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Old Time Fun
2008-08-02 18:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It poured this morning at 10:30.  It stopped but an hour later it came down again, harder this time.  But it stopped again and the old timer's got to play for a couple of minutes before the Fox Game of the Week began.  It was an impressive Old Timer's Day with seventy-two former players on hand, including first time guys like Rock Raines, Rickey Henderson, Don Baylor and Boomer Wells.  Joe Pepitone was in the piece.  Moose Skowron and Oscar Gambler were there.  Even Willie showed-up.  The only one who was missing was Bernie (when are they going to patch things up already?).  

I covered the event for SI.com.  Here is the story.   

The sun was beaming when Jared Weaver struck out the first four men he faced in the real game.  The Yankees botched a double play that led to two quick runs, and it looked like another Halo Beat Down.  But Xavier Nady reached base with a two-out single in the second and Wilson Betemit homered to tie the game.  Yes, that Wilson Betemit.  Weaver gave up three more dingers--solo shots to Bobby Abreu, Jose Molina and Alex Rodriguez.  It was 8-2 Yankees when all was said and done.

Mike Mussina was brilliant allowing just a couple of hits and a couple of walks over seven innings of work.  He retired the last sixteen men he faced.  Good enough for his 14th win of what is fast becoming one of his finest seasons. 

In all, a near perfect day in the Bronx for the Yanks.

Comments
2008-08-02 19:10:34
1.   tommyl
If this season isn't making the case for Moose to be in the Hall, I don't know what else he needs to do.
2008-08-02 19:14:40
2.   RIYank
1 Maybe win 300 games.

It could happen. And with a couple more seasons after this one, he could very well be the only 300 game winner never to have a 20 win season.

2008-08-02 20:04:23
3.   Murray
Love that Weaver family DNA. It's great for slumps, big innings and ending a losing streak.
2008-08-02 20:52:38
4.   tommyl
And the other important line for the day:

Phil Hughes (Low-A): 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 WP, 2-4 GB/FB

2008-08-02 20:52:39
5.   Just fair
1 Win a World Series. : )
It was bizarre to see so many guys from the 1996 team. Made me feel old. Those guys aren't old timers, yet.
Is the O'Neill love more b/c the crowd is younger? ( Paul Revered) It does sadden me a bit to see some of the real old guys hobbling out there. It had to make them feel damn good to be out there with the crown one last time, though. Neat day.
2008-08-02 20:58:18
6.   Just fair
1 Win a World Series. : )
It was bizarre to see so many guys from the 1996 team. Made me feel old. Those guys aren't old timers, yet.
Is the O'Neill love more b/c the crowd is younger? ( Paul Revered) It does sadden me a bit to see some of the real old guys hobbling out there. It had to make them feel damn good to be out there with the crown one last time, though. Neat day.
2008-08-02 20:58:32
7.   Just fair
Whoops. Sorry.
2008-08-02 21:02:59
8.   Jeb
Notice the underside of Yogi's hat....that's either and old hat or an old picture. I don't like the new ones myself.
2008-08-03 05:44:30
9.   horace-clarke-era
I apologize if by calling A Rod Alex I killed the #100 in yesterday's game thread. Maybe the system was surprised to see me there. You know, 'Hoss dodges game threads.' I suppose I'm a fair-weather threader, when the Bombers lose the threads get so toxic and angry it triggers way too many possible responses and feels wiser to have my drink and just watch the game. (Or not watch, after 5 innings Thursday.)

On the MVP stuff ... which always starts rumbling around August ... if someone wants to argue that had he not been hurt A Rod would be a solid candidate as of right now to DESERVE the award I'd would agree, if numbers projected evenly. He'd have 2-3-4 more hrs, competing for lead even more than he is, and possibly still leading in batting average. His rbis would be WAY below Hamilton's. Kinsler, for me, is far beyond Mauer this year, not even close. Dye is strong, I agree, but is not the best or most dangerous White Sox just as Mauer isn't close to Morneau (Morneau is an exceptionally good hitter, hurt in media terms by where he plays and being ... bland?)

My own sense is that this is likely to be a many-horse race, and that the usual tilt to the big rbi guy will give it to Hamilton, especially if you add the feelgood (it is!) storyline. His handicap is a mediocre team, which does play a role. Prediction is not 'who deserves it most' but right now, for both I'd still say Alex is 5th or so this year. There is, obviously, a lot of ball to play and September surges play a big role.

Cy Young is wide, wide open, as it was last year. Lee is the early story, probably still the leader, Duchscherer in there and (alas?) Dice K. Saunders. Halladay. I wonder if they'd give it to to K Rod, discounting annoyance factor if he breaks the record (his Ks and walk-rate are both weaker this year than last, more ammo for the 'saves suck as a stat' people.)

RoY? Surely Longoria, both on coverage and desert, especially since he has those numbers after missing a month.

2008-08-03 05:58:04
10.   RIYank
9 I was just kidding about the cause of the deletion of 100. I wonder if we'll ever know what happened to it.

I think it's absurd to use RBI to figure out who's the MVP. Guys get on base ahead of Hamilton much more than they get on base ahead of A-Rod this year. That means any good hitter in Hamilton's slot would knock in a lot of runs; Hamilton doesn't add all that much. I can see looking at a combination of OPS+ and some 'counting stat', since Alex does lose value by missing games. Even so, I don't think Hamilton is even close.
Morneau has been a more productive hitter than Mauer, but he's a first baseman. Mauer is a catcher. That makes his hitting much, much more valuable. Think of the drop-off if you had to replace Mauer. Yankee fans don't need much imagination to do that!

If we're predicting, well, the voters don't like A-Rod, and they aren't smart enough to understand why they should stop obsessing about RBI, and they don't even understand that a great-hitting catcher is vastly more valuable than a great-hitting first baseman (they gave it to Morneau instead of Mauer two years ago). So, probably Hamilton, but I'm not all that interested in predicting the vote.

I can't believe K-Rod could get the Cy Young. He's obviously not the best relief pitcher this year, let alone the best pitcher.

2008-08-03 06:25:50
11.   horace-clarke-era
Mauer came SIXTH the year he hit .343 or whatever and won the title. He's not on the radar this year. He's a very good player on a team that may make the playoffs, agreed. I actually watch a fair number of at-bats for the Twins, and Morneau is a flat-out stud hitter, not just a power guy.

I absolutely agree (thought I said it) that rbis get overvalued, just as wins or saves can be. Having said that, when Alex won last year it was in good part for a massive rbi year. Homers are just a way of generating runs, right? I do agree that Alex is at least as 'deserving' right now as Hamilton or anyone else, a decent case more so ... his slugging and ops+ are both well above the other prime bruisers. He'd have to blitz it the last 50 games, and the Yankee media machine would have to crank up awareness of how good a season he's actually having (in the shadow of last year's).

K Rod gets it only if he obliterates a record and the starters are too tangled to make an easy choice. Do Lee and Duch get 'punished' the way batters are since their teams are out of it? I have no stats to hand, but a sense that batters suffer the 'meaningless' problem more than pitchers do. Maybe because to win the need 18-20 games you CAN'T usually be on a bad team! (Steve Carlton: pause to remember.)

2008-08-03 06:35:08
12.   ms october
0 nice story for si article alex - it captured otd well.
good quote from straw - glad he seems to be doing okay.
(i am surpised they let you get the casey stengel balls story in :})

1 2 if moose gets 300 i think he would have to be a shoo in.
i agree with tommyl, that this season should put him over the top to get in. i know everything that's going to get brought up against him, but i think he should get in.
(guess we're just predicting with that too).

2008-08-03 06:52:02
13.   Count of Montefusco
Bernie was missed....but equally glaring was #23's absence.
2008-08-03 07:18:46
14.   horace-clarke-era
Moose has to be close. A look at his page on BR (linked to the right here) shows that he's right there with the HoF pitchers. (The predictions, a couple triggered by Bill James calculations are near the bottom.) If so, another year like this one - the Mussina who has discovered his Inner Craft & Guile - would only boost that. His comment earlier this year about 'why should the end of my career decide it' is interesting. On the one hand - yes, obviously, we don't judge by the diminished athlete. On the other, if counting stats like 300 wins (or close to it) matter, then the end can decide. Longevity plays a role in the Hall, too.

The bad news? I checked his page, and Schilling has at least as good a shot. If matters hold as they are now, he'd come up a year (or 2 or 3) ahead of Mussina.

2008-08-03 08:00:21
15.   RIYank
11

Mauer came SIXTH the year he hit .343 or whatever and won the title.

Exactly. That's why I used that season as an example of how incompetent the voters are.

I actually watch a fair number of at-bats for the Twins, and Morneau is a flat-out stud hitter, not just a power guy.

Mauer is as good a hitter as Morneau, except for the homers. Look at his batting average. And he gets on base more than Morneau, too.

Unless you overvalue home runs, by a whole lot, I don't see how you can think Morneau is as valuable as Mauer. Try comparing each to the player you'd use as a replacement, as I suggested, and you'll see, it's no contest.

2008-08-03 08:26:04
16.   JL25and3
13 Well, Donnie does have a job again.
2008-08-04 07:29:03
17.   tomfodw
Bernie wasn't the only guy missing. I was hoping to see Tony Kubek, especially after Bobby Richardson came out. And what about Charlie Hayes, Mariano Duncan, and Cecil Fielder?

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