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You are currently viewing archive for July 2006.

07/31: Just An FYI

Posted by: James
I know, I know... I might be jinxing the team for the rest of the night BUT if the Red Sox lose tonight (Ouch - Ortiz makes me pay for that remark with a game-winning 3-run HR as he continues towards a probable MVP run), Boston's record would be 62-42 for a .596 winning percentage. New York just happens to sport a .598 winning percentage (61-41). Well, with the Red Sox' win, the Yanks are in second place (none back on the loss side) and would be starting out the last 60 games of the season with a revamped (better, stronger, faster!) roster: not too shabby. Let's get ready to rumble.

Also, if you want to hear Brian Cashman's take on the these deals, head over to WFAN and listen to Chris Russo take on the Cashman (RealPlayer required). I think everybody should take a listen to the 18-minute interview if they get a chance, if only to listen to Cashman throw the hammer down on Russo when the Mad Dog gets a little too rabid (starts at about 4 minute mark). One of the best parts - Cashman: "I'm not going to put up with you putting down any of our players". You can hear the tension early on in the interview before Cashman starts to rein it in. Another great Cashman quote in response to a fairly dumb comment on Russo's part: "I think we're all trying to win a championship and that's the feel-good story we're in this business for."

Also, for those wondering about Abreu's slump last year at the end of the year, the man was pretty badly hurt. It was a mistake on management's part in putting him out there every day, though Abreu was a gamer and played every day that they wrote him into the line-up.
Posted by: James
ESPN mentioned that the Yankees just traded Shawn Chacon for Craig Wilson. This is just a rumor right now...but if it's true, Cash is MONEY! That would be an amazing move - they were probably going to DFA Chacon at some point anyway. To get someone that the Yankees actually wanted for him - fantastic...if true, of course.

Update: It's OFFICIAL: ESPN has it up now. For the record, Chacon was 5-3 with a 7.00 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and a .300/.389/.525/.911 line against. Wilson is batting .267/.339/.478/.817 with 13 homers and 41 RBI. Wow...just wow.

Update 2: Peter A. over at the LoHud Yankees Blog checks in with what the Yankees are doing, roster-wise to accommodate this move:

Aaron Guiel has been optioned to Columbus (I wasn't aware he still had options). Sidney Ponson has agreed to pitch out of the bullpen as the long reliever (well, that's better than having him in the rotation). Cashman says that Andy Phillips "definitely has a place on this team" and they will announce a move tomorrow.

I would guess Bubba Crosby goes. Once Cano returns, Nick Green won't be needed. No matter how you look at it, their roster is much better today than it was yesterday (Amen to that!).
Posted by: Jason
Media Translation Service provided free of charge here at

When a member of the media says:

"The Yankees could have a serious clubhouse problem on their hands with a potentially dissatisfied Gary Sheffield...."

The media member is really saying:

"The Yankees' procurement of Abreu without sacrificing top prospects was a huge win for New York. I can't find a downside to this deal. Furthermore, it's really scary for the rest of baseball that Brian Cashman is a highly competent GM who is clearly now in full control of the vast resources at the Yankees' disposal. Therefore, I'm fabricating something about the mood of a player who is a) given to public statements and b) will likely not take another at-bat this season."

07/30: Loving Bobby

Posted by: James
Living outside of Philly (and in PA for the last 7 years), I've gotten to see a lot of Abreu. I've always liked the guy as he's always been quick with a smile or a joke whenever I've seen him interviewed. He's generally seemed to be cordial to Phillies fans even knowing that he never really got the love that a player of his caliber should have (this applies on a national level as well).

However, in his final day on the Phillies, the fans at Citizen's Bank park did something very nice for him on his way out. When the trade was officially announced to the crowd before the 9th inning, the fans stood as one and cheered for Abreu, who had remained in the dugout hanging out with his now-former teammates. Bobby came out, waved and blew kisses to the crowd. Lidle also came out and tipped his hat. The ovation continued for a while as the fans thanked Abreu for his 8 years of service. After the game, Bobby did an interview for the station where it was clear to see that he was moved (almost to tears, by his own admission) by the fan reaction. Still, he maintained how excited he was to head to NY and to be reunited with Larry Bowa with whom he had great relations. The Phillies announcers were kind as well and wished him well, saying that they hoped to see him in the World Series this year (as do I). For all the ill spoken about Philly-area fans, today was a good day and I'm glad I got to see it.

07/30: Deal Details

Posted by: James
Peter A. over at the LoHud Yankees Blog breaks down the deal so head on over and check out what's he found out. A few highlights:

* The Yankees did not have to pick up the option. So they will owe Abreu $4.4 million this season, $13 million next season and a $2 million buyout for 2008. Lidle is owed $1.3 for this year. Once Sheffield is not retained, the money is almost a wash.

* Torre said that Bernie will go back to the role they intended to use him in: occasional DH, pinch hitter and fill-in outfielder.

That's great to hear about Bernie because that means that Melky maintains his starting spot until Matsui is ready. Of course, Torre has said one thing and then eventually reverted to something else before (i.e. Bernie platoon) so we'll have to wait and see what happens.
Posted by: James
Update: It's official and the other minor-leaguers are catcher Jesus Sanchez (19 in 2 months and hitting .264/330/.319/.649 in the GCL) and right-hander Carlos Monasterios (20 and pitching well in the GCL - 2.97 ERA, 24:3 K:B in 30 IP). Awesome - these guys are still at least 3 years away from the majors. A couple weeks ago, the Phillies were talking Hughes and, they end up with these guys. Nice work, Brian Cashman.

If it is C.J. Henry & Matt Smith, I for one will be ecstatic. To get a player of Bobby Abreu's caliber as well as someone who immediately pushes Sidney Ponson (and perhaps Shawn Chacon) off the team for a package of these guys could be (and probably will be) labeled a coup. Joe P. over at the Sporting Brews has done a very good job of looking at the players listed in the trade. Mike A. over at Baby Bombers would be a good source to check in on this as well but while Henry is young (only 20), he has not shown a ton of promise playing in Low-A Charleston. He's not a huge bust ala Jon Poterson (what a waste that was) but he simply hasn't performed to the expectations that were there when he was drafted. At that time, Baseball America had him listed as the second-best athlete and fourth-fastest baserunner in the draft. To date, that athleticism simply hasn't transferred to the field but that's not to say that it won't in the future. In essence, we're not giving up on a sure thing and we're not giving up a stud SS prospect either as he's been just plain bad at short and pretty much any prospect analyst thinks that an outfield move is in his future.

As for Smith, a lot of people are high on him based on his 0.00 ERA so far in his MLB appearances as well as his performance in the high levels of the minors in the last two years. Still, giving up Smith becomes a lot easier to swallow when you think about it in terms of who you would rather keep - a 27 year old who has pitched a total of 12 innings in the majors (8:9 BB:K ratio) or the 29 year old (Scott Proctor) that has performed well to date in the majors and (more importantly) earned Joe Torre's trust.

So far, it looks very good for the Yankees, especially if reports are true that the Yankees won't have to pick up his 2008 option. That would make Abreu a free agent after the 2007 season (Lidle is a free agent at the end of the year) so he would essentially replace Gary Sheffield next year.
Posted by: David
Mike Mussina notched his 13th win of the season pitching seven strong innings and only giving up two runs. He walked two and struck out eight while throwing 97 pitches.

The Yankees started the scoring in the 3rd with the help of a two out double from the captain Derek Jeter. However, Tampa struck right back with a bloop run scoring single to center from Johnny Gomes and an RBI single to right from Tomas Perez after it looked like he was struck out, but the ump called it a foul tip.

Johnny Damon went to the upper tank in right field twice for solo home runs in the fifth and seventh innings to give the Yankees the lead at 4-2.

Kyle Farnsworth struck out the side in the eighth and looked very impressive. He reached speeds of 101mph on the radar gun. Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 26th save of the season.

The Yankees have a day off tomorrow before Toronto comes to town for a three game series starting Tuesday night.

The Yankees have confirmed the trade rumors that will bring Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle from the Phillies for four minor leaguers including C.J. Henry and Matt Smith.
Posted by: Patrick is reporting that the Yankees and Phillies have agreed to a tentative deal that would send Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle in exchange for C.J. Henry, Matt Smith and a minor leaguer to be named.
Posted by: Seamus
Looks like James was right. I guess 5-0 would've been pushing it as the Yankees took a 19-6 beating from the Devil Rays and fell a half game behind the White Sox and 1.5 games behind Boston. Needless to say, Randy Johnson wasn't very good as he allowed nine runs in less than 4 innings. The Yankee bullpen went on to surrender 10 more, including five runs allowed by Shawn Chacon, 3 by Mike Myers, and 2 by T.J. Beam. Ron Villone (big surprise) was the only Yankee pitcher not to allow a run.

The game looked promising in the 1st as the Unit retired the side in order, which was followed by back-to-back solo shots from Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi to put he Yankees ahead 2-0. It didn't take long for the Rays to counter, however, as they would score 3 in the second, highlighted by a two-run double by Tomas Perez. Damon Hollins put 3 more on the board in the next inning with a round-tripper. Jorge Posada's two-run double in the bottom of the 3rd brought the Yanks to within 6-4, but that would pretty much be all she wrote as Tampa Bay went on to score another 13 runs. The only real Yankee highlights if you can call it that are Jeter and A-Rod each recording two hits, and Jason Giambi launching his 30th home run of the season.

The Yankees will finish up this series at 1 ET. as they will send out Mike Mussina to face James Shields.

Posted by: Patrick
Actually, Abreu won't require us to pick up his option:

Phillies GM Pat Gillick, according to a source, had been given the go-ahead from Abreu's agent yesterday afternoon to work out a deal with the Yanks, Mets or Red Sox. Since Abreu has a full no-trade clause, he is able to dictate which teams he'd be willing to play for; the final trio comprised the ones that he was willing to waive the no-trade clause for without requiring that the $16 million club option on his contract for 2008 be picked up. ...

... Gillick and Yanks GM Brian Cashman began engaging in more serious talks as the afternoon went on, according to a source. It was believed that the Yankees might be sending reliever Scott Proctor to the Phillies in exchange for Abreu and, possibly, former Yankee pitcher Jon Lieber. Prospects could also be involved in the deal. Instead of picking up Abreu's option, the Bombers were expected to pay a lump sum of somewhere near $1 million to Abreu in exchange for him waiving the no-trade clause.

Another SP possibility: Kip Wells:

The two New York teams could be at the forefront of those interested in starter Kip Wells. A deal with the Yankees seems more likely, given that team's additional interest in outfielder Craig Wilson and reliever Roberto Hernandez.

Via Pro Sports Daily.

07/29: Bobby Abreu

Posted by: Patrick
Bobby Abreu is good. How good? I'm not sure. But, this much is true: he's 32 years old. Throughout his career, he has been very durable. Starting from 1998 (his first full season), he has played between 151 (1998) and 162 (2001 and 2005) games. He has missed just 2 games this year. He's a career .301 hitter and his career OBA is .412. Coming into this year, he was 8th in OBA among active players. Since 1998, his OBA has been below .400 (.393) just once. Not even OBA machine Giambi can say that. In those seasons, his OBA has ranged from .405 (2005) to .446 (1999). He's at .427 this year, even if he is on pace for the lowest batting average of his career (.277). And he won his first gold glove last year (I know that gold gloves are subjective, but a gold glove is a gold glove, no matter how you slice it).

He's making $13 million this year and $15 million next year. And he wants his 2008 option of $16 million (really $14 million, since it has a $2 million buyout) picked up. By then, he'd be 34 years old, which isn't that bad. The thought, I would guess, would be that we trade for Abreu. He takes RF. Matsui comes back, takes LF. Sheffield comes back, whenever that is, and maybe gets some OF time, but is primarily a DH.

So, for the next two years, Matsui, Damon and Abreu becomes our OF, since they are all under contract. We either decline Sheffield's option or pick him up at a discount to be a DH (not too likely). Offensively, it's a great outfield. Defensively, it seems generally good, as well. That's subjective, I imagine. But, I'd say that at worst, it's "not bad." Imagine this lineup for the playoff run in September and, assuming we make the playoffs, those as well:

C - Jorge Posada
1B - Jason Giambi
2B - Robinson Cano (After Time Off)
3B - Alex Rodrigiez
SS - Derek Jeter
LF - Hideki Matsui (After Time Off)
CF - Johnny Damon
RF - Bobby Abreu
DH - Gary Sheffield (After Time Off)

Of course, it comes down to what will it take to make it happen. If we can make it happen without dealing the cream of our crop, then I'm interested. I don't know how great Lieber is (especially for this and next year), but I guess he's most likely got to be better than Wright, Ponson, et all., so if we have to take him, or Lidle, that would be worth doing. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. We'll know soon.
Posted by: Patrick
We've inquired about Jake Westbrook:

... but the Yankees did inquire about Indians starter Jake Westbrook. They were told he is not available, but that, like everything else, could change by Monday afternoon.

Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun speculates that we might have a place for Jeff Conine.

George King of the New York Post talks about potential deals with the Phillies and Pirates, as well as the value of Proctor:

With the Phillies and Pirates lowering their price on the players they are trying to move, the likelihood of the Yankees making a deal before the trading deadline is better than it has been in weeks.

And there were indications the Yankees may include Scott Proctor - whom the Phillies love - in the right transaction. If Proctor is moved, another reliever is a must.

Until the price came down on Bobby Abreu, Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle and Tom Gordon, GM Brian Cashman wasn't going to get something done with the Phillies. Ditto with the Pirates, who are shopping Craig Wilson, Salomon Torres, Roberto Hernandez, John Grabow, Sean Casey and Jeromy Burnitz.

As far as the Pirates, an NL source explained the Yankees are interested in getting Wilson and Burnitz to spin them off in a three-way trade.

I had seen Proctor bashed quite a bit (especially before this season) and I never really said too much about him. This year, he has been valuable to us. But, it would certainly be neat if he ends up helping us net something bigger...

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: James
It must be Yankees week over at this week. Buy one Yankee, get the second one half-off! In any case, much like the earlier Q&A with Jose Tabata, Sapna Pathak gets a chance to sit down with Phil Hughes. Again, Hughes comes off as remarkably mature and well-spoken for someone of his age and even though he was drafted at the tender age of 17, he seems very pratical and even-keeled. I've condensed some highlights below but check out the whole piece if you get a chance. What was it like being selected in the first round by the Yankees?
PH: I was contacted by some other teams, and they'd pretty much said they wanted me so it was kind of nice to have that safety net there. But to be taken by New York was unbelievable. You mentioned improvements; what are some improvements you've noticed in your game?
PH: Last year was a big learning experience for me. This year, my fastball location has gotten better and I'm at the point with my curveball where I can throw it in any count at any time. You are being hailed as the future of the Yankees on quite a few Web forums. Is that a lot of pressure to handle?
PH: It's tough at times because there's a lot of high expectations there. People think I'll dominate my first time in the Majors, but it'll take time; only a few people can come out and really dominate. It'll obviously be another learning process when I get up there. (Pretty astute assessment.) What players did you look up to as a child?
PH: Growing up I was never like that. I played different positions and didn't start pitching until high school. Guys like Greg Maddux or Roger Clemens I admire because of the longevity of their careers. (Amen to that!) What games and who's your biggest competition?
PH: Spades or Big Deuces which is an older game that Kevin Howard introduced us to. Me and Jamie Cox have been known to talk some trash (laughs). (I'm assuming he's referring to J.B. Cox - I've just never heard him being called Jamie before.)
Posted by: David
Chien Ming-Wang was simply brilliant on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. He pitched a complete game two hit shutout as the Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-0 in the first of a three game weekend series. Wang now has a record of 12-4 on the season.

The Yankees scored a run in the first on a two out single from A-Rod. They added two more the next inning when Derek Jeter lined a two out, two run single to right to move the Yankees up 3-0. In the fourth Tampa Bay starter Tim Corcoran got into more trouble and was relieved by Chad Harville. The Yankees scored two more runs on bases loaded walks. Bernie Williams hit a solo homer to center to end the scoring and put the Yanks up 6-0.

The story of the night though was Chien Ming-Wang as he was perfect through the first four innings. He only had one inning with more than one runner on base and got out of it when he retired Rocco Baldelli on a fly ball to center to end the threat.

Gary Sheffield in still on the DL but was seen sitting on the Yankees bench during the game. During the telecast they showed tape of him today throwing in the outfield. He is looking to come back around September 1st. Hideki Matsui is swinging the bat and throwing and running and he is looking at being available sometime during August. Robinson Cano ran the bases today in Tampa and is scheduled to run again on Sunday. He should go out on rehab next week and the Yankees are looking to have him back in about ten days. Octavio Dotel threw a bullpen today and is scheduled to have another bullpen session on Sunday. If he could be back this year at all it would be a plus.

The series vs. Tampa Bay resumes tomorrow with Randy Johnson on the hill for the Bombers in a 4pm start.
Posted by: Patrick
If we want Abreu, the Phillies may want us to take Lieber. And the Pirates are interested in Steven White. According to the New York Daily News:

Quite simply, the prices being asked by opposing teams are too high. The Phillies, however, may be slowly moving toward middle ground with the Bombers, sources said, and could get closer over the weekend. After asking for top prospects (such as Phil Hughes or Jose Tabata) in exchange for Bobby Abreu earlier this month - even though the Bombers believe any transaction involving Abreu is basically a salary dump for Philadelphia - the Phillies are now said to be discussing a deal that would net them lesser prospects for Abreu - with the catch being that the Yanks have to take on former Bomber Jon Lieber, too.

We're interested in Ramon Ortiz and Mark Redman, according to the New York Post:

And while Bobby Abreu may not be dealt or may require talent the Yankees don't have or don't want to trade, there are other options. Right-handers Jon Lieber, a former Yankee, and Cory Lidle are on the list of pitchers the Yankees are interested in. The list also includes Royals lefty Mark Redman and the Nationals' Ramon Ortiz.

Roger and Andy, as well:

The Yankees also have made it known that they would have interest in Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte in the event - an extreme longshot - that the Astros would consider trading them.

Via Pro Sports Daily
Posted by: James
There's a positively glowing article on Chien-Ming Wang over at today. It's definitely worth a read, if only to get a little more of an idea of who the team's somewhat shy #2 pitcher really is. Here are a few highlights and any emphasis added is mine.

Asked if he has been pleased with his success, Wang shook his hand as if to say, "So-so."

"Maybe lucky?" he said with a bashful grin. "I want better, better, better." (How can you not root for that?)
Catcher Jorge Posada says without hesitation that Wang has the best stuff in the Yankees' rotation. Guidry feels Wang could be an ace for the Yankees, if not another team, in a couple years.
That was never more evident in Wang's next to last start against the Mariners. Wang didn't have his best stuff and was constantly in trouble. Three Alex Rodriguez errors behind him didn't help.

But Wang never lost his composure and allowed just two earned runs in seven innings to pick up the win.

Asked about the errors after the game, Wang simply said, "Nobody's perfect."
But despite his success, Wang remains a pitcher not too many teams know about.

Mariners batting coach Jeff Pentland hadn't heard much about Wang -- other than that he had a good sinker -- before facing him on July 17. After spending a couple hours of watching him on tape, Pentland compared Wang to Roy Halladay, the Blue Jays' former Cy Young winner. (A comparison I've thought of on several occassions).

Now, he needs to do only one thing to get on my eternal good side. When Joe comes in to take the ball from him, Obi-Wang should wave his hand and calmly tell him that he doesn't need to take the ball away and this isn't the ball he's looking for. THAT...would be hilarious (okay, maybe just to me...).
Posted by: Jason
...because it was consumed by flames last night!! What a game!

Massive momentum swings, key hits and a pinch of good fortune all combined for the Yankees to pull within 1.5 games in the AL East race (wholehearted thanks, Frank) and assume a "wafer thin" 0.5 game lead in the AL Wild Card race.

Unfortunately Wright was nicked, then gouged, in the 2nd and the 4th and was not the same guy who whiffed 10 D Rays before the break...but those were the Rays and Showalter's lineup card was stacked with the usual dangerous suspects: Young, Blalock, Texiera.

Notable offensive developments:

1) The Yankees came out of the chute strong with 4 hits in the Top 1st (John, Derek, Bernabe and Andy) and exited the 1/2 inning with a 2-0 lead.

2) Top 8. With the Yankees down 4-2, Alex made a bid for the steamy asphalt of the Ameriquest Field parking lot, but only made it to the green grass beyond the dead-CF wall. Unacceptable! Trade him now while we can still get something valuable.

Also Top 8...after a Bernabe BB and a Phillips 1B, Cabrera went the other way into the gap for a 2 RBI double that gave the Yankees the lead 5-4. After Fasano bunted MC to 3rd, he scored on a wild pitch...6-4 New York.

Bottom 8...I'll admit that I was about to concede this game, because of course with the Boston loss there was no downside in the AL East race. Both Beam and Proctor were shoved around by Texas, until Chacon stopped the bleeding with a strikeout and a remarkably improbable double play: he looked like Martin Brodeur stabbing a Jagr wrist shot, then he auditioned for the Alvin Ailey Theatre by performing some interpretive dance before finally, FINALLY throwing the ball to first for the DP. 7-6 Rangers.

Top 9. Jeter takes a pitch back through the middle for a 1B. When is someone going to coin a proper nickname for Jeter? It must convey the same skill and class as "The Yankee Clipper." Joe D. retired 21 years before I was born, but from everything I have read, beyond all doubt, Jeter is our DiMaggio.

To conclude: let me take you back just a short time to a news story, so you can contrast it with the ball sailing into the seats last night for the lead and the victory:

5/11/2005: Chicago Sun Times
"Minor Leagues could be in Giambi's future"

New York (AP)
Jason Giambi could be headed to the minor leagues if he doesn't start hitting. With Giambi's batting average down to .195, Yankees manager Joe Torre and General Manager Brian Cashman...
Posted by: Patrick
Apparently, we're unwilling to deal Proctor to get Betemit:

Yesterday, the Yankees were informed by the Braves that a deal for infielder Wilson Betemit wouldn't get done unless the Yankees included Proctor. Unwilling to remove Proctor from their bullpen, the Yankees run the risk of watching the switch-hitting Betemit, a player many evaluators say has a bright future and one who could help bolster the Yankees' lineup, land elsewhere.

You can add LaTroy Hawkins to the list of relievers we're looking at.

Joel Sherman says not to be surprised if Bubba ends up with Girardi:

If the Yanks eventually land an outfielder and have to move someone off the roster, do not be surprised if Bubba Crosby ends up in Florida. Marlins manager Joe Girardi, the Yanks' bench coach last season, was one of the key voices in the organization who believed Crosby could be a full-time player. Current Marlins center fielder Reggie Abercrombie is one of their few rookies who has not played well this year. His .215 batting average was the worst for any active NL player with at least 225 plate appearances.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: James
Regardless of what anyone else says about you, I'm glad you're on the team. .305/.385/.573 for your career with 451 HRs and 1299 RBIs (235 SB too). Most people would be happy calling that a career...and you've still got a good while left. Wow - simply amazing - so Happy Birthday and well wishes. Now just go out, relax a little, enjoy the day off...and hit 20+ HRs over the rest of the season!

Just kidding! (Sort of...)
Posted by: James
Peter Abraham, probably my favorite Yankee beat writer in a long time, takes a quick break from the LoHud Yankees Blog and guest-posts over at The Baseball Analysts this morning with his thoughts on Joe Torre. It's a well-written piece and certainly worth your time. Of particular note are Peter's observations on Joe and his handling of the media as well as Torre's bullpen management. I especially enjoyed this part of the article:

The session is an egalitarian affair. No matter who you are, you're allowed to worm your way through the crowd and ask a question. From Mike Lupica to stargazing fan-boys from weekly papers, Torre takes on all comers.

But Torre has no time for ESPN. He believes they hammered too much on Roger Clemens for throwing the piece of bat at Mike Piazza during the 2000 World Series. So he doesn't yuck it up with Chris Berman or pop up on SportsCenter. He growls a few words when one of their reporters asks a question, then invariably makes some kind of remark when they walk away.

He also doesn't much like questions about how he uses his bullpen, unless it's from a beat writer. One of the backup writers from the New York Times questioned his use of Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of a tied game a few weeks ago and Torre's response was "You been around much?"

Torre glared at the guy as he answered and kept glaring through the next question, which was asked by somebody else about another subject.

As much as I can get annoyed with some of Joe Torre's in-game decisions, I'm still amazed that he's been able to last this long in the NY pressure-cooker and I think part of that can be traced to the affable nature showcased in Peter's article.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees have acquired catcher Sal Fasano from the Phillies for minor league 2B Hector Made and have designated Kelly Stinnett for assignment. Fasano is a bit of an improvement offensively from Stinnett, as he has hit .243 with four homers and 10 RBI so far with the Phillies. Stinnett struggled with the Yankees this year, with a line of .228/.282/.304 (probably would've been even worse had he not gotten so hot for a week or so in May).

So, Super Mario gets another shot with the pinstripes after spending the entire 2004 campaign in Columbus. Don't really know what to say about him, other than he tore it up for me in MVP Baseball two years ago.

In other news, the Twins have defeated the White Sox yet again this afternoon, so the Yankees go into tonight's game as part of a three-way tie with the ChiSox and Twins for the A.L. wild card spot.
Posted by: Jason
As the media reports oscillate from one end of the spectrum to the other (Abreu!! Soriano!! Yes!! No!!...wait, now YES!!....wait, now it's totally NO!!!) I see Cashman using the media in the way he never could when leaks were coming out of the organization like multiple waterfalls in the days of the NY/Tampa schism...

Cashman has probably read Julius Caesar's "Conquest of Gaul" and is employing a relevant lesson from that most famous man in history: "Men will readily believe what they wish to believe."

These media reports, while generally informative, are probably planted by BC to mask his true intentions. Cashman is planting these leaks to assess how the market will move....the Yankees are the biggest whale in MLB, one little move of the flipper and everyone else is displaced and MUST react. Cashman understands the power of this position, and gone are the days when the Yankees were played like a fiddle with agents having direct lines into Tampa sources and the Boss's office...

For example, there's as close to a zero chance as possible that they would trade Alex...but the Oilers traded Gretzky...I guarantee you there's a hypothetical deal for Alex (and Hughes, and every Yankee player) that could create value for the team.

And Cashman seems to never take anything off the table. Watch his public language closely....
Posted by: James
Sapna Pathak over at got a chance to sit down with Yankee prospect Jose Tabata and pick his brain a little bit. Tabata comes off as a good kid, intelligent and to the point but still pretty jovial. I'd read the whole article but I've presented some of the highlights below: Were you exposed to Major League Baseball while growing up in Venezuela?
JT: There were games on TV. I grew up loving Manny Ramirez. Your childhood hero was Manny and now you're a part of the Yankees, how does that feel?
JT: (Laughs) It's weird because I love Manny Ramirez, but I knew that if I played it would only be for the New York Yankees. I wouldn't even consider it. What are you doing when you aren't playing baseball?
JT: I love playing basketball as much as baseball. If I was taller maybe I'd be in the NBA right now (laughs). What's the best part about playing here?
JT: The most important thing to me is being a team player. I'm not caught up with doing well all by myself; I have that team-mentality. Do you shy away from being in the public eye, or do you enjoy it?
JT: Oddly enough, although my English isn't that good, I like speaking in public. I enjoy being around fans or young children and getting to know people. What big-league ballpark would you play in if you had the choice?
JT: Yankee Stadium, as a Yankee.
Posted by: James
To be a Trenton Thunder Yankee prospect, that is.

My boy Tyler "T-Clip" Clippard has now gotten his ERA under 4 for the year. I'm fairly certain that anyone who reads knows that I'm a big fan of Clippard but he's really justified my support. Just a month and a half ago, he was 2-9, his ERA stood at 5.69, his WHIP was 1.26 and he was averaging 8.2 Ks per 9 for the year. Honestly, I still haven't found out what changed for him but something sure has and it has led to two Pitcher of the Week awards and a mention on the BA Hot Sheet. Of course, his numbers look quite a bit better now as well; Clippard's ERA is now 3.86, the WHIP is down to 1.09 and he's gotten the K rate (up to 8.8 per 9) and wins up (5-1 in 8 decisions, 7-10 for the year). Not too shabby for a 21-year old in AA, huh? Hughes & Clippard (in Columbus) in 07!

As an aside, you'd have Steven White (25, a decent ground-ball pitcher), Jeff Karstens (23, has pitched much better in his return to Columbus) and Darrell Rasner (25, if he can ever return from injury) filling out that rotation. That's not too bad at all and certainly gives you quite a few viable options if a starter (i.e. Pavano) were to go down next year.

As for the other prodigal son in the Yankee system, Eric Duncan blasted another home-run to support Clippard, The home-run was his 4th HR in the last 3 games and the third game in a row that he's knocked one out.

While Duncan has hit a ton better since he was demoted to AA Trenton and his plate discipline has been amazing (especially considering his hack-tastic past), I'm not ready to pronounce him "back" just yet. I'd like to see what he does for the rest of the year before I do that but his current line of .286/.379/.584 in 154 ABs (14 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 23 BB, 19 K for a 57% XBH ratio and a 12% K ratio) certainly adds back a lot of the luster he lost earlier this season in Columbus. It's also impressive that he's done this so far while playing in Trenton, which I believe is a slight pitcher's park and in the Eastern League, which is more of a pitcher's league (or so I understand). Still, while I'm happy for his turnaround, I need to see more before I jump back on the bandwagon.
Posted by: Patrick
We're looking at Wilson Betemit:

The Yankees view Betemit as the ultimate utility man who can play second base in Robinson Cano's absence. Cano, who has missed a month due to a hamstring problem, is at least two weeks away and could be out longer.

Getting Betemit would allow the Yankees to entertain trade offers for Cano during the offseason, when they will be in the market for pitching.

The Braves also like Columbus (Triple-A) lefty reliever Matt Smith and righty T.J. Beam, who was recalled by the Yankees on Monday.

And some mid level pitchers:

Top-line starters such as Dontrelle Willis, Barry Zito or Jason Schmidt won't end up in pinstripes (or be traded at all, most likely), but the Yanks have inquired about several mid-level pitchers including Arizona's Miguel Batista and Baltimore's Rodrigo Lopez, according to sources.

And Jon Lieber and Cory Lidle:

The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins have expressed interest in Lieber or Lidle - or both. Those teams need pitching help. The Detroit Tigers are pulling away in the American League Central, which means the Yankees or Red Sox (whoever doesn't win the American League East), the Chicago White Sox, and the surging Twins are fighting for one postseason spot.
Posted by: Patrick
The New Canaan Darien Magazine has an interesting article/interview with Cashman:

“My father broke every child labor law,” Brian says with a shake of his head. Cleaning stables, he says, “gave me a work ethic and made me realize how tough it was to get by.” It also gave him a profound distaste for horses. He preferred basketball and baseball. His favorite baseball team was the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brian rejoiced when they beat the Yankees in the 1981 World Series.

“At that time I was one of the all-time Yankee haters,” Cashman admits.

Fate was about to play a funny trick on him. At a racetrack his father managed in Florida, the publicity director, a man by the name of Allan Finkelson, was a close friend of a horse-racing enthusiast named George Steinbrenner. While Brian was in college, Finkelson landed him a Yankees internship. ...

When she worked as a player agent, Jean Afterman clashed with Cashman over the contracts of players like Hideki Irabu and Alfonso Soriano. Yet Cashman was impressed by her tenacity. “She was so sharp and tough in negotiations, I always had it in my mind that I wanted her on our side of the fence,” he says. He hired her as assistant general manager in 2001.

“Brian is uncomfortable with the nice things you say about him, but those same qualities come through whichever side of the fence you’re on,” she says. “He has a strong sense of integrity, what’s right and wrong. If there’s a misunderstanding, there’s no ego involved. That’s one of the most significant things about him. He’s confident, and he should be. He has nothing to prove. Brian is very comfortable in his own skin.”

Jean Afterman is one of only three women to have held the position of assistant general manager in the majors. Two of those women — Jean and her immediate predecessor Kim Ng (now with the Los Angeles Dodgers) — were hired by Cashman. Keith Hernandez may not like them in the dugout, but Cashman is fine with women in the front office.

“It’s Brian recognizing the value and merit of somebody and being gender-blind about it,” Jean says. “A lot of men are not comfortable working with women, especially in sports. That’s not an issue with Brian.” ...

Cashman discusses the Boss with both humor and sensitivity. He recalls the first time he drove Steinbrenner around as a young intern and hit a pothole on the FDR Drive. “This isn’t a freaking tank!” Steinbrenner yelled, not exactly in those words. At the same time, he disagrees with those who portray Steinbrenner as a backseat bully. ...

Torre says Cashman reminds him of Dal Maxvill, a longtime St. Louis Cardinal GM for whom Torre worked. “He’s the same type of personality, where they can be calm and collected but have a rough edge to them,” Torre says. “When they get angry, they let you know. There’s nothing Brian’s going to keep inside.”

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Brooks Robinson's take on the A-Rod situation:

"I was watching TV last night and I really had to laugh at the guy who said he might be traded," Robinson said. "There's no way in the world that A-Rod is going to go anywhere. If they don't have A-Rod, they don't win." ...

"A-Rod is just going through a little crisis right now, which might be a week long. Most of his errors are throwing errors and that can be corrected very easily," Robinson said. "But everyone has those streaks. You have streaks as a third baseman or a shortstop where every ball you get is not a big hop, it's an in-between hop, it's a tough play ..." ...

"I just hate to see them get on him the way they get on him, no matter what he does. The guy wins ballgames for you, and he's just having a tough streak, and there's no doubt in my mind he's taking it to the plate right now," Robinson said. "When you make that kind of money, people expect you to go out there 162 games and be the best player in the league 162 days. Well, that's just not the way it works."

Via MJ at
Posted by: Jason
According to my colleague James, last night was possibly the toughest game in the Texas series. He was concerned (as were we all) about RJ's pitch count in his last start and the effect on his 42 year old throwing mechanism.

Johnson's very good (and periodically dominant) performance last night set the worried minds of the Yankees universe to rest. He surrendered seven hits, striking out seven and walking two. One never really got the feeling that RJ was in "a jam." However, the 129 pitches from the Seattle outing required RJ's strict adherence to a 100 pitch limit. "L'unita grande" was pulled after 6 innings.

In the game's final third, the Yankees bullpen continued to impress in the post All-Star game period. Proctor is rejuvenated and effective. Farnsworth is throwing more smoke and being minimally "cute" with the off-speed stuff. Mariano's enjoyable just to type the man's name.

Offensively, the Yankees were effective against Kevin Millwood, who was baffling in his last start against the Bombers. Melky was the individual leader with a 1B, 2B and a 3B. Jeter had an RBI triple and a double, and Miguel Cairo also hit a two run 2B. Offensive powerhouse Aaron Guiel added a solo home run.

Some guy named Rodriguez was 2 for 5 with an RBI 2B in the 7th. But, he revealed what a "fraud" he is when he could not field a high chopper that went over his head and into the outfield...wait a minute, you say that it was 15 feet over his head?? I don't care!!! The highest paid player in baseball should have a 7 foot vertical jump!! Trade him!!

We could probably get Aaron Boone back or maybe lure Drew Henson from the Cowboys. Last year at this time (the year he was AL MVP) Rodriguez had 27 HRs and 77 RBIs. This year he has 21 HR and 71 RBIs. There's one way out of this disaster...Cashman should DFA Rodriguez since he's obviously "a head case" and no longer valuable, then trade Phil Hughes and Jose Tabata for Miguel Cabrera....

Other observations:

1) Great to see RJ and Posada bonding after the key strikeout of Michael Young...very good to see that they've put the arguments behind them.

2) Standard Joe Torre head-scratcher: Top 5th. Miguel hits a double and Jeter.....bunts him over to 3rd. Even if you have never heard of Bill James, Jeter's line is: .346/.424/.476

Why on earth are you giving away an out with this man at the plate?!!?
Posted by: Patrick
From The Star-Ledger:

The Yankees continue to hope they'll end up with Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu, but they worry that their chances are dwindling as the deadline approaches and the Phillies aren't dropping their demands. In the meantime, they continue to talk to the Pirates about several players, including relievers Roberto Hernandez and Salomon Torres and outfielder Craig Wilson. Pittsburgh has a number of teams interested in those players, however, and the Yankees are growing frustrated with the slow pace of the negotiations.

Joel Sherman thinks we need to upgrade our bench:

The Yanks have been linked to Pittsburgh's Craig Wilson and Philadelphia's David Dellucci, the kind of players who can start now with some quality and provide excellent depth if the Yanks ever get healthy. Arizona's Jeff DaVanon or the Dodgers' Jason Repko/Olmedo Saenz would be major upgrades.

One player the Yanks should look hard into is the Cubs' very available Todd Walker. He rakes righty pitching, could handle New York because he played well for the Red Sox, is in the walk year of his contract and has about $1 million left on his deal. He could play second against righties until Cano comes back, and then form a first base platoon with Phillips.


Outfielders David Dellucci, Reggie Sanders, Kevin Mench, Luis Gonzalez and Shawn Green are among the fallback options for the Yankees – and they could reach Jocketty’s radar screen as well. (Jose Guillen, another potential outfield target, could be sidelined for the season with his elbow injury.)

Via Pro Sports Daily.

07/24: Ian Kennedy

Posted by: James
There was an article over at today regarding several unsigned first-round pitchers, which to my surprise, included NY Yankees first-round draft pick Ian Kennedy.

Whether that holdout affects a pitcher physically or mentally, I believe it plays a role in retarding his development. How will holdouts impact the remaining five? Who knows? I could be completely off base, but it will be interesting to see how Luke Hochevar (first pick, Royals), Andrew Miller (sixth pick, Tigers), Max Scherzer (11th pick, Diamondbacks), Ian Kennedy (21st pick, Yankees) and Daniel Bard (28th pick, Red Sox) perform when and if they ever get in their respective folds.

Despite a published report to the contrary,'s Yankees beat writer, Mark Feinsand, confirmed with team brass late last week that Kennedy has not signed.

After doing a little searching, I think that the deal comes down to this: the Yanks reached an agreement with Kennedy on a $2.25 million signing bonus. However, since this is more than the slotted amount for the 21st pick, it must be approved by MLB.

Update: The Journal News confirms it:

The Yankees are dickering with the commissioner's office over the amount of bonus money they plan to give their draft choices. According to Baseball America, the Yankees have an agreement in place with agent Scott Boras to give right-hander Ian Kennedy of Southern Cal a $2.25 million bonus to sign. The deal was in place less than a week after the draft.

But MLB is trying to control what draftees are paid and hectoring teams to adhere to a slot system, much like the NBA. With their farm system thin, the Yankees are restocking with college players and aren't interested in adhering to the rules.

Based on the MLB system, Kennedy would be in line for a $1.45 million bonus. General manager Brian Cashman and scouting director Damon Oppenheimer declined comment on Kennedy. Meanwhile, the player waits at home for clearance to start pitching in the minors.
Posted by: James
Yanks go 4-0.

No, seriously. I expect the Yanks to sweep Texas and to win the Wang game of the Tampa Bay series. Beyond that, I'm not certain since the Yanks have to lose some time. Still, Peter A. over at the LoHud Yankees Blog reports that Ponson's next start will be skipped and Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina will start after Wang so that series is looking good too.

In fact, I think that tonight's game could be the toughest of the three. RJ threw 129 pitches in eight innings, his highest pitch count since 2000, in his last start so I'm a little wary to see how his arm is. However, in a chance to knock his ERA down under 4.80 for the first time since April 29th, I think the Unit will come through. Keep in mind that there's absolutely no statistical analysis or inside reasoning behind this! Heck, it might just be well-wishing at this point but that's my fearless prediction for the week.
Posted by: James reports that T.J. Beam has been called back up to the big league team. The article doesn't say for sure but it seems like a given that the player dropped will be Kris Wilson.

Former Ole Miss pitcher T.J. Beam got the call back up to the New York Yankees Sunday night. He will be in Arlington, Texas, for tonight's Rangers-Yankees game.

Well, that's one down. Let's get rid of Ponson while we're at it and perhaps even think about replacing Bubba. That would certainly make my week.

Hat Tip to WasWatching for the news.
Posted by: James
ESPN Radio is reporting that Alfonso Soriano will be moved soon. They have Soriano going to the White Sox in exchange for Brandon McCarthy (though I doubt it's just McCarthy). The White Sox are also apparently acquiring pitcher Mike MacDougal from the Royals in exchange for minor leaguer Tyler Lumsden (who is actually a pretty good pitcher). It's just a rumour as of right now but I expect it will get finalized soon.

Still, as long as he's not back in pinstripes, I for one will be happy. I know a lot of people will disagree with me but I really believe that any trade for Soriano is an out-and-out mistake. He's just not worth what the Nationals will ask for especially if he's just a rental for a couple of months.
Posted by: Jason
...just like they were also content with Bubba Crosby as the regular CF??...

07/23: J.B. Cox

Posted by: James
Why is this kid not in AAA yet? (No, I'm being serious. If anyone out there has an idea, please let me know.)

Cox could have been promoted there a month ago. That way, who knows, if he had performed well in AAA, we could have a choice of Matt Smith, T.J. Beam or J.B. Cox chomping at the bit to help the big club's bullpen. Instead, he's been dominating AA all season long to the tune of a 1.39 ERA and 41 H, 21 BB and 50 Ks in 64.2 IP. In 33 appearances, he has had six in which he has given up an earned run.

He's been even better recently and hasn't given up a run since the 4th of JUNE! In that time, here's his line: 26 IP, 9 H, 9 BB and 20 Ks. All I can say to that is wow. Keep up the good work J.B., you'll be up in NY hanging out with Mo before you know it.
Posted by: David
Sidney Ponson gave up two gopher balls in less than three innings but the Yankees bullpen was even worse surrendering three more homers as the Blue Jays beat up the Yankees 13-5 on Sunday afternoon in Toronto. With the win the Blue Jays take the series 3 to 1 against New York and gain two games on them via this series.

In the first inning Vernon Wells hit one to deep center off the restaurant glass to help Toronto move out to a 2-0 lead. The Yankees temporarily took the lead back as Jorge Posada hit a three run homer off of Toronto starter Shawn Marcum. Posada's homer came after A-Rod struck out again with two runners on base. Except for the three run homer in the series he was simply awful both at bat and in the field.

In the third Ponson gave up the lead when Troy Glaus touched him up for a two run shot at the Jays took the lead at 4-3 and never looked back. Kris Wilson followed and brought the kerosene can with him. He gave up a three run shot to Eric Hinske and another three run shot to Reed Johnson. In all the Blue Jays had an eight run inning with three home runs.

Shawn Chacon followed Wilson and was touched for Veron Wells' second homer of the day. The Jays added a couple more runs and the Yankees added two more later in the game after the outcome had already been decided.

Simply put the Yankees need more starting pitching and a long reliever. Ponson is awful, Jaret Wright had been awful the last two starts and Kris Wilson should be released immediately. As for the bats, we can't continue to throw out guys like Nick Green, Aaron Guiel and Bubba Crosby and expect to compete against AL powerhouse teams. Cashman must pull the trigger quickly with only a week to go until the trade deadline. We probably can't get Soriano but guys like Shawn Green, Bobby Abreu or Kevin Mench are probably realistic without giving up too much in return.

We also need another starter. The Mets are making a play for Barry Zito and it would be awful if he landed in New York but wasn't on the Yankees. Perhaps someone like Jason Schmidt or even Cory Lidle would be a step up from what we have now. The Big Unit goes tomorrow night in Texas vs. Kevin Millwood. He has pitched very well lately. Hopefully he can put up a W against a very potent Rangers lineup.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees put an end to their 3-game losing streak yesterday with a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays. The game featured a few blunders by Toronto after two days of the Jays feasting on Yankee mistakes. Chien-Ming Wang was not quite as good as in his previous performances, but was good enough nevertheless as he gave up 4 runs on 10 hits to improve his record to 11-4. The Yankees remain 2.5 behind Boston and have pulled to within a game and a half of the White Sox for the wild card. The win is also significant because with a loss the Blue Jays would've pulled to within a game of the Yanks for second place.

The Yankees struck first in the 2nd inning when Bernie Williams hit a two run shot following a triple by Jorge Posada (<--not a typo). Toronto answered with a run in the 3rd and tied the score on a home run by Eric Hinske. The Blue Jays took the lead in the 5th via a two-run double by Lyle Overbay. The Yankees cut the lead to 4-3 on a balk by Ted Lilly in the 6th. The Yanks went ahead in the next inning as Jason Giambi doubled in Bernie to tie the game (and then was pinch run for by... Jaret Wright?) and Jeter walked in the go-ahead run. The bullpen was solid from there with three scoreless innings. Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth both struck out the side and Farnsworth was throwing his best heat of the season as one of his pitches was clocked at 101mph. Mariano Rivera worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 23rd save.

Also of note is that Joe Torre decided to use A-Rod as the designated hitter yesterday and started Nick Green at 3B (if you're wondering why Jaret Wright was used as a pinch runner, it's because Aaron Guiel was the only remaining player on the Yankee bench as Green was replaced by Andy Phillips and then Rodriguez at 3B). He proceeded to go 0-4, striking out all four times he came up. It was his first golden sombrero since 1995 when he was a backup SS for Luis Sojo. I know Rodriguez has struggled lately at 3B, but when you're going through as tough a mental slump as he is, I don't really see the point of DH'ing him so that when he strikes out, he gets a full hour to think about it before he comes up to bat again. I kind of think that's why Jason Giambi hit so much better last year as a first baseman than he did as a DH.

Well, in any case, between A-Rod striking out four times, Jaret Wright being used as a pinch runner and Jorge Posada recording a triple, we might be seeing some signs of the apocolypse. Come to think of it, it was unseasonably chilly in my house when I woke up this morning... ah, nevermind, turns out I just had the AC temperature set too low. Anyway, the Yankees will look to leave Toronto with a split as Sidney Ponson will get his second Yankee start against Shaun Marcum, who will be making the second start of his career. Marcum has pitched out of the bullpen a bit for the Jays over the course of the last two seasons. Game starts at 1 ET.
Posted by: James
Thanks for the help today. You really did us a solid...and whew, did we need that!

It's not easy over here in the Big Apple these days...but Felix, my man - where has that stuff been all season? Sowers, dude - way to go on the shut-out. Keep up the good work (just not against us). Finally, Mike, way to come through and get your team the win in the ninth against big boy Jenks. Hope that felt good for you.

Anyway, just wanted to take a sec and send you guys a thank-you note since Big George has always stressed the importance of proper manners. Oh, and by the way, if you could, no obligation or anything, maybe you could do the same thing tomorrow as well? We'd really appreciate it guys. Thanks.

All the best,
The Yankees
Posted by: Patrick
I didn't realize this until it was right in front of me:

Compare these two stat lines:
Player A: .316 average, 21 home runs, 79 RBIs, 63 runs, .388 on-base percentage
Player B: .284 average, 21 home runs, 71 RBIs, 67 runs, .386 on-base percentage

The first? National League MVP candidate David Wright. The second? Rodriguez.

So although their stats are virtually identical, Wright (who has 11 errors vs. Rodriguez's 18) is having what is considered a terrific season because the Mets have a double-digit lead in the NL East -- and he makes less than a half-million dollars.

And let's not forget -- Rodriguez has put up these numbers in a "down year" where nothing has gone right for him.
Posted by: David
The Yankees put on a lackluster performance on Friday night in Toronto going down to the Blue Jays for their third consecutive loss. Jaret Wright could not get out of the third inning and gave up a four spot in the first.

A-Rod brought the Yankees to within a run in the third when he connected for a three run shot off of Toronto starter A.J. Burnett. It was his 450th career homer and the 2000th hit of his career. However, the milestones were overshadowed by the Yankees loss and A-Rod commiting another throwing error, his 18th of the season. He is throwing the ball sidearm and it causes the ball to sail off to the right.

Shawn Chacon relieved Wright and was okay but struggled with his control most of the night. It was his first appearance since July 4th. Villone followed Chacon and pitched well before giving way to Kris Wilson. Wilson was touched by Troy Glaus for a home run in the eighth inning which finished the scoring at 7-3.

With the injuries to Sheffield, Matsui and Cano, the futility of the Yankees lineup in starting to really show. The bottom of the lineup with Phillips, Guiel, Cabrera and Cairo have done little or nothing recently. Even Jason Giambi in the third hole in down to about .250.
Posted by: James
Even before the game started, the Red Sox had already won and the White Sox had already lost so the Yanks needed to win to stay 1.5 games back of Boston and move to 1.5 games back of Chicago. For a wild-card spot that was more or less conceded to a team from the AL Central earlier on this season, it's looking more and more as if that race will also be very close.

As for the game itself, the marquee pitching match-up of Mussina vs. Doc Halladay was progressing exactly as the Yanks would have hoped as the Yanks scratched their way to a 3-0 lead through 5 innings and Mussina was cruising. It would have been nice if the game ended that way - no such luck. In the bottom of the sixth, with a man on third (Aaron Hill), Reed Johnson grounded to third. A-Rod fielded the ball and instead of taking the sure out at first, he went home to try to get the runner. His throw was wild and to their credit, the Blue Jays took advantage and ended up taking the lead in the inning.

The score remained 4-3 until the 8th when the Blue Jays brought in their closer B.J. Ryan to get a 2 inning save. Keep in mind that prior to this appearance, B.J. Ryan had a 0.96 ERA (that's not a typo) and was limiting hitters to a .154/.204/.186 line while giving up 4.63 H per 9 while striking out 11. Okay, enough numbers...he's good. However, with two outs, they were able to put together a nice little rally that consisted of a Giambi single (weak single to the left side - the shift was on so no one was there), an A-Rod walk (the first walk of the game!) and a bloop single by Jorge which tied the game up and tagged Ryan with his third blown save of the season. The bloop only scored the run because Joe Torre had subbed Bubba into the game to run for Giambi so props to Joe for that decision (yes, I know he usually does it but it worked so I'll give him credit for it).

Scott Proctor came on to pitch 2 solid innings of work and was followed by Rivera who got three quick outs in the 10th. Toronto countered with another inning from Ryan and scoreless innings from Justin Speier and Brian Tallet. Rivera came back out for the 11th and after getting one out (Frank Catalanotto singled but was erased on a CS at 2nd), he served up a home run to Vernon Wells, who is having a heck of a year and continues to kill the Yankees. It wasn't a good pitch by Rivera and Wells really got into it. Still, the NY Times headline pretty much summed it up: "Loss Goes to Rivera, Blame Goes to Rodriguez."

Certainly a disappointing loss for the Yanks and more ammo for those who are questioning A-Rod (both the extreme bashers as well as those who are genuinely curious as to what's going on with him). The road ahead isn't easy either as Toronto has their pitching set up well against the Yankees. The Jays start Burnett tonight and follow him up with former Yank Ted Lilly who has been pitching quite well this season. It'll be a tough task but the Yanks have to, at the very least, split this series.
Posted by: Jason
Pardon the momentary detour from baseball, but today Floyd Landis exhibited one of the 5 greatest individual performances in at least the last 50 years of American sports.

Yesterday he was the disgraced favorite, cracking on the side of a mountain in the 90+ degree heat and spectacularly falling from favorite to goat. He went from leader to 11th place in pathetic fashion.

In a display of rage combined with world class athletic ability, today Landis rode away from the field and conquered 4 massive mountain climbs in searing heat (by himself!!) to close the overall gap from 7 minutes to a mere 30 seconds. His performance today, after yesterday's dud, was at least a 750-1 shot.

Superhuman. Herculean. Keep the yellow jersey in the US, Floyd!!!
Posted by: Jason
Do I have to post when the Yankees lose, or can we just ignore yesterday afternoon?

Just joking: Like many things in life, we have to "swallow the medicine." In yesterday's case, "the medicine" was a one run loss to a team that was ripe for a sweep. Factors contributing to this loss:

Factor #1) Randy Johnson must now forget the first half and behave like an ace. 2 hits in the first inning and the mistake to Sexson in the 4th seemed more like lapses in concentration than a serious pitching problem. The hit batter in the 8th turned out to be the difference.

Make no mistake: RJ was good. However, he can (and must) be great. On the other hand, it's very easy to say that the Yankees offense should have won this game for Johnson, if it wasn't for:

Factor #2) Seattle's starting pitching and bullpen: Gil Meche was quite good, allowing one hit through 5 innings. He also got out of a high-leverage (defined as the probability to change the game's outcome) jam in the sixth by inducing the dangerous Giambi to ground out.

In the 7th, "non-clutch" Alex Rodriguez got a key single and scored the tying run when Andy Phillips (who, incidentally, still hopes that Neil Young will remember that southern man don't need him around, anyhow) doubled.

Unfortunately, the tough Seattle bullpen shut the door from that point. (Rafael Soriano is worth a mention, BTW)

Enough of Seattle...because here comes Toronto! The Yankees had better crank up the diesel, we all know that Toronto has been lurking for the last few weeks.

However, Torre's extensive use of Cairo, Guiel, Crosby and Green (sounds like a jazz quartet) lately is worrisome for the offense. Is the boss's recent chatter about the free-swinging "guy I prefer" to be believed? Is it a ruse?

UPDATE/CORRECTION: I need to cut down on the cough medicine, because I mistakenly typed that the Red Sox will face the Twins this weekend. In fact, they face Seattle after a rainout makeup with Texas.
Posted by: Patrick
Let's see... Bobby Abreu, Reggie Sanders, Alfonso Soriano, Craig Wilson, Roberto Hernandez, Jose Guillen:

Then there's the Nationals' Alfonso Soriano ... Washington GM Jim Bowden is desperately attempting to create a market for Soriano, who is a free agent after the season. With the Angels ... steadfastly refusing to part with any of their starting pitching surplus or top prospects, Bowden has tried to get the Tigers and Mariners into the Soriano competition along with the Yankees. ...

The Yankee high command has always kind of liked Pirates outfielder Craig Wilson (another free agent-to-be) for both his bat and versatility. But it has never had any success in dealing with Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, and apparently it's been no different recently. They would be willing to give up a middle tier prospect for the 29-year-old Wilson, even though he, too, is a rental player, but have no interest in taking on Jeromy Burnitz's big contract, which Littlefield is attempting to package with Wilson. Even though the Yankees might also have interest in Pirates setup man Roberto Hernandez, it doesn't appear as if the Yankees are ever going to be able to do business with Littlefield.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Seamus
Sidney Ponson took the mound for the first time as a Yankee last night, and after allowing a three run homer to Richie Sexson in his first inning of work, I couldn't help but think "Ugh, here we go." Ponson, however, actually settled down after that, allowing only one more run and leaving the game with a line of 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 SO in 6.2 IP. He was still on pace for the loss though as the Yankees were trailing when he was replaced by Ron Villone in the 7th.

The Yanks were still trailing 4-2 in the 9th when Andy Phillips led the inning off with a double. Aaron Guiel brought him in with a base hit with one out, and moved to third on an infield single by Jorge Posada in which he probably should've been called out. Johnny Damon followed that up with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Alex Rodriguez, who was out of the lineup with what Joe Torre said was a bruised toe, entered the game as a pinch hitter and struck out in his only at bat, which was interrupted halfway through with a 2 hour rain delay. Both teams went scoreless in the 10th and Melky Cabrera led off the bottom of the 11th and ended the game with his 4th home run of the season.

The win is the Yankees' 5th in a row as they kept pace and remained a half game behind the Red Sox and 2.5 behind the White Sox, who both won last night as well. A-Rod's replacement at 3rd base, Nick Green went 3-3 with two doubles and has actually been a pretty decent contributor so far when the Yankees have used him. Andy Phillips had two hits including a home run in the 2nd, and Jason Giambi drove in his 77th.

The Yankees will look to sweep their second consecutive series (3rd if they would've been able to hold onto a 5-run lead in St. Petersburg) and they will be sending Randy Johnson to the mound to face Gil Meche. Johnson has been solid of late and hopefully this is the start to the type of second half he had last season. Meche has been pretty good for the Mariners this year, as he is 9-4 with an E.R.A. of 3.87.

EDIT: Fans who run on the field are idiots and I don't condone it, but something about this picture just makes me laugh. Found it on the Seattle Times website.
Posted by: Jason
Tonight's victory was not pretty. Alex made three errors on what should have been routine throws and Wang was competent, though not as sharp as he has been. However:

John Damon was 3 for 4 with an RBI...Cashman's December surprise continues to succeed. Damon's offensive production has surpassed his last year in Boston.

Cairo had a 2 run single, cementing his position (for better or worse) as one of Joe Torre's "character guys."

Jason Giambi continues to thrill us and carry the Yankees with his power. He added an upper-deck HR off Jarrod Washburn to increase the Yankees lead to 4-2, which ended the scoring.

For the first time in about 18 months, I almost turned the game off in the 8th because I was convinced that the Yankees would win this game. Mariano notwithstanding, the team is building momentum:

4 in row and 18 games over .500.
Dotel on the way.
Does Cashman have something interesting for us before July 31st?
Matsui...we've heard the rumors that he's ahead of schedule. Dare we hope he'll be back in August?

It's good to be in the Yankees Universe tonight.
Posted by: James
Mariano Rivera. There’s really not much to add regarding Mariano’s career that hasn’t already been said. He has been lauded by his teammates, his opponents, those he’s played for and by those who are far more eloquent than I am. Still, I’d have felt bad if I didn’t congratulate him on what has been a truly amazing career to this point (and it's not nearly over yet).

He’s truly been something to watch for the last 10 seasons. All Yankees fans know the numbers but David Pinto over at Baseball Musings points them out just in case you forgot:

Rivera picked up his first save in 1996. Since then, only Trevor Hoffman earned more (though Mo has a big lead in actual games finished). In that same period, no one with at least 700 innings pitched comes close in ERA.

Rivera's great strength is keeping the ball in the park. Again, since going to the bullpen in 1996, he's allowed just 31 home runs. Note that individual pitchers posted 100 seasons of 31 homers or more since 1996.

He earned the save in fitting fashion, going two innings to close the game. That's his 85th save of four outs or more. From 1996 on, that's 30 more saves than any other closer (Keith Foulke has 55). And none of this counts his post-season contributions (That would be 8-1 with 34 saves and 0.81 ERA in 72 G (111.7 IP; 69H, 10 ER, 15 BB, 87K)) . A simply amazing career.

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to watch him go about his business. I don’t usually get worked up about professional athletes because for the most part, they’re just regular people who have been blessed with physical gifts. However, Mo is one of the exceptions. Heck, I even have a McFarlane Rivera toy (it’s not a doll, it’s an action figure!) propped high on my desk. With Mariano, I, along with millions of fans out there, simply can’t help it - he is simply just too easy to like. He has always exuded class and determination and personally, his quiet intensity and devotion to his religious beliefs have always reminded me of my dad, which for me, is the highest compliment I can give.

Mariano once said that he thought that the good Lord was a Yankee. Considering how blessed the Yankees and their fans have been to see Mariano pitch in pinstripes for the past ten years, I think he might be right. It will be a sad day when Mo walks off the mound for the last time but until that day, I will continue to be amazed by his performance, humbled by his modesty and in awe of his faith.
Posted by: David
Playing to another sold out crowd the Yankees continued their winning ways and beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium to complete the series sweep.

The game started off badly for the Yankees as Jaret Wright walked Podsednik and Iguchi singled. Thome followed with a lined double down the right field line to score Podsednik with the games' first run. Wright then buckled down and retired Konerko and induced Jermaine Dye to hit into a double play to end the inning. A-Rod made a great play on the Dye ground ball by snagging it on the backhand and turning it quickly.

In the bottom of the first after one out, Derek Jeter homered to left to tie the game at one. It was the first homer for Jeter since May 16th. Two batters later A-Rod connected for a two run shot and the Yankees had the lead at 3-1. Wright then got tough only giving up two more runs in 5 and 1/3 innings. The Yankees were able to add three more thanks to RBI from Giambi, Cairo and Bubby Crosby.

The game stayed at 6-3 when Ron Villone relieved Wright. In the seventh he allowed the first runner to get on and then induced a perfect double play ball but Jeter bobbled it and the Chisox had runners on first and second. Mike Myers came in and with one pitch got Thome to pop up to center. Farnsworth was next and retired the next two batters.

In the eighth though Farnsworth was not effective. A.J. Pierzynski homered to the upper deck to decrease the lead to 6-4. The next two batters also reached and Torre had no other choice but to summon the Sandman. Rivera got Uribe to pop up for the first out and then induced Scott Podsednik to hit into an inning ending double play.

In the ninth Tadahit Uguchi doubled to start the inning and then Mo walked Thome to put the tying runs on base. Rivera then got tough as Konerko tried to pull an outside pitch and hit into a double play. Jermaine Dye was then struck out swinging to end the game. For Rivera its his 21st save of the season. With the Red Sox losing to the A's the Yankees are now only 1/2 game behind the Red Sox for the lead in the AL East.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees won their second straight game against the White Sox Saturday afternoon in the form of a 14-3 blowout. The victory pulled the Yanks to within 4 games of Chicago for the wild card and kept them on pace with the Red Sox, who currently lead the Bombers by a game and a half.

The pitching matchup pinned All-Star Mark Buerhle against Mike Mussina, who some say was snubbed and should've been on the team instead of Buerhle. Buehrle didn't help his case yesterday, as he lasted only 3 innings and gave up 8 runs (7 earned) on 8 hits. Mussina was pretty good, allowing three runs, all of which came in the 6th inning as he improved his record to 11-3.

Four of the runs came in the 4th, where the Yankees bunted twice in a row, the first one resulting in a base hit (Cabrera) and the other reaching on an error (Damon) to load the bases. Jeter and Giambi followed that up with two consecutive two-run doubles to put the Yankees ahead 8-0. Five Yankees recorded at least two hits, including Jeter and Bernie, who both doubled twice. Andy Phillips drove in four runs, including two on a home run in the 6th. Bubby Crosby also hit his first dinger of the season.

Does someone want to explain to me why the Yankee pitching staff gets so much criticism while everyone raves about the White Sox' staff? One of the FOX announcers pointed out before the game (forget if it was Buck or McCarver) that the Yankees' rotation ERA is actually lower than Chicago's. The Yankees are actually 4th in the American League in team ERA Chicago and Boston are 7th and 9th respectively, and for whatever reason the Yankees are the only team out of the there that needs pitching help.

The Yankees will go for the sweep this afternoon and will try to pull to within 3 of Chicago for the wild card, as they'll send Jaret Wright to the mound to face Freddy Garcia. Game starts at 1 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official:

General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that pitching prospect Philip Hughes is as close to untouchable as any player in the Yankees' farm system.

But what about Melky Cabrera?

According to a Major League executive, the Yankees and Pirates have discussed a deal that would send the young outfielder to Pittsburgh in exchange for outfielder Jeromy Burnitz and first baseman/outfielder Craig Wilson.

I'd have to give that one a pass.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Ponson, 29, was designated for assignment last week by the Cardinals, then released on Thursday. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday that he expected to have Ponson signed and in uniform when the Yanks resume their schedule on Friday, though Ponson won't start for New York until Tuesday against the Mariners.

"We'll take a look," Cashman said. "He's got a good arm. We had two looks at him this year with scouts in the park and obviously a lot of video that we compiled in our library from this year. We assessed this was a shot worth taking."
Posted by: James
Continuing my little run of prospect news, here's a little more on one of the big guns in the Yankees farm system not named Phil Hughes, Mr. Jose Tabata. Now Mike A. over at Baby Bombers has covered some of this already and he's far more knowledgeable about the minors than I am, but I still wanted to point some of this out. It never hurts to know a little more about the stars (knock on wood) of tomorrow.

The following comes from an article at ESPN on the Futures Game, in which both Tababta and Hughes took part:

The clear star of batting practice was 17-year-old Yankees phenom Jose Tabata. With a more developed body than your typical high school-aged player, Tabata doesn't have a teenager's physique. He starts with a high setup and has a strong, furious swing that produces good power to all fields. He also took fly balls in center field, and if he can legitimately play there, he'll be a contender for the title of the top prospect in baseball this winter.

Baseball America quickly followed up with a lead article on Tabata and on how/where he projects. Unfortunately, I don't have a subscription but as of this writing, even after a couple of "slumps", Tabata's line for the year is .316/.375/.448/.823 with 22 2Bs, 1 3B and 5 HRs in a league where the pitchers are (generally) three to five years older than him. If he keeps that up, he's going to keep getting more and more attention until it reaches the Hughes level.

I mean, look at his splits right so far. His worst month so far was June where he hit .315 and got on base at a .410 clip but only put up a .371 SLG (.780 OPS). Most organizations would take those numbers from pretty much all their prospects in low-A ball. However, getting that kind of production from a kid (he turns 18 in a month) is extraordinary, especially since he's still learning the game (take a look at those walk totals rising each month). In recent interviews, he's talked about how he idolized some Yankees when he was growing up (including Jeter, which shows his age) and how he models his hitting after Manny Ramirez (and if you've seen video of Jose at bat, he does a pretty good impersonation). At this point in his career and I will be the first to say that it is VERY EARLY, but again, it's very hard not to get excited about this kid, especially with many people starting to gush about him.

So, just in case you haven't been really reading to this point (or were summarily distracted by my drool), here's the gist: Around this time next year, the Yankees could have the best pitching prospect (Hughes is already among the top 3) and the best position prospect in the minors. The latter statement is more of a reach but Jim Callis pegged Tabata as the most impressive position player in the Futures Game and one of the 10-20 best prospects in baseball so who knows? A little wishful thinking never hurt anyone.
Posted by: Patrick

Retort of the week: A Yankees fan walking the streets of Manhattan approached Dontrelle Willis last weekend and said, ''You [would] look better in pinstripes.'' Willis responded: ``I'm already in pinstripes!''

Good try, though!

07/13: Eat at Mo's!

Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Mo's New York Grill is opening today in New Rochelle.

Rivera is branching out from baseball and becoming a partner in a new restaurant in New Rochelle. "Mo's New York Grill" will officially open this afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. ...

"This isn't a sports bar. It's a nice place to get a good meal with your family. We wanted it to be classy. I'm real happy with how it turned out. Real happy."

They have a website.
Posted by: Patrick
Cool article about Mo at

Cutters themselves aren't that unusual. Rivera, however, has a long-armed, full extension that prompted David Cone to dub him Inspector Gadget. ...

"I'm sure you can learn it, but it won't cut like his," Yankee starter Mike Mussina said. Mets closer Billy Wagner said he's watched Rivera's impossibly late-breaking ball so many times and so enviously, he's finally decided, "It's a gift from God." ...

Rivera credits former pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre with helping him control it and Torre said that's what makes knowing what's coming irrelevant. Recalling a conversation he had with Sandy Koufax about Randy Johnson this year, he said Koufax reminded him, "It's not what you throw, it's where you throw it."

"Mo," Torre said, "is a perfect example of that." ...

"Being a closer is not a cool job. No pitcher wants to be a reliever," he said. Fumbling for an explanation, he settled on, "It's a lot of responsibility," even as the words sounded funny from a player so branded by his cool unflappability. ...

Rivera's not necessarily the cerebral craftsman Mussina is, but Guidry stiffened at Kaat's lumping him along with his relieving brethren under the title "throwers."

"Mo pitches," Guidry said sharply. "He's got a great sense of what's around him and what he needs to do."
Posted by: James
For all you prospect hounds, some very good news - Christian Garcia is (finally) pitching again! He pitched one inning for the GCL Yankees yesterday and struck out the side.

This is the first appearance for Garcia this year as he has struggled with injuries, specifically a strained oblique, though I assume something else must have come up for him to be out this long. He was supposed to start the year at single-A Tampa (alongside Phil Hughes) but the aforementioned injuries have held him back until now. Expect him to be watched very carefully and kept on pretty strict pitch counts as he works up his arm strength. Hopefully, he can make log some meaningful innings this year so that the Yanks can get a better feel for where he currently stands.

For those of you who don't know much about Christian Garcia, here's a little recap. A former catcher (he only started pitching senior year of high school), he was a 3rd-round draft pick in 2004 (same year as Hughes (yeah!) and Poterson (boo!)) and his stuff has often been described as electric. He throws a 4-seamer that sits in the 92-95 mph range (though he cranked it up higher towards the end of last year) and might even add a couple of ticks as he gets older and adds a little weight (turns 21 in a month and a half and is listed at 6'4" 175 lbs.). His repertoire also includes a very good (some say major-league ready) knuckle-curve, an average-at-best change-up and a splitter.

Because he hasn't been pitching very long, he's still very raw on the mound (i.e. he's not a pitcher yet) and sometimes get rattled and loses command of his pitches. Still, when he does have his pitches working for him, he has been near un-hittable. That, combined with pretty good reports from most scouts and "good projectability" gives him one of the highest ceilings in the Yankee system. In fact, you could make the argument that he slots in right behind Hughes in that respect. Still, before you get too much more excited, let's just be happy that he's back and healthy and hope that he pitches very well for the rest of the year.
Posted by: Seamus
An excerpt from ESPN columnist Eric Neel's recent column:

But, beyond the fact that their familiarity should breed our contempt is the fact that the Yanks just won't be in it come crunch time this fall. Kudos to them for hanging in there through all the injuries so far this year; they've played the underdog so well even Jim Caple kind of likes them now (just kidding, Jim; I know that's sacrilege in your house).

The offense is strong, as always, even without Sheffield and Matsui. But after Mike Mussina, the pitching staff is full of question marks. Shawn Chacon has reverted to Version 1.0. There is no Aaron Small, literally and figuratively speaking. And Randy Johnson just isn't scaring anyone these days. The stuff is still fast, but it's flat, hittable, almost inviting. I was in Yankee Stadium 10 days ago and I saw Eli Marrero, Eli Marrero, take the man deep with two outs in the sixth … I'm not making this up.

Ugh, I just hate it when these guys give away the ending! I think if YES wasn't on basic cable here I'd have to cancel my subscription for the remainder of the year.

Shouldn't all those negatives that Neel brought up be reasons why the Yankees SHOULD be in it towards the end? I mean isn't the fact that "Shawn Chacon v1.0" has only gotten us three games behind the Red Sox kind of a positive? Isn't he basically saying that we just saw the worst of the Yankees the first half of this year, and at three are three games out they are basically finished?

Not to mention the Yankees were in much worse shape last year at this point and I do believe at some point in August they were still 5 or 6 games behind Boston. Anyone smell another Dan Shaughnessy?
Posted by: James
Over at, they do a little feature every week wrapping up the various leagues and throwing out little notes on who's hot or not. Here's the best part from the Eastern League notes:

WHO'S NOT: RHP Tyler Clippard is tied for the league lead in losses with 10. In 17 starts, he is 4-10 with a 4.29 ERA.

Are you serious? Tyler Clippard? As in...the guy who just won the Eastern League pitcher of the Week award? The same Clippard who has won the award 2 out of the last 3 weeks (pile-driving his ERA from 5.69 to its current 4.17)? Wow.

I know, I know - I have a little bit of a prospect-crush on Clippard so I'm biased. I can't help it - I don't mind rooting for the underdog and there are a lot of people out there that question whether or not Clippard can continue his success (both at higher levels of the minors and the big leagues). I think a lot of the concern that come up about Clippard are noted by Bryan Smith over at the great Baseball Analysts (this was before Clippard's turn-aroud and I would strongly suggest reading the comments of the article):

Things have been a struggle for Clippard this season, his ERA higher than his hit rate suggests that it should be. The reason, as we have learned from the Hardball Times extensive coverage on the batted ball, is that EL hitters are likely hitting the ball very hard. We always knew that Clippard had a good curveball, a pitch that has always been enough to garner a good amount of strikeouts. We knew he always had good control, lending to positive walk rates for much of his career. Put those together, and many people thought you had the start of a pitching prospect.

But it's hard to be truly successful without a fastball. Clippard is a solid young pitcher, and his good control helps, but there just isn't enough juice on the fastball. It is going to, consistently, get hit hard. Add in the fact that a curveball-happy pitcher tends to hang a lot of pitches, and Clippard's future doesn't shine so bright. Like Duncan, you can bet Clippard won't be the most sought after Yankee prospect this July.

Well, he's certainly done a whole heck of a lot better since that write-up and hopefully, he can keep this streak going. I'm hoping for a good rest of the season and a possible starting spot at AAA Columbus next year. Then, theoretically, you would have White, Hughes, Clippard and perhaps Karstens at AAA to start the year and perhaps offer up pitching help later in the season.
Posted by: Patrick
Both Jeter and A-Rod combined for an 0 for 5 night, although Jeter did help turn 2 double plays. The most impressive Yankee performance came from Mo, who entered in the bottom of the 9th after Michael Young hit a 2 run triple to put the American Leaguers ahead 3-2.

Freddy Sanchez grounded out to Jose Lopez for the first out. Carlos Beltran was up next, hitting it again to Lopez, who couldn't handle it. E5. Home Run Derby champ Ryan Howard was up next and Mo got him to ground to Michael Young at second, who threw to first for the out, allowing Beltran to advance to second. Man on second, 2 outs for Carlos Lee. Mo got him to pop up to end it, giving him his third all-star game save, tying Dennis Eckersley for the record.

Check out these:

[Rivera] said he appreciates what Papelbon ... has done in Boston. Longevity is the hardest part, Rivera said, adding that, "I've been doing this for years." ...

But Rivera's abilities are only part of the reason he is revered. Rangers shortstop Michael Young remembers last year's All-Star Game in Detroit, when he was sitting in the dugout with Rivera next to him. A moment later, Gary Sheffield came up to Young.

"Sheff goes, 'That's a legend right there sitting next to you,'" Young said, "and Gary Sheffield is a potential Hall of Famer (yet) he's the one who singles out Mo. Those are the kinds of things that stick out in your mind. ... (Rivera) might be the most respected player in the league." ...

Alex Rodriguez shrugged when asked about Guillen tapping Rivera ahead of the other closers to handle the ninth inning tonight, as if it was obvious.

"If my life depended on it - if my daughter's life depended on it - I'd want Mariano Rivera closing," A-Rod said. "Wouldn't you?"

LOL. I love that. "I've been doing this for years."

When Michael Young's two-run triple gave the AL a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, it was time for Rivera to reward Guillen for his decision.

"I was honored by that," Rivera said. "We have a lot of young guys here, but he used me -- the old man."

Via Alex.
Posted by: James
Over at, Steve L. put up a post about a week ago where he disputed the notion that Derek Jeter’s power numbers were down from previous years. He didn't buy it so he showed that overall, Jeter’s slugging (.470) and isolated power, ISO = SLG - BA, (.121) are actually in line with production from his recent seasons.

A little while later, Benjamin Kabak over at Off The Façade looked a little closer at the numbers and correctly pointed out that looking at the overall numbers was misleading.

While Steve’s analysis is correct in noting that Derek’s cumulative power numbers this season are in line with his numbers of years gone by, that is simply because he got off to a torrid start. During this so-called power outage, Derek’s power numbers are definitely down, and if the power outage lasts long enough, his season numbers will slide further as well. Remember: On May 16, Jeter’s slugging was .548 and his ISO power was .199. (.462 SLG and .117 ISO as of 7/11/06).

Still, both Steve and Ben, while answering their own questions, left me with one of my own; if Jeter's power is down, has it been his injured thumb that's been the culprit? Well, to answer the question, let's take a look at some data (woo hoo!).

First off, it's important to remember just how good Jeter's April numbers were. He lit up the league to the tune of .396/.505/.637/1.142 with 3 HRs and 20 RBI and was driving everything in sight (9 2Bs and 3 3Bs for a total of 15 XBHs). Now, I couldn't remember the exact day that Jeter went down due to the hand injury but looking at the numbers, I would have assumed it was May due to the drop-off in numbers (.292/.360/.372/.732 with 2 HRs and 3 2Bs). Well, it turns out that I was wrong. It was June 4th that Rodrigo Lopez hit Jeter in the right hand with a pitch (later diagnosed as a bruised thumb) so Jeter pulled off that May power-outage on his own. In fact, his overall numbers after the injury are actually better than what he put up before the injury (not including his torrid April). From May 1 to the game where he got hit, Jeter put up a line of .306/.381/.387/.768 (.081 ISO) with 4 2Bs and 2 HRs in 30 Games and 124 ABs. Since he came back, it's been .345/.411/.398/.809 (.053 ISO) with 6 2Bs and no HRs in 28 games (113 ABs). If we give him the first two games back to get acclimated and take them out of the equation, the line becomes .371/.429/.429/.857 (.058 ISO) with the same XBH total in 26 games and 105 ABs.

Well, those are the numbers and you can take away what you want. The thumb doesn't seem to be bothering him in terms of actually getting the bat on the ball as he's been hitting real well after coming back. However, it does look like it's affected his power, even if it's only a little bit. Here's my take, and you can take this with a pitcher of salt; after a hot April, Jeter "slumped" in May and rebounded in June and July. However, as he started getting hot again, lingering problems with his thumb haven't allowed him to drive the ball as he normally would be able to. Still, there's still a good half-season left so who knows what the next few months can bring? Jeter could very easily go on another tear like he did in April and even if he doesn't, there aren't many teams out there who have shortstops who are hitting .345 with a .422 OBP.
Posted by: James
Update: Lirano is in! He will be taking the place of Jose Contreras, who pitched on Sunday.

I begged, I pleaded, I voted...but somehow Francisco Liriano, who didn't make his first start until May 19th, 42 games into the season, and among AL pitchers, ranks 1st in ERA (1.83), 1st in WHIP, (0.97), 2nd in WPct (.909), 2nd in BAA (.201), 6th in SO (102) and ranks 10th in W (10), just didn't make the roster for the AL. I'm not touching Mark Redman but to me, Mike Mussina clearly has better numbers than Mark Buerhle and Francisco Liriano's numbers are clearly better than Mussina's! Ahh - Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Does not compute!

This can only be avenged in one situation. Liriano must get the ball as often as possible in the 12 games the Twins have left against the White Sox...and in those starts, I'd like to see shut outs (of course, this would help the Yanks in the WC chase as well so perhaps this is a little selfish on my part).

Anyway, because of this, my already tepid interest in the All-Star game is down to practically none so in a search for something baseball related to think about, I wanted to throw this back out there. had a post recently detailing the Yankee problems, which Steve defined as:

1. Offensively, Bubba, Melky, Bernie, and Andy Phillips are not cutting it.
2. On the mound, Jaret Wright and Shawn Chacon are offering very little.
3. Defensively, A-Rod is under-performing at 3B and Bernie is a nightmare in RF.

Now, it's been 5 days since then (and Melky has picked it up a little, Phillips continues to struggle and Jaret Wright surprised everyone by going 6 innings) but for the most part, the problems remain the same. We are halfway through the season now and if the playoffs started today, the Yankees (3 games back of the Red Sox, 6 games back of the wild-card leading White Sox) would be on the outside looking in. So, the question becomes - what do you do now? Do you make a move or stand pat believing that this team can stay in the race long enough for Matsui and Sheffield to come back? If you make a move, do you go for a big-time star (ex. Abreu), middle of the road (C. Wilson) or scan the waiver wires? And don't forget about the pitching either. First off, I would read Steve's post (it's his usual well-constructed, reasoned writing) and then let me know where the team goes from here.
Posted by: Jason
"Back in the day," before I was aware of sabermetrics, I used to be quite a bit more interested in the debates regarding who deserved to be selected and who was undeserving. (Of course back then I watched Baseball Tonight and thought that Joe Morgan was a good analyst).

The non-selection of Travis Hafner this year is, IMO, analogous to the year that Ty Detmer won the Heisman Trophy over Rocket Ismail. Detmer's selection forever destroyed the credibility of the Heisman award. Similarly, Hafner's non-selection makes the entire all-star game a charade: .322/.461/.650...what's even more dumbfounding is that Hafner even possesses the important stats for the Harold Reynoldses of the world, i.e., "not only does this guy have "pop" but his average is well over .300."

The main culprit in the dissemination of the standard baseball myths is the media. Witness George King in the NY Post last weekend giving Giambi a "B" for his midseason grade. I swear I am not fabricating this:

"Batting average is the only thing keeping him from an 'A'".....

Top 20 in VORP in MLB. .412 OBP, .608 SLG. 27 HRs, 72 RBIs.

Batting average? Sigh....
Posted by: David
The Yankees jumped out to an early 5-0 lead thanks to a grand slam home run from Jason Giambi but couldn't score the rest of the way and lost to Tampa Bay 6-5.

Kris Wilson started for the Yankees and worked out of a jam in the first by striking out the last two batters of the inning with two runners on base. In the third, however, Aubrey Huff reached him for a three run homer and Joe Torre called on Ron Villone. Villone worked out of further trouble but then was tagged for a tying home run from Jorge Cantu.

The Yankees had several scoring opportunities but couldn't get the big hit or the sacrifice fly. A-Rod hit into a double play early in the game with runners on first and third and one out. Later in the game he struck out with the go ahead run on base. Rocco Baldelli came up huge for the Devil Rays. The Yankees had a chance to take the lead when Bernie Williams singled to center with Melky Cabrera on second. Baldelli charged the ball and threw it to home on the fly to nip Cabrera at the plate. In the bottom of the inning he led off with a double down the line and scored on a single from Cantu off of Scott Proctor.

In the eighth, pinch hitter Johnny Damon got as far as second but Posada struck out looking to end the inning. In the ninth, Baldelli made a diving catch in right center to rob Derek Jeter of a potential extra base hit with only one out.

The Yankees now head into the All-Star break and look to get healthy. Hopefully Cano will be back shortly after the break and Damon will get some much needed rest.

The Yankees will send A-Rod, Jeter and Rivera to the contest as players. Cano was also chosen but won't play due to being on the DL. After the break the Yankees will be home with a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees kept pace with the Red Sox and moved to within 5 of the White Sox for the wild card last night thanks to another solid performance by Chien-Ming Wang as the Yankees defeated the Devil Rays 5-1. Wang pitched 8 and 1/3, allowing only one run on 6 hits. The victory is the Yankees' 4th in a row and Johnny Gomes' sac fly in the 9th ended the Yankees' streak of 18 straight innings without allowing a run.

The game was scoreless until the 6th inning when Jorge Posada knocked Johnny Damon, who entered as a pinch runner for Jason Giambi, in with a single. Damon looked like he was feeling just fine in his first game back since Wednesday, as he drove in two runs in his first at bat with a triple in the 7th inning. Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter capped off the offense with RBI singles in the 8th. Kyle Farnsworth recorded the last two outs, allowing the sac fly which gave the Rays their only run of the game (charged to Wang).

A lot of people are calling Mike Mussina an All-Star snub this year, but Wang also deserves credit for what he's done so far. I'm not saying that he should be there because there are more deserving guys such as Francisco Liriano of the Twins, but Wang's numbers actually compare pretty evenly if not slightly favorably to Mark Buehrle's. Can't blame Ozzie Guillen for taking his own guy though. Getting to the World Series earns you that privilege. Joe Torre's managed 6 All-Star games since he's been with the Yankees, so we all know how that works.

Kris Wilson will be making his first start as a Yankee today at 1:15 ET and will be facing Casey Fossum as the Yanks go for the sweep before getting four days off for the All-Star break. Wilson pitched two scoreless innings in Wednesday's victory over Cleveland.

EDIT: I realize for whatever reason I linked to the wrong guys' stats. Sorry about that, just fixed it.
Posted by: David
The Yankees pitching was great all night long. Jaret Wright pitched six strong innings and was followed by no hit innings from Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees scored early when Bernie Williams grounded a two out single through the middle which plated Jason Giambi for the only run of the game. Jaret Wright escaped a jam in the first inning. Julio Lugo lined a single to center and that was followed by a double to center from Carl Crawford. The ball was hit over the head of Bubba Crosby but was not read well by Lugo and he could only get to third. Rocco Baldelli lined to Jeter at short for the first out. Aubrey Huff popped up to A-Rod and then Jorge Cantu struck out to end the inning.

Later in the game Aubrey Huff doubled to lead off the inning and a ground out by Cantu got him to third. He died there when Wright battled and was able to strike out Gomes and got the next batter to end the inning.
Posted by: Patrick
McAfee did a little research and found that, in search engine results, the Yankees were the team to most likely have spyware, adware, etc. included in the screensavers offered by various sites around the web. This isn't a shock to me. Like any download, you should always be careful what and where you download from. There are good, reputable sites out there. And there are others that are not. That's the same for everything.

I would chalk the popularity of the Yankees up as the primary reason that they scored first in this little study. People who look to infect PCs with this stuff want to infect the most people. What team has the largest fan base in the world? Exactly.

They came in at 24%, right ahead of Boston at 23.2%.

In player searches, Josh Fogg took the cake at 75%. (lol, wow). Bonds, Pujols and Isringhausen (?!) came in second with 60%. 5th place was a tie between Jaret Wright (?! again) and Derek Jeter at 58.3%.
Posted by: Patrick
After the 19-1 loss on Tuesday, the Yankees sent ace (performance wise) Mike Mussina out against the Indians Paul Byrd. Mussina wasn't at his best, but gave the Yankees what they needed, allowing 3 earned runs over 6 innings. All 3 runs came on homers. A Todd Hollandsworth solo shot in the 2nd, a Ben Broussard 2 run shot in the 3rd. But, that would be all.

The Yankees scored first, in the 2nd inning, with a two out rally that started with an Andy Phillips single. Phillips stole second base (nice call) and Melky singled him in. This would be the start of a big day for the Melkster.

Going into the 4th, the Indians held a 3-1 lead. But, the 4th was where it would unravel. A-Rod would be up first. And he would strike out. All-star shouldabeen (OK, I'll stop whining now) Jorge Posada singled. Bernie's only hit of the day came at a very useful moment as he followed with a double. 2nd and 3rd with 1 out for Andy Phillips. Phillips "hit a routine grounder to Boone, who fumbled it away and was late with a throw to first, loading the bases." Boone had 3 errors on the day - ouch.

So, bases loaded for Melky. BOOM. Grand slam to right center, 5-3 Yankees. Bases clear, 1 out. Miguel Cairo up. He hits a grounder to Boone... who misplays it again for another error. Cairo steals second. Bubba Crosby singles him in. Nice. 6-3 Yankees. OK, good inning, we can stop now. Or...

Time for the top of the order. Derek Jeter singles, moving Bubba to second. Giambi is next and he ... flies out to deep right for the second out. Bubba takes third. This brings up A-Rod, who struck out to start the inning, as I said just a moment ago. Not wanting to make 2 outs in one inning, A-Rod singles to left, scoring Crosby (nice baserunning and thanks Jason) with Jeter stopping at the base between 1st and 3rd. 7-3 Yankees.

That wasn't for long, though, as the double steal was on the next pitch. A-Rod and Jeter both safe. Jorge followed this with a double to deep right, his second hit of the inning. 9-3 Yankees. Bernie strikes out, finally ending the great 4th inning.

The only other runs scored in the game would be in the 8th, when Miguel triples in Melky and Jeter sacs Cairo in. Kris Wilson made his first appearance as a Yankee, pitching 2 scoreless before giving way to Mo who maintained the 8 run lead he was handed, knocking his ERA down to 1.80. Moose notched his 10th win, allowing to join some elite company.

Melky was the big offensive star of the night, going 3 for 5 with a double, a homer and 5 RBI. The bottom 3 in the order (Phillips, Cabrera, Cairo) were particularly productive in this one, going 6 for 12 with 6 runs, a double, triple, home run, 6 RBis and 3 SBs. The Yankees as a team swiped 6 bases, which seems like a lot to me. Jeter and Posada added multi-hit days of their own with Jeter taking 1 run and 1 RBI and Josada doing the same, plus 1 RBI.

Tonight at 7:05, Randy (9-7, 5.25) goes up against Cliff Lee (8-5, 4.69) to try to even the series 2-2 before heading to Tampa Bay.

07/06: Moose Company

Posted by: Patrick
Moose joined some elite company last night. Here is the list of all pitchers that have put together 15 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins in the American League:

Mike Mussina
Posted by: James
I hope people don't think that this is just me being bitter (if you don't take Jorge Posada, you can't take either of the two catchers who finished BELOW HIM IN THE VOTING!) but the latest from the 12th man vote is really starting to annoy me. I have no idea how it is happening but A.J. Pierzynski of all people, is leading the vote getters right now. For goodness sake people, go out there and vote for anyone else on that ballot. It was an absolute joke when Scott Podsednik won last year and Pierzynski winning this year would cement this vote as a complete farce. EVERY PLAYER on the ballot is having a better year than A.J. If you are at all a fan of baseball and making the All-Star a showcase of the game's STARS, go to the site and vote for someone else. So, here's the plan - go to the All-Star Game website, click on Final Vote and vote for Francisco Liriano. In case, you've missed it, the 22 year old power lefty has gone 9-1 with a 1.99 ERA and is in second place right now and so has the best chance to overtake A.J. Please, I beg you.
Posted by: Patrick

Mariano Rivera
14 G, 16.2 IP, 1-1, 7 S, 1.08 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, .127 BAA

Robinson Cano
22 G, 83 AB, 8 R, 33 H, 6 SB, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 3 SB, .398 AVG, .432 OBA, .566 SLG, .998 OPS

Johnny Damon
26 G, 103 AB, 20 R, 32 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 17 BB, 5 SB, .311 AVG, .402 OBA, .553 SLG, .955 OPS

Matt Smith
7 G, 5.2 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, .158 BAA

Mike Myers
10 G, 3 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, .200 BAA

Andy Phillips
23 G, 69 AB, 7 R, 23 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 1 SB, .333 AVG, .347 OBA, .623 SLG, .970 OPS

Derek Jeter
22 G, 87 AB, 11 R, 28 H, 6 2B, 8 RBI, 11 BB, 6 SB, .322 AVG, .422 OBA, .391 SLG, .812 OPS

Jason Giambi
21 G, 82 AB, 15 R, 21 H, 3 2B, 11 HR, 23 RBI, 11 BB, .256 AVG, .358 OBA, .695 SLG, 1.053 OPS

Ron Villone
12 G, 13.1 IP, 2-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .222 BAA


Alex Rodriguez
24 G, 89 AB, 9 R, 19 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 16 BB, 4 SB, .213 AVG, .346 OBA, .348 SLG, .694 OPS

Melky Cabrera
26 G, 98 AB, 16 R, 21 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 13 BB, 1 SB, .214 AVG, .313 OBA, .296 SLG, .608 OPS

Kyle Farnsworth
14 G, 12 IP, 1-2, 5.25 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, .294 BAA

Miguel Cairo
20 G, 60 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 3 SB, .183 AVG, .246 OBA, .217 SLG, .572 OPS

Shawn Chacon
3 GS, 14.1 IP, 0-1, 6.91 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, .293 BAA

Scott Proctor
14 G, 16 IP, 1-0, 5.06 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .238 BAA

Mike Mussina
6 GS, 34.2 IP, 2-2, 4.93 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .252 BAA
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees have signed "blue chip prospect", 16 year old catcher Jesus Montero for $2 million:

"His main assets are his bat and his great arm, but Montero has the complete package and even George Steinbrenner got excited," Rios told Líder newspaper. ...

"The idea," Cashman told the Daily News, "is that in five years everyone will know who he is for the next 20."

Cool. Hopefully he's really 16.

(The title of this entry is a joke. :))
Posted by: James
Seeing as how there is nothing good to speak on in regards to the big club this morning, here's a little excercise about how ERA can skew our views of pitcher (and most Yankee prospect hounds already know where I'm going with this). Prior to his latest start, here is our mystery pitcher's line for the season:

86.1 IP, 70 H, 30 BB, 83 Ks.

That's not too bad huh? Unfortunately, his 45 ER in that span gave Tyler Clippard a 4.69 ERA which makes him, in most people's eyes, look like a bust for the season. Actually, it looked like his days as a pitching prospect were over when his ERA would bloated to 5.69 earlier this year but he's really started moving since then. Including last night's masterful performance, Tyler has pitched 26.1 innings in his last 4 starts, giving up 11 hits and 6 walks while striking out 32. He's only allowed 2 ER in this run so far and has dropped his ERA a full run and a half. Here's the updated line:

94.1 IP, 71 H, 45 ER, 32 BB, 94 Ks
(4W-10L, 4.29 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 2.9 K/BB ratio and averaging 9.0 Ks per game).

Not too shabby for 21 year old (22 on Valentine's Day 2007) at AA, huh? Heck, it would be even more impressive if you were to throw out Clippard's worst start this year which consisted of 1 IP, 5 H, 8 ER and 3 BBs. Take that one start out of his overall numbers (that would make them 93.1 IP, 66 H, 37 ER, 29 BB and 94 Ks for those who refuse to use math) and all of a sudden, you have a nice looking pitching prospect on your hands again. Still, I'm not going ga-ga just yet so at this point, let's just hope he can keep this run going because it would be great to see a Yanks starting pitching prospect not named Hughes get some positive press (where have you gone Christian Garcia?)

07/04: Lou Gehrig

Posted by: James
In addition to being Big Stein's birthday, July 4th is also the anniversary of Lou Gehrig Day (July 4th, 1939) which is always something that I try to remember. Gehrig would pass away in a little under 2 years from that date but on that date, he made one of the most emotionally charged speeches in baseball history. It's kind of funny that though there were so many microphones at the game, only four sentences of the speech actually were captured on tape and survive. However, the following was pieced together from various newspapers:

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

I have been to ballparks for seventeen years and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t have considered it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat and vice versa, sends you a gift, that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in the white coats remember you with trophies, that’s something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body, it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed, that's the finest I know.

So I close by saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."

Read the Wikipedia article about the man and check out some of the external links. If you can't appreciate the type of man Gehrig was through that, well, just look at his stats! He had at least a couple more amazing years in him and the Lord only knows where he would have been on the all-time lists if only he had been given the health to compete.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

"I have been closing since 1997, but it feels like yesterday," Rivera said prior to the Yankees' 5-2 loss to the Indians in the opener of a four-game series at Jacobs Field. "It's really been amazing." ...

"I remember my first year; April was awful," recalled Rivera, who flushed his first Yankee Stadium save situation in 1997 when Mark McGwire, then with the A's, homered to center field. "I went to Joe [Torre] to talk to him and he said, 'You are my closer no matter what.' That's what I needed."

Not a bad decision.
Posted by: Patrick
Steve reminds us that George Steinbrenner turns 76 today. Have a good one!
Posted by: Patrick
They are members of your 2006 AL All-Star Team. Voting totals can be found at Yahoo!

I'm glad to see Jeter back on the team. I really felt he should have made it last year. Grrr... deep breath. :) Anyway, water under the bridge. Shame Manny edged him out for top vote getter.

Cano ended up finishing second to Mark Loretta by less than a hundred thousand votes. Feel bad for him getting injured which likely caused him to slip and will now cause him to miss the game.

What I really wanted to talk about though was Posada. James mentioned it the other day, but Posada finished 4th in the catcher voting, behind Pudge, Joe Mauer and Jason Varitek (?!). That stinks because Jorge is really having a great year. He really should be the backup catcher, at least. And then for Ramon Hernandez (edit: AND Pierzynski?!) to be chosen for the final man voting over him? I mean, look at the numbers. Jorge got snubbed. Not saying he should have been starter - Mauer deserved that, I think, but the fan's voted Rodriguez and it's the fans game, I respect that. So, Mauer had to be picked. I respect that, as well. But, why Hernandez over him (and Pierzynski?) for the final man? No idea what's going on there.

Giambi finished a distant second to David Ortiz at first. Johnny Damon finished 4th in the OF voting with Sheffield 12th and Matsui 14th.
Posted by: David
It didn't start off too well as the Yankees fell behind the Mets 4-0 in the second inning. However they came back with a vengeance and beat the Mets in a slugfest 16-7 on Sunday night at the stadium.

The start of the game was delayed around an hour and fifteen minutes because of rain. The Mets roughed up Yankee starter Jaret Wright as he couldn't keep the ball down. He had a chance to get out of the inning at 1-0 but Bernie Williams couldn't get to a ball that was hit over his head and two runs scored. The Mets added another to make it 4-0. Wright was relieved by Ron Villone who walked Carlos Delgado to load the bases. He next faced David Wright and got him to pop up to Nick Green for the final out. Green made a great throw on a relay to nail Jose Valentin at the plate for the second out of that inning.

Jorge Posada started the Yankees scoring with a home run off the facing of the upper deck in the second inning to make the score 4-1. In the third the Yankees erupted for eight runs capped off by a grand slam from A-Rod. Mets starter Alay Soler was bat shy and got behind two many hitters and the Yankees just teed off on him. Nick Green followed later in the inning with hit first hit for the Yankees a two run shot to left center to make the score 9-4.

A-Rod added a three run shot later in the game to give him seven RBI on the evening. Carlos Beltran added two solo homers later in the contest but the Yankees had built up such a huge lead that they had little meaning.

The Yankees now go on the road to face Cleveland tonight with Chien Ming-Wang getting the start for the Bombers.
Posted by: James
Tiger, Tiger Woods, y'all. A-Rod golfs one out to put the Yankees ahead in a game that they have to have. Two reasons for that: a comeback of this magnitude after your starting pitchers have spit the bit for two days in a row could really galvanize a team and 2) the Red Sox & Twins had already won (both teams went a record 16-2 in inter-league play this year). Now, I don't know how you guys define it but that kinda, sorta seems like some clutch hitting to me. Update: Another shot by A-Rod!

I have to give props to Mr. Torre for taking Wright out early in the game. He's been burned a number of times before (both last year and this year) when staying with a starter for too long and this time, he said no way, not going to happen.

I don't know why but every time I see Nick Green, I think Vanilla Ice/Kevin Federline...can't put my finger on why.

Man, I wish Beltran was in pinstripes. Is that wrong? If it is, I can't help myself. Having watched him play the field against the field, I was amazed at how quick he was out there. Then, he comes to bat and you start drooling over his bat speed. Finally, he gets on base and he's easily one of the best baserunners in the league (and one of the smartest as well). He's definitely something...and to think, he would have taken a paycut to have been fitted for pinstripes. C'est la vie. At least we got Pavano & Wright out of it ;) Update: Beltran playing a quick game of "anything you can do..." with A-Rod.

Oh, and for those of you guys who know they've seen this guy somewhere - last year, way back there when Carl Pavano was actually pitching, Green blasted a three-run home run off Carl to put the Devil Rays up 5-3. That home run ruined an otherwise very good performance for Pavano in what turned out to be the last decision that he recorded for the Yankees. Since then, he's been on the DL with no signs of ever actually coming off. Kinda sad really.

Rickey Henderson must really like gaudy stuff - did you see that necklace and shirt!? Wow. I pity the fool who messes with Rickey!
Posted by: James
I wanted to post this up before tonight's scoring surge skews the numbers for a couple days. Here are the before and afters in the records, runs per game and runs allowed per game before Hideki went down (May 11th) and after.

Before: 20-13, .606; 198 RS - 140 RA; Averages of 6 RS and 4.24 RA a game.

After: 25-20, .556; 230 RS - 221 RA; Averages of 5.11 RS and 4.91 RA a game.
Posted by: Patrick
I just wanted to take a moment to mention that our sister site,, has launched an entirely new design. In addition to this, the old News section has become the Blog. We'll (currently the tandem of me and David) be posting more frequently and we now accept comments so that you can post your thoughts, as well. So, if you'd like to give it a look, feel free!

Thank you for reading.
Posted by: Patrick
Sam Borden mentioned that Bob Sheppard has Laryngitis (Rick Cerrone will be filling in). Get well soon.