Tag Archives: Berra

Age catching up with Yogi (and Whitey)

Cherish them. Steve Serby writes about 87 year old Yogi Berra. After all those squats behind the plate, the aging Berra’s legs betray him, and time is spent in a wheelchair.

Although the piece Serby writes is on Yogi, Whitey Ford was driven out (they didn’t walk out) to home plate on Old-Timer’s Day. It’s worth noting that Whitey turns 84 this year.

You hate to think about mortality, but it happens to all of us.

Further reason to cherish them even more now.

Game 33. Lose on Yogi’s b/day? Jayson says NIX to that!

Jayson Nix’ first Yankee hit was a 2-Run HR, and Phil Hughes turned in a solid performance as the Yanks beat the Mariners 6-2 for their third straight victory.

The win came on Yogi Berra’s 87th birthday. The Yanks honored the icon before the game. Yogi was driven into the Stadium by “Driving Mr. Yogi” pal, Ron “the Gator” Guidry.

Raul Ibanez continued his strong recent hitting. He followed a Teix double by doubling in the first run of the Yanks’ four run second inning. Martin doubled in Ibanez to make it 2-0 and Nix’ 2-Run Hr made it 4-0. After that, Hughes cruised against the weak-hitting Mariners.

The outing followed good outings by CC on Thursday and Kuroda yesterday. Maybe after a rough April the rotation is finally straightening out. Tomorrow is Andy Pettitte’s return to the majors and we’ll see how he does.

Ibanez hit a HR (7, #259 career) in the fourth to make it 5-0.

Jeter got two hits. He’s now at 3141 and tied Tony Gwynn (3141) on the all-time list. The next hit ties Robin Yount (3142). In the 8th, Jeter’s 2nd hit, a SB and an RBI single by Cano made it 6-1 (Seattle got a solo HR by Carp in the 7th).

Hughes went 7 2/3, 1 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 4 K. 3-4, ERA to 5.50.

Logan got a K to finish the 8th and pitched the 9th.

1 1/3 IP, 1R, 2H, 0 walks and 4 K.  ERA 2.45.

In other news, the Yanks picked up Justin Thomas (LHP) off waivers from Boston. Probably minor league depth. The 28 year old has a record of 0-2, 6.65 in 27 major league games.

Game 33. Yogi’s 87th b/day. Jeter DH, Nix at SS.

It’ll be a grand birthday party at the Stadium today as Yogi Berra celebrates his 87th b/day. Now for a win to top off the day right.

Yanks 18-14, 3rd place. 2 1/2 out. OPS+ 116, ERA+ 108.
Their actual and Pythagorean record are the same.

The Yanks will be facing old buddy, Hector Noesi.

BA/HR/RBI/SB/Total Attempts, OPS+ (100 average) comments

1. Jeter DH  .372-5-15  1/2  157   3139 hits, Gwynn 3141, Yount 3142
2. Granderson CF .272-11-20  1/3  149
3. A-Rod 3B .297-5-14  3/3  128    Average better, now for power?
4. Cano 2B .308-3-12  1/1  116   Heating up
5. Teixeira 1B .221-4-17  1/2  71  Needs to get well
6. Swisher RF .275-7-24  0/0  136
7. Ibanez LF  .268-6-19  2/2  125
8. Martin C .179-3-7  1/1  65
9. Nix SS          0 for 7

Hughes RHP  2-4, 6.67   ERA+ 66


The minors tonight. AAA PPD. No Gardner rehab tonight.

Birthdays: Willie Mays was 81 yesterday, and Yogi Berra turns 87 on Saturday.

AAA: Rained out. Gardner was supposed to start a few games rehab tonight, but … SWB (Empire State) is 14-14.

AA: 14-14 Trenton off. No game scheduled.

High A: Tampa lost 10-5. Kyle Higashioka 2 -run HR. Rob Segedin 3 hits, (.314).

Low A: Charleston won 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the 9th. Scottie Allen 6 IP, 1 run, unearned. Gary Sanchez 3 for 4, double, 2 RBI, .354.

Well, the news on Jose Campos is better than expected. Yes, he’s been shut down with elbow inflammation, but at least it’s not TJ surgery.

Driving Mr. Yogi

I just finished reading Harvey Araton’s wonderful book about baseball, bridging the generations and most of all, friendship and love, Driving Mr. Yogi.

For those of you who may not know, Ron Guidry, the one and only Louisiana Lightning or Gator if you will, has acted as more or less Yogi Berra’s personal valet since Yogi broke his exile and returned to the Yankees in 1999. Yogi will be 87 in May, and needs some help as he makes it around spring training each year. How much longer he’ll be able to make it is anyone’s guess.

In the course of taking care of Yogi, a deep friendship developed, to where Guidry calls Berra his best friend. The depths of their love, respect and friendship for each other resonate throughout the pages.

A link to the Amazon website for the book is on the right.

S.T. Game 5 lineup vs. the Rays, Jeter’s boyhood home, and Yogi shows up

Yankees 3/7 lineup vs. TB:

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Cano 2B
Swisher 1B
Ibanez DH
Chavez 3B
Jones RF
Martin C
Gardner LF

Kuroda P

That’s a solid lineup, even with backups at certain positions.
It’s our first look at Kuroda.

From the NY Post today: It’ll cost you, Yankees fans, but here’s your chance to own the biggest piece of Derek Jeter memorabilia — ever.
The team captain’s childhood home in Kalamazoo, Mich., is going on the market for $140,000 in a matter of weeks, the owners told The Post. (see link for more).

A sighting. The 86 (87 in May) year-old legend, Yogi Berra, has arrived at spring training.
So, turning to football, where do you think Peyton Manning ends up? Arizona, Washington, Miami, Tennessee? The Colts and Manning are parting ways. As with other legends (think Montana, Rice, Namath, Franco Harris, heck, Jimmy Taylor ended his career a Saint, not a Packer…) it’ll be strange seeing him in a different uniform. I wish Peyton would retire. He has a ring, is a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, is 36 and coming off major surgery, has enough $$$ … why risk your health?
Carlos Guillen retired. the 36 year old infielder retires with a .285 career batting average, OPS+ 111, 124 HR. Seattle 1998-2003, Detroit 2004-2011. He was a 3x All-Star who finished 24th in the 2004 MVP voting and 10th in 2006. His 162 g. average was .285-15-82, OPS+ 111. In nineteen postseason games, he hit .344-2-7. He torched the Yanks in the 2006 ALDS, going 8 for 14, 3 doubles, 1 Hr and 2 Rbi.

Upcoming books

I don’t know when it’ll be out, but apparently Ron Guidry will have a book out called “Driving Mr. Yogi” about his experiences be Yogi’s “chauffeur” during spring training. I’ve read interviews with Guidry about this and his stories are funny…and touching.

Yogi should be getting to Tampa next week. Since Yogi turns 87 in May, you wonder how many more spring trainings he’ll be able to attend.

Coming out this spring is a book by Marty Appel. Here is a release from Bloomsbury Publishing, with some quotes:


“For baseball fans this is a great read that takes you on an intimate trip into the Yankee Universe. For Yankee fans this is a gift that only Marty Appel could give us.”

—Billy Crystal

“An opus. Marty Appel brings a fan’s passion and a historian’s dispassion
to bear on the Pinstripe Empire.
He makes familiar terrain new again and uncovers original material where
no one else thought to look.
This is the definitive history of the
New York Yankees.”

Jane Leavy, author of The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the
End of America’s Childhood

 Love them or hate them, the Yankees are undeniably the world’s most recognizable sports team. Though some would never dare admit it, their history is indelibly intertwined with the history of 20th century America.

It has been almost 70 years since Frank Graham wrote The New York Yankees and not since then has there been a truly narrative, traditional history of the team. Thankfully historian Marty Appel, the Yankees’ former PR director, definitively updates their storied history in PINSTRIPE EMPIRE: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss (May 8, 2012; Bloomsbury hardcover; ISBN 978-1-60819-492-6; $28.00; 640 pages).

While the book hits every important historical milestone in the team’s history, it is the backstage anecdotes and the personalities of players, managers and executives that make the story great reading. The reader is in the clubhouse as the team finally celebrates its first championship – and in the dugout at Fenway Park when they learn their manager, Miller Huggins, has died. There is Bob Shawkey’s bitterness over being fired as manager after one season, and the romp upending tradition produced by Larry MacPhail as his three-year reign as owner ends with a punch-out.  There is the day scout Tom Greenwade first laid eyes on Mickey Mantle.  There is Gene Michael pondering trading Mariano Rivera for Felix Fermin to play shortstop instead of Derek Jeter. And all the while in the background is New York City – a character in its own right in the story of this colorful team’s history.

With a touching special introduction by Frank Graham, Jr., a foreword by Yogi Berra, and an introduction by Bernie Williams, PINSTRIPE EMPIRE is certain to be a classic in sports literature.


Marty Appel is the author of many books, including most recently the New York Times bestseller Munson. Following his years as the Yankees’ public relations director, he became an Emmy Award–winning television producer and director of Marty Appel Public Relations. Appel lives in New York City and appears frequently on ESPN, HBO, the MLB Network, and the YES Network. His website is www.appelpr.com.

These are the Celtics?

It’s funny looking at the standings and seeing the Celtics at 4-7. What makes it worse is that the NBA season is just 66 games this year because of the lockout, which means less recovery time.

Allen, Garnett and Pierce are getting old, and it’s showing. You wonder if, like with Bird, McHale and Parish, Boston hung onto them too long.

Pierce suffered through a long stretch of the Celtics not being any good, and now, they are reverting to what he dealt with for so long.

It’s hard watching the fabled franchise (17 NBA titles) struggle. You wonder what the long-range plan is, because it’s apparent that the Big Three (plus Rondo) are struggling.

I see one letter in the NY Post today. It asks “besides Yogi, what other catcher other than Posada, has five rings?” Now, Posada wasn’t there long in 1996, so that ring may not mean as much as the other four (1998-2000, 2009), but how about I give an answer? Bill Dickey. (1932, 1936-1939, 1941 and 1943).

A Catching Lineage.

As I mentioned in the previous post about Posada, NO team can match the Yankees’ catching lineage. NONE. Let’s briefly look at that lineage.

1) Bill Dickey. HOF. #8 retired by the Yanks. Yanks 1928-1943, 1946.
.313 BA. 202 HR. OPS+ 127. 5th, 5th, 2nd and 6th in MVP voting 1936-1939. 8th in 1943 (a WWII year) at the age of 36. (Yanks mgr. 1946).

2) Yogi Berra. HOF. #8 retired by the Yanks. Yanks 1947-1963, Mets 1965. Yanks mgr. 1964, 1984-1985. MVP 1951, 1954, 1955.
How about this run? 3rd, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st and 2nd in MVP voting from 1950-1956.
.285 BA. 358 HR. OPS+ 125.

3) Elston Howard. #32 retired, Yankees 1955-1967, Red Sox 1967-1968.
1963 MVP. Also 10th in MVP 1961, 3rd in 1964.
.274, 167 HR. OPS+ 108.
Had he not died at age 51, could he have become the first black manager of a NY team?

4) Thurman Munson. #15 retired. Yankees 1969-1979.
Untimely death at age 32.
Could he have become a Yankees mgr.?
.292, 113 HR, OPS+ 116; MVP in 1976. 7th in 1975 and 1977.

5) Jorge Posada. #20 (we’ll see). Yankees 1995-2011.
HOF? (We’ll see). Future Yankees Mgr.? (likewise).
.273, 275 HR, OPS+ 121.  3rd in MVP voting 2003, 6th in 2007.

SB by a catcher.

On the LoHud blog, it’s noted that Russell Martin’s 8th sb is the 3rd most by a Yankees catcher in the past 50 years.

Joe Girardi had 13 in 1996. Thurman Munson had 14 in 1976, but 11 were as as a catcher, 3 at other positions (LF, RF, DH). They only went back 50 years. Elston Howard was SLOW. 9 for 23 in his career. Yogi was 30 for 56 in his career. Bill Dickey was 36 for 68 in his career. I haven’t gone back in time, but 50 years? More like Martin is 3rd most by a Yankees catcher in at least 80 years.