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Yankees 6, Blue Jays 3
2007-03-29 17:46
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Lineup:

L - Bobby Abreu (DH)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
L - Josh Phelps (1B)
L - Kevin Reese (CF)
R - Kevin Thompson (RF)

Bobby Abreu led off and played the full game to compensate for some of the at-bats he lost to his oblique injury. He went 1 for 3 with a single, a walk, and a strikeout.

Pitchers: Steven Jackson, Ron Villone, Jeff Kennard, Scott Proctor, Kevin Whelan, Colter Bean

Subs: Doug Mientkiewicz (1B), Miguel Cairo (2B), Chris Basak (SS), Andy Phillips (3B), Tim Battle (LF)

Opposition: The Blue Jays' starters save for Vernon Wells.

Big Hits: Solo homers by Alex Rodriguez (1 for 3), a two-out shot in the fourth, his team-leading fourth of the spring, Robinson Cano (1 for 3) leading off the seventh, and Derek Jeter (1 for 4) leading off the eighth. A double and a two-RBI single by Kevin Thompson (2 for 3).

Who Pitched Well?: Steven Jackson, who was awful in his original spring stint, acquitted himself well against the Blue Jays' starters, allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. Jeff Kennard pitched a perfect sixth inning, stranding an inherited runner. Colter Bean pitched a perfect ninth, stranding two inherited runners.

Who Didn't?: Ron Villone faced one batter in the sixth. That batter singled. Kevin Whelan faced two batters in the ninth. Both of those batters singled.

Ouchies: Jeff Karstens and Chien-Ming Wang will throw bullpens from half-way up the mound tomorrow.

Battles: Joe Torre has said he'd announce the 25-man roster tomorrow. Peter Abraham suggests that Josh Phelps, Wil Nieves and Brian Bruney will be the right-handed first baseman, backup catcher, and last righty reliever, respectively. That just leaves the second lefty reliever (Villone allowing a single to his only batter tonight is yet another data point in Sean Henn's favor), and the fifth starter. With Karstens not throwing his bullpen until tomorrow, one assumes Torre's either already made up his mind there, or that the announcement will come immediately following Karsten's "bully," as Torre likes to call bullpen sessions.

Notes: Cory Lidle's widow and son with throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. A correction to yesterday's note: Mike Mussina's minor league outing will occur tomorrow, not today, as will Andy Pettitte's, as initially reported.

UPDATE:

Cuts: The Kevins were optioned to triple-A after the game, but will remain in major league camp through Saturday.

Also: Mike Myers gave up a pair of runs on four hits in two innings, but also struck out four against the Devil Ray's triple-A campers.

Comments
2007-03-29 18:54:43
1.   Shaun P
I will be very impressed if Villone starts the year in SWB, and Henn goes north.

I may also fall out of my chair in surprise.

And, why Nieves over Pratt? Its not like any of them have been hitting, but Pratt certainly has (had?) that veteran 'belly full of guts' thing going for him.

2007-03-29 20:12:21
2.   joejoejoe
Zombie Torre: Must...never...bat...Jeter...leadoff.

Is Jeter the first player in MLB history to have the majority of his ABs batting second? I would think players as good as Jeter either bat leadoff or deeper in the lineup on most teams, even good teams. I can't think of another player that I associate that is associated with batting second for nearly his entire career. Maybe Willie Randolph?

2007-03-29 20:17:27
3.   TheWord
And Scott Proctor has officially given up a run. This is actually news.
2007-03-29 20:30:25
4.   OldYanksFan
Since things will be slow until Monday,
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/03/2008_mlb_free_a.html
has posted the 2008 FA class.
Some pretty good pitching and (how's this for insanity)... Pudge is available.
We are going to sign Posada (who will be 37) to a 2 or maybe 3 years deal. I just don't know how effective he will be at 38 and 39. Pudge will also be 37, and can still play... especially defense. What about a Pudge/Posada platoon. This will extend both their careers. Can Jorgy learn to play 1B good enough to start 20-30 games there? Between this, DHing and resting our aging outfield, it gives both Pudge and Posada enough ABs to be effective, but also get some rest.

Solves our BUC issue for 2 years, lengthens Jorge's effective career, and maybe even helps at 1B if Jorge can play league average D.

The 'extra' money that goes into getting Pudge will be saved by having a healthier Posada in 2008, 09 and 10.

2007-03-29 20:36:46
5.   C2Coke
4"...by having a healthier Posada in 2008, 09 and 10."

That's excellent music to my ears. Don't we all want that?

2007-03-29 20:43:00
6.   Cliff Corcoran
4 On a home run, of course, by former Yankee prospect John Ford-Griffin.

Updated above, the Kevins have been optioned down. Mike Myers had a mixed outing in a minor league game.

2007-03-30 04:47:43
7.   The Mick 536
Cory Lidle's wife and kid are throwing out the ceremonial first ball? Why? Please explain.

I have respect for those no longer with us. Just lost a co-worker who used his career as a public defender to promote the civil rights of people with little voice of their own. I mourn his loss, not only for the advice and guidance he can no longer provide me, but for the arguments only he would have come up with that could have made the state in which I live a fairer place.

I'll think of him when Lidle's family toss their pitch. I think he was a Red Sox fan.

2007-03-30 07:04:10
8.   Sliced Bread
1 I'd say Swindal has a better chance of starting the season in Scranton than Villone, but one never knows, do one?

7 I dunno, Mick, I sorta hear what you're saying, but I don't see anything mawkish about the Lidles doing the opening day honors. Could be wrong but I sense you think the Yanks are being excessively sentimental.
It's simply a nice gesture by the team, as is your plan to think of your co-worker during that solemn moment.

Other good candidates for the ceremonial pitch would have been:
- Murcer, if he was feeling up to it.
- Bernie, if he would come out of hiding.
- Clemens, heh, if the Yanks really REALLY wanted to overtly and obnoxiously stroke his ego, and tug at his sentimentality.

I kept it to myself at the time, but I thought the Yanks were being a bit overly sentimental when they announced the team would wear black armbands this season to honor Lidle.

But now I'm thinking the armbands, when I notice them, will remind me how I felt in that dark rainy moment after I heard the news about Lidle -- immediately thinking how his loss would crush his wife and kids, and how they would have to learn to move on together without him. Baseball was the furthest thing from my mind. I thought of the faces at home waiting for me.

The black armbands, when I notice them, will remind me to enjoy life to its fullest, and to appreciate the people in my life more fully. Nothing wrong with that feeling.

2007-03-30 07:16:33
9.   Bama Yankee
8 Excellent post, Sliced.

"The black armbands, when I notice them, will remind me to enjoy life to its fullest, and to appreciate the people in my life more fully."

Well said. Thanks for that thought, I will try to do the same thing.

2007-03-30 07:37:12
10.   OldYanksFan
Would anyone care to offer an opinion as to why Wil Nieves made the cut? (.150 .150 .150).

Raul Chavez (.278 .263 .444) had the best ST. Yes, I know these sample sizes are inconsequential, but Torre made his decision based on 'something'.

Is it possible Torre doesn't 'hate kids' as much as he gets credit for? I thought 'Belly-full-of-guts' Pratt was a shoe in.

Did Sturtz give Wil his 'pictures'?

2007-03-30 07:39:47
11.   Chyll Will
8 Bravo, Sliced. There's nothing wrong with it as far as I can tell. In fact, it certainly cuts against the corporate image of stiffness that is generally reported about the entire organization, never mind the team itself, not saying that it was the prime reason for doing so. I'm willing to petrose that the players themselves were the impetus behind the idea. It's nice when a lot of people remember you for something, even if your status or visibility is not as high as others. In any respect, I think it shows class.
2007-03-30 07:47:30
12.   Sliced Bread
9 Yo, thanks, Bama.

10 I think I've heard and read that Torre and Mattingly like how Nieves handles the pitchers. It seems the pitchers are comfortable with him.
I'd be interested to hear Pena's assessment of Nieves's game behind the plate.
Despite his hack'tastic spring line, which is sadly consistent with his career numbers, Wil seems to have shown them something more appealing than Pratt's veteranosity.

2007-03-30 07:51:59
13.   dianagramr
2

% of career PAs in the #2 position in lineup:
Randolph: 3390/9461 (35.8%)
Jeter: 4547/7711 (59.0%)

(I LOVE baseball-reference.com)

2007-03-30 08:06:45
14.   Sliced Bread
11 Thank you, Chyll. Yeah, I can see some of the players (specifically Jeter, Giambi, and whoever else attended his funeral) suggesting the armbands.

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