You know, watching the team play last night almost made me forget about the dismal first half. Okay, maybe not so much, but it was still a damn good effort on the part of the Yanks. It’s against the lowly Devil Rays, but the Yanks have to beat up on these teams to have a shot. The Yanks need at least three out of four in this series if we’re going to take them seriously. Now we’re back at .500, and looking to get back over the hump tonight.
What’s encouraging is seeing that everyone in the lineup got a hit — except Cano. And for the most part, they beat up on one of the surprisingly good starters for Tampa Bay. James Shields surrendered three home runs — all in the same inning — and three doubles, accounting for 2/3 of his total hits allowed. That, my friends, is how the Yankees are supposed to win ball games.
One of the craziest box scores of the year right here. The GCL Cardinals were getting no-hit into the 15th inning (!) then walk-off with a 1-0 win in the 17th inning. Insane.
Oh, and this comes straight from the horse’s mouth:
Some people have expressed concern over the fact that I have just three home runs this season. I don’t worry too much about it. What matters is that I’m hitting the ball. The power will come as long as I continue to have confidence in myself.
Triple-A Scranton (9-6 win over Louisville)
Brett Gardner: 0 for 3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SBÂ - solid showing in his AAA debut
Justin Christian: 3 for 5, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 SBÂ - 21 hits in his last 11 games
Shelley Duncan: 2 for 5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K – why not call him up to give the Yanks a little thump off the bench?
Angel Chavez: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
Eric Duncan: 0 for 4, 1 BB – BA down to .223
Andy Cannizaro & Raul Chavez: both 1 for 4, 1 R – Cannizaro walked, Chavez drove in 2 and picked a runner off first
Chase Wright: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K – the good: he outpitched this guy…the bad: he gave up this guy’sÂ first career AAA homerÂ
Sean Henn: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2Â R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Chris Britton: Â 0.2 IP, zeroes across the board
Jim Brower: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K – in other news, Kyle Farnsworth allowed 2 more baserunners
This is little more than speculation, so let’s view it as just that.
There was an article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that talked about the possibility of the A’s moving Mike Piazza in the coming weeks. This comes just days after speculation that the A’s were prepared to trade first baseman Dan Johnson.
Naturally, the Yankees have been connected to both names. Piazza would have no use beyond DH, as he still cannot throw a ball with his bum shoulder. That’s actually the reason he’s being shopped — with Jack Cust at DH, a full outfield, and Johnson at first, there’s simply no room for Piazza. He’d be a big bat off the bench, but Billy Beane didn’t shell out $8.5 million for a pinch hitter.
Johnson can play first base capably, and is hitting .260/.369/.455 in 235 at bats since returning from the DL. His lowly marks of .234 /.323 /.381 from last year are largely attributed to double vision, which was corrected with surgery this off-season.
I present to you the probable pitching matchups for Double-A Trenton’sÂ 4-game set with Double-A New Hampshire this weekend:
Thursday: Ian Patrick Kennedy vs Ricky Romero (1.72 WHIP, 4.11 ERA)
Sunday: Alan Horne vs Kyle Yates (1.53 WHIP, 5.04 ERA)
So um . . . yeah . . . should be an interesting series . . .
(FYI: you can watch Saturday’s game online for free via CN8)
Triple-A Scranton is off for the All-Star break.Â The International League squad beat their Pacific Coast League counterparts 7-5.
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 2, 1 BB, 2 K – started at DH and batted 6th…pinch hit for in the 8th by a former Yankee top draft pick…
Jim Brower: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – got the last out of the 6th
Double-A TrentonÂ is off for the All-Star break. The AS game was cancelled after less than 2 and a half innings because of a ridiculously thick fog.Â All three Yankee farmhands who made theÂ trip got into the game before they called it off.
Jeff Marquez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2-1 GB/FB – started the game…8 of 14 pitches were strikes
Alan Horne: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – pitched the second…10 of 12 pitches were strikes…
Matt Carson: 0 for 0, 1 HBP – started in left field and batted ninth…when he got hit by the pitch, they played this over the stadium PA system…classic
From the Worldwide Leader:
The Yankees have changed their traditional stance and are now willing to negotiate during the season with their star third baseman on a contract extension, MLB sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.
The key sticking point for the Yankees in the prospective negotiations is that Rodriguez agree not to opt out of his current contract after this season and agree to add any extension to the current contract, which expires after the 2010 season.
The guess here is that he ends up inking a monster extension, like a 6-yr/$200M kind of monster.
Update by Ben: I wanted to make a few points here. I doubt the Yanks have said nothing about this to Rivera or Posada. Those two will re-sign with the Yanks too.
As for A-Rod, I’m thinking more along the lines of five years at $150 million or six years at $180 mil. Now, while I know many people expect A-Rod to head west, the truth is that the Angels and Giants just can’t afford that kind of deal. $30 million would be a whopping one-third of the Giants total payroll or slightly less than 30 percent of the Angels’ total payroll. I just don’t see that happening.
My guess, as like Mike, is that A-Rod negotiates with the Yanks, stays and wins one or two rings in the Bronx as Hughes and Chamberlain join a rotation with Wang. A new ballpark will see the Yanks’ finances improve even more, and they can afford this move.
New York Magazine’s Daily Intel blog posted an interview with one-time Yankee Mickey Rivers today. Rivers played center field for the 1977 World Champion team and made headlines for his bad relationship with Reggie Jackson. In the interview, which coincides with the debut of ESPN’s The Bronx is Burning, Rivers talks about Reggie and Alex Rodriguez, the latest Yankee superstar living down a tough reputation. Says Rivers when asked if A-Rod is the new Reggie:
A-Rod donâ€™t want to be the straw that stirs the drink. He want to be known as a fair guy who goes out and help a team to win a pennant. Heâ€™s a great guy. I work with him. Going on twenty years Iâ€™ve seen A-Rod getting better in different programs. Heâ€™s one of the hardest-working guys there.It’s an interesting take from someone who’s been around the game non-stop for nearly 40 years. A-Rod’s off-field reputation, it seems, is largely undeserved. Anyway, check out the interview. It’s a good read. · (3) ·
With the Yanks’ outfield a sore spot this year, a lot of commenters on this and other Yankee sites have suggested the Bombers pursue Ichiro Suzuki this winter. I’ve never been a fan of that move; Ichiro, much like Johnny Damon, would command too much money base don his past performance and not enough on what he will do. While Ichiro won’t decline as much as Damon has, old Ichiro won’t be nearly as potent as 30-year-old Ichiro.
But worry not, Yankee fans. Word has emerged, via FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal, that the Mariners are Ichiro are nearing agreement on a five-year extension that could worth $100 million. That $100 million sure makes that full-sized Hybrid Chevy SUV Ichiro won tonight as MVP of the All Star Game a real piece of junk.
This contract is exactly why I didn’t want Ichiro on the Yanks. Can you imagine Ichiro in 38 when some of his speed has left him? He’ll be a slap hitting outfielder with a much lower average and less power. He won’t be able to cover as much ground in the outfield either. All of that could be yours for just $18-$20 million a year!
In reality, the Mariners’ need to sign Ichiro transcends baseball. It is a business decision. His presence as a superstar on this team gives them unfettered access to the Japanese leagues and the Japanese media markets. As long as Ichiro remains a Mariner, the team will be in perennial contention for the latest big-name import. And as long as he stays on the team, their games will reach millions of Japanese fans across the Pacific Ocean from Seattle.
We can dream about a player of Ichiro’s caliber playing in New York, but the last thing the Yanks need is a superstar on the wrong end of his career. The Mariners need to take the risk, and they’ve saved the Yanks from making a mistake.