"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 6/26/09

Today’s news is powered by the King of Pop:

Rest in peace, Michael . . .

Let’s lead off with a dandy trivia question from MLB Network (the Yankees are involved in it):

There are seven currently active MLers who have a chance of playing in four decades (80s,90s,00s,10s).  Can you name them?  Here’s a hint: three of them have played at one time or another for the Bombers.  Answer later.

  • Like Tyler Kepner, Buster Olney also wonders what has become of A-Rod:

The question is this: Is Rodriguez, a month from his 34th birthday, much less of a player because he presumably no longer takes performance-enhancing drugs?

It’s a question that can never be answered, but it’s a question that will continue to be asked, probably more within the Yankees organization than anywhere else. And really, if you want, just consider the question in terms of money.

The Yankees are still on the hook for about $250 million in the next eight-plus seasons. The player who will receive that money can never give them quite what they paid for, in a sense, because A-Rod, as a marketing tool, is damaged forever. They would settle for paying him just to hit well, field effectively and run the bases as well as he did for 15 years — doing all the things on the field they needed him to do when they signed him to the highest salary in the game.

But he is not providing any of that, either. Even after delivering a crucial two-run single in the Yankees’ win over Atlanta on Wednesday night, Rodriguez is batting .210 this season; since June 7, his batting average has dropped 45 points. His slugging percentage of .441 is by far the lowest in any season since 1994, when he had a handful of at-bats for the Mariners as a teenager.

“He looks like a record playing at a slower speed,” said one talent evaluator who saw Rodriguez over the past two weeks.

Said another, “He looks old. He’s a first baseman. How many years does he have left on the contract?”

[My take: He looked pretty solid at the plate Thursday night.  Let’s see if he can keep that going, or will he need a rest again soon?]

“It’s our home city, and I think our guys enjoy the Subway Series,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday before New York played the Atlanta Braves. “Alex feels good, feels like he’s got a lot of energy in his legs. He feels good, so we’ll let him keep going.”

[My take: Well, they DO have an off-day on Monday, but after that its 13 games in 13 days prior to the ASB.]

  • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick thinks the Yanks might be looking for some bullpen help:

“The Yankees’ bullpen has logged 225 innings, fourth most in the American League, so I can see Brian Cashman trolling around for a veteran reliever. David Robertson, Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke and Brian Bruney all have solid numbers, but that’s a pretty inexperienced group.

. . . I can see the Yanks being interested if Jose Valverde, Huston Street or someone of that ilk becomes available.

Outfielder Xavier Nady, who had tried to avoid surgery for the elbow injury he sustained in April, pulled himself from a game with Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after a painful throw. “It’s the thing you try to avoid,” said General Manager Brian Cashman, who spoke to Scranton Manager Dave Miley. “It could be the worst-case scenario.”

ekanenh (Capitol City): Joe Girardi will get fired if the Yankees are _________ at the all-star break.

Joe Sheehan: Still enfranchised?

(A boy can dream.)

  • Mike Myers turns 40 today.  The 2006/7 Yankees were Myers’ next-to-last stop in his 13-year, nine team career.  Myers appeared in 883 games total, all in relief.
  • On this date in 1920, Lou Gehrig gets his first national mention when, as a high school junior for New York City’s School of Commerce, he steals the show in a high school championship game against Lane Tech in Chicago. His grand-slam HR in the eighth gives the NY team a 12-8 victory. Scouts sit with open mouths as the ball sails out of the NL park (later known as Wrigley Field).
  • On this date in 1939, in Philadelphia, the Yankees play their first night game in franchise history, losing to Connie Mack’s A’s, 3-2.
  • On this date in 1944, at the Polo Grounds, with over 50,000 fans looking on, the three New York major league teams played against each other in a six inning three-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other two teams then sat out an inning). The contest, which was played to raise money for war bonds ended with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.
  • On this date in 1979, the Yankees reacquire the popular Bobby Murcer from the Cubs in exchange for P Paul Semall and cash. Murcer will once again thrive in Yankee Stadium, hitting .273 with eight home runs.
  • On this date in 1987, Roger Clemens fails to hold a 9 – 0, 2nd-inning lead. Boston loses to New York 12 – 11 in 10 innings. The 9-run comeback ties a Yankee team record.

Trivia answer: Omar Vizquel, Ken Griffey Jr., Gary Sheffield, Tom Gordon, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer.

See you Monday!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Simone   ~  Jun 26, 2009 9:51 am

I saw the Olney article. Alex is recovering from surgery. I don't see how his performance can be judged until he is healthy.

2 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 26, 2009 10:04 am

I'm stuck at 6 names: Moyer, the Unit, Smoltz, Griffey, Vizquel and Sheffield.

3 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 26, 2009 10:11 am

[2] Didn't realize you posted the answer!

I can remember that Clemens game like it was yesterday. I didn't have cable at the time, so I was listening to the game on radio. After taking the lead, they quickly gave it back up and I remember thinking that if they didn't win, the comeback would be all for nothing.

4 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 26, 2009 10:30 am

Manny Banuelos (LHP-Charleston - 18 yo!) is also in the Futures Game. He has great numbers this year:

61 IP, 47 hits, 2 HR, 14 BB, 58 Ks - 2.51 ERA in 12 starts.

His only real downside as a prospect is his size - listed at 5'10" and 155 lbs. Works off of low 90's stuff.

5 The Hawk   ~  Jun 26, 2009 10:34 am

These A Rod shenanigans by Olney, etc have got to stop. I am by no means an A Rod fan but the guy just had major surgery ... Let's let that sort itself out before theorizing what effect not taking steroids might be having on him.

Anyhow he just whacked a ball over 400 feet yesterday with what looked like relative ease.

6 RIYank   ~  Jun 26, 2009 10:51 am

From Pete Abe:

Mariano Rivera taped ESPN’s Sunday Coversation yesterday. It’ll be on the 11 p.m. Sunday edition of SportsCenter.

Mo was asked about Jonathan Papelbon’s statement (since retracted) that he would play for the Yankees.

“If he wants to do that, he’ll have to wait for me to retire,” Rivera said. “You know, then I think he has a shot at that. Besides that, he don’t have a shot at that.”

Well, if anyone's entitled to a little arrogance...

7 monkeypants   ~  Jun 26, 2009 12:08 pm

[4] His only real downside as a prospect is his size - listed at 5′10″ and 155 lbs.

Yes, but is he scrappy or gritty?

[5] Anyhow he just whacked a ball over 400 feet yesterday with what looked like relative ease.

Yes, so he's probably back on the juice.
I kid, I kid.

8 tommyl   ~  Jun 26, 2009 12:09 pm

[7] Beats Manny's fertility treatments anytime ;)

9 Rich   ~  Jun 26, 2009 12:25 pm

I would prefer that the Yankees stuck to the plan they announced just last week and rested Alex for a game against the Mets.

Regarding Mo's "arrogance," it seems out of character for him. Sometimes that happens when an athlete senses that the end isn't that far away.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 26, 2009 12:42 pm

Happy 35th birthday to the Bar Code

(hmmm .... Jeter shares a birthday with it ... have you seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?) :-)

11 PJ   ~  Jun 26, 2009 2:30 pm

So much for those who tout just how much stronger today's players are!

Lou Gehrig, the highschool Junior, hits one out of Wrigley 89 years ago, from the left side no less!


It just goes to show, it's all been done before, by much better men...

: )

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