May 31, 2011

Sports Illustrated poll: A-Rod, Jeter & Joba ‘most overrated’ in baseball

sipollNot exactly shocking news, but according to the 185 players polled by Sports Illustrated, Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, and Derek Jeter are the most overrated players in baseball (in that order). Click the image on the right to enlarge.

This year SI also revealed its results from fans voting on Facebook, which Jeter led as the most overrated by far, taking 45 percent of the vote. David Ortiz (17 percent) and A-Rod followed Jeter (15 percent).

In my opinion, none of these guys are the most overrated in baseball today. That man is Hanley Ramirez, who is making $11 million this year for the Marlins and hitting an abysmal .210 with four homers and 17 RBIs. ($11 million may not seem like a lot to us Yankees fans, but he’s by far the highest paid on the team and makes up one-fifth of the team’s total payroll.

Who do you think is the most overrated player in baseball?

May 30, 2011

Bartolo Colon notches shutout against A’s

CC Sabathia had thrown the only complete game for the Yankees this year until today. Bartolo Colon threw all nine innings against the A’s, and held them to just four hits and no runs for a shutout.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 5, Athletics 0
W: Bartolo Colon
L: Trevor Cahill

Gardy at Work:
Brett Gardner bunted for a single, walked, stole two bases and scored. You know who else had two steals? The catcher — not named Martin! (That’s Francisco Cervelli, FYI).

Nate’s Takes: Jeter, Soriano, Swisher, Gardner, Robertson, Granderson, Posada

Hey Yankee Fans,

Sorry for the week off. I graduated college last weekend and Lenny was nice enough to give me the week off. To start the week, the Yankees find themselves in second place to the Red Sox. The Yankees have lost all but one of the games they have played against the Red Sox and play the Red Sox next week (I am taking my little cousin to the first game). So no more talking about the Red Sox. In other news, Derek Jeter is closing in on 3,000 hits so hopefully that can happen this homestand. While I had my week off, and it’s kicked in that I am in the real world, here’s what I have observed over the last two weeks.

Poll Results: Robinson Cano most likely to top .300 by season’s end

poll results76After hitting a cool .319 last year,   was voted as the Yankee most likely to be hitting .300 at the end of the year. Currently, the Yankees don’t have a single qualified player above the .300 clip. Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are tied for the team-lead in average now at .282.

So how have the Yankees been winning, you might ask? Well, it’s hard not to credit the long ball for their success. The Yankees lead the majors in homers by a substantial number, as they’ve clubbed 79 while the Rangers have just 60.

Next poll: Will Felix Hernandez be discussed as a trade target at the trade deadline?

May 29, 2011

Yankees dispatch M’s in series finale

As predicted, the Yankees avoided the sweep by stealing the finale. It was actually a rout, led by CC Sabathia and co.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 1
Win: CC Sabathia
Loss: Jason Vargas

One Step Closer:
I haven’t checked in on the captain in a while. Derek Jeter is 20 hits away from 3,000 after his sixth-inning single today. At this year’s rate, he’ll hit No. 3,000 on June 18 against the Cubs at Wrigley.

Feinsand: ‘No chance’ Felix Hernandez will be discussed at trade deadline

Daily News Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand made it clear in a tweet to me that the Mariners won’t be entertaining deals from the Yankees, or any team, for Felix Hernandez at the trade deadline.

No chance. I mean, like, zero. RT @lenNYsYankees I think you may have to eat your words in a couple months.

That’s about as adamant as you can get.

May 27, 2011

Yankees-Mariners Series Preview: On to the West Coast

The Yankees have won seven of their last nine, but the West Coast has a few road blocks in place in their upcoming nine-game road trip. The Mariners have some young guns lined up that might stump the suddenly hot Yankees offense, but, like usual, Seattle won’t lift a finger on offense. The M’s rank last in the AL in team batting average.

On the Hill:
Friday: A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02) vs. Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16)
Saturday: Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01)
Sunday: CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.17) vs. Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.86)

May 26, 2011

Andruw Jones Featured Card of the Week

After his two home runs against lefties yesterday, Andruw Jones upped his career averages against lefties to .261 BA/.360 OBP/.503. SLG. Joe Girardi is using Jones’ strength to his advantage this year, as 42 of his 53 plate appearances have come against southpaws.

He won’t be an All-Star this year (as he was in 2006), but he’s been a key cog off the bench and Girardi’s left-hand man, if you will.

May 25, 2011

Interview with Bernie Williams on music and his Yankees career

My second interview with an ex-Yankee is in the books. As you’ll hear (or read) more about, Bernie Williams was in Madison Square Park today campaigning for SoBe. The good people at SoBe got in touch with me a while back and made this interview happen. 

Give the phone interview a listen:

Here are some quotes that jumped out at me:

  • “A lot of the things I learned with baseball — playing in crowds, performing under pressure and all that stuff — I’m able to incorporate it to my musical career now.”
  • “It would be a great honor to have my number retired, but I think what means most to me is just the memories and the relationships that I was able to have in my career. To me, that is the source of my pride and the source of my happiness in my career in baseball.”
  • “I was just one part of a great machine of a great team that had different parts.”
  • “There is something to be said about playing the game the right way and respecting the game, so I definitely think they should not include performance enhancing drugs in the culture of the game. It sends a bad message, and at the end of the day, you still have to live with your body after you play baseball.”
  • “I think you have to be in that Billy Joel, Sting, Bruce Springsteen kind of league to be able to perform at Yankee Stadium.”

I transcribed the entire 12-minute interview below if reading is your thing.

Rafael Soriano could be out for two months

This report via ESPN New York:

Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano will be out another 6-8 weeks after being diagnosed with an inflamed ligament in his right elbow.

Dr. James Andrews, after seeing Soriano on Wednesday, prescribed rest for two more weeks and then a conservative throwing program.

Making the announcement, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the ligament is the same one that Soriano had Tommy John surgery on back in 2008.

Uh oh. So much for that three-year, $35 million investment. Does this injury affect the chances he stays with the Yankees beyond 2011? Remember, it’s his choice.

Mariano Rivera makes history in 7-3 win

No pitcher had ever made 1,000 appearances with the same team until today. Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth inning, not in a save situation — just to get some work in before an off-day, and retired three Blue Jays in a row after a leadoff single. His 1,000th appearance. But Mo wasn’t the only one to make history today.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 3
Win: Freddy Garcia
Loss: Jo-Jo Reyes

Oh No, Jo-Jo:
Blue Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes matched a major league record by making his 28th consecutive start without recording a win. Sad, but true. Don’t feel too bad, though; he won a few games a few years ago…

May 24, 2011

Yankees ride Curtis Granderson to walk-off win

Four hits and the game-winning run by Curtis Granderson led the Yankees to victory to even the series with the Blue Jays. The Yankees were trailing 4-1 heading into the eighth, but rallied back to win on Mark Teixeira’s ninth-inning single.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 4
Win: CC Sabathia
Loss: Frank Francisco

Old Reliable:
Jorge Posada delivered a huge pinch-hit double in the ninth to start the rally. A hit like that could start a hot streak for the struggling veteran.

Yankees are living off the long ball [Charts]

Fifty-two percent of the Yankees’ runs this year have come by way of the long ball, 14 percent more than any other team, according to the good guys at Beyond the Box Score.

Home runs are the reason the Yankees have a share of the AL East lead, but more specifically because there are usually runners on base when the homers are hit.

Ambidextrous Yankees prospect Pat Venditte isn’t alone

Remember Pat Venditte? Check out ESPN Chicago for a video of Ryan Perez, an ambidextrous pitcher for Westminster Christian (via CC).

Perez can throw a fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball with both arms, and he's been clocked at 90 mph right-handed and 87 mph left-handed.

"To them, it's so weird," said Perez, whose father began teaching him to use both arms as a toddler. "To me, it's natural."

The question I have for both Perez and Venditte is this: Are you more valuable as an ambidextrous pitcher every game, or by saving one arm so you can pitch the next day? If the pitcher is good enough with both arms, then he becomes more valuable if he saves one arm so he can pitch more frequently. Am I right?

May 23, 2011

Bartolo Colon’s 6th-inning implosion dooms Yanks

Bartolo Colon pitched brilliantly for the first five innings, but then everything fell apart. Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia delivered a three-run double to cap a five-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach.

Scoreboard Says:
Blue Jays 7, Yankees 3
Win: Carlos Villanueva
Loss: Bartolo Colon

Beware of Bautista:
I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. In the first inning, Jose Bautista went yard. Thankfully, that wasn’t the difference in the game.

Blue Jays-Yankees series preview: Beware of Bautista

Despite playing .500 ball in their last 10 games, the Yankees sit atop the AL East, tied with the Rays, holding a slim half-game lead over the Red Sox. Behind Boston lies Toronto, which has won seven of their last 10.

The Yankees have won three of their five meetings against the Blue Jays this season.

On the Hill:
Monday: Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.48) vs. Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.16)
Tuesday: Ricky Romero (4-4, 3.10) vs. CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.06)
Wednesday: Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3, 4.07) vs. Freddy Garcia (2-4, 3.12)

To culminate the Subway Series, Fred Wilpon bashes the Mets in The New Yorker

Mets owner Fred Wilpon made some comments a The New Yorker piece that sound like they were supposed to be off the record. Here’s the link in case you haven’t read them.

Oh by the way: the Yankees won the Subway Series, 2-1, as predicted. They begin a three-game set with the Blue Jays tonight. I’ll have the series preview up later today.

Poll Results: All-Star voting begins too early

poll results75My latest poll results backed up what I always have thought: All-Star voting begins too early on The ballot has been open since the first month of the season, but only 36 percent of my poll voters had voted for the All-Star Game.

Here is my complete analysis of the All-Star Game from earlier in the week. Bottom line: it’s time for a change.

Next poll: Which Yankee is more likely to end the year hitting above .300?

May 20, 2011

Mets-Yankees Subway Series Preview: Interleague play begins tonight

A couple of great series open interleague play tonight, starting with the Mets and Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Check out the rest of the interleague matchups here.

On the Hill:
Friday: R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08) vs. Freddy Garcia (2-3, 3.22)
Saturday: Chris Capuano (3-4, 4.78) vs. A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99)
Sunday: Mike Pelfrey (3-3, 5.11) vs. Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.33)

May 19, 2011

A-Rod misses out in Yankees’ rout

The Yankees had no problem taking the second and final game of the road series against the O’s. Alex Rodriguez was the only Yankee in the starting lineup without a hit.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 13, Orioles 2
Win: CC Sabathia
Loss: Brad Bergesen

No BBs for CC:
The Yankees ace left-hander struck out nine and walked none in an eight-inning gem. He improved to 16-2 lifetime against the O’s with the W.

And the winner is…

Congratulations to Sarah Knoblauch for winning a free Yankees hat.

Sarah, please message me your email address on Facebook so you can claim your prize!

NYY Hat Sarah gets the new Modell’s “Low Crown” fitted hat pictured to the right.

Thank you everyone for entering! I’m glad I can make this site a place for you to get your Yankees news and sometimes some free merchandise!

I hope to run another one of these giveaways if the opportunity presents itself.

Last night’s burning question: Bartolo Colon or the great Mo in the 9th? [Storify]

Bartolo Colon had thrown just 87 pitches through eight innings last against the Orioles. Joe Girardi opted to go to his closer, Mariano Rivera, instead of letting his veteran try and complete a shutout. It might be a tough call for some, but I stay with my vet every time at that pitch count — at least let him start the inning.

Here are the responses, via my new favorite online tool, Storify.

Robinson Cano’s heroics end marathon in 15th, Hector Noesi dazzles in debut

I napped through four innings, but still got to see 11. The Yankees led 1-0 in the ninth, but Mariano Rivera blew it and it took six extra innings for a team to deliver with runners in scoring position. Believe me, both teams had their chances, but the Yankees prevailed. 

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 4, Orioles 1
Win: Hector Noesi
Loss: Jeremy Accardo

Questionable Call:
Bartolo Colon threw eight sensational innings, but Joe Girardi removed him after just 87 pitches in favor of Mo.

May 18, 2011

Yankees-Orioles Series Preview

The Yankees look to start a winning streak tonight at Camden Yards following their six-game slide to the Royals, Red Sox and Rays.

On the Hill:
Wednesday: Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.74) vs. Zach Britton (5-2, 2.42)
Thursday: CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.47) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (1-6, 3.98)

GIVEAWAY: New Modell’s ‘Low Crown’ Yankees fitted hats

Good evening, followers. I have a gift for one of you.

See that Yankees hat above? It could be yours with just one click. There are a few ways you can enter into the drawing.

  1. If you're a blogger, write a post about this giveaway on your own blog and link to this post.
  2. Follow lenNYsYankees on Twitter and tweet this post.
  3. "Like" lenNY's Yankees — A Bronx Bombers Blog on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you'd like to enter.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m. I will select one winner at random and announce the lucky recipient in a blog post.

Tony Pena Featured Card of the Week

The Yankees may look to Tony Pena soon if prospect Jesus Montero is called up, as Pena collected four Gold Gloves in his 18 years of catching and could be Montero’s mentor.

With the Jorge Posada saga (Posaga?) seemingly over, Montero may have to wait a bit longer before he sets foot on Yankee Stadium grass.

Pena’s title is bench coach, but he worked with catchers during spring training and would definitely help Montero learn the tricks of the trade to catching in the majors.

May 17, 2011

Yankees end skid at 6, A-Rod homers twice

Alex Rodriguez connected for his seventh and eighth homers of the year, and Ivan Nova pitched the Yankees to a 6-2 victory, ending the team’s six-game losing streak.

Scoreboard Says
Yankees 6, Rays 2
Win: Ivan Nova
Loss: James Shields

A-Rod’s Knocks
A-Rod tied the game at 1 in the fourth with his seventh homer, and then broke that tie in the sixth for his second homer off Shields.

Rafael Soriano hits DL, Yankees recall Chris Dickerson

After visiting team doctor Chris Ahmad today, the Yankees placed Rafael Soriano on the 15-day disabled list with elbow stiffness. They recalled speedy outfielder Chris Dickerson to take Soriano’s roster spot.

Soriano hasn’t pitched since Friday, so the Yankees have already refigured their bullpen. Here’s what it looks like:

My Facebook page now has a welcome video

I made a welcome video for my Facebook page. I hope you enjoy it. (Yes, you can still view it even if you aren’t on Facebook.)

Let my Yankees updates come to you, rather than you coming here on a whim. I’m just trying to make it easier for you, you know?

While you’re at it, follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my RSS feed.

It’s too early to vote for the All-Star Game

This is wrong on so many levels (except for Curtis Granderson’s inclusion).

First, is the All-Star Game between everyone’s favorite players (as above picture says) or the league’s best players? Well, according to Bud Selig, the game actually matters; it determines which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series.

If you are a fan of a team you think might make the World Series, you would be wise to ignore’s advice and vote for who you think are the best players. And even if you are a fan of the Astros, you should still be voting for the best the league has to offer.

May 16, 2011

A.J. blows 4-run lead, Rays hold on for win

A.J. Burnett saw a four-run lead disappear in the sixth inning and the Rays bullpen nailed down the win with four spotless innings.

Scoreboard Says
Rays 6, Yankees 5
Win: David Price 
Loss: A.J. Burnett 
Save: Kyle Farnsworth 

Grandy Goes Yard
Curtis Granderson is still in the zone. With a three-run homer in the fifth, Granderson now has as many homers against lefties as he does against righties. That homer was also just the second homer Price has allowed to a lefty in his career and first since July 23, 2009.

Delta Dugout weekend is coming up

With the Subway Series set to get underway next weekend, Delta Airlines is inviting Yankees fans to come out to the second annual Delta Dugout at Madison Square Park, May 20-22, to celebrate the iconic interleague series. The three-day fan experience includes player appearances by current and former Yankees players, live game viewing, a special music performance from Yankees legend Bernie Williams and silent auctions featuring signed Yankees memorabilia benefitting Harlem RBI, in association with Mark Teixeira.

It will also offer an array of games for baseball enthusiasts, including batting cages and fast pitch competitions, as well as a photo booth, special Delta games and Yankees ticket package giveaways throughout the weekend.  Fans will also enjoy ballpark-style concessions and specialty food and beverages, including a special “Delta Dugout hotdog” featured at the Shake Shack throughout the weekend.

Nate’s Takes: Yankee Stadium, Posada, Montero, Joba, Nova

Wow what a terrible week for the Yankees. After losing two out of three to Eric Hosmer the Royals, the Yankees just never showed up to play versus the Red Sox. The Yankees find themselves two games back in the division and have allowed the Red Sox the opportunity to pass them in the standings in the next few days. A combination of not hitting, poor pitching and terrible defense has left fans wondering what this group of former all-stars has left.

Almost everyone in the lineup besides Curtis Granderson is having a down year and Jorge Posada has the worst batting average in baseball.  What was supposed to be a lockdown bullpen has looked average at best and Yankee fans can’t help but wonder if changes are coming soon.  Here is my take on the week.

Poll Results: Derek Jeter never left

poll results74 My latest blog poll results yielded a dead-even split; half said Derek Jeter was back, half said he’s finished. My conclusion: he never left.

Believe me, I was very close to posting something about Jeter’s demise in April. I mean, come on, he was hitting .206 nine games into the year.

But that was just it. Nine games is only one-eighteenth of the season. I told myself I would wait until the end of April to post about him. But when May 1 came, I was having trouble making an argument for why he was finished. That’s why when I saw the NY Post’s cover on May 9 I was shocked.

May 15, 2011

One small step for lenNY’s Yankees

I guess you could say I’m joining the dark side tomorrow.

I am working part-time for the Boston Globe's online sports department this summer. Yes, that means I will be heavily involved with the Red Sox, but I hope you aren’t disappointed in me. All this means is that I will know the Yankees’ rival better than I ever did before — even better than when I lived in New Hampshire for the first part of my life and had to defend myself from physical and verbal abuse every day.

May 14, 2011

Jorge Posada’s wife contradicts Brian Cashman

Jorge Posada took himself out of the lineup, retirement has to be a possibility

Brian Cashman in the second inning of tonight’s game said that Jorge Posada took himself out of the lineup at 6 p.m. He was slotted to hit ninth.

“It’s not an injury situation, that’s all I can report right now. … He’d like to talk to the press after the game about it,” Cashman said.

The idea of retirement is pure speculation on my part, but I know I’m not the only one with that idea. However, Joel Sherman, a highly respectable reporter for the New York Post, heard this:

I hear Posada is not retiring and also that #Yankees were not on board with him pulling self from lineup, clear clash here

UPDATE: YES Network’s Jack Curry, also a quality reporter, provided information backing up Sherman’s report.

May 10, 2011

Poll Results: Yankees can win East without Phil Hughes

poll results73In my latest poll, the majority of voters said the Yankees can still win the American League East without the young Phil Hughes in the rotation.

I expected a lot more from Hughes this year. In three starts, he was extremely ineffective. With 16 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings, memories of Chien-Ming Wang’s infamous start to 2009 came to mind. Now he is on the disabled list for the next six to eight weeks with a “dead arm.”

May 9, 2011

Nate’s Takes: Colon, strikeouts, Nunez

So a week that saw two pitchers throw no-hitters with a combined five strike outs, ended with Francisco Cervelli hitting a grand slam over the center field wall. The Yankees overall had a rough week, but still find themselves in first place in the American League East. Last week, I predicted the Yankees would go 4-3 and they instead went 3-4. The Yankees offense stopped hitting and we can only hope that Cervelli’s homer sparks the Yankees offense much like in 2009.

If you also remember, I predicted Derek Jeter would hit his first home run against Texas. So right now I am 2-2 in home run predictions! Anyway, here is my take on the week.

May 2, 2011

Nate’s Takes: Granderson, Hughes, Cervelli

So after being distracted for the last two hours watching this Osama thing I finally had time to put together this week’s Nate’s Takes. Last week, I predicted the Yankees would go 5-2. Instead they went 4-3 thanks to Rafael Soriano and some ridiculous catches by Brent Lillibridge. If you also remember I correctly predicted that Nick Swisher would hit his first home run of the season versus the White Sox. I was also a week late on the Kevin Millwood prediction. He can go take his 85 mph fastballs somewhere else.

Overall the Yankees stand at 16-9, which is first place in the AL East. So why does it still not seem like the Yankees are not on top of their game? With Jorge Posada, Swisher, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter struggling it seems as though the offense has not lived up to expectations (although they have hit a lot of homeruns). With Soriano and Mariano Rivera blowing more games in April than expected it seems as though the Yankees should have a few more wins. With that said, here is what I have for the week.

Poll Results: Curtis Granderson will lead surprising trio in homers

poll results72 Through April, the Yankees hold a considerable major league lead for team home runs (45). A big reason for that is the unexpected power from Russell Martin, Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson. The latter, as voted on by readers this past week, is most likely to lead the trio in homers at the end of the year.

Let’s take a look at the current leaderboard:

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