Tag Archives: Minors

A.J. looks to right the ship; AAA, A+, A- start today.

Righting the ship

After two losses where the starters sunk the team, A. J. Burnett hopes to right the ship today.

Two games. Two starts in which the starter didn’t go five innings. 13 runs given up by those starters. Eight walks. No Ks.

Not the way USS Yankees wanted to start the year.

A. J. Burnett tries to right the Yankees ship today. Joe Girardi may be reconsidering not taking a long man.

It’s just two games, but they weren’t pretty. It’s time to get back to the baseball that closed out spring training, when they won 20 of their last 22.

That “starts” with the pitching.

AA Trenton lost last night. The other top minor league teams in the Yanks’ system, (AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre, A+ Tampa and A- Charleston) start up today.

This Bud’s for you

7:50 p.m., Update 1/18 7 a.m. …whether you want him or not.

Bud Selig was planning on stepping down from being Commissioner of Baseball after 2009 (and there was much rejoicing) but the owners today persuaded him to stay on until the end of 2012. So we are stuck with him. One owner called Bud the “right man at the right time.” Meanwhile, when the Mitchell Report came out last month, a Representative called on Selig to resign. I agree with the Congressman. Selig predicts more change in the next five years. I tremble at the thought.

Red Sox fans will have to get up EARLY to see the season opener. They start the season on (are you ready?) March 25th against the A’s in Japan at 6:07 a.m. You may recall that the Yankees opened the 2004 season in Japan. We know how that season ended. Yankee fans can only hope the same happens for the Red Sox.

Juan Encarnacion’s career could be over after he was hit in the eye by a foul ball while he was in the on-deck circle last year. A few years back, I was watching a Yankees game on TV and Encarnacion, while with the Tigers, hit one of the longest HRs I’ve seen hit at the Stadium. If I remember correctly, it cleared Monument Park and went into the stands behind it. I think I’ve seen a couple hit the back wall (Kirby Puckett comes to mind) but nobody else clear the wall with a Mantle-esque shot. It had to go some 475 feet.

Encarnacion’s injury reminds me of two others. On August 18, 1967, Boston’s Tony Conigliaro was beaned by the Angel’s Jack Hamilton. Tony C was known already (he was only 22 and in his 4th year) as someone who dove in and got hit often. He had won the HR title in 1965 when he was only 20, and was on pace to hit around 32 HR and drive in 100 runs in 1967. The beaning cost him the rest of the 1967 season, the World Series, and all of 1968. Although he came back to have a decent 1969 and 1970, the vision problems he developed lingered, and he was forced to retire after 1971. He had short comeback in 1975. The sad story doesn’t end there. Years later, he had a heart attack while in Boston to interview for a broadcasting job. His brother Billy got him to the hospital to save his life, but soon afterward, Tony had a stroke that put him into a coma. He then needed constant care for eight years before he died at the young age of 45.

On May 7, 1957, Herb Score was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Yankees’ Gil McDougald. Score was just 24. In 1955, he was the A.L. Rookie of the Year, going 16-10, 2.85 (ERA+ 140) with 245 strikeouts. He went 20-9, 2.53 (ERA + 166) in 1956, striking out 263. Talk about a bright future. The great Bob Feller retired after 1956, and Score looked like he was going to fill Rapid Robert’s shoes. After the incident, Score never won 10 games in a season again. After starting his career 36-19, he finished it with a 55-46 mark.

Here is hoping Encarnacion gets his vision back. If he can play ball again, good, but first things first.

Steve Ridzik passes away at 78. Ridzik was a “Whiz Kid,” starting his career with the 1950 Phils, for whom he pitched in one game, giving up 2 runs in 3 innings. He played for the Phils (1950, 1952-1955), Reds (1955), NY Giants (1956-1957), Indians (1958), Senators (1963-1965), and closed his career by going full circle—(Phils, 1966). He was 39-38, 3.79 (ERA+ 101) with 11 saves. He hit .192-1-7.

John McHale passed away at age 86. McHale played in 64 games for the Tigers, 1943-1945, 1947-1948, and only hit .193-3-12 in 114 at bats, but he made his mark later as a baseball executive for the Tigers, Braves and Expos.

Pete Abraham’s LOHUD blog (link at right) lists the 66 players the Yanks will bring into camp and notes that the Scranton team (AAA) will play at Trenton (AA) on April 1st in an exhibition game. Gametime 7:05 p.m.

Pete also reports that Bronson Sardinha has signed a minor league deal with Seattle. The Yanks were hoping to keep him, but…. Now I’d like to hear Seattle’s announcers try to say Sardinha’s middle name. Go to Baseball Reference (link at right) and see what it is. Think you can say it?

Dave Pinto’s Baseball Musings has a great entry. The purists will hate this one. What was the highest paid position in baseball last year? Would you believe the DH? What hath Ronnie Blomberg wrought?