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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The Farm Report: Catching up on this week

My sincerest apologies for the lack of Farm Reports the past two nights. I told Tamar I would handle things for her and I have failed spectacularly.

Tuesday night I was too hyped up and emotional from Mariano Rivera‘s last All-Star Game appearance to do anything other than write about him. I figured I’d wait until the morning to do the report. Then I woke up late and we had things scheduled to run in so many places already I thought it would be silly to post it after 12n.

Last night, I was just exhausted and delirious from the heat because that’s what happens when you’re in a bedroom that doesn’t have an air conditioner. Fans can be okay but they’re not an air conditioner. You’re just having semi-cool and humid air blowing on you at all time.

Anyway, here we are on Thursday of All-Star week and with no major league games on the schedule until tomorrow, we look to the kids (and Alex Rodriguez) to rescue us from this malaise.…

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Second Half Turnaround On The Horizon For Mason Williams

MiLB: JUL 08 Class A Advanced - Tampa Yankees at Dunedin Blue Jays

It’s been a trying season for top prospect Mason Williams.  There was his DUI arrest in late April, a slow start at the plate after that carried over into the early part of June, and questions about his attitude and hustle popping up again in scouting reports.  He’s missed games both due to minor injuries and undisclosed team reasons this season, and as recently as a month ago had a season OPS in the mid-600s.  Since about the middle of June, however, Williams has started to find himself at the plate and is currently in the middle of a pretty wicked 2-week hot streak.  He got knocked off track early, but Williams now appears primed for a strong finish to his 2013.

In his last 10 games, Williams has 18 hits in 42 at-bats (.429/.467/.595) with 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 R, 3 RBI, and 3 SB.  He has at least 2 hits in each of his last 4 games and has walked just as much as he’s struck out.…

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This is what happens when Stacey’s bored

How much longer do we have until Major League Baseball is played again?

Games resume on Friday.

Wait, do you mean to tell me that there aren’t any games tomorrow either?! That’s madness!

Well, players need to rest or something.

But what are we supposed to do without baseball!?

Read a book?

Yeah, right. My mind is all over...

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A-Rod will be back Monday

The reports had already come out saying that Alex Rodriguez would be returning to the Yankees’ on Monday in Arlington, Texas – barring any setbacks of course – but now, it has been reported by Rodriguez himself.

Alex appeared on Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN and in a 10-minute interview, he spoke about how happy he is with his progress, how much that progression has happened in a short amount of time – he specifically mentioned how he’s able to drive the ball a lot better than he had been as recently as last week. He also spoke about watching his team play this season and how even though he’s a player, he’s also a baseball fan.

He specifically mentioned listening to John (Sterling) and Suzyn (Waldman) which I found pretty amusing but made me happy in a way. Derek Jeter admitted to not watching a lot of baseball while he was coming back from his injury.

Rodriguez joked about how at 38-years-old (actually, he’s still 37, he’ll be 38 in 10 days) he’s feeling aches and pains in places he didn’t know could hurt.…

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Price Gouging With Phil Hughes

As the trade deadline creeps closer, we’re learning more and more about who is available this July. It’s becoming clear that pitchers are yet again in huge demand, and the circumstances are leading to extremely high asking prices on starting pitching. Buster Olney called it “Zack Wheeler Syndrome”, but it’s basically just price gouging.

Phil Hughes

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Back in 2011, the market for sluggers was in extremely high demand, and the Mets turned two and a half months of Carlos Beltran into six years of Zack Wheeler. Since then, the introduction of the second wild card has increased the number of buyers on the trade market. Theoretically, there should be fewer players available this July. Just as basic economics says, supply is down and demand is up.

In Olney’s piece on this current trend, he mentions specifically that the Yankees’ demands for starting pitcher Phil Hughes are “incredibly high” and “astronomical”. To many Yankee fans, this is a surprise.…

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Report: A-Rod headed to Scranton

According to Dan Pfeiffer who covers both the Yankees and Trenton Thunder for Examiner.com, Alex Rodriguez, after taking today off will most likely be playing with Scranton from Thursday – Sunday.

A source with knowledge of Rodriguez’s rehab assignment told me on Tuesday that the 37-year-old slugger will take Wednesday off before moving to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he will join the RailRiders from Thursday to Sunday. During that stretch, the team will square off against the Louisville Bats.

Rodriguez’s rehab hasn’t exactly been going smoothly. He’s only hitting just .200 (in 25 at bats) with just one homer in his nine games playing for Trenton, Tampa, and Charleston. That home run came occurred when Trenton was on the road in Reading. It was a two-run shot that traveled 400 feet. He also finished that game 2-4 so it was his best performance to date. Of course, his slow start is to be expected because this is his Spring Training but the other reasons why his rehab hasn’t been going smoothly are the constant Biogenesis updates, the Cashman blow up and the fact that he went AWOL in Tampa last week.…

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