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We'll Take It
2006-07-18 05:19
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Chien-Ming Wang was not at his best on Monday night but he was still good enough to earn his 10th win of the season. The Yankees committed four error--three by Alex Rodriguez--but Wang worked out of trouble several times as the Bombers beat the Mariners, 4-2 It was a miserable night for Rodriguez who was pulled from the game after the seventh inning. Rodriguez fouled a ball off his left toe in the fifth inning. According to Tyler Kepner:

"You never want to come out of a game," said Rodriguez, who iced the toe near the end of the game. "But it was swelling up pretty bad in my last at-bat."

..."That's baseball," Rodriguez said. "The day before, I had a brilliant day defensively. Tonight, I stunk. The good news is we won, and move on."

Rodriguez, who now has 16 errors this season, will have x-rays taken on the foot this morning.

Johnny Damon had three hits and Jason Giambi hit a solo dinger into the upper deck in right. Mariano Rivera gave up a double and a single to start the ninth, and then faced our old pal, Ironhead Edurardo Perez. 2-5 lifetime against Mo, Perez took two huge hacks at cutters that were over the plate. They were mistakes, but all Perez could do was foul them off and feel confident that he was seeing the ball well and getting in some good cuts. Rivera struck him out looking on an inside fastball. It was off-the-plate but Rivera got the call the way great players often do. Ichiro popped out to short and then Rivera struck out Willie Bloomquest to end the game. Like Wang, Rivera was not at his best, but he was good enough.

The Yanks still trail the Red Sox by a half-a-game.

Less than two weeks to go before the trading deadline and the talk around the Yankees is an outfielder: Bobby Abreu, Reggie Sanders, Kevin Mench, even Shawn Green.

Comments (103)
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2006-07-18 06:12:46
1.   Dimelo
I just read this from Pinto:

=======
Miguel Cairo drove in the first two Yankees runs tonight. He's a horrible offensive player coming into tonight's game with a .291 OBA and a .324 slugging percentage. However, he's getting timely hits. With the single this evening, he's now 13 for 38 with men in scoring position, a .342 batting average. He hits nothing with the bases empty, but he gets the bat on the ball with ducks on the pond, and good things are happening. The Yankees lead 3-1 in the top of the fourth.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/016091.php

=======

All I hear is how horrible Cairo is as a ball player (doesn't take walks, no power, no this, no that), but I was one of the few that liked the signing. For whatever reason Cairo has left me with more good memories than bad, during his tenure as a Yankee.

2006-07-18 06:21:20
2.   unpopster
Kevin Mench? The Daily News is reporting that the Rangers would be willing to move Mench and that they've had interest in Chacon in the past.

Shoot, I'd get Mench for Chacon and a 2nd-tier minor leaguer in a NY Minute! If Shef returns, Mench would be an excelent addition to the bench.

Hey Alex, no mention of the Yanks' supposed interest in Shawn Green? He may not be the player of old, but he'd be welcomed with overwhelmingly open arms -- and invited to every bar/bat mitzvah in the tri-state area.

2006-07-18 06:22:45
3.   Sliced Bread
Did you catch the NY Post photos of A-Rod posing shirtless in Central Park?

I like the guy, and I'm very much rooting for him, but here's what I think here's he needs to do today:

- no shirtless photo ops in Central Park
- no doctors of any kind
- no phone calls
- no newspapers
- no internet
- just chill out in a movie theater, watching nothing heavy.
- get back on the field tonight to support Ponson.

What did Posada say to Rivera immediately after the last pitch? Looked like he had a lot to say to Mo after he took off his mask, and shook hands with the closer.
Posada wasn't in his face, but he was all business, offering an observation that he wanted to share immediately. Mo listened, and nodded in agreement, not at all dismissing whatever Posada told him, but also seemed to smile and shrug as if to say, "Hey, man, we won."
I'm just curious what made Jorge so chatty in that moment of victory.

Jorge has a big job keeping Ponson on track tonight.

2006-07-18 06:23:31
4.   Alex Belth
I loved the idea of S. Green in 98-99 (I used to call him the Jewish Jeter, cause of his lanky frame and decent looks). Now? Pass.
2006-07-18 06:24:49
5.   Sliced Bread
1 I'm with you re: Cairo, Dimelo.
2006-07-18 06:33:13
6.   murphy
as per abreu. the one thing we haven't really covered is that if he were to bat in the two slot followed by jeter and giambi, we would be almost guaranteed to have two men on base for ARod batting 5th. unbelieveable. also, with the number of walks abreu and giambi take, most pitchers would be hard-pressed to last more than 5 innings.

also. strangely, my life has slowed down and i have nothing going on this evening. anyone happen to have a free ticket?

2006-07-18 06:39:00
7.   Dimelo
3 I saw that Sliced, I was wondering that too.

4 Back in the day I liked S. Green too. I wanted him on the Yanks so bad, but man...he's been deprived of his power lately. I thought I heard a rumor that gefilte fish depletes the body of any PEDs one puts in the body. Seriously though, Green is an interesting cat...he went from power in the teens between 95 - 97, then he went the next 5 years averaging approximately 38 homeruns/season.
I really thought he was going to be a great player. Oh well....

2006-07-18 06:47:10
8.   jayd
News From Bosoxville

Trot Nixon's 0-for-9 in last Sunday's 19-inning loss in Chicago was the worst oh-fer in the Majors since Rafeal Palmeiro went 0-for-9 for the Rangers on June 6, 1991 in an 18-game against the Royals. Since topping out at .333 on June 21, Nixon has gone 11-for-57 (.193) and his average has dropped 25 points to .308. But that's not what most concerns Red Sox fans. Through Saturday's game Nixon had gone 97 at-bats without a home run and looks to have been reduced to nothing more than a slow singles hitter.

Tim Wakefield
Tim Wakefield, who has been battling back spasms for the last two months, came out of the game after only four innings and more than likely is heading for a stint on the disabled list.The Red Sox reconfigured their pitching rotation to give Wakefield the maximum amount of rest possible over the All-Star break, and still, it didn't help. Pitching with 10 days rest, Wakefield was unable to go beyond his 77-pitch workload.Beginning in the third inning, the Sox noticed Wakefield "kind of gritting his teeth and kind of flinching a little bit," according to Francona. "It was grabbing at him. He's been out there enough that he knew the situation. He needed to pitch some innings. He tried to tough it out and I think he was more than willing to keep toughing it out. But I grabbed him after the fourth and said, 'This isn't going to work, this is silly.' "Wakefield will undergo further testing today, but it's hard to imagine the knuckleballer not landing on the DL. On Sunday, Wakefield felt heartened about his troublesome back. He discovered over the All-Star break that the painful knots in his back were the result of a displaced rib and had sought relief from a chiropractor.

Asked how he felt late Sunday afternoon, Wakefield smiled and said: "Good enough."
The pain had lessened, though he still felt some discomfort. Still, he thought the realignment performed by the chiropractor would be sufficient enough to enable him to pitch without too much difficulty.That changed quickly, as the condition worsened."I don't think it was any one play that aggravated it," said Francona.If there's any solace for the Sox, it's that the back isn't considered serious. No surgery will be necessary.Wakefield needs rest, as Francona noted, "whatever that rest might be."

The Sox can't keep sending Wakefield out to the mound with their fingers crossed and their bullpen poised. Given their shortcomings at the end of the rotation, where a succession of No. 5 starters have been auditioning for months and rookie Jon Lester has had difficulty being efficient, the bullpen can't take any more uncertainty.Nearly every night, it seems, someone is throwing in the fourth or fifth inning. That can't continue if the Sox are going to hold onto first place in an increasingly competitive A.L. East.

The problem, of course, is that there's no obvious replacement for Wakefield. Already, Kyle Snyder and Lester occupy 40 percent of the rotation. The only other option, it would seem, is Jason Johnson, whom the Sox optioned during the break to regain his feel and his confidence.Johnson has been, in a word, disastrous in two outings for the Sox. But there are no easy answers here.With two weeks to go before the trade deadline, there's nothing that intrigues the Sox being made available. The few starters out there are unappealing and expensive, a bad combination to be sure.And therein lies the trouble. Rest takes time, something the Sox can ill afford now. Beyond Curt Schilling, the Sox don't currently have a single dependable starter. Josh Beckett is giving up homers at a record-breaking clip, and along the way, running his pitch count up too soon. Lester is unproven and Snyder remains a project.

The above from desultory sources. Wake stuff from providence journal rsox writer sean mcadam.

doom and gloom, my friends, doom and gloom.

by comparison the yanks starting pitching looks awesome.

2006-07-18 06:48:56
9.   JL25and3
Green had shoulder problems in 2003 - the year his HRs dropped from 42 to 19 - and surgery after the season. The surgery was more serious than expected, and he's never been the same since. http://tinyurl.com/lhur6
2006-07-18 06:51:29
10.   Tarheel
3 Is Arod not allowed to be a regular person and hang out in the park, with or without shirt, or is he just supposed to sit around and be a hermit his entire life?

I think I would try to enjoy as much of a normal life as possible, if I were in his position.

2006-07-18 06:53:32
11.   JL25and3
When the Sox traded Arroyo, everyone said they were trading from strength. Sure doesn't look like it now.
2006-07-18 06:56:14
12.   rsmith51
The Baseball Tonight guys didn't buy the toe issue for ARod. They were already declaring him the new Knoblauch, saying Giambi will have to play 1st and who would play 3rd, etc. Talk about jumping to conclusions. Jeez.

I am guessing ARod is at 3rd tonight and will be for the rest of the season.

2006-07-18 06:59:04
13.   Dimelo
9 Thanks for the info. I stand corrected.

Bill James had a good point on PED in the book, "Feeding the Monster". (BTW, I didn't read the book).

http://tinyurl.com/q427u
==========

On the impact of the steroid-testing program on evaluating players: The new steroid policy is more of a media focus than a looming factor in analyzing what has happened or is likely to happen. I'm not saying it is nothing; it's a legitimate concern. If you're looking at a player whose production has dropped suddenly or has, sometime in the past, accelerated suddenly, you have to be concerned about the possibility that there may have been some steroid use involved.

But on the other hand, you have to worry about 500 other things, too. It could be an injury, or he could have put on weight, or he may have been going through a divorce, or his parents may have been going through a divorce. Stan Musial had an off season in '59. He attributed it later, in a biography, to the fact that they had a newborn baby who wasn't a good sleeper, and was keeping him awake nights. You could be dealing with a back injury, or with a player who has just suddenly figured something out, or with a player who has been exploiting some edge that will disappear in another year. It's not that the steroids aren't a legitimate factor, it's just that there are a very wide range of legitimate factors, so that adding one more to the equation doesn't really change anything very much.

==========

I read that yesterday and should have taken that into consideration before making the comment I made above.

2006-07-18 07:00:02
14.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
8 I've been saying that about the Sawx rotation for months now.

Wait'll the Sawx fans and beatwriters realize that their lineup is Youk, Papi, and Manny with 4 guys who've been hitting much better than expected and 2 (Tek and Coco Chanel) who've been disappointments. I mean even the terrrible AGon is hitting over .280 with an ops well above his career rate. And Manny's is hitting much better than pecota predicted.

I expect the lot -- A-Gon, Lowell, Nixon, and Loretta especially, to crater -- and "slimmed down" Tek to remain poor. Maybe Coco can turn it around, but when the rest of their boys tank that won't help them much.

If we can keep playing .600 ball -- a big if considering our corner outfield situation and bottom of the rotation + the frisbee-slider throwing Unit -- we can put those guys in the rearview mirror over the next month.

2006-07-18 07:00:38
15.   rsmith51
Regarding Bobby Abreu, Reggie Sanders, Kevin Mench.

Would I rather have a Porsche, a Pinto, or a Taurus? Decisions, decisions.

2006-07-18 07:03:16
16.   Felix Heredia
We Cairo supporters will no longer have to suffer in silence (unless he slumps back to .220)!

Here's a topic sure to spark debate: Last night Kaat suggested that the difference between Giambi and A-Rod this season is that Giambi has been depended upon to carry a playoff-quality team (Oakland), while A-Rod has never been called on to do the same. With Sheff and Matsui out, Giambi is seemingly unfazed by the responsibility of having to carry more of the load and is producing. A-Rod, however, has never been asked to carry a good team. Kaat posed the question: Is he capable of doing it?

Clearly he has the talent, but the perception is that he struggles whenever he tries too hard to do well . . . .

2006-07-18 07:12:18
17.   unpopster
8 the Sawx are not in a good situation right about now. The 39 year old Wakefield could very well be falling apart physically, Beckett is a Swedish cafeteria line cook, serving up juicey meatballs one after another, and Lester and Kyle Synder are barely holding up the #4 and #5 spots.

If I were a Sawx fan (which thank god I am not), I'd be very, very worried because Theo "MENSA-boy" Epstein has already given away top prospects like Anabel Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez (Beckette trade), Andy Marte, Kelly Shoppach (Coco Crisp trade), Freddy Sanchez (Sauerback trade afew yrs ago), Cla Meredith (the "return of Mirabelli" trade) plus Bronson Arroyo (Wily Mo Pena trade).

The Sox have already brought up Hansen, Papelbon, Van Buern and Delcarmen from their minor league system. I think the only bonafide prospect they have left is IF Justin Pedroia.

The Sawx need pitching baaaad. I think they may have to move guys like Hansen and Pedroia soon otherwise be forced to rely on Wells and the return of Matt "Carl Pavano" Clement.

Red Sawx fans be afraid -- be very, very afraid.

2006-07-18 07:15:03
18.   ChrisS
A)I thought Wang had great stuff last night, his defense let him down numerous times: Cairo pulling off the bag to snag A-Rod's throw; Phillips not paying attention to his catcher; a lazy toss by Cairo to Jeter on a tough DP ball by Ichiro, A-rod, etc.

Had a couple of those outs been made, Wang would have gone 8 innings easy.

B) If they're getting an outfielder, get the best now and make it so they don't have to do much in the offseason. Take Abreu for cash and replace Sheff with him next year. Why waste time on Sanders when he isn't that much better than Bernie or Melky - ditto for Craig Wilson and whatever other journeymen are floating around.

2006-07-18 07:29:38
19.   sam2175
16 For sure, that was Kaat's not the very best moment. It was A-Rod's game last year that propelled the New York Yankees to the playoffs. So he has, in fact, been expected to, and carried a playoff caliber team. Short memory. He should have been a closer perhaps.

The difference between A-Rod and Giambi is the writers focus all their energies on A-Rod, after he was acquired, and have let Giambi off the hook. Yankee fans and beat writers would incessantly gripe about Giambi in 2003, the year he hit 40 HRs and led the Yankees to the playoffs with Posada.

Giambi used to be an easy target, now it is A-Rod. And that's all there is to it.

Giambi carried this team in April, stunk it up in May. A-Rod carried this team in May. He has slipped some since then, being a little off and on, but still doing plenty, as is Giambi.

2006-07-18 07:32:06
20.   Dimelo
19 Great point Sam2175.
2006-07-18 07:33:42
21.   Max
3 re Arod posing shirtless, I didn't see this, but I was much more alarmed by the guy's interview with the Sacramento Bee that was linked on Was Watching the other day. I'm sick of all the drama around him, but for someone who supposedly spends so much time manicuring his image, the fragility of his veneer is really striking.
2006-07-18 07:36:34
22.   markp
in re Cairo: sample size can deceiving. From 2003-2005 (a bit more realistic sample size):
Ba/OBA/SLG/OPS
Close and late (157 ABs): .255/.316/.363/.679
RISP (217 ABs): .212/.286/.313/.599
RISP 2 outs (99 ABs): .152/.270/.242/.512

The notion that Giambi did it alone in Oakland while Arod had a lot of help in Seattle is a bit off the mark.
The A's have won four times since Giambi arrived. The first two he was there, and the second two came after he left. Tejada, Chavez, and even Dye and Damon (1 year apiece) contributed. The pitching staff had at least as much with getting to postseason as anyone in the line-up.
Meanwhile, Arod was there for three of the four Mariner postseason appearances since his arrival in 1995.
Kaat has shown his distaste for Arod in the past-even to the point of explaining why Jeter's swing "generates more power." He's one of the reasons why people have this misconcpetion of Arod's ability in the clutch (which has been better since his arrival here than "Captain Clutch".)
You could look it up.

2006-07-18 08:05:01
23.   Dimelo
22 I disagree that Kaat has been responsible for spreading the misconception of ARod's inability to hit in the clutch. Kaat has been forthright but he's been honest when it comes to ARod. In 2004 he said that he only seems to hit sliders out, it was true. Every time a fast ball was buzzed by ARod he mentioned it. In 2005 he thought ARod was great and mentioned it and he hardly said a negative word about him, if any. In 2006, he's saying the truth….maybe it's not true and ARod has been responsible for helping his other teams make the playoffs. But I think Kaat's point is that there's one player a team looks to when they need a big hit or a great play defensively, and in previous years he's been good but he hasn't had many of the big hits that are required of a player of his caliber. I think that's partly true and I root for ARod as feverishly as everyone here. We remember Giambi hitting a key homerun against the Yanks in 2001 vs. Stanton, we remember Giambi in 2001 carrying his team after the A's fell into an ugly slump in the early part of the season and then carrying them to the playoffs. ARod was a part of playoff teams, but he was never part of a team that had to overcome serious adversity and he was responsible for leading the charge.

I think that's the distinction Kaat was trying to make.

2006-07-18 08:09:46
24.   mickey1956
I don't like to comment on A-rod because everything that can be said has been said, but this is gettin ridiculous. A-rod was deservedly the starting 3rd baseman for the all-star team, won the mvp last year carrying the Yanks to the playoffs(with some help), and he leads AL 3rd baseman in VORP. He had a bad night, and he hasn't been A-rod good. There is no other 3rd baseman I would trade him for money aside, and I'm looking at you David Wright. That being said I don't like the guy. He is hard to root for, but unlike Jim Kaat I can seperate that from what he can do on the field.
2006-07-18 08:18:36
25.   Dimelo
The ARod talk is getting crazy. From Baseball Musings:

=====
Need a Shortstop?

Jim Storer messages me that the callers to WFAN in New York want the Yankees to trade A-Rod. Whom do they want to play third, Miguel Cairo? They think they can make a deal for Tejada and move him to third. Brilliant.

Maybe they can trade him to Toronto. Baseball Primer Newsblog points to this story criticizing Ricciardi's failure to find a shortstop during his tenure. How about that, Yankees fans, Glaus for A-Rod straight up?

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/016105.php
=====

2006-07-18 08:31:02
26.   tommyl
23, 24, 25. Some points in regards to A-Rod. First off you have to compare players by position when mentioning moves that can be made. A-Rod is far and away the best 3rd basemen in the AL, and arguably in baseball right now. That's why I'm sick of people saying they would rather have Ortiz than A-Rod or comments like that. Unless you can talk Ortiz into playing 3rd base its a moot point.

In regards to callers on WFAN, I pay them no attention. Many if not most of them are complete idiots. Some of the trades I've heard them suggest are just boneheaded and the majority of them show a complete lack of knowledge of baseball. If I hear one more guy on there quote RBI totals or something I'll scream. Its a shame many of the hosts don't point these things out, but I guess you play to your audience.

In regards to ARod last night. He had a bad game. It happens. May I remind you that the night before he made several spectactular run saving plays in the field and hit a HR. Two nights ago, Jeter missed that pop up and then booted a sure DP ball in the 7th (or was it 8th?) to get Farnsy into real trouble. No one was calling Jeter the next Knoblauch were they?

2006-07-18 08:39:11
27.   rbj
Geez, so A-Rod's not allowed to have a lousy month and a bad game? Those who want to trade him are idiots.
2006-07-18 08:52:59
28.   DarrenF
26 It seems, however, that the psychosis of Jerome from the Bronx is now mainstream. Steve Phillips says ARod must be traded. NY Post (Greenberg?) says the same thing this morning.

This phenomenon is amazing to witness. ARod got past the last round of booing and tore it up in July. Walkoff HR vs. Atlanta, 7-rbi night vs. the Mets in primetime.

Next time he plays an awful game? It yo-yos back to the negative even worse than before. He was being booed yesterday after going 0-for-2. No slack.

Oh, and guess why had a bad game? Because he's uncomfortable again. That must be it.

He's less comfortable in '06 than '05? Following an MVP season? He's less comfortable on a nondescript Mon. night vs. Seattle?

He has peformed far worse vs. TB than against NYM. So how does that fit into the storyline?

Scrutiny just doesn't work well in baseball. Cobb made out over half the time he hit the ball.

2006-07-18 08:54:10
29.   Zack
I know fellow Banterers will be shocked to hear this, but believe it or not, there are some Yankee fans out there, inhabiting the stadium, WFAN, and elsewhere, who really don't know much about the game, the team, the players, stats, etc.

I know, I know, crazy, but hear me out. These fans root for the Yankees because its what you do. They probably rooted for the Mets when they were good, or didn't root for anyone. Just as they cheer and get engrossed in the fan marquee and love Cotton Eye Joe, they also think that booing A-Rod is great fun and that he deserves it. I mean, they've taken all of 5 seconds to decide forever in their mind that he isn't "clutch," that he "can't take NY," and that he will never be as great as, say, Derek Jeter. These same people call into WFAN with these notions.

Everyteam has said fans (well maybe not TB, I don't think they have fans), but because the Yankees draw so many fans to begin with, we happen to have more of them. And so, combined with the controversy hungry media, they combine to feed the monster, so to speak.

In any case, not to surprise anyone, but, short of a national campaign to get the record straight, there will ALWAYS be a situation like this. Last year, even in the second half, half the stadium wanted Tino to start every game...Go figure,...

2006-07-18 08:58:01
30.   DarrenF
29 Imagine if the Yankees were losing?

I have two questions you can ask just about anybody and they'll get them wrong:

1) Whose ERA is better? Josh Beckett or Randy Johnson?

2) Whose winning percentage is better? NYY or NYM?

In marketing, Perception in Reality. Perception is not a particularly useful way to analyze baseball players or baseball tams.

2006-07-18 08:59:08
31.   Simone
People need to chill out. Yeah, A-Rod has a singular personality, but we should be grateful that he doesn't have Bonds' personality. The Yankees aren't going to trade A-Rod unless it is the last year of his contract and they are convinced that he won't re-sign.
2006-07-18 09:01:01
32.   tommyl
28 Not sure who Jerome from the Bronx is, but your points are on. Did Steve Phillips really say that? Who should they trade for him? Who plays 3rd base? Maybe Miguel Cairo because he's a crafty hitter (with an OBP below .300)?

As for the treatment of ARod, I've said it before and I'll say it again here: it disgusts me. The guy wants to win more than anyone and he's a phenomenal player who gives back to the community. He's never taken a PED, plays the game the right way, hustles and almost always praises his teamates rather than himself. When something goes wrong he's the first to admit it and blame himself. The guy is the reigning AL MVP and arguably the best 3rd basemen in baseball and is on pace to break Aaron's record. Can't he have a bad game or AB?

Why do people in baseball remain this ignorant? You cannot look at one game or one series and make judgements. Before the White Sox series every moron on ESPN was saying the Yankees weren't going to make the playoffs this year, the Red and White Sox were a lock. Now, because of three (three!) games the White Sox are in crisis and the Red Sox are collapsing? Get over yourselves. The White Sox will be fine and the Red Sox weren't that good to begin with, that's why their Pyth. record was so off kilter with their actual record. It seriously gives me a headache.

2006-07-18 09:04:23
33.   DarrenF
32 I think if was Jerome from Manhattan, but he was one of the most infamous crazy WFAN Yankee callers of all-time. But, anyway ...
2006-07-18 09:04:50
34.   willdthrill
Apropos of nothing, but have you noticed all these news stories about the heightened security around George these days?

Anybody getting the feeling that not only is George mellowing, but his decline may be more serious and precipitous than what inside sources from the team keeps leaking out?

We keep getting stories about how George is still behind the scenes and all decisions still goes through him, but since his fainting spell a while back, his physical health has taken a toll. And now, the overly protective security details at the Stadium raises my suspicion that there might be something the Yankees FO might be trying to keep out of the public eye or on the media record.

Fifteen years ago, I wanted the worst way for George to sell the team. Now, I can't even think where this team would be headed without him. I do hope he gets to see the opening of the new stadium...

2006-07-18 09:06:00
35.   tommyl
29 What I can get upset about is professional journalists and "analysts" making these mistakes. If you want to be a baseball analyst maybe you should understand something about the way the game works, and when morons say something on a call in show, you should tell them its moronic (in a nice way).
2006-07-18 09:06:02
36.   Felix Heredia
I get the feeling that the people who post on this blog are not the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who boo A-Rod, Mariano, Jeter, etc.

I think the debate on this blog has more to do with whether A-Rod is a stat player or whether he is, for lack of a better word, a winner. It reminds me of the NBA debate - is he Barkley / Ewing / StocktontoMalone / Dominique / David Robinson or is he Jordan / Magic / Bird / Olajuwon?

It's an unfair and inexact criticism, but there are superior athletes who seem to lack an intangible quality.

2006-07-18 09:15:20
37.   tommyl
36 I think this is a poor comparison because of the difference between the sports. In basketball a team can rely on one player a lot more, especially down the stretch of a playoff game (D-Wade comes to mind this year). No matter how good or bad ARod is, he only comes up 4 or 5 times a game. Also, its been almost conclusively shown that "clutchness" is basically a myth. There are numerous amazing players who have had poor postseasons (and then great ones), a few that come to mind are: Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield and yes, even Derek Jeter. Even the G-d of clutch Big Papi pops out in the 12th inning to lose a game sometimes.
2006-07-18 09:18:42
38.   tommyl
37 Oh and add this other guy who people seem to like to the list: Babe Ruth.
2006-07-18 09:20:14
39.   ChuckM
Yes, Philips really said that last night (although I'm not sure he used the word "must"). His reasoning was that once you start getting booed late in games in NY, it's impossible to come back from. Which I guess explains why he's working for ESPN and not in a front office right now.

And I think I stopped listening to sports radio (aside form game telecasts) about 18 years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, due to a lack of intelligence on the airwaves...

2006-07-18 09:27:51
40.   tommyl
39 What was the suggested trade?

Philips officially is on my moron list now (he was close before). Besides the one year (2000) how were the Mets under him? freakin' moron. At least Minaya is showing him how to actually be a GM in NY.

2006-07-18 09:28:50
41.   DarrenF
35 While I'm drawn into the discussion and am therefore a participant, what bothers me the most is the negative vibes at the Stadium. Half a game out. Swept Chicago. Won the game. Won the game! Won the game! Yankees win ... thuuuuh Yankees win!

Yankee fans are going to a game like that and grumbling about ARod?

2006-07-18 09:36:57
42.   DarrenF
40 Just a hunch ... but do you think Steve Phillips's reasoning is warped due to the Psychic Residue of his tenure as Mets GM?

What's his most infamous decision? Rejecting Alex Rodriguez. No "24-and-1" team (but then he signs Piazza).

Now, perhaps Phillips thinks a NY rejection of ARod is a big I-Told-Ya-So.

PS - My knowledge of Mets GMs may be shaky and misinformed.

2006-07-18 09:40:22
43.   Tarheel
Steve Phillips is a Yankee hater. He hates the fact that he had to play second fiddle to the Yanks while he was with the Mets. The Mets got rid of him. Now he has his chance to stick it to the Yankees on TV. ESPN is a joke. Arod had a great game on Sunday, everyone has a bad, bad day once and a while. My guess is he has a huge next game. They are not going to trade him. I think that he is somewhat immune to the booing now. I also think that the fans just boo now because it is the "thing to do" now. They cheered the hell out of him on Sunday. It has just become part of the game like the roll call before the game.
2006-07-18 09:46:53
44.   Alvaro Espinoza
ESPN and WFAN are entertainment venues marketed under the guise of analysis. Now that doesn't mean that you won't get intelligent discussions from time to time but you sure as heck will hear "outrageous" comments like Steve Phillip's 'A-rod must be traded.' That's the nature of the beast. It's ok not to like it (I don't) but I wouldn't expend too much time getting angry over it either.
2006-07-18 09:47:17
45.   yankeemonkey
As someone over on nyyfans pointed out, maybe A-Rod should go on a 15-day DL. A few weeks of Miguel Cairo/Nick Green at 3B will clear up all this nonsense.
2006-07-18 09:49:33
46.   Paul in Boston
34 There is speculation that Steinbrenner has Alzheimer's.

It would not surprise me.

2006-07-18 09:52:31
47.   Alvaro Espinoza
I believe Piazza signed well before A-rod was pursued. Something like 1998 vs. 2001. In general, I don't think his previous Mets affiliation has anything to do with his take here.
2006-07-18 09:59:28
48.   rbj
Steve Philips has also advocated the Tigers trade Joel Zumaya to the Braves for a half season rental of John Smoltz. That sealed the deal for me on Philips being an idiot. Unfortunately, the media (tv/radio/newspapers) have to have a story line. Thus they'll whip up an A-Rod frenzy just to sell more papers and get higher ratings.
2006-07-18 10:11:03
49.   pistolpete
I never thought I'd be aggravated watching highlights of a Yankees victory, but leave it to the BBTN crew to make it happen.

Kruk and his Knoblauch-type scenario of A-Rod's fielding is simply ludicrous, and it really begs the question as to what qualifies you as an 'analyst' on a major sports network - great hair, a pleasant speaking voice, all their teeth? Credibility is at an all-time low on cable TV news channels it would seem.

Honestly? I think Tino Martinez (who has perfect 'TV hair', btw) needs to have a regular spot on the show, if only to serve as a foil to the repugnant anti-Yankees sentiment that seems to ooze out of my TV screen whenever I flip to channel 36 at 10pm. 4th straight win, half game out of first place in a division they didn't have a 'prayer' of winning not more than a week ago, and another solid outing (10th win) by a starter who could arguably be an 'ace' on about 6 or 7 other teams? BBTN Producer: "Hey fellas - on the Yankees game, make sure you lead with the clips of A-Rod's 3 errors...Nyah ha haaaa (twists 'silent-movie-esque' handlebar mustache with fingers).

Seems like the more removed from the game some of these 'analysts' become, the more ridiculous they sound in their commentary. Is A-Rod's 3-error game REALLY the reason the Yankees won't catch the Red Sox, 'Krukker'? Is it really going to be a problem 'all season long', 'Krukker'?

Boy would I love to be in the production booth every time he said something derogatory about NY, just so I could run the clip of Randy Johnson dusting him at the All-Star game.

2006-07-18 10:15:27
50.   Dimelo
43 But you notice even when ARod has a good game the media still has to take jabs at ARod? I think it was in the post, where they started off a piece from Sunday's game saying:

"The ultra-sensitive Alex Rodriguez darted out of Yankee Stadium yesterday without speaking to the media."
//end of quoted text

Even when he does well, they still try and gnaw at him. It's crazy....I hate it when he fails because I know a lot is going to be made of each and every one of his failures.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-07-18 10:15:50
51.   BobbyBaseBall
49 It's too bad theres so much Anti-Yankeeism on ESPN and BBTN, because the clip of RJ vs. Kruk could be like TNT running clips of all the stiffs with rings to annoy Barkley. Pure Hilarity.
2006-07-18 10:17:52
52.   pistolpete
And btw, I really think the errors were blown out of proportion - I honestly believe the 2nd one could have very well been an out if Cairo didn't have to worry about the other runner.

If Miggy had made up his mind to only get the runner coming into 2nd, he could have very well gotten his foot on that bag or at least his glove down to make the play. 'Around the horn' double plays are not as easy as they may look sometimes, especially with speedy runners involved.

The Philips attempted swipe may have been the product of a shorter 1B than we're used to having over there. Giambi and Tino Martinez (last year) both stand at 6'2", while Philips is 6'0". Watch the replay and see how much Andy missed the tag by - I'd say it was a safe bet that 2 more inches could have resulted in the out.

More 'excuses', I know, but if it was Miguel Cairo's 3 errors last night, the NY Post wouldn't have much of a story, would they?

2006-07-18 10:42:28
53.   Alvaro Espinoza
Ladies and gentlemen, I know this will come as shocking news, but Chris Russo is currently blowing last night's A-rod booing WAY out of proportion.

Sports as entertainment...

Even in the loss column with Boston and 2.5 behind Chicago. What else is there to worry about? Enter Sidney Ponson (cue screeching violins).

2006-07-18 10:42:34
54.   Shaun P
52 After so many years of the Yanks winning, I guess the papers/media do need a story to sell. The evil A-Rod and his big contract and he isn't half the winner that Jeter/Ortiz/the Babe/Jesus Himself is. Sick, isn't it?

I'm not opposed to these folks making a living. But, you'd think that someone out there would notice how subscriber/circulation/listener/viewer numbers are all down, and keep going down, and wonder if maybe it isn't the crappy content that is driving that train.

There's better content available - like Bronx Banter - and more hardcore fans are going to it and leaving the crap in the can.

Seriously, how many of us watch a Yankee game on mute while chatting on here? Especially if its a FOX/ESPN game. I'd rather hear all you folks' informed opinions than another tired cliche from McCarver/Morgan/Sutcliffe etc. Listening to those guys ramble on about bs negatively impacts my experience of watching a ballgame. Chatting with everyone here enhances that experience. Its not a hard choice to make.

2006-07-18 10:42:44
55.   rsmith51
Maybe it is because I am a Yankee fan, but I don't see why the Red Sox are better than the Yankees. They both have spotty rotations, the shaky bullpens are anchored by studs, the Yankee offense is better than the Red Sox, and the Red Sox defense is better than the Yankees. If anything, they are evenly matched and the Yanks will have Matsui back for August and Sept.

I guess I shouldn't let it bother me, but when I read chats where EVERYBODY picks the Red Sox, I get annoyed.

2006-07-18 10:42:58
56.   Knuckles
Any shred of credibility Steve Phillips had was torn asunder last winter when BBTN began running those cringe-inducing "press conferences" detailing each team's off-season (according to NESPN) plan. But I guess if you've failed at being a real GM, then you might as well try and play one on TV.

Too bad when Kruk went in for his surgery the doctor didn't mistake his ass for his head, and remove his voicebox rather than one of his nuts.

2006-07-18 10:43:23
57.   pistolpete
53 "..but Chris Russo is currently blowing last night's A-rod booing WAY out of proportion."

GET OUT!

2006-07-18 10:49:24
58.   AbbyNormal821
I'm one of those Yankee fans who doesn't know much about stats, but I try to educate myself by asking the questions (the last one to my brother about defining VORP, which I found very interesting). I find reading the posts on here VERY informative - so thank you all for posting your knowledge and educating a freshman like me!

As for the A-Rod bashing, it's turned borderline comical. To me it's a cyclical thing - they did it to Giambi, and if I can remember that far back, didn't Tino took some abuse because he wasn't Mattingly-esque in his 1st season? Maybe people in the stands think it's just the cool thing to do. Me? I just find myself yelling at my TV for these people to shut their Hostess Holes!

On a memorable note - today is the anniversary of David Cone's perfect game in '99. I have a DVD with some Yankee WS games and some bonus clips, one of which features the last 3 outs of that game. I still get tense watching like somehow, something different will happen, someone will drop the ball (almost Ledee!). Cone's reaction upon the final catch by Brosius is absolutely priceless. 'Twas a good day indeed!

2006-07-18 10:50:21
59.   rsmith51
54 I watch it on mute with Bronx banter on the laptop most days.
2006-07-18 10:55:00
60.   standuptriple
BBTN and ESPN have become virtually unwatchable and have been for multiple years. That's the beauty of this internet-thingy. You can readily filter out the crap and find havens like BB where level-headedness is easily available. It is too bad we can't put those idiotic "fans", who boo the reigning MVP, on mute as well.
2006-07-18 10:55:09
61.   Schteeve
29 Correct-a-mundo!
2006-07-18 11:00:39
62.   mickey1956
The Yankees Have the best offensive infield in baseball and that is why they haven't folded after losing 2!!!!!!! corner outfielders. Just FYI these are the Yankees infield rank by EQA by Position in the AL

Derek Jeter #1 SS
Jason Giambi #1 1st baseman
Robinson Cano #6 2nd baseman
Jorge Posada #3 Catcher
A-rod #1 3rd baseman

Nobody on this board would trade A-rod because he is very good. I did AL only because the NL is so weak this year.

2006-07-18 11:04:22
63.   mehmattski
Does anyone remember the Degree commercial from a few years back that featured A-Rod going through a day at the ballpark? At the end, he's hounded by the media who say: "Only one home run today Alex?" And he smiles to the camera, saying, "Tough town." There's some marketing folks who need to get a raise for their predictions...
2006-07-18 11:04:43
64.   rsmith51
62 Agreed, but if you are going to consider Giambi a first baseman, then you also have to consider Hafner, Thome, Ortiz...
2006-07-18 11:06:06
65.   pistolpete
58 I actually had a chance to go to Cone's perfect game and didn't - I remember it being really muggy & hot that day, and I turned down the tix because we had also been out late the night before at a friend's wedding...

We had taken a drive over to the Palisades Mall for whatever reason, and I had turned on the game as we were pulling into the parking lot. I can't recall if it was the last out or a replay of the last out, but Sterling's babbling about Yankees history or something... What the hell did I just miss out on?!

Another footnote: my bachelor party was at the Stadium exactly one day before David wells threw HIS perfect game. Oy.

2006-07-18 11:27:06
66.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
55 Yanks' defense is actually better than the Sawx's too (at least it was by a significant margin last time I checked the defensive efficiency on ball's in play stat.)
2006-07-18 11:27:07
67.   Max
These A-Rod threads are so surreal (especially as I can't avoid them myself). I read a little bit, then go off to get some work done, another ten to twenty posts appear.

We're starting to scrape bottom, though, when Russo's name appears in any Banter discussion, and when ESPN's current poll is "Would it be in the best interest of both parties for the Yankees to trade Alex Rodriguez"? Even worse when the majority of voters say "yes".

Though look at the results for MA and Rhode Island on their breakdown of votes by state. Then you'll realize that maybe our friends in New England are craftier than we give them credit for.

2006-07-18 11:27:51
68.   tommyl
58 Lack of knowledge is nothing at all to be ashamed of and you should always feel welcome to ask anyone on here about anything. Hey, I'm still not sure how to define park factors exactly. The thing that upsets me (and probably most of us) is people with lack of knowledge spouting off like they DO know something. Unfortunately, many of these people are on TV and sometimes we are forced to listen to them.
2006-07-18 11:33:00
69.   Sandman42
6 I might. Is there a way for us to discuss without putting our personal information on here?
2006-07-18 11:34:34
70.   mickey1956
64 Giambi has had more at-bats as a 1st baseman. That is why I include him there.
2006-07-18 11:44:11
71.   AbbyNormal821
Thank you, 68!

...and speaking of perfect games - let me ask a question to all you baseball Obi-Wan's...what the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game anyway? I mean is there one?

2006-07-18 11:47:38
72.   Dimelo
A perfect game is 27 up, 27 down, nobody from the opposing team reaches first ever throughout the course of the game. A no-hitter is a totally different animal and I think there's a big difference with both. I don't find the no-hitter as exciting as a perfect game.
2006-07-18 11:49:00
73.   yankz
Yeah, a no-hitter means a batter reached base, via walk or error (drop 3rd strike? I'm not sure).
2006-07-18 12:03:16
74.   tommyl
Here's a rumor I just found. Apparently the Sawx are in talks with KC for Mark Redman. Oh, please, please make that deal. Maybe send some more young prospects away Theo.

Unfortunately, the Yankees might also be talking to them about Reggie Sanders which is a mistake.

2006-07-18 12:15:17
75.   JL25and3
73 Dropped third strike, catcher's interference, whatever. If a batter reaches base, it's not a perfect game.

There was one exception that - I believe - used to be considered official. 1912, Babe Ruth pitching for the Red Sox, walks the first batter and is ejected for arguing the call (must have been some choice expletives in there). Ernie Shore came on in relief, picked the runner off first and retired the next 26. As I said, I think that used to be considered official, but it isn't now.

2006-07-18 12:20:26
76.   BklynBmr
Why I should have stayed in bed this morning:

Joel Pineiro — http://tinyurl.com/fd6w3

Roberto (41yo) Hernandez — http://tinyurl.com/jp96a

Why I'm glad I decided to get up:

http://tinyurl.com/z8j9f

2006-07-18 12:34:56
77.   rbj
75 And Harvey Haddix once pitched 12 consecutive perfect innings in a game -- gave up a hit in the 13th & lost. Now that's a tough day.
2006-07-18 12:35:12
78.   Max
74 Actually, I heard that the Cubs withdrew their offer of Aramis and Jacque for A-Rod, so we're now in discussions regarding A-Rod for Reggie Sanders. Apparently, Hughes is still off-limits.
2006-07-18 12:46:54
79.   AbbyNormal821
Can any other team actually afford A-Rod's contract - other than perhaps the Red Sox???
2006-07-18 12:50:52
80.   Shaun P
71 Then there was Andy Hawkins's no-hitter vs the White Sox in 1990 - which he lost, 4-0. I don't know if that's technically considered a no-hitter anymore or not. MLB changed the rules at some point in the last few years, and I can't keep it straight.

77 Didn't Pedro, while with the Expos, do something like that? The close-call perfect games are heart-wrenching.

And as illogical as it is, I remain convinced that if Moose had gotten his perfect game back in September 2001, the Yanks would have won that Serious.

2006-07-18 12:54:14
81.   AbbyNormal821
Heading home from work now, y'all! More later when the game is on! Thank you for all the perfect game/no hitter info!
2006-07-18 13:00:45
82.   Bama Yankee
71 Hey AbbyNormal821 (great screen name btw) check out these links for more info on perfect games & no hitters:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-hitter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_game

Looking at the list of the 15 modern perfect games it struck me that 7 of the pitchers listed played for the Yankees at some point during their career: Larsen, Wells, Cone, Catfish, Mike Witt, The Gambler & The Unit. Moose would be on the list if not for Carl Everett's lucky hit, but don't get me started...

2006-07-18 13:02:02
83.   Shaun P
68 Exactly. I don't expect Tim McCarver to start discussing VORP and the like on the air. And that's fine. Those are complex stats and I'm not sure I know how to calculate them without pulling a BP annual off the shelf.

But I do expect the simple truths to be discussed. For example, NO ONE should be discussing a hitter's ability based on his RBI total, without mentioning how RBIs are a context dependent stat and don't paint a good overall picture of a hitter at all. Ditto with discussing a pitcher's ability based on his win total.

Its like saying that electricity is magic. Sure, people thought so once upon a time, but now we know better. Time to get out of the dark ages, ESPN and FOX and the rest!

2006-07-18 13:09:39
84.   rbj
80
Don Larsen perfect game, Yanks win WS
David Wells perfect game, Yanks win WS
David Cone perfect game, Yanks win WS.

Now, is it Yankee pitcher perfect game = WS title, or Yankee pitcher who's name starts with a "D" perfect game = WS title.

2006-07-18 13:12:37
85.   Bama Yankee
83 To McCarver electricity probably is magic...
2006-07-18 13:15:13
86.   tommyl
83 I had an anthropology teacher in college say this to me (electricity is magic). Being a physics major my friend had to physically restrain me from raising my hand and yelling at her in the middle of class.
2006-07-18 13:16:24
87.   tommyl
84 That's 3 for 3. Based on those stats, we should start Larsen and Cone every time. They match up well.
2006-07-18 13:18:00
88.   tommyl
83 At this point I'd be happy if they flashed OPS when a batter came up to the plate. They already have OBP on some networks, its not really that much more complicated of a stat.
2006-07-18 13:20:07
89.   Bama Yankee
All this talk about Yankee perfect games on the day when Sir Sidney Ponson makes his debut in pinstripes, coincidence... Could we be about to witness history tonight?
2006-07-18 13:25:00
90.   rbj
89 Yes there will be history. Sidney Ponson will not suck (6 innings, 3 runs)
2006-07-18 13:25:12
91.   Dan M
65 pistolpete: that's weird, I too was at the game prior to Wells' perfect game (with my mother, who was at Larsen's perfect game in 1956), and then skipped out on Cone's because it was just too damn hot. I had wanted to go because it was against the Expos, and I had never seen them play before. Oh well.

Oh, and I had tickets to the Astros no-hitter, but got stuck at work.

2006-07-18 13:27:03
92.   Schteeve
Tim McCarver is a dope, but he's a familiar dope. I turn to Larry Mahnken, SG, Cliff, Pinto et al for SABR analysis. To expect anything but homespun chesnuts from McCarver is futile. But I like listening to him mangle words and mis match his metaphors. It's comforting like an old pair of baseball gloves.
2006-07-18 13:29:04
93.   Schteeve
I predict 6.2, 4 ER from Ponson. Of course Piniero will blank us for 8 innings, and we'll trade A-Rod and Hughes for him and Ichiro tomorrow morning.
2006-07-18 13:29:46
94.   Dan M
No A-Rod tonight, and no Posada. With Ponson going, and the Sox playing KC, we're probably dropping a game tonight.
2006-07-18 13:30:28
95.   JRNYY
No A-Rod tonight because of the toe, Nick Green will be at third base. Also no Posada because of the heat.

Full report at Lo-Hud:
http://www.lohud.com/blogs/lohudyankees.html

2006-07-18 13:35:15
96.   Max
95 Wow, this is like one of those split squad deals...even if Pineiro is mediocre, it's hard to imagine us being able to put up enough runs to make up for Sir Sidney.
2006-07-18 13:38:37
97.   tommyl
Any injury report on A-Rod? Is this day to day or is he looking at a DL stint?

Oh man, this is bad, I mean who are the fans at the stadium going to boo tonight? They'll be lost.

2006-07-18 13:43:53
98.   Alex Belth
84...also, don't forget, Mike Mussina just missing a perfecto in 2001: Yanks lose WS. When Jurassic Carl broke it up with 2 out in the 9th I knew the Yanks season was doomed. By the way, that is the only game I believe that Cliff ever attended at Fenway Park.

Still, it was an amazing win because the Yanks only had a 1-0 lead. Moose, distracted perhaps, fell behind Trot Nixon before getting him to ground out. The 1-0 win was also D. Cone's shinning moment on the Sox. It was also the last game of the series--a three-game sweep for the Bombers. Remember, back in the ol' Curse of the Bambino days?

2006-07-18 14:11:57
99.   Alvaro Espinoza
Today is Torre's bday. He turns 66. He wears the number six and the year is 2006.

Coincidence??? I think not! Yanks win 6-0 tonight...

2006-07-18 15:28:34
100.   AbbyNormal821
Thanks, Bama for the "Wiki-Wiki-Wiki"-pedia links - that explains a LOT!!!!

(anyone else have that cheesy 80's rap tune "Jam On It" in their head now?) ;-)

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-07-18 16:49:34
101.   rilkefan
97 - Sir Sidney?

Actually not a total complete meltdown despite the first inning.

2006-07-18 20:41:06
102.   BayRidger
Anyone out there?

Times like these are when that "greenie" ban must really hit home.

2006-07-18 20:44:20
103.   BayRidger
Storybook ending: Alex hits a walk-off HR.

Nightmare ending: Eduardo Perez hits a game winning HR off Mo.

Probable ending: Alex walks and Jeter singles home Posada.

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