Photo c/o Babes Love Baseball The Athletics (65-64, 2nd place in the AL West) come to Yankee Stadium for the first and only time this season for a four-game set starting tonight. The teams have already seen each other twice before, and the Yankees (80-50, tied for first in the AL East) have had little [...]
I am finally back from vacation. While it always feels great to return home, no matter how great the trip was, being in San Diego for that long was a blast. At least the weather here in NY is perfect, too, this week. You have no interest in seeing the family photo albums, but I’d like to share a bit about our trip to Petco. We were there this past Wednesday and were treated to a typical NL smallball game in a pitcher’s park affair an AL-style slugfest, mostly by the home team. The game was only part of the fun. Actually, the fun started well before first pitch.
Petco Park, as an attraction, was done the right way. It’s so kid- and family-friendly. The sightlines in the park are very good and the staff in and around the park are as nice as you will find in any town anywhere.
We got to the park a little later than we expected due to (what else?) traffic. We intended to get to the field around 5pm to watch the Padres’ batting practice and the D’Backs’ BP, but we missed the Padres’ turn at the plate. Nevertheless, we entered the stadium and went right out to left-center field where they have a great seating/viewing area. First of all, it’s a giant sandbox and the outfield wall is simple chain-link fence. What creates is a you’re-almost-on-the-field atmosphere and a prime spot to land batted souvenirs and autographs. The picture to the right shows Rodrigo Lopez and Juan Gutierrez talking to some friends, while my wife (Sharpie in hand) and older son wait for autographs. Other players would walk by, say hello but my Spanish is very rusty so I couldn’t dicipher much more than that.
(click “view full post” to read more)
Happy Monday, all. If you’re reading this before 3 PM, I’m stuck in “professional development” for middle school English teachers, even though I’m not technically a teacher. Such is life. Anyway, here’s what was running through my head during the weekend. Friday night’s game was just embarrassing to watch. I’ve umpired Cal Ripken League games [...]
Over the last few days, while the Red Sox and Rays battled in Tampa, Yankee fans grappled with an interesting dilemma. With the Yankees tied for first place with Tampa and with Boston attempting to make it a 3 team race for two playoff spots, fans of the Bombers were unsure of who to root [...]
Last week I predicted that the financial statements leaked by deadspin.com – confidential financial statements covering two years of operations for the Pirates, Rays, Marlins, Angels, Mariners and Rangers – would result in the death of baseball’s revenue sharing system in its current form. The leaked data shows that the revenue sharing system is not working: it permits teams to use most of their revenue sharing money to pad their profits, instead of applying those moneys to improve the team’s performance on the field.
There’s another reason why baseball’s revenue sharing system will not survive in its current form: it is built around secrecy, and lies.
Before we turn to the lies, let’s focus on the secrets. The data revealed by deadspin.com is confidential. Baseball does not disclose the amount of money paid and received under revenue sharing. There is no disclosure of how teams use their revenue sharing money. This information is kept secret from the fans who fund revenue sharing by buying tickets and merchandise, paying for advanced MLB subscriptions and following the sport on radio and TV.
Now it turns out that we weren’t the only people being kept in the dark.
Jayson Stark at ESPN.com reports that these numbers are also kept secret from other baseball teams. This news would be hard to believe if it didn’t come from a source as trustworthy as Jayson Stark. Of course, every baseball team knows the amount it pays or receives under revenue sharing. But it turns out that no team is told by Bud Selig and the brass at Major League Baseball how much is being paid or received by any other team. “We knew these teams were getting millions,” an official of one club told Stark. “But we thought that ‘millions’ means maybe $40 million. But not close to $50 million. We knew it was a lot. Just not to this extent.”
(click “view full post” to read more)
Photo c/o Getty Images A day after a contest that saw 30 combined hits and 21 runs scored, the Yankees and White Sox engaged in a classic pitcher’s duel, with the Yankees emerging victorious 2-1. If you’d told me prior to this weekend that the Yankees were going to lose the game started by Freddy [...]
The Yankees left Toronto with a series loss and promptly lost the first game they played in Chicago. They bounced back with a high scoring win against the White Sox on Saturday night and looked to youngster Ivan Nova for a series win Sunday afternoon. A couple early runs were all the Pinstripes needed as they took the 2-1 victory before heading back to the Bronx.
Marcus Thames, who had two homers Saturday, continued to mash against the White Sox. His solo shot to lead off the second inning was the first run of the game. Francisco Cervelli started his Sunday with a big lead-off double in the third. A single by Brett Gardner scored Cervelli, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
(click “view full post” to read more)
After A.J. Burnett turned in another shoddy outing on Friday night, Marc Carig passed along that, if he doesn’t shape up, AJ might lose his spot in the rotation.
Could this happen? Well it wouldn’t be unwarranted. Put bluntly; A.J. is having one of the worst seasons of his career this year. In 151.1 innings, he’s pitching to a 5.17 ERA and 4.77 FIP. His walk rate is actually down from last year’s at 3.75, but so are his strikeouts. His K/9 currently stands at 6.72, compared to a career average of 8.23. What’s more, he’s gone through stretches where he’s just be unspeakably awful start after start. There was, of course, his sure to be infamously horrible June where he posted an eye-popping 11.35 ERA, 6.65 BB/9, 3.52 HR/9, .362 BABIP, and 2.26 WHIP. Put simply, it was the worst stretch of pitching I can remember ever watching. This month hasn’t been quite that bad, but that just says more about how awful he was in June.
Of course, the flip-side to being inconsistent is that, while you may be very bad at times, you can be very good at times as well, and that’s very much true of Burnett. Yes, June and August were abysmal stretches for him, but the other months weren’t too bad. Even July, sandwiched right between those two awful months, was pretty darn good. And that’s why, ultimately, I think Burnett will probably keep getting the ball every 5th day. This isn’t like Javier Vazquez dealing with arm issues, this is just A.J. being A.J., and as long as his arm is healthy, there’s still the possibility that you’ll get Good A.J. in any given outing. Unless we start seeing Burnett go back to June-like awfulness over his next couple of starts, I’ll take that potential over more starts for Sergio Mitre.
In any event, it is hard to believe that not that long ago it looked like the Yankees were sitting pretty with their starting rotation, isn’t it?
[image title="alg_aj-burnett" size="full" id="21006" align="center" linkto="full" ] Imagine the following situation: There is a team with the best record in the major leagues. Their ace is pitching incredibly well, with 2 consecutive months of ERA’s below 2.31. He shows no signs of tiring, and actually seems to be getting better as the season moves into [...]