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You are currently viewing archive for September 2006.

Posted by: David
The Yankees won on Friday night in the Bronx vs. the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-2. The win combined with Detroit's loss clinched home field for the AL playoffs for the Yankees.

The Yankees got home runs from Abreu, Damon and Posada combined with six strong innings from Mike Mussina to coast to the victory.
Posted by: Patrick

On Sunday, Torre will continue his long-time tradition of turning over managerial duties to one of his players, as Bernie Williams will run the show in the season-finale against the Blue Jays.

Torre will leave it to Williams to name a pitching coach, with Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera both lobbying for the job.

"I'm making him make those decisions," Torre said. "We have a couple of guys politicking for the job, but I don't know where it's going to land."
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

New York will take seven infielders (Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Cairo and Phillips), two catchers (Jorge Posada and Sal Fasano) and five outfielders (Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Bernie Williams and Melky Cabrera).

The 11 pitchers will be Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, Cory Lidle, Ron Villone, Bruney, Mike Myers, Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera. If Johnson's back injury causes him to miss his Game 3 start, the Yankees would leave him off the roster and add either Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner or Sean Henn.
Posted by: Patrick
Don Mattingly's Blog has just launched. Wanted to mention it.
Posted by: Patrick
According to the official site:

Randy Johnson's status for the postseason is up in the air after tests revealed a herniated disc in the left-hander's lower back.

Johnson, who missed his final start of the season on Thursday after informing the club of recent back spasms, is slated to start Game 3 of the American League Division Series next Friday in either Minnesota or Detroit.
Posted by: Patrick
So, I'm in 2 fantasy baseball leagues. In both of them, I am in the playoffs and this is the last round of the playoffs. In one, I'm playing for 1st place. In the other (our league here at, I'm playing for 3rd. I'm looking for some extra quality starts. I give Darrell Rasner one start. Just one start. The only time I've ever had him on any of my teams and I am only keeping him for one day. Just one start, that's all. Sigh.

Rasner lasted just 2 and 1/3 innings, giving up 5 ER and taking the loss. The Yankee bullpen was good in relief, especially Sean Henn who threw 3 and 2/3 innings of 0 ER ball and Jose Veras who pitched 2 of his own. Octavio Dotel pitched the 9th, allowing 2 ER.

The big story of the night, though, was Daniel Cabrera's near no hitter. Due to a pair of fielding errors and passed balls, the Yankees were able to score a run without getting a hit. The no hitter was taken into the 9th. First up was Johnny Damon. He grounded out to first. 2 outs away.

Robinson Cano didn't let it get any farther, though, as he put a single into left. Bobby Abreu followed this up by hitting into an inning ending double play. Game over. Pretty bad game, but hey, it could have been a no hitter.

With the loss, our shot at 100 wins is gone. Today at 7:05 PM, Gustavo Chacín goes up against Moose. I had both Moose and Chacín on one of my teams. Moose is starting and I've dropped Chacín. Fingers crossed.
Posted by: Patrick
For those that are into MySpace, we've created a MySpace. If that's you, please feel free to add us to your friends.

Thank you for your support and for visiting
Posted by: Jason
There are several assumptions in this scenario, so bear with me:

If the Yankees (knock on wood) achieve their goals this postseason:

1) Torre retires with ring #5, one for each finger on his right hand.
2) Mr. S. buys him out with a mutually agreed upon doubt a very attractive package.
3) Joe Girardi becomes Yankees manager. The Marlins' performance this year has removed any doubt about Joe G's capabilities.

Any thoughts on this?
Posted by: Jason
Last evening, the Yankees put 16 runs on the board for the second time in 3 games, eventually winning 16-5. Finally, the team had their opening day lineup fully deployed. (Plus some career .300/.400/.500 guy from Venezuela who always looks to be at ease. I feel like I could tell Bobby that an asteroid was going to hit the earth and he'd shrug his shoulders and blow a bubble). This was the lineup that was to make scoring 1,000 runs a trivial effort...had they been intact, they might have made it look easier than that!

There was no mercy for the team from the Babe's hometown, as Anna Benson's ex-husband and his bullpen mates threw batting practice to the Yankees on a clear almost Fall evening in the Bronx. (Summer is reluctant to leave the stage this week in the northeast.)

The Yankees largely achieved their respective personal goals at the plate. Sheffield and Matsui both continued a successful restart of their seasons. Giambi allayed fears about his wrist with a home run. Robinson Cano stayed on the radar screen in the batting race but much more importantly solidified his position as an infield regular for years to come. Posada, Abreu, rolled on.

So what do we have? Are we witnessing a team that, with this lineup, will steamroll its playoff competition?

Or are we deceived by offensive outbursts against teams that are 25+ games out of the playoff hunt?

I recommend overall caution...but by all means allow yourself to daydream. It is soothing and fun to contemplate the team laying waste through the playoffs en route to #27.
Posted by: Patrick
Jeter is a finalist in the Players Choice Awards for the A.L. "Outstanding Player" award. He's up against David Ortiz and Jermaine Dye.
Posted by: Jason
The Yankees obliterated Tampa Bay in the last road game of the regular season. A lively first inning began with Damon hit by pitch, a Jeter walk and an Abreu 3 run shot over the centerfield wall. I was amused that Baldelli jumped up on the wall as if to make a play, because the ball was at least 40 ft. over his glove.

Alex walked and probably should have been called out on strikes after taking a close fastball from TB pitcher Jae Seo. (more on this later) Sheff just missed a fastball, flying out to deep CF. Cano had an infield hit and the stage was set for Matsui.

TB pitching coach Mike Butcher was a lit fuse after the Rodriguez non-call. On a close inside pitch to Hideki that was called a ball...Butcher freaked. I mean, became completely unhinged. Grabbing & bumping umpires, screaming obscenities, you had to love it. It was George Brett pine tar-esque....He reminded me of Jack Nicholson at the end of the courtroom scene in "A Few Good Men" when his character explodes and tries to rush Tom Cruise while being restrained by MPs.

After 14 pitches and about 10 minutes, Matsui centered a low fastball and hit it about 12 rows back in right field, 6-0 Yankees. The rout was on.

Jeter and Cano both recorded 2 hits each, thus keeping pace with Mauer. Jaret Wright was acceptable. Bobby Abreu was 4 for 4, and the September callup Cannizaro hit his first major league jack. 16 runs on 20 hits meant that everyone got healthy.

Everyone except our favorite 6' 10" lefty. Randy has been shut down until the playoffs with apparent back spasms. The media reports that the playoffs are "iffy" at this point.

What would the week before the playoffs be without a little drama?
Posted by: Patrick
Just picked up this tidbit from Yahoo!: Derek is the only shortstop - ever - to have 5 200 hit seasons. He's also the only shortstop to have 4 200 hit seasons. There are only 4 players who have had 3. They are Johnny Pesky, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada and Michael Young.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Yahoo!, Chien-Ming Wang will be our game 1 starter. Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson will be next. I read an article the other day that said that Torre was considering using Jaret Wright for game 4, as well.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Last year, Mariano Rivera became the first recipient of the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award, beating out nine of the best relievers in the Majors for the honor.

Rivera posted another stellar season in 2006, earning him a spot among the 10 finalists for a second consecutive year and an opportunity to bring the award home once again.

You can vote now.
Posted by: Seamus
In a game that featured Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez Robinson Cano, Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui and Bernie Williams, the star of last night's game was...J.P. Howell!? Yes, the Yankees were blanked by a guy who doesn't even have a photo on his player page. The 23-year old lefty threw 7 shutout innings and outdueled Randy Johnson as the Rays beat the Yankees 8-0 in the second game of a four-game series.

Johnson had a shaky outing, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings. Jose Veras gave up two runs and Octavio Dotel allowed a run (thankfully we didn't need him as much as originally thought) as well. Dotel has allowed 9 runs in 10 IP this season.

Not much to say about the Yankee offense, which recorded only four hits in the game. Gary Sheffield was 0-2 and is still looking for his first hit since coming back from his wrist injury. He made his first error at 1B as well. Cano and Jeter were each 1-4 and now trail Joe Mauer by 5 and 6 points, respectively, in the batting race. Cano can be eligible for the batting title after today's game if he gets five plate appearances (you can divide his would-be 481 PA by 155 team games played and get a number just over 3.1 or you can save yourself the trouble and just trust my math ;) ).

Well, the good thing about these games that are played after the Yanks have already clinched the division is that I can watch a game like this and when it's over I can just tip my cap to the young lefty Powell for a job well done. Nothing really significant to point out about the game besides the fact that everyone made it out in one piece and the Tigers have inched to within a half game for home-field throughout.

The Yanks and Devil Rays will resume the series this afternoon at 1:15 E.T. Mike Mussina will be on the mound to face Brian Stokes.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Many wondered how Mariano Rivera would feel the day after he pitched for the first time in more than three weeks. Everyone, in fact, except Rivera.

"I knew right away by how I felt [after the game]," the Yankees closer said. "I feel normal, and it makes me feel great." ...

"I'll pitch Sunday," Rivera said, "And the playoffs will be normal. I'll do whatever I have to do."
Posted by: Patrick
According to Jim Baumbach:

Also, he hired Gregg Clifton as his new agent. If you recall, he fired Scott Shapiro as his agent a year ago and told the union he was doing so because Shapiro did not follow through on his promise to get him a four-year, $40-million deal. Pavano, of course, signed for four years and $39.95 million.

lol. It's a good thing for him that he's not signed to a contract that allows us to be that strict with him.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera returned for the first time since August 31st and saved the game for Chien Ming-Wang with a three strikeout performance.

The Devil Rays jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a Baldelli home run. Robinson Cano tied the score at 1 with a homer. The Yankees took the lead in the seventh with a two run homer from Aaron Guiel and an RBI double from Melky Cabrera.

Wang pitched seven strong innings. Proctor pitched the eighth and Rivera closed out the contest. The game also saw the return of Gary Sheffield to the lineup and his career debut at first base. The series resumes tomorrow night in Tampa Bay.
Posted by: Jason
The speculation has already begun on Boston's version of the FAN, WEEI.

The word is that Sheffield can be had for 2 years, 18 million and the Yankees will "undoubtedly" release him at season's end...
Posted by: Patrick
According to the official site:

The New York Yankees reached an agreement Thursday to make the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons their Triple-A affiliate, after ending their relationship with the Columbus Clippers earlier this year.
Posted by: Jason
Today is a day for celebration. That title has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

The Yankees won the AL East for the ninth straight time last evening. As a fan, I would like to thank the entire Yankees organization for its commitment to excellence.

How many other organizations (in any field) explicitly proclaim that any outcome other than #1 is a failure?

And it seems like yesterday that it was June 1st and "another outcome" seemed quite probable. The loss of Godzilla and Detective Shaft. The 1,000 runs scored hype dashed. As I've written before, I live in Boston and I heard the "Yankees are done!" taunts many times in the early summer.

But the Yankees demanded to be relevant. Mussina, Jeter and Giambi carried the team in the first 4 months of the season. A jerry-rigged outfield rotation of rookies, career minor leaguers, Kansas City castoffs and a pretty good jazz guitarist :) held the line, and the Yankees stayed on the AL radar screen.

Suddenly, Cashman struck like an angry rattlesnake at the deadline. Bobby Abreu was the catalyst that propelled the team for the last 60 days. Also, don't forget Damon. Remember Damon, the big gamble? The jealous protection of Phil Hughes? Brian Cashman is the best GM in baseball. I am remarkably comfortable typing that.

Yes, Boston's 5 game Waterloo (With the Yankees playing the Duke of Wellington) will remain in the forefront of everyone's mind, and rightly so. Please do not lose track of the other 80-odd wins that were not against Boston. Recall those huge early sweeps of Detroit and the White Sox?

So: Be magnanimous in victory. Shake a Boston fan's hand and wish his team good luck next year. A famous Ancient Roman once wrote: He conquers twice who in the hour of conquest, conquers himself.

And go Yankees in the playoffs!
Posted by: Patrick
With last night's Red Sox loss, we've clinched a division title for the 9th straight season. This ranks 2nd behind only the Braves run of 14 which has now come to an end. One at a time...

From Mark Feinsand:

You just haven't lived until you've heard the following line from Gary Sheffield:

"You guys look too dry. I'll be back." ...

As it turns out, Sheffield was just messing with us, but I did get my fill of cheap champagne on my clothes, in my hair and in several other places.


"I think the front office deserves a lot of credit," Rivera said. "We thank George Steinbrenner for the opportunity that he gives us to put a good team on the field. It all starts from there. The coaching staff, Mr. T [manager Joe Torre], the players, they're all tremendous." ...

While young players like Melky Cabrera and Jose Veras were taking their first taste of the postseason, you might think that celebrating a division title would no longer be a big deal to the veteran quartet. After all, this is a group that has a combined 11 World Series rings among them.

The ecstatic look on Jeter's face as he walked through the clubhouse -- both spraying and being sprayed with champagne -- said otherwise.

Also from

"There's so much togetherness here; we support each other, and I hope I can be a part of helping this team win a championship," Damon said. "I want to get a championship for Giambi, get a championship for A-Rod, get a championship for Donnie Mattingly and whoever else has never won one. There's a lot of work to be done."

Finally, from the New York Daily News:

That's why there seemed to be a little more giddiness to this postgame party than in years past. As Yung Joc's anthem, "It's Going Down," blared, Torre and Derek Jeter shared a beer-soaked embrace. At one end of the room, Melky Cabrera and Octavio Dotel danced in the middle of a circle as teammates poured cans of Labatt's Blue Ice on them.

Congratulations to everyone involved.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Zap2it:

Based on Jonathan Mahler's well-regarded bestseller "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning," the eight-party telefilm will look at the summer of 1977, when the Son of Sam was terrifying New Yorkers, a blackout struck the city and the Yankees were feuding their way to a World Series title.

Oliver Platt will play George Steinbrenner, John Turturro (I'm very sneaky, sir) will play Billy Martin and Daniel Sunjata will play Reggie Jackson. It's slated for July 2007.

Via Steve via Monsters and
Posted by: Jason
At the behest of compelling comments from both Alex B. at Bronx Banter and Steve L. at Was Watching, I surfed on over to to read Verducci's latest and was immediately confronted with this beauty:

For 11 summers Rodriguez had been the master of self-sufficiency, a baseball Narcissus who found pride and comfort gazing upon the reflection of his beautiful statistics. His game, like his appearance, was wrinkle-free. Indeed, in December 2003, when the Red Sox were frantically trying to acquire Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers, several Boston executives called on Rodriguez in his New York hotel suite after 1 a.m. Rodriguez answered the door in a perfectly pressed suit, tie knotted tight to his stiff collar. The Red Sox officials found such polished attire at such a late hour odd, even unsettling.

1) If you were the youngest person to hit 400 home runs IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL, would you not be proud of that achievement? (Spare me in advance all the "winning is all that matters" sentiment, because you know you'd be proud).

2) If you were having a job interview and wanted to make a good impression that you were going to be a polished, professional employee, wouldn't you wear a tie? Regardless of the time? If a person is wearing a tie at 1AM, that would signify to me that he cares enough to make an extra effort, something that I'd want in an important employee.

Verducci conveniently omits when he received that "impression" from Red Sox brass. Was it after they lost Alex and had embarked on an effort to downplay both a) their mistake and b) his talent? (I live in Boston...I heard this campaign on sports radio and other outlets with my own eyes/ears).

I stopped reading the article after that point. Tom Verducci is not a mind reader. His attributions of the motivations and mindset of Giambi, Torre, Alex and other Yankees may or may not be true. One thing is true: They are Verducci's opinions varnished with the gloss of Sports Illustrated and his "intimate access" and "extensive journalistic experience."

In other words, almost 100% meaningless blather. If some schmoe (me) writing for a blog can identify 2 massive holes in his "portrait" of Rodriguez in the first paragraph, the whole thing is not worth your time.

One aspect of this is important to point out, however: if you're not important, they don't talk about you.
Posted by: Patrick
Mo's ready to go (that being great = the greatest understatement), but for some reason, this made me laugh:

"It's not up to me to decide; it's Geno, Mr. T. and Gator -- they call the shots," said Rivera, referring to trainer Gene Monahan, Torre and pitching coach Ron Guidry.

Geno, Mr. T and Gator. That sounds like quite a group.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Yahoo! Sports, Mike Mussina will pick Game 3 of the ALDS with Wang and Johnson pitching games 1 and 2 (order not decided).
Posted by: Patrick

The Yankees got a win and a save from rookie pitchers Monday -- starter Darrell Rasner went six innings for the win; Jose Veras got the last out of the game to record the save. It was only the Yankees' third game since saves were first recorded in 1969 that one rookie got a win and another got a save. Ron Davis and Mike Griffin did it in 1979; Jose Rijo and Clay Christiansen did it in 1984. Davis and Rijo won those games in relief, so this was the first Yankees game in which a rookie starting pitcher got a win and another rookie got the save.

No rookie had even recorded a save for the Yankees since Dave Pavlas recorded the only save of his career on Aug. 24, 1996.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Jason
The Yankees reduced their magic number by 25% in a game that can be described both as exciting and brutally ugly.

The exciting: A 2-run shot by Alex in the 6th and another from Jetes in the 7th to give the club a single run lead, 4-3. Add a splash of batting around in the top of the ninth and adding three runs with RBIs by Bernie, Bobby and Andy (7-3 NYY) and you've got a seemingly delicious, stress free winning recipe for the Yankees Universe.

The ugly: The bullpen almost gave away the lead in the bottom ninth, as Ron Villone struck Rios out but walked Wells and gave up a single to Overbay. Torre called on Octavio Dotel. Troy Glaus immediately took Dotel deep, 7-6 NYY.

I'm not sure if Dotel has been allowed enough time to prove himself. I doubt he will receive any more time after this ugly 9th inning performance. Enter Mike Myers. Myers induces Hattig to fly out. As I begin to contemplate sitting back down, Jason Phillips singles. Enter Jose Veras, who gets Aaron Hill to fly out, game over.

Not convincing, but we'll take it. The magic number is now three.
Posted by: Jason
Next time you have a guy dead to rights who is much quicker than you, don't charge him blindly. Rather, just begin walking slowly toward him, thereby forcing him to:

a) Run to second, or
b) Run way, way out of the basepath.

Posted by: Patrick
Congratulations to Joseph and Hip Hip Jorge! on their victories in the 2nd round of the Fantasy MLB 2006 league playoffs. They will now face off for the championship. Good luck.
Posted by: Patrick
The official site reports that for this years rookie hazing (annual constume thing), the rookies were made to dress up like George Steinbrenner:

The seven players -- Beam, Melky Cabrera, Jose Veras, Sean Henn, Andy Cannizaro, Jeff Karstens and Kevin Thompson -- were dressed in blue blazers, white turtleneck shirts and gray dress slacks. The outfits were topped off by gray-haired wigs and aviator sunglasses.

"I want to know where my golf cart is to take me to the bus," joked Beam.

That's great.
Posted by: David
The Yankees had a chance at the beginning of the day to clinch the AL East crown for the ninth consecutive year. However, they didn't even reduce their magic number at all as they lost both ends of a day-night doubleheader to Boston.

Jaret Wright started the first game and surrendered home runs to David Murphy and David Ortiz. The Yankees came back and tied the score at two until Boston erupted four four runs in seventh capped off a three run double from Kevin Youkilis.

Derek Jeter didn't play in the first game and his hitting streak remained at 25 consecutive games. The Yankees were able to add a run late but ended up losing 6-3.

In the nightcap the Yankees had a 4-2 lead in the eighth but Mike Myers was wild and ended up walking 1 and giving up 2 hits, allowing 2 runs to score, in an inning of work.

In the ninth, the Sox went ahead 5-4 and Mike Timlin saved the second game as well. Damon got a pinch hit single but A-Rod popped out and Matsui was retired as well.

Coco Crisp made a sensational catch to rob Jorge Posada of a two run go ahead home run when he leaped and extended his glove over the fence in left center. The potential home run would have put the Yankees up by two. Posada had earlier hit a two run double to put the Yankees ahead 4-2.

The Yankees now move onto Toronto and try to whittle their magic number down even further. Boston is off today but goes home to face the surging Twins starting Tuesday night.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees lost a game yesterday but got their magic number down to 4 when they defeated the Red Sox last night to split the first of two consecutive doubleheaders. Derek Jeter recorded one hit in each game, extending his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest for a Yankee since 1942 (I find that kind of surprising).

Chien-Ming Wang struggled a little in the afternoon affair, a 5-2 loss in which Wang allowed 3 runs on 9 hits, only going five innings. Wang recorded his sixth loss of the year, and will probably not reach the 20-win plateau as he probably will not get enough starts now, even though the Yankees have 15 games left, because Torre was forced to bundle up his rotation for this weekend series with Boston. The Yankees struck first with a two-run homer by red-hot Robinson Cano, but that was all the offense they got and the Red Sox took the lead with three runs in the 4th and never looked back.

The second game was more back and forth. The Yankees scored first via a single by A-Rod. Boston scored 3 in the 3rd, and Bernie tied the game in the 4th with a double to left. The Red Sox went back ahead 5-3 in the 6th on a two-run ground rule double by Coco Crisp before Melky Cabrera tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a base hit that scored Bernie Williams. The Yankees went ahead for good in the 7th with an opposite field double by Jason Giambi, and Jorge Posada added an insurance run by bringing in Kevin Thompson with a single. Randy Johnson allowed 5 runs on 8 hits in 5 and 2/3, resulting in a no-decision. Scott Proctor pitched two scoreless innings to record his 6th win of the season and Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless ninth for his 5th save.

The Yankees and Red Sox will play two again today, with Jaret Wright facing Kyle Snyder in the first game and Mike Mussina going up against Ken Jarvis in the nightcap. The Yankees can clinch the A.L. East title tonight with a doubleheader sweep and a loss by the Blue Jays, who are hosting the Devil Rays this afternoon.
Posted by: Patrick
From their site:

For the first time in 25 years the New York – Penn League has a back-to-back champion!

Your Baby Bombers defeated the Tri-City ValleyCats tonight by a score of 2-0 to claim the 2006 New York – Penn League title.

Cool. Congrats.

Via Mike.
Posted by: James
From Peter A's LoHud Yankees Blog,

Cory Lidle will miss his next start. He has some kind of tendinitis in his forefinger and it keeps him from throwing his splitter. Darrell Rasner is expected to get the start. The more and more you hear Joe Torre talk, it sounds like Jaret Wright will be in the postseason rotation.

I certainly don't wish illness on anyone but I am a fan of Rasner and I think another great outing might start getting the Yankees brass to think about putting him on the postseason roster instead of say...Cory Lidle.
Posted by: James
Jeff Karstens made his third start of the year for the Yankees and immediately fell into trouble, giving up a leadoff triple to Rocco Baldelli. Baldelli would score on a Delmon Young groundout and though Carl Crawford would get on, Karstens would eventually get out of the inning having given up only one run.

The Yankees were trotting out an interesting lineup (Joe wanted to his regular OF to rest and avoid the slick grass) and led off with Bernie, who lined out before Jeter singled to extend his hitting streak to 23. Cano, in the #3 hole, struck out and A-Rod flied out to left center. That would be all for the Yanks until the bottom of the second when Hideki Matsui, with two-outs, put together a very good at-bat and ended up homering to deep right on the 8th pitch of his at-bat.

The Rays took back the lead in the 3rd as with one out, Rocco Baldelli would take advantage of Karsten's fly-ball tendencies and hit a solo homerun. Karstens worked around a Delmon Young single, getting Carl Crawford to ground into a force out and striking out Greg Norton.

Karstens ran into trouble in the 5th and gave up two more runs when Rocco Baldelli (who else?) homered again following a Ben Zobrist single. The Rays wouldn't hold onto the lead very long as in the bottom of the same inning, the Yankees put up a 3 spot to tie the game. Matsui led off with a single and Aaron Guiel singled him over to 2nd. With first and second, no one out, Kevin Thompson and Bernie Williams couldn't do much and both struck out before handing the baton to Derek Jeter. Derek promptly singled to right to score Matsui and Robbie Cano stepped up with a double to plate both Guiel and Jeter. Tie game.

Darrell Rasner came on in the sixth and simply shut the Rays down for the rest of the game, going 4 strong innings with 1 hit allowed and striking out 5. Now, I mentioned this the other day over at Joseph P.'s Sporting Brews but I wanted to say it again. I would rather see Darrell Rasner being given a push and a chance to make the playoff roster than Karstens. Honestly, at this point, I would rather see him there than Lidle. This is only because Rasner has been on the AAA/MLB level for a couple of years now and more importantly, is more of a GB pitcher. That will certainly help in the playoffs when you face a strong line-up or pitch in a homer-friendly park. Now, I believe that Karstens will eventually become a GB guy because of the sinker of his but for now, I'd rather take the chance on the more experienced arm. I hope that Rasner gets another couple of opportunities to pitch and does well in those outings though I very much doubt that he makes the postseason roster.

In any case, the Yankees scored the winning runs in the bottom of the 7th when both Kevin Thompson and Bernie atoned for their earlier strikeouts with singles. With first and third and one out (a Guiel strikeout to start the inning), Derek Jeter struck out in front of Robbie Cano, who lashed another 2-run double to put the Yanks ahead. A-Rod was up next and singled home Cano to amke the score 7-4 Yanks, which would be the final.

Well, that's six in a row, the division lead is up to 11.5 and the magic number is down to 6. It makes this weekend series pretty anticlimatic, huh? I guess the only thing left to do for this coming series is to start chanting MVP when Jeter comes to the plate
Posted by: Patrick
From The Columbus Dispatch:

The Yankees informed Columbus Baseball Team Inc. last week that they will explore other triple-A options, possibly moving their top prospects to Moosic, Pa., in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. ...

Cashman issued a "no comment" yesterday when asked about the split.

He is thought to be behind the push to move the Yankees to the Scranton area because of its location, approximately 120 miles west of New York. ...

The status of Clippers manager Dave Miley and coaches Kevin Long and Neil Allen is unclear because they are under contract to the Yankees, Schnacke said. There are no plans to change the Clippers nickname, Schnacke said...

Via the official site.
Posted by: Patrick
According to, Martin Scorsese wanted Jack Nicholson to wear a Red Sox hat during a scene in the movie "The Departed." But, he refused. So, he wears a Yankees hat in that scene. Good stuff.

Via Steve via Repoz.
Posted by: Jason
Does anyone remember the 80's NFL films montage of John Riggins? Included in the footage is that huge 'skins fan who has been around for 25 years and wears the Chief Wahoo headdress...Ring a bell? Between cuts of Riggins running over people is this guy in his headdress, yelling "CRANK UP THE DIESEL!!"

That's exactly how I felt watching the Yankees last night. It's as if the trade deadline was the crest of a brutal hill that required maximum effort. After reaching the summit intact, the team seems to be slowly, inexorably gaining speed.

We all knew what they were capable of before the last Boston series. Similarly, we all know what they are capable of during the next 6 weeks.

As for Tampa Bay, their strategy seems to be: Carl Crawford is good. Let's develop as many Carl Crawford clones (Upton, Young) as possible. Not a bad idea. If this were the run-happy late 80's they would be breaking records for stolen bases as a team.

Alas, conventional wisdom has Lidle on the outside looking in to the playoff pitching picture after his poor performance last evening, i.e, 4 ER on 9 hits.

Robinson Cano was last night's offensive star, breaking out with 5 RBIs, including his 10th jack.

"Out of the blue, and into the black"...Alex Rodriguez, that is. When that ball left his bat I was a little scared as to where it might actually land. That's the reigning MVP asserting himself.

One more with TB. Then the possibility to close out the division against the once fearsome Red Sox.

09/13: Classic Jeter

Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

Jeter may not be colorful but he's consistent with his team-first mantra. Last night was typical. Torre apologized for taking him out in the seventh inning, thinking Jeter's 21-game hitting streak had ended as Torre realized that Jeter hadn't gotten a hit in his first four at-bats.

Jeter laughed, according to Torre, and said, "I wasn't going to catch (Joe DiMaggio) anyway."

Via Pride of the Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz made it known to Derek Jeter -- perhaps through intermediaries -- that he has nothing but respect for him as a player, and was not singling out the Yankees captain with comments he made earlier this week about the race for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

"It's already taken care of," said Ortiz. "[Jeter] knows me. He knows that sometimes some guys from [the media] make things sound the way they're not supposed to. Come on, dude. That guy is one of my favorite players. You never talk [negatively] about Derek Jeter, bro. It's wrong. That guy plays his [rear end] off." ...

"It had nothing to do with Derek Jeter," said Ortiz. "Everything is all about Derek Jeter and I haven't mentioned Derek Jeter at all. I talk about guys who go for being an MVP candidate through the years in baseball history, and they always choose for home run and RBI guys, am I right or wrong?"

He was quoted as mentioning Derek Jeter. Hmm. I mean, I was surprised that he said it. Always possible that the media sensationalizes a story. But, saying he mentioned Jeter if he really didn't? Not sure.
Posted by: Jason
Abreu's swing last night was the easiest long HR stroke I've ever seen. He looked like Ernie Els hitting a sand wedge. To drive a ball like that from what looked like an on-deck circle warmup swing? That's frightening talent.

Also, given Jeter's stinging rebuke to Ortiz's MVP kvetch, count me as worried that the Sox will look for spiteful, frustrated payback next weekend in the form of hit batsmen and similar tactics.
Posted by: Seamus
Hideki Matsui looked like he hadn't missed a beat in his return from the DL last night as he went 4-4 with a walk as the Yankees defeated the Devil Rays 12-4. The Yanks maintained their 10.5 game lead over Boston and their magic number to clinch the A.L. East stands at 9.

As good as Matsui was, the star was Bobby Abreu, who drove in more runs in the 1st inning than Tampa Bay scored all evening. Abreu was 2-3 with a 3-run homer and a bases clearing double, both in the first inning. He added a sac fly in the 3rd to drive in his 7th run, and later in the game hit a ball all the way to the end of the warning track with the bases loaded, but it was caught at the wall by Delmon Young.

Abreu's 6-RBI first inning was part of a 9-run first for the Yankees as they put the game away early. Mike Mussina was finally on his game again, throwing 6 and 1/3 shutout innings, allowing five hits and not allowing a baserunner until the 4th inning. T.J. Beam pitched an inning and 2/3 of scoreless relief before Octavio Dotel allowed four in the 9th, breaking the shutout.

Also of note, as James mentioned: Derek Jeter did not record a hit, but he walked three times and was hit by a pitch. Since he didn't record an official at-bat, his 21-game hitting streak is still intact.

You know things are good when you're 10.5 games ahead and then can all of a sudden add a bat like Matsui's on September 12. The Yanks will send Jaret Wright to the mound tonight to face Jason Hammel in the middle game of this 3-game set. Hammel is 0-2 this season with an E.R.A. of 5.61.
Posted by: James
For those of you who are wondering whether taking Jeter out of the game tonight (0-for-0 with 3 walks) invalidates his hitting streak, here's the official MLB ruling:

Determining player performance streaks:
Consecutive Hitting Streaks: A consecutive hitting streak shall not be terminated if the plate appearance results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly shall terminate the streak.

Consecutive-Game Hitting Streaks: A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all the player's plate appearances (one or more) results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit. The player's individual consecutive-game hitting streak shall be determined by the consecutive games in which the player appears and is not determined by his club's games.

So, it looks like the streak goes on.
Posted by: James
...for most hit by pitches of any hitter in Yankee history! Woo hoo?

I'm not sure if they mentioned this in radio/TV broadcast but I've been waiting for Jeter to do it for a couple of days now. I was perusing the Yankees Baseball Reference page when I noticed that Jeter was #2 going into the season. He is now tied with Frankie Crosetti, who played shortstop as well, in the 30s and mid-40s.

So...ummm...way to go? Should I be happy he's no.1 or alarmed at how many times the guy's been plunked? And by the time it's all said and done, he'll have put some serious distance between himself and any future contenders. In any case, I think it's a testament to his resilience how few games Jeter has missed over his career in spite of all the beanballs (You can't see it but I am currently knocking on wood while rubbing a rabbit's foot while tossing salt over my shoulder...).

Update: I didn't realize this at the time but Derek leads the all-time Yankees in singles now too, having taken over the top spot from Lou Gehrig during the season. He has also moved into the top 10 on the all-time doubles leaderboard (now tied with Mickey Mantle for the 6th spot) and the all-time extra-base hits leaderboard (in the 10 spot, after pushing Bob Meusel off the list). It should be interesting to where Jeter will stand amongst these players at the end of his playing days, which at this point, is a long way away (thankfully!).
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

The Scooter will turn 89 later this month, and this has been a difficult year for him and Cora. Rizzuto couldn't make it to Yankee Stadium for Old-Timer's Day. He is now at a private rehab facility, trying to overcome muscle atrophy and problems with his esophagus. ...

"Derek just broke my father's record for games played as a Yankee shortstop," explains Rizzuto's eldest daughter, Patricia. "If it had to be somebody, we're glad it was Derek."

"Absolutely," Phil chimes in softly.

What can be said? True legend, great man. We all wish him the best here, obviously. There should be a street named after him somewhere.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Jason
Last evening the Yankees won the finale of this four-game series with a dramatic rally, and a bit of help from the bullpen.

Randy Johnson was below average: He gave up 5 ER on 9 hits in 6 full innings. The Orioles tagged him in the 3rd, 5th and 6th and the Yankees entered the top of the 7th trailing by three runs.

In an inning similar to that huge 8th last week in Kansas City, Abreu, Alex, Cano and Bernie all recorded RBIs as the Yankees scored 6 runs and took the lead 8-5. The crippling blow was Cano's bases loaded opposite field line drive over O's LF Tatis, who appeared to misplay the ball and fell down as it sailed past him, allowing Posada to score from 1st base.

Brian Bruney, another of Cashman's hidden gems, mowed the O's down in the 7th, including 2 K's. Scott Proctor gave up a home run to the catcher Hernandez, 8-6 Yankees.

Do you think that Proctor can handle a heavy workload? I'd like Joe to give him a lot of work down the stretch...just to make sure his arm is capable of withstanding a rigorous playoff schedule. Just drink a lot of green tea, Scott. It does wonders for shoulder/arm fatigue...

In the top 9th, that worthless head-case choker Alex Rodriguez hit his 461st career home run, an opposite field job against Chris Ray, the Orioles' best pitcher. 9-6 Yankees. That no-good, overpaid, will-never-be-a-"real" Yankee was 3-5, with 2 RBIs.

The Yankees pulled to 30 games over .500. The AL East race is for all intents and purposes over as the division lead is 10.5 games and the magic number is now 10.

Posted by: James
In response to David Ortiz's comments from the other day about Derek Jeter coming up short in the MVP argument, the captain responded with a deflection that I can't help but admire.

I don't have to do it in his lineup," he said. The captain shrugged when asked further about Ortiz's comments, saying, "I'm not thinking about the MVP right now. We're thinking about winning a division. We've still got something to play for." (Ouch - he put the kibosh on that one!)

He then added, "No one here's focused on individual awards."

Machiavelli couldn't have handled that better. Still, I have to admit, I was honestly surprised to hear that it was Ortiz that brought this up. I hate how he hits the Yankees but I have had nothing but respect for the guy. He looks like he genuinely enjoys the game and interacting with the fans and in most cases, seemed humbled to be able to play a game for a living. So when these articles attributed him with these selfaggrandizing comments, I was pretty shocked, and it looks like Johnny Damon was as well:

Ortiz' comments surprised former teammate Johnny Damon. "That doesn't sound like Ortiz," he said.
"You got to see Derek do the job," Damon said. "He gets clutch hits and plays Gold Glove shortstop. I am going to choose my teammate."
Posted by: Patrick

Fans who voted online selected Mike Mussina, Jim Thome, Barry Zito, John Smoltz, Albert Pujols and Nomar Garciaparra as the finalists from their respective divisions for the 2006 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Thousands of fans took part in the online balloting on, and the club sites from Sept. 5-10 to choose the six finalists. ...

AL East: Mike Mussina
Mike established the Mike Mussina Foundation in 2000 in his hometown of Lycoming County, Pa., to benefit local children and child-related charities. Through the Foundation, Mike has directed the College Bound Program, which grants a college scholarship to a graduating senior from 12 local high schools. Always concerned with helping young ballplayers, Mike donates his time to the International Board of Directors for Little League Baseball. He and the foundation also have donated more than $300,000 to Little League Baseball. Mike is also involved with the American Red Cross, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Major League Baseball Players Trust's Buses for Baseball program.

Posted by: David
Sal Fasano took advantage of getting some playing time with a three run homer to center and Derek Jeter also homered and extended his hitting streak to twenty games as the Yankees defeated Baltimore 9-4 on Sunday afternoon. Nick Green playing for a sick A-Rod also hit a dinger and has played a good third base.

Fasano and Jeter connected off of Hayden Penn who entered the contest with an ERA of 108.00. Jeter had four RBI on the day and is justifying his MVP contention.

Jaret Wright pitched 6 1/3 strong innings before giving way to Villone and Proctor. Ramon Hernandez was the offense for the O's with two home runs and four RBI.

Mariano Rivera threw off of flat ground for about forty-five pitches the last fifteen from the stretch. He still feels some tightness but is improving everyday. Mo will not pitch in a game for the rest of the week. Torre wants him to throw at least two bullpen sessions before being in a game. With the Yankees having a ten game lead there is no need to rush him back until he is 100%.

The series concludes tonight with Randy Johnson going for his 17th win of the season vs. Kris Benson.
Posted by: James
But there is one in Ortiz. Even though the season isn't over, David Ortiz seems to have resigned himself to losing the MVP race and has started advance. To be honest, I'm a little surprised to hear this from Ortiz. I'm not surprised that he harbors these feelings; that's understandable. I'm just amazed that he comes out and says these things as his team falls apart and falls 10 games back in the division. I'd link to the standings but I think this race player is a far more fun tool to check out (you can actually go back as far as 1901!). Perhaps all the media love and SI covers have made the man a little more brazen. In any case, here's the gist:

"I'll tell you one thing," Ortiz said. "If I get 50 home runs and 10 more RBI [which would give him 137], that's going to be a round number that no one else in the American League will have."

"But they'll vote for a position player, use that as an excuse. They're talking about [Derek] Jeter a lot, right? He's done a great job, he's having a great season, but Jeter is not a 40-homer hitter or an RBI guy. It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club, the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games.

Wow. I don't think I even have to comment here. If you're a baseball fan and you think that HRs and RBIs without context are the only important part of the game, I can strongly suggest one book that would be worth your time. Update: SG over at RLYW took a sabermetric look at Jeter's viability as a MVP candidate - as usual of SG, certainly worth a read.

"Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup," Ortiz continued. "Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be.

Oh, you mean hitting in front of Manny Ramirez, a HOFer who will go down as one of the best hitters of his, or any, era? And is it really Jeter's fault that Theo failed to resign Johnny Damon to hit leadoff? Oh, and way to bury your teammates there. That should really help morale.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Congratulations to Joseph and Mike on advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs in the Fantasy MLB 2006 league. Joseph will now face me and Mike will now face Hip Hip Jorge! The winners will play for the championship.

Good luck.
Posted by: Jason always enjoyable:

Jeter is clearly "locked in" at the plate. If he hits safely in the remainder of this season's games, his hit streak will stand at 41.

Some intriguing questions would be raised:

1) Do the playoffs count as consecutive games, or would Jeter receive a pass until April 2007?

2) Since the Yankee Clipper's record was acheived in 56 contiguous games, would a Jeter hit streak that carried over to '07 receive an asterisk similar to Woods's "Tiger Slam" of a few years ago? Perhaps continuing the hit streak in the '07 regular season would be considered an even greater feat?

3) Could this topic be any more premature?

With the dangerous Sal Fasano's decision to pick up Alex's slack and power the offense, the Yankees are apparently on autopilot into the postseason. The Yankees Universe needs some intrigue!!!
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees increased their lead over the Red Sox to a double-digit margin yesterday with a 3-2 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. Chien-Ming Wang was good once again, giving up only one run on eight hits as he picked up his 17th victory of the season, which is tied for the Major League lead. The Yankees also moved to within a half game of the Tigers, who lost in Minnesota for the best record in the A.L.

The game was pretty uneventful offensively. The Yankees struck first in the 5th with an RBI single by Johnny Damon to score Kevin Thompson and a sac fly by Melky Cabrera to put the Yanks ahead 2-0. The O's closed the gap to 2-1 in the 7th with a base hit by Brandon Fahey before Derek Jeter added another insurance run with a base hit in the 8th. Kyle Farnsworth came in to close it and gave up a solo home run to Kevin Millar, but that would be all the damage against Farnsworth as he picked up his third save of the season.

Jaret Wright will look to pick up his 10th victory of the season and will face Hayden Penn in the third game of this four game set. Penn made one start this season on September third and gave up 8 runs against Oakland without getting out of the first inning, hence his bloated E.R.A. of 108.00. Game starts at 1:35 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Jim Baumbach, Matsui will take today off, work out on Monday and be ready to play on Tuesday.

I know that our outfield of Abreu, Damon and Cabrera is terrific, but for anyone who might have forgotten, this is man whose first 3 years in New York amounted to 299 runs, 121 doubles, 6 triples, 70 home runs, 330 runs batted in, a .297 average and .370 OBA. In 33 postseason games, he's hit .319 with 22 runs, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, 25 runs batted in and a .377 OBA.

October lineup: Posada, Giambi, Cano, Rodriguez, Jeter, Matsui, Damon, Abreu and Sheffield with a bench that includes Fasano, Wilson, Melky and Bernie. We can't get ahead of ourselves with this much time left in the regular season, but with this in mind, the ducks seem to be edging toward a row.

Gary Sheffield took 40 swings off a tee Friday and finished with "a grin from ear to ear," said Gary Flink, the physical therapist who has supervised the slugger's workouts at his Bergen County facility.

"He could not have felt better. He couldn't be stronger right now. [Friday] was a huge step," said Flink, who added that "all indications are yes," that Sheffield would return at 100 percent this month. After another tee session today and Sunday, Sheffield is expected to begin regular batting practice Tuesday.

Posted by: David
Cory Lidle had been both very good and very bad. On Friday night in Baltimore, he was very bad. Lidle only made five outs before departing. He gave up four runs on six hits and was followed by Veras who came in with the kerosene can and gave up a three run homer. Lidle was taken deep by Melvin Mora in the first and also allowed a two run single to Yankee killer Miguel Tejada. Veras surrendered the bomb to Jay Gibbons and Sean Henn was touched up for a dinger by David Newhan.

With the Yankees behind by a large score for most of the game, Torre pulled most of his regulars early and basically conceded to Baltimore. However, with the Red Sox losing their fourth straight contest against the Royals, the Yankees magic number is reduced to 14.

Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 18 games and Craig Wilson hit a two run homer in the ninth.
Posted by: James
Derek Jeter, currently second in the AL batting race, was named as a finalist for the AL Hank Aaron Award. the award recognizes the best offensive performer from each league.

The final phase now will be conducted on through Sept. 30, and again fans will choose one player from each league. Those two players with the most votes will be announced at a presentation ceremony during the World Series.
Yankees manager Joe Torre always talks about how consistent Jeter is for his team. But Torre said he's noticed even more offensive consistency from Jeter this season.

"The consistency that I noticed, beyond his statistics, is the fact that he comes here with the same intensity every day," Torre said.
"I think sometimes people lose sight when they talk about baseball players, that hitting home runs makes them great, and if you don't hit home runs, then you're not," Jeter said. "Home runs get all the highlights -- you see them on 'SportsCenter' and all that. But there's more to the game than just home runs."

And those are the things Jeter excels at.

Just wanted to get the word out and once the voting is underway at, don't forget to cast your vote for The Captain.

Posted by: Jason
Randy Johnson's difficulties were well-documented during the middle third of this season. After last night, the case can be made that he is much closer to the Arizona form that the Yankees envisioned. Since the All-Star break, Johnson's ERA, home runs allowed and walks allowed are trending in the correct direction. Enter last night: A much-needed rubber match against a Royals team that has graduated from "pathetic" to "irritating" in the last 6 weeks with series wins over the Red Sox, White Sox and Twins.

Johnson reminds me of an aging bullfighter that has lost a touch of skill with age, but still commands great respect. Ironically, last night a bullfight crowd would have bathed the Unit in boos for killing the bull too ruthlessly without providing the proper drama. The "torero" must expose himself to potential injury from the horns with a daring, flamboyant style in order to win favor.

The southpaw coldly dissected a KC lineup that had already been weakened by Mark Teahen's season-ending surgery. It seems that an important factor in RJ's success is his ability to hit the outside corner against righties...last night he did, and he dominated. His fastball had fine location/velocity and his slider was customarily vicious. Even though he walked one hitter, an immediate double play insured that he faced the minimum number of batters through 6 innings.

DeJesus broke up Johnson's no-hitter in the 7th with a triple, but he strayed too far from third and was picked off by the other Yankee hero of last night, Jorge Posada. In addition to the fine throw to third, "Jorgie" (as Joe Girardi called him when he was in the YES booth) hit two 3-run bombs, contributing 75% of the Yankees' 8 runs with his bat.

The lead in the AL East is 9 games. The magic number is 15. Mariano can now be rested until he is 100%.

The Yankees Universe can rest easy, for now.
Posted by: James
The AA Trenton Thunder opened up their playoff series against the Portland SeaDogs with a 3-1 win tonight. Of greater interest to Yankees fans, Hideki Matsui made his first rehab appearance and struck out, lined out hard to right, was intentionally walked and then singled home an insurance run the seventh inning.

The other major story of the night proved to be the always entertaining Phil Hughes. who didn't get the win but struck out 13 batters, one short of the franchise record, in six innings.
Posted by: Patrick
Cano is the Yankees nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. Congrats.

When Cano was a child, he said he idolized Clemente as a talented baseball player. But as he's gotten older, Cano has gained a new respect for Clemente.

"The way he helped the kids and poor people was unbelievable," Cano said. "I want to do that."

Now the word is getting out about the kind of role model Cano is. Negron's book entitled "The Boy of Steel" tells a true story about Cano meeting a child named Michael Steel who was diagnosed with cancer.
Posted by: Jason
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...

-Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
Posted by: Jason
During last night's series opener in Kansas City, many Yankees fans were likely muttering a familiar question:

Why do journeymen pitchers seem to perform well above expectations against the Yankees?

A relevant question, as for 7 innings Luke Hudson rose to the level of his competition and held the New Yorkers to a lone run. The Yankees stranded at least 9 baserunners as Hudson's fastball found late movement and his curve was sharp.

As he sips a cup of coffee this morning and prepares himself for the day, Royals' manager Buddy Bell might be reconsidering his decision to pull Hudson in the top of the 8th last night. The Yankees laid waste to the Royals' bullpen as home runs by Posada and Cano combined with RBI hits by Damon, Abreu and Posada (again) totaled 10 runs, stunned the Royals faithful and effectively ended the game.

Chien-Ming Wang was cruising until the bottom 6th, when "Moneyball" darling Mark Teahen and Emil Brown both hit RBI singles. In the bottom 7th, Ron Villone might have exhibited some wear-and-tear from his many previous appearances as he surrendered a walk and an RBI double. T.J. Beam relieved Villone and gave up the 5th Royals run on another double.

Thankfully, the top of the 8th rendered the Yankees' bullpen problems irrelevant. These problems should not go unaddressed, however: perhaps Villone needs an extended break similar to Rivera's.

Tonight Mike Mussina's performance will be under the microscope as he retakes the hill after his stint on the 15 day disabled list - against Jorge De La Rosa, another Kansas City journeyman pitcher...

P.S.: The Yankees' magic number stands at 17 after last night's game.
Posted by: Patrick
The Fantasy MLB 2006 league has reached the playoffs. Here are the final regular season standings (playoff teams marked with asterisks (*)):

Rank  Team                W-L-T       Pct    GB
*1. Patrick 136-71-13 0.648 -
*2. Hip Hip Jorge! 125-78-17 0.607 9
*3. In George We Trust 122-86-12 0.582 14.5
*4. Mill 115-91-14 0.555 20.5
*5. The Sporting Brews 105-98-17 0.516 29
*6. Big Catz 102-106-12 0.491 34.5
7. Damons Monkeys 93-104-23 0.475 38
8. Curry Monsters 96-107-17 0.475 38
9. Green Day 98-110-12 0.473 38.5
10. Dog Pound 94-107-19 0.47 39
11. Evil Empire 80-123-17 0.402 54
12. Osprey 59-144-17 0.307 75
Congratulations to me (Patrick), Hip Hip Jorge!, Mike (In George We Trust), Mill, Joseph (The Sporting Brews) and Big Catz on making the playoffs.

Me and Hip Hip Jorge! are looking at first round byes, while Mill will play Joseph (with the winner playing me) and Mike will play Big Catz (with the winner playing Hip Hip Jorge!).

Good luck everyone.
Posted by: David
A-Rod is on a tear. Sunday afternoon in the Bronx, he hit two more homers which gives him five in the last four games. His five RBI game along with six strong innings from Darrell Rasner propelled the Yankees to a 10-1 victory. The Yankees won another series and have moved nine games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East. The magic number for the Yankees now stands at 18.

Bobby Abreu also chipped in with three doubles and Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to fourteen games with a double in his last AB. The Yankees benefited from the big lead by not having to use Mariano Rivera again. Torre had stated that he would not be available for the series due to a muscle strain below his elbow. The MRI revealed no damage but Torre is taking every precaution and trying to rest Mo as much as possible down the stretch.

Garza started for the Twins and was OK early but tired due to a high pitch count and couldn't get out of the fifth inning. He recently joined the Twins from Fresno State and is touted by them as being a future star.

The Yankees now go on the road to Kansas City for a three game series. Chien Ming-Wang trys to become the major league's first 17 game winner tonight. Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson will pitch the other two games of the series for New York.
Posted by: Patrick

Jason Giambi
26 G, 74 AB, 16 R, 7 2B, 6 HR, 25 RBI, .311 AVG, .474 OBA, .649 SLG

Johnny Damon
30 G, 128 AB, 27 R, 8 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 23 RBI, .305 AVG, .369 OBA, .625 SLG

Bobby Abreu
30 G, 115 AB, 21 R, 10 2B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 7 SB, .357 AVG, .460 OBA, .496 SLG

Robinson Cano
24 G, 97 AB, 12 R, 12 2B, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 1 SB, .351 AVG, .373 OBA, .598 SLG

Mariano Rivera
12 G, 14.2 IP, 1-0, 7 SV, 7 K, 1.84 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, .214 BAA

Chien-Ming Wang
6 GS, 39 IP, 4-1, 17 K, 3.23 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .277 BAA

Derek Jeter
30 G, 122 AB, 24 R, 5 2B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 7 SB, .295 AVG, .392 OBA, .459 SLG

Melky Cabrera
30 G, 106 AB, 21 R, 6 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, .311 AVG, .397 OBA, .453 SLG

Scott Proctor
17 G, 22 IP, 2-2, 15 K, 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .228 BAA

Bernie Williams
20 G, 60 AB, 9 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, .317 AVG, .379 OBA, .550 SLG


Ron Villone
17 G, 22.1 IP, 0-1, 24 K, 6.04 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, .282 BAA

Mike Mussina
4 GS, 21 IP, 0-2, 19 K, 5.14 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, .307 WHIP

Jorge Posada
26 G, 89 AB, 9 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, .225 AVG, .304 OBA, .404 SLG

Craig Wilson
26 G, 76 AB, 13 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .244 AVG, .280 OBA, .412 SLG

Kyle Farnsworth
11 G, 8.2 IP, 0-0, 1 SV, 9 K, 6.23 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .194 BAA

Octavio Dotel
6 G, 3.1 IP, 0-0, 4 K, 10.80 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, .438 BAA

09/02: Helen Beller

Posted by: Patrick
Neat story from The New York Daily News:

The great-great-grandma from Manhattan's upper West Side has been rootin' for the Bronx Bombers all her life, which began in 1903, the same year the Yanks were born as the Highlanders.

Last night she saw her first game at the stadium in more than a half-century - a treat provided by her grandson.

But then Beller got an unexpected treat, thanks to Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman.
Posted by: David
A-Rod is starting to come around. On Friday night in the Bronx, he hit two more home runs and is looking more and more confident at the plate.

Derek Jeter also contributed three hits as Cory Lidle breezed through six innings with a steady rain falling. A-Rod led off the scoring with a home run to left off Twins starter Carlos Silva. Robby Cano added a two run single and the Yankees cruised to an 8-1 victory on Friday night in the Bronx.

A-Rod added another homer later in the game for the Yankees last run. With the huge lead, the Yankees avoided using Proctor, Farnsworth and Rivera. Brian Bruney and recently called up T.J. Beam closed out Minnesota.

The Twins made several errors last night and didn't look like a playoff contending team.

This series is a face off of the backs ends of both teams rotations. The Yankees used Cory Lidle on Friday night and follow up (Ernesto permitting) with Jeff Karstens and Darrell Rasner. The Yankees will avoid facing Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano (stll on DL) and Brad Radke (recently injured).
Posted by: Jason
So: If Mariano gets this type of muscular soreness every year....

1) Does he always get an MRI with a month left in the season for his "piece of mind?"

2) Can't an experienced trainer/doctor diagnose "muscular soreness" without an MRI, particularly if it's an annually recurring issue?

Count me as a little worried, although empirical data shows that Mariano reached his usual velocity in the 9th inning yesterday.

If I were in charge, he would not pitch against the Twinkies this weekend. Then again, he might actually get 3 days off: If the Yankees can avoid using him tonight, the rest of the weekend looks like an Ernesto inspired washout...