Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cano And Away We Go

Rafael Soriano throws hard. Robinson Cano swings smooth. Sometimes when the two forces meet, magic happens. It did tonight at the Trop in Tampa when Cano smashed a tape measure home run off Soriano (2-1) in the top of the 9th for a 5-4 Yankees win.

The victory pushed the Yankees lead over the Rays back to two games in the AL East and kept Boston, which had topped Detroit earlier, eight back.

It was a game in which the Yankees battled throughout, coming back from 1-0, 3-1, and 4-3 deficits. It was a game won despite managing just six hits off of starter Matt Garza and the Rays' pen. It was a game won despite a mediocre outing from Yankees starter Javier Vazquez.

It was a game won due to the long ball and a strong performance from the Yankees bullpen. Mark Teixeira hit a monster 2-run home run in the 6th to tie the game at 3-3. Then after Vazquez surrendered a solo home run to Friday's hero Matt Joyce, Nick Swisher tied things back up with a solo shot off Garza in the 7th.

Boone Logan and David Robertson (2-3) retired all five men they faced to set up Cano's heroics in the 9th. Soriano had retired Alex Rodriguez, who was 0-3 with a walk in his quest for #600, on a pop up to start the inning, but there would be no denying Cano.

The 2nd baseman had three hits on the night to raise his average to .334 and sent Soriano's fastball to the back of the right field seats. That left things up to Mariano Rivera. The Yankees closer picked up his 22nd save, allowing just a 2-out bloop single before retiring Jason Bartlett on a game ending force out.


Lance Berkman, wearing his customary #17, went 0-4 as the DH. He batted in the 2nd spot in the lineup. Austin Kearns donned #26, but did not enter the game.

Yankees Add Wood to the Pen

Shave off that beard Kerry Wood, you're going to New York. Well Tampa Bay for now.

The Yankees have added to their bullpen depth with the acquisition of Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later and some cash.

Wood has struggled with injuries and effectiveness, but will immediately become the Yankees 8th inning set up guy. That leaves Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and everyone else for the remaining innings.

Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin, or Chan Ho Park figures to be kicked to the curb to make room on the roster.

Oh Sir Lancelot!

Okay, the deal is now official. Lance Berkman is now a Yankee. Which means John Sterling is concocting his new home run calls.

Let's see, in addition to the post title...

"Berkman really lanced that one!"

"Berk-man made it work-man"

"Oh Lance, look it him dance"

"Berkman is Lancing with the stars"

"Oh Puma, to the moona"

All right those are really horrible...which means John Sterling may use one of them.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rays ReJoyce

Phil Hughes was cruising along, mixing a mid-90s fastball with a great curve. Then the 6th inning came along and all of that hard work changed in the blink of the eye. Matt Joyce belted a Hughes cutter into the right field seats with two aboard and the Tampa Rays went on to a 3-2 victory. The win moved the Rays to within one game of the Yankees in the AL East.

Hughes had allowed just two hits through the first five innings before John Jaso started the 6th off with a single. A one out walk to Evan Longoria brought the go ahead run to the plate in the person of Yankee killer Carlos Pena. The Rays 1st baseman bounced into a force out, but Joyce connected on a 2-2 pitch well out of the reach of a climbing Nick Swisher in right.

Rafael Soriano recorded his 29th save when he retired the Yankees in order in the 9th. It included getting Alex Rodriguez, who went 0-4, to pop up for the first out of the frame.

The Yankees took the lead off Wade Davis in the 1st when Derek Jeter led off the game with a single and Swisher followed with his 19th home run of the year. But that was all the offense the Yankees could put up on the board as they had just two more hits the rest of the evening.

It was only the 4th home run of the year for Joyce, but his second big one within a week. His home run broke up the duel no-hitter between Detroit's Max Scherzer and Tampa's Matt Garza on Monday. Garza would go on to complete the no-no.

Joba Chamberlain made a good appearance, retiring all six men he faced. Half of them were by strikeout.

Kearns Added to Bench

A minor move for bench strength tonight- Brian Cashman acquired outfielder Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians for the proverbial player to be named later.

Kearns has done a decent job for the Tribe this season as a semi-regular. He's never been the player he was hyped to be when he was in the Cincinnati Reds organization, but he gives the Yankees another right-handed bat off the bench. He should see some at-bats in place of Curtis Granderson or Lance Berkman against left-handers.

Yankees Chasing Berkman?

According to the NY Post's Joel Sherman the Yankees are taking a serious look at Astros 1st baseman Lance Berkman.

Berkman has struggled in this, his 12th season, posting an .808 OPS is that is well below his career average. He has about 1/3 of his $14.5 million salary remaning for this year and can be a free agent after the season. The Astros hold a $15 million option with a $2 million buyout.

Berkman is a better all around hitter than the Nats' Adam Dunn so a rental deal would make sense as long as the Yankees don't have to give up too much in return.

On the downside, Berkman is hitting just .161 and has an OPS of .559 against left-hander this year. Both marks are well below his career marks of .262 and .781.

Foxsports' Jim Bowden tweeted earlier that the Yankees are going hard at Ted Lilly and Scott Downs. Then again the source is Jim Bowden, whose GM results were about as good as Steve Phillips.

It does make sense for the Yankees to get Downs. I've mentioned before that he would be a great addition. But I'm not sold on Lilly at this point. Can he get AL hitters out with an 86 mph fastball? I'm not convinced he can.

UPDATE 6:25 pm

Both Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman have said that a deal has been agreed upon for Berkman, but K-Ros also added that things have to be ironed out that will take more time. That would have to do with Berkman's no-trade clause and a guarantee that his option won't be picked up in 2011.


The Berkman should be announced at roughly 1:30 pm on Saturday. The Yankees will pay $4 million of the $7 million owed to Berkman. The prospects going to Houston are believed to be right-hander Mark Melancon and infielder Johnny Paredes.

No great loss IMO on Melancon. He's shown so far that he's nothing more than a 4-A reliever. All in all good job by Brian Cashman on this one.

E-Jax to Chicago, For Now

The much ballyhooed rumor sending Edwin Jackson from Arizona to Chicago has come to fruition. So far nothing on the second part of the rumored deal that would have Jackson going to Washington as part of a deal for slugger Adam Dunn.

If Jackson stays put, the deal still makes sense for White Sox GM Kenny Williams. With Jake Peavy done for the year, Williams wanted to go with a veteran, albeit a shaky one, in a rotation rather than rookie Daniel Hudson. The right-hander was sent to the desert along with fellow pitcher David Holmberg.

I'm baffled where the Nats are coming from if they do take Jackson as part of a Dunn deal. I'd rather much have Hudson and his promising future over the erratic Jackson.

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports just tweeted: "Source: White Sox hope to acquire Dunn without trading Jackson, but Nats desire Jackson."

Like I said, don't know why the Nats want Jackson so badly.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Twins Lock Up Capps

The Minnesota Twins have made a move to strengthen their bullpen, but time will tell if it's a good move. The Twins have acquired Washington Nationals' closer Matt Capps for highly touted catching prospect Wilson Ramos.

Capps, 3-3 with 25 saves and a 2.80 ERA, will set up another former Nats' reliever Jon Rauch. But the price is high. Ramos was rated this past winter by Baseball America as the number 2 prospect in the Twins' organization. It's an awful lot to give up for a set up guy.

Meanwhile, Aaron Gleeman has just tweeted that the Twins are also sending Joe Testa, a left-hander out of Wagner College, to the Nats as well.

UPDATE 11:11 AM 7/30 - Word came last night that the Twins will use Capps as closer and move Rauch to the set up role. AL only fantasy league owners are scrambling!

The Daily Yankeeland

Some interesting discussion this afternoon between Brandon Tierney and Jody McDonald on 1050ESPN radio. Most of it centered around whether or not the Yankees needed to do anything at the trade deadline.

Tierney said he was fine going to the post-season as is, which is completely nuts. Everyone knows they need an improved bench and a better bullpen. A starting pitcher is not a must, especially since most of the better ones are taken.

Jody Mac's idea for a new DH is an old DH...Hideki Matsui. It's not a bad move and you would think he could be acquired pretty cheaply from the Halos. Godzilla is only working on a one year deal so you don't have to worry about keeping him around next year. It would also make me laugh since it's a signature "bring a guy back" George Steinbrenner move.

The other idea Jody Mac had, however, was totally bananas. Trevor Hoffman for the bullpen. Wow. Jody must have been hanging out at Shea too much back in the day and it affected his brain. Tierney called him crazy and he's right. Jody thought that Hoffman hadn't blown that many big games. Apparently he hasn't been paying attention, because Hoffman has been horrible in big regular season games, not just playoffs.

* * *

Adam Dunn is a popular topic for discussion. I would love to see him as a DH rental for the rest of the season, but not at the price that the Nationals are reportedly asking. I don't know specifics, but they are basically asking for the proverbial moon.

Dunn is said not to want to DH, but perhaps going from the cellar to a contender will change all that. ESPN's Buster Olney said this evening that the Nats will take one more shot at a new deal for the big first baseman before dealing him. Olney expects the Yankees and Rays to get into a trade war to keep the other from landing Dunn.

That would not be a wise move for a rental player, even if Dunn is a dangerous addition to any lineup.

* * *

Speaking of bench strength, the Star Ledger's Marc Carig tweeted earlier that the Yankees have backed off of Ty Wigginton as a possible role player.

Just pondering rosters there is not a lot of veteran guys possibly available. Maybe the Cubs Ryan Theriot? I would be interested in Marlins outfielder Cody Ross.

Tejada, Cantu Switch Leagues

As soon as San Diego Padres' shortstop David Eckstein went on the DL, rumors began that the Pads were looking at Baltimore Orioles infielder Miguel Tejada to replace him. Today the rumor became reality when the O's sent Tejada to the west coast for minor league pitcher Wynn Penzer.

Tejada started out like a house on fire, but has cooled considerably since. He's hit just .224 with 7 RBI in the month of July. Penzer has struck out 147 hitters in 150 innings pitched at High 'A' level Lake Elsinore.

Jorge Cantu also got a new home this afternoon. The Texas Rangers may be going bankrupt, but they continue to deal. They sent minor leaguers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda to Florida for the Marlins' corner man. Cantu average 97.5 RBI the last two seasons, but has just 54 RBI this year along with a .716 OPS. He'll expected to get at-bats primarily at 1st base, but could fill also fill in at 2nd baseman while Ian Kinsler is injured.

Reed was recently promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City after posting a 1.62 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 39 relief innings at Double-A Frisco. Poveda has missed the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March.

The Buck Stops in Baltimore

The Baltimore Orioles finally have a new manager. Former Yankees (1992-19195) skipper Buck Showalter is said to be taking over the Orioles next week. The O's have been looking for a new permanent manager since canning Dave Trembley on June 4.

After some long negotiations with Bobby Valentine, the O's turned their focus on Showalter, who hasn't worn the managers uniform since running the Texas Rangers from 2003-2006.

Showalter, who also managed the Diamondbacks (1998-2000), has a career record of 313-268.

Oswalt Could Be Headed to Philly

It's a move the Philadelphia Phillies may not have made a couple of weeks ago. But with the team now within 3 1/2 games of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves, the team is poised to add Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt to their arsenal.

The two teams are awaiting Oswalt's approval - translation, waiver of no-trade clause and some kind of agreement on his 2012 option - to complete the deal. The two sides are said to have agreed on the players involved; the Astros would receive starting pitcher J.A. Happ, pitcher Vance Worley, and two other minor league pitchers.

If the deal goes through, the two time defending NL champs will have beaten out the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Rangers for Oswalt's services.

UPDATE 2:50 pm - The deal is still not official, but the word is that Oswalt will approve the deal. According to Ken Rosenthal the players going to Houston are J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose, SS Jonathan Villar.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lee Says No to a Halo

The Los Angeles Angels surprised a lot of people when they acquired Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Today it was the Halos who got the surprise when Chicago Cubs 1st baseman Derrek Lee turned down a trade to join the club.

Lee invoked his no-trade clause the deal, because he felt it would be better for his family to finish out the season with Chicago. Lee added that he hopes to stay beyond the current season.

The Angels also got bad news before this afternoon's game with Boston when scheduled starter Joel Pineiro was scratched with a strained oblique. He's expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

The Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers did swing a deal with the Tribe sending Jhonny Peralta to the Motor City. In return, Cleveland received minor league pitcher Giovanni Soto. The Tigers have been hurt, literally, by injuries to Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen.

Rumor Mill

The Cardinals are said to be interested Orioles infielder Miguel Tejada. Baltimore also continues to get calls about Ty Wiggington.

The Blue Jays are said to be talking to the Diamondbacks about Kelly Johnson. Current 2nd baseman Aaron Hill is willing to change positions to upgrade the offense.

In addition to Wiggington the Marlins are also checking into Jorge Cantu, as are the Giants. San Fran is also looking into Jose Guillen.

The Blue Jays are said to be asking for a top prospect for reliever Scott Downs. That means they want Jesus Montero from the Yankees. Not happening. The Jays reportedly have already asked for Joba Chamberlain.

The Indians and Phillies are said to be discussing Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook.

The Dodgers have shown an interest in Royals speedster Scott Podsednik.

UPDATE 9:21 p.m. The Dodgers have indeed acquired Scott Podsednik for 2 minor leaguers - Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vazquez Has a Grandy Time in Cleveland

No one is saying they want to see Javier Vazquez in a crucial playoff game, but the just turned 36-yr old has stuck it to many of the nay-sayers he booed him mercilessly at the start of the season. Monday night Vazquez limited the Indians to two runs and five hits over seven innings and got a boost from a late Curtis Granderson home run for a 3-2 Yankees win.

Vazquez has allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts and has gone 6-2 over that time frame. Last night he gave up a solo home run to Travis Hafner in the 2nd inning and fell behind 2-1 when he surrendered an RBI double in the 5th to Shin-Soo Choo.

But Granderson bailed him out when he drilled a Jake Westbrook delivery into the right field seats with a man aboard for a 3-2 Yankees lead in the 8th. Joe Girardi allowed Vazquez, who had thrown 92 pitches to that point, to start the bottom of the 8th, but quickly pulled him when he walked the lead off hitter. David Robertson got Asdrubel Cabrera to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play before Boone Logan came on to strike out Choo for the final out of the inning. Mariano Rivera earned his 21st save with a scoreless 9th inning.

The Yankees had managed just two hits off of Westbrook through the first seven innings, though one of them was a Nick Swisher solo home run. Posada led off the 8th with a single through the left side to set the stage for Granderson, who has now hit three home runs in the last two games.


After hitting .240 in the first half of the season, Granderson is hitting at a .306 clip since the All-Star break. He also has a .958 OPS in his last 10 games.

CC Sabathia makes his 2nd start against his old team tonight. He'll face 25-yr old right-hander Josh Tomlin, who is making his major league debut.

Alex Rodriguez will go for his 600th home run tonight on his 35th birthday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Matt Garza No-Hits Tigers

Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays has just completed a 9-inning no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. It's the first no-no in Rays' history.

Garza retired Don Kelly on a ground out to start the 9th, then struck out Gerald Laird looking for the 2nd out. Pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago hit a soft liner to Ben Zobrist in right field for the final out.

The two teams were actually locked into a double no-hitter entering the 6th with Max Scherzer blanking the Rays. But after loading the bases on a pair of walks and an error, the Rays ended Scherzer's bid and broke the game open on Matt Joyce's grand slam. Joyce had grown up in the Tigers' system before being dealt for Edwin Jackson prior to the 2009 season.

Garza threw 120 pitches, 80 for strikes, and allowed just a walk to Brennan Boesch in the 2nd inning. He also struck out six.

The Rays had already been no-hit twice this season, by Jackson, who is now with the Diamondbacks and by Oakland's Dallas Braden. In getting the no-no the Rays become the first team since the 1991 Chicago White Sox to both throw a no-hitter (Wilson Alvarez vs. Balt.) and be no-hit (KC's Bret Saberhagen).

A Long Day's Journey Into Night

I started this during the 6th inning of last night's Yankees-Indians game. The two teams had only been playing an hour and 15 minutes. I still felt like I was at Sunday's game against the Royals. That was an obnoxious two-hour and thirty seven minute rain delay. But it least it cooled things off.

On another day I might not have waited out the delay, but this was my brother's 1st trip to the new Stadium and first game in the Bronx in 7 or 8 years.

We started out in section 409, 3rd row, seats 7 and 8. It was hot as all hell. We started the day out with the Lobel's Steak Sandwich. $15 is pricey to say the least, but that is some good food. Served on a hamburger bun, the sandwich is thick with meat. No skimping. And very juicy. When you consider how expensive the hot dogs are, it is actually a very good buy.

The thing about going to any sporting event, concert, etc., is you never know who is going to sit near you. The leather lung guy, the constant texter, the sleeper, and of course worst of all, the drunk. Let me add another to the category, "The Narrator".

The narrator doesn't give you a moment's peace. The Narrator not only says what's going on in the game, but what's going on all around him too. The most amazing thing about the narrator? His audience is a 2-yr old. True story.

"Look, that's Phil Hughes. He's the pitcher. He throws the ball to the catcher. And the hitter will try to hit the ball. Here's the pitch. Oh, there it goes. Aww, the centerfield caught it on now throws it back to the infield. Almost. How about eating some of your sandwich. Is that good? Chew it good."

One look tells you all you need to know. The 2-yr old is 2 years old! He doesn't care about the game. He wants to go home very quickly. He's staring everywhere but the field. He's more interested in his fruit snacks than whether A-Rod hits his 600th. Thankfully, 2-yr old wets himself and Dad disappears for a while. Then the weather turns and the family goes home early.

Phil Hughes was decent on the day. Not as good as he was early in the season, but not as bad as some of his more recent starts.

Hughes allowed a pair of home runs, one of which was to singles hitter Scott Podsednik. The Royals speedster had come into the game with three home runs. And then hit another one off of Joba Chamberlain.

Speaking of Joba, another poor outing, and more rough treatment from the fans. Constantly booing the guy is ridiculous and obnoxious. He didn't tell any of you to hero worship him, so you shouldn't completely turn on the guy either. As I've said before Joba's biggest problem is the comparison to the Joba of '07-'08. And booing him after he gets an out is just plain stupid.

Moving on...Rick Ankiel hit a huge home run into the 2nd deck in right...completely crushed.

But importantly Curtis Granderson hit two, Robinson Cano picked up his 1,000th RBI, and A-Rod was not seriously injured when Blake Wood hit him in the arm in his final at-bat in the 8th inning.

BTW, Cano became the third fastest home grown Yankee to reach 1,000 RBI. Only Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly reached the mark in less games.

So anyway, with one out in the 6th the place got biblical. The dark clouds were already moving in, but then the wind blew like a monster and the rains came for 40 days and 40 nights. Okay, it only felt that way after the seemingly endless delay.

We saw Ron Blomberg, the AL's first DH, tour the Baseball Hall of Fame and various other memorable and non-memorable videos. I thought cartoons would start at any moment. One of the best things about the new Stadium is there room to roam and move around during a rain delay. The old Stadium had you packed in like sardines during a delay.

Just before things started a lighten a bit, I noticed the security by a 200 level section was not paying attention. We quickly zipped down to seats in section 215, just before 1st base, about 4 rows from the top of the section. Great seats. It was from there we would watch the rest of the game, which at that point almost had a little league or high school level feeling.

Shortly before 7 p.m. or just when a night game would start, Chan Ho Park finally got the last out. He certainly tried his hardest not too.

An hour ride home completed a nine hour day! But the Yankees won.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Angels Get Dan Haren

The Angels are hoping they've replaced the hole left by the departure of John Lackey prior to this season. The Halos have acquired Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Joe Saunders and prospects Rafael Rodriguez and Patrick Corbin.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's That Smell? Oh, It's The Trade Winds

We're less than a week away from the major league trading deadline. Plenty of big names are being floated - Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Adam Dunn - and the rumors are flying. But other than the Cliff Lee deal two weeks ago, nothing major has happened.

So let's take a look team by team of who might be moved in a deal this week.

AL East

Yankees - Clearly buyers. The Yankees lost out on Lee and have set their sights on Haren. A secondary possibility would be Ted Lilly. The Yankees also need to add to their pen and could use some bench strength. I am still of the opinion they should go after Adam Dunn to be an every day DH.

Rays - Buyers as well. The Rays have had some preliminary discussions with the Phillies for Jayson Werth and have made contact with the Royals about Zack Greinke. Neither deal is expected to happen. But the Rays will continue to look for a bat and a starting pitcher. They could also part with B.J. Upton, who has been a disappointment in a variety of ways.

Red Sox - Boston needs medical help with all of the injuries they've had. Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, and Jacoby Ellsbury have been significant losses. Jason Varitek has played above his recent offensive output and is the team leader. Josh Beckett returned last night as well. In other words Boston could be back in good shape if everyone heals up. But the Sox would definitely look for a starting pitcher to be sure Beckett is okay and Dice-K holds up. Tim Wakefield has been a complete disaster and was moved to the pen when Beckett was activated.

The Red Sox have been taking a look recently at Marlins outfielder Cody Ross and closer Leo Nunez.

Blue Jays - Sellers. Teams have been making major inquiries for the suddenly Babe Ruth-esque Jose Bautista, solid reliever Scott Downs, catcher John Buck, and 1st baseman Lyle Overbay. Relievers Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg are shaky, but still in somewhat of a demand.

Orioles - Ty Wiggington's big year has created a number of calls to the Orioles front office. Closer Mike Gonzalez is back from the DL and could be quickly moved if he proves himself somewhat healthy. With David Eckstein injured, the Padres may look into a deal for Miguel Tejada.

AL Central

White Sox - Most people didn't expect to find the Chisox in first place on July 25, but there they are. Instead of selling, Chicago is looking to buy. They have talked to Milwaukee about Prince Fielder and are willing to give up pitcher Daniel Hudson and 3rd baseman Dayan Viciedo. But so far the Brewers prefer infielder Gordon Beckham and outfielder Carlos Quentin. The White Sox are also talking to the Nats about Dunn.

Tigers - Sellers/Buyers. The Tigers started July 7-1, but a seven game losing streak took it's toll. The Tigers entered Saturday's play 2.5 behind Chicago in the AL Central, but 6.5 back in the Wildcard race. The Tigers lineup took a big blow today when outfielder Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle. He'll be out 6-8 weeks. Detroit had already lost 3rd baseman Brandon Inge for 4-6 weeks after he fractured a hand last week. I have to wonder if the injuries will change the Tigers buyers' stance.

The Tigers have been looking to add a starting pitcher - they have discussed Lilly - but now may have to go after a bat as well.

Twins - Minnesota has been a major disappointment despite the fact they're still within spitting distance in the division. The Twins have always banked on their solid pitching, but Kevin Slowey (4.94 ERA), Nick Blackburn (6.53), and Scott Baker (5.15) have been major disappointments.

The Twins would like to land Oswalt or Lilly. They could always use offensive help, especially now with Justin Morneau's return date uncertain.

Royals - Sellers, of course. The most in-demand Royal was outfielder David DeJesus, but that all changed when he suffered a season ending thumb injury against the Yankees on Thursday night. Jose Guillen has been looked at by several teams, including the Yankees. But any team thinking about Guillen also has to think about what a pain in the ass he is.

The Royals already moved infielder Alberto Callaspo to the Angels for pitcher Sean O'Sullivan and are said to be listening to inquiries about Zack Greinke.

Indians - Sellers. The Tribe has had calls about both Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona. The Tribe will reportedly deal one, but not both. (I can't figure out why any team would want Westbrook.) The Indians are willing to move Jhonny Peralta, Austin Kearns, and Kerry Wood, though it's hard to imagine the Indians getting much in return for Wood.

AL West

Rangers - Moderate Buyers. The Rangers are just looking to tweak right now since they landed the big fish in Cliff Lee. The Rangers bankrupcy and pending sale should prevent them from pulling off anything too big the rest of the way.

A's - Sellers. Billy Beane is cringing tonight after Oakland had to place Ben Sheets on the DL earlier today with an elbow injury. The $10 million gamble looks to have been a failure. Just about every pitcher in the A's bullpen outside of Andrew Bailey is up for discussion.

Angels - Buyers. The Halos need a lot with Kendry Morales gone for the season and the team struggling. Word is that the Angels will not likely land Dunn, but could be major players for Derrek Lee. The Angels acquisition of Callaspo from the Royals is a curious one. Did the Angels need another light hitting infielder? The Angels salivated over Paul Konerko for a long time, but clearly that's not happening with the White Sox in first place.

Mariners - Sellers. Another disappointing season in Coffee-land. The M's bullpen duo of David Aardsma and Brandon League are being looked at and the M's could move disappointing Chone Figgins or Jose Lopez. This team needs an overhaul in attitude to say the least.

NL East

Mets - Buyers. The Mets continue to explore pitching options. Ted Lilly has been the Mets' main target. They've also looked to strengthen their pen with a possible deal for Octavio Dotel or Scott Downs. The Mets would also like to move Jeff Francouer, who has been grousing about his lack of playing time.

Braves - Buyers. Did anyone outside of Atlanta expect the Braves to be in the position they're in right now atop the NL East (Maybe not even in Atlanta.) The Braves already dealt disappointing youngster Yunel Escobar for veteran Alex Gonzalez and are looking to improve their outfield. Cody Ross, Josh Willingham, and Corey Hart are among the players that have piqued Atlanta's interest.

Phillies - Good question. They might buy and sell. There have been Jayson Werth rumors for a while now, but he may not go anywhere. Raul Ibanez could definitely be moved. The Phillies have thrown their hats in the Roy Oswalt ring and are particularly in need of pitching with Jamie Moyer's elbow injury. They're also interested in Haren as well.

Nationals - Sellers. Adam Dunn is the biggest chip, no pun intended, that Washington has, but so far they don't want to deal him. If they did, they would certainly lower their asking price. The Nats should move him and try to re-sign the free agent to be if they really want him as a fixture in D.C..

Marlins - Sellers. As I mentioned earlier, several teams have looked in on Ross and what team in need of relief help would not want Nunez?

NL Central

Cardinals - Buyers. The Cardinals have been pushing hard for Oswalt, who would like to land in St. Lou.

Reds - Buyers. Not too many people saw this one coming either. The Reds are looking for some depth in the pen. Downs, Frasor, Brandon League, David Aardsma, Dotel, and Brad Ziegler are among the many arms Cincy is taking a look at.

Cubs - Sellers. Major disappointment is a major understatement to describe the Cubbies. Ted Lilly will be moved sooner rather than later. 1st baseman Derrek Lee, another free agent to be, could certainly be moved as well. Chicago would like to move Carlos Zambrano, but he has a no-trade clause and $53 million left on his contract. The Cubs should move Alfonso Soriano too, but what's that? Oh yeah, he has 4 years and $72 million left on his deal. You really don't have to wonder why the Cubs haven't won a title in a gazillion years.

Brewers - Sellers. The Fresh Prince of Fielder of course is the biggest name, no pun intended again, available. The Brewers aren't going to deal him though unless the price is right. Corey Hart could definitely go after making $4.8 million in arbitration last year and in the midst of a monster year that will see that total sky rocket next year.

Astros - Sellers. Oswalt, Oswalt, Oswalt. Lance Berkman isn't likely to go anywhere, but you never know as Houston tries to rebuild/re-tool/re-shape. Brett Myers could be moved as well.

Pirates - Sellers. There have been rumors swirling about the Pirates' best starter, Paul Maholm, despite the fact he's signed at a decent deal (he's in the 2nd year of a 3 year, $14.5 mill deal with an option in 2012). Closer Octavio Dotel will likely go to a team in need of bullpen help.

NL West

Padres - Moderate Buyers. As I mentioned earlier, shortstop David Eckstein's injury could cause the Pads to go get another middle infielder. The Padres are also in the Corey Hart hunt.

Dodgers - Buyers. Pitching is the name of the game in Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers are looking into Oswalt, Lilly, and Maholm. It wouldn't be a surprise if they moved Matt Kemp either.

Giants - Moderate Buyers. Corey Hart appears to be the number one guy on San Fran's radar.

Rockies - Buyers. The Rockies would like to improve their corner infield and are taking a look at Jorge Cantu and Ty Wiggington. The Rockies also like Dan Uggla to help out their lineup. To help their pitching, Colorado is considering making a push for Haren and are looking at relievers like Gregg and Dotel.

Yankees and Dbacks Talk Haren

The Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, as expected, are discussing a possible deal for starter Dan Haren.

Haren who has struggled this season, will receive $12.75 million over each of the next two years. Whichever team has him will also have an option for 2013 worth $15.5 million (with a $3.5 million buyout). The Diamondbacks would be looking for the Yankees to assume all or the majority of the money owed to the veteran right-hander.

John Heyman tweeted this morning that the Dbacks want the Yankees to take on the contracts of reliever Chad Qualls and catcher Chris Snyder. Needless to say the Yankees said no thanks. They all said no when the Dbacks asked for Joba Chamberlain.

The Yankees have reportedly offered up pitchers Ivan Nova and Zach McAllister as well as two other prospects.

Posada Steals The Spotlight

The Yankee Stadium crowd didn't get to see Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run last night, but Jorge Posada picked up his 1,000th RBI in the Yankees 7-1 thumping of the Kansas City Royals.

The Yankees jumped on Royals' starter Brian Bannister for four runs in the 1st inning to immediately take control of the game. Robinson Cano's gapper with the bases loaded plated three and the second baseman came home when Posada doubled to right. In doing so, Posada became just the third major leaguer to reach the milestone while in the midst of an RBI streak of at least seven games. B.J. Surhoff and Yogi Berra were the others.

The run support would be all that A.J. Burnett would need in his first start since a laceration laced tirade in the Yankees clubhouse on July 17. Burnett needed just 58 pitches to toss five scoreless innings before a hellacious thunder storm hit the Bronx. When the game resumed 85 minutes later Chad Gaudin took over the pitching duties.

A-Rod had two hits in four trips to the plate, but didn't come close to becoming the 7th player to reach the 600 home run plateau.


Former Yankees farmhand Kanekoa Texeira pitched for KC in the 8th. Texeira had been claimed by Seattle in this year's Rule V draft and was later dealt to Seattle.

Fans used to cringe when Robinson Cano came up with the bases loaded, but this year Cano is 5-10. He's come to the plate (128) with ducks on the pond more than any other player since 2005.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A-Rod's Accomplishments in the Air

It should be a time of great excitement. A time for baseball fans to rejoice, to mark another milestone. A time when Alex Rodriguez should join the next pantheon of great home run hitters. But as soon as ball meets bat and sails into the seats at Yankee Stadium or some other venue, I’ll have the feeling of “Now what?”.

Ever since Rodriguez admitted his steroid use during his time in Texas, the air has gone out of the home run balloon. Whatever was left of it. There was widespread hope that Rodriguez was clean. That he would eventually erase Barry Bonds from the record books. That he would make us forget about the tainted home run totals of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmiero.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

RIP Ralph Houk

Unbelievable. Seriously. Unbelievable. They say it happens in threes. That's all you ever hear. And damn it even though I don't know who they are, they're right.

Long time Yankees manager, general manager, and player Ralph Houk has passed away at the age of 90.

"The Major" was the first Yankees manager that I can remember. He initially had managed the team from 1961 thru 1963, winning two World Series and one pennant. He took over as skipper again 20 games into the 1966 season and would remain the Yankees main man through 1973, the first year of George Steinbrenner's ownership. It only took him one year, but Houk could see how things would play out under Steinbrenner and resigned on September 20, 1973.

Houk wasn't out of the game long, taking over the Detroit Tigers the following spring. He would manage in the Motor City for five years. After a couple of years off, Houk had his final managing stint with the Boston Red Sox from 1981 to 1984. He won 1,619 games (.514 winning pct.) over parts of 20 seasons.

Houk earned his nickname from his days in the service where he rose from private to the rank of major. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Star for his action in World War II.

Houk's playing career as a backup catcher was limited to just 91 games, but he was part of championship teams in 1947 and 1949-1953. He retired following the 1954 season and became a bullpen coach and manager in training for Casey Stengel. Between his manging stints with NY he served as the team's general manager.

He was fiery competitor that was infamous for his knockdown, drag out arguments with umpires. A good debate usually included kicking dirt on home plate/base and/or the umpire and flinging his cap. He never got cheated when discussing a call.

Houk's final stop in his baseball career was in the front office of the Minnesota Twins from 1986-1989. He earned his third World Series ring when the Twins captured the title in 1987.

Ralph Houk was one of the true characters of the game and he will be missed. Our condolences to his family.

Phil Could Hughes Some Command

Another rough outing for Phil Hughes in the Bronx last night. A lack of command and a couple of home runs allowed helped the LA Angels coast to a 10-2 win over the Yankees. No harm, no foul in the standings as the Rays and Red Sox both blew leads and lost.

There is concern though about Hughes' output in his last half dozen starts. The 23-yr old has allowed 26 earned runs in his last 36.1 innings, and that includes a seven inning, one run performance in his prior start.

Hughes has attributed his lack of success to a lack of command. For most of an All-Star first half, Hughes put the ball where he wanted to. Now those same pitches are staying up and opponents are hammering them.

Nick Swisher helped give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the 1st with a solo home run, but the Angels tied it up with single runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings and Maicer Izturis put them ahead for good with a 2-run home run in the 4th. Mike Napoli's 2-run shot with no out in the 6th ended Hughes' night early.

It didn't help that the Yankees offense, which averaged nearly 9 runs a game in Hughes' prior starts, fell asleep after the first inning. 22-yr old right Sean O'Sullivan won his first start of the season filling for the injured Scott Kazmir. After allowing a pair of runs, hits, and walks in the 1st, O'Sullivan no-hit the Yankees for the next five innings.

The Yankees bullpen then let the game get out of hands as the Angels tacked on four more runs, including a Hideki Matsui home run, against Jonathan Albaladejo, Chan Ho Park, and Chad Gaudin.


Derek Jeter's 0-4 night left him at .268 for the season. It's his lowest batting average at this point of the season since he was hitting .278 in 2004.

CC Sabathia turns 30 today.

There is obviously going to much talk about how tainted A-Rod's 600th home run will be, and rightfully so, but USA Today also feels some money can be made off of it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Daily Yankeeland

It's been a while since I put a Daily Yankeeland out there, so here we go.

Yogi Berra remained hospitalized with a fractured foot according to the Star Ledger's Marc Carig. It was originally thought that the living legend had gone home Sunday night.

ESPN's Rob Neyer says the Yankees will be rewarded by being patient with Joba Chamberlain.

The Washington Post's Allan Sloan knows the Boss jumped ship at the right time.

Lou Piniella has popped one cork too many. The former Yankees outfielder has decided to hang it up as manager after the season. Sweet Lou's old fashioned ways don't work with today's players too much and he certainly had to have tired of the Milton Bradleys and Carlos Zambranos of the world.

Kevin Long explains how he fixed Mark Teixeira's season long slump.

Sergio Mitre's last rehab start wasn't a good one. Pitching for Scranton last night Meat Tray allowed 3 earned runs and 4 hits in 4.2 innings.

Charleston RiverDogs are watching what they eat.

Injuries, Ineffectiveness Should Have Cashman Shopping | Baseball Digest

Wrote this piece for; please click the link to read.

Injuries, Ineffectiveness Should Have Cashman Shopping | Baseball Digest

The moment Andy Pettitte left this past Sunday afternoon’s game with a groin strain, you knew that Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman would start to go through his mental rolodex.

Pettitte’s injury, which is expected to keep him out of action for 4-5 weeks, compounded an already difficult situation for Cashman, who knows he must re-tool the current bullpen if the Yankees are to repeat in 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pettitte Likely Headed To DL

The Yankees series win over the Rays was tempered a bit by the news that Andy Pettitte is likely head to the DL with a groin strain.

Pettitte felt something awry in the 3rd inning of today's game and left after consulting with Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain and though Girardi is taking a wait-and-see attitude, he also feels Pettitte is likely to be DLed.

The Yankees choices for the rotation include Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley, and Chad Gaudin among the current Yankees and Ivan Nova in Scranton. Though he's on the same pitching schedule as Pettitte, it is very unlikely that the Yankees would call up Nova's teammate and prospect David Phelps, who started the season at Double-A Trenton.

Update 9:55 pm - Brian Cashman told the media that Andy Pettitte is expected to miss 4-5 weeks. For now, Sergio Mitre will take Pettitte's spot in the rotation.