We took a mulligan on the first 21 rounds…
It amazes me when I look down this list of names…
Carl Everett, OF
Robert Eenhoorn, SS
Tate Seefried, 1B
Kirt Ojala, LHP
Richard Lantrip, INF
Sam Militello, RHP
Jalal Leach, OF
Tim Rumer, LHP
Matthew Terrell, OF
Darren Hodges, RHP
Richard Hines, RHP
Ron Frazier, RHP
Jeff Motuzas, C
Bo Siberz, RHP
Michael Smith, RHP
Ricky Ledee, OF
Bryan Faw, RHP
Bob Deller, OF
Brent Gilbert, RHP
Kevin Jordan, 2B
Keith Seiler, LHP
These are the players that the Yankees selected prior to Andy Pettitte in the 1990 MLB June Amateur Draft. Of course, Carl Everett’s name stands out but he achieved major league success elsewhere. I always had high hopes for Ricky Ledee, but he didn’t live up to the hype. I also liked Sam Militello, but if memory serves correctly, his career was ultimately derailed by injuries. But still, none of these players came close to matching Pettitte’s career. It is startling how many pitchers the Yankess took in front of Andy, including three left-handed pitchers. It’s also amazing to think that when this group was drafted, my now 22 year old son was only 6 months old.
I realize that Andy is nearly 40 years old, but all things considered, physically, he looks much younger. Took away the strands of gray in his hair and he’d still look 30. I am not trying to say that he is going to throw like a 30 year old, but I don’t feel the drop-off from 2010 is going to be as severe as some suspect. I remember when pitchers like David Cone and Roger Clemens were getting older. They were great pitchers but it felt like they were getting old. Somehow, Andy doesn’t project that same feeling. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine may have his doubts about Andy’s comeback but I’d rather have Andy at the back end of the rotation than what Valentine will be putting out there. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
Fragile: Handle with care…
I am not quite sure what to think about the news of Joba Chamberlain’s latest injury. Apparently, he suffered an ankle injury playing with his son that required surgery today. Expected to be back by June, this will obviously delay his return. It seems like the Yankees gave up too early on former pitcher Alfredo Aceves after he suffered two successive injuries that kept him off the field. I don’t know the exact details but the release of Aceves surprised me at the time and of course he found success in Boston. I hope the Yankees do not prematurely lose confidence in Chamberlain. I am not comparing Chamberlain’s situation to Aceves other than to emphasize that I hope the organization takes a tolerant and patient approach to see if Chamberlain can still become the pitcher we thought he would be.
Not only are you out, you’re outta here!…
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi keep preaching patience with DH Raul Ibanez, but when it comes to that topic, my patience has worn incredibly thin. His lack of hits is troubling under any situation. Given the lineup also has a notoriously slow starting slugger at first base (Mark Teixeira), the Yankees can ill-afford multiple ice bats in April. The Yankees have the talent to acquire a younger, more productive hitter, and that’s definitely a road that I’d be exploring if I was the Yankees general manager. Of course, Brian Cashman is a better general manager that I’d ever be even in my own mind so I am sure this will play out exactly as Cash anticipates. Or at least I hope…
Peyton drinking the Orange Crush? At least he stayed with the horses…
Peyton Manning, the Denver Bronco. I am a bit surprised by his choice. Of course, it ended Tebow-mania in the Mile High City as the Broncos shipped #15 to the New York Jets. The Jets trade also surprised me given they already have Mark Sanchez. I had expected Tebow to go to Florida although I do recognize that the Jacksonville Jaguars are grooming Blaine Gabbert. It will be interesting to see how the Sanchez-Tebow situation plays out in New York. Maybe they can co-exist, but all things considered, this would be yet another surprise for me.
I thought it was a class gesture for former Broncos QB Frank Tripucka to relinquish his retired number 18 for Peyton to wear. Obviously, when Peyton retires, Tripucka will have to share the retired status with Manning. I’d like to see more retired players make those types of moves for certain players.
Think Ron Yary…
I am really worried the Minnesota Vikings are going to use the #3 pick on CB Mo Claiborne rather than stellar OT Matt Kalil. I know that Claiborne is a potential top 5 pick and the Vikings have a lousy secondary, but I just don’t see how you can pass up a franchise tackle who can protect Christian Ponder for years to come.
And then there was light…
Although we’ve been having summer like weather in Minnesota, it’s still hard to believe that the lights of Target Field will soon be illuminating downtown Minneapolis. As a downtown resident, I love the lights of the park which have been dark since last October. It will be fun to see them return in the near future. I only hope the Twins aren’t greeted with a heap of snow (which could happen in this part of the country). I am planning to attend my first 2012 game at Target Field in late April when the Boston Red Sox come to town. For three nights, I will be a Twins fan!
It was a great win by Freddy
Garcia on Saturday (six innings, two hits and no runs) in the Yankees’ 5-2
victory over the Texas Rangers. The
superlatives about Garcia poured in after the game including one comment that
compared Garcia to David Cone in terms of the latter pitcher’s ability to find
ways to win when he didn’t have his best stuff.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
I do not doubt Garcia’s
ability. I can recall many times over
the years when Garcia completely shut down the Yankees. It didn’t matter if he had been struggling at
the time or was fighting some ailment.
He always seemed to shine in the most difficult moments. My concern with Garcia is his ability to
sustain the effectiveness he showed yesterday.
There’s no doubt, in my mind, that we’ll see Kevin Millwood and/or
Carlos Silva in the rotation at some point.
I am not trying to be
pessimistic, but rather just a realist.
With Phil Hughes on the DL, it is not an automatic that he’ll regain his
velocity by simply receiving rest and treatment. A.J. Burnett showed that he is still
vulnerable after giving up two home runs in one inning against the Baltimore
Orioles last week after pitching so well in the prior six innings. We’ll have the opportunity to see what
Bartolo Colon can do, but my concern about him is not with his arm. His weight and ability to stay healthy are
the key issues.
It was disappointing to hear
that reliever Pedro Feliciano will need season-ending surgery. Given that lefty Damaso Marte is also on the
shelf, the Yankees will need to find another lefty to complement Boone
Logan. Unfortunately, the rest of the
league knows that and they’ll be looking for a King’s ransom in any potential
At this point in the season,
it’s nice to see the Yankees in first place with an 8-5 mark, while the Boston
Red Sox sit in last place at 3-10.
However, with just under 150 games still remaining, I would be very
foolish to think that the current standings will stay unchanged. The Red Sox will figure it out and they’ll be
an offensive force through the summer. I
am concerned that the key reason the Yankees have been winning is their home
run production (24 homers in 13 games).
Hopefully, they’ll begin to find other ways to win as the season
It bothers me that the
Boston Red Sox will avoid a luxury tax penalty by delaying the announcement of
Adrian Gonzalez‘s extension until this week.
Perhaps they did the same thing with Clay Buchholz, but the Gonzalez
signing was a foregone conclusion. It
was obvious that the Sox had reached an agreement with Gonzalez before the
start of the season. It was clear they
simply circumvented the system to avoid paying the additional tax.
To go a bit off topic, I am
excited about the upcoming NFL Draft despite the current lockout. I remain hopeful that the owners and players
will reach an agreement before the loss of any games. With the draft, I really hope the Minnesota
Vikings can find a quarterback. However,
their draft position at #12 is not ideal for their search for a franchise QB. The top tier QB’s, like Blaine Gabbert and
Cam Newton, will be gone and it will be too early to take somebody like Jake
Locker. It will be interesting to see
what the Vikings can do. The Vikings
chief rival, the Green Bay Packers, seem to have a knack for finding QB’s. They coaxed one great season out of Don
Majkowski. They traded for Brett Favre after
they missed out on the opportunity to draft Troy Aikman. They drafted Aaron Rodgers despite having
Favre and a few other highly touted former college QB’s on the roster. Hopefully, the Vikings can replicate the
Packers blue print to find their next great QB…
“I consider this position I am playing in as a bench role”…
These were the words of Yankees GM Brian Cashman on January 6th regarding the current Yankees outfield. Cashman is apparently looking for a right-handed bat to complement Brett Gardner in left. Let’s see if these words still hold true on, say, February 23rd. I guess we’ll check back at that time to see if Cashman held true to his words.
An intriguing option in a platoon situation is free agent outfielder Rocco Baldelli. Rocco has had medical issues the past few years and suffers from channelopathy, but in a limited role, he might be a viable option. He appeared in only 62 games last season for the Boston Red Sox, batting .253 with 7 home runs and 23 RBI’s. I don’t know what the future holds for Rocco, but if he can overcome his medical condition, he might thrive in a part-time position. I am sure the price tag would be enticing to a GM looking to keep the payroll under $200 million…
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
I am warming up to the idea of Reed Johnson as a possibility for a potential platoon, but as each passing day goes by and Johnny Damon remains a free agent, I am hopeful that his price tag falls far enough that he fits into Cashman’s budget. If the Yankees could get Damon to come back for one year, it would be an ideal situation and Johnny could test the free agent waters next fall.
It’s tough when you pull up a New York paper, and the leading Yankees story is the signing of pitcher Sergio Mitre to a one-year, $850,000 deal. Okay, I accept that the possibility that Mitre will be significantly improved since he’ll be further from his elbow ligament replacement surgery (July 2008). But to spotlight him in the New York tabloids is a bit much. I do not see Mitre as more than a bit player in 2010. Maybe he’ll prove to be the second coming of Aaron Small but who knows…
Sipkin/New York Daily News
Peter Abraham says that Chien-Ming Wang is ready to move on from the Yankees. I am still a bit perplexed why the Yankees didn’t try to give Wang one more chance. Maybe there’s a possibility that he could still return, but I would hate to see him experience a rebirth in Boston (not that they need another starter with that rotation). Actually, if it were me, I’d go to Seattle. The Mariners are definitely poised to make a run in what should be Ken Griffey, Jr.’s final year. The Mariners have made some great acquisitions this off-season. Sure, they lost Adrian Beltre, but they’ve acquired Cliff Lee, Casey Kotchman, and Chone Figgins. But like with Damon, I do hope that Wang finds his way back to the Bronx.
Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger
I was sorry to see David Cone leave the YES Network. There was always something very re-assuring about Coney as a player and as a broadcaster. I can’t say that I was pleased when he decided to go to Boston to pitch, but he is a class guy. Whatever the future holds for Coney, I hope that it’s what he wants to do.
Congratulations to pitcher Joba Chamberlain for being a winner of the Thurman Munson Award (which acknowledges excellence in competition and philanthropic work in the community). The award will be given on February 2nd. This is definitely a preferable off-season event over a DUI. I am glad to see Joba’s growth and maturity in a very positive direction.
Sports Illustrated, courtesy of Microsoft
My weekend football predictions:
Cincinnati Bengals 21, New York Jets 17
New England Patriots 31, Baltimore Ravens 20 (Okay, this is for my friend Julia!)
Arizona Cardinals 27, Green Bay Packers 17
Dallas Cowboys 33, Philadelphia Eagles 31
The only problem with my predictions is that it would bring the Dallas Cowboys to Minnesota to face the Vikings. This, of course, is the match-up that has haunted me for many years. On December 28, 1975, I was watching the Cowboys and Vikings in the NFC Divisional Play-offs. It appeared that the Vikings had the game in hand until Roger Staubach threw the unbelievable Hail Mary pass caught by Drew Pearson as Nate Wright fell to the ground. I remember exactly where I was, where I was standing, and my reaction. Fortunately, I’ve had the Yankees all these years to give me some “relief” from the disappointment…
When can we start talking about baseball?…
Let’s Go Yankees! 🙂
Starting the second half on the right foot…
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
Two games and two wins for the New York Yankees since the All-Star break. It is definitely the way to start the second half. With the two wins, the Yankees have closed the gap to two games behind AL East Leader Boston.
Friday night, the Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers, 5-3, at Yankee Stadium behind a 7th inning blast by Mark Teixeira.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
Although he only gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, A.J. Burnett was off his game with five walks and six hits. Nevertheless, he kept the Yankees in the game and Teixeira put the Yanks ahead with his first Yankee Stadium homer since June 12th. Burnett didn’t get the win, but I credit him for battling. After the game, he said that it felt like he had thrown 200 pitches (it was only 104).
Keivom/New York Daily News
With a three-run homer in rainstorm off Joel Zumaya, Teixeira rallied the Yanks from a 3-2 deficit and made a winner of Phil Hughes. Hughes, in contrast to Burnett, was nothing short of perfect. He has excelled as the set up guy for Mariano Rivera, and has made it very difficult for the Yanks to consider putting him in the rotation in 2010. Friday’s night performance was two innings with six strikeouts. That’s sick. He did give up three hits, but none scored. In fact, he hasn’t given up a run in 15 2/3 innings, and his ERA as a reliever is currently 0.89. The calls of ‘Joba to Pen’ seem to have died down as Hughes has exhibited his dominance. And, oh yeah, Mariano Rivera picked up his 24th save. The back-end of the Yankee bullpen is as good as it has been in many years.
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
Saturday, the Yankees continued their winning ways behind CC Sabathia. For the second game in a row, a timely 7th inning home run was key. This time, it was Alex Rodriguez who broke the scoreless tie with a solo homer off Detroit ace Justin Verlander.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
The Yanks added an insurance run on a RBI single by Melky Cabrera. It was a hit that normally would have been cleanly field by Tigers shortstop Adam Everett, but Nick Swisher, running from second to third, danced through the ball and it may have momentarily distracted Everett, allowing Cabrera to reach first with two outs and scoring Robinson Cano from third.
Former Yank Marcus Thames hit a solo shot in the top of the 8th off Alfredo Aceves, but that would be as close as Detroit could get. By the 9th, it was Mariano Rivera time and he retired the side for his 25th save.
While Boston beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night, they fell today, 6-2. The loss allowed the Yankees to close the gap to two games. Roy Halladay will be on the mound Sunday as the Jays attempt to win their first series against Boston in six tries. Good luck, Doc! The only thing we’d enjoy more than seeing you in pinstripes is a ‘W’ by your name in a box score for a game played at Fenway Park.
Has it really been ten years since David Cone threw his perfect game? Wow. That’s hard to believe. Coney was always one of my favorite Yankees because of his huge heart. It was hard to see him pitch for the Red Sox at the end of his career, but Cone was a huge part of the Yankees championship run in the late 90’s and his efforts will not be soon forgotten.
Simmons/New York Daily News
He may not win the championship, but I am very pleased to see Tom Watson atop the leader board at the British Open. Watson, a five-time winner of the British Open, last won in 1983. To put it in perspective, this was the Yankees lineup on July 17, 1983:
Bert Campaneris, 3B
Larry Milbourne, 2B
Dave Winfield, LF
Lou Piniella, RF
Don Baylor, DH
Steve Balboni, 1B
Rick Cerone, C
Jerry Mumphrey, CF
Andre Robertson, SS
The starting pitcher was Matt Keough. The Yankees won the game against the Texas Rangers that day, 8-6. Some guy named Don Mattingly subbed for Balboni at first late in the game…
Best of luck to Tom Watson, and hopefully he’ll become a six-time British Open champion tomorrow! It’s highly improbable but stranger things have happened…like the Red Sox winning World Series championships…
Speaking of the Red Sox, a friend was recently doing his best to “flush” the Red Sox dominance over the Yankees this season. I think it just might work!
Posted on YouTube by nsayer
Hey Julia, we only have to be three games better than you now! Perhaps the Yankees can give me first place for my birthday! J
This is my final blog for a week. I am moving cross country, so I’ll be unable to post any new blogs until the move is completed. So, I’ll leave you with this great YouTube post by purvis1031. Hey Julia, we’re coming for you (the Red Sox)! Four games at Yankee Stadium beginning on Thursday, August 6th…game on, my friend! This time it is you that will be wearing the pink NYY hat!
Posted on YouTube by Purvis1031
P.S. Is Mike Mussina really going to play in the Old-Timers Game? Okay, now I really feel old…
Ugh, not another Red Sox player!
Don’t we already have one of those? I think one is more than enough…
Unless your name is Jason Bay or Jon Lester, I am not interested in seeing you wear pinstripes. It was no fun watching David Wells and David Cone in Boston; conversely I do not need any repeat appearances of Mark Bellhorn or Mike Myers in New York.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Much to my chagrin, the Yankees acquired third baseman Eric Hinske from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hinske was batting .255 in 106 at-bats and had 1 HR and 11 RBI’s (hardly earth-shattering numbers). To Hinske’s defense, he did hit 20 home runs (with 60 RBI’s) for the 2008 American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays but he isn’t exactly the “supersub” I was hoping for. He was also a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Well, I guess sometimes having an ex-Red Sox player is not so bad…
Hinske can play both corner spots, providing relief for both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. I recognize the need for backup support at first since Nick Swisher is locked in at right field now that Xavier Nady is out for the season. Hinske can also play right and left field. The Yankees do not have the roster space to call up Shelley Duncan, who would have been limited to 1B/DH duty. With Hinske on board, the Yanks should be able to rest A-Rod more often.
To acquire Hinske, the Yankees gave up two minor leaguers, right-hander Casey Erickson and outfielder Eric Fryer. They had acquired Fryer in last year’s trade of pitcher Chase Wright to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Due to a flight delay from Pittsburgh, a roster decision might not be made until Wednesday, but Ramiro Pena will be optioned to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre to make room for Hinske. At this point, the move makes sense. Pena needs more playing time, and the Yankees needed some pop off the bench with the loss of Nady.
Hinske must be on one of those AL East circuits like Kevin Millar…don’t stop until you’ve played with every team in the division. He only needs to play for Baltimore to complete the circuit, whereas Millar just has to spend some time in pinstripes. Egads! Please, Brian Cashman, do not let that happen! We do not need any ‘Cowboy Up’ in the Bronx!
Somewhere in Boston, Julia is probably in hysterics. We acquire a Red Sox “has been” and Boston will most likely pursue a former beloved Yankee like Nick Johnson. It’s not fair. One of the days, the tide has to turn. The season has been way too easy on the illustrious Ranter from Boston…
In a move that should signal the Yanks to be cautious with Alex Rodriguez, the Red Sox placed third baseman Mike Lowell on the Disabled List. Lowell had fluid drained from his right hip on Monday, and had received an injection designed to relieve inflammation in the area previously operated on. The Red Sox decided not to take any chances and to give Lowell some added rest so that he’ll be ready for the second half of the season. Perhaps Lowell’s struggles are another reason that led to Hinske’s acquisition. I do wish Mike the best, and hope to see him back in the field shortly after the All-Star Break.
The Yankees also signed another third baseman from the independent leagues. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 3B Yurendell DeCaster’s contract was purchased by the Yankees, and he was assigned to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre. DeCaster is 29 and was leading the Northern League with 13 HR’s and 43 RBI’s, while batting .344. Sounds like Cash is still looking to catch lightening in a bottle…
Is there anything more temporary than being a good outfielder in Pittsburgh? The Pirates traded yet another quality outfielder in Nyjer Morgan to the Washington Nationals for OF Lastings Milledge and reliever Joel Hanrahan. The Nats also picked up left hander Sean Burnett. Will Milledge finally realize his potential in Pittsburgh? If so, how long before he is traded? At this rate, he is a future Yankee…