Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Game 92: 46 Days

For some odd reason, even though the Yankees got a late start after the All-Star Break and weren't doing any traveling after the three game series against the Rays, yesterday was an off day for them. It doesn't really matter now, but that rest probably could have come in handy sometime during the next 46 days, during which the Yankees are scheduled to play 44 games.

Tonight, Phil Hughes takes the mound for the first time since taking the loss in the All-Star Game. Fortunately he'll be facing the relatively marginal Angels' lineup instead of the best players in the National League and the opposing pitcher will be 22 year old right hander Sean O'Sullivan, who has only 58 MLB innings under his belt and a relatively uninspiring Minor League career backing that up.

The Yanks have a two and a half game lead over the Rays at the moment and perhaps there isn't much reason for concern, as Joe from River Ave. Blues said this morning. But as they begin this tough stretch, most of which they will likely have to navigate without Andy Pettitte, it would be nice if Hughes and the offense can get them off on the right foot against the Halos.

Leigh Fordham sold me out,
46 days and the coal ran out,
Please come round here another day,
Sit yourself down when you're ready to stay.

She dug down when they took the town,
Lookin' for clues but they couldn't be found,
Leigh found out she was ready to roam,
47 days and the coal came home.

Taste the fear,
For the devil's drawing near.
[Song Notes: There's a few numerical coincidences here, with 46 being Andy Pettitte's number as well as half of 92. This is a relatively new Phish tune, off of the album Round Room, which they released in 2002.]


Jonathan Albaladejo, who has been doing excellent work this season as Scranton's closer (46.2 IP, 0.96 ERA and a club record 31 saves already) has been called up to take Andy Pettitte's roster spot. The Yanks have passed over him for guys like Mark Melancon, Ivan Nova, Romulo Sanchez and (repeatedly) Boone Logan this season, but Albie is finally joining the Big League club for the first time in 2010 tonight.

He doesn't have to eat up batters (4.8 Hs, 2.4 BBs & 11.8 Ks per 9) like he has been doing in the minors to be valuable to the team. He just has to be better than he has in the parts of three seasons he's spent in the Majors or just more effective than fucking Joba, neither of which is asking a whole lot.

As for the lineup, Jorge Posada will be behind the plate while Curtis Granderson hits 7th and Juan Miranda DH's and bats 8th against the righty O'Sullivan.
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Ganderson CF
Juan Miranda DH
Brett Gardner LF

Bud “Contract Year” Black Cashes In

In case you've been concerned in regards to the whereabout of the authors of this blog, fear not, we have not died in a boating accident or absconded the with considerable fortunes accrued from maintaining this site to search for traces of the last expedition of Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett in the jungles of the Amazon.

However, Matt is at a conference for work and I have been tied up with some obligations of my own during the work week that have been keeping me away from the computer. And when the weekends roll around, both of us have been trying to enjoy our respective summers to the fullest, which leaves little time for writing things on the internet. We'll be back pretty soon, but the content is going to be a little sparse for the next couple of days.

Luckily, a long time commenter who would like to be identified simply as "Marmaduke Ramirez Washington" was kind enough to submit a guest post. It's not about the Yankees, but I think you'll still enjoy it. Take it away, 'Duke:

Following in the steps Vernon Wells, Kevin Brown and every other player that happened to have the best season of their life in their contract year, Bud Black received a 3 year extension to manage the San Diego Padres on Monday. After 2 years of leading his team to winning percentages of .389 and .463, Black has the Padres 17 games over .500 and in first place in the NL West.

Obviously he is putting a lot more effort into his managerial duties this year as opposed to the 2 previous seasons. The question is, “Why didn’t he try harder to make San Diego a winning franchise in 2008 and 2009?” Some baseball insiders think that Black saw a wide open free agent market for managers during the 2010 off-season prompting him to take his position as a manager much more seriously this year.

While not confirmed, rumors have been surfacing that Black took courses in “Advanced Statistics 101” and “Manage a Winning Sports Franchise on a Shoestring Budget 1a and 1b” at San Diego’s Mesa College during the winter. Other sources indicate that he attended a National League managers' convention during the offseason, which included a two day seminar on the double switch, because there’s obviously much more to it than checking who recently batted, moving the new pitcher to that spot in the order while inserting a new position player into the previous pitcher’s spot in the order.

One unemployed manager who wishes to remain anonymous is also questioning whether or not Black is taking performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge over other managers in the NL West. “How many 53 year old mangers have taken a team that has perpetually been in the bottom of the National League under his own watch and now, all of a sudden, they have the best record in the league? I’m telling you, that kind of improvement out of nowhere can only be the results of using copious amounts of PEDs - HGH, hGC, Adderall, Ritalin, whatever it is.”

He also added, “Have you seen the size of his head?” [Ed. note: The source may have been confusing Black with the previous Padres, and current Giants manager Bruce Bochy who reportedly wears a size 8 ¾ hat.]

Some people inside the game feel that Black has finally come into his own as a manager after years of limited success and is really stepping it up when the money is on the line. But is there more to his success than meets the eye?