"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 9/29/09

Today’s news is powered by interviews and footage of “My Morning Jacket” (A very cool band. Their last album “Evil Urges” was at the top of many reviewers’ “Best Of” lists last year):

The official rule gives the team with the best record one hour to make its choice after either clinching the top spot or learning its first-round opponent — whichever comes later. Because the Yankees clinched the AL’s best record before the ALDS matchups were finalized, they should have several days to discuss their options before they must choose.

. . . Seemingly, the most compelling arguments are for the longer series, which would allow the Yankees to rest their bullpen and — perhaps more important — use only three starters, all on regular rest. Though Joba Chamberlain is now stretched out long enough to start games in the postseason, he has no doubt been erratic over the past two months, and the Yankees may be better served to use him out of the bullpen in the ALDS.

The longer series would allow them to do just that, as well as carry an extra bench player without needing to overuse Mariano Rivera or Phil Hughes out of the bullpen.

As the Yankees celebrated clinching the American League East title after their 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, several players discussed the difference that the three free agents made in 2009. Sabathia leads the American League with 19 wins, Teixeira has 38 homers and a league best 120 runs batted in and Burnett won 12 games.

“It starts with the Steinbrenners,” said Johnny Damon. “They knew that we needed to go get a guy like C.C., to bring another guy like A.J. along and then, after that, we were able to get Teix. So those are three of the top free agents from last year’s class and we were able to bring them in. And we could see the difference of where we’re at.”

  • Joe Sheehan sees the clincher, and reflects upon the season:

All three iterations of the ballpark, in fact, have hosted successful Yankee teams in their first seasons: the 1923 and 1976 Yankees both won AL pennants, and the ’23 team won the franchise’s first World Championship.

It remains to be seen whether the ’09 version will match that level of success, but it’s within their reach now. This Yankees team has been considerable more successful than I expected, on its way to 103, 104 wins in a season where I picked them to win 95. Some of the team’s improvement from last year’s 89-73 mark were anticipated: CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett improving the rotation, Mark Teixeira providing more offense and much more defense at first base, Jorge Posada coming back from a lost season to make the catcher spot an asset rather than a problem.

On top of all that, though, the Yankees got unexpectedly good seasons from Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, veterans who had been declining in their thirties. Robinson Cano bounced back from his worst season to match his best ones. Derek Jeter is having one of the best seasons of his career, arguably his second-best when you consider that he’s getting to more balls at shortstop than he did during his best offensive campaigns. Throw in some good fortune—the Yankees are 21-15 in one-run games and have outperformed their Pythagorean expectation by eight games—and you have a team that has been better and had better luck than in any year in some time.

Poll time!

[poll id="38"]

  • Happy 32nd birthday to Jake Westbrook.
  • On this date in 1928 – The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers combine for an American League record 45 hits in a nine inning game. The Tigers get 28 of the hits in a 19-10 win.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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31 comments

1 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 29, 2009 9:53 am

love, love, LOVE Evil Urges (song and album). Imma go ahead (Kanye stylee) and hit that link in a few. Never seen the video, and I have no idea what the band looks like. I caught up with them last year after hearing them on WRXP. I keep a mix in my car that has 4 tunes from Evil Urges, 4 from the most recent Snow Patrol, 4 from the Duke Spirit, and 4 from Kaiser Chiefs (all WRXP bands). Couple of very solild albums from last year, and they make a pretty decent mix. Would be a great festival ticket.

Very interesting poll question. 9-9 against Boston tells me not to overthink it. Angels scare the bejeezus outta me. Definitley respect the Cards. Hmmmm.

2 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:08 am

poll question.. thinking big. gotta go NL.
I could see the Phils, Cards, and Dodgers all going 7 Games with the Yanks. hmm. Not a soft team in that mix. Can I call a friend? Fuggit. Im going with Phillies.

3 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:11 am

[0] [1] My answer to the poll is J, all of the above. Any of them could go on a crazy tear for four games.

As for what team scares me the most, its obviously the Dodgers, due to the presence of their manager (and hitting coach). That's all we need - a Yanks-Dodgers Serious. I'm pretty sure the sports sections of both the Post and the DailyNews would spontaneously combust. Francesa's head, too.

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:15 am

[3] heh.. yeah, that's the correct answer. Then again The Cards lineup frightens me. Great 1-2 punch on the mound. Bullpen concerns all around, especially in Philly. But yeah, Yanks-Dodgers is the most serious of all seriouses.

5 RIYank   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:18 am

I like what Girardi says in that mlb.com article. He notes that it would be a mistake to commit to a choice (of which length series to choose) before knowing who the opponents are. Handing the Tigers a Verlander/Jackson ticket for games four and five looks much more dubious than stretching the series against the Twins, who really don't have pitchers that match up against CC and Andy (or AJ).

Does Joba pitch tomorrow? If so, that gives Girardi a little more information.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:47 am

If we play the Tigers, I up for a SR of 1,2,3,4 and 1 for 2 reasons.
1) I think Joba against Washburn is in our favor, as opposed to an additonal game of AJ vs Jackson.
2) Gives us a better SR entering the ALCS.

This is a 5 game series with 2 days off... after a week to rest our BP. How much rest does the BP really need?

Also, Joba has struggled in the first inning, even when he was on. We haven't seen this incarnation of Joba in the BP. We can't live in the past. We can't know how effective Joba is in a critical, 1 inning situation.

Again... the question, for both Detroit and Minn is... what matchup gives us a BETTER to win?
Joba vs their #4 -or-
AJ vs their #2?

7 ms october   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:48 am

i love jd, but i hope he learns to pronounce teixeira soon

[5] so where do you stand - short series against the tigers and long one for the twins?

8 RIYank   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:22 am

[7] Well, it depends on how well Joba pitches next outing.
If he gives a quality start, say, then I definitely like the short series against the Tigers, and I think it's a toss-up against the Twins. If he spits the bit, then I'd go with the stretched series against the Twins and I'd be torn about the TIggers.

9 The Hawk   ~  Sep 29, 2009 12:09 pm

I love My Morning Jacket sometimes. Other times, I just like them.

10 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 29, 2009 12:33 pm

Anyone else paying attention to Tigers vs Twins? I can't watch because I'm at work, but I can follow online.

11 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 29, 2009 12:53 pm

[7] We can't predict how Joba will pitch, but you think AJ vs Jackson is better for us then Joba vs Washburn?

12 ms october   ~  Sep 29, 2009 1:01 pm

[10] just checking the score periodically (1-0, bottom of the 3rd)

[11] no - even though i must admit i don't totally buy into jackson, i think joba/washburn is more in the yankees favor than aj/jackson (assuming they pitch to what i am setting at about their median level/capability)
but my concern with the shorter series with the tigers is about verlander, not jackson

13 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 29, 2009 1:30 pm
14 Rich   ~  Sep 29, 2009 1:33 pm

Cashman is the Yankees MVP this season.

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 29, 2009 1:42 pm

[13] Seriously. Chad Jennings is great. Straight-forward snark free info and insights ahead!

16 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 29, 2009 2:38 pm

[13] Wowzers, even I think that's good news for us...

17 ms october   ~  Sep 29, 2009 3:04 pm

so minny wins 3-2 in the 10th

[13] good for him. i'm always happy to see hard work rewarded.

18 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 29, 2009 3:13 pm

[17] Personally I was hoping it would go 18 innings, not just 10 . . . but I'll take it.

I really, really, REALLY hope the Twins win the division, because 5 of the 9 regular hitters in their lineup are out-making machines. Plus watching the Yanks beat Carl Pavano in a playoff game would be satisfying on so many levels.

19 ms october   ~  Sep 29, 2009 3:31 pm

[18] i'm not going to that far, becuase i feel superstitous about hoping for a particular team again, but the yanks should really be able to handle the twins and really detroit too - my hope is even if det wins they won't be lined up with verlander

20 Raf   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:10 pm

Those off-season moves (CC, A.J., Teix and . . . Swisher!) pay off:

FWIW

OPS+
08: 101
09: 120

ERA+
08: 104
09: 104

RS/G
08: 4.87
09: 5.68

RA/G
08: 4.49
09: 4.62

21 Raf   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:11 pm

[20] All that to say that the player acquisitions were nice, but it was just as good to have Jeter, Cano and Melky bounce back, as well as having Posada around for a full season.

23 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:32 pm

Hey, Ms. O, you around?

24 ms october   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:34 pm

[23] good timing - i just popped back in

25 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:38 pm

:) Heh heh.

Great, I have something for you; a candidate for our Trio of Allstar Dipshits or whatever we called them:

Check out "Lyon gets Punto to popup on squeeze attempt":

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=6902597

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

26 ms october   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:47 pm

[25] HOW HUGE IS THAT FOR THE TIGERS!?!

my lord, fix his lunch while you are at it.
oh yes, definitely a candidate for the trio of allstar dipshits :}

27 Rich   ~  Sep 29, 2009 6:15 pm

I do not hope the Twins win the division. Nor do I hope that the Tigers do.

28 RIYank   ~  Sep 29, 2009 6:31 pm

[27] But will you join me in hoping it goes down to the wire, preferably with a one-game playoff?

29 Raf   ~  Sep 29, 2009 7:16 pm

[28] I hope so, I have tickets to the last two regular season games @ the Metrodome

30 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 29, 2009 9:29 pm

[28] I'm on that wagon!

31 Rich   ~  Sep 29, 2009 9:37 pm

[28] YES!

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