Sep
02

Game 138: Building a team around pitching

By

It’s simply not something we Yankees fans are used to. The Tampa Bay Rays, since the return of Scott Kazmir on May 4, have used the same five guys to start every single game. James Shields, Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson, Matt Garza, and Kazmir. They’ve only used seven starters all season. The Yankees have used 11 starters, 12 if you count the game Bruney started because of the potential rain delay.

Fun facts about the Rays starters. They’re all 26 or younger, the eldest statesman being James Shields. Save for Sonnanstine, they all have ERAs under 4.00. Each one of them is under team control through at least 2011, when Jackson becomes eligible for free agency. Kazmir has a 2012 team option, and Shields has one for ’12 and ’13. Sonnanstine and Garza didn’t even have a full year of service time heading into this year, though they could be Super Twos this winter — Garza almost certainly will be.

This, I think, is what the Yanks have been angling for. The difference, of course, is the sacrifice. The Rays have been terrible since entering the league. Prior to this season, their record for wins in a season was 70. That means lots of high draft picks, which they’ve used wisely. They didn’t have to take the signability or injury guy later in the first round. They were guaranteed premium talent. The Yankees are trying to do this without sacrificing the present. You have to admire that, though who knows if it will work.

So you can envy where the Rays are now. Kind of like you could envy where the Yankees were in 1995/1996. The difference is that the Rays lived with a decade of being the worst team in baseball. The Yankees had a few bad years in the 80s and early 90s, but only finished below .500 five times from 1982, the year after they had appeared in the World Series, through 1992, the last year to date they’ve finished below .500.

Your lineup:

1. Johnny Damon, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B (why does my spell checker continue to put a red line under “Rodriguez”?)
5. Jason Giambi, 1B
6. Xavier Nady, LF
7. HIdeki Matsui, DH
8. Robinson Cano, 2B
9. Jose Molina, C

And on the mound, going for his seventeenth victory, number thirty-five, Mike Mussina.

Notes: Caught this on the Star Ledger Yanks blog: The City of New York could lose out on $141 million if the Yanks fail to make the playoffs. C’mon, Bloomberg. Light a fire under this team’s ass.

Categories : Game Threads

435 Comments»

  1. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    …and a big part of the problem here, of course, is that the fanbase can barely handle being a few games over .500 and in third place.

    it took Tampa a lot of trial and error, with an awful lot of pitchers, to get there. this fanbase would never have that sort of pressure…

    ….of course, Tampa’s wouldn’t either, since they’ve been playing to empty stadiums most of the time.

    • Steve says:

      Its really sad. Some fans will have us turned into the present day NY Knicks or the 1980′s Yanks with their win-immediately attitude. Kennedy and Hughes have been DECLARED a failure by the likes of Kay, Joel Sherman and others. The youth movement is a failure, never mind that the ENTIRE bullpen has been rebuilt via the farm system, with more on the way.

      Its as if any pitcher who doesn’t succeed IMMEDIATELY “can’t pitch in NY”. We all know there’s a long list of good to great pitchers who didn’t succeed right away, its actually the exception to the rule that comes in and dominates like Joba did.

      And most free agents have their best years behind them and most trades you’re dealing with someone who knows their players better than you do. I’m not against making deals or signing FA’s, but they have to be relatively safe moves. I think Cash has a good track record in that area, actually, better than his FA signings.

  2. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    …i meant “this fanbase would never have that sort of patience…”

    sorry.

  3. D.B. says:

    yeah the rays have been lucky with injuries, i wish wang only missed a month and hughes, kennedy, and chamberlain never got hurt.

    • Ivan says:

      that’s somehwat unfair. Yes it was huge for them not to have any major injuries to the rotation but they have had injuries to Crawford and Longoria.

      Next season I don’t think they will be as good but they have a pretty team for years to come.

  4. Manimal says:

    If you use Firefox right click and add the word to the dictionary. No more red lines.

  5. BigBlueAL says:

    Im sorry, but I aint willing to put up with 5 years in a row of the worse record in baseball just to get 5 #1 or #2 overall picks in the draft in a row to try to become like the Rays. I would much rather have the money and payroll of the Yankees because even with all the obsession of prospects and draft picks that this website has the best and easiest way to put together a championship team is thru a combination of both obviously but much more via spending money via FA and trading for players from teams who cant afford them anymore….

    • Steve says:

      I don’t think we have to go that far, but we could live with some growing pains out of the #5 spot in the rotation and the back half of the bullpen.
      Remember Edwar and Veras were AWFUL last year, and they are now two of our main guys out of the pen. You have to live with an adjustment period if you want some payoff down the line.

      Remember, we tried to patch up the dynasty teams with free agents for years and we got progressively older and worse. We have to show some patience in order to put together another run, its the only way.

  6. Manimal says:

    UPDATE, 6:25 p.m.: Joe Girardi was asked about Sidney Ponson staying in the rotation. Here was his response:

    “Right now our rotation is what it is. We haven’t talked about any changes.

    “He’s done it before. Obviously he didn’t have the sink yesterday that he’s necessarily has had. We need to get that back. You go to work in the bullpen and see if you can straighten things out.”

    What about using Aceves or Hughes?

    “We’re talking about sending a rookie possibly out there who doesn’t have a lot of starts in the big leagues. It’s not like we have Cy Young, Steve Carlton, you know, waiting in the wings. If we did make a change, you’re talking about youth.

    Per Pete Abe. What bullshit. If I was manager, Aceves and Hughes would be in the rotation and Ponson would be in Minnesota or maybe even LA with the Dodgers.

    • Ivan says:

      Per Joe Girardi: Hey Pete, can you get off my dick Thank You.

    • Steve says:

      Very disappointing to hear. I thought Girardi was brought in to actively coach and manage these guys into becoming big league players, but apparently he doesn’t want to be bothered with rookies any more than Torre did.

      That’s a very unfortunate thing to hear, and really makes me think twice about who we hired. If we wanted an entitled, lazy manager who doesn’t want to teach a few kids the game, we could have kept Torre.

    • Chris says:

      Isn’t this almost word-for-word what Girardi said the day before IPK was sent to Scranton? When Girarid says “he’s in our rotation for now” it means there is a snowballs chance in hell that he’ll make the next start…

  7. Adrian-Retire21 says:

    Yankees have too much money to start as a rebulding team.The Rays took over 15 years to play over .500 theres no excuse to be a losing ball club that long.

    The pitching is good but how will they do in the sophmore year and playoffs.Remember the 2006 Tigers….there pitchers looked like deer in headlights in the World Series and look at Bonderman,Verlander,Zumaya and Ledezma after 2 years.

    The Rays are good and young but they I don’t believe they will be a dynasty we just what they got even with there horrible bullpen.

    The idea you need 4 farm hands in the rotation and getting any kind of free agent is bad is stupid.The Rays will be the next Marlins.Win one world series then be horrible for another 5 years.

    • Joseph P. says:

      Wow, this has to be one of the most ill-informed posts in RAB history. Fist, the Rays came into being in 1998, so they haven’t even been around for 15 years. Strike 1.

      Sophomore year? Name me one rookie Rays starter. None? Oh, right. Okay. Thanks.

      Horrible bullpen? Go look at their guys. Grant Balfour is absolutely dominating. Something like 64 Ks in 43 innings. Dan Wheeler has historically been good, and is having a good season.

      And finally, the Marlins were bad after their championships, because once they won they sold everyone. It doesn’t look like the Rays will be doing the same.

  8. AndrewYF says:

    I guarantee you that two of Edwin Jackson, Andy Sonnanstine, and Matt Garza will be terrible next year.

    Fortunately for the Rays, they have David Price on the horizon to offset that.

  9. cupz says:

    I think what a lot of Yankees fans (although not so much here) forget about is that they have a nice pitcher in Price waiting in the wings…They’re only going up from here, boys.

    Luckily, the Yanks have the scratch to compete…

  10. Ed says:

    The City of New York could lose out on $141 million if the Yanks fail to make the playoffs.

    What about all those studies that say attracting a team and building a stadium provides no benefit to a city? And all the talk about the Yankees robbing money from the city by getting some financial assistance in building the stadium? This is a huge slap against that logic.

  11. Pedro says:

    I wonder if Garza will have to throw more than 10 offspeed pitches tonight

  12. Ivan says:

    Hey who would you guys resign first Moose or Pettitte?

  13. Jamal G. says:

    Joe, spell checkers only recognize words in its default language (in your case, English).

  14. Jake H says:

    Garza really is a 2 pitch pitcher.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Not really. He has the Four-Seam Fastball, the Sinking Fastball, the Slider, and a hammer. I’m not sure about the hammer, but I know the Slider is a true out-pitch for him.

  15. Jamal G. says:

    God Damn, Mike Mussina is an absolute joy to watch.

    • Joe says:

      I don’t see any reason to not bring him back next year. It’s the best of both worlds for the Yankees, you pretty much know what to expect and he will take a short contract.

      • Steve says:

        “he will take a short contract.”

        Really? I don’t know that.

        Actually, he will be one of only 2 AL free agents who are Type A’s (Lackey has an 9 mil option and Andy doesn’t count). That means he’s among the best of his class and will CERTAINLY command multi year offers. Philly would give him 3 years tomorrow, and he would be closer to his PA home.

        http://tigers-thoughts.blogspo.....kings.html

  16. Joseph P. says:

    Are you kidding me? What a catch!

  17. Pedro says:

    The day we can play D like that we’ll be a good team.

  18. cult of basebaal says:

    crap, dammit, that was awesome!

  19. Ivan says:

    Terrific play by BossMan Jr.

  20. Alberto says:

    hey Joe,

    Glad to see some mention about pitching. Seems all NY fans care about is runs and big long homeruns this decade. Lack of starting pitching is 95% the reason this organization has had such a drought of good baseball in this decade. The team era continues to be in,at,or around 4.50 and that is extremely unacceptable (especially during playoff time). I am tired of saying it but the only good pitcher NYY has had this decade has been Wang. We have not sent a pitcher to the all star since 2003, Javier Vazquez, and he finished that year horribly.

    This, my friends, is NOT the way to build a good team. Teams built around offense never win anything, proven fact. This team in this decade has deceived everyone into thinking the pitching is fine with some #3 starters and trillions of emergency spot starters.

    The runs scored has finally come back down to earth a little bit and now it isn’t enough to carry horrible pitching the Yankees have made a tradition of, in this decade.

    • BigBlueAL says:

      Just look at the Yankees rotation from 1998-2003. Oh, and Pettitte was the only homegrown starter in the group.

      • Steve says:

        That was a different world back then, Baseball doesn’t operate like that anymore.

        But in any case, that was during a time in Baseball when teams would dump off high priced top talent still in their prime because they couldn’t afford them. That doesn’t happen as much anymore with revenue sharing and the national TV/Satellite radio deals. Most teams are in much better shape financially, and only look to deal off players when they think they’re selling high on a player that doesn’t have much left. Top players now get locked up into their free agent years with contract extensions that take them well into their prime years. CLE has been doing that for years, now everybody does it, even the Yanks did it with Cano. In this environment, the upcoming free agent markets will be getting progressively thinner year by year.

        BTW-El Duque was sort of homegrown. Intl’ FA who spent half a year in our farm system. But overall you’re right about us not developing pitchers back then.

    • Greg C says:

      Your decade must be very short. I think in 2001 we had the 2 best pitchers in the AL and the 3rd guy wasn’t shabby.

      All SEVEN of the guys who made starts in 2002 were above average. With Moose, Clemens,Andy, Wells, Lilly/el Duque/Weaver- not bad.

      2003- Four 15 game winners, the # 4 starter was 15-7, 4.14..
      2004- sucked
      2005- Johnson had a good year by any objective measure, Moose had a down year and Brown and everyone else sucked.
      2006- moose and Wang both had very good years, with Moose better than Wang in every stat except accumulating wins. Johnson sucked but got run support-inflating his win total also.
      2007- Wang was great, Andy was above average

      5 of Mussina’s 8 seasons have been pretty good. Actually, Mussina’s 4th best season this decade is better than Wang’s best season.

      Wang has had 1 season where he was the best pitcher on the team. yeah he was the only good pitcher this decade.

  21. Ivan says:

    Where the hell is Mike?

  22. Josh K says:

    Even though they are playing in Tampa, I am waiting for Michael K to mention the “boo birds”….

  23. Jake H says:

    I got to laugh.

  24. Jake H says:

    Big K there.

  25. Joey says:

    watching on Gameday (because for some reason the game is blacked out on MLB.tv in Orlando… ugh) and that called 3rd strike looked a little sketchy. How did it look?

  26. Ivan says:

    Good job Moose.

  27. Mike Pop says:

    Cant beleive Joba starting in the pen in 09 too

  28. Joe says:

    I know it’s childish, but check this out http://joesportsfan.com/ Watch the first video. Too much, too much

  29. Jamal G. says:

    Guys, if you are ever bored at work or at school (like I found myself today, first week back is always lame), just read through the comments at LoHud. The sheer idiocy of those people will leave you entertained for hours at a time.

    For example (After PeteAbe mentioned how Jose Tabata is doing in the rich sample size of 22-games):

    The Tabata trade 5 years from now will be the Kazmir trade.
    People laughing about it for years to come.
    Tabata IS the next Manny.

    Classic.

  30. Mike Pop says:

    If hes in the pen say hello to CC =]

    • BigBlueAL says:

      The debate will never end regarding Joba, like you said even moreso this off-season if they do sign CC and re-sign Pettitte and Moose so they would say no need to have Joba start and he would be better off in the pen to help out the Yankees more.

      • Ivan says:

        It shouldn’t be debate cuz really when Joba was out of the BP it didn’t kill the yanks, when he was out of the rotation due to injury that killed them.

  31. Mike Pop says:

    Ya know what sucks bout this season. I blame it all on Jonathan Albadadejo

  32. Mike Pop says:

    I guess if joba goes to the pen we have to get Burnett

  33. Mike Pop says:

    Say if we lost out on CC and the other guys. Would you guys like a deal for Mike Jacobs and Scott Olsen ?

  34. Ivan says:

    Buster Onley made some interesting points in his chats. He said obviously the yanks need to get younger and try to avoid long expensive contracts and he said that if he was running the yanks he would sign Ben Sheets instead of CC or Tex cuz Sheets is cheaper in years and money and he can be just as big of help like CC and Tex.

  35. Mike Pop says:

    Ivan we should get all 3 lol

  36. Frank says:

    Which Rays youngster will be the first to become a FA… barring any extensions? Upton?

  37. Mike Pop says:

    Olsne/Jacobs would be good cuz we get younger and have reduced payrolls but i dont think we can rely on them

  38. Ivan says:

    Just like that the yanks are down 1-0.

  39. cult of basebaal says:

    bugger.

  40. Jake H says:

    Is it bad that I don’t have any faith in the O to score even 1 run? I know I should with what they did yesterday but the whole season the O just hasn’t been there.

  41. Ivan says:

    Jeter legging one out.

  42. Frank says:

    I’m moving to Tampa. Cute little blondes, good baseball town, Yankees minor leagues… just gotta pray the hurricanes move up the coast.

    • Joe says:

      Good baseball town? They still aren’t coming and they have the most fun team in baseball to watch and tehy still arent coming. I was there on a friday night once and there were no more than 3000 people.

      • Chris says:

        Would you go to the Trop to watch a game? I don’t think you could drag me there even if the ’27 Yankees were playing….

    • There’s cute little blondes everywhere, that’s not a good reason to move… Tampa is a heartless, soullless, milquetoast town of nothingness that drives you to American Beauty-ish ennui.

  43. Mike Pop says:

    Any Rotation in baseball for your franchise ? Not countin prospects in A,AA,AAA ball . Who would you take ? Im going with the twins. God they are good

  44. Pedro says:

    Can’t say the captain doesn’t hustle.

  45. Jamal G. says:

    Jonathon (yes, the loser spells it H-O-N) Niese gives up a homer and consecutive walks to his first three batters in the Major Leagues. Fail.

  46. Frank says:

    Need to get to Garza here, hit balls hard off him all night, he’s been living on the edge so far

  47. BigBlueAL says:

    I HATE sending the runner on a 3-1 count.

  48. Ivan says:

    Wow I thoguht Abreu hit it out.

  49. Jamal G. says:

    B.J. Upton better not wander near A-Rod and Bobby Abreu after the game.

  50. Frank says:

    Kay just gave Alex the ole’ jinx

  51. Mike A. says:

    Holy crap, someone mentioned Jon Albaldejo earlier. Guess who made a rehab start for Staten Island tonight?

  52. Steve says:

    Hey Mike, another Elias update from DTT. This time the pitchers

    http://tigers-thoughts.blogspo.....kings.html

    Roy Halladay A 95.6928839
    John Lackey A 94.85018727
    Scott Kazmir A 90.917603
    Felix Hernandez A 88.67041199
    A.J. Burnett A 87.64044944
    Daisuke Matsuzaka A 87.07865169
    Fausto Carmona A 84.73782772
    Josh Beckett A 84.64419476
    James Shields A 84.45692884
    Erik Bedard A 83.70786517
    Andy Pettitte A 83.70786517
    Chien-Ming Wang A 81.92883895
    Javier Vazquez A 81.08614232
    Justin Verlander A 80.14981273
    Cliff Lee A 76.68539326
    Gil Meche A 75.93632959
    Mike Mussina A 73.22097378
    Jon Lester A 73.03370787

    Mussina squeaks in as a Type A.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Wow, Type-A makes me think we should offer him arbitration and treat it like Bobby Abreu, if he accepts cool, if not, even better.

      • Steve says:

        Yep, I would bet stuff like that is already in their deals. Where the Yanks offer and the player automatically declines. You would think with the $$ the Yanks pay, they could get a clause like that thrown in.

        I always think of arbitration as a formality. I can’t think of a single Yankee signed FA where arbitration related draft pick comp was ever a problem. If someone else can, please tell me.

        They got compensation for Pettitte (Hughes) Tom Gordon (Joba) Vizcaino (Bleich). I can’t think of a ranked FA who left where they didn’t get it, but maybe someone else can.

        • Jamal G. says:

          Yes, but there’s a little caveat to that, how many ranked free agents have the Yanks known to let walk?

          And there is one famous one, Roger Clemens.

          • Steve says:

            He retired, not sure if that’s the same.

          • Steve says:

            Actually, that def isn’t the same. There are deadlines for offering arbitration and declaring free agency and its easy to assume that since he retired, some of those would have been missed. Would also explain why the team was as upset as they were when they found out he was coming back.

            • Jamal G. says:

              Oh I know, just saying that’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head. If they did offer him arb and he officially retired, then came back, would the Yanks still have been compensated?

          • Mike A. says:

            Boomer and Pettitte walked after 2003. The 4 comp picks turned into Hughes, Poterson (ugh), Brett Smith (ugh) and Jeff Marquez.

            • Steve says:

              Thanks Mike.

              Can you think of any who walked where we didn’t get compensation? I can’t, and that’s why I suspect the arby stuff is a formality.

  53. Frank says:

    The 2-2 was a ball all the way…

  54. Mike Pop says:

    Yep that was me who mentioned jonathan albadadejo. And Mike do you think Texiera is gonna top the 140 mill offer Texas offered him

  55. Jamal G. says:

    That was Alex Rodriguez’s first walk since August 24th. Yeah, seriously.

  56. Ivan says:

    Just get at least one run.

  57. Frank says:

    Pettitte a type A? Bedard?

  58. Mike Pop says:

    Nice hit X

  59. Ivan says:

    X-Man just destroyed that ball.

  60. Frank says:

    Holy crap

  61. Jamal G. says:

    A-Rod had one earlier in the year, and Nady had himself one now, a majestic Home Run.

  62. Steve says:

    Holey Shit, Nady hit the fuck out of that!

  63. cult of basebaal says:

    fucking craig wilson pt. II. that blows.

  64. Mike A. says:

    An X-bomb for X-Nady.

  65. BigBlueAL says:

    Its hard to get excited for these games when you switch to the Red Sox game and they are again winning pretty easily.

  66. Mike Pop says:

    That was DEEP

  67. Jake H says:

    damn that was a shot.

  68. BigBlueAL says:

    Nady’s HR was nothing compared to a bomb Strawberry hit there in 1999.

  69. Ivan says:

    One of the farthest homers I ever saw was when Strawberry was with the yanks and he hit one dead center Camden yards.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      the furthest i ever saw was strawberry’s shot in olympic stadium in montreal while he was with the mets … he hit the cement ring that supported the dome at the top of the upper deck RF bleachers … just an ungodly blast.

  70. Mike Pop says:

    Maybe we should keep losing so we get a protected first rounder

    • cult of basebaal says:

      i’ve only been saying *that* for the last month …

    • A) Losing on purpose to get a better pick (or protect a pick with compensation considerations) is incredibly stupid and wrongheaded in baseball, a sport where the draft is a much bigger crapshoot than the NBA or NFL, and B) seeing as how the 15th worst team in baseball is the 68-70 LA Dodgers, we’d have to basically go 7-18 over the last 25 games just to get two games under .500 to even have a shot at one of the 15 worst records in baseball.

      Boo that.

  71. Frank says:

    Where the hell is Moose’s curve tonight?

  72. BigBlueAL says:

    Moose is doin his best Ponson impersonation tonight havin given up 7 hits already in the 4th inning.

  73. Mike Pop says:

    Cano will hit 330 next year with 25 bombs. My prediction

  74. Jamal G. says:

    Heh, that throw by Garza made me think of that asshole pitcher who threw the ball into the stands in a Minor league brawl.

  75. Ivan says:

    When does the AAA playoffs start?

  76. Mike A. says:

    “In order for Brett Gardner to be a successful big leaguer, he needs to learn how to bunt.”

    He also needs to play.

  77. cult of basebaal says:

    way to bunt, juggs!!!

  78. Mike Pop says:

    Why why why couldnt we do this all year

  79. Jamal G. says:

    Not for nothing, but Johnny Damon sure has made people eat shit who questioned his signing to a four year deal. Also makes the Red Sox look even worse for replacing him with Covelli Crisp.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      johnny damon’s problem in the last 3 years has been johnny damon and his counter-productive urge to play every game, regardless of health …

      • Jamal G. says:

        Yeah, but the only time his health has truly hampered him was last year. His first season in NY was everything we could have hoped for.

        • cult of basebaal says:

          oh, quit yer bitchin’, ray announcers, the top of the pitch crossed at the front knee … it might have been low, but it wasn’t “almost in the dirt …”

    • Frank says:

      Every time he makes a throw Sox fans talk smack… until they look at his #s.

      Boo the guy that helped win your first championship in 86yrs. Most ignorant fanbase ever.

      • Whitey14 says:

        We make fun of his arm because it sucks. We made of his arm when he played in Boston too. I don’t condone the booing, you’re right it’s ignorant, instead I laugh at him, because he thought he would tip the scales NY’s way and instead missed out on a second ring. The Red Sox have had pretty good luck in not bending over and grabbing their ankles for players wanting extra years. Damon, Pedro and Mo Vaughn all come to mind in this regard. Doesn’t appear to me that the Sox missed any of them.

  80. E-ROC says:

    Wow, the Yanks are hitting good pitching.

  81. Ivan says:

    Yanks scoring runs.

  82. Mike A. says:

    What about a Cano for Weeks swap? Straight up, one of one. Change of scenery type thing.

  83. Jamal G. says:

    Oh damn, season premiere of “House” was tonight.

  84. BigBlueAL says:

    I thought the Mets rookie was getting owned??????

  85. Ivan says:

    How come super talented players are not considered scrappy players and gritty.

    Seriously, Look at A-Rod. He does things that would make Pete Rose proud.

    Slaps a ball out of a player’s glove
    Runs over a couple of catchers
    Gets into a fight
    faked an infielder on a pop ball.

    Gritty shit, and yet people call him not a winner. If A-Rod wasn’t A-Rod, you would say hey, he’s tougher than Eckstein and Pedroia.

    Why?

  86. Frank says:

    Wow, the chick who just sang at RNC was UNBELIEVABLY hot

    • Steve says:

      Who says “Politics is show biz for ugly people”?

      Oh, that’s right. Everyone does.

    • BigBlueAL says:

      The Vice-President candidate!!!! Just kidding….

    • Greg C. says:

      Who was it?

      I was watching the other convention with the other 72 year old white guy. He’s having a popular Republican female sing tonight. Some find her hot, but she doesnt do anything for me.

    • Frank says:

      Some 22-year-old Christian singer. I forget her name. Perfect looking.

    • I don’t care how hot she is, fuck McCain, and fuck Palin. I won’t say “fuck her daughter” because someone has apparently done that already…

    • Here’s one thing that has struck me the most so far: regardless of your politics, I’d say, the Republican convention tonight looks like a snoozefest. None of their speakers are even moderately intriguing, good or captivating public speakers, or have anything worthwhile to say. Both the president and the first lady almost put me to sleep. Denver was a damn rock concert; Michelle, Hillary, Bill, and Biden all did well (although Al Gore is still boring as shit) and Obama killed it in Mile High, all the glitterati (even Chevy Chase – wtf?) were there front and center. Tonight in St. Paul looks like Bingo night at the old-folks home. The jokes all suck, the platitudes all seem fake, the applause is all perfunctory, and people are just rattling off retread policy points and not speaking towards any compelling issue, philosophy, or value towards why the country should rally behind their vision. And neither Palin or McCain will be any better…

      The 2008 McCain Republicans remind me of the 2000 Al Gore Democrats… they look rudderless and talentless. It’s kinda sad.

  87. Ivan says:

    Giambi showing leather.

  88. cult of basebaal says:

    EL GATO GIAMBI!!!

  89. Chris says:

    You know, the Rays rotation has almost nothing to do with their high draft picks. This is the end result of being patient with young pitchers, and getting enough luck to keep them all healthy for the entire season.

    Here’s how the Ray’s acquired their pitchers:

    Scott Kazmir – he’s the highest draft pick of the bunch (by the Mets at 15th overall). He was acquired by fleecing the Mets.
    Matt Garza – 25th overall pick by the Twins. Traded for Demon Young, who was the 1st overall pick. This is the only starter that you can attribute to the Rays having high draft picks.
    Edwin Jackson – 6th round pick by the Dodgers. Acquired in a low profile trade.
    Andy Sonnanstine – 13th round pick
    James Shields – 16th round pick
    This rotation should be a credit to the Rays player development – don’t just write it off because of their high draft picks.

    • Jamal G. says:

      You know, outside of 1998 (when the D-Rays did not pick until the 4th round, maybe Mike can explain why), the Rays have not picked higher than 8th overall since 1997.

    • Great post, Chris. Allow me to restate it slightly to make a point:

      Sonnanstine – 13th round pick
      Shields – 16th round pick
      Kazmir – Acquired when the Mets gave up on his potential after some struggles
      Garza – Acquired when the Twins gave up on his potential after some struggles
      Jackson – Acquired when the Dodgers gave up on his potential after some struggles

  90. BigBlueAL says:

    Am I the only guy who finds that Avis commercial funny as hell????

  91. Nady Nation says:

    I know most people are outraged by the pricing of the new Stadium, but my Tier Reserve MVP seats are actually going DOWN in price from this year, if you can believe that. I think the Yankees did a good job, to be honest. Only the most expensive seats are really becoming more expensive, and the people paying for those seats most likely have the income to support such price hikes. I know it’s only the first year of the Stadium and the prices will probably skyrocket in ’10, but what do you expect in a state of the art new ballpark? I think people should appreciate the Yanks not railing you in the wallet right off the bat.

    • that’s like a rich Republican saying, “Wow. I think Bush was a a great President. He cut my taxes and now I have a lot more money to keep to myself. Who gives a fuck about the poor or middle class? Thanks George!” ;)

      • Nady Nation says:

        I don’t really see how that’s like that at all. The rich in this scenario are PAYING MORE, not getting exempt from paying. I’m a 23 year old one year out of college making an entry level salary and supporting myself, if I made it seem like I was saying “fuck poor people”, then I apologize, b/c I was in that class.

      • Steve H says:

        They run a business. If we want them to go out and get CC/Tex/Sheets, they can jack up the prices as much as they want and still sell tickets. If a $20 face value ticket goes for $200 on the street, they don’t get a dime of that extra $180, why not jack up the prices themselves so they get the benefit of it? It’s all about supply and demand, and until the supply outweighs the demand the Yankees can profit off of their product and lucky for us they put it back into the team. Rather see them get the extra $$ than some scalper on the street.

  92. Ivan says:

    I think the yanks are gonna have a good sept.

  93. Mike A. says:

    Yikes, the Florida-Atlanta game is 13-10 in the 5th.

  94. I think Hinske would be a good pickup as a bench/platton player. Then again, we have to know what we’ll get from Juan Miranda…

  95. D.B. says:

    buchholz stole my laptop

  96. Nady Nation says:

    Just secured tix for the World Champion New York Football Giants and I must admit, I am pumped. Now for my Super Bowl pick: Saints over Chargers. A little ballsy, but I figured I’d go out on a limb

  97. Jamal G. says:

    New Max Payne trailer (it is fucking amazing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....-US:offici

    The song is “If I was Your Vampire” by Marilyn Manson.

  98. Ivan says:

    If there were three people you wanna meet in the history of baseball who would it be?

    Mines are Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and the third guy would be Buck O’neil.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams. I would want to meet Cobb because I’d just want to find out if he truly was a bad person, and why. I’d want to meet the Yankee Clipper because, well, he’s the fucking Yankee Clipper. Also, to find out if he really was a douche to Mickey Mantle, and why. Lastly, Ted Williams because I’d want to find out how much he regretted sacrificing an opportunity to be regarded as the best hitter in the history of baseball to fight in the war.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      1st group:

      babe ruth, mickey mantle, billy martin

      2nd group:

      jim bouton, mike marshall, moe berg

      see if you can guess the themes for both …

    • Ivan says:

      I really would love to meet Ruth. He was really the first Athlete with absolute swagger. You can talk for 2 hours and had nothing to do with baseball and drink mad beer and liquor.

    • Eddie Gaedel, Kirk Radomski, and Morgana the Kissing Bandit.

    • Jack says:

      Yogi, Mickey Rivers, and Bob Ueker. All at the same time.

  99. D.B. says:

    DP JETER!!!

  100. Ivan says:

    I’ll give DJ a break on that GIDP.

  101. BigBlueAL says:

    Wouldnt be a real Yankees game w/o a Jeter GIDP.

  102. Pedro says:

    Ump’s in a hurry. That 0-2 wasn’t even close.

  103. BigBlueAL says:

    Oh boy, looks like Joba could be pitching the final 2 innings!!!!

  104. Per PeteAbe:

    <blockquote cite=”UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Were I a fan of the Yankees, this game would annoy me. Where was this kind of play all season when they needed it? They get 12 games down and then put the smack down on the Rays.”

    OK. Combined with what we already know, he’s definitely a Red Sox fan.

    • Joe says:

      Does he have to be a Yankee fan to cover the Yankees?

      • Steve says:

        I think its SOP in the newspaper/media biz to get someone who’s NOT a fan of a team to cover them. The notion is they are more likely to be objective. But in the case of Joel Sherman, Bob Klapisch, Peter Abraham, and many of the other Yankee beat reporters, they simply don’t get how the Yanks operate, what being a Yankee and rooting for the Yanks is all about. This really show up when they start talking trades and off season moves. Clueless.

        It sounds very much like listening to Mets fans discussing the Yanks, which goes on all day on WFAN.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Seeing as how the Yankees were 7-5 coming into tonight’s game against the Rays, I don’t know what he means by “They get 12 games down and then put the smack down on the Rays.”

    • cult of basebaal says:

      yeah, that’s why he writes things like:

      “The just showed a fan on the scoreboard waving a sign that read, “Rays Rule, Yankees Drool.”

      Incredibly, it was an adult. Must not be Mensa Night here at the Trop.”

  105. BigBlueAL says:

    Honestly Abreu’s range is embarrassing.

  106. BigBlueAL says:

    Contrary to what Michael Kay just said, Moose’s best season with the Yankees was BY FAR, statistically at least, 2001.

  107. Greg C. says:

    Ok the bottom of the lineup hitting back to back doubles. Is someone warming up?(I’m following on sportsline/Gameday)

  108. Pedro says:

    Moose out for the 7th wasn’t the best choice, but it could go either way. Not taking him out after first the double, that’s just more dumb managing from mr. Girardi.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Ugh, again with the hindsight managing. He completed six innings while striking out eight and was due up to face the 8-9-1 hitters in Tampa’s lineup. Why would Joe Girardi be “dumb” to keep him in after giving up a hit when the #9 hitter is due up? Especially with a 6-1 lead.

  109. Greg C. says:

    I agree it could have gone either way. if he had a 1-2-3 inning,stayed around 110-115 pitches, and saved the bullpen- it would have been a wise move. And as long as they ( team AND Moose) get the win, it didn’t hurt anything. But I think once he allows a runner, its bye bye.

  110. BigBlueAL says:

    Its Joba time!!!!!!

  111. Ben K. says:

    So I guess this is part of the “ease Joba back into things” transition, huh?

  112. E-ROC says:

    Does Joba have a pitch count?

  113. Jamal G. says:

    Oh, this got caught in moderation so it took awhile to post: http://riveraveblues.com/2008/.....ent-147696

  114. Mike A. says:

    Today we spell redemption J-O-B-A.

  115. Jamal G. says:

    Talk about a letdown. All that for one pitch? Boo!

  116. Hybrid Moments says:

    It’s a shame to see Chamberlain coming out of the bullpen. This team really is clueless as far as the front office is concerned.

  117. Steve says:

    Nice to see Joba in a game again, in whatever role.

    BTW-If the Yanks thought they were in a pennant race, wouldn’t they be stretching him out so they have a #1 stud starter for the playoffs? Another tacit admission that they know they’re done.

    • Greg C. says:

      nah. They have a “gain 1 game per week and sweep Boston” plan. They are planning on a Postseason 3 man rotation of Rasner-Pavano-Ponson

  118. Steve says:

    Tack on.

  119. Jamal G. says:

    Wow, it looked like he was out in front of that one. God Damn this dude has some power.

  120. Mike A. says:

    Hey look, an RBI after the 7th for A-Rod.

  121. Greg C. says:

    clutch!

  122. BigBlueAL says:

    Doesnt count, not clutch.

  123. how unclutch, they’re leading by 4…

    anway, amazing when you talk about a 33 year old on an all-time HR list.

  124. Ivan says:

    One under appreciated 3rd baseman ties another under appreciated 3rd baseman.

  125. Jamal G. says:

    Amazing, at some point during his age 33 season, only seven more people (Mark McGwire is 8th with 583) will have more career Home Runs in Major League baseball than Alex Rodriguez. Amazing.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Sorry, next year will be A-Rod’s age 34 season.

    • Steve says:

      McGwire doesn’t count, and neither does Bonds.

      • BigBlueAL says:

        Ditto Sosa and Palmeiro.

        • Why, because they juiced, so you have to decrease their home run totals? Fine. I counter with this: Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t juice, but many of the pitchers he faced juiced, so you have to increase his home run totals. So, he actually has 750 home runs. He’s the record holder.

      • Jamal G. says:

        You think Sadaharu Oh should count? Maybe even as just an asterisk?

        • Steve says:

          No. You have to consider level of competition. I can only imagine how many HRs Foxx, Ruth, Mays, Williams or Aaron would have hit if they played in the minors their whole careers.

      • E-ROC says:

        Bud Selig and Donald Fehr don’t count either.

      • Greg C. says:

        Well let’s calculate some steroid penalty for Bonds and knock him to down to..yeah, still more than A-Rod and still best player of his generation. And dont forget Sosa. Babe Ruth played in a segregated league that did not allow a lot of best pitchers to play, so he should get a segregation penalty as well. Need something for the pitching mound and ballpark dimensions as well. So maybe that cancels out. We’ll figure it out. Or when A-Rod hits 800+ it really won’t matter. Unless we find out all the steroid women he’s dated inject him also.

      • Ivan says:

        I don’t care what people say, Bonds was the best lefthanded hitter since really Ted Williams.

        • Steve says:

          How many HRs would Williams have hit with all those drugs?

          Did you hear about the anti narcolepsy drug he was on that made him super alert and made the pitches look like they were in slow motion? Plus the steroids, plus the dozen or so other drugs he was on.

          If you haven’t read “Game of Shadows” give it a look before you call him Ted Williams.

          • Ivan says:

            True, but it wasn’t all the drugs trust me. Plus, the guy played in great pitcher’s ballpark.

            • Steve says:

              . . . and Ted Williams was a lefty hitting in Fenway park, which is no picnic, either. He also missed 3 prime years of his career because he volunteered to serve in WW2.

              Please. I’ll give you that Bonds was an all time great player before 2000, but after that his numbers are meaningless to me.

  126. D.B. says:

    hey mike,

    would you trade hughes for loney or fielder?

  127. Is it me or has Prince Fielder gotten fatter?

  128. Mike A. says:

    Nice, Hinskie’s walk-up music in Pantera.

  129. Jamal G. says:

    Hey, I knew something was missing. Where’s that jackass heckler who sits behind home plate and screams asinine things at the road players all while his son sits next to him?

  130. BigBlueAL says:

    Oh boy, here we go with the MPH readings….

  131. Ivan says:

    It’s great to see Joba back.

  132. Chris says:

    Is it just me, or is Joba’s delivery different? He seems to be much softer at the finish than I remember.

  133. Joey H says:

    is it me… or is joba’s velocity wayyyy down?

  134. BigBlueAL says:

    If Joba was holding back, its time now to let it go.

  135. BigBlueAL says:

    Anybody on Gamecast or whatever its called who can tell us what his MPH’s have been????

  136. Jamal G. says:

    YES’ readings are just off, Gameday has him at 93-95MPH. Certainly not what we’re used to seeing from Joba, but certainly not as big a drop-off as YES is making it out to be.

    • Joey H says:

      also like i said in the post below urs, remember that he probably isnt raring back for anything too fiery being his first outing back and with a 5 run lead or w/e it is now

    • BklynJT says:

      I certainly do trust gameday more than Yes, but isnt it funny how the YES gun is usually known for being too high.

  137. Joey H says:

    ok this velocity shit is really creeping the shit out of me. he hasnt gone higher than 91! is it just a precautionary move on his part to not rush back and pull back for anything extra?

    • cult of basebaal says:

      he didn’t throw a pitch *below* 91 on the last batter, what have you been smoking???

    • Nady Nation says:

      The pitches that YES had at 88, 89, gameday had at 93, 94. YES’ gun has been slow all season

      • Joey H says:

        k thanks. generally when i watch a baseball game im not watching the same game simultaneously on gameday

      • Steve says:

        Don’t forget they’re on the road.

        Probably using the Rays stadium gun, and guns vary greatly. Some tune them up for the fans to make their pitchers look like they’re throwing harder, and other places tune them down to get their pitchers to stop looking at the gun and start pitching more.

        They can also vary depending on where they pick the ball up. If its immediately out of the pitchers hand, its faster. If its as the ball crosses the plate, its slower.

  138. Mike A. says:

    Making something out of nothing. If he wasn’t healthy, they wouldn’t have him out there.

  139. BklynJT says:

    Hopefully he is just taking it easy. The whole point is for him to get his innings up, not pitch meaningful innings.

  140. Joe says:

    I smell a Joba velocity article

    • Jamal G. says:

      So true. BBTN and others will be like “You see, you see!!111!111 The Yanks are rushing him, he’s not ready, he’s not healthy, BOSTON IS TEH WICKED AWESOME!111!11!”

  141. BigBlueAL says:

    I just looked at every pitch on Gameday and his fastballs were all clocked between 92-95 mph with the one-pitch to Baldelli at 96 mph.

  142. A.D. says:

    I’m sure hes just taking it eassy, not the worst if he learns to not just rear back

  143. BklynJT says:

    Holy shit, did they just say Arod had 11 double plays in August… yikes

  144. Ivan says:

    Do we see Mo at the bot of the 9th?

  145. Jamal G. says:

    My bold prediction for the rest of the season is that A-Rod hits ten more dingers this month to reach the 40-HR plateau in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2002-2003.

  146. Joey H says:

    how many starts for moosey?

  147. Mike A. says:

    Dan Giese in the hizzy. Another terrible signing by Cash.

  148. LC says:

    wow albaledejo (spelling?) pitched 2 innings for SI Yankees. Raise your hand if you forgot about him…think he’ll be in the bullpen next season?

  149. Mike A. says:

    Thaaaaaaa Yankees win!!!

  150. BigBlueAL says:

    Well Pete Abe said that Joba was throwing 95 mph and said he looked good so I dont think there will be articles discussing his lack of velocity if the gun in Tampa was correct like the Gameday gun and had Joba around 94-95 all game.

  151. Steve says:

    HERE COME THE YANKEES! WATCH OUT TAMPA BAY!!!

    DOWN TO 12 IN THE LOSS, BABY!!!

  152. Russell NY says:

    Maybe I am crazy but it looks like you have two spaces inbetween Alex and Rodriguez. Maybe that’s why?

  153. [...] the Yankees, as we read earlier, pitching is key, and tonight’s pitchers came up big. Mike Mussina, trying for the third time for win number [...]

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