The Last Time the Yankees Missed the Playoffs...

...the NBA was still relevant (although hockey wasn't)

...this man was their starting Shortstop

...Bill Clinton lifted the ban on gays in the military

...Michael Jackson was accused of dittling a 13 year old boy - the first time

...River Phoenix died from what amounts to 'natural causes' for a 23 year old actor

...Joe Carter effectively ended Mitch Williams' career

...a stamp cost $0.29

...Rodney King became a movie star

...Jesus returned to his people in Waco, TX

I guess nothing lasts forever.


It's About F@#*ing Time

Melky Cabrera has been optioned to AAA Scranton. Although it may now be too late, hopefully this is the wakeup he (and possibly Cano) needed.


Yankees All-Nighter Ends with Two Big Rods and a Hit of X

After Mariano Rivera faultered in a save situation for the first time all year, ARod, IRod, and Xavier Nady come up big in the 12th inning to secure a Yankee victory.


Steinbrenner: The Next Generation

In an interview with the Associated Press today Hank Steinbrenner actually sympathized with the current Yankees team, citing injuries as a reason for the teams struggles.

"I think it's very simple, we've been devastated by injuries," Steinbrenner said. "No team I've ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team. Imagine the Red Sox without [Josh] Beckett and [Jon] Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can't lose two guys like that." (Source: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080812&content_id=3297917&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy)

Although he did state that he is not "writing off the season", this is the closest thing we have seen to a white flag out of the Steinbrenner family since they took over. As someone who watches every game, I have also witnessed the plight of the team as they have plodded along this season. And, don't get me wrong, I understand that injuries have a lot to do with their current standing. But what is this world coming to? Since when do the Yankees, more specifically the Steinbrenners, empathize with mediocrity?

Still only a handful of games out of the Wild Card race, the Yankees are still in the thick of a postseason run. Call me crazy, but I am still of the mindset that a $200 million+ payroll should equate to a team that is devoid of excuses. The Red Sox have had injury problems. The Ex Rays are dealing with potentially crippling injuries right now.

At the end of the day, a lack of performance has done this team in. Derek Jeter is a shell of his former self. Melky Cabrera is not a good baseball player. The Kennedy-Hughes experiment has been a bust. The team has not hit with runners in scoring position. Still, with all of these issues, this team is still only four games out of a playoff spot. Although injuries may be enough to convince Hank that an early offseason is acceptable, this writer finds it a little harder to swallow.

Red Sox obtain Paul Byrd

One question: HOW?

How the hell does ANY starting pitcher make it past the Yankees on the waiver wire at this point? On top of the fact that DARRELL RASNER starts again tomorrow, a serviceable starter will now be helping the Red Sox in their stretch run. Byrd has turned his season around of late, and could potentially fill a hole left by the imploding Clay Bucholz.

I know I will get emails about this, because Paul Byrd sucks. I know he sucks, you know he sucks, and his mother knows he sucks. But if he goes 4-2 in a pennant race for the Red Sox while the Yankees could have had him for a player to be named later and $37 cash, somebody's ass is getting fired.


Joe Girardi Stricken with Joe Torre Disease

Let me get this straight: the Yankees are basically in must-win mode for the rest of the season, right? So PLEASE explain to me how Melky Cabrera, aka the worst every day player in any pennant race, is getting the start in center field.

Upon further review, I must retract my previous statement. Among AL center fielders with more than 400 at bats this season, the Melk Man is only second to last in VORP, coming in marginally higher than Carlos Gomez, but still representing negative value. For those unfamiliar with VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player, it represents the number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense. (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/). And before everyone jumps on the "Melky is a great defender" bandwagon, let us put that in perspective. According to this calculation, he has cost the Yankees 3.4 runs in his 430 plate appearances. His spectacular arm has thrown out just 6 runners trying to advance this season, and his range is just not as exceptional as the YES Network would have you believe.

Meanwhile Johnny Damon, a .292 hitter against left handers, sat and watched this evening as the Yankees were shut out on only four hits, wasting a gutsy performance by Sidney Ponson. Luckily, he looks to have enough gut to go around.

This Kid is a Moron

Ian Kennedy needs to be locked away from the media. As noted at nomaas.org, IPK made some startling comments concerning his lackluster performance in a critical, series opening game on friday night in Anaheim.

"“It’s the first bad outing I’ve had in a long time, since the All-Star break,” Kennedy said. “I’m not going to look much into it. I felt like I made some good pitches. I’m just not too upset about it.”

Ian failed to mention in that quote that these magnificent starts he was speaking of took place at AAA. Now he has done a half hearted job of retracting his statements, with this quote via the New York Post:

"It came out wrong. I was very disappointed with myself. I always want to do well," Kennedy said. "I had seven innings to think about it. I hate losing but I wasn't going to let it ruin what I had done recently (at Triple-A)."

You're right, pal. Why let the fact that you can not get outs at the big league level ruin your lofty Minor League resume. Enjoy the flight back to Scranton.

Read the whole article right here: http://www.nypost.com/seven/08112008/sports/yankees/demoted_kennedy_sorry_for_postgame_faux__123974.htm

It Finally Happened...

Joe Girardi finally let his gut take over, and left the best relief pitcher in the history of the game sit in the bullpen in favor of Damaso Marte in a tie game in the 9th inning. After realizing his mistake with one out two men on, it was just too late. Chone Figgins hit a ground ball with eyes off of of Mariano Rivera, earning the Angels a win and a sweep of the Yankees.



Even though this is a baseball-centric blog, I felt kind of left out being the only media outlet in the galaxy not to report on this. Also, being a Jet fan, this picture is like Viagra to my system.

BRETT FAVRE IS A JET, albeit 17 years later than we had hoped.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Yankees programming.


Andy Pettitte Misremembers How to Pitch

Last 2 starts: 10 1/3 innings, 17 hits, 14 runs, 2 catchers


Ex-Prospect Report

Chase Wright - P

You may remember Chase Wright. On April 22, 2007 he became the answer to a trivia question by giving up home runs to 4 consecutive batters at Fenway Park. Apparently he has rehabbed what had to be a very severe neck injury, and is pitching his way into consideration for major league innings. With the potential loss of Joba Chamberlain for an elongated period, Chase Wright (yes, that Chase Wright) could be the answer in the Yankees rotation. Still only 25 years old, Wright has put up solid numbers in the minors this year. The lefty has given up only 92 hits in 110 2/3 innings at three levels including Triple-A. His K:BB is less impressive at 67:39, but he has held opponents to a .228 average overall.

Although he is relatively low on the depth chart (he wasn't even included in our post on potential Rasner fill-ins), Chase Wright's name could be in play very soon. All of the pitchers ahead of him have significant question marks. Whether it be health (Phil Hughes), overall effectiveness (Ian Kennedy and Alfredo Aceves), or the legality of starting a female in a major league game (Carl Pavano), each starting pitching option has at least one quality that instills doubt in Yankee fans. So in short, if all else fails, it couldn't hurt to give Chase a shot. Just not at Fenway.

Kei Igawa - P
Igawa sits in the same boat as Wright at the moment; solid numbers in the minors, but a major league track record that makes the prospect of them pitching for the Yankees terrifying. In 22 apprearances at Scranton, Igawa is 12-5 with a 3.38 ERA. However, his GO/AO sits at .66, eading me to believe that he is still pitching up in the zone. When last we visited Kei, he was leaving his 88 MPH "heat" letter high and getting powdered by major league hitters. Our reccomendation? Find a trading partner or let him continue his pursuit of the Scranton Yankees all-time wins record.

Jose Tabata - OF
This time last year Jose Tabata was the best positional prospect in the Yankees' system. What a difference a year makes. Run ins with management, ugly play and a complete lack of power proved deadly for Tabata as he was shipped to Pittsburgh as a part of the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal. After hitting just 3 home runs in 294 at bats at Trenton, Jose hit two jacks in his third game in the Pirates system. Did Jose pull a Manny Ramirez after he was surpassed by Austin Jackson in the pecking order?

Regardless, he still doesn't turn 20 for a week and has a very high ceiling. Hopefully he develops to the point where the Pirates can send him to the Yankees in a deadline deal for 30 cents on the dollar like they did with Nady and Marte.

Support the Turn 2 Foundation

Derek Jeter grounds into is 18th rally-killing double play of the year.


Note to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

We get it. Xavier Nady likes to have the 'X' pronounced in his name. Thank you again for repeating it every at-bat.

Potential Rasner Replacements

Stand up if you are starting against the Angels Friday. Not so fast Darrel.

As of today, it looks like Darrell Rasner has officially worn out his welcome as a member of the Yankees' rotation. Once again he spotted the opposition his signature 5+ run lead. There are other servicable options in the system, even without dealing for $14 million albatross Jarrod Washburn.

Ian Kennedy - IPK has been strong of late in AAA, and looks to be the candidate that is most ready to step in. He has allowed just 4 earned runs in his last 27 innings at Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Although he is yet to win a Major League game in 2008, the smart money would be on him to toe the rubber on Friday. Ha. I said 'rubber'.

Alfredo Aceves - I must admit that I don't know much about Aceves, aside from the fact that I love the taste of his creamy sauce (that's what she said). However, by the numbers, Aceves has been impressive. While cruising through three levels in 2008, 'Fredo has allowed only 90 hits in 118 1/3 innings, walking only 20. Unlike Kennedy, Aceves has not been as sharp in his last three outings, placing him second in our pecking order.

Phil Hughes - Even though he looks to be at least 2 minor league starts away from the bigs, Hughes is getting rave reviews thus far in his rehab. According to information obtained by Peter Abraham, Hughes was 'hitting 95' in his last start. He has not shown that type of velocity as of yet in the big leagues, which is encouraging. Barring another hangnail or menstruation period, he should be back in the next two weeks or so.

Carl Pavano - This is the last time that I will mention this vag as a candidate for anything while with this team. I have had enough of this.

Also, the Yankees have made a habit of signing guys that either can not pitch anymore, or never really could in the first place. While they are 'low risk', pitchers like Eric "Whiplash" Milton and Victor "I was a part of the worst trade in baseball istory" Zambrano will not likely produce a return.

The Haunting

On the day that new Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez hit his first home run in pinstripes, Kyle Farnsworth found a way to screw the Yankees one last time. In a breakdown that Fowl Balls has long awaited, Joe Girardi's boyfriend coughed up 3 runs to hand the Ex Rays a win. Thanks for the memories, douche.


Round Mound of Rebound Comes Up Empty

Sidney Ponson bounced back with 7 shutout innings against one of the hottest teams in the major leagues on the same day that Livan Hernandez was released by Minnesota (extra motivation?). Unfortunately, he was not awarded a victory due to the offense's inability to push a SINGLE run across, followed by Mariano Rivera's twin brother Steve making his 16th appearance. Every time Steve Rivera enters a game, he proceeds to hand the Yankees a loss in a tie game. Honestly, these splits are inexplicable.

Non-save situations:
16 games, 21 innings, 18 hits, 7 runs, 3.00 ERA.

Save situations:
26 games, 27.1 innings, 12 hits, 1 run, 0.33 ERA.

Is it time to pitch Edwar Ramirez in late inning tie situations? Something has to turn this around as the Yankees are now forced to scratch and claw at the possibility of a series split with the Angels.

Final Assesment

Yankees give up:
Jose Tabata
Ross Ohlendorf
Dan McCutchen
Jeff Karstens
Kyle Farnsworth
Alberto Gonzalez

Yankees receive:
Xavier Nady
Damaso Marte
Ivan Rodriguez
Jhonny Nunez

All in all, this was an impressively engineered trade deadline for the Yankees. Brian Cashman not only filled the necessary holes in the lineup and bullpen, but in acquiring Pudge and Richie Sexson he has succeeded in building the greatest fantasy team of all time, circa 2001.