Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankees 4, Blue Jays 4 (10 innings)
2007-03-25 06:54
by Cliff Corcoran

The Yanks and Blue Jays played to a tie yesterday, which was no where near the most significant news item out of Yankee camp yesterday. Read on . . .


L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Bobby Abreu (RF)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Jason Giambi (DH)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Doug Mientkiewicz (1B)
R - Wil Nieves (C)

Pitchers: Mike Mussina, Brian Bruney, Kyle Farnsworth, Mariano Rivera, Colter Bean, Ben Kozlowski

Subs: Andy Phillips (1B), Angel Chavez (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Chris Basak (3B), Todd Pratt (C), Miguel Cairo (RF), Melky Cabrera (CF), Kevin Reese (LF), Josh Phelps (DH)

Opposition: All but one of the Blue Jays' starters.

Big Hits: A two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez (1 for 3) and a triple by Bobby Abreu (2 for 3). Hideki Matsui was also 2 for 3.

Who Pitched Well?: The five Yankee relievers--Brian Bruney, Kyle Farnsworth, Mariano Rivera, Colter Bean, and Ben Kozlowski--were perfect combining to pitch four hitless, walkless innings while striking out five.

Who Didn't?: It's a bit unfair to list Mike Mussina here. Technically he turned in a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER). But he allowed nine baserunners on seven hits and two walks and struck out just one in those six innings and a fourth run scored thanks to a catcher's interference call. Really, it would be more accurate to list Mussina's first two innings here (all four runs) and his last four scoreless innings in the previous category.

Oopsies: Just that catchers interference by Wil Nieves, which led to a run.

Ouchies:The big news, and this really is big news for a change, is that Chien-Ming Wang's right hamstring will force him to start the season on the disabled list and he could miss most if not all of April as an MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain (the lowest level). Jose Veras had a bone spur removed this past week. He should be out for two to three months. Jorge Posada was a late scratch from yesterday's game with what Joe Torre called "overall discomfort."

Battles: With Wang on the shelf it appears Jeff Karstens will move into the fifth-starter's spot and break camp with the team, though the Yankees might only need to start Karstens once before Wang returns (on April 8 against the Orioles). Wil Nieves and Todd Pratt had identical 0 for 2 with one strikeout days, though Nieves did have that interference call. Raul Chavez was reassigned to minor league camp. Andy Phillips and Josh Phelps both went 0 for 1, though Phelps struck out in his at-bat. Brian Bruney and Colter Bean continue to be the top contenders for the last right-handed bullpen spot. Bruney retired all three men he faced on two Ks and a grounder. Bean faced two men and retired them on a strikeout and a fly out.

Cuts: In addition to Raul Chavez, Bronson Sardinha, Angel Chavez, Andy Cannizaro, and Ben Kozlowski were also reassigned to minor league camp. I had forgotten Cannizaro was in camp. I can't remember the last time he got in a game. Meanwhile, with the exception of the rehabbing Humberto Sanchez, Sardinha (who was actually optioned as he's on the 40-man roster) was the last man in camp who didn't have any major league experience. Proof of how impressed the Yankees were by him this spring.

Notes: Bobby Murcer reports that test have shown that he is "entirely clear in regard to the [brain] tumor." Of far less importance, Chien-Ming Wang was on schedule to be the Yankees Opening Day starter, but now that Wang's on the shelf, the Opening Day hurler will be either Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano or Wang's replacement Jeff Karstens. Neither Pettitte nor Mussina is a candidate because Pettitte's return from back spasms (he's expected to start no sooner than Thursday) won't allow him time to get in a warm-up start. Similarly, Mussina's next scheduled turn is Thursday, which would put him on short rest on Opening Day. Torre's a bit concerned about Igawa overthrowing in response to an Opening Day start, and thus Pavano is considered the frontrunner at the moment. Of even less importance, Brian Bruney and Kyle Farnsworth shaved their heads before yesterday's game.

2007-03-25 08:09:02
1.   joejoejoe
It's an honor for Pavano to start opening day - even if it's under strange circumstances. If he pitches a gem he'll get a nice ovation. If he stinks the Ghost of Babe Ruth vouching for him isn't going to spare him the scorn of the fans. Maybe it's best to go with Karstens.
2007-03-25 08:18:45
2.   Knuckles
Can you imagine a team with a $180M payroll starting a Jeff Karstens on Opening Day?

I personally think it'd be sweet to see him outduel Kazmir.

2007-03-25 08:47:12
3.   sam2175
It is good that I heeded the "read on" advice at the top. Cliff, it is great that you listed Murcer's news as the most important one, for sheer perspective. I was worried that another line of Pavano BS was coming.

I think it has to be Pavano. He has the most big-league experience and seniority. Regardless, opening day is meaningless hype than anything else, and Joe Torre for once was right when he said "there are 161 other games". As long as the Mussina, Pettitte, Wang makes at least 30 starts each, I think Yankees should be fine. If Pavano makes 25-28 starts, that will be great as well, and as unrealistic as it seems, it is possible.

If Yankees want to make a statement against Pavano, maybe Karstens is a better option due to his all-around improvement in the Spring Training than Igawa. Hopefully, Karstens' improvements sustain themselves during the season.

2007-03-25 08:59:33
4.   sam2175
3 I was worried that another line of Pavano BS was coming.

Cliff, that was not a reflection of what you write, and is probably not fair to put the way I put it. It was more of a reflection of the usual BS that comes out of some other blogs. This blog deserves credit for its objectivity, fabulous analysis and the sheer quality of writing. Just thought I should make that clear.

2007-03-25 10:44:21
5.   rabid stan
Curtis Granderson makes a sliding catch in the top of the second and jams his wrist. The gruesome clip of Matsui's injury last year follows, by no means for the first time this spring.

Is it obligatory now that they subject us to that every time an outfielder makes a sliding catch?

2007-03-25 11:24:57
6.   bobtaco
Man , this Tiger game is ugly.
2007-03-25 12:02:15
7.   yankz
Karstens was hammered because of a stiff elbow. Via LoHud.

Darrell Rasner for Opening Day starter!

2007-03-25 12:42:08
8.   rbj
Well, Proctor looks good.
2007-03-25 13:52:01
9.   Chyll Will
Geez, whoever said that PeteAbe's blog was really good, but the comments were trolling was understating on both ends. Pete's prolific, but the comments are... well, at least some people try to be reasonable.
2007-03-25 14:16:50
10.   sabernar
9 I completely agree. I love Pete's blog (though he does tend to get a bit annoyingly sarcastic about ARod and various other topics occasionally), but a very large percentage of the commenters are completely useless at best. I often totally skip over all the comments, but the I feel that good commenters (i.e., the ones on Bronx Banter) really step a blog up a couple notches. It's great to have Pete's insight into the Yankees since he is there on site all the time, but if there was a way to increase the quality of the commenters, his blog would really go to the next level.
2007-03-25 14:56:14
11.   sam2175
9 10 One way Abraham maintains quality of comments on his blog is by asking people to take a hike whenever someone disagrees with him. Keeps the very best of them over their who fall all over themselves to declare his blog as the "best there is".
2007-03-25 14:57:29
12.   sam2175
11 Keeps the very best of them over their

That should read there, I can't spell today.

2007-03-25 15:17:28
13.   Zack
9 That's so weird, I was literally coming over here to basically say the same damn thing! I just read the comments on his blog for the first time in a long time (alright, perhaps today isn't the best day to get sane reactions, but still) and they are rediculous. I had steered clear of there back when he was having the spamming problem, which the email requirement seems to have fixed, but the combination of a sour tone and plain silly comments made it just as hard to read.

I usually use his blog to get the good info, but count on BB for the good comments.

I do love the "season over" general feeling floating around various Yankee sites' comment sections, too funny.

2007-03-25 15:43:25
14.   C2Coke
13 As regularly as I read Pete Abraham's blog, I definitely feel much more like home here on the Banter. (Imagine, Rob Gee was considered one of the more irrational ones...) I comment on Pete's blog occasionally but usually when no one else is in that particular section, otherwise I only read the comments when I feel I need a laugh very badly (so that's also rare).
2007-03-25 15:45:56
15.   C2Coke
Hey all, how about this for kicks?
Opening Day Starter:

Roger Clemens.

(With all that have happened, anything is possible now, no? will answer my own question...)

2007-03-25 16:12:26
16.   atc
14 I agree with much of what's been said here about Pete's blog, except I would take it a little further. As a writer, Pete obviously has a tremendous advantage given his inside access to the team. But, to be frank, I think his analysis leaves much to be desired. For example, about a week ago he wrote that Doug Out was a terrific defensive 1B and that we shouldn't pay attention to defensive metrics at 1B because they are useless. Now, I am by no means a sabermetric expert, so if Pete wanted to lay out his reasoning as to why those metrics are useless, I would have been happy to consider it. But rather than do that, he simply dismissed the contrary opinion in an almost Morganesque-type way.
2007-03-25 17:01:25
17.   Zack
16 Yeah, for the most part I tend to really appreciate his humor and insight, but there are moments where I really get frustrated with his responses. But hey, that's all part of the deal I suppose. Overall, his blog is by far the best of the newspaper ones...
2007-03-25 17:25:31
18.   The Mick 536
Tell me it aint so Joe. Pavement don't start opening day. But if he do, I be rooooootin for im.
2007-03-25 17:27:35
19.   The Mick 536
Next. Check out the article in the style section. Me too. I got all these hopes and dreams too. Rizootoites. All of us. Rememb the conversations with Bill white. What happened to him?? I got to go, Phil said. Left in the 6th. Not me. I stay til it be ova.
2007-03-25 18:49:28
20.   tommyl
16 Actually I was one of those contrary opinions. I basically pointed out much of what has been said on here by various people, namely, Minky has no power and his defense in the last few years has been severely overrated and that spiralled and led to his post. That's about when I stopped commenting and leaving comments on there, but I do have to say that the blog itself is wonderful.

Now, who started the Pavano comeback bandwagon a few weeks back? I can't remember who it was, but man, he must be jumping for joy right now. Opening day starter! wow, never in a million years would I have guessed that.

2007-03-25 19:27:24
21.   Chyll Will
20 That would be Yankee Fan in Boston. I remember it well.

18,19 You all right, Mick? And if you are, could you save some of that for us tomorrow? I like hallucinogenic root beer!

It's funny how many people responded to that remark, but at least I know I'm not the only crazy one. Pete is very on top of things and writes a whole lot, but I'm willing to petrose that Cliff and Alex would give him a serious run for the money, and at the same time Pete would get a helluva lot more respect if he were blogging on Banter.

All in all, I wouldn't replace Banter with anyone, even if it were a player or coach blogging. For one thing, we have so many different perspectives feeding into the posts that it's impossible to be uninformed (unless you choose to be stubborn). For another, there's definitely a close-knit community atmosphere that is also very inviting. And just as importantly, there is a strong sense of responsibility and accountability not only by the moderators, but among the commentors as well. Again, I find that very unique for a sports blog. It's a wonder Toaster isn't spoken about more often in the sports world, but that's probably best; before it gets all commercial and exploited, but the good thing is, that's not likely to happen with the people that are already here... umm, I mean that in a good way >;)

2007-03-25 19:57:51
22.   Levy2020
20 To jump on the Minky question, I've been keeping myself smiling with the thought of a longterm Teixeira contract. But that story about the Mets getting in on it makes me a little uneasy.

I just had the thought that if they drop Delgado and pick up Teixeira, maybe the Yanks would get Delgado for 2 or 3 years? Yeah, probably not...

2007-03-25 19:59:51
23.   OldYanksFan
Not to sound stupid, but the level of intelligence here is too high for many. You can't just rant and lay out sh*t here without being straightened out.

It would be nice if Pete threw in with Alex and cliff here. While I like Pete's style, and his being an insider in invaluable, it's still a newspaper, commercial blog, and it will have it's limitations.

Lohud is a must read, but the Banter has the best writing, and by FAR, the best comments/contributors.

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