"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 9/25/09

Today’s news is powered by Miles Davis and friends:

Rodriguez arrived after missing five weeks this season due to right hip surgery, relieved of the pressure he feels every season to justify his big contract and high profile. The Yankees knew he would be limited in some ways, and were happy to accept whatever he could offer.

It has been more than anticipated. With 27 home runs and 89 RBIs in 115 games, Rodriguez has found himself at the heart of a lineup that is headed for the postseason for his fifth time in six seasons with New York. The clinching this week gave Rodriguez reason to reflect on how far he’d come.

“Just shaking hands with the guys and giving a few hugs takes me back to where I was in February and March, Colorado and Tampa,” Rodriguez said. “It just feels good to be part of it and contribute a little bit.”

ekanenh (Capitol City): Shouldn’t a clear-eyed Yankee fan be concerned about starting pitching in the playoffs?

Joe Sheehan: Absolutely. Andy Pettitte‘s quality start Monday certainly makes everyone breathe easier, but A.J. Burnett is a dice roll, and they have apparently screwed up Joba Chamberlain something fierce. (The lesson here is that very-low-pitch-count starts are apparently not the way to manage workloads for young starter.) Only CC Sabathia is someone you can expect to be healthy and effective throughout October…and he’s the guy who’ll be facing Verlander and Lester. The rotation is the Yankees‘ biggest concern, and at that, they’re the postseason favorite.

sprechs (Brooklyn): How would you construct the Yankees’ post-season roster? Girardi seems pretty set on having both Guzman and Gardner–does that make any sense?

Joe Sheehan: Think of it the way Earl Weaver would…how will I use each player? If Girardi wants to start Gardner, which he should, he’ll want an extra set of legs on the bench to pinch-run tactically for Posada, Matsui and maybe Swisher. Facing a RH reliever who doesn’t hold runners well–like Papelbon, for one–Guzman could be a key element. Given that the Yankees need somewhere between zero and one backup infielders, Guzman could be a good weapon to have. I’d certainly rather him than a seventh (or EIGHTH) reliever.

. . . the Cardinals are the class of the field, the Tigers, Red Sox, and Phillies make a tightly grouped second tier, and the Angels, Rockies, and Yankees are all roughly equal. Admittedly, this exercise credits fourth starters overmuch—they’ll only ever start one game in any post-season series, after all. However, that said, some notes about some of the teams, and to explain some of the selections and identify the impact of alternates:

Yankees: While Joba Chamberlain’s miserable .456 SNWP (support-neutral winning percentage) drags them down, the ugly non-secret is that Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett have been barely better than mediocre, posting SNWP marks of .519 and .518 respectively.

  • Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger sizes up the Yanks chances against their likely AL playoff opponents.
  • Wil Nieves turns 32 today.  Nieves wore the tools of ignorance on a part-time basis for the Yanks for 35 games between ’05-’07, compiling a retched .141/.164/.197 line in 76 PAs.
  • Tony Womack hits the big 4-0 today.  Womack spent the ’05 campaign with the Bombers, compiling an underwhelming and out of character line of .249/.276/.280.  He DID however go 27-32 in SB attempts.  (He was an 83% basestealer for his career.)
  • Today is also the 40th b’day of David Weathers.  Weathers toiled for the Bombers for parts of  ’96 and ’97, and stunk during the regular seasons (0-3, 9.57 ERA, 2.241 WHIP in 21 games).  However, he was quite effective during the ’96 playoffs (2-0, 0.82 ERA, 0.818 WHIP in 11 innings over 7 games).
  • Phil Rizzuto would have been 92 today.
  • On this date in 1926, the Yankees take two from the Browns to nail down the American League flag, winning the opener 10 – 2 behind Herb Pennock. Babe Ruth’s grand slam is the big blow. In the nitecap, Lou Gehrig homers in the 3rd inning, off Milt Gaston, while Ruth matches him with a 2-run home run in the 6th off Win Ballou. Ruth adds a solo shot in the 9th, his 46th, off Joe Giard to seal the Waite Hoyt 10 – 4 victory. Despite the score, the game is played in a new AL record 55 minutes. The National League record is 51 minutes, on September 28, 1919.

[My take: 55 minutes is approximate two innings of a typical Boston/New York or Baltimore/New York game lately.]

  • On this date in 1974, Dr. Frank Jobe repairs Tommy John’s damaged ulnar collateral ligament by replacing the elbow tendon of the pitching arm with a tendon from the right wrist. The procedure gives the southpaw, who was unlikely to ever be able to pitch again, the ability to win an additional 164 games.
  • On this date in 1985, Rickey Henderson steals his 75th base of the season in the Yankees’ 10 – 2 win over Detroit, breaking the club record of 74 set by Fritz Maisel in 1914.

[My take: I could see Brett Gardner taking a run at this record, assuming he could get his OBP to around .380]

  • On this date in 1990, the Yankees tie a major-league record when their first eight batters all hit safely in a 15 – 3 rout of the Orioles. Anthony Telford allows the first six hits to take the loss. The Yanks hit six homers in the game.
  • On this date in 1996, the Yankees clinch the American League East title by pounding out 20 hits in a 19-2 win over the Brewers in the opening game of a doubleheader. The New Yorkers score 10 runs in the 2nd inning after plating four in the opening frame. Tino Martinez leads with five RBIs and David Cone (7-2) is the easy winner. The Yanks take the nitecap, 6 – 2.
  • On this date in 1998, with a 6-1 win over the Devil Rays, the Bronx Bombers set an American League record with their 112th win. The 1906 Cubs, who went 116-36, are the only team with more victories than the 1998 Yankees.

I’m off till Tuesday.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 RIYank   ~  Sep 25, 2009 9:44 am

I thought you had made a mistake with that 1926 story, Diane, because Joe Giard was on the '27 Yankees. But I guess they liked what they saw (!) and acquired him in the off season. (He was terrible.)

Please keep an eye out for JOE GIARD anagram opportunities, esp. in conjunction with his near-namesake manager. The number 27 should be involved in some way, too.

Have a great long weekend!

2 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:10 am

Got my ALDS and ALCS tickets! Hopefully I get to use the latter.

3 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:21 am

[0] Ooohhh..some very late period Miles..he died not long after this. Hard to believe I was a freshman in college when Miles moved on, and I didn't even know who he was...it was Mr. OK Classic Rock back then...now got 30+ Miles cds on the shelf with hopefully more to come..just one name necessary, "Miles"..unquestionably, the koolest kat who ever lived..

[2] Congrats! Where are the seats? Hope you bring your laptop to the games, the game threads will miss you otherwise!

Better get some slumber if want to be up and genki for the BoSox tomorrow at 8am!

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:22 am

[2] Great! have the official Girardi and Joba jerseys we've sent you arrived yet? ... heh

5 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:29 am

[3] In the old Stadium, I would never sit in the bleachers, even if it was the only seats available. In the new place, I think they are among the best seat in the house. I got two seats in section 236 (second bleacher section in LF) for $14 and $27 each, respectively. That is by far the most the least I have every spent on post season tickets.

I am sure the game thread will survive, if not flourish without my pilloring my Girardi. Because I am not a screamer at the game, I'll just have to internalize it and probably wind up with an ulcer.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:29 am

[4] Ha!

7 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:30 am

[3] Miles was a trip. Apologies if Ive shared this before but I caught him toward the end of his career, late 80's-early 90's?. Cold rainy night at the Jones Beach theater. He played the whole show with his back to the audience, wrapped up in a blanket. Could've been anybody under the blanket, but it sounded enough like Miles to be a great show.

8 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:30 am

[5] That should be "by far the least". My brain wanted to say "most inexpensive", but I think my fingers audibled to "least I have every spent".

9 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:33 am

[8] Oh no..I put in two great Miles clips from YouTube but it says "Awaiting Moderation"..lame-o-rama..oh well, if they come through later then check them out. Slumber ahoy!

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:34 am


Can I say just how much I appreciate the thought of "fingers audibling"?

I'm imagining Peyton Manning directing your thoughts and typing. :-)

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:36 am

Speaking of tickets, I got my ticket for DEVO at Irving Plaza.

(I know I know ... that's not quite as exciting ... or as relevant) :-)

12 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:39 am

[10] I don't mind the directing as much as the all yelling...well, and also all the damn commercials that are always playing in my head.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:39 am

[5] I havent been out to the LF bleachers in the new place, but I've heard it's a great seat out there. Can't beat the price. Hopefully the game will live up to the view.

Now, you have to admit from the bottom of what's left of your Joba loving heart that something tells you he's gonna handle the Red Sox tonight, right?

14 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:45 am

[13] Well, I'll be at the game tonight, so I really hope so, especially after having my hear set on a CC / Lester matchup. I am not betting on it though. Still, even if Joba does get roughed up, I could accept it if he would. My problem with Joba hasn't been his performance (although it does have me concerned about his ultimate future), but his indifferent attitude to his failure.

15 Raf   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:45 am

I got two seats in section 236 (second bleacher section in LF) for $14 and $27 each, respectively.

Yes, that is really cheap! I think I paid around $20 for my postseason tickets. General rule of thumb was that postseason tickets were double regular season tickets.

At any rate, that's a pretty good deal, and makes me wonder if I should scoop a few up myself.

Why wouldn't you sit in the bleachers @ the old place?

16 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am

[2] well now I'm just confused. I'm a partial plan holder and haven't received anything about purchasing playoff tickets, how did you get yours if you don't mind my asking?

17 The Hawk   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:48 am

It would be hilarious if Joba came out tonight and threw 8 innings of shut out baseball.

18 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:49 am

[15] The $14 for the ALDS is the same game day price and the ALCS was almost double. In the past, it was something like 2x for the ALDS, 3x for the ALCS and 4x for the WS.

I'd never sit in the bleachers at the old place because the LF ones were two miles from home plate and the RF ones had horrible view angles. You basically lost the last 20-30 feet of the outfield in both. Also, being kept apart from the rest of the Stadium wasn't the best.

19 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:51 am

[16] The pre-on sale started today...10AM to 5PM. I was emailed a password a few days ago. I would check your spam filter...maybe it went there instead. Also, the email address was feedback@mail.mlblists.com, so you might have overlooked it. I almost did.

20 The Hawk   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:52 am

I wonder if the Yankees will make a serious play for Mauer. It seems like the Red Sox pursuit of him may be less intense now that they have Martinez. Hopefully Mauer somehow stays with the Twinkies.

21 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:52 am

[19] great, thanks!

22 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:55 am

[20] Martinez is not a long-term catcher. I know everyone has expressed love for that acquisition, but he basically projects as a poor fielding 1B with an OPS+ of 120. That's not exactly a hot commodity. If Mauer comes free, I think every team should be interested. I'll be surprised if the Twins let it come to that.

23 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2009 10:59 am

[20] If the Twins let Mauer go they might as well pack up the new stadium and move to a city that will have them. Mauer IS the Twins.

24 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:17 am

Okay, so here's where it reverses. Ol Hoss is the most laid-back vet you can ask for in spring ... when the Banter was going crazy with panic and arguments over who needed to be fired more, Girardi or Cashman, the old dude was sayin' (look it up) 'It is a long season, chill.'

But I hate short playoff series! I fear them, I go in tight. I need the calming powers of the Banter as we head in. And I made a mistake last night: I watched Buchholz annihilate KC. (And KC have been playing very well.) I think Lester/Beckett/Buchholz and I look at the numbers last 2 months for Lester and last month for Buchholz, and Beckett getting it back together ... and we are not even close in the three starters. We can so easily be K-ed to death by them.

So we hope for L.A.? Right. Sure.

And these are AFTER Verlander + Jackson ... (I do think CC matches up fine with Verlander).

In short, the Hoss is starting to get edgy, and it is all about pitching.

25 Raf   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:19 am

[18] I should've been more clear, the years I was referring to were 95-03; I haven't been to a playoff game since the 03 Series.

26 RIYank   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:28 am

[24] I don't get this at all. It's such a common sentiment, but I can't figure out what everyone's so worried about.
Beckett isn't getting it together. He was extremely hittable against KC. They just couldn't get key hits with RISP, and they ran themselves out of a big inning. Lester is a very good pitcher, but he's not better than Sabathia. And Buchholz has potential but what happened to the standard, conventional "worried about the rookie in the post-season" trope? You wouldn't take Pettitte against Buchholz in a money game?

Sox vs. Yanks is a very close match-up. Our guys hit a little better, their guys pitch a little better. If it happens, it's just a great series.

27 Rich   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:33 am

(The lesson here is that very-low-pitch-count starts are apparently not the way to manage workloads for young starter.

I don't think we can necessarily draw that conclusion because there are, as David Cone pointed out yesterday on ESPN 1050 (amplifying what some of us have speculated), Joba's velo is probably down because of some mechanical problems and as a result of reduced arm strength because he hasn't fully recovered it since the shoulder injury. Undoubtedly, these issues have impacted his effectiveness, and vitiate Sheehan's assessment.

28 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:41 am

[24] I am not worried about the Red Sox (anymore than I would be worried about any good team). I think Lester is growing more formidable each game, but he isn't better than Sabathia. Also, if you are looking at recent numbers, CC has been great. What's more, he should enter this post season with 20 fewer innings than last year, so his arm should be more fresh.

As for Beckett/Buccholz versus AJ/Andy, I think that's close to even. Then, when you take a look at offense, I think the edge definitely swings to the Yankees. It won’t be easy, but there's nothing that would make you think the Yankees were the underdog.

Now, as for Anaheim, something about the Big-A still worries me, but taking 2 of 3 did much for my psyche, so hopefully it did the same for the Yankees.

Of course, we also can't look past Detroit either, but the Yankees are definitely a better team. Anything can happen in a 5 game series, but that is a series the Yankees win more often than not. Hopefully this time is "more often".

29 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:48 am

[27] I am of the strong opinion that Joba is not fully healthy. The dramatic drop in both his velocity and break on the slider beg for an explanation. If mechanics were the issue, I'd like to think Eiland would have figured something out by now. Besides, Joba keeps telling us how great his mechanics are. I am crossing my fingers that an off season of rest will restore Joba’s shoulder to full health and allow him to more closely resemble the starter he was for a brief part of 2008.

30 Rich   ~  Sep 25, 2009 11:50 am

As I my posts this season will attest, I agree about the physical issue, By mechanics I am referring to the "hitch" in his delivery that Joba (and Cone) acknowledged.

31 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 25, 2009 12:44 pm

[24] [26] [28] Boston's pitching doesn't scare me because Boston's defense is awful - especially with Martinez at 1B and Youk at 3B. I expect that to play a major role in any playoff series involving the Sox.

32 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 25, 2009 12:46 pm

[31] The Yankees should also be able to run wild on Varitek/Vmart. Guzman and Gardner would be very significant late inning weapons.

33 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 25, 2009 2:28 pm

Thought for the day: Will Rivera make the Hall as a unanimous selection? I mean, if Tom Seaver couldn't make it unanimously . . .

34 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 25, 2009 2:30 pm

[33] I don't think anyone ever will honestly. Hell, 5% of voters voted against Babe Ruth.

You're bound to get at least one "expert" with a vote who feels relievers shouldn't be in the HOF or something asinine like that.

35 RIYank   ~  Sep 25, 2009 2:43 pm

I'm afraid Raging [34] is right. At least some idiot will think a reliever shouldn't go in on his first ballot.

36 monkeypants   ~  Sep 25, 2009 3:19 pm

[33] Has anyone made it in unanimously?

[34][35] Another "problem," a greater problem in my opinion, is that voters differentiate between "first ballot HOFer" from other HOFers. In other words, I have no problem if a voter feels that Babe Ruth shouldn't get in, or that relievers don't belong in the Hall, or whatever. They're voters and they have their opinions, and so long as they are internally consistent I can't get too upset.

But as I understand it, getting into the HOF is a yes/no, pass/fail proposition. You can't be more in the HOF or less in the HOF. So it has never made any sense to me that a voter would withhold his vote for a deserving player (that is, a player whom he thinks deserves to get in) simply because he does not believe that he is a "first ballot" HOFer. Thus, he will vote FOR the same player the following year.

The only reason for a voter to change his vote from year to year should be because he has changed his mind on the player (e.g., accepted new metrics, like OPS over BA, or over time has come to recognize more clearly a given players place within the historical context, etc.). Voters should not be voting to create tiers of HOFers (1st ballot guys v. regular guys), or other such principles (player X should get in and I know he will, but no one deserves to go in unanimously so I won't vote for him, etc.).

37 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Sep 25, 2009 3:57 pm

Well, it is good to have the Banter to assuage. I do disagree that the 2nd and 3rd matchups are 'close to even' ... but CC and Lester is a pitcher's duel, if it gets there. And yes, our score truck is bigger, though not massively so. In other words, yes, rationally, a vg series, if it happens. Same with L.A., a very good series. And we ARE a better team than the Tigers, I just hate best of 5s. You get midges, stuff like that...

If 'running wild' on VariVMart is a factor, L.A. is going to break their hearts... and arms.

38 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Sep 25, 2009 4:02 pm

As to the HoF, I just read Cooperstown Confidential, and it is fascinating on, among other things, the economics. It is worth a LOT of money for a player to make the Hall. Their signature rockets up in value as they are allowed to add 'HOF' after their name. As a result, campaigning and PR firms have become part of the process ... the money means zip to a Jeter but a lot to Goose Gossage (he's quoted).

Other parts of the book tackle the 'morals' issue for getting in the HoF and lay out some really serious monsters in there (3 Ku Klux Klan members) and there's a section on the cronyism of the Veteran's Committee (now changed) and another where the book takes on PEDs as a reason to keep people out (he argues no, but it isn't the most coherent part of the book).

Worth looking at.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver