Better Prince Fielder Than Prince Albert. Seriously.

PrinceQuake

There is nothing apathetic about Fielder.  His weight-lifting regimen is the stuff of legend.  He cares about defense and works at it, as Tim Kurkijian pointed out last week.  Even if his range is never going to be exceptional, he doesn’t make many mistakes.  Last year, he made only 4 errors in over 1400 innings.

He hasn’t rested on his laurels as a hitter either, as he probably could have following his early breakout.  His walk rate has gone up consistently, to the point that a slugger once characterized as a free swinger led the majors in walks and BB/PA in 2010.  He’s never been on the disabled list.  And while it’s true that he’s performed substantially better in odd-numbered years (1014 OPS), he hasn’t exactly been a bum the rest of the time (861 OPS).  And we’re supposed to attribute such statistical oddities to small samples, right?

During his tenure, the Brewers have become a team with an identity and he’s one of their leaders, quite obviously beloved by his teammates (cue the choreographed earthquake celebration), so there’s no reason to read his “surliness” as anything more than a cultivated competitive persona.… Click here to read the rest

Game 18: Yankees 6, Orioles 3

The game moved along quickly for a couple innings, with neither team getting many opportunities to score.  Granderson doubled to left in the top of the fifth and moved to third on a single by Teixeira.  Rodriguez hit a grounder to Izturis, who made the play at second, allowing another New York run to score.  Garcia gave the Orioles little chance of closing in, as he threw perfect innings in the fifth and sixth, holding onto the Bombers’ 3-0 edge.

Joba Chamberlain came in for Garcia in the seventh.  He struck out Scott to start, but gave up a single to Jones. Mark Reynolds followed with a two-run homer, and the Orioles had pulled within one run of the Yankees.  David Robertson relieved Chamberlain in the eighth and struggled.  He allowed a one-out single to Nick Markakis, and another single to Vladimir Guerrero.  Joe Girardi called on Rivera for his first four out save opportunity of the season, and the veteran closer got Scott to fly out to end the inning. … Click here to read the rest

Yankees pick up extra-innings victory, despite Rivera blown save

Mariano Rivera blew consecutive saves for the first time since 2007 after he failed to convert a four out save. Despite the set back, and a 40 minute rain delay in the top of the 11th, the Yankees hung on to pick up a 6-3 win in Baltimore, and improve the team’s record to 12-6.

Freddy Garcia gave the Yankees his second strong start of the season. Garcia allowed only two hits and two walks over the first six innings of the game. The Yankees were leading 3-0 when he left. Joba Chamberlain came on to pitch the seventh and allowed the Orioles back into the ball game, giving up two runs.

With the Yankees leading 3-2 in the eighth inning, David Robertson came on to set things up for Rivera. Robertson struggled in the inning, allowing two hits. In response, Joe Girardi brought Mo in for a rare four out save. Rivera got out of the eighth without a problem, but allowed things to get away from him in the ninth.… Click here to read the rest

Open Thread-Montero sings soprano

Uber-prospect Jesus Montero had a rather unfortunate incident this afternoon. I’ll let Donnie Collins of the Scranton Wilkes-Barres Times fill you in on the details:

UPDATE, 3:50: Montero just took a foul ball off the cup. That is just an awful, awful feeling (take it from someone who caught growing up). People think the cup protects that area, but if you get hit there, forget it. There’s still a lot of pain. Montero is on his back now. Looks like he got shot.

UPDATE, 3:53:
That’s a scary scene involving Montero. He was helped to his feet, and his knees buckled. That’s as much pain as I’ve ever seen any player in on the baseball field.

Not the type of gift you’d hope to receive on Easter. Donnie went on to say that he was still in some serious pain both in the stomach and groin area after the game, and manager Dave Miley said they’ll have to wait and see how he’s doing tomorrow before getting him back in a game.… Click here to read the rest

New Book Highlights Jeter – Rodriguez Rift

The Post has some excerpts from the new Ian O’Connor book on Derek Jeter:

Jeter, who prized poise and selflessness, dismissed A-Rod and his diva-like behavior.
And when fans and rival players criticized A-Rod, Jeter deferred instead of defending his teammate.

General Manager Brian Cashman noticed this and asked Jeter to “fake it” with A-Rod.
“You’ve got to lead them all, the ones you like and the ones you don’t,” he told him. He asked him to appeal to Yankee fans on A-Rod’s behalf.

“I can’t tell the fans what to do,” Jeter countered.

A-Rod’s obsession with Jeter continued, the book says. He constantly asked players and team officials about Jeter — down to which charity he was currently supporting.
It all came to a head during a Yankee loss in August 2006 to Baltimore.

An easy pop-up hung in the air between A-Rod and Jeter. Both players closed in and Jeter bumped into A-Rod, knocking the ball out of his glove.

Click here to read the rest

Game 18-“It was beautiful”

That’s what Yankee manager Joe Girardi said last night about Brett Gardner’s HR after Russell Martin was hit by a Josh Rupe pitch. When you start giving up HRs to the Brett Gardner’s of the world, you might want to call your uncle with the plumbing business and tell him to leave a job open for you. There’s a good chance you’ll need it. Here’s what O’s manager Buck Showalter had to say about the incident from last night:

Buck Showalter: “We asked (Rupe) after the game. He said, ‘I know what it looked like. I was trying to go in.’ It did not look good. I didn’t like it at all. But I choose to believe my pitcher and I’ve known Josh for a long time. I think he’d be very straight with me. But I do understand what it looked like and it didn’t look good. Martin had a great night tonight. He’s had a good season for them, was a great pickup.… Click here to read the rest

Game 18-"It was beautiful"

That’s what Yankee manager Joe Girardi said last night about Brett Gardner’s HR after Russell Martin was hit by a Josh Rupe pitch. When you start giving up HRs to the Brett Gardner’s of the world, you might want to call your uncle with the plumbing business and tell him to leave a job open for you. There’s a good chance you’ll need it. Here’s what O’s manager Buck Showalter had to say about the incident from last night:

Buck Showalter: “We asked (Rupe) after the game. He said, ‘I know what it looked like. I was trying to go in.’ It did not look good. I didn’t like it at all. But I choose to believe my pitcher and I’ve known Josh for a long time. I think he’d be very straight with me. But I do understand what it looked like and it didn’t look good. Martin had a great night tonight. He’s had a good season for them, was a great pickup.… Click here to read the rest