"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Gitcher Brooms

On Tuesday, in my preview of the Yankees three-game set against the Orioles, I wrote that “the Yankees should be embarrassed by anything less than a sweep this week.” So far, so good. The Yankees won the first two games being sharp pitching by Javier Vazquez and Phil Hughes and huge offensive outburst in the latter game. This afternoon, they hand the ball to CC Sabathia, looking for that sweep.

Normally that would be a slam dunk, but Sabathia has struggled in three of his last four outings, including his last against the punchless Indians (the team that made 28 straight outs against Armando Galarraga last night). Still, CC has already beaten Baltimore twice this season (allowing just four runs in 15 2/3 innings) and facing the O’s just might be what he needs to get back on track (though I said that about the Indians as well).

Kevin Millwood throws for the O’s. He faced the Yankees back on April 27 and held them to two runs but was inefficient and was pulled after throwing 112 pitches in just 5 1/3 innings. The O’s actually won that game after Millwood came out, one of four times that has happened this year, while Millwood’s record remains stuck at 0-5 due to an average of just 2.75 runs of support. Millwood’s 3.89 ERA and better than 6 2/3 innings pitched per start attest to his value, but while he’s never been awful (never allowing more runs than innings pitched in his 11 starts this season), he’s also never been dominant, allowing three or more runs in eight of his 11 starts and two runs in each of the other three. Using the standard of three runs allowed (rather than three unearned runs allowed), Millwood has turned in just three quality starts this season.

The Yankees run out their new standard lineup this afternoon. For those who missed it last night, it looks like this:

R – Derek Jeter (SS)
S – Nick Swisher (RF)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
S – Jorge Posada (DH)
L – Curtis Granderson (CF)
R – Francisco Cervelli (C)
L – Brett Gardner (LF)

Posada is not yet cleared to catch, which is just fine by me. I’d rather have Posada’s bat at the low-impact position of DH and Cervelli’s strong defense and solid singles-hitting bat behind the plate than risk another Posada injury by having him catch in order to allow Joe Girardi to rotate Ramiro Peña around the infield or Kevin Russo and Marcus Thames around the outfield. I’m hoping that, once Posada is cleared to catch, Girardi will stick with this alignment and use Jorge only as Cervelli’s backup behind the dish, perhaps having him catch against lefty starters so that Thames can DH in those games. I’m not expecting that, but I’m hoping for it, and I was encouraged by Posada’s comments as reported by Chad Jennings yesterday:

Jorge Posada has been cleared to play, but he has not been cleared to catch during drills, much less in a game. For now he’s limited to designated hitter, and this afternoon Posada acknowledged that his career might start trending that direction. He plans to catch again, but he expects to start seeing more and more time at DH, less and less time behind the plate.

“I know that I can catch and I know that I can be out there,” he said. “But a lot of circumstances have come. I’m going to have to be smart about it. If I’m in the lineup, I’m happy. I would like to catch here and there sometimes, but I understand what the future holds.”

Posada said he knew when he signed his most recent contract that he might see more time at DH by the end of it. He still considers himself a catcher — “I’m not a DH yet,” he said — but after a remarkably healthy first 13 years in the big leagues, he’s now gone on the DL four times since 2008.

“Knowing that the American League has a DH, yeah, it was on my mind,” Posada said. “When you’re talking about guys that catch every day, you don’t see too many 38-year-olds catching every day. I understand what’s going on.”

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread

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1 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:07 pm

This member of the Brains Fan Club appreciates that Posada might finally be getting a little less stubborn about his needing to be a catcher till the day he retires.

2 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:29 pm

That kind of catching rotation certainly seems optimal - at least until NJ returns and proves he can still hit, or a better DH can be found with JoPo catching.

Anyone catch Goldman arguing for acquiring Prince for DH? Even forgetting the cost in prospects (ouch!), he's already at $10.5MM and going up, that's an expensive DH!

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:36 pm


at least until NJ returns and proves he can still hit


Wait. Seriously?

4 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:36 pm

This confirms my suspicion that Posada is a very smart person. His intelligence doesn't appear much in public, but you get little glimpses of it now and then.

5 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:37 pm

Not to read too much into Posada's comments on Griffey's retirement, but perhaps he's starting to realize his own baseball mortality when he says: “It’s tough to see good people, good players, retire.”

6 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:45 pm

[3] Hah, point taken! Though given what Matsui's done it's hard to say NJ was a dramatically worse choice than Mats. Still worse though. Many other paths not taken notwithstanding...

7 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 12:56 pm

[4] i think po is quite smart too. a bit stubborn, but smart.

as someone who is in the po's value is maxed at catcher club - i'd prefer the yanks to have a legit dh and have po catch close to a ft load - but given everything right now - this arrangement is good to go.

i always find it interesting to hear the explanation for why a pitcher is struggling. per chad lohud, girardi says it is unusual cutting action on his fastball and changeup. i presume that means the ball is cutting in a way he is not able to command.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:04 pm

[7] You mean, CC? Yeah, after the Mets game, Girardi said that one of the Bay home runs was on "a changeup that cut," but the other problem seems to be his two-seemer is staying up in the zone. It's clearly a command issue. Not control or velocity, etc.

9 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:08 pm

[8] yeah cc - sorry needed to put a name in there.
thanks for the additional info - hopefully the big man can command his stuff today.

10 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:21 pm

[3] Luckily, the Yankees still have a Nick The Stick ...

11 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:21 pm

+1 for william

12 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:23 pm

Well, that was amusing

13 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:25 pm

Teix's slump, on the other hand, not so amusing ...

14 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:27 pm

Posada with still Catch 50% or more of the remaining games, once his health issues are cleared.


It didn't even look like Robbie had a full swing at that!!!!!!!!

15 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:27 pm


Robbie is just unconscious right now ...

16 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:32 pm

Brains has radical splits, with an OPS 250 pts higher against lefties. Yeah, a SSS but it still tells a story. So Brains will catch against lefties (that 30% of the time) and a few other starts to keep Po from Catching 3 days in a row and night then day games. Against righties, our DH will be NJ (if still alive) and Miranda.

17 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:35 pm


18 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:35 pm

Wow, good to the umpires starting off the game strong ... that was 3 inches outside.

19 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:43 pm

Denkinger Feels For Joyce, Calls For Replay
"There are so many areas you can use instant replay," Denkinger said, according to the Post. "Maybe instant replay can clean things up. If a play is missed, it can be corrected. I didn't feel that way in '85, but I feel that way now."


20 rbj   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:44 pm

Apparently Bud is going to issue a statement later today.

21 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:44 pm

Hey Cult... this feels a little like a blind date.

22 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 3, 2010 1:45 pm

[0] Cliff, do you think Girardi, a defensive catcher himself, really wanted this alignmentment all along? And that is the reason nick the injury was signed instead of matsui (and/or damon)?

if nick is a healthy obp machine at the top of the order - great. when he gets injured, girardi gets his defensive catcher. if the DH spot is plugged w/ a more reliable player, posada has nowhere to go now.

23 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:00 pm

A cheapy... but I'll take it.

24 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:00 pm

[22] Sorry, didn't mean to be exclusionary there. That question was meant for everybody, just meant it in reference to Cliff's original intro...

25 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:01 pm

Great piece of hitting ... Arod certainly knew the ball was carrying to Right after his flyball in the 1st inning.

26 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:02 pm

[23] was it? they all look like 600 ft bombs on gameday

27 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:08 pm

the Orioles are embarrassing, seriously. If Bud wants to "look at" something it should be that. I'm saying it as a baseball fan, this is just a joke

28 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:10 pm

[26] Eh, semi-cheapy. The ball is carrying to Right today and Alex didn't get a great swing on it, but he struck it about perfectly with the bat and drove it on a line in the RC bleachers.

It wasn't a rainbow wall scraper ...

29 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:14 pm

i am in and out on gameday - sounds like the score truck got notice of the early delivery time.

[27] i like how you put "look at" in quotes - nice work :}
but yeah they are on of the worse defensive teams i have seen in quite some time.

30 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:16 pm

[27] Dead man walking?

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are expected to dismiss manager Dave Trembley from his role as manager prior to Friday's series opener against the Boston Red Sox. The report said Trembley will be replaced immediately by an internal candidate, which will likely be third-base coach and former All-Star Juan Samuel.

Of course, since Juan Samuel is the same Juan Samuel who last night waved home Miguel Tejada to get thrown out at home plate down 8-1, change might not be any improvement in this case ...

31 The Hawk   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:19 pm

Very refreshing take from Posada. I appreciate his redassness but I appreciate this more.

32 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:20 pm

Wow, I didn't know that Alex was only 1 HR behind Ripken for most all time at SS.

33 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:21 pm

[30] Frankly I'm surprised he wasn't gone after the 1st game of this series. I hate when they blame a manager for poor performances by the players, but that's baseball.

34 The Hawk   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:22 pm

I didn't realize there was a game on.

35 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:22 pm

[29, 30] haha yeah Bud loves to "look at" things, ya know...like contracting a team that then went on to dominate its division over the next decade. He's a visionary guy, that Allan H.

yeah I can't see Trembley lasting past this weekend. I mean everyone knew the team was bad, but this is just ridiculous. The pitching is non-existent but the offense isn't THAT bad where they should be 23 games under on June 3rd.

36 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:27 pm

[33][35] Yeah, this ain't the Royals. The Orioles have a pretty decent set of talent (on paper). Not to say they should be contending, but they should be at least competitive. Instead, almost all of their young players have gone backwards this year.

Tough to survive that as a manager ...

37 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:29 pm

Damn, thought that was going to be a hit ... Alex sure seems a step slower this year.

38 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:37 pm


I don't know if they still are, but as of late last week, the Royals were leading the AL in team batting average.

39 rbj   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:41 pm

[36] And they have a rich owner who seems willing to spend. Sure you're in the same division as the Yankees & Red Sox, and now Tampa too.

40 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:45 pm

[38] It was really in reference to their roster construction. For a team that's "rebuilding" they're very, very old.

41 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:47 pm


42 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:57 pm

Seligula speaks!

First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.

The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim’s candor illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.

As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently. While the human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night’s call and other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and presidents.

43 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:59 pm


Now *THAT* was a more-semi-cheapy!

44 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 2:59 pm


45 Dimelo   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:00 pm

[42] Eff Selig.

46 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:07 pm

every hit Tex gets gets me optimistic about his ending his slump no matter how well or poorly hit it might be. it's gotta end right?

47 Eirias   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:07 pm

I'm in that minority that thinks the call should stand. I am absolutely for instant replay, but to be brutal: them's the breaks. There have probably been at least five other games where the pitcher had both the stuff and the pace to pitch a perfect game but was derailed by a blown call earlier in the game.

Saying they would have had that extra mental focus that pitching a perfecto both demands and provides had they not given up a "hit" in the first is falling into the fallacy of the predetermined outcome (Kay'd?), but given the thousands upon thousands of games played, it sure seems likely.

48 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:08 pm

Alex ... locking it in!

49 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:09 pm

Hi folks.
Bye, Kevin. Hi Jason.

50 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:10 pm

[46] Half the outs that he gets make me toooptimistic. If he could make teams take that shift off, he'd be out of the slump now -- so many screaming line drives snagged on the first base line, sizzling grounders fielded ten feet into the outfield, that kind of thing.

51 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:11 pm

[47] Changing THIS call is addressing a symptom, not addressing the problem. The "problem" is that umpires are human and will make mistakes, as they did in this instance. Changing the call doesn't address the fact the mistakes have happened, did happen, and will happen in the future.

Some form of instant replay *will* address that ...

52 rbj   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:11 pm

[47] I think they can & should over turn it, simply because it was the last play of the game. Any other time, to quote Michael Kay, (and I shudder to do so) is the fallacy of the predetermined outcome. But here, it ends the game. And it is clearly wrong.

53 Eirias   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:11 pm

[51] I completely agree.

54 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:14 pm
55 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:17 pm

[50] What i don't get is did they change up the shift somehow? They were shifting against him last year too. So why struggle more this year?

56 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:19 pm

[54] Weird, that's an interesting take on the material taken directly from the statement I posted earlier, because nowhere in it does Selig say he *won't* reverse the call. He doesn't specifically say he *is* looking at overturning the call, but he didn't specifically say the call would stand, only that "Before I announce any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and presidents."

57 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:21 pm

I can't believe that was only the second hit off CC.

[55] I don't know. Well, in April he just didn't hit well. Maybe early May, too. I'm just talking about recently, I feel like he's been scorching the ball, only they go right at players.

58 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:21 pm

CC: Luke, I am your father!

Luke: NOT!

59 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:22 pm

Oops, as I typed that, the third hit off him, and it was a doozy.
Doosey? Doosy? Wordpress doesn't like any of them.

61 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:26 pm

[57] ok. i was just wondering because i haven't watched many games this year. Mostly gameday. And folks have been commenting a lot on the shifts impact but I don't get what is different this year. But I thought maybe that teams had modified their shift positioning and that he is hitting more balls at targets instead of in the gaps. I just have no idea myself.

62 Eirias   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:26 pm

A Bánh mì. So delicious. Thank you, Vietnam.

63 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:33 pm

uh, that wasn't really a hard catch ...

64 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:37 pm

Hey, look. Eighth Inning Guy.

65 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:37 pm

what is up with the big man and homeruns?
was scott's a ys special?

66 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:38 pm

[61] seamus i think the shift is a bit more extreme this year.

67 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:40 pm

[65] It was.
Even so.

68 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:41 pm

[66] Oh thanks ms october! That adds a little helpful context.

69 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:42 pm

just wondering if anyone knows. Who was the first manager to employ the extreme shift prominently against lefties? Do we know this?

70 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:42 pm

nice easy inning for Joba. I like it!

71 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:44 pm

[67] It was? It looked like it went deep into the 2nd deck to me ...

72 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 3:55 pm

GREAT play by Tejada there ...

73 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:03 pm

Uh oh, oh Mo!

74 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:03 pm

Uh oh. Don't like this at all. Control problem.

75 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:04 pm

uh oh gameday has told me mo walked someone and hit someone - get it under control mo.

76 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:07 pm


77 rbj   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:07 pm

That's a bit better.

78 ms october   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:08 pm

phew, gameday is fixed as it just told me mo struck someone out.

79 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:09 pm

Yeah, this looks like his Moliness.

80 RIYank   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:10 pm

Thanks be to Mo.
And, I who entertained doubts petition for your forgiveness.

81 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:11 pm

much better for sure.

82 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:12 pm

[79] Indeed!

83 rbj   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:12 pm

Ah yes, all's right with the world now.

84 seamus   ~  Jun 3, 2010 4:36 pm

i'm amazed oakland got out of the 8th with the lead. is beltre playing over his head or what?

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