Results tagged ‘ Melky Cabrera ’
He was thinking triple all the way.
As soon as Melky Cabrera saw his ninth-inning line drive zip over the head of White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye, he turned on the after-burners and raced into third base, narrowly getting under the tag with a triple and the 15th cycle in Yankees history.
The Bombers’ first cycle since Tony Fernandez in 1995 polished off a banner four-hit, four-RBI afternoon, leading New York to a 8-5 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
“I feel really happy, but I’m more happy because we won the game,” Cabrera said through an interpreter.
Cabrera’s historic 4-for-5 afternoon was no fluke. Since the Yankees placed Brett Gardner on the disabled list July 26 with a fractured left thumb, Cabrera has stepped up to play at a high level, batting .357 (10-for-28) with two homers and five RBIs in eight games.
Though his recent history with the Yankees has been pockmarked by disappointments, such as being sent down to the Minor Leagues last August and losing a Spring Training battle with Gardner to be New York’s center fielder, Cabrera has been playing like he has something to prove.
“I’m proud of how he has changed and taken his game to a different level,” Mariano Rivera said. “I think what happened last year, he got sent down for a little bit.
“It taught him a little bit that you cannot just come and play around. This is business and he has a lot of ability. Why not use it? He’s doing that right now.”
Brian Cashman’s charity discussion out in Pleasantville, N.Y. for Ed Randall’s ‘Bat for the Cure‘ ran long tonight, but if you were as passionate about the Yankees as most of the audience seemed to be, it probably wasn’t a big deal. Just about the only topic Cash wouldn’t discuss was Joe Torre’s book, but there was plenty to go around. Some of the highlights to chew on:
Manny to the Yankees — officially dead: The Yankees are done with their big spending and have no room left to pursue Manny Ramirez. Sorry, folks, but right now the Yankees are trying to sign more guys like Angel Berroa. The Yankees payroll will be reduced in ’09 and Manny’s bat isn’t going to change that.
“Ultimately, we’ve made our decision,” Cashman said. “We chose to put that money into Mark Teixeira to play first base. I do hear rumblings about people actually expect us to get in on Manny. That’s not going to happen. We respect his abilities, there’s no doubt about it, but we’re now in the non-roster invite mode.”
Cashman knows the Yankees have been anointed the Hot Stove champs. It doesn’t mean anything: “I don’t care about headlines in December or January. What ultimately translates is getting enough W’s to be the last team standing.”
Career paths: Cashman wasn’t one of those kids who lies awake at night dreaming of being the Yankees GM. Actually, out in Kentucky, young Cash grew up a Dodgers fan and a Yankee hater. In fact, when Bob Watson gave up the GM post in ’98, Cashman first begged him to stay. Then he asked George Steinbrenner not to give him a contract, instead operating on a handshake agreement so Cashman could be easily dismissed if it didn’t work out.
Tough crowd: Cashman is very wary of the Rays, of whom he said has seen the talent coming for years. On the traditional 20 to 80 scouting scale (50 being an average big leaguer), Cashman said too many of Tampa Bay’s young prospects are coming in around 80. Such is the advantage of smart drafting and terrible in-season results.
But the Yankees have some names Cashman is excited about — he thinks the ’06 crop of Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, Dellin Betances and Dave Robertson could go down as an all-time great one. The Yankees are still top-heavy in pitching prospects and would love to develop more big bats, but most of the really promising position players are at the A-ball level and below.
What if: Yes, the four-year, $40 million deal to Carl Pavano was a bust. But Cashman said Pavano turned down even more money from the Tigers, Mariners and Orioles. The Red Sox were also hot on Pavano.
Flight cancelled: Cashman almost flew to Baltimore from Houston to meet with A.J. Burnett after his meeting with Andy Pettitte in December. It turned out not to be necessary – things had progressed far enough with Burnett that the Yankees were confident it’d get done.
Will the Melk-man deliver?: As of right now, it’s Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for center field. Cashman believes Melky is a better player than he showed in ’08 and will be out to prove that. But here’s an ominous warning: “The ones that are good enough will find a way. The ones that aren’t good enough will find excuses.” Cash compared Gardner to “Juan Pierre, who takes a walk.”
Better days?: Cashman said he’s not a big souvenir guy, but one of the things he’s kept was the lineup card from his first win as Yankees GM – April 5, 1998 at Oakland. Cash was actually in Oakland the day earlier, but Steinbrenner had called him back to New York in a fit after the Yankees started the year 0-3. They won 125 games.
The inscription on the lineup card from Joe Torre reads: “Crash – the first of many.” That’s not a typo. The nickname ‘Crash’ stuck to Cashman in his younger, wilder days.
Driving Mr. Steinbrenner: Cash told a great story about his early days back in the Yankees organization, when George Steinbrenner’s personal drivers were all out shuttling around dignitaries or guests. Cashman got stuck with the assignment and found himself on the FDR Drive with the Boss, who wanted to get a quick haircut before flying to Tampa out of Teterboro.
Long story short, Cash tried to get cute with a shortcut and wound up hearing a full-on assault of the 1980s Steinbrenner in his right ear for the whole rest of the trip. Steinbrenner actually threatened at one point to “just take the subway.” He got the haircut with Cashman but found a different driver to take him across to New Jersey.
Nady signed for $6.65 million after earning $3.59 million last season. Cabrera inked a $1.4 million pact after requesting $1.7 million; the Yankees had offered $1.2 million.
Brian Bruney remains out there in the arbitration process. Bruney earned $725,000 last year and has asked for $1.55 million; the Yankees countered with $1.1 million.
This raises the Yankees’ projected Opening Day payroll to the area of $191 million for 16 players.
One of the running jokes of the Yankees ’08 season was bringing up Kei Igawa’s name any time there was a need for a starting pitcher. That happened a lot, and after a one-shot deal in Detroit on May 9, Igawa was never the guy they called up to start.
Joe Girardi’s last assignment to Igawa was to record the final three outs in a June 27 game at Shea Stadium, with the Yankees leading 9-0. Igawa got the job done (cue Cosmo Kramer: “Did the K-man do it, or did the K-man do it?”) but gave up two hard singles in the process before inducing Luis Castillo to hit into a game-ending double play.
He was not heard from again on the big league level. There’s no clearer sign than how far Igawa’s star has fallen than the fact he is no longer on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, a Triple-A filler part with $12 million still owed to him through the 2011 season.
So it seems that in the much-rumored trade that would plant Mike Cameron in center field at Yankee Stadium, while shipping Melky Cabrera to the Milwaukee Brewers, the holdup may be Igawa. The New York Post reported that the Brewers want to pick up as little of his salary as possible, as Milwaukee is dropping Cameron’s $10 million deal for 2009 as a salary dump.
The Post reported that the Brewers asked for Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Mark Melancon before Igawa’s name surfaced, but the Yankees quickly said no. That brings the Brewers to Milwaukee, a touted import from Japan who may need this chance more than anyone to revive his stalled career.
That’s right, we’re officially going back and changing a scoring decision from last night, taking away an error from Melky Cabrera and charging it instead to Section 39.
If you’re not familiar with the way things work at Yankee Stadium, every game brings a ‘roll call’ from the Bleacher Creatures, who chant out the names of the position players in the top of the first inning. (And if you’re not familiar with Yankee Stadium, how’s the weather look for this weekend in Boston?)
Anyway, the chant had worked around to Melky Cabrera in the first inning last night when Denard Span singled to center. Cabrera acknowledged the bleachers with a wave and then promptly booted the ball for an error, allowing Span to get to second base. Joe Girardi said that he didn’t realize what exactly happened until he saw the highlight on TV last night around 11:30 p.m. — needless to say, there was a discussion in the clubhouse this morning.
“He’s a kid having fun,” Girardi said. “You want your players to have fun, but you make sure he does it at the right time.”