Say what? Blaming the stadium?

Using this year to illustrate the Mets’ lack of performance is not entirely realistic given their injuries. Fraley cites the Phillies and their power as something to aspire to. Wrong. They play in a bandbox and are a team almost completely reliant on the HR, especially lately. It might keep management from overspending on sluggers and get smarter with more athletic players. Then again, this is the Mets we’re talkin’ about’so we can’t underestimate their ability to make dumb decisions.

Fraley then notes that the Rangers need a roof in Arlington due to the heat. How about the fact that Minnesota’s new stadium won’t have a roof…and it’s IN FREAKIN’ MINNESOTA… where it’s entirely likely that it might snow in both April and/or October?!? Oh yeah, the Rangers are having a great season, roof-less.

His last gripe is with Wrigley. Sure, it’s a dump, but it’s always packed. He cites the irregular start times as THE problem with the team. Sure, that’s it.… Click here to read the rest

Memo To Michael Kay: Please Stop Talking

Wednesday night’s game had that special feel that is typically reserved for playoff games, no-hit bids, and four hour affairs against Boston. Derek Jeter had notched two hits in his first 3 at bats, and came to the plate in the 7th inning with an opportunity to tie Lou Gehrig. He singled to right and tied the record, and the crowd erupted around him. In the 8th, the crowd roared as he batted with a chance to claim the record for himself, but worked a walk against the aptly named Grant Balfour. For those in the Stadium, it must have been an exceptionally thrilling moment. For those of us watching at home, it was a great experience that was slightly diminished by the incessant babbling of Michael Kay.

During both at-bats Kay assailed us with prepared statements, kitschy lines, and inane platitudes about the greatness of Derek Jeter. Once Jeter notched the tying hit, it became obvious that Kay had scripted his reaction, as he launched into a lengthy speech that drowned out the reaction of the crowd.… Click here to read the rest

9/11: In Memoriam

In October of 2001, a few short weeks after the unspeakable terror attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, the Yankees and Diamondbacks took the field to play the Fall Classic as the country grieved. For just a few days, baseball told us that it was alright to smile again, if only for a fleeting moment. It reminded us of the American ideals that we hold so dear, and made us all proud to be Americans. On this, the 8th anniversary of 9/11, let us remember those that were lost, and recall how our favorite game helped us heal.

Click here to read the rest

Best offense ever?

Steve Lombardi of Was Watching fame provides this awesome bit of statistical analysis with regards to our beloved 2009 New York Yankees:

“The 2009 Yankees currently have 7 players with 400+ PA and an OPS+ =120. If New York can keep this up, they will become only the third team in baseball history to have 7 players with 400+PA and an OPS+ =120. The others to do it were the 1993 Tigers and 1978 Brewers.”

Damn, it’s been a fun year.… Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 9/10

I’m finally back from a school-induced hiatus, sorry for disappearing for the last few weeks.

Scranton defeats Gwinnett, 4-1 (they lead series 2-0)

  • Ivan Nova earned the win for the Yankees with 7 innings of 1-run ball, allowing 7 hits and a walk while striking out 5.  His sinker was also great today, as Nova recorded 15 groundball outs against 1 flyout.
  • Zach Kroenke struck out 1 in a perfect 8th.
  • Kevin Whelan got the save, striking out 3 in a shutout innings of relief, giving up a hit and a walk.
  • Reegie Corona was 2 for 4 with a double.
  • Austin Jackson was 1 for 4.
  • Juan Miranda was 2 for 4.
  • Kevin Russo was 1 for 4 with a double.
  • John Rodriguez and Justin Bernier were each 1 for 4.

Staten Island is the only other team with games remaining, since the deciding game in their best of 3 series with the Lowell Spinners was rained out.… Click here to read the rest

Wang’s pinstriped future in doubt?

From Pete Abraham (LoHud):

Wang had a $5 million contract this season and is eligible for arbitration. There is virtually no chance the Yankees will offer him arbitration before the December deadline. That would leave Wang a free agent.

“I would like to stay in New York,” he said. “But I don’t know what will happen.”

One possibility is that the Yankees could offer Wang a minor-league contract. Or another team could sign him to a major-league deal and hope that he returns to form.

“That’s something we won’t even think about until November,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “Those are issues for another day.”

Chien-Ming Wang is in a tough situation—one that, I think, was made worse by the Yankees’ handling of last year’s injury and Wang’s subsequent “recovery.” The team did not provide Wang with the correct rehabilitation program following his lisfranc injury and then, when he struggled in 2009, they sent him to the minors, rushed him back, and used him in an irregular manner.… Click here to read the rest

Perspective on Jeter

I lived in NYC from 1993 until 2001, when, as a growing family, we moved for some more space. During that time, the Yanks won four titles, including a Subway Series against the Mets, and Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera became MY Mick and Whitey. (Pettitte, Bernie and Posada were also key secondary figures, much like Skowron, Martin and Bauer.) And Mark Messier willed the Rangers to a title, still the most exciting fan moment of my life.

I don’t expect those of you who aren’t Yanks fans, or are Yankee haters, to fully appreciate what Jeter and Mo mean to me and many like me. These guys are OUR guys, OUR heroes. We’ll bore our kids and grandkids telling them about “The Flip” and “The Dive” and how automatic Mo was every year. These are OUR icons. When anyone will try to list the greatest Yankees ever, Jeter’s name will enter the discussion pretty darn quickly. Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra.… Click here to read the rest

The "This Guy Is Not Trying" Fallacy

Often, fans see a player that constantly makes the same mistakes and assumes that the player is not trying, or is too stubborn to change his ways. This line of thinking has led many fans to become incredibly frustrated with Joba Chamberlain. After he allowed four of the first five hitters to reach in last night’s game, fans on many of the blogs I frequent were echoing that familiar refrain: “I am really sick of Joba. He is really showing no effort or inclination to get better. He is just stubborn and unwilling to change.” This is a ridiculous fallacy, as we really know very little about what is going on in a player’s head or behind the scenes.

Unless a player is obviously dogging it, it is impossible to discern whether a player is giving his all by watching on television. We can try and interpret the events on the field, but ultimately, we just do not have enough information about the player’s level of preparation, will to improve, or willingness to try new things.… Click here to read the rest

Game 141: Rays 2, Yankees 4

Bronx Cheers:
Joba: While he did rebound after a shaky start, the young hurler struggled early and gave Tampa a quick lead. In three innings, he gave up three hits and two earned runs.

Cano/Teixeira: Robbie and Mark went 0-4 and left five runners on base.

RISP: The Yankees won, but they went 1-12 with runners in scoring position.

Curtain Calls:
Jeter: I mean really, could there have been a bigger curtain call than Derek Jeter tonight. He went 3-4 and tied Lou Gehrig.

A-Rod: He went 2-4 with a run scored.

Posada: There was a point this season where I came close to calling Jorge un-clutch. Tonight he was the epitome of clutch as he pinch hit the game-winning homer. Fitting that another Yankee homegrown player won Jeter’s historic outing.

Derek Jeter:
Watching Jeter tie Gehrig’s record, and listening to the responses of his teammates you truly realize how great a player he is. Posada made the comment that Jeter would be the only Yankee player to ever hit 3000 hits.… Click here to read the rest