Speaking from experience, Old Timers’ Day is an event best experienced live and in person. Television doesn’t do it justice. There are so many great players — all-time greats in some cases, a few of the best players the game has ever seen — and fan favorites all in one place. It’s really amazing to watch from a seat in the ballpark.
Of course, the Yankees are pretty much the only franchise in sports that can pull off an event like this. Old Timers’ Day will be extra special this year because, following the baseline introductions, the Yankees will dedicate a plaque in honor of Goose Gossage to Monument Park. Tino Martinez’s plaque was unveiled yesterday and later this summer Paul O’Neill and Joe Torre will be honored.
The full roster of Old Timers can be seen right here. Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon will be among those making their debuts and I’m sure they’ll get huge ovations, especially Matsui. Jorge Posada is still holding out and will not make his Old Timers’ Day debut today. Bummer. Mike Mussina is skipping this year too. Another bummer. Still plenty of awesome players and favorites to go around though.
The ceremony and baseline introductions start at approximately 11:30pm ET. All of it can be seen on YES. The Yankees and Orioles are scheduled to play their game at 2:05pm ET. There is no lineup yet, so I’ll update the post once it’s made available. Enjoy the ceremonies and the game.
Update (11:53am): Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup for this afternoon’s game:
Saturday afternoon started with a great ceremony honoring Tino Martinez and ended with a 6-1 loss that snapped the four-game winning streak. Five homers accounted for all the offense. Let’s recap the Yankees’ loss to the Orioles:
- Kei Nuno (or Vidal Igawa?): Sometimes you can predict baseball. The O’s have one of the most powerful offenses in the game and they teed off against Vidal Nuno, taking him deep three times for five runs in 6.1 innings. Adam Jones (solo), Nelson Cruz (two-run), and Steve Pearce (two-run) did the damage. Nuno has now allowed 30 runs and 13 homers in 39.1 innings at home this season. The Yankees have the option of skipping his next start thanks to Thursday’s off-day, and even though Joe Girardi indicated they will remain on rotation, I don’t see how they can let him make another start. The have to find an alternative and soon.
- One & Done: Remember how the Yankees blew numerous opportunities and couldn’t score in general prior to Carlos Beltran‘s walk-off homer on Friday? That’s what the offense did all day on Saturday. The scored their only run on Mark Teixeira‘s fourth inning solo homer, otherwise going hitless in nine at-bats with men in scoring position. The Yankees had men on base in every inning but the second and sixth, yet still only managed to get two runners as far as third base (not including the homer). Barf.
- Leftovers: The only positive from Nuno’s day was that he threw 6.1 innings (107 pitches), so he didn’t tax the bullpen. Jose Ramirez threw 2.2 innings and 48 pitches in relief, allowing one run on J.J. Hardy’s first homer of the year … Kelly Johnson was the only starter who failed to reach base while only Jacoby Ellsbury (single and walk) and Brian Roberts (single and double) reached twice.
MLB.com has the box score, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees wrap up their already successful six-game homestand with Old Timers’ Day on Sunday afternoon. The ceremonies start at approximately 11:30am ET. After that, Masahiro Tanaka will look to give his team the series win over the O’s. Chris Tillman will be on the bump for Baltimore.
RHP Bryan Mitchell has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton, according to Chad Jennings. RHP Joel De La Cruz was sent down to Double-A Trenton in a corresponding move. Also, I’m a few days late on this, but Howard Megdal spoke to switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who is still trying to get to the show after right shoulder surgery and becoming a sidearmer from both sides. Check it out.
Triple-A Scranton (4-0 win over Pawtucket)
- LF Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 RBI
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-4, 1 K
- RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 1 K — in a little 1-for-17 (.059) slump
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K
- DH Kyle Roller: 0-4, 2 K
- SS Zelous Wheeler: 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB — 11-for-29 (.379) during his eight-game hitting streak
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B — 7-for-18 (.389) with four doubles, five walks, and no strikeouts in the last five games
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 3/5 GB/FB – 48 of 84 pitches were strikes (57%) … nice Triple-A debut despite more walks than strikeouts
- RHP Matt Daley: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K,0/1 GB/FB — 28 of 37 pitches were strikes (76%)
I thought giving Tino Martinez a plaque in Monument Park was questionable, but it was obvious this afternoon that it meant a lot to him. He seemed to be overwhelmed by the whole thing. That made me happy and I’m glad he enjoyed the day. The videos of the ceremony are above, in case you missed them. (Here’s the link to the videos in case the embed doesn’t work for whatever reason.)
Here is your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing, FOX is airing the Braves and Nationals, and there’s both the World Cup and College World Series going on. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s loss, Tino’s plaque, or anything else on your mind right here.
Another setback for Michael Pineda. Yesterday’s precautionary MRI showed a “trace” of inflammation in his shoulder, Joe Girardi confirmed, so he will not play catch this weekend as expected. The team is hopeful Pineda will be able to start a throwing program next weekend instead. He’s been out since late-April with a muscle strain and has already suffered one setback. Brian Cashman recently said they don’t expect to get Pineda back until August. · (23) ·
The international free agent signing period opens in less than two weeks, and the Yankees have been connected to almost every meaningful prospect. They reportedly have several deals already in place and are expected to spend upwards of $30M between bonuses and penalties. Here are some stray notes on international prospects:
- Cuban OF Yasmani Tomas has defected, reports Ben Badler. He still needs to go through several steps (establish residency, be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, etc.) before being declared a free agent, so it might not be until next year that he can actual sign. Badler says the 23-year-old Tomas “can hit towering home runs (and) has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale,” though there are holes in his swing and he struggles against breaking balls. This won’t be the last time you hear about him.
- The Yankees are likely to sign Venezuelan SS Wilkerman Garcia to a seven-figure bonus, according to Badler (subs. req’d). Garcia, 16, is considered one of the best hitters available this summer, and Badler says (subs. req’d) he is “a switch-hitter who’s better from the left side, where he can square up good velocity with a mature approach at the plate … Garcia’s offensive game is more about hitting than power, but there’s strength projection in his body.”
- MLB.com posted their list of the top 30 international free agents, and, like their draft coverage, it includes scouting reports, 20-80 scouting scale grades, and video. All for free. It’s awesome. The Yankees are connected to prospects No. 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16, 18, 25, and 29. If they were serious about building up the farm system, they’d sign the other 19 prospects too. (Do I need to say that’s sarcasm? Because it was sarcasm.)
I was still pumped about Carlos Beltran‘s walk-off homer when I woke up this morning. I doubt I was alone. That was so awesome, easily the Yankees’ best win of the season and probably their best since Raul Ibanez was doing his thing in late 2012. The Bombers have now won four straight games — all against division rivals in direct competition for the AL East crown — and eight of their last ten. Things are going well right now.
Before the Yankees try to extend the winning streak to five, they will honor Tino Martinez and unveil his plaque in Monument Park this afternoon. Goose Gossage and Paul O’Neill will be receiving plaques of their own later this season. Tino spent seven years in pinstripes and I always felt he was more of an excellent complementary player than a core piece, but he did have one MVP caliber year (1997) and a bunch of other enormous moments with the Yankees. He was clearly a key component of the late-1990s dynasty.
I’m not sure what time the ceremony begins, but I’m guessing sometime around 12:30-12:45pm ET. That’s usually when this stuff happens. Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup for this afternoon’s game:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- C Frankie Cervelli
LHP Vidal Nuno
It’s a perfect afternoon for baseball in New York. Blue skies, almost no clouds, and warm but not overwhelmingly hot. Great day to be out at the park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. I’m not sure if MLBN will show the Tino ceremony. Enjoy the game.
Injury Updates: CC Sabathia (knee) threw a 36-pitch bullpen session today and will travel to Tampa to continue his rehab tomorrow. The plan is to throw live batting practice on Tuesday and pitch in a minor league rehab game next Saturday … David Huff (foot) had precautionary x-rays after being hit in the foot by a comebacker last night. Everything came back clean and he is available today.
Alex Rodriguez has dropped his malpractice suit against Yankees team doctor Dr. Christopher Ahmad, according to Ken Davidoff. The suit had been pending since October, when he sued pretty much everyone as part of the appeal of his record 211-game suspension. “All legal matters have been resolved. Alex looks forward to taking the field in 2015,” said spokesman Ron Berkowitz.
A-Rod dropped his lawsuits against MLB, MLBPA, and Bud Selig back in February. It seems like he’s trying to un-burn some bridges at this point. Alex is still under contract through 2017 and he continues to say he wants to play once his suspension is over, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens next year. The Yankees pretty clearly don’t want him around, but they’re stuck with him and may try to bleed whatever attendance and ratings boost they can out of him. Whether he can be an effective player is another matter. · (38) ·
That WPA graph says it all, doesn’t it? The Yankees blew opportunity after opportunity on Friday night — they loaded the bases three times and scored a total of zero runs in those situations — and looked to be heading towards a frustrating and disappointing loss. All the air was about to be let out of the Blue Jays sweep balloon.
Instead, Carlos Beltran came out of his offensive slumber to club a two-out, three-run, walk-off homer against Zach Britton, turning an ugly loss into the unquestioned best win of the season. At +0.83 WPA, it was the Yankees’ biggest hit since Jason Giambi hit a walk-off two-run homer against B.J. Ryan back in June 2008 (+0.89). I remember that game well and I will remember this one well as … well.
Pretty much everything before the homer is an afterthought. Hiroki Kuroda took a no-hitter into the sixth, Mark Teixeira doubled in Brett Gardner for the game’s first run in the first inning, and Brian McCann singled in a run ahead of Beltran’s dinger to extend the inning. It was a really good at-bat against the tough lefty. McCann’s at-bat and single in that ninth inning should not be forgotten.
I spent a good chunk of the game sitting in traffic and following on Gameday, so I can’t go into much more detail. I did see the ninth inning rally though, and that’s really all that matters. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Blue Jays rallied to win after being down 8-0, so thanks for nothing Reds. The Yankees remain 1.5 games back of first place in the AL East.
Anyway, Yankees and Orioles meet again on Saturday afternoon, when Vidal Nuno and Bud Norris meet. The Yankees will add a plaque to Monument Park in honor of Tino Martinez before the game.
The Yankees have released 1B Russ Canzler, according to Donnie Collins. There was some thought he could help as a righty platoon bat, but he didn’t hit in Triple-A and lost playing time once 1B Kyle Roller was promoted.
Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Pawtucket)
- LF Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
- C John Ryan Murphy: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K — first game back
- RF Zoilo Almonte & 3B Scott Sizemore: both 0-4, 1 K
- 1B Kyle Roller: 1-4, 1 K
- SS Zelous Wheeler: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB — 7-for-21 (.333) with two doubles and a triple
- CF Taylor Dugas: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB — Triple-A debut
- RHP Joel De La Cruz: 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 5/1 GB/FB — 28 of 47 pitches were strikes (60%) … left the game after being hit in the arm by a comebacker
- RHP Preston Claiborne: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 27 of 39 pitches were strikes (69%)
- RHP Heath Bell: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 31 of 46 pitches were strikes (67%) … hmm, efficient