Thursday, February 26, 2009

Joba to De-Virginize New Yankee Stadium?

Based on the rotation that Joe Girardi has set forth...
  1. Sabathia
  2. Burnett
  3. Wang
  4. Pettitte
  5. Chamberlain

...and the Yankees schedule, New York Post genius George King has penciled Joba in as the starter for the Opener of the New Yankee Stadium (by the way, how long will this Yankee Stadium be called "New"?).

Says King:

Since Chamberlain would work on April 11, he would be in line to start April 16 against the Indians at the Stadium.

"I don't want to give that to you yet because there is a lot of things that can change in spring training," Girardi said of which pitcher will draw the prestigious Stadium opener.
I'm not sure that I buy King's hypothesis. Given the many off-days in the beginning of the season (both scheduled and as a result of Mother Nature being a bitch in the Northeast at this time of the year), a few guys will be skipped, as is ordinarily the case. The prime skip candidate is Joba himself, whose 2009 innings need to be limited to around 150-160 given his total of 100 1/3 IP last year.

Given that Joba will probably be skipped, Andy Pettitte, Sabathia or Burnett are the prime candidates for the Opener.

Thanks for the blog content, George!

Huggins-Stengel Field

[Ed. Note: Sorry folks, the content is going to be somewhat fluffy today, as I've got a lot of (actual) work to do.]

Here are some pictures from Huggins-Stengel Field in St. Petersburg, the site of Yankees Spring Training from 1925-1942, 1946-1950, and 1952-1961. After the Yankees vacated the site, it was used by the Mets from 1961 to 1988, then by the Orioles and the (at the time Devil) Rays in the 90's.

Legend has it that the reason the Yankees moved to St. Pete from New Orleans after the 1924 season was to eliminate the temptation for the Babe to carouse around Bourbon Street. The Babe was said to have lofted a blast into the alligator infested Crescent Lake some 500 feet from home plate, as was Dave Kingman.

The park was first known as Crescent Lake Field but was changed to Miller Huggins Field in 1931. The name was altered to honor Casey Stengel as well in 1963.

The book Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends and Unexplained Events, by Mickey Bradley and Dan Gordon details some of the supposedly supernatural occurrences at the field, if you are into that sort of thing. They say, sometimes, when it's just you and a couple other equally irrational/superstitious people, you can still smell Miller Huggins' cigar smoke.

Here is a picture taken last October from an article in USA Today.

You can also check out a really cool slideshow here.

Fantastic News

Fack Youk has been picked up by ESPN:

Despite of all the Widget bashing, erroneous Simmons hating, and Nate Silver questioning, we are now part of the ESPN family. They've specifically requested more incoherent rants from Big Willie Style.

[Ed. Note: That's not a photoshop, just a random Internet Explorer glitch.]

Jerry Reese, I Am Available

The Sporting News has a rather earth-shattering revelation, via the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh of the Bengals is the top free agent on the New York Giants' wish list, according to The Sporting News.


While Houshmandzadeh is a reliable receiver, TSN noted, "there is no way to find a comparable replacement to Plaxico Burress, as 6-5 receivers with speed and a huge wingspan are almost impossible to find. Burress faces a serious legal battle and possible jail time as a result of illegal gun charges."

If you were one of the six people reading this blog a month and a half ago you may recall this post. No? Perhaps this one from a week later.

I threw out the possibility of TJ Houshmandzadeh, who is going to be a free agent, because the Giants won't have to give anything up besides money and cap space. Up until this season, Housh has taken a backseat to the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson. TJ caught 905 of the 2672 yards thrown for by Bengals QBs in 2008, and has had more touchdowns than Ocho in each of the past three years. But he's 6'1", 199, and 31 years old.

Come on Jerry Reese, you know you need a guy with no experience in professional sports and a sometimes vulgar sports blog on your staff. You can find my email address on the left side of the site. I look forward to hearing from you.

/pats self on back

//toots own horn