Instant replay was used for the first time ever last night in the Yankees 8-3 win over the first place Tampa Rays. In the top of the ninth inning, Alex Rodriguez came up to bat and smashed a 2-2 pitched over the foul pole, and then hooking foul behind the pole, but in front of the useless foul pole extension 20 feet behind the legal pole. The umpires initially rules it a home run and Rays cacher Dioner Navarro and manager John Madden argued that the ball was foul. As you will see in the video, there is the legal foul pole in which the ball crossed fair, then about 20 feet behind it, a piece of yellow scrap metal, or what the Rays call a foul pole extension, raises behind it giving the appearance of an extended foul pole. The scrap metal is not a legal pole, only to help the umpirs when they are in a direct line with the legal pole, and the extension. A-Rods home run crossed above the pole but in fair territory, hooked foul behind it, so it appears the ball hooked foul before leaving the field.
Take a look at the video, and give me your ruling.
It's quite obvious that the Yankees will not reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995. I have already made my concession speech, and accepted the fact that October will be a long month. So, as part of my 12-step program to overcome my addiction to post-season glory (I say that with a grain of salt), I will have a small countdown with a few facts until the day of reckoning is upon us.
15... Thurman Munson wore 15 until his tragic death in 1979. He was practicing low flying and touch and go maneuvers in his private plane. The former captain helped lead the Yankees to three successive league pennants, two World Series titles, and was a vital part of the infamous "Bronx Zoo".
15... The amount of away games the Yankees have. 15 combined games at Tampa (1st AL East), Seattle (garbage), Anaheim (damn!), Toronto (eh), and Boston (prevent Boston from October baseball).
15... Home runs for Bobby Abreu, one less than his 2007 totals. Funny, he was a constant 20HR player with Philadelphia, what happened?
15... Seasons in which Alex Rodriguez has played...and still no ring.
15... Years ago, Joba Chamberlain was still in grade school.
15... Players who make over $1,000,000 this season
Alfred Manuel "Billy" Martin (May 16, 1928 – December 25, 1989) was an American second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball who was best known as the manager of the New York Yankees five different times. He won two American League championships and the 1977 World Series as their manager, and led four different AL teams to division championships.
Martin was known for his ability to win with any team, and for arguing animatedly with umpires, including a widely parodied routine in which he kicked dust on their feet, but he was criticized for not getting along with veteran players, burning out young pitchers, and drinking too much.
Derek Sanderson Jeter (born June 26, 1974) is an American Major League Baseball player. Jeter is a seven-time All-Star shortstop and the current captain of the New York Yankees.
Jeter has spent his whole career with the New York Yankees, starting in 1995 when he was 21 years old. He has won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, the All-Star Game MVP Award , the World Series MVP Award, a Silver Slugger Award and three Gold Glove Awards. His .317 career batting average through the 2006 season ranks him with the 6th highest lifetime batting average of all active baseball players. He has been in the top seven in the American League in both hits and runs scored for nine of the past ten years. So far in the 2000s he is second in the major leagues in hits (927), sixth in runs (551), and fifteenth in batting average (.311).
George Herman "Babe" Ruth was an American original, baseball's first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time. The southpaw hurler debuted with the Red Sox, winning 89 games in six years while setting the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings. "The Sultan of Swat" converted to the outfield full-time after his sale to the Yankees in 1920 and led New York to seven American League pennants and four World Series titles. He finished with 714 home runs, leading the league 12 times, including a remarkable 60 round-trippers in 1927.
Lou Gehrig teamed with Babe Ruth to form baseball's most devastating hitting tandem ever. "The Iron Horse" had 13 consecutive seasons with both 100 runs scored and 100 RBI, averaging 139 runs and 148 RBI; set an American League mark with 184 RBI in 1931; hit a record 23 grand slams; and won the 1934 Triple Crown. His .361 batting average in seven World Series led the Yankees to six titles. A true gentleman and a tragic figure, Gehrig's consecutive games played streak ended at 2,130 when he was felled by a disease that later carried his own name.
Joe DiMaggio is remembered as one of the game's most graceful athletes - a "picture player" both at bat and in center field. Many rate his 56-consecutive-game hitting streak in 1941 as the top baseball feat of all time. "The Yankee Clipper" used an unusually wide stance in winning two batting championships and three MVP awards. In 13 seasons he amassed 361 homers, averaged 118 RBI annually and compiled a .325 lifetime batting mark. At baseball's 1969 Centennial Celebration, he was named the game's greatest living player.
Torre was named manager of the Yankees on November 2, 1995. Though he had never played or managed in the American League, and the New York City press greeted him with headlines such as "Clueless Joe", it was with the Yankees that he enjoyed the greatest success of his managerial career, leading the "Bronx Bombers" to the playoffs in each of his eleven seasons (1996-2006) with the club. In 1996, Torre, building on the Yankees' Wild Card berth in 1995, made his first-ever trip to the Fall Classic, leading the Yankees to their first World Series since 1981, defeating the Braves. After losing to the Cleveland Indians in the AL playoffs in 1997, the team won three straight World Series titles from 1998-2000, and additional American League pennants in 2001 and 2003. On May 12, 2003, he won his 1,500th game.
Mickey Mantle was a star from the start, parlaying a talent for the game and boyish good looks into iconic status. In spite of a series of devastating injuries, Mantle accumulated a long list of impressive accomplishments, finishing his 18-year career with 536 home runs and a .298 batting average. The switch-hitting "Commerce Comet" won three MVP awards (1956, ’57, ’62) and a Triple Crown (1956). He contributed to 12 pennants and seven World Series titles in his first 14 seasons, while establishing numerous World Series records, including most home runs (18).
Perhaps one of the most popular players in major league history, Yogi Berra was also a brilliant catcher and dominant hitter during his 19-year career with the New York Yankees. Berra was named to the American League All-Star team every year from 1948 to 1962. He topped the 100-RBI mark four years in a row and became a three-time American League MVP in a career that featured 14 league pennants and 10 World Series championships. Known for his “Yogi-isms,” Berra has always been a fan favorite. Following his playing career, Yogi continued in baseball as a manager and coach for several teams.
As famed sportswriter Dan Daniel once said, "Bill Dickey isn't just a catcher, he's a ball club." A key performer for the Yankees on eight American League pennant-winners and seven World Series champions, the expert handler of pitchers with the deadly accurate throwing-arm was also a clutch hitter, batting over .300 in 10 of his first 11 full seasons. Known for his durability, he set an American League record by catching 100 or more games 13 years in a row. He finished his 17-year career with a .313 batting average.
Broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record with 61 in 1961, a record which stood until 1998…Won the AL MVP Award in 1960 and 1961…Holds Al record for most home runs in a season (61 in 1961...Holds or shares AL records for most intentional walks in a game (4) and most homers in a doubleheader (4)…In addition to his 1961 HR title, led the AL in runs, RBI and total bases that year, and, in slugging and RBI in 1960…A four-time All-Star…Won a Gold Glove in the outfield in 1960…Played in seven World Series, winning three rings.
Phil Rizzuto overcame his diminutive size to anchor a Yankees dynasty, helping them win seven of nine World Series during his 13 seasons, not counting three years lost to World War II. "The Scooter" was a durable and deft shortstop, skilled bunter and enthusiastic base runner who compiled a .273 lifetime batting average. A five-time All-Star, Rizzuto was named the American League's MVP in 1950 when he excelled with a .324 average, 200 hits and .439 slugging percentage. Upon retirement, he spent 40 years as a popular Yankees broadcaster.
1970 AL Rookie of the Year…1976 AL MVP, seventh in balloting in '75 and '77… Three Gold Gloves…Seven-time All-Star…Played in the World Series, 1976-78…Hit .529 in the 1976 WS, setting a WS record with six straight hits…Overall, hit .357 with three HR and 22 RBI in 30 post season games… Drove in 100 runs three times and hit .300 five times.
An outstanding fielder, Munson made only one error while behind the plate in 1971 (he was knocked unconscious by a runner, dislodging the ball), and went on to win three straight Gold Glove Awards starting in 1973. A seven-time All-Star, Munson hit 113 home runs, batted in 701 runners, and had a career batting average of .292 over his 10-year career. He was also the first captain named by the Yankees since Lou Gehrig. Munson helped lead his team to three consecutive World Series (1976–78), where he batted a remarkable .373 overall (.339 in the American League Championship Series. From 1975-77, Munson hit .300 or better with 100 or more RBI each year, becoming the first catcher to accomplish the feat in three consecutive years since Yankee Hall of Famer Bill Dickey did it four straight seasons from 1936-39. Since Munson's run, Mike Piazza has also accomplished it (1996-98).
Edward "Whitey" Ford was the big-game pitcher on the great Yankees teams of the 1950s and early '60s, earning him the moniker "Chairman of the Board." The wily southpaw's lifetime record of 236-106 gives him the best winning percentage (.690) of any 20th century pitcher. He paced the American League in victories three times, and in ERA and shutouts twice. The 1961 Cy Young Award winner still holds many World Series records, including 10 wins and 94 strikeouts, once pitching 33 consecutive scoreless innings in the Fall Classic.
Donald Arthur Mattingly (nicknamed "Donnie Baseball" and "The Hit Man") (born April 20, 1961) is a retired first baseman who played for the New York Yankees of the American League from 1982-1995. He is currently Joe Torre's bench coach for the Yankees.
Mattingly grew up in Evansville, Indiana and was one of the nation's top prospects as a high school player at Reitz Memorial High School in 1979, earning a brief write-up in Sports Illustrated magazine. However, most Major League Baseball teams avoided drafting Mattingly, expecting him to attend college before entering professional baseball. Taking a chance, the New York Yankees drafted Mattingly in the 19th round of the 1979 amateur draft and subsequently signed him.
14 seasons (1955-68) primarily as a catcher for the Yankees… Nine consecutive All-Star selections… MVP in 1963, first African American in AL to win it… Hit 20-plus doubles four times, 20-plus homers three times and topped .300 three times…Played 54 games in 10 World Series with five HR and 19 RBI…Won WS MVP in 1958…Two-time Gold Glove winner…Invented the "doughnut" bat weight.
Casey Stengel's distinguished 54-year professional career spanned the era from Christy Mathewson to Mickey Mantle. He batted .284 over 14 seasons in the majors and accounted for both Giant victories in the 1923 World Series by hitting home runs. It was as a colorful and successful manager, though, that he earned Hall of Fame recognition. His feat of guiding the Yankees to 10 pennants and seven world titles in a 12-year span ranks as one of the most remarkable managerial accomplishments of all time.
Mariano Rivera (born November 29, 1969 in Panama City, Panama) is a relief pitcher for Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. He has the 4th most regular season career saves in Major League history, is the American League career leader, and has won 4 World Series titles with the Yankees. He is the all-time Major League postseason leader in saves and ERA. Nicknamed "Mo", Rivera is frequently referred to as the greatest postseason relief pitcher of all time, and is often considered to be the greatest closer in baseball history.
Reggie Jackson earned the nickname "Mr. October" for his World Series heroics with both the A's and Yankees. In 27 Fall Classic games, he amassed 10 home runs - including four in consecutive at-bats - 24 RBI and a .357 batting average. As one of the game's premier power hitters, he blasted 563 career round-trippers. A terrific player in the clutch and an intimidating cleanup hitter, Jackson compiled a lifetime slugging percentage of .490 and earned American League MVP honors in 1973.
Although Guidry won over 20 games three times in his career, he is remembered for having one of the greatest single seasons ever. He was 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA in 1978, won the Cy Young Award unanimously, and finished second to Boston's Jim Rice in AL MVP voting. Guidry set club records that year in strikeouts (248) and consecutive wins at the start of a season (13). He called his Yankee-record 18 strikeouts against California on June 17 of that season "perhaps my greatest single thrill." He started the AL East playoff game on October 2, 1978 against Boston and won 5-4 in what was "probably the most tension-packed game I ever played in." Guidry was named TSN Player of the Year and Man of the Year and the Associated Press 's Male Athlete of the Year, and he made every all-star team. His nine shutouts tied Babe Ruth's AL record for a lefthander.
During the 1970s, Yankee management made a policy of acquiring pitchers through trades and free agent signings. As a result, Guidry did not find a regular place in the Yankee rotation until 1977, when he was 26 years old. Even then, there were those who felt that the 5'11" 160-lb lefty was too small to pitch effectively and last in the major leagues. Guidry dispelled the notion by going 16-7 that year and perfecting the wicked slider that became his bread and butter pitch. He went on to lead the majors in victories from 1977 through 1987 with 168, posting records of 18-8 (1979), 21-9 (1983), and 22-6 (1985). He is fourth on the all-time Yankee victory list (170), second in strikeouts (1,778), sixth in games and innings, and tied for sixth in shutouts (26). Guidry compiled a 5-2 postseason record, 3-1 in World Series play.
Bernabé "Bernie" Williams Figueroa (born September 13, 1968, in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an outfielder for the New York Yankees and a guitar-playing jazz recording artist.
A switch hitter, Williams has played his entire career (1991-present) with the New York Yankees.
As of December 2006, he is 9th of all active players lifetime in doubles (449), and 10th in runs scored (1,366), singles (1,545), and times on base (3,444). He is Major League Baseball's all-time leader in postseason home runs (22) and runs batted in (80). He trails only Lou Gehrig's 534 for lifetime doubles as a Yankee. His batting average through 2006 is 16 points higher against lefties than against righties.
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