Mark your calendars for April 16, 2009. According to the Associated Press, on that Thursday, the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees will play the first game at the new Yankee Stadium. The game will be long sold out before anyone really has a chance to grab tickets. According to reports, the Yanks’ preliminary schedule — subject to change — has the team opening on the road in Baltimore with stops in Kansas City and Tampa Bay before arriving in New York to open the new stadium. · (9) ·
So says an anonymous source of Tyler Kepner’s. I don’t buy it, both Mike Moustakas and Josh Vitters pulled the same stuff last year. If Cole does go to UCLA, the Yanks will get pick #28A in next year’s draft, which for all intents and purposes is pick #29. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. · (81) ·
- Brett Gardner went 3 for 4 with a triple, providing just about all of Scranton’s offense. IPK allowed a run on 5 hits & a walk in 6 IP, with 5 K. JB Cox, Phil Coke & Scott Strickland provided 4 innings of shutout relief.
- Ajax uninspiringly went 2 for 4, while Kevin Russo chipped in an RBI double. Trenton’s offense was shut down by one of the best pitching prospects in the game (and yet another part of the haul the O’s got for Bedard). None of the pitchers did anything particularly noteworthy.
- Charleston’s game was called after the 6th inning because of rain, but both Austin Romine & Brandon Laird picked up hits. The rest of the lineup was pretty quiet, and Noel Castillo sucked on the mound.
- Staten Island’s offense pounded out 13 runs on 17 hits, led by Dan Brewer & Jack Rye, who each had a pair of doubles. Erik Lovett drove in 4 runs, and everyone in the lineup picked up at least one hit and scored a run. Casey Erickson allowed 1 unearned runs in 5 IP.
Just as a heads up, tomorrow at 2:00 EST I’ll be doing the first ever RAB Chat, so make sure you stop by.
Here’s some good news for fans of the ever-popular MLB.tv service: Bob DuPuy, MLB’s president and CEO, wants to drastically revise the blackout rules and regulations. The current territorial restrictions were put in place long before the advent of the Internet and DirecTV, and it’s high time for an update of these draconian regulations. · (15) ·
Mark Feinsand reports that Dan Giese is hitting the DL with rotator cuff tendinitis. As the Daily News scribe tells us, Giese will follow a similar rehab plan to that of Joba Chamberlain. More interest, however, is the news that neither Carl Pavano nor Phil Hughes — who Chad Moeller says looks great — will make Giese’s start on Tuesday. The Yanks want to see the two rehabbing hurlers hit 100 pitches in a Minor League game first. · (55) ·
According to an ESPN report, Bud Selig and the baseball owners are prepping for instant replay prior to the end of this season. This move — years int he making — comes after a few high-profile blown calls earlier this season and an increasing belief that it’s far better for the umpires to be right than to keep up some semblance of “baseball tradition.”
But, as with any major baseball decision, this one is not without controversy. Dan Graziano sums up the problems:
I spoke with somebody from the players’ union, and with a few players, a couple of months ago about this. The union’s position is that baseball should wait on instant replay and make sure to do it correctly, rather than rush it. The players are concerned about the idea of a season played under two different sets of rules (i.e., why should a home run be overturned in September when it couldn’t be in May?), and they’re very concerned about the logistics.
There are legitimate questions about how replay would work and how it would be administrated. Would it all work out of some central office in New York, the way hockey runs its replay calls out of Toronto? How much would depend on camera work by team-owned TV networks, and how can those be certain to be impartial? How would they reconcile the differences in the number and locations of cameras from park to park and game to game, given the differences between games that are televised nationally on ESPN, Fox and TBS and the games that are only televised locally? And what of games that aren’t televised at all?
In short, there are a lot of reasons to wait on this until all of the questions are answered. I’m with the players on this. It would be better to test this system out next year in the World Baseball Classic and spring training — games that don’t actually count for anything — and work out some of the bugs in time for the start of the 2009 regular season.
I have long been on the record in favor of instant replay, but I have to agree with Graziano on this one. In an effort to implement something that doesn’t really need to be put in place until next season, Major League Baseball is going to jump the gun on this one and create more problems for this proposal than they will solve. But that’s the way the Commissioner’s Office has long operated.
The perpetually under-rated Tim Marchman of The NY Sun muses about how the Yanks will fill their roster next year without blowing the budget. He raises some excellent points, especially since the Yanks may have to replace their number 2 & 3 starters, as well as their number 3 & 5 hitters. Check it out. · (96) ·
As the Yankees play out their last seven weeks of the season and the countdown to the destruction of Yankee Stadium continues, we’ll all start playing the blame game. First up is Pinstripe Alley, and they blame Bobby Meacham, the Yanks’ third base coach. Meacham, as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, doesn’t quite have that third base coach touch. He’s gotten a number of runners thrown out at the plate and seems to hold up guys who could easily score. He’ll probably be sent packing this fall, and that’s just one of the changes we’ll see among the men who make up Joe Girardi’s coaching staff. Someone, after all, has to take the fall. Meacham’s just the first domino to fall. · (120) ·
Looking to avenge their walk-off loss to Korea in the Olympic opener, the USA Baseball team turned to San Diego State sophomore Stephen Strasburg against the Netherlands last night, and boy did the kid deliver. Squaring off against Futures Gamer Shairon Martis, Strasburg fired 7 innings of shutout ball, striking out 11 in the process. He took a perfect game into the 5th before issuing a walk, and kept the no-hitter in tact until allowing a Jeterian flare single to right with 2 outs in the 7th. The only thing that could stop him was the weather, as a rain delay forced him from the game. Strasburg is the early favorite to go first overall in the 2009 draft, and it’s easy to see why with performances like this one (and this one too). If you’re interested, you can read about his Olympic journey at his StrasBlog.
Matt Brown provided the team the only offense it would need, hitting a solo homer in the second. Matt LaPorta hit a monster 3-run homer in the 4th, a shot that cleared the left field fence by a good 30-35 feet. Dexter Fowler and Jason Donald tacked on some runs in garbage time, while Casey Weathers struck out two in a perfect 8th to close out the 7-0, rain shortened win. The Netherlands had two baserunners all night, and neither made it past first. The power arms were just too much.
Team USA is now 1-1 in the round robin style tournament, and will take on Cuba tonight at 11:30. For the third day in a row I’ll guess that either Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill takes to the mound, unless Davey Johnson elects to go with the more experienced Jake Arrieta against the Cubanos.
The video quality of the free online broadcast was ridiculously good, so I grabbed a couple screen caps of the stadium and Strasburg. Check ‘em out after the jump.
Yesterday’s game between the Twins and the Yankees ended when Alex Rodriguez, on a 3-1 pitch, flied out to Carlos Gomez. A-Rod, 1 for 6 against Jesse Crain prior to that at bat, represented the last gasp for a dying team, and he didn’t come through. The three batters that had to face Joe Nathan were simply a formality, and the Yanks went down in defeat, 4-1, to the Twins.
In this game, the Yanks had their chances. Darrell Rasner, the Yanks’ sixth or even seventh starter, threw five effective innings. He allowed three runs — two earned — on four hits and a walk. With four strike outs, Rasner threw better than he had since the start of July. While he left on the wrong end of a 3-1 game, a Robinson Cano error prevented it from being 2-1 or even tied.
But again, the Yankees couldn’t get their offense going. They scored their two runs on a single and a wild pitch, and while A-Rod’s eighth inning out was the most egregious example of failure, no one came through. Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Xavier Nady, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera combined to go 0 for 16, and the Yanks just left four runners on base.
On the other side of the ball, the Yanks’ pitchers had another rough day, health-wise. Dan Giese, throwing three days after his last start, left with shoulder stiffness in the sixth. It was just another man day in a long season of injures.
Elsewhere in the AL, the Yanks saw Boston kill Chicago Texas. With the Boston win and the Yanks loss, the Bombers fell six games behind Boston for the Wild Card with 41 games left to play. The Yanks are 3.5 games behind Minnesota and are fading fast. While Phil Hughes and, eventually, Joba Chamberlain on the mend, the Yankees will offer their fans some excitement this season. But I’m going to start making plans for October that don’t, for the first time since 1994, involve the Yankees. Hopefully, I’ll have to cancel those plans, but right now, after a 3-7 road trip, I’m not too optimistic.