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You are currently viewing archive for April 2008.

Posted by: James
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Which came first? The injury or the bad pitching? In any case, Phil Hughes has been placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right oblique.

In other news, A-Rod looks to miss around 15 games...give or take. It's the first time he's been on the DL since 2000 when he was with the Mariners.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Moeller cleared waivers and is back with the club. Chris Stewart was optioned back to Triple-A. To make room on the 40 man, the Yankees have elected to DFA Sean Henn. With a spot open thanks to A-Rod being placed on the DL, Chris Britton is back in the pen after having been optioned yesterday.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Kat O'Brien:

Brian Bruney has decided not to undergo surgery for now on his torn Lisfranc ligament. He said there was not unanimous consensus among the three doctors, and one said he did not think surgery would be a good move at all at this point. So he's going to try to rehab it using the boot. Given the timeframe of recovery, he would almost certainly miss the rest of the season if he had surgery. If he rehabs for six weeks and discovers he needs surgery, he could still have it and be back in time for spring training. So there's not much downside to doing it this way.

04/29: A-Rod to DL

Posted by: Patrick
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On his day off, Peter Abraham reports that A-Rod will hit the DL, as things are worse than the Yankees and A-Rod thought.
Posted by: Patrick
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Phil Hughes struggles continued this evening as he only lasted 3 and 2/3 innings, allowing 6 earned runs. He threw 82 pitches before being taken out. Hughes ERA now rests at 9.00 and his record at 0-4. Phil and the Yankees offense wasted a marvelous bullpen effort where a combination of Ross Ohlendorf (3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K), Edwar Ramirez (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and LaTroy Hawkins (1 IP) combined to throw 5 and 1/3 scoreless innings with 3 hits, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts.

The Yankees offense simply lacked timely hitting. They had 8 hits and 8 walks (EIGHT!), along with a hit batsmen and they only managed to have 4 men cross the plate. Robbie Cano led the offense with a 1 for 5, 1 HR and 2 RBI day - but he also led the team in runners left on base with 5. Hideki Matsui was 2 for 4 with a run and a walk, Derek Jeter was 1 for 4 with an RBI and Jason Giambi was 1 for 4 with an RBI and a walk. We were missing A-Rod and Posada tonight, big time - Morgan Ensberg and Chris Stewart combined to go 0 for 7 with 1 walk.

Kenny Rogers kept the Yankees off balance. He threw 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and walking 4 guys... yet, the Yanks only tagged him for 2 runs. Frustrating.

Tomorrow, Andy Pettitte (3-2, 3.23 ERA) will try to rebound against Jeremy Bonderman (1-2, 4.28 ERA) at 7:05 PM ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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The AP reports that Joba's Dad is out of the hospital. Good to hear!

Meanwhile, Peter Abrahamr reports that Edwar Ramirez is back in the majors. Chris Britton was optioned to make room.

Finally, Pete Caldera relays some funny details related to Morgan Ensberg's interception of a fan that got close to Derek Jeter on the field. He writes:

They were able to laugh about Cleveland's lax security later. As Jeter had his post-game meal, Ensberg donned some serious dark sunglasses, and stood over the Captain, doing his best celebrity bodyguard impression.
Posted by: Seamus
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According to ESPN, an exam with Dr. James Andrews revealed that Posada's shoulder injury is likely not season-ending. It mentions (again) that if it is just a strained shoulder, he will not need surgery.

Either way, I'd be very cautious about this. This seems like the same thing that was being said a couple weeks ago when they started DH'ing him. There's obviously something wrong with his shoulder if it's been this much of a problem already. Better safe than sorry.
Posted by: Seamus
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Fans saw some great pitching on Sunday when Chien-Ming Wang outdueled C.C. Sabathia in a 1-0 Yankee victory, but after four scoreless innings for both teams Monday night, it was starting to get downright boring. The Yankees did win though, by a score of 5-2, thanks mostly to a four-run 6th in which the Yankees caught a few breaks. With the win, the Yankees moved back above the .500 mark and finished their 10-game road trip with a record of 5-5.

Neither team could get anything going early, partly due to some good pitching by Mike Mussina and Aaron Laffey, and also partly because of a lack of timely hitting. The Yankees failed to score in the 1st after having runners on first and third with one out. The Indians couldn't get anything against Mike Mussina until the 5th, when he struggled a bit and allowed two runs. Overall, though, it was another decent start for Mussina, who allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings of work.

The Yankees didn't even record a hit until Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter led off the 6th with back-to-back infield singles. Abreu singled to load the bases, and Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch to walk in a run. Rodriguez promptly left the game after apparently reinjuring his quad. Jason Giambi then tied the game with an RBI groundout, Matsui put the Yanks ahead with an RBI groundout of his own, and an infield single by Morgan Ensberg gave the Yankees an insurance run. So, basically the Yankees scored four runs on a bunch of little dribblers that all could have easily been outs aside from the base hit by Abreu.

The Yankees bullpen was a rock in this one, as Albaladejo, Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera threw a combined four scoreless innings. Rivera recorded his 8th save of the season and has still not allowed a run or a walk in 11 innings of work this season.

Well, when you look at the schedule this month and you see 9 home games played to this point as opposed to 18 road games, and 18 of the last 20 games away from Yankee Stadium, 14-13 really doesn't look all that bad, especially when that puts them only a game out of first place. If the Yankees string together a good homestand here, they could be really good shape.

That homestand starts tonight in the Bronx against the Tigers, who have played better baseball of late after a 2-9 start. Phil Hughes will be going up against 74-year old Kenny Rogers in the opener. Game starts at 7:05 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick
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A-Rod has reinjured his quad and will miss some time, according to Bryan Hoch. Kat O'Brien reports that he expects to miss a couple of games at the minimum.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that catcher Chris Stewart will be promoted to backup Jose Molina, in light of the injury to Jorge Posada.
Posted by: James
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This was an easy game to recap. All you gotta know was that Chien-Ming Wang had his good stuff going today. The Yankees stopper outpitched Indians ace C.C. Sabathia en route to his 5th win,, going 5-0 in April. Obi-Wang gave up four hits and walked two and struck out nine(!).

The Yankee offense couldn't muster much offense themselves but it was enough. Melky's solo HR in the 5th (his 5th - tied for the Yankee lead again - at this rate, he will have more HRs than last year by May) was all the Yanks would need. Wang went a strong 7 and Joba came in for the eighth and looked like he was doing just fine with two strikeouts. Mo closed the door in the ninth for the 450th save of his unbelievable career.

It was a great game for the Yankees...if not for the horrible news about Jorge.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Mike Bauman:

... [Posada] said that on Saturday, after throwing well during the course of the game, he felt some pain on a throw to third base after a strikeout. Arriving at Progressive Field on Sunday, Posada attempted to warm up, but he could not throw without considerable pain.

Earlier tests indicated that there was no structural damage to his right shoulder. But Sunday's experience made Posada wonder about that.

"The MRI showed a strained muscle," Posada said. "I think it's more than that."

Doesn't sound good. Peter Abraham reports that, with Chad Moeller DFA'ed, Chris Stewart is likely to receive a promotion to back up Molina.

04/27: Tangled Webs

Posted by: Patrick
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Here's the thing: I don't necessarily mind if the Yankees want to withhold some injury information or anything to do with strategy. There are good reasons for doing that, sometimes, I think. But, when you are creatively answering questions to keep information private, you have to ensure that people are on the same page. Because, when the manager says one thing, the player says another and reporters discover yet another thing, it's embarrassing.

Case in point. Joba Chamberlain did not pitch last night. According to Bryan Hoch, Joe Girardi said that the reason Joba sat out was because of a heavy workload - the Yankees wanted to give him a break. Hoch also says that, before the game, Joba said that he was available and that he had no injury. So far, we're OK. Great players often consider themselves "available", when the team wants to protect them.

But then, we have this: Johnny Damon told Hoch that he knew before the game that Joba was unavailable. And then, apparently, Damon discussed the injury problems that the Yankees have been having this season, not specifically discussing or suggesting Joba. So, how does Damon know Joba is unavailable, but Joba doesn't? I guess they could have been interviewed at different times? Yeah, let's go with that.

To add to the confusion, Peter Abraham reports that Joba has actually been receiving treatment for two days for a mild hamstring strain. Tyler Kepner has a similar report. Abraham says that both Joba and Girardi wouldn't give an answer when asked about it.

Kepner relays a recent story which had Joe Girardi denying that their was any "structural damage" to Brian Bruney's foot even though, Kepner alleges, it was already known that Bruney had torn ligaments in the foot.

When this sort of thing happens, it's a problem for everyone (the organization, manager, players, reporters and fans) and it's embarrassing. Strategically answering questions isn't always a bad thing, but you just can't have conflicting stories that lead to suspicion.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees lost their third straight game and second straight in Cleveland as the Indians beat the Yankees 4-3 after a walkoff, bases loaded single by Victor Martinez. Both starting pitchers were okay for the most part, but the Yankees' linep struggled with Joe Girardi benching five of his starters.

Ian Kennedy really wasn't all that bad except for the third inning in which he allowed three runs, one coming via walk. He finished with a line of three runs on four hits in five innings, which in itself is not too terrible if you look at the four hits, but he also walked four.

The Yankees couldn't get any offense going until a bases loaded triple by Jorge Posada tied the game at 3 apiece in the 6th. Damon, Jeter and Rodriguez had nine hits between the three of them but couldn't get anything timely as the team went 2-13 with RISP (one of the hits was an infield single by Jeter).

The Yankees brought in Ross Ohlendorf in the 9th, with the game tied 3-3, in a move that Joe Girardi will get some questioning for, as Joba and Rivera both didn't pitch the night before. Ohlendorf allowed three singles in the inning, with the final blow being a bases loaded walkoff hit by Victor Martinez.

Uyy, win 3 in a row, lose 3 in a row, win 3 in a row, lose 3 in a row. Can this team just give us some consistency for once? The Yankees are now in danger of having their third sub-.500 April in four seasons. Time to get things rolling, although I do understand that the schedule this month has been brutally road-heavy.

The Yankees and Indians will resume this series at the newly named Progressive Field today at 1:05 E.T. in a battle of aces, as Chien-Ming Wang will take his 4-0 record to the mound to face reigning Cy Young Award winner, C.C. Sabathia.
Posted by: Patrick
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Shelley Duncan is back with the MLB Yankees. To make room, lefty Billy Traber was demoted. Traber had pitched 8 innings in 11 games, going 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
Posted by: Patrick
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Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup and Andy Pettitte turned in his worst start in this young season, as the Yankees fell to the Indians, 6-4.

Pettitte allowed 5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits in 5 innings pitched, while striking out 3 and walking 3. Going into the fifth, he had held the Indians to 1 unearned run, but after retiring the first 2 hitters, it unraveled. This was thanks to back to back singles, followed by back to back homers. After the dust settled, the Indians held a 5-4 lead. Pettitte got the final out, but that would be all, as he was relieved at 99 pitches.

Paul Byrd was the Indians starter and he lasted 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 6 hits with 0 strikeouts, no walks and 3 homers allowed. All of the Yankees runs in this one came on those 3 home runs, 2 off the bat of Giambi and 1 from Matsui. The Yankees walked just once (Robinson Cano, of all batters) in this entire game, while the Indians walked 6 times.

Byrd was yanked after the Matsui homer with 2 outs in the sixth and relieved by Rafael Perez. The final 3 and 1/3 innings were ugly for Yankees fans. 0 hits and 1 walk was all that the offense could muster against the combo of Perez and Rafael Betancourt.

Meanwhile, Billy Traber allowed a run in a long sixth that featured two stolen bases and two walks. Jonathan Albaladejo looked good in the seventh and eighth innings, walking just one batter and failing to allow a hit. In 3 games and 7.2 innings so far this season, Albaladejo is sporting a 2.35 ERA.

Jason Giambi was the other big bright spot in this one. With the two homers, he was 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs. Of course, he also made an error. But, he was hitting .161 coming into this game. Last night, he went 2 for 4 with 2 runs and a double. So, in the last 2 games, he is 4 for 7 with a double, 4 runs and 3 RBIs. Could he be heating up? We can only hope.

A-Rod struggled in his return, going 0 for 4. Jeter was 0 for 4, as well. Damon, Abreu, Matsui and Posada each collected a hit. Cano continues his slump, now at .156 after an 0 for 2 day.

Tomorrow, Ian Kennedy (err... do I have to say this? Ok... 0-2, 9.64 ERA) will face Jeremy (I almost said Josh) Sowers, who will be making his 2008 debut.
Posted by: James
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He guest blogs over at Phil Hughes' weblog and is amusing enough. He loves The Office so he's all right by me...and he loves to read (a man after my own heart) so he's looking for some good book recommendations. Help the man out!

Would an average sized row boat support phil and me without capsizing?

One more thing, I love reading and I really love to read non-fiction. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Just email Phil and he can pass them on to me. Hopefully you will send enough recommendations that we shut down the internet! Later! Morgan

I love the Internet.
Posted by: James
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Ol' Reliable Pete A checks in with the following:

Bad news for Brian Bruney. He has a torn ligament in his foot that will require surgery and is likely out for the season. More on this later but he has a lis franc injury. … RHPs Chris Britton and Jon Albaladejo are here and available. … No word on the second move but it seems likely Ross Ohlendorf will be sent down.

Sucks about Bruney - he seemed to have had it together this year though I would be remiss if I didn't point out that he was lights out for the first two months last year too. Then he imploded. Also, I'm kinda glad that Ohlendorf was sent down. He was starting to scare me over the course of his last 3-4 appearances. Let him get back on track in the minors. Chris Britton and Jon Albaladejo will get their chances...though Edwar is probably wondering when his time will come. I expect that Shelley will be coming up soon enough when the Yankees drop Chad Moeller.

Update: It looks like Moeller was DFA'd for Britton so I guess Ohlendorf is still on the roster.
Posted by: James
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It looks like reliever J. Brent Cox is getting promoted. In addition, it looks like Dave Robertson will also be moving up soon. Robertson will be making the move from Trenton to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre while Cox, who is coming off of TJ surgery will move from Tampa to Trenton.

Still regarded as one of the Yankees' top pitching prospects, Cox was 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in six appearances for Class-A Tampa, where pitchers Mark Melancon and Anthony Claggett also are rehabbing injuries.
...
In what may or may not be a corresponding move, Franklin described light's out reliever David Robertson (0.64 ERA, 2 saves, 21 strikeouts) as being "on the fast track" and reiterated that he does not expect Robertson to remain in Trenton much longer.

Hat tip to EJ over at Pending Pinstripes.
Posted by: James
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Yeesh. A wholly unsatisfying ending to a frustrating game. No, I'm not talking about the Flyers game (though in Philly, it's all you hear about this morning...).

First off, the game was delayed for 34 minutes. When it finally did start, Phil Hughes pitched and went put up zeroes in the 2 innings he pitched before the rains came again, resulting in 51-minute delay. After the delay, Ross Ohlendorf came on and after a scoreless third inning, he gave up 5 run in the fourth. It was actually pretty brutal to watch. With one out, it went like this; single, walk, single, single, double, fielder's choice to Ensberg who went home to try to get the out (no dice), fly out, double, ground out. 5-3 Chicago.

The Yankees had scored their runs in the 3rd when Giambi, Cabrera and Damon loaded the bases with one out. A sac fly from Jeter brought one home and a Bobby Abreu double plated two more (including his 1000th RBI). In an exact opposite of last year, you have to be asking yourself...where would this team be right now without Bobby Abreu's clutch hitting?

Latroy Hawkins came in for the fifth and gave up a HR to Thome, his 513th career home run (moving him past Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews for 19th on the all-time list).

The score remained 6-3 until the sixth when Jason Giambi (who looks to be heating up...) doubled and El Leche followed with a 2-run jack. That was Melky's, who is now tied for the Yankee lead in HRs, 4th of the year. The Yanks then tied the game in the next inning when with two out, Bobby Abreu singled and Matsui walked putting runners on first and second for Morgan Ensberg who came through with a RBI single.

The Yankees did have a chance to win the game in the top half of the ninth with men on first and second with one out. However Bobby Jenks came in to face pinch-hitter Jorge Posada and got him to bounce into a double play to end the inning. In the bottom half of the ninth, Joba came on for his second inning of relief work and was hit pretty hard. A.J. had a loud out to center before Carlos doubled off the left-field wall to put a runner on second for Joe Crede, who promptly singled to left-center, winning the game for the sox (and giving Joba his first ML loss).
Posted by: Patrick
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Kyle Farnsworth slipped on the mound on his final pitch last night, injuring his elbow. Bryan Hoch reports that Farnsworth suggested it may be an elbow straight and that he wasn't concerned that it would require him to miss a lot of action.

Meanwhile, Bruney's foot issue looks to be worse than we hoped. The Yankees believe he may have torn ligaments, which would mean a trip to the DL. Tyler Kepner also notes that Bruney's uncle is in a coma. Our thoughts are with them.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Downey spoke with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen about the captain.

"I keep saying the best [Yankees] player who ever happened—bigger than someone else, but I'm not going to say the name here—is Derek Jeter," ...

"Derek Jeter has everything in his life. He's got money. He's got rings. He's got …" ...

"He's not married." ...

"At the All-Star Game (where Guillen managed him in 2006), I looked around to see if he has anything I don't like. No. He's the perfect man. Too bad I don't have a daughter." ...

"He's the best thing ever in the game. He's got everything he wants. He lives in New York. Even [ George] Steinbrenner loves him. Nobody is better than Derek Jeter in the game. Nobody."

Via Kat O'Brien.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Tyler Kepner:

Keep an eye on Brian Bruney’s right foot. He hurt it on Tuesday and said tonight that he could barely walk on Wednesday morning. He’ll get an M.R.I. on Thursday to see if it’s something more serious than a mid-foot strain.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees got their third straight victory Tuesday night, beating the White Sox by a score of 6-4. The pitching was a lot better than you'd think in a game where ten runs were scored, and Mike Mussina gave the Yankees perhaps his best start of the young season.

Mussina rolled through seven innings, allowing only four hits and two runs, both coming on solo home runs. Javier Vazquez gave up six runs on ten hits in 5 and 1/3, although a lot of the hits the Yankees' were getting off him were softly hit balls that found their way through.

Jorge Posada had his best night of the season at the plate, as he went 4-5 with three doubles and two RBI. Damon and Melky also had two hits apiece, and with the exceptions of Cano (again) and Abreu, every Yankee starter recored at least one hit.

Latroy Hawkins struggled in relief of Mussina in the 8th, giving up two runs recording only one out, although the second run was given up on a sac fly allowed by Mariano Rivera. Rivera recorded his 6th save of the season, this time recording five outs. Mo has yet to allow a walk or a run this season in 9 innings pitched.

Tonight the struggling Phil Hughes will take the mound to face Gavin Floyd as the Yankees try to pull off the sweep at U.S. Cellular Field. Game starts at 8:11 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod is likely out until the weekend. "I'd be shocked if he played tomorrow," Manager Joe Girardi told Hoch. "If he comes in and says he's ready, believe me, I'm putting his name in there. There's no hesitation where I'm putting it, either. But we've got to make sure."
Posted by: Patrick
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If I told you that the Yankees had 11 hits to the White Sox 13 and 4 walks to the White Sox 6 (though, the Yankees did have a batter reach on a hit by pitch), would you like the Yankees chances? Well, it turned out alright last night as Wang navigated his way through 6 innings of 3 earned run ball, giving up 10 hits and walking 2, but keeping a lot of those runners on base. The White Sox stranded a whopping 26 runners in this game.

Through 6, the Yankees were losing this one, 3-2. Matsui had driven in Damon on a fielder's choice in the first inning and Giambi had hit a solo shot in the second. But, the 7th is where it came apart for the White Sox pitching, thanks to a huge, 2 out grand slam from Bobby Abreu.

After that blast, Wang was pulled after throwing 105 pitches and was credited with the victory. Billy Traber was inserted into the game to face one hitter - Jim Thome. He walked him and was relieved by Brian Bruney, who walked the first batter he faced, as well. Bruney managed to retire Jermaine Dye but allowed a single to A.J. Pierzynski which loaded the bases with just one out. Enter Joba.

Chamberlain struck out a swinging Carlos Quentin, with Joe Crede next. Joba ended up walking Crede and, in the process, walking in a run. Juan Uribe fouled out to end the seventh; Yankees 6, White Sox 4.

The Yankees would get the insurance runs they needed in the eight when Johnny Damon hit a three run home run to right, scoring Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera. With a 9-4 lead, Joba got three fly outs in the 8th for a scoreless frame.

Kyle Farnsworth came in to pitch the ninth inning, as the protector of a 5 run lead. After a ground out, solo home run, walk, fielder's choice ground out, wild pitch and fly out, the game was over. Yankees win, 9-5.

Bobby Abreu (2 for 5, 1 run, 4 RBI, 1 grand slam home run) and Johnny Damon (3 for 5, 3 runs, 1 double, 1 home run and 3 RBI) were the offensive stars of the game.

Tonight at 8:11 PM ET, we'll have Jamie Mo-err Mike Mussina (1-3, 5.75 ERA) against Javier Vazquez (3-1, 3.20).
Posted by: Patrick
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In an interview released yesterday, Hank Steinbrenner said that Moose needed to learn to pitch like Jamie Moyer. Peter Abraham has Moose's response.

"I don’t have a lefty glove."

Well, I'm sure they can find him one.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Bryan Hoch:

Yogi Berra and Derek Jeter always seem to enjoy each others company, whether they're laughing and kidding around in the Yankees' clubhouse, chatting on the field during batting practice or comparing their gleaming World Series rings.

Now, they will have another common reason to spend time together. Berra and Jeter have been named the official spokesmen for the 2008 DHL All-Star FanFest, which will be held July 11-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch reports that Cynthia Rodriguez gave birth to her and Alex's new daughter on Monday night. Congrats!

Hoch also notes that A-Rod is expected to be back with the team on Thursday, updating a previous report.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod will be back with the team today, but he's likely to miss a few days, according to Peter Abraham. Still, the Yanks are ruling out a trip to the DL, just trying to avoid it, according to George King.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Kat O'Brien:

“If you had bet on the kids doing great out of the gate, it wouldn’t be necessarily a safe bet,” Cashman said by phone, “but we’re betting on them in the long-term, not necessarily in the short-term, and so that’s all I can say about that.Joba’s staying in the bullpen right now. That’s where we’re at. That’s (Chamberlain moving to the rotation) not something that’s going to happen here early on, and he (Steinbrenner) knows that. We’ve talked about it.”
Posted by: James
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Coming in to the game on a three-game losing streak and on a very dour note (getting blanked by the Os will do that to you), the Yankees got a strong performance Andy Pettitte and salvaged a win on Sunday.

Andy threw seven shutout innings but by the end of the game, the big story was what had happened to A-Rod. Alex left the game in the sixth inning with what turned out to be a strained right quadriceps and his status is still up in the air.

A-Rod had planned to go home to Miami home to be with his wife who is due to give birth to the couple's second child by the end of the week. Now, that itinerary has changed and it looks like he's going to get some tests done...but the Yanks are being mum about this.

In any case, great game by Andy, who bailed the Yankees pen who had been overworked to the tune of 13 innings in last 3 games. He was supported by a (hopefully) resurgent Yankee offense that put up 7 runs on 10 hits. The runs started in the 4th when A-Rod doubled home Bobby Abreu who had reached on a walk and then came around on a Hideki Matsui double. They put up another 2 spot in the 7th when Chad Moeller chased Orioles starter Steve "I'm going to take a full minute between each pitch" Trachsel from the game with a double. Chad Bradford came in to relieve and promptly gave up a HR to Johnny Damon making the score 4-0. The Os clawed out a run in the 8th when Joba came in and gave up a double and a single, putting men on first and third with no out, before giving up the ball to Brian Bruney. Bruney gave up a sac fly but was able to get out of the inning with no other damage. The Yankees put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth by loading the bases against George Sherrill and Derek Jeter came through with a bases-clearing double making the score 7-1. Mo came in to close out the game and that was that. 10-10 going into the off day...hey, it could be a lot worse and since most of the contenders in the AL have struggled as well, no one should be on the ledge just yet...

Posted by: Patrick
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Michael S. Schmidt has an interview with Hank Steinbrenner on the Yankees pitching, young (Phil, Ian and Joba) and old (Moose).

In short: Joba will be a starter, Phil and Ian will be fine and Moose needs to learn to pitch like Jamie Moyer.

Via Andrew Fletcher.
Posted by: Patrick
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Ed Price reports:

Defending MVP Alex Rodriguez left yesterday's 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards with a strained right quadriceps, and the general expectation is that he will miss at least a couple of games.

"It's a little sore, a little tight," Rodriguez said. "I'm concerned about it. Any time you have any type of ill feeling, you've got some concern.

"I haven't had an injury like this in a long time, so I'm hoping (I miss) no time. That would be ideal, in a perfect world. Let's see how I wake up (today) and hopefully (play) on Tuesday."
Posted by: Seamus
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I thought the weather was the reason the Yankees weren't hitting. So that's why on a beautiful 78° clear evening, they put up a goose egg against...Brian Burres? Wait, who!? I mean I had to look up this guy's player page just to make sure I remembered his first name correctly. The Yanks' hitting and Ian Kennedy's struggles led to the Yankees' second consecutive six-run loss to the Orioles. The Yankees have now lost three straight and their record has dropped below .500 again at 9-10.

Ian Kennedy struggled, giving up five hits, walking five and allowing four runs in only 2 and 1/3; innings. Ross Ohlendorf relieved Kennedy in the third, allowing two runs in 3 and 1/3. Billy Traber pitched a scoreless inning, as did Joba Chamberlain, who returned to the team last night after his father's health has imrpoved over the last few days.

Michael Kay mentioned during the game that when a team goes through a funk like this it all starts with starting pitching, but like I always say, it doesn't matter how good your pitching is if you score zero. This "mighty" Yankee offense has been shut out twice already and we are in mid-April. We'd expect them to pick it up eventually, but we might not be quite as fortunate this time if they put up another start like they did last year.

The Yanks and Orioles will play the rubber match of this three-game set at 1:35 E.T. Andy Pettitte will be going up against Steve Trachsel.
Posted by: Patrick
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Though it is fairly certain that some things were lost in translation (both ways), Steve Serby has an interesting Q&A with Chien-Ming Wang.

Q: Can you win 20 games?

A: I'll try.
Posted by: Patrick
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Just to confirm what was expected, Edwar Ramirez was sent back down to the minors to make room for Joba.
Posted by: Patrick
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Steve Conley reports that Eric Hacker, a pitcher for the Tampa Yankees, has a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings pitched.

You may remember, a week and a half ago, Hacker threw seven perfect innings in a game and was pulled because he had reached his pitch count.
Posted by: Patrick
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Major League Baseball has handed Kyle Farnsworth a three game suspension (with an undisclosed fine) for "intentionally throwing a pitch at Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox". Farnsworth has appealed.

In the better news department, Joba's back in town and will be available tonight. Peter Abraham says that Edwar Ramirez will likely be sent down to make room.
Posted by: Patrick
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Previously, Jose Canseco had maintained that he had an ace in the hole in an unnamed steroids dealer whom he introduced to A-Rod. He called him "Max." Sports Illustrated has discovered that "Max" is Joseph Dion, a trainer in South Florida.

Paging Canseco's attorney. "... Jose has not spoken to this individual in some time and hasn't seen a photo from SI or from anyone else," Gregory Emerson, Canseco's attorney, told the Daily News. "Jose is unable to verify it or confirm it 100%. But at this point, it certainly sounds like the guy that he referred to as Max." He also told the Post that Canseco stands behind what he wrote in the book, "100%."

In the SI article, Dion denies being a "fan of steroids" as alleged by Canseco, saying "That's really, really funny because I am the one person that hates steroids." Dion also claims that A-Rod "hated" steroids when they worked together and "was one of the hardest working guys, and most natural guy" that he has ever met.

Canseco reponded to a phone call from SI, simply telling them to have Dion call him as he wants to speak to the trainer before he comments.

Dion does confirm parts of Canseco's story, including that Canseco introduced him to A-Rod. A-Rod confirms knowing Dion and working with him at various points, but the stories of how they met do not match up. A-Rod claims that he met him through Eddie Rodriguez, who worked at the Miami Boys & Girls Club.

While declining to comment on Canseco's allegations, A-Rod did have some things to say about Dion.

"He's a Christian man, a good man - a great man, actually," Rodriguez said. "I'm very friendly with Joseph, but I don't really see him that often," Rodriguez told reporters. "I've probably seen him this winter, four or five times in passing. ... In passing, [we talk] maybe three or four times a winter."

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
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As expected, Pete Kerzel reports that Jonathan Albaladejo was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Edwar Ramirez.
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Rookie pitcher Phil Hughes logged his third consecutive rough outing tonight against the Orioles, allowing 5 earned runs on 5 and 1/3 innings pitched. The Yankees offense was cold, as well, and the Yankees lost 8-2.

Phil's 5 earned came on 8 hits and 2 walks along with just 1 strike out. He threw 97 pitches before being relieved by LaTroy Hawkins who threw gasoline and lighter fluid on the fire, giving up 3 earned runs of his own while retiring just one batter. Edwar came in and, after allowing an RBI single to score an unearned run charged to Hawkins, threw 2 scoreless to end the game. I guess that's a plus I'd take away from this one.

The Yankees offense seemingly amounted to two words: Chad Moeller. He'd be the other plus. Moeller reached safely on a Melvin Mora error in the fifth to score Robinson Cano. And then he homered in the 7th for the Yankees second run. Damon, Jeter, Abreu, Matsui, Cano and Melky also collected hits, but they just couldn't get anything going.

This line pretty much says it: 7 hits, 2 walks, 18 runners left on base. Ouch.

Sir Ian (0-1, 8.74 ERA) tries to right the ship tomorrow, facing off against Brian Burres (1-1, 5.40 ERA) at 7:05 PM ET.
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Ed Price reports that Edwar Ramirez is back in the show. He does not have the corresponding roster move to open up a spot for Edwar, but calls optioning Jonathan Albaladejo "likely".
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Kat O'Brien has the following Yankees issued statement from Joba Chamberlain:

"After several difficult days, my father is feeling much better. He is still in the critical care unit of the hospital and more tests await him, but he is off the ventilator and breathing on his own. Each day he’s acting more and more like himself, and he’s even giving people grief—myself included—because the hospital doesn’t carry Yankees games on television.

“When things like this occur in life, you certainly take notice of how much your teammates become more like family members. Their unconditional support, along with that of so many fans, has made a very tough time easier to deal with. Everyone’s love has been felt by my entire family, and it has brought great comfort to us when we have needed it most.

“I look forward to being reunited with my manager, coaches and teammates so I can thank each of them personally for all that they have done for my family.”

Good to hear. We'll continue to keep them in our thoughts.
Posted by: James
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Let me preface this recap with the following: Moose is frustrating. This will be a given ALL SEASON. I don't see why anyone is acting surprised. As long as he is in the rotation (and doesn't somehow find Ponce DeLeon's fabled fountain of youth) this is what you will see. Mediocre starts with a few good ones mixed in. Basically a #5 starter on most playoff bound teams.

In any case, Mussina was mediocre last night and took the loss. Manny did most of the damage, taking Moose deep for a solo shot in the second and after a Pedroia singled in Jacoby Ellsbury, connected on a 2-run shot in the third. The Red Sox scored another run in the third to make it 5-0 when Youkillis, J.D. Drew and Varitek connected on 3 straight singles and that closed the books for Mussina.

Josh Beckett started the game for the Red Sox and was dominant for the first 4 innings before giving up a 3-spot in the fifth. Melky worked a walk, Damon followed with a double and Jeter drove in both and then came around on a Bobby Abreu double to make the score 5-3.

Jonathan Albaladejo then came in for 3 innings and allowed two runs in the fifth (Manny single, Youkillis single, J.D. Drew double) to get the game to 7-3 before turning the game over to Farnsworth and Billy Traber.

There was a little bit of drama with Farnsworth and Manny when Farnsworth threw a 97 mph fastball behind Manny's head in the 7th. The ump warned both benches and while the sportswriters and MLB/ESPN seem to want to make this into a bigger deal, no one on either team was particularly riled up. Heck, even Manny wasn't steamed as he even pointed out that A-Rod got hit on Wednesday by Boston reliever David Aardsma.

Finally, the Yankees did score two off Papelbon in the ninth (I like seeing that by the way - next time, when it is a save situation, knowing that you've scored a couple off their closer can't hurt the old pysche). Papelbon gave up a double to Jorge who scored on a Cano groundout and then a solo-shot to Melky (he's up to 3 now - remember, only 8 all of last season) before striking out pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui to end the game.
Posted by: Seamus
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Last Friday, Chien-Ming Wang and Clay Buccholz met in Fenway Park and produced a highly entertaining pitchers' duel, as Buccholz gave up only a run on four hits and Wang pitched a two-hit complete game. Last night was a different story, however, as both pitchers failed to pitch more than four innings in a wild 15-9 victory for the Yankees in the first of a two-game set at the Stadium.

The Yankees slapped Buccholz around early, as Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez went back-to-back in the first to put the Yankees ahead 3-1. They scored three more off Buccholz in the 4th, courtesy of an RBI double by Chad Moeller and a two-run single by Derek Jeter. That was enough for Buccholz as Terry Francona brought in Freddy Krueger aka Julian Tavarez, who thew a wild pitch that scored Melky Cabera as the Yankees went ahead 7-3.

Chien-Ming Wang entered the 5th with a four-run lead, but never made it out of the inning. Wang had to leave the game with the score tied 7-7 as he just couldn't get anybody out. Ross Ohlendorf came into the game and the Red Sox put two more runs on the board before Ohlendorf settled down and struck out the side.

The Yankees would score another four in the 6th to take an 11-9 lead, and that would be all they needed as the bullpen was solid from there on. Latroy Hawkins, Billy Traber and Brian Bruney pitched a combined four innings of scoreless ball along with yet another 4-run inning in the 8th for the Yankees to close it out with a final score of 15-9.

The Yankees will play their archrivals for the last time tonight until July 25 as Mike Mussina will be facing Josh Beckett for the second time. Game starts at 7:05 E.T.
Posted by: James
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This might be one of the more amusing things that I've read in a while. The Onion reports that the Yankees have buried Bernie Williams under the New Stadium for good luck.

Citing a need for physical and spiritual cleansing after a Boston Red Sox fan entombed a David Ortiz jersey in the floor of the new facility, the New York Yankees buried former centerfielder Bernie Williams under 4,650 pounds of concrete Wednesday in the foundation of the new Yankee Stadium for good luck.
...
Dressed in his full Yankees uniform and batting helmet, and clutching an autographed ball signed by all members of Yankees' 1996 World Series team, Williams was lowered into the ground and then covered with a combination of concrete, fly ash, slag cement, and coarse aggregate consisting mostly of gravel limestone.

I don't know how they come up with this stuff!
Posted by: Patrick
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Forbes has released their annual baseball team worth estimates. The rankings show the Yankees in first by a healthy $482 million, at $1.306 billion. Second is the Mets at $824 million, followed by the Red Sox at $816 million.

Via Bryan Hoch.
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Albert Chen has an interesting profile of Chien-Ming Wang for SI.

He sits in the passenger seat of a midnight-blue minivan with tinted windows as it squeezes through a swarm of cars and motorbikes, on the city's main avenue. Peering through the side window he spots a line of customers at a street vendor's cart and decides that he wants what they want: a small piece of cake stuffed with red bean -- a local specialty he won't be able to get once he returns to the U.S. in another week. But because he is Chien-Ming Wang, pitcher for the New York Yankees, he can't step out of his vehicle, or even roll down his window, without making news in the next day's papers. "The street food, it's what I miss most in America," he says in a rare moment of wistfulness. Wang could dispatch his bodyguard, Daniel, who is driving, but left waiting in a parked van, Wang would surely be recognized through the front windshield. It happened two years ago, when, on his way home from the airport, a mob of more than a thousand blocked the narrow street to his home. For more than a hour, he sat with his wife in a stationary car, surrounded by the throng until 40 policemen arrived.

So to the notion of buying a piece of cake, Wang says, "Forget it," and the van rolls on, headed to a gym, where it pulls up to the rear entrance. Inside, he walks through a succession of darkened rooms and into an empty workout area. He lifts weights for an hour. Other than for the rare public appearance, trips to the gym are pretty much the only times that he leaves his apartment in Tainan, his off-season home. Some 7,800 miles from New York City, in his native country -- where his famously stoic face gazes from billboards, ATMs, credit cards, cellphones, bags of potato chips, milk cartons; where the people call him, simply, Taiwan zhiguang (the pride and glory of Taiwan) -- Chien-Ming Wang is everywhere and nowhere, a hero and a prisoner. For an intensely private, excruciatingly shy 28-year-old, being a national icon is a heavy burden. "It's crazy," he says in his slow and soft voice. "I think, This is strange. I'm just one man."

Via Steve.
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Anthony DiComo explains that, instead of pink eye, Wilson Betemit actually has corneal ulcers, potentially due to contact lenses that he began wearing this spring.

Corneal ulcers are a relatively common condition that can vary by cause and severity. Superficial cases can take less than a week to heal, and Betemit said that his was no different. When he is eligible to be reinstated from the disabled list in two weeks, he said he expected to play, even if he remains unsure whether he'll attempt to use contact lenses again.

He expects to be ready to play when he is eligible to be removed from the disabled list.
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Lisa Kennelly updates us on the status of Carl Pavano. I suppose it's easy enough to say: he's not going to be helping us. Check out this quote from Carl Pavano's agent:

"Carl's a 1-2 starter," O'Connell said. "Those guys don't grow on trees. Those guys are very rare, 200-inning guys are very rare in this game, and they're the ones that make the money. And he did it two years in a row, before he got hurt, and I'm sure he's going to do it again."

He has thrown 200 innings of more in 2 seasons, 2003 and 2004. In 9 other seasons, including 2008, he has or will not. With this in mind, I don't consider him to be a 200 inning guy.
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Joe Girardi told Tyler Kepner that Harlan Chamberlain "is progressing. He's about 40 to 50 percent on the ventilator. He sat up today for about a half an hour. Joba says he's getting a little bit antsy, so that's a good sign. He's doing much better." Good news. Our thoughts are with them. No word on when Joba will be back, though.
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After receiving complaints from fans (some of a vulgar nature, according to him), LaTroy Hawkins has decided to switch jersey numbers from 21 to 22. Apparently, some of the veterans on the team have also shared some concerns.

"I figure if it's important enough for Jeter and Mariano and some other veterans to ask me about it, it's not worth it to keep wearing the number," he told CBSSports.com.
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Andy Pettitte scattered 9 hits and 3 walks over 7 innings, holding the Rays to just 3 runs, as the Yankees defeat Tampa, 5-3.

Hideki Matsui (2 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and Derek Jeter (3 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB) led the Yankees offense. Jeter is 5 for 9 since returning from the DL yesterday. Bobby Abreu was 1 for 4 with 1 R, 1 RBI and 2 BB, A-Rod was 1 for 5 with 1 R. Johnny Damon scored the other run, going 0 for 3, but with 2 walks. The 6 through 9 hitters (Giambi, Cano, Melky and Moeller) went a combined 1 (Melky) for 13 with 4 walks. The team made the Rays pitchers work, walking a total of 9 times - or one more than the team's 8 hits.

Kyle Farnsworth pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Mo closed the game out for his fifth save of the year.

In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, manager Joe Girardi and players Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter joined Mariano Rivera in wearing 42. The whole Devil Rays team wore the number. The Yankees are now a game back of the division leading Orioles.

Tomorrow, we'll have a two game set with the Red Sox at the Stadium. Chien-Ming Wang (3-0, 1.23 ERA) will face Clay Buchholz (0-1, 3.27 ERA) at 7:05 PM ET.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees defeated the Rays 8-7 in a game that, after 6 innings looked like the Yankees would cruise to their third straight win over Tampa Bay. The Yankees are back at .500 for the 7th time this season (they were 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, and 7-7). The Yankees finally got to Andy Sonnanstine, who has been a thorn in the Yankees' side over the last year, but the Rays also got to the Yankees bullpen, which has also been pretty tough up to this point.

The Yankees jumped ahead early with a leadoff home run by Johnny Damon to start the game. A-Rod (4-4 homered later in the inning, and Morgan Ensberg hit one out in the second for his first home run as a Yankee, putting the team ahead 3-0. The Yankees would go ahead 7-1 with back-to-back 2 RBI hits by Damon and Derek Jeter. The offense clicked, as every spot in the order aside from the 5-hole (Matsui) recorded a hit. Alex Rodriguez had his best game of this young season with a 4-5 night.

Ian Kennedy was sharp, but left the game in the bottom of the 7th with a 7-2 lead after a ball hit off the bat of Jason Bartlett hit him in the hip. Kennedy said after the game that it feels a bit sore, but he doesn't expect to miss any time.

Billy Traber relieved Kennedy and gave up a two-run homer to Carl Crawford, cutting the Yanks' lead to 7-4. After hitting Carlos Pena's hand (bat) with a pitch, Joe Girardi brought in Brian Bruney, who gave up back-to-back homers to B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria to cap off a 5-run seventh as the Rays tied the game at 7 apiece.

Robinson Cano responded in the top of the 8th with the last of the offense as he homered to right after replacing Alberto Gonalez to put the Yankees back ahead by a score of 8-7. The Yankees brought Mariano Rivera for a four-out save, who pitched a perfect 1 and 1/3.

The Yankees will finish up this quick two-game set tonight at 7 before heading back to the Bronx for another two-game series with Boston. Andy Pettitte will be going up against Edwin Jackson.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Wilson Betemit has been placed on the 15 day DL with pink eye and Joba Chamberlain has been placed on the bereavement list, meaning that he will be away for at least three days.

In their spots, we have reliever Jonathan Albaladejo returning to the majors and catcher Chad Moeller making his Yankee debut.
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Tyler Kepner has a statement from Joba:

As many of you know, my family is dealing with a serious, personal medical condition involving my father Harlan. He is currently in critical but stable condition. We cannot express how much we appreciate the enormous amount of love and compassion that has been shown to my family by so many.

I also want to thank my teammates and my manager for giving me so much support when I have needed it most. Their actions are the reason I was able to reach my father’s side as quickly as I did. I ask that you please afford my family the privacy that it needs to deal with my father’s condition appropriately. In turn, I will provide updates through the Yankees as they become available to me.
Posted by: James
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Ouch. This (like Saturday's game) was one that the Yankees could probably have won...if Phil Hughes hadn't been terrible. Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn't that great either as he had control problems all day long...but he did give his team innings. Then to add injury to insult...Jose Molina had to leave the game due to a left hamstring injury that will keep him from catching (and probably land him on the DL).

The problems started in the first as Jacoby Ellsbury walked, stole second, advanced to third on the subsequent throwing error and after a Drew walk, came home on a Manny RBI single. The scoring didn't stop there as J.D. Drew scored on a sac fly and Sean Casey's ground-rule double put runners on first and third. Hughes and Molina then got crossed up on a curveball that ended up being a passed ball, which allowed Manny to come home to make it 3-0.

The Yanks got one back in the top of the 3rd when Johnny Damon walked, stole second and came home on a Bobby Abreu double but the Red Sox ended up chasing Hughes in the bottom half by putting up another three runs. Walk, single, single, single made it 5-1 with men on first and second with no one out and pushed Hughes out of the game. I didn't get a chance to watch the game, only to listen to it, so I can't comment on what was going on with Hughes but word seems to be inconsistent command. In any case, Ross Ohlendorf came on and let both inherited runners score, one via a wild pitch and the other on a Ellsbury RBI single making the score 7-1.

The Yanks mounted a charge in the 4th by scoring 3 runs to cut the score to 7-4 but couldn't muster up enough to get more later. There were some opportunities but it just didn't happen. A disappointing end to a disappointing series. Welcome to to the AL East Cellar, Population: the New York Yankees.
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Terrible news comes via an early morning report by Mark Feinsand:

According to sources, Harlan Chamberlain collapsed at his home in Lincoln, Neb. He was listed in critical condition at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, a nursing supervisor there told the Daily News on Sunday night. Chamberlain learned the news after the Yankees' loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. ...

Sources said Chamberlain broke down in tears inside the clubhouse, as manager Joe Girardi consoled him.

Our thoughts are with Mr. Chamberlain and those close to him.

Via anaconda.
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The Yankees will be making some sort of roster change today, in order to bring a new catcher onto the team, after after Jose Molina injured his left hamstring sliding last night. The slide was in the fourth and Molina played until the eighth. They have not decided whether or not Molina will hit the 15 day DL. Definitely a blow - Molina has been on fire at the plate, hitting .364 and providing us with catcher depth we've lacked for a while.
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A couple of days ago, the Post reported that a Red Sox fan working in construction at the new stadium had burried a Red Sox shirt in the concrete, hoping to curse the club. The Yankees denounced it as untrue. But, contruction workers came forward and named a Red Sox fan who had worked on the crew. This led them to discovering a spot where they thought it may be buried - and then discovering it. It took them five hours and they had to jackhammer through two feet of concrete, but they found it. Hank Steinbrenner had an interesting quote:

"I hope his coworkers kick the s--- out of him."
Posted by: Seamus
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I think if I heard John Sterling say in his exact words, "Beckett has been REALLY overpowering today," one more time I would have thrown my friend's radio in the lake. I distinctly heard the exact phrase 3 times in the top of the 5th inning alone. Ugh...well Beckett WAS for the most part overpowering and the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-3 to split the first two games of this weekend series.

Josh Beckett was a bit overpowering, as he shut out the Yankees on only one hit through the first five innings. He started to crumble a bit in the 6th when the Yankees took the lead on a sac fly by Melky Cabrera on a ball that was just barely chased down by Jacoby Ellsbury and a wild pitch that scored Alberto Gonzalez.

Mike Mussina was also impressive, settling down after a rough first inning, but the Yankees decided for him to pitch to Manny Ramirez in the sixth with first base open and it backfired, as he hit a two-run double to put the Red Sox back ahead 3-2. Mussina finished with a line of 4 runs off 8 hits and 1 strikeout in 5 2/3 innings, but his performance was better than the numbers would indicate. Boston tacked on an insurance run later in the 6th when Kevin Youkilis brought in Manny with a base hit off of Brian Bruney.

The Yankees would get to within one after an RBI double by Robinson Cano in the 7th, but that would be as close as the Yankees got. After a 2-hour rain delay, Jonathan Papelbon came in and struckout Alex Rodriguez to end the top of the 8th with the tying run in scoring position. Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and 4-3 stood as the final score.

Rubber game should be a good one tonight as the Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound to face Daisuke Matsuzaka. Game starts at 8:05 E.T. and is on ESPN for all of you out-of-town folks who don't get YES.
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I am very proud to announce that my new book, "Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards", is now available and can be purchased online at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and other retailers. If you are in the United States, it is being stocked nationally at Barnes & Noble locations, as well. You can check stock status at the closest store to you on their website.

"Managing Online Forums" is the result of my years of experience running online communities and forums. The book is definitely appropriately titled: it is truly a forums management book, but with principles that can apply to other types of online communities, like blogs, as well. From creating the infrastructure of the community and setting and enforcing policies to dealing with troublemakers and managing staff. This isn't a programming book or a software book, this is all about managing the actual forums.

Matthew McGough, writer/legal consultant on Law & Order and author of Bat Boy: Coming of Age with the New York Yankees had the following to say about the book:

"Patrick O'Keefe has run one of the most prominent Yankees fan sites online, and he knows of what he writes. Managing Online Forums - like his YanksBlog.com - is full of insight and information, well-written, and very deserving of a wide readership."

Here is a look at the chapters featured in the book:

Chapter 1. Laying the Groundwork
Chapter 2. Developing Your Community
Chapter 3. Developing Guidelines
Chapter 4. Promoting Your Community
Chapter 5. Managing Your Staff
Chapter 6. Banning Users and Dealing with Chaos
Chapter 7. Creating a Good Environment
Chapter 8. Keeping It Interesting
Chapter 9. Making Money

It also features three helpful appendices at the end that include online resources, a glossary and blank, general templates that you can use as a basis for your own user guidelines, staff member guidelines and contact templates (pre-written messages for you and your staff to use when contacting members).

For more information on the book, including a full table of contents, advance praise, interviews and reviews, an excerpt, downloadable document templates, an example forums setup and more, please check out the book website.

Thank you for reading and for visiting YanksBlog.com.

Sincerely,

Patrick
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Next up, we have a great interview with Tyler Kepner of Bats.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

I'm married with four kids under age 7, so if I'm not working and/or on the road, I'm doing something with them. I'm also a huge fan of The Simpsons and The Beatles, I'm a hopeless fantasy football addict (in the same league for 17 years) and I try to watch as much of the Philadelphia Eagles as possible, which is not always good for my mental health.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

We started our baseball blog at the Times in February 2007, at least for the beat writers, so that's when I began.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
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If the first game of the season against the Red Sox is like the rest of them, we'll all be walking on air. Staff ace Chien-Ming Wang had a great night, throwing a complete game for the first time since June 6 of last year. He allowed just 2 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 3 and walking no one. It took him 93 pitches to get 27 outs; it took Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz 99 pitches to retire 18. Wang's record improves to 3-0 with the win.

For the first four innings of the game, it was goose eggs for everyone. But, in the fifth, Jose Molina (who's hitting .346) doubled in Hideki Matsui for the first run of the game. The Red Sox countered in the bottom of the frame, thanks to a J.D. Drew solo home run, tying up the game. But, that was all they would get.

After six innings of work, where he held the Yankees to 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks, Buchholz was relieved by Mike Timlin. The Yanks didn't waste any time - the first batter he faced, Jason Giambi, homered to center. Jose Molina doubled for his second hit of the game and Alberto Gonzalez sacrificed him over to third. After Timlin was pulled for Hideki Okajima, Melky Cabrera did his job, hitting a sac fly to right to score Molina. That's fundamental baseball.

In the ninth, the Yankees added one more for good measure, thanks to a 2 out RBI single by Bobby Abreu that scored Alberto Gonzalez.

Molina was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, Matsui (hitting .342) was 2 for 3 with a run and a walk, A-Rod was 2 for 5, Giambi was 1 for 3 with a home run and a walk, Alberto Gonzalez (hitting .375 after 3 games) was 1 for 2 with a run and a walk, Abreu was 1 for 5 with an RBI and Posada was 1 for 3 with a walk in the DH role. The only Yankee who didn't really do anything offensively was Robinson Cano, who went 0 for 5 in the 2 spot with 2 strikeouts.

Today, a 3:55 PM ET, Mike Mussina (1-1, 3.09) will face off against Josh Beckett (0-1, 9.64). It'll be broadcast on Fox.
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Peter Abraham says that Brian Cashman told WEEI in Boston that Jeter would not play until the Yanks visit Tampa - the first game of that series is Monday.

Edited: Fixed the title to make sense!
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Yesterday, Yankees prospect Alan Horne was pulled just two innings into a start, due to injury, sending shock waves through Yankees fan dom (being overdramatic here). Good news: Yanks VP of Baseball Ops, Mark Newman, says that he has a pulled muscle. "Of all the things to happen to the arm, that’s by far the least significant," he told Mark Jennings.
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Earlier today, the Post reported that a Boston fan, working in construction at the new stadium, threw a Red Sox shirt in the concrete in the visitor's club house, in order to curse the team. I decided to skip this story, seeing it as a bit goofy, but the Yankees have responded now.

"We noticed that the New York Post wrote a fun and interesting story about a T-shirt today -- but it never happened," said Alice McGillion, a spokesperson for the Yankees. "Yankee fans know that burying something in concrete in the basement is never a good thing. Memo to the Post: You're 10 days late for April Fool's Day."
Posted by: James
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In what some people (including on the team) were apparently deeming a "must-win" (which I happen to think is ridiculous this early in the season), the Yankees beat Kansas City 6-1 in a game that probably got a lot of people off the ledge. The game was closer than the final score would indicate and the Yankees were behind the 8-ball early as Andy Pettitte struggled in the first inning of his second start of the year. Andy threw 30 pitches in the first but ended up only giving up one run (on a Jose Guillen RBI double). He threw up zeroes after that until he was relieved by Joba with two outs in the seventh and with the victory, Pettitte takes over sixth place on the Yankees' all-time wins list (164).

As for the main story of the night, the Yankee offense showed up in the third and provided enough to win the game. Melky Cabrera, batting in the #2 spot in the lineup shakeup, tied the game when he took Royals starter John Bale deep for his second home run of the year (he only had 8 Hrs last year so this could be construed as a power surge for El Leche).

The Yankees took the lead in the 4th when Jorge and Hideki singled to put men on first and third and Posada came home on a Molina double play. The Yanks scored 2 more in the 5th to take a 4-1 lead and tacked on 2 more in the ninth against Hideo Nomo (yes, that Nomo). A-Rod and Posada teed off on back-to-back solo homers. While Jorge's shoulder might not be well enough to catch, it's good to see that he can still hit. Mo then came on and got the 1-2-3 in the ninth for the win and the Yankees got back up to .500.
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The Yankees have switched up some of the titles given to the Steinbrenner family They now look like this:

George M. Steinbrenner III, Chairperson
Harold Z. Steinbrenner, Co-Chairperson
Henry G. Steinbrenner, Co-Chairperson
Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, Vice Chairperson
Jessica Steinbrenner, Vice Chairperson
Joan Steinbrenner, Vice Chairperson

"I am excited to announce these titles," George M. Steinbrenner said in a statement. "I am pleased to work with my two sons, Hal and Hank. With me, they will jointly oversee the club on a day-to-day basis. I am also gratified to recognize the leadership of my daughter, Jenny, in the club's charitable endeavors and her involvement with new stadium matters; as well as the contributions of my wife, Joan, and daughter, Jessica, in assisting me."
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees lost their second straight game against the Royals, this time falling by a score of 4-0 in a game that was just, well, a bit different. Ian Kennedy was the scheduled starter Wednesday night, but because of an expected rain delay, Joe Girardi started Brian Bruney instead in an unorthodox move which gave us four shutout innings with three different pitchers.

The rain was coming down in buckets last night and there was no letup in the forecast, so Girardi figured it would be best not to use Kennedy for let's say two innings, and then have to go to his bullpen after a long delay, or just waste his start completely in a game that doesn't count. In the end, they did get all nine innings in without a delay, so Kennedy entered the game in the 6th and finished the game.

The Yankees' "bullpen" was great. Bruney pitched two scoreless innings, striking out the side in the second after giving up a leadoff double. Billy Traber pitched a scoreless third, and just so we could get some of the "same old" in a very weird game, Kyle Farnsworth put the Royals on the board by allowing a leadoff homer to John Buck in the 5th. The Royals would score again in the 5th on an RBI single by Jose Guillen, and Ian Kennedy would come into the game in teh 6th, inheriting a 2-0 defecit.

Kennedy struggled in the 6th, but settled down in the 7th and 8th, and finished with a line of two runs off two hits in three innings. (the Royals didn't bat in the 9th).

If you've read up to this point, you're probably wondering why I haven't mentioned the Yankees' offense at all yet. Well, that's because there really was none. The Yankees failed to have a runner reach third base in what was likely a combination of the Yankees' struggling, hobbling, banged up lineup and a lights out performance by Zack Greinke, who's allowed just one run so far in 15 innings (0.60 E.R.A.)

Well, in the end Girardi is going to be second guessed a bit for starting his bullpen because the Yankees lost, but I think it was a pretty brilliant move on his part. They only used four pitchers which is not at all a far cry from the norm, and it's not like his maneuvering with his pitching staff cost them the game. After all, you can't win a game when you score 0. Personally, I can't for the life of me figure out why the tarp was never put on the field, as you could see puddles forming on the infield during play. And as I mentioned, if Kennedy were to pitch just two or three innings and have to come out of the game, we probably would have seen four or five different pitchers used anyway.

The two former rivals MIGHT go back at it again tonight, as there is more rain in the forecast (turns out the game wasn't called because this is the Yanks' only trip to Kansas City and today's forecast is not much better). If it does happen, we'll see Andy Pettitte make his second start of the season while the Royals will be sending out John Bale. Scheduled start is 8:10 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports:

the lingering weakness in his shoulder was diagnosed as merely a strain by Royals team doctor Steven Joyce. Posada is expected to miss no more than a week. ...

Joyce based his opinion on an MRI taken yesterday. Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on Posada in 2001, will examine the results of the test today, as will Yankees doctor Stuart Hershon. Unless their opinion is different, Posada should be spared a stint on the disabled list.
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Peter Abraham reports that shortstop Alberto Gonzalez has been brought up from the minors to fill in for the injured Derek Jeter. To make room, Shelley Duncan was optioned to Scranton.
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Craig Nettles had surgery for prostate cancer yesterday. His agent, Tim O'Neill, said that Nettles is "very positive, upbeat." That's good news. He'll be released tomorrow.
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After being pulled from yesterday's game due to lacking arm strength, Jorge will have an MRI. Pending results, he may end up on the DL.
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Shane Figueroa reports that Tampa Yankees pitcher Eric Hacker threw seven innings of perfect baseball against the Dunedin Blue Jays, before he reached his pitch count, despite needing only 78 pitches to go through the 21 hitters. Sean Henn relieved him and retired a batter in the eight before allowing a hit.

The Yankees ended up winning - 1-0 - but, Hacker didn't even get the win, as the game was tied when he left and remained that way until the 10th inning. In that inning, Edwar Gonzalez hit a walk-off RBI single to score Chris Kunda. Jonathan Hovis picked up the W.
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Phil Hughes started for the Bombers and lasted only three innings. He started the bottom of the fourth, but after a single, two stolen bases and another single that led to an RBI, he was pulled. At that point, he had already thrown 87 pitches, despite having only retired 9 batters. He finished with 3 earned runs, 4 walks and 2 strikeouts. Ross Ohlendorf relieved him and threw 3 innings of his own, allowing 2 earned runs. After him, Billy Traber and LaTroy Hawkins each threw a scoreless frame.

The Yankees offense was held to just 2 runs, both of which came in the second inning, thanks to a Wilson Betemit RBI single and a Johnny Damon bases loaded walk. In the other eight innings, the team put together just 5 hits and 2 walks. Damon, Cano, Abreu, Matsui, Posada, Betemit and Melky collected hits. Damon had the best day of them all, adding 2 walks and an RBI to his single. A-Rod had a particularly rough day, going 0 for 4 and striking out all 4 times. This is just the fourth time that it's happened to the Yankee third baseman.

A frustrating game in all. Tomorrow night, at 8:10 PM ET, we'll get Ian Kennedy (0-1, 23.14) against Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.29).
Posted by: Patrick
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Joe Girardi says that Derek Jeter is likely to be held out until after least Friday, when the Yankees' series with the Red Sox begins. Wilson Betemit will be the man for now, but Girardi did say that if looks like Jeter will be out for a week or more, they may make a call to the minors, peraps for Alberto Gonzalez.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees' bats finally came through Monday night, and Mike Mussina was lights out for six innings as the Yankees beat Tampa Bay by a score of 6-1 to earn a split in their wrap-around four-game set. Bobby Abreu was the star of the show, going 3-3 with a two-run shot and three runs scored, and finished the game only a double short of the cycle.

Abreu's home run in the first put the Yankees up 2-0. Back-to-back RBI singles by A-Rod and Matsui in the 6th and by Matsui and Cano in the 7th put the Bombers up 4-1 and 6-1, respectively. Johnny Damon added two hits, as well.

Aside from a home run by Jonny Gomes in the third, the Rays couldn't get anything going against Mike Mussina. After a somewhat shaky first start, Mussina shut down what may actually turn out to be a very potent Rays' offense, leaving the game with a line of just 2 hits and an earned run in 6 innings. The bullpen got it done once again as Brian Bruney and (GASP!) Kyle Farnsworth each threw hitless innings (Bruney hit a batter). Latroy Hawkins struggled a bit in the 9th, but got out of the inning without any damage done.

The one negative to come out of this game was when Derek Jeter left the game before the 3rd inning do to what the announcers said was a strained quadricep. Joe Girardi said after the game that Jeter won't be in the lineup for today's game in Kansas City, but Jeter says he hopefully won't be out too long.

The Yankees will be in Kansas City this afternoon for the Royals' home opener. Kansas City is surprisingly off to a pretty good start, going 4-2 in their opening road trip, including a sweep of the Tigers in Detroit. Phil Hughes will be going up against Brian Bannister in a battle of two young right-handers. Game starts at 4:10 E.T.
Posted by: James
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aka Hideki Matsui 2, Rays 0. Heck of a game today as the Yankees ended up getting their first win against the Rays with a 2-0 victory.

All the offense in the game came in the bottom of the fourth when Hideki followed an A-Rod double with a blast to right. Matsui went 3-4 and Robbie Cano got 2 hits but the Yankee offense did end leaving 8 guys on base for the game.

Obi-Wang went 6 very strong innings (taking a no-hitter into the fifth), giving up no runs on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6 (his second highest total ever - he hit 8 once last year but hadn't gone over 5 in any other start).

Wang did get into trouble in the 7th when Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske both singled, setting up first and third to start off the inning. Joe Girardi brought in Joba (where he could best be leveraged) and he did not disappoint. Facing Willy Aybar, Joba unleashed a curve, a 100 mph fastball (per the stadium gun) and a slider and sat Willy down for the first out. The Yankees then got out of the inning with no harm done when the next batter, Shawn Riggins, lined a shot that Robbie Cano picked out of the air and snapped a throw to first to get the double play.

In other news, Boston got swept up in Toronto...yes, it's early but doesn't it seem as if the other teams in the AL East are making an statement that they aren't going to be pushovers this year? It should be an interesting season...
Posted by: Patrick
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According to Joe Girardi, Jason Giambi is day to day with a sore left groin. Though, he notes, Giambi is there if needed.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees struggled to put runs on the board again, and Andy Pettitte labored a bit in his 2008 debut as the Yankees fell to the Rays by a score of 6-3 for their second consecutive loss.

Pettitte looked okay in the first couple innings but he struggled in the third, allowing two runs. In the 5th inning he allowed a 3-run home run to Jonny Gomes which put Tampa Bay ahead by a score of 5-1. The final line for Pettitte was similar to Mussina's the other day, 3 ER on 8 hits in 5 innings pitched.

Aside from an RBI double by A-Rod and a two-run single in the 8th by Posada, there wasn't really much offense generated by the Yankees. Rodriguez and Posada had two hits apiece.

The thing here is, the Yankees have actually run into some darn good pitching these first five games. You would think that you see Tampa and can assume you're just going to knock everyone around, but Sonnanstine owns the Yankees for whatever reason and Edwin Jackson had some really good stuff yesterday.

The Yanks and Rays will go back at it in the third game of a four-game set today at 1:05 E.T. as Chien-Ming Wang will be making his second start against the up-and-coming James Shields.
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Our next victim is Derek Jacques of The Weblog That Derek Built.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

Writing, mostly. I write about baseball (not specifically the Yanks, like on my blog or in the Bombers Broadside annual) at the Baseball Prospectus website, where I do columns about statistics and legal issues, and in books like the Baseball Prospectus annual. My wife and I also run an editorial services company as our "day jobs," so there's more writing there. Some evenings, when I'm not writing, you can find me shooting pool downtown.

This may be obvious, but I wanted to ask anyway: Can you explain why you named your blog "The Weblog That Derek Built" and how you arrived at that title?

I was originally going to call it simply the Derek Jacques Weblog, but when I mocked up a page using that title, it looked too much like Aaron Gleeman's old blog design for comfort. At the time, plans for the new Yankee Stadium had been in the news, and I'd joked among friends that a new Yankee Stadium would be the House That Derek Jeter Built - so I appropriated that double meaning for my blog.

» Read More

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Ian Kennedy's first start of the regular season was one that I'm sure he'd like to forget. In the first, he allowed a run on a two out RBI single by Cliff Floryd. But, he'd get out of the inning without further damage. After a 1-2-3 second inning, he struggled big time in the third.

After a single, he made Carl Crawford ground out. But, after a wild pitch and a walk, it was first and third with one out. B.J. Upton singled home a runner and then Kennedy walked Cliff Floyd to load them up. Shawn Riggans ended Kennedy's day with a three RBI double. Kennedy's line: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K.

Jonathan Albaladejo got the call. After an RBI doubled, he retired the next two batters to end the bleeding. Albaladejo pitched very well, after that, throwing back to back 1-2-3 frames before being relieved by Ohlendorf to start the sixth.

The Yanks answered back with a four spot in the bottom half of the third, highlighted by a Matsui solo homer, a Derek Jeter RBI triple, a Bobby Abreu RBI ground out and a Jason Giambi RBI double. After 3, it was 6-4, Rays. For the fourth through seventh innings, the teams would exchange goose eggs, making it 6-4 heading to the top of the 8th.

Ohlendorf worked a scoreless sixth and Billy Traber did the same in the seventh. But, you can only call on so many relievers before something bad happens. LaTroy Hawkins was called to pitch the 8th. He retired B.J. Upton, but allowed a solo shot to Cliff Floyd to make it 7-4, Rays. However, he then retired Riggans to make it two outs, with no runners on. Unfortunately, he just couldn't get that final out.

He allowed a double, then a single, then a stolen base, then a single that scored two runs, then a single and, finally, a single that scored another run. When he left, it was 10-4 with runners on 1st and 2nd base. Kyle Farnsworth did nothing to stop the run, giving up a three run homer to Carlos Pena, the first hitter he saw. After B.J. Upton, the batter who started the inning with a ground out, singled; Farnsworth retired Cliff Floyd to end the seven run 8th.

And, that's pretty much how it ended. Farnsworth pitched a scoreless ninth. The Yankees bats got six hits all day (all off of Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine, who pitched six innings) and didn't even make a peep once the Rays got into their bullpen. Jeter, Abreu, Rodriguez, Giambi, Matsui and Molina (in for Posada, who missed his second consecutive game) all collected hits.

Andy Pettitte makes his debut tomorrow against Edwin Jackson at 1:05 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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USA Today is in search of the greatest Yankee team of all-time. They took each of the Yankees 26 World Series title winning team and broke them up into two divisions. They had APBA Baseball run a simulation of an entire season. The 1998 Yankees and 1938 Yankees ended up winning the pennants.

Beginning on April 11, they'll be running a 7 game series to determine the champion. They'll be one game played every Friday until one of the teams wins a total of four games.
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Joe Girardi will miss tonight's game due to an "upper respiratory infection". He has a high fever and has been resting, placed in a mock quarantine, of sorts. Hopefully, he'll be feeling better soon.
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Bryan Hoch reports that Shelley Duncan and Melky Cabrera have dropped their appeals, agreeing to reduced suspensions of two games each.
Posted by: James
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It might be that the Yankees offense hasn't quite gotten everything going yet, but is anyone else impressed with the Jay's pitching staff? They have built a pretty solid pitching staff up north and if they were a little better offense...woo, watch out.

As for last night's game, it was a well-pitched ball game that essentially came down to a battle of the bullpens which the Yankees won. Dustin McGowan was on his game last night, holding the Yankees scoreless over the first five innings, but it looked like he tired in the sixth. He was battling the flu...or the dreaded "flu-like symptoms"...so I guess it was to be expected. In any case, the Yankees scored in the sixth on a wild pitch and a sac fly after the first 3 batters of the inning reached. It's a good thing that the Yanks won the game because scoring only 1 run on non-error plays with bases loaded and none out isn't exactly a great outcome.

Phil Hughes had a pretty strong performance, going 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs while striking out 4 and walking one. His velocity was right around 90, for those keeping track (and if the gun is accurate). Still, he kept the Jays off balance most of the night by mixing in a very nice curveball. He gave up a run in the fourth after a Eckstein double and a Alex Rios RBI single and another in the fifth as Marco Scutaro walked and went to third on a Gregg Zaun double and scored on an Eckstein grounder.

Still, it was the Yankees bullpen who came through tonight. Billy Traber, Brian Bruney, Joba and Mo combined for three shutout while the Toronto bullpen gave up the game winning run in the 8th. Melky started off the inning with a single, followed by a misplayed sac bunt from Johnny Damon. Jeter sacrificed the runners over and Melky came around to score on a Bobby Abreu bloop. In came Mo in the ninth and that was the ball game.

In other great news, the minor league season has started as well...Kei Igawa is perfect for the season so far through 6 IP! Sweet.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees dropped to 1-1 last night as A.J. Burnett was lights out for the Blue Jays en route to a 5-2 Toronto victory. The Yankees were held scoreless for six innings and a two-run home run by Alex Rodriguez was all the offense the Yankees could muster.

Despite what you might have heard from the announcers had you watched the game last night, Mike Mussina really did not pitch all that well. His line was not that great (4 ER, 8 H in 5 2/3 innings) and he escaped a lot of innings only through some damage control by the defense as they turned two on some hard hit ground balls that just fortunately ended up in A-Rod's glove. The Yankees turned 3 double plays with Mussina on the mound and five overall. The other run surrendered by the Yankees was from LaTroy Hawkins, who was a little shaky in his Yankee debut.

His Blue Jays' counterpart, however, was automatic. A.J. Burnett was just too much for the Yankees as he kept the Yankees scoreless until the 7th inning when A-Rod put one over the centerfield wall for a two-run homer which brought the Yanks to within 5-2.

That would prove to be the final score as Brian Tallet and Jeremy Accardo got the job done for the Blue Jays' bullpen.

Well after 4 months of watching football, basketball and hockey, I am reminded what I like best about baseball season, and that's the fact that you never have to dwell over a loss as the teams will go at it again the next day. Phil Hughes will be on the mound tonight facing Dustin McGowan. Game starts at 7:05 E.T.

EDIT: Only three of the runs Mussina allowed were earned. The run scored by Toronto in the first was unearned.
Posted by: Patrick
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Kat O'Brien reports that Jorge Posada was a late scratch in tonight's game due to a "stiff shoulder". The Yanks aren't worried about it.
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Ed Price reports that the suspension appeals of both Melky Cabrera and Shelley Duncan will be heard on Monday.
Posted by: Patrick
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You're not going to beat the Yankees very often when the only pitchers you see are Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera. And so it goes, with the Yankees beating the Blue Jays, 3-2, in the final opener at the current Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees scored first, in the bottom of the first, thanks to a 2 out rally. After Damon and Jeter were retired, Abreu singled and A-Rod doubled him home, for the Yankees first run of the season. The Blue Jays came back and tied it up in the 2nd, but that and a run in the 5th were all they would get out of Wang.

The Yankees starter pitched 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 2 to go along with those 2 earned runs. Before he left, the Yanks came back and gave him the lead, thanks to runs in the 6th and 7th innings. In the 6th, Melky lead off with a solo home run. And, in the 7th, Matsui grounded into a fielder's choice that allow A-Rod to score the go ahea.

Joba relieved Wang to pitch the 8th and, except for a walk, was perfect, striking out two batters. Mo pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning to close opening day. Tomorrow night, we'll have Mike Mussina versus A.J. Burnett at 7:05 ET.