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

Yankee bats are cold…literally

My overwhelming impression of the Yankees’ season thus far has been players with red noses blowing on their hands…or putting pine tar on their persons to get a grip. Ahem. This is not to say that the Yankees are the only team dealing with the elements. The entire country east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line has been well below normal in temperatures. I wanted to see if I could see any correlation with the cold weather and the way the Yankees have hit so far this season. I believe I have discovered anecdotal evidence of the weather hurting the Yankees at the plate.

In my thinking, ideal baseball weather is higher than seventy degrees. The Yankees have played one non-dome game where the temperature was over seventy at game time. They have had three home games where the start-time temperature was over 60, the highest being 66 degrees. All the other games over seventy degrees have been in domes or parks that can be at least partially covered.…

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Short-term winning Yankee pitchers

The history of the New York Yankees is littered with pitchers who put together a winning percentage of .600 or better because the Yankees have won so many games over the team’s history. There is Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, CC Sabathia, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, Orlando Hernandez, Andy Pettitte and even Don Larsen, to name a few. But what about those pitchers who only pitched a season or two for the team and yet had very good success? After setting some criteria, there were nine that are featured here today.

The criteria was this: The pitcher had to make at least fifteen starts, but less than forty. They had to have an ERA+ of 100 or better to be at least league average or better. And they had to have a .600 winning percentage or better. With that set as the parameters, nine pitchers came into focus and are listed below by rWAR:

Jack McDowell: Jack McDowell was a first round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox in 1987.…

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History by the fours

Since today was a day off in the current 2014 New York Yankees season, I thought I might take a look at the past versions of the Yankees during all of their “4” seasons. This entry will look at every Yankee season that ended with a four and present the best pitcher and batter of that particular season. We begin with the 1904 New York Highlanders.

1904. The New York Highlanders were managed by the 34-year-old Clark Griffith who also pitched ches100+ innings that season and went 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA. The team won 92 games and finished a game and a half behind Boston. The best player on the team was pitcher, Happy Jack Chesbro. Chesbro had his best season and led the league in games pitched, starts, complete games, wins, innings pitched and had the lowest hits per nine allowed in the league. He went 41-12 with a 1.82 ERA (2.19 FIP) and completed 48 of his 51 starts.…

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The Girardi name game

If you have not read this article by Daniel Barbarisi this morning, it is well worth a look. The article is all about how Joe Girardi gives all his players nicknames. You will want to read it just to figure out why Dean Anna is called, “Raccoon.” The article received a lot of traction in our staff e-mails this morning and I decided to play this Girardi name game for our staff generals and soldiers. Here is what I came up with.

Some of them are not real original, but then again, some of Girardi’s are either. “Jeets,” is rather bland is it not? Therefore Stacey Gotsulias simply becomes, “Gots.” Without further ado, here are the rest of our staff in Girardi form:

  • Jason Rosenberg = “Skip.”  I’d call him, “Rosie,” but I like writing here.
  • Larry Koestler = “Coast.”
  • Moshe Mandel = “Mosh.”
  • Brien Jackson = “Jackie.”
  • We’ll just call Michael Eder, “E.”
  • Tamar Chalker = “Tam.”
  • E.J. Fagan already has one in, “EJ.”
  • Brad Vietrogoski = “Veet.”
  • Domenic Lanza = “Major,” as in Major Domo.
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Game 9: Tanaka’s home debut

Masahiro Tanaka makes his Yankee Stadium debut tonight for the New York Yankees as the team plays the third game of its series against the Baltimore Orioles. The new pitcher for the Yankees has a tough test against a very good lineup.

Here are the lineups:

Baltimore Orioles:

  1. Nick Markakis – RF
  2. Delmon Young – DH
  3. Chris Davis – 1B
  4. Adam Jones – CF
  5. Matt Wieters – C
  6. Nelson Cruz – LF
  7. Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
  8. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  9. Jonathan Schoop – 3B

SP – Miguel Gonzalez

New York Yankees:

  1. Brett Gardner – CF
  2. Derek Jeter – SS
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury – DH
  4. Carlos Beltran – RF
  5. Brian McCann – C
  6. Alfonso Soriano – LF
  7. Kelly Johnson – 1B
  8. Brian Roberts – 2B
  9. Yangervis Solarte – 3B

SP – Masahiro Tanaka

Some things to look for:

  • Matt Wieters has an eight game hitting streak and loves hitting at Yankee Stadium.
  • Leading off the game or an inning, Brett Gardner is 0-11 with three walks and five strikeouts.
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Yankees finally hit a homer, beat Blue Jays, 6-4

The New York Yankees scored six runs before the fourth inning was over, all off Blue Jays’ starter, Drew Hutchison. The last two runs were the result of a Brett Gardner line drive homer, the Yankees’ first of the season. Hutchison took the loss and is now 1-1. David Robertson put two base runners on in the ninth for a little tension, but got Colby Rasmus to pop out to third and Melky Cabrera on a line drive to right for his second save. CC Sabathia picked up the win to even his record to 1-1.

CC Sabathia’s outing was mostly encouraging. He gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera, the first batter he faced, but then shut down the Blue Jays for the next five innings. At one point, he had thrown first-pitch strikes to nineteen straight batters. He then got the first two outs in the sixth inning and ran into trouble.

Jose Bautista hit a pop up off the end of his bat that had all kinds of English on it.…

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Pineda is great-a but the offense duds, Blue Jays win

Michael Pineda made it worth the wait with a six-inning stellar performance that showed he can really help the Yankees’ rotation this year. Unfortunately, despite four really decent chances, the Yankees could not get the big hit they needed and laid an egg. In the eighth inning, David Phelps yielded a homer, a double and then another homer to put the game out of reach. R.A. Dickey got the win to even his record at 1-1 and Sergio Santos got a four out save.for his second of the year. Pineda got the hard luck loss and is 0-1.

Before we get to the bad stuff, let’s talk about Pineda.  He has been away from the Majors as long as Grady Sizemore. Think about that for a second. After working hard all winter and spring, he earned the opportunity to head north with the Yankees as the fifth starter. And what a fifth starter he can be!

Michael Pineda pitched six innings against a tough lineup and gave up six hits and no walks He struck out five.…

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