On June 4, just 10 days ago, the Wild Card standings looked like this:
Today, after the Yanks won their 9th in a row and the Tigers lost to the Brewers, the Wild Card picture looks markedly different:
What a different ten days of good baseball make.
The Nahant-born [Larry] Day got pre-draft invitation to work out for the Yankees in Yankee Stadium courtesy of ex-Harvard coach Matt Hyde, now a Northeast scout for the Yanks.
“I still never expected to be drafted. That was my gut feeling,” Day said.
Now for the kicker: he was the last player chosen in the draft, No. 1,453 overall.
Day signed with the organization and learned that he’ll probably be assigned to Staten Island (N.Y.) Saturday in the all-rookie New York-Penn League.
“My bonus? When you’re the last guy chosen, it’s not all about the money,” he chuckled.
There’s a bunch of rumors floating around message boards that a couple other guys have signed, but I have yet to see confirmation of this. BA is slow to update the signings in their draft database this year, although you can see that the Mets have begun to lock guys up.
Photo Credit: Associated Press
What’s sweeter than picking up an eighth straight win? Picking up another game on Boston. Yeah, I know that I shouldn’t be thinking about the standings right now; winning is the name of the game, and as long as the Yanks keep doing that, they don’t have to worry about much else. But it’s still nice to see that GB number dwindle. Eight and a half is still a big number, but remember, it was 14.5 just two weeks ago.
Things look to be getting better, too — if that’s possible. We’ve inserted Clemens into the rotation, which helps solidify one of the weak points that was exploited during the season’s first two months. Sure, he’s not going to win the Cy Young or anything, but he doesn’t need to. They Yanks just need someone on whom they can rely.
Here’s a lesson Bud Selig wants you to learn: If you tell the truth, you will be suspended. If you talk about the black mark on baseball’s past in an honest and frank way, your comments will be lorded above you and used against you unless you cooperate.
In a story bound to ruffle some feathers, mine included, Bob Nightengale of USAToday reports that Bud Selig will suspend Jason Giambi next week if the slugger does not cooperate with the Senator Mitchell’s spineless steroid witch hunt. The relevant parts follow:
Commissioner Bud Selig is heading toward suspending Jason Giambi next week if the New York Yankees slugger does not cooperate with former Sen. George Mitchell’s investigation on steroid use, according to a high-ranking Major League Baseball official.
The official, who talked with Selig but has not been granted permission to speak publicly because of ongoing talks, said Selig wants Giambi’s decision by Tuesday.
Now, let’s review: Jason Giambi has never failed a steroid test under MLB’s rules; he has never broken MLB’s drug policy. While I do not at all condone his use of steroids as detailed in the BALCO Grand Jury testimony and Game of Shadows, this is outrageous. Bud Selig wants to suspend Jason Giambi because he had the guts to come forward and discuss steroid use in baseball on the record.
Selig is trying to use Giambi’s comments to give some weight to what everyone already thinks is a spineless investigation. The Mitchell Investigation has floundered. It has no subpoena power and is instead relying on players to volunteer information. Well, the players have just learned a lesson: If you volunteer information to someone other than Mitchell, be prepared to face the consequences.
The Players Association will file a grievance in this case, and they would probably win such a case. Selig is about to start down a dangerous path that could threaten nearly a decade of labor peace in baseball. Let’s hope this doesn’t come to pass.
Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off day.
Double-A Trenton (7-4 win over Connecticut)
Brett Gardner: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 CSÂ - 4 multi-hit games in his 6 contests back from the DL
Cody Ehlers: 1 for 3, 3 RBI
Noah Hall & PJ Pilittere: both 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 K – Hall doubled and had a steak
Matt Carson: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K – picked off second
Justin Christian: 2 for 4, 1 K – only 15 SB this year after 68 last year
Alan Horne: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 4-8 GB/FB – have to love that he’s gone at least 6 innings in 8 of his 13 starts
Yesterday, Wallace Matthews, who somehow has a job as a sports columnist with Newsday, wrote a piece about Alex Rodriguez and the now-infamous opt-out clause. His conclusion: The Yankees should wave good bye to A-Rod and instead invest in middle relievers because the Yankee Dynasty teams of the late 1990s won with good relief pitching. Yes, you read that correctly; a newspaper columnist is calling for relief pitchers instead of the best power-hitting third baseman in the game. Matthews’ column is so stupid that I won’t even link to it here. Instead, let me direct your attention to Ken Tremendous’ latest post on Fire Joe Morgan in which he absolutely eviscerates Matthews. Tremendous did what I wanted to do, only better.
On Sunday, June 3, the Yankees defeated the Red Sox 6-5. The game took over four hours to play. That Friday night, June 3, they won 9-5 in a 3-hour, 53-minute bout. Even against the lowly-hitting White Sox and Pirates, the Yanks weren’t able to get the games under three hours.
Last night’s billing of Webb vs. Wang, however, was sure to be different. They’re economical pitchers, both throwing just 3.5 pitches per batter faced. They also both throw a good percentage of strikes: 65% for Webb, 63% for Wang. And guess what? The game clocked in at a hair over two and a half hours (2:34). That was especially nice, considering the near-hour rain delay.
The weird thing was, though, that Wang recorded more flyball outs than groundballs: 10 to 9. It was billed as a night many worms would die, but Wang seemingly had different plans. It didn’t hurt his overall effectiveness, though, as he allowed six hits in seven innings, striking out two and walking none. He threw 64% strikes, which is always a blessing.