Rockies vs Padres in the tie-break game tonight. The Peavy-Fogg pitching matchup favors the Pads on paper, but with the way the season has gone, you know it won’t be that easy.
Where’s the Yankee tie-in you say? Well, the totally awesome Troy Tulowitzki wears #2 because he grew up idolizing Derek Jeter. I know, where does the time go.
Game 1 of the postseason has arrived, comment on the action here.
The Yanks drew the short straw on this one:
Thursday: At Cleveland, 6:30 p.m.
Friday: At Cleveland, 5 p.m.
Sunday: At New York, 6:30 p.m.
Monday: At New York, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: At Cleveland, 5 p.m.
Got a few million dollars lying around? Want to stick your name on something at the new Yankee Stadium? Well, boy, do I have a sponsorship deal for you.
According to a Tyler Kepner original in The Times today, the Yankees won’t be selling the naming rights to the new Yankee Stadium. They will, however, be selling the naming rights to everything else you can imagine inside the new stadium.
Now, the Yankees know they are giving up a lot of money to keep the stadium name pure, and ostentatious luxury boxes aside, I like their attitude. “The dollars we passed were incomparable,” Yankees COO Lonn Trost said to Kepner. “Having said that, you wouldn’t rename the White House, you wouldn’t rename Grant’s Tomb and you wouldn’t rename the Grand Canyon. This is Yankee Stadium, and this will always be Yankee Stadium.”
Here’s where it gets interesting:
As they look ahead to the new Yankee Stadium, which will open in 2009, the Yankees have found an alternate way to collect some of the money they might have made from naming rights. They will announce today that they have hired the Creative Arts Agency to market partnerships to corporate sponsors. “It’s an opportunity for a company to partner with the Yankees and say, ‘We support the Yankees’ decision to keep the stadium as Yankee Stadium,’ ” said Mike Levine, the co-head of CAA Sports.
Knowing that, he said, the partnership with CAA will help the Yankees benefit financially by offering expanded sponsorship deals to companies in the new ballpark. Trost and Levine said specific plans were still in development, but there would be no advertising on uniforms, which is against Major League Baseball rules, and Trost stressed the ballpark would not be cluttered with corporate logos.
Currently, much of the Yankee broadcast on TV is brought to you by something or other. (That’s a post for another day, actually.) Nowadays, at the stadium, mostly everything has a sponsor too. The pick-a-song, Yankees DJ feature is brought to you by XM Satellite Radio; the fan marquee is sponsored by Snapple; the Yankees hat tease comes at us courtesy of New Era; and Modell’s gives away gift certificates galore in between innings.
So what’s next? With these new sponsorship deals in place, the upper deck could end up being brought to you by Upper Deck. Maybe the Beers of the World stand will become the Foster’s Beers of the World Stand. And take your pick of toilets: The line at the Geico’s restroom is shorter than the line at the Bank of American bathroom.
Outside of the naming rights, the Yankees will probably set some industry records and rewrite the industry rules in milking money out of sponsorship deals for the new stadium. It will be interesting – if a little sickeningly – to see which company brings every aspect of the new stadium experience to the fans and how they go about branding these sponsorships.
To all of you being so negative, enough. ENOUGH. We’re all fans of the Yankees; we’re all rooting for them to win. We all saw them be the best team in the Majors for a sustained period of time. We saw them beat good pitchers and good teams. If you don’t have faith in the Yankees and their ability to win in October, then come back in April. Sure, the Yanks might lose in the ALDS or the ALCS or the World Series. But they have as good a shot as any to win and deserve our support. Quit writing them off before an anthem is sung or a pitch is thrown. · (4) ·
How far did Brian Bruney fall?
A year ago, he pitched in three of the four ALDS games. Yesterday, the Yankees told him to go home, opting to not include the right-handed reliever around like they did with Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Britton and Jose Veras. (sic)
“I was shocked,” Bruney said.
Never mind the sentence in that quote that isn’t English. That’s The New York Post for ya.
Instead let’s focus on the good news: After six months of trying, we finally got the Yankees to recognize that Chris Britton is better than Brian Bruney!
Inexplicably, Brian Bruney threw 50.0 innings for the Yanks this year. His 4.68 ERA isn’t terrible unti you consider the 10.61 ERA he’s sported since the beginning of August. He was sent down to the minors to work on his command and still managed to sport a K:BB ratio of nearly 1:1 this season. He didn’t show a willingness to work on his pitching but did sport a nifty bad attitude.
Meanwhile, while Jose Veras (5.79, 1:1 K:BB, 9.1 IP) didn’t show much, he seems to be one of Joe Torre’s Guys. Britton threw 12.2 innings with a 3.55 ERA, and Ohlendorf, very impressive in 6.1 innings, struck out 9 and threw strikes.
So as information about the postseason roster trickles out, at least we won’t be subjected to Brian Bruney in the postseason. No word yet on Ron “I let all my inherited runners score” Villone yet.
With two outs in the ninth yesterday, Kyle Farnsworth pulled up a bit lame, and Joe Torre and the trainers rushed to the field. No one said much about it after the game, and the only word on his leg comes from Kat O’Brien. Farnsworth felt his hip pop and says he’s feeling OK. As any athlete knows, pop – shoulder, knee, elbow – happen, and the lingering effects are usually minimal. It’s all good.
I just wanted to quickly introduce myself as a guest contributor to River Ave Blues. I’ve been a longtime reader of the guys at RAB since the days of ‘In George We Trust’ and ‘Off the Façade’ so I’m really looking forward to providing some write ups during the AzFL season. I’m a techie by trade, but I’m a huge fan of the Yankee minor league teams and hopefully I can bring you first hand recaps and photos from the games. Hope you enjoy…
In our younger and more vulnerable days, we were not too kind to Bobby Abreu. Now, despite our early trangressions, we did apologize to Mr. Abreu in June. Let’s take a look at where things ended up with the presumptive 2008 right fielder this year.
During today’s game, as he hustled down the line early on, Bobby Abreu beat out a potential double play ball to secure his 100th RBI of the season. Abreu would later walk to drive in run number 101 on the season, thus completing a remarkable turnaround. Abreu ended the season with a whopping 123 runs scored, 40 doubles, 16 HR, 101 RBI and a batting line of .283/.369/.445. While those rate stats aren’t in line with his career numbers, those are some impressive counting stats.
Now, let’s jump back in time a bit to see how Abreu got there. The journey makes his final number seem all the better. At the end of May in Toronto, Joe Torre opted to bench Bobby Abreu. The former All Star was hitting .228/.313/.289 and needed to refocus. Whatever happened that day sure did work. Over the next 106 games (not yet counting Sunday’s), Abreu hit at a pace even with his career line. He turned in a .312/.397/.525 line with 34 doubles, 14 home runs and 77 RBIs.
That’s some turn around. Not coincidentally, Abreu’s turnaround came with the Yankees’ turnaround. It’s really that simple. When Abreu hits, pitchers have to face Jeter-Abreu-Rodriguez in the heart of a fearsome order. There’s no letting up, and Abreu, in effect, put up MVP numbers for the reason of the season. Furthermore, had Abreu avoided his early season slump, I bet the Yanks would have won the division.
To bolster that claim, let’s see what Abreu’s final line would have looked yet if we take those stellar 106 games and extend them over 162. He would have hit .312/.397/.525, significantly higher than his final 2007 numbers. He could have ended the year with 21 HR, 117 RBI (!) and 52 doubles. His numbers through 106 games also would have put him on pace to score 137 runs. If that’s not an MVP candidate, I don’t know what is.
With those extra runs and extra hitting, the Yanks would have been able to win two games — any two games really — during their 21-29 stretch. We can blame the Devil Rays all we want, but the truth is that the Yankees did themselves in with a slow start, injuries and poor pitching.
Now, let’s jump ahead to this week. On Thursday, the numbers are all reset to 0 — or is that .000/.000/.000? When Johnny Damon digs in against C.C. Sabathia on Thursday, we’ll have to hope that Bobby Abreu can help lead the Yanks to 11 more victories this year. In May, I wouldn’t have believed it, but after the last 107 games, I think he can.