William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

Author Archives: William Tasker

Catcher in the NYY

One of the things I really enjoy about being a part of the team here at this site is the conversations all the writers have in our e-mail strings. I work here with very cool people. One of the many topics we have all talked about is what the Yankees will do at the catching...

Read more

The Derek Jeter end game

There were many times during the end celebrations of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte where I kept wondering what was going through the mind of Derek Jeter. The last remaining Core Four player of the now dead Yankees’ dynasty that began in 1995, he had just watched Pettitte and Rivera go out of the game pretty much on their own terms and in good form. Trying to get into the head of another person, especially a ballplayer, is dangerous business, but I kept wondering if Jeter wondered if he could go out on his own terms too.

Jeter will most certainly exercise his player option for 2014 and no doubt, that will be fine with the Yankees. Brian Cashman has already stated as much. The doubts occur if Jeter has anything left to offer. After four aborted attempts to return in 2013, Jeter only managed 17 games and wheels that could never get healthy.

As such, questions are obvious as to if Jeter can play at least semi-regularly again and how the Yankees would use him if he can.…

Read more

Andy Pettitte the pitcher

Today is going to be an emotional day at Yankee Stadium. Mariano Rivera Day will be shared by Andy Pettitte. That Rivera encouraged Pettitte to announce his retirement to share in the special day says as much about Rivera as anything else written about the man. And that Pettitte was concerned about impeding on Rivera’s day says a lot about him as a man as well. And much will be said today in flowering terms. And rightly so. The two pitchers are part of a dynastic era and were two big cogs in all those successful teams. Along with the hyperbole when discussing the two pitchers today will be their Hall of Fame chances. Rivera will be considered a lock. Pettitte will be considered just short.

There are a lot of statistics that will back up that assessment of Pettitte’s career. His 3.93 career ERA would be the highest of any pitcher ever elected to the Hall of Fame. Pettitte’s starts during his career have benefited from a 5.4 runs per game support.…

Read more

The Yankees’ offensive offense

The 2013 New York Yankees season is winding down and the glimmer of hope for a wild card spot is much like that sad flower in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. And after losing two of three to a Toronto Blue Jays team, even saying that sounds overly optimistic. The series in Toronto typified this season’s version of the Yankees. This team simply cannot hit.

The Yankees make guys like Todd Redmond and J.A. Happ look like All Stars. It is easy to blame the poor offensive season on injuries. But you also have to question approach. When a third or more of your lineup engenders an infield shift every game, that might tell you something. The injuries might save batting coach Kevin Long’s job. But he does not get off the hook so easily here.

Consider how bad this offense really is. Only two positions on the field, second base and center field, have an OPS over .700. The catching position only makes J.P.

Read more

Basking in the glow of Mo

The New York Yankees were leading the lowly Chicago White Sox, 6-1, heading into the top of the eighth inning. CC Sabathia had finally pitched a good game. But Paul Konerko hit a hard single to left to give the White Sox men on first and second with one out and Joe Girardi had seen enough. The manager was probably kicking himself for allowing Sabathia to start the inning since Sabathia began it over 100 pitches. David Robertson was brought in and all was well with the world. Robertson again this season has been one of the best relievers in baseball. But Robertson was not good on this night. Three singles and a walk later, the score was 6-5 and Robertson could not get the last out of the inning. Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera. And then all was right with the world. Once again, Yankee fans were basking in the glow of Mo.

Mariano RiveraThink back to March of this year.…

Read more

Blue Jays take two of three from the Yankees

According to Joe Girardi, the Yankees could only afford to lose seven games of their last thirty in order to be where they wanted to be. After tonight’s loss in Toronto, that number is down to six. A week ago, the Yankees looked poised to make a run as they finally had some fire power in the lineup. But after two losses in three games to the Tampa Bay Rays and the same result with the Toronto Blue Jays, the “Ay’s” have it. And this game was over rather quickly as the Blue Jays scored four runs in the first inning, another two in the second and a seventh run in the third. The Yankees managed only two runs on five hits and struck out thirteen times.

Hiroki Kuroda delivered his third straight poor performance and gave up seven runs, five earned on nine hits, a walk and a hit batter. He was not helped in the first inning when he struck out J.P.

Read more

Roster move – Betances up, Adams down

David Adams‘ yo-yo season continued as he was recently sent down to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Dellin Betances. Betances has made a comeback of sorts as a prospect since being converted from a starter to the bullpen. Some of Betances encouraging numbers for the year in Triple-A include 5.8 hits per nine, 10.9 strikeouts per nine and a 2.97 ERA in 72+ innings of work.

The move means the Yankees now have thirteen pitchers on their 25-man roster and only three backup players in the dugout in Vernon Wells, Jayson Nix and Austin Romine.

Read more