Friday, March 30, 2007

Baseball Closed?

MILWAUKEE—In a tersely worded press release Tuesday, Major League Baseball sent a strong message to the thousands of college, high-school, and Little League athletes who have voiced their desire to someday become professional baseball players: "You're too late."

"While we recognize that there are many eager, qualified candidates still out there, right now we have found a good mix of versatile, talented players whom we think will be a part of this league for a very long time," the statement read in part. "We ask that you and/or your agents immediately cease all attempts to contact representatives from the 30 MLB teams."
"We thank you for your interest in Major League Baseball, and wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors," the statement concluded.

According to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, the 750 currently active baseball players have proven themselves more than capable in the areas of hitting, pitching, and fielding, thereby eliminating the need to search for any additional athletes.

"We already have every type of player you can imagine. Power hitters? Tons of them. Finesse pitchers? Check. Closers? Practically one on every team," Selig said in a press conference early Wednesday. "Leadoff men, outfielders, defensive specialists, backup second-basemen, bullpen catchers… In fact, I find it hard or impossible to think of a single position in which we are not currently overstaffed."

"Not only that, but we have some of the biggest names in baseball—Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter, Johan Santana, the list goes on," Selig added. "Why would we bring in some no-name kid who's never played a professional baseball game in his life? It just wouldn't make sense."

In addition, the annual June amateur draft has been canceled, and players expected to take part in it have been asked to "look into other lines of work."
"I don't think anyone wants to sit through that long, tedious process ever again," Selig said. "Let's just go with the guys we've got."

Most league owners are in favor of the new policy, with some going so far as to say that there are "too many players as it is," and that Major League Baseball could "probably get rid of about 200 to 250 additional players without anyone even noticing."

"A team only needs nine men to play a baseball game," said Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln. "Right now, we're up to about 25. It's gotten out of hand. Every month, I write huge checks to guys who play one, maybe two innings a week—some of them I've never even heard of."
"In fact—and I didn't even know this—but apparently we have guys now who literally just come into the game to run," he added. "When you're at that point, it's hard to imagine what you'd hire anyone else to do."

MLB players also strongly supported the decision, claiming that "anyone who is not already in the major leagues probably isn't good enough to be here anyway."

"I've been playing this same position for 18 years," said 41-year-old Giants centerfielder Steve Finley. "If it weren't for this ruling, though, who knows—tomorrow, some hotshot 22-year-old kid could come along and take my job. That's just not how it's supposed to work."

According to recent polls, the only notable opponents of the decision are college and minor-league baseball players, male children ages 5 through 18, and Scott Boras.

The commissioner addressed the thousands of young men seeking employment as a ballplayer, telling them "not to waste [their] time" and informing them that there are "other ways to get involved in Major League Baseball."

"If you truly love the game of baseball, there are still many employment opportunities in and around the ballpark," Selig said. "We always need ticket-takers, hot-dog vendors, grounds-crew members, and bat boys. Just because you can't be a baseball player doesn't mean you can't be an important part of the game."

Selig then encouraged all prospective players to periodically check the league's official website, as they will make sure to post temporary job openings due to player injury or sickness, as well as any other MLB career opportunities should such positions become available.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 8:18 PM 1 Heckles

OFFLINE

DUE TO HARD DRIVE PROBLEMS AND SLOW RESPONSE FROM FIREDOG, BRONXBLOGGERS WILL BE OFFLINE TILL FURTHER NOTICE.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 8:40 AM 0 Heckles

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sweet Sixteen

I saw this on the Yankees website and had to post it. Although it appears that the original author of the post forgot about #10.
Enjoy.

1. Sixteen years -- Fourteen pennants, nine World Series championships. Beginning in 1949, Casey Stengel's first season as manager, through '64, the Yankees dominated the game as never before and never since.

2. Whitey Ford -- Is there a comparable No. 16 in New York sports history? Frank Gifford? Dwight Gooden? Not really. Is there a comparable "Chairman of the Board" other than Frank Sinatra? Although Ford debuted in 1950 and missed the '51 and '52 seasons, Ford was the primary pitcher in the Yankees' 1949-64 run as the preeminent team in the game. His resume reads as follows: Hall of Famer, 236 victories, 2.75 career ERA, .690 winning percentage and 10 World Series victories. And a New Yorker through and through. (Incidentally and appropriately, 16 players have wore the Yankees' No. 16).

3. 8 X 2 = 16 -- Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra, each a Hall of Fame catcher, wore uniform No. 8 through most of their careers. In the game's history, No. 8 has been retired six times for seven players. The Yankees are the only franchise to retire it for two players.

4. Sixteen managers -- Including Willie Randolph, who managed one game in 2004, the Yankees have had 16 managers during the reign of George Steinbrenner III: Ralph Houk, Bill Virdon, Billy Martin, Bob Lemon, Dick Howser, Gene Michael, Clyde King, Yogi Berra, Lou Piniella, Dallas Green, Bucky Dent, Stump Merrill, Buck Showalter, Joe Torre, Don Zimmer and Randolph.

5. Sixteen changes of manager -- Beginning with the hiring of Virdon (after efforts to hire Dick Williams were unsuccessful) to replace Houk between the 1973 and '74 season, Steinbrenner changed managers 16 times in a 16-year period that ended with the appointment of Green to succeed Piniella in the 1988-89 offseason.

6. Sixteen Opening Day games -- Joe McCarthy was the Yankees manager for every Opening Day from 1931-46, the longest run in franchise history.

7. No. 16 with a bullet -- When Mickey Mantle won Game 3 of the 1964 World Series with a final-pitch home run against Cardinals knuckleballer Barney Schultz, he also passed Babe Ruth in World Series home runs. It was Mick's 16th. Two more would follow in that Series. His record (18) still stands.

8. Sixteen total bases -- In Reggie Jackson's final four at-bats in the 1977 World Series. Slugging percentage: 4.000.

9. Sixteen numbers retired -- Martin, 1; Ruth, 3; Lou Gehrig, 4; Joe DiMaggio, 5; Mantle, 7; Berra and Dickey 8; Roger Maris, 9; Phil Rizzuto, 10; Thurman Munson, 15; Ford, 16; Elston Howard, 32; Stengel, 37; Jackie Robinson, 42; Jackson, 44; Ron Guidry, 49.

11. A difference of 16 -- The Yankees have won a record 26 World Series. The Cardinals' championship in '06 was their 10th. They have the second most.

12. Sixteen singles -- The most singles ever in a World Series game. They Yankees had 16 against the Dodgers in Game 5 in 1978; the Diamondbacks had 16 against the Yankees in Game 6 in '01.

13. Sixteen K memory -- The most strikeouts by a right-handed Yankees pitcher are the 16 by David Cone on June 23, 1997 -- in eight innings -- against the Tigers.

14. Sixteen doubles -- In DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. He also hit 15 home runs and four triples, drove in 55 runs, batted .408 and slugged .673.

15. Sixteen hits allowed -- In one game, by one pitcher. And the pitcher was Ford. He pitched 8 2/3 innings, a complete game, against the Kansas City Athletics on Aug. 18, 1962, and allowed 16 hits (12 singles), a club record that still stands. The final hit, a single by Haywood Sullivan, scored Gino Cimoli with the decisive run in a 5-4 Yankees loss in Kansas City in the first game of a doubleheader. The Yankees had six hits, three of them for home runs. Four Yankees pitchers allowed nine hits in the second game, an 11-7 Yankees victory.

16. Sixteen balks -- The club record belongs to Dave Righetti.

Don't forget about the Logo Contest which ends on Wednesday, March 28.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 11:17 PM 2 Heckles

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Game Time

Here is your chance to win 50 free BlogExplosion credits.
Pictured below are old logos of existing teams. Your job is to guess which logo is for what team.
Each correct answer is worth 50 credits and you can guess as many times as you need. The person with the first correct answer will be awarded the credits.
Good luck.

Hint: None of the logos are old Yankees logos.

Update: TianaC23 from Just a Girl From LA has correctly guessed four logos and Chadgramling from the CGBB correctly guessed five logos.
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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 8:29 PM 7 Heckles

Monday, March 19, 2007

Boston Razz

It's always good to see Yankees fans razz on Boston fans. The fan has become a rivalry itself with chants of "Red Sox Suck!" and "Yankees ****!"

What? You honestly think I am going to type that?

I was checking out The Hot Dog Truck blog and went ahead and read the comments. This guy is a hot dog vendor and a Red Sox fan, so we get along as well as, well, Yankees and Red Sox fans.

One of the comments came from a fellow Yankees fan and New York City photographer, Otilius:

Do you know the difference between a Yankee Stadium hot dog and one from Fenway?
They rarely serve Fenway dogs in October....

Good one Otilius! Thanks for the smile.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 9:32 PM 1 Heckles

Saturday, March 17, 2007

2007 Yankees

In 2001, the Yankees lost one of the most grueling World Series with an error by one of the most dominate and near-perfect closers in baseball history.
In 2002, the Yankees fell to the tough Anaheim Angels in the Championship Series.
In 2003, the Yankees reached the pinnacle of sports with a stunning home run only to fall short again.
In 2004, the Yankees were stunned by the most remarkable comeback in sports history.
In 2005, the Yankees fell to the mighty Angels, this time in the first round.
In 2006, the Yankees, heavily favored to win the World Series, came victim to a team who had lost 119 games only a few short years ago.

Welcome to 2007, a new year, a new season, and a new team.

Following the stunning series against the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees had questions that needed to be answered.
How can the pitching improve, who will return, what changes will take place?

The first item on the agenda was pitching. The Yankees traded Gary Sheffield to the Tigers for a few young pitchers including Humberto Sanchez, who may have his share of injuries, but is also dependable and the possible new closer. The Sheffield trade also made the outfield selections more simpler and allowed more playing time to be split between the four currently sharing the field.

Randy Johnson was sent back to Arizona for three more pitchers, all whom will be playing in the minors and preparing themselves for the majors.

Jorge Posada (23 HR/93 RBI/.277 Avg.) remains one of the top catchers in the game. After replacing Joe Girardi for the permanent role, Posada has done everything right and coming close to breaking Yogi Berra's home run record. His outlook for this season still remains optimistic and is predicted to hit over 15 home runs with 75 RBI.

The first base issue was resolved with the signing Doug Mientkiewicz (4/43/.283) sending slugger Jason Giambi (37/113/.253) to the designated hitter slot. Mientkiewicz was signed primarily as a defensive signing rather than an offensive one. In this line up, Meinty is expected to his 5 home runs with 50 RBI.

The shift of Giambi to the DH role allows the Yankees to keep his bat in the line up so he can hit 35 home runs and drive in 90.

Second base remained secured by Robinson Cano (15/78/.342) as he was resigned to a one-year contract. His surprising sophomore season last year was a much needed one, ranking third in the batting title race behind team mate Derek Jeter. Robby's glove also provides an up-the-middle defense one of the best in baseball. If Cano has a great encore season, he will duplicate his stats and be in the MVP race this year as his offensive totals increase.

It seems as the Yankees had placed a franchise tag on Derek Jeter (14/97/.343) by naming him captain of the Yankees a few years ago and have not regretted that decision. Jeter was the front runner for the AL MVP award falling just short and placed second in the batting race. His timely hitting and clutch performances keeps him atop in the shortstop ranking and always a threat at the plate. Jeter had never let down the Yankees and he will once again help guide the Yankees to the playoffs.

Third base hosts Alex Rodriguez (35/121/.290) who's 2006 season was below average. His 24 fielding errors ties his career mark and his clutch production was anything but. However, his offensive production was still available hitting 35 home runs with 121 RBIs. He won the 2004 MVP award and will most likely see a rebound year. Rodriguez will have a comeback season now that some personal issues have been resolved. A-Rod should see around 45 home runs pushing him into the exclusive 500 home run club at a tender age of 32.

The outfield consists of Hideki Matsui (8/29/.302), Johnny Damon (24/80/.285), and Bobby Abreu (15/107/.297) with Melky Cabrera (7/50/.280) ready to play any side.

Matsui missed most of last season due to a wrist fracture making a diving catch and would not return until the Yankees were in a pennant race. Matsui will bounce back from his injury and use his wrists to snap 25 home runs with 80 RBI.

Johnny Damon came over from Boston and thanks to the short right field porch, saw his home run totals increase to a career high 24, and he says that he was playing under pressure. Damon has a very good chance of breaking his home run mark and could hit close to 30 this year with 90 RBI in the lead off position.

Gary Sheffield roamed right field whose presence at the plate us still a scary sight striking fear in all personnel down the third base side. Sheffield's stats are slightly obscure to an injury that led way to Cabrera's debut.

Melky provided both a glove and a bat much needed and his game saving catch of a home run from Manny Ramirez won him the "This Year in Baseball" award for defensive play of the year.

Bobby Abreu, who came in from the July 31 trade deadline last season was a huge help. His offensive numbers par better than his days in Philadelphia and will be an insurgent force. Watch for him as he hits close to 35 home runs and 110 RBI.

The starting pitching rotation was the largest concern. The Johnson trade helped out the Yankees by dumping a player who had elbow issues and back surgery in the off season.

Chein-Ming Wang (19 W/76 KO/3.63 ERA) rose as the ace of the staff tying the major league mark in wins and placing second on the Cy Young award voting. His style of pitching allows more induced ground ball outs replacing his low strike out count.

Mike Mussina (15/172/3.51) had a strong first half season fighting for the league lead in wins only to see some time on the disabled list in the second half with elbow injuries. This season, the aging pitcher will not only be valuable on the mound, but also as a tutor for the surplus of young pitchers in the bullpen.

Andy Pettitte (14/178/4.20) is making his return to New York after spending three years in Houston. People say that his elbow injuries will be a distraction and the weak spot in the rotation. All I can say is 17 wins is a reachable goal.

Carl Pavano (0/0/0.00), whose name is said next to physicians constantly last year and a target for batted balls. Pavano will be under the watchful eye of both Joe Torre and millions of Yankees fans.

Japanese import Kei Igawa (14/194/2.97 [Japanese baseball]) who is so far having a rough spring could improve to be the possible final rotation spot. Although Japanese and American pitchers are different, both have one goal, pitch like you want to win.

The middle relief consisting of Jeff Karstens, Mike Myers, Kyle Farnsworth, Brian Bruney, Ron Villone, Scott Proctor, and Darrell Rasner have been the sore spot last season giving up enough runs to lose over 25% of the games that the Yankees should have won.

Mariano Rivera (5/55/1.80/34 SV), in his last year of his contract, once again proved how valuable he is to the Yankees. Rivera is only 25 saves away from ranking third all-time and has won all two DHL Delivery Man of the Year awards handed out to the best closer in baseball including three Rolaids Relief Man awards. In his career, Rivera has received votes in both the MVP and Cy Young awards.

2007 Projections:

101-61 1st in AL East
World Series champions

LINE UP:
1 - CF - Johnny Damon
2 - SS - Derek Jeter
3 - DH - Jason Giambi
4 - 3B - Alex Rodriguez
5 - LF - Hideki Matsui
6 - C - Jorge Posada
7 - RF - Bobby Abreu
8 - 2B - Robinson Cano
9 - 1B - Doug Mientkiewicz

STARTING ROTATION:
1 - Chein-Ming Wang
2 - Mike Mussina
3 - Andy Pettitte
4 - Carl Pavano
5 - Kei Igawa


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 6:08 PM 2 Heckles

Thursday, March 15, 2007

1996 Yankees

The Yankees dynasty was born in 1996 with an upset of the then defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves. The Yankees did not have the team they currently have, and baseball was different 11 years ago.
Listed below are events from around the news in 1996, my, has times changed since then...

Yankees Events:
The Yankees' only star player was first baseman Wade Boggs, and he was a singles hitter.
Derek Jeter wins the Rookie of the Year award.
Dwight Gooden throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners and faces sluggers Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning.
The Yankees ace was Jimmy Key.
Don Mattingly was still playing baseball.
Mariano Rivera was the set-up pitcher.
Joe Torre manages the Yankees for the first time, wins a World Series (first in his professional career as both manager and player), and wins the Manager of the Year Award.

Baseball Events:
Roger Clemens was still with the Red Sox.
The Milwaukee Brewers were an American League team.
Albert Pujols was in middle school.
Ken Griffey Jr. was the "one" to break Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs.
Sammy Sosa had never hit over 40 home runs in a season.
Steroids was not an issue, instead it was the recovery of the strike of 1994.
Baseball cards did not feature jerseys or bat pieces for another two years.
Not a single baseball stadium was named after a corporation.
The Diamondbacks and Devil Rays were not in existence and the Rockies and Marlins were only two years old. The Detroit Tigers were in the Al East; they lost 109 games.

World Events:
The Unabomber is arrested.
TWA flight 800 blows up off the coast of Long Island.
A Scottish sheep named Dolly is successfully cloned.
The 1996 Summer Olympics are interrupted by the Centennial Park bombing.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana get divorced.
President Bill Clinton wins a second term in office.
Tupac is shot dead.

Technological Events:
No one had a flat screen, or plasma TV, as they were not invented yet.
CD's have yet to replace the 3.5" floppy disks.
Dial-up was the most used Internet connection.

Miscellaneous Events:
Braveheart wins Best Picture
First class stamp was $0.32.
Major League Soccer has their inaugural season.
Nintendo 65 is launched.
The average price of gas was $1.28/gallon unleaded regular.
New Coke was changed to Classic Coke.
The only reality TV show was Cops
The author of this blog had just started puberty.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:13 PM 0 Heckles

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Join the Press

We are proud to introduce two new features to the BronxBloggers web page.

If you will take a look to the right hand side of your screen you will see links to the new forum and new chat room.
I will attempt to post periodically in the forum and will announce times when I will be live in the chat room and if we have a special guest or not.

In the forum there are ten different levels starting in which you are rated on.
These are:
T-Ball - 5 posts
Little League - 10 posts
Freshman - 15 posts
Junior Varsity - 20 posts
Varsity - 30 posts
NCAA - 50 posts
Rookie - 75 posts
Class A - 100 posts
Class AA - 150 posts
Class AAA - 200 posts
Major League - 300 posts
All-Star - 500 posts
Hall of Fame - 1,000 posts
Legend - 2,000 posts

So go ahead, register, it's free, and start posting in the forum.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 7:04 PM 0 Heckles

Monday, March 12, 2007

Philip Hughes, AAA or MLB

As an expert in the Yankees world, people have been e-mailing me question on the status of Philip Hughes wondering if he will make the starting rotation.

The answer is no.

Philip Hughes is still a kid, fresh out of high school and under normal circumstances, should still be taking underclass courses. Instead, he is training his arm to become the next ace for the Yankees pitching staff.

Brian Cashman has said, and I concur, that Hughes will start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which is the highest level he would pitch in his professional career. The Yankees do not want to rush his debut only to watch him go down in a flame of glory. Instead, they want to groom his style, prepare him, and have him 100% confident and set to pitch in the major leagues.

Here is the "however" factor. There is a good chance that Hughes will be called up this season after the Yankees have earned a playoff spot just to get some experience. What he does then could provide some valuable lessons in which he will take back into next year's spring training as he fights for a starting pitcher spot.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:24 PM 1 Heckles

Saturday, March 10, 2007

1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle

The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card is the most reproduced card on the market far from it's second place rival the Frank Thomas NNOF rookie card.
Imperfections suck as the small right border and the splotch on Mantle's hat have been so perfectly falsified that they have slipped past sellers of the card including a card shop owner who sold two fakes to a buyer for $4,500.
The shop owner says he did not know they were fakes and he bought them off another seller. Whether he is lying or not, you decide.

Watch the video

The Mickey Mantle rookie card, Bowman #253, 1951 issue. It is one of the most sought after and heavily demanded items in the entire sports card market. In his rookie year, Mickey wore #6 on his uniform for part of the year..

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 12:20 AM 0 Heckles

Monday, March 05, 2007

No Problem in the Clutch

The Yankees remain undefeated this spring with a 5-0 record, only one of two teams, thanks to timely clutch hitting.

Last Friday against the Devil Rays trailing 1-0, minor league third baseman Chris Basak hit the game winning three-run shot in the ninth inning which the Yankees held onto for the win.



On Saturday, more late inning magic against the Pirates. Down 3-1 in the eighth, the Yankees rallied for three runs highlighted by the game-winning RBI hit by minor leaguer Marcos Vechionacci.



And finally today, hosting their former playoff opponents, the Detroit Tigers. Both teams shared the lead early in the game but the Tigers held onto a 5-4 lead going in the ninth inning when yet another minor leaguer, this time Bronson Sardinha hitting the game-winning two-run shot off last year's Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander to win the game.



The above three games acounted for a total of eight runs in three innings in late inning and clutch performance, something the Yankees lacked last season.
Although it's five games into Spring Training, and these games do not count for anything, seeing as how these minor leaguers are playing, one can say that the future of the Yankees organization is alive and well.


ESPN.com has either hired a statistician who knows nothing about baseball, one of the weirdest games in baseball history was played, or no one cares about spring training. I am very well educated in the rules of baseball, and no where do I recall games to begin in the sixth inning and 11 free runs earned. I don't think FRE will be an official stat anytime soon. Also, is it possible to have duel no hitters with this type of score?


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 5:07 PM 3 Heckles

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spring Training Opening Day


Spring Traning began two days ago, but the Yankees played their first game today against the Minnesota Twins at Legends Field.
Picking up where they left off last year, Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi both went deep and provided the primary offense that the Yankees would need in a 6-1 victory.
Chein-Ming Wang took the start and the win shutting down the Twins in two perfect innings and inducing five of the six hitters he faced into ground outs.
Pitching prospect Phillip Hughes nervously pitched his way through one and a third allowing two walks and a wild pitch and giving up the only run of the game.
His performance, although unimpressive, is not a basis of his career. There have been many pitchers with poor debuts and have become successful in their careers most notably Mariano Rivera. As a starter in 1995 and 1996, Rivera had a weak win-loss record and was moved to the set-up position for John Wetteland before finally landing his closer spot.

FINAL
Yankees 6 / Twins 1
WP:
Chein-Ming Wang
LP: Carlos Silva


Due to the frequent day games and the lack of full game accounts, we are unable to present scorecards though out spring training.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 11:18 PM 0 Heckles

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