Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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Oy
2006-04-27 05:00
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Talk about a night to forget in the Bronx. The Devil Rays set a dubious team record issuing fourteen walks, but the Yankees only managed to score two lousy runs (how's the old blood pressure, Yankee fans?). The Bombers stranded sixteen men on base. The two teams combined for nine stolen bases, but poor base running cost New York. In the end, the Rays rallied against Mariano Rivera in the tenth and won the game, 4-2. Gary Sheffield grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.

Sam Borden reports in the Daily News:

Despite the unsightly performance, Joe Torre wasn't angry. Asked to explain how a lineup of All-Stars could miss on so many chances to break out against a mediocre pitching staff, the manager simply nodded to the baseball gods.

"There is just no explaining it," he said. "The quality of the at-bats was there. Nobody gave anything away. You scratch your head sometimes over how things happen but you know there's nothing you can do. I can't find fault with anything but the result."

As Roger Angell once wrote--trying to describe how the Orioles swept the once mighty Dodgers in the 1966 Fall Classic--"the only explanation must be that baseball is still the most difficult, and thus the most unpredictable and interesting, of all professional sports." Look for the Bombers' bats to bounce back tonight.

Comments (64)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-27 05:32:36
1.   bp1
Gee, Cliff. Any chance you or Alex could convince Batgirl to come over for a special guest appearance and drop some of her special brand of comedy on us? I need a laugh, 'cause that game last night was not funny.

Oy is right.

BP

2006-04-27 05:38:10
2.   rbj
That L should not go to Mo. It should go to the hitters -- expect 4 walk Giambi.
2006-04-27 05:56:20
3.   Count Zero
Can't blame Torre -- he brought Mo into a tie game this time. ;)

That was about as many wasted opportunities as I have ever seen in one game.

2006-04-27 06:01:08
4.   Sliced Bread
A programming note from Hell: Following today's 9am presentation of "Yankees Encore," featuring last night's loss to the World Champion Devil Rays, YES presents the motion picture "Fever Pitch," followed by the debut of "Yankeeography: Kevin Brown."
2006-04-27 06:17:14
5.   joejoejoe
"I can't find fault with anything but the result."

It's statements like that that make me trust Torre far more than his day-to-day moves. The Yanks are only 1 game out in the loss column and have the best pythagorean record in the majors at 13-6. If the Yanks continue to hit and pitch as they have been and have the bad luck to finish 10 games below their pythagorean record they will still win 100 games. The pythagorean #s call for a .680 winning percentage. There are a lot of positives so far. Damon is solid, Moose is back, and Jeter and Giambi are having MVP caliber seasons. Sure it's puzzling that Miguel Cairo is projected to have 350 ABs but it's if he continues to hit .313/.389/.500 nobody will care. All is well.

2006-04-27 06:18:08
6.   bp1
4 "Yankeeography: Kevin Brown"

Heh heh heh heh ....

It's funny, but sorta sad, too. Pavano will have to to 10-7 this year to match KB's two year totals with the Yanks. Geez.

Enough negativity. Let's hope the Yankees got the crap out of their system last night and will return the pod players back to their pods and will have the A-Team on the field next week in Fenway.

BP

2006-04-27 06:18:36
7.   BobbyBaseBall
As hard as the game last night was on my nerves, one bright spot (for me at least) is the addition of Leiter to the booth. His "banter" with Kitty was great, and I love the insight on the players he played with/against. Very refreshing and a whole heck of alot better than DJ.
2006-04-27 06:19:09
8.   Dimelo
It was alsmost comical to watch. One of the few times I wasn't ready to throw my television out the window. Like Torre said, you just can't explain it. When I saw Crosby and Cano run into outs I pretty much knew that this was going to be a strange night. It must be tough on a hitter to see pitchers walk so many guys and all of a sudden when the pitcher starts to throw strikes it suprises you. I'm not pissed about this loss at all. Nobody to blame and it's hard to say the Devil Rays played a better game, they just ended up with the 'W' which is the most frustrating part. No goats, nobody to blame, just get ready to play today.
2006-04-27 06:21:18
9.   bp1
1 Must remember to read the byline. My apologies, Alex. I assumed this was another of Cliff's game recaps.

Gotta forgive me. My eyes are still a little blurry from all the gouging last night.

BP

2006-04-27 06:24:52
10.   joejoejoe
4 That's hilarious. We should try to write our own compendium of one paragraph Yankeeographies from Hell some off day. Some suggestions...

Yankeeography: Jose Canseco
Yankeeography: Denny Neagle

2006-04-27 06:26:11
11.   Levy2020
5 I'm convinced that Cario has some ridiculous Yankee Stadium splits over his whole career. I tried to find his stats a Devil Ray but MLB.com was going slowly.

Also, if true, I wonder how much better Cano's home hitting is.

2006-04-27 06:41:53
12.   rsmith51
I thought Bernie looked really bad in his pinch-hitting appearance. I can't believe he thought he would get a pitch to hit on 1-2 from Micelli. I think maybe Bubba would have had a better chance.
2006-04-27 06:51:02
13.   jedi
Yankeeography: Brien Taylor
2006-04-27 06:52:42
14.   Shaun P
11 Cano at home, 2006: .364/.440/.500, 22 ABs
Cano on road, 2006: .356/.356/.489, 45 ABs

2005 at home: .252/.274/.378, 238 ABs
2005 on road: .335/.358/.525, 284 ABs

Cairo at Yankee stadium, career: .312/.361/.429, 282 ABs

2006-04-27 06:56:40
15.   Shaun P
Yankeeography: Luis Polonia

And, just because I think you'd have to stretch to get a whole paragraph out of this one -

Yankeeography: Kevin Mmahat

In all seriousness, has there been a Rickey Yankeeography yet, and if not, why the hell not?

2006-04-27 06:58:35
16.   bp1
14 Cairo defies explanation. Maybe it's a mental thing? Who knows. I've always liked the guy, and was happy to see him come back to the Yankees. There's no statistical reason for me thinking he has value to the team, but how come it seems that every time I see him in a game he's getting a hit or making some nifty play in the field? Is it my imagination?

BP

2006-04-27 07:00:56
17.   rbj
To jump on the wagon
Yankeeography: Ed Whitson

Shaun P
15 Luis Polonia's is only going to be marketed to 15 y.o. girls.

2006-04-27 07:21:26
18.   bp1
Geez. No "Yankeeography: Tony Womack" yet?

BP

2006-04-27 07:21:54
19.   Sliced Bread
Wow, some cringetastic Yankeeography pitches. For some reason I find the Neagle one most disturbing.

According to NY Post, Bernie is expected to start tonight, position to be determined. I'm guessing they'll DH Matsui against the lefty Hendrickson, with Bernie in left.
The way Mats has been slumping (and exhibiting frustration) I'd rather see Phillps DH, and Hideki get 99% of the night off, with a late pinch hit at-bat to keep the streak going.
Just take the damn series, Yanks.

By the way, how about Damon (in NY Daily News) saying he'd "love" to DH about once a week? Good idea. I like how Joe's been using DH as a revolving rest stop.

2006-04-27 07:28:26
20.   Levy2020
14 Where did you go to get those numbers?
2006-04-27 07:30:36
21.   Shaun P
rbj 17 - damn. I had forgotten about Polonia's off-field troubles. I suppose they'd have to use R. Kelly music as the soundtrack, no? ;)

How about a joint Yankeeography: Ken Phelps and Jay Buhner? (Buhner played a handfull of games in pinstripes in '87 and '88.) I bet they could get Jerry Stiller to narrate it instead of Sterling. That would be pretty hilarious.

2006-04-27 07:32:13
22.   Shaun P
20 Yahoo! sports. Do a player search, and then click on split stats. You can look at numbers by each season, or for a career (click on the "Since 1987" link). They don't give links for any seasons before 2000 or 2001, but if you look at the URL, you can just plug in the appropriate year, say 1997, and the numbers will come up.
2006-04-27 07:39:04
23.   Cliff Corcoran
21 Now that I would watch!

20, 22 - you can get complete career and complete year-by-year splits from Retrosheet, just use the handy RS links in the sidebar. For current year splits, I use ESPN.

2006-04-27 07:48:27
24.   Shaun P
Anyone else see this article in the Times about the '3-4' shift Maddon and the Rays used against Ortiz recently?

http://tinyurl.com/l6rbh

Wow, talk about thinking outside the box. That's the kind of progressive thinking and use of information the Yanks ought to employ more.

2006-04-27 08:02:36
25.   42YrOldRookie
What an excruciating night. It was all downhill after Cliff's headline.
2006-04-27 08:03:11
26.   nycfan
I'm with Torre on this one. I'm sure many Yankee fans are screaming that this shows how the team has no chemistry and can't come up clutch and can't play smallball and blah blah blah, but it was just a fluke game. Wierd games like this are going to happen a couple times a season, and they're not representative of some big problem with the team.
2006-04-27 08:24:23
27.   Sliced Bread
24 Interesting stuff from the Chassticle, Shaun.

Any strategy that gets Ortiz to think bunt is worth considering.

I think I'd hold A-Rod at third for the bunt, and position Jeter according to the groundball/fly ball tendencies of the pitcher.

Chass is probably right though, too radical for the conservative Yanks.

2006-04-27 08:26:02
28.   joejoejoe
15 I had to look up Kevin Mmahat. Here's his career stats (which begin and end in 1989):

LHP Kevin Mmahat 0-2 7.7 IP 12.91 ERA.

Mmahat was a cat on the mound with a career fielding percentage of .500. If you are googling yourself Mr. Mmahat - congrats on making the bigs! I've always had to pay to get into Yankee Stadium. You did not.

2006-04-27 08:31:45
29.   jalexei
I went into the kitchen and missed the double run-down. I came back as the replay started and my wife said, "You don't want to watch this".

To add insult to injury, Extra Innings cut away from the game in the midst of Jeter's AB in the 10th. 11:00pm sharp and the green grass is replaced by"this channel is not available". In retrospect, probably for the better, as I probably would have thrown something at the TV.

2006-04-27 08:41:58
30.   Sliced Bread
28 Mmahat's Yankee career was truncated by a seldom cited clause in Bob Sheppard's contract prohibiting any Yankee player from having a surname beginning with consecutive m's.
2006-04-27 09:02:32
31.   tommyl
Yankeeography: Raul Mondesi

Yankeeography: Danny Tartabull (complete with Seinfeld guest spots!)

2006-04-27 09:04:12
32.   Shaun P
28 And, sadly enough, I remember watching him pitch those 7.2 innings on TV. Mmahat has always stuck with me, probably because everytime I bought a pack of '90 Donruss cards, I always ended up with a Mmahat card. Never a Mattingly or a Sax, always a Mmahat.
2006-04-27 09:12:36
33.   yankaholic
On a different note, have read that DBacks are shopping Tony Clark, Would he be a better option for backup 1B than Pena?? He would make the bench have bite more pop!!
2006-04-27 09:28:39
34.   jedi
Yankeeography: John Sterling

Yankeeography: Michael Kay

Yankeeography: Susan Waldman!!! Yikes!

2006-04-27 09:41:23
35.   brockdc
Yankeeography: Ed Whitson

Yankeeography: Brian Dayette

Yankeeography: Kenny Lofton

2006-04-27 09:47:08
36.   brockdc
I had a bad dream - or, should I say, nightmare - last night. Jeter was traded to the Devil Rays and was sporting a goatee and a barbed wire tat on his right forearm. His hair was grown out into a bushy, dyed mullet and he was wearing one of those godforsaken aqua spandex mock turtlenecks beneath his Rays jersey.

Oh, and he also had a mouthful of chew, droplets of which dribbled down his chin.

I jerked awake and ended up sleeping with the lights on the rest of the night.

2006-04-27 09:47:18
37.   DarrenF
Yankeeography: Rick Honeycutt.

Yankeeography: Henry Rodriguez.

Dynasty's Bookends.

2006-04-27 09:59:47
38.   Rob Gee
Nice posts all around. Thanks Sliced 4 for getting the Yankeeography thread going. Good times..but:

19 My god, first I have to root for Damon. Now, I have to root for him once a week as DH? In year 1 of that contract?

Why, so in year three (of four) we can justify the 'speedy' guy getting AB's even though he can't: a) play CF anymore; b) hit for power anymore; or c) can't run so fast anymore? Didn't we already live through this enough with GOB? Why not just bat the pitcher at the DH slot?

I'd be all for the rotating DH/OF if we had something on the bench worth having play 4 days a week. The rest of the time you have your back-up 1B in the field and Giambi at DH. Unfortuntely, it's not looking so good.

Watched the Phillies play last night. Dave Delucci comes in to hit for the pitcher and gets a hit. How is it that someone like that isn't on this team? The only guy I feel coming off the bench can do something in a situation is Cairo! That's scary and says something.

33 Didn't we try that one already? And Pena's not exactly tearing up AAA at .617 OPS (21 AB's).

Next guy you try is Russ Johnson. .368.436 .676 (68 AB's).

All that said, the run differential is a great 5 predictor of things to come if everyone stays healthy.

But how about Yankeeography: Kevin Maas? Would it be be a commercial break between Mel Hall and Balboni?

2006-04-27 10:01:21
39.   YankeeInMichigan
Farnsworth is dominant in the 8th and gets through in just 12 pitches (9 for strikes). Why not bring him back for the 9th? I realize that the argument goes "Mo can't get a save, so we can bring him in for the win." But why not ride the hot hand? The way Farnsworth was pitching and the way the Yanks were hitting, Mo's spot was likely to come up in the 10th.
2006-04-27 10:16:36
40.   brockdc
Rob -

I banged that DeLucci drum last year when he was kicking ass with Texas. Apparently, his OBP isn't high enough for this team - because we need more guys who can take the occasional walk

2006-04-27 10:26:28
41.   Dimelo
This question is for Alex and Cliff, when writing up the day's post/thread/whatever it's called, you guys do a good job of coming up with some clever titles. I know for me at least, it doesn't always come easy to come up with those little one-liners/puns - mostly with something I might be publishing to a larger audience. I'm not talking about a comment like this one where things seem to flow more freely and formality doesn't matter as much.

Anyhow, my point being is that part (coming up with a clever title) always seems to be what takes me the longest to think about, do you guys have that problem sometimes? Where you know the content, but you are looking for something catchy to attract your readers. I was looking at what Cliff posted yesterday (Everybody Wang-McClung Tonight) and though it's simple, it's pretty catchy and funny. I was looking through last night's comments too and somebody wrote that they really like this one from last year: If this is Wong, I don't want to be Wright. Those are really good and clever and I'm far from a good writer, but I do appreciate good writing when I see it. One of the beauties of this internet revolution....I suppose.

2006-04-27 10:31:02
42.   Zack
You guys forget that we already tried Delluci, but Joe couldn't figure out how to use him and I think we ended up with Mondesi that year?
2006-04-27 10:32:51
43.   Rob Gee
Alex and Cliff also -

Any chance the Minor League team names can be made into links to the current team stats on milb.com? Just makes it that much easier to see the guys not listed or to check to see if anyone's hot or not.

2006-04-27 10:35:19
44.   Rob Gee
42 No - Joe couldn't figure out if he was a starter or reserve. That's a given now.

Even still I wasn't necessarily saying him (though he could work, as could Juan Rivera) - someone like him.

2006-04-27 10:36:47
45.   Alex Belth
I don't sweat coming up with titles too tough but it's always fun when a good one pops into my head. And yeah, though Cliff half-apologized for his one yesterday, it was a beaut, wasn't it? I used to choose longer titles but for the past year or so I've tried to keep them short.

Fact is, I repeat headlines--not too often, but often enough. Coming up with headlines might just be one of those things like doing crossword puzzles--either you've got a certain knack for it or you don't. I can't do crosswords for the life of me, I'm okay at the headlines, but again, I don't struggle over them too long. I'll pick a dull one and move on instead of spending too much time on it. But I have been known to change a headline two or three times after initially posting something...just cause I can.

2006-04-27 11:03:32
46.   Rob Gee
More good "game within the game" stuff:

http://tinyurl.com/kpexn

Short story: In a blow-out against the White Sox, Kenjii (Seattle C) tests the reliability of the scouting reports by calling for pitches where he 'shouldn't'.

2006-04-27 11:09:54
47.   Shaun P
For all those concerned about the Yanks offense, I offer a glimmer of hope to you - Joe Morgan himself believes the Yanks offense is problematic because it doesn't manufacture enough runs and relies on homers too much. (I just heard him on the Dan Patrick show.)

To me, this is the clearest evidence possible that the Yanks' offense is 100% absolutely without a doubt A-OK.

PS - Yankeeography: Charles Hudson

2006-04-27 11:17:58
48.   jedi
Not trying to change the subject, but:

http://tinyurl.com/njyw7

As much as a combo of Papsmear and Hansen would be scary, I think the Red Sox are looking ahead. I'll put money on it that they think Wells is done and are planning for Papsmear to move back in the rotation and moving Foulke back to the closing spot with Hansen as insurance.

Yankeeography: Bobby Meachem

2006-04-27 11:20:22
49.   bp1
47 Good Lord he's been singing that same song forever. I honestly can't listen to the guy. He was a good ballplayer, but man he's just brutal in the booth. He makes baseball on ESPN a painful experience.

BP

2006-04-27 11:26:45
50.   murphy
dimelo - if i know cliff, he's been rubbing his palms together like a criminal mastermind for weekd just WAITING for Wang to pitch against McLung so he could use that headline.

i am also guessing cliff and alex's seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of pop music lends itself way to clever titles.

and as a part of this week's new series, Steinbrenner's Blunders:

Yankeeography - Rick Rhoden

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-27 11:45:29
51.   Sliced Bread
"Gerald Alphonse Witasick Junior was born August 28, 1972 in Baltimore, Maryland..."

Thus begins "Yankeeography: Witasick, Wohlers, & Weaver." Woof.

2006-04-27 12:10:09
52.   bp1
52 A few more,

Yankeeography: Felix Heredia, the Run Fairy.
Yankeeography: Matt Lawton, Why's nobody probing me?
Yankeeography: Enrique Wilson, No Value Whatsoever
Yankeeography: Karim Garcia, Terror in the Bullpen
Yankeeography: John Olerud, Protocol Droid

Fun thread. Anything to take the mind off of last night's debacle.

BP

2006-04-27 12:13:53
53.   jedi
Next on Yankeeography...

"Due to his far from adqueate defensive skills, he has been referred to as 'The Juggler' because he would struggle to hold on to a ball when he did catch one..

He, suffered from an intense condition of arachnophobia. On one occasion this Yankee great sustained cuts and scrapes on his feet, knees and arm during a violent nightmare about spiders. He popped out of bed, bumped into a glass table and plunged down a staircase, all occurring when he was asleep. Woefully, he ended up being place on the 15 day disabled list. "

Yankeeography: Glenllen Hill

(tidbits courtesy of the amazing www.wikipedia.org)

Man...kind of think of it, that sounds like a promo for the next episode Centerstage.

Oh god, I can hear the Michael Kay chuckle in the background...

2006-04-27 12:14:22
54.   Andre
My all time favorite Yankees disaster:

Yankeeography: Charles Gipson. The pinch runner who kept getting picked off.

39 I was thinking the same thing last night -- this is a tight, weird game. Keep Farnsworth in for another inning since he looked so dominant in the eighth.

2006-04-27 12:34:28
55.   joejoejoe
And plying their tools of ignorance, Yankeeography: John Flaherty & Johnny Oates

And without further ado I present the "Yankeeography: From Hell" complete roster...

1B – Steve Balboni (R)
2B – Tony Womack (L)
SS – Bobby Meachem (S)
3B – Ken Phelps (L)
C – John Flaherty (R)
RF – Mel Hall (L)
CF – Luis Polonia
LF – Jose Canseco (R)
DH – Henry Rodriguez (L)

Bench:

L – Kevin Maas (IF)
R – Brian Dayett (OF)
R – Raul Mondesi (OF)
L - Kenny Lofton (OF)
L - Johnny Oates (C)

Rotation:

R – Kevin Brown
R – Rick Rhoden
L – Denny Neagle
R – Jeff Weaver
L – Brien Taylor

Bullpen:

R – Mark Wohlers
R – Jay Witasek
L – Kevin Mmahat
R – Charles Hudson
L - Rick Honeycutt
R - Ed Whitson

Inactive (trade pending): Jay Buhner (OF/1B)
General Manager: John Sterling
Manager: Michael Kay
Bench Coach: Suzyn Waldman

Some of these players I remember as fondly (Meacham, Hall, Maas) some not (Brown, Neagle) and some not at all (Mmahat). Remember this post and look at it when you get too down about this year's ballclub. It's not as bad as you think.

2006-04-27 12:40:49
56.   joejoejoe
54 I confuse Charles Hudson and Charles Gipson all the time. Steve Balboni's middle name is Charles so maybe it's not the best choice for a ballplayer. The only HOF named Charles is Charles Bender, better known as Chief. Not much luck for Chuck's either.
2006-04-27 12:49:22
57.   Dimelo
Joejoejoe, that's a great list....
2006-04-27 12:57:48
58.   Rob Gee
57 Yeah but Kenny Lofton doesn't belong on it. That was Tea's failure to use him in place of GOB - a two-year mistake that we're still paying for. Lofton showed he had something left last year and why he should have been pissed that Bernie was playing ahead of him.

I nominate Gary Ward or Dion James instead.

2006-04-27 13:07:38
59.   joejoejoe
58 I didn't weigh the merits of the players - I only compiled those mentioned. I missed 52, 53, and 54 while I was typing my post or I would included bp1, jedi, and Andre's picks on IR.

I did editorialize a bit by placing Lofton and Mondesi on the bench where they could be sour and disruptive but the rest of the roster was just listing the players mentioned above.

2006-04-27 13:17:39
60.   wsporter
I think "Up" Chuck Carry and Tim "Really" Leary deserve some love and a prime time Yankee-ography spot. I'll never forget (or forgive) their contributions to the glorious season that was 1990.
2006-04-27 13:35:58
61.   domvjr
Yankeeography for the Late Night HBO schedule, Fritz Peterson & Mike Kekich. Wife Swapping, the Good,Bad and the Ugly!
2006-04-27 14:05:05
62.   Cliff Corcoran
Catching up:

38 You know Russ Johnson is always a member of my "best of what we got" bench. And I argued for the Yanks keeping Delooch (who I loved even though he didn't hit a lick in pinstripes) as a fourth OF, but no luck. 42 Dellucci was actually part of what the Yanks got from the DBacks in return for Mondesi (along with Bret Prinz, who has since been flipped for Wil Nieves. Raul Mondesi: the gift that keeps on giving).

43 Good idea. I've long meant to link the mL team's official sites. Those two additions/changes to the side bar will go to the top of my list.

Finally, with regards to headlines, Murphy 50 does know me well, but I wasn't eyeing that matchup in advance (though I do keep my eye on potential Chacon-Chacin games), it was just kinda obvious to my twisted mind. Some of them just come out like that and go up before I even start writing, othertimes I got nothin' and just force something after finishing the post. One of the first rules of writing, though, is don't allow yourself to get hung up on a title or a lede. If you can't figure out how to start, just write the middle, you'll eventually figure out how you need to set the stage for what you've just written.

Meanwhile, I'm amazed no one has suggested Yankeeography: Alvaro Espinoza. I'd actually watch that one. I loved that guy, even if he made Miguel Cairo look like Albert Pujols.

2006-04-27 15:14:57
63.   brockdc
"Yankeeography: Matt Lawton, Why's nobody probing me?"

God, that's funny sh*t.

2006-04-27 15:35:57
64.   YankeeInMichigan
Zack (42 -- how do you do these links?), Delluci was actually acquired (along with Bret Prinz) for Mondessi. The Yankees rotated him with Karim Garcia and Shane Spencer in right, and he never showed any glimpse of the power that emerged in Texas.

As for the all-time W-team, how about Rondell White? I believe that his single-season VORP was the worst ever for a Yankee left fielder (even worse than Womack).

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