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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Yankees Surprise Mel Stottlemyre With Plaque

Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium, a day like no other:

Stottlemyre, who had to convince his oncologist to let him fly to New York, sat in the Yankees’ dugout as Randolph received his Monument Park plaque. He watched as his fellow Old-Timers were introduced, a history of the club unfurling in front of him. He waited for his name to be called until he was the last one left. “I was sitting there by myself, and I actually thought they forgot me,” he said.

As Stottlemyre sat in the dugout, he saw his family come out and line up in the middle of the diamond. He saw the veiled plaque in front of them, the bouquet of roses in his wife’s arms. The ‘30’ was his, too. Much to his surprise, the Yankees had a spot for Stottlemyre in Monument Park, as well. His plaque was already sculpted, his honorary ring already crafted. All that was left was to tell him.
.  .  .
Stottlemyre pitched 11 seasons for the Yankees, returning as a coach in 1996. He won four World Series under Joe Torre before resigning in 2005. Months after the first of those championships, a routine blood test showed Stottlemyre was at risk for multiple myeloma, a plasma-cell cancer that accumulates in bone marrow. He was diagnosed with the disease during Spring Training in 2000, underwent treatment and spent a decade healthy. The cancer returned in 2011, and Stottlemyre has spent the past four years fighting it. A series of side effects and medical complications ranging from heart conditions to thyroid deficiencies have followed.
.  .  .
“If I never get to come to another Old-Timers’ Game, I will take these memories that I have today, and I will start another baseball club, coaching up there whenever they need me,” he said.

Mel was the best part of the unfortunate CBS years. If he’d played on the Yankee teams before or after, and stayed healthy, he’d likely have been in Hall of Fame territory.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ESPN: Schoenfield: The Yankees Are Back

The gritty, gutsy, scrappy underdogs are attracting some attention:

After hammering the Rays 11-5 on Monday in a five-homer outburst that included Rodriguez’s eighth, the Yankees are 21-12 and owners of the best record in the American League. Maybe you dreamed of an under .500 season; maybe you dreamed of Rodriguez getting released in July, the Yankees finally just eating his contract; maybe you dreamed of Joe Girardi losing his cool one evening and going on a Hal McRae-like rant in his postgame interview.

Instead, it’s your worst nightmare. The Yankees are good. They’re not going away, especially in what’s shaping up to be a mediocre AL East. This isn’t the year we get to bury the Yankees. This is a Stephen King novel come to life, and the Yankees are once again the bad guys ... only they’re disguised as the good guys.

That’s right. I’m going to say it, and I rewrote this sentence 49 times because it’s hard to admit: This team is likable, fun to watch and giving us a story much more interesting than an aging, broken-down team on its way to 85 or 90 losses.
.  .  .
But in a flawed division, the Yankees appear to be the least flawed team right now. According to FanGraphs, the Yankees’ odds of winning the division are at 54 percent.

Our long national nightmare could be over if the Yankees end their two-year playoff drought this season.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 12, 2015 at 01:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: al east, dreams, fangraphs, good people, new york yankees

Monday, May 04, 2015

Jeff Karstens announces his retirement

#HanginEmUp Just would like to give a huge thank you to all my family, friends, teammates, and coaches for all the support you’ve giving me on and off the field over the years. I will forever cherish all of the special moments and memories. #ThankYou

Few men have done more with less of a fastball.

Enjoy your retirement, Jeff.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

ESPN: Switch-Pitcher Venditte The Talk Of A’s Camp

But in the early stages of camp, no Oakland pitcher has elicited more chatter than a 29-year-old career minor leaguer with a novel gift. Pat Venditte, who signed with the New York Yankees as a 20th-round draft pick out of Creighton in 2008, has a 2.46 ERA and 431 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings over seven minor league seasons. But his new teammates are far more impressed with his ability to pitch with both hands.

“For the first few days, he was the talk of camp,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Guys would stick around and take notice and watch him throw in the pen to see if we’re just talking about a gimmick here or somebody that can really pull it off. They walk away just shaking their heads. It’s tough enough to do it from one side—especially at this level.’’
.  .  .
Venditte throws a fastball, slider and changeup from both sides and uses an ambidextrous glove with two thumb holes. As his fellow A’s get to know him, it’s only natural that they flash back through their professional careers and think of other ambidextrous teammates they’ve encountered.

Melvin recalls how Ariel Prieto, a former Oakland pitcher and coach, threw batting practice with both hands. When A’s pitcher Scott Kazmir was in Cleveland, teammate Carlos Carrasco threw his fastball in the mid-90s from the right side and reached the mid-80s just goofing around from the left. And reliever Tyler Clippard, who came to Oakland by trade from Washington in January, recalls how former Nationals bullpen-mate Sean Burnett would heave balls back to the infield right-handed during shagging to save his left arm for the games.
.  .  .
When Venditte was looking at potential landing spots as a minor league free agent over the winter, Oakland ranked high on the list because the A’s are a creative, free-thinking organization that might give him a legitimate shot rather than view him as a novelty act. It appears he’s come to the right place.

Give the [no longer a] kid a chance.


Monday, February 16, 2015

ESPN: Maier’s Glove Is Up For Auction

Unique memorabilia opportunity:

The glove Jeffrey Maier used to catch Derek Jeter’s tying home run against Baltimore in the eighth inning of the 1996 American League Championship Series opener at the original Yankee Stadium will be auctioned. Heritage Auctions said Monday the glove will be put up for bids on Saturday in New York. The company did not identify the current owner, who it said had purchased the glove from Maier.

 

 


ESPN: Yankees To Retire Andy Pettitte’s Number

Some Core Four ceremonies coming up:

Andy Pettitte will have his No. 46 retired by the New York Yankees and receive a plaque in Monument Park, a source confirmed to ESPN.com. Pettitte will become the 18th member of the Yankees to have his number retired. Pettitte was known for his big-game performance, helping the Yankees win five championships during his career.
.  .  .
Pettitte finished his career with a 256-153 record and 3.85 ERA. With the help of the expanded playoff format, he has won more games (19) than anyone in playoff history.  .  .  . Last year, Joe Torre’s No 6 was retired, while Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neil were honored in Monument Park. In 2015, Williams is scheduled to have his own ceremony, while Derek Jeter’s No. 2 will be retired in the near future.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Washington Post: Appeal To Reverse Antitrust Rule Is A Desperate Swing For The Fences

A look at San Jose’s appeal to the Supreme Court, touching on the history of MLB’s anti-trust exemption, as well as the baseball background of some of the current Justices:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is famously a Yankees fan — “You can’t grow up in the South Bronx without knowing about baseball,” she once said — who has thrown out the first pitch at a game and had the team bring the World Series trophy to her Supreme Court chambers. For her Christmas present this past year, Sotomayor’s younger brother Juan commissioned a painting of three Latino former Yankees — Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

But the other justices may be pikers compared with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., a diehard devotee of the Philadelphia Phillies. In a two-part (!) interview with a Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter in 2010, Alito displayed an encyclopedic knowledge of his team and remembered how Breyer had arranged for the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, to show up for Alito’s welcome dinner to the Supreme Court.

When Alito was 44, his wife sent him to Phillies Dream Week, the training camp for aging fans, where he turned a double-play and received the award as best fielder. “By the end of the week every single person there, I think without exception, had pulled his hamstring,” Alito said.

Justices posting at BBTF? Probably none.


 

 

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