"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

A Tie We Can Agree On

With a debate raging over our reactions to yesterday’s draw with England, we went to bed a Banter divided. Tonight, because of a tie of a different sort, a tie for first place, we’re reunited in contentment, or as our esteemed founder would say, as a bunch of heppy kets.

The Yankees completed their sweep of the Astros 9 to 5 just before the Marlins won their series with the Rays, dead-heating the AL East rivals at 40 and 23. The Rays’ funk came after the Yankees’ rut, but they are remarkably similar. After a blistering 21-8 start, the Yankees lost one to the Red Sox and proceeded to gag 12 of 20. The Rays were a mind-boggling 30-11 before getting swept by the same Red Sox on their way to losing 11 of 19. At least the Yankees can point to some injuries – the Rays can only blame gravity. And the schedule plays a part in this too. The Rays benefitted from a soft start, the Yankees are currently enjoying the Snuggle Fabric Softener portion of their schedule en route to a fluffy-fresh bounce back – 11 wins over the last 14 games.

If Phil Hughes falls short of any statistical milestones this season, I think he’ll look back on the rain-soaked battle with Tony Manzella in the sixth inning today and the ensuing four runs will stick between his teeth like broken pieces of sweet summer corn. Six innings, five hits, one inconsequential run and six strikeouts would have been another fine plank in his pleasantly plausible Cy Young platform. As the box score reads, he got bombed by the weak-hitting Astros. I was miffed about Jeter’s inability to get to Manzella’s topper, and before I could finish the grouse, Cash had homered.

As Cash rounded the bases, I was already composing a recap based around this terrible reversal of fortune. But it ended up not mattering to anyone but Phil Hughes and his agent. Is that a typical fan thing, or is it just me? Trying to peg the future narrative based on the current event?

Yanks winning 3-1, ump blows a strike 3 call, Teix boots an easy grounder, I see the foundation of a crushing loss. Jeter makes two outs in the same inning, leaving the bases loaded in the process, can’t come up with a ball in the hole and adds four runs to the Astros ledger, I’ve already assigned him the goat’s horns.

The thing is, when I played, I would never worry about the narrative. If something bad happens, fuck it, just got to find another way to win. Wish I could bring that mindset to my fandom.

Paul O’Neill called the game today and with the bases juiced in the fifth, he zeroed in on the 2-0 pitch to Posada. He wondered if Posada was going to be aggressive with the new reliever. While I thought he was timely with his analysis, I also was saying to my dad, “C’mon Paulie, we know he’s ripping here.” I bet Paulie knew Jorge was looking for something to drive and just got caught explaining the general when he would have been better off giving us the specifics. And if the at bat had lasted a few seconds longer, he probably would have done just that. I haven’t seen a game in a while, and I was glad to hear him back there today, whatever that means. Posada’s grand slams were the killing strokes to both weekend games, so I thought the curtain call was well deserved.

Back on top. Hope they don’t look down.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Game Recap

Tags:  Jorge Posada  Phil Hughes

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1 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 14, 2010 6:34 am

Steve Goldman is pondering an interesting thought:
"In the coming weeks, as the Brewers sink deeper into the misery of their season, it will become increasingly likely that they will attempt to move their great, big first baseman Prince Fielder..."
"Best of all, he’s only 26 years old."

With NJ down, and especially when ANY other regular is out of the lineup, the bottom of our lineup looks nasty.

Assuming NJ is out for the year, and won't be re-signed for 2011, do we need to get another bat?

2 RIYank   ~  Jun 14, 2010 6:52 am

Prince Fielder would be an enormous boost, sure. But what would we have to trade? Austin Romine +... who?

Jorge Vazquez is on the elevator -- in Scranton yesterday and presumably heading to the Bronx soon. He's a Mexican League product. If he can hit ML pitching, great. If not, hey, our Scrabble score will probably make up for it. A double Vazquez!

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 14, 2010 7:13 am

Also, getting Fielder means Posada has to be able to catch most of the time. I don't think girardi wants that.

4 monkeypants   ~  Jun 14, 2010 7:41 am

[3] I hope that's not a concern, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If the team *could* add a big bat like Fielder's (139 OPS+), they would have an awfully strong lineup when Posada catches (60%) and would be no worse off when he doesn't (either Posada or Fielder would DH, the other would sit). I don't see how carrying a *weaker* bat at DH so that Posada can DH when he doesn't catch is strategically better.

5 monkeypants   ~  Jun 14, 2010 7:44 am

[4] This being said, I simply do not see Cashman laying out big money and big prospects to add a bat this season. If they pick up a player, and I think they will, it's going to be a more quiet move. I have a feeling he's looking for someone who play a little OF, too.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 14, 2010 9:03 am

[4] & [5] I'm with you. I'd love to have Fielder and Posada in the lineup together almost every game.

But the Yanks had several options to fill the DH slot this offseason and they chose to sign the automatic injury. I think maybe they went that route for 2 reasons: 1) if healthy a high OBP in front of the big boppers was a great asset, and 2) when injured, he opens up the DH for Posada. I don't think for one second they expected 140 games from Nick Johnson, but they were afraid of 140 from Matsui or Damon or Vlad.

Girardi was a championship winning, no-hitting catcher. I think that might factor in his roster calculus. Great to have a big hitting catcher, but not necessary.

7 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 14, 2010 9:16 am

[0] yeah, everybody and their grandma saw Jorgie's grannie coming on that 2-0 count. Even Sterling sorta called it, noting Posada's "really in the driver's seat now" or something like that. Next pitch, bingo.

I was listening on a portable radio, sitting atop a picnic table, under a tent, during a heavy thunderstorm on the lake near my house. The radio's crackling from the lightning. I turn it up a little louder to hear through the rock tune, AC/DC or something, that's blaring on the beach's stereo system for my fellow beach-goers who are oblivious to the Yanks game. I take a sip from my ice cold can of beer thinking, "Jorge's hitting this one out."

One of the great satisfactions in life: calling a grand slam before it happens, 50 miles away, in the middle of a thunderstorm. Half an hour later, sun's out, it's pouring in the Bronx, and I'm watching my sons splashing around in the lake. Sweet Sunday afternoon.

8 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 14, 2010 9:40 am

[3] Goldman points that out, and it is certainly an issue... but does it steer the boat? That's the question. My guess is Po Catches 60-80 games in 2011 at most. But wow... what a BUC as well as team/bench depth. And maybe we shouldn't make assumptions assuming everyone is healthy the rest of this year and next.

Can Teix be made into a non-horribe 3rd baseman for 30-40 games/yr (with Prince at 1st)? Might we need to rest ARod more? (I'm still surprised the Yanks didn't try to get Hinske to be a non-horribe 3rd baseman, whicj would have made him VERY valuable to us. ie: No Pena).

The money is not really the issue if Cashman believes we NEED a bat. However, if prime prospects were involved, I'm against it... and any other trade. I think for the Brewers, trading Fielder is a salary dump. If they dump salary and take non-prime Framhands, then it's worth looking at.

9 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 14, 2010 9:40 am

[5] Truly, nothing would make me happier than having to trade something of value for a DH that can play a little outfield. Especially after we decided we didn't want that in a free agent because we could have the doomed to fail Nick Johnson/Randy Winn cluster.

10 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 14, 2010 9:53 am

[8] I could entertain that notion, but I don't see the Yanks paying 13 million and assigning Posada that BUC role for 2011 as long as he is still hitting. if he hits like he has in 09 and 10, i see him at DH for a lot of games in 11

I doubt Teix could be made into a thridbaseman for 30-40 minutes, much less 30-40 games.

11 rbj   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:05 am

With Montero in the pipeline as well, and Frankie being a serviceable starter, very good BUC, I could see trading Romine. But I'd want Prince for more than half a season, what is he looking for on the market. Yankees could guarantee him postseaon play (and as he's on the outs with dad, he'll have his own WS ring), but he will want the $ as well. How much and for how long? I would not trade either catching prospect for a bat for half a season, there are too many variables (injuries, lack of ability to adapt to the next level of pitching, potential off-field issues) to make such a trade.

[7] Great image. We've had a number of storms pass through Toledo the last couple of weeks, with one killer (literally, 5 dead and a high school destroyed) one as well as a 49 minute rain delay Saturday night. Coolish and rainy spring this year. But the plants like it and I've already got buds going on one zucchini plant. And flowers on a tomato plant.

12 monkeypants   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:34 am

[8] My guess is Po Catches 60-80 games in 2011 at most.

That's the key variable in this equation, no. I think that he catches (if healthy) 100-110 games. That is, he is the starting catcher next year, not the starting DH/BUC.

Now, 2012, when the team has a better sense of where Montero and Romine are going, that's maybe a different story.

13 Raf   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:38 am

[9] To be fair, Randy Winn was supposed to be a 4th OF, backing up all 3 OF positions.

14 monkeypants   ~  Jun 14, 2010 12:13 pm

[13] Winn was also signed, I think, as insurance if the Gardner Experience proved a flop (Winn being basically the proven veteran version of Gardner, more or less). Gardner has thrived, at least enough that the team is not worried about starting him, so the need to carry another light hitting speedy OF was obviated.

The team now is (or should be) looking to replace Thames---that is, a DH/OF sort.

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