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You are currently viewing archive for October 2005.

Posted by: Michael
According to the Daily News, bullpen coach Neil Allen was relieved of his position yesterday by Brian Cashman.

Reached at home, GM Brian Cashman confirmed the move and said Allen had been offered a new position within the organization that is not on the major-league level.

Allen's removal means the Yankees now have a bullpen coach vacancy to go along with their opening at pitching coach. Former Yankee Ron Guidry remains the top candidate for that spot, though Joe Kerrigan, whom Cashman hired as a scout earlier this year, is under serious consideration to join the coaching staff in some capacity.

It will be interesting to see if the combo of Guidry-Kerrigan will fill the two empty roles in the coaching staff.
Posted by: James
Just when you think baseball has gone and turned that proverbial corner from the steroid scandal, we get news, though there is no official confirmation of any kind yet, that an AL outfielder has tested positive for steroids. Deadspin looks like they were the first to post something about this based on the following text in the latest edition of USA Today Sports Weekly:

"An American League outfielder on a postseason team tested positive for steroids, according to his agent, but the player is appealing the results."

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
So says Yogi:

... that Hideki Matsui personally apologized to Joe Torre after the Yankees' collapse in the division series. After batting .200 against Anaheim and making the final out in Game 5, the Japanese outfielder told the manager, "I played bad for you. I'm sorry. I hurt the team."

No shock to any Yankee fans, really. Matsui is classy.

Funny bit here:

Why didn't his knees ever give out in 19 years of catching? "I was small. I didn't have to go down too far."

Steve Lombardi notes asks if Yogi should have been the one to reveal this. I agree, he shouldn't have been. But, it's out there now...

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
Steve Lombardi mentions the only Yankees to play in 162 games in a season. They were:

Bobby Richardson in 1961
Roberto Kelly in 1990
Alex Rodriguez in 2005

Chris Chambliss in 1978
Don Mattingly in 1986
Hideki Matsui in 2003 (163), 2004 and 2005.

Only 6 guys (8 times). Considering how long the Yankees have been around, that seems like a low number to me.
Posted by: Patrick
Latino Legends team announced:

Alex Rodriguez, Dominican Republic, Shortstop (1994-current): Regarded as one of the best all-around players in the game, Rodriguez shined as a shortstop before moving to third base for the Yankees prior to the 2004 season. Rodriguez was named the AL's MVP in 2003 and he became the youngest player ever to reach the 400-home run plateau in 2005. A two-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop, Rodriguez is a nine-time All-Star. ...

Mariano Rivera, Panama, Relief Pitcher (1995-current): Regarded as one of the most reliable closers in baseball history, Rivera ranks inside the top 10 in career saves. Before becoming the Yankees full-time closer in 1997, the right-hander set a club record in 1996 for the most strikeouts by a reliever with 130. Rivera, who saved 40 or more games in a season five times and 50 or more twice, led the Yankees to world championships in 1996 and 1998-2000, while winning the 1999 World Series MVP. The seven-time All Star has finished five seasons with an ERA under 2.00 while never completing a season with an ERA above 3.00.

Posted by: James
Update: Cashman has accepted the three year deal.

The latest report coming out of ESPN has the Yankees offering Brian Cashman a three-year deal worth over $5 million. Personally, I think Cash will do a good job as GM and in my mind, he should get the opportunity to reconstruct the Yankees without being second-guessed at every turn. That being said, anyone who works for George Steinbrenner's baseball operations knows the deal. You will get a big budget, a very good salary, numerous chances at winning it all and oftentimes the best players in the game. However, with all that good stuff, you have to know that you will be held personally accountable for the things that do go wrong. What's that Spider-Man always says? "With great power comes great responsibility". Hmm, seems to fit pretty well, doesn't it?

For the players that Cashman (or whoever else will be hired if he turns down the job) will be working with, click here to take a look at what they did this past year and what grades they got.
Posted by: James
In the morning: there was news that Yankee pitcher Steven White won player of the week honors in the Arizona Fall League (so far, decidedly a hitter's league). This is a nice little surprise as White has gone 1-1 with a 1.20 ERA (with a .173 batting average against) in four AFL starts so far after coming off a less than stellar season in AA. Hopefully, Steven has started to put a couple of pieces together and is going to start living up to the potential that made him a fourth round pick for the Yankees in 2003.

In the evening: Eric Duncan provided the offense for the Grand Canyon Rafters (quite possibly one of the weirdest names and logos in baseball history - just take a look at the hat in the link!), going 4 for 4 with 4 RBIs, to raise his batting average back over .400 and his OPS over 1.200 (.403 and 1.278 to be exact). His fellow Yankee prospect T.J. Beam (a very good relief prospect) closed out the game going 1 and two-third innings and struck out 4 of the 6 men he faced. All in all, not too shabby.

Posted by: Patrick tells us where recent World Series ending balls are currently located. The Yankees:


• Where's the ball? Displayed in [Charlie] Hayes' living room.


• Where's the ball? With [Tino] Martinez's glove in a safe-deposit box. "I'm never going to use the glove again," Martinez says.


• Where's the ball? [Chad] Curtis gave it to a security guard, Dan Weiss, who helped Curtis and his family when they lived in New York. When Weiss said he wanted to give the ball back, Curtis said he autographed it, "To Dan," and said, "Now what am I going to do with a ball that says, 'To Dan?' He would have never sold it, but I wanted it to have value to him as a friend."


• Where's the ball? [Bernie] Williams had it signed by his teammates and keeps it in his trophy case at home.

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: YB Bloggers
As the 2005 regular season is over and all, we thought we'd rate the each Yankee on his own individual performance for the 2005 season. We rated players who ended the season with the Yankees (no Mike Stanton) and logged significant time over the entire year (no Melky Cabrera). The grades given are an average of the grade given that that player by James, Michael, Patrick and Seamus.

» Read More

Posted by: Seamus
ESPN is reporting that former Phillies and Padres manager Larry Bowa will in all likelihood be taking the Yankee's third base coaching job in 2006. The agreement seems to be contingent on Brian Cashman settling for a new deal with the Boss in the near future.

"If another organization had called me, I'd have probably told them 'No thanks, I like what I'm doing,'" Bowa told the New York Daily News in a phone interview last weekend. "What happened in Philadelphia kind of turned me off to it all. I thought I did a pretty good job -- we were over .500 three of the four years I was there except for one year when we missed by one game. And then for it to end the way it did, I'm just sort of down on it now.

"But the Yankees, that's a special circumstance. I'd be very selective right now, certainly, but the Yankees are one team that I think I'd enjoy being a part of," Bowa added.

Bowa spent his last four full seasons as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. He led them to a winning record three out of the four seasons, but never made a postseason appearance.

I certainly don't see how it could hurt us to have a guy like Bowa on our bench. He does seem a bit firy for a 3B coach, but experienced guys like him are always welcome. It is also noted in the article that Luis Sojo is unsure whether he'll return if he is asked to accept a demotion to first base.
Posted by: Patrick
Yanks reaching back to get ahead:

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Guidry's interest, which was a question even among Yankees officials as they compiled a list of candidates to replace Mel Stottlemyre.

But Louisiana-based Reggie Ringuet, who is Guidry's longtime agent and attorney, said Friday, "It's certainly something that he's got an interest in doing." ...

The only team Guidry would consider, Ringuet said, was the Yankees. "It's called loyalty," he said.

Nice quote. I think getting Guidry would be awesome.

Sojo doesn't seem too pleased with the demotion, but than again, who's happy about demotion? We could end up with Mazzilli (Bench), Bowa (3rd) and Guidry (pitching). The getting rid of Roy White after 1 year thing still kind of bugs me, though. But, I guess we don't really have a spot for him now.

Teams have a hitting coach, a pitching coach... why not a fielding coach? White stays on at 1st and Sojo takes the fielding coach job. hehe.

Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Moose Skowron:

Maris hit his record-breaking 61 home runs that year, and Mantle added 54. Skowron produced a career-high 28 long balls, giving the trio an impressive total of 143. The secret to their success, according to Skowron, was a special liquid refreshment.

"We drank a lot of beer," Skowron said with a laugh. "I've never played on a greater team."

Funny that he should say that. I've always joked with my brother that the Babe had a performance enhancer ("what do you think Beer is?). heh.

Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: David
As Yankees fans we probably all want to forget about 2005 and look forward to 2006. However, as I look back on the season, the Yankees did have some outstanding individual performaces.

A-Rod is a strong possibility for MVP. His performance during the playoffs was not up to MVP status, but it is only the regular season that is considered.

Mariano Rivera could easily win the Cy Young Award. His strongest competition should come from Bartolo Colon, but he certainly did not have a lights out season.

Robinson Cano is a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. His performance during the month of September was outstanding and he proved to be a great clutch hitter. Remember the Grand Slam he hit against the Devil Rays to tie that game that the Yankees eventually won. He made some blunders both in the field and on the bases but I think the Yankees have a potential superstar in the making.

Was 2005 Joe Torre's best managing job? Just think his pitching staff was decimated for most of the year with losing Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright. Even Randy Johnson missed a few starts with an ailing knee or back.
Ozzie Guillen should provide stiff competition but remember the White Sox did not play well in September and the votes were turned in before the start of the playoffs.

Brian Cashman should receive strong consideration for Executive of the Year. He pulled off great deals in acquiring Shawn Chacon, Aaron Small and even Al Leiter. He didn't give up any of the Yankees young talent and without the names mentioned above the Yankees wouldn't have been close to the playoffs.

Jason Giambi was already named the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Tell me what you think!
Posted by: David
Its been a long time since you have heard from me. I'm pleased to say that I have recovered from surgery.

On June 24th, I had a Grand Mal seizure due to a brain tumor. The tumor was found to be benign and was removed via surgery on August 3rd. The seizure resulted in me dislocating both shoulders and breaking the humerus bone on my right side. I am still in physical therapy for my shoulders and have come quite far since I started around mid-August. My right shoulder is just about back to normal and my left one is about 65% to 70% with regard to the range of motion.

I started back to work on September 19th and am full time except for the time I spend in physical therapy. However, I am not permitted to drive yet but am expecting to return to driving early next month.

Thank you for your concerns and prayers for both myself and my family. I look forward to writing for this site and over the off season.

As a diehard Yankees fan, it is disappointing to accept anything but a World Series Championship, but I did enjoy the way the team fought to get into the playoffs. I'm looking forward to a new campaign for 2006 and hopefully getting another ring.

Again, thank you for your prayers and concerns.

David Williams
Posted by: Michael
Today is Charles Edward "Whitey" Ford's birthday.

Happy 77th Whitey!

From his website:
236-106 career record
2.74 lifetime ERA
.690 lifetime win percentage

Wikipedia has some good information on him as well (highlights):
He was given the name Whitey in the minor leagues for his blond almost white hair.
He was given the title, "Chairman of the Board" for his ability to remain calm and in command during intense pressure situations.
He was given the nickname, "Slick" for his craftiness on the mound.

Posted by: James
Well, it looks like the Yankees have set their sights on Larry Bowa as their main option for the third-base coach job. Bowa, who has yet to make up his mind, replaced Terry Francona as the skipper of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2001 and had a .522 winning percentage (337-308) in his four seasons with the Phillies. He does have experience at the job but time will tell if he is as good as Luis Sojo in getting runners thrown out at the plate (yeah, as much as I love Louie - not a big fan of him as the third base coach.)

My main question about this is: Will Bowa fit into the Yankee clubhouse? Bowa is known as a pretty fiery guy and there have been times where he has clashed (both privately and publicly) with players. Heck, he got Scott Rolen run out of town and Rolen was the cornerstone of the Phillies back then. Of course, this is a far smaller role than his managerial gig with the Phils so who knows, maybe he has mellowed some. As it stands, this would pave the way for what I originally thought would happen with the Yankee coaching staff. A new coach would take over third, Louis Sojo takes over first, new hitting & pitching coach and Donnie on the bench with Joe (potentially being groomed). That could still work out to be the case even though Lee Mazzilli could find himself in that mix too. Who knew the Yankee coaching staff could be so convoluted?
Posted by: James
Pretty much right after stopping talks with Yankees brass and turning down any Yanks offers, it looks like Leo Mazzone has come to terms with the Orioles. This should certainly make for an interesting storyline throughout the season, especially if the Yankees staff struggles and Baltimore starts pitching well to go along with their hitting. Sabernomics author J.C. Bradbury wrote a pretty in-depth article over at the Baseball Analysts about how much effect that Mazzone has had on pitchers during his tenure with the Braves.

His bottom line: "Starters and relievers pitched worse both before and after playing for Mazzone. Something good was clearly happening when pitchers played for the Braves." Looking at the stats, this certainly seems true as pitchers under Mazzone shaved 0.625 off their ERAs when pitching for him. It would have been nice to have him... it would have been almost as nice if he had stayed out of the AL East though. Now, let's hope that he doesn't help Daniel Cabrera harness his stuff or make Erik Bedard into a more effective pitcher than he is (or convince B.J. Ryan to stick around). If he does that... well, the Orioles just got a whole lot more interesting.
Posted by: Seamus
From Newsday:

Leo Mazzone decided earlier this morning to end discussions with the Yankees, according to a person familiar with the renowned Braves' pitching coach's thinking.

The Yankees' window to speak with Mazzone was apparently up sometime yesterday and they received a 24-hour extension, but talks didn't progress far enough.

Oh well, I was actually quite surprised to hear his name was out there in the first place. The article also mentions Dave Righetti and Ron Guidry as being candidates for the job. Also, I didn't realize until about a week ago when I saw it mentioned here that Joe Kerrigan was in our organization as a scout. Was he really that bad of a pitching coach? He does have Major League experience, so I don't think it would be all that bad to give him a shot if we can't snatch Righetti or Guidry. Honestly I really don't know enough about anybody as a pitching coach to offer an opinion. Any thoughts?
Posted by: James
Joe Girardi has agreed in principle to be the manager of the Florida Marlins. He also had talks with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays but it looks all but done that he will be added on as the skipper in Florida.

Honestly, I don't know how Joe went from former major league catcher (with a great triple against Greg Maddux in Game 6 of the 1996 World Series - my lasting memory of him) to a primo head-coaching candidate so quickly. If I remember correctly, he was also talked about heavily for a couple of jobs last year as well. It seems somewhat odd that Girardi has to wait practically no time before his day in the sun... but the hiring of other former Yankee coaches took a good long time in coming (ex. 11 years on the Yankee coaching staff for Willie Randolph before his shot). Regardless, Joe inherits a pretty nice situation in Florida with a solid, mostly young, team that fell just a bit short of the wildcard in a very competitive NL East. I wish him well and hope to see some good coaching battles between two well-liked former Yankee coaches.
Posted by: James
It looks like Felix Heredia is the latest MLB player to be suspended for steroids. Hey, he's not as sexy as a 500 HR hitter but hey, it's still a story. Felix didn't exactly have a stellar year in pinstripes last year but I still remember the one night he came on in relief and did the job. Yankees up by one against the Red Sox, 8th inning, bases loaded and David Ortiz at bat... and Heredia struck him right out. I was there, way up in the left field bleachers and the cheer and ovation that he got was second only to the roar that greeted Mariano when he came in to close down the game. It was probably the highest point of Heredia's Yankee career and a great night for the Yanks.
Posted by: Patrick
Right off the wire:

Joe Torre considered resigning last week, then decided during a meeting with owner George Steinbrenner to return next season as manager of the New York Yankees. ...

"I just wanted to pretty much clear the air on everything that was part of my unhappiness or anger or whatever you want to call it, frustration. I guess you can put all those things under the same heading," Torre said.

Torre wanted to make sure Steinbrenner wanted him back.

"I had to not only hear it, but hear the tone in which it was said," he said.

Cool. Good to see.
Posted by: Patrick
We'll be interviewing the author of the Bat Boy book, Matthew McGough, here at If you had any questions that you'd like us to ask him, please e-mail me at or leave a comment.

He was around the Yankees team during the entire '92 and '93 seasons. So, if you had any questions about those on the coaching staff or on the team at that time, those would be welcome - as well as any other questions, obviously.

Posted by: Patrick
Check it out.

Kind of funny. I imagine it'll go away, but for the moment... the movement is getting a boost. Jen lended her support and Pride of the Yankees mentioned the program. It's not too late to show your support.
Posted by: YB Bloggers
Patrick: In this day of all access via the internet and TV, one place that the average fan remains without access to is the locker room. We get a brief glimpse into it through various journalists and on TV when your team wins something and they’re in there showering each other with champagne. It’s an area that not many, besides coaches, players, executives and owners, receive constant and daily access to. One group of people that does get that access is the clubhouse staff. This includes bat boys. Of us Yankee fans, who wouldn’t have wanted to be a Yankees bat boy in their youth (listen to me, I’m 20 years old for pete sake – I’m still young!)? I know I would have loved it. Matthew McGough got that opportunity. For two years – the 1992 and 1993 seasons) – as well as a brief return stint for the ’98 postseason. Bat Boy is a memoir of this time and the TV show Clubhouse was based on his book with McGough serving as a producer.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Bernie – before he was great:

Steinbrenner had seen Williams during his one off year in 1989 play a few games at Albany, and based on that insanely small sample turned off to the kid completely. Too soft for me, he spat to anyone in the organization he saw. Which is what he always thought about Andy Pettitte as well. "If only Williams had Andy Stankiewicz's (feisty) heart, then we'd really have something," was the company line. And that year, the Boss desperately wanted to trade him to the White Sox for Harold Baines – until then-GM Syd Thrift talked him out of it. ...

To this day, Thrift calls his "saving of Bernie Williams" his greatest act during his five-month tenure as Yankees GM.

Williams survived to make it to the big club in 1991, but in those first couple of seasons, playing on and off and seemingly with one eye looking over his shoulder toward the owner's box, he couldn't find his comfort zone and didn't really make his mark.

"Mostly in '91, but even in '92, I felt I had to show something every day," he said that day in '93. "It didn't affect me once I was (on the field), but it affected my preparation. I was dying inside; I just never showed it." ...

"I'll always," he said, locking onto my eyes, "have to fight to stay here."


Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: Patrick
From this article:

Ex-Marlins infielder Andy Fox has retired and taken a rookie-level managing job with the Rangers. Fox and ex-Marlins teammate Mike Mordecai, who just finished his first year managing the Jamestown Jammers, could vie for big-league spots sooner than you think.

Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: Michael
The Yankees got permission today to speak with Atlanta Braves pitching coach, Leo Mazzone.

Mazzone has one year left on his contract with the Braves. He is the clear front runner to take over for Mel Stottlemyre who said last week that he is done with the Yanks.

Mazzone has been on the the Braves staff since '90 helping them to 14 division titles.

What a h-u-g-e gain for the Yankees if they can pry him away from the Braves. Mazzone would definitely improve the Yanks rotation - and help in years to come to help rebuild the staff.
Posted by: James
Apparently, this talk about A-Rod's postseason performance will not go away that quietly. Also, it keeps getting brought up that so much more is expected from A-Rod since he is a MVP candidate and a prior MVP winner (I'm throwing out the money issue since all MVP winners tend to be amongst the most highly paid players in the game). I'm personally not going to blame one player for the series loss but seeing that argument made repeatedly got me thinking. I'd never thought of the MVP award as any sort of precursor to postseason success but hey, I could be wrong so I took a look. Here are the MVP winners in the AL for the past 5 years and how they stack up in the postseason.

» Read More

Posted by: James
John Sickels, formerly of ESPN, has an outstanding site over at where he covers baseball (mostly the minors but a good emphasis on the majors as well). He recently posted some interesting thoughts on Robbie Cano, most of which I tend to agree with. I'd take a look through the comments as well as there seem to be some good thoughts on Cano's overall development. Take a gander and let me know how you think Robbie will develop.
Posted by: Patrick
With the various "plans" that have been coming out, I decided to sit down and come up with a "doable", preliminary plan of what I would like to see the Yankees accomplish this offseason as far as the roster is concerned. In other words, I limited myself to one trade and focused on free agents. Here is the roster:

» Read More

10/14: Baby Bomber

Posted by: James
Eric Duncan seems to be showcasing more of his true abilities in the AZL (Arizona Fall League) this fall. Granted, it's in 7 games and 30 ABs, but hey, that's still pretty good for a prospect that a lot of people were down on.

A lot of people expected great things from Eric Duncan this year and looking at his overall numbers while on the Double-A Trenton Thunder, most people come away less than impressed. At the end of the season, his line stood at .235 AVG/.326 OBP/.408 SLG - hardly something to write home about. However, there are some things to note about this performance:

A) While he struck out quite a bit - 136Ks in 126 games (or in 451 ABs - he struck out about 30% of the time) - he still showed enough plate discipline (59 BBs) to work out a decent OBP compared to his AVG.

B) The last part of his season was interrupted when he was hit in the head by a pitch and was forced to sit out a couple weeks with a concussion. On returning, it seemed to take him a little while to get his stroke back and unfortunately, before he could, the season was over.

C) He still showed a pretty good power stroke (19 HRs and 37 XBHs), which in my mind shows that while the power is there, it's the pitch recognition and timing that's still a little bit off.

D) Most importantly, we're talking about a kid who is only 20 years old and in AA. If he gone to college instead of being the Yankees first round draft pick in 2003, he'd be wailing on college pitchers right now. Instead, he is two steps away from the major leagues and trying to adjust. Give him time and I'm very confident that he will live up to the Yankee's expectations.

I might be overvaluing Duncan based on what I think his true potential is but I am certain that a lot of people are undervaluing him based on one season. I see the Yanks keeping him in AA to start 2006 and move from there. After that, I think it's only a matter of time before Eric makes the move to the majors (and hopefully, it's with the Yanks).
Posted by: Patrick
I noticed something in the Cash article:

If Joe Torre is the Yankee manager next spring, his coaching staff is going to be a lot different. With Mel Stottlemyre leaving and Joe Girardi likely to be hired by the Marlins as their manager, Torre will need a pitching coach and a bench coach.

Yesterday, Girardi had his second meeting with the Marlins. He also met for the first time with the Devil Rays.

One option to fill the bench-coach position is shifting Don Mattingly from hitting coach and hiring Chili Davis as hitting coach. Former O's manager and Yankee coach Lee Mazzilli also could be a bench-coach candidate.

Third-base coach Luis Sojo and first-base coach Roy White appear to be in the most jeopardy, with the possibility of Sojo moving from third to first. Some in the organization believe the Yankees need to retain Sojo to work with second baseman Robinson Cano.

The Mattingly to bench coach move is interesting. Would that be lining him up as the heir apparent? I was actually already thinking about that, but wasn't sure who would be the hitting coach. Chili Davis was someone I didn't think of... would he be a good fit? Not sure. Would Mazzilli come back? Would he be a good bench coach? I suppose Piniella has to be a manager, so his name couldn't be considered. Leo Mazzone, Neil Allen, Billy Connors and Ron Guidry are some of the names being mentioned for the pitching job. A lot of questions, not many answers.

The Roy White thing is kind of out of the blue to me. Obviously, he's a Yankee legend, but also... I didn't see any reason for it, other than someone feeling that Sojo wasn't doing his job? But, I didn't really see that Sojo had done anything resembling a bad job, either? Ultimately, though, it's (hopefully) Torre's staff and he'll need to be comfortable with the moves being made.
Posted by: Patrick
So says the New York Post:

If Brian Cashman leaves the GM office, as many expect him to do when his contract expires on Oct. 31, Cashman will split on his own — because The Boss wants him back.

"That's safe to say," Yankee general partner Steve Swindal told The Post yesterday when asked if the Yanks want Cashman back. "I have said that all along." ...

"We will be working on it," Swindal said of talking to Cashman. "He flew all night [Tuesday] and he needs to clear his head. We will sit down and talk and get started."

Cool. Good news, good news. I'd like to have Cash back, wouldn't you?

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
Stottlemyre praised by Steinbrenner:

One day after Mel Stottlemyre announced that he would not return for an 11th season as the Yankees' pitching coach, owner George Steinbrenner issued a statement through the club addressing Stottlemyre's departure.

"Mel Stottlemyre will always be a Yankee," Steinbrenner said. "When I purchased the ballclub more than 30 years ago, he was one of the team's true stars and leaders, and during his 10 seasons as pitching coach, we won six American League pennants and four world championships.

"While it is no secret that I can be a very difficult boss, Mel has always conducted himself as a professional and a gentleman," the owner added. "I wish he and [his wife], Jean, much success and happiness in the future." ...

"Mel was wonderful for our pitching staff," said Tom Gordon. "He worked very well with the veterans as well as the young guys, which was really big for us, especially with what we went through early. We could have been down in the dumps, but we could count on Mel and [manager] Joe [Torre] to keep us together. Things worked out well."
Posted by: Patrick
Martinez's status for 2006 still unclear:

"As far as my playing time and the role I had, it was great. I loved it," Martinez said. "I wish I'd have played a little better down the stretch, but I loved coming off the bench, starting a couple of times a week. I didn't know if I'd like it or not, but I did. I got used to it and enjoyed it."

Should the Yankees pick up Martinez's option, he would look forward to another year in the Bronx. But if the Yanks decide to go in another direction, Martinez may decide to retire, putting an end to his 16-year career.

"I loved the role I had, and I'm not saying I wouldn't take that again," he said. "This is where I want to be if I can be anywhere at all. But if they want to try to get younger players, I'd understand that as well."

Cool. Good attitude. I'd like to have him back. I have a preliminary "plan" (I'll post it soon) that I'm coming up with and he fits in...
Posted by: Patrick
Posted by: Patrick
This offseason we'll be doing a series of weekly columns here at called Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere. Basically, we'll be sitting down with and interviewing a number of Yankees bloggers. These will include Alex Belth and Cliff Corcoran of Bronx Banter, Jennifer Mueller of, Steve Lombardi of, Brian MacMillan of Off the Facade and SG from Replacement Level Yankees Weblog - as well as Michael, Seamus, myself and hopefully a few others that I have invited. So, keep an eye out for that.

If you have any suggestions for questions that you'd like to see asked, please leave them as a comment or e-mail me at
Posted by: Patrick
Check out some quotes from this article:

That's the way one American League executive summarized A-Rod's disturbingly uneven performance: good enough for MVP-like numbers in the regular season, but an abysmal failure in October, just like Winfield. "George is stuck with him," is what the executive said of Rodriguez.

Five more years, $131 million, to be exact. Steinbrenner is already looking for someone to hold accountable for the way the third baseman has melted since Game 3 of last year's AL Championship Series. ...

There'll be some revisionist whispering that it's Torre's fault -that, somehow, he didn't get in A-Rod's face often enough, as if suddenly that was Rodriguez's missing medicine. Torre was initially the perfect antidote to Buck Showalter, whom A-Rod despised for his manipulative ways. In comparison to Showalter, Torre is a straight-ahead, no-agenda manager, which is what every major-leaguer wishes for. ...

A-Rod? He's the game's most talented player, but the mystery of his demons elude everyone. The friend said Rodriguez was "totally blown away, totally bewildered" by his .133 average against the Angels. ...

Torre is the one who'll take the fall for Rodriguez, even though no manager can teach a player to react gracefully under pressure. It was third base coach Luis Sojo who nailed A-Rod's problem Wednesday when he said, "In this game, you've got to be mentally strong. If you're not strong mentally you're done."

I really think that there is some serious sensationalizing going on here.

» Read More

10/12: Thanks, Mel

Posted by: Patrick
Mel Stottlemyre's time with the Yanks appears to be up.

I know a lot of people will be celebrating in jubilation. But, I'm sad to see him go. He's been a Yankee for a great many years. 10 as a coach where we won 4 titles and finished in the top 5 in AL ERA in 6 of the last 10 seasons. 11 as a player where he went 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA. He was a good pitcher on a medicore team during his playing career.

Usually when someone receives too much critcism when things go bad, they also receive too much credit when things go well, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. I have read many times where people slam Mel for ruining young pitchers, but then dismiss the ones that he was around that did well as already having talent (Andy Pettitte, Ramiro Mendoza, Mariano Rivera, Chien-Ming Wang). Yeah, he "ruined" Javy, Contreras and Weaver, but when it comes to one of the best lefties in the game and the greatest reliever of all time, they were just good. Either they need coaching or they already have talent - pick one. When it comes down to it, Mel was a member of the Yankee Organization for approximately 25 years (unless he did some work with them in between) and was a good one, as well. I missed his playing career as it was before my time, but I haven't heard bad things. As far as his coaching career with the Yankees, I have seen it and I have seen a person that people respect and that has done a solid job. If he is actually gone, it is time for people to pay respect to someone who has been a Yankee for around 40% of their life.

Thanks, Mel, thanks for your time with the Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
We have a new blogger here at - James Varghese.

Welcome aboard.
Posted by: Patrick
We've been selected as one of the best New York Yankees blogs according to Deadspin. From their site:

More than any other sport, baseball lends itself to individual blog obsession. Every Major League Baseball team has several blogs obsessed with chronicling the ins-and-outs of everything. Deadspin salutes these modem-addled souls and proudly presents Blogdom’s Best, given to the most outstanding blog for each team. ... Today: The New York Yankees.

As we’re finding out, the baseball playoffs go ahead and keep going even though they don’t have the Yankees in them. Surprising, we know. Though Yankees blogs can’t compare to the massive spread of Red Sox blogs — we’ll get into that tomorrow — they’ve got a solid presence, and, strangely, they don’t get a single penny of that $210 million payroll. Who’s done more for Yankees fans: These blogs, or Kevin Brown? Yeah, that’s what we thought.

3. YanksBlog. Well-designed, pleasant site with a tendency to look to the future … something the team itself could use some help with.

Emphasis mine. Thanks for featuring us! Congrats to Replacement Level Yankees Weblog and Bronx Banter, who were also featured.
Posted by: James
There seems to be some confusion amongst Yankee fans about who comes off the Yankee payroll this off-season and how much these guys were making in 2005. Based on the information that I have collected to this point and cross checked with Hardball Dollars, here's where that situation stands:

Yankees who are now free agents:
Kevin Brown: $15MM (millions)
John Flaherty: $800K (thousands)
Tom Gordon: $3.75MM
Matt Lawton: $1.5MM
Hideki Matsui: $8MM
Felix Rodriguez: $3.15MM
Rey Sanchez: $600K
Ruben Sierra: $1.5MM

Yankees with options/buyouts:
Tino Martinez: $2.75MM in 2005 - $3MM option in 2006 (with a buyout of 250K)
Tanyon Sturtze: $850K in 2005 - $1.5MM option in 2006 (with a 15K buyout)
Bernie Williams: $12MM in 2005 - Option in 2006 already declined for $3.5MM

Yankees who were traded/released/bought out:
Buddy Groom: $850K
Steve Karsay: $4.88M in 2005 - $6.5MM option in 2006 (bought out for $1.5MM as part of his release)
Mike Stanton: $3.84MM
Paul Quantrill: $3MM in 2005 - $3.6MM option in 2006 (bought out for $400K as part of his release)

I tried to make this as complete as I could but if you see anything (or anyone) that I might have missed, please let us know.
Posted by: Patrick
Leiter pondering retirement:

"When you've got kids old enough to respond and tell you what they think, that plays a big part," Leiter said. "My son's thinking it's pretty cool, playing with A-Rod and Jeter and all these guys, so he'd probably vote to stay."

Leiter, who began his career in pinstripes and lives in the area, hinted that the only way he would continue playing would be to re-sign with the Yankees as a left-handed specialist.

"It's been good for me, this circle," he said. "Eighteen years ago, I was able to pitch my first game here. I like the area. There wouldn't be too many other places." ...

Though he played for Torre for less than three months, Leiter was pleased to earn the manager's confidence in his new role in the bullpen.

"Any time your boss shows faith and confidence in you, you don't want to let him down," Leiter said. "And he did, and it meant a lot."

Although I'm guessing most won't be, I wouldn't mind bringing him back in that role. It depends on how FA goes. There are some guys I'd be interested in before him, though, such as Scott Eyre and Scott Sauerbeck.
Posted by: Patrick
Jon Heyman of Newsday has come up with a plan to fix the Yankees. More of the plan can be found here. Here is the plan (taken from the articles):

Sign B.J. Ryan to be Mariano Rivera's main bullpen set-up man.

If he wants to be, sure. The problem is... he already said he doesn't want to be. Edit: Apparently, I was wrong.

If Hunter can't be acquired for Robinson Cano, try for Red Sox free agent Johnny Damon.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Welp, the first Yankees season at has finished. We launched after the season had already started, on May 5, 2005. On that day, the Yankees were 11-18, tied for 4th place in the bottom of the AL East. They were 8 games back of the East leading Orioles and 5.5 games back of the second place Red Sox. They finished 95-67, winning the division by tie breaker and going 5 games in the ALDS before falling.

During the season (or abbreviated season, anyway - the Yankees were 84-59 since we launched)), we posted 290 entries, covering most games and a lot of details in between. It's fun to be able to write about something you enjoy as we do here at YB. Even in this, a season of "struggle." Our beloved Yankees are getting older and our first and biggest notice of this is the great Bernie Williams, who may have played his last game in pinstripes (bring back Bernie). It's sad as it just really hit me and I actually got tears in my eyes watching the tribute over at (gah, why am I telling you this? lol). I started watching baseball more closely in 92, 93, 94. Bernie's first few years. I grew up watching Bernie Williams play and now, it could be over. Has it really been that many years? Gracious. Although Donnie was my first favorite and Jeter was my second (with an interim favorite of Boggs in between), I couldn't have watched a better example of a quality, classy ballplayer. Thank you, Bernie.

Thanks to the Yankees. Players, coaching staff, organization, owner. As a Yankee fan, I do feel blessed to be able to root for a team and an organization that is consistently in the hunt and consistently doing what they can to win. It's a privilege that most team's fans do not have. Thanks for a great season.

I was happy to become more of a part of the Yankees blogosphere, punctuated by such blogs as Bronx Banter, (they might not be exactly a blog, but I'm putting them in here - the Sheffboyardee and Cashman robbery pictures are just about the funniest things I've ever seen),, Off the Facade, Pride of the Yankees, Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, The Futility Infielder, The Weblog That Derek Built and

I'd like to thank my fellow YB Bloggers - David Williams, Michael Black and Seamus Molloy - for their contributions to YB and their dedication to the Yankees and writing about the Yankees. As I'm sure everyone aware, the train doesn't stop when the season ends. We'll still be having entries here on a daily basis, covering Yankees news, rumors and the like. So, stick around and keep commenting.

Thank you for visiting and supporting this season.
Posted by: Patrick
First non season related entry after the end of the season... gotta start somewhere, right?

Brosius, O'Brien among hall of fame inductees:

Former Linfield College baseball player Scott Brosius and the school's 1966 baseball team will be inducted Tuesday night into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. ...

Brosius spent 11 seasons in the major leagues, including seven with the Oakland Athletics and four with the New York Yankees. He was the most valuable player of the 1998 World Series.

Currently a McMinnville resident, Brosius has been an assistant coach for the Linfield baseball team the past four seasons.


Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: Michael
There could be lots of finger pointing as to why we lost this game 3-5, and thus the series. You could point your finger at Moose. He lasted a mere 2 2/3 innings. Point your finger at the suspect officials, particularly the home plate ump who called Robinson Cano out in the 5th inning for running out of the base path. While the rest of the night, squeezing the Yankee pitching. You can point the finger at our weak pathetic bats. The stat Fox had up in the 9th inning really told alot. Between A-Rod, Sheff and Matsui, they were combined batting .208 for the series. I mean, come on, when you need Jorge Posada to be the hero, you know that it can't get much worse for our offense.

I think the number one reason why we lost the ALDS was our serious lack of defense. Whether it was Giambi not being able to throw the ball, or just clueless meandering by our infielders when the ball is hit to them. Often times it looked like A-Rod was the rookie. Is he still trying to learn 3rd base?

The game just got out of hand in the 2nd inning when the Angels tacked on three runs. Bubba Crosby and Gary Sheffield collided in a misplay which allowed two runs to score and almost allowed an in-the-park home run. Replays showed that Sheffield would have most likely had the ball, but Crosby couldn't have heard Sheffield call for it. I can't blame Crosby, but it was our defense on that play that caused this to happen.

Bartolo Colon came out of the game in the 2nd with an injured shoulder. The guy couldn't throw strikes, and was quickly replaced by Ervin Santana. I knew then we were in trouble. I've followed the Yanks pretty darn closely these last few (10) years and know that when it comes up against a young pitcher they don't know too well, they have a tough time. And indeed they did.

After Mussina left the game, with the Yanks trailing 2-5, Torre puts in Randy Johnson who does an equally good job in keeping the Angels from scoring any more runs. But it was our bats that couldn't get anything going. Jeter came up big in the 7th with a home run, but alas it was a solo shot, and the Angels retired the Yankees to end the inning.

So the Yanks go home. They have another off-season to think about what could have been. A-Rod can think about his rally ending double-play in the 9th. And shudder to think that Jaret Wright would have been our game one pitcher against the White Sox in Chicago (I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming... I saw McCarvers ugly mug on the TV and realized I wasn't). We are left to ponder off season moves that can get this team back into the Series and on to their 27th Championship.

Some Game Related Notes: did a homepage poll and asked who you were rooting for tonight. When you answered, and clicked submit, it would tally your record and give you a nationwide map on how the country answered state by state. You've probably seen this. Well I thought it was very hysterically funny that the Angels would be colored Yankee Blue and the Yanks would be colored Angel Red. Leave it to ESPN.

I really don't see how you could call Cano with running out of the base paths in the 5th. If anything he was on the line and the ball was just poorly thrown by Molina.
Posted by: Patrick
I just realized that we forgot to announce the winner of our giveaway. It was James Varghese. Congrats!
Posted by: Patrick
Mike Mussina? He's a go. Randy Johnson? He's a go. Chien Ming-Wang? He's a go. Mariano Rivera? He's a go (for two innings, if needed). Flash Gordon (even though he's been shaky) didn't pitch last night. Aaron Small is probably ready, too. Nothing to save as there might be no tomorrow. So, hopefully, we'll have the pitching.

Will we have the hitting and the defense? We'll know soon. Go Yankees.
Posted by: Seamus
Shawn Chacon was great in his postseason debut and a few big hits by the usual clutch players helped the Yankees last night as the Bombers forced a do or die, winner take all game tonight at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Neither starter allowed a hit until the 4th inning, and John Lackey didn't allow one until the 5th. Chacon went 6 and 1/3, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and was perfect through the first 9 batters. The Yankees had only four hits, but they were all very timely as each one aside from Posada's in the 5th either drove in a run or came around to score.

The Angels struck first in the 6th with back-to-back doubles by Chone Figgins and Orlando Cabrera. Gary Sheffield answered back in the bottom of the inning with a base hit to left field that scored Alex Rodriguez. That prompted the Angels to pull Lackey, who although was great, was pitching on three days rest, and of course, you couldn't go wrong with that Angels bullpen, right? Well, wrong. In the 7th inning, Ruben Sierra came through again in the clutch as he pinch hit for Bubba Crosby and lined a single to right field, scoring Robinson Cano. On the next play, a ground ball by Derek Jeter scored Jorge Posada on a bad throw home by Chone Figgins (nice slide/dive/tumble/fall on his face by Posada after he crossed the plate). Last night it was the Yankee bullpen that was solid, as Al Leiter came entered the game in the 7th and forced an inning-ending double play by Darin Erstad, and Mariano Rivera pitched two perfect innings to close it out.

Down 2-0 with only four innings to go against one of the best bullpens in baseball, it was hard not to get a little nervous. But the big bats came through, and of course, Ruben Sierra came up big once again in a desperate situation. The guy just seems to have a knack for it. Every year he hits about .240 during the regular season, yet no matter how bad he's slumping he always seems to come up with that big hit in October. At least it's been that way since he rejoined the team in 2003.

There will be some tomorrow who are going to complain that whoever wins this series is at a disadvantage in the ALCS because they had to travel all the way from New York to California, and then all the way to Chicago again for Tuesday night. And to that I say, who cares right now? The Yankees face another elimination game tonight and will send Mike Mussina to the mound to face Cy Young candidate Bartolo Colon in Game 5. If the Moose pitches well, I think the Yankees should be able to take this.

Posted by: Seamus
After the first two games of this series featured some pretty good pitching, I figured that last night's game might be the best pitching contest of the series, with Randy Johnson going up against Paul Byrd. It turns out I'm no psychic as the Yankees got rocked for 11 runs and lost the game by a score of 11-7. There were 30 hits in the game between the two teams (19 by the Angels) and 3 errors (2 by the Yankees). Neither starter was able to get through the 4th inning as Johnson allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and Byrd allowed 4 runs on 7 hits. Fourteen players had two or more hits, including Garret Anderson, who had four. Aaron Small got the Yankees out of a first-and-third, nobody out jam in the 4th inning, but recorded the loss as he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 2 and 2/3.

The Yankees got off to a rough start as the Unit served up a three-run homer to Garret Anderson in the 1st inning. The Angels made it 5-0 in the 3rd courtesy of Ben Molina's two-run shot. The Yankees began their comeback in the 4th when Hideki Matsui led the inning off with a home run as the Bombers tallied 4 runs in the inning. They took the lead in the 5th on a sacrifice fly by Bernie Williams which scored Cano after he doubled to left center. However, the Yankees would not hold on to that lead for long as the Angels came back with two runs in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Derek Jeter cut the lead to 11-7 with a solo shot in the 8th, but that would be all she wrote as that score remained final.

Well, the Yankees are now facing elimination because the guy we brought in during the offseason for games like these couldn't hit his spots. Of course I can't go on talking about this game without mentioning some more sloppy defense on the Yankees' part. I mean how hard is it to keep your foot on the bag until you catch the ball?

The biggest enigma of this series so far has to be Robinson Cano. He's been a hitting machine and the Yankees wouldn't have won Game 1 if it weren't for him, but this is the second straight game in which he's made an error on a routine play, and in the first game he was lucky not to be charged with an error on that ball that got past him in the 9th inning. I understand that none of the errors ended up hurting us in the end, as we would've lost both games regardless. However, I am really impressed on how he's hit for the Yankees so far in the postseason as a rookie and I believe overall he's done more to help the team in the series than he has to hurt them.

The Yankees will send Shawn Chacon to the mound this afternoon in their first (hopefully not last) elimination game of 2005. His opponent will be Jarrod Washburn. Chacon has been a rock for us since coming over from Colorado, and he has shown that he isn't phased by the pressure of pitching in the Bronx. Hopefully today if he can be stopped, it's only because of the weather.

EDIT: Today's game has just been rained out. Game 4 will now be played tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.
Posted by: Patrick
The guys have spoken. They have selected A-Rod for MVP and Mariano for Cy Young.

A-Rod was picked for MVP by Jerry Crasnick, Buster Olney, Rob Neyer, Jim Caple, Tim Kurkjian, Steve Phillips, Gary Gillette, Eric Neel, Alan Schwarz and Bob Klapisch. Final standings: A-Rod - 10, Ortiz - 7.

Mo was picked for Cy Young by Jerry Crasnick, Buster Olney, Jim Caple, Gary Gillette, Bob Klapisch, Eric Karabell and Gary Miller. Final standings: Mo - 7, Colon - 5, Santana - 4.

Joe Torre was picked for Manager of the Year by Steve Phillips, Eric Neel and Gary Miller. Final standings: Guillen - 9, Wedge - 5, Torre - 3.

No Yankees were mentioned for Rookie of the Year.
Posted by: Patrick
Do you feel that Mariano Rivera should win the 2005 American League MVP or Cy Young? Do you have a website? Would you like to show your support? Our sister site,, has just launched a program for fans with websites to show their support. You place a graphic on your site, link it to and your site is placed on the list of supporters. There are two graphics available, one for those who believe he should win the MVP and Cy Young and one for those who believe he should just win the Cy Young. Read more and get involved at
Posted by: Patrick
The other day, I wrote about Mariano and A-Rod's chances at the AL MVP. Today, we'll focus on Mo and the AL Cy Young.

In the AL Cy Young, you have 3 real good candidates. It really depends on what you like. If you don't have a thing against relievers, you have Mariano. If you like wins, there is Bartolo Colon who went 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA (leading the AL in wins by 3). If you like ERA, WHIP, BAA (and you want a starter), you have Johan Santana, who was 16-7 with a 2.87 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and .210 BAA. Let's run through the basic stats.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Giambi wins AL Comeback award:

"It's unbelievable. I'm speechless," Giambi said. "I'm definitely honored. It's been a lot of hard work and a long road."

"He got out of the gate slow, but he had a burning desire to show he could return to be the player that everybody had learned to love," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. "He had to go through so much this year, so I don't think anybody would have predicted this." ...

But his .271 average, 32 homers and 87 RBIs helped lift the Yankees into the postseason, as Giambi became a force to be reckoned with once again.

"I know there were other things, but just coming back from being sick, knowing where I was last year when I couldn't get out of bed," Giambi said, "to come in, play well and help this team get to the playoffs, it's unbelievable." ...

On May 9, Giambi was hitting .195 with three home runs and six RBIs. A move to the Minor Leagues was being discussed among team brass, and the future didn't appear to be very bright for the former AL Most Valuable Player.

Unbelievable is right. I don't think anyone could have expected such a thing. Look at those splits. I remember chatting with Seamus and discussing virtually daily how big Giambi's contract was going to get as the years went on and what in the world we were going to do with it. But, he's turned it around and returned to being a big part of the lineup. Congrats Jason.
Posted by: Patrick
There have been some rumblings in the past and now the wheels are in motion. Joe Girardi will interview with the Marlins. He'll be doing it on the Yankees off days.

"They're young, they have a young pitching staff, they're very talented in the Minor Leagues and they have some really good players over there," Girardi said of the Marlins. "We'll see what happens." ...

"You learn how to prepare, and a lot of it is just dealing with players," he said, regarding his experience on the bench. "You can do all the preparation, but sometimes, you have to figure out how to get the most out of players. I've been very fortunate to play four years under Joe and then to sit next to him for a year."

Mazilli, Randolph... Girardi?
Posted by: Seamus
The Angels are heading back to the Bronx on Friday with the series tied at a game apiece. The Angels took Game 2 by a score of 5-3 courtesy of a solid performance by the Angels' bullpen and poor defense by the Yankees' infield. Chien-Ming Wang made his first career post-season start and was superb, but left the game with the Yankees trailing 4-2 as the Yankees allowed three unearned runs behind him on three errors by Yankee infielders, albeit one by Wang himself. The first Yankee error was by Robinson Cano in the 2nd inning, but it turned out to be harmless as the inning ended with the Yanks still leading 1-0. The next came in the 6th inning via Alex Rodriguez on a ground ball by Orlando Cabrera. Cabrera later came home to score on a single by Bengie Molina. In the 7th, a throw by Chien-Ming Wang pulled Tino Martinez off first base, allowing Steve Finley to reach on a sacrifice bunt. Both runners came around to score with two outs as Cabrera drove them home with a big single. Ben Molina put another run on the board with a homer in the 8th, but it wasn't needed as the Yankees would only get one more, courtesy of a home run by Jorge Posada.

As mentioned, aside from his error in the 7th, Wang was pretty good. The line score for him was 1 ER on 6 hits in 6 and 2/3. John Lackey pitched okay, as he allowed just two, but did not get through the 6th inning. The Yankees' bats were pretty quiet, as only Posada had a multi-hit game. Jeter, A-Rod, and Gary Sheffield were all held hitless. The Angels' offense all came from three players, as Juan Rivera and Ben Molina both had 2 hits including a dinger for each, and Orlando Cabrera drove in 2 runs with that single in the 7th.

Well, I don't know what purpose I could serve by trying to analyze why the Angels won this game and why the Yankees lost. It's quite simple. When your team gives up as many unearned runs as your team scores runs, you have nobody to blame but yourself. With all due respect to the Angels, as they did of course have to actually bring those runs home, this game was not as much a matter of the Angels winning as it was the Yankees losing. The Yanks found a way to beat themselves this time.

So now this best-of-5 series becomes best-of-3 as the teams will head back to Yankee Stadium Friday night with the series tied at 1. On the upside, the Yankees have taken over home-field advantage in this series by splitting the first two games in Anaheim. The Yankees will send Randy Johnson to the mound to face Paul Byrd Friday night at 8 p.m. If the Unit can give us what he's given us over his last 6 or 7 starts, I think we should be fine.
Posted by: Patrick
Well, no, not really. But he posted an article today, covering what was on my mind last night.

Mussina adding to Yankee legacy:

The victory didn't rank with Mussina's best postseason moments as a Yankee — his seven scoreless innings with the team trailing the A's two games to none in the 2001 division series, his three scoreless innings of relief against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, his victory over Josh Beckett in Game 3 of the '03 World Series. But with his triumph, Mussina added another chapter to his growing Yankees legacy.
Posted by: Patrick
I believe that Mariano Rivera deserves MVP consideration. How can a player who played "only" 78 and 1/3 innings be the MVP? For me, it's about reliance. How much did we rely on Mo? How important was he to us? Is there a way to measure? The award is the Most Valuable Player and the title fits Mo. There are 3 points in history where relievers have won the MVP award. 1981, 1984 and 1992. Let's look at all three.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Well, I said he wouldn't be... I was fairly certain he wouldn't be... but he made it. Somehow, someway, he made it. I don't really know why. I mean, he's a lefty who can't get lefties out. Virtually every other pitcher we have has been better against lefties than him. So, in the end, I was off on the following:

Off: Matt Lawton (that was more of a shot in the dark, anyway)
Off: Felix Rodriguez
Off: Jaret Wright

On: Tony Womack
On: Alan Embree
On: Scott Proctor
Posted by: Patrick
So far, so good. They didn't score any runs after the 2nd inning, but the Yankees were able to hold off the Angels to win 4-2 in game 1 of the ALDS.

We started the postseason on the right foot. After Jeter and A-Rod started off the 1st with 2 outs, the Yankees were able to put together 4 straight hits - singles by Giambi, Sheffield and Matsui, capped by a 3 RBI double by Robinson Cano to hand the Yankees the 3-0 lead. It was a great example of taking what you can get. The big bats took their singles and Cano made them pay. During the game, they listed some of Cano's idols (Bernie Williams) and favorites, etc. The Fox graphic said "Favorite Musician". And it said 50 Cent. Joe Buck made a point to say musician twice, but I doubt that that was how it was even posed to Cano. What's his favorite musical artist, his favorite type of music? 50 Cent. A musician is, of course, a person who plays a musical instrumental. Fox should have made their graphic reflect that. So, that's Fox's fault, not Cano's, even though the way Buck said it made it seem like some sort of reflection on Cano. Anywho...

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Check it out. Here is the breakdown.

Losing ALDS: Peter Gammons, Jayson Stark, Jerry Crasnick, Buster Olney (next book: "The Last Week of the Yankees Dynasty"), Jim Caple, Steve Phillips, Eric Neel, Gary Miller, Eric Karabell, Pedro Gomez, Phil Rogers and Sean McAdam.
Losing ALCS: Nobody.
Losing WS: Rob Neyer, Tim Kurkjian and Bob Klapisch.
Winning it all: Alan Schwarz.

Wow, that's rough. We love you, Alan! Whoever you are... lol...

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick has listed odds for the MVP and Cy Young races. A-Rod is the leader in the MVP (5-13) where Ortiz is second (2-1) and Mo is second in the Cy Young (8-5) to Bartolo Colon (1-2). Not really all that meaningful, but interesting nonetheless.
Posted by: Patrick
On June 16 and August 5, I wrote about the pace that various Yankees players were on as far as what their final numbers would look like. Now that it's all said and done, let's take a looksee here...

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Posted by: Seamus
As if this season wasn't difficult enough, the Yankees will open up the postseason against the team that's given them more problems than anyone else during the Joe Torre era. The Yankees will be at Angel Stadium Tuesday night to begin the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (second time I've used that phrase). This will be the second time the Yankees have faced the Angels in the postseason. The first was in 2002 when the Angels defeated the Yankees 3 games to 1 in the ALDS en route to their first World Series championship. Here's a look at some of the matchups:

» Read More

Posted by: Michael
The Red Sox went into today with their postseason hopes on their shoulders. Sure, Cleveland had to win too, but it wouldn't have mattered if the Red Sox lost. And they didn't. They came out with much more intensity and fire, and it showed by beating the Yankees 10-1.

With the loss, the Yankees lost home-field advantage in the opening divisional series against the Angels this week.

Jaret Wright gave up three runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Torre took Wright out and put in Scott Proctor. And Proctor does what you expect him to do, gives up 3 runs in 2/3 innings. This coming off a three run blast from Manny Ramirez in the fourth.

With the game out of reach (or was it?), Torre emptied his bullpen and started pulling his starters to give them rest. The game was put further out of reach in the sixth with Doug Mirabelli hit a three run homer off of Felix Heredia ...err, Felix Rodriguez.

The Yankees are off to play the LA Angels with the BoSox off to play the White Sox. Who got the better match up? Boston or New York?

The Angels finished off the month of September and this weekend with a 21-9 record. Their ace Bartolo Colon finished with a 21-8 record for the season. Paul Byrd is right behind him, and had an absolutely great September pitching nearly 30 innings and only giving up three earned runs.

The White Sox went 19-12 in the month of September and October. They made a statement over the weekend by sweeping the Indians, and taking them effectively out of the wild card. They are led by pitchers Mark Buehrie who went 16-8 for the season. The staff of Buehrie, Garcia, Garland and Contreras is very tough.

Well this is it. The Playoffs. Mike "Moose" Mussina takes on Bartolo Colon for the Angels on Tuesday night at 8pm ET at Angel Stadium.

Let's Go Yank-ees!
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees went 19-9 in September. Key performers:

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Posted by: Patrick
Well, we're not resting our regulars (except for Mussina and Giambi, I suppose). We're going with Jeter, Cano, A-Rod, Sheff, Matsui, Posada, Williams, Sierra and Tino. Wright gets the start against Schilling, who is 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA against the Yankees this year (2 starts). They are 1-3 when he has pitched against us. If we take a 2-1 lead into the 9th, do we go with Mo? If Cleveland won, we do.

10/02: June 26, 2005

Posted by: Patrick
Easy call: Race is a runaway, by Dan Shaughnessy:

It's OK to say it. Don't worry about jinxing them. The 2005 Red Sox are going to win the American League East. By a landslide. Come late September, this is going to look like Secretariat at the Belmont in 1973.

After looking up at the Orioles for two frustrating months, the Sox moved into first place Friday night and they are there to stay. Stop worrying about the Yankees, Orioles, and Jays. It's not even going to be close.

''We're going to the Series, boys!" shouted Kevin Millar in the locker room after yesterday's 7-1 thrashing of the Phillies (the National League really stinks this year, no?). ''We're back! The [expletive] Sox are on a roll!"

And hey, they still could. There is one game left and they have yet to secure a spot in the postseason (it won't be easy for them to not make the playoffs). As you can tell by reading this blog, I'm not one to poke fun at such things (we try to stay positive), but June 26? As in, the 26th day in the month before July (before the all star break), before August and before September? Do you think, for example, Mr. Jeter would be saying such things in June? I believe we'd here him talking about how we have a long way to go, how we need to stay focused. If you were to ask him who is going to the World Series, he'd say the Yankees - what else would you expect him to say? But, I don't think he'd be yelling it out unprovoked or talking about it anymore than you pressed him to. I won't even comment on the Shaughnessy remarks as they kind of speak for themselves.

Posted by: Patrick
In addition to us, check out posts by, Jen, Brian MacMillan, Pride of the Yankees and Steve Lombardi.

10/02: Joe Torre

Posted by: Patrick
Steve Lombardi has a good post on Joe Torre this year.

This Yankees team loves and respects Torre - and he feels the same way about them. Yes, Joe makes mistakes with line-ups, pitching choices, game calls, you name it. He's not the smartest manager in the world. But, because the players care about him, and vice versa, they will do what he asks from them without question. And, in this case, that means play like a pro, don't get distracted, play hard, and don't give up.

There were many times this season where I thought that Joe Torre should be fired. And, in retrospect, that was wrong. Because of his standing with the players, he was able to keep this team together and working hard.

My comment over there:

I agree. Anyway, who is the smartest baseball manager in the world? And does it really matter in the grand scheme? Not really. Torre makes decisions you or I may or may not agree with on a daily basis. Everytime we disagree, someone else agrees, so our disagreement is meaningless. Sometimes when we disagree, his way works. Sometimes when we agree, his way doesn't work. It doesn't particularly matter. When all is said and done, Torre's great.
Posted by: Patrick
Excellent. Congratulations to the Yankees, coaches, front office and organization in general. It may not have been pretty, but you've won the division. Another year in the playoffs. Thank you.

Seeing Torre and Sheff together at the end there was cool. Thought I'd do a quick overview recap. Read the full recap for more detailed info.

Randy stepped it up today with 7 and 1/3 of 5 hit, 3 earned run baseball. Gordon allowed 1 earned over 2/3 and Mo finished it out with a quick 9th. The Yankee offense did the job, scoring 8 runs on 12 hits and a walk. Every lineup spot either scored a run or drove in a run. In order: Jeter (2 for 4, 1 run, 1 RBI), A-Rod (4 for 5, 2B, HR, 2 run), Giambi (0 for 5, 1 run, 1 RBI), Sheffield (1 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI), Matsui (1 for 4, 1 run, 1 RBI), Cano (1 for 4, 1 RBI), Tino (1 for 4, 1 run), Bernie (1 for 4, 1 run) and Flaherty (0 for 3, 1 RBI). The pitching was good, the offense was good, the defense was good. Good game all around.

Tomorrow it'll be either Mussina or Wright against Schilling. If we beat Boston and Cleveland wins, Boston and Cleveland will play 1 game playoff for the Wild Card. If Boston wins or Cleveland loses, Boston wins the Wild Card.
Posted by: Patrick
Tino is in the lineup today at 1B with Giambi DHing. Posada will get a day off with Flaherty batting last. It goes Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi, Sheff, Matsui, Cano, Tino, Williams, Flaherty.

Top 1: Jeter leads off with hit number 200 of his season (first time since 2000). A-Rod follows with a single up the middle and Jeter hustles over to third. 1st and 3rd, no out. Giambi hit a ground ball fielded by the second baseman in short right field and he threw to second to force A-Rod, Renteria lost his balance (untouched by A-Rod) and was unable to throw to first. Jeter scores, leaving on a man on 1st with 1 out. Yankees 1, Red Sox 0. Sheffield hits a rocket over the monster - 3-0, Yankees. Matsui grounds to first for the second out. Cano flies out to Manny for the third out. Yankees 3, Red Sox 0.

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Posted by: Patrick
The Yankee pitchers are ready to go. Some choice quotes:

Rivera ready to rumble:

Mariano Rivera looked relaxed as he slouched on a black leather couch in the middle of the clubhouse yesterday afternoon, his eyes glued to the television.

Mel Stottlemyre saw his closer enjoying some down time, walked over to the couch, plopped himself down just inches away and smiled a somewhat devious smile.

"Ready to pitch four days in a row?" Stottlemyre asked, still smiling.

And Rivera didn't hesitate to answer. "Put it in the books," he said.

Notes: Mo, Flash armed and ready

Chacon could work out of the bullpen this weekend if he is needed, or he could be held out in case New York is forced to play a one-game playoff on Monday.

"If they need me to pitch," Chacon said, "I'll be ready." ...

Mussina, who was on an pitch count of 80 in his first start back and about 100 in his second start, knows that there will be no such thing as a pitch count if the division crown is on the line.

"This is a playoff game," Mussina said. "There are no limits."
Posted by: Patrick
According to

If the Yankees and Red Sox finish tied, with better records than the Indians: New York and Boston make the playoffs, the Indians are out. Yankees win the AL East because they have the better record vs. Boston.

Interesting. So, the Yankees and Red Sox can be tied and NOT have to play a one game playoff. Of course, counting on the Indians losing isn't a good idea. But, theoretically, we could clinch today. Whew, boy...

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
Wakefield impersonator hired:

The way George Steinbrenner sees it, the best way for the Yankees to finally figure out how to hit Tim Wakefield is to practice against the next best thing.

And that's someone who learned how to throw his knuckler from Wakefield.

So, at Steinbrenner's request, the Yankees reached out on Thursday to one of their former pitchers, Joe Ausanio – who pitched with Wakefield in the Pirates organization in the early 1990s – and asked him to throw batting practice before Saturday's game.

"Honestly," Ausanio said Friday night, "I thought they were joking." ...

Ausanio said, "This is the opportunity of a lifetime."

Don't know if I'd go that far... also don't know if it'll do much good, but I guess it can't hurt.