"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 7/1/09

Today’s news is powered by a classic from Tom Lehrer:

  • As you likely know by now, the Yanks acquired Eric Hinske from the Pirates.  GM Brian Cashman offers this on the deal:

“He’s a pro,” said Cashman, who sent two minor leaguers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Hinske. “He’s been through the trenches in the American League East. We just felt that he can come in and help us. Doesn’t mean he will. I think our bench is better because of it. Joe (Girardi) has more choices because of it. Hopefully we’ll benefit because of it. We might not, but that’s at least the method to the madness.”

Cashman and Girardi said that Xavier Nady’s (elbow) latest setback, which will likely sideline him for the season, prompted the move. Hinske will spell Alex Rodriguez at third base, Mark Teixeira at first base and provide depth in right and left fields, Cashman and Girardi said.

[My take: The Pirates are becoming the 2000′s edition of the Kansas City A’s . . . they’re the Yanks favorite talent-feeder of late.]

  • Joel Sherman lists eight reasons the Yanks acquired Hinske.
  • Mr. Hinske could have been had on waivers two weeks ago.

[My take: But Cashman didn’t know that Nady was gonna be down for the count at that point.]

  • Mariano Rivera was almost traded away from the Bombers early on in his career:

Michael had his own ‘What if?’ moment a few years later, in 1995, when he considered trading Rivera to the Tigers for David Wells. At the time Rivera was still trying to make it as a starter, still throwing in the low 90s, and when Michael asked the Tigers what they would want in a deal for Wells, Rivera was one of the names they put on a list.

“I never said yes,” Michael said with a chuckle Monday. “And right about that time, Mariano’s velocity in the minors jumped to 95-96. I didn’t believe it when I saw our report, but I checked it out with scouts from other teams who were there, and it was true. At that point there was no way I was trading him.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday that Rodriguez will be given at least one day off and potentially more during the team’s 13-game stretch leading up to the All-Star break. It is likely Rodriguez will also be used as a designated hitter on occasion, as he continues to battle back from right hip surgery.

So even though it seems clear exactly how Rodriguez will be utilized, it may not be that simple. Girardi did not offer a roadmap outlining exactly when Rodriguez will receive this promised downtime, instead presenting several scenarios.

“I will probably give him a day off in Minnesota, for sure, and DH him a day during the week and maybe even DH him two days during this week,” Girardi said. The Yankees take on the Twins from July 7-9.

Beyond that, Girardi would not specify when the off-days will come. He suggested it is possible Rodriguez gets a day during the current homestand against the Mariners or Blue Jays, but also gave a scenario in which Rodriguez gets two days off in Minnesota on the synthetic-surface field, which is notoriously tough on the body.

3B Yurendell DeCaster is trading in his RedHawks pinstripes for a set of Yankees pinstripes.The All-Star third baseman has had his contract purchased by the New York Yankees today and will report on Tuesday to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Triple-A affiliate for New York in the International League.

DeCaster, 29, joined the RedHawks this spring and was arguably the top player in the Northern League this season. Entering tonight’s play, DeCaster was leading the Northern League in hits (54), doubles (14), home runs (13), RBI (43) and slugging percentage (.682). He was batting .344, good for fifth in the league, and was second in runs scored with 36.

Poll time!

[poll id="34"]

  • One-time scouting director (’87-’90) Brian Sabean turns 53 today.  Sabean is currently the GM of the Giants.
  • On this date in 1935, Yankees OF George Selkirk suggests a cinder path, 6 feet wide, be installed in the outfield so a player knows when he is nearing the wall.

[My take: So the “Warning Track” could have been named the “Selkirk Track”?]

  • On this date in 1941, before 52,832 at Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio leads a sweep of the Red Sox, 7-2 and 9-2. The 2nd game is called after 5 innings. DiMaggio has 2 hits in the first game and one in the second to tie Willie Keeler’s major-league batting streak of 44 games with the help of a difficult decision by the official scorer. Red Sox third baseman Jim Tabor makes a poor throw, but Joltin’ Joe is given a hit by New York World Telegram’s Dan Daniel. The Yankees have 25 hits in the two games but fail to hit a HR in the first game, ending their AL streak of 25 consecutive games with at least one HR. The previous record, set by the Tigers in 1940, was 17 games.
  • On this date in 1964, it’s “Taxi Day” at Yankee Stadium and nearly 5,000 cabbies and their families are on hand as Kansas City runs up the meter to win, 5 – 4.

[My take: Nowadays, the Yankees leave the meter running at your seat while you use the restroom.]

  • On this date in 1990, Yankee Andy Hawkins throws a no-hitter, but still loses 4 – 0 to the White Sox. With two out in the bottom of the 8th, New York’s Mike Blowers misplays a routine grounder for an error, and Hawkins walks two to load the bases. Outfielders Jim Leyritz and Jesse Barfield drop back-to-back fly balls to allow all four runs to score.
  • On this date in 2004, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-4 in 13 innings. In the 12th inning, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with two outs when Trot Nixon lifted a fly ball to shallow left field. Derek Jeter raced out and caught the ball before diving headfirst into the stands and bloodying his face, forcing him to leave the game. In the top of the 13th inning, Manny Ramirez homered to give the Red Sox the lead, but the Yankees staged a two out rally in the bottom half of the inning. Ruben Sierra singled, then came around to score on Miguel Cairo’s game-tying RBI double. Pinch hitter John Flaherty, the last man off the Yankees’ bench, followed that up with a game-winning ground-rule single to score Cairo.

I’m off Thursday (at the game tonight), so I’ll see you all Friday!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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59 comments

1 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 1, 2009 9:21 am

Diane, on behalf of my dearly departed old man, let me commend you on the Lehrer. That would have brought a smile to pop's face.

2 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 9:43 am

[0] Hawkins no-hitter was and is the perfect description of that 1990 team.

Let's hope the Sox's ridiculous loss last night becomes the perfect description for their 2009 team!

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 1, 2009 9:49 am

If ARod DH'es and Hinske plays 3rd, its a Matsui for Hinske swap. The way Mats has been producing, this is not that much of a downgrade, and the benefits of resting ARod may make this well worth while. Hell, if Hinske is at all serviceable, I would give ARod a couple of extra DH days.

I would think diving and charging at 3rd base is more stressful then batting, so DHing ARod a little more often may keep him rested without compromising our team much.

4 FreddySez   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:08 am

Lehrer is da bomb for sure. He's one guy I'd like to buy a drink, if only he hadn't gone all Salinger on us.

5 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:40 am

The "I almost traded Mariano" stuff was in in Sherman's Birth of a Dynasty which came out in '06. That book is poorly written and edited, but it's still worth a read for all the great inside info on the . . . well, on the birth of the dynasty.

DeCaster is another former Pirate. He was also on the Netherlands' WBC squad this year.

Also, I didn't realize it was July 1 until I read the "on this day in 2004." I was at that game. Sitting in the tier boxes behind home.

Trivia question: what was the starting pitching matchup for that game (no cheating on B-Ref)?

6 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:41 am

@ 3

Except A-Rod is better defensively at 3B. So for that swap they're sacrificing offense AND defense. Hinske has played the equivalent of 8 games at 3B in the last three years. He's going to be a butcher, especially the more he's out there.

From Sherman:

If the Yanks did not obtain Hinske, they were going to send down Pena anyway and summon Shelley Duncan Shelley Duncan to try to provide some off-the-bench punch.

That's infuriating considering they had Angel Berroa on the team for two months and they played the interleague schedule where that bat could have helped a bit more.

7 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:41 am

Damn, have to remember to close my tags. Sorry to all.

8 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:45 am

[5] Hmmm . . . I'm pretty sure Pedro started that game for the Sox, and I want to say that Kevin Brown started it for the Yanks. But I have no idea if I'm right or not. I'll check b-r.com after I post this.

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:46 am

Of course, they went 6-3 in NL parks this year, so they did just fine anyway,

10 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:47 am

Shaun is half-right in [8]

11 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:52 am

[5] [8] I was half-right (I won't say which half, though). But I was way off on the wrong half.

12 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 1, 2009 10:55 am

[8] Pedro vs Brad "Admiral" Halsey. I remember actually kinda liking Halsey, and I remember it being Pedro because how can anyone forget Sheff's terrifying "Not me..." reaction to getting hit early on in the game.

[5] It really was a terrible book, I find myself not being able to take anything Sherman says/writes seriously because I just remind myself "this is the guy who wrote Birth of a Dynasty...and Birth of a Dynasty sucks" I think it also suffers from the inevitable comparisons to Olney's book which is a thousand times better.

13 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:00 am

Tartabull wins . . . nothing! (but is still correct)

You know, Olney's book is much better in terms of the writing, but I actually enjoyed Sherman's more just because the emergence of the '96 team was such a thrilling experience for me given that I was too young to enjoy the late-'70s teams and had suffered through the '80s with the team.

Still, it amazes me that out of the three books on the Torre Yankees (Sherman, Olney, Verducci), two of them read like unedited first drafts that were rushed into print.

14 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:07 am

@ 9

Just fine? They swept an awful Mets team and lost two of three in Florida (one game by one run).

Duncan has had a place on this team for two months. Acquiring another lefty bat actually hurts more than it helps, esp when that "bat" is starting at a position he seldom, if ever, plays.

15 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:10 am

Check that - they lost both games in Florida by one run.

16 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:21 am

[13] Yeah I think thats what annoyed me, I really wanted a great book on that team and instead it was just meh.

I think you're right though that a lot of that is on the (lack of) editing...Sherman's cute little quirk of telling us every stupid thing that happened on the day of a particular game; stuff like "As David Cone was nervously anticipating his surgery Americans were falling in love with the Macarena", and that isn't even that much of an exaggeration.

I think Torre's will end up being the "definitive" book on that era, even though it should be Olney's.

17 ms october   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:21 am

[13] i actually enjoyed some of the content in sherman's book because it contained information that i did not know while it was happening since it was much harder to follow an out of town team pre-internet. though i was aware of most of the information when his book came out it was still interesting to see it in one place. with that said the prose was quite lacking. i still haven't read verducci's book, but have read enough of his writing to think that olney's writing is much better than the other two (i fear he may be tumbling into the abyss of espn though).

btw i re-read a book not too long ago in which you were given an acknowledgement cliff - that was cool.

18 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:27 am

cool! what book?

19 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:31 am

[12] As I tried to find the game by going through the 2004 game log for each pitcher, Halsey was the 7th guy I tried (in order, Brown, Vazquez, Lieber, Moose, Contreras, El Duque, and then Halsey). I remember so much about that game, but Halsey I completely forgot.

Everyone remembers Jeter's catch, but what remains more amazing, and vivid, to me is how the Yanks managed to score the winning runs after Sturtze gave up the go-ahead homer to Manny.

I wonder if Flaherty will call tonight's game, and if the YES guys will bring that game up?

20 Rich   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:32 am

Girardi has already proven himself incapable of appropriately resting Alex. He should have no input in the decision.

21 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:41 am

I guarantee Kay mentions the game, Shaun.

22 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:44 am

Hey Bama, if you're out there - this link's for you!

[20] Does that mean you think Girardi should be fired? Kinda pointless in having a manager who isn't allowed to determine when to rest someone and who play in his place.

I think Steven Goldman has this right: Girardi was told, win . . . or else - but also to rest his best player once a week. Not easy to reconcile those conflicting purposes, particularly given who he had to run out at 3B for a while (ie, Angel "Caution - may contain baseball-like substance" Berroa (with apologies to TMQ)).

One could argue that the Yanks' best chance to win is to have as healthy an A-Rod as possible, which means resting A-Rod once a week - but then there was that long stretch of losing to be overcome, too.

23 ms october   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:49 am

[18] american dream

yeah kay will most definitely bring that game up.
the booth probably won't include flash though

24 ms october   ~  Jul 1, 2009 11:54 am

[22] i did know that about jorge - decatur is very close to where i grew up - jorge wasn't getting any of the food we talked about yesterday while he was there, especially back then

i agree with that too shaun.
it will also help for tex (or swish or damon or whomever) to get on a hot streak again to make it easier to give alex some regular rest

25 Rich   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:08 pm

[22] Yes, but not just for that.

The "Joba Rules" dictated to Torre the way he could use a reliever. He had far more cred than Girardi. Do you think that was pointless too?

One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again. Girardi failed to follow Dr. Phillipon's instructions with regard to resting Alex in the first six weeks subsequent to surgery. The result was a player who became a shell of himself. To me it is beyond pointless to risk doing that again.

If we take the win or else excuse to its logical limits, we can see how absurd Goldman's point is. Does that mean he can pitch Rivera two innings every night? Or that he can use Joba in the rotation and the pen?

Of course not, because common sense precludes making those moves because of the longer term costs. The need to rest A-Rod coming off major surgery is no different.

26 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:22 pm


Lehrer is da bomb for sure. He’s one guy I’d like to buy a drink, if only he hadn’t gone all Salinger on us.

Not sure what you mean, he went back to what he loved most, math. He was a professor at UC Santa Cruz, at least back in the early 90's (friend of mine took a class from him). So, not touring, but not a recluse by any stretch ...

27 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:27 pm

[25] You make some great points, Rich, and perhaps I'm focusing overly much on a small stretch of time. But still, there were two things going on that I think drove Girardi to ignore Dr. Phillipon's instructions. First, the Yanks went on a huge roll for A-Rod's first 4 weeks back, due in no small part to A-Rod himself hitting very well (ex: the 5 for 5 game in Texas), with no rest mind you, and Tex destroying the ball - which many attributed to A-Rod hitting behind him. I don't believe in protection, but its hard to argue with results. And A-Rod sure looked fine.

Then the Yanks then went into a tailspin. A-Rod clearly struggled, but the pressure was on Girardi to win a few games in a row, to right the ship (remember how bad things were when here when the Sox swept them again?). I think Girardi screwed up by not resting A-Rod immediately, but I understand why he didn't do it. I might have done the same thing if I was in his shoes. Then he finally rested A-Rod, and now the guy is hitting like gangbusters the last week (.348/.545/.739).

I don't think Girardi is likely to make the same mistake again.

The Joba Rules, on the other hand, were put in place because the Yanks had 12 years of evidence that Torre kept making the same mistakes over and over, especially when it came to bullpen arms. Girardi has shown he does learn and does things differently (ex: all the injury bs with the beat writers last year).

28 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:32 pm

@ 22

Exactly.

@ 25

He had far more cred than Girardi.

Not on bullpen issues, he didn't.

29 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:36 pm

@ 27

Nailed it again.

Some people here want Girardi fired for every little hiccup. When your job requires winning every game to fend off the jackals, but with nothing on the bench or bullpen to help, it's no wonder he played A-Rod as much as he did or leaves Sabathia out there a bit too long.

If you've got a problem with Girardi on these issues, then you have to explain to me why the GM doesn't also share the blame. It's his roster at the end of the day.

30 Rich   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:47 pm

[27] From June 1 to June 18, Alex's AVG dropped from .259 to .212, and his OPS declined from .980 to .832. At some point during those 16 games, don't you think it should have been obvious to a reasonable person (especially one with an engineering degree from Northwestern) that the law of diminishing returns was increasing the likelihood that playing A-Rod without any rest was hurting the team's chances of winning?

If Girardi couldn't see that, why should the Yankees risk their most important asset's health by entrusting the decision in someone whose interest in self-preservation may be at odds with the best interests of the franchise over time? Granted, there are ways to distinguish the utility of the Joba Rules, but they do offer support for that proposition.

With that in mind, I think the smart play is to remove Girardi from the process.

31 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:55 pm

@ 30

Did the player come forward and say anything during that time?

32 Will Weiss   ~  Jul 1, 2009 12:59 pm

[31] The player shouldn't have to. It's the manager's job to step in and look at the data and make an informed decision on what's best for the team. ... In the same way that, against the Mets Sunday night, he should have told Cano to spot the pitcher a strike in the middle innings instead of letting him swing 2-0 and ground into a double play. They ended up winning, but still.

... On the other hand, Girardi could be Jerry Manuel, so if you consider it that way, the Yankees have it pretty good.

33 Rich   ~  Jul 1, 2009 1:00 pm

Who cares? They decided to use the pre-eminent medical specialist in the country for a reason. To ignore his recommendations was moronic.

34 Will Weiss   ~  Jul 1, 2009 1:02 pm

[23] I reported on that game, and I, like Cliff, guarantee that Kay, Singleton and O'Neill will bring up that game, most likely during the middle innings or when Jeter makes his first defensive play.

The better trivia question, with all due respect to Cliff, is: Who were the pitchers of record?

35 Will Weiss   ~  Jul 1, 2009 1:02 pm

[33] You enhanced my point. Thanks, Rich!

36 Bum Rush   ~  Jul 1, 2009 1:26 pm

And yet you guys are hammering Girardi for a two week stretch? Given that the alternative was Pena or Berroa, I don't blame him one bit. If it went one month or longer, then we should start to worry about Girardi. We're basically arguing about one rest day in that time frame. Then guess what happened? They realized the issue and fixed it.

Still, you're missing the fact that A-Rod was decently hot when he came back. I know I thought he was healthy. Hard not to fall into that trap.

37 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2009 1:27 pm

[30] "At some point during those 16 games, don’t you think it should have been obvious to a reasonable person (especially one with an engineering degree from Northwestern) that the law of diminishing returns was increasing the likelihood that playing A-Rod without any rest was hurting the team’s chances of winning?"

Uh, yes. I know it was a long post, with quite a few typos in it, but I said:

"Then [4 weeks after A-Rod's return] the Yanks then went into a tailspin. A-Rod clearly struggled, but the pressure was on Girardi to win a few games in a row, to right the ship (remember how bad things were when here when the Sox swept them again?). I think Girardi screwed up by not resting A-Rod immediately. . .

That is, Girardi probably should have rested A-Rod sometime that first week of June, like the 4th - especially with 7 games vs BOS and TB coming up, and no off days until the 15th.

But again, I think he had a reasonable reason for not resting A-Rod right away - - and so no, I don't think he should be fired for it. Again, especially because he seems to have learned from his mistake.

No one's perfect - but its far better to have a manager who makes a mistake, and then learns from it, then one who just keeps making the same mistakes over and over (witness Jerry Manuel).

38 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 1, 2009 1:40 pm

[34] I am pretty sure it was Curt Leskanic on the losing side. I know Sturtze gave up the many HR, but I am not sure if he finished the inning.

39 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 1, 2009 2:26 pm
40 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 1, 2009 2:31 pm

RIP Alexis Arguello .... I'm not a huge fan of boxing, but he was worth the price of admission.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/news/story?id=4299144

41 Will Weiss   ~  Jul 1, 2009 2:41 pm

[40] Wow. ... His best rival, Aaron Pryor, has had his own issues with drugs, etc., since their epic battles. That's when boxing was awesome.

42 Will Weiss   ~  Jul 1, 2009 2:43 pm

[38] Good call, William. Leave it to Diane for the verification.

43 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 1, 2009 3:03 pm

[22] Thanks for the Posada link, Shaun. I knew that Jorge went to Calhoun CC, but I didn't know that he was planning to go the University of Alabama until he signed with the Yankees. I was there at the time, it would have been nice to see Jorge suit up for the Crimson Tide (we had a decent team with Joe Vitiello) .

44 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 3:03 pm

[0] [1] [4] [26]

Tom Lehrer was awesome! i listened to the 2 main cd's rather recently. i worked w/ a piano player/singer guy in town for 7 years that introduced me to Lehrer. we played several of his numbers. they were soooo much fun. the Masochism Tango, was one of our staple pieces. i gotta say, the guy worked for was a total prick, but he did this tune even better than Lehrer himself! i don't miss that bandleader, but i miss playing his music...

45 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 3:06 pm

[26] Cult - if you're out there... Vital Information (Steve Smith), will be at Catalina's tonight, tomorrow and friday. you should GO!!!

Steve Smith and Vital Information
Featuring Tom Coster, Baron Browne, Vinny Valentino
Catalina Bar and Grill
6725 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
323.466.2210
http://www.catalinajazzclub.com

46 FreddySez   ~  Jul 1, 2009 3:29 pm

[26] I know Tom Lehrer went back to teaching and wasn't a recluse, but my understanding is that he not only stopped performing music but also prefers not to talk about it. Interviews few and far between, etc. So let's call it a semi-Salinger.

47 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:04 pm

dammit. shit sox repaying the favor. sherrill caved and gave up 4 in the 9th. bases juiced, 2 outs, tie game.

keep it at 5 and hang an "L" on Papelbitch...

do it.

48 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:10 pm
49 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:36 pm

and the payback is complete. shit sox lead in extras... : /

50 The Hawk   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:48 pm

Geez, Orioles. What - was yesterday too good, you had to make up for it somehow by blowing this one?

Thanks for nothing!

51 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:52 pm

[50] yeah, total bollocks. game over. that just sucks. what a friggin' waste. : /

52 The Hawk   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:53 pm

Rooting for Aubrey Huff ... not a good feeling.

53 The Hawk   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:53 pm

[52] Sweet - never mind.

54 PJ   ~  Jul 1, 2009 4:55 pm

[48] That's three more (Mays, Travelena, Malden)...

55 PJ   ~  Jul 1, 2009 5:15 pm

[50] LOL Hawk and Thelarmis! Cheering for the O's is folly...

And to think if the Yanks had merely split so far with the Red Sox, they would be a game up with the best record in baseball!

Bleh!

I hope they hammer Washburn tonight! He usually gives them fits. His career ERA against the Yankees is the lowest of all AL teams (2.56)...

: /

56 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 5:17 pm

po & cano switched. alex is dh, cody at 3rd.

pena optioned to AAA, where he'll see some time in CF. put me in coach!

Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera CF
Ransom 3B

GO YANKS!!!

fuckin' Oreo's. i told you all - Hydrox is better!!! ; )

57 The Hawk   ~  Jul 1, 2009 5:23 pm

[56] About time they listened to me re: Cano and Posada.

Can't agree about Hydrox though!

58 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 5:28 pm

[57] yeah, i think we were all clamoring for flip-flopping robbie and jorgie.

oh, i'm definitely in the minority about Hydrox > Oreo's !!! oh well, i'm used to living in my own world... : ~

59 thelarmis   ~  Jul 1, 2009 5:37 pm

well, i'm off to teach, then practice. i'm guessing i'll miss most, if not all, of the game. have fun, play nice!

GO YANKS!!!

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