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Tampa Bay Devil Rays: It's Now or Never Edition
2007-07-12 11:25
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Entering the second half of the season, the Yankees' record stands at 42-43, a game below .500. With 77 games left to play, they are tied with Toronto in second place in the AL East, 10 games behind Boston, and tied for fifth in the Wild Card race, 8.5 games behind the Indians (who were recently passed in the Central standings by the defending AL Champion Tigers).

Things look bad, and indeed they are, but 54 of those remaining 77 games will come against teams that currently have equal or worse records than the Yankees themselves. If the Yankees can simply break even in their 23 games against contending teams (say a 12-11 record in their remaining series against the Red Sox, Tigers, Indians, Angels, and Mariners), the fate of their season lies in their ability to take advantage of the cupcake portion of their second half schedule. If they win two of every three games (in other words, just win their series) against those weaker teams, the Yankees will finish the season 90-72. That might not be enough to make the playoffs as the Wild Card-leading Indians are on a 96-win pace, but if they can mix in a few sweeps and a few 3-out-of-4 series wins, they'll be right in the thick of it.

That said, it has to start tonight. It's now or never. Any sort of stumble against Tampa, Toronto, Kansas City, Baltimore, or the White Sox will put the final nail in the coffin currently containing the Yankees' season. Exactly half of those 54 games come in 27-game stretch that begins tonight in Tampa Bay. The only time the Yankees have to leave the eastern time zone during that 27-game stretch is for a four-game series in Kansas City in two weeks. If they can't play something in the neighborhood of .700 baseball over those 27 games, that last flickering ember of hope for this season will be extinguished.

The good news is that the Yankees ended the first half of the season on a positive note, taking five of seven from the Twins and Angels, a pair of winning teams ahead of them in the standings. What's more, Phil Hughes is on the comeback trail (he'll make a rehab start with double-A Trenton on Friday and, if that goes well, another on Wednesday). Hughes could replace Kei Igawa as the fifth starter by the end of the month, which would give him a couple major league starts before the Yankees hit the tough part of their second-half schedule in mid-August. At this point just about everything has to go right for the Yankees to even sniff the playoffs, but the opportunity exists for that to happen.

As for the Devil Rays, their much-hyped offense has been undermined by injuries to B. J. Upton and the Pavano-like Rocco Baldelli, the frightening emotional problems of Elijah Dukes, a disappointing rookie performance by top-prospect Delmon Young (.278/.308/.412), and surprisingly average performance by All-Star Carl Crawford (.285/.336/.445). Carlos Peña has been a revelation at first base (.287/.395/.609, 20 homers), Brendan Harris has been a pleasant surprise at shortstop (.310/.365/.463), and Bronx Banter favorite Jonny Johnson Gomes has been on fire since being recalled in mid-June (.333/.370/.679, 7 homers in 23 games), but it's not been enough.

The reason is that the Tampa Bay pitching has been on beyond awful. I mean, crazy irridiculous bad. The Devil Rays' team ERA of 5.82 is nearly a run worse than the third-worst staff mark in baseball (the Phillies' 4.95), and is just shy of three-quarters of a run worse than the second worst mark in baseball (the Rangers' 5.08). Mix the earned runs back in and the D-Rays have allowed 6.17 runs per game. Edwin Jackson has a 7.23 ERA on the season after 16 starts and remains the team's fourth starter. Who their fifth starter will be come Monday remains a mystery.

Exactly four Devil Rays pitchers, active or otherwise, have a 2007 ERA at or above league average: Emergent staff ace James Shields (tonight's starter), 23-year-old future-stud Scott Kazmir (who has been merely average this year due in large part to an alarming walk rate), veteran waiver-wire closer Al Reyes (currently on the DL), and righty reliever Juan Salas (currently serving a 50-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy). That's it. No one else who has played for the Devil Rays this year has posted an ERA below 5.00 (unless you count the scoreless inning tossed by infielder Josh Wilson).

It's no surprise, then, that the D-Rays are limping into the second half having lost 13 of their last 14 and 20 of their last 25. Like I said, if the Yankees can't beat up on teams like this, they might as well stop trying.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

2007 Record: 34-53 (.391)
2007 Pythagorean Record: 33-54 (.366)

Manager: Joe Maddon
General Manager: Andrew Friedman

Home Ballpark (2007 Park Factors): Tropicana Field (102/102)

Who's Replacing Whom?

Greg Norton (DL) replaces Rocco Baldelli (DL)
Jorge Cantu (minors) replaces B. J. Upton (DL) on the roster
Upton is replaced by Ty Wigginton at second base
Wigginton is replaced by Carlos Peña at first base
Dustan Mohr (minors) replaces Elijah Dukes (minors/inactive) on the roster
Dukes is replaced by Delmon Young in center field
Young is replaced by Jonny Gomes in right field
Josh Wilson replaces Ben Zobrist (minors) on the roster
Zobrist is replaced by Brendan Harris at shortstop
Raul Casanova (minors) replaces Josh Paul (DL)
Andy Sonnanstine (minors) replaces Jae Seo (minors)
Jason Hammel replaces Jae Kuk Ryu (minors)
Jay Witasick replaces Al Reyes (DL)
John Switzer (DL) replaces Ruddy Lugo
Juan Salas is serving a 50 game suspension for a performance enhancing drug violation

Opening Day Roster:

1B – Carlos Peña (L)
2B – Ty Wigginton (R)
SS – Brendan Harris (R)
3B – Akinori Iwamura (L)
C – Dioner Navarro(S)
RF – Jonny Gomes (R)
CF – Delmon Young (R)
LF – Carl Crawford (L)
DH – Greg Norton (S)

Bench:

R - Dustan Mohr (OF
R - Jorge Cantu (IF)
R - Josh Wilson (IF)
S - Raul Casanova (C)

Rotation:

R – James Shields
L – Scott Kazmir
R – Andy Sonnanstine
R – Edwin Jackson
L – Casey Fossum

Bullpen:

R – Shawn Camp
R – Brian Stokes
R – Gary Glover
R - Jason Hammel
L - John Switzer
R - Jay Witasick

Lineup:

L – Akinori Iwamura (3B)
L – Carl Crawford (CF)
R - Brendan Harris (SS)
L - Carlos Peña (1B)
R – Ty Wigginton (2B)
S - Greg Norton (DH)
R – Delmon Young (CF)
R - Jonny Gomes (RF)
S – Dioner Navarro (C)

15-day DL: R – B. J. Upton (R), R - Shawn Riggans (C), R - Al Reyes, R - Tim Corcoran
60-day DL: R – Rocco Baldelli (R), R - Josh Paul (C)

Restricted List: R – Juan Salas
Inactive List: R - Elijah Dukes (OF)

Comments (205)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-12 13:25:58
1.   Shaun P
Cliff, word is that BJ Upton returns tonight, and is scheduled to play CF (not sure who's roster spot he takes). My guess is that pushes Delmon to RF and Gomes to DH?

And to think that Gomes might have been available at the start of the year, when TB had 'depth' in the OF and he was in the minors. Dude can flat out rake.

2007-07-12 13:37:14
2.   ny2ca2dc
God, with pitching that bad, how do the Rays not trade Pena or Wiggy for something like Desalvo & some bullpen mediocrity... If David Price arrives next year (hmm), adding Desalvo to that rotation would give them something for the future...
2007-07-12 13:41:30
3.   Count Zero
0 "It's now or never."

Truer words were never spoken. If they don't win the first two series of the second half, they should start looking to trade Abreu and anyone else over 32 who isn't named Mo, Derek or Jorge...for position prospects.

If they do start hot however, I'm still betting Teixeira is wearing pinstripes before the deadline.

2007-07-12 13:43:08
4.   Andre
Is anyone else frustrated by the relative lack of realistic sounding trades for the Yanks? I love the trading deadline and wondering about who the Yanks will pick up for the 2nd half each year, but I'm not feeling anything credible on the way this year. On the other hand, maybe that's a good thing if it means Cash is planning a stealthy blockbuster. I guess I'm just looking for some other good trade rumors besides Teixeira.
2007-07-12 13:44:38
5.   Shaun P
2 Probably TB is banking on the youngsters (outside of Edwin Jackson) getting it together. And they have, outside of Price, another 3 young pitcher in AA/AAA (Niemann, Davis, and McGee). So they don't really need a DeSalvo type, though they could use bullpen help.
2007-07-12 13:49:56
6.   Jim Dean
4 "Those scrubs haven't earned a better team!"
2007-07-12 14:04:56
7.   Vandelay Industries
4 6

It is due to Brian Cashman's general view that many of our farm talent is better than it is. There is absolutely no reason why he cannot put a package together for Mark Texiera, and solve our 1B problems for years to come. Clearly, we will have to address 1B and C at some point soon. 1B being much more important that C right this second. If he doesn't put a deal together, we will have no power threat next season. Arod will either opt-out, or follow Boras' instructions and refuse to negotiate until seasons end--which is a bad bad move on his part, anything can happen between now and then. Boras willl find another Texas out there who will give him 5 years at 30 Mil. per., and the Yankees wont be that team. No player is worth 30 Mil., let alone 25 Mil. We are 10 games out with him having the best season of his career. He can hit 80 HR, and we still wont make the playoffs. 30 Mil. ummm, NO! Trade and sign Mark Texiera and be done with it. If Arod really wanted to stay, he would be taking Cashman's offer to negotiate now, so we have to plan on a 2008 without Arod. I like the guy, and any team is better with him, but its not a coincidece that he calls some of the most surly and selfish ball players his best friends.

2007-07-12 14:26:02
8.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Via D-Rays Bay on the sidebar:

"Though they had been rather firm in saying B.J. Upton would be back and starting in center field tonight, the Rays have decided to give him at least one more day. Upton will play for Vero Beach tonight at Dunedin, and the Rays apparently will go with a 24-man roster for the second-half opener."

2007-07-12 14:30:00
9.   Count Zero
7 "30 Mil. ummm, NO!"

I'll sort of buy that if you also would have refused to pay Clemens a pro-rated $24MM. But if you think Clemens is worth what we're paying him, then I would have to say that A-Rod is worth $30MM+ based on what each player provides to his team.

Just like anything else, a good or service is worth what the market is willing to pay for it. (Regardless of what you think an iPhone is actually worth, it is worth $500+ because millions of them are getting sold at that price right now.)

Scarcity is a tried and true economic principle. Right now, there is only one A-Rod...thus if you want him, you will have to pay whatever the market demands. That's not selfish on his part -- you and just about everyone else in the world would do the exact same thing in his position. If a company offered you $1MM in salary would you say "No thanks - I'm not worth that much and I like my current job for $100K." I think not... :-O

2007-07-12 14:31:16
10.   cult of basebaal
7 that ought to get things off and running nicely around here ... hmmm, where's my popcorn
2007-07-12 14:34:15
11.   Shaun P
8 That's what happens when I base my info on XM's Fantasy Focus, which was on at noon. =)

7 I think you overlooked that Scott Boras is also Mark Teixeira's agent, and any deal for Teixeira is also going to include a vary lucrative contract extension, as well as prospects given up to get him in the first place. Isn't that maybe equal to, or more costly, than paying A-Rod $30M a year? It certainly is if an extension can be worked out, given that Texas is still responsible for a chunk of A-Rod's contract going forward.

I also wouldn't fault A-Rod for acting in his own best interest, by refusing to negotiate with the Yanks for now. That's good negotiating tactics. Its like when Rivera talked in Spring Training about 'testing the waters' in free agency after this year.

2007-07-12 14:58:44
12.   ToyCannon
Why should Tampa trade back Pena to the team who dropped him so they could have Minky as their 1st baseman. In two years Desalvo wouldn't even come close to making the TB rotation. Tampa needs to look at the Yankee's as competitors not their farm team and giving away Pena for AAAA pitcher would not be in their best interests. The ERA numbers your quoting were before 2/5 of the rotation was replaced. They still stink but this will probably be the last 3 months they stink. As good as Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy are Price, McGee, Davis, and Neiman can match them. They don't need any minor league pitchers they need major league pitchers and the Yankee's barely have enough of those themselves.
2007-07-12 15:19:37
13.   cult of basebaal
If anyone's interested, over at River Ave Blues, they've got a link up that will allow you to watch Saturday's Trenton Thunder game online for free ...

need a reason to watch?

Joba's starting

2007-07-12 15:26:50
14.   yankz
7 Who else besides Bonds is Arod best friends with? You do know that in multiple recent interviews, Jeter has expressed great admiration for Barry too, right?

12 The end of that is just not true. Davis is in AA, and has a higher WHIP Kennedy and Chamberlain (.01 below Horne), who don't have as much pro experience as Davis. He can't even approach their K/9. McGee has struck a ton of guys out, but he's almost 21 in A+. Price hasn't thrown a professional pitch yet. For some reason I can't look up stats on Neiman.

Oh yeah, Phil Hughes, who IIRC just turned 21, was no-hitting the Texas Rangers (the ML ones).

2007-07-12 15:56:28
15.   standuptriple
I'd like to see the Yanks make Boras blink on A-Rod. Seriously, 7-8 more years? Nobody is going to pay $30M per. Not Boston and the Yanks shouldn't either. It seems to me that the Yanks are positioning themselves to let Alex walk (by offering to negotiate, which they never do during a season) because they know Boras is going to try and play the PR game. Well, the Yanks invented that game and since they have the biggest pockets they can and should use their muscle in this case. Give Boras an ultimatum. Sign at our fair price or we will publicly deny interest in each and every one of your clients from this point on. You think the guys he reps would stick around if that "got leaked"?
2007-07-12 16:12:02
16.   cult of basebaal
Lineup

Damon DH
Cabrera CF
Jeter SS
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui LF
Posada C
Abreu RF
Cano 2B
Phillips 1B

2007-07-12 16:32:12
17.   seamus
the all star break is over. Someone needs to send out an e-mail and let folks know. :)
2007-07-12 16:33:32
18.   seamus
damn, i thought that was dropping in.
2007-07-12 16:34:12
19.   cult of basebaal
i think people's arms are tired from all the horse flogging, too tired to type ...
2007-07-12 16:43:12
20.   seamus
ah. the ol' horse flogging problem. BUT THEY"RE MISSING ANDY PHILLIPS!!!
2007-07-12 16:44:48
21.   williamnyy23
Boy would that have been a great idea against Krod!
2007-07-12 16:44:51
22.   seamus
that was a beaut of a bunt!
2007-07-12 16:45:14
23.   seamus
and a crap of a steal.
2007-07-12 16:46:27
24.   alasky
Ian Kennedy...5 Ks in the first 2 innings. Pretty, pretty good...
2007-07-12 16:47:24
25.   Zack
Might be getting closer to time to get milb.tv
2007-07-12 16:52:22
26.   seamus
what you need is picture (mlb.tv) in picture (milb.tv).
2007-07-12 16:57:14
27.   seamus
what a shot! good job captain!

HA

2007-07-12 16:57:23
28.   Schteeve
Jeter got all of that one.
2007-07-12 16:58:43
29.   Zack
Is milb part of mlb? If so, they should make a joint package where you can get both deals...
2007-07-12 16:59:13
30.   seamus
HA!
2007-07-12 16:59:19
31.   tommyl
Um, wow, Alex is good.
2007-07-12 16:59:24
32.   Zack
Wowza, back to back shots
2007-07-12 16:59:36
33.   Schteeve
Now or never motherlovers. Now or never!
2007-07-12 16:59:53
34.   yankz
26 Ah, the joy of Firefox...if I'm thinking what you're thinking, you can indeed do a sort of PIP (split your browser, so you can surf on the right, watch on the left, or top, or bottom, etc.)

YAY! CAPTAIN AND A-GOD!

2007-07-12 17:00:59
35.   BklynBmr
33 That's the rallying cry for every game from here on out!
2007-07-12 17:01:41
36.   OldYanksFan
It's been a while since I remember back 3 back Jacks. First time this year?
2007-07-12 17:01:59
37.   matt nokes forever
FYI... I stopped down at the Staten Island Yankees afternoon game today to catch Karstens first rehab start, and it was solid... 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER (solo homer off a high fastball that was probably his only mistake), 8 K, 0 BB and 66 pitches... Not too bad even if it was against some Low A ball competition... Hughes threw a bullpen session last night in SI and the two are driving down to Trenton today for some more work... I know he's not the savior, but he could probably hold down the fort for a while in the 5th starter spot so that they don't have to rush along Hughes... It was promising...
2007-07-12 17:02:01
38.   yankz
10 years ago, that would've been grounds for a sleepover.
2007-07-12 17:03:21
39.   OldYanksFan
ummmm... that's 2 not 3.
2007-07-12 17:03:31
40.   tommyl
36 Not against us, that's for sure.
2007-07-12 17:04:19
41.   BklynBmr
The Bronx Bombers!
2007-07-12 17:05:11
42.   Schteeve
Is that Chase Wright?
2007-07-12 17:06:00
43.   BklynBmr
42 Easy now ;-)
2007-07-12 17:08:36
44.   williamnyy23
Pettitte has developed the worrisome habit of letting in what the offense gets. Hopefully, it doesn't continue.
2007-07-12 17:11:42
45.   tommyl
Argh, here goes Andy starting to suck again.
2007-07-12 17:14:24
46.   matt nokes forever
Jesus... we can't just get out to a comfortable lead and cruise can we? C'mon Andy...
2007-07-12 17:15:39
47.   BklynBmr
44 Haven't checked the stats, but it seemed to start just around the time he questioned the desire of a few certian somebodies...
2007-07-12 17:23:46
48.   Schteeve
It's pretty quiet around here, no?
2007-07-12 17:24:58
49.   matt nokes forever
48 It's the Devil Rays.
2007-07-12 17:26:01
50.   Schteeve
is Pettitte's pitch count like 700?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-12 17:26:50
51.   Schteeve
49 Yeah but it's now or never motherlover! Now or never!
2007-07-12 17:29:53
52.   williamnyy23
47 It's been more wide spread than that. Pettitte has really had a poor season. His peripheral numbers have been weak all year and his ERA is finally catching up. He has also proven to be the anti-Jack Morris (Teams scores 1 he gives up 2; team scores 5 he gives up 6). He has escaped scrutiny because of his reputation and a little smoke and mirrors, but I think you have to be concerned about him going forward.
2007-07-12 17:30:02
53.   Jim Dean
Brett Gardner got called up to Scranton today. I'd be happy to call him a prospect in spite of all my bluster about the Yanks having no position prospects. Problem is: Where would he ever play? Unless they're thinking Melky could be a RF, which would leave a seriously underpowered OF, there's just no place for him on the club except in Kevin Thompson's "role".

So I wonder if they're showcasing him for Texas. They need a CF and a pitcher like Kennedy and Melky/Gardner plus another prospect could be enough to get Tex (even as I'm lukewarm about the prospect).

2007-07-12 17:31:27
54.   Schteeve
I think Brett Gardner will be something like Scott Podsednik as a major leaguer.
2007-07-12 17:32:37
55.   tommyl
Great AB there from Phillips.
2007-07-12 17:33:02
56.   matt nokes forever
54 Only with less pop in his bat...
2007-07-12 17:34:51
57.   tommyl
And that is the best hitting we've seen from Damon in a longtime. He's getting close to Womackian on the year.
2007-07-12 17:37:05
58.   matt nokes forever
Some more RBI's for the captain?
2007-07-12 17:38:07
59.   monkeypants
Where was the 3B on that Damon blast?
2007-07-12 17:38:48
60.   matt nokes forever
BTW... thank you YES network bc I thought we weren't going to make it through the AB w/o seeing the replay of his only grannie...
2007-07-12 17:39:28
61.   yankz
At some point, aren't all the GIDPs coincidence?
2007-07-12 17:39:55
62.   monkeypants
That's scoring one the hard way.
2007-07-12 17:39:59
63.   matt nokes forever
61 Or an act of god?
2007-07-12 17:40:24
64.   OldYanksFan
Well.... that was shitty.
2007-07-12 17:40:27
65.   yankz
63 Well, A-God did say their relationship has cooled.
2007-07-12 17:41:13
66.   williamnyy23
Letting the D-Rays hang around...not good.

Melky has become an excellent bunter...unfortunately, everytime he lays one down, I am going to think about the game against the Angels and why Torre didn't think to squeeze.

2007-07-12 17:41:17
67.   matt nokes forever
65 As well as their hitting with RISP... ugh... one run with bases loaded and no out with captain and a-god... blah
2007-07-12 17:43:32
68.   yankz
Tony Womack 2005: .249/.276/.280 (Good god...)
Johnny Damon 2007: .245/.339/.344

So, he's got a ways to go.

2007-07-12 17:44:11
69.   yankz
66 Him becoming an excellent bunter might not be a good thing. I can see him pulling a Jeter and bunting left and right in totally inappropriate situations.
2007-07-12 17:44:36
70.   Schteeve
If A-Rod doesn't win the MVP, I'm gonna set myself on fire.
2007-07-12 17:45:12
71.   williamnyy23
68 Tony Womack is in a class by himself. He was, as Suzyn Waldman was fond of saying, the fastest man Joe Torre ever managed.
2007-07-12 17:45:55
72.   tommyl
68 Yes, but what if you take out April? I'm pretty sure then his line is right about there.
2007-07-12 17:46:33
73.   Jim Dean
54 56 Advice: Research before you type. :)

Career mL numbers:
Podsednik: .265 .344 .347 - 2772 AB
Gardner: .293 .388 .372 - 731 AB (up to 2006)
- 2007: .300 .392 .419 - 200 AB

And Garner is 1.5 years ahead of Podsednik's pace. He's hitting AAA in the middle of his year 24. Oh, and Gardner's has a better SB rate -

Podsednik: 190 SB 65 CS (750 G)
Gardner: 95 SB 19 CS (245 G)

2007-07-12 17:47:45
74.   OldYanksFan
I think the Yankees will make a run for the PS. I haven't heard anything in particular... there's no new evidence.... I just have a gut feeling.
2007-07-12 17:48:10
75.   Schteeve
73 I've researched Gardner. I really want to like him. I like speedy toolsy guys like him. But even if he's a few ticks better than Podsednick so what. Podsednick is terrible.
2007-07-12 17:49:14
76.   Schteeve
Christmas comes early for Hideki.
2007-07-12 17:50:23
77.   monkeypants
Rays' OF makes the Yanks' OF look stellar.
2007-07-12 17:50:51
78.   Schteeve
73 Though I will admit I was unaware of his improved SLGing in 2007.
2007-07-12 17:51:09
79.   Jim Dean
75 I think I bash so as to not get excited. And well, the Yanks have needed other position prospects for a few years now.

But look at Gardner's 2007 line. If he's still developing power and he's got that speed, he's a good bit more valuable than Podsednik. Indeed, he could be more valuable than Melky.

2007-07-12 17:52:17
80.   Jim Dean
78 "I've researched Gardner" - except recently :)
2007-07-12 17:52:38
81.   Schteeve
79 I sincerely hope you're right. Because I never know what to make of Matsui.
2007-07-12 17:53:11
82.   Jim Dean
Toronto's coming back in Boston - 5 to 4.
2007-07-12 17:53:36
83.   Schteeve
80 :) No one will ever accuse you of not being gracious when someone else admits their error, right?
2007-07-12 17:53:57
84.   OldYanksFan
81 Think of him as selling a lot of T-Shirts in Japan.
2007-07-12 17:54:51
85.   Jim Dean
83 Nah, never.
2007-07-12 18:00:55
86.   Shaun P
It seems that the AL is catching up to Jamie Shields. Now let's see if he can re-adjust.

75 79 Gardner, especially with a bit of pop, could be a fine 4th OF/spot starter, as Melky seems to have claimed the CF job. Can you imagine the Yanks paying two out of 4 OFs less than a million bucks? The last time that happened, best I can tell, was '95 when Bernie and Gerald both made well under $1M.

2007-07-12 18:00:59
87.   Jim Dean
Kennedy with 3 H 0 ER 0 BB and 7 K through 6 IP
2007-07-12 18:03:55
88.   seamus
gotta love that melky delivery!
2007-07-12 18:04:06
89.   Schteeve
Fuckin' A! Melky.
2007-07-12 18:04:06
90.   seamus
HA!
2007-07-12 18:04:42
91.   seamus
and yes, I did fall asleep for two innings. literally.
2007-07-12 18:04:49
92.   Jim Dean
86 I think they'd have to trade one of them - unless Melky starts to hit for more power. With that cannon he'd be a heck of a RF. But that would be a hell of risk trusting that job to him for next year. Still he's SLGing .514 in July and he's 22. He could still turn into an Abreu 3/4/5 type.
2007-07-12 18:05:40
93.   Jim Dean
As I typed, what happened with Melky?
2007-07-12 18:05:44
94.   Hocakes
Please Andy, don't stop pitching.
2007-07-12 18:05:59
95.   Schteeve
Bad throw Melky.
2007-07-12 18:07:10
96.   Schteeve
Melky made a great catch in deep center to rob Pena of at least a RBI double.

But on the next batter, he fielded a single in shallow center, and some dude was trying to go first to third, and Melky made a weak throw to A-Rod at third.

2007-07-12 18:08:36
97.   williamnyy23
96 The throw was strong; it was the decision that may have been weak. I'm not sure though...they had a great shot at Harris.
2007-07-12 18:09:24
98.   Schteeve
97 The throw one hopped A-Rod.
2007-07-12 18:09:29
99.   williamnyy23
Not a good start for Andy...he is going to have to pitch much better if the Yankees are going to make a comeback.
2007-07-12 18:10:18
100.   williamnyy23
98 Why does that make it a bad throw? One hop on the bag is pretty good. He was safe by an eyelash.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-12 18:11:10
101.   monkeypants
98 I don't know, it was right on line and the runner was only just safe. Pretty good throw, I thought, though obviously not perfect.
2007-07-12 18:14:32
102.   Schteeve
100 The way I saw it, if he had not one hopped it, A-Rod would have had a chance to make a tag lower on the leg.
2007-07-12 18:16:34
103.   matt nokes forever
102 I didn't see it, but that doesn't exactly make it sound like it would have been a sure out if it reached on a fly.
2007-07-12 18:17:33
104.   Schteeve
103 Ok, cool.
2007-07-12 18:21:56
105.   williamnyy23
Navarro has an OPS+ of 30...he would be a big upgrade over Nieves. Scary.
2007-07-12 18:22:57
106.   seamus
99 we're winning by three runs. Holding the lead IS good enough and much better than his last two starts.
2007-07-12 18:24:12
107.   Schteeve
106 Andy gave up 3 runs in 5 2/3. That's an ERA of more than 4.5. That's not gonna get it done.
2007-07-12 18:24:57
108.   OldYanksFan
106 Andy was hit hard. We caught some luck. I can't say I am impressed with his start. But, yes, I guess it wasn't as bad as his last.
2007-07-12 18:26:23
109.   williamnyy23
Vizcaino for gold glove!
2007-07-12 18:26:45
110.   matt nokes forever
108 Look, if we walk away with a win, then the night's a success... but it's kinda sad that Andy was dodging bullets from putrid Tampa Bay and we have to sit here and say well at least it wasn't as bad as the last time he took the hill.
2007-07-12 18:27:07
111.   seamus
Viz has looked real good of late. (knocks on wood)
2007-07-12 18:28:46
112.   williamnyy23
106 It's good enough against the D-Rays tonight, but he didn't pitch well. If he gives that effort against just about any other team, it might be a different story.
2007-07-12 18:29:31
113.   matt nokes forever
107 112 Exactly.
2007-07-12 18:29:57
114.   williamnyy23
111 Hopefully, Joe doesn't use that as a green light to run him out there every game.
2007-07-12 18:32:00
115.   cult of basebaal
more runs, i want an edwar sighting ... course, with 3 days off, EDSP HAS to pitch tonite, i imagine ...
2007-07-12 18:32:49
116.   matt nokes forever
115 He was out of options or they would have shipped him to the minors during the break for some extra work.
2007-07-12 18:33:39
117.   williamnyy23
115 No Maas had a great picture of EDSP enjoying his time off.
2007-07-12 18:34:43
118.   OldYanksFan
Good tag-up by ARod
2007-07-12 18:34:55
119.   cult of basebaal
116 really? he's never been up to the bigs before and this is only his 4th year in pro ball ...
2007-07-12 18:35:39
120.   cult of basebaal
115 was he running up mountains with logs on his back all Rocky IV like?
2007-07-12 18:35:55
121.   Shaun P
C'mon Jorgie, at least get the ball in the air so A-Rod can score.

116 Do we know for sure that it was Karstens who pitched for Staten Island today? It wouldn't surprise me if EDSP paid the kid so he could pitch in his place.

2007-07-12 18:36:18
122.   Schteeve
I can't believe Alex is 5 away from 500. Sosa was what, 35 when he got 500? At age 38 Bonds was at just more than 600.

Incredible.

2007-07-12 18:36:26
123.   cult of basebaal
oh, you meant EDSP ... never mind ...
2007-07-12 18:37:21
124.   cult of basebaal
wow ... the devil fishies have a never ending cavalcade of bullpen suck
2007-07-12 18:39:15
125.   matt nokes forever
121 If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would believe the EDSP bribe... someone needs to stop the madness...
2007-07-12 18:39:21
126.   Schteeve
That was a terrible Strike one call on Jorge.
2007-07-12 18:39:52
127.   matt nokes forever
123 Sorry, I should have specified.
2007-07-12 18:42:05
128.   RIYank
Yo.

It's fun to play against a team with a worse bullpen than ours.

2007-07-12 18:44:45
129.   matt nokes forever
Nice baserunning by Hip-Hip-Jorge! First to third on an infield butcher job...
2007-07-12 18:45:21
130.   Schteeve
Nice game for Bobby.
2007-07-12 18:45:24
131.   williamnyy23
Why is Cano so bad with men on 3rd and less than 2 outs!
2007-07-12 18:46:45
132.   Schteeve
Actually, nice june and July for Bobby.
2007-07-12 18:46:52
133.   RIYank
131 Is he?
2007-07-12 18:46:57
134.   Jim Dean
Someone really needs to get on Cano about working the count. If that's Rickey's job as a hitting coach, he'll be fantastic.
2007-07-12 18:47:48
135.   Schteeve
131 Because once a guy gets to third, Robby goes out to the Dominican clubs in Queens, and gets shitfaced, and then he's too drunk to hit. Peter Abraham had a post about it.
2007-07-12 18:47:57
136.   Jim Dean
131 He's said he's pressing. And that AB shows the same thing.
2007-07-12 18:48:09
137.   matt nokes forever
131 Is that to assume that the man-on-third-less-than-two-outs situation is the only one that Robbie is horrible in? I think not... And it won't get any better until he develops a semblance of a sense of the strike zone... No discipline...
2007-07-12 18:50:06
138.   williamnyy23
133 I'm not sure of the out variable, but he has been bad with --3, -23 and 123, but good with 1-3.
2007-07-12 18:51:07
139.   williamnyy23
Good to see Farnsworth didn't let the All Star break effect him.
2007-07-12 18:51:23
140.   matt nokes forever
Enter Kombustable Kyle... greeeeeeeeeeeeeat...
2007-07-12 18:51:31
141.   williamnyy23
139 And that Joe Torre didn't forget he's the "8th inning guy".
2007-07-12 18:51:37
142.   RIYank
134 Uh. Cano is being traded to the Mets??
2007-07-12 18:51:48
143.   OldYanksFan
The stat is about 3 weeks old but at that time Cano had more RBI opps then any other Yankee. His RISP numbers are terrible, currently: 98 abs .214 .255 .347 .602 (Womackian)
2007-07-12 18:52:34
144.   Max
131 I think I actually hate watching Cano more than I ever did Soriano at his flailing-at-sliders worst.

When he's slamming one double after the other, it's wonderful...but more often, it's this impatient, first-pitch-swinging, rally-killing BS.

Krazy Kyle sighting!!

2007-07-12 18:52:40
145.   williamnyy23
LET CRAWFORD STEAL...throw strikes!
2007-07-12 18:52:48
146.   RIYank
138 Okay, yeah, I'm looking at the same thing. That's weird. It strongly suggests (to me) that it's a coincidence and not meaningful. Don't you think?
2007-07-12 18:52:55
147.   tommyl
To: Joe Torre
From: The entire world with eyes
Re: Kyle Farnsworth

He sucks

2007-07-12 18:54:51
148.   williamnyy23
146 Perhaps...but he has always underperformed with the bases loaded and RISP, so maybe not.
2007-07-12 18:55:34
149.   matt nokes forever
147 Can we actually forward that to him?
2007-07-12 18:55:37
150.   RIYank
Hm. If they're showcasing Farns, it's not working.
And if they aren't, it's not working.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-12 18:56:34
151.   williamnyy23
147 When does Torre wake up to the obvious. I don't want to go all Jim Dean on Torre (although it's how I feel), but his formulaic approach is seriously detrimental to the team. Either Farnsworht blows the game or Mariano is forced to pitch in the 8th.
2007-07-12 18:56:47
152.   tommyl
149 Worked for the Mariners fans.

Maybe, PeteAbe can do a readers questions session with Kyle. Every question can be: Are you aware that you suck?

2007-07-12 18:56:50
153.   RIYank
148 True. And I believe league-average with bases loaded is quite high, so Robbie's worse than the stats would appear, even.
2007-07-12 18:56:55
154.   matt nokes forever
What do you think Guidry is saying right now to Kyle?... "Kyle, throw the motherfucking ball over the motherfucking plate and don't let them hit it. How fucking complicated is that?! And take off those stupid fucking glasses, too."
2007-07-12 18:58:07
155.   williamnyy23
154 I would pay to hear Gator use language like that!
2007-07-12 18:59:03
156.   williamnyy23
Kyle lives to blow another game!
2007-07-12 18:59:35
157.   seamus
where did that come from? Farns, where ya been hiding.
2007-07-12 19:00:05
158.   RIYank
Attaboy.
You just know the D-Rays would love to get Kyle in their bullpen now. Maybe we could pick up, like, 125% of his salary and take Baldelli for him?
2007-07-12 19:00:09
159.   seamus
154 i like his glasses.
2007-07-12 19:00:24
160.   Jim Dean
154 I honestly think he'd respond to that. The Yanks have had two low key pitching coaches. But I bet he of all people on the team would respond to someone challenging his manhood.

And then the ball would burst into flames.

2007-07-12 19:02:08
161.   williamnyy23
160 You'd have to be brave to say that to his face though. I know I wouldn't mention any of things I've said about him to his face.
2007-07-12 19:02:23
162.   RIYank
Who was warming up while Kyle was throwing? Any chance of a No-D ninth?
2007-07-12 19:02:43
163.   williamnyy23
Mariano was...now Myers is warming up.
2007-07-12 19:03:20
164.   matt nokes forever
159 Only Edwar can pull off glasses like that at night.
2007-07-12 19:04:22
165.   williamnyy23
If Melky gets a little stronger, he just might be something. It seems like he hits a lot of balls hard, but he just doesn't have the muscle to make them carry...at least he doesn't yet.
2007-07-12 19:04:40
166.   RIYank
Oh, good, Myers.
They're definitely shopping Myers, right? Some NL team is interested in him.
2007-07-12 19:05:08
167.   matt nokes forever
163 Mo's still throwing.
2007-07-12 19:07:26
168.   williamnyy23
I wonder what Chris Britton thinks when he returns to his hotel room at night?
2007-07-12 19:09:23
169.   matt nokes forever
168 "Donuts... mmmmmm."
2007-07-12 19:10:31
170.   tommyl
Good thinking Johny. Take that bat out of A-Rod's hands.
2007-07-12 19:10:43
171.   williamnyy23
What a silly time to attempt a steal.

167 Sure enough...Mo is still throwing. I guess that's not a suprise as 14 of Mo's 33 games have come in games in which the team was either ahead or behind by 4 runs. Even in a win, Joe finds multiple ways to frustrate me.

2007-07-12 19:11:55
172.   tommyl
166 Probably not, because in the NL people care about things like benches and usually don't waste roster spots on 1 batter pitchers as much.
2007-07-12 19:15:07
173.   rockymtnyankee
I had to laugh when the Devil Rays' announcers talked about the "switch-hitting Casanova"
2007-07-12 19:15:09
174.   rockymtnyankee
I had to laugh when the Devil Rays' announcers talked about the "switch-hitting Casanova"
2007-07-12 19:15:10
175.   tommyl
Well at least Mo is still awesome.
2007-07-12 19:15:16
176.   RIYank
I must say that I find it hard to complain about a Rivera appearance. Just aesthetically speaking.
2007-07-12 19:15:42
177.   matt nokes forever
At least we know that Mo's still got it... can we talk about contract extensions with him and Hip-Hip while we're trying to slip Boras a roofie and con an A-Rod mulit-year deal?
2007-07-12 19:15:45
178.   Jim Dean
1 down - 55 to go.
2007-07-12 19:16:22
179.   Jim Dean
174 Nice.
2007-07-12 19:18:19
180.   yankz
168 "Gotta get those pictures from Cairo."

Eh, I've used that one before.

2007-07-12 19:18:27
181.   tommyl
177 Well Posada has said that he wants to be a free agent, no matter what. I wonder if with Joe leaving, Posada and Rivera would consider going somewhere else. We'd be dead without Posada next year and I can't bear to think of Mo in any other uniform.
2007-07-12 19:19:01
182.   williamnyy23
Adam Miller versus Felix...a nice bedtime story...especially because the Yankees will gain a game on someone.
2007-07-12 19:19:26
183.   Max
171 Isn't some of that accounted for by the rust that Mo has accumulated from so few opportunities to protect a lead? In other words, Torre looking for opportunities to get him work.

I'm not defending Torre at all in this case, but it seems to me the coaches decided that rust was more detrimental than pitching in meaningless situations in order to get work...especially given the rough start Mo had.

I do agree that there are times that Mo is simply trotted out there illogically instead of the deadwood that should get time in a blowout (Henn etc).

2007-07-12 19:20:00
184.   tommyl
I'm fine with sticking with Viz for a bit. He's got a track record of at least being average, but Kyle is just bad. He's been bad basically everywhere, every year. Yes he has great "stuff" but he can't command it, control it and he has the brains of a monkey.
2007-07-12 19:20:06
185.   williamnyy23
181 If that happens, maybe the entire team can opt out and take a year off.
2007-07-12 19:20:13
186.   matt nokes forever
181 You're not ready to turn the reins over to Wil?
2007-07-12 19:21:19
187.   RIYank
Hey, so, who is the fifth TB starter, now that Fossum is in the bullpen?
2007-07-12 19:21:58
188.   OldYanksFan
184 Yes but next to humans, aren't monkey's the smartest animal?
2007-07-12 19:22:53
189.   tommyl
186 Only if Miguel Cairo can be my starting first basemen and Kei Igawa starts every game since the Japanese are "durable."
2007-07-12 19:24:31
190.   williamnyy23
183 I think the rust argument was valid early in the season, but at this point, I think you can/should save Mo for high leverage situations.

Also, to illustrate the point, consider the recent roadtrip: After pitching June 22, Mo is held out of two close extra inning/9th inning tie games on June 23 and June 26, but pitches with the team down 4-0 on June 27. He wouldn't have need to get work on 6/27 if he had been used when the Yankees desperately needed him in the other two games.

2007-07-12 19:24:55
191.   tommyl
Btw, as bad as our team has been at least we're not Rays fans. Yeesh.
2007-07-12 19:39:47
192.   matt nokes forever
189 Can we have a pitching staff of just two then... Kei and EDSP?

191 There are actual Rays fans? I just thought those ppl in the stands that weren't wearing Yankee hats were paid employees.

2007-07-12 20:17:38
193.   tommyl
192 Why use EDSP when we can have Krazy Kyle close for us?
2007-07-12 20:55:39
194.   matt nokes forever
193 BC he can only pitch every other day and only one inning at a time in order to save his fragile psyche... so we should go with Bionic Scott as our relief corp. Can we keep Minky too?
2007-07-12 21:37:26
195.   tommyl
194 No, everyone no Miguel Cairo is the starting first basemen.

On a serious note, if the Yankees bench Andy Phillips for Shea Hillebrand then I believe the entire front office should be fired.

2007-07-12 21:37:52
196.   tommyl
195 Ok, its late, that should read: No, everyone knows...
2007-07-12 21:40:29
197.   tommyl
Woah, Ortiz has a torn meniscus? Anyone know about this?
2007-07-12 22:10:12
198.   yankz
197 Isn't that the bottom curve formed when a liquid clings to the sides of its container?
2007-07-12 22:10:48
199.   yankz
197 And if so, this is totally Rocky 6 when "The Line" breaks his hand. This is the chance. "Now or never, motherlovers!" HA!
2007-07-12 22:30:13
200.   yankz
"Boston's second half started with a victory and the news that David Ortiz has been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee since last summer.

The Red Sox slugger spoke about the injury following Thursday's 7-4 victory over Toronto, the first game back from an All-Star break that began with Boston holding baseball's best record.

Ortiz stated he isn't concerned because of no swelling in the knee, revealing he suffered the injury last season at Yankee Stadium after getting tangled in netting around the batting cage."

The sea creature jokes write themselves.
He's having an MRI Thursday.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-07-13 04:28:23
201.   RIYank
200
The sea creature jokes write themselves.

I understand that Lugo may need surgery to remove a hook embedded in his cheek.

He's having an MRI Thursday.

That's what the Red Sox have instead of Casual Friday.

But seriously, folks, I'll be here all week...

2007-07-13 04:33:35
202.   OldYanksFan
"Last night, Ortiz notched his third multi-hit game in his last four contests. He has gone 9-for-18, with three doubles, a homer, five RBI and eight runs scored over his past five games."

Jeez... with all his injuries, maybe JD needs a torn meniscus too.

2007-07-13 06:31:04
203.   Shaun P
The Boston ABC affiliate felt Papi's knee was such big news, they had a reporter outside of Fenway Park live at 7AM to discuss the situation. Apparently, Papi has decided to wait until the offseason to have surgery.

202 Perhaps, but Papi's power isn't there like it used to be. Its taken him from "otherworldly" to merely "great".

Is this the cue for some of our resident Red Sox posters (Beth, ric, and debris among others) to re-appear?

2007-07-13 06:42:07
204.   Jim Dean
203 Let the short quick decline begin. Mo Vaughn is waiting.
2007-07-13 06:49:58
205.   JL25and3
200 You mean like: try to catch that big one, but for god's sake don't hurt the dolphins!

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