Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Taking Care Of Business
2007-07-25 20:33
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Your game recap this morning courtesy of Mike Mussina:

"Melky got into one early and gave us a lead, and I just did the best I could to hold them down until we could scratch out some more. We got to 3-1. I felt pretty good about it, and then we busted loose and scored four runs late so that kinda just put it away from there."

To flesh that out, Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer of Gil Meche in the second. Mussina held the Royals scoreless through five thanks to a couple of extra ticks on his fastball and good command of his curve. The Royals bounced him with two outs in the sixth when Ross Gload doubled and Reggie Sanders singled him home to make it 2-1. Ron Villone got Alex Gordon to end that threat. The Yanks added a run in the top of the seventh. Mike Myers bailed out Scott Proctor in the bottom of that frame, and the Yanks exploded in the eighth with Alex Rodriguez hitting career homer number 499 off Gil Meche, a two-run shot to right. That bounced Meche in favor of Jimmy Gobble, who was greeted by a Matsui solo shot and then gave up a second run on a Cano single and an Andy Phillips double to put the final at 7-1.

So the Yanks win their fourth straight four-game series and, for the first time in that stretch, have a chance to sweep. Good signs: they've won Kei Igawa's last three starts, are on a six-game winning streak in which they've scored a minimum of seven runs in every game, and are 17-6 (.739) in July.

Comments (151)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-25 22:09:14
1.   yankz
"a six-game winning streak in which they've scored a minimum of seven runs in every game"

That's just remarkable.

2007-07-25 22:19:47
2.   weeping for brunnhilde
1 These are the good times.
2007-07-25 22:33:57
3.   Nick from Washington Heights
Yeah, but that Randy Johnson trade still irks me:)

Okay, probably should stay away from that Pandora's Box.

This is the best I've felt about this team all year. What an offense.

2007-07-25 22:49:32
4.   Cliff Corcoran
3 Imagine if Giambi hadn't gotten hurt . . . and consider that they could add Giambi and Hughes in the next week or two.
2007-07-25 23:15:04
5.   weeping for brunnhilde
4 Are you convinced Giambi will imrprove the team, Cliff?

I'm ambivalent.

3 It does feel great, but (not to jinx anything) I felt this way before Colorado, too...

Just saying.

2007-07-25 23:44:19
6.   rabid stan
5 I'd like to see what Giambi does in his rehab starts. If he's really healthy, you bet they're better off with him. The only question, since Melky would likely be the odd man out (unless Giambi played 1B, then it'd be Phillips), is whether Damon goes back to completely sucking after he's pushed out of the DH slot.

But if that happens it's Damon, not Giambi, who's hurting the team while Melky rots on the bench.

2007-07-26 00:26:03
7.   joejoejoe
6 I think Melky has won the CF job outright.
2007-07-26 00:26:16
8.   rbs10025
{2] 1998 was the good times.

But I'll savor this anyway.

2007-07-26 00:42:02
9.   brockdc
6 For some reason, this touches a nerve with me. On Planet Logical, Giambi's return and Melky's playing time would be mutually exclusive. Melky has earned the CF job in every possible way, with timely hitting (upping his OPS to pseudo-respectability for a CF'er), situational hitting, and stellar defense.

Back here on Earth, however, Melky will likely be bumped to fourth outfielder status upon Giambi's return. And we all know how poorly both Melky and the team played when he was a part-time player. Must've been a coincidence, though.

I realize that this will infuriate and/or bewilder a lot of people, but Melky Cabrerra is a better complement to the rest of this team than is Giambi.

2007-07-26 00:46:21
10.   brockdc
9Just to clarify, by "situational hitting," I mean to imply that he's done exceptionally well lately advancing runners with his bunting, sac. flies, etc.
2007-07-26 01:03:05
11.   BklynBmr
6 I'll take a Giambi that sees 12 pitches per AB, lifts a few into the short porch, and gets nabbed at second by 10 feet for whats a standup triple by anyone else, God bless him...

The Damon/DH/Melky/CF dynamic does beg the question, though. I dunno, hopefully Melkman will be in there enough to keep him sharp at the plate, and at least at the right times when D is critical. It's gonna be an interesting juggling act...

8 1949-53 set the bar for 'good times'. Five straight rings. Wish I coulda been there ;-)

2007-07-26 01:28:58
12.   rabid stan
7, 9 Melky has won the starting job. He'll also be benched when Giambi comes back. But when that happens it will be Damon taking at-bats away from Melky.

I know it's doubtful that there even is such a thing, but we should all appreciate a healthy Giambi re-entering the lineup. Don't blame losing Melky on a boon like that, blame it on Damon's contract being too big to bench him instead.

2007-07-26 02:21:29
13.   joejoejoe
The Yankees have 62 games left.

Roughly 75% of those will be against RH pitching, 25% LH pitching. Damon and Giambi should sit against LH pitching with Duncan and Phillips playing DH/1B. Against RH pitching Torre should rotate days off for Damon, Abreu, Matsui, Giambi, and Melky giving them all about 9 games off (vs. RH) the rest of the way. Melky plays 53 of 62 games. Add in PH duties and subs and everyone is happy and fresh. It's not rocket science. Let people know their roles and concentrate on making the playoffs without filling out lineup cards by "gut".

2007-07-26 03:34:32
14.   Jim Dean
4 I think that's THE reason not to make any moves. They're adding a top caliber bat and pitcher that other teams crave. The only question is if they can add a Gagne or Lidge. Swapping out Flame in the process would be a bonus.

Otherwise, Melky just has to keep hitting, and things will take care of themselves. Him starting in CF, over a healthy Damon, was the big Torre hurdle. I think (or pray), for once they'll be willing to bench the overpriced guy with lower skills over the youngster with still developing skills. And Damon has a .670 OPS in July while Melky is at .834.

Speaking of Torre (via NoMass):

Yesterday's organizational meetings in Tampa, Fla., focused more on the Yankees' need to change the personnel in their bullpen and obtain a versatile, utility-type hitter who could play some first base until Jason Giambi gets back.

Many in the organization favor seeing if Andy Phillips and Shelley Duncan can provide the offensive answers. And there are also many in the organization who worry that manager Joe Torre could stand in the way of the improvements they try to make. Torre was opposed to the team's efforts to acquire outfielder Milton Bradley when the A's put him on waivers, and he opposed a possible deal for Houston infielder Morgan Ensberg.

2007-07-26 03:51:00
15.   Jim Dean
13 They do need to start seeing what they have against LHP. The Tigers have two LH starters (Robertson and Rogers) as do the Sox right now. Indeed, the reason I think the Sox rushed back Lester (besides Taverez sucking) is to see which of him or Gabbard is more likely to be Yankee kryptonite while the other could end up as a one to two inning guy in the pen. Yankee bats go very quiet against LHP and Okajima plus Gabbard/Lester (esp when Shrilling returns) could be a formidable late inning matchup problem (Giambi loses 132 points of OPS against LHP; Abreu loses 202 points; Matsui loses 87 points; Damon - 48) It would be nice if they kept Duncan on the bench, and even better if they could play him in the corner OF slots.
2007-07-26 04:04:59
16.   alterity
FWIW, in the three years prior to this one Giambi went .243/.388/.484 against LHPs in 345 ABs and .252/.416/.518 against RHPs in 782 ABs. And those totals include his horrible 2004. This year, in 46 ABs he's gone .283/.327/.522 against southpaws and .252/.400/.398 in 103 ABs. I would guess that the reverse split is a bit of an aberration.

In any case, and to be honest (I know that everyone is high on Duncan right now), but I don't see Shelley Longball putting up numbers either set of numbers against any type of pitcher once he's exposed. And he will be.

2007-07-26 04:06:05
17.   alterity
16 whoops, Giambi's .252/.400/.398 in 103 ABs line is against righties, natch.
2007-07-26 04:12:04
18.   joejoejoe
15 I wouldn't mind seeing the Yankees trade for Sammy Sosa as a platoon DH vs. LH pitching. He's hitting a sweet .333/.436/.615 this year vs. lefties. Add Phillips and Duncan at 1B and one corner OF spot and all of a sudden lefty pitching isn't so troublesome.
2007-07-26 04:13:00
19.   Jim Dean
Here's why we've heard certain names mentioned:

Career OPS against LHP:
Ensberg - .927
Bradley - .825
Wiggy - .843


Damon - .750
Abreu - .763
Matsui - .800
Giambi - .858

Decent lefties on contending teams (bold = starters right now):
Tigers - Rogers, Robertson, Seay
Indians - Sabathia, Fultz
Red Sox - Lester, Gabbard, Okajima

Questions are: Would Torre ever start Duncan in the OF? Would he ever pinch hit him for Abreu or Matsui?

Sorry for the sobering thoughts - it's my nature...

2007-07-26 04:18:57
20.   monkeypants
18 Woo-hoo! They could slowly acquire an entire Balco All-Star team, then go on a barn storming tour.
2007-07-26 04:19:41
21.   Jim Dean
18 Problem is, it looks like the biggest sinkhole without a net is Abreu. Can Sosa play RF?

Jermaine Dye works:
.856 (career)/.837 (2007)

But that's not much of an upgrade. Duncan might actually be better.

2007-07-26 04:24:51
22.   monkeypants
Anyway, let's see how Giambi does in his rehab start. I'm still sceptical. On the other hand, if he does come back for real, probably no team is going to make a midseason acquisition for a player of equal caliber. The ABs will work thmselves, too. Torre did bench Damon for Shelley Duncan after all, albeit for two days.
2007-07-26 05:22:29
23.   NJYankee41
According to Elias Sports Bureau, if A-rod hits a home run in the suspended Baltimore game on Friday his home run last night will statistically become his 500th.

It will technically be a June home run so that would retrospectively increase his totals. Weird huh?

2007-07-26 05:24:24
24.   Alex Belth
I like how pissed Rodriguez was when he whiffed on that fat slider against Dotel. What has impressed me about A Rod is that he recovers very well from bad swings, bad at-bats, even a bad game or two. Everytime I think he's going to go into a real slump...he doesn't. Hopefully, he'll hit 500 shortly, be done with it, and continue his march to 50 dingers. I just think it'd be so cool to see a Yankee hit 50 homers in a season.
2007-07-26 05:26:04
25.   Alex Belth
That is weird. Actually, I've been thinking about that make-up game. Who, exactly, do you pitch in a game like that? You need two innings. Do you use a starter on his rest day? Or a reliever? Relievers aren't used to pitching early in the evening. Curious...
2007-07-26 05:31:05
26.   Rob Middletown CT
Hmm. My initial sorta silly reaction is to say "Mariano."

I can't see using a starter for 2 innings, especially since the 2nd of said innings is Mariano time.

So, provided they are properly rested (never a sure thing), I'd go Viz-Mo.

2007-07-26 05:37:20
27.   Alex Belth
There is an article in the Times today with George Brett praising Alex Rodriguez..."He's the best player I've ever seen," Brett had said. "He really is."
2007-07-26 05:41:57
28.   joejoejoe
24 50 is a lot of home runs. I remember Tino's monster 1997 and Alex Rodriguez may match that total by the end of August. I forgot but Tino Martinez was second in MVP voting that year (to Junior Griffey).
2007-07-26 05:59:34
29.   OldYanksFan
"Once, there was a time when it was possible to trade for Randy Johnson at the trading deadline. Or Bartolo Colon. Or, at the very least, Brad Penny. Boy, those were the days.

But now those days seem as long gone as legalized spitballs, the seven-balls-for-a-walk rule and those old gloves that looked more like pingpong paddles.

'All we want,' said one NL executive this week, 'is a starting pitcher who's at least an upgrade. But they're just not out there. If we're sitting here waiting for Steve Trachsel to come off the disabled list, thinking that's a big deal, I mean, it's time to slap ourselves in the head. But that's where we are.'

You could see this storm cloud gathering two years ago, when Shawn Chacon (yep, Shawn Chacon) was the most impactful starting pitcher traded before the deadline."

A little more CashAss kssing for me.
Man... I am sooooooooooooooo glad we are developing our own pitching. I think 4 years of chasing pitching and basically failing on all accounts, has left it's impact on Cashman.

While we were able to use our financial advantage to help 'buy' some quality teams over the last ten years, ultimately a true dynasty must come from the Farm. It we put the majority of our money into scouting and developing youth, we will be unbeatable.

When this happens, the luxury threshold will no longer be an issue, and MLB will have to come up with another way to try and stop the Yankees. Should be fun.

Meanwhile... I would like to know if anyone here believes we will NOT make the PS. Speak out.

2007-07-26 06:11:04
30.   mehmattski
19 This should be obvious.

Career BFOG+
Ensberg 89
Wiggy 83
Bradley -20
Damon 342
Cairo 11281

So, as you can see, there is no need to trade for the top two players. You really need to check the BFOG database before logically discussing trade proposals involving the Joe Torre Yankees.

2007-07-26 06:18:35
31.   joejoejoe
30 Damon's BFOG+ may not match Cairo but his CFOS+* is off the charts.

*calves full of sexy

2007-07-26 06:18:52
32.   williamnyy23
5 Giambi can definitely be an asset if Torre uses the added flexibility to be creative. Melky can still play 50 of the last 60 games, while Matsui, Damon, Abreu and Giambi revolve around the OF and DH spot. The older men down the stretch could use the rest anyway. Now that Ryan Thompson is no longer the first man off the bench, you can do that. Also, the return of Giambi could actually mean the Yankees have a decent bench.

In other words, it all depends on how Torre handles the lineup. If he reverts to formula, it's his fault, not Giambi's.

14 If Torre really blocked a deal for Ensberg, that's awful. really awful.

24 I think Alex was pissed because he tried to hit a home run. Had he not forced the issue, he probably would have belted Dotel's hanging slider into the fountain.

2007-07-26 06:20:34
33.   williamnyy23
25 is Wang's throw day.
2007-07-26 06:24:30
34.   williamnyy23
29 I still think there's a stronger chance than I would like that the Yankees fall short. The Sox easy schedule still has the division a little too far from reach at this point. The Yankees probably have an easier schedule than the Indians over all, but there is a late August monster stretch that features 14 straight games against the Tigers, Red Sox and Angels. I think we'll have our answer at that point.
2007-07-26 06:37:41
35.   Shaun P
24 Dare we dream of A-Rod hitting 55? That would be the most ever outside of Babe and Roger.

All I know is, I'm TiVo'ing every game until he gets to 500. It would be fitting if he did it today, as de la Rosa gave up A-Rod's 400th home run too.

And let's see if Giambi's "imminent return" isn't just posturing on the part of both Giambi and the Yanks to facilitate a trade.

2007-07-26 06:38:20
36.   Shaun P
35 "most ever by a Yankee"
2007-07-26 06:43:43
37.   JL25and3
32 First off, I'd take that little item with a grain of salt. It sounds like someone with an axe to grind, whispering to a reporter. In fact, I'm a little confused, since Torre seems to be standing in the way of two entirely opposite approaches that "many in the organization" want - getting Morgan Ensberg or Milton Bradley, and giving Phillips and Duncan a chance.

Anyway, what's the fascination with Ensberg? Since coming back from a shoulder injury a year ago he's been absolutely awful: .229/.349/.367. The walks are nice, but they are absolutely the only thing he provides on offense. On top of that, he's a third baseman, nothing else, so what's he supposed to do?

If Torre prevented them from getting Ensberg and Bradley, I say more power to him.

2007-07-26 06:45:03
38.   Dimelo
32 Am I not getting something here, but Torre blocked a trade for a player who is doing the following:

How is Torre awful for blocking that? Shouldn't we be praising him for wanting Miguel Cairo's white brother?

Why is NoMaas on a Milton Bradley kick now, too? I can't believe people are pissed that Torre didn't want a Bradley type of player in the clubhouse. The team doesn't need that type of distraction from such a malcontent.

I guess it's easier to support an a-hole like Bradley than someone who has done nothing but win since he got here.

Oh, when the teams won it wasn't because of Torre. SORRY...forget about that fact, I think all of Torre's wins as manager should be erased and only his losses be tracked. It will be easier to remember his legacy that way.

I think amongst some of you Hitler would get a more positive response than Torre.

Are people just looking for reasons to get on Torre? I guess since the team is winning they can't go off on the Yanks for losing, so in order to remain consistent they have to find other things to say about the man.

If this ends up being his final year, why can't people let him go in peace at least?

2007-07-26 06:45:59
39.   Jim Dean
29 Things are looking good indeed for the playoffs. So much so that I'm looking ahead to the post-season.

What I find unbelievably frustrating is that the parts are there (now), but I just can't see Torre using them correctly, just as in the past.

2004 - Bernie is the CF while Lofton is the DH; Gordon gets abused down the stretch

2005 - Bubba is the CF in Game 5 of ALDS after barely playing there in the second half. Huge error...

2006 - Shef comes back and they try to shoehorn him into 1B while pulling Melky and without finding a way to rotate through Abreu and Giambi.

2007 - Giambi comes back. Can they rotate through Damon, Melky, and/or Matsui appropriately? Do we have to wait until next year to see Duncan play the OF, especially against LHP?

2007-07-26 06:46:19
40.   JL25and3
34 I agree. Right now they're looking like a juggernaut against bad teams. That's fine; they're beating the teams they're facing, and whom they should beat. But their pitching has hardly been overwhelming, and they're not going to keep scoring eleventy-seven runs a game. They're doing what they have to do right now, but there's still a long row to hoe.
2007-07-26 06:47:19
41.   Dimelo
38 This is how this line should have read: Shouldn't we be praising him for NOT wanting Miguel Cairo's white brother?
2007-07-26 06:47:48
42.   JL25and3
39 Get up, you damn horse! WHACK! WHACK!
2007-07-26 06:49:46
43.   Jim Dean
37 38 Take a look at 19 then don't be surprised when a Yankee lineup of:

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

gets shut down by the likes of Kason Gabbard, Join Lester, and Nate Robertson in August.

2007-07-26 06:53:41
44.   Jim Dean
42 Here's a horse for you, jackass:

vs. LHP:
.314 .414 .550 (Career)/ .280 .412 .573 (2007)

Gar-y Shef-field. [clap clap, clap-clap-clap]
Gar-y Shef-field. [clap clap, clap-clap-clap]
Gar-y Shef-field. [clap clap, clap-clap-clap]
Gar-y Shef-field. [clap clap, clap-clap-clap]

2007-07-26 06:55:34
45.   Dimelo
43 How do you know they are gonna get shut-down? Hasn't Torre been putting players like Duncan in the lineup and sitting Abreu whenever they are facing a tough lefty?

I still don't get what you think Ensberg can do to help the Yanks with this line against lefties:

And Bradley, are you guys REALLY serious? If Sheffield didn't think Torre was fair with black people, what kind of asinine shit will Bradley come up with?

Seriously, are you guys serious?

2007-07-26 07:01:09
46.   Jim Dean
45 Hey, I'm not saying THOSE were the players, I'm just saying I can understand why they were being discussed.

Bradley for his splits and ability to play any OF position.

Ensberg because Miguel Cairo was the starting 1b for two weeks for Torre.

As for Duncan, I'll hope and pray. But I wouldn't be surprised to see him sent packing when Giambi returns. And Torre has yet to play him in the OF. If you really look at the splits in 19, this should be the lineup against LHP:

Melky CF
Jeter SS
Giambi DH
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui LF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Duncan RF
Phillips 1B

What chance you see that happening?

2007-07-26 07:01:21
47.   Nick from Washington Heights
Inconceivable that we're lamenting Sheff's loss. He wanted to be traded! He basically demanded it. There was no position for him on the team! Not sure what else to say about it, but that questioning why the traded him is the height of second-guessing.

I don't understand NoMaas's point. Milton Bradley could be useful I suppose but he's a huge injury risk and kind of has clubhouse issues. And Morgan Ensberg? Are they serious. He's been awful for a while now.

2007-07-26 07:05:30
48.   Jim Dean
47 Ha! 42 Nick fell for it.
2007-07-26 07:07:03
49.   JL25and3
Jim, you're getting personal again. You accused me of cheating on stats yesterday, when you didn't look up a single one yourself. Then you started making snide comments about my job, which is really crossing the line. You want to criticize my arguments, even if you do it with nothing but smoke and mirrors, blustering and bullying, that's fine. You start insulting me, calling me names, denigrating my life and my work - that has no place here, and I'd politely ask that you stop.
2007-07-26 07:11:01
50.   Jim Dean
49 From the one who first told me to "Go to hell"?

Brilliant. Really. Is your glass house comfortable at least?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-26 07:12:51
51.   joejoejoe
Can't we all get a Long? Terrence Long maybe? Nah..his splits vs. LHP suck.
2007-07-26 07:13:33
52.   JL25and3
50 Yes, I did. That had only to do with your discourse here, and your personal insults. I'm asking politely that you stop.
2007-07-26 07:14:28
53.   Jim Dean

189 190

2007-07-26 07:17:32
54.   Jim Dean
49 By the way, you brought up your job to try to show how much you know and thus "teach" everyone about "variance". Then you further used your job as an expertise cudgel not knowing who, in hell, you were talking to.

Glad to see you've gotten over that embarassment.

2007-07-26 07:17:45
55.   JL25and3
That had only to do with your discourse here, and your personal insults. I'm asking politely that you stop.
2007-07-26 07:18:44
56.   Chyll Will
Is it safe to make a non-aggressive comment right now?

Cliff, you owe Weeping a tip o' the cap or a Yoo-Hoo or a piece of bloody meat or something. Why am I the only one to notice that you took his comment from last night's thread and made it the title of today's post >;) Good one, both of youse guys...

2007-07-26 07:19:22
57.   JL25and3
54 Your argument was and is ridiculous, but I'm not getting into it again because all you're doing is continuing to insult me. How many times do I have to ask you politely to stop?
2007-07-26 07:19:36
58.   Bama Yankee
A small sample size of DeadHorses walk into a bar.
The bartender says: "Why the long faces?"
The horses respond: "Weeeee've been reading the comments over at Bronx Banter..."
2007-07-26 07:22:52
59.   Chyll Will
58 I borrowed your catch-phrase for a moment; here, you can have it back good-as-new >;)
2007-07-26 07:23:05
60.   Jim Dean
58 Ha!

(David Robertson continuing to impress yesterday. 6 ER 86 K 22 BB in 65 IP this year)

2007-07-26 07:27:25
61.   OldYanksFan
39 You mean Torre and Cashman have made a number of 'errors' over the last 4 years? I can't believe it. Over that time, these guys are both well paid to make the thousands of daily decisions that go into putting this team on the field.

We can't tolerate this.
No other club in MLB has managers and FO people making failed decisions.

I simply can't believe it's true.
Say it ain't so, Jim.

It's obvious that our winning in the past was all about players performing.
It's obvious that our losing earlier this year, and in past PS's, was all about Torre and Cashman NOT performing.

2007-07-26 07:28:27
62.   Jim Dean
56 Whoever made the Mo at the Colosseum comment last night - fantastic.
2007-07-26 07:31:59
63.   Nick from Washington Heights
hey, I'm sorry for even alluding to what is considered a dead horse argument on the Banter. I must admit I haven't been visiting the comment section here as much as I did in the past because of work. So I haven't been up on the tone and direction of a lot of threads of discussion. I'll keep my more confrontational opinions to myself because I am obviously falling into someone's trap who I guess likes to argue for the sake of arguing.

Onto another subject. I think I've been most excited about Melky's development this season. It looks like we might have a viable centerfielder for the next few years. That's great news! And in Joba, Phil, and Ian we might have the next Hudson, Mulder and Zito. I'm feeling good today.

2007-07-26 07:32:29
64.   RIYank
56 I noticed. But only because I whipped through those comments right before opening up this thread. So you may share Weeping's Yoo Hoo. (That may not be sanitary, but we're all brothers here.)
2007-07-26 07:34:58
65.   RIYank
So, hang on. Does this 23 mean that the balls may have been mis-numbered? #500 may have been last night. That'll learn 'em.

Check out David Pinto's encomium to Alex, with a nice pic too -- David notes A-Rod's eye on the ball after contact. Cool.

2007-07-26 07:36:23
66.   Bama Yankee
59 Thanks, I'm just glad I'm known for something other than the being the "Karim Garcia guy". It's tough to be a "one trick pony" in a stable full of DeadHorses...

BTW, how can there be catch-phrases if there are no throw-phrases?

2007-07-26 07:37:56
67.   Chyll Will
62 That would be Weeping, a credit to this space >;)

61 OYF, have you ever gone to the zoo or a big city park, and there are these innocuous signs all over the place that read Please Don't Feed The Animals ? I think the principle should apply here, at least for the moment >;)

2007-07-26 07:38:04
68.   JL25and3
66 Huh? I don't get it. Who is Karim Garcia?
2007-07-26 07:44:34
69.   rbj
63 Amen.

Gosh, I just hope the Yankees continue to win, otherwise the Banter may start getting ugly. Or even Ugueth.

2007-07-26 07:44:38
70.   williamnyy23
37 I am not making Ensberg out to be a star, but from 2003 to 2006 he has mostly been a productive hitter. The injury you mentioned is relevant, but I still think he'd be a useful RH bat off the bench. I can understand not wanting to put up with Bradley's antics, but I've never heard anything bad about Ensberg (outside of rumblings about wanting to play). With Giambi coming back, he probably wouldn't have a spot anyway.
2007-07-26 07:45:28
71.   Chyll Will
66 Are you kiddin'? The way we throw them around here is quite spectacular. We should be on the All-Star team (well, at least you, I'm on the WTF?? team with Coach Dimelo >;)

64 When I have it, my pail is always full for my brothers and sisters. But it's Cliff who owes Weeping the Yoo-Hoo in all fairness (IMHO, btw)...

2007-07-26 07:47:02
72.   Chyll Will
69 Would you mind if it got Uggla?
2007-07-26 07:47:46
73.   RIYank
72 That would be Riske.
2007-07-26 07:51:33
74.   williamnyy23
Below is from the Post:

If true, would anyone be in favor of trading Ian Kennedy for Salty?

"An AL executive, though, countered by saying Schuerholz might be nearing the end of his long tenure and might value a shot now, especially since in Brian McCann Atlanta already has a young, talented catcher tied up for a long time, making Saltalamacchia expendable. Either way, this executive said, he thinks either Saltalamacchia or Kotchman might have to be spun for pitching in a three-way deal because arms are what Texas craves to trade Teixeira." - Joel Sherman

2007-07-26 07:54:39
75.   ChrisS
Anyway, how about Joba's debut against AAA hitters yeseterday? Damn.

5 IP, 4 hits, 1 BB and 10 Ks

2007-07-26 07:56:21
76.   ChrisS
74 I'd probably pull the trigger on that one.
2007-07-26 07:58:03
77.   Chyll Will
73 I've got nuthin'. You Wynn...

See you all later! >;)

2007-07-26 08:00:35
78.   rconn23
I know it's not the popular opinion and I loathe the Sox. But I just want to see the Yanks grabd the wild card by the throat and take the lead as soon as possible. The Indians and Mariners are ready to be had.

I feel our chances are going to be severely hindered because of Torre's blind loyalty to veteran players. That means that Melky's superior defense in CF will be lost, and Damon's weak arm and atrocious offensive production will return. Melky, while still developing, is just a superior player right now.

I welcome Giambi's bat back into the line-up, but if it means more maddening play from Johnny D, I hope he stays out.

2007-07-26 08:00:52
79.   monkeypants
58 66

A dead horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks him: "Hey buddy, why the long pause?"

The dead horse answers:"Huh? that pause wasn't long enough--I'm still a dead horse."

2007-07-26 08:01:38
80.   NJYankee41
65 I guess it could mean that. I wonder if thats the reason they have been using marked balls up to this point. Previously I didn't see a reason to mark homers 497 498 499. Its not like he could have hit 3 home runs in one at-bat even though with how he's playing this year that sounds possible.

So I wonder what they did with #499. It could in fact be the official 500th if he hits one friday. Hell, if he hits 2 in that suspended game that must mean #498 is the REAL 500.

It makes sense but its still weird and hard to accept.

2007-07-26 08:04:04
81.   RIYank
78 I think the M's are cooked. They were playing way above their ability for a while, and they came down to earth fast.
Cleveland is a different story. I figure, we play very well, get a little lucky, and we catch them.
2007-07-26 08:05:23
82.   williamnyy23
78 I kind of agree with you...Id definitely prefer to win the division, but something tells me that this year is setting up for another Sox/Yankees showdown in the ALCS. If so, I'd rather grap a WC spot asap and then worry about the division.
2007-07-26 08:06:02
83.   RIYank
80 Who actually has possession of #499? For all I know, "they" won't even get their hands on it. I know I'd hold onto it, myself. It could be extremely valuable in... maybe 2016 or so?
2007-07-26 08:06:03
84.   monkeypants
80 I guess it's sort of a big deal, because A-Rod would be the youngest to do it, but why do we care about HR #500? Not only have I grown numb to all these various milestone tracking exercises, the recent offensive explosion has rendered a number of these benchmarks historically unremarkable.
2007-07-26 08:08:11
85.   rbj
77 Good save. I can't come up with another one, guess I'll just have to Punto.
2007-07-26 08:12:13
86.   weeping for brunnhilde
24 "What has impressed me about A Rod is that he recovers very well from bad swings, bad at-bats, even a bad game or two. Everytime I think he's going to go into a real slump...he doesn't."

That's exactly right, Alex.

It's really amazing.

2007-07-26 08:13:46
87.   williamnyy23
83 The KC ball boy was shown on YES retrieving the ball from the grassy area. I'm sure it now resides in MLB's possession. Kenny Singleton made a great point about KC being the perfect park for a milestone as there are very few seats into which a HR can be hit.
2007-07-26 08:15:56
88.   NJYankee41
83 It went into the grass part of right-center at Kauffman field so a ball boy retrieved and I assume it went to the proper person, maybe A-Rod if he cared.

84 His age is the only reason its significant and the chance that it will be HR# 500 for the home run champ.

2007-07-26 08:16:01
89.   weeping for brunnhilde
32 Yeah. He said as much on the postgame: "Maybe I tried just a little too hard."
2007-07-26 08:16:20
90.   williamnyy23
84 Unremarkable? That's pretty strong. When you consider all of the players in the history of MLB, a subsection of 21 (22 when Arod joins) still seems very select. Hitting 500 is still a huge accomplishment, especially as early as Arod is poised to do it.
2007-07-26 08:22:21
91.   Jim Dean
74 Yes. But would Torre play him and where?
2007-07-26 08:24:55
92.   williamnyy23
A couple of interesting notes:

1) The Yankee staff has finally attained league average as it now has an ERA+ of 100.
2) Melky remains as the last Yankee in the starting lineup who is below an OPS+ of 100. At 95, he is slowly making the climb.
3) Matsui's OPS+ of 134 has almost surpassed Jeter's 135 for third on the team. Still ahead are Posada at 150 and Arod at 185.
4) Mike Myers has been very good in June and July. He also has is OPS against lefties down to .784. It seems as if he has been more effective against less experienced lefties, so maybe Joe will use him in the role against all but the very best (i.e., Ortiz).

2007-07-26 08:29:27
93.   monkeypants
90 Maybe I am just tired of endless "watches" and cutting away from games to see seemingly random ABs by Griffey, A-Rod, Sosa, Bonds, Biggio, Thomas as they approach some or other milestone. And while only a handful of players reached 500, seven have done it in the last 10 years, and four more active players are between 478 and 499. eight active players are in the top 27 all time HR hitters, some of whom either will not (McGriff) or should not make it into the HOF (Thome).

We are drawn to arbitrary numbers (400/500 HRs or 300 wins, etc) for a variety of reasons--I get that. But #500 just doesn't mean all that much in the current context.

Who knows, maybe I'm spoiled.

2007-07-26 08:32:11
94.   YankeeInMichigan
Damon and Giambi are now largely redundant, i.e. both left-handed DHs. A deep bench means very little (until the World Series), since all of the starters are strong hitters. You'll want to pitch-hit for Molina in late innings of a close game, but use Posada. You'll need to use him anyway. So the second lefty DH becomes useful only if one of the infielders gets injured and Cairo starts.

Damon is a bit more versatile than Giambi (he is serviceable in left and center 2-3 days a week, while Giambi risks re-injury whenever he takes the field). Damon is also less tradeable, with 2 years remaining on his contract. The Angels could use a DH. Hmmm.

2007-07-26 08:34:00
95.   weeping for brunnhilde
You guys crack me up.

Why the long pause!

Waka waka!

And thanks for the kind words, Will.

I know it's still a stretch to think about Boston, but we're really inching closer and we do have 6 games to take things into our own hands.

If we stay hot and get a little luck by the time we face them...

2007-07-26 08:36:13
96.   JL25and3
82Six games back in July, and you're going to start rooting for the Sox to win? That just seems completely backwards to me. If there comes a time that the division looks out of reach again, OK. But for now, the only job for the Yankees is to win every game possible - and Boston suddenly looks catchable.

If they win enough to be in serious contention for the division, they'll be right in the thick of the wild card race as well.

2007-07-26 08:38:06
97.   monkeypants
94 But Giambi will probably hit a lot more than Damon, so he should be the primary DH. Damon's versatility only matters insofar as he is seen as a bench player. So as a 4th OF, fine. Otherwise, give me Giambi+Thompson.

Is Damon that much less tradable? He has two years left at 13 million each (26 million total). Giambi has one year at 20+ million PLUS a buyout, so the total is about the same.

2007-07-26 08:38:06
98.   weeping for brunnhilde
23 "According to Elias Sports Bureau, if A-rod hits a home run in the suspended Baltimore game on Friday his home run last night will statistically become his 500th.

It will technically be a June home run so that would retrospectively increase his totals. Weird huh? "

Let's. Dooo. The Tiiime-warp agaaaiiiiin!!

How strange is that. Now my head's spinning.

So Alex may already have hit his 500th homerun which he has not hit yet.

Like creating a rock so big he himself cannot lift it. I guess we don't call him A-God for nothin', huh?

Btw, what's the score, inning and situation of that game? I seem to remember it was like 5-2 in the 7th or 8th?

It's a game we absolutely MUST have, though, a gimme, so I'd just go right to Mo if that's at all possible.

2007-07-26 08:39:45
99.   JL25and3
94 Damon is actually more tradeable, because he doesn't have a full no-trade. The return might be less than with Giambi, but making some trade is more feasible.
2007-07-26 08:40:53
100.   mehmattski
90 Yeah, and using the bench mark of a perfect game, there are still more players who have pitched those than who have hit 500 home runs. And if rumor is enough to indict some one on a steroid charge, for all his faults, A-Rod has never been accused of that. Barring injury he's going to easily surmount 800 home runs.

89 That might concern me though. If he starts "pressing," trying to get that 500th homer, we could go right back to that A-Rod psychobabble from last year. Considering the only value A-Rod has added this month has been home runs, (.244/.340/.561, more than 1/3 of his hits have been homers), if he "tries a little too hard" to get #500, it could be a bad thing.

Therefore I hope he does hit it tonight. De LaRosa has given up 1.42 HR/9 IP this season, so it's as good a bet as any.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-26 08:42:14
101.   JL25and3
If you can have the Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim, what's wrong with the Yankees-Orioles game of June 28 of July 27?
2007-07-26 08:45:42
102.   weeping for brunnhilde
100 It happened with Sori, too, when he was stuck on 39 those last couple of weeks of the season. He said he was probably a little to conscious of 40-40.

90% of the game is half-mental.

2007-07-26 08:46:05
103.   RIYank
Some of Alex's homers do seem to travel faster than the speed of light. Maybe that's how he could manage to hit #500 before he hit #499.
2007-07-26 08:46:26
104.   weeping for brunnhilde
101 ha ah aha haah!!!

Very nice.

2007-07-26 08:46:56
105.   weeping for brunnhilde
103 :)
2007-07-26 08:47:25
106.   monkeypants
100 Perfect games are freak anomalies, but are not really significant in and of themselves. There have been fewer unassisted triple play guys than 500 HR guys, too, but so what?

But HRs are important within the context of baseball. And we laud players who reached certain milestones considered significant. In the olden days that used to be 100 HRs. In my lifetime 400 HR was the real benchmark, and only one 400 HR hitter wasn't in the HOF. Well, now 500 HR seems to be the benchmark, but I wonder if the Balco boys haven't ruined for all of us, at least for a while.

2007-07-26 08:49:08
107.   RIYank
Hm. If we trade Farns to Baltimore immediately, A-Rod could still hit his 499th of Kyle, too. And he'd hit it weeks before the trade, when Farnsworth is (uh, was) still driving us nuts. That would be sweet revenge. I mean, it would have been.
2007-07-26 08:49:35
108.   NJYankee41
100,102 There shouldn't be any psychological burden on A-Rod, as long as he hits a homer tomorrow he already has 500 home runs RIGHT NOW! So as long as the future plays out correctly the past is taken care of and there is no pressure tonight. Quantum Leap?
2007-07-26 08:50:02
109.   mehmattski
108 Oh boy....
2007-07-26 08:52:39
110.   RIYank
108 Wow, that's right.
I wonder if the Commish could pull something like this with Bonds. "Oh, sorry, it's too late, I can't be there for the record-breaking home run, which Barry hit last week but we didn't know it until today."
2007-07-26 08:55:10
111.   mehmattski
110 I think the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy can be of some help in this situation.

"The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most extraordinary ventures in the history of catering. It has been built on the fragmented remains of… it will be built on the fragmented… that is to say it will have been built by this time, and indeed has been—

One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is no problem with changing the course of history—the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.

The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be descibed differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is futher complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.

Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later aditions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term "Future Perfect" has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be."

2007-07-26 08:58:39
112.   Bama Yankee
What if A-Rod goes back in time and hits a homerun that happens to knock out one of his parents (who were destined to meet in a coffee shop after that very game)? If they never met then A-Rod would have never been born and therefore could not have hit the homer that kept them from meeting...

Is anyone else concerned about the possibility of the distruction of the space-time continuum?

2007-07-26 08:59:33
113.   weeping for brunnhilde
112 Yes.


2007-07-26 08:59:40
114.   Jim Dean
94 It's a great point, but who would the Angels return for Giambi?

Kotchman - who I'd rather have - is still LH and lacking in BFoG.

2007-07-26 09:00:53
115.   williamnyy23
96 I'm not "rooting" for Boston to win. I am just not all the upset to see them beat Cleveland. Boston should be much more difficult to topple than Cleveland, so the surest road to the playoffs is the WC. Having said that, I'd much prefer to win the division...that doesn't stop me from being realistic.

Also, while the gap has been narrowed to 6 games on the loss side, Boston does have 15 games against Tampa Bay. Based on how awful they looked the past two weeks, I think 12-3 is a likely scenario. That kind of head start is going to place added pressure on the Yankees in the division race. Cleveland, meanwhile, has a mouch tougher schedule.

2007-07-26 09:01:26
116.   RIYank
112 What if he kills Karim Garcia's mother? That would give new and profoud meaning to an old question.
2007-07-26 09:02:45
117.   JL25and3
100 500 HR is still definitely a major accomplishment. The differeence is that it's no longer seen as an automatic ticket to the Hall of Fame. A strong suggestion, but by no means a sure thing.
2007-07-26 09:05:44
118.   Bama Yankee
113 Good, I thought I had just been watching too many Michael J. Fox movies...

Wait a minute, didn't someone (Sliced Bread, IIRC) mention something about Shelley Duncan looking like Biff Tannen from Back to the Future? Maybe Torre should just let Phillips play third in that suspended game... Our future is possibly at stake Joe (or at least another movie sequel).

2007-07-26 09:05:52
119.   mehmattski
112 No no, don't you see? 111 Has it: "it all fits together like a jigsaw." See?
2007-07-26 09:06:01
120.   Jim Dean
BTW: SFvYF has a nice little flame off on-going based on late and close situations:

Player A is batting .348 with 5 homeruns, 18 RBI, and an OPS of 1.168 in 55 plate appearances.

Player B is batting .233 with 0 homeruns, 1 RBI, and an OPS of .689 in 50 plate appearances.

Player B has a reputation for being one of the clutchest players in the history of the game. And if there is such a thing, I'd certainly agree. Player A has a reputation as being a stat padder, unable to get the big hit when it matters most.

That's right. You guessed it: Player A is Alex Rodriguez. Player B is David Ortiz.

2007-07-26 09:06:58
121.   weeping for brunnhilde
115 It's no use, william, your secret is out!

William's a closet Boston fan!

I'll bet he sleeps with a Schilling bobblehead doll under his pillow and keeps an Alex bobblehead doll around to stick pins into even as he feigns support for our heroes.

We're onto you now, buddy, we're onto you!

2007-07-26 09:07:19
122.   JL25and3
115 Fair point. I still think it's just too early to lower our sights - and I'm pissed to see Boston win any game.

Who knows, Boston might have trouble with TB - as they did with Kansas City last year (was it last year?) Matchups can be strange things.

Again: make a run at Boston, and the wild card should take care of itself. Go Indians!

2007-07-26 09:08:55
123.   Bama Yankee
116 LOL. Well played.
2007-07-26 09:08:59
124.   JL25and3
I've got it - Alex Rodriguez is really a mathematician named Bright.
2007-07-26 09:10:29
125.   williamnyy23
121 I've been exposed! I had to remove the Schilling bobblehead from the pillow though. I couldn't get any sleep because it would never shut up.
2007-07-26 09:11:16
126.   JL25and3
111 The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of Sun Ra's favorite eateries.
2007-07-26 09:11:31
127.   weeping for brunnhilde
125 :)
2007-07-26 09:11:53
128.   pistolpete
117 Product of the times, IMO. Offensive stats are starting to become a lot less impressive than pitching achievements.

Apart from saves, that is. The fact that Hoffman has over 500 saves and isn't a lock should tell you something about that stat.

2007-07-26 09:12:38
129.   Bama Yankee
125 Time for a throw-phrase: Good one, william.
2007-07-26 09:14:34
130.   williamnyy23
122 On the other hand, it would be nice if Cleveland wins the division and the Tigers miss the playoffs. The last think I need to see in the playoffs is Gary Sheffield waggling his bat with the series winning runs on base in the 9th! Talk about a nightmare.
2007-07-26 09:14:47
131.   williamnyy23
122 On the other hand, it would be nice if Cleveland wins the division and the Tigers miss the playoffs. The last think I need to see in the playoffs is Gary Sheffield waggling his bat with the series winning runs on base in the 9th! Talk about a nightmare.
2007-07-26 09:15:53
132.   RIYank
130 131 Hang on. How many hands do you have???
2007-07-26 09:20:33
133.   williamnyy23
132 I actually posted 130 on June 28 while I was watching the Yankees-Orioles suspended game.
2007-07-26 09:22:25
134.   monkeypants
128 Right! So why the fanfare, numbered balls, countdowns, etc. for a milestone that isn't all that 'historic' these days? That was my only point.

130 131 Keep trying William, but you can't go back in time to see A-Rod hit that 500th HR.

2007-07-26 09:22:50
135.   monkeypants
133 Damn you! Beat me to it.
2007-07-26 09:32:57
136.   RIYank
135 You still have a chance. Post yours during the suspended game tomorrow, and you'll be ahead of him!
2007-07-26 09:34:49
137.   Alex Belth
Just one last thing. This from Gil Meche, on the homer he gave up to Rodriguez last night:

"If I could have walked up there and placed the ball where I wanted to throw it in that situation," he said, "a cutter on a 3-2 count, I wouldn't have thrown it any other place.

"I mean it was down. It was on the corner. He just went down there and got it. He's probably the only guy in this league who could hit a ball that hard in that location. There's nothing else you can do but tip your cap in that situation."

2007-07-26 09:36:29
138.   Schteeve
Assuming that Giambi comes back healthy, Torre should, but will not, keep Melky in the everyday lineup and bench Damon. He simply won't do that though, unless Damon goes o fer the rest of the season.

But here's the thing, I can't think of another manager who would either.

2007-07-26 09:37:26
139.   RIYank
Cool Standings now gives the Yankees a 43.8% chance at the playoffs. I believe this includes no adjustment at all for recent vs. early performance, so the Vegas line, e.g., should be considerably higher. Only a couple of weeks ago we were Cool Standings long shots, with about 13% chances. If I recall correctly.

We only have a 10% at the division, according to Cool. I think that's because of the Sox' easy schedule in Aug.

2007-07-26 09:43:37
140.   JL25and3
128 The view of pitching achievements changed in the 70s and 80s, as that generation of pitchers racked up milestones. There were a lot more 300-game winners, and what happened to the career strikeout list was ridiculous.

After 1975, here were the K leaders:

Johnson 3509
Gibson 3117
Bunning 2855
Young 2803

Over the next 10-12 years, six guys passed Walter Johnson (who no longer even holds the record for a pitcher named Johnson), and Young had fallen to 13th.

300 K is still an accomplishment, but it's not really that big a thing anymore.

2007-07-26 09:54:38
141.   JL25and3
130 I'm not sure why people think Sheffield has such magical powers. He's a very good hitter, but I can't see that he's demonstrated any special clutchitudeness. He looks scary, definitely, but I don't know how much difference that makes.

He had a fine postseason in 1997. Since then, nothing to brag about.

2007-07-26 09:59:56
142.   Jim Dean
130 Especially Sheff against Pettitte, while the Yankees flail against Rogers and Robertson. That latter performance would kill me.
2007-07-26 10:08:22
143.   weeping for brunnhilde
137 So true. Alex is really hitting. That was no mistake-pitch homerun.

141 I feel the same way. I feel like he can be pitched, particularly with junk.

2007-07-26 10:08:41
144.   weeping for brunnhilde
143 pitched to.
2007-07-26 10:11:44
145.   Zack
Wow, almost to 150 comments already? That will teach me to wait a bit to check in. Do you think ESPN will cut to every A-Rod AB now?
2007-07-26 10:18:51
146.   JL25and3
145 Only if there's no Red Sox highlight to show.
2007-07-26 10:34:28
147.   tommyl
137 I love that quote, and what a classy guy Meche seems to be.
2007-07-26 10:50:29
148.   thelarmis
fwiw, josh phelps just homered against the muts...
2007-07-26 11:12:39
149.   weeping for brunnhilde
147 I remember Mo said the same thing about that pitch to Sandy Alomar.
2007-07-26 12:24:55
150.   yankz
I really, really hope A-Rod doesn't homer in the suspended game. I think Bronx Banter would explode.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-26 13:30:32
151.   Bama Yankee
150 As far as we know, A-Rod has already homered in the suspended game and the Banter has already exploded...

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