Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Andy Given Thursday
2007-04-05 15:45
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

There were snow flurries in Manhattan as I left work this evening. It's April 5, the baseball season is well under way, the sun is shining, and here comes a cool cluster of snow crystals, curling down on the brisk breeze to perch on my proboscis.

Much as "sun flurries" (if such a thing truly exists and I wasn't just dreaming) strike me as a siren-like omen of an impending natural apocalypse, it's appropriate weather for tonight's ballgame. A half a score and one more years ago, Andy Pettitte took the hill for the Yankees home opener amid a flock of snow flurries and beat the Kansas City Royals, setting the Yankees on their way to their first World Championship in 18 years and launching the most recent Yankee dynasty. Tonight, thanks to the rain-out yesterday (and I think we can all thank Gore and the Easter Bunny that it was rain and not snow that poured fourth from the heavens), Andy Pettitte will make the first start of his second stint as a Yankee tonight amid the flakes (that is, unless Johnny Damon's calf strain keeps him out of the lineup).

But seriously, folks, it's about freaking time. It seems like it's been a week since the Yankees beat the D-Rays on Opening Day. I've had an empty seat at my table for Elijah Dukes for far too long.

Jae Seo starts for the Devil Rays, wondering where went his Weong. It remains to be seen what the Rays will reap from Seo, who seemed to hold so much promise when he signed with the Dodgers last year only to end the season as Mark Hendrickson's replacement in Tampa. Those of you parsing that last clause for a pun can scratch those plans as there ain't one.

As for Andy, in case you forgot, he's sixth on the Yankees' all-time list in games started, fifth all-time in strikeouts, and ninth all-time in wins as a Yankee. If he wins 15 games this year he'll tie his former pitching coach, Mel Sottlemyre, for sixth on the all-time Yankee win list. None of those rankings will have any real effect on how he'll perform tonight (other than the fact that they betray the mileage on his arm), but they'll have a great deal of effect on how he's received, and I don't mean by Jorge Posada.

Comments (117)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-05 16:18:13
1.   Zack
With the temp as it is, and Andy lookin like his serious self, this could be october! Feels good!
2007-04-05 16:27:19
2.   vockins
Looks like I know at least one word of Korean.
2007-04-05 16:41:28
3.   OldYanksFan
ARod with a 2 out RBI! Nice.
Oops. Tie game.
Where is everyone?
2007-04-05 16:41:36
4.   3rd gen yankee fan
Man it's a joy to watch Andy pitch. Especially in a Yankee uniform.
2007-04-05 16:41:37
5.   yankz
Come on, Andy.
2007-04-05 16:43:12
6.   3rd gen yankee fan
welllll... hrm.
2007-04-05 16:46:17
7.   Simone
Yesss!!! Nice job by Jorgie and Andy to get Upton.
2007-04-05 16:46:55
8.   yankz
Um...was he stealing home or something?
2007-04-05 16:47:09
9.   OldYanksFan
2007-04-05 16:48:16
10.   BklynBmr
7 Nice little delay on Gameday Audio. I read your post before I heard the play!
2007-04-05 16:53:48
11.   Simone
9 Wild pitch by Andy. Upton went for home, Jorgie grabbed the ball, and threw it to Andy who ran to cover home. Andy tagged Upton out. It was close, but Andy got him before he tagged.
2007-04-05 17:01:54
12.   Simone
Andy does not have good control tonight. His back must be acting up.
2007-04-05 17:07:57
13.   Simone
Andy doesn't look good, but Derek's error is responsible for that D'Ray run.
2007-04-05 17:08:30
14.   OldYanksFan
Must. Get. ED. Out.
2007-04-05 17:09:02
15.   claybeez
Well, thank goodness for that.
2007-04-05 17:09:51
16.   OldYanksFan
Yes! 6-4-3.
With all that headgear on, they look like the Tampa Bay Ninja Turtles.
2007-04-05 17:10:21
17.   williamnyy23
Geez...when is the defense going to get better. Maybe Joe should have Cairo play all four infield positions?
2007-04-05 17:15:19
18.   OldYanksFan
No GG for Jetes this year
2007-04-05 17:17:07
19.   hensley
Cliff, your intro cracked me up. I love all the hand wringing about how "bad" the Tampa Bay youngsters are behaviourally. Did Joe Girardi really just start getting all sociological about Elijah Dukes? I love the ninja hoodies.
2007-04-05 17:23:45
20.   3rd gen yankee fan
omg did you guys see that penguin????
2007-04-05 17:23:59
21.   OldYanksFan
How cold is it in the Bronx now?
2007-04-05 17:25:33
22.   williamnyy23
37 degrees headed down to 28. I am hoping the cold weather is the reason behind the brutal defense.
2007-04-05 17:28:47
23.   Vandelay Industries
2007-04-05 17:29:31
24.   Vandelay Industries
Hip Hip Horay!

Hip Hip Jorge!

Hip Hip Jorge!

2007-04-05 17:31:18
25.   OldYanksFan
Minky for HOF!
2007-04-05 17:33:40
26.   Eirias
25 His OPS is 2.000, no?
2007-04-05 17:34:43
27.   Maniakes
How about Jeter singles, Abreu walks, and A-Rod pads his stats with an unclutch, meaningless HR?
2007-04-05 17:37:35
28.   Maniakes
Aparently Jeter wasn't listening to me...
2007-04-05 17:37:50
29.   Eirias
27 I'd prefer to run into an out.
2007-04-05 17:49:30
30.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Is this on FOX or anything?
2007-04-05 17:53:00
31.   Simone
This game sucks.
2007-04-05 17:55:38
32.   OldYanksFan
Wow. GREAT pickup by Jorge. Excellent throw. All-around great play!
2007-04-05 17:56:03
33.   williamnyy23
Three more errors...this is getting embarrassing. If Jeter makes another one, I wonder if the tabloids will give him the Arod treatment. Has he made a good throw yet?

Also, while I am glad Posada is raking, it does it look like he spent the entire Spring working on his offense at the expense of blocking balls.

2007-04-05 18:02:17
34.   OldYanksFan
Guys (and Gals?)... it's the 2nd game of the year after 2 off days, and its freezing ouy. This sloppyness wont last.
2007-04-05 18:03:14
35.   OldYanksFan
Where is everyone tonight? Is there another party I wasn't invited to?
2007-04-05 18:05:07
36.   williamnyy23
The D-Rays seem to be dealing well with the conditions. I am not panicking by any stretch, but it is disappointing to see them play so poorly out of the gate. All of the errors over the last two days have been simple plays (except DM avoiding the dislocated shoulder).
2007-04-05 18:05:16
37.   williamnyy23
The D-Rays seem to be dealing well with the conditions. I am not panicking by any stretch, but it is disappointing to see them play so poorly out of the gate. All of the errors over the last two days have been simple plays (except DM avoiding the dislocated shoulder).
2007-04-05 18:13:09
38.   Vandelay Industries
I obviously hope the Yankees pull this one out, but I am downright loving the approach that the Rays are taking on the base-paths.

It clearly isn't the best approach for most clubs to take, but this is proof positive what can happen when you constantly put pressure on the defense.

Anyone hear when Extra Innings will be available on cable now that a deal has been reached? Notwithstanding MLB's statement that it will be made available "immediately," Time Warner responds to me as if I walked up slowly behind them and tapped them on the shoulder. "What, deal, when, you sure, no, my supervisor said....?"

2007-04-05 18:15:27
39.   Vandelay Industries
The Wheels on the bullpen go 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round. The Wheels on the pullpen go 'round and 'round.
2007-04-05 18:22:26
40.   tommyl
I know its small sample size, but Myers entire thing is getting people out in a small sample size. I still say he's a waste of a roster spot.
2007-04-05 18:34:52
41.   yankz
Wow, just got is going on? From the looks of it, this one's on Jeter. Yikes.
2007-04-05 18:36:13
42.   joejoejoe
One of the fun quirks of April baseball are the 'on pace for...' statistics. The Yankees are on pace for 486 errors in 2007. Jorge Posada is on pace for 810 hits and 81 homeruns. The platoon of Phelps/Mientkiewicz is on pace for an OB% of .714. Mariano Rivera is on pace for 243Ks in 81IP. The Yanks are on pace for a 81-81 season.
2007-04-05 18:38:12
43.   yankz
Um...the new GameDay sucks and takes up too much memory. Anyone know of a good alternative?
2007-04-05 18:39:48
44.   claybeez
38 Seems to depend not only the company, but the region. I have Time-Warner. I'm in Brooklyn and EI was up today. It may even have been on last night.
2007-04-05 18:40:40
45.   joejoejoe
43 I'm following the game on Yahoo GameChannel. Dukes just struck out at 9:40PM.

What kind of lag is that?

2007-04-05 18:41:14
46.   JeremyM
43 I've always liked's gamecenter, but it's pretty basic and no frills--which is why I like it:)
2007-04-05 18:43:11
47.   yankz
Thanks for the tips, I'm going with CBS. For me, it's 9:43 PM, and the Yankee half hasn't started.
2007-04-05 18:47:18
48.   yankz
Whoa, CBS tells you what pitch was thrown and the speed. That's pretty sweet. Seo threw a slider 3-0.
2007-04-05 18:49:13
49.   OldYanksFan
Jetes somehow manages to hit ground balls that find a hole, whereas ARod often hits screamers that find a glove.

I'd like to see Jetes start hitting some linedrives. I can't be impressed with bouncyball hits.

2007-04-05 18:51:10
50.   yankz
This is it. He's going to deliver.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-05 18:53:01
51.   yankz
Beats a K.
2007-04-05 18:54:19
52.   Vandelay Industries

Thanks! I have Time Warner in Southern California and they have no clue when it will be up and running! The weather is great, but when it comes to sports out here they have no sense. The Dodgers don't even air their local games in HD.

2007-04-05 18:55:45
53.   BklynBmr
51 Good to hear the 'Let's go A-Rod' chant. Hope it keeps up...
2007-04-05 18:56:54
54.   nyyfan22
Bases loaded. 2 outs. Man, it's April 5th and I feel like it's October!


2007-04-05 18:58:17
55.   yankz
Oh HELL yes! Even though I got that about two minutes late, according to 54 :)
2007-04-05 18:59:10
56.   OldYanksFan
Its a game of inches....
2007-04-05 18:59:27
57.   OldYanksFan
So Phelps in now our DH?
2007-04-05 18:59:45
58.   Vandelay Industries
Why pinch run for Giambino in the 7th with 2 outs? He did this all of last year with just this result almost each and every time. Sheesh Joe.
2007-04-05 19:00:09
59.   williamnyy23
Horrible decision by Torre. Giving up Giambi's slot is one thing, but to do it AFTER a pitch was thrown smacks of being unprepared.
2007-04-05 19:00:40
60.   atc
Cool, hopefully Cairo can up in two innings in a big spot.
2007-04-05 19:00:50
61.   yankz
57 I sure hope so. I would hate to see Cairo up vs. a lefty in the bottom of the 9th.
2007-04-05 19:00:58
62.   JeremyM
Yeah, I don't get this. With 2 outs, Giambi gets a runnig start on contact so the difference is negligible here.
2007-04-05 19:01:00
63.   BklynBmr
44 Same here (Comcast in San Francisco). EI was up early this afternoon (caught some of the Boston-KC game), and the schedule had about 4 night games including the Yanks. Tuned back in at 4:00 PST, and it's NHL Center Ice on all the channels, which I don't even subscribe to. Hopefully they'll have it straightened out by tomorrow...
2007-04-05 19:01:19
64.   nyyfan22
45 I rewound my tivo and checked. I had that happening at 9:39:35. (dukes was mouthing off through his hoddie after that K, btw)
2007-04-05 19:03:54
65.   OldYanksFan
Currently on ESPN:
Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame ...
New York Yankees
Losing a 3-0 lead in the 2004 ALCS. CC
2007-04-05 19:04:40
66.   OldYanksFan
That guy looks a lot loke Ichiro
2007-04-05 19:05:40
67.   atc
What was the proposed nickname for Vizciano the other day? The Vizzer?
2007-04-05 19:06:53
68.   yankz
Oh come on, don't give it right back.
2007-04-05 19:11:29
69.   yankz
Ah, the agony that comes with baseball. Guess I've missed this, too.
2007-04-05 19:11:54
70.   nyyfan22
That reminds me of the time I saw that video footage of the Mayor of Cincinnati throwing out the first pitch on opening day...
2007-04-05 19:12:43
71.   claybeez
63 Yeah, Hockey and Baseball share the shame channels until the hockey playoffs go to whatever channel they're on. Because of that there are 14 or 15 channels. Here in Brooklyn it's from 430-444. When we had Comcast in MD it was something like 411-420. But then they'd use 5 other channels like 480-484. So, basically I'm saying that the games might be on in SF just not on channels you'd expect. Search your guide using "baseball" as the theme. That should bring them up if they exist.
2007-04-05 19:12:52
72.   BklynBmr
Pitching and defense? At this rate, we'll need about 1,800 runs to secure the divison...
2007-04-05 19:15:12
73.   Eirias
2007-04-05 19:16:42
74.   mainmanmaitland
Won't need 1,800 runs ... if we can avoid making 3 errors a game
2007-04-05 19:18:28
75.   tommyl
73 Giving up 2 runs tonight in Scranton
2007-04-05 19:20:11
76.   claybeez
Girardi - "I think Jeter's strength is going to his right," when asked by Kay what Jeter's weakness is.

Honest analysis. Yet done with sensitivity.

2007-04-05 19:21:51
77.   williamnyy23
This is easily the worst game by a major league catcher that I have ever seen. That's yet another run given away.

Did anyone else raise their eyebrow when Girardi mentioned Jeter's weakness up the middle. Honesty like that might Girardi in some hot water.

Down yet again...well, at least Giambi gets another AB...oh wait! :)

2007-04-05 19:22:41
78.   BklynBmr
71 Thanks, clayb, forgot about the search, but it came up with only the Giants, A's games tonight. Here the NHL/MLB channels are 460-470, with an occassional overflow on 440-445. Bummed I'm going to miss seeing A-Rod's walkoff HR ;-)
2007-04-05 19:22:46
79.   OldYanksFan
72 DON'T BE SILLY! 1300 should do the trick.
2007-04-05 19:25:56
80.   Simone
Ugh, bunting is the bane of the Yankees' existence.
2007-04-05 19:28:07
81.   yankz
Cano aka Hit Machine
2007-04-05 19:28:16
82.   Knuckles
Minky was out by 15 feet on that bunt. WTF?

Nice rip Robbie.

2007-04-05 19:28:23
83.   JimCobain
LOL! Good thing Spring Training is where players work on the fundementals. I assume this is just the weather and first week here. We'll look back on this one and laugh.
2007-04-05 19:28:23
84.   Chucksax
This reminds me of Pettitte's first start in the '96 season... may the Yankees (and Andy) have a similar year.

If Jeter makes an out here, does he get booed like A-Rod does?

2007-04-05 19:29:49
85.   OldYanksFan
How about a Christmas present from Jetes?
2007-04-05 19:30:08
86.   BklynBmr
80 Makes you wonder how much time they spend drilling textbook bunting into their heads...
2007-04-05 19:31:30
87.   yankz
What just happened...

84 Guess we'll never know.

2007-04-05 19:32:46
88.   OldYanksFan
2007-04-05 19:32:53
89.   Simone
You can do it, Alex, it is on you!
2007-04-05 19:33:22
90.   yankz
I bet the Leverage Index is off the charts right now. Come on, A-Clutch.
2007-04-05 19:33:30
91.   OldYanksFan
I'll take a walk here
2007-04-05 19:34:11
92.   Simone
2007-04-05 19:35:10
93.   BklynBmr
Well, that sucked...
2007-04-05 19:35:12
94.   yankz
CBS is stuck, damm1t.
2007-04-05 19:35:19
95.   Eirias
Guess pop-ups really are his bane. Next time, Alex.
2007-04-05 19:35:21
96.   OldYanksFan
That popup will make BBTN
2007-04-05 19:35:22
97.   yankz
Oh, there we go. Crap.
2007-04-05 19:40:12
98.   BklynBmr
96 You can bank on that, those %#$!&@#!s
2007-04-05 19:45:22
99.   mehmattski
Just checking in now after watching the Durham Bulls lose their home opener. Three errors, huh? Ewwww.

Also, Kyle Farnsworth looks nothing like the guy who body slammed Austin Kearns a few years ago, with those glasses on. He looks like Maddux, but throws 100 mph. Kenny Singleton's right, that's gotta be weird for a hitter.

2007-04-05 19:45:38
100.   BklynBmr
OK, who knocks in the game winner?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-05 19:48:50
101.   yankz
100 Melky.
2007-04-05 19:51:24
102.   yankz
Oh how great it would be for Posada to single and Minky to walk-off.
2007-04-05 19:52:12
103.   Simone
Oh well. Night all.
2007-04-05 19:52:18
104.   Yu-Hsing Chen
arrragh come on
2007-04-05 19:52:31
105.   mehmattski
Baseball cliche #398:

Can't win em all.

2007-04-05 19:52:39
106.   yankz
God dammit. Taxed bullpen and a sloppy, sloppy loss.
2007-04-05 19:53:10
107.   Knuckles
2 games, 6 errors= bush league
2007-04-05 19:55:19
108.   williamnyy23
It's one thing to lose a game, but another to completely give one away. From the defense to the men left on base to the horrendous managing by Torre, this one was hand delivered to the D-Rays. It might be April, but performances like that one are NEVER acceptable.
2007-04-05 19:55:45
109.   Yu-Hsing Chen
At least we're on pase to score 2000 runs!!! :P
2007-04-05 19:55:47
110.   BklynBmr
102 That was my hope, too. Dayum! Skip BP tomorrow. Defense. Defense. Defense at every position...
2007-04-05 19:58:51
111.   rabid stan
109 And 486 errors.
2007-04-05 20:00:41
112.   joejoejoe
Al Reyes, closer!
2007-04-05 20:15:29
113.   yankz
112 I think you mean Kyra Sedgwick.
2007-04-05 20:17:27
114.   Vandelay Industries
63 Bklyn,

Same problem here! I had hocley games as well. Ranting and raving finaly got me an answer. Time Warner and Comcast are going to offer (at least in So Cal) the package tomorrow. It will share he NHL Channels with them and a couple NBA channels and maybe even a couple directly below NHL. Once ordered, one of the channels will list the days' games and corresponding channels.

Pain in my ass, but all things considered, I will be glad to have it, and despite the NFL's claim of superiority, no one made a peep when they (Direct TV) got the NFL exclusive rights. I have renewed faith in America now that Congress and the public have been able to place America's Pasttime back where it belongs, at the top, and available to all!

Ok, news is on, back to reality, can I get my passport to say Canada instead of United States? Pretty please Condoleeza?

2007-04-05 21:28:13
115.   tommyl
Wow BBTN was actually surprisingly nice to Alex. They said, "Had a great opening day, he can't come through every single time." Of course then they turned around and pointed out all the errors Jeter has made. Oh well, can't win them all.
2007-04-05 21:56:32
116.   weeping for brunnhilde
I don't mind the errors so much as the fact that Melky can't bunt.

In what baseball universe is it ok for a major league hitter not to be able to execute a sacrifice bunt, let alone a hitter such as Melky, who otherwise is very fundamentally sound at the plate and isn't exactly up there to hit it over the fence.

I'll be harping on this for the rest of the season, I'm sure, and beyond that, but really, it's getting to where I'm embarrassed for these people.

What the hell do they spend all their time doing, anyway?

And where the hell is management?

Can't Joe, at the beginning of spring training, say, look, you're all going to learn to lay down a bunt before spring training is through and I'll start fining you for egregious failures of execution.

This is the kind of thing that'll determine the World Series, afterall.

2007-04-05 22:48:06
117.   yankz
Sweet article about a switch pitcher (with video!):

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