In George We Trust
A(nother) blog about the most storied franchise in sports
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Okay, so much for 161-1
Well, it feels like that 15-2 bludgeoning was a lifetime ago. The game was sloppy all around, but one bright spot was Jaret Wright turning in 2 solid innings (who woulda thunk it?) before imploding in the ninth. Everyone is pointing to Jeter's botched DP ball, or Cano's fumble in the ninth, but I think Johnny Damon's play on Milton Bradley's triple was more of a difference maker than either Jeter or Cano's error.

You can't fault him for trying and playing hard, but Damon grossly mis-timed his jump. This is one of the rare cases were I think it would have been more beneficial to have Bernie roaming center - given Bernie's lack of range, he wouldn't have been near the wall to attempt a catch, instead having to play the carom, possibly holding Bradley to a double, which would have changed everything - the infield could have stayed back and Cano most likely would have made the play.

With the first series of the season now complete, here's how the pitching of the expected ALcontenders has been so far (I excluded the Twins and Blue Jays because they've only played 2 games):

Red Sox2-
White Sox0-114.07.711.711.201.20.322.870

Red Sox0-018.14.321.562.006.48.303.927
White Sox1-1015.02.401.402.338.40.259.737

The Yankees starters have held up very well compared to other teams' starters, but the not so much. It's is only 3 games into the season, so don't read too much into it.

Sadly, as the Yankees leave town it's the last time I'll see them until an ESPN game at Fenway on May 1st (I've got class next week when ESPN will televise the Royals game at the Stadium). God I can't wait until I move back east.

Here's some highlights from yesterday's ESPN chat with Jim Callis:

Mike (Taos): Regarding drafting high school pitchers, I've heard some teams are reluctant to do it because their arms break down more frequently than college pitchers. Is that true? And if it is, at what point in a high school-drafted pitchers' development is his arm considered "safe" (i.e., if his arm is durable at age 22 (for example), it'll probably stay durable)? I hope that question made sense. Thanks. Jim: I looked at first-round picks, high school pitchers vs. college pitchers a few years ago. While the prep guys did break down more, it wasn't a huge difference, and the college guys got hurt a lot, too. It's just the nature of pitching. With a high school kid (or a college guy for that matter), you have to read whether he has the body and delivery to hold up, and also make sure you don't overwork him in the minors. There's more risk with high school pitchers, but there's risk with any kind of pitching.

mark (lyndhurst, nj): Whats your season prediction for Shawn Chacon? Neyer thinks he will be a huge bust and out of the rotation by memorial day. What do you think?
Jim: He might stick in the rotation longer because the Yankees don't have a lot of options, but I'm not a Chacon fan either. Guys with 79-66 K-BB ratios in 152 innings don't thrill me.

Max (NJ): Hi Jim. When it comes to a pitchers development which is more important, his stuff or his make-up (baseball IQ)? Thanks.
Jim: I'd vote for stuff over makeup. Both are important, but I'd rather have a dumb guy with a great arm than a great guy with a mediocre arm. However, if you made that stuff or command, I'd take command. The best stuff isn't any good if you can't locate it. Ideally, of course, you'd want a pitcher with stuff, command and makeup.

Dougie Fresh (DC): Who is the best OF prospect in the Yankee system that has all-star potential? Thank you.
Jim: They have two in Jose Tabata and Austin Jackson. They both are loaded with tools, but they'll need some time to develop.

Carlos (Newport Beach, Ca): Kendry Morales or Eric Duncan?
Jim: Morales.

Pat (Fort Morgan, CO): [The Card's Anthony] Reyes or Hughes
Jim: Philip Hughes.

aon (nyc): How about Milledge or Tabata in 10 years?
Jim: Milledge.

Adam (Los Angeles): Matt Cain or Chad Billingsley?
Jim: Very close, but I'll go with Cain. [Sorry, had to throw that one in there]

Andy (Austin): Billy Wagner or Mariano Rivera (in 06)?
Jim: Rivera. He's really getting like the Braves in the NL East . . . no point in picking against him until someone else actually proves they're better.
Continuing on with BA, the latest issue showed up in my mailbox yesterday, and as I was briefly flipping through it, I came across this quote in the "On Campus" section (page 42), which featured a Player Perspective on Wichita State's two-way player Damon Sublett:

As a Wichita native, what's it like to play at Wichita State?
Coming to games when I was growing up, I always imagined what it would be like to play out there where (Darren) Dreifort, Casey Blake and Braden Looper have played. It's like playing at Yankee Stadium or something...

Hopefully I'm not the only one who finds that hilarious. Speaking of Yankee Stadium, The process of getting a new one took another step forward:

The Yankees may be on the West Coast, but the team scored a big home victory yesterday when the City Council overwhelmingly approved plans for a new $800 million stadium.

Under the deal, the city will turn over 22 acres of Macombs Dam Park and John Mullaly Park to house the new stadium and its environs - just across 161st. St. from the House that Ruth Built.

Hat tip goes out to for this: Billy Wagner was quoted in several papers saying this regarding the whole "Enter Sandman" fiasco:

“Hey, Mariano doesn't care, and he knows what it's all about, so I see no reason to change anything…It just gives Yankee fans more ammunition to hate me, so that's okay by me…I'm sure they'll be talking about it, since Mariano’s never blown a save…

Man, talk about sarcasm. Billy must have forgotten that Mo's postseason ERA is 6.90 runs less than his. As it turns out, only the established, dominant closers get songs like "Enter Sandman" or "Hell's Bells."If you're new to the gig, you get the Village People:

The sellout crowd was ready to erupt in the eighth inning. Closer Brian Fuentes jogged in to the intimidating riff of, um, Village People's "YMCA."
IGWT has hit the mainstream (from today's SF Chronicle):

11 Things: Inside Baseball/Blogs

6. New York Yankees: and The good: money, money, money. The bad: the Curse of Pay-Rod. The ugly: Johnny Damon sold his soul to Satan.
It ain't much, but it's more than I ever imagined. Pay-Rod? That's so 2001.
Blogger Joseph P. said...
Class is really going to hold you back from watching a Yanks game? SKIP IT!

Blogger Mike A said...
I want to, but I've missed to many classes in recent weeks to watch Spring Training games.

Maybe I should venture out into the 1980's and get a VCR...

Anonymous baileywalk said...
Re: Wagner. Billy's an insecure, touchy guy, and I really worry how he'll handle New York (which is different than Philly, where baseball is not their main focus and doesn't nearly have the hateful press and obsessed baseball fans New York does). I've gone to Philly over the last few years to see Billy pitch (it's always fun to see a guy blow hundred-mile-an-hour fastballs by someone). The truth is, I've always liked the guy. But his statement that Yankee fans hate him just shows you what kind of person he is. Yankee fans don't give a damn about him. They wouldn't have even mentioned his name if this whole "Enter Sandman" thing didn't come up. But this is the way Billy thinks. The truth is, I think he hates New York. He apparently thought the Astros were going to trade him to the Yankees (he ended up in Philly) and the idea repulsed him. I think he only came to the Mets for the money and that he's going to regret it. If he was smart, he would have taken a fair deal from the Braves, who really needed him. He would have been a hero there. In New York he's second-best and will most likely end up being a chump.

Some rights of this page's plain text stuffs are reserved for the author.
The Template is generated via PsycHo and is Licensed.