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Archive for November, 2008

from the Pottstown Mercury:

Randall Pennington Gumpert, 90, husband of Ann Louise (Boyer) Gumpert, of Monocacy, Berks County, died peacefully Tuesday, Nov. 25, with his extended family at his side at the Highlands of Wyomissing where he resided for 10 months.

Born in Monocacy, he was a son of the late Abram and Emma (Nolte) Gumpert.

Mr. Gumpert had been a Major League baseball player and scout. He had pitched for the Philadelphia Athletics, the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Senators.

He began his career in 1936 pitching his first game two weeks after graduation from high school on June 13, 1936. His final game was on Sept. 23, 1952. He managed the Bradford Yankees in 1956, the 1956-1958 Kearney Yankees and the 1960 St. Petersburg Saints. He gave up Mickey Mantle’s first home run in 1951. He last worked for the Major League Scouting Bureau of Newport Beach, Calif., for 19 years before retiring in 1993. He was an American League All Star in 1951. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Berks County Sports Hall of Fame, the Reading Phillies Hall of Fame, the Daniel Boone Wall of Fame and the Major League Scouting Hall of Fame.

     I often write letters to some former baseball players (mostly Yankees) and obtain autographs. Luckily..about a year ago I wrote Randy Gumpert a letter. He signed two baseball cards for me. I had him sign the back of the card so it would show that he gave up Mantle’s first HR of his career. I thought it was pretty cool.

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Former Yankee, Don Baylor..becomes Clint Hurdle’s hitting coach

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     Alex Rodriguez had a busy Thanksgiving. He spent some with his family and he also celebrated Thanksgiving with his girlfriend, Madonna. Before meeting with his family, Alex had brunch with Guy Oseary. (Madonna’s manager)

A-Rod left the house of his family at approximately 4 p.m. and drove his black Porsche to Star Island, where the 50-year-old singer owns a property. The newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying that the Yankees star’s vehicle remained parked in front of Madonna’s home throughout the entire night.

Earlier this week, the athlete was spotted in a front row at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami, at one of Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour gigs. According to reports, the pop icon kept throwing glances at A-Rod during her performance. In addition, the singer smiled at Alex Rodriguez while she was singing “You Must Love Me,” urging a smirk by the athlete as well.

Madonna is staying in Miami a little longer so she can spend some for time with A-Rod.

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Will Girardi bat Cano in the 3rd spot? / Yankees Team Report

Mitchell Report: One Year Later /Angels may up Sabathia Stakes

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New Yankee Stadium pictures

Here are a bunch of updated shots of the new Yankee Stadium:

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     Marty Appel contacted me..and asked me to share this with my readers. He is currently working with a few new Yankee related items. He wants to tell you about Legendary Sports Prints (www.LSprints.com), which is a company that sells sports lithographs of some of the most memorable moments in histroy.

     Both were painted by Bill Purdom.  The one on the left shows Mantle at-bat and Maris on deck with the left field grandtsand as the backdrop. (1960) The one on the right has Ruth at the plate, while Gehrig is waiting on deck with the right field granstand in the background. (1929- which is the first time players wore numbers)

     This would definitely be a great gift for the holidays. I may get one for myself. I might have to get both though because they would look great as a set.

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City Pressed Hard for Use of Yankee Luxury Suite

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     The Yankees have until tomorrow night to decide which players will be offered arbitration. If you don’t understand arbitration than read this: Arbitration 101.

Andy Pettitte & Bobby Abreu are the big names the Yankees need to decide on.

Bobby Abreu- Type A Free Agent

Pettitte- Type A Free Agent

Ivan Rodriguez- Type B Free Agent

Jason Giambi

Carl Pavano

     Offering arbitration to these players, guarantees them draft picks. If you lose a Type A free agent, then you get two draft picks. If you lose a Type B free agent, then you get one draft pick. If the Yanks don’t offer arbitration to some of the players, that means that they won’t receive compensation for anyone who leaves. The Yankees are likely to offer arbitration to outfielder Bobby Abreu. The Yankees would consider a 1-year deal with Abreu, but he is seeking multiple years. It seems like he is on his way out of NY at the moment. Jason Giambi won’t be returning as they found a replacement for him already in Nick Swisher. Giambi won’t be given compensation if he signs elsewhere. The odds that Carl Pavano returns is very unlikely, but Cashman won’t rule him out. Ivan Rodriguez isn’t expected to return either as Posada is expected to be the full time starter, and Molina will be his backup.

  • Players receiving arbitration offers have until Dec. 7 to formally accept or reject.
  • If the Yankees offer Pettitte arbitration and he accepts, he would become a signed player under control for the ’09 season, and his salary — $16 million in each of the past two seasons — would be determined by the arbitration process.

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River Ave Blues talks about Donnie Baseball and the HOF / Yanks spreading Bronx Cheer

Looming arbitration may force everybody’s hands -In most cases, little has changed. The Brewers, for example, are certain to offer arbitration to left-hander CC Sabathia, knowing they have nothing to lose and high draft picks to gain. The Yankees, on the other hand, do not figure to extend such an offer to lefty Andy Pettitte. If they wanted to give Pettitte a one-year contract with an increase from his $16 million salary, they would have done it by now.

Here is a list of all the statistics of Yankees in Winter League Baseball 

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     It boggles the mind how Ian Kennedy could be so dominating at the minor league level, and struggle so much in the majors. I know there are growing pains, and it is a higher class of athletes, but it shouldn’t be this drastic. You could even argue that he has been better in the minors than Hughes and Chamberlain. Also..he has played two years of college baseball at USC. (Joba played at Nebraska for two seasons)

Ian isn’t a power pitcher, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a very successful major league pitcher.

 Look at his minor league numbers compared to his major league career:

Minors: (3 Seasons)226.0IP  (W-L) 18-6  1.99ERA  150H  51R  50ER  70BB  248K  9.88K/9  0.97WHIP

Majors: (2 Seasons) 58.2IP  (W-L) 1-4  6.14ERA  63H  43R  40ER  35BB  42K  6.44K/9  1.67WHIP

     It shows that he has the stuff, but where does it all go when he gets the call up to the big league club? Is it that he is scared of the plate or something? When I watch the games..I can’t help but notice that a lot of his pitches just miss the strike zone. It’s as if he is pitching around the batters, instead of attacking the hitters. I think Hughes has the same problem. They need more confidence going up on the mound, knowing that they can do this. Maybe they will have more confidence going into next year, as both Phil & Ian had good off-seasons. It looks like Kennedy will start in Scranton starting on Opending Day 2009. What happens from then on is in Ian’s hands. If someone goes down with an injury..he could possibly get another chance. Who knows what will happen. There is also a chance he could be traded this off-season.

Kennedy Impresses in Puerto Rico

Ian Kennedy is doing some nice work in Puerto Rico for the Indios de Mayaguez. Here are his stats through four starts:

19.2 innings
11 hits
5 earned runs
1 home run
9 walks
18 strikeouts
Opposing BA: .169
WHIP: 1.02

His last start came on Tuesday. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits without a walk while striking out four. He got 10 outs on grounders.

The Puerto Rican winter league is hardly any sort of indicator. But Kennedy pitched well for Scranton down the stretch and has pitched well for Mayaguez. He should come into spring training feeling good about himself.

For reasons I can’t fathom, a large segment of fans have given up on Kennedy because he hasn’t pitched well in the majors and one day made some foolish comments that he quickly apologized for.

He’ll be 24 next month and has thrown a grand total of 59.2 innings in the majors. Kennedy could well be a contributor. They didn’t draft him in the first round (before Joba, by the way) by accident.

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Rumor: Yanks Make Offer to Odalis Perez, Interested in Greinke / The Risks of a $100 Million pitcher

The unanswerable question about Sabathia

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     Phil Hughes went down with a stress fracture in his right rib cage on May 1st. It took him out for most of the season. Prior to the injury, he was horrible. He posted these numbers: 22IP  (W-L) 0-4  9.00ERA  13K. When he returned, Hughes posted these numbers in 2 starts: 12IP  (W-L) 0-0  2.25ERA  10K. Big difference. huh? Well I figured it would be a sign of good things to come, and I was right. Phil was assigned to the Arizona Fall League to work on building up innings. He needed the innings so he could pitch more in 2009. The reason for that is…teams don’t like to throw a youngster out for 200 innings a year, especially if they have never pitched that much during such a long stretch of time. His role next year will depend on what the Yankees do this off-season. He will either be pitching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or the New York Yankees on Opening Day 2009.

  • Girardi said that there are situations where Hughes could open the year in New York, but it would depend on how successful the Hot Stove season is.
  • Hughes did not allow more than two earned runs in six of his seven starts in Arizona.
  • He was clocked around 95 mph in some starts, striking out 38 and walking 13 in 30 innings.

I’m not worried about Phil, but there were some conflicting reports on Hughes this off-season.

Here is an overview of the Yankees prospects and how they fared this off-season:

Arizona Fall League

OF Austin Jackson: The Yankees’ top position player prospect, Jackson hit .246 (28-for-114) with one home run, 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 28 games for Peoria. With six doubles and a triple among his hits, Jackson worked seven walks and struck out 30 times as he prepares for Spring Training.

1B Juan Miranda: The Cuban-born slugger was one of the Javelinas’ most productive batters, stroking 14 extra-base hits (seven doubles, two triples, five home runs) in 19 games for Peoria, batting .301 overall. Miranda scored 14 runs and did not record an error in nine starts at first base.

INF Kevin Russo:The 24-year-old finished the winter hitting .309 (34-for-110) for Peoria with 16 runs scored, three home runs and 16 RBIs. He ranks second among all Yankees Winter League prospects with 34 hits after making the AFL roster from Double-A Trenton.

RHP Humberto Sanchez:The Bronx-born Sanchez appeared in 11 games this fall for the Javelinas, allowing 17 runs (16 earned), 21 hits and 11 walks and striking out three in 12 innings (12.00 ERA). Sanchez pitched twice in September for the Yankees.

RHP Kevin Whelan:The righty finished the season 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA, recording 21 strikeouts and allowing 11 hits and four earned runs in 17 1/3 innings of relief work. He ranked third in the AFL in ERA and opponents combined for a .175 batting average against him. Whelan pitched as high as Double-A Trenton this year, going 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA and one save in 15 appearances.

Dominican Winter League

LHP Wilkins Arias:Relieved in 11 games for the Aguilas Cibeanas and is 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA. He has allowed 12 runs and 11 hits in seven innings, walking six and striking out 10.

OF Melky Cabrera:Cabrera has nine hits in his first 26 at-bats for the Aguilas Cibeanas, having played seven games. The 23-year-old outfielder — New York’s Opening Day center fielder in 2008 — has a double, five runs and five RBIs, plus a stolen base.

2B Robinson Cano:Having just completed a six-day session with hitting coach Kevin Long in the Dominican Republic, Cano is serving as a designated hitter for Estrellas de Oriente. In the midst of a renewed fitness regimen, Cano has three hits in his first 12 at-bats, scoring two runs and driving in a pair.

OF Matt Carson:Carson is batting .273 (21-for-77) with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 20 games for Aguilas. He has five doubles, five walks, 15 strikeouts and a stolen base.

RHP Oneli Perez:A June waiver-claim acquisition from the Indians, Perez has a 3.64 ERA and six saves in seven opportunities for Tigres del Licey, appearing in 13 games overall. He has allowed six runs (five earned) and 14 hits in 12 1/3 innings, walking seven and striking out 13.

RHP Amaury Sanit:Sanit has a 5.87 ERA in seven relief appearances for Tigres del Licey, allowing five runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six.

RHP Jose Valdez:Pitched one scoreless inning for Tigres del Licey, walking one and striking out one.

Hawaii Winter Baseball

LHP Jeremy Bleich:The Yankees’ supplemental-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Bleich was named to the Hawaiian Winter League All-League Team and finished with a record of 3-2, leading all Yankees starters with a 1.77 ERA. He ranked second in the HWL in innings pitched (35 2/3) and fifth in ERA.

RHP Andrew Brackman:New York’s first-round pick in the 2007 Draft, Brackman has made eight starts for Waikiki as he returns from Tommy John surgery. The 6-foot-10 right-hander was 3-4 with a 5.56 ERA, allowing 24 runs (21 earned) and 321 hits in 34 innings. Command was an issue for Brackman, who walked 25, struck out 36 and threw 13 wild pitches while also hitting a batter.

C Austin Romine:Romine hit .208 (11-for-53) in 17 games for Waikiki, with four doubles, a triple and seven RBIs. Romine, who turned 20 this month, hit an even .300 for Class A Charleston this season, slugging 10 homers and driving in 49 runs in 104 games.

INF Damon Sublett:After spending the season at Class A Tampa, the left-handed-hitting Sublett hit .253 (19-for-75) for Waikiki, stroking six doubles, a triple and two home runs to collect 18 RBIs while scoring 15 runs. Sublett struck out 23 times after fanning 44 times in 160 at-bats for Tampa.

Liga Mexicana del Pacifico

OF Justin Christian:After making his big league debut in 2008 with New York, Christian is hitting .290 (35-for-121) through 29 games for Caneros de Los Mochis. Christian has three homers and 15 RBIs, walking 11 times and striking out 21. He was successful in nine of 10 steal attempts.

INF Walter Ibarra:Through 24 games, Ibarra is batting .245 (13-for-53) with two RBIs and three runs scored for Naranjeros de Hermosillo.

INF Ramiro Pena:Pena is batting .255 (12-for-47) with four runs scored, one a double, one homer and six RBIs in 13 games for Tomateros de Culiacan.

Puerto Rican Winter League

RHP Ian Kennedy:Playing for Los Indios de Mayaguez, New York’s No. 1 Draft selection in 2006 started and recorded a no-decision in his last start on Nov. 18 vs. Los Criollos de Caguas, allowing two hits and two earned runs in five innings. Kennedy walked five and struck out two, and opponents are batting a combined .190 against him in three starts.

RHP Jonathan Albaladejo:Returning from an elbow injury by pitching with Los Indios de Mayaguez, Albaladejo has not allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings. He has given up three hits and a walk, striking out three with a wild pitch.

Venezuelan Winter League

C Francisco Cervelli:New York’s most big league-ready catching prospect, Cervelli is hitting .258 (8-for-31) with a home run in 15 games for Cardenales de Lara. Cervelli played 21 games at Double-A Trenton before making it into three games with the Yankees in September.

IF Reegie Corona:Playing for Navegantes del Magallanes, Corona is batting .283 (15-for-53) with nine runs scored, five doubles, one homer and nine RBIs in 20 games. He played 129 games at Trenton, hitting .274 with three homers and 39 RBIs.

IF Edwar Gonzalez:Through 14 games for Cardenales de Lara, Gonzalez is batting .323 (10-for-31) with four runs scored, one triple, one home run and five RBIs.

IF Carlos Mendoza:Mendoza has four hits in 11 at-bats for Cardenales de Lara, having appeared in 16 games and logged an RBI and walk, striking out four times.

LHP Edgar Soto:Pitching for Aguilas del Zulia, Soto allowed five runs in one inning of work, a 45.00 ERA.

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Great read on George M. Steinbrenner III  / WW: Yanks: Great Stealing Team That No One Noticed?

Top Cathedral Moments in fans hands

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..and back to work. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I would also like to wish Mariano Rivera a happy birthday today. He turns 39-years old. Age means nothing with Mo, and it seems that as he gets older..he keeps on getting better. Weird. huh?

     The Yankees aren’t worried about the Angels company in the Sabathia sweepstakes. Apparently, the team still believes that nobody will top their offer. The idea that these teams don’t have the money to top the Yankees is absurd. All these owners in Major League Baseball are billionaires and they all have the money to buy these players. The one thing that they don’t have is the willingness to use it. The Yankees have had a history of spending the big bucks on top free agents, and they have been doing it for years now. People blame the Yankees for “buying players”, but really..all the organization wants to do is win. They will try to do the best they can to put a winning team on the field year after year. For the past 13 years they have been pretty damn good. I don’t think fans can complain.

     Will anyone top New York’s six-year, $140 million deal? Maybe or maybe not. The thing is..a team doesn’t necessarily need to top the offer. Some believe that the money isn’t Sabathia’s biggest concern, but he rather be in a different location then the East coast. I don’t know if these are just rumors, but if I was CC..I would take the money. I’m not just saying that because I’m a Yankee fan. If he wants to win, get a lot of money, and play for the best franchise in all of sports..then he’ll come to the Big Apple.
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The LoHud Yankees Blog ranks the Yankees Organization

and I just wanted to share this video:

Saturday Night Live Skit: Derek Jeters’ Taco Hole

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     Lebron is at it again. The Cleveland Cavaliers recently came into town and beat up on the Knicks. Before taking the court, he was questioned by the media and answered Yankee related questions. Honestly, I never would have thought he was so knowledgeable about the Yankees. I thought he was just one of those fans who showed up at the games. It’s nice to hear that he cares. haha. Just imagining both Lebron and CC in NY in 2010..it just sounds amazing.

from the LoHud Yankees Blog:

Noted Yankees fan and savior of the NBA LeBron James was in New York on Tuesday and talked to the media masses before destroying the Knicks. Sam Borden of The Journal News was on hand and filed this report:

On the idea of his friend CC Sabathia signing with the Yankees, LeBron said they had not discussed it yet. “It will be good for him, it would be good for the team,” he said. “The Yankees definitely need pitching, especially with Mike Mussina retiring. They need to bulk up their pitching rotation. … I know my stuff about the Yankees – they need some pitching, because they have all the offense in the world, and that can help.”

James was also asked why he thinks fans like Jeter more than A-Rod. Interestingly, he didn’t even mention A-Rod at all in his answer, praising only Jeter instead.

“I’m a big fan of Derek Jeter and I like the way he approaches the game every night. It’s not about numbers all the time, sometimes it’s about what you do off the field in his case. He’s been the leader of that team ever since he put on the pinstripes. You could always count on him to be there on and off the field, through rough times, through good times. He’s kind of been that backbone for the last 10 years I guess.” James said.

LeBron sounds like he knows his stuff. Jeter needs to make a call to make sure he helps recruit Sabathia.

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     I don’t expect much to happen today, as most people (even MLB players) are spending time with their family. If anything breaks..I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, enjoy some turkey and the football games. All CC needs now is a big Thanksgiving dinner to decide whether he wants to be a Yankee or not. haha

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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Interesting. What if the Yankees flop on the other free agent pitchers..this could start some trouble.

from rotoworld.com:

Andy Pettitte has spoken multiple times with his former manager, Joe Torre, about joining the Dodgers, sources told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. It was supposed to be Yankees or retirement for Pettitte, but now it seems like he wants to pitch and he’s simply not among the Bombers’ top priorities. That could put either the Dodgers or Astros into the mix.

Mel Stottlemyre done as Mariners pitching coach

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Mel Stottlemyre will not return to the Seattle Mariners as pitching coach next season.

The Seattle Times on Monday reported that Stottlemyre said new Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu informed him over the weekend that the club would bring in a new pitching coach.

Wakamatsu, former bench coach for Oakland, was named Seattle’s manager last Wednesday.

Stottlemyre just completed his first season as Mariners pitching coach. He had also been the pitching coach of the Mets (1984-1993), Astros (1994-95) and Yankees (1996-2005).

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     Mike Mussina (5X All-Star, 7X Gold Glove Winner) never won 300 games, he never won a Cy Young, or even get that World Series ring he always wanted, but he had one heck of a career. He compiled 270 Wins, a 3.68 Career ERA, and 2813 Strikeouts through 18 years in the major leagues. He didn’t play in any division, but he pitched in the powerhouse of baseball. The strongest division in baseball is where he spent his 18 seasons. So many championships have come out of the AL East, and it has proved to be the best division in baseball over the past 20 years. He pitched against the Jays in ’92 & ’93, the Yankees golden years from ’96-2000, and most recently..those Red Sox. I don’t think it’s necessary for a pitcher to get 300 wins to make the HOF. It is a lock if you get it, but just because you don’t go for it…that shouldn’t keep you out. If I had a vote..I would vote him into the Hall of Fame.

Interesting fact: Last pitcher to retire after a 20 win season was Sandy Koufax.

Awards/Achievements

  • Seven-time Gold Glove award winner.
  • Seven-time Cy Young Award nominee, placing in the top five six times.
  • Two-time MVP award nominee, garnering 2 points in 1992 and 8 in 1994.
  • 1994 Baseball America First-Team American League All-Star starting pitcher.
  • 1999 Baseball America Second-Team American League All-Star starting pitcher.
  • Led AL in Won-Loss percentage (.783) in 1992
  • Led AL in Wins (19), Walks/9IP (2.03) and Shutouts (4) in 1995
  • Led AL in Games Started (36) in 1996
  • Led AL in Innings (237 ⅔) in 2000
  • Reached both the 2001 and 2003 World Series with the New York Yankees
  • Won 15 games in a season 11 times.
  • One 20 win season (2008), two 19 win seasons, three 18 win seasons, and two 17 win seasons.
  • Here is some data brought to you by the LoHud Yankees Blog & Was Watching:

    Let’s go over the facts….

    • Mike Mussina spent his entire careeer in the American League East.
    • He faced eight teams that won the World Series (Blue Jays 1992-93, Yankees ‘96, 1998-2000, Red Sox 2004, ‘07).

    This is how Mike performed against those championship teams:

    vs. 1992 Blue Jays: 3 GS, 1-1 W/L, 19.6 IP and an ERA of 4.58
    vs. 1993 Blue Jays: Never Faced The Jays That Season
    vs. 1996 Yankees: 3 GS, 0-3 W/L, 15.6 IP and an ERA of 6.32
    vs. 1998 Yankees: 2 GS, 0-1 W/L, 13.3 IP and an ERA of 4.72
    vs. 1999 Yankees: 3 GS, 2-0 W/L, 18.6 IP and an ERA of 0.96
    vs. 2000 Yankees: 1 GS, 1-0 W/L, 6.3 IP and an ERA of 1.42
    vs. 2004 Red Sox: 3 GS, 1-1 W/L, 18.0 IP and an ERA of 3.50
    vs. 2007 Red Sox: 2 GS, 0-1 W/L, 11.6 IP and an ERA of 9.26

    Mike’s Postseason Numbers:

    139.2IP  GS 21  (W-L) 7-9  3.42ERA  121H  53ER  33BB  145K

    and last but not least..his Career Numbers:

    3562.2IP  270W   153L  3460H  1559R   1458ER   785BB   2813SO  3.68ERA  1.19WHIP

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         Thanks to Sliding Into Home for providing me with these great photos. The photos were taken by Flickr members: Ron Greco & pro23nyc …..so thanks to them as well. Take a look:

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