Meet the New Wang, Same as the Old Wang

Before this season began, we heard a lot about a possible “regression” for Chien-Ming Wang. What he was supposed to regress to was pretty unclear; in his brief career, he’d been nothing if not consistent. Sure, another 19 win season is a reach, but wins aren’t necessarily the best guage of a pitcher’s performance, and in any casy 19 is an awfully large number. Wang got off to a bit of a slow start this year (0-2, 5.84 in April) owing to injury coming into the season that cut off his spring training. Since then, he’s been back to his old self, and his record now stands at 6-4 with a 3.47 era. His exceptional home run and ground ball rates per 9 innings are about where they’ve always been; his strikeouts are up a bit, along with his walks—but they’re within reasonable norms. He’s going deep into games, as usual. If he’s headed for a cliff, it’s not readily visible on the horizon. Project his stats forward and you find something around 16 wins and an era in the high 3/low 4 range. Which is just what we expected.

Meanwhile, the Yanks continue to roll, last night’s win being the 7th in a row. Unfortunately, the Sox have taken three of their last four, and all of their wild-card competitors (Det, Min, Sea, Oak) are also on win streaks. Detroit, the League’s best team last year, is especially hot, and last night they got a no-hitter from flame-throwing sophmore Justin Verlander. It’s gonna be a tough race in the second half.

42 comments… add one
  • Great, here comes the L tonight. Way to go YF! LOL. Never speak of the streak.
    As for Wang, I have never been a big believer in him, but I guess eventually I have to stop fighting the numbers. His low K rate Vs. his success just defies logic, but hey it is what it is.
    I will be at the game tonight fellas, go Yanks!

    John - YF (Trisk) June 13, 2007, 10:07 am
  • “But, the biggest story for me from this contest is what happened before the game. Channel 9 had a camera on the Yankees dugout – where we got to see Johnny Damon go along the entire length of the bench, before the game, and do a special handshake with every player on the bench. We also saw Tony Pena teasing Miggy Cairo – not giving him a ball to use in the infield warm-up. Then we saw Andy Pettitte walk the bench, like Damon, doing “the fist” or a handshake, again, with everyone on the bench. Then Worm Killer came to the bench after his pre-game bullpen, and he too walked the bench doing special handshakes and/or fists with everyone on the bench – and also with some non-uniformed personnel outside the dugout near the on-deck circle.” -WasWatching
    Completely and utterly stolen from the ’04 Boston Red Sox. Damon better give Cabrera his props if this ever becomes national news.

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 10:22 am
  • we all know that the Sox of 2004 were the first team to slap five. They also invented the pat on the butt rounding third and the concept of encouragement.

    Nick-YF June 13, 2007, 10:25 am
  • Nick – don’t be a hater…

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 10:43 am
  • has anyone brought up the manny & his hairdresser clip yet?
    i’ll just toss that out there like a video grenade.
    duck & cover, people.

    Yankee Fan In Boston June 13, 2007, 10:54 am
  • Don’t confuse hating with using humor to point out an asinine comment.

    bloodyank78 June 13, 2007, 10:54 am
  • An asinine comment…
    In what way is this asinine.
    Johnny Damon part of ’04 squad.
    OCab had a different handshake with every person on the team in ’04. (I have seen this with so many teams before)
    Johnny Damon now has a different handshake with ever person on the Yanks team.

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 11:00 am
  • i’ve seen plenty of guys have different handshakes with different guys.
    it would be difficult to declare orlando cabrera the originator of this phenomenon.
    i think this was the point they were trying to make, neffsox.

    Yankee Fan In Boston June 13, 2007, 11:05 am
  • Handshakes and high fives totally won us the 2004 WS, totally, you know that Nick, and now your boys are STEALING our secret weapon.
    Unwritten rules…

    LocklandSF June 13, 2007, 11:05 am
  • How about the entire Fenway crowd starts cheering for each player before the game before they wave their hand.
    This of course wouldn’t be copying the Yanks, I mean cheering for a player probably started right around the time the buttslap was created.

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 11:06 am
  • heh.

    Yankee Fan In Boston June 13, 2007, 11:07 am
  • Actually, he didn’t use humor…he used sarcasm. Sometimes sarcasm is funny…that time it wasn’t. Johnny is trying to turn the Yanks into the Idiots…ARod doesn’t have far to go to become one, but other than that, you guys have a bunch of boring professionals in the clubhouse.
    Do we hear about Hideki “being Hideki”? Or Mussina bringing his very own dwarf into the clubby? No. We hear about ARod calling off 3rd basemen while running the bases and loving the “strong she male” type of stripper. We hear about Jeter and Posada being the strong locker room presence, but they don’t really add much flair.
    How about Abreu? Can he even speak? We don’t know for sure.
    Now, I don’t really think this will have any impact on their ability to get back into the race.
    My point is that Damon is trying to inject some 2004 Red Sox mojo into your Yankees clubhouse…which is really ironic, if you think about it.

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 11:12 am
  • actually, i’d be willing to bet that johnny damon is just being johnny damon, jp-sf. i doubt it is a conscious being made. he was a big “clubhouse guy” in oakland, too.

    Yankee Fan In Boston June 13, 2007, 11:14 am
  • Damon, Tejeda, and Giambi used to do these handshake/rituals with each other all the time in Oakland in the late 90’s and early 00’s. It’s a common thing a lot of players do on a lot of different teams. It was not patented by the 2004 Sox. I think Lombardi was just pointing out his pleasure in the Yanks show some team pride and swagger lately. Lord knows, unfortunately for this fan, that the ’04 Sox had that.

    bloodyank78 June 13, 2007, 11:16 am
  • So you actually don’t think that Damon, who only won a World Championship, with the Sox is trying to inject some of the same locker room atmosphere that was there in 2004 into the Yankees locker room??? Really?

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 11:19 am
  • “You know, what have we learned here today? Perhaps it’s that no one can take your mojo. You can look around all you want, but what you’re really trying to find is on the inside. Take care of yourself, and each other.” -Bobby Abreu after just reading YanksfanSoxfan

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 11:22 am
  • jp-sf,
    If you are at all familiar w/Nick, he is anything but vindictive. He probably has the best sense of humor on this site, I don’t think he trying to hate. As far as locker room atmosphere, Damon was like that before the Red Sox, as I pointed out above referencing his days in Oakland. It’s Johnny Damon being himself.

    bloodyank78 June 13, 2007, 11:23 am
  • jp-sf,
    i think that damon tries to inject that kind of atmosphere wherever he goes.
    kansas city, oakland, boston, even the bronx.
    i think he did tried to do that pre-2004, and that he’ll try to do it until he hangs ’em up.
    i don’t think it has anything to do with 2004 specifically.

    Yankee Fan In Boston June 13, 2007, 11:25 am
  • It’s kind of weird for me to think of Damon in that way b/c when I coached high school baseball in Florida, our team played his and he was a first class dick. Seriously. Then again, Jason Varitek’s little brother played for the Lake Brantley team and he was twice as big of an ass as Damon was.
    In all honesty, I have found it hard to root for Damon because of my interactions with him when he was at Dr. Phillips High.
    As for my comment toward Nick, I was being sarcastic also…

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 11:28 am
  • don’t hate the player, hate the game of sarcasm.
    Really, I wasn’t trying to be vindictive, and sorry if I hurt any feelings. Just having a little fun. Sometimes fun comes at someone’s expense. If you need to make fun of me, remember I said Beckett was overrated. That was me. Have fun at my expense. Also, I have this big zit on my nose and I kind of look like Ronald McDonald right now. All fair game.

    Nick-YF June 13, 2007, 11:40 am
  • it would be interesting to find out when the first buttslap occurred. Who pioneered that? He kind of went on a limb there, didn’t he? And you know what, it caught on. Good for him!

    Nick-YF June 13, 2007, 11:42 am
  • See, now THAT was funny….

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 11:44 am
  • i giggled.

    Yankee Fan In Boston June 13, 2007, 11:47 am
  • just testing out my material for jp’s approval. We’re a comedy writing team.

    Nick-YF June 13, 2007, 11:48 am
  • Dude, I already have one Yankees fan in my life (fiancee). I don’t think I have room for another one…

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 11:50 am
  • This just in Butt slapping decreases in the Post game shower
    “A 10-year study released today has found that athletes slap each other’s butts less in the post-game shower than they do during games. The study was conducted jointly by the four major professional leagues.
    The results showed that while butt slapping decreases in post-game showers, as expected, it does so only moderately. “If the average professional player gets his butt slapped by a teammate once a game,” says lead researcher Byron Cope, “we found that he gets his butt slapped only slightly less – about five out of every eight times – by a teammate in the post-game shower.””

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • Also to ensure jp and Nick don’t get too excited they should just follow this guide

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • Yanksfan Soxfan poll
    Who’s more homosexual?
    Nick and jp giggling about each others humor.
    NeffSox for googling ‘Sports butt slap.’

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • In my defense, I never said I giggled…

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • Are we really having a discussion on who started the elaborate hand shakes? Ok well then the Mets and Jose Reyes owe an apology to the almighty 2004 Red Sox. You guys are crazy. This has been around the game long before the mighty 2004 Sox team, I know that’s hard to believe.

    John - YF (Trisk) June 13, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • It wasn’t a discussion on who started the handshakes.
    I know the first handshake dates back to the caveman when Gog through a spear 60 feet right through a Wooly Mammoths neck.
    This was immediately proceeded by Gog going down the line and having choreographed his handshakes with Bork, Flog, and Atouka.
    It was just my belief that Johnny Damon started this ‘new’ trend with the Yankees and I believe he owes OCab some props.

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • That’s the point it’s not a ‘new’ trend with the Yankees. They have been doing this for years. Only difference is now most of the team does it. It’s a more youthful, fun team then prior years. Could you see Joe Girardi doing this? How about Paul O’Neill?
    Let it be known if Francona starts holding Lugo’s bat or if he starts rubbing Francona’s head I am calling for ‘props’ to be given to DJ!

    John - YF (Trisk) June 13, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • trisk, I’ll be at tonight’s game too…
    Off topic (anything to break up this silliness)- I meant to mention this yesterday, when we were talking about ’78 – read Sparky Lyle’s book “The Bronx Zoo” if you haven’t already. An absolutely hilarious account of that year in the yankee clubhouse.

    Anonymous June 13, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • Well, Bobby Abreu tugs on his crotch violently between pitches…he should give props to Lugo for that.

    jp-sf June 13, 2007, 1:13 pm
  • “I know the first handshake dates back to the caveman…”
    So that means Damon was the inventor after all?

    Scott SF June 13, 2007, 1:21 pm
  • If I start picking my nose violently can I credit Joe Torre?

    NeffSox June 13, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • “The Cincinnati Reds, who could be in position to trade reliever David Weathers and slugger Adam Dunn, had a scout at the [Yankees-Diamondbacks] game.”
    If you were in the game thread last night, I brought this up…Found this today at MLB Trade Rumors. Interesting. Another go at it with Stormy.
    See you there Andrews!

    John - YF (Trisk) June 13, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • John, I like the idea of trading for Dunn a lot. Now back to class.

    Nick-YF June 13, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • I wonder whom the Reds would be asking for? Philip Hughes sure had a nice two-game career as a Yankee. ;-)

    Paul SF June 13, 2007, 3:27 pm
  • Hah, in your dreams, Paul.
    I wonder if they were scouting Kyle Farnsworth? If so, it didn’t really help his case when he was used. Using Farnsworth is not a great way to build up his trade value.

    AndrewYF June 13, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • Will Dunn really fit? For a half season, he’ll probably be a great fit for the Yanks, but obviously it’ll depend on what the Yanks have to give up.
    That would be interesting though. I’m not a big fan of Dunn (though I’ve had him on my fantasy team for the last 4 years), but mostly only because he strikes out a ton. He does fit a little bit with all the wheeling the Yanks have been doing though, and he does get on base a lot too.. hrmmm..
    Interesting, interesting..

    Lar June 13, 2007, 5:46 pm
  • I wonder if they were scouting Kyle Farnsworth? If so, it didn’t really help his case when he was used. Using Farnsworth is not a great way to build up his trade value.
    Holy crap. Can we end this? What trade value does Farnsworth (1.633 WHIP) have? I mean, really. (And yes, Andrew, I realize (or at least think/hope) that you said this with a bit of sarcasm in your tone) Now granted, the Reds have shown an ability to trade actual useful players for crappy relievers, even from another GM (Bowden) who has no clue what he’s doing. And clearly, Cashman is a far better GM than Jim Bowden. If he pawns off Farnsworth (back problems, overpaid, can’t pitch often in back-to-back games) as the centerpiece for Dunn, he should be awarded Executive of the Year right now.
    Everything I have read suggests that the Reds want a talented, young, near-ML or ML-ready starter as at least a starting point. And absolutely, Hughes is too big a bounty, but I don’t think someone like Clippard would end up being enough. The Twins are a good fit in terms of having enough of these kinds of pitchers to be able to part with one.
    He would be a tremendous fit for the Yankees, I think. Power, plate discipline, and yeah, the Ks, but he’s not the kind of guy who strikes out on 3 bad pitches. He usually strikes out on a tough 2-2 or full count pitch. Doesn’t make it any less of a strikeout, but he doesn’t usually strikeout as a result of looking foolish at the plate.

    QuoSF June 13, 2007, 6:22 pm

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