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Posts Tagged ‘Yankee Stadium’

Hamilton Belts 35, but Morneau Wins Derby

Posted by Ace Staff on July 15th, 2008

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau may have won the Home Run Derby, but the real show came from Rangers centerfielder Josh Hamilton in the first round. Hamilton hit a record 28 homers in the first round, including 502, 504, and 518 foot drives. Hamilton had the Yankee stadium crowd on their feet, at one point belting homers on 13 straight swings. Lance Berkman and Ryan Braun made it to the semifinals, with 14 total home runs each. Dan Uggla and Grady Sizemore hit 6, Chase Utley hit 5, and Rays rookie Evan Longoria hit 3. While Hamilton’s first round was the flashiest, Morneau’s consistency won the contest. After his initial 28, Hamilton could only muster 3 homers in the finals, to Morneau’s 5.

2008 MLB All-Star Game Roster

Posted by Ace Staff on July 7th, 2008

The rosters for the 2008 All-Star Game have been released. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs are well represented among the starters.  Both the Angels and the Cubs each send two starting pitchers and their closer. The Last man ballot, as well as the managers’ choices for starting pitchers are not available yet. (more)

Utley, Uggla, Berkman in Home Run Derby

Posted by Ace Staff on July 7th, 2008

The list of 2008 MLB Home Run Derby participants is steadily growing. Chase Utley’s 24 homers lead the majors, and the list of contestants. Also competing are Marlins’ Dan Uggla (23), Astros’ Lance Berkman, Rangers’ Josh Hamilton (19), and Indians’ Grady Sizemore (22). Vlad Guerrero, last year’s derby champ, has expressed interest in competing again but has not been officially invited yet.

Joba Makes 1st MLB Start; Yankees Lose 9-3

Posted by Ace Staff on June 4th, 2008

It had been the New York Yankees plan all along to ease Joba Chamberlin into their starting rotation, with high hopes that he would eventually become the future ace of a overpaid, aging staff. His youth, flair and blazing fastball would carry a team from the cellar of the AL East back into the promise land. He’d save Hank Steinbrenner from humiliation and lead the Bronx Bombers, one start at a time, back into playoff contention. After New York’s 9-3 loss Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, it looks like Joba never got that memo. On a very strict pitch count, Chamberlain lasted only 2 1/3 innings throwing 62 pitches, only 32 of them for strikes. He allowed 2 runs, on 1 hit but surrendered 4 walks in the outing. His 38 pitches in the 1st inning were the most he’s ever thrown in one frame, 14 more then his previous 1 inning high. “I wanted to get my team a lot deeper into the game and it wasn’t very good,” Chamberlain said. “That’s what it comes down to. I’ve got to be better, that’s for sure.” After Joba escaped the 1st inning only allowing 1 run, his teammates picked him up and immediately put 2 runs up on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi knocked in RBI singles to put the Yanks ahead 2-1. Joba then worked a perfect 2nd inning retiring the Blue Jays in order but was yanked by manager Joe Girardi after a four pitch walk to Alex Rios with 1 out in the 3rd inning. “It’s his first start,” Girardi said. “He wasn’t quite as sharp as he probably wanted to be but in saying that, he kept us in the game.” With that said, yes, he may have kept the Yankees in the game for the first 7 outs but in hindsight was starting Joba a good idea? The Yankees bullpen allowed 6 runs in the 7th inning, a frame that Chamberlain would often work out of the pen. By patching up the rotation with Chamberlain, the Yankees now find themselves with a new hole between their starting pitchers exit and Marino Rivera’s entrance to games in the closer spot. The likes of Dan Giese, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins and Chris Britton doesn’t exactly leave anyone in Yankee Stadium feeling comfortable during the late middle innings of any game, no matter what the score is. Ever since the Yankees called Chamberlin up to the big leagues late last season, the organization has been adamant that the plan was and always has been to turn him into a starting pitcher. His success as a set up man was supposed to be just a tease as to what he would be able to do for 7+ innings every start. For the time being, forget about 7 innings. Yesterday, Chamberlin had trouble getting 7 outs. “It was the first step, that’s all,” said team co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, who watched the game in his office at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, Fla. “Again, he’s 22. This was the first step. We’re looking at a 10 year or more career. Tonight was a creation of the media. If this had been a first start for any other pitcher on any other team, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.” Sorry to tell ya, Hank, but the media didn’t create this but you did. Remember last year when you came out with the ‘Joba Rules’ and limited your prodigy to so many innings of work. Remember when you insisted during the 2008 preseason that your young star was still on track to be in the starting rotation for opening day but didn’t want to rush his progress. Or do you remember when your team was in last place in the division and in a struggling attempt to create any type of positive hype about your franchise you prematurely decided it was time to throw your franchises untouchable prospect into the rotation in a last ditch effort to turn things around. Oh, wait. That was last night. For the Yankees to turn this season around its going to take more then one young arm. They need veterans like Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina to start to pitching deeper into games, which could be asking a lot considers Pettitte is going on 36 years old and has logged over 2,600 career innings. At 39 years old, Mussina is even more seasoned and has hurled over 3,420 innings. The two are averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, leaving the bullpen responsible for roughly 10 outs a game. Joba had been reliable for 3 – 6 of those outs but will no longer be available out of the pen. Asking Rivera to record more then a 3 out saves is asking a lot, maybe too much from the 38 year old. The hardest thing for Hank and the rest of the Yankees organization to admit is that they are currently transitioning from one era to the next. Some even call this transition a rebuilding year but no, no, no not Hank Steinbrenner. How that happens to a team that has the leagues highest payroll, 2007 AL MVP and countless former All-Stars is almost unfathomable. It’s gut check time in New York; Hank and the rest of his front office staff better be careful with their decisions regarding the franchises future because if they’re not, players will begin to jump off the already sinking ship, demanding trades left and right. A-Rod already bought some floaties.

Indians Lee Dazzles Yankees in 3-0 Victory

Posted by Ace Staff on May 8th, 2008

On paper it looked like a great pitching match up in the making. Going into the game Chien Ming Wang of the New York Yankees boasted a 6-0 record while Cliff Lee of the Indians was right behind him at 5-0 on the season. When it was all said and done with, it would be Lee who remained undefeated, hurling 7 shut out innings en route to Cleveland’s 3-0 win over the Bronx Bombers last night at Yankee Stadium. Lee is one of only three starting pitchers in the American League who has at least 6 wins and remains undefeated at this point in the season.

“I’ve got to focus on this next outing and if I do that and continue to do that things should go the way they have gone,” Lee said. “Obviously I can’t expect to put up zeros every single time but it’s my job to put up as many as I can and get deep into the game and give the team a chance to win.”

The Indians starter was in control all night long, allowing only 6 hits while striking out 7 batters in the winning effort. He did not surrender a walk, and only allowed 1 runner to reach as far as third base during his outing. Not only was this Lee’s 6th win on the season, but it was his 6th consecutive decision for a win. He has pitched at least 6 innings in all of his starts and only allowed 4 runs over 44 2/3 innings, good for a .81 ERA which in the best among starting pitchers in MLB. Greg Swindell was the last Indians pitcher to win his first 6 starts back in 1988.

“Cliff is in the groove right now,” said Indians manager Eric Wedge.

Chien Ming Wang was the tough luck loser in this pitchers duel. The Yankees ace hurled 7 strong innings as well, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, but walked 3 in the losing effort. He would allow runs in the 1st, 4th and 5th innings before being removed after completing the 7th when his pitch count hit the 99 pitches. “A lot of nights that’s good enough,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He gave us seven good innings. Unfortunately we couldn’t score any runs for him.”

Ben Francisco and Jhonny Peralta each had two hits for the Indians in the win. David Dellucci, Victor Martinez and Casey Blake had the Cleveland RBI’s.

Bobby Abreu had the Yankees only multi-hit game, going 2-4 on the night. The top of the Yankees line-up struggles with Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon going a combined 0-8 against Lee and the Cleveland bullpen.

Lee will go for his 7th win on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. All of his success may come as a surprise to many because a year ago he started the season on the DL, followed by some time in Triple-A in Buffalo and was then left off of the 2007 playoff roster.

All of that aside, Lee is looking like the real deal and the Indians will continue to ride his success for as long as he continues to pitch gem after gem.

Yankees/Indians Notes: - Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Phil Hughes are traveling to Tampa, FL today to continue rehabbing their injuries. No time table has been put on their returns. - The Indians will go for the sweep of the Yankees today at Yankee Stadium, a feat which has not occurred since April 1989.

Yankees Start Spring Training

Posted by Ace Staff on February 26th, 2008

For the New York Yankees, spring training is officially underway in Tampa, FL and players couldn’t be happier to once again be tossing around a baseball in the beautiful gulf coast weather. With temperatures hitting the 80′s this week, the team has every reason to be excited that its baseball season and are eager to get back to work. However, for the first time in 12 years, there is a new face running the show at the camps. Coach Joe Girardi has some big shoes to fill, replacing Joe Torre as the new Yankees manager, but believes that his team has what it takes to get back on top in the AL East. “Sometimes the way you do things, you might think slightly different,” Girardi said in the NY Daily News. “But by no means am I trying to reinvent the game or the wheel or whatever you want to call it. I just want players healthy, in shape and ready to go by March 31.” His simple approach to the game, a lot like Torre’s, will make the team’s transition very easy with a new skipper at the reigns. The rest will be up to Girardi, to lead the highest paid team in baseball back into the playoffs, and past the Boston Red Sox to reclaim the top spot in the AL East, all with the hopes of capturing their 27th World Series title. Easier said then done. Luckily for the Yankees, they have a few returning veterans that have been there before and know how to get right down to business. It never hurts to have the reigning AL MVP on your team in 3B Alex Rodriguez, a first ballot hall of fame inductee in SS Derek Jeter, and C Jorge Posada who led almost every offensive category last season for catchers in all of baseball. The three veterans make up the core of a powerful and potent lineup, but it will take contributions from spots 1 through 9 in this order if they want any chance at reclaiming the Division Pennant again. There are still some questions floating around camp that need to be addressed before the season begins. The first and most obvious one is what’s the plan for RHP Joba Chamberlain? Many reporters and fans are torn when it comes to concluding where Chamberlain would be most effective either as a starter or reliever. He was flat out dominant last season in the set-up role to Mariano Rivera, but the Yankees have been adamant that their plan from the beginning has been to groove him into the role of a starting pitcher, in hopes that his ‘stuff’ will one day be of Cy-Young quality. Another question that Girardi will have to decipher based on spring training games is who will be his fifth starter in the rotation, Ian Kennedy or Mike Mussina? The young and talented Kennedy showed lots of potential last year, but he constantly made rookie mistakes whenever he took the mound. Mussina struggled from the get-go in 2007 but comes to camp knowing his spot in the rotation will be earned, and not handed over. One final question Yankees fans are anxious to find the answer to is who will make up the rest of their 2008 bullpen? The only three pitchers guaranteed spots at the start of camp are Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, and newly acquired LaTroy Hawkins. The rest of the spots will be up for grabs by young arms, for some, they are vying for their first call up to the big leagues. One name to keep an eye on is Alan Horne. Within the Yankees farm system, he was the Eastern League’s pitcher of the year in 2007 and some consider him to be one of the brightest prospects in the game. He will likely get promoted to Triple-A ball for the seasons opening, but it’s not unlikely that you could be seeing him fill a void in the Yankees pen or starting rotation if they need the help. The bottom line for the Yankees organization this spring training is to make sure all the players continue to transition over to Girardi’s system. It might not be much different from Torre’s, but it is still different and will take some time getting used to. Once everyone feels at home and is comfortable with their new structure, look for the Bronx bombers to be back near the top of the AL power rankings throughout the season trying to overtake their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Again, easier said then done.

New York Yankees Off-Season Recap

Posted by Ace Staff on January 25th, 2008

New York Yankees Off-Season Recap – It has been eight years since the New York Yankees captured a World Series Championship, and the organization is as hungry as ever to end that drought in 2008. The Steinbrenner regime is committed to bringing one last pennant to the loyal Bronx bomber fans before they see Yankee Stadium close following the seasons culmination. One thing working in favor of the Yankees is history. In its final season, Yankee Stadium will host the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. If history were to repeat itself, this is great news for the club because the previous three times they have hosted the game, the Yankees have made it into the World Series. In 1939, the first All-Star game was held at the stadium and the Yankees went on to win their 8th World Series Championship later in the season. In 1960, the second All-Star game was played in the Bronx and the Yankees again made it to the World Series, only to lose in Game 7 to the Pirates. The most recent All-Star game at Yankee Stadium took place in 1977, and you guessed it, the men in pin stripes went on to beat the Dodgers in the World Series for their 21st ring. This off-season, the organization has put itself in great shape to give them a shot at getting back into the fall classic. It won’t be easy playing in the same division as the defending World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox, but the Yankees will battle their rivals into late September for the division and league titles, and do it with a lot of familiar faces. The Yankees locked up All-Star C Jorge Posada to a four-year contract deal in November. Posada had an amazing offensive year at the plate, finishing 4th in the league with a .338 batting average, best among all catchers in MLB. He also led all MLB catchers in hits (171), runs (91), doubles (42), walks (74), On Base Percentage (.426), and Slugging Percentage (.543). The club picked up the 2008 contract option on OF Bobby Abreau. The utility outfielder had a very solid 2007 batting .283, driving in 101 runs, belting 25 HR’s, and stealing 25 bases. He will most likely be used in right field for the Yankees in the 2008 MLB season. One of the most historic signings ever took place on Dec. 13th, 2007 when the Yankees closed a deal with 3B Alex Rodriguez. The 2007 American League MVP had opted out of his club option for 2008 seeking free-agency and luckily for the Yankees, they were able to negotiate terms to a new deal. The deal set a record for baseball’s highest contract where Rodriguez is set to make $275 million dollars over 10 years. RHP Mariano Rivera, arguably the greatest closer of all time, signed a three-year $45 million dollar contract with the Yankees. This deal almost guarantees that ‘Mo’ will finish his incredible career with New York. The closer role is only his to lose and he will be there until he can not finish games. Rookie Joba Chamberlin will start as the team’s setup man, and may or may not end up in the starting rotation. Other off-season signings include one-year contract deals with LHP Andy Pettitte and RHP LaTroy Hawkins. Pettitte was in the Yankees starting rotation last season while Hawkins pitched in the NL Champions bullpen with the Colorado Rockies. Another free-agent signed was C Jose Molina for a two-year contract. Molina had spent the prior 7 MLB season catching for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. One face that has been a cornerstone in the Yankees organization over the past decade that will not be returning is former skipper, Joe Torre. Torre signed a three-year, $13-million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and will take over the young NL West team. Replacing Torre as manager will be former Yankees catcher Joe Girardi. Girardi also signed a three-year deal worth $6-million dollars and figures to pick up Torre’s success right where he left off. We also may have seen Roger Clemens throw his final pitch in Yankee pin stripes. The veteran pitcher was denied salary arbitration and will likely be calling it quits this off-season, wrapping up a brilliant 24 year career in the big leagues. Baseball in the American League East will be very exciting this season. The Yankees have all the pieces to make a 2008 Championship dream, a reality. The question is whether or not they can put together the puzzle before the Boston Red Sox do. Make sure to contact Ace Ticket today for your Yankee/Red Sox ticket needs!