"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pettitte: Yankees or no one in 2008

From Kat O'Brien:

Andy Pettitte said during the season that he would either return to the Yankees or retire. But with all the Yankees' recent changes, it would have been reasonable to wonder if he was having second thoughts.

Pettitte nixed the idea that he might play elsewhere next year, in an interview with Houston's FOX 26 Sports (KRIV). The story was posted on the TV station's Web site. He told KRIV that he will either play for the Yankees next year or not at all.

"The New York Yankees committed an awful lot of money to me and put it in my hands, gave me a player option and trusted me with that option," Pettitte told KRIV Tuesday. "It probably wouldn't be real honorable for me not to do anything other than if I shut it down, shut it down or go back and play for the New York Yankees." (Newsday)
This is good news. The Yankees will have a young rotation next year (Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain, as well as Chien-Ming Wang) and a having a veteran like Pettitte in the mix would be huge. Hopefully Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman can convince him to exercise his option.

Pettitte has until November 7 to decide whether he will pick up his player option or not.

Fun with Photoshop

Here is what NoMaas made in response to Joe Torre signing with the Dodgers:

The Scott in question is obviously our own Scott Proctor. I still can't get enough of this story.

Girardi's coaching staff

From Tyler Kepner:

Tony Peña, the other candidate interviewed last week, will remain with the Yankees as the first-base coach, and the hitting coach Kevin Long is close to signing a three-year, $1 million deal.

Three newcomers are expected to join the staff: Dave Eiland as the pitching coach, Mike Harkey as the bullpen coach, and Bobby Meacham as the third-base coach.

Rob Thomson, a special assignment coach, will inherit Mattingly’s job as the bench coach. The Yankees had offered to let Mattingly stay in that position, but he turned down the job. (The New York Times)

Larry Bowa was likely headed to Seattle, but Peter Abraham suggests he may follow Joe Torre to Los Angeles.

I really don't have any complaints about the staff. Pena, Long and Thomson have done a good job with the Yankees in their tenures. Eiland has experience working with the younger arms, so I'm happy to see him get the job. I don't know much about Meacham or Harkey, but I do know that they both worked with Girardi in Florida.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rivera meeting with Yankees in Tampa

From the Daily News:

A deal to bring Mariano Rivera back to the Bronx may be in the works, as the All-Star closer and his agent are meeting with the Yankees Tuesday at Legends Field.

Fernando Cuza, who represents Rivera, showed up at the Yankees' spring ballpark around 11:45 a.m., accompanied by two of his associates. Ten minutes later, Rivera arrived by himself in a black Mercedes.

When asked if he was meeting with the Yankees, Rivera said, "Yeah. We have to see something." Rivera declined further comment, telling reporters he would elaborate on his way out of the ballpark.

Rivera was one of five Yankees to file for free agency on Monday, the first day players were allowed to do so. The Yankees are expected to offer Rivera a three-year deal worth approximately $40 million. (New York Daily News)

I would've offered two years with an option for a third year myself, but the Yankees can't let Rivera walk. He may have lost a few miles per hour off of his cutter, but he is still one of the best closers in baseball. How he is in the second and third years of this contract (if this report is accurate), however, remains to be seen.

Girardi agrees to offer

From Jon Heyman:

People inside the Yankees organization are re-energized by the appointment of Girardi after suffering a difficult blow when Alex Rodriguez opted out of his $252 million Yankees contract.

An announcement regarding Girardi's hiring could come today.

It is believed that the Yankees were offering about $6 million over three years to Girardi but may have had to bump the pay to counter the Dodgers' efforts. Girardi has longtime ties to the Yankees as a former player and coach and current broadcaster. He has been baseball's hottest commodity among managerial candidates almost since the day he was fired by the Marlins following a Manager of the Year performance in 2006. (SI.com)

Joe Girardi was Scott Proctor's Arm's choice for the managerial vacancy, so we obviously are thrilled with this decision.

The Joe Torre story is still rather funny to me. I'm happy Torre got another chance to manage, but the Scott Proctor sub-plot is too good.

In other news, the previous post was my 500th post. When I started this blog at the end of May, I didn't know how much I'd update or how long I'd even write before forgetting about it. I'd like to thank all the readers, because without you guys, this wouldn't be possible.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Journal News: Torre to manage Dodgers

From Peter Abraham:

The Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to fire manager Grady Little and replace him with former Yankees manager Joe Torre, The Journal News has learned.

Torre, 67, could be named manager as soon as tomorrow, according to two sources close to the situation. Don Mattingly is expected to accompany Torre to Los Angeles as his bench coach. Torre is also interested in hiring Kevin Long, his hitting coach with the Yankees. (The Journal News)

Incidentally, Scott Proctor is a reliever for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two will be reunited, if this report is true. How funny is that?

ESPN: Girardi offered job

The Yankees officially offered their managerial job to Joe Girardi on Monday morning and he is expected to accept it, a source has told 1050 ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand.

"The Yankees have offered Joe the opportunity to become their next manager. Discussions are ongoing." Steve Mandell, Girardi's agent, said. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Don Mattingly and Tony Pena that they will not be getting the job. (ESPN)

I mentioned this in my previous post, but I felt it should be its own post.

In the same article, ESPN says that Don Mattingly will not accept a job on the coaching staff.

This is the absolute right move, and I am happy the Yankees weren't influenced by Mattingly's mythical status. The Yankees are headed down a younger path, and Girardi is the perfect manager for this team at this time. The report is that the contract is around three years for $6 million.

Hank comes out hammering

Hank Steinbrenner is sounding a lot like his father these days.

"It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee," Hank Steinbrenner told the Daily News last night. "He doesn't understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field.

"I don't want anybody on my team that doesn't want to be a Yankee." (New York Daily News)


Alex Rodriguez's departure will most likely hurt the lineup this year. In the long run, however, this is probably the best thing that could have happened to the Yankees.

Since constructing the all-star lineup, the Yankees have only gotten out of the Division Series once. They've strayed away from what won them those four championships all those years ago.

It's time to get back to building the team as a team, not as a collection of all-stars. The Yankees have a chance to return to greatness without Rodriguez.

ESPN Radio 1050 is reporting that the Yankees have offered Joe Girardi the managerial job. If this turns out the be true, the Yankees have started the offseason on the right foot. Next comes re-signing Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

The lineup takes a major hit, but Brian Cashman has more money to play with as a result. I have faith that he will build a solid team for this season. We are on the verge of a new era in the Bronx. Hopefully it's as successful as the previous one.

A-Rod opts out


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday is decision day

From Peter Abraham:

Brian Cashman said via e-mail that he would stay in Tampa tomorrow to meet with the Steinbrenners. It is expected a decision will be reached then.

"We’re very impressed with all three candidates," Hank Steinbrenner said. "I told you it would be a tough decision." (LoHud Yankees Blog)

Hopefully they make the right decision.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Valentine not an option

From Peter Abraham:

Hank Steinbrenner told reporters in Tampa today that the Yankees would not be interviewing Bobby Valentine. (LoHud Yankees Blog)
I'm a little disappointed. I thought he would've been a good fit.

Scott Proctor's Arm still endorses Joe Girardi.

Interviews to begin today

From Newsday:

The Yankees will interview their first three managerial candidates in quick succession, beginning Monday in Tampa, Fla., with Joe Girardi and continuing with Don Mattingly Tuesday and Tony Peña on Wednesday.

Those are the only three candidates whom general manager Brian Cashman has contacted, but he expects to add candidates in the days to come. Cashman, club president Randy Levine and some member(s) of the Steinbrenner family (owner George and/or sons Hank and Hal) are expected to be a part of the interview process. (Newsday)
Peter Abraham had a good article about Pena and how he has support from team executives. He doesn't seem to get as much play as Mattingly and Girardi get.

Of these three candidates, Girardi is my first choice. The team is headed in a younger direction and Girardi won the 2006 National League Manager of the Year award with the young Florida Marlins.

I think hiring the unproven commodity in Mattingly would be the wrong decision the team could make following Joe Torre. Torre will be a tough act to follow and I don't think that would be fair to Mattingly. However, he wouldn't have become hitting coach in 2004 if he didn't have thoughts about managing some day.

The Yankees should carefully examine each of the candidates and not rush to any decisions.

The world is upside down

At least they didn't beat the Yankees to get there, I guess.


(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Latest from MLB Trade Rumors

For starters, the Yanks are expected to make "eye-popping" offers to retain Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera before the World Series ends. The team does not want the pair to file for free agency.

Additionally, the Yankees may make a big play for Aaron Rowand. They believe a package of Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang, and Ian Kennedy would entice the Twins for Johan Santana. That's a huge price, but doesn't seem out of line to me for the best pitcher in baseball. (MLB Trade Rumors)

It is not surprising that the Yankees want to make "eye-popping" offers to Posada and Rivera. The Torre debacle has rubbed many fans the wrong way and losing Rivera and/or Posada would send many Yankee fans through the roof.

I don't know how I feel about the Santana rumor. He will be a free agent after next season and that is a steep price to pay for him. It may just be worth making a run at him next offseason instead of giving up Cabrera, Wang and Kennedy.

Again, these are just rumors. I don't know how reputable they are.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cashman's short list

From Peter Abraham:

Just spoke to Brian Cashman. He said he reached out today to three candidates to become manager: Joe Girardi, Don Mattingly and Tony Pena.

The Yankees were interested in speaking to Trey Hillman, but by the time they had a vacancy, he had agreed to terms with the Royals. "Trey is somebody I talk to at least once a week,"” Cashman said. "But the timing wasn’t right."

Cashman said the process could be culiminated swiftly. But he also warned that it could take until after the World Series. "I’ll expand the pool of candidates if that is what I need to do," he said. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

I am opposed to Mattingly being the manager next year. I would love it if they hired Girardi. I would also support Bobby Valentine. His name has been mentioned but I don't think it will happen.

Torre's news conference

Joe Torre's news conference just wrapped up, and I'd say that he came out looking like the good guy.

He felt insulted by the incentives in the offer, saying that he didn't need any motivation. I agree with him. With all of the success he had, he knew what was expected of him. He also felt shafted with only being offered one year. That left him in lame-duck status, which is something no one wants.

The pay cut didn't bother him as much as the years and incentives. Last night, I focused on the 33% pay cut. Apparently that didn't affect Torre as much as I thought it would have. The Yankees also did not allow Torre to negotiate this offer.

Torre said that he didn't have many regrets during his time as Yankees manager. One of them was that he felt he should've gone out on the field during the Canadian Soldier invasion during Game 2 of this year's ALDS.

So there you have it. The Joe Torre era in New York has ended.

For minute-by-minute coverage of this news conference, Newsday had minute-by-minute coverage of it.

For even more on this story, Torre will be appearing on Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN and YES at 4:30 p.m.

Good-bye and thanks

The 12-year Joe Torre era has now come to an unfortunate close.

Torre did not need to be treated this way. He has made the playoffs in each of those 12 years, winning four World Series championships and six American League pennants. He has been a class act and took George Steinbrenner missives in stride, when others would have melted in the face of pressure.

With all of his success, he did not deserve to be low-balled like he was today. He flew to Tampa and was presented with a 33% pay cut and an incentive-based contract. Basically, the front office was trying to save face and appear that they were keen on keeping Torre for next season. Instead, they ended up looking horrible in the process by giving him an offer he most certainly could refuse. And he did.

They knew he'd refuse this offer. This year was perhaps his best managerial job, yet they wanted to cut his pay.

I know I have been on Torre's case over the last few years. He probably should have been let go after last year's playoff defeat. However, with Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte - vocal supporters of Torre - being free agents, this is not the offseason to mess with Torre.

Aside from the manager, the team could probably look very different next season. And that is a frightening thought.

Thank you for your time in pinstripes, Mr. Torre. You have been the only manager I have really known, and it has been a hell of a ride.

Good luck in the future and maybe we'll see you again. Stranger things have happened.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Torre turns down extension

In a shocking development, Joe Torre will not return as manager next season.

He turned down a $5 million deal that included $3 million in incentives. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

Torre and Cashman in Tampa

From Peter Abraham:

Accompanied by Brian Cashman, Joe Torre arrived at Legends Field about 70 minutes ago and is now meeting with the Steinbrenners. (LoHud Yankees Blog)
Torre wouldn't be in Tampa to get fired, obviously.

I guess the Yankees realized they have a better chance of re-signing Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera with Torre as the manager.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cashman stands his ground

Brian Cashman said, with the backing of ownership, that the Yankees would not pursue Alex Rodriguez as a free agent if he opts out of his contract.

Cashman has been saying that for eight months. But now it’s with the support of the Steinbrenner family. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

Scott Boras will soon notice that he won't be able to get what he's asking for from any team. It's good to see that the Yankees won't be fooled by the games Boras and Rodriguez will try to play this offseason.

Sorry about the lack of posting

Things have been pretty busy around blog headquarters lately. It's midterm week and I procrastinated like I always do. That means I have had less time for Scott Proctor's Arm than I normally do.

Hopefully the news picks up in the coming days because it has been rather boring in Yankee land this week.

Oh, and let's go Cleveland.

Much ado about nothing - again

The Yankees continue to be indecisive. From Peter Abraham:

"The Yankees have completed their discussions today. No decisions have been made concerning Joe Torre. The discussions will continue." (LoHud Yankees Blog)
This is only good news for Torre. However, it also shows the indecision of the new people in charge. This process needs to end as soon as possible so the front office can look at building a team for next year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No decisions made

Joe Torre's future with the Yankees remained unclear Tuesday after team officials gathered at the home of owner George Steinbrenner to debate whether the manager should return for a 13th season.

"The meetings are adjourned for tonight," spokesman Howard Rubenstein said shortly after the session ended about 4 p.m. "There have been no decisions made, nor will there be any comment today. The meetings will resume tomorrow."

Steinbrenner told The Record of Hackensack, N.J., on Oct. 6 that he didn't think he'd bring back the manager if the Yankees failed to advance to the AL championship series. Cleveland then eliminated New York in four games, sending New York to its third straight first-round exit. (Yahoo! Sports)
This process is unfair to Torre.

Yes, I feel that he shouldn't return as manager and it's time to move on. Torre's body of work suggests that he should be treated with respect (cue Don Mattingly). If the Yankees don't intend on bringing Torre back, they should've said so as soon as the series ended.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yankees brass to meet next week regarding Torre

The meetings are likely to start Monday night or Tuesday, and they probably will be held at the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Fla.

Joe Torre will not be asked to attend the start of the session, when owner George Steinbrenner, his sons and top aides will discuss whether to bring the manager back for a 13th season -- which would be the longest run for a baseball manager in New York since Joe McCarthy was in the Yankees' dugout from 1931-46.

Steinbrenner said last weekend that he didn't think the Yankees would keep Torre if the team failed to advance from its first-round series with Cleveland. New York was eliminated in four games by the Indians. the Yankees' third straight opening-round exit, but Steinbrenner has been silent on Torre's fate. (Yahoo! Sports)

This is only the beginning of what looks like will be a very eventful offseason.

Mariano Rivera has already come out and said that Torre's fate may affect his decision on whether or not he will want to re-sign with the Yankees. However, it is a business, and if the Yankees offer the most money, I'm sure Rivera wouldn't mind re-signing with the Yankees, regardless of the manager.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Waldman defends herself

Suzyn Waldman is not backing down from her actions during Monday night's postgame show on WCBS-AM 880.

Suzyn Waldman was unapologetic yesterday for choking up and sobbing briefly in her report Monday night on WCBS-AM after the Indians knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs. “That’s who I am,” she said by telephone. “It’s unusual, but not for me. I am emotional. I’m a conduit between the players and the fans, and everyone was crying.”

She added: “That’s what I felt. I am who I am. I’m emotional. A lot of people like it, a lot of people don’t. I didn’t do it in a game, and I recovered.”

It would be easy to condemn Waldman for losing her composure, demonstrating her feelings for Manager Joe Torre and shedding her professional stance. But Waldman is not a standard analyst. She can get away with reacting in a way that a male counterpart might be ridiculed for. (“I cry at ‘Cinderella,’ ” she said in the moments before she sobbed.) She is an empathetic personality — her clubhouse demeanor is as much reporter as mother-confessor — so her catch-in-her-voice weeping about Torre’s probable departure was not surprising.

“There are a lot worse things than crying on the air,” she said. (The New York Times)

Her crying on air may not be surprising, but I still find it rather unprofessional.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cashman lays down the hammer

Get ready for more stories like this over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Brian Cashman said again today that if Alex Rodriguez opts out of his deal, the Yankees wold not pursue him. He was adamant about that. The only way Alex stays is to play under his current deal or accept an extension.

Cashman said the Yankees would consider it a deal-breaker if A-Rod forces them to forfeit the money they would get from Texas. “That would not be prudent of him,” Cashman said. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

The Yankees have until 10 days after the completion of the World Series to negotiate with Rodriguez.

Yet another playoff defeat

I had an epiphany Friday night. After smashing my television remote on the ground twice, I realized that if the Yankees were supposed to win, they would win. If they weren't supposed to win, nothing I could do would change that. It doesn't matter what song I listen to, it doesn't matter where I sit and it doesn't matter what time I showered.

That helped me get through yesterday. When Chien-Ming Wang gave up those runs early, I got the impression that the Yankees weren't interested in winning. I was able to watch the game without being nervous. I was sort of in a numb state. And it was a great feeling.

When the bugs came Friday night, the Yankees weren't destined to win this series. I'm starting to get the feeling that the Yankees are cursed in some way. It's rather fitting that something so silly as a swarm of gnats would derail a comeback season and series.

Anyway, onto Games 3 and 4.

I was at Game 3 in Tier Reserved Section 34 (where the real fans sit). The game was pretty much amazing. The atmosphere was fantastic - the fans wouldn't let the Yankees lose, despite falling into an early 3-0 hole. I've been to playoff games before and this was the loudest I've ever heard a crowd.

The fans booed Kyle Farnsworth during player introductions and Roger Clemens was partially booed when he left the mound for perhaps the final time. Phil Hughes will be a fan favorite after his performance Sunday night. He allowed the Yankees to come back. Johnny Damon got a tremendous ovation when he took left field after hitting his go-ahead three-run home run.

The Yankees won this game by a score an 8-4. There was an intense feeling of optimism in the Stadium as we were walking to the Subway. That feeling was quickly crushed.

Wang was awful once again. He gave up four runs in one inning of work, relinquishing any momentum the Yankees had after their from the night before.

Alex Rodriguez homered in what could have been his last penultimate as a Yankee. Jorge Posada struck out to end the game in what could have been his last at-bat as a Yankee.

Derek Jeter grounded into yet another double play.

If and when it is announced that Joe Torre, Jeter and Posada have no right to say anything. They will be the first to defend Torre. However, they had an awful series. With Torre managing for his job, the two team "leaders" failed to show up. Posada was 2-15 with three strikeouts and Jeter was 3-17 with four strikeouts and three double plays.

After Wang, these two were most responsible for another early-October exit.

In the coming days, weeks and months, there will be many changes made to this team and coaching staff. Change, in this situation, will be a good thing. Stay tuned: only a little more than 100 days left until pitchers and catchers. Go figure.

Ma Yankee gets emotional

This is a must, MUST listen (via Awful Announcing). Please be patient - it takes a while to load but it's highly worth it.

Our very own Suzyn Waldman cried on-air during last night's postgame show on WCBS-AM 880.

John Sterling
, once again, came out looking great (see Roger Clemens' announcement aftermath).

This is extremely unprofessional of Waldman.

Monday, October 8, 2007

And with that, 2007 comes to a close

Well, at least they didn't get swept.

Good-bye, Joe Torre.

I'll have more on this tomorrow, maybe.

Villone added to the roster

Due to a new MLB rule, a team can add a player to the playoff roster to replace another injured player. The player who got replaced, however, cannot play in the next series.

The Yankees took advantage of this rule, as they replaced Roger Clemens with Ron Villone (LoHud Yankees blog).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Don't blame the bugs

The Canadian Soldiers didn't make the Yankees lose the game.

The Yankees lost the game themselves. You don't win in the playoffs with three hits and one run in 11 innings.

You don't win in the playoffs by walking two batters and throwing two wild pitches - bugs in your face notwithstanding.

I am mad. Mad at myself. Mad at the players. Mad at my roommates who make watching the games almost impossible.

I am mad at myself for believing. Since Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, the Yankees have only won three playoff games. The Yankees I am watching are not the same Yankees I watched growing up and this is hard for me to take. I was 12 when the Yankees last won the World Series. I wasn't old enough to truly appreciate how much it means. I am going to be 20 next year, which is why I'm hungry for a championship.

Each year I think the Yankees can win. What's especially disheartening is that if the Yankees were able to get to the World Series these last three years, they could have potentially won the World Series each year.

Much is made out of the Yankees' lineup. However, every year it wilts in the playoffs. When they get good pitching, they can't hit (see: tonight). When they get good hitting (see: ALDS 2005 Game 3), the pitching isn't there.

Maybe they're better off without Alex Rodriguez. I don't know. I think we've all learned that the all-star at every position doesn't work in the playoffs. It helps you beat Kansas City and Tampa Bay in June and July, but it doesn't help you beat Cleveland in October.

One thing I do know is this: this offseason will be very eventful. This team will look very different in February.


Game preview: ALDS Game 2

Yankees lineup

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B

Andy Pettitte (15-9, 4.05 ERA) vs. Fausto Carmona (19-8, 3.05 ERA)

Time: 5:07 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Pregame concerns: So, injured Matsui is now protecting Rodriguez. ... In Pettitte's last start against Cleveland, he went 7 1-3 innings and gave up two earned runs. ... Pettitte is 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA in nine career starts at Jacobs Field. ... Carmona is 10-4 with a 3.32 ERA in 16 starts at home this season. ... He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five career appearances against New York. ... Cabrera is 3-6 against Carmona this season. ... Damon is 2-5 against Carmona this season.

Pettitte needs to be huge

In 2003, Andy Pettitte started Game 2 of every series (ALDS, ALCS and World Series) with the Yankees trailing 1-0. Pettitte proceeded to win every game.

He then left as a free agent.

Since then, the Yankees only got out of the division series once.

A stopper like Pettitte is something the Yankees have missed over the last three years. He is now back and the Yankees and Joe Torre need him more than ever.

Another interesting stat is that the Yankees are 5-0 when they lose the first game of a Division Series. They are 2-5 when they win the first game of a Division Series. So there is still hope.

However, this is a must-win for the Yankees. I don't have much faith in Roger Clemens coming off of an injury to start Game 3 with the Yankees down 2-0.

Let's go Yankees. Let's go Andy Pettitte. This is where you shine for the most part.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Game recap: ALDS Game 1

I've over it now.

The Yankees have won Game 1 of the Division Series the last two years and ended up losing the series.

This year, they lost Game 1 by a score of 12-3.

This was a terrible game. Chien-Ming Wang had nothing. He gave up eight runs and walked four in 4 2-3 innings. Joe Torre left him in too long, but Wang had nothing to begin with. So, it's impossible to blame Torre for this one.

The Yankees also lacked clutch hitting when the game was actually close. In the first inning, after Johnny Damon led off with a home run, C.C. Sabathia walked Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez. Jorge Posada then struck out and Hideki Matsui grounded out.

In the fifth inning, the Yankees had the bases loaded with one out trailing by one. Posada then swung on a 3-0 count and eventually struck out when all he needed to do was hit a fly ball. Matsui then popped out.

A lack of pitching and clutch hitting does not win ballgames. Not being able to hit a sacrifice fly has plagued this team for years now.

Andy Pettitte needs to step up tomorrow night. If he doesn't, it's time to prepare for another early October exit/embarrassment.

Chip Caray

Could he be any more biased? This is absolutely ridiculous.

I almost wish Joe Buck was calling this game. Almost.

Posada and Wang

Chien-Ming Wang isn't an ace.

I wouldn't shed a tear if Jorge Posada walks at the end of the season.

That is all.

Game preview: ALDS Game 1

Yankees lineup

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B

Chien-Ming Wang (19-7, 3.70 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (19-7, 3.21 ERA)

Time: 6:37 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Pregame concerns: The Yankees are 6-0 against Cleveland this season but they didn't face Sabathia once. ... Wang is 9-3 with a 4.91 ERA in 14 starts on the road this season. ... In one career start at Jacobs Field, Wang gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings. ... Sabathia is 11-4 with a 3.13 in 19 starts at home this season. ... Sabathia is 1-7 with a 7.13 ERA in eight career starts against New York.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Mientkiewicz slightly injured, will play

From Peter Abraham:

Doug Mientkiewicz got off the team bus and was walking to the clubhouse when a camerman from YES stumbled and fell onto the back of his left leg.

“I rolled it pretty good,” he said. “I thought I was dead.”

His ankle has some swelling but Mientkiewicz did some agility drills before the game (see previous post) and was cleared to play. He will be in the lineup as scheduled. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

Fire this man.

A&E baseball DVD sale

On AETV.com, select baseball DVDs will be 40% off until October 31.

I have placed a link to the sale on the right side of the page. If you're interested in buying anything, please buy it through Scott Proctor's Arm!

(Yes, I have sold out)

Jeter is rather focused

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ALDS Roster and Game 1 lineup

As reported by Peter Abraham, the Yankees released the ALDS roster today.

Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Veras are on the roster. Edwar Ramirez, Ron Villone and Chris Britton are not on the roster.

Bronson Sardinha made the roster to be used primarily as a pinch runner.

This really isn't shocking. Ohlendorf and Veras performed well towards the end of the season and the three who didn't make the roster didn't pitch well. The only thing that's somewhat surprising is that they didn't go with a lefty out of the bullpen. I find the whole idea of having a lefty specialist to be overrated, but Joe Torre usually doesn't.

Now, the lineup:

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B

SPA = good luck

When I started the blog on May 26, the Yankees were 21-25 and 10.5 games behind Boston.

Since then, the Yankees are 71-43 (.623 winning percentage).

Just sayin'

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Clemens pitches in simulated game

From Peter Abraham:

Just spoke to Mike Dougherty of The Journal News, who is covering the Yankees in the Bronx today. Roger Clemens threw 69 pitches in a simulated game in Tampa today, facing minor leaguers.

Assuming his left hamstring feels fine today when he gets to Cleveland, Clemens will start Game 3 in New York on Sunday. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

If Clemens is feeling anything less than 100%, I don't want him out there. I don't want another repeat of the 2003 World Series with David Wells.

These games need to start already. The four-day layoff is adding too much suspense.

The series ahead

The American League Division Series 'A' between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians will begin on Thursday at Jacobs Field for Games 1 and 2 before traveling to Yankee Stadium for Game 3. The pitching matchups are:

Thursday, 10/4/07, 6:30 p.m., TBS
Chien-Ming Wang - RHP (19-7, 3.70 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia - LHP (19-7, 3.21 ERA)

Friday, 10/5/07, 5:00 p.m., TBS
Andy Pettitte - LHP (15-9, 4.05 ERA) vs. Fausto Carmona - RHP (19-8, 3.06 ERA)

Sunday, 10/7/07, 6:30 p.m., TBS
Jake Westbrook - RHP (6-9, 4.32 ERA) vs. Roger Clemens - RHP (6-6, 4.18 ERA)

Monday, 10/9/07, 6:00 p.m., TBS
(If necessary)

Wednesday, 10/10/07, 5:00 p.m., TBS
(If necessary)

Hoffman's partying like it's 1998

What an amazing game tonight.

In the National League Wild Card play-in game, the San Diego Padres took an 8-6 lead in the 13th inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Trevor Hoffman gave up three runs to lose the game and end San Diego's playoff hopes.

Hoffman once again choked in a big spot.

Scott Brosius homered off of Hoffman in Game 3 of the 1998 World Series to win the game.

If anyone is wondering who is a better closer this generation - Mariano Rivera or Hoffman - this should give one a concrete answer.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Good-bye, Bruney

How far did Brian Bruney fall?

A year ago, he pitched in three of the four ALDS games. Yesterday, the Yankees told him to go home, opting to not include the right-handed reliever around like they did with Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Britton and Jose Veras.

"I was shocked," Bruney said. (Source)

Bruney being shocked about this tells us all we need to know about him.

If you stopped walking the ballpark and giving up extra-inning home runs, maybe things would be different.

Clemens on the road to recovery

Roger Clemens worked out at the Stadium today, furthering the idea that he'll be ready enough to pitch Game 3 on Sunday.

With Yankees vice president of player personnel and pitching guru Billy Connors watching, Clemens began the session by long-tossing across the outfield for seven minutes with Yankees Minor League pitching coach Gil Patterson. Clemens unleashed 43 throws of varying distances, tossing up to 200 feet.

Clemens then stepped into the bullpen and threw 49 pitches in 14 minutes. With temperatures in the mid-80s, he finished the on-field portion of his workout by fielding 25 ground balls. Clemens left the complex 45 minutes later without speaking to reporters, driving out of the parking lot.

Clemens, 45, was scratched from his scheduled start against the Devil Rays last Tuesday because his left hamstring was not strong enough to hold up to pitching in a Major League game, especially covering bases on ground balls. (Source)

I will be at Game 3. Hopefully he doesn't disappoint.

ALDS starting times announced

From Peter Abraham:

Game 1 at Cleveland on Thursday: 6:30 p.m.

Game 2 at Cleveland on Friday:
5 p.m.

Game 3 at New York on Sunday:
6:30 p.m.

Game 4 at New York on Monday:
6 p.m.

Game 5 at Cleveland on Oct. 10:
5 p.m. (Source)

All games will air on TBS. Those starting times are a little awkward for playoff games. The shadows could be a factor in the 5:00 games.

Happy October

Today is October 1. Fall is in the air and that means one thing: Yankee playoff baseball.

This time of year always makes me extremely nervous, and this year is no different. I hate watching these games. Every pitch makes me terrified.

I am usually confident going into the playoffs, and that has come back to hurt me the last six years. It's strange to think that the last time the Yankees won the World Series, I was 12 years old.

This year, I'll try to be different. I'll try to keep a cooler head during these games. I was quick to give up on the season, and this team proved me wrong (thankfully).

Hopefully by the end of October, we will all be celebrating again.