Pictures from The Hall, part 1

Over the next few days, I’ll pepper the site with a few of my favorite pictures from my Hall of Fame visit this past weekend. Two of my favorites are first.

These two were not part of an exhibit; they were giant blown-up versions of what were probably index card sized documents. They floored me although most people ran by them as they were in a corridor between other exhibits.

Not interested in pro ball until he graduates“. How often do you hear that these days?

[CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE]

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More Hughes News

Per Lohud, one of the myriad tests that Phil Hughes underwent indicated the possibility of a “circulatory problem.”  Hughes will be going to see a specialist in St. Louis to get another opinion, but this is not a real encouraging development.  Joe Girardi mentioned in his post0game press conference taht Hughes might have a mild case of thoracic outlet syndrome.  Hopefully the visit to the specialist will help clear things up. What is thoracic outlet syndrome?  Here’s what Pubmed has to say: Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare condition that involves pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the Continue reading More Hughes News

Game Thread: Bartolo Colon Takes On The White Sox

There’s something I love about watching Bartolo Colon pitch. He seeks to right the ship against Mark Buerhle after a disappointing start to the White Sox series. The lineups: Derek Jeter SS Nick Swisher RF Mark Teixeira 1B Alex Rodriguez 3B Robinson Cano 2B Andruw Jones LF Jorge Posada DH Russell Martin C Curtis Granderson CF Juan Pierre LF Alexei Ramirez SS Carlos Quentin RF Paul Konerko 1B Adam Dunn DH Alex Rios CF A.J. Pierzynski C Gordon Beckham 2B Omar Vizquel 3b Use this as your game thread for tonight. And cross your fingers that the bats finally come Continue reading Game Thread: Bartolo Colon Takes On The White Sox

No News On Hughes As He Undergoes Another Day Of Testing

Here is the update, from Chad Jennings: Girardi says nothing new on Hughes right now. Doc will be here later. Might have an update then. Hughes underwent a second day of medical examinations today, with the team putting him through a battery of tests to see if they can find any sort of explanation for his diminished velocity and tired arm. The Yankees likely refrained from sending Hughes from tests until now because, as medical professionals will tell you, you can often find something that will look anomalous in the arm of a person who throws a baseball for a Continue reading No News On Hughes As He Undergoes Another Day Of Testing

Getting over the tough losses is hard.

There’s an interesting paradox to losses like the Yankees have suffered the past two games. In some ways, they’re the most meaningless losses of all. A good offense suddenly can’t score runs, has some bad BABIP luck, and gets victimized by unbelievably good defense at crucial moments. Those games are going to happen over the course of 162 games, we all know it, and we’ve all been through it before. In some ways you just shake it off and wait for the next day.

But in other ways those are the losses that hurt the most, because it just doesn’t feel like a loss. The Yankees put the winning run on base in the 9th after Derek Jeter got a hit and Ivan Nova pitched a very good game into the 7th inning. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano both smoked line drives that should have tied/won the game, if not for two of the most unbelievable catches you’ll likely see all season long coming on back-to-back plays.

I don’t have anything profound to say about the meaning of it all or anything, I just find the tension between the two facts amusing. Baseball is indeed a cruel mistress, and yet we keep coming back. Continue reading Getting over the tough losses is hard.

Foolish to Blame Soriano’s Performance on His Contract

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). If Rafael Soriano felt unwanted at his introductory press conference, just imagine the thoughts going through his head as he walked off the mound to a chorus of 40,000 boos during yesterday’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox. Amid all of the dissent, no one ever disputed Soriano’s ability to pitch because it would have been a foolish argument. Not only was the right hander coming off a season in which he led the league in saves, but his entire career record pointed toward a dominant pitcher when healthy. Even Brian Cashman, who disavowed Continue reading Foolish to Blame Soriano’s Performance on His Contract

McCourt and Wilpon in very different circumstances.

Blogger Murray Chass smells a hypocrite:

But now that [Bud Selig] has taken the first step toward forcing McCourt to sell the Dodgers, Selig has created the need to deal with Wilpon. Selig certainly considered the Wilpon issue before he initiated serious action against McCourt so you know he is prepared to defend doing nothing with Wilpon. But he also knows that he will face pressure to exhibit fair and equal treatment.

(Click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading McCourt and Wilpon in very different circumstances.

Decision Approaching on Kevin Millwood

On Sunday, Kevin Millwood will be allowed to opt out of his minor league contract with the Yankees and seek employment elsewhere if they do not add him to the 25-man roster. Going into Spring Training, I think Millwood was probably considered a better pitcher right now than Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia. However, Colon and Garcia have combined for 31 innings and an ERA of 2.32, with Colon throwing great stuff while Freddy Garcia is getting by with junk. Millwood’s stuff hasn’t looked good in the minors, but we knew that would happen already. His stuff hasn’t been good Continue reading Decision Approaching on Kevin Millwood

Dealing with the monster Mo has created.

You’re never going to believe this guys, but it turns out Rafael Soriano is a #headcase!

Joe Girardi has gone by his formula, but it’s time to change the formula.

Yes, Rafael Soriano should be a tremendous weapon in the eighth inning, but the former closer can’t handle this situation. His head isn’t right for it right now.

It’s an old pitching lesson — where the head leads, the arm follows.

The issue is now: What are the Yankees going to do with their eighth-inning problem? It wasn’t just the two-run home run Soriano surrendered to Paul Konerko that turned the game around and gave the White Sox a 3-2 victory last night at Yankees Stadium, ruining a spectacular effort from young Ivan Nova, who made a starting rotation statement.

It wasn’t just the hit by pitch, the walk and the single that Soriano gave up to the White Sox in the inning or the home run. It was his lack of composure, his inability to overcome mistakes or to handle the pressure that is New York.

[…]

Soriano clearly hasn’t learned a thing from Mariano Rivera and his professional approach.

Alright, first things first; Kevin Kernan is an idiot and the New York media is insufferable. Soriano isn’t having problems because his head isn’t right or because he can’t handle the mythical pressure of New York City, he’s simply not pitching well so far. His velocity has been down and he’s making location mistakes, which is always and everywhere a recipe for disaster. Last night he hung a very hittable cutter right in the middle of the plate and Paul Konerko put it in the outfield seats. There’s no ephemeral mystery to what’s going on here.

That out of the way, I’ve been mulling over this theory for awhile, and Kernan’s little riff here is about as good an illustration as it gets. In short, I think the New York media has been watching Mariano Rivera be so good for so long that they’ve simply lost all perspective when it comes to relief pitchers. Which is double odd, because they’re certainly not short on praise for Mo. But when you’re routinely calling someone the greatest of all time and noting how remarkable he is, you’d think it would be self-evident that he’s, by definition, much different than the vast majority of players doing the same job. Instead, it seems as though watching Mo be so consistently good for so long has warped the brains of a large segment of New York writers, and they now expect other relievers to be as consistent as Mo, even though most relievers are extremely volatile in terms of their performance. Mariano is simply the exception that proves the rule.

As an aside, I did find this paragraph incredibly enjoyable:

Girardi needs to demote Soriano to the seventh inning and let David Robertson, who worked out of a seventh-inning jam in relief of Nova, and Joba Chamberlain work the eighth.

On the general point I agree; until Soriano starts pitching better he should come in for lower leverage situations and other guys who are performing better should get the higher leverage spots. But the obvious self-refutation of Kernan’s structuring of the idea is pretty hilarious. Who says inning-specific bullpen roles can’t be fun? Continue reading Dealing with the monster Mo has created.