Tag Archives: Villone

A target on his back.

I’m not one for braggadoccio, although I did like Ali. But the Reggie/Manny “stand and admire my HR,” Buddy and Rex Ryan statements, Miami Hurricanes of the day…that kind of me-first, my s**t don’t stink attitude isn’t me.

I’m more the shut up and get it done type. It’s why I like Mo, Jeter, etc. Class personified.

Girardi doesn’t fall into the Rex or Buddy Ryan mode, not by a long shot. But one thing I do wonder about is the target on his back.

That target is literal. #28. Last year it was #27. Granted it is the goal. I just wonder if wearing the number was or is right. It does seem to be “rubbing it in.” I’m as proud of the titles as any Yankees fan, but there is a modicum of decorum that I wonder about.

Granted I’m a Celtics fan too. But there was a little something about Red’s lighting up the cigar that could get under one’s skin. I just wonder if Girardi’s number change somehow equals Red’s cigar.

Kill quietly. With dignity and class. That’s my motto.

Speaking of dignity, or maybe the lack of, Tiger Woods will read a statement tomorrow. God only knows what he’ll say…but then, no questions. Hey Tiger—whether it’s the media or the gallery, you’ll have to face the music soon. And those chords may be more dissonant than those your wife delivered to you that Thanksgiving weekend.    

It looks like the White Sox could be a surprise player in the Damon sweepstakes. But the offer to JD would be far less than the offer JD had from the Yankees. Basically, it still looks like Bore-a$$ and JD screwed themselves.

Ron Villone back with the Nats. The 40 year old Villone, 61-65, 4.73 for his career, could be looking at his 16th MLB season, to which I think that twenty years from now, some child, as yet unborn, will be looking at the record and the longevity and say, “what the hell?” 

Odds and Ends. Mr. Met on pins and needles.

Johan Santana was scratched again. Word now is that he is out indefinitely. I still have that feeling that Florida will surprise and be the Phils’ biggest challengers in the NL East.

…and no, I still think it’s too early to tell about the Santana/Hughes/Kennedy, fill in the blank stuff yet.

Speaking of the Phils, they released Adam Eaton, who was 4-8, 5.80 for the defending champs last year (ERA+ 75). 68-63 career, but a 4.80 (ERA + 86). 31.

Checking the Post. Freddy Garcia didn’t get off to a good start with the Mets in his spring stint but (He shall be) Livan Hernandez did. The Mets signed 39 year old Ron Villone to a minor league deal. Villone got in 74 games for the Cardinals last year. 1-2,  4.68, ERA+ 91. Career 56-59, 4.75, ERA+ 96. In his late 30’s, Villone has gotten into 79 games (Seattle and Florida) 2005, 70 with the Yanks in 2006 and 74 last year. I’m not so sure that is a good thing. It’s nice he can take the ball, and for the most part he averaged less than an inning per appearance. A LOOGY. But still, do you really want Villone getting 70 appearances for your team? Still, him, Tomko…Jason Johnson…

I hope Bernie does well in the WBC but not THAT well. I don’t want him thinking comeback only to embarrass himself. Do well, but not that well.

Nice quote in the Post from Nick Swisher regarding Brett Gardner: “That is the fastest white dude I’ve ever seen.”

Good beginning for Marbury with the Celtics. Play 10-12 minutes, play well, give Rondo a breather and shut up. Oh yeah, and pick up your ring when finished.

At this rate, Barry Bonds’ trial will come the day he gets his first SS check.

Eagles to lose both Buckhalter AND Dawkins to the Broncos?

How long into the game today before John and Suzyn start doing Broadway songs to disguise that they know nothing about the minor leaguers in the game who were in A or AA last year? 


Just wanted to let you all know that Uncle Joe, Tony, and I will be dusting off the cobwebs putting together a special edition of Yankee Fan Club Radio this Sunday, March 1st.  The show will be available only on podcast, and if you’re still subscribed to our feed, the content should be pushed down to you like all of our other shows over the last four years.

 Being that my work schedule has me 1-10 on Sundays and 8-7 on Mondays, I guess I won’t be hearing it until Monday or Tuesday evening.  




Low profile? Not with Hank around

 The one thing that Andy Pettitte probably wants right now is for this whole episode to blow over which, considering that Clemens is possibly facing a perjury charge, doesn’t appear likely. The fact that road fans will most likely be heckling him doesn’t help either.

Another person not helping is his owner, Hank Steinbrenner. Hank is quoted in today’s N.Y. Post as stating that Pettitte shouldn’t be criticized too harshly in opposing ballparks (fat chance) and that other teams (notably Boston) had “plenty of players doing this stuff, too. It’s just that those players weren’t mentioned in the Mitchell Report.” He’s upset at Mitchell being a Red Sox director and that the Yanks were at the center of the report as opposed to other teams and that that baseball seems to be singled out as opposed to other sports. Well, maybe so. But if this thing is to blow over, and Pettitte is to get down to business, then people like Hank need to start being quiet about it. Don’t keep dredging it up, and let the government and the testers do their job in finding out who else is using steroids or HGH. Is it fair that only Pettitte and Clemens seem to be singled out and others in the report are sliding by? No, but then life is unfair.

As far as I’m concerned, the Pettitte case is over unless something happens with Clemens in which Pettitte’s testimony gets reviewed. In order for Andy to carry on, Hank (and others) have to now let it be.

As for the other brother, Hal, he states that Cashman’s job isn’t in jeopardy and that steroids were never discussed regarding Clemens due to the belief that Roger was one of those special athletes who excelled at a later age. “Uncle Joe” Colarusso has brought up Warren Spahn on the Internet Radio Show as one who excelled late in his career, and others could include Nolan Ryan and Henry Aaron.

As for Pettitte, Gagne and others who are still active, Commissioner Bud Selig states that he is still reviewing cases one-by-one and doesn’t know when he’ll finish or what kind of punishment he’ll dole out. It’s my hope that if Pettitte faces a suspension, that it’s for only two weeks. The guy has been honest, ‘fessed up and gone through enough.

K-Rod isn’t happy and suggests that he could leave the Angels as a free agent after the 2008 season. Can you imagine Mo in his last two years being K-Rod’s set-up man? End his career setting up K-Rod much like he set-up Wetteland in 1996? That would enable Joba to start. You can only dream…        

Odalis Perez has signed a minor league deal with the Nats. The 30 year old lefty was 8-11 5.57 (ERA+ 84) for KC last year and is 66-70, 4.47 (ERA+ 94) for his career. He won 15 games and was an All-Star in 2002 for the Dodgers.

The Cards have invited 38 year old Ron Villone to camp. Villone had no decisions or saves last year for the Yanks, and had an ERA of 4.25 (ERA+ 105). For his career Villone is 55-57, 4.76 (ERA+ 96), and he is another one dealing with his name being in the Mitchell report.

Former Reds’ exec Bob Howsam passed away. He was just a few weeks short of turning 90.

Brooklyn legend Podres dead at 75

6:45 a.m. Johnny Podres, whose complete-game 2-0 shutout in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series gave Brooklyn its only World Championship, has died at the age of 75. Ironically, his opposing starter in that game, Tommy Byrne of the Yankees, died less than a month ago.

For his achievement, Podres was named the 1955 World Series MVP, as well as Sports Illustrated’s Man of the Year. Ironically, Podres had a losing record in 1955, going 9-10, 3.95 (ERA+ 103). The 1955 Dodgers were the first team to win a World Series after losing the first two games. Podres won Games 3 and 7. Game 3, like Game 7, was a complete-game victory, 8-3.

Known for a great changeup, Podres became a well-respected pitching coach after his career was over.

For his career, the southpaw was 148-116 with an ERA of 3.68 (ERA + 105). He pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers 1953-1955, then was drafted into the service (that’s what fame did for him!) As a result, he missed all of the 1956 season. He pitched 1957 for Brooklyn, then went with the team out west to L.A., and pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1958-1966. He pitched for the Tigers in 1966 and 1967, was out of the majors in 1968, and finished his career as Podres the Padre in 1969.

Besides 1955, Podres also was part of the 1959, 1963 and 1965 Dodger World Champions. He went 14-9, 4.11 (ERA+ 103) in 1959, 14-12, 3.54 (ERA+ 85) in 1963 and 7-6, 3.43 (ERA+ 95) in 1965. His best season was most likely 1961, when he went 18-5, his career high in wins. He had a 3.74 ERA that year (ERA+ 115).

At the age of 31, Podres missed almost all of the 1964 season. He pitched in only two games, starting and losing both. He wasn’t the same after that.

As a hitter, he hit .190 with 2 home runs.

Besides his two complete-game victories in 1955, Podres pitched in the 1953, 1959 and 1963 World Series. He started and lost Game 5 of the 1953 Series against the Yanks, going 2 2/3, giving up 5 runs (only 1 earned) on 1 hit, no K’s, and 2 walks. The hit was a HR by Gene Woodling leading off the game. An error by Gil Hodges on what would have been the third out of the third inning prolonged the inning and let a run score. Podres then hit Hank Bauer with a pitch and walked Yogi Berra. After he was relieved by Russ “Monk” Meyer, Meyer gave up a grand slam to Mickey Mantle.

In the 1955 Game 3, Mantle homered off Podres. It was the injured Mantle’s only hit of the Series, as the Mick was limited to 3 games and 10 at bats due to injury.

Podres started two games in the 1959 World Series against the White Sox, going 1-0, 4.82. He won Game 2, 4-3, going six innings and giving up two runs. He started Game 6, but got a no-decision after giving up 3 runs in 3 2/3. All three runs came on a HR by Ted Kluszewski.

He started Game 2 of the 1963 World Series at Yankee Stadium, and beat the Yanks 4-1. Podres went 8 1/3 IP in that game.

His World Series record was 4-1, 2.11 in six starts. He was named to four All-Star games, finished 14th in MVP voting for his 1961 season, and led the league with a 2.66 ERA in 1957 when his six shutouts also led the league.

God bless him, his family and friends. Continue reading

Clemens sues.

10:30 a.m. With apologies to George Harrison’s 1973 song, it looks like we got the Sue Me, Sue You Blues, since Clemens has sued McNamee. Will there be a countersuit?

Clemens’ press conference today will be at 5 p.m. Eastern. I’ll try to catch it if televised (ESPNews?) but have appointments later, so I’ll probably miss some of it.

Rumors the past few days have the Angels and White Sox talking another deal. (You may remember the recent Garland deal). This would send Paul Konerko to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County in the State of California in the United States of America for a package including either Howie Kendrick, Ervin Santana and/or Chone Figgins. Should the Chisox get Figgins, they could put him in CF and move recently acquired Nick Swisher to 1B.

MLB Trade Rumors says the Pirates may be interested in Ron Villone. Yup, 38, name in the Mitchell Report, and it seemingly doesn’t matter.

Everywhere a poll. Doesn’t matter if it is the Presidential primaries or the HOF voting, polls are everywhere these days. Dave Pinto over at Baseball Musings reports on a poll that tries to predict how this year’s HOF vote will go. Who knows, maybe they need those pollsters in New Hampshire right now. Anyway, Chris Jaffe’s column is quite interesting and makes reference to a poll that Keith Law is doing as far as trying to figure out who gets in the HOF tomorrow.

Their predictions? Goose gets in, while Rice sweats it out, either making it or missing it by a hair.

ALDS Game 4. Pregame

Due to the other three division series all being over, TONIGHT’S GAME STARTS AT 7:30 PM instead of the originally scheduled time of 6.

Joel Sherman makes a good point in today’s Post. Regarding the almost-switch to Piniella after the 2006 postseason, consider Lou’s managing the Cubs to an 85 win season (good enough to win the weak NL Central, but…) and then his Game 1 early yanking of Zambrano. As I write in another post (Job Safe, For Now), the Yanks have to really be clued in to Joe’s successor.

By the way, you DO remember who spent an absolute fortune last offseason don’t you? No, not the Yankees. The CUBS.

If you want to knock A-Rod’s postseasons, consider this. I know he has little protection, but Bad Vlad is 11 for 60 in the postseason and just 3 for his last 30. Of those 11 hits, 10 are singles.

LINEUP ANNOUNCED. 4:45 PM. With Wang pitching, Mientkiewicz is at 1b for his D. Matsui DHs and Giambi sits. The Indians move Martinez to 1b as Shoppach catches. Garko sits.

Villone replaces Clemens on the roster. This means Roger won’t be eligible for the ALCS. World Series? Maybe, if the Yanks make it, but don’t count on it. It’s more likely that Roger’s career ended last night.

UPDATE 6:30 Pete Abraham of LoHud reports that Joba is available for an inning tonight and Mo for two. Brian Cashman on the Joba Rules: “The rules here in October: The rules are to win.”

He also states that Travis Hafner is 0 for 5 off of Villone in his career.