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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cashman signs three-year contract extension

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has signed a three-year contract extension to remain with the team through the 2011 season.

Peter Abraham has a statement from Cashman himself:

“I know I’ve said it before, but it’s an incredible opportunity and honor to hold the title of general manager for the New York Yankees. With it comes a great responsibility to ownership, the people who wear the uniform and our fan base. I’ve got a job to finish here. That’s the bottom line.

“I consider coming off a season where we didn’t reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993 as a personal challenge. I’ve never been one to run from a challenge, and I look forward to having the chance to go after this thing again.”
Cashman apparently can stand working for Hank Steinbrenner after all.

He has his own philosophy on how to run a team and will certainly be a level-headed voice in the front office to go along with Hal Steinbrenner. With a lot of money coming off the payroll at the end of this season, Cashman can fill up many of the holes that plagued the 2008 team. Whether or not he makes the right decisions, however, remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts on Cashman's return?

One yellow light and one blue light

Found this hilarious video at The Launching Pad this morning. The Yankees should add him to the booth next year. He can't be any worse than Michael Kay, can he?

Monday, September 29, 2008

And so the Hot Stove Season begins

Above you can see what CC Sabathia, Manny Ramirez, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett would look like as Yankees (I'm so smart!).

The 2008 Yankees cleaned out their lockers today, and at least a few of them will not be on the 2009 squad. I would not be shocked if, for better or worse, we see at least two of the above on the team next year.

Which free agents would you like to see here next year?

The next Carl Pavano

Did anyone see the St. Louis Cardinals re-up Kyle Lohse for four years and $41 million (plus a no-trade clause) this afternoon and shake their head? Talk about cashing in after a career year.

The 30-year-old right-hander (in five days) went 15-6 with a 3.78 ERA. The wins and ERA were both career highs, and he has not won more than nine games in a season since 2005. He will make $7.125 million next year, $8.875 million in 20010 $11.875 million in 2011 and 2012.

This seems very similar to Carl Pavano's free-agent contract with the Yankees. Pavano won 18 games and had a 3.00 ERA with the 2004 Florida Marlins. He had not won more than 12 games in a season prior to that, and obviously hasn't since. He's actually recorded nine wins in five years.

Buyer beware.

Rivera to have surgery next week

Mariano Rivera will undergo shoulder surgery on Oct. 6.

The 39-year-old closer didn't pitch much in September, but he was able to pitch the final three outs in Yankee Stadium's history and was able to preserve Mike Mussina's 20th win this season.

He pitched 70 2/3 innings this season, notching 39 saves, striking out 77 and walking six.

Thank you

I saw Patrick at YanksBlog thank his readers, and I'd be remiss if I didn't do the same.

I wouldn't keep doing this if people weren't reading, so I'd like to thank everyone from the bottom of my blogging heart.

This year didn't go as planned as far as the Yankees' play on the field is concerned, but it doesn't mean that the blogging year was bad. I can't wait for the hot stove season to begin, and hopefully we'll be telling a different story next Sept. 29.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And with that, 2008 comes to a close

With the Yankees 4-3 extra-innings loss tonight in Boston, the 2008 comes to a close. It's fitting, in a way, that this wasted season ended in a loss. That is now eight straight seasons that have ended in a loss, but who's counting?

The final record is 89-73, eight games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and six games behind the Boston Red Sox in the wild-card. I predicted the Yankees would go 90-72 and make the playoffs as wild-card winners. Oops. I also predicted Jason Giambi would have under 15 home runs. Oops again. At least I said Melky Cabrera would hit under .280 and Robinson Cano would have less than 50 walks.

One thing I'm sure of is that there is always baseball news in this city even in the dead of winter. That's good news for you and me. So keep checking in. This off-season could be the most eventful one in recent memory.

Mussina wins 20th

For the first time in his 18-year career, Mike Mussina won his 20th game of the season. he pitched six shutout innings, leaving his season ERA at 3.37 at the age of 39.

This removes an "almost" from Mussina's career, as he had won 19 games on two previous occasions.

It seemed that Joe Girardi and the Yankees badly wanted this game. After the bullpen allowed two runs in the eighth inning, Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera with two outs. Rivera, as you know, will probably have surgery done on his shoulder.

Congratulations, Mr. Mussina. It's been a heck of a season.

AP Photo

Goodbye(?) to Shea

While we don't know if today will be the last day of Shea's existence, I figured I'd talk about my memories (unlike Andrew Vazzano) of the blue monstrosity that is on the way to Kennedy Airport.

Believe it or not, I actually attended my first baseball game there. I was young, didn't pay attention to the game, was distracted by all of the airplanes and wanted food from every vendor that passed by. I'm sure my parents were thrilled.

I'd say I've been to seven or eight games there. While it's not my team's ballpark, it will be missed. Unlike Yankee Stadium, however, this is a necessary move.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Vazzano will be liveblogging away during today's pivotal game. Check it out and be nice. He knows where I sleep.

Post: Cashman wants to return

From George King:

While Brian Cashman remained mum about his future, the buzz smothering the Yankees' universe yesterday focused on the GM telling the Steinbrenner family he wants to return.

An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow.

"Sooner than later," Cashman said with a smile when asked about reaching a decision.
Hopefully Cashman has learned from his mistakes of last off-season. He'll have a lot of money to play with once the season ends.

I'm sure he's a disappointed as anyone with the way this season has panned out. He was very much invested in the success of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. While no one could have predicted their failures and injuries this year, the fact that Johan Santana is pitching complete game shutouts for the Mets will always loom over his head.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rookies dress up as Village People

Update - 6:55 p.m.: Cervelli, Miranda, Sanchez, Aceves

The Yankees hazed their rookies after today's scheduled game was rained out. They made them dress up as the Village People on the way back to the team hotel, according to Bryan Hoch.

Brett Gardner donned a construction vest and jeans, Alfredo Aceves became a screaming Indian chief and Francisco Cervelli was the leather-clad biker. Juan Miranda (police officer) and Humberto Sanchez (sailor) found different uniforms, and David Robertson was a cowboy -- six-shooter and all.
It doesn't seem like the Yankees tortured their rookies as much as the White Sox tortured Lance Broadway, for example.

I haven't found any pictures yet, but I'll add them to this post once I do.

AP Photo

Day-night doubleheader tomorrow in Fenway

The Yankees and Red Sox will close out the regular season with a day-night doubleheader tomorrow, beginning at 1:35 p.m.. The night game is scheduled to begin at 7:35 p.m., weather permitting.

Mike Mussina, who is going for his 20th win, will pitch the day game. Sidney Ponson will then close out the Yankees season in Game 2.

Jeter to be shut down

Derek Jeter will not play in the final two games of the season due to a sore hand.

Jeter finishes his season with an even .300 batting average. Compared to his last few years, his numbers were down in every major offensive category. He didn't score 100 runs for the first time since 2003 when he only played in 119 games (though that its a product of the rest of the lineup's inconsistency).

His season seemed to take a turn for the worse after getting hit by the Orioles Daniel Cabrera in May. Though Jeter won't admit to it, it certainly had a negative effect on his performance.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Familiar score

Oct. 16, 2004: A date which will live in infamy

When I got back to my room last night and saw the Yankees won 19-8 against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in the fall, I was spooked.


That terrible score.

Kevin Kernan stole my thunder (I don't want to be accused of plagiarism), saying the Red Sox have won two world championships and the Rays have won the division since. Congratulations are in order for the latter. With the Red Sox loss, the Rays clinched the division. The Yankees, on the other hand, have not gotten out of the first round of the playoffs and will even miss the playoffs altogether this year. Soon after, they announced plans to build a new Yankee Stadium.

Since then, the world has flipped on its axis. Hopefully with this meaningless September victory against garbage pitching, the world will flipped back.

Photographed by: Damian Strohmeyer

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mariano update: Leaning toward surgery

From Peter Abraham:

Just spoke to Mariano Rivera. He has been been pitching with a sore shoulder all season. There is inflammation and calcification. He has been given two options: a series of injections and rehab or surgery. He has not made a decision but seems to be leaning toward the surgery.
It's interested that he's been pitching with a sore shoulder all season. He's had one of his finest years at the age of 38.

If he goes through with the surgery, it's expected to be minor surgery to remove bone chips. Anything involving the shoulder, however, could be cause for concern.

New links at the end of each post

If you view my posts on the homepage and not on an RSS reader, you may have noticed the addition of links underneath the tags on each post (BallHype, StumbleUpon and Digg).

If you are a member of any of those three sites and you enjoy a specific post, don't be afraid to submit it. People who may not know about my site could be interested in something I write (shocking, I know).

Also, if you're a member of any of those sites, send friend requests my way! I'm ajfletcher on BallHype, scottproctorsarm on StumbleUpon and ajfletcher on Digg.

Girardi lied?

That's what the beat writers seem to think.

Here's the deal: Joe Girardi told the writers before yesterday's game that Mariano Rivera went home for his annual physical at the end of the season. That seems suspicious because it was in the middle of a road trip. The writers then called Brian Cashman, who said that Rivera had been complaining of soreness and went home to get an MRI done.

Is this really a big deal? I don't think so.

The way I look at it is simple: The man wanted to appear in the final games at Yankee Stadium and didn't want to tell anyone of his injuries for fear of being shut down. This is the same situation as Andy Pettitte's. He wanted to pitch the final game at Yankee Stadium also, and now his season is over.

Despite being mathematically alive in the playoff race for most of September, the Yankees haven't had much to play for since losing the home series against Boston at the end of August. Rivera and Pettitte both wanted to go out there and battle, despite whatever injuries they may or may not have had.

Isn't medical information supposed to be private, after all?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thanks once again, Carl

3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HRA

Unlike Phil Hughes, Carl Pavano did not leave a good last impression.

In total, Pavano pitched 145 2/3 in four years as a Yankee.

Mariano gets shoulder examined

Mariano Rivera was sent home today to get an MRI done on his pitching shoulder. He had been complaining about soreness, according to Ed Price.

"It doesn't seem like it's major," Cashman said. "Just because of who it is and where we are in the standings, we said, 'Let's get it looked at.' "
Rivera waited until the Yankees were eliminated before he brought it to the team's attention. What a team player.

Results from the MRI won't be known until sometime tomorrow. Rivera is expected to rejoin the team in Boston, also tomorrow.

Carl Pavano: Thanks for the memories

Carl Pavano will make his final start of the season tonight, presumably signaling the end of his tumultuous time in New York. Pavano, pitching for a contract (he has a $13 million option (Ed. note: HAHA!)), is 4-1 with a 4.99 ERA in six starts. I doubt the Yankees will bring him back.

Pavano signed a four-year, $39.95 million deal in December 2004. I'll spare you the gory details because we all know what happened after. I do think that it's amazing that Pavano will not make one postseason appearance with the Yankees, however.

The deal cannot be looked at as a mistake. Hindsight is 20/20 (maybe 20/15 if you have superior vision), and there's no way of knowing that this situation would happen. Many teams were interested in Pavano's services that off-season, after all.

If anything, this situation is unfortunate and symbolic of the Yankees organization since 2000. You obviously have to fault him for the concealed rib injury stemming from a car accident, but things could have been different if he had his elbow surgery sooner, as stated in an ESPN the Magazine article a few weeks back.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Discussion: What to do with Abreu?

With Bobby Abreu's 10th inning grand slam last night, he reached 20 home runs and is one RBI short of 100. If he gets to 100 RBI, that would give him six consecutive seasons of reaching that mark. At the age of 34, that is wonderful production.

But is it enough to bring him back next season?

As we all know, Abreu is terrible in right field. When Yankees fans were allowed on the field on Sunday, I read some people joking about how they got closer to the wall than Abreu ever has. While hyperbole, there is some truth to that statement.

Abreu made $16 million this season, and with his numbers this season, he'll most likely try to get a similar, multi-year contract this off-season. While his numbers are solid, he's never seemed to take the team on his back and lead them to victories.

Do you give Abreu a two-year contract? Do you sign Manny Ramirez and move Xavier Nady to right field? Let's hear it in the comments.

Personally, I'd love Ramirez in this lineup assuming he'd want to come to New York. His half-season in Los Angeles has seemed to revitalize him and he would be dangerous hitter near Alex Rodriguez. To save money, I wouldn't mind Brett Gardner starting in center with Johnny Damon if left (he'd need to learn how to hit a the big league level), but you know the Yankees will try to make the big splash.

AP Photo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hughes finally pitches well

Phil Hughes had one of the best starts of his major-league career tonight, going eight innings, striking out six (71 percent of his pitches were for strikes) and giving up two earned runs. The eight innings were a career-high.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, Hughes ended 2007 on a high note as well. His best start post-injury last year was his last start on Sept. 27 when he gave up one earned run in seven innings against the-then Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He then pitched well in relief against the Indians in the ALDS. But we know how he began this year.

On the other hand, this does Yankees fans a good last impression of Hughes heading into the off-season. The velocity is still a question mark (he hit 92 mph only twice according to MLB Gameday), but the fact that he was able to get through eight innings in 100 pitches is certainly a positive.

Hopefully he'll get off to a better start next season, as he has another year of experience and adversity under his belt.

AP Photo

Pettitte shut down

Andy Pettitte won't make his final start of the season, according to Kat O'Brien. Pettitte, who was scheduled to start on Saturday, said his left shoulder has been "barking." He had an MRI done at the beginning of the homestand and nothing was found to be structurally wrong, O'Brien said.

Pettitte finishes the season going 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA. The 14 losses are a new career-high.

The question is, did Pettitte throw his last career pitch on Sunday?

1995 vs. 2008

As we all know, the Yankees are going to miss the playoffs for the first time since the 1995 season.

Here are some differences between 1995 and 2008:

Gasoline: In 1995, gas cost 88 cents. Today, the average cost of a regular gallon of gas in New York is $3.778.

President: Bill Clinton was finishing up his first term as Commander-in-Chief in 1995. Today, George W. Bush is finishing up his second term as President.

Stadium: Yankee Stadium would go on to have 13 more years of life after the 1995 season. Today, Yankee Stadium is closed forever.

Championships: The Yankees had 22 championships in their history through 1995. Through 2008, they have 26.

School: In September 1995, I began second grade. In August 2008, I began my junior year in college.

Movies: The highest-grossing film in 1995 was Toy Story. Its 2008 counterpart is The Dark Knight.

If there's anything you'd like to add, add it in the comments section.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moose wins 19th on E-Day

Mike Mussina won his 19th game of the season tonight, pitching five shutout innings while striking out six and allowing four runs. His season ERA is down to 3.47. He is scheduled to start on Sunday in Boston on the last day of the season.

This at least gives us something to root for after the Yankees got eliminated from playoff contention tonight.

In a way, I'm happy the Red Sox got this over with early. If they dragged this on longer and longer, I'd get my hopes up. The last thing I wanted was to set myself up for disappointment.

AP Photo

Party's over

Boston won their game tonight, mathematically eliminating the Yankees from playoff contention for the first time since the Yankees won the wild-card in 1995.

Oh what a ride it's been.

Hank puts his foot in his mouth yet again

Neil Best has excerpts of Hank Steinbrenner's latest column:

— On revenue sharing: “That’s a system I don’t particularly like. It’s a socialist system, and I don’t agree with it. Does it work? It depends on your point of view. But is it right? Is it even American? I’d argue no on both of those points.”

— On the divisional setup: “… If you want to talk about things that infuriate me about the game today, revenue sharing doesn’t top the list. The biggest problem is the divisional setup in major league baseball. I didn’t like it in the 1970s, and I hate it now. Baseball went to a multidivision setup to create more races, rivalries and excitement. But it isn’t fair. You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we’re not. This is by no means a knock on Torre — let me make that clear—but look at the division they’re in. If L.A. were in the A.L. East, it wouldn’t be in the playoff discussion. The A.L. East is never weak.”

— On Joe Torre: “I’m happy for Joe, but you have to compare the divisions and the competition. What if the Yankees finish the season with more wins than the Dodgers but the Dodgers make the playoffs? Does that make the Dodgers a better team? No.”

— On his case for the divisional setup not being good for the game: “Go back to the 2006 season. St. Louis winning the World Series — that was ridiculous. The Cardinals won their division with 83 wins — two fewer than the Phillies, who missed the postseason. People will say the Cardinals were the best team because they won the World Series. Well, no, they weren’t. They just got hot at the right time. They didn’t even belong in the playoffs. And neither does a team from the N.L. West this season.”

— On the media: “The divisional setup is not right by any definition of logic. But the sports media rarely deals with logic —so you never read about this.”
This is coming from a man who had "better things to do" than to attend the last game in Yankee Stadium. That alone ruins any credibility Steinbrenner had. It's obvious that Hal is the one who is really in charge and that the media shouldn't run to Hank for answers.

I'll let the words speak for themselves and not try to analyze whatever point he's trying to make.

Update - 9:00 p.m.: Apparently, Hank watched the final game with his father in Tampa. That excuse will suffice. I still believe that Hal is really the one who is in charge.

LEGO Yankee Stadium

Sculptor Sean Kenney (via NJ.com) has been working on a LEGO replica of Yankee Stadium for a couple of years now. The website has pictures from various angles.

This is probably one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.

Photo credit: SeanKenney.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

The next YES classic moment

Enjoy this video of Derek Jeter's speech to Yankees fans after the final game at Yankee Stadium.

I've seen the lights go out on Yankee Stadium

Goodnight, goodbye and thanks. I wish this game never ended.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yankees close out the Stadium in style

Jose Molina hit the final home run in Yankee Stadium history. Andy Pettitte recorded the final victory in Yankee Stadium history. Mariano Rivera was on the mound for the final out. Everything pretty much went as planned tonight.

It was important for the Yankees to win this game, and they did just that, defeating Chris Waters and the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

The pregame ceremonies almost made the game seem like a formality. Bernie Williams made his return to the Stadium and received a thunderous ovation. It was also great to see the other Yankees greats get announced and take part in the ceremonies.

Derek Jeter addressed the crowd after the game ended and admitted he was extremely nervous. The team then did a lap around the Stadium similar to the 1996 World Series celebration.

There isn't much more to be said about tonight. It's a very emotional time to be a Yankee fan and it's surreal to think that the lights will go out after tonight.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The final lineup

The following post will be a trivia question for years to come, just like the first lineup Bob Sheppard announced.

These are the lineups for the final game in Yankee Stadium history:

New York Yankees

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Giambi 1B
Xavier Nady LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jose Molina C
Andy Pettitte LHP

Baltimore Orioles

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Melvin Mora 3B
Aubrey Huff DH
Ramon Hernandez C
Adam Jones CF
Kevin Millar 1B
Jay Payton LF
Juan Castro SS
Chris Waters LHP

Savor this game. We'll never see another one like it. Please win, Yankees. That's all I'm asking.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Stadium is worth a thousand memories

Tomorrow is the day that's been circled on all of our calendars since the tentative schedule came out last off-season: the last regular season game in Yankee Stadium history.

It's an emotional day, sure, but it also signals the beginning of a new era of Yankees baseball. The dynasty years are long gone and the "very good" teams have become a memory as well. This team will miss the playoffs for the first time since clinching the wild-card in 1995. It's almost fitting that this current run is going down with the Stadium.

But let's forget about the way the team played this season. It's time to remember all of the good times we've had in this building: the thrilling regular season games, the countless postseason games, the great individual performances witnessed. We all have our stories and memories. I can remember the upper deck shaking after Alfonso Soriano's walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2001 ALCS. I can also remember my first time in the building in 1997.

Hopefully Andy Pettitte will pitch eight shutout innings and Mariano Rivera will close out a victory. Hopefully Derek Jeter goes 3-for-3 and makes one of his "Jeterian" defensive plays.

It's sad that the Stadium has to go, but it has seen better days. It's time for the sun to shine on the new Stadium now.

Thanks for the memories, Yankee Stadium.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Friday, September 19, 2008

White Sox rookie hazing

An exercise in citizen journalism:

Last night, I decided to hang around Yankee Stadium as long as possible to cherish every moment of it. After staying in the building for 20 minutes after the game ended, I ventured to the player's exit. I saw some recognizable faces: John Sterling, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Al Leiter, Joba and Harlan Chamberlain, Javier Vazquez, Mark Buerhle, etc.

After a while, more White Sox players started coming out, dressed in suits for their plane ride. All of a sudden players dressed in various costumes came out. I immediately realized it was rookie hazing, similar to last year's Wizard of Oz costume party.

Anyway, this is Lance Broadway, a right-handed pitcher who pitched 1 2/3 innings last night:

The only other rookie whom I was able to recognize was Alexei Ramirez. He was dressed like a U.S. Track & Field athlete. As he was putting his luggage under the coach bus, he clocked his head on the door. If he's out of the lineup tonight, you now know why.

Other rookies were dressed as Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies and Raggedy Anne.

Photo by Andrew Fletcher

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Off to Yankee Stadium

I will be heading to my final game at Yankee Stadium in about an hour or so. I have mixed feelings about the new stadium, so I'm not sure how I'll feel tonight. The team's performance this season has certainly made me more apathetic regarding the whole situation. That said, it'll definitely be strange walking out of there for the last time tonight.

I guess later on in my life, it'll be fun to look back and say I saw games in the original building.

Tonight, when I'm standing on long lines for concessions or the bathroom, I'll be looking ahead to next season (assuming I can muster up enough money to attend games in the new place). I'll just hope my tickets aren't for section 239.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Typical Hughes

Phil Hughes made his first start since April 29, and his performance tonight was similar to his performances prior to his mysterious rib injury.

In four innings tonight, Hughes threw 89 pitches (57 strikes) while allowing four hits, one earned run and two walks (four strikeouts).

Inefficiency has been Hughes' game when he's been on the mound. On April 8, Hughes threw 87 pitches in three innings. He followed up that start with a 65-pitch, two-inning outing on April 13. Then on April 29, Hughes threw 82 pitches in 3 2/3 innings.

A positive to take from tonight was that his hits, runs and walks were all down. Prior to tonight's game, Hughes had surrendered 34 hits, 22 earned runs and 13 walks in 22 innings.

This is something the Yankees will need to work on with their young starters during the spring. Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain have also had high-pitch, low-inning starts. The difference is that Chamberlain has shown the ability to get big strikeouts when he needs to, while Kennedy and Hughes nibble around the strike zone. This eventually drives up their pitch counts while not going deep into games.

My biggest fear is that Hughes will not amount to what the Yankees thought he'd be. He is still very young and could prove to be a reliable starter, but the jury is still out.

Oh, the Yankees won tonight, by the way.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

2009 schedule released

We've been thinking about next season for a while, and Yankees.com has finally caught up.

The 2009 schedule was released today, with the Yankees opening the season on April 6 in Baltimore. They will open the new stadium on the 16th against Cleveland.

In addition to playing the Mets the normal six times, they will face the four other NL East opponents in May and June.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Congratulations to Derek Jeter for breaking Lou Gehrig's record for hits at Yankee Stadium tonight. His first-inning single was his 1,270th hit in the Stadium.

I just wish he waited until Thursday to hit it, seeing as I'll be there for my final time. Oh well.

Three more years!

Neil Best bring us the news that Michael Kay has signed a new three-year contract to remain with YES through 2011.

Why must we continue to be tortured?

I know the team stinks, but the broadcasts shouldn't as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

From the "too little, too late" department

From Peter Abraham:

Joe Girardi pulled Robinson Cano out of the game today in the fifth inning after his latest half-speed effort in the field.

“Your job is to play hard,” said Girardi, who indicated that Cano might not be in the lineup tomorrow against the White Sox.
Too bad this didn't come when it mattered.

Also from the same department: This afternoon, Alex Rodriguez had his fourth game with at least three RBI this month. Derek Jeter is 48-for-119 in his last 29 games played. But he tied Lou Gehrig for the most hits in Yankee Stadium, so I guess that's something nice. He'll have seven games to try and pass him.

Again, too bad this didn't come when it mattered.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Doubleheader Saturday

Just a reminder: if you had tickets to last night's game, they are to be used for TONIGHT's game at 7:05 and not for the first game this afternoon.

Game 1 will have Mike Mussina matched up against James Shields. Game 2 has the venerable Sidney Ponson facing Matt Garza.

For those who will have to attend tonight's game, I'm sorry.

Friday, September 12, 2008

September to forget

Hello again. It's been a few days, I know. I really just haven't had the motivation to write anything about the Yankees. It's the old "they don't care, I shouldn't care" scenario.

Ever since the last Boston series at home, I've barely watched any games. It's not that I'm a bad fan or anything. I just feel that I have better things to do than waste three or four hours out of my day to watch a lost cause. The last thing I want to see is Darrell Rasner, Sidney Ponson or Andy Pettitte stinking it up down the stretch. I don't want to watch Alex Rodriguez continue to prematurely age me. And I certainly don't want to watch Robinson Cano sleepwalk through his contract.

These last few weeks have certainly been different for me. Usually if I'm unable to watch the games, I compulsively send text messages to Google to find out the score. But now if I see the score of the game it's because I reverted back to my old ways for a few brief moments.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the first game of the final homestand in Yankee Stadium history was rained out tonight. This season as a whole has been dreary, so this is just par for the course.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yankees go down swinging, at least

And I'm not talking about swinging the bats, because we all know that's not going to happen.

Carl Pavano lost for the first time since 2005 and the Yankees only recorded six hits against Jon Garland and his 6.64 ERA.

At least the Yankees aren't teasing us with playing well after all seems lost. I was afraid that was going to happen.

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Monday, September 8, 2008

A look at the standings

Want to laugh (or cry, depending on your outlook) this morning. Let's take a look at the standings update:

AL East

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

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees 76-67

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 4-3. They gained (!) 2.5 games in the AL East standings and gained 1.5 games in the wild-card standings.

The Rays' magic number to eliminate the Yankees in the AL East is 11 (down four from last week). The Red Sox magic number to eliminate the Yankees in the wild-card is 12 (down eight (!) from last week).

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Welcome to fourth place

There isn't much more to be said anymore.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Epitomizing effort

When informed of the no-hit bid against the Yankees last night, I smiled and said, "Figures." Wilson Betemit had to ruin things yet again.

I wasn't watching the game, but had I been, I would have rooted for the no-hitter. Short of being mathematically eliminated, nothing would have symbolically ended the season more than a no-hitter by a pitcher making his first-career start for one of the worst teams in baseball.

Boston is nine games ahead of New York in the loss column and has a magic number of 14. The sooner this thing is over, the better.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (75-65) begin a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners (54-85) at Safeco Field tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 10:10 p.m., YES/ESPN
Andy Pettitte - LHP (13-11, 4.52 ERA) vs. Brandon Morrow - RHP (1-2, 1.47 ERA)

Tomorrow - 10:10 p.m., YES
Sidney Ponson
- RHP (3-4, 6.22 ERA as a Yankee) vs. Ryan Rowland-Smith - LHP (4-2, 3.56 ERA)

Sunday - 4:10 p.m., YES
Mike Mussina
- RHP (17-7, 3.39 ERA) vs. Carlos Silva - RHP (4-14, 6.53 ERA)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our problems have been solved

Melky Cabrera will rejoin the team tomorrow night.

Our long national nightmare is over.

Game 140 Preview: Yankees at Rays

New York Yankees (75-64)
Tampa Bay Rays (84-53)
Johnny Damon CF
Akinori Iwamura 2B
Derek Jeter SS
B.J. Upton CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Cliff Floyd DH
Xavier Nady LF
Willy Aybar 3B
Jason Giambi DH
Eric Hinske LF
Cody Ransom 1B
Dioner Navarro C
Robinson Cano 2B
Gabe Gross RF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Jason Bartlett SS

Darrell Rasner (5-9, 5.08 ERA) vs. Scott Kazmir (10-6, 3.13 ERA)

Time: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Kazmir
  • Damon: 6-27, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI
  • Jeter: 4-26, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Abreu: 4-11
  • Rodriguez: 2-20
  • Nady: No experience
  • Giambi: 2-16, 2 RBI
  • Ransom: No experience
  • Cano: 2-15, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 2-13
Rays vs. Rasner
  • Navarro: 0-2
  • Bartlett: 2-2
Update - 5:30 p.m. - Abreu has been scratched due to a sore left wrist, according to Ed Price. The new lineup is:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Rodriguez 3B
Nady RF
Giambi DH
Rodriguez C
Cano 2B
Ransom 1B
Gardner CF

Sheppard hopes to return for last game

Ailing public address announcer Bob Sheppard hopes to return for the final game at Yankee Stadium later this month, according to Jim Baumbach.

Sheppard says his doctor is unsure if he has enough stamina to call an entire game at Yankee Stadium.

So, really, the only thing Sheppard can do is wait and see. And there are other options. Sheppard said his backup Jim Hall, who has filled in for Sheppard all season, is willing to sit by his side during the final game. "And if I begin to get too tired, he would be my relief speaker, like a relief pitcher," he said.
Nothing against Mr. Hall, but games at Yankee Stadium just haven't been the same this season. Hopefully Sheppard can return for the final game and send the Stadium out in style.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A-Rod's heating up

Alex Rodriguez, with his 3-for-4 and a home run performance, has three home runs and 11 RBI in his last five games. Figures he, along with the rest of the team, start heating up now. The Yankees have won five of their last seven games. Where was this when it mattered?

Carl Pavano couldn't get out of the fifth inning, but the Yankees' offense was able to carry them on this night. Edwar Ramirez was awarded the victory - his fifth of the season - and Phil Coke had another impressive outing (two perfect innings).

The Yankees, with Darrell Rasner on the mound, will look for the sweep tomorrow evening.

On a side note, Rodriguez's ninth-inning home run brought about instant replay for the first time in Major League Baseball history. The delay totaled a little over two minutes.

Game 139 Preview: Yankees at Rays

New York Yankees (74-64)
Tampa Bay Rays (84-52)
Johnny Damon CF
Akinori Iwamura 2B
Derek Jeter SS
B.J. Upton CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Cliff Floyd DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Willy Aybar 3B
Xavier Nady LF
Eric Hinske LF
Hideki Matsui DH
Dioner Navarro C
Robinson Cano 2B
Gabe Gross RF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Jason Bartlett SS

Carl Pavano (2-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (11-8, 3.81 ERA)

Time: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Jackson
  • Damon: 1-14
  • Jeter: 7-19, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Abreu: 1-18, 2 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 5-15, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Giambi: 3-10, 2 RBI
  • Nady: 4-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI
  • Matsui: 5-17, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Cano: 3-18
  • Rodriguez: 0-1
Rays vs. Pavano
  • Iwamura: 0-1
  • Upton: 2-2, 1 RBI
  • Pena: No experience
  • Floyd: 11-26, 5 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI
  • Aybar: No experience
  • Hinske: 1-6
  • Navarro: 0-2
  • Gross: No experience
  • Bartlett: 0-2

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moose wins 17th

Mike Mussina won his 17th game of the season tonight, marking the eighth time he's achieved that feat in his career.

Mussina gave up 10 hits, but only allowed two runs to score and struck out eight over six innings. His season ERA now sits at a healthy 3.39.

The Yankees were able to score seven runs against Rays' pitching, including six against starter Matt Garza.

Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a home run, the 548th of his career. That ties him with Mike Schmidt for 12th all-time.

It's a shame the Yankees have hit a good amount these last two games with the season, for all intents and purposes, over. Boston won again, lowering their magic number to clinch the wild-card despite the Yankees victory.

Joba Chamberlain and Dan Giese returned to action tonight. Chamberlain gave up a hit and walked a batter (no strikeouts) while Giese pitched a perfect ninth to end the game.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Here we go again

This headline tells you all you need to know: "(Joba) Chamberlain most likely to start '09 in the bullpen."

Tyler Kepner has quotes from Brian Cashman saying that Chamberlain will not reach his innings limit and feels that having pitch about 200 innings next season would be too risky.

“We do believe you can put some guys in jeopardy by putting way too much on them,” Cashman said. “If someone is adding a significant amount of innings from a previous season, history says those guys will have a breakdown or a significant underperformance the next year.”

I think there's a difference between protecting the player and babying him. Depending on what the starting pitching staff looks like in spring training, Chamberlain may have to start.

Throwing more innings could be harmful, but pitching innings here and there out of the bullpen and then stretching the arm out to become a starter could be harmful as well.

Just let the guy pitch. He wants to start. Upper management wants him to start. What's the problem?

Game 138 Preview: Yankees at Rays

New York Yankees (73-64)
Tampa Bay Rays (84-51)
Johnny Damon CF
Akinori Iwamura 2B
Derek Jeter SS
B.J. Upton CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Cliff Floyd DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Willy Aybar 3B
Xavier Nady LF
Eric Hinske LF
Hideki Matsui DH
Jason Bartlett SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Gabe Gross RF
Jose Molina C
Shawn Riggans C

Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.41 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (11-7, 3.53 ERA)

Time: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Garza
  • Damon: 0-7
  • Jeter: 1-6
  • Abreu: 3-7, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Giambi: 0-3
  • Nady: No experience
  • Matsui: 0-2
  • Cano: 3-6, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Molina: 0-2
Rays vs. Mussina
  • Iwamura: 0-11, 1 RBI
  • Upton: 5-16, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Pena: 4-21, 1 RBI
  • Floyd: 7-25, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI
  • Aybar: 0-2
  • Hinske: 4-31, 1 RBI
  • Bartlett: 1-6
  • Gross: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Riggans: No experience

Joba and Giese activated

The Yankees have activated Joba Chamberlain and Dan Giese from the disabled list before tonight's game in Tampa Bay.

Chamberlain, recovering from rotator cuff tendinitis, will spend the remainder of the season pitching out of the bullpen. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 5.

Giese, also rehabbing a throwing-shoulder injury, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14.

Scott Proctor resurfaces

Scott Proctor was activated from the 60-day disabled list and was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His last appearance was on June 21 and he has been recovering from an injured elbow since.

In three innings for Triple-A Las Vegas, Proctor struck out five and walked none. He is now back with Joe Torre once and for all.

The Sterling Shake redux

Last year I posted a video of John Sterling doing his Yankees victory call, hilariously dubbed "The Sterling Shake."

Wasting time on YouTube last night, I stumbled upon an even greater video of Sterling doing the call. Remember the game when Johnny Damon went 6-for-6 including the game-winning hit? This is Sterling calling the game-winner:

It seems as if Sterling was so confused by the moment that he almost forgot to extend his left arm in celebration. He then looked behind him to see if anyone spotted his gaffe. I also love the guy in the Yankees shirt jumping up and down - in the press box, no less - and Beto Villa in the Spanish Language booth is always a riot.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (73-64) begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays (84-51) at Tropicana Field tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:10 p.m., YES
Mike Mussina
- RHP (16-7, 3.41 ERA) vs. Matt Garza - RHP (11-7, 3.53 ERA)

Tomorrow - 7:10 p.m., YES/ESPN
Carl Pavano
- RHP (2-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson - RHP (11-8, 3.81 ERA)

Thursday - 7:10 p.m., YES
Darrell Rasner
- RHP (5-9, 5.08 ERA) vs. Scott Kazmir - LHP (10-6, 3.13 ERA)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yankees win another for Ponson

The Yankees are somehow 7-4 in Sidney Ponson's 11 starts as a Yankee. If only other starts got that kind of run support.

As you can tell by the 13-9 score, Ponson was terrible. He gave up seven runs (six earned) and nine hits in three innings. If Joe Girardi gives him another start, it would be clear that he's conceded the season.

Alex Rodriguez was the hitting star on the day, going 3-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored. Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon also had three hits, while Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui and Ivan Rodriguez added two hits apiece.

Edwar Ramirez struggled again, walking three and giving up two earned runs. Phil Coke was one of the pitching positives on the day, as he struck out two in his first major-league inning.

The Yankees will travel to Tampa Bay for a three-game series that begins tomorrow night. Mike Mussina and Matt Garza will square off.