There’s a long, on-going discussion in last night’s game thread about the Devil Rays and the fact that they are not a very good team. Some folks feel we’re too harsh on the Devil Rays. Supposedly, we aren’t willing to give this young and very flawed team enough credit when they beat the Yankees, and we’re too harsh on them when they blow 8-1 leads against the Red Sox.
The truth is, as always, somewhere in between. The Devil Rays, perennially bad, perennially rewarded with early-round draft choices, have shown an uncanny inability to put together anything resembling a decent bullpen. The Yankees, perennially great and very rich, have shown an uncanny inability to rise to the occasion and win.
Maybe the Devil Rays do deserve some more credit. For some reason, whatever that is, they play harder and better against the Yanks. Maybe it’s a question of motivating the youngster to play hard all the time. Maybe the Yanks think they can sleepwalk through these games. Who knows?
Whatever the case may be, the Yankees are 15-16 against the fourth and fifth place teams in the AL East this year. Look no further than that record when you try to figure out why the Yanks aren’t winning the division. Going 20-11, hardly a tall order against two teams destined for more than 90 losses this season is fairly inexcusable.
For the Yanks, the same truth remains from last night: Win, and they’re in. That’s much more satisfying than the likely Detroit loss tonight at the hands of Johan Santana. Let’s get in on a good note.
Damon LF – Ending the year strong. That could be huge for October.
Jeter SS – 19 for his last 47 but with just 1 BB in ten games.
Abreu RF – Stuck on 98 RBI since Sept. 17
Posada C – The New York Observer thinks Posada deserves more respect this year.
Duncan DH – Finally, Hit-less-deki got the night off.
Wang P – Going for second straight 19-win season
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for your fix of Minor League news, Mike threw up a post about to get buried by this one featuring some quick Minor League hits. Check it out.
Not too much going on with the farm system these days, but here’s some random tidbits:
- Chad Jennings is counting down the 10 prospects who improved their stock the most this year. It’s a great list, which I’m sure you’ve come to expect from Chad. If you aren’t reading his Triple-A Scranton Yankees blog everyday, you really should be.
Baseball Prospectus, the ever-popular site for all things baseball, has recently released a new book: It Ain’t over ’til It’s over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book. The book features essays by all the typical BP writers as well as contributors by Bronx Banter writers Alex Belth and Jay Jaffe and Pinstripe Blog author Steven Goldman. Tonight, while the Yanks go for the clinch, these three writers and a few other BP regulars will be on hand at the Columbia University Bookstore to discuss the book. The event starts at 7 p.m., and you can find out more about the bookstore here.
Disclaimer: Clicking the Amazon link to the buy the book kicks us back a few bucks. · (0) ·
I too would like to keep Brian Bruney an arm’s length away from pitching ever again for the Yanks. (Photo courtesy of Bombers Beat)
On the one hand, it’s hard to get too worked up over last night’s loss. On a night when the Yanks’ pitching staff hands out 11 walks and Kei Igawa throws the ugliest five shut-out innings you’ll ever see, it’s tough to expect a loss.
Furthermore, the Yanks, in need of just one win to clinch a postseason berth, will record that victory before the season is out. And seeing Alex Rodriguez crush a grand slam is a comforting thought for those of us a bit worried by his recent dearth of power.
But on the other hand, haven’t we seen this before? A Yanks starter struggles through five innings with the lead, and Joe Torre cannot once again put together a good combination of relievers to hold a five-run lead for four innings.
Lots of disagreeing in Yankeeland nowadays; streaks of poor hitting and pitching down the stretch tends to do that to us. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on each individual player, but it seems we’re to the point of thinking less of one another because of our various opinions. For instance, one commenter suggest that the only bad thing about this site is our collective view on Melky. Well, let’s take a look at Mr. Cabrera month to month:
April: .200/.237/.213 in 75 AB
People were coming to Melky’s defense in April, saying that he needed regular playing time to get in a groove. Yeah, that’s all fine and good, but he had one more at bat than Jorge Posada in April, so he can’t be complaining too much about limited playing time.
May: .254/.338/.424 in 59 AB
So the “he needs more consistent playing time” crew was proven wrong this month. Not a terrible line, and I appreciate the eight walks and five XBH over his 59 AB. You’d like to see more than a .254 BA from a slap hitter, though.
June: .298/.364/.447 in 94 AB
If this was normal Melky, I’d have no problem whatsoever with him starting in center. So you chalk up April to a poor streak, May is a slight recover, and June is the real Melky. However, we just don’t know if this is the real Melky. July will provide a case in this favor, however.
July: .368/.410/.528 in 106 AB
Clearly an outlier for Melk, but we’ll take it. Once again, if he has one month like this, one month like May, and the rest of the months like June over the course of the season, he’s a winner.
August: .306/.350/.468 in 111 AB
Perfect. Just like June.
September: .186/.234/.221 in 86 AB — and that counts last Saturday, when you all were calling us out on being harsh on Melky
If you dig deep enough, you can find the New York Yankees 2007 AL East Division Champions Authentic Collection T-Shirt on the MLB.com shop. In a few weeks, a bunch of needy children in third-world countries will be enjoying those t-shirts while we’ll have to buy these instead.
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The next time some Red Sox fan starts bemoaning economic inequities in baseball, just point them toward this article. John Henry, Red Sox owner, is so rich that he bought a $16-million estate in Brookline, Massachusetts, just so he could tear it down and build a bigger house. Henry is referred to in the article as “a millionaire, many times over.” But waaaah, the Yankees have so much money.
Roger Clemens has been shut down for the remainder of the regular season. He is expected to pitch in the playoffs and be sharp on three weeks’ rest. Also, pigs are expected to fly, and the temperatures in hell are supposedly dropping to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow. · (2) ·