Results tagged ‘ New York Yankees ’

The art of the comeback

yankees_500_091709.jpgBy Jon Lane
The Yankees have rallied to win games 48 times this season, 14 via the walk-off hit, the team’s most since doing it 17 times in 1943. Joe Girardi feels that belief system was born during the memorable May series against the Twins, when three of the first four games were won on the Yankees’ final at-bat.

“I think there’s that feeling that you can always do it, because we’ve done it so many times,” Girardi said. “When guys have confidence, they’re different players. There’s no doubt about it. When you have success in situations, guys learn how to relax. The more success you have, the more you relax. That’s what allows guys to do that.”

Brett Gardner – that X-Factor – was once again in the middle of it. Not since Homer Bush in 1998 have the Yankees been able to deploy such a weapon.

“It’s just another way that you know you can win a game,” Girardi said. “It’s a great element to have as a manager. In these close games there’s always a spot where you look for him to be able to do it.”

Good for Francisco Cervelli. It’s not hard to remember how a third-string catcher named Francisco has come a long way, writes Tyler Kepner.

Good for Ian Kennedy, a good guy who’s had some tough luck and is coming back from surgery to remove an aneurysm. Kennedy pitched three perfect innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Durham in the International League finals Wednesday, striking out six.

Yankees announce 2010 ticket pricing

New York Yankees Media Relations
The Yankees today announced 2010 full-season ticket license pricing for regular season games at Yankee Stadium. Prices for 97 percent of tickets will either remain the same or decrease.

Of the 50,086 seats in the Stadium, prices for 41,928 tickets (84 percent) will remain the same from 2009, while 6,454 tickets (13 percent) will see a decrease in price. There are 1,704 tickets (three percent) that will have an increase in price.

“At the beginning of the season I said that we would look into our ticket prices and review them at the end of the year to see where changes needed to be made,” said New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “We have had a great opening year. Over 90 percent of our inventory has been sold, and we are leading Major League Baseball in attendance. This plan reflects the changes we believe are appropriate. We will continue to review the ticket policy on a year-by-year basis.”

A total of 3,400 Field Level seats currently priced at $325 as part of full-season licenses will drop to $250 or $235 each next season, depending on their specific location. Additionally, all 1,208 Suite seats in the Delta Sky360 Suite will see a decrease in price, as will 1,846 of 1,894 Suite seats (97 percent) in the Legends Suite. The balance of the Legends Suite seats will have no price change.

All Field Level seats not in the aforementioned locations will remain at their current prices. Additionally, non-Suite tickets in the Bleachers, Grandstand and Terrace levels will see no change in price in the 2010 season.

In the Main Level, 10,111 seat locations will see no increase. The remaining 1,704 seats in Sections 216-217 and 223-224 currently priced at $100 will be $125 next season. These mark the only increases for 2010.

A date is yet to be determined for the on-sale of 2010 season tickets.

A grid reflecting full-season ticket pricing in non-Suite locations is below. For information as it becomes available, please visit Yankees.com.

Price-chart.jpg

Where Jeter ranks in history

By Jon Lane
Derek Jeter passing Lou Gehrig on the Yankees’ all-time hits list may not make him the greatest to wear the pinstripes, but while on the express train to the Hall of Fame, Jeter is compiling a case to be considered among the finest shortstops to ever play baseball – if not the best. Watching how Jeter handled the accolades, and how his approach to the business of winning never changes, confirmed that he’s the classiest player in uniform today.

Here’s how Jeter stacks up with the great shortstops of yesteryear:

SEASONS
25–Bobby Wallace
23–Rabbit Maranville
21–Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken, Jr.
20–Luke Appling, Joe Cronin, George Davis, Robin Yount.
19–Ernie Banks, Ozzie Smith
18–Luis Aparicio
17–John Montgomery Ward, Hughie Jennings
16–Dave Bancroft, Pee Wee Reese
15–DEREK JETER, Joe Tinker, Lou Boudreau, Travis Jackson.
14–Joe Sewell, Arky Vaughn
13–Phil Rizzuto

GAMES
Ripken, 3001
Yount, 2856
Wagner, 2792
Maranville, 2670
Aparicio, 2601
Smith, 2573
Banks, 2528
Appling, 2422
Wallace, 2383
Davis, 2368
Reese, 2166
Cronin, 2124
JETER, 2120
Bancroft, 1913

GAMES PLAYED AT SHORTSTOP
Aparicio, 2583
Smith, 2511
Ripken, 2302
Appling, 2212
Maranville, 2153
JETER, 2106
Reese, 2014
Wagner, 1887
Bancroft, 1873
Cronin, 1843

HITS
Wagner, 3415
Ripken, 3184
Yount, 3142
Appling, 2749
JETER, 2723
Aparicio, 2677
Davis, 2660
Maranville, 2605
Banks, 2583

HOME RUNS
Banks, 512
Ripken, 431
Yount, 251
JETER, 223
Cronin, 170
Jackson, 135
Reese, 126
Wagner, 101

RBI
Wagner, 1732
Ripken, 1695
Banks, 1636
Davis, 1437
Cronin, 1424
Yount, 1406
Wallace, 1121
Appling, 1116
JETER, 1065
Sewell, 105
Jackson, 929

AVERAGE
Wagner, .329
Vaughn, .318
JETER, .317
Sewell, .312
Jennings, .311
Appling, .310
Cronin, .301

NOTES
? Banks played more games at 1B than SS.
? Ripken played almost 700 games at 3B and DH.
? Yount played half his games in the outfield.

Yankees to commemorate 9/11 anniversary

ussnewyork_275_091009.jpgBy Jon Lane
Derek Jeter’s pursuit of Lou Gehrig is great, but far more important is that Friday is the eighth anniversary of 9/11. The Yankees announced that they will hold a special ceremony before the game to honor the USS New York and the ship’s crew.

Here’s the 411:

The New York Yankees today announced they will hold a special pregame ceremony on Friday, September 11, prior to the Yankees’ 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Orioles.

During the home plate ceremony, the Yankees will give special recognition to the USS New York and the ship’s crew as well as the commissioning committee during a home plate ceremony. The state-of-the-art stealth ship, whose bow stem includes seven-and-a-half tons of steel recovered from the fallen World Trade Center, is scheduled to be commissioned into the U.S. Navy’s fleet on November 7.  

The presentation of colors will be made by the USS New York Naval Color Guard, the FDNY Color Guard, the NYPD Color Guard and the Port Authority Color Guard. Naval musician Laura Carey will sing the national anthem.

Representing Washington, D.C. – an area also affected by the 9/11 tragedy – will be Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who will throw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.

Scheduled to arrive into the New York Harbor on November 2, the USS New York will proceed up the Hudson River, where she will pause and dip her ensign (the American Flag) as she passes the World Trade Center site, then proceed up to the George Washington Bridge, turn and dock at her Manhattan pier. On November 7, she will enter naval service. 

Early September subplots

By Jon Lane
The Yankees aren’t clinching the AL East this week, their magic number is 16, though the way they’re playing the question has become not if, but when. Yes, I’ve written in this space that stranger things have happened, it’s not over until it’s over, blah, blah, blah. But to win 100 games minimum, they’d have to go 11-12. At 89 wins the Yankees have already matched their win total from last season and their division lead is a season-high nine games, I doubt very seriously we’ll see a Flushing-like choke job.

Storylines and subplots will be changing, but here’s what’s going on right now:

? That Red Sox-Yankees series September 25-27 at this rate will be relegated to playing for pride – unless the magic number isn’t at zero by then.

? More importantly, New York leads the L.A. Angels by six games in the race for the league’s best record, which means homefield advantage throughout the postseason.

? The Yankees pounded Rays pitching for 24 hits in their two-game sweep yesterday – but not one came from Derek Jeter. At 2,718 hits, Jeter remains three away from Lou Gehrig’s franchise record. He’s faced tonight’s starter, David Price, twice and walked once. The Rays start Jeff Niemann Wednesday night, who allowed a double to Jeter the first and only time he’s pitched to the Captain.

? Jeter did reach another milestone. He played in his 2,117th game as a Yankee to pass Yogi Berra for third all-time.

? One more race to watch: Carlos Pena is out for the season with a fractured index and middle finger. He finished with 39 home runs, which leaves Mark Teixeira (35) in pursuit. Jeter, Teixeira and Joe Mauer make for a nice MVP debate, but what about Mariano Rivera? He’s 1-2 with a 1.75 ERA and returned from groin stiffness to earn his 34th straight save in Game 1. You can make a serious case that Rivera is the Yankees’ most indispensable player. That’s serious value in my book.

? He said it: “It’s great to have Gardy back – the fastest white man in America.”

– Nick Swisher.

It was good to see the Bronx’s version of Brett the Jet back with the Yankees. Brett Gardner raced to Swisher’s territory in right field to rob Fernando Perez with a tremendous running catch. Gardner will provide Melky Cabrera a much-needed blow and that lightning-like speed that will be critical come the postseason.

Starting lineups: 9/7, Game Two

GAME 2

RAYS
Iwamura 2B
Gross RF
Longoria 3B
Burrell DH
Aybar 1B
Zaun C
Upton CF
Brignac SS
Perez LF

Sonnanstine P

YANKEES
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Matsui DH
Swisher RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Hairston, Jr. 3B
Molina C

Burnett P

Give Pettitte the ball in Game 2

pettitte_350_090109.jpgBy Jon Lane
Watching Andy Pettitte deal Monday night, I certainly was hoping for a perfect game. Seeing Jerry Hairston boot that routine grounder, I groaned, but held out hope for a no-hitter. Then witnessing Nick Markakis’ clean single, I groaned again. I’m a sucker for history who admittedly popped for Mark Buehrle when he threw his perfecto, and even saluted Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Derek Lowe for their no-nos while wearing Boston white and red.

You need a little – or in Buehrle’s case – lots of luck to throw a perfect game or a no-hitter. When less talented teams succeed, I sometimes believe that it’s better to be lucky than good. In Pettitte’s case Monday night, and as it relates to the Yankees since June, this hasn’t been luck. The Yankees have imposed their will on the rest of the league. Strange things have happened through the years that have proven Yogi Berra a soothsayer, but at 35 games above .500, only the mother of all monumental collapses will prevent the Yankees from playing in October.

Thus, looking ahead in the slightest will not tempt the fates. It’s a given that CC Sabathia, despite his shady postseason history, will start Game 1. The popular belief is A.J. Burnett will go in Game 2.

But why not Pettitte? You know his postseason history. His 14 wins are second all-time behind John Smoltz’s 15. And you’re aware of his track record in taking the ball in Game 2 of a postseason series, where he’s 6-3 in his Yankees career. Conversely, Burnett, who has stepped up (and also imploded) in big spots, hasn’t pitched in a playoff game. You want someone who has done it before, especially in a short series where pitching matters first and foremost.

Here’s what Pettitte has done to date coming off a down season when he pitched with a bum shoulder.

? Monday night, he worked only four two-ball counts before Hairston’s error, this after he retired the first 20 Orioles hitters. Pettitte struck out eight without a walk over eight innings. Baltimore’s other hit off the left-hander was Melvin Mora’s solo homer.

? Since the break, Pettitte is 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA in nine starts, allowing 45 hits and whiffing 62 over 59 2/3 innings. His 12 wins and 4.03 ERA rank second on the Yankees behind Sabathia. He has 190 wins as a Yankee, trailing only Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231).

? He’s healthy and pain free, to the point where he’s hinted aloud to wanting to pitch a few more seasons.

“It feels good to be healthy,” Pettitte said. “It feels good that my elbow after surgery doesn’t hurt anymore when I pitch.  “At this time last year my shoulder was absolutely killing me. It just feels good to feel healthy. I just hope I can hold it and keep it for another two months.”

Memo to Joe Girardi: Give him the ball in Game 2.

_______________________

If the season ended today, the Yankees would play the Tigers in the ALDS with Games 1 and 2 (and a fifth if necessary) at Yankee Stadium. It’d be a rematch of the 2006 DS when the Tigers, riding a six-game losing streak (the first five that cost them the AL Central flag), stunned Mike Mussina and the Yankees in Game 2 and didn’t lose again until Game 1 of World Series. Justin Verlander defeated Mussina that afternoon and is the Tigers’ unquestioned ace. But how will Edwin Jackson, Rick Porcello and Armando Galarraga react in a big spot? And remember how badly the Yankees wanted Jarrod Washburn and lost out to the Tigers on deadline day? Washburn is 1-2 with a 6.81 ERA in six starts for Detroit. He threw eight shutout innings August 14 against Kansas City, but other than that he’s been brutal. The left-hander was blasted for eight runs in 5 2/3 innings yesterday by the Rays.

The Tigers lead the Twins by only 3 games with seven games left against them (four in Detroit September 28-October 1). Their big-ticket acquisition may end up costing them the playoffs.

Hairston’s error was no doubt part of Monday’s story, but John Harper was a bit rough, don’t you think? The Yankees won the game.

Derek Jeter watch: The Captain is 10 from tying Lou Gehrig as the Yankees’ all-time hits leader.

Want to the go to the playoffs? River Ave Blues has information on ticket pricing and policies.

Late Night with Teixeira

teixeira_250_082009.jpgBy Jon Lane
Mickey Mantle once said, “New York is the only place to play baseball.”
And to echo a line from Gordon Gekko from one of my favorite movies,
“You do good, there’s perks. Lots and lots of perks.”

You know you’ve made it when you receive an invite from David Letterman. It took less than one season in New York for Mark Teixiera to garner national and mainstream attention. That’s what happens when you immediately live up to a $180-million contract by producing an MVP-caliber season in New York City.

This release from CBS:

New York Yankees All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira will make his first visit to the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Monday, August 24 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. In addition to his interview with Letterman, Teixeira will also participate in an outdoor batting demonstration during the LATE SHOW broadcast.

In his first year with the Yankees, Teixeira is proving to be an all-around force for the American League East-leading team, not only at first base, but also in the batter’s box.  A key ingredient to the Bronx Bombers’ success this season, he currently has a .283 batting average, recently hit his 31st home run of the season and has an impressive total of 89 runs batted in for the season so far.

Also featured on the Monday, Aug. 24 LATE SHOW will be an interview with famed Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who will also be making her first visit to the broadcast.

Boston Massacre III

By Jon Lane
The Yankees have little time to bask in the glory of their four-game destruction of the Red Sox with a game tonight against the Blue Jays, and a seven-day West Coast trip without a day off until August 20, but the facts and figures generated from this Boston Beatdown are extraordinary:

? The Yankees completed their first four-game sweep of the Red Sox in 24 years; their pitching held Boston’s offense scoreless for 31 innings, the longest streak in 35 years.

? The Red Sox were 3-for-38 with runners in scoring position in the four games.

? The Yankees are 4-8 against the Red Sox this season, but from their perspective that’s more beautiful than a supermodel. Consider: Since the All-Star break, the Yankees are 18-5, the Red Sox 8-14. New York is also 18-3 in its last 21 home games and 56-27 since Alex Rodriguez made his season debut May 8. The Yankees have won seven straight and hold a commanding 6 game lead in the AL East, the Red Sox’s largest deficit since October 1, 2006, with 51 games left.

It remains too early to tell if this will finish off the Red Sox like the Yankees’ five-game sweep at Fenway Park did in 2006. And unlike the past four days, the Yankees’ famous sweep in 1978 put the Red Sox down, but not out as Boston rallied down the stretch to force a one-game playoff, the day Bucky Dent broke hearts all over New England. But a comparison of other numbers lends credence to this being Boston Massacre III:

1978: Yankees 42, Red Sox 9
2006: Yankees 49, Red Sox 26
2009: Yankees 25, Red Sox 8

Does this mean the season is over? Absolutely not. But as Steven Goldman writes, the success of the past four days have the Yankees in a very good place.

Showdown Series: Game 1 preview

ali_250_080609.jpgBy Jon Lane
Yes it’s August 6 and this series will not decide the season, but whenever the Yankees and Red Sox hook up, it means something. So much so that Muhammad Ali will be in the house tonight. The Yankees will pay tribute to the three-time World Heavyweight Champion during a pregame ceremony when Ali and Joseph Cinque, President of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, will present Yankee Stadium and Hal Steinbrenner with the academy’s “Six Star Diamond Award,” for excellence in hospitality.

The hype machine has been churning all morning talking about the teams’ first meeting since June 11. The Yankees lead the Red Sox by 2 games and barring a collapse on either side, this will go down to the wire (and don’t write off the Rays either).

In the event you’re visiting from Neptune, the Red Sox are 8-0 against the Yankees this season. Yankees fans are tired of hearing it and so are the players. Back in June, they flew to Fenway 8-3 in their last 11 games after taking a rain-shortened series from the Rays confident that the results would be different. The Red Sox took Game 1, 7-0, and won the next two each by one run. Most disturbing about the last loss was the Yankees’ inability to hit Brad Penny.

If you disagree with the theory that the Red Sox own a psychological advantage, consider that they’re 2-13 at Tropicana Field — and played like it the past two nights. This team is beaten up. Jason Bay re-aggravated his hamstring, which means you could be looking at an outfield of J.D. Drew, Rocco Baldelli and Jacoby Ellsbury — and the rotation is so tattered the Red Sox signed Paul Byrd out of semi-retirement to a Minor League contract.

After Sunday, the Red Sox will be anywhere from 1 1/2 games up to 6 1/2 games back. One fan who called into WEEI-AM took a pessimistic stance: “We have lots of holes. We acted hastily on [cutting Julio] Logo. We’re gonna get slaughtered.

Tonight’s result will be telling. A Red Sox win and Yankees fans will panic. A Yankees win and they’ll be 3 games in front, and 1-8 won’t look so bad. I’ll be on location with Jerome Preisler later today for full coverage from both sides. In the interim, a few more storylines to get you ready:

ortiz_200_080609.jpg? How will Yankees fans react to Big Papi? Tonight is David Ortiz’s first game at Yankee Stadium since the revelation that he was one of the infamous 104. The big guy has yet to discuss it in great detail. Will he speak tonight or the next three days or hide from the phalanx of cameras, microphones and notepads? Chris Shearn pleaded with Yankees fans to not sink to Red Sox Nation’s level and its treatment of Alex Rodriguez. Will they comply? And will Ortiz kill the Yankees again in a big spot? Despite his shoddy overall numbers (.225-15-61), he’s .321-2-8 against New York this season with a .679 slugging percentage. There’s something about seeing him at-bat with runners on base, the game on the line and facing Mariano Rivera. How Phil Coke and/or Phil Hughes (unavailable tonight) or Alfredo Aceves fares in this situation will be their toughest challenge this season.

? Joba Chamberlain is pitching on seven days rest. He’s been the Yankees’ best starter since the All-Star break (0-3, 0.83 ERA in three starts), but is also on that undisclosed innings limit, a situation that will continue to be scrutinized. If he shuts down Boston tonight and continues this run, can the Yankees continue to consider pulling him from the rotation? Or is asking a 23 year old (24 next month) to tread deep waters risking either injury or a severe drop in production (see Fausto Carmona)? One thing not to worry about is his mettle. Despite an 0-1, 4.09 ledger in two starts this year, Chamberlain has succeeded against the Red Sox before and you know that he can deliver in the clutch.  

? How much does John Smoltz have left? His ERA is 7.12 — 1-2, 9.18 since the break — and has pitched into the sixth inning (but no further) in only three of his seven starts. The Yankees’ potent lineup and Coors Field East may spell early disaster.