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

A voice crying in the infield wilderness

Shoot me if I disagree with just about everyone in the universe, but I like this infield. All due respect to my colleagues who I respect highly and most of our regular comment folks and most experts everywhere, I think the Yankees’ infield will be okay. I don’t want Didi Gregorius or Stephen Drew or Darwin Barney. I am fine taking this infield into the season. Wow…it’s lonely out here.

I have watched a lot of the spring games and I like what I see. I am a little worried about Derek

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

Jeter at the plate. Brian Roberts is moving around real well and looks like the Brian Roberts of five years ago. Mark Teixeira looks healthy and focused. And Kelly Johnson will be better than advertised. After all, he played for the Rays last year. Mick Kelleher likes what he sees.

The Yankees are in a very competitive division. As last year showed, a poor showing hit the attendance and television ratings hard, so there is a lot at stake this year.…

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Game Thread: Yanks versus Red Sox 3/20/2014

The Yankees are not showing the Red Sox their “A-game” as they travel to that cute little Fenway knockoff in Fort Myers. David Phelps gets the start for the Yankees and pitches in front of a lineup that only includes Mark Teixeira among the regulars.

The Lineups:

New York Yankees:

  1. Ichiro Suzuki CF
  2. Brendan Ryan Dean Anna SS
  3. Eduardo Nunez 3B
  4. Mark Teixeira 1B
  5. Francisco Cervelli C
  6. Scott Sizemore 2B
  7. Yangervis Solarte LF
  8. Zoilo Almonte RF
  9. Zelous Wheeler DH

SP – David Phelps

Boston Red Sox:

  1. Grady Sizemore CF
  2. Shane Victorino RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  4. David Ortiz DH
  5. Mike Napoli 1B
  6. Daniel Nava LF
  7. Xander Bogaerts SS
  8. David Ross C
  9. Jonathan Herrera 3B

SP – Clay Buchholz

The game starts at 7:00 and will be telecast on the YES Network and apparently on ESPN. For those of you north of here, NESN has it too. Other than seeing Grady Sizemore, I would love to be more zealous for watching this game, but I will have to settle for Zelous.…

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Rival Roundup – The Boston Red Sox

RedSox

The last of a four-part series, Rival Roundup has been an overview of the Yankees’ American League East rivals. As stated throughout the series, almost half of the Yankees’ games will be against these four rivals. This last installment looks at the Boston Red Sox. Like the first three in the series, we have enlisted the thoughts of member sites of The ESPN SweetSpot Network. For this installment, my good friend, Jeff Polman, of Fire Brand of the American League will provide some insight throughout the piece.

Of course the last installment had to be the Boston Red Sox. Cue the bad-guy organ music! Actually, a lot of steam has gone out of the antipathy between the two teams. They spend too much time respecting each other these days. Even so, the bottom line for both teams and the teams’ fans is that both ends of the “rivalry” are shooting for the same prize. Only one can win the division.…

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Game Thread: Red Sox at Yanks 3/18/2014

The Yankees host the Boston Red Sox for a 1:05 ET at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The Lineups:

Boston Red Sox:

  1. Jackie Bradley, Jr. – CF
  2. Jonny Gomes – DH
  3. Mike Carp – LF
  4. Ryan Lavarnway – 1B
  5. Xander Bogaerts – SS
  6. Corey Brown – RF
  7. David Ross – C
  8. Brandon Snyder – 3B
  9. Jonathan Herrera – 2B

Felix Doubront – SP

New York Yankees:

  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Derek Jeter – SS
  3. Carlos Beltran – RF
  4. Mark Teixeira – 1B
  5. Alfonso Soriano – DH
  6. Francisco Cervelli – C
  7. Brian Roberts – 2B
  8. Kelly Johnson – 3B
  9. Ichiro Suzuki – CF

SP – Michael Pineda

Of course, we will all be interested in how Michael Pineda performs. Enjoy the game and if you are watching, comment on how the big pitcher does.

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Rival Roundup – The Toronto Blue Jays

20111118-blue-jays-logo

Part three of a four part series, Rival Roundup takes a look at the American League East rivals the New York Yankees will have to navigate for almost half of the team’s games in 2014. After visiting the Orioles on Friday and the Rays on Monday, our next stop is the Toronto Blue Jays. To offer insight and perspective of someone who covers the Jays closely, we turned to one of our fellow members of the ESPN SweetSpot Network, Matthias Koster of Mop Up Duty. Koster’s thoughts will pop up throughout.

Imagine being told by someone close to you that you were going to get a shiny new car for a present, but when the day finally arrives, you find out the car was a Matchbox car and it wasn’t even one that was made in England. That’s what it felt like to be a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays last season when a series of moves were made after the 2012 season and everyone predicted a renaissance of Canada baseball.…

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Rival Roundup – Tampa Bay Rays

Rays

The second of a four part series, Rival Roundup takes a look at each team of the American League East. The Yankees will play almost half of their games against these four clubs so it is really important to get to know their strengths and weaknesses. We have reached out to our ESPN SweetSpot Network partner sites to contribute their thoughts to the series. Today we look at the Tampa Bay Rays and Tommy Rancel of The Process Report has been kind enough to provide his thoughts that will be sprinkled throughout.

Remember the days when the Yankees only had to worry about the Red Sox and the rest of the division was fairly incompetent? For the past several years, the Tampa Bay Rays have also been tough to beat. In fact, the entire division is strong if you were to look at one set of projections. The Rays won 92 games last year, seven more than the Yankees. Not only did the team finish ahead of the Yankees, they pretty well thrashed the Bronx team in the season series, winning 12 of the 19 games and outscoring the Yankees by 32 runs.…

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Rival Roundup – Baltimore Orioles

This is the first of four installments looking at the 2014 American League East rivals. After all, the New York Yankees will play close to half of their games this season against these four division rivals. As we look at each team, we have reached out to our friends in the ESPN SweetSpot Network. Throughout this look at the Orioles, we will hear from Jon Shepherd of Camden Depot. 

The Orioles and the Yankees finished with the exact same record in 2013. But both got there by different routes. The Orioles scored a lot more runs, allowed more runs and played better defense. The Yankees pitched better but lagged behind the Orioles both offensively and defensively. Despite the differences, the rivalry has really been exciting the last two years as the two teams battled for the division title in 2012 and played to a 9-9 tie during that season. The Yankees were one game better in 2013 with a 10-9 record against the Orioles.…

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Game Thread: Yanks versus the Rays – 3/9/2014

The Yankees play at 1:05 today at GMS Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rays. It looks like a lot of regulars are on the field.

The lineups:

Rays:

Chris Archer – Starting pitcher

New York Yankees:

David Phelps gets the start.

Interesting with Solarte at third. The games is on the YES Network today. Enjoy!

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The best Yankees by uniform number

I really enjoyed an article on ESPN’s SweetSpot Network by Diane Firstman on uniform numbers. I have written about uniform numbers quite a bit over the years and have enjoyed those written by others–especially those numbers that are retired around the league. Firstman’s article made me think about Yankee uniform numbers and the...

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