• Cano missing Bowa’s ‘tough love’
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    The Times’ Jack Curry caught up with Larry Bowa in Philadelphia this week, and the New York scribe and Bowa chatted about Robinson Cano and his relationship with the now-Dodger third base coach. Bowa feels that Robinson Cano is missing the tough love and pressure Bowa used to exert upon the Yanks’ second baseman. Even with a huge hot streak over the last 30+ games of the season, Cano’s 2008 will be viewed as a huge step back and one of the bigger reasons why the Yankee offense is on pace to score nearly 200 fewer runs this year than they did last. · (7) ·

Well, this is sure to reignite a debate that ended a few months ago. When Joba Chamberlain is activated from the DL — and that day should be soon — the Yankees plan to bring him back as a reliever first.

Basically, the Yankees are pursuing this path in order to rehab Joba at the Major League level. By the time he’s ready to return to the mound, the Minor League season will be just about over, and the Yanks need to bring his arm up to strength, pitch count-wise, progressively. However, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this idea.

Now, I know that the Yanks first put Joba into the pen this year and last as a way to limit his innings. As the team is being very conservative with their young phenom’s arm, it makes sense to keep his innings and pitch totals under wraps. But a nagging part of me wonders if moving him to the pen puts too much stress on his arm.

Joba’s an emotional pitcher, and if he’s throwing adrenaline-packed 8th innings, he may very well be putting more stress on himself physically than he would have as a starter. Plus, he spent his entire career, up until last August, as a starter.

Of course, this is just idle and unfounded speculation on my part, and I don’t believe the Yanks would follow a path that risks the long-term health of Joba Chamberlain. I can’t wait for him to return, and I hope his shoulder is back up to 100 percent. The Yanks could use the boost as they face a steep uphill climb to October.

Categories : Pitching
Comments (21)
  • Team USA takes home the Bronze
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    The USA Olympic Baseball squad took home the Bronze medal late last night after an 8-4 win over Japan. Starter Brett Anderson allowed only 4 hits and struck out 6 in 7 innings, but gave up all 4 runs thanks to a pair of homers. Taylor Teagarden drove in the go-ahead runs with a 2-run double in the 5th, and Jason Donald padded the lead with a 2-run homer the next at-bat. Yu Darvish came on in relief for the Japanese squad, but by then it was too little, too late.

    You can see every team’s cumulative stats here; Angels’ farmhand Matt Brown is an easy pick for team MVP. Korea beat Cuba for the Gold in dramatic fashion, with Yuliesky Gourriel (the best player in the tourney) grounding into a double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth down by one run.
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  • ‘Save the Stadium’ movements coming a bit too late
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    Babe Ruth’s granddaughter and the son of New York Sun scribe Andrew Wolf both want to save Yankee Stadium. Wolf writes that the pro-Yankee Stadium crowd recognize the inevitability of the new stadium but would like to see the city preserve Yankee Stadium as a park in the South Bronx open to all. While I love this idea and believe it would attract baseball fans from all over, I fear that these efforts a few years too late and are bound to fall more than a bit short. · (7) ·

By the time the Yanks’ bats came alive last night, Mike Mussina had hit the showers. He missed out on his first crack at 17 wins, and as his quest for that elusive 20-win season continues, he’ll have one more shot next week against the Red Sox in New York. Meanwhile, the Yanks won to keep pace with the victorious Red Sox and Rays.

Tonght’s game started out on a strong note. Three batters into the game, Radhames Liz had yet to retire a batter, and the Yanks had runners on 1st and 2nd and one run in. But A-Rod hit into a double play, and Jason Giambi struck out. While the Yanks were, at that point, 2 for 4 with runners in scoring position, it was an unsatisfying way to start the game.

When the Orioles came up in the first, it was clear that Mike Mussina didn’t have his best stuff and wasn’t getting close calls behind the plate. He allowed runs in the first, third and fourth before settling down, but he stood to be the losing pitcher after allowing a run in the sixth — his final inning of work. On the night, Moose gutted it out through six innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits. He walked none and struck out three. In other words, he was good but not good enough to earn himself that win.

After Moose hit the showers, though, the Yankee bats took over. They scored two in the eighth and four in the ninth behind five Bobby Abreu hits, a Cody Ransom three-run home run and a Xavier Nady blast. Twice tonight the Yanks went back-to-back with home runs. Robbie Cano and Jose Molina accomplished the feat earlier in the game, pushing Liz out.

Once Mariano Rivera nailed down the final out of the 9th for a four-out save — thank you, Damaso Marte — the Yankees walked away with a comfortable 9-4 win over the last-place Orioles. They’ve maintained a six-game gap between them and the Red Sox in the Wild Card race and stand to return home with at least a .500 record on their AL East road trip.

More importantly, they won a game in which Mussina didn’t have his best start and prior to the first effort by Carl Pavano since April of 2007. Who knows what they’ll get from Carl later today, but the pressure is off, albeit slightly, as the bats delivered a much-needed victory on a Friday in Baltimore.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (37)

Poor Mighty Matt.

Triple-A Scranton (13-12 win over Lehigh Valley, walk-off style) they were down by 6 as late as the 7th inning … the win clinches a postseason berth
Justin Christian: 4 for 6, 1 R, 1 RBI
Melky Cabrera: 1 for 6, 2 K, 1 CS – he was caught trying to steal third with the game tied and one out in the bottom of the 9th … oof
Juan Miranda: 0 for 1, 2 R, 3 BB
Matt Carson: 1 for 1, 2 R, 1 RBI – pinch ran for Miranda … scored the winning run on a walk-off error by the LF
Shelley: 1 for 6, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 K
Ben Broussard: 2 for 6, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Chris Basak: 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB
Eric Duncan: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB – what a game tease
Nick Green & Chad Moeller: both 2 for 5, 1 K – Green scored a run & drove in 2 … Moeller plated 1
Phil Hughes: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 2-2 GB/FB – 60 of 86 pitches were strikes (69.8%) … as President of the Phil Hughes Apologists Association, est. 2006, I will gladly point out that Chad Jennings says a good chunk of the damage came on cheap hits … this message was sponsored by the Kevin Thompson for 4th Outfielder Partnership
Zack Kroenke: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HB – 31 of 45 pitches were strikes (68.9%)
Scott Patterson: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – blew the save in the 9th, setting up the walk-off win

Read More→

Categories : Down on the Farm
Comments (98)

Mike Mussina has won 17 games for the Yankees three times during his career, most recently in 2003. Tonight, with Moose due for one more start this month, he’ll go for win number 17 of the season. For all the ups and downs the Yanks have lived through this year, getting Moose 20 wins would be some story.

Behind him, the Yanks will toss out this lineup:

Damon CF
Jeter SS – One hit shy of 2500 for his career.
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Molina C

The Yanks this year are just 5-7 against the Orioles, and Moose is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA against his former team. Both the Yanks and Mussina really need this one tonight. Game time’s at 7:05 p.m.

Fantasy Football Note: For those of you interested, Mike is organizing a RAB Fantasy Football league. Spots are still available. Click here for the details. The league is full, sorry.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (477)

Tour Ticket

As part of the last season at Yankee Stadium, my dad and I yesterday morning took one of the Behind-The-Scenes tours the Yankees offer at the old stadium. The tour — which started at 11 a.m. — lasted an hour, and we were taken around to parts of the ballpark generally closed to the public. We walked on the field, sat in the press box, enjoyed the view from the dugout and strolled through the Yankee Clubhouse.

Going inside the new stadium on a day in which there is no game offers a fascinating glimpse inside the life of a baseball stadium. For just 81 days a year, a baseball stadium is used for its intended purposes. For the other 284 days, the stadium sits empty. While team officials are hard at work running the business, the stadium itself is cleaned and primped regularly. The Yankees may be out of town, but the stadium is alive on a Thursday afternoon.

Our tour started with a walk through the press box where Sunday’s lineups were still penciled on the big board. I sat in the seat usually reserved for the reporter from the Asahi Shinbum, and I could see the spot from which Peter Abraham blogs every night.

The best seat in the house belongs to the official scorer. He sits on a platform above all of the reporters with a microphone so that the announcers, writers and game officials hear all of his decisions.

After the press box, we walked through the empty stadium en route to Monument Park. The seats are looking a bit worse for the wear, and the stadium keepers were still cleaning up from the home stand.

In Monument Park, we had more time to explore the grounds that one would during a game day. We could examine the monuments, plaques and retried numbers. (On a related note, I hope this guy comes back soon.)

After enjoying Monument Park, we walked past the left field foul pole on the way to the Yankee dugout. The Yankees prefer the first base side of the stadium because the third base dugout sits in the sun during day games. The bullpen phone looks just as neat in real life as it does on TV, and the view into the crowd is rather impressive.

Following the jaunt into the dugout, we ventured down into the clubhouse where cameras are not allowed. Chien-Ming Wang had a package from Taiwan in front of his locker. Mike Mussina’s whiteboard was nowhere in sight, and Brian Bruney’s locker was sporting a fantastic bowler hat. As the longest tenured Yankee, Mariano Rivera had the primo corner locker.

As we left the clubhouse and walked back to the field to conclude the tour, a sign with a famous quotation greeted us as it does every Yankee during every home game. I have tickets for just one more Yankee game at the old stadium, and if this tour is my second-to-last trip to the House that Ruth Built, it will server as a fitting memorial a baseball cathedral.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
Comments (22)
  • RAB Fantasy Football League
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    Due to popular demand, we’re going to form the first ever RAB Fantasy Football League this year. The league is already set up at Yahoo (head-to-head, three weeks of playoffs, nothing crazy), and now we just need participants. If you’re seriously interested, email me at mike (at) riveraveblues (dot) com, and you’re in. Make sure you put “fantasy football” or something to that effect in the subject line. The league is limited to 20 teams (Joe & I are playing, Ben’s too scared), so first come first serve.

    The draft is currently scheduled for 1pm EST on Sunday, August 31st (same time as the Yanks game), but I just realized that that’s the day before Labor Day, so I think I’m going to move it up to that Saturday (again, same time as the Yanks game). Let me know in the email what day works best for you. Please note that the comments are closed, so make sure you send me an email if you want in.

    Update (4:45pm): Still 9 spots open.

    Update (6:00pm): The league is fill. I’ll keep you updated if someone drops out a spot opens up.
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