Saturday morning links

Some Saturday morning links for your pleasure:

Here’s an update on former Yankee Matt Nokes.  It’s pretty cool that he has stayed in the game and is so devoted to the art of hitting.  Usually you hear about guys like Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn being students of the game, but Nokes seems to fit right in.

Bonus link to Nokes’ website with video of him catching a Roger Clemens fastball in the ribs and throwing it back to the mound.

A post at mlb.com takes a look at Andrew Brackman and the success he has had this year.  There are lots of quotes from the Brackmonster himself and the piece notes that he is close with Austin Romine and how well they work together.  We may see that battery in the Bronx in a few years.

A story about Roger Clemens and steroids that doesn’t immediately call him Former Yankee Roger Clemens.  I’m sure it will never become public, but I wonder if Bud Selig will have anything to say to the Blue Jays if they knew all along that Clemens was juicing (if he was).  I doubt the Blue Jays could have disclosed anything since it is personal medical records, but I wonder if there is/was any plan in place for what a major league team is supposed to do if they find proof that a player is using steroids.  Clearly everyone looked the other way in the past, but if it becomes public that the team knew and did nothing to stop it, Selig will be none too thrilled.

While the Yankees had a banner year down on the farm, the rival Red Sox took a step back.  While they appear to have had a solid draft to build some depth, many of the crown jewels of their system either didn’t take steps forward or took steps back in 2010.  Just remember this the next time organizational rankings come out, just because someone says Team A is better than Team B, it doesn’t mean that can’t change.

Yanks fall to Rangers in extras

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Leave a few more men on base next time.

(here’s the box score, happy recap)

Game 141 Spillover Thread

The first thread appears to be broken, so keep the party going here.

Trenton routs New Hampshire to advance to finals

Triple-A Scranton (1-0 loss to Columbus) Columbus leads the best-of-five series two games to one … Hector Noesi gets the ball and will try to stave off eliminate tomorrow
Reid Gorecki, CF: 1 for 4, 1 K – got picked off second … he led off the game with a single, and that was all they got in the hit department
Kevin Russo, 2B: 0 for 2, 1 BB – he walked following Gorecki’s single and that was it, 27 SWB Yanks went down in order to end the game
Everyone Else: combined 0 for 18, 11 K – Justin Christian’s hitting streak ends at 21, though he did throw two runners out at the plate in the seventh inning, when the game was still scoreless
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3-9 GB/FB – 61 of 93 pitches were strikes (65.6%) … check out the K-Man with the big performance, he retired 18 in a row at one point
Eric Wordekemper: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2-2 GB/FB – 26 of 40 pitches were strikes (65%) … allowed the only run, but the replay showed the runner was out at the plate

[Read more…]

Game 141: Javy’s wing and a prayer

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

It seems like the Yankees were just in Texas to face the Rangers, and from what I remember, that was a frustrating series capped off by a dramatic, come from behind win. Kind of like the last four games of the homestand.

The pitching matchups don’t inspire much confidence this series, and it all starts tonight with Javy Vazquez. He’s bounced in and out of the rotation for the last few week weeks, alternating impressive long relief work with cumbersome starts. His nothingball was largely ineffective against Texas a few weeks ago, but he seems to have added some giddy-up to the pitch while in the bullpen. Really, no one knows what they’ll get out of Javy tonight, we just have to hope that whatever hole he puts them in won’t be too deep to get out of.

Here’s the starting nine…

Jeter, SS
Swisher, RF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Thames, DH
Kearns, LF
Cervelli, C
Gardner, CF

And on the bump, it’s The Pitcher Formerly Known As Javy Vazquez.

Texas is in another time zone, so this sucker doesn’t start until a little after 8pm ET. It can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

What’s it like to work in a front office?

At his RAB-recommended blog Yankeeist, Larry Koestler interviews Alex Langsam, a baseball operations assistant with the Pittsburgh Pirates. While there’s some interesting Pirates stuff in there, most of the interview involves Langsam’s function in the baseball operations department. This has gotten plenty of play, so you might have already read it. But if not, it’s a great way to conclude the work week.

New Bronx parking lots proving too unpopular

Too many parking lots; not enough cars. (Graphic via Streetsblog)

As the plans for new Yankee Stadium took shape a few years ago, livable streets advocates and community activists bemoaned the seemingly ridiculous number of new parking spots included with the plan. While the new ballpark’s capacity would prove be around 7000 seats fewer than the old, the South Bronx would see over 2500 whose construction was to be subsidized through $237 million in tax-exempt bonds. To add insult to development injury, the company the city selected to build the parking lots had a history of defaulting on its bond payments.

It comes as no surprise then that Bronx Parking is in trouble. Because of the increased availability of public transit options and the smaller stadium capacity, fewer fans are driving to the games, and the company may soon default on its bond payments for the third time. According to Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News, revenue from parking was just $4.8 million through the first half of 2010, nearly half of Bronx Parking’s initial projections, and the company may have to run down its $4.5 million emergency fund, risking a potential default in the near future.

The company itself, says Gonzalez, blames three factors:

  • More than 800 fans are heading on game days to the Gateway Shopping Mall five blocks from the stadium, where they pay only $10 to park instead of the stiff $23 self-parking fee ($35 for valet service) at the stadium garages.
  • A new Metro North station has lured many fans (about 5,000 per game) to ride the train. [RAB note: Metro-North says it lures approximately 3200-3800 fans per game.]
  • The Yankees prepaid for only 190 parking spaces this year for their season ticket holders instead of the 900 spaces they prepaid last year.

Some unnamed city officials, meanwhile, aren’t surprised. “If these garages are only at 60% of capacity after a World Series victory, you know it can only get worse from here,” one said to the News. “There’s just too much unused parking around the stadium.”

For Yankee fans who drive, the news will only get worse next year. Bronx Parking — or the surviving entity — will have no other option but to raise rates to cover the lost revenue. Parking at the stadium could cost nearly $30 next year, and such a steep price could perpetuate a cycle where even fewer people drive. Yankee Stadium is, after all, one of the most transit accessible ballparks in the nation, and the South Bronx neighborhood has very low car ownership rates.

It’s clear that the city, at the behest of the Yankees, botched this parking deal. The team wanted more modern and convenient parking lots, and now a South Bronx area suffering from a dearth of green space and high asthma rates has lots of vacant space surrounding the stadium. This parking decision was not the city’s Economic Development Corporation’s and the Industrial Development Agency’s finest hours.