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Easy Peasy
2007-04-17 18:03
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Got four starters on the DL? No problem, call up a kid with just two starts above A-ball, knock the opposing starter out in the second inning, and coast to an easy win. The Yankees made it look just that easy last night.

Rookie Chase Wright made his major league debut with a Sean Henn-model glove on his right hand, a steady rain falling on his head, and no where near the reported 38,438 fans in the stands on a cold Tuesday night in the Bronx. Wright went full on his first batter, Cleveland's Grady Sizemore, and just missed outside for ball four. He then walked Jason Michaels on five pitches to put two men on for Travis Hafner. That drew an early mound visit from his new pitching coach, Ron Guidry. After an enthusiastic pep talk from Guidry, Wright got Hafner and Victor Martinez to ground out (plating a run in the process) and Ryan Garko to line out directly to Derek Jeter.

The Yankee offense then took some of the pressure off the rookie by plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame on a Damon walk, Jeter single, Alex Rodriguez RBI single, Giambi walk to load the bases, and a Jorge Posada sac fly to dead center that just missed being a game-breaking grand slam.

Wright again put the first two men of the inning on base in the second via a single and a walk, but again retired the next three in order, this time without yielding a run. Then the Yankees broke the game open for real.

After Melky Cabrera grounded out, Doug Mientkiewicz cracked a solo homer (no, really!) to the short porch in left. Johnny Damon doubled, moved to third on a Jeter groundout, and scored on a Bobby Abreu single. That brought Alex Rodriguez to the plate. Can you say two-run homer to the retired numbers? I knew that you could. That made it 6-1, but the Yankees weren't done. Jason Giambi followed with a single and Jorge Posada, having just missed that salami in the previous frame, cracked a two-run jack of his own, his 200th career home run. That made it 8-1 Yanks and bounced Jake Westbrook from the game with two out in the second.

That pretty much decided things. Wright gave up a solo homer to Travis Hafner in the top of the third and another run in the fourth when an Andy Marte single plated a leadoff double by Casey Blake, but that was all the Indians would get. Wright pitched around a Hafner single in the fifth to qualify for the win, leaving after having thrown 104 pitches in five innings. Ultimately, the game was a rousing success for Wright, who allowed just three runs on five hits in his five innings, four of those five hits coming off the bats of Hafner and Blake. After walking the first two men of the game, Wright settled down to walk just one more batter while striking out three and, despite his early jitters, wound up throwing 59 percent of his pitches for strikes, further indication of the degree to which he settled down in his latter innings.

The Yankee bullpen turned in four perfect innings split between Brian Bruney, Mike Myers, and Chris Britton, the last of whom retired the side in the ninth on nine pitches in his Yankee debut. The offense, meanwhile, added another two-spot against Roberto Hernandez in the seventh without the benefit of a hit when Robinson Cano drew a one-out walk (his fifth walk in the last four games--though one of those was intentional), Andy Marte booted a Melky Cabrera grounder, Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases, and Josh Barfield fired a would-be double play pivot directly to a fan four rows behind the Yankee dugout to let Cano and Cabrera in. Final score, 10-3 Yankees in Chase Wright's first major league win.

Notes: During the YES broadcast, Michael Kay noted that a Roberto Hernandez pitch clocked at 92 on the YES gun registered as 96 on the Stadium scoreboard. Bear that in mind the next time you see Mariano Rivera throwing 97 (as the scoreboard said he was on Opening Day) or Kyle Farnsworth in triple-digits. As for Wright, it looks like Kevin Goldstein had it, uhm, right. I saw him hit 89 MPH once, but never crack 90 on the YES gun. Joe Torre put in subs Miguel Cairo at short, Kevin Thompson in right and Wil Nieves behind the plate in the ninth inning. Nieves actually pinch-hit for Posada in the eighth and popped out. Nieves has come to the plate 15 times in a Yankee uniform over the last three years and has yet to reach base or even record a sacrifice.

Injuries: Jeff Karstens pitched four dominant innings for Tampa on Monday and will likely be announced as Saturday's starter today. The decision to activate Chien-Ming Wang to start on April 24 will depend on his workout on Thursday. Hideki Matsui will play for Tampa on Friday and could be activated for the first game of the Yankees' series against the Devil Rays on Monday.

Tributes: The Yankees are not only the only team in baseball with an active player who wears number 42, but were also the only team in baseball that didn't have some sign or plaque on display in their ballpark that acknowledged Robinson. Until yesterday, that is. The Yankees unveiled a new plaque dedicated to Robinson in Monument park before yesterday's game, though it doesn't contain any reference to baseball having retired his number. The Yankees also acknowledged the 56th anniversary of Bob Sheppard's first game as Yankee public address announcer by having Sheppard read the lineups of that 1951 game between the Yankees and Red Sox. Meanwhile, the flags were at half-mast in recognition of the Virgina Tech shootings, which prompted Joe Torre to take a strong pro-gun control stance when questioned about the murders.

Comments
2007-04-17 23:41:38
1.   yankz
Congrats Chase Wright, and Stink! Is it safe to worry about Melky? Also it feels like a couple of the guys are lacking power (Jeter, Cano, Abreu/Damon to a lesser extent)...weather, or is A-Bomb stealing all the juice?
2007-04-18 02:22:43
2.   C2Coke
1 Arod's been drinking not alcohol but juice during the offseason for not getting invited to sleepovers. (Alright, alright, this is getting old but still kinda funny...)

Great recap as always, Cliff, thanks. C. Wright (seriously, typing that name still gives me chills so I've decided to add the C) made a much better debut than Henn, and that's encouraging.

The tribute is interesting to know.

2007-04-18 05:05:11
3.   Sliced Bread
Yeah, Cliff, I was wondering if you caught that bit about the radar guns (technically, wasn't it the "MY 9" radar gun, not the YES gun?)
Later in the season, as he builds up arm strength, and the weather warms up, Chase could hit an honest 92-93 on his fastball, no?

More than anything else I liked his poise, and loved the shot of Chase's dad snapping his picture as he walked off the field smiling, eligible for the win.

It was by no means a brilliant performance, but I thought it would have inspired better headlines than it received in the papers this morning. I mean, haven't we seen enough "Wright" puns?

Going to bed last night I was thinking:

Major League Chaseball

The AA-mazing Chase (double A, get it?)

The Thrill of The Chase

Another way to go would have been photo of Chase in action on left, photo of Pavenison rehabbing on right with the words:
Chase - Lounge (rimshot please?)

2007-04-18 05:09:13
4.   C2Coke
3 Sliced, you never disappoint. Thanks for the laugh early in the morning.
2007-04-18 05:26:11
5.   Sliced Bread
4 thanks, C2Coke

I'm not saying Michael Kay owes S.I's Jon Heyman a root beer or anything but --
yesterday afternoon Heyman was on Kay's radio show, and mentioned that the Cincinnatti Reds were his sleeper pick to win the NL Central.

Last night during the game, Paul O'Neil was talking about teams that could surprise, and he asked Kay if there was a team he thought could be this year's Detroit Tigers. Kay responded quickly, and with authority: The Reds.

Had to laugh because I don't think I've ever heard Kay mention the Reds on his radio show.

2007-04-18 05:38:59
6.   rbj
5Dang, Heyman, next time say "Royals".
Only bad thing about last nights game: not being able to watch it.
2007-04-18 05:39:30
7.   williamnyy23
I think YES was calling it Sheppard's 57th anniversary, but it was really the 56th anniversary of the first year (totaling 57 years). Regardless, it doesn't seem as if too many more years will be added onto the total. I would love for Sheppard to open up the new stadium, but...

Then again, maybe it's best for Sheppard to not open the new Stadium because he is so much a part of the old one. Along with Robert Merrill and Eddie Layton, Sheppard really added to the Yankee Stadium experience. Soon, all three, as well as the Stadium they served, will be gone.

Not to get too sentimental, but there is one other figure that I have a special place for in my Yankee heart…Gene Monahan. Over the past 30+ years, Geno has pretty much had a front row seat to Yankees history. Chris Chamblis' HR in 1976, Monahan was there. Reggie's three bolts in 1977…Monahan was there. The Munson tribute…Geno was on the bench. Rag's no-hitter, every version of Billy Ball, Donnie's prime, Jeter's rookie season and the four championships under Torre have all been witnessed by Monahan. Starting with the team in 1973, Monahan even serves as a link to the old Stadium.

In a very overlooked way, Gene Monahan has been a constant in nearly 35 years of Yankee history. Not even the Boss trumps him in service time as both came on board in 1973. Considering George's penchant for personnel changes, Geno's run seems even more amazing. Furthermore, his tenure in the Yankees organization actually goes back 44 years to when he was 17. More than anyone, I think you can say Gene Monahan is a Yankee. If I was a publisher, I would assign my best writer to the task of hammering out a book with Monahan…I think it could be one of the most fascinating baseball books in history.

2007-04-18 05:51:12
8.   jayd
3 "It was by no means a brilliant performance, but I thought it would have inspired better headlines than it received in the papers this morning. I mean, haven't we seen enough "Wright" puns?"

Careful now on the criticism of puns in sports writing, Sliced. I still remember Cliff's headline when Chien Ming Wang took over Jared Wright's spot in the rotation a couple years back: "If this is Wang, I don't want to be Wright"

I want to apologize for predicting Chase's first victory yesterday would be an 11-4 score. I had a case of the hiccups that day and everything was a little off. Here's hoping for a little Quest Support today, too.

In the midst of a move so don't have my MLB package currently but enjoyed the DiceK meltdown in Toronto. The lil' feller seethes when he doesn't get a call at the plate and then proceeds to walk the next three or four. It was Toronto so eventually someone came up to the plate swinging to help Dice regain his composure. Never would have happened at the Stadium.

Japanese baseball fans bring out horns and drums and the whole place turns into a group cheerleading experience. Drowns out the occasional "You Suck DiceK." I have a lot of sympathy for Dice. He's out there all on his own. Nobody to give him any advice when his mechanics break down, just a bunch of dumbass gaijin coaches chattering nonsense and that neanderthal Tek who covers only the basics (Tek knows how to point and grunt).

To say this bears watching (along with trying to hold back giggles) is the least a helpful Yankee fan can do at these times. God, I love this game.

2007-04-18 05:56:44
9.   Sliced Bread
7 great call on the Geno book. I'd love to hear his stories.

With all the terrible news lately (there was also a death in my wife's family yesterday) I feared the worst about Bob Sheppard when I turned on the pregame show last night.

As they were showing and playing his first lineup announcement I thought he might have passed away. Then, I saw the date and realized it was an anniversary celebration. Whew.

Amazing how his voice and cadence of speech have not changed since 1951. Consistency and longevity are perhaps the most celebrated baseball traits, and Sheppard and Monahan embody them like few others in the game.

2007-04-18 06:00:28
10.   Sliced Bread
8 That's my point exactly, jayd. Cliff's Wang/Wright pun raised the bar on Wright puns, and they should be all but retired by now. The NY papers this morning are serving up lackluster Wright puns.

Great call on the final score yesterday, by the way, jayd!

2007-04-18 06:07:11
11.   williamnyy23
8 While not bad for a MLB debut, there is something familiar about the following line: Wright – 5IP/3 runs/104 pitches. If this was last year, that would be the line of Jaret, not Chase, which leads me to the conclusion that TWO Wrights don't make more than FIVE innings.
2007-04-18 06:20:30
12.   jayd
My morning internet readings uncovered this curmodgeon's take on n.j.com: "Either way, the Yankees will miss the playoffs in the not-too-distant future. Then, and only then, a spoiled generation of their fans will know that an ALDS loss in Detroit doesn't meet the true definition of pain."

The Ian O'Connor Show is every Sunday, 9-10 a.m., on 1050 ESPN Radio

Wow! Who twisted this guy's panties? "A spoiled generation of their fans?" See what happens when redsawks fans get slapped around at an early age? We need more kindness and understanding of those who are the most challenged among us.

At least it's nice to know what part of the dial to avoid on Sunday nights...

2007-04-18 06:31:17
13.   williamnyy23
12 I actually agree with the sentiment. As a Yankee fan who made his bones in the 1980s, I think the current generation is a bit spoiled. Winning the division is not a birth right and playoff appearances are not guaranteed...listening to SOME younger Yankee fans makes you think they don't truly appreciate success because they haven't experienced failure (from a fan's point of view). I also think it's the kind of mentality that leads fans to do very stupid things...like incessantly boo Arod, for instance.
2007-04-18 06:42:10
14.   rbj
11 The difference is that Jaret had been a major league pitcher before, and was getting a fair amount of dough. Chase has what, 14 innings at AA ball. Much more upside to Chase than Jaret.

Anyone else see that Jeff Weaver got knocked around, yet again. Is pitching really that thin, that he still has a job?

2007-04-18 06:42:20
15.   JL25and3
7 "I think YES was calling it Sheppard's 57th anniversary, but it was really the 56th anniversary of the first year (totaling 57 years)."

With all due respect, that math makes my head hurt. Yesterday was the 56th anniversary of Sheppard's first day, totaling 56 years. He has just begun his 57th year.

2007-04-18 06:44:18
16.   Knuckles
Today, Ken Davidoff at Newsday used the word "frenemy" in describing Jeter and A-Rod...seriously?
What's next, Lupica writing, "A-Rod is teh suck! LOL!"

13
I was actually thinking a few times in the past couple years that missing the playoffs wouldn't be the worst thing in the world- could clear out some of these odious front-runners, if only to make it easier to get tickets. But with the Stadium on its last legs, and a new one on the way, it don't matter anymore. The Yanks could go 62-100 the next 4 years and it'd make no difference b/c the park would be the main draw anyway...

2007-04-18 06:47:42
17.   williamnyy23
15 No... yesterday was the 57th time that Sheppard has announced a lineup on April 17 (the anniversary date).

April 17, 1951 - Debut (1 year)
April 17, 1952 - 1-year anniversary (2 years)
April 17, 2007 - 56-year anniversary (57 years)

2007-04-18 06:53:52
18.   JL25and3
For us pessismists, every silver lining has a cloud. Yesterday's game is no exception.

I didn't much like the idea of starting C. Wright yesterday. I thought it was terrible when they did that to Sean Henn; you don't ask a kid from AA to take one for the team, you tell the bullpen to suck it up and get through a game somehow. But I recognize this was a tougher situation - bullpen overworked already, and no one else on the 40-man roster who could start.

OK, they got away with it. But here's the problem: C. Wright may not have pitched particularly well, but he also didn't get traumatized. That being the case, he'll get Sunday's start in Fenway, and that could be really, really ugly. I feel bad for the kid.

Similarly, I was actually sorry to see Mntkwcz's homer yesterday. That bought him at least three more weeks of everyday play.

2007-04-18 06:53:55
19.   williamnyy23
16 While I love that the Yankees draw 4 million from a prestige standpoint, I agree with you. I have my long standing season package on Fridays (which I hope will carry over, but probably not), so getting tickets isn't so much of a concern. What bothers me more is that it seems as if once the crowd goes above 40K or so, all of the extra fans filling up the place are really only there to drink and act vulgar (and don't really care about the game).

Last Friday, I actually heard this exchange:

Neanderthal: Why do you keep getting up to go the bathroom?
Neanderthal's girlfriend: Because I keep drinking beer.
Neanderthal: Then stop drinking beer.
Neanderthal's girlfriend: Then what would be the point of coming to the game.
Neanderthal: You're right (moves to the aisle to let her out of the row).

2007-04-18 06:55:39
20.   Felix Heredia
williamnyy23 - I agree. I went to the home opener last year, and the crowd turned borderline violent when it looked like the Yankees might lose. The Yankees have been so good for so long that losing literally is not tolerated. I think it also affects the casual fans, who must make up most of the crowd on any given night. They know the Yankees are supposed to be good, so they act like they're getting ripped off if the Yankees don't win (or A-Rod doesn't hit a home run).

A few years of losing would calm everyone down for awhile. Apparently Knicks fans have even been subdued of late. Bet they're missing Ewing - another favorite target of boos.

2007-04-18 06:56:12
21.   JL25and3
17 OK, that's clearer. Yesterday was the first day of his 57th year.
2007-04-18 07:21:49
22.   Jim Dean
14 Further, he's a lefty. And except for the walks, he did a nice job shutting down a very good hitting team.

See, I feel good about last night - probably more than I should rationally. They beat a decent team when, on paper, it could have easily ended up in touchdown territory.

Hopefully Igawa keeps it coming tonight. If they can make it through this next week a few games above .500, I'll be mighty pleased. As it is, they'd be tied with Boston if not for the pole job in Oakland. Not bad when they've played sloppy and have started

2007-04-18 07:24:52
23.   Jim Dean
..started Rasner and Wright for ~25% of their games and Wang has yet to start a game.
2007-04-18 07:24:58
24.   ny2ca2dc
Kind of interesting that the rotation has 3 leftys and 1 righty right now. Though I guess when Karstens/Wang rejoins it'll be all of 3 to 2. Kind of neat I guess.
2007-04-18 07:30:30
25.   jayd
18"OK, they got away with it. But here's the problem: C. Wright may not have pitched particularly well, but he also didn't get traumatized. That being the case, he'll get Sunday's start in Fenway, and that could be really, really ugly. I feel bad for the kid."

Sunday's start against the DiceK (?)... Look, man, this is Chase MANIA we're talking here. Get with the program, please :)

Second that emotion on Minky's HR.

As long as Ortiz and Manny are still hitting .214, there is a shot this weekend. Pressure is on the Sawks to get us while we're down. Better this than Pavano reinjuring himself before the less than sympathetic Fenway Faithful

2007-04-18 07:30:57
26.   C2Coke
23 Wang should be back next week.

Meanwhile, this particular Chase we are talking about is starting against Matsuzaka on Sunday. Big break, huh?

2007-04-18 07:48:57
27.   FingersCrossed
18"But here's the problem: C. Wright may not have pitched particularly well, but he also didn't get traumatized. That being the case, he'll get Sunday's start in Fenway, and that could be really, really ugly. I feel bad for the kid."

I see it differently. Chaser, and probably everybody else already know that Boston is a tough team to beat. So, high hopes aside, it won't be a shocker if he didn't fare too well on his first outing againt Boston. In Fenway, no less. Thus, the situation alone prevents itself to become a confidence wrecker for him if he fails.
Now if he were to face a truly horrible hitting team and lost --even for a AA pitcher as he is -- it could prove to be more traumatizing to him.
So, essentially, I'm glad that he's going up against THE MONSTER early on in his career. If he stinks, it won't be because he, er, truly stinks. And if he wins, let's rock'n'roll!
So, I can only see this as a win-win situation for him career-wise. I mean, this is a match-up his peers would cream themselves over! And with no burden!
But then of course, this scenario only works if he's a tough sport to begin with, which from what I gather, he just might be. We shall see.

2007-04-18 08:01:42
28.   RIYank
14 I loved this comment at Batgirl's blog:
"When Jeff Weaver struck out Michael Cuddyer for the second time, he pumped his fist and looked like the smuggest sonofabitch in the history of the world. I just wanted to swat him in the face and remind him that he is Jeff Weaver."

27 That's what I think. When Chase loses to Dice-K in Fenway, he'll just get a pat on the back for taking one for the team, and that will be that. And if, by chance, he wins...

2007-04-18 08:13:15
29.   Cliff Corcoran
3 It used to be that WPIX and MSG (or SportsChannel) had completely different crews, but now the WWOR broadcast (I refuse to use their ridiculous marketing handle) is just the YES broadcast with a different logo in the graphics. Thus it's all a YES broadcast and a YES gun.
2007-04-18 08:16:52
30.   C2Coke
29 And the quality of graphics is much better compared to how it was previously.
2007-04-18 08:17:35
31.   YankeeInMichigan
Everyone has been trying to compare Wright's career path with that of Sean Henn. How about comparing him with another Southern LHP (Louisiana isn't far from Texas) drafted in the 3rd round? And Gator made his MLB debut at age 24 as well.

A less encouraging comp is fellow Texan LHP Randy Keisler, a 2nd-round pick who debuted at age 24. Keisler, in his debut, shut down the Red Sox at Fenway (joining Clemens and Pettitte for an all-Texan whitewash). He has done nothing notable since.

2007-04-18 08:17:46
32.   Sliced Bread
29 YES music too.
2007-04-18 08:28:53
33.   Cliff Corcoran
31 I don't think there's enough data on Wright to compare him to anyone right now. He clearly just figured something out a year or so ago. All I know is Rasner, Karstens and Wright are pitching three of the next four games after tonight. I'm hoping they all excell so that the Yankees can flip one of them (preferably one of the first two) for a catcher or a first baseman in the near future.
2007-04-18 08:37:15
34.   FingersCrossed
28"And if, by chance, he wins..."
Man, I'm SO proclaiming that he won 'fair-and-square'. ;-)
(Meanwhile, my back-up line would be, "It wasn't a fair fight.")
2007-04-18 08:37:19
35.   ric
when is Wang officially supposed to come off the dl?
2007-04-18 08:40:40
36.   RIYank
35 April 24th, if his second rehab start goes okay.
2007-04-18 09:00:51
37.   Count Zero
27 28 While I can see the truth in that, getting knocked all over the park is a blow to your confidence no matter how you slice it. "Not faring too well" is one thing...getting tagged for seven runs (or something heinous like that) in the first inning is another.

I'm hoping the kid hangs tough, but I gotta' say that I see starting him in that situation as...less than ideal.

The result of the two previous games in the series will also be a big factor...

2007-04-18 09:15:45
38.   Sliced Bread
No rest for the bullpen anytime soon.

Figure Igawa, Rasner, Karstens, and Wright can handle about 5 innings each at this point, and Pettitte's good for 7. That covers 27 of the next 45 scheduled innings (Wed. through Sun.), leaving 18 frames for the 'pen. In other words, the bullpen will probably cover at least 2 of the next 5 games.

Hopefully, Igawa (tonight) and Rasner (tomorrow) will benefit from being mysteries to the Indians.

Hopefully, Farnswacker can get back on track.

Hopefully, Rodriguez and Posada can keep carrying the team with their bats through Sunday night.

2007-04-18 09:27:11
39.   jkay
29 "My 9" is broacasting Yankee games in HD this year. Welcome to the 21st sentury.
2007-04-18 09:27:53
40.   unpopster
I'm pretty confident that the Yanks will lose at least 2, if not all 3, games to the Sawx this upcoming weekend -- and I'm fine with it.

It's early. I just keep on looking at the calendar -- and feel this harsh weather -- and remember that the season is still in its infancy. Let the Sawx take the first three games against the yanks and let their obnoxious fans immediately proclaim the season ovah. It just makes the rest of the season taste that much sweeter...

I'm still feeling very good about this team. In fact, I'm pumped about this bullpen and very happy to see Alex Rodriguez finally play like, well, AROD!

2007-04-18 09:42:09
41.   C2Coke
39 I know, I noticed and was relieved that I won't have to clear my glassed each inning thinking the blurry vision was caused by dirty glasses. I am assuming the "welcome to the 21st century" was for "My 9"?
2007-04-18 09:45:31
42.   FingersCrossed
37I can see your point and JL25and3's.

But it's going to happen. It happens to the best of pitchers. It might even happen next month when he's back pitching at AA.

This should be something he learns to deal with rather than thinking maybe it won't happen if he can throw strikes all the time.
Of course, he should/must try to avoid getting knocked around at all cost, but that would be like a lesson half learned.

If he can't take a loss in an overmatched fight with no pressure to win, then I'd say he's too fragile even for his tender age -- ultimately no good for a position in the roster even as a #5.

I'm with you in that I also hope the kid hangs tough. As a matter of fact, that's all I ask. We haven't had a chance to really root for a young one this year, so him showing up (even as a spot starter) is very exciting to me.

2007-04-18 09:48:23
43.   jkay
41 It was for My 9. I thought the picture quality last night was better than YES-HD. In any case, the fuzz of pervious years will not be missed.
2007-04-18 09:51:31
44.   JL25and3
31 In 1975, 1976, and early 1977, Guidry was used almost exclusively in middle relief. He's put in a lot of bullpen time and pitched mostly in low-pressure situations before he became a full-time starter. Sitting in the bullpen also meant that he could learn about sliders from Sparky Lyle.

That's a much better way to use a young pitcher than throwing him into the cauldron. (cf. Weaver's Eighth Law)

2007-04-18 09:55:44
45.   YankeeInMichigan
38 Yes. I was cringing as Wright's pitch count was going up last night. Making it through 5 was key.

A couple of strong innings from Henn should come in handy against Cleveland's lefty-laden lineup. Yesterday's big lead allowed the Yanks to save Henn for today. The lead also allowed them to risk leaving Myers in against righties.

2007-04-18 10:18:57
46.   YankeeInMichigan
44 You're taking my comparison a bit too seriously. I was just groping for a cause for optimism.

Actually, Gator didn't have so many bullpen appearances, as Billy Martin's 10th pitcher was kind of like Joe Torre's 12th. Guidry had nine relief appearances, all mop-up situations (late innings, team way down) between July 27 and September 16, 1975, before making his first start on September 22. On May 20, 1976, he was called up and placed into a semi-preassure situation (2 on in the eighth, trailing Boston by 2) and punched himself a quick return ticket to Syracuse. He was recalled in August and had just 6 mop-up appearances. In 1977, he had 5 relief appearances before starting on April 29 and 1 more before joining the rotation for good on May 12.

So he did spend plenty of time "sitting in the bullpen." Is that where he learned Sparky's slider? I had always heard that it was at Spring Training in '77.

2007-04-19 09:27:34
47.   Kered Retej
I know I'm late to this conversation (played hooky from work and took my son to the Aquarium), but I wanted to throw in my $0.02.

I don't know anything more about Chase Wright than what I have read here, and I didn't get to see him pitch, but that has to be pretty cool. I have no baseball skills, but I'm a true baseball romantic, and I can't even being to imagine the feeling of being a young guy, never pitched above A ball before this year, and getting called up by the New York F'ing Yankees to pitch in Yankee F'ing Stadium. And then, to top it off, step off the plane and turn in 5 innings of solid work for a W. Even if he blows up in Fenway over the weekend, he gets to tell people for the rest of his life that he pitched for the New York Yankees. That's just awesome.

Makes me think of that line in "Bull Durham": Yeah, I was in the show. I was in the show for 21 days once - the 21 greatest days of my life. You know, you never handle your luggage in the show, somebody else carries your bags. It was great. You hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels all have room service, and the women all have long legs and brains.

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