Tag Archives: Freddy Garcia

S.T. Yanks beat Phils 10-2 behind 4 HR. CC tabbed to start season and Stadium openers.

Joba went 4 1/3, giving up b-2-b HRs to Utley and Howard as the Yanks won 10-2 over the Phils today. His line is below.

An interesting aspect of the game was the flip-flop in the batting order. Jeter led off and Damon was 2nd. As Pete Abraham points out, could it be one of two things? One, an indication that Gardner has won the job? That way 9-1-2 would be L-R-L. The other is to try and keep Derek from grounding into the DPs….something he did a lot of.

We don’t know yet if this is the way it’ll be, but Girardi will be using the rest of spring training to see how Jeter 1 and Damon 2 works.

Hey…if Jeter leads off the game with a hit or walk, the first baseman has to hold him on…opening the hole for the lefty hitting Damon. Damon hits the hole, a good baserunner like Jeter goes 1st to 3rd. (and somehow….although it wasn’t planned this way….it would work out that Derek is the first Yankee to hit in the new Stadium???).

Derek went 2 for 4 in the leadoff role today (double) and scored 2 runs. Damon was 1 for 4 with an RBI hitting #2. Jeter stole a base, Damon got caught.

Melky, I guess, wanted to say “not yet” as far as the CF job today. He had 2 hits, 3 RBI including a HR off Eyre.

Matsui, Ransom (Alex who?) and Swisher also HR’d.

Joba went 4 1/3, 2 R, 3 H, 3 walks and 3 K.

Great job by Phil Coke. 2/3 of an inning, both Ks. Likewise with Edwar. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 K.

Bruney gave up a hit, but no runs and a K in his 1 IP. He needed a good outing. Veras (2 H) and Albaladejo (0 hits) finished up.

The Rangers released Brendan Donnelley.

Good thing the Yanks didn’t go after Ollie Perez when they had the long Pettitte delay in negotiations. The way Perez is being chewed out about his weight apparently he’s turning into Oliver Hardy. Oliver Perez Hardy

Meanwhile Freddy Garcia is minor league camp bound for the Mets.

CC will open the season and also open the new ballpark.

Pete Abraham reports on someone who won’t open the new ballpark…Bob Sheppard. Frankly, I’m starting to wonder if he’ll ever get back.

Good point by Bryan Hoch:

Chien-Ming Wang will start Saturday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre vs. Pirates Minor Leaguers. The Yankees are using Brett Tomko, Dan Giese and Alfredo Aceves against the Braves that day, an afternoon which could decide the long relief job .

We will see if the upsets start in the NCAA tonight.

One thing to point out….remember that Joba is just 23. He has the makeup of a future ace, and is coming off a lot of bullpen work. He has a lot of developing to do. So far in camp, he is pitching like what he is…a #5 starter (and it can be argued that Hughes put up a better argument for that than what Joba has so far). But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just shows that Joba has a ways to go. We’ve seen how the others have been…in some cases, like AJ, extremely good this spring.

…and that’s a good thing. The rotation looks solid, and #6 (emergency “Phil”-in) looked great too.   

My thanks to Mike F. for sending me this interesting article…

Where’s the brains?

In recent years, there have been a few players that you have to wonder—for all their talent—where the heck their heads are.

One case and point—Robbie Cano.  I mean, I’m ticked at the stories I’m reading. Granted, Cano wanted to represent his country, the D.R., in the WBC. Perhaps, after A-Rod had to bow out, he felt more pressure to play. But Robbie, who pays your salary?  

Love the lines King, George A. III uses in the post (italics mine):

    • …second baseman and lefty reliever could have been considerably smarter
    • …serious enough to be examined by Dr. Chris Ahmad today…
    • …health issues that could have been prevented by each…
    • …was there before he left to join the WBC…
    • …examined by the Dominican team doctor who confirmed the tightness. Neither Dominican GM Stan Javier or the doctor contacted the Yankees.
    • …played every inning of the Dominican’s three WBC games because he was the lone second baseman.
    • The intensity in which WBC games are played at during a time when players aren’t in game shape….”It is hard to back off when you are playing for your country,” (Brian Cashman)   
    • When told Marte felt the pain lifting and still pitched, Cashman said, “That’s not good. That’s bad.” (My note: no kidding.) 

In short, for all their talent, could they buy a BRAIN with the salary they make? God only knows the what the doc tells both of them today, but say both are forced to miss opening day with what both now think is “minor.” Heck, just ten days ago we weren’t looking at A-Rod missing April.

You are hurt or something is bothering you, say so. Covering it up was and is plain stupid. (Right Mr. Pavano? Car accident, girl in car, fractured ribs….)…

Dizzy Dean ruined his career coming back too early from a broken toe. Other players ruined themselves by playing through things they shouldn’t have. Granted it’s a fine line between playing in pain and taking off (and being considered a wimp) but there is a line….one Pavano knew all too well.

In short, use your damned head. Especially now, when it is still MARCH 14th. You are hurt, do something about it now. Don’t let it linger to the point where on March 30th, one week before the season starts, someone goes to Girardi and say, “uh, Skip? I think we have a problem. You see, for the past few weeks….”

There is no excuse for Cano and Marte’s stupidity. None. Give me some players with brains already. We’ve seen a lot of talented eggheads lately (I won’t mention them but you can figure out who). 

In other matters:

It does appear that Posada will catch tomorrow.

As for the Mets, why aren’t they interested in Pedro, who looked ok in the WBC? Their #5 candidates so far in camp have been horrible, and Freddy Garcia looks done.

I don’t know what happened in that P.R. nightclub, but if Bernie said “no pictures,” that should have been the end of it. Was it too much for that bimbo to honor that request? Now Bernie is accused of elbowing a Puerto Rican TV beauty in the face. He probably went to take the camera away or something and accidentally clipped her. Do I have sympathy for the paparazzi? Hell, no. Princess Di’s death in 1997 can be laid at the paparazzi (as well as a drunken chauffeur). But can people have their privacy for a change? Is that too much too ask?

The U.S. plays Puerto Rico tonight. It’d be interesting to see both Jeter and Bernie get in their respective lineups and go against each other.

In baseball, Yanks shut out by Team Canada, 6-0.

It looks like the Yanks will try to ease A-Rod through the season. We’ll see. We’ll see if at some point A-Rod looks like Lowell looked at the end of last year.

If I’m a speedy guy on the other team, do I bunt on A-Rod? You’re damned right I do. I bunt on an injured infielder. (Um. Forgot something. Didn’t some team and manager NOT bunt on an injured pitcher in say, Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS? Wonder who that was…then again another team didn’t do that in the WS against that pitcher either… ). Mantle wasn’t bunted on when he played 1B out of respect for him and what he meant for the game. Other than that…

I forgot another possible deal. Martin Prado from the Braves. Again, won’t be cheap, and the power dropoff… sigh.

Now for other things besides A-Rod. I didn’t realize Steeler WR Nate Washington went to the Titans.

The Mets Freddy Garcia is looking terrible in his comeback so far.

 I’m not too interested in the WBC, but I do see that Japan shutout China today. Yu Darvish, who we discussed a bit on YFCR, started and pitched four innings for Japan.

Joba started for the Yanks today and was awful. Matsui finally got some game action. Rivera threw from a mound for the first time and said he felt good.

The Yanks only managed four hits vs. WBC Team Canada today in losing 6-0. All six runs were scored in the first as Joba was terrible. He got no one out. 1 hit, 4 walks, all runners scoring. Thank goodness the season is a month away.

Albaladejo gave up 1 run in two IP. Igawa pitched three scoreless innings. Bruney pitched a scoreless inning with 2 Ks (he may be huge this year). Christian Garcia (2) and J. B. Cox (1) finished up with more scoreless IP.


Odds and Ends. Mr. Met on pins and needles.

Johan Santana was scratched again. Word now is that he is out indefinitely. I still have that feeling that Florida will surprise and be the Phils’ biggest challengers in the NL East.

…and no, I still think it’s too early to tell about the Santana/Hughes/Kennedy, fill in the blank stuff yet.

Speaking of the Phils, they released Adam Eaton, who was 4-8, 5.80 for the defending champs last year (ERA+ 75). 68-63 career, but a 4.80 (ERA + 86). 31.

Checking the Post. Freddy Garcia didn’t get off to a good start with the Mets in his spring stint but (He shall be) Livan Hernandez did. The Mets signed 39 year old Ron Villone to a minor league deal. Villone got in 74 games for the Cardinals last year. 1-2,  4.68, ERA+ 91. Career 56-59, 4.75, ERA+ 96. In his late 30’s, Villone has gotten into 79 games (Seattle and Florida) 2005, 70 with the Yanks in 2006 and 74 last year. I’m not so sure that is a good thing. It’s nice he can take the ball, and for the most part he averaged less than an inning per appearance. A LOOGY. But still, do you really want Villone getting 70 appearances for your team? Still, him, Tomko…Jason Johnson…

I hope Bernie does well in the WBC but not THAT well. I don’t want him thinking comeback only to embarrass himself. Do well, but not that well.

Nice quote in the Post from Nick Swisher regarding Brett Gardner: “That is the fastest white dude I’ve ever seen.”

Good beginning for Marbury with the Celtics. Play 10-12 minutes, play well, give Rondo a breather and shut up. Oh yeah, and pick up your ring when finished.

At this rate, Barry Bonds’ trial will come the day he gets his first SS check.

Eagles to lose both Buckhalter AND Dawkins to the Broncos?

How long into the game today before John and Suzyn start doing Broadway songs to disguise that they know nothing about the minor leaguers in the game who were in A or AA last year? 


Just wanted to let you all know that Uncle Joe, Tony, and I will be dusting off the cobwebs putting together a special edition of Yankee Fan Club Radio this Sunday, March 1st.  The show will be available only on podcast, and if you’re still subscribed to our feed, the content should be pushed down to you like all of our other shows over the last four years.

 Being that my work schedule has me 1-10 on Sundays and 8-7 on Mondays, I guess I won’t be hearing it until Monday or Tuesday evening.  




Forget Freddie…Garcia to Mets

MLBTR states that Freddy Garcia has signed a minor league deal with the Mets as he continues his comeback. So cross him off the list as a potential #5 for the Yanks. (Are you getting as p-o’d about Pettitte as I am? Damn it Andy… )

Interesting talk about Jeff Kent today. Most talking about him as a HOF but then Colin Cowherd read an email saying not. If Kent does get in it won’t be on the 1st ballot, that’s for sure. Granted Kent wasn’t a great fielder, but Cowherd said only 5x an all-star in 17 years in the majors. Still, I look at the position. If Kent played LF, not a HOF, but he was a 2B. At 2B, he put up offensive numbers rarely seen by 2B. Granted if given the choice between Robbie Alomar or Kent, I’d take Robbie. Same with Hornsby, Sandberg, Mazeroski (not the bat, but what a glove), Eddie Collins, Jackie Robinson, etc. I don’t know about that enabler bit. That Kent only benefitted from Bonds behind him. Surely it didn’t hurt, but give Kent his offensive due. .290 with 377 HR and an OPS+ of 123 is pretty damned good for a 2B, as is 8 100-RBI seasons.

Looks like the Celtics are out of their funk.

Now Mark McGwire’s brother is coming out against his brother Mark, saying that McGwire started with the steroids in 1994. As ESPN News has on as I write this, the Pre- and Post-1994 numbers on McGwire are quite different. McGwire did have good seasons before 1994 (49 HR as a rookie in 1987) and he also had some clunkers, despite the power. 1989-1991, .235-.231-.201. And in 1989 the A’s won the WS, 1990 the pennant. Granted the HRs were 33, 39 and 22 but not HOF numbers at all then. He bounced back with a solid 1992 before injuries cost him most of 1993 and 1994. Those who want to put Big Mac in the Hall have to admit that his pre-1994 numbers do not merit HOF consideration. Granted he had nice power numbers, but those BA’s of 1989-1991 are sickly. It’s the post-1994 numbers (1995-2000) that do. Those, combined with the pre-1994 give the 583 HR. Even at that, the career BA was just .263. Reggie had a .262 with 563 HR but Reggie’s numbers don’t bear the brand of suspicion that McGwire’s does. The accusations by McGwire’s brother won’t help his cause. What’s that? You choose your friends but your family you are stuck with? It’s sad. McGwire’s power should override his BA, and that 162 OPS+ is superb. But he (and Bonds, Clemens, etc.) wear the scarlet letter. You wonder with the problems that McGwire had, if he could have come back at all from the injuries if not for the juice. If he couldn’t have, then there would definitely be no HOF talk about him.

But with the McGwire/Bonds controversy, you wonder what Maris’ family thinks. I know what ex-YFCR co-host Joe thinks. He’s a huge Maris fan.

Speaking of, do you know McGwire never won the MVP award? The year he hit 70, 1998, he finished 2nd. Sammy Sosa (another story there … 600 + HR and more suspicion) won the award that year.

You hate to play judge and jury. But you also hate the suspicion. Not only that… the “cheating” belittles the accomplishments of a Mays or Aaron. Trying to compare Sosa’s 609 HR to Mays 660 or Griffey’s 611 is not fair to Mays or Griffey. Not fair at all.

I see that Dante Lavelli, a great Browns WR from the late 1940s/early 1950s, passed away earlier this week.

Checking the blogs.

Apparently the Yanks are still a player for Freddy Garcia.

Meanwhile, Omar Vizquel has signed a minor league deal with Texas.

Omar will be 42 in April, and whenever he quits, will be an interesting HOF call. .273, 385 SB, but an OPS+ of just 85. Seattle, Cleveland and Giants (so far) 1989-2008. 3x all star. 162 ga. average of .273-5-54, 23 SB OPS+ of 83.

.250-0-20 in the postseason. (57 g. 228 AB). Helping his cause is 11 Gold Gloves.

His best comparison may be Phil Rizzuto. Same BA, .273. Phil played his career before the GG. Still, same average. .273. .273-4-55 for the 162 g. average. OPS+ 93. 15 SB (but remember, it was a different age, not as many SB, and with the guys (DiMaggio, Henrich, Keller, Mantle, Berra) you didn’t steal as much)… Scooter’s postseason saw .246-2-8 in 52 games (comparible) with 183 AB.

Very interesting call, esp. when compared to the “Scooter.”

Bargain shopping?

Edited from MLBTR:

The latest from Ken Rosenthal…

The Braves are pulling back for the moment in their search for an outfield bat. They’ll hope for a free agent bargain or the right trade. Rosenthal says they’re torn about Andruw Jones. The Braves seek a right-handed hitter but aren’t dead set on it. They were unwilling to meet the Yankees’ demands for Xavier Nady.

The Yankees have little interest in Ben Sheets and Freddy Garcia. The Rangers, Mets, and White Sox remain in the mix for Garcia.

What I do wonder is what kinds of “bargains” Cashman may be looking at. Reclamation or rehab projects that could fill needs and who come cheaply—low base, with incentives. Garcia could have been one, maybe Andruw Jones. Boston has done a lot of that recently with Penny, Smoltz, Colon and Baldelli.

Doug Miller of MLB.com has this:

On this day in 2007, only 66 of 210 (31.4 percent) total free agents remained unsigned, and the cream of that crop included J.D. Drew, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, David Wells, Darin Erstad, Jeff Weaver, Cliff Floyd and Scott Schoeneweis.

A year ago, the economic climate began to show even more, with 81 of 190 total free agents (42.6 percent) still unsigned on this day, including Jeremy Affeldt, Kyle Lohse, Octavio Dotel, Rod Barajas, Pedro Feliz, Johhny Estrada, Brian Moehler and Brad Wilkerson.

But this year, the number is at 110 of 214, a surprising 51.4 percent, and the available level of talent has soared to never-before-seen levels, meaning that legitimate Major League starters could conceivably end up opting for Minor League deals by the time teams leave for the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.

The Yanks could still use starter insurance, esp. if Andy doesn’t return (and with every passing day…). They could still use a utility infielder to compete with Ransom (no, I’m not sold on Angel Berroa). There may be a bargain out there. It’s up to Cashman to find the needle in the haystack.

Jim Schwartz is new head coach of the Lions. Put it this way, after 0-16, the Lions have nowhere to go but up.

More options? …and is the other NY team asleep?

ESPN’s Jayson Stark talks about the arbitration class. I wonder if one reason a lot of top-notch free agents are still available (and their price dropping) could be the prices some players may be getting in arbitration?

The Poor Side of Town?
Johnny Rivers

You have to wonder if Johnny Rivers is singing the Poor Side of Town about the Mets. Yes, they got K-Rod and Putz to shore up the bullpen, but they haven’t done anything else. No Lowe. Ollie Perez still out there for anyone; same with Pedro. Manny and Abreu are out there, and they need an OF.

I think Omar may be hibernating.
Omar Minaya

Meanwhile, will Citi Field (Bankruptcy Field?) be what they think it’ll be, which is a bandbox like CBP in Philly?

Interesting. John Garland turned down a D-backs offer.

2006 WS MVP David Eckstein signed with the Padres. The Mighty Mite played in 94 games in 2008 for Toronto and Arizona and hit a combined .265-2-27 (OPS+ 84). He turns 34 next Tuesday. Career .284, OPS+ 88.

MLBTR states that So Taguchi signed a minor league deal with the Cubs.

Interesting news from MLBTR:

As MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick points out, any team that signs Jones to the major league minimum will pay only $400k and the Dodgers will pay the rest of the $21MM he’s owed. We know the Braves are reluctant to bring Jones back unless he signs a minor league contract.

This makes me wonder…there are guys who can play CF in Melky and Gardner (not to mention Damon and Swisher) but only $400K? Chump change for the Yanks. 32, 10x Gold Glove winner, cheaper than Cameron, younger than Cameron, shoot, just two years ago (2006) went .262-41-129 (ops+ 126).

You have to wonder….Posada, Teix, Cano, Jeter, Alex, Damon, Andruw? Swisher or Nady with Matsui? Is there anything left in Andruw? Like Garcia (and it’s now said that Garcia is talking to four teams, inc. the Yanks….and the strongest rumor is back to the White Sox) it could be worth a shot….a cheap (for the Yanks) shot.

Then again, the Mets need OF help, too.

The biggest question is whether he can get back to where he was. Say, his 162 ga. average of .259-33-100. OPS+ 111. Gold Glove defense. If so, …. forget a 36 year old Cameron.

It never hurts to look. Nothing there? Cut him in spring training….and for the price….

…and here is an example of something similiar to that. From Bryan Hoch at Bombers Beat:

John Smoltz told Dan Patrick that he chose the Red Sox over other interested clubs, one of which was the Yankees. Smoltz also selected Boston over the Dodgers in leaving Atlanta after a long and illustrious career there.

This is interesting in that Cashman had said that the Yankees would round out their rotation from within, but were willing to at least make a run at Smoltz, who secured a guaranteed deal worth $5.5 million from the Red Sox. Once again, this is further evidence the light may no longer be on for Andy Pettitte, who was offered $10 million on a one-year basis in November.

If the season opened today, the Yankees would choose their fifth starter from the group of Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Ian Kennedy and Jason Johnson.

Could you imagine Smoltz as the #5? I agree with Hoch….it sure does look like the good ship Pettitte has passed. Looking at Garcia? Looking at Smoltz? Hmmmmmm…….

Fed-up Boston deals Manny to Torre & Dodgers.

Now we really see if Joe Torre can manage anyone. The laid-back Torre will have his hands full now, as the Dodgers acquire Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox. In return, the Red Sox get Jason Bay from the Pirates in the 3-way deal. The Pirates get Craig Hansen (1-3, 5.58, 2 saves for the Red Sox this year), and OF Brandon Moss (.295-2-11 in 78 AB) from Boston. Both are 24. From LA, the Pirates get 3B Andy LaRoche, 24 (.203-2-6 in 59 AB) and another minor leaguer.

Manny was at .299-20-68 with Boston (OPS+ 140) and Bay .282-22-64 for the Pirates (OPS+ 35). Not a bad return for Boston, but Bay isn’t Manny (508 HR, one of the greatest righty bats ever), and we don’t know how he will respond to a pennant race or Boston’s atmosphere.

I just know that I’m happy not to see Manny Ramirez kill the Yanks anymore. He was a .321 hitter vs. the Yanks with 55 HR. Goodbye, good riddance.

Now if Manny leads the Dodgers to a division title and the media kisses Torre’s butt by then calling him a “genius,” I’ll go ballistic.

Other trades: The Mariners sent Arthur Rhodes to the Marlins. Considering how Yankee hitters teed off on Rhodes throughout the years, I’m sure there were tears shed in the Yankee clubhouse.

The Yanks sent the ex-D.A., Alberto Gonzalez, to the Nationals. A.G. was 9 for 52 in his brief time with the Yanks this year. He was .250-4-23 at SWB. In return, the Yanks get a 22 year old pitcher, Jhonny (yes, the spelling is correct) Nunez. At AA Harrisburg (about 80 miles from me), Nunez was 0-0, 1.12 in 8 IP. 8 K. At A+ Potomac, he was 2-8, 5.22, 82 K in 81 IP.

Junior Griffey takes his 608 HR (one behind Steroid Sammy Sosa) to the White Sox. .245-15-53, OPS+ 103 in what could be his last hurrah.

Guess who makes an appearance with the Yanks? With Farnsworth(less) gone, Chris “Great” Britton gets called up.

The Yanks had a scout watching Freddy Garcia’s workout today.

Posada’s recovery time is a minimum of six months. That basically means February 1st, 2009…just a few weeks before pitchers and catchers. Note that I bolded the word MINIMUM. For a reason. Don’t be surprised if he misses the first month of 2009.

Interesting stuff from Kevin Millar on Edwar. He is convinced Edwar was throwing at him, which he probably was. He called Edwar a “Cute little thing” and said that he was “fortunate to be in the big leagues” and that it was a good thing Edwar was ejected, because he would have taken him to Monument Park. Big words for someone 1 for 4 with 3 Ks vs. Edwar. More: “The kid doesn’t throw that hard and doesn’t have very good stuff…I love facing him.” Edwar is 2-0, 2.35 with 44 K in 38 1/3. Someone should tell Millar that. By the way, Millar should remember that Boston saved him from eating lots of sushi. Remember? From Was Watching…   

Back in 2003—from the Times:         

Kevin Millar was obtained by the Boston Red Sox in a cash deal with the Florida Marlins yesterday after the Japanese team he agreed to sign with last month released him from his contract.

The Marlins received an undisclosed payment for Millar, 31, a first baseman-outfielder.

Millar, who led Florida with a .306 batting average last season, agreed in early January to a two-year, $6.2 million contract with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League. The Marlins released him in exchange for a $1.2 million payment from the Dragons. Millar, who was being pursued by the Red Sox, then changed his mind about playing in Japan, saying his family did not want him to leave at a time of possible war with Iraq.

After talks with Major League Baseball officials, the Dragons released Millar on Friday for an undisclosed payment, the commissioner’s office said. One of the negotiators said the amount would be $1.2 million to $1.5 million.

Theo Epstein, Boston’s general manager, said the Red Sox were not involved in the discussions to free Millar from the Dragons. 


I know the Mike & Mike show has a Michael Bolton tune for the Favre/GB fiasco. Are you as sick and tired of the Green Bay/Brett Favre dance as I and many others are? I think there is a better song to describe their dance and what’s going on.

Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) by Gladys Knight and the Pips.