Posts Tagged ‘Don Mattingly’

Brian Cashman recently told Mike Lupica on ESPN Radio that “the captaincy should be retired with number two.”

No more captains for the Yankees? Please. I love Derek Jeter as much as the next guy, but enough is enough. Yes, that’s right…I said it. Derek Jeter is a mortal being…just like Lou Gehrig and Thurman Munson before him. There’s nothing that make Derek any more special or deserving than those two, so I don’t see why the New York Yankees shouldn’t have another captain.

Keith Olbermann has called Cashman’s comments  as the “dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

After Lou Gehrig passed away from ALS (now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Yankees manager Joe McCarthy stated that the club would never have another Yankees captain. Years went by and the organization didn’t have a captain. In 1976 that changed, as George Steinbrenner appointed Thurman Munson to be captain. Just three years later (1979), Thurman died in a tragic plane crash, leaving the Yankees captainless. Nettles, Randolph, Guidry, and Mattingly followed him. What I’m trying to say here is…nobody is bigger than the interlocking NY on their chest.

George Steinbrenner once said:

“I have always been very, very careful about giving such a responsibility (Captain of the New York Yankees) to one of my players, but I can not think of a single player that I have ever had who is more deserving of this honor than Derek Jeter. He is a young man of great character and has shown great leadership qualities. He believes, as I do, what General (Douglas) MacArthur said, that ‘there is no substitute for victory.’ To him, and to me, it’s second only to breathing.”

I don’t believe they need to appoint a new captain right away, but when the right person comes along I don’t see anything wrong with giving that rank to a deserving player. I think you can safely bet that the Yankees will find somebody to be named captain in future years. And if you like to bet like me, you should check out: www.SportsBettingInfo.comLife goes on, and so do the Yankees.


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Don Mattingly

Photo Courtesy of Al Bello/Getty Images

Yankees (38-31) vs. Dodgers (29-39)

Pitching Matchup:

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.78) vs LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.85)

Yankees Lineup

Gardner CF
Nix SS
Cano 2B
Wells LF
Neal DH
Suzuki RF
Adams 3B
Overbay 1B
Stewart C

Game Information:

The game will take place at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. It is scheduled to start at 1:05PM ET. The game will be televised on the YES and MLB Network. The game can be heard on the radio on WCBS 880.

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ESPN New York released their “50 Greatest Yankees” list the other day. I can’t really argue too much with their list, although I probably would have swapped Thurman Munson (#12) and Bill Dickey (#10). Yes, I know Dickey is in the Hall of Fame and Munson isn’t. But it was Munson’s leadership, as much as anything else that returned the Yankees to their winning ways in the ’70s. And who knows what kind of numbers he would have put up if not for the plane crash?

Anyway, here’s their list. I’ve added in the dates they played for the Yanks, along with their position. An asterisk denotes a playing career interrupted by a military commitment; # denotes a Hall-of-Famer. Current players are in red type. Feel free to let us know how you feel about the list!

50. Mike Mussina (RHP, 2001-2008)

49. Bob Meusel (LF, 1920-1930)

48. Albert “Sparky” Lyle (LHP, 1972-1978)

47. Gil McDougald (IF, 1951-1960)

46. Jim “Catfish” Hunter (RHP, 1974-1978)#

45. David Cone (RHP, 1995-2000)

44. Roy White (LF, 1965-1979)

43. Hank Bauer (RF, 1948-1959)

42. Jack Chesbro (RHP, 1903-1909)#

41. Eddie Lopat (RHP, 1948-1955)

40. Rickey Henderson (1985-1989)#

39. Vic Raschi (RHP, 1946-1953)

38. Joe Gordon (2B, 1938-1946)*#

37. Tommy Henrich (RF, 1937-1950)*

36. Charlie “King Kong” Keller (LF, 1939-1949)*

35. Bobby Murcer (CF, 1969-1974, 1979-1983)

34. Spurgeon “Spud” Chandler (RHP, 1937-1947)

33. Willie Randolph (2B, 1976-1988)

32. Waite Hoyt (RHP, 1921-1929)#

31. Mel Stottlemyre (RHP, 1964-1974)

30. Paul O’Neill (RF, 1993-2001)

29. Graig Nettles (3B, 1973-1983)

28. Dave Winfield (OF, 1981-1990)#

27. Herb Pennock (LHP, 1923-1933)#

26. Allie “Superchief” Reynolds (RHP, 1947-1954)

25. Rich “Goose” Gossage (RHP, 1978-1983, 1989)#

24. Elston Howard (C, 1955-1967)

23. Earle Combs (CF, 1924-1935)#

22. Roger Maris (RF, 1960-1966)

21. Jorge Posada (C, 1995-present)

20. Phil Rizzuto (SS, 1941-1956)*#

19. Bernie Williams (CF, 1991-2006)

18. “Poosh ‘Em Up” Tony Lazzeri (2B, 1926-1937)#

17. Ron “Gator” Guidry (LHP, 1975-1988)

16. Andy Pettitte (LHP, 1995-2003, 2007-2010)

15. Reggie Jackson (RF, 1977-1981)#

14. Vernon “Lefty” Gomez (LHP, 1930-1942)#

13. Alex Rodriguez (3B, 2004-present)

12. Thurman Muson (C, 1969-1979)

11. Don Mattingly (1B, 1982-1995)

10. Bill Dickey (C, 1928-1946)#

9. Charles “Red” Ruffing (RHP, 1930-1942)#

8. Edward “Whitey” Ford (LHP, 1953-1967)*#

7. Derek Jeter (SS, 1995-present)

6. Lawrence “Yogi” Berra (C, 1946-1963)#

5. Mariano Rivera (RHP, 1995-present)

4. Mickey Mantle (CF, 1950-1968)#

3. “Joltin” Joe DiMaggio (CF, 1936-1951)*#

2. Lou “Iron Horse” Gehrig (1B, 1923-1939)#

1. George “Babe” Ruth (RF, 1920-1934)#

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From the LoHud Yankees Blog:

“Just a reminder, the Yankees will hold a special ceremony to dedicate and unveil a monument in honor of George Steinbrenner in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park prior to tonight’s game against the Rays.

The Yankees are asking fans to arrive early and be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. Monument Park will be closed to fans prior to the game. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at approximately 7 p.m. with a special introduction behind home plate, followed by the unveiling of Mr. Steinbrenner’s monument in Monument Park.

Mr. Steinbrenner’s granddaughter Haley Swindal, who is currently performing in the musical Cabaret at the Surflight Theater in Beach Haven, N.J., will sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch in tribute to her grandfather. Frank Sinatra, Jr., will sing the national anthem prior to the game, while the colors will be presented by the West Point Color Guard.

Mr. Steinbrenner’s wife, Joan, and all four of the couple’s children – Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica – are scheduled to be in attendance.”

First pitch was even moved to 7:35PMET:

“The Yankees have announced the full schedule for tonight’s pregame ceremony.

Everything will begin at 7:05, pushing first pitch back to 7:35. There will be a video tribute, the family will got to monument park and the monument itself will be unveiled at 7:20.

I’m guessing the whole thing will be on the YES Network.”

Welcome Back, Joe Torre and Donnie Baseball

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The Dodgers have the day off on Monday, which will allow both of them to attend. I didn’t see this coming. This is great news.

From the NY Daily News:

So big is the Yankees’ commemoration of a monument to George Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium Monday night that Joe Torre and Don Mattingly are going to end their estrangement with the team to attend the ceremonies.

The Daily News has learned that Yankee brass extended an invitation to both Torre, the former Yankee manager who won four World Championships with the team before leaving under acrimonious circumstances after the 2007 season, and Mattingly, who joined Torre as batting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being passed over as Yankee manager for Joe Girardi that same year, agreed to attend.

Torre announced on Friday that he will be stepping down as skipper of the Dodgers at season’s end and Mattingly will be his replacement.

It will mark the first time since either Torre or Mattingly left the Yankees that they have been at Yankee Stadium, the old or the new.

Ceremonies in which Steinbrenner will join Yankee immortals Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins with a monument in Monument Park, will bring together many of the Yankee living greats, including Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, David Cone, David Wells, Greg Nettles, Goose Gossage, and Roy White.

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With Lou Piniella’s retirement from baseball this past Sunday, the Chicago Cubs have an opening at manager for the 2011 season. They’re rumored to favor hiring Joe Girardi as the new man for the north side of Chicago. While I think Girardi would be crazy to want that job over a return to the Yankees, I strongly suspect he will. After all, Joe grew up in Chicagoland, went to Northwestern and had two stints as a player with the Cubbies. He knows he’d be venerated for generations if he happened to guide them to their first World Championship in over 100 years.

So, let’s play the game and assume that Girardi is gone after this season. Who should be the next manager for the Yankees? There’s an intriguing list of possibilities. Here are five to ponder:

  1. Willie Randolph: Randolph certainly has a Yankee pedigree. The former captain also served as base coach and bench coach under Joe Torre. All told, Willie owns 6 World Series rings – more than anyone alive, except Yogi Berra. He certainly understands what it takes to win in New York and he understands the type of scrutiny a Yankees manager is under. But he did preside over one of the greatest collapses in major league history (ok, it was the Mets) and hasn’t landed a ML managing job since. Still, he is my number one choice to run the club next year.
  2. Don Mattingly: “Donnie Baseball” has much the same pedigree as Randolph, although not quite as many championship rings. Few players are more beloved in the Bronx, despite the fact that Mattingly’s teams in the 80’s never quite made it to the playoffs. But he’s never managed – at any level – and he might still be bitter after getting yanked around by the Yankee brass before they settled on Girardi.
  3. Joe Torre: I think I just heard a collective gasp go up in the crowd. If George were still running the show, this might be more of a possibility. (Heck, we might be talking about Joe III or Joe IV by this point). There can’t be much doubt that Torre knows how to do the job and I doubt the payday he’ll command this off-season would deter the Yanks. At the same time, bringing him back would be tantamount to the front office admitting they made a mistake in letting him go 3 years ago. And Torre still harbors A LOT of dislike for Brian Cashman.
  4. Dave Miley: Miley is the manager at AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre (I know you were wondering). Although he seems like a long shot – Buck Showalter was the last MiLB manager the Yankees hired, 20 years ago – with the impending youth movement in the Bronx, he might be a good fit. Next year’s roster is likely to have a slew of “Baby Bombers”, perhaps as many as 7 or 8 players with less than 3 years of major league experience. And he has demonstrated the ability to win in the minors, despite constant roster uncertainty, with a career 1991 – 1092 record at AAA. Miley also has three seasons of ML experience, with a really atrocious Reds team in the early 2000’s.
  5. Bobby Valentine: Valentine brings two things the Yankees traditionally crave in a manager – name recognition and a proven ability to win. You also have to think Valentine’s ego would love a shot at managing the Yankees. The biggest obstacle I see to making this work is that ego: Valentine is a control freak. I don’t see Cashman or anyone else in the front office ceding any control over player decisions to him.

Well, there are five names to mull over. There are no shortage of managerial candidates this offseason and I’m sure we’ll hear plenty more before next April. Who do you think should be at the helm next season – Girardi, one of the 5 mentioned here, or someone else?

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Since Buck Showalter has taken over the Baltimore Orioles, they have gone 9-2 over their last 11 games. Before this stretch of games, they owned the worst record in all of baseballl. One has to wonder what changed their luck? I have a feeling George Costanza was involved in this. We all know how things turned out for George while he was working for the Yankees, being traded for Tyler Chicken and all. Back in 1994, Don Mattingly split his pants taking the field, but it looks like George got it right this time around. 

GEORGE: Listen, Buck, I uh…obviously I don’t need to talk to you about the importance of player morale, but uh…I’ve been talking to some of the guys, and some of them – I don’t want to mention any names – but some of them…they’re not too happy with the polyester uniforms.


GEORGE: Well, they get very hot in the polyester. You know, it’s not a natural fibre. I think they would prefer cotton.

SHOWALTER: Cotton, huh?

GEORGE: Yeah. Cotton breathes, you see, it’s much softer. Imagine playing games and your team is five degrees cooler than the other team. Don’t you think that would be an advantage? They’re cooler, they’re more comfortable…they’re happier – they’re gonna play better.

SHOWALTER: You may have something there, George.

GEORGE: Oh – I’ve got something.

SHOWALTER (considering): Hmm. Cotton uniforms.

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Don Mattingly was one of the most dominant offensive players in the game from 1984-1987. Don also had no problems flashing the leather at first base, collecting nine Gold Glove awards during his career. He was a perennial all-star, an MVP caliber player year after year, he reached the postseason only once (1995), and never won a championship. I was way too young to appreciate what he was doing on the ball field, but from what I’ve heard, he was one heck of a ballplayer.

Many people always wonder what exactly happened to Mattingly, and why there was such a huge drop-off in production. Here’s the back story:

In 1987, Donnie injured two disks in the lower left side of his back. Nothing was really said about what actually happened to those disks. It was rumored that Mattingly got hurt while horsing around in the clubhouse. His teammate, Bob Shirley, was connected with this rumor, and it was said that they “wrestled playfully” in the clubhouse. Both denied the report. Mattingly was placed on the 15-day disabled list , and still wound up with great numbers when the season was all said and done (.327 AVG, 30 HR, and 115 RBIs).


1984 91 207 23 110 .343 .381 .537 .918
1985 107 211 35 145 .324 .371 .567 .939
1986 117 238 31 113 .352 .394 .573 .967
1987 93 186 30 115 .327 .378 .559 .937
1988 94 186 18 88 .311 .353 .462 .816
1989 79 191 23 113 .303 .351 .477 .828
1990 40 101 5 42 .256 .308 .335 .643
1991 64 169 9 68 .288 .339 .394 .733
1992 89 184 14 86 .288 .327 .416 .742
1993 78 154 17 86 .291 .364 .445 .809
1994 62 113 6 51 .304 .397 .411 .808
1995 59 132 7 49 .288 .341 .413 .754
14 Seasons 1007 2153 222 1099 .307 .358 .471 .830
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2010.
Mattingly had a history of back problems before this incident occurrred. He hurt his back during his high school days, and during spring training in 1985. After the 1989 season, Don was never the same player again. His back problems continued to flare up, curtailing his statistics, and it eventually led to him hanging up his cleats. He was only 34 years old when he retired. Who knows what would have happened if he were healthy. The following year, the New York Yankees were on top of the baseball world, winning their first World Series championship after a drought of 17 years. He spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, a team known for winning, and he never made it to the Fall Classic.
When you break down the numbers, he only had about 5 “great” seasons. He may not be worthy of being enshrined in Cooperstown, but he’ll always be considered a great player and a fan favorite by the Yankee faithful.


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Last year, it was the “The Year of the Walk-Off.” This year, it’s the “Year of the Grand Slam.” The Yankees have hit nine grand slams this season, which is only one shy of the club record set in 1987. Mattingly actually hit six of those grand slam’s in ’87 (Fun Fact: Don never hit a grand slam before or after 1987). With 74 games left to play, I’m sure the team will shatter that record.

May 14th: Alex Rodriguez vs. Matt Guerrier (MIN)

May 28th: Robinson Cano vs. Tony Sipp (CLE)

May 31st: Alex Rodriguez vs. Chris Perez (CLE)

June 8th: Curtis Granderson vs. Kevin Millwood (BAL

June 12th: Jorge Posada vs. Wandy Rodriguez (HOU)

June 13th: Jorge Posada vs. Casey Daigle (HOU)

June 20th: Mark Teixeira vs. Johan Santana (NYM)

July 3rd: Brett Gardner vs Brandon Morrow (SEA)

July 6th: Alex Rodriguez vs Trevor Cahill (OAK)


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The Yankees have been a part of my family since I can remember. I attended my first game in 1970, for my 5th birthday, at the original Yankee stadium. They weren’t very good then and they lost the game, but I do remember Bobby Murcer hitting a drive that hit the monuments and bounced straight back to the center fielder. Murcer was thrown at third. Such was the Yankees fate in those days.

In 1988, I introduced my niece to the Yankees. She was 3 at the time and once again, the team was pretty bad. Oh, they sort of hit – but the pitching staff was terrible. Billy Martin started Rick Rhoden (the pitcher) at DH that day. But somehow, they won that game on a Claudell Washington walk-off single. Afterwards, the real reason I was able to convince my sister to attend the game: a Beach Boys concert. (John Stamos was in the back-up band at the time and she was a huge Stamos fan back then).

So, before getting yourself worked up about Mark Teixeira’s average or Chan Ho Park’s ERA, think back to the first Yankee team you fell in love with. Unless you were born after 1995, odds are that first team was pretty bad. Maybe your first hero was Donnie Baseball or Dave Winfield. Perhaps, like me, you wore a Fred Stanley jersey with pride (and incessant ribbing from your friends and Little League teammates). Yes, the team has room for improvement. But at 50-31, this isn’t the 1988 or 1970 Yankees.

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The scene at Dodger Stadium earlier today… (Photos Courtesy of Getty Images and Reuters)

  Mariano Rivera #42 Of The New York Yankees Greets

  Manager Joe Girardi Of The New York Yankees Hugs

  Manager Joe Girardi Of The New York Yankees Greets



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Going into the 2001 offseason, most people could see the writing on the wall. Tino Martinez, a Yankee fan favorite was on his way out and Jason Giambi, the type of player George Steinbrenner loved, was on his way in. While there was really nothing that could be done from Tino’s perspective to stop this deal, it wouldn’t be the last time the Yankee fans would cheer for him. It didn’t take more than a month after the World Series for the Yankees to land their number one target as Jason signed on December 13th for 7 years and $120 million.

Coming into 2002, the expectations for Giambi were high as he had won the MVP in 2000 and was runner up in 2001. His first year as a Yankee, he did not disappoint. He hit .314 with 41 longballs and 122 RBI’s while piling up 109 free passes. Giambi also won the AL Homerun Derby, the first since Tino Martinez did in 1997. This year would be his best year as a Yankee as he would not hit over .300 again during his tenure in pinstripes and he hit over 40 homeruns one other time (2003).

In 2003, his average dropped suddenly to .250. However, he still hit 41 homeruns with 107 RBI’s and drew 129 walks. This year would be the last year he would play in 150+ games as a Yankee due to various ailments.

Due to a begnin tumor, Jason only played 80 games in 2004 for the Yankees as he missed half of July and September and all of August. During his brief time playing, he hit .208 and 12 homeruns. In late 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle leaked information regarding Giambi’s steroid use in connection to the BALCO scandal that was sweeping up the sports world.

Prior to 2005, Giambi vaguely apologized for using steroids, but he never specifically said anything about performance enhancing drugs. Regardless, in 2005, Jason won the AL Comeback Player of the Year award as he hit .271, swatted 32 homeruns, 87 RBI’s and led the league in walks with 109. In July of this year, he hit 14 homeruns which tied him with Mickey Mantle for most in a month by a Yankee. (more…)

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