With Mike Mussina on the mound and Mariano Rivera due to pitch as he attempts to win one of those coveted bullpen spots, the first inning of today’s game will be devoted to none other than the Yankee DH-for-a-day Billy Crystal. Wearing number 60 in honor of his birthday, the comedian will lead off the bottom of the first against the Pirates’ Paul Maholm.
Opinion in Yankeeland over Billy Crystal is divided. I personally have no qualms with this little stunt. It’s a one at-bat honor bestowed upon a prominent baseball fan for his birthday. The Pirates, as iYankees tells us, are amused by this as well. However, Alex Belth at the Banter is rather skeptical of the movie, and Jason at My Baseball Bias isn’t quite sure what to make of it. Meanwhile, Ed Price offers up a Crystal scouting report.
In other game news, Jaret Wright is slated to pitch a few innings for the Pirates today. So be prepared for a four-hour Spring Training game. One day, I will never have to watch Jaret Wright pitch again, and it will be glorious. The game is on YES and MLB.tv. At around 1 p.m. or so, you should be able to follow the Spring Training Gameday here.
This post is for a competitive fantasy league run by one of my buddies. He ran this last year on another blog, and they actually had too many guys sign up at the beginning. If anyone has any questions or concerns about this, email me and I’ll get right back to you. This friend will also help to host our eventual RAB Day at the Park — he’s there every Sunday on top of the parking garage, grilling and generally acting like a loon with the rest of us.
Hello RAB bloggers, I wanted to invite everyone to the RAB fantasy league for 2008 (yahoo). I ran the fantasy league on another Yankee blog last year and we had a lot of success. I wanted to bring the league over to the best Yankee blog this year (ed note: his words, not mine). Below is some specefic information regarding the league. It will be $35 a person and for the people that join, we can decide how much the splits should be for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. Please get back to me asap so we can move forward with the RAB league. There are already a few people that are part of RAB blogging that are going to be in the league.
What I need from everyone right now are their opinions and preferences.
- What time is good for doing the live online draft for everyone? I think March 23rd, Sunday, at 7pm EST would be good, 1 week before the season starts. We will also have a better idea of the rosters.
- Depending on how many people play, how would you prefer the prize money to be divided up?
- I will pay for the league initally, ($125), but for payment from everyone, I just wanted to know how many people have paypal? I have a paypal account so you can make your payment there. Paypal will is probably also safer for the person giving money since all transactions are documented there. If you don’t have paypal, a check would be fine.
- Since majority of the people have voted for the point system, here is an option so let me know what you think. There maybe some people that are doing this for the first time so this may seam basic to some people.
- The categories for points can be Runs, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, Wins, Saves, K’s, ERA, and WHIP. At the end of the season, you are ranked in each of the categories. For example, if our league is 9 people, if you finished first in each category, a perfect score for 1st place would be 90(10 categories X 9 peole being ranked). Let me know if these are the categories you are okay for the league.
- most people prefer the option to make daily roster changes, please tell me your preference (daily, weekly, 2 times a week, etc).
- When would you like the trade dealine (7/31, 8/14?) give me a peference for a date, it doesn’t have to be the 2 I mentioned.
- for trades to get approved, its is recommended that the league in majority has to approve a trade. This can help someone giving up and trading all his good player to a friend. With league approveable of a trade, this usually cannot happen. Let me know.
- These are the roster positions that we can have, let me know if this format is okay. C, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI (corner infielder), MI (middle infielder), OF, OF, OF, OF, Utility, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, BN (bench), BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL. Before the draft, check player position eligibility on yahoo fantasy baseball.
Look forward to hearing from everyone,
So after watching this clip, I’m struck by something Shelley Duncan did. To me, it appears as though he was gunning for second base out of the box with the intent to slide in hard. My question then to the rhetorical you then is this: Was Shelley aiming to start something from the crack of the bat? And does it matter? MLB’s discipline guru Bob Watson might think it does. · (17) ·
Quick note on Shelley Duncan: Joe said all that needed to be sad. Let me offer up a few thoughts after seeing, via Sliding Into Home, the video of the slide and brawl. Shelley’s slide, while not terrible, was egregious and intentional. Fired up or not, it’s amateur. Meanwhile, Jonny Gomes, sprinting in from right field, probably deserves the biggest suspension from the brawl. It’s not over between the Yanks and Rays even if it should be.
And on to happier things…
I love watching big sports complexes go up. When I was in college outside of Philadelphia, the drive into the City of Brotherly Love would take me past Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park as they were under construction. Each trip up I-95 would show new parts of the stadium reaching ever upward.
Down in DC, where the Nationals are constructing a beautiful new ballpark, the team was kind enough to provide a live camera of the stadium as it goes up. The camera, positioned in the rafters slightly off the third base side of home plate, updates with a new picture every hour and has been continuously recording for years. There’s even a pure time-lapse option that’s really neat. (An aside: Why are the lights on at 1:05 a.m. on a Thursday in March?)
The Yankees, meanwhile, offer up no such fun. We’ve gotten media tours and insider photographs of the Stadium. I’ve taken my camera to the Bronx a few times as well. But in the age of limitless information, the Yankees have been expectedly stingy with shots of the new stadium. Where is our official construction cam? That’s a lot more interested than the Bud Fan of the Game.
Today, WCBS 880 offers us the next best thing: their own sort-of time lapsed view of the construction. I’ve embedded the video after the jump, but it’s not so great. It’s set to terrible and annoying versions of baseball classics, and the photos themselves are rather haphazard. It’s better than nothing, but give us our construction cam!
Update: I’m not upset about the dissenting in this post…just wanted to note that a couple of paragraphs got cut out in the middle because I misread a quote attributed to Gomes which I originally has as Shelley’s words. So that kinda took the air out of that balloon.
PeteAbe told us this afternoon that Shelley Duncan slid into Akinori Iwamura with his right spike high. Okay, I thought. No big deal. No, you don’t want your guys taking out other guys’ knees at this time of year, but from the description, it seemed harmless. In fact, I even privately chastised Jonny Gomes for running in from right field. But then I saw this pic:
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
There’s a difference between sliding with your spikes high and sending your sole towards another man’s family jewels (I’ve always loved that euphemism, family jewels). So I pretty much agree with what B.J. Upton said: “Just a flat-out dirty play. Period.”
As if things couldn’t get worse, Tough Guy Gomes ran in from right field:
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
“I probably could have done a lot of things worse, but it is a baseball field and there’s fans and kids watching,” said Gomes. “I just had to let him know, that’s not going to fly with me on the field.”
Yeah, it’s nice to see the players fired up. But this needs to end now. It really should have ended after Heath Phillips drilled Evan Longoria. But since we’re far past that point, we need Girardi and Maddon to jointly say “enough.”
Tyler Kepner tells us that Jason Giambi asked out of the Yanks’ trip to St. Petersburg today, citing a minor lower back issue. The Giambino has been known to aggravate his back in the past, especially when manning first base. He’s been doing this a lot during the spring. Hopefully, a day or so of rest gets him back on track. · (17) ·
A little over two weeks ago, Theo Epstein criticized Mike Mussina over his complaints — from 2004 — about the Yankees’ ill-fated trip to Japan to opening the regular season. At the time, Yankee fans were a little surprised about Theo’s seeming breach of protocol. A GM’s criticizing another team’s player for comments about an unrelated incident are exceedingly rare in sports.
Today, the shoe is squarely on the other foot, and I have to wonder if this isn’t some sort of karmic retribution. The Red Sox, you see, now view their upcoming trip to Japan as a huge inconvenience. Josh Beckett, their ace, is out indefinitely with back problems and will miss the trip. Daisuke Matsuzaka’s wife is expecting, and he may miss the trip as well. The trip — two 18-hour plane rides in four days plus two baseball games that actually count — disrupts the rhythm of Spring Training and generally messes with athletes used to routine.
Publicly, in the Boston Herald, the Red Sox are saying that they’re excited to go. They say they could sit back and complain, but they’re just going to tough it out instead. Of course, reading between the lines, complaining is exactly what they’re doing, and I don’t blame them. In this case, I completely sympathize with the players.
As for Mr. Epstein, I think he should take this one as a lesson. Internally, I’m sure there will be a lot of Boston-based grumblings about this trip both before and after. Mussina just happened to share his with the world. For that, he does not deserve the criticism he received. Enjoy your flights, Theo. I hear crossing the international date line twice in 96 hours does wonders to the body.
Via Mike Rose filling in for Kat O’Brien:
Andy Pettitte has been scratched from his start Wednesday with minor muscle irritation in his left forearm on the outside of the elbow.
Manager Joe Girardi heavily emphasized that the ailment is minor. Pettitte is not being sent for any tests, and Girardi said he would start if it were the regular season. In fact, Pettitte pushed to make the start Wednesday against the Rays.
“They’re extremely cautious here, and I guess it’s a good thing,” Pettitte said.
Pettitte said he first felt the irritation after his last bullpen session while playing catch. He said he was not concerned or would have stopped pitching. However, he told the Yankees what he was feeling and Wednesday morning they told him they would skip his start. The Yankees are treating the elbow with hot and cold bath, light microcurrent therapy, massage and stretching.
I’m sure this has nothing at all to do with throwing a Minor League pitcher out there to bear the brunt of the Cervelli retaliation. Nope. Nothing at all.
In all seriousness, Pettitte should be fine, but that elbow is always a red flag.