yankees 4 starters with 11+ wins on the season.

    The last time the Yankees had 4 starters with 11+ wins each was 2003 – also the last time they made it to the World Series.

    There were a lot of good things to see in the game. But, for me, the highlight was watching Andy Cannizaro be interviewed by Kim Jones in the YES post-game.

    Let’s not kid ourselves – Cannizaro is not a prospect. Andy is 27-years old. And, he’s been in the minor leagues for six seasons now – basically, he’s this decade’s Andy Stankiewicz (just an inch taller).

    Nonetheless, anyone who saw that post-game interview with Cannizaro has to come away from it just loving the guy. What a great personality. I have no idea what his baseball future holds for him – but, I’m now an Andy Cannizaro fan and will be rooting for this guy.

    September 24th @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 24th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    I missed this game. Or, should I say that I was spared this game?

    We took the kids to see “Everyone’s Hero” this afternoon. Review to follow herein.

    The Yankees are now 18-14 since that big series up at Fenway. Not exactly building some momentum here, huh? There are seven games left to the season. It would be nice for New York to start showing some more life soon.

    Regarding the movie, I’ll let my kids be the guide.

    My 2-year old son was into it for the first 30 minutes. After that, he was more interested in playing the “Hey, Dad, want to see what it’s like to wrestle a live alligator?” game. We did that for about 45 minutes. And, he was totally bored and wanted out of the theater by the time there was about 10-15 minutes left of the movie.

    My 4-year old daughter was more into it. In fact, during some of the scenes where there was some tension she said (during the movie) that she was “scared.” After the flick, she said that she “liked the movie.” I asked her what was her favorite part and she said “The talking baseball.”

    As Mom had the girl and Dad had the boy, I missed some parts of the movie. But, I will say that some of the scenes, up on the big scene, were beautiful – at least to me.

    If your kids are 4-and-older, and like baseball, it’s probably not a bad movie to go check out. Put it this way, it’s probably a thousand-percent better time than watching a game like the Yankees played today.

    September 23rd @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2006 · Comments (8)

    Well, Torre wanted a “squeeze” play, and, tonight, he got one.

    Personally, this game reminded me of another old song.

    Looks like it’s now an 8-game season to see who gets the best record in the American League.

    September 22nd @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2006 · Comments (10)

    This kid Wang looks like he might be a keeper, eh?

    O.K., on to the serious stuff from tonight:

    1. Gary Sheffield is a ten times better 1B than Bernie Williams is a CF (at this point). That Perez single that Bernie played into a “double” in this game was obscene. And, then, just to show his range (in terms of badness), Williams allowed a catchable Young drive to go over his head for another “double.” It’s so sad to see Bernie in CF now. Shame on Torre for doing this at this stage of Williams career.

    2. Speaking of Torre stupidity, you have the A.L. MVP on third, late in a meaningless game where you’re winning, and you send him home on a suicide squeeze? If Jeter had got hurt on that play, Torre should have been fired before he left the dugout at the end of this game.

    3. Watching that shot that Posada took in the 9th was frightful. I think it’s time for Jorge to start using the Charlie O’Brien hockey-catcher’s mask. It just offers more protection.

    4. Please tell me there’s a way that Aaron Guiel makes the post-season roster.

    5. Yankees fans around the world should hit their pillows tonight and hope that they wake up tomorrow and hear that Mo Rivera feels great. He looked pretty good tonight. But, as Kay and Murcer said on YES, how he feels tomorrow is the bigger story. Cross your fingers, toes, and anything else that you can, for good news on Saturday.

    September 20th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 20th, 2006 · Comments (22)

    Shockingly, this was a game that the Yankees could have won – at the end of the day (despite Henn starting, etc.) But, in the end, it does not matter with respect to clinching – due to the Red Sox loss this evening.

    Leiter nailed it in the YES post-game. This is not “backing in.” When your magic number is three, and you lose three in a row, and need someone else to beat the team under you, day after day, to clinch, that’s “backing in.” The Yankees have been winning games at a regular clip. Thus, this was not a situation where they needed someone to hand it to them.

    Some post-game on YES, huh? Big Unit was on the hunt for Kim Jones. Speaking of Kim, she was a trooper tonight – working the clubhouse alone and getting abused pretty good.

    Watching the celebration coverage, all I could think of was “How cool must it feel to be T.J. Beam, Nick Green, Andy Phillips, Aaron Guiel and those types of guys tonight?”

    For some of them, this might be the only time they get to experience something like this event.

    It was nice to see some of the vets in the clubhouse, during the interviews, give praise to the job that Melky Cabrera did this season. The players do always know where credit is due.

    Jeter is the league MVP. Abreu was the player who pushed them over the top at the end. Damon helped in so many ways. Mo was Mo. Posada and Mussina had seasons that could not have been expected. Cano took it to a higher level. Giambi and A-Rod had their moments.

    But, without Wang, Proctor and Cabrera, nothing else would have mattered. All those other things could have still happened – and without Wang, Proctor and Cabrera there would have been holes too big to overcome this year.

    And, of those three, Cabrera was the one who came from nowhere to become someone. I’m glad he was having fun in the clubhouse tonight – he earned it, and then some.

    September 19th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 19th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    If tonight was a World Series game, and Damon makes that catch under the same in-game conditions, and the Yankees go on to win the game, they would be talking about that grab for the next half-century (and probably longer).

    So, here’s the deal: The magic number is one. Tomorrow, it’s Henn verus Halladay. What are the odds of the Yankees winning that game? Sure, Boston can lose tomorrow and the Yanks would then clinch. But, isn’t it more fun to clinch on a day where you win? Does this mean Yankees fans should root for the Sox to win tomorrow and on Thursday – and then Wang has a chance to bring home the clincher in Tampa on Friday?

    Or, should Yankees fans root for the Sox to win tomorrow, and lose on Thursday, so the team can then have a party in private (somewhere in Tampa) away from the media? From a fan perspective, that would be a letdown, no?

    Of course, if Henn beats Halladay tomorrow, then it’s all great. But, again, the chances of that happening are about the same as Sports Illustrated doing a potentially team-distracting cover story on Albert Pujols, just two weeks before the Cardinals enter the post-season, detailing how none of the Cardinals players will offer him words of support when he’s slumping, right?

    September 18th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 18th, 2006 · Comments (15)

    When Rasner loaded the bases in the first today, he was so red in the face that it looked like he was going to have a stroke. Give the man credit – he did not melt – and, he gave a nice effort today on 3 days rest.

    It’s just a shame that the Yankees had to use four pitchers to get the last three outs in a game where they took a 4-run lead into the ninth inning.

    Just to repeat what I said four days ago: How about Darrell Rasner on the post-season roster instead of Dotel?

    If Cashman and Torre do not consider this option, then they’re watching these games with their eyes closed.

    September 17th vs. The Red Sox – Game 2

    Posted by on September 17th, 2006 · Comments (25)

    If you would have told me that the Yankees would lose three of four to the Red Sox this weekend, but, Torre would rest the bullpen in the process, I would have been O.K. with that result.

    But, the fact of the matter is that the Yankees dropped three of the four games, and, over the two days where the four games were played, they pitched:

    Proctor, Villone and Farnsworth each on both days – with Proctor throwing three innings (whereas Villone goes 2.3 and Farnsworth throws 2 IP). And, Bruney goes twice in one day, on Saturday while Myers also goes twice in one day, on Sunday.

    Some rest, huh?

    Torre using his pen like this in four games, over two days, where three of the contests were losses, is as disgusting as watching Bernie Williams, standing 50 feet behind second base, try and throw a runner out at home plate.

    Now, sure, much of the losses had to do with how the Yankees pen threw this weekend. And, maybe if these guys pitched better then New York would have won more games here. But, then again, maybe these guys are burnt – and that’s why they pitched the way they did – and that’s just more proof that they needed the rest this weekend?

    September 17th vs. The Red Sox – Game 1

    Posted by on September 17th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    Shoot, it would have been nice to party in front of the Red Sox. With the Jays win, and this game, it’s just not in the stars.

    Hey, at least the Mets have failed to clinch for three days in a row. How cool will it be, in terms of bragging rights, if the Yankees clinch before the Mets do?

    Good effort from Wright this afternoon. And, nice catch by Melky today. Not so nice pitching from Villone. Actually, if you look at that bad inning for Villone today, and see who did the damage, it goes back to what I said last December – you do not want Villone facing RH-batters with the game on the line. I hope Torre gets a handle on this fact soon.

    September 16th vs. The Red Sox – Game 2

    Posted by on September 17th, 2006 · Comments (15)

    Farnsworth now has 5 saves on the season. The last time that a pitcher “Not Named Mariano Rivera” had 5 or move saves in a season for the Yankees was 2003. And, who was that pitcher?

    Juan Acevedo.

    Just reading the name gives me the chills.

    Proctor threw 26 pitches in this game – so, I guess he’s only available for 12 innings between the two games tomorrow.

    If the Yankees sweep tomorrow, er, I mean later today, they get to party on their home turf – albeit briefly, before they have to travel to Toronto.

    Torre should stack the hitters in the first game on Sunday – to help Wright. And, then play all the glove men in the nightcap – to back-up Mussina. That might position the Yankees to get it done.

    Is it really possible that the Yankees starters in the Toronto series are going to be Rasner, Karstens, and (most likely) Henn? And, the Jays will have their three best starters going against them?

    If the Yankees don’t lock it down tomorrow, my (one time) prediction of September 22nd (to clinch) might come true.

    Lastly, when the Red Sox got a man on in the 9th tonight, and the tying run was at the plate, why didn’t the man who says he’s the league MVP come on to pinch hit? The Big Papi was the Big Piney in the big spot in this game. What gives Tito?

    September 16th vs. The Red Sox – Game 1

    Posted by on September 16th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    O.K., the loss in this game means nothing to the Yankees. Sure, it kills Wang’s shot at 20 wins. But, that’s an individual thing – and a ring will make up for that.

    I should preface what comes next with a declaration that I’m a Derek Jeter fan – and I think Jeter should be the A.L. MVP this year. But, to be honest, I do believe that, if the Yankees had a “World-Class” fielding SS in the game today, it’s a lot closer game this afternoon.

    And, I’m not even talking about the muff by Jeter in the 4th on the ball hit by Hinske. More so, it was the “hit” that followed by Mirabelli. That was a grounder located not that far to Jeter’s left. Personally, I think someone like Adam Everett grabs that ball, turns two, and the inning is over – and the Yankees then leave the 4th with a 2-0 lead.

    But, then again, Adam Everett couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

    And, of course, if Johnny Damon doesn’t bang into a DP in the 2nd, and gets a hit instead, maybe Beckett is done.

    Lots of chances in this game for New York. They just didn’t get it done. Still, as stated in the opening, no biggie – the loss means nothing.

    Lastly, very classy of the guys on FOX to give Kaat a couple of innings today. Very classy, indeed. Nice to see that.

    September 14th vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 14th, 2006 · Comments (8)

    Here’s a wild idea – how about Darrell Rasner on the post-season roster instead of Dotel?

    OK, you pull a bunch of guys because of the rain. Not a terrible idea. But, you leave in Giambi, to play the field (no less!), with his bad wrist? I just don’t get Torre sometimes. Strike that – make it a lot of times.

    Jim Kaat mentioned this several times on YES tonight, but, A-Rod is having one heckuva September. His OPS for the month, to date, is in the thirteen hundreds.

    Part of me is bothered by this development.

    Sure, I want to see him do well – because that helps the Yankees. But, on the flip side, seeing him mash (off the charts) like this now makes me worry about what happens in October.

    If Alex Rodriguez bombs in the post-season this year, the case against him will be set up perfectly: He was great in May. He struggled badly when the team needed him in June. Once the season was locked up, he hit like Babe Ruth in September. And, once the games “counted” again in October, he failed.

    The only way around this is for A-Rod to play well in the post-season. He doesn’t need to have an OPS around 1300 – but, something in the range of 890 would make the case “for him” much easier.

    Lastly, good for Jeter, Cano and Matsui tonight. Let’s hope that Posada is O.K. – and, thanks for nothing Baltimore.

    On the bright side, if the Yankees take 3 of 4 from Boston this weekend, it’s officially over in the A.L. East. And, it would give New York 13 games to play around with until the post-season. That’s one nice cushion – almost too big. But, it beats playing it down until the last weekend (like last year).

    September 13th vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 13th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    Maybe Mad Dog Russo was right?

    Cory Lidle has now made 8 starts for the Yankees:

    3 very good, 4 not good at all, and one that was OK.

    I thought that Lidle would have performed better than this – and, now, the Yankees 4th starter in the post-season is not a sure thing. It could be Wright or Lidle.

    The next three starts, in terms of performance, for both Wright and Lidle will probably be the deal breaker.

    On a positive note, the magic number is now seven – with 18 games to go. This date, last year, the Yankees were two back in the loss column with 19 to play. What a difference a year makes, huh?

    Lastly, a riddle (of sorts) for you – What does David Ortiz have to do these days to watch the Yankees? The answer: Look up!


    It’s a bird!
    It’s a plane!
    It’s a frog!

    A frog?

    No Papi.

    Not bird, not plane, not even frog, it’s just the Yankees, a.k.a. the top dog.

    September 12th vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 12th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    Former New York Yankee owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert once described his perfect day at Yankee Stadium: “It’s when the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning and then slowly pull away.”

    Well, Colonel, here’s a perfect day plus one!

    Great games for Abreu, Jeter, Matsui and Mussina.

    Dotel, well, at this point I would not keep him on the post-season roster. The fact that Villone had to warm up in the 9th tonight was a crime – to which Dotel gets some credit and Torre gets the rest.

    It was touching to see the hand that the fans gave Matsui in the first inning. But, more so, I want to talk about Matsui after the game right now.

    During the post-game on YES, they had Matsui at his locker. Two things there caught my eye.

    First, Godzilla was wearing a gray T-shirt with the Yankees logo on the front. And, behind the logo, in faint white pinstripes, was a huge # 27. Man, I want one of those shirts!

    Secondly, in the top corner of Matsui’s locker I saw something very bizarre. It was an almost life-size photo cut-out of Don Zimmer’s head – and it was on one of those ice-cream pop sticks (like they use for faces on the ESPN show PTI). What was that all about? Don Zimmer has been off the Yankees for the last three years now. Very strange, indeed.

    By the way, with his HBP tonight, Jeter is now the king in that stat for the Yankees. Congrats Derek, I think?

    September 11th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 11th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    With a little better defense, and maybe some luckier direction on a grounder, Randy Johnson’s night doesn’t look quite as bad.

    Watching Cano hit the big “double” in the 7th tonight, reminded me of something. People like to say that they see some Rod Carew in Cano. As a kid, I can remember people saying that Carew had a knack for always hitting the ball towards the worst fielder on the field – and some of his hits would have been outs had a better fielder been manning that spot. The weaker fielder would always seem to miss the ball by a foot or inches, and Carew would get the hit.

    Robinson Cano may not be Carew like in his career, but, in that one At Bat tonight, he hit the “double” at the right guy (Tatis). Hey, better lucky than good, right?

    So, Torre is now #3 all-time on the Yankees win list. This probably clinches the retirement of “6” when Joe hangs them up.

    You know, pretty soon, the Yankees are going to have 20 uniform numbers retired. At this rate, by the year 2040, there will be many regulars on the Yankees roster wearing numbers in the ’60’s – just wait and see. That just seems wrong.

    Speaking of wrong, as much as I love to see the Yankees win, it’s sort of painful to watch the Orioles these days. This is nine years in a row for them where they’ve been really bad.

    Growing up, I can remember having to face the O’s – with Weaver, Singleton, Murray, Grich, Palmer, Flanagan, McGregor, et al – and they were such a proud organization. Now, they’re just lucky that Tampa Bay is in the division.

    Hey, if it can happen to them, maybe it can happen to Boston someday too?

    September 10th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 10th, 2006 · Comments (26)

    This team is starting to get that “Today we play, today we win – dat’s it.” feel to it.

    Back on August 29th, Johnny Damon said:

    “I think we’re the best team out there,” Johnny Damon said. “We have to show it. We have to go for the jugular. We have to start abusing people.”

    Since Damon said that, including this win today, the Yankees have gone 8-4. And, if Scott Proctor gets one more out in one of those games, the record would be 9-3.

    Now, you have games like today – where usual heroes Damon, Melky and Jeter are joined by guys like Fasano and Green.

    This team is starting to form an attitude, and it’s a good one – it’s right in line with what Damon called for at the start of this run.

    September 9th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 9th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    Ah, the beauty of “Worm Killer” Wang. Even with most of the “B” team behind him (Green, Thompson, Bernie, and Wilson), and no Abreu, Giambi or A-Rod to support him, the guy just wins.

    I was concerned when Wang got nicked by that batted ball in the 4th.

    That’s the last thing that New York needs now – an injury to Wang. He’s their ace. Without him, this post-season could be very short.

    Other than that, the only other concerning thing in this game, for me, was the look that Kim Jones was giving Jim Kaat in the YES booth, during the 8th, when Kitty was giving a pitching demo.

    Jones was eye-balling Kaat like Cole Sear when he saw a dead person.

    OK, maybe Jeter getting his foot caught in the game was concerning too – just a tad.

    Back to Wang, if Chien-Ming wins 20 this year and does it with less than 100 strikeouts on the season, he’ll be just the 6th pitcher since 1961 to do this in the American League. And, two of the five to do it were also Yankees – Ed Figueroa in 1978 and Tommy John in 1980. (The last AL’er to do it was Bill Gullickson in 1991.)

    A very interesting season for Worm Killer, indeed.

    September 8th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 8th, 2006 · Comments (16)

    The Yankees lost this game twice tonight.

    At first, New York lost the game when Cory Lidle did his best impression of Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez pitching Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

    And, New York lost this game a second time in the top of the 3rd inning. In that frame, while the score was 7-1 (in favor of the O’s), the Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs – and the heart of their order coming to the plate.

    Abreu got caught looking. A-Rod flew out. And, then Giambi fouled out.

    If one of those three boppers gets a big hit in that spot, the Yankees could have gotten back into the game.

    Playing in Camden, if the score is 7-4 after two and a half, you’re still in the game.

    Think about that failure for a minute. The Yankees sent over $50 million worth of sluggers to the plate, with no outs, and the bases full, and got just one run. That’s not a good ROI.

    Hey, on the bright side today:

    1. Karstens pitched well again for the Yankees.
    2. Torre did not use either Proctor or Villone in this game.
    3. Jeter extended his hitting streak.
    4. Boston lost a heart-breaker to the Royals in Fenway.

    Lastly, here’s a fun fact: Don’t look now, but, Melky Carbrera, at this point in the season, has a higher 2006 OPS than Ichiro Suzuki. Yeah, he’s never going to have the bat that you expect from a corner outfielder……duh.

    September 6th @ The Royals

    Posted by on September 6th, 2006 · Comments (23)

    Jorge & Unit might not be as slick as Bacardi & Cola, but, tonight, they got the job done.

    Randy Johnson, when he’s on, as we saw this evening, can be unhittable. But, when it goes for him, it goes in a hurry. He’s fooled me a few times now – in thinking that he might throw a no-no. But, just when you start to think it’s safe to begin counting off the outs needed that are left, he seems to give up a hit. I guess, at his age, a no-hitter is not meant to be……unless he gets some great plays made behind him when it’s late in the game.

    So, the magic number is now 15 with 24 games to go.

    If the Yankees win five of their next seven, that would get the number down to ten. And, if Boston (at the same time) loses three of their next six games, that would get the magic number down to seven – leading into when the Sox arrive in the Bronx.

    Then, it would take a sweep (of Boston) by New York when the Yankees return home to clinch the A.L. East.

    Thinking this over now, it looks like the Yankees will probably clinch around September 22nd (while they are on the road). The timing here is a shame – it would have been nice to see them clinch at home. Still, it’s nice to wrap it up with ten or so games to go.

    That will eliminate any excuse of being tired heading into the A.L.D.S.

    September 5th @ The Royals

    Posted by on September 5th, 2006 · Comments (16)

    Somehow, I don’t think this will be one for the YES Network’s Yankees Classics rotation.

    At least, Jeter extended his hitting streak – although his overall night at the plate left a lot to be desired. And, Mussina and Dotel got some work.

    When was the last time that Giambi got a hit? And, will A-Rod set his season high mark in strikeouts (for his career) before the Yankees return home?

    Lastly, Jorge De La Who?

    Watching the Royals starters deal with the Yankees hitters these last two nights, well, it’s not been nice – for sure.

    Oh, and, Greg Gibson has to be the worst umpire ever when it comes to tag plays. That’s two in two nights where he has butchered a call. I hope he’s not working the post-season. He’s a menace.

    September 4th @ The Royals

    Posted by on September 5th, 2006 · Comments (11)

    Coming into this game, Royals’ starter Luke Hudson, was a journey-man who was doing what you expect from a bad pitcher – an ERA this season near six and a batting average allowed near .290. But, for the first 7 innings of this game, the Yankees made him look like Pedro Martinez in his prime.

    You never know in baseball, huh?

    Getting Hudson out of the game was the break that the Yankees needed here. And, did they ever take advantage of it!

    It’s just a shame that the Yankees had Dotel warming up before their big inning in the 8th – and then got Proctor up to join him once New York took the lead – and then opted to bring in Proctor (even though the Yankees had a huge cushion at that point).

    If Dotel cannot pitch in that spot – then he should not be on the team.

    Speaking of not being on the team, this comment from Pete Abraham after the game almost made my non-green tea shoot of my nose this morning when I read it:

    Sal Fasano’s 4-year-old son Enzo was in the clubhouse after the game and charmed the room. He grabbed an ice cream sandwich and watched ESPN from one of the overstuffed couches. “Just like Carl Pavano,” somebody said.

    Priceless. (And, by the way, “Enzo Fasano”? With a fun name like that, I think the kid has to be a ballplayer when he grows up.)

    Lastly, so, A-Rod whiffed half of the time he was up in this game. Does that mean the comeback is over?

    September 3rd vs. The Twins

    Posted by on September 3rd, 2006 · Comments (21)

    Nice solid effort by Rasner in this game. But, the story of the day is A-Rod.

    Some Yankees fans will look at Alex’s big day and say “Sure, now he starts hitting – it’s September and the Yankees locked up the division last month. Typical. Look at this game – he had 2 homers and 5 RBI. But, 4 of those 5 RBI came late in the game when the Yankees were comfortably ahead in the game. Same ol’ stat padding.”

    And, other Yankees fans will look at Rodriguez’ big day and say “Wow, in his last 4 games, A-Rod has 5 homers! He’s coming on at the right time. With his great hitting now leading into the post-season, he can make for his bad month of June with a great October – a month where it counts.”

    So, Yankees fans, which one is it?

    September 2nd vs. The Twins

    Posted by on September 3rd, 2006 · Comments (2)

    Sorry for the delayed game commentary, O’ fans de’ WasWatching. Our power went out at 2:50 pm ET on 9/2 – and it was not restored until 3 pm ET today. Oh, what fun. Mucho gratz Ernesto – not!

    Speaking of the weather, I cannot believe that the Yankees played a “ballgame” in those conditions. The fans who sat through that one are true diehards.

    OK, so, the Yankees lost. Big whoop – given the current standings. But, the story in this game was Jeff Karstens. He was very impressive here – all things considered.

    Based on his effort, I almost want to see him stay in the rotation for the rest of the month – because he could be in it next year, if he continues to pitch like this. But, what are the odds of that happening with Mussina coming back?

    At the worst, he should be Wright’s caddy once Moose returns. I hope Jeff makes the most of it.

    September 1st vs. The Twins

    Posted by on September 1st, 2006 · Comments (5)

    I think it’s now pretty safe to say “Whatever was bothering A-Rod against the M’s and the Angels is no longer an issue.”

    I know it’s unfair, but, the way Rodriguez threw the lumber around tonight is what Yankees fans (probably) expect from “the best player in the game.” Sure, no one can hit 300 homers in a season. But, if Alex did what he did tonight just once every five or six games – well, he’d be an MVP.

    And, no one would be moaning about him – ever.

    Two weeks ago, I said that, visually, I see “a little of Greg Maddux on the hill” when Lidle is on – like he was tonight.

    When Lidle throws his two-seamer inside to a left-handed batter, like he was this evening, and it breaks back towards the black of the plate for a strike, it is a Maddux-like thing of beauty. It’s almost like Mo’s cutter in reverse. If he’s on, Lidle is going to be a difference maker for the Yankees in the post-season.

    OK, that’s all the good stuff. Now, the bad news – the weather forecast for tomorrow.

    If tomorrow gets rained out, before they start the game, the Yankees will probably play a double-header on Sunday – with Karstens and Rasner starting the games for them.

    And, what happens if both these young pitchers get knocked out early (say, around the 4th inning) in same day? It means the Yankees bullpen will be pushed (and then some) – which is something that New York does not need now.

    If both Karstens and Rasner get run quickly in a double-header on Sunday, someone like Beam or Veras is going to have to take one for the team and log some serious innings.

    Yankees fans don’t want to see Proctor and/or Villone pitching in some meaningless game on Sunday.