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Posts Tagged ‘Yankees’

Derek Jeter dons the latest cover of Sports Illustrated. Say what you want…that this whole “Jeter Farewell Tour” is over the top…”it’s excessive”…blah blah blah. It’s for the fans. It’s not for the media and it’s not for everyone. I get it. Let us Yankees fans enjoy it.

Tom Verducci writes the cover story, “Jeter on Jeter”: The Exit Interview. Be sure to pick up a copy, or maybe 100.

derek_jeter_cover

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jetermantle

Growing up in Brooklyn in the 50’s and 60’s, my father grew up a Yankees fan. Every young Yankee fan grew up idolizing him. Bill Crystal once said, “Mickey Mantle just was everything.” After Joe DiMaggio left, Mantle became the main attraction in the Bronx. He was the guy that drew crowds into the stadium. Mickey was the player young kids waited for by the press gate to just get a glimpse of, or maybe even an autograph.

Mantle broke into the big leagues in 1951. I wouldn’t be born for another 40 years. When I was around 5 years-old, I recall Charlie Hayes closing his mitt down the 3rd base line and the Yankees winning the 1996 World Series. It was the beginning of “the last dynasty” and the “Jeter Era.” Being a 90’s kid, every boy dreamed of growing up to play shortstop for the Yankees. It was all about Derek.

From 1995 to the present, Derek has stood as a model of consistency on and off the field. Say what you want about him, but the numbers speak for themselves. I’m not here to say that Jeter was on Mantle’s talent level, because that would just be unfair. Mickey was the superior talent. It was in the way they represented the Yankees pinstripes that mattered. And during their respective eras, they were arguably the face of baseball and dominant talents at their respective positions. Mantle and Jeter are the guys who could do no wrong by New Yorkers. Inside the baseball diamond’s chalked lines, they stay baseball legends in the minds of fans.

As big of a Mantle fan as my father is, he always told me, “they’re not heroes, look up to your father.” And I guess you could say he’s right about that. But I also don’t think he looked at Mickey that way when he was a young kid. This was the same guy who stapled posters of Mickey onto his bedroom walls and stuck his baseball cards into his bicycle spokes. A lot of people are looking up to professional athletes as role models and they probably shouldn’t be. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong in admiring a ballplayer, as long as it’s for the right reasons.

There’s a certain innocence in watching a young child sit on the edge of his seat as he roots on his favorite player. He doesn’t have a care in the world. Because in the end, it’s not about how much money they’re making, who the star is dating or the trouble they might be getting into off the field. It’s about being entertained. I don’t really care how old I get, I think we all have a bit of that kid inside of us who just loves the game for what it is. A game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From CBS New York:

NEW YORK (WFAN) – So much has already been said about the Yankees this off-season. Apparently, not enough. Enter Hank Steinbrenner.

Steinbrenner gave his two cents to the New York Post about what the Bombers need to do in 2011.

“We will do what we have to do to win … We have the highest payroll and the reason is we are committed to our fans to win,” Steinbrenner told the Post. “We just have to —ing win.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made waves on Tuesday morning during his “Breakfast with a Champion” appearance with Mike Francesa. According to Cashman, Joba Chamberlain will not return to the starting rotation, instead the fiery reliever will remain in the bullpen.

“I’m really happy with our bullpen,” Steinbrenner said. “I think Chamberlain is going to come back and have a big year.”

There’s the Steinbrenner voice we all know and love. Hank is Back!

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Now that we’ve all gorged ourselves on turkey, the holiday season can officially be declared as begun. And since it has become an American tradition to burn off the 5800 calories we consumed yesterday (seriously, I read that’s the typical American’s consumption on Thanksgiving) by racing around shopping malls when we’d normally be sleeping, I thought I’d put together a shopping list for the Yankees.

  1. A muzzle for Hank, Hal, Brian and various player agents. Please, no more negotiating through the press. Keep your lips zipped and just sign the doggone contracts already.
  2. For Mariano Rivera, a legitimate 8th inning reliever. It would be nice to get through the season without the need for a two inning save.
  3. For Mark Teixeira, a baseball-resistant force field. I love the guy, but really. His two post-seasons thus far have been marred by freakish injuries.
  4. For Joba Chamberlain, a set role. And a few less cheeseburgers wouldn’t hurt, either.
  5. For Robbie Cano, the BBWAA to realize they miscounted the MVP votes and you actually won.
  6. For Alex, Jorge and Derek; a season’s supply of water from the Fountain of Youth.
  7. For Nick Swisher, to ignore all of those rumors about you being traded so the Yankees can sign Carl Crawford. You’ve earned your spot in right field.
  8. For Andy Pettitte, permission from your family to play one more season. C’mon, Mrs. Pettitte – we really want Andy to come out and play!
  9. For Joe Girardi, a new binder. Preferably one of those trick ones that won’t open unless you know the secret password.
  10. For AJ Burnett, a really good psychiatrist.
  11. For Jesus Montero, a copy of the Bronx Zoo. I suggest you read it carefully,  since it looks like your going to be here for a good long while.
  12. For Brett Gardner, see #7 above.
  13. For Curtis Granderson, see #12 above.
  14. For Cliff Lee, a new pinstriped jersey. Oh, and the $150 million or so that comes with it.
  15. For Yankee Fans, #28 in 2011!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

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During and after yet another playoff victory for the Yankees over the Twins, the main story line for TBS and ESPN wasn’t Andy Pettitte’s terrific pitching performance or Berkman and Granderson’s offensive production…no, instead it was the strike called ball to Berkman in the 7th inning before his go-ahead double. What TBS and most other media outlets failed to report is during that at bat, the first pitch called a strike was actually a ball and for most of the night Pavano benefited from a very friendly strike zone. Below is the strike zone from tonight’s game (via Brooksbaseball.net):

 

Hunter Wendelstedt had a bad night

 

(Each pitch is represented by a single dot. Green dots are balls and red dots are strikes. Pitches marked as belonging to a particular team (for example “min” or “nya”) are designated with different shapes. These teams represent the pitching team, not the batting team. So, a pitch marked “nya-Called Strike” was thrown by a Yankees pitcher)

  • Twins pitchers had 14 balls called strikes
  • Yankee pitchers had 2 balls called strikes
  • Twins pitchers had 6 strikes called balls
  • Yankees pitchers had 5 strikes called balls

So while the media won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story, its clear the Yankees and not the Twins got the short-end of the strike zone stick last night.

Follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

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Alex Rodriguez hitting 1 of his 600 homeruns

Alex Rodriguez, 600th HR yesterday afternoon elicited the usual reaction from baseball scribes. You know who I’m talking about, the Ian O’Connor’s and Bob Klapisch’s, of the world amongst a cast of thousands who inevitably write, “ARod cheated the game”. “He doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame”, “He really only has 444 “clean” HRs (Pete Abraham on Twitter yesterday), etc…. However, what these moralistic writers won’t tell you is that they turned a blind eye to PED use as they applauded and extolled the virtues of McGwire, Sosa, ARod and Bonds. Publicly, writers have been aware of PEDs since October 1988, when Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wrote the following about Jose Canseco, “the most conspicuous example of a player who has made himself great with steroids”. Did this create a huge media firestorm, as previously seen with ARod? Nope. How about after the strike of 1994?

In July ’95 Bob Nightengale’s story included a quote from then Padres GM Randy Smith saying, “we all know there’s steroid use, and it is definitely becoming more prevalent.” In that same article Nightengale quotes Tony Gwynn stating: “It’s like the big secret we’re not supposed to talk about”. Where was the media outrage back then? Where were all the holier than thou baseball columnists spewing and hand wringing for drug testing?! What were all the hard-hitting investigative reporters doing besides sticking their collective heads in the sand? That’s right…nothing.

The media now want us to believe they are outraged, that they are the moral police in place to ensure the game is “clean” and that the “truth be set free”. But they don’t really want that. They knew all along players were getting bigger, faster, were hitting the ball farther, throwing it harder, but looked the other way for 15+ years. Hypocrisy reigns supreme. They will keep HOF worthy players out of the Hall because they “cheated” the game. But didn’t the same writers cheat the game they cover and make a living from by not reporting what they knew and saw was happening? Remember, in August of 1998 when McGwire and Sosa were locked in their chase for 62 and androstenedione was discovered in McGwire’s locker? The media quickly dismissed it as a nutritional supplement as they waived their pom-poms and watched the TV ratings and revenues roll in.

So next time the media laments how “sad” they are or how “bad” this is for the game and “the kids”…remember they played as big a part as anyone in creating the situation they now condemn. When the first baseball columnist comes “clean” telling us how he/she cheated the fans and the game by concealing what they saw everyday in the clubhouse, I’ll be all ears. Until then excuse me as I attempt to block out all the white noise from the media that similar to Clemens in front of Congress “misremembers” what they know about PED usage.

Follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

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The Yankees are now home after completing a tour of the NL West. Well, a half-tour, anyway – and considering the way the games against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers went, I don’t think anyone in the Bronx is exactly sorry to have missed out on seeing the Giants and Padres. So, what did we learn about the Bombers this past week?

  1. Even when this team plays like crap, they’re still better than most. The series finales against Arizona and LA were hardly well-played, crisp games. Despite Andy Pettitte uncharacteristically trying to literally throw a game away against the Dodgers, the team rebounded with four runs in the 9th and two more in the 10th to win. And after Dontrelle Willis and Javier Vazquez proceeded to try and walk everyone in the ballpark (including the hot-dog vendor in section 235); after both teams managed to run themselves out of big inning after big inning; the Yanks won a game that set baseball back to the Snuffy Stirnweiss era.
  2. Dave Eiland may be more important than anyone realized. While the rest of the pitching staff has rolled on during his leave of absence, AJ Burnett’s implosion worsened on this trip. He managed to pitch to a 16.71 ERA in two starts. The rest of the numbers aren’t any better (unless you’re masochistic enough to think a 1.432 OPSa is great). Most alarming is that as a strike-out pitcher, AJ only managed 13 total swings-and-misses over 7 innings. That’s less than two per inning. AJ simply cannot succeed if bats are finding his pitches. If Eiland’s imminent return doesn’t cure AJ it will be time for the Yankees to forget looking to the Marlins for pitching help. After Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano before, it may just be that the chemicals in Miami’s water cause combustion when mixed with NYC water.
  3. Forget Cliff Lee and David DeJesus. The Yankees are neither desperate nor even looking for starting pitching or outfield depth. The emergence of stable play from farmhands Chad Huffman and Colin Curtis have given the Yanks solid OF options (which may be needed more than ever, depending on Brett Gardner’s health). And despite AJ Burnett’s problems (see above), I doubt he’ll continue to pitch this poorly. Infield depth, though, is another matter. I like Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo, but they’ve proven their bats are not big-league ready. There are available infielders out there – Ty Wiggington, Jeff Keppinger, Garrett Atkins and Johnny Peralta, just to name a few. Will the Yankees get one? Time will tell, but it’s hard to imagine this team rolling into August without a veteran manning the reserve IF spot.

Finally, what are the Yanks to do with Chan-Ho Park? In two appearances, Chan Oh-No proved to be more arsonist than fireman. It’s hard to imagine the team cutting bait on this guy. Brian Cashman hates admitting mistakes and after having to DFA Randy Winn earlier this year, dumping Park would be another admittance of failure. But at this point, even Joe Girardi has expressed reservations about using him in anything other than a mop-up role. My bet is once either Alfredo Aceves or Sergio Mitre comes off the DL, Park should pack his bags in anticipation of a one-way ticket out of New York.

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After yesterday’s home run themed post, let’s continue with this theme today and compare those Yankee pitchers who serve up meatballs (ie No Doubters) and the hitters on the Yankees that have hit the most last season. You can click the previous link to find out the Hit Tracker’s definition of a No Doubter.

Yankees Hitters:

Name Amount
Mark Teixeira 16
Melky Cabrera 8
Hideki Matsui 7
Jorge Posada 6
Johnny Damon 6

Pitchers:

Name Amount
Andy Pettitte 6
AJ Burnett 5
Sergio Mitre 3
Chien-Ming Wang 3
Joba Chamberlain 3

The most ‘No Doubters’ given up were 10 this year was by James Shields, would have thought Joba would have been higher than just the measly 3 he gave up, oh well. I was also a little surprised that the dearly departed Melky had 8 No Doubters.

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