Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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Free and Easy
2006-07-07 05:42
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Randy Johnson was in fine form last night. For the first two innings of the game, the sun was still shinning brightly over the third base side of the ballpark. It cast beautiful, long shadows for the pitchers as well as anyone on the right side of the infield. Johnson's shadow looked like a blade of grass and it carried almost half-way to first base. It was an odd but memorable sight. The same can be said for Johnson, period. The Big Unit simply cruised through the first six innings--it was vintage stuff--before hitting the wall in the seventh. He continued to falter in the eighth but by then the Yanks had a big lead. Final score: Bombers 10, Indians 4. After the game, Johnson was candid with reporters. According to Tyler Kepner in the New York Times:

"Going deep in the game — I'm not going to be able to do that anymore," Johnson said. "I kept them at bay for a while, and then all of a sudden my slider wasn't as effective, and neither was my location. It's just part of getting old. We all know that I'm really old."

..."You look at Maddux and you look at Clemens, those guys and myself, we're all in our early 40's," Johnson said. "We're not going to go seven, eight, nine innings anymore. There's going to be games where we do, and tonight I was trying to pick up the bullpen. But you can only do the smoke-and-mirrors thing so long out there against good-hitting teams."

And more from Sam Borden in The Daily News:

"It went from (three) hits to seven and one run to four - who would be happy with that?" he said. "That's just me. I could be content with that and say I pitched great, but the one thing I haven't lost is my competitiveness."

Again, Indians kicked the ball around more than somewhat. Miguel Cairo and Derek Jeter each had three hits; Jason Giambi hit a two-run dinger, and newcomer Aaron "Ralph Malph" Guiel--who was as earnest and genuine as any overachiever you've ever on the YES pre-game show--scored three runs.

Yanks head down to Tampa to play the surging D-Rays. Shawn Chacon will not get the start on Sunday--Kris Wilson will instead. The Post has a rumor that the Yanks are considering sending Chacon to Seattle in exchange for starting pitcher Joel Pineiro.

Left on the Cutting Room Floor

Johnny Damon used to puff the Budda Bless and Alex Rodriguez performs a mitzvah.

Comments
2006-07-07 06:26:36
1.   Felix Heredia
Ralph Malph or Danny Bonaduce?
2006-07-07 06:33:07
2.   rbj
Chacon for Pin~eiro?
Bad starter for bad starter. Maybe a change of scenery will do them each some good.
2006-07-07 06:37:05
3.   Alex Belth
Ralph Malph is a benign version of Bonaduce.
2006-07-07 07:06:40
4.   JohnnyC
Pineiro for Chacon? Hell, yes. Bad Pineiro is better than back-to-a-pumpkin Chacon anyday.
2006-07-07 07:54:25
5.   jayd
Pineiro for Chacon? Is this like getting rid of Jose Contreras because he "needs a new change of scenery"? I'd rather stick with the poison I know rather than bring in something or someone I don't. Isn't having the best coaching/training staff in baseball supposed to be for situations like these? If they (coaches) sign off on the deal, then great -- but don't you just smell Front Office/Tampa behind these little desperation moves. It takes a certain amount of guts to have a plan and stick to it. Pulling David Justice out of a hat is not your average catch of the day. Or even having Small/Chacon click for you last year...

I'm a great fan of doing nothing. Dotel do tell...Pavano, the great white hope...where are ye lads?

2006-07-07 07:55:29
6.   jkay
Here is some Bronx "banter" for you:

http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=35587

City Council Spends $1.5 Million For 'Hip-Hop Museum' in Bronx

2006-07-07 07:59:23
7.   Max
From what I read the other day, Pavano at the end of the season...maybe. Torre seems resigned to not having him. I really want him to recover, but he has B-U-S-T written all over him, it appears.
2006-07-07 08:04:03
8.   Shaun P
5 I don't think trading Chacon = trading Contreras at all. Chacon had never done what he did last year - now he's likely back to form. Just like with Small, the pixie dust has warn off. I prefer the drink that might not be poison to the one I know is.

Contreras had ability, and a track record. Pineiro does too, for that matter. Any chance the Mariners would throw Jeremy Reed in, seeing how disappointing he's been for them? (And yes I know I'm dreaming on that one.)

2006-07-07 08:11:12
9.   Sliced Bread
Damn, what a shame about Chacon. Going into this season there was no reason to believe he'd be as great as he was down the stretch last season, but I figured he'd be a sturdy #4.
I like the guy's style, and I love his story about being adopted when he was 4 or 5 years old.
I remember reading an interview with him in the Post in which he admitted to having some ridiculously high number of pair of shoes because when he was a kid he didn't have shoes that fit him until he was adopted by his new parents.
I loved watching him pitch when his curve looked as nasty as Pedro's prime.
It would be sad to see the Yanks give up on him after what he did for the team last year, especially for a wildcard like Piniero.
2006-07-07 08:19:32
10.   Dimelo
I read the Damon story this morning....I love that he took a few tokes. Much earlier than I started - dats for sure. Must be why his speech is a little slow....maybe he puffs before the games.

When I started playing unlimited arc softball I'd take a few tokes, then I started to realize that those dudley black dot softballs hurt like hell when they crash into your shin. So I have since stopped. But I'm happy to partake a few bong hits with Johnny.

I'm really loving that signing. Now even more.

2006-07-07 08:22:27
11.   Cliff Corcoran
10 Damon's speach is slow and awkward because he's overcome a severe stutter. Not all former stutterers turn into James Earl Jones.
2006-07-07 08:31:55
12.   JL25and3
Given their druthers, I suspect the Yankees would give Chacon a couple of weeks in Columbus to try to work things through. But they'd have to get him through waivers first, and someone would probably claim him. They can't afford to keep him in the rotation, and being the mopup man out of the bullpen probably won't help him much. So while I think Chacon still has more to offer than Piniero, I'm not sure they have a better option.
2006-07-07 08:56:37
13.   BayRidger
Giambi's resurgent grungy-ness and now Damon talkin' tokin'...what's next? Jeter will finally reveal his smack habit?
2006-07-07 08:59:18
14.   Zack
Pinero is weird, because after his stellar 2003 season in which he threw 200+ innings, he was never the same. I wonder if that somehow did something to him. Until that point, he was on the fast track to being quite good, but then all of a sudden his H/9 went through the roof as did his ERA. His BBs actually went down, so clearly whatever he was throwing stopped missing bats...
2006-07-07 09:17:45
15.   Max
Maybe Chacon doesn't = Contreras, but does Pineiro=Loaiza?
2006-07-07 09:52:56
16.   yankee23
Pineiro seems to be a similarly mediocre pitcher with better control than Chacon at twice the price. Bit of a salary dump for the M's? I'm guessing so.
2006-07-07 10:23:26
17.   mdp
I love Giambi's resurgent grungy-ness...especially if he keeps hitting dingers like he has been this year. It suits him so much more than the Yankee corporate look!
2006-07-07 10:34:13
18.   Simone
I didn't know that James Earl Jones stuttered as a child. The interesting things you learn from this blog.

Chacon has been disappointing. I don't know what happened to him.

2006-07-07 11:23:23
19.   BayRidger
17. A little grunge seems to suit the Giambino. As long as he doesn't go all Jason Kendall on us, it's cool.
2006-07-07 12:54:39
20.   Bama Yankee
11 & 18 I'm glad James Earl Jones overcame that stuttering problem. "L-L-L-Luke, I am your f-f-f-father" would not have had the same effect... (just kidding Mr. Vader put away the light saber I am a big fan of your work)
2006-07-07 13:14:02
21.   Alex Belth
Woody Allen used to do a bit about having a stuttering dog when he was a kid. Of course, the pooch would go, "B-b-b-b-b-bow-wow."
2006-07-07 13:51:11
22.   joejoejoe
Shawn Chacon is a nice fit for Safeco Field with all the fly balls he gives up.

Career groundball/fly ball ratio
Chacon .98
Pineiro 1.27

Pineiro's a free agent after '06 but he's only 27. Pineiro is a true starter and Chacon has a weird pedigree as closer/starter. It's not a bad idea IMHO.

2006-07-07 13:51:45
23.   randym77
I think something's wrong with Chacon. Maybe he was never as good as he was last year, but he wasn't as bad as he was his last outing.

Some kind of injury? Screwed up mechanics from that leg bruise? I dunno, but I don't think he's throwing his curve any more. I heard Gator told him not to throw it...perhaps because it's not working? He's not the same without that curveball.

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