Monday, June 18, 2007

Game Elevation Continues

One winning streak ended, another one began as the Yanks take two out of three from the stepchildren from Queens.

A-Rod is currently pacing to finish with 65 HRs and 177 RBIs. With Damon, Jeter, and Abreu hitting in front of him, it is very possible I believe anyway, for him to actually accelerate the pace. As good as A-Rod has been, he has not been the only player that has been hot in June: Chien-MingWang is now 4-0 with ERA of 2 this month - he gets pulled after going 8 and 2 thirds - What's up with that?? Frankly though, pick any player on the roster right now and it seems they are rolling.

I think it was big that after the winning streak ended on Friday, that they came right back to take the series and win two straight. Right now we are seeing what happens when all-stars play at the level they are capable of. Simply put, the Yankees are playing good ball.

Tyler Clippard - Unfortunately, he hasn't exactly progressed as a pitcher the last 3 outings. He throws too many pitches, not enough strikes. He has the MLB mentality - he's aggressive. He just is in need of a little more polish before he belongs up here for good though. It would not surprise me if the Yanks optioned him down to work out a few things and brought up Kei Igawa for another role. Igawa apparently has been progressing well in the minors. Regardless if management sends Clippard down or not, and this goes for all of the other newbies that we saw this season (Hughes, DeSalvo, Wright), the taste they got of the show this year, even though they weren't quite ready, will only make them better, stronger pitches in the seasons to come.

Looking at the injury situation, and given how solid the Yankee starting 4 is suddenly looking, it would have been quite a luxury to have Pavano, Karstens or Rassner as our #5 starter. Speaking of Karstens, (going through withdrawal, I haven't had a reason to mention either of my boys in over a month!!) I have not seen or heard anything as it relates to how his rehab is progressing and when he is projected back in action.

So far, the Bombers are 13-3 for the month of June. With the next 9 games coming against Coloardo, San Fran, followed by a stint in Baltimore, it would not surprise me if they went on to win 7 or 8 of the next 9.

In other news: During the week of the All-Star break, ESPN will be airing a program titled: The Bronx is Burning... Argentina must be going sports crazy right now - They are home to an NBA Champion (Manu Ginobili), and now most recently, the home to the U.S. Open champion in Angel Cabrera... What the hell is up with the life span of pro wrestlers?? Sensational Sherri dead at age 49. Within the last 10 years, there has been at least a dozen or more deaths all under the age of 50. Time to review life expectancy tables per occupation I guess. The Mets are 2 and 11 for their last 13 games -- I'd say it looks like the braves are set to return to their rightful perch in the division soon. (I figured I'd save my comment on the Mets for the last line of the post, because that's where they are usually listed in the real Post.)


The Scooter said...

Yep, 57 and I took in the sights at the Cathedral on Friday night. Great seats provided by the Mets fan as you can see, and my thanks go out to him once again. Yes, I would have liked to have seen a victory, but you have to be happy with what we saw from Clemens and I'll take winning the series any day. Meatloaf said it best..."Two Outta Three Aint Bad".

Mid, I think they already sent Clippard down and called up Igawa.

You have shown some serious restraint in not mentioning Karstens and Rassner for a while, but I agree with you in that either one of them would look pretty good as the #5 right now.

I have a feeling that it's the Indians that the bombers need to track down for the wild card....the Tigers are going to win that division.

Sad news about Sensational Sherri....Who's next, Sable?

Ya gotta love Angel Cabrera...old school all the way. The shot of him walking up the fairway smoking a heater was classic.

When do the NBA finals start?

57 said...

I was standing in line for Cracker Jacks when Reyes hit his home run and I was pretty pissed off.

The Mets are in trouble. They need to fire their hitting coach immediately... My take, however, is that they will sweep the Twins this week and will welcome the A's to Shea with a nice winning streak.

I thoroughly enjoyed chanting the Jose Reyes chant in Yankee Stadium....Awesome. I then became sick to my stomach when some moron stood up and tried to get the entire section to give some help to Posada with one of the worst chants in sports history.... "HIP HIP...JOR-GE...HIP HIP... JOR-GE...HIP HIP.. JOR-GE"... that is embarrassing, and I almost left.

Anonymous said...

You're correct - they sent Clippard down, looks like they recalled Kevin Thompson though.

old professor said...

The high atmosphere around Coors Field should accelerate A-Rod's homerun production. Thompson was called up when Clippard went down. With the off-day, they don't need a fifth starter right away and they don't want Igwa to miss a turn in the rotation. So for now, he will stay in the minors.

The story with Clippard, DeSalvo and Chase Wright is the same - they need some more seasoning. Pitches they were able to get away with in the minors becae long homeruns in the majors.

Don't be surprised if at least two fo those pitchers end up as part of a trade in the near future. The Yankees have an abundance of good minor league arms and the rotation at Trenton is one of the better rotations at that level. But good arms at the minor leagues doesn't always translate into success at the majors.

Two names the Yankees have announced as "don't bother trying to include them in trade talks" are Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.

The Scooter said...

From CBS Sportsline...hope you don't mind the cut and paste.

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees signed a pair of Chinese players, saying Monday they were the first players from China signed by major league teams with the approval of the country's baseball association.

Kai Liu, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, and Zhenwang Zhang, a 19-year-old catcher, are to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium news conference July 6 and then will report to the team's minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.

Liu has played for Guangdong Province in China's six-team league and has been chosen for the national team. Zhang played for the Tianjin Lions, winning league titles in 2002, 2005 and 2006, and appeared in one game at last year's World Baseball Classic but did not have any at-bats.

"We have scouts worldwide and we have seen both players in the past," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Yankees executives visited China in January and reached a working agreement with the Chinese Baseball

57 said...

...a.k.a on the above = A top sign the Apocolypse is nigh.

Anonymous said...

There's been a lot mentioned recently about the declining rates of blacks and whites in MLB and the rise of Latino and Asians within the ranks.

If you believe it is due to economics - meaning they can sign a player in the system cheaper with Latino/Asians etc. vs. domestic Americans, then perhaps these two signings could be just that.

An example of outsourcing?

old professor said...

Regarding the signing of two Chinese players, only time will tell. Both players are only 19 and they will be allowed to develop in the Yankee system for a long time.

On a very positive note, the Yankees picked up a half game on the Red Sox. Monday's Red Sox game is the second straight game that Schilling has been lit up. It looks as if the no-hit bid three starts ago may have taken more out of him than he might be willing to admit.

Yankees need to build another long winning streak.

old professor said...

Forgot to comment on the ethnic signing issues. Sounds like someone has been reading quotes from Gary Sheffield who believes that Hispanic ballplayers are easier to control and are willing to sign for a lot less.

The truth of the matter being baseball seems to be a major area of interest for Carribean Countries and yes it is a way for players to escape the poverty of such places as the Dominican Republic and Cuba (provided you can get out of this country without being shot).

Baseball also seems to be attractive to Carribean Players because unlike football and basketball, there are a large number of non-college athletes drafted by professional teams.

It would appear the interest of African American Athletes seems to be less with baseball and more with Basketball (could it be that once drafted by an NBA team you make your money immediately and play in the NBA, unlike baseball where once drafted, you can spend years in the minors before getting to the show).

Same goes for football, a lot of money up front and you play in the bigs immediately - no minor league system.

57 said...

The Mets had 15 hits last night.

The Scooter said...

Another idiot: Ken Rosenthal on basically says the Yankees should trade for Teixiera EVEN if it costs them Phil Hughes.

Do these guys have any concept whatsoever on how to build a winning ballclub?

Anonymous said...

As always Old Prof - you take a few comments and try to tie them to things that have nothing to do with the original intent. - Baseball Execs right around Jackie Ro day were asked, and they point blank said it is a business issue that they can build facilities, and sign several players versus the cost one domestic player. - No control issues or sheffield issues, just money

Anonymous said...

THE RETURN OF KEI IGAWA happens on Friday at San Fran.

#s in AAA: 2-2, 2.88 ERA.


old professor said...

Not trying to make anything out of the ethnic issue. Sheffield piped off about it a couple of weeks ago. ESPN Radio personalities carried discussions on and on and on about it. Even Ozzie Gullen had an opinion.

The facts and numbers speak for themselves. If the Yankees have opened up the Far East Market, the discussions in ten years will be why there are so many Asians in MLB versus low numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans.

57 said...

That is why Paul LoDuca is a God. We need more Italians in this leauge.

CrashDavis said...

The only Italian I see at the ball park is serving sausage from a cart.

Anonymous said...

The disrespecting of Josh Phelps was completed as the Yanks desiganted him for assignment to bring up Andy Phillips... they never were willing to give this guy a fair shot at becoming an everyday Yankee.


old professor said...

I have to agree that Josh Phelps was not given a fair chance. He had a great spring and then was allowed to sit on the bench while Minky could not bat his weight.

Joe Torre was always very high on Phillips and felt that if he was given enough time and at bats in the minors he would be okay. His time is now. He has hit well in the minors and he is good defensively.

The question now is whether Baltimore wants Phelps back - He was a rule 5. Yanks paid $50K and had to keep him on the 25 man roster for the season. If Baltimore wants him back, he goes to Baltimore and Baltimore keeps half the money.

The Scooter said...

Come on fellas...Phelps did nothing. He got close to 100 at bats and showed no pop with the bat. Phillips will hit just as much if not better and provide much better defense.

The Yankees are going to make a trade for a first baseman anyway, whether it's a blockbuster for Teixeira or a smaller deal for a Hildebrand or a Wigginton.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind if its Tex or Wigington - hope not Shea - he's a clubhouse problem.

On Phelps - I'm not saying he was the next Donnie Baseball - what I am saying is giving him pinch hit spots, and playing an occasional 6 inning games before being pulled in the final third of a game is a different mindset then being put in as the everyday.

If given the shot to be the everyday player, he'll be batting .300 plus and 25 HRs for another ball club - take that one to the bank.

Yankee Boy said...

OK...enough already.....I've been a silent observer of this great blog for a few months now and need to call out "57." Aren't there rules for keeping Met fans off the blog? Not sure who this guy is but I've never met someone so arrogant. I'm not one to "battle" over the internet - I'd actually prefer face-to-face and fists-to-cuffs - but this guy drives me crazy!!!!!

Oh, and by the way, I'm sick of the Italian comments....OK, I get it you're Italian, proud of your heritage, love raviolis with meat sauce, etc....But stop telling the world. Why is that all Italians need to tell everyone they meet that they're Italian? Weird....

Hey 57, do us a favor and take you cocky Met-lovin' Italian rear-end somewhere else.

Now on to the important stuff. Is it possible that Joe Girardi is hanging on to hopes that he will one day manage our beloved Yanks? Peter Gammons is reporting that Girardi has been offered the job but still no news of his acceptance. Maybe after the Mets complete another dismal season, Willie will get the ax and move back to the Bronx. It's very possible....

57 said...

It is apparent that Yankee Boy needs to resort to "Fists to Cuffs" because she can't do anything else with her brains. Problem is, by "fists to cuffs" is actually a word in the dictionary called 'fisticuffs'... but, apparently you might not know what a dictionary is.

I am a proud of being an Italian and I wonder if you're proud of being stupid.

And keep your sports comments to yourself because what you don't know could probably fill a book.

Anyone else with me here?

Josh Phelps said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Middle Relief said...

My people tell me that an offer and a COUNTER offer has been made between the O's and Girardi. The owner is dragging his feet now because Joe wants an out clause in his contract that allows him to opt out should other (other meaning when Torre is done and Steiney offers him the job) opportunities present themselves without recourse.

As Blog Commish it looks to me that 57 is taking exception to a little chin music from the rookie Yankee Boy. I have reviewed the play and have issued the following release:

We have no place for those that want to act like Kevin Youkilis after a high and tight one... the pitcher needs to control the plate - no suspensions will be issued.

The Scooter said...

OK, Mid...but one more Italian crack outta Yankee Boy and I'm all over him too.

Josh Phelps said...

I hate Joe Torre

Anonymous said...

ESPN Reports - Joe G. turns down offer from the O's


The Scooter said...

Interesting article on Carl Pavano on

Yankee Boy said...

Hey the response....a little defensive but not bad for a Met fan. Then again, as a Met fan you get a lot of practice at being defensive.

And for Scooter, shut your yappy mouth....better yet, shove a cannoli in it. It's obvious that you're another Italian...probably picked your name because of Phil Rizzuto, wished you could play SS as good as he once did (I love you Riz), still wear an Italian horn around your neck or maybe from your rear-view mirror, and watch re-runs of the Sopranos every chance you get.

The Scooter said...

Yea yea yea..another internet tough guy. A dime a dozen. I'm sorry about those nasty things your uncle did to you when you were a kid, but it's really not our fault.

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