1. Damon. CF – oh yeah, Melky’s totally being benched
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, DH
5. Giambi, 1B
6. Nady, LF
7. Cano, 2B
8. Pudge, C
9. Betemit, 3B
And on the mound, Sidney “will pitch for food” Ponson.
Notes: Sorry the site hasn’t been updated as much as usual lately; Ben’s on vacation, Joe’s in the middle of moving, and I’m rather swamped at work. It’ll be back to normal soon … all signs point to Ian Kennedy starting on Friday, and by Friday I mean Saturday … Chien-Ming Wang will remain on crutches for the foreseeable future … the Yanks had scouts attend Freddy Garcia’s so-so audition … Chad Moeller cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Scranton … Joba’s been placed on the DL, but that’s all we know so far; no news is good news, right?
The Yankees are clamoring for more tax-free bonds for the team’s new stadium, and club officials are predicting no great increase in revenues when the team moves across 161st St. next year. But according to a recent report in Crain’s, the Yanks stand to make a killing from the new stadium.
Aaron Elstein reports:
The team’s revenues – already the highest in the sport, at an estimated $327 million last year – are poised to double almost immediately. This quantum leap will be driven by factors ranging from higher prices for tickets and hot dogs to increased revenue from the YES Network for game telecasts. There will also be new revenue sources, such as leasing out the new stadium for concerts.
The ballpark promises to once again give the Yankees a decided financial edge over the world champion Boston Red Sox, after their archrival passed them on the field last year and narrowed the monetary deficit by expanding seating in cramped Fenway Park and sharply raising ticket prices.
“The new Yankee Stadium will change the economics of baseball,” says Robert Boland, a sports agent and a professor at [NYU].
Elstein goes on to explain why the Yanks are disputing this revenue claim. The Yanks, looking to cover escalating construction costs, want more tax breaks from New York. If the city knows just what a cash cow the Stadium will be, city reps will cry foul over any additional tax-exempt bonds.
Interestingly, the article also notes that some of the revenue projections are simply underestimated. The Yanks are claiming over $200 million in seat revenues for 2009, but that figure is based on an estimated attendance of 3.4 million. There’s no way the Yanks, in their first season in their new digs, suffer through an attendance drop of over one million. In fact, if all 81 home games aren’t sold out next year, I would be shocked. With concession prices on the rise, the team’s revenue will easily surpass their own estimated figures and approach $400 million or more per year.
Now, for baseball, this bad news. The Yanks are basically building their own version of the Mint at the corner of River Ave. and 161st. They could easily supprot a payroll above $225 million, and invested wisely, the money could create a powerhouse team for years. I can’t imagine Bud Selig or John Henry being too keen on those figures.
For the team, though, we can more clearly see why officials have long wanted a new stadium. It’s all about the money. Forget out-of-date facilities and less than state-of-the-art amenities. The Yanks are going to reach stratospheric profit levels. And as long as taxpayers aren’t footing the construction bills, I won’t complain.
PeteAbe notes that Chris Britton has been recalled for the umpteenth time this season, and is on his way to Texas to give the Yanks some much needed relief help. The kicker is figuring out who’s roster spot he’s going to take. Pete speculates that Joba may head to DL, which makes perfect sense, but part of me wonders if it would be more beneficial to ship Melky to AAA for 10 days as a wake up call. What do you guys think, could a four man outfield of Damon, Nady, Abreu & Christian hold it down for 10 days? It sure would be nice to have that extra arm out there with Ponson, Rasner & Giese tentatively holding down rotation spots, no? · (83) ·
Once upon a time, back on Sept. 10, 1999 in a game I remember vividly, Pedro Martinez shut down the Yankees. He struck out 17 Yanks and allowed just two base runners as Chuck Knoblauch was hit by a pitch and Chili Davis homered. While the Yanks held the Red Sox to just three runs, it was all for naught. Last week, Davis sat down with BP writer and keeper of the Pinstripe Bible Steven Goldman to talk about that game. It’s a glimpse back to both Pedro and the Yankees in their respective late-1990s primes. · (11) ·
After tonight’s 8-6 defeat in Texas, the Yankees are 6.5 games behind the first-place Rays. In the Wild Card, they’re in third place, 3.5 games behind the Red Sox. Numerically, they’re not quite out of it.
But watching the team and looking ahead to last two months of the season, I get the sense that they’re on the cusp right now. This team — with Joba Chamberlain out indefinitely and the rest of the rotation falling apart — needs to put it together this week. They need to beat Texas in Texas; they need to beat Anaheim in Anaheim; and they need to beat Minnesota in Minnesota. If they don’t, it’s going to be a long, slow march to that final game in Yankee Stadium and the last road trip of 2008.
Tonight’s loss was a frustrating one. The Yanks could have won this game a few times over, but while the team lost a few nights ago, tonight’s effort really comes down to four individuals. We start in the ninth with Alex Rodriguez. This ought to make the A-Rod Haters happy.
With one on and one out in the ninth, the game was in A-Rod’s hand. Standing in there against Eddie Guardado, A-Rod could have tied the game with a long ball. Instead, he hit a game-ending double play that seemingly defines A-Rod’s 2008 effort just like his walk-off grand slam in April of 2007 defined last year. This year, A-Rod hasn’t been the best in close and late situations, and while there are definite sample size issues, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he hasn’t been coming through late in the games.
Of course, runs count early on too, and I hate to criticize him. Instead, I’ll leave that up to my mom. As were sitting at the Smoke Jazz Club tonight when the game ended, she to me: “He only hits home runs with no one on base.” While that’s not 100 percent accurate, he failed tonight in a key situation.
But while many of A-Rod’s detractors will be happy to finger him for the loss, the truth is that three other people had a chance to impact the game before it came down to A-Rod, and had any of those three come through, A-Rod wouldn’t have needed to get that game-tying hit in the ninth that never came. So let’s alight on Andy Pettitte.
Fresh off of a 5.1-inning, nine-earned run outing against the Angels, Andy Pettitte did not deliver. Pettitte allowed five runs on six hits in five innings of work. Over his last 10.1 innings against solid offensive teams, Pettitte has thrown to an ERA of 12.48. With Joba out, Pettitte has to pitch better than he did if the Yanks are to catch a whiff of October baseball this year.
But the Yanks nearly survived the Pettitte outing if not for Brian Bruney and Dave Robertson. These two pitchers gave up three earned runs in two combined innings of work, and had they done the job, Richie Sexson’s grand slam would have given the Yanks the lead. Instead, it simply teased us, giving fans hope that the Yanks could come back.
But the bullpen had faltered. Again though, maybe someone else is to blame. David Robertson threw 44 pitches tonight. He had reached that mark just once on July 1 against Texas. Perhaps, Joe Girardi left him in for too long tonight as he did with Damaso Marte tonight.
That decision would be overshadowed by the one concerning Melky Cabrera and Ivan Rodriguez. In the span of two batters with the bases loaded and the Yanks threatening, Girardi used Pudge as a pinch runner and Melky Cabrera as a pinch hitter. Why any manager would use a hitter with a sub-.600 OPS over his last 300 plate appearances as a pinch hitter while using the guy hitting nearly .300 as a pinch runner is well beyond me. It just doesn’t make sense.
In the end, tonight’s loss was the product of four distinct decisions and at-bats, none of which went the Yankees’ way. It’s been one of those seasons.
Chad Jennings has an update on Humberto Sanchez & Jeff Marquez. Check it fool.
Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Pawtucket)
Brett Gardner & Juan Miranda: both 1 for 3, 1 BB – Gardner K’ed & swiped a bag … Miranda doubled & scored a run
Bernie Castro: 2 for 2, 1 R, 1 BB – left the game after Matt Carson ran him over on a pop fly
Matt Carson: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Shelley Duncan & Chris Stewart: both 0 for 3, 1 BB – Duncan K’ed
Ben Broussard & Eric Duncan: both 0 for 4 – E-Dunc was caught stealing
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 5-10 GB/FB - 64 of 104 pitches strikes (61.5%)
Chris Britton: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1-1 GB/FB
Billy Traber: 0.1 IP, zeroes
Mark Melancon: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 19 of 28 pitches were strikes (67.9%) … three ground balls his first inning, three strikeouts his next inning … equal opportunity domination
Why is Jason Giambi sitting tonight? Why? Why why why why why? Texas starter Matt Harrison is a lefty, that’s why. Never freaking mind that Giambi has .919 OPS against LHP in a not insignificant sampling of 112 plate appearances this year (.895 OPS vs RHP), or that he went 3 for 4 with a homer yesterday, or that big league lefties are hitting (this is too good) .500-.563-.923 against Harrison in his young career. Erg.
David Robertson, get ready, you’re the next contestant on “Let’s See If You Can Magically Pitch Out Of Self-Induced Trouble Despite Being Left In The Game For Far Too Long.” The previous two participants – Edwar Ramirez & Damaso Marte – had to settle for consolation prizes: a four-slot toaster, and a parrot that can’t talk. Good luck!
1. Damon, LF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, 3B
5. X(BH) Nady, DH
6. Cano, 2B
7. Dick Lock Sexy Sexson, 1B – you gotta earn that nickname
8. Molina, C
9. Christian, CF – two straight starts huh? interesting…
And on the mound, Andy “sure, you can” Pettitte.
Notes: Joba’s MRI is heading to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, which sounds really bad, but anyone with half a brain understands that something like this gets second, third, and fourth opinions, plus the last pitch he threw yesterday registered 96, something you can’t do with a major shoulder issue … this is a few days old, but the guys at Baseball America broke down the trade deadline action podcast style, don’t miss it, really really good stuff … despite all the doom & gloom lately, the Yanks are only 2.5 GB of a playoff spot, they’re just a good weekend away from leading the Wildcard …
The American Mustache Institute has instituted a day of mourning for Jason Giambi’s ‘stache. Sadly for AMI, Jason Giambi, on his first day sans the ‘stache, went 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. He had been struggling of late, and while AMI hopes to see a monument for the mustache pop up in Monument Park, I doubt Giambi will bring it back any time soon if his hot hitting continues. · (4) ·
The Yankees and some of their international scouts are now embroiled in the FBI investigation plaguing baseball, says The New York Times. The investigation focuses around “whether club employees paid players small portions of bonuses they reported to baseball and kept the difference for themselves,” according to Michael S. Schmidt. While this will have little impact on the team on the field, this developing scandal, which encompasses Dominican scouts from six to eight teams, could be the push MLB has been looking for to begin an international draft. · (15) ·