Tag Archives: Michael Young

S.T. Game #18. Finally down to business?

The game recap may be in a different thread. Stay tuned.

One reason for that is because I want the title and purpose of this post to stay. Here is today’s lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C

RHP Freddy Garcia

Outside of Brett Gardner, what do you see? You see a lineup of regulars. No offense to the scrubs, but there are no bench players in the starting lineup today. No Nunez, Pena, Maxwell, Laird, Vazquez, Montero, Golson, etc. … Nope. What you see could be a lineup in July. With Garcia on the mound.

Not only that, Rivera should be making his first appearance in a game today. LoHud states: We’ll see a lot of the regular Yankees bullpen, with Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson also scheduled to pitch.

Together with that lineup, it’ll seem like a regular season game.

Available in the bullpen today: Rivera, Soriano, Chamberlain, Robertson, Brackman, Romulo Sanchez, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Eric Wordekemper and Dellin Betances. Everyone after Brackman seems to be a backup.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Eric Chavez, 2B Ronnie Belliard, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Melky Mesa, CF Austin Krum, RF Daniel Brewer and DH Kyle Higashioka.

In other words, NOW we get serious. Hopefully not much more (if any) looks at Rule 5 pitchers or pitchers AAA or AA bound that we know aren’t prospects (I’d love to see more of Banuelos and Betances, though). Now I also want to know how long the starters go. Six? Seven? No more three innings and out anymore.

Cuts should be today.

Something to watch out for: There is a nice piece by Phil Rogers today about a potential developing deal that could have serious ramifications for the AL and NL pennant races. As you know, Michael Young isn’t too happy with his situation in Texas. Young can play 2B, SS and 3B. The Phils have concerns about Chase Utley’s knee. Could Texas and Philly be working on a deal to send Young to Philly, maybe for a pitcher (no, not Halladay or Lee)? Rogers states that according to sources, the Phils proposed Blanton and Polanco for Young. After losing Jayson Werth via free agency to Washington, the Phils are top-heavy in lefty hitting. Young would alleviate that with his righty bat. Texas could get back some pitching help to alleviate the hit they took when Lee signed on with Philly. Rogers reports that the Phils (currently 2nd in payroll to the Yanks) wanted Texas to pick up the $16MM Young is owed in 2013, when Blanton’s and Polanco’s deals will be off the books. The Rangers passed, but it’s something to keep eyes on. It’s one of those deals that does make sense all the way around, and one that could have huge implications throughout both leagues. Could the Rangers hold out for Oswalt or Hamels and break up that Phab Phour before they get rolling? Who knows. I’ve wondered why the Phils don’t look at David Eckstein. He’s a free agent, and a pest who has won two WS rings and a WS MVP. Eckstein has no power and is 36, but is one of those players who knows how to win. He does all the little things (and no, that is not a joke on his height). I’d look at him if I were in that situation. Anyway, Rogers says that Texas CEO Nolan Ryan and Phils’ special assistant Charlie Kerfeld are good friends from when they were teammates on the 1986 Astros’ NL West Champs. He also states that both teams have been closely following each other. This is a good “heads up” by Rogers about something that has serious potential. Kudos to Rogers for the info.          

Update from the Lower Hudson Journal (LoHud):

Looks like we have our first set of cuts. Adam Warren and D.J. Mitchell are clearing their lockers. The lockers for David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Brian Anderson, Andy Sisco and Buddy Carlyle are already empty.

Therefore we learn one thing. The #4 and #5 slots won’t go to longshots Phelps, Warren or Noesi. They’ll be AAA-bound. It’s between Nova, Colon, Garcia and Mitre.  

Happy birthday, Manny Banuelos. The young phenom turns 20 today. As LoHud states, youngest guy in camp.

Also cut: Neal Cotts. More from Lohud:

The only minor league starters still in big league camp are Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos (and maybe Steve Garrison, depending on how the Yankees plan to use him this season). Might not be long before the Yankees have to send some of the Killer Bs down as well to give them innings.

(My note: midseason call possibilities?) Combined spring numbers for Mitchell and Warren: 8 G, 10.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 2.53 ERA. Mitchell walked no one. Warren allowed just one earned run.


Yanks interested in Andruw? Bonderman?

First things first. The Rangers and Beltre are now a match. Young to DH/utility, and where will that leave Vlad?

LaRoche to the Nats. Didn’t get three, but two with an option.

As for the Yanks, could they have interest in Andruw Jones? It seems like Jones has been around forever, but he’ll be 34 in April. He still has pop, 36 HR in the last two years in a platoon role. The BA is alarming, .214 and .230 in the last two years but the 407-career-HR (tied with Duke Snider) Jones is a better defensive ballplayer than Marcus Thames. Granted Jones isn’t what he was defensively (a 10x GG winner) but he should be able to handle the corners and provide pop. He may also come pretty cheaply. He does bring tons of playoff experience from his long tenure with the Braves. So I see some positives (as I try to ignore that injury-riddled and just Coyote-ugly 2008 season from Andruw). Still has pop, decent glove. How old is he, though… is it an OLD 34 that he’ll be? And can the .256 career hitter hit .256? If it’s .250 with pop, it wouldn’t be so bad. The recent .220’s do concern me. Worth a gamble, but only at VERY low cost.

Another the Yanks are rumored to be interested in is Jeremy Bonderman as they pick through the rubbish of what is left pitcher-wise. The list includes Garcia, Millwood, Francis, possibly a Brian Bannister, Colon … and Bonderman. Bonderman is just 28 (Bannister 30), so he has youth on his side, but he’s another risk. Bonderman was just 8-10, 5.53 (ERA+ 76) last year for the Tigers, and is 67-77, 4.89 (ERA+ 90) for his career. His best year was in 2006 when the Tigers won the AL pennant. Bonderman was 14-8, 4.08 (ERA+ 112) that year. It just seems like everyone out there are guys with 5.00 ERA’s and very Sidney Ponson-like.

HOF selections (if any, I expect Blyleven and Alomar, don’t know if any others will make it) announced today at 2 p.m.          

Hmm, what controversy will the Jets come up with next? Now massage therapists suing them/Favre. In the last year, besides Rex’s blowhard bit, they’ve had Rex’s foul language on a reality show, Saenz, Sterger, the knee that was stuck out, Rex’s wife’s feet, now this. What next? Sheesh.   

Quick Update: When Cashman says that there isn’t much out there…he’s right.

Also, we should be hearing about arbitration results with Hughes, Joba and Logan soon.  

Beltre to Texas? Not yet; Pettitte to decide this week?

There were some reports that Adrian Beltre is going to Texas on a five or six year deal worth $90 to $96MM. MLBTR states that Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News offers a “semi-educated guess” that the Rangers will  shift Michael Young to a DH/utility role rather than trade him.

MLBTR and MLB.com however, report that “nothing is remotely imminent” between the team and the third baseman.

Beltre and Rafael Soriano are the top free agents still available, then Pavano. It is rumored that Pavano may decide between the Twins or Nats soon. 

The Yanks could still be interested in Brian Fuentes, MLBTR reports. Could the Yanks go with Logan, Fuentes and Feliciano? Fuentes would be insurance for Mo, but would have to accept a setup role, and  less money than he may like. Maybe that’s why Cashman is waiting—for the price to drop.

Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon could be in serious trouble.

On Wednesday, we find out if the baseball writers elected anyone to the HOF.

Finally, is this the week we hear from Pettitte whether he is coming back or retiring?       

Update, 1/4/11: Apparently Beltre and the Rangers are closing in on a six-year deal, with Michael Young changing positions yet again.  $90 to $100MM. If Young moves (again) and goes to DH, what then with Vlad? As we saw in the WS last year, OF for Vladdy isn’t a good idea anymore.

WS MVP Edgar Renteria could be Cincy-bound.

The NY Post states that Pettitte may not decide this week, and if he calls the Yanks, it may be only to let them know he is returning. That no call means he is retired. Pettitte has already told the Yankees to carry on as if he wasn’t returning.

It looks like Adam LaRoche will take the Nationals’ two-year offer at $8 to $9 MM per season.


Game 2 ALCS. Hughes knocked out early as Texas evens series, 7-2. Yanks 1 for 11 with RISP.

If you are on, feel free to comment (but keep it clean!).

Yanks go down 1-2-3 in the top of the first. Texas gets an infield hit, then Andrus goes to 2nd on a WP, Hughes gets a K, but Andrus then steals third. Texas obviously coming out aggressive, and Posada’s D is a concern. A walk. Nice K on Vlad. A double steal brings in a run. Why Jorge threw through I don’t know. I really am concerned about Jorge’s defensive deficiencies lately. It’s a problem for 2011. Hughes winds up striking out the side, but the aggressive baserunning (and Posada’s continued defensive woes) give Texas a run.

In the second, Cano just misses a HR…twice. A long foul, then one caught at the wall. Swisher gets a two-out double. Walk to Jorge. Fat Elvis (Berkman) up. Berkman hits it well, but a liner to RF. Nothing for the Yanks, but Cano, Swisher and Berkman all hit shots. Texas got a cheap infield single, but Texas is up 1-0. Funny game.

Rats. Murphy touches Phil for a HR in the 2nd. 2-0 Rangers. Three-straight two-out hits by Texas make it 3-0 (last a double by Young). Funny, but I really don’t think Phil has been pitching that badly. But…

The bases get loaded, then out of it. 3-0 Rangers after two. Like I said, funny game. The Yanks hit three shots in the 2nd, but two were outs. Meanwhile, I don’t think Phil has been THAT bad, but it’s 3-0 Texas after two.      

Two on, one out for the Yanks in the third. Teix up. A chance to get back in the game. What an awful call on the 2nd pitch. High. But… Teix pops up. Alex grounds out. T&A don’t come through. Opportunity wasted.

Maybe it’s time to worry about Phil. Leadoff double, sac bunt. The Yanks’ starters are going to need to give depth. CC just 4. Need more from Phil. You can’t burn out your middle relievers in just two games. Two doubles make it 5-0. 

Cano gets a double in the 4th, scores on a Berkman single, but in the 5th, Hughes gives up another run on a doublea and a triple. 6-1 and Phil is gone.

4+ innings for Hughes, 7 R. 10 H, 3 walks and 3 K. Good point by Ron Darling of TBS. 7 hits with 2-strikes. Phil needed to put them away there. He didn’t. Joba in. Two Ks but then a single. 7-1. Groundout.

I thought Phil would have a good game today. He didn’t. Now the pressure could be on Pettitte to not only beat Lee, but give innings after short outings by CC and Hughes.

7-1 Texas after five.

Besides the starting pitching (only 4 IP each from CC and Hughes), the Yanks also have to be concerned about the bats… other than that 5-run 8th inning, not much offensively.

Cano is one bat that you aren’t worrying about right now. HR makes it 7-2. Some anus throws the ball out of the upper deck. I find that practice asinine. Give the ball to a kid. Fans who throw HR balls back on to the field should be immediately ejected FOREVER from ballparks. Give the ball to a child who might appreciate the gesture.

But then that child’s ass**** father might throw the ball on to the field. Morons.

The Yanks get two on, and a HR by Thames might put the Yanks back into the game, but Thames whiffs. 7-2 after 5 1/2. Rapada replaced Lewis (5 2/3) to get Thames, who PH for Gardner.   

Robertson replaces Joba. Joba 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 K. No walks. D-Rob gives up a hit, but has a scoreless inning with 2 K. So far the Yankee bullpen in this series has done well. It’s CC and Hughes who have put the Yankees into early holes. Last night the Yankees dug themselves out of it, but it’s not something you want to do.

Cano, by the way, is 5 for 7 with 2 HR and a double in this series so far, and if you’ll recall (see above) one of those outs was caught at the wall. With him this hot, he really needs T&A (Teixeira and Alex) to get hot in front of him. But both have been cold so far.

Alex gets on via an error, 2 on, 2 out but Robbie whiffs.

Robertson gets an out in the 7th. Then he is pulled. 1 1/3. 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. Logan in. Flyout, strikeout. 7-2 Texas after 7.

You have to give Texas credit for battling back after a tough loss last night.  

Into the 8th, and the Rangers are still doing a good job shutting down Yankee hitting. Except for that 5-run 8th in game 1…

Just switched to see the Auburn/Arkansas score. 65-43? No, not basketball, either.

#5 Nebraska lost. #1 Ohio St. is losing.

Believe it or not, this would be the very first postseason home win for Texas. They lost two at home in 1996, one in 1998, one in 1999—all to the Yankees, two to the Rays in the ALDS this year, then game 1 of the ALCS to the Yankees. I guess they were due after seven in a row.

 Logan gives up a walk and the Meat Tray (Mitre) comes in. Another walk. DP, walk, SB. K.

Logan 2/3. 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and a K. Mitre 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks and a K.

Yankees bullpen  4 IP. 0 R, 2 H, 3 walks and 6 K. Good job at trying to keep the Yanks in it.

To the 9th, Texas leads 7-2.

Texas goes to their closer, Perez.

A couple one-out walks but Alex (2 for 10 in the two games) grounds out. Teixeira is 0 for the ALCS so far. Granderson 2 for 10. Swish and Posada each 1 for 7. Gardner 1 for 5 (a big 1, though).

Yanks need some bats to wake up, and better starting pitching. The Yanks had 7 hits and drew 7 walks today, but scored just two runs.

They were 1 for 11 with RISP.  

Cano (5 for 9) flies deep to left. Game over. 7-2 Texas.

Now it’s a best-of-five series. But with Lee set up twice, and with Burnett scheduled for Game 4.

This could be problematic.

More later.



ALCS Game 1. Rusty CC is awful. Yanks come back with 5 in 8th to stun Rangers, 6-5.

Feel free to comment as the game goes on.

No jitters for Wilson as he has a 1-2-3 first. CC rusty? He walks the leadoff hitter. Gives up a hit on a 3-1 pitch.  3 run HR by Hamilton… on a 0-2 pitch. Ouch. A long out caught at the wall. Single. Walk. CC doesn’t have anything so far.  Popup. Walk. 35 pitches. A ball and a WP but the ball bounces right back to Posada who throws to CC to nail the runner at the plate. Lucky. 36 pitches that inning for CC. 3 walks. The Yanks are lucky it was only 3 runs.

Moseley should start warming up. Now. Yanks go down 1-2-3 in the 2nd, even though Thames did hit the ball well.

CC better straighten out. It seems like he is not finishing. Everything high and away, and he isn’t close. He gets a 1-2-3, and only on the final batter (a 3-pitch K) did he seem like he got his rhythm. 3-0 Texas after two. 50 pitches for CC.

In the third, with one out, Granderson singles and Gardner walks. Up comes Jeter, who has gone yard JUST ONCE since June 12th. No pop. Hits the ball the other way. Swings at the first stinking pitch. Flies to right-center. Swisher pops up. Opportunity wasted.

CC starts off Hamilton 0-2 and loses him. No command or control. Goes 0-2 on Bad Vlad and the count goes full. I wonder how long Joe sticks with him.  K but a SB. Balk. What else can go wrong? Groundout, runner holds. Groundout. Out of it.

After 3, 3-0 Texas. CC at 67 pitches. Laboring.

With two out in the fourth, Cano and Thames single but Posada lines out. Another chance for a run gone. Alex with two strikeouts. Now 1 for 15 off Wilson.  

CC gives up more in the fourth. A 2-run double for Young. 5-0.

If Texas does win this, how much pressure is on Hughes tomorrow?    

Good point by Sterling. Pull CC now  then bring him back for 4 and 7? Joba is up.

Wild pitch. CC is at 90 pitches. I pull him. He gets a K to get out of the inning but 5-0 Texas after 4.

I pull him. Now. 93 pitches. 4 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 4 walks and 3 K. Pull him in case you need him for Game 4. (Of course, A.J. may then have to be bumped to 5, so I don’t think CC will go in 4 anyway…)

Yanks get nothing in the 5th. Another GIDP by Jeter. His age and declining skills will really be a problem in that contract negotiation.

CC is out. An AWFUL outing. Joba in. Joba hasn’t pitched in a while so you worry about rust. But he DOES need the work. He has a scoreless inning. End of 5, 5-0 Rangers.

Even if the Yanks can’t come all the way back, you’d like the bats to wake up. The Yanks weren’t good against lefties at the end of the year. They DID beat Liriano and Duensing, but now back to …

Give Wilson credit though. Maybe Jeter or Posada could have gotten a big hit to put the Yanks back in the game, but they didn’t (age?).

Yanks down 1-2-3 in the 6th. Bats look dead, and A-Rod now 1-16 off Wilson.   

Moseley in to get some work. A-Rod makes an error, but Moseley is good, a scoreless inning with 2 K.

Someone woke up. Cano HRs. 5-1.

The quintet of Teixeira, A-Rod, Posada, Granderson and Gardner were 1 for 32 off Wilson entering this game. Tonight so far? 1 for 10 (Granderson single). Maybe Cervelli and Kearns (each 3 for 7) would have been better, who knows? But CC was awful and Wilson has been very good. Enough said.

House of Horrors? Should the Yanks lose, it’s five losses in six games at Texas. Such is the price of losing the division and being the wild card. First two games on the road.

Go figure. Moseley 2 IP of relief. 0 R, 0 H and 4 K.

Gardner’s hustle gives him an infield hit in the 8th. Jeter doubles him home. 5-2. In comes Darren Oliver, who has been around as long as the “Core Four.” Oliver lost a playoff game to the Yankees while pitching for Texas back in 1996.

Swisher walks.  Tying run up with Teix. Alex and Cano after him. Yanks need to do it here. Teix walks. Bases loaded and no out.

Oliver out. O’Day in. Tying run on first. Oh, for a grand slam from Alex. Cano on deck.

2-run single! 5-4! 1st and 2nd, no one out and Cano up. Rapada in, a lefty, but Cano does hit lefties well, like Matsui did.

Hit! Tied! and an error puts Alex on 3rd. Huge. A SF can bring in the go-ahead run. The team MVP (Cano) comes through. Holland replaces Rapada. Thames up. Still no out.

SINGLE BY THAMES!! Yanks take the lead! Still no one out. 6-5 Yanks.  


Jorge almost hits a 3-run HR, but it is caught at the wall. Cano tags and goes to third.

Granderson up. A SF and an insurance run would be huge here. Nope. Curtis whiffs. Gardner grounds out. But a 5-run inning gives the Yanks the lead.

Great work by Joba and Moseley to give the Yanks a chance.

In comes Wood. He walks the leadoff man. Sheesh. Wood continues to struggle throwing strikes, but he does pick off Kinsler. Big out. Groundout. K.

You know who for the 9th, but I’d like insurance.

Leadoff double for the Captain. Does Swish bunt? He tries. Foul. He pops up a bunt. Rats. Should they have PH Golson for Swisher there? Maybe Golson bunts better. Golson will probably go to RF for defense next inning anyway. Teix pops it up. Alex swings at the first friggin’ pitch and pops up. 

6-5. Going to the bottom of the 9th.  

Rivera time. Golson in RF for D.

Ugh. Single. … and I remember that two of Mo’s three losses this year came in Texas. My nerves are shot. Andrus lays down a sac bunt—with two strikes. Tying run on second and one out.

Michael Young. A tough at bat. Big strikeout.

Now Josh Hamilton. Mo gets a groundout! Postseason save #42 for #42!

Yanks win 6-5! Heartbreaker for Texas.

Moseley gets the W, with 2 great (and probably will be overlooked?) innings of relief. Mo, of course, the save. 

Huge hustle by Gardner to start things off. 

3 hits, 2 rbi by Cano. 2 hits, GW RBI by Thames. Jeter 2 hits. 

…and maybe the most important stat. The Yankees bullpen. 

5 IP (Joba, Moseley, Wood and Mo). 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 6 K.   

Yanks up, 1 game to nothing. For Texas, a very tough one to swallow.

All-Star Game. AL wins, but doesn’t follow the “script.” 4-3 in 15.

Recap: No, I didnt see the end. I stayed up for what SHOULD have been the end, but the AL refused to cooperate. The stage was set. Down 2-0, J. D. Drew tied it with a HR. Papelbon gave up a run in the 8th (although, to be fair, Dioner Navarro didn’t help). Evan Longoria tied it, and Mo came in in the 9th.

Tonight, as far as current players go, was Mo’s night. More than Jeter. The stage was set. He came in with one out, one on and got a strike him out, throw him out DP. But the AL couldn’t get the win in the 9th. In the 10th, Mo escaped a 1st and 3rd, one out jam by getting a DP.

The AL loaded the bases with no out. What a script. AL wins at the Stadium in its final year, with none other than Mo getting the win. The stage was set. It’s the way it was meant to be…SUPPOSED to be. But three consecutive batters couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. Two forceouts at home and a groundout later, Mo was out of the game, and the score was still tied. Whereupon, needing some sleep to prepare for the workday, I retired.

Navarro got thrown out at the plate trying to score the winner in the 11th. The game dragged on, and Bud Selig must have had fears of another tie due to running out of pitchers again.

In the 15th (tying the 1967 game for the longest), the AL pushed across a run on Michael Young’s SF, keeping the NL winless in the game since 1996.

If only they’d have followed the “Script.”

Two quick points by Pete Abe and some of my commentary: One, it’s ridiculous that it counts. They could have said “tie,” sent everyone home and not have had to worry about lack of positional players, running out of pitchers, etc. But (my opinion) poor Buddy boy was embarrassed when he brought the game to his hometown a few years ago and the game wound up in a tie, so…

Two. Matsui may need surgery and be done for the year. We’ll see what, if anything, the Yanks do at the deadline. My thoughts? It looks like the Yanks could get a good look at Gardner, and could use this period, (whether a few weeks or longer) to see what they want to do for 2009 and beyond regarding Gardner/Melky. An open audition to see who stays and who goes in the offseason? 

and one other point….the Stadium doesn’t die easy, does it? Continue reading

Game 66. Pregame Notes. Is something wrong with the Captain?

People have off years. It happens. In 1942, Joe DiMaggio hit .305-21-114 (nice for an off-year, huh?) with an OPS+ of 147. This of course was after a year in which he hit in 56 consecutive games, and went .357-30-125, OPS+ 184. All things relative. Of course Joe had other things on this mind…a failing marriage, a young son, the possibility of being drafted (Joe enrolled in early 1943) and his parents situation. (Just as Japanese-Americans were detained and put in various camps for WWII security reasons, some Italian-Americans faced restrictions themselves. DiMaggio’s parents were no different.) In 1946, Joe went .290-25-95, OPS+ 142 in his first year back after three years of service. Nice years for others, but not DiMaggio-like.

Mantle faced the same. From .365-34-94 and a whopping 223 OPS+ in 1957, he went .285-31-75 in 1959 (career high 21 SB). OPS+ “only” 151. Once again, all things relative. Great for others, off-year for the Mick.

Which brings us to an athlete most likely having an off-year. Here is Player A. .271-3-27. 4 SB (34 just two years ago). 35 points lower than his lifetime BA. OPS+ just 91, 30 points lower than his career average and nine points lower than your average player. OBP 60 points lower than career ave. SA 87 points lower than career average. This athlete is Derek Jeter. How “off” is Derek Jeter? Here are some clues.

Average Derek Year: .316-17-82-23 SB. .387 OBP. .460 SA. OPS .847, OPS+ 121.
This year’s pace: .271-7-67-10 SB. .328 OBP. .373 SA. OPS .701, OPS+ 91.

If that doesn’t tell you something, try this. btWins – Batting Wins – Another Pete Palmer tool, this measures the number of wins a player added relative to the league average hitter. I’m not too much into this stat, but last year, 21.4. This year? NEGATIVE 3.2. That’s MINUS 3.2.

Another? How about this. .269-7-28-3 SB. OPS+ 95 compared to Jeter’s .271-3-27. 4 SB and OPS+ of 91. That player is Melky Cabrera. Melky’s average year is .274-10-70, 13 SB, OPS+ 91. Compare Melky’s average year to what Jeter is on pace for this year.

There is 97 games to go. However, Derek Jeter right now is on pace for a year that is comparable to an average Melky Cabrera year. Think about that. Remember where you read that first. I’m not trying to pop my buttons or anything, but for all the commercials, all the accolades, all the media hype, the truth remains that right now, the 2008 Derek Jeter = Melky Cabrera. That’s not good, and so far no one, not the NY papers, not ESPN, not Fox…no one has said anything about it. Until now. To my knowledge, you are reading it here first.

This isn’t a knock on Derek. He’s been great. But it is time to admit that for 2008 at least, that the emperor has no clothes. I don’t know if he is injured or not. But this isn’t a “Derek Jeter” type season. As nice as it would be (and it appears as if it will be) for the Yankees captain to start the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, the truth is, he doesn’t deserve it. Ironically, despite his off-numbers, Jeter is still one of the best SS in the AL. No one is having a great year…save one. Looking at the OPS numbers around the league, Jeter is still among the top SS. Not long ago, there was Jeter, Ripken, Nomar, Tejada and a SS named Alex. Those days aren’t here.

The SS who probably deserves to start is Michael Young of Texas. A .303 lifetime hitter, Young saved the 2006 All-Star Game for the AL and currently is hitting .308-6-32, OPS+ 120 for the Rangers. Last year he hit .315-9-94 and the year before that .314-14-103. He is in Texas. Doesn’t have the hot girlfriends or Madison Ave. image and backing. But truth be told, he should be starting the All-Star Game, not Derek.

Hmm…George A. King III of the N.Y. Post writes that “there isn’t another Chamberlain on the horizon to rescue a bullpen that was significantly downgraded when Chamberlain was moved into the rotation.” Well, maybe not. But I really wonder how he knows that. Unless he has been to SWB and/or Trenton, how would he know that. I really doubt that he has gone to SWB or Trenton and looked at David Robertson, Mark Melancon, Anthony Claggett or J.B. Cox. I really doubt that (unless it was for Clemens comeback) King has set foot in a minor league park for a while, much less followed SWB or Trenton for a month to get a good grasp of who might be ready and who might not be. I really doubt he knows who Robertson, Melancon and Cox are, and I think that were it not for Mapquest, he might not even know where SWB and Trenton are. I doubt that last June he knew who Joba or Edwar Ramirez were. This is not to say that guys like Robertson, Melancon, et al. are or will be the answer. It is to say that most media types don’t mention them, don’t follow them and probably don’t even know about them. It’s one thing to say there isn’t a Chamberlain this year. It’s another to not mention who they do have and why they aren’t the answer. But those names are never mentioned…at all…when the Yanks bullpen, now and future, is discussed.

Darrell Rasner pitches tonight, and hopefully the Yanks bats give him runs. They owe him not one, but a couple. Rasner is 3-3, 2.58 this year for the Yanks. In his Yankee career, he is 7-7, 3.46. In his last three starts, he is 0-3, 3.26. Hard luck.