Author Archives: William Tasker

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.

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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.…

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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.

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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.

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Another oh no, Mo, but Yankees win on Gardner homer

The New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-4, today in one of the most emotionally confusing games of the season. The two old war horses, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera could not get the job done but the Yankees scored enough runs off of Justin Verlander to allow Brett Gardner to hit a shot into the second deck in right off of Jose Veras (welcome to our world, Detroit) to win the game in walk off fashion.

To add to the emotional confusion, before Gardner’s heroics, Alex Rodriguez was the offensive star of the game, A-Rod started the Yankees scoring with his first home run of the season with a shot to left off of Justin Verlander in the second inning and an inning later, hit a single to drive in another run. Alfonso Soriano hit his third homer as a Yankee off of Verlander in the fourth to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

The four runs were much more than was expected off of Verlander.…

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This week in Yankees baseball

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Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays felt like some sort of time warp as Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano led the offense and Mariano Rivera recorded the win. All we needed was an Andy Pettitte start and I would have felt like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a nap started ten years ago. And I realized after watching the game that perhaps the owners that overruled Brian Cashman to go get Soriano made the right decision.

It is not that Soriano might carry the Yankees to a miracle comeback. Hardly anyone expects that to happen. But the addition gives the lineup some context for the fans. It has not just been that a bunch of fill-in starters have been penciled into the Yankees’ lineup or that they have been hitting poorly. The problem as a fan was the lack of continuity. Losing so many regulars from the lineup meant that there was nobody we “knew” playing on a regular basis.…

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This week in Yankees baseball

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The ESPN broadcast of the Yankees game at Fenway Park had all the memes covered. Joe Girardi is having his best managing year. The Yankees have done a great job of staying relevant despite their $100 million of DL injuries. CC Sabathia is transitioning into a guy who cannot throw 95 anymore. But at least one meme was missing and it was a noted absence: If the Yankees can stay close until they get some of their horses back…

The horses ain’t coming back. Mark Teixeira we already know about. Curtis Granderson will probably come back. But Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter? It just does not seem to be in the cards. And it does not matter really. The Orioles, the Rays and the Red Sox are all better teams even if Granderson, A-Rod and Jeter all play the last fifty games.

I do not know about you folks, but the reality set in quite a while ago for me that this was not going to be a good season.…

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Helpless Yankees lose at Fenway, 4-2

A lineup that included Brent Lillibridge at third base–the Yankees 78th third baseman this season–got in a three-run hole after two innings thanks to a solo home run by Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the game and a two-run homer by Jonny Gomes in the second (off of Yankees’...

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Ed Figueroa – stalwart of some Yankee glory years

Baseball was a much different game in the 1970s. Every bullpen did not have several pitchers that could throw the ball 95 MPH. For example, Sparky Lyle won the 1977 Cy Young Award as the Yankees’ closer and struck out 4.5 batters per nine innings. It was a game of managing contact as the average pitcher during those years would strikeout 4.8 to 5.0 batters per nine. Ed Figueroa was a starting pitcher during those years and his ability to rack up innings in which he could manage contact helped the Yankees to three straight World Series appearances from 1976 to 1978.

Figueroa was a seventeen year old kid from Puerto Rico when the New York Mets signed him as an amateur free agent in 1966. He showed promise in the Mets’ low minor league system. Within a year of that signing, he went 12-5 for the Winter Haven Mets with a 2.05 ERA. A year later, he hurt his arm and then lost a year in Vietnam serving his country.…

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