Tag Archives: Pavano

Pitchers and catchers report and guess who is hurt again?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So as pitchers and catchers report, guess what Yankee player will miss the first couple of weeks of spring training because he is hurt again (foot)?

If you said Jacoby Ellsbury, this decade’s version of Carl Pavano, advance to the head of the class.

Personally, I’d like to just cut Ellsbury, eat the two years and $47mm and move on with Gardner and Frazier platooning in LF.

Anyone surprised at this news?

Manager Aaron Boone all but appointed Luis Severino the Opening Day Starter (barring something unforeseen). No shock there.

CC will have a press conference Saturday. Apparently to confirm his retirement at the end of the season.

Bad news concerning top prospect Michael King, who rose from High A to AAA last year. He’ll be shut down for 3 weeks due to elbow soreness. You fear TJ surgery.


Game 15. Yanks maul Marlins, 12-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You kind of wish this didn’t happen against two Yankees’ legends, CEO (Yankees #2) Derek Jeter and manager (Yankees #23) Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

The best way, it seems, for teams to get healthy right now is to play one of the Florida teams, the Rays or Marlins, because both stink.

Still, you have to win the game. The Yanks, playing after two days of rain outs, pounded the Marlins 12-1 to go to 8-7 on the season.

Going into the game, the Yanks were the perfect .500 team at 7-7. What do I mean by perfect? They scored 77 runs, and gave up 77 runs. The offense was 10% above league average, the pitching 10% below league average. If that isn’t a perfect .500 team, what is?

Before the game, some news. Jacoby Ellsbury is morphing into Carl Pavano. First a rib cage injury, then a hip injury, now it is his plantar fascitis. He hasn’t played a game for the Yanks yet, hasn’t played since how many weeks ago in spring training, is the #5 OF, is owed $68 million over this year and the next two…. Sheesh.

As for Brandon Drury, he is taking meds to calm down the migraines, but still has blurry vision. Blurry vision he says he has had over the last several years, and he admits to stepping in the batter’s box with the blurry vision! Which makes what he has done in the majors so far that much more impressive and scary. Blurry vision while facing a 100 MPH fastball? No thanks. Get that vision and migraines taken care of and hopefully, the situation isn’t major.

If he was a good player with blurry vision, what could he become with clear vision?

Now to the game. A mauling which you wish didn’t happen against Donnie and Derek, but what can you do?

Ex-Yankee Caleb Smith (there with the Yanks briefly last year) started for the Marlins and got mauled.

The Yanks scored in each of the first five innings.

In the first, Gardner singled,  Judge walked. Stanton walked to load the bases. After Didi popped up (He would make up for it later), Sanchez’ IF single brought home a run. After Hicks popped up, Austin walked to make it 2-0.

In the second, Judge homered (4) to make it 3-0. Judge became the fastest player ever to 60 career HR.

In the third, two more runs. Didi walked, Sanchez singled. Hicks doubled both home. 5-0.

In the fourth, with two out, Stanton was HBP. Didi hit a HR, his first of two on the night, to make it 7-0.

To the fifth, and the Yanks put up four more to make it 11-0. Austin led off with a double and Andujar doubled to make it 8-0. Torreyes singled Andujar to third. Gardner walked. Judge singled in a run. After two outs, Sanchez singled in two to make it 11-0.

In the seventh, Didi hit his second HR of the game (5) to make it 12-0.

Meanwhile, Severino was dealing. 6 IP, no runs, one hit. Miami got its only run of the game in the eighth, after Seve was out of the game.

15 hits, 8 walks, 1 HBP.

Didn’t realize. Jace Peterson back with the team…

Gardner 2 hits, walk, 2 runs scored.
Judge 2 hits, HR, 2 runs scored, 1 walk.
Didi 2 hits, both HR, 3 RBI, scored 3 runs. Walked. How he has developed.
Sanchez 3 hits, scored one run, drove in 3. Starting to heat up. Walk.
Hicks 2 RBI, walk
Austin 2 hits, rbi, walk.
Andujar 2 hits, scored one, drove one in. Walk. He’s starting to get hot.

Some guys, notably Andujar and Sanchez, seem to be picking it up. A good sign. Getting Hicks back helps, too.

Severino (W 3-1, 2.63) 6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 8 K
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.18
Shreve 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 0.00
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 7.04

Sad NBA note. #15 for the Philadelphia 76ers, G Hal Greer, passed away on April 14 at the age of 81. A great guard for the 76ers in the 1960s, and on their 1967 NBA title team.

From Wikipedia:

He played for the Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1958 through 1973. A guard, Greer was a 10-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team seven times. He was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and he had his uniform number retired by the 76ers.

Greer had an unusual but highly effective free throw technique, shooting a jump shot from the charity stripe. He is usually considered the third-best guard of the 1960s, behind Oscar Robertson and fellow West Virginia native Jerry West.




S.T. Game #14. CC & Halladay put on a show but Rule 5 pitching, error cost Yanks, 7-0.

The game may be in question for it is raining in FLA. We’ll see if it lets up by this afternoon. Rafael Belliard finally gets some action after his calf injury.

Brett Gardner LF
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Jesus Montero DH
Ronnie Belliard 3B
Ramiro Pena SS

CC Sabathia P

Colin Curtis got his diagnosis: Partially dislocated shoulder.

The Lower Hudson Journal reports today’s subs:

Available in the bullpen: Dave Robertson, Mark Prior, Brian Anderson, Eric Wordekemper, Ryan Pope, Romulo Sanchez, David Phelps, Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Brandon Laird, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Bradley Suttle, LF Jordan Parraz, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Daniel Brewer, DH Austin Romine

Ugh. MLBTR reports that one talent evaluator has Carl “The American Idle” Pavano as the best pitcher so far this spring. Meanwhile, Phils Mgr. Charlie Manuel got a 2-year extension through 2013.

Yanks take on the Phils this afternoon. CC vs. Halladay.

One tweet states that the Braves’ minor league coach struck by a ball this week could lose his left eye. Let’s hope not. He has multiple facial fractures.

Another tweet: All 3 officials from the RU-St. John’s game yest have voluntarily withdrawn from rest of Big East Tournament-not surprised. If you didn’t see/read/hear about it, that officiating in the last few seconds was completely inexcusable.

Last tweet for now: From Sweeny Murti of WFAN: Yogi Berra tripped in clubhouse, fell backward. He’s ok but taken to hospital as precaution. Another scare, thankfully ok. (You have to remember, Yogi turns 86 in May). :

Yogi update: feeling fine, resting comfortably, hoping to be released later today.

Two innings down and just what you’d expect from CC/Halladay. Only one baserunner (Victorino single) and he was doubled up on a lineout.  

Four down and scoreless. That’s probably it for CC. 4 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Yanks have 2 hits off Halladay. Halladay pitched a 1-2-3 fifth.

I didn’t think CC would go five (or Halladay, for that matter) but after four innings, both pitchers are putting on a clinic. I think after four innings, each had thrown just 15 or 16 pitches or so. CC has a 1-2-3 5th. 5 IP, 0 R, 3H, no walks and 2 K. Both he and Halladay have thrown just 20-25 pitches each. 

Wow. Halladay is back out there for the 6th. Kind of early for him to go so deep, but after 5 2/3, he’s only thrown 22 pitches. Yanks get a couple hits in the sixth, but with 2 out, 2nd and 3rd, Posada strikes out. Halladay, 6 IP, 25 pitches. Still scoreless.  

No sixth for CC. Robertson in.

Hopefully nothing is wrong with Robertson. He gave up a first-pitch triple, then was pulled for Rule 5 player, Robert Fish. Fish gives up a walk, SB. SF. 1-0 Phils.

…and Fish shows why he’s a Rule 5 player. After the SF, a double for a run, single. With 1st and 3rd, a pickoff for out #2, but then he gives up a 2-run HR. Gets out of it with a K. Fish’s spring ERA? 10.38. It is safe to presume the Yanks will be giving him back.  4-0 Phils.     

Robertson 0 IP (one batter) 1R, 1 hit (triple), 0 walks or K.
Fish 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 1 K, gave up HR.

Dan Turpen, another Rule 5, for the 7th, replacing (Dead) Fish. Hey, given the way Fish pitched, it’s appropriate; he stunk.

Turpen pitched a scoreless inning. No hits, 1 walk, 1 K.

Mark Prior for the 8th, and Prior’s numbers aren’t helped by a two-out, two-base, let two runs in error by CF Justin Maxwell. Prior does get 2 K, but 2 walks, a double, a double steal and that E-8 let in 3 R, 1 ER. Phils 7-0. Wordekemper in to try and finish the inning. Wordekemper throws a WP, but gets the out.  

Prior 2/3 IP, 3R, 1ER, 1H, 2 walks, 2 K.   

Here is an example of why I’m not worried about Fish’s or Turpen’s performances:  If the draftee does not stay on the selecting team’s 25-man (major league) roster all season, the player must be offered back to his original team at half-price.

Really, Fish and Turpen had no chance of making the club to start with, much less staying on the 25-man all season.

Yanks get just 4 hits in a 7-0 loss. Now 6-6-2 for spring training.

Good news to take out of it—CC was superb.  



The Yanks considered who? As Ripley would state, believe it or not!

Yankees GM Brian Cashman today admitted that he had several talks with the agent for (wait for it)

Carl Pavano. (insert rim shot here)

Pavano just turned 35, and any Yankees’ interest would have been on a one-year deal (see below). Pavano was looking for two years, which he looks to be getting with the Twins. The deal with Minny is all but finalized.

Talk about desperation. I’m all for giving second chances, but after Vazquez’ second chance didn’t work out, could you imagine Pavano? Four years 2005-2008, almost $40 million, 26 starts (yes, that’s combined over four years) 9-8, 5.00 in his (hopefully only) Yankee term. 

Granted since leaving NY, he has gone 31-23, 4.39, not too bad. Hey, that’s an average 16-12, 4.39. Basically what Yankees fans were hoping from him from 2005-2008.

Some guys are NOT made for NY. Vazquez proved to be one, even though I was willing to give him a second chance.

Having learned my lesson, no second chance for Pavano. I guess remarriages in baseball (let’s throw in Nick Johnson as well) sometimes work as well as the second Taylor/Burton marriage.

But I do think if the Yanks would have signed Pavano, besides giving Leno, ESPN and anyone else good comic fodder, the following would have happened:

A revolt bigger than anything the Tea Party could muster, and bigger than anything this country has seen since, say, 1776 or so. Not to mention Yankee fans undergoing a secession not seen since 1861.

Bronx Baseball Daily reports that per Sweeny Murti of WFAN, the Yanks actually offered the American Idle a 1-year, $10 million deal, plus incentives. Could you imagine if he would have taken it?

You think those boos directed at Vazquez last year were loud? They were murmurs compared to what Pavano would have received.

Andy, PLEASE come back. 

As the Temptations would sing,

Ain't oo proud to beg


Update: Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Nats. Another righty hitting OF / utility guy gone. Meaning Yanks target Andruw all the more. 


No game. Milton Bradley busted on felony charge.

Milton Bradley has talent, when it’s applied correctly. Unfortunately, there is much more that comes with Milton Bradley, and here is another instance of that. Bradley was booked on an unspecified felony charge. As recently as 2008, Bradley led the AL in OBP, OPS and OPS+.

The Twins are finally close to finalizing the Pavano deal.

As far as a righty-hitting alternative to Andruw Jones for backup OF, one alternative, Scott Hairston, signed with the Mets. I think Jerry Hairston may still be available. Barring them, Damon, although a lefty bat, is an option, but those chances of a JD return, I believe, are small. Yes, Vlad is out there but he’ll want to be more than a backup, and besides, the WS showed us that putting Vlad in the OF isn’t a good idea. Vlad is DH or nothing, and the Yanks already have a full-time DH in Posada.





Could Yanks go for Soriano now? Pettitte, Keppinger, WS MVPs and a look back to 1996

Maybe, Boras and Soriano are starting to get desperate.

Maybe, this is what Cashman means by saying, “be patient.”


But maybes mean hope. Without hope, there is …  ??? Despair?

Rafael Soriano is still out there. By far, he is the best free agent still available. The league leader in saves for the AL in 2010, with 45 for the Rays, along with a 3-2, 1.73 ERA. 1-6, 2.97, 27 saves in 2009 for the Braves. 11-20, 2.73 for his career. 31 years old. Still in his prime.

But still out there and available. You wonder how desperate he gets and how much his price drops.

MLBTR has interesting news. That there is one, and only one, team that Soriano would consider being the setup man for. The Yankees. Meanwhile, Fuentes still wants to close.  From MLBTR:    

The best closer on the free agent market is open to being a setup man. Agent Scott Boras told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that Rafael Soriano would consider signing with the Yankees even though it would mean setting up for closer Mariano Rivera.

“I don’t think there is a team in baseball where he could be asked to be a setup guy other than the Yankees,” Boras said.

Boras said the “door is open” with the Bronx Bombers, but Yankees GM Brian Cashman declined to comment on his team’s level of interest. Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the sides are in contact (Twitter links). However, talks are preliminary and re-signing Andy Pettitte remains the Yankees’ priority.

The White Sox are eyeing Soriano and the Angels seem like a possible fit. The Cardinals don’t appear to have much interest and the Rangers are not bidding at the moment.

Cashman won’t comment on Pettitte or Soriano. It appears that with Soriano still out there, that Boras is looking for closer $ for Soriano if he sets up for the Yanks. There aren’t that many jobs out there for the price Soriano wants as a closer. So they change tactics. Closer money for a setup guy. But only from one team. The Yankees. Cashman has said that he won’t give closer money to a setup guy. Will he make an exception? Or by preaching “patience” is he waiting for Soriano’s price to drop? The best case scenario for the Yankees is this: Pettitte back for one last year, and sign Soriano.

Picture this: 12 pitchers. Five starters. CC, AJ (you hope Rothschild can restore AJ into a #2). Hughes, Pettitte and Nova. Seven relievers. Let’s start from the back. Rivera the 9th. Soriano the 8th. The sixth and seventh have Joba, Robertson, Logan and Feliciano. Your middle guy is either Mitre (I don’t want him at #5 starter….PLEASE COME BACK, ANDY!) or maybe even Mark Prior. If Andy doesn’t return, then his #4 spot goes to a scrap heap guy. Meaning Colon, Garcia, Francis, Millwood, Bonderman… etc. I don’t want Mitre as a #5 starter. I’d rather him fight for middle relief with Prior, a young prospect, or even re-sign Aceves.   

But if Andy returns…things look better. Esp. with Soriano. But a lot—A LOT— depends on AJ regaining form.

Getting Soriano can give the Yankees a killer bullpen in which Joba and Robertson move to the 6th and 7th innings along with Feliciano and Logan. How huge can that be?  It means that even if Andy DOES retire, and you are left with a scrap heap guy like Millwood, Francis, Bonderman, etc. that you are looking for just a five-inning quality start (3 R or less) then go to the bullpen.

Meaning Girardi would have the bullpen, but would need to manage his ass off.

But hey, let’s look at something here.

Pitcher #1 21-8. 3.87. 35 g. 34 starts. 221 IP. 6.31 IP/apperance.
Pitcher #2 12-8, 4.68 30 starts. 179 IP. Just a tick under 6 IP/appearance.
Pitcher #3 11-7, 5.01  29 starts.  170.2 IP. 5.88 IP/appearance.
Pitcher #4 12-11 4.68 30 starts. 169.1 IP. basically 5 2/3 IP per start.
Pitcher #5 7-2, 2.88 11 starts. 72 IP. about 6 1/2 IP per start.
Pitcher #6 4-5, 6.79  11 starts 1 relief appearance. 53 IP. Just a bit over 4 1/3 IP per appearance.

Hmm, four guys with a large # of starts who had ERA’s of 4.68 or higher. Add up the starts. 100 out of the 162 games. Any guess who they are? Not great ERAs or length to their starts.

The answer? #1? Pettitte. #2? Rogers. #3? Gooden. #4? Key. #5? Cone and #6 Mendoza.

The WS Champion 1996 Yankees.    

Could Girardi get a rotation that gives 5 to 6 IP, then have a bullpen that is killer, like Mo setting up Wetteland in 1996? Wickman, Nelson, Mo and Wetteland were primary in 1996. Wickman was dealt before the WS. Lloyd, Boehringer and Weathers were terrible down the stretch but great in the postseason.

It may be what is necessary  in 2011. As Santayana said, those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Maybe the 2011 Yanks should look to the past and learn from history. Look to 1996 and get a lock-down bullpen.

Signing Soriano, and bringing back Andy, could be their best bet.             

MLBTR also states that the Yankees may give Andy a raise in order to get him back.

The Yankees are willing to offer $12MM or $13MM to Andy Pettitte and are awaiting a decision from the lefty, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. As Heyman notes, either of those figures would represent a modest raise for Pettitte, who earned $11.75MM in 2010, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Pettitte, who has been playing on one-year deals in each of the past four seasons, will probably either re-sign with the Yankees or retire.

Interesting news on Jeff Keppinger, of whom the Yanks were linked to recently regarding utility infielder. From MLBTR:

The Astros were thought to be mulling the idea of trading Jeff Keppinger this offseason, but the utility infielder is scheduled to undergo left foot surgery next week and will likely miss the start of the regular season…

Edgar Renteria is going to the Reds. It is interesting how the history of WS MVPs has been lately. Renteria of course, drove in the winning run of the 1997 WS. Livan Hernandez was the MVP of that WS. Since then, only three WS MVPs are still with the team they won the WS MVPs with. That is 13 years ago. Let’s take a look:

1998. Scott Brosious. Retired after 2001.
1999. Mo. Still with the Yankees.
2000. Jeter. Still with Yanks. Ok. That is two of the three still with the team they won WS MVP with.   
2001.   Tie. Schilling and Randy Johnson. Both retired.
2002. Glaus. Angels then, Braves in 2010.
2003. Beckett. Marlins then, Boston in 2010.
2004. Manny. Looking for work.
2005. Dye. Out of MLB in 2010. Probably Done. Note this is just five years ago when he was WS MVP.
2006. Eckstein. Cards then, Padres in 2010.
2007. Lowell. Retired. This is just three years ago for his WS MVP. 
2008. Hamels. Still with Phils.
2009. Matsui. Angels in 2010, A’s 2011.
2010. Renteria. Reds in 2011.

Interesting, eh?

Twins wrapping up 2 year deal with the American Idle, Pavano.

I got an e-mail regarding Brian Bannister the other day, wondering if he was on the Yanks’ list of pitchers on the scrap heap, so to say. MLBTR reports he is heading to Japan.

Free-agent starter Brian Bannister has agreed to a one-year deal (plus a club option) with the Tokyo Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Bannister, a five-year veteran of the big leagues, pitched for one season with the Mets and the past four with the Royals, to largely underwhelming results, and made 108 starts in his four-year stint with Kansas City. He’ll turn 30 in February.

A second-generation Major Leaguer, Bannister was selected by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2003 draft.


ALDS Game 2. Berkman earns his pinstripes, finally! Yanks 5-2 win is Andy’s 19th postseason win. Mo with postseason save #41.

Game Post.

In the first, a nice turn by the Captain for a DP.  

In the second, Cano hits one hard, but it’s caught at the track. Swisher doubles, but Posada grounds out. Pettitte gives up a couple hits, a groundout moves the runners and a SF makes it 1-0 Twins after two. No surprise in who got the first hit—Delmon Young, who was 11 for 19 off Andy before the at bat. Andy gets out of it by getting a lineout from J.J. Hardy, who was 1 for 15 off Pettitte before his at bat. The liner was laced, though. But Andy got out of it with only one run allowed.

 Just what we didn’t want to see. Pavano pitching well and in a groove. I’m sure Yankees fans wonder where that was from 2005-2008.

After 3, 1-0 Twins.

Mo and Girardi in a Taco Bell commercial. Cool.

Sager in his suit. Uncool. It looks like he is channeling Lindsay Nelson’s ghost.

4th inning. Granderson is hot. Leadoff double. Crushed. Teix singles him to third. SF by Alex. Tie game. Cano singles off the wall. Yes, singles. It was hit that hard. Swisher hits one up the middle but Pavano grabs it for a 1-6-3 DP. Damn, Swish! Get it in the air for a SF!  

5th inning. Finally. Fat Elvis (Berkman) hits one out. 327 HR in his career. Only 1 in 106 AB or so as a Yankee. 2-1 Yankees. Pavano showing cracks. So far, Andy has been ok.

6th inning. Granderson (hot!) singles. After Teix makes out, Alex singles, Granderson to third, but then bad hitting by Cano, who pops up a 1-0 pitch into short left. Granderson has to hold. Swish can’t do it…again. Ouch. You really wanted a SF there from Cano. You wanted Swish (who had a bad postseason last year) to get the SF in the 4th. 2-1 after 5 1/2, but you wonder if a run or two more should be on that scoreboard. You hope it doesn’t come back to bite them.

It does. Orlando Hudson ties it with a HR in the bottom of the 6th. Andy had retired 12 in a row. With two out, Granderson just misses a running catch in the gap. Triple. By Young, of course. 11 for 19 off Pettitte coming into the game. Andy gets out of it. 2-2 tie after six. Those missed chances (when all you wanted was a SF) hurt right now.

7th inning. Posada walks. With two strikes, Berkman takes a pitch. It appears to be strike three but it is called a ball. Berkman doubles on the next pitch. RBI. Who would have thought that Berkman might earn his Yankee pinstripes on this day? But he is. Gardenhire comes out to try and settle down Pavano. He lets the home plate ump have it. Of course, you can’t argue balls and strikes and Gardenhire is tossed. Imagine that. Two managers (Maddon and Gardenhire) tossed out of a postseason game on the same day. It’s rare when a manager gets tossed from a postseason game. Here you have two today.

Gardner lays down a bunt and it’s a hit. Jeter singles to RF as Kubel races in but can’t get it. 4-2 Yanks and Pavano is gone. 1st and 2nd, no one out.

Now people will bitch about the pitch to Berkman that could have (should have?) been strike three. But here is the thing. You have to overcome that. Especially in the postseason.

Let’s remember the bad call last evening. Golson made a shoestring catch that should have ended the game. The umpires missed it. Up to the plate came Jim Thome and his 589 career HRs. He was the tying run. So what did Rivera do? He sucked it up. He got Thome out. He didn’t fold.

That is what Pavano needed to do. He didn’t. You can’t take the pitch to Berkman back. You can only concentrate on the next pitch you have to throw. Rivera? Successful. Pavano? Not.

The Twins can bitch and moan about it. But read what I just wrote. You have to put it out of your heads and move on and get the job done. That is what determines if you win the game and championships, or if you don’t.

Granderson sacrifices the runners up. 2nd and 3rd, one out. Teix up. He is walked to set up a DP. But usually when that happens, A-Rod (21 career grand slams) makes people pay. What did he do this year when that happened? He was great in those circumstances, if I recall. 

Not this time. Big (and I mean big. 6’11”) Jon Rauch strikes Alex out.  Cano pops up. Once again, the Yanks could have broken this game completely open. They didn’t.

Cano, so great all year, and probably a top-3 MVP candidate, seems to be pressing a bit. Not good.

Andy is superb in the 7th. If the Yanks hang on to win, it’d be Andy’s 19th postseason win. The guy is as much a part of October as a carved pumpkin.

 Andy, Jeter and Mo
Andy, Jeter and Mo.
As much “October” as
these pumpkins.

 Wood for the 8th. Andy went 7, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 4 K.

I don’t know if he will get in the HOF. 240 wins. Maybe not enough. The HGH. But his postseason # of wins do help Andy’s cause.

Wood was just dominating. 1-2-3, 2 Ks. Just blew them away.

The Yanks get an insurance run in the 9th. Gardner singles, goes to second on a groundout, steals third and scores on a bloop single by Granderson. The hot Granderson has three hits today.

To the 9th. Guess who is in? Of course. Rivera. Looking for his 41st postseason save. He does give up a leadoff hit. No problem, he gets a 6-4-3 on the next batter. He gets Thome for the last out…again.

Postseason win #19 for Andy Pettitte. Postseason save #41 for Rivera. Mo’s postseason ERA drops another tick. 8-1, 41 saves. 0.73 postseason ERA.  

On to NY, and we’ll see if Saturday brings a sweep. 


Game 2, ALDS preview. Yanks-Twins with Yanks up 1-0.

Before the preview, some comments.

Boo to the NY Post today. In a table listing those who threw two no-hitters in a season, they spelled Allie Reynolds’ name as Ali, and messed up who he threw those no-hitters against (the one in late September 1951 was the one vs. Boston).

Mariano Rivera’s 40th postseason save last night was his 31st that was of more than three outs.

As for tonight, the Yankees don’t have a lot of at bats vs. Pavano. Not only that, but the MRI tube’s best friend has done very, very well in his postseason performances.

I would expect the lineup to remain much the same as it was for Game 1, with Berkman replacing Thames at DH. I don’t know if Girardi will do it, but if he changes anything, it could be to move Granderson to #2 and drop Swish to 6. So I can see this lineup (and their numbers vs. Pavano).

Jeter 4 for 10, 0 HR, 0 RBI  .400
Granderson  6 for 21, .286. 0 HR 0 RBI
Teixeira 2 for 6, .333. 1 HR and 5 RBI 
A-Rod 1 for 3. .333 0 HR 0 RBI  
Cano 0 for 5. .000  0 HR 0 RBI
Swisher 1 for 6  .167  0 HR 0 RBI and FIVE STRIKEOUTS.
Posada 0 for 2 .000 0 HR 0 RBI
Berkman 3 for 9. .333  1 HR 1 RBI
Gardner  1 for 6 .167 0 HR 0 RBI  

Note that this does NOT include the HRs that A-Rod and Posada got off of Pavano in game 3 of last year’s ALDS.

You can see that not many Yankees have faced Pavano, understandable because of Pavano’s disastrous tenure with the Yanks from 2005-2008.

Pavano is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in the postseason. You read that right. 1.71. Not only that, but he has pitched well against the Yankees in the postseason. In the 2003 WS, he pitched in two games. In nine innings, he gave up just one run. No decisions. Last year, Pavano lost Game 3 of the ALDS but gave up only those two HRs in seven innings of work.

Pavano didn’t face the Yankees this year. For his career, he is 0-1, 4.76 against them (not counting the postseason).

So the “American Idle” won’t be easy to solve, no matter how much Yankees fans (like myself) would love to see him knocked out early.

As for Andy Pettitte, we will see. There is no knocking his postseason record. Pettitte, after all, has more postseason wins than any other pitcher ever (although it must be noted that pitchers like Ford, Mathewson and Gibson had no Divisional or Championship Series). How is the 38-year old Pettitte’s body? The groin? The back? Pettitte is 18-9, 3.90 in his postseason career. As one of the “core four,” it wouldn’t seem like October without seeing him on the hill.

But some Twins have had success vs. Andy.

Delmon Young, in particular. Young is 11 for 19 (.579) off of Pettitte. 0 HR and 4 RBI.
Michael Cuddyer, who hit a homer last night, is 7 for 18 (.389), 1 HR and 1 RBI.
Joe Mauer is 5 for 17 (.294) with a HR and 3 RBI.
Denard Span is 3 for 9.

On the opposite end is J.J. Hardy. 1 for 15. .067.

Twins batters overall are .284 vs. Pettitte. Yankees batters overall are .271 vs. Pavano.

It may come down to Pettitte’s health. Is Andy ok and raring to go?

Pettitte was 2-0, 1.26 vs. the Twins this year. That was when he was healthy—before the groin injury. How is he now?

For his career, Andy is 11-5, 3.46 vs. Minnesota, but Pettitte, at 38, has been around so long that it seems like some of the Twins were still in their diapers when Andy began his career. Ok, not diapers, but 1995 was Pettitte’s rookie year. Grade school.

So Game 2 may come down to the health of a pitcher, and surprise… it may be the one NOT named Pavano.       


Random thoughts.

Clint Hartung passed on a few weeks ago at the age of 87. He was supposed to be a “phenom” back in the late 40s/early 50s. He switched between the mound and the OF and never panned out.

Hartung was the man on third when Bobby Thomson hit his pennant-winning HR for the Giants in 1951. Hartung went in to pinch-run for Don Mueller, who had broken his ankle sliding into third on Whitey Lockman’s double.

Hartung pitched from 1947-1950 for the NY Giants, going 29-29 with a 5.02 ERA (ERA+ 80). He spent 112 games as a pitcher, and another 45 in the OF. In 1951 and 1952, he was strictly an OF. As a hitter, Hartung hit .238 with 14 HR and 43 RBI in 378 AB. (OPS+ 84). He went 0 for 4 in the 1951 WS.

He was, to many in the 1950’s, an unfortunate symbol—that of a highly touted phenom who didn’t pan out.

While we think about those who didn’t pan out, a tip of my cap to my cousin Sean for pointing out the frustrating success that Carl Pavano is having post-Yankees. The American Idle was just 9-8, 5.00 (ERA+ 87) in four seasons (yes, four—not one) for the Yankees, in which he “earned” almost $40 million.

So he leaves New York after 2008 and proves that you don’t have to “make it there” to make it anywhere. You can make it anywhere and FLOP “there” (as many have, right Eddie Whitson?). The MRI tube’s best friend went 14-12, 5.10 combined in 2009 (Cle/Minny) ERA + just 84. It was frustrating enough to Yankees fans to see him win more games in 2009 that he won from 2005-2008 combined.     Even more frustrating was the good (although losing) performance Pavano put up against the Yanks in Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS—7 IP, 2 R, 5 hits, 0 walks and 9 K. Where was that when he wore the pinstripes?

Now this. A record of 12-6, 3.26 for the Twins right now. ERA+ 130. Are you kidding me, Yankees fans? 26 wins in two years (not even that…. in fact, just over a year and a half) after leaving the Yanks, who probably like most of us, were in the “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” mode by the time of his departure.

…and to think….right now the guy is actually tied for the AL lead in shutouts with two.


The new Target field must have Joe Mauer pining for the Metrodome. Mauer, had 28 HR last year and has just four this year—NONE at Target Field.

Lastly, a note from MSG:


with DAy of special programming


Day Kicks Off with MSG Original “The Game 365: Andre Dawson”

on Saturday, July 24 starting at 10:00AM


New York, NY – July 22, 2010 – MSG will commemorate the induction of Andre Dawson into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with a special showing of “The Game 365: Andre Dawson” on Saturday, July 24 at 10:00am. The half-hour MSG original will be followed by a daylong marathon of baseball programming beginning with “Halls of Fame Classics” at 10:30am and concluding with “The Game 365: George Steinbrenner” at 5:30pm. Hall of Famers on the programming lineup include Johnny Bench, Duke Snider, Al Kaline, Nolan Ryan, Carlton Fisk, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Larry Doby, and Steve Carlton, who gave up Dawson’s first hit in 1976.


Below is the full schedule for Saturday, July 24:


10:00 a.m.                   The Game 365: Andre Dawson

                                    Montreal Expos, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 2010


10:30 a.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Tommy John


11:00 a.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Johnny Bench

                                    Cincinnati Reds, Catcher; HOF Class of 1989


11:30 a.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Duke Snider

                                    Brooklyn Dodgers, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 1980


12:00 p.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Steve Carlton
                                    Philadelphia Phillies, Pitcher; HOF Class of 1994


12:30 p.m.                   Halls of Fame Classics: Al Kaline

                                    Detroit Tigers, Right Fielder; HOF Class of 1980


1:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Nolan Ryan

                                    California Angels, Pitcher; HOF Class of 1999


1:30 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Carlton Fisk

                                    Chicago White Sox, Catcher; HOF Class of 2000


2:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Stan Musial

                                    St. Louis Cardinals, Left Fielder; HOF Class of 1969


2:30 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Hank Aaron

                                    Milwaukee Braves, Right Fielder; HOF Class of 1982


3:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Willie Mays

                                    San Francisco Giants, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 1979


3:30 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Larry Doby

                                    Cleveland Indians, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 1998


4:00 p.m.                     Halls of Fame Classics: Graig Nettles


4:30 p.m.                     The Game 365: Andre Dawson

                                    Montreal Expos, Center Fielder; HOF Class of 2010


5:00 p.m.                     The Game 365: Yogi Berra

                                    New York Yankees, Catcher; HOF Class of 1972


5:30 p.m.                     The Game 365: George Steinbrenner


Former New York Yankee and veteran television personality Fran Healy travels the country to visit with sports’ icons and legendary athletes for “Halls of Fame” and “The Game 365”.  During each half-hour episode Healy sits down with former athletes to discuss their careers and current endeavors; he has interviewed more than 250 sports legends for the program during its 15 year plus run.


Seeking Silver Linings.

Already the NY Post is on Nick Johnson for being hurt already. Johnson inexplicably wore spikes instead of sneakers on the astroturf-like mat used for batting practice yesterday. A spike caught in the carpet and he tweaked his back, causing him to be scratched from yesterday’s game vs. the Phils. As an extra precaution, he is held out of today’s game vs. the Rays.

He is brittle and has spent a lot of time on the DL, sometimes missing whole seasons. It’s a concern. The Yankees hope that by keeping the high-OBP Johnson at DH, the injuries will cease. But you tend to wonder, which is more “brittle”?

This…. Peanut brittle

This….  Carl  

or this?     Nick Johnson


He’s been called the “American Idle.” I could just kick myself now that I didn’t come up with Carl “Peanut Brittle” Pavano beforehand. 

Today the Yanks take on Tampa. Starting for the Rays will be their young phenom, David Price. For the Yankees, the battle for the #5 starter slot (started by Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves on Wednesday) continues with the two top candidates, Phil and Joba, going today. From Bryan Hoch’s Bomber Beat, today’s lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Marcus Thames LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: Phil Hughes RHP (To follow – Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Jeremy Bleich, Grant Duff, Dustin Moseley, Hector Noesi, Kevin Whelan.)

Scheduled to come off the Yankees bench: C Jesus Montero, 1B Juan Miranda, 2B Reegie Corona, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Reid Gorecki, CF Greg Golson, RF Jon Weber, DH Jorge Vazquez. At some point this season, that could very well be the starting lineup for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Many in the Yankees hierarchy wanted to make a trade with Seattle for Felix Fermin, who hit .195-0-15, OPS+ 20 (Yes, 20) for the 1995 Mariners . As it so happened, Fermin got in 11 games with the 1996 Reds and never played in the majors again.  Fermin’s 162 g. average for his career was .259-1-37, OPS+ 67.

The general feeling was that a 21-year-old SS wasn’t ready. This young SS had come up the year before and went 12 for 48 in 15 games. Luckily, manager Joe Torre and bench coach Don Zimmer felt that the kid could do the job and the Fermin deal never went through.

We know who the kid was. He won the 1996 ROY award, hitting .314-10-78 with an OPS+ of 101. The kid has gone on to be the all-time Yankees hits leader with 2747 and counting and a BA of .317. His 162 game average is .317-17-81 with 23 SB and an OPS+ of 121. He has five rings, was named SI Sportsman of the Year, is closing in on 3000 hits, is captain of the team, has been an All-Star ten times, top 10 in MVP voting seven times, is the all-time greatest Yankee SS and will be a first-ballot HOF induction.

Derek Jeter.

All that gloom and doom regarding the position in March 1996. Silver linings can and do happen. Before panicking, let’s remember that.

Should anything happen this March, could it open a door for a young player? Granted the chances of having the career Jeter has had are slim, but could their career be at least a good career that just needs a break?

To which I advise the player…if opportunity knocks, bash that door down.