Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Sign of the Times
2007-09-20 08:13
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I was at the Stadium last night and have to admit, I already feel a sense of melancholy being there, knowing we've only got one more season left in the House that Ruth Built. One of the most striking moments of the night came before the game when Jose Feliciano sung the National Anthem. That caught me completely by surprise.

Feliciano caused a considerable stir when he sung the Anthem before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series. His rendition was condemned as nothing short of unpatriotic (Mickey Lolich, the Tigers starter that day, who, like most pitchers is a creature of habit, blamed the length of Feliciano's version for his shaky first inning). Last night, Feliciano sung the same version that was so controversial almost forty years ago, only this time there was no percieved outrage. In fact, as he came to the finish, the crowd began to roar--a heartfelt, patriotic ovation.

My how times have changed.

Comments (128)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-20 09:02:02
1.   Cliff Corcoran
For those who didn't read the article Alex linked to yesterday, Feliciano is doing a charity concert with Bernie Williams on Saturday. I assume his appearance last night was in part to promote that.
2007-09-20 09:05:28
2.   Alex Belth
I'm actually going to be at that event on Saturday.
2007-09-20 09:18:32
3.   Murray
Alex, I was there last night, too, and I was completely surprised to see him there on the TV set at the hot dog stand singing the Anthem in the same version that was so shocking in 1968. I thought it was great. And I thought the game was great, too.
2007-09-20 09:19:14
4.   konstantinekid
Great post, I read the blog all of the time and love it. I was at the game last night too, and I wholeheartedly agree. While I didn't know about his earlier rendition, I have to say that this one last night was strikingly beautiful. Older man, wrapped up in his winter Yankees jacket, guitar in hand, without the ability to see the wonder that is that Stadium. My family came over from the Dominican Republic when I was 5, and I was there with my mom last night, a very big fan of Feliciano. She shed a couple, and I really can't blame her.

Go Yankees. Last night was amazing.

Where is this concert?

2007-09-20 09:41:07
5.   JL25and3
Me, I was in Cleveland yesterday, watching the Tribe beat the Tigers for the sweep. Absolutely beautiful afternoon, SAbathia was terrific, and the unusual 12:00 start got us out at 3 - time left to see the R'n'R HOF.
2007-09-20 09:45:02
6.   Chyll Will
Aw, crap! I missed the game entirely last night; would there be a youtube clip of that floating around?
2007-09-20 09:50:11
7.   Sliced Bread
Times change but Feliciano's 'Feliz Navidad' is still one of the best holiday recordings from the last 30-whatever years.
My sons go bananas when that one comes on.
2007-09-20 09:50:24
8.   Chyll Will
6 I meant for last night's performance. By the time I get home, the encore will be over. The first performance (and furor) is before my time, but I'm definitely curious now...
2007-09-20 09:51:12
9.   Shaun P
6 I don't know about that, but you can download an MP3 of Feliciano's original SSB performance from his website (which Alex linked to above).

If last night's performance was anything like the original (which I never heard or knew about before today), it must have been beautiful. I can't understand why anyone would have had a problem with it back in '68.

2007-09-20 09:53:01
10.   Schteeve
Some say a man ain't happy, truly
Until a man, truly dies.


2007-09-20 09:55:30
11.   Chyll Will
7 We sang that every single year in Spanish class in high school. One year, we had to go around to each classroom in school and serenade the classes during Christmas. Good thing our teacher was a good gee-tar player, otherwise that would have been an immortally bad experience...
2007-09-20 09:55:37
12.   Sliced Bread
4 From the NY Daily News:

On Saturday night at the Utopia Paradise Theater in the Bronx, just over a mile north of the outfield he used to roam, Bernie Williams will play the biggest musical gig of his life. He will headline a benefit show with Jose Feliciano, an event called A Night of Peace, Unity and Hope that is produced by Debbie Medina, founder of Events & Entertainment, Ltd. It will raise money for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, a Bronx-based agency that serves more than 13,000 children, as well as Electchester Athletic Association in Queens.

Tickets range from $55 for mezzanine to $100 for the VIP section, and can be purchased online (, at the Utopia Paradise box office, 2413 Grand Concourse (near 187 St.), or through TicketMaster (1-212-307-7171,

2007-09-20 09:57:45
13.   Chyll Will
11 around Christmastime before break I should clarify >;)
2007-09-20 09:57:46
14.   konstantinekid
Thank you sir.
2007-09-20 09:59:03
15.   Schteeve
I've had the song, Andy, You're a Star on repeat since last night. I love the lyrics:

[b]On the field I remember you were incredible
Hey shut up, hey shut up, yeah
On the field I remember you were incredible
Hey shut up, hey shut up, yeah
On the match with the boys, you think you're all alone
With the pain that you drain from love
In a car with a girl, promise me she's not your world
Cause Andy, you're a star[/b]

2007-09-20 10:01:01
16.   Chyll Will
12 Sweet! I used to live at the top of the Concourse for a while. I always wanted to see that place renovated, but I left right before they started. Lots of history in that building, from what I understand...
2007-09-20 10:04:44
17.   Sliced Bread
Hopefully there'll be enough bleacher creatures at the Bernie gig to give him a proper roll call greeting.

Tip yer cap, Bernie!

2007-09-20 10:37:49
18.   pistolpete
13 I got what you meant. I didn't really envision a bunch of empty classrooms as your Spanish teacher forced you all into school on the holiday itself. ;-)
2007-09-20 10:43:04
19.   Chyll Will
18 I wouldn't have been surprised with one of them >;)
2007-09-20 11:03:05
20.   wsporter
9 MFD The performance was pushing some counter culter buttons pretty hard for what was still a fairly conservative crowd back then: Many WWII and Korea vets in the crowd and lets face it there was a certain racial/ethnic qaulity to the reaction. Hendrix nailed it pretty hard a Woodstock as well. What was viewed as messing with the SSB was essentially tossing a gauntlet.

I wish more folks would figure out how to toss that gauntlet today; nobody seems to get pissed off about anything or much care. Glad we had courageous cats like him then. Where are they today?

2007-09-20 11:12:25
21.   Yankee Fan In Boston
20 people are still getting pissed off, wsporter, but they do n't seem to do much about it.

and they definitely care about things... too bad it is all too often petty, inconsequential nonsense like a britney spears comeback attempt or something equally important.

(i realized as i typed that sentence that i spend the majority of my free time reading about or watching baseball. i am a hypocrite.)

(go yankees!)

2007-09-20 11:27:14
22.   Mattpat11
Fatso and Fruit Loops are trashing the umpires. And they're right.
2007-09-20 11:39:49
23.   Shaun P
22 If even those two can see it, why is MLB doing nothing about it? Selig ought to have Mitchell investigating why the umps suck so badly this year. It would have been a better use of $15M.

20 MFD, thanks. I think there are gauntlets being thrown, but the throwers are not people with the stage of Feliciano at the Serious or Hendrix at Woodstock. And the current mainstream media seems far less interested in those folks than they do people like Britney Spears, as YFiB rightly points out. Unless there's a "sexy" component to "sell" it, like the racial tension in Jena, LA right now. Its not like those kids were convicted yesterday, but that's when the MSM seems to have finally decided to tell the world the story.

2007-09-20 12:19:34
24.   Chyll Will
Man, I love these type of discussions, but everytime I tried to write something, I thought of something else and before you know it, I've got a post of my own (and where do those belong, if not in the garbage?) So regretfully, I'll refrain from saying much here, but I'll continue to read along and drop a couple of words in if appropriate {:'
2007-09-20 12:19:41
25.   wsporter
23 Damn "counter CULTER". I am out of practice "Counter Culture".

Sex and sizzle sells, thought, honor and integrity not so much. I guess that's a fairly smug and trite observation but it also maintains the underlying benefit of being true.

On a happier note: -(1.5) & +(5.5). In this way life is good, very very good.

2007-09-20 12:23:17
26.   BklynBmr
OT: Pete Abe on SportsCenter tonight, according to his blog...
2007-09-20 12:29:05
27.   Shaun P
24 Chyll, as far as I'm concerned, your posts deserve . . . Serious Consideration!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

0 Alex, what was the feeling in the Stadium in the 9th when Mo was pitching? Were folks worried about Mo, or cursing Mike Reilly, the awful home plate ump?

2007-09-20 12:34:43
28.   Sliced Bread
Some of the ball-strike calls were debatable, but they generally went the pitcher's way, which I don't object to.
A couple called strikes (one to Jeter?) were a hair outside, but I'm all for making batter's fight 'em off, or drive 'em into play.
I missed parts of the game so consistency might have been a problem, but it didn't seem so to me.
2007-09-20 12:41:30
29.   Chyll Will
27 Boo self-aggrandization... Hooray Shaun P!

25 For what it's worth, you can consider me counter-COULTER (in fact if I cared at all what she said, I'd be anti-Coulter; not to be confused one bit with Auntie Coulter)


2007-09-20 13:01:17
30.   pistolpete
22 You just PRAY that someone doesn't lose a crucial game in the playoffs because of some blown call.

Or maybe we pray someone does - that way at least maybe something will get done about it.

2007-09-20 13:03:51
31.   Bama Yankee
25 The Jacksonville Jaguars will try to devise a defense to "counter Cutler" as they take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday. ;-)

Sorry, but I have to admit I did not even notice the typo when I read your post 20 (well said, BTW).

Also, nice to have you back, wsporter.

2007-09-20 13:17:44
32.   Mike T
Funny or out of line?

CNN just ran an interview with a 10 yr old boy who had asked Shelley Duncan for an autograph. The 10 yr old is a Red Sox fan. Shelley signed the kid's notebook, "Red Sox suck! Shelley Duncan".

Even the interviewer asked him, "As a Red Sox fan, why would you want a Yankee autograph?"

2007-09-20 13:40:20
33.   Chyll Will
32 Because at 10 years old, not all the stem cells in his brain have decided what to do with themselves yet. Have you ever tried to ask a ten-year-old anything serious outside of a classroom? >;)
2007-09-20 13:41:27
34.   Chyll Will
Come to think of it, it's a good thing the kid didn't ask him for a high-five...
2007-09-20 13:43:00
35.   Mike T
Personally, I think the story is hilarious.
2007-09-20 13:55:11
36.   Cliff Corcoran
32 Are we that jaded? He's a major leaguer, that's why. I can't believe the whole thing is such a big deal. Shelley made a funny. The kid got his autograph. What's the problem?
2007-09-20 13:56:53
37.   Chyll Will
35 Oh, don't get me wrong; I laugh everytime I think of it. It reminds me of the "Maris Makes Kid Cry" incident in 61* where he signed an 'X' on some guy's ball as a joke, but the guy ran off before he could tell him, then cursed him out when he saw what happened.

Here's hoping that Duncan and the rest of the team takes to tattooing that on some of RSN's (and like media here and there) foreheads in the very near future...

2007-09-20 13:58:14
38.   Mike T
36 In response to the interviewer's question, the kid said, "Because I like to get as many autographs as I can, cuz I think it's cool to have them."
2007-09-20 14:00:47
39.   Chyll Will
37 Next time it snows up there, I'll go up and write it myself...
2007-09-20 14:01:51
40.   pistolpete
38 Exactly how I would have been at that age. My rabid loyalty (and consequent hatred of all things Red Sox) hadn't kicked in until about my mid-20's. :)
2007-09-20 14:23:59
41.   Bama Yankee
The only problem I have with it is that it is kinda like Shelley telling the little tyke that there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny... I mean, come on Shelley, let the little whipper snapper learn the truth on his own like all the other Sox fans (where is ric anyway)... ;-)

Seriously, I wouldn't be suprised if the mom tries to file a lawsuit against Shelley. The funny thing is that the autograph is actually worth more now than it ever would have been without Shelley's commentary.

2007-09-20 14:38:31
42.   Shaun P
32 This whole "rivalry" stuff is getting way out of hand when a ten-year-old gets asked a question like that.

If I was that mother, I'd tell all my friends and family who proudly sport "Yankees suck" or "Yankee Hater" gear (and their sad equivalents) to get rid of it, 'cuz when its directed the opposite way at your kid, even as a joke, it is not cool.

2007-09-20 14:51:01
43.   Chyll Will
41 No sense inviting catastrophe...

42 You gotta figure somebody either in the MLB office or one of the networks that broadcasts this "rivalry" has got to be licking their chops at the bred animosity, which will doubtless fuel anticipation, ratings and wanton consumerism to spite their "enemies"... That $#!+ will turn into blood money when somebody really gets hurt, though.

I say we fix them up with some lemon snowcones...

2007-09-20 15:19:02
44.   Just fair
I caught a show on ESPN that was an hour long tribute to all things baseball. The lead was a four year old from Baltimore whose closet is filled with O's jerseys. He has all the players names and numbers memorized. He has already been to hundreds of games.
They had out him out on the field hitting in the cage off the tee with the players. Nice little swiing. I did not catch the rest of the special, but the kid had me crackin' up. The players were all cool with him. Millar, who I have no reason to hate, but do anyway, picked him up and lifted him into the dugout. Good stuff. Enter proverbial Orioles joke now.
2007-09-20 15:26:40
45.   Bama Yankee
44 Boston's got one of those little guys too, his name is Dustin Pedroia...
2007-09-20 15:31:31
46.   vockins
45 salut
2007-09-20 15:32:37
47.   Just fair
Don't forget about Pedro's little buddy. Though he's not around anymore for good luck.
2007-09-20 16:02:06
48.   Shaun P
43 Not to pick on Jon Lane, but here's his first clause of his first sentence of an otherwise well-written piece on about Joba:

"Roger Clemens just completed six superlative innings against the hated Red Sox"

Why say "hated"? Is it really necessary?

Here's another line further down, though this one at least has a point behind it:

"Warming in the bullpen, Chamberlain blocked out the beer-soaked denizens of Fenway's bleachers who loathe everything Yankee."

Its great imagery, sure, and many of the bleacher sitters in Fenway are likely to be "beer-soaked" and probably do "loathe everything Yankee". But again, is it necessary? Can't the same point (Joba was really focused in a place its really hard to focus in) be made as descriptive, without having to resort to reminding us how much Red Sox fans hate the Yanks?

I'm going to stop now. This is what off-days do! =)

2007-09-20 16:23:33
49.   yankz
48 I think he's just doing his job. Bronx Banter spoils us. The average Yankee fan does not come here to post. The average Yankee fan reads,, and occasionally Pete's blog. Lane writes to this fan, who gets really excited when he/she reads something like that.
2007-09-20 16:57:44
50.   Chyll Will
Ew, average?? (shudder!)
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-20 17:15:12
51.   OldYanksFan
49 Waddayamean I'm not average?
2007-09-20 17:19:42
52.   Chyll Will
51 Your VOAF is rivaled only by your life experience, good sir >;)
2007-09-20 17:23:16
53.   yankz
51 I'm assuming, judging by your posts here and your VOAF (available at, you're not one of the sky-is-falling, Sox-obsessing, pink hat-rocking Yankee fans that have begun to appear recently.
2007-09-20 17:37:25
54.   Chyll Will
53 Homework! So, you saw those hats, huh... I recommend Visine.
2007-09-20 17:42:08
55.   Shaun P
49 That's a great point, yankz. I wish those writers aspired to more, but I suppose people have to earn a living, and that stuff does sell. (Sadly.)

52 53 So I just went to SC expecting to find a listing of VOAF leaders for 2007, but I saw nothing. I think you two have some work to do. ;)

2007-09-20 17:45:58
56.   Shaun P
53 54 Easy on the pink cap-wearing fans! I bought one for my little girl (it has butterflies on it too, so she loves it, and she looks adorable in it). Its the only non-standard cap I can tolerate.

My wife, wonderful woman that she is, found a standard Yanks cap that has one slight alteration - the NY is pink with a white outline. Very classy, and that one is OK too.

I have no use for the orange and green and yellow caps though.

2007-09-20 17:54:28
57.   OldYanksFan
52 Thank you. You are truly a southern gentleman.
2007-09-20 17:58:10
58.   Shaun P
26 BTW, if anyone wants to see Pete Abe on ESPN, go to this link: (and thanks to "Dr Acula" over at the LoHud Yanks blog).
2007-09-20 17:58:49
59.   Chyll Will
55 Wowzers, that's gonna take more than a minute. How about I run a contest or something? The top 5 in VOAF on Banter or all Toaster, nominated by us citizens? Open to suggestions...
2007-09-20 18:03:21
60.   Chyll Will
57 Not at all; I follow the lead of my Northern cousin Bama... >;)

56 Nothing wrong with the cuties wearing a pink hat, but more often than not I see wankstas wearing them.

2007-09-20 18:09:11
61.   Alex Belth
Sorry, I haven't been around...I didn't hear any considerable moaning re: Mo at the park last night but I did hear a bunch of it around the office today. Some folks are just spoiled as hell and there is a generation of fans, casual fans, those with short memories, who just don't remember what it was like pre-Mo, so they dump on him now because, like most relievers, he can make things exciting from time to time. But these are mostly fans who look at results not the process, not the pitches. I couldn't tell balls and strikes from the stands, of course, but it seemed as if he was JUST missing on those pitches to Hernandez and Huff.
2007-09-20 18:28:47
62.   Shaun P
60 Non-cuties in pink hats? That's just wrong.

61 Thanks Alex. Those casual fans are going to regret not appreciating Mo when he's finally gone someday - if they still even care.

2007-09-20 18:31:56
63.   Alex Belth
Anyone watching the Mets? Man, Miguel Cabrera is a great hitter. Hanley is amazing too, though he made a terrible base running error in the sixth.

And, um, Memo to Lastings Milledge: This ain't the NBA, son, siddown you freakin clown, you.

2007-09-20 18:34:06
64.   Marcus
58 Thanks for the link Shaun P. Peter did a good job up there.

You know this whole division race situation has got me thinking about Roger Clemens. Remember back in June when Clemens had come back, he made a few starts, but the Yankees were really tanking? A lot of people were saying he had made a bad choice going with the Yankees, since it didn't look like the Yanks were even going to make the playoffs. What a turn of events. He must feel pretty good about his choice right about now.

2007-09-20 18:49:57
65.   Shaun P
64 You're welcome.

63 Not watching on TV, but on Gameday at least, the ump seems to be almost as bad as the guy who called the Yanks' game last night (Mike Reilly, who's name I won't forget). Quite a few inaccurate ball/strike calls from the look of things.

Phils are coming back in DC, Mets might be in trouble again.

2007-09-20 19:01:21
66.   weeping for brunnhilde
63 I'm watching the Mets now.

What did Milledge do?

Rubin Gotay can't bunt.

Philly takes the lead, Mets struggling to come back.

Oh my God!!

With Gomez on second base, Gotay hit a fairly sharp ground ball to short.

Gomez takes off from second!!

And makes it to third as the shortstop's throw is too late!

I've never seen that before.

2007-09-20 19:02:37
67.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hernandez is right.

He's chastising the shortstop for not charging that ball.

If he had, Gomez would have been out.

2007-09-20 19:03:10
68.   weeping for brunnhilde
Bases juiced up, no outs for Reyes.

Top nine, Mets trail 4-3.

2007-09-20 19:04:32
69.   Alex Belth
Milledge was rung up to end the sixth by Jim Joyce. He starts riffing and then loses it, gets tossed, and Rickey Henderson, then Willie had to restrain him. They finally get him off the field and then he comes back out AGAIN. So he'll not only be fined but suspended too. What's he trying to do? Win the Little Miss Bobby Bo contest? What a dick. And I'm afraid it's a reflection on Willie that this kid is allowed to pop off like that.

Mets are going to win this one...

2007-09-20 19:04:53
70.   weeping for brunnhilde
Man, Reyes looks terrible up there.

Trying to dig balls out of the dirt.

2007-09-20 19:05:14
71.   Alex Belth
Hanley is a butcher at short. My friend Rich Lederer thinks he should play CF
2007-09-20 19:06:21
72.   weeping for brunnhilde
69 He came out AGAIN?

ha hah ah ah ah a ha ha hah ah!!!


That's crazy.

2007-09-20 19:07:28
73.   weeping for brunnhilde
Of course Reyes struck out.

That was a gimme. If you can't strike out Reyes after those first two swings, you don't belong on a major league pitching mound.

2007-09-20 19:08:17
74.   Alex Belth
This schmuck is going to walk home the tying run...
2007-09-20 19:08:46
75.   Alex Belth
Glad that A Rod isn't the only one struggling these days (Reyes, Beltran)...
2007-09-20 19:08:55
76.   weeping for brunnhilde
This guy better shorten up...


2007-09-20 19:10:01
77.   weeping for brunnhilde
Holy fuck.




Three-run triple.


What a shot.

2007-09-20 19:10:09
78.   Alex Belth
So I guess the Mets get props for...not sucking.
2007-09-20 19:10:25
79.   weeping for brunnhilde
He did shorten up, actually.
2007-09-20 19:10:36
80.   Alex Belth
What a terrible pitch...right down the cock.
2007-09-20 19:11:19
81.   Alex Belth
Man, D Wright has had a fine season, huh?
2007-09-20 19:11:20
82.   weeping for brunnhilde
He's a nice little player, this David Wright.
2007-09-20 19:12:01
83.   weeping for brunnhilde
81 No kidding.
2007-09-20 19:13:33
84.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oooh, what a lightning stroke from Beltran.
2007-09-20 19:15:11
85.   Alex Belth
Beautious. Okay, well, I'm signing off fer the night. Catch you tomorrow, broham. Take it ease.
2007-09-20 19:16:09
86.   weeping for brunnhilde
85 Night. :)
2007-09-20 19:21:13
87.   Shaun P
81 He kinda snuck up on me, but yes he has. The most amazing part is he's a righty hitting over .300. Playing in Shea makes it very hard to hit over .300; doesn't happen often. Of the Mets career AVG leaders, only Olerud and Wright are over .300, and they both have just over 2000 PAs.

So good for Wright.

2007-09-20 19:21:42
88.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wagner unavailable for some reason, Feliciano allows a lead-off single.

Willie wastes no time bringing the hook, Sosa to enter...

2007-09-20 19:21:54
89.   Shaun P
85 'Night Alex.

86 weeping, you still here?

2007-09-20 19:23:56
90.   weeping for brunnhilde
87 Wow, really?

That's really interesting.

But what's the correlation? I'd think that with such a big outfield, it'd be easier for more balls to drop in.

2007-09-20 19:24:26
91.   weeping for brunnhilde
89 Who, me? Nope.


2007-09-20 19:25:42
92.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh no.

This is too sad.

Poor Mets and their fans.

They really don't need this.

"Well it isn't easy, is it? Every game," says Keith.

Second and third, no out.

2007-09-20 19:27:16
93.   weeping for brunnhilde
One out, 7-5, runner on third.
2007-09-20 19:29:13
94.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wright should have held that ball.
2007-09-20 19:33:31
95.   weeping for brunnhilde
Well, no, I guess he could have had him...

Tying run on first, one out.

2007-09-20 19:34:15
96.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh my god.

Metsies can't catch a break.

A little bloop double down the leftfield line, like the one Mo allowed to right last night.

Tying run on third, winning run on second, still one away.

2007-09-20 19:35:13
97.   weeping for brunnhilde
This could be the Mets' season right here...
2007-09-20 19:35:32
98.   weeping for brunnhilde
It's a final, Phils win.
2007-09-20 19:36:49
99.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh my God, did you guys know the Marlins have cheerleaders?

Chopper to Reyes plates the tying run.

Two away.

2007-09-20 19:37:49
100.   weeping for brunnhilde
0-1, winning run ninety feet away...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-20 19:40:26
101.   weeping for brunnhilde
We go to extras in Miami while those bimbos are just sort of standing around, not cheering.

Strange, huh?

Why have cheerleaders just to stand around looking confused as the winning run stands on third base amidst an improbable ninth-inning rally?

2007-09-20 19:43:56
102.   weeping for brunnhilde
Lead-off walk to Conine.

God, this is exhausting.

2007-09-20 19:55:47
103.   Shaun P
99 Are they good-looking? ;)

Sorry I disappeared there - in theory, I have work I need to finish ASAP, but its late and I'm tired and the distraction is a nice one. I can't believe the Mets might blow this game. Why wasn't Wagner available?

2007-09-20 19:57:55
104.   weeping for brunnhilde
Mets lose.

Poor, poor, Mets.

Poor fans.

Poor Willie.

Game and a half...

2007-09-20 19:59:33
105.   weeping for brunnhilde
103 Eh, you know, garden-variety pom-pom girls. :)

Don't know about Wagner, I think I heard something about how he's been overworked.

Now back to work, Shaun!


2007-09-20 20:00:31
106.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Alex, your friend is correct re: Hanley.

In 2006, he basically cost the Marlins two games with the glove. According to THT, through the 19th, he's ahead of only Jhonny Peralta in Revised Zone Rating among shortstops, and in the bottom third of shortstops with 1000+ innings in Out of Zone plays with 44. Peralta has 64.

Interestingly, Jeter is only .001 ahead of Ramirez in RZR, and has ten less OOZ plays, which is last among those shortstops with 1000+ innings.

2007-09-20 20:00:57
107.   Shaun P
And the Mets blow it - wow. Don't the Mets have anyone who was at AAA (besides Pelfrey and Humber) who might just be able to get major league hitters out? Their need to continually use Sosa (and Mota) in high-leverage situations is killing them.

Who knew they'd miss Duaner Sanchez so much?

2007-09-20 20:03:10
108.   Shaun P
105 Yes sir - but first:

106 Dude can freakin' HIT though. That bat would play A-OF in CF - and in a corner too. I always thought he was just an over-hyped Red Sox prospect, but it turns out he can play and then some.

2007-09-20 20:21:35
109.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wagner had back spasms, tightness in his shoulders before the game.

Too stiff to pitch.

Poor Willie. He looks like he's ready to kill himself or someone else or like he's at a funeral.

2007-09-20 20:42:23
110.   Shaun P
109 Without having watched any of the Mets recent slide to see if Willie following his mentor's poor bullpen management a little too closely, sounds like the problem is with the personnel, not Willie. That would make the blame Omar's, not Willie's. I think it'd be preposterous for the Mets to can him, even if they fall short. I hope Omar feels the same way.
2007-09-20 21:18:26
111.   weeping for brunnhilde
110 I don't know either, wrt bullpen management, and I do hope he stays around.

It's just really painful to watch him right now, he seems to be suffering.

It's strange, because Mets fans get on Willie for not showing emotion, being to even-keeled, too unwilling to take risks, etc., the kind of stuff that can bother us about Joe when the team's losing. But however bad things have gotten for us, I've never seen Joe looking as disconsolate, as angry, as emotional as Willie looked tonight.

Often I've seen Willie look curt, impatient, frustrated with his team, much like Joe, but I've never seen him like this. He looked close to tears.

2007-09-20 21:42:40
112.   Mattpat11
The MES Network is interviewing Mitch Williams. Apparently he works for the Phillies again. Good for him
2007-09-20 21:43:12
113.   3rd gen yankee fan
Did you guys see this NY Times article... Goose on Joba:

Gotta love Goose. It's too soon for me to start thinking about who's going to replace The Great One, but admittedly I've been simmering ideas along these lines.

(Plus I'd really like to see baseball de-pussyfied... )

2007-09-20 22:00:41
114.   Shaun P
113 Gotta say I think the Goose (and Araton) are way, way off the mark. As much as baseball needs to get away from the pattern of only using a team's best reliever in save situations, Joba is too good a pitcher to not have him start. He can throw four pitches with command and control for strikes. Guys get moved to the bullpen because they maybe, at best, have command and control of two pitches (sometimes not even that) - and if they started, they'd get bombed in the bigs. See Gagne, Eric; Rivera, Mariano; (though never tested), Papelbon, Jonathan; and of course, Goosage, Rich.

OTOH, finding guys like Joba who can start is incredibly tough. The Yanks have tons of guys who could be shutdown, strike throwing middle relievers - Dorf, Whelan, Cox, Sanchez, Melancon, Britton, Edwar, even Bruney (if he ever gets command and control). None of those guys could start and do what Joba has done as a starter.

2007-09-20 22:00:59
115.   mehmattski
113 Ugh. Goose is all backward. Any reasonable pitcher can nail down three outs with a three run lead (see: Borowski, Joe). Not every reasonable pitcher can become a top of the line starter for a decade. I have a feeling that after A-Rod, the Joba/Closer talk will be the most annoying post-season discussion among Yankees fans. I don't see why people don't get how 275 innings at a 3.50 ERA is much more valuable than 80 innings at a 2.00 ERA; if Mo could sustain the former, he'd have been a starter.
2007-09-20 22:04:29
116.   weeping for brunnhilde
115 Does anyone throw 275 innings anymore?

I remember Gooden threw 276 in his rookie year, if memory serves.

But that was a long time ago...

2007-09-20 22:10:40
117.   thelarmis
good memory weeping!

doc actually struck out 276 in his rookie year.

in his sophomore campaign, he threw 276.2 innings...

he threw 277 innings combined, in his 2 years in pinstripes. (not including his 2000 stint...)

2007-09-20 22:12:38
118.   thelarmis
ps. - where's yankz? it's only 1:15am! ; )
2007-09-20 22:16:37
119.   mehmattski
116 You're right... highest single-season IP of the last 10 years:

Randy Johnson 1999 (271)
Roy Halladay 2003 (266)
Randy Johnson 2002 (260)
Curt Schilling 2002 (259)
Livan Hernandez 2004 (255)
Kevin Brown 1999 (252)
Jon Leiber 2000 (251)
Scott Erickson 1998 (251)

In other words, since the league went to 30 teams, only two AL pitchers have even topped 250 innings. And Joba having anywhere near that next year would be insane, of course- 180 would be fine... but even so, I take 180 IP at 3.50 ERA over 80 IP at 2.00. To convince me otherwise, you'd have to say:

1)That the performance decrease for Joba as a starter would be much worse than 3.50 ERA
2) That he could sustain below 2.00 ERA as a reliever.
3) That, as a reliever, he would always be used in a way that maximizes leverage.
4) That Mo will be the closer forever so that Joba can take the 7th and 8th all the time.

2007-09-20 22:19:28
120.   Shaun P
119 Agreed.

118 I was thinking the same thing - maybe he's tired! =) I know I am.

2007-09-20 22:20:08
121.   thelarmis
"That Mo will be the closer forever so that Joba can take the 7th and 8th all the time."

something about 'mo will be the closer forever...' that makes me smile miles wide and feel completely at ease without a single, solitary worry! : ) talk about music to my ears...

2007-09-20 22:21:51
122.   thelarmis
120 yeah, he deserves a night off! i'm there right now - i actually can go to sleep as i'm done with my work, but i just...can't : ~
2007-09-21 04:56:21
123.   OldYanksFan
When talking about Joba in the BP, especially from Goose's POV, you have to first discuss/redefine BP pitchers roles.
Yes, "Any reasonable pitcher can nail down three outs with a three run lead". And Joba and Mo should NOT be used in these situations.

With Mendoza, Stanton, Nelson and Mo, when the Yankees were ahead, people talked about how it was a '6 inning game'. While the Yankees had very good SP during the '96-'00 run, I would contest that it was our BP that carried us to the 'flag'.

Yes, 200 IPs is much more valuable then 80. But in Goose's day, an RP pitched more then 80. There is no reason that 'strong' RP pitchers like Joba can't pitch 110-120 IPs. So what's more valuable? 200 (general) IPs or 120 (high leverage,1 and 2 run leads) IPs?

How many games are basically out of reach, either on the winning end or losing end, by the 7th inning? Mo/Joba aren't needed here. How many games are within 1 or 2 runs by the 7th? When you are ahead by 1 or 2 in the 7th, these are games you really want to win.

3 innings/4 games = 120 IPS.
4 innings/5 games = 128 IPS.

I agree that the way BPs are used now, and the way closers are so selectively used, that prime meat like Joba in the BP is a waste. But if a SP can throw 6-7 innings every 5 days, I'm not sure why a RP can't throw 2 innings TWICE every 5 days.

The present patterns and conditioning don't allow for it. Goose had 6 very effective years throwing 93, 99, 102, 133, 134(1978) and 144 IPs.

I'm NOT saying Joba should be moved to the BP. I'm saying that IF BP pitchers roles were different, and patterns and conditioning were designed to have a few select guys go 100-120 IPs, then it's a different story, and using a guy like Joba under those circumstances would make the 'is he a SP/is he a RP' discussion much different.

2007-09-21 05:17:47
124.   RIYank
OYF makes a good point, and appropriate for the "times sure have changed" theme of this blog posting.

I'm not saying Joba should stay in the bullpen either, but I'd add this. What matters to how valuable a 3.50 ERA starter is compared to a 2.0 reliever, is how replaceable they are. If Cashman can go out tomorrow and get a 3.8 ERA starter but there are no 2.4 ERA relievers to be had, then it makes more sense to keep a guy like Chamberlain in the bullpen.

2007-09-21 05:58:53
125.   3rd gen yankee fan
Thanks for all the ideas, guys. One thing I don't understand: why has bullpen use changed to what it is now? I grew up in the Guidry/Gossage era, and as a kid that system seemed to work fine. Why are complete games such a rarity now? How did the setup man come about?
2007-09-21 06:27:12
126.   williamnyy23
[123} One thing worth remembering with the Goose is that he always wanted to be a starter. In fact, the White Sox converted him to a starter in 1976, but after an ERA+ of 90 (with an ERA below 4!!), he never started another game. If Chamberlain fails as starter, then maybe he should be made a closer. Like the Goose, he should definitely be given the chance to start first.

125 More than just relief pitching changed though. Innings pitched gradually declined as well. I think the reason for this is pretty simple: better hitters and factors favoring offense have required that more pitches be thrown per inning. So, as a result, pitchers haven't been able to go as long. The result with regard to starters has been fewer complete games. For relievers, this has meant the dominant guys can't pitch as many innings per appearance, causing managers to prefer to hold them back to ensure they are the last line of defense.

2007-09-21 06:31:49
127.   Chyll Will
From what I recall, Tony LaRussa had a lot to do with it as well with the way he utilized his bullpen during the back-to-back championship years of the A's. Bob and Ken would probably have more insight on this, though...
2007-09-21 07:11:00
128.   weeping for brunnhilde
117 Ah, thanks, thelarmis! I was a little stat-head as a kid. I could tell you anyone's numbers in the whole league.

Gooden's K ratio was 11.39 per 9 innings in one of those two years, too!


Today, with the stats? Not so much.

Chalk it up to old age?

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