The Big Three Four of the Future?

For the first time in a long time, it looks like the Yanks are going to have a serious fight at the end of the season as they try to make the playoffs. The playoffs have come easily for so long it’s hard to recall what this kind of thing even feels like. I hope we can enjoy the excitement (and a positive outcome).

In a terrific piece on yesterday’s game and the probable departure of Kyle Farnsworth (to Detroit), Tyler Kepner reports that flamethrowing uberprospect Joba Chamberlain has been shifted to the AAA bullpen in advance of a likely callup to the big club in the next week. Philip Hughes and Ian Kennedy were also dominant in their last AAA starts. Chamberlain is still projeted as a starter (so his use in the pen would equate to what the Twins did with Francisco Liriano), and Kennedy is not likely to be a factor until next year, at the earliest. Still it’s hard not to be feeling awfully positive about the addition of these two plus Philip Hughes to a Yankee rotation that already features Chien Ming Wang in the coming years.

Finally, we’d be remiss on this day not to issue a congratulations to Tony Gwynn (a career .338 hitter!) and Cal Ripken on their induction into the HOF. I didn’t see a great deal of Tony Gwynn live, as he played on the opposite coast, but followed the career of Ripken closely, both in the Bronx and during my four years in college in Baltimore, when I lived just a few blocks from Memorial Stadium, then home to the O’s. When I arrived in that city, in 1987, the Orioles were historically bad. In my dorm room, I listened to the wonderful voice of Jon Miller as the birds lost 21 in a row. Cal’s streak wasn’t much of a factor back then—there were already those wondering if he should take a rest and save himself, given the futility of the team. Over the years, it grew in the background, until, post-strike, it became the largest thing in the game. After it was over, he seemed a man on the decline, but then, in 2001, a decade after my graduation, there he was winning the All-Star MVP. His shadow still looms over the O’s, and maybe that’s not such a good thing. But Yankee fans can be grateful for the example of an oversized shortstop with offensive skills and a pristine image. We’ve got one of those, and soon enough, he’ll be in Cooperstown too.

4 comments… add one
  • I understand the fear and anxiety bringing Joba up to join Torre’s bullpen has produced in the hearts of some Yanks fans, but this is the kind of move that makes sense for a team like the Yanks, who are not quite in or out of the post-season race. They need to upgrade the bullpen now, and Joba has sick stuff according to everyone. Why trade away anything valuable for a two month rental in Gagne or Dotal when the answer may be from within the organization?

    Nick-YF July 30, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • The Braves will receive Mark Teixeira and lefty reliever Ron Mahay, while the Rangers will get Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and two pitching prospects. Matt Harrison is said to be one of them; his MRI today came up clean.

    Anonymous July 30, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • “The playoffs have come easily for so long it’s hard to recall what this kind of thing even feels like. I hope we can enjoy the excitement (and a positive outcome).”
    Must be nice…
    Meantime, I’ll hope for a stress-free final two months, which sees the Sox maintain a lead of 6 games or more the entire time. Certainly this would be better than excitement (read: heart-stopping stress) from my point of view. I’m thinking the heart-stopping stress may be more likely in the immediate future, as August has the Sox on the road for about two-thirds of their games, while the Yankees have the majority at home.
    Also, I hope the Yankees don’t make the playoffs because another postseason encounter between these teams would probably finish me off. I just got engaged! I don’t wanna die this October!

    Devine July 30, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • Congrats on your engagement, Devine.

    attackgerbil July 30, 2007, 1:32 pm

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