PeteAbe has the news. It seems Gardner broke his left thumb yesterday sliding into second, and will be in a cast for two weeks before being reevaluated. Jon Albaladejo has been called up temporarily, but the team replace him with a position player in a day or two. Ramiro Pena has been playing some CF in the minors, but I’m not sure if the team thinks he’s ready to do it in the majors.
Meanwhile, in his Sunday column, Bob Klapisch reports on a Brett Gardner rumor. According to Klapisch, the Mariners asked for both Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera for Jarrod Washburn. This move would have left the Yankees with another starter but neither of their center fielders. Despite his landing on the DL, Gardner could still be traded this week.
For what it’s worth, Klapsich also debunks Jon Heyman’s report concerning Joba Chamberlain and Roy Halladay. The Yanks, he says, are committed to Chamberlain and see him as a long-term solution to their number three starter spot.
Sunday morning is a great time for unfettered discussion. The TV stations are filled with talking heads arguing health care, Supreme Court confirmation hearings and economic reform. The Sunday newspaper and crossword puzzle can fill the hours we must pass until baseball action resumes.
But that does not of course mean we have nothing of our own to debate or discuss. With the non-waiver trade deadline a scant five days away, news and rumors — some less founded than others — fill the airwaves. While the Yankees have not made a major splash yet and haven’t been subject of many legitimate rumors, the names are out there — the Phil Hugheses, the Joba Chamberlains, the Jesus Monteros. The GMs with something to offer know what the price tag should and could be.
On Saturday, a flurry of Yankee-related rumors arrived late in the day, long after the Yanks’ game against Oakland and the team’s eight-game winning streak came to an end. The first comes to us from a Peter Gammons blog post. It’s a buyer’s market, says Gammons as he pontificates about teams that want to hold onto their young players. Of the Yankees and Roy Halladay, he writes:
Yankees GM Brian Cashman argues that he doesn’t overvalue prospects, which is why he has Phil Hughes pitching like the American League’s best eighth-inning reliever, Melky Cabrera in center, Nick Swisher (obtained for Jeffrey Marquez, another pitcher in the package the Twins would’ve required for Johan Santana) in right and CC Sabathia on the mound, all in lieu of Santana.
When the Yankees approached Toronto about Halladay, the price was Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero. Not happening.
Of course it’s not happening. Roy Halladay isn’t worth three of the Yanks’ top young players. That doesn’t make an ounce of sense. The Yankees need pitching depth, but they need depth without surrendering depth. Sending out one pitcher for another doesn’t solve the problem.
Another rumor hit the Twitter world some time around 11 p.m. This one came from Jon Heyman whose track record this July has been spotty to say the least. He writes: “Yankees might – repeat, might – consider giving up Joba for Halladay. but wont entertain request of Joba & Hughes.” Joba, by the way, has thrown 13.2 innings since the All Star Break and has given up two earned runs on five hits and 14 strike outs.
This one is more ludicrous than the Blue Jays’ asking price for Halladay. The team just isn’t going to give up Chamberlain for Roy Halladay. While it might solve a short-term depth problem, no General Manager would give up that youth for two months of limitless innings. It is also worth pointing out that Joba’s starting career — 31 starts, 9-3 record, 3.43 ERA and 166 strike outs in 168.1 innings pitched — is off to a far better start than Halladay’s. Through Roy’s age 23 season, he was 10-12 as a starter with a 6.23 ERA and 116 strike outs in 179 IP.
And so it goes on. The rumors rise and fall, and we wait for something to happen as the clock ticks onward toward Friday.
Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of seminal sports events. I’ve seen countless Yankee/Red Sox games, a few World Series affairs, the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium and a pair of historic Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies. I’ve been to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in 2001 that featured a late-inning Cubs comeback and a few games at Fenway as well.
Beyond baseball, I’ve been to the NBA All Star Game when the Garden hosted it in 1998. Michael Jordan scored 23 points and nabbed MVP honors. I’ve watched the marathoners jog by in the city on many a chilly November mornings. I’ve seen a few U.S. Open matches at Ashe Stadium and even a Harlem Globetrotters performance in the mid-1990s.
“That’s great, Ben,” you might be thinking, “but why are you telling us about this?” These events, you see, are all a part of a new book by Robert Tuchman called The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live. The author, a New Yorker, is a sports travel guru, and he has produced a thorough accounting of the world’s top sporting events. The book is more than just a list too. It features local details on each event: what to see, where to stay, what to say.
A fair warning though: The ticket listings feature only one ticket broker, and the travel packages for each listing all refer readings back to Tuchman’s Premiere Corporate Events company, of which he is the president. Unfortunately, while any author can use his book for promotional purposes, a more thorough tome would include local travel agents and a variety of ticket sources. It is, though, easy to overlook that short-coming, and the list more than makes up for it.
For the baseball fans among us — or, you know, all of us — Tuchman’s list is chock full of games to check out. The World Series clocks in at seven while a Yankee-Red Sox game at the Stadium is ninth on the list. The Cubs at Wrigley Field are 14, and the Hall of Fame Induction — truly a magical event — is 22. The All Star Game is 40th, and Japan’s Koshien Baseball Tournament is 44. Even Fenway Park gets a mention at 55. It isn’t that bad.
Tuchman’s Top Ten events are an interesting melange of sports. The Masters earn the top spot followed by the World Cup and the Super Bowl (but good luck with that ticket). The Summer Olympics are fourth followed by an Army vs. Navy game, the NYC Marathon, the World Series, the Winter Olympics, a Yanks/Sox game and a UNC/Duke game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The full list is right here on Tuchman’s website, and the author is trying to find someone who has seen 40 or more of these events live.
So, then, I ask RABers, as we wait for Sunday to dawn, what your favorite live sporting events are. Nothing beats the electric atmosphere at Yankee Stadium in October as the crisp fall air descends upon another post-season game, but those mid-summer Red Sox/Yankees contests are a close second.
To grab a copy of Tuchman’s book and to support RAB at the same time, you can buy it here. Shortcomings aside, it is as thorough a guide to the world’s sporting events as you could find.
Game 1 (7-2 win over Toledo in 7 innings) makeup of a mid-June rain out
Kevin Russo: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B
Ramiro Pena, Shelley Duncan & Justin Leone: all 0 for 3 – Pena K’ed twice, Shelley & Leone once each
Austin Jackson & Yurendell DeCaster: both 1 for 3, 1 R – Jackson drove in a run, got caught stealing a base, K’ed & committed a fielding error
Juan Miranda: 2 for 3, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Colin Curtis: 2 for 2, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI – he had just four homers on the year coming into this game
Frankie Cervelli: 1 for 1, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 PB
Romulo Sanchez: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HB, 2-7 GB/FB – 57 of 93 pitches were strikes (61.3%) … I’d say he’s stretched out pretty nicely
Kevin Whelan: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K – 8 of 14 pitches were strikes (57.1%) … 66 K in 55.2 IP
Damaso Marte: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 8 of 13 pitches were strikes (61.5%)
Every offseason Elias uses an outdated and occasionally laughably inaccurate formulas to rank every player in Major League Baseball, which in turn is used to determine which free agents will return compensation picks in the offseason. Last year Eddie Bajek of Tiger Thoughts successfully reverse engineered the formulas used, and now provides updated rankings throughout the season to MLBTR. Eddie’s latest rankings update can be found here.
Johnny Damon‘s strong season has him firmly entrenched as a Type-A free agent while Hideki Matsui is a strong Type-B. The problem is that the Yankees won’t offer either player arbitration because if they accept, they’ll be awarded a raise on their current $13M salaries. Usually you’d expect Scott Boras (Damon’s agent) to reject arbitration, but after getting burned with Jason Varitek last year, I’m not sure he’d run that risk again. For the Yanks, it’s basically the same situation as Bobby Abreu last year. Xavier Nady, a Type-B, is a little different than those two because he’s only making $6.55M this year. If he were to accept arbitration, it’s extremely unlikely he’d earn more than $8-9M next year. Is that risk worth it for a potential sandwich round pick? Possibly.
Perhaps the most interesting case is that of Andy Pettitte, who is currently ranked as a Type-B but is very close to the Type-A threshold. A strong second half could boost him up into Type-A land, and if he does it’ll be interesting to see if the Yanks decide to offer him arbitration. Andy’s base salary is only $5.5M, but incentives are likely to push his earnings north of $10M. Depending on what happens with Chien-Ming Wang and how Andy performs in the second half, if could make for a very interesting decision in the offseason.
Jose Molina and Eric Hinske are the only other Yankees due to be free agents after the season, but neither ranks as a compensation free agent. What do you guys think, will the Yankees offer anyone arbitration, or let them all walk like last year? Talk about that, or whatever else you want in this open thread. The Mets and Astros are playing tonight, in case you need some comic relief. Anything goes, just be nice.
Coming into this afternoon’s contest against the A’s, the Yanks had not lost a game in 13 days. Their most recent L came on the eve of the All Star Break against the Angels in Anaheim.
And so, facing a pitcher who was 1-2 with an ERA of 9.33, the Yankees couldn’t plate any runs and were victimized by their own bad relief pitching. Despite a rally in the 8th and a threat in the 9th, the Comeback Kids couldn’t come back and fell 6-4 to the A’s. Their eight-game winning streak is over, and now Yankee fans’ eyes will be on Boston where Jon Lester will face Jeremy Guthrie and the Orioles tonight.
For the first five innings, the game breezed by. The Yanks had no hits until Melky bunted for a single in the 5th, and Andy Pettitte and Gio Gonzalez matched 0′s. In the 6th, the Yanks broke through. A one-out Derek Jeter walk followed by a Brett Gardner triple gave the Yanks the lead. Mark Teixeira and A-Rod could not get that second run in, a part of the Yanks’ 0 for 5 effort with runners in scoring position.
In the 7th, clinging to a 1-0 lead, the wheels came off. Pettitte gave up a lead-off double to Scott Hairston and walked Nomar Garciaparra. Jack Cust flew out, but then Rajai Davis singled home Hairston and Bobby Crosby bunted for a hit to load the bases. Joe Girardi relieved Pettitte a few batters to late, and Alfredo Aceves simply could not do the job.
Ace got Mark Ellis to pop out with the bases loaded and was 0-2 on Landon Powell. Then, he caved. He threw a fat 0-2 pitch — and 89-mph fastball right over the plate — that Powell lined into left field. 3-1 A’s. Adam Kennedy singled. 4-1 A’s. Orlando Cabrera doubled. 6-1 A’s. Out went Aceves and out went the Yanks’ winning streak.
In the 8th, the Yanks mounted a comeback. Derek Jeter hit a two-run home run, and Mark Teixeira added a solo shot to bring the Yanks to within two. To start the 9th, Melky and Johnny Damon walked, but Posada deflated that rally with a double play. Jeter flew out to end the game and the winning streak.
It’s tough to complain about an 8-1 stretch, but the Yanks were shut down by a pitcher who gave up 11 runs last time out. More alarming, though, was Aceves’ appearance. Andy Pettitte gets the loss today, but Aceves allowed all three inherited runners to score and two of his own as well. He just didn’t get the job done and hasn’t for much of July. On the month, he has thrown 13.1 innings, giving up 11 hits and 7 earned runs for a pedestrian ERA of 4.72. Pitching slumps happen, but this one hurts.
The Yanks will turn the ball over to Sergio Mitre tomorrow afternoon as they look to win another series and start a new winning streak. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.
Well at least Melancon and Robertson will get some work.
Come on, Ned! Move this thing!
I can’t! It’s a Geo!
The Yankees will face the baseball equivalent of a Geo today, Gio Gonzalez. A 2004 supplemental first round pick, Gonzalez has bounced around the league quite a bit: he’s been traded three times already, and one of them was back to a team that once traded him.
A year and a half after the White Sox drafted him, they sent him to Philadelphia as part of the Aaron Rowand – Jim Thome trade. Pitching above A ball for the first time in the Phillies’ system, Gonzalez had his struggles, seeing his K rate drop and his BB and HR rates rise.
After just one season — 363 days after the original trade — the Phillies sent Gonzalez back to the White Sox, along with Gavin Floyd, for Freddie Garcia. That one didn’t work out too well for Philly.
One would think that the White Sox liked Gonzalez, considering they traded him and then traded for him back. But in January 2008 they sent him to Oakland, along with Ryan Sweeney, for Nick Swisher. Among all these trades, there are multiple games of six-degrees.
The Yanks look to make it nine straight. I hope everyone enjoys the game. I’ll be at a wedding.
And on the mound, number forty-six, Andy Pettitte.
Late last night some schmuck at MLBTR mentioned that the Yankees were taking a look at Blue Jays closer Scott Downs, perhaps the most underappreciated reliever in the league. Downs is just the latest pitcher we’ve heard connected to the Bombers, joining the likes of Chad Qualls, Huston Street, and many others. It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Yanks will acquire some sort of arm for the stretch run, we’re just not sure if it’ll be a starter or reliever.
Of the bullpeners we’ve seen connected to the Bombers, the lefty Downs is by far the best. Dude has a 2.08 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over the last three years, pitching almost exclusively in high leverage spots, and he’s more than a LOOGY too, making him that much more valuable. Toronto’s not just going to give this guy away, but adding Scott Downs to any staff makes them better. · (73) ·
Less than three months after having surgery to remove an aneurysm from under his right armpit, Oam Ian Kennedy is rehabbing down in Tampa and making 50 throws at 90 feet. “It feels really good. Doesn’t feel like anything ever happened,” said Kennedy, who hopes to get into a few games before the minor league season ends in early September. Regardless, the former first rounder plans on heading to the Puerto Rican Winter League for a second straight year to get some innings in. Fingers crossed, but so far everything sounds good for IPK.
Oh, and it’s good to see Danny Borrell land a coaching gig in the organization as mentioned in the article. It’s a shame injuries derailed his once promising career, but he deserves nothing but the best. Tremendous person and the classiest of class acts. · (10) ·