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Autumn Calling
2006-08-31 21:10
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees defeated the Tigers handily yesterday behind Randy Johnson's second strong outing in as many tries against Detroit. Johnson, whose ERA was just shy of six before he threw six scoreless innings in Detroit back on May 29, dominated for eight innings, holding the Tigers to two runs on three hits and no walks while striking out eight. Of course, two of those three hits were solo homers by Magglio Ordoñez and Omar Infante (!). Not that it mattered much. The Yankees touched up Jeremy Bonderman for four runs in just over five innings, and for the first time since his home run in Seattle a week ago, Alex Rodriguez was in the middle of the action.

After popping out in his first at-bat, Rodriguez came to the plate in the third with two outs and Bobby Abreu on second via a double. He took two balls, then delivered just his second hit since that Seattle home run 21 at-bats earlier, a two-out RBI single into left center to tie the Tigers, who had taken an early lead on Ordoñez's solo homer. After Abreu singled home a pair of runs in the fourth, also with two outs, Rodriguez led off the fifth by doubling on a 3-1 count and then scored on a Bernie Williams single. Rodriguez again lead off an inning in his next at-bat, again getting ahead early, then blasting a 2-1 pitch off lefty reliever Jamie Walker for a solo home run to give the Yankees a 5-2 lead. Rodriguez finished the day 3 for 4 with two RBIs, two runs scored, seven total bases and one stolen base. Robbie Cano and Bernie Williams added another run after Alex's homer via a double and a single respectively and the Yanks took a 6-2 lead into the ninth.

Entering the ninth inning having thrown 94 pitches, Johnson walked Craig Monroe on four more, then fell behind Marcus Thames, whose first major league hit was a homer of Johnson in the Bronx when Thames was a Yankee and Randy was a Diamondback. Johnson took the gimme strike, then Thames fouled off three pitches before taking the Unit deep yet again to bring the Tigers within two. That sent Johnson to the showers and brought in Mariano Rivera, who started out by giving up a ringing double to Ordoñez, but then set the next three men down in order to preserve the 6-4 win.

The Yankees finish the year with a 5-2 record against the team with the American League's best record, both loses coming in games in which the Yankees held a ninth-inning lead, but were unable to use Rivera to nail down the win (the first loss came in Detroit after Mo strained his back putting on his spikes two days after pitching three innings to earn a win). Not too shabby. Unfortunately, there's little chance of these two teams matching up in the ALDS.

As it stands, the Yankees are a pretty good bet to be the first-round host of the central division team that wins the Wild Card. The Tigers, even if they finish with the best record, can't play a team in their own division in the ALDS, which would pass the Wild Card team on to the team with the second best record. Thus, the Yankees would play the Wild Card if they finished with either the first or second best record in the league. Only if they fell to third-best, or if the A's rose to the top of the heap (they're currently 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers and 2 1/2 behind the Yankees), or if the Tigers fell into the Wild Cart spot (their 4.5 game division lead is the smallest of the three in the AL) would we get a Yankees-Tigers ALDS match-up.

Got all that? Good, because there's a glut of news to report:

Injury News:

  • On Wednesday, Rivera confessed to having felt some discomfort below his pitching elbow for the past week or so. An MRI yesterday morning showed a mild muscle strain, but no structural damage and Mo earned his 33rd save of the year later in the afternoon.
  • Kyle Farnsworth's balky back had reportedly loosened back up yesterday. He's available to pitch
  • Jason Giambi has been experiencing soreness in his left wrist. He too underwent an MRI yesterday. Though the results have not been announced yet, he's reportedly available to play despite sitting out yesterday's game (which did come the day after he played both halves of Wednesday's double header).
  • With Hideki Matsui taking batting practice, the big question becomes, will be ready to rehab before the minor league season ends. The good news there is that the Trenton Thunder have clinched the Eastern League's Northern Division and will play through the end of next week at the very least and could play as late as September 16 if they go the full five games in the Championship Series. I think it's safe to say, however, that Gary Sheffield won't make it back this year.
Rotation News:
  • Because Tuesday's rainout pushed Chien-Ming Wang up a day, the Yankees won't have a regular starter on full rest for Sunday's finale against the Twins. As a result they're calling up Darrell Rasner to take the start, a move I fully endorse.

    Rasner looked sharp in a lone relief appearance for the Yankees back in that first loss to the Tigers in May, utilizing a nasty curve. He then landed on the 60-day DL with a sore pitching shoulder. After a brief rehab stint in A-ball in which the threw 13 innings across four starts, he was activated and optioned down to Columbus where he started this past Monday, allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out five and walking none.

    Rasner made his only other major league start for the Nationals last year in his major league debut. He ran into trouble in the third inning of that game and got an early hook, but then followed that appearance with 4 2/3 scoreless innings out of the pen in which he allowed just one hit and walked none. Of course that's all tiny sample stuff, but in the minors, the 25-year-old Rasner has shown mid-rotation potential, displaying good control, a solid strikeout rate, and a knack for keeping the ball in the park. A good outing on Sunday could put him in the conversation for next year's rotation.

  • Mike Mussina is expected to be activated to start against the Royals on Tuesday, which would mean the Yankees would have started seven men in seven days (Wright, Johnson, Lidle, Karstens, Rasner, Wang, and Mussina)
Roster News:
  • With rosters expanding today, no moves will have to be made to clear room for Rasner or Mussina. Meanwhile, as expected, the Yankees have called up relievers T.J. Beam and Jose Veras, which is just what the doctor ordered for Scott Proctor and Ron Villone. They've also added third catcher Wil Nieves. Nieves, you'll remember, actually broke camp on the Yankees' 25-man roster because he was out of options, but didn't appear in a game before the Yankees picked Koyie Hill of waivers, at which point they were willing to take a chance on sending Nieves through waivers and back to Columbus. Once Nieves cleared, they did the same to Hill, who also cleared, though his season has since ended due to injury. Nieves will take the last spot on the Yankees 40-man roster. The Yankees are expected to activate Andy Phillips on Saturday, with more call-ups (Kevin Thompson?) to follow after the last-place Clippers' season comes to an end on Monday. The return of Miguel Cairo is also expected in the near future.

    As I understand the rules, because Beam, Veras, or Rasner could be subbed in for the injured Tanyon Sturtze or Carl Pavano (safely assuming neither will be activated before the end of the season), everyone in the previous paragraph except Nieves (because the Yankees don't have any catchers on the major league DL), as well as the 25 men on the roster for yesterday's game (which means Karstens and Bruney in addition to the usual suspects), is eligible for the postseason roster.

Comments (90)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-09-01 00:56:32
1.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Hopefully they call up Bubba just so there aren't anymore (mis)adventures of Bernie in the outfield... (though Bernie's bat have been pretty potent in the last couple of months..)
2006-09-01 03:47:23
2.   randym77
1 I just noticed that according the depth chart at Yankees.com, there's only one CF backup, and it's not Bernie Williams. It's Melky Cabrera.

Weird, because Joe said Bernie is the CF backup, and Bernie is the guy he uses. Might be nice to try Melky in CF, now that we have a big lead. Joe did say he looked to rest Damon more in September.

But it probably means more GOB...

2006-09-01 03:49:58
3.   joejoejoe
No team in baseball is as dangerous as the Twins in a five game series with a healthy Liriano/Santana. I hope the Yanks take care of business these next 3 games so we don't have to see the Twins in October.
2006-09-01 04:04:47
4.   randym77
I'm wondering if we'll get the games in. Looks like we'll be getting the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto this weekend. (The same storm that rained out the last two Clippers games, in North Carolina.)

There are times when I really wish we had a retractable roof. These doubleheaders are brutal.

2006-09-01 04:29:10
5.   RIYank
Anyone who hasn't seen the hit that won the game for the Red Sox yesterday should check it out, for example at boston.redsox.mlb.com.

I wouldn't enjoy it at all if they were nipping at our heels, but under the circumstances it's a barrel of monkeys.

2006-09-01 04:54:12
6.   monkeypants
5 I don't understand why it was ruled a HR and not an E. You know if the ball drops in and the batter ends up on second or third, the official scorer would have said 'E'.

4 They better! I go to one game a year (it's quite a drive), and I have tickets for Sunday.

2006-09-01 05:12:23
7.   Jersey
6 - I'm in the same boat re: tickets. I did get to see the Yanks once when they were in DC, but this is my lone chance to get back to the Stadium this year (first time since '04 actually). I'm praying to Ernesto to let 'em play!!
2006-09-01 05:17:49
8.   rbj
Activating Carl Pavano, ha ha ha. That's a good one, Cliff. Carl heard about it, and just the mere thought of being activated made him claim he strained his triceratops muscle.
2006-09-01 06:12:34
9.   Count Zero
5, 6 OMFG that was pathetic. Thanks for the link. I don't understand why that's not an E either.
2006-09-01 06:13:09
10.   Chyll Will
8 Didn't he actually strain that when he was admitting to the accident?
2006-09-01 06:15:59
11.   rbj
9 It's the Red Sox, thus it has to be a homerun.
2006-09-01 06:19:09
12.   ChuckM
I believe his excuase was that he strained it because he was pitching with the broken ribs, I guess it was some sort of half-assed attempt to improve his pansy rep...
2006-09-01 06:19:37
13.   Chyll Will
And I suppose Manny ducking out behind the Green Monster for a quick whizz was a homerun, too...
2006-09-01 06:57:38
14.   JL25and3
4 Unless there's a constant, driving rain all weekend, they'll get the games in somehow. I'm going tomorrow, and I'm not particularly worried about a rainout. I do, however, expect a chilly, wet, sloppy game, possibly shortened, almost certainly with rain delays.
2006-09-01 07:14:13
15.   pistolpete
12 I actually saw the 'Kids on Deck' the other day with Mattingly and Pavano making pizza - the first thought that ran through my mind was Pavano slicing off a finger or getting a third-degree burn from the oven.
2006-09-01 07:27:25
16.   Peter
6, 7 I also have tickets for Sunday. According to weather.com, there's a 40% of rain (or 60% chance of no rain, for the optimists). Hopefully Ernesto will take an eastward detour between now and then.
2006-09-01 07:27:33
17.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Regarding the playoff picture, hopefully we can avoid both Minny and the A's. They latter have kicked our butts this season, while the former will be really tough in the first round with their big 2 and their damned turf and roof.

Best case scenario -- Twinkies miss out entirely on the playoffs, Sox win the Central, Tigers are wild card, and we finish with the best record. Then we get the Tigers and hopefully the White Sox will beat the A's and we'll have the home field advantage in both series -- and maybe I'll get to see the Yanks play out here in Chicago for the pennant.

2006-09-01 07:35:52
18.   Sandman42
We're all pretty much in agreement that the Yanks would kick ass in another Subway Series?
2006-09-01 07:38:36
19.   Chyll Will
15 You just reminded me of something: I saw an episode of "Kids on Deck" with Miguel Cairo doing a home-video tour of his daily prep for gameday, and there was one scene with Jorge staring at Cairo with this "WTF!" look on his face as Miggy's sheepishly introducing him (with a grin that said he just got caught stealing a cookie), and Jorge says, "What're you doing? You know no cameras are allowed back here."

It was kinda whoa, yet hilarious at the same time; as though Jorge would have smacked the crap out of him, but was stunned by the camera. Nobody else reacted like that but Jorge; Derek and Bernie laughed or smiled, Torre just ignored it. I couldn't remember the name of the show or I would have mentioned it before. That alone was the best part.

2006-09-01 07:44:43
20.   JL25and3
19 Jorge is definitely the #1 red ass on the team.
2006-09-01 07:44:50
21.   Travis
6 I've said it before and I'll say it again; the Red Sox scorer is by far the most generous in baseball. There's a reason the Red Sox are on pace to set a record for the fewest errors of all-time.
2006-09-01 07:59:59
22.   bp1
Just gonna toss this out there for discussion.

NY loves a guy who's been down and is fighting his way back to the top. The reception at the Stadium this past few games gives me the feeling he's getting into that situation a little bit.

Yes, I know, a guy with his stats isn't exactly hitting rock bottom, but the newspapers have been hounding him, he's been boo'ed unmercifully at home games, and it hasn't been a heck of a lot of fun for A-rod the ballplayer lately.

Is this the turn around? They NY crowds finally done beating the guy about the head and face and now ready to build him up?

Just wondering.

2006-09-01 08:18:32
23.   wsporter
22 Yeah it's like the Marine Corps; they've got to tear you down before they can build you up. Ouch

I hope you're right, that "merciless" booing crap is played. If the booing has in fact been part of what led to A-Rod having a sub-par season by his standards then I guess all non Yankee fans owe a debt of gratitude to the leather lunged geniuses that took part in it.

In any event it was just plain classless.

2006-09-01 08:23:31
24.   Jersey
22 - Well, the good game and the curtain call should certainly help the guy relax. He'll need a stretch of games where he gets hot, and if he doesn't get into another slump, I think the crowd will finally turn for him, no question.

He's been saying lately that he's feeling good, swinging the bat better, etc, so maybe he goes on a tear over the final few weeks and into the playoffs, and gets Giambified in the eyes of the fans. And that would be a great, storybook ending for what's been a tough year.

2006-09-01 08:24:29
25.   rbj
Man; Lidle, Karstens and Resner vs. Silva, Baker and Garza. Not exactly marquee matchups there. With the crappy weather, I'm glad none of our top guns are starting. I doubt Saturday's game gets played, maybe a DH on Sunday.
2006-09-01 08:26:05
26.   joe in boston
Anyone check out Mike Lupica's article on the Yanks in today's NY Daily News ?

Man, he is insufferable in his beatups on the Yanks payroll etc. Tiresome.

2006-09-01 08:26:31
27.   pistolpete
23 It's obvious that negative reinforcement has not worked thus far (fans --> Arod) - maybe the encouragement goes a little further towards helping his concentration than we realize..
2006-09-01 08:32:35
28.   standuptriple
I'm just thankful we won't see Santana this series. We have enough trouble vs. medicore LHP, let alone a Cy candidate.
I will be watching the performance of the MIN mid relief though. Crain, Rincon and Neshek all have good stuff and I'd like to take the lead before they can become a factor.
2006-09-01 08:38:21
29.   kylepetterson
Being that I don't have cable, I watch as many games as I can on the internet (gameday) at work (I don't have internet, either). That being said, it seems like A-Rod has had a good perception of the strike zone as of late.
2006-09-01 08:38:36
30.   wsporter
26 Mike Lupica? Who's he?
2006-09-01 08:38:48
31.   Ron Burgundy
We face the Twins worst pitchers, right? So 2 out of 3 should be more than doable. Besides, our good friend Scott Baker has been getting molested by the league, so we should be able to finally get to him.

By the way, Ryan Howard is insane. He's like Ortiz, only 4 years younger and with even more power. If Ryan gets plate discipline, he'll be Barry Bonds from 2001-2004.
His 49th was a MOONSHOT. That went into the Upper Deck in CENTERFIELD at RFK and bounced out: http://tinyurl.com/zytpz

2006-09-01 08:42:09
32.   pistolpete
31 I was a little iffy on them trading Thome, but it was obviously the correct move. Only problem is the Phillies should have got some decent pitching out of it.

What good is having Rowand when he's like a kamikaze pilot out there...

2006-09-01 08:47:06
33.   JL25and3
25 If Saturday gets rained out, they'll have to play a "doubleheader" on Sunday. It's Minnesota's last trip to NY, and the two teams don't share an off day for the rest of the season. The game could well matter in the wild-card standings, so they can't just let it go, and they certainly don't want to schedule it for October 2.
2006-09-01 08:51:38
34.   JL25and3
31 On the other hand, look at the pitchers the Yankees are throwing out there. They have the potential to make even the Twins look like an offensive powerhouse. Besides, Garza is a dreaded URP.

You're right, 2 out of 3 is eminently doable. But given your penchant for apoplexy, you might want to temper your expectations a little. You'll live longer.

2006-09-01 08:53:00
35.   standuptriple
31,32 I got a chance to see Howard close up last year (1st row handicap seats approx 8'-10' from the OD circle). I've seen some big men but he is one of the largest baseball players I've ever seen. But he's not clumsy which often plagues guys of that stature. I have mentioned many times that his bombs are worth their weight in gold when he comes up for FA.
2006-09-01 08:57:03
36.   Chyll Will
30 Yep!

22 I know we like to think that we are a tough-love kinda town, but personally I've seen too many instances of people not giving a crap altogether, so I don't know exactly what to make of the booing except that people have gone stone nuts in the wake of an ever-shrinking middle class epidemic. I can't afford to go to the stadium anymore, but that doesn't mean I have to boo the highest-paid player on the team if he's slumping. It always comes back to a deeper issue, and man have those people got em.

Just off the cuff, I'd love to see A-Rod make a Red Stripe commercial. Pepsi didn't loosen him up enough, you could see it.

Just some thoughts...

2006-09-01 09:05:02
37.   Sliced Bread
Yo, Banterers. "Autumn Calling" - that headline gave me chills this morning, Cliff, the best kind of baseball chills. Really good stuff up there, too.

I know we've had fun all season with Cliff's pre-season "Ghost of Bernie" line, but can we give that moniker a rest, at least for now?

I'll admit to being a bit of a Bernie fan boy (a 40 year old fan boy). He's my favorite ballplayer ever, so I'll be up front about that.

Bernie ain't what he was, but he's been no ghost this season. He's been flatout great at times, and he's come through with more than his expected share of crucial hits, and RBI.

I don't want to see him in the outfield after Oct. 1 in a tight game situation, and I don't believe we will, and I'm hoping Matsui can give Joe a good reason to reduce Bernie's at-bats, but you know what?

I want to see Bernie's name in more than a few October lineups as the DH. We know he has more October HRs, and RBI than any man who has ever played baseball. We can see that he still swings a sweet bat.

Dude is no ghost. No joke. GOB is alive and kickin'. Good old Bernie, that is.

2006-09-01 09:16:00
38.   pistolpete
37 Here's hoping Bernie's still got some October magic left in him..
2006-09-01 09:18:16
39.   JL25and3
37 It's a very fair point, even if I still don't quite believe it. But already this year he's essentially matched last years production - in many fewer at-bats.

2005: 485 AB, 53 R, 121 H, 19 2B, 12 HR, 64 RBI
2006: 364 AB, 54 R, 104 H, 26 2B, 11 HR, 55 RBI

His walks are down - 53 to 29 - but that's about all. So, somehow, this year he's managed to eliminate all of last years crappy at-bats while leaving the rest intact.

2006-09-01 09:23:35
40.   Sliced Bread
39 ...and (could just be Bernie fan boy talkin' here) it seems so many of those hits and RBI have come when the Yanks were thirsty and hungry for something to happen.
2006-09-01 09:31:32
41.   JL25and3
40 Oooh. Now we're getting into the realm of intangible clutchitudeness. I'll steer clear of that one.
2006-09-01 09:32:31
42.   Ravenscar
As one of the few Mets fans I ever see on BB, I'd like to ask why no one answered #18? :-)

I myself am dying for a chance to take on the Yankees again in the WS, no doubt. The 2000 Mets team had a lot of heart, but this one has WAY more talent.

Regardless of the outcome, October baseball in NY is a magical thing.

2006-09-01 09:37:57
43.   standuptriple
42 Ok, I'll bite. I think the reason nobody answered is because it has been long-since agreed upon around here that the NL is the weak sister in MLB and whomever faces the AL in the WS will undoubtably lose. So yes, I think the Subway Series would be dominated by the Yanks (even though the season series was quite competitive).
2006-09-01 09:42:26
44.   wsporter
36 I've said it before I'll say it again - Malignant dwarfs need not apply.
2006-09-01 09:44:29
45.   Jim Dean
31 Saw Howard drive in 7 against the Yanks in June with two bombs against Moose. One of the best regular season games I've ever been to. First game Mo ever got an AB too. Then he got Howard to ground out weakly to end the game with the tying runs on base.

The kid's good - but he probably should have been in the bigs TWO years ago. Check out his minor numbers:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/H/ryan-howard.shtml

2006-09-01 09:47:57
46.   Count Zero
37 Fair enough. .283/.333/.447 = .780 OPS would rank him 40th among qualified MLB outfielders -- right ahead of Ichiro -- and it's .010 ahead of Melky. Not good, but not awful -- if you set aside the defense.

I think the main reason the GOB moniker persists is comparison to his former self, not to other players:

1995 .307/.392/.487=.879
1996 .305/.391/.535=.926
1997 .328/.408/.544=.952
1998 .339/.422/.575=.997
1999 .342/.435/.536=.971
2000 .307/.391/.566=.957
2001 .307/.395/.522=.917
2002 .333/.415/.493=.908

Once you put it in that context...this Bernie is a ghost of the Bernie that was.

2006-09-01 09:48:21
47.   Bama Yankee
42 I took it as a rhetorical question.

However, I wonder what Pedro would say?
"I tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy ... I can't find a way to beat them at this point."

2006-09-01 09:50:04
48.   Chyll Will
36 Boo Lollipop Guild... Hooray BEER! (even though I can't drink...)

43 Yep. Let's cross the Whitestone when we get there.

2006-09-01 09:52:36
49.   Jim Dean
37 RH Bernie is alive and kicking. LH Bernie is a ghost.

RH: 119 AB .943 OPS, 6 HR 25 RBI
LH: 245 AB .703 OPS, 5 HR 30 RBI

It would be really neat if he tried hitting righties RH this last month. I'm very curious if he could be a full-time DH from the right side or if he's strictly a platoon guy now.

We just don't know if all the LH at-bats (5400 vs 2500) have weakened his swing from that side, or if he just sees LHP better from the right side. I bet he doesn't even know the answer - even more reason for an experiment!

2006-09-01 09:52:42
50.   Ravenscar
43: Oh-he-named-for-Jose-Reyes

I have to admit that the NL has not really put up a good case for being equal, and Trevor Hoffman screwed up even our chance to win the meaningless bragging exhibition. Even we gakked it up against Boston. The hard numbers I rely on so heavily in defending A-Rod offer me little help here.

Regardless, I like our chances against anyone, and especially in the microcosm of NY. Each of our respective pitching staffs can cough up a hairball at any time or throw 8 scorless innings. Good drama.

What kind of fan would I be if I didn't want to take on the bullies of the yard?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-09-01 09:55:59
51.   mehmattski
34 That's it, it's settled: when I form a band, its name will be Penchant for Apoplexy
2006-09-01 09:56:31
52.   Zack
Even if the NL is clearly inferior (oh there is that word again) to the AL, in a 7 game series, the Mets could easily beat any of the AL teams. Doesn't really mean they are a better team, just depends on what happens in those games. So don't get too overconfident there. Besides, before we Yanks fans start thinking about the W.S., we have to get some consistency going. I think thats the main reason no one really answered it, we have more to focus on BEFORE we get to the series, whereas the Muts are already dreaming of it...
2006-09-01 09:56:39
53.   Chyll Will
46 Bernie was driven by a strong desire to beat the s#@! out of everyone after the playoff loss in 97. You think his play this year has something to do with being annoyed at everyone telling him to "retire already" ?
2006-09-01 10:01:07
54.   Sliced Bread
42 I think we're on track (woeful pun intended) for another Subway Series, and I think it will be a very different story than 2000, but probably the same ending.

The '06 Mets are a great team, and I have a hard time picturing Willie's gang rolling over for anybody, least of all the Yankees. I see the '06 Mets playing at the top of their game against us.

The '00 Mets were a solid team that got lucky enough to make the Series. I imagine a "rematch" would be a thriller.

Yanks fans regard Pedro and Glavine pretty much the same way Mets fans regard Mussina and Unit: they're very good, but beatable.

I think Wang and Rivera give us the pitching edge.

Hitting-wise I think you have to admit we've got you beat too.

Understand we Yanks fans are happier with, and more confident in our team than we've been in years, just as you are.

But if I have to watch the Yanks fall to any team in October make it Willie's Mets, I say.

(after Bernie, Randolph is my 2nd all-time favorite ballplayer)

2006-09-01 10:02:28
55.   Bama Yankee
50 Oh-he-named-for-the-crow-that-returned-the-curse-to-Boston

Don't have anything to say, but I had to defend the shot at standuptriple's name ;-)

2006-09-01 10:06:53
56.   JL25and3
50 I like this year's Mets - they're not only good, they're fun and interesting. And it shouldn't be a gross mismatch. These aren't the 1998 Yankees or, for that matter, the 1998 Padres.

Anyting can happen in a short series. But I just don't think the Mets have the pitching to do it. Mussina/Wang/Johnson v. Glavine/Ghost of Pedro/Trachsel; Rivera/Proctor/Villone v. Wagner/Heilmann/Bradford. I'll take that.

2006-09-01 10:21:42
57.   JL25and3
51 Great idea, but only if you clear it with Ron Burgundy first.

As of now, I think my band would be The Poincare Conjecture.

2006-09-01 10:24:16
58.   standuptriple
55 Thanks for watching my back.
Normally, in a non-cyberspace situation, I would happily place a "wager" on any AL vs NL in The Series. But this is not the place for that. At this point I am more concerned with the upcoming series.
Good luck to your Mets. I believe they have an excellent opportunity to reach for the title. I look forward to seeing this hypothetical matchup come to fruition at which time we can joust further.
2006-09-01 10:27:19
59.   Bama Yankee
All this talk about another Subway Series reminds me of a funny story:

My brother-in-law (not a big baseball fan, as you will see) saw me wearing my 2000 Subway Series t-shirt the other day and he asked seriously, "What's the train for?" I replied (thinking he was joking), "Hellooo, you think it might be for the subway?". He reply was a classic (he was dead serious) "I thought it might have been sponsored by the sandwich joint Subway, you know like the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl". Football is definitely king down here in Alabama...

2006-09-01 10:31:02
60.   Sliced Bread
59 That's hilarious. You know the sandwich joint is dying to get Willie and Joe together for more of those awfully "hammy" commercials they do so badly.

But as others have cautioned, now's really not the time for such discussion. There's a lotta baseball between now and the Serious.

2006-09-01 10:31:06
61.   Ravenscar
Definitely too early to talk about it, no doubt. The hint of dying leaves in the air and #18 brought it out.
2006-09-01 10:44:44
62.   standuptriple
61 You got that right. Still plent of baseball to be played and, after October, September is my favorite month for being immersed in baseball.
2006-09-01 11:03:43
63.   Chyll Will
Awww, group hug everybody!
2006-09-01 11:04:25
64.   weeping for brunnhilde
56 Agreed. I've got a huge crush on this year's Mets. I took a new interest in them with the entry of Willie, of course, and this year they're just a fine team. Lots of character, lots to root for--they're likeable.

I really didn't like the 2000 Mets at all, just found them totally uninspiring on the whole.

Looking at a match-up, though? I'm not at all confident that we could beat them--as someone mentioned, it will all depend on which Yankee team shows up.

And I'm particularly scared of the Mets because of LoDuca and Wright, two masters of going the other way. Guys that can do that always scare me because they tend to be far more reliable in big spots against quality pitching.

Their line-up may not be as deep as ours is, but I feel like they're a bit better constructed as a team, although I think we're much, much more of a team now than we've been in years.

I don't know, it would be a great, great series to watch. But by no means should they be discounted. They're an excellent baseball team.

2006-09-01 11:05:40
65.   Max
Neither the Yankees nor the Mets really know how good they're going to be come October. The Mets, though, have the luxury of looking ahead, because of the abysmal quality of their competition. No knock on a fun, talented and exciting team, just the reality of the situation.

The Yankees only wish they could look past half a dozen teams hovering around .500 battling for a wild card slot -- instead, they have to wonder which 95 win team is going to give them greater fits, the defending WS champions or a team with possibly the best two starters in the majors.

2006-09-01 11:07:08
66.   kdw
35 Agree, he's a big guy. But then I went to a Phillies/Reds game, and saw him standing next to Adam Dunn at 1st when Dunn walked. Wow, talk about a big man, Dunn is absolutely huge. He makes Griffey look small and Griffey's not a little guy either.
2006-09-01 11:38:51
67.   pistolpete
64 You sure you weren't just giving yourself an out in case the Yankees tanked this season? ;-)
2006-09-01 11:47:40
68.   weeping for brunnhilde
67

ha ha hah hah aah !

:)

2006-09-01 11:57:15
69.   Javi Javi
64 Met crush, huh? They are pretty cute, esp. that Paul LoDuca--I hear he is very suave with the ladies.
2006-09-01 12:09:52
70.   pistolpete
69 Lot of Latinos on the roster, and we all know how they do with the ladies as well. ;-)
2006-09-01 12:35:38
71.   rbj
So what's the weather looking like for the game tonight? Doable? I can't imagine they'll start it in hopes of dodging through rain delays.
2006-09-01 12:37:11
72.   wsporter
69 Ouch!
2006-09-01 12:45:10
73.   jkay
71 They are forecasting light rain to start around 10 pm, heavy rain at 2am. My guess is they start the game on time.
2006-09-01 13:38:16
74.   JL25and3
71 Tomorrow's game is the one that's really problematic. They'll do just about anything to get tonight's game in, because they definitely can't afford two rainouts.
2006-09-01 13:45:20
75.   Travis
71 They've already postponed tonight's games in Washington and Philly, so the Yankees are going to have a short window to get the game in today.
2006-09-01 13:49:03
76.   randym77
So far, it looks good for tonight, and okay for Sunday. I think Saturday will be a washout.

Subject to change without notice, of course...

2006-09-01 14:42:30
77.   rbj
Thanks, all.

I suspect Sunday will be a DH (Hey, it gives Proctor Saturday off, so he can pitch both games). Now, will it be a day - nighter, or a 1/2 hour between gameser?

2006-09-01 14:49:14
78.   randym77
Here's the lineup...

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Jason Giambi DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Aaron Guiel 1B
Melky Cabrera LF

Cory Lidle P

2006-09-01 14:57:09
79.   randym77
And here's the Twinkies:

Jason Tyner LF
Nick Punto 2B
Joe Mauer C
Michael Cuddyer RF
Justin Morneau 1B
Torii Hunter CF
Phil Nevin DH
Luis Rodriguez 3B
Jason Bartlett SS

Carlos Silva P

2006-09-01 14:58:18
80.   Bama Yankee
77 I'm sure it will be a day - nighter. I just hope that ESPN relaxes it blackout rule so the game can be broadcast on YES (then maybe I can watch the game on MLB.TV thanks to bobtaco).
2006-09-01 15:01:50
81.   C2Coke
78 Glad to see Giambi back in the lineup. And with Guiel on 1B, that's one beautiful lineup.
2006-09-01 15:05:07
82.   randym77
80 Ugh. I forgot about the ESPN thing. :-P
2006-09-01 15:08:19
83.   Bama Yankee
82 Didn't ESPN let YES broadcast a Sunday night game earlier this year in a similar situation?
2006-09-01 15:15:43
84.   Bama Yankee
Also, there is no Fox game tomorrow so Extra Innings will get to show the game if it is not rained out (and Bama plays at night so I won't have to do the split screen thing).

The above facts will surely guarantee a rainout...

2006-09-01 15:21:01
85.   matt0620
83 Actually, ESPN broadcasted that game (Yankees vs. Marlins) in NY and FL.
2006-09-01 15:21:17
86.   randym77
83 IIRC, what they did was switch the ESPN Sunday night game to the Yankees game - in the home markets of the Yanks and Marlins.
2006-09-01 15:32:28
87.   Bama Yankee
85 & 86 Thanks for the correction. Man, that stinks. ESPN or Fox has always got to stick it to me somehow...
2006-09-01 15:37:37
88.   randym77
The Globe is reporting that Jon Lester has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

>> Jon Lester has been diagnosed with a treatable form of anaplastic large cell lymphoma and will begin treatment within the coming week. <<

I guess this means he's done for the year.

2006-09-01 15:40:37
89.   Eirias
Given that everyone is discussing a possible Subway Series, I have a question.

Is the proper term Mankees or Yets?

2006-09-01 15:47:49
90.   randym77
New game thread has been posted.

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