"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


The Yankees have the fourth-worst starters’ ERA in baseball (only the Rangers, Mariners and these Devil Rays have been worse, which gives you some idea how rough those teams have had it thus far). The Yankee starters are averaging just 4.87 innings per game, and opponents are smacking them around at a .301 clip. After 18 games, the Yankee have received just five quality starts, three of them from Andy Pettitte, one from the indefinitely disabled Carl Pavano, and the last from Kei Igawa, who was quite a bit short of quality last night.

There’s nothing this team needs more right now than a high-quality starting pitcher. Maybe something in a 19-game winner and Cy Young runner-up, ideally with a high pitch efficiency, possibly a pitch-to-contact groundballer of some type. Got anything like that? You do? Do you think he’d be available to pitch in Tampa tonight? You say he’s already there? Sweet! Just wait until the guys hear about this, they’ll be stoked!

Additional reason to be stoked (no, it has nothing to do with Brian Stokes . . . yet): The Devil Rays have placed Akinori Iwamura on the DL with an oblique strain and recalled Jorge Cantu, who failed to make the team out of camp and is hitting just .267/.317/.360 in triple-A. I don’t know how Joe Maddon plans to alter his lineup, but moving Ty Wigginton to third base, putting Carlos Peña at first, and moving B. J. Upton up in the order would make the most sense to me. Whatever he does, this is good news for the Yankees, as Iwamura has reached base nine times in 14 trips against the Yanks, scoring seven times. It’s a bummer for baseball fans in general, however, as Iwamura’s been one of the better stories of the young season.

I doubt the Yankees are shedding any tears. They’re too busy being stoked.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver