After two tense, come-from-behind wins, there isn’t much in the way of Yankee news this morning as the team prepares to start August in Cleveland (before heading for Toronto this weekend). Hideo Nomo was fuhideous in a Triple A start last night, and Shawn Chacon is happy to be away from Coors Field. No suprises there.
I read something the other day that said that Carl Pavano has been a disappointment on-and-off the field this year. I’m vaguely aware of talk that he hasn’t been communicative with the coaching staff, but Steve Lombardi has a link to a story that appeared in Newsday which suggests Pavano would rather be somewhere else than New York…like Detroit. Hmm. Now how often do you hear that?
The Yankees were left with nothing at the break, smartly grabbing what was available (Shawn Chacon and various waiver detritus) before the deadline. The waiver wire figures to produce few trade options in August, so help, if it’s coming, will have to come from within. Carl Pavano is close and now Jaret Wright is showing positive progress. Wright made his first rehab start at high-A Tampa, going 65 pitches in 2 1/3 innings. Normally, that’s not positive. Wright’s control, never good, is still on the DL. He’s facing at least three more rehab starts and will have to find that control before he’ll be able to think about coming back to the Bronx. We’ll know more after his next start, but at this stage, he’s not likely to help the club in August.
Hey, anyone notice how well Andy Pettitte and Brad Halsey have been pitching lately? I’m not trying to be a smart-ass, I was in favor of letting Pettitte walk and moving Halsey in the Johnson trade. I’m just saying, man, they’ve been hot. (As has Emily’s boy Tony Clark.) Good for them.
The Bottom Line
One thing that was reinforced by the recent Manny Ramirez hoopla is that all anyone really cares about is the bottom line: production. It’s not about how you play the game, or playing the game the right way, or setting a good example for kids, it is about what you produce while you are on the field. Some people might not like the way a player like Ramirez approaches the game, but so long as Manny is Manny most fans will put up with Manny being Manny. If you are a great player–and I don’t think Ramirez is a great player, he’s a great hitter and just like Ted Williams, that is enough–you can essentially get away with anything you want–within reason, of course. The moment Ramirez’s production begins to fade I assume people will turn on him as quickly as fans turned on Sammy Sosa in Chicago. For now, he remains the Gangster of Love and the best right-handed hitter in the American League.
And Another Thing
I only caught a portion of Peter Gammons’ Hall of Fame speech on Sunday, but ESPN has a complete transcript if you are interested. Also, Stephen Borelli, author of “How About That! The Life of Mel Allen,” had a nice piece on Jerry Coleman for the USA Today over the weekend too. Oh, and in case you missed it, Jonathan Mahler had an interesting feature on Omar Minaya and the Mets in The New York Times magazine the other day. It’s well-worth checking out (as is–and forgive me from digressing from baseball for a second–a terrific article by Roger Rubin about the Emmett Till case).