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Posts Tagged ‘Wallace Matthews’

Luis Castillo, the Yankees batboy from 1998-2005 has come out with a new memoir entitled “Clubhouse Confidential.” He shares some secrets and some of his favorite memories while holding the position. Here’s just a peak at what it’s all about:

It was before Game 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, a game  that we would lose. The series was tied 3-3 at that point, and it was  particularly disheartening since we had won the first three games. Unknown to  us, Boston’s comeback was not to be stopped.

At any rate, at the end of the meeting it was traditional for Joe Torre to  ask Jorge Posada what we were going to do. He would reply, “Grind it!” This time  — I guess to make Hideki Matsui feel more part of the team — Torre turned to him at the end of the  meeting.

“What are we going to do?”Hideki paused for just a second before replying. “Kick ass. Pop champagne. And get some ho’s.”

Yankee fans are on the rise in Queens. “Transit direction website HopStop.com sifted through its database of searches to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field since opening day and found that the city leans heavily toward the pinstripes. In fact, more than 68% of travelers who used HopStop were headed to the Stadium in the Bronx, based on more than 100,000 queries.”

Yanks need a starter for Tuesday  Since Phil Hughes entered tonight’s game in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Yankees will need to decide on who to start Tuesday’s game. According to Wallace Matthews, “A. J. Burnett will probably replace Hughes on Tuesday, and either Bartolo Colon or Ivan Nova would go on Wednesday.”

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I recently had a canvas commissioned at Easy Canvas Prints of my late grandparents. The quality of their work is exceptional, and it seriously blew me away when I first opened up the package. Their customer service was terrific and was delivered in a timely fashion. So, if you have any interest in getting a canvas done of a iconic sports moment, a family photo, or quote..you now know where to go. (more…)

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Bryan Hoch reports that the Yankees have signed Larry Rothschild as their new pitching coach, replacing the summarily dumped Dave Eiland. ESPN’s Wallace Matthews reports Rothschild has a three year deal, worth $2 million.

I’m  not certain this represents a significant upgrade. The move admittedly has me scratching my head, especially in light of some better options (like Scott Aldred and Leo Mazzone) still available.

Quick recap of Rothschild’s career: he pitched a very ugly 7 games over parts of two season with the Tigers in the early 1908’s (career WHIP: 1.9; career K/9: 1.1), after being a rule 5 draft pick . He surfaced in 1990 as the Red’s bullpen coach, being promoted to pitching coach for Cincinnati for 1992 and 93. He then worked as a minor league instructor for the Braves before resurfacing as the Marlins pitching coach from 1995 -97. He served from 1998 – 2001 as the first manager in Tampa Bay’s history and has been the Cubs pitching coach since 2002.

My concern is that the Yankees signed a guy with a big name in baseball circles, but not necessarily one that fits the Yankee pitching staff well. Rothschild is known for stressing strikeouts from his pitchers – not necessarily a great idea when your staff has AJ Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and David Robertson, all pitchers known for getting in trouble while nibbling for K’s when a ground ball would do just fine. And despite all of those strikeouts his teams have captured over the years, they really haven’t shone when the pressure was on or been great at keeping runners off base. Consider the 2003 Cubs: despite setting a NL record with over 1400 strikeouts, the staff WHIP was 1.3; relatively pedestrian. The Cubs had a staff ERA of 5.71 during that postseason. Let’s also not forget that Rothschild is a pitching coach noted for blowing out pitchers arms: Jose Rijo, Rob DibbleMark Prior and Kerry Wood all suffered career-altering arm troubles on Rothschild’s watch.

For now, I’ll withhold final judgement until I see how this pans out. If he can get AJ and Joba straightened out without ruining the rest of the staff, then Rothschild was the right hire. But right now I think this move is dicey.

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Item 1: Derek Jeter will be a Yankee in 2011 and get paid like the Derek Jeter of 2000, not 2010. At least that’s the scuttlebutt coming from Wallace Matthews of ESPN. The good news is that no other teams have even bothered contacting Casey Close, Jeter’s agent. Nor do they have any plans on doing so, since they would rather pay Jeter on a Marco Scutaro type contract, not a Derek Jeter type contract. (On an aside,why does every sportswriter want to compare Jeter to Scutaro? If Jeter isn’t offended by that comparison, then he’s made of sterner stuff than I imagined).  Even though Hal Steinbrenner sounded a note of hardball negotiations last week, Matthews’ sources think it’s more bluster than anything else. As he wrote,

“…although the Yankees appear to hold most of the leverage in this one, both sources agreed they are unlikely to wield very much of it.”

The even better news is that it dashes Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle’s hopes of putting Jeter into a Giants uniform.

Item 2: Baseball’s latest arms war, better known as the Cliff Lee bidding war, has begun. As expected, Brian Cashman was on the phone with Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, first thing Sunday morning. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), the general managers for several other teams were also burning up Braunecker’s minutes on Sunday. Those teams are reputed to be the Rangers and Phillies – and then several long-shot candidates, including the Nationals, Brewers and Cubs. Given the financial situations of those last three teams and the fact that Lee is expected to get a contract somewhere north of 6 years/$125M, I doubt you can consider them serious contenders. That leaves the Yanks, Phillies and Rangers battling it out. Regardless, Braunecker has been busy telling everyone and anyone not to expect anything soon:

“Historically, these deals take some time,” Braunecker told the Daily News in a telephone interview Monday. “When you look at the calendar and we’re already into the second week of November; we don’t handicap the timing of this stuff, but we don’t anticipate this happening too quickly.”

The Rangers desperately need Lee back, since without him they don’t make it to the World Series last year. Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg has made no secret that he has every intention of bidding high. Ruben Amaro of the Phillies has to be kicking himself (and is being kicked bythe Philly press) for trading Lee away last off-season for what was basically nothing. And the Yankees really don’t have a plan B for 2011 without Lee. There aren’t really any internal options now, although one of the “Killer Bs” (Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, and Manny Banuelos) may be ready for a late-season call up. This dovetails neatly into…

Item 3: Has anyone heard from Andy Pettitte? Not really – and the Yankees aren’t figuring to hear from Andy before Thanksgiving. Although I love Andy for what he’s done in the past and think he can still be an extremely effective pitcher in 2011, he is beginning to remind me of Brett Favre. As much as the Yankees would love to have Cliff Lee in pinstripes, if neither he nor Pettitte are around in 2011, the Yankees rotation looks to be paper thin. Pettitte is the key, since regardless of what happens with Lee, if he decides not to come back then the team is stuck with Ivan Nova or a journeyman (quick: how fast can you say Dustin Moseley?) in the 5 spot. Neither can be particularly enticing. Although I can say that possibility would give Joe Girardi’s binder a heck of a workout.

Item 4: And finally, speaking of giving the Girardi Binder a workout, the pages would be burned out by May if Mariano Rivera doesn’t wear pinstripes in 2011. Fortunately, nobody really expects that to happen. But it does appear that Rivera’s contract has taken a back seat to those of Jeter and Pettitte, which has to give Yankee fans everywhere at least momentary heart palpitations.

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