Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bob Sheppard 1910 - 2010

As I'm sure we are all aware by now, Yankee Public Address Announcer passed away today (7/11) at the age of 99.

He was in that role from 1951 to 2007 (4,500 games), and was in the same role for the NY Football Giants from 1956 to 2006.

For someone who kept it simple, he quite possibly may be the best known voice in all of sports.

What else can be said that hasn't already?



old professor said...

What is more amazing about Bob Sheppard is that he continued to do the job well and with distinction until he was 96 years old.

The individuals that he introduced over his career covers more than 50% of the current hall of fame (yes I am including non-yankees in that figure).

Crash said...

Sheppard's first game was April 17th 1951. Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-0 in front of 44,860 fans. Here was the lineup that day:
1.Jackie Jensen
2. Phil Rizzuto
3.Mickey Mantle
4. Joe Dimaggio
5. Yogi Berra
6. Johnny Mize
7. Billy Johnson
8. Jerry Coleman
9. Vic Raschi

Raschi threw a complete game shutout on his way to 21 wins that season. That was Dimaggio's final year (he batted only .263) and Mantle's first year. I think Yogi won the MVP that year.

Quite frequently we hear about how certain players tie generations together, Ruth played with Gehrig, who played with DiMaggio, who played with Mantle, etc. Sheppard tied multiple generations together with his longevity. Everyone from DiMaggio right up through Jeter. He announced 13 Yankee World Series championship lineups.

I assume the Yankees will have the traditional black arm band to their jersey now. Jeter will continue to use the recording of Sheppard announcing him at the plate. Class move by Jeter, would you expect anything else.

The only thing I find a little sad is that Sheppard never got to see the new stadium in person. The PA booth is named after him, would have been nice if he was able to get over and do 1 game in the new place.

57 said...

and Teddy Ball-game was also playing in that first game. Eight future HOFs... wow.

Jeter will be announced by the recording at the All-Star game as well.

57 said...

..and Yogi won the MVP that year because pitchers still pitched around Joltin' Joe.

Crash said...

Rumors have Yankees inquiring on Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg. Obviously they're tired of Joba blowing games.

Mid said...

The Yanks have no one to blame but themselves regarding Joba's regression from lights out to lit up.

When they brought him up they should have made the decision right there and never look back - bull pen or starter, nothing in between.

Then move on from there.

He hasn't redeveloped the mindset of a stopper vs. looking at where he is as a demotion.

Cashman blew up this guy's career plain and simple.

old professor said...

Sad news that George Steinbrenner has passed away after suffering a massive heartattack.

Regardless of what some feel about the man, he took a franchise that was sinking into irrelevance and rebuilt it into a model that other owners can only envy.

He took profits from the team and reinvested in the farm system and rebuilt the system back to respectability. He never hesitated to spend on bringing the needed parts to NY in the hopes of winning another championship.

The Yes Network, a new Yankee Stadium and a state of the art training facility in Tampa are a legacy to his efforts.

Simpathy to the family and here's hoping they don't sell the team off.

Crash said...

Just heard that George Steinbrenner has passed away. Here's a snip from the AP:
"Steinbrenner had a heart attack, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and died at about 6:30 a.m."

First Bob Sheppard and now the Boss. At least he got to see the last championship. He was the best owner in sports and winning was the only thing important.

Crash said...

As I float around the web for Steinbrenner stories it's good to hear that all stories seem to be favorable. Even Dave Winfield was very emotional about his passing.

Heard this: Since 1973 when Steinbrenner took over the ownership of the Yankees, the Yankees have the best winning percentage and the most world championships of any team. He bought the team for $10MM and now has an estimated value of $2B.

57 said...

Love the Buster/George story about Pettitte almost being traded in 1999 to the Phillies, but Cashman talking Stein out of it and Stein telling Cash "this is on you" if Pettitte did not bout that.

old professor said...

57, the story you quote is the way George did things and guess what they proved successful. Imagine what the Mets would be like if the Steinbrenner family had purchased that franchise!

The Boss always set the bar high and when you reached it, he moved it higher. He always felt people could always give a little bit more effort than what they thought was their best. That philosophy has permeated the team for years and it is why they are the most successful franchise in the modern era.

Crash said...

Well I read something that was was something along he lines of the Yankees will stay in the Steinbrenner for a very long time, like forever.

So no plans on selling them. And I don't think the pursuit of perfection by this team died with George. As long as the Core 4 is there, the team will do it he right way. I hope Hank and Hal instill that mentality to the organization and I hope those veteran players pass that on to the new guys coming up or into the organization. When you look at Yankee teams that won championships they had that focus and mentality. Look at the teams in the 1980's they didn't. They had one guy that did (Mattingly) but not the team.

old professor said...

From what I have read regarding the ownership is that Hal is making most of the decisions and has somewhat grown to like what he is doing. Hank apparently grew tired of being involved in the process and has left most of the business decisions to Hal.

Tonight begins a real important series for the Yankees. They can start the process of putting distance between them and the Rays. Boston still seems to be in somewhat of a funk but is on the verge of getting a number of signficant players back including Beckett.

Crash said...

It's kind of scary that Boston has 11 guys on the DL and they are still in the race at this point. The Yankees have been playing nearly .700 ball for a month and haven't pulled away. The pro forecasters have Yankees finishing with 101 wins, Rays at 97 and Boston at 95.

Personally I see the Yankees finishing with closer to 105, Rays are overrated, they're pitching is slowing down and their offense isn't great. I think they fall in the second half to 3rd place, the Red Sox move to second but stay right around 95 wins. If everyone on the Sox gets healthy, they could be real dangerous come October.

SportsFanatic said...

Not 2 be rude, but Sheppard was 90.

PS: Nice blog

old professor said...

Regarding Sheppard's age, if a person was born in 1910 and dies in 2010 before his birthday, that would make him 99.

Now back to the games; Burnett is a cut above the rest - what an idiot. He cuts his had due to a tantrum. Most seem to grow out of that concept by say age 9.

Yankees lose one of their most consistent starters - Pettitte likely headed to the DL with a groin strain.

Yankees basically control their own fate from here on they play LA, KC and then head to Tampa to play the Rays again. Take five of six at home and sweep the Rays would put them in command of their own destiny.

57 said...

Crash.. what did I tell you sensing doom with the Metropolitans three weeks ago when they were the hottest team in baseball??? I know my team.

old professor said...

57, you are like a giant roller coaster - up then down. Even though the Mets are flawed, they can still make the race in the east interesting. I believe the Braves have the best team in the east and do not think the Phillies will have enough to come back. The Mets could be looking at a wildcard IF they can get consistent play from the rotation.

They did not look good against the Giants and should have been swept if not for two calls from the umpire.

Okay enough of the Mets. Mitre will be filling in for Pettitte for the next five weeks. Hopefully he can stay healthy and get outs. I am confused that they don't go with Mosley who was a starter a SWB until he was brought up and put in the pen. I believe he would be able to go longer than Mitre.

Every indication is the Yankees will be looking for another bat off of the bench - most likely a righthanded bat - at the trade deadline. They may look to improve the pen. I don't see the team willing to give up top prospects in any kind of trade.

old professor said...

Yankees pull one out inspite of an umpiring crew that should be moved to single A.

The Colin Curtis feel good story continues. Kid is proving his worth. Sits on the bench asked to come into a role where Gardner gets ejected with a 0-2 count. Curtis ends up hitting a three run home run.

With KC coming to town the Yankees need to keep the momentum going and win three of four or better yet sweep. Weak point will be that Mitre is starting for Andy Pettitte. Bullpen will play a big role in the game.

Boston continues to fad and is now seven games out.

Another member of the Yankee family passes. Ralph Houk dies at age 90. He manamged during some exciting times. The Maris/Mantle assualt on the Babe's record; World Titles in 61 and 62.

old professor said...

Anybody tired of mediocre to poor umpiring. In the last two days, at the stadium we have seen Gardner thrown out, last night a a Royal is called out at second when he was safe, another Royal is called out at home on a phantom tag and then the Royal sliding into third is called safe when he was definately out. And let's not forget the blown call costing a perfect game or the double that wasn't in last year's playoffs.

MLB needs to begin weeding out poor umpires; they are beginning to affect the outcome of games and shouldn't. There should be some kind of accountablility for umpires who real blow calls or appear not to know the rules (e.g. Mattingly visiting the mound twice before returniing to the dugout).

old professor said...

Okay, spent Saturday at the stadium sitting in one of the suites. For future reference it is the only way to see a game. Seats outside, air conditioned suite inside where you can go for hot dogs, wings, pizza, and other munches - did I mention no charege for the food??

Had a great time. Getting the car hit by a truck on the way home did not dampen the spirts one bit, but the driver of the truck knew enough to stay in the cab and away from me because I would have killed him.

Crash, I meant what I said I will spring for series tickets to the suite.

Crash said...

The suite was pretty sweet. You're not getting an argument from me on the series tickets.

The Yankees don't land Dan Harren. I think I'm seeing a pattern here where teams leak that they are in talks with the Yankees to drive up the price from other teams. According to Jon Heyman Yankees offered pitching prospects Nova and MacAllister plus 1 or 2 others from a short list. There was also a rumor that Joba was mentioned at some point. That would make sense because the D'backs did get back Joe Saunders. They obviously wanted a big leaguer and not just prospects.

Only 5 days remaining and I don't know who the Yankees will add. I can't see them adding Oswalt as the price is too high. There's talk of Lilly and some discussions with the Royals about Soria. That would certainly strengthen the pen. I would guess the Yankees would lose a top level prospect for that one.

57 the Mets should really make a play for Oswalt. Also heard talks are on going with another team to swap some bad contracts (getting rid of Perez)...think it was the Royals, maybe for Gil Meche???

old professor said...

Crash, Yankees did inquire about Haren, but when the Diamondbacks mentioned Nova to be included, Yankees closed the door. Asking price was too steep.

Crash said...

Old Prof the Yankees offered Nova and MacAllister. The D'backs wanted more. They were looking for Nova, MacAllister, Joba, and another prospect. That's when the Yankees said no. The Angels gave up Saunders who won 17 games in '08 and 16 games in '09 and a bunch of prospects. D'backs got what they wanted.

Just saw that the Astros are looking for a similar package for Oswalt. MLB front-line guy, and 2-3 prospects (at least one high level). Oswalt is still owed an option year at $16MM that he will certainly want picked up if he's to waive his no trade clause.

I'm thinking the Yankees could offer Joba, Montero, and another lower level prospect as a starting point. If they do trade Joba, it would put Hughes back in the bullpen for the last 2 months. And as much as I don't like that, it's pretty obvious that Hughes doesn't look the same. He has rattled off about 5 bad starts recently (giving up at least 5 runs). His ERA has tripled since mid-May, his strike outs are down and HRs are up. He's at 111 IP now. That means he gets about 10 more starts.

In all honesty I hope the Yankees make a move to help the bullpen and not give up Montero, Romine, or Nova. Granderson is looking like a bust. I would move him if at all possible as he's still affordable at the moment. And Joba lacks confidence right now and he's just throwing the ball, not pitching. He gave up more runs yesterday and the Yankees were up big.

Hot off the press from Jayson Stark: "Yankees dangled Jesus Montero in talks for Joakim Soria, Royals not interested..."

Crash said...

Glad Girardi went to Robertson in the 8th last night. Choo hits right-handed pitching well so I don't have a problem lifting Robertson for Logan at that point. Robertson came in got the double play ball. Logan by the way was throwing some smoke last night. Logan was consistently at or above 95 with his fast ball, touching 97.

Vazquez also pitched great. Made one mistake with a change-up. One of his big problems all year is that he falls in love with his change-up and he throws it way too much. Throw it once maybe twice during an at bat. I watched him throw 4 consecutive change-ups to Hafner late in the game and was getting worried. Throw any pitch to a hitter that many times and it usually spells disaster.

Both Rays and Sox win last night to keep pace. Garza throws a no-hitter for the Rays, only one walk and he faced the minimum.

old professor said...

Crash, lost in all of your excitement about last night and some of the trades rumors is what appears to be Granderson getting hot. He hit two homeruns on Sunday and one last night and he narrowly missed a homerun earlier in the game.

He may not be the same hitter as he was in Detroit, but he gives the Yankees a quality defensive centerfielder, some stolen bases and a good clubhouse/bench individual. If you have watched any of the interviews with Kim Jones, he is at peace with his play. He is confident but not cocky and appears to understand his role and that he is falling short of expectations.

There were similar concerns when Swisher joined the Yankees and he has put those concerns to rest.

You have to remember Granderson played 81 games in Detroit which is a much bigger park than NY and many of the hits he got in Detroit tend to be caught in Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees without saying it appear ready to move Robertson into the 8th inning to replace Joba. As for Logan he has been extremely effective since coming back. Fastball moves and is 95-97.

Crash said...

Yeah I noticed that right after I called him a bust he hit 2 HRs then another last night. I'm glad I could help the team. I know the Yankees were hoping to get 30-40 HR's from this guy with 20+ steals...but I think his defense and what he brings to the clubhouse are also important. He's now in double digits for HR's if he gets hot he could end up with 20HRs. It doesn't seem like he's stealing as much. Maybe that's the lingering effect of his DL stint from earlier in the year (I think it was a groin strain).

Here's a good thing about the Yankees OF situation the entire OF is relatively affordable and signed long term. Granderson is under contract until 2012 with club option for 2013. Swisher is signed through 2011. And Gardner is just approaching arbitration status. Downside, I would think they would need to trade someone if/when they go after Crawford in the offseason.

old professor said...

Regarding Carl Crawford. There may be a question as to whether the Yankees want to explode their payroll. Let's look at the current outfield. You have speed and defense in Left and center. You have adequate defense and power in right. Colin Curtis is a good fit off the bench and fourth outfielder when needed. Marcus Thames is a DH (though he is a real liability defensively and is signed only for this year). If they win it all this year, how much more will Crawford improve the teams overall record.

Financially, the Yankees have big contracts for CC, AJ, and A-Rod. They will have to come up with bucks to sign Jeter and Mo. Everyone has already reached the conclusion that Cliff Lee will sign with the Yankees that equals even more big bucks. If they sign Lee to replace Pettitte who is year to year, then who do you get to take Vasquez spot in the rotation. He now appears to be squared away and will win 15 or more games this year. Do you bring him back and if so at what cost (he is making 11 million this year). And as you indicated earlier, Cashman really likes him.

Factoring all of that in, there becomes a question as to whether the Yankees will shell out what is needed to bring both Crawford and Lee aboard.

If this year has proven anything, pitching wins games and Lee becomes a more valuable commodity than Crawford. Don't get me wrong putting Crawford, Granderson and Gardner in the outfield would be an unreal defensive alignment and put a lot of pressure on the other teams when they are on base. (Could Swisher become the DH in that scenario??).

Crash said...

Payroll will be an interesting question this off season. Lee will be big bucks, probably about $18MM. I think the Yankees make a big push for Lee, and fall back to Vazquez if they don't get him. I would guess Crawford will be about $15MM.

The Yankees are already committed to over $175MM for next season.Now consider new contracts for Jeter & Mo...this easily puts them over $200. If they add Lee and Crawford they're over $230MM and they still have 1 rotation spot open. So let's assume they bring back Pettitte or Vazquez, they're over $240MM.

old professor said...

Like I said, payroll will dictate who the Yankees sign and conventional wisdom is pitching wins games. Look for Lee to go to the Yankees and Crawford will either stay with the Rays (doubtful) or go to the Red Sox.

Crash said...

The only way I see them getting both Lee and Crawford is if Cashman is able to trade Granderson and Burnett.

They cold have arguably the top 3 lefties in their rotation next year: Sabbathia, Lee, & Pettitte. Then round out with AJ and Hughes...that's pretty sick. Well we're a little ahead of ourselves here as we are still 4 months away from the off season.

So back to current day...

What has happened to the Yankees offense??? Did it get lost on the flight to Cleveland??? The last 2 days has been pretty embarrassing...despite the victory on Monday they only had 4 hits and then they take the loss last night with only 5 hits. Both the Rays and Sox picked up a game last night in the standings.

old professor said...

Last night's game was typical - rookie pitcher called up making his major league debut against the Yankees and wins. The Yankees have a history over the last five years of losing most of their games against pitchers making their debut.

If teams want to beat the Yankees they may start bringing new pitchers up for each series and then send them down after they beat the Yankees.

Crash said...

I'm hearing the Yankees are making a strong push to get Adam Dunn form the Nats and Scott Downs from the Jays. I can't confirm what has been proposed in the way of deals yet. But business is picking up.

old professor said...

Most MLB sources have indicated the Nats and Jays are asking too high a price for those individuals. I am not convinced at this point the Yankees need to make a move. Robertson and Logan are both pitching well out of the pen. Abaldejo pitched well this last time even though he was optioned to Triple A to bring Mitre back.

Pettitte is due to come off the DL in another five days and all reports are he is doing well. The Yankees' offense came alive last night as they appeared to come out of their hitting funk. If they win tonight they go into Tampa with at worst a two game lead. The can leave Tampa 4 to 5 games up.

Too many top prospects are being mentioned by other clubs to do trades with the Yankees. Nova was taken from the Yankees once beofre and they brought him back as a rule 5 (or they may have lost him as a rule 5) and he is a solid arm. McAllister will be a fixture as a #4 or 5 starter within two years. Montero is a kid that will only get bigger and stronger - With Posada's health issues this year we could see him sooner than later (though he is not on the 40 man roster).

The other name that seems to surface is Edward Nunez who is currently playing at SWB and is hitting well and is super defensively (look for him to replace Pena next year and be the heir apparent to Jeter).

Crash said...

I keep hearing the Yankees are willing to put Joba in a deal for Dunn.

Everyone is focusing on the Oswalt deal now, so it's hard to find any pertinent info on the Yankees trade front.

Speaking of the Oswalt/Phillies deal. If the Phills were going to trade for a big time pitcher like Oswalt...why wouldn't they just keep Lee for LESS money??? Everyone knew it was a dumb trade by the Phillies then and it looks even worse now.

old professor said...

It would be too bad for the Yankees to trade Joba because of all the hype they used to build the kid up. However, the it is becoming evident he is not easy to work with and the Yankee brass is apparently growing tired of the attitude.

Both Girardi and Eiland are hoping to straighten Joba out in the pen or the last option being sending him to SWB. If they end up trading him it would indicate a clear view he is not worth the effort.

Crash said...

Joba's velocity looked good last night.

old professor said...

At one point, there was a lot of speculation the Yankees or someone would trade for Ben Sheets - NO LONGER. His flexior tendon gave way again and he is out for the season heading for the second surgery to repair the same tendon.

IN OTHER NEWS, Melky Cabrera has bounced back from a poor start and is hitting .269 though he has shown little power.

Chien Ming Wang is still on the sixty day DL and no return is in sight for him to pitch for the Nationals. Looks like the Yankees may have called this one right.

Strausburg headed to the DL - phenom flames out early!!

old professor said...

Twenty twenty hindsight would tell Girardi he should have started Mosley against KC instead of Mitre.

Mosley pitched extremely well last night against the Indians. It took awhile for the Yankees' offense to get going but they take three out of four from the Indians , three out of four from KC and split two with the Angels - Not a bad run. Now if they can take the firt two from Tampa it would be nice.

It is also interesting to see the Yankees don't appear to be rushing to give up big prospects for some help.

57 said...

FIRE JERRY MANUEL... and OMAR, for letting the division foes get ANOTHER stopper on the mound.

old professor said...

57, it is Omar that needs to go. Decisions regarding free agency and trades are squarely his decision. Oswalt going to Philly falls into the category of the organization not building its farm system competently. The Phillies had prospects to give to the Astros and the Mets didn't - clear and simple.

Jerry Manuel can only manage what he is given to put on the field. He has not done that extremely well and probably deserves to get the ax. However, Bobby Valentine is not the answer.

The Mets problems will come down to pitching. They have lost Maine, Pelfry is beginning to melt down and after that it is AJ Dickey. I am surprised they haven't tried to bring Pedro back.

Crash said...

Trade talks heating up...Yankees out on Dunn. Reportedly they are going hard after Lance Berkman, Scott Downs, and Ted Lilly.

Crash said...

Yankees land Berkman (they trade Melancon). And they just traded for Austin Kearns a righty OF who will come off the bench. Not sure who they gave up for Kearns yet.

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