Yesterday would have been Billy Martin's 82nd birthday. Even if he didn't die in a car crash back in '89, you get the feeling he wouldn't have made it this far. Some people just live too hard to see their 80's.
Yankees Magazine is 30 years old and Martin was the first person to grace the cover once it switched from a newspaper to a magazine. Does anyone actually buy these at the Stadium? They sold 250,000 of them last year so I'm guessing some people do.The Reds signed Cuban outfielder Felix Perez, a player who the Yankees were in discussions with last year. The Yanks eventually found out that he wasn't 20 years old, as he had claimed, and steered clear. The MLB suspended Perez for a year for lying about his age but he's eligible again and headed for a Reds' minor league affiliate somewhere in the near future.Marc Carig took a look at Brett Gardner's patient and effective approach and shows that he's basically the anti-Vlad Guererro. The article is complete with quotes Carig got from Kevin Long and stats fetched from FanGraphs. Not many writers combine analysis and reporting like that, but Marc does (and does it well).If you've read our interview with The Yankeeist, you know why Matt and I write, but what about Craig Calcaterra? He does it for the ladies, of course.Via Tango, ESPN stats guy Mark Simon ranks the most valuable players of the Yankees-Red Sox series since 1995 by WPA. Would it surprise you if the Youkstah came in above David Ortiz? How about Paul O'Neill still being second among Yankee hitters and Derek Jeter coming in at 13th?According to MLBTR, Javier Vazquez is still a Type-A Free Agent, but just barely.R.J. Anderson at FanGraphs investigates Mark Teixeira's slow start and fingers the prime suspect: a low BABIP. Same as last year.Aaron Gleeman celebrates the Twins long-awaited victory over the Yankees and examines just how poorly the Twinkies have faired against the Yanks - as opposed to basically every other team in the AL - in the Ron Gardenhire era.Justin Sablich of the New York Times finds that you can make a team out of the players the Yankees have parted ways with in the past few years. It would totally suck, but you could do it.
Three of the guys in that bullpen, Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney and Chad Gaudin were all released from their teams over the weekend, so if you want to starting putting that squad together, now might be a good time.Sean from Pending Pinstripes looks at LSU pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, a high risk, high upside arm in this year's draft, as a possible target for the Yanks.Tyler Kepner revisits the deal that very nearly made George Steinbrenner the owner of the Indians back in December of 1971.The Trenton Thunder have won 10 straight. Boom!Yesterday's grand slam means that Mariano Rivera will be forever tied with Eric Gagne for the longest streak without blowing a save at home (unless of course he rips off 52 more before he retires, which isn't totally inconceivable (okay, yeah it is)).The Yankess just donated a display with seven World Series rings to the Hall of Fame. Also, May 22nd and 23rd is World Series Weekend in Cooperstown. The trophy will be there and they'll be giving a special "Yankee-centric" tour of the museum.Diane Firstman from Bronx Banter talks triples.Baseball-Reference.com now has WAR.Sawx reliever Ramon Ramirez walked in the winning run against the Tigers. That video never gets old.Matt Klaassen at FanGraphs teaches the lesson of Pat Burrell. No, it doesn't have anything to do with sleeping with a porn star.It turns out that baseball wasn't universally on board with integration after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. I blame Bud Selig.It's that time of year. Over at Deadspin, Drew Magary delivers an unsolicited address to the class of 2010. It's good but, 2008 remains the best. An excerpt:."You think you’re gonna make a difference? You got some nerve, asshole. You’re just part of another class going through the same routine as the class before you. You’re no different. You’re just as full of douchebags and shitheads as any other class. In fact, given the rising popularity of lacrosse, your class is probably even worse. The rest of us eventually had our dreams crushed by the cruel realties of the world. I see no reason not to burst your bubble right here and now. Heed these words, then fall in line like the rest of us."Here's 2009's as well.
Back with the preview in a few.