3/14/08 Pregame. Don’t get soft, now.

Today’s lineup:

YANKEES
Damon CF
Jeter SS
Matsui DH
Rodriguez 3B
Posada C
Duncan 1B
Lane RF
Ransom 2B
Gardner LF (Interesting, it appears like the Yanks are taking a GOOD, LONG LOOK AT HIM).

Pitching
Hughes (4-5 innings)

Wow. I’m a bit surprised. With split squads tomorrow, I didn’t expect Shelley Duncan to play against Tampa. I figured for appearance’s sake, he would go against the Tigers. Nope. I like it, though! It proves Joe G. isn’t getting soft and maybe it’s his way of giving Joe Maddon the finger. Lots of other news, hit “Read More”. 

Some baseball notes:

Kyle Lohse signed a one-year deal with St. Louis (better late than never, right Kyle?) Meanwhile, surprise surprise, surprise—-Juan Gonzalez will miss some time due to an abdominal strain. I mean, he hasn’t played 100 games in a season since 2001 and has one MLB at bat since 2004. Totally unexpected, right?

Curt Schilling was placed on the 60-day DL. The Red Sox also released Doug Mirabelli. Remember when they first let him go, then desperately got him back to catch Wakefield? They gave him a police escort to Fenway Park for that night’s game vs. the Yanks (Wakefield pitching). Gee, I guess it’s good there weren’t any real emergencies in Boston at the time.

Ichiro finally got a hit after starting out 0 for 21. Now he’ll probably get 230-250 or so once the bell rings.

It’ll be strange to see El Duque’s modified leg kick.

Phil Hughes vs. a Reds split squad today. Talk about split squads, tomorrow’s Yankee squad will sure be split. Kei Igawa will start the game vs. the Rays (I don’t think Shelley Duncan will be playing in this one). Hmm, Igawa vs. Rays. Is this a good idea? Yesterday he got some work in. He asked for a batter and his translator volunteered. Sure enough, Igawa hit him with a pitch. Joba will start vs. the Tigers, and Ian Kennedy will start in a minor league game.

On Tuesday, the Yanks travel to Va. Tech. Karstens will start, Mussina and Mo will stay in Tampa to get work in. The rest of the team will go. It’s part of the Yanks helping out Va. Tech after last year’s tragedy. A nice gesture. The Yanks previously donated $1 million to the university.

Some vets have talked to Shelley Duncan. They like his aggressiveness but want him to tone it down a bit. Ok, JD advising Shelley to keep the spikes down is one thing, and you do worry about retaliation against a Jeter or A-Rod. I hope the Yanks stick to their guns here and don’t get soft. I’m one who was a teenager when it happened and who still remembers the roll block slide that Hal McRae put on Willie Randolph in Game 2 of the 1977 ALCS (you can see that play on The Bronx is Burning). I want good, aggressive play. I hope Girardi is the kind of manager that I think the Yanks have needed over the past couple of years—Billy Martin but without the booze and grudges (and ruining of pitchers). MVN.com’s Bronx Block has an interesting survey. They are thinking much as I and Josh “the Yankee Truth” have thought for a little while now. Who is the true captain of the Yankees? We know Jeter has the title, but he seems too “cool” for it. When you talk leadership, experience, commanding respect, a take no B.S. attitude and outspokenness, it seems like the true leader is Posada. I know I was very disappointed to find out that one person behind the Billy Crystal incident was Jeter. Somehow, I think Thurman Munson would never have gone for it, and think Posada is more Munson-like than Derek. Not that Derek isn’t tough or gritty, but there is a certain “Hollywood” in Derek, who has a “rock star” type persona to him—much like A-Rod. As good as A-Rod is, I don’t think anyone would consider him the captain.

Meanwhile I am perturbed that some members of the media seem to have “Mick Jagger-type” lips. They must. After all, they are in NY or Bristol, CT and still somehow are able to kiss Joe Torre’s a** even though Torre is in LA. I think (as do others) that somehow the 2000 World Series turned Torre into “St. Joe”. He can do no wrong. Maybe if LA falls on their face this year and turns in a sub-.500 mark, the halo comes off Torre’s bald spot. Yes, he was good for the Yanks and brought them 4 championships and 6 pennants. But he also made mistakes. Some over and over, and it was time for a change—and in my eyes, to that “Billy-type” manager that I hope Girardi is and would remain. Some argue for Torre’s record, and point out that Joe took them to the playoffs last year after a bad start (much like in 2005) with a 94-68 record. They overlook the faults. Yes, there were a lot of wins, but something needed to be done in order to advance.

Once again, history is forgotten. As the saying goes, those who don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it. Let’s go back almost sixty years. After the McCarthy resignation in May 1946, the Yanks got through 1946 with Bill Dickey (who, despite being a great player, wasn’t cut for managing) and Johnny Neun. They then hired an experienced, long-time baseball man (SS and managing) in the former “boy wonder,” Bucky Harris. As a youngster, Harris led Washington to the 1924 championship and the 1925 pennant. He led the Yanks to the 1947 championship (featuring a team record 19 game winning streak) and went a respectable 94-60 in 1948. But the Yanks finished third in 1948. GM George Weiss knew something was missing and recognized the need for a change. Enter Casey. The past few years, something was missing with the Yanks and Torre.

Lineup to come later. The past few days the starters have been very encouraging, but the bullpen worries we have have surfaced again (Giese, Albaladejo, Traber and Karstens). Of course, some of our current worries will be either DFA’d or sent to Scranton soon.   

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4 responses to “3/14/08 Pregame. Don’t get soft, now.

  1. well you gotta love this move by girardi: shelley is playing against joe maddon and his punks tomorrow. even though i’m worried about shelley getting hit on the knee or something, i like that girardi isn’t backing down. i’m sure there will be warnings issued before the game ( i hate that ***ing warning BS) so at least they will have to worry about their guy getting a suspension.

    i’m a bit biased because posada is my favorite yankee, but yeah…i think it’s kinda understood that he’s the real capt. i love jeter and all, but i wish he had stood up for a-rod more in 2006. that is something a capt. ought to do.
    i’m hoping yesterday was just a glitch for traber…

  2. Yeah, I just saw about Shelley and posted it.

  3. Hi Mike have you got A-Rod stats this spring.

    Another question lets just say Mussina does not work out and the Yanks need another starter do they put Karstans at 5th and Rasner as long relief or does Joba come in.

    Great blog by the way.

  4. It’s funny you should ask, Nick. Checking the MLB scoreboard, A-Rod just hit a 3-run HR in the 1st inning today. His stats after that HR are .471 with 3 HR and 7 RBI.

    I think it’s Joba.

    Thanks for the comments.

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