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Yankee Panky # 21: The Joba Chronicles
2007-08-22 09:23
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

We are learning more about Joba Chamberlain every day. At first, the stories ranged from, "What kind of a name is Joba?" to tracing the line of Yankees with Native American ancestry (those of you proposed the "Superchief 2" nickname last week, nice call).

Tyler Kepner informed us yesterday of the special relationship Chamberlain has with his father, who contracted polio as a child and is sometimes relegated to a wheelchair. We’ve surmised through various television interviews that he has a competitive drive with a demeanor that leads us to wonder whether he’s oblivious to the fact that he tore through three minor-league levels and is succeeding in baseball’s grandest league and with its most hallowed franchise. We’ve seen that his Clemensish body produces Clemensish pitches.

We've learned other things, too. For example, there are rules for Chamberlain’s usage. He will not pitch on consecutive days. Joe Torre won’t summon Chamberlain in the middle of an inning. We've learned that the plan is still for him to be a starter next season, but with many comparisons of Chamberlain's ascent to that of Bobby Jenks in 2005 and Jonathan Papelbon in '06 — and verbal comparisons to the 1995-96 edition of Mariano Rivera — that the Yankees would be wise to at least consider Chamberlain to succeed Rivera as the Yankees' closer.

The way he has captured our attention is not unlike the means Shane Spencer made an all-time season even better in 1998. His once-in-a-lifetime September that featured 10 home runs, including three grand slams, 27 RBIs and a silly .910 slugging percentage, led Torre to add his righty power bat to the postseason roster, where he played a role in the Yankees’ first-round sweep of the Texas Rangers. But Spencer never recaptured the ’98 magic. He shuttled back and forth between the majors and minors for the next four seasons. He did participate in more memorable Yankee moments — he started the relay that became the Derek Jeter “flip” play in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS at Oakland — but his utility was limited. His batting average was 77 points lower versus righties (.239, as opposed to .316 vs. lefties), and when given every possible chance to win the everyday right-field job after Paul O’Neill’s retirement, he could not follow through.

Stories like Spencer's and Chamberlain's got me thinking about an old media trick: building up the “Cinderella story, out of nowhere,” and offering us every possible bit of information we could consume about the player. Murray Chass compared the effects of the Red Sox’ latest bullpen acquisition — the Quebecois Jon Favreau look-alike — to the Big Nebraskan's effect on the Yankees. (I'll cut Mr. Chass some slack; he probably didn't read this blog or our discussion on that topic last week.)

At what point is it too much hype? Will it cause the guy to crack? I don’t believe this will happen, given what I’ve seen from Chamberlain, but the name Rick Ankiel continues to pop into my mind. The buzz surrounding Ankiel as the Cardinals’ next great young pitcher in 2000 was enormous, and on a national stage, he turned into Nuke LaLoosh when he stopped breathing out of his eyelids. Luckily, and perhaps remarkably, Ankiel proved to be an excellent hitter and had a fallback option, having worked his way back to the big leagues as an outfielder.

Do you object to this kind of buildup of 20- and 21-year-olds? There is no such thing as a sure thing, so why present Joba Chamberlain, or anyone, for that matter, in such a light, regardless of whether or not it sells papers? I ask you: Do you want to read these stories for the hero buildup, to learn more about him as a person, or to learn more about him as a ballplayer?

The crapshoot element of Chamberlain’s short- and long-term success was echoed in last week’s comments. If he is lightning in a bottle, then as fans, we should make like the Metallica album and ride the lightning. It’s not as if we haven’t done that before.

HOLY @#%! THE YANKEES COULD WIN THE DIVISION
As recently as two weeks ago, when the Yankees were in the middle of their third win streak of at least four games since the All-Star break, it still seemed as if they needed to sweep their final six meetings with the Red Sox to have a chance at winning an unprecedented — for the American League, at least — 10th consecutive division crown. Now, it doesn’t look that way. They still most likely need to win four of six.

I’ve discussed this matter with our fearless Bronx Banter leader, Alex Belth, and we agree that the next six games will determine what the Yankees need to do against the BoSox. How the Yankees fare against the Angels From a City and County South of Los Angeles and the Tigers, coupled with the Red Sox’ results against the Devil Rays and Chicago White Sox featuring LOOGY extraordinaire, Mike Myers, will also determine how the media feed the monster.

What to watch: If the Yankees go on another victory run and the Red Sox’ sub-.500 opponents dutifully play spoiler, as early as this Friday or Saturday, ESPN, the national outlets, and certainly all the New York and Boston media outlets will go bats—t crazy promoting next week’s series in the Bronx. Should both teams keep winning or the series begins with the Sox holding a five-game lead or more, the pre-series commentary will be more tepid. If the Yankees tank, the Sox soar and the Yankees’ deficit is, say, eight games or more, the tone will be how the series in New York is basically the season for the Yankees, and the Red Sox’ chance to put the division away. As long as the Mariners continue to pad their win streak, the portrayal of the series for the Yankees will be that much more dramatic.

RANDOM FEATURE THAT I SHOULD HAVE SEEN BY NOW…
NYTimes.com’s “Bats,” where ace scribes like the aforementioned Kepner, Mets beat man Ben Shpigel and columnist Jack Curry give a different take on the two local ball clubs through their clubhouse observations and interviews. In this latest edition, Kepner interviews ex-Yankee reliever C.J. Nitkowski, who is playing in Japan this year and periodically answered e-mail questions throughout the year. Why am I passing this along to you? To borrow a phrase from high school global studies, it's cultural diffusion, yo.

If you’re curious about some of the Jamie Quirks of Japanese baseball, Nitkowski has some enlightening comments. And the repartee regarding Sadaharu Oh’s reaction to Barry Bonds hitting No. 756 is very interesting.

MORE FROM THE TIMES
A great interactive feature from Kepner with Mike Mussina on the art of pitching, featuring multimedia representations of how Mussina would pitch to David Ortíz and Vlad Guerrero, plus the evolution of the strike zone and how he grips many of his pitches. This is tremendous stuff for any baseball fan, and would be even better if the number of runs scored wasn't greater than the number of outs recorded in many of Mussina's recent starts.

I also found the feature amusing, because I can recall countless occasions, either in pregame or postgame interviews with Mussina where Kepner would ask a question about his mechanics or his arm slot or his pitching approach, and Mussina would smirk, chuckle and sarcastically say, “I’m not telling you that.”

Until next week …

Comments (83)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-08-22 09:47:59
1.   Zack
I think that middle section, based on the last two days, might need to be updated now. Sigh...
2007-08-22 09:49:17
2.   yankz
1 I like it the way it is.

;(

2007-08-22 09:59:56
3.   ny2ca2dc
1 Nah. Win today and take 3 of 4 from the tigers, and that's 4-3 for the week. that's still wildcard territory, even without killing Boston.
2007-08-22 10:00:54
4.   ny2ca2dc
3 As I've just again proven myself a moron. Ignore #3 ...
2007-08-22 10:24:30
5.   Orly Yarly NoWai
I'm glad we chose to ride the lightning and let Gagne rust in peace.
2007-08-22 10:26:57
6.   C2Coke
I don't know about the buildup, but I liked the few moments when the YES camera focused on Joba.

A few days back, after he pitched his inning and went back to the dugout. He went straight to Clemens and Jeter sitting together, he poked his head in between them like a little kid asking for candies after a good performance. And the Rocket padded him like a son.

And then there was yesterday, the camera showed Joba sitting in the bullpen tossing and flipping his cap.

I think of those moments more like the real side of the players.

2007-08-22 10:32:22
7.   hensley
Twins up 5-0 in the 1st. At least there's that.
2007-08-22 10:43:18
8.   thelarmis
5 nice! now, let's hope the Yankees leave us in a State of Euphoria! : )
2007-08-22 10:44:09
9.   thelarmis
7 make that 7-0...
2007-08-22 10:51:24
10.   pistolpete
9 8-0.

Does it matter? We have to face Lackey and the same 'scrappy' offense again tonight. UGH.

Something caught my eye on FoxSports.com - Garrett Anderson hit 1/4 of his total HRs for the season against us last night.

2007-08-22 10:57:44
11.   thelarmis
10 well, lackey did suck in his last game in boston. hopefully that suckitude will carry over into tonights game. it is possible we win and boston loses. looks like seattle will eat one today. 5 and 3 (loss column) out in the division & WC, respectively, is better than 6 & 4. so, yeah, i guess it does matter. any little bit helps! let's just leave the left coast with a win tonight so they can get some easy rest tomorrow before detroit.

GO ANDY!!!

2007-08-22 10:58:05
12.   williamnyy23
10 And 1/5 of his total RBI.
2007-08-22 11:00:31
13.   mehmattski
I find the comparison of Joba to Shane Spencer to be a bit odd. If anyone on the Yankees is like Spencer it's obviously Shelley Duncan- a late blooming, flash-in-the-pan power hitter who probably won't contribute much beyond the current season. Joba didn't "come from nowhere" as you say, he was a collegiate star and is in his first year as a professional player. The reality is that in the two decades of my lifetime, there has not been anything like this on the New York Yankees. I realize the media has to have a tendency to compare every new thing with some thing from the past, but there's a point of ridiculousness, and the Spencer-Joba comparison passes it.

I haven't been around these parts much the last few weeks, so I don't know what the consensus here is about Joba remaining a reliever. I think it would be an eternally stupid move- the reason that Mo and Gagne became closers was that they were frightfully average as starters. Joba has the chance to be an above average starter as a 22 year old, and a great starter in years to come. Let's see if he can't live up to that before wasting him for three outs every couple of days.

2007-08-22 11:04:52
14.   pistolpete
12 Yes, how could I forget?
2007-08-22 11:09:43
15.   Zack
13 I think most here agree that Joba as starter is far more valuable than Joba as reliever in the long term. We had a lengthy discussion about it a week or so ago. And I think the Yankees recognize it too. BUT, you just know that the media will dedicate A LOT of press over the offseason and ST and beyond to discussions of why the Yankees are being dumb and that Joba-as-reliever is so much more important and that he HAS to be a reliever.
2007-08-22 11:10:31
16.   Zack
15 And too add to it, if he can't cut it as a starter after two or so years, he can certainly go back to being a reliever.
2007-08-22 11:11:18
17.   williamnyy23
13 Good points...when Spencer came up in 1998, I didn't know who he was. I and every big Yankee fan have known of Joba for quite a while. If you didn't learn the name soon after he was drafted, it should have become a part of every Yankee fan's vocabulary by the start of this season. While the role in which he has been used may be a surprise, I am not shocked by how effective he has been to this point. Completely dominating for 7 innings should be well within the grasp of any major league talent.

What I do find interesting is how Chamberlain has shot past Phil Hughes in the public's esteem. Hughes had more hype than Chamberlain and wound up pitching a 7-inning no-hitter before getting injured, yet Joba has far surpassed Phil as the "Franchise". It's funny, but in some ways, Hughes seems as if has become just another part of the rotation. Ironically, his lower position on the radar could lead to him "surprising" people once he gets a little more comfortable and shakes of the mediocre impression he has left so far on most.

2007-08-22 11:11:40
18.   Orly Yarly NoWai
8 As long as we don't have a Fabulous Disaster on our hands and have to turn to Good Friendly Violent Fun for our jollies...
2007-08-22 11:16:19
19.   williamnyy23
I think Joba clearly serves the Yankees better as an SP, assuming a traditional definition of the roles. In the PB, Goldman makes an interesting case for how Joba could be better off in the pen. In summary, if Joba really would be this good as a reliever, and if he was only used in important spots (i.e., not 3 run save situations), then he might be more valuable in the pen, especially if he is only a good starter (and not great). In other words, if you combined Mo effectiveness with a Gossage (in his prime) workload, Chamberlain's value might be maximized as a reliever. Of course, that combination would never happen.
2007-08-22 11:22:03
20.   Will Weiss
13 17 You guys are right in the differences between Chamberlain and Spencer, as ballplayers. I was making the comparison strictly from a media perspective, and how success feeds the hype machine, which parlays into public perception.
2007-08-22 11:22:31
21.   ny2ca2dc
17 Right, and when he went, what was it, like 50 Ks against 2 BBs in Hawaii, that kind of said something... sandwich pick, 7 fig signing bonus. Shane Spencer = Shelly fo sho. Totally agree also re: Hughes, the frigin guy ain't getting no love. He's tough to watch though, getting psyched out and worrying too much about runners & being too fine. He needs to talk to Pettitte more and Moose not at all. And pick up those couple a MPH that are missing from his heater. They're both #1 with me though.

Anyone interested in more 'what to do with the geezers in the off season' talk? Clearly, we now have two geezers to get rid of, Damon and Moose. I thought Moose to Philly was a great suggestion, but what could he net? Damon to ATL maybe, but do they have anything left after the Salty deal? I would assume the Yanks pick up, say, half, of the money on both those contracts if they want anything more than yet more B/B- pitching prospects back. I'd bet Kennedy could replace Moose next year, but 3 rookies in the rotation would be too bold, so maybe signing a Lidle-type plus a Moose trade. Moose this year = RJ last year.

2007-08-22 11:24:51
22.   thelarmis
18 well, getting to the post season won't be any Frolic Through The Park. this is No Place For Disgrace, so let's hope we get to play in october. if we don't, with joba, hughes, edwar and the rest of the young homegrown talent, at least it seems like we will avoid entering The Years Of Decay...
2007-08-22 11:25:44
23.   ny2ca2dc
20 Let me just say again how cool it is to have the perspective you bring. Thanks Will & Alex & Cliff.
2007-08-22 11:29:21
24.   williamnyy23
20 Although, I don't think the "media" took Spencer seriously, whereas Chamberlain is already being penned into the HoF. How many times did we hear the Joe Hardy reference with Spencer? I think everyone enjoyed what was going on with Spencer, but still expected him to eventually turn back into a pumpkin.
2007-08-22 11:35:00
25.   williamnyy23
17 In a perfect world, the Yankees would find a way to package Kennedy/Tabata and a few more prospects in a deal for Santanna and then put him atop a rotation that also includes Chamberlain, Hughes, Wang and Pettitte. Interestingly, such a deal could also include Mussina and Damon (assuming the Yankees eat big time money). With Johan and Hunter gone, Minnesota would need a CF'er and starting pitcher.
2007-08-22 11:49:54
26.   unpopster
10 Don't worry about Lackey because Andy will make us proud. He's exactly the go we want on the mound tonight.
2007-08-22 11:52:35
27.   Will Weiss
23 Thanks ny2 ... 24 I'm curious, William, why the quotes around media? Don't you think penning Chamberlain into the HoF is a sign of overzealousness? That was precisely the point I was trying to make, and why I referenced the potential of a fall for Chamerlain.
2007-08-22 12:08:46
28.   dianagramr
25

Damon's knees and back on the Metrodome turf?

Oy!

2007-08-22 12:09:10
29.   Rob Middletown CT
Yeah, the Spencer-Chamberlain analogy doesn't work. Spencer-Duncan moreso (though Shane > Shelley, at least so far, even though Shelly's been good).

Joba is a top-shelf prospect, not a career minor leaguer. His stuff is nasty.

Could he fall apart? Sure, pretty much anyone can. He could blow out his arm tomorrow. Any pitcher could. It's the nature of the beast. The Yanks are doing their best to prevent that scenario, at least.

I don't have a problem with getting caught up in a little Joba mania. It's FUN to have an awesome youngster come up and kick some butt. Let's have fun.

2007-08-22 12:12:27
30.   ny2ca2dc
25 Who, other than Santana might a similar package fetch. I think Santana is really a bridge too far, but what about that package (Kennedy and/or Tabata), maybe plus a Betances & a Juan Miranda or Brett Gardner or something for an Oswalt.

Brackman's elbow status might be important, at least in the sense of being comfortable dealing Betances or someone.

2007-08-22 12:18:25
31.   Zack
30 I think that Santana is the only one worth such a package, IMHO. Perhaps not though. I would like to snag CC Sabathia in FA more than anyone besides Santana, but that probably won't happen
2007-08-22 12:22:53
32.   williamnyy23
27 The media is such a nebulous concept these days, so I put it in quotes. My point was that the cases aren't really the same because while Spencer got a lot of attention, no one really thought it was going to last. Chamberlain's buzz, however, is based in the expectation that he will be a great pitcher for a long time. So, in that respect, while the Spencer craze was amusing and innocuous, it didn't really create a pressure packed environment because of all of the points already mentioned.

As for Joba, I find it hard to believe that he will be negatively affected by all the buzz. Derek Jeter was probably heralded as much any recent prospect, and that worked out ok (anyone else remember the article putting Jeter and Ordonez in the HoF after one game a piece? Well, at least they got one right.). Unless Chamberlain allows the pub to go to his head and distract him from the hard work that goes into being a top flight pitcher, then he should be fine. And, if publicity is something that has the potential to bring him down, well, then it seems to me as if would also be susceptible to all of the other distractions encountered by major league athletes

2007-08-22 12:27:09
33.   williamnyy23
30 Another potential target might be Jake Peavy, who publicly opined that the Padres probably wont be able to afford him when his contract expires. The only drawback with him is he is under contract through 2009. Another names worthy of that package is Bedard, but the Orioles should be disbanded if they trade him in the division.

As for Betances, he is a bit of a diamond in the rough right now...I am hoping he can fly under the radar because I really like everything I have read about him. Also, don't forget about Humberto Sanchez. If he can bounce back from TJ, he would be another power arm at the Yankees disposal.

2007-08-22 12:27:41
34.   williamnyy23
33 Speaking of San Diego, Petco would be another ideal destination for the Moose.
2007-08-22 12:45:19
35.   ny2ca2dc
33 True about Hungry Humberto, also Melancon is out there coming back from TJ. Just so many legit prospects!
2007-08-22 12:50:08
36.   Knuckles
34 Moose Knuckle, meet Whale's Vag1na.
2007-08-22 12:58:17
37.   Will Weiss
32 Great post, William. Great job differentiating the two outlooks.
2007-08-22 13:10:53
38.   bobtaco
33 I hope the Yankees concentrate their free agent pitching targets to guys familiar with the AL East. No more huge contracts to NL guys. Webb/Peavy maybe, but more along the lines of the Santana, CC, Bedard, Haren-type, with proven experience winning against the Sox and the rest of the division.
2007-08-22 13:14:19
39.   Zack
33 Yeah, Peavy would be awesome. He's actually been even better on the road this season than at home, so that dispels any Petco factor argument. His main issues is that his pitches actually move too much, so he ends up with some control issues, but I think Maddox has been a big influence on him this season. Just as with Bedard, the Padres would be insane to not keep him around long term, but its exactly the kind of thing the Padres seem to do (the whole $ argument I guess). Besides Santana and CC, those are the two pitchers that would really hurt to see go to the Sox and that could really make our rotation awesome. Peavy, Wang, Hughes Joba, and Kennedy is a very very very awesome rotation with a lot of gas PLUS nasty off-speed pitches...
2007-08-22 13:28:31
40.   Start Spreading the News
cherry pick stat of the day:
The Yankees have gone the longest without losing at least 8 games in a row. It has been 4376 days since they last "accomplished" this feat in 1995.

Hopefully they can keep this streak going for more than the next 7 days (counting tomorrow's off day).

2007-08-22 13:28:56
41.   Start Spreading the News
the whole list is here:
http://humbug.baseballtoaster.com/archives/772883.html
2007-08-22 13:38:09
42.   Vandelay Industries
Who are the free agent pitchers this off-season. Not Peavy or Santana. I think Cashman has made clear that the Yankees aren't trading Kennedy et al. for Santana, so who will be out there?
2007-08-22 14:46:16
43.   Zack
42 It's a totally unattractive and worthless bunch: (From http://preview.tinyurl.com/37f9aa)

Carlos Zambrano (27)
Curt Schilling (41)
Jason Jennings (29)
Koji Uehara (33)
Freddy Garcia (32)
Kenny Rogers (43)
Jon Lieber (38)
Bartolo Colon (35)
Joe Kennedy (29)
Tomo Ohka (32)
John Thomson (34)
Kip Wells (31)
Wade Miller (31)
Livan Hernandez (33) -
Randy Wolf (31) - $9MM club option for '08
Paul Byrd (37) - $8MM club option for '08
Jeff Weaver (31)
Tom Glavine (42) - $9MM player option for '08
Kris Benson (33) - $7.5MM club option for '08
Jaret Wright (32)
David Wells (45)
Eric Milton (32)
Kyle Lohse (29)
Matt Clement (33)
Rodrigo Lopez (32)
Josh Fogg (31)
Byung-Hyun Kim (29)
Odalis Perez (31) - $9MM club option for '08
Brett Tomko (35) - $4.5MM mutual option for '08

Closers
Mariano Rivera (38)
Jason Isringhausen (35) - $8MM club option for '08
Bob Wickman (39)
Francisco Cordero (33)
Armando Benitez (35)
Eric Gagne (32)
Todd Jones (40)

Middle relievers
Scott Linebrink (31)
Jorge Julio (29)
Kerry Wood (31)

2007-08-22 14:46:48
44.   Zack
And of course take Zambrano off that list
2007-08-22 14:47:47
45.   Zack
I don't think there is a single starting pitcher worth taking a flier on in there, especially with a potential rotation of Hughes, Wang, Joba, Pettitte, Moose/Kennedy.
2007-08-22 15:08:29
46.   hensley
What about Jaret Wright? Why not take a flier on a proven gritty postseason performer?

I bet we end up with Colon and he starts 4 games total over 4 years.

2007-08-22 15:48:44
47.   Start Spreading the News
I want Byung-Hyun Kim. He has post-season experience and he has certainly delighted many Yankee fans.
2007-08-22 16:20:04
48.   Chyll Will
47 Dibs on what's left of whatever you just inhaled >;)
2007-08-22 16:36:30
49.   Start Spreading the News
I needed something after the last two losses...

As an exercise in masochism, given 43 , I have concocted an All-Time "Can't Handle NYC" list

Starters:
Kenny Rogers
Byung Hyun Kim
Jaret Wright
Jeff Weaver
?? 5th Starter??

Closer:
Armando Benitez, only because Byung Hyun is now a starter

2007-08-22 16:42:08
50.   bobtaco
49 Ed Whitson? Carl Pavano?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-08-22 16:42:43
51.   Max
49 Funny, but I'm not sure Jaret Wright goes on my top 5 list, maybe not even top 10 -- he wasn't awful, just stupefyingly mediocre and injury-prone. I'd put Kevin Brown in Wright's place (although I'm sure there are even better choices if I thought about it harder)...and to add to your "closer", Krazy Kyle would be the "set-up" man and Felix Heredia the situational BFOG reliever (with Gabe White not far behind, though admittedly the list of bad relievers is enormous).
2007-08-22 16:45:21
52.   nyy jim
I like the future rotation of Wang, Hughes, Joba and Kennedy but I have doubts about pettitte returning and I believe Moose will only continue to decline. A fifth starter may be able to be obtained by parting with the some of the extra talent we have sitting on the bench where they would be starting for many other teams. However my biggest concern is who will be catching our pitching staff? I can see Jorge jumping after the big bucks that another team may offer. Does anybody have any solutions to our potential catching problem?
2007-08-22 17:03:06
53.   Max
Holy crap, anyone see the Rangers-O's score? Rangers up 24-3, 10 run inning after already being up 14-3, Salty 4 for 5 with 7 RBIs.

I hope they don't use up all their runs before the M's come to town this weekend. And I'd love to see the Orioles lay down like that the next time we play them.

2007-08-22 17:18:11
54.   Marcus
53 Make that 30-3(!!!).
2007-08-22 17:18:22
55.   nyy jim
Texan's 30 Ravens 3. No way is this a baseball score. The Rangers have scored 30 unanswered runs after trailing 3 - 0.
2007-08-22 17:18:43
56.   williamnyy23
53 Make it 30 runs!!!!

In addition to Salty, David Murphy also went 5-7 (and is batting .550). Looks like Texas did pretty well at the deadline (and that Gagne deal keeps gettong worse.

One other fun note: The O's had different pitchers give up 6, 7, 8 and 9 runs.

2007-08-22 17:18:44
57.   williamnyy23
53 Make it 30 runs!!!!

In addition to Salty, David Murphy also went 5-7 (and is batting .550). Looks like Texas did pretty well at the deadline (and that Gagne deal keeps gettong worse.

One other fun note: The O's had different pitchers give up 6, 7, 8 and 9 runs.

2007-08-22 17:20:40
58.   williamnyy23
55 Heck...that's not even a realistic football score because the Ravens probably wont give up 30 points all season, and especially not to the Texans.
2007-08-22 17:20:59
59.   Simone
30 runs??!! Holy cow!!! Wow! Talk about a beat down. Isn't Leo Mazzone supposed to be the best pitching coach? This blows the stat showing the improvement of pitchers under his tutelage to hell and back. LOL!
2007-08-22 17:22:36
60.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Ah yes, David Murphy, he and Gabbard join DiNardo, Josh Bard, Anibal Sanchez,Hanley Ramirez, et al. as my favorite non-Yankees.
2007-08-22 17:24:24
61.   Eirias
43 Cordero is nice, but he cannot manage to get a save away from Milwaukee.
2007-08-22 17:25:39
62.   williamnyy23
60 Murphy is very fast. Even as a fourth outfielder, you can definitely see him being a very handy guy to have around.
2007-08-22 17:31:36
63.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
My kingdom for a home-run here by Gomes.
2007-08-22 17:34:09
64.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Must've got under it. Blast.
2007-08-22 17:59:11
65.   Vandelay Industries
Who is this Matsuzaka fellow? He's pretty good.

As for the above list of FA's. I agree there is no one on that list worth dumping money into. Isn't Smoltz a FA next year? Another old guy, and he won't leave Atl, but what the heck?

I agree with 52 , it is certainly not a guarantee that Pettitte returns next season. Our rotation is going to continue to have issues for some time. No way they trade prospects for Santana, and he still might sign with Minn, and if he doesn't, he'll be traded before the end of next season, and quite frankly, I don't think all that much of Sabathia.

2007-08-22 18:13:31
66.   Vandelay Industries
B.J. Upton HR. Rays tied it up 1-1, bottom sixth.
2007-08-22 18:16:40
67.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
66 Pena was on. Rays are up!
2007-08-22 18:16:46
68.   Zack
Smoltz has an option left, so no dice.
2007-08-22 18:18:54
69.   Vandelay Industries
Sorry, 2-1 Rays....my bad.
2007-08-22 18:19:04
70.   rsmith51
67 It won't last. They will blow the lead somehow...

I sound like that guy in Major League II.

2007-08-22 18:21:30
71.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
70 I dunno, I don't want to jinx it, but the Rays have beaten Dice 2x already in the lst 3 weeks.
2007-08-22 18:22:51
72.   rsmith51
71 I hope you are correct...
2007-08-22 18:24:58
73.   Vandelay Industries
Fear not. Dan Wheeler and the Ray's pen stand poised to give those runs right back.
2007-08-22 18:25:22
74.   Max
I want to be wrong in the worst way, but NO way the Rays are winning a one run game over the Sox with 3 innings to go. If they don't tack on, they'll lose.
2007-08-22 18:26:40
75.   Vandelay Industries
And Mats' is only at 100 pitches, ne can give them one or two more.
2007-08-22 18:33:19
76.   OldYanksFan
TB survives the 7th. Still 2-1.
2007-08-22 18:35:35
77.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
[74 75 Matts is actually at 111 pitches. And Timlin is replacing him

And, again not wanting to jinx anything, but Dice lost a game on 7/27 to Tampa where he only gave up 2er over 6ip -- just like today. Sawx only scored 2, and the Rays tacked on a few vs Delcarmen.

It can be done. (And Manny and Predroia are out of the lineup tonight.)

2007-08-22 18:44:46
78.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
The Upton giveth, and the Upyon taketh away.
2007-08-22 18:54:06
79.   OldYanksFan
After 7.5, still 2-1. Sox w/3 outs left.
2007-08-22 19:17:48
80.   nyy jim
Sox lose 2-1
2007-08-22 19:19:32
81.   OldYanksFan
The Sox have a call go against them that cost them a tie. The leave 14 LOB. Good luck for us.
2007-08-22 19:21:13
82.   Max
80 Miraculous...never been happier to be wrong (outside of a Yankee win). Now let's see if we can take advantage.
2007-08-23 08:27:31
83.   yanster
0 It can't be called "hype" now that Joba is in the majors, has been seen by some of the best hitters in baseball more than once, and hasn't given up a run in 8 innings with 14 strikeouts. Those are breathtaking facts. Every team in baseball would be happy to have him pitch the 8th inning in any game.

Granted, it doesn't have much statistical validity for predicting future performance, but it does free Joba from being called merely the object of hype. Now we can call it luck, or a fluke, but not hype.

Honestly, since Hughes came up the first time, even with that great Texas game (that caused him to explode physically), I can't help but think he is the real hype danger. His reputation to date in the majors exceeds his performance - that's hype. Again, though, not a good sample size.

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