The party's over

This hurts. This is not fun. This makes Sox (and everyone else) happier. This is disappointing. Most of all, this is not a surprise.

The Yanks (version 2008) are done.

I guess I knew it was coming. I felt it going into this year (and truth be told, last year, too, but I wasn’t officially blogging a year back). This team is not built to win it all this season. I mentioned more than a few times that I’d be OK with a missed post-season if the Yanks kept the farm system intact and a major part of their future, and I think that’s precisely where we are headed.

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Why I like Moose

Here it is, in a nutshell:

Saw a headline the other today in an NY paper; “Pavano solid.” And I can’t think of any bigger waste of space. To learn what Pavano’s about, read John Feinstein’s interesting book Living on the Black, about Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine. In one story, when Mussina was offered slightly less than $10 million a year in a new contract by the Yankees, he told Cashman, “I can’t be paid less than Pavano,” or words to that effect, and Cashman understood completely. Mussina was then paid $11.5 million a year, or slightly more than the sedentary Pavano.

Continue reading Why I like Moose

A closer look at Ponson

Yes, I still hate Ponson, but he has thrown two solid starts (despite so many men on base) in a row. However, the good folks at ESPN’s Insider are projecting doom with his next start in MINN (Insider access required, sorry):

Pitcher Sidney Ponson is having his first good season since 2003, with a 7-2 record and 4.23 ERA in 16 starts between the Rangers and Yankees. Considering his bad off-field behavior and performance decline — an ERA in the 6.00 range each of the past three seasons — fans might wonder why teams keep giving Ponson a chance. [Gee, I wonder who would be crass enough to do that? Hmmmmm?] Since 2007, he has thrown strikes on 63 percent of his 91 mph fastballs, right around league average, which gives him some value.

Ponson has put together two straight strong starts, allowing three runs and eight hits over 13 1/3 innings. Managing Ponson’s workload seems to be a key to maximizing his effectiveness. He hits a wall after he throws around 185 total pitches in two consecutive outings on normal four-day rest, severely reducing the effectiveness of his next start.
Danger could be lurking when Ponson faces the Twins tonight. He threw 96 pitches on Aug. 1 and 95 on Aug. 6 for a combined total of 191. The last time Ponson made a start after so many pitches was on June 4 (195 pitches in previous two). Ponson gave up six runs (two earned) in four innings in the loss before getting released by the Rangers.

Great, just what the Yanks desperately need right now.

Continue reading A closer look at Ponson

A weekend lost

I woke up and saw that the Yanks are 8.5 games back in the AL East and three games behind the Twins (4.5 behind the Sawx) for the Wild Card. We just got swept in LA. As Tyler Kempner puts it, “it’s Getting Late Early for the 2008 Yankees” and he’s right on.

The Yanks rotation consists of a rejuvenated Moose, an eminently hittable Pettitte, a profoundly frustrating Ponson and then a hodgepodge of guys including Dan Giese, Darrell Rasner, a recently sent-down Kennedy (foot-in-mouth disease). Generation Trey, as some had called them, imploded rather than “was here to stay“. Kennedy and Hughes have yet to win a game. The vets are not happy with Kennedy’s comments. Joba’s on the DL after what had seemed to be a seamless transition into a top tier starter. Heck, we might even see American Idle Pavano back before Joba. Wang will be ready just as the regular season will come to a close.

With the bats, ARod‘s still slumping (despite a HR yesterday). Jeter‘s looking lost. Abreu and Damon are still hitting [I am totally on board with keeping Abreu another two years, for whatever my vote’s worth]. Melky has been passed. Cano remains an enigma, with the bat and the glove. Matsui’s been out for ages. Nady has been great, though.

What can I say? The best part of my baseball weekend was that I missed the end of every game. Too tired Friday. Hanging with the kids Saturday. Dinner with the extended family Sunday. Missed a lot of the games. Not upset in the least.

More importantly for me was that my older son’s catching the ball better. We had a good long catch on Sunday morning and he’s catching better. And my younger one (age 5) now knows how to throw from a full windup. Not sure where the ball is going to go, but he’ll call out “two seamer” or “four seamer”, go into a windup and hurl the ball in my general direction. Yes, he tries to put his little fingers across four seams. And that’s why I had a good weekend even though my team didn’t. Continue reading A weekend lost

Work happens

Sorry, I have been completely underwater today. Got in later than usual (amongst the mere mortals who arrive at 9:30am) as I had to play Mr. Mom this morning. Since then, it’s been heads down on some stuff that needs to be done by COB today.

On the good side, my TPS reports are almost done and I got a cool red stapler. I’ll be leaving as soon as that strange acting guy sets fire to the place.

UPDATE: Seems that I struck a nerve with old Peter Gibbons, Lumberg, Milton. If you want to end your Friday laughing, check out the “Office Space” quotes.

Continue reading Work happens

Reader mailbag: Ya stumped me

JoeOrange emailed me this, and quite frankly, I don’t have an answer.

Okay, I have a question for you:

Darrell Rasner wears #43. When the Yankees made the trade for Damaso Marte, he couldn’t continue with his number, so he chose (or maybe it was chosen FOR him) #34.

Now I KNOW that the Yankees suffer from a depletion of usable numbers due to the number of retired jerseys, but they have to “borrow” numbers from players on the DL? Didn’t Phil Hughes wear #34 before going on the DL with that broken rib? What happens when he comes back? Does he get his old number back?

So, what happens to Marte and Hughes when Hughes comes back off the DL? Does he get his old number back? Does he go back to the Spring Training garb he wore when he first came up (#65)? Can he “steal” Joba’s #62? For THAT matter, what if he wanted to wear #40?

I gotta admit, I hadn’t put 2+2 together to see that Marte was wearing Hughes’ #34. I’m surprised they let Marte take that. In checking the Yanks 40 man roster, they have a “–” by his number. Wang (#40) is still on the 40 man roster, Hughes is not. Obviously Joba (#62) is as well.

Joe, ya got me. I have NO idea what Hughes or Marte will do once Hughes comes back. Zero clue. I’d like to think that Hughes will get #34 but maybe he’ll change his number once again, looking for something with ANY good luck to it.

Continue reading Reader mailbag: Ya stumped me

The Yankee Advantage

It really IS about the money, isn’t it? Here’s how the Yanks are (could and should) use their financial advantages:

The Yankees have signed Brett Marshall, a high school pitcher selected in the June First-Year Player Draft, to one of the largest contracts ever given to a sixth-round pick…
The Yankees essentially gave the sixth-round pick the kind of money normally spent on first-round supplemental picks.
During the Draft, Marshall said he heard from the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, and Kansas City Royals. But Marshall said all of those teams told him they would like to draft him in the first three rounds and Marshall told them he wasn’t interested in signing with them.

Now, I have NO idea if this kid will be anything or not, but to toss $1M around at someone with his potential, keeping him out of the hands of others, is a fine risk. Given the amount of money this team will generate in TNYS, it’s a mere pittance (H/T to Neyer for that link).

Investing in the draft (and internationally) is the best thing the Yanks can do. Continue reading The Yankee Advantage

Jeter's down year, not down career

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News has a blog in addition to his daily byline. He used his space to chronicle Jeter’s career. It seems that he was getting some heat that Jeter was over-rated and never really did much in his career. I know many of you (including buddy Joe’s co-worker, Chris) believe all of that to be true. You like to diminish the things he does well and harp on the things he doesn’t do well. To that, I laugh.

I also know that Jeter’s having a down year. He’s never been a HR hitter and I’m OK with that. He’s a #2 hitter and he does what a #2 hitter is supposed to do: move runners, get on base, let the big guys drive in runs. And do things the right way. I know he’s an easy target because of the team, position, dating history, good looks, etc.

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The Good Reilly

For some reason, the date the article is published is not readily identifiable, but here’s an example of the GOOD Rick Reilly, the storyteller.

Rick: We need more of this and less of the other crap.

2nd Lt. Campbell felt like he was hit in the nose with a shovel. Every day during his four years at West Point, he was reminded of and lived by the Cadet Honor Code: A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Instead the Army lied to 2nd Lt. Caleb Campbell. Now he gets to tolerate it.

Continue reading The Good Reilly