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You are currently viewing archive for October 2006.

Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is back at work after being hospitalized Sunday when he became ill while watching his granddaughter perform in a play, his spokesman said.
Posted by: Patrick
Philip Hughes has launched a website. Just wanted to mention it.

Via Jim Baumbach.
Posted by: Patrick

There is also a prestigious award, known as The Hutch, given to an active MLB player who most embodies the spirit and desire shown by Hutchinson. The 10 finalists for the 2006 honor were announced this weekend, and the list includes Cincinnati's Ken Griffey, Jr., Arizona's Orlando Hudson, the Yankees' Derek Jeter, Boston's Mark Loretta, St. Louis' Albert Pujols, Minnesota's Brad Radke, Baltimore's Brian Roberts, the White Sox's Jim Thome, Florida's Dontrelle Willis and Oakland's Barry Zito.

Good luck. For background on the award, check out the article linked above.
Posted by: Patrick
From Yahoo! Sports:

Former major league pitcher Joe Niekro, Houston's career victory leader, died Friday, Astros president Tal Smith said. He was 61.

The two-time 20-game winner suffered a brain aneurysm Thursday and was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital in nearby Plant City, where he lived. He later was transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he died.

He was a Yankee for part of 1985, having been traded on September 15 to the Yankees in exchange for Jim Deshaies, Neder Horta and Dody Rather. He pitched 3 games that year, going 2-1 with a 5.84 ERA. He was granted free agency, but we brought him back with a new contract. In 1986, his only full year for the Yankees, he pitched 25 games, going 9-10 with a 4.87 ERA. In 1987, he pitched only 9 games for New York (going 3-4 with a 3.55 ERA) before being dealt to the Twins for Mark Salas.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
Posted by: Patrick
From Bill Madden:

You knew somebody was going to be the fall guy for the Yankees' collapse against the Tigers in the division series and if it wasn't going to be Joe Torre, then it was surely going to be one of his coaches. And so it is Lee Mazzilli, a victim of circumstances, who takes the hit as the Yankee high command moves manager-in-waiting Don Mattingly into the bench coach position, in which he can concentrate on game strategy instead of tutoring hitters. ...

As for the hitting coach, Cashman will stay within the organization, promoting Kevin Long, who has tutored the Triple-A hitters at Columbus for the last three years. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Long played six years in the Kansas City Royals' system and was the batting coach for their Double-A Wichita farm team in 2000-01.
Posted by: Patrick
No shock. Sheff's not happy:

"I don't know what (the Yankees are) going to do," Sheffield told USA Today in a story posted on the paper's Web site late last night. "Maybe they picked it up just to trade me. If they do that, if I just (go) to a team for one year, there's going to be a problem. A big problem. I will not do this."

Here's the thing: if Sheffield produces, won't he make more than if he was an FA now? He's slated to make $13 million this year. He's not going to get that as an FA. Not in a year where he was injured for so long.

If he gets paid $13 million this year and goes to a new team and produces, he'll have better standing, allowing him to get a better deal as a free agent next year. The only way he makes more if he becomes an FA this year is probably if he stinks it up for the next 3 years because he'll already have a 3 year deal and they'll have to pay him, unless there is some clause included in the deal. So, if I were him, I'd just take my $13 million this year. But, that's me.
Posted by: James
Along with Ryan Howard from the NL, Derek Jeter won the 2006 Hank Aaron Award.

There were two phases of fan balloting at toward the end of the regular season. In the first phase, fans voted on a ballot that included one representative from each of the 30 clubs, as chosen by Major League Baseball. The fans' vote decided which six players in each league would move on to the final vote. Fans then were asked to choose one player per league from those six.
Jeter received 37 percent (29,275 votes) of the AL votes on a ballot that included Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels, Travis Hafner of the Indians, Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Justin Morneau of the Twins.
(Said by Aaron to Jeter) "Seriously, I think this award means much more than just presenting an award to two great players. I think that you, more than anybody, have realized that what you do on the field means little of nothing to what you do off the field. And you have carried yourself that way."

The award is supposed to recognize the best offensive performer from each league so the MVP might soon follow this trophy onto Jeter's mantle and I would strongly suggest reading the linked article, especially the exchange between Hank Aaron and Derek Jeter.
Posted by: Patrick
Newsday is reporting:

Joe Girardi has decided to stay off the field for a year and spend next season as a broadcaster, a person familiar with the situation told Newsday today.

The article says that YES is one of his options.

Via Jim Baumbach.

10/25: CBA Update

Posted by: James
ESPN just posted an article (an AP story actually) that is the best breakdown of the new collective bargaining agreement that I've stumbled upon so far. It seems that draft pick compensation hasn't totally been done away with:

Draft-pick compensation for losing Type C free agents is eliminated. Compensation for Type B free agents is changed from direct (losing draft picks) to indirect (sandwich picks). Starting in 2007, Type A free agent redefined to top 20 percent at position (from top 30 percent) and Type B to 21-40 percent (from top 31-50 percent).
Thresholds for luxury tax on team payrolls set at $148 million for 2007, $155 million for 2008, $162 million in 2009, $170 million in 2010 and $178 million in 2011. Tax rates on amount over threshold remain at 22.5 percent for first time over threshold, 30 percent for second time over threshold, 40 percent for third or subsequent time over threshold.

Now, this still doesn't answer the question of whether teams would now revert back to "first-time offenders". This would only affect the Yankees but it's a noticeable effect. Rather than paying a $1.40 for every dollar spent over $148 million, they would pay $1.23. If next year's payroll was the same as this year, you're talking about a little over $8 million bucks that would stay in the Yankees' coffers. (Though between Moose, 19M, and Sheffield, 13M, there's going to be some dropoff next year.)

Update: According to Peter A., the Yankees will remain at the 40% level as a repeat offender. They will be the only team over the salary cap.

As an added note to you minors watchers out there, the new CBA also states that players in the minors now have four full years before they have to be added to the 40-man roster or exposed to the Rule 5 draft. It used to be three years. That's helpful for all the Yankees prospects at the lower levels.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

The biggest buzz among the few general managers attending the World Series is the silent auction the Yankees have apparently already begun for Gary Sheffield. It turns out that Yankee GM Brian Cashman had always intended to pick up Sheffield's $13 million option for next year - but not for the purposes of keeping him. Once the Yankees acquired Bobby Abreu from the Phillies at last July's trading deadline, it was clear Sheffield no longer fit in their plans, but by picking up his option, they can now get something for him. And it could be a nice return as at least a half-dozen teams - the Angels, Orioles, Cubs, Giants, Astros and Rangers - are in the market for a power-hitting corner outfielder, and that doesn't include the Red Sox and Mets. The Yankees can now prevent Sheffield going to such rivals, not a possibility had they let him flee.

Of course, reports like this can only hurt our chances of getting anything decent for him, if Sheffield's response is to say he won't play for the team he's dealt to. But, maybe they are already taking that into account.
Posted by: James
Seemingly lost in the big news that MLB players and owners finalized a new five-year collective bargaining agreement is this little tidbit:

The minimum salary increases, from $327,000 this year to $380,000 next season, and amateur draft pick compensation for some free agents who sign with new teams, will be eliminated.

So, theoretically, the Yankees can sign now anyone with no real penalty. Man, this would have helped in the past 5 years or so. Still, over this offseason and the next couple of years, there are some big free agents that are expiring on the Yanks' side (Mussina, Sheffield, Abreu, etc.), so they wouldn't get any compensation for those guys either. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, especially with the salary cap increase (though the article doesn't mention if the penalty rates - the Yankees are at 40% right now - will be reset back to 25% and then rise again).

The payroll threshold for the luxury tax increases from $136.5 million this year to $148 million next year, then goes up about 5 percent annually, a baseball official familiar with the deal said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Oh, and if the Nationals lose Soriano to another team, their management now looks inept (or more so) for not dealing him at the trade deadline.

Update: Steve L. over at WasWatching takes a quick look at the CBA and tries to find the answer to my earlier question while opening up a new one about the stadium-cost deduction. Interesting - if anyone has any definitive answers, let either of us know.
Posted by: Patrick
Despite missing all that time and not winning any of the DHL Delivery Man of the Month awards, he took home the yearly award for the second consecutive season:

The Delivery Man of the Year Award is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball, recognizing the most outstanding relief pitcher of the season as voted on by the fans. From Sept. 25 through Oct. 9, fans cast nearly 90,000 votes for the award on

Rivera, who garnered 18,559 votes, helped the Yankees win their ninth consecutive American League East Division title by saving 34 games in 37 opportunities. He finished the year with a 1.80 ERA, striking out 55 batters and allowing 61 hits over 75 innings pitched.

Posted by: Patrick
Newsday reports:

Each coach has an expiring contract. Hitting coach Don Mattingly, third-base coach Larry Bowa and first-base coach Tony Peña all appear to be secure, but bench coach Lee Mazzilli appears less so.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
There are a number of Daisuke Matsuzaka videos on YouTube. A few to check out include this one (check the movement on the second pitch, 90 MPH), this one (8th and 9th inning), this one and this one. You can also watch him hit a HR (check out the announcer's energy).
Posted by: Patrick

Scott Proctor visited a doctor in Tampa this week, concerned about a possible bone chip in his right elbow.

His fears were quelled Wednesday, as an MRI exam, X-rays and a CT scan revealed no damage to his arm.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Jason
Joe Buck, who styles himself as a working man's Bob Costas (he does Budweiser ads), made his official pronouncement on Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees last evening:

During last night's Mets/Cards game, Joe proclaimed that "it's time for the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez to move on." He went on to opine that the split would be in the best interests of both parties.

Do you get the feeling that Joe, and many other media types, actually want Rodriguez to be traded? I wonder why...another season with the Yankees would make the media's job easier by providing ample "grist for the mill."
Posted by: James
Lou Pinella, the new manager of the Cubs, has apparently asked for and expects his new team to go after A-Rod this offseason.

Sources familiar with the situation told that Piniella, who is extremely close to Rodriguez, expects the Cubs to aggressively pursue the 10-time All-Star. The 63-year-old manager and the 31-year-old Rodriguez have what amounts to a quasi-father/son relationship; Rodriguez was managed in Seattle by Piniella from 1994-2000. It is that relationship -- and the tantalizing talent of Rodriguez -- that has prompted Piniella to want to explore a trade with the Yankees.

Well, Pinella is certainly making things interesting...but if you think about it, this might work out for A-Rod:

-less pressure (yes, I know it's Chicago but compared to NY, anything is less pressure),
-a manager that actually supports him (you can't argue the point that Torre has had it with A-Rod)
-and a bandbox (against NL pitching!) to launch home runs from.

That might not be so bad...but would A-Rod consent to a trade (thereby publicly admitting defeat in NY, mind you) to a losing team? Remember that his sole reason for leaving Texas was to go to a winner...and the Cubs are about as far away from being a winner as any team in baseball. Also, keep in mind that 28 year old Aramis Ramirez (he of the 38 home runs and 119 RBI) can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this offseason.

Well, if you could get the approval from A-Rod, here are three questions;

What do you expect to get from Chicago?
Would you do the deal at that point?
What would you like to get?
Posted by: James
Over at the Hardball times, there's a quick look at Phil Hughes and two other pitchers (Homer Bailey & Yovani Gallardo) who were also drafted in 2004 and played (and performed well) in Double-A competition in 2006. Nothing real exciting or new in the report if you've been following Hughes for a while but it's nice to know that Yankee fans aren't the only ones getting excited about this kid.

The way his body responds to increased workloads in the coming years will be the most important factor in determining whether or not Hughes fulfills his potential as a front-of-rotation starting pitcher for the Yankees.
Assuming health, I think Hughes is the safest bet to put together above-average seasons at the major league level before age 25.

Posted by: Patrick
As you may remember from last year, we held an interview series with a selection of the Yankees blogosphere. This year, we'll be doing it again, with all new bloggers.

We'll be using the same base of questions as last year, with some changes, but I wanted to go ahead and ask if anyone had any question suggestions. If you do, please feel free to let me know. Thanks.
Posted by: Patrick
The official site reports that Cory Lidle's memorial service will be held Tuesday in Covina, CA.

The service is to start at 9 a.m. PT at Forest Lawn of Covina, the Yankees said Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, Lidle's family requested that donations be made to [flight instructor, Tyler] Stanger's family.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez got a horrible scare yesterday when a private jet he was aboard skidded off a runway outside Los Angeles - just two days after the crash of Cory Lidle's doomed plane.

A-Rod's twin-engine jet was brought to an abrupt halt by a 200-foot-long stretch of pavement injected with air bubbles designed to collapse under the weight of an out-of-control aircraft, authorities said. ...

"I spoke to Alex. He's fine," the third basemen's agent Scott Boras said.
Posted by: James
In addition to Patrick's continuing look at the A-Rod situation, John Brattain over at The Hardball Times weighs in with his thoughts. While some of John's article should considered tongue in cheek, he makes some very salient points as well as an interesting comparison to Roger Maris. He also provides what he thinks might be a good solution to the situation. The article is worth the read just for those thoughts alone (whether or not you agree with the proposed course of action is another topic) so head on over and check it out.

Of course how can you not sign a quarter-billion-dollar contract? By the same token: if you’re sitting on 59 home runs how can you not try to hit 60—then 61? Maris’s 61 became a nightmare just as has A-Rod’s 252. As long as Maris was in New York he could never shake the repercussions of 61.

Let’s face it, if A-Rod had opted for a shorter deal as a free agent and was in pinstripes now, chances are good he wouldn’t be under this kind of scrutiny. Gary Sheffield is a phenomenal hitter and potential Hall of Famer, yet over Rodriguez’s vaunted skid, Sheffield went just .160/.236/.160 in 50 at-bats. Nobody complains much about that, but then again Sheffield isn’t associated with 252.

Update: Commenter Rich made note of a point in John's article that I had skimmed over but definitely deserves a look.

Another point: as I understand it, there’s the slight complication (although I’m still searching for a citation) that the Rangers' obligation to A-Rod becomes null and void if he’s dealt to another team. In other words the Yanks will be trying to move a $25 million-a-year contract as opposed to a $16 million-a-year deal.

If this turns out to be the case, then 99.9% of these potential A-Rod deals that are being bandied about will fall off the table. It's one thing to pay a couple of million bucks to facilitate a trade. It's quite another to eat $10 million a year to do so (and I doubt MLB, or the player's union, would even allow that much money to exchange hands). Again, this hasn't been confirmed so take it as you will (and if you have proof of or against this contract stipulation, please let us, and John, know).
Posted by: Patrick
I put off this piece a little bit in light of the sad news. But, with thoughts and prayers to everyone affected, it's time to get back at it. The other day, I wrote a piece on A-Rod and Torre. I received a number of comments, which I appreciate. Those comments made me think a bit more and gave me a few more ideas.

Joseph remarked that we need pitching and A-Rod can fetch it. I agree on both points. But, I just don't think that we need to use him to get pitching. Can't we address that need through free agency?

According to, there is a plentiful amount of starting pitching on the market, especially when it comes to lefties. Pitchers include Mark Buehrle (the White Sox have a $9.5 million dollar option with a $1.5 million dollar buyout), Ted Lilly, Mark Mulder, Andy Pettitte, Barry Zito, Gil Meche and Jason Schmidt. And let's not forget Daisuke Matsuzaka and Mike Mussina (pending us declining his option). And we have Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright (assuming we don't drop him), Chien-Ming Wang, Jeff Karstens and Darrell Rasner under contract. Plus, Phil Hughes is rumbling (mid or late season call up, perhaps?). I'm not saying that all of these guys are great starters or dependable... Lilly, Meche, Johnson, Pavano, Wright, Karstens and Rasner are certainly iffy and risky. And Hughes can't be counted on for anything, of course. But, my point is, isn't there enough talent out there for us to fill out a 5 man rotation plus have depth incase someone goes down without downgrading at the hot corner? Without trading the best third baseman in the game? I think there is.

One of the benefits of being the Yankees is that we picked our market right. We make money and we spend it. We can afford to keep A-Rod and sign starting pitching. Add to that that we have some big money deals expiring and we should do it.

As far as close and late, that's all fine and dandy, but what makes a run in the first few innings worth nothing? The man drove in over 357 runs in 3 seasons. How many games did we win by the amount of runs that he drove in? A lot. Now, can we replace some of that? Sure. But, that sort of run production is rare. I want someone who hits well with RISP and A-Rod was excellent this year. Who cares if those runners were on in the 5th instead of the 8th? We have so many stats these days and you can find numbers to devalue anyone.

One commenter mentioned that Alex had 24 errors this year. But, he had 12 errors last year in 161 games. The year before that, 13 in 155 games. Those were his first two years playing third base at the major league level.

If defense is a big reason we're getting rid of him, I really feel that we're getting rid of him for the wrong reasons. Considering someone a liability on defense because of one season where he had 24 errors is the sort of thing I was talking about. That is way too quick a thing to decide based upon one season. Especially when we're talking about someone like Alex Rodriguez. This isn't a Tony Womack, Raul Mondesi, Rondell White type of guy. You don't willingly dump someone like this midway through his career because of things like this.

In fact, that's just it, I can't find good, understandable reasons to get rid of the guy. Look at his numbers, he's produced in New York. He had 2 bad postseason series' in a row. That's not a good reason for me. In fact, it really looks like the media is quite possibly playing Yankee fans like a fiddle and we're taking it hook, line and sinker. If he truly is such a cancer, I have no doubt we'll deal him. But, until I see it myself, until Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams or Jorge Posada say it, I'm not going to buy it. I'm not going to take media reports from "sources" and consider it to be definitive.
Posted by: James
You might have heard that a small airplane crashed into a 50-story residential building on Manhattan's East Side, and killed at least two people. In an update to the story, CNN is reporting that the plane is registered to Cory Lidle:

First responders to the New York plane crash say an emergency call was made from the plane indicating a possible fuel problem.

New York Yankees Manager Joe Torre told CNN that the plane that was a Cirrus SR-20 registered to team pitcher Cory Lidle.

The plane hit the Belaire Condominiums at 524 E. 72nd Street near the East River. More than 150 firefighters are on scene of a four-alarm fire in the building.

Update: ESPN is reporting that Cory Lidle was the pilot of the plane and was killed in the crash. Cory is survived by his wife Melanie and his son Christopher, who just turned 6 less than a month ago. Wow. There are reports of at least 3 others dead as a result of the crash. Just wow - this is so sad. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Cory Lidle and all those who are affected.

Update (by Patrick): According to Jeremy Schapp on ESPN, 2 people are dead and not 4. He said that both of them were on the plane. They aren't saying who the other person was with Mr. Lidle in the plan.

Another Update: This story just becomes sadder and sadder. Cory's dad first found out there was a plane crash while watching a news break at a golf course snack bar. He didn't realize it could be Cory's plane since he thought his son was already on his way home. It was only when he went home and saw another news break that he learned that Cory was dead. And if that doesn't break your heart, well, this might - it really got to me - I cannot imagine having that conversation. How do you tell someone that their husband and the father to their child is gone?

Compton said Lidle's wife, Melanie, and their 6-year-old son Christopher had left New York for Los Angeles before the accident, and likely had no way of learning of the news. According to Compton, a priest planned to meet the flight at Los Angeles International Airport and break the news to Melanie Lidle that her life is forever changed.

"She doesn't know," Compton said. "She's on a plane heading home. She has no clue."
Posted by: Jason
"The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way will come to grief among so many who are not virtuous...therefore, if a prince wants to maintain his rule he must be prepared not to be virtuous, and to make use of this or not according to his need." -Machiavelli, "The Prince"

SO: Cashman has consolidated his year-old coup within the organization by once again defeating the Tampa contingent. Apparently, he was the major factor in Mr. S's decision not to release Torre.

He is one of the 2 or 3 best GMs in the game. For the Yankees, his power within the hierarchy is a good thing.

Cashman re Alex: "I fully expect him to be here"..."We're going to figure this thing out together." Once again, a wise decision.

Besides starting pitching, Cashman must now engineer a solution to, as Machiavelli wrote, "keep his subjects united and loyal." I fear that a newly crowned MVP will be further emboldened to freeze Alex out.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Jeter and Cano were named Sporting News All-Stars as the AL's top shortstop and second baseman. The awards were selected by a vote of 220 players, though they were not permitted to vote for players on their own team.

Posted by: Patrick

"I just got off the phone with George Steinbrenner and he told me I'll be the manager next year," Torre said. "I'm very excited about it. This has been the best job of my life." ...

"I spoke to Joe Torre today and I told him, 'You're back for the year. I expect a great deal from you and the entire team. I have high expectations and I want to see enthusiasm, a fighting spirit and a team that works together. The responsibility is yours, Joe, and all of the Yankees.'" Steinbrenner said in a statement released by his publicist, Howard Rubenstein. "Yes, I am deeply disappointed about our loss this year, we have to do better. And I deeply want a championship. It's about time."

At the link above, there are video links for the Torre and Cashman press conferences. Personally, I'm happy to hear it. But, regardless of your feelings, with it out of the way, we can now talk about our roster.

Update: I just listed to Torre's press conference. Worth a listen. I agree with a lot of what he said.
Posted by: Patrick
I figured, why don't we take a little poll to see where readers and visitors stand? Please post in the comments whether you want Torre to "Stay" or "Go." No elaboration needed.
Posted by: Patrick
Torre's fate continues to be undecided. Torre is slated to address the media today, so maybe that will provide a little clarity. Various publications are reporting various outcomes from various sources. It seems to depend on the source you get, at this time. Let's have some fun with sources, now, shall we...

Over at the official site, Mark Feinsaid discusses the New York Post report that Torre will return.

According to several Post sources, owner George Steinbrenner decided not to fire Torre in the wake of the Yankees' Division Series loss to the Tigers, and that when Torre speaks with the press on Tuesday, "he will have been assured he will be coming back" for the 2007 season.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News sources say he's done:

Several people close to The Boss believe that, while he may not have made a final choice yet, Steinbrenner ultimately will let Torre go. Whether that will be in a traditional firing or a more amicable divorce - perhaps Torre taking another job within the organization to finish out the final year on his contract worth $7 million - has not been determined.

The article also mentions that according to "one source," D. Jeter may have placed a call to Mr. Steinbrenner in support of Torre. Rudy Giuliani has also come out in support:

Asked if he planned to call the Yankees' owner to offer his support for Torre, Giuliani replied, "I may, I may."

"And I'd say the same thing to him," Giuliani said. "You've got to look at a guy's whole record, and you have to look at the whole season, and you have to ask yourself, 'Would anyone have gotten the Yankees to the same place?' "

Finally, John Harper over at the New York Daily News says that if we are gonna do it, just get it over with already:

At this point, a reasonable person can argue either way on the question of firing Joe Torre, but dragging out this decision, especially for publicity purposes, would be terribly crass, even for George Steinbrenner.

Already it feels a bit unseemly, having to see video of Torre getting into his car at his home in Westchester, staked out by camera crews as if he were Junior Gotti or something.

Torre deserves much better than to be strung along. He has been all class, in victory and defeat, during his 11 seasons as manager here, and, Yankee fans' frustration over the Tigers series notwithstanding, he remains as beloved a sports figure as there is in this town.
Posted by: Jason
Can't you see the lines already drawn?

Torre's firing would weaken Cashman, 12 months after he vanquished his Tampa for Cashman retaining Torre has nothing to do with Torre per se, it's about retaining internal control vs. the Tampa contingent. Also, Cashman can expect increased respect/loyalty from Torre if it appears that Cashman "saved his bacon."

Someone must be sacrificed for this season and I'll bet that Rodriguez will be the scapegoat. Torre has Jeter and Cashman on his side. Jeter is loyal to his manager and is still angry at Alex over the 5 year old Esquire article. Furthermore, Torre pre-emptively made Alex the scapegoat by batting him 8th in game 4.

We all know the close Piniella/Alex relationship: If Piniella is the new manager, Alex will not go anywhere. But Cashman/Jeter both lose in this scenario: They both have quite a bit of leverage right now and it's ultimately in their interest to retain Torre.

A potential (albeit remote) 3rd scenario: If Mr. S. is adamant about Torre's departure, Cashman has incentive to push for Girardi...If Girardi becomes the manager, Cashman will absorb even more power with the vacuum left by Torre's exit.

P.S. Why would it be any easier for the Yankees to trade Alex than it has been for the Red Sox to trade Ramirez?

We know, bottom line, that Cashman will not accept less than maximum value for Alex, because that's what he's worth. I hear vague talk about getting some power arms for Alex. WHO???...Santana? Halladay? Jake Peavy? The Yankees will really lose, IMO, if they dump Alex for inferior value to mollify Jeter's ego.

There, I said it.

10/09: Here We Go...

Posted by: Patrick
Sheffield had this to say in USA TODAY:

"I think that [A-Rod being lowered to the 8th spot] affected the morale and psyche of the entire team, not just A-Rod," Sheffield said. ""I'm not making any excuses, but everyone was wondering what was going on. It made it a real weird day. You would like to be treated with a little respect, I don't care who you play for. ...

We were worrying about all of that stuff, and we still had a game to play. If I'm on the other side, and all of a sudden they're putting Rodriguez eighth and putting me or Jason on the bench, you wonder what's going on.

Wow. Now, I've always said I liked Sheffield and part of me certainly does, but come on here. He's not coming back - he wasn't anyway, not with Damon, Abreu, Matsui and Melky on this roster - so I say good bye, thank him for his contributions and wish him good luck.

We as fans don't know much first hand. We know what we see with our own eyes on TV, we know what the media and other people tell us. That's pretty much it. But, if there is one thing that I believe, and a major, major reason Joe Torre has managed in New York for so long, it is that he treats his players with respect. To say "you would like to be treated with a little respect" is an insult. Sheffield has got nothing but support from the Yankees. And for him to say such a thing because of him being benched in one game and Jason being benched in another with A-Rod slid to the 8th spot is unbelievably short sighted and unreasonable.

Via Steve.

10/09: Blame Derek

Posted by: Patrick
Steve has a picture of today's New York Daily News, which features this article. The headline on the front cover? "Blame Derek."

It is no news bulletin that A-Rod wants to be liked, accepted, loved, however you want to say it, by his teammates, especially Jeter. And the captain hasn't budged on the matter, to the point where an ex-teammate, who wouldn't use his name for fear of crossing Jeter, said yesterday it creates a certain tension at times.

"He won't let Alex in," the former Yankee said of Jeter. "Everyone in there knows it, and it bothers Alex and impacts the clubhouse."

The result seems to be a negative energy that reveals itself in times of crisis, such as the collapse against the Tigers. Where the Paul O'Neill-Tino Martinez championship teams were inspired by their bond as brothers in arms to play fearlessly, with a joyful all-for-one commitment, it's no coincidence that this group of Yankees has played with fear and uncertainty when pushed in the playoffs the last three years.

This is all very laughable to me. Blame Derek? lol. "... who wouldn't use his name for fear of crossing Jeter." What is this? The Jeter mafia?! More like, he's afraid of what we would think of him for saying such a thing.

10/08: Thank You

Posted by: Patrick
With the 2006 season at it's end, I wanted to take a moment to say a few things.

Thank you to everyone who visits and supports Thank you to everyone who comments in a productive, respectful manner. We appreciate it.

Thank you to my team of bloggers: David, James, Jason and Seamus. Congratulations on a great year guys. Also, congratulations to all of the other Yankee bloggers out there, as well.

I know that right now, we are recovering from the loss to the Tigers, but soon, the offseason will begin and that is always an exciting time for Yankees fans. We'll continue to have Yankees news and commentary here at and we have a couple of cool features, as well, in the works. So, keep checking back and before you know it - pitchers and catchers will be reporting.

Thank you for reading.
Posted by: Jason
..."tradition is the illusion of permanence."

Our ongoing collective illusion for 6 years is that the team only needs a few minor tweaks in order to win #27.

6 years.

Today, the New England Patriots played about as ugly as possible against the Miami Dolphins, an inferior opponent...and won by 10 points. The difference between championship franchises (like the Pats) and merely very good teams (like the Yankees) is that champions find a way to win.

In my opinion, everything (and everyone) is on the table. Torre, Rodriguez, Sheffield, Mussina, Giambi...everyone.

The team's culture must be changed.
Posted by: Patrick
Yeah, there is a lot of talk about firing Joe Torre and trading Alex Rodriguez. For the record, I'm not on board with either move. There are reports that Torre is "likely" to be fired. And a million articles elsewhere suggest A-Rod is going to be or should be traded.

Cashman has this to say:

When asked about the possibility of the 2007 Yankees not including either Rodriguez or Torre, Cashman dismissed the idea.

"Why wouldn't they be coming back," Cashman said. "That's not something that I'm even thinking about."

As far as Torre, Mark Feinsand says it well:

I don't know how you blame Torre for this loss. He put a lineup of nine All-Stars out there and they couldn't hit. He put a future Hall of Famer on the mound and he got hit for five runs. He watched a player destined to break Hank Aaron's home run record go 1-for-14. Did he motivate the team enough? He shouldn't have to. These guys are well-paid professionals, and if it takes their manager to tell them how big these games are, ship them out of town.

Still, someone has to take the fall. I think it will be Joe. If and when it happens, it will be the darkest day since I started covering this team. With one year left on his contract, he deserves to finish it out and leave on his own terms.

I don't really have anything to add there.

As far as A-Rod, I'll go with Benjamin Kabak:

Nice work, New York. You’ve managed to drive future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez out of the city and away from this team despite the fact that he’s hit .299/.396/.549 with 119 HR and 357 RBIs as a member of the New York Yankees. Do you think A-Rods just grow on trees? Do you think we can easily replace that offensive production? You might not think that A-Rod comes through “in the clutch,” but find me other players who have created 381 runs over a three-year stretch.

I have a bunch to say here. We're looking at one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. And we've got him. And a number of people want him traded. Are you aware of his numbers? In the AL, who was 5th in runs, T8 in home runs, 4th in RBIs and 9th in OBA? Alex Rodriguez. That's some kind of off year. How many Yankee third baseman have had this line in a season or better: .290 AVG, 113 R, 35 HR, 121 RBI, .392 OBA. If someone knows or wants to run those numbers, I'm curious.

But, this is the funny part, for me. He hit .302 with a .431 OBA with runners in scoring position. He hit .313 with a .495 OBA with runners in scoring position and 2 outs. He hit .474 with a .500 OBA with the bases loaded. I'm actually surprised to read these last 3 sets of numbers. From everything that so many people have been saying, I was thinking he'd be worse. Do you realize that all 3 sets of numbers (both average and OBA) are better than David Ortiz's numbers in those 3 situations? Yes, better. Forget money (even though he is a steal for us at $16 million), talk about production. He's doing it.

Yeah, he's 3 for 29 in the last 2 postseason series and yes, that is bad. The postseason is important to me, too. But, to send one of the greatest players ... not just in the game, but ever ... away based upon literally 2 to 2 1/2 post season series is crazy. It's too small a sample size. He has officially had 2 straight bad postseason series in a row, as far as I am concerned. In the Red Sox one, he hit .258 with a .378 OBA. Great? No. But, bad? No. This is the postseason, it gets harder than the regular season, not easier. Great players have bad postseason series'. They are human and it's natural (do I actually have to say this?). But, X Great Player is not gonna hit .280 in every postseason series. Chances are, he hits less. Regardless of how much money is being paid to him.

But, this isn't some average player or a bit above average player playing poorly in New York. This is Alex Rodriguez. If we get ANY other third basemen in the game, we'll have taken a step down at that position. There is no one in the game right now that is better than Alex Rodriguez. I liked Scott Brosius a lot. Good guy. Would I take him over A-Rod? Absolutely not. He got some big hits and I'll always remember him. But, he is not Alex Rodriguez. And he'd tell you that himself, I'm sure. He was a career .245 postseason hitter with a .278 OBA, by the way. But, yes, he was a career .333 World Series hitter with a .333 OBA, 4 HR and 13 RBI in 20 games and yes, that is very good (except for the OBA, but who cares, really, with the other numbers).

Will these things happen? I don't know. But, regardless, I don't want them to.
Posted by: Seamus
Hmm, not really sure what to say about this one. The Yankees' lineup failed to show up for the second consecutive day as the Yankees lost 8-3, ending what could've been on of their most refreshing seasons in the Joe Torre era.

It got ugly early as Magglio Ordonez led off the bottom of the 2nd with a home run and Craig Monroe added a two-run shot of his own later in the inning, putting the Tigers up 3-0. An error by Alex Rodriguez would eventually cost the Yankees a run in the 4th and Detroit lit up the scoreboard for 3 more in the 5th to put the Yankees in a 7-0 hole before the Bombers even put a runner on base.

The Yankees didn't put a runner on until Robinson Cano led off the 6th inning with a single and didn't get much offense aside from that. Hideki Matsui recorded an RBI on a fielder's choice and Posada's two-run homer was too little, too late as there were already two outs in the 9th inning.

Well, now it begins. An offseason of hearing "Trade A-Rod" everywhere we go and it looks like Joe Torre might be out. Honestly I hope that the Yankees don't do anything too drastic. A little pitching can help, but I don't really think what happened the last few days was the result of a personnel issue. When it comes down to it, anybody can win a 5-game series.
Posted by: James
Here's the story from ESPN:

According to the New York Daily News, however, the popular Yankees manager will be fired unless he decides to resign first to save face. Sources told the newspaper that former Yankees player and manager Lou Piniella will be owner George Steinbrenner's choice to replace Torre.

I have to head to church but chew on that for a while. What do you think? At this point, I have a few conflicting emotions - I'll try to get them up here later. Remember that at this point, this is just rumor and speculation. Take it with a grain of salt.

Update: Here are Pete A.'s thoughts on the situation.
Posted by: James
All of Yankee-dom seems to be in a huge state of upheaval. People calling for A-Rod's head, Torre's brains, and for someone to show a little heart.


At this point, I honestly don't care about that sort of talk. At least not right now. If the Yanks lose today or tomorrow, we'll have a whole off-season to ponder those questions. Let’s wait until the emotion of these games die down before thinking of solutions to the problems the Yankees have.

At the moment, let's you and I concentrate on being fans. This is postseason baseball in all its inherent unpredictability and these are the same guys you've been watching and cheering for 165 games. The team obviously has flaws but like it or not, this is the team we love… and they'll be playing for their season. It'll be Jaret Wright (and if he falters, everyone else save Wang on the roster) in Game 4 and Chien-Ming in Game 5.

"We play today, we win today. Das it."

Let's Go Yankees.
Posted by: James
The season, to this point, will come down to Jaret Wright on the hill against the Tigers' young hurler Jeremy Bonderman. Bonderman is 0-2 against the Yankees this year while Wright won his only start against the Tigers.

Game time...scratch time is 4:00 Eastern on Fox.

Bring the Pepto...I'll bring the Tums.

10/05: Dick Groch

Posted by: Patrick
George King has an article on Dick Groch, the scout who discovered our man Jeter:

By now the story is legendary throughout the Yankee universe. Bill Livesey, the Yankee minor-league head, called a meeting of scouts to discuss whom the Yankees were going to take with the sixth pick in the 1992 draft.

"Jeter,'' Groch said emphatically.

"We hear he is going to [the University of] Michigan,'' Livesey countered.

"My [butt] he is,'' Groch shot back. "The only place Jeter is going is to Cooperstown.''

Via Pride of the Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
Top 1

Mussina fans Granderson and Polanco to start the game. The third strike on Polanco was dropped, but Posada had plenty of time to throw him out for the 2nd out. Sean Casey grounds to Jeter who fields it cleanly and throws off line to the home plate side of first. Sheffield reached and scooped it, but couldn't hang on with Casey coming down the line. They had a little collision, not that bad, and it looks like Sheff is alright. Mussina strikes out his third in Magglio.

Bottom 1

Damon bloops one in between Guillen and the Tigers LF for a leadoff single. Jeter tries to lay down a bunt, but it pops up and Pudge gets under it for the first out. A pretty rare thing for him, I'd say. And Jeter fails to reach base for the first tie in the playoffs. Abreu takes a four pitch walk. 1st and 2nd, 1 out. Sheffield fails to pull the bat back and gets K'ed. Giambi walks on the payoff to load them for A-Rod. He swings on a high pitch and misses. Fouls one back on the second pitch. And he gets called out on the third.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Well, game 2 was postponed by rain. I was ready to stay up until 2 and turn the alarm clark off. But, instead, I'm well rested and will be live blogging today's game, so check back for that. :)

There was a little mini controversy brewing as the Tigers said that they were not given the most up to date information and Verlander went out and threw a little soft toss:

"We wanted to get the game in. We thought we could," [Jimmie Lee, EVP of Baseball Operations at MLB] Solomon said. "The forecast indicated we could get in two, three innings tops and would have to stop against for an hour-and-a-half to two hours. We didn't want to burn up two pitchers if we had that coming through. We reconvened, talked and we made a decision jointly with the commissioner."

Solomon said both teams were informed of the rainout at approximately the same time but not simultaneously because cell phones didn't work underneath the ballpark. He said Verlander hadn't warmed up fully.

"He did some soft tossing and some stretching, but he didn't do any real pitching," Solomon said.
Posted by: Seamus
Coming into this series the Yankees had a few question marks. Could the young Chien-Ming Wang thrive as their postseason ace? Will the bullpen hold up enough to bridge the gap to Mariano Rivera? Is Randy Johnson going to be able to pitch? As you might notice, none of those questions involved Derek Jeter and whether or not he'd be ready for October. The captain was 5-5 last night and the Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-4 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 ALDS.

The game was rather quiet through the first two innings as it looked like Nate Robertson might surprise everyone and shut that Yankee lineup down. The Yanks exploded in the 3rd, however, as they opened the inning with six straight hits, starting with Damon's little dribbler past the pitcher's mound. Jeter followed that up with a double, and Bobby Abreu brought both of them home with a double. Gary Sheffield then lined a single to right center, and was brought in by a Jason Giambi two-run homer to make it 5-0. A-Rod was the sixth and final Yankee to get a hit in that stretched but was stranded at first.

Chien-Ming Wang was rolling and had a shutout through four. Detroit then made it a game in the 5th inning with three runs. Craig Monroe led the inning off with a home run to straight away center. Brandon Inge later came up with a base hit with one out. The Tigers scored two more on back-to-back doubles by Placido Polanco and Sean Casey.

The Yankees started to pull away again in the 6th as Abreu knocked in Damon and Jeter with a base hit to make it 7-3. Curtis Granderson got one back for the Tigers in the 7th with a home run off of Mike Myers. Jeter took it right back in the 8th though by capping off his 5-5 night with a monster shot to centerfield to increase the Yankee lead to where it would stay, at 8-4. Mariano Rivera closed the game out with an uneventful ninth inning, allowing only a single to Granderson.

The final line for Wang was 3 runs on 8 hits and 4 strikeouts in 6 and 2/3. Curtis Granderson, who homered, was the only batter Mike Myers faced, so he's got that ugly looking early season/postseason E.R.A. of infinity. A lot of guys came through for the Yanks. Four Yankees had a multi-hit night and the only starter without a hit was Hideki Matsui. Abreu drove in four runs in his first postseason game since 1997 when he was a rookie with the Astros.

Well the one thing I'd have to say I enjoy most about postseason baseball as opposed to let's say the NBA Playoffs is that we don't have to wait four days for the next game. The two teams will be right back at it again tomorrow for a Game 2 showdown. The Tigers will put Mike Mussina to the test and the Yankees will get a look at Justin Verlander. Game starts at 8 E.T.
Posted by: Jason
...a quote from Joe Girardi:

"I'll land on my feet," he said. "I talked to one of my mentors last night and I said, `I've never been fired before.' And he said, `Welcome to the club."'

Hmm, who do you think that mentor was? Someone with a penchant for Frank Sinatra and green tea, perhaps?

Just trying to get my mind off of tonight's game for a little while....
Posted by: Jason
...still want to argue with me about acquiring Barry Zito for next season? What a performance today...

P.S. The Big Hurt is 3-4 with two jacks...How does Kenny Williams feel right about now?
Posted by: James
In addition to the great write-up that Seamus has done for our site, I was going to put up a link to many of the other division previews floating out there on the internet but Alex Belth over at the great Bronx Banter beat me to it.

I'm not much for predictions and previews myself, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out what heads are saying about the Yankees-Tigers match-up in the ALCS. Dig the linkathon:

Tyler Kepner, Steven Goldman, Joel Sherman, John Donovan, Dayn Perry, David Pinto, Rany Jazayerli, SG, ESPN, Mitch Albom, Mike Plugh, Sam Borden, Ben Kabak, Don Amore, Steve Lombardi, and Brian Borawski.


Update: Not really a DS preview but Jayson Stark has a "Why The Yankees Will Win the World Series" article up that's worth a read.

Now, I don't know if you guys can tell but boy am I keyed up today! It's only 9:45 in the AM and I have no idea how I'm going to make it through work, interviewing a couple of people and then a dinner out like this.

10/03: Batting 9th

Posted by: James
Robbie Cano, who has just won the September Player of the Month award, is batting ninth. Is everyone else as giddy about this line-up as I am? Yes, I know the games are played on the field and not on paper...but come on, reading the following about the 23-year old batting ninth has got to put a grin on your face if you are a Yankee fan.

Robinson Cano has maintained that he wasn't concerned about being the best hitter in baseball, he was just happy to be able to contribute. That didn't stop the Yankees' second baseman from turning on the heat in September, batting .373 (41-for-110) to win American League Player of the Month accolades. ...

On Sept. 11, Cano hit a three-run double during a 9-6 victory over Baltimore that put the Yankees 30 games over .500 for the first time in the season. He then drove in three runs on Sept. 14 to help New York finish a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay, which pushed it to the cusp of an AL East championship. Through it all, the sophomore remained cool and calm, refusing to read too much into his success.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees will be taking on the Detroit Tigers starting tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium for what will be the Tigers' first postseason appearance since 1987. It will be the first ever postseason series between these two teams, and the Tigers will be looking to win their first series since their victory in the 1984 Fall Classic. The Yankees have a 5-2 head to head advantage over Detroit this season.

This series, more than any of the other three first-round matchups, features two teams at opposite ends of the momentum spectrum. The Yankees are coming off probably one of their best regular seasons in the Joe Torre era, considering all the injuries and the contributions from some of their young players. Heck, it was probably one of their best seasons even without all that. The Yanks hung around early despite the loss of Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui thanks to the play of some of their young blood, meaning guys like Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano. As the Yankees got more healthy as the second half went on, they torched the rest of the A.L. East and won the division by 10 games over Toronto. Detroit, on the other hand, led the A.L. Central by 10 games on August 7 and then went through a total collapse. They still had a chance to wrap up the division during the last week of the season, but lost two in a row to the Royals and had to settle for their first wild card berth. Here's a look at some of the matchups:

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick

Mariano Rivera's role in this postseason? He will be Torre's ninth-inning guy, pure and simple.

"Yeah, we're going into to the postseason with Mariano being a ninth-inning pitcher," Torre said. "We feel we have enough support leading up to him to be able to do this." ...

Don't expect Rivera to be called on in the eighth inning as he has in so many instances during October. Don't expect him to turn in the type of three-inning masterpiece that occurred in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox.

(I think the article reads too much into Torre's comments, "going into" is like saying "we'd like to."). Anyway, we all know (and Torre knows it, too, of course) that when it's really on the line, that goes out the window.
Posted by: Patrick
According to the official site:

Asked if he felt he'd be good to go for Game 3, Johnson nodded and said, "Yeah, I'm going to throw on the side on Wednesday."

Though Wednesday's bullpen session will be the final hurdle, the Yankees plan on the Big Unit taking the ball when the series shifts to Detroit.

"Randy did work in the weight room today," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "He will play a little catch [Tuesday]. He's on the roster. We anticipate he's going to pitch on Friday. Again, I mean is he going to be, you know, as healthy as he's ever been? Probably not. But is he going to be healthy enough to pitch? We feel he will be."
Posted by: Patrick
The ESPN experts have posted their postseason picks. Let's break it down. Here is who was picked to win it all and how many times:

Twins - 7 (Jerry Crasnick, Jim Caple, Eric Neel, Pedro Gomez, Eric Karabell, Phil Rogers and John Shea)
Yankees - 6 (Peter Gammons, Jayson Stark, Tim Kurkjian, Keith Law, Alan Schwarz and Bob Klapisch)
Athletics - 2 (Buster Olney and Steve Phillips)
Dodgers - 1 (Rob Neyer)
Mets - 1 (Enrique Rojas)

Interestingly enough, the Yankees were picked to win the ALDS by all 17 people. Also interesting was the fact that only 6 people picked them to win the pennant. Meaning, the only people who picked them to win the pennant were the people who picked them to win it all. The other 11 people picked someone else for the AL pennant. As you can see, the NL only got picked to win it all 2 times out of 17.

For fun, of the 6 people who picked the Yankees to win it all, Mariano was the predicted WS MVP 3 times. Damon, A-Rod and Cano each got 1 nod apiece.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
The Fantasy MLB 2006 league has come to a conclusion. Thank you to everyone who participated. Here are the final standings:

Rank  Team
1. The Sporting Brews (Joseph)
2. Hip Hip Jorge!
3. In George We Trust (Mike)
4. Patrick (Me)
5. Big Catz
6. Mill
7. Green Day (my brother, Sean)
8. Damons Monkeys
9. Curry Monsters (James)
10. Evil Empire (former Blogger, Michael)
11. Dog Pound (Seamus)
12. Osprey
Congratulations to Joseph on the victory.

Once again, thank you to everyone who participated and thank you for visiting
Posted by: Patrick

Alex Rodriguez
25 G, 22 R, 29 H, 3 2B, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 16 BB, 3 SB, .358 AVG, .465 OBA, .691 SLG

Robinson Cano
28 G, 15 R, 41 H, 11 2B, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 3 BB, .373 AVG, .383 OBA, .664 SLG

Derek Jeter
26 G, 25 R, 39 H, 8 2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 8 BB, 5 SB, .368 AVG, .419 OBA, .500 SLG

Brian Bruney
14 G, 14 IP, 1-0, 0.64 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .160 BAA

Jaret Wright
3 GS, 18.1 IP, 2-0, 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .185 BAA

Jorge Posada
25 G, 15 R, 25 H, 8 2B, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 8 BB, .316 AVG, .386 OBA, .646 SLG

Hideki Matsui
18 G, 11 R, 21 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 9 BB, 1 SB, .412 AVG, .484 OBA, .608 SLG

Bobby Abreu
27 G, 15 R, 27 H, 6 2B, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 12 BB, 3 SB, .302 AVG, .368 OBA, .527 SLG

Mike Mussina
5 GS, 28 IP, 2-2, 2.89 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .264 BAA

Mike Myers
13 G, 6.1 IP, 0-1, 2.84, 1.11 WHIP, .217 BAA


Ron Villone
9 G, 6 IP, 0-1, 27.00 ERA, 3.83 WHIP, .452 BAA

Johnny Damon
23 G, 15 R, 18 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 8 BB, 1 SB, .205 AVG, .286 OBA, .307 SLG

Jason Giambi
18 G, 10 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 10 BB, .192 AVG, .364 OBA, .308 SLG

Bernie Williams
20 G, 11 R, 13 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, .236 AVG, .300 OBA, .327 SLG

Melky Cabrera
29 G, 10 R, 22 H, 6 2B, 9 RBI, 13 BB, 1 SB, .247 AVG, .346 OBA, .315 SLG

Octavio Dotel
8 G, 6.2 IP, 0-0, 10.80 ERA, 2.70 WHIP, .368 BAA

Randy Johnson
4 GS, 24.2 IP, 2-1, 5.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .266 BAA
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees lost to Toronto 6-5 yesterday in the middle game of the final series of the regular season. Jeff Karstens was not bad, going 6 and 2/3 while giving up two earned runs, and might actually make the postseason roster if it's decided that Randy Johnson can't pitch. A-Rod and Gary Sheffield both homered in the game (2nd consecutive day for Sheff - opposing pitchers might want to watch out for him now).

Derek Jeter went 3-3 to put himself back into contention for the batting title and now stands at .345, just one point behind Joe Mauer. Robinson Cano sits at .341 after his 1-4 performance, and will probably need 3 or 4 hits without making an out to catch Mauer and Jeter.

The Yankees will finish the regular season today at 1 E.T. and will send ALDS Game 4 hopeful (or Game 3 if the Unit's not healthy enough) Jaret Wright to the mound to face Dustin McGowan. Joe Torre has selected Bernie Williams to manage the final game this season.
Posted by: Patrick
Thanks to Derek Jeter's 3 for 3 day yesterday, he's right back in the thick of it and the AL batting race will come down to the final day. Joe Mauer is at .346, Jeter is at .345 and Robbie Cano is at .341. If either Yankee wins, that'll be awesome. I'm a big Cano fan, but part of me really wants to see Jeter get this one.

In any case, the Twins play the White Sox at home at 2:10 PM ET. Javier Vazquez (11-11, 4.77 ERA) starts for the White Sox. On the season, Mauer is hitting .332 (82 for 247) at home, .283 (15 for 53) against the White Sox and .222 (2 for 9) against Vazquez.

Meanwhile, the Yankees play the Blue Jays at home at 1:05 PM ET. Dustin McGowan (1-2, 7.66 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays. Jeter is hitting .356 (104 for 292) at home, .383 (23 for 60) against the Blue Jays and .000 (0 for 2) against McGowan. Cano is hitting .313 (67 for 214) at home, .297 (11 for 37) against the Blue Jays and .000 (0 for 2) against McGowan.

Should be an exciting finish. Good luck guys.
Posted by: Patrick
According to the Los Angeles Times:

Roger Clemens, one of professional baseball's most durable and successful pitchers, is among six players allegedly linked to performance-enhancing drugs by a former teammate, The Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.

Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens' fellow Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte and former American League most valuable player Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles. ...

"Jason is loyal to the death, a hardheaded guy who would not give up his friends," one of Grimsley's friends said Saturday. "The only names he discussed with those investigators were names … [the investigators] suggested to him."

Via Jim Baumbach.