Archive for the ‘Yankees’ Category

In growing up in the suburbs in New York, the friends I had sure influenced my love of sports.  Unlike the days of today with kids in year round school, the summers were long and you had to find something to do to pass the time.  One summer we decided we would become the kids version of major league baseball. We turned our t-shirts into major league baseball uniforms, and would have games almost every day. One team I am certain was the Baltimore Orioles, after all these years I can’t recall the other team. We would become just like the pros, keeping track of the statistics we did on the field on old Broadview Lane.  We would become our favorite players that we had in our baseball card collections.   We certainly learned about baseball and how to the game was played. We all dreamed of  being the all-stars that we had on our baseball cards that we flipped when the games were over. With my friends of youth, we were either playing baseball, or watching baseball on TV all the time. The  Mets and Yankees were always on TV all the time, and I know for sure I lived for Mets Kiner’s Corner.  However, baseball never would have meant as much to me had it not been for my friends who introduced me to this great game.

What made me think of this is the story of  Henry Pearson, the person who also died in the Nick Adenhart tragedy:

I wouldn't be anything like I am today without Henry.
He changed my life more than anybody. I've lost
my best friend and the world's lost an unbelievably special
young man that had such a bright future ahead.
We'll miss you buddy, you have no idea.

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CC meets with Mr. October Reggie Jackson and it looks like it did the trick as it convinced him to take the money.  It’s not clear if CC was just conducting business by meeting with all these other teams or if he was serious about taking less money. Never the less, by showing interest in other teams he earned anoth cool 20 million dollars. Plus, he know can opt out of his deal after 3 seasons.  I can’t think of a recent free agent signing in New York with a player with this much pressure to carry the team on his back since Bobby Bonilla. We all know how that worked out.

In other baseball happenings, the Yankees have 80 million reasons why they think they should be better in 2009. However, this comes  with a track record of injury. The Yankees are taking the high risk, high reward with the  Burnett signing.

The 2008 Rule V draft took place. I’d say the Mets pick of Darren O’Day looks like a risk worth taking. He was a solid relief man for the University of Florida.

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The fact that Mike Musina has been surounded by alot of other talented starting pitchers while on the Yankees, has taken away from the legend of what kind of pitcher this guy was.  As, he came up in Baltimore in the early 1990s and showed from day one he was clearly head and shoulders the best pitcher on the Orioles.   He was everything that Ben McDonald was not.  One weekend in 1994 I took a trip down to Camden Yard to see the awesome park for the first time and was surprised when I saw Mussina first hand.   The way he pitched I always pictured he was a much bigger person physically.  The way he pitched he became a fan favorite and for what he meant to the organization, I never imagined Mussina ever leaving Baltimore.

The reason why Mussina left for the Yankees in free agency leads to Peter Angelos. The Baltimore farm system was decimated by many of the short sighted trades.  It came down to where Mussina could best win a championship and he chose New York and Joe Torre. Who could blame him for taking the money and the chance to best win a title.

In my eyes, Mussina was one of the best pitchers in the game. Did he win 300? He came pretty close. Was he a big game pitcher.  Yes he was, but no Jack Morris take the team on his shoulders playoff performance comes to mind.  He absolutely is a Hall Of Fame Pitcher. Certainly, if  the Hall includes a Don Sutton.

Again, he would be a lock for the Hall in my opinion had he remained with the O’s. But, with the Yankees and the big market atmosphere, he just seemed out of his element. He finished strong with the twenty wins and that’s how people will remember him. A good way to go out.

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The easy thing to say is that the Red Sox will just roll through the Cigar City and make a return visit to the World Series.  What we witnessed in Spring Training is that this young Tampa Bay Rays squad is a fiery bunch.  Thanks go out to Shelly Duncan for the spikes up play . That play brought this team togther and showed that this year would be different.   That was followed with the Rays coming into the Bronx Bombers home and completely making them look like the doormats of the American League East

Even early on with the Rays leading the division, everyone in the media and beyond said that it was the  Red Sox who would eventually take the division crown.  This Rays put an end to that and went out and won 90s plus games. They are used to being thought of as soft based on the franchises track record.

That is the thing with the playoffs. Its a gut wrenching display of wills and desire. There will be ups and down and the teams that get to this point have heart and substance.  This weekend and tonight will be a defining moment on Rays history.

For comparisons, you could look at Bobby Cox who made it look so easy with all those back to back division crowns,  but found out it takes some luck to nail down the championships.  Or, you could look at the Cleveland Indians from a few years ago who were staked to a 3-1 lead and looked like they would take down the  Yankees.

Time will only tell how this story plays out. The Rays seem to be in a favorable position playing at home with their star pitcher in James Shields taking the hill.  The fans will be out in full force. The Heckler will be out as well.  Besides the high performing Upton and Longoria, this game might come down to those role players like Rocco Baldelli or Willy Aybar.   Or, it may be the talented Carl Crawford who puts on another hitting clinic. I can’t wait

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You know its going to be a different kind of Rays season when the Yankees are mad with Rays farm hand Elliot Johnson for making a hard nosed baseball play.

My Trophy League  Baseball Buzz site alerted me of a revealing article on Rocco Baldelli from his hometown paper:

projo: Frustrated Baldelli say illness rumors are …

BBTF’s Baseball Primer Newsblog
Mar 09 2008, 04:04:01 AM EST
He got toe-jam baseball You can feel his disease Rocco Baldelli has heard the rumors. He knows about the speculation surrounding his injury-prone major-league career. And, he says, the word frustration doesn?t put into perspective how he feels about his latest health issue and all the conspiracy theories. He?s heard that he has multiple sclerosis. He heard that he has a rare blood disorder, or other serious diseases. He?s heard whispers of steroids. So yesterday he set the record straight for his fans and the people who care about his well-being in…

I saw that there is a new terminology or APE for what we refer To Albert Pujols this season. Albert Pujols Elbow (APE).

B4B going 24/7. Looking forward to it.

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A few weeks ago we were wondering about Mattingly’s wife and what happened ? The Daily News has a story and pictures about Mattingly’s life, and Donnie’s current unfortunate situation. My first memory of Mattingly was the summer of 1983, when both Don and Steve Balboni were getting a shot at the first base job after being called up from minors.

brett_livid.jpg In fact, I happened to be visiting friends in New York and witnessed the Pine Tar Incident Game on the Yankee broadcast. Recently, I was thinking about a baseball related user name for some account I was creating. I gave it the name of The Pine Tar Incident since that game was one of the most memorable games that I ever watched.

More Blasts From Around the Web:

Piniella  predicted number of wins:  89 wins. Chone has the NL and AL predictions too. 89 wins for my Rays!

We’re Talking Squawking Baseball on  Cone for Ed Hearn

Brock for Broglio has PrOPS .

A great week of content at Greeny’s site. with DIPs, Contact Rate rate, Home / Road standouts.

If you own Hanley like I do, check out the Disabled Informer on HRam

Jason Stark covers the history making arbitration win for Ryan Howard. Will Phillies slugger ask them to “Show me the Money” with a  136 Million next?

I thought Heyman’s GM  list was ridiculous. Glad someone else does too.

I did not Know Topkin of Times wrote for Melnick and Greco?

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I just added a podcast feed to the Trophy League Planet. For newbies, a feed is a collection of sites I aggregate under a single web address. The address http://trophyleague.com/planetrss?group=podcasts features the six most recent or upcoming podcasts that are some of my favorites.

I listened to a podcast on Gotham Baseball interviewing former MLB player C.J. Nitkowski which is a good listen.  He has a site called CJ Baseball .

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