From the press box at U.S. Cellular Field

Greetings_from_Chicago.jpgHello everyone, from the South Side of Chicago. Joe Girardi was just down in the batting cage showing Jorge Posada and Chad Moeller a thing or two about footwork, jumping out and getting better release times on throws to second base. Posada was zipping throws down to second base pretty decently, so maybe he’s not too far off. We’ll definitely find out.

This is a great city and it’s pretty baseball crazy right now with the Yankees in town to play the White Sox and the Mets playing the Cubs over at Wrigley. Walking the Magnificent Mile this morning, you could see caps of all four teams wandering the streets. Most important for Chicago commerce, all the fans appeared to be spending money. Anthony DiComo is in town and will be blogging about going to both games today at dicomo.mlblogs.com.

Here’s something I don’t need to tell you about Hank Steinbrenner – everyone has an opinion. When Steinbrenner said Sunday that he wants Joba Chamberlain in the rotation as soon as possible, it generated the most e-mails I’ve received about any single story in the two years I’ve been covering the Yankees for MLB.com. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, Hank gets a reaction. I would share some of them but they’re not all G-rated.

He’s got to know that, and you know what? It’s not only good for the news media, but it’s actually good for baseball. It makes it interesting. The Yankees since 1973 have been marked by a loud voice coming from the owner’s suite and letting the fans know what’s going on. Hank is filling the void left when George began to lean on type-written missives and statements, and he’s doing it quite well.

Here’s what we’re looking at:
Tuesday: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (3-0, 3.81) vs. RHP Jose Contreras (1-1, 4.34), 8:11 ET, YES
Wednesday: RHP Mike Mussina (1-3, 5.75) vs. RHP Javier Vazquez (3-1, 3.20), 8:11 ET, YES
Thursday: RHP Phil Hughes (0-3, 8.82) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (2-0, 1.40), 8:11 ET, YES

46 Comments

I just heard on Rome is burning Joe Girardi has Banned Candy Eating by the players. That will get them going. No more Skittles Jeter, Arod get rid of that Mars bar and your injury will heal faster. The Yankees are ready to hit, pitch and field now that they can’t eat candy.

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Pitching, and offense go hand-and-hand. I think the poor performance by the offense had a lot to do with their poor performance. It forces a pitcher to try to be too fine with his pitches, making him more conservative, and hold back because they are afraid of getting hit while giving up runs putting the team in an early hole. As I stated earlier, that may be the problem with Hughes, and Kennedy, they are trying to be too fine rather than letting their pitches fly. Holding back has prevented Hughes from attaining that 95-98 mph velocity we know Hughes can throw. However, poor pitching can have an effect on the offense as well as hitters feel they have to press themselves harder than usual to help makeup for poor performances from pitchers thus resulting in poor offense.

It also doesn’t help this team when 3/5 of the starters can’t go deep into games. Wang, and Pettitte are the only ones who have shown they can do it on a consistent basis. Mussina struggles to go 6 innings, he’s no innings-eater, by any stretch of the imagination Hughes, and Kennedy are just struggling period. The Yanks pen leads the AL in IP by the pen with 70+ IP. These guys better get things turned around for the good of the team.

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Giambi (DONE), Mussina(DONE), Hughes and Kennedy a year away. Until they learn to pitch inside with authority major league hitters will lean over the plate and eat that soup they are throwing for lunch. Very few pitchers in baseball history survived not being able to throw inside. The talking by management is nothing but talk. Brian Cashman always changes the target. First getting those washed -up vets and then we will pitch the young guys, wait minute I change my mind Joba to the pen. They better make a move fast because last year was a fluke to come back like they did. I hate that the last year of the “House that Ruth built” will go out without a championship.

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I too like Giambi and I do root for him. I blast him all the time (ironically for his offense and not his defense, for which I defend a lot) but really I’m looking for him to turn it around. I don’t have much faith in it, but I’ll be the first to cheer for him if it does. Also, congratulations to Arod. I always forget that these players are actual human beings with families and stuff like that.

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Yeah no matter what all the factors are/were for the shaky starts by Hughes and Kennedy, they will come around and they will pitch better. They have the talent and the stuff, so I believe that’ll get worked out. We knew we’d see some of this and maybe some of us didn’t expect to see the depth of struggles the youngsters have had, but I still think that they’ll be fine.

I think Mussina is worrisome the most, but I also think a lot of it is mental. Saw some quote the other day saying he should pitch more like Maddux. Easy to say for sure. But truthfully, there is some validity to that as Maddux doesn’t have much of a FB either and he works batters well. Mussina can still be effective but he has to get ‘ahead’ of the hitters both in the count and in philosophy. It doesn’t seem like he’s quite there.

The offense can really help the staff/rotation out too by doing what they’ve been doing the last few odd games… they need to make the pitcher pitch. Foul a few off, look at a few, get that pitch count up and do so quickly. I love looking at first inning lines and seeing a pitcher in the 20s… collectively they need to be consistent, and for the most part they are.

I feel bad for the Giambino, he’s trying hard. I can see it, he’s trying to be patient, not swinging often at pitches he just can’t handle, and he’s getting pretty good wood on balls, just not finding holes or gaps, etc. One thing though, for all the work he supposedly put in towards opposite-field hitting, he has yet to slap that ball into left where the 3rd basemen has completely vacated. Now I realize it’s not EZ, and pitchers have been going low and away to him outside… but I’d love to see him continue working on that, teams will have to think twice about their shifts if he can alter his approach and make them pay. He still has the ability and his D is not gawd-awful… I still like the guy, he’s a Yankee as far as I’m concerned and he seems to really appreciate being a Yankee too. :D

Let’s go Moose!! Vazquez has been and will always be our Bee-at-ch!

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I’m curious to see how the “Young Two” start to pitch as the offense warms up for them. Anyone think their struggles had anything to do with the fact that the offense was so bad for a while? I mean they might have said to themselves “geez, I can’t give up more than 1 run or I’m screwed.” Guess we’ll find out.

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And nice job Wang. He looked like Andy Pettitte out there. He had basically NOTHING and managed to keep them in it enough that he gets the win. If only Hughes and Kennedy could watch that. I mean even without Arod this offense just score enough runs that if you as a starting pitcher go 6 innings and give up 3, you should get the win.

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Yeah I’m definitely liking what I’m seeing from Damon. Let hope this continues. Cano too. It looks like he’s starting to hit a few more balls hard. I know Giambi smoked that one, but I’m not too sure about him just yet. His other at bats weren’t all that great so I’m waiting until he puts a stretch together where he has several good at bats for several games.

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And maybe… JUST MAYBE, Damon is starting to warm with the weather? In his last two games he’s raised his BA from .197 to .245, has gone a collective 5 for 9 with 2 dingers and 5 rbi’s and legged out an IF hit last night.

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We DONT need any more utility IF’ers. Ensberg’s hitting well and has a good glove at the corners. Gonzales is young and full of pi$$ and vinegar and can hit at the ML level and play SS and 2b. Giambi has been slotted at the every-day 1b-man. 1b is NOT our issue right now.
The ‘pen was not stellar last night but the O FINALLY picked it up. That is the way it is SUPPOSED to work. And to all of those here (and you ALL know who you are and SO DO WE) who said that Wang wasn’t an ace on our staff? Not perhaps even a number 1? He’s 4-0 with a sub-4 era. He’s also fanning more batters as well.

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Ok. What the BLOODY H3LL is up with Rasner??? 3-0 with a .72 ERA in 25 innings at SWB?? Who IS this guy? The fact is you WILL see him soon. There is simply no way the big club can avoid stats like that. Even Igawa is 2-2 with a 2.?? era although his stats have been going down not up.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 22, 2008

Buffalo (Indians) 4
Scranton/WB 2
W: B. Slocum (2-1, 4.08); L: J. Marquez (1-3, 8.24); SV: R. Bauer (3)
HR: BUF: A. Herr (4), B. Snyder (4). SWB: N. Green (3).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_22_bufaaa_swbaaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Trenton 8
Binghamton (Mets) 3 (13)
W: E. Wordekemper (1-1, 4.15); L: E. Kunz (1-1, 5.19)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_22_treaax_binaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 4
Clearwater (Phillies) 3 (11)
W: J. Valdez (2-0, 0.00); L: B. Schlitter (0-2, 5.19); SV: J. Hovis (2)
HR: TAM: E. Gonzalez 2 (6).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_22_tbyafa_clrafa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Charleston 6
Savannah (Mets) 3
W: C. Vacek (2-0, 1.00); L: J. Holdzkom (0-1, 7.11); SV: J. Ortiz (6)
HR: CHA: J. Montero (3).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_22_crdafx_savafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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THE BRONX BOMBERS!!!!

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DAMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! game over

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hmm Joba seemed a little peeved at his run scorng walk.

Maybe a 3-2 Curve might have got the 2nd SO down looking

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Even though we just walked in a run, I have to give our bullpen credit. They have been doing a great job. I believe Hughes and Mussina are going to start winning games.
I think Hank is pretty amusing. I wonder how much of what he says is calculated to get a response from the media and how much is him just being impulsive.
Here’s hoping Wang gets that elusive 20th win this year. Go Yanks!!!

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Just reading up about Abreu…

Congrats to Cash on that trade, Philly got absolutely nothing.

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oh well Traber. I guess Wang won’t mind unless he winds up with one short of 20 wins again

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Wang to pitch the 7th? Does he need all 3 outs for the Win

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I’ll take a grand slam. Thanks Bobby!

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bpark,
That was Giambi’s 3rd. Arod has 4. Kind of meaningless at this time of the year.

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Heh, I’ll give Giambi that one, but he’s gotta show me a lot more of that before I come around on him. Honestly I don’t really care too much about his defense. He’ll make his errors, but he’ll also save a bunch of errors with the notorious dirt throwers named Arod and Jeter, heh. My nickname for Giambi is actually “The Pooper Scooper.” But still, he has to start showing some consistency.

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G, if your reading, get in the homerun contest.

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First time I’ve seen a broken bat in a SO!

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He homered to left…I think its his 4th this year? how many does Arod have? Giambi could be re-signed if his defense is consistent.

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I don’t dog Giambi for his overall output as a Yankee, but I just think that his time might be dwindling. I don’t think you can keep a guy in the lineup who is close to an automatic out just because you like him.

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I really don’t care who is on our team as long as they hit. I didn’t much care for Knoblauch, Brosius, Tino the first time and others but when they hit I was happy. Giambi has given us too many HRs for me to dog him, Giambi is that dude, he is a Yankee.

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If C.C. losses tonight, he will be pitching against us to avoid going 0 and 5. Texiera is gonna be locked up by the Braves.

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Common now, Giambi has struggled with injuries the last 2 seasons and is off to a slow start but you hardly loop his contract in with Clemens in 07, Brown, Pavano, Randy Johnson, Sheff’s option, Damon’s salary and length of contract, Arod’s 30M per.

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While Hughes and Kennedy struggle, Wang has to step up near every start to keep us in this race. Pettite as well. And our offense needs a kick in the *** pronto. Till the AL MVP gets back, Cano and Damon need to stop being free outs.

Giambi seems washed up. At least the worst contract of the “win now” period (well, aside from Pavano’s ) is expiring after this year. the 20mil can go towards a useful player like Tex or C.C

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Bryan, you’re so right about Hank making things interesting. His father, big George has slowed down some what in recent years but his son has made things fun. I sent an email question in but I totally forgot what I asked. lol. Also, bpark23, it’s amazing that Cashman can actually, “reign” hank in. George senior would of had none of it.

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I agree, he’s the best chance this team has at avoiding a sweep as neither Mussina, nor Hughes inspire much confidence. I still think Hughes will turn things around though.

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I’m not too certain about the pitching match-ups this series. I think Wang’s start is pretty darn important tonight.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 22, 2008

Buffalo
Scranton/WB 7PM
———————————
Trenton 6:35PM
Binghamton (Mets)
———————————
Tampa 7PM
Clearwater (Phillies)
———————————
Charleston 7PM
Savannah
———————————
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 21, 2008

Rochester (Twins) 0
Scranton/WB 3
W: D. Rasner (3-0, 0.72); L: G. Perkins (0-1, 4.26); SV: J. Veras (5)
HR: SWB: J. Lane (6).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_21_rocaaa_swbaaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Trenton 4
Binghamton (Mets) 5
W: S. Aguilar (1-0, 2.50); L: B. Hall (0-1, 4.70)
HR: TRE: M. Carson (3), P. Pilittere (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_21_treaax_binaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 0
Clearwater (Phillies) 6
W: C. Monasterios (2-2, 2.81); L: R. Pope (1-2, 1.89)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_21_tbyafa_clrafa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Charleston 7
Columbus (Rays) 2
W: N. Castillo (3-0, 2.28); L: G. Gibson (0-3, 8.64)
HR: COL: M. McCormick (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_21_crdafx_clmafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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Arod is out following the birth of Shaquille O’Neal’s child.

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As Bryan reported on yankees.com, Arod is out 2 games.

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Hank needs to stop backtracking everytime he makes a statement. George, Educate him.

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Bryan,

“Your right about good ole Hammerin Hank, he is good for the game! Everyone asks me what I think about Hank, don’t you hate him? Why should I, I think his statements, though outlandish at times “Start Joba Now!” ”

it’s when he makes statements like these:”Red Sox Nation….BAHH!” is what makes me appreciate him!

He makes things exciting and shakes things up…I am thankful that we have a level headed Brian Cashman though that is able to reign him in, Brian probably loses more every time Hank opens his mouth!!

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Javier Vazquez vs. Mike Mussina tomorrow night.

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Whats the status on Molina? 15 day DL? I was out of the country when he got hurt and I thought it was more of a day-day thing.

Anyone think Tejada is gonna be deported for allegedly lying repeatedly on his green card ap? What a mess if we had traded for him.

Hank needs to close his mouth on personnell issues already…unless he is the GM. He has a right to be upset with play but he shouldn’t be undermining Cashman.

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He’s been pretty good every time he is sent down to the minors, but when he is brought back to the majors he implodes big time. He’s been up and down with the Yankees so much, I’m not sure he will ever be good enough to pitch in the majors. As of right now he is a total bust, so yeah, it will take a miracle.

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OMG! I totally forgot about Igawa. All that money being used on him and he’s in the minors? Is he any good down there? Are they trying to fix him or does it really take a miracle?

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I agree, the way this pen is being used, it could be burned out by June or the early half of the second season if things don’t change. Rasner is doing well in AAA but I get the feeling he is like Igawa, good at the minor league level, bad at the major league level. He has never shown much at this level.

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This site has to be G rated? Woops.
I would like having the option of brining up a guy from AAA to be a long reliever. It’s been proven to often so far that we need one. This bullpen will be washed up by June. I like the option of Rasner. Rumor has it he’s been doing well down there. Or really anybody else. I’m not that familiar with the AAA roster.

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