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The Minnesota Twins
2006-04-14 15:03
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

One of the best stories in baseball in recent years was the trio of AL Central Titles won by the Minnesota Twins immediately after Commissioner Bud Selig threatened the team with contraction. Unfortunately, that story does not have a happy ending as, while we have all been waiting around for the Twins to convert their seemingly endless supply of young talent into a more meaningful title, the team has regressed into mediocrity. That the left side of their infield is populated by Juan Castro and Tony Batista, the latter of whom spent 2005 playing in Japan, should be evidence enough of that.

That said, the Twins are always going to be dangerous because of their pitching, which is why it's fortuitous that the Yankees are catching them this early in the season. One game shy of two times through their rotation, the Twins starters have a combined ERA of 6.63 and would-be two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana, who will go tomorrow against Jaret Wright's first start of the season, has yet to win a game.

Tonight, the Yankees face 24-year-old rookie Scott Baker, who beat out Francisco Liriano (the left-handed future star who is generally considered the second coming of Santana) for the fifth starter's spot in spring training. While no pushover himself, Baker took the loss in his first start, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings against the powerful Indians' lineup. A decent first outing spoiled by the fact that the Twins bats couldn't muster a single run against Jason Johnson, Gullermo Mota and Bob Wickman.

Mike Mussina takes the hill for the Yanks, looking to build upon his surprisingly strong performance in his first two starts.

Minnesota Twins

2005 Record: 83-79 (.512)
2005 Pythagorean Record: 84-78 (.519)

Manager: Ron Gardenhire
General Manager: Terry Ryan

Home Ballpark (2005 Park Factors): Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (101/101)

Who's Replacing Whom?

  • Jason Kubel replaces Jacque Jones
  • Luis Castillo replaces Luis Rivas and a great deal of Nick Punto's playing time
  • Rondell White replaces Matt LeCroy and part of Lew Ford's playing time
  • Tony Batista replaces Terry Tiffee and a chunk of Michael Cuddyer's playing time
  • Juan Castro takes over Jason Bartlett's playing time (minors)
  • Scott Baker inherits Joe May's starts
  • Francisco Liriano inherits J.C. Romero's innings
  • Willie Eyre replaces Terry Mullholand's innings

Current Roster

1B – Justin Morneau (L)
2B – Luis Castillo (S)
SS – Juan Castro (R)
3B – Tony Batista (R)
C – Joe Mauer (L)
RF – Jason Kubel (L)
CF – Torii Hunter (R)
LF – Shannon Stewart (R)
DH – Rondell White (R)

Bench:

R – Michael Cuddyer (UT)
R – Lew Ford (OF)
S – Luis O. Rodriguez (IF)
S – Nick Punto (IF)
R – Mike Redmond (C)

Rotation:

L – Johan Santana
R – Brad Radke
R – Carlos Silva
R – Kyle Lohse
R – Scott Baker

Bullpen:

R – Joe Nathan
R – Jesse Crain
R – Juan Rincon
L – Francisco Liroano
R – Matt Guerrier
R – Willie Eyre

DL: L – Dave Gassner

Typical Lineup

R – Shannon Stewart (LF)
S – Luis Castillo (2B)
L – Joe Mauer (C)
R – Rondell White (DH)
R – Torii Hunter (CF)
L – Justin Morneau (1B)
R – Tony Batista (3B)
L – Jason Kubel (RF)
R – Juan Castro (SS)

Comments (191)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-14 17:15:56
1.   BklynBomber
The '04 and '05 Yank teams more often than not have fared poorly against young guns they'd seen for the first time. Here's hoping that's not the case tonight, but a 7 pitch first inning by this rook is not encouraging.

Let's go Yanks!

2006-04-14 17:32:09
2.   rbj
Wardrobe malfunction! Alert the FCC!
2006-04-14 17:43:08
3.   rbj
Damon! Glad to see Bernie's not roaming out there.
2006-04-14 17:43:39
4.   BklynBomber
It has to be said: Scott Baker is pitching a perfect game...
2006-04-14 17:43:42
5.   Cliff Corcoran
Wow. Okay, that's the first and best evidence that the Yankees really have upgraded their centerfield defense. That would have been an easy double with Bernie out there, but with Damon it was an out.
2006-04-14 17:44:06
6.   randym77
Whoa! Nice catch by Damon. Not bad considering he's used to playing in a cracker box. ;-)
2006-04-14 17:44:07
7.   Cliff Corcoran
4 He walked Giambi, but it is a NO-HITTER.
2006-04-14 17:45:26
8.   BklynBomber
3 Yeah, Damon was positioned well and had a nice jump on that. The Twinkies announcers had me worried for a split sec...
2006-04-14 17:45:57
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Bingo.
2006-04-14 17:46:11
10.   randym77
LOL! Damn. Works every time...
2006-04-14 17:48:17
11.   BklynBomber
7 My bad. Your correction did the mojo, Cliff. Thanks! ;-)
2006-04-14 17:49:42
12.   rbj
Shoot guys, you jinxed the no-hitter. Now don't jinx the shutout.
2006-04-14 17:52:13
13.   BklynBomber
12 We wouldn't even think of that. We're just watching Baker throwing a SHUTOUT.
2006-04-14 17:52:14
14.   rilkefan
I've got the impression Bernie is hitting the ball hard, just at people - is that accurate?
2006-04-14 17:54:02
15.   BklynBomber
OK, Cap. That's a start...
2006-04-14 17:54:12
16.   rbj
Oh darn, there goes the shutout.
2006-04-14 17:55:57
17.   BklynBomber
12 rbj, you have an official assist on that run ;-)
2006-04-14 18:04:44
18.   joejoejoe
Jeter with the productive out! Groundout RBI. Yeah baby!
2006-04-14 18:06:10
19.   joejoejoe
Mussina gives up three singles in a row - are they bloops or sharp? ESPN Gamecast is inconclusive.
2006-04-14 18:10:42
20.   greenfuzz
Mussina let runners advance on a wild pitch, and walked the next batter. He's getting roughed up and looking stressed up there.
2006-04-14 18:11:30
21.   Cliff Corcoran
Wow, walk a guy to set up a DP and get the DP, that's pretty nifty.
2006-04-14 18:12:14
22.   randym77
Yech. That could have been bad. Moose kinda imploded there.

Hopefully it's just one bad inning...

2006-04-14 18:13:47
23.   Chucksax
I hope it's just one bad inning, also. I think the Yanks can get three or four runs - I don't count on them scoring 9 or 10 against Minnesota.
2006-04-14 18:17:13
24.   joejoejoe
21 ESPN Gamecast has about a 3 minute lag from your comment - weird. I read your remark, THEN watched Moose walk a batter and get Rondell White to GIDP.
2006-04-14 18:19:03
25.   unpopster
Jesus friggin christ, "Loudmouth" Schilling is HOT! 1 run given up through 7 innings. Damn, I hate that mofo!
2006-04-14 18:24:53
26.   BklynBomber
Scott Baker is settling into a nice groove here. He has Yankee batters guessing, should have a 6 pitch inning here.
2006-04-14 18:28:20
27.   Shaun P
OK, with a guy on 2nd, what are the odds Cano is bunting here? Just kidding!

This is where the Yanks need to break it open. C'mon Robbie!

2006-04-14 18:30:34
28.   BklynBomber
The play on Jorgie's shot could have went either way. We got the break on that one...

Man, this Ump is really inconsistent on the high strike...

Heads up baserunning, Jorgie!

2006-04-14 18:31:31
29.   Shaun P
He was safe!!!!!
2006-04-14 18:31:31
30.   greenfuzz
OH MAN Posada was SAFE!!!
2006-04-14 18:31:50
31.   randym77
Looked like an air tag to me.
2006-04-14 18:31:54
32.   Cliff Corcoran
Replay confirms, Posada was safe at the plate.
2006-04-14 18:33:06
33.   randym77
28 Despite how it ended, I have to say I was impressed with Posada's baserunning, too. Nice hustle, considering he's not exactly speedy.
2006-04-14 18:33:28
34.   rilkefan
25 - "Jesus friggin christ, "Loudmouth" Schilling is HOT!"

Think I'll let that straight line go by uncommented.

2006-04-14 18:33:35
35.   Shaun P
I don't know how the home plate ump missed that one. Mauer did a nice job selling it, too - just close enough to make it look good.
2006-04-14 18:34:18
36.   BklynBomber
He missed Posada by a foot!
2006-04-14 18:34:58
37.   Shaun P
I must say, I am very impressed with the differing angles that YES had on that play.
2006-04-14 18:35:43
38.   BklynBomber
Man, these Twins announcers are rubes...
2006-04-14 18:37:05
39.   Shaun P
For a guy who's only played RF what, twice now in the regular season since 1992, Bernie looked pretty good on that catch.
2006-04-14 18:37:24
40.   Stormer Sports
No excuse for that, the Ump was out of position to make the call.

Why don't those morons move when they see the trajectory of the ball?

That play wasn't even close!

2006-04-14 18:38:17
41.   Stormer Sports
Shaun,

I have the local Min. feed and it didn't even look close on the one replay I got.

2006-04-14 18:39:41
42.   Stormer Sports
39 Shaun,

And it gives Gary "Frank Thomas" Sheffield exactly what he wants, less time playing both sides of the ball.

2006-04-14 18:40:21
43.   Cliff Corcoran
37 YES does an excellent job for the most part. If they'd fire Kay, they'd be doing an incredible job.
2006-04-14 18:41:52
44.   BklynBomber
40 Exactly, Storm. Ump has to circle around to view it. He blew that one. Just hope one run does not decide this game.
2006-04-14 18:42:09
45.   Cliff Corcoran
The problem with Bernie playing RF instead of Sheff is his arm. His range is an imrpovement, but his arm gives those extra bases back.
2006-04-14 18:43:26
46.   Shaun P
Cliff 43 - why is it that the Mets employ a fantastic radio guy (Gary Cohen) who goes to their new TV channel as lead announcer and does even better on TV than he did on radio - and the Yanks have Michael Kay? How can the suits at YES miss how awful Kay is??

Was there just a "Yankees suck" chant going through the Metrodome? WTF?!?! I thought Twins fans were laid back, polite types??

2006-04-14 18:44:31
47.   Stormer Sports
Bklyn,

I mean seriously, MLB goes on and on about how long it takes to become a MLB Ump. The time entailed and the training blah blah blah.

90% of the time they are better than any other sport, I will certainly give them that.

However, is it so much to ask to look the f**k up and see what angle the ball is taking to the plate? Was he hired from the NFL or what!

2006-04-14 18:45:50
48.   Stormer Sports
Shaun,

Nope, Minnestota fans are pussies, they wait for the lead before they chant.

2006-04-14 18:46:03
49.   Cliff Corcoran
The thing is, Shaun, Kay was the big radio guy who went to their new channel. Same deal, except Kay is a boob.
2006-04-14 18:47:23
50.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Steiner moved out here to LA. I don't know about you, but I think he should have been given Kaye's job.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-14 18:48:37
51.   Cliff Corcoran
You know that McDonalds comercial where the bleep the word "free" ("I got it for [bleeeep!]") and the tag line is something along the lines of "such a good deal it's obscene"? Well they just ran it sans the bleeping with a tag line along the lines of "such a good deal it's hard to believe." I wonder if they got complaints about bleeping an F word. Curious.
2006-04-14 18:49:48
52.   BklynBomber
47 Just what I was thinking. I would expect a Little League ump to have that instinct. Common sense, if nothing else.

Ohhh, sweet fielding by Cano right there!

2006-04-14 18:50:43
53.   BklynBomber
51 What feed are you getting, Cliff?
2006-04-14 18:52:20
54.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Have you seen the Christian freaks all over the airwaves, politics, and within the FCC? Of course they got complaints. The USA, where 10% are bible thumping morons perverting its actual teachings, and making the rules for the rest of us.

2006-04-14 18:53:48
55.   BklynBomber
OK, bats! Time to wake up!
2006-04-14 18:56:21
56.   Stormer Sports
Come on Arod!

Why doesn't Jorge just let one go through! Where is Ty Cobb to talk to his catcher and teach an Ump a lesson when one is due?

Good defense and solid pitching. A very simple recipe to beat the Yankees.

2006-04-14 18:56:57
57.   Shaun P
Cliff exactly my point 49 - its not like Kay hadn't been on the radio for long, or was recognized as doing a great job on radio. He was awful then, and he's worse now. How did the Yankee brass miss it?

I also wonder how the ESPN radio people missed it, 'cause Kay is equally terrible on his radio show.

And now it sounds like someone from the crowd is yelling "BALCO! Steroids!" I am very surprised.

2006-04-14 18:57:11
58.   Stormer Sports
Come on Jason!
2006-04-14 18:57:15
59.   BklynBomber
Work a walk or stroke a double, Jason!
2006-04-14 18:58:07
60.   Stormer Sports
Dammit! That was close. Come on Mats!
2006-04-14 18:58:16
61.   Shaun P
I thought that was gone . . .
2006-04-14 18:58:46
62.   randym77
Whoever was yelling "Steroids" sure had a loud voice. Jeez.
2006-04-14 18:59:26
63.   BklynBomber
Sh*t, at this writing, the offense appears disinterested.
2006-04-14 19:00:13
64.   Stormer Sports
Yanks getting schooled by jo jo the baby faced boy.
2006-04-14 19:01:47
65.   rbj
Damn, I check out in order to see Dr. Who (Daleks!) and not much has happened. I think the hitters are worn out from earlier this week.
2006-04-14 19:02:04
66.   Stormer Sports
63

Bklyn,

It's hard for anyone to stay interested in that dark crap hole the Twins play in.

2006-04-14 19:05:56
67.   marc
It seemed impossible to get good wood on Baker's pitches. Maybe they'll do better with the tough bullpen. Then radke and Santana lined up up. This is going to a very tough series
2006-04-14 19:06:21
68.   Stormer Sports
I hate to see them waste a great outing like this one.

Just like RJ's second start.

2006-04-14 19:07:56
69.   Stormer Sports
We have to score against Rincon, before they bring in that freak of nature they have closing games for them.
2006-04-14 19:09:58
70.   rbj
Agggh. Did he just say that Sturtze was getting loose? It's only a 1-2 game. No Tanyon unless it's a blowout.
2006-04-14 19:10:22
71.   Stormer Sports
Why Sturtz and not Farnsworth? Didn't Sturtz pitch yesterday, and pretty badly I might add? Is this another "confidence" play? Use the worst guy first?
2006-04-14 19:10:32
72.   BklynBomber
66 Correct. The only joint in MLB more God-forsaken is Tropicana Field, but I can take a Fenway crowd celebrating quicker than a Metrodome crowd. Outside of the Vikings, and maybe hockey, professional sports has no place in that city.
2006-04-14 19:11:56
73.   Stormer Sports
Hey I'll give Torre this much, he has gotton up off his ass more already this year than all of last year.

Oh Jorge! You were right there, nice try, ugg.

2006-04-14 19:13:56
74.   randym77
That should probably have been Giambi's ball.

Moose is spent. I hope Tanyon doesn't have to come in with the bases loaded.

2006-04-14 19:14:21
75.   marc
At least here I can understand the radio feed at the Metrodome. When I start to hear about catwalks and needing a rulebook to figure out what's a home run or not, well not good at Tropicana
2006-04-14 19:14:26
76.   BklynBomber
"Twins need a gapper right here" — objective Twins announcers...
2006-04-14 19:14:29
77.   Stormer Sports
Bklyn,

No retractable roof, no outside stadium with natural grass, no place in baseball!

This is the city that built a dome for football, taking away the only home field advantage they had. Aye you Fargo watching pork belly sellinh, co-op shopping, khaki and polo wearing, freaks!

2006-04-14 19:14:39
78.   Shaun P
Cripes, if Moose loads the bases, the LAST guy to come in should be Sturtze. Bring on Villone!

Lord Farnswacker needs to get over this "I only pitch one inning, I hate to go in and then come out and then go back out" BS.

2006-04-14 19:16:10
79.   Stormer Sports
But Selig is so proud of both the Florida teams that never should have been given franchises, while he spit on Washington for years, a city that actually wanted a team and was willing to build a stadium, not a farse like Tampa.
2006-04-14 19:16:41
80.   Shaun P
Why leave Moose in?? Why not bring in a reliever to face Castro???

As my dad just said, "Son of a *!"

2006-04-14 19:17:00
81.   rbj
Damn. And Moose had been pitching so well up to now.
2006-04-14 19:17:54
82.   Stormer Sports
It's not Mike's fault, 7 innings and three runs, the Yanks should certainly be leading this game.

If they can't beat this snot nosed kid, how are they supposed to beat any White Sox or Red Sox or Oakland starter come playoff time.

2006-04-14 19:18:40
83.   tom yf
Joe Torre should be fucking pilloried. Moose is coming off two injured years, he's clearly done, he leaves him in with two on and has him throwing 120 freaking pitches?!?!?!?!!

I'm going to be sick.

2006-04-14 19:19:22
84.   Shaun P
Stormer, a little heavy on the criticism of Scott Baker, no? Guy's a good pitcher.
2006-04-14 19:19:30
85.   Stormer Sports
Come on Tanyon! Just hold it here!
2006-04-14 19:20:12
86.   BklynBomber
The only professional baseball that should be played in Florida is spring f'n training and minor league. F Selig and his buddy Bonds*.
2006-04-14 19:20:15
87.   rbj
Hey, no first pitch homer from Tanyon.
2006-04-14 19:21:03
88.   randym77
He was probably afraid Sturtze would come in and give up another homer. :-P
2006-04-14 19:21:23
89.   Shaun P
Holy shit - Matt Smith is in the bullpen!?!? Wearing Willie Randolph's number??

When did that happen?!?

2006-04-14 19:22:33
90.   Cliff Corcoran
I missed that completely (Smith). They DFAed Hill because Nieves cleared waivers (surprise). I knew Nieves cleared and was going to write about how that meant Hill would be gone soon, but it happened so fast I didn't even get a chance!
2006-04-14 19:22:44
91.   Stormer Sports
Shaun,

Maybe I am being hard on them. I just hate to see a wasted start. Especially considering that we don't know how many quality starts this staff will post this year. The Yanks will have to hit a good pitcher eventually, no?

And no, Bartolo Colon doesn't count.

2006-04-14 19:23:40
92.   rbj
OK, good job Tanyon.
2006-04-14 19:24:23
93.   Shaun P
90 - wow. Is this a message from Cash about the bullpen? Or to add an arm to the pen with Wright starting tomorrow? In any case, I'm quite happy.

Thank you, Robbie. Hope Sturtze doesn't come out to pitch the 8th.

2006-04-14 19:25:54
94.   Stormer Sports
I ust hope Smith isn't this years Franklin. Hey, I am all for giving these guys a shot. The "over 30 at all costs" approach hasn't born fruit. Sometimes I get the feeling that Joe would rather pitch himself than give a kid a shot.
2006-04-14 19:26:23
95.   BklynBomber
Get it started, Jorgie!
2006-04-14 19:27:38
96.   marc
Baker 1 run three hits. He was flat out great.
2006-04-14 19:28:01
97.   nick
We spent all that $ on relievers in the offseason and Sturtz is STILL our #2 guy? What's more, given Joe's policy, Sturtz is gonna get a significant number of high leverage innings for the forseeable future....
2006-04-14 19:28:28
98.   rbj
Good eye Jorge.
2006-04-14 19:28:49
99.   BklynBomber
whew! that could have went either way...
2006-04-14 19:30:34
100.   Cliff Corcoran
Stormer your Franklin comparison is wildly off base. Smith is 26 and has never pitched in the majors, Franklin was 31 and had throw 300+ innings in the majors to prove his crappiness.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-14 19:31:00
101.   Stormer Sports
Here we go. How about a pinch runner!
2006-04-14 19:31:01
102.   rbj
Alright Cano!
2006-04-14 19:31:03
103.   BklynBomber
Good AB, Cano!
2006-04-14 19:31:04
104.   randym77
All right, Robbie!
2006-04-14 19:31:44
105.   Shaun P
Here we go, folks!

Not that it would ever happen, but this is where Phillips ought to be pinch-hitting for GOB. Then Bubba could play RF in the 8th and 9th.

2006-04-14 19:32:04
106.   BklynBomber
Just a single for now, Bernie. Just a single...
2006-04-14 19:32:36
107.   Stormer Sports
God damn it!
2006-04-14 19:32:50
108.   Cliff Corcoran
Brutal.
2006-04-14 19:33:01
109.   BklynBomber
%^#$@!
2006-04-14 19:33:44
110.   rbj
#$%%$^&*%&$^%!!!!!
2006-04-14 19:33:52
111.   nick
Quoting from Baseball Prospectus, Smith held lefties to a .173 average at Columbus last year--nice K/BB as well--but hard to see Joe using him with Meyers and Villone around...
2006-04-14 19:34:27
112.   Stormer Sports
That's it. Wait till you guys see their closer. Lights out!
2006-04-14 19:34:40
113.   nick
o shit...
2006-04-14 19:35:19
114.   Stormer Sports
nick,

I'd use him right away. Give the kid a shot.

2006-04-14 19:35:26
115.   marc
officially bleek now
2006-04-14 19:35:39
116.   Cliff Corcoran
I do wonder about Smith wearing #30, though. No one has worn that since before Willie was a coach. Actually, can anyone remember if anyone wore it between Willie signing with the Dodgers and joining Buck's coaching staff?
2006-04-14 19:36:22
117.   Cliff Corcoran
Bingo, Stormer 114
2006-04-14 19:37:05
118.   nick
it's like Joe thinks we should bunt RANDOMLY, you know--like bunting is part of a balanced diet, eating your vegetables. I mean, surely that was the most justifiable bunt situation all year, no?
2006-04-14 19:37:37
119.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

I do not believe anyone has worn it. It is a little odd. It could be George. Players and coaches who leave seem to find their numbers out there pretty quickly.

2006-04-14 19:38:12
120.   Cliff Corcoran
Nick, you mean first and second down by two none out in the eighth with your worst hitter up ahead of the top of the line-up? Yeah, that's a pretty justifiable bunt situation.
2006-04-14 19:39:24
121.   Stormer Sports
nick,

Joe won't bunt when we should. He has not clue 1 since Zim left. Bash Bash Bash. Lose Lose Lose.

2006-04-14 19:39:33
122.   rsmith51
When is the last time Bernie bunted?
2006-04-14 19:40:11
123.   rsmith51
Clueless Joe is back?
2006-04-14 19:40:14
124.   nick
Cliff, Stormer--OK, my radio delay is making me look like an idiot here....let's go, kid!
2006-04-14 19:40:14
125.   Cliff Corcoran
Smith get's Joe Mauer to ground out and gets pulled for a righty. Not a bad debut.

Stormer, I wonder if 30 would have been available if Willie went to the Brewers rather than the Mets.

I do recall that they gave #31 to a back-up catcher something like the day after they traded Winfield. Brian Dorsett. That burned me bad.

2006-04-14 19:40:26
126.   JeremyM
I'm a little lost as Gameday is really slow, but I can't believe they didn't bunt in that spot. I love Bernie but geez...
2006-04-14 19:40:51
127.   Stormer Sports
Bernie is fundamentally sound. If you ask him to bunt, he'll get it down.

Joe, the anti-Ozzie.

2006-04-14 19:40:54
128.   rbj
122 Last century?
2006-04-14 19:42:12
129.   Cliff Corcoran
According to B-R, Bernie has one "sac hit" in each of the last two years.
2006-04-14 19:42:21
130.   marc
anyone else remember that hame we beat the hell out of Nathan?
2006-04-14 19:43:03
131.   nick
Cliff, Stormer: exactly--but instead, Joe bunts in the fourth inning with a good hitter up...
2006-04-14 19:43:27
132.   rsmith51
Was that in the playoffs, Marc?
2006-04-14 19:43:49
133.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

LOL. I would have to say the Winfield situation had umm, ahh, a slightly higher level of emotion involved. I'm pretty sure Goeorge would have sold Dave to Tyler Chicken if he could have.

George likes loyalty. I think #30 was coming out, one way or the other. Hopefully we'll see Willy in October.

2006-04-14 19:44:42
134.   rsmith51
Farnsworth pitches look like Jeff Nelson's. Nelson didn't have his fastball, however.
2006-04-14 19:46:43
135.   rsmith51
Is that the only XBH that Bernie is going to get associated with this year?
2006-04-14 19:46:48
136.   Cliff Corcoran
I remember the last Old Timers Day that Winfield attended, the fans in the bleachers were calling him a "traitor" for going into the Hall as a Padre. Now that's ignorance. Wow.
2006-04-14 19:47:36
137.   Stormer Sports
nick,

It just proves what I've thought all along. Joe has no clue what he is doing. No Zim, no Willie, no clue!

I guess he hasn't looked around the league to check out what type of teams have been winning lately.

The White Sox didn't have 1 single player other than Konerko who is more than a little above average. However, frustrating the other team with bunts and steals, and squeezes helps change the game.

I love Joe, but if we could get someone with true baseball managing smarts, time to let the man go.

2006-04-14 19:47:58
138.   Cliff Corcoran
Sigh, well at least the Yanks won't lose this one by one run. I couldn't deal if that bad call on Posada at the plate cost the Yanks a win.
2006-04-14 19:48:19
139.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Yankee fans did that? I thought most fans understood who decides what cap you wear.

2006-04-14 19:49:26
140.   BklynBomber
Ahhh, sh*t... yet another Yankeeography in the works... Enough of these, already.
2006-04-14 19:50:31
141.   JeremyM
Why isn't Bubba in right? My God. It is so past time for Torre to go.
2006-04-14 19:50:35
142.   rsmith51
Let's see I have a hight 90's fastball. I think I will throw my offspeed stuff...
2006-04-14 19:50:44
143.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Seriously, what the hell! What on Gods green earth are they doing in Anaheim? How can we and most everyone else be so bad in the bullpen, and they just keep chugging along?

2006-04-14 19:50:54
144.   Cliff Corcoran
137 That just proves that you haven't looked around the league either, Stormer. The White Sox hit 200 homers last year, that was 4th in the AL, the Yanks were second with 229. Only one NL team hit more homers than the Chisox last year.
2006-04-14 19:51:11
145.   rbj
Feh, goodnight.
2006-04-14 19:52:46
146.   rsmith51
144 That is a common misconception, Cliff. Apparently SI had a big story about it.
2006-04-14 19:53:05
147.   Cliff Corcoran
142 Alex's worst fears about Farnsworth. I must say, though, his slider is pretty fierce. Posada just has to take charge of his pitch selection.

139 Until the past year or so, the player chose, but any Yankee fan worth his or her salt would know why Winfield chose Sand Diego.

2006-04-14 19:54:28
148.   rsmith51
If you want to talk about teams that don't rely on the HR, look at the Angels and Twins.
2006-04-14 19:54:43
149.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Not just home runs. The Sox spread the HR's all over the lineup.

It's not just about actual runs scored or SB's. It's about pressuring the other team and making them make mistakes. It is about hitting Hr's AND running the bases well, stealing and bunting.

You cannot win simply bashing the ball and moving one base at a time, letting the opposing pitcher plop a comfy chair out there and relax.

2006-04-14 19:55:30
150.   nick
Relievers are by the nature of the game second line talent...you need to sweat the details to have a good bullpen...it's a cliche by now, but the Yanks don't sweat the details these days: terrible bench, terrible bullpen behind Mo.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-04-14 19:55:51
151.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Winfield didn't "choose" San Diego. The Hall decides.

2006-04-14 19:56:49
152.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Well if you hire a PI to dig up and plant shit on me, I'd stop coming to Bronx Banter.

2006-04-14 19:57:19
153.   rsmith51
How many games has Mo pitched now?
2006-04-14 19:58:05
154.   BklynBomber
151 Storm, Winfield made the call on that one. Rules have been changed since...

Top 9: 4 runs? No problem, right?

2006-04-14 19:58:09
155.   Stormer Sports
The worst thing about this brand of bash baseball is not only that it virtually guarantees a loss in the playoffs, it's not fun to watch, not one bit.
2006-04-14 19:58:47
156.   Cliff Corcoran
Stormer, it is about runs scored. It's also about runs prevented. That's why the Sox won, it was the pitching. They were just 0.02 runs per game off the league lead last year and only two NL teams allowed fewer runs per game than they did.

That's also why the Twins are winning today. Scott Baker was outstanding.

2006-04-14 19:59:24
157.   BklynBomber
Baserunners, Yanks. Baserunners.
2006-04-14 19:59:40
158.   rsmith51
The White Sox also had an outstanding defense.
2006-04-14 20:00:11
159.   marc
rsmith, I thought it was in the regular season that we knocked out Nathan but I could be wrong. here I found the game, it was pretty amazing:

08/20/2004 12:00 AM ET
Box >
Yanks gut out win over Twins
Bombers storm back in ninth after bullpen falters
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com


Gary Sheffield's solo shot off Joe Nathan tied the score at 10 in the ninth inning. (Jim Mone/AP)
• Own a download of this game

MINNEAPOLIS -- With a six-run lead in the seventh inning, the Yankees seemed destined to avert a three-game sweep at the hands of the Twins.

It turned out to be much more difficult than expected.

Minnesota rallied for seven runs in the seventh and eighth, but New York got the final word, tagging unhittable Twins closer Joe Nathan for four runs in the ninth en route to a 13-10 victory.

2006-04-14 20:01:48
160.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

I had never met the man but always liked him. I was out here at an Angel-Yankee game and happened to run into him in the concourse all alone during BP. He stopped and talked with me for almost fifteen minutes. I was pretty young when he played and it's tough to judge a man after fifteen minutes of conversation in 2004, but he really seemed like a genuinely good man.

2006-04-14 20:03:37
161.   rsmith51
Well the Yanks are 2-0 vs. fmr. Cy Young winners this year...
2006-04-14 20:03:58
162.   randym77
Well, that sucked. :-P
2006-04-14 20:04:20
163.   Mattpat11
But...But...Farnsworth throws hard AND he had a good year last year! He meets the Yankees only two criteria for getting a pitcher? How could this have gone wrong?
2006-04-14 20:06:33
164.   3rd gen yankee fan
UGH. Disgusting!!!
2006-04-14 20:06:59
165.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

156 I agree about the defense and pitching, of course. However I stick by my assertion that you must bunt, steal and threaten the sqeeze to win consistently. When you face pitching like we did today, you cannot win any other way. Until the Yankees do this, when they are in close games at least, they won't make it very far in the playoffs. It's not about how often you do it, it's when you do it and it which games you do it. Joe proved tonight that although we were getting schooled at the plate, that when he had chances to bunt and try to get a run across, he still believed we could bash the ball, even though we hadn't all game long.

2006-04-14 20:07:24
166.   BklynBomber
Aside from Moose, Posada and Cano, the team played like this was the last game of a 14 game road trip, and they couldn't wait to get out of town.
2006-04-14 20:08:46
167.   nick
Waiting for the home run can be frustrating (see Bronx Banter comment boxes, April 2006 passim) It's tempting to think a certain kind of offense "can't beat good pitching" or "won't succeed in the playoffs"--but I've yet to see hard evidence for this claim.....
2006-04-14 20:09:39
168.   Simone
What a sad game. Scott Baker? Who is he? The next Cy Young?
2006-04-14 20:10:13
169.   Cliff Corcoran
I hadn't read Steve Goldman's latest Pinstriped Blog entry until just now, but it addresses my conversation with Stormer about power-type offenses perfectly.
2006-04-14 20:10:35
170.   Stormer Sports
Bklyn,

The more I think about it. The pitching was outstanding, but, if Jorge is called safe and Joe puts on bunt, a couple hit and runs, we could have tied the game. However Joe's the same manager he was in NYM and STL without Zim and Willie. He's gotta change or we wont be able to compete against solid defensive teams with 2 or more solid starters, and that includes every playoff team.

2006-04-14 20:11:53
172.   Cliff Corcoran
Scott Baker's a legit young pitcher who should be in the Twins lineup for years to come.
2006-04-14 20:12:12
173.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

I'll read it. Thanks! No hard feelings man. I just hate watching this brand of baseball. In my mind, its not even baseball.

2006-04-14 20:14:05
174.   nick
Baseball is not primarily a "hussle" game, you know, guys: it's about hitting the ball. The venue where the sweaty underachiever beats the talented non-hussler? That's called March Madness....we've been losing in October not because of lack of effort, but because of lousy bench and lousy bullpen behind Mo...
2006-04-14 20:15:15
175.   nick
PS--I agreed w/Steve Goldman's latest as well...
2006-04-14 20:18:53
176.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

I Read it. It's interesting. Although we have no chance of improving either our pitching or defense this year. Buckle up!

I'm in LA suffering through our 3rd, count them 3rd rain delay or PPD of the year. Sf and ANA have had like 4 already. To those who dispute weather and climate change, welcome to rainy California 50+ inches last year and near 30+ already this year. Guess it's time to move back to NY.

2006-04-14 20:19:16
177.   JohnnyC
We have a 12 man pitching staff that seems like we're short 4. BTW, this is the kind of game that Joe Torre has convincingly demonstrated he has no capacity to win. We'll see many more of these: no game plan against a pitcher who changes speeds, no flexibility to play aggressively when presented with few and far between base runners (bunting, hitting and running, stealing bases), no concept of how to use his bullpen, misplaced "trust" with veterans like Mussina (110+ pitches) and Bernie Williams (not bunting, not replacing him with Bubba, and starting him 4 games in a row when he swore on his 4 rings that he wouldn't over-use Bernie) and, of course, the drained, lifeless facial expression in the post-game press conference. Live it, love it, become one with it.
2006-04-14 20:19:50
178.   Stormer Sports
nick,

Don't forget lousy defense and starting pitching.

2006-04-14 20:23:35
179.   rsmith51
I just read the Pinstriped Blog and I also agree. It seems to me that the manager likes to have "control" over the game.
2006-04-14 20:37:45
180.   JohnnyC
Even if Bernie doesn't bunt there, at the very least the runners should be running to avoid the DP...which, of course, happened. No DP there and we score at least one, maybe extend the inning enough to tie it up or, if you prefer, enough to give us a chance at a 3-run homerun. But not doing anything and expecting Bernie to just get a big hit means we don't score anything.
2006-04-14 20:49:28
181.   Stormer Sports
JohnnyC,

Again, Joe has no idea what he is doing without Willie or Zim. Sure, it's a who's who on the coaching bench, but that doesn't mean they know what they're doing, simply because they were great players.

2006-04-14 20:51:08
182.   Stormer Sports
They are expecting the wins to come to them, rather than angrily taking them.
2006-04-14 20:54:57
183.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
C'mon. Has Bronxbanter been invaded by Joe Morgan clones? More half-assed hit and runs and bunts is not the answer to any Yankee problems.

And as for Willie being Joe's brain, you're talking about someone who has insisted for the last 170 games on hitting someone with a .305 obp leadoff. Jeez.

2006-04-14 21:07:50
184.   Stormer Sports
Yankee Fan in Chicago

Wow. Seriously, If I am being compared to Joe Morgan, I must seriously rethink my argument.

2006-04-14 21:10:28
185.   Stormer Sports
Yankee Fan in Chicago

However, I stick by part of it. Athough more "half-assed hit and runs" as you so colorfully called them, may not be the answer, they are the right thing to do, and certaily, wouldn't hurt the teams chances.

I'm just throwing it out there.

2006-04-15 01:10:57
186.   brockdc
Torre's mismanaging aside, isn't it possible we're just losing to superior teams?
2006-04-15 02:46:22
187.   mikeplugh
186 brockdc...

With all due respect, that borders on the absurd. If you want to suggest that Anaheim is a superior team, I'll bite. They have won the World Series more recently than us and have knocked us out of the playoffs twice. Plus, they are the only team with a winning record against us in the Torre era. They lost 2 out of 3 to Seattle before facing us, and have since gone on to lose games to Texas and Baltimore.

Oakland is at best playing on level ground with the Yankees. Their pitching is very good and they have some decent players in their every day lineup, but they were just swept by the Twins and lost their first to Texas.

Minnesota opened the season by dropping 2 out of 3 to Toronto and were then swept by Cleveland.

If you want to suggest that we're being beaten by better teams, then you would have to stretch that to further include Seattle, Texas, Toronto, and Cleveland who have showed some measure of mastery over the teams we've been losing to.

We're losing because we are a one dimensional team. We club home runs and we pitch to a middle of the road level. When we don't go out and crush bombs, the so-so pitching is exposed. When we hit, no one can beat us. We'll still win 90+ this season but a lot of nights we'll be frustrated with the lack of diversity we have in our arsenal.

2006-04-15 06:37:02
188.   singledd
First off... Moose pitched a very good 6 innings. I think it must pain him that we score so little for him.

Our pitching (surprisingly) so far has been very good. We are near the top of the league in pitching.

We had only 2 walks, and gave up four. When you're not hitting, you must work for walks and tire the (good) pitcher. This is how we beat Pedro consistantly. We were NOT very patient at the plate last night.

And I remember a day when Bernie waited for a pitch to drive... instead of pounding them in the dirt. Not so GOB.

And while I agree that Joe is a poor and conservative stratigist (sp?), my little sister should be able to manage this team for 4 or 5 runs a game. Torre works with a pencil, not a bat. Our team is pure offense. Now Torre is a shit for NOT bunting?

Damon/Jetes/Shef/ARod/Giambi/Matsui: 1 for 21.

I know Joe is an easy target, but over $80 million (1-6) MUST do better then ONE for TWENTY ONE!

It would be great if Torre helps us out over these types of games... but even better strategy (we can't read the future) may not have won either. A few walks and hits however....

2006-04-15 06:47:23
189.   mikeplugh
If you consider quality starts, the Yankees have had one in 5 out of 10 games. I'll even toss in Johnson's last game as he only left early because of stiffness....it would have likely qualified.

Of those 5(+1) quality starts the Yankees have won 2(+1). The offense cost The Big Unit a win in the 3-2 loss to Oakland when he pitched a complete game. Mussina's two losses have also both been quality starts.

The flip side to that is that we've stolen 2 non-quality starts from the clutches of defeat. The Yankee Stadium Opening Day game started by Wang was one, and the other was the following night when Chacon gave up 5 runs over 6 innings. Jaret Wright and the aforementioned Chacon lost the other two non-quality outings for the Yanks.

It boils down to Johnson and Mussina pitching well, and getting short changed by the offense, and the rest of the pitchers spitting the bit every time out. Will it improve...I think so....will it be good enough to win it all....hard to say, but it has to get A LOT better before that's realistic, I think.

2006-04-15 06:52:06
190.   mikeplugh
A quick summary of 189

Quality Starts
6 out of 10 (3-3)

Non-Quality Starts
4 out of 10 (2-2)

If the law of averages held up we'd be 6-4 right now, so we're not far off. It's the fact that no one other than Johnson or Moose has made a QS yet that bugs me.

2006-04-15 10:30:07
191.   brockdc
186I wasn't making a statement or claim, or even being glib. It was just a thought. However, your reasoning of why the Yanks are better than those teams who have thus far gotten the best of them borders on the ludicrous, with all due respect. I don't measure how good the Yankees are by how well or poorly they have played their adversaries' competition. If the Yanks play the Twins in the playoffs this October, I won't give a damn that the Rangers have dominated Minnesota all season long.

The point is, right now the Yankees just don't match up terribly well with teams - like Minnesota and Oakland - that can pitch, play sound defense, and hit well situationally. As cliche as that sounds, it's true. And, in my opinion, a team that you don't match up well with is a better team than yours.

2006-04-15 18:35:45
192.   Simone
De-rek Je-ter! De-rek Je-ter!

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