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You are currently viewing archive for May 2007.

05/31: Just Do It

Posted by: James
Memo to the Yankee Brass:

We get it. He's good. He's dominating the league. Promote Kennedy already.

While you're at might want to keep this guy in the back of your mind as well. He's loosening up in Tampa and Joba will be ready for that trip to AA real soon.

Also, speaking of double-A, not too shabby tonight ...and all season, Jeff. Not too shabby at all.

Oh, and anyone discouraged that the Yankees pick so late...well, those #1 picks don't always pan out...
Posted by: James
Let me state right here that I love I always have...but they have forced my love to a higher level. The additions of the play index, splits, gamelogs, etc. have essentially moved BR to my home page.

In any case, I just wanted to throw up some interesting streaks - make of them what you will.

A-Rod in his the first 18 games: .400/.453/1.053/1.506 with 7 2Bs, 14 Hrs and 34 RBI.
A-Rod in the next 33 games: .225/.345/.383/.728 with 4 2Bs, 5 HRs and 11 RBI. Can you imagine how much heat he'd be taking right now if he hadn't had such a hot start?

Robbie Cano over the last 13 games (coming off his lowest OPS point of the year): .346/.358/.615/.973 with 7 2Bs, 2 3Bs and 1 HR. Of course, this was all done mostly batting 8th or 9th - way to ride the hot hand Joe.

Bobby Abreu through the first five games: .348/.448/.478/.926 with 1 HR and 6 RBI.
Bobby Abreu in the following 44 games: .213/.293/.264/.557 with 1 HR, 16 RBI, 20 BB and 39 Ks.

Melky over the last 18 games (the last time his AVG was under .200): .273/.349/.455/.804 with 2 2Bs, 1 3B and 1 HR over 64 PA. I know it's not awesome but it is certainly a lot better than his first 24 games: .190/.235/.203/.438 with 1 2B in 87 PA. Still, it's encouraging...especially if with Giambi down, Damon sees more time at DH and you see a lot more of Melky in the field.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that, according to Cashman, Phil will need 4-6 weeks of rehab. Allowing for time to get his arm ready to pitch, Abraham says we shouldn't expect him back before 8-10 weeks.
Posted by: Seamus
If you scratched out all the names in Wednesday night's box score and just looked at the numbers, you'd probably have no idea you just saw the same Yankee team that you've seen the first two months of the season. If this was "fill in the blank," You probably wouldn't have wrote "Robinson Cano" next to 4-4 with 3 doubles to Robinson Cano, and you probably wouldn't have guessed to put Jason Giambi next to the 3-4 and 3 RBI if you were guessing solely based on the rest of this month's games. And I suppose you wouldn't have put two runs and 3 hits in just over an inning with Brian Bruney, either.

But that's how the Yankees ended their 5-game losing streak, by getting help from players who, well, haven't been helping them much at all the last month or so. The Yankees got something else that I thought was crucial that they haven't been getting, which was an early lead as Johnny Damon led the game off with a home run and the Yankees tattooed rookie Jessie Litsch for 5 runs in the first as Litsch failed to record more than two outs in his first career start against the Yankees.

Tyler Clippard pitched 5 innings, was dominant for the first two and then started to get a little rattled in the next three. Clippard gave up two runs in the third and one in the fourth inning as the Blue Jays started to creep up on the Yanks and Yankee fans who were watching thought "Uh oh, here we go." In the end, though, Clippard's performance was really not that bad with a line of 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 strikeouts.

Brian Bruney inherited a 6-3 lead in the 6th and pitched a good 6th inning but gave up a two-run shot to Matt Stairs in the 7th that brought the Blue Jays within a run before Scott Proctor came in and stopped the bleeding. Proctor was a little shaky, however, in the bottom of the 8th and Mariano Rivera came in with two outs in (gasp!) a save situation. Mariano Rivera got Lyle Overbay to ground out with runners on 1st and 2nd to end the Jays' threat and preserve the 6-5 lead.

The Yanks blew it open in a very strange 9th inning. After already scoring a run on a base hit by Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees scored again on what looked to be a routine popup to third. Turns out A-Rod shouted something as he was rounding the bases, distracting Blue Jays' 3B Howie Clark, and the ball dropped in for an RBI single by Jorge Posada. It still only got worse from there for Toronto as Jason Giambi followed that up with a two-run single to put the Yankees up 10-5. Rivera pitched a scoreless 9th to pick up his 4th save of the season.

Say what you want about what A-Rod did there, but I was kind of glad to see it. You have to grab a win any way you can get it, especially in a season where you're losing games like the one they lost against the Mariners. Also, the play prompted a few Blue Jay players to throw a few words at A-Rod which actually got a somewhat fiery response (I read some lips; words not appropriate), which I think in a way is actually a good thing. It was good to finally see a Yankee show a little bit of fire and emotion, even if he did cheat a little bit.

Another thing I liked about this game was the way the Yankees hit with two outs. They have been missing opportunities all season, but today scored a total of 6 runs in the game with two outs in a game they won by 5. I think two-out hitting so far has been the main difference between this lineup and other recent Yankee teams.

The Yanks will get today off before heading to Boston for a three-game set. They could cut the Red Sox' lead to 10.5 games or could leave Fenway behind by as much as 16.5 (OK, I probably made that sound like 10.5 games is nothing). Probably best for the Yankees to approach this as three one-game sets as opposed to a three-game series.
Posted by: Patrick
I normally wouldn't talk about nonsense like this, but I guess it's going to be a story, so let's get it out of the way. The New York Post has this:

Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate with a mysterious, busty blonde in Toronto, as these intimate, exclusive photos reveal.

The cozy duo dined with two pals at a pricey steakhouse late Sunday night, then headed to a glitzy strip club before making their way to his hotel, where the pair ducked into an elevator and headed upstairs just after midnight.

I guess I'd be interested to see the photos (not just the one on the cover - who hasn't walked behind a woman into an elevator?!), not that they would mean a lot necessarily, but really, when it comes to stuff like this - everyone needs to check themselves. With stories like these, I always issue caution. No one should jump to believe this. No one should be passing it along as some sort of absolute truth. Maybe if you're a fan of gossip, this is your cup of tea. But, gossip is gossip - it's not fact. The two can align sometimes, but they aren't mutually exclusive. The first reaction to something like this should be suspicion. This is a serious thing that impacts people's lives and it should be treated as such. It should not be something that you simply believe because of one news report, a questionable photo or two and some whisperings.

Recognize what you're reading. At this stage, you're reading gossip. I don't know if there is a list of gossip qualifiers out there, but here's one: you might be reading gossip if the write up contains terms like "mysterious, busty blonde", "gal pal", "cozy duo" and "snug pair of blue jeans". So, while I'm not saying it couldn't have happened (who knows), this is something that should be taken carefully.

Via Mike.
Posted by: Patrick

Hampered by a bone spur and plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Giambi has been unable to push off and drive the ball while batting, which has landed the 36-year-old slugger in a 4-for-24 funk entering Tuesday's game.

With that in mind, Giambi has successfully lobbied for the Yankees' medical staff to allow him to receive a cortisone injection, tentatively to be delivered during the team's Thursday off-day in New York.
Posted by: Jason
With their 3-2 loss last evening in Rogers Center, the Yankees wasted another great start by Andy Pettitte, who is easily one of the 5 best pitchers in the AL so far this year.

In the bottom first, Alex Rios was awarded second on Jeter's throwing error, a great play to stop the ball in the infield then a poor throw from #2's knees that sailed by Mientkiewicz. Rios then stole third, Posada had plenty of time to throw him out but dropped the ball on the transfer. Vernon Wells hit a deep grounder to Alex and Rios scored, 1-0.

(Offbeat plays like the above dominated this on if you have an iron stomach)

Giambi reached on an infield single (!!??!?) in the top second, then stole second and went to third on a throwing error...this freakish game was just warming up.

For the next 5 full innings, Pettitte was simply dealing. He got out of the bottom 2nd and 3rd with double plays. All of his pitches were working but with a 91-92mph fastball, he was deadly. (Meanwhile, the offense was feeble, 1-7 with RISP)

Until the top 7th, when Giambi went the other way with authority to tie the contest 1-1. That's when the game became a Kafka short story and we all turned into insects....In the bottom of the 7th, Aaron Hill was on 1st and Frank Thomas on second. Jason Phillips grounded to Alex, who touched third for out #2 and then made a terrible throw to Phelps at first, it got away, and Hill took third base.
To review:

1) Phillips's ground ball was clearly going to go foul.
2) Alex missed an easy throw for the double play.

Then, with Pettitte focused on Royce Clayton, Hill crept off of 3rd and stole home: 2-1 Toronto. At that point I left Kafka and entered a David Lynch movie-like trance, because stealing home in the AL is pure surrealism. Bravo John Gibbons, an audacious move.

Once again, the Yankees did not fold the tent. Both Jetes and Alex reached on fielding errors. (totally out of character for this game, I know) Jorge's bloop just cleared the second baseman's glove and plated Jeter, 2-2. Giambi and Abreu could not deliver Alex from second.

Torre inserted Proctor into the game in the bottom 8th (not Bruney!!??!) and Toronto scored the winning run after a double and two sacrifices.

That was it. Hopefully tonight's game can be salvaged.

05/29: Minors Notes

Posted by: James
Steven White made his first start of the year at High-A Tampa after coming off the DL earlier this week. 6 and a third, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 6 Ks. Let's hope his arm stays healthy because when he's going well...he can be pretty chip good.

Also, Mitch Hilligoss got a hit (a 2-run double) in his final at-bat to tie the SAL record by hitting safely in his 35th straight game. Not too shabby, eh?

Finally, my guy Eric Duncan (and I say that because it seems like I'm the last guy who still likes Duncan as a prospect) went into tonight's game with a .234/.345/.339/.683 line. First off, that's not a bad OBP for such a bad average, especially with his problems against lefties (take a look at that .111 BABIP though). In addition, he's had a very encouraging 13 BBs and 4 Ks in his last 20 games so I fully expect the hits (and power) to start coming soon. I mean, he was named the Yankees' "Best Power Hitter" by Baseball America at one point for a reason, right? Well, hopefully, tonight will be the start of a good streak for the kid/trading chip. If nothing else, his 3-for-3 performance with 2 HRs makes his season line look quite a bit better: .252/.362/.402 for a .763 OPS (and I expect that SLG line to end up north of .450). It's not great...but it's getting better for the kid in his age 22 season at AAA.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

In the biggest game of the week, it was the top ranked Mike (River Ave. Blues) against the second place James. Unfortunately, the final score didn't end up being all that close as Mike took the game, 8-2. Although both offenses were productive, Mike swept the offensive side with James' two victories coming in ERA and WHIP.

Mike's offense was led by Jason Bay, who turned in a 6 run, 2 home run, 10 RBI, .500 AVG week. Adrian Gonzalez also hit .500 to go along with 2 dingers, 5 runs and 4 RBI. On James' side, it was Miguel Tejada (5 runs, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .409 AVG) and Brian Roberts (5 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 SB, .429 AVG). Mike's pitching had 5 wins and 9 saves in comparison to James' 3 and 6. Mike picked up a win each from Smoltz, Hamels, Carmona, Felix Hernandez and Matsuzaka with Hamels striking out 16 for the week. Joe Nathan and Francisco Rodriguez each had 3 saves, Jeremy Accardo had 2 and Kevin Gregg picked up 1. James had wins from Penny, Jenks and Peavy with 2 saves coming from Wagner and Valverde and one a piece from Jenks and Soria.

In the "we are family" game, I defeated Seamus by the score of 8 to 1. Seamus' lone victory came in batting average (.291) with us tying in steals (4). I swept the pitching side as Seamus' pitchers combined for 2 wins, 1 save, 31 K's, a 6.87 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Offensively, I have to give it to A-Rod, who had 5 runs, 2 homers, 3 RBI, 2 SBs and a (*cough*) .200 average. Prince Fielder had 3 homers on the week. Seamus' top offensive contributions came from Carlos Delgado with 5 runs, 2 HR, 6 runs batted in, 1 stolen base (?!) and a .360 AVG.

On the pitching side, I had 3 wins and 4 saves. My wins came from Pettitte, Kazmir and Zito and my saves all came from one man. Joe Borowski. Mo, Dotel and Street (DL) combined for 0 saves this week for my squad. Kazmir struck out 11. Seamus had wins from Brandon Webb (15 K's) and Jered Weaver and a save from Todd Jones.

Top 3 teams in the league:

1. Mike (51-26-3)
2. James (41-36-3)
T3. Ben (River Ave. Blues) (41-37-2)
T3. EJ (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) (39-35-6)

This Week

James (2nd, 41-36-3) vs. Dave (Pride of the Yankees) (6th, 36-38-6).

Patrick (9th, 31-43-6) vs. Joseph (River Ave. Blues) (7th, 36-39-5).

Seamus (10th, 30-45-5) vs. Ben (T3rd, 41-37-2).
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Clemens will start Monday vs. the White Sox.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch talks about the posibilities for Clemens next start.

If Clemens were to join the Yankees on normal rest, he would line up to pitch on Saturday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Because the Yankees have their top three pitchers -- Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte -- lined up to go in that series, Torre has said that he is not inclined to disrupt the rotation in order to pitch Clemens at Fenway Park, which he feels would create unnecessary dramatics.

If Clemens does not pitch at Boston, it is likely he could make his first big league start of 2007 during the club's series at Chicago June 4-7, likely as soon as Monday.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Frank Howard and Mike Thurman will represent the Yankees at the podium of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft next month, helping announce the club's selections at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees fell into last place in the A.L. East last night with a 7-2 loss at Rogers Centre. The Yanks are now 12-14 in the month of May and stand 7.5 games behind a tough Tigers team for the A.L. wild card.

The Yankees managed three hits in the first seven innings against Toronto ace (did I say ace?...I meant rotation filler) Dustin McGowan before Matsui finally took him out of the game with a two-run shot in the 8th. The Yankee pitching wasn't much better as Matt DeSalvo struggled with his control, walking three and giving up three runs on five hits in 4 and 2/3. Ron Villone wasn't much better, giving up a bases loaded single and walking in a run. Greg Myers also allowed a two-run single to Aaron Hill.

Honestly to think that the Yankees sit only 7.5 games out of the wild card the way they're playing now is kind of relieving. Only thing is, if it weren't for the fact that their defecit in the division is already 13.5 games, I'd say that Detroit and Cleveland would be tougher teams to catch. Those might really be the two best teams in the American League.

Yanks will try to bounce back behind Andy Pettite tonight at 7 ET. The Blue Jays will be sending out Shaun Marcum.
Posted by: Seamus
Tomorrow evening I will be interviewed via phone for an online radio show called The Sports Docket on behalf of The interview will be aired live at 7:30 p.m. Aceman & the Kwass will be conducting the interview and we will be covering issues such as the Yankees' early season struggles. It's pretty cool I think so anybody who wants to hear my voice can tune in because God knows I've heard it enough myself.
Posted by: James
When you've just gotten swept by the LAAngels and have slipped to 6 games under .500, how do you show your fans that there's still some life in your team? You hold a team meeting. Oh, and you get shut down by a kid with a career 2-7 win loss record and a 6.80 ERA. Yeah, that's the ticket.

That's 13.5 games back now in the AL East but who's counting that anymore? It's 8.5 games back in the Wild Card race. And Roger? I don't know if he's the answer...since the starting pitching hasn't been all that bad. Yeesh.
Posted by: Patrick
I'm sure David will have In his impressions from the game later, but just to report on the performance - in his third Minor League start, this time at triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Clemens threw 6 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. He threw 89 pitches including 58 for strikes.

Of course, as I write this, the Yankees are losing 3-0 to the Blue Jays in the 7th. Anything can happen - but for anything to happen, we have to actually win baseball games. Still, the Clemens start is encouraging and hopefully he'll make his debut against Boston later this week.
Posted by: David
On Saturday morning I was reading our local newspaper and as I turned to the sports section, front and center was Roger Clemens. I proceeded to read the article and it mentioned that bullpen box and standing room only seats would be on sale beginning at 10am for Monday's game.

I raced up to the box office and secured two tickets for this afternoon's contest. Our papers' today say this will promise to be the single most covered sporting event in the history of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

ESPN will be broadcasting pitch-by-pitch and the number of press credentials requested is unprecedented. The question is my mind though is: will the "Rocket" be enough to resurrect a terrible season so far?

If all goes well today, the "Rocket should join the Yankee rotation sometime this coming weekend in Boston or perhaps he will be held back until Chicago.

However, he can only pitch once every five days and he can't help our anemic offense either. Hopefully his presence will energize a team that simply for most of the season to date has looked flat.

Whatever the case may be, Memorial Day baseball with the Rocket pitching will prove to be memorable regardless of the outcome.
Posted by: David
The Yankees have hit the low point of a very disappointing season. They got swept at home by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday afternoon 4-3.

Mike Mussina had given up only two runs when he was yanked early in the sixth after walking the leadoff hitter. He was relieved by Scott Proctor, who allowed a double followed by a walk to load the bases. He then proceeded to walk two additional men in a row to force in the go ahead runs.

The Yankees got close in the bottom of the ninth when they put there first two runners on base with no outs. Melky Cabrera hit a shot to right which was caught but a run scored to cut the deficit to one run. Jeter was the last hope and he flew out deep to right center with the tying run on third.

The Yankees are now six games under .500 (the worst point of the season) and have fallen (count 'em) 12 1/2 games behind the rival Boston Red Sox.

The question will be asked more and more. Does Torre need to go? Will Cashman be right behind Torre? or Will both of them get the boot simultaneously?

Yankee fans are left to wonder!!

Update: Facts regarding Proctor's appearance fixed. Thanks mattymatty.
Posted by: Patrick
Alright, here's a nickname for our first baseman: Doug "Did You Mean" Mientkiewicz. Why, you ask? Well, think about the random fan trying to find the guy on Google. How many times do you think they see this?


05/27: Mark Teixeira

Posted by: Patrick
From Ken Davidoff:

Could the Rangers trade All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira in the middle of the season? You'd have to think the Yankees, among others, would be interested.

"My hope is that Mark is a Ranger for his whole career," Rangers general manager and Queens native Jon Daniels said Friday in a telephone interview. "It's good for the industry when a guy sticks with one team.

"But you have to consider all possibilities, too."

... Perhaps the Yankees, suddenly replete with pitching prospects and lacking an everyday first baseman, would bite. Or the Red Sox, or Teixeira's hometown Orioles.

Teixeira, the winner of the last two AL 1B Gold Glove awards, is hitting .301 with a .385 OBA, 8 homers and 29 RBI. For his career, he is a .283 hitter with a .366 OBA. He's 27 years old. According to Cot's, he's making $6.4 million this year and $9 million next year.

It's worth pursuing because Teixeira is still a young guy and it'd be an upgrade. Of course, it always depends on the price. But, if we could pick him at a reasonable rate, we could do... whatever it is we can do with Doug Mientkiewicz. Of course, he's A-Rod's friend and he's over .300 for May, but he's hitting .235 overall and... he's not Mark Teixeira, to be sure.
Posted by: Patrick
From Joe Lapointe:

Melky Cabrera replaced Damon in center field and batted ninth. Bobby Abreu, the slumping right fielder, batted first. Damon and manager Joe Torre discussed putting Damon on the disabled list, but Damon said he would not need 15 days to recover from pain that has plagued him, off and on, all season.

“I told them not even 10,’’ Damon said of the days needed to recover, then quickly added that he might not even need five days. The problem has occasionally forced Damon out of his fielding role for use solely as a designated hitter.
Posted by: Jason
It's clear that something dramatic must happen to turn this season around. That is, if the season is not already past the point of rescue from a postseason perspective. The Yankees are on the brink of a free fall as they fell 5 games below .500 with a 3-1 loss vs. starting pitcher Kelvim Escobar. (who used to be an average relief pitcher for Toronto, and has been reborn as a starter in Anaheim. Or Los Angeles. Or Los Angeles of Anaheim. Wait a second, isn't Anaheim in Orange County? Whatever.)

The Angels did their damage in the first inning, and it was all that they needed. Gary Matthews, Jr. tripled in fresh face Willits and the perpetually frightening Vlad Guerrero. Casey Kotchman singled in Matthews, and that was the extent of the Angels' offense. After the rocky 1st, Wang surrendered only 3 hits over the next 7 full innings before Mariano took the ball in the 9th.

Escobar scattered six hits over seven full innings with the only Yankees run coming in the 4th as Mintkiewicz drove Alex in with a single. He was helped by a few good defensive plays but he was too much for the Yankees lineup.

At least Rivera looked good, mowing down the side in the top 9th...And then the ultimate flirtation in the bottom 9th when, with 2 outs, both Damon and Cabrera singled, putting the winning run at the plate in the form of Abreu. Bobby took four pitches, 1 ball and 3 consecutive strikes, to end the game. The final strike was easily 10-12 inches off the plate, and yet Abreu was called out. The call was so poor that the normally stoic Torre took the umpire to task in his postgame comments.

What's left to say? The Yankees season is now a series of one game must-win scenarios. If they can string 5 or 6 wins together, then we can begin to think about a longer term scenario.
Posted by: Patrick
Our final interview of the 2006-2007 Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere season is with Peter Abraham of The LoHud Yankees Blog.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

I enjoy music a lot and spend a lot of time in the city seeing shows. I try and read as much non-fiction as I can make time for and I enjoy hanging out with my niece and nephew.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

Since February of 2005.

What's the best and worst part of blogging?

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Phil Hughes rolled his left ankle while performing conditioning exercises at the Legends Field training complex on Friday, and will have an MRI performed to determine the severity of the injury.

"He was doing his agility drill and stuck a spike; [the] spike caught," manager Joe Torre said. "They don't think it's anything, just rolled it a little bit. It may set him back a couple of days." ...

General manager Brian Cashman said that Hughes will be sent for an MRI on either Friday or Saturday. Torre said that the injury is not expected to significantly alter Hughes' projected return date.

Posted by: Seamus
...opposed to trading Luis Vizcaino for a bottle of ketchup?
Posted by: Patrick

"He's on a big hook," a spirited Steinbrenner told The Associated Press in a rare interview from this Tampa office. "He wanted sole authority. He got it. Now he's got to deliver." ...

As for Torre, the Yankees manager since 1996, Steinbrenner said "we are not considering a change." ...

Steinbrenner was less generous toward Jason Giambi, whose recent comments to USA Today that he was "wrong for doing that stuff" were interpreted by some as an admission of steroid use. Giambi told a federal grand jury that he used steroids from 2001-3 and human growth hormone in 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. ...

"He should have kept his mouth shut," Steinbrenner said. "The matter is in the hands of the baseball commissioner."

And, as I write this, our 10-6 loss to the Angels just went final. Gah.
Posted by: Patrick reports that Clemens will make his next start at Triple A on Monday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when they face Toledo. The article notes that it did not "appear" that he'd be with the Yankees when we face Boston next.
Posted by: Patrick
From Pete Caldera:

The Yankees require another professional right-handed hitter off the bench and Mike Sweeney and Jeff Conine should be considered trade possibilities.

From Troy E. Renck:

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters this week that although trades are always possible, nothing is warm right now. Still, multiple scouts said Wednesday the Yankees are interested in Rockies first baseman Todd Helton and closer Brian Fuentes, though nothing is brewing.

Update: Peter Abraham says there is no interest in Helton, which makes sense, of course.

He also mentions that if Brett Myers of the Phillies has a serious injury, they could be a destination for Kyle Farnsworth.

Via PSD.
Posted by: Patrick
Just a couple of Jeter related stories. From Tyler Kepner:

My favorite story, by far, is this one by my pal Andrew Marchand: Derek Jeter wants to be an owner someday. I can guarantee that Jeter would be a completely different owner than George Steinbrenner, for one critical reason: Steinbrenner is a pessimist by nature, and Jeter is an optimist.

Matsui on Jeter from Peter Abraham:

“Derek transcends leadership,” Hideki Matsui told me through his translator, Roger Kahlon. “I have played with many great players with the Yankees and Giants but nobody like Jeter. He runs, he hits, he fields and he plays well in the clutch. He is truly a great player.”
Posted by: Patrick
In his second Minor League start, this time pitching for the double A Trenton Thunder, Clemens pitched 5 and 1/3 innings, throwing 102 pitches. He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 5, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch.

From Yahoo!:

"So far so good," he said after his second minor league start since signing with the Yankees.

Clemens refused to say where his next start for the Yankees would be. He said he has told team officials how he feels, adding that an intense bullpen workout on Friday might be the deciding factor. He said his arm and legs both felt good.

"I felt the last three or four days when I backed off my routine to give my body a chance to catch up, I expected it to respond well, and it did," Clemens said.
Posted by: Seamus
I've spent the last few hours checking to see if there were any pigs flying about in my neighborhood after the Yankees just scored 8 runs for Andy Pettite. The Yanks got to Curt Schilling early and often, scoring in each of the first four innings en route to an 8-3 victory in the rubber match of a three-game set against the Red Sox.

The Yankees jumped ahead 3-0 in the first via an RBI single by Jeter and a two-run laser home run by Hideki Matsui. Jeter added another RBI base hit in the 2nd and Posada did the same in the 3rd. Doug Mientkiewicz put the Yankees up 6-0 in the 4th with a home run off the upper deck facade in right field.

That would be enough for Andy Pettite, who was a rock yet again for the Yankees. You'd think an E.R.A. of 2.66 would get you a few wins for the Yankees but tonight's victory puts Andy Pettite at a mediocre 3-3 on the season. This time Pettite allowed 9 hits, but only one came around to score and he struck out two in a stellar 7-inning performance.

Kyle Farnsworth came in with a 6-1 lead in the 8th and gave up two runs on a solo shot by Coco Crisp and a double by Mike Lowell, and was actually booed pretty heavily at the Stadium. Mariano Rivera finished the game, striking out the side in a scoreless ninth.

Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Doug Mientkiewicz all had three hits and Matsui and Cano added two hits each as well. The only Yankee without a hit was Jason Giambi. Jeter's second hit put him ahead of Joe DiMaggio for 5th on the Yankees' all-time hit list (now at 2,216).

Normally, going 3-3 in a six-game stretch against the rival Mets and Red Sox would be satisfactory but even after taking two of three from Boston the Yanks have only gained a half game on them since Friday. On the bright side, the Yankees have won 3 of 4 against two teams other than the Rangers and Mariners and finally seem to be clicking a bit.

This weekend's series against the Angels should be interesting. It will be the third straight series for the Yankees against a first-place team. First game is Friday at 7:05 E.T. and will feature an interesting pitching matchup as Tyler Clippard tries to expand upon his very successful debut and will face the young Jered Weaver.

05/23: All Class

Posted by: James
A little more than a month after the shooting, the Yankees have made the largest donation to the Virginia Tech Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund with Big George writing a check for $1 million.

The fund was established to help those touched by the tragedy, and the money will provide grief counseling, memorials and assistance to the victims and their families.


According to Steger, the Yankees are the only sports team to contribute money to Virginia Tech. And Steinbrenner isn't finished supporting the school, either. The Yankees announced that the team will play an exhibition game against the Hokies baseball team sometime in 2008. All proceeds will be added to the memorial fund.

Say what you want about Steinbrenner; the man certainly puts his money where his mouth and often times, his heart, is. Way to go Big Stein.
Posted by: James
It's official. Our long national nightmare is over.

Carl Pavano's career with the Yankees could be over, as the oft-injured right-hander appears to be headed for season-ending surgery.

General manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that a battery of four doctors has agreed that Pavano has either a substantial or complete tear of a ligament in his pitching elbow, with Tommy John surgery having been recommended as a treatment option.
The surgery would remove Pavano from action for a span of 12 to 18 months, which could take him through the remaining time on his contract with the Yankees. Pavano is in the third season of a four-year, $39.95 million deal.

Pay for the surgery and then get him out of here. I don't want to see him in the dugout because he might hex the other players. I don't want to see him working with Yankees personnel and taking time from that could be spent on players that will actually play. I just want to see him gone; he can pay for his rehab on his own. He parlayed one very good season into a $40MM contract with the Yankees and that investment yielded just 19 starts (that's $2.1MM a start, far more than Clemens money!) and 111.1 IP (that's $359,389.03 an inning) so he's certainly got the money. Heck, if making the most money for the least work was a sport, Pavano would be in the Hall of Fame.
Posted by: Patrick
Kat O'Brien, Tyler Kepner and Mark Feinsand have entries up on the recent media game.

Both Kepner and Feinsand say the winning streak is at 10 and not 11 - it's a twice a year thing and the New York team hasn't lost since 2001. Gathering from all of the entries I've read, the New York team lineup (not sure of order) was as follows:

C - Kevin Devaney
1B - Ben Walker
2B - Pete Caldera
3B - Jack Curry
SS - John Harper
LF - Peter Botte
CF - Tom Verducci
RF - Bryan Hoch
DH - Mark Feinsand
DH - Kat O'Brien
? - Peter Abraham
? - Ken Davidoff
SP - Tyler Kepner
RP - Bob Klapisch
Player/Manager - Anthony McCarron

From Kepner:

One of the great privileges of this job is the annual media game at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Once a year, early in the morning, the Yankees and the Red Sox open their doors to let the New York media take on the Boston media. It’s real hardball: umpires, scoreboards, music, a post-game food spread, the works. Everything but those annoying writers asking us questions after the game.

Good stuff.
Posted by: Patrick
From the Daily News:

Jason Giambi failed a Major League Baseball-administered amphetamines test within the last year, which has subjected him to additional drug testing, sources told the Daily News. Giambi tacitly admitted last week that he has used steroids, but he failed to mention that he has been caught using other drugs.

Because Major League Baseball's amphetamines policy keeps a first positive test secret, however, it is unlikely Giambi will be asked about it when he meets with representatives from commissioner Bud Selig's office, possibly as soon as tomorrow on the Yankees' day off.
Posted by: Jason hurt me, you know just how to tear me up,
and leave me in small pieces on the ground."

Alternative country pioneer Dwight Yoakam's song "Little Ways" comes to mind as I write today's recap, for obvious reasons. A suddenly chilly offense and compliant pitching gave the Red Sox the lead they required to recover the game they lost Monday night.

We should be disappointed but not furious with Mussina: Granted, his first inning was horrible (three hits and three runs on a long Ramirez HR) but besides the first and the mistake to Lowell (solo HR) in the fourth he settled down for the next five frames. Certainly long enough for the Yankees offense to light up #5 starter Julian Tavarez, right?

One of Yoakam's early CDs is titled "Just Lookin' for a Hit" and I can not find a better description of the offense last evening. After Tavarez's gift run on a wild pitch in the fourth, the Yankees had bases loaded/one out in the fifth. They could manage only one run on a fielder's choice.

The Red Sox extended their lead to 7-2 in the seventh, aided by hits off of Mussina and Myers. I should add that the Yankees experienced (approximately) their 135th umpire's blown call of the season, when Joe West called Crisp safe on a steal of second. The reply showed Cano putting the tag on him in time. There should have been 2 outs w/no baserunners.

Bottom eighth: The Yankees had bases loaded, one out. One run on a fielder's choice? Not acceptable. Papelbon looked shaky in the ninth and the Yankees had 2 on, no out...again, no hits when necessary.

Torre acknowledged that the "pressure is on" to win this series. Joe is a master of understatement.
Posted by: Patrick
This is awesome.

Members of the New York and Boston baseball media get together every year (I guess) and play a game in Yankee Stadium. The New York team has won 11 times straight (update: it appears to be 10 games, not 11). They have umpires, they put the writer's names up on the scoreboard and they play music when they come up. Sounds like a total blast!

This year's New York team included Abraham, Tom Verducci, Jack Curry, Tyler Kepner, Anthony McCarron, Pete Caldera, Pete Botte, Bob Klapisch, Bryan Hoch, Kevin Devaney, Kat O'Brien and Mark Feinsand (apparently).

Abraham mentioned that they are looking at a rematch at Fenway on June 3. Hopefully they can keep the string of dominance alive.
Posted by: Patrick
Check it out. So, yeah. Interesting. I submitted a friend request from our MySpace.

Jim Baumbach was the one who pointed it out, so I presume that it's actually his.

Clearly we've now officially entered the digital age in pro sports, the point where players entering the majors have grown up relying on the Internet. They know of no other way. I'd imagine most 22-year-olds have their own myspace pages.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Jason Giambi to the Angels:

The Angels have utility man Chone Figgins to move as well as backup catcher Jose Molina. And their farm system is loaded with young arms. However, if the Yankees have to eat a sizeable portion of Giambi’s salary to make the trade they would want more back for Giambi. As for Giambi, he has a blanket no-trade clause. However, the Angels play 20 minutes from West Covina, where he grew up, and an equal distance from the Orange County beaches Giambi enjoys.

Two players we may be interested in: Todd Helton and Ryan Dempster.

Via PSD.
Posted by: Patrick

Hughes made 25 throws off a half-mound at the team complex in Tampa, Fla. He also did jogging and agility drills.

"Now the process starts," Torre said. "We'll see what happens."

Hughes will need to throw a series of bullpens before working his way up to batting-practice sessions and games. He is at least three or four weeks away from rejoining the team.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees got a grind-it-out performance from Chien-Ming Wang and a few timely hits last night as they took the first game of a crucial three-game set against the Red Sox by a score of 6-2. The victory was the Yankees' second in a row (first two-game winning streak since May 8th and 9th against Texas) and moved them to within 9.5 games of first place.

A-Rod got it started early with his league-leading 18th home run and his 3rd in as many days to put the Yankees up 2-0. The Yanks got two more in the 2nd on a home run by Jason Giambi and an RBI single by Derek Jeter that scored Robinson Cano. Cano himself went 2-4 with a double in the 2nd and capped off the night offensively for the team with a two-run triple in the 5th.

Chien-Ming Wang didn't have his best stuff on the mound but you wouldn't be able to tell from the numbers as he gave up only two runs and struck out 5 in 6 and 1/3. He fell behind a lot of hitters but always seemed to recover and it was good enough to bring his record up to 3-3.

The Red Sox threatened in the 7th but Mike Myers came in to do what he was brought onto this team for, which was retire David Ortiz, albeit on a sac fly which drew the Red Sox within four. Myers would face only one batter and Brian Bruney came in to finish the 7th and struck out Manny Ramirez looking. Boston brought the tying run up in the 8th and with two outs and the bases loaded, Robinson Cano may have saved the Yankees' night with a great play, snatching the ball behind second base and flipping it to Jeter for the out, robbing Julio Lugo of a two-run base hit.

Good to finally see a game where things worked on all cylinders for the Yankees. I felt like Sunday night's win against the Mets could be the type of game that gets this team rolling as the pieces seem to all be slowly falling into place. Cano is hitting better. Abreu still struggles but at least has regained some of his patience. Giambi actually ran the bases without having to be pushed by a zamboni, Damon went 3-4 last night and most of all it's good to see good pitching and good hitting finally coincide with this team. I don't think it's happened for two straight games all year.

Also, just for the record, I don't think any of us should be surprised if when scientists release The Encyclopedia of Life which will document all of the world's species, we see Derek Jeter classified as his own walk of life. This true freak of nature stealthily creeps up on enemy pitchers and is known to be dangerous with runners in scoring position (17-34 .500 AVG) and has an especially deadly bite with RISP and two outs (12-19, 6.32 AVG). This creature is sometimes mistakingly labeled by uneducated scientists as "the most overrated player in baseball."

The Yanks will have their good luck charm at the Stadium tonight (myself, of course) as they go for two in a row and hopefully gain some more ground on the Red Sox. A sweep would put them a somewhat manageable 7.5 games back in late May. Mike Mussina will be going up against Julian Tavarez. Game starts at 7:05 ET.
Posted by: David
Joe Dimaggio was the Yankee Clipper. The New Clippard saved the Yankees bacon last night with a stellar performance in his major league debut. Tyler Clippard only gave up one run and the bullpen saved it for him as the Yankees took the finale of the interleague subway series from the Mets 6-2 on Sunday night baseball.

Clippard fell behind early when Yankee killer David Wright took him deep to the Mets out to an early 1-0 lead. The Yankees battled back and got a break when Johnny Damon blooped a double to left which fell in front of the diving attempt of Shawn Green. The hit plated two runs and the Yankees had the lead for good. Home runs from Jeter, Posada and A-Rod extended the lead.

Rivera pitched the ninth in a non-save situation and surrendered a home run to Easley. Mo is getting better but is not quite there with his command yet. He had to throw 27 pitches to get the side out.

Clippard started the game by striking out Jose Reyes on three pitches and was dominant for most of the night. The Yankees were able to get to Mets young phenom John Maine but having good at bats and finally getting some clutch hits.

The Yankees now face the Red Sox in a critical three game series at the stadium starting tonight. Chien Ming-Wang goes against Tim Wakefield. The Yankees really need to sweep to get back into the race. They are even eight games out of the wild card race.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

This wasn't the prettiest week for James or Jen ( - the winning numbers for their match were as follows: 32 R, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 5 SB, .275 AVG, 4 W, 9 S, 44 K, 4.71 ERA, 1.37 WHIP. Even so, James managed to come out on top for most of the categories, allowing him to take an 8-2 victory.

James' offense was led by Mark Teahen, who hit .379 with 5 runs, 6 runs batted in and 2 stolen bases. Jen's squad was led by Miguel Cabrera, who had 4 runs and 5 runs batted in to go along with a .296 average. Pitching wise, Jen picked up 4 wins (Gorzelanny, Wang, Hoffman, Tankersley) and 5 saves (2 for Ray and Fuentes, 1 for Hoffman). James managed 9 saves, in big part thanks to a 4 save week from Jose Valverde. Joakim Soria pitched in 3 with Billy Wagner and Bobby Jenks each picking up 1. James' 2 wins came from Escobar and Lilly.

Seamus and Joseph (River Ave. Blues) took a split decision, 4-4. Seamus won the offensive side (taking 4 of 5 categories) while Joseph won the pitching side (taking 3 of 5 categories). They tied on both wins (3) and saves (1). For Seamus, David Wright was on fire this week, hitting 4 homers and scoring 7 runs while driving in 2, stealing 2 bases and hitting .409. Victor Martinez (5 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .333 AVG) and Rafael Furcal (3 R, 4 RBI, .500 AVG) were the best on Joseph's side.

Seamus got a 2 win week out of Jered Weaver, who struck out 11 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. His other win came from Ervin Santana with his lone save coming from Todd Jones. Joseph's wins came from Greg Maddux, Bartolo Colon and A.J. Burnett with his save coming from Papelbon. Joseph's pitchers put up an incredible 76 strikeouts - 19 from Bedard, 13 from James Shields, 10 each from Aaron Harang and A.J. Burnett and 9 from Maddux.

Finally... wow. I got crushed. If my team didn't manage to hit a whopping 15 homers (more than any other team hit this week - except for Aziz's team, of course), it would have been a 10-0 loss. Instead, it's a 9-0 loss. Both offenses were very good - but Aziz's was simply amazing. And his pitching - well, forget about it. A 1.57 ERA and 0.93 WHIP for the week.

Jorge Posada led my offense with 5 runs, 3 home runs, 4 runs batted in and a .476 average. Kevin Youkilis was the man for Aziz, hitting .407 with 5 runs, 3 home runs and 7 runs batted in. Pitching wise, I got all of my wins from one player thanks to a 2 win week by Justin Verlander, who also had 10 strikeouts, a 2.30 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. All of my saves came from one guy, too, which makes sense being that I only had 1 (Joe Borowski). Aziz's 4 wins came from Oliver Perez, Randy Johnson, David Weathers and Ben Sheets. His saves came from Francisco Cordero (2), Takaski Saito (2) and Weathers (1). The Unit had 10 K's.

Much like the Yankees, my team is in a lot of trouble.

Top 3 teams in the league:

1. Mike (River Ave. Blues) (43-24-3)
2. James (39-28-3)
3. EJ (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) (38-29-3)

This Week

James (2nd, 39-28-3) vs. Mike (1st, 43-24-3).

Seamus (8th, 29-37-4) vs. Patrick (10th, 23-42-5).
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

According to baseball sources familiar with the situation who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, the Yankees will revisit the possibility of terminating Giambi's deal if it is determined that he used illegal drugs after they signed him to a seven-year, $120 million contract in 2001.

The commissioner's office is investigating Giambi's comments to the newspaper and will summon him to a meeting to discuss them. What he says in that meeting - or doesn't say - may go a long way toward determining how the Yankees proceed.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Jason
Although Paine's famous observation described events infinitely more important than a baseball team, the phrase nonetheless conveys the current mood of the Yankees Universe.

A combination of bad fortune and substandard play doomed the Yankees during yesterday's FOX broadcast. To add insult to injury, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were rolling with their own curious (read: painful) mix of conventional wisdom and self-love. That is, McCarver supplies the conventional wisdom and Buck embodies self-love.

The bad news: The Yankees lost yet another starting pitcher as a hot shot broke a finger on Rasner's pitching hand in the 1st. He's done for three months, if the media reports are correct.

More bad news: The bullpen trio of Myers, Vizcaino and Villone surrendered 8 runs in the next 5 innings and the Yankees were in a 6 run hole, 8-2. In a tragically comic moment in the 3rd, a long fly by David Wright bounced off of the inside of Damon's glove and over the wall for a 2 run HR.

A tiny grain of good news: The Yankees did not fold. With the score 8-3 in the top 8th, Alex and Jorge each hit solo jacks. Phelps then doubled in Abreu and it was suddenly a game, 8-6.

So close and yet so far: The ageless Julio Franco gave the Mets two insurance runs with a single in the bottom 8th (off of Farnsworth) for an insurmountable 10-6 lead.

The Yankees scored a meaningless run in the top 9th after a strange decision by Mets closer Wagner, who tried to throw Alex out at home rather than taking the safe out at 1st with a 4 run lead. 10-7, and that's how it ended.

What to say? I believe that the Yankees need to win their next 4 games.

Tyler Clippard makes his debut tonight on ESPN...I'm not sure I can stomach Morgan/Miller on the heels of Buck/McCarver.

As Dan Rather once said: Courage.
Posted by: Patrick
In debut in Class A, Roger threw 58 pitchers in 4 innings, allowing 3 hits, no walks and 1 ER (on a solo home run) while striking out 2. has an article on the homer and the kid that hit it.

After the game, Lis was rewarded even more so when he found out his dad, Greg, who flew in from Chicago just hours before the game, had retrieved the ball.

While Lis said he'd be reluctant to ask the Rocket to sign the ball, Clemens later met with the Illinois native.

"I remember when I was coming up and I told my mom that I wanted to hurry up and face Reggie Jackson, which I did," said Clemens. "So I know how it must have felt for him."
Posted by: Patrick
Giambi could be investigated by Major League Baseball for his comments on Wednesday.

Yankees manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman both said that they could not and would not comment on the specifics of Giambi's comments.

Cashman said that he has been told that an investigation is possible.

"I think the Commissioner's office is going to be looking into this, so at this point I can't comment," Cashman said.
Posted by: Patrick
Ben pointed (care of Matthew Cerrone) to the commercial below, starring George Steinbrenner. What an awesome commercial. I was surprised that I'd never seen it before. I checked with Seamus and he'd never seen it either. So, check it out below.

Curious to see what else might be out there that I hadn't seen, I went looking on YouTube to see if there was anything else I hadn't seen. I did come across something. This Miller Lite commercial with George and Billy Martin:

And there were also a couple of others I had seen. The Visa card commercial with the Boss and D. Jeter:

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Dom Amore:

Torre is not a big detail guy, so he didn't know Scranton had a day game today. When we asked him about Clippard coming out after one inning, he was surprised we knew about it. Thought it was a night game for the Triple A squad. Anyway, it's not official but pretty obvious Tyler Clippard is pitching Sunday.
Posted by: Patrick
Steve points to an article over at by Gene Wojciechowski where he shares the comments made by scouts from one major league team (doesn't say what team) on some of the biggest stars of the past decade or so. A-Rod, Jeter and Clemens included. Interesting to read.
Posted by: Patrick
Report: Giambi says MLB owes apology for steroid issue:

"I was wrong for doing that stuff," Giambi said to the newspaper before a game against the Chicago White Sox. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up - players, ownership, everybody - and said, 'We made a mistake.' We should have apologized back then and made sure we had a rule in place and gone forward. ...

"Unfortunately, (the rumors) are going to be a part of it, but that's OK. I'm probably tested more than anybody else," Giambi told USA Today. "I'm not hiding anything. That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball."
Posted by: Patrick
From Yahoo!:

"It might cause some friction," Farnsworth said on Chicago's 670 AM The Score of Clemens' deal. "Granted this is going to be his (Clemens') 23rd or 24th year and he can get the opportunity to do that, but still, I think if you're going to be part of the team you should be there always.

"You win as a team, you lose as a team. I respect what he's done and I respect him as a person and a player but to be a part of the team you have to be there with the team."

Now, I agree with him as a general principle. The only question I have is why say it at all? I mean, he didn't say anything particularly bad, but why feed into the "frenzy" (if you want to call it that)? Do you need attention or something? Are you looking to stand out from your teammates and get noticed? I don't know.
Posted by: James
Brutal. This team is absolutely brutal to watch right now. Remember when Yankees teams seemed to find a way to win? Remember clutch hitting and comeback wins? Well, these days, it's finding a way to lose while Boston does the exact opposite. Those among Yankees fans who still see the AL East as still being winnable...they must be counting on some major Boston injuries as that's the only foreseeable way a division title is happening. 9.5 games back (9 on the loss side) in the AL East race and 5.5 (5 on the loss side) in the AL wild card.

The game can be summed up pretty simply for those who couldn't catch it. Matt DeSalvo started out the game but didn't have the good command he showcased in previous starts. He walked four and struck out two over three and a third (76 pitches). He was taken out in the fourth after putting the first two batters of the inning to get on base. From that point on, for one night, the bullpen did it's part with Vizcaino, Bruney and Proctor combining to put up zeros for 4 and two-thirds innings.

However, the Yankees offense did absolutely nothing against Jon Garland. The only Yankees run came when Robinson Cano picked up a leadoff triple and came home on a Doug Mientkiewicz one-out double. That was it. They went quietly in the eighth and ninth and they coasted to another loss. 18-21 on May 18th (at this point in the comeback in 2005...21-19).

So far, this season, it's always been something throwing the team off. In the first month, the team couldn't get any starting pitching. This month, we're getting pretty good starting pitching (combined 3.5 ERA before today) but everyone except Jeter, Posada and Mientkiewicz seem like they're sleepwalking at the plate. Are they ever going to put both pieces of the puzzle together? I don't know the answer to that but I do know that it's getting late fast and that it doesn't get any easier and it won't for a while. If they keep playing this way, at the end of this stretch, it is pretty easy to see them being a good 12-13 games back.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees failed to gain or lose any ground on the Red Sox Wednesday night as they split a doubleheader against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. With the split and a rainout of the Red Sox-Tigers game, the Yankees remain at 8 games behind Boston in the division and fell to 5.5 games behind the Indians for the A.L. wild card.

The first game was back and forth for 6 innings until the White Sox lit up Mike Mussina for 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th, starting with a solo home run by A.J. Pierzynski. That's where the game ended offensively, as the 5-2 score at that point would stay intact for the remainder of the game. Mike Mussina was pretty solid for five innings before giving up those three in the 6th inning. Offensively, there wasn't much to talk about other than a decent afternoon for Bobby Abreu who went 2-4 with a home run, Melky Cabrera with a timely RBI double and a home run by Josh Phelps in the 9th.

The Yanks recovered and won Game 2 by a score of 8-1. Chien-Ming Wang bounced back from his rough start against the Rangers last Thursday with a very solid start, allowing a run on six hits in 7 innings. The Yankees jumped ahead early on a two-run double by Hideki Matsui. An RBI triple by Derek Jeter capped off a two-run 7th inning and Melky Cabrera and Jorge Posada each homered in the Yanks' four-run 9th inning. Mariano Rivera capped off the victory with a scoreless ninth.

The Yankees will be finishing up their series in Chicago tonight before heading to Shea this weekend to face the Mets. Matt DeSalvo will be going up against Jon Garland. Game starts at 2:05 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
With the impending free agency of Ron Villone, the Yankees opted to keep him by promoting him to the major league roster and demoting Sean Henn (they also moved Jose Veras to the 60 day DL).

Meanwhile, the Yankees have signed veteran reliever Pete Walker. Walker, who grew up as a Red Sox fan, had an offer from the Red Sox, but choose the Yankees. He has pitched in the majors from 1995-1996, 2000-2003 and 2005-2006, playing for the Mets, Padres, Rockies and Blue Jays. He was also a member of the Red Sox in the late 90s, but never pitched a game for them. He's pitched in 144 games (starting 31 of them) with a 20-14 record, 4 saves and a 4.48 ERA.

Finally, Mark Feinsand reports that, according to a source, the Yankees have spoken with the Angels about acquiring catcher Jose Molina.

Via Steve and Sx at River Ave. Blues via
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand mentions that going back to 2000, 8 teams have come back from 8 games down or more to win their division. I wonder how many teams down by 8 in their division managed to make the playoffs. So, suffice to say, we're not out of anything. That said, losing more ground wouldn't be good for our health.
Posted by: James
Ian Kennedy, welcome to High Expectations-Ville. Population: You (and Joba). Get this man to Trenton and give Mike A. a gold star for the nickname, Mini-Moose.

Also, in case you haven't caught Mike A.'s notes, Francisco Cervelli is trying to tell the world that the Yankees do indeed have a catching prospect. .355/.450/.473/.923 and he just hit his first home-run of the year...and it was a grand slam to boot.
Posted by: Patrick
Our next (and perhaps the final one of this round) interview is with our own James Varghese.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

Mostly at work as that is the other major passion in my life right now. It is a nice little cycle – work, gym, Yankees, sleep, repeat.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

Just a little over a season and a half now.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch has a tentative schedule for Clemens.

He reported to Tampa yesterday and he has a bullpen session scheduled for today. On the 18th, he'll pitch at single A. On the 23th, he'll pitch at double A. After that, Hoch notes, that the Yankees aren't sure if the Rocket will require 2 or 3 starts. On the 28th, he could pitch for triple A or 28th or 29th, he could pitch in the majors against the Blue Jays.

Pitching on the 28th would put him in line to start against Boston in Fenway on June 2nd. The collective mouths of the Fox network are watering.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

James (i.e. our only hope) defeated the 3rd place team, Ben (River Ave. Blues), by the score of 8-2. James pitchers went on some kind of freakish run this week. Check out this line: 5 wins, 7 saves, 53 strikeouts, 1.09 ERA, 0.83 WHIP. Whoa. Brad Penny had 2 wins with 18 Ks, a 0.68 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. Ted Lilly and Jake Peavy both picked up a win and 10 Ks. Billy Wagner had 3 saves while Bobby Jenks had 2. Suffice to say, James pitchers swept the side. Ben's side managed 4 wins (Tim Lincecum, John Lackey, Chris Young (9 Ks) and Daniel Cabrera) and 2 saves (Brett Myers and Ryan Dempster).

Offensively, James took runs (28), stolen bases (5) and batting average (.304). Ben took home runs (11) and RBI (28). Ben's offense was led by Adam Dunn, who hit .381 with 7 runs, 3 home runs and 6 RBI for the week. on James side, it's one of these: Alfonso Soriano (4 runs, 2 home runs, 3 RBI, 3 stolen bases, .345 average) or Mark Teahen (5 runs, 1 home run, 4 RBI, .381 average).

After being close for much of the week (and even having the lead myself), EJ (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) smoked me in the end, winning 7-3. He won every pitching category with 6 wins, 6 saves, 73 K's, a 3.74 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. The wins were spread around as no one on his side had more than 1 (Beckett, Bonderman, Gagne, Snell, Blanton, Hudson). Snell and Beckett both had 12 Ks while Javier Vazquez had 10. J.J. Putz and Dan Wheeler both had 3 save weeks. My 3 closers came up with a single save (Mo and Street both put up 0... the save came from Joe Borowski). Zito, Verlander and Pettitte had 1 win each. So, yeah, pitching blowout.

On the other side, I was able to take 3 of 5 categories, thanks in no small part to the great play of Carlos Lee (6 runs, 2 homers, 6 RBI, .393 AVG) and Derek Jeter (2 runs, 7 RBI, 1 SB, .480 AVG). EJ took the home run and stolen base categories with Lance Berkman (8 runs, 3 homers, 6 RBI, .320 AVG) and Julio Lugo (3 runs, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 2 SBs, .400 AVG).

In the other game, Aziz (Pride of the Yankees) beat Seamus, 6-4. Thanks to 10 home runs, 4 stolen bases and a .291 average, Seamus was able to take those categories. Gary Sheffield (6 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .333 AVG) and David Wright (3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 SB, .375 AVG) were a big part of it. Aziz's offense was led by Magglio Ordonez (3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .357 AVG), Torii Hunter (4 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .231 AVG) and Ichiro Suzuki (7 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB, .379 AVG).

The pitching categories were dominated by Aziz, who took 4 of 5. His pitchers were great (5 wins, 6 saves, 33 K's, 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP). If it wasn't for Seamus' low ERA of 2.77, he would have taken all 5. Aziz got a 2 win week from Roy Oswalt, who chipped in 12 strikeouts. Ben Sheets, Henry Owens and Oliver Perez picked up the others. Francisco Cordero had a 3 save week while Takashi Saito picked up 2 and David Weathers picked up 1. Seamus' pitchers combined for 3 wins (Brandon Webb, Mike Gonzalez, Mike Mussina) and 2 saves (Todd Jones, Mike Gonzalez). Ervin Santana had 11 strikeouts for the week while Webb had 10.

Top 3 teams in the league:

1. Mike (River Ave. Blues) (36-23-1)
2. EJ (34-23-3)
3. James (31-26-3) (YES, WE HAVE SOMEONE GOOD)

This Week

James (3rd, 31-26-3) vs. Jen ( (7th, 26-30-4).

Seamus (9th, 25-33-2) vs. Joseph (River Ave. Blues) (5th, 29-29-2).

Patrick (10th, 23-33-4) vs. Aziz (8th, 27-33-0).
Posted by: David
Andy Pettitte is simply snake bitten. In three previous starts, the bullpen blew leads for him. On Sunday afternoon he gave up only two runs, one earned and lost 2-1.

A key error by A-Rod allowed runners to reach second and third with no outs and Pettitte toughened and allowed only one run to score. The M's added another for a early 2-0 lead.

The Yankees fought back to 2-1 but couldn't get the big hit. A dramatic showdown between A-Rod and Brandon Morrow ended up with Rodriguez striking out with runners on base. Morrow was only drafted in 2006 and has already made it to the major leagues. He was simply throwing gas and blew it by A-Rod.

The Mariner bullpen was terrific with J.J. Putz gaining his ninth save by striking out the side in the ninth.

With Boston coming back from a ninth inning five run deficit to win the Yankees are now eight games behind the Bosox and stand at 17-19 on the season. After an off day on Monday, the Bombers head to Chicago for a three game series starting on Tuesday.

Will we start to hear rumblings of a Torre firing?
Posted by: Patrick

Yankees reliever Scott Proctor dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension on Saturday, opting instead to begin serving his sentence immediately.

As a result, Proctor will be unavailable to the Yankees until a Thursday matinee in Chicago, but he will be reinstated in time for important series against the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox. ...

But an appeal would have had to take place in New York, and no tentative date for an appearance had yet been set. With that in mind, Proctor said he left the decision up to Torre and general manager Brian Cashman, who informed Proctor of their opinion to have him begin sitting out Saturday.
Posted by: David
Jarrod Washburn cooled the Yankee bats and Kenji Johjima hit a two run homer to extend the M's lead to 3-0 early. That was all Washburn needed as the Yankees couldn't muster any offense.

Darrell Rasner pitched well but not well enough on Friday night in Seattle. The Yankees were without Jason Giambi as he is still resting a sore foot and is expected back in the lineup sometime this weekend.
Posted by: Patrick
Don Amore talks about Jeter's amazing run of 91 out of 100 games with a hit, including an e-mail from a guy from SABR. In the research he has done, he hasn't found a single guy from 1957 on who can match Jeter's streak. Wade Boggs in 1985 being the closest with 90 out of 100. Going back farther, Ty Cobb's best was 91 in 1910-1911 and he managed to find one guy with a better run than Jeter - Willie Keeler in 1898 with 92.
Posted by: Patrick
Will Carroll:

Here's the long and short on Carl Pavano--even before he had an MRI or saw a specialist, he'd made the decision to have Tommy John surgery. Even after seeing specialists and finding that while his UCL was torn, it was not torn so significantly that doctors recommended the surgery. Much like Octavio Dotel a few years ago, though, Pavano is simply not willing to pitch through the soreness. There's probably a high number of pitchers in the game today (far too high a number, actually) that have similar, perhaps worse damage and get out there. I'm not advocating that anyone pitch with pain, but when the possibility exists that someone can come back without surgery, I think they owe it to the team paying the bills to do it. Pavano's not willing to, perhaps closing a chapter that the Yankees would rather not have had written. Call him 'American Idle' or the 'Rajah of Rehab' if you want. In my opinion, he's gone beyond that, and is simply stealing money.

Via Steve via The Lineup Card.
Posted by: Patrick
From Joe LaPointe:

“Not too good,'’ Torre said, when asked how his brother was doing. “He’s got an infection in his system.'’

05/10: The Stretch

Posted by: James
These Texas + Seattle games are crucial which was why I was so annoyed at the Seattle losses. Even thinking about them now is annoying. Those games could have easily been wins and the Yankees could have been one game above .500 even with the loss today. Starting right after the next series, there is a brutal stretch of games and because the Yanks have dug themselves into quite a hole (6.5 games back going into tonights' Red Sox game), they simply cannot afford to lose even more ground.

Here's the upcoming schedule:
3 @ White Sox 16-15 .516
3 @ Mets 21-12 .636
3 vs Boston 22-10 .688
3 vs Anaheim 18-16 .529
3 @ Toronto 13-20 .394 (the "easy" team is better than their record would indicate)
3 @ Boston 22-10 .688
4 @ White Sox 16-15 .516

That's a combined 128-98 record (a .567 winning percentage) for those keeping track at home. Those twenty-two games will be very interesting...and very important.
Posted by: James
What an ugly loss. You can't sweep Texas every time...but man, was this game putrid. Simply a horrible loss that puts the Yanks back under .500, right before one of the toughest stretches of the year. Ouch.

Chien-Ming Wang took the hill and ended any hopes of a perfect game by walking Kenny Lofton. Lofton stole second and eventually came around to score on a 2-out single by Slamming Sammy (5 HRs away from 600). 1-0 Rangers.

Opposing Wang was Brandon McCarthy who started the game with a 7.96 ERA but was also coming off his first good start of the season (6 IP, 2 hits, 1 ER). He was cruising until the bottom of the third when after inducing a weak pop-up by Doug Mientkiewicz, Melky Cabrera took him deep for his first homer of the season. I know. I was surprised too. Maybe el Leche decided that he was sick of letting Mientkiewicz have all the fun. Mientkiewicz with an OPS close to .700 and Melky creeping in on .600...who would have thought? 1-1 Tie.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
From Tyler Kepner:

The Yankees could lose Ron Villone if they do not promote him soon. Villone, who pitched in 70 games for the Yankees last season, has 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with a 1.66 earned run average. Villone, who earned a save last night, has a clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent on May 15.

Via PSD.
Posted by: Patrick
Wil Nieves is the story of the day. That was one of the moments of yesterday's game that I managed to watch. Most everyone in the dugout seemed to be having a good time with it. Cano, particularly, looked like he was about to bust a gut.
Posted by: Seamus
It seems like these days the only thing the Yankees need to get on a roll is a few games against the Rangers. Last night's win was the Yankees' fifth straight this season against Texas. They have won 7 out of 9 overall and have finally gotten to the .500 mark for the season.

The Yanks got a solid start out of Mike Mussina, who gave up two runs on three hits in six innings, throwing 85 pitches. The bullpen did a nice job, giving us three scoreless innings, but the 7th inning was split among three pitchers. Mo entered the game in a non-save situation and pitched a scoreless 9th.

Derek Jeter was the man offensively, driving in three of the Yanks' six runs and scoring one as well. Johnny Damon was the other Yankee who had a multi-hit game with a 2-3 night and Wil Nieves finally picked up his first hit of the season. A comical moment during the game (not so comical if they weren't up by 4 runs) was Nieves getting a little greedy after the hit, trying to stretch it to two. Nieves was only out by a mile...and a half.

The Yankees will finish the three-game set this afternoon at 1 E.T. before heading to Seattle for the weekend. Chien-Ming Wang will be looking to carry over some momentum from his near perfect game on Saturday and will be facing first-year Ranger Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy has struggled in his new role, even moreso than any Yankee starter this year, as he is 2-4 with an E.R.A. of 7.96 in seven starts.
Posted by: Patrick
For those unfamiliar, there is this baseball blog directory called It's a neat little site and they have some cool aggregation features and statistical breakdowns. The breakdown I am interested in today is their team blog rankings. Basically, it's a ranking of the total number of posts made on blogs dedicated to a given team.

For as long as I can remember, the Mets have been number 1 here (although, to be honest, I haven't paid that close attention, so maybe I'm wrong). But, it looks like the Yankees blogs are now closer than they we have ever been, thanks to the emergence of the dynamo known as Peter Abraham as well as the continued excellence of the Steve, the RAB guys, Pinstripe Alley and plenty of others. We're at 389.0 posts per week while the Mets are at 417.7 posts per week. So, let's step it up and take first.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I realize it's number of posts and ... well, that really doesn't mean that much. Quality over quantity, for sure. One blog may do more in one post than another does in 10. I also realize that these rankings mean very little themselves and they could/can be skewed. This is just for fun. But, I do think it'd be cool if we were number 1. :))
Posted by: Jason
Last night's dominant performance against the Rangers gave the Yankees Universe a taste of what it has craved since the Cleveland sweep a few weeks ago.

First: Pettitte was excellent. After almost six weeks of the season we see the pitcher we envisioned when he signed. His finest moment of the game arrived in the top 2nd, with Blalock (What happened to this man? He used to be terrifying) on third and Kinsler on second with one out. Pettitte erased Cruz and Laird to escape the inning, keeping the game scoreless. Incredibly huge at that point.

Top 3rd found the Rangers up 1-0 on a single by "time machine" Sosa, who still behaves as though it's 1998. Blalock again drilled a double but Abreu and Cano bailed Pettitte out with a tight relay to (just) get Sosa at home.

Rangers P Wood saw his half of the third inning marred by the secret weapon Mientkiewicz, who singled and was driven in by a long gap double by the captain. After Alex was hit by pitch, CF Hairston dropped a Matsui line drive and Jeter and Alex scored. The home team was ahead to stay, 3-1.

In the bottom 4th, "Masher" Mientkiewicz (after his second hit) scored on a Jeter single, but Damon was gunned down at the plate, 4-1.

In the fifth, Giambi walked and some obscure guy named Rodriguez (or something like that) went opposite field in a sheer display of power, 6-1. The rout was on.

The only caveat for Yankees faithful was Abreu's fall to 7th in the batting order. He did get a hit, and we can only hope he quickly returns to his familiar get-on-base-and-hit-for-power style.

Tonight, it's Mussina vs. Tejeda. Briefly: The media is trying to make an issue of Mussina's statements re: Clemens's age. I think Mussina performs a valuable service because it's a good idea to reduce expectations in this situation. The best way to reduce expectations and pressure on Clemens is to win 75%-80% of the time between now and June 1.
Posted by: Patrick
Pavano will be getting a fourth opinion on his elbow.

Pavano said that he has been told by three doctors that his elbow has damage that could require Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. The Yankees have requested that Pavano fly to Los Angeles to meet with Dr. Lewis Yocum, the team physician for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for yet another review of his situation.

Soon, they'll have more opinions than we have bloggers.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Wang was introduced as the spokesperson for the 2009 World Games on Monday at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York City.

The games will be hosted by the southern port city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Wang is a baseball hero in Taiwan -- where he was born -- and his role for the games will be promotion and advertising, said executive vice president of marketing Nova Lanktree.
Posted by: Patrick
Yesterday evening, it was announced that Torre and Proctor had been suspended. Torre got 1 game, which he served last night, allowing Donnie to manage the game. Proctor got 4 games and he has appealed.

"Baseball typically does three games," Cashman said. "He has the appeals process, and it seems steep. He'll go through it with his representatives and have their day in court."
Posted by: Seamus
At you can take a look at the screenshot that screwed the Yankees last night. That "stolen base" by Willie Bloomquist eventually led to the tying run, costing Matt DeSalvo a victory in his Major League debut. Adrian Beltre broke the tie with a solo home run off Rivera in the 9th. Just for the record, Beltre would not have come up to bat had Bloomquist been called out at 2nd.

DeSalvo was excellent in his debut. After allowing a run on two hits in the first, he settled down, allowing only one hit in the next six. He finished the game with a line of one run on three hits in seven innings. He gave us probably the third best start of the season by a Yankee, after Wang's and Hughes' last starts.

The bullpen got only two innings of work and they weren't too bad. Bloomquist came around in the 8th to tie the game at 2 on a bloop single by Kenji Johjima. And while Mariano might be the media's 2007 version of last year's A-Rod, he threw one bad pitch.

The lineup for once didn't really help matters for the Yankees last night. Jeter, Damon and Mientkiewicz each had multi-hit games, but Bobby Abreu left the bases loaded in the 5th and as a team they left 10 runners on base.

Tonight the Yankees will send Andy Pettite to the mound to face the Rangers' Mike Wood in the opener of a three-game set. Game starts at 7 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick

Igawa was optioned to Class-A Tampa, keeping right-hander Darrell Rasner in the big leagues after he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings Sunday in a victory over the Seattle Mariners. New York had planned to send Rasner right back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after his start, but changed course on Monday. ...

"There's some things he's got to fix, mechanically, we believe," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's got major league ability, we have no doubt about that. We've seen it in three games. But we haven't seen it consistently."

05/07: Minors Notes

Posted by: James
Nate Silver over at Baseball Prospectus put up the PECOTA 100 the other day. It's a very interesting list and a good read, especially the parts about the top 50 players under 25 and the organizational reports (the Yankees came in second in true prospects).

Also, in the Prospectus Matchups, Jim Baker points out something about A-Rod that I didn't realize:

Everywhere Alex Rodriguez has played, hes racked up the best seasons in the history of those franchises. First, it was Seattle where he posted VORP figures of 111.8 in 1996 (highest mark in Mariners history) and 102.2 in 2000 (second). Then, it was on to Texas where he played three seasons and, not coincidently, posted the three highest VORPs in franchise history: 103.7 in 2001 (tops), 88.4 in 2003 (second), and 86.8 in 2002 (third).
Since 1960, Rodriguez has already posted the third-best Yankee VORP ever, as his 91.0 in 2005 ranks behind just Derek Jeters 108.7 in 1999 (wow - what a year that was for Jeter...and 6th in the MVP voting - what a sham) and Mickey Mantles 97.8 in 1961. ... If he plays as well as he did in 2005 from here on out (about 15 points of VORP per month) he can take down Mantle, but not Jeter. Hes going to need to play just a little bit better than that the rest of the way to do it. If he can manage to pull it off, that would make for a pretty heady legacy: the best seasons for three different franchises.

Oh, and just in case you haven't heard about it from Mighty Mike A., the Joba has returned. He did pretty well too, going 4 innings at High-A Tampa and giving up one unearned run (5 Ks, 0 BB, 4-3 GB-FB). Jose Tabata's done a nice job today so far as well, going 3-for-4 with a double and playing the field for the first time in a little while.

Tyler Clippard and Alan Horne had themselves nice nights as well. Clippard went 7 innings in a win against Pawtucket (1 ER, 5 hits. 3 BB and 9 Ks, 99 pitches, 64 strikes, 5-6 GB-FB) while Horne also went 7 strong (3 runs, 2 earned, 6 hits, 0 BB and 8 Ks, 9-4 GB-FB) but took the loss against Portland. Also, Eric Duncan isn't tearing the cover off the ball in AAA but he isn't getting schooled either (.254/.363/.433/.795). Last year, he put up a .209/.269/.255/.524 in an injury plagued stint at AAA so he's either adjusting or he's just healthier this time around (or both). Now, I know that the average and the power aren't impressive but the plate discipline is. He had a .485 SLG percentage at AA Trenton last year so if he can start showing that same power stroke and combine it with the batting eye he's shown so far...that would be a decent player, no? A 22 year old in AAA hitting .265/.375/.450+ wouldn't be something to drool over but it wouldn't be a bust either. He certainly has work to do when it comes to facing lefties (.083/.200/.333) but in my mind, there's still some good potential there. Still, I'm not the prospect guru so I'll gladly defer to Mike A., Fabian or EJ for their thoughts on the kid when they get around to it.
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 James by the score of 6-3. The YB on YB violence must stop! My hitters had 45 runs and 45 RBIs and hit an incredible .367 (James was right behind at .338). All 3 categories were mine with James managing home runs and stolen bases. Prince Fielder was my man offensively, hitting .440 with 8 runs, 4 home runs and 12 RBI. Jorge Posada hit .500 for the week while Carlos Lee hit .524. For James, Todd Helton led the way, with 6 runs, 1 homer, 7 RBI and a .409 average. On the pitching side, we only managed 1 win a piece - his coming from Jake Peavy and mine coming from Justin Verlander. Peavy had an ERA of 1.93, WHIP of 0.79 and 20 K's. I took the save category 7-5 thanks to 3 saves from Huston Street and 2 each from Mo and Joe Borowski. On James side, Billy Wagner and Bobby Jenks each had 2 with Jose Valverde adding 1.

Seamus pulled off a slim victory over EJ (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes), 5-4. Home runs were decided by 1, ERA was decided by 6 points and WHIP was decided by 8 while saves ended in a tie at 5. Run production wasn't particularly impressive in this match was Seamus' team scored 33 while driving in 23 and EJ's team scored 20 while driving in 33. Mark Teixeira was probably the best guy on EJ's offense with a .346 average, 5 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBIs (although Derekk Lee did hit .500 with 3 runs, 1 home run and 5 RBI). Former Yankee Gary Sheffield led Seamus' offense by turning in a .333 average with 6 runs, 3 home runs, 7 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Both pitching staffs were good, but EJ's was a bit better, thanks to 6 wins (Blanton, Hughes, Beckett, Schilling Bonderman and Santana), 67 K's (14 from Schilling, 10 from Blanton) and a 1.17 WHIP. J.J. Putz had 3 saves for EJ's side while Todd Jones had a 4 save week for Seamus.

Top 3 teams in the league:

1. Mike (River Ave. Blues) (33-16-1)
2. EJ (27-20-3)
3. Ben (River Ave. Blues) (26-22-2)

This Week

James (T4th, 23-24-3) vs. Ben (3rd, 26-22-2).

Patrick (8th, 20-26-4) vs. EJ (2nd, 27-20-3).

Seamus (9th, 21-27-2) vs. Aziz (Pride of the Yankees) (10th, 21-29-0).
Posted by: Patrick
From the press conference, which you can watch on

They asked me about the decision. I said it's not real difficult because I'm playing for a manager that I love to play for. ... Joe is a very special man, let alone manager. To have the opportunity to come back and play with one of the clutch hitters that I've ever known in Derek Jeter and have an opportunity to hand the ball to the best reliever in baseball - I think I can continue on with the list

The Yankees did quite a job keeping this one under wraps. Cashman and Torre have known since Friday, or around Friday, apparently, but had told few. Cashman himself said that he was surprised that they were able to pull it off. Clemens kept it from Pettitte, Torre kept it from his wife (until Saturday night).

Peter Abraham reports that Clemens will have the same traveling privileges he had last year:

The Yankees also granted Clemens the right to set his own schedule, a perk he enjoyed in Houston. Clemens will be allowed to skip road trips when he is not scheduled to pitch.

Torre said the senior players on the roster approved of that privilege. With Randy Johnson no longer a Yankee, there was nobody who would object.

I don't feel great about this, but if the senior players approved it, I don't see it being a problem and that's the end of it. The deal will cost us about $18.5 million and that after the stadium was clear yesterday, he went out and worked out in the bullpen.

Michael Geffner has a list of various noteworthy details relating to the deal and event as does Peter Abraham and Mike. From Geffner:

In the midst of negotiating with Randy Hendricks, Cashman freaked out when Hendricks returned one message saying he was in Fenway Park at the moment.

Everyone's happy to have him back:

"Everyone's excited," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "Rocket's stuff is still good. For the last few years, he's been just as good as ever. He's one of those rare players who gets better with age. But you know, Rocket works hard. He goes out there. He knows how to pitch." ...

"He's going to help us out," Damon said. "Hopefully, he can get here soon and we can move on his career in wins and strikeouts and everything. The guy is a dominant pitcher, and it's going to be great for our ballclub."

"It's exciting when you get a notice like that," said right fielder Bobby Abreu. "[He's] one of the best pitchers in the game, and you have him on your team. You get excited. It makes you feel happy."

Finally, check out the interview with Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling right after he announced it (via Steve).
Posted by: David
The Yankees shutout the Mariners 5-0 on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. And to top off the day, during the seventh inning stretch Roger "The Rocket" Clemens made an announcement from the owners box that he would be rejoining the Yankees this season.

It's being reported that he signed a one year $28 million contract (prorated) and is expected to be pitching by the end of May or beginning of June.

The Yankees pitched Darrell Rasner today and he pitched great through 5 2/3 innings, not giving up any runs. The Yankees scratched for two runs off of Jarrod Washburn on RBI singles from Jeter and Abreu and added three more runs later with the help of shoddy fielding from left fielder Raul Ibanez who lost two fly balls in the sun.

The game also saw a bench clearing when after Josh Phelps was hit, and both teams were warned, Scott Proctor threw behind Yuniesky Betancourt and was ejected. Phelps had earlier bolled over Mariner catcher Kenji Johjima on a play at the plate when he didn't even have the ball.

The Yankees used four additional relievers and cruised to the victory. During the seventh inning stretch, Clemens made his announcement and the Yankees had a post game press conference with him, his agent Randy Hendricks and general manager Brian Cashman.

Tomorrow the Yankees bring up Matt DeSalvo to pitch the final game of this four game wrap around series.
Posted by: Seamus
Kinda couldn't believe the way it happened myself, but Roger Clemens himself announced from a booth in the Stadium that he will be returning to the Yankees this year. We'll bring the details along as we get them.

Anybody else completely ecstatic?
Posted by: Patrick
From WikiPedia:

The Meikyukai (–¼‹…‰ï, "association of great players") is one of the two Japanese baseball halls of fame. Players are automatically inducted if they reach a career total of 2000 hits, 200 wins, or 250 saves in the Japanese professional leagues, or the same number playing in Japan and the American major leagues.

One more hit gets Matsui in.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
Ken Rosenthal in a video at says that the Yankees have inquired about Paul Byrd. He also mentions that Jon Lieber or Freddy Garcia from the Phillies could be available if Flash Gordan comes back healthy and the Phillies can get another arm for the pen.

Via Dan Benton.
Posted by: Jason
Welcome to a liveblog of today's afternoon tilt between the Yankees and Mariners:

I promise not to hammer McCarver and Buck too much. The Yankees lineup, courtesy of The LoHud Yankees Blog:

Cabrera CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi DH
Matsui LF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Mientkiewicz 1B
Wang RHP

Top of the first:
Ichiro grounds out to Cano on the first pitch...way to begin the game.
Bloomquist grounds out to Alex.
Wang good velocity...93 on the sink
Ibanez long fly ball to Melky who has no problem with it.
I'm saying a prayer for Wang's fingernail.

Bottom first:
The guy from the Lost Boys is announcing the Yankees lineup on Fox.
Melky hits a long fly ball to Ichiro in CF.
BTW, Jeff Weaver's the Mariners' pitcher, I won't even mention 2003.
Jetes drives a single to center.
Bobby hits in to a double play...he's looked better at the plate in the last 2 games.

Top second:
Wang K's Sexson
Broussard flies to left center, Melky's there.
Brendan Donnelly's favorite guy, Jose Guillen, K's to end the half inning.

Bottom second:
Alex grounds out to Bloomquist at 3rd.
G'bombi draws a walk, shocking I know
Matsui flies to right center, Ichiro grabs it
Jorge hits a bullet off the wall in right, a double, Jason to 3rd.
Robinson, who has assumed the unclaimed mantle from Soriano as the Yankee who swings at everything, K's to end the inning.

Top third:
Johjima weakly grounds out to Wang.
Betancourt: Routine fly ball to Melky.
Alex just made a great defensive play on a ground ball to his right. Wang is cruising.

Bottom third:
Dangerous Doug Mientkiewicz smokes a single to right.
Melky's ground ball handcuffs 1b Broussard and Melky is SAFE!!!
It looks like Melky might not have touched the bag, but he's still safe.
Jeter bunts, and Weaver's throw draws Bloomquist off the bag at third, and everyone is safe.
Bobby gets a sac fly to center, 1-0 Yankees.
Then Melky tries to take third, overslides the bag, and he's out...not a heads-up move to say the least.
Alex hits a dribbler, C Johjima to 1b Broussard.

Bases loaded with 0 outs, Abreu up and the Yankees only get 1 run? Not good.

Top fourth:
Ichiro hits a ground ball, it hits Wang, he throws Ichiro out. Oh no, here comes Joe and the training staff...Wang is OK, put the prayer beads/voodoo shrines away.
Bloomquist routine grounder to Jetes...Wang's fine.
Ibanez K's...Wang has thrown 47 pitches through 4 innings...he's dominating today.

Bottom fourth:
Giambi pops out
Matsui grounds out...he was reaching.
Posada K's looking

Top fifth:
Sexson pop fly to Cabrera
Interview with Joe Torre:
(Broussard grounds to Minky)
Joe says nothing earth-shaking...not surprising
Guillen grounds to Cano...Wang is perfect through 5.

Bottom fifth:
Cano hits a laser beam right at Ichiro
Dangerous Doug gets a line drive single to center...Doug is 2 for 2!!!
Cabrera hits a laser beam at RF Guillen...unlucky to say the least, that was crushed.
Jetes, with a weak ground ball to second base.

Top 6th
Johjima pops to Minky in foul ground
Betancourt grounds to Doug who flips to Wang. 2 out.
Alex charges a Lopez ground ball and guns him at first...Wang is still perfect!!!

Bottom 6th:
Bobby bunts for a base hit...they don't say how, they say how many.
Alex with a ground ball single, Bobby hits the gas and takes third!! no outs!!
Jason 4 pitch walk...
Come on Matsui-san!!!
And a hit by pitch!! 2-0 Yankees!!
Posada, a base hit!!! 3-0 Yankees!!
Cano K's swinging on a bad pitch
Minky hits into a force at home, 2 outs, bases still loaded.
Melky draws a walk!! 4-0 home team!!
Jetes laces one into left!! 6-0 Yankees!!
SEA manager Hargrove hooks Weaver...
I am lighting a cigar, this is enjoyable...
Abreu faces RHP Sean White, Bobby lines out to Ichiro.
GREAT inning.

Top 7th
Ichiro flies out to Matsui, a great running catch!!
Bloomquist grounder to Jeter...everyone now realizes the perfect game is a possibility.
Wang comes back from 3-0 to K Ibanez!!! Perfect through 7!!!!

Bottom 7th: Please bear with me, it's Derby post time!!!
Kentucky Derby Bonus: Street Sense's jockey ran the perfect race, waiting on Hard Spun's flank until the 4th turn, and then exploding to the front to take the roses in the back stretch!!

Back to the game:

Top 8:
Sexson grounded out to Wang.
Broussard homered to right, the perfect game is over, but Wang is still the man.
Guillen singled to left
and Johjima grounded into double play...Bravo Chien Ming Wang!!!

Bottom 8:
Melky with a sharp single up the middle.
Fox just showed Carl Pavano...please don't do that again.
Jetes rips a pitch into the outfield, first and second
Shockingly, Buck and McCarver have not been that bad.
Bobby pops to Ichiro, Cabrera tags to third. One out.
Cairo walks, bases loaded
Josh Phelps breaks his bat with a soft grounder, 8-1 Yankees.
Matsui grounds out to second.

Top 9
Bruney had a routine 9th, retiring Betancourt, Lopez and Ichiro...8-1 Yankees final.

Darrell Rasner is on the mound tomorrow...The team has won 4 of its last 5. Let's go Yankees.
Posted by: David
The Yankees jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, but starter Kei Igawa and a host of relievers couldn't hold it and the Bombers eventually lost 15-11.

The long ball helped Seattle get back into the game. Homers from Johjima, Beltre and Lopez tied the game at six. The Yankees regained the lead briefly due to a A-Rod two run double but then Igawa imploded and bullpen put kerosene on the fire as the Mariners scored eight runs in the fifth to take a 14-8 lead. They would add another run later and the Yankees pulled to within four on a Johnny Damon three run homer.

In the fifth, Igawa got shelled and Torre replaced him with Colter Bean. Bean was extremely wild and couldn't come close to the plate. When he took something off his pitches to try to get it over he simply got bombed. He was replaced by Vizcaino and the bloodbath continued.

Mike Myers took one for the team and pitched four innings in relief to save a tired and overused bullpen.

The Yankees actually brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after the first two men walked, closer J.J. Putz was brought in and Giambi delievered a pinch hit single to load the bases. Putz was then able to retire the next two batters without a run scoring.

Wang takes the hill today in a late afternoon start and will be looking for his first win of the season.
Posted by: Patrick
Today marks two years of

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank David, James, Jason and Seamus for their support, contributions, opinions and humor. I'd also like to thank all of our regular visitors and everyone who has been supportive of us. Thank you.
Posted by: Patrick
Holy mackeral. I definitely double taked that line in the box score. 4 innings from Myers in tonight's slugfest. And he was actually the best pitcher of the game. Yes, this was the longest performance of his career (the previous record was 2 and 1/3, apparently).
Posted by: Patrick
Now, I'm a big fan of Ask A Ninja, but watching this video makes me question his baseball knowledge. Watch it below and you'll see why.

05/04: One Good Move

Posted by: James
Regardless of what you might think of Brian Cashman's moves this offseason, I saw this story and was glad of at least one move he made. I doubt there are many (/any) fans who are missing Jaret Wright.

Wright, 31, has recurring right shoulder soreness. He was on the DL from April 11-28 with the same ailment and was activated Sunday, allowing three runs, four hits and three walks in three innings of a loss at Cleveland.
The Orioles gave no timetable for Wright's return. When he first went on the DL this season, Wright said the pain he felt in his shoulder was not unlike what he felt in 2005, when he sat out half the season.

Yes, I know that the Yankees are paying $4 million to see him pitch for another team but that's a move I would make any day of the week. Igawa and Wright on this team? I think the bullpen would revolt. I'm just surprised we got a capable young reliever for the guy.

Update: As I was thinking about Wright and watching tonight's debacle, I got to thinking, maybe Cashman just replaced Wright with a left-handed version of the same? He sure reminded me of Jaret tonight.
Posted by: Jason
I'd like to officially notify the rest of the blogosphere that now controls any and all references to artillery/naval barrages, et al when and if Matt De "Salvo" pitches well.

This goes for the NY Post as well: Any variations on the "Matt's Salvo Sinks Seattle" headline must be approved in advance...
Posted by: James
Well, what kind of game would it be if a Yankee didn't get taken out due to a leg injury? Don't panic - Jason Giambi did get taken out of the game but it was due to leg cramps (he had the same issue in the first game when trying to score from second on a double) and reports are that he's fine.

The big story for Yankees fans in this game is that Moose started his first game since April 11th. He was not only effective but very efficient. On the pregame, it was mentioned that Mussina was on a 75-pitch limit but he made them count. He went five full innings and only threw 64 pitches, 49 for strikes (I hope the rest of the Yankees starters were taking notes). Still, it was mentioned that he was tiring at around the 60 pitch mark so it will definitely be a while until we have a full strength Moose. However, if he can keep spotting his pitches like he did today, I'm sure that the team will take what they can get.

The Yankees started the scoring in the second when Doug Mientkeiwicz hit a two-run home run (yes, I was amazed too - give that man the Silver Slugger). In the seventh, Hideki Matsui doubled and came around to score on a wild pitch for the third run. The Yanks got their fourth run when Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a RBI single, scoring Jorge Posada.
Posted by: Patrick
Don't let Andy's 1-1 record (even after this game) fool you. He's been good. His starts so far (including today): 4 IP, 2 ER; 6 IP, 0 ER; 7 IP, 1 ER; 6.1 IP, 2 ER; 4.2 IP, 5 ER; 6 IP, 2 ER. And there were the two scoreless, 1 IP relief appearances, of course. The only win he got was when he didn't allow an ER at all. But, he's been giving the Yankees the best performance of any Yankees starter and his record just doesn't reflect it. It's good to have him back.

Before the game, Phil Hughes was put on the DL with Chris Britton being promoted.

Anyway, like I said, he went 6 today, allowing 2 ER. When he came out, he had the lead. In the 2nd, Matsui grounded into a fielder's choice that allowed Alex to score. In the 4th, Giambi hit a solo shot (don't look now, but he's hitting .323) and then, in the 5th, Damon sacrificed Melky in to give us a 3-1 lead. Melky tripled right before him to set it up. Pettitte gave one back at the bottom of the frame.

Luis Vizcaino came in to relieve Pettitte and, after getting one out, Jerry Hairston, Jr. took him yard. And, I looked it up, this was actually the first home run Hairston, Jr. has hit since July 15, 2005. He played in 160 games without hitting one... until today. He managed to get through the inning (despite a Teixeira double) with just that run allowed. The game was tied at 3, so no win for Pettitte. Vizcaino would end up with the win himself as the Yankees came back in the 8th to score their 4th run of the day.

It was Matsui driving in Jeter for his second run of the day. Giambi was out at the plate trying to get us another. Kyle Farnsworth relieved Vizcaino and pitched a scoreless 8th, bringing his ERA down to 5.23. Mo came in and finished them off in order for his 2nd save of the season - his ERA is 9.35.

Jeter extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Giambi (2 for 3 with the homer) and Matsui (2 for 4, 2 RBI) were the leaders on offense.

Mike Mussina (welcome back!) will pitch the nightcap against Robinson Tejeda.
Posted by: Patrick
Our next interview is with Mark Feinsand of Blogging the Bombers.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

Spending time with my family. I have a two year old son who keeps me plenty busy. During football season, I can also be found glued to the USC or Redskins games on weekends. Those are the only two teams left that still get me going as a passionate fan.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

This is my second year as a blogger. I did the entire 2006 season on as part of my job at and have now continued my blogging work at the Daily News’ Blogging the Bombers.

How did you end up at

I was working at Fox in 2000 when they announced they were moving the entire operation to Los Angeles. At the same time, a friend of mine who was in on the ground floor at told me they were looking for site editors for the new team sites, so I applied. The job wasn’t completely defined at first; it was part webmaster, part beat writer. I didn’t have much experience as either, but they took a chance on me.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Dom Amore over at has this:

The Pavano news is bad. He had been throwing on the side, and got up on the mound on Sunday, but though the team kept saying he was getting better, he didn't seem so optimistic. He is going to see Dr. James Andrews in Alabama and may, in fact, need Tommy John surgery, which would finish him for this season and probably next season,too, possibly ending is career.

"It's getting ridiculous, the team needs me," Pavano said. "It's frustrating for all of us."

The thing about this is it's not like it even matters. I mean, I feel sorry for the guy. I know we paid him a ton, I know he's made some mistakes, but anyone who's played baseball and loves the game knows that when your time is up, if it comes to that for him, it's a sad time.

But, as Yankees fans, I think we're all resigned to not having Pavano. We've been without him for most of the time he's been here. I mean, it'd sure be nice to have him pitching decent. Not like he was the year before we signed him, but decent. But, we know better than to assume that at this point. So, I don't see this getting more than a "ho hum" from most Yankees fans. We've got bigger fish to fry.
Posted by: James
The young ones, at least. Two of the more prominent ones were dealing tonight.

Tyler Clippard had his second straight strong game, going 7 innings giving up 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 11. Hmmm, maybe his transition to AAA pitching will take a lot less time than his transition from A to AA.

Speaking of transitions, Ian Kennedy is starting to show that he'll probably be promoted soon. For those who don't know, Ian's a 22 year old starter with 3 strong seasons of college ball at USC as a pedigree. He's too advanced for most of the hitters in A ball so perhaps AA will pose more of a challenge. Though the question of who he would replace in the Trenton rotation would be an interesting one (especially if Steven Jackson continues to get hammered at AAA).
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees have fired Director of Performance Enhancement (who picked that title...) Marty Miller.
Posted by: Patrick
Updating a previous story, from the official site:

... Frank Torre, the older brother of Joe Torre, is recovering in a New York hospital after undergoing kidney transplant surgery. The organ was donated by his daughter.

"Frank got through his surgery -- that's step one," Torre said. "My sister called me at 3 o'clock New York time and said his surgery just ended. The doctor went in and told them that the kidney seemed to start functioning right away. He's in recovery."

Joe Torre expects his brother to be out of the hospital in a week to 10 days.

"His daughter is doing well," Torre said. "Hopefully, it improves that way."
Posted by: Jason
For his second major league start, Phil Hughes faced a dangerous Texas lineup that is currently second in the American League in home runs (30). Most importantly, his start began a crucial May stretch for the Yankees in which they have the opportunity to climb back in to the division race.

If he felt any pressure, he didn't show it. His demeanor on the mound was stoic. He fits in perfectly to the Yankees' culture of professionalism. Oh, right, the pitching: A 90-94mph well-controlled fastball, straight changeup (I thought he was still working on the change?) and a silly curveball. Silly, that is, to watch Texas batters harmlessly flail away at it.

Hughes was masterful, the embodiment of Jim Kaat's maxim: "Show me inside, outside, up, down and a 10 mph change of speed, and I'll show you a 20 game winner." Every Rangers hitter was guessing, and poorly. You probably remember Phil's K (looking) of 1B Teixeira with that 80 mph pitch (a change, I think) that started in and tailed back to the inside corner. The look on Teixeira's face was a preview for the rest of the AL.

Unfortunately, the "hamstring monster" that has stalked the Yankees this year decided to bite the young pitcher in the 7th. According the latest, he's out 4-6 weeks. Until mid-June, we will console ourselves with memories of tonight's evidence: Phil Hughes is for real.

The offense? Much healthier, thanks to Kameron Loe's non-sinking sinker. The game was decided in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th with multiple Yankees in on the action. Alex, Jorge and Robinson combined for 10 hits. Melky and Hideki had key early RBIs.

I don't think I mentioned that the Yankees quickly gained one game in the standings after some rookie heroics from Travis Buck at Fenway Park last evening...Does Billy Beane actually require players to have a wild haircut and facial hair to play for Oakland?

It's fantastic to see Bobby Murcer in the YES booth. Welcome back.

Wednesday night, it's "The Lefty" against Robinson Tejeda.
Posted by: James
That's right, Mighty Matt DeSalvo put up another 5 and two-thirds of shut-out ball tonight. He only gave up 2 hits but keeps showing control issues, racking up 5 walks and 5 strikeouts. I wish the guy nothing but the best after the nightmare that was his 2006 season. (If Hughes is out for a few starts (and I'm praying that's all that it is), I'm thinking that DeSalvo makes Hughes' start.)

Oh, and there's a kid named Hughes who had been pitching a no-hitter through 6 and a third innings down in Texas. He had thrown 83 pitches (the rest is moot) already but he's showing no signs of fatigue just yet...but it'll be interesting to see long they let him go.

UPDATE: INJURY! They just took him out. Hughes threw a pitch to Texiera and from the sounds of it, he tweaked something in his leg. No word on severity yet. That sound you just heard - the collective gasp of all of Yankee fandom. If this team didn't have bad luck, it would have no luck.

05/01: 2005 vs. 2007

Posted by: James
I've seen (and heard) a lot of fans mentioning how the Yankees have been in bigger holes than they are in this year. Most of those people are of course referring to 2005 when the Yankees started the season with a very illustrious 11-19 record.

At this point (after 23 games), the two seasons line up nicely. The Yanks currently stand at 9-14 and 6.5 games back of the division leading Red Sox (131 RS, 125 RA, 12-11 Expected Wins and Losses) . In 2005, the Yankees were 9-14 and 6.5 games behind the division leading Orioles (119 RS, 126 RA, 11-12 ExW&L).

Still, here's one big difference between 2005 and this season. As bad as the Yankees were that year, the starting pitchers were still giving the team innings. Courtesy of Baseball Musings, here's the 2005 line: 7-11, 140 IP, 175 Hits, 37 BBs and 106 Ks with 92 RA (78 Earned). Still, while the ERA is bloated, the peripherals weren't hideous: 5.01 ERA, .389 winning percentage, 6.6 Ks per 9, 2.4 BB per 9, 1.29 HR per 9 and a 2.76 K/BB. Comparatively, the 2006 line over the same number of starts is quite a bit worse: 4-8, 109 IP, 137 Hits, 42 BBs and 60 Ks with 80 RA (72 Earned). The peripherals are pretty scary too: 5.94 ERA, .333 winning percentage, 5.0 Ks per 9, 3.5 BB per 9, 1.57 HR per 9 (thanks Chase) and a 1.43 K/BB. Technically, since Karstens started the game where he broke his leg, Jeff's numbers are in these totals, not Kei's.

I guess with the amount of unproven pitching the Yankees have thrown on the mound this year, these results shouldn't be surprising and looking at them now, you see why the Yanks are where they are right now. I mean, it's remarkably basic to say but to start climbing their way back up, the team has to get better, longer starts on a consistent basis (and a little bit of luck). In 2005, the Yankees had guys named Wang, Chacon and Small (see what I mean about luck) come in and log quality innings and provide some big time wins. This year, if this season is to turn around in time, it'll have to be guys named Wang, Mussina and Pavano (heh) doing the same thing as they get healthy and Hughes, et. al. filling the gaps when needed. In 5 months, we'll know whether they were up to the task.
Posted by: Patrick
This is my weekly recap of the performance of the teams in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League.

Last Week

Whenever you hit .236 with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP, it's never gonna end well. But, that's what I did against Dave's (Pride of the Yankees) team and they administered the beating of the week, crushing me by the score of 9-1. The only category I managed to win was stolen bases (5 to 3). My offensive leader would be Jeff Francoeur, who hot .444 with 6 runs, 2 home runs and 7 RBI. Second baseman Chase Utley was the man on Dave's side, hitting .444 with 7 runs, 2 homers, 10 RBI and a stolen base.

Dave swept the pitching side, including 6 wins (2 each for Dan Haren and Dontrelle Willis) and 10 saves (3 each for Armando Benitez and Al Reyes) and Akinori Otsuka had 1 of both. Haren was dominant in his 2 starts, striking out 12 with a 1.88 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. I managed 1 freaking win all week, thanks to Scott Kazmir. He was also the only pitcher on my staff (yes, including relief pitchers) who had an ERA under 3.00. Dave had 5 of those.

This week on Family Feud, James beat Seamus, 6-4. Offensively, neither team was that good as 34 runs, 6 homers, 27 RBIs, 6 SBs and a .271 average were the lead totals. James was led by Brian Roberts (6 runs, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, .357 AVG) and Chipper Jones (5 runs, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .354 AVG) while Seamus had Vernon Wells (9 runs, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB, .458 AVG). Seamus' offense was the better of the 2, winning 3 out of 5 categories.

But, the pitching side gave James the edge. His 6 saves, 33 K's, 2.21 ERA and 1.10 WHIP were all good enough to win the respective categories. His 1 win lost to Seamus' (the teams couldn't buy a win this week - our 3 teams had 4 total wins!), but that wasn't enough to catch James. Ted Lilly got James his 1 win with Jared Weaver and Todd Jones picking up W's for Seamus. Although winless, Jake Peavy was excellent fro James on the week, striking out 16 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. Jose Valverde was his saves leader with 3 while Bobby Jenks had 2 and Billy Wagner had 1 (Seamus' lone save came from Todd Jones).

Top 3 teams in the league:

1. Mike (River Ave. Blues) (28-11-1)
2. EJ (Pinstripe Potentials and Pending Pinstripes) (23-15-2)
3. Ben (River Ave. Blues) (21-18-1)

This Week

James (4th, 20-18-2) vs. Patrick (10th, 14-23-3)

Seamus (8th, 16-23-1) vs. EJ (2nd, 23-15-2).
Posted by: Jason recent memory for the Yankees Universe.

In the next 12 games the team plays SEA and TEX 6 times each. It is not inconceivable to imagine the team going 9-3 in that stretch. 9-3 in the next 12 lifts the team's record to 18-17 and effectively restarts the season.

Extract yourself from the media maelstrom about who to blame for the last 9 games.

It's time for what matters: Baseball.