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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Good Article Regarding The A.L. MVP...


By Mike Vaccaro
November 22, 2006

MAYBE it's best that Derek Jeter get a preview of what's in store for him across the next 15 years. Maybe it's best that we get it on the record, from a sizable cross-section of the nation's baseball writers, exactly what his perception really is, what his national image really is.

This time, it was an MVP Award, one that he deserved, one that should have his name on it, one that was taken from him primarily because of the team he plays for and the city he plays in. The voters will tell you differently, but know this: If Derek Jeter had the season he had playing for the Minnesota Twins, and if Justin Morneau had the season he had playing for the Yankees, it would be Jeter who would be reserving space on his shelf for the MVP plaque.

But Jeter doesn't play for the Twins. He plays for the Yankees. He plays in New York City. He makes a lot of commercials, and he dates a lot of starlets, and he makes a lot of money, and if you think that doesn't count in the minds of the people who cast these votes, you're a greater believer in the purity of human nature than I am.

And here's the thing: This is only the warm-up. Just wait another 15 years or so, when it's time for the same assemblage of writers to size up Jeter's credentials as a Hall of Famer. Just wait, especially, when the arbiters of immortality decide whether Jeter's career merits the honor of a first-ballot selection, or whether they'll force him to endure a few years of consolation phone calls first.

Jeter has long been a source of endless speculation and endless fascination in the ongoing debate between we in New York who see him every day and the larger audience of Yankee-weary skeptics who've been convinced from day one that Jeter is solely a product of the New York hype machine.

Look, Morneau is more than a worthy candidate. Jeter may have outhit him by 23 points and had the better on-base percentage by 42 points, but the Twin had 20 more homers and 33 more RBIs, and his .559 slugging percentage dwarfed Jeter's .483. It isn't an outrage that Morneau won.

But this poll certainly is a commentary about the way Jeter lost. One voter, a shameless Chicago shill named Joe Cowley, actually listed Jeter sixth and then spent yesterday double-talking his explanation to anyone who would listen. Cowley didn't cost Jeter the MVP. No one voter robbed Jeter the way Ted Williams was robbed in 1947, when some long-forgotten Midwestern bum kept Williams off his ballot entirely and Williams wound up losing the vote to Joe DiMaggio by a single point.

Was Jeter hurt by the fact that, as an "intangibles" player and as a captain, that he failed to publicly support Alex Rodriguez during his most embattled year? It would be a shame if he were, but that's certainly possible. Was he hurt by the fact that, as an "intangibles" player, he was steamrolled by voters who always favor gaudy numbers? That's certainly possible, too.

What's hard to dispute is this: the overwhelming perception of the Yankees is that they are not a team that needs an "intangibles" guy, even if their lack of recent championships is a direct tie to a growing dearth of intangibles guys.

Alex Rodriguez won the MVP last year in what became a controversial duel with David Ortiz, but the truth is Rodriguez had MVP-level numbers that allowed voters to assuage their inherent anti-Yankee bents.

He was the best player having the best year. In the end, that mattered most.

Jeter didn't have those numbers. He'll never have those numbers. And it's not likely he's ever again going to have a year like this one when his singular presence in the Yankee lineup - during a year when the Yankees made the '06 football Giants look strong and robust and healthy by comparison - is what kept them from a freefall while half the batting order nursed injuries.

He should have won. He didn't. Now save your breath and wait, because in 15 years or so, you'll be hearing exactly the same arguments from exactly the same precincts. It's best to get used to it early. For Jeter and for his army of fans.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And The MVP Goes To...

Justin Morneau.
You have got to be kidding me. Justin Morneau is not even the most valuable player on his own team. That distinction belongs to Johan Santana and Joe Mauer.
This is absolutely disgusting. The anti-New York sentiment is getting completely ridiculous and out of control. When Ichiro won the Rookie of the Year after leaving Japan, no one said a word, and rightfully so- He absolutely deserved it. But when Hideki Matsui came over from Japan two seasons later and put up EASILY the best season of any MLB rookie, suddenly the writers decided that he wasn't "technically" a rookie because he'd played professional ball in Japan. HELLO, AND ICHIRO DIDN'T?!?! And Robbie Cano was robbed of the ROY last season as well, because the writers chose YET ANOTHER member of the Oakland A's to firmly solidify the rampant West Coast bias that exists in Major League Baseball.

Huston Street (Oakland Athletics) over Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)- Rookie of the Year (1st and 2nd Finishers)
Bartolo Colon (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) over Mariano Rivera (NYY)- Cy Young (1st and 2nd Place)
Vladimir Guerrero (Anaheim Angels) over Gary Sheffield (NYY)- MVP (1st and 2nd Place)
Angel Berroa (Kansas City Royals) (HAHAHA!) over Hideki Matsui (NYY)- R.O.Y. (1st and 2nd Place)

And just to further my point- Since 1996 (11 Award Seasons), you know how many players from the A.L. West won MVP Awards? 9. NINE! Disgusting. A-Rod (as a Yankee) and Morneau are the only ones not on the West Coast.
Derek Sanderson Jeter, to say you were robbed would be an understatement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Getting beaten by the Tigers in the first round of the playoffs was heartbreaking.

But when Tom Verducci interrupted the CNN Breaking News today and said there was a good chance that Cory Lidle was the pilot of the plane, it certainly put things in perspective.

God. This man was only 34 years old. He was a New York Yankee, who pitched just a few days ago in relief of Jaret Wright. I listened to him on WFAN maybe two days ago and saw pictures of him leaving Yankee Stadium on Monday. And now he's dead.

What a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and son, his twin brother, and the rest of his family and friends.

As much as pinstripes and championships are part of the legacy of the New York Yankees, sadly, tragedy and loss are too.

Rest in peace, Cory.

Cory Lidle
May 22, 1972-October 11, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Time To Pop The Corks...

...Because the New York Yankees are Division Champions once more! Congratulations, Bombers, it's been a difficult but rewarding season, and 9 division titles in a row is quite the accomplishment! Let's bring that trophy back where it belongs!
(Photos courtesy of

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Boston Massacre, Revisited (Composed After Sunday Night Baseball Between the Yanks and Sox)


Coming into tonight's game, the Red Sox had surrendered 39 runs to the Yankees, lost 3 games in a row and fell to 4.5 back in the division.

They had their savior and saint, Curt Schilling on the mound to be the stopper. The ace. To stop the bleeding (pardon the pun) and restore a sense of order and normalcy to Red Sox Nation. End the madness of the Boston Massacre, Revisited.

Alas, St. Schill could not. He pitched well enough for a win though. When he was forced out because of a high pitch count, things looked good for the Boys from Beantown. They had their phenomenal prodigy on the mound to close it out and beat the big, bad Yankees. They had Jonathan...........................................Papelbon. Savior of the Universe. The Mariano Rivera of Boston (haha, yeah right!). The be all and end all.

.....Or not. Papelbon blew the save, his 6th of the season, and the game was tied- Thank you Jason Giambi, Melky Cabrera, and Captain Jeter. The greatest closer of all time entered and got himself into a big jam. Bases loaded, only one out. But Mo showed the Fenway Faithful that ice water runs in those veins...That no matter how good your closer is, he will never equal the unsurpassed greatest of one Mr. Mariano Rivera. Papelbon? Second best closer in the big leagues, at least this season. But there's only one Superman.

And after Mo's escape-artist act in the 9th, Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada provided the final blows to bury the BoSox and break the hearts of an entire Nation. Big Papi made the last out and the Yankees prevailed in the biggest series of the season.

Four games, four wins. Come-from-behind victories. 47 runs in 37 innings. Turning around a 3 1/2 game deficit to a 5 1/2 game lead in only a month. Crushing defeats of epic proportions and historical significance. Tonight's 4:17 minute game may have been the most heartbreaking of them all.

How sweet it is.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I decided to spend the first game of the All Star break in a most dangerous way- At Fenway Park, in enemy territory, and decked out in green and yellow to show my support of the Oakland Athletics and my hatred and disdain for all things pertaining to Red Sox Nation.

And apparently, it worked. The Red Sox, who hadn't lost a game at home in a month, lost this game to Esteban Loaiza and the A's in the 11th inning. My first Fenway experience was an excellent and memorable one; I've been waiting to watch the Red Sox play in their home ballpark since I was a kid, so this was pretty awesome. I also think I might just have to move to Boston to help the Yankees- I was up there and the Red Sox lost three out of four to Oakland and the Yanks, of course, swept the defending World Champions at the Stadium to pull within .5 game of first place (*Of course, after yesterday's tough loss, the Yankees are now 1.5 games back).

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Mussina one of many All-Star snubs on our list

Michael Lazarus / Special to

As hard as it may be to fathom that a New York Yankee who's a five-time All-Star can be underrated, it's apparent that Mike Mussina has turned the trick -- at least when it comes to this year's All-Star selection process.

If there's one player who should feel completely snubbed, it's Mussina, the second-ranked pitcher in our rankings this week and a mainstay for most of the season.

Ranked among the top 14 pitchers in baseball in all six of our categories (including wins and ERA), Mussina wasn't only left off the original roster – he wasn't even one of the five players added for the ballot for the final spot.

Granted some pitchers – like Mark Redman, Scott Kazmir and Barry Zito – are their teams' only representative so it's understandable why they were selected. But compare the raw numbers of Mussina and another All-Star pitcher. (Stats through Tuesday night's games):

Mike Mussina: 9-3, 3.17 ERA, 116.1 IP, 104 SO, 22 BB, 1.04 WHIP
Mark Buehrle: 9-5, 3.86 ERA, 116.2 IP, 51 SO, 28 BB, 1.31 WHIP

Of course, Buehrle plays for the same team as the AL All-Star manager. Perhaps this is payback for all the Yankees who made the game when Joe Torre managed (remember Mike Stanton in 2001)?

  • The six statistics the rankings are based on:
ERA: The most common statistic to rate pitchers.
WHIP: Keeping batters from reaching base is of utmost importance.
Strikeouts/walk ratio: A big measuring stick for success.
Strikeouts/9 innings: Pitchers who strike out more batters tend to do better.
Opponents' slugging percentage: Limiting the home runs and extra-base hits.
Wins: Yes, wins aren't always "earned" but this is what the ultimate goal is

The 30 top pitchers in each category earn points (30 for first, 29 for second, and so on all the way down to 1 point for 30th place). Those with the most total points top our rankings.

Pitchers must have thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title (one inning per team games played) in every category except wins. Ties among wins are broken by number of losses. Rankings are through Tuesday night.

Rk Pitcher ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 SLG% Wins TOTAL
1. Johan Santana 28 30 29 27 21 14.5 149.5
2. Mike Mussina 20 28 26 19 22 17 132
3. Roy Halladay 23 27 25 NR 18 29.5 122.5
4. Pedro Martinez 9 29 23 30 27 NR 118
5. Curt Schilling 6 24 30 20 NR 27.5 107.5
6. Brandon Webb 29 20 28 NR 13 17 107
7. Jason Schmidt 30 23 NR 13 29 NR 95
8.Jeremy Bonderman 5 15 19 25 25 NR 89
9. Bronson Arroyo 27 21 14 1 14 11.5 88.5
10. Chris Young 21 26 1 21 19 NR 88

Next 10:

11. Jose Contreras (86)
12. Brad Penny (84)
13. Scott Kazmir (80.5)
14. John Lackey (79)
15. Justin Verlander (77.5)
16. Chris Carpenter (76)
17. Chris Capuano (74.5)
18. Jake Peavy (68)
19. Carlos Zambrano (6)
20. Aaron Harang (61.5).

Dropped out: Kenny Rogers (LW: 18).

*** Liriano is 2/3 of an inning away from taking over the No. 1 spot ***

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Subway Series: Yankee Stadium Edition

There’s nothing better than a good, clean, well-pitched ballgame, except a good, clean, well-pitched ballgame in which the Yankees shut down the opposition and hold them to one measly little hit, especially when the opposition are their crosstown rivals who have prematurely been touted as “the best team in New York.” The Mets, without question, are having an incredible season thus far. However, facing some of the “big boys” of the American League has exposed quite a few weaknesses like their pitching staff, primarily the number three, four, and five starters. I was not at all pleased to have the Mets coming in having been absolutely pounded in Boston and having lost three games in a row for the first time all season, but then I remembered Moose was starting and that the Yankees are probably all a little sick of hearing about how great the Mets are and looking for a little respect, especially considering the Yankees have ten consecutive division titles and have been playing playoff-worthy baseball for much longer than just a few months.

It was very nice to watch another Moose vs. El Duque duel like the one last season while Duque was with the White Sox. They’re both such finesse pitchers that can throw an incredible arsenal of pitches, in any count and from any angle. I’d rather watch these kinds of guys, with pinpoint control and the ability to change speeds as dramatically as they both do, than some wild flamethrower that gets the ball up there around 100 but gives up monster homeruns and walk the guys they don’t strikeout. The Yankees caught a really bad break tonight when Moose had to come out of the game in the fourth inning with a no-hitter because of the rain delay and they had to go to the much maligned bullpen, but those guys did an incredible job and hopefully this shut out will give them all a little much-needed confidence. Villone did a great job giving them a little length, Proctor was trusted with the meat of the Mets lineup and looked sharp, Farnsworth did NOT give up a hit and looked like last season’s dominant and imposing reliever, and Mariano, the REAL Sandman and the best closer of all time, was, well, Mo. The first inning Giambi homerun turned out to be all the Bombers needed, but Andy Phillips’(Whom I affectionately call George, FYI) basehit in the 4th was a huge insurance run.

Taking a look around the league, Joe Girardi and the Marlins did tonight what Willie Randolph and the Mets couldn’t do in three games: beat the Red Sox. The Mets Fenway fiasco is, luckily for them, in the rearview mirror. However, the D-Train was able to hold the streaking BoSox to two runs and finally stopped Boston’s 12-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory. It’s about time!

Oh, and one last thing, going back to the Mets and Yankees. Why is it that the Yankees, according to the media at least, are inconsistent and struggling this year (45-32) while the Mets (47-32) are sometimes called the “best team in baseball”? Take a look at the records, and keep in mind the Yankees play in a division that is infinitely tougher than any N.L. Division, period. You don’t have to knock the Mets, but let’s give the Yanks a bit of respect, huh? I’m getting kind of sick of the Yankee-bashing.

This afternoon's game will be a match-up of Randy Johnson and Steve Trachsel. Hopefully, the Big Unit can continue pitching as well as he has of late and the Yankees can take the series and give their fans some bragging rights.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Good News...

...I'm still alive and well for those of you who have been checking back to the site and wondering at my lack of updates. Basically, I've just been slacking off with the start of summer, but I plan on getting back into the site and following my beloved Yankees on here, so don't give up on me!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Here It Comes...Subway Series Starts This Weekend

New York Yankees vs.
New York Mets
Round 1, Shea Stadium
Randy Johnson (5-4, 5.13)
Jeremi Gonzalez (0-0, 5.40)
Game 1: The Yankees should have the advantage here, pitching-wise, but who knows how the Big Unit will respond following his recent string of less-than-impressive performances?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


NEW YORK -- Yogi Berra would have loved this one.

Following the theme of "It ain't over 'til it's over," the Yankees and Rangers engaged in a slugfest in the Bronx on Tuesday night, with New York emerging victorious by a 14-13 final.

Appropriately, it was the Yankees' catcher that provided the final blow, as Jorge Posada blasted a two-run walk-off home run against Rangers closer Akinori Otsuka with two outs in the ninth.

"I was just hoping it was out of the park so we wouldn't have to keep playing," Posada said. "I didn't want to play anymore. It was a long game."

Posada's homer capped the wild, three-hour, 49-minute game which featured 34 hits, 11 walks, two hit batsmen and two errors.

The Yankees overcame an early 10-1 deficit, tying the franchise record for the largest comeback in a game.

"It's hard to beat that one," said manager Joe Torre. "It was such a team effort all the way around. I can't be more proud of the way this ballclub responded tonight. They fought hard, which is what they've done all year."

"Possible? Yes. Realistic? You'd have to think about that for a minute," Johnny Damon said when asked if he thought a comeback was possible at 10-1. "There's a lot of heart here. A lot of people doubted us with [Gary Sheffield], [Hideki] Matsui and [Jason] Giambi out, but we kept bringing it."

Derek Jeter went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs, while Posada, hitting cleanup for the first time since Oct. 2, 2004, finished the night with five RBIs of his own.

"This says a lot about this team and about the guys," Posada said. "We did a lot of things right, we did a lot of things wrong, but we kept fighting."

Things didn't look good early on for the Yankees, as Texas tagged Shawn Chacon for eight runs on six hits and two walks in just 1 1/3 innings.

"Did he start tonight? I don't even remember, it was such a long time ago," cracked Torre after the game. "He got himself in trouble, pitched from behind and threw a lot of pitches early. When he tried to make a pitch, he didn't make it."

Aaron Small relieved Chacon in the second, promptly serving up a three-run homer to Hank Blalock on his third pitch, giving Texas a 9-0 lead.

With the score 10-1 after the top of the third, the Yankees started chipping away at starter John Koronka. Jeter and Posada each drove in runs to cut the lead to 10-3 in the third, then Posada and Robinson Cano added RBIs in the fifth, slicing the score to 10-5.

"You have to think small," Jeter said. "We had a long way to go, so you try to score one at a time, not try to get them all back at once."

"Once we stabilized them, then we score a run or two and they don't get it back, you're five runs back and it's realistic," Torre said. "I think everybody sensed that."

Posada helped hold the Rangers from extending their lead in the sixth, tagging Mark Teixeira out at the plate after a violent collision.

"That's probably the hardest I've ever been hit," Posada said. "I've never played football in my life, but that's probably what it feels like."

"He looked a little dazed, but he kept answering the questions the right way," Torre said when asked if Posada came close to leaving the game. "He seemed to have his senses about him."

The Yankees completed their first comeback in the sixth, scoring six times to take an 11-10 lead. Jeter's three-run homer brought New York within two runs, while Miguel Cairo's two-run single capped the rally, sending the 40,757 fans into a frenzy.

The euphoria didn't last long, though, as Scott Proctor walked Kevin Mench to start the seventh, setting up Brad Wilkerson's two-run homer, which gave the Rangers the lead once again.

Following the pace of this game, the Yankees wasted no time in tying it up. Damon reached on an error, moved to third on Jeter's bunt single and another Rangers error, then scored on Posada's sac fly. But the Yankees couldn't move the go-ahead run home from third, sending the game into the eighth tied at 12.
Closer Mariano Rivera entered the tie game in the ninth, and Mench blooped a broken-bat single to center to start the inning. Wilkerson bunted pinch-runner Adrian Brown to second, then Rivera walked Mark DeRosa, putting men at first and second.

Rod Barajas followed with a broken bat double down the third-base line, scoring Brown to put the Rangers back in the lead. Rivera got out of the inning without any further damage, giving the offense one final chance to pull out the win.

"You can't do anything against that," Rivera said. "When you have hits like that, bloops, you just have to continue to battle. I was disappointed, but you can't control it."

As the Yankees walked toward the dugout, Torre sent a message to Posada and his teammates.

"Skip said, 'This game is yours. You fought too hard to lose it,'" Posada said. "We kept coming. It was just meant to happen."

Damon reached base with a single, moving to second on Jeter's groundout. Alex Rodriguez lined out to center, bringing Posada to the plate. Otsuka fell behind, 3-0, then threw a strike to Posada. One pitch later, Posada crushed Otsuka's 3-1 offering into the front row of the right-field bleachers, capping the win.

"We just have one way we like to believe we do things; to get the most out of every at-bat, play every single inning, and when it's all said and done, let's see where we are," Torre said. "It was a big lift, to let us know what we're capable of doing."

"It was a great game for him," Damon said. "He saved a run at the plate by holding on to the ball, hit the two-run homer. He sent a lot of people home happy."

(((Article taken from

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Yankees vs. Red Sox- Series Recap

Game 1: An embarrassing debacle of a game for the Yankees. The Big Unit was useless again, A-Rod was his typical "un"-clutch, error-prone-in-a-tight-spot self, and who was out "playing" right field? Melky Cabrera (Shudders).
Game 2: Quite the opposite of Tuesday night's game. The Yankees and Mike Mussina got off to a shaky start after the Moose surrendered a two-run homerun to- who else? - Big Papi in the first and a solo shot to Mike Lowell the next inning. With Curt Schilling on the mound, things were not looking up for the Yanks. However, Jason Giambi continued his homerun tear with a two-run shot after Bernie Williams drove in a run with a sac fly and the score was tied 3-3; suddenly, it was a whole new ballgame. Mussina bore down and ended up with another excellent outing going 6 2/3 innings and surrendering only the 3 early runs. Alex Rodriguez, whose two errors the night before had greatly upset George Steinbrenner, ended up hitting a solo homerun off Schilling to break the tie, and Jorge Posada hit a two-run homer later in the inning to provide all the run support Mussina and the bullpen needed. I was lucky enough to witness the game in person, and it was a typically exciting and atmospheric event like no other. Mike Mussina won his 230th career game and became the first American League pitcher to win 6 games, taking his record to 6-1 on the year with a 2.56 ERA, good for 3rd in the A.L.
Game 3: The Yankees lose the game, lose the series, lose first place, and lose their left-fielder for the foreseeable future. Terrible, just terrible. Hideki Matsui will undergo surgery on his fractured wrist tomorrow morning after injuring himself in the first inning of the Yankees 5-3 loss to the Red Sox and effectively ending his consecutive game streak that dates back to his days with the Yomiuri Giants. Don't be shocked to see someone like Ken Griffey, Jr. sporting the pinstripes in left field sometime in the near future...


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Moose Dominates Again, Yankees Win Despite Nightmarish 8th Inning

Mike Mussina went 7 strong innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 5 and walking none. Moose threw 86 pitches and *62* of them were strikes!

Leaving the game one batter into the eighth with an 8-1 lead, I doubt anyone expected the Yankees to use three pitchers and see Mariano Rivera in the game with an opportunity to earn a save. But after an unbelievable inning, during which both Small and Farnsworth allowed 2 and 3 runs respectively while combining for only 1/3 of an inning each, that is exactly what happened. Rivera was shaky to say the least, hitting a batter and loading the bases while allowing 3 hits, but he eventually stopped the bleeding and the Yanks were out of the nightmare inning at last.

Anyone else have heart palpitations while watching that eighth inning? My Lord...

When it was all said and done, the Yankees won 8-7 over the Texas Rangers to remain in a first-place tie with the Red Sox. At 16-11, they are 5 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Friday night's game was the 450th start of Mike Mussina's career. Interestingly enough, only 7 pitchers in the history of baseball had amassed more wins at this point in their career than Moose. The pitchers? Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Greg Maddux- Ever heard of any of those guys? Yeah, me neither (Insert sarcasm here).

Mussina is now 5-1. Giving up 2 ER in 7 innings, his ERA actually went up to 2.35. The Moose is tied for 1st place in the A.L. with his 5 victories, he is 2nd only to Curt Schilling in strikeouts, and 3rd in the league in ERA. Kind of unbelievable, really, how well the veteran pitchers in the game are doing at the minute. And Moose is certainly one of the guys leading the pack.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

So Much For The "Ace" Status...

The Big Unit has an ERA of 8.59 in his last two starts, yet his record stands at 2-0 during that period of time. Overall, Randy Johnson is 5-2 with a 5.02 ERA. That just goes to show the amount of run support Johnson has been given despite his less-than-stellar pitching performances.

But hey, a win's a win, right?

The New York Yankees remain tied for first place in the American League East with (who else?) the Boston Red Sox. Tonight's win brings the Bombers' season record to 15-11.

The true ace of the pitching staff thus far, Mike Mussina (4-1, 2.31), starts tomorrow night against Vicente Padilla and the hard-hitting Texas Rangers.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Yankees and Red Sox Round 1: The Battle For First Place

The Greatest Rivalry in Baseball Begins Tonight!
Yankees: Chien Ming Wang (1-1)
Red Sox: Tim Wakefield (1-4)

Expect a chilly reception for from the Fenway faithful when Johnny Damon steps into that batter's box with a big "New York" stretched across his chest. Should be fun!


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Yankees Pull to Within 1/2 a Game of First Place BoSox

New York Yankees 17
Toronto Blue Jays 6

WP- Randy Johnson (4-2), 5 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (Terrible outing, but a win nonetheless)
LP- Josh Towers (0-5), 2 1/3 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (An even worse pitching performance)

The Yankees, for the second time in their history and for only the sixth time in American League history, scored in every inning on Saturday. The Yankees also scored in every inning in a 14-1 over the St. Louis Browns on July 26, 1939 (courtesy of

Keep your fingers crossed in regards to Gary Sheffield, who had to leave the game after a collision at first base.

Let's hope the Yanks have this same amount of run support for Mike Mussina tomorrow, especially considering the fact that they're facing Gustavo Chacin and then heading straight to Boston to commence this season's installation of the greatest rivalry in sports.

Friday, April 28, 2006


*The New York Yankees pitching staff has the best ERA in the American League and the fewest runs allowed in the majors.*
Just had to get that interesting tidbit up before Jaret Wright potentially screws things up and changes that statistic very quickly. Hopefully I'm wrong about Wright, but we shall see...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Magnificent Moose

Mike Mussina in 2006:
3-1, 2.45 ERA (4th in A.L.) in 33 Innings
30 Strikeouts (2nd in A.L.), 6 Walks
Tuesday's Start:
6+ IP, 4 Hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K- Win (3-1)
A Devil Rays' take on Mussina:
"Nasty," said catcher Toby Hall. "The guy has got like five pitches and he throws them all for strikes. He's a professional. He knows how to pitch. Nasty."
I was lucky enough to be at the Stadium to see Moose win his 227th career game (although I didn't feel quite so lucky for awhile when the rain was pouring steadily down upon me and I began losing all feeling in my body due to the cold!). He's really been great every single time out this season; interestingly enough, Mussina, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is one of only five pitchers in the 2006 season to post quality starts every time out (minimum four starts), joining Jose Contreras, Greg Maddux, Chris Capuano and Brandon Webb.
Not bad for the old guy. Not bad at all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

How 'Bout Them First Place New York Mets?

...What is this world coming to?! All I can say right now is that the 2006 New York Yankees are a very frustrating team to watch and root for at the minute. Hopefully, today's early game at the Stadium will bring them back to .500; regardless, as soon as I get a chance, I'll give you my take on the early season so far. No worries- I've got PLENTY of opinions to share, so check back later and let me know what you think!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Comeback Captain- Opening Day (Very Late!)

Yankees Win 9th Consecutive Home Opener in Exciting and Dramatic Fashion
New York Yankees 9
Kansas City Royals 7
Win: Proctor (1-1)
Loss: Sisco (0-1)
Save: Rivera (1)
Noteworthy Performances
- Jason Giambi: 1-1, Homerun (1), 3 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB
- Bernie Williams: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R
***- Derek Jeter: 1-4, Homerun (2), 3 RBI***

Back to the Bronx: Opening Day at Yankee Stadium

Today at 1:00 p.m., I will be taking in the Yankees Home Opener among the most faithful of Yankees fan, the infamous Bleacher Creatures of right-centerfield. Opening Day at the Stadium is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, and I'll be one of the lucky 56,000+ fans in attendance. So, make sure to check back once the game is over to get a recap, look at a few pictures, and read about my first-hand account of the game.

Let's Go Yankees!


Monday, April 10, 2006

Power and Control Propels Win #2

New York Yankees 10
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1
Win: Mike Mussina (1-0, 2.77)
Loss: Bartolo Colon (0-1, 12.86)
Mike Mussina helped snap the Yankees' four-game losing streak with a dominant performance, outpitching the reigning AL CY Young Award Winner, Bartolo Colon. Mussina went 6 innings, allowing only one earned run and striking out 5 for the 225th victory of his career.
Jorge Posada broke out of his early season slump with a 3-4 afternoon, blasting 2 homeruns and driving in 5 runs. Robinson Cano had a nice day as well, going 3-5, while Alex Rodriguez continued his incredible dominance over Colon, smacking his 5th homerun in just 8 at-bats versus the Angels' ace.
The Yankees end the road trip 2-4, and return home to the Bronx on Tuesday afternoon for their home opener.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tonight's Game- PATHETIC

New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
NYY: Randy Johnson (1-0, 2.40)
LAA: Ervin Santana (1-0, 1.59)
A Night of Wasted Opportunities
Yankees 2, Angels 3
So, the Yankees lost again, bringing the streak to four losses in a row. Johnson pitched well, allowing 3 runs in 8 innings and striking out 8; the biggest mistake of the night was the two-run triple given up to Adam Kennedy in the 5th. The Yankee offense was ridiculously unproductive again (4 for 30 with RISP over the past four games), consisting entirely of Derek Jeter's first inning solo homerun and Hideki Matsui's solo shot in the 9th off of Francisco Rodriguez. Ervin Santana did pitch well, but the Yankees' lack of production with runners on helped him out a great deal. Looks like the Angels continue to own the Yankees, and that Ameriquest Field will remain Derek Jeter's own personal "House of Horrors," at least for the time being.
It doesn't get any easier tomorrow, when Mike Mussina takes on the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and Angels' ace, Bartolo Colon.
Is there a silver lining to this horrible start? Well, if you're really depressed about this already (which you shouldn't be, by the way- at least not yet!), keep in mind that the last time the Yankees started a season 1-4 (and opened on the West Coast), they ended the season with a record of 125-50. The year, of course, was 1998. This current Yankees team is very different, but it just goes to show that you can't predict a season based on only 5 games. The offense will turn around and wake-up eventually; let's just hope it's sooner rather than later, before the Yanks bury themselves too deeply.

Games 3 & 4...

... Both losses. Horrible 1-3 start for the Yanks, but there are still a lot of games to be played. Tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Game 2- Yankees Lose

New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics
NYY: Mike Mussina
OAK: Rich Harden
Yankees: 3
Athletics: 4
Win: Huston Street (1-0)
Loss: Scott Proctor (0-1)
Game 2 ended with a walk-off single by Marco Scutaro in the bottom of the 9th inning. Inexplicably, Proctor was the man on the mound and earned the loss in a game where the Yankees never once took advantage of the many opportunities they had throughout the night. Harden was in trouble in the first, yet the Yanks were unable to push any runs across, and that trend continued throughout the remainder of the game. In typical fashion, Mike Mussina received very little offensive support but managed to pitch a quality game, going 7 innings, striking out 6 and surrendering 3 earned runs (although it should only have been 2; the official scorer took away a Cano error for some reason in the 5th). All in all, it was a game of lost opportunities and a pretty terrible display after last night's rout. That stellar offense we all expect to see was pretty non-existant in Oakland. Let's hope, in future games, that Alex Rodriguez remembers what to do on the base paths from now on, that Scott Proctor is never again trusted in a tie game, and that the offense stops wasting quality starts and wakes up to their potential.
Tune in for the rubber match, Wednesday night at 10:05 p.m.

Yankees Win, The-e-e-e Yankees Win!

New York Yankees 15
Oakland Athletics 2
Win: Randy Johnson (1-0)
Loss: Barry Zito (0-1)
Player(s) of the Game: Randy Johnson- 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Hideki Matsui- 4 for 4, 3-Run Homerun, 4 RBI, 2 BB
Play of the Game: Alex Rodriguez's 12th Career Grand Slam (430th of Career, 1 HR shy of Thome and Ripken)
Worth Mentioning:
*Alex Rodriguez is only the fourth Yankee to hit an Opening Day Grand Slam. He joins Russ Derry (1985), Bobby Murcer (1981), and Alfonso Soriano (2003)
* Both starting pitchers, Randy Johnson and Barry Zito, were the 2002 Cy Young Award winners in their respective leagues
* Randy Johnson started his 14th Opening Day and won the start for the 7th time in his career
* The 15 runs the Yankees scored ties for the most runs ever scored on the road on Opening Day
* Barry Zito's outing was the shortest of his career- He completed only 1 1/3 innings, giving up 7 ER
Anyone else totally worried that the Yanks won't have nearly enough offense this season? If Opening Day is any indication of things to come, we're in for quite a ride.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

ESPN Predictions

New York Yankees 2006 Preview
Manager: Joe Torre

Stadium: Yankee Stadium
2005 Record: 95-67 (T-1st in AL East)

Team Page Roster Schedule


Johnny Damon*
Best table setter in game. Hits according to score/situation.
Derek Jeter
Can do it all. Tough out with inside-out stroke. Mr. Clutch.
Alex Rodriguez
Superior skills. Destroys mediocre pitching. RBI machine.
Hideki Matsui
Line-drive hitter with pop. Fundamentally sound in all areas.
Gary Sheffield
Intimidates pitchers. Crushes fastballs and mistakes.
Jason Giambi
Bat speed and confidence are back. Defensive liability.
Jorge Posada
No easy out. More juice from left side. Solid behind dish.
Bernie Williams
Lost a step, but still has good bat control and gap power.
Robinson Cano
Good opposite-field pop. Must improve double-play turn.


Randy Johnson
Warrior. Attacks hitters with mid-90s heat. Wicked slurve.
Mike Mussina
Full menu of pitches. Works corners and mixes stuff well.
Carl Pavano
Relies heavily on sinkerball. Uses split to close out hitters.
Chien-Ming Wang
Throws fastball in mid-90s. Needs to hone offspeed stuff.
Shawn Chacon
Sneaky with low-90s cheese. Hard curve is money pitch.
Kyle Farnsworth*
Overpowering stuff, but can be inconsistent sometimes.
Mariano Rivera
As good as it gets. Classic cutter is often unhittable.
* New to team

Complete scouting reports on each player available through Insider Predictions

By Bob Klapisch

With the addition of Johnny Damon, this lineup has the chance to score 1000 runs. It's by far the best offense of the Joe Torre era. Secondly, Mariano Rivera shows no sign of deterioration, so even if the Yankees have to rely on surviving high-scoring contests, those final three outs are as safe as ever.

The starting rotation is full of question marks, including lingering injuries to Carl Pavano, and the advancing age of both Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina. Pavano hasn't pitched since last June 27, and the Yankees have no idea how effective he'll be upon returning. Mussina, 37, suffered a mysterious elbow injury last year, and the AL's batting average against him has risen 46 points since 2003.

Key Stats
The Yankees are apparently conceding a defensive vulnerability by letting Jason Giambi serve as the everyday first baseman. The reason is all in the numbers -- last year Giambi batted .319 while playing the field, 108 points higher than when he was the DH. Also, as testimony to why hitters swing early against Rivera: With an 0-2 count against the great closer, the AL is batting just .067.

Rookie Watch
Robinson Cano is either on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, capable of hitting .300 with 25 HRs, or destined to a career .270 average with a ton of errors. It's up to him, say teammates, who've watched the second-year player closely in spring training. Cano enjoyed a fine major-league debut in 2005 -- .297 with 14 HRs, 62 RBI and a second-place finish to Oakland's Huston Street for Rookie of the Year honors. But he also committed 17 errors, second to Alfonso Soriano among AL second basemen

I didn't have the time to write my own season preview, so I stole this from "The Worldwide Leader in Sports." I basically agree with most of what has been predicted, although I think they underestimate both Cano and Wang. Robbie Cano could seriously win a batting title this year and should be named to his first All Star team if he stays healthy, and I honestly think Wang's cool demeanor, sneaky fastball, and excellent sinker will propel him to 15+ wins. The one prediction I will make is that the Yankees will finish the season in 1st place. Not very bold, I know, but I'm extremely superstitious when it comes to baseball and I don't want to jinx my team! The season officially kicks off Monday evening at 10:00 p.m. If you're not excited at this point, then quite frankly, there's something wrong with you. We're less than two days away!


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Latest News

Calling it a Career
After 19 seasons in the big leagues, two-time All-Star Al Leiter announced his retirement earlier in the week, ending his career in the same uniform in which it began. Leiter finishes with 162 career wins, a 3.80 ERA, and just short of 2,000 strikeouts. Al Leiter won two World Championships with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins, and he, of course, led the New York Mets to a National League pennant in 2000 before losing to the Yankees in the Subway Series. Leiter was a non-roster invitee this spring, and was hoping to cement a place in the bullpen as a lefty specialist. He decided, after playing in the World Baseball Classic, that he wanted to go out on his own terms, and faced one last batter before calling it a career on Sunday against the Cleveland Indians. Al Leiter has always been a class-act and it's nice to see him ending his career in a Yankee uniform. Don't be surprised to see him in the booth later in the season with either the YES Network or ESPN. Leiter has also expressed an interest in becoming involved with politics, so that's another option for him.

Trouble Brewing for Sheffield
Gary Sheffield has been named in the new book, "Game of Shadows," as a steroid user. Last season, Sheffield admitted to unknowingly using the illegal drugs, but the new explosive book that hits shelves tomorrow claims that Sheffield was an educated user, perfectly aware of what he was doing. When asked about it before today's Spring Training game against the Red Sox, Sheffield merely replied "Nope," when asked to comment. Both Brian Cashman and Joe Torre also refused to make a comment, stating that they had not yet read the contents of the book and therefore had no valid opinion. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this as the days and weeks progress.
Is Stinnett Plotting to Overthrow Posada As Everyday Catcher?
No, of course not, but for the second time in two years, Jorge Posada has suffered a broken nose. Right before Wednesday evening's Spring Training game, Posada and his back-up, Kelly Stinnett, were playing catch on the field when the throw from Stinnett hit Jorge in the face, fracturing his nasal passage. Apparently, Posada was distracted by another pair of teammates playing catch nearby. Jorge will have his nose realigned sometime this evening and be released tomorrow. He is not expected to miss any significant amount of playing time.
Also Worth Mentioning...
- The Rivalry Begins: Wednesday's game at Legends Field against the Red Sox was a typical meeting between the two teams; it's only March, yet controversy is brewing already. Derek Jeter was hit in the back by a David Riske pitch in the seventh, and Red Sox batters J.T. Snow and Mike Lowell were later plunked by former Sox player Mike Myers and Massachusetts native Tanyon Sturtze. Sturtze was issued a warning after hitting Lowell with his first pitch of the eighth inning.
"I was trying to go fastball in and I just got it in too deep," Sturtze said. "I don't care who gets upset about it. I'm still trying to work on my command; I've been struggling this whole spring."
Shortly after addressing the Boston media, Red Sox manager Terry Francona declined further comment to Yankee writers. "Can't read somebody's mind," Francona replied angrily. "You'll have to ask him."
- Brokeback Carl: Yankees disaster Carl Pavano threw live batting practice Wednesday, issuing 35 pitches in limited work. Apparently, his outing was the best he's had all spring, and he's confident that he'll be ready soon. That is, if he doesn't get too tired. (Can you tell I'm not a Pavano fan? Sorry, but I can't even pretend to like the guy!)
- An Old Friend Returns: While Wednesday's game against the Red Sox was about as good and exciting as a Spring Training game gets, the 5-4 Yankees victory was not even the best part. Nor was Bernie Williams' monstrous homerun or the fact that Manny Ramirez was wearing number 95 because he forgot his uniform ("Just Manny Being Manny"). No, the best part of the game was when the public address announcer introduced "former Yankee" Tino Martinez to throw out the first pitch of the ballgame. Fan favorite Martinez got a standing ovation and threw what looked to be a very effective sinker. As I've mentioned before, Tino will be joining the cast of ESPN's Baseball Tonight.
And on that note, I will end this entry. Again, I apologize for my lack of recent updates, but I've been busy with schoolwork. I'll do my best to keep this as recent and relevant as possible, though, so PLEASE keep reading!