Friday, October 27, 2006


Don Mattingly will soon be known as The Sitman as he gets promoted to Joe Torre's bench coach. (How much coaching does a bench really need?) He replaces Lee Mazzilli who may wind up as 1B Coach if Tony Pena takes the job with the Nationals.

Donnie is the fourth bench coach since the incumbent Don Zimmer retired after being tongue lashed by the boss. He follows Willie Randolph, Joe Girardi and Lee Mazzilli.

Donnie is known to some as a jinx being the Yankees never won with him at 1B and have yet to take it all since he returned as the Hitting Coach. Probably the only two people in the world who are bigger jinxes than Mattingly are my good buddies who stole my job, (not really) at Dave & Aziz Nekoukar who write the Pride of the Yankees Weblog. You see for years they wrote the NY Rangers Weblog over there, (enough said?).

Anyway, this opens the door for Hitman to become Sitman and when Joe retires Donnie become Mangeman. New York Snoozeday mentions that Kevin Long, (WHO!!!) Columbus' highly regarded hitting coach, is a leading candidate to replace Mattingly in his old position. Other candidates could include former Yankee Chili Davis.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


With the World Series tied at a game a piece and all the sports shows trying to hang Kenny Rogers, one has to think what would have, could have, only if. . .

Was it the rain that done the Yankees in? Or if Moose could have held the Tigers down after Johnny's dinger in the rescheduled game two, would it have been me freezing my but off watching the Yankees take on the Cards for the first time in World Series play since 1964. Yes a year that marked the end of a dynasty for the Yankees and a new era in pop music as the Fab Four set foot on U.S. turf playing the largest concert to date in Shea Stadium.

I for one don't beleive teams should be aloud to make announcements until after the World Series is over. Wait for November to to fire your managers, to take up your options, to let the free agents be declared. That would only hold over the interest and extend the season as we know it. And we sure know we don't need the national pastime to be upstaged.

I won't say who Iam rooting for in the World Series but I am sitting here with my Abbey of Seal Beach cap on. Anyone remember the significance of that cap?

Well what do the Yankees need? There will be enough time to discuss that after the last out of game seven.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cory Lidle 3/22/72 - 10/11/06

Cory Fulton Lidle...Cory was neither a superstar or a hero. He was not the Captain nor an everyday Player. Lidle won't get a day or a retired number or a place in Cooperstown. But playing on 7 teams in 9 years he had a place in many players hearts. He married Melanie Varela (1/7/97) and had one son, Christopher Taylor (9/18/00) that he left behind. Baseball lost a player but life has lost a man. He won't be remembered as a Yankee, maybe not even a Phillie. He won't get more than the moment of silence next opening day and Old Timers. Cory Lidle will not be forgotten. What marks he didn't make in the record books he has made in the hearts of many of teammate. A 1990 graduate of South Hills High School (CA), where he was a teammate of Jason Giambi...Was All-State his senior year...His twin brother, Kevin, played minor league baseball, first as a catcher and then as a pitcher...Is a relative of Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat. God Bless Cory and his family.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


OK Press corps how does it feel to be out scooped by the New York Post? Joe Torre will be back on the helm in 2007. George Steinbrenner made it official today and Joe announced it at a 1PM press conference.

Steinbrenner, in a statement issued through spokesman Howard Rubenstein, said he told Torre: "'You're back for the year. I expect a great deal from you and the entire team. I have high expectations, and I want to see enthusiasm, a fighting spirit and a team that works together. Responsibility is yours, Joe, and all of the Yankees.'"Yes, I am deeply disappointed about our loss this year," Steinbrenner added. "We have to do better, and I deeply want a championship.

OK that rumor is quashed now be good boys and report on the games and worry about the Yankee moves when they happen. All announcements need to be made public after the World Series. It's bad enough the games are on after 75% of the kids (and me) are asleep. Don't distract from baseball.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the same writer that brought us the fact that Andy Pettitte signed with the Astros so his wife can keep an eye on him, can't be happy that Joe (Torre) is staying as he has to blame just about everything except the nuclear weapons in Korea on Joe Torre.

With the success of their Torre exclusive The Post also reports that the Yankees are not going to trade A-Rod.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


How humiliating !!! Well Friar, looks like Rogers and Bonderman did a better job of impersonating Koufax and Paige than our boys did of impersonating “Murderer’s Row plus Cano”.Even with an “All-Star” at every position, I was never comfortable with this team. Usually, the winning team has an unsung hero – on this team who would that be ??

One of the more analytical things that Jeter has uttered the last few Octobers is that the “current” group of players has not been through this. Forget the looooooooooooong Yankee tradition (you don’t win simply because the previous generation won !!), if you go back to the recent past, as in the last 10 years – it was the O’Neills, Brosius’, Tinos, Pettittes, Williams’ etc etc that started their own tradition from the bottom. They learned how to win and how to overcome adversity together as part of the team they were playing on then. The teams we have been putting out there the last few years, project a feeling of entitlement – THEY ARE THE YANKEES…THEY WON BEFORE…SO, THEY SHOULD WIN AGAIN. Jeter and Posada are about the only guys that seem to recognize that this is not true and that you have to go out and do things to win each and every day.I don’t have any pat answers to correct this mentality but I have my own biases:

1. Joe Torre – I see that people are already calling for his head. I used to be extremely impressed when his post-season moves turned golden. But doubts crept in from the day he brought in Weaver against Florida. And since then, those doubts have only gotten louder. A question that occurs to me (as probably to many of you) is why mess with a line-up that was responsible for sweeping and finally quieting the Sox for the season, a lineup that provided a 10-11 game cushion for several weeks ? Thank you Mr. Torre for all you have done but your magical decision-making process seems to have vanished. I for one, would not be too upset if Torre is let go. But why Pinella ? Why rehash an ex-manager ? Yes, Lou is fiery and hot-tempered but he can also humiliate a player in full view of a National audience. Maybe they should have hung on to the guy cross-town. He seems to have done a good job My preference would be Girardi. He was respected by his teammates and most importantly, by the pitchers.

2. Sheffield, Giambi, and Rodriguez – I know they represent billions of HRs and RBIs during the season, but it is time to get rid of them if at all possible. Gary has a vicious swing but he is also extremely selfish. I never endorsed getting the one-dimensional Giambi. I would have been happy with Nick all the same. Giambi is at the center of too much discussion come playoff time – should he DH, should he play the field ? It is time to let him go. Rodriguez, he is simply never going to be able to play on the same field as Jeter. Enough Said !!!

3. The Giambi Paradox– There is the “Cub Factor” and was the “Curse of the Bambino”. Great ball player maybe but Oakland did not win with him and neither have the Yankees. I would like to include Mussina here also because, even though his Oriole teams were not that good, he has not proven himself to be big game pitcher. He as much admitted it severely years ago when he just accepted that he would lose the first game and Andy would come in to win the second game of a series.

4. Who goes … now what ?? – from my comments above, the answer to the first part is clear. The second part is tougher: pitching - If possible get young starting arms for Rodriguez and bullpen arms for Giambi. Bring up the Hughes. Position players – find a way to make Melky a full-time player, possibly by letting Matsui be the full-time DH. Let Phillips play first and get a second tier 3rd baseman who can play good defense. Lets add some more youte (as Cousin Vinny might say) instead of all-stars.Well, I have ranted enough. Some of it comes from being incredibly frustrated and some from wishful-thinking. Some might agree and some (maybe most) will not, but it is MY rant.

It will definitely be a loooooong Winter AGAIN !!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Well, it was exactly as it was in 1999 in the fiction world of Kevin Costner. In the movie For Love Of Game Costner plays Billy Chapel, an aging pitcher for the Detroit Tigers heading for the mound for may be his last time ever. The team owner has sold the organization to a corporation and they have plans to trade Billy. His arm continues to fail him more every time he steps up to thrown. And to top it all off, Billy must deal with his tempestuous relationship with Jane, a woman he met by a broken down car on the side of the road five years ago and has yet to fully commit to. With all these thoughts swirling inside Billy's head, he unknowingly begins pitching a perfect game. Unable to keep his mind clear, Billy thinks back on his life during the game and considers the mistakes he has made and the people he has met.

Saturday afternoon in Comerica Park in Detroit it was not an aging star working on a perfect game but the 24 year old Jeremy Bonderman doing the deed. Well he took it into the fifth inning before Robbie Cano broke it up. Bonderman was sublime for 8 1-3 in leading Detroit to an 8-3 victory in Game 4 eliminating the Yankees in the first round once again.

Two years ago this Tiger team lost 119 games. Last weekend the were swept by the last place Kansas City Royals. This weekend they beat the team with the best record in baseball and knocked them out of the post season. What a difference a week makes.

Just how did the Yankees get to the post season? During their drive to first there were numerous come from behind late inning victories. Just too many to count. In a short series, especially a short one of five games you can't win that way. Especially with our bullpen. Chein Ming Wang was tired and was winning with his head. Moose was hurt as well as the Unit. Jaret Wright couldn't get us past the fifth inning and Cory Lidle was iffy at best.

We were playing much better team ball when Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield were hurt. Melky Cabrera and Bobby Abreu broght new life to this team, "team" being the highlighted word there. The team actually looked like they enjoyed winning for the first time since Paul O'Neill retired.

The relief corps were shot. Scott Proctor and Ron Villone were burnt out. Villone not even being used in the post season. Kyle Farnsworth was damged goods. His back locked up every other time out. The only bright spot was Brian Bruney who proved he could pitch the big games if he wasn't overworked. Mariano Rivera was well rested and back but his future is uncertain. We didn't get much chance to use him anyway. We have to start grooming a replacement in the minors.

To wrap it up the hitters weren't hitting causing the starters to pitch like they have to pitch a shutout to win. What leads they did get were handed right back by the inconsistancy of Mariano's bridgemen.

What about next season? We have all winter to discuss that.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Taking a page from the Hockey Rangers handbook the Detroit Tigers were knocked out of first place by the last place KC Royals. After jumping off to a 6-0 lead it looked as if the Tigers were destined to host the A's in Detroit this Tuesday but the scrappy Royals never said die and beat the Tigers in 12 innings handing our old friend Kenny Rogers the loss in relief.

The Yankees lost to the Blue Jays giving the Jays their first chance to finish ahead of the Red Sox and Behind the Bombers for the first time in 9 years.

Derek Jeter and and Robbie Cano came up short in the batting tittle race as the Yankees managed by Bernie Williams lost to the Jays 7-5 with "Four Eyes Farnsworth* taking the loss. With the game tied 5-5 in the ninth, Adam Lind hit a two-run, two-out homer off Kyle Farnsworth (3-6). Both Cano and Jeter collected hits but the Twins' Mauer got two hits to keep pace to become the first catcher to the the Batting Title in the American League.

*I also wear glasses so please don't anyone get insulted he just looked so different.