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


Today in The Journal News

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Apr 15, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A.J. Burnett kept his composure as the Yankees beat the Rays. But Xavier Nady left the game with an elbow injury.

Chien-Ming Wang is trying to figure out where he is going wrong. This notebook has updates on A-Rod, Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher.

Check out this cool interactive graphic of the new Stadium.

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51 Responses to “Today in The Journal News”

  1. Al from BK April 15th, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Well hopefully Wang figures out soon, I mean how many starts can a guy go less than 5 with a 28 ERA?

  2. Kevin S. April 15th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Hey, AJ Burnett’s really good and not allowing anybody to get on base. Let’s make him the eighth-inning guy!!

  3. basuki April 15th, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Let Molina catch for Wang.

  4. E-gawa April 15th, 2009 at 4:26 am

    nice graphic

  5. m April 15th, 2009 at 4:40 am

    basuki,

    Agreed. Jorge’s the man, but last night’s NYT recap had some quotes from a frustrated Jorge. He did his best to remind Wang to keep it down, but Wang was lost already.

    I feel like I’m betraying Posada, but I love Molina so dang much.

    BTW, just read the game thread. Lots of cheeeeeering. It was great to see.

    Moment of the night? Can we all agree it was schooling Evan Longoria in the bottom of the 4th?

  6. Boston Dave April 15th, 2009 at 5:06 am

    you ever sleep Pete?

    or have you outsourced part of your job to India?

  7. Marck April 15th, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Seriously, let Molina catch for Wang next time.

  8. Taiwan Chen April 15th, 2009 at 6:58 am

    If Wang can figer out his difficulties …NYY will Win No.1

    Wang has much pressure on his mental…

  9. NYHRC April 15th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    “Hey, AJ Burnett’s really good and not allowing anybody to get on base. Let’s make him the eighth-inning guy!!”

    I really can’t stand corny humor such as this. OP, please re-read your post, and tell me what was the reason for stating this?

  10. will April 15th, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Man boston is in trouble.

  11. Guy Incognito April 15th, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I have to hand it to Matt Garza, the kid can pitch. He could have easily just surrendered the yogurt after loading the bases in the first, but managed to get through it and re-focus. The mark of a champion, right there.

    And A.J. pitched just like we needed him to, his differential between the fastball (94) and the hook (76) was clearly making him next to unhittable. Good stuff, let’s take the series behind Andy tonight.

  12. John in Ohio April 15th, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Lindy McDaniel. Now there’s a name out of the past. Had some nice years for some pretty mediocre Yankees teams.

    They got him for Bill Monbouquette, and traded him six years later for Lou Piniella. Nice.

    That homer in ’72 was one of three he hit in a 21 year career. He was 2 for 7 that year with a 1.000 OPS. LOL.

  13. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Mark Feinsand’s article in the Star Ledger this morning said the reason Damon hasn’t been sleeping is his mom has been in the hospital:

    “Damon’s 68-year-old mother had been admitted into an Orlando hospital on Saturday with a lung infection and a cyst on her lung, causing some sleepless nights for the outfielder. Damon made the 90-minute trip to Orlando to be with her Monday night and then again yesterday, when she was released from the hospital earlier than expected.”

    I hope Nady is okay; I hope CMW can pull it together. I hope the weather starts warming up, for crying out loud!!! :lol:

  14. able 21 April 15th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Great game last night. Very reassuring to see the Yanks spring back after the Rays tied it in the 7th.

    Prayers go out for Xavier Nady. I’d hate to see him sidelined for long.

    As for the comment on Boston … nothing more to say than kick ‘em while they’re down. Just don’t let Bob Watson see you doing it.

  15. SJ44 April 15th, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Posada isn’t the problem with Wang. Wang is the problem with Wang. Let’s not misplace blame here.

    The guy was throwing the ball great in the bullpen. He didn’t bring it to the mound. That’s on him.

    He will get his mechanical issues straightened out.

  16. Kettle April 15th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Happy tax day everyone.

  17. able 21 April 15th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    SJ44 – I hope it is just mechanical problems and not psychological. Another Ed Whitson we don’t need.

  18. Pauly April 15th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    When Eiland says he had his good stuff going in the bullpen, he just didn’t bring it into the game with him, I believe him. Hopefully they’ll iron this minor setback out now so they won’t have to deal with it in October.

  19. Betsy April 15th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    SJ, how’d AJ look last night in person? LOL I wish I could have been there……

    Interesting quotes by AJ tonight – particularly that he WAS thinking about his no-hitter and that he wants another one so he can erase memories of his “embarrassing” no-no where he had 9 walks. He was able to “let it go” – that’s impressive. He shut the door on the Rays after those 2 runs, after a natural let-down when the no hitter was gone. This talk of change does not appear to be lip service – AJ seems to be a completely different pitcher. I do think the Yankees got him at the right time and I believe he has plenty of good years left. Fact is, he seems awfully motivated – to accomplish something in this game and to pitch in the post-season. It’s nice to see the Yankees rally behind him (or any pitcher) and get him the win.

  20. John_Halfz April 15th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I saw Sonnanstine pitch in Baltimore on Friday. He got worked around pretty good. Of Rays pitchers, I’m least impressed by him. The best feature of the new rotation, to me, is not what we have at the top. It’s the ability to send a guy like Pettitte out to face TB when we have a Sonnanstine. Also, obviously, as the season progresses and rotations fall out of sync, we get to avoid stuff like Ponson vs. Beckett.

  21. John_Halfz April 15th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Yeah, definitely the best part about last night (besides dealing with Longoria appropriately) was how he shut down TB after they tied the game…and then went 1-2-3 in the 8th. The first six innings were great, but the response to a tough situation was better.

  22. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    “All I know I saw it in two side sessions and I saw it before the game last night. It’s there. It’s there,” Eiland said. “He made the adjustment on the side. He needs to take it into the game.”

    any morning that the yankees have a win the night before that was full of positives that is followed by a red sox loss is a great morning. i am however concerned with dave eiland after hearing him repeat ad infinitum that it’s wang’s fault in that he was fixed on the side , but couldn’t take it into the game.

    as cb , wave your hat, and others pointed out the pitch f/x data shows wang being nearly a foot off on his release point from his first start in 2009 from a start in 2008 when he was pitching well.

    i saw in spring trianing a game where i commented on the blog that he looked all off looking like he was trying to come over the top more. it looked very forced as if he was trying to do something new. was he trying this on his own? was he coached to come over the top more?
    one thing is certain, doing that is not something that a pitcher just does unconsciously because it takes effort to come over the top like that. maybe he was misunderstanding some other instruction, but something was in his head to do that.

    he got bombed that game, and eiland came out later that week saying they had worked on his arm slot and all was fine. wang pitched well in his next start so all was well.

    now in two games he’s back doing the high arm slot. this is not just my opinion;it’s pitchf/x data.
    when eiland said wang made the adjustment on the side, what adjustment was that? was his arm slot raised or lowered. it needed to be lowered.

    maybe eiland is the best pitching coach of all time , but i heard nothing in his audio that showed that. all i heard was that wang was fine on the side and needs to take it into the game,was fine on the side and needs to take it into the game, and was fine on the side and needs to take it into the game .

    that’s an analysis? maybe eiland knows what makes wang tick, but it would be nice if he shared it with us.

    even if he fixes wang on the side and he takes it into the next game.

  23. Kettle April 15th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Does anyone else notice that Dave Eiland only comes out to talk to a pitcher after a run has been given up?

    I just picked it up recently. After watching the 1st inning of the Wang vs TB game, I thought he should have come out and talked to him before he gave up that 2 run single to Pena but he waited until the runs were scored.

    Then, last night, after AJ lost his no hitter, I thought it would have been a good idea to go out there and talk to him, just to give him a chance to regroup after losing it.

    Certainly he should have been out there once the 2nd consecutive hit was allowed considering it was just a 2 run game at the time. But again, he waited until AJ gave up the single that scored the first run and set up the tying run.

  24. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 9:01 am

    ” He could have easily just surrendered the yogurt after loading the bases in the first, but managed to get through it and re-focus.”

    why can’t i get “step away from the yogurt, ma’am ” out of my head?

  25. Hokiehill April 15th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    NYHRC, I’m not OP, but I imagine it’s to get reactions like yours, which prove that some Yankee fans are up-tight and have no sense of humor.

  26. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    randy l -

    Here’s hoping Eiland communicates with his pitchers a little better than with the media. :)

    (Perhaps he’s not comfortable discussing the details of the side sessions, or maybe he doesn’t want to get too technical, who knows? And maybe, just maybe, it’s tmi for most casual fans anyway – they just want the bottom line, which was – “he was fine in the pen, he has to take it to the mound.” :) )

    I don’t see it as “blaming” Wang. I see it as simply saying what he saw – Wang had it in the pen, didn’t have it on the mound, has to take it from the pen to the mound.” Sort of stating the obvious.

    So did Boston lose again last night? What was the final? What are they now, 2-5? 2-6?

  27. Hokiehill April 15th, 2009 at 9:11 am

    On another note..let’s hope X is ok and it’s not too serious. Whether you want Swish to get more PT or not, no one wants this to be the way that happens (not that he hasn’t been getting enough PT already).

    Also, big ups to Gardner and Jeter for having great nights at the plate after struggling (Jeter especially) the past couple of games. I was thinking when the game was 2-2 that this is exactly the kind of game we would have dropped last season, but the offense pulled through and has been top notch over the start of the season even with guys struggling at times.

    Also, great job playing the role of stopper again Burnett! and in dominating fashion no less. Now on to the next challenge of pantsing the American Idle.

  28. Hokiehill April 15th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    One last thing, then back to work…

    I just saw the comment in the game notes about people on NY radio killing Swish for smiling while pitching the other night…that type of reaction is exactly why most people (including some Yankee fans, like me) hate most Yankee fans! Honestly the guy just made the best of a terrible situation, which a lot of people obviously could use a little more of these days, and on top of that he pitched better then the rest of our pen AFTER a good day at the plate. It would be one thing if he went 0-4 and gave up 6 runs and was still laughing about it, but Swish was one of the only Yanks doing his job that night…

    If you find yourself in the croud that thought Swish should be put down for smiling in that situation, then please trade in your Yankee gear immediately…you can now go be a Mets fan

  29. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    doreen-
    the red sox lost by a run in extra innings. they are really scuffling at 2-6 :)

    the thing that puzzled me was that on the blog yesterday cb and other pitch f/x savvy posters showed the graphs that showed wang was a FOOT off on his release point. a foot up. that’s just bizarre.

    here’s a link to what that looks like:
    http://riveraveblues.com/wp-co.....oints1.jpg

    the numbers are in feet. imagine you are looking at the graph just like you were facing wang from home plate. you can in see his first start this year , that he’s a foot in and up compared to last year.

    this isn’t imagined or someone’s opinion. it’s what was measured .
    what’s the mystery? surely eiland has access to this f/x data.
    or does he ?

    if he doesn’t , there’s a disconnect in him being a new school pitching coach.

  30. 86w183 April 15th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I had no problem at all with Swisher… it WAS funnythat he was on the mound and in baseball sometimes you get you butt kicked and you need to laugh it off and move on.

    Nady’s situation is disconcerting especially between now and when Alex gets back. Might need to find a RH bat for the bench (Ray Durham?).

    Raise your hand if you thought Swisher and Jeter would have more HR than the rest of the team combined.

  31. Bill April 15th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Hokie @ 9:15; I guess you mean that Jorge should trade in his NYY gear and catch for the Mets then? I like Swisher. I root for him, but I didn’t think what he did was right. Maybe because I am older (52). That’s not the way I grew up playing or learning the game. Heck, we used to throw at people in Little League. But many (perhaps younger fans) think what he did was fine. I think all in all it is a big deal about nothing. Doesn’t really matter as long as the NYY keep winning.

  32. SteveB April 15th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    What I would like to know is more about “Standing Room”. Is it a separate ticket? Where is it? And if it is around the inside of the ballpark, can you bring a small folding chair?

    This is something new to YS, but it’s old news to minor league ballparks, which I frequent. Standing Room could be the best value ticket in the whole place, unless it’s tucked away somewhere, maybe far back in the bleachers area for example.

    But I haven’t heard squat about it yet.

  33. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    randy l -

    I’m trying to envision, but my brain isn’t working. The graph clearly – CLEARLY – shows a difference, I just can’t imagine what it looks like without a picture of Wang – where his arm was last year versus this year. Dots on a graph escape me! :lol:

    I don’t know that I’d automatically jump to the conclusion that Eiland hasn’t seen this or doesn’t understand this information. I would conclude he didn’t feel compelled to share his exact impressions/understanding of Wang’s problems in his two starts. I would also conclude Eiland is not at his best in talking to the media.

    Didn’t they look at a lot of video after his first start? I would suspect that what they would look for his his release point, among other things. I mean, what else would you bother to look at video for? And I would imagine they’d compare it to a time when he was effective.

  34. RER - 98 April 15th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    One good 7-8 inning outing will breed confidence to and for Wang. His bowling ball sinker will soon be working. Meanwhile, the rest of the starting staff is rising to expectations.
    When the presense of Alex is in the lineup it will all jell at the right time.

  35. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    does anyone else ever wonder where to comment when peter has has two other posts up besides the one that has links to his newspaper articles?

    i think he should let the post that has the newspaper articles stand alone to get people to read the articles( that is the point of the blog isn’t it) and to keep discussion focused on one post.

    just my two cents worth.

  36. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    randy l -

    To answer your question, yes, I do wonder where to post.

    Most of the time, if I have an on-going discussion with someone, I try to keep to the post where the discussion started, unless I can tell they’ve moved on. There are times I’m backing up two or three posts to try and follow certain topics.

    If I say other people are carrying over their discussions to the newer posts, then I follow like a lemming. :lol:

    Hey – though the bottom line was that Boston lost, there was mixed news on that game. Good news – Dice-K pulled with arm fatigue in the first inning; Bad news – their bullpen gave them 10 scoreless innings before losing it. Good news – the bullpen had to be used for 10/11 innings. Better news – they eventually lost the game.

  37. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Uh, that should read, “If I SEE people have moved on.”

  38. Hokiehill April 15th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Bill…I’m a lot more understanding of Jorge’s reponse because he was IN the game and I can only imagine how frustrating it is to catch a game like that seeing as the catcher will be seen as partly responsible even though it’s mostly a mechanical issue with the pitcher.

    Maybe the age difference or youth background is a factor, but if you grew up thinking that baseball was some stone faced serious sport where you were not allowed to have fun, than I feel sorry for you. When I played as a kid I was a pretty good player and I always played to win and HATED to lose, but I always understood that it was a GAME. And even after a terrible team loss or a terrible game personally I could find something POSITIVE to take to the next game…I commend Swisher for that and wish more people took that view on life. But that’s just my opinion and I shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that everyone’s entitled to theirs…I certainly agree that none of this matters as long as the Yankees win.

  39. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    “I’m trying to envision, but my brain isn’t working. The graph clearly – CLEARLY – shows a difference, I just can’t imagine what it looks like without a picture of Wang – where his arm was last year versus this year. Dots on a graph escape me! ”

    doreen -
    i’m new to f/x data too. cb chided me into looking at it.

    the graph i showed you is an easy one to imagine. picture you are looking at wang from home plate. that’s the view of the graph i showed you.
    so the blue dots to the left really are wang releasing the ball out there and down there.
    the blue and red diamonds are higher and closer to wang’s head.

    so imagine a picture of wang throwing at you with the graph of dots superimposed on wang releasing the ball at you.

    hope i didn’t confuse you even more. cb is right . this stuff is worth getting familiar with , so don’t give up. think of it as kettleballs for your brain :)

  40. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Randy l -

    So, let me think this through a bit. Last year, when he was going well, he released the ball closer to the ground and more out to the side? It wasn’t side arm, though, was it? He’s getting his arm up too high?

    You know, I never pitched. :lol:

    When you and CB were discussing this yesterday, and were talking about feet, I literally thought you were talking about where his foot was landing. It’s a little technical, but it is interesting.

    Wang had such a long layoff – could there be “muscle memory” issues? Just not really comfortable with where all his moving parts are supposed to be, where they feel best and get the best results? Should Wang have started the year in AAA, or Tampa, even, in order to really get this worked out without the pressure of having to win?

    I guess Wang was just good enough during spring training that they figured he was coming along fine and could be okay. You know that behind doors there’s so much going on, so much discussed, so many variables that we can never know but only guess at.

  41. Bill April 15th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Hokie @ 10AM. I did have fun! It was along time ago but those baseball memories are still some of the best times of my life. In fact, last year I showed my wife where “The Greatest Catch Ever Made”(by me 38 years ago when I was 13) took place in the now legendary “Selznick v Digiaccomo” game! I don’t think she was too impressed! LOL! I’m sure you have those kind of memories too!

  42. YankeeRay April 15th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    As much as I enjoyed watching Swish pitch Monday night, seeing Nady go out last night makes me not want to see a position player on the mound again.
    Go get a long man and let Swish do what he does best, play multiple positions, hit and keep the clubhouse loose.

  43. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    ” Last year, when he was going well, he released the ball closer to the ground and more out to the side? It wasn’t side arm, though, was it? He’s getting his arm up too high?”

    doreen-

    that’s it! you got it. his release point is almost a foot higher and closer to his head in the data for his first start this year.

    so as you saw, he’s getting his arm up to high. i could even see this in a spring training start with my eyes because it was so obvious.

    you said ,”You know that behind doors there’s so much going on, so much discussed, so many variables that we can never know but only guess at.”

    this is one case where i have some inside info because i know the pitching coach really well who taught wang the sinker in the first place. i talked with him for quite a while last spring in spring training about wang. he told me exactly what he did with wang when he taught him the sinker. he told me that he showed him the grip. he shortened his stride. and he had chien ming throw the ball.

    there was instant success. there was no change in arm slot. this was because wang’s arm slot was what made this pitching coach thing wang could throw the sinker.

    seeing that wang’s natural arm slot was perfect for throwing a sinker was the epiphany that the pitching coach had( my words not his).

    wang is not likely to mess with his natural arm slot on his own. natural is natural. it doesn’t change much.

    i never hear anything about wang’s stride from the yankees, but that is exactly what was changed with wang in the first place to throw the sinker.

    i just want to know something very simple. when eiland works on wang’s arm slot and reease point is he raising it or lowering it ?

    i wouldn’t think that’s so difficult for him to say.

    it really wouldn’t confuse us fans or go over our heads.

  44. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    correction : “i just want to know something very simple. when eiland works on wang’s arm slot and release point, is he raising it or lowering it ?”

  45. Hokiehill April 15th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I’m with you on the memories Bill…playing for the Little League Yankees certainly contributed to my love for the major league squad…

  46. Doreen April 15th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    randy l -

    Randy, is he releasing the ball too soon, then?

    I think perhaps Eiland wasn’t asked the right, specific, questions. How many times do we listen to these interviews and no one asks the most obvious questions? And most of the time the most relevant information is not volunteered. And no follow-up questions are ever asked!

    I guess it’s possible Wang is trying to overdo? It’s obvious he’s out of whack and if he’s trying to correct things, he’s probably thinking too much about mechanics on the mound, which is not good. I think when you’re thinking about what you’re doing physically it ends up messing you up more – takes away from the “natural” way you do things when you’re mentally breaking it down – AND TRYING TO DO A JOB AT THE SAME TIME. During practice sessions, breaking things down doesn’t work against you, because that’s where all your focus is. But during a game, I would think that thinking about your mechanics results in split focus. You can’t think about two things – mechanics and the hitter – and do it well, in my opinion. His mechanics have to be second nature.

    That’s why I ask, should he have been (or should he be, if his next start is as bad) assigned to Tampa or AAA or AA or somewhere to get everything worked out?

    (My frame of reference here is singing. I sing, or I used to. And when I was thinking about technique, the end result wasn’t as good as when I was just free and easy, just singing the song.)

  47. DT April 15th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Pete –

    minor error in your notebook story – Swisher struck out Gabe Kapler – not Gabe Gross.

    maybe you are just checking to see if we are paying attention. ;-)

  48. bodhisattva April 15th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Hokiehill
    April 15th, 2009 at 9:15 am
    One last thing, then back to work…
    I just saw the comment in the game notes about people on NY radio killing Swish for smiling while pitching the other night…that type of reaction is exactly why most people (including some Yankee fans, like me) hate most Yankee fans! Honestly the guy just made the best of a terrible situation, which a lot of people obviously could use a little more of these days, and on top of that he pitched better then the rest of our pen AFTER a good day at the plate. It would be one thing if he went 0-4 and gave up 6 runs and was still laughing about it, but Swish was one of the only Yanks doing his job that night…
    If you find yourself in the croud that thought Swish should be put down for smiling in that situation, then please trade in your Yankee gear immediately…you can now go be a Mets fan
    ==================
    Agreed. Oldtime NY Ranger fans might remember that Vic Hatfield was traded for smiling.

  49. Steve from CT April 15th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Pete:

    DT is right–it was Gabe Kapler, not Gabe Gross. And, Swisher didn’t pitch the ninth inning, he pitched the eighth.

    Other than those, your comments were entirely accurate. I’ll attribute the errors to the late hours you’ve been keeping.

  50. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    “You can’t think about two things – mechanics and the hitter – and do it well, in my opinion. His mechanics have to be second nature.”

    doreen-

    you should be a pitching coach :)

    people that play golf can relate to what you said. there are only so many things you can have in your head and perform. golfers sometimes play with one swing thought in their mind and this can work. something like ” take the club back slowly” which might translate to “low and slow”.

    so wang can have similar “throwing thoughts”. i think in his very slow delivery he may have a kind of” throwing thought” in there to get everything in sync.

    what i’m concerned about is eiland simply giving him a “throwing thought” that works well for most pitchers, but just doesn’t work for wang. i may be off base on this, but that’s what i’m wondering about.

    there’s another thing too about performing;what you think you’re doing and what you’re actually doing can be two different things. sometimes you have to trick yourself into doing the right thing by having a visualization that isn’t exactly what’s happening.

    despite wang’s problems,the yankees are looking very good. it would really be bad for me if the yankees win it all and i have to figure out why cashman wasn’t responsible for the championship :)

  51. randy l. April 15th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    doreen
    i didn’t answer your question about if wang is releasing too soon. it’s not that. he’s releasing the ball closer to his body and higher.

    pitchers often drop down when they are tired or injured. i have never heard of a pitcher raising his arm angle significantly without trying to do that. it’s not natural to go up. it takes a lot of effort which is why when pitchers get tired they drop their hand down and away from center.

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