Tag Archives: Lazzeri

Game 152. Yanks win, Didi sets Yankees HR record for SS, tragedy averted, thankfully.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before we get into the game, I must mention something that happened during this afternoon’s game that fortunately, did not turn into a tragedy.

In the middle of the game, Todd Frazier lined a ball into the stands where it struck a girl in the face. The girl, sitting in the box seats, had to be removed from the game on a stretcher, and rushed by ambulance to a hospital. Players on the field from both teams were in tears because of what happened.

Thankfully, it appears that the girl will be OK.

The girl is 2 years old.

Which raises questions. Should a 2 year old be sitting in box seats? Should you sell tickets to someone who will be sitting in box seats with a two year old or should they be required to take seats further away from the playing field?

Should protective netting be expanded to go all the way up the first and third base lines?

Should the parents be bringing a two-year old to the Stadium in the first place?

This could have been a tragedy. It wasn’t. But these questions need to be addressed. Thankfully, what could have been much worse didn’t happen.

Luis Severino was off. The Twins got three in the top of the third off off Seve, and it was a 46 pitch inning for him. Credit must be given to Joe Mauer, who had a 13-pitch at bat vs. Severino that resulted in a bases-loaded RBI single for a run. It appeared to take everything out of Severino.

The Yanks got it right back in the bottom of the third on back-to-back HRs by Judge (45) and Sanchez (32). The two-run HR by Judge put him over 100 RBI for the season.

It’s also important to remember that Sanchez missed 3-4 weeks at the beginning of the year due to injury.

Judge became the third rookie in history to have 100 walks, runs scored and RBI in a season. The others were Ted Williams in 1939 and Al Rosen in 1950.

He also became the fourth Yankee with 100 RBI in his rookie season, after Tony Lazzeri, Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui.

There was talk about Rosen on the Yankees’ broadcast today. It was mentioned that Rosen broke in in 1947. But Rosen got in 7 games in 1947, 5 in 1948 and 23 in 1949. So he was still a “rookie” in 1950, not having met the criteria for not being a rookie.

In the fourth, the Yanks broke the game open, scoring six runs. With one out, the red-hot Ellsbury (finally over that concussion?) tripled. After a walk, Bird hit his second double of the game to make it 4-3. Gardner singled to make it 5-3. After Judge struck out for the second out, Sanchez singled, 6-3.

Didi Gregorius then hit a 3-run HR (25) to make it 9-3. With the HR, Didi set a new single season record for most HR in a season by a Yankees’ SS, breaking Jeter’s 1999 mark of 24.

In the fifth, Holliday singled and Ellsbury walked. This is where Frazier lined that ball off that poor child’s face. He flied out. Holliday moving up. A WP had Holliday scoring to make it 10-3 and moving Ellsbury to second. Bird singled Ellsbury to third, Gardner was HBP to load the bases, and Judge hit a SF, 11-3.

Gardner 2 hits, RBI.
Judge HR (45) 3 RBI. Topped 100 RBI for the season.
Sanchez 3 hits, 2 RBI, HR (32).
Gregorius HR (25), 3 RBI. Yankees’ record for HR in a season by a SS.
Ellsbury 3 hits.
Bird 3 hits, RBI.

Severino 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 3 K. 3.03.
Shreve (W, 4-1, 3.71) 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. Great job.
Heller 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.50
German 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K. 2.84

I am really impressed by what German has shown so far.

The Angels are playing as I write this. But the Yanks magic numbers for being the host wild card team and for making the playoffs at all are both 4.

Quick note: Boxer Jake LaMotta died at the age of 95. He was the subject of the movie Raging Bull, which won Robert De Niro a best actor Oscar for his portrayal of LaMotta.

Game 39. Yanks come back to win 4-3.

I only wish I could have watched it. I couldn’t. CC vs. King Felix. A  matchup of aces, and after six innings, it didn’t look good for the Yanks as they were down 3-0.

But they came back to win 4-3.

Curtis Granderson was activated off the DL today, played LF and hit cleanup. Travis Hafner will be out a couple of days with a sore shoulder. Vernon Wells Dh’d tonight. To make room for Granderson, Vidal Nuno was sent back to AAA.

Sending Nuno down serves a few purposes. For one, he won’t be able to pitch for a few days anyway. For another, yesterday was the first day he pitched in almost two weeks. Lastly, sending him back enables him to start and stay stretched out in case the Yanks need an emergency starter.

So it is CC vs. King Felix. Seattle scores an unearned run in the second, when with two outs, Kyle Seager doubles home a baserunner who had reached on an Overbay error.

In the sixth, CC gave up a 2-run HR to our old buddy, Raul Ibanez. 3-0 Seattle with King Felix on the mound. It did not look good.

But the Mariners pulled King Felix Hernandez after six. The Yanks then pounced on the M’s bullpen to win the game.

CC went 6 1/3, 3 R, 2 ER, 10 H, 2 walks and 10 K. He gets the ND, ERA to 3.19.

Meanwhile, King Felix struck out 8 in 6 IP.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Yanks started their comeback. Down 3-0, a single by Cano and eventual double by Overbay cut it to 3-1. Hernandez was then pulled after six and the Yanks took advantage, winning the game against the M’s bullpen.

In the seventh, the Yanks scored three to win the game. After Hernandez was pulled after six, Chris Nelson led off the seventh with a single. A WP (Romine K’d) and a walk to Gardner put men on 1st and 2nd, one out, whereupon Robbie Cano (Best Yanks 2B EVER? Better than HOFers Lazzeri and Gordon, not to mention Randolph?) doubled to tie the game. After walks to Wells (intentional) and Granderson, Lyle Overbay got a SF that was the game-winner.

Kelley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. (W, 2-0, 5.87).

D-Rob the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 2.76.

Then the 9th to the G.O.A.T.  (Greatest of All-Time). Mo is now 16 for 16 in saves this year (only 39 games in!) and it’s his 624th all-time. His ERA drops to 1.56.

Some farewell tour at the age of 43. Really.

The Yanks will have some decisions to make soon. What do you do with Overbay once Teix returns? Who do you send down when Joba returns, Claiborne (who’s done well) or Kelley? What happens when Jeter, Youk or A-rod return? David Adams is due up tomorrow. Who goes? Nelson?

Things will be VERY INTERESTING regarding roster moves.

Game 56. Lineup, and news on Teix and Garcia.

Freddy Garcia on bereavement list (grandfather passed away in Venezuela ), Ryota Igarashi up from AAA to take his spot. The Yanks just picked up Igarashi recently. He pitched in two games for the Blue Jays this year, 0-0, 36.00. 4 runs in 1 IP. For his career, 5-2, 6.17 in 81 games. ERA+ 62.

From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch: Mark Teixeira has solved the mystery of his cough. A specialist found vocal cord damage. This is good news, but will take time to heal.

Yanks 31-24, 2nd in AL East (wc spot #1) and even with the Pythagorean record. OPS+ 111, ERA+ 109. Vs. Price tonight.

Jeter 6  .323-6-20   5/6  118     3163 hits.
Granderson 8 .255-17-33  3/6  133
Teix 3 .249-10-33  1/2  105
A-Rod 5  .276-9-22  6/6  115
Cano 4  .290-9-25  1/1  129
Swish 9  .250-8-35  1/1  104
Jones DH  .230-5-11  0/0  103
Nix 7  .241-2-4  1/2  124   7 for 29
Stewart 2 .227-0-6  0/0  34    10 for 34  1 double, 1 walk.

CC 1    7-2, 3.68  ERA+ 116

Teix #324 last night tied Lance Parrish and Gary Carter on the all-time HR list. Ken Davidoff of the NY Post states that Cano’s 153rd was his 148th as a Yankee 2B, breaking the Yankees team record that he shared with Lazzeri and Gordon.



Cano sets a team record

Stat from Ken Davidoff of the Post: Cano’s homer was his 148th as a Yankee second baseman. He broke the club record, which was previously held by Tony Lazzeri and Joe Gordon at 147.

Richardson over Gordon? Really?

The “regular” lineup today, aka the Opening Day Lineup, Lineup vs. Righties, Lineup w. Gardner 9th, etc.

Pettitte vs. Lackey.

See news today about Martina Navratilova. The former tennis great will be battling breast cancer. Godspeed.

MSG’s The Lineup chose their all-time 2B for NY (Yankees, Mets, Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants). No surprise, Jackie Robinson. One big surprise—Lazzeri, Frisch, Richardson and Randolph. Next week, the 3B…

Why the surprise? No offense to Bobby Richardson, but they chose him over HOF Joe Gordon? Richardson hit .266 in his career and NEVER walked. Yes, he was fine defensively. But his average 162 g. season was .266-4-45, just 30 walks (only 28 strikeouts) and an OPS+ of 77. Yup. 77. He finished 2nd in MVP voting in 1962 to Mantle (the only year Bobby had an average or better OPS) and was 10th in the 1963 vote.

Gordon meanwhile, is in the HOF. His average 162 gm. season would be .268-26-101, OPS+ 120. He was known as a superb fielder. Gordon won the 1942 MVP (beating Williams out, and all Ted did was to win the Triple Crown). Gordon also finished 9th in 1939, 7th in 1941, 7th in 1947 and 6th in 1948. He had four seasons with 100 or more RBI. He hit 30 HR in 1940—as a righty batter in the OLD Yankee Stadium (402 to LF, 457 to LCF). I believe the only righties to do that in the OLD Stadium were Gordon, Bob Meusel and Joe D.

HOF vs. non-HOF. MVP winner and 5x top 10 MVP vs. non-MVP and 2x top-10 MVP. 120 OPS+ vs. a 77.

Between Gary Carter (Montreal yes, but NY NO!) over Dickey and Munson, and Richardson over Gordon, I really think the show is missing the boat badly.

See the next post for tonight’s game wrapup.        

Flunking baseball history

10 a.m. Recently I remarked on a poll that the NY Daily News had in which fans voted on the greatest Yankees at their respective positions. Although Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth should have been unanimous choices at 1B and RF, some fans still voted for the Mattingly’s, Skowron’s, Tino’s, Maris’s and Reggies. Ok, fine. Gehrig and Ruth were still runaway winners, as they deserved to be.

Even this week, we see polls asking if the Patriots are the best-ever. The results don’t surprise me. People either don’t know, don’t study up on, or don’t CARE about history. Maybe the Patriots of this decade are better than the Steelers of the 1970s. Maybe not. The point is that with these polls, the more recent vintage will almost always come out on top because people won’t look up or investigate the old-time player.

In the recent Daily News poll, I believe Willie Randolph was leading at second base. Willie was a fine 2B, a six-time All-Star who hit .276 with over 2200 hits. He stole over 270 bases. But is he really better than Hall-of-Famer Tony Lazzeri or Joe Gordon? Lazzeri, a key member of the 1927 Murderer’s Row, hit .292 and drove in 100 runs in a season seven times. In 1927, he hit 18 home runs, which may not sound like much, but did you know that those 18 HR ranked Lazzeri THIRD in the league that year behind Ruth’s 60 and Gehrig’s 47? Did you know that Lazzeri had 60 HR and 222 RBI in the Pacific Coast League in 1925? In his rookie year of 1926, “Poosh ’em Up” was tied for 2nd in the league in RBI, behind only Ruth (Tony had two more than Gehrig). Lazzeri had three top-10 MVP finishes in his career. Lazzeri’s career went downhill at the age of 33, but twice during his career he ranked # 1 for power/speed combination. Did you know Lazzeri was an epileptic? A seizure cost him his life at the age of 42 when that seizure occured at home. Lazzeri was at the top of the stairs and apparently broke his neck in the fall. But how many people know about Lazzeri? Another thing to remember about Lazzeri and our next topic, Joe Gordon, is that both were right-handed power hitters in the old Yankee Stadium, where it was 402 to the bullpen on one side, 415 to the other (straightaway left) and LCF was 457 feet away.

As for Joe Gordon, he won the 1942 MVP award in a year where Ted Williams won the Triple Crown. He drove in 100 runs in a season four times–three times with the Yanks and once for Cleveland. He and Joe DiMaggio were the only righty-hitting Yankees to hit 30 HR in a season while playing in the OLD Stadium. Since moving in the fences, we’ve seen others, like Winfield and A-Rod do it. Granted that Winfield and A-Rod would probably have done it anyway, but you can see that outside of DiMaggio, only one Yankee in the OLD stadium did it, and that was Gordon, and he only did it once. Gordon was a seven-time All-Star who only hit .268, but who had 253 HR in eleven seasons. WWII cost him two full years, and probably the Hall-of-Fame. Although the average isn’t impressive, those two years may have cost him 300 HR for his career. 300 HR for a righty-hitting second baseman is impressive. Throw in Death Valley, and you can see Gordon’s value. Five times he finished in the top 10 for MVP voting–three times as a Yankee.

We’ve seen the lack of knowledge or caring about history before. The results of the “Team of the Century” poll were very disheartening, but expected. Once again, someone of a more recent vintage–whose stats don’t match up to the star of long ago–wins the poll. Here is another example. Jackie Robinson. I’m not going to disparage Robinson’s achievements, for how can I? An excellent ballplayer who helped bring the running game back into baseball, Robinson was a .311 career hitter. He won the 1947 Rookie of the Year award (the first one given) and was the 1949 MVP (the first black to win). We all know about his heroic struggle to break the color barrier in baseball. The problem is knowing how great he really could have been. Even if there was not a color barrier in baseball, and Robinson would have been major-league ready in say 1942, when he was 23 years old, WWII still would have cost him three or four years of his career. He only played ten years, and the last two seasons, 1955 and 1956, weren’t that great (OPS+ of 96 and 107), batting averages of .256 and .275. So you are going by his best years, 1947-1954. Still, Robinson was voted the starting second baseman on the All-Century team over Rogers Hornsby, who hit .358 with 301 home runs in his career. Hornsby, although by most accounts not a great fielder, hit .400 three times in his career, including an amazing .424 in 1924. He had a career OPS+ of 175, FIFTH all-time. His stats could have been far better, except for the fact he more or less shut his career down at the age of 33 (and after a .380-39-149 season that brought the Cubs the 1929 pennant and Hornsby the MVP!) in order to concentrate on his managing. For only once since 1929 did he play in over 57 games in a season. .358, 301 HR, 2930 hits (apparently Mr. 3000 meant nothing to him), two MVP’s, another runner-up finish, second behind Cobb in all-time batting average. Yet voters chose Jackie over Hornsby. I can see the sentiment, I can see bringing in all that Robinson went through. But I wonder if those voters ever looked beyond that at Hornsby’s stats? Or is he just forgotten by today’s fans?

Another I felt who got the shaft and should have finished above Robinson was Eddie Collins. Collins is mostly forgotten about by today’s fans, and it’s a shame. After Cobb and Wagner, Collins was probably the third greatest everyday player of the dead-ball era, as I’d rank him above Joe Jackson, albeit slightly. Maybe I drop Collins to fourth and put Tris Speaker over him. You get the point. Collins hit .333 for his career, which spanned 25 years. He was a significant figure on two should-have-been dynasties, the 1910-1914 Philadelphia Athletics, broken up by the Federal League and cheapskate Connie Mack, and the 1917-1920 Chicago White Sox, which were broken up by the 1919 World Series Scandal. Collins had over 3300 hits and 700 stolen bases in his career. He won the Chalmers Award (forerunner of today’s MVP) in 1914. The Chalmers Award only lasted four years, and Collins finished third, sixth, third and first. There was no MVP given out from 1915-1921. Who knows how high Collins (or Cobb, Johnson, Speaker or Ruth) would have finished then. He finished 5th in 1922, and was the runnerup for the League Award (another forerunner of today’s MVP) in both 1923 and 1924—on teams decimated from the expulsion of players such as Happy Felsch, Buck Weaver, Lefty Williams, Eddie Cicotte and Joe Jackson. Collins played in six World Series from 1910-1919 and was an integral part of all those teams. Were it not for Mack on one hand and a scandal on the other, he might have played in more. His OPS+ was 141 for his career, better than Robinson’s excellent mark of 132.

This isn’t to disparage Robinson. Not in any way, shape or form. You do have to wonder what people were thinking about either when voting for the All-Century team in 1999, voting for an All-Yankee team in 2008 or voting for any who’s the greatest team or individual. Recently, for example, someone made a comment about Michael Jordan being the all-time best basketball player. Maybe, maybe not. After all, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game in the 1961-1962 season.

The point is, all too often, people only look at their own generation or what they saw when voting in these polls. The results are skewered toward the more recent team or athlete because people won’t Google the past or look up something in an encyclopedia. They won’t read a biography about someone. As a result, you get people who think Bo Jackson was a greater all-around athlete than Jim Thorpe, without knowing much about Thorpe.

And that’s a shame.