Category Archives: Ex-Players

Game 16. Gardner’s walkoff HR wins it.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Usually my goal for the Yanks in each and every April is to just finish April at .500. If over, great. But just finish at .500.

Joe McCarthy, the great ex-Yankee manager from 1931-1946, stated to never fall below .500 if you can help it , and if you do, get back ASAP.

Brett Gardner’s walk-off HR in the 9th won the game today for the Yanks, and made them 7-9. Now to continue that and get back to .500 ASAP.

Masahiro Tanaka did a great job, going 7 innings but getting a ND.

The Yanks scored first, on a WP in the first. A-Rod just missed a 3-run HR when his drive was caught at the top of the wall.

Tanaka gave up a run in the fourth to tie the game, and a HR which hit the foul pole in the fifth that put the Rays up.

Before the game winning HR in the bottom of the ninth, Gardner tied the game with an infield single in the seventh.

Gardner’s HR was his second of the year. He had three hits in the game.

A-Rod continues to struggle, he is at .132. It’s a little early, but come mid- to late May, there may be comparisons to Willie Mays ca. 1973 as far as greats past their peaks. Maybe it is a slump, but when you are almost 41, slumps get magnified.

Headley is at .159. He, like A-Rod, is having a rough go so far.

Some Yankees news: Brandon Pinder was called up recently, as the Yanks have gone from Cessa to Olson to Pinder in the bullpen. Now he has a partially torn UCL and is deciding between rehab or surgery. Nick Goody was brought up to take his place.

Jacob Lindgren at High A had elbow surgery last year, has struggled so far this year, and is having elbow issues again.

Aaron Hicks left Friday’s game with a sore shoulder after attempting a diving catch and will be having an MRI.

Today’s pitching line:

Tanaka 7 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk, 7 K, gave up 1 HR. 2.92.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K, 0.00.
Miller (w, 1-0, 0.00) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks , 0 K.

Game 12. Disappointing night. Yanks lose in 11, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A disappointing night as the Yanks lost in 11, 3-2.

Michael Pineda had his best outing of the year, 2 R in 6 IP, but I do have to nitpick a bit.

Both runs he gave up came immediately after the Yanks scored a run. He did that last time out too, giving up runs right after the Yanks scored. You need shut down innings after you score. It’s just the mentality of it. If you score, and your pitcher keeps giving it back right away, that just deflates the offense like sucking the air out of a balloon. You need those shut down innings right after you score.

Once again, the Yanks had trouble with RISP, going just 1 for 7. Those key hits have to start dropping soon.

The trade of John Ryan Murphy for Aaron Hicks hasn’t worked out for either the Twins or the Yanks so far. Hicks is 1 for 17 for the Yanks. Entering today, Murphy was just 1 for 18 for the Twins.

I was thinking, if Hicks doesn’t improve, then what? Hicks does play all three OF positions. Slade Heathcott has struggled so far at AAA, and if there would be a change, Ben Gamel may be the better option right now. Swish is an option, but he hasn’t played OF yet down there, andt right now, can probably play the corner OF positions, but not CF anymore. Would the Yanks go to Judge right away?

A-Rod’s RBI single in the first gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead, but Pineda gave up a run right back in the top of the second. Beltran’s SF in the fifth made it 2-1 but once again Pineda gave up a run right away in the top of the sixth.

Some bullpen had to crack, and it was the Yanks in the 11th who did.

Pineda 6 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 7 K. 5.29.
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 0.00
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.00
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K,. 0.00
Barbato (L, 1-1, 1.13) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

The Yanks fall to 5-7.

Milt Pappas, who pitched for the Orioles, Reds, Braves and Cubs from 1957-1973 died at the age of 76. He won 209 games in his MLB career, ERA+ 110. His average 162 g. season was 14-11, 3.40. A 2x All-Star, Pappas just missed a perfect game in 1972, retiring the first 26 batters, then walking the 27th on a 3-2 count, with the pitch being borderline. He got the 28th batter for the no-hitter. After the 1965 season, the Orioles traded him to the Reds for Frank Robinson.




S.T. Game 21. File under forgettable. Yanks lose 13-0.


Thank goodness this was just a spring training game.

File this one under forgettable.

Masahiro Tanaka got lit up, the Yanks made four errors (albeit all by the farmhands), the Yanks scored no runs despite getting ten hits, two by Brett Gardner, and they lost Wednesday to Washington, 13-0.

The loss drops their spring training record to 9-10-2. Of course, in a couple of weeks, none of that will matter.

The most disconcerting thing was Tanaka. Hopefully he gets straightened out for Opening Day.

Tanaka (L) 4 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 3 K. He gave up 2 HR, one to Stephen Drew, and committed a balk.
Goody 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Cessa 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Barbato 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Looking like he could make the team. The Yanks got him a year ago for Shawn Kelley.
Swarzak 1/3 IP, 6 R (ALL UNEARNED) 3 H, 1 walk and no K.
Rumbelow 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K.

Other Yankees news yesterday:

A-Rod announced that 2017 will be his last year, that he will retire when his contract expires. So, barring injury, he should get the HR needed to pass the Babe and should finish third* on the all-time HR list behind Barry Bonds* and Hank Aaron.

Also, former MLB player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola died yesterday at the age of 90, just six months after his friend since childhood Yogi Berra. As Joe said, “not only wasn’t I the best catcher in the majors, I wasn’t even the best on my block!”  Both grew up in the same St. Louis neighborhood. Garagiola played nine years in the majors and was the catcher, at the age of 20, for the 1946 WS Champion Cardinals. He got four hits in one of those WS games (a then record) and hit .316 for that Series. He was a broadcaster for the Yankees for a few years in the 1960s before going national with NBCs Game of the Week. He broadcast many World Series games. He also was on the Today show and sometimes hosted the Tonight show, including once in 1968 when his guests were John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

It looks increasingly like Austin Romine will be the backup catcher to start the season. Gary Sanchez is hitting just .048 for the spring.

Baseball passings.


Tony Phillips and Jim Davenport, two infielders of the Bay Area, passed away this week.

Phillips, 56, was a utility man who was on the 1988 A’s AL Championship team and also the 1989 WS Champion A’s team. He played in the majors from 1982-1999 for Oakland, Detroit, the Angels, White Sox, Angels again (first Angels when they were the California Angels, the second time the Anaheim Angels), Toronto, the Mets, and back with the A’s again.

He finished 16th in the 1993 MVP voting when he hit .313 for Detroit and led the majors with 132 walks.

The versatile Phillips played over 100 games at five different positions (2B, SS, 3B, LF, RF) and 97 games at a sixth (CF), and played over 100 games at DH as well.

His 162 g. average was .266-12-61, with 13 SB, 99 walks and an OPS+ of 109. Phillips led the league in runs scored in 1992 and walks in 1993 and 1996.

Davenport was a slick fielding 3B for the SF Giants from 1958-1970. He was the 3B on the 1962 NL Champion Giants squad. Davenport, 82, was an All-Star, Gold Glove, and finished 24th in MVP voting in 1962.

Davenport’s 162 g. average was .258-8-49, OPS+ 90. Besides 3B, he put some time in at 2B and SS as well. He led the majors in sac bunts in his rookie year of 1958.

I would like to understand the logic and criteria of some radio hosts where I live. Granted, I was coming home from work and only heard the last half hour of the show, so maybe I missed something. But they were talking about the 100 most famous athletes of the last 100 years. Not best, mind you, but famous. I did scratch my head when they weren’t going to include Tiger Woods.I could see and understand their exclusion of Jim Thorpe, who as talented as he was, is mostly forgotten today except by the most avid and knowledgeable of sports fans.

I nominated Yogi Berra. They poo-poohed it, saying that “other than Yankee fans…”

Really? Yogi was one of the most recognizable people in America. He crossed over from the sports culture to everyday life culture. Even people who know little about baseball would a) recognize Yogi Berra in an airport b) recognize one of his famous quotes. Maybe it was just that unique face of his, maybe it was the quotes, maybe it was the commercials he did. But Yogi wasn’t just a baseball icon, he was an AMERICAN icon. That is my point. If that (crossing over from a sports icon to an AMERICAN icon) doesn’t qualify as famous, what does? They did list Derek Jeter.

I’d love to hear their point. Granted they (the hosts) are some 20 years younger than me and not as experienced  (or as knowledgeable as they think they are). But by famous, are they talking just in the USA or worldwide? As I mentioned, this wasn’t about BEST athletes in the past 100 years, but the most famous. They did mention Derek Jeter. I’d love to see how many of their choices are of more recent vintage as opposed to people like Berra, Mantle or DiMaggio, for instance.

Or even a Wilt.

UPDATE: The Yanks will continue to wear Yogi’s #8 on their uniforms this season as a tribute to the legend who passed away late in the 2015 season.


Ex-Yankee Dineen dead at 63

You have to be a really good Yankees’ fan to remember Kerry Dineen. He was one of those players who had a “cup of tea” in the majors. I remember Dineen, though.

In 1975, while playing at Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, the Yankees’ outfielders had trouble with Shea’s outfield, and eventually Roy White, Bobby Bonds and Elliott Maddox all came up with knee injuries. Maddox missed about 100 games that season and never was the same after hitting .303 and (according to WAR, Wins Above Replacement) being the Yanks best player in 1974.

On top of those injuries, Lou Piniella had an inner ear infection which affected his balance and he wound up hitting .196 that season. He missed about half the year.

Things were so bad that I remember a game in which Ed Herrmann was catching, and the corner outfielders were Thurman Munson and Rick Dempsey.

Between them, in CF, was a slight rookie OF named Kerry Dineen. Dineen had no power, and in seven games for the Yanks in 1975, went 8 for 22 with a double and an RBI.

The next season he played in four games for the Yanks, going 2 for 7, both singles, with an RBI. He was out of the majors in 1977 and resurfaced with the 1978 Phillies, for whom he went 2 for 8, 1 double, in five games.

For his MLB career, he played in just 16 games, going 12 for 37 (.324) with 2 doubles and 2 RBI.

Dineen passed away about two months ago at the age of 63.

You may ask how or why I remember him. Probably because of that strange day when two top catchers (Munson and Dempsey) had to play LF and RF while a third catcher, Ed Herrmann, was behind the plate, and with Munson and Dempsey in the outfield, the trivia question would be “who was playing CF between Munson and Dempsey?”.

Well, Conference Championship Sunday is set. Brady/Manning again in the AFC. My Steelers put up a good fight without Williams or Brown and an injured Big Ben (and if you recall, Bell and Pouncey were lost very early on in the preseason and regular season). Brown’s absence wasn’t only felt in the receiving aspect of the game, but also in the punt return aspect also. I can’t stand the Patriots, and the thought of Denver in the Super Bowl fills me with dread. I mean, outside of the two Super Bowls Elway won at the end of his career (Thank You, Terrell Davis), the Broncos history in the big game is one of being blown out (43-8, 55-10, 42-10, 39-20….). Not looking forward to another one of those.

One heck of an ending to Arizona/Green Bay this weekend, now Arizona travels to Carolina. I’ll probably be rooting for the winner of this game to win it all. The Cardinals have only won one title—in 1947 when they beat the Eagles for the NFL title. Oh yeah, the Cardinals were the CHICAGO Cardinals at that time.

1961 Yankee relief ace Arroyo dead at 88.

Luis Arroyo, who won 15 games and saved 29 more for the 1961 Yankees, died yesterday at the age of 88 from cancer.

Arroyo hit the majors in 1955 with St. Louis and made the All-Star team, going 11-8, 4.19 in 35 games, 24 of them starts.

He was with the Pirates in 1956 and 1957, and after a year out of the majors, came back with the Reds in 1959.

He was with the Yanks from 1960-1963, and was an All-Star in 1961 when he finished 6th in MVP voting—not bad in the year of Maris and Mantle. He led the majors in games, games finished and saves that year, going 15-5, 2.19 with 29 saves.

For his career, he was 40-32, 3.93 with 45 saves, ERA+ 98. He was 1-0, 3.86 in three WS games in 1960 and 1961. He was a member of 2 WS champs, and 4 pennant winners, and was the first Puerto Rican to play for the Yankees.

His 29 saves stood as the single season record until tied by Dick Radatz in 1964 and broken by Ted Abernathy in 1965.

Dodger Lance Rautzhan, a pitcher in the 1970s who was born not far from me in Pottsville, PA, died last week at the age of 63. He pitched for the Dodgers 1977-1979 and for the Brewers in 1979. He went 6-4, 3.90 in 83 games, ERA+ 94. He went 1-0, 9.00 in postseason play, facing the Phils and Yanks in 1977 and 1978.

Irvin, NFL news….

Hall 0f Famer Monte Irvin passed away at the age of 96. Irvin couldn’t break into the majors until the age of 30 in 1949 but was, for a while, considered to maybe be what Jackie Robinson was—the man to break the color barrier.

Because of his late start, most of Irvin’s accomplishments came in the Negro Leagues, but in 1951, Irvin finished 3rd in the MVP balloting after a season where he hit .312-24-121 (leading the NL in RBI) and helped to lead the NY Giants to their improbable come from behind pennant.

Irvin had an excellent WS against the Yanks in the Giants’ loss to the Bronx Bombers. He went 11 for 24 (.458) with two RBI and even stole home in Game 1.

He was an All-Star for the only time in 1952 and finished 31st in MVP voting despite playing just 46 games because of a broken ankle.

He hit .329-21-97 in 1953, finishing 15th in the MVP voting and was a member of the 1954 WS Champion NY Giants, going 2 for 9 in that WS—the last WS Champion NY Giant team.

He played for the Giants from 1949-1955 and finished his career with the Cubs in 1956.  He hit .293 with an OPS+ of  125 in his shortened career.

After his career ended, Irvin worked in baseball for many years in the commissioners’ office.

Big news in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams are headed backed to LA, where they played from 1946-1994 (winning the NFL title in 1951 and losing Super Bowl XIV), and the San Diego Chargers may follow. The Chargers started out in the AFL in Los Angeles, playing there in 1960 before moving to San Diego. The 1960 Los Angeles Chargers lost the AFL title game to the Houston Oilers, 24-16.

The Rams are moving to LA next year, to play in the LA Coliseum. A new stadium is expected to be ready for 2019. I don’t know where they would play in 2017 and 2018, I’ll have to check.  The Chargers may move in 2017, if a lease agreement can be worked out with the Rams. If one can’t be worked out, then the Raiders may move from Oakland to LA, where they played from 1982-1994, winning Super Bowl XVIII.

Meanwhile, the playoffs are going on, and last week saw a couple of doozies. KC beat Houston 30-0 and Green Bay knocked out Washington 35-18 but it was the other two, the way they finished, that was shocking.

Minnesota missed a chippy 27 yd. FG at the end of the game to lose 10-9 to Seattle. The game was played in sub-zero degree weather.

Pittsburgh blew a 15-0 lead they had entering the fourth quarter, and had their QB hurt. They had to go with their 3rd and 4th string RBs in the game. With 1:50 left, Cincinnati, who had not won a playoff game since 1990, took a 16-15 lead. Pittsburgh’s backup QB threw a pick, and Cincy had the ball in Steelers’ territory, only to fumble the ball back with 1:23 left. Back onto the field came Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was injured. We now know he suffered a sprained AC and torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder due to a sack and dirty play (knee to the shoulder after the sack) by a Cincy LB. He couldn’t throw long but got the ball to midfield with 22 seconds left. Then Cincy got called for back to back 15 yd. personal foul penalties, one on a dirty hit by the same LB, to move the ball forward 30 yards and Pittsburgh hit the 35 yd. FG to win the game 18-16.

The behavior of both teams in the game as well as fans was disgraceful (and I am saying that as a Steelers fan who is happy Pittsburgh won, but who is not happy with the actions of coaches Munchak and Porter, even though what Porter did may have affected the outcome of the game).

So Pittsburgh at Denver in the next round, but with a RB (Williams), QB (Big Ben) and WR (Brown) all questionable.

KC at New England. Seattle at 15-1 Carolina. Green Bay at Arizona.

Lastly a minor Yankees trade regarding minor leaguers. You can check it out here on Lohud’s link.