Jeremy Guthrie faces the Yanks who head to Camden Yards after sweeping the ChiSox over the weekend. Andy Pettitte is on the mound for New York. A win tonight would mark the 14th season of at least 12 wins for Pettitte; the only time he had less than 12 was his injury-plagued 2004 season with Houston. Since he broke into the league in 1995, no pitcher has more victories (226) than Pettitte. Lineups follow, comment away.
Monday, August 31st, 2009
In case you haven't heard, Rawlings has introduced a new batting helmet, the S100, that can withstand a 100 mph impact from a baseball. It will be available to MLB players shortly (and mandatory for MiLB players next year), and is slightly larger than the current models, with a kind of lacrosse-helmet look to it. There's already been some blowback from players who think it makes them look dorky. (Mark Teixeira passed.) Let me suggest that MLB and the MLBPA should make the new helmets mandatory, and if they don't, each team should do so for all players they have under contract. A player KIA from a beanball—and it's only a matter of time before it happens again—would be both tragic and a disaster for the sport. From a purely mercenary point of view, I'd certainly want my $180 million new first baseman protected to the max. David Wright, of the Mets, is already out for the season after a beaning. As a parent, you want the pros setting the best possible example. Sometimes, in design, function trumps aesthetics. This is one of those times.
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
Why, a fax machine is nothing but a waffle iron with a phone attached.
That’s the legal tack I would take if I were advising George Steinbrenner, who has been sued by former MSG President Bob Gutkowski. All your baseballs are belong oh never mind. I stole the lead quote from Grandpa and that link from RAB.
– Nice, Robi. Cano’s line over the last four weeks: 35 hits in 102PA, 10 2Bs, 5HR. He even got one walk in there, which is all good for a .938 OPS. What’s better is that he raised his BA with RISP on the season to .207; he hits .357 with the bases empty. I’m sure many have wondered if he should hit in the 9 slot behind Melky and Molina who really aren’t that likely to be on base.
– Nick Swisher gives his assist for throwing out Ramon Castro at the plate last night to Dave Eiland and Phil Coke, saying that they have been helping him work on his arm. On his second assist of the season: “It was like throwing a bar of soap.” Boys and their locker room humor.
– Brett Gardner is still experiencing soreness in his thumb and won’t likely be ready to start his minor league rehab by Monday. There’s only about 10 days left in that season.
– The computer that gerbil uses to update the score/schedule scraper on the sidebar is down for running-wheel lubrication. It should be back as soon as he gets his running shoes on.
Consider this your thread for your afternoon gamer/blacked-out baseball action as our old (ageless?) friend Jose Contreras faces Sergio Mitre. Lineups follow, comment away.
Friday, August 28th, 2009
Mark Buehrle is on the mound for Chicago tonight while Sabathia throws for the Bombers. It’s hard to imagine how C.C. could have been realistically better than he has this last month, while Buehrle has had a rough time since is perfecto.
Comment away on your Friday night Stadium action here.
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
There's never a dull, administrative moment in this rivalry! Buster Olney reports:
When the New York Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-handed reliever Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston, sources said. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.
But the Yankees, sources said, placed a claim on Carter — perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Wagner trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers, and for the rest of the year they must carry him on their 40-man roster.
And Boston may struggle to squeeze bodies onto its 40-man roster in September.
Meanwhile the Yanks are also interested in Brad Penny. The chances of him passing through waivers to the Yanks are slim since a few other teams seem interested. New York sees Penny as an improvement on their current fifth starter
Junichi Tazawa (zing!) Sergio Mitre.
Brad Penny has been released by the Red Sox, leaving just Takashi Saito as the surviving member of the Sox' 2008-09 offseason reclamation project class.
Penny's recent string of terrible starts and overall numbers have muddled the view of him, but it shouldn't be forgotten that from May 3 to July 24 — nearly three months of the season — Penny compiled a 3.92 ERA in more than 87 innings. That's real value from a man who was never supposed to be anything more than a No. 5 starter.
His value clearly peaked right before the trade deadline; unfortunately for both Penny and the Sox, with Wakefield and Matsuzaka then injured, and uncertainty over whether Smoltz would successfully complete his comeback, he was suddenly too valuable to let go. When Smoltz collapsed, the Sox couldn't afford to deplete their pitching depth further when he was claimed off revocable waivers the next month.
Them's the breaks. It was a worthwhile gamble, and it paid off for a large part of the season. Too bad it couldn't have worked out better. As Penny himself said:
I played for a great manager on a great team. I had a great time. I enjoyed it. I wish things had worked out better, but that happens.
It's been a long time.
A long time since the Big Man took that sweet, vicious swing, since the ball soared deep into the night, since Fenway rocked while he lumbered around the bases, the ever-present smile wider than ever.
It's been so long that we'd forgotten what it feels like — forgotten, perhaps, that no one has ever done this as many times in a Red Sox uniform. Twelve times, including the postseason, Ortiz has ended a game with a home run, all but one of those in Boston. An astounding 18 times, he's ended a game with any kind of hit — 15 of those in Boston.
It's been a rough season for Ortiz. The horrible protracted slump to start the season. The revelation that his name is among those on the (now ruled) improperly-seized list of players to have possibly tested positive for performance-enhancing substances.
But since June 1, when Ortiz bottomed out at .186/.282/.284, he's been among the best hitters in baseball — posting a .910 OPS with 21 home runs and a .556 slugging percentage. Over 162 games, that would translate to 48 homers and 135 RBI.
It's good to have him back. Baseball's just more fun when David Ortiz is hitting home runs.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009