Friday, September 12, 2008

Last Call

So this is it. The last home stand, the last 10 games in the ballpark. I wish the ending could have been different but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. I'm sure each of us will take our own memories from this place. I have mine. From going there as a little kid when no one was in the stands, to going to sold out post-season games. Will I miss it, of course, but I am equally looking forward to the new stadium. I hope the team can at least close this place on a winning note. I'm sure the Yankees organization has something majestic planned for that last game, but it can't possibly measure up to all the memories this place holds.

29 comments:

Crash said...

I just saw that the Padres claimed Scott Patterson off of waivers from the Yankees. I can't believe the Yankees let him go. Yeah, he's 29 and he was signed from the independent leagues, but look at his #'s from AA and AAA. I think he could have been a good addition to the bullpen next year.

old professor said...

Crash, regarding Patterson's numbers, Kennedy had great numbers at AA and AAA. When Patterson was brought up this year, he didn't come through. Unfortunately, he got caught in a numbers game. When Sanchez came off of the 60-day DL, someone had to be waived. It was Patterson. (Maybe it should have been Traber).

I too have a lot of memories of the stadium. Took in a game with my dad when the World's Fair was in NYC (yes 57 that was the first year for Shea Stadium). The game featured, Jim Bouton hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the
9th inning giving the Yankees a come from behind victory. (That was the old stadium columns in the way and all). Also had a great time sitting with Crash in the nose bleed seats watching the Texas-NY playoff game.

Sad the old stadium could not go out with one more championship run - the Ghosts of Ruth Gehrig and Munson must be rolling over with the performance of this year's team.

Hank has vowed to bring a winner back next year. Not sure he realizes the magnitude of the changes that need to occur to get that done. (Unfortunately too many veterans from this year's club will return under contract for next year).

Crash said...

Old Professor said..."When Patterson was brought up this year, he didn't come through."

Yeah I guess that whole 1.3 innings he got was a fair chance to come through.

I still have, and wear, that jacket from that playoff game (1996 ALDS Game 2).

The Scooter said...

All of a sudden, you look up and Derek Jeter is having a SOLID year.

.306, 11, 68

Not many shortstops have better numbers.

I would say he has certainly done his job this year.....and CONGRATS to tying Gehrig.

Say what you want about him, Prof....but Jeter is a true class act, a professional, and a 4,000 hit guy before he is done. Best pure hitter since Pete Rose.

old professor said...

Scooter,

The average and the production that you refer to on Jeter have come in about the last twenty games where he has batted over .400. Great production now that the team is out of contention. My beef with him is I believe he is overrated as a shortstop. Limited range that allows balls that many shortstops will get to go through. In addition as Captain he is supposed is responsible for providing leadership and fire to a team. For those who say he leads by example and is a quiet leader need to look at the lack of fire this team has had. I don't believe previous captains (Mattingly and Munson come to mind) would have allowed the lack of commitment and downright laziness from so many players to go on as Jeter has.

He will go down as the all-time hit leader in Yankee history (probably will become the all-time hits leader at the Stadium either Monday or Tuesday), but the reality is under his Captaincy, the Yankees have slipped to irrelevance and fourth place.

Crash said...

I love that Girardi benched Cano in the 5th inning for not hustling after a ground ball. I hate that Girardi waits until mid-September to do it. He has had plenty of opportunity to bench Cano for not hustling before yesterday. If he did this in April or May the team, and maybe Cano, would have been better off.

Scooter you must come to the realization that Old Prof blindly follows his gut when it comes to supporting or bashing players. He will spit in the face of facts when it supports those he dislikes and twists and turns others to support his likes. We all know he has man love for A-Rod, and hates Jeter. All kings had jesters, Old Prof is our jester.

old professor said...

Crash, since you seem to be an individual that has a shrine to Jeter look at the statistical data: This year's average is the lowest it has been in four years, his OBS is the lowest it has been since his rookie year, RBI total lowest since 2003, hits only one year in his career has been lower, slugging percentage - lowest since 1997. Ignore the statistics and light the candle around your shrine and maybe you can take over Michael Kay's spot in the booth since he refuses to look at Jeter in anyway other than a reincarnation of Ty Cobb, Ruth and Gehrig all rolled into one.

Jeter's statistics will continue to sag, his best years are behind him and he will continue to receive the God treatment no matter how bad he becomes.

On a better note, it would appear the Giants may be for real. Hope they keep the momentum going against the Bengals. The last time we took in a game they had issues with the Texans.

The Scooter said...

As a Prof, Prof....I'm sure you realize that you can make statistics do anything that you want them to do.

Case in point:

While Jeter's batting average may wind up 5-10 points lower than his career average, his On base percentage will be dead on, and his strikeouts will be down.

His RBI total will be right around his career average and considering he hit lead-off a whole bunch this year, that is pretty damn good.

And to state that his hit total will be among the lowest of his career is just pure and blatant liberal propaganda. He will finish at about 200 hits, and based on his "at bat" totals thats right where the back of his baseball card says he should be.

And to think...he sucked it up and played for over a month with a bad hand. Wow...you almost have me thinking that this has been one of the BETTER years of his career.

Oh and did I mention that his error total will probably be lower than it's been since 1998???


Crash, looks like it's up to me and you to educate the educator.

Crash said...

Glad to see Girardi kept Cano on the bench for yesterday's game too. He got into the game late as a pinch runner and then stayed in for defense. He almost ran out of his shoes trying to get to a ground ball. I don't think I've ever seen him move that fast before. I also like that Girardi recognizes the Yankees are not an athletic team and notes that changes are needed and no one's job is secure going into next season.

Old Prof you need to accept the fact that Jeter is truly an all-time great. When are you going to realize that? When they retire his #, when they give him a monument, when he's elected to the HOF on the first ballet? Next you're probably going to say that Rivera is just another reliever who only has 1 pitch.

I'm not shy about expressing my frustration with A-Rod this season, but I'm not a hater. I'd much rather have him in pinstripes than in Boston Red. Truth be told, I'm not that concerned with A-Rod's performance though. I think next year he will have another monster year and contends for the MVP again. Lately he tends to go up-down-up-down in terms of production. Over the last 5 seasons ('03-'07) here is how he finished in MVP voting: 1 - 14 - 1 - 13 - 1. This year I'm guessing he'll be just outside the top 10 and next year he will again be 1.

The Scooter said...

Crash, great job in pointing out A-Rod's odd vs even year production. That's very interesting.

old professor said...

The every other year thing with A-Rod is an oddity. It should also be pointed out that in many instances, production of the number four hitter can be linked to the number five hitter (similarly the number 3 is linked to the #4). If teams truly fear the hitter behind you, you are going to see better pitches to hit.

Giambi doesn't strike fear in anyone and it may give pitchers more of an edge against A-Rod. Just something to consider.

In all likelihood Jeter will be a first ballot pick for the hall of fame. (Unless a true anti-NY feeling really exists). I just get tired of the constant worship of a guy that defensively is a liability and when he doesn't make a play, there are excuses. As Captain, he has not provided the leadership and fire the team has needed. (With 14 years in the bigs, you would have thought he could have imparted or inspired Cano and Cabrera to a better work ethic - if Posada was with the team for the year, he may have been all over them). That kind of leadership does not seem to be a part of who Jeter is and that is a liability for the Team.

Regarding Rivera, he is the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game and yes he has done it primarily with one pitch. The big oddity this year is how he seems to lack the concentration in a non-save situation, and in those games, he has given up either the tying or winning run four or five times. HE more than Jeter should be an automatic in the Hall on the first ballot. No other relief pitcher has the post season numbers Rivera has compiled. (Unfortunately his last big performance game in game 7 against Arizona where a bloop over SHORTSTOP let the winning run come in.

And one last piece on A-Rod, he will become the all-time leading homerun hitter in the history of the game by the time he leaves. The booing he receives is similar to the booing that Mantle would hear when he struck out or grounded out. The only time the booing on Mantle subsided was in 61 when the crowds went after Maris for suddenly adored Mantle.

Crash said...

Anymore anti-Jeter talk and you'll be banned from the Giants game this weekend and I'll give your ticket to Scooter.

The Scooter said...

Prof...I think he's bluffing.

old professor said...

Crash, maybe Cano can use the ticket since he appears to have time on his hands.

Turning to football, anyone see the boneheaded play by the Eagles wide receiver. He began celebrating a touchdown approximately one foot before the end zone and flipped the ball backwards on to the playing field. NO ONE picked the ball up and the Eagles were awarded the ball on the one yard line. Had he been more stupid, he would have flipped the ball forward out of the end zone resulting in Dallas getting the ball on the 20.

He apparently is one cocky idiot prone to this type of behavior. Apparently in college he decided to do a flip into the end zone and fumbled the ball before crossing the end line. Typical low class behavior. Maybe he should be traded to he Bengals since they seem to have a predominance in thugs and idiots.

old professor said...

Yankees have climbed back into a tie for third place and Hughes gets his chance to show he really belongs in the majors (or is this going to be an audition for possible trade bait??).

It would also appear that Andy Pettitte has played himself into retirement. He has not pitched well the last two months of the season and one has to wonder whether there is a slight injury or if age and fading skills (and lack of a growth hormone) has finally caught up with him.

The Scooter said...

Prof, your "lack of growth hormone" comment is a cheap shot at a great Yankee.

Crash, I'm available on Sunday.

old professor said...

Scooter, the guy admitted using it once and then admitted twice and possibly a third time. Facts are facts: Giambi went through a significant downturn in skills when he stopped using performance enhancing drugs, as did Roger Clemens and Gary Matthews Jr. and a whole host of other major league players.

In his prime, Pettitte was one of the most dependable and dominant pitchers on the Yankee staff. In his second stint with the Yankees he is what he is - an aging pitcher with eroding skills and a barking elbow.

Strange we have not heard much from 57 on the Mets repeat of last September's fade.

old professor said...

Scooter and Crash, you may want to read Flip Bondy's in the Daily News regarding Posada and Jeter. Interesting take on what he sees as two different personalities that the team truly needs. He did make the comment that if Posada was around for a good portion of the season, the Cano story may have been different.

Crash said...

Wow, shocking to find out Jeter and Posada are two very different personalities. Jeter acts in a DiMaggio-esque kind of way. He'd rather not be the spotlight, he's polite, humble, and maybe even a little withdrawn during interviews. Shows very little emotion on or off the field. Old Prof I know how you twist stuff around, for the record I'm not saying Jeter is better than DiMaggio. I'm just saying their personalities are similar.

Posada can be very vocal. Yes I think that's what the team needed, but I also thought Girardi was going to bring that. Instead Girardi has been more like Joe Torre than the Joe Girardi who managed the Marlins. Really what did Girardi do, he made them run during spring training. You can blame Jeter for not being vocal, but you had better start with Girardi.

old professor said...

Crash, talk about twisting stuff around. The Bondy article made two points that Jeter appears more comfortable leading by example not by fire and Posada is an individual that can get in someone's face when necessary. The thrust of the article was the they created an environment the team needed and with one of the components missing, the team did not play to its potential.

As for Girardi not providing the fire - he was Torre's bench coach for a year and played for Torre and most of the time it would appear that Torre was asleep on the bench. The approach was successful for about six years.

How about those Muts!!!!!!

Crash said...

I watch some of the game last night. I thought that after the first inning Hughes did not pitch poorly. I thought the offense was going to disappoint again, but they came around in the 7th inning. A-Rod hits another meaningless HR, I think that makes 35 meaningless HRs this season.

old professor said...

Crash, the 35 meaningless homeruns along with the 100 runs scored and the 100 rbi probably have kept the Yankees from challenging Baltimore for the basement of the American League East. And with the statistics mentioned above he becomes the first person in the history of Major League Baseball to have 35/100/100 for twelve straight years.

Hughes threw 85 or more pitches over four innings with thirty-three coming in the first inning alone - not much to hang your hat on other than he gave up only one run. Being only 22 he has a lot to learn and a long way to go. I am more impressed with the performance of Phil Coke - yet another two innings of solid relief.

The Scooter said...

I agree that together, Jeter and Posada have formed a very formidable leadership duo. I would ave no problem if Jorge would happen to be named co-captain.

It's no secret that Jetes isn't that "in your face" kind of guy that Posada is. In my opinion, it doesn't diminish his leadership capabilities.

I think it's a little strong to blame Cano's struggles on Jeter, Prof. At some point a professional has to (to use a Red Sox term) Cowboy Up and become responsible for their own work ethic and hustle.

For every Cano that you seem to think Jeter hasn't reached, there is an Abreu, who (defensive deficiencies notwithstanding) busts it on every ground ball.

I don't think the Yankees disastrous year had much to do with them dogging it as it had to do with the devastating injuries and the lack of good pitching and clutch hitting.

The Scooter said...

On another note, it looks like Ben Sheets is done for the year YET AGAIN! Left the game with "forearm tightness", but indicated that he has had pain in his elbow for a while now.

The Yankees must absolutely stay away from this guy on the free agent market.

Is 57 in hiding???

Crash said...

Sheets and Harden are very similar. When they are healthy they can be as good as anyone in the game, but those healthy moments are far and few between.

I agree with Scooter, the Yankees should stay away. Sheets can't be relied upon. His team is fighting for a playoff spot and need him to step up. Instead he leaves a game early couple weeks ago after a tight groin and now elbow problems.

Crash said...

Mussina needs to win out to get to 20. That includes a start on the last day of the season against the Red Sox at Fenway.

The Yankees will officially be eliminated from the AL East with a win by the Rays or a Yankee loss.

The Tragic Number for the WC is 3...

old professor said...

It is nice to see that everyone finally agrees regarding Sheets. I few blogs ago as everyone was reviewing the free agents out there for the Yankees to look at Crash or Mid felt that Sheets would be a good fit. I believe if the record is checked, I indicated he has a history of being on the shelf - the comment that came back was -NOT RECENTLY. How more recent would you like?? AJ Burnett is also a very fragile individual. WHEN healthy, he can be dominate. Hopefully the adjustment he made to his delivery this year will keep him healthy. Pitchers continually look for long-term contracts which for any team is risky (just ask the Muts and how they feel about their investment with Wagner).

I agree it would be nice for Mussina to win twenty for the first time in his career. If he gets the offensive support it could happen.

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