Tagged: Shelley Duncan

Bombed

dropping_bombs.jpg
Maybe it’s the Blue Jays who should be called the Bombers, since they were the ones doing the bombing tonight. Every time I turned around, Wells or Bautista or one of those guys was hitting the ball out. Clearly, Moseley isn’t CC and Wood isn’t Mo. And Mitre? Why even bother. Just DFA him already and call up one of the kids.
little-league-playoff03.jpg
Offense is still AWOL. Third loss in a row. No longer in first place. What’s a Yankee fan to do? I’ll tell you what this Yankee fan did: watched the clip of the Red Sox and Indians going at it tonight.
josh.shelley2.jpg
Josh Beckett looks really, really mad at Shelley Duncan, doesn’t he? All I can say is that their game must have been way more entertaining than ours.
Advertisements

“I don’t need a left-handed bat for the outfield.”

That’s what Cashman said today, according to LoHud. And while it’s all well and good for the Yankees GM to say that HE doesn’t need a left-handed bat for the outfield, what about us fans?
yanksfan257x330.jpg
Has he stopped to ask us what WE need? I said I was OK with Brett Gardner in left and I am. But the team would be stronger with Johnny Damon on the roster. So what’s the big deal? Just sign the guy and get it over with, so we can see him popping out of the dugout and knocking the ball into Damon’s Deck?
damon.swing.jpg
Free agents are dropping like flies. Even Eric Hinske has a new team. Did we really spend every last dime on Nick Johnson? Is there nothing left in the vault for Damon? Can’t Hal and Hank chip in a few million from their trust funds?
steinbrenner.sons.jpg
If all the Yankees needed was a right-handed bat off the bench to play the outfield, why not hold onto Shelley Duncan? Oh, well. We did hold onto Sergio Mitre and his 6.79 ERA. Now that’s a relief.
sergio_mitre_pitches.jpg
Cashman also said he’s not looking for bullpen help. Really? Because these two inspire so much confidence?
alby.jpg
edwar.jpg
I know I sound cranky in this post, but I’m feeling cranky right now. I want Damon to remain a Yankee. Not forever. Not for a gazillion dollars. Just figure it out, Cashman. Johnny’s already got his favorite restaurants in New York, even if he can’t pronounce their names. Don’t mess with this, Cash.

Coney Versus Tino

According to various reports, including today’s blog post on “It Is High,” David Cone is having issues with the YES Network and may not be back to provide commentary in the booth this year. I am not happy. I loved Coney as a player and I grew to love him as a broadcaster. He was smart, funny, unpredictable, occasionally goofy, extremely prepared and way more interesting to listen to than Ken Singleton and John Flaherty, both of whom are sweet and knowledgeable but have the effect of Ambien.
woman.asleep.TV2.jpg
Supposedly, Coney’s replacement would be Tino Martinez. Now don’t anyone get all huffy about what I’m going to say. Tino is a Yankee god and always will be, but have you heard him in the booth? I remember when he had a brief stint on ESPN or FOX (can’t remember which). He had the personality of this.
wood.jpgJust to compare and contrast the styles of the two former players, here they are being interviewed at Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation dinner in ’08. Granted, Coney’s clip is longer, but maybe that’s because he didn’t spout cliches.
Here’s Coney (notice John Sterling in the background)….
Versus Tino….
If I were a YES executive, I’d be looking for an ex-Yankee who can share his own experiences but knows when to shut up and whose personality meshes well with Michael Kay (good luck with that). In short, I’d hire….
Question Mark In Head1.jpg
Any ideas? Shelley Duncan’s out, since he just signed with the Indians. Congratulations, Shelley! Try not to break anybody’s arm!
shelly-duncan-92907.jpg

How Many Outfielders Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?

lightbulb.jpg
Or, to put it another way, how many outfielders will make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster? Now that we’ve added Jamie Hoffmann, the Rule V Draft Pick who was half of the Bruney-to-Nationals deal, we have five – count ’em, FIVE – viable outfielders. And that doesn’t include Damon, who could still sign, plus one or two Hinske/Hairston utility types yet to be on our radar. Sounds like a game of musical chairs to me.
musical_chairs.jpg
While it’s true that you can never have too many options, given possible injuries (hello, Xavier Nady) and mediocrity (that would be you, Shelley Duncan), the Yankees have some decisions to make and one of these guys is bound to get left out. Let’s look at the outfield as it stands tonight….
* Curtis “Grandy” Granderson *
grandy.yanks.jpg
He looks awfully snappy in his newly Photo Shopped cap and uniform, doesn’t he? Obviously, he’s not going anywhere. I hope he patrols center field for a long, productive time.
* Melky “The Melkman” Cabrera *
melky.bio.jpg
I assume Melky will move to left field with the acquisition of Grandy. He has a better-than-average arm and hits in the clutch. Is he the greatest player to wear the pinstripes? No, but I love saying the name “Melky” and having non-baseball friends go, “What?”
* Nick “Swishalicious” Swisher *
swisher.bio.jpg
The presumed right fielder who started his Yankees life as our presumed first baseman before Tex came along and Nady went down, Swish has a decent arm, gets on base (except when he strikes out in key situations) and lightens up the clubhouse. He can also turn a routine fly ball into an adventure, and performs needless somersaults. 
* Brett “Gardy” Gardner *
brett.bio.jpg
Gardy, not to be confused with Grandy, runs like crazy, as we all know, and covers a lot of ground in center. His arm won’t blow anyone away. But if he gets on base, his speed causes the opposition to spazz out. The word “if” is key here. He doesn’t get on base often enough.
* Jamie “Hoffy” Hoffmann *
jamie.jpg
The new kid looks a lot like the old kid (Shelley). Apparently, Hoffy played a lot of hockey and was even drafted by the NHL. According to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, Cashman said of Hoffman: “He’s got a hockey mentality – a very athletic and hard-nosed outfielder.” I guess that means he’ll be good in brawls?
rays-yanks-brawl.jpg
There they are – five candidates for three spots – with the possible addition of Damon. So who gets traded? Anybody? Hoffy could do time in Scranton. And The Melkman and Swishalicious could handle the corners. But where does that leave Gardy? There’s no one more fun to watch on the base paths.
brett_gardner--300x300.jpg
And who could forget the story of how he went to NY-Presbyterian Hospital to read books to sick kids as part of Project Sunshine? He was given a “lucky” bracelet by a girl awaiting a heart transplant, remember? She said, “Maybe this will make you hit a home run.”
gardner-alyssa.jpg
And then he played in the game later – only because Damon was ejected – and promptly hit an inside-the-park homer….and the girl suddenly received a heart from a donor. Talk about “meant to be.”
Destiny-Calligraphy-Poster-C12331207.jpegI know this will seem like I’m just echoing my post from last night about Joba/Hughes, but can’t we keep every single one of them? Right now all I want to do is hoard players. Isn’t that only natural in winter?
HoardingForWinter.jpg

Baby Bombers Rock!

YankeeBaby.jpg
For the Yankees’ opener against the Royals, Girardi rested the vets and played the kids. I figured we’d get clobbered. Wrong. We did the clobbering. Well, the kids did.
bully.jpg
How? With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth, Ramiro Pena smacked his first major league homer. It was hilarious when, as per custom, he walked into the dugout and all the vets turned their backs and gave him the silent treatment.
apes.jpg
When the score was knotted at 2-2 in the sixth, it was Shelley who came through with an RBI single to put the Baby Bombers up 3-2. I guess he can hit major league pitching after all.
kid.bat.jpg
Then we moved into the seventh inning, and the kids broke the game wide open. How?
Cervelli: doubled. 
Pena: singled in Cervelli.
Gardner: singled.
Melky: walked.
Cano: hit a grand salami.
salami.jpg
It was Robbie’s second career grand slam and it shut me up about his inability to hit with runners in scoring position. It was also his 25th homer and set a new Yankees record for players with 25 or more dingers in a season (there are five).
cano.gs.jpg
The Yankees won the game 8-2, and it wasn’t all about offense, obviously. Chad Gaudin went six-plus and held the Royals to only four hits. I admit I wasn’t thrilled about him at first, but his last few outings have been more than decent and I think he could help the Yanks in the playoffs as a long reliever or emergency starter.
emt.jpg
Marte got Alex Gordon to foul out (wasn’t Gordon supposed to be The Next Great Thing?) and Aceves was perfect the rest of the way. And so the Baby Bombers picked right up where the guys who just won the division left off. Nice job, kids. You deserve a treat!
kid_eat_cotton_candy.jpg

Sleepless in Seattle

Somehow, I was able to sneak aboard the Yankees’ private charter and take the team’s flight to Seattle.
jet-2.jpg
Man, that plane is plush.
plane-interior1.jpg
I was hoping to get a few words from each Yankee, but they all pretended they were asleep, just to avoid me.
sleep-flight-airplane-528808-o-main_Full.jpg
I wanted to ask about their expectations for this road trip, how they felt about their magic number being 10, if they were worried about the state of the rotation or the bull pen, what they thought of Jorge’s suspension, etc. Oh, and I wondered if they’d miss Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham.
peteabechat.jpg
For non-Yankee fans, Peter’s LoHud blog has been the bible for many of us. It’s where and how we’ve gotten the most up-to-date info, as well as insider stuff. And Peter was the first beat writer I interviewed for my book – something I’ll always appreciate. But he’s changing jobs, moving to the Boston Globe to cover the Red Sox, crossing over into enemy territory.
battlefield.jpg
I had to get at least one Yankee to weigh in on Pete’s departure. So as soon as the plane landed in Seattle, I threw myself at Jorge, figuring he had plenty of time on his hands. After elbowing me (a cheap shot, I thought) and then trying to pawn me off on Shelley Duncan, he finally agreed to meet me at my favorite cafeteria. Here’s our conversation.

“A Rare Train-Wreck Game”

train-wreck.jpg
Well, that’s what Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham called it on his blog. Taking nothing away from the excellent performance by Scott Kazmir, tonight’s game at the Trop was a sloppy one by the Yankees, who fell 6-2 to the Rays and looked as if they’d been out partying last night.
arod.kate.car.jpg
Good pitching and defense? Not in evidence. CC struggled through five-plus and only intermittently had command of his pitches. Wasn’t he supposed to be a great second-half guy? He seemed pretty lost out there.
cc.rays2.jpg
Both Jeter and A-Rod made throwing errors, and I can’t remember the last time that happened. Matsui got picked off of first base, and I can’t remember the last time that happened either. And Swisher? I’m sorry, but he’s just not the player I want in right field everyday. Sure, he comes up with the occasional brilliant catch, but most of the time he’s – how can I put this delicately – cringe worthy.
hilary.wince.jpg
Would Eric Hinske be that much worse? Would Shelley Duncan? Would this kid?
kid.outfield.jpg
I’m missing Bobby Abreu right now, wall phobia and all. Are you hearing me, Cashman?
I was delighted that Girardi finally allowed Mark Melancon to appear in public; it was starting to feel as if he’d contracted swine flu like Vincente Padilla and been shuttled off to an undisclosed location.
swine flu.jpg
Speaking of maladies, what awful news about Wang. Shoulder surgery tomorrow? Out for the rest of this season and possibly next? Talk about a blow.
face-punch.jpg
And what about Aceves, the guy we’ve been counting on in the pen and maybe in the rotation too? Now he tells the Yankees he has shoulder pain? How long has that been going on? I understand the whole spiel about athletes playing through injuries, blah blah, but did he think that keeping his “arm fatigue” quiet would make it go away? The strategy didn’t exactly work for Bruney.
OK. I’ll take a deep breath here.
Much better. It’s just that things have been going so well for the Yankees that I was hoping everybody would stay healthy and we wouldn’t have any big surprises and…
Would you listen to me? I’m acting all sky-is-falling, and it’s ridiculous. Baseball is nothing if not full of surprises. And with the trade deadline creeping up, there are bound to be more of them.
JarrodWashburn.jpg
cliff.lee_baseball.jpg
roy-halladay.jpg