Wang will remain in the rotation

From Jared Diamond (MLB):

Girardi said on Saturday that Wang will not only make his scheduled start — in Sunday’s series finale against the Mets — but he will also pitch next Saturday against the Blue Jays regardless of Sunday’s outcome. Though Wang comes into his outing at Citi Field with an 0-6 record and a dismal 11.20 ERA, the Yankees are confident he is ready to take his place in the starting rotation on a more permanent basis.

Here’s what Girardi said, in fact.

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Magicians move “He had to show us better stuff, better command and the ability to pitch deeper into games, and he showed us that,” Girardi said of Wang. “So he’s not necessarily start-by-start anymore.”

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The Yankees should give Wang the benefit of the doubt as his velocity has improved significantly after spending a few weeks in Tampa.… Click here to read the rest

No Ring=No Respect

On Friday night, Alex Rodriguez passed Reggie Jackson for # 11 on the all-time home run list by blasting #564 to the opposite field off Elmer Dessens. Here is what Reggie had to say, courtesy of Mark Feinsand:

“Today is a day for me to come and tip my cap, be a gentleman, be a fan, get a chance to say up close and personal, ‘Nice going and congratulations to you, keep hitting home runs for the Yankees and I’m here rooting for you,’” Reggie said.
“I look forward to the day he helps this club win a championship. Until then, we won’t let him up. We will keep the thumb on him, the spotlight will stay on him and the critics will be there until we win. As my friend, I would like to see him win.”

This is the curse of playing in NY: nothing matters but championships. Personal accolades are nice, and may buy a bit of goodwill with fans, but lasting adulation only comes with a World Series victory.… Click here to read the rest

No One Cares About Steroids Anymore!!!

From Bill Plaschke:

Surely it would happen, right?

Surely, somebody will hold him accountable for a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy?

Surely somebody would let him know that, because he has yet to offer any true remorse or explanation since his May 7 suspension, somebody was going to publicly wonder why?

He had appeared in two games at triple-A Albuquerque, where he was showered with love, but folks down there rarely see a celebrity that didn’t come out of a UFO, so they can be excused.

Dodgers fans are tougher, right?

Ramirez was going to be, um, needled, right?

Even here in this gorgeous gem of a ballpark known simply as The Diamond, against a team wearing wonderful throwback San Diego Padres uniforms, Dodgers fans surely wouldn’t be afraid to hold their best player accountable to the same standards they apply to themselves.

As I am sure you can infer from the tone of the article, Plaschke was disappointed, as Dodger fans did nothing but cheer Manny all afternoon.… Click here to read the rest

First Pitch Swinging And The Strikeout

Tim Kurkijan of ESPN.com has a very interesting piece Mummy Maniac rip

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up on the rising number of strikeouts throughout baseball. There are a number of interesting quotes in the article:

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“It would be a lot harder to take if I didn’t get on base a lot,” Dunn said. “If I went to the plate and swung at the first three pitches every at-bat, I would not strike out at all, but I wouldn’t be helping my team win, either. I’ve tried to be more aggressive early in the count and eliminate strikeouts, but that didn’t go too well, either. I guess you are who you are.”

Magadan agreed. “It doesn’t mean that if you run a count deep and still strike out, you’ve had a good at-bat, but it’s better than a three-pitch strikeout,” he said.

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Recap-AJ dominates, Yanks’ Power Surges in Citifield

On June 9th, AJ Burnett was standing on a mound in Fenway Park having given up 5 runs in just 2 2/3 innings, a team he had dominated the prior season. Many fans were questioning the decision to bring him and his 4.89 ERA to the Bronx. After that start, AJ was quoted saying:

“I’m not very consistent right now. I’m not a negative guy, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. But when I do get on that run, it’s going to be impressive. I promise you that.”

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It sounded like empty words to many of us at the time, still stinging from being swept in Boston and the embarrassment of being 0-8 for the year. It wasn’t the first time this year AJ was horrible in Fenway, he failed to hold a 6-0 lead on April 25th. But in his last 3 starts, Allan James Burnett has been everything fans and the Yankee brass could have hoped for and more.… Click here to read the rest

Looking At Jeter On His Birthday

From Marc Carig, on Jeter’s 35th birthday:

Here’s my conclusion: While he turns 35 on Friday, an age in which baseball players should be on the slow train toward decline, Jeter’s played this season as he’s a man in his late 20s.

Jeter is hitting .308/.377/.451 with an OPS+ of 117. According to baseball-reference.com, this is just a tick below his career OPS+ of 120. Jeter’s overall value with the bat, according to weighted on-base average (or wOBA, which attempts to measure total offensive production) is at its highest levels since 2001. His wOBA in 2001? .378. Now? .377.

Meanwhile, his 17 stolen bases are already his most for a season since 2006.

And then there’s his defense, the area for which he has been repeatedly flogged. Judging from Ultimate Zone Rating — which through the years has been an unflattering way to evaluate his glove — Jeter has found a way to recapture the skills he showed as a 28-year-old.

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Bruney And K-Rod Put Story To Rest

Two weeks ago, Brian Bruney and Francisco Rodriguez participated in a war of words Honey divx started by Bruney. The feud culminated with an on-field confrontation between the two players that required teammates to separate the two relievers. Rather than exacerbate the situation and rekindle the hostilities, the players are both content with letting this story fade away:

“I just wanted to find out, honestly, if there was any difficulty or any problem, just come to me, just say it,” Rodriguez said Thursday after the Mets’ 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. “If you have something to say, just say it.”

Surfer, Dude release “I shouldn’t have done that, because I didn’t want to make it bigger and the fans were in there,” Rodriguez said. “But at the same time, I felt a little offended and I just wanted to find out why. That’s all.

“He got me a little out of line, but nothing more than that.”

“You make a mistake and you learn from it,” Rodriguez said.

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Bracing For Eight Years Of Questions

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I had Buster Olney’s A-Rod article open on my browser for the last few days, planning on pounding out an article on it this afternoon. Alas, the best laid plans often fall by the wayside, as Ben over at RAB essentially wrote the article I was planning to put forth. Here is only a small portion of Olney’s larger point:

The Yankees will keep playing him and ignore the question that hovers over Rodriguez and every other aging player who has been linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. They have to hope that what they’re seeing is someone simply struggling to recover from hip surgery, someone who is prone to doubts, anyway. They have to hope that he will start to hit eventually. They have to hope that he isn’t overcome by frustration with his performance and simply decides to pack it in and have the more extensive hip surgery that he already knows he needs.
The Yankees might be asking themselves the same question that rival talent evaluators are asking, about whether A-Rod without steroids is, in his mid-30s, destined to be a shell of what he was in his mid-20s, when he says he was young and stupid and juicing.

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The Joba Debate Rages On

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Bryan Hoch comes through with a detailed, quote-laden piece on the never ending Joba Chamberlain debate, chock full of snippets from Joba, Jorge Posada, Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, and…..Mike Francesa:

The plan had always been that Chamberlain would be returned to starting duty, and eventually he was. Few suggest that Phil Hughes, who is excelling in a similar role, should spend his career in the bullpen. Yet the Chamberlain talk continues; Cashman cannot understand the situation, and he has given up trying.

“Who knows? I’ve got no idea,” Cashman said. “I really don’t have a rational explanation, because I don’t necessarily agree with the opinions out there. Anybody who is a good starter is going to be a hell of a setup guy, I promise you. Anybody who has a plus fastball and a plus secondary pitch would make a great setup guy or closer, in theory. But it’s not the same.”

Now 23, Chamberlain has made 26 Major League starts, going 7-3 with a 3.32 ERA, accompanied by a mildly swelled 1.362 WHIP.

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