Friday, July 31, 2009
J.P. Ricciardi did make one deal- sending Scott Rolen to Cincinnati for fellow 3rd baseman Edwin Encarnacion, and pitchers Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke. Rolen reportedly asked for a trade due to personal reasons. Roenicke is the son of former Orioles outfielder Gary Roenicke.
The Red Sox flipped recently acquired 1st baseman Adam LaRoche to the Atlanta Braves (the second time he has been a Brave) for 1st baseman Casey Kotchman.
The Rockies picked up reliever Joe Beimel from the Nats for pitchers Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian.
The Dodgers sent pitcher Claudio Vargas to the Brewers for catcher Vinny Rottino.
While the Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals all improved this week, the Yankees added a bit player. While I wasn't expecting a huge name, I was certainly hoping the Yankees would add a pitcher to their rotation or bullpen.
Instead we got Jerry Hairston Jr.- an average utility man, who was actually not personally liked by the Yankees at one time. The Yankees got him from the Cincy Reds for minor league catcher Chase Weems. With the glut of catching in the Yankees minors, it was probably a good move for Weems.
Does this mean Cody Ransom gets released or Shelley Duncan gets DFA'ed after one game? That remains to be seen.
The Boston Red Sox weren't able to land Doc Halladay, but they did shore up their lineup with the acquisition of Cleveland catcher/1st baseman Victor Martinez. V-Mart came, in my opinion, for a song. The Indians received pitchers Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Price.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein must have held a gun to the head of Indians GM Mark Shapiro to get away with this deal. Boston held on to Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, and Michael Bowden. There's no way Epstein felt any pain in making this deal. Masterson is nothing special. Price is from Rice, a school with a reputation with good, but injury prone, pitchers.
The Chicago White Sox countered Detroit's acquisition of Jarrod Washburn by finally acquiring Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres. Peavy had balked at earlier attempts to go to Chi-town, but this time went along with the move that brought pitchers Clayton Richard, Aaron Peroda, Dexter Carter, and Adam Russell.
The White Sox are taking a gamble that Peavy can pitch in the AL, but giving up 4 prospects isn't a bad thing, especially when one is the soft tossing Richard. It would be no surprise if he had success in the NL, but it's not likely he would have had long term success in the AL.
He's a tremendous sleazeball, but so far he hasn't been wrong. Asked to comment about the David Ortiz-Manny Ramirez revelation, Jose Canseco said baseball will be shaken up when they find out a current Hall of Fame member was a steroid user.
Are we really shocked by such an accusation? It's totally believable. The first name that comes to my mind is the late Kirby Puckett. But who knows. I won't speculate further than that.
The Minnesota Twins have been after shortsop Orlando Cabrera for a while and today they got him from the Oakland A's, according to Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown.
The cost was shorstop prospect Tyler Ladendorf.
Shelley Duncan is coming back up to the Yankees. The Yankees needed a position player with the injury to Brett Gardner and Dunc is the man. No word on corresponding roster move, but it will be a pitcher sent down (Albaladejo yet again?).
Chien-Ming Wang can be moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Duncan.
Jarrod Washburn, who last year looked more like his look alike Kiefer Sutherland, has been dealt to the Tigers for pitchers Luke French and Maurice Robles.
Washburn went 5-14, 4.69 for the Mariners last year, but bounced back this season, going 8-6, 2.64.
Phil Coke quickly lost tonight's game in the bottom of the 9th after Nick Swisher's 2-out home run tied it in the top of the 9th. Coke gave up the game winning hit to defensive specialist DeWayne Wise. You know what defensive specialist means? Can't hit for shit.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
"I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody," he said. "You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that's about it." - David Ortiz, Feb., 2009Ah yes, Big Papi...so are you willing to walk away from the game for a year? Ortiz claimed he didn't know he failed, yet all those who did were informed at the time. Ortiz has also been quoted as saying he once drank a supplement shake and he really wasn't sure what was in it. Nice set up there Papi in case you ever fail a test. Ortiz won't comment further on the report until he gets more info.
This of course is no shock. Ortiz stunk with the Twins and suddenly emerged with the Red Sox. Perhaps we now know why.
And of course there is the Man-child. Failed a test this year, so obviously it was no shock that Ramirez failed a test prior to this.
And again I shake my head at Bud Selig for looking the other way for so long and helping to damage baseball for a decade. You had no idea, puh-lease.
Finally, choke on Boston. :)
With the Yankees taking 2 of 3 from last year's AL Pennant winner, we learned/confirmed a few things.
- Throw the Joba Rules out the window. With the way he's pitching right now, there's no way you can shut down Joba once he hits an innings limit. Perhaps if pitchers weren't babied so much they could last longer. I grew up watching horses like Catfish Hunter and Nolan Ryan..rub some dirt on it and get back in there.
- Chien-Ming Wang's season is over and his career is in jeopardy. With arthroscopic surgery scheduled for yesterday on the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint, Wang's season was finished and his 2010 was put in question. It's possible his 2010 season could be compromised as well
"We're certainly going to miss him, especially later in the season when the games mean more and more," Jorge Posada said. "At least he knows what's going on. He's been through a lot, but he's still young and he still has a lot to go." "Now it's about Wang; it's not about the Yankees anymore," Posada said. "He's got to get healthy and take care of himself. Whatever he's got to do to be Wang again, he's got to do it."
Sunday, July 26, 2009
One of the keys to the Yankees’ success this season has been a continually strengthening bullpen. But Saturday afternoon, one of its’ mainstays, Al Aceves, couldn’t bail out starter Andy Pettitte and the Yankees 8-game winning streak came to a screeching halt. Gio Gonzalez and the Oakland Athletics topped the Yankees 6-4.
Pettitte entered the 7th inning protecting a 1-0 lead, but quickly ran into trouble. Scott Hairston led off the inning with a double and Nomar Garciapparra walked. Jack Cust flied out, but after Pettitte convinced Joe Girardi he felt fine, Rajai Davis singled to right to the tie up the game. When Bobby Crosby bunted his way on to load the bases, Girardi sent for Aceves.
Read the rest of my recap on Baseball Digest Online.
Bad news Yankees fans. Turns out that hard slide Brett Gardner performed to break up a double play yesterday will cost him 2-4 weeks on the DL.
Gardner broke his thumb and was in a cast today. No word yet on the corresponding roster move.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
WP - Chamberlain (6-2) LP - Anderson (5-8)
Pitching and defense wins champions. Right now it’s win baseball games for the New York Yankees. Joba Chamberlain pitched into the 8th inning and the Yankees took advantage of sloppy Oakland A’s defense to win their eighth straight ball game, 8-3.
Chamberlain won consecutive starts for just the second time in his career and came out for the 8th inning after throwing 93 pitches through 7 innings. But leading just 4-1 at the time, Joe Girardi was forced to go to the bullpen when his starter gave up a walk and hit a batter to open the inning. Phil Coke came on and stranded the A’s runners and the Yankees broke open the game in the bottom half of the inning, enabling Mariano Rivera to enjoy a night off.
Read the rest of my recap on Baseball Digest Online.
Friday, July 24, 2009
With Chien-Ming Wang's shoulder getting no better and Phil Hughes ensconced as the key set up man in the pen, the Yankees are now in desperate need for a starter. Yes, I said desperate, but that doesn't mean make a stupid move to get said starter. Face facts, Sergio Mitre is not the answer. He might have been had Wang been healthy and productive, but neither is the case.
Andy Pettitte is coming off a good start, but as we've seen this season, he's been more often bad than good. Mostly mediocre probably sums it up best. The Yankees cannot just rely on CCSabathia and A.J. Burnett to carry them the rest of the way. The Yankees need to add a starter who can give them some innings and keep them in ball games. Better yet if he can win some games.
The Yankees are reportedly taking a look at Cleveland's Cliff Lee, but Indians want Joba or Hughes, and Cashman isn't going for that. The Reds have Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang, but neither is consistently stellar. I've "pitched" for Harang here, but there's no question his contract is a hang up (or is that a harang up?). The Yankees shouldn't pay out his full $12.5 million for next year.
Roy Halladay? That's just a pipe dream. The Yankees can't mortgage as much of the future as the Blue Jays would like them to. Plus teams like the Phillies have prospects who can make a more immediate impact.
But the name I really am pushing for is a name Ihave not heard mentioned in trade rumors, and I don't even know if he's available. I am talking about Kansas City's Gil Meche. The right-hander, who is currently on the DL with back spasms, has two years remaining on a 5-yrs, $55 million deal. Meche has struggled this season, but threw more than 200 innings in his first two years in KC and had a sub-4.00 ERA, while posting a 23-24 mark.
The Royals have lost 9 straight and are in last place in the AL Central. Things won't be turning around any time soon. Obviously, the Royals want to remain competitive in the coming years, andMeche's contract is not that bad by today's standards. But if the Yankees are willing to pick up the rest of this season and the next two years,Meche may come at a reasonable asking price from KC. Perhaps a package that includes one of the Yankees minor league catchers ( Austin Romine?), Ramiro Pena or Eduardo Nunez, and a minor league pitcher (or two).
Update: Just to clarify, Meche is on the DL and won't be activated until after the trade deadline. Which means the Yankees have to make a trade for a player to be named (Meche) or have the Comish approve it.
Update of the Update: Okay, turns out Meche is actually eligible to come off the DL on Monday, the 27th.
There was a long wait for fans in the Bronx and at home last night, to see the Yankees win their 7th straight game. A 2-hour and 43-minute rain delay followed by a 2-hour and 45-minute game produced a 6-3 Yankees win to keep their current streak going.
CC Sabathia started slowly, putting his team in a 3-0 hole, but settled down and picked up his 10th win of the season with a 7-inning stint. Phil Hughes went the final two innings to earn his first major league save.
New Jersey native Vin Mazzaro had the Bombers stumped until the 4th when Mark Teixiera smacked a 2-run home run into, where else?, the second deck to get the Yankees on the board. Jorge Posada’s RBI double tied the game and Eric Hinske put the Yankees on top 4-3 with a single.
The Yankees added two more in the 5th on a Teixeira double and an RBI single by Posada. With Mariano Rivera unavailable, Hughes retired all six batters he faced to close out the win.
Chien-Ming Wang had his achy shoulder examined by Mets team doctor, David Altcheck, and will now consult with Dr. James Andrews.
Matt Holliday played his last game in an A’s uniform last night. He was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Damaso Marte threw a 9 pitch rehab stint for Scranton last night. He allowed one hit and 8 of his 9 pitches were for strikes.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Mark Buehrle will never forget his teammate, center fielder DeWayne Wise. It was Wise's remarkable circus catch that allowed Buehrle to record the major's first perfect game since Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2004.
Buehrle retired all 27 Tampa Rays batters he faced, getting Jason Barlett on a ground out to Alexei Ramirez to finish off the perfect game. But it would not have happened without the play of Wise, who just entered the game for defense, and boy did he ever provide it.
Gabe Kapler led off the 9th with a drive to left-center field that was ticketed for a home run. Wise scaled the wall, snared the baseball, and fell to the ground. The ball jostled loose, but Wise corraled it for the first and biggest (well biggest next to the final out) out of the ball game.
It was the second no-hitter of Buehrle's career. He held the Texas Rangers hitless on April 18, 2007.
Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, Matt Holliday chief among names tossed around.
Just a mere 8 days until the July 31st MLB trade deadline and so far nothing major has gone. A lot of the talking heads don't feel there will be either, but you never know.
Among the biggest names is of course, Victor Martinez, who is reportedly being pursued/scouted/coveted by the Boston Red Sox. From Jon Heyman:
While Boston may be disinclined to trade top pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, they also have Junichi Tazawa, Casey Kelly, Michael Bowden and closer-of-the-future Daniel Bard. While Boston acquired Adam LaRoche on Wednesday, it hasn't ruled out V-Mart.If Cleveland does send V-Mart to Boston, Indians' GM Mark Shapiro better make it hurt, or I am going to hurt him.
V-Mart Update - Via his Twitter account, Jon Heyman has reported that the Rays are also looking into acquiring Victor Martinez.
With Joe Crede's back acting up again, the Twins are looking for an infielder. Cody Ransom?
The Rays are looking into acquiring Martinez' teammate, Cliff Lee. The Rays have plenty of young talent to meet just about any trade demands. Rays prospect Wade Davis would be chief among them.
Matt Holliday hasn't had the best offensive production in Oakland, but the Cardinals would like to bring him back to the National League. The Cards, at first, balked at the A's asking price - 3rd base prospect Brett Wallace- but may be willing to meet the A's demands. The Tigers already failed in coming up with a package suitable to Oakland.
The Angels are still trying to fix their bullpen and have discussions about George Sherrill, Rafael Betancourt, and Mark Hendrickson.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Nothing personal against the pictured fan, but you have to be a real IDIOT to throw back a home run ball hit by an opponent. Okay, it was a quaint little thing started by Cubs fans in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field (definitely not friendly if you are the opponent), and unfortunately, has spread throughout baseball.
It's a thrill to get a ball at a game, whether it be a foul ball or a home run. You just caught a home run by a major league baseball player, possibly a star, and your first inclination is to throw it back.
Yup, idiot is the word.
The Yankees enjoyed some afternoon delight on Wednesday, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 to complete their second straight 3-game series sweep. In doing so they extended their current winning streak to six games and moved two full games ahead of Boston in the AL East. A.J. Burnett threw an effective 7 innings to pick up his 9th win, buoyed by a pair of RBI each from Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher. Mariano Rivera picked up his 28th save after Brian Bruney allowed a pair of 9th inning home runs.
The Yankees jumped on Orioles starter, and loser, Jason Berken for four runs in the 1st inning. Derek Jeter led off the ball-game with a double to left-center and moved to third base two batters later when Mark Teixeira singled to center. Alex Rodriguez drove his 10th run in his last 9 games with a single through the left side for a 1-0 lead. With the bases loaded and two out, Robinson Cano doubled the lead with an infield single...
Read the rest of my recap at Baseball Digest Online.
They aren't major moves, but the Boston Red Sox have begun to fill some holes and change the look of their current team. In the midst of a season high 4-game losing streak, GM Theo Epstein has acquired 1st baseman Adam LaRoche from Pittsburgh and outfielder Chris Duncan from St. Louis in two separate transactions.
With Mike Lowell still bothered by a bad hip, Epstein got himself an every day 1st baseman, enabling the Red Sox to slide Kevin Youkilis back to his old position at the opposite corner. The Sox sent minor leaguers Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland. LaRoche is a career .269 hitter with solid power and a good glove. He was batting .247 this season.
Duncan was swapped for shortstop Julio Lugo, whom the Red Sox had designated for assignment. He had just been sent down to the minors after hitting just .227 with 5 home runs and 32 RBI in 87 games. Manager Tony LaRussa had just defended his outfielder, saying he wanted "to vomit" from all the negativity Cardinals fans had directed at Duncan.
In Lugo, the Cardinals get an infielder who swings a decent bat, but is a below average shortstop. He'll add speed to the Cardinals game, though it's unknown whether or not he'll move right into the starting lineup.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
WP - Mitre (1-0) SV - Rivera (27) LP - Hill (3-3)
With 54 RBI in 63 games, it’s not hard to imagine what kind of numbers Alex Rodriguez would have put up had he been healthy all year. The third baseman’s 2-run single propelled the Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 tonight for their 5th straight victory and sole possession of 1st place in the AL East. Sergio Mitre was not stellar, but solid enough to pick up his first major league victory since July 29, 2007. Meanwhile, Boston lost their 4th straight, 4-2 to the Texas Rangers.
The Yankees trailed the O’s 2-1 in the 3rd inning when they loaded the bases with 2 outs against Orioles’ starter Rich Hill. Cody Ransom and Mark Teixeira drew two of the eight walks issued by Baltimore pitching and Derek Jeter singled in between them. A-Rod ripped a single through the left side that scored Ransom and Jeter easily for a 3-2 Yankees lead.
Read the rest of my recap at Baseball Digest Online.
Okay, the whole "I suck" part is genuinely funny, but let's concentrate on the money aspect. Guillen is not the first player to admit he's not living up to his pay. He's not the first to say he should give back some of his proceeds and he will certainly NOT be the first to actually do so.
“I’m embarrassed by the money that I’m making,” Guillen said, “and playing the way I’ve been playing. I’ll swear that on my kids’ (lives). I feel very embarrassed.
“Sometimes, I feel I should take money out of my own pocket and buy tickets for every fan. Because you know what? For a $12-million man, these are not the numbers you should be expecting. I admit it. I’m not playing to my potential.”
“I hate making excuses,” he said. “If I suck, then I suck. And I suck. That’s the way I’m playing. If you suck, you suck. You have to take responsibility in this game. Right now, that’s the way I feel.
“Yes, I suck.”
Seriously, if you are struggling, keep your mouth shut about your money. Because you know damn well you are NOT going to give back or contribute one cent of that $12 million. Besides the fact that the player's union wouldn't let you, just cut out the disingenuous crap.
If Jose Guillen really wants to be a trendsetter than actually pay for some tickets for some kids or something. Just shut up.
Monday, July 20, 2009
After all the fuss about high scoring games in the new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have done it with pitching and defense in putting together their current 4-game winning streak, with the last three wins coming by 2-1 margins. Hideki Matsui was the hitting hero tonight, giving the Yankees their 9th walk-off win of the season and current 2-1 win over Baltimore with a 1-out blast to right in the bottom of the 9th. Al Aceves picked up his 6th win of the season after retiring the final two batters in the top of the 9th with the go-ahead run on 2nd base.
Andy Pettitte had his best start since beating Seattle on June 1. The left-hander allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings and got help from the Yankees defense after he departed with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs in the 8th. Nick Markakis hit a bullet that Mark Teixeira gloved and then fired to home off of the wrong foot. Jose Molina made the grab on the 1st base side of home plate and brought the glove across to tag out Cesar Izturis, the ball hanging precariously in the webbing of his catcher’s mitt.
Read the rest of my recap on Baseball Digest Online.
NBC TODAY Show - The Yankees Give Back
Surprisingly, 19% of you, the second highest total, wanted a switch in managers rather than a player move. While we agree that a change may be in order, we don't agree about doing it now.
Sure, there are plenty of MLB Trade Rumors out there, but how many major deals will really be pulled off? With teams scaling back on the free agent market, there's been no sign to indicate things will change for the in-season trading period. Other than Roy Halladay, nothing is a given, and even the Halladay deal will only get done if the Blue Jays get a fair return.
More minor deals, like the one that sent infielder Felipe Lopez from Arizona to Milwaukee yesterday, are likely to occur.
So it's time to look at some of the various rumors and what might go down over the next 11 days.
Roy Halladay - As we alluded to, there are some obstacles to a Halladay deal getting done. Besides fair market value, the Blue Jays will not allow any team a window to negotiate a new deal with Doc. Halladay must also approve his point of destination. SI's Jon Heyman still feels that the Phillies are the favorites to land the ace, with prospects Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek, Jason Donald, and Carlos Carrasco being discussed. So far though, the Phillies have been unwilling to include Drabek in any deal. (If only the Yankees had kept Kyle's father Doug when they obtained Rick Rhoden from Pittsburgh in 1986.)
Jon also mentioned on his Twitter acc't that Halladay's preferences (according to pal) are: 1. win. 2. quiet. 3. spring in fla.; thinks he'd OK Phil, Stl, NY, Bos, etc.
For the Yankees to pull off a deal it would take Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, Austin Jackson, and Jesus Montero or Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees have reportedly asked Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi to give them a chance to match or beat any deal.
Adam Dunn - There are teams looking for a 1st baseman/DH, but not many that want to pick up the remainder of Dunn's 2-year, $20 million deal that he signed prior to this season. The Daily News' Adam Rubin reported today that Nats' GM Mike Rizzo is insisting the Nats won't deal Dunn, but it's hard to believe they wouldn't consider it. Fanhouse's Ed Price reported last week that the Tigers had interested in Dunn, but couldn't work out the financial part of the deal.
Red Sox hot corners - With Mike Lowell's injured hip continuing to give him trouble, the Red Sox are in the market for a replacement 3rd baseman or a 1st baseman that would enable Kevin Youkilis to slide across the diamond. Possibilities could be the Nats' Nick Johnson, Rockies corner man Garrett Atkins (though the Rockies asking high price is very high at the moment), O's Aubrey Huff
Bullpen Help: There's never a time that a major league ball club couldn't improve their pen. That's one of the reasons the O's have been inundated with calls for closer George Sherrill, who could be moved back to a set up spot if dealt. The LA Times reports the Angels have been talking to the O's about Sherrill, but Baltimore is looking for 2 top prospects in return.
WP - Chamberlain (5-2) SV - Rivera (26) LP - Jackson (7-5)
Even those who were steadfast against moving Joba Chamberlain back to the bullpen were beginning to re-think their stance after watching the objection of their affection stink up the joint in his three starts prior to the All-Star break. But yesterday, their fist-pumping, fireball throwingJoba returned in the Yankees 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers in front of a house packed for Old Timers’ Day. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira provided the offense with solo home runs against Tigers starter Edwin Jackson as the Yankees moved to within one game of Boston in the AL East. After the Old-Timers’ Day festivities, it was time for Joba to turn back the clock a bit.
Read the rest of my recap on Baseball Digest Online.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
WP - Sabathia (9-6) SV - Rivera (25) LP - Verlander (10-5)
The Yankees and the Detroit Tigers were locked into the expected pitcher’s duel between CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander Saturday afternoon. Then came the biggest at-bat of the day, a power vs. power showdown between Verlander and Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod and the Yankees won out when the 3rd baseman lined a 97-mph fastball into the right field seats for a 1-0 lead. The Yankees went on to win their second game in a row, 2-1, and moved to within 2 games of Boston in the AL East, the Red Sox having lost 6-2 to the Blue Jays.
CC Sabathia struggled with his control, but battled his way through 7 scoreless innings and 116 pitches to earn his 9th win of the season. The Tigers’ lone run came in the 8th when Marcus Thames belted a solo home run off of Al Aceves. But Mariano Rivera retired the side in order in the 9th for his 25th save in 26 tries.
Read the rest of my recap on Baseball Digest Online.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
WP - Hughes (4-2) SV - Rivera (24) LP - Zumaya (3-3)
The comeback kids did it again last night. Trailing the Detroit Tigers 3-2 in the 7th inning, the Yankees rallied against hard throwing reliever Joel Zumaya for a 5-3 win, their 12th after trailing entering the 7th inning. Derek Jeter started the rally when he fought off an upper 90’s fastball and lined it to right field for a single. Johnny Damon followed with a double off the glove of a leaping Clete Thomas in right-center to put the tying and go ahead runs in scoring position. With rain falling steadily, Mark Teixeira turned on a Zumaya fastball and hit a moonshot that landed in the 2nd deck for what proved to be the game winning 3-run home run.
With Jeter batting in the 8th, the game was halted nearly an hour due to the heavy rain that fell during a thunderstorm. When the ball game resumed after 11 PM on the East coast, the Yankees sealed the victory with Mariano Rivera notching his 24th save of the season. Phil Hughes picked up the win in relief of A.J. Burnett with a 6 strikeout, 2 scoreless inning performance.
Read the rest of my recap at Baseball Digest Online.
Friday, July 17, 2009
And no, Brian Cashman shouldn't sign him. We love El Duque, but he's time has come and gone.
Just read a feature by Yahoo! Sports' Steve Henson concerning his perception that fans are caring less and less if players use performance enhancing drugs. The article, in part, was spurred on by the huge standing ovation Manny Ramirez received upon his return to Dodger Stadium last night.
While Henson made many valid points, we beg to differ. Fans do care about PEDs...if it is not their player. Alex Rodriguez already received boos throughout baseball before his forced admonition that he cheated. But now he is vilified even louder by fans on the road. Do you think if it came out that David Ortiz was using PEDs during the Red Sox' World Series run in 2004 that anyone in Fenway Park would care? But they would still call A-Rod a cheater.
Just look at the way Barry Bonds was loved in the Bay area during his run at Hank Aaron's home run record, and the disdain that is still shown towards Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmiero and other big names that are no longer in the game.
The star players are also the true targets- no one cares that Sergio Mitre or J.C. Romero were suspended.
The player's personality obviously affects attitudes too. Yankees fan loved Jason Giambi, seeing him as a flawed individual, and generally, a nice guy. But he did have to win the fans back after his body broke down and he made his version of an apology (without openly admitting what it was for).
And finally, it all comes down to the player's success or failure. Do you think Mannywood will still be cheering Man-Ram if he's hitting .230 in September?
For me personally, it's a difficult situation. I don't want A-Rod to fail because I want the Yankees to win. But I do not have the same regard for him as a ball player (never had much regard for him as a person).
So just like with your friends or family, you accept baseball, warts and all. Unfortunately, no matter how things are perceived, baseball will never be the same.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
These are just the Yankees players that I've actually seen play. Never saw Mickey in person and only had glimpses of him on TV in his last 2 seasons. I was only 6 or 7 then. So basically we are talking 1969 to today.
These are not players who had their best years in other uniforms.
C Thurman Munson
1B Don Mattingly
2B Willie Randolph
SS Derek Jeter
3B Alex Rodriguez
LF Dave Winfield
CF Bernie Williams
RF Bobby Murcer
DH Reggie Jackson
P Ron Guidry
OF Paul O'Neill
OF Lou Piniella
3B Graig Nettles
C Jorge Posada
1B Tino Martinez
UT Robinson Cano
P David Wells
P David Cone
P Andy Pettitte
P Jimmy Key
RP Mariano Rivera
RP Sparky Lyle
RP Goose Goosage
RP Dave Righetti
RP Mike Stanton
Manager - Joe Torre
Most of these were not decisions. As for the manager, I have to go with Torre's 4 titles over Billy Martin's 2. Roger Clemens best years weren't in Pinstripes and then there's the whole cheating thing.
Really all were no-brainers though I went with A-Rod after initially putting Nettles at 3B. And switched from Chris Chambliss to Tino Martinez off the bench. Also, Mike Stanton is the last man out of the pen because I couldn't think of anyone else.
Probably missing someone, but the brain is fried at nearly 5 P.M.
Marte allowed a pair of hits and a run against the Pirates rookie squad. Another performance to note was that of Matt Richardson, who allowed 1 run in 6 innings. So far this season, the 15th round selection has struck out 21 batters in 28 innings while issuing just a single walk.
We’re going to combine June and the first half of July as we grade the end of the first semester. The Yankees had their ups and downs as spring turned to summer and then arrived at the All-Star break. The Yankees went 15-11 in June, culminating with 6 straight wins to end the month. They made it 7 straight wins as they started July on a high note, but after going 7-2, lost the last 3 games in Anaheim. Overall, they were 22-16 for the 1 1/2 months combined.
Player of the Month
Derek Jeter - The captain may be playing the best defense of his career and he was the most consistent Yankees on offense in the 38 games played, of which Jeter appeared in 34 of them. He hit .343 over that span with 3 HR, 12 RBI, 25 runs scored and 7 stolen bases in 9 attempts. He also walked 17 times and posted a .423 OBP. For the season, he’s hitting .449 against left-handers with a 1.176 OPS. Honorable mention goes to Alex Rodriguez, who had 10 HR and 33 RBI, but hit just .207 in June. His inconsistency is the only thing that kept him from garnering the POM.
4-5, 1 BB, 4 Runs scored in 11-7 win at Braves
4-4, 2 RBI, 2 Runs in 15-0 win at Mets
4-5, 1 Run in 10-6 loss at Angels
4-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 Runs in 10-8 win vs. Blue Jays
11-game hitting streak; current 7-game hitting streak
Reached base safely in 29 of 34 games
Worst Player of the Month
Robinson Cano - started to turn things around in July, but his performance in key situations was miserable in June. He went 12 games at one point without an RBI and couldn’t buy a base hit with runners in scoring position (overall just .211 for the season). His failure with the bases loaded continued (.200 for the season) as well.
Pitcher of the Month
Mariano Rivera - The man who just earned a record 4th All-Star game save, was scored upon in just 2 of 16 appearances. He went 1-1, 2.20 with 13 saves in 13 attempts, while he allowed 9 hits, walked just 2 and struck out 17 in 16.1 innings. A.J. Burnett, who was Pitcher of the Month in April, gets honorable mention for going 5-2, 2.28 in 7 starts, with 44 K’s in 43.1 IP. He allowed just 36 hits.
Earned 500th career RBI and 1st major league RBI in 4-2 win at Mets
Struck out all 4 batters he faced in saving 8-4 win at Braves
Recorded back-to-back saves at Twins by retiring league’s leading
hitter, Joe Mauer, to end both games
Worst Pitcher of the Month
Andy Pettitte grabs the (dis)honor with 5.93 ERA in 8 starts. He managed to win 3 games while losing 4, but allowed 51 hits and 21 walks in 44 innings pitched. Even worse, he helped tax the bullpen by barely averaging more than 5 innings a start. Brian Bruney could have easily worn this crown of shame had he not been DL’d for part of June. He posted a 7.04 ERA in 9 games, with 8 walks and 9 hits allowed in just 7.2 IP.
Biggest Win of the Month
It was a big win, but not the biggest (definitely the craziest): the Yankees beat the Mets on Luis Castillo’s E-4. The biggest win was 6/24 in Atlanta. The Yankees had dropped the opening game of the series and had lost 5 of 6 to the Braves, Marlins, and Nationals. Overall they had lost 9 of 13 including being swept (again) by the Red Sox in a 3-game series in Boston. But the victory started them on a 7-game winning streak that restored their confidence.
It was the last good start Joba Chamberlain made- he dominated in 6.1 innings, allowing 2 earned runs in picking up his 4th win. For quite a while it looked like the game would just be another loss. The first 15 Yankees went down in order to Kenshin Kawakami, who had to leave the game when Chamberlain of all people lined a pitch off the side of his face, and Kris Medlen.
Brett Gardner broke up the perfect game by drawing a lead-off walk in the 6th and then was promptly picked off… or was he? Replays showed that Gardner was clearly safe and 1st base umpire Bill Welke had blown the call. Joe Girardi blew his stack and was ejected from the game. It’s anyone’s guess if that ignited the Yankees, but things did change.
Francisco Cervelli, batting when Gardner got picked off, belted his first major league home run to tie the game at one apiece. The Yankees loaded the bases with 2 outs on singles by Jeter and Johnny Damon, and a walk to Mark Teixeira. That’s when A-Rod started to bust out again. He lined a single to center, then scored two and put the Yankees on top for good, 3-1.
The two teams battled, with the Yankees adding 2 runs for an 8-4 lead in the 8th. Rivera had struck out Kelly Johnson in the 8th, with two aboard, when it was still a 6-4 game and he K’ed Matt Diaz, Nate McLouth, and Yuniel Escobar in the 9th to nail down the save.
Worst Loss of the Month
There were a number of games that could have fallen into this category, including the bad trip to Beantown, but the back-to-back losses on the Friday and Saturday preceding the All-Star break takes the prize. The Yankees finished it off by losing a one-run game on Sunday after failing in the clutch numerous times.
July 10-11 in Anaheim, the Yankees blew 5-1 and 4-0 leads on consecutive days. Chamberlain completely fell apart in Friday night’s loss and so did the defense and bullpen. He allowed a game-tying 3-run home run to Kendry Morales before Mark Melancon and Bruney let the game get away completely in a 10-6 loss.
The next afternoon, the Yankees staked Pettitte to a 4-0 lead on home runs by A-Rod and Eric Hinske (who each hit two), but the Angels pounded Pettitte and the pen. The Yankees’ veteran lefty was charged with 6 runs in 4.1 IP, while David Robertson, Brett Tomko, and Phil Coke couldn’t get anyone out.
Most Devastating Injury
Xavier Nady was trying to work his way back to the Yankees when his elbow gave out for the last time on June 24. Nady was originally injured on April 14, but hoped to avoid surgery and be back during the summer. The Yankees could have used him to make up for Nick Swisher’s lack of consistency, but Nady had to have Tommy John surgery and was lost for the season.
A.J. Burnett - Burnett came up huge with 5 wins and bounced back after his debacle in Boston on June 9. Since then, he has allowed just 5 earned runs in 33.2 innings pitched.
Most Dramatic Moment
No question, it was Mariano Rivera’s 500th save of his illustrious career. The fact that he also walked with the bases loaded, against fellow closer Francisco Rodriguez, for his first career RBI, was the icing on the cake. A national TV audience got to witness the game on ESPN.
Johnny Damon gets this hands down. His defense is become a big liability and, frankly, we’re embarrassed for him. The lowlight was a misjudged fly ball that caused him to fall on his back. His arm has gotten worse and he’s hitting just .147 in July. Don’t let the home runs fool you.
Derek Jeter A+
Mariano Rivera A
A.J. Burnett A
Brett Gardner A
Alex Rodriguez A-
Phil Hughes A-
Francisco Cervelli B+
CC Sabathia B
Phil Coke B
Al Aceves B
Mark Teixeira C+
Robinson Cano C+
Melky Cabrera C
Nick Swisher C
Ramiro Pena C
Johnny Damon C
Joba Chamberlain C
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui C
Chien-Ming Wang C
Brett Tomko C-
Andy Pettitte D
David Robertson D
Cody Ransom D
Brian Bruney F
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Yankees have acknowledged that Damaso Marte does still exist. Watching MLB Network last night, I noticed on the crawl that Marte will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday with the Gulf Coast League Yankees.
The Trenton Thunder host tonight’s Eastern League All-Star game. Thunder team members, and Yankees prospects, Jesus Montero, Zach McAllister, Mike Dunn, Josh Schmidt, Reegie Corona, Eduardo Nunez, and Jorge Vazquez will represent the Northern squad. Trenton manager Tony Franklin will be at the helm of the North along with his coaching staff.
The Yankees begin a 10-game homestand beginning Thursday night with Detroit. After 3 games with the Tigers, the Orioles come to town for 3 before the A’s finish the homestand with a 4-game set. The Tigers series includes Old-Timer’s Day on Sunday, July 19.
When the Chien-Ming Wang’s spot in the rotation comes up, the Yankees will probably go with Sergio Mitre and move Al Aceves back to the pen.
The Yankees will also look elsewhere for a starting pitcher. According to the NY Post, Pittsburgh’s Ian Snell is among those who have piqued the Yankees interest. The Bombers are also looking into Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman.
Another year, another American League All-Star win, this time by a 4-3 margin. It was the 13th straight AL win and the 4th straight 1-run win. Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 9th for an All-Star record 4th save.
The night began with a very lengthy ceremony, which based on Twitter responses seemed to be well received. It thought it was a little schmaltzy and over the top, but some of the sentiment seemed genuine.
Honoring some of the Cardinals greats - Bob Gibson, Stan "the Man" Musial, Lou Brock and others. Honoring normal citizens that have contributed to society was a nice touch, especially have all the ball players greet them and give them a pat on the back.
President Obama, in his White Sox jacket, throwing out the first pitch was great. Unfortunately, the morons at Fox (conspiracy?) didn't bother to show Albert Pujols catching the ball. It was finally shown on a replay much later in the game when the President stopped in to talk with Tweedledee and Tweedledum (McCarver and Buck). By the way Mr. President, I think you're great, but you throw like Johnny Damon.
As for the game itself, it moved quickly, which was fantastic, especially on the heels of the HR Derby debacle. The AL took a 2-0 lead in the first in part thanks to errors by David Wright (how does he win a Gold Glove with that tin arm?) and Albert Pujols (on a ball hit by Mark Teixeira). The most memorable moment of the 1st inning was also the most aggravating. NL starter Tim Lincecum hit Derek Jeter on the wrist. The ball may have gotten part of the bat, but it got part of the Captain too! Outrage throughout Tweetville and living room and bars across the Tri-State area.
Roy Halladay moved down the NL in the 1st, but ran into 2-out trouble in the 2nd. Wright reached on a pop fly single and Shane Victorino and Yadier Molina followed with singles of their own. Wright scored and the "Flying Hawaiian" came home when center fielder Josh Hamilton's throw hit him in the back and got away. Prince Fielder's ground-rule double plated Molina for a 3-2 NL lead. But that would be it for the NL for the night and, in fact, the next 18 NL batters would go down without reaching safely.
The AL tied it up in the 7th against Chad Billingsley when Carl Crawford led off the inning with a single, and Joe Mauer doubled home Jeter, who had forced out Crawford.
Crawford was the defensive hero in the bottom half of the inning when he reached over the wall to take back a home run by Brad Hawpe, who tagged Jonathan Papelbon's delivery. The next hitter, Miguel Tejada, drilled one to right, but the ball seemed to die and landed in the glove of Adam Jones.
The AL took the lead for good against Heath Bell in the 8th thanks to Justin Upton playing out of position. Upton, normally a right fielder, was in lef field and looked totally clueless on Curtis Granderson's drive to the wall in left-center. Instead of a double, Granderson was able to cruise into third with a one out triple.
Victor Martinez was intentionally walked to set up a double play, but Jones delivered the run with a deep fly ball to right.
Joe Nathan ran into his own troubles in the bottom of the 8th when he issued a 2-out walk to Adrian Gonzalez and Orlando Hudson singled him to third. But after Hudson stole 2nd base, Nathan struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Howard with a nasty breaking pitch to preserve the lead.
The Mets' Francisco Rodriguez retired the AL in order in the top of the 9th and then it was time for the Sandman. And Mo didn't disappoint. He retired Upton on a ground out, struck out Hawpe with a filthy cutter and got Tejada on a game ending pop up to 2nd base.
Another year, another win. Carl Crawford was named the game's MVP for his catch and the start of the game tying rally.
Next year's game will be in Anaheim.