Many Yanks fans were upset that Brian Cashman didn’t deal for a pitcher at the deadline, but so far that decision looks like a sound one. Things can and will change down the road, though, and for that Cash has made a few moves, including a trade for Chad Gaudin. He’s no Roy Halladay, but one hopes he can be a bit better than Jarrod Wasburn has been away from Seattle’s top notch outfield (11.1 IP, 10 ER since the trade). Keeping with the small, lightning in a bottle moves the Yanks have made in-season, they’ll have a look at Mark Mulder when he throws in the next week or so. The timing on this is a bit tough. In order to have Mulder for the postseason, he would have to be on the 25-man roster by August 31. That’s a bit tough if he’s not going to even throw for teams until the 15th or so. The most likely scenario is that he’s a reclamation project for next year who might be able to take some September innings.
Mulder, 32, has pitched just 106 innings since 2006 due to multiple stints on the DL. He has immense talent, as we saw during his Oakland years and the first in St. Louis, but it’s unlikely that he’ll recover to be anything close to his former self. It could be worth a gamble, but at this point it could be a gamble for a lefty reliever. You can never have too many of them, I suppose. · (20) ·
Derek’s big home has hit a road block. Last month, we looked at how Jeter is building the biggest house on the block in Tampa. His 30,000-square foot mansion will feature nine bathrooms and seven bedrooms and takes up three lots in a posh neighborhood on Davis Island.
As part of his plan for this Jeterian enclave, the Yanks’ captain has asked for permission to build a six-foot tall fence around the perimeter of his property. Zoning regulations allow for just a three-foot wall, and the neighborhood association is not too happy about this request. Noah Pransky, a reporter with Tampa’s WTSP, writes:
His request for a six-foot-tall concrete and wrought-iron fence will go before Tampa’s Variance Review Board on Tuesday, August 11.
But according to Ken Elmore, a member of the Davis Islands Civic Association, the board voted 12-6 to reject the request. While the association has no actual authority when it comes to Jeter’s request, Elmore says the group will take the results to next week’s review meeting, hoping to sway the variance board.
Elmore writes that board president Jeffrey Siewart encouraged other board members to vote against the variance “to maintain the precedence set by other front yard requests and to comply with the City Code as stated.”
According to a report from the meeting, Jeter’s representative cited “security and functionality” as the reasons for the exemption.
If I were a betting man, I’d say that Derek gets his exemption. Tampa’s Variance Review Board will probably find Yankee All Star Derek Jeter far more sympathetic than the Davis Islands Civic Association. And so it goes.
Sheesh, didn’t think the news could be slow after three straight wins over the Red Sox, but it is. Luckily Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN penned a piece on Cuban defectee Aroldis Chapman, who literally walked out the front door of a Netherlands hotel in July while in town for a tournament. All the attention gets paid to Chapman’s triple digit fastball, but there’s more to the man who left his family and a child behind to pursue his dream. Make sure you check it out. · (62) ·
“Careless” is an easy word to employ as a defense against a failed PED test. Just ask David Ortiz.
“I definitely was a little bit careless back in those days when I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter,” the Red Sox DH said yesterday as he offered up a half-hearted explanation of his failed 2003 PED test. With the Players Union looking over his shoulder, Ortiz stressed his desire for “more information” concerning his failed test and claimed he wasn’t a steroid user.
No one was really buying it. Even with PA General Counsel Michael Weiner force-feeding everyone ready-made excuses — Ortiz can’t get the information he needs to defend himself — the attempts to deflect guilt sounded empty.
Across the park, in a manner of speaking, was another star who found himself outed for a failed 2003 PED test. Alex Rodriguez says he slept through David Ortiz’s press conference. A-Rod also says he feels unencumbered by steroid use after his Spring Training admission of guilt. “I took a lot of things off my chest and, to me, since that press conference, I felt like a new man,” Rodriguez said to Jack Curry yesterday. “I feel like I’ve been embraced by not only the city of New York, but my teammates, my coaches and my manager. I just feel liberated by just the way I came out and did things.”
Ortiz, meanwhile, will try to move on. Since The Times outed him on July 31, he is just 4 for 35 with a home run and a double. Against the Yanks this weekend, he is 1 for 14 with 1 walk. Distracted, slumping, or finished. Pick one. Or more.
Ortiz’s faux-admission press conference, coming just under 12 hours after Alex Rodriguez delivered a dramatic win for the Yanks on Friday night, provides a juxtaposition for the steroid era. A-Rod joined Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi as players willing to admit to illicit drug use. David Ortiz joined Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and, to a degree, Roger Clemens as players never willing to admit to any wrong-doing.
The players who dance around the issue curry no favor with anyone while the players who fess up to something of the truth earn a modicum of respect. In the end, that’s how it should work. But though years have elapsed since Game of Shadows, the Steroid Era won’t end. Names drip out. Players don’t know how to respond. One day, it will all be over, and with each name, it inches closer to the end. Yet, Ortiz’s PED dance yesterday showed just far away that day is.
This weekend, the Yankees are beating the Red Sox on the field when they need to the most. They’re also beating them off the field and in front of the PED-tainted microphones. I don’t like seeing the game’s faces taken down, but at least our guys have been mostly honest when it came time to face the music.
Coming into this weekend’s series, I was hoping for at least a split even though just one win would have guaranteed that the Yanks remained in first place come Monday. After Thursday’s offensive orgy and Friday’s epic 2-0 marathon win, the Yanks took care of business in a much more professional manner in Saturday’s matinee.
It all started where it should, with the guy on the mound. CC Sabathia came out shoving mid-to-high 90′s heat backed by a knockout slider and a changeup that appeared to stop in midair. Working on a perfect game into the fifth and no-hitter into the sixth, Sabathia didn’t run into any real trouble until the seventh, when Victor Martinez walked and Kevin Youkilis singled to open the inning. A strikeout by corpse of David Ortiz and a GIDP later, the threat was neutralized. Sabathia was everything the Yanks could have hoped for yesterday, striking out nine against two hits, firing 123 pitches to record the first 23 outs of the game. He was simply awesome.
The Yanks’ bats looked predictably flat following the 15-inning affair that ended just 15 hours prior to first pitch, but they gave Sabathia all the cushion he would need. Mark Teixeira singled in Melky Cabrera in the third for a quick 1-0 lead, then Jose Molina tacked on an insurance run with a sixth inning sac fly. A third run came in when Nick Swisher looked too happy taking a bases loaded walk to pass the baton in seventh, and the Cap’n capped everything off with a two run jack in the eighth. It traveled the bare minimum to right, clanking off the very bottom of the foul pole.
Think of this series as a market correction. The Red Sox weren’t going to beat the Yankees all 18 times they played this year, it just wasn’t going to happen. It’s been a long, long time since we could say the Yanks have won back to back games against Boston because of their pitching, but that’s exactly what happened. The Sawx have managed just eight hits over their last 24 innings, none for extra bases, and just four by people not named Jacoby Ellsbury. It all adds up to a 5.5 game lead in the division with eight weeks to go.
The Series wraps up tomorrow and will be a smashing success regardless of what happens. Andy Pettitte takes on Jon Lester in ESPN’s Sunday Night Game. Not even Joe Morgan can ruin what went down over the last three days.
Triple-A Scranton (4-3 loss to Lehigh Valley)
Kevin Russo: 0 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Reegie Corona: 0 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Austin Jackson: 3 for 5, 1 3B – picked off first … first three hit game since July 11th
Shelley Duncan: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K – threw a runner out at the plate from RF
Juan Miranda & Yurendell DeCaster: both 1 for 5 – Miranda doubled, drove in a run & K’ed twice … DeCaster scored a run & K’ed
John Rodriguez: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Colin Curtis: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 K
Chris Stewart: 2 for 3, 1 BB
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 6-10 GB/FB – 62 of 94 pitches were strikes (66%) … allowed a pair of homers, running his season total up to 19 in 121 IP (1.41 HR/9)
Edwar Ramirez: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5-0 GB/FB – 16 of 22 pitches were strikes (72.7%)
Well, that was a satisfying win, wouldn’t you say? How about CC Sabathia, I hear he can’t pitch in big games.
Anyway, here’s an open thread for everyone to chill out and relax in on a Saturday evening. The Cubs and Rockies are on MLB Network at 8pm, and the Mets will try to avoid another K-Rod blown save in San Diego starting at 10pm tonight. Talk about whatever your heart desires here, just be nice.
Swish keeps passing that damn baton.
I don’t understand … where have all the Sox trolls gone?