Add Us:     MySpace     Facebook     StumbleUpon     Twitter


You are currently viewing archive for April 2006.

04/30: Redemption

Posted by: Jason
Giambi's fantastic start is, IMO, inspirational. To see him overcome the massive obstacles of the last 36 months and continue his hot '05 second half through the first month of '06 is astonishing and improbable.

Erasmus wrote: "The most difficult battle a man must face is with himself." It appears that Giambi has done everything right for the last 2 years while dealing with the unfortunate consequences of his actions.

That being said, if he is still using PEDs I hope he is exiled to the uncharted island where McGwire is currently hiding.

I hope not. I hope Giambi is demonstrating that redemption is possible. Even in New York.
Posted by: David
In a game where both managers were ejected by home plate umpire Adam Douty, the Yankees had a little bit more timely hitting and clutch pitching to take two of three from the Jays by winning Sunday afternoon 4-1.

The Jays got a run early as Mussina nemesis Frank Catalanotto lined a double over the head of Bernie Williams to stake the Jays to a 1-0 lead. The Yankees got the run back in the fifth when Andy Phillips hit his first homerun of the season. The Yankees got another run on a bases loaded walk to A-Rod to force in a run. This was the call that got John Gibbons tossed by the umpire. Previously, Joe Torre got tossed for arguing in between innings on calls which Mussina looked like he clearly threw for strikes.

Jason Giambi extended the Yankees lead to 4-1 with a two run shot of Pete Walker off the facing of the upper deck. Kyle Farnsworth worked the seventh and two outs in the eighth looking very impressive. He only surrendered a two out double to Lyle Overbay. He hit 100mph on the radar gun and the fans went wild!

Rivera entered with two outs in the eighth and got Greg Zaun to end the inning. Mo then worked a perfect ninth to earn his 4th save of the season.

The Yankees now head to Beantown starting tomorrow night for a two game series vs. the Red Sox. Chien Ming-Wang will face Tim Wakefield in the opener.
Posted by: Patrick has a story about Steinbrenner and some kindness he recently showed an Auburn, NY family:

“My wife and I went down to the lobby and all of a sudden a guy came in and he looked familiar,” Sean Sr. said of his first encounter with Steinbrenner. “I looked down at his hand and saw the (World Series) rings and knew it was him. I went over and introduced my son and daughter and he immediately was taken by them.” ...

The next morning, the day of the Yankees' opener against the Kansas City Royals, Steinbrenner was once again in the hotel lobby. When he saw the Lattimores get off the elevator, Steinbrenner signaled for Sydney and Sean Jr. to come over to him. That's when he offered up his own personal seats.

The Auburn family quickly accepted the exclusive tickets.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Seamus
Randy Johnson didn't bring his best stuff to the Bronx earlier today, but it didn't matter as the Yankees just toyed with Blue Jay pitching as they lit up the scoreboard en route to a 17-6 victory to improve their record to 12-10. Johnny Damon went deep twice and Jason Giambi launched a moonshot into the upper deck in the 1st inning for his 8th dinger of the year. Jorge Posada homered as well. The only Yankee starters without hits were A-Rod and Derek Jeter, who went 0-4 to drop his average to a dismal .388. Johnson lasted only six innings as he gave up six runs on six hits while striking out just two. The Yankees' bullpen was solid today, as a tandem of Tanyon Sturtze, Ron Villone, and Matt Smith pitched a total of four scoreless innings.

Is it me, or does Randy Johnson really seem to have a problem facing the Blue Jays? He was lit up for 7 at Rogers Centre in his last outing against them a couple weeks ago, and I can't back this up at the moment, but I do believe he had a number of rough outings against them last year as well. Could just be me, but either way it doesn't really matter. We didn't really need him anyway. He was just a prop today with the way they were hitting. I think a team of James Varghese, David Williams, Michael Black, Jason O'Connell and Patrick O'Keefe would've done just fine today.

Mike Mussina will look to continue his good start to the season at 1:05 tomorrow against Gustavo Chacin. Chacin somehow is 4-0 this season despite an E.R.A. of 5.11. With the way Mussina's been pitching lately, I have the feeling that Chacin isn't going to be 5-0 after tomorrow if he allows five runs.
Posted by: Patrick
Former Yankees Reliever Steve Howe died in a car accident today. He was 48.
Posted by: James
I'm not sure how I missed this but apparently Phil Hughes has been promoted to AA. (Update: The NY Post says the same - scroll to the end.)

The Yankees have already promoted Philip Hughes to Double-A Trenton, and the possibility exists that we'll see the 2004 first-round pick debut as a 20-year-old in the second half of the year.

Update 2: has Hughes making a few more starts in Tampa before being promoted around May 4.

"They told me he is going to get two more starts down there (at Class-A Tampa)," manager Bill Masse said of Hughes, who could arrive in town as early as Sunday. "So, we're probably looking at May 4 (against Reading at Waterfront Park) before he pitches for us."

I knew it was coming soon but wow, that was quick. Now, get my buddy Brett Gardner up there (as soon as he can start cutting down a little bit on the Ks) and I'll be even happier. Mike A. points out Gardner now has an 11 game hit streak, and leads the league with a .403 BA (leads by over 40 points) and .545 OBP (88 points). Not bad for your speedy CF/leadoff hitter, huh?

04/28: Slow & Steady

Posted by: James
For the first 5 and a half innings of last night's game, I'd say that most Yankees fans probably had that feeling of impending doom. Each inning that went by without a run from the Yankees against Mark Hendrickson, he of the career 5.07 ERA, was probably promptly greeted with a swallow of the Pepto. Luckily, Shawn Chacon was up to the task of matching Hendrickson pitch for pitch until the fifth when Damon Hollins doubled and a single by Joey Gathright sent him home.

In the sixth, the Yankees were finally able to get on the board, using a walk from Jeter, an error by Russell Branyan on a Sheffield grounder and an A-Rod walk to to load the bases with one out. A Jason Giambi grounder got Jeter home and then Hideki Matsui (in a 6-for-43 slump) came through with a seeing-eye 2 RBI single right up the middle (in the highlight, the shortstop and second baseman both dive for the ball, just barely miss and slide pretty much into each other's gloves; hilarity ensued - okay, maybe not).

Mike Myers and Kyle Farnsworth provided 2 innings of relief and then Joe Torre tried to use a rock to put the nail in the coffin. It didn't work as Sturtze gave a hit so he brought in the hammer, which worked a lot better.

Derek Jeter was 3 for 3 with a walk and is now hitting at .408 for the month. His OBA sits at .511 and he's slugging .667 with a dozen extra-base hits and as David Pinto at Baseball Musings pointed out, it looks like Jeter will end up with the best April of his career. His previous high in BA was .378 (31/82) in 1999. On another positive in their last five games, Yankees starters have allowed five runs over 34 1/3 innings, a 1.31 ERA.

Oh, and before too many people start gloating about the Red Sox's new starter being lit up by the Indians, such a thing has happened before in NY. (Man, was that painful).
Posted by: James
Just a quick note/plug to a site that I stumbled upon recently that I feel compelled to share with the rest of you, The webmaster does a great job of aggregating a lot of information on the Yankees minor league system.

I love The Baseball Cube for the wealth of minor league stats that it offers but it's far easier to go to Yankees Prospects and see all the kids in one place. On top of regular stats, there are some extras which I enjoy. For example, not only can you see that Melky Cabrera is hitting .333 for the Clippers this year but it shows his XBH% and K% as well (yes, you can calculate it yourself but hey, I'm lazy). There are game logs, draft class reports and my personal favorite, a daily report of what happened in the minors the night before. I'd encourage anyone who is interested to go check the site out - its value will speak for itself.
Posted by: Michael
The Yankees left 16 men on base, were 2-15 with runners in scoring position. Who do you think won based on these stats?

The Yanks came up empty last night based on the weight of their bats, and lost 4-2. The only shining moment came in the 5th with a Gary Sheffield home run to tie the score 2-2. It stayed knotted at 2-2 into the 10th. Rivera came into the game during the 9th, but gave up 2 runs in the 10th. It was Rivera's second loss of the year.

I would imagine this is a game we should just forget about, and look to the next game. But how can you forget about this game when they lose to the Devil Rays? They walked 14 of our men last night. None of these walks amounted to any runs on the board.

Tonight Shawn Chacon (2-1, 5.59 ERA) takes on Mark Hendrickson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) 7:05pm ET at Yankee Stadium.
Posted by: Patrick
I've been to a few Yankee games in my life. 3 in all. The Yankees have yet to lose in my presence. But, they haven't won them all, either. 2 of them at Fenway Park. Only once in my life have I attended a game at Yankee Stadium. Retrosheet is a cool site. A couple weeks ago, I went to find the only game I've attended and it didn't take long, since I knew what I was looking for and knew various details about the game. I was 10 at the time. The game was on July 17, 1995 and it ended in a tie, 1-1, between the Yankees and White Sox.

The White Sox outhit the Yankees 9-2 (5 walks for the Yankees, 4 for the White Sox), but Pettitte pitched well, keeping the Sox from scoring. A Mike Devereaux RBI groundout scored Ray Durham for the Sox only run while a Mike Stanley homer to left (one of the few specific moments I actually remember) put the Yankees on the board. My favorite player, Don Mattingly, started and led off the bottom of the 7th with a double. And then Randy Velarde walked. But, then, I remember the pitching coach coming out and ... the game was delayed for rain. We left before it was officially cancelled, but hours later, it was.

As I look at this box score, the first thought that strikes me is: "John Kruk played for the White Sox?!" We went by Monument Park before the game and Wilson Alvarez (who started the game for the White Sox) walked right by me. We had seats near the railing in the deck above the ground level on the third base side (for some reason, I'm thinking this was called Lower Tier). Both Alvarez (6 IP) and Pettitte (7) were given a complete game and the game was not picked up from where it was delayed. Instead, the stats counted, but the game didn't. They replayed the game from square one and the Yankees won. Retrosheet has the game that I went to marked as a tie. So, if you look at the 1995 page, you'll see a 1 in the T column. That's my game.

04/26: The Giambino

Posted by: James
Just playing around with some numbers earlier and thought that I would take a look at Jason Giambi's resurgence. We all know the story. In 2005, after an offseason of being vilified in the media, Giambi started out badly and stayed that way. Through the first 47 games (6/12/05), Giambi posted a .234/.383/.340 line with just 7 XBHs...and then it all started to click.

6/14/05: NY starts a series with the Pirates. Jason goes 1 for 2 with a double and from this point until the game last night, Giambi’s line has been .298/.478/.668/1.146 with a HR every 9.29 ABs. His full line is actually .298/.478/.668 with 74 R, 15 2Bs, 35 HRs and 92 RBIs (not to mention 99 BBs compared to 78 Ks). All of this in 325 ABs (108 games started). Holy moley, that' He's hit in pretty much every situation too.

-Lefties: .278/.451/.565. Righties: .310/.493/.724.
-Home: .333/.481/.721. Away: .263/.476/.613.

Pretty much the only time he didn't hit as well was as the DH, .222/.454/.500 in 90 ABs, compared to a blistering .329/.490/.735 (234 ABs). Oh, and in 94 ABs with RISP, he's merely hit .337/.476/.716 with 9 HRs. I hate to throw all these numbers at you since you can see that the guy is on fire but what the hey, I thought it'd be interesting to see just how hot he has been. In any case, between 1996 and 2003, Giambi has averaged 540 ABs so I'm looking for to seeing what he can do in the next 200 ABs or so and what his final "yearly" line looks like.
Posted by: Patrick
Tom Verducci talked with Moose about his hot start:

"So I'm pitching in this intrasquad game and [Jorge] Posada is up. The count is 3 and 2 and I throw a changeup. Now for some reason, Posada is right on the pitch and he smokes it. Hits it on a line. We got him out, but I was surprised that he would be right on a 3-and-2 change.

"So after the game I asked him, 'How could you be right on that changeup I threw you?' He said, 'I saw your fingers on top of the ball as it was coming out of your hand. I could tell it was a changeup.'"
Posted by: Patrick
Jason O'Connell is the latest addition to our staff here at You may recognize him as commenter Jason O. Welcome aboard. :)

04/25: 10.5%

Posted by: James
That's how much of the season is now over. The Yankees stand at 9-8, 2 games back in the AL East (and 1.5 back in the wildcard). There are 145 games left but what the hey, here are some of my thoughts so far.

-The Yankees work the count (some long games), can outhit anyone (.303/.391/.497/.888 as a team) and have a real shot at 1000 runs.
-The pitching, while inconsistent, has been better (overall) than people expected.

-People love the come-backer...especially when they are raking everything in sight (see Giambi, Jason).
-A-Rod's defense has been amazing so far.
-The same cannot be said about the rest of the infield which could be troublesome for the rest of the year (see Wang, Chien-Ming & Wright, Jaret)
-Johnny Damon might not have the strongest arm but he sure does cover a LOT of ground out there.
-Mike Mussina, a smart man in a contract year = very good season.

-Bernie Williams is done.
-Tanyon Sturtze is just about there.
-Jaret Wright never even started.
-Loyalty will force Joe Torre to use the the first two as often as he can and dollar bills dictate that Wright will be trotted out there many more times this season.

-If Carl Pavano ever actually pitches in a major league game this season, there will be much rejoicing.
-The Yankees are the best team in the American League.

Throw in what you've seen in the comments - as always, I'd love to read them.
Posted by: Patrick
The New York Daily News has an interview with Mr. Steinbrenner:

"I could have never envisioned all this," Steinbrenner said. "All I knew when I went into [then-CBS chairman] Bill Paley's office was that I wanted a baseball team."

A year earlier, Steinbrenner had been rebuffed in his attempt to buy his hometown Cleveland Indians, and when then-Indians General Manager Gabe Paul tipped him off that the Yankees were for sale, he was as much skeptical as he was excited.

"I remember walking into Paley's office and being scared stiff," Steinbrenner said. "I was sure he was gonna tell me he wasn't gonna sell or that I didn't have enough. As it was, he said to me: 'What are you planning on paying me with, Chinese money?' to which I said: 'No sir, I've got cash. Good old-fashioned American cash.'

Via Mike A..
Posted by: David
Randy Johnson returned to his old form on Sunday afternoon by pitching eight strong innings and beating the Orioles 7-1. The win enabled the Yankees to take two of three in the series and move over the .500 mark.

He allowed only three hits, all to Miguel Tejada including a home run to lead off the second inning. The Yankees came right back in the bottom of the second with Jason Giambi slugging the first of his two homers to tie the game. Andy Phillips followed later in the inning with an RBI single to right center field. Giambi connected again in the third with a man on to extend the Yankees lead to 4-1.

Later in the game Giambi came up again with two men on base and hit a double to the wall in left field to score both runners. Johnson breezed through the game only walking one and striking out five on the day.

Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth despite the game not being in a save situation. He gave up a two out single to Miguel Tejada, his fourth hit of the day, before retiring Jay Gibbons on a fly ball to center to end the game.

The Yankees are off today and will face the pesky Tampa Bay Devil Rays starting tomorrow night at the stadium. Mike Mussina will be on the mound and will face Tampa's young left hander Scott Kazmir.
Posted by: David
The Yankees old nemesis reared its ugly head again, the lack of clutch hitting, especially by A-Rod. Rodriguez struck out twice with runners in scoring position, the second time in the ninth with runners on 1st and 2nd and only one out.

Chris Ray the Orioles closer made every attempt to let the Yankees tie or win the game, but the Bronx less than Bombers couldn't take advantage of the opportunitiy. With the Yankees down by one run at 6-5 to start the bottom of the ninth, Damon was retired before a walk to Jeter and a single by Sheffield put the tying and potential winning runs on base with only one out. A-Rod struck out for the second out. With Giambi up the Yankees ran the baserunners and moved up on defensive indifference. Giambi eventually walked to load the bases but Hideki Matsui looked at a called third strike on the corner to end the game.

Chien-MIng Wang was getting mostly ground balls but they eventually found holes and the Orioles took the lead at 3-1. With the bases loaded Derek Jeter fielded a grounder off the bat of Brian Roberts but threw high to Andy Phillips at first and the runner was called safe. With the runners going on the pitch, two runs scores. The replay clearly showed that Phillips came back down on the bag before the runner reached, but the Yankees were the recipient of poor umpiring again. Remember a few days ago, Rivera had both Castillo and Mauer struck out before they reached, but a check swing and a called third strike were not called in the Yankees favor.

The Yankees came back to take the lead on a two run homer from Cano and a RBI single by A-Rod but gave it right back when Scott Proctor gave up a bases loaded walk when he was clearly upset by not getting a call from the umpire. He then gave up another run to extend the O's lead to two runs.

The Yankees got one back in the eighth but it wasn't enough as the O's held on to eventually win the game 6-5. The Yankees are now 7-8 on the season and in their losses have not looked good at all.

04/21: News & Notes

Posted by: James
First, taking a look at the minors, Steve L. posted about someone that I've been following for the last couple of days: Jose Veras. 13 to 1 K:BB ratio in 8.2 innings isn't bad but I'm not going to get interested just yet as this guy doesn't have a great track record. Outside of two decent-good years (2002, 2005), he's been quite mediocre and sports a career whip of 1.49. Still, he's a young (25) power arm (career 8.2 K per 9) so if he can keep it up, he could be of some use later on in the season either as a filler for the Yankee bullpen or as a chip in a trade (apparently he's under a one-year contract so if he can fetch something that the Yanks can use, great.)

And for more Phil Hughes, Brian Cashman says that he should be promoted to Trenton soon.

Phil Hughes, the 19-year-old pitching prospect who surprised some veteran Yankees with his talent in spring training, has 18 strikeouts, 1 walk and a 0.56 earned run average in 16 innings for Class A Tampa. General Manager Brian Cashman said Hughes would be promoted soon to Class AA Trenton, but he almost certainly would not pitch for the Yankees this season. "You're not going to see him," Cashman said. "If he can't be denied, he can't be denied, but that is not something we're looking for or expecting at all."

In my humble opinion, Brett Gardner should also be considered for a fast track promotion. He's doing very well at Tampa and is a hell of a smart player who knows how to use the tools he has (read legs; on the scouting scale of 20-80, his speed has to be at or near 80). Moving in the opposite direction unfortunately is Tim Battle who cannot buy a hit right now (3 hits in 46 ABs, 3 BBs, 21Ks!) . We'll have to see how long this is allowed to go on.

Speaking of prospects, John Sickels posted a prospect retrospective of Gary Sheffield. If you don't know the man's history, I'd give it a read. Finally, I'd also take a look at the Q&A that recently did with Scott Proctor. It's pretty interesting, especially the following answer as Proctor has historically been an extreme flyball pitcher: What has been the biggest difference for you this season?

Proctor: One is having a sinker, a pitch I can get a ground ball with. But the bigger thing is just confidence. I've talked a lot with the team's sports psychologist, and we're working on just eliminating bad thoughts, and when you have them, learning how to cope with them. I just feel more comfortable and confident on the mound.
Posted by: James
Obligatory catchphrase.

The Yanks are money. That's a fact. They are now worth, on paper, more than one billion dollars.

I would take the time to read the article, especially if you are a Yankee fan. Read it and remember what it says so that the next time some uninformed "fan of baseball" says that the Yankees are bad for baseball, you can refrain from violence and recite it to them.

But the league's reliance on Steinbrenner's Yankees goes far beyond revenue sharing. For example, a visit by the Yankees can increase a home team's ticket sales by as much as 25%. And the Yankees account for 27% of all league merchandise sales, the profits of which get shared equally throughout the league to the tune of more than $3 million per franchise. In effect, much of the league operates as subsidiaries of the Bronx Bombers.

Evil empire indeed.
Posted by: James
Oscar Acosta, the manager of the Gulf Coast Yankees of the Rookie League, and Humberto Trejo, the Yankees' field coordinator in the Dominican, were killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.

Everyone here at would like to send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Acosta and Mr. Trejo.
Posted by: Michael
Mike Mussina saw the Yanks bleeding and wanted to put an end to it. He held the Blue Jays to just one run over 7 1/3 innings.

It was a beauty to behold, as Moose and former Yankee Ted Lilly went inning after inning with no score. The blanks on the scoreboard ended in the 5th, when A-Rod connected off of Lilly for his 5th homerun of the year. Another run was added in the 5th, although Posada got caught off guard and got tagged out for the inning ending play, Matsui was able to cross home before the tag, so the run scored.So, bad baserunning by Posada...then good baserunning by Posada to avoid the tag.

Rivera finished the game for his second save of the year.

I'll have to say that I didn't expect such a masterpiece by Moose today, although I will admit he has been pitching like the Mike Mussina of old. I'm definitely looking forward to Moose's next outing.

The Yanks are off tomorrow. They return home for a Friday night game against the Baltimore Orioles. Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 4.08 ERA) faces Kris Benson (1-2, 3.32 ERA) face each other for a 7:05pm ET start.

04/19: Drool Worthy?

Posted by: James
I don't care...I'm drooling already and he's only in Tampa. TINSTAPP all you want - I'm in favor of irrational exuberance in regards to your team's prospects!

Phil Hughes went 6 innings, gave up 2 hits, walked none, struck out 8...and lost. Of his two hits, one was to the leadoff hitter in the first inning, who promptly stole second base and scored on the only other hit Hughes gave up. Talk about tough luck. Still, another dominant performance and the growing anticipation/fervor of Yankees' fans everywhere continues to grow.

Eric Duncan has put together a couple of two hit games at Colombus and has pulled his average up to .234. When he starts hitting the .260s-.270s and starts hitting with power, I'll get excited. Until then, maybe Carlos Pena can enlighten him on some slick fielding. Also, Tyler Clippard had a decent outing last night though he took the loss and goes to 0-3 for the year. Clippard is one of my favorite prospects and I fully expect him to continue to make adjustments as the season goes on - he'll be one to watch.

Melky Cabrera is still turning some heads and here's a question: Does this remind anyone of what happened to Cano last year? No one expects that much of either player (both are considered fringe prospects) to begin the year, both hit solidly in winter-league play and both got red hot in Colombus to start the year. Robinson put up a line of .333/.368/.574 in 108 ABs in his age 22 season. Contextually, this was somewhat out of place with his career minor league numbers of .277/.329/.424/.753 though he had started to hit with more authority the previous year. In Melky's case (and man, I love that name), he's hitting .380/.448/.540 in his first 50 ABs (and struck out once) in Colombus in his age 22 season. Obviously, there will be cooling off but I'm just using this to illustrate that he's still very young and is showing he can handle AAA pitching. His career minor league numbers are .285/.339/.409/.748 (better plate discipline - less power than Cano so far) so yes, this would be an outlier just like with Cano. One of the differences between the two is that Melky didn't show much improvement the previous year. In 2005 at AA Trenton, he hit .267/.310/.413 (not exactly awe-inspiring) but was promoted to AAA anyway and responded with a .324/.425/.647 line in 9 games. Then came the call up to the majors (ouch), being sent back to Columbus where it looked like his confidence was shot and then all the way back down to Trenton again. He finished 2005 with a .275/.322/.411/.733 at AA Trenton. Not horrible numbers for someone his age but not exactly eye-popping. That being said, I think it will be pretty exciting seeing how long Melky can stay this hot and where that might lead.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees fell under the .500 mark once again after Randy Johnson blew a 4-0 first inning lead in the Yankees' 10-5 loss to the Blue Jays. The Yankees jumped out early with four runs in the first inning, including back to back homers from A-Rod and Giambi. The Blue Jays responded with three in the first and three in the second, as the Jays scored seven off the Big Unit before he was pulled in the 4th. Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield had two hits, although Sheffield dropped a routine liner off his glove in the 7th inning. Troy Glaus went 3-4 with two homers, one of which was off Shawn Chacon in the 7th. The Yankees' bullpen was for the most part okay, with the exception of Chacon who struggled a bit.

More and more people are going to wonder now if there is really something physically bothering Randy Johnson. Honestly, I hate to say it, but I think if the excuse was really there for him to use he'd be one to take advantage of it. I think tonight was just one of those nights where he didn't have his stuff, which isn't uncommon for him this early in the season.

Also, I'm not really sure what to make of Gary Sheffield's error in the 7th inning on what should've been an easy line out by Bengie Molina. The way he catches the ball is unorthodox and is not the way how you'd teach your little leaguers to play the outfield, but that's the way he's been comfortable catching the ball the last few years and he hasn't had a problem with it before. I of course don't mean to defend Gary Sheffield in this instance. I think it was more a case of him just getting lazy and being a little too careless and nonchalant out there.

The Yankees will try to bounce back early tomorrow afternoon (12:35 EST) in a matchup that features Mike Mussina against former Yankee Ted Lilly. Mussina is coming off a loss in Minnesota on Friday night in which he gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 and 2/3 innings. Lilly to-date this season is 1-0 with an E.R.A. of 3.86.
Posted by: James
Steve L. over at WasWatching points out a story at SI that suggests that Randy Johnson's shoulder troubles have more to do with his repaired knees than his shoulder.

It would be interesting to know when Johnson's last series of injections was, to gauge whether or not the lubrication is having a shorter period of effectiveness.

Yes, that would certainly be interesting to know...and if this turns out to be a recurring issue, get that man an oil change! (if it's medically all right, of course).

Seriously though, by this point, I figure that Randy knows his body and what his knees can take so if he thinks he needs another injection of fluid, he'd probably say something. My only question is the timetable of these injections. Is this a procedure where they just put a needle in there and fill up and he's good as new the next morning or is this more of a prolonged procedure? If anyone has any idea, please let me know; I'm pretty very interested in how this works now.

04/17: News & Notes

Posted by: James
I've been swamped at work the past week or so (and nuts, it doesn't look good for the forseeable future) but I couldn't hold off that much longer. A lot of people have beaten me to the punch on a bunch of these topics but hey, I might as well throw in my two cents.

Even at 6-6 and with the issues with the starting pitching, the Yankees actually lead the AL in ERA (they're 4th in all of baseball). I know this is over only twelve games but hopefully, we can see this kind of performance all year from the staff and with the Yankees offense being what it is, that W-L record should be much improved.

There's been some bluster (including from myself) about Jeter sac-bunting and whether it makes sense but I wanted to make this caveat. Late in games when the Yankees are tied, I really don't have a problem seeing a sac bunt to move the runner over. In my mind, this is only because of Mariano. I am so confident in Mo that if you can just get that run to eke it out, Rivera will get you that win. Most other thank you, a hitter of Jeter's ability should hit away.

Speaking of bunts, you know who really should bunt a couple times just to see what would happen? Jason Giambi. Seriously, if he pushed a couple bunts with that infield shift on that most teams play against him, I wouldn't be surprised to see him make it to first base standing up. If nothing else, it would certainly give other teams something else to think about when Giambi comes up. Not that opposing teams are doing much thinking these days, just some neck excercises so they can watch the path of some his latest moonshots as he's been on fire lately.

» Read More

Posted by: James
Mike A. over at In George We Trust has done a great job of keeping abreast of player notes in the minors and if you check his last few posts, he'll back me up on some of these observations. He's also created a Philip Hughes watch on the left side of the page so if you like, you can keep track of the best Yankee pitching prospect since Brien Taylor (as I knock on wood, trees, throw salt over my shoulder, etc. etc.). So far, Hughes has looked pretty good in high A Charleston and barring injury, I can see him moving to AA Trenton pretty easily before the year is out.

In AA Trenton, Stephen White almost pitched a no-hitter, going into the eigth inning before giving up a hit. Playing at Commerce Bank Park, which was literally 2 miles from where I used to work, White dominated the Harrisburg Senators but the bullpen eventually gave up the game. Stephen White is an interesting case - he was the Yankees 4th round (124th overall) selection of 2003 draft and pitched well going into last season. However, he blew up in AA (6.44 ERA in 50.1 innings) but he did recover to pitch well in very limited innings in the hitter-friendly AFL. Hopefully this season, he can hopefully recover his prospect status (he turns 25 in June) and start to extend his arm a little bit (he maxed out at 129 innings in 2003), especially if he plans to remain a starter. (Update - another very good start by White - that's 3 in a row)

Speaking of no-hitters, former Yankees prospect (26 year-old Ben Julianel almost got one himself, pitching a perfect game into the seventh. Julianel, a power throwing lefty was a reliever in the Yankees system (and was traded for Ron Villone) but it looks like the Marlins are trying to stretch him into a starter.

In AAA, 25 year-old Darrell Rasner's first start was very impressive and through two starts (I know...small sample size), his numbers are pretty intriguing. Hopefully, he can keep it up and if (I originally wrote when here) Jaret Wright either goes down due to injury or ineffectiveness, we'll have a good, young pitcher who can replace him. Colter Bean is also an option but of course, I have a feeling Scott Erickson will probably get the nod instead.

» Read More

Posted by: David
After losing an absolute heartbreaker yesterday, the Yankees rebounded with four home runs and a solid pitching effort from Chien-Ming Wang to defeat the Twins 9-3 on Sunday afternoon.

Jason Giambi started it off with his first of two homers, a shot deep to center field to put the Yankees ahead 2-0. The Yankees added another run in the inning to extend the lead to 3-0. Robinson Cano pitched in with an opposite field homer just inside the foul pole in left and the Yankees piled on another run in the inning to extend the lead to 5-0. Giambi then homered again, an upper deck shot to right before A-Rod blasted a two run shot to left to finish the Yankees scoring.

Chien-Ming Wang was impressive only surrendering two runs (one earned) in seven innings. He had the sinker working all day with most of the balls that were hit were gound balls. He also struck out seven in gaining his first win of the season.

The Twins threatended late but Mike Myers was able to strike out Justin Morneau to end and further damage.

The Yankees will now travel to Toronto where they have off tomorrow before starting a two game series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night with Randy Johnson on the hill for the Pinstripers.
Posted by: Patrick
We've signed both of them. Pena is a career .243 hitter in 489 games and is 27 years old. His page has an ad stating: "New England Loves Carlos Pena - Let's make him a member of the Red Sox. And please check out the highly touted Red Sox blog at Baseball Thinking." You don't think...

Colome is 28 and has a career ERA of 4.73 in 186 career games.

Neither of them is particularly interesting, of course, but I really don't mind these signings. I don't really look at it as desperation... I look at it as one thing I enjoy about being a Yankee fan. We go out, sign people, make moves, etc. We're active, always trying to get better. It may or may not be my opinion that signing these people makes us better, but signing more people, giving yourself more options is rarely going to be a bad thing. Sometimes things can work out for you. Sometimes really well (Aaron Small). Cases like that are probably 1 in 50 or more, but you don't get that 1 if you don't take that 50.

Via SG.
Posted by: David
Mussina and Baker battled for six innings with the Twins leading 2-1 and then in the seventh Juan Castro battled Mussina and singled after fouling off several pitches to extend the Twins lead to 3-1. The Yankees had a chance to tie the score in the fifth when Posada reached on an error and took second on the overthrow. He moved up to third on a fly ball and then Bernie Williams hit a drive to right which Lew Ford timed and threw a one hop strike to the plate to nail Posada. The replay looked like Posada avoided the tag but he was called out by the umpire.

In the eighth the Twins extended the lead to 5-1 when after two outs Torri Hunter blooped a double to right which fell in front of Bernie Williams. Justin Morneau then singled to left to score Hunter. Farnsworth couldn't get the second out and another run scored.

In the eighth the Yankees had a chance to tie the score when by trailing by only two they got the first two men on base but Bernie then hit into a double play and the next batter was retired without the Yankees scoring.

The series resumes tonight with Jaret Wright facing Twins ace Johan Santana.
Posted by: James
Another win against the Kansas City Royals (who were outscored 30-15 in the series) has the Yankees over .500 (5-4) and 1 game back of the division leading Red Sox.

Randy Johnson pitched very well for the most part but had to leave the game after 5 innings. There was a lot of mystery surrounding Randy's sudden disappearance from the game as the radio announcers were pretty confused as to why he was taken out so quickly. For those who were wondering, his pitch count was at 87 for the game, which is a reasonable amount.

According to,

Torre decided to make the pitching change because of a conversation Johnson had with pitching coach Ron Guidry after the fifth inning. Guidry talks to every starter after every inning.

"I don't think it was anything structural," Torre said. "He's just on schedule. He'll pitch whenever his day comes up. It's just a freak thing. He threw the ball real well. I was a little suspicious in the fifth inning because he dropped down on his slider, which hadn't been the case earlier in the game."

Johnson had this to say about what happened:

Johnson initially scolded reporters for getting the story wrong, but then admitted to some stiffness — sort of.

"Just a little tired, stiffness in the shoulder, if you want to call it that," he said, adding a disclaimer that seemed to amuse him. "The right shoulder."

"I don't need to go out there every time and pitch seven, eight innings because you might like it," he said. "I might like it, but I also realize that the innings and the pitches that are going to be mostly counted on from me are going to be late in the year.

"So as much as I want to get my arm where it needs to be — that's what spring training is for — there's a time and a place to go out there and throw innings and pitches."

I don't know about you guys but something seems a bit off here (and I don't just mean that the preceding story makes a point of mentioning his right shoulder while the story specifically mentions the left shoulder.) I always get nervous when pitchers, esp. older pitchers, have to leave the game after 5 innings so maybe I'm thinking too much about it. I guess we'll see what happens in Randy's next start.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
The big picture is important. Seeing the big picture is one of the things that makes a good leader. Seeing the big picture is a big reason that Joe Torre is the tops at what he does.

As Yankee fans, sometimes we fail to see the big picture. We focus too much on little details, failing to recognize that different people have different opinions (Torre is a person, yes - with 4 rings, nonetheless). For example, as to the talent of one Andy Phillips. Some feel he should be getting X amount of time and some feel that he shouldn't. Seriously, whatever. It's Andy Phillips. That doesn't make either side wrong or stupid, but I think when such things are a point of contention, this kind of perpetuates the thought of spoiled Yankees fans. Oh my gosh, Torre put Cairo at 1B instead of Phillips! He's crazy! KILL HIM! How must a Pirates or Royals fan be thinking of us right now? "Look at those crazy people."

If they got a Jeter at short stop, that'd make their year. They wouldn't care if they had 2 year olds at the rest of the infield positions. Same for Mo. If they got Mo, it'd make their year. They wouldn't care if they had no infield. Yet, we spend time talking about how clutch Jeter isn't or downplaying his greatness because the media may or may not play it up. Why do we allow ourselves to be influenced by the media to the point where we fail to enjoy having a player like Jeter and instead try to prove that he is less "clutch" than others? Similar with Torre. We haven't won in 6 seasons, so what? We've been in the playoffs every year that he has managed. That's awesome, I don't care what your payroll is. He has given us 4 rings as manager. I'm still getting over the fact that we won at all. To try to say that anyone could have done that or that so and so could have is incredible to me. I'll take the 4 in the hand (or whatever he ends up with) over the 10 or whatever in the bush. Are we fans or what? Enjoy it and bask in it. We're lucky, folks. Lucky. Don't lose sight of this because one day, it'll be gone. All good things must come to an end.

» Read More

Posted by: Michael
The Yankee bats woke back up from a sound sleep as they pounded the Kansas City Royals. The Yanks took the second game in the series for the win 12-5.

It was a rough start for Shawn Chacon who gave up three runs in the first to start things off. The Yanks answered in the bottom of the first with a soaring home run from Gary Sheffield. Before that homer, he floored 3rd base coach Larry Bowa (who was standing wayyy too close to the line. Remember how Sojo always stood in the stands??). There was a BIG smile on Sheff's face, and according to him, this loosened him up for the soaring blast.

There was some wild pitching on behalf of the Royals, who gave up 15 hits for the day. Chacon lasted six innings and gave up 7 hits and 5 runs. The Royals tried to stay in the game, but the Yankees offense was just too much for them and their pitchers.

Bernie Williams made his first start in right field since '92, and played a decent game I thought. Miguel Cairo played for Robinson Cano at second, and had a stellar day for his rare start, getting two hits and driving in a run. He also made a great grab to end the inning in the eighth. It's great to see that Cairo can step in when needed and the quality is still there. Myers, Farnsworth, and Villone mopped up the rest of the innings with no trouble.

It was the third straight win for the Bombers, who now stand at .500 for the season. Game ball goes to Gary Sheffield who had three hits and four runs batted in. He was the DH for today.

Tomorrow Randy Johnson (1-1, 2.40 ERA) takes on Denny Bautista (0-0, 1.50 ERA) at Yankee Stadium. Game time is 1:05pm ET.
Posted by: Patrick
Next up is Steve Lombardi of

When you're not blogging about the Yankees, thinking about the Yankees, talking about the Yankees, reading about the Yankees or watching the Yankees, what are you doing?

These days, it seems that I'm at work - or in the car going to or driving from work. Three months ago, I got a new assignment at work that's required a tremendous amount of commitment from me. Tack on the fact that I have a 50 mile commute to work, each way, and, well, like I said, it seems like I'm always doing something work related these days. Outside of work, I try and spend every second possible with my wife and kids (who are ages 2 and 4). So, these past three months, it's been a trick to find time to blog.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

April 20th of this season will be the one year anniversary for

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
A discussion at got me thinking about consecutive game streaks and how Ripken has such a big lead over anyone else. So, I thought about Matsui and decided to look up how many games he was up to now. 494. Then I remembered hearing that he had a consecutive games streak in Japan, as well. So, I looked that up. 1,573. 494 + 1,573 = 2,067. The MLB consecutive games streak is going to be safe for quite a long time and even though Matsui's streak doesn't count for any records, you cannot help but be very impressed by it. I know that there has been some talk of him taking a couple days off this year, so it may come to an end. Nonetheless, impressive.
Posted by: James
For the first time since 1951, Bob Sheppard will not be at the Yankees home-opener.

Bob Sheppard, the legendary "Voice of Yankee Stadium," will miss today's home opener at Yankee Stadium and the remainder of this homestand after throwing out his left hip at his home on Long Island last night. Mr. Sheppard is doing fine and is expected to return to Yankee Stadium for the Yankees game vs. Baltimore on April 21.

During his absence, Mr. Sheppard will be replaced by his long-time backup, Jim Hall.

"I am very disappointed that I will miss my first Opening Day at Yankee Stadium since I began this job in 1951," Sheppard said. "I am optimistic that I will return to the Stadium for the next homestand."

Best wishes for a speedy recovery Mr. Sheppard.
Posted by: James
Peter Abraham of the Journal News posted the Yankee lineup for the home opener over at The LoHud Yankees Blog. Here's how it stands right now.

1) Johnny Damon CF
2) Derek Jeter SS
3) Gary Sheffield RF
4) Alex Rodriguez 3B
5) Hideki Matsui LF (Edit: has Giambi here and Matsui 6th)
6) Jason Giambi 1B
7) Jorge Posada C
8) Robinson Cano 2B
9) Bernie Williams DH

So, here are a couple of questions. How long of a leash do you give Bernie before you start giving Phillips some ABs at DH? (or do you think that Torre will even do that for fear of not having a replacement for Giambi at 1B?) Also, do you think that this is a good lineup, i.e. is it a good use of the players that the Yankees have on the roster? I personally wouldn't mind seeing this change made to the heart of the order.

3) Jason Giambi 1B (not hitting yet but still has a .423 OBP)
4) Alex Rodriguez 3B
5) Gary Sheffield RF
6) Hideki Matsui LF
Posted by: James
Mr. John Sickels, one of the preeminent minor league scouts who resides over at the awesome, has put up a comparison between Robinson Cano of the Yankees and Jorge Cantu of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I've really liked what I've seen of Cantu so I'm happy to read the comparison. John rates them in several areas but overall, he likes Cano just a little bit more:

Advantage: Let's see. I rate them as even in background and intangibles. I give Cano a slight edge in tools. I give Cantu a slight edge in performance to date. I give Cano a slight edge in future projection. Overall it is very close, with Cano probably having a slight edge.

It's certainly a good read and the comments look to be pretty interesting as well.

04/11: Already?

Posted by: James
It was the first game of the season and already Bill Simmons is talking about Ortiz's "clutchosity" and A-Rod's lack of "super-clutchitude".

I get that he's a Red Sox fan. I understand and respect that, but man, sometimes, his double standard really bugs the heck out of me. Here's an example. In the Opening Day game against Texas, Boston was already up 3-0 in the fifth when Ortiz hits a two-run home run. That garners this reaction:

12:30 -- Big Papi, high and deep, toward the right field corner ... OFF THE FOUL POLE! 5-0, Red Sox. That was a moonshot. I'm really enjoying myself. Just opened a Miller Lite and everything...My buddy Hench and I exchange giddy e-mails about the Loretta/Papi ABs -- just two pros doing their thing and getting the job done. I'm talking about Loretta and Papi.

However, on the same day, we have A-Rod coming to bat with the bases loaded and the Yankees up 3-0 (in the fifth inning) against Oakland. All of a sudden, we're looking at someone getting garbage time stats and piling on numbers:

And if you don't think we're in "Cheap Grand Slam" territory for A-Rod right now, you obviously don't know the man very well. Is there any way I can wager on this? (emphasis mine)

Wait, what just happened? What was the difference here? Second versus fifth inning? Millwood versus Zito? Okay, the bases were loaded but Sheff had just struck out and what Yankees fan hasn't seen the inning-ending DP with the bases loaded? How is this homer un which gave the Yankees the win different than the Ortiz home run that gave the Red Sox the win? Is it because it wasn't late enough in the game? Please.

After this article, Steve L. over at WasWatching put up a post looking at clutch hitting in the Torre era using some data from Baseball Prospectus' Baseball By The Numbers. A-Rod actuallys comes in higher than Jeter, although in far fewer at bats. Also, from the same book, an excerpt on ESPN outlining Ortiz' candidacy as the "Greatest Clutch Hitter in Red Sox History" comes up with this:

When we analyze play-by-play data, David Ortiz does rate as a clutch hitter overall, but most of the damage was limited to just two seasons, 2000 and 2005. Take those two years away, and his lifetime clutch rating is essentially zero. He didn't rate as a clutch hitter in 2004 -- at least not during the regular season -- or in 2002. It isn't a bad track record, but if clutch hitting really exists, one would expect more consistency out of the "greatest clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox."

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Yankees Universe helps kids:

... The Yankees, along with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, announced Monday a fundraising initiative to support research and treatment for children with cancer. They will be selling limited edition "Yankees Universe" T-shirts with all net proceeds being donated to the newly established Yankees Universe fund for pediatric cancer research, education and patient care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. ...

"This is the Yankee universe," [Dr. Richard O'Reilly, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering] said. "And as far as I'm concerned, there's no better place to be."

They are on sale at for $20 each, plus $5 shipping for the 1st shirt and $1 for each additional shirt. (Shipping rates for shipping to the lower 48 states, others are more expensive). They are available in dark blue with white text and gray with dark blue text.
Posted by: David
The Spring Training rumors of an awesome lineup and good starting pitching returned to reality on Sunday afternoon as the Yankees defeated the Angels 10-1 in the series finale. The Yankees ended a four game losing streak and ended the road trip at 2-4.

A-Rod started the party in the second inning with a homer off of Bartolo Colon. Yankee fans may remember last year at the stadium, A-Rod connected for three dingers vs. Colon in one game. Posada then followed with his first of two homers, a three run shot to widen the lead to 4-0. The Yankees added another run in the inning to make it 5-0.

The early cushion was all that Mike Mussina needed as he surrendered only one run in six strong innings and escaped his only real threat by retiring Tim Salmon on a long fly to left with the bases loaded to end the inning.

The Yankees were helped late in the game by Robinson Cano who hit a two run double and A-Rod also added another RBI single. Kyle Farnsworth and Scott Proctor worked two innings of scoreless relief before Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth to end the game.

Their were several milestones in the game. For Mussina the win was the 225th of his career. The homer for Alex Rodriguez was his 431st of his career and placed him at 36th on the all time list. For Posada, his first round tripper, the 176th of his career enabled him to pass Bobby Murcer on the all time Yankees list.

The Yankees have tomorrow off and will face the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday afternoon in the home opener. The series will also have afternoon games on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, then the Yankees will be on the road again as they head to Minnesota for the weekend and then Toronto after that.

Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees fell to 1-4 for the first time since 1998 after a 3-2 loss to the Angels last night in Anaheim. The Big Unit pitched a decent game, going 8 innings and giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out eight. Derek Jeter hit his first home run of the season in the first inning and Hideki Matsui hit his 3rd in the 9th, but the Yankees' bats struggled a bit as the only player with more than one hit was Gary Sheffield.

The major play of the game was a two-run triple by Adam Kennedy that put the Angels up 3-1 in the bottom of the 5th inning. That would prove to be just enough for the Angels as Matsui's homer in the 9th was the only offense the Yankees could muster from that point on.

I know the Yankees are 1-4 now, but I really hope they don't start getting bashed in the papers already like they did after their 1-4 start back in '98. People were already jumping on the "fire Torre" bandwagon and they ended up winning 114 games. There isn't much you can gather from a team after its first five games of the season.

This afternoon's game at 3:30 will feature a nice pitching matchup between Mike Mussina and reigning A.L. Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon. Both pitchers will be looking for their first win of the season as Mussina earned a no-decision Tuesday night after allowing three runs on five hits against the A's at McAfee Coliseum.
Posted by: Patrick
Tigers reliever Todd Jones has an article at Yahoo! Sports talking about why most players have trouble saying goodbye. He relates it to Bernie.

Bernie is a true pro. Look at what he did this offseason: signed a one-year deal, welcomed his replacement in center field and became the most decorated fourth outfielder in the game. He's quiet, professional, just doing his best. That's the stuff guys who get their numbers retired in Monument Park do. So was his mistake getting older. He sure ain't playing for the money now.

It's a short article, worth a quick read.
Posted by: David
What has happened to our beloved Yankees in the last three games. In the opener they got great pitching from Randy Johnson and great hitting from Matsui, A-Rod and basically the whole team. The last two games in Oakland they suffered from poor fielding, lousy relief pitching and poor clutch performances. Last night in Anaheim it was more of the same.

The Yankees lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4-1 on Friday night which was the home opener for the Halos. Shawn Chacon pitched OK, but he was not the same pitcher that Yankee fans enjoyed last year. It started in the first inning when Chone Figgins got on to start the bottom of the first and then Orlando Cabrera followed with a home run to left to give Anaheim an early 2-0 lead. Chacon would surrender two more runs in a six inning stint but labored during most innings.

With the Yankees behind 3-0 in the fifth, Bernie Williams reached on an error by first baseman Casey Kotchman and Johnny Damon followed with a double up the gap in right to score Williams. Damon was left stranded when Jeter and Sheffield both made outs to end the inning.

Anaheim tried everything they could to let the Yankees back in the game in the seventh. J.C. Romero replaced starter Kelvim Escobar and struck out Robinson Cano to start the inning. He then walked Bernie Williams and Johnny Damon to bring the tying run to the plate in the name of Derek Jeter. In came Scott Shields and the usual strong relief pitcher walked DJ to load the bases. What more could the Yankees need? The bases were loaded and due up was Gary Sheffield with only one out. Shields induced Sheff to hit into a inning ending around the horn double play ball.

In the eighth the Yankees were retired in order by Shields and Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) saved the game in the ninth by pitching a perfect inning. All night long though the Yankees seemed flat and lackluster and just couldn't get the big hit or make the big pitch when they needed it so desperately.

Perhaps the Big Unit can return the Yankees to the win column tonight by pitching like he did last Monday evening against the A's. The Angels have been a thorn in the side of the Yankees during Joe Torre's tenure. They are one of the few teams during this time that have managed a winning record against the Bronx Bombers. Yankees Broadcaster Michael Kay commented last night that the Yankees just do not match up well against a team like the Angels that play sound fundamental baseball and nibble a team to death.

Well die hard Yankees fans, the season is still very early, but speaking for myself only I hope we see a better effort starting tonight.
Posted by: Patrick

The infant daughter of New York Yankees reliever Scott Proctor was released from a hospital Thursday after she underwent successful surgery to fix a serious heart ailment.

Very good to hear that it was a successful operation. I was born with a heart murmur, myself. Luckily, it wasn't as serious. Prayers and best wishes from all of us at for a speedy recovery and a long, wonderful life.

Via Sean.
Posted by: James
Just a quick note that Fabian, formerly of Minor Yankee Blog, has posted a quick Top 25 Prospect list over at RLYW. I know we've gone through quite a few top prospect lists throughout the past couple of months but there are a couple guys on here that the general Yankee fan might not have heard of yet. At any rate, it can give you a better idea of names to look out for as the minor league season starts today. Here we go Colombus Clippers/Trenton Thunder/Tampa Yankees/Charleston Riverdogs, here we go!

Posted by: Michael
Derek Jeter said it best.

"Everyone keeps talking about our offense, but that doesn't win games; pitching and defense does," Jeter said. "We're not always going to hit every game."

With Chien-Ming Wang on the mound, and the Yankees off to a 4-0 lead, I was pretty confident in the game last night. Matsui hit his second home run of the season, and Sheff smoked a laser into the leftfield stands for his 450th career home run. That home run from Sheff was a three run blast. It had the makings of the opening night game. But it all came apart due in part to an error by Jeter in the fourth, which he bobbled it off his face (yes, his face), and tried to shovel it to Cano, led to the A's rallying for three runs. The A's tied it up in the 5th.

It stayed tied until the 8th inning when Wright gave up a leadoff triple to Milton Bradley. Payton up next hits a grounder to Cano, who boots it, and allows Bradley to score the go ahead run. Seems like when the errors come it means doom and gloom to the pitcher, as Wright immediately gave up back-to-back singles to Kendall and Scutaro. The A's took a 6-4 lead. Myers comes in strikes out Kotsay. Myers is replaced by Flash's replacement Farnsworth. A wild pitch, and a walk loads up the bases for Frank Thomas who blasts a double into deep center to score three more runs to make it 9-4 A's. Farnsworth! Don't make me start shouting your name in disgust as I once did Heredia's.

Sloppy defense and sloppy pitching will doom you every time. I'm still trying to make sense of the way Torre is handling the bullpen. Am I looking for fault from Torre? Not at this point. Just some putrid pitching. If Farnsworth doesn't come around by the time they return to Yankee stadium, expect a Loaiza type welcoming.

Today the Yanks are off, but play resumes tomorrow night as Shawn Chacon takes on Kelvim Escobar in opening the series against the Angels in Los Angeles, make that Anaheim, or how about just Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Game time is 10:05pm ET
Posted by: James
Mr. Abraham over at The LoHud Yankees Blog pointed out a link to Mr. Damon jamming on stage with Alter Bridge back in October of 2004. I couldn't help linking to it - he looks pretty funny on stage. Not quite as funny as cornrowed Bronson Arroyo who joins him onstage...but still, it's pretty amusing seeing Damon look all goofy.

Another link worthy of your time is over at Mike A's In George We Trust. He charted the velocities for both Harden and Mussina throughout last night's game and posted the results (and if you all don't know by now, I'm a sucker for graphs!) Take a look at the velocity Mussina is sitting at right now. Keep in mind that this is only as good as the radar gun giving out the results so if that's off, we could be looking at skewed numbers. Maybe if we ask nicely Mike can keep this up for a couple of Mussina starts to see where his pitches are consistently sitting. Still Mike mentions it in his post and I mentioned it during the projections - if your fastball is topping out at 90 mph when you used to consistently hit the low 90s, you will have problems adjusting. Still, if anyone can figure out a way to work and thrive with a new set of tools, the Moose from Stanford can.

Finally, on a sad note, Doc Gooden was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison for violating his probation by using cocaine.

With credit for time already served in jail and a drug treatment facility, Gooden likely will spend about 7˝ months in state prison, said his attorney, Peter Hobson.

Gooden, 41, was serving three years of probation for speeding away from police during a drunken driving traffic stop last year when he failed a drug test and acknowledged to a probation officer that he had used cocaine.

"I have a problem, sir, with cocaine," Gooden, dressed in an orange jail outfit, told state Circuit Judge Daniel L. Perry. "I had a cocaine relapse."
Posted by: Patrick
Well, it's been a while since our last interview in this series, but now it's my turn. So, let's get it over with. :)

When you're not blogging about the Yankees, thinking about the Yankees, talking about the Yankees, reading about the Yankees or watching the Yankees, what are you doing?

I own the iFroggy Network and my work (including takes up a majority of my time. I'm also a Miami Dolphins fan. I watch some TV (House, 24, The Simpsons, Family Guy, The War at Home). I'm also into music (big Diddy and Bad Boy fan, but I listen to other things, as well), gaming (I like America's Army, but it's been months... I go long stretches without playing - I just get busy), investing, writing and reading, in addition to other things.

» Read More

Posted by: Seamus
After watching last night's opener at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, you might've thought the Yankees would score 1,200+ runs this year and go undefeated. It sure looked that way. The Yankees, however, were brought back to Earth tonight after Scott Proctor served up a game-winning single in the 9th inning to Marco Scutaro as the A's defeated the Yankees by a score of 4-3. Mike Mussina had a pretty decent game in his season debut, giving up only five hits and striking out six in 7 innings, but two of those hits were home runs off the bats of Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez. Johnny Damon and Alex Rodriguez each had two hits and Jorge Posada drove in two, but the Yankees didn't muster much more than that on offense as the A's bullpen was very effective in relief of Rich Harden.

Maybe it's because the season's just beginning, or perhaps I'm still just not familiar enough with Kyle Farnsworth, but I thought it might have been a better idea to leave him in for a second inning than to throw Proctor in there in the bottom of the 9th inning. In that critical part of the game I just think I'd like to see someone a little more reliable in there. Bottom of the 9th in a tie game doesn't really seem like the situation for a guy who struggles with his control as much as Proctor does. It's not like any of the other guys have been "overused" already and the Yankees have a day off Thursday.

Oh well, can't win 'em all but that first loss is always a stinger inside. The Yankees will try to bounce back tomorrow night as they send Chien-Ming Wang to the mound to face Dan Haren. Chien-Ming Wang is coming off a very solid rookie season and was a crucial part of the Yankees success last season. Haren is coming off a decent season himself, as he went 14-12 last year with a 3.73 E.R.A. in his first year with the A's.
Posted by: Michael
We are set for the opening with fireworks and the star spangled banner in the background. I've got the broadcast up and running with it dialed into an Oakland channel for the pregame. Booo! Update: I just noticed as I was typing up this entry that they (the powers that be at floated the broadcast over to the YES network. Most likely this is because YES and ESPN2 are broadcasting the game. Who knows...but I'll take it!).

Randy Johnson takes the mound this evening against Barry Zito who finished up last year with an abnormal 14-13 record.

First Inning: The top of the inning starts off with Damon striking out looking and Jeets popping out in foul territory. Zito then begins to work both Sheff and A-Rod high and tight. Both were able to draw walks to give way to Giambi. Giambi then strikes out and the second strike would have most definitely been a foul. The bottom of the inning begins with Randy Johnson throwing a first pitch strike. Another interesting stat is that its his 14th opening day start. Ellis pops into the centerfield and Damon records his first defensive play in pinstripes. Kotsay has a broken-bat hit to A-Rod, who drops the ball, picks it up and fires it to Giambi. Giambi totally misses the ball, and Kotsay is able to make it to second. Score an error for Jason. Bobby Crosby strikes out and Chavez hits a streaker to right only to be caught by Sheff. End of the inning with no score.

» Read More

Posted by: James
Here's the final portion of the community projections which details the bullpen and of course, Mr. Rivera.

RP: Kyle Farnsworth 76 78.1 5 3 30 95 20 4 3 3.03
RP: Octavio Dotel 39 42.2 3 2 15 57 11 2 2 3.03
RP: Tanyon Sturtze 46 56 4 5 21 36 10 0 1 4.53
RP: Mike Myers 66 39 2 2 13 23 10 0 1 3.11
RP: Ron Villone 71 71 6 3 34 67 13 1 2 3.84
CL: Mariano Rivera 71 75 6 2 18 75 0 46 4 1.71

I'm not sure how many people agree with my personal outlook but I really believe that the bullpen has been upgraded quite a bit. However, Joe Torre has to manage the bullpen well, which to this point, isn't something that he has excelled at. I also think that Tanyon Sturtze's contributions to this ballclub can be (and will be, due to injury) replaced at some point by someone from AAA (whether that is Ramiro Mendoza, Matt DeSalvo, etc. I'm not sure.) Chime in and let me know if these projections look too optimistic or if you see something you want to comment on.
Posted by: Michael
Tonight marks the start for the 2006 Yankees on their quest for the team's 27th World Championship. I'll be back here later this evening, weather permitting, to live blog the opening game from Oakland, CA. Weather Update: Here

To get us started, lets see how the Yankees are focusing on the new season. I found this on and thought I would share:

T-off shirt: When the Yankees came off the field and returned to the clubhouse, in front of each player's locker was a custom T-shirt bearing a message/challenge.

The white lettering on the blue shirts listed the team's entire 2006 schedule -- from the first game of the Grapefruit League to the last game of the World Series.

Above the schedule, the shirt read: 257 Days/37 Weeks/9 Months.

Below the schedule: One Team/One Goal.

Are the current Yankees team the definition of the word TEAM? Is there anyone on the team who lets themselves get in the way of the team goal? I can think of several from the previous years, but none come to mind for this current roster. I'd be interested in your thoughts, and any pre-game rituals you might do before a game. See you back here tonight at 10:05pm ET.
Posted by: James
We posted the lineup earlier today and here are the starting pitching projections (and their replacements pending injuries) that will back that offense.

SP: Randy Johnson 33 33 223.3 19 7 45 228 3.36
SP: Mike Mussina 29 29 185 14 9 47 145 4.40
SP: Chien-Ming Wang 28 27 168 14 7 41 103 3.86
SP: Carl Pavano 24 24 142.3 12 9 31 85 4.39
SP: Shawn Chacon 35 30 194 16 9 63 103 3.79

Jaret Wright 15 6 43.6 3 5 23 31 2 0 6.38
Aaron Small 35 7 76 4 4 26 39 6 0 4.39

Interesting stuff here. Lots of people are expecting a bounceback from The Big Unit (even in his advanced years), quite a bit of Shawn-love being thrown around and Jaret Wright is oh so wrong in these projections. Chime in with any thoughts in the comments.

I'll be compiling and posting projections of the relievers this evening so until then, if you all of a sudden decide that you want to insert your 2 cents, go ahead. There wasn't all that much interest in the relievers though, which I thought was interesting. I was surprised that more people didn't chime in on Mariano though. I guess that we all expect greatness from him for yet another season. Also, you can find the totals for the hitters here.
Posted by: James
I know I said that these would be up yesterday night but a) it's my birthday so cut me a little slack and b) these old bones don't move as quick as they once used to.

Moving on, I believe a wise man (it might have been Confucius ..or Greg Maddux, I can't remember, the mind is slipping with time) once said, "Chicks (and everyone else) dig the long ball!" Well, that definitely proved the case with our projections as there was more participation for hitters than pitchers. For the most part, people were pretty optimistic about what the team will do this year (of course, we're a bit biased - this is a Yankees blog!) and we'll see how close each player comes to what we thought they could do. That being said, here is what ended up being predicted for the 2006 Yankee lineup:

C: Jorge Posada4576919730.266.363.443.806
1B: Jason Giambi50291371060.280.428.534.962
2B: Robinson Cano5778719786.300.333.476.809
SS: Derek Jeter648123228218.311.393.464.857
3B Alex Rodriguez6101285014624.320.424.6261.049
LF: Hideki Matsui611104251163.304.373.484.857
CF: Johnny Damon620122137119.303.364.432.797
RF: Gary Sheffield567106321155.291.383.505.888
DH: Andy Phillips2744614502.267.336.449.785
DH: Bernie Williams3455214583.258.331.423.753

Double digit home-runs for 10 guys on the team, Posada with a rebound, A-Rod with another monster (MVP) season...there's certainly optimism here. Is there too much? Let me know what you think.
Posted by: Patrick

Yankees manager Joe Torre picked Chien-Ming Wang and Shawn Chacon for the third and fourth spots in New York's rotation Friday, leaving Jaret Wright as the fifth starter and long reliever.

The Yankees also shut down right-hander Carl Pavano, who already had been scheduled to begin the season on the disabled list because of a back injury. Pavano bruised his left buttocks diving for first base while making a play in a minor league game on Tuesday.

Bruised his left buttocks... lol. Poor guy (seriously).

But, that was the rotation I was hoping for (1-4). So, that's good. We're just a couple days away. Don't forget to participate in our community projections.