Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
(Gruesome, Isn't it?)
2007-04-07 06:17
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

For the second consecutive night, the Yankees looked old, flat, and old. Mike Mussina allowed six runs off eight hits and three walks over four innings as the Bombers fell to the Orioles, 6-4. The game lasted three hours and fifteen minutes, brief considering this was New York vs. Baltimore, but it seemed longer. The Yanks seemed out-of-it mentally. In the fourth inning, Melvin Mora stole second and neither Robinson Cano or Derek Jeter, who limped for most of the game after fouling a ball off his right foot in his first at-bat, covered the bag. When was the last time you remember Jeter making a mental mistake like that? The Yankee shortstop was removed in the ninth inning. Again, something you don't normally see.

Sean Henn pitched well in relief, but the Yankees sorely need a strong outing from a starter:

"Every team in the league counts on its rotation, but we count on our rotation a lot," said Mussina, who gave up six runs in four innings. "It's going to make or break our season, and we didn't do very well the first handful of starts here. It's disappointing. We've got to improve."
(Kepner, N.Y. Times)

Mussina nibbled all night and couldn't hit his spots. In light of that, I'm not overwhelmed with confidence in Kei Igawa this afternoon. This might be one of those days were the bats have to carry the team.

Meanwhile, in Dunder Mifflin Land, Phillip Hughes pitched well in his Triple A debut.

2007-04-07 06:43:02
1.   Jim Dean
I have to find something to get this bile taste out of my mouth. I can't hold food down. Do I eat breakfast and hope it's passed by gametime or hold out for dinner? Please Lord make it stop. Make. It. Stop.
2007-04-07 06:46:39
2.   seamus
what is up with jeter and all of the mental mistakes?
2007-04-07 06:48:27
3.   seamus
btw, the time on the game in the side column is wrong.
2007-04-07 06:50:58
4.   yankz
I have faith, it's still early. They'll find a groove.

I'm too scared to think what the commenters over at Peter Abraham's blog are saying.

2007-04-07 06:52:34
5.   rbj
2 The captain is showing his leadership, making a lot of mistakes in order to take heat off of A-Rod.
Can we all agree on that story?

It makes me kinda glad I have to wait 'til tomorrow to get the satellite dish installed to get EI (stupid local cable company).

Another loss today, and the Yankees start the season 1-3. They haven't seen a record that bad since 1998.

2007-04-07 07:22:57
6.   Jim Dean
Did somebody say 1998? Any allusion to 1998 I can deal with.
2007-04-07 07:24:58
7.   nemecizer
4 I already panicked in the 6th inning pn Monday so I'm over it.

Looks like the Yanks are off to their usual slow start. April has always seemed like an extension of Spring training. We'll see how things stand in May.

I am going to the stadium and excited to see Igawa pitch today.

2007-04-07 07:32:11
8.   MVB
The Yanks definitely cannot leave ten men on base today and expect to win.

Just remember guys, the Yanks started 1-4 last year (the BoSox were 4-1), and still won the division.

Hope is not yet lost.

2007-04-07 08:05:30
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Jeter actually failed to cover the bag twice. The first time was in the second. Millar had walked and Patterson bunted to third, but Patterson's bunt was a little too hard. Alex charged and got the ball quickly enough to get Millar at second, but Jeter peeled off to cover third to prevent Millar from advancing to the uncovered base (as Jeets himself likes to do when teams shift on Giambi). Thing is, Mussina could have covered third and if Jeter had covered second they likely would have retired Millar anyway (Rodriguez gave a long look to the empty second base bag before firing to first). Instead Patterson's bad bunt turned into a successful sacrifice. Fortunately, Millar was stranded.

On the Mora steal Alex mentions, Jeter simply broke late to the bag (and it's possible that his achy toes slowed him down), forcing Posada to make a bad throw to where Jeter was rather than risk a throw into center that would have put the runner on third. Mora scored on Huff's ensuing single anyway.

Honestly, Jeter's defense has been appalling thus far.

2007-04-07 08:08:16
10.   OldYanksFan
Have you ever had to work closely with someone you had a serious issue with? That you disliked? That you were angry at?

Have you ever had to work closely with someone that had a serious issue with you? That disliked you? That was angry at you?

I don't want to go all psychologist here, but anyone with any knowledge of human dynamics knows that this type of discomfort affects you. Maybe not every day, not every situation, but it is always there, and will have an accummulated effect.

ARod came 'clean' this SP. It was a little silly in that he finally stated what was very obvious... what everyone already knew.
But he might feel a little better. Jeter? no problem... no comment.

We know Jetes would not have given up SS to have ARod there, even though we all knew it was better for the team. We know Jetes wouldn't move to CF, even when we desparately needed him there and had a better SS to take his place. We all know it might be impossible to get him to move to 1st base, even though his time has come. Please read what Steve at WasWatching has to say abouts Jetes defense.

And yet we all say "Jeter will do anything to win". Really? Do you believe it? I don't. He will perform his best to win. Absolutely. And he is an excellent performer. ARod, one of the 2 best shortstops of alltime, a guy who was ONE HOME RUN away from breaking the alltime record for HRs by a SS, gave up his position to a lesser man. To be a Yankee. To win a WS or 3.

I am NOT Jeter bashing. He is a great player and a great Yankee. But this "He will do anything to win" stuff is crap. This "me and ARod have a good working relationship" stuff is crap.

The thought that we might lose ARod next year kills me. He is NOT the best player or best hitter in baseball. But he is centainly in the top 10 (out of 700). Unlike Giambi, Manny, Hafner, Ortiz and many others, he is valuable in the field and on the basepaths.

Dave Roberts stolen base is famous for turning the tide. How about ARods stolen base the other night? Dave Roberts is infamous. How many HRs does he have?

Here's what's best for the Yankees.
Jeter in CF or Jeter and 1st, whichever position be can be at least league average at (and I don't think he is league average at SS anymore).

ARod at SS.
ARod is signed for 6 more years.
ARod hits #600 at Yankee Stadium.
ARod hits #700 at Yankee Stadium.

Jetes and ARod have a Gestalt, and truly put there shit behind them. Together, for at least 4 more years, they lead by example, and will this team to come together and win. Together they set examples for Hughes, Clippard, Tabata, and a whole slew of young men who will be our Yankees in the near future.

Losing ARod will be a tragic loss.
If we lose ARod, think about how history will look back at this.
Watching Jetes play SS for the next 3 years won't be fun either.

And I am not reacting to the last 3 games. That's meaningless. This has been coming for a while and I think we all know it.

Yes, ARod DOES have a problem with pressure. Yes, ARod is NOT the Messiah.
But please compare ARod's numbers to Brook Robinson's, Clete Boyer's, Rizzuto's, Kubek's, Nettle's, anyone you like. How about DiMaggio's? How about Mantle's?

Love him of hate him.....

2007-04-07 08:13:41
11.   OldYanksFan
P.S.: Alex, did you mention the Yankees looked really OLD?
2007-04-07 09:18:28
12.   baileywalk
I don't know how OLD they looked. But they sure looked COLD.

Mussina always takes a few starts to get his velocity up. He was getting to two strikes on people and wasn't able to put them away. It was a night where Moose couldn't hit his spots and when that happens he often gets hit. The post-2003/elbow problem Moose only throws his fastball 86-91 (and he's only hitting 91 on a good day). As you already know, when you miss your spot with that kind of velocity, you get hit.

I'm not sure, Cliff, how I get the equation Pavano + Pettitte + Moose (short, bad outings) = Igawa having a bad outing. He could be gone in one inning or last seven; it's up to how he pitches -- but doesn't have anything to do with how his teammates pitched.

I don't know how well he will do, but I imagine Igawa will be the first starter to actually go five innings today.

2007-04-07 09:54:48
13.   Cliff Corcoran
12 Hey, don't look at me, this is Alex's post!

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