June 29, 2011

Here’s today’s What the Heck Idea of the Day … starring Prince Fielder

OK, I’m not really sure if this WTH Idea of the Day will be an ongoing thing here on lenNY’s Yankees, but if there were any time to start today would be the day. Below you will find a headline on a column from NY Daily News’s John Harper (courtesy of HBT).

Harper chose the worst possible fit for the Yankees likely because they happen to be playing the team Prince Fielder plays for and he needed a catchy headline while working on deadline.

June 27, 2011

Poll Results: Interleague play is just right

poll results80Fans voted in my latest poll that baseball’s interleague play is just right. Not one person said it was time to realign.

The two big things I’ve been hearing from players about the divisions are “we play too many games against teams in our division” and “why change a game that’s already great?” I tend to side with the latter, but I could stand for an addition of a wild card to each league. This would create a short series scenario between the league’s two wild cards and would place more importance on winning a division.

Next poll: What’s your overall take on the Yankees in 2011?

June 21, 2011

Link: Derek Jeter’s delayed milestone

With tonight’s rainout, the Yankees will play a split doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 12:35. So instead of a game recap, for a change of pace I’m going to show you something I didn’t write.

Over at the Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe recognized Derek Jeter’s delayed milestone and looked at other delayed milestones in history.

Joba Chamberlain shows us his arm post-Tommy John surgery

Joba Chamberlain had Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm last Thursday, according to Mike Mazzeo. Joba posted on Twitter today, “Feels really good. Not as stiff as I would have thought. Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and prayers.” Here’s the accompanying picture.

No wonder TJS rehab takes a year.

Video: Cameron Diaz feeds David Letterman popcorn

Remember that time at the Super Bowl when Cameron Diaz fed her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez popcorn? Well, Cameron was at it again last night, only this time she fed David Letterman. She also reveals her side of the story that night at the Super Bowl. Just skip to 2:40 for the popcorn part.

June 20, 2011

Ivan Nova pitches Yankees past Reds

Ivan Nova pitched brilliantly over eight innings, easily maybe the best start of his career, and the Yankees escaped a ninth-inning Reds’ rally to win their sixth game in seven days.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 5, Reds 3
W: Ivan Nova
L: Travis Wood
S: Mariano Rivera

Nate’s Takes: Joe Girardi, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, Phil Hughes

Happy Father’s Day, Yankee Fans! Just wanted to send a special shout out to my dad Ron. Playing catch with him in the backyard is what got me into baseball years ago. I am sure most of you guys have similar stories. While this week started with an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Cleveland, the Yankees played relatively well and ended the week with a blowout win on Sunday Night Baseball.

The Yankees offense has been magnificent overall so far this year and a big part of that are home runs and walks. They continue to frustrate their fans for two reasons. One, they don’t hit particular well in clutch situations (they leave a lot of runners on base and do not score a lot of runs late in close games). Two, they continue to get shut out randomly by terrible (Doug Davis) pitchers. A lot of this can be drawn up to luck, or weather or maybe a late flight, but great offenses do not randomly get shut out. With that off my chest, here are my takes on the week.

Poll Results: Bartolo Colon’s short leave hurts more than Joba Chamberlain’s injury

poll results79Last week’s poll yielded some firm results, as voters felt Bartolo Colon’s absence in the rotation would be more damaging to the Yankees than losing Joba Chamberlain for more than a year.

In brief, where did all the Joba hatred come from? Colon definitely made quite the impression on the Yankees and their fans with his superb pitching, but just a few months ago we were joking around about his size and didn’t think he had a chance to pitch in the majors again.

June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day!

To all the Yankees who are dads, to all the Yankees fans who read my blog and are dads, and to my dad, happy father’s day. Today’s your day.

~~lenNY’s Yankees~~

June 18, 2011

Yankees even series with Cubs

The Yankees had too many base runners to lose a baseball game, but they still managed to keep the score close.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 4, Cubs 3
W: A.J. Burnett
L: Ryan Dempster
S: Mariano Rivera

June 16, 2011

Brett Gardner delivers walk-off in 12th

The Yankees finished their sweep of the Rangers, but it took more than nine innings. After an excellent spot start by journeyman Brian Gordon, the Yankees finally got a hit with a runner in scoring position from Brett Gardner in the 12th inning.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 3, Rangers 2
W: Cory Wade*
L: Michael Kirkman

Quinnipiac poll: CT has more Yankees fans than Red Sox fans

Any time Quinnipiac, Yankees and Red Sox are involved in the same story, I feel obligated to post about it.

According to an annual Quinnipiac poll, there are more Yankees fans in Connecticut than members of Red Sox nation.

Boom. Roasted.

Here’s the voting breakdown, courtesy of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

June 15, 2011

Nick Swisher hitting leadoff tonight

OK, I wasn’t that surprised about this news, because there’s really nobody else the Yankees want hitting first against lefties, but it’s still Nick Swisher’s first time starting at leadoff for the Yankees.

June 14, 2011

Derek Jeter to 15-day DL despite plea

Despite his wishes, Derek Jeter is headed to the disabled list just six hits shy of 3,000 and for the first time since 2003.

The injuries just keep piling up for the Yankees.

Ramiro Pena will take Jeter’s roster spot for the time being, but likely as a backup. Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup tonight at shortstop. More details to come.

Rangers-Yankees Series Preview:

The AL West leaders are in town, and the Yankees are without their captain, at least for tonight.

The Yankees have beaten the Rangers two out of three at home and on the road this season, and the Rangers have lost five of their last seven games.

On the Hill:
Tuesday: Alexi Ogando (7-0, 2.10) vs. CC Sabathia (7-4, 3.15)
Wednesday: Derek Holland (5-1, 4.41) vs. Ivan Nova (5-4, 4.30)
Thursday: C.J. Wilson (7-3, 3.09) vs. TBA*

Phil Hughes making strides in Tampa

Despite my earlier post about the injury bug stinging the Yankees, there is some good news for one rehabbing player.

Phil Hughes, the Yankees’ preseason No. 3 starter, pitched 3 2/3 innings in an intrasquad game this morning, striking out six and allowing two hits with his fastball touching 93 mph, according to MLB.com’s Dawn Klemish.

“It felt good; a lot better,” said Hughes, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday for short-season Class A Staten Island. “I thought the ball was coming out pretty good, and that's all I can really ask for at this point. I'm just trying to build it up and make sure I don't have any setbacks.”

Yankees were wasting Jorge Posada’s resurgence, finally make lineup swap

In the first 17 games of the season, Jorge Posada had six home runs and 11 RBIs. Forty-seven games later, even after a blazing .469 start to June, Posada hasn’t added any homers and just nine RBIs. Meanwhile, the Yankees have dropped out of first in the AL East.

Yes, he finally broke the Mendoza Line with two hits against Boston last Thursday, but hitting seventh behind a struggling Nick Swisher has limited Posada’s ability to help the Yankees win ballgames. Today, somebody with sense in the organization finally pushed hard enough for the switch.

Injury bug has stung Yankees hard

The Yankees’ injury list gets longer by the day. Derek Jeter went down with a Grade I calf strain yesterday that might put him on the disabled list, Bartolo Colon and Amaury Sanit landed on the DL on Sunday, Russell Martin is battling a tight back, and Joba Chamberlain is headed for Tommy John surgery. This list doesn’t even include important names like Rafael Soriano, Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano, relievers who aren’t expected back anytime soon, Eric Chavez and Phil Hughes.

This season is beginning to remind me of the Red Sox’ 2010 campaign. Speaking of the Sox, they are in the middle of a nine-game winning streak and hold a comfortable two and a half game lead over the Yankees in the AL East.

Nate’s Takes: Joba, D-Rob, Jeter, rotation

When I last posted a week ago, the Yankees were in great shape. They were a game up in the AL east and were about to take on the Red Sox at home. A week later, the Yankee season is on the verge of falling apart.

Yes, I know they are only two and a half games out with plenty of games to go, but the injuries just keep piling up. After getting beaned, blasted, beaten and swept by the Red Sox, the Yankees also lost some key players. Joba Chamberlain is out until mid 2012 leaving the Yankee bullpen in a state of desperation. With Rafael Soriano, Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano all months away from actually throwing a pitch, David Robertson has become the most important Yankee reliever. With Bartolo Colon injured, the Yankee rotation is as shaky as its been since 2004.

The Yankees are in trouble and eventually this all has to go back to Brian Cashman. Now I understand he tried to get Cliff Lee and failed, but since 2003 he has failed over and over to put together a good rotation that stays in place.

If I were C.C. Sabathia, I would leave after this year, the Yankees are going to have a hard time finding anyone to upgrade this rotation anytime soon and eventually might have to give up a good hitter like Cano in order to get the all important second ace. With all that said, here is my take on the week:

June 13, 2011

Poll Results: Few chose to watch MLB draft

poll results78 The MLB draft doesn’t compare to the NFL’s or the NBA’s. It definitely has gained steam recently, but it’s not on the same level as the other two main sports. Fans corroborated that idea in my latest poll (see right).

I watched some, but it was hard to keep track of 50 rounds. Yes, 50. Here is a complete list of the Yankees’ 2011 draft picks, from Dante Bichette Jr. to Cody Stewart.

June 10, 2011

Indians-Yankees Series Preview: 4-gamer

The Yankees look to turn things around this weekend after an embarrassing series against their rivals. But it doesn’t get a whole lot easier for them; they face the Central division leaders.

On the bright side, the Indians have lost six of their last seven.

On the Hill:
Friday: Fausto Carmona (3-7, 5.33) vs. Ivan Nova (4-4, 4.50)
Saturday: Mitch Talbot (2-2, 4.18) vs. Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.39)
Sunday: Josh Tomlin (7-3, 3.71) vs. Freddy Garcia (4-5, 3.86)
Monday: Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 4.52) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-4, 4.37)

Is it a good thing the Yankees haven’t beaten the Red Sox this year?

Going back to my post this morning, I apologize if it was disheartening. Finding out about last night’s loss to the Sox still irks me. But after thinking about it some more at work, the Yankees have been in a 1-8 hole against their rivals before. Anyone see what I’m getting at yet?

Derek Jeter Featured Card of the Week

In light of a certain milestone on the horizon, I’ve named Derek Jeter my Yankees Featured Card of the Week. After one hit last night, the captain is 10 hits shy of 3,000, a mark 27 players have reached in baseball’s 100-plus year history.

But there’s one thing Jeter has to keep in mind: he’s on the clock. He has seven more home games before hitting the road for six. It’s important imperative that he reaches the milestone at home. He’s expressed that.

I don’t believe what I’m looking at

I had to go to bed after the sixth inning last night because I work early in the morning. Silly three and a half hour rain delay, but the Yankees held a 2-0 lead. I slept comfortably. But then I saw this line score and my jaw dropped.

The win is the sixth in a row for the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and puts the Red Sox in first place by two games.

June 9, 2011

Joba Chamberlain likely out for the season

Just when things couldn’t get any worse.

Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his throwing arm and will likely require Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season, Joe Girardi just announced.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox have beaten the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in their last five meetings — the first time that’s happened to start a season since 1912.

On the bright side, there’s good news out of Phil Hughes camp.

Phil Hughes was consistently hitting 92 on the gun and will start next Tuesday in the GCL

What seems to have been the Yankees’ strength at the beginning the year is now likely another weakness.

June 8, 2011

Another reliever down: Joba Chamberlain, roster changes

The Yankees have lost Joba Chamberlain for at least the next three weeks, as he was placed on the disabled list with a strained flexor muscle today.

The Yankees also claimed Jeff Marquez and sent Hector Noesi down to Scranton.

The Yankees already had lost Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano to injury before today.

June 7, 2011

Yanks’ comeback falls short, Garcia lit up

The Yankees dug themselves into a hole early, and they never made it out. Jon Lester and Jonathan Papelbon made sure of that.

Scoreboard Says:
Red Sox 6, Yankees 4
W: Jon Lester
L: Freddy Garcia
S: Jonathan Papelbon

Red Sox-Yankees series preview: ‘Payback’

The Yankees have lost five of six to the Red Sox this year, and New York is still hurting after getting  swept at Yankee Stadium in May. But as the Daily News put it, it’s time for some payback.

The Yankees are clinging to a one-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East, so this is about as big a series in June as you’ll ever see.

UPDATE: For the Boston Globe’s website, I wrote this extended preview for the series. Enjoy!

On the Hill:
Tuesday: Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94) vs. Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34)
Saturday: Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.40) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-3, 3.86)
Sunday: Josh Beckett (4-2, 2.01) vs. CC Sabathia (7-3, 2.80)

More info on Dante Bichette Jr.

The Yankees’ press release came in for Dante Bichette Jr. There are some good tidbits on Bichette in here, such as New York’s scouting projection, Little League World Series history and high school info.

“Dante is one of the guys in this draft we thought had an impact bat and the potential to hit for big power in the middle of the order,” said Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees Vice President of Amateur Scouting. “He’s someone with an advanced makeup and work ethic who possesses the desire and drive to be a special major leaguer.”

The right-handed batter was ranked by Baseball America as the 15th-best overall player out of the state of Florida in this year’s draft. In 2005, Bichette participated in the Little League World Series with his Maitland, Fla. team.

The selection of Bichette marks the fourth straight year the Yankees have taken a high school player with their first selection in the First-Year Player Draft.

June 6, 2011

Dante Bichette Jr. not popular among Yankees bloggers & fans [Storify]

For the record, Dante Bichette Jr. is listed as a third baseman out of Orangewood Christian High School in Florida. The 18-year-old is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. See what several Yankees followers thought of the pick below.

Nate’s Takes: Bullpen, prospects, Jeter, Red Sox

Hello Yankee fans. Last week I said the Yankees would want to be within a game of the Red Sox before Tuesday’s home opener (that I am attending!). It’s surprising the Yankees are up a game with a chance to get revenge on a surging Red Sox team. What a job the Yankees have done in the past five games beating some very good pitchers and almost beating Felix Hernadez before that. The Yankees pitching staff seems to be carrying their sporadic offense (who would have thought that at the beginning of the year?).

I don’t know about you guys, but I couldn’t be more excited about this Yankees-Red Sox series. After all the games the Yankees have lost to their rival this year, all of that can be erased in the next four days. It has a 2009 kind of feel to it. A Yankees sweep would put them up four games, which would be the biggest division lead in baseball this year.

Poll Results: Felix Hernandez’s availability unclear

poll results77Fans couldn’t reach an agreement about the availability of Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. Many Yankees fans, including myself, believe King Felix will at least be discussed at the deadline. But others, especially Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand, believe Hernandez won’t be brought up at all.

At this point, there’s not much more analysis I can provide other than the fact that MLB Trade Rumors did not include Hernandez on its list of potential starters available at the deadline. However, there was a little conversation about him in the comments. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Next poll: Will/did you watch the MLB draft?

June 3, 2011

Yankees-Angels Series Preview: Not the Same Old Halos

The Yankees open a three-game set with the Angels in Anaheim tonight as they try to protect their two-game lead in the East. They’ve made it 4-2 so far on this West Coast trip, and the Angels are just 5-5 in their last 10.

On the Hill:
Friday: Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.67) vs. Jered Weaver (6-4, 2.10)
Saturday: CC Sabathia (6-3, 2.98) vs. Ervin Santana (3-4, 4.34)
Sunday: Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.26) vs. Joel Pineiro (2-2, 3.52)

June 2, 2011

All-Star voting already a joke, fans vote six Yankees starters

I was planning on posting this last night but then the power went out and it hit me that I was living in Massachusetts, a state apparently susceptible to tornadoes.

The full All-Star voting results as of June 1 are below, but in brief the Yankees have six starters: Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson.

Martin, Cano, A-Rod and Grandy deserve to start, but Tex and the Captain do not.

June 1, 2011

Nick Swisher, A.J. Burnett power Yankees to sweep

The Yankees received a quality start from A.J. Burnett and a three-run blast in the fourth inning from Nick Swisher, as they completed their sweep of the Athletics this afternoon.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 4, A’s 2
W: A.J. Burnett
L: Gio Gonzalez
S: Mariano Rivera

Swisher’s Splits:
You would hope a switch hitter hits better from the left side because there are far more right-handers in the league than southpaws. That’s not the case with Swisher, who was hitting .306/.393/.408 against lefties compared to .175/.310/.275 against righties heading into today. His homer came off Gonzalez, a lefty.

Jason Giambi Featured Card of the Week

Can you believe Jason Giambi is still playing baseball in the major leagues? He’s been with the Rockies for the past two and a half seasons, but not as a full-time starter. A couple weeks ago Giambi was in the news for popping three homers in a game against the Philles.

Giambi never won a ring with New York, and hasn’t won a ring with any team. Nowadays, the first thing people think of when they hear Giambi’s name is steroids.

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