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Don't Sweat It
2006-08-04 05:48
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

A thermometer on the field at Yankee Stadium read 120 degrees. Imagine how it felt to be a Blue Jay pitcher, with the Yankee offense grinding-out at-bat after at-bat? The Bombers put eight runs up on the board, led by Jason Giambi's four RBI (dinger, double) and completed a one-sided, three-game sweep by beating Toronto 8-1. The Bombers are a game ahead of the Red Sox, who were finally unable to come back in the bottom of the ninth against the Tribe (though they made it close, as both Ortiz and Manny hit long fly ball outs).

Corey Lidle pitched reasonably well and was rewarded with treats after the game. In other Yankee news, Robinson Cano went 2-5 in minor league game last night, while Hideki Matsui's progress hit a minor snag.

Comments (61)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-04 06:09:41
1.   KBT
{Takes down "I hate Eric Wedge" blog}

Finally! sheesh

2006-08-04 06:25:51
2.   Sliced Bread
The Yanks play the Orioles 6 times over the next 18 games.
Given that the remaining dirty dozen games in that span are against the White Sox, Angels, and Red Sox, the Yanks need to take care of business against the O's at every opportunity. Got that, Randy Johnson?
2006-08-04 06:28:02
3.   Dan M
Re: the Javy Lopez to Boston rumors, is there a team out there that could block this for us? Say, Texas?
2006-08-04 06:37:39
4.   Sliced Bread
The NY Times has a graphic which shows that 7 of the 10 players on yesterday's starting lineup were not on the roster at this point last year.

Jeter, Giambi, and A-rod remain from '05.
Melky, Damon, Abreu, Wilson, Fasano, Green, and Lidle are newcomers (yeah, it's sort of a stretch to include Melky here but technically correct).

Throw in Proctor (version 2.0), Farnswacker, and Ponsoon, who worked out of the bullpen yesterday, and the team we saw complete the Toronto sweep looks almost nothing like the '05 Yanks.

$!man has been busy.

2006-08-04 06:52:21
5.   Sliced Bread
Ahh, now that the Yanks sit atop the AL East standings, enjoying the view of the big picture this morning, it's clear to me that Derek Jeter, so far, is the MVP of the AL this season.

Sure, Boston's field goal kicker has nailed a few in the final minutes, but Jeter, currently the MLB leader in VORP, is looking Joe Montana clutch.

At the game the other night, my buddy and I fired up the Jeter MVP chants in our neighborhood of the upper deck. Voices quickly joined the chorus.

The over the shoulder catch, the seemingly endless string of hits, stolen bases, and scored runs. Even after all these years, Jeter is the straw that stirs the Yankees. The Prince of the City is partying like it's 1999. Keep up the good work, Captain MVP.

2006-08-04 06:58:01
6.   Sliced Bread
5 The preceeding statement from Sliced Bread does not reflect the views of Major League Baseball and ESPN.
2006-08-04 07:03:15
7.   tommyl
6 I keep waiting for Steve Phillips to suggest trading DJ. I'm curious what excuse he'll use.
2006-08-04 07:07:30
8.   ChrisS
"7 of the 10 players on yesterday's starting lineup were not on the roster at this point last year"

True, but slightly misleading because of injuries - not that guys were shipped out.

Matsui, Sheff, and Cano would all be starting, which shifts the ratio the other way.

However, the point remains, Cash has been busy and he's done a helluva job without sacrificing the future at all. Chacon for Wilson was highway f'in robbery.

2006-08-04 07:08:40
9.   Sliced Bread
8 Posada would be starting too, obviously, but still plenty of Cashman upgrades.
2006-08-04 07:17:03
10.   Tarheel
Is there any truth to the rumor that the Braves put A. Jones on waivers? I heard that they have and that Boston is going to get him and then trade for Oswalt. Although, I don't think that Oswalt has been put on waivers yet.
2006-08-04 07:17:18
11.   Alvaro Espinoza
The thing that flabbergasted me the most yesterday (yeah, flabbergasted - you got a problem with that???), was that the Blue Jays were sporting their road black jerseys. Black??? That's a decision only a George Costanza type is capable of making. I though I was hot sitting in the tier box but I cooled down a bit when I saw the Jays trot out their in those things.
2006-08-04 07:21:40
12.   Peter
7 Jeter's not hitting for power this year. Maybe New York is getting to him after all.
2006-08-04 07:22:55
13.   Bama Yankee
7 Phillips will probably say that the Yankees need to trade Jeter now while his value is high so they can get prospects to replenish the farm system that was depleted by the Abreu/Lidle deal...
2006-08-04 07:30:43
14.   RIYank
3 As I understand it, the Yankees can block the trade by making a waiver claim. It doesn't matter that NY comes after Bos in the waiver order, because there's no real question of Boston getting Lopez off the wire. If they did, they would be under no obligation to give Baltimore anything. Lopez has to clear waivers completely before he can be traded, so Cashman can put a claim in and block it.

But I think there must be something I'm missing. Can someone explain it to me?

2006-08-04 07:35:57
15.   mehmattski
10 The way Buster Olney described it last night on Baseball Tonight (such a better team than Kruk and Phillips), nearly every MLB player is placed on waivers, they can put 7 on per day. Most players also pass through waivers either as a common courtesy or fear that the team will call the bluff and the claiming team is stuck with the salary. So the act of being on waivers isn't the important one, its whether he got through AND whichever players Boston gives up also got through.

14 Keith Law over at baseballanalysts.com just had an excellent article describing waivers, if you want to check it out. Since the trade deadline, the Yankees have been behind the Red Sox in waiver claims either because of record, or because tiebreakers go back to previous years (in this case, 2004.) So the Red Sox can claim Lopez off waivers, before the Yankees or Tigers can. Then the Orioles can do one of three things: pull him back, stick the Red Sox with Lopez's full contract, or work out a trade. So the trade can occur without the influence of any team with a better record than the Red Sox.

2006-08-04 07:42:06
16.   Bama Yankee
I wonder if Sir Sidney was the source of those ice cream bars? It's a good sign that Ponson has traded his Heineken for Häagen-Dazs (as long as he doesn't try to get into a ice cream sandwich eating contest with Sal "Kobayashi of the Clubhouse" Fasano)...
2006-08-04 07:43:30
17.   mehmattski
3There doesn't seem to be much to fear:

Lopez
2006: 279 AB, .265/.314/.412
2005: 395 AB, .278/.322/.458

It would be like replacing Ghost of 'Tek with Ghost of J-Lo.

Andruw Jones, I'd be more concerned about. But then Sox fans wouldn't be able to complain about the Yankees adding Abreu and his contract (Jones is making $13 mil this year).

2006-08-04 07:52:39
18.   RIYank
15 Thanks, I get it.
I agree that we shouldn't be too worried about the addition of the mighty J-Lo to the Red Sox. And I can't believe Andruw will really clear waivers. I know he's an aging CF, but he's still one of the best players in all of baseball. Wouldn't the Dodgers claim him, for instance?
Or is the point that nobody will claim him because they know Atlanta will just withdraw him?
2006-08-04 07:57:11
19.   Sliced Bread
If the Sawx get Andruw, the price should include what's left of Theo's street cred.
Word to your Cashman, yo.
2006-08-04 08:14:49
20.   mickey1956
14 Here is how it would work. Jones gets place on waivers. The choice to claim would go from worst to best record(Red Sox before Yankees). If Jones gets to the Sox and they claim him the Braves have two options. Let him go for nothing, or pull him back and try to work out a trade with the sox. They would never let him go for nothing. If a trade can't be worked out then Jones stays on the Braves. If he isn't claimed by the Sox then the Yanks will have the same options. I couldn't imagine a situation where they claimed him. If no team takes a waiver claim then the braves are free to work out a trade with anybody.
2006-08-04 08:18:26
21.   Bama Yankee
18 Andruw is only 29, but he does have a lot of "miles" on his body (1555 games played since 1996).
2006-08-04 08:23:47
22.   Alex Belth
From Buster's latest:

• The Blue Jays and Yankees played for 3 hours and 15 minutes in brutal heat at Yankee Stadium Thursday afternoon, but Toronto clearly got the worst of it. They were on the field for 2 hours and 12 minutes, while the Yankees were on the field for 1 hour, 3 minutes.

• In Bobby Abreu's first 14 plate appearances for the Yankees, he has seen 76 pitches, a staggering 5.4 per game; the major league average is about 3.76.

• In three games against the Yankees this week, Toronto's starting pitchers accumulated 12 innings and 243 pitches.

2006-08-04 08:24:23
23.   pistolpete
21 Only 30 games more than DJ...
2006-08-04 08:42:42
24.   Alvaro Espinoza
17 I agree - let the Sox have Javy. He's a notoriously lousy defensive player anyway.

The other thing about waivers is that the teams making claims are not disclosed. So unless the Yanks have a guy on the inside, there's no way to know who the Sox have put a claim on.

2006-08-04 08:43:01
25.   seamus
22 great numbers. btw, in that series, toronto pitchers averaged over 20 pitches per inning.
2006-08-04 08:52:23
26.   Bama Yankee
Maybe Boston is doing us a favor if they get Javy Lopez before he plays against us this weekend. He is .360/.360/.640 against the Yankees this year (of course, his two homers were off of Small and Erickson).
2006-08-04 08:55:55
27.   jkay
5 When Scott Boras was pumping Johnny Damon to the Yanks, he claimed with Damon leading off, Jeter would have improved production from the 2 hole. Looks like he was right.
2006-08-04 08:56:51
28.   Javi Javi
Maybe its because they are my namesakes that I noticed this, but Boston has a guy in the bullpen named Javier Lopez. I would like to watch when Javy Lopez comes in to pitch and Javy Lopez is behind the plate.
2006-08-04 08:57:56
29.   seamus
27 good point! Not sure that is the source, but certainly hasn't hurt. Damon does help wear down pitchers as well. Our whole lineup (outside of Cano) is like a weardown machine!
2006-08-04 09:10:22
30.   tommyl
The point was made on BBTN last night (btw Olney and the other guy? are such a better tandem) that Abreu reminds them the most of Paul O'Neill. I like that comparison, both were undervalued, misunderstood/maligned players who came to the Yankees. Both play RF and both are total grinders at the plate. Bobby seems more happy go lucky than Paulie, but I think the comparison is apt. Hopefully he nets as many rings.
2006-08-04 09:15:56
31.   tommyl
12 You're right, his power numbers, as measured by such stats as HR (as opposed to SLG) are way down. Its clear DJ has lost his touch at the plate. Also, he sometimes strikes out with RISP. Phillips will definitely advocate a trade.

BTW, why hasn't anyone suggested trading Phillips while his stock his high? After the A-Rod stuff he can only go downhill. Who should ESPN get for him? Maybe some prospects?

2006-08-04 09:28:57
32.   C2Coke
22,25 It just goes to show that having one Halladay only guarantees publicity in the All-Star Game not the playoffs. It's too bad though, the Jays really have some great players this year, and they are much much more likable than ESPN's team.

12, 31 Steve Phiilips is already preparing the draft for his DJ trade talk after DJ gets the AL MVP later this year.

2006-08-04 09:30:56
33.   pistolpete
27 Yeah, but don't tell Boras he was right - he's full of himself as it is.
2006-08-04 09:52:31
34.   mehmattski
30 I know Hershiser was on last night, but the guy sitting next to Ravisch I didn't recognize. He looked a little like Sammy Sosa, or Bobby Abreu. But yeah, that was the most enjoyable Baseball Tonight since the Reynolds/Gammons days, before Kruk got there.
2006-08-04 10:03:00
35.   JohnnyC
Orestes Destrade. 1B/DH.
2006-08-04 10:10:59
36.   pistolpete
Destrade is on the MLB This Morning show on XM every day as well - he does a fairly good job, but he messes up people's names a LOT... He's definitely better spoken on ESPN.
2006-08-04 10:16:24
37.   Andre
News in Boston has been reporting all day that the Javy Lopez deal is complete.

Javy to Boston for someone (mid-level) from Boston's 40 man roster, PLUS Orioles pay approx $1.4million of Javy's $2.7mill salary.

ALSO, one of the reasons the Braves might have put Andruw Jones on waivers is to gauge interest and discover possible trades. Andruw is great, but if he stays with the Braves next year, he becomes a 10/5 guy, which means he can't be traded without his consent. If they don't want to get stuck with him for many years in the future, they might look to trade him now.

Braves probably have no interest in trading, but it's always good to see what's out there - you never know what you might get, and Schuerholz is a very good GM so he'd be unlikely to miss it if a really good trade offer came around.

Andre in Boston

2006-08-04 10:19:53
38.   Ron Burgundy
36 I like Destrade. He's like H.R., only he messes up a lot of names. But other than that, he's cool.

37 I can't wait for ESPN to proclaim that the Sawx now have a terrific offensive catcher now that they have Lopez and his pathetic .726 OPS and how he will lead them to the playoffs.

2006-08-04 10:21:25
39.   Bama Yankee
34,35 His MLB career numbers are .241/.319/.383 in 237 games (he really only played one full season, 1993 with the Marlins). He also played in Japan. I'm not sure why he is on BBTN, he seems to be the Cuban Andy Phillips... Rollo Marea!!!
2006-08-04 10:32:15
40.   tommyl
Yeah, but BBTN last night was actually watchable. When Olney says something he tends to actually back it up with stats, and his years covering the Yankees have left him with an understanding of things like OPS. Like his commentary on Utley last night. He pointed out that while Utley does hit LHP well, he's likely to see a lot of LOOGYs (I think also because Ryan Howard bats after him) and that isn't the same thing. The funniest part was when he talked about dopes in the media like himself (and the rest of ESPN) descending on Utley if the streak goes to 40.

Destrade also seemed more even keel. Both seem much less apt to make grand statements after one game or something. I'd much rather have a name or two messed up than listen to how A-Rod should be traded because he bobbled a ball the other day.

And much as I hate to admit it, Kruk has been better as of late. He was the one who called out Phillips (and HR) for being morons to suggest trading A-Rod and he's been making a few decent points here and there. He's still not great, but he has been improving.

2006-08-04 10:35:35
41.   bp1
Fingers crossed that the Big Unit comes up with a solid start tonight to keep the hot streak going. The last two times the Yankees got on a little roll, things cooled off with a Randy Johnson start (the 129 pitch performance against Seattle - which you can't fault him for, and last Saturday's total meltdown against the DRays).

Did you read SG's comment on Replacement Level Yankees Weblog re: tonight's matchup? If not - here you go. Ouch!!

Friday 8/4
R. Johnson (11-9, 5.07) vs. B. Chen (0-6, 7.07)

An exciting battle of two soft-tossing, junkballing lefties.

2006-08-04 10:36:56
42.   Chyll Will
30 A wet alley cat seemed more happy-go-lucky than O'Neill. Besides, if I left the Phillies for a bucket of BP balls to join a playoff race, I'd be grinning too.
2006-08-04 10:45:15
43.   tommyl
42 Don't look know but Philly is 2.5 back of the WC.
2006-08-04 10:46:03
44.   pistolpete
41 Here's hoping the Yanks slaughter Chen, as per the norm.
2006-08-04 11:04:31
45.   bp1
44 Here here. Let's just hope the O's don't slaughter the Unit in return. I'd sure like to see a flash of "Good Unit" tonight instead of that guy who started against the D-Rays.
2006-08-04 11:10:31
46.   pistolpete
Did they ever say if Randy had some sort of physical problem that day? I remember seeing clips of him bending over in the bullpen about 2-3 times before the game.

Was it the heat?

2006-08-04 11:16:41
47.   Sliced Bread
46 After the game Torre and Guidry explained that the bending over everybody was asking about is part of RJ's pregame warmup , and that he was just off that day.

I hope they're right, and Unit comes out dealin' tonight.

2006-08-04 11:17:10
48.   Sliced Bread
37 As I understand it, if more than 1 team submits a claim for A. Jones, NL teams would have first dibs to work a deal for him, which would leave the Red Sox waiting out in the cold.

I have a feeling the BoSox desperately want in on the Andruw sweepstakes.

Will be very interesting to see how it shakes out. I'm not sure what the Phillies are thinking, but I wouldn't be surprised if they try to use the Abreu savings for A. Jones.

2006-08-04 11:18:09
49.   bp1
46 Guidry said post game that the bending over is part of his warm up routine. Said he tosses 15-20 pitches then bends over at the waist for awhile. Seems weird to me, and weirder that nobody in the broadcast team had ever seen or heard of that prior to Saturday's game, but you gotta take them at their word. Everyone said there was nothing physically wrong.

He sure pitched like something was wrong, though.

2006-08-04 11:24:46
50.   C2Coke
Big Unit seems very relaxed in the dugout the other day when Wang was pitching though. He didn't seem bothered by anything like he was earlier on this season when he was seriously struggling (back then, he always looked very tensed even sitting in the dugout on his offdays).
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-04 11:29:45
51.   unpopster
funny stuff coming out of Boston re: Javy Lopez Trade:

"Javy Lopez will be in uniform tonight for the start of the Sox three-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after the Sox make official their acquisition of the veteran catcher from the Baltimore Orioles, plus cash considerations, for a player to be named later.

The Orioles expect to receive a player from Boston's 40-man roster, believed to be either switch-hitting outfielder Adam Stern or switch-hitting infielder Alejandro Machado, but those plans could hit a snag.

According to major league sources, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays would likely place a waiver claim on Machado and would consider doing so on Stern, effectively blocking those players from going to Baltimore. As of this afternoon, neither of those players had been placed on waivers by the Red Sox. Any players offered on waivers do not clear for 72 hours, so it is unlikely that the deal will be completed for another week, or more.

While the Devil Rays have legitimate interest in both players, there is another component that could motivate them to place a claim. According to multiple major league sources, the Devil Rays are convinced that the Red Sox made illegal contact with the agent for infielder Julio Lugo before the July 31 trading deadline, while Lugo was still under Tampa Bay's control. The Red Sox allegedly reached out to the agent, Dan Lozano, about whether Lugo would be willing to play second base and whether Lugo, a prospective free agent this winter, would be open to signing an extension. If true, that would constitute tampering, which is not allowed under Major League Baseball rules.

Talks the Devil Rays were conducting with the Sox about possible three-and-four-team trade scenarios involving Lugo essentially dried up once the Rays heard reports of the alleged contact between the Sox and Lozano, though sources say the Devil Rays did not confront either the Sox or the agent with their suspicions. In the absence of proof, the Devil Rays also do not have plans to file a grievance against the Red Sox with the commissioner's office, those sources say..."

This isn't the first time that the Sawx front office has been accused of tampering or 'dirty' tactics. Wasn't there a similar situation that resulted in Millar coming to Boston even though the Marlins had an agreement in place to trade him to Japan?

And THEY call US the Evil Empire?

2006-08-04 11:35:24
52.   Dan M
51. Correct (although I got into a debate with Jay Jaffe about this on this site, and Jay was convinced it was on the up-and-up). The Red Sox spun the scenario that Millar had second thoughts about playing overseas when the Iraq war started. Seemed like a load of bull to me, especially when you take into account the cozy three-way that is Henry, Loria and MLB.

Geez, the Iraq war started before Millar was a Red Sock???

2006-08-04 11:44:12
53.   Bama Yankee
51 Tampering in Tampa... good stuff, unpopster.
2006-08-04 11:53:09
54.   pistolpete
So the tactic is to just get the guy in uniform and then taunt the other team with, "No backsies"...?

Is that how the Sox do business? Sheesh.

2006-08-04 12:02:08
55.   SF Yanks
Why would Atlanta, or any team for that matter, place one of their best players on waivers? Someone mentioned earlier about seeing if other teams are interested in the player, but is that the only reason for it? Can someone explain that to me?
2006-08-04 12:30:35
56.   YankeeInMichigan
30 42 Actually, Steve Goldman compares Abreu to Bernie, demonstrating that their numbers were almost identical during their overlapping peak of 1998-2002: http://www.yesnetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060731&content_id=1406101&oid=36019&vkey=6
2006-08-04 12:34:06
57.   tommyl
55 There is no harm in placing a player on waivers. See my post in the new thread. Every year, a large number of players (including many stars) are placed on waivers and you never hear about it. Its often done because any trades must involve either a player who has already cleared waivers or were claimed by the team involved in the trade. So you put a bunch of players on, they clear and then you are free to trade them if you want to. If someone gets claimed and you want to keep them you just pull them back.
2006-08-04 12:34:14
58.   Sandman42
51 Where did you find that? I'd like to read the original article.
2006-08-04 12:37:13
59.   Bama Yankee
55 The following is from Jayson Stark and it might help answer your questions about waivers:
"There are all kinds of waivers for all different occasions. But essentially, here is how waiver deals can be made between Aug. 1 and the Aug. 31 deadline for setting potential playoff rosters:

Virtually every player in the major leagues will be placed on waivers this month, whether a team intends to trade that player or not. If nothing else, the sheer volume of names can at least disguise players whom clubs do want to sneak through so they can be dealt.

If a player isn't claimed by any team in either league, he can be traded until the end of the month to anyone.

If a player is claimed, but only by one team, the player can be traded only to the team that claims him.

If a player is claimed by more than one team, the club with the worst record in that player's league gets priority -- and the player can be traded only to that team.

If a player is claimed only by teams in the other league, the club with the worst record in the other league gets priority -- and the player can be traded just to that team.

If a deal can't be worked out or the team doesn't want to trade that player, he can be pulled back off waivers once in August. If he is placed on waivers again before September, he can't be recalled a second time.

Or, if a team is just hoping to dump a player's salary, it can simply allow a team which claimed that player to have him for a small waiver fee. If that happens, the team that gets the player has to pay his entire salary. That's how the Yankees were stuck with Jose Canseco and the Padres were stuck with Randy Myers in recent years: They claimed those players, thinking they were just blocking other teams from getting them. Instead, their old clubs said: "You claimed him. You got him."

In the past, many teams claimed players just to keep them from being traded to contenders with a better record. This year, that isn't expected to happen as often, because most teams can't afford to get stuck with a big contract if they're awarded a player they really didn't want."

2006-08-04 12:45:46
60.   SF Yanks
55 Ok, so I understand that now, and thank you, but "Virtually every player in the major leagues will be placed on waivers this month" - Why? Wy do they have to go on there in the first place?
2006-08-04 13:28:31
61.   unpopster
58 http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/

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