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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bad time for Pettitte to implode

Looking strictly at the matchups for this series, this is a game the Yankees had to have. Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner will each start a game against the best team in baseball, so it was crucial for Andy Pettitte to pitch a solid game because of Brian Cashman's failure to acquire a starter.

What does he do? He gives up nine earned runs and 11 hits in a little over five innings.

The Yankees will be lucky to win one game in this series.

Stupid fans get another chance to cheer for Griffey

Remember when Ken Griffey Jr. hit a home run in his supposed final game at Yankee Stadium and got a substantial ovation?

It bothered me, and it bothered then-Yankee Kyle Farnsworth as well.

Well, Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox this afternoon. They will make a four-day trip to Yankee Stadium in the middle of September. Hopefully the fans will have learned better by then, but I doubt it.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (59-48) begin a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (67-40) at Yankee Stadium tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., YES
Jon Garland
- RHP (9-6, 4.30 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte - LHP (12-7, 3.76 ERA)

Tomorrow - 7:05 p.m., MY9
Ervin Santana
- RHP (11-5, 3.57 ERA) vs. Sidney Ponson - RHP (2-1, 6.08 ERA as a Yankee)

Saturday - 3:55 p.m., Fox
Jered Weaver
- RHP (9-8, 4.11 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina - RHP (13-7, 3.56 ERA)

Sunday - 1:05 p.m., YES/TBS
John Lackey
- RHP (9-2, 2.93 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner - RHP (5-8, 4.92 ERA)

Manny's AL East reign of terror is over

SI's Jon Heyman is reporting that Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a three-team trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jason Bay will be sent to Boston. The rest of the details are sketchy, but one this is certain: it's great that Ramirez is 3,000 miles away and in a different league (for the rest of this season).

Update - 5:05 p.m.

Red Sox get: Bay

Dodgers get: Ramirez and cash (payment of Ramirez's contract from Boston)

Pirates get: Andy LaRoche, Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss and Bryan Morris

So the Red Sox traded Ramirez, Hansen, Moss and $7 million for Bay. It's obvious Theo Epstein was pressured into doing such a one-sided deal.

Roster changes

As a result of yesterday's acquisition of Ivan Rodriguez, the Yankees designated Chad Moeller for assignment. They also called up Chris Britton to replace Kyle Farnsworth's roster spot.

The Yankees also traded infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the Nationals for Double-A RHP Jhonny Nunez. What's with people spelling "Johnny" as "Jhonny"? Anyway, strange trade for the Yankees. Gonzalez seemed to be a better infield option than Wilson Betemit is.

By the way, Rodriguez will wear No. 12.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hawkins traded to Houston

The Yankees traded LaTroy Hawkins to the Houston Astros for a minor-league infielder, according to Bryan Hoch.

Hawkins, who was designated for assignment following the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte trade, was 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA for the Yankees this year.

In return, the Yankees received Matt Cusick, a 22-year-old second baseman. He was hitting .285 with nine home runs and 28 RBI in 351 at-bats for Class-A Lexington this season.

It's amazing the Yankees were able to get anything back for Hawkins.

Breaking news: Yankees trade for Pudge Rodriguez

Jose Molina won't be the starting catcher much longer.

The Yankees have traded Kyle Farnsworth to the Detroit Tigers for future hall of fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

In 82 games this season, Rodriguez has five home runs and 32 RBI. He is batting .295/.328/.417 in 302 at-bats. He has also walked 19 times while striking out 52 times.

Farnsworth seemed to turn his Yankee career around, becoming a rather reliable member of Joe Girardi's bullpen. He's given up a ton of home runs for a reliever (11) but he's also had stretches where he was dominant this season.

I find this trade rather strange. Unlike other Yankees fans, I never hated Farnsworth. I knew that if he could harness his stuff he could be valuable and I also felt the Yankees could get by with the tandem of Jose Molina and Chad Moeller. This takes one of the primary setup men out of the bullpen as well. That said, you can't pass up Rodriguez's defense and batting abilities.

The acquisition of Damaso Marte looks huge right now, and Brian Bruney is getting close to returning.

Rodriguez is a free agent after this season, so they won't have to worry about him interfering with Jorge Posada's eventual return.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pitchers in the minors

Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano all pitched in the minors tonight. Kennedy pitched for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Hughes and Pavano both pitched for Class A Charleston. Here are their lines:

Kennedy: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Pavano: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Hughes: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

I'll spare you the Pavano jokes because frankly, they're not that funny and the situation is actually kind of depressing.

Kennedy is rather close to rejoining the team. In six appearances for Triple-A in July, Kennedy has a 2.32 ERA. His walk total (12 in 31 innings) is a bit of a concern, but he could still be a better option than Darrell Rasner or Sidney Ponson are.

Game 106 Preview: Orioles at Yankees

Baltimore Orioles (50-55)
New York Yankees (58-47)
Brian Roberts 2B
Johnny Damon LF
Adam Jones CF
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Markakis RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Aubrey Huff DH
Alex Rodriguez DH
Melvin Mora 3B
Jason Giambi 1B
Luke Scott LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Millar 1B
Wilson Betemit 3B
Ramon Hernandez C
Melky Cabrera CF
Juan Castro SS
Chad Moeller C

Daniel Cabrera (6-6, 4.86 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner (5-7, 4.83 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Orioles vs. Rasner
  • Roberts: 1-10
  • Jones: 1-5
  • Markakis: 9-11, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Huff: 1-8, 1 2B
  • Mora: 0-8
  • Scott: 0-5
  • Millar: 4-9, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Hernandez: 1-7, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Castro: No experience
Yankees vs. Cabrera
  • Damon: 5-27, 5 RBI
  • Jeter: 7-32, 2 RBI
  • Abreu: 7-23, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 11-32, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI
  • Giambi: 4-13, 12 BB
  • Cano: 6-28, 4 2B, 1 RBI
  • Betemit: 1-6, 1 RBI
  • Cabrera: 3-18, 3 2B, 4 RBI
  • Moeller: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Pregame concerns: Damon is play LF for the first time since being injured on July 4. ... Opponents hit .242/.290/.382 against Rasner when he is pitching to Moeller. For comparison's sake, opponents hit .386/.443/.571 and .338/.394/.538 when pitching to Jose Molina and Jorge Posada, respectively.

Don't expect Washburn

According to George King, the pursuit of Jarrod Washburn is essentially dead.

The hang-up? The Mariners want a "quality" prospect in addition to the Yankees taking on Washburn's entire contract.

And this is why the Mariners are one of the worst organizations in baseball. A lot can change between now and Thursday, but as of now, the Yankees are looking elsewhere.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Posada's having surgery

Jorge Posada has elected to have shoulder surgery, thus ending his 2008 season.

From Mark Feinsand:

“I think this is also what he wants to do. He said, ‘I agree 100 percent. Let’s get it going,’” Cashman said. “He was willing to do what we wanted when there was a need. He was delaying the surgery for that need, but now that we have a hitter, I think this was predictable.”

Posada will need a minimum of six months to rehab from the surgery, so he may not even be ready for the start of spring training.
I'm glad I won't have to see his face until March.

Game 105 Preview: Orioles at Yankees

Baltimore Orioles (49-55)
New York Yankees (58-46)
Brian Roberts 2B
Johnny Damon DH
Adam Jones CF
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Markakis RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Aubrey Huff DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Melvin Mora 3B
Jason Giambi 1B
Luke Scott LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Millar 1B
Xavier Nady LF
Ramon Hernandez C
Melky Cabrera CF
Juan Castro SS
Jose Molina C

Jeremy Guthrie (6-8, 3.58 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina (13-6, 3.26 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Orioles vs. Mussina
  • Roberts: 19-40, 6 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI
  • Jones: 1-1, 1 2B, 3 RBI
  • Markakis: 4-13, 2 2B, 2 RBI
  • Huff: 15-50, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  • Mora: 14-43, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI
  • Scott: 0-1
  • Millar: 17-39, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI
  • Hernandez: 5-19, 2 2B, 5 RBI
  • Castro: 2-5, 1 RBI
Yankees vs. Guthrie
  • Damon: 4-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Jeter: 3-11, 1 RBI
  • Abreu: 2-11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 2-11
  • Giambi: 2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Cano: 1-11, 1 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Cabrera: 5-10, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI
  • Molina: 1-2

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (58-46) begin a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (49-55) at Yankee Stadium tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., YES
Jeremy Guthrie
- RHP (6-8, 3.58 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina - RHP (13-6, 3.26 ERA)

Tomorrow - 7:05 p.m., YES
Daniel Cabrera
- RHP (6-6, 4.86 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner - RHP (5-7, 4.83 ERA)

Wednesday - 1:05 p.m., YES
Brian Burres
- LHP (7-7, 5.37 ERA) vs. Joba Chamberlain - RHP (3-3, 2.30 ERA)

A look at the standings

Here is an updated look at the American League East standings and the American League Wild Card standings:

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
61-43 --
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins
Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 5-1. They gained 1.5 games in the AL East standings and gained one game in the Wild Card standings.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sir Sidney's luck runs out

It was only a matter of time before Sidney Ponson lost a game for the Yankees. In fact, judging by his atrociously high WHIP (1.72), it's amazing the Yankees went 4-0 in his four starts before tonight.

Against a potent Boston Red Sox offense, Ponson gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs in four innings. The Yankees should consider themselves lucky that they got four wins out of Ponson and move on.

For the record, Jarrod Washburn allowed one run over eight innings against the Toronto Blue Jays today. After giving up nine earned runs to the Tigers on May 25, Washburn is 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 11 starts.

Washburn pitching in Toronto

There has been much talk that a possible Jarrod Washburn to the Yankees trade is imminent. However, as scheduled, Washburn is pitching for the Mariners in Toronto against the Blue Jays as we speak.

Sidney Ponson will face Jon Lester in the final game of the series tonight.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eight is great

The winning streak is now at eight games, as the Yankees bats did the talking this afternoon. After Joba Chamberlain out-pitched Josh Beckett last night, the Yankees scored 10 times and recorded 13 hits to defeat Boston for the second straight day.

Andy Pettitte gave up two runs in the first inning, but he settled down after that. He was given the lead in the fourth inning and didn't look back. He gave up three runs (one earned) over six innings, striking out seven and walking three.

Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera each had two hits, while Robinson Cano had three hits. This was his seventh multi-hit game in the eight games since the All-Star break. He hit his ninth home run and 22nd double of the season, driving three runs in in the process and taking his batting average up to .270.

Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte made their Yankee debuts this afternoon. Nady reached base twice (a walk and a hit by pitch) and Marte struck out David Ortiz, the only batter he would face, in a big spot in the seventh inning.

Jose Veras walked a batter and allowed a hit while only retiring one batter. However, Marte and Ramirez got out of the seventh inning without allowing a run. Ramirez went on to pitch a scoreless eighth and David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth to finish the game.

Sidney Ponson and Jon Lester will pitch the finale tomorrow night.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Game 103 Preview: Yankees at Red Sox

New York Yankees (57-45)
Boston Red Sox (60-44)
Johnny Damon DH
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Bobby Abreu RF
David Ortiz DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Manny Ramirez LF
Jason Giambi 1B
Mike Lowell 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
J.D. Drew RF
Xavier Nady LF
Jed Lowrie SS
Melky Cabrera CF
Coco Crisp CF
Jose Molina C
Kevin Cash C

Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.86 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.69 ERA)

Time: 3:55 p.m.
TV: Fox
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Wakefield
  • Damon: 16-53, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  • Jeter: 29-93, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI
  • Abreu: 6-22, 2 2B
  • Rodriguez: 20-71, 7 HR, 10 RBI
  • Giambi: 15-84, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • Cano: 9-31, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI
  • Nady: 0-1, 1 RBI
  • Cabrera: 2-6, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Molina: 2-11, 1 RBI
Red Sox vs. Pettitte
  • Pedroia: 6-20, 1 2B, 5 RBI
  • Youkilis: 7-16, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Ortiz: 13-39, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI
  • Ramirez: 32-74, 8 2B, 4 HR, 19 RBI
  • Lowell: 7-18, 1 2B, 5 RBI
  • Drew: 8-23, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI
  • Lowrie: No experience
  • Crisp: 6-18
  • Cash: No experience

Igawa removed from 40-man roster

According to Ed Price, the Yankees announced today they have removed Kei Igawa from the 40-man roster.

And get this: every team passed on him on the waiver wire! Other than the Yankees, the Padres were the only other team (last year) to believe he could contribute in any way, shape or form.

Igawa is still under contract through 2011.

Update - 2:55 p.m.: To make room for the new acquisitions, Brett Gardner was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and LaTroy Hawkins was designated for assignment.

The Yankees could have sent Justin Christian down, but a similar situation arose earlier this season when the Yankees called up Christian and left Gardner in the minors so as not to hinder his development. They are presumably doing the same thing this time around as well.

Nady/Marte trade reworked

The Yankees have sent Jeff Karstens and Dan McCutchen to the Pirates for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte instead of Phil Coke and George Kontos. Jose Tabata and Ross Ohlendorf are still in the trade as well.

I don't consider myself to be an expert on the minor leagues. However, I know that McCutchen has a higher upside than Coke and Kontos do. That said, the Yankees had to make this move if they were serious about contending this year.

Any way you slice it, it's a great trade for the Yankees. Not sure when Nady and Marte will be here. The lineups haven't been posted yet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Joba silences Red Sox bats

Seven innings, three hits, nine strikeouts, no walks. That was Joba Chamberlain's line against the Boston Red Sox in his first career start at Fenway Park. The Yankees defeated Boston 1-0 to win their seventh in a row. Chamberlain won his second game as a starter as well.

The Yankees recorded nine hits but left seven runners on base. Hopefully the acquisition of Xavier Nady can give the lineup a boost.

After Chamberlain needed 103 pitches to get through a career-high seven innings, Kyle Farnsworth came in and put two runners on base before being taken out. Mariano Rivera restored order, recording five outs for his 26th save of the season.

Robinson Cano went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to seven games but snapping his six-game multi-hit game streak.

Andy Pettitte and Tim Wakefield will start tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Nady and Marte for Tabata, Ohlendorf and two minor league pitchers

It's now being reported that the Yankees have traded Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Phil Coke and George Kontos for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. The Yankees haven't confirmed this and physicals need to be taken, but Nady was pulled from the Pittsburgh lineup, and Coke was pulled from his scheduled start tonight.

What the Yankees gave up

Tabata has been a highly-touted prospect since being signed a few years ago (I'm actually older than him by a couple of weeks), but he's had some behavioral issues and has been on the disabled list with a wrist injury since the beginning of the month. He has a .630 OPS in 294 at-bats with Double-A Trenton.

I've liked Ohlendorf since the Yankees acquired him in the Randy Johnson trade, but if the Yankees could get Nady and Marte without giving up players like Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy (for now) or Austin Jackson, they had to pull the trigger. Ohlendorf recently began starting again, and now it looks as if it were simply to showcase him.

I don't know much about Coke or Kontos. Coke is a 26-year-old lefty who was having a solid season for Double-A Trenton. He was recently called up to Triple-A. He struck out 109 batters while walking 38 in 114 1/3 innings for Trenton. Kontos is a 23-year-old righty. Pitching for Trenton, he posted a 3.77 ERA in 20 starts, striking out 103 and walking 43.

What the Yankees got

Nady, the Pirates' starting right fielder, is having a great year. He is batting .330 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI. He also has a .919 OPS. He's never had more than 431 at-bats in a season (he is already up to 327), so that is a bit of a concern. However, he provides the Yankees a solid right-handed bat from the corner outfield spot and force Brett Gardner back to the minors.

Marte wasn't as much of a need as some would lead you to believe. Historically, lefties don't hit well against him (.198 BAA vs. .241), but this season, lefties are hitting him at a .255 clip. Righties, on the other hand, are hitting .200 against him this season. If he can regain his dominance against lefties, he'd be a solid addition to this Yankees bullpen. Other numbers this season: he has struck out 47 batters in 46 2/3 innings while walking 16. He has allowed four home runs and 38 hits.

Tentative lineup

C: Jose Molina
1B: Jason Giambi
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
LF: Xavier Nady
CF: Melky Cabrera
RF: Bobby Abreu
DH: Johnny Damon

This trade probably signals the end of Hideki Matsui's and Jorge Posada's respective seasons.


Nady has $3.35 million due to him this season, a contract he signed during the off-season to avoid arbitration. Marte has a $6 million club option for 2009. He signed a two-year, $4.7 million extension in November 2006.

Yankees trade for Nady and Marte

According to Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll, Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte are on their way.

Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte have been traded to the New York Yankees, per John Perrotto. (Guess that meeting in Tampa went well!) We’ll have updates as soon as possible.

Update: Peter Abraham is reporting via his blog that Phil Coke, a pitcher at Double-A Trenton has been pulled from his game. It’s expected, but not confirmed, that he is one of the players headed to Pittsburgh. I’ve also just learned that Ross Ohlendorf and at least one other player, perhaps two, will be the cost of Nady and Marte.
This news is still breaking, so I'll have more details as they come in. I'll also offer more analysis later.

Game 102 Preview: Yankees at Red Sox

New York Yankees (56-45)
Boston Red Sox (60-43)
Johnny Damon LF
Jacoby Ellsbury LF
Derek Jeter SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Bobby Abreu RF
David Ortiz DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Jason Giambi 1B
Mike Lowell 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
J.D. Drew RF
Melky Cabrera CF
Jed Lowrie SS
Jose Molina C
Jason Varitek C
Brett Gardner LF
Coco Crisp CF

Joba Chamberlain (2-3, 2.52 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (9-6, 3.97 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Beckett
  • Damon: 7-28, 5 2B, 4 RBI
  • Jeter: 9-30, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Abreu: 11-59, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 9-31, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Giambi: 5-23, 2 HR, 7 RBI
  • Cano: 9-27, 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  • Cabrera: 8-27, 1 2B, 4 RBI
  • Molina: 1-7
  • Gardner: 0-2
Red Sox vs. Chamberlain
  • Ellsbury: 0-3
  • Pedroia: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Ortiz: 0-3
  • Youkilis: 2-2, 3 BB
  • Lowell: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Drew: 0-4
  • Lowrie: No experience
  • Varitek: No experience
  • Crisp: 0-2

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (56-45) begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox (60-43) at Fenway Park tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., MY9
Joba Chamberlain
- RHP (2-3, 2.52 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett - RHP (9-6, 3.97 ERA)

Tomorrow - 3:55 p.m., Fox
Andy Pettitte
- LHP (11-7, 3.86 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield - RHP (6-7, 3.69 ERA)

Sunday - 8:05 p.m., ESPN
Sidney Ponson
- RHP (6-1, 4.02 ERA) vs. Jon Lester - LHP (8-3, 3.20 ERA)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Robbie Cano! Don't ya know!?

Since the All-Star break, Robinson Cano has 14 hits in his last 27 at-bats. He has recorded a multi-hit game in each of his six games played since the break.

With this effort, Cano has raised his batting average to .265. While he's a long way away from his career average of .305, this is certainly an improvement from where Cano was for much of this season.

The Yankees are 6-0 since the break, and the fact that Cano has heated up has certainly helped, especially with Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui on the shelf. He has two home runs and seven RBI over this span.

None of this should come as a surprise. Cano is a career .340 post-All-Star break, but even then, Cano looked lost for a while.

Lucky 13

Mike Mussina recorded his 13th win of the season, as the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-1 Wednesday afternoon to sweep the three-game series.

Mussina pitched six shutout innings, striking out seven and scattering six hits. He is 13-6 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.26. Mussina also threw 73 of his 105 pitches for strikes.

Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera and Justin Christian each had two hits apiece, and Rodriguez and Christian both drove in two runs.

After LaTroy Hawkins decided he wanted to make the score closer in the ninth, Mariano Rivera came in for a one-out save, his 25th in as many chances.

With this win, the Yankees have won six games in a row overall and have won their 10 straight games at home. They are a season-high 11 games above .500

The Yankees will begin a three-game series at Fenway Park on Friday. Joba Chamberlain and Josh Beckett will take the hill for their respective teams.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Game 100 Preview: Twins at Yankees

Minnesota Twins (55-44)
New York Yankees (54-45)
Denard Span RF
Johnny Damon DH
Alexi Casilla 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Joe Mauer C
Bobby Abreu RF
Justin Morneau 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Kubel DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Delmon Young LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Brian Buscher 3B
Melky Cabrera CF
Nick Punto SS
Chad Moeller C
Carlos Gomez CF
Brett Gardner LF

Kevin Slowey (6-6, 4.26 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner (5-7, 4.97 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Twins vs. Rasner
  • Span: No experience
  • Casilla: 1-3
  • Mauer: 0-2
  • Morneau: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 3B
  • Kubel: 0-1
  • Young: 1-5
  • Buscher: No experience
  • Punto: 0-3
  • Gomez: 1-3
Yankees vs. Slowey
  • Damon: 1-2
  • Jeter: 1-2
  • Abreu: 1-2, 1 2B
  • Rodriguez: No experience
  • Giambi: No experience
  • Cano: 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Cabrera: 2-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Moeller: No experience
  • Gardner: No experience

Happy birthday to me

Today is my 20th birthday. How will I spend my day, you ask? I'll be chasing around six and seven year olds all day at camp.

Anyway, the Yankees are 12-5 on July 22 since 1988. Even with Darrell Rasner on the mound this evening, we have history on our side.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sir Sid escapes again

Sir Sidney Ponson's line against the Minnesota Twins tonight:

5.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

It amazes me how he continues to do this. In four starts as a Yankee this season, he has given up 28 hits and 11 walks in 22 2/3, yet the Yankees have won his first three starts and are in position to win again tonight.

It's not pretty - and the Yankees are scoring a ton of runs for him - so I'm still never too confident when he takes the hill. One day he'll run into a team of patient hitters who will take pitches and hit in the clutch. Until then, I'll obviously take all the wins we can get out of him.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Game 99 Preview: Twins at Yankees

Minnesota Twins (55-43)
New York Yankees (53-45)
Carlos Gomez CF
Johnny Damon DH
Alexi Casilla 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Joe Mauer C
Bobby Abreu RF
Justin Morneau 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Kubel DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Delmon Young LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Brian Buscher 3B
Melky Cabrera CF
Brendan Harris SS
Jose Molina C
Denard Span RF
Brett Gardner LF

Nick Blackburn (7-5, 3.65 ERA) vs. Sidney Ponson (5-1, 3.96 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Twins vs. Ponson
  • Gomez: No experience
  • Casilla: 0-3, 1 RBI
  • Mauer: 3-11, 1 RBI
  • Morneau: 3-13, 2 RBI
  • Kubel: 2-7, 1 RBI
  • Young: 5-10, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Buscher: No experience
  • Harris: 3-6, 1 2B
  • Span: No experience
Yankees vs. Blackburn
  • Damon: 1-3, 1 2B
  • Jeter: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Abreu: 1-2
  • Rodriguez: 1-2
  • Giambi: No experience
  • Cano: 0-2
  • Cabrera: 0-2
  • Molina: No experience
  • Gardner: No experience

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (53-45) begin a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins (55-43) at Yankee Stadium tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., YES
Nick Blackburn
- RHP (7-5, 3.65 ERA) vs. Sidney Ponson - RHP (5-1, 3.96 ERA)

Tomorrow - 7:05 p.m., YES
Kevin Slowey
- RHP (6-6, 4.26 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner - RHP (5-7, 4.97 ERA)

Wednesday - 1:05 p.m., YES
Glen Perkins
- LHP (7-2, 3.84 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina - RHP (12-6, 3.49 ERA)

Posada to the DL

This is the best news I've heard today: Jorge Posada has been placed on the disabled list and may need season-ending shoulder surgery.

I knew his four-year contract was ridiculous and that it could possibly hurt the team in two or three years. I once again found another way to be pessimistic, as it's hurt the team only months into it.

Posada's throws to second base have been laughable and his offensive production has been nonexistent.

It will hurt having Jose Molina's bat in the lineup everyday, but hopefully this will give Brian Cashman another reason to acquire a big bat. Melky Cabrera has struggled at the plate since April and Brett Gardner hasn't been hitting from the left field spot. The Yankees received a boost today with Johnny Damon coming off of the disabled list.

I'd give up Ian Kennedy for a big bat in a heartbeat if the right move came along. Cashman has been too attached to the farm system, so part of me is worried that he won't make such a move. If the Yankees are serious about contending, the lineup, as it stands, is not championship-caliber.

A look at the standings

I delve into the standings after all of the relevant Sunday games have been completed to track the Yankees' progress over the week that just ended.

Here is an updated look at the American League East standings and the American League Wild Card standings:

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 6-3. They gained 4.5 games in the AL East standings and gained one game in the Wild Card standings.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sweep city

The Oakland Athletics' offense might have had something to do with this, but Andy Pettitte pitched like an ace this afternoon, as the Yankees won 2-1 and swept the three-game series.

Pettitte (11-7) struck out nine, allowed four hits and one earned run and walked none over eight innings and 114 pitches. He also threw 68% of his pitches for strikes.

Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 and is now 8-for-14 in the three games since the All-Star break. His is a career .338 hitter after, so this shouldn't come as a shock. Jason Giambi also added two hits, including the go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie.

Mariano Rivera closed the door in the ninth for his 24th save of the season. There was a wild play in the ninth. With a runner on first, Bobby Abreu dropped a fly ball as he was fighting the sun. He then overthrew Derek Jeter at second base trying to force out Ryan Sweeney. Alex Rodriguez backed up the play and flipped to Jeter to force out Sweeney just in time.

With the victory, the Yankees sit at 53-45. This is the first time they are eight games over .500 this season. They will continue the homestand with a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins that starts tomorrow night.

Bring back Willie

It's time for Bobby Meacham to take a hike. Alex Rodriguez was out at home by at least 10 feet in the first inning.

The announcers are saying how great Ryan Sweeney's throw to the plate was. The fact is, however, that Rodriguez should not have been sent in the first place. The Yankees had a nice two-out rally going, and to see it end on the basepaths is awful.

Willie Randolph, aside from Larry Bowa, was the best third base coach in recent years. Time to bring him back, if he's willing to take the job.

Game 98 Preview: Athletics at Yankees

Oakland Athletics (51-46)
New York Yankees (52-45)
Mark Ellis 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Ryan Sweeney RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Bobby Crosby SS
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Emil Brown DH
Jason Giambi DH
Matt Murton LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Carlos Gonzalez CF
Wilson Betemit 1B
Rob Bowen C
Melky Cabrera CF
Donnie Murphy 3B
Jose Molina C
Jack Hannahan 1B
Brett Gardner LF

Justin Duchscherer (10-5, 1.82 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (10-7, 4.03 ERA)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Athletics vs. Pettitte
  • Ellis: 5-10, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • Sweeney: 9-31, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Crosby: 2-8
  • Brown: 2-9, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Murton: 4-17, 1 RBI
  • Gonzalez: 1-3, 1 RBI
  • Bowen: No experience
  • Murphy: No experience
  • Hannahan: 0-3
Yankees vs. Duchscherer
  • Jeter: 1-7
  • Abreu: 1-3
  • Rodriguez: 4-11, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  • Giambi: 5-7, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI
  • Cano: 0-4
  • Betemit: No experience
  • Cabrera: 0-3
  • Molina: 0-4
  • Gardner: No experience
Pregame concerns: Johnny Damon was eligible to be activated from the disabled list today, but the Yankees opted to give him at least another day of rest.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another "I'll take it" victory

The Yankees, despite recording 14 hits, barely scratched out a victory against the Oakland Athletics at the Stadium this afternoon.

They left 21 runners on base and very nearly lost after Mariano Rivera gave up the go-ahead run with the score tied in the ninth.

Here's how the ninth went: Jason Giambi led off with a walk. Justin Christian, who was pinch running for Giambi, fell down tripped while trying to steal second and was tagged out. Jorge Posada grounded out. Robinson Cano doubled to left-center. Wilson Betemit singled to left-center to score Cano.

In extra innings, the Yankees led off each inning with a single to center. However, they were only able to score on a Jose Molina bases loaded hit by pitch in the 12th inning.

Joba Chamberlain was solid again today, allowing one earned run over six innings while striking out six. He left with a 2-1 lead, but Jose Veras imploded in the seventh. He walked two and allowed two hits, but only one run scored.

Aside from Rivera allowing a run, Kyle Farnsworth, Edwar Ramirez (two innings pitched, four strikeouts) and David Robertson each had scoreless outings. Big congratulations go out to Robertson, as he recorded his first career Major League victory.

Cano was the hitting star. He went 4-for-6 with two runs scored. Derek Jeter, Betemit, Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner also had two hits apiece.

The Yankees will look to sweep the A's tomorrow afternoon. Andy Pettitte and Justin Duchscherer will square off at 1:05 p.m.

(AP Photo/Ed Betz)

Posada needs to have surgery

Jorge Posada is one bad throw away from costing the Yankees a win. If the Yankees were unable to tie the game in the ninth inning this afternoon, a Posada wide and short throw would have aided in a loss.

It's time to stop playing around with this. The guy is delusional enough to think he can still catch, and catch for three more years at that. He won't say to Joe Girardi that it's time to shut things down this season. The Yankees need to be proactive here.

This decision would be a lot easier if Jose Molina were hitting better, but they need to do something. Molina's arm is too good to be wasted, and Posada isn't hitting much better, either.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The beginning of the Sexson Era

The Yankees are 1-0 with Richie Sexson, as the Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 7-1 Friday night. See, he is already making a difference.

After Mike Mussina allowed three hits and one run in the first inning, Sexson quickly earned his pinstripes. He hit a two-out RBI single to center to tie the game. He finished 1-for-3 with one RBI, one walk and one strikeout.

After that, the Yankees rolled. Robinson Cano hit a two-out three-run home run in the third. Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez had two-out RBI hits in the fourth. Are you sensing a trend?

Abreu, Cano and Melky Cabrera had two hits. Rodriguez had three hits, including his 20th home run of the season and 538th of his career.

Mussina pitched six innings, allowing nine hits and one earned run. He struck out six and walked none en route to his 12th win of the season. He lowered his ERA to 3.49 in the process as well.

David Robertson, Edwar Ramirez and LaTroy Hawkins each pitched one perfect inning. Robertson struck out the side in the seventh.

The two teams will do it again tomorrow afternoon. Justin Duchscherer, tomorrow's scheduled starter, has been pushed back to Sunday. Sean Gallagher, originally slated for Sunday, will start tomorrow instead.

Game 96 Preview: Athletics at Yankees

New York Yankees (50-45)

Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Richie Sexson 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Jose Molina C
Brett Gardner LF

Greg Smith (5-7, 3.43 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina (11-6, 3.61 ERA)

Yankees vs. Smith

  • No Yankees have experience against Smith
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Pregame concerns: Billy Traber was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Sexson on the 25-man roster. Phil Hughes was also placed on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to when he was injured.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (50-45) begin a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics (51-44) at Yankee Stadium tonight. Tickets for all New York Yankees home games can be found online at Vivid Seats. Many games at Yankee Stadium during the final season have been sold out, but you can get in-demand tickets here. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., MY9
Greg Smith
- LHP (5-7, 3.43 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina - RHP (11-6, 3.61 ERA)

Tomorrow - 1:05 p.m., YES
Justin Duchscherer
- RHP (10-5, 1.82 ERA) vs. Joba Chamberlain - RHP (2-3, 2.62 ERA)

Sunday - 1:05 p.m., YES/TBS
Sean Gallagher
- RHP (4-4, 4.25 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte - LHP (10-7, 4.03 ERA)

I realize posting has been somewhat sparse over the last few days. I've been working at camp for the last three weeks and with the All-Star break this week, I figured I'd give myself a little break. Just think of me as Mike Mussina or Jason Giambi. I've performed well, but wasn't selected as an All-Star.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yankees sign Sexson

Everyone had to see this coming from a mile away.

The Yankees seem to be a haven for other people's junk, as they have reached a tentative agreement with former Mariners' first baseman Richie Sexson, according to Buster Olney.

Sexson, a right-handed hitter, is batting .218/.315/.381 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI. However, he is hitting .344 against lefties.

In 604 innings at first base this season, he has committed two errors.

He is certainly a better option than Wilson Betemit is. And if he doesn't work out, the Yankees only owe the prorated minimum salary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Papelbon continues to endear himself in the minds of New Yorkers

Jonathan Papelbon, a man who personifies class, is at it again.

This from Peter Abraham:

Yankees clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza said how impressed he was with the Red Sox players. A few of them asked to see Thurman Munson’s locker. “Those guys and Terry (Francona) have been incredibly respectful,” he said. “I didn’t really know them before this and they’ve been great.”

Then we have Jonathan Papelbon, who is wearing a sleeveless blue t-shirt with a drawing of a hand making an obscene gesture. Yes, that obscene gesture.
Do you think Mariano Rivera did something like that when the All-Star Game was in Fenway Park in 1999? Didn't think so.

I continue to hope someone hits a bomb off of him tonight.

Matsui suffers setback, scheduled to return to New York

Bad news for Hideki Matsui.

He did not hit today, as he experienced discomfort in his left knee, according to the AP. It was later found out that he will return to New York in the coming days to be examined by the Yankees' team doctor.

Meanwhile, on the Johnny Damon front: Damon's shoulder is still sore and still hasn't hit off a tee yet.

Surgery remains on option for Matsui. Hopefully Brian Cashman can wake up and make a move here, because a lineup without Matsui and Damon simply won't get things done.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rehab updates: Damon falls behind

The AP keeps us updated on the progressions of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Phil Hughes, Brian Bruney and Eric Milton.

  • Damon: His first hitting session off a tee was pushed back due to soreness in his injured shoulder. Damon said he had trouble sleeping last night.
  • Matsui: Matsui took batting practice on Saturday and Sunday. Today he worked out indoors, but he still hasn't started running yet. He will need to begin a running routine before he can play in rehab games.
  • Hughes: He threw 25 fastballs from the mound and 10 curveballs from 30 feet.
  • Bruney: He started for Double-A Trenton today. In one scoreless inning, he allowed a hit while throwing 15 pitches.
  • Milton: Recovering from Tommy John surgery, he is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session sometime tomorrow.

Red Sox running loose at the Stadium

Jonathan Papelbon has been running their mouths at the Stadium today. While it's nice having the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium this year, it really is a shame that the Red Sox had to participate in the World Series last season. Something about Terry Francona using the home manager's office really irks me.

Anyway, onto Papelbon. He believes that he, not Mariano Rivera, deserves to be the last American League pitcher.

“If I was managing the team, I would close. … But I’m not managing the team,” he said today.
While Francona using the office does bother me, at least he is all class and realizes what pitching Rivera last would mean.

I hope Papelbon gets shelled when he pitches. Hey, the Yankees aren't going to get to the World Series anyway.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And that concludes the first half

The final game of the first half of the season was emblematic of the first half as a whole. Mediocre starting pitching and no offense.

The Yankees were two outs away from getting shut out for the seventh time this season. Jason Giambi, mired in a 1-for-22 slump, went 2-for-4 with a home run in the ninth. With that run, the Yankees avoided a second complete game shutout in this series.

However, a loss is a loss, and the Yankees concluded the first half with a record of 50-45. The Rays have been struggling, as they head into the All-Star break on a seven-game losing streak. The Yankees' record over that time is 3-3.

Boston is now in first place, a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay and six games ahead of the Yankees.

At the All-Star break last season, the Yankees were 43-43 and nine games behind first-place Boston. Through 95 games last season, the Yankees were 49-46 and 7.5 games behind Boston.

The 2007 Yankees showed fight and had comeback ability. They also had a 19-game winner and a future hall of famer in the rotation. This year's team does not. It'll be interesting to see if they have a comeback in them.

Game 95 Preview: Blue Jays at Yankees

New York Yankees (50-44)
Toronto Blue Jays (46-48)
Derek Jeter SS
Joe Inglett CF
Bobby Abreu RF
David Eckstein DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Jason Giambi DH
Rod Barajas C
Jorge Posada C
Kevin Mench RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Scott Rolen 3B
Melky Cabrera CF
Adam Lind LF
Wilson Betemit 1B
Marco Scutaro 2B
Brett Gardner LF
John McDonald SS

Andy Pettitte (10-6, 3.93 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (9-8, 5.23 ERA)

Time: 1:07 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Burnett
  • Jeter: 6-17, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Abreu: 13-42, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 6-17, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI
  • Giambi: 3-12
  • Posada: 1-12
  • Cano: 2-11
  • Cabrera: 2-13
  • Betemit: 2-10, 1 2B
  • Gardner: No experience
Blue Jays vs. Pettitte
  • Inglett: No experience
  • Eckstein: 9-41, 1 2B, 4 RBI
  • Overbay: 1-18
  • Barajas: 1-5, 1 RBI
  • Mench: 6-16, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Rolen: 7-27, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  • Lind: 1-2, 1 2B
  • Scutaro: 0-3
  • McDonald: 5-10, 2 2B, 2 RBI

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The hitting returns

After getting two-hit by Roy Halladay last night, the Yankees scored nine runs and pounded out 11 hits to beat Jesse Litsch and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Derek Jeter led off with his 200th career home run. However, the Blue Jays would score four runs in the bottom of the first against Darrell Rasner who has been struggling after his May success.

The Yankees would then score eight runs in the next three innings to give them a comfortable 9-4 victory. Included in that outburst was Alex Rodriguez's 537th career home run, passing Mickey Mantle.

Rasner won his first start since June 18, going five innings and allowing four earned runs. He struck out six and walked one, throwing 108 pitches. The bullpen threw four scoreless innings and allowed only one baserunner (a walk by Kyle Farnsworth).

Brett Gardner went 2-2 with three RBI, two runs scored and two walks. He has struggled since being called up, so hopefully this can get him going. Melky Cabrera, Rodriguez and Jeter also had two hits apiece.

Jason Giambi's struggles have seemingly gone unnoticed in the wake of his All-Star bid. He has one hit in his last 22 at-bats with no home runs and two RBI.

Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett will square off in tomorrow afternoon's rubber game.

After the game, many Yankees players reflected on Bobby Murcer's passing. Manager Joe Girardi cried during his postgame comments and many others very visibly shaken.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Harris)

Bobby Murcer has died

It was just announced on the postgame that Bobby Murcer has lost his battle with brain cancer. he was 62.

Murcer has been a member of the Yankee family for years and will most certainly be missed. He was recently doing a book tour and was supposed to be in the booth when the Yankees were in Houston, but various health issues forced him to stay home.

It's very sad to know that we will never be able to hear his voice in the booth again.

Rest in peace, Mr. Murcer.

Rehabbing Yankees

The AP has an update on all of our favorite injured Yankees.

In summation:

  • Hideki Matsui: Took 55 swings and also hit off a tee for the fourth straight day. He will also take batting practice tomorrow.
  • Johnny Damon: Plans to hit off a tee on Monday, as he had treatment on his shoulder today.
  • Phil Hughes: Threw 25 pitches off the mound and is still targeting a September return.
  • Humberto Sanchez: Struck out two in a perfect inning of work for the GCL Yankees. A Rockies' scout was looking at Sanchez pitch, as the Yankees are interested in acquiring reliever Brian Fuentes.

Game 94 Preview: Yankees at Blue Jays

New York Yankees (49-44)
Toronto Blue Jays (46-47)
Derek Jeter SS
Joe Inglett RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Marco Scutaro 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Jason Giambi 1B
Matt Stairs DH
Jorge Posada DH
Brad Wilkerson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Scott Rolen 3B
Melky Cabrera CF
Adam Lind LF
Chad Moeller C
Gregg Zaun C
Brett Gardner LF
John McDonald SS

Darrell Rasner (4-7, 4.94 ERA) vs. Jesse Litsch (8-5, 4.01 ERA)

Time: 1:07 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Litsch
  • Jeter: 2-11, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Abreu: 1-9, 1 2B
  • Rodriguez: 3-8, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Giambi: 0-0, 1 RBI
  • Posada: 0-3
  • Cano: 2-9, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • Cabrera: 3-7, 1 3B, 1 RBI
  • Moeller: No experience
  • Gardner: No experience
Blue Jays vs. Rasner
  • Inglett: No experience
  • Scutaro: 0-2
  • Overbay: 0-3
  • Stairs: No experience
  • Wilkerson: No experience
  • Rolen: No experience
  • Lind: 1-3
  • Zaun: No experience
  • McDonald: 1-2, 1 3B, 1 RBI
Pregame concerns: Moeller is starting because Rasner is 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA when pitching to him. It's his first start behind the plate since June 2.

Final Stadium game to be on ESPN

According to Peter Abraham, ESPN has snatched up the final game at Yankee Stadium, moving it from 1:05 p.m. to 8:05 p.m.

This is obviously just an attempt to get ratings after the NFL season begins.

Hopefully the YES Network still broadcasts the pregame ceremonies because I'm sure they would do a much better job reaching the home fans than ESPN ever could. The last thing I want to hear is Jon Miller and Joe Morgan talking about their Yankee Stadium memories instead of people like David Cone and Paul O'Neill - you know, people that are actually relevant in recent Yankees lore.

Or hopefully I can get tickets and not care about what's shown on television.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yankees sign Eric Milton

The Yankees signed Eric Milton to a minor-league deal this afternoon, according to Ed Price.

Milton, who turns 33 next month, is still recovering from "Tommy John" surgery. He threw on flat ground today in Tampa, Fla., and is at least six weeks away from pitching in games.

"If he does anything to help us this year, that's fine," Cashman said. "We're just going to have a chance to get an advance look (for 2009)."
They couldn't get CC Sabathia or Rich Harden, so this is obviously the logical Plan C.

But seriously, some move that can benefit this team this season needs to be done if they're serious about contending.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (49-43) begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays (45-47) at Rogers Centre tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:07 p.m., MY9
Joba Chamberlain
- RHP (2-2, 2.45 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay - RHP (10-6, 2.88 ERA)

Tomorrow - 1:07 p.m., YES
Darrell Rasner
- RHP (4-7, 4.94 ERA) vs. Jesse Litsch - RHP (8-5, 4.01 ERA)

Sunday - 1:07 p.m., YES
Andy Pettitte
- LHP (10-6, 3.93 ERA) vs. Brian Tallet - LHP (0-1, 3.06 ERA)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yanks and Giambi lose

The Yankees did not look like they wanted to be in Pittsburgh tonight.

The offense was putrid: a bottom of the order containing Melky Cabrera, Jose Molina, Justin Christian and the pitcher's spot is just embarrassing. All things considered, it's a shock they scored two runs.

And as soon as the Yankees were able to tie the game at two runs apiece, Jose Veras gave it right back.

This loss snaps the Yankees four-game winning streak, despite scoring only 14 runs over that span. Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui need to get back as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Jason Giambi lost to Evan Longoria in the final vote contest. I guess the Support the 'Stache campaign wasn't enough. While it would have been great to see Giambi in the Home Run Derby contest, Longoria is also deserving of the All-Star nod.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Abreu walks off

Much-maligned Bobby Abreu hit a walk-off double that scored Derek Jeter in the 10th inning, as the Yankees won 2-1 and swept the Tampa Bay Rays in this brief two-game series.

As evidenced by the score, the Yankees offense struggled, only tallying seven hits. But they got a great start by Sir Sidney Ponson. He only allowed one run and five hits while striking out four and walking two in six innings. Starts like these from Ponson may be few and far between, so it's especially important that the Yankees take advantage.

Some negatives: Despite going 1-4, Melky Cabrera came up small in a big situation. With a runner on third with one out in the ninth, Cabrera struck out when all it took was a fly ball to win the game. The Yankees also left nine runners on base.

Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth pitched well once again, as each pitching one perfect inning. Mariano Rivera struck out four in two innings, as he picked up his fourth win of the season.

The Yankees will travel to Pittsburgh tomorrow to make up a rainout from June. They were winning 3-1 when the game was called, but since it was not an official game, the stats don't count.

The best article you'll read

Apparently John Sterling, the voice of the New York Yankees himself, has rather disgusting eating habits.

From the New York Post (via Deadspin):

YANKEES radio announcer John Sterling is being called out for foul behavior in the stadium's press dining room. "Sterling has made a habit of walking over to the dessert table and dipping his finger into the ice cream barrel," one stadium worker told us, adding that the play-by-play vet has also used the same tablespoon to repeatedly take samples.

During the Boston series, "He wandered over to the cake and pie section, broke off a piece of a cake slice, ate it and wiped his grimy hands on the linen tablecloth, leaving the remainder of the slice for someone else to eat - which indeed happened," our spy continued. A rep for WCBS Radio declined to comment, and a team spokesman said the Yankees "know nothing about it."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pettitte spins a gem

The only thing that was able to stop Andy Pettitte tonight was his pitch count.

Eight shutout innings against the frontrunning Tampa Bay Rays resulted in Pettitte throwing 114 pitches. Edwar Ramirez was able to pitch an easy ninth inning to secure the Yankees' third straight win by the score of 5-0.

Pettitte struggled against the Red Sox in his last start, giving up six runs in 4 2/3 innings, so it was obviously a positive to see him turn in a performance like this. He won his 10th game of the season, joining Mike Mussina in the double-digit victory club.

Bobby Abreu, who had been 0 for his last 15 went 2-for-4 with an RBI tonight. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Jose Molina and Jorge Posada all added two hits apiece as well. Maybe the team is starting to come out of their collective funk.

They'll do it against tomorrow afternoon. Sidney Ponson will take the hill as the Yankees look to sweep this brief two-game series.

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Melky is brutal

For someone playing as terribly as Melky Cabrera is, you HAVE to get the bunt down with runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth inning.

Instead, Cabrera struck out swinging - his third such strikeout of the game - on a pitch out of the zone. He is so lost right now.

It would have been great to see Johnny Damon paired with Brett Gardner in the outfield. Instead, they're stuck with Cabrera and his undisciplined bat.

Meanwhile, our captain, the immortal Derek Jeter, just grounded into his 13th double play. Yes, the two-run double was nice, but insurance would have been great as well.

Game 90 Preview: Rays at Yankees

Tampa Bay Rays (55-33)
New York Yankees (47-42)
Akinori Iwamura 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Carl Crawford LF
Derek Jeter SS
B.J. Upton CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Evan Longoria 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Dioner Navarro C
Wilson Betemit 1B
Willy Aybar DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Jonny Gomes RF
Jose Molina C
Ben Zobrist SS
Brett Gardner LF

Scott Kazmir (7-3, 2.62 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.22 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Rays vs. Pettitte
  • Iwamura: 3-17, 1 RBI
  • Crawford: 7-24, 1 RBI
  • Upton: 3-15, 2 RBI
  • Pena: 8-24, 2 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  • Longoria: 1-5, 1 2B
  • Navarro: 3-9, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Aybar: 1-5
  • Gomes: 8-19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Zobrist: 1-3
Yankees vs. Kazmir
  • Cabrera: 4-10, 1 2B
  • Jeter: 3-23, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Abreu: 3-9
  • Rodriguez: 2-18
  • Posada: 8-17, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  • Betemit: 0-3
  • Cano: 1-13, 1 RBI
  • Molina: 1-8
  • Gardner: No experience
Pregame concerns: Jason Giambi (2-16, 2 RBI) takes a seat against the lefty Kazmir.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hughes pushed back

Tucked away in a post against Brian Bruney's and Humberto Sanchez's rehab appearances for the GCL Yankees was this little nugget about Phil Hughes from Pete Caldera:

Today, Cashman said not to expect Phil Hughes in August (putting him on a September course with Wang).
I keep getting the feeling that we won't see Hughes (or Wang, for that matter) until February. Is anyone else also getting that impression?

By the way, Bruney struck out a batter and allowed a hit in one inning (18 pitches). And Sanchez struck out one, walked one and allowed one hit while throwing 13 pitches in his inning of work.

Support the 'Stache

According to Bryan Hoch, the Yankees are urging you to support the 'Stache, Jason Giambi, in the final vote contest for the All-Star Game.

Giambi will also autograph five balls and distribute them to people who voted for him.

"It's cool, definitely, to be a part of it and have the fans vote," Giambi said this week. "I had a bad first month, so if I was going to be on it, it was going to be close. That's the thing about playing on the All-Star team -- if you don't get voted in, there's a lot of guys who are having great years as well."
Evan Longoria is the early leader, according to Hoch, and the voting ends Thursday.

It'll be a lot of fun to watch Giambi in the Home Run Derby, but part of me also wants to see Longoria win the vote as well.

To vote, click here.

A look at the standings

I delve into the standings after all of the relevant Sunday games have been completed to track the Yankees' progress over the week that just ended.

Here is an updated look at the American League East standings and the American League Wild Card standings:

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
55-32 --
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
47-42 9.0
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics
New York Yankees
Texas Rangers
Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers
Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians
Seattle Mariners

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 3-4. They lost 3.5 games in the AL East standings and gained one game in the Wild Card standings.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'll take it

All it took was a little dribbler up the middle by Brett Gardner to split the four-game series against the Boston Red Sox.

Gardner, in his first game with Johnny Damon on the disabled list, went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored and his third stolen base of his short career. If he can get on base - which has been a struggle for him so far - he can prove to be a huge spark for the offense.

Joba Chamberlain had control issues for his second straight start, walking four in six innings and allowing three earned runs, the most he has allowed in the big leagues. He has now walked eight batters in his last 10 innings pitched.

The Yankees showed some fight after Joe Girardi was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. They were trailing 3-1 and 4-2, but eventually came back to tie the game when Robinson Cano hit a two-run triple.

The Yankees had a 1-0 lead after Alex Rodriguez hit his 536th home run, tying him with Mickey Mantle.

Kyle Farnsworth had another solid outing, and Mariano Rivera (3-3) threw two dominant innings, rebounding nicely from his struggles yesterday.

The Yankees will play two games against Tampa Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday. They currently are nine games behind them in the East standings.

Brewers grab Sabathia

It's a little less than four weeks away from the trading deadline, but the Milwaukee Brewers have traded for Cleveland Indians' ace C.C. Sabathia, according to ESPN.

The centerpiece of the deal going back to Cleveland is Double-A outifelder Matt LaPorta.

This may very well be a three-month rental, so the Brewers would get two draft picks if they offer him arbitration and another team (the Yankees?) signs him this offseason.

Game 89 Preview: Red Sox at Yankees

Boston Red Sox (52-38)
New York Yankees (46-42)
Jacoby Ellsbury LF
Brett Gardner LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Derek Jeter SS
J.D. Drew RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Mike Lowell 3B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Jason Giambi 1B
Sean Casey DH
Jorge Posada DH
Coco Crisp CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Julio Lugo SS
Melky Cabrera CF
Kevin Cash C
Jose Molina C

Tim Wakefield (5-6, 3.72 ERA) vs. Joba Chamberlain (2-2, 2.22 ERA)

Time: 8:05 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Red Sox vs. Chamberlain
  • Ellsbury: 0-1
  • Pedroia: 1-2, 1 2B
  • Drew: 0-2
  • Lowell: 2-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Youkilis: 0-0, 2 BB
  • Casey: No experience
  • Crisp: 0-1
  • Lugo: 0-1
  • Cash: No experience
Yankees vs. Wakefield
  • Gardner: No experience
  • Jeter: 28-90, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI
  • Abreu: 6-19, 2 2B
  • Rodriguez: 18-68, 6 HR, 9 RBI
  • Giambi: 15-82, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • Posada: 14-61, 4 2B, 3 HR, 14 RBI
  • Cano: 9-29, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI
  • Cabrera: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Molina: 2-9, 1 RBI

Damon to the DL

Johnny Damon has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career with the shoulder injury, according to Ed Price.

Justin Christian has been recalled, as he doesn't have to wait the requisite 10 days to rejoin the roster because he's replacing an injured player.

Damon will be eligible to return on July 20, but Brian Cashman said that it is 50-50 that he returns by then.

He is batting .319/.387/.470 so far with six home runs and 37 RBI. It'll be up to Brett Gardner to fill Damon's shoes.

2008 All-Star Rosters

The 2008 All-Star Game will be held July 15 at Yankee Stadium.

Here are both leagues' rosters:

American League Starters

C: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
1B: Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
3B: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
SS: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
OF: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
OF: Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
DH: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (Injured)

American League Reserves

C: Jason Varitek, Boston Red Sox
C: Dioner Navarro, Tampa Bay Rays
1B: Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
2B: Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
3B: Joe Crede, Chicago White Sox
INF: Carlos Guillen, Detroit Tigers
SS: Michael Young, Texas Rangers
OF: Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox
OF: J.D. Drew Boston Red Sox
OF: Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
OF: Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers

American League Pitchers

Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay Rays
George Sherrill, Baltimore Orioles
Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox
Justin Duchscherer, Oakland Athletics
Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins
Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals
Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians
Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Joe Saunders, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

American League Final Vote Candidates

Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox
Jason Giambi, New York Yankees
Jose Guillen, Kansas City Royals
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles

National League Starters

C: Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs
1B: Lance Berkman, Houston Astros
2B: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
3B: Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
SS: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins
OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
OF: Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
OF: Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago Cubs

National League Reserves

C: Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves
C: Russell Martin, Los Angeles Dodgers
1B: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
1B: Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres
2B: Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins
3B: Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
SS: Cristian Guzman, Washington Nationals
SS: Miguel Tejada, Houston Astros
OF: Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies
OF: Ryan Ludwick, St. Louis Cardinals
OF: Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh Pirates

National League Pitchers

Aaron Cook, Colorado Rockies
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks
Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs
Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks
Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs
Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants
Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds
Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs
Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies
Billy Wagner, New York Mets

National League Final Vote Candidates

Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies
Corey Hart, Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Lee, Houston Astros
Aaron Rowand, San Francisco Giants
David Wright, New York Mets

Your thoughts?

My first thought is: why was Jason Varitek and his .661 OPS included as an American League reserve? What a joke. I hope he doesn't play.

I'm also disappointed that Mike Mussina wasn't selected. His 11 wins certainly was deserving of a spot.

All-Star selection

The 2008 All-Star selection show will be airing live on TBS at 2:00 p.m.

If you remember back to last year, ESPN released the rosters before TBS' broadcast, and Major League Baseball responded by taking away ESPN's credentials at the 2007 All-Star Game.

Hopefully something similar happens this year (though I'm sure ESPN has learned its lesson), because the Home Run Derby will be annoying enough with Michael Kay being the stadium announcer. We don't need Chris Berman and his endless "backs" as well.

I'll post the roster as it's released.

Kennedy struggles in AAA

Ian Kennedy pitched two innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before rain forced the game to be called.

When he was pitching, he wasn't pitching well. He allowed one run on two extra-base hits (a home run and a double), walked two batters and didn't strike anyone out.

Tim Bontemps has quotes from a scout on hand:

"He wasn't very good," said a scout who saw the game. "His velocity was 87-90, and his fastball was straight. He didn't have good command, and his curve was loopy and it hung a lot, but he had a plus change."

"To me it didn't look like a rehab start, and (then) you'll put him back," the scout said. "He's got to work his way back up. . . . His command is what makes him what he is, and you'd like to see the velocity pick up a little. I'd like to see some more sharpness on the breaking pitch, and a little better command."
We know that Kennedy is just one of the "other 175 players in the minors," so he will not be getting any preferential treatment. As such, starts like these - even though it didn't count in the books - are troublesome.