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News of the Day – 6/2/09

Today’s news is powered by a trip in the Wayback Machine, to a time when cigarettes were “cool”:

. . . I was told by several Yankee executives that there is almost zero chance that Hideki Matsui will be re-signed after the season, even if he were to finish with a strong season and despite the strong presence he affords them in Japan.

The Yanks have long been concerned about the inflexibility of their roster due to having too many DH types, such as exists this year with Matsui, Jorge Posada and Xavier Nady (if he returns from his elbow injury). Yankee officials envision a 2010 in which Posada takes more at-bats as the DH, and in which Joe Girardi could better rest everyday players such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira without losing their bats.

  • Kevin Goldstein has some good news on a Yankee prospect NOT named Montero:

Austin Romine, C, Yankees (High-A Tampa)
. . . Once again sharing catching duties (with Jesus Montero DHing when he’s not behind the plate), Romine went 5-for-12 with a pair of doubles and a home run during the weekend, and while his .289/.306/.462 line pales in comparison to Montero, it’s still very good for a 20-year-old in the Florida State League. More importantly, Romine (unlike Montero) actually projects to stay at catcher down the road, and be a damn good one in the end. Montero has a far better chance of turning into a star, but Romine is the guy who should be considered the Yankees’ catcher of the future.

  • I poena, you poena, we all poena for subpoena:

New York Yankees officials said Monday that taxpayers would face more than $5 million in document costs if the team is forced to provide internal records sought by lawmakers looking into public financing of the club’s new stadium.

Assemblymen Richard Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat, and James Brennan, a Brooklyn Democrat, are questioning what Brodsky claims is nearly $4 billion in financing and tax breaks over 30 years that was used to build the new ballpark. The legislators say many ticket prices have been hiked beyond the reach of fans.

Yankees’ attorney George Carpinello said the estimated $5 million is for legal review of some 1.4 million relevant e-mails and attachments and doesn’t include reams of other documents.

[My take: $5 million more for a $1.5 billion stadium deal?  It’s a drop in the bucket.]

Molina felt another twinge in his strained right quadriceps after notching a hit in an extended spring training game and had to be removed from the contest.

Molina had been intended to catch five innings for the first time since he went on the disabled list on May 10, and he is scheduled be re-evaluated by the Yankees’ medical staff.

Additionally, Nady felt discomfort in his right elbow as he threw for the first time since he was injured making a return throw to the infield on April 14 at Tampa Bay. Girardi said that Nady was throwing from distances of 50 to 60 feet and did not immediately have any trouble, but he felt discomfort near the end of his session.

Nady, who is trying to avoid season-ending Tommy John surgery, will throw again tomorrow.

  • Mike Stanton turns 42 today.  Stanton was a fixture in the pen for the Yanks from ’97-’02, then again in ’05.  Stanton’s 456 games pitched is 4th-most in Yankees history.
  • Horace Clarke (the player, not the “Era”) turns 69 today. In 1968, the “Year of the Pitcher”, Clarke had a staggering nine extra-base hits in 579 at-bats.
  • A one-time teammate of Clarke, Gene Michael, turns 71 today.  From 1970 to 1973, the “Stick” compiled the following slugging percentages: .255, .276, .279, .278 (and committed 20 or more errors in the field in each year).
  • On this date in 1935, Babe Ruth of the Boston Braves announced his retirement from baseball. Struggling with a .181 batting average at the time, he retired with 714 home runs, by far the most in major league history. Ruth will gain election to the Hall of Fame the following year.
  • On this date in 1941, Lou Gehrig died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 37 in New York.  Gehrig had seen his major league record of 2,130 consecutive games end because of the disease. It was on this day exactly 16 years ago he broke into the Yankees starting line-up.
  • On this date in 2005, the Yankees were swept by the team with the worst record in the majors (16-37), falling 5 – 2 to the Kansas City Royals for their first five-game losing streak in more than two years. Kansas City pitchers allowed just six runs in the series. It was the third time in their storied history the Yankees had been swept in three games by the team with the worst record in major league. The other times were in 2000, by the Detroit Tigers, and 1937 by the Philadelphia Athletics. The Royals had gone 78 series without sweeping anyone, the longest drought in the majors since the Phillies went 79 series without a sweep from 1996-97.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 The Hawk   ~  Jun 2, 2009 10:40 am

I'm a Matsui fan - one of the few Yankee acquisitions in recent-ish years I've been 100% sold on - but I won't be surprised if he breaks down completely before the Yanks even have a chance to part ways with him. He just seems like he's on his last legs physically.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 2, 2009 10:46 am

Scott Podsednik, who is having a typically awful year, already has six extra base hits in a month and would have been on pace for 36 if he played all 162.

>Nine seems unbelievable.

3 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 2, 2009 10:49 am

By all means, don't re-sign Matsui, but:

Last 7: .375 .474 .875
Last 14: .297 .366 .622

That looks like a decent DH, even

Last 28: .243 .317 .527

is average. He'll make it through the season or they'll get someone to platoon with him (e.g. Shelly Duncan).

4 tommyl   ~  Jun 2, 2009 11:55 am

Man is Strasburg good, in 109 innings he had only 19 BBs and 195 strikeouts! Who has first pick this year? Yikes.

5 Bud Wisenheimer   ~  Jun 2, 2009 12:13 pm


6 PJ   ~  Jun 2, 2009 12:25 pm

Funny... I know my memory is for shit and all, but I sure don't remember Gehrig and Mattingly fighting over the 1B job in 1993, Diane...

: )

7 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jun 2, 2009 12:35 pm

[2] Hush, you, MattPat.

Had to pop back in on Ol Hoss's birthday (been a busy week). How do some game threads stall in upper 100s and some go past 500? What was so compelling about last night's that took it to that level of posting?

Loved the phrasing here of Joba's leap being both athletic and hilarious. Images of a cannonball at a swimming pool shot into my head. But he got the job(a) done, big time. Maybe killed a few midges on the landing, too. Revenge is a dish best served ... flattened?

I'd be very surprised if positioning Jeter better in the field involved overcoming resistance or something like that. That sort of comment feels way too grudging. It is possible we're scouting better this year, or that this is just routine for him and NY, and small sample size etc. I do agree that 2-3 balls over the middle have been elegantly played.

A day late and a neuron short, OYF, I do hear you on Holliday. I have to wonder though if he'll get to free agency or if Billy B deals him first. What sort of contract does he have? And do we want to trade young talent. I don't think so. I agree he is a legit target off season FA, especially in a depressed market.

8 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 2, 2009 12:36 pm


Haha! :-)

In Excel, I'd call that a "cell reference" issue .... :-)

9 Rich   ~  Jun 2, 2009 1:20 pm

New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain denies rumor that shoulder issue has kept him out of bullpen


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