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2008-09-25 11:37
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

With four meaningless games left, the Yankees have mothballed Andy Pettitte for the year, giving Sidney Ponson his start on Saturday. Ponson and tonight's starter Pavano won't be back next year. Tomorrow night's starter, Alfredo Aceves, has already shown enough to survive a bad start and still arrive in spring training to fight for a rotation spot. The means the only remaining game that will actually be worth watching will be Sunday's finale in Boston as Mike Mussina goes for his 20th win (which he will do; his elbow is recovering nicely).

Here's tonight's lineup:

L - Brett Gardner (CF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Bobby Abreu (DH)
R - Xavier Nady (RF)
L - Jason Giambi (1B)
S - Wilson Betemit (3B)
R - Cody Ransom (SS)
S - Melky Cabrera (LF)
R - Francisco Cervelli (C)

Derek Jeter is still sitting due to being hit on the left hand on Saturday and playing through it on Sunday. Cervelli is making his first major league start. This is just Melky's second start since being recalled (he went 1 for 3 in the last, accounting for his only trips to the plate since August). Brett Gardner is 8 for his last 23 (.348) with three extra-base hits. Wilson Betemit 6 for 19 (.316) in September with four extra base hits, but hasn't drawn a walk since August 16. Ransom is 0 for his last 16.

Perhaps most significantly, tonight's game will bring Carl Pavano's phantom Yankee career to a close. He faces Roy Halladay, who's going for his 20th win. Halladay's only previous 20-win season was 2003, when he went 22-7 and won the AL Cy Young award.

Meanwhile, Joe Torre's Dodgers have clinched the NL West. Congratulations to the Dodgers, their manager, and their fans.

Comments (63)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-09-25 15:12:29
1.   Mattpat11
I'm still not convinced Pavano won't be back next year.

I also fear that Tubby will be picked up off waivers mid year. Yankees management loves them some Sidney.

2008-09-25 15:19:04
2.   Shaun P
Does anyone know why Ponson, of all people, pitched the bottom of the 10th last night? I can't figure it out.
2008-09-25 15:21:18
3.   Cliff Corcoran
2 Probably because he's starting on Saturday in place of the shut-down Pettitte and hadn't pitched since the 13th. That said, Rasner should be getting that start.
2008-09-25 15:22:34
4.   Cliff Corcoran
1 With Aceves and Hughes having finished strong and both Moose and Pettitte sounding like they could return, I think the slim chance of the team resigning Pavano has passed.
2008-09-25 15:23:59
5.   Peter
2 The YES team reasoned it was a combination of it being his throw day and that he hadn't pitched in a game situation in a while.
2008-09-25 15:24:35
6.   Shaun P
3 Ah, makes sense. Thanks, Cliff.

Hmmm . . . Ponson hasn't pitched since September 13th . . . the Yanks' record since September 13th is 9-1 . . . coincidence?

2008-09-25 15:36:25
7.   Mattpat11
4 I put nothing past team that was stupid enough to both sign and hold onto the man for four years.

I'll believe he's gone when its a done deal. And then I fully expect us to pick him up off waivers when his new team releases him.

2008-09-25 15:56:45
8.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
I could be talked into an (extremely) incentive laden 1-yr deal for Pavano based on starts. Say, $3 million base, plus $300k for every start. If he makes 30, that's $12mm total for the year and not unreasonable in this market.

I imagine someone will be dumb enough to guarantee him much more. I just hope that someone isn't Brian Cashman...

2008-09-25 15:58:51
9.   Mattpat11
8 WHY?
2008-09-25 16:09:18
10.   Shaun P
9 Mattpat - agree or disagree:

The Yanks should try Igawa again before re-acquiring Pavano in any way.

2008-09-25 16:21:54
11.   williamnyy23
10 That one is easy...neither! If the Yankees include either pitcher in their plans then they simply aren't trying.
2008-09-25 16:26:05
12.   OldYanksFan
Giambi the roadrunner!
2008-09-25 16:46:33
13.   Eirias
Am I a bad person for wanting the Mets to make the playoffs simply to avoid further use of Sabathia's arm?
2008-09-25 16:47:31
14.   williamnyy23
13 I am rooting for the Mets to keep losing so the Brewers wont need to pitch CC on three days rest for the third straight time.
2008-09-25 16:47:46
15.   Mattpat11
10 I hate you.
2008-09-25 16:52:26
16.   OldYanksFan
Seems silly to try and throw out Brett at the plate, doesn't it?
2008-09-25 17:06:40
17.   OldYanksFan
Hello? HELLO???
2008-09-25 17:09:30
18.   ms october
13 oh i definitely have been thinking the same thing.
if the brewers make the playoffs he just might start every other game.
2008-09-25 17:24:51
19.   3rd gen yankee fan
10 Hilarious.
2008-09-25 17:25:11
20.   williamnyy23
It's incredible that the Yankees wasted starts on Pavano until the end. Maybe they were hoping he'd fail, hurting his chances to pick up another easy ride in the off season.
2008-09-25 17:27:14
21.   Eirias
George Brett: Profane, Funny, Exemplar of the Kansas City Royals

http://tinyurl.com/4llezr

2008-09-25 17:28:52
22.   cult of basebaal
0 towards cliff's point about sunday's game, seems like it's a big deal to the yankees too (from petey):

UPDATE, 5:52 p.m.: Mike Mussina threw a bullpen today and said his elbow felt fine. He's set for Sunday. Girardi said he would use all the regulars and everybody in the bullpen to get Moose the win.

2008-09-25 17:33:46
23.   Shaun P
15 Hey, give me a little credit - I could have proposed that the Yanks trade for Lyle Overbay to play first.

So I'm watching on Gameday - were the "singles on a soft ground ball" to Cano and Melky as bad I imagine they were?

2008-09-25 17:36:13
24.   3rd gen yankee fan
Hm, this game is getting interesting.
2008-09-25 17:36:30
25.   cult of basebaal
SLAPPY MCGIRLYSWING!!!

3 fer 3!

2008-09-25 17:37:24
26.   cult of basebaal
and of course rotten robbie grounds out on the 1st pitch ... good thing he didn't give gardner a chance to steal and get in scoring position, that wouldn't have been prudent ...
2008-09-25 17:38:20
27.   3rd gen yankee fan
24 Hm, maybe not.
2008-09-25 17:42:00
28.   Shaun P
The interesting game right now, IMHO, is Twins-ChiSox. Or Mets-Cubs, for those who like trainwrecks.
2008-09-25 17:44:28
29.   Chyll Will
So, where's Pavano... toothache or sumthin'?
2008-09-25 17:46:16
30.   cult of basebaal
29 he caught a bad case of "teh sucks".
2008-09-25 17:48:41
31.   williamnyy23
What brand of champagne do you think Halladay will send Girardi after the game?
2008-09-25 17:49:14
32.   cult of basebaal
this will make william happy ... joey joe joe jr's at the wheel of the Injury Bullshitmobile again (from petey):

UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.: Joe Girardi said that Mariano Rivera was sent back to New York for a physical. Girardi claimed it was standard procedure for the end of the season. "Not necessarily," Girardi said when asked if anything specific was bothering Rivera and said he "should" return to the team this weekend. Girardi downplayed the issue, saying Rivera was just feeling sore.

UPDATE, 8:34 p.m.: In a stunning turn of events, it would seem that Girardi was fibbing about an injury. Brian Cashman said that Mariano Rivera has a sore shoulder, which is why he went back to New York to get checked out. He had an MRI and the team is awaiting results.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
seriously, an injury to Mo (especially something wrong with his shoulder) would be just about the perfect finishing touch on this aborted turd of a season ...

2008-09-25 17:50:39
33.   Shaun P
30 So . . . how 'bout those Twins? And Pedro pitching well for a change!
2008-09-25 17:53:26
34.   williamnyy23
"Girardi downplayed the issue, saying Rivera was just feeling sore."

Brian Cashman said that Mariano Rivera has a sore shoulder

Ok, so how exactly are the two stories different. Pete Abe may be prolific in his blogging, but he strikes me as a typical whiny media type. It seems to me as if newpaper men can't accept that their relevance has been greatly diminished, and that teams no longer need them to be a conduit to the fans.

2008-09-25 17:59:33
35.   williamnyy23
Pretty classy from the Mets fans...even though he has been killing them all season, Pedro walked off the mound to a very nice standing ovation.
2008-09-25 18:02:21
36.   Chyll Will
31 Whatever goes well with red meat, I'm guessing...

32 But I never knew until this day... that it was Tony Peña all along... >;)

2008-09-25 18:08:24
37.   Shaun P
35 So, since Minaya is going to get an extension, and someone (besides Willie) will have to take the fall for the Mets blowing it (again), who manages them next year? I'm thinking it won't be be Matchup Manuel . . .

Where did the Mets did up Ricardo Rincon from anyway? To think, that guy was once judged to be worth Brian Giles . . .

2008-09-25 18:09:50
38.   williamnyy23
37 He was a very useful lefty about 10 years ago. Why he is still pitching big inning for a contender down the stretch is kind of a mystery.
2008-09-25 18:11:46
39.   Jeb
36 You have to answer for IPK, Sidney...You fingered IPK for the Torre people. Ahh, that little farce you played with my sister. You think that could fool a Steinbrenner? Come on. Don't be afraid, Sidney. Come on, you think I'd make my sister a widow? I'm Godfather to your son, Sidney...You're out of the Family Team, that's your punishment. You're finished. I'm putting you on a plane to Scranton...I want you to stay there, understand? Only don't tell me you're innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry. Now, who approached you? Cashman or Torre?
2008-09-25 18:16:10
40.   Shaun P
38 I think Mets fans would say that its no mystery, its desperation.

The funny thing (to me) is that the CW complaint is that Wagner's loss sunk them. I'd argue it was Wagner himself - and his SEVEN blown saves - that did as much damage as Omar's hodgepodge of bullpen mediocrity.

Or maybe it was Heilman's EIGHT losses. I wonder how many of those were due to Wagner (or someone else) allowing the baserunners Heilman put on to score?

2008-09-25 18:17:48
41.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
the closing games of Hiroshima Municipal Stadium (home to the always craptacular Hiroshima Carp) was on tv last night. An old, simple park, right across the street from the "genbaku dome" (ground zero where the bomb was dropped). Jim Caple from ESPN wrote a good piece on the place a few years back I think..

more intersting to me now than anything involving either Ponson or Pavano!

2008-09-25 18:26:43
42.   Chyll Will
37 Who else? HoJo's been biding his time all year. Maybe Darryl's angling for an AC job as well?

39 Hello, Sidney...

2008-09-25 18:33:35
43.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
42 Bobby V..he'd come back if "The Price Is Right!"
2008-09-25 18:35:25
44.   Chyll Will
41 You can say that again, mister. You live in a VERY beautiful land. The city places remind me of Main Street in Flushing! >;)
2008-09-25 18:38:29
45.   Chyll Will
43 The man of 1001 faces (and pineapple-topped burgers)? Maybe Seattle...
2008-09-25 18:40:26
46.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
44 not sure about beautiful, more like jumbled and confusing..but atmospheric and "home" now.. http://tinyurl.com/4o6eaf
2008-09-25 18:49:24
47.   Chyll Will
46 That describes lower Manhattan to a tee...
http://tinyurl.com/4asxs3

(In fact, if you've never been to all five boroughs, that's the most fitting description of all! >;)

2008-09-25 18:58:58
48.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
47 gorgeous...will be there over New Years, unfortunately too late for baseball (or good weather..)

45 Seattle would be a great fit for Valentine..but their whole org seems clueless right now..

2008-09-25 19:08:42
49.   randym77
Hmmmm. Girardi says he didn't know about the shoulder. He says Mo told him his whole body was sore.
2008-09-25 19:25:22
50.   pistolpete
David Murphy bunts foul for strike 3 with Reyes on first and no outs... Manual just lost it in the dugout.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-09-25 19:25:52
51.   Shaun P
49 I'm pretty tired of the whole Girardi injury soap opera. I appreciate that it makes PeteAbe and the other beat writers' jobs harder, if Girardi isn't forthcoming. But since PeteAbe clearly feels Girardi doesn't speak the truth on injuries, and he always talks to Cashman to get the correct info, couldn't he just give us that info, say he got it from Cashman, and be done?

Hmm, the Mets haven't blown it yet. Meanwhile, down 3 runs in the 6th, in a game they need to win to make the playoffs, with a man on third with one out and the top of the order up, what does Gardenhire have Span (2 for 2 tonight, .382 OBP) do? Why, sacrifice the run in!

I don't think I could be a Twins fan. They would have driven me crazy years ago.

2008-09-25 19:27:06
52.   Shaun P
50 Now there's a situation where a bunt is entirely appropriate! Too bad Murphy couldn't get it down.
2008-09-25 19:35:21
53.   Shaun P
52 And the Mets win anyway.
2008-09-25 19:42:56
54.   Mattpat11
And Carl's presumed final Yankee appearance of 2008 leaves his ERA about where I thought it would be.
2008-09-25 20:16:07
55.   Chyll Will
54 Garbage-picker! >;)
2008-09-25 20:29:50
56.   Shaun P
54 I thought it would be non-existent. I still can't believe he actually came back to pitch, and didn't rupture his appendix while warming up. Or spontaneously combust. Or simply break into pieces.

Any of which was likely, given his injury history.

Twins have tied it up!

2008-09-25 20:39:02
57.   Mattpat11
Twins win!
2008-09-25 20:42:20
58.   Shaun P
57 Incredible! Gardenhire drives me nuts, but I'd prefer to see the Twins make it than the White Sox.

After all, the Twins (eventually) turned their entire rotation over to young, home grown starters - and look where it got them.

When I say "young", the Twins' youngest starters are Slowey and Liriano, who are both 24 . . . so its not Joba/Phil/IPK young. Perhaps being patient with the kid pitchers is a wise idea?

2008-09-25 20:45:26
59.   pistolpete
From PeteAbe:

>> I'm going under the assumption that most Yankees fans are concerned about the status of their closer and would like accurate information. >>

Honestly, there's 3 games left and we're done for the year. Were the fans really that concerned about him? Unless it's career threatening, just let it go ...

Anyway I'm sure that's what Girardi was thinking...

2008-09-25 20:48:14
60.   pistolpete
Of course now there's rumors about surgery.

Ok, so I take it back — we're concerned a little.

2008-09-25 20:49:45
61.   randym77
51 I'm tired of it, too. But I don't think you can pin in all on PeteAbe. Clearly, all the reporters are hyped up about it, and just won't let it go. The interview on YES seemed to go on forever. And Girardi's replies really only made it worse.

Meanwhile...Beltran with the walkoff single for the Mets, Braun with the salami for the Brewers. Still tied in the WC race.

2008-09-25 21:04:47
62.   Shaun P
61 No, you're right - it affects all the beat writers, and its not like Pete Abe is the only one driving the issue.

But I only read two beat blogs, PeteAbe's, and Bats, and Bats never mentions this stuff. Pete, meanwhile, has been complaining about this, ad nauseum, all season long.

Tonight he finally says: "I'm not going to complain about it [me: you forgot the word "anymore!"]. I'll just ask other people questions when it comes to injuries."

Thanks, Pete! I wish you had done this back in May or June.

2008-09-25 21:13:07
63.   Mattpat11
62 Girardi's cloak and dagger super secret bullshit grew old in April. If I find it stupid and frustrating, I can't imagine what someone who does this for a living must think. What did he possibly gain by lying this time? The old excuse was that he could lie so as not to give information to the opposing teams. Who is he hiding info from now?

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