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News of the Day – 10/23/09

Today’s news is powered by ELO, circa 1975:

Stung by a rash of blown calls in the playoffs, Major League Baseball is breaking tradition and sticking with only experienced umpires for the World Series.

Longtime crew chiefs Joe West, Dana DeMuth and Gerry Davis, along with Brian Gorman, Jeff Nelson and Mike Everitt will handle the games, three people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press this week.

. . . In 24 of the last 25 World Series, the six-man crew has included at least one umpire working the event for the first time — baseball likes to reward newer umpires, plus replenish the supply of umps with Series experience.

In each of the last two years, there were three new umps working the World Series.

CB Bucknor was in line to work the World Series for the first time this year. But he missed two calls in Game 1 of the division series between the Red Sox and Angels, damaging his chance to get picked, one of the three people said.

Andrew Brent, deputy press secretary to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, was even blunter.

“There are no plans to preserve Gate 2,” he wrote in an e-mail message. “Because it’s not structurally independent, it would need to be severed, shored up and fully reconstructed” at a cost of $10 million.

Brent and Trush say that keeping and restoring the gate would cost less, as little as $1 million. But they say that the city’s estimated cost could be financed through the sale of commemorative bricks on the walkway outside the planned Heritage Field and leading to the Metro-North station.

  • Meanwhile, Chien-Mien Wang’s future with the team is in limbo.
  • What do Joba Chamberlain and John Wetteland have in common?
  • Happy 44th birthday to Al Leiter.  Leiter was a 2nd round draft pick of the Bombers in 1984 (fun fact: Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were taken earlier in the same round).  He appeared in his first game at age 21 in 1987, was dealt to Toronto for Jesse Barfield in ’89, and finished up his career with the Yanks in ’05.
  • On this date in 1979, Billy Martin is involved in a barroom altercation with Joseph Cooper, a Minnesota marshmallow salesman. Cooper requires 15 stitches to close a gash in his lip.
  • On this date in 1996, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Braves jump to a 6 – 0 lead, but the Yankees mount their biggest comeback in World Series history with a three-run home run by Jim Leyritz that ties the game in the eighth inning. After Bernie Williams is intentionally walked with runners on first and second in the 10th, Steve Avery walks Wade Boggs to bring in the deciding run.

[My take: Does anyone remember why the Braves walked Williams in that situation?]

See you Monday . . .

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 23, 2009 9:44 am

The ump thing:

On one hand, veteran Tim McClelland made two brutal calls at third base the other day, which proves it can happen to anyone.

On the other hand, CB Bucknor is a terrible umpire and I'm glad the Series dodged that particular bullet.

As for the walk to Williams. I have the DVD of that game, but not enough time to watch it right now. I'm pretty sure it was because they wanted to set up the force at every base. Andy Fox was due up next, but I can't imagine Bobby Cox didn't expect Boggs to pinch-hit. Walking Williams gave him the platoon advantage of lefty Avery vs. lefty Boggs as opposed to switch-batting-right Williams. Also, let's not forget how good Bernie was back then. He raked in the LDS and LCS that year and was a very very dangerous hitter to have up in a big spot like that.

2 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 9:49 am

[1] yeah, Bernie was on fire. He killed the Braves the night before with a 2 run bomb in the 8th.

3 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 9:59 am

The play-by-play confirms that Williams was walked with runners already on first and second ... so Cox moved the go-ahead run to third base.


4 RIYank   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:08 am

I hope Wang still has a career, whether in pinstripes or some ordinary baseball uniform.

I hope Freddy Guzman still has a career too, but not on the Yankee roster. It would be a very big mistake to have him on the WS roster, if we make it past the Angels. He's not just useless, he's dangerous because of the way he tempts Girardi. I would rather have him off the roster even if he couldn't be replaced. And plainly Hinske would be better to have. He could have PH for Swisher, in some, you know, important situation...

5 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:10 am

Is it time to sit Nick Swisher down? (Not that they have a lot of other OF choices ... you wanna start Melky AND Gardner is homer-happy YS3?)

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:13 am

Given A-Rod's post-season heroics, I suggest Kate Hudson be "loaned" to Nick Swisher for a couple of nights.

7 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:18 am

[5] yes, please - for Game 6 anyway. Swish can't hit his way out of a paper bag at this point

[6] heh

8 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:18 am

[6] I thought that Swish has his own hot mama. Maybe she doesn't have the same jou-jou has Kate.

I agree that Hinske has to make the next roster, if there is a next roster.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:22 am

question: if the Yankees could gin up some sort of fake injury to Guzman in the next 24 hours would that open up a roster spot for Hinske?

I'm not necessarily hoping for that, and I certainly don't expect it. I'm just curious as to how the roster rules work

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:24 am

just a hunch, but given the opportunity to hit tomorrow night I could see Gardner going all Jose Vizcaino Game 1 2000 WS

11 Rich   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:26 am

Is it time to sit Nick Swisher down?

*nods* It should have been done two games ago.

12 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:27 am

[9] I don't think you can change the roster during a PS series, injury or not. If it were a real injury, you just have to play shorthanded, I believe.

13 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:27 am

So, will everyone think less of me (is that possible?) if I admit that I own the entire ELO catalogue?

14 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:29 am

[13] Kind of.

15 Rich   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:32 am

I was never a big ELO fan. My guilty pleasure was Mountain.

16 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:35 am

[15] Nice.

Yeah, ELO is a guilty pleasure of mine.Very guilty.

17 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

[11] Unfortunately, there is no one to play in his place, unless they go with Gardner. I like Gardy, but I would be willing to ride out Swisher's slump first.

18 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:37 am

[13] No, I'll be jealous.

[5] [6] [11] I disagree. As we saw with Tex and Cano last night, slumps end at the plate. Its impossible for them to end on the bench. Swisher is bound to break out of his.

Even if Hinske was available, I'd still play Swisher in Game 6, only because Saunders is a LHP. Swisher hits LHP .244/.393/.475 this year, for his career .251/.395/.439. Hinske vs LHP is .244/.347/.439 this year, .221/.296/.370 for his career.

That said, I would have benched Swisher for Game 5 with Lackey on the mound, and played Hinske then.

19 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:37 am

[13] bold confession... but rock on, mp.

I've always wanted to know, but was afraid to ask: what are they singing in the "don't bring me down" chorus? is that "brrrruce?"

20 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:39 am

I decided to channel my nerves into something creative ...

21 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:39 am

[19] "Groose."

And I have no idea what that means.

22 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:42 am

[17] I agree (as I show in [18]).

That said, Gardner, though a LHB, hits LHP well enough - small sample warning, but .291/.381/.400 this year (65 PA), .241/.310/.316 (91 PA) for his career. I believe he showed the same kind of reverse split in AAA, and maybe AA as well. And so I think I'd sit Melky in favor Gardner for Game 6, even though Melky has hit LHP well this year (.268/.343/.420), for his career, he has not (.255/.325/.355).

[4] I also hope to see Hinske, not Guzman, should the Yanks make it past the Angels. Though, as I said in last night's game thread in [1246], I did and still do see value in pinch-running Guzman for A-Rod last night, and not stealing (the not-stealing reasoning might have been in [1242]).

23 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:46 am

[20] Brilliant!

[15] Nothing wrong with either of those. I found Ozzy's cover of Mississippi Queen from a few years' ago to be almost as entertaining as the original.

24 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:47 am

Swish is in a rut, sure, but he got that count full last night and was one pitch from walking in the tying run. Fuentes threw a strike and Swish got good wood on it, just got under it and lifted it to center. I'm not so offended.

I think Shaun nails it in [18]. And I agree with everyone that Hinske should replace Guzman if there's a WS roster to be made.

25 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:49 am


How about The Cardigans doing "Iron Man"?

26 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:52 am

[18] Tex and Cano are better hitters than Swish, so wouldnt they be more likely to break out? I love Swish, it's time to try someone else. He's swinging and pressing so terribly that I would sit him for Game 6. He couldn't do anything with an 89mph fastball.

[21] Grroooose? damn, somebody's gotta get Jeff Lynn on the horn.

27 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 10:56 am

Nick Swisher and post-season offense seem to be antonyms (small sample size warning)


Then again, check his career #s with 2 outs and RISP (regular seasons only)

28 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 11:03 am

[24] I think of a rut as hitting into bad luck. Swish is all pretzeled up. He got the count to full because Fuentes lost the zone before grooving a fastball that had go-ahead single written all over it. Heck, 90% chance Hairston does more with that pitch than Swish did.

29 Rich   ~  Oct 23, 2009 11:13 am

If Swisher wasn't squeezing the bat into sawdust, I'd keep playing him. Sitting him for one game might do him some good.

30 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 11:17 am

[29] we can suggest benching him all we want, but it's not going to happen. All we can do is hope that he gets it together, and stops killing rallies.

31 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 11:29 am

I just hope that the tomfoolery is over, at last for this series. AJ is done, so Molina can re-oocupy his place on the bench, right next to Cervelli. Guzman should join them for the rest of the series, and Girardi should stop all of his futzing and fidgeting with PRs. Gardner should be saved for LIDR purposes; Hairston should not appear unless A-Rod or Jeter or Cano are run over by a car.

The Yankees have two chances to use their A starting lineup to win one game.

32 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 23, 2009 11:32 am

[15] Mountain rocks! Saw them in concert at least 6 times, including New Years Eve at the Filmore East. Humble Pie was often the opening (or 2nd) act.

Leslie West was not a great guitarist, but he had some of the tastiest riffs and lead lines ever. Theme for an Imaginary Western and Nantucket Sleighride are 2 of the best hard rock ballads ever written.

Felix Pappalardi was a very cool bass guitarist and excellent producer. Cream's "Wheels of Fire" was initially poorly received. Pappalardi re-mixed it, added some horns and other accoutrement, and turned the album into a super-record.

The Animal Trainer and the Toad.
Felix Pappalardi and Leslie West.

33 thelarmis   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:13 pm

ELO = yuch!

i played on a festival with Mountain about 4 years ago. i was on a different stage, didn't hear or see them. it's a big and varied festival, but apparently, they acted all rock star like and privileged. the things said about them - as people - were horrible. i don't know them very well, beyond "mississippi queen", leslie west, corkey laine, etc, but they got crushed by the good folks at the festival...

34 BuckFoston   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:16 pm

Let's talk about panic. We are up 3-2 in the ALCS and everyone wants to change the lineup that won most of the 103 games. The Yankees have outscored the Angels 28-17. They have lost an extra inning game by 1 run and last night by 1 run when they had the bases loaded in the ninth. And people think they're gonna improve this by benching the #7 or #8 hitter? And replace him with whom? Seriously, I know fans come in all types and sizes, but get a grip.

35 thelarmis   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:20 pm

[34] Let’s talk about panic.

in the country you're moving to, that means Widespread Panic, and they are beloved round these parts. i don't understand it, but they're really good guys!

and, yes, i've hit the panic button. i just wanna end this series already with a Yankee win!!!

i won't be here Sat. my gig is pretty much in between my pad and your future one...

36 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:31 pm

34] grip this: Swisher's not hitting. replace with whom? oh, maybe a bench player who contributed to a few of those 103 wins. Benching him for Gardner's not a panic move. It's a move that won't happen while we hope for Swisher to stop slumping.

37 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:31 pm

I'm only panicking because I've witnessed Girardi over-manage the series, to the detriment of the outcome of at least 1 game.

38 BuckFoston   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:43 pm

Girardi is over-managing. Some of his moves have been baffling. PR for Arod last night, unbvelievable. Let's not even talk about games 2 and 3. Marte last night wasn't that bad, pretty gutsy move that worked perfectly. Hughes just blew it. It happens. Replacing Swisher would be a bad move. Even in a funk he can get a hold of one, you can't say that about the bench players. Yes he's 2 for 17, unlucky period, he still has walked 3 times in this series, he hasn't lost his skills. You put your best players out there, and hope for the best. I am ok with the Molina thing if it makes AJ more comfortable and he's pitched 2 out of 3 good games this PS. Sitting Swish would be like selling your Index fund to buy a penny stock that may get hot for a day or two.

39 monkeypants   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:46 pm

I am ok with the Molina thing if it makes AJ more comfortable and he’s pitched 2 out of 3 good games this PS.

Which is to say, he's the same old unpredictable AJ regardless of who's catching...and in that case, Posada should start.

40 BuckFoston   ~  Oct 23, 2009 12:58 pm

39 You can go either way on that one. I am not with the team so I don't know what the issue is, pitch-calling, conflicting perrsonalities, personal preference. I think I can trust Girardi to make the best decision on who should catch. I don't think Girardi is making this decision just to enforce his will. The BP management however is horrendous, some moves are just dumb, some have actually hurt the Yankees and cost them the game. I don't know what percentage Girardi thought he was gaining by bringing in Aceves to replace a hot Robertson but that was beyond ridiculous. Also bringing in the pinch runners and then they don't steal? WTF? Then you have Guzman or Hairston and Gardner as your 4-5 hitters? If the Yankees had managed to tie that game last night, it wouldn't have been because of Guzman replacing Arod. Then in extras you have the best hitter in the PS on the bench? Seriously does he tell anybody on the bench, other coaches, what he is thinking?

I am not saying Girardi has been great, I'm just saying he is managing the team and probably has a good reason for playing Molina. Also sitting Swish is absolutely the wrong thing to do. His OBP is better than Teix's, yet who would be crazy enough to say sit Teix.

41 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 23, 2009 1:05 pm

[38] I don't think the index-fund/penny stock analogy works.
Sitting Swish for a game isn't dumping him from the portfolio. But based on his underperformance in this market, should we keep wasting precious at-bats on him? His swings have been ugly. He's looked lost. If this were the regular season, he'd be benched. I don't think benching him for a game is a panic move, nor I don't think it's a huge risk, or a tremendous stretch to think that Gardner could give us more than Swish at this point.
but again, I'll acknowledge that this won't happen. so let's go Nick!

42 BuckFoston   ~  Oct 23, 2009 1:08 pm

41 I don't know, I think it works ok for the PS. The analogy wouldn't work over a long regular season, but in a short 7 game series removing Swisher for a game or two to see what Gardner can do could hurt your overall performance.

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