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

The Cano All Star experience

The entire thing was tough to take as a Yankee writer and fan. My wife was extremely upset. I thought the fans had a right to boo and be upset at Cano, but the way they continued seemed to go beyond the line of good taste. I am a high road kind of guy and this whole thing seemed low road to me. I made the huge mistake of saying so on Twitter. Most Twitter pals from the KC patronage crowd were polite in their responses of disagreement. But one response from a guy I thought was a good guy became absolutely hateful and savage in his responses. It blew me away. And yeah, it hurt. That response made me think again of the plight we have as Yankee fans. Oh, I’m sure some of you will think I am being a weak-livered wuss. But my fandom tries to be magnanimous. I was the first to congratulate Tigers’ tweeters when that team beat the Yankees in the playoffs last year.…

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Ivan Nova – a great performance

It started in the first inning. The Yankees had given him a 2-0 lead. Nova struck out Daniel Nava to start the bottom of the frame. But Superman, Pedro Ciriaco, singled. Nova had David Ortiz in the hole, with a ball and two strikes, but walked him. Nova kept his cool and struck out Adrian Gonzalez to make it two outs. Nova then got Cody Ross to hit into an inning-ending pop up to the infield to end the threat. Except…Derek Jeter–in the wonderful words of Gabe Lezra went all Luis Castillo on Nova and dropped the pop fly. Nova again kept his cool and got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to ground out to second to end the inning.

Jeter struck again in the bottom of the third. We love you, Captain, but this was as bad a fielding game as we have ever seen. That guy again, Ciriaco, hit a grounder to Jeter. Jeter did not make the play and Ciriaco was given a single.  …

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Yankees out-slug Red Sox, 10-8

After the top of the first, it appeared the game would be an easy one for the Yankees. Josh Beckett looked completely to start the game. Derek Jeter lined a single to center to start it off. Curtis Granderson then hooked a single in the hole between first and second and Jeter went to third. Beckett then tried to throw a curve to Alex Rodriguez and it slipped out of Beckett’s hand and hit A-Rod to load the bases with no outs. Robinson Cano saw four pitches that were so far out of the zone that even he did not swing at them and his walk scored a run. With the bases still loaded, Mark Teixeira hit a rope to center for a single to score Granderson and A-Rod and Cano took third and the Yankees were off and running with three runs scored and still no outs. Nick Swisher hit a sacrifice fly to make it, 4-0. Raul Ibanez singled and Teixeira chugged into third.…

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The summer of Kevin Maas

The first few games for Kevin Maas did little to foretell of things to come. The  25-year old was called up in the midst of his fifth season of minor league ball. He had an OPS of .973 in Triple-A after making a fast rise through the system for a 22nd Round draft pick in 1986. Maas started his first few games as the designated hitter. The position was not a good one for the Yankees that season as seventeen different batters hit in the DH spot that season including an aging Dave Winfield and a sideshow named Deion Sanders.

Maas started his first game on June 29, 1990. It was the Yankees’ 71st game that season and they were already headed in a bad direction with a 27-44 record. Bucky Dent had already been fired as manager after just 49 games and Stump Merrill had taken over. It made little difference. Maas batted seventh in a game the Yankees lost, 1-0, to the White Sox.…

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Next day, same story. Yanks lose, 7-4

There was a lot of debate on Twitter tonight on the outing of Ivan Nova. His final line worked out to a quality start. And the point in his favor is that the third inning could have ended with no runs scored instead of the three that tied the game. Nova struck out Sean Rodriguez to start the inning. Elliot Johnson then singled and stole second. Nova then walked Desmond Jennings but induced Carlos Pena to pop up to short right to get Nova within an out of getting out of the inning. But he could not shut the door totally as B.J. Upton singled to left. Dewayne Wise charged the ball aggressively and threw a strike to home and the throw beat Johnson there. The throw short-hopped Russell Martin and in the collision that followed, Martin did not have a strong enough grip on the ball to hold on. The umpire called Johnson out until he saw the ball on the ground and reversed himself.…

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Bullpen blows it in seventh. Rays beat Yanks, 4-3

The Yankees could not have been happier at Freddy Garcia’s outing. He pitched five and a third innings and gave up five hits and no walks while striking out four. B.J. Upton took Garcia deep in the third and Carlos Pena took Garcia deep for a solo homer to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pena’s solo drive tied the game at two. Cody Eppley relieved Garcia to keep the score tied, 2-2, heading into the top of the seventh.

The Yankees scored their two runs in the first inning. Derek Jeter led off the game with a line drive double to the gap in right-center. After Curtis Granderson struck out, the Yankees caught a break at the expense of an old friend. The Rays were greatly shifted around to the left against a right-handed hitting Mark Teixeira. Teixeira caught one weakly and sent it toward the right field line. Hideki Matsui, greatly misplaced by playing right field, charged over toward the ball but overran it and never touched it.…

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The Yankee Stadium thing

All three versions of Yankee Stadium have had a short right-field porch. But since the new version opened in 2009, the criticism has mounted and this new park does seem to allow the ball to travel further. Where a 100 score is considered neutral for park factor, Yankee Stadium III is currently rated at 106, a figure that does favor batters. But is the Yankees’ success dependent upon the configurations of their home ballpark? Hardly.

The figures show that the Yankees are more apt to hit a homer at home. But it is not a factor as big as people would lead you to believe. At home, the Yankees’ batters hit homers in 5.2 percent of their at bats. On the road, that figure goes down to 4.1 percent. That seems somewhat significant. But it doesn’t necessarily lead to more runs. The Yankees have scored 186 runs at home in 40 games and 183 in 37 games on the road. There is no major breakdown in the team’s OPS on the road (compare that with the Rockies).…

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