So there’s one game and 8.5 innings left to go in the Red Sox’ forlorn season. It seems we should finish strong here at YFSF and post the last two game threads — we’re not fair-weather fans. We were here when the Sox were in first place. We’re here now that they’re fighting for second.
Another person who’s here, at long last? Manny Ramirez — DH-ing as David Ortiz takes a seat. Are we seeing perhaps the second-to-last game (or maybe even the last?) with Manny in a Red Sox uniform? Will tomorrow be the last time we see perhaps the greatest 3-4 combination in our lifetimes hit in the same lineup? It certainly makes these last two games feel special. An historic era could be drawing to a close.
by General Baseball · 18 comments
at 7:17 pm in
Mike Mussina picked up win no. 15 last night, a 7-2 drubbing of the—ahem—second place Toronto Blue Jays (okay, it’s a tie), and that combined with losses for the Twins and Tigers clinched home field advantage for the Yanks for as long as they can survive through the playoffs. The reduced travel should come as especially good news to Randy Johnson, who had an epidural yesterday to alleviate the pain of a herniated disk. Will he return at all this year? That remains to be seen—if not, Cory Lidle will be his replacement in the rotation; Jaret Wright will move up a slot to #3. Johnson doesn’t do much to endear himself to fans or the media, but it’s hard not to be impressed by a guy who takes that kind of shot, and then shows up for work ready to throw a day later, nevermind the salary. His effort is appreciated, big time.
Also appreciated, all those Yanks and Mets who ride the subway to work, just like the rest of us. Back in the mid-80s, I remember traveling to a game on the 4 with Tommy John, who would have gone unnoticed had one of my pals not noticed him, standing politely in the back of the train. In the NYT this morning, Michael Schmidt reports on a few players for whom a subway series would be an actual reality, including Sal Fasano, Nick Green, and T.J. Beam. We especially appreciated this gem from Ron Darling, who took the 7 to Shea throughout the 80s, until a sponsorship deal landed him a set of wheels: “It was the biggest nightmare, especially $400 a month for parking.” Alternate side is a bitch, too.
by General Baseball · 5 comments
at 10:42 am in
Tonight is Mussina’s last regular season workout, as New York begins their final series of the regular season. Joe is starting the Über-Lineup™ tonight; it’s in the extended. Comment away.
by General Baseball · 7 comments
at 7:20 pm in
Maybe the Sox should have locked the Yankees out of the loo during that 5 game spate late in August…
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 5:15 pm in
Alas, the season is ending, both figuratively and literally, for our beloved team. So instead of sitting around and pouting about their misfortune, we thought we’d take a drive upstate to the family haven (sadly for us still in Yankeeland — our local tavern has pictures of Thurman, Gator, and Joe D behind the bar) and admire the foliage. At least something in New England is just reaching its peak, even if it’s not our ballclub.
by General Baseball · 0 comments
at 4:41 pm in
Irony of Alanis Morrisette ironies! The cosmic
injustice of it all! It’s as if the 2006 season was specifically designed to torture Sox fans. The last weekend presents Red Sox Nation with quite the Hamletian dilemma: to root for the Yanks or not to root for the Yanks? That is the question. If the Yanks tank it against the Jays then the Sox finish third. That would be the end of quite a noble tradition. But if the Yanks step up, and the Sox finish strong, then there’s no concern. Everything is as it should be…kind of…in New England. What to do?
If you root for the Bombers, welcome to life as a Yanks fan. I’ll give you a few pointers on how to properly be a Bombers follower:
- Remember, you’re now rooting for the classiest, most important franchise in the world. Therefore, it’s time to get a shave and haircut. This is a company you’re a part of. Sit up in your seat, make eye contact, pronounce your words clearly, clean yourself up. It’s time to grow up. This isn’t college anymore. You get the point.
- While Derek Jeter didn’t die for your sins, he could have. He very well could have. That said, everything he says is sacred. His inside-out swing is divine. He cares deeply about you.
- You are allowed to boo A-Rod.
- In all likelihood the Yanks are going to win. It’s an unusual feeling for you. I know. Relax. Enjoy it. You deserve it. Derek Jeter believes in you.
- When you say "Melky", say "Melky!" Never say "Melky". It’s "Melky!" Cabrera. As in "Melky! made solid contact on that fly-out. Better luck next time, Melky! Cabrera."
- Find out about Alvaro Espinoza. Research him. I’m sure there’s a Wikipedia entry. At Yanks fans cocktail parties, Alvaro is a good conversation starter.
- Oh yeah, basically, you don’t take Mariano Rivera for granted…ever. When he comes in the game, let the person next to you know that you think it’s amazing that he’s been this good for this long and all this time with just one pitch! While he isn’t Derek Jeter’s father/and Derek Jeter at the same time, he could have been…He’s god. Or at least god-like.
I hope this helps. Or you could just finish in third.
by General Baseball · 14 comments
at 4:37 pm in
Okay, The Greatest Lineup in History™ was down a few men on the left side of the infield last night, but….um….still. Only 24 hours after abusing the O’s like Clinton on Wallace, our Bombers couldn’t even muster a hit until the ninth against Daniel Cabrera by fellow Dominican Robi Cano. “He’s not my friend anymore,” says Cabrera. Boo hoo. For another one of their countrymen (and his teammates), things are even worse: Pedro Martinez will miss the playoffs. We can’t stand the Mets, not one bit, but as baseball fans, we’re disappointed. Harumph.
by General Baseball · 60 comments
at 11:54 am in
Jeter and ARod are both out of the lineup tonight. Perhaps they needed some quality time together. Cano is batting second, with Cairo and Cannizaro working the bottom of the order and the left side of the infield. Mauer went 2-4 last night in a losing effort against KC; his average is at .350.
The Jays already knocked off the Tigers earlier today, so it’s a chance to get two games up on those Tigers. This also means that Minnesota can tie it up in the Central with Detroit if they win tonight against KC; that game starts in an hour.
At The Stadium tonight, it’s Daniel Cabrera throwing against Darrel Rasner. Lineups in the extended. Comment away.
by General Baseball · 29 comments
at 7:19 pm in
Shocker: editing that 3-point type on the back of a baseball card is about as appealing as an evening of knitting and mahjong with Stump Merrill.
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 4:06 pm in
– The Yankee line-up last night was really something to watch in action. Everyone seemed to be hitting the snot out of the ball. Even several of the foul balls were scary long, but I like how Joe Torre kept it in perspective.
"We can score some runs," Torre said, "but again, the pitcher has to cooperate. Good pitching always stops hitting." (Ronald Blum, AP)
– The New York Post hasn’t run a cover picture of ARod since the clinch. Lately, Pedro has taken 3 of 7 covers.
– On a play in the third (if I recall correctly) Sheff fielded a hard shot that he didn’t glove it cleanly, but knocked it down and kept it in front of him, making the play unassisted. He really doesn’t look out of place at first base at all.
– The Red Sox set a major-league record last night with their 105th errorless game in a season. Unfortunately, it was their third runless game of the month and eighth of the season.
– Following surgery, Matt Clement will not pitch for several months and is facing a long rehab, but he is fully expected to be able to pitch again.
– Pesky’s pole really is Pesky’s now, and Eric Wilbur doesn’t like it.
by General Baseball · 47 comments
at 12:50 pm in
In all humility, we point you toward the always interesting Baseball Analysts site, and a short piece on two players you might not ordinarily associate.
by General Baseball · 6 comments
at 9:59 am in
I’m late with the game thread. Yanks just went up 3-1 on a Robi sac fly, and are showing off a lineup we haven’t ever seen before. Where would you imagine a lineup that has the number two hitter in the American League batting ninth? Come to think of it, with the way they both have been swinging lately, he should be leading off and Johnny could bat ninth. Give Robi some more ABs, Joe! Lineups in the extended. Comment away.
by General Baseball · 22 comments
at 7:54 pm in
Bob Klapisch’s ESPN.com column adds some insight to the Yankee clubhouse, which seems not nearly so harmonious after the much-ballyhooed SI article:
[A]ll Giambi was doing was filling a conversational void created by the one Yankee who could have — and perhaps should have — confronted A-Rod.
That would be Jeter, of course. If there’s anyone who could make Rodriguez understand the difference between greatness and greatness under pressure, it’s the guy batting almost .400 with runners in scoring position. But anyone hoping for a Jeter-Rodriguez summit shouldn’t hold their breath. The cold war between them is even more pronounced than the one with Mussina. Jeter reportedly has never forgiven A-Rod for the disparaging remarks he made in Esquire in 2001, and as one Yankee official said, "There is no coming back from one of Derek’s grudges. Once you’re gone, you’re gone."
So let me get this straight: Jeter would rather let the Yankees’ reigning MVP struggle through a slump when the team needs him most to settle a five-year-old feud? Love those intangibles!
(Hat tip: Chad Finn.)
by General Baseball · 162 comments
at 2:55 pm in
We know he reads us once in a while, so thanks to Curt Schilling, who provided no shortage of memorable moments in this Lost Season.
And congratulations to him for the following accomplishments achieved during 2006:
- 200 career wins (207, t-94th all-time)
- 3,000 career strikeouts (3,023, 14th all-time)
- 15 wins in a season, eighth time
- 200 innings pitched, ninth time
- Sub-4.00 ERA, 11th time (20-start minimum)
- Major-league leading 6.53 Ks per walk, 31st-best single season mark in major league history (Schilling’s 4.37 career mark remains second all-time).
Considering all the praise (deservedly) given to David Ortiz during the last few weeks, it’s only fitting that we tip our caps tonight to Schilling, one of the best pitchers we’ve seen to wear a Red Sox uniform, after a fine final performance of 2006.
by General Baseball · 10 comments
at 11:38 pm in
I post this in hopes that Curt Schilling will find the strength to carry this team one last time during this Lost Season and return them to second place. As Beth notes today, third is not a pretty place. The Globe provides reason for optimism (surprise!) — the Sox finish the season with the D-Rays and Orioles at home. If this were a pennant race, we’d be reserving our playoff tickets.
Instead, we must simply hope the Sox will remember that this is weak competition and play accordingly.
by General Baseball · 11 comments
at 7:16 pm in
After finally catching up with the necessary number of plate appearances to qualify at this point in the season, Robinson Cano finds himself second in the batting race at .342, while The Captain is at .340. A player needs 502 plate appearances by the end of the championship season to qualify for the title. Cano should easily hit that number, but the tough part will be catching Joe Mauer, who is at .349 and has chewed up opposing pitchers lately, with 13 hits in 31 at bats over his last seven games.
Hideki Matusi will be starting in left field tonight with Melky Cabrera getting the night off, as Cano will DH and Miguel Cairo get the nod at second base. Since Godzilla returned to the lineup, he has had 16 hits in 39 at-bats, with 9 rbis. Melky over that same span: 10 hits in 45 at-bats, driving in five.
Cory Lidle takes the mound in what may be his last chance to earn a spot in the rotation for October over Jaret Wright, though Johnson’s recently-disclosed back problems certainly are cause for concern and add a new wrinkle to the situation. Hayden Penn is on the mound for Baltimore.
The Yankees are back in a tie with Detroit for the best record in the majors. The lineups are in the extended. Comment away.
by General Baseball · 20 comments
at 7:01 pm in