Tag Archives: Rizzuto

No logo for Mussina; Umpire McKean dies.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As what could be expected for someone who spent his HOF career almost even split between two franchises (10 years with Baltimore, 8 with the Yankees), Mike Mussina has decided to not have a logo on his cap on his HOF plaque.

The late Roy Halladay won’t either. In a somewhat surprising decision, his family decided no logo either. It was expected that Halladay may have a Blue Jay logo on his cap since he spent 12 years in Toronto, and 4 with the Phillies.

Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez only played for the Yankees and Mariners, respectively.

It was mentioned that Rivera will be the eighth HOF whose playing career was solely with the Yankees (Derek Jeter will be #9 next year). The others are Whitey Ford, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto, Earle Combs, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Veterans’ Committee choices Harold Baines and Lee Smith, both of whom played for various teams, will both be representing Chicago: Baines the White Sox, Smith the Cubs.

Former MLB umpire Jim McKean passed away at the age of 73. He umpired in 3 WS, 1979, 1985 and 1995.

Game 143. Yanks go 2 for 15 w/RISP, lose, 3-2, see WC lead shrink to 2 1/2 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (89-54) are hearing footsteps.

By losing to Seattle, 3-2 today, the Yanks lead over Oakland for the top wild card spot shrunk to 2 1/2 games.

Time to get nervous, Yankees fans.

What killed the Yanks today was that they were 2 for 15 w/RISP.

This team doesn’t bunt, as I mentioned at our recent Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club Meeting. 10 sacrifices all year. I mentioned that in the old days, Phil Rizzuto would have had that many at the All-Star break.  (Rizzuto led the majors 1949-1952).

In 1930, Babe Ruth (BABE RUTH!) had 21 sacrifice bunts. Lou Gehrig had at least 10 each season from 1925-1930, including 21 for the great 1927 squad. Joe DiMaggio had 6 in 1939.

As recently as 2004, Derek Jeter had 16. That is 6 more than the WHOLE YANKEES TEAM has this season.

The game has changed, and not for the better. Instead of a well-rounded team, you have teams that rely strictly on the HR, don’t hit-and-run, can’t steal bases and don’t bunt runners over. Sound familiar?

MeanwAnhile, Seattle won the game because they DID bunt a runner over.

The Yanks scored in the top of the first when Stanton and Andujar had back-to-back doubles.

But after getting the first two guys out in the bottom of the first, CC gave up four straight singles. Two runs. Seattle up 2-1.

Now, for a rookie manager, I think Boone has done a good job. How can you argue with 89-54? But….

I realize he was hired to project more calm as opposed to Girardi’s tenseness. But still, there are times when you have to light a fire under the team and bitch them out if necessary.

Girardi’s strength was bullpen management. Some of Boone’s bullpen decisions I question.

But I think the most questions I have regarding Boone is his lineups. Nothing consistent, and the biggest problem I have is this:

Why does he continue to bat Gary Sanchez 4th (as he did today) or 5th in the lineup? Sanchez is now hitting .181 on the season. What other manager bats a guy hitting .180 something 4th or 5th in the lineup? When will Boone ride the hot hand and have Voit cleanup, Torres 5th and have Sanchez and Walker 6th or 7th, instead of Sanchez 4th and Walker 5th?

Here are the numbers and today’s lineup. Batting averages as of the game’s finish.

4th. Sanchez .181 (PR for by Wade later, Romine finishing the game).
5th. Walker .221
6th. Voit .306
7th. Torres .280

Now, based on that, who should be batting 4 and 5, and who should be hitting 6 and 7?

Really?

Three singles and a bases-loaded walk to McCutchen tied the game in the fourth. But they had the bases loaded, no out and only scored that one run. No bunt by Hechevarria or Gardner with the bases loaded, and Stanton grounded out.

Voit doubled to lead off the sixth. He was left stranded. Torres nor Hechevarria with a bunt.

In the bottom of the eighth, a walk, steal, sac bunt and fielder’s choice brought in the winning run for Seattle.

Littleball, which the Yanks need to employ.

You can’t just rely on the HR. They didn’t get any today, and lost 3-2 as a result.

Andujar 2 hits, RBI
Voit 2 hits (once again, why him 6th, and .181 Sanchez 4th?)

Sabathia 5 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 W, 4 K.  3.54
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  2.54
Betances (L, 4-5, 2.56) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.

Game 138. Yanks flat in 6-3 loss to A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks need a wake-up call. There are a lot of questions about this team right now, and despite an 86-52 record, 2nd best in baseball, they are playing right now like a team that could be one and done in the playoffs.

They lost Monday afternoon to Oakland, their probable opponent in the sudden death wild card game, 6-3. They got just four hits. Remember they got only two in winning 2-1 on Saturday.

The first run came via a gift in the top of the first inning, when Andrew McCutchen singled, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Aaron Hicks’ SF plated him.

Luke Voit homered in the second to tie the game after CC Sabathia gave up 3 runs, 2 earned (error by Andujar), in the bottom of the first. But that was it for the offense.

Why the Yanks continue to bat Gary Sanchez fourth or fifth in the lineup (as they did yesterday and today) despite his .184 batting average baffles me. When will they drop him? Of course we’ve seen stubbornness like this before in their patience with Neil Walker, despite his .223, and also in their seeming endless patience with .196 hitting Greg Bird (patience with them that may finally be running out thanks to Luke Voit). Not only patience with them, but also in batting them third or fifth despite those poor batting averages, just like they are still doing with Sanchez.

So the continuance of batting Sanchez in the middle, despite the .184 is one question. Another is what becomes of Brett Gardner after this season. Gardner, 35, is hitting .212 since June 9 and .237 on the season. The Yanks can bring him back for 2019 at $12.5 MM or buy out his option at $2 MM. Guess which one looks like the better play right now? The Yanks finally are starting to bat Gardner 9th vs. lefties.

With $21MM still owed Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yanks could just go with a Ellsbury/Clint Frazier platoon in LF next year (McCutchen is a free agent and probably will sign elsewhere).

Aaron Judge started swinging a bat. Progress. When he comes back, I think we may see a lot of a McCutchen/Gardner platoon in LF.

With CC, he is a free agent after the season. He may retire, but if he does want to come back, the Yanks have to decide whether they want to invest $10MM in someone 38—39 next July—who has that knee issue. Or is it time to go to a Justus Sheffield, Jonathan Loaisiga (see below) or Michael King (see the minor league report) instead?

Also, they never bunt runners over. Now with some guys you don’t bunt (like, for example, Judge and Stanton), but with others like Gardner or Torreyes? Only 9 sac bunts all year long, and none are by pitchers in those interleague games. Still, only 9.

Phil Rizzuto would have had 9 at the All-Star break all by himself.

Shows how the game has changed.

For the second straight game, a Yankees’ starter got knocked out in the fourth inning. CC gave up 3 runs in the first, one in the second, one more in the fourth. A.J. Cole gave up a HR in the fifth.

Voit 2-run HR (7th)

Sabathia (L, 7-6, 3.54) 3 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K.
Cole 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  5.24 (Wash/NYY) Gave up 1 HR
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.62
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K.    2.70

With the loss, the Yanks drop 8 1/2 back of Boston and the lead for the top wild card spot is down to 3 1/2 over the A’s. Beating the A’s Tuesday and Wednesday is paramount.

The Yanks are 3-5 in their last 8 games, but the 3 wins haven’t been easy. The comeback against Chicago (Walker HR), and a 2-1 win where they only got 2 hits are two of those 3 wins. They could be 1-7 in their last eight.

That is concerning. They have to start playing better baseball, or they could face playing the end of the regular season at Boston, and flying out to Oakland for that one-game playoff. Even if they win that, they then fly right back to Boston. Ugh.  Too much travel.

Start playing well, and ensure that the one-game playoff is at home.

 

 

Even it up…. and a controversial and painful play.

The Cubs and Dodgers evened their series up vs. the Cardinals and Mets respectively at one game apiece in their respective NL Division Series.

But the Dodgers/Mets game didn’t come without controversy, because Dodger Chase Utley, in making a hard take-out slide, broke Met SS Ruben Tejada’s leg.

Hard take-out slides have been part of the game forever, from Ty Cobb to now. Heck, in the early 1960’s, Al Kaline, in talking about Maris and Mantle, wasn’t talking about their home runs in one interview. He said that the two were the hardest in the league at going in to take out the fielder to break up a DP.

Little guys like Phil Rizzuto and Fred Patek were targets for guys trying to take them out.

Was Utley’s slide dirty? It was hard, it was clean, but until baseball changes the rules to where a runner must touch the bag or go DIRECTLY over it  (Utley didn’t, and the rule states be within reach of the bag) and slide a certain feet in front of it so that they don’t go so far past the bag, it was legal. Legal but very unfortunate.

Baseball has already changed the rules to protect catchers on a play at the plate. We’ll see if they do the same here.

Want to see one takeout slide of the past? Here is Hal McRae taking out Willie Randolph in Game 2 of the 1977 ALCS. Click on the link. Oh, by the way, it was legal and nothing was done to McRae…. just saying.

Has any Yankees manager heard of a squeeze?

I am NOT kidding.

Any reader of this blog who knows of the last time the Yanks put down a successful squeeze play—safety OR suicide—please let me and other readers know.

I repeat. This is NOT a joke.

I mean, Granderson at 3rd, Cervelli at the plate, and the Yanks don’t even show squeeze.

Earlier this year, Gardner at 3rd, Cervelli (who can bunt but has NO power) at the plate, and no sign of a squeeze.

I realize not every Yankee can bunt. Obviously you don’t want Cano, A-Rod, Teix doing so.

But come on, how many YEARS has it been since a Yankee has squeezed a run home….suicide OR safety?

It’s an important part of the game. But it seems like the Yanks have forgotten it. Let’s remember that one of the best bunters ever is considered to be Phil Rizzuto.

…and let’s remember that Rizzuto himself said that one of the greatest drag bunters ever was none ever than Mickey Mantle.

So where is the squeeze or suicide bunt in the Yankees repertoire?

Hey, you win games BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

Hey, guys. Learn to bunt.  

Like I mentioned, I am DEAD SERIOUS. If you can find the last time the Yanks squeezed a run home, let me know. I’ll share it with other readers.

I will bet it has been YEARS.

  

       

Huh? Questions about the Lineup’s picks again…this time at 3B and next week—SS.

No, the lineup did choose the right guy for #1 at 3B–A-Rod.

It’s the four below him I question. They did pick Graig Nettles and Red Rolfe as I thought they should. It’s the other two I question.

Howard Johnson for the Mets? I wondered about that one myself and was tempted. I chose David Wright, however.

HoJo was with the Mets from 1985-1993. He hit 192 HR as a Met, but had just a .251 BA with them. 124 OPS+. His career 162 g. average was .249-24-80, OPS+ 117. Average not hot, but good OPS+. Good speed, too, as he went 30-30 three times for the Mets (1987, 1989 and 1991) and led the NL in HR in 1991 with 38. He also led the league in RBI that year. His OPS+ numbers with the Mets? 94, 118, 133, 124, 169, 106, 145, 91, 98.  10th in MVP voting in 1987, 5th in 1989 and 1991. Didn’t think the numbers were that good, do you? Four times did Johnson steal 30 or more. After turning 30, however, Johnson’s numbers dropped like a rock in water. 1987-1991 superb, but his numbers before and after weren’t. His postseason numbers make A-Rod’s previous struggles pale in comparison. 1 for 26 in the postseason. Not the greatest glove.

Wright had a tough year in adjusting to Citi Field. Just 10 HR last year. He has a long way to go, as he has only had five full seasons as a Met. In those years however, Wright has had two 30 HR seasons, one a 30/30, to HoJo’s three. His 162 g. average to date is .308-27-107, OPS+ 136. He has won two GG (two more than HoJo) and has finished in the top 10 for MVP voting 3x (same as HoJo). Maybe the panel didn’t feel like Wright has done enough yet to put him over HoJo. I disagree.

As for the other spot, Clete Boyer was selected. I was tempted to put Frank Baker there, but Home Run Baker’s dead ball era HOF stats were best with the Philadelphia A’s, not with the Yankees.

But here is my biggest gripe with the Lineup. How can they put Gary Carter—who only had two really good years in NY, and who was selected over Dickey and Munson—on the all-time NY team for catchers, but not put Wade Boggs on for 3B?

Yes, I know Boggs had his best years in Boston. But if you choose Carter over Dickey and Munson, how do you not then choose Boggs over Boyer?

Yes, I know Boyer had the better glove. He also couldn’t hit.

Boyer hit .241 as a Yankee, .242 in his career. His 162 g. average was .242-15-61, OPS+ just 87. A lot of Gold Gloves he could have won, he didn’t because of Brooks Robinson. Boyer was a full-time player from 1960-1966 with the Yankees. He hit .224 in 1961, .218 in 1964.

Boggs was with the Yankees for just five years, but hit .292 or better in each of those years. The .292 was the only year under .300. As a Yankee, Boggs hit .313. His 162 g. average for his career was .328-8-67 and his great eye for a walk led to a career OPS+ of 130 (111 as a Yankee). Over 3000 hits in his career. A HOF. Not the fielder Boyer was, but still 2 GG.

The OPS+ numbers for Boggs as a Yankee weren’t as good as in Boston, 104, 141, 119, 98 and 102, but they were still better than Boyer’s.

But I repeat…how can Carter (see a previous post on that) get on over Dickey and Munson when Carter had only two good NY years, but Boggs lose out to Boyer?

Next week? The SS. We know who’ll be #1…and he wears #2 (Jeter). One #1 will wind up one of the runnerups (Pee Wee Reese) along with Rizzuto. Who’ll be the other two?

UPDATE: Already I see a HUGE problem with the SS picks. No, not with Jeter, Scooter or Pee Wee, but with the other choices. I mean, WHERE IS ALVIN DARK? He is not even one of the choices that you can select….but Kevin Elster is? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Elster: .228 career hitter, OPS+ 83. .224 in seven years with the Mets. In 40 games with the Yankees, he went 2 for 37. Elster had three years in NY where he played in 100 or more games. Those years?

1988. .214-9-37. OPS+ 75
1989. .231-10-55 OPS+ 87
1991 .241-6-36 OPS+ 89

Alvin Dark. NYG 1950-1956. 1951 NL Pennant Giants, 1954 WS Champs.
Career .289 hitter with an OPS+ of 98.

23 HR in 1953, 20 in 1954. Not the glove of Elster, but a far better bat. 5th in MVP voting in 1954. .300 or better, 1951-1953.

Not only that, Dave Bancroft isn’t on the list. Only 4 years with the NYG, 1920-1923, but a HOF who hit .300 or better 1921-1923.

Elster on the list over Dark and Bancroft. You gotta be ****ing kidding me.     

But then, they’ll probably take .236 hitting Buddy Harrelson as one of their backups, while not even nominating Dark or Bancroft.

You gotta be kidding me.   
 

Veterans Committee to deliberate soon on HOF vote

From MLB.com (emphasis mine):

11/10/09 4:21 PM EST

An elite group of 20 former Major League managers, umpires and executives are under consideration for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 by a pair of Veterans Committees.

The results of the vote, scheduled for Dec. 6, will be announced the next day at baseball’s Winter Meetings, which will be held in Indianapolis.

There will be two ballots, each with 10 candidates, under consideration. One will include eight former managers and two umpires and will be reviewed by the 16-member Veterans Committee for Managers and Umpires.

The second includes 10 executives and “baseball pioneers,” and will be considered by a 12-member committee.

Both voting committees consist of Hall of Famers, current and former executives, and veteran media members, with all asked to vote for up to four candidates on their ballots.

Any candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of all ballots cast will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted as part of the 2010 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, slated for July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Among the finalists on the manager/umpire ballot are Whitey Herzog, who won six division titles with the Rangers, Angels, Royals and Cardinals between 1973 and 1990 and was named 1980s Manager of the Decade by Sports Illustrated; Davey Johnson, who guided his teams to first-place finishes five times in 12 full seasons with the Mets, Reds, Orioles and Dodgers between 1984 and 2000, and was the 1987 American League Manager of the Year with Baltimore; and the late Billy Martin, who led the 1977 New York Yankees to a World Series title during a 16-year managerial career that saw him at the helm of the Twins, Tigers, Rangers and A’s, and included five stints with the Yankees.

The other nominees are former managers Charlie Grimm, Tom Kelly, Gene Mauch, Danny Murtaugh and Steve O’Neill; and former umpires Doug Harvey and Hank O’Day.

The 10 eligible executives are Gene Autry, Sam Breadon, John Fetzer, Bob Howsam, Ewing Kauffman, John McHale, Marvin Miller, Gabe Paul, Jacob Ruppert and Bill White.

The final managers/umpires ballot was developed by the Historical Overview Committee, appointed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) and composed of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune), Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun), Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer), Nick Peters (Sacramento Bee), Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain) and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

The 16-member electorate charged with reviewing the Managers/Umpires ballot includes Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Al Kaline, Tom Lasorda, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Billy Williams and Dick Williams; former executive Jim Frey; current executives Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks) and Bob Watson (Major League Baseball); and veteran media members Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), O’Connell and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated), with one elector yet to be announced.

The 12-member electorate that will review the Executives/Pioneers ballot features Hall of Famers Robin Roberts and Tom Seaver; former executive John Harrington (Red Sox); current executives Jerry Bell (Twins), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and John Schuerholz (Braves); and veteran media members Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) and Phil Pepe (New York Daily News).

 

Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

It would be nice for Billy to get in, but I feel that despite his managerial accomplishments that he made too many enemies to get elected. Herzog could be a possibility.

One person who really deserves consideration is Marvin Miller. Talk about changing the game…

Harvey (nicknamed “God” when he umpired) would be an interesting choice, as would Gene Autry.

Where I live, the Lehigh Valley now has the Phillies AAA team, the Iron Pigs. It’s the first minor league team in the Lehigh Valley since 1960. Where the Lehigh Valley Mall stands today used to be a ballfield…Breadon Field, named after Sam Breadon. A new field was built for the Iron Pigs (yes, that’s their nickname).

Yankee fans may wonder how in the world Jacob Ruppert isn’t in the hall yet.

I wonder what the Scooter would have said  about that huckleberry Bill White getting in as an executive, and of course, Yankee fans remember Gabe Paul as Yankee GM in the mid-1970s.

One person not on the list is Pat Moran. He died too young (48) but his managerial record wasn’t bad at all.  Check it out.

Who do you feel is most deserving?