"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Jason Giambi led the Yankees to a 10-3 thrasing over the Royals on a muggy summer day in the Bronx. Giambi went 3-3 with a walk, hit two home runs and collected seven RBI. Al Leiter was, well, Al Lieter, and he pitched well enough to earn the win.

In all, it was a good home stand for the Bombers. The Red Sox and the Devil Rays (Cantu, Gomes and company) completed a three-game sweep of the Angels. The A’s are now in first place in the AL West. The Yanks lead the wildcard by a half-a-game over the Angels and a complete game over the Indians. They trail Boston by a game-and-a-half. The Red Sox now have to deal with the streaking Devil Rays while the Yanks are off to the west coast this week. They’ve got four in Seattle, including a scintillating Wednesday night match-up featuring Randy Johnson and the young Felix Hernandez, which could be dubbed “The Once and Future King.” Then on Friday, they are off to Oakland for three against the A’s. Looks like Leiter, Mussina and Chacon will pitch in Oakland. It’s another important week for the Bombers as we move to September. The Yanks then return to face Tampa Bay and then Boston. Crunch time.

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1 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 29, 2005 6:16 am

1.  Tamba Bay is no joke right now. They have the best record in the AL East since the ASB which is pretty impressive since they've actually been playing some good teams. It looks like they'll have a good amount of say in who wins the AL East. That being said, they're prob. gonna make me look silly by laying down for the Sox and gearing up for the Yanks (I pray that doesn't happen).


2 jdrennan   ~  Aug 29, 2005 6:38 am

2.  I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get player splits for the current season?

I am interested in how Cano was playing before Sierra went on the DL vs. after. My gut tells me that it has negatively affected his performance, but I want some statistical proof.


3 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 29, 2005 6:45 am

3.  On Saturday night I was up late watching the ESPN highlights and they showed Gomes busting into third and pulling out the old Pete Rose head first slide. They showed the replay several times but nobody has made the Charlie Hustle analogy yet. Then one of the talking heads said that Gomes has had a hard life. That he, his sister and their mother lived out of their mom's car for a period of time and that when he was 22, Gomes suffered from a heart attack. No wonder he plays each game as if it were his last. If anyone spots any articles with more about this guy, let us know. I'd like to learn more about him.

And what about Cantu? This guy isn't just the Bizarro Jeter, he's practically like the Frankenstein monster of Jeter. He's tall and strong but he doesn't have an attractive face. His trademark is how low he pulls down his helmet. But man, he's got 90+ RBIs. Guy can flat hit.

4 Murray   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:03 am

4.  Does this mean that Piniella is no longer trying to get himself fired?

I was at Friday night's game. The Royals are a joke, barely worthy of major league status. The weird thing about that Friday game: it was played in 2:24, but because there were so many lazy popups and high fly balls, it felt as if the whole game were played in slow motion.

5 Fred Vincy   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:03 am

5.  jdrennan,

A good place to go is the Yahoo player profiles. Go to the "Game Log" ( http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/7497/gamelog ), which has stats after each game. Cano was at .305/.327/.470 on 7/19, the day Sierra went on the DL. He continued to be hot for a bit more than a week -- his high water mark was 7/28 at .313/.334/.489 -- and then began the long slide to today -- .271/.298/.404. Correlation is not causation, so given that that he's about where could be expected to be based on minor league performance (BP projected .254/.297/.389), I'd argue regression toward the mean rather than the loss of Sierra as the key fact.

6 Joe in NYC   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:04 am

6.  Since Sierra went on the DL 7/20, Cano has hit: .213/.252/.293. Prior to 7/20: .305/.327/.470 (thank you baseballmusings ...).

jdrennan, what made you suspect this? were they close friends?

7 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:06 am

7.  http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/PlayerInfo.py?StartDate=07%2F19%2F2005&EndDate=08%2F28%2F2005&GameType=all&PlayedFor=0&PlayedVs=0&Park=0&PlayerID=3269

Here's the link to the stats after Sierra was placed on the DL.

Sierra had taken him under his wing...interesting point.

8 Murray   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:07 am

8.  YES and the two idiots on the radio made a big deal about how Sierra was acting as a mentor to Cano. There was extensive sarcastic commentary at this site about the merits of Ruben Sierra, hitting coach.

Here's what I don't understand: why can't Sierra travel with the club and keep mentoring the kid if that's so important? Is his leg such a problem that he can't travel? Or is he just working on his salsa records during his recovery?

9 Murray   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:10 am

9.  Apropos of nothing related to this thread (and believe me, I don't things to go back to where they were in the early 1990s), it's now impossible to score tickets to a weekend series at Yankee Stadium, and the only walk-up availability is through the professional leeches on the east side of River Avenue.


10 Dan M   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:23 am

10.  Not to rehash my criticism of the Sierra as mentor hogwash, I think Cano's slump is a result of advance scouting and the rest of the league making adjustments to him, as well as regression to the mean.

11 David   ~  Aug 29, 2005 7:32 am

11.  I believe Sierra is scheduled to rejoin the team at the beginning of Sept. It'll be interesting to see whether Cano's hitting picks up.

12 jdrennan   ~  Aug 29, 2005 8:03 am

12.  Fred - thanks for the tip on Yahoo.

I tend to agree with Dan M's assertion that it's more an affect of advanced scouting than the proximity of Sierra to Cano on the bench, but I did want to track the month of sept. to see if Sierra's return had a positive influence on Cano's final month and the playoffs.

13 markp   ~  Aug 29, 2005 8:16 am

13.  Dan M has it right. Sierra has been gabbing with Cano as much since he went on the DL as he did before.
Until Cano stops swinging at pitches 8" out of the strike zone, he's going to be an easy out. I think he eventually will, and hopefully before too long.

14 unpopster   ~  Aug 29, 2005 8:39 am

14.  my gut tells me that the AL East crown will be determined not by how the upcoming two Sox-Yanks series go, but how each individual team performs against the DRays.

History tells me that the very evenly matched Yanks and Sox will split the remaining 6 games. Let's hope the so-far-overmatched Yanks pick it up against the DRays and win 5 of the 6 games.

The DRays have a chance to play the ultimate spoilers this year, and I'm sure Lou will love every minute of it.

15 Shaun P   ~  Aug 29, 2005 8:46 am

15.  FWIW, on Sierra's "mentoring" of Cano, and what it involved: one night when ESPN was broadcasting the game, the announcers mentioned that Sierra had taken Cano to a children's hospital somewhere in NJ to visit sick kids, and that he told Cano that making such visits was an important part of being a major-leaguer.

As I said at the time, that kind of mentoring is very cool, IMHO. I don't know if it means Sierra was helping him with hitting as well - but I doubt Cano's recent slide is due to Sierra's missing presence. Rather, I just think pitchers have figured Cano out, and now he has to adjust.

16 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 29, 2005 10:08 am

16.  Off-topic from the Cano/Sierra thing, it's worth mentioning that Giambi's two homer were absolute moon shots. The first may have only hit the top of the wall in right center, but that was because Giambi hit it a mile high. It was so high that I was convinced it had no chance to get out. I've seen infield pop-ups that don't go that high. The second, of course, was crushed into the upper deck in right.

Also Bernie Williams drove in the other three runs batting sixth. With Matsui still in the two-hole (and playing center with Lawton in left batting seventh), the top six batters in the Yankee line-up went 13 for 25 with three walks, scoring and driving in all ten runs.

For his part, Lawton has been on-base three times in eight trips (thanks to a pair of walks and that single that kept Saturday's rally going): .375 OBP. Unfortunately, he appears to have a horrible throwing arm.

17 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 29, 2005 10:13 am

17.  He does have a bad throwing arm. The only thing he's got in the outfield is some speed. He seems to be a slightly inferior version of Shannon Stewart, although he's got more flexibility in the field.

18 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 29, 2005 11:38 am

18.  Which is why Matsui's in center and Bubba's still on the roster.

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