The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


You can’t stop the SWB Yankees

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Apr 16, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Triple-A Scranton Yankees are 8-0. They beat Buffalo tonight as Shelley Duncan, John Rodriguez and Todd Linden homered.

The game was tied in the eighth inning when Buffalo put two runners on with two outs. In came Mark Melancon, who fanned Fernando Martinez and Nick Evans swinging.

This is why you look foolish and short-sighted to complain about the bullpen on April 16. The bullpen is very likely going to look much different on June 1 than it does now. And it’ll probably look even more different on Aug. 1.

Only a few fans had a clue who Joba Chamberlain was before he showed up on the scene in 2007 and started striking everybody out. Edwar Ramirez was playing in an indy league a few years ago. Brian Bruney once got released by the Diamondbacks. Phil Coke was closer to a job with UPS than the majors at this time last year.

Relievers are the most interchangeable parts of a baseball team. If Jose Veras can’t cut it, they’ll find somebody who can. Although I still cant figure out how Damaso Marte got $12 million that market. That’s a post for another day.

As for me, I am off to bed after a long day. I am not covering a game again until Monday. But the blog will roll on, so check back tomorrow. The Yankees host the Indians at 1:05.

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comments

 

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281 Responses to “You can’t stop the SWB Yankees”

  1. jay destro April 16th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    it was a long day at the stadium… i too am ready for some shut eye.

  2. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Great job by Melancon can’t wait to see him in August ! :)

  3. dave April 16th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Games in April don’t count

  4. Ed - Swisher is awesome!! April 16th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Brandon,

    wassup with your tag? lol

  5. Htman213 April 16th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Can someone re-evaluate that trade for Nady and Marte?

    2 months of Nady and Marte??

  6. m April 16th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Jose Veras can’t cut it. And it wasn’t just today. He’s always (since I’ve seen him) had control issues.

    If I sound irritated, it’s because I am. We called this a long time ago. I can see giving these guys more chances, but this game was in hand at one point. And it spiralled out of control quickly.

    That’s sad when you can say with confidence that you trust Edwar more than you trust Veras.

    Enjoy your weekend off, Pete. Hopefully we’ll be a few games over .500 when you get back.

    Oh, and can you check the blog once in a while? There was a lot of copycat posting.

  7. Jeff NJ April 16th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    For fantasy baseball purposes I just did a sort of international league pitchers by strikeouts year to date. Guess who is third in strikeouts, none other than Mr. Melancon with 14 in 7.1 innings. And I don’t think that includes today’s two k’s. That is to go with his 0.00 ERA and 0.41 WHIP. His time has come and he is needed ssoner rather than later.

  8. CB April 16th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    The yanks had the most valuable bull pen in baseball last year and it wasn’t because of the guys they had on the team at the beginning of the season.

    The yankees greatest strength in the pen is their depth. It’s their capacity to mix and match.

    Bull pen performances vary so much year to year it’s hard to count on any one non-Mo individual.

    But if you have 12 decent arms chances are enough will pan out so that the pen will be solid.

    That’ll happen again this year. If Veras can’t throw strikes they’ll replace him. It’s simply not that difficult – they have so many right handed arms to pick from.

    If Marte can’t throw whole innings they’ll reduce his role to a lefty specialist.

    One of the biggest bright spots in the evolution of the pen and kids coming up from the minors is the fact that major league hitters don’t seem to be able to make consistent contact on Dave Robertson’s curve ball.

    Robertson’s strike out numbers are ridiculous. He has only an ok fastball and the big question for him in the majors was whether his curve ball was so good because minor leaguers are bad at hitting breaking pitches or it was simply a big time swing and miss pitch.

    It’s a swing and miss pitch. If Robertson has improved his command then he’ll be a significant weapon.

  9. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I believe Brandon is referring to something said during pregame, that people will say meet me under the Thurman banner, or as his tag says meet me under the O’niell banner.

  10. m April 16th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Whew. Bases were loaded with Rays, but Chicago holds on to win 3-2.

  11. gayle April 16th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Love the way the Phils are honoring Harry

    http://philadelphia.phillies.m.....4-78946090

  12. SJ44 April 16th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Melancon will be in NY much sooner than August. The Yankees always like to short sell the guy who are real prospects.

    Anytime from May 15-June 1, I expect him to get the call.

    The Yankees save an arbitration year, and they don’t waste a ton of his bullets in AAA.

    Once he puts the finishing touches on his game, he will get the call.

    In the meantime, there are innings available for guys who step up and take them. May the best guys prevail.

  13. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    m- agreed, some idiot was impersonating me earlier today. I really don’t understand it. They should just go play on the Nickelodeon message board, those people will be more their speed.

  14. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Well, I know our pen will get better. And really, it BETTER get better. Right now it’s really bad.
    That being said, with our minor league depth we’ll be fine in the long run. Hopefully the short run doesn’t cost us too many games.

  15. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Still really looking forward to Melancon. I’m fixing May 15 in my calendar.

  16. Sean Serritella April 16th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I hear that Melancon can throw some serious heat.

  17. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Anybody here think Toronto’s for real? I don’t, but a hot start is a hot start…just like those Rays…
    If they are for real then we probably play in the greatest division in the history of baseball.

  18. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    ‘I believe Brandon is referring to something said during pregame, that people will say meet me under the Thurman banner, or as his tag says meet me under the O’niell banner.’

    Oh some guy named Joe Francisco, I’m guessing he’s related to Nick anyway he writes in caps and challenged lohud to fight him underneath the Oneil banner because he’s that hardcore. He could kick all of our butts infront of his little brother, just don’t bring weapons. :lol:

  19. bomber 99 April 16th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Girardi has a doghouse?

    Is that why Coke, who has been awful, was put in with the bases loaded against Grady Sizemore?

    Or that Veras, who is never trust worthy got to pitch the 7th inning of a tie game?

    Edwar has made 4 appearances in our 10 games. For the 6th man in a bullpen, that is fine. He should get opportunities in big spots though, more than Veras or Marte should.

    Robertson just got here this morning and was put in the game today for 2 innings.

    The only guy who has a legit gripe is Marte.

    Don’t blame Joe because the guys he put in are not getting it done.

  20. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    He also goes by the SN Ransom Sucks… AND WRITES LIKE THIS !

  21. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I don’t blame Girardi for anything but the Royals game.

  22. John April 16th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    The Rays lost to the Chi Sox tonight

  23. DT April 16th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Nice job Pete. It was certainly a long day for you.
    Plus, it must feel good to be home finally.

  24. Jeff NJ April 16th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I think the point some of you were trying to make is that the bullpen is all about a feeling out process. They may cost you some games early as the manager figures out who (not named Mo) he can trust in different situations.

    Truth of the matter is the Yankees were not winning this game today scoring two runs, so this game is more on the offense than the pen.

    Down the road, I’m sure Melancon and Robertson will be big parts of the bullpen success. I wish I had more faith in Marte, but he needs to earn it. That trade looks much worse with Nady going down.

    But who cares? I’m about to go on StubHub and buy tickets for tomorrow to see Joba.

  25. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Brandon- Are you okay?

  26. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    ‘I hear that Melancon can throw some serious heat.’

    Yeh but he isn’t ready yet.

    SJ why do you think late May, I’m thinking earliest July, I’d think they want him to get experienced vs good AA lineups then promote him to compete in the majors.

  27. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    ‘Brandon- Are you okay?’

    Yeh why ?

  28. Al from BK April 16th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    “In came Mark Melancon, who fanned Fernando Martinez and Nick Evans swinging.”

    Way to get the readers salivating Pete especially after today. Also if there are any Knicks fans in the house who do you want us to draft? I really like Stephen Curry, and hes tight with Lebron :)

  29. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Jeff- No need to go on Stubhub. Ticketmaster has tickets. 900 dollar tickets.:D

  30. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Jeff NJ-How about offense and pen.
    Not bailing out the offense but 9 runs in one inning will lose you most games, regardless of offense.
    Terrible job by the pen.

  31. SJ44 April 16th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Take a good look at the bullpens of the two teams that went to the WS last year, Tampa and Philadelphia.

    Take out Lidge, and you tell me how many of those guys are really any good?

    Brian Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Phil Coke and Damaso Marte, when he’s right, are better pitchers than all of the setups guys in Tampa and Philadelphia except for Ryan Madsen and perhaps Dan Wheeler.

    JC Romero got DFA’ed by the Red Sox in May of last year and was a BEAST for the Phillies in the post-season. They caught lightening in a bottle with him for a few months. That’s how it goes with bullpen guys.

    The Rays bullpen had about 5 guys have career years.

    Now, Romero is gone for 50 games for steroids, and the Rays bullpen is MUCH worse than the Yankees.

    Bullpens, even with good teams like the Yankees (except for the closer) are always in season works in progress.

    The health of the everyday players and the starting pitching is much more important.

    The problem is, too many of the young fans, like the clowns who impersonate others on here, can only remember and discuss the game that was played today. They have no ability to recall other games. Only the game that’s in front of them.

    How many people whined about the bullpen the last two days in Tampa? Nobody because they won and the ‘pen did the job.

    Today, they had to cover more innings and they didn’t get the job done. That’s going to happen over the course of the season.

    In the end, as CB correctly states, on depth alone, the Yankees bullpen will be fine. Too many good arms for it not be fine as the season goes on.

  32. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Okay just checking, your posts were confusing me. :lol: Maybe I should be asking if I am okay than. :)

  33. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! April 16th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    CB,

    Interesting phrasing you have there:

    “non-Mo individual”

    That’s the trouble with this pen–we have too many of those and not enough Mo-like individuals…

    Wonder what category we’ll ultimately put Melancon in…

  34. Jeter Da Man April 16th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Wang starts Saturday against Carmona (who is an excellent pitcher when he has his command). Ouch.

    That means we have to win tomorrow if we want to have a chance to split the series.

  35. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Brandon “I’ll see you underneath the Oneil banner !”-Why not late May? He looks great vs. triple A lineups and we can delay and feel out forever but we’ll never know for sure until he pitches in the big leagues.

  36. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Your pen also gets exposed when it has to pitch 3-4 innings a game.

    The previous two games the pitchers went deep in games, and you were able to use your top guys.

    Today (and let me be clear I am not taking a swipe at CC, because I think he grinded it out not having his best stuff). He only pitched into the 6th. Joe couldn’t go to Bruney again, and so early in the game, he had to go to his second tier guys.

  37. Rob Thompson April 16th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I love how much we have made our farm system into the most dominant one in the league. We are winning at all levels now. I think our future is oh, so bright.

  38. SJ44 April 16th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Brandon,

    Once they get past May 15, which buys out an arbitration year, and he’s still as dominating as he is right now (which I suspect he will be), there is no logical reason for him to stay in AAA.

    All they would be doing is using up his innings in a wasteful fashion.

    Its not like they are going to call him up and put him in the 8th inning role right away.

    I do think he can start out as the third righty in the ‘pen (behind Edwar and Bruney) and go from there.

    The kid is too good to waste in AAA all year.

    The Rays are going through the same thing with David Price and Wade Davis.

    Once May 15 comes, if Melancon is still lights out, everyday he’s not in the majors is a day missed by the Yankees, IMO.

    He’s too good to waste at Scranton once you get that arbitration year back.

  39. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! April 16th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Teixeiramvp,

    Agree about Melancon…untill he does it against big league hitters, it’s all conjecture, speculation–what have you…

    Many have been touted…

    Few have delivered.

  40. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    SJ44-In Tampa our starting pitchers did pitch the seventh, and in that first game they allowed five runs.
    Since you seem to think of me as a young fan I’m not sure if this was really referring to me or not, but I never have or will impersonate anybody, which is pointless and immature.
    Ten games is a sample and so far our pen hasn’t done well.
    It can ABSOLUTELY get better but until it does I go by what it has done, and it has done bad.
    Jeter Da Man-Don’t give up on Wang, he’ll do well yet. He’s a proven pitcher.

  41. CB April 16th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    “Now, Romero is gone for 50 games for steroids, and the Rays bullpen is MUCH worse than the Yankees.”

    It’s early and there’s not many conclusions one can draw at all.

    But to me one of the stories of the young season in the AL East so far is that the Rays bull pen just does not look very good and seems like it may regress considerably.

    Last year the rays pen came out of nowhere to be better than expected.

    But the pen wasn’t composed of the same kind of young talent the rest of the team was.

    In other words – the Rays pen was good in the same kind of highly variable way the Padres pen was so good the year before.

    Tampa’s pen just hasn’t been very impressive and it looked to me like they may be moving back to their true talent level. And of course they have no real closer.

    If their pen can’t perform like it did last year – that’s a major development.

  42. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    ‘Brandon “I’ll see you underneath the Oneil banner !”-Why not late May? He looks great vs. triple A lineups and we can delay and feel out forever but we’ll never know for sure until he pitches in the big leagues.’

    They were type weak lineups, Mets AAA, Cleveland AAA and I think Toronto AAA…lets see what he does against better AAA players first and let him gain more experience vs better batters then promote him to the bigs. I don’t want him coming up and getting shell shocked or having people call for Joba to replace him or calling him a bust.

  43. Joe from Long Island April 16th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    I think StubHub has as much, if not more, to do with ticket prices being astronomical and the type of “fan” than anything else.

    They sold an incredible number of season ticket plans. That’s why partial plan holders (like Saturday-gamers like myself) got shut out. I don’t think it was that so many real people want to go to every game, rather, that speculators, fastbuck artists, and ticket brokers snapped them up, and are now looking to make a hefty profit online and in the secondary market.

    I hope this phenomenon is just for this season, and that in this economy some of these speculators are left holding onto tickets and losing money. That way, I might stand a chance of getting my Saturday package back next year.

  44. Dee April 16th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    so if this swb team is so good, then how is there no one better there to replace ransom? seriously.

  45. KWAN April 16th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Were they really chanting “We Want Swisher!!” while Marte was getting lit up?

    HAHAHAHA thats awesome

  46. SJ44 April 16th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    One last point on Melancon. If they call him up on May, and it takes him time to get it going, you have him from June on to effect the pennant race in a positive fashion.

    If you wait longer, it makes it tougher for him to hit the ground running because the games take on more meaning as the season wears on.

    That’s why, if he continues to pitch as he has, Mid-May should be his arrival date in NY.

  47. DT April 16th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I looked up Melancon to see if he was going to have an innings limit this year – last year he threw 95 innings.

    Did anyone see him in Trenton?

    19 games – 49.2 innings. Over two innings a game?
    How was he used?

  48. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    jennifer “We want Swisher”-The problem six innings is not a bad start. I know our rotation’s great, but it’s unfair to consistently want seven innings.
    Our bullpen will fix itself, but until I look at what we’ve done and conclude that it wasn’t good. Will it be? Probably.
    DYNASTY IS DESTINY!-Exactly, we can wait and wait but until he gets here we’ll never know, so get him here already!

  49. tampayank April 16th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I think we’ll take 3 straight from Clevelend, Joba will go 7, the Wanger will get it together Saturday, and the Yanks hit a line drive that hits Pavano’s shin and knocks him out of his start in the 1st inning.

  50. CB April 16th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    “Wonder what category we’ll ultimately put Melancon in…”

    Without a doubt he’ll be squarely in the non-Mo individual camp. No question about it.

    But that has much more to do with Mo than it does Melancon.

    There will simply never be a player like Mo at his position again. Never. Every time he takes the mound we’re watching a small piece of the game’s history.

    Melancon could be an all star, the league’s best closer and he would still not be close to Mo’s class.

    The mold’s broken. We’re not going to see this again. Count on it.

  51. bodhisattva April 16th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    All well and good, but how is it that Melancon struck out two guys in the 8th if he entered the game with 2 outs?

  52. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Brandon “I’ll see you underneath the Oneil banner !”-He pitched last year too and did well.

  53. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Joe- Did you go back in the pool. I heard a lot of people did and got plans.

    Kwan- yes they were. :)

  54. Joe from Long Island April 16th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    As CB says, above, the Rays’ biggest problem may be that ‘pen of theirs. I figure every other aspect of their team to be just as good, if not better once Price comes on; barring injury, of course. But those guys in the BP came out nowhere last year, and had career years. Well, you can only have a career year once in your career. They may have shot their wad. If that’s the case, the Rays may need to consider using Price as their closer. Granted, it was only one game, but Percival didn’t look so hot. And he’s not gettting any younger. (Of course, that doesn’t hold for Mo.)

  55. Floyd April 16th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Girardi is doing exactly what he should. He is giving each of these guys a chance to earn their keep in the late innings and seeing who will step up

    He gave that chance to Bruney and he ran with it and is dominating

    He threw Veras a bone, but he has failed to do anything with it.

    He trusted Coke a little too much early on, now he is scaling back and using him in little less stressful situations.

    Marte hasn’t pitched much, but has not looked good when he has. He’ll probably used in lower leverage situations for now while he gets his stuff back.

    Edwar and Robertson are probably now going to get chances to prove themselves now that Veras and Marte have bombed.

    The only way to build a bullpen is by trial and error. You have to take the good with the bad early on while Joe sorts out these guys and their roles.

  56. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint. Calm down. April 16th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    The Yankees host the Indians at 1:05.

    ==================================

    Let’s not forget the pre-grame fist fight at 12:15pm. I hope YES will provide coverage of it. ;)

  57. Dee April 16th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    the thing is it’s only april. the pen isn’t going to right in april. granted sunday and today are unacceptable and inexcusable, but they still have to get into the rhythm of the game and everything. it will improve. and if not, then at least we know we have depth in our farm system. that being said, send down cody and ransom and please bring up somebody better. i think that’s the most important thing for the time being.

  58. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    ’19 games – 49.2 innings. Over two innings a game?
    How was he used?’

    Like Goose. A relief ace, if there was trouble in the 7th he came in and finshed out a game from the 7th to 9th or just came out to CL a game. His pitch count was low because he pitches to contact and can over power you at times.

  59. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! April 16th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    CB,

    Regarding your comments about Mo:

    Couldn’t agree more…

  60. Joe from Long Island April 16th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Jennifer – after a lot of discussion, my friend, with whom I split the package, and I decided to take the weekday package; though we did call and talk to one of the ticket reps and got better seats, similar to what we had before, just on the first base side instead of third. Price was only $5 more per ticket than we had been paying. On the aisle, too. So I can’t complain, I guess, compared to some others who sound like they really got screwed.

    I can suck it up for this year, but I really want my Saturday package back.

  61. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    CB-PROBABLY but don’tsay that just yet.
    People said that about Ruth before Gehrig. They said it about Dimmaggio, and then there was this Mantle kid…
    While you are almost definitely right, no gurantees. Melancon’s an unknown and can end up being anywhere from awful to Mo like. That’s the beauty of it, his potential.
    I don’t expect it, but I won’t assume definitely no.

  62. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    ‘Let’s not forget the pre-grame fist fight at 12:15pm. I hope YES will provide coverage of it.’

    Underneath the Oneil banner when you walk in the hall. Look for someone 5’10 and 200 lbs w/ his little brother.

  63. DT April 16th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    “All well and good, but how is it that Melancon struck out two guys in the 8th if he entered the game with 2 outs?”

    The third strike got past the catcher and the batter reached first maybe? Then he struck out the next guy.

  64. Joe from Long Island April 16th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Got to go to work tomorrow. ‘night, all.

  65. CB April 16th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    “Well, you can only have a career year once in your career. They may have shot their wad. ”

    How good the rays pen is this year is going to depend on their kids.

    Specifically how does Niemann do in the pen once price is called up. And is Wade Davis ready for the bigs and able to throw out of the pen.

    I think Davis is going to be the big key to their pen this year. The question will be whether he’s enough.

  66. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Joe- When did you call the rep? Recently?

  67. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! April 16th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Quick question:

    How many games this season has the bullpen failed to:

    A) hold a 1-run lead?

    or

    B) hold a tie?

  68. DT April 16th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    ‘19 games – 49.2 innings. Over two innings a game?
    How was he used?’
    Like Goose. A relief ace, if there was trouble in the 7th he came in and finshed out a game from the 7th to 9th or just came out to CL a game. His pitch count was low because he pitches to contact and can over power you at times.

    Baseball Reference says he pitched 19 games, finished 13, but only had 2 saves. (no starts)

  69. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Brandon- I am so confused. What happened here earlier today?

    Idiots on SNY, said the Yankees don’t have a lot of alternatives in the minors you don’t want to bring up Hughes to be a reliever!! Yes that sound you just heard was me smashing my head against my computer desk. Why don’t people do research before they speak?

  70. BetsyI April 16th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    SJ44, to be fair, the pen the last two games in Tampa consisted of Mo and Bruney. I agree that it’s too early to panic, but there is reason for concern. No matter how talented the arms (and thanks for addressing my concerns in a previous thread), the fact that they are unknown is rather scary. People were counting on the pen to be a strength, but now it’s more of a wait and see thing.

    The ill-health of the team (like it is every year – they have the worst luck) is scary. Tex’ wrist is a major concern – and we don’t know how Alex will hold up when he gets back. I don’t know what was worse – the pen or the fact that the team left a million men on base. They can’t continue to do that without losing precious games here and there.

    That said, I really love the makeup of this team (and I would love to hear more about what you were hinting at this morning, that different players with varying levels of seniority came up to you and said this was the greatest group of guys they’ve played with). The two games in Tampa were so thrilling and the last game was a knockout – the 2008 Yankees do not win that game. This team does fight – and they do have very good SP.

  71. Phil April 16th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I wouldn’t call Robertson’s fastball average exactly. It might top out at 93 or whatever but it’s got natural cutter action to it, and that’s why some Indians were missing it as well as the curve today. Po had DR mixing them a lot better than IRod did last year.

    Melancon could be up soon. It’s stupid to let him K 2 per inning at AAA. They gave him a new curveball grip in ST and it’s come really fast. Last year he was storming through the minors without high K’s. With the new curve he’s K’ing everyone. It’s a waste to have him down there. He’s also got crazy good make up, like a lot of the other new parts, and we can’t have enough make-up guy who are also outstanding players.

  72. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    MRI done, Tex is fine, just sore.

  73. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    game vs. Tampa yesterday was fantastic-Great comeback, big win.

  74. Phil April 16th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    The other issue is, we’re getting a bunch of Rasner length starts from our top two starters, and that’s got to stop so the pen can catch their breaths and work on their own sides between appearances.

  75. 24 Cano April 16th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Atleast we didn’t lose to the Padres on Opening day like the Mutts did

    Atleast the Indians are a good team with a good record

  76. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    ‘Brandon- I am so confused. What happened here earlier today?’

    You got to go to the gamethread after 4 PM I’m guessing, just hit ctrl + F and type in Ransom Sucks and read the posts from him. Apparently his maiden name is Joe Francisco and he can fight :lol:

  77. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Phil-six innings is pretty good.

  78. Teixeiramvp (JobaCyYoung) April 16th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    See you guys later, it’s been fun.

  79. Joey April 16th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Melancon is a stud, he won’t stay in AAA for long. Not with those numbers.

    As SJ said, let him use those innings here where we need him, not in AAA.

  80. DT April 16th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    gayle
    April 16th, 2009 at 9:32 pm
    SO here along with photos is my good, bad and ugly from today:
    http://2009thefirstseasonatthe.....erfly.com/

    Gayle – Nice pics! Thanks. :-)

  81. randy l. April 16th, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    CB
    April 16th, 2009 at 10:22 pm
    “when the yankees were 5-4 they had a .555 winning percentage. that comes out to 90 wins in a full season. 5-4 is awfully close to win one lose one, but slowly this kind of rate separates the good teams from the mediocre ones.”
    randy,
    So if I understand you, you’re making an argument based on a subtle matter of statistics!
    Who knew you had it in you.
    ———————
    cb-
    i like a well designed system that slowly creates success over time. a .555 winning percentage isn’t as exciting when it’s random, but when it’s appears as a result of a planned design like how this year’s starting pitching was put together, it’s gives confidence that it’s going to keep happening over time.

    then with a solid design in place , it’s just a matter of some mid season tweaking to put the team over the top. i have a preference in sports with teams that emphasize defense like the bill russell celtics or the football giants with huff and then later with taylor. five good starters for the 2009 yankees is emphasizing the defense and i like that.

    maybe it’s just my preference for defense, but it seems like you can control games more by keeping the score down. winning seems less random and the little things on offense come into play like situational hitting , bunting, stealing etc. – although three run bombs are also welcome in a well pitched game.

  82. BX 44 April 16th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Melancon and Bruney setting up MO, sprinkle in Coke. We should be good. The pen is going to be a real strength when Melancon comes up.

  83. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    If Melancon gets his contract picked up then maybe we can steal Lasting Milledge from the Nats for Veras, IDK it depends when Melancon comes up but all honesty I don’t see him here until late July early August.

  84. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Brandon- Wow the IQ level takes a nose dive when the Yankees lose or are losing. It would be nice if he could at least spell the word buffoon. :lol:

  85. Cal April 16th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    We’d be lucky to win 2 of the next 3

    Our lineup is ailing, the bullpen is an adventure outside of Bruney, and we have Wang going on Sat.

    I’ll take a split and run. Sad that we have to split with the 2-7 Indians, but it is what it is.

  86. jennifer "We want Swisher" April 16th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Brandon- The Nats were 0- what ever when he was sent down. If a team that hasn’t won a game sends someone down there is a reason.

  87. Doreen - You can tell it's me by all the smileys April 16th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Cal,

    The Indians are better than a 2-7 team, though. They’re not expected to stay on that pace.
    And anyway, on any given day, blah, blah, blah.

    :)

  88. R+ April 16th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Veras for Ryan Zimmerman

  89. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    ‘Brandon- Wow the IQ level takes a nose dive when the Yankees lose or are losing. It would be nice if he could at least spell the word buffoon.’

    I know.

    BTW Lastings isn’t the only reason they were 0 – 9, I would think SP/MRP/CL have something to do w/ that.

  90. Pel April 16th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    375 pitches thrown in today’s game.

    160 pitches where the ump doesn’t have to make a call
    (swing and miss, fouls, balls in play, or HBP)

    215 pitches where the ump has to make a call.
    (pitches taken for balls or strikes)

    38 pitches are miscalled.

    17.7% of callable pitches were miscalled.

    NYA: http://i39.tinypic.com/33etmw2.png

  91. Pel April 16th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    CLE: http://i43.tinypic.com/2zqzk2x.jpg

  92. JINT April 16th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I’d rather trade for Elija Dukes. He has a higher upside than Lastings.

  93. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Lastings is 5 tool and you could steal him for Veras, I doubt you can steal Dukes for Veras.

  94. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    for anyone who is wondering about the “Brawl for it all under the O’Neill Banner”. Go to the game Thread and at 4:40 look for posts fron “Ransom Sucks”

    here is my favorite part, I’m still laughing still thin it is Nick in SF having fun
    “REAL YANKEES FANS UNITE AND SUPPORT ME!!!! TOMORROW 12:10 PM UNDER ONEIL BANNER. REAL FANS VS FAKE FANS FIST FIGHT, DONT BRING ANY WEAPONS AND DON’T HURT KIDS/WOMEN, ONLY REAL MEN FIGHTING WITH FISTS. LETS GO!!!”

  95. PAT M April 16th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    I still say that this club is the best we’ve seen since the 03 squad..And it’s purely based on the quality of the rotation…They also had an above average bench ( which has been missing for several years)…..The pen I think is the best since the 2000 team, due to the amount of arms that are avaiable…Will be ever see another Nelson to Stanton to Rivera again ??? That was a very special trio, a very rare occurance….

  96. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    “DON”T BRING ANY WEAPONS!”

  97. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    ‘TOMORROW 12:10 PM UNDER ONEIL BANNER’

    That part still kills me :lol:

  98. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I wish SJ had posted around that time, since SJ gets amped up when ppl threaten him, that would have been hilarious Uncle E. :lol:

  99. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint. Calm down. April 16th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I hope that dude brings his psychiatrist with him tomorrow

  100. DT April 16th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    for anyone who is wondering about the “Brawl for it all under the O’Neill Banner –

    I heard GB is going to borrow Randy’s catching gear for the “fight”.

    Elementary school kids can kick hard. Gotta protect those shins.

    ps: those kids will be easy to spot. They’ll all be wearing CAPS.

  101. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Why 12:10 Joey Francisco?

  102. you gotta have faith (bronx zoo 2009) April 16th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    cant say im to happy about the yanks losing the opener but seriously its not the end of the world, the only yhting that worries me is the crowd, hopefully it was just the fact that the game for the most part was boring and everyone was exploring the place. time will tell.

  103. Al from BK April 16th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    What is this I here about a Yankee fan melee? sounds interesting :)

  104. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    DT you made me choke on my coffee :lol:

  105. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Brandon It IS hilarious I’m Still Laughing!
    and then who made the “surrender the yougurt” comment?

  106. DT April 16th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    “Why 12:10 Joey Francisco?”

    That’s school recess.

  107. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    ‘Brandon It IS hilarious I’m Still Laughing!
    and then who made the “surrender the yougurt” comment?’

    I think that was DT or someone else. I was DYING here :lol:

  108. Giuseppe Franco April 16th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I posted this piece about Melancon last night and it’s worth posting again. he learned a new grip with his curveball which is translating to more swings and misses.

    However, and this is very important to understand, he just learned this new grip at the end of ST – so we’re talking a couple of weeks ago.

    The kid needs to continue to master this pitch at the minor league level for a few more weeks before he gets called up to the bigs.

    —————

    Mark Melancon spent his first full professional season last year building up his arm strength, pitching more to location, and developing his changeup into another plus pitch. But now he’s made improvements to his out-pitch, and even though it’s just one week into the new season, it seems his game is coming together already.

    It wasn’t all that long ago that Mark Melancon posted a 7.69 ERA in six appearances for the Yankees in big league Spring Training and allowing nine hits in a little more than five innings.

    “I guess I didn’t put that much thought into Spring Training,” he said. “I felt I had an idea that I’d be in Scranton. Mainly I just wanted to get my arm going and get all of pitches to where they needed to be by the beginning of the season.

    “It wasn’t that I was stressing about how many runs or how many hits I gave up, although obviously every time you go out that’s your goal, for me it was just day by day getting closer to being ready for Opening Day.”

    Fast forward to the first week of the baseball season and Melancon has quickly righted the proverbial ship, tossing three straight scoreless relief appearances for the Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees and not allowing a hit until his third game.

    “I feel really good,” he said after picking up the win over Buffalo on Monday. “My curveball last year I didn’t think was as strong as it could be.

    “So in Spring Training, in the last few days of big league camp, Scotty Aldred – he’s always trying to help me in any way, shape, or form – the curveball was the main thing I was targeting.”

    “We decided to change grips a little bit. I went to a knuckle-curve and right away when I started throwing it there was more depth to it.

    “I just kept playing with it and working on it, and it’s really improved. It’s kind of what I had in college, so that’s been a big help for me so far.”

    He didn’t actually throw a knuckle-curveball in college, but he admits the break he has been getting on his new and improved curveball this season is similar to the one he had in college, as is its effectiveness as a strikeout weapon.

    “Anytime you have a solid out-pitch, strikeouts come with that,” Melancon said. “And good location – all of those things have to come together – first pitch strikes, and then a solid out-pitch. And then deception comes into play too. I think this curveball has really helped my strikeouts.”

    While he has piled up eleven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings so far this season, Melancon says it’s not due to any designed plan but rather the culmination of the hard work he put in during Spring Training.

    “Even though I was throwing the knuckle-curve in Spring Training, I didn’t have a great feel for it,” he revealed. “It’s really funny, in the opening game against Lehigh Valley it just kind of showed up. It was almost surprising how good it was. Now I realize what I’ve done to make it like that.

    “It’s just a shorter, quicker arm, which is what Nardi [Contreras], Scotty [Aldred], and everybody has told me, but sometimes you just have to feel that and realize exactly what it is you’re doing to cause that to happen. It’s hit me. Anytime now I have that checkpoint; do I have that short, quick arm? Am I staying on-top?”

    Just like last year when he put his numbers on the back-burner so he could master his changeup, he once again put development at the forefront of his Spring Training goals this season over piling up statistics.

    The end result has been a much more effective out-pitch so far this season, taking his already plus curveball to an entirely different level.

    “I would say so,” he opined. “Another thing that I’m starting to catch on to better than I had [last year] is getting a feel for hitters during at-bats and knowing what to go to next as the at-bat goes along.”

    Posting less than a strikeout per inning last season had some pundits questioning whether or not he had closer-stuff, but Melancon feels he can be the same pitcher he has been thus far this season in the big leagues someday.

    “It’s still me pitching out there. It’s not like I’m having an out-of-body experience or anything. Just because my strikeouts have gone up in the last three games, it’s not like I can go celebrate.

    “I think I’ve found something with the curveball, but I still have to go out, compete, and I realize these [hitters] are putting in a day’s work just like I am, so I can’t lose concentration,” he concluded.

  109. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    GB said he couldn’t beat up Nancy Newman.

  110. Doreen - You can tell it's me by all the smileys April 16th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I was just thinking – the loss today dampens a marketing opportunity. I’m sure it would have made a nice DVD – the New Stadium Opening Ceremonies capped by a Yankees win. :) They’ll probably still have a DVD with the ceremonies, but I bet it won’t do near as well.

  111. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I kinda figured the Brawl parts were made-up BUT Still fn funny. First place I go to in the new Stadium in “Under the O’Neill Banner”

  112. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint. Calm down. April 16th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    IF YANKEES WANTED REAL FANS THEY WOULD DO A FIST FIGHTING TOURNAMENT OUTSIDE THE STADIUM. HAVE US FANS BRAWL IT OUT FOR THE TICKETS. WHOS WILLING TO GET HURT FOR A CHANCE TO WATCH HIS TEAM??? THATS THE QUESTION AND NONE IS ASKING IT.

    ===================================

    This is one idea the Yankees need to get cranking on. Someone forward this to Hank and Hal. Easy way to get fans to come to the game. ;)

  113. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    S.A. Stop You are killing me.
    THATS THE QUESTION AND NONE IS ASKING IT.

  114. Bronx Jeers April 16th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Where exactly is the O Neill banner? It sounds like that’s the place to be.

  115. Stu H April 16th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Think the Yankees would trade Marte and Nady back to the Pirates for Tabata now? Youch.

  116. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Bronx Jeers I don’t know but I’m pretty sure that’s the unofficial Lohudder meeting spot. NO WEAPONS!

  117. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I wonder if Paul likes that under his banner is the fight spot.

  118. Al from BK April 16th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    “IF YANKEES WANTED REAL FANS THEY WOULD DO A FIST FIGHTING TOURNAMENT OUTSIDE THE STADIUM. HAVE US FANS BRAWL IT OUT FOR THE TICKETS. WHOS WILLING TO GET HURT FOR A CHANCE TO WATCH HIS TEAM??? THATS THE QUESTION AND NONE IS ASKING IT.”

    After today anything more than a scratch wouldn’t be worth it ;)

  119. Loligagger April 16th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Was there any reason why is was so quiet tonight? Was it mentioned?

  120. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Hi IS A Warrior.

  121. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    ‘Bronx Jeers I don’t know but I’m pretty sure that’s the unofficial Lohudder meeting spot. NO WEAPONS!’

    Darn

    (puts away machete, box cutters and brass knucks) :(

  122. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    What’s the first Rule of LoHud?

  123. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    “do not: Use the site to post or transmit any unlawful”

    :lol:

  124. Loligagger April 16th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Lolligagger:

    Because corporate fans are too worried about how they are perceived. I am concerned that this is going to be a problem all season. I can some people even complaining to security if some fans are too loud.

    Just give your tickets to people who actually care, get in your Jaguars and drive back to Westchester.

    Im going on Saturday and Im going to be rowdy as all hell.

  125. DT April 16th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    “Where exactly is the O Neill banner? It sounds like that’s the place to be.”

    It’s in the Great Hall.

    From Bob Lorenz’s blog –
    “So, I show up to the stadium early, and Kim Jones is already there. John Flaherty shows up a few minutes later. We all take a little stroll, along with Ken Singleton, in the Great Hall, so we can get a firsthand feel for the place. It’s great, by the way. You can tell a buddy or best friend… “Dude, (or Dudette), meet me under the Thurman Munson banner.” *Or the Paul O’Neill banner*. Just take your pick of a host of ballplayers”

    http://theblob.mlblogs.com/arc.....tadiu.html

  126. Tee April 16th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    woops:

    put Loligagger in my NAME by accident

  127. miggs April 16th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Brandon are you really going to meet that lunatic at 12:10 under the O’Neill banner?

  128. Dr. Cox April 16th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I will be at the stadium on Saturday to see the Wanger right himself as well.

    Hopefully its louder in there than it was on tv.

  129. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Don’t worry about the fans after the Battle under the Banner only real fans will remain.
    So it shall be written so it shall be done.
    There can be only one.

  130. Dr. Cox April 16th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Make the battle Saturday.

    He, Ransom Sucks, can you show up on Saturday so I can fight you too?? Pleeeease?

  131. DT April 16th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I’m not worried about Brandon –

    he has plenty of backup underneath the Thurman banner.

  132. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    miggs
    good lord! don’t know if you are serious or not but I’m laughing my a off at that question.

  133. Bronx Jeers April 16th, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks DT!

    I swear I’ve been looking at pics for the last 5 mins trying to figure it out. Duh!

    OK so now it’s 12:10 pm . Look for the guy (Joe Francisco) 5’11″ 200 lbs with jeans and a Matsui jersey.

    I’m going tomorrow so I’ll report back with any sightings.

    If only I had a green beret.

  134. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Bronx jeers please take a photo of the banner. and the nutjob too.

  135. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    LOL Bronx

  136. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 16th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    ‘Brandon are you really going to meet that lunatic at 12:10 under the O’Neill banner?’

    If I had tickets I would. Dr.Cox I’ll ask him if he can be there on Saturday too.

  137. Uncle Ellsworth April 16th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Oneill is inbetween Thurman and Reggie – keeping the peace? (just saw it on replay)

  138. DT April 17th, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Here is where it is all going down – tomorrow 12:10.
    Hide the women and children.

    http://tiny.cc/UYAeV

  139. miggs April 17th, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Uncle Ellsworth yeah it was a serious question.

    Sorry if I didn’t catch on that it was a joke. Seemed like that guy really wanted a fight from what I read. Maybe I missed something.

  140. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint. Calm down. April 17th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I TALKED TO A YANKEES SCOUT AND TOLD ME HE WILL BE SENT UP SOON. DON’T ASK ME WHO BECAUSE HE TOLD ME NOT TELL HIS IDENTITY.

    ===============================

    This dude is just precious. I believe “talked to a Yankees Scout” is code for the voices in his head.
    Please, whoever is going tomorrow, take pictures of the ONeil banner area.
    Forget YES, this might need to be on pay per view

  141. Dr. Cox April 17th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Brandon,

    I would love it if he was really there. Honestly it would be incredible.

  142. m April 17th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    DT,

    I know others answered your question about Melancon and his IP vs. appearances.

    Chad Jennings wrote about it late last season. Even though you would think there’s concern after the TJ surgery, he was so efficient that had him pitch more than one inning at times. As Nardi Contreras said, “We know every pitch he’s thrown.” Meaning they were watching him like a hawk.

    CB,

    The other night Neyer was on Jason Smith (espn radio/west coast). He said that he thinks Tampa Bay made a huge mistake in standing pat (no pun intended) and not improving the team. I guess he doesn’t think Pat Burrell is significant. :P But I totally agreed with him because you can’t (Tampa) expect that magical year to happen again. Because it was, you know, magical. The experts predicting great things for the Rays, but I think they understimate the bullseye on the back factor. Everyone wants to knock down the AL champ, and no one’s taking Tampa lightly like they did in the past.

  143. Uncle Ellsworth April 17th, 2009 at 12:04 am

    miggs
    just the thought of Brandon meeting him – Idon’t know the whole thing is cracking me up.
    The may be serious IDK

  144. m April 17th, 2009 at 12:05 am

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4075355

    Considering the bloodbath at the stadium today, Crasnick actually did a good job with this.

    Selig’s quotes were perfect. Strange.

  145. miggs April 17th, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I do think it would be a great idea to have a meeting spot at the Stadium for people on the blog.

    Just pick a banner. It would be nice to put some faces with names.

  146. Uncle Ellsworth April 17th, 2009 at 12:12 am

    I agree miggs.. At this point I think there is no other choice besides O’Neill.

  147. DT April 17th, 2009 at 12:12 am

    That crazy nut didn’t talk to a YANKEE SCOUT.
    He talked to a Cub Scout.

    Probably a fellow troop member. Those rascally Webelos.

  148. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 17th, 2009 at 12:14 am

    http://i43.tinypic.com/2vlm909.jpg

    Right here is where it’s all going down, bring the popcorn, IDK who is scheduled to be there. :)

  149. DT April 17th, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Thanks m!

    I knew Melancon was under the watchful eye – I guess they were more worried about pitch counts than innings.

  150. Uncle Ellsworth April 17th, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Oh jes that red arrow FUNNY

  151. m April 17th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    DT,

    NP. Here’s the actual thread:

    http://community.thetimes-trib...../1002.aspx

  152. Al from BK April 17th, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Melancon needs some more time which unfortunately for us means Veras is left to destroy another game.

  153. Phil April 17th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    More time to do what? He’s run through the minors like a hot knife through butter for a season and two weeks now.

  154. Al from BK April 17th, 2009 at 12:49 am

    “More time to do what? He’s run through the minors like a hot knife through butter for a season and two weeks now.”

    I agree especially for this guy who I see eventually stepping in for the Sandman.

  155. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 12:54 am

    My thoughts on the bullpen issue

    http://www.puristbleedspinstri.....-blow.html

  156. Brandon "I'll see you underneath the Oneil banner !" April 17th, 2009 at 1:01 am

    ‘More time to do what? He’s run through the minors like a hot knife through butter for a season and two weeks now.’

    Can he do it for more than 1 – 2 weeks and atleast more than 30 IP before we annoint him anything. And can he go against a legit AAA lineup before we start labeling him the goods. It’s easy to go through the minors like a hot knife through butter at times, or did you forget Scott Patterson ? Kei Igawa ? Ian Kennedy ? etc…give Melancon time.

  157. whatever April 17th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    $201 million payroll and all our bullpen problems are going to be solved by a guy who has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues. Why is this already feeling like every other unhappy year?

  158. stuart April 17th, 2009 at 1:21 am

    melancon has dominated wherever he has pitched from college on..

    prove it… you get the guys you are facing out then you have proved it… he closed for a pac 10 college, in big games, read his interviews. he is a stud….

    if veras fails in a few more outings and others move to the next arms; robertson, melancon, clagget, tomko, etc.. if they fail continue to try new guys.. they have about 12 power arms not on the big league team…

  159. stuart April 17th, 2009 at 1:22 am

    poor whatever the yanks are 5 and 5, such pain and anguish.

    man you fans are whiny clowns.. I grew up during the horace clark era, grow up…..

  160. PAT M April 17th, 2009 at 1:23 am

    He’ll get here in due time, think May 30th….Brandon, you bring up some very valid points about rush jobs in the past….As unhappy as I am with Veras, Melancon needs more time @ AAA….The thought should be when he arrives it should be for good…..Make no mistakes with this kid….

  161. m April 17th, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Everything Brandon says points to mid-May just as SJ predicted.

    He’s already had 20IP at AAA and was perfect in the IL postseason. He’s ready. He’s biggest obstacle is the arbitration clock.

    They’re not going to let all the money they spent on the stadium and free agent acquisitions go down the drain because of a few weak links in the bullpen. They’re going to nip any problems in the bud. Just not in the first week of the season.

  162. vince April 17th, 2009 at 1:32 am

    yeah, the Marte signing is just bizarre. could have had him for one year, $6 mil, or just let him go. why 3 years for a 34-YO LOOGY?

  163. m April 17th, 2009 at 1:37 am

    vince,

    He wasn’t a LOOGY when we got him. And Cash wanted him for years. So in his mind, Marte is younger than he really is. lol.

    His .baa and numbers against righties were good. But he may just be another example of how difficult it is to transition back the AL after pitching in the NL. NL numbers really need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    And Marte was able to pitch 1+ innings at a time as well.

    He just needs to be used smartly. I think he’ll be okay.

  164. vince April 17th, 2009 at 1:39 am

    god, i hope so. $12M and 3 years, we’re stuck with him.

  165. John_Halfz April 17th, 2009 at 2:05 am

    I watched Melancon warm up in the bullpen in Allentown the other night. It’s obviously a different view when you’re right on top of the guy. But it was a really impressive session. The ball was really popping. After the first few pitches, on which he missed the target badly, he was just electric. He then came in and pitched two perfect innings with 3 K on 26 pitches.

  166. John_Halfz April 17th, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Today was a little bit depressing, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen from the team in the first 10. Even without their big hitter, and with Teixeira scuffling a bit, they scored at least 4 runs in their first 9 games for the first time in over 20 years. Sabathia wasn’t great today, but he still allowed just one run in 5.1. Wang will turn it around. I’d like to put another plus arm in the pen, but I can’t think of too many teams in MLB who have that luxury outside of their top two guys. We’re going to be just fine.

  167. Mrs. Kekich April 17th, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I think the pen will be fine, everyone chill out. How many teams keep the same 6 or 7 guys all year in a bullpen? They will sort it out. This time last year, I didn’t count Bruney as a solid reliever but he developed into one. Marte will be fine as a mainly lefty-to-lefty guy. Coke will be fine, even if he has to get sent down and brought back later.

  168. Larry G April 17th, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Pete great observations on the crowd as I sat in my den upstate NY I thought the very same thing, where were the real Yankee fans, this was definately like you said, “The wine and cheese crowd”…LOL!
    As a life long fan I really was ticked over that. Then the broadcast booth brought in the commish and he made sure he pointed out that the Yanks still had many affordable seats HAHAHAHAHA! He never said where they were. Selig is a sales man and not a commissioner.
    I also have to agree with you on Marte, he may go down as the best thief to ever ripoff the Yanks and their fans.

  169. Christina April 17th, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Larry- I also found it funny how they said there wasn’t a bad seat in the house… I guess they havent taken the time to sit in the bleachers next to the restaurant..

  170. Yankee U April 17th, 2009 at 7:16 am

    A point to consider in the Nady Marte trade.

    Tabata is batting .222 with 0 HRs in AA.
    Karstans has an ERA of 6.75
    Ohlendorf has an ERA of 4.91
    Neither has won a game.

    It’s not like we gave away the Crown Jewels.

  171. Doreen - You can tell it's me by all the smileys April 17th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Yankee U

    Tabata must have had a no hits last night – he was hitting .240 yesterday afternoon! :)

  172. Yankee U April 17th, 2009 at 7:29 am

    0 – 3 with a walk

  173. Doreen - You can tell it's me by all the smileys April 17th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    :)

  174. Dr. Cox April 17th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    My question is, why even wait for Veras to implode and give up another game? Why not bring up Melancon now.

    I’ll be honest, I dont know much about him besides the NYP piece last year, but he seems highly touted. Send him up!

  175. vinny-b (Girardi, Pettitte, Mo, Matsui, Gardner = my top 5) April 17th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    “I also have to agree with you on Marte, he may go down as the best thief to ever ripoff the Yanks and their fans”

    no one will ever top Carl Pavano.

    except maybe Lonn Tross. To the tune of 1.6 billion dollars

  176. jennifer April 17th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Dr. SJ said the Yankees would likely wait till May 15 (arbitration year). Than bring him up if he is still doing well.

  177. jennifer April 17th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Hopefully the Yankees take a nice early lead, so this place stays sane.

  178. Steve B April 17th, 2009 at 8:41 am

    “How many teams keep the same 6 or 7 guys all year in a bullpen?”

    Most of the championship teams in the Torre era did. Sure, they’d have the occasional appearance from a Willie Banks, Ed Yarnall or Craig Dingman, but in general the 4-5 key guys were always the same.

  179. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I bought some Chitty Field tickets for April 24. I just needed to cleanse myself of that, being a Yankee fan and all :)

    I bought them for my girlfriends birthday (and also so she could compare Chitty Field with Yankee Stadium when we go on May 2nd. And be really disappointed!

  180. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I am all for Joba in the rotation, but I’m just saying this looks pretty damn good:

    CC
    Wang
    Burnett
    Pettitte
    Hughes

    Joba
    Melancon
    Bruney
    Mo

    How could you lose with that. You pretty much have a closer for every day’s starting pitcher lol

  181. jennifer April 17th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    RussW210

    That is what I call it also, it flows so nicely. :)

  182. NYYanksFan April 17th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    When asked about the crowd chanting “We want Swisher”, he tried to assure his answer would not anger any of his teammates.

    “At that point in time, I was so locked into the game and just wanted to get that final out,” Swisher said. “It didn’t seem like it could come quick enough. I guess you could say it was kind of funny, but the outcome of the game was definitely not funny.”

  183. S.A.--Let's get ready to rumble! April 17th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Hopefully today’s game goes better than yesterday.

  184. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Jenn – they couldn’t have picked a better name lol

  185. jennifer April 17th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Nope goes right along with being a second class team. :D

  186. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Got my ARod Jersey on today at work for good luck.

  187. Joekuh - "THATS THE QUESTION AND NONE IS ASKING IT.” April 17th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Please, PLEASE go see him Brandon. I’m crying laughing reading the game thread right now. Bridge-jumpers are so entertaining!!!!!

  188. JohnC April 17th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Veras’s post game comments really bothered me. He said ‘Better to be bad now than later in the season when the team needs me’ So that means its ok to be brutal becuase they really don’t need you now? Then go back to Scranton where you belong. Unbeleivable.

  189. BetsyI April 17th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Get this quote from Veras:

    Quote:
    “It’s better to be bad now than later in the season, when the team needs me for real,” Veras said.

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseba…0,384066.story

    Is this guy kidding? These games don’t count? I’m tired of his act, but we’re stuck with him

  190. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Veras is kind of right. If you’re going to struggle, struggle early so you have the time to figure out what’s going on and you can fix it. If you struggle late, niether you nor the team have the time to adjust.

  191. Ron April 17th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Why isn’t Angel Berroa on this team and not Cody RAnsom. Berroa can play 3B !!

  192. jennifer April 17th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    While the comments sound really bad, maybe it is the language barrier maybe it didn’t come out as he meant it?

  193. BetsyI April 17th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    As to the crowd noise, I don’t take Pete seriously here as he was already making snarky comments about the so-called class system in the stadium. I was at the game and there were plenty of “real” Yankee fans.

    The Yankees have lost plenty of games in recent years with the so-called intimidation factor. I think it’s overrated…….

    However it turns out, the players will be the ones determining how successful they are – not the noise level. If they need crowd intensity to help them perform, then they are not that good

  194. Trevor April 17th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I guess Veras doesn’t realize if he continues to pitch like this he won’t be around “later in the season”.

  195. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I think it is the language barrier. At least he understands he needs to get better

  196. BetsyI April 17th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Rebecca, the quote sounds terrible, though. The games don’t really count now? They count every bit as the ones later in the season. If any of his teammates read that quote, I’d bet they weren’t too happy with that.

  197. C April 17th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    no Ransom today please

  198. Wave Your Hat April 17th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Maybe I’m just irritable this morning but it was a mistake to give Marte a $12MM/3 year contract. I said so at the time and nothing I’ve seen so far has changed my mind.

    I’m sure he’s better than he showed yesterday, but our pen is deep enough where the money spent on him could have been applied more effectively to the offense (for example, CF).

    Can anyone out there name a reliever who is not a closer, and who wasn’t a closer when he signed his contract, with a bigger contract than Marte?

  199. JohnC April 17th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I am glad the new Stadium has a few of the features of the ‘old’ stadium, pre 1976 such as the auxilliary scoreboards against the bleacher walls and the facade on the upper deck. For those who were around before the stadium was first torn down in 1973, remember the old light towers they had back then instead of the multi-vapor lighting system they have now across the whole top? One thing I always remember about that stadium I bet alot of people forgot was back then the wall behind the outfield was very low in those days so you could actually catch a glimpse of the game from the 16st ST. station platform. At times I used to see people actually sitting in lawn chairs up there watching the game, even though the action was so far away. AHH The memories. When they redesigned the Stadium after 1973, the put in the huge wall there to block the view from up there so you could no longer see the field from there.

  200. Mark D (formerly TGFizeek) April 17th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I know this won’t be popular but Veras can be a serviceable arm in the BP. Not everyone is going to be lights out. He did have a few good streaks last year.

  201. Mark D (formerly TGFizeek) April 17th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    That said he’s gotta start throwing strikes.
    OH MY GOD HE HAS TO START THROWING STRIKES!!!!!!

  202. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    SWB Yanks are rocking.
    Especially Ian Kennedy is back on track.
    1B Miranda is RED hot swinging the bat but he is also out of options. With Tex & Swish on the Roster there’s no room for him on the big club. He’ll have to be traded.
    AJAX is looking good, we might see him called up later in the year if another outfielder goes down. I have been a Cody supporter, but enough is enough, I’d rather see Berroa as our utility guy at this point. Tomko has been pitching well & has the experience as a long reliever, but we signed him to a minor league contract, we might as well get a deal done for the big club.

  203. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    If May 15 is the arbitration threshold Melancon will likely get called up after, then Tampa will probably bring Price up in late May too. That only makes them a better team.

    They said he needed to go down and work on some things. Right. It didn’t look like he needed to improve in order to dominate, but everyone knows he will anyways.

    Hmmm, I wonder if any one down in Tampa is saying that Price should pitch the 8th inning instead of starting, or that Price should be used as a set up man for Percival until Percival retires?

  204. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I agree – lets get Berroa up here.

  205. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Wave,

    Kyle Farnsworth twice (with the Yankees and Royals), Steve Karsay, and a few others from 2006 (when middle relievers cashed in) whose names escape me right now. All of whom got industry high contracts for non-closer work.

    Veras’ quote gets lost in translation. His point is, better to struggle early than late. Which, despite claims from the bridgejumpers to the contrary, is correct.

    Now, he may not be around to be better “late” unless he turns it around. lol That’s a different issue.

    You guys have to begin to understand how baseball players think because, if you understand how they think, you will have a better idea of how they hold up over the course of a season. They don’t think like fans. If they did, they would be dead by May 1 from the stress.

    They operate on a “turn the page” mentality. Good game or bad game, you turn the page. That’s how you hold up mentally over a 162 game season.

    Its the toughest adjustment for younger players to make. Its why Phil Coke for example is still evolving into his role as a reliever because he has been a starter his entire career. Handling failure as a relief pitcher is an entirely different animal than handling it as a starter.

    Mariano Rivera preaches to EVERY relief pitcher that as soon as your spikes hit the dugout at the end of a game, you put good games or bad games out of your memory. Its over and its time to turn the page.

    Its the best way these guys can handle the stress of playing this game.

  206. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Angel Berroa is not an upgrade to Ransom. Ransom also hit AAA pitching last year so, Berroa hitting AAA pitching is not great shakes. He hasn’t hit major league pitching well in 5 years.

    Berroa is also horrible defensively at third base.

    They should just play Pena until Arod gets back.

    He’s better than both Berroa and Ransom.

  207. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    SJ: And probably why Mo is quite more than just a man… =D

  208. Mark in Tampa April 17th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    There actually was some talk of Price to the pen the other day after the Rays pen imploded two days in a row. But, it was just fans and a talk show host or two, not an ESPN special segment like with Joba. I think mostly a knee jerk to a couple of games, rather than a serious consideration.

  209. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Berroa is in the same boat as Tomko, both were signed to minor league contracts. Does Cashman open the checkbook again? Seems more likely for Tomko as he really pitched well in the Spring & currently at SWB and he does have the experience in long relief & spot starts. Signing Berroa to a deal may not make sense as Alex will be back in about 2 weeks. We’re at .500 no need to panic.

  210. BetsyI April 17th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    SJ, I agree that players can’t have the same mentality that fans do – all your points are good ones. I just hope that Veras’ comment was lost in translation because it sounds terrible…

    Cody Ransom, I hope, has played himself out of a utility role on this team. I would rather have Pena there once Alex returns, but that said, I don’t think he’s any great shakes either. If that game in Tampa is any indication, he can’t bunt at all……since he’s not going to hit, it might behoove him to learn.

  211. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Today’s lineup courtesy Yes Network:

    Jeter, Damon, Teix, Swish, Posada, Canó, Cabrera, Ransom, Gardner

  212. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    If Kennedy is pitching so well, what are the chances the Yanks use him in the bullpen?

    I know that generally goes against what I was just saying about using an effective starter in the bullpen. But:

    If our rotation stays in good shape and if he’s not ahead of Hughes or Aceves for the next available starting spot, he can get some experience against ML hitters. If he does well, there’s an opportunity to see him face ML hitters and decide if we want to keep him, and move him to the rotation any time in the next couple years, or for other teams to see him if there’s talk of trading him as a starter.

    He said the wrong things and/or seemed a little too casual in taking a loss last year. He could stand to get a feeling he needs to earn a starting spot. As if getting sent down last year wasn’t telling him that already.

    I’m not saying this is the ideal use for him and I’m not calling for Cashman’s neck if it doesn’t happen. Just an idea if he’s the 7th or 8th best starter in the organization. Pettitte will retire soon. Someone could get hurt. Hughes or Aceves might not pan out though I’m sure Hughes will.

    Again, there’s an opportunity to see Kennedy face ML hitters and decide if NY wants to keep him as a starter for ’10 or ’11. If not, could a good enough showing in such a role give him some trade value?

  213. Wave Your Hat April 17th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    SJ44-

    So the answer is on Marte’s contract, not many. You’d think after Farnsy the Yanks would have learned. And in today’s market, Marte’s contract on a relative scale ranks those 2006 contracts I’m sure.

  214. Wave Your Hat April 17th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    The problem with Kennedy is, at least to my way of seeing things, he’s pitched well in the minors before.

  215. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Rebecca,

    Mo isn’t human! lol

    Jeter also has the same mentality. Which is the reason why he is such a mentally tough guy. Its a necessary skill to possess as a player.

    Its tougher to do these days in the era of Facebook, the internet, Twitter and 24/7 news and information at your fingertips.

    Everybody wants everything NOW. The team has to be great NOW. Every player has to be great NOW. The Yankees have to win every game NOW.

    Unfortunately, the pace and rhythm of baseball doesn’t dictate to the NOW crowd. Its not how you play the game.

    In my travels around the team the last 4 days, just about every guy was BEGGING for all the pomp and circumstance to end. Remember, they opened FOUR ballpark this year and Tampa pretty much had Opening Day two nights in a row with all of their ceremonies.

    Baseball players like the rhythm of going day to day. A basic routine.

    Once they get back to that, it puts them in their collective comfort zones.

    Baseball is an everyday game. That’s what distinguishes it from football.

    Football is a weekly event. Baseball is a daily grind.

    Most of the younger fans to the game have grown up in a era where football is America’s #1 sport. So, they adopt a football mentality to baseball and get frustrated when it doesn’t pan out as they desire.

    Its two entirely different sports. Especially when it comes to routine and rhythm.

    Its also why you can’t jump to final, hardened conclusions about any part of the team after 10 games. Its fools gold.

    These days, its not just fans who do that. Its MANY members of the media, both print and electronic. Too many if you ask me.

    Fans aren’t supposed to know better.

    The media? That’s a whole different discussion for another day. I can’t believe some of the nonsense I have heard and read from members of the media who should know better in the first 10 games of the season.

    They seem to be bowing to the pressure of saying something, even if they know it makes no sense.

  216. Tom in NJ April 17th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Somebody asked what a “replacement level player” was yesterday. The answer is Cody Ransom.

  217. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Ian Kennedy’s stuff doesn’t translate to bullpen work.

    He’s like Andy Sonnestine. A touch and feel guy.

    I think Ian will get starts in NY this year if he continues to pitch well.

    The chances of every starter staying healthy for 162 games is slim.

    If he doesn’t, it also wouldn’t shock me to see him as a piece of a deal to bring in help at the deadline.

    Either way, if he continues to pitch well, that’s only good news for the Yankees.

  218. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Right now Kennedy has a better ERA 1.50 than Hughes 4.50 or Aceves 10.0. Only giving up 2 runs in 12 IP with 16 strikeouts. But it’s early in AAA too.

  219. jennifer April 17th, 2009 at 10:24 am

    They didn’t give positions? My guess is swisher is playing first and Tex is dh’ing?

  220. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    SJ: Agreed.

    One of the things I love about baseball right now is the fact that you do play it every day (or nearly every day), and that no matter what happens the games go on.

    Right now, I think that one thing is what’s keeping me together.

    I know I might go to class today, and not be able to handle it and break down, but I know when I come back I can watch WB Mason’s replay of the game, and it’s some sort of comfort.

    It’s not much right now, but I’ll take what I can get.

  221. Where's Dr.A? April 17th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Maybe the AAA team can all be called up and win a few for the Yanks this season! They can’t do any worse than the $210M team that they showcase now! :)

  222. Betsy April 17th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Doese anyone read Steve Goldman’s blog on YES? I’ve never liked him, but for some reason I checked his blog out today and couldn’t believe I read that he thinks a 5-5 start is discouraging.

    I think overall the Yankees have done a fine job, given that they have played 9/10 on the road and are without their best hitter (and almost without their 2nd best hitter). This team has flaws (mostly their tendency to strand a small army on the bases and their pen, as currently constituted), but they’ve shown a lot for fighting spirit in just two weeks than they did for most of last year. That said, they really need Tex to get healthy (I’m concerned) and Matsui to start hitting. The Jays may be around for the whole season and the O’s are a pain – this is a brutal division and the Yankees need to put a good streak together.

  223. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    With Melky in the lineup, my guess is that Damon is the DH today.

  224. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Wave – I was just thinking that a short term bullpen role would give him a little more ML exposure without putting him in the rotation.

    I’m not sure whether a good showing there for a couple months would make him more attractive to another team looking to make a trade deadline deal.

    Really I was just wondering if it was an option to consider him as one of the mid-season bullpen options … not as much of a suggestion than a simple curiosity. I wouldn’t bother to think it if he was on par with Hughes and the rotation wasn’t already so deep.

  225. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Rebecca,

    Its also why baseball is such a tough sport.

    I get asked a lot by people why baseball is attracting fewer athletes to it at a young age.

    In Florida for example, its football country down here. While there are some great baseball programs in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, more kids play football than baseball.

    It has nothing to do with race (often said to be the cause down here), cost to play or anything else.

    Its baseball is HARD to play!

    Its much easier to play football than baseball. You can use your aggressiveness to get out your frustrations on your opponent. You also only have to play on one side of the ball. You can’t play baseball with the same mentality.

    In baseball, you have to play on both sides (offense and defense) all the time unless you are a pitcher or DH.

    You have to deal with the day to day knocks the game gives you. Go 3-4, with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI, and you are a “stud”.

    Strike out 4 times the next day? You are a dud.

    In the world we live in these days, kids often have a very, very difficult time handling the daily ups and downs of baseball. That’s why they gravitate to football.

    Have a good game in football? You are the school hero for a week. In baseball? You are only as good as your next game.

    That tougher on kids than it was when I was their age.

  226. JoeyA April 17th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Re: Relievers turning the page.

    I don’t think Rivera get’s enough credit, if thats possible, for this mentality.

    He blew saves in a World Series, and allowed for one of the greatest comebacks in sports with two outs and two strikes.

    Not many relievers can mentally get passed that to find even the slightest success, nevermind what Rivera has done.

  227. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Agreed … if Kennedy’s on, he can be a help in the rotation when his time comes. I’m not so high on the bullpen idea for him – that was really just a whim / curiosity.

  228. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Or a trade … whatever works.

  229. m April 17th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Oooh. Ransom. I was behind him 100% when he got the job, but he hasn’t looked so good.

    Joba in the 8th vs. Price in the 8th. They both did it in the postseason, and oddly enough Price got it done, while divine intervention prevented Joba from doing so.

    But here’s the difference. One plays for the greatest franchise EVER. And the other plays for a franchise that encourages the use of cowbells.

    One has the greatest closer EVER. The other has a closer by committee. So there’s a bridge to nobody.

    Furthermore, Joba’s larger than life. Literally came out of nowhere and instantly became a cult figure. Price has been on the radar forever, so people know him for what he really is, a starter.

    The story hasn’t been written on Joba yet.

  230. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    We’re .500 and many are acting like the sky is falling.
    I wonder how fans of other teams are thinking. Is there panic in Boston?

    granted we spoiled the home opener, but we are looking good so far. Tex’s wrist will heal, we’ll have Alex back, and our bullpen will get settled. We will be in the hunt all year & if things shake out we’ll be in the playoffs.

  231. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    SJ: A lot of schools up north don’t even have baseball programs because of the long winters.

    Betsy: 5-5 is discouraging only in that if the bullpen had done its job we could be 7-3 right now. Still, moping about that would be crying over spilt milk.

    What’s done is done. Let’s move on.

  232. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Exactly re: Mo.

    It took 3 years for Brad Lidge to find himself again after Albert Pujols schooled him in the post-season.

    Just because Mariano doesn’t yell and scream, it doesn’t diminish the fact that he has a warrior-like competitive streak. You have to be tough as nails to overcome what he overcame.

    I remember when the Red Sox got their rings in 2005 and the crowd cheered Mariano in a mocking fashion. He laughed about it publicly.

    Privately? He was P#@#$.

    Check out his numbers against Boston since that time. He’s owned the Red Sox.

    He and Jeter are the two toughest players mentally I have ever been around. If more guys had their mentality, they would have their success.

    Its a tough thing to possess though. That’s probably why those two guys are HOF’ers.

  233. sevrox April 17th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    SJ: sage words – you, along with Pete Abe, are a pleasure to read.

    As are some of the regulars.

    I’m looking forward to what the 200 lb 5’10″ behemoth looks like – someone please take a picture. Particularly of his little brother. I highly doubt anyone will show – which has been my experience.

  234. DT April 17th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    If we ask the Indians nicely, do you think they would just throw fastballs to Ransom?

    I still think Ransom should hit last. Bat Gardner eighth, and maybe Ransom would see a fastball if Brett gets on base.

    7 men left on base yesterday by Cody alone…. yikes.

  235. feefoo April 17th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Also because kids view football as the more manly sport, the more exciting sport.

  236. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:39 am

    SJ – Interesting that you said football is easier to play than baseball. I have a 12-year old nephew who chose to play pee-wee / Pop Warner football instead of little league. He explained his choice to me a couple months ago, and it was exactly that.

  237. feefoo April 17th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    play cody today, maybe? he cant be any worse than yesterday …

  238. Trevor April 17th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    David Robertson sent down. Miranda called up. Matsui has fluid in his knee and is only available to pinch hit.

  239. m April 17th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    “[Ron] Darling said that he thinks that the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett will get more wins that CC Sabathia this season.”

  240. yanksfanmc76 April 17th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Tex is hurt/Miranda called up

    Robertson sent down

  241. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    The “Joba is larger than life” stuff is thankfully dying a quick death.

    That hurt Joba last year. He got too caught up in being “Joba, larger than life guy” and it hurt him both on and off the field.

    The best thing to happen to Joba personally was his DUI. It forced him to take a step back and re-evaluate some things.

    The best thing to happen to him professionally was the Yankees signing AJ and CC.

    Joba is a good kid. But, as is the case with most 21-23 year olds, if they get too much too soon, they have a hard time dealing with it.

    Both AJ and CC are mentoring Joba in a big way and that’s been a HUGE help to him. Both guys have been where Joba is today and can really help him.

    It will make him a much better pitcher and less of a folk hero. In the long run, that’s best for Joba on all counts.

  242. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Kennedy is more valuable as a SP than RP just as Joba is. Let’s drop the Joba RP idea altogether.
    We have to be very thankful that this season we have a great starting rotation at the MLB level and ANY…Really ANY of our AAA starters could be the 4th or 5th man on a major league starting rotation. AS for closing out the game Cox did a nice job for us at the end last year when he got called up, he along with Robertson & Melancon have MLB futures.

  243. Betsy April 17th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I wish Tex weren’t playing. What’s the rush with this guy? All he’s doing by playing is making his wrist even more sore than it was before – and it doesn’t do Tex or the team any good to have him go 0-4 (with bad at bats), where he shakes his wrist afterwards. I know the doctors said it was just inflammation and the MRI found no structural damage, but the reality is that Mark is (or has not – I don’t know what he’s feeling today) not feeling so hot. The Yanks used to be conservative with their injuries – they need to go back to that philosophy.

  244. JINT April 17th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    The Jays always find their way to a mid 80s win total, don’t see how it will be different this year. They have some nice young pitching and will only get better when McGowen/Marucm come back.

    They’re going to be tough all year, not a playoff team, but a very good one.

    Baltimore, when they bring up Weiters, is going to turn a very good offense into an even better one.

    This division is going to be brutal.

  245. Wave Your Hat April 17th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I like reading Goldman’s blog but his constant temptation is to see the glass half empty instead of half full.

    I can’t get too worked up over a 5-5 start. We are 2.5 games out of first, and ahead of the Rays and Sox, with 152 to play. Kind of hard to get nervous yet.

    The ’75 Reds were one of the greatest teams I ever saw play (not the ’98 Yanks, but real good) on a daily basis. Their record after 40 games? 20 and 20.

    We’ll be fine.

  246. RussW210 April 17th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Cabrera, Ransom, Gardner… we miss you ARod.

    And well said SJ44 about how baseball players think.

  247. shampoo-bay gays April 17th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    tampa is terrible. they will be wetting the bed again soon enough. I mean they drafted #1 overall for what, like 10 years straight? I see it’s finally paying off and now they think they’re big shots. Losers.

  248. Patrick April 17th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    After some time to digest yesterday’s bullpen explosion and calm down a bit here are some thoughts.

    Last year the bullpen was a strength, this year it is still undetermined. The bullpen has potential to be good but so far it has blown two games for us. We can’t assume that because the bullpen was good last year that it will be good this year. The only assumption we can make is that Mo will be amazing. The verdict is still out on everyone else.

    Regardless of how the bullpen as a whole turns out, I think that Jose Veras is not a good pitcher. At first glance his numbers last year suggest that he broke out. He struck out a ton of people but look at his WHIP – 1.400. That is still really bad for a reliever. Jose Veras cannot be trusted in close game situations, he simply doesn’t have good enough control.

    It’s possible that Jose could improve his control and become a more reliable reliever but as of right now he should be relegated to the minors or to a mop-up role in the majors.

    Damaso Marte on the other hand isn’t as bad as he’s shown thus far. He isn’t what Cashman thought he was getting but he’s not a total bust. I don’t think the guy is a legit set-up man in the AL east but I don’t expect him to keep getting shelled. His numbers in the past are too good to expect that to continue. I expect him to be a 7th inning guy which is very useful.

    Mark Melancon is ready for the majors right now. He was ready last August, he’s ready now and he’ll be ready in May. I am counting the days until May 15 in anticipation of calling this guy up. He should be given a solid role in the bullpen immediately after he’s called up. He has strike-out stuff and doesn’t walk many batters; very very polished.

    Dave Robertson has proven himself in the minors and should be given a solid role in the major league bullpen. In a big spot I’d rather have him on the mound as opposed to Veras/Ramirez/Albaladejo.

  249. m April 17th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Trevor,

    They sent down the wrong pitcher. :(

    I think the Matsui problem is going to resolve itself. I feel bad for him because he’s a favorite. Ironman turning into Hydroman.

  250. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Miranda can only play 1B or DH, we have a logjam at both positions. I wish the young man success, but it will be with another team.

  251. Dave D April 17th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Need a good performance from Jobber today and the offense needs to step up.

    We have no idea what to get from Wang tomorrow and Carmona is going to be tough to hit if he has his command.

  252. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Matsui having fluid in his knees doesn’t quite come as a surprise.

  253. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Matsui just doesn’t seem right to me. In the last 4 days I have watched the team, even his BP swings don’t look good.

    Folks that complain about the offense need to take a good look at it.

    No Arod. Tex with a bad wrist and Matsui looking awful. That’s your 3 biggest run producers either out of the lineup or playing with an injury.

    Add Nady with what may be a season ending injury and its easy to see why there will be stugggles offensively.

    Arod will be back in two weeks, IMO.

    Tex will be fine by Sunday.

    Matsui? I’ve said it all along. I’m not expecting much out of him this year. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a lot left in the tank.

    Once trade season opens (around June nowadays), they are going to have to look for a bat off the bench.

    Not sure if Juan Miranda or anybody else they in AAA can be that guy. Time will tell.

  254. Billy April 17th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    “AS for closing out the game Cox did a nice job for us at the end last year when he got called up, he along with Robertson & Melancon have MLB futures.”

    Cox never was called up and he probably won’t be. He simply hasn’t come back to his pre-TJS form. He was a groundball machine before surgery. He might touch 88-89 and his offspeed has been mediocre at best. In my mind Michael Dunn is the guy who will be up at SWB at some point and has bigtime potentia.

  255. Buddy April 17th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    The Marte move made no sense. Not when you have Phil Coke, who can do a comparable job to Marte. Cashman has had a terrible track record with signing relievers, since the breakup of Stanton/Nelson/Mendoza. I realize that he traded prospects for Marte & Nady, but sometimes you need to cut your losses. Cash had no trouble jettisoning Bernie, who probably had at least a good year or two left as a bench player/4th OF. Was Cash so worried about losing Marte to a contender? So be it. It could be the Yankees getting big hits off of Marte. Instead, the Indians spanked him around the new ballpark like he was throwing ping pong balls. Sometimes you can’t be afraid to cut a guy loose. Especially an overpaid, overrated, luxury like Marte.

  256. Buddy April 17th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I know this isn’t a popular idea in some circles, but what about bringing Bernie back for half a season. Really.

  257. Betsy April 17th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    what a surprise that Matsui is hurt. I understand that teams have injuries, but it’s one body blow after another with this team.

  258. ANSKY April 17th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    More specifically, he said that he didn’t like baseball because he couldn’t hit and it took too long to learn, while with football he could just go out and play.

    I completely understand – I remember when I was 10, and I’d never even played catch before. I joined little league anyways and it took me half a season for me to just to foul one off, even in practice. With all the options they have now, many kids today just don’t have patience for it.

  259. Patrick April 17th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I am worried about the offense. This isn’t a complaint. I’m just worried.

    Tex is not himself whether it’s the wrist or otherwise.

    Matsui is simply not healthy right now. We need his bat this year.

    I’m confidant A-rod will come back strong but in the meantime we are missing 3 huge bats in that lineup.

    I think Miranda is a great hitter, maybe he can provide something at DH until Matsui can get better.

    Losing Nady really hurts, we were counting on him as a solid presence in the lineup. What a fluky injury, how many times has he thrown the ball since getting the first TJ surgery? There was nothing special about that throw to have torn the ligament. Really just bad luck.

  260. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Agree on the bullpen issues. I think the ‘pen issues will get ironed out in the next month.

    One thing the Yankees have going for them in that regard is, unlike their position player issues at the present time, they have ready, willing, and able replacements in the bullpen for the non-performers.

    Betsy,

    Tex’s wrist only hurts when he swings from the right side. He’s facing a righthander today. No reason why he can’t be in the lineup.

    Now that he had a cortizone shot, the only thing that will hurt him today is the spot where they put the needle.

    He will be fine.

  261. Buddy April 17th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    SJ44

    I agree, Arod will return early. As soon as he gets into a few minor league games, crushes the ball, and show he can run the bases, he’ll be up.

  262. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Jorge is playing well – the shoulder looks good.
    Robbie is playing like 2 yrs ago again (thank goodness)
    Gardner is doing his job & carrying his weight at the plate.
    Swish is kicking butt & Tex is off to his usual slow start, so it’s not all doom & gloom. Until we dump the Matsui & Damon contracts after this year we don’t have room for the developing bats (Eric Duncan, Shelly Duncan, Miranda)

  263. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 17th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    SJ: Given that, how much more impressive is it that the team’s scored 4 runs in every game but one this season?

  264. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Coke is not a better pitcher than Marte. Not yet anyway.

    Folks get all excited about the guy’s first 15 innings in the bigs. Since then, its been a struggle for him because teams have made the adjustment to him. Now, he has to make the adjustment. That’s how it works in the game.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Coke and I think the bullpen is the best place for him long term.

    However, you have two lefties in the pen for a reason. Its a voliatile position.

    Marte will be fine. Once he get find his arm slot, you use him as a situational lefty. Which is his best role for this team.

  265. Billy April 17th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    “Until we dump the Matsui & Damon contracts after this year we don’t have room for the developing bats (Eric Duncan, Shelly Duncan, Miranda)”

    Sorry but the Duncans have not future in NYY. Eric Duncan is a great kid and deserves a shot somewhere. Shelley a developing bat. lol. He’s AAAA all the way.

  266. trisha - I am panic proof. April 17th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Was at yesterday’s game. Scored a front-row seat at the last minute and paid $300+ less than face value. It was an experience I will not soon forget. Yes you are treated like royalty. Up to the 6th inning it was a pretty good game though we were always waiting for that other shoe to drop since Cliff Lee turned back into Cliff Lee and CC was behind hitters most of the game. Because of all the circumstances of the game, though, we were definitely overstimulated. Add to that the fact that there wasn’t a lot of excitement in the game and the pace was rather slow, there wasn’t a lot to be excited about. The bleachers were really loud, the rest of the Stadium not so much. But again, there wasn’t so much to be loud about.

    Is it a totally different crowd? With the downturn in the economy would there be fewer people at games even if we were at the other Stadium? My guess is that once the adjustment period is over and people feel like they are home once again, there will be the appropriate amount of Staidum noise. Again, if was weird being in a different place (both Stadium-wise and for me, seat wise.) I could definitely get used to sitting in the front row! I was third-base side, section 29.

    I agree with Pete, though about the feel of being further away from the action. I don’t know if it’s the foul-ball territory, but it still felt like you were further away.

    I will have pictures on line at some point. I saw Gayle’s and hers were fantastic. Mine won’t be nearly as nice, but I’m happy to share them with whomever wants to see them.

  267. Wave Your Hat April 17th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    A situational lefty is not worth what the Yanks paid for Marte. He has to have a broader role to earn that contract.

    Marte’s money should have been applied to bulking up the offense, as we are now seeing.

  268. SJ44 April 17th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Rebecca,

    Exactly. That’s because the starting pitching is better and it gives a team a chance to win every game.

    What the Yankees can’t win are shootouts. If the game gets away from the starter, they can’t bust out the bats and roll up numbers.

    That’s ok, BTW. There are plenty of ways to win baseball games.

    I still believe 15-20% of this roster is still in a state of flux and will get flushed out in the next month or two.

    Between the injured players, and guys like Melancon and Hughes (both of whom I think will play big roles on this team when all is said and done this year), we are going to see some roster turnover as we go along.

    The anchor of the team, starting pitching, (if it stays healthy) will keep the team in the race all year.

  269. Buddy April 17th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    The trouble is that Matsui isn’t hitting, Tex is hurt, Nady is out, and Arod is rehabbing. Cano has been great, and so is Swisher. I’m just concerned about leaning on Swisher too much. Gardner has been steady, and Ransom & Pena are just utility guys at this point.

  270. Patrick April 17th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    WYH,

    There is no point in bellyaching about Marte’s contract. For the most part we all agreed at the time that he was overpaid. The money is guaranteed so the Yanks can’t take it back now.

    The question is, will Marte continue to get crushed? I think his past numbers suggest that he won’t. I don’t think he’s a lockdown 8th inning guy like Cashman thought but I also think he’s a bit better than just a LOOGY.

  271. Billy April 17th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    It makes absolutely no sense to use Marte more to justify his contract. His numbers historically are great when he’s used situationally. More than one batter and things change.

  272. GeorgeInJax April 17th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Billy:
    “Until we dump the Matsui & Damon contracts after this year we don’t have room for the developing bats (Eric Duncan, Shelly Duncan, Miranda)”

    Sorry but the Duncans have not future in NYY. Eric Duncan is a great kid and deserves a shot somewhere. Shelley a developing bat. lol. He’s AAAA all the way.

    Yeah, that may be so, but the point is that the contract situation keeps us from adding another big bat from from a trade or free agency too. Austin Jackson is an exciting talent, but there isn’t any room for him until next year.

  273. Wave Your Hat April 17th, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Patrick-

    I’m not bellyaching, more I told you so-ing. There’s a (small) difference.

    I don’t know whether Marte will continue to get pounded. His career numbers say no, but there’s a reason relievers are relievers. Almost all of them are inconsistent by nature (which is why they shouldn’t get long, expensive contracts in the first place).

    My guess is Marte will have good days and bad days, like many relievers.

    I agree there’s nothing to be done about it now, but at the time I thought, with the age of our team, that applying Marte’s money toward Cameron and getting a cheaper lefty made more sense.

  274. Patrick April 17th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    You’re not telling me so, I agree with you. Marte is overpaid.

    Good point about relievers being inconsistent by nature. However, part of the reason Cashman wanted Marte so much is because over his career he’s been remarkably consistent.

    Looking at Marte’s numbers with the White Sox, then the Pirates and adjusting for the AL east, I’m thinking that Marte is best suited as a LOOGY and/or 7th inning guy. He can still get people out but he isn’t going to be a lockdown setup guy.

  275. Glenn April 17th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Re: The Rays bullpen.

    Every time Troy Percival enters a game as the closer, it’s cross your fingers time. It’s why the Rays signed Jason Isringhausen who is still in extended spring training and hopes to try and find more velocity before reporting to AA Montgomery. In reality, this is the weak closer situation the Rays face. Like any other team, they are in the process of defining other roles in their bullpen. So far with the exception of Bruney and Mo, the Yankees are in a similar situation.
    Veras, if kept, will be relagated to non-trusting mop up roles and told to pound the strike zone. Marte will see only 1 or 2 batter situational roles facing lefthanded hitters.
    Until Melancon arrives, the rest will be sorted out primarily by roles they fit.
    Boston is another team that will see their relief crew out of sorts. Masterson will have to be used as a starter with Matsuzaka out, Beckett’s suspension and Buchholz not showing signs of being ready so they have to rely on Ramon Ramirez as the set up man to Papelbon.

  276. Billy April 17th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    “Yeah, that may be so, but the point is that the contract situation keeps us from adding another big bat from from a trade or free agency too. Austin Jackson is an exciting talent, but there isn’t any room for him until next year.”

    A-Jax needs more seasoning first of all and the Yankees may have pitching depth. They are void of many positional prospects from AA on up. Tampa is a long way from the show. Based on your posts, you may need to brush on the minor league system. JB Cox as you mentioned before? lol. Ask any scout and they will tell you he has no future in New York. He will get pounded.

  277. JohnC April 17th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Giving Marte a 3 year deal was a huge mistake. Yanks obviously misread the market on that one. Should have offered no more than 1 year deal. Could have waited and signed lefty Joe Beimel for 1 year at 2-3 mill.

  278. Benny ( guess who's in tampa) Blanco April 17th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    here we go.

  279. Benny ( guess who's in tampa) Blanco April 17th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    here we go.

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