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Six of One...
2006-09-15 05:17
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Man, I didn't think they were even going to play last night. Neither, apparently, did Joe Torre, who scratched Chien-Ming Wang, and kept Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu out of the starting line-up and off the slick outfield surface. It rained all day long in New York, but the waterworks stopped shortly before five o'clock. Jeff Kartsens got the nod instead and wasn't especially sharp, giving up two long balls to Rocco Baldelli in the early going. The rain started up again by the end of the fourth inning, and the Rays held a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, three precious outs from an official game.

But the Yanks rallied to tie the score, propelled by RBI hits from Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano. Two innings later, Cano broke the tie with a two out single to left and Alex Rodriguez added a two run base hit through the right side of infield. Darrell Rasner pitched the final four innings, and did a wonderful job getting ahead of hitters. He allowed just one hit and stuck out five. Oh, and Godziller Matsui homered for the first time since May. Final score: Yanks 7, Rays 4.

With the win the Yankees' magic number is now six (Boston beat the O's in Baltimore last night). About the only drag for the Yanks was when Jorge Posada was plunked in the elbow during the seventh inning. Posada was removed from the game. While it does not appear to be serious, he will be checked-out today to make sure that everything is copasetic. Ol' Snuffleupagus Fasano could see a lot of burn this weekend. Speaking of which, click here to buy one of those dope Sal's Pals t-shirts.

Finally, Gary Sheffield continues to get closer...scary, ain't it?

Comments (60)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-09-15 06:14:25
1.   bp1
I can't remember the last time the Yankees were about to start a series with the Red Sox and I didn't have an upset stomach and weird nervous energy the day of that first game.
2006-09-15 06:18:10
2.   Alex Belth
Me neither. And AMEN to that my brother, amen to that!
2006-09-15 06:19:19
3.   rbj
Yeah, I can't wait for this series to start, I just want the Yanks to pound the RS.
The question is whether it is better to win the first three, and have the division sewn up before the Sunday night ESPN game, or wrap it up on national TV. Either way would be a nice bitter pill for Red Sox luvin' ESPN to swallow.
2006-09-15 06:24:02
4.   Sliced Bread
Man, the Red Sox must've snuck into town overnight with paper bags over their heads like the Unknown Comic from the Gong Show.
Remember that mook?

http://tinyurl.com/jfvx6

Big Pouti will get the Bronx cheers he asked for with his silly remarks. Manny is laying low Pavano style. What a beautiful mess the Sox have gotten themselves into.
Hopefully Boston's captain cheapshot can keep his mitt and his mouth to himself, and there won't be any unnecessary trouble.

With our Big 3 plus Wright pitching against the Ghost Sox it's a perfect weekend to clinch the division.

It's also a great playoff tune up for Wang going against Beckett. Get them worm posters up!

Aside from Kaat's sad farewell, which will probably be as tasteful as his broadcasting career, should be good times aplenty this weekend.

PS - I riffed harsh about the Bernie bashing here last night, and I love that he executed the hit-and-run single that set the plate for Cano and A-Rod to put the Rays away. Way to go, Bernie and Joe!

2006-09-15 06:45:57
5.   Jim Dean
The best part about the Sox mess - they already have $100 mil committed to next year. They need a 2B, SS, and OF. Their CF is below league avereage. Their RF missed half the season. Of their starting pitchers two are very old (Wake and Schill) while the other two are major headcases (Beckett and Clement). Their only bullpen is their closer and even he should be in the rotation but they have no one to replace him. Their best prospect is hitting .125 and the GM traded away 75% of their youth movement. By this time next year, he could very well be looking for a job. I do not see things getting much better in RSN unless they show a willingness to go way over budget - something they they seem loathe to do.

How is it they they go from winning the championship in 2004, to cutting payroll in 2005 and 2006, even as increasing ticket prices and adding seats and selling crazy numbers of merchandise while also increasing advertising rates on their sports network that has no competitor?

2006-09-15 07:11:55
6.   Sliced Bread
If the Yanks get the job done next month, actually, even if they don't, the shreiking about the Bronx payroll is going to get louder, and more shrill than ever.

Nobody cried for the Yanks when they had $36 million dollars on the DL in Matsui, Sheff, and Pavano. Sheff's not even back yet, Pavano's still toast, and already Yankee haters are beating the payroll drum again, and discounting the value of homegrowns Wang, Cano, and Melky to the '06 run.

2006-09-15 07:13:41
7.   pistolpete
I loved (see: sarcasm) the Schilling comments this morning about how he 'expects' the Sox to increase payroll next season, and that he'd like a shot at 'one more ring' before he walks away from baseball.

Ok, Curt - let's juts trade away some more prospects and sign a bunch of overrated FAs just so you can have three rings before you permanently retire to a couch in Pennsylvania somewhere and take up Cheetos-eating as a hobby.

2006-09-15 07:17:11
8.   Sliced Bread
Too bad, so sad for the Boston Marlins.
2006-09-15 07:24:05
9.   Jim Dean
I do look foward to the Epstein professional obit in Boston though. That will be the first sign that all roads point downward toward the toilet, esp. if Leisuresuit Larry is swinging the axe.

Actually, the first will be if Toronto can beat them for second. Hopefully we can help make it happen this weekend.

2006-09-15 07:24:56
10.   Shaun P
5 Because the Sox want to have their cake (win another WS) and eat it too (make gobs of money). They've got one hell of a money-making machine on their hands, and they are milking it for all its worth. And I can't blame them.
2006-09-15 07:29:42
11.   Jim Dean
10 You can blame them when the don't put a winning product on the field. That's called highway robbery.

Big Stein at least spends his profits and I shudder at the day that new investors come in and look more to the bottomline than the pennant race. Actually, that's already what the new Yankee Stadium feels like to me.

2006-09-15 07:32:06
12.   Cliff Corcoran
Torre said after the game last night that Rasner was "like a training video" the way he was pounding the zone. 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 80 percent of just 45 pitches for strikes. Here's his total line with the Yanks:

11 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 2-0, 0.77 ERA

And his career major leage line:

19 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 12 K, 1.89 ERA

I want this guy to get the start on Tuesday, and I want him in the rotation next year.

2006-09-15 07:32:14
13.   bp1
Damon thinks Papi isn't going to get boo'ed tonight 'cause yankee fans respect him?

Whatever he's smoking, pass some my way.

Tonight will be payback for all the posing at home plate, for all the late inning game winners, and now for the trash talk about the captain.

I will be booing lustily from a hundred miles away.

2006-09-15 07:34:40
14.   Sliced Bread
12 Yup. Razzle Dazzle Rasner is good.
2006-09-15 07:34:58
15.   wsporter
5 I know they have problems but much of what happened to them can be explained by injury this year. If you go to Cot's (http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/) and check out the upcoming FA's at short and second you'll see they have some options. Clement and Becket are trouble spots but not necessarily black holes ala Pavano. Other than Lester they can still count on some young arms out of the pen. I wouldn't burry them next year just yet. Lets wait and see what happens before we decide we'll beat them in '07. Mr. Lincoln was famous for proclaiming the hen the wisest animal in all creation because "she never cackles until after the egg is laid" I'll wait till the hot stove heats up.

Ink Sawk thinks they'll spend big next year. Exceed their budget? What budget?
http://makeashorterlink.com/?U547215CD

2006-09-15 07:38:04
16.   Howie
12 If Rasner gives us a few more solid starts in the next couple of weeks, does he have a chance as the 4th starter in the playoffs? Why not go with the hot hand over Lidle and Wright?
2006-09-15 07:40:38
17.   Cliff Corcoran
16 I wish.
2006-09-15 07:42:13
18.   JL25and3
6, 7 In a way, I agree with Schilling. The problem for the Sox isn't that the Yankees spend too much; it's that, at crucial moments, the Red Sox try to go cheap.

The Red Sox should never, ever let a deal get away from them just because of money. They have one of the great cash cows in all of sports. They don't have to pay anyone else for anything - they own the team, the stadium, the land, and the broadcast network. If they ever need more money they can cram in more seats, raise ticket prices, raise advertising rates - and they'll get it.

Whatever budget restrictions they have really amount to a lack of vision, or will, or whatever you want to call it. Money is the one thing they've got plenty of.

2006-09-15 07:42:39
19.   pistolpete
BTW, anyone with kids going to see this new animated flick, "Eveybody's Hero"..?

Just read a review on Yahoo, and apparently the manager of the Yanks in the movie is voiced by none other than Joe Torre!

2006-09-15 07:43:17
20.   vockins
I thought Thompson was pretty hot poop last night, too.
2006-09-15 07:43:30
21.   jkay
Pavano is front page news:

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/452649p-380867c.html

http://tinyurl.com/ouooy

Crash Yank's hottie

Pavano's pretty passenger in Fla. wreck made
fast tracks outta there, sez trucker

BY SAM BORDEN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Yankee pitcher Carl Pavano had a secret passenger during his secret car
crash in Florida: a sexy model from Queens, the Daily News has learned.

2006-09-15 07:43:52
22.   bp1
16 Wright has been hot lately as well. Well - as hot as he ever gets. It's hard for me to envision a scenario where Joe doesn't give Wright the ball unless he totally falls on his face from here on out. He's got the "warrior", "experience", and "battler" chips going for him, which as we know are big chips in Joe's world.

On this one - I think I side w/ Joe. We have no idea how Rasner would perform in the playoffs. Some guys can handle it. Some can't. Since Joe apparently has an option, I don't think he's going to opt for on-the-job-training this Fall.

We'll see though. Plenty of interesting stories from here on out, other than the wins and losses.

2006-09-15 07:46:36
23.   Sliced Bread
Every team suffers injuries. Sox biggest problems: Pedro, Damon. End of discussion. Had they kept those two, this weekend would be meaningful for Boston. Too bad, so sad for the Boston Marlins (which is actually an insult to the Marlins who have won twice as many championships over the last 80 whatever years).
2006-09-15 07:46:56
24.   pistolpete
19 That would be 'Everybody's Hero'..
2006-09-15 07:49:47
25.   yankeemonkey
22 Yeah, I sort of agree. I don't think Rasner should get the nod over Wright to start. However, he might be a good option as a long man out of the pen in place of Lidle...Guess we'll just have to wait and see. Lidle should get a couple more looks and hopefully Rasner also gets a chance or two.

Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, however, I'd like to see him or Karstens make a bid for the fifth starter spot. Cashman insisted he was ready to annoint Bubba as the starting CF, would he be as willing with his starting rotation?

2006-09-15 07:50:19
26.   pistolpete
Oh cripes, it's actually 'Everyone's Hero'. RESEARCH.
2006-09-15 07:53:31
27.   Sliced Bread
I think Lidle's done. He makes Joe uncomfortable. Won't be surprised at all if he's not on the postseason roster.

Rasner is now ahead of Karstens in the pecking order for potential postseason play (sorry for the unfortunate alliteration there).

2006-09-15 07:56:43
28.   Cliff Corcoran
27 I dunno, Joe used the comebacker that hit Lidle as an excuse for him the other day. If Lidle makes a couple good starts in a row I think he'll be back in the mix. That last spot is very much up for grabs if you ask me.
2006-09-15 07:57:04
29.   rsmith51
You could have said pitching pecking order for potential postseason play
2006-09-15 07:58:43
30.   rsmith51
I would like to see Rasner get a couple starts before the end of the season.

Are you saving your post-season roster column until after it is assured or until Sheffield is back, or both, Cliff?

2006-09-15 07:58:50
31.   yankeemonkey
To be honest, Rasner, Wright, Karstens, or Lidle would all make me less nervous than seeing Kevin Brown out there. Oof. Thank God that nightmare is over, at least.
2006-09-15 08:02:09
32.   Sliced Bread
27 I agree it's up for grabs, but Joe's recent quote, something about Lidle not being able to get out of the 2nd suggested to me that Joe no longer has confidence in him. I don't think Lidle has the stuff to change that perception. Sure, he can still have an effective outing against Toronto or Tampa, but picture his stuff against Detroit, or Chicago's hitters. It's not a pretty vision.

Not that Mad Dog Russo was right about him. He's still an okay #5, but the Yanks have more like Lidle who have better stuff.

2006-09-15 08:02:20
33.   Sliced Bread
27 I agree it's up for grabs, but Joe's recent quote, something about Lidle not being able to get out of the 2nd suggested to me that Joe no longer has confidence in him. I don't think Lidle has the stuff to change that perception. Sure, he can still have an effective outing against Toronto or Tampa, but picture his stuff against Detroit, or Chicago's hitters. It's not a pretty vision.

Not that Mad Dog Russo was right about him. He's still an okay #5, but the Yanks have more like Lidle who have better stuff.

2006-09-15 08:03:04
34.   Sliced Bread
sssss sorry about the double post
2006-09-15 08:10:34
35.   Cliff Corcoran
33 Detroit's hitters don't scare me.

30 I'm not quite sure what I'm going to be able to do because I'm getting married a week from tomorrow and then I'm going on my honeymoon, so I'm going to have to work around that. Whatever I do wind up doing, it will have to come within the next week, though I may leave it up to Alex whether or not he wants to post it then or at the end of the season.

2006-09-15 08:11:21
36.   wsporter
22 It's so hard to decide who can handle the pressure. Wright has some scary post season numbers. Era of 7.24 etc. Check it out at baseball reference. It's a journey into the heart of darkness. The Horror, The Horror!

Everybody has to have a first time. If it's handled properly could Rasner really be any worse? He may be a whole lot better.

2006-09-15 08:11:29
37.   standuptriple
21 So that's what Meat has been up to, chasin' tail (albeit, very nice tail). Time to activate the chastity belt option on his contract.
2006-09-15 08:15:03
38.   wsporter
37 I wish there were a way to avoid the topic of that guy. What a waste of money, talent, effort. paper, tail and cyberspace he is.
2006-09-15 08:17:18
39.   rbj
29
It's a real pickle of a pitching pecking order for potential postseason play.

21 jkay, is Pavano married or something? Why would he want a hot model whisked away?

2006-09-15 08:27:10
40.   standuptriple
39 My guess is that he's "playing the field", and didn't want to ruin his "game". It's sad that those terms are only used in association to his dating exploits instead of on the diamond.
2006-09-15 08:28:09
41.   Bama Yankee
4 Good stuff Sliced, that Unknown Comic reference brings back memories...
They should bring back the Gong Show. With all the reality shows and American Idol knockoffs, it would probably be a hit.
2006-09-15 08:30:56
42.   Bama Yankee
I don't suppose anyone is going to try to take pistolpete's "Worm Burner" signs to the game tonight.
2006-09-15 08:31:25
43.   JL25and3
15 I'm not at all impressed with the upcoming crop of free agent infielders. Julio Lugo and Adam Kennedy are about the best they get.
2006-09-15 08:34:49
44.   Jim Dean
15 Sorry man, I don't buy the injury excuse - the 2005 and 2006 Yankees suffered through major injuries and we didn't see the same sinking of the ship. No, this protends bigger problems especially as they have been cutting payroll and making awful trades. Even as they might be able to sign some guys, they won't get everything the need on the FA front unless they go way over budget - like 20 or 30 mil over budget. And it's not like they have much to trade.

They'll still have no depth. The Yanks managed to do fine without Shef and Matsui. The Sox are further sunk if they lose Papi or Manny for any significant time. Then I can't see how they fix that bullpen. The best move they could make is move Paps to the rotation but then who closes - Foulke or Timlin or then sign another guy?

I'm feeling good about the next several years even as I'll miss the acid reflux in Spetember. They'll collect their cash over the next few seasons - it just won't involve any more rings.

2006-09-15 08:38:45
45.   bp1
27 I agree. With other options on the team, Lidle's time in Yankee pinstripes ends when the regular season wraps up.

I've got my fingers and toes crossed that our #4 starter doesn't matter much. I'm hoping Moose, Unit, and Wang are an unstoppable force. My journey into the Heart of Darkness 36 involves Unit, a cool rainy October night, and a slugfest by the opposing team.

2006-09-15 08:43:32
46.   wsporter
44 I'm not saying they'll turn themselves into the 27 or 98 Yankees but they'll have an opportunity to put a competitive and dangerous club on the field.

They've made some major mistakes over the last two years as the new thread so beautifully illustrates. But dead in the water? No not by a long shot. I'll believe it when I see it.

And by the way way I hope you're right because I really want to see it. ;-)

2006-09-15 08:51:30
47.   wsporter
43 Lorretta can't resign? He's no Robby but who is?

I just really wanted to say that about Robby!

2006-09-15 09:04:40
48.   JeremyM
As far as Jaret Wright being tested, he's been bombed in the playoffs in every year except his rookie season (this is off the top of my head), where unfortunately he had a good division series against the Yanks. I still think they should bring him back next year, but I don't know about a playoff start.
2006-09-15 09:14:23
49.   Schteeve
In case anyone is curious (I can't believe I'm the only dirtbag around here) the following link will put a face to Pavano's lady friend.

http://tinyurl.com/zxa83

2006-09-15 09:14:50
50.   baileywalk
Wright's post-season numbers are pretty horrible. He did do pretty well in the World Series in '97, but it seems to have more to do with the hitters he was facing -- his 12 strikeouts came with 10 walks. Otherwise, outside of '03, his numbers are fairly awful. And Beltran smacked him all over the place when he was with the Braves. I still think Joe will hand the ball to Wright for game four. For what it's worth, I would take Wright over Lidle. But I would also take Rasner over either of them.

Cliff, I don't come here very often, so I don't know if your upcoming marriage was common knowledge/discussed often, but congrats and good luck with the wedding

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-09-15 09:31:36
51.   Chyll Will
39 Perhaps if pistolpete has potential and could pitch a perfect game, then the pitching pecking order in postseason play would probably be pretty potent and practically perfect, provided that pistolpete possibly shows potential to pitch. (Good thing this isn't 1998 all over again, the Padre puns would probably be rather pugnacious...)
2006-09-15 09:48:02
52.   JL25and3
37 Major leaguers chasing tail??? I'm shocked. I never dreamed that any ballplayers would be such cads.

Next you'll be telling me that married players cheat on their wives.

2006-09-15 09:55:39
53.   JL25and3
39 Whichever one Joe chooses, I hope to watch him paste a pathetic palooka with a powerful paralyzing perfect pachydermous percussion pitch.
2006-09-15 10:08:50
54.   jkay
39 maybe she is dating a linebacker.
2006-09-15 10:15:37
55.   Schteeve
39 To keep her out of the papers. Maybe she's dating someone else. Maybe she's a nun. Maybe she was supposed to be at work. Maybe her parent's are Sawx fans. Any number of things.
2006-09-15 10:16:10
56.   pistolpete
51 It's possible. :)
2006-09-15 10:23:01
57.   Chyll Will
56 If you can pitch one of those 53 you have my HOF vote!

54 Maybe she is a linebacker. Anything's possible.

2006-09-15 11:25:17
58.   yankeemonkey
Interesting...Cashman is on M&MD now...Mike asked him about sacrificing defense to increase offensive output (ie., Matsui/Sheff/Giambi in the field instead of Melky) and he reiterated the whole 'pitching and defense win' deal. Does that mean Melky's days may not be numbered yet?
2006-09-15 11:48:45
59.   singledd
49 funny.... I didn't notice anyone's face.
2006-09-15 11:50:30
60.   singledd
I think our 4th starter will be Wright, on a short leash, while Rasner waits in the wings.

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