The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Let’s try not to get carried away

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 12, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A few points about today’s little dust-up:

The idea that this somehow represents the “new” Yankees under Joe Girardi is laughable. Let’s review for a second:

A Class A catcher with a .261 career batting average and six home runs in 247 games got run over and broke his wrist. Most of the regular players were home when this happened. I would venture that most of them couldn’t pick Francisco Cervelli out of a lineup.

A non-roster left-hander who practically none of the regular players have ever spoken to grazed one of Tampa Bay’s players with a pitch.

Then Shelley Duncan, who has played in 34 big league games, decided to go all Rambo with his slide into second base.

Just so you know: Jeter, A-Rod, Damon, Giambi, Rivera, Mussina, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, Wang and Farnsworth weren’t in St. Pete today. That’s half the roster. They were back in Tampa cracking jokes with Billy Crystal, not looking to avenge Cervelli.

Shelley Duncan is a energetic guy who says a lot of funny things and can hit for power. As I have written many times, I like the guy a lot and I hope he makes the team. But please keep in mind that he’s 28 and was in the minors for seven seasons because he hit .251 with a .334 OBP and has no defensive position. Trust me when I tell you that he’s not the emotional leader of the Yankees. Do you really think that A-Rod is taking his cues from Shelley Duncan?

The Yankees are a class team with class guys like Jeter, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera leading the way. Girardi was part of that group as a player and will be that way as a manager. You don’t motivate a $205 million roster by vowing revenge on the Tampa Bay Rays. This is baseball, not minor-league hockey. You think Girardi wants to sit in the dugout and make up silly excuses for what Shelley Duncan did? That’s not why he wanted the Yankees job.

The Yankees don’t care if people pose for home runs or nonsense like that. They care about beating you to death with their relentless lineup then watching you flail weakly at Mo’s cutter in the ninth inning. They worry about winning, not sideshows.

The idea that they “sent a message to all of baseball” is ridiculous. Having All-Star caliber players at nearly every position and the best young pitching in the game is sending a message. Shelley Duncan sliding spikes high into second base is not what the Yankees are about.

That Akinori Iwamura, they sure showed him. I’m sure A-Rod, Jeter and Mo are all psyched up now.





352 Responses to “Let’s try not to get carried away”

  1. defense matters March 12th, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    way to be a buzz kill Pete :)

  2. Blitz March 12th, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    So where are the Pictures and Videos of Cervelli being bulldozed by Johnson, Pete? Anyone?

  3. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti RAYS! March 12th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    go to you tube and type in cervelli.

  4. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti RAYS! March 12th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Pete by all accounts the Rays hitter, was NOT hit by the pitch. His uniform was grazed.

  5. Ed March 12th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Brawl video on the NY Post site:

  6. Chris March 12th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I could not disagree more. This wouldn’t have happened last year.

  7. Jax March 12th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    The only real All*Stars on this team are Cano,Arod,Jeter,Posada and Mo. That’s not even half the team. So they really don’t have an all*star “nearly at every position.”

  8. Connor March 12th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    yea, a class A catcher that is still in the middle of his development and considered a decent prospect. There was no need for that play at the plate. EVERYONE knows this.

  9. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti RAYS! March 12th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Who was getting high fives going back into the dugout? The guy who bounced off Shelley? :lol:

  10. JoeW-Albany March 12th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    You are right on here Pete.

  11. Doreen March 12th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks, Pete. I thought I was the only one who didn’t lose their mind today. :(

  12. Pique March 12th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Pete, while I generally agree with a lot of the things you write, you have set up a false dichotomy here. There are many levels between being completely classy or being a minor-league hockey team.

    What the fans are happy about is that the Yankees have taken a *small* step towards being more aggressive and standing up for their players when the other team does something they don’t like.

    A-Rod and Jeter are always among the league leaders in HBPs. Other teams (especially ones from smaller markets) have thought in the past that they can intimidate the Yankees by “playing physical” because they didn’t have to worry about any repercussions. If you want evidence, just take a look at Troy Percival’s comments from today. “We don’t expect this from the Yankees”? Sure, we’ll tackle your catcher in a meaningless spring training game, but how DARE the Yankees do something about it?

    To look at this another way, let’s just compare injuries, shall we? Francisco Cervelli has a broken wrist that required surgery. He will be out 8-10 weeks. Iwamura? He just needs to tell the clubhouse attendant to use extra bleach to get the dirt from Duncan’s cleats off his pants.

    You’ve always been a pretty level-headed reporter, Pete. Let’s just maintain some perspective here.

  13. Manton March 12th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Sorry, Dad…

  14. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex" ) (I slay the Anti) March 12th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Pete wasn’t Posada there ? and judging from his comment it might be exactly that, I think this does put a little dog back in the Yanks. I swear the one image that is burned in my brain is after Cervelli was dropped Joe G went straigh to him and then looked up spit on the ground while looking at the TB bench. IDK I’d say I feel a change in attitude coming, Torre’s problem was he was too nice to other teams, too love me don’t hate me w/ the league.

    Joe G doesn’t need to be loved he has one priority his roster and this team.

  15. Therston March 12th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Wow…I am not sure what foundation your point has. By making Cervelli seem like a nobody with his modest A ball stats (which doesn’t even explain the impressive numbers he put up for a good stretch of time and how sound he is defensively) or to mock how little Shelly has accomplished somehow matters as the base of this story.

    A good young catching prospect who was going to progress to the fringes of the major leagues was injured, Girardi fought for and defended this kid and Shelly stepped up and delievered the message. It was a message…see it how you like but this is just the beginning.

  16. Phil March 12th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Cervelli plays great D and gets on base, Pete. That’s why the Yanks had to protect the class A catcher in the Rule V draft, cause they were sure some team would draft him and keep him up in the bigs for his D and the fact that he gets on base. It was no small loss for the Yanks when he went down in a meaningless games cause some loser dipped his shoulder.

  17. Anon March 12th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    So let me get this straight… The Rays hurt a Yankee and we harp on it, talk about it for days, try to get anyone and everyones opinion about it. Basically make a big fuss about it.. Duncan retaliates and we scold him? This was lose-lose.. No matter how it was approached.

  18. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Wrong. This ABSOLUTELY sends a message to the rest of the league that the Yankees aren’t just a bunch of pushovers like they were under Torre. The past several seasons the Yankees have been looked at as the team you can bully around without consequences. The Yankee stars get plunked, drilled, and the Torre whimpers in the dugout like he’s half asleep 99% of the time.

    No more. Girardi has CLEARLY thus far shown everyone that the Yankees aren’t going to be a bunch of quiet pushovers. For several years, teams around the league KNEW that Torre wasn’t a retaliator, and Jeter and A-Rod have been hit wayyyyy too many times. Let’s see Ortiz or Manny get drilled as often as they have been and see if Boston just sits there like nothing happened. Teams knew that the Yankees could be imtimidated with pitches inside and the Yankees would more than likely do nothing. The new young players have an attitude that was sorely lacking, and now with Girardi backing them up, they have a new air about them that says “we’re not just going to sit around and play nice if you’re going to play hardball.”

    And I’m not just talking about today’s game. The evidence of this different team attitude started when Girardi actually defended Cervelli after the collision. He was upset. Make no mistake – that was a clear and decisive message to the rest of the league. “Don’t mess with us.”

  19. ElMaestro March 12th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Pete, I respect your opinion here but we disagree (we agree most of the times). I’m tired of the “yankee way” of doing things. That “yankee way” got us a lot of drillings in the last few years, with no retaliation. This is a kids game, and because it is, it should be played like kids. If you need to earn respect doing this, so be it.

    BTW, I completely disagree with this way of doing things. But if this is the way of protecting Jeter or Alex of being beaned again and again, it has to be done.

  20. Cesar March 12th, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    It’s up to the individual fan to form his or her own opinion about any subject regarding the Yankees but the fact is that most fans’ prime source of info is through the media and many take their own cues about how they feel from the media. Let’s not get carried away? Well sure, your points are well taken but what do you think the headlines are going to say tomorrow. The media has certainly enabled and helped along this “story” with the Rays since the Cervelli collision. All the local sports talkies have talked about it and entertained calls from fans about it. So naturally the fans are gonna be passionate about it no matter how they feel and no matter if it really isn’t worth fretting about. The media doesn’t want to talk about how well the Rangers are doing. The media is sick of talking about how bad the Knicks are. The media isn’t going to care about the Big East Tournament in town. Maybe the Mets will steal some headlines but this is by and large a Yankees town. The Yankees are who sells the papers. So yeah, let’s not get carried away but let’s also give the fans a bit of a pass since all they’re being force fed this “Yankees aren’t gonna take it anymore” issue everywhere they look.

  21. Pique March 12th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Something I forgot to address in my previous post. I agree with Phil and Therston in that I’m not sure you had to put down the accomplishments of Cervelli and Duncan in order to make your point.

    As Phil said, Cervelli the catching prospect closest to the majors, and Duncan has accomplished more in baseball than a lot of us could hope to. I’m not sure how comparing their accomplishments to A-Rod and Jeter helps your point.

    Basically, you’re making it seem like it doesn’t matter if teams throw at or injure the Yankees, as long as it’s not Jeter, Posada or A-Rod. Really shows the meaning of a team, huh?

  22. Clay Bellinger March 12th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Corporate Pete.

  23. Dee March 12th, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    As I said in the last thread, these nobodies are not worthy of a rivalry with the New York Yankees. Next time Girardi or anyone on the team is asked about this so-called rivalry, they should say “What you mean Tampa Bay? Oh we don’t think about little stuff like that, we think about winning championships.”

  24. Keith March 12th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    In my opinion, this is all 100% wrong. I disagree with practically everything you said.

    The only thing I agree with is the class of some of our players. However, just because they have class, doesn’t mean they won’t stick up for a teammate who was wronged.

    Terrible post.

  25. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Chris: I believe last year Clemens drilled the Toronto hitter to avenge A-Rod and Joba buzzed Youkilis twice.

    Therston: Cervelli was in Class A Tampa last season. That’s the fringes of the big leagues? Since when?

    Pique: Percival said what he said because the Yankees usually act classy. Wouldn’t you want you team to act classy?

    I think you guys in general are reading way too much into a silly incident.

  26. deadrody March 12th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    blah, blah, blah,….

    If this is all about nothing then please explain why Kevin Long and Bobby Meacham ALSO got thrown out of the game. It wasn’t for trading cookie recipes with the Rays coaches. If they were hot enough to do something to get thrown out then it doesn’t matter how many ABs the guys involved have.

    Man, sometimes the non-athlete angle from a writer is as obvious as can be.

  27. Pat March 12th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I disagree as well. This probably wouldn’t have happened under Torre and if it did Shelly would most likely be on his way to AAA camp right now. Other teams like the redsox just plunk the Yankees like there’s no tomorrow and then Ortiz and Manny camp out in the batter’s box so comfortably with no fear of retaliation that they wouldn’t be more relaxed laying on a beach. I hope this is the start of a trend.

  28. The Fallen Phoenix March 12th, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    …Cervelli *is* a top prospect. Sure, he was in Class A Tampa last season, but guess what? So were Kennedy and Chamberlain started at A ball last season, too. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    We’re not talking about a career minor leaguer here, or a kid who has no future. We’re talking about one of the Yankees’ prized catching prospects, of which there are very few in the game of baseball.

  29. Anthony March 12th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I’m getting really tired of you, Pete.

    For once the Yankees do SOMETHING back to another team who started this whole thing. I don’t care if Cervelli was the guy who washed MY car, if he is wearing a Yankees uniform and gets ran over in SPRING TRAINING game, you better damn well be sure the Yankees will back him up. Who are you, Peter? I didn’t know who you were until a couple of months ago. Matter of fact, a couple of months ago you could have been the guy who fixed my roof.

    I am so glad the Yankees aren’t sitting on their butts in the dug out like a certain manger *cough Joe Torre* so often did. I’m GLAD Girardi is lighting a fire under these players butts. It’s about time! I am so damn tired of watching these monkey ass players getting away with stuff and not do anything back.

    You better believe this isn’t the last time we’ll see this. I hope the Yankees shove back when they’ve been pushed first.

    You’ve got a lot of nerve, Peter.

  30. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 10:39 pm


    That was very inspiring. But pitchers are usually not throwing at batters when there’s a HBP. That stat doesn’t reflect how tough a team is.

    Jeter, admittedly, gets hit a lot because he leans into pitches. That’s his hiting style. He stands close to the plate to get as much coverage of the outside pitch as he can and dives into pitches.

    They Yankees are supposed to retaliate for that? That would be like retaliating because somebody drew a walk.

  31. Christine March 12th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Pete, I think what really irks me is that I feel like the media egged on Shelley to play rough. If it hadn’t been so heavily discussed and dragged out it might have not escalated. I also think that as a team you support each other “Your only as strong as your weakest link”. Jeter and Posada didn’t get where they are today only supporting their fellow all stars.

  32. Jax March 12th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    So much for folks knowing Yankee prospects. I’ve heard Cervelli being called “third string catcher” and “journey man catcher” today. Not once have I heard even one person mention he’s actually a good prospect.

  33. MikeEff - Shelley at First March 12th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I think you guys in general are reading way too much into a silly incident.”

    then why do you keep writing about it?

  34. Yewnork March 12th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Johnson, Cervelli, Duncan, and Gomes were all in the wrong with what they did. I leave Phillips out of this because i really don’t believe he hit the guy on purpose. I really wish this would end here. The yanks are just as likely as the sox to win the division this year and we don’t need arod missing two months because he got hit on the wrist with a pitch by the sub-.500 winning percentage Rays. I am all for defending our players, one of my favorite moments from last year was when Clemens put a ball in Rios’ back after A-rod got plunked, but sliding into second spikes up is uncalled for. Basically, if one of our guys gets hit, we need to hit one of their guys and move on.

  35. deadrody March 12th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    And more of the same… Cervelli was at Tampa. Yeah and there isn’t another catcher in the system that could ever start in NY at the position. By definition that makes Cervelli on the fringes of the ML. He would most definitely have been a September call up and possibly sooner if one of either Posada or Molina were hurt.

  36. Nate March 12th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Cervelli may have been in class A last year, but if Posada or Molina went down this year, he probably would have been called up. I agree that this isn’t much of a “feud” but I think you’re overdownplaying (I know that’s not a word) this, Pete.

  37. deadrody March 12th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Actually I meant that there isn’t another prospect in the system AHEAD of cervelli. Montero and Romine could both end up starting at Catcher for NY.

  38. CB March 12th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    “This ABSOLUTELY sends a message to the rest of the league that the Yankees aren’t just a bunch of pushovers like they were under Torre.”

    It’s interesting how so many people are interpreting this as a sort of proxy referendum on Torre.

    It’s as if people somehow feels this exorcises the ghost of uncle joe from the team.

    People keep projecting all of these notions and ideas onto Girardi.

    That Girardi is only going to take the 25 best guys on the roster, that the team is going to be “tough,” etc.

    When no one in fact has a really good idea of how Girardi is going to manage.

    Girardi seems like a blank slate so many people are projecting their own frustrations with Torre onto. It’s as if they’re trying to concoct him into the Anti-Torre of their dreams.

    However you want to take the events of today, the notion that the other teams in baseball have thought of the yankees over the past 13 seasons as “push overs” or weak in some way is ridiculous.

    The yankees beat on team over and over an over. That’s the feeling teams have for the yankees – it’s a feeling of endless fatigue because the team manages to do one of the hardest things in sports – they are both patient and relentless.

    Teams face the yankees and leave feeling beleaguered – they don’t leave feeling that they’ve pushed the team around – not even the sox with their nonsense feel that way.

    Just look at what other teams say about the yankees – they speak about the team for the most part with a sense of awe at the depth of talent and the non-stop offense.

    They haven’t had enough pitching to win but no team takes the yankees as a push over – none.

  39. eddie s March 12th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    thanks to shelley and joe g-the pushover era is over!

  40. Anthony March 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    You really freaking irk me, Peter. You really do.

    I don’t know how, as a Yankee beat writer, you can sit there on your damn lap top and have the damn nerve to type that the Yankees didn’t send a message.

    Get your damn brain checked. THIS IS NOT JOE TORRE’S DAMN PUSH OVER TEAM!

  41. Adam March 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I have no problem with what Duncan did. For all the times A-Rod and Jeter get abused at the plate for the entire season, no one on this team ever retaliates or says a word about it, but when we do something it’s a big deal? Explain how that works. This brings me back to the whole Joba/ Youkillis situation last year when everybody was so appauled that he threw over his head. I say, big deal. We have it happen to our guys all the time, so it’s about time we start dishing back what gets served to us.

    Good for Shelley Duncan.

  42. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm


    The Yankees took 30 players to St. Pete today. About 20 of them have no chance whatsoever of making the team. None.

    Do you really think Girardi gathered them together before the game and “lit a fire under their butts” to avenge the broken wrist of Francisco Cervelli?

    You’re delusional. When asked questions after the game, 2 of the guys couldn’t pronounce Cervelli’s name correctly and one of them had no idea he had broken his wrist.

    But believe what you want if if makes you feel better.

    Just curious, you’d rather your team be about this crap than playing the game with class?

  43. KarenJ March 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    “Man, sometimes the non-athlete angle from a writer is as obvious as can be.”

    That, most likely, came from someone who wears a Dead t-shirt and cooks dinner in his microwave most nights, and hardly ever walks down to the 7-Eleven, let alone plays baseball.

    Shelly Duncan may have pumped up the testosterone level here and on most other Yankee sites, but the end result will be who really will pay for his dirty spikes-high near-castration of Iwamura: yeah, your high-priced All-Star regulars, nearly all of whom didn’t make the trip with Shelly and the other scrubs.

    Don’t forget, it was Shelly Duncan who’s the culprit when the Blue Jays, the Rays, the Rangers, the Mariners and other clubs show a lot of feistiness when the Yankees roll into town. And I’ll bet he won’t even be on the roster by then…

  44. Baja March 12th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Yeah! Eddie Shore! Old time hockey!

    Pete’s got a point, but because the story that’s going to sell is the hyped up bad blood & new rivalry, his editor is (probably) going to want him on board. Sorry Pete, its going to be a case of you’re wrong, even though you’re right…

  45. Bill Porter March 12th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women”. Yes, smells like the Grapefruit league to me. With any luck the Yankees will leave the field after placing the severed heads of tomorrows opponent the pirates on spikes ringing the infield. Now that’s a message.

    Actually I’m from the Sam Goldwynn School: “if you want to send a message use Western Union”. I think Pete is right on everything except Cervelli. He’s actually a highly regarded catching prospect (not just by the Yankees) and is ready defensively to play in the bigs. This stuff about the Yankees worrying about being perceived as soft because some knucklehead trying to win a big league job decided to grow a set between 3rd and home and take out our catcher is nonsense.

  46. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Pete – I do undestand what you’re saying, but it’s not about retaliating. It’s about knowing that they MIGHT. That’s the key. Other teams KNEW the Yankees would never do anything. It wasn’t Joe Torre’s philosophy. His philosophy is quiet dignity. Yeah… quiet dignity while your guys get pummelled.

    Yes, I totally agree that Jeter gets hit a lot because he’s on top of the plate and/or dives in. Ever watch David Ortiz? Same thing. Same thing, plus he wears armor. But he doesn’t get hit – a guy who’s more dangerous than Jeter and he gets hit less.

    The Yankees don’t need to retaliate, that’s not my point. I don’t want them to retaliate for every little perceived injustice. What I want is 1) Other teams to fear that the Yankees MIGHT do it, and 2) for the manager to defend his players and be a little upset when things like this happen. Make everyone unsure of exactly what you’re planning on doing, if anything at all.

    The Rays don’t need any extra motivation to be the Yankees – they’re the Yankees, but the Yankees could use a bit of extra “energy” if you will when it comes to playing these sub-500 teams. The Rays have been tough on the Yankees lately. Maybe this gives the Yankees a bit of extra focus when they play them this year. Extra focus can do nothing but help.

  47. Joe from Long Island March 12th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    There you go, Pete, throwing logic on a good firestorm.

    I feel badly for Francisco Cervelli. This is his second injury in a few months – he broke his hand in winter ball. The poor kid must feel jinxed.

    Joe Maddon did nothing to show sympathy with his post-game comments on Saturday. Pretty big talk from someone who sits on the bench and doesn’t get involved in these scrums. I wonder if Maddon’s lack of contrition also contributed to Joe Girardi’s anger.

    I’m glad that nobody else got hurt today. Did todays’ game send a message? Who knows? Certainly I don’t, and probably most of us don’t, either. But I hope this stops before anyone else gets hurt, or has their career cut short. And I mean that for both teams.

  48. Elizabeth----FarnsWORTHIT March 12th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    What is with this macho attitude that there’s something wrong with not retaliating? That really bugs me. What’s wrong with not getting into a skirmish over ever little thing?

  49. Brian from PA March 12th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    these sorts of incidents occur ALL THE TIME in baseball with multiple teams every season. but the media seems to cause an uproar about it whenever the yankees are involved. i didnt hear or a read a damn thing about the play with cervelli outside of and the yes network. this play with shelly today was EVERYWHERE. it’s ridiculous. we get it America, people like to hate the Yankees. we’ve known this for nearly 50 years.

  50. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Anthony: Yeah, they were pushovers. 97 wins a year, 900+ runs and in the playoffs every year. They should have been more like the Rays, a bunch of punks and last place.

    Here’s a little quiz for you, genius:

    Joe Girardi has a person in his life he calls quite often for advice. He was this man’s bench coach for a year, he played for him for four years and when he was the manager of the Marlins, they spoke nearly every day by phone before and after games.

    Joe called this guy for advice on the Yankees job and asked for his blessing to apply. He has said, on the record, that this manager has influenced him more than anybody else he has known in the game.

    Any clue?

  51. mel March 12th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Where’s Jeff’s comment? What did he say? It’s killing me!

  52. ElMaestro March 12th, 2008 at 10:54 pm


    I suggest a poll for this. Let’s people decide if what Duncan made was good or bad. Just MO

  53. Yewnork March 12th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Was it Joe Torre?

  54. yanksrule57 March 12th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Ok Pete,

    You are probably right. But I am still psyched to be going to Saturday’s game against the Ray’s. Who knows what might happen?

  55. David March 12th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I think you’re pretty off-base on this one. Of course the Yankees should be a classy team, but should they carry the “classiness” of a college debate team? There’s no logical reasons why the Yankees should be complete push-overs… Just because you beat teams it doesn’t mean you should let them do whatever they want to you. What if it was Posada who was injured instead of Cervelli? Then the Yankees all-star catcher is out 10 weeks because some kid wanted to look good in front of his manager.

    The bottom line is the Yankees didn’t like what the Rays did. And don’t tell me that Jeter and A-Rod were OK with it. No player should be OK with their catcher getting run over at home plate whether it’s the right play or not. The Yankee’s didn’t like what they did, and they showed them that…

  56. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Oh come on Pete, the “little quiz for you, genius” is condescending and a straw man argument. You’re in a “higher” position as a beat writer, you don’t need to sink to that kind of condescention, but you did anyway.

    Just becuase Girardi calls someone for advice doesn’t mean he’s a clone of the person. I get advice from lots of my peers and/or superiors, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to act exactly like they do.

  57. CB March 12th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    “Cervelli may have been in class A last year, but if Posada or Molina went down this year, he probably would have been called up.”

    Not true. Cerevelli is nowhere near ready to play in the majors. He’s a good defensive catcher but has never worked with advanced level pitching. The Florida State league depresses offense so much that calling a game there (which I’m not even sure how much the catcher even does) is an entirely different matter from handling a pro game.

    If there were an injury to Posada or Molina they would sign a journeyman type or make a trade. Otherwise they would give PJ Pilletere a shot – he’s a fantastic defensive catcher and has already caught Phil quite a bit, Joba some and Kennedy some.

    Cerevelli is probably one of the top 10 prospects at catcher in the game but he’s towards the lower end of that list and overall the talent in the minors at catcher is very limited.

    I like Cerevelli but he’s not even close to major league ready. And the yankees very rarely rush prospects.

  58. TKinDC March 12th, 2008 at 10:58 pm


    I’m a big fan (yet, inevitably) but,

    What exactly is the point of degrading Shelly Duncan? Don’t you think he knows something about how to play the game (even more than a joe-the-fan like me) given his background? He might not be an icon like A-Rod or Jeter but that doesn’t make him a ball-washer like you describe him.

    I think it is stupid to fight in spring training when someone could get hurt in a game that means nothing. I don’t think Girardi called a “CODE RED” or any BS like that, but you are excusing Gomes for coming in from f’ing Right Field to mix it up while hanging out Duncan for a borderline play.

    Lastly, I think that teams all come together in different ways. A-Rod specifically mentioned Joe G’s comments about the Cervelli play on the FAN and said that it demonstrated that Joe has their back and it helps them come together as a team. Joe G has to make his mark on the team and if a pointless exchange of pushing and shoving gets that ball rolling then who cares – - – how many pro athletes use disrespect as a motivator? all of ‘em.

  59. ElMaestro March 12th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I think David has a point…

    Because “nobody” knows how to pronounce Cervelli, it doesn’t mean it was a good thing to do. If was Posada who gets his hand broken and is placed on a cast for 10 weeks, then I guess the situation would be a lot different. And that is called a double standard.

  60. Kingshaffy March 12th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    The problem with your take on this incident is that you completely misinterpret its significance. Regardless of the fact that that Duncan is not the “leader”, of the Yankees, he doesn’t have to be. He is an enforcer on the team. The point being is that enforcers don’t have to be leaders – they just have to do their job and let other teams know that dirty play against their team will not be tolerated. For years, Yankees players have grumbled that their pitchers don’t protect their players, well, now we have a big, scary dude who isn’t afraid to mix it up.

    And by demeaning the stats of the players involved does not prove your point – it diminishes it. This is a TEAM and it doesn’t matter who is the victim and who does the enforcing. When teams forget about who makes what money and start playing as one, thats when you win championships. I

    ts about time we got back to everyone on the roster – hell, in the system – with the sense that they can contribute to a championship run. So no, Shelley may not be Jeter or Arod or Posada, but Scott Brosius has 3 rings and Darryl Stawberry and Chad Curtis have a few too. Now that the Yankees are getting back to that sense of team, rather than the collection of superstars, you’ll have to excuse the fans for getting excited about seeing some fire out of the pinstripes.

  61. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Just becuase you win 97 games doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself. What do you wait for? For jeter to get a broken hand? For A-Rod to get a broken wrist? How long to you “sit there and take it with class” before you send a message that says “Hey, you better think twice about pitching hard inside to our stars.”

    Teams have been FEARLESS when it comes to pitching inside to Jeter, A-Rod, etc. That shouldn’t happen. They should at least have in the back of their minds “maybe this is a bad idea.”

    And maybe instead of winning 90 games and finishing as the wild card, you win a few extra games and win the division and home field advantage. Who knows – but at least other teams will think twice before they brush guys back without consequence.

    Nobody is saying the Yankees should be more like a bunch of punks, but there’s a difference between being a bunch of punks and standing up for yourself a bit and not allowing yourself to be intimidated by certain opposing pitchers who brush you back without fear.

  62. Paul9 March 12th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Everyone who plays starts out somewhere. They don’t just show up and make the big league club. So to basically write Cervelli off as a nobody doesn’t make much sense. The bottom line is that could have been a career ending injury. These games mean nothing and this is evident by the circus that will be tomorrow. I’m ok with what Shelley did. If it were Jeter who got hurt we would have applauded Shelley.

  63. Matt March 12th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Great post Pete

  64. Kingshaffy March 12th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Did Girardi ask Torre for his spring training program, because from everything I’ve read, he’s deviated ever so slightly.

    I like my bosses and would call them for advice too, but that doesn’t mean I am not my own person and don’t think that I would do things differently.

  65. Phil March 12th, 2008 at 11:03 pm


    Cervelli’s on the 40 and you better believe he would have been called up.

  66. Cenrtal CT Yankee March 12th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    This brawl back memories to my buddies wedding day when we were a ll huddled around a tv without the bride knowing lol

  67. Dee March 12th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I’m curious to see what kind of rating jump YES gets this Sat at 1.

  68. mel March 12th, 2008 at 11:04 pm


    You obviously know a lot more about baseball than I do, but I can understand when people say that the Yankees were soft, corporate, or pushovers.

    They had class under Joe Torre. Sometimes, too much. Things happen over the course of series and seasons, but they, led by favorite player Jeter, would never say anything.

    What results? HBP, yes attributed to draping the plate, but far more as far as I know people don’t drape the plate with their backs or their legs. Then you have Tavarez teaching the “rookie” Matsuzaka “you gotta brush ‘em back so they get scared and back off the plate”. All in sign language of course, we didn’t need to read the lips.

    The problem is that things were done because they knew Torre wouldn’t condone retaliation. And to tell the truth the initial act would rarely receive league action, but the retaliation would so it makes sense to let it go. Especially in the tight races the Yankees found themselves in the past few seasons.

    So basically teams were getting away with passive-aggressive behavior. And today’s events did send a message. People may not like the message, but we got some crazies who are willing to go toe to toe. And that might, just might, make someone think twice before they try something.

  69. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 11:04 pm


    I’m just curious, what does the enforcer do on a baseball team? I know the Yankees have talent, but they have enough talent to keep somebody around just to slide into people hard?

    They might as well sign Tito Ortiz.

    Please list the enforcers on the 96, 98, 99 and 2000 teams. Seems to me they just played the game hard and didn’t worry about this kind of nonsense.

  70. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Oh, and it doesn’t matter that Cervelli isn’t a star. Is murder any less significant when the person isn’t famous? Come on, wrong is wrong, regardless of who the person is. Whether or not you believe the Cervelli collision was dirty or not, it shouldn’t make a difference who he is.

    Again, this isn’t about the Duncan slide. It’s about a different team attitude that hasn’t been present for a long time. It’s an attitude that Joe Girardi displayed BEFORE today’s game, when he got upset about the Cervelli broken hand. It’s a message that most definitely the rest of the league is aware of.

  71. Brian from PA March 12th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    does this crap even matter? people complain that the yankees never retalliate for crap and it’s cool when they do? i personally don’t see what good it’s done, it seems that the yankees always wind up with suspensions and fines out of every little thing. how much crap the blue jays and red sox got away with last year was ridiculous, it’s like the umps and the league allowed them each 3 shots at the yankees and when the yankees did one thing to either of them, it was the last straw. in both popular incidents with those two teams the yankees received the brunt of the discipline. it really gets old. why would the yankees feel so inclined to retalliate when they always seem to get the shaft for doing so? not to mention how much “evil yankees” fodder it provides for the likes of ESPN. is it really worth it?

  72. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Meanwhile, answer me this folks:

    Let’s say that Alberto Gonzalez ran over Tampa’s catcher on Saturday. Then to get the Yankees back, the Rays had Joel Guzman go into second with spikes at Robbie Cano’s waist.

    That would have been OK?

  73. TKinDC March 12th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Apparently Mr. Abraham has lost that lovin’ feeling for Mr. Duncan.

    No fore-arm bashes for you Pete!

  74. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    It’s not about “enforcers” it’s about players who play hard and stick up for their teammates. Tino was a FIREY guy, Strawberry and Graeme Lloyd were a couple of no-nonsense guys, Paul O’Neill had a temper, etc. The list is long.

    I’m not talking about guys who want to fight. And I’m not saying that the Yankees won BECAUSE of guys who are intense or want to stick up for their teammates, but it doesn’t hurt to have an aura of “power” with some of your team. Intimidation definitely is a bit part of sports, and if you don’t think so, you’ve never played any.

  75. CanIGetAMooseCall March 12th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Shelley “Spike” Duncan should be released immediately. He’s a clown, and he’s not even a good player. Why keep him?

  76. Jeff March 12th, 2008 at 11:08 pm


    Thanks for deleting my previous comment, geez, it was just a joke.

    I think we all know what your doing. You are simply taking the contrarian side of an situation that you know will rile up Yankees fans to get traffic. We get that. Chris Russo has made a career off that. You even hinted that you do that kind of stuff during that Giants – Pats game in December.

    Is it so wrong that some fans are happy that the Yankees have finally showed that they have a set of balls since Lloyd and Strawberry back in ’98?

  77. ElMaestro March 12th, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Well, just out of my mind I could tell Clemens was an enforcer in 99 and 00, always has been. Paulie was also one of them.

  78. Boston Dave March 12th, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    right on ElMaestro.

    Maybe Jete and ARod arent that pissed. But if it was Jorge, they’d feel differently.

    I’m not gonna get involved in this debate though… time for bed.

  79. TKinDC March 12th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    As long as the Yankees outfielders all converged upon him from behind? no problem.

  80. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Great, great post “mel”

  81. Bill March 12th, 2008 at 11:10 pm


    Your completely overreacting…I am not sure why your going all negative with this story.

    It was a poor choice… Move on do some better coverage…come on…

    I do not want to read you bickering about Shelley Duncan.

    Come on Pete…

  82. Overhead Angle of the Shelley Slide and Brawl March 12th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Ah, let us have our fun, Pete. Baseball is the only forum where we can see “justice” be served.

  83. Kingshaffy March 12th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Is Girardi saying to the press about how Alberto is playing hard, that he loves it and that they’re going to keep doing it even after their catcher is out for 3 months?

  84. Bill Porter March 12th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I wonder if any of the Yankees vets are reading this. If so I bet they are laughing their asses off. Enforcer on a ball club! Sending a message in ST. Oh please!

  85. mel March 12th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    You got to have the poll:

    What’s your opinion of what happened today?

    1. It was right
    2. It was wrong
    3. It was a wrong that’ll make things right

  86. Jeff NJ March 12th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Things must be getting boring for our hero Peter at the Motel 6. Fiesty Pete is out tonight, Yankee fans be darned.

  87. Overhead Angle of the Shelley Slide and Brawl March 12th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    One thing I didn’t think about. Shelley is hurting his chances of showcasing his skills in Spring Training by getting suspended.

  88. Mike S. March 12th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    and Billy Crystal tomorrow isn’t a sideshow?

  89. Yeah March 12th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Pete sometimes I appriate your writing but sometimes you are a total @ss. If Hughes would had hit someone than it would had been the yankees new era right????……Pete stop kissing hughes balls for a second please. And stop degrading Shelly duncan in such a way u a whole.

  90. TKinDC March 12th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t remember anyone complaining when Joba plunked a Twin on the ankle after giving up a dinger in a game the other day.

    Oh that’s right, he’s not a schlump like Duncan.

  91. CB March 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    “Cervelli’s on the 40 and you better believe he would have been called up.”

    I’m aware he’s on the 40 man. And no he wouldn’t be called up.

    They would have signed or traded for a veteran guy off the scrap heap first.

    Being on the 40 man roster doesn’t mean much at all and that’s not the determining factor in calling someone up, especially a prospect like cerevelli.

    Outside of the first 2-3 months of last year Cerevelli has been an ok to decent hitting catching prospect.

    The jump from A ball to double A is enormous – the biggest leap any prospect has to make.

    Cerevelli is a good prospect but in no way does he have the type of talent that would allow him to jump directly from AA to the pros. Not even close.

    And the only reason Cerevelli is on the 40 man to begin with is because he’s an international signing and technically turned pro at an early age and had to be put on the 40 man to protect him from the rule V draft.

    He wasn’t put on the 40 man as some indication that he’s ready for the majors.

    I like Cervelli a lot and I think there’s a good chance he’ll be the back up catcher in 2010 or 2011. The wrist injury is terrible news for his development – hand injuries to catchers can set them back a lot – he could waste this entire year, in terms of his development.

    But let’s not make things up and try to say that Cervelli was going to be an integral part to this years major league team. He was never going to be.

  92. Yeah March 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    I meant to say aprreciate>

  93. Kingshaffy March 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Darryl, Chad Curtis, Jeff Nelson, Graeme Lloyd, Paul O’Neill, Roger Clemens, Chili Davis, among others. They had a bunch of tough guys who stuck up for each other. They haven’t had that in years. Maybe enforcer was a poor choice of words, but you get my point – you didn’t mess with the 96-2000 Yankees. Period.

  94. PAT M. March 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Reading way too much into this folks…..It doeas make for good copy though…..At least no one was injuried and a stern letter will be sent out to both FO’s by week’s end…..I do wish that somebody would come inside and move Big Papi’s ass off the plate next season….Now that would send a message….

  95. Baja March 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    No, you cannot get a moose call. Until we love him again. Ask in 12 hours.

    Duncan is fun to watch, he plays with a child’s enthusiasm, and he’s knocked the cover off the ball this spring. Is he the next Spencer or Crosby? Quite possibly. Is he putting on the foil under his spikes? Wouldn’t put it past him.
    But until these questions are answered, he’s often more fun to watch than the stoic/professional Yankees we have seen in recent years.

  96. Yeah March 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Apreciate omg!!

  97. Yazman March 12th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    “I think Pete is right on everything except Cervelli. He’s actually a highly regarded catching prospect.”

    Me too.

    I love Duncan’s positive energy and hope he has a huge year. But the spikes play showed bush league malice. Let’s use the final score to crush opponents.

  98. Jose Luzbet March 12th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    If you dislike so much the Yankees why do you report on them, get a job with the Mets for cry sake, don’t hate.. It is what it is the Joe Torre era is over…

  99. Nick March 12th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Great post Pete! I love Shelley Duncan but I couldn’t agree with you more. Also nice hearing you on ESPN today as the “eyewitness” of the “brawl”.

  100. Brian from PA March 12th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    i have a question: would a possible suspension for shelley be served during ST or would it be during the regular season? because that would piss me off if he had to serve a suspension in the regular season for something he did in ST.

  101. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex" ) (I slay the Anti) March 12th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    does anyone know the rule of playing 2B..the rule is you can do whatever the hell you want as long as your going to the bag, it the 2B’s job to get the hell out of the way remember Marlon Anderson vs Victorino

  102. Clare March 12th, 2008 at 11:18 pm


    I love your blog but I hate it when you scold your readers – most of whom read you religiously and flatter you mercilessly.

    There’s a difference between being a fan and being a supposedly objective reporter. You have stated on multiple occasions that you’re the latter and not the former. But you have a whole different tone and perspective when you’re blogging as a fan about the Patriots than when you blog about the Yankees.

    Most of the above post is just your opinion, not facts (with a few irrelevant-to-your-argument exceptions, like who knows whose name and who traveled to the game). I see no quotes or support whatsoever for what you claim the Yankees care about and don’t care about. I concede that your opinion is more informed than any of ours, but it’s still an opinion. (If I’m wrong, and you have actual quotes from the Yankees, I’m sure you’ll let me know).

    Obviously, I’m not telling you not to express your opinion, and you have every right to state when you disagree with the opinions of your commenters. But it would be a lot more palatable if you could remember that we’re passionate fans, and you might sound a lot like us if the subject were the Patriots. With that in mind, it would be really nice if you could manage to express yourself without displaying quite so much contempt for those who spend so much time supporting this blog.

    (And now, of course, I’m waiting for you to tell me I’m too sensitive or some other vaguely sexist comment.)

  103. Cesar March 12th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    The overwhelming “classiness” and “Yankee way” and “All-Star at every position” has won exactly three playoff series since the 2002 season. I don’t think all of a sudden the Yankees should turn into a bunch of thugs but who cares if they start to ruffle some feathers along the way. We can continue to debate the methods used, but there’s no way anyone should try and temper the energy and intensity the younger players have brought to this team. If Girardi decides he doesn’t like a specific action, then it’s up to him to get the player to re-channel that aggression or whatever it may be elsewhere.

  104. Jeff March 12th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    @ Kingshaffy

    Also in 2000, I would inrclude Glenallen Hill. Besides McGwire in the 97 Home opener against Mariano, Glenallen hit the furthest homerun I have ever seen at Yankee Stdium

  105. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I have uncovered evidence that the Torre Yankees wore dresses to games:

    Get this: in the last three years, the Yankees were hit by pitches 223 times. Their pitchers hit batters 202 times.

    That’s 21 more times! That’s 0.04 times a game over three years!

    That damn Joe Torre, clearly he was sleeping on the bench to allow such injustice to go on. Obviously Joe Girardi will take dramatic steps and fire up the Yankees to make sure they hit more opppsing players so the rest of the league will fear them.

    I also love the idea that the “rest of baseball” is getting the message. Right, all the teams training in Arizona or on the other side of the state in Florida are terrified. They’ve set up armed guards to make sure Shelley doesn’t run into their camp and slide into anybody.

    I’m going to bed. All this excitement made me sleepy.

  106. David March 12th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Pete, to answer your question… It depends on a number of things. Madden clearly stated that this is how the Rays want to play the game, mowing down catchers in spring training not worrying about the result. The Yankees responded by saying they don’t like people doing that against them. If a Yankee mowed down a catcher in Spring Training and after stated that’s how they want to play it and the opponent didn’t like that, they have every right to retaliate any way they want to.

  107. 12345 March 12th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    cervelli can play defensively in tha majors right now and this could potentially ruin his career. any time you have pins interted into your wrist as a catcher is potentially career threatening

  108. The GIDP Machine March 12th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    So The GIDP Machine is the guilty party responsible for this Billy Crystal fiasco:

  109. Jane - Shelley is the new Sheriff in town March 12th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Hehe.. you guys are all so gullible. Nice bait Pete. Did you have some quota on the amount of page views/comments today?

  110. Phil March 12th, 2008 at 11:21 pm


    The Yanks are very high on Cervelli and know he can defend in the bigs right now, and love the fact that he gets on base. They put him on the 40 cause the thought another team would take him and keep him in the bigs. If Po or Molina got hurt, they weren’t gonna cut a good player to add a veteran catcher. They would have called up Cervelli.

  111. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    EYT: Perhaps you’re a little over the top there, but I just spit out my water LOL

  112. Confucius March 12th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Good point. Chad Curtis is a bada$$ you don’t want to mess with.

  113. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Pete: Re: number of HBP:

    It’s not about the total numbers. How can you not understand that? It’s WHO is being hit and WHEN they are being hit. If we hit five no name guys in the foot, how the hell does that compare with A-Rod being drilled in the hands (after which the Yankees sit around like it’s no big deal). It’s not about total HBP. That’s a ridiculous stat to bring up and has no bearing on this debate whatsoever.

  114. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 12th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Billy Crystal is not a fiasco.

    Sorry, but I’m in the minority on this one.

  115. mel March 12th, 2008 at 11:24 pm


    Unfortunately, many of those Yankee pitchers’ HBP were not to send a message. They were the result of using not quite ready for prime time pitchers. :)

  116. CB March 12th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    “You obviously know a lot more about baseball than I do, but I can understand when people say that the Yankees were soft, corporate, or pushovers.”

    Mel – first off this is nonsense. You’re posts are terrific and I enjoy reading them. They bring a lot of things to be thought about.

    For instance, I really enjoy how you often comment about baseball as a whole, particularly about the yankees competition.

    Just today you were the one that posted about the Blue Jays losing Casey Janssen for the year due to injury, as I recall.

    That’s a great post IMO because losing Janssen is a devastating injury for them – devastating and that has a major impact on the yankees season. That’s a great pickup.

    As to your other point on today’s events -

    I think there are two different issues – if you want to say that the yankees have been thrown at often (which is different than getting run over at the plate…) that’s true.

    But all of this talk about the yankees being “push overs” is just way overboard, IMO.

    Sometimes we are just so used to this team being good we lose all perspective on how baseball is played by most other teams.

    If you look at what teams say after they finish playing the yankees its anything but the yankees are soft.

    The yankees mentally and physically (on the field) pummel teams. Pitchers hate facing this line up because it is deep , immensely talented and makes them throw pitch after pitcher after pitch. They score run after run after run without stopping.

    Teams look at the yankees like a steamroller on the field.

    You can say that the yankees haven’t retaliated in the past to them being thrown at – but that is a very, very different thing from saying that this has been a team of “pushovers.”

  117. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Pete said: “I also love the idea that the “rest of baseball” is getting the message. Right, all the teams training in Arizona or on the other side of the state in Florida are terrified. They’ve set up armed guards to make sure Shelley doesn’t run into their camp and slide into anybody.”

    Yeah, way to put words in our mouths. WTF is it with you? You honestly can’t be that cluless as to think that’s what people are saying? Nobody said that this would make other teams fear for their lives. Nice hyperbole. Not.

    It’s about other teams knowing that maybe, just maybe we shouldn’t drill A-Rod, becuase maybe, just maybe, someone like Joba will drill you in the earhole, or maybe, just maybe Duncan will tear the effing thigh off your star shortstop. No more throwing caution to the wind and laughing at the Yankees lack of fire.

  118. Boston Dave March 12th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Clare = so smart

  119. AndrewYF March 12th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Also, this is a great, great video:

  120. Cesar March 12th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    You cannot just quote total HBP stats and draw conclusions without taking into context the game situation for each one. That’s just a stubborn way of trying to get your point across without any actual substance.

  121. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    CB – it’s not about what teams say, it’s about what they think. Ask any person in baseball “off the record” what they think of the Yankees in terms of intimidation factor over the last few years and they’ll laugh.

    It’s about time the Yankees got a bit of swagger back. It’s like every year in the playoffs they’re shaking like a leaf. Maybe with a better reputation, a little more cohesion, and most of all MORE CONFIDENCE that results from those things, the aggression (in an on-the-field-baseball sense) will help them play a little bit more focused and aggressive and a little less like they’re afraid and trying not to lose.

  122. Yankees Chick March 12th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I highly doubt Girardi had anything to do with this. Shelley said on Sunday that he was going to play hard, and this was clearly his idea of doing just that. I’d imagine that Girardi was actually not too pleased with the whole thing.

  123. ElMaestro March 12th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Pete, that HBP stat doesn’t mean nothing in this case… Is the situation where the HBP happened, and WHO was drilled. C’mon man…

  124. Nettles vs. Lee March 12th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    The dude who might have ended Cervelli’s career is the one who went in Rambo style. Gomes taking a cheap shot on Duncan went in Rambo style.

    Duncan slid hard into second and maybe gave Iwamura a little scratch on the leg.

  125. UtilityMan March 12th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Can someone explain why Meacham and Long were thrown out as well????

    And how is Cervelli a ‘journeyman catcher’….that sounds like a comment Mike and the FriutLoop would say before doing some research.Cervelli has been with the Yankees since 3-1-03.
    2003 DSL Yankees
    2004 DSL Yankees
    2005 Yankees R
    2006 Staten Island
    2007 Tampa Yankees

  126. randyhater March 12th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    If the Cervelli incident meant nothing to the team why did Girardi squawk about it to the press for two days? His reaction and what happened today is absolutely about bringing a new attitude to the team and is no different than the handful of extra windsprints they’ve had to run this spring.

    No, they’re not gonna become a minor league hockey goon squad, anymore than they’re gonna become an Olympic relay team. Hopefully, though, they’ll play with a little more fire, which was the plan when Girardi (and not Donnie Baseball) replaced Torre.

    Also, I think Pete needs to bone up on his Yankee history circa ’96-’00. Those teams had plenty of memorable throwdowns. Specifically: when Nellie, G. Lloyd and Straw. chased A. Benitez half way to the Grand Concourse; when Irabu charged Shannon Stewart at the plate and Straw. chased Clemens around Skydome; and when Girardi himself mixed it up with Frankie Rodriguez(?) in Seattle and Chad Curtis got into it w/ Jete afterward for being too chummy w/ Arod.

  127. Rich March 12th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    watch out pete- your acolytes are turning on you and theyre thirsty for blood tonight!

  128. Nick in SF March 12th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Pete, if your overall point is that that we “guys in general are reading way too much into a silly incident” then you may be right. But this is a demographic that’s paying close attention to a Yankee blog during a spring training game, and this kerfuffle is way more interesting than Damon’s toe.

    But I have to disagree if you think that the big league Yankees should brush it off if a lowly A-ball player gets worked. If Cervelli ever even sniffs the majors, it’ll probably be after most of the current squad is gone, but they were all on the same spring training roster when the initial incident occured.

    I also disagree with the notion that the Yankees are “about this crap” or that what happened today precludes them from “playing the game with class”. No, what happened today is not “what the Yankees are all about”, but neither are they about getting bullied by the Tampa Bay Blood-and-Guts Rays.

  129. CB March 12th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    “If Po or Molina got hurt, they weren’t gonna cut a good player to add a veteran catcher. ”


    No they wouldn’t have cut anyone – they’d put Posada or Molina on the DL and sign a veteran back up for a temporary period.

    Even more likely they are going to sign a veteran back up to play in AAA and team him with PJ Pilletere.

    PJ Pilletere is a much more polished and accomplished defensive catcher than Cervelli is at this point. He’s very adept at handling a staff, has already played at AA, and pitchers rave about him.

    They were not going to call up cervelli to play. That is just a dream that Cervelli is the type of prospect who skipps from double A to the bigs.

    Last seson Saltalamacchia skipped form AA to the majors when Mcann got hurt for the braves and Saltalamacchia struggled hitting – a lot.

    Cervelli has nowhere near the talent of a Saltalamacchia – its not even close.

    During any season only a handful of players ever jump from AA to the bigs even to fill in for injury – last season those names included Justin Upton, Cameron Maybin, Saltalamacchia, etc.

    Do you seriously think Cervelli is in the class of any of those players?

  130. mel March 12th, 2008 at 11:37 pm


    What happens to the the kids who have everything but can’t fight back because they have more to lose? They get bullied.

    Okay, okay, I got your point.

    I’ll be interested to see if my theory is valid by looking at HBP stats at the end of the season.

    Now, another can of worms I want to pry open, is the fact that we get screwed on a lot of calls. My theory is that because the umps knew, absolutely knew that Torre (absolutely loved him btw) would not come out and argue anything.

    I’m not saying umps would blatantly do anything wrong, but if you know someone’s going to argue you might wait that extra millisecond before making the call. I feel that in some instances umps make calls based on what they anticipate rather than what actually transpires. If you know that you’ll be held to task, then the officiating might be tighter. You know, actually confer with other umps who have a better view, etc.

    I know, I know, typical Yankee paranoia. If we could just win the GD World Series, I wouldn’t give a bleep what people did. I’m just soooo tired of losing. lol.

  131. Clare March 12th, 2008 at 11:37 pm


    Your comment at 11:07 about what if someone went into Robbie with spikes waist high is an absurd exaggeration or deliberate misstatement of what Shelley did. Have you even seen the video? The picture you posted is misleading, because it is from after the slide. If you’ve seen the video, Shelley did not go in that hard or that high.

    I’m not arguing that it wasn’t deliberate, because clearly it was. But at the same time it’s pretty damn obvious that Shelley wasn’t trying to injure Iwamura either.

  132. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    randyhater said: “Specifically: when Nellie, G. Lloyd and Straw. chased A. Benitez half way to the Grand Concourse; when Irabu charged Shannon Stewart at the plate and Straw. chased Clemens around Skydome;” LMAO

    The funny thing is that after each of those incidents, many players made suggestive comments that this is the kind of thing that brings the team closer, gives them more determination and fire.

    I’m not saying that chemistry is the reason teams win. BUT – having a little extra swagger and cohesion can EASILY lead to increased confidence, and almost every baseball player in history will tell you that when you’re confident you play better. It’s really very simple.

  133. Tracey March 12th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    You, Peter Abraham, are simply amazing.

    This post is just spot on. You just described how I feel EXACTLY! I couldn’t agree more.

    Oh, and just a side note….I love your blog. Just thought it was worth mentioning that I feel like my day isn’t complete if I don’t check here a million times a day to see whats going on.

  134. george March 12th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    they had fights when Torre managed. there were retaliations. though in the last few years Yankee pitchers have not been aggressive inside, especially to the Red Sox.

    it’s a new era if they pitch better to Ortiz. that’s the metric.

    some of Pete’s rips of Duncan are silly though. Duncan is one of a tiny percentage of human beings skilled enough to play in MLB. A-Rod respects him much more than he would respect a reporter, i’d think. and there is some element of this that’s a team thing; maybe Duncan executed over-aggressively, but from his teammates’ perspective he’s trying to do the right thing.

  135. CB March 12th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    “CB – it’s not about what teams say, it’s about what they think. Ask any person in baseball “off the record” what they think of the Yankees in terms of intimidation factor over the last few years and they’ll laugh.”

    What people inside baseball have you spoken with?

    The yankees year in and out punish teams on the field. They don’t just beat them – they destroy them.

    So it’s not just “words.” Who knows what’s inside another person’s head but I’d venture to guess after a three game series in which the yankees have scored 20-25 runs against your team, have gotten into your bull pen by the 5th inning, made the fielders stand out there for hours as every pitcher throws a ton of pitches, and one all star after another comes to the plate that the opposition is absolutely beleaguered.

  136. Boston Dave March 12th, 2008 at 11:42 pm


    i dont want to speculate too much but I would agree that it’s likely the Yanks players will at least appreciate (somewhat) that Shelley did a lil’ something. of course they might not appreciate it as much if one of them gets plunked next time out as a result. but you get the point…

  137. deadrody March 12th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Hey KarenJ, if you are so damned sure of yourself, why don’t you email me at I guarantee I played more sports in my lifetime than you AND Pete put together and if you want to hurl around insults, you better sit the hell down to read what I’ll have to say.

    The writer comment was in regards to the nonsense about stats and minor league seasons. Those guys on that field today were a TEAM. It didn’t matter to them that Duncan played in 34 games at the age of 28. It doesn’t matter if they can pronounce Cervelli’s name. Anyone that doesn’t get that doesn’t know sports. End of discussion.

  138. UtilityMan March 12th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I was watching the game on Tuesday afternoon,and got to see the replay of the Cervelli collison for the 1ST time.Its nice to want to play hard and send a message,but lowering your shoulder and head the way Johnson did was inappropriate for ST.
    I remember seeing Jose Molina trying to score on Tuesday as well,he slid,and actually was safe,touching the corner of the plate.But he did have an opportunity to do the same thing to Gregg Zaun of Toronto that Johnson did to Cervelli.

  139. Clutch Is Everything March 12th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Pete, you’re a kill joy

  140. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    that’s true george. Over the last few years they have been less… tough… or so it seems.

    And I still say that baseball is about talent in the end, but if you’re not confident about your talent, you will fail.

    The Yankees have had a lack of confidence in the playoffs (in addition to the horrible luck). Back during 96-00 they had good luck, and good confidence. Perhaps being a more firey team with a more aggressive and firey attitude (and manager), they can regain a bit of confidence, and like I just posted, increased confidence will almost definitely produce better results, perhaps enough to win a few extra ballgames during the regular season and/or in the playoffs. It’s not really all that far fetched to see how that might work.

  141. Phil March 12th, 2008 at 11:45 pm


    They really like Cervelli better than PJ. And if something were to have happened in July or something, they would have called up Cervelli, particularly if it wasn’t an injury that would mandate the 60 day DL and free up a spot on the 40, they’d call Cervelli up from AA like they tried to do with Melky a few years ago. If you have an e-mail, I can tell you exactly why I believe this to be the case.


  142. shaun March 12th, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Pete, sometimes I think you get a little carried away. It is like you often think you are the “higher authority” that players and managers need to answer to. If the Yankees felt they needed to retaliate for what happened in the last game, then they were going to do just that: retaliate. I cannot blame them. You watch all the games just like I do and to many times in the past few seasons have the opposition gotten away with throwing at Yankee Players, playing dirty, and disrespecting them. It is about time we have a manger fight for our players wether they are a 10 year veteran or a rookie in a-ball. You might not agree with what Duncan did, but for you to sit here and say that Mussina, or Alex, or Jeter did not care is ridiculous. How do you know they did not support what Shelley did? You are not a member of that locker room no matter how much you think you are because you are granted access to it because you are a reporter. The Yankees are a team and I would be inclined to think that they support what Shelley did. Don’t believe me? Go ask them yourself before you snap to judgement and think that just because many veterans were not at the park that they don’t support what Duncan did.

    Get Real.

  143. CaptainsCorner March 12th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    The funny thing is Duncan will be suspended…..for sliding into 2nd base. Can almost guarantee it. Every time the Yanks have defended their players they have been suspended. So you can plow into the catcher, but don’t slide into 2nd.

    This has nothing to do with how many times someone was hit or whatever. When a player on your team no matter who it is gets hurt and the opposing manager acts like it is a-ok then you have to show that it is not. Or if it was a star like Arod or Jeter then would people still think it wasn’t a big deal???!! People would be going crazy. Maddon didn’t even care if Cerv. was ok all he thought was my AAA player was right like it was soo important to get that run in a spring training game. For them winning a game in spring training or the regular season is a big deal. It was disgusting the way Maddon and the AAA Dirty Rays acted.

  144. UtilityMan March 12th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Molina did touch the corner of the plate,but was called out by the home plate umpire,which he was wrong.

  145. Bronx Born March 12th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    After being at the game and reading all the press, I have come to the conclusion that the press has made a lot more of this than anyone here. Even our esteemed host Pete, blasted it across the headlines and provoked controversy. Whatever Shelley did was not as horrible as the press has reported it and both he and the Jays shortstop, actually looked surprised at the reaction. But the press is going ride this pony and that is a shame.

  146. mird March 12th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Oh man. Jay’s comment cracked me up. Hit the nail on the head. As soon as I read big Abe’s post, I wanted to let him know what a chowder head he is since apparently he KNOWS the Yankees inside and out, and shoot, he’s being a “beat” writer (whatever that is) instead of actually *gasp* MANAGING the Yankees, which it seems like he could do much better. Or at least take over Cashman’s job. Hey Pete, can A-Rod and Jeter point you out of the lineup?

  147. Eric March 12th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    CB – beleaguered but not intimidated. Intimidation is certainly part of sports. Make no mistake.

    And just as I haven’t had any candid conversations with “insiders” neither have you, so we’re both just speculating. But all I’ve heard, ever year for several years now, including before the playoffs, is players saying “the Yankees don’t intimidate us.” Well, maybe they’re telling the truth. They always say how they “respect” the Yankees. Well, how cute.

    Getting a bit of a reputation can’t hurt. Again, I’m not saying the Yankees should turn into a bunch of brawling idiots. Why can’t people understand this isn’t a black and white thing? It’s not like the Yankees have to be a 100% “calm and classy” bunch OR be idiots that fight at the drop of a hat. I’m saying you need balance – you can’t be an extreme, and the Yankees were much too far in the direction of “pushoevers” when it came to intimidation factor and confidence.

    Perhaps a little bit of a swing towards defending your teammates a little more and getting a bit more upset when someone drills your guy or makes a dirty play will help the team’s confidence, and help get into the other team’s psyche a bit.

    I have no doubt that opposing teams of the 98,99,00 Yankees had a bit of doubt in the back of their minds if they were even capable of beating the “mighty” Yankees, and I guarantee it helped the Yankees, if only the smallest amount.

  148. CB March 12th, 2008 at 11:54 pm


    It’s not a matter of them “liking” Cervelli more than PJ. Of course Cervelli is a much better prospect.

    But you seem to be confusing how good a prospect a player is with how ready they are to play in the majors right now.

    Until a player plays in AA you really have no idea what kind of talent they are unless its a case where you have a Jay Bruce or Upton type.

    The jump from AA to the majors is enormous – the biggest any prospect will ever make until the jump to the bigs.

    It’s also ironic you mention melky – his debut with the yankees was an absolute disaster. Within 5 minutes you knew he wasn’t ready to play in the big leagues. He couldn’t even catch a fly ball.

    And the yankee organization regretted rushing him that way – Cash has said that was a mistake.

    Do you think they would do that again with Cervelli?

    You’re also not seeing how complicated and difficult it is to catch in the majors – to call a game and handle pitchers.

    That is more than just “defense” as played in A ball.

    Saltalamacchia is about as talented as any catching prospect baseball has seen over the past several years – he failed at jumping to the big leagues from AA and Cervelli doesn’t have fraction of Salty’s talent.

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree – IMO there is absolutely no way Cervelli was ever going to the big leagues and that is not an argument to bring into his injury.

    The injury is awful enough because it sets back his development a great deal – that’ enough by itself without making up some new found importance of a AA catcher to the big team.

  149. mel March 12th, 2008 at 11:57 pm


    You’re splitting hairs! Does it matter who got their wrist broken? They all bleed Yankee Pride!

  150. mird March 12th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Big Pete must not have gone to bed. Jay’s comment was deleted almost as soon as it was posted…

  151. Phil March 12th, 2008 at 11:57 pm


    I can tell you exactly why I believe what I do, but I won’t tell you here.

    And I do know and understand everything you are saying about catching and the difference between high A and AA.

  152. ian March 12th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Elizabeth—-FarnsWORTHIT March 12th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    What is with this macho attitude that there’s something wrong with not retaliating? That really bugs me. What’s wrong with not getting into a skirmish over ever little thing?

    Just wanted to repost this because it was one of the only posts I’ve seen today that wasn’t worrisome. Rational thinking is scarce these days and that is terrifying in and outside of baseball.

  153. UtilityMan March 12th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Well Im intitled to be p****** off by Cervellis’ injury.
    I was looking forward to watching him catch in Trenton this year.Now it appears the Thunder will have Piliterre and Brown to start 2008.

  154. CB March 12th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    “And just as I haven’t had any candid conversations with insiders” neither have you, …

    I have never made any claim to speak with any baseball insiders – you did in your post. As you explicitly stated that I asked for your source – some people on this board actually do speak with people in the game.

    “beleaguered but not intimidated. Intimidation is certainly part of sports.”

    Intimidation is part of football – a big part. It’s part of basketball.

    Intimidation is not part of baseball.

    Name me a recent world series team that’s been considered “intimidating.”

    Not even the D’Backs with Johnson and Schilling qualify because their offense wasn’t very good and in no way intimidating.

    I can’t think of any baseball teams other than perhaps the ’61 yankees or a team like that that would be “intimidating” but even there it was hardly becasue they were throwing at people or getting into fights.

  155. Peter Abraham March 12th, 2008 at 11:59 pm


    Remember when not one Yankees came to A-Rod’s defense last year when he yelled at the Toronto infielder?

    It was the same thing today. We asked Jorge Posada what he thought of the slide. He said “You’ll have to ask Shelley.”

    Posada, who’s one tough cookie, wanted nothing to do with defending that.

    You sort of had to be at the game watching to understand what happened. Shelley turned first, stopped for a second, then headed for second knowing full well what he was going to do. The person sitting next to me said, “Here we go” as soon as he started up again.

    Then he came lumbering in, spikes high. It was so obvious that the umpire threw him right out. Girardi never even protested that.

    It’s pretty obvious Shelley got carried away. He’s an excitable guy. My only point is not to read some greater conclusion than that.

    trust me when I tell you, 99 percent of the guys on the team find the whole thing silly.

  156. deadrody March 13th, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Silly ? Yeah, the reaction to it is most definitely silly. And here we are reading the case-in-point post to prove it.

  157. CaptainsCorner March 13th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I just read this on the ny times website and thought it was extremely funny….
    Umpires had issued warnings to both teams before the game, prompted by a call from Andrew Friedman, the Rays’ executive vice president for baseball operations, who had expressed concern to the commissioner’s office.

    So they do what they do and then the little baby Rays are scared of someone getting them back for their immature play.. Obviously they knew it was dirty because they were scared about retaliation. Otherwise they wouldn’t of worried. They should know this is the majors not little league. I wonder if Girardi purposely brought Duncan today..JK!

  158. Eric March 13th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    If there’s no great conclusion to be drawn, why did you post like 3 blog entires about the slide? If you don’t want people making a big deal out of something, you should stir people up with multiple entries telling everyone to calm down about it.

  159. Eric March 13th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    typo: *shouldn’t stir

  160. mird March 13th, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Pete it’s 45 minutes past your bed time. You can’t cover Billy Crystal’s at-bats tomorrow on 8 hours of sleep.

  161. sharp shooter March 13th, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Pete try as you may we aren’t beantown we’re Yankees fans,with pride that our team won’t allow themselves to be dissed,PERIOD,whether you like what they did or not.Last year the yankees got suspensions other teams got warnings.
    How much do you expect them to take? I personally hate fighting but what do you do when your being targeted.Please get off your soapbox~ Eventually cooler heads will prevail.

  162. grob March 13th, 2008 at 12:06 am

    I find it funny that someone who types in bold “We Have A Brawl” and shows up on Sportscenter has to tell everyone it’s no big deal.

  163. hey March 13th, 2008 at 12:17 am

    deadrody March 12th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Hey KarenJ, if you are so damned sure of yourself, why don’t you email me at I guarantee I played more sports in my lifetime than you AND Pete put together and if you want to hurl around insults, you better sit the hell down to read what I’ll have to say.

    The writer comment was in regards to the nonsense about stats and minor league seasons. Those guys on that field today were a TEAM. It didn’t matter to them that Duncan played in 34 games at the age of 28. It doesn’t matter if they can pronounce Cervelli’s name. Anyone that doesn’t get that doesn’t know sports. End of discussion.

    Lay off the steroids man.

  164. mird March 13th, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Pass out the free vicodin

  165. CanIGetAMooseCall March 13th, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Let’s face it, the Yanks embarrassed themselves today. Duncan is a real disgrace. He’s a pathetic 28-year-old rookie who doesn’t deserve to wear the pinstripes.

  166. mird March 13th, 2008 at 12:23 am

    So then we’ll just have him play on the road. No pinstripes there.

  167. Chris March 13th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    I personally believe Clemens threw at the Blue Jays on his own, but your stat about HBP is surprising. In watching every game, it seemed like Torre’s Yankees were pushovers.

  168. Travis G. March 13th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    doesn’t anyone remember Lowell vs. Cano last year? he leveled him with his forearm, but that was ‘good, hardball’. it’s a double standard.

  169. Nettles vs. Lee March 13th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Duncan is a true Yankee – full of hustle, grit and guts – made in the mold of Graig Nettles, Thurmon Munson, Lou Pineilla, and Billy Martin.

  170. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex" ) (I slay the Anti) March 13th, 2008 at 12:53 am

    nice comeback mird :lol:

  171. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex" ) (I slay the Anti) March 13th, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Travis G. and Torre took Lowell’s side instead of Robi’s meanwhile made a big deal about the HA! play …I couldn’t believe that and he was our manager defending another team.

  172. Nettles vs. Lee March 13th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    If Torre were still the manager, he would have complimented the Devil Rays on their hard nosed baseball and said he didn’t even know who Cervelli was.

  173. Mick March 13th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Red Sox fan here. We’ve got plenty of dirtbags in Boston, I know. Rivera, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Moose, Tino, O’Neill, Cano, Hideki, Torre, Posada.. those guys? Born to be Yankees. They’re class. Jeff Nelson, Shelley Duncan? Just 2 examples of guys not born to be Yankees. They were born to be co-captains of the local over 40s softball team that’s got 26 city-wide championships. It’s OK to admit when a guy is a dirtbag. Bronco Bull Duncan is a dirtbag, why kid yourself?

  174. Phil March 13th, 2008 at 1:06 am

    It’s important to get a Red Sox fan take on this.

  175. NJ in Tampa March 13th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Duncan is exactly what this team needs.He brings energy and fire and its contagious. He made a big splash last year and I am looking forward to more of the same this year. Whether you agree or disagree with what he did today, he’s going to be a huge part of this team and there will definitely be times during the season you love him for playing with the same emotion and intensity he did today.

    I don’t get what the big deal is. Yes, he probably should not have done it but are we just going to let the Tampa Bay “Rays” push the team around? He stood up for what he believed was right and I have no problem with that. Maybe its time for the Yankees to start playing with more fire instead of just being that easy going team.

  176. Mick March 13th, 2008 at 1:42 am

    I can’t wait to see the emotion of Duncan when he pinch runs for Giambi 16 times this season.

  177. NJ in Tampa March 13th, 2008 at 1:45 am


    I cant wait to see Beckett not go to Japan because of his “back spasms.” Good Lord after all the trash talking Theo did they better send him over there otherwise he is going to look like a huge douche. Atleast Peter Gammons will still be slob knobing him on ESPN.

  178. nyyfaninlaaland March 13th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    There’s a whole lot of speculating and impression based opinion flying around here. That and $1.95 gets a cup of coffee.

    I understand the argument with Pete’s HBP example – but those on the opposite side need to recognize that they’re living with some selective perception too.

    Incidents like this can escalate and do more harm than good. I personally would have preferred a better job of message sending and a little more patience for a better opportunity. A hard slide on a DP turn for example – a “good, hard baseball play”. But in truth, winning when it counts is the best revenge.

    Also remember that at least some of A-Rod and Jeter getting hit more often is that pitchers feel they’re easier to get out inside so they can’t extend or because they dive in. Papi to me seems very dangerous to pitch inside cause he turns on those pitches so well, so pitchers don’t want to go there. Pitchers don’t always put the ball right where they plan after all.

  179. nyyfaninlaaland March 13th, 2008 at 2:02 am

    And the Rays haven’t pushed the Yanks around. Maddon thinks plowing the catcher is an appropriate spring tactic as well as in the regular season. Girardi – a catcher who should have some insight into what’s expected – disagrees. I do too. My opinion is that Maddon is handling this situation very poorly. Girardi speaking up is very appropriate – I firmly believe that in such a case Torre would have spoken up as well. But I don’t see the Cervelli play as dirty – I see it as overzealous and inappropriate spring training behavior that their manager condoned, even encouraged.

    Joe Maddon is generally a pretty good guy – heard plenty from him while he was out here in Anaheim. He seems to feel he needs to take this tack to lift his team – the Yankees and those here disagree. But now he’s backed into the “gotta support my team” corner, so there’s no way out for him. Unfortunately it looks like this thing might simmer all year – or until Gomes and Duncan throw down at 1B.

    And don’t go into a “who’ll kick who’s ass thing” – makes you as childish as that picture of Gomes in the wrestling arena on the Rays blog I linked to earlier.

  180. NJ in Tampa March 13th, 2008 at 2:06 am

    If the Devil Rays did something that the Yankees thought was wrong (which they obviously did) then the Yankees have every right to retaliate (which they did). They would have been worse off if they didn’t respond. And don’t say the hit by pitch was a response because it wasn’t. Shelley took it a little over the top but I have no problem with it. I’m happy they retaliated instead of just sitting there and taking it.

  181. Sam Levine March 13th, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Peter, I like you. You’ve got the best blog in town and some pretty damn good beat writing but you know, you can be a real sourpuss sometimes.

  182. no.27 March 13th, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Right on the money.

    I don’t know where the idea that the Yankees under Joe Torre were the punching bags of the rest of baseball, but I watched he games and I didn’t see it. More often than not, when an opponent crossed the line, the Yankees would respond. And the times when they didn’t, they avoided suspension or at the very least escalating the incident further.

    Could someone give an example of a team over the past few years that you want the Yankees to act more like? Forget the fact that the Yankees probably had more wins than any other team over the twelve years that Torre was running he show. Who do you want the Yankees to act like? The Red Sox? I’d stop watching.

    One of you guys who are so excited about the “new take no crap off of no one” attitude that the Yankees have supposedly adopted should list the incidents you wished the Yankees would have responded to over the last 12 years? I will personally travel with the team and punch every player that looks at a Yankees player funny right in the nose (unless they were listed in the Mitchell Report) if you can think of 10 times.

  183. Babe's Ghost March 13th, 2008 at 2:32 am

    What’s with the passive voice? “A Class A catcher with a .261 career batting average and six home runs in 247 games got run over and broke his wrist.”

    Why not say who broke whose wrist?
    Why put down Cervelli? Pending Pinstripes ranks him #8 among Yankee prospects.

    I’m sick of Arod, Jeter and Giambi leading the league in HBP. You think Sweet Lou would stand for this? You think Billy would’ve taken that lying down?

    The Rays had it coming… if it was done a little un-profressionally, well, that’s a rookie mistake. Hopefully Giardi will have a talk with Heath and he’ll bring it higher and tighter the next time.

    So what if it costs us a couple of games this year to make it 100% clear to the rest of the league that we’re not taking their SH*T? Given the youth of our pitching staff, this is kind of a rebuilding year anyway.

  184. Annie Savoy March 13th, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Once the first pitch is thrown, the game takes on a life of its’ own. The players rely on both preparation and instinct. With a new, younger manager, the Yankees have also taken on a new persona. Whatever happens during these bang-bang plays is not premediated, it is the instinct of each individual player. Get used to it.

    IMO – this afternoon we will see the results of the first poor PR move made by Derek Jeter. In an effort to be a good friend to Billy Crystal he has compromised his team.

  185. Eric March 13th, 2008 at 5:52 am


    It’s not about naming specific incidents. You want TEN *specific* occasions? I’m not going to go through the trouble, and probably nobody else is either, but that doesn’t prove your point.

    What I do know is that I have an impression in my head of dozens of times where pitchers have had NO FEAR throwing inside to A-Rod, Jeter, just to name a few. No, they might not be necessarily TRYING to hit someone, but the simple fact of the matter is that they don’t really care if they do, becuase the Yankee do nothing. I can remember maybe one or two occasions per season where the Yankees even seem to get upset about getting pegged. There is NO retaliation whatsoever.

    Jeter was HBP 14 times last year and A-Rod was HBP 21 times. A-Rod was #2 in the AL and Jeter #7. Manny was pegged 7 times last year, and only ONCE in 2006. Ortiz was pegged 4 times last year and 4 times in 2006. In 2006 and 2007 combined, the two best hitters on the Red Sox were pegged a total combined 16 times. SIXTEEN TIMES IN TWO FULL SEASONS COMBINED. A-Rod ALONE was hit TWENTY ONE times in 2007 ALONE.

    What’s the point? The point is that nobody fears coming inside on the Yankees MVP. They’re not afraid to hit him, and clearly they have some aversion to brushing back Manny and Ortiz. We could debate the reasons for this, but that would take a while. The bottom line is the Yankees need to do something to protect their $300M investment. You make it FREAKIN clear to opposing teams that you can’t just go hog wild inside on our guys. I don’t CARE if that’s the best place to get them out… you don’t go inside. Manny Ramirez, if he has any weakness, it’s *probably* the fastball up or up and in. He got hit 7 times last year, and only once in 06. A-Rod should be in that range. Pure and simple. And the way to do that is not to sit there and go “ho hum” when it effing happens.

    How can anyone not see this? Have you people been WATCHING Yankee baseball over the last few years? For lord sakes we visually saw Julian Tavarez telling Matsuzaka to throw A-Rod high and tight to scare him or hit him. The sign language was clear as DAY. What happens next? Matsuzaka throws up and in. What do the Yankees do? Sit around and look confused. No more. A line must be drawn at some point. Revenge via “winning” doesn’t work. You need to make a statement that you don’t effing hit our MVP.

    It’s getting to be ridiculous. To me, the fact that A-Rod was hit 21 times last season alone while Manny and Ortiz combined over TWO seasons have only been hit 16 times should be a clear indication that teams fear potentially hitting Manny and Ortiz and have no concerns drilling Jeter, A-Rod, etc.

    I don’t need to cite a dozen specific instances, I remember enough times where I thought to myself “for crying out loud, if you’re not going to at least drill someone back, at least the manager could come out of the dugout and complain to the umpire or SOMETHING other than sitting there like it didn’t even happen.” It happened a lot, that’s all I can tell you. My memory isn’t good enough to say “September 3rd, 8:33 pm, A-Rod was hit by the Blue Jays”, and I sure as heck don’t need to go back and watch every game over again to know that our stars got beat up and we did nothing, while the Red Sox stars rarely even SMELL a brush back pitch.

    It’s become a joke, and I, for one, have been sick of it for a while now. Hopefully it’s coming to an end.

  186. Anthony March 13th, 2008 at 6:16 am


    How many times during the 07 season did they show Torre sit on his ass in the dug out when he should have been out there arguing a call?

    THEN when he goes out there to aruge a call… he isn’t arguing at all! He looks like he’s inviting the umpires to have dinner and a cup of Bigelow Green Tea afterwards.

    My whole point is I do think Joe Girardi might have lighten a fire under players assess, esepeically Shelly Duncan. Duncan SHOULD have done what he did because the Yankees shouldn’t lie down and let things like this slide like they did under a certain manager.

    I hope this season, when calls go horribly agaisnt us, Girardi doesn’t take it like Torre does. I hope when another teams does something questionable to one of our players, we do something right back.

    I hope for now on if a Yankee hitter gets plunked on purpose, the batter of the opposite teams get plunked right back.

  187. Anthony March 13th, 2008 at 6:52 am

    “What happened the other day set the tone, showing us how hard they’re going to play. You see their intensity level, you try to match it,” Duncan said. “We need to wake up a little bit. We need to play hard as well.”

    Shelly is right. Yankees need to do that all the time.

  188. Dee March 13th, 2008 at 7:57 am


    I notice you deleted the line you originally wrote on this post about Shelley as the guy Arod would flip his keys to to get his car washed. I’m guessing you realized that was too demeaning, and that you would need to wake up and face Shelley’s forearm the next day:-)

    I agree this whole thing is overblown. I’m all for a tougher team under a more fired up manager, but think Spring Training is not the time and the Rays certainly is not the team. They’re mickey mouse.

  189. LathamJoe March 13th, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Peter, you’re in LaLa Land with your assessment of Yankee players’ change in attitude. They ARE psyched more so than during the “Torre Era”. Joe Torre discouraged player aggressiveness in his dugout because he didn’t believe in that brand of baseball. Athletes engaged in sports have different personalties and different ways of motivating themselves and their teammates. Girardi is a younger, more aggressive manager. His style has apparently carried over from his playing days and he uses far different motivational techniques than the former Yankee manager. You don’t think his players and coaches were “fired up”? If you’ve ever played meaningful sports activities you would understand the mentality of these athletes and coaches, when they feel that they’ve been disrespected – regardless of how much money they make.

  190. Barry March 13th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Well said… what amazes me is when someone speak the truth no matter if your a fan or not you are deemed as 1) not being a fan or 2) being anti-yankee.

    What Shelly Duncan did today was an embarassment. I was very for him making the team, but I rather have Morgan Ensberg at this point. Shelly’s act of cursing after a strike out, looking all dejected and babbling off kevin long’s ear is getting old.

    The yankees are about pride & class and Duncan proved he belongs elsewhere…

  191. Dutchman March 13th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Remember last year…the Yankees were very bland, and showed little emoition until Joba, and Duncan were called up. I don’t agree with Shelley’s slide, but he is VERY energetic. His forearm bashes, and emotion helped the Yankees make the playoffs. Glad to see more LOUUUUU energy on the field.

  192. johnny7 March 13th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    If an old bush-leaguer like myself saw this coming… how come a savvy, Yankee sportswriter didn’t? You should know baseball better than that Pete… retalliation is the norm.

  193. helno51 March 13th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I think pete is off base here. all we heard last year was how duncan helped to energize this team down the stretch and now pete makes him out to be a complete non-entity. no one is saying he is the leader of this team but if he gave the team added energy last year and was very well liked than i assume that would still apply. and while i dont think this ushers in an era of the “fighten yanks” it certainly shows a break from the past. in the past joe torre wouldnt even respond when boston pitching repeatedly hit yankees including joes favorite – derek jeter. there is no way that this would have happened with torre still here. im not totally bashing torre but by the end of his tenure things had gotten way too laid back and at times seemed more about an abtract notion of class than almost anything else

  194. Jon March 13th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Ok, now I’m confused. Pete, yesterday you seemed to be defending Shelley, but now you’re not (and I agree with what you’re saying now).

    Simply, what Duncan did was WAY more out of line than what Johnson did. The play at home was questionable, given that it happened in ST, but understandable under certain reasoning.

    There is no possible way whatsoever that you can defend Duncan’s slide, unless you are in favor of the Yankees being a bunch of thugs. Why not just go after the Rays with bats then?

  195. bw March 13th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Pete your responses and posts on the subject lead me to believe you’ve never played the game and don’t understand what it means to be a unified team. I guarantee this is a changing of the guard. And whats this talk about “classy”? You play the game to win. If other teams know you can’t throw the ball inside all the time at yankees without getting it back then they know longer have an advantage.

  196. Therston March 13th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Therston: Cervelli was in Class A Tampa last season. That’s the fringes of the big leagues? Since when?

    As a reporter you should be able to get the same information. Cervelli was stated as defensively ready for the majors RIGHT NOW from within the organization. He was going to be in AA and was the first to come up if there was an injury, I am sure of that. Also, If you read Pinstripe Plus, EJ Fagan, SWB Chad Jennings, among others you would see most see Fransisco Cervelli as being ready ETA sometime this year at a young age. The kid can play defense, hit and get on base.

  197. LathamJoe March 13th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Ha, ha, some of you people are a riot!
    Calling an athlete a “thug” because he makes an aggressive slide! Maybe in your paper-doll world…LOL. I feel fortunate that I didn’t have to rely on any of you to be in my foxhole!

  198. John March 13th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    There’s so much juvenile testosterone in this thread its funny. “Enforcers” in baseball? LOLOL!!!

    This is some “new tough won’t get pushed around Yankees” LOLOL!!!

    Let me guess… The average age of these posters is 16.

    Sorry, but Pete is 100% correct on this one guys.

  199. LathamJoe March 13th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Where you old enough to experience the 1977/1978 Yankees with stars like Thurman Munson , Lou Pinella, Craig Nettles, Goose Gossage? I suppose that their aggressive type play was the result of a lot of juvenile testosterone and they were also regarded as “thugs” by some intellectual mind like you, huh?
    Go watch the paint dry, John, and leave us to our 16-year-old comments.

  200. RockTheNight March 13th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I really find myself questioning whether or not some of you actually played a sport in your lives. I played a lot of sports in my day and when i felt another team did something to a teamate of mine (regardless of how well i knew them, or liked them really) i would let the other team know about it and would expect my teammates to do the same (and i am far from a confrontational person). I don’t think you have to throw at their head or destroy them on the basepath, but giving a good hard aggresive slide(especially one that doesn’t result in injury) is a good way to do it. I watched the video and really didn’t think it was that bad, he went in hard, Aki got the message as did the entire Rays team and that should have been it. Gomes came in on his own accord. Perhaps i am wrong here, but i will tell you this, i was always regarded as a good teammate, and i would imagine so is Duncan.

  201. Therston March 13th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Exactly, RTN.
    This is standard retaliation and it goes on all the time…not enough the past few years by the Yankees. glad to see it changing.

  202. Barry March 13th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    If the shoe was on the other foot would you all be reacting the same way?

    I played high school baseball & hockey and college hockey before I had my knee blown out on a cheap hit.. If one of my teamates took out someone on a cheat hit I wouldnt be supportive of them..

    What happend at home plate the other day was how baseball is meant to be played… What Shelly Duncan did ended in the ty cobb era.

    Don’t hide behind the statement of you never played ball. Because a real ball player would know the difference between sticking up for a teamate and being a mutt.

  203. no.27 March 13th, 2008 at 12:05 pm


    I didn’t say you had to give 10 incidents, it was actually a joke. I wasn’t going to be the Yankees personal body guard either this year. However, considering the fact that the Yankees might as well have been called the Giant Vaginas the past 12 years, I wouldn’t think 10 times where the Yankees didn’t respond to some rough play, whether it be a hit batter or something else.

    You go on to say that opposing pitchers neet to be afraid to pitch inside to the Yankees because of what our pitchers might do. Opposing pitchers need to be afraid to pitch inside to the Yankees because of what our hitters will do. Everytime a pitcher misses inside it isn’t intentional. Sure, he is trying to expand the zone and brush back a hitter that likes to reach over the plate, but is that something the new bad ass Yankees won’t let fly either?

    You are trying to draw a relationship between batters getting hit by pitches and team toughness or whatever you want to call it. Last year Utley and Rowand were hit a combined 44 times and they missed 31 games. Do the Phillies not need jock straps either? The Brewers had 3 players to get hit by a pitch 14 times or more. Should they start wearing skirts to the games? On average, A-Rod has been hit 13.75 times per year with the Yankees, far more than the 13.67 times per year he was hit with the Rangers.

  204. johnny g March 13th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Per Fox Sports radio this morning – since 1996, the Yankees are the only team in MLB who has had a player suspended every year for throwing at someone or retaliating to a throw. Also, Torre leads all active managers in days lost to suspension. I guess all of you fans have forgotten about the suspension of Clemens, Proctor, Joba, Halsley, etc, etc. This idea that the Yanks were soft when Torre was manager is a bunch of B.S.

  205. JonMichel March 13th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    I’m tired of the Yankees getting around. Billy Martin’s wasn’t class those yankees could put you in the hospital these Yankees are too soft. And I am sick and tired of the MLB siding with everybody else except the Yankees.

  206. Lauren March 13th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Wow, I just watched the video of all three incidents. The slide into Cervelli was far and away the worse of the three incidents and I am horrified for that poor guy. I fully support Joe’s comments about the situation, thats a sh*tty thing to do to a guy trying to make it in the bigs, during spring training no less.

    Say what you want, I appreciate Shelley Duncan’s actions. DID SHELLEY FRACTURE SOMEONE’S WRIST? NO. The Yanks shouldn’t just take all this crap from other teams and umps without any retaliation, we will have no respect whatsoever.

    As much as I love this blog, I disagree with Pete’s view on these event. You can preach class and ‘what’s it really worth?’ all you want but history shows Yankees usually get screwed over in these situations. I am for standing your ground and not getting bullied by some last place team who has nothing else going on but to try to mess with the NY Yankees. . .like they are doing some heroic deed for the rest of the league or something. F that.

    This is (unfortunately) not the end of this mess.

  207. Scott March 13th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    This quote was in the NY Post today:

    “I think we’re going to play the game a little harder,” Jorge PosadaJorge Posada said.

    Peter – Posada’s a long time Yankee vet. According to you, the vets laugh this stuff off, don’t buy into it etc…

    How does that jibe with Posada’s quote? Sounds to me like Posada took it seriously and it fired him up.

  208. Barry March 13th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    What would you want Jorge to say? He knows what fans want to hear… It amazes me how stupid my fellow yankee fans are.

    It also amazes me how 1 dimensional and blind they are.

    If that was let’s say Kevin Youklis sliding into 2nd base on Robinson Cano cleats up would you all still be saying “it’s how baseball is supposed to be played”…

    Duncan’s hit was without class and his acting dumb about being confused to why players acted like they did just makes him look like an idiot. What makes his hit so bad is he did not slide til he was almost on top of the base. He basically tried to do a drop kick.

  209. Derik March 28th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Get your damn brain checked.

  210. Frank Fuller March 6th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Typical. Why didn\’t he have to enter a plea? Because he was a celebrity?

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