The Associated Press tracked down a Yankee fan who was there for the first game at the stadium and will be there for the final game this Sunday. Joe Mignogna, now 90 and a resident of Delaware, went to Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923 when the Yanks and Red Sox opened the Stadium. He was five at the time and says that his family got their tickets from then-owner Jacob Rupert. Mignogna’s grandfather was one of the construction foremen who built the original stadium. As we hear the memories and tales of Yankee Stadium, this one’s a great story. · (1) ·
The Yankees have two pitcher spots left to fill for the Arizona Fall League. There’s been some speculation that one of those spots could go to Joba Chamberlain, who could use a few more innings this year after missing a month with shoulder tendinitis. Today, Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees are “strongly weighing” the possibility of not only sending Joba to the AzFL, but also Ian Kennedy, who missed time in May with a back injury.
The Yanks would very much like all three of their young pitchers to get additional work to refine their repertoires and also to build innings so that they could be in position next year to take on expanded roles. But, especially in the case of Chamberlain, the Yanks are worried about putting too much on a pitcher who this year began spring as a starter, switched to the pen, moved to the rotation, went on the DL with shoulder tendinitis and returned to the bullpen. That is why the meetings include not just GM Brian Cashman, minor league head Mark Newman and minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, but also consultations with trainers and doctors.
It’s good to know the team is being cautious. While the average fan probably thinks Joba should pitch this fall so that he can expand his innings limit for next year, we don’t have all the relevant information. They’ll have to get a real gauge on Joba’s shoulder before making any kind of decision on whether he pitches, ad what his role will be in the future.
Sherman also touches on Ian Kennedy, who was the losing pitcher in last night’s Bricktown Showdown. The Yankees are considering calling him up to make a start before the end of the season, but will only call him up if he’s penciled in. He could take Andy Pettitte‘s final start after he closes down the Stadium, or he could take Pavano’s spot. At this point, there’s no reason to not give Kennedy another start. Why trot out an injured Pettitte or a healthy Carl Pavano (ha!)?
Andy Pettitte‘s next start will be the final game at Yankee Stadium. I’m beginning to think it might be Pettitte’s last start at the stadium as well.
The lefty’s losing ways continued last night as the Yanks dropped a game to the White Sox, 6-2. With 11 games left in the season, they are ten games out of first place and nine out of the Wild Card. In a few days, the Yankees will officially miss the playoffs for the first time since there were no playoffs in 1994. It is a shocking reality.
But back to Pettitte. Since July 31, Pettitte has been nothing short of terrible. In ten starts, he’s 1-7 with a 6.45 ERA. In 60 innings, he’s given up 80 hits while walking 21 and striking out 48. He’s pitching to a Ponsonian WHIP of 1.68, and many of those baserunners are coming around to score.
Through the end of July, Pettitte was 12-7 with a 3.76 ERA. He’s now 13-14. He’s set a career high in losses and is facing the prospects of his first losing season. Even worse than his numbers, though, is he stuff. Watching him toil through six innings today, I could see that Pettitte just didn’t have it. He couldn’t get righties out, and his pitches weren’t confounding left-handed hitters either.
A few months ago, word got around that Pettitte may have been injured. But, as with Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Jorge Posada and Johnny Damon, Pettitte is one of those players who won’t sit out, who won’t take himself out, who won’t give up on his team. It’s an admirable trait, but he hasn’t been able to help the team since July. Something’s going on, and we don’t know what it is.
So as the Yankees gear up for a major off-season in which the Front Office could decide to cut ties with many long-time Yankees, Andy Pettitte is going to have to convince the Yankee brass that he, if hurt, can and wants to come back. He’s going to have to convince himself too that he can come back.
Andy Pettitte made his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium on April 29, 1995. It was the third game of the strike-shortened season, and he threw 0.2 innings in relief, allowing two runs on three hits. Gary Gaetti, Greg Gagne and Phil Hiatt put together a mini-rally that pushed Pettitte from the game. The Yanks would go on to win anyway.
On Sunday night, Pettitte will receive the ultimate honor of throwing the final first pitch at the House that Ruth Built, and as his body wears down on him, as he ages, he could be facing the reality of a life without baseball. Sunday’s game would be a fitting end for Pettitte. I hope he’s up for the task.
Chad Jennings – who else? – has the news. Miranda signed a 4-yr, $2M ML deal prior to the 2007 season, so he’s already on the 40-man and there’s no need for a roster move. The lefty swinging Cuban defector pounded RHP to the tune of .332-.436-.534 this year, but managed only .195-.258-.280 off southpaws. I suspect we’ll be seeing a little less of Giambi the rest of the season. · (14) ·
Triple-A Scranton (4-1 loss to Sacramento) Sacramento wins their second straight Bricktown Showdown
Justin Christian & Eric Duncan: both 0 for 4 – E-Dunc K’ed twice
Chris Basak & Juan Miranda: both 1 for 4, 1 K - Miranda doubled
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 3 K
Ben Broussard & Ramiro Pena: both 1 for 3 – Broussard drew a walk … Pena drove in the only run & committed a fielding error
Matt Carson: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 K – he’s gonna be a 6-yr MiL FA this winter, so this may have been his last game with the Yanks
Chris Stewart: 1 for 2, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Ian Kennedy: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 5-3 GB/FB – 56 of 96 pitches were strikes (58.3%) … looked rather crappy in the first when he gave up the 3 runs, but he settled down nicely and kept his team in for another 4 frames
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 11 of 17 pitches were strikes (64.7%)
Chase Wright: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 0-1 GB/FB
Mark Melancon: 1.2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2-2 GB/FB – 12 of 14 pitches were strikes (85.7%) … he was a beast, no bullshit, here it is, hit it if you can
Double-A Trenton’s season is over; they won the league championship.
High-A Tampa’s season is over; they did not qualify for the playoffs. The Daytona Cubs won the league championship.
Low-A Charleston’s season is over; they did not qualify for the playoffs. The Augusta Green Jackets (Giants) won the league championship.
Short Season Staten Island’s season is over; they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The Batavia Muckdogs (Cards) won the league championship.
The Rookie GCL Yanks’ season is over. The GCL Phils won the league championship.
DotF will be back when the Hawaii Winter Baseball season starts on Sept 27. See you then.
Sorry this is a bit late tonight. We’re taking you right up to game time. For those who want to watch the AAA team rather than the big leagues, you can check out the Bricktown Showdown on ESPN 2. Mike has the game thread, so you can comment along there. Over here, we’ll talk about the Yankees taking on the White Sox.
And on the mound, number forty-six, Andy Pettitte.
It all comes down to this. After a grueling 144-game regular seaspn and all sorts of playoff craziness, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees face the Sacramento River Cats in tonight’s Bricktown Showdown to crown the undisputed champion of Triple-A baseball. Sacramento won the whole schabang last year, so the path to victory is not going to be an easy one for the Yanks.
On the mound for the good guys is Ian Kennedy, who drew the assignment after asking Dave Miley for the ball. You gotta love a guy who wants the ball in the biggest game of the year, I suspect we may see some great things out of Mr. Kennedy tonight. Kevin Russo & Ramiro Pena have joined the team as reserve infielders, and Chase Wright will be available out of the bullpen. Once IPK does his thing, we’ll probably get a peak at Mark Melancon.
Chad Jennings broke down the matchup position-by-position, and will bring you the same great coverage from Oklahama that he does from Scranton. The game is being broadcast on ESPN2, so if you’re sick of watching meaningless Yankees’ games, check out one that matters.
While the Yankee employees will all venture north to the new stadium next year, these folks who hawk scorecards, hot dogs and beer have their fair share of Yankee Stadium memories. M.A. Mehta hunted down a few of those workers, and Mehta’s resultant story offers up a nice look at people we as fans often take for granted. With the last weekend of Yankee Stadium upon us, I’ll have more on the stadium over the next few days, including a damning report from Richard Brodsky about the stadium funding deals. Stay tuned. · (6) ·
Baseball America has started it’s annual look into each leagues top 20 prospects, starting yesterday with the Rookie level Arizona League (not to be confused with the Arizona Fall League), and continuing today with the Rookie level Gulf Coast League. Twins’ first rounder Aaron Hicks grabbed the top spot, and was followed by Marlins’ first rounder Kyle Skipworth. Only one Yankees’ farmhand made the list – 17-yr old RHP Arodys Vizcaino, who came in at #11. Brett Marshall likely would have made the list if he didn’t sign so late.
You can see the top 20 list schedule here; the next one of interest to Yankees’ fans is the Short Season NY-Penn League this Friday. · (30) ·
Like him or hate him, Michael Kay will be calling Yankees games on YES for at least the next three years. Neil Best, in a column otherwise dedicated to Chris Russo’s first show on Sirius Radio, brings us the news. The deal will take him through 2011, giving him ten years with the station. · (59) ·