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Posted by: Seamus
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According to Newsday, the Yankees and Brian Cashman have agreed to a three-year extension that will keep Cashman as the Yankees' general manager through at least the 2011 season. The article posts official releases from both Cashman and Hank and Hal Steinbrenner.

From Cashman:

"I know I've said it before, but it's an incredible opportunity and honor to hold the title of general manager for the New York Yankees. With it comes a great responsibility to ownership, the people who wear the uniform and our fan base."


The Steinbrenners' statement:

"Before we could move forward as an organization this off-season, we needed to come to a resolution on the person who would hold the important position of general manager and allow us to make another run at a 27th World Championship. We are thrilled that Brian has accepted to renew his commitment to this organization for at least three more years."

I think it's the right move. Overall I think he's done a good job and there aren't too many alternatives to consider.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch reports that Mo has opted to have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. I'm no doctor, but this sounds like the right move to me. Get it cleaned up in the offseason to help prevent an ongoing issue that could affect him next season.
Posted by: Patrick
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The 2008 Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League has come to it's conclusion. Our winner is Aziz Nekoukar from Pride of the Yankees. He defeated Dan of Pinstripes, Pa. by the score of 10-0. Way to run up the score, Aziz. Such a mean spirited, nasty guy. Has to kill us all in the regular season and then treat Dan this way, on top of it all. Just kidding. Aziz couldn't be nicer. Congrats to him.

Here are the final standings, with the playoffs completed:

Rank Team         W-L-T      Win % GB
1. Aziz (POTY) 135-71-14 .645 -
2. Dan (PA) 109-92-19 .539 23.5
3. Greg (SIH) 104-99-17 .511 29.5
4. Steven (M2M) 106-97-17 .520 27.5
5. James (YB) 105-98-17 .516 28.5
6. Mike (RAB) 106-96-18 .523 27
7. Patrick (YB) 107-102-11 .511 29.5
8. Brent (TBB) 105-105-10 .500 32
9. Dave (POTY) 98-113-9 .466 39.5
10. Andrew (SPA) 91-115-14 .445 44
11. Ben (RAB) 101-103-16 .495 33
12. Jason (MYBB) 101-106-13 .489 34.5
13. Emma (EP) 87-116-17 .434 46.5
14. Joe (RAB) 80-122-18 .405 53
Thank you to everyone who participated this season. I hope to do it again next year!

09/29: Thank You

Posted by: Patrick
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As the 2008 season is now at a close, I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has read and supported YanksBlog.com this season. It is greatly appreciated.

Thank you, as well, to my fellow bloggers here, James and Seamus, for all of their work and comprehensive coverage of the team this year. It didn't end like we would have wanted (though Moose getting to 20 was pretty sweet), but there was plenty of excitement and story lines that kept us busy and interested throughout the season.

Of course, one of the great things about being a Yankees fan is the offseason because we're almost always in the thick of it. So, things will stay busy here and we hope you'll stay with us.

Once again, thank you for visiting YanksBlog.com.
Posted by: James
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Looking to finish the season on a winning note and getting to a nice round 90 in wins, the Yankees looked to sweep the Red Sox in the second game of a double-header. Standing against them was knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (and some would say, their own starter Sidney Ponson).

Well, I guess it's true what they say then. You just can't script baseball...as Sir Sidney went six strong (say that six times fast) innings of one run ball. It probably helped that the Sox trotted out the B lineup (as did the Yankees) but Ponson's only mistake happened in the first when he gave up an inning opening double to Coco Crisp, who later scored on a single. After that, it was smooth(-er) sailing for Sidney.

The Yankees got on the board in the 6th when Cano and Giambi led off the inning with singles, putting men on first and third. A Xavier Nady groundout then plated the tying run.

Another starter that the Yankees had to rely on far too much this season, Darrell Rasner, then took over. After an easy first inning, Rasner walked the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the eighth. After getting a strike-out, Sean Casey then singled up the middle to plate two runs and give the Sox a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the ninth, the Yankees seemed to kick it into gear as the first 3 hitters all got on. Wilson Betemit singled, Damon walked and Melky Cabrera reached on a bunt that turned out to be a hit. So with the bases loaded and none out, Juan Miranda hit a sac fly to plate one run and move the tying run to third base. Brett Gardner then came up and went down on strikes (is he ready for prime-time? Nope, not yet) and it looked the Yankees season would end in a fashion that described the whole season; disappointing. However, Mr. Disappointing himself, Robbie Cano, stepped up to the plate and singled to plate the tying run and into extra innings we went.

The winning run scored in the bottom of the 10th when Jose Veras came in and promptly gave up a triple to Alex Cora. With a man on third and no one out, he struck out Chris Carter and intentionally walked Jeff Bailey and Sean Casey to load up the bases and set up the force at every base. It worked out well at first as Veras got David Ross looking to get the second out. However, the next batter Jonathan Van Every (that's just an odd name) was able to single through the right side to plate the 4th and winning run.

89-73. Third in the AL East (yes, Hank, still the 4th best record in the league) and a looming off-season chock full of questions regarding the direction of this team. Should be a fun one...but that's it for this game, this season and for me. Good night and good luck.
Posted by: James
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In a season where quite a few players and the team as a whole underperformed expectations, there was one guy who surpassed all expectations and he took the mound today trying for win #20 (and #270 of his career). Suffice it to say that he was every bit as brilliant today as he had been all season and became the oldest first-time 20-game winner in Major League history.

On a rainy, overcast day in Boston, Mike Mussina, in what he admits might have been the final start of his career, was sharp over 6 solid, scoreless innings, walking 2 and striking out 3 in the process. His only real test was in the fourth when with two men on and no one out, he got Kevin Youkilis to fly out before coaxing a double play ball from J.D. Drew to get out of the inning.

The Yankees hitters did their part for Moose, putting him up 3-0 in the fourth when Xavier Nady popped his 25th home run of the season just over the outstretched glove of J.D. Drew. Mussina left the game with that score intact, turning the game over to the Yankee bullpen and while Boston scored twice in the eighth inning off Joba Chamberlain, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte, the Yanks scored a few insurance runs in the top of the ninth and Mariano was able to come in and slam the door.

Congrats to Moose for a great season and if you decide to keep pitching, know that this Yankee fan would be more than happy to see you in the Yankee clubhouse doing crosswords for a couple more years...
Posted by: Patrick
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As part of the Yankees' annual rookie hazing, this year's crop of rookies dressed up as the Village people, reports Peter Abraham. Chad Jennings has pictures.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Kat O'Brien:

If Mussina does retire and makes it to the Hall of Fame, he said he'd be leaning towards going in with a Yankees cap and not an Orioles cap.

Of course, as we've come to understand, he doesn't have a choice. But, certainly a compelling case can be made for the Yankees. He pitched the first 10 seasons of his career with Baltimore and the last 8 with the Yankees. With the Orioles, he pitched in 288 games, going 147-81. Meanwhile, in New York, he's pitched in 248 games and is 122-72. The case probably becomes more compelling if his one and only 20 game season came in the Bronx, though.

09/27: Jeter Done

Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Derek Jeter will not play in either of the Yankees final two games against the Red Sox.

"If I could play, obviously I'd play," Jeter said. "But it doesn't really look like it. What it boils down to is that if you can't do it, you can't do it." ...

"I just think there's too much pain there, and I don't think we're expecting it to be a lot better before Sunday," Girardi said.
Posted by: Patrick
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From MLB.com's Bryan Hoch:

Cashman said before Friday's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park that he plans to discuss his status with the Steinbrenner family shortly after the club's season ends this weekend.

"It'll be soon," Cashman said. "It's not going to be today or tomorrow, but I promise you that you're not going to have to worry about it dragging out."
Posted by: Patrick
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Mariano Rivera spoke to the media on Friday, revealing that he has been pitching with shoulder pain all season, but had decided not to tell anyone until Wednesday, when he asked that it be examined. According to Bryan Hoch:

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said on Friday that he has been pitching with a right shoulder issue and will consider giving a green light to a minor arthroscopic procedure after the regular season concludes.

Rivera said that results of tests taken in New York on Thursday revealed inflammation and calcification in his pitching shoulder. Surgery is one of two options that could correct the ailment, though Rivera could also alleviate the soreness with a series of continuing cortisone injections.

Reportedly, Mo is leaning toward the surgery, which would only require a few weeks of rehab, so he would be fully ready to go back to work in 2009.

Mo will be ready to pitch on Sunday, in support of Mike Mussina's effort to win 20 games in a season for the first time.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees first round pick in 2007, Andrew Brackman, will make his pro debut tonight, reports Baseball America:

Sixteen months since throwing his last pitch and then strengthening his surgically repaired right elbow at the team's Tampa facility, Brackman finally takes aim on scaling the organizational ladder and showing why he commanded a $4.55 million guaranteed major league contract that included a $3.35 million signing bonus.

He'll be thrown into the fire immediately, too, as Brackman is scheduled to pitch in the circuit's opening night Saturday for the Waikiki Beachboys against the Honolulu Sharks, whose roster includes Phillies outfield prospects Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown.

Via Mike.
Posted by: Patrick
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In a game that was delayed by rain three times, the Yankees offense put on a show, scoring 19 runs and beating the Red Sox by the score of 19-8. The team scored in every inning except for the sixth and every Red Sox pitcher had at least 1 earned run.

Due to the delays, Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka was scratched in favor of David Pauley (0-0, 9.31). The Yankees took full advantage of that, knocking him out of the game after just 2 and 2/3 innings, having allowed 7 runs, 6 of which were earned.

As a whole, the Yankees collected 19 hits and 5 walks, including 7 doubles and 3 home runs. (They were hit by a pitch twice, as well). The stars of the explosion were Cody Ransom, Bobby Abreu, Xavier Nady, Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner.

Ransom was 3 for 3 with a double, 2 home runs and 3 runs, Abreu was 1 for 3 with 2 walks, 4 runs and 1 RBI, Nady was 3 for 5 with a double and 4 runs, Cano was 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, 1 run and 5 RBIs and Gardner was 2 for 6 with 4 runs.

Pitching wise, Alfredo Aceves started the game and lasted just 4 innings, throwing 77 pitches. He allowed 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, including two home runs. Phil Coke relieved him and saw his scoreless innings streak end at 11 and 2/3 innings. However, he threw 2 innings and allowed just the one run. His ERA is now 0.66.

David Robertson followed with two innings - scoreless - of his own and collected the victory, improving to 4-0. Finally, Chris Britton came in and gave up 3 innings in just the ninth inning alone. However, he made it through and the game was over.

Derek Jeter started the game, but was removed thanks to his left hand, which continues to bother him. Peter Abraham says that, with two games left, the Captain may be done. Still, it'd be nice to see him on Sunday in support of Moose.

With the victory, the Yankees clinched the division title for the Rays.

The second game of the series is today at 3:55 PM ET on Fox. Sidney Ponson (8-5, 5.21) will make what may be his final start in pinstripes against Daisuke Matsuzaka (18-2, 2.80).
Posted by: Patrick
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MASN Online spoke with former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer and the topic of Mike Mussina pitching in 2009 came up.

... Palmer recently asked Mussina if he's coming back next year. Mussina replied: "I don't think so."

"Of course, that could change," Palmer said.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Tyler Kepner of The New York Times:

There is some fear that Rivera could need arthroscopic surgery, although the procedure would be minor and would not be expected to affect him next spring.

“The only way that would happen is if tests indicate that should happen,” General Manager Brian Cashman said of the surgery. “I can’t say at this point.”

Cashman said Rivera expressed a small level of discomfort to team trainers but would not have been sent home if the Yankees were still in the race. He said he expected Rivera to rejoin the team in Boston on Friday and be available to pitch this weekend.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
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Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay logged the second 20 win season of his career on Thursday night, at the Yankees expense, throwing a complete game six hitter, holding the team to 2 runs. Carl Pavano was not quite as effective and the Blue Jays won, 8-2.

The Yankees were the first to strike, thanks to a Robinson Cano RBI single, scoring Brett Gardner in the third inning. Cano has an 8 game hit streak going and is 11 for 28 in this span with 7 runs and 5 RBIs.

But, the Jays came right back with 2 runs in the third and 3 more in the fourth. After the final of those five runs scored, on a single with two outs, Pavano was pulled in favor of Dan Giese. With runners on first and third, Giese retired Adam Lind to end the inning.

Francisco Cervelli made the first start of his career and went 0-3, but he did pick up his first RBI, by hitting into a double play and scoring Cody Ransom. Unfortunately, Giese would open the flood gates back up in the fifth as, after retiring one batter, he'd allow a single, double and double, with the Jays scoring 2 more runs. That was the end of his day.

David Robertson pitched the rest of the inning without further incident. Edwar Ramirez, Humberto Sanchez and Darrell Rasner each threw an inning to close the game. Ramirez and Rasner's were scoreless, while Sanchez allowed a run while walking 2 and allowing a hit.

Gardner was 3 for 4 from the leadoff spot. The other Yankees to collect hits were Cano, Jason Giambi and Melky Cabrera.

The final series of the season starts tomight when the Yankees face the Red Sox at 7:05 PM. Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 1.38) faces Daisuke Matsuzaka (18-2, 2.80).
Posted by: Patrick
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Kat O'Brien and Peter Abraham report that Mariano Rivera is getting his shoulder looked at. O'Brien says Giardi infered that it was the physical that all players get at the end of the year, but Abraham says it's odd for them to get it before the season is over. Giardi told Abraham that Mo would be available in Boston.
Posted by: Patrick
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Kat O'Brien reports that Andy Pettitte has been shut down and will not make one last start this season, as he was scheduled to make on Saturday. Alfredo Aceves will start.

Pettitte told O'Brien that he will pitch for the Yankees or for no one and he'll make a decision much earlier than he did last season.
Posted by: Patrick
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I missed the final game at Yankee Stadium and the ceremonies and coverage surrounding it. Sacrilege, I know. I felt bad. But, I was in Las Vegas for the Blog World & New Media Expo from Thursday through Monday. Sunday was particularly insane for me, as I had a book signing and was speaking on two panels. In fact, right as the game was starting, the "Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media" panel was wrapping up.

I go away for a few days and what happens? The Yankees close out Yankee Stadium with a win, my Dolphins beat the Patriots and the U.S. wins the Ryder Cup for the first time in 9 years. Figures.

I've spent several hours today going over a lot of coverage from the big day, mostly from my fellow Yankees bloggers. However, there was a little bit of coverage that I saw before this. On Monday, after I finally made it back home, I was watching ESPN for a little while, when they talked about the ceremony that the Yankees held before the game. Or, more specifically, the lack of any mention of Joe Torre. My first reaction: "What? How could this happen? Unbelievable. Man, that makes us look bad."

They had a reporter from L.A. on there who... well, wasn't terribly on point. He went on to say that the Yankees didn't mention Don Mattingly (no one else spoke up about this - and it was a panel discussion - so it seemed so unbelievable that I didn't see how it could be true, and it wasn't) and Larry Bowa, who he claimed had had a hand in some of the Yankees' titles. That is also not true, of course. Bowa didn't join the team until long after our last title.

Nonetheless, the omission of Torre is glaring. The man has more wins than Miller Huggins and Casey Stengel and more titles than Huggins, as well. I've read comments indicating that the Yankees didn't do anything for managers that didn't play for the team. If that's true, I've got an issue with that, in and of itself. Joe McCarthy, Torre, Stengel and Huggins all should have been honored. And the fact that Torre wasn't, it just makes us look petty and disrespectful. For his part, Torre handled it gracefully.

Via Ben Kabak, Joel Sherman of the Post outlines all of the disappointments that he witnessed. Some of it is a bit much, but there are some things I agree with. Namely, that Don Mattingly was shown on screen as long as Robinson Cano was, according to Sherman. There are only five men alive who have held the Yankee captaincy. Craig Nettles, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Mattingly and Jeter. Enough said.

Besides Torre, the other missed name making news is that of Roger Clemens. It has been said that he was heartbroken by the snub, holding hands with his wife and mother-in-law. I don't know about all that, and I can understand why they might have held him out, but I do think he should have been mentioned. You are going to mention David Wells and Al Downing, but not Roger Clemens?

It just doesn't make sense. The listing of players and people mentioned should, by and large, be a science. By making it a science, it's easy to knock down virtually everyone you have to mention. For example, anyone who has played X number of games. Anyone who has won X number of games as a manager. Anyone who has won an MVP or Cy Young award as a Yankee. Things like that. Only five Yankees have ever won the Cy Young. They are Clemens, Guidry, Sparky Lyle, Whitey Ford and Bob Turley. All of these should have been mentioned.

By the way, if you missed the whole event, like I did, I'd recommend checking out posts by Cliff Corcoran and Ben and photos by Brent Nycz, Ben and Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Ashmore has the press release:

The Trenton Thunder announced Wednesday at a press conference at Mercer County Waterfront Park that the team has extended its Player Development Contract (PDC) with the New York Yankees. The agreement will run through the end of the 2014 season.

“When the Yankees came to Mercer County six years ago, both the Thunder organization and Mercer County promised Brian Cashman and the Yankees that they would never want to leave Trenton,” said Thunder President and Owner Joe Finley. “I think the Yankees commitment to stay at Mercer County Waterfront Park for an additional six years demonstrates that the Thunder and Mercer County have delivered on their promise. We look forward to providing the best setting for player development in all of Minor League Baseball for as long as this great game is being played.”

“Extending our PDC with Trenton was a no-brainer,” said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. “The Yankees won’t settle for anything less than the best, and the Thunder is by far the best Double-A franchise in baseball.”
Posted by: Patrick
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Jon Heyman reports:

Brian Cashman was asked by the Steinbrenners to respond by next week to their offer to return as Yankees general manager, according to people familiar with the situation.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Seamus
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Well that's going to be all she wrote, folks. The Yankees got some good all-around pitching to defeat the Blue Jays 3-1, but were officially knocked out of the postseason race, thanks to a comeback victory by the Red Sox against Cliff Lee and the Indians. It's the first full season in which the Yankees won't be playing in October since 1993.

As for the actual game, Mike Mussina pitched five solid innings en route to his 19th victory of the season, but was pulled a bit early after being hit on the elbow by a batted ball earlier in the game. Mussina finished with a line of four hits in five shutout innings.

The only run given up by the Yankees was allowed by Damaso Marte. The Yankees used a total of six pitchers, including an inning and two-thirds by Joba Chamberlain. Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and recorded his 38th save.

As far as the offense goes, the Yankees didn't do a whole lot but did just enough. Jason Giambi went 2-4 with a home run and Brett Gardner had two hits, including a triple.

The Yanks will be facing one of their famed foes (and possible '09 Yankee?), as Yankee-killer A.J. Burnett will take the mound for Toronto. The Yankees will be sending Phil Hughes to the mound. Game starts at 7:07 ET.
Posted by: James
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It's the last game ever at Yankee Stadium and if you haven't seen pictures, articles or soundbites, go ahead and find them online. I'll wait. It was an amazing night for the Yankees as a organization. I don't think that there is another organization with the history and pageantry of the Yankees and they sure showed it last night. Luckily enough, mystique and aura trotted out one last time and helped the Yankees sweep away the Orioles to put the cherry on top of a wonderful night. Sigh. Thanks for the memories.

As for the game itself, the outcome was a little hazy in the early innings as Andy Pettitte took the hill with what couldn't really be qualified as his best stuff. Still, Andy ended up going 5 full innings and only gave up 3 runs to qualify for the win, his 14th. The win also put Andy back at the .500 level, which is nice since it helps him to continue his streak of no season with a losing record.

The Yankees got on the board in the third when Hideki Matsui and Jose Molina started off the inning with back to back to singles. Johnny Damon came up to back and promptly deposited a pitch just over the right field wall to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Pettitte gave up the lead in the top half of the next inning but the Yankees took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth when Robbie Cano walked (!) and Jose Molina jacked a 2 run homer (the last at Yankee Stadium!) to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. The Yanks scored two more in 7th on some shoddy defense by the Orioles to put the game away...though the Yankee bullpen looked like they would have shut the door with a much smaller cushion. Jose Veras, Phil Coke (who has sewn up a spot on a major league roster with his work this Sept.), Joba Chamberlain and finally Mariano Rivera came in and shut down the O's to seal the win.

When the final out was recorded, the emotion that seemed to spill out onto the field was something to see. All the fans stayed, players were taking dirt as souvenirs, hugging each other and then finally, Derek Jeter made a wonderful speech thanking all the fans and then led the team in a goodbye lap around the stadium. All in all, just an amazing night and a great sendoff to the house that Ruth built.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees stayed mathematically alive Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 victory over the Orioles in what was the last afternoon game ever played at Yankee Stadium. Robinson Cano was the hero this time, lining a walk-off base hit up the middle in the bottom of the 9th.

Alfredo Aceves and Brian Burres pretty much matched each other, as Burres pitched seven scoreless innings and Aceves shut the O's out for six. Aceves is definitely leaving something other than the new stadium to be intrigued about for next year, as he's allowed only four runs in 26 innings of work since being called up.

As you could probably imagine, the box score featured a lot of zeros, and Alex Rodriguez and Oscar Salazar were the only two players in the game with more than one hit.

The only run of the game was allowed by the Orioles' Jamie Walker, who coughed up a base hit up the middle by Robinson Cano with runners at the corners to end the game, giving the Yanks a 1-0 victory.

Derek Jeter was hit on the hand by Jim Miller in the bottom of the 9th, forcing him to leave the game. Jeter did say that "it doesn't feel good," but he expects to be able to go tonight.

So this is it...one last game in the cathedral before heading out to finish the season with stops in Toronto and Boston. Andy Pettitte will be on the mound and hopefully Jeter's hand is good enough to allow him to play for more than just an out or so. Pregame cermonies begin on YES and ESPN at 7 ET and the game is scheduled to start at 8:05 ET on ESPN.
Posted by: Seamus
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The final series ever at Yankee Stadium started on a high note, as the team got some good pitching, great defense, just enough hitting and a little bit of luck to defeat the Orioles by a score of 3-2. The entire game was decided in five innings, as the game was scoreless from the sixth inning on.

The Orioles jumped ahead early with an RBI single by Aubrey Huff in the first and a sacrifice fly by Lou Montanez in the second. That would be all the offense Baltimore would get as the Yankees got a good performance out of their pitching staff, beginning with five solid innings from Carl Pavano. The Yankees probably didn't need to use six pitchers, but everybody who contributed did a nice job.

The Yankees tied the game with two runs in the third inning, as Robinson Cano lead the inning off with a solo home run and Brett Gardner brought in Pudge Rodriguez with an RBI double.

It turns out Gardner was just getting started. Luke Scott lead off the top of the fourth and drilled a ball to straightaway center that would have gone over the wall if it weren't for Gardner, who leaped up and snagged the ball from just on top of the wall above the 408 sign to keep the game tied.

That play would turn out to be key, as the only run scored after that was on a wild pitch that scored Johnny Damon in the fifth to put the Yankees ahead 3-2, a score that would prove to be final.

The Orioles got the tying run at third base with two outs in the ninth, but Mariano Rivera got Brian Roberts to pop up to end it. Rivera picked up his 37th save of the season.

The Rays won last night, officially taking the Yankees out of the running in the East. A win by the BoSox over Toronto put the Yankees' elimination number at just two with eight games left to play.

The Yankees will play the last day game ever to be played at the Stadium this afternoon. The pitching matchup will feature Alfredo Aceves for the Yankees and Brian Burres for Baltimore. Game starts at 1:05 ET.
Posted by: James
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Well, if the Yankees keep playing this way until the end of the season, a lot of people won't feel quite as bad as if the Yanks just mailed it in. Maybe it's because it's the last homestand at the Stadium or maybe it's just personal and team pride, but the Yankees put forth another good effort in beating the White Sox 9-2.

Javier Vazquez, who was pitching on three days rest and who is now 0-3 when he does that, clearly didn't have his best stuff and got batted around, especially by Bobby Abreu, who launched the go-ahead homer in the bottom of the first, another in the third and drove in 6 of the 9 runs.

Still, the story of the game was Mike Mussina who was making his last start at the stadium. Moose labored through 28 pitches in the first as he loaded the bases twice but was able to escape with only one run scored (on a groundout off the bat of Paul Konerko that was a hair away from being a DP). After the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the inning, Mussina settled down and went six full innings and shut down the White Sox offense, retiring 10 straight batters from the 2nd to the 5th. He went out for the seventh and faced one batter before Girardi came and got him. On his way off the mound, the crowd gave him an ovation that can only be described as thunderous (MOOOOOOSE) and I don't think even Mussina could stop the smile from creeping onto his face.

The bullpen came in and did their job and we got our first glimpse of hometown boy Humberto Sanchez in the 8th. Sanchez, who grew up in the Bronx and whose dad still lives at 183rd and Jerome, was the key piece of the Gary Sheffield trade and will probably be expected to make some significant contributions to the Yankee bullpen next year. Chris Britton even pitched and though he gave up a couple hits and a run, the game had long been decided. A good one for the Yankees and let's see if the good times can keep rolling against the Orioles (a sweep to get to 85 wins before the Sox come to town would sure be nice).
Posted by: Patrick
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The 2009 for your New York Yankees has been released. The home opener is against Cleveland on April 16.

Via Bryan Hoch.
Posted by: Patrick
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Jack Curry spoke with Derek Jeter on his leadership style.

“I always hear the same thing about myself, ‘He doesn’t get in somebody’s face,’” Jeter said. “Well, how do they know? How does anybody know? Unless I was to tell someone or unless he was to tell someone, nobody is going to know. And you don’t do things for the camera.”

I have read, many times over, where people have said Jeter is not a vocal leader and how he doesn't get in anyone's face. How Jorge Posada (or someone else) is more of a leader because we see them talking more, giving their opinion more, saying where they think Joba should play more. It kind of bothers me because the bottom line is that we don't know what he does in private and nor should we. If he pulls someone aside and then that gets reported, the person he pulled aside may be embarrassed. Professionalism is keeping things in house. The fact that you don't hear about Jeter doing it much could be a testament to his professionalism, as much as anything else. In addition, different people lead in different ways and yelling at people isn't always the best way.

We sometimes see things on TV, read things online or in the press, and we make these judgements based on a small portion of the story. I see the same thing at Bad Boy Blog, especially with a figure like Diddy. People see this, see that, read the gossip reports, read news reports, listen to stories and then those things are turned into facts. We know this, we know that. But, at the end of the day, what we know generally isn't all that much. Familiarity breeds contempt, it's easy to criticize people and even easier to criticize those who are successful - to find flaws. I'm rehashing some of what I said on this subject in March, but I thought it was interesting to see Jeter speak on this perception.
Posted by: Patrick
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Ronald Blum of the AP spoke with Joe Mignogna, a 90 year old Yankees fan who attended the first game played at the stadium - when he was five.

“You want highlights?” he said. “I remember all the people—the fans and the dignitaries. The dignitaries wore fedoras, top coats. None of the fans here would have been let in.”

He plans to attend Sunday's regular season finale.
Posted by: Patrick
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Now that Scranton's season is finally over, first baseman Juan Miranda has been called up to the Majors.

In other news, Carl Pavano will start Friday while Sidney Ponson will be skipped to make room for Phil Hughes, who will start tonight.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees couldn't get the job done against the Sacramento River Cats, falling 4-1 in the Triple-A championship.

Dynasties in Minor League Baseball are rare these days. Sacramento, however, made a strong case to be considered one of those rarities Tuesday night at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.

The River Cats, fresh off capturing their fourth Pacific Coast League title in nine years, won their second consecutive Bricktown Showdown, topping the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 4-1, before 8,213 fans. It marked the third consecutive victory for the PCL over their International League counterparts in the battle for Triple-A supremacy.
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Derek Jeter went 2 for 3 on Tuesday night, moving past Lou Gehrig to take the top spot on the hits at Yankee Stadium leaderboard. Unfortunately, the team as a whole collected 9 hits and 1 walk and, as a team, left 8 runners on base. Yeah, that's not going to cut it. Yankees lose to the White Sox, 6-2.

Andy Pettitte started and he had a rough go, throwing only 77 pitches and being pulled after 6 innings of work. However, he did keep us in the game, as he left with the score at 4-2, despite walking 3 and allowing 6 hits.

Jose Veras, Dan Giese and David Robertson followed him with one inning of work each. Veras and Giese each allowed an earned run, while Robertson held the White Sox scoreless.

Johnny Damon was 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI, Brett Gardner was 2 for 4 with a run, Jason Giambi was 1 for 3 with a home run and A-Rod had a hit. And that was it for the Yankees offense.

Tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET, Phil Hughes will make his return, pitching in the Majors for the first time since April. As a reminder, his record is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA. He'll face Lance Broadway (1-0, 8.49).
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Jim Baumbach of Newsday spoke with Bob Sheppard, who confirmed that he will miss the regular season close of Yankee Stadium.

"My heart will be up in the Bronx," Sheppard said. "But my body will be in front of the television." ...

"Next year is beckoning," he said. "And I have a two-year contract, so I intend to be back in the new stadium next April. I'm looking forward to that."

Via Ben.
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Jack O'Connell of MLB.com reports that former Yankees Jim Kaat and Luis Tiant will be on the 10 person ballot to be considered by the Veterans Committee for inclusion into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Results will be announced on December 8.

And, oh yeah, there was this Torre guy included, as well. But, he never played for the Yankees, of course.
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From Jack O'Connell of MLB.com:

The six finalists, one from each division, were the choices of fans voting on MLBPLAYERS.com from Sept. 8-14 for the award, which has been presented annually since 1997 to a player who combines outstanding achievement on the field and extraordinary accomplishment off the field. The award is named for the first executive director of the Major League Players Association. ...

Jeter: In addition to being the captain of the Yankees and a leader in the clubhouse, Jeter has been at the forefront of myriad charitable efforts. For more than 10 years, his "Turn 2" foundation has raised in excess of $7 million to help children across the country. "Turn 2" creates and finances programs that promote the development of sound academic, fitness and leadership habits among children and to caution against the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
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Who ever would have thought at the beginning of the season that four of the biggest factors in a Yankee victory would be Xavier Nady, Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke and Wilson Betemit? Actually, I did...just kidding. Well that is how things went Monday night as the Yankees fought of the White Sox and won by a score of 4-2. Boston's win over Tampa Bay puts the Yankees 9 games behind both teams, reducing the Yankees' elimination number to just 4.

The Yankees jumped ahead in the bottom of the 2nd when the aforementioned Nady launched a two-run shot to center and put the Yankees ahead 2-0. The White Sox would answer back in the 4th with a two-run home from Dewayne Wise to tie the game at 2. The Wise home run was all that prevented Alfredo Aceves from picking up his second major league victory. Aceves put together another stellar start, allowing just two runs on five hits in six innings.

The score would remain tied until the 7th, when a ground rule double by Wilson Betemit brought in Nady to put the Yankees ahead 3-2. The Yanks got an insurance run when Betemit was brought in with an RBI single by Johnny Damon.

The Yankee bullpen was solid, as Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera all pitched scoreless innings. Coke picked up his first big-league win as he continues to deal. He's now pitched eight scoreless innings since being called up. Mariano Rivera picked up his 479th save, moving into second place on the career saves list.

Derek Jeter was 0-4 and will have to wait at least one more night to pass Lou Gehrig and take sole possession of the Yankee Stadium hits record.

The two clubs will go at it again tonight as Andy Pettitte will take the mound against the White Sox' Gavin Floyd. Game starts at 7:05 ET.


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From Peter Abraham:

Hideki Matsui told reporters after the game that once the Yankees are eliminated, he likely would have his knee surgery. But he wants to wait until that point and he hopes to play in another game or two.

It would be so easy for Matsui to say, "well, next year is my contract year and this team is in a hole - I need to get this surgery done and get ready to play for that contract." And most people wouldn't blame him. Some would even say he's hurting us, playing in his present condition, though I don't necessarily believe that.

But, the bottom line is that when a lot of people thought he was done for the year, he kept rehabbing and kept rehabbing and made it back. Even though he most likely needs the surgery, as long as he is able to deal with the effects of his knee and we are still mathematically in this thing, he wants to be there. You have to respect that.
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This is well after the fact but the Yankees represented themselves well on Sunday. It was a good win and the good times started early. A-Rod jacked a grand slam in the first and the Yankees didn't look back, scoring 4 more over the course of the game (3 of those thanks to a Giambi 2 run HR and a Jeter solo shot).

Carl Pavano, who left the game in the sixth with an injury, actually pitched pretty well and ended up picking his his 3rd win. He landed awkwardly after throwing a pitch and left with a stiff left hip. He looks to be okay to make his next start. Pavano gave up 4 runs (3 earned) and then the bullpen came in and did their job, putting up zeros over 3 and a third.

The win was a nice touch but it was really a day of milestones for the Yankees. The one that took center stage of course Derek Jeter catching Lou Gehrig for the most hits at Yankee Stadium. Derek entered the homestand 9 behind Gehrig but actually caught him with seven games to spare. Drilling three hits in each game of the Saturday day-night doubleheader and three more yesterday certainly helped and Jeter will have 7 games to put a little distance between him and the Iron Horse.

Another milestone was Mariano getting his 35th save of the season. It also happened to be the 478th of his career which tied him for the second most all-time with Lee Smith.

In other, less positive, news, Robbie Cano was disciplined and taken out of the game for what looked to be some more nonchalance from the second baseman. A Cliff Floyd grounder deflected off Giambi's glove and Cano made no move to get the ball. Floyd ended up taking second base and Girardi then took Cano out of the game. If this needs to be addressed more vocally by the rest of the team leaders, then it needs to be. This cannot remain a problem...and next year, when the spotlight will be on Cano even more to justify the contract and to rebound from this miserable season, this type of behavior a) will be looked for by every member of the media and b) can not, and hopefully will not, be tolerated by the team.

09/15: Joba's Mom

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The Lincoln Journal Star has a feature on Joba Chamberlain's mom, Jackie Standley. She's 13 years younger than Harlan Chamberlain and claims that some of the commonly held belief's about Joba's upbringing are incorrect. It makes for uncomfortable reading, but we've posted about stories covering Joba's dad before, so I thought I'd mention this one, in fairness.

Via Peter Abraham.

09/15: Cervelli Up

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We have another call up: catcher Francisco Cervelli, according to Peter Abraham.
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The second round of the playoffs in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League is over. Here are the results:

1. Aziz (Pride of the Yankees) defeated 4. Steven (The Yankees: Minors to Majors), 6-2.

2. Dan (Pinstripes, Pa.) defeated 6. Greg (Sliding Into Home), 6-4.

We're now in the final round of the playoffs as 1. Aziz (Pride of the Yankees) will face 2. Dan (Pinstripes, Pa.) for the championship.

Congrats on advancing, Aziz and Dan, and good luck.
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Following the Thunder victory yesterday, relief pitching prospect Humberto Sanchez has been promoted to the majors. Sanchez was acquired in the deal that sent Gary Sheffield to the Tigers.
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The Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double-A affiliate, have won their second consecutive Eastern League Title.

Jeff Marquez picked up the win, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks over 6 innings. Jason Jones pitched the final 3 innings scoreless, failing to allow a hit or walk.

Offensively, it was spread out with Reegie Corona, Chris Malec, Colin Curtis, P.J. Pilittere and Francisco Cervelli all scoring one run each and Corona, Austin Jackson, Pilittere and Kevin Russo driving in a run a piece.

Jackson was named the, but may be getting an MRI on his back, reports Mike Ashmore. Ashmore also has reactions from manager Tony Franklin, Pilittere, Jones and Marquez and photos.

Franklin will be headed to the Major League team in a few days, on field and in uniform.

“39 years in the game, and I’ve never seen Yankee Stadium. And I’m so happy to be going. I’m going to go out to Monument Park and I’m just going to sit there and take it all in and watch the guys play. I really want to thank the Yankees for inviting me out there. This is special for me.”
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Phil Hughes will start on Wednesday.
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The Yankees played two games on Saturday after Friday's matchup with the Rays was postponed. They also wound up with two different outcomes, which is what you can usually expect from a doubleheader. The Yanks were smacked around in the first game by a score of 7-1 and put together a late-inning rally to topple the Rays by a score of 6-5 in the second game.

The first game was a retelling of a familiar story, as the Yankees couldn't push any runs across against James Shields. Aside from a Bobby Abreu home run in the 9th, the Yankees had only three runners get into scoring position the entire game, and as you can probably guess, none of them scored. Batters 6-9 in the order were a completely dreadful 0-14.

Mike Mussina had a rough outing as well, allowing five runs in five innings. With now just 14 games left to play, it appears that Moose won't get the three starts he needs to try and reach the 20-win mark for the first time in his career.

The second game was a different story, as the Yankees got some timely hitting late and defeated the Rays by a score of 6-5. Derek Jeter scored from 1st on a couple throwing errors to tie the game at 4 in the 7th, and the Yankees went ahead on a base hit by Xavier Nady. The Yankees got an insurance run that would be needed when Bobby Abreu singled in the 8th, bringing in Brett Gardner.

Sidney Ponson wasn't good, but Phil Coke was superb in relief of him, throwing 2 and 2/3 innings of scoreless ball and allowing just one hit. The win was credited to Damaso Marte, his first as a Yankee. Mariano Rivera allowed a run in the 9th but was able to record his 34th save.

The rubber game is to be played this afternoon at 1:05 ET. Carl Pavano will be on the mound and will be facing the Rays' Edwin Jackson.
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that David Robertson is back with the Major League club, since Scranton's season is over.
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Chad Jennings reports that Phil Hughes has been promoted back to the Majors. Peter Abraham notes that the earliest he'd be able to pitch is Wednesday, as he helped Scranton win the International League title last night.
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Dan Martin of the Post reports on an interesting statistic, given that Yankee Stadium will soon be closing. Lou Gehrig is the all-time hits regular season hits leader in the stadium, with 1,269 hits. Derek Jeter currently sits at 1,261 (the article says 1,260, but it must have been written before the last game because Yahoo! and Baseball Reference show one additional hit). The Yankees have 10 home games remaining. So, Jeter needs to average about one hit a game to pass Gehrig. That'd be a cool record to walk away with.
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The Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, won the International League title on Friday night, defeating the Durham Bulls, 20-2. It was the first title for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization since the Scranton Red Sox topped the Eastern League back in 1948.

Phil Hughes picked up the win, throwing 5 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits. The offense was led by Juan Miranda (3 for 5, 1 home run, 2 runs, 6 RBIs) and Chris Basak (4 for 4, 2 doubles, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 walks).
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Brian Cashman spoke to the AP's Ronald Blum in response to Hank Steinbrenner's remarks from Thursday. Steinbrenner infered that he would like to form an advisory group to help make decisions, perhaps taking some power away from Cashman.

"At the end of the day, I definitely without a doubt believe that as owners, they need to set up a structure they're comfortable with," Cashman told Blum. "Simple as that."

"I'm certainly not going to make this about me. I do have an advisory board: It's my manager; it's my coaching staff; it's our pro scouting director; it's our farm director; it's our amateur scouting director."
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Fittingly, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Andy Pettitte is scheduled to start the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium, on September 21.
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Rain postponed last night's Yankees/Rays season opener, so we'll play two today. The first game, at 1:05 PM ET, will pit Mike Mussina (17-8, 3.48) against James Shields (12-8, 3.64). In the night cap, Sidney Ponson (8-5, 5.10) will get the start against Matt Garza (11-9, 3.55). The late game starts at 7:05.
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George King and Peter Abraham share some quotes from Hank Steinbrenner that indicate that, if Cashman returns, he may not have as much power as he does now.

"If Brian stays on as GM, that doesn't mean he won't be the No. 1 guy," Hank Steinbrenner said yesterday. "But the fact is, the more opinions the better. I think that's probably the best way. It worked in the 90's, and it can work again." ...

"We're going to have to look at what has been done wrong over the last five years, which I've had one year to try and figure out," Steinbrenner said. "Clearly, a lot of mistakes were made. I'm going to be reviewing the entire organization. We're going to do everything we can to win next year."
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George King reports that Yankees players have been given the option to purchase memorabilia from the stadium, after it closes this season. He adds:

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez would like their lockers; Andy Pettitte wants to use some of the outfield padding in his gym at home. Joba Chamberlain requested two seats, one with No. 6 and another with No. 2 on them. Mariano Rivera wants a seat, a pitching rubber and dirt from the mound. Mike Mussina wants the center field flagpole.

The flagpole? Aim for the stars, Moose.

Via Ben.
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Bernie Williams spoke with the Post, confirming that he will participate in the pre-game festivities on September 21, when the Yankees play their final regular season game at the current Yankee Stadium.

"It will bring me back to my first time in 1991, when I played my first game," Williams told the paper. "It will be amazing. The fans are going to be great. I'm obviously very sad to the Stadium go - you have a lot of great memories - but you move on."
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Alex Belth links to Sweeny Murti's top 25 Yankee Stadium moments. It's a great list. Check it out.
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long plans to fly to the Dominican Republic this offseason to reconstruct the swing of Robinson Cano.

"You're going to see a huge difference visually," Long told Hoch. "You'll see less movement, an explosive, compact swing and you'll probably see more home runs. I think his average will go way up and I think his walks will go way up."
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Derek Jeter is up for the 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. You can vote here.
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Ivan Rodriguez was suspended 2 games due to Monday's fight with Torii Hunter. Hunter also received 2 games. Both teams declined to appeal and Pudge served his first game today.
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With family in the house, Alfredo Aceves threw 7 strong innings, winning his debut as a starter, against the Angels. The 25 year old rookie wore number 91 and allowed just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 2 walks en route to a 7-1 victory.

The Yankees scored first, in the second inning, when Xavier Nady doubled in A-Rod. The offense was quiet until the sixth. After a Derek Jeter triple and Bobby Abreu walk, A-Rod hit a home run to deep right center, putting the score at 4-0, Yankees.

The Angels finally scored off of Aceves in the bottom half of the sixth, thanks to an RBI ground out by Vladimir Guerrero. But, the Yankees answered right back with a Johnny Damon two run home run that scored Chad Moeller. Damon would add a second home run, a solo shot, in the ninth.

Aceves was relieved by Brian Bruney to start the eighth. 4 batters and 17 pitches later, the inning was over. Damaso Marte pitched the ninth inning and, after allowing a lead off single, retired the next 3 batters to end the game.

In the top of the 1st inning, Jeter singled for hit number 2,519, allowing him to move ahead of Ruth for second on the all-time Yankees hit list. "It kind of sounds funny, I guess," Jeter told Kat O'Brien after the game. "... I know I joke around that I'm old, but I'm not that old."

The Red Sox lost, so the Yankees are now 8.5 games back in the Wild Card standings. Andy Pettittle (13-12, 4.49) will take the hill today against Dustin Moseley (1-4, 7.90). Game time is 3:35 PM ET.
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The Yankees lost their third straight game Monday night by a score of 12-1, taking a beating from the Angels in more ways than one. The Yankees now trail Boston by 9.5 games and Tampa Bay by 10.

Carl Pavano struggled in his fourth start of the season, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits in 5 and 1/3 innings. The bullpen wasn't any better, as Dan Giese, Edwar Ramirez and Chris Britton allowed a combined 6 earned runs.

I guess the real story of the game was the 6th inning, when benches cleared after a skirmish began between Pudge Rodriguez and Torii Hunter after a play at the plate. Pudge apparently became infuriated after being (seemingly) accidentally shoved by Hunter in the back. Rodriguez took a swipe at Hunter and missed, and both benches emptied out. Both Rodriguez and Hunter were ejected.

A scary moment came shortly after, when Dave Eiland passed out briefly in the dugout. Eiland was reportedly up and moving around in the clubhouse afterwards, so he seems to be ok. "Unknown" sources are reporting that Eiland reportedly fainted after seeing the Yankees finally record an out.

The Yanks will go at it again in Anaheim tonight, as Alfredo Aceves will be making his first major league start. Ervin Santana will be on the mound for the Angels. Official start is 10:05 ET.

EDIT: Yikes, misinformation alert. Last night's loss by the Yankees was their second straight and third in four games, not their third in a row.
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This is pretty much a non-story, I think, but Bryan Hoch reports that Joe Girardi will be back in manage the club in 2009, according to Hank Steinbrenner.
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Alex linked to a nice post by YF over at YFSF about the captain. He's right. It has become fashionable to criticize Jeter. I don't understand it, but I never have.
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The Yankees are limping toward the end of the season with a whimper, not a bang and anyone holding out hope for a miracle...should just stop wishing on that star.

It was just a bad day overall. Mike Mussina wasn't great but he might have been saved from the loss if the Yankee offense had been able to produce anything off of Ryan Feierabend, who came into the game with an ERA over 6.

The game started off well as the Yankees took a 2-0 lead thanks to solo homers from Jeter and Nady but Moose just wasn't able to hold the lead. Mussina gave up a 2-run shot to Adrian Beltre in the third inning and a solo shot to Jose Lopez in the fourth to give up the lead and the Mariners would only add to it. The final run off of Mussina came in the fifth when Ichiro singled, took second on a Mussina error, and then scored on a Raul Ibanez RBI single. The Mariner's fifth run came off of another Jose Lopez homer, another solo shot, this one off of Jose Veras.

The Yankees did bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with Wilson Betemit coming up with 2 men on and 2 men out. However, it was just not meant to be as Wilson went down swinging...and with the Blue Jays win, welcome to 4ThPlaceTown...population: the 2008 Yankees.
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The first round of the playoffs in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League are over. Here are the results:

4. Steven (The Yankees: Minors to Majors) defeated 5. James (YanksBlog.com), 6-2.

6. Greg (Sliding Into Home) defeated 3. Mike (River Ave. Blues), 4-4. The first tie breaker was lowest team ERA, where Greg had 2.03 and Mike had 4.50.

The second round will see these match ups:

1. Aziz (Pride of the Yankees) vs. 4. Steven (The Yankees: Minors to Majors).

2. Dan (Pinstripes, Pa.) vs. 6. Greg (Sliding Into Home).

Congratulations to those that advanced and good luck to everyone in this round.
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Tyler Kepner spoke with Steve Fortunato, the head of the marketing arm at Scott Boras' agency, and asked him if Bernie Williams would return to Yankee Stadium for Yankees' final homestand.

"Those details are all being worked out as we speak," Fortunato told Kepner. "As soon as there’s something official or final, we will work on that. All that stuff is being worked on right now. I think it’s going to be a good day."
Posted by: Seamus
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One night after recording only two hits in the opener in Safeco Field, the Yankees' lineup broke out for 7 runs and 12 hits as they defeated the Mariners by a score of 7-4. The Red Sox lost in Texas, so the Yankees are once again 7.5 games behind Boston for the A.L. wild card.

Sidney Ponson pitched five scoreless innings before being roughed up a bit in the 6th, in which a 3-run homer by Raul Ibanez put the Mariners ahead by a score of 3-2. Ponson finished the game with a line of 3 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings.

The Yankees bounced right back in the 7th and scored five runs, including a go-ahead, two-run triple by Bobby Abreu. Jason Giambi, Xavier Nady and Hideki Matsui also drove in runs in the inning and the Yankees went ahead 7-3.

The Mariners would get one back in the bottom of the 8th, courtesy of an RBI single by Ibanez off of Joba Chamberlain. Mariano Rivera was brought in with two outs in the 8th and retired four straight batters, recording his 33rd save in the process.

The Yankees will finish up their series in Seattle this afternoon before heading into Anaheim for a series with the Angels. Mike Mussina will be going for his 18th win, while the Mariners will send Carlos Silva to the mound, who is looking for his 5th. Game starts at 4:10 ET.
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According to Peter Abraham, Hideki Matsui would be willing to move to first base next season.

“I’m pretty sure I could play the infield as well, at first base,” he said. “I’m going to make sure I prepare myself to play on the field, not just in the batter’s box.” Matsui will have surgery to repair cartilage damage on his left knee once the season is over. The Yankees, he said, have not approached him about a position switch. “Not necessarily. But I used to play first and third. As long as I get a little work in, I should be OK,” he said.

Girardi said he envisioned Matsui being the designated hitter for “a substantial amount of time” next season.
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Mariners' pitcher Brandon Morrow made the first start of his career against the Yankees on Friday night. Previously, he had pitched in 100 games - all as a reliever. Morrow had been sent down to the minors at the start of August to build up his pitch count. This game marked his return.

The Yankees made it a wonderful day for the 24 year old, collecting a grand total of 2 hits, to go along with 3 walks. Only 1 of those hits came off of Morrow, who pitched 7 and 2/3 innings. He was removed right after the no hitter was broken up by Wilson Betemit, on an RBI double with two outs in the eighth.

Derek Jeter singled to start off the ninth, for the second hit, but the trio of Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi did a lot of nothing against Seattle closer J.J. Putz. Which is a shame, because the Yankees pitched well enough to win this game.

Andy Pettitte made the start and went 7 innings. He didn't come close to a no hitter, but he turned in a 7 hitter with 3 earned runs, 1 walk and 9 strikeouts. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Red Sox won, so we are now 8 and 1/2 games back. In order to have a chance, between now and our season ending series with the Sox, we'll need to gain 5 and 1/2 games over the next 20 days, in which the Red Sox play 19 games and the Yankees play 18.
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Bryan Hoch reports that Alfredo Aceves will bump Darrell Rasner out of the rotation on Tuesday.

This comes after Aceves made the longest relief appearance of the season, for the club, pitching 5 innings on Thursday, allowing just one run.
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Bobby Abreu hopes to return today, in Seattle, from a jammed wrist injury that kept him out of last night's game. But, just in case, the Yankees have promoted Melky Cabrera back up to the Majors.

Cabrera was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on August 15 and has hit .333 (19 for 57) with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs.
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Jim Baumbach spoke with Bob Sheppard, asking him if he'd be able to make the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium.

"If I can be there, I shall be there." ...

"Each day I'm getting a little bit better," Sheppard said. "Each day from January until now there has been an improvement in my weight, in my stamina, and in my outlook."

The hard part now is staying home from work. "Mentally, emotionally, intellectually, I'm ready," he said. "But the doctor says whether I'm deficient is in stamina."
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The Yankees have the "New Yankee Stadium Seat Selector" on their site. It allows you to see the general view from all of the seats in the stadium. Pretty cool.

Via Ben.
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Jack Curry of the Times spoke with former Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott.

Not surprisingly, Abbott, who retired in 1999 with an 87-108 record and a 4.25 earned run average for his career, is trying to help other disabled people these days. Neil Romano, the assistant secretary of labor, contacted Abbott and spoke about the need for the disabled to get job opportunities. Abbott agreed to work with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
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This was probably a fairly safe assumption at this point, given how the team has handled Joba, but Ed Price reports that the Yankees will be limiting the work of Joba Chamberlain in 2009.

"He had an innings limit this year that he didn't meet," general manager Brian Cashman said. "Would he exceed that innings limit next year? You wouldn't want to do that, as simple as that." ...

"If someone adds a significant amount of innings from the previous year (to get to) an area where they've never been, history says that those guys either have breakdowns or significant underperformance."
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Peter Abraham has the press release:

Johnny Damon today was named the New York Yankees’ recipient of the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2008 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.

The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes those players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams. The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente’s legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.

Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award. From September 3 through October 5, 2008, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 club nominees.

Damon, 34, is a national spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs designed to ease the burdens of severely injured servicemen, servicewomen and their families by smoothing the transition back to civilian life. Rallying as many teammates as possible to join him, Damon is a regular visitor to many veterans hospitals, including Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C., and the Tampa VA Hospital, where veterans with traumatic brain injuries are brought for long-term rehabilitation.

Damon also serves as the Yankees’ Home Run Captain for the Children’s Health Fund, which brings quality health care to the nation’s most medically disadvantaged children in rural and urban areas. He donates money to the organization for each home run the Yankees hit as a team in both the regular season and postseason.

In 2006, he established the Johnny Damon Foundation, which assists local and national programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk children. He hosts the annual Johnny Damon Celebrity Golf Classic, along with the “Johnny Jam” reception, which includes live musical performances, comedy routines and live and silent auctions that raise money for Orlando, Fla., based charities.

During this past offseason, Johnny and his wife, Michelle, were goodwill ambassadors in a U.S. State Department sponsored trip around the world. While visiting Thailand, his mother’s native country, Johnny and his family shared in a luncheon for more than 100 orphans at the Rajvithi Home for Girls. Damon met with children from the International School of Bangkok, instructing them on the game of baseball while also encouraging them to stay in school and stressing the importance of education.

Damon was honored with the Joan Payson Memorial Award for Community Service from the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America in January 2008. His community efforts have also included visits to young cancer patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, as well as supporting the St. Joseph’s School for the Blind with appearances and fundraising. He is also a special contributor to Tanglewood Acres, a Rockland County, N.Y., center supporting children and adults suffering from mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

The fan vote winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. Participating fans automatically will be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2008 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced.

You can vote online now.
Posted by: Patrick
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One thing that I neglected to mention, in last night's recap, was that A-Rod's home run was the 548th one of his career, tying him with Mike Schmidt for 12th on the all-time list.

After he passes Schmidt, the next person on the list is Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, at 563.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Mussina scattered 10 hits and 1 walk tonight, over 6 innings in Tampa, as the Yankees topped the first place Rays, 7-2. Mussina allowed both of the runs, lowering his ERA to 3.39 and winning his 17th game of the season.

The Yankees offense was scoreless through 3 until a Jason Giambi sacrifice fly brought home Derek Jeter in the top of the fourth. Xavier Nady followed with a two run shot that scored A-Rod. They added two more in the fifth with an RBI triple by Johnny Damon and an RBI groundout from Jeter.

Mussina started the 7th, but after two consecutive doubles to start the inning, Damaso Marte entered. He allowed a single to the first batter he faced, putting runners on the corners with no one out. However, Marte then struck out B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena. The Devil Rays brought Rocco Baldelli in to pinch hit for Cliff Floyd and Joe Girardi countered with Joba Chamberlain, making his first appearance since August 4. Baldelli grounded out and the threat was over.

A-Rod added an insurance run with a solo shot in the 8th and Joba remained to pitch the bottom half. Despite a walk and a single, Joba came away with a scoreless frame. Dan Giese, activated today along with Joba, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. It was Giese's first appearance since August 13.

It's good to have Joba and Giese back. Is it too little, too late? Could be. But, we can only take it one game at a time. The Red Sox won tonight, so we remain 7 games back in the Wild Card standings.
Posted by: Seamus
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For all of the good starting pitching performances the Yankees wasted this year, especially from mediocre guys like Ponson and Rasner, the Yankees were sure due to pull out a victory like this one. Sidney Ponson had six runs charged to him and the Tigers eventually put a 9-spot on the board, but the Yankees held on for a 13-9 victory, thanks mostly to the Bombers putting across 11 runs in the first three innings.

The Yankees went ahead early, scoring four runs in the 1st inning, four in the 2nd, and three in the 3rd, as the Yankees led Detroit by a score of 11-2 after three. Detroit would bounce back, however, as they put up six runs in the bottom of the 4th and one in the 5th to make it 11-9, and had the tying run on base in both of those innings. A two-run single for Jeter, however, would make it 13-9 Yankees, and that score would prove to be final.

Alex Rodriguez lead the way, going 3-6 and driving in four runs. A-Rod was also 2-4 with runners in scoring position. Say what you want about him driving in more runs early in the game or with a blowout showing on the scoreboard, but in the end, he did finish the game with 4 RBI and those four runs were the difference in the game.

Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon both had three hits as well, including a solo home run off the bat of Damon in the 2nd. Every Yankee starter with the exception of Jason Giambi had at least one hit.

Sidney Ponson was knocked around, as he allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in just three full innings. Edwar Ramirez was responsible for the Tigers' other two runs.

Phil Coke pitched in his first major league game and did a nice job, allowing only a single to Magglio Ordonez and striking out both Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera.

Pudge Rodriguez came up to bat in the 2nd inning and received a standing ovation from the Detroit faithful, which was nice to see.

The Yankees will be in Tampa Bay tonight to face the Rays, who are running away with the A.L. East at this point. The Yankees now trail the Red Sox in the wild card by 7 games with 25 left to play, which gives the Yankees an elimination number of just 19. Mike Mussina will be on the mound to face the Rays' Matt Garza. Game starts at 7:10 ET.

Posted by: Patrick
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Here are the top 10 search keywords that people used to find YanksBlog.com in the month of August:

1. Yankees Blog
2. Yankee Blog
3. YanksBlog
4. Yankee Blogs
5. Yankees Blogs
6. New York Yankees Blog
6. Yanks Blog
8. Maryann Kaat
9. Jason Giambi Mustache
10. Mary Ann Kaat
Posted by: James
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Yeesh. Sorry for the late writeup...but after that game, I needed to get out and do something...and well, let the Labor Day Festivities commence so here's the late recap.

In any case, when you go up against Doc Halladay, you gotta score a few runs and pray that your pitching will hold up. Well, neither happened yesterday. The Jays scored 3 runs in the first and never looked back. With men on first and third with one out, Andy Pettitte gave up an RBI single to Vernon Wells. Rod Barajas stepped up to the plate next and launched a ball to left that Xavier Nady misplayed. Nady initially took a few steps in before getting a better read on the ball and sprinting back for it. At that point, it was too late and Barajas had "coasted" into second with a two-run double. 3-0 Blue Jays.

The Jays added a run in the second on a Rolen HR and a few more runs in the 7th on a double, single and wild pitch. The Yankees added a few runs on solo shots from A-Rod and Jason Giambi...but it was just too little, too late...
Posted by: Patrick
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The 2008 Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League has reached the end of it's regular season. Here are the standings:

Rank  Team              W-L-T Win %   GB
*1. Aziz (POTY) 135-71-14 .645 -
*2. Dan (PA) 109-92-19 .539 23.5
*3. Mike (RAB) 106-96-18 .523 27
*4. Steven (M2M) 106-97-17 .520 27.5
*5. James (YB) 105-98-17 .516 28.5
*6. Greg (SIH) 104-99-17 .511 29.5
7. Patrick (YB) 107-102-11 .511 29.5
8. Brent (TBB) 105-105-10 .500 32
9. Ben (RAB) 101-103-16 .495 33
10. Jason (MYBB) 101-106-13 .489 34.5
11. Dave (POTY) 98-113-9 .466 39.5
12. Andrew (SPA) 91-115-14 .445 44
13. Emma (EP) 87-116-17 .434 46.5
14. Joe (RAB) 80-122-18 .405 53
The top six teams (the ones marked with an asterisk) will now battle it out in the playoffs. Congrats to Aziz on an incredible season, as well as Dan, Mike, Steven, James and Greg for making it to the playoffs.

Aziz and Dan both receive bye weeks while Steven will face James and Mike will face Greg. Good luck everyone (and go James :)).
Posted by: Patrick
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Joba Chamberlain will return Tuesday, after having been on the DL since August 6, reports Colin Stephenson of The Star-Ledger. Joe Girardi said that he would have been brought back Monday, but that there was no point as he throw too many pitches on Saturday to be used.
Posted by: Patrick
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With the expanding rosters, Phil Coke and Chad Moeller have been promoted to the Major League club. They are the only two players at the Scraton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate told that they will be promoted, says Chad Jennings. He notes that there is a better than average chance that more people will be coming, though.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com points to the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award voting page. The top three fan selections will be included on the ten person ballot, from which the honoree will be selected.

Hoch notes that other current or former Yankees broadcasters are on the ballot, as well, such as Michael Kay, John Sterling, Jim Kaat, Ken Singleton, Bill White, Frank Messer and Tony Kubek.