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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kapler: Pinstriped Yarmulkes

“the day we proclaim the King of the Universe”... wait, that’s what I thought Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium was.

This year, Derek Jeter dons his stripes at Yankee Stadium for the final time on one of the holier days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah. It also gives me a chance to pose a question to all of the media members. The tables have turned, punks. For those of you who are also members of the tribe, will you be covering this game?...

Granted, I’m not Sandy Koufax. I’m not even Kevin Youkilis or Shawn Green. Hell, I’m probably not Scott Feldman. The likelihood of my being in the lineup on any given Jewish holiday was roughly the same as the odds of a left-handed pitcher (or Kent Bottenfield) being on the mound.

That didn’t stop the reporters from asking.  “Gabe, what’s your plan? Will you play?”

My reply was always the same.

“I’m ridiculously proud of my Jewish heritage. I have a Star of David tattooed on my body for that reason. That said, I don’t practice Judaism. It would be awfully hypocritical for me not to be available to my manager and my team if I wouldn’t be attending synagogue. I’m just as likely to be setting my fantasy football lineup as reading from the Torah.” ...

This isn’t an article about whether to play (or work) or not to play. Nor is it a discussion about Jewish holidays. Instead, it’s just a chance to ask the media the question I was always asked. There are lots of Jews in the New York media who will be deciding whether to be loyal to their synagogue or to the Captain on September 25th. I won’t be in Yankee Stadium the day Jeter waves goodbye; I’ll be in Los Angeles. What will you do? Before you answer, I have your rabbi on speed dial. How’s that for some good old-fashioned Jewish guilt?

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:54 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, religion, yankees

Yankees To Sign Chris Young

Met mojo… Yankee mojo… we know how this turns out, right?

The Yankees have agreed to terms with outfielder Chris Young on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter)...

after signing a one-year, $7.25MM contract… The former Diamondback batted just .205/.283/.346 in 287 plate appearances with the Mets before being designated for assignment and ultimately released earlier this month…

With Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury locked into left and center field, respectively, Young could potentially join a right field mix that includes Ichiro Suzuki, Martin Prado, Zelous Wheeler and Carlos Beltran if added to the roster.

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris b. young, transactions, yankees

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yankees undefeated with relief pitcher wearing horse’s head

How about naming it after Legolas’s horse?

At the bottom of Shawn Kelley’s locker sat 1.1 pounds of horror. It had giant nostrils and a full set of teeth and frightened brown eyes and a lovely mane. It is the New York Yankees’ new good-luck charm… Since he debuted the horse head during the Yankees’ pregame stretch Thursday, they are 5-0…

Kelley tries to make the performance all his own. He ran around the clubhouse wearing the head after Monday’s win and high-fived teammates. He’ll bring it on the field before games, looking like a pinstriped Hayagriva.

“You can’t help but laugh at a guy in a horse head,” Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. “He nails it. When he goes into character, there’s no getting him out of it. He’s a rock star. That’s what he is.”

Every animal needs a name, of course, and this one offered tantalizing possibilities. Khartoum? Probably too obscure. Secretariat? Certainly presumptive for a team that at the time sat two games over .500. George? Well, The Boss did own and breed racehorses for years, though were he still around he probably would’ve fined Kelley and called him a horse’s ass for wearing it.

“Seabiscuit,” Kelley said. “That’s what we’re calling him.”

The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: shawn kelley, yankees

Fan puts Derek Jeter’s head on the Mona Lisa, terrifies the world

Are you warm, are you real, Derek Jeter
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art sculpture

llo

With Derek Jeter’s retirement coming at the end of the year, people are falling all over themselves to pay tribute to the surefire Hall of Famer. Teams are giving him gifts. Fans are making him signs and corn mazes. And then—AHHHHHHHHH

Repoz Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: art shamsky, royals, yankees

Sunday, August 24, 2014

HardballTalk: White Sox veteran Paul Konerko gets autographed base from Yankees in final trip to Bronx

Derek Jeter has been collecting retirement gifts in every road city that the Yankees have traveled to in his farewell season, but he did the presenting Sunday afternoon in New York …


Madden: After coming up aces at trade deadline, Athletics and Tigers look lost at the plate

RBI’s! Fraternization! Smith Wigglesworth’s Plumbers Guide to God! More new old world speak from Bill Madden!

Whereas the Tigers’ decline in offense can be directly traced to injury-riddled Miguel Cabrera’s power outage — three homers since July 1, and just one with eight RBI in August — and the return to earth of J.D. Martinez, who’s dropped 42 points off his batting average since July 13 and has just 10 RBI (three of them in one game) in August, there also seems little doubt the A’s are just not the same without Cespedes providing middle-of-the-order protection for Josh Donaldson (2 HRs, both in the same game, 8 RBI in August) and Brandon Moss (no homers since July 24 and four RBI in August). Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija, for whom Beane traded top shortstop prospect Addison Russell to the Cubs, has lost his last two starts and is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA as an Athletic, while Lester, in his previous two starts before Saturday’s no-decision, failed to get past the sixth inning, with a yield of three earned runs in both. For this, they traded their cleanup hitter?

...—I’m told morale in the Mark Newman Yankee minor league system is at an all-time low as the pitch count and innings limits obsession goes on, with minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson calling the dugouts each night from his compound in Tampa and ordering when pitchers should be pulled from games. A couple of weeks ago at Triple-A Scranton, they ran out of pitchers two straight nights and had to use position players to finish the games! Joe Girardi lost two games Michael Pineda pitched because the rehabbed righty wasn’t prepared to go beyond 70 or 80 pitches. At least neither Scranton nor Double-A Trenton will be in the playoffs so there will be no place to extend the seasons of their better pitchers and further tax their arms. And speaking of morale, I’m also told the players at Trenton were wondering about continually-entitled catcher Gary Sanchez going on a three-day leave to be with his wife who was giving birth — right there in Trenton. “You’d have thought he might have at least come by the ballpark to work out,” grumbled one Trenton insider.

—The announced attendance at Thursday’s Little League World Series game between Illinois and Pennsylvania was 34,128 — or 14,939 more than the Tampa Bay Rays drew the same day against the Tigers in David Price’s return to St. Pete. Maybe Stu Sternberg needs to think about signing Mo’ne Davis. By the way, was that really Price hanging out and playing video games in the Rays clubhouse before Tuesday night’s game? Whatever happened to the fraternization rules in baseball?

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Japan Today: Fanatic fans oblivious to sleazy side of Koshien high school baseball

My local sports team can beat your local sports team.

Whatever else you may think, opines Jitsuwa Bunka Taboo (Oct), Koshien high school baseball is, in reality, nothing more than the club activities of certain high schools that are organized into a national tournament. So what is it, the magazine wonders, that makes grownups such fanatical enthusiasts for this “sport” that they want to watch it on TV all day long?

“Reisei ni kangaete Koshien ni miryoku ga nai” (if you think about it calmly, Koshien has no appeal), reads the subhead that follows.

Greg Franklin Posted: August 21, 2014 at 02:56 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: high school, japan, training, yankees

FG: Brian McCann Probably Couldn’t Be Given Away For Free

Take a real class about McCant’s!

Much has been made of [Brian] McCann and his issues facing the shift, and that’s true to an extent… [but] He’s always been shifted on. It’s overly simplistic to put it all on that.

Besides, McCann has been doing what he can to avoid it. His grounder rate of 33.0% is easily the lowest of his career, and… He’s actually in the top 15 as far as lefty hitters going the other way…

McCann’s walk rate [has declined] pretty steadily from 2010 until now, where it’s less than half what it was, and this is sort of the thing: McCann’s lousy year isn’t any one thing. It’s a few small things, adding up… McCann’s power, which everyone figured would translate well to the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, hasn’t come with him. It’s actually less that he’s failed to take advantage of right field in the Bronx, and more that it’s been the only thing making his homer totals look even respectable… Every single one [of his homeruns] is out to right field; all but two are at Yankee Stadium…

McCann will need to improve considerably just to get back to being a league-average hitter, and even with how difficult it is to find offense from behind the plate, that’s not exactly what the Yankees were hoping for when they invested so much in him over the winter.

The District Attorney Posted: August 21, 2014 at 01:49 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: brian mccann, sabermetrics, yankees

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lester return to Boston a long shot; Cubs, Yankees are likely players

A report out that a free agent won’t automatically sign with one team? Why, what possible motive could he have for drumming up more interest in other teams?

Still, it’s quite a leap from loving his stay in Boston to being likely to return there this winter as a free agent. The reality is, it’s probably the opposite. The strong belief around the game is that Lester is likely to sign somewhere other than the Red Sox.

Most folks around baseball would be surprised if Lester and the Red Sox could agree on a contract at a time other teams will be bidding hard for him. After all, the two sides couldn’t come close to doing it when they had a clear shot at contract. A return by Lester to Boston was dubbed a “long shot” by league officials who have familiarity with the situation.

The Cubs and rival Yankees, among others, look like much more likely landing spots for Lester at this time, in fact. The Yankees have admired Lester’s guts and clutch pitching for years (and especially that career 0.43 World Series ERA) and would surely make a play for the former Red Sox ace. Meanwhile, folks around the game suggest Lester’s old friends Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who picked Lester for Boston and are now running the Cubs, are extremely likely to be in there pitching, as well. Epstein and Hoyer “absolutely love” Lester, is the word from one official who knows Chicago’s top execs well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 03:41 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester, red sox, yankees

Prado at second base not how Yanks Drew it up

Jeter 267/316/321, Ichiro 276/325/323. (Also, Jeter 8-1 SB-CS, Ichiro 10-2!)

Stephen Drew was back on the bench Tuesday night. And no, Joe Girardi said, there was nothing physically wrong with the player who is supposed to be the Yankees’ starting second baseman.

That was the plan anyway when Brian Cashman acquired Drew in the extremely rare trade with the Red Sox minutes before the nonwaiver deadline on July 31… [but] The Yankees are running out of time, and Girardi can’t afford to be patient. Their best lineup now has Martin Prado at second base, where he was Tuesday night, and Ichiro Suzuki in rightfield… this is turning out to be a lost year for Drew, and it’s not just a lousy 15 games (.157/.204/.235) since the trade.

Drew’s been on a downward spiral from the jump, hitting .170/.241/.302 in 54 games divided between the two teams. The Yankees can cover for that futility to some degree by going with Prado at second now that Carlos Beltran is capable of playing the outfield again.

But it’s not like the Yankees are swimming in DHs, either. That configuration leaves Drew, Ichiro, Francisco Cervelli and Brendan Ryan with whom to mix and match. Which is why Girardi is stuck with few choices beyond using Ichiro in right, Beltran at DH and Prado at second.

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:04 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: martin prado, stephen drew, yankees

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Derek Jeter’s historic hit that tied Honus Wagner ruled an error by MLB

Michael Kay: “And Derek Jeter no longer has a historic call for his record setting hit! Poor Derek.”

History has now even been changed in the name of Derek Jeter.

His infield single on Aug. 8 against the Indians that tied Honus Wagner for sixth-place on the all-time list was changed today to an error by Major League Baseball.

Fortunately for Jeter, he’s collected six hits since then — pushing his career total of 3,435 well past Wagner’s 3,430.

“So there’s no story,” Jeter declared to a gaggle of reporters who descended on his cubby inside the Yankees clubhouse today. “I got another hit, I got the other ball.”

...With the ruling, Jeter’s sixth-inning infield hit Aug. 9 against the Indians is now the tying hit, and No. 3,431 came Aug. 11 against the Orioles.

Jeter — who said he did not give much thought to whether or not the initial “hit” was an error — eagerly dismissed the ruling today.

“If it was the last hit I ever got, then it would be a story,” Jeter said. “This one, we got the ball.”

Reporters still lingered, so Jeter made sure to signal the end of the brief interview session.

“All right,” Jeter said. “Nice talk, guys.”

Repoz Posted: August 19, 2014 at 08:54 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Keidel: Don’t Be Fooled — The Yankees’ Season Is Over

The season is over. It’s all behind them. (team shot pissing on monument)

I was recently branded all manner of moron — and, worse, a Mets fan – for putting postmortems on the pinstripes.

We New Yorkers fancy ourselves as the most educated and sophisticated sports devotees in the union. But in truth we’re just as provincial and petty as any other faction of flyover country.

WFAN host Mike Francesa dissected his beloved Bombers on Monday. And he made the reasonable assertion that the Yankees, at 63-59, need to go 25-15 in their final 40 games in order to make a hearty march toward the playoffs.

Which is why the season is over.

Let’s understand this. The Yankees are a .516 team after 120 games, yet we’re supposed to believe they will miraculously morph into a .600 club over the final six weeks? And they’re supposed to do it with an amalgam of castaways, castoffs and recycled parts?

...Where are the Yankees headed? Not that he has anything left in his brittle bat and creaky limbs, but Derek Jeter is taking the last link to the dynasty, to the time when we thought the good times were eternal. Who will replace No. 2?

His backup, Brendan Ryan, is batting .222 with 0 homers and 6 RBIs. Second base? Stephen Drew isn’t exactly Robinson Cano. Right field? Martin Prado is nothing more than a nice player, and Ichiro — who is a first-ballot baseball God — is 40 and is batting .277 with 14 RBIs. Their savior behind the plate, McCann (you know him as McCan’t), is mashing — .235 BA with 13 homers, 49 RBIs and a .291 OBP. For that they forked over nearly $100 million.

Well, at least we know the answer at third, The hybrid hitter/fielder and legend, the panacea for the plagued roster is…

A-Rod.

More like Pay-Rod. His guaranteed contract, still intact despite all his efforts to void his bedrock deal, is the sole reason that Hal Steinbrenner is welcoming him back. So we hang our tattered hopes on lucky No. 13 and hit our knees for Pray-Rod to play again, even at half-mast.

Considering their biblical fall from grace, it will take prayer, a religion or a religious experience to believe in the Bronx Bombers again.

Repoz Posted: August 19, 2014 at 03:51 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Rusney Castillo rumors: Decision imminent for Cuban outfielder

With concerns about calcium, shouldn’t he think about heading to Milwaukee?

Praise has been far from faint for Rusney Castillo, who is considered to be the latest in a long string of impact players imported from Cuba. The highly regarded 27-year-old outfielder seems to be nearing a decision on where he will play, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes report that Castillo is expected to “declare his intentions any day now.”...

Castillo should be in line for an impressive payday, though it’s unlikely that he receives as much as Jose Abreu got from the White Sox last offseason. Represented by Roc Nation Sports, Castillo was said to originally be in line for a $25-$35 million deal, but it now looks like he will outdo the $42 million that Yasiel Puig got from the Dodgers a couple years ago. According to Peter Gammons, he is now looking at a deal between $40 and $70 million, while FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi pegs him as receiving something around six years and ~$50 million….

There seems to be a long line of suitors for Castillo, though the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, and Cubs seem to be leading the pack. ...

Those five clubs are far from alone in their pursuit of Castillo. The Mariners, Orioles, Giants, Astros, Blue Jays, White Sox, and Braves have also all been mentioned as potential suitors, and could wind up nabbing him when his decision is announced, likely within the next few days.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gammons Notes - 8/17/14

PLEASE, please, please tell me Selig didn’t make people watch him poop.

There is no question Rob Manfred can be a very good commissioner, as Tim Brosnan would have been, and so would Bob Iger had baseball been willing to look outside their house…

Manfred is not going to have the hammer [Bud] Selig held over owners, and utilized like Lyndon Baines Johnson. Which is why, as the storm fronts collide between now and 2016, he needs Bill DeWitt to hold together the center. DeWitt was approached early on about throwing his name in for Commissioner, and he declined. But he now may be the most important owner, successful, decent, rational…

Want people to watch past the sixth inning? Limit rosters to 11 pitchers and eliminate the exhausting, boring tic-tac-toe matchups in the last three innings which, among many things, never allows us to see a David Ortiz or Joey Votto bat against a righthanded pitcher in those final innings. Want to cut back on the replay challenges? Start spending the money to develop umpires (read “As They See ‘Em” by Bruce Weber) to understand why there are so few young umpires coming along. Want some younger demographics? Try Giancarlo Stanton and Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw as the faces of the game and stop talking about the good ole days…

there are issues Tony Clark and the new leadership want addressed, from travel (how ‘bout them getaway night games) to ballpark and even visiting clubhouse health issues in some cities. Both clubs and the union want to re-address the draft and international signing issues. The union does not want the draft in any way tied to free agency. Small markets want better balance between won-lost and revenue standings, so that top five markets like the Astros and Cubs are rewarded for poor performance, while well-run franchises the Rays, Athletics and Indians are punished…

Manfred needs a strong, respected leader like DeWitt to step forward, keep perspective and focus his fellow owners on what they have, not what each owner thinks he should have for his own fiefdom.

[Giancarlo] Stanton, according to [Jeffrey] Loria, isn’t going anywhere… If Loria has to backtrack and Stanton does go elsewhere, it likely will be the final nail in his ownership’s coffin. Jeffrey loves the game, he may well have saved baseball in Miami, and now he has a very difficult task moving it forward in a city easily distracted from one star-laden team at a time.

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, liked by one evaluator to a Ron Gant who can play center field, will soon sign, for somewhere from $40M to $70M. The Yankees are big players… There are two side issues involved here. One is that MLB is studying how Cuban players get out to Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, etc., and who and what is involved in cases that are likened to human trafficking.

The second is a concern some teams have about the calcium Cubans get in their diets. Both Jorge Soler and Jose Iglesias have been sidelined by stress fractures, and one club official says, “any Cuban player we sign in the future will have his bone structure and diet closely monitored. We worry about milk and all calcium intake.”


Here’s Derek Jeter’s face in a 5-acre N.J. corn maze

There are two different paths you can take through the Jeter maze. The first is shorter, and includes an anti-bullying message from Spookley the pumpkin. The longer route is for the more adventurous types, and it might take an hour to get through the words “THANKS CAPTAIN CLUTCH” or Jeter’s No. 2 on a pinstripe background.

NattyBoh Posted: August 17, 2014 at 04:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, retirement tour, yankees

Bill James Mailbag - 8/8/14 - 8/17/14

Could we get Elway wrestling, Eisenhower playing quarterback, and Randy Savage as Supreme Allied Commander?

Is there any systematic account available of the changes over the years in player movement and roster utilization, both team to team and majors to minors, both the rules governing this stuff and the actual practices? I know in general terms that things have changed immensely since I was a newbie baseball fan about the same time you were. The tipping point for me came in 2010 when I realized that my Giants were allowed to leave a healthy season-long rotation starter (bad as he was) off the postseason roster. To me, that kind of move, while it might make strategic sense, really subverts the idea of a baseball “team” that we’re supposed to root for. Somehow I doubt that would have happened in 1962.

I’m not aware of their being any such account, but then, I’m a poor resource for that kind of information, since I don’t really study the research the other people do. Generally. I agree that. . .well, you didn’t EXACTLY say this, but. . .I agree that more restrictive rules would be appropriate in some areas. In a perfect game, should not be able to leave somebody who has been a key part of your team all year off your post-season roster unless he’s 80% dead. And I’m CERTAIN that I’m about to hear from somebody that we left so-and-so off our roster in 2007 or something. . ..

June 26 1987 at Yankee Stadium… Schiraldi gave up a walk, a bunt and a single to lose the game in the bottom of the tenth, 12-11. Dave Henderson batted for Gedman in the top of the 10th, which meant that Marc Sullivan caught the tenth. Wonder if that was the highest leverage inning of Sullivan’s “career?”

If Sullivan didn’t have leverage, he wouldn’t have had a career.

An injured Pedro coming in to relieve Bret Saberhagen in a high-scoring game after 3, and then proceeded to mow everyone down. That was beautiful to watch. Pedro recently talked about that for a few minutes in an hour-long podcast with Jonah Keri. Maybe someone can cue it up. Pedro is fascinating to listen to.

He is. I wonder if Pedro has perhaps the highest density of memorable games to total games pitched of anybody who has a Hall of Fame career?

Hey Bill, I was thinking about Derek Jeter. If he wasn’t a Yankee I would look at him and see that he likes beautiful women and baseball. (Not sure of the order) I would like and root for him. What can I do about this? Steve

Yeah, well, I have a neighbor who’s a real nice guy, too, but I don’t feel compelled to stand beside the sidewalk and applaud every time he goes out to pick up his newspaper.

I have also thought since I became aware of Voros McCracken’s papers on pitchers non-effect on batted ballsl that you were 90% of the way there with DER . If it makes you feel better, in this area you are Henri Poincare to Voros’ Einstein.

It was my childhood ambition to someday be compared to Henri Poincare.

John Elway had pretty impressive stats in his one minor league season with the Yankees. In 1982 at age 22, he had 185 plate appearances in low A with a .318 batting average, .432 on-base percentage, .464 slugging percentage. Who is the most promising baseball player (in minors, college) who never ended up playing because he pursued another career, be it football, poetry, or whatever else?

Dwight Eisenhower?

Highest density of memorable games for a non-HOFer with significant games pitched is probably Maglie, right? He wasn’t just in the right places at the right time, but at his peak whenever opportunity arose. I read a book a few years back that showcased the most memorable games. I’m pretty sure Maglie not only had more of them than anyone, but appeared in a stretch of something like four out of five.

I’ll take your word for it. It’s that, ,or cook up a formula. .. ..


Jerry Lumpe Dies

RIP, Jerry Lumpe, KC A’s stalwart.

Vrhovnik Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, kansas city, tigers, yankees

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yankees Fans to Pass Through Metal Detectors Before MLB Mandate

“...Starting with a homestand next week, fans at select Yankee Stadium entrances will go through metal detectors, according to an e-mailed statement. The team is asking fans to budget extra time for the added security…”

NattyBoh Posted: August 16, 2014 at 11:27 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, yankees

Joe Maddon rips Rays fans for cheering Derek Jeter

Far from the Maddon crowd.

Everybody at Tropicana Field seemed to love cheering for Derek Jeter. Except Rays’ manager Joe Maddon.

Maddon blasted Rays fans for rooting for the retiring 40-year-old captain after the Yankees beat them, 3-2, on Saturday. Jeter also came up with the game-winning hit, a top-of-the-ninth RBI single that put New York ahead for good.

“Yeah it’s great,” Maddon said. “It’s great that it’s sold out. And I understand that the people like Derek Jeter. But you’ve got to come out and root for the Rays, too, you understand. I mean, I totally understand what’s going on. But I’m not going to sit here and defend all of that noise in the Yankees’ favor in our ballpark. I’m not going to defend that. So we’re going to come out and root for the Rays. We’d appreciate that.”

Repoz Posted: August 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yankees

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kernan: Imagine Jeter going from The Flip to The Flop

Flip, flop & fly…I don’t care if Jeter’s playoff chances die. So long as…JONES FLIES INTO THE STANDS!

The Flip was made on Oct. 13, 2001. No play better exemplifies Jeter’s winning approach, his creativeness and his ability to be in the right place at the right time.

Instead of The Flip, here in 2014, the Yankees are giving us The Flop.

They can’t stand up to the challenge.

At the age of 40, Jeter was supposed to go out the right way, playing October baseball and letting the chips fall where they may. Perhaps, Jeter would have one more heroic October in his body. Yankees fans dreamed of him going out the way he came in — his first full season in 1996 — a champion.

...At this rate, Jeter’s last game in The Bronx will be Sept. 25 against the Orioles. His finale would be in Boston three days later.

The last October memory of Jeter is a painful one, his left ankle breaking as he screamed out on the infield dirt at Yankee Stadium. Jeter had to be carried off the field that night by trainer Steve Donohue and manager Joe Girardi in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, a 6-4 loss to the Tigers.

That was Oct. 13, 2012. Exactly 11 years to the day of The Flip.

As Jeter was helped off, fans began to chant his name, making it the saddest of chants.

That is the final memory of Jeter and October baseball.

It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.

Repoz Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:55 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Girardi pushes panic button, costs Yanks

BALTIMORE—Joe Girardi seemed more upset about losing the argument than losing the game.

That, my friends, pretty much says it all about Wednesday night’s crushing loss to the Baltimore Orioles and about the true state of the manager of the New York Yankees’ confidence in his team’s postseason chances.

And it says an awful lot about the way he managed this game, which went a long way toward insuring his team would lose it.

 

DKDC Posted: August 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: girardi, orioles, yankees

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams and a baseball film he never made

Williams’ best baseball line:

 

   Sgt. Major Dickerson: [Pointing to his rank insignia] What does three up and three down mean to you, airman?

   Adrian Cronauer: End of an inning?

I fervently wanted Robin Williams to play Casey Stengel.

A long time ago, I wrote a book about the Hall of Fame manager based upon what I believed to be the central conflict of his life: That he was a very funny man who also wanted to be taken seriously. I don’t mean that Stengel liked to take off his comedic mask the way Charlie Chaplin or Jerry Lewis did, walking into walls when in character and costume and then discoursing about the high seriousness of their art when off camera and in mufti. There was no mask. Stengel loved making people laugh too much to stop and yet was too smart not to need to be respected for his intelligence. Those instincts did not coexist well in the public perception of him, could not be rationalized by sportswriters and baseball executives of the time who were brought up to think that managers should be like John McGraw or Joe McCarthy—drunk and disorderly much of the time, sure, but also imperious Leaders of Men and publicly humorless.

As I wrote the book, I fantasized, as many authors do, about the film adaptation that might follow. From the very beginning, I imagined Williams playing Casey. He could inhabit that man as well as he inhabited Popeye (in a bizarre misfire of a Robert Altman film at once more true to Elzie Segar’s original strip than any cartoon adaptation, a live-action cartoon itself, and a runaway train of drug-addled writing, direction and performance—but Williams is very good in it), Parry the traumatized homeless savant in The Fisher King, the psychologist in Good Will Hunting, or even the villains in One Hour Photo and Insomnia. A large part of Williams’ public persona, particularly as a stand-up comic, was antic, and as brilliant as his stand-up material could be, some of his worst performances in films came when directors indulged his stage/talk show persona.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in film, casey stengel, robin williams, yankees

Goldman: Derek Jeter is far better than Honus Wagner, and that’s final

Writing back in the 1990s, I posed the question of how the great 1906 Cubs (116-36) would have done if they had had a chance to play against a team composed of the likes of Mark McGwire.  My hyperbolic supposition was that the question would have remained unanswered because their first reaction would have been to scream, “Agh! Giant!” and run like hell. The same goes for Jeter. As the title of Laurence Ritter’s classic oral history of the Deadball era tells us, Wagner and his contemporaries were the glory of their times—but that is all they were too small, too poorly trained, to ill-nourished, too untested by real competition to be the glory of ours.

Jeter is not the greatest shortstop of all time, but he is one of the greatest and that is enough for us to know that he was a better player than anyone born in the 19th century. Either that’s true or all the greatest players in history played in the years before World War II, when a man could hit .424 out of his pure superiority to the puny .310 hitter of today.

That belief would mean that baseball history stopped some 70 or 80 years ago and that the game has only declined in the years since. You can believe that if you want to; Lord knows people have believed stranger things in our time, but if you do then you have my pity, for what a sad, pessimistic, and stultified world you live in. Honus Wagner was a great player in the days of William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson, a primordial great. Derek Jeter is better. It’s not even his fault; it’s just an accident of timing. To assert otherwise is to assert a false nostalgia and fail to see the great things that are happening before your own eyes.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jack O’Connell: Cashman: Retire captaincy with Jeter

Captain Francesco Schetino Martinez…we salute you. (glug-glug-glug)

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman believes that once Derek Jeter retires, the captaincy of the Yankees should retire as well.

Speaking to the Taylor Hooton Foundation’s fifth annual “Give A Hoot” benefit in a luxury suite at Yankee Stadium Sunday, Cash was asked who should succeed Jeter as team captain after his retirement.

Cashman’s response was “I’m not that big on captains myself. More than one player can lead by example. DJ has had this remarkable career, and I think when this great player retires the captaincy should go with him, but that’s not my call.”

...As Cashman pointed out, it is not his call. An owner or a manager or a group of players could well start a campaign for a captain at any time. I am with the GM on this one. You never say never, but I would not mind waiting another 37 years. Jeter’s shoes are just as great to fill as were Gehrig’s.

Repoz Posted: August 11, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Townsend: Kate Upton says Yankees wouldn’t let her wear Tigers’ gear at Yankee Stadium

Life imitates Seinfeld yet again.

As you’ve probably seen or heard by now, Upton was seated directly behind the Tigers’ dugout to watch Verlander’s Tigers play against the Yankees on Tuesday night. At one point, they even had a fun exchange where Upton finally convinced Verlander to toss her a souvenir baseball. It was a light-hearted and fun moment, but apparently that’s as far as the Yankees were willing to let her go to show her support for Detroit.

While filling in for Kelly Ripa on Friday’s Live! with Kelly and Michael, Upton revealed to co-host Michael Strahan that the Yankees specifically told her she couldn’t wear any Tigers’ gear while sitting in the Legends seats at Yankee Stadium.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 10, 2014 at 04:48 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, justin verlander, seinfeld, tigers, yankees

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