"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Why The Serg Might Work

There’s been a lot of eye rolling and hand wringing about the fact that Sergio Mitre has been chosen to take the injured Chien-Ming Wang’s start against the Orioles tonight. I’ve seen Sidney Ponson’s name tossed about as a comparison, a short-cut for the sort of proven major league failure the Yankees¬† should no longer need to resort to given the depth of pitching in their system and the presence of two quality starting pitchers in their bullpen in Phil Hughes and Alfredo Aceves. I would, of course, much prefer to see the Yankees stretch Hughes back out should Wang’s current DL stay project to be a long one, but with regards to Ponson, I’m here to say that Mitre is not that.

Sidney Ponson had posted a below average ERA in 235 major league starts before joining the Yankees for the first time in 2006 and arrived in the Bronx in July 2006 having just posted a 5.24 ERA in 13 starts for the Cardinals during the first half of the season. Mitre, by comparison, has made just 52 major league starts and just once made more than nine in a single season. He has not thrown a major league pitch since 2007 due to Tommy John surgery and was just 26 in that, his only full season as a major league starter. Mitre’s career line in the majors is certainly unimpressive (5.36 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 5.4 K/9), but he was rushed to the majors in just his third professional season at age 22, jerked between the majors, minors, rotation, and bullpen in each of his three seasons with the Cubs, and came down with shoulder problems in May of his first season with the Marlins in 2006. Given all of that, I’m tempted to just toss out those first four partial major league seasons in which Mitre went 5-15 with a 6.01 ERA in 25 starts and 26 relief appearances.

Instead, I look at what Mitre did with a healthy arm and a rotation spot in the first half of the 2007 season under manager Joe Girardi. In 16 starts (not counting one aborted start in which he tore a blister during the first inning), Mitre posted a 2.82 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and a 3.1 K/9. Ten of those outings were quality starts and two others were scoreless but cut short by a tight hamstring. Mitre’s season fell apart in late July due to the elbow problems that led to his Tommy John surgery and wiped out his 2008 season.

As you can see, Mitre’s problems have had far more to do with health than effectiveness. That’s a red flag when a team throws $80-million, five-year contracts at a pitcher, but when the pitcher in question comes in on a make-good minor league deal, health concerns don’t concern me as there’s nothing there but upside. Mitre will make a pro-rated portion of a $1.25 million salary while in the majors this year, well worth the gamble that he can recapture the effectiveness he had in the first half of 2007.

Like the pitcher he replaces, Mitre is a groundballer, which makes him well-suited to the Yankees’ homer-happy new ballpark. In his minor league rehab work this year, Mitre has induced roughly three groundouts for every fly out, a rate comparable to Wang’s at his peak. Mitre has also shown tremendous control, walking just seven men in nine starts or 1.16 per nine innings, a rate that recalls another ex-Cub Tommy John rehab project that worked out well for the Yankees, Jon Lieber. In those first 16 starts in 2007, Mitre’s walk rate was 1.76, compared to 3.7 in his first four partial major league seasons, another indication that the Mitre we see tonight is more likely to be the early 2007 model. Six of Mitre’s seven starts for Triple-A Scranton have been quality starts, and his work for Scranton has yielded a 2.40 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 7.00 K/BB.

It’s entirely possible that Mitre will pull a Kei Igawa upon returning to the major leagues, but given that Triple-A performance and his decided lack of a meaningfully poor major league history, I think he deserves at least this one chance to prove he won’t. Unlike with Ponson, the Yankees won’t know what they have in Mitre unless they give him a chance to show them.

That said, if the pain Wang felt in his shoulder during his throwing session yesterday does indeed indicate a longer-than-anticipated DL stay and Mitre is anything less than excellent tonight, the Yankees should immediately begin stretching Hughes back out as a long-term solution to the hole in their rotation.

Mitre’s opposition tonight will be another ex-Cub, lefty Rich Hill. Hill had an excellent season in the Cubs’ rotation in 2007, but lost the strikezone last year, pitching his way off the team and out of the organization. Picked up by the Orioles in February, Hill has been wildly erratic for Baltimore this season, swinging from seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts against the Mariners on June 1 to three runs on a hit, four walks, and a hit batter and a first-inning hook his next time out. Anything within that range is possible tonight.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread

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226 comments

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1 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jul 21, 2009 4:39 pm

I say if he gets all those ground balls, Cliff, we call them ... dust mitres.

Ahem.

I'll step out now, for a little bit.

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 21, 2009 5:32 pm

Addendum: Brett Tomko is a Ponson (well-established sub-par major leaguer). Mitre replaces Tomko on the roster (Tomko's been DFAed), so the Yankees are actually reducing their Ponson quotient, not adding to it.

3 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 5:38 pm

Excellent post Cliff. I agree that if Wang's DL stay looks prolonged you gotta look at stretching Hughes. That said, looking at just 2009, which is better: a 1-2 ERA Hughes in the pen and a 5.0 ERA Mitre/other option in the rotation or a 4-5 ERA Hughes in the rotation and a 3.5 ERA journeyman in the bullpen? I don't know the answer. Overall, the question that isn't clear to me is how much better than the 5.5 ERA pitcher Hughes would be if returned to the rotation. I gotta believe he'd be better but then it'd be hard to be worse. But sub 4 ERA better? or MLB Average better?

I don't have answers. But these are important questions to consider in my opinion.

4 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 5:45 pm

[3] Hughes should be at least partially stretched out immediately--he threw 40 pitches two appearances ago, and 26 pitches the time before that. There is no reasonhe could not be used to shadow Mitre tonight (i.e., Mitre on the short leash) and inserted for 3 innings or 45-50 pitches. That would leave Hughes about two appearances from being able to start.

5 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 6:10 pm

Reading Sergio's name, I get the scene in the back of a restaurant somewhere, since we have the penchant for talking about food so much here, if his "cup of coffee" doesn't quite work out, of course...

Sergio to immigrant waiter: "What do I do?"

Waiter to Sergio: "Me tray, you bus tub."

I think I just gave Mitre a nickname should he pitch like Sir Pizza...

Mitre, you "Bus Tub!"

He could even start with the "Food Room!"

: )

6 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 6:26 pm

On the other hand, to those more positively inclined, "Ser-gi-o!" rings very well chanted by fans in The Stadium...

: )

7 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 6:57 pm

apologies to Mr. Dylan ...

"Sergio"

Stake my future on a hell of a past
Looks like tomorrow is coming on fast
Ain't complaining 'bout what I got
Seen better times, but who has not?

Sergio
Pinstripes so bold
Won't buy back the heat of an arm grown cold
Sergio
Give it a throw
Gotta find out if your sinker's gonna roll ...

8 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 6:58 pm

7:30 start time

9 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:11 pm

[8] crap. free mlb extra innings preview and i'm all fired up! c'mon rain, go away!

10 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:24 pm

Crap! That was my favorite King of Queens episode!

*rolls eyes*

: )

11 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:32 pm

[10] that karaoke was torture

oh brian roberts - wastes no time

12 tommyl   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:35 pm

Not exactly an auspicious start...

13 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:36 pm

well one good thing is we might not have to hear mk over pronounce "mee tray" for too long tonight

14 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:40 pm

I think he's got Pavano's old number...

: /

15 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:42 pm

nice lefty yakker from hill

16 tocho   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:43 pm

wow, the walls are noticeably lower at the new stadium...

17 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:44 pm

Did most of these guys forget how to hit, or what?

18 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:46 pm

ok. i didn't really watch the top of the first there. had a friend stop by. how did Mitre look?

19 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:48 pm

well, nice slider there.

looks like he's comfortably sitting in the low 90's so far, which is in line with what Chad Jennings had reported.

20 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:54 pm

[18] Not too bad, Seamus. He appeared to settle in there in the second against the bottom of the order...

21 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 7:55 pm

[20] thanks. The second did look good.

22 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:02 pm

nice.

23 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:17 pm

well, changeup's not bad

24 BrianLevy2020   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:23 pm

Where's Brett Gardner?

25 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:27 pm

[24] On the bench... against the lefty starter...

I gave up on trying to guess when and why Girardi uses Gardy and/or Melky.

*shrug*

26 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:27 pm

Bah Damon!

27 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:28 pm

[24] not playing because a) it is a lh pitcher; b) he did something to girardi's cat; or c) they are showcasing melky
tend to think it is a, but who knows

28 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:28 pm

C'mon Tex!

29 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:31 pm

C'mon Alex!

30 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:32 pm

Woohoo!

31 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:32 pm

nice!!! clutch-rod!!

32 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:32 pm

nicely done alex - 2 runs in as the score truck's windshield wipers got switched of intermittent

33 BrianLevy2020   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:33 pm

On the GameDay, Rich Hill is consistently throwing pitchers that Wieters has to jump for. How is his vertical? Does it translate as well as Baseball Prospectus said?

34 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:33 pm

good god we know how that kid is going to turn out

35 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:33 pm

C'mon Jorge!

36 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:35 pm

Jussssst into Gameday to see a line drive single by A-Rod, I feel 1st place is coming...

37 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:36 pm

Molina would not have struck out there!

38 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:36 pm

Hey, they put up a crooked number!

: )

39 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:39 pm

This is a little weird:
http://sports.espn.go.com/minorlbb/news/story?id=4344929
16 years in jail?

40 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:40 pm

[39] Well, they need to fill up all the new prisons being built, don't cha know...

41 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:41 pm

Texas ahead of Beckett 2-0.

42 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:42 pm

mk and kenny are finding this game boring. it kind of is for some reason.

43 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:42 pm

nice easy inning

44 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:42 pm

Good work that!

45 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:43 pm

so far, acceptable for mitre

46 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:43 pm

pitch count is a touch high, but Mitre is doing just fine so far. Seems like mostly ground balls. The bad throw to second really hurt. only 4 innings of course.

47 BrianLevy2020   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:43 pm

[42] Because the Orioles are involved.

Ridiculous that Mitre doesn't get an earned run because of the error... It was HIS error!

48 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:47 pm

[47] "It was HIS error!"

Cano booted the throw, which was right on the bag...

They should change that if they haven't already to an error on Robbie.

49 51cq24   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:47 pm

[46] wasn't a bad throw (was actually right where you'd want it), robbie just missed it

50 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:47 pm

[47] ERA evaluates (in theory) runs given up because of pitching, rather than runs given up because of defense...regardless of who committed the error.

51 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:48 pm

Woohoo Robbie!

52 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:48 pm

nicely done robbie -

53 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:49 pm

Robbie's turn to drive the score truck.

54 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:49 pm

Oh those leadoff walks...

55 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:49 pm

oh rich hill don't leave

56 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:50 pm

beautiful extension on that swing!! ROBBIE!!

57 BrianLevy2020   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:51 pm

At the beginning of the year, wouldn't you have taken Rich Hill for Sergio Mitre in a heartbeat?

58 51cq24   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:53 pm

[57] at the beginning of the year, i'm thinking more glorious things than who is worse between these two

59 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:55 pm

Yeah, better *run* down to first, Ransom, that didn't miss by much.

60 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:55 pm

Cody Ransom showing off his keen batting eye this game.

61 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:55 pm

[57] Not with two lefties in the rotation and Phil Coke in the pen, who can also start.

I think it's the Yankees' intention to have at least one sinkerball pitcher to combat the "Bandbox Factor," hence Mitre's callup for Wang...

I could be wrong about that though.

62 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:56 pm

Ransom now showcasing his speed. He's like the Natural out there. Can he pitch the eighth inning?

63 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:58 pm

[62] he can jump over the 8th inning

64 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:59 pm

[63] In a single bound?????

65 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:59 pm

nice johnny D!!!

66 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:59 pm

keep tacking on team

67 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 8:59 pm

Nice Johnny!

68 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:00 pm

[63] More importantly, can he outrun the score truck????

69 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:00 pm

[68] it would seem that hitching a ride on the score truck is best idea.

damn.

70 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:00 pm

damn nice throw
no limping derek!!

71 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:00 pm

This park is going to lead the league for a long time in long singles.

72 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:01 pm

Damn, that sure wasn't Nick Swisher out there in right ...

73 51cq24   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:01 pm

lucky. i think a better throw (closer to home plate) is probably late because wieters has to spin around.

74 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:05 pm

Note to Cap'n Derek:

Don't run on Markakis...

75 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:06 pm

wow, nice hitting there by roberts, i believe he used a sand wedge there.

76 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:06 pm

My Baltimore Pedroia. Damn you, Roberts!

77 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:08 pm

FUCK YEAH!!!

78 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:08 pm

Tidy that!

79 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:08 pm

nice dp. cano is so nice at that.

80 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:08 pm

Markakis is really good..hard to believe people in Bal'more once said he was only in the bigs because he was Greek (like Angelos..)

81 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:09 pm

Nobody turns it like Robbie C.

82 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:13 pm

My God! This stadium gives up a lot of HRs and balls that hit the wall on a fly are singles? WE'VE RECREATED FENWAY PARK!

83 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:16 pm

OK, it's short leash time. Is anyone warming?

84 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:20 pm

[83] yes, Vulture is up.

Looks like Hughesy is stirring as well ...

85 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:20 pm

I have irrational dislike for Aubrey Huff..is it morally wrong to dislike someone ujst because their name is "Aubrey"?

Irrational hatred for Josch Beckett, Curt Schilling, Stephon Marbury and all college football coaches as well..perhaps some Buddhist therapy is necessary, hatred is a sin!

86 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:22 pm

what in the fuck has damon been doing out there lately?

87 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:22 pm

So Mitre has done OK. Hopefully he'll get out of this. A double play would be nice about now.

I'm using the MLB.TV free preview, and I can see why people pay for this. VERY nice - at least when the big screen HDTV upstairs isn't available.

Gangster up! Hughes too?

88 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:23 pm

meh, bad time to hang that slider.

shit.

i was calling change.

89 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:24 pm

[87] good affordable option for out of towners like me. though i let mine expire. just trying to save money.

90 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:25 pm

nice pitch - let's get out of this - get your shower sergio and call it a good night

91 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:26 pm

He wasn't the second coming of Walter Johnson, but I'll take this Mitre every 5 days.

92 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:26 pm

[87] TV?

what's TV?

I'm all mlb.tv, all the time ...

93 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:27 pm

[87] Yeah, I had been a perennial EI subscriber until this year for the same reason. So I'm really enjoying this, and the EI preview too - oh! And the Yanks-A's game on Thursday is on MLBN.

94 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:28 pm

c'mon Vulture, time to pick the carcass clean ...

95 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:28 pm

[91] yeah if he continues to have a low walk rate he can do as the 5th starter (especially since it seems hughesy ain't happening)

96 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:28 pm

The Mets lost 4-0 to the Nationals..shudder...

cmon Ace, whiff this guy and let's add some insurance!

97 tocho   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:30 pm

kudos for cliff. mitre pitched extremely well. i can see the potential for him being a serviceable 4 or 5 starter. that sinker was very good. he gave up 4 runs, but 2 came on errors (1 by cano and 1 by damon).

98 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:30 pm

[86] The end is near!

At least it appears that way to me for Damon, Ms October. I can't imagine any other team signing him after this year.

99 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:32 pm

I'll certainly take consistent efforts like that from Mitre! I thought he was acceptable tonight. He deserves this win.

: )

100 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:33 pm

Cano walked...??

Show/Hide Comments 101-200
101 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:34 pm

Rangers are still hanging on. I have my doubts, but maybe they can steal one from Beckett.

102 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:34 pm

It would be nice if Mitre could be rigged to start against crappier teams like Baltimore - we'll see what happens I guess.

C'mon Texas, hold on . . .

103 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:35 pm

I can assume a double play. E6.

104 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:36 pm

Dear Michael Kay,

By the end of the year, the Yanks will probably be 10-9 or 9-10 against Boston, so who cares about the first 8 games?

Dear Ken Singleton,

Damn skippy.

love,
Bronx Banter

105 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:36 pm

dammit, Handsome, let that HIT YOU.

106 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:37 pm

[102] Casey Stengel used to do stuff like that.

107 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:37 pm

Oh, I almost forgot guys...

On BDD today, they called John Smoltz "Smoltzuzaka!"

I thought you all would appreciate that.

: )

108 monkeypants   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:39 pm

....you can only hope to contain him.

109 tocho   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:39 pm

Don't understand why everybody claimed big pop-up to be back. July has been pretty pathetic for him.

110 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:40 pm

what do you know cody's best game of the season

111 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:43 pm

C'mon Score Truck!

112 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:44 pm

no es bueno, cap'n.

113 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:45 pm

booty at bat from the Captain.

114 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:45 pm

[109] Hey tocho!

.230/.290/.333 - April
.143/.278/.242 - May
.320/.409/.653 - June
.218/.279/.509 - July

One of these things is not like the other . . . I notice that, in June, the Red Sox faced the NL in 14 of Papi's 24 games played. He hit .316/.400/.684 in those games. HMMMM . . .

Attaboy, Cody! You're doing A-OK.

115 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:47 pm

...

116 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:48 pm

would have liked some runs there team

117 Statler   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:48 pm

Handsome Cody Ransom would be a great name to call a player, if only that player had more games like this game.

118 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:48 pm

[114] IIRC, his home vs road splits are equally awful, even during the time he's been "back" ...

119 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:50 pm

[120] Eyedrops run out??

120 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:51 pm

[118] You are correct, cult.

Home - .239/.330/.509
Away - .208/.297/.315

How is it no one has made the Jim Rice falling off the cliff out of nowhere comparison yet? Or did someone, and I just missed it?

121 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:52 pm

Uh, it was Hughes. Hughes was the Red Sox fan growing up. Oh noes! =)

122 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:52 pm

It never gets old. : D

123 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:53 pm

very nice cano

124 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:54 pm

ah yes edpcy up - the day is complete

125 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 9:57 pm

Runs please Yanks!

126 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:01 pm

I hope Mattpat is enjoying himself... finally!

: )

127 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:04 pm

[126] He's probably nervous as all hell. But I'll bet he's having fun anyway.

128 tocho   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:09 pm

[114] thanks.

i am really enjoying his journey into futility. true happiness.

more (yankee) runs please

129 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:10 pm

hi friends! whew, been a looooong day. just gettin' in. no time to catch up on comments. i like this lead thing. i hope we keep it!

Mitre looked good, no?!

130 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:11 pm

Go Texas . . .

131 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:11 pm

nice quick refelexes texy

132 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:11 pm

hell yeah on the DP!!!

133 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:12 pm

[129] Good enough Thelarmis, yes...

134 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:12 pm

[129] good enough. had a slightly rock 1st inning - strated getting hit a bit in the 6th - but did well enough - it helped that he only walked 1

135 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:14 pm

[133] But his UTZ rating is low...

136 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:14 pm

sweet, thanks. i'll eventually catch up on all things yankees and baseball today...

another non-start for Gritner...

137 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:16 pm

[136] lh pitcher started for the o's. can't make anymore tikiki tikki tomko jokes.

138 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:16 pm

Texas ahead of Beckett 3-1 after 8. Who closes for Texas?

139 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:16 pm

[135] but his chUTZpah is strong! : )

140 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:17 pm

[137] Tomko's gone? WAHOO!!! : )

Ian Kinsler is already 20-20 this season!!! (i LOVE that)

141 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:17 pm

[135] What? Nobody on B'more hit the UTZ sign against him tonight, OK Jazz!

: )

142 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:18 pm

...²

143 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:18 pm

There's the braindead Cano we all know and love!

144 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:22 pm

Jenks flirting with disaster in the 9th vs. the Devil Fishes (again)...

145 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:23 pm

Say.... who is that kid pitching the 9th for us?

146 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:23 pm

i wish espn would show ALL of Mo's outings. i really wanna see him pitch right now...

147 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:23 pm

yeah, that's nice range, that's even *better* positioning ...

148 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:24 pm

Texas adds an insurance run. 4-1 going into the 9th...

Rays tie it. it's inevitable they take the lead, then win it...

149 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:24 pm

Boo hoo - Beckett gives up a run in the 8th. Texas up 4-1.

150 Just Fair   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:25 pm

As Homer would mutter, "Mo-mo-mo-mo." : O Good catch, Jete!

151 ms october   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:25 pm

nice catch jetes

and the yankees winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

152 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:25 pm

Man... this is fun!

153 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:25 pm

Yay Yankees!

Have a great evening folks!

: )

154 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:26 pm

10 pitches! 5 in a row!

3 outs from 1st place all by our lonesome!!! : )

155 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:26 pm

NICE ... now to Texas!

156 Rich   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:26 pm

Jeter's improved defense makes me happy. As does winning.

157 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:27 pm

wow, turned away for 2mins and it's over! 3 cheers for MichaelangeMo!

158 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:27 pm

[149] you have to admit, Fuckett does play the game right! ; ) [vomit...]

159 Rich   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:32 pm

4-2 as Lowell singles Bay home.

160 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:32 pm

Texas radio guys are killing JD Drew for taking strike 3 all the way.

And now its 4-2 Rangers. C'mon, Texas, c'mon . . .

161 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:32 pm

Jenks blew it. down by 1, bottom 9.

1 out to 1st place, all alone!

162 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:32 pm

Shit. Sox get the tying run to the plate, VTek, with 2 out

163 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm

c'mon Wilson. finish off Vagitek!!!

164 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm

Rangers win! Yanks in first place!!!!

165 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm

Rangers win, theeeeeeeee Rangers win!

166 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm

Close but no cigar. Sox are losers!

167 Rich   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm

Over. First place.

168 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm

FIRST PLACE!!!! : )

169 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:35 pm

Yayyy! [162] Nothing worse than taking strike 3 in the 9th inning..

170 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:36 pm

ChiSox have a man on first, no one out, down 3-2 in the 9th.

171 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:36 pm

sweet first place!!! LETS GO YAN-KEES!!!

172 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:38 pm

Carlos Quen'in, no you di'int.

...no, he didn't. i just wanted to say that! : )

173 Rich   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:38 pm

Russ Salzberg speaks a language that I have never heard from any other human.

174 seamus   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:43 pm

i don't see the white sox pulling this one out. still, this first place thing I can get used to. wonder what excuse espn uses to keep boston on top of us in the standing?

175 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:43 pm

Blech, Rays win ...

176 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:44 pm

Apropos of nothing, how psyched is JP Howell that he managed to escape KC?

177 cult of basebaal   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:45 pm

[172] Quiet! You're encouraging Eric Young.

178 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:47 pm

[177] do you mean - the Gatekeeper of SOUVENIR CITY?!?!?

ugh, i hate that.

that's okay, Fernando Vina, was just waxing poetic about how Michael Bourn is gonna be the key to the NL Central this season... oy vey.

179 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:48 pm

[176] Run Diff, "Nation" members, grittiness, "playing right way"%, smartness, grindablility, Stat-appreciationess by mgmnt, non-bandbox stadium, Sweet Caroline & not YMCA..am i missing anything?

180 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:49 pm

i am just seeing the Cody Ransom played 3rd tonight. how'd that work out?

how's El Nino looking in the minors (Scranton?) and in the outfield?

181 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:50 pm

[180] Micheal Bourn...?? on Houston?? yes, he will be the key more than Pujols or Zambrano or Prince Fielder...

182 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 10:54 pm

[181] of course! : ~

183 RIYank   ~  Jul 21, 2009 11:00 pm

Hey,

Just checking in. I'm in NYC, and champing at the bit for my YS2 debut.
Happy with the game, except that I was hoping for a blow-out so Mo would sit tonight, if you see what I mean.

Let's get that score truck rocking tomorrow, boys!

184 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 11:07 pm

[183] hope you had a safe trip to NYC and i wish you a wonderful time - and win - with your fam!!! : )

hope you get to see Mo! (that was easily the highlight for me in Atlanta...)

185 PJ   ~  Jul 21, 2009 11:15 pm

[180] No botched plays @ 3B for Cody tonight, Thelarmis.

Cervelli = 8 GM, .310/.483/.805 - 1 HR - 1 E
Pena = 16 GM, .279/.377/.739 - 1 HR - 1 E - Three games @ CF, Eight @ SS, Four @ 2B

Undoubtedly, Austin Jackson needed the three games of rest due to all of the time he's spent on the base paths (.312/.515/.895/17 SB/1 CS)!

[183] I hope for huge fun for you and yours, RIY! Mattpat might have even enjoyed himself tonight!

Our Banterer Attendance Win Percentage Factor (BAWPF) continues to soar!

: )

186 thelarmis   ~  Jul 21, 2009 11:18 pm

[185] that rocks, thanks PJ!!!

187 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jul 21, 2009 11:32 pm

Hey, Team. I only saw little bits of the game, but have to say, man that dp was nicely turned by Robbie. Such a lightning-fast, seamless pivot.

Genuine hof talent on this kid. He seems to have found consistency this season, too. He's been right around .310 for weeks now, it seems, and, while I'd love to see him closer to .330, I'll settle for a consistent .310 with solid pop.

Now, if only he can work on hitting in pressure situations. I'd love for him to be a number three hitter someday.

And nice range up the middle by Derek there in the ninth and nice snag to end it.

Nice victory to get behind that new guy whose name I don't even know.

188 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jul 21, 2009 11:43 pm

[183] Hope you have a fabulous time, RI! More importantly, I hope there's no rain!

189 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:02 am

I had to miss the end of the game. Surprised no Hughes tonight...doesn't bother me, mind you, just surprised.

Maybe we see him for two innings next time around?

190 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:15 am

[85] Jazz Tokyo - how in the world can you have hatred toward Joe Paterno?!?! :o

191 The Hawk   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:27 am

[104] Speak for yourself! 10-9 or 9-10? Probably?

192 Just Fair   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:27 am

I just witnessed Harold Reynolds on MLB freestytle the Sugar Hill Gang. I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. And then they showed a video of him trying to play catch with Tim Wakefield. Madness. I love this channel.

193 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:33 am

[194] That is super cool!
[192] I don't know much abotu Paterno (I think my dad is a fan) but I just feel ill whenever I see or hear a college football coach..the shocking self-importance and arrogance, the absurd salaries & exploitation of the players..and frankly the total boredom of watching a college game..they just grate on me..

Sorry, hot and humid here so even with first place am feeling cranky and overly snobbish. 4 hours till Guinness relief time!

194 Just Fair   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:41 am

[193] I know! : O

195 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:42 am

[193] Are those the same college payers who are exploited by getting a free university education, when many otherwise would not meet entrance requirements? Sorry, but as a university prof, I feel this claim is overplayed.

FWIW about Paterno, he and his wife played a key role in saving the Classics department at Penn State, including an endowment for a scholarship and other financial support back on the 90s.

196 Mattpat11   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:50 am

I was totally ready to pounce all over Mitre tonight. I was in the left field bleachers, surrounded by shrieking kids, a moron that was repeatedly trying to get the effing wave started, and girls who were obsessed with A-Rod and "Number 25's" asses. In the rain. My mood would not have been conducive to a crappy pitching. And then he started the game with a double.

And then things settled down, and, if not for his own and Damon's defensive problems, probably would have pitched at least six innings and given up a run or two. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Now, I was also present for Fudgie the Whale's similar Yankee debut (2006) and things went to hell pretty rapidly, so I think I'll take a wait and see approach.

197 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 12:55 am

[197] What's the graduation rate for NCAA football & basketball players on scholarship? What's the % taking classes like ballroom dancing? What's the % who signed to play for one football or basketball coach, then were stranded when said coach jumped to a better program with a higher salary? These guys make millions in salary as well as Nike, etc endorsement money, but god forbid a player gets a free car...

Sorry but for me college sports is a sham, starting with the coaches..i'd never let my son go play for one of those greedy bastards...check out the book "The Last Shot" about basketball players in Coney Island and the way they are recruited, really a shame the NCAA gets away with it...

198 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:00 am

[193] oh, trust me - i hate college football. but Paterno is DEFINITELY different. he has his own set of educational rules. he makes all the players do book reports in the summertime and stuff. he held out his starting wide receiver (joe jurevicious, or however you spell it - i'm not looking it up!), even though he passed the NCAA grades rules; he didn't pass JoePa's personal education rules, so he didn't play in the bowl game!

Joe and Sue, gave a MILLION dollars for a wing at the library and it's beautiful. i played a few jazz engagements where he was being honored and speaking and he would thank me for playing. plus, he's from Brooklyn! he's a brilliant and beautiful man, very intelligent. he's waaaay bigger than college football and he essentially IS Penn State.

and...Penn State RULES!!! (i was originally supposed to go tomorrow...)

199 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:02 am

[197] NCAA sports are a sham, at least the revenue generating one are. But you have to recognize that the "student athletes" are often given opportunities that many of their peers would never have--not the least of which is the opportunity to attend university. That they (and their coaches) opt to squander that opportunity is another issue. Moreover, universities dump a lot of money into additional resources for student athletes, such as special tutors (this is how my grad school buddies would make extra money), extra counseling, extra monitoring.

Again, I teach at a university--have taught at at a few. I have taught student athletes, from non-revenue sports at a small school to relatively name athletes at a "big time" school. I think I speak from a certain amount of experience on the topic.

200 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:02 am

[197] whatever it is, i can guarantee (w/out looking it up!), that Penn State football program has a waaaay higher than average graduation rate % JoePa wouldn't have it any other way...

i LOVE how you keep referencing your current post or even future ones! are you sure Guinness Relief hasn't started early! ; )

drink one for me. i could use one, but it's gonna be a coupla more days... : /

Show/Hide Comments 201-226
201 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:05 am

[199] did you teach my astrophysics class Spring '95? 'coz i hated that guy!!! ; )

202 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:12 am

[201]

Ha-ha!

Nope...I'm a classics/history guy--hence my particular interest in JoePa's relationship to Classics (see [195]).

203 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:13 am

back page headline could be:

POWER SERG !!!!

: )

204 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:17 am

[201] Well, I certainly defer to your experience then..I attended a very small provate college in upstate NY with no sports teams, so I only know what have read about the NCAA..

[202] No erly Guinness Relief! so damn hot and humid here though I wish I could..actually catching up on some website work now, got a lot of profiles of local jazz people to work on, but translating the notes from Japanese to English..well, the great pyramids of Cairo were built faster than I can translate...

hey, did you know we are in FIRST PLACE!?!?!

205 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:18 am

[202] i'll never forget that guy. little, bearded jewish man from jersey, named eric fiegelson. of course, i referred to him as "fiegelfuck".

oh, it was Fall '94. a bunch of us music majors needed 1 last 3-credit Science course to graduate. we figured we'd learn about the star constellations and shit. i was thinking "Orion" - GREAT Metallica tune from the Cliff Burton days! haha.

the course was freaking brutal. insanely hard and brutally boring. i was working my nuts off preparing for my Senior Recital and Performance degree. i had a great GPA and just needed to freaking get thru this class, keep my academic scholarships and...graduate.

i went to this guys' office numerous times. he wouldn't let me off the hook for ANYTHING. not even Yom Kippur. it was awful. so, i'd "balance" my datebook in class and take smoke breaks (i used to be an evil cigarette smoker). my girlfriend was an Honors student, so we made a deal - she did all my astrophysics work and i had to do her Music Theory assignments! : )

206 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:18 am

[204] Any Greek classics in there? I demand some Greek god & Mariano comparisons at once then!

207 Just Fair   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:19 am

[205] Damn Teachers. : )

208 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:20 am

[204] first place. hmmm. sounds familiar. um, is that like when you look in the rear view mirror and hear this brutal accent going, "pahk tha score truck in bahston"?!

(that was terrible, but you get the idea...)

209 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:22 am

[207] but, wait...i mostly TEACH for a living!!!! : )

210 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:24 am

[210] Hysterical! my buddy here Spags (a Boston Italian, but I call Sully sometimes anyway) speaks like that..still living off 2004 anytime I bring up Big Papi, Sox fans are so predictable..

211 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:24 am

[206] I make it a policy not to mix work with baseball! ; )

212 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:24 am

[207] hey, you and i are the ones who champion the word "bollocks" all the time around here. it's been my favorite word since i started touring there almost 4 years ago and dated a british bombshell babe. how were you introduced to it?

i mean i always heard the word from the Sex Pistols, but i didn't really 'get it' til i was over there quite a bit. i LOVE it. it's used in sooo many different connotations. it's like the british "smurf" !!! haha

213 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:26 am

[205] The prof in me will have to overlook that your jocular story is a tale of plagiarism!

214 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:29 am

[208] Aha--you've hit it! The last couple of times the Yanks have crept into first, they have gone into a short tailspin and coughed up the lead to the Sox...once when they were swept by those very Sox. But that was before they revved up the score truck.

Now that they have the score truck, they simply cannot be stopped.

215 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:31 am

[213] well, she and i each ended up being music teachers! that senior recital was the BIGGEST day in my life. prolly still stands as such. i worked sooo insanely hard on it. i barely ate, slept or showered (eeeewwwww!) for 3 weeks that led up to it. (i lived on m&m's and camel lights!) outside of classes, i practiced 12-16 hours a day. i spent months preparing the whole thing.

when it was finished, my family took me out to dinner. i got sick, threw up blood, passed out and don't remember them leaving. i ended up fine, but the LAST thing i needed to worry about was some bollocks astrophysics course. ALL my other non-music prof's were totally cool and understanding about the situation. 'cept of course for ol' Fiegelfuck!!!!

216 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:33 am

[214] i think we should make up Bronx Banter t-shirts and the logo should be a "score truck" on a 45 degree angle w/ an interlocking NY on the side. baseballs as the hubcabs and mini bats as the door handles.

217 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:34 am

[216] Me likey,

218 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:37 am

[218] That is awesome! Please contact AB and get it done!

Methinks you and the Professor are way off on your # referals though..comments being cited are not matched by the content! Ah well, it's after hours for youse anyways...

thelarmis, you know what an Ocarina is?

219 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:40 am

[218] or should i say [219]?!

an Ocarina is a bird-shaped wind instrument w/ finger holes and a whistle mouthpiece. from Italy, methinks. i'm sure i'd get dizzy playing it...

220 Just Fair   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:41 am

My buddy bought Never mind the Bollocks at the mall when we were in 3rd grade. I have always loved it. My wife and I say it all the time. We both have lots of Irish in us and we love watching Euro movies. They drop "Bollocks" in in lieu of the f-bomb. ps. I teach, too. That's why I'm up so late in the summer. : )

221 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:44 am

[220] that's awesome! i'm up late all the time, always. i'm vampire boy. even when i have to get up early to teach. but i'm not a full-time public school teacher, so it's only once or twice a week, at most. still, not easy for me!

222 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 1:48 am

[221] Wow man, you are quick! There is a great basement jazz club here, mostly free-type stuff, lots of Ornette covers and screaming improv guitar, I love it. They have a shop across the street that makes Ocarinas..I had never heard of them before! I briefly profiled the place on my site but hope to write some more about the Ocarina shop and the live gigs they do.

223 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 2:02 am

[222] that's why i get paid the big bucks! ; )

i have something - in the shape of a turtle - that's prolly somewhat similar. i play it for a sec on a multi-percussion piece that toward the end of my record...

224 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 22, 2009 2:09 am

[225] Hey, what's your impression of the Berklee School of music?? Seems like so many Japanese jazz people go there...my lady (classical violinist background) was kind of down it...

225 thelarmis   ~  Jul 22, 2009 2:17 am

[224] your lady is smart! i actually worked with a guy who was a teen star in japan (he's 15 years older than us) and left at 17 to go to Berklee. he lives in Atlanta now. i guess he's still here...

um, Berklee, is best for the hang. the vibe, location, networking and connections you can make. obviously, there are some AMAZING teachers there. but like anything, you get out of it what you put in.

thing is, maybe 20% are the UNREAL talented players that give it its reputation. the rest are filler and there 'coz they pay the $$$. most great players don't graduate... 'coz they're awesome players, made their connections and got their gigs.

it's appealing, but i don't like it for a good environment as far as well-rounded education goes. i'm not competitive and i like to work at my own pace. it's too cut throat for me and not my speed. i steer ALL my students away from it.

that said, i know some cats who have gone there and it's worked for them. the college performance class i sometimes teach here, is at a school that is similar to Berklee. but it's a 1-year intensive program in the mold of the Music Institutes (big in Japan). i'm not a fan of it, but i've learned to see some pros in there. some of those students wanna hit Berklee after, and since they're already on that course, it's more okay. but if they were my private students, i'd talk 'em out of it...! : )

226 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 22, 2009 7:02 am

OK..... Next thread, let's talk about Cliff Lee.

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