"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 6/1/09

First things first . . .


Today’s news is powered by this “literal music video”:

New York has grown quite used to seeing a zero in the “E” column each night, completing its 17th consecutive errorless game on Sunday to tie a Major League record. . . .

The Yankees have not committed an error since Ramiro Pena booted a ground ball while playing shortstop on May 13 in Toronto. Since then, New York has handled 617 total chances in 156 1/3 innings of play, recording 469 putouts and completing 148 assists with 12 double plays. The team fielding percentage: a sparkling 1.000.

  • Tex draws raves from A-Rod and a pep talk from Tino:

“Mark’s phenomenal,” Rodriguez said after Saturday’s 10-5 victory over the Indians. “To me, Mark is a combination of Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill. He just brings so much to this team, so much to this clubhouse. His makeup is one that’s very impressive.”. . .

“He (Tino Martinez) told me just to be yourself, have fun,” Teixeira said. “Tino is just a great guy and was a great player. We hit it off right away. He knows the kind of player I am, and I think he just wanted me to get back to being me.”

It may have been coincidence, or directly attributable to Alex Rodriguez’s return to the lineup earlier in the month. Whatever the reason, Teixeira put a 4-for-4, four-RBI game on the Twins the next day and has hit .413 (26-for-63) with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in his 15 games entering play Sunday since Martinez’s pep talk.

Through 23 games at the new park, the Yankees’ 45 homers led the majors in home runs hit at home. Texas was second at 38 through Thursday. The Yankees are averaging 1.96 home runs per game at home and are on pace to hit 158 for the season. That would be good enough to break a pair of records.

In 2000, Toronto hit 134 home runs at home (an average of 1.65 per game) to set the American League record. The 1996 Colorado Rockies set the major league record with 149 home runs (an average of 1.84 a game).

But Yankees pitchers are learning that the home run barrage is a two-way street. They have given up 42 home runs at home, which also led the league through Thursday. Philadelphia and Arizona were second with 38. The staff is on pace to give up 148 home runs, which would break the A.L. record of 132, which is held by the 1964 Kansas City Athletics. That team went 57-105 and finished last.

[My take: The wind currents in the stadium are juiced.]

  • Joba a no-go for bullpen duty (from John Perrotto):

The Yankees couldn’t move right-hander Joba Chamberlain from the rotation back to the bullpen if they wanted to at this time, because shoulder problems make it too difficult for him to warm up quickly.

[My take: But isn’t he supposed to be OVER those shoulder problems?  I mean, it would explain his tough first innings in his starts, but isn’t he healthy?  So, he’s a starter cause he can’t get loose in a hurry (even if he did so prior to his problems in ’08)?]

  • Purchasing the items they voided in is prohibited:

One of the most sought-after items in the auction of old Yankee Stadium items aren’t even for sale: Bathroom urinals.

They may have reeked – and even repulsed – but some fans say they are willing to spend big to own what most would think are must-not-have memorabila.

“People always ask for the bathroom stuff, like the urinals,” said Brandon Steiner, CEO of Steiner Sports, the exclusive distributor of old Yankee Stadium memorabilia. “There were some strange requests.”

Alas, the Baseball Cathedral’s cans are not for sale, Steiner said. Pretty much everything else inside the old ballpark is, though.

An auction at the end of July will let fans own the dugout phone, the clubhouse carpet, even the foul poles. About 3,000 participants have registered.

  • On this date in 1925,  Lou Gehrig pinch-hit for Pee Wee Wanninger, beginning his streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games. The next day, first baseman Wally Pipp showed up with a headache, and Gehrig took over.
  • On this date in 2001, at Yankee Stadium, Cleveland defeated New York in a game called after the top of the sixth because of rain with Cleveland ahead, 7 – 2. In a rarity, Cleveland starter C.C. Sabathia earned a win despite pitching only four innings. Relief pitcher Ricardo Rincón got the save retiring the side in the fifth inning. The baseball rules state that in a five-inning game, a starter need not go the full five to earn a victory. Baseball historian David W. Smith noted that there are just five other cases since 1978 to match the Sabathia feat.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 1, 2009 8:46 am


2 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 1, 2009 9:06 am

[1] Here, here!

Happy birthday, Alex - and here's to a win tonight to be the icing on the birthday cake!

3 Rich   ~  Jun 1, 2009 9:12 am


[0] As adamantly opposed as I am to switching Joba to the pen, I am in favor of doing it for a week to find out if he could consistently throw 98-100 mph as a reliever. I suspect that he can't, whether as a result of shoulder problems or whatever.

At that point, the debate would be recast on more accurate terms.

Either way, I have been skeptical of the Yankees' spin on the situation, as well as the idea that he has lost his swagger as Francesa has fatuously observed.

If the BP report is true, I would like to be assured that it is temporary and/or that Joba can't exacerbate the situation by continuing to pitch.

But to this point in the season, he doesn't seem like the same guy who beat Beckett in Fenway last season, or the dominant reliever.

btw, Tex is a truly great player. Signing him was at least as important as signing CC.

4 rbj   ~  Jun 1, 2009 9:15 am

Happy Boith-day, now where is that clip of Curly saying that.

Oh well there is this Three Stooges clip:

Happy Birthday

And hey, at least Pavano didn't get the win.

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 1, 2009 9:35 am

Glad it wasn't the same day as Pavano's "gem" :)

6 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 1, 2009 10:23 am

Woah, I was at that rain-shortened Indians game. I even have some pre-game photos from it. Weird.

7 PJ   ~  Jun 1, 2009 10:30 am

Happy Birthday Alex! Where is Sparky Lyle when you really need him?

: P

· I’m really not going to get into a pinstriped circle jerk over an errorless streak, record or not. That would be like giving umpires credit for making calls that are both correct and incorrect. One need only watch a game or two at The Fens to see the validity in "official scoring!" In reality, it stains any accuracy the game pretends to have.

· Thanks for caring Tino! Things like that really do make a difference! Now if we can only get David Cone away from the bars, David Wells, and tapings of "Yankees on Deck" long enough to "have speaks" with each member of the pitching staff, they’ll be golden, too (see also Reggie getting with Gardner, instead of taking "queues" in the field from Johnny Damon)!

· I still contend it’s the terrible and mistake-ridden pitching, coupled with modern hitting training!

· Joba’s in the rotation, no matter how much folks want to shoehorn him into the eighth. Thank God, too! It’s all they need for him to go into a close game "setting up for Mo," and have some 30-pitch walk-a-thon crapfest time after time as they are already getting from a few members of that pen! They haven’t even discussed it this season according to Girardi, much to Francesa’s chagrin! I’m thankful he’s even capable of being chagrined! Here’s hoping "Miked Up Moron" stays that way, especially if it means the Yankees get to stay in first place! I would argue part of Joba's troubles are his confusion between what A.J. Burnett told him about "holding back," and what Girardi and Eiland are telling him about attacking both the strike zone and the hitters! I mean, if he continues to struggle mightily, it's not going to be Burnett who sends him down to SWB after all, is it?

· “There were some strange requests.”

Brandon Steiner is full of shit! To prove this fact, I need only mention "freeze dried turf" (see also a Monument Park Brick for $200)!

· “The baseball rules state that in a five-inning game, a starter need not go the full five to earn a victory.”

That sure sounds like one of the “Joba Rules” to me!

: )

8 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 1, 2009 10:41 am

Reposted with new data:

I became absolutely convinced it’s mostly the shorter porch when I looked at this homerun tracker. Look at how many are out where the wall goes straight where it used to be curved.

I count 22 homers just beyond the right field wall that could have easily fallen in last year. Then compare the leftfield porch. There are another 11 that wouldn’t have been out at the last place. That’s the difference between last year and this year! The doubles have become homeruns!

Still doubt me?

Some interesting math:

2009 Yankees (as of Friday when games played was only one off):
Home = 43 doubles, 45 homeruns
Away = 56 doubles, 32 homeruns

See that?

Let’s simplify:
Home = -13 doubles, +13 homeruns
Away = +13 doubles, -13 homeruns

What about the Yankee pitching (as of Friday)?

Home = 37 doubles, 42 homeruns
Away = 54 double, 26 homeruns

Let's simplify again:
Home = -17 doubles, +16 homeruns
Away = +17 doubles, -16 homeruns

Case closed. It's the closer walls that are turning long doubles into homeruns - for both teams. It's really as simple as that.

9 edoubletrouble   ~  Jun 1, 2009 11:25 am

HAPPY BDAY AB!! Aretha Franklin is singing, "God Will Take Care of You" right now for you.

That literal music video was too much.

10 Yankee Mama   ~  Jun 1, 2009 11:28 am

Happy Birthday Alex Belth. Love this blog!

[3] I totally agree about Tex. Whereas I used to hold my breath with Giambi and the other nudnicks platooning with him, I now see true artistry. His signing was crucial.

I noticed that Nelson's strike zone was strange, but I missed the early part of the the game. Was he squeezing Hughes? That seems to be happening to him. I did think that Coke's 3-2 pitch was a strike. Hey, but I wan't there.

11 unmoderated   ~  Jun 1, 2009 1:34 pm

Hey, happy birthday man.

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