"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 6/24/09

To power today’s news, I’m going to visit the “Conjuction Junction”:

  • The (decision on Cody) Ransom is due Wednesday:

While he gathered his belongings in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse earlier this month, Ransom revisited his decision to hide the severity of a leg injury that he suffered not that night in Boston, but in the final week of spring training, much earlier than he had previously admitted publicly.As it turned out, the leg ailment would ultimately land him on the 60-day disabled list and throw his future with the Yankees in doubt. Still, Ransom isn’t sure he would have done anything differently. It’s easy to understand why.

“I don’t know that I would have because of the situation that we were in, Alex being out and it was an opportunity for me,” said Ransom, a 33-year-old minor league journeyman. “I was really hoping that could help the team and play well. But obviously I didn’t do that. I don’t regret anything, I don’t regret the way I handled it I don’t think.”

. . . On Wednesday, the Yankees will have to return him to the majors or designate him for assignment.

  • Sabathia not planning on a pitching “Sabathical“:

“I feel like I’m going to feel fine tomorrow,” Sabathia said. “So that’s why I keep saying that I’m pitching on Friday.”

Sabathia usually throws 45 pitches in a bullpen session, but he said he would throw no more than 25 on Wednesday. He reiterated that he was not concerned.

“It doesn’t scare me at all,” Sabathia said. “It’s one of those things through the course of the season you do feel on side days. You feel a little achiness in the biceps, and it usually gets out of there. With the rest and two days off of not playing catch or anything, it feels fine. I feel good enough to pitch.”

Working in favor of the Marlins was Rule 3.05, which states:

“If an improper substitution is made for the pitcher, the umpire shall direct the proper pitcher to return to the game until the provisions of this rule are fulfilled. If the improper pitcher is permitted to pitch, any play that results is legal. The improper pitcher becomes the proper pitcher as soon as he makes his first pitch to the batter, or as soon as any runner is put out.”

Additionally, Rule 3.05(c) Comment reads: “If a manager attempts to remove a pitcher in violation of Rule 3.05 (c) the umpire shall notify the manager of the offending club that it cannot be done. If, by chance, the umpire-in-chief has, through oversight, announced the incoming improper pitcher, he should still correct the situation before the improper pitcher pitches. Once the improper pitcher delivers a pitch he becomes the proper pitcher.”

Girardi felt Sunday’s situation was similar to one earlier in the year, when Rays manager Joe Maddon had a mixup with his designated hitter, resulting in Evan Longoria not starting.

  • Fangraphs details the Yanks offense down on the farm:

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, home to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, features a triplet of red-hot bats. Shelley Duncan, Austin Jackson, and John Rodriguez patrol the outfield while on defense, and hit balls into the outfield during their time on offense. The three are inseparable on top of most International League leaderboards. Here’s how they stack up:

Rodriguez: .292/.377/.521

Jackson: .342/.410/.451

Duncan: .294/.369/.628

Jackson is the only one with a foreseeable future in pinstripes, since most prospect analysts rank him as the top prospect in the system. It’s easy to see how, as Jackson plays a smooth centerfield and flashes impressive offensive production for a 22-year-old. Look for him to claim a starting gig in the Bronx sometime over the next 12 months.

“It kind of fuels me, to tell you the truth,” Posada said. “I want to prove them wrong.” . . .

Posada has never been considered a top defensive catcher, but his bat gives the Yankees a weapon that few other teams have – one that would disappear with Francisco Cervelli or Jose Molina behind the plate.

“When we take the field, our best team is the one with a healthy Jorge Posada catching,” GM Brian Cashman said. “Cervelli is an exceptional defender, as is Molina, so they get a lot of bouquets for their defense. But Cervelli is still developing and there’s a reason Molina is a backup and Jorge is a starter.”

For all the knocks he takes when it comes to throwing out runners, he’s nailed 33% of would-be basestealers this season, including two on Sunday night against the Marlins.

  • This doesn’t have to do with the Yanks, but its an excellent article on the emotional battles Joey Votto has had to deal with in the past few weeks and months (he just came off the DL for “stress-related issues”):

The 25-year-old Votto revealed publicly that he was battling depression, anxiety attacks and issues that finally came to the surface several months after the sudden death of his 52-year-old father, Joseph, in August. Those issues led to some panicky moments and two hospital stays.

“They were overwhelming me to the point where I needed to go to the hospital on two separate occasions — once in San Diego and once that nobody had been told about, I went to the hospital in Cincinnati when the team was on the road [in early June],” Votto explained. “It was a very, very scary and crazy night where I had to call 911 at three or four in the morning. It was probably the scariest moment I ever had dealt with in my life, and I went to the hospital that night.” . . .

[My take: I’m so glad Votto took a step back and finally allowed himself to deal with his feelings and get some help.]

  • Phil Hughes turns all of 23 today.
  • On this date in 1936, rookie Joe DiMaggio ties three major-league records in New York’s 10-run 5th inning against the White Sox, hitting 2 HRs for 8 total bases. With 2 doubles, he equals the modern record of four extra-base in a game. New York beats St. Louis 18-4.
  • On this date in 1962, a marathon between the Tigers and Yankees concludes in the 22nd inning when Jack Reed’s home run – his only one in the ML – gives New York and Jim Bouton a 9 – 7 victory. For the Tigers, Phil Regan takes the loss and Rocky Colavito has seven hits. Bobby Richardson ties a mark by going to the plate 11 times. At an even seven hours, the game is the longest contest time-wise in league history and it is the longest game in innings in Yankee history.
  • On this date in 1970, in a doubleheader with the Indians at Yankee Stadium, Bobby Murcer ties Lou Gehrig’s record of four straight homers. The Yanks lose the opener 7 – 2, despite Murcer’s 9th-inning home run off Sam McDowell. Murcer next connects off game 2’s starter Mike Paul, hitting a solo shot in the 1st inning. A walk in the 4th, then a 2-run homer off Paul in the 5th, and a game-tying homer in the 8th, off Fred Lasher. New York scores in the bottom of the 9th to salvage a 5 – 4 win. According to Wikipedia, “Cleveland 1B Tony Horton hears a boo and literally crawls back to the dugout after fanning on two of Yankee hurler Steve Hamilton’s “folly floaters.” Sensitive to fans’ booing during the season, Horton will be hospitalized, and at 25, this is his last season.”

[My take: I think Tony misheard the fans.  I think they were residents of the city featured in this book.]

  • On this date in 1992, Yankees P Steve Howe is permanently banned from baseball by Commissioner Fay Vincent after having pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to purchase a gram of cocaine. It is Howe’s 7th suspension/ban, as he becomes the 1st player ever permanently banned from baseball because of drugs. (The suspension was later overturned)
  • On this date in 1996, Howe, released by the Yankees just two days prior, is arrested at Kennedy International Airport for carrying a loaded gun in his luggage. He will plead guilty to a misdemeanor and receive three years probation and 150 hours of community service.
  • On this date in 2005, thanks to Bernie Williams dropping a ball in center field, the Mets become the first National League team to hit three sacrifice flies in one inning. Backstop Ramon Castro’s sac fly to right ties the game at 1-1 as David Wright advances to third; the Yankee’s centerfielder then drops Jose Reyes deep fly ball allowing Wright to score; Cameron skies to right plating Mientkiewicz, who had advanced to third on errant pick off throw.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Rich   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:07 am

I don’t regret anything, I don’t regret the way I handled it I don’t think.”

He batted .180/.226/.320/.546

His UZR/150 was -19.4

Ransom clearly hurt the team, yet he doesn't regret how he handled the situation.

Fortunately, for Replacement Level Ransom there is no accountability on the Yankees.

On a more serious note, I wish Votto the best.

2 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:13 am

[1] “I was really hoping that could help the team and play well. But obviously I didn’t do that."

Context should count for something no?

3 Rich   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:21 am

[2] Context? Seriously?

Diane's post contains the entire excerpt. Why do I have to quote the whole thing in order to comment on one aspect.

In other words, the context is there for everyone to see.

That he didn't play well is as obvious as the fact that the Yankees are slumping. But by saying that he doesn't regret that he kept his injury a secret even though he was hurting team, he is in effect saying that he would do the same thing all over again, which is stupid or insane.

4 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:40 am

Another example of Cashman failing to admit the obvious: Cody Ransom has no business being on this team. Not in March. Not in May. Not in July.

But then Bubba Crosby didn't either.

5 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:48 am

Yanks' record the last 15 games: 6-9

Yanks' OBP the last 15 games: .323

Yanks' record the 15 games prior to that: 10-5

Yanks' OBP the 15 games prior to that: .377

Yanks' record for the season: 38-31 (tied for 2nd in AL, tied for 4th best in MLB)

Yanks' OBP for the season: .352 (3rd in AL, 5th in MLB)

Anymore worries? Me neither.

6 Raf   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:54 am

[4] Eh, no different than Andy Fox, Clay Bellinger, Scott Pose, Luis Sojo, Enrique Wilson, etc, etc, etc.

7 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:55 am

[5] thank you for calming my nerves

I don't like Ransom either, but he's the 25th man on the roster. The Yankees have won championships with worse players (or at least comparably bad) on their roster than Cody Ransom.

8 a.O   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:55 am

The Yanks should trade with the Ms for Beltre and play 3B as a 2/3 - 1/3 platoon.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:56 am

[6] took the words right out of my mouth, Bellinger was the first guy I thought of.

10 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 24, 2009 9:59 am

Why are there three or four 25th men on this team?

11 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2009 10:09 am

[10] well THATS a horse of a different color

12 Bama Yankee   ~  Jun 24, 2009 10:11 am

[0] "Horton hears a boo"... good one, Diane.

13 Bud Wisenheimer   ~  Jun 24, 2009 10:42 am

Cody Ransom is like 7Up. Never had it, never will.

14 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 24, 2009 11:47 am

[13] Does that mean Cody Ransom tastes delicious if you mix him in a glass with Seagram's 7 whiskey and ice?

[7] My pleasure.

15 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 24, 2009 11:55 am

[5] I'm not quite following you, Shaun. Are you suggesting that, because the team's opb is .352, considerably higher than its obp during this past stretch, it will return to the mean soon enough and that will correlate with winning?

I think that's what you're suggesting. But of course, the premise there is that the opb will rise in accordance with mathematical law. But that doesn't factor in whatever variables have caused it to fall of late, does it?

I guess I'm just not quite sure what, precisely, about those numbers you take comfort in other than to observe that the team's just in a slump.

16 Edwardian   ~  Jun 24, 2009 12:17 pm

Diane, do I remember correctly that a 37 year-old Yogi Berra caught all 22 innings of that Tigers' game in 1962? As I recall, he made an amazing tag play at home plate during extra innings to keep the game going.

Yogi was this seven-year -old Little League catcher's hero. I remember thinking how impressive it was that this gutsy "old" guy loved the game so much that he stayed out there, playing the hardest position on the diamond, for seven long hours.

It speaks to how powerful a force baseball has been in my life that I can remember watching a game like that took place 47 years ago. I can't be sure that my memories are totally accurate, but regardless, the impression that the game made on me is no less real.

17 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 24, 2009 12:38 pm

[16] I know exactly what you mean!

I have a memory of some game in the early eighties that went like 18 innings or something. I remember listening to it on the radio as I went around the city with my father and/or mother. I seem to recall being in Inwood Park or at the Cloisters for part of that day. And after what seemed forever in a little boy's world, Willie Randolph won the game by doubling off the center field wall in like the 18th. I'd love to be able to get details about that, so if anyone knows how to find a long extra inning game won by Willie Randolph ca. 1983, I'd really appreciate it.

18 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2009 12:39 pm


Nice going .... You DO remember correctly ...

19 Bobtaco   ~  Jun 24, 2009 12:44 pm

[17] Hey Weeping, if it was a game against the White Sox, I think my grandfather taped the extra innings of that game and I have the tape in storage. It was something like '83-'84. I think Ron Kittle may have had a big hit to win the game...

20 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2009 12:50 pm

The only 17+ inning game the Yanks won between 1980 and 1985 was THIS one:

21 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 24, 2009 1:01 pm

Grrrr! The mind, the mind!!!

Ok, maybe it wasn't 19 innings. Maybe it was like 14 innings but felt like 19 to a small boy.

I'm *certain* that Willie won it in extras, though!

I just know it, I just know it!

The miiind! The miiind!

22 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2009 1:08 pm

OK .... I think you owe me a drink .... cause I think THIS is the game you are referencing:

23 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 24, 2009 2:35 pm

[22] YAYYYY!!!

You're a mad genius, Diane! What are you drinking? How 'bout a cosmo?

24 PJ   ~  Jun 24, 2009 3:30 pm

And, but, and or will get you pretty far.

The Yankees, not so much...

: )

25 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2009 3:57 pm

Via Abe:

UPDATE, 3:47 p.m.: Brian Cashman in the house.

this could get interesting...

26 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2009 4:05 pm

and it IS getting interesting...

UPDATE, 3:58 p.m.: Lineup taken down. Swisher just met with Girardi and Cashman behind closed doors. Machinations?

27 Raf   ~  Jun 24, 2009 4:21 pm

[25] Must be there to announce that Veras is going to the Indians...


28 PJ   ~  Jun 24, 2009 4:22 pm

[26] "Swisher just met with Girardi and Cashman behind closed doors."

He probably wanted to make both of them aware of his OPS+ or something...

: )

29 Raf   ~  Jun 24, 2009 4:23 pm

[28] Or to send him to baserunning camp.

30 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2009 4:23 pm

UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: Melky out, Swisher in.

31 PJ   ~  Jun 24, 2009 4:51 pm

[29] If he can refuse a demotion to the Minor Leagues Raf, he can also refuse to be sent to Little League, where "baserunning camp" is...

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