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

Game 18 – Battle of the once was

Both pitchers have had very good success as bullpen pitchers. But both would prefer to start and who can blame them. A good start by Feldman could pique the interest of other teams for trade possibilities. A good start for Hughes will allow him to keep his doubters at bay for a little while longer.

Tonight’s lineups:

Yankees:

Derek Jeter SS

Curtis Granderson CF

Alex Rodriguez 3B

Robinson Cano 2B

Mark Teixeira 1B

Nick Swisher RF

Raul Ibanez LF

Eric Chavez DH

Russell Martin C

Rangers:

Ian Kinsler 2B

Elvis Andrus SS

Josh Hamilton CF

Adrian Beltre 3B

Michael Young DH

Nelson Cruz RF

David Murphy LF

Mike Napoli C

Mitch Moreland 1B

Game time is 8:05 and will be televised on the YES Network.

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Getting the big hit

Before we do, I want to first present to you the at bat by Curtis Granderson, the first batter in the bases loaded situation yesterday. The box score says he struck out. Epic fail, right? But it was actually a decent at bat that could have gone a different way. Granderson battled Darvish for seven pitches. Only one of the strikes in the at bat was actually in the strike zone. See the below chart from Brooks Baseball:

Click on the picture if you want to see it better and then come back. You will see that two of the called strikes against Granderson were actually outside the strike zone. That’s the way it goes sometimes. If you make those pitches balls, then Granderson walks and we would have something else to talk about today.

Anyway, back to the original thought. The alleged failure of the Yankees to produce with men on base is largely false and in this year’s statistics, too small of a sample size to quantify.…

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Pedro Gomez and the Hall of Fame quagmire

My stand, one which I have taken for a long, long time, is that the Hall of Fame should be about the best players of their generation. To refuse players of the PED generation access to the HOF makes that institution a moot point. You can’t whitewash an entire generation of baseball players simply because of what happened when they played. Doing so also allows the voters the McCarthyism of keeping “suspected” players out who are guilty without having any burden of proof. The Hall of Fame used to be something that was very cool to me. Sure, there were stupid votes in the past that sort of stretched that love a bit. The Bruce Sutter vote comes to mind. Now, the institution is a mockery where three quarters of the 600 voters are allowed to be the moral compass for all of us.

I’m not going to get into the “cheating” dialogue. As far as I am concerned, baseball players have been cheating since time began.…

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Were Yankees unfair to Cervelli?

Cervelli was the 24th or 25th man on the Yankees’ roster. All roster spots are fair game for speculation and debate. We here at IIATMS have done so with Freddy Garcia, Raul Ibanez and others. That’s all fair in what we do. But for the Yankees to choose Chris Stewart over Cervelli and crying a cruel foul is like saying the Yankees stuck it to Jorge Vazquez by not giving him a chance to DH over Andruw Jones. We may debate the merits of Andruw Jones versus Jorge Vazquez, especially after the start Jones has had to this point. But saying the Yankees screwed Vazquez personally would be all wrong. In the team’s best estimation, Vazquez could not add wins to the Yankees’ win column. And that’s the bottom line here.

The crux of Skinner’s point is contained his this paragraph:

As I said in my original article, I blame New York Yankees management, in particular Brian Cashman, for “breaking” Cervelli. 

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Day five without Brett Gardner

Tonight poses fewer problems as the Rangers will feature a left-handed starter in Derek Holland. Andruw Jones will play left and he is still a decent outfielder at the corners. He looked a bit sluggish in Boston and you have to wonder how his knee is doing. But the decision to play him in left is at least a little less troublesome than the last two games of the series that will feature right-handed starters, Yu Darvish and Scott Feldman. It seems certain the Yankees will put Ibanez in left for those two games.

On the one hand, more lefty bats with pop and patience in the lineup against the thus-far wildness of Darvish is a good thing. But with a team that can hit like the Rangers, having a plodding, no-range outfielder plumbing the depths of the ballpark in Arlington could be a problem. It seems doubtful the Yankees would trust Eduardo Nunez to play out there and even less likely for him to do so against right-handed pitching.…

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Derek Jeter’s charmed life

That thought led to other thoughts. How many other players get to begin their careers with four World Series titles in the first five full years of their careers? How many other players have only failed to make the playoffs once in a sixteen year career? There was the Jeffrey Maier home run in the playoffs against the Orioles. There was the Jeremy Giambi play at the plate. This is a charmed existence one man has led. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of skill and perseverance went with that charm, but still.

Thoughts went back to last season as Derek Jeter limped toward 3,000 hits. I can remember at least a dozen of those hits leading up to the fateful total that were swinging bunts that dribbled away from home plate allowing Jeter to beat the throws. Yes, Jeter’s hustle had made those plays, but wasn’t there a bit of charm in there too? And sure, Jeter picked it up after that calf injury and after the milestone was reached to have a surprisingly good offensive season.…

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