"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 3/30/08

Today’s news is powered by part of a foreign language documentary on the history of baseball in Italy, with this piece featuring a visit by Joe DiMaggio:

  • PeteAbe reports that Brett Gardner has won the starting CF job.  Here’s a quote from the skipper on the matter:

“What happens April 6 doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what’s going to be June 1. As players, you have to perform. But right now we think Gardy has a little bit of an edge,” Girardi said. “It’s not going to be day by day. Gardy is our center fielder.”

[My take: Will Gardner get the green light often, especially with Mr. “24 GIDP” Jeter batting after him?  The last time a Yankee stole 40+ bases in a year was Alfonso Soriano in 2002.  Will Gardner be allowed to take aim at that from the 9 hole?  That’s our poll question today.]

A member of the Yankees’ Opening Day roster in 2008, the 26-year-old right-hander has compiled a strong spring to state his case. Albaladejo has limited opponents to one run on eight hits in 9 2/3 innings (0.93 ERA), walking one and striking out eight.

Coming off a stress fracture in his right elbow, Albaladejo has had scouts buzzing again and says he is feeling as strong as he has since his early 20s.

“I’ve been throwing the ball well,” Albaladejo said. “The important part for me is I’m getting outs. I feel like I’m going good.”

The Yankees intended to take a long reliever with them last year, Girardi’s first at the helm, and heavily considered both Jeff Karstens and Darrell Rasner.

But Karstens was eliminated with a groin injury on the club’s final day in Tampa and Rasner instead started the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A similar situation could emerge this year, as the Yankees weigh carrying Albaladejo and left-hander Phil Coke as a pair of multiple-inning hurlers.

The memorial was dedicated prior to New York’s 1:15 p.m. ET game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It contains a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, which was presented to the Yankees by the “Gene O’Kane Division” of retired New York City firefighters.

As announced by the Yankees, the grass that the memorial is situated on represents those who lost their lives in Somerset County, Penn., on United Flight 93. The foundation of the monument is in the shape of the Pentagon, symbolizing those who lost their lives there, including passengers on American Airlines Flight 77. The memorial’s two steel towers represent the World Trade Center and those who died in New York City.

  • If you’ve got an iPhone or and iPod Touch, you can now get MLB Gameday Audio through MLB’s “At Bat 2009” application.
  • Bob Raissman wonders whether the YES Network would move their cameras around to avoid showing any empty seats at the new park, and recalls this bit of broadcasting history:

Ticket talk triggered a memory from long ago – Sept. 22, 1966. The Yankees would finish in 10th place that season and on that day, 413 fans squeezed their way into Yankee Stadium, which at the time had a seating capacity of 65,000.

The legendary Red Barber was at the WPIX-TV microphone. He instructed the director of the telecast to have PIX’s cameras pan the empty Stadium. “I don’t know what the paid attendance is today, but whatever it is, it is the smallest crowd in the history of Yankee Stadium,” Barber reported. “And this crowd is the story, not the game.”

Shortly after the ’66 season ended, Barber was fired by the astute suits from CBS who owned the team and were in the process of driving it into the ground.

  • Lou Saban, a former Yankee team president (and one-time coach of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills) has died at the age of 87.  Boss George issued a statement:

“My friendship with Lou goes back to 1948, when we were both involved in a youth track and field program in Cleveland,” Steinbrenner said in a statement released by the Yankees.

“He has been my friend and mentor for over 50 years, and one of the people who helped shape my life. Lou was tough and disciplined, and he earned all the respect and recognition that came his way. He spent a lifetime leading, teaching and inspiring, and took great satisfaction in making the lives around him better.”

  • This doesn’t deal with the Yankees directly, but it DOES point out the differences in how AL East rivals fund their payrolls.  The Yanks open a new stadium and have a huge TV enterprise.  The Rays . . . get to the 6th and 7th game of the ALCS:

That included what turned out to be their best worst loss ever: the bullpen meltdown against the Red Sox in Game 5 of the ALCS.

That allowed the Rays to play Game 6, then Game 7, at Tropicana Field. That allowed them to make millions of dollars in additional revenue from their share of gate receipts (which is much larger than in Games 1-4, which go mostly to the players). That allowed them to push the opening day payroll past $60 million for just the second time in franchise history. And that allowed them to sign upper-shelf free agents such as RHP Joe Nelson, LHP Brian Shouse and DH Pat Burrell.

“The Red Sox beating us in Game 5 actually allowed us to put more money into the team this year,” Sternberg explained. “So there’s probably a middle reliever or two that wouldn’t be here, or we’d have a different bat.”

Poll time!

[poll id=”24″]

  • On this date in 2001, Dwight Gooden announces his retirement. A four-time All-Star and Cy Young Award winner, Gooden posted a 194-112 record with a 3.51 ERA and 2293 strikeouts over a 16-season career. During his time with the Bombers, he threw a no-hitter against a Seattle Mariners lineup that included Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Edgar Martinez.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Will Weiss   ~  Mar 30, 2009 9:44 am

Girardi's quote about Gardner is reminiscent of Torre's quote re: Enrique Wilson winning the second base job over Miguel Cairo in 2004. ... Yikes.

2 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 10:10 am

Hey Will ... good to see/read you .... how's the kidlet?

3 Will Weiss   ~  Mar 30, 2009 10:17 am

@2 ... The baby is doing well, thanks. Gearing up for her first Yankee season. We already have her stocked with Yankees bibs and pacifiers.

4 PJ   ~  Mar 30, 2009 10:25 am

Speaking of Tampa and their "revenue stream", that reminded me to ask this to all you "budget brainiacs" here...

Since the Yankees are building and playing in the new Stadium soon, how does that affect their revenue sharing with only a couple more years left to this current CBA? Since there was so much expense involved, will that eliminate their revenue sharing until the other 29 owners can decide how else they are going to punish the Yankees for being successful? Or does it continue the way it has been?


5 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Mar 30, 2009 10:55 am

[3] Pacifiers may be VERY important this year, yes.

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:13 am


Somehow the word "suckers" comes to mind.

7 MichiganYankee   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:23 am

It appears that some things haven't changed in Joe Torre's world. (Thanks to NoMaas for the link.)

8 lentnej   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:25 am

4. I remember reading that the expense of the Stadium as measured by MLB will actually lower their revenue sharing burden. This was first brought up when the Cardinals started building a new Busch stadium.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:25 am

[4] Under the current rules, it will decrease the percentage of revenue that the Yankees have to contribute, but because the Yankees will likely take in more revenue (at levels that will likely exceed the debt service), there overall contribution will likely increase.

I would imagine that MLB would not retroactively try to revoke the Yankees ability to deduct stadium expenses from their contribution. If they try, I am sure Randy Levine will have something to say about it.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:33 am


Scott Proctor grimaces at the mention of Torre's name ...

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:35 am

Just an FYI, in my major $ roto league draft this weekend, I drafted Rivera (as the first pitcher I took, in the 5th round), Pettitte (in round 21), and Hughes (in the reserve draft).

A-Rod was drafted 8th in the first round (!)

Cody Ransom was not drafted. :-O

12 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:44 am

You drafted a closer in the 5th round?

13 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:50 am


Yeah, he was the highest-rated "LIMA" pitcher left in my rankings, and I've had historically bad closers, so I took a bit of a leap. (I didn't draft my 2nd closer till round 14).

14 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 30, 2009 12:30 pm

[13] Do they deliberately name stats after mediocre-plus players? >;)

15 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 30, 2009 12:35 pm

[10] ... his arm was recently spotted flying over a beach resort in Malibu by a traveling garden gnome...

16 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 12:39 pm


LOL .... PECOTA, LIMA .... hey, I'm sure it makes those players happy! :-)


You can't spell TRAVELOCITY without .... VELOCITY! :-)

17 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 30, 2009 2:12 pm


Speaking of Torre arm-killers,


Mike Stanton released by Cubs.

18 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 8:41 pm

[14] hey, don't you EVer say anything bad about "Lima Time"! One of my favorite players of all time, I wish he had made a start or two in pinstripes..

19 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 30, 2009 8:55 pm

[18] I'm sure he would have at some point, but Farnsy beat him to all the crazy... >;)

20 PJ   ~  Mar 31, 2009 12:16 am

[14] Wait, don't even tell me you've never heard of the "Mendoza Line"?

[16] You can't spell TRAVELOCITY without E.L.O.!

Don't Bring Me Down!


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