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Storybook Ending
2005-07-14 21:26
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

On the day that the team made public an injury that, if serious, could mean the end of their playoff hopes, the Yankees played a must-win games against their hated rivals, fell behind 4-0 in the first inning, but battled back to tie twice before Red Sox Nation's most hated Yankee hit a go-ahead shot to dead center off everyone else's most hated Red Sock in the ninth and the legendary Yankee closer who has famously struggled against Boston struck out the top three men in the Boston order to nail down the win.

You can't make this stuff up.

After Robinson Cano ran into an out in the top of the first trying to stretch a bloop double spectacularly misplayed by Manny Ramirez into a triple, the Red Sox took full advantage of a clearly rusty Mike Mussina in the bottom of the inning. Following singles by Johnny Damon and David Ortiz that produced the game's first run and a walk by Manny Ramirez, Mussina fell behind Yankee killer Trot Nixon 2-0 before evening the count only to wind up in a full count with one out (via a Renteria sac bunt that advanced Damon) and two on. Mussina's next pitch stayed up in the zone and Nixon crushed it into the Red Sox's bullpen for a three-run homer. Mussina then walked Kevin Millar on four pitches. Having only recorded one out (on a sacrifice, no less) Mussina was already down 4-0 with another man on. He then managed to pitch around another walk (his third of the inning, due in part to the fact that home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt was calling pitches over the black on left side of the plate balls through the early part of the game) to escape without any further damage. It took Mussina 34 pitches to get through the inning.

Fortunately, the Yankees got right back in the game in the top of the second with a pair of Pesky Pole home runs by Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams. Giambi's shot landed in the front row just beyond the right field pole. Boston right fielder Trot Nixon lept into the crowd with an apparent bead on the ball, but a fan caught it just in front of Nixon's glove.

Mussina settled down in bottom of the second by striking out Damon and erasing a Renteria single via a surprising 3-4-3 double play turned by Jason Giambi and the Yankees drew closer yet in the top of the third. Robinson Cano lead off with a single and was driven home when Gary Sheffield pounded a Bronson Arroyo pitch off the wall in dead center. The ball hit well above Johnny Damon's leap and rolled to Nixon in right. Had, Sheffield been sprinting out of the gate, he could have had a triple. Instead, he would up with an RBI double and was stranded at second by a Rodriguez strike out and fly outs by Matsui and Posada. It was a mistake Sheffield would not make twice.

The Red Sox got that one back in the bottom of the third on a Nixon single, a Millar double and a Varitek RBI groundout. That groundout by Millar would be the first of eight straight outs recorded by a suddenly effective Mike Mussina.

As Mussina cruised, the Yankees went to work. Sheffield launched Arroyo's second pitch of the fifth into the farthest left corner of the centerfield bleachers for a solo home run to bring the Yankees back within a run (having learned his lesson, Sheffield was busting it out of the box even though, this time, he didn't need to).

In the sixth, Jorge Posada picked up a new bat and broke a three-game hitless streak with a lead-off single. He then moved to second with one out on a passed ball in the dirt. With two outs, Derek Jeter ripped a 1-1 pitch in the hole beyond third that Buell Mueller caught on a full dive to his left. Mueller then scrambled to his feet and fired a wild throw to first that bounded into the Boston dugout, sending Posada home with the tying run and driving Arroyo from the game.

The Red Sox broke Mussina's streak in the bottom of the sixth when Millar and Varitek lead off with back-to-back singles. Millar then moved to third on a Mueller fielder's choice, putting runners on the corners with just one out. Mussina then struck out Mark Bellhorn on four pitches, but fell behind Damon 3-0 only to rally and strike him out on three called strikes, the last his 101st pitch of the night (by this time, Wendelstadt's strike zone had expanded by about six inches, one of the worst performances I've seen by a home plate ump in some time). With or without Wendelstadt's help, it was a fantastic performance by Mussina to not only escape that inning, but give the Yankees a solid outing after his dreadful first. In innings 2 through 6 Mussina's line looked like this: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 0 BB, 5 K

Perhaps cluing us all in as to the team's plans for Sunday and Monday's starters, Joe Torre then brought in Tanyon Sturtze for the seventh. Sturtze battled to strike out Renteria for the first out and then got ahead of Ortiz 1-2 only to have Shreky McChinstrap blast a solo shot into the seats in right. The pitch was inside and belt high and even hand a nice little hop to it, but Ortiz turned on it. Sturtze can't be blamed for that, and one can only imagine the horrors had Torre decided to try to save him for a spot start, turning instead to a gassed Mussina or Scott Proctor (though a LOOGY might have worked). Sturtze then fell behind Ramirez 3-0, but rallied to get him and Nixon out in order to end the inning.

Feeling his oats, Posada then lead off the eighth with a double, making this his first two hit game since Benson was on the air (or June 17, one of those). At that point, Alan Embree, who had recorded the last two outs of the seventh in relief of Chad Bradford's 2005 debut (ground out, four-pitch walk), was relieved by Mike Timlin. With his team two productive outs from once again tying the game, Torre sent Tony Womack in to run for Posada. After Bernie delivered the first of those two outs by grounded Womack over to third, Joe Torre brought in Ruben Sierra to hit for Melky Cabrera (0 for 3 last night and 0 for 9 over his last three games after starting out 3 for 7). On a 1-1 count, Sierra yanked a double just inside the first base bag, plating Womack and tying the game. Derek Jeter then grounded Sierra over to third, but with two outs and the go-ahead run on third, Robinson Cano popped out to short on the first pitch he saw.

With Womack in center and Flaherty behind the plate, Tom Gordon then made his first appearance since leaving last Thursday's game against the Indians with tightness in his pitching shoulder. Gordon walked Millar to start the eighth, but then retired Varitek, Mueller and pinch-hitter John Olerud in order to strand pinch-runner Adam Stern at second.

Then came a sequence of events straight out of most Yankee fans' wildest fantasies. Newly minted Red Sox closer Curt Schilling, fresh of the disabled list, jogged in from the Boston bullpen to face the heart of the Yankee order (Sheffield, Rodriguez, Matsui) with the score tied. Earlier in the game, Schilling had moved from the Red Sox's dugout to the bullpen to a tremendous ovation from the Fenway faithful. That ovation was repeated as Schilling took the mound for the ninth (his first major league relief appearance since 2002, and just his second since 1992).

Leading off, Gary Sheffield fouled off Schilling's first, third and fifth pitches, taking two balls in between to run the count to 2-2. He then creamed a pitch off the centerfield portion of the Green Monster (his third shot of the night that hit or cleared the center field wall) and hustled into second for a lead-off double. Schilling's next pitch, to Alex Rodriguez was over the plate at the knees. Rodriguez dropped his bat on it and golfed it to dead center for a two-run home run.

With an 8-6 lead, their first of the game, the Yankees then went down in order and brought in Mariano Rivera for the save. Rivera's early-season struggles against the Red Sox seemed like a bad dream as he struck out the first three hitters in the Red Sox line-up (Damon, Renteria and Ortiz) all swinging, to wrap up the win and drop his season ERA to 0.98.

With Tim Redding starting tomorrow and J.D. Salinger and Howard Hughes going on Sunday and Monday, this was a game the Yankees absolutely had to have for both practical and emotional reasons. Making it all the more sweet, the much ballyhooed decision to use Curt Schilling as their closer--about which fans on both sides of the rivalry can agree we've all heard way too much about over the past week--blew up in the Red Sox faces in an almost poetic fashion to give the Yankees the victory. With last night's win, the Yankees are now a mere 1.5 games behind the Red Sox for first place in the AL East, just one game behind the Twins in the Wild Card hunt, and 10-3 in their last thirteen games.

Of course, the Yankees have been in this position before. Their last series against the Red Sox opened with a hard-fought victory to cap a 16-2 streak, only to be followed by a pair of dominating Red Sox victories and a 1-9 slide that saw the Yankees get swept by the AL-worst Royals. The current outlook, with the 46-41 Rangers replacing Kansas City, doesn't appear much brighter. But with the way this team is playing right now, it seems like anything is possible.

Comments (51)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-07-15 04:22:27
1.   PandaBear
Hey let's layoff the weak ass name calling. David Ortiz is an awesome player, imagine what he would do playing for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, when is his contract up? Leave the childish petty name calling to Sox fans. If I had to pick one player on the Sox Ortiz would probably be my favorite.
2005-07-15 04:52:44
2.   Simone
"But with the way this team is playing right now, it seems like anything is possible."

Given that the Yankees currently have 2 healthy starters, I am pretty sure that the "anything" that is highly probable isn't very good.

2005-07-15 04:54:47
3.   Alex Belth
They called up Howard Hughes? I thought Charles Lindburgh was going to get the nod.

There is a lot to be concerned about, but I know I went to bed a happy man last night. I could not have dreamed up a better end to the game. It was perfect, really.

As you guys know, I've been a defender of Rodriguez all year. I don't think last night made him "a true Yankee" like some of the papers are saying this morning, but if that is what it takes to get Yankee fans off of his back, so be it. I'm not denying that it was a dramatic moment for him. I don't think it was his biggest hit as a Yankee--he did have a game-winning RBI double in the playoffs last year that still counts more than a regular season game to me--but it may have been his most sensational.

Almost as sweet was the way Rivera blew through the first three batters in the Red Sox order in the ninth. Mmm, mmm, good.

The way the Yankee pitching is lined up, I just hope the Yanks can leave town with a split. The Sox will be ready to mash. Saturday's game with Johnson is big for New York, but the Sox counter with their ace Clement, so it's far from a sure thing.

It was a good start though.

2005-07-15 04:59:11
4.   joe in boston
Boy, what a great win. Great to hear all the second-guessers on sports radio up here.

Nice to see Mo put some demons to rest.

Now we need lots of run tonight and pray to catch lightning in a bottle with our pitching.

2005-07-15 05:07:01
5.   joe in boston
Two other comments:

1. Do you think Bob's Stores are happy about the 9th inning ? They must have shown Sheffs hit and Arods homer 100 times this morning on EVERY show.

2. Notice the Yankee fan standing up and cheering behind home plate as Arod takes 1/2 a second to enjoy his homer before running. Great stuff. By the way, I have no problem with his briefly enjoying the moment - he deserves it

2005-07-15 05:12:06
6.   rbj
Only one homer A-Rod? And where's Osama, huh? [big grin].
As long as the Yankees don't bring up Millard Fillmore. . .With Leiter being DFA'ed, should the Yankees trade for him now (and trade what scrub?) or take a chance no one else (Boston) grabs him and wait for him to clear.
RJ must step up, and then either Santa or the Easter Bunny has to have a decent enough game for the Yankees to win. I want 3 of 4 this weekend.
2005-07-15 05:22:27
7.   Simone
Davidoff and Baumbach of Newsday who have good Yankee sources are reporting that Wang has a torn rotator cuff in the right shoulder. Horrible. Do pitchers even come back from two of surgeries on the same shoulder? Wang's career may even be over as a starter.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyside154344159jul15,0,2906718.story?coll=ny-yankees-print

2005-07-15 05:51:54
8.   Alex Belth
Yeah, Rodriguez's dinger was a moon shot. The ball really jumps off that guy's bat. I wasn't sure about it at all initially, but I'm sure if you were at the ballpark, there was no doubt about it.

I bet the Yanks wind up with Leiter.

2005-07-15 06:12:53
9.   Murray
Bwahahahahaha. That was the best game of the year. I've been with Alex on Alex Rodriguez's side all year. People leveled the same charges at the young Darryl Strawberry, and it wasn't fair then, either.

As for Ortiz, he has never had a strike called fairly against him, he is the biggest hot dog in the American League, and he's the least mobile big man to hit the AL since Cecil Fielder. Other than his talent as a hitter--his most important quality, I admit--I find nothing about him endearing. Although I don't despise him the way I do Schilling, Varitek and Johnny of the Apes, I can't stand Ortiz, either. In fact, other than Tim Wakefield, I find no players on the Red Sox likeable.

2005-07-15 06:23:04
10.   Dan M
"Robinson Cano popped out to short on the first pitch he saw." Shocker.
2005-07-15 06:24:51
11.   jedi
I've always liked Leiter and in the offseason I hoped they would have gotten the lefty instead of Wright. No one can explain his location problems in Florida, but the guy was solid last year so you know he has something left in him. Just like Olerud last year, the Yanks need him and can have him for cheap. Reeaaal cheap. But it maybe a war because the redsox want him too. The rumors about Chacon, I am not too crazy about. He is a little erratic and failed in a stint as a starter and closer. I remember last year he was being dangled as added trade bait for Randy as arizona wanted the yanks to trade for him to complete the deal. I don't know what people see in him, but hopefully its something if the yanks pick him up. All I know is I racked up saves in fantasy using Chacon from the waiver wire when he was a closer. heh

I think Redding was a steal and he will show it tonite. He is more like the pitcher from Houston than what we saw in San Diego. He's fired up to be here so that will be incentive to work hard.

I hate to be a killjoy, but I am already assuming Wang is done for the season, because there is no way Dr. Andrews is going to say on Monday, "yeah the MRI last monday is correct...its torn... but he can still pitch the rest of the season =)." You know its bad news when you want to get a second opinion and the only Dr. you want to ask is on vacation and you have to wait a week. Surely shows a sign the Yanks don't need to rush for the bad news.

I hope Cashman is on the horn as we speak, because as much as we got help from our farm system this eyar there is no one near ready to help this ball club immediately like Wang was. Does anyone know anyone in AAA? I think whoever we get in the trading deadline will make or break our rotation. Freakin unbelievable, who would have thought Brown, Pavano, Wright and Wang would be on the DL at the same time.

Interesting hypothetical, if Wang's injury is even career ending, how much attention this would have gotten if Cashman pulled the trigger and traded Wang in the beginning of the season for our CF. This would have to go down in yankee history as one of the "worst trades turned to best" in my mind.
Just imagine, teams were dangling cameron, kotsay, winn for him packaged.

We all just hope the worse is just season ending.

2005-07-15 06:46:27
12.   Oscar Azocar
Geez, the first time in a while we bring up a starter from the minors that does well, then this. I hope this turns out well for him....Any starter on the Long Island Ducks with a good arm???

While feeling down about Wang, it was most gratifying to see A-Rod prove himself against the Sox and Schilling.

2005-07-15 07:44:53
13.   Todd S
Hey, speaking as a Cubs fan, I'd prefer you guys not sign Leiter. He's the best broadcaster Fox has ever had! Let's rush him to the broadcasting booth.
2005-07-15 07:53:41
14.   TV Man
Start making room for the statue of A-Rod in the new Yankee stadium's monument park. White spikes or black, he's unbelievable.
Seemed like Sterling's call was slightly less enthusiastic compared to his usual calls in such dramatic moments.. seemed to me he might have been caught off guard by how the ball jumped off A-Rod's bat and became a home run..(that's A-Rod for you) it was like he adjusted during the flight as he realized it was gonna go.. ironic as Sterling usually overreacts the other way, calling balls that end up on the warning track, home runs... it is high! it is far!. it's ..caught at the track....Finally
YES did a great job pointing out Torre's fist pump - and noting how rare it is he shows emotion. Be sure to check out good Johneette Howard article in NEWSDAY today on how his calmness throughout this crazy season has been so key.
2005-07-15 07:58:58
15.   Matt B
I, too, am having that Al Leiter feeling...but who knows, maybe they're just not interested in moves like that this season.
Dan M, Cano's lack of patience is trying at times, but at least he gets what seems like 2 hits a night...I mean, we could have Blow-mack back in there.
I hate Ortiz with a passion and I want to see him brushed back - by ANYONE, not just the Yankees. Think of what Don Drysdale would have done to a masher who digs in like that.
2005-07-15 07:59:16
16.   Paul in Boston
Not meaning to hijack the thread, but ... now that Gammons has joined Neyer and others on the ESPN site as part of paid content, I'm considering signing up. Is it worth it? For example, I wouldn't mind reading what the Rumor Central has to say about these trades, and got to say I miss reading Neyer.

I barely go to the ESPN site now as it is.

2005-07-15 08:05:50
17.   jedi
I don't think Torre is fooling anyone when whenever someone messes up he shows some kind of emotion, like when he sits all the way on the back of the bench, cap brim down to his nose, slouching so no cameras sees him and then starts playin with the inside of his mouth with his tongue as though it helps from yelling out any profanity. That doesnt fool me. The guy shows the worse mime emotion of any manager in the league. No voice, just pouting. hahah

I have to give him credit though, when he holds in the "yesss!" jeter pumps in times of glory. That's hard to do. Obvious by last nights shot by YES when Mussina really stepped up and struck out Damon to end the inning. But when sometthing goes array, like Henn walking five batters in an inning you could see Torre biting his tongue.

I don't think its rare that he doesnt show emotion. He shows emotion all the time. Just not the way Paulie or Sweet Lou use to do it.

2005-07-15 08:11:04
18.   doctorfusco
"Rivera's early-season struggles against the Red Sox seemed like a bad dream as he struck out the first three hitters in the Red Sox line-up (Damon, Renteria and Ortiz) all looking,..."

Storybook is right, maybe I was watching a different game, but Mo struck them all out SWINGING. Which kind of makes it even sweeter.
(I hate my first post to be a correction, but c'mon)

2005-07-15 08:14:32
19.   jedi
Question: When are we gonna start pitching to Ortiz like the national league pitches to Bonds?

Manny is stinking up the plate lately. When are we going to start taking advantage of the situation. I rather get beat by a Manny homerun over the green monster or yankee left field, rather than homerun into pesky pole area or yankee short porch.

Ortiz is killing us! Walk him already!

2005-07-15 08:19:38
20.   vockins
The three swinging Ks at the top of the Sox lineup were the icing on the cake. Especially the final out by Ortiz. Just as rewarding as A-Rod's blast off Schilling, to me at least.

I know the wind was coming from center pretty stiffly earlier in the game, did anyone see if it was still kicking during A-Rod's HR? I can't tell in the replays I have seen.

2005-07-15 08:19:47
21.   rsmith51
Espn insider is the only one that I pay for. I am not sure it is worth it, but you get to peruse at Rumor Central as well as read Neyer/Gammons, etc. In addition, you also get ESPN the magazine. Of course, I would never order the magazine on its own.
2005-07-15 08:22:22
22.   Zack
Matt, I agree. It boggles the mind that pitchers won't brush him back, and he has that audacity to act like he should be offended. He weighs 300 pounds, wears armor, and crowds the plate, suck it up! I remember two years ago in the playoffs, Ortiz popped out to the infield or something, and it took him such an inordinate amount of time to slowly walk back to the dugout that the stadium actually started yelling. He's lazy, self-rightuos, and benefits from playing in a bandbox. That being said, he can hit, but if Randy would just go up there and brush a 98 fastball by his shoulder like Roger would have, he might not be so eager to hang that elbow literally over the plate...

Paul, the insider content on ESPN is good if you are in a fantasy league, but not worth it otherwise. All that rumor stuff you can find on the internet for free by typing in trade rumors or something into google. Gammons is getting more and more blatently partisan, and Neyer is ok, another Yankke hating Bean lover, and pay for a baseball prospectus membership instead.

2005-07-15 08:29:10
23.   Oscar Azocar
I've been going to the ESPN site less and less since it slowly put most of its columns behind paid content walls. The stuff that's on there is mostly stuff from the wires, which can be found anywhere.

Anyway, I don't know if it's worth the cost since I don't subscribe, but if you do want to try it, the less expensive way on an annual basis is to just sign up for ESPN the Mag, then you'll also get access to insider. They really don't publicize this.

When you go to the registration site, there's an option that says something like, if you're an espn the mag subscriber, then click here for insider access free. Then the next two options will give you either roughly $40 for an annual subscription to both, or a $6.95 monthly subscription for both.

However, if you want just the magazine, the link below is an annual offer for $26. Then you can back into "insider" access this way:
https://r.espn.go.com/espn/purchase?productOfferId=ESPNMagFleece&CMP=ILC-subcentral

Again, I'm not endorsing any product here (ESPN insider or the magazine).

2005-07-15 08:30:34
24.   ChuckM
ESPN ran a free day of "Insider" stuff about a month back and I didn't find it to be worth paying anything for. The rumor mill is just stuff culled from local newspapers across the nation, which rotoworld.com does rather nicely. Granted, alot of the stuff is fantasy-related, but that's why they keep track of trades. And last year Lee Sinins from the Hardball Times was smoking Gammons on trade news at the deadline on his ATM reports. Considering all Gammons really does now is find a stat and keep repeating it week after week while adjusting the #'s, i.e, "Mark Buehrle has gone 34,35,36, etc straight starts into at least the 7th inning" the only thing he was good for was trade stuff, and that seems to have gotten lax...
2005-07-15 08:56:00
25.   Schteeve
I think Sturtze is gonna find his way into the rotation. Let him get his wind up and he might not be too bad an option.
2005-07-15 09:12:57
26.   debris
The only silver lining for the Yankees at this point is that when they're watching the playoffs on TV while waiting for their tee times, what they're likely to see is an early Red Sox departure.
2005-07-15 09:18:21
27.   vockins
According to Newsday, Wang is done.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyside154344159jul15,0,2906718.story?coll=ny-yankees-print

I'll take some pleasure watching Schilling get hammered in the bullpen for now, but this year is over.

2005-07-15 09:28:22
28.   jedi
This season is not done you losers...just ask Shef and ARod. You think they heard about Wang before the game?

If anything the RedSox season is done if that's going to be their relief core the rest of the season.

2005-07-15 09:28:52
29.   Simone
ESPN showed Schilling winking and smiling at Mariano as they both made their way to the bullpen. I felt like he was doing that mock applause thing that the Red Sox fans did to Mariano the last time. I'm so glad that Schillng got nailed by Sheffield and Rodriguez, while Mariano efficiently dispatched the Red Sox. The silence after A-Rod hit that monster home run was simply comical. It was like he popped a balloon. Perfect ending for the Yankees.
2005-07-15 09:46:53
30.   JohnnyC
Larry Mahnken reporting that Eric Byrnes may be added to Chacon in that rumored deal with the Rockies. If that's true, do you think Byrnes would be a good enough CFer? He can hit a little but can he cover the ground?
2005-07-15 09:53:46
31.   Alex Belth
Here is an exchange from Chris Karhl's chat over at BP this afternoon:

pjvent (Washington, DC): Chris: With Wang likely gone for the season, what do you anticipate the Yankees doing (aside, of course, from getting on their knees and saying lots of prayers)?

Chris Kahrl: Don't you know, we live in a time where the power of prayer is ever-more important. Or was that 'noisy'?

Regardless, I expect the Yankees to do something monumentally stupid, like the Chacon trade. For those of us who remember the team's meltdown from the early '80s, today seems awfully familiar. It's a pity, because they still have strengths, and if they'd been more active in transitioning their ability to contend by blending in some of the kids, their immediate wouldn't be as potentially horrific as I think it's about to become.

2005-07-15 09:55:56
32.   Rob
On the website front, SI.com has made a bit of a comback for me. They have good fantasy info, rumors and rumblings, power list, and good (if not great) original content. I'm pissed that ESPN is going more and more behind the wall.
2005-07-15 10:08:06
33.   vockins
jedi,

Ask Sheff and ARod what? If they can pitch for six innings and keep it under 8 runs?

What's the team ERA among the starters with Redding and May? 7+? Redding's been lit up a) pitching in the NL, and b) with three starts at Petco. Fortunately that guy TBD is coming on board.

Who's on the market? Leiter? Forgive me if I'm not ecstatic about picking him up. And you know the Yanks will get screwed on any trade considering the situation.

Brown's a week away, Pavano two weeks, Wright mid-August! Not like any of those guys are setting the world on fire when they are healthy!

This schedule ain't looking real cushy, either!

Stick a fork in it. Done.

2005-07-15 10:08:41
34.   Simone
Yankees are trading who for Chacon and/or Brynes?
2005-07-15 10:08:41
35.   sabernar
Byrnes can't field for crap.
2005-07-15 10:09:04
36.   sabernar
And he's, at best, a platoon player.
2005-07-15 10:09:32
37.   JohnnyC
How's Irabu doing in Japan these days?
2005-07-15 10:10:03
38.   claybeez
I can't bring myself to give up on these Yanks. I was almost at that point after their awful early play, but I stoppped myself just short. This team is not dominant, but it is displaying greater and greater resilience. It's a big "if," but "if" the SP can pull it together just as the hitters finally have we may have life yet. It may just take 1 - ala Giambi - a focused and healthy Wright, Pavano or Brown. Most are down on them, but all 3 do have talent. Call me crazy, but if we trudge through it eeking out wins when we need them, this could be a season we'll never forget.

As for Byrnes, I'd bandied his name about back when we were in the early days of the Womack experiment. He reminds me of Paulie-lite, with his fiery enthusiasm. I thought he was a good fielder, but what I've been reading lately suggests his great diving catches are the results of bad jumps and reads. I'd value a more expert opinion.

2005-07-15 10:10:17
39.   Simone
Byrnes is also has the baseball IQ of a peanut. I'm never forget him shoving Varitek instead of touching home plate in the 2003 ALDS.
2005-07-15 10:18:29
40.   vockins
From an A's fan on another board:

"You could look at him objectively and say that he's a platoon player, he mashes lefties, he can't hit righties, he is a disaster defensively (his diving "Web Gems" often coming as the result of a terrible read on and/or route to the ball), he is a terrible baserunner, he forgets to touch home plate in playoff games... but that's not the story with Byrnes.

The story with Byrnes is that he's a cartoon character. He crashes full speed into walls, tackles drunks that run onto the field, runs with his legs in a Hanna-Barbera blur. In the slow-moving baseball world, he is the ultimate trainwreck sugar cereal ADHD spazzzzz of all time."

The CF issue is the least of my worries about this team now.

2005-07-15 10:30:51
41.   Zack
I was reading on the Times or somewhere that Cashman said that he would trade minor leaguers if needed. Fundamentally I don't have a problem with that, as long as it doesn't involve us trading Cabrera, Duncan or the likes for Shawn Chacon or the likes. Trading away the future for a "shot" at the playoffs, where in all likely hood they would be eliminated early on due to their many problems, is NOT the answer, as has been said over and over again here.

I would much much much rather see the Yankees bring up a few kids, give them a few starts, hammering or now, watch Cabrera evolve in center and see what happens, and risk falling out of contention but provide a foundation for next year, rather than trading them away for a few veterans that ensure nothing more than that the Yankees remain in contention. Look at the Braves, their whole rotation went down and did they panic, no? Even the Sox were without Wells and Schilling for a while and Wakefield was stinking it up, yet they didn't bet the farm.

Basically, banking the future in panic now will effectively plunge us into crapitude for a long time

2005-07-15 10:53:24
42.   brockdc
I've gradually developed a strong disdain for all things ESPN over the past year or so. Too bad for me, because it's the only game in town for sports highlights. But, as far as I'm concerned, it's WAY too bogged down with cross-promotions and too enmeshed in pop culture (i.e. "The Espy's, The World Series of Poker, etc.). Flipping on ESPN news the other day to check on trade updates and seeing Jennifer Tilley being interviewed for like 10 minutes was pretty much the last straw for me. And like many others, I've found their web site to be increasingly less informative. Try Prosportsdaily.com for trade rumors.

Melky doesn't look ready yet, in all phases of his game. This DOES NOT mean he should be traded.

The Wang loss is clearly devastating. Had the boys taken care of their business earlier in the season and wiped the field with teams like KC Masterpiece and Tampa, we'd have some room for error over the next few weeks. Then again, if my mother had a mustache, she'd be my father.

2005-07-15 10:59:06
43.   Nick from Washington Heights
anyone hear anything about the rumor of pavano going back to the marlins for burnett? The Yanks would pay part of pavano's contract. Someone posted about it on replacement level.

It seems like a good deal for the Yanks if true.

2005-07-15 11:10:52
44.   Marcus
Yes, I read about that Pavano idea on SI.com Truth & Rumors, but it sounds more like a sportswriter's theory more than anything grounded in reality. Pavano apparently has a no trade clause for this season. Check out the story in the Miami Sun-Sentinel:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-marspec15jul15,0,3031973.story?coll=sfla-sports-front

2005-07-15 11:12:53
45.   Simone
I don't think the Yankees should trade Pavano or any pitcher under 30. They should just try to sign Burnett in the off season though he is another pitcher with a history of arm problems.
2005-07-15 11:36:23
46.   uburoisc
Did anyone else see Javiar Vasquez pitch against the Padres last night. Lights out stuff. Made the Padres look like sleepwalkers. I think he will end up being a very solid pitcher with a long career. I know we got the Unit, but Aaaaaarrrrrrgggggg!
2005-07-15 11:38:06
47.   Nick from Washington Heights
Burnett in all likelihood will be traded and signed by another team before he gets a chance on the market in the off-season. I believe he's younger than Pavano, has a much higher k-rate, has a bigger upside. I don't think the deal will happen but I'd do it in a second if I were the Yanks.
2005-07-15 14:13:39
48.   Simone
On ESPNews a few minutes ago, Jayson Stark said that Pavano had a setback and won't be back for 2 weeks. Has anyone heard anything about this?
2005-07-15 14:15:37
49.   Shaun P
This morning's Globe said that A-Rod's homer was five feet away from being completely out of the park. Damn. Wang's issues aside, that was a good win last night.

I know it sounds crazy, but why not try to get Mark Redman from the Pirates? He's a lefty and likely available (he's a free agent). Two years ago, David Littlefield gladly traded a star (Aramis Ramirez) for a washed up prospect and spare parts (Bobby Hill, Jose Hernandez and some other guy) - so why wouldn't he take, say, Bubba Crosby and Womack for Redman? I'd rather try Redman for a couple months at low cost than give up a useful minor leaguer for Shawn Chacon. Or the wild and wacky AJ Burnett.

One other thing - Redding is from Rochester (NY) and was a Yanks fan growing up. I think he'll pitch well tonight, and those of us who are current/former upstaters will have another reason to smile.

2005-07-15 14:22:42
50.   Cliff Corcoran
Simone, my previous post (The Red Sox) says that Pavano won't be back for two weeks. Cashman told the media that before last night's game. It's not a setback as much as poor communication between Pavano and the Yanks. He's throwing, but he's just not ready yet. I believe he told them that he needs to build up more strength.

That said, I suspect Pavano may be babying his shoulder a bit as he has a history of arm problems that he thought were behind him and is likely scared to death of coming back to soon and doing real harm. Can't blame him there, it's probably the right thing to do.

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2005-07-16 06:54:55
51.   Matt B
I can't hear or read the word Rochester without thinking of Jack Benny. Come to think of it, thinking about Jack Benny is infinitely better than thinking about last night's game.

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