Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Help
Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
2007-03-12 18:48
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Sure it was Yanks v. Sox. Sure it was tied at 4-4 in the seventh. But it's still spring training. And I'm not saying that just because the Sox touched up a rattled Russ Ohlendorf to win 7-5.

Lineup:

L - Melky Cabrera (CF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Jason Giambi (DH)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
R - Todd Pratt (C)
R - Josh Phelps (1B)
L - Kevin Reese (RF)
R - Chris Basak (3B)
R - Alberto Gonzalez (SS)

Pitchers: Carl Pavano, Darrell Rasner, Colter Bean, Russ Ohlendorf

Subs: Juan Miranda (PR/1B), Angel Chavez (2B), Ben Davis (C), Miguel Cairo (RF), Kevin Thompson (CF), Jose Tabata (LF), Bronson Sardinha (DH)

Opposition: The Red Sox full Tim Wakefield lineup (that is, the eight regulars plus Doug Mirabelli).

Big Hits: Chris Basak (2 for 4) tripled leading off the second inning. He's hitting .444/.444/.778 this spring (8 for 18, double, triple, homer), is leading the Yankees in total bases (14), and made a great diving stab at third base last night, showing off his strong throwing arm. Ben Davis picked up his first spring hit in six at-bats with a ringing double to the gap in left. Hideki Matsui and Josh Phelps were both 2 for 4. Phelps drove in two runners in the process and leads the Yankees with 7 RBIs this spring.

Who Pitched Well: In a game in which no one was especially impressive, I'll list Carl Pavano here, in part because, now that he's successfully completed his second outing in an official spring game, I'm taking him of the 60-day DL on the sidebar. In three innings, Pavano allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out two. Really, though, he looked pretty good in the first and third, and gave up both runs with two outs in the second. Not too bad for just his second start. Joe Torre repeatedly says that the results for Pavano don't matter; all that matters is his comfort and health. After a year and a half of inaction on Pavano's part, there's something to be said for that line of thinking, though if he's not getting more guys out come the end of March, that tune's going to change.

Who Didn't: Darrell Rasner didn't make it through his three innings before exceeding his pitch count, yielding a pair of runs on five hits, including a solo homer by J.D. Drew to dead center. Colter Bean let one of Rasner's runners score to tie the game for the Sox before getting his two outs. Both Bean and Russ Ohlendorf had almost too much motion on their pitches, both being very wild inside to righties. Ohlendorf even hit two batters. He gave up three runs on those two HBPs, a walk and a single in an ugly seventh inning, but recovered in the eighth to erase a lead-off walk with a double play and record a scoreless frame. One of the announcers on the YES broadcast mentioned that Joe Torre says that you can always tell when the cuts are coming because the young guys start to press. Indeed, the Yankees are expected to announce a good number of cuts tomorrow. One imagines most of them will be starting pitchers as the major league starters will be working five innings in their next turn through the rotation, thus eating up all of those tandem innings. That logic could be applied to the outings of Rasner, Ohlendorf, and Phil Hughes in the past couple of days, the latter two especially.

Oopsies: With Julio Lugo on first representing the tie-breaking run in the seventh, Russ Ohlendorf threw wild to first base allowing Lugo to move all the way to third. I think that throw might have prompted the "pressing" remark.

Ouchies: Bobby Abreu worked out in the outfield yesterday, taking fielding practice. He continues to swing at soft-toss. He'll be away from the team today, however, as he and Larry Bowa will be attending the funeral of longtime Phillies coach John Vukovich. Humberto Sanchez is said to be making progress, but will likely be optioned in today's cuts. Todd Pratt made his spring debut, catching four innings, but it looked like his heel was still bothering him when he ran. Then again, maybe that's just how a guy who looks like Patrick Warburton runs.

Battles: Josh Phelps drove in a pair of runs with a line-drive single in the first, picked up another hit to go 2 for 4, and looked good on defense. Andy Phillips collected a single and a double in nine at-bats against Andy Pettitte in a simulated game yesterday. He should see real game action today. Todd Pratt went 1 for 3, looked comfortable at the plate, and gave off veteran warm fuzzies in the field, framing pitches nicely, getting Pavano to pitch inside to the Red Sox big hitters, and counseling his pitcher on the bench. Darrell Rasner wasn't as sharp as he had been in his previous two appearances, but his aggregate spring line (2.45 ERA, no walks) still looks good.

Notes: The Yankees will keep Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano on the same day barring further interruption of their schedules. One of the two will pitch in a minor league game when their turn comes due. Assuming that no one will be skipped for next Wednesday's off-day, their spot in the rotation synchs up with Opening Day, which suggests Pettitte will get that assignment. However, that off-day falls on Chien-Ming Wang's scheduled turn. If, rather than pushing everyone back a day, they use Pettitte/Pavano on regular rest on Thursday and leapfrog Wang to Friday, then Wang would be on schedule to start the opener. Either way, it looks like Mike Mussina is out of the running for the honor. Due to the off days on either side of Opening Day, everyone else will be pitching on odd rest in their first start of the season, so breaking up the Pettitte/Pavano tandem by holding one of them back for an extra day won't make much of a difference. My expectation is that the rotation will be Wang, Mussina, Pettitte, Pavano, Igawa to open the season. Though the Yankees don't need a fifth starter until the sixth game, so it could be Wang, Moose, Pettitte, Pavano, Wang, Igawa, Moose etc. Also, the order of the last two men, Pavano and Igawa, is supposedly dependent on their performances for the remainder of March, even though Pavano's is supposedly unimportant.

Incidentally, last night's game gave us a look at how the Red Sox lineup is likely to shake out to start the season. Removing Tim Wakefield's personal catcher from the equation, this is the lineup Terry Francona posted:

R - Julio Lugo (SS)
R - Kevin Youkilis (1B)
L - David Ortiz (DH)
R - Manny Ramirez (LF)
L - J.D. Drew (RF)
R - Mike Lowell (3B)
S - Coco Crisp (CF)
R - Dustin Pedroia (2B)

Jason Varitek will likely slot in before or after Lowell. Quick impressions: Dustin Pedroia is really pressing and could force the Sox to use Alex Cora far more than they want to; Coco Crisp looks like he's going to have a nice bounce back season from his injury-addled Red Sox debut last year.

Comments (63)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-13 00:14:07
1.   thelarmis
it seems that with folks like phelps and basak, we could possibly/probably do away with guys like scrabble and cairo. not that phelps/basak are that young, but certainly cheaper.

cliff - i followed the sidebar to the 2 links for basak. how is he in the field and could he play 2nd/ss, as well, as a backup? i like it when you say phelps looked good defensively, too. i'm hoping we don't have to send him back to baltimore...

thanks for the writeup!

2007-03-13 00:56:21
2.   joejoejoe
Chris Basak looks like a smart baserunner from his stats. He's dramatically cut his caught stealing numbers as he's progressed in the minors to the point where he stole 34 bases with 6 caught stealing in two years in AAA - 17 SB/3 CS in both '05 + '06 @ Norfolk.

I don't remember the last good PR the Yankees had on the bench. Maybe Homer Bush?

2007-03-13 03:29:29
3.   Jim Dean
So, can we call Pratt "The Tick"?
2007-03-13 05:48:48
4.   Cliff Corcoran
4 I'd rather we call him "Puddy." Puddy Pratt has a nice ring to it.
2007-03-13 06:47:55
5.   Jim Dean
4 Niiiice! Though "The Tick" certainly sums up his eventual roster spot - he will suck the life from me (though certainly not as much as Minky). Puddy.

Otherwise, does Basak have any options? If so, I can imagine he's this year's Nick Green.

2007-03-13 06:48:09
6.   Knuckles
Elaine, I'm gonna go get dressed for the hockey game, then we'll make out.
2007-03-13 06:50:29
7.   ny2ca2dc
If you haven't yet, check out Rules Of Engagement, Warburton is hilarious in it. Forget what his character's name is, always just refer to him as Puddy...
2007-03-13 08:03:17
8.   JL25and3
2 You're not counting Bubba?
2007-03-13 08:35:29
9.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Ohlendorf looks like he'll be a quality major league starter. Cashmoney did good work picking up that sort of quality in exchange for the Eunuch.
2007-03-13 08:53:47
10.   Cliff Corcoran
5 You nailed it with Nick Green, Jim. That's exactly who Basak is, a younger utility alternative to Cairo with a bit more pop, but otherwise more of the same. Looks like he'll be the starting 3B in Scranton to start the year (he's on a minor league contract, so they don't have to worry about optioning him down to begin the year, technically he's just on loan from minor league camp right now as an non-roster player).

2 Miguel Cairo is actually an excellent pinch-running option. I think he's 4 for 4 on the bases this spring, was 13 for 14 last year, and is 37 for 44 over the last three seasons combined. In fact, Cairo's baserunning is the most valuable part of his game.

2007-03-13 08:54:28
11.   Cliff Corcoran
10 Scratch the "I think" I checked the numbers.
2007-03-13 09:00:09
12.   Bama Yankee
2 It certainly wasn't this guy:
http://tinyurl.com/24s74b
2007-03-13 09:19:16
13.   joejoejoe
10 I'm guilty of underappreciating Cairo. He is a good baserunner.
2007-03-13 09:32:11
14.   Jim Dean
10 Thanks for the answer _ I should have checked the sidebar. Just as last year, Basak (like Green) has more potential upside, given his age, than Cairo. The only reason we'll see him though is with an injury (again, like Green).

I just wonder how many more years they'll keep trotting out Cairo. He'll likely keep his speed, and most definitely his Latin pedigree, long after every other skill has completely disintegrated, if it's not already there.

Meanwhile, anyone think Phelps could be playing himself into the opening day lineup against Kazmir?

2007-03-13 09:39:18
15.   Zavo
I'm really afraid that no matter how well Phelps hits, he won't make the team because Joe will feel that due to unfortunate circumstances, Andy didn't get a fair shot (which could be true as well).

I would love to see the Yanks break camp with Phelps/Phillips/Basak instead of Minky/Cairo/one of Phelps or Phillips.

Obviously this won't happen.

2007-03-13 09:39:45
16.   Jim Dean
9 From what alternative universe can you conclude that about Dorf (still rooting for you!)? And the trade - I'll leave that one alone while I contemplate who's the bigger Tick - Cairo, Minky, or Puddy.
2007-03-13 09:54:21
17.   standuptriple
Javy Lopez got released, I wonder if he wouldn't be a decent BUC for the Yanks?
2007-03-13 09:58:40
18.   Shawn Clap
15 Ugh. Phillips did have a fair shot to make the team, it was in 2006.
2007-03-13 10:05:45
19.   Count Zero
15 Let's all hope you're wrong about that.

I feel better about it because given Phelps' personnel status...I think Cashman would get a vote on that one. Carrying Phillips and Dougie is just...ridiculous.

2007-03-13 10:21:56
20.   Cliff Corcoran
17 This came up in a previous thread. What I said there was that I think he's cooked. The Yanks could pick him up, but he would have to battle with the rest of 'em. Wouldn't be a clear favorite at all. Plus I think he's developed a reputation for a bad attitude, and I know he's a poor defender.
2007-03-13 10:26:16
21.   Jim Dean
17 The problem, I think, is that he's not a catcher anymore. Nor does he hit lefties any better to be a RH bat off the bench. Those two facts probably means he's done. Plus, it seemed like he's not well-liked either.

18 Before or after Cairo was given the April starts?

I jest, but the sad fact is Andy Phillips has no place on the team. And his career went down the toilet because the Yanks couldn't fathom a valuable tweener starting for them when he was really ready to (2004-05).

2007-03-13 10:26:26
22.   JCP22
Does anyone know if Comcast will have a dedicated HD channel for the Yanks this year?
2007-03-13 10:30:07
23.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
16 Uh, from the alternative universe where you watch a pitcher pitch and you evaluate his stuff.

Not everyone here walks around with a black cloud constantly over their head pissing rain down on them.

I've seen him pitch 3 times this Spring. He's got excellent stuff. Last night he was hitting 93-4 consistently according to the NESN announcers, he's got a good hard sinker, and his curve looks quality. He broke off a nasty one to Fat Papi that looked like strike 3 to me and probably would've been if it was a veteran pitcher throwing it.

2007-03-13 10:38:16
24.   Jim Dean
23 Look who's punchy this afternoon! Me, I don't believe in this mysterious substance called "stuff" that you speak of. It must be a valuable commodity on your planet.

Me, I judge results. And last night he gave up three runs in two innings while hitting two batters. No matter how those pitches may have looked, that doesn't look like "a quality major league starter" to me.

He's 25 yo and he has yet to pitch a season in AAA. Me, I think he'll be lucky to be a 5th starter for the Yanks.

But I'm still rooting for you Dorf!

2007-03-13 11:00:38
25.   Cliff Corcoran
By the way, made a mistake in the post above. Last night was actually Pratt's second game this spring, not his debut. The first came before the heel injury.
2007-03-13 11:45:21
26.   markp
Using the results of a few ST innings to judge a young pitcher is in no way superior to going by what you see in those few innings.
2007-03-13 11:50:59
27.   Shaun P
24 Results are quite nice, but don't forget they are subject to the not-so-mysterious disclaimer known as 'small sample size' - especially when one is judging a player on less than 10 innings pitched, in spring training no less.

I'd say Ohlendorf's future is still up in the air, as we need more data. His performance at AAA will be useful in making the judgment. His performance in spring training is probably much less useful.

2007-03-13 12:10:15
28.   Jim Dean
26 27 Oh, absolutely. I was just reacting to 9. You bet his future is uncertain (I'm still rooting for you Dorf!) as is the ultimate judgement of that trade.

Would anyone like me to repeat where I stand on that deal?

2007-03-13 12:21:15
29.   Shaun P
28 "Would anyone like me to repeat where I stand on that deal?"

Ah, no. In fact I'm pretty sure you never have to repeat that ever again. ;)

Now, if you want to rant about the ridiculous non-inclusion of Syracuse in this year's NCAA Men's D-1 basketball tournament, then I'm all ears!

2007-03-13 12:29:25
30.   Jim Dean
29 No really, on that deal, I could go on for weeks. Weeks, I tell ya!

I'm not that worked up about 'Cuse. It's wrong, but they didn't have a shot - not this year.

2007-03-13 12:37:34
31.   Bama Yankee
29 I feel your pain, Shaun (although my boys really did not deserve to make it to the Big Dance this year). See you in the finals of the NIT (aka, the fight for #66).
2007-03-13 12:45:52
32.   Sliced Bread
At the risk of turning this here Bronx Banter into 'Cuse Chatter: they wuz robbed!

30 Syracuse handled G-town, and Marquette so I wouldn't say they didn't have a shot this year. They coulda/shoulda gone a few rounds into the tourney.

I'm rooting for my Albany Great Danes. Now, that's a team that does not have shot.

re: Dorf. Is it Russ or Ross? I think 5 out of 10 Yanks bloggers go with Russ.
I didn't catch his meltdown yesterday, but saw him throwing an impressively heavy sinker in one of his previous outings.

2007-03-13 12:51:58
33.   Sliced Bread
32 Curtis Ross Ohlendorf. Who knew?
2007-03-13 13:02:16
34.   JL25and3
33 He should be sent down just on the basis of having a terrible baseball name.
2007-03-13 13:02:20
35.   jalexei
Did anyone else here see some of Javy's starts for the Sox last year? I don't want his name mentioned on this site again.

Go Ducks!

2007-03-13 13:11:06
36.   ChrisS
29 There's no respect for the Orange. At the Master's, a former champ gets an auto-invite. For the NCAAs this could be modified where a former/recent champ at least gets the benefit of the doubt. Stanford is in the tourney despite that mediocre record in the PAC-10.

I'm in Syracuse (and an alum) and while they were inconsistent and not the best, they still played pretty damn good in the tough Big East - including dominating the #1 seeded Georgetown.

Anyways, go Yanks. Phelps should get the nod over Minky and I like this year's rotation much better than last year's. Plus, I can't wait to see Mo unveil the changeup during the regular season.

2007-03-13 13:15:17
37.   brockdc
29Drexel, too.

32Go Danes! Sliced, are you a SUNYA alum?

34You think that's a bad name? I've got four words for you: Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown.

2007-03-13 13:21:37
38.   Shaun P
31 32 Thanks Bama and Sliced - I would do the Griddle's NCAA bracket competition, but with no Orange invite, I'm not watching March Madness. Let's go NIT!

Didn't know you were a UAlbany guy, Sliced - "Albany" and "D-1" still sounds strange to me. The basketball program has come a long way in a relatively short time - and youneverknow. Remember the UConn game last year?

2007-03-13 13:22:07
39.   Sliced Bread
37 Yep. Class of '88.
Met my wife at SUNYA. Go Danes, indeed!
2007-03-13 13:27:17
40.   Sliced Bread
38 Oh, the UConn game was bananas.

Yeah, the Danes were toiling in D-3 when I was there.

My wife is from Siberiacuse, and the in-laws are hardcore Orange fans, especially my mother-in-law. She's bumming out bigtime. Last week she got two new plasma screens in the house, and was looking forward to the tournament. Forget bummed. Pissed off is putting it mildly.

2007-03-13 13:29:53
41.   Cliff Corcoran
You know, I thought "Russ" Ohlendorf was wrong, but I think I took Russ straight off the YES graphic from last night. Serves me right not to double check. Between Ross "Russ" Ohelndorf, Luis "Jose" Vizcaino and Raul "Eric" Chavez, I may be in the running for the Tim McCarver Memorial Brandon Arroyo Award this year. Heck, didn't McCarver call Endy Chavez "Eric" in the NLCS last year?
2007-03-13 14:29:27
42.   Schteeve
I want a Morgan, Mc Carver and Corcoran booth for all playoff games this year.
2007-03-13 14:51:49
43.   RIYank
42 Because you think it would be fun to watch Cliff pull his hair out?
2007-03-13 15:11:40
44.   weeping for brunnhilde
Melky?

I still believe Melky could hit .320 this year, but I must say I'm slightly concerned. I've not seen too many of his at-bats, but everytime I do, he seems to be rolling weak grounders over to second.

I'm not really concerned so much as interested. I love the kid so much and just can't wait to see him start to own major league pitching.

Anyone have any thoughts about his performance thus far?

2007-03-13 15:12:19
45.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 You gotta throw in Hernandez. He's the best there is.
2007-03-13 15:13:19
46.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 Oh, wait, I noticed you mentioned Morgan which leads me to believe you're being ironic.

No matter, my point holds, Hernandez is the best there is.

2007-03-13 15:16:28
47.   weeping for brunnhilde
And another question: Riddle me this, batmen...

I saw Mo on the television talking about how he's fooling around with the changeup and I had to ask myself: Why just fooling around?

Is it really that risky to try to introduce a new pitch into one's repertoire?

Watching him throw it the other day made me think he should just go whole hog and dedicate the spring to perfecting it or getting it game-ready or whatever.

I just don't quite get the point of just "fooling around" with a pitch that could potentially extend his career and get huge, huge outs during the season.

What's he got to lose?

2007-03-13 15:18:04
48.   RIYank
44 I think .320 is a stretch. But I could see him batting .300, OBP maybe .380, and slugging maybe .400. That would be pretty dang good for a 4th OF.
I haven't seen any of his at bats this Spring, but I doubt it would help me if I did. I'm just going on his numbers last year with a substantial bump due to his age -- it'd be surprising if he didn't increase his average(s) at age 23, I think.
2007-03-13 15:22:09
49.   weeping for brunnhilde
48 Sure. .320 is a stretch, but it's just that; not a fantasy.

What did Cano do? He went from around .300 (or even .280s?) in his first year to .340 in his second. And Mattingly, of course. .283 in limited at-bats to .343 his second (first full) year.

I really have a lot of faith in this kid.

Plus, I just like him, doggonit.

2007-03-13 16:05:45
50.   Shaun P
49 Don't forget too that Melky could just be pressing a bit, trying to impress even though he's got a job. I wouldn't worry too much about his ST ABs, weeping.

FWIW, Jeteupthemiddle did a community projection thing on Melky (http://tinyurl.com/2lk2hq), and I contributed stats that amounted to a .289/.393/.476 line in 450 ABs - so I guess I have a lot of faith in him too.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-13 16:21:13
51.   OldYanksFan
FWIW...
For their careers,
Jeters SB% is a tiny fraction over 80%
Cairo's is a fraction under 80%.

I believe those are both pretty high on the all-time list.

2007-03-13 17:10:23
52.   dianagramr
Don Mattingly's dad has died ....

http://tinyurl.com/37cjql

2007-03-13 17:27:50
53.   thelarmis
best wishes to the mattingly family. : (

44 cano went thru stretches of weak grounders to the 2nd baseman, as well. mats does that to quite a bit when his mechanics get outta whack.

i think the melkman will most likely be around the .280 mark he posted last season, hopefully a bit above. with more seasoning and regular playing time, i think he can be a .300 hitter and post a line like RIYank mentioned in 48

yanks down to cincy early: 3-2, top 3

2007-03-13 17:30:30
54.   weeping for brunnhilde
50 Thanks, sean, I think you're right because he also seems to be jumping on the first pitch or otherwise having what seem for him to be short ab's.

By the way, this is as good a time as any to say it, but Good God is it a relief to see Johnson gone.

He just sucked all the life out of the team, him and his scowling, victimized puss up there every week.

A cloud has lifted.

I know Moose scowls a lot too, but somehow I find it endearing from him.

2007-03-13 17:34:26
55.   weeping for brunnhilde
53 Yes, indeed, Cano and Hideki do it too. But when they do it, it's 'cause they're trying to pull that outside pitch. It seems like Melky's hitting the ball solidly enough, and not pulling balls he shouldn't, but still just kind of chops it into the ground right into the 4-hole.

He hits a lot of ground balls, but when he's on, they all seem to go up the middle or else he hits nice soft linedrives over the infielders' heads.

Anyway, better to ground out 4-3 than to strike out.

Unless, of course, you're going to hit into a 4-6-3, then you're better off taking strike three down the middle.

(I'm so happy baseball is back. I can feel a little spring creeping into my step.)

2007-03-13 17:46:21
56.   thelarmis
54 yeah, the moose grows on me more and more. i'm glad he's still around. he seems to get more and more comfy here w/ the passing years and takes on more of a leadership role. at least it seems that way.

back in the beginning of '95 i was teaching at the middle school in Montoursville, PA. i was the music teacher and the gym was directly across the hall. mikey moose came to visit his old school and was right on the other side of my door. everyone knew i was a big baseball fan, but since he was an Oreo at the time, i had no desire to go meet him and talk. of course, now i would love to encounter him in a situation like that. partially 'coz i'm older, partially 'coz he's a yankee now.

i wonder what he'll do after these two years are up. he'll probably be sitting on 265-270 wins and be about 41 for the 09 season. sounds right now like he'd like to pitch and i'm sure he'd wanna open the new Stadium, but i'm not so sure there'll be much of a need for him in pinstripes by then. don't think he'd go back to the O's. if he wanted to pitch a coupla more years to see if he could get to 300 (a stretch), i think he'd only have 2 choices, since he wants to be close to home: phils or pirates. he won't win many games in pitt and the phils play in a band box. should be interesting what moose will do after this contract.

2007-03-13 18:02:18
57.   weeping for brunnhilde
56 That's funny that you dismissed him because he was an Oriole. See, that's the act of a true Yankee fan. :)

I love it.

I'd love to see him stick around until he decides to retire. One of the problems this team has had is that it doesn't seem to know how to hang on to quality number 4 and 5 starters.

El Duque leaps immediately to mind, also Andy, of course, and Lieber.

But then yet we're always forever scrambling around for number 4 and 5 guys instead of just keeping a nice stable of Duques and Mussinas around at the back and trying to just go lights out in the front.

I don't know, I think Mike should just live out the rest of his days with us. He's a great pitcher. Even when he's mediocre he's still pretty damned good. He can always surprise you and he'd be an amazing reliever--he's a guy I want in there in a jam.

Remember how he got out of that inning against Boston in '03? He came in with no outs and bases jammed? (Or something close to that.) He wriggled out without allowing a run and kept us in the game we were on the verge of losing.

That's a guy you never let go.

Just like El Duque in that game in Chicago a couple years ago, wriggling out of a bases-loaded no out jam without a scratch.

That's a guy you never let go.

And before that, when Duque kept California scoreless for all those innings until he gave up those back to back homers in like the seventh.

(Joe shouldn't have left him out there, that was one inning too long. At the time I remember thinking Joe was pushing his luck.)

Anyway, before those two homers, he'd shut 'em down in a big game.

Moral of the story: Stay with what works.

Kevin Brown.

Remember Kevin Brown?

2007-03-13 20:51:13
58.   Knuckles
57 No outs, and 2 men on, plus a homer earlier in the inning- thanks Roger.
That game was on the verge of getting out of hand.
Moose K's Vagitek and got Damon to ground into a DP, and the only fist pump I've ever seen from Mussina.
I love it.
2007-03-13 20:57:15
59.   weeping for brunnhilde
58 Yup. One of my favorite moments from recent years.

And in fact, one of my others is Mo's performance to win that very same game. Three scoreless innings.

Three.

2007-03-13 20:59:26
60.   weeping for brunnhilde
And speaking of moments, how 'bout Paulie busting his broken-footed ass around to third base in Game 7 off of Schilling only to get thrown out.

Emblematic of the whole series. To grunt it out on fumes so far only to get thrown out in the end.

2007-03-13 21:03:07
61.   weeping for brunnhilde
But then, Paulie did make it in Game 5 in 1997, with that two-out ninth-inning double, punctuated by a desperate epic head-first dive.

Is it my imagination or was he really as driven as he seemed?

And do we want more like that, or are we just as comfortable with the over-talented, under-motivated set?

2007-03-13 21:50:59
62.   Raf
61 You don't have to wear your emotions on your sleeve to be driven...

I do appreciate O'Neill's catching Polonia's fly ball on one leg in game 5 (1996)

Best moment for me; 7th inning game 6. Rivera comes into the game, you KNEW it was over, Wetteland's theatrics notwithstanding.

2007-03-13 22:45:45
63.   weeping for brunnhilde
62 No, of course you don't. But I honestly, most fervently believe that it's possible that some people care more than others.

Remember after those three innings Mo pitched to shut down the Red Sox?

Remember when the third out was recorded?

He sank to his knees in an ecstasy.

That's what I want to see in my players.

It doesn't (necessarily) mean it will make you a "better" player, but it sure is glorious when the players let you know they care just as much as you do, that what's going on is something a little more than just a game, you know?

You don't have to be intense, but even a sincere lighthearted, boy-having-fun is good to see.

"Let's play two!"

I don't know. I just like to see players who respect and love the game.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.