First things first . . . Happy Birthday to new daddy Cliff Corcoran!
Today’s news is powered by . . . a reallllllly old McDonald’s commercial:
- Burnett gets disciplined:
Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett was suspended six games Thursday for throwing high-and-tight to Texas’ Nelson Cruz earlier this week.
Burnett appealed the penalty, which had been set to take effect immediately. He can continue to pitch until a hearing is held.
“You kind of expect something to happen when the ball comes that close,” Burnett said before New York played the Rangers in the series finale.
- MLB.com previews the Yankees’ plan for the upcoming amateur draft:
As always, the Yankees will shoot for quality over need at No. 29, but they must be sure they can actually sign the player since there is no compensation. A position player looks like a strong possibility. The Yankees believe the pool is more unique and balanced than past years.
The Yankees could highlight an athletic outfield prospect like California’s Brett Jackson on their Draft board, and there has been talk about Southern California shortstop Grant Green and Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez.
(Yankees scouting director Damon) Oppenheimer outlined desires for athleticism, power arms and left-handed pitching. “There are holes that we need to address — the system is in pretty good shape, but we need to continue to pound stuff in it,” he said.
- Sam Borden of LoHud.com wants folks to chill over the homer-happy Stadium:
First of all, it’s presumptuous to label a park a “hitters’ haven” or any other term after such a limited sample. While a park can’t necessarily “get better” the way a struggling (but talented) rookie might, there are any number of factors – starting with weather, wind patterns and surrounding buildings – that may or may not affect the way a ballpark plays as its history grows. At the very least, the new Stadium deserves a full season before it’s excoriated as a joke.
Beyond that, though, is this: Even if the park does turn out to be more homer-prone than its predecessor, even if it does yield more home runs than expected, there is nothing particularly wrong with that. It’s not better or worse than the old Stadium. It’s just different. It’s just the way it is. Consider: Home runs are a part of baseball. Baseball games are played at Yankee Stadium. So home runs are hit at Yankee Stadium. Where is the crime in that?
[My take: Well, as an example, MLB has rules that maintain that outfield walls must be a certain minimum distance from home plate. Why would that be? Because they don’t want football-type scores. While it would seem MLB has been looking to pump up scoring in the last 40 years (via lowering the mound and instituting the DH), they’ve still maintained those distance standards. When Coors Field was having football-type scores, MLB allowed the Rockies to use a humidor for the baseballs, and the scoring dropped to more “normal” levels. I would expect MLB and the Yankees to do some serious studying of the Stadium’s wind currents in the off-season (once the old park is torn down).]
- Journeyman Brett Tomko apparently owned HOFer Tony Gwynn:
When Tomko was with the Cincinnati Reds in 1997, he spoke to Pete Harnisch, a teammate, about Gwynn. Gywnn, who is now in the Hall of Fame, was in the midst of winning eight batting titles.
“He told me to throw it right down the middle,” Tomko said. . . .
“He said that Gwynn was so used to hitting pitches that were out of the strikezone that I was better off throwing it down the middle,” Tomko said. “He said Gwynn wouldn’t be expecting it, so he’d probably roll it over and hit it to the right side or pop it up.”
In Tomko’s first game against Gwynn on Aug. 7, 1997, Tomko threw fastballs over the plate. Gwynn grounded out to first and popped up twice to the infield. . . .
The strategy remained successful for Tomko: He held Gywnn, a .338 career hitter, to 2 hits in 12 at-bats.
- Duke Sims turns 68 today. Sims’ Yankee career consisted of a couple of cups of back-up catcher coffee in ’73 and ’74.
- On this date in 1958, at Yankee Stadium, New York routs White Sox starter Early Wynn for a 12 – 5 victory. In the third inning, Mickey Mantle legs out his third inside-the-park home run in a month.
[My take: Let's hear it for the Death Valley 461 foot mark.]
- On this date in 1963, at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, Mantle fractures a bone in his left foot and suffers ligament and cartilage damage to the left knee running into the chain link fence chasing down a Brooks Robinson drive. Mantle will be out for 61 games. Whitey Ford beats Milt Pappas and the Orioles, 4 – 3, as the Yankees return to first place.
[My take: Thank goodness there aren’t any chain link fences around anymore, right?]
- On this date in 2006, Jason Giambi and Andy Phillips each hit a three-run home run in a seven-run second inning, and the host Yankees roughed up old nemesis Josh Beckett in a 13 – 5 rout of the Boston Red Sox. New York had 11 hits, for its 12th consecutive game with at least 10, breaking the franchise record of 11 straight games set in May 1937.
See you all Monday!