Add Us:     MySpace     Facebook     StumbleUpon     Twitter


You are currently viewing archive for April 2007.

Posted by: David
The Yankees lost the rubber game of the series vs. the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, 7-4.

The Red Sox jumped out early when Yankee killer David Ortiz deposited a Wang pitch into the upper deck in right field for a 1-0 lead. The Red Sox would add another run later to push ahead at 2-0.

The Yankees fought back to take the lead thanks to two consecutive walks and a three run homer from Doug Mientkiewicz. However, the lead was short lived as Alex Cora hit a two run homer to the bleachers in right center to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. They would add another and then put the game out of reach when Manny Ramirez hit a two run homer to right to extend the lead to 7-3.

The Yankees would score one run but couldn't stage a rally in the eighth when A-Rod grounded into a double play and then in the ninth when Jon Papelbon shut them down for his eighth save.

The Yankees are off tomorrow and finish April with a record of 9-14, 6 1/2 games behind the Bosox and in last place in the AL East. They go on the road on Tuesday to Texas for a three game series before returning home on Friday to face the Mariners.
Posted by: Jason
Several Yankees were massively clutch on Saturday, helping the team break the losing streak at 7 and set up a possible momentum building game on Sunday.

We now know that Jeff Karstens's leg was broken after taking a Lugo leadoff line drive in the 1st. He bravely continued, pitching through what must have been significant pain. After surrendering a single to Youkilis, Karstens's day was over and the recently demoted Igawa faced David Ortiz with men on first and second, no outs. I was convinced that at least a 2-0 Red Sox lead was a certanity.

The Kei Igawa who could not keep his pitches down...The Kei Igawa who the Yankees Universe had relegated to the fearsome Ortiz to ground into a double play. He walked Ramirez and then struck out Drew to end the top 1st. Thus began a thrilling, improbable pitching performance in which Igawa dominated a powerful lineup. 0 runs, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts.

Igawa told us through an interpreter that he pitched exclusively from the stretch because it improves his also improved his velocity, as he was 90-92 on the fastball.

The Yankees offense was by and large stymied by the familiar Wakefield knuckle ball. Stymied, that is, until Jorge centered a knuckler that hung for a moment as if it was on a tee: Gone, plating Jorge and Hideki, 2-0. Bottom 6: With Jorge on 2nd, Cabrera's seeing eye bloop hit a few inches fair and jumped into the stands, a ground rule 2b. 3-0 for the home team.

The Yankees much maligned bullpen came alive. With 2 men on in the 7th, Bruney relieved Igawa and overpowered Mirabelli, Hinske and Lugo. Farnsworth gave up a run in the 8th but settled down to minimize the damage, including a great series of pitches to strike out Ramirez.

Rivera returned to 9th inning form, allowing a bloop single by Varitek then shutting down the next three batters. Count me among those who don't worry about Rivera.

I found an interesting postgame quote by David Ortiz, which slighted Igawa's performance:
"...Nothing special. He (Igawa) was throwing a lot of hittable pitches, but we were just not hitting it."
Wow, that rare display of frustration indicates that they really wanted that game. With Wang facing Tavarez Sunday, I understand why.
Posted by: Patrick

With age creeping up on George Steinbrenner and his team's succession plans seeming unsettled, it was only a matter of time before someone surfaced with interest in buying the Yankees. And the first new name to be heard in quite awhile is an old name: the Dolans, owners of Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, Rangers and cable-TV behemoth Cablevision.

Industry insiders say the Dolan family, which nearly closed a deal on baseball's most historic team nine years ago, has made periodic runs at the franchise since then. Those same insiders say the Dolans are again showing signs they'd like to be first in line should the Yankees come up for sale. The Dolans retain interest in expanding their sporting empire in a big way, and the Yankees are not only in their backyard, but also right up their alley.

Everything else aside, I don't know if we want someone who tried to buy the Red Sox to own the Yankees.

Via PSD via
Posted by: David
The Yankees looked flat and arguably lackluster on Friday night as they lost their seventh straight 11-4 in the opener of the weekend series against the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox took an early 2-0 lead thanks to a Kevin Youkilis homer off of Andy Pettitte. The Yankees rallied for four runs to take the lead at 4-2 but then Pettitte gave it right back the next inning with runs scoring on a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch.

The Red Sox added two more to take a 7-4 lead and Mariano Rivera (who needs work) was called to pitch in the bottom of the eight inning with the Yankees losing. He wasn't any better, allowing four runs and getting only one out. With Boston extending the lead to 8-4 and Rivera loading the bases, Torre pulled Mo after 21 pitches and brought on Mike Myers. Myers allowed all the inherited runners to score and Boston eventually won 11-4.

Julio Lugo killed the Yankees last night with four hits including a home run and David Ortiz chipped in as well.

Today the series resumes with a FOX nationally televised game of the week with Karstens facing off against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

From my perspective the Yankees really need to be read the riot act, because their performance has been simply awful.
Posted by: James
I'm just kidding. Seriously...quit looking for the button. I hid it.

Actually, before the recap, I just want to throw some numbers at you: .163/.250/.256. That's who was put in the line-up in the #2 hole tonight. If you have an answer as to why this makes sense, please let me know and I'll send you a box of green tea.

The big story was obviously Phil Hughes' first start so let's begin there. Hughes was in trouble in the first inning, giving up a single to Alex Rios (went to second on a SB), a double to Vernon Wells and a single to Frank Thomas. 2-0 Toronto. He settled in from that point on until the fifth. At that point, Hughes gave up an infield single (should have been an out) and after another SB, a ground ball up the middle brought that run home. He gave up a single to Vernon Wells (3-for-3 off Hughes) before leaving the game and Wells came home on a sac fly by the Big Hurt. 4-0 Blue Jays. The final line was for Phil was 4.3 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB and 5 Ks with 91 pitches thrown.

The Jays scored the rest of their runs off the Yankees pen while A.J. Burnett simply shut down the Yankees lineup for 7 innings before the Jays pen closed the door. Toronto scored their last 2 runs off the Yankees pen in the 7th when they walked the bases loaded (2 from Henn, 1 from Proctor). One run scored on a sac fly from the Lyle Overbay and another on a wild pitch by Proctor. 6-0 Toronto.

Honestly, for his first major league start, and accounting for jitters (and looking at the glass half-full), I thought Hughes was all right. He certainly showed far more promise than any of the other potential #5 starters that the Yankees have tried out this season and looked pretty effective against most of the Toronto lineup. However, he struggled against the really good hitters (Rios, Wells, Thomas) in the Blue Jays lineup. Still, since this was his first start, I'm basically giving Hughes a pass but I'm certainly very interested in how he does against a pretty decent Texas line-up next time around.

In any case, with yesterday's loss. the Yankees losing streak has hit 6 and they are now in the cellar of the AL East and possess the third worst record in the majors through 20 games. That means that to get to 95 wins (let's just set that as the generally accepted cutoff for the playoffs), they'll have to play .613 ball the rest of the way. That's 87-55 for those scoring at home. They went 86-56 both last year and in 2005 for those who think that such a pace would be unsustainable. Personally, I'm not panicking and while I understand why people might be, I still think that I will be proven right in the end. The turnaround is coming. The first steps will begin this weekend (weather permitting) when they take at least two of three from the Red Sox.
Posted by: James
If you're into swing mechanics, Jeff Albert of makes a guest spot over at the Baseball Analysts and details the changes in A-Rod's set-up and swing.

My first search for some insight into what mechanical changes were being addressed turned up a simple comment that A-Rod's mechanics were "firmer" and that new hitting coach Kevin Long had helped right the ship that is A-Rod's leg kick. According to a recent NY Times article, Long believed that a lower leg kick and faster hip rotation would help A-Rod quicken up his swing. After looking at the upcoming side-by-side that I will show, I have to extend a pat on the back to Mr. Long. Nicely done and way to earn your welcome to the Bronx!

Jeff had looked at A-Rod's swing before so here are his thoughts from prior seasons.

04/26: It's April

Posted by: Seamus
At this moment the Yankees lead the Majors in runs scored (120). They have outscored the opposition for the season by 20 runs. That is the 4th best run differential in baseball and second in the AL only to the Red Sox, yet they currently sit in last place. Generally teams that outscore their opposition by 20% for the season don't end up at the bottom of the standings.

What does a stat like that tell us? It's only April.
Posted by: Seamus
Figures the good weather spell we've had in New York ends as soon as the Yankees come into town.

No makeup date has been announced. Likely date will be September 20 or 24, as both teams have off days at both ends of a scheduled series at Yankee Stadium.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Kevin Thompson was sent down to make room for Wang. Torre said that they didn't consider Melky. In the piece, he also mentioned that Phil Hughues will wear number 65 when he makes his start on Thursday.

Mr. Abraham also has this from A-Rod:

Would he remain with the Yankees without an extension being offered?

"I want to stay in New York," Rodriguez said yesterday. "No matter what."

In his strongest statement yet about his future, Rodriguez said his family has grown to love New York and that the Yankees are the best team for him.

Finally, he says that Jeter expects to play today after being hit in last night's game.
Posted by: Jason
Last evening saw the Yankees lose their fifth straight game and slide to last place in the division. However, as with most things in life, last night's loss was not without positive developments:

Matsui drilled a Kazmir fastball into the deep right field seats for his first HR of 2007. He appears to have his timing back after the DL stint.

Chien-Ming Wang projects to be fine this year based on last night's performance. Wang's velocity (Disclaimer: on the TV radar gun) was consistently mid 90's on the fastball, low 90's on the sinker. His "bowling ball" sinker created multiple ground ball outs and he was able to control innings that could have exploded, most notably Tampa Bay's half of the 4th: They had 1st and 3rd with no outs. Their two runs scored that inning could have easily been more.

The Yankees fought back in the top 7th. Scott Kazmir's lazy throw on a Matsui grounder got by 1B Pena. Posada made Kazmir regret the mistake with a solid double that tied the score. Phelps's hit plated Posada and the Yankees had the lead 3-2.

At this point, I must ask parents to have their children leave the room, because the following paragraph is gruesome:

After two quick hits in the bottom of the 7th, Vizcaino replaced Wang and got a quick out. Baldelli got an IBB to load the bases. Myers entered to face Crawford who somehow got his bat on a very good pitch (quite a bit down and in) and golfed the ball into the stands for a 6-3 TB lead. The Yankees scratched out another run but it ended in a 6-4 defeat.

Injury Report: Jeter took a fastball to the leg in his 1st AB and was moving (delicately) under his own power before Cairo replaced word yet on his short term status.

Losing 5 in a row is of course disappointing, but you'd rather do it:

1) In April, and
2) when the division leader obliges you by losing 2 straight and you're still only 4 games out of first place.

The team also has an opportunity to right the ship in the next 5 games...4 wins between now and this Sunday would do the trick.
Posted by: Patrick
To make room for Godzilla, Chase Wright as demoted. With Wang coming back tonight, someone else will need to be. It could be Kevin Thompson, but some are saying it should be Melky.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees offense put up 8 runs (with Giambi, Jeter and A-Rod extending their hitting streaks of 10, 14 and 23 games, respectively), but the Yankees pitching staff allowed 10.

Kei Igawa was the biggest offender, allowing 7 ER in 4 and 1/3 innings. Bruney also allowed 3 ER in 1/3 of an inning's work... but he's been otherwise hot and has been pitching a lot, so that's not a big shock. Mo closed out the game (or, at least, the Devil Rays batters side of it) with a scoreless 8th.

A-Rod continued his amazing run with a 4 for 5, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI performance that brings his batting average up to .400. Cano hit his first homer of the season and went 2 for 3. Abreu scored 2 runs while Jeter, Giambi, Matsui (welcome back) and Phelps each had 1 RBI of their own.

With his 2 home runs, A-Rod became the first player in the history of baseball to hit 14 home runs in the first 18 games of the season. We're witnessing the hottest start of all hot starts. He tied Albert Pujols record of 14 home runs in the month of April. He's tied for the AL lead in average, he's got 7 more home runs than anyone else and he's got 17 more home runs than anyone else. In those last two categories, he has double the number of the guy in 2nd place (Ian Kinsler in homers, Giambi and Ortiz in RBI). Wow.

Tonight, Wang (good timing) returns to face Scott Kazmir (1-1, 5.25 ERA), the man who is on all of my fantasy teams.
Posted by: Patrick
Edit: Thursday, not Tuesday. My mind was elsewhere.

Phil Hughes will start on Thursday.

The Yankees' rotation has taken some blows early on this season, with Mike Mussina on the disabled list with a sore hamstring, Carl Pavano watching from the dugout with tightness in his right forearm and Chien-Mine Wang out with a strained hamstring. Torre said he wasn't sure what would happen with Hughes, or how long the youngster would stay up, but he said the team would take it "a start at a time."

Via Joseph via Tyler Kepner.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham points out a couple of interesting tie ins to Chase Wright's four consecutive home runs allowed.

Wright was only the second pitcher to ever allow such a thing. The other was Paul Foytack, an Angels pitcher. On the day he did it, one of the home runs was hit by Tito Francona, Terry's father. And the first team to hit four consecutive home runs was the Braves in 1961. The person who broke the home run streak? Joe Torre.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

I defeated the 1st place (and still 1st place) Mike (River Ave. Blues) in a dogfight, 5-4. We tied in runs and with most other categories being pretty close. I won 3 out of 5 offensive categories and he won 3 out of 5 pitching categories. All I can say is thank goodness for Alex. His 9 runs, 5 home runs, 13 RBIs and .370 average led my offense, although Abreu and Thome both hitting over .400 didn't hurt, either. Jose Reyes was the dominant performer on Mike's side, scoring 8 runs, hitting a homer, driving in 5 and swiping 4 bases while hitting .464. On the pitching side, Mike's combination of Joe Nathan (3 saves), Francisco Rodriguez (2) and Jason Frasor (1) led to him taking the saves category. Led by 17 K's by a Red Sox pitcher and 15 K's by Cole Hamels, he also took strikeouts in addition to WHIP. On my side, Barry Zito rebounded in a big way, being the only 2 win player on either side and having an ERA of 0.00 on top of that. Verlander, Igawa and Freddy Garcia each had a win of their own, giving me just enough wins to take that category.

Seamus was victorious over Dave (Pride of the Yankees) by the score of 6-4. Despite hitting just 2 home runs, Seamus' team was able to take 4 out of 5 offensive categories. They racked up 11 stolen bases, led by the 6 run, 7 RBI, 2 SB, .524 AVG performance of Joe Mauer. Hanley Ramírez was probably the biggest star on Dave's side, scoring 7, hitting 2 home runs, driving in 3, stealing 1 and hitting .357. Seamus' pitching staff only had 1 win (Ervin Santana) and 1 save (Todd Jones) the entire week (compared to 3 and 8 for Dave), but they did manage to squeak out the ERA and WHIP categories. Meanwhile, Dave had 5 pitchers with saves: Al Reyes, Armando Benitez and Solomon Torres each had 2 while Jason Isringhausen and Akinori Otsuka picked up 1 a piece. Isringhausen, Haren and Glavine each had a win.

Finally, in the most lopsided game (final score wise) of the week, James topped Aziz (Pride of the Yankees), 8-2. The pitching and hitting from both teams was excellent with a number of categories being narrowly taken. On James offense, Michael Barrett scored 5 runs, hit 4 homers, drove in 10 and had a .381 AVG. Travis Hafner led Aziz's offense with 5 runs, 3 home runs, 8 RBI and a .545 AVG. Peavy, Penny and Cain (11 K's, 0.56 ERA, 0.75 WHIP) had 1 win a piece for James with Bobby Jenks having a 3 save week (Jose Valverde also had 1). Aziz's only win came from Ben Sheets while he received a 3 save week of his own from Francisco Cordero with Tom Gordon and Takashi Saito having 1 to give him the saves category.

It was a good week for the teams as it was the first one where we won all 3 games (also the first one where we won at least 2 out of 3, hehe). We have a team at .500 (James)! Yay!

Top 3 teams in the league:

1. Mike (20-9-1)
2. Ben (River Ave. Blues) (19-10-1)
3. EJ (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) (17-11-2)

This Week

Patrick (6th, 13-14-3) vs. Dave (10th, 10-19-1).

James (5th, 14-14-2) vs. Seamus (7th, 12-17-1). Nooooooooooooo...
Posted by: David
Chase Wright had the "Right Stuff" until the third inning. With the Yankees ahead 3-0, Wright got the first two outs before facing Manny Ramirez. Ramirez hit the first of four consecutive home runs to give Boston the lead at 4-3. He was followed by J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek.

The Yankees scored two in the first on a double from Jason Giambi which scored Abreu and A-Rod. Giambi later singled over the dive of the second basemen to extend the Yankees lead to 3-0.

After the third inning fireworks from the Red Sox, the Yankees were able to take the lead at 5-4 with a homer from Derek Jeter and a double play ball scoring the go ahead run.

The lead lasted until the seventh inning when overused Scott Proctor gave up three consecutive hits to Ramirez, Drew and Lowell, the last being Mike Lowell's second homer of the game to give the Red Sox the lead at 7-5.

The Yankees pulled to within one at 7-6 in the eighth but Dustin Pedroia's diving grab of pinch hitter's Josh Phelps' liner up the middle prevented the tying run from scoring.

Papelbon saved the game for Boston by ending the night by getting A-Rod to ground to third, having Abreu forced at second.

It was the first time the Red Sox had swept the Yankees in Beantown since the 70's.

The Yankees now head to Tampa Bay with Kei Igawa on the hill tonight followed by the return of Chien Ming-Wang on Tuesday.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham also mentions that the last Yankee to have as good a month as Alex is having was Roger Maris in July of '61. Maris had 13 home runs and 32 RBI. A-Rod has 12 and 30. His 21 game hit streak is the longest of his career.

Abraham also points to something I hadn't heard about, yet... Jeter has hit safely in 51 of his last 53 games (starting August 20, 2006). Not bad.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Wang has been cleared to start on Tuesday against Tampa Bay. Could we have our original 5 man rotation back together by May 1?
Posted by: Patrick
Have you seen the ESPN commercial with Jorge Posada and David Ortiz? You can watch it here. Hilarious. My favorite part is when Wally (the Green Monster) drops what he's carrying. I watched that part on replay like 20 times last night. Good stuff.

While you're there, you can also check out the next commercial, "Hip Hip Jorge" - another one staring Posada.


Posted by: Patrick
Jorge left last night's game in the 4th with a bruised thumb. He'll miss a couple of days.

Also, Colter Bean was promoted yesterday with Darrell Rasner receiving a demotion.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera simply does not have command yet and as a result he allowed two inherited runners to score and two that he let on to score as well and the Yankees lost 7-6 to the Red Sox on Friday night.

A-Rod connected for two more homers off Curt Schilling a bases empty shot early and a two run shot the very next inning. He also scored the sixth run of the game after doubling down the line.

Luis Vizcaino started the eighth and allowed one run and left with runners on first and third and only one out. Torre had specifically mentioned all of spring training that Rivera would not be used except for the ninth inning. That changed on Friday night as he was summoned and he simply let pitches get too much of the plate and got hurt.

He gave up a single to Varitek to make it 6-4 and then Coco Crisp bounced a ball down the line in right which tied the score and left him at third with a triple. Joey Cora blooped a single over a drawn in infield and the Red Sox had the lead at 7-6.

The Yankees has a chance in the ninth since Jonathan Papelbon was not available but could not tie the score and lost 7-6.

The series resumes tomorrow afternoon with Jeff Karstens vs. Josh Beckett and Sunday night Chase Wright faces off vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Posted by: Patrick
I know that James mentioned it, but I just wanted to offer congratulations, from everyone at, to Alex and Emily, who tied the knot Thursday. We wish them both a long, happy life together.
Posted by: James
Well, this is pretty much the book on Humberto Sanchez. The kid, who was the headliner in the Gary Sheffield trade, just can't stay healthy. Humberto had elbow ligament-replacement surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season. As Mike A. points out, Sanchez is the fourth in a line of VERY talented Yankees arms to go down this season (Mark Melancon, Christian Garcia and JB Cox are the others).

Cashman said Dr. James Andrews operated Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. While three scans didn't show ligament damage, Cashman said the need for ligament replacement became clear when Andrews operated Wednesday.

I wonder if Cashman kept the receipt - maybe he can get an exchange.
Posted by: James
First off...Wow. Just wow...what an amazing end to this game. By now, you probably know that the Yankees won but here's how it went down.

Darrell Rasner started (the first time since 1991 three rookies had started in a series for the Yanks) and was fairly effective for the first four innings. He got into trouble in the fourth, giving up a solo home run to David Dellucci and then loading the bases with one out. He was able to get out of that by getting Casey Blake to pop out and then setting Johnny Peralta down on strikes. In the fifth with one on and one out and sitting at 81 pitches, Joe decided to pull Rasner, which begs the question of if there is something going on with Rasner. Does he not have enough arm strength to throw more than 80 pitches? He's thrown 76, 78 and now 81 pitches in each of his three starts so far.

The Yankees scored their first run in the 3rd when Johnny Damon stole second after getting on with a single. A Bobby Abreu single (one of his four hits on the day) brought Damon home. Their second run came on Jason Giambi home run to right field in the sixth. Giambi is really getting hot now, with back to back games with homeruns and a 6 game hitting streak (3 HRs and 1 2B during the streak).

The Indians took the lead in the 7th when Luis Vizcaino came in. Luis had nothing today. He walked Jason Michaels to start, gave up a double to Grady Sizemore and a RBI groundout to Delluci. An intentional walk to Travis Hafner brought up Victor Martinez who promptly deposited a 3-1 pitch from Viscaino in right-center, 5-2 Indians. The Indians scored an insurance run in the 9th when after two singles by Hafner and Martinez. an A-Rod error allowed Hafner to score though it's debatable whether it should really have even been an error actually.

In any case, the Yankees started off the ninth against Joe Borowski and racked up two quick outs...but then Josh Phelps strode to the plate. He started the scoring with a deep home run to left and now has the same number of hits as Doug Mientkiewicz (in less than half the at-bats). Johnny Damon followed a Jorge Posada single (Jorge was down to his last strike) with a walk. Posada scored on a Derek Jeter single and Damon followed him in on Bobby Abreu's single (Bobby was also down 1-2 in the count). 6-5 Indians, two men on and two out and A-Rod stepping in. He had gone hitless in his first four at-bats (2 Ks) but redeemed himself in the best way possible by depositing a fat 1-0 fastball into the Yankees bullpen, extending his hitting streak to 19 games (dating back to last season). A-Rod and the rest of the players and coaches (and the fans that stuck around) had one heck of a celebration when he crossed home plate. It was simply amazing to watch and one heck of a wedding present for Mr. and Mrs. Alex Bleth. Big old congrats to Alex!

When it was all said and done, Yankees 8, Indians 6 and Sean Henn got his first major league victory in relief. Oh and A-Rod's line is now .351/.418/.965 with 10 HRs and 26 RBIs and moves one HR behind Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 25th on the all-time HR list. Not too shabby.
Posted by: Jason
Was Glenn Close about 30 rows behind third, wearing white?

Was Kim Basinger distracting him last year?

I guess we know why they called him "The Natural" 10 years ago.

Posted by: James
Ken Tremendous of FireJoeMorgan checks in with his usual point by point take down of a mainstream media article. This time, we get the A-Rod and Jeter story...again.

The Yankee captain and New York’s favorite baseball player since Don Mattingly has been having a rough go of it this year. It’s not so much his hitting, although his average is sinking fast after a torrid start and he’s got just three RBI in 12 games, but his fielding that’s been a problem.

Jeter has made a lot of errors so far. But so has Mike Lowell. And unlike Jeter, Lowell is actually a good fielder. Freaky things happen in small sample sizes. That's why after a week Ian Kinsler is your HR leader. That's why people say things like "At this pace, Garth Iorg will have 300 RBIs!" and then he ends up with like 34. You really can't tell anything about a player's year after 40 AB or 10 games in the field.

Also, Tim Gorman of the Boston Globe decided to run the Boston Marathon dressed as a Yankees fan. Why? I guess you could call it a social experiment. Hilarity apparently did not ensue.

Earlier in the race, if I needed to insulate myself, I could stay in the middle of the road. But with the route narrowing, it was proper to walk on the outside, where I had to grin and bear the insults. A couple told me they would never do it under any other circumstances, but they clapped and cheered. Another woman ran to greet me from her perch on the side of the road with a high-five. But it took some intoxicated fans in Brookline to get me running again.

Back on the right side, a kid was holding a penguin for runners to pat on the head, presumably for good luck. I reached out as I approached the penguin and he quickly snapped it back. No Yankees allowed. Then a husky fellow standing next to him reiterated that point, with unprintable profanity.

Hat tip to Deadspin for this one.
Posted by: Patrick
What the deuce? It's April 19 and you can vote for your 2007 all-star teams now. We've played 13 games. Did someone change the All-Star Game to May 15 or something?

I mean, I know that the All-Star game is basically looked at like a fans thing now... not the best performing players, but who the fans want to see, but could we get done with the first month of baseball first, maybe? Maybe it was like this last year, I forget. In any case, I bet A-Rod takes an early lead at 3B.
Posted by: James
Phil Franchise is at it again. After a rare poor start, he shows off why everyone is still drooling.

Here's the line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 BB and 10 Ks in 83 pitches (63.8% for strikes) with a 6-2 GB-FB ratio. Not too shabby, eh? has the splits updated already too in case you're interested.
Posted by: Jason
If a Yankees fan asks you this morning how the team did last night, reply as follows:

"Doug Mientkiewicz went deep. How do you think they did last night?"

Yes, Mink's home run was one of a few pleasant surprises. The most important surprise was a serviceable performance by an emergency Trenton callup whose name struck me as tailor-made for the local evening news anchor desk:

"Good evening Wichita, I'm Chase Wright, Channel 4 Action News...."

Of course we can have a few laughs after a 7 run blowout, but it was not pure fun and games: Wright found himself in peril after two consecutive walks to open the game. He thankfully relaxed and began to pitch, inducing ground ball outs that minimized the damage to one run.

The bottom 1st brought the first trickle of run support, as Alex's sharp single drove in Damon. Jorge's sac fly plated Jeter and gave the pinstripes a 2-1 advantage. (Speaking of the captain, he later made a high-quality defensive play moving to his left including a spin-jump-throw to first.)

Chase put up a zero in the top 2nd and then that trickle of run support became a deluge. Doug (I'm not kidding) put a charge into a Westbrook fastball, 3-1. Cleveland 1B Garko could not handle an Abreu laser beam and Damon scored, 4-1.

Jake Westbrook tried to throw Alex a sinking fastball. It sank onto the sweet section of the bat and had very little time to say goodbye, 6-1. Giambi singled and suddenly Jorge is over the 385 sign in right center, 8-1.

The Yankees tacked on two more in the 7th. For the Indians fans, Travis "Juggernaut" Hafner went seriously deep.

In the end, Yankee power gave the new pitcher an almost embarrassing cushion with which to win his first major league start. Might makes Wright.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

I was able to top Jen (, 5-3. My offense was led by the red hot Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Lee, whose lines were extremely similar: both had 5 runs, 3 home runs and 7 RBI. A-Rod hit .364 while Lee hit .389. Huston Street had an odd week: 2 wins with a 6.23 ERA. All of my saves came from one person: Joe Borowski. He picked up 4 saves on his own, allowing me to tie in the category. Jen's offense was led by Miguel Cabrera, who hit .294 with 2 homers, 3 runs and 5 RBI. Both pitching staffs were excellent, with mine having 4 wins, 4 saves, 26 K's, a 2.47 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP and Jen's having 5 wins (1 each for Anibal Sanchez, Chris Ray, Halladay, Millwood and Dave Bush), 4 saves, 24 K's, a 2.08 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

Mike (River Ave. Blues) topped Seamus, 7-3. Seamus' pitchers were unable to pick up a single win this week. Todd Jones 3 save, no ER week helped him to take the saves category. His offense was led by Rickie Weeks who scored 8 runs, hit 2 homers, had 4 RBI, 1 SB and a .389 AVG. Mike's offense was led by Russell Martin (7 R, 5 RBI, 3 SB, .429 AVG) and Delmon Young (6 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .345 AVG). On the pitching side, Hamels, Nathan, Lowe and Felix Hernandez combined for 4 wins while F-Rod picked up his lone save.

E.J. (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) defeated James by the score of 7-2. EJ's pitching was flat out dominant, picking up 6 wins, 2 saves, 66 K's and a 2.57 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP. Tim Hudson scored 2 wins on the week with an ERA of 0.64. Thanks to 7 saves (from Wagner, Jenks and Valverde), James was able to take that category. James offense was led by Chipper Jones who hit .368 with 6 runs, 3 home runs and 7 RBI. Meanwhile, Ian Kinsler carried the load on EJ's side, hitting .476 with 4 homers, 7 runs and 8 RBI.

Top 3 in the league: Mike (16-4-0), Ben (River Ave. Blues) (15-4-1) and E.J. (11-7-2).

This Week

Patrick (6th, 8-10-2) vs. Mike (1st, 16-4-0). *gulp*

Seamus (T9th, 6-13-1) vs. Dave (Pride of the Yankees) (T9th, 6-13-1).

James (T7th, 6-12-2) vs. Aziz (Pride of the Yankees) (5th, 10-10-0).
Posted by: David
In a totally unexpected turn of events, Marco Scutaro hit a game winning three run homer off of Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth to make a winner of Oakland against the Yankees in the series finale, 5-4.

Rivera had retired the first two batters rather easily but Todd Walker singled and Jason Kendall battled before walking which led to the heroics from Scutaro. On a 0-2 pitch, Rivera's fastball got too much of the plate and Scutaro hit it off the foul pole in left to win the game.

The Yankees fell behind early 2-0 in the first inning as Andy Pettitte's streak of not giving up runs in the first inning ended at 15. Rich Hardin was tough until he left with tightness in his right shoulder.

The Yankees took the lead in the 7th when A-Rod led off with a double then Giambi singled him to third. Kennedy replaced Hardin and Posada hit a double down the line in left to score A-Rod with the Yankees first run. Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera added sacrifcie flys to put the Yankees ahead at 3-2. They added a run in the eighth and Scott Proctor was effective before giving way to Mo in the ninth.

The loss is particulary crushing considering the way the Yankees battled back to go ahead and that Mussina and Pavano were DL'ed earlier in the day.

Monday is an off day and the Yankees resume at home on Tuesday evening vs. the Indians.
Posted by: James
Is that the Yankees rotation or a M.A.S.H. unit? Right now, it looks like the latter as Carl Pavano and Mike Mussina have joined Jeff Karstens and Chien-Ming Wang on the 15 day DL. Both players have been disabled retroactively and Chris Britton was called up from AAA Scranton to take one spot (and to shore up a very tired bullpen). Right now, it seems that it is up in the air as to who will take the other spot (and Mussina's starts).

Chase Wright keeps getting mentioned but is it really a smart move to promote someone to the bigs all the way from AA? Especially when you're talking about a pitcher who is really only beginning to harness his stuff? I don't think so. If it was up to me, I would probably just take a shot with Matt DeSalvo...but if I remember correctly, DeSalvo's no longer on the 40 man so someone on the 40 man would have to be waived to bring him up. Hmmm...decisions, decisions (oh, Wright's already on the 40-man so if they brought him up, no one gets waived).

If you don't know that much about Chase, here's an interview with him over at, a profile on him from EJ and his career stats.
Posted by: Jason
As Darrell Rasner suffered 3 unearned runs in the 1st (due to an error by Jeter), I confess I had flashbacks to the first 25 games of 2005, when everything broke in the wrong direction in the Yankees Universe.

Those fears were thankfully unrealized. After the alarming 1st inning, Rasner and the stalwart Yankees bullpen held the A's to 2 hits and 0 runs over the next 12 innings. In order:

Rasner: 5.1 innings, 5H, 3R
Henn: 0.2 innings, 1H, 0R
Proctor: 1.2 innings, 0H, 0R
Myers: 0.1 innings, 0H, 0R
Vizcaino: 1 inning, 0H, 0R
Farnsworth: 1 inning, 1H, 0R, 2K
Rivera: 1 inning, 0H, 0R
Bruney: 2 innings, 0H, 0R, 2K

That's right: The ENTIRE bullpen deserves credit for this very satisfying win. Given the increased media/blogosphere dissatisfaction with Farnsworth's high ERA and command issues, he deserves recognition for buckling his chinstrap and performing well last night, fanning 2 in one inning's work.

I still don't understand how the Yankees blatantly stole a power arm like Bruney.

On the offensive side: Alex continued his blazing April start with one run on one powerful swing in the 5th, cutting the Oakland lead to 3-1. Melky singled in Cano in the same inning as the Yankees scrambled back into the game...and then the 7th saw Posada score Cano all the way from 1st on a hit and run, tie game.

The game went on, and on, and on: until the top 13th, when the slumping DH launched a no-doubt HR into deep right-center...4-3 Yankees. Bruney closed out the bottom half and the team overcame 4 errors and 3 unearned runs.

Giambi on the spot.
Posted by: Patrick
The April 23 issue of ESPN The Managzine features a write-up on our second baseman. has it:

... In the fall of 2005, the day after Larry Bowa was hired as the Yankees' third base and infield coach, his cell phone rang. The caller identified himself, but Bowa didn't immediately recognize the name. "Who?" Bowa asked.

"Robinson Canó," the second baseman repeated. He was calling to tell Bowa he was ready to go to work on his defense, and that he intended to report early to spring training.

Bowa was shocked by the gesture. "I've never had a player do that, in all my years as a coach or manager," he says. ...
Posted by: David
Kei Igawa was cruising until the sixth inning only surrendering one unearned run due to an error from Bobby Abreu which resulted in Mike Piazza reaching third base to start an inning and later score.

However, in the sixth he gave up a two run homer to Eric Chavez and Kyle Farnsworth couldn't hold it and gave up a gopher ball to Nick Swisher on a 2-0 pitch to tie the game at 4.

The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead and then scored three more runs on four consecutive singles, a bases loaded walk and a run scoring double play ball. They had a great chance in the eighth to take the lead when A-Rod led off with a single and was chased to third when Giambi doubled down the line in right. Posada then lined to first for the first out of the inning. Mientkiewicz hit a bouncer over the mound which the pitcher fumbled with but was able to force A-Rod at the plate before retiring Melky Cabrera to end the Yankee threat.

The Bombers also had chances in extra innings but couldn't get the big hit when they needed it. In the 11th, Brian Bruney had been cruising but gave up a triple to Buck with only one out. He eventually scored the winning run when Mienktkiewicz fielded Kielty's soft grounder but threw wide to home and Posada couldn't keep contact with the plate.

A's starter Danny Haren was effective early but weakened due to a high pitch count and was left the game early losing.

Carl Pavano is scratched from today's start and will be replaced by Darrell Rasner. Andy Pettitte pitches the finale on Sunday afternoon.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham spoke to Brian Cashman who told him that Moose has not been placed on the DL and it is likely that Mussina will miss one start and will be back in the rotation after that.

Mo had been pulled after two innings on Wednesday thanks to a strained left hamstring.

Via Dave and Aziz.

04/12: 4 42's

Posted by: Patrick
Edit: Actually, it's 5 42's... Torre's wearing it, as well. I got caught up on the 44 4's Jay-Z tie in, I guess. Thanks Mike.

Sunday against Oakland, Derek Jeter, A-Rod and Cano (as well as Mo, of course) will all wear number 42, in honor or Jackie Robinson.
Posted by: Patrick
In addition to what James said, Tyler Kepner mentions that only one player has hit more home runs than A-Rod in the first seven games - ever. That'd be Mike Schmidt in 1976 with 7 HR. That included a 4 HR game.

One common thread? Larry Bowa had a front row seat in both situations. He was the Phillies' shortstop.

Edit: Actually, it is historic: no Yankee has ever done it.
Posted by: Jason
The Yankees won their first series of the season with ease, taking the second straight from Minnesota, 10-1. Pettitte (following Pavano's above average performance) continued to calm the concerns regarding the staff with a 4 hit, 3 strikeout gem through 6 complete innings. It was my first time seeing him pitch this year and I was right at home: Vintage Pettitte, except he didn't go inside on righties with the cutter. Hopefully that pitch is tucked up his sleeve.

Scott Proctor pitched the 7th, and had trouble with his command, causing him to have to groove pitches for strikes. Vizcaino replaced him and bridged the gap to the future President of Panama, who vetoed Minnesota's 9th inning.

The offense hinged on two important swings. Rodriguez's first inning jack to grab the lead, 2-0, and Damon's fifth inning shot to place the game out of reach, 6-0. Melky broke his slump with a 2nd innning RBI. Giambi, Abreu and recent callup Kevin Thompson all added RBI's in the rout.

MLB Extra Innings gave me the Minnesota home TV feed, and the broadcasters compared Cano's swing with Rod Carew's side by looked like the same guy in a different uniform.

I also understand that Rob Cucuzza has ordered a special bat for Alex with a composite handle...when he handles regular wood bats they burst into flames.
Posted by: James
Not a full recap - just wanted to mention that Alex (age 31 season) has now tied Manny Ramirez (age 35 season) on the all-time list with 470 HRs. Next up on the list for the both of them will be Jim Thome (age 36 season) at 474. It'll be interesting to watch and see who among the three can get to the magical 500 first.

Barring injuries, those guys (as well as Frank Thomas (age 39 season) - 488 HR) will all get there eventually this season. It's just a question of when and how high they will climb on the all-time list. Eddie Murray stands at the entrance (#20 all-time) with 504 and with a total of 40 HRs total this season, A-Rod will be tied with him. Wow.
Posted by: Seamus
This just in: Alex Rodriguez is good. The Yankee third basemen put another ball out of the park Monday night in the Yanks' 8-2 victory over the Twins at the Metrodome. A-Rod now has 5 home runs in 6 games and leads the league with 5 HR, 13 RBI and a not too shabby slugging percentage of 1.080. A-Rod is finally beginning to actually earn the boo birds...on the road.

The real story of tonight's game though was Carl Pavano. He gave the Yankees' their first quality start of the season, going 7 full innings (gasp!), allowing only two runs on six hits. The bullpen probably still just needs a day off on the schedule the way they've been worked, but tonight they only had to go two innings, as Bruney (7 strikeouts in 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings...eek) and Kyle Farnsworth each pitched an inning of scoreless relief.

Offensively, despite A-Rod's current home run tear, most of the damage was done by Bobby Abreu, who went 3-5 with a homer and 4 RBI. Derek Jeter also added three hits and Johnny Damon went 2-4. Posada drove in two runs as well. Robinson Cano's 5-game hitting streak to start the season was snapped.

The Yankees will resume their series in Minnesota tonight at 8:10 E.T. Andy Pettite will be making his second start and will face second-year pitcher Boof Bonser. Pettite had a rather rough outing his first time around and failed to get through the 5th in the freezing temperatures but pitched an inning of scoreless relief on Sunday.
Posted by: David
Sorry for being a week or so late but here I go anyway.


Wang: 15 wins (he will drop off a little bit due to injury and poor defense).

Pettitte: 13 wins (age will catch up with Andy but he will be steady for most of the season).

Mussina: 12 wins (I think Mike has lost quite a bit on the fastball and his early start was not that impressive, he worries me at this point)

Igawa: 12 wins (He will not be much above .500 due to his lack of control but will get some wins due to Yankees offense).

Rasner/Karstens, etc. etc. etc. (This 5th starter position will be a committe type position all year long. Rasner is not the answer and Karstens may replace him when he comes off the DL. Don't be surprised if Philip Hughes is in the Bronx in a month or two.)

The Yankees starting pitching does not look good after the first week of the season.

» Read More

Posted by: David
After a dramatic walk off win on Saturday afternoon thanks to A-Rod, the Yankees couldn't provide the magic on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.

Again, the starting pitching is woeful. We have not had a starter yet this season get past five innings. The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead early thanks to another homer from A-Rod, but Darrell Rasner was victimized by the gopher ball. Kevin Millar hit a two run shot and light hitting catcher Paul Bako hit a three run shot later to put the Orioles ahead for good.

The Yankees defense continued its poor play. Robinson Cano dropped a routine pop up and as a result Miguel Tejajda reached second and later scored to put Baltimore ahead 6-3. The Yankees scored one more run and had runners on base but could not get the big hit.

The Bombers are 2-3 on the season and head to Minnesota for an ESPN game tonight. Luckily, they will miss Johan Santana in the series since he pitched yesterday.

Johnny Damon has returned in a pinch hitting role and looks decent running but Hideki Matsui was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained hamstring.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

Ben (River Ave. Blues) didn't have any problem with my team, winning 7-3. This puts my team in 9th place.

Jennifer ( defeated Seamus by the score of 6-3, putting him in 8th.

Finally, Joseph (River Ave. Blues) defeated James in a close one, 5-4, putting James in a tie for 6th place.

As you can see, it could have gone a lot better for both our teams and the Yankees this week. As a collective, we posted 3 losses by a combined score of 18-10.

This Week

Patrick (3-7-0) vs. Jennifer ( (6-3-1).

Seamus (3-6-1) vs. Mike (River Ave. Blues) (9-1-0).

James (4-5-1) vs. E.J. (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) (4-5-1).
Posted by: Patrick
Turns out, it was a little worse than expected. Matsui has been placed on the 15 day DL. Kevin Thompson will be recalled to help fill in.
Posted by: Patrick
In my post walk off happiness, I forgot to mention that Godzilla went down. It could make him miss 3-5 days and Cairo is probably going to sub in for him, with Melky already subbing for the injured Damon. Stay healthy, Bobby.
Posted by: Patrick
Kei Igawa's debut was pretty ugly: 5 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 K and a fielding error. Igawa was the first Yankees starter to get 2 outs in the 5th inning this season, but there was still no rest for the bullpen as they had to go the final 4. No matter, as the pen was awesome, pitching 4 shut out innings. Bruney, Myers, Vizcaino and Mo each pitched a full inning.

When Igawa came out, the score was 7-3, Orioles. Going into the final 2 innings the score was still 7-3, Orioles. After a Derek Jeter fly out to start the inning, Abreu and A-Rod walked back to back, setting the stage for a Jason Giambi 3 run HR. Cairo struck out and Posada grounded out to end it. 7-6, Orioles.

Mo was brought in and did the job, keeping that one run deficit in tact. Chris Ray entered to pitch for the O's in the 9th. Mientkiewicz lined out and Melky struck out. 2 outs, no one on, down by 1. Here is where it gets good. Cano singles with 2 outs to keep it alive.

Now, this is where I remembered "hey, I'm writing the recap today, the game is probably over - let me head over to Yahoo! Sports and see what happened." I see 9th inning, 2 outs, Cano on and Jeter up. "We could do this." Jeter worked a walk to make it 1st and 2nd for Abreu. Abreu was hit by a pitch.

Bases loaded. 2 out. 9th inning. A-Rod's up. I laugh, thinking about the semi-long comment I left on Ben's entry earlier today. You can't make it up.

A-Rod had had a great game up to that point. He was the only Yankee to have more than 1 hit and he was 2 for 3 with a homer, 3 runs and 2 RBI. But, here we are... bottom 9. 2 outs. Down by 1. Think of the papers tomorrow. ... Come on, A-Rod.

BOOM. A-Rod slams it to center - a walk off blast. Yankees win by 3. I sent Seamus an IM the moment I saw A-Rod coming up... he wasn't there, so I ended up talking to myself. The transcript:

iFroggynet (4:20:30 PM): Oh man.
iFroggynet (4:20:35 PM): Come on A-Rod.
iFroggynet (4:22:23 PM): YES
iFroggynet (4:22:26 PM): LOL

Riveting. Jubilation. A terrific display of patience by the Yankees hitters in the 9th and, of course, A-Rod, the Finisher. A-Rod's final line: 3 for 4, 4 runs, a double, 2 HR and 6 RBI. All 6 RBI came with 2 outs. Huge day. Giambi had that homer, making him 1 for 3 with 3 RBI. Bobby Abreu also had 3 runs.

It took 10 runs and 4 innings of scoreless pen work, but we're back to .500. Tomorrow, we'll get Darrell Rasner against Erik Bedard.
Posted by: Patrick
Andy Pettitte, in his first start since returning to the Yankees, lasted only 4 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 walks, 4 runs and 2 earned runs while striking out 2. As you can probably tell from the 2 unearned errors, we had some... defensive issues, commiting 3 errors (2 by Jeter, 1 by Minky).

The bullpen combined to allow 3 ER in the final 5 innings. Proctor pitched 1 and 1/3, allowing 2 of those 5, Myers pitched 2/3, Bruney pitched 1 (striking out 2), Vizcaino pitched 1 (allowing the other ER) and Farnsworth finished it off with an inning of his own.

Devil Rays starter Jae Seo lasted 6 and 1/3, allowing 5 earned runs. After a Derek Jeter single to start the 7th, Seo was relieved by Ruddy Lugo. A Hideki Matsui single brought in Jeter and Abreu to tie the game at 6. But, that would be all for the Yankees offense.

When Vizcaino relieved Bruney in the 8th, he allowed 2 hits and then threw a wild pitch, allowing the Rays to score the go ahead run.

The Yankees had 14 hits and 3 walks. Cano, as the lead off man, went 3 for 5 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Jeter was 2 for 5 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Matsui went 2 for 5 with a run and 2 RBI. Posada was 3 for 5 with a run. Mientkiewicz was 2 for 3 with a run and a walk. Giambi (0 for 3, 1 BB) and Cabrera (0 for 4) went hitless.

Tonight at 7 Eastern, we'll get Adam Loewen of the Orioles against Moose.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

An MRI exam performed on Johnny Damon's ailing right calf on Thursday revealed a mild strain, which could spell the first disabled-list stint of the outfielder's career. ...

"I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday," Damon said on Thursday. "I'm going to get after it with the trainers the rest of the day and see where we are tomorrow. I still have sexy calves."
Posted by: Patrick
The official site reports:

Damon spent about an hour on the trainer's table on Wednesday before the scheduled afternoon contest was washed out. The Yankees did not plan to send Damon for tests on Wednesday, though Cashman said it would be a possibility Thursday if Damon does not show improvement.

"The fact that he's still sore today would eliminate the word 'cramp,'" Cashman said. "He's probably got a little strain we're dealing with now."

Yankees manager Joe Torre did not want to look ahead to the worst-case scenario of a disabled-list stint, hoping that one more day of rest could cure what ails Damon.

The article also notes that Ron Villone has signed a minor league deal and will report to AAA.
Posted by: Seamus
Today's scheduled contest between the Yankees and Devil Rays was postponed due to rain. No make-up date has been announced. There are no mutual off-days at either end of a series at the Stadium between the two, so it will most likely be made up as part of a doubleheader. Andy Pettite's return to pinstripes has been pushed back one day and he will face Jae Seo tomorrow night.

I'll take it. I was at work today and would have missed most of the game. :)
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

A standing ovation from his team brought George Steinbrenner to tears Monday night at the Yanks' popular "Welcome Home" charity dinner at the midtown Sheraton, a few hours after their Opening Day victory over the Devil Rays. ...

At Monday's dinner, Steinbrenner sat at his own table, his wife Joan, daughters Jennifer and Jessica and their children surrounding him. Steinbrenner, who was also accompanied by his physician and bodyguard, stood and waved to fans when one of the emcees, broadcaster John Sterling, said The Boss was "the best damn owner in sports." That's when the Yankee players stood and applauded and Steinbrenner got emotional.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has audio from Bobby Murcer on opening day.

Reporter: So, what would you have done if [your doctor] said he was a Red Sox fan?

Murcer: I would have said sayonara.
Posted by: Seamus
Hmm, where exactly do I start here? There were quite a few memorable moments on this Opening Day in the Bronx. Cory Lidle's family was honored at the Stadium as Cory's son Christopher threw out the first pitch after a ceremony held in memory of the late Yankee pitcher. Bobby Murcer made a surprising appearance in the broadcast booth and earned a standing ovation and chants of "Bobby Murcer!" from the crowd. And of course, there was the actual game.

Things started off quite nicely for the Yankees. The Yankees jumped ahead 2-0 in the 1st with a base hit by Jason Giambi that scored Damon and Abreu. A home run by Posada in the 4th put the Bombers up 3-1 before things started to get a bit ugly. Elijah Dukes led off the top of the 5th with a solo home run. Carl Crawford brought in B.J. Upton with a game-tying single. A throwing error by Jason Phelps allowed Crawford to advance to second, who would eventually score the go-ahead run on a base hit. Delmon Young singled to left with two outs, scoring Rocco Baldelli and giving Tampa Bay a 5-3 lead.

Pavano lasted 4 and 1/3 in his first game back since June of 2005, turning in a miserable/candid/kind of okay/who knows how to describe it kind of performance. He got out of a few jams in the early innings but showed signs of fatigue in the 5th, where he allowed 3 of his 6 hits and all 4 of his earned runs. For the most part I guess he was not bad considering he hasn't pitched in 22 months at the Major League level, but he'll have to go deeper than 73 pitches next time.

The Yankees climbed back into it, however, in the bottom of the 6th. Posada and Cano started the inning with back to back singles. Doug Mientkiewicz (quadruple checked for spelling) entered the game and bunted both runners over. Melky Cabrera (replaced Johnny Damon; some sort of calf injury) was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for 2006 MVP runner up Derek Jeter. Jeter singled up the middle, scoring both Posada and Cano and tying the game at 5. The Yankees would take the lead for good in the 7th with a base hit by Giambi that scored Alex Rodriguez.

Of course we all can't forget the "Alex Rodriguez" portion of the game. A-Rod heard the boo birds early after failing to snatch a pop up on the foul side of third base. All of that was erased later in the game, starting in the 7th inning. Rodriguez led the inning off with a base hit to left and then came up with a key stolen base that would eventually turn into the winning run. In the 8th inning, he capped off the lineup's 9-run effort with a two-run shot to straight away center. Not that it counts. After all it did come in the 8th inning when the game's already over and the opposing team stops trying.

Enter the Great RIVERA...The Yanks had Mo warming up in the bottom of the 8th when it was still a save situation and I guess decided not to waste him as they brought him in with a 9-5 lead. Rivera turned in just another typical Mariano Rivera performance, striking out all three batters he faced (2 swinging, 1 looking).

And of course, I can't move on without mentioning some projected numbers based on the opening game of the season. A-Rod and Posada are both on pace for 324 hits and 162 home runs. Jason Giambi is on pace for 486 RBI. Mo is projected to fan a whopping 486 batters, and as a team the Yankees stand to score 1,458 runs and finish the season 162-0.

The Yankees and Devil Rays will take a break Tuesday and will resume the series, weather permitting, Wednesday afternoon at 1 ET. Andy Pettite will be making his first start in pinstripes since rejoining the team and will be facing righthander Jae Seo.
Posted by: Patrick
We're going to leave the player projections open for a little longer, so if you have any interest, please post yours! Even if it's just for one player. Whoever you feel like projecting, please do. Thanks.

Full list of players here.

04/02: New Header

Posted by: Patrick
As today is opening day, I thought I'd go ahead and upload the new header. As Sheffield is playing for the Tigers, it was time for him to go. In his place is Andy Pettitte and to the left (right above the o), we've added Robinson Cano.

As I write this, we're down 5-3 to the Devil Rays. Let's see if this changes our luck...
Posted by: Patrick
Week one in the Yankees Bloggers League is underway. I plan to post every week with the previous week's results and the next week's matchups for the Bloggers that are in the league. This week:

Patrick vs. Ben a.k.a. Regulus Black.

Seamus vs. Jennifer of

James vs. Joseph of River Ave. Blues.
Posted by: James
Update: This was a hoax.

David Pinto over at Baseball Musings has a note up about a possible injury to Curt Schilling

Still nothing on the web, but our local radio station says that Schilling stepped off a curb this morning and was grazed by the side-view mirror of an SUV. There's no official word from the Red Sox, but Curt either has a bone bruise or a fracture.

For all I know, this could be a very late April Fool's Day joke but it's still interesting. I never wish injuries to anyone but if Schilling was indeed hurt (even for a little while), that would definitely change the landscape of the AL East, no? Still, I would be surprised if he's really hurt, maybe a slight bruise or something.
Posted by: James
Since everyone else seems to be doing it, I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in as well. It's actually interesting - I've seen a lot of variation this year. A good amount of people are predicting Yanks, Red Sox, Blue Jays while others have had the exact opposite order. I've also seen a number of people predicting Red Sox, Blue Jays and then the Yankees. I remember even seeing one prediction where the Yankees would win 86 games and finish in third, well behind the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Well, as they say, that's why the games are played on the field, right? In any case, here's where I think things will stand 6 months from now in the AL East:

New York: 95 - 67
Boston: 88 - 74
Toronto: 88 - 74
Baltimore: 77 - 85
Tampa Bay: 69 - 93