Saturday, August 30, 2014

Toronto Blue Jays roof sliding open

8/29/14, "Roof sliding open in Toronto Erik Boland twitter. final 6-3 Yankees over Blue Jays

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Derek Jeter's nephew tips his cap to Detroit Tigers crowd

8/27/14, "Derek Jeter's tiny nephew tips cap at pregame ceremony, world collectively 'awwws'," wapc.mlb.com

8/27/14, Gif of Jeter's nephew tipping cap to Detroit Tigers crowd, wapc.mlb.com. (Nephew's name is Jalen).

8/27/14, "Derek Jeter was honored Wednesday in Detroit, where he received chairs, paintings and a $5K check," getty. Final 8-4 Yankees.

Derek Jeter's nephew Jalen at 2014 All Star Game, Larry Brown Sports

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kansas City Royals and fans observe Derek Jeter's final visit to Kauffman

8/25/14, "New York Yankees' Derek Jeter (2) acknowledges the cheers from the fans after being presented a check by Kansas City Royals president Dan Glass and general manager Dayton Moore before Monday's baseball game on August 25, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.," photo Kansas City Star, J. Sleezer. final 8-1 Yankees.

8/25/14, "Fans display signs for New York Yankees' Derek Jeter
during Monday's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on August 25, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.," KansasCity Star photo, J. Sleezer, final 8-1 Yankees.

8/25/14, "New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki is greeted by manager Joe Girardi and bench coach Tony Pena after scoring on a grounder for an out by Derek Jeter in the third inning during Monday's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on August 25, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.," Kansas City Star, J. Sleezer. final 8-1 Yankees.


8/25/14, "New York Yankees' Derek Jeter (2) waves goodbye to the fans after his final at bat in the ninth inning during Monday's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on August 25, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.," Kansas City Star, J. Sleezer, final 8-1 Yankees.

8/25/14, "Photo gallery: Yankees 8, Royals 1," Kansas City Star

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chicago Little League team wins US title and advances to face South Korea in World Championship game Sunday

8/24/14, "Chicago wins U.S. title in Little League World Series," AJC.com, Matt Picht

Joshua Houston
"Chicago's Jackie Robinson West claimed the U.S. Championship title in a 7-5 victory over Las Vegas on Saturday. After falling to Las Vegas 13-2 in the second game of the tournament, Chicago clawed their way back through the loser's bracket for revenge....Both the Cubs and the White Sox have expressed their appreciation for the feats of their junior peers....Chicago faces off against Seoul Sunday at 3 p.m. in the World Championship game. They're only the second Chicago team to make it this far — their predecessors, North Roseland, fell to West Tokyo back in 1967." Image: "Chicago's Joshua Houston delivers in the first inning of a United States Championship game against Las Vegas at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014," AP

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Mechanic tells NLRB that almost a third of NYC Citi Bikes are in the shop-NY Post

8/23/14, "Citi Bike struggling to keep up with huge repair backlog," NY Post, K. Fasick, L. Mongelli, and D. Fears

"The Citi Bike repair backlog is so bad that recently one-third of the fleet was sitting in a Brooklyn warehouse waiting to be fixed by overworked mechanics, according to their supervisor.

Lead mechanic Timur Mukhodinov told the National Labor Relations Board several weeks ago that approximately 1,900 of the 6,000 cycles in the struggling bike-share program’s fleet still need to be fixed, according to documents filed by the agency on Wednesday.

NYC Bicycle Share spokesperson Dani Simons disputed the number Mukhodinov gave, saying that there are currently 1,184 bikes in their repair shop. An average of 200 cycles are patched up each day, she added.

Repairing the beat-up bikes is a Sisyphean task — as new rides need restoring every day, Mukhodinov said.

“[W]e don’t know if [the bicycles in the warehouse needing repair] will ever meet zero, because that’s something that’s fueled by the users every single day,” Mukhodinov said in the documents....

Regular riders say busted Citi Bikes are a common sight around the city — and it’s grinding their gears. Common complaints include flat tires, broken gears and cracked seats.

Chelsea resident Shelby Pollard, 30, said she rides the bikes three times a day and has used several that are in need of a trip back to the repair shop.

“About 70 percent of the time it’s all good, but the other 30 percent there are problems,” she told The Post. “I’ve had flat tires and sometimes the gears don’t shift.”

BikeshareNYC, a blog about the system, inspected docked bikes at 24 stations around the Financial District earlier this month — and found that a whopping 68 percent of them had cracked seats.

Some bikers, like 28-year-old Matt Hennessy, take repairs into their own hands.

“One time the brake guard came off, and I had to use this,” he said, lifting up the strap on the front end of his bike, “to strap it back on. I fixed it myself.”

Other riders complain it can be difficult to find an available set of wheels at certain locations.
At least three times a week I can’t get a bike,” griped Stephen Moran, 43, who works near the Citi Bike station at 49th Street and Fifth Avenue. “If I can’t rent a bike I have to hail a cab, and that costs money.”

It doesn’t help that some of the available bikes are in bad shape.

“So disappointing as of late. Two times in a row, there’s people waiting and multiple broken bikes.

Why’d I renew again?” Twitter user Lisa617 asked recently."

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Intentional walks in 2014 lowest since record keeping began-NY Times

8/23/14, "Someday Soon, There May Be No Such Thing as a Free Pass," NY Times, Benjamin Hoffman

"The statistic for intentional walks a game is down to just 0.2 per team per game this season, its lowest point since baseball started compiling it in 1955, and a full 50 percent below its peak. In the National League, where pitchers are still expected to bat, the average is 0.22, which is also the lowest figure in recorded history.

With some context, it appears the statistic was well into its decline even as Bonds broke every individual record in the category, with 120 in 2004 and 688 in his career. Most people probably neglected to notice because of the attention Bonds drew.

Several factors have contributed to the decline, which has been fairly steady since the early 1990s. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi cited the decline in overall offense, which has made the tactic less necessary. He also said he did not consider the intentional walk all that important. “It’s not something we do a lot of,” he said. “We have belief in our pitchers.”

Mark McGwire, the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who was intentionally walked 150 times in his 16-season career, thinks a strong era for pitching, especially the emergence of strikeout-heavy relief specialists, has been a major factor.

“When pitchers dominate, you don’t really have to intentionally walk,” McGwire said.

But the decline of intentional walks was already beginning as Bonds and McGwire were being sent to first so often during the offensive explosion of the late 1990s and early 2000s

In the National League, with no designated hitter, the peak for intentional walks was from 1967 to 1990, when the average was 0.4 to 0.5 a game nearly every season. This season will mark the fifth consecutive year that the average is below 0.3, with the three most recent seasons the lowest on record.

In the end, the primary reason for the decline in intentional walks may be as simple as managers realizing that putting a runner on base is a bad strategy....

As for Bonds, the fear he instilled was never better shown than when Manager Buck Showalter of the Arizona Diamondbacks intentionally walked him with the bases loaded in 1998. Showalter took criticism for the move, but it worked as the Diamondbacks retired the next hitter to end the game.

But to base any strategy off a world in which a hitter as dominant as the Bonds of that season exists is flawed. In the modern game, with what teams know about run expectancy, the intentional walk has faded into the background. And in retrospect, Bonds became the symbol of a strategy while actually being an exception to the rule."

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WFAN's Mike Francesa takes ice bucket challenge at Bar A on Jersey Shore

8/22/14, "Here's Mike Francesa taking the ice bucket challenge at Bar A Al Hughes Dukes twitter

8/22/14, "Mike Francesa does the Ice Bucket Challenge from his show at Bar A," NY Daily News, John Healy. "The WFAN radio host, sitting in a chair inside an inflatable pool, was drenched in ice cold water in front of a large crowd by a lucky fan at the end of his show."

8/22/14, "WATCH: WFAN’s Mike Francesa Takes The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge," newyork.cbslocal.com, Lake Como, NJ

"Radio Host Caps Big Day At Bar A In N.J. By Giving The People What They Want"

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Martin Prado hits walk-off single for 4-3 Yankee win

8/22/14, "Martin Prado of the Yankees celebrating after hitting walk-off single to give the Yankees 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY on Friday, August 22, 2014. Credit: Errol Anderson," Newsday. final 4-3 Yankees. Prado hit with two outs, bases loaded.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

A fine afternoon in the Bronx

8/21/14, "A fine afternoon in the Bronx ," Erik Boland twitter, Astros v Yankees, final 3-0 Yankees

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MLB upholds SF Giants protest of game v Cubs due to tarp, rain delay issues. Last game suspended at Wrigley was July 1987 due to darkness

8/20/14, "Giants win protest over rain-shortened Cubs game," USA Today, Bob Nightengale

"Major League Baseball, in a rare decision, upheld the San Francisco Giants' protest Tuesday night over their rain-shortened loss against the Chicago Cubs, and ruled that the game be resumed Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

It was the first time a protest was upheld involving a game in 28 years.

Major League Baseball ruled that the Cubs were negligent Tuesday putting a tarp in place after a 15-minute rain shower ended the game after four and a half innings, with the Cubs declared winners, 2-0, after a four-hour, 34-minute delay.

"An examination of the circumstances of last night's game has led to the determination that there was sufficient cause to believe that there was a 'malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club' within the meaning of Official Baseball Rule 4.12(a)(3)," MLB said in its ruling.

"Available video of the incident, and conversations with representatives of the Cubs, demonstrate that the Cubs' inability to deploy the tarp appropriately was caused by the failure to properly wrap and spool the tarp after its last use.

"As a result, the groundskeeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened. In accordance with Rule 4.12(a)(3), the game should be considered a suspended game that must be completed at a future date.''

The game now will resume play at 5:05 p.m. EDT Thursday with the Cubs batting in the bottom of the fifth inning. They also have a scheduled night game at 8:05.

The Giants also asked for the Cubs' 2-0 victory in the rain-shortened game to be forfeited, which was denied.

"Major League Baseball has spoken with last night's crew chief, Hunter Wendelstedt, and has concluded that the grounds crew worked diligently in its attempt to comply with his direction and cover the field,'' MLB said. "Thus, there is no basis for the game to be forfeited by the Cubs pursuant to Rule 4.16.''

The Giants, battling with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, were livid Tuesday night that the Cubs were initially declared winners, and filed the protest.

"I hope they listen and watch how what happened there,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters Tuesday night, "because in this day and time it shouldn't happen, can't happen, I think, with the importance of these games. I'm going to leave it at that. …

"It was a 15-minute rain there, and they couldn't get the tarp on in time. I just think with this day and time, something should have been done a little bit more."

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer agreed with Bochy after the game, saying: "No one wants to win a 2-0 game. They hit five times, we hit four. It doesn't seem like a real game in a pennant race, and obviously there were issues with the tarp coming out and how that went and contributed to it, and that's the organization's responsibility.

"So we tried to wait as long as we possibly could because the Giants are in a pennant race, and because we felt an obligation to do that."

Cubs president Theo Epstein said Tuesday night that the field was unplayable, and the game could not be deemed suspended because of rules governing tarp malfunction issues.

"Had it been an automatic tarp malfunction, that would have been grounds for a suspended game," Epstein said. "The fact that it was a manual tarp, we had issues covering the field, the rules don't allow for a suspended game. We tried every way possible for the sake of fairness and equity to get to the point of a suspended game and allow the teams to play nine (Wednesday), but the rules don't provide for that.''

MLB, however, had different ideas, and the game was the first one suspended at Wrigley Field since July 10, 1987.

The game was called because of darkness between the Cubs and Dodgers and concluded the following day.

The time a team prevailed in the protest of a game was June 16, 1986, when the Pittsburgh Pirates protested that their game against the St. Louis Cardinals ended prematurely, with the Cardinals leading 4-1. The Pirates won the protest when MLB determined that home-plate umpire John Kibler didn't provided sufficient time during the rain delay when he called the game. The game resumed two days later, and the Cardinals still won, 4-2." (video at link)


8/19/14, "Cubs game delayed at Wrigley after tarp issues," Chicago Tribune, Mark Gonzales, with photos


EARLIER: Giants protest loss in Chicago

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Stephen Drew gets first Yankee home run and first John Sterling Home run call: 'Stephen Drew, How do you do!'

4/17/15, Stephen Drew hit a home run in Tampa, top of the 4th, John Sterling's tag: "Stephen Drew, How do you do! Stephen serves a DREWSKI..." Makes score 2-0 Yankees v Rays. Drew's third HR of season.

8/25/14, Stephen Drew just hit a home run v Royals in KC. John Sterling kept the "How do you do" tag, but tonight it sounded clearly like "Drewski" instead of "Brewski," see below.


8/20/14, Short Stop Stephen Drew hit a home run in the bottom of the 4th v Astros. Following is the full John Sterling call:

"Swung on and hit in the air to deep right center field, it is high, it is far, it is gone! Stephen Drew hits his first home run as a Yankee. Stephen Drew...how do you do! He serves a Brewski to the right field seats, and the Yankees have tied the game at one."

Final 5-2 Astros.

I wasn't sure if Sterling said "Brewski" or "Drewski" when I heard the call live. I recorded the call from the post game show and it sounds clearly like "Brewski."

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Because each individual who crosses the US Southern border is not 'wanded,' nor forced to walk through a metal detector, such screening will now take place at all Major League Baseball arenas beginning in 2015. Already in effect at Gate 2 at Yankee Stadium

"Those who choose not to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held detector, the news release said."

8/19/14, "Yankees introduce metal detectors at a gate," Newsday, Will Sammon

"Upon entering Yankee Stadium Tuesday, West Babylon resident Tom DeFonte looked at his young son and said, "Never again are we going through that gate."

DeFonte was referring to Gate 2, which is adjacent to leftfield, an entry point where two metal detectors were added for the first time. Many fans who showed up when the gate opened at 5:10 p.m. had to wait on a long line for what they said was 20 to 30 minutes longer than usual.

DeFonte and others need to get used to it.

Starting in 2015, all game-day entrances to Yankee Stadium (and every other MLB park) will use metal detectors, as mandated by MLB. The Yankees announced Friday that as part of MLB's initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 major-league parks for the start of the 2015 season, metal detectors will be added at various entry points at Yankee Stadium starting Tuesday.

Gate 2 was the only gate at the Stadium that had the detectors and it was chosen, security guards said, because it "is a good trial run because it's one of the less trafficked gates."

At around 5:30 p.m., about 150 people waited on a slow-moving line. In comparison, the Stadium's other gates were nearly vacant at the same time.

"I come through this gate all the time and it's never like this at this time," DeFonte said. "At the same time, I don't want to get shot in the face, either."

Some said that there should be more than two metal detectors at each point.

"We need like seven or eight to make things more smooth," Phillip Rogers of East Meadow said.

After that initial rush, however, less [sic] people entered through the gate and by 6 p.m. many were touting the metal detectors as an efficient and safe process.

The Yankees are introducing metal detection before the 2015 mandate in an effort to acclimate staff and fans to the new procedure, according to a news release. Fans were asked to remove cellphones and all large metal objects from their pockets before walking through the metal detectors. All bags will still be checked, and only MLB-compliant bags -- a maximum of 16 inches x 16 inches x 8 inches -- will be admitted.

Those who choose not to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held detector, the news release said.

"It's just the world we live in these days," Rogers said. "It's good the Yankees are doing this now. As far as safety goes, it's a must at this point.""

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Colorado Rockies retire Todd Helton's #17

8/17/14, "Retired Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, center, addresses the crowd during a ceremony to retire his playing number before the Rockies host the Cincinnati Reds in a baseball game in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014," ap. "Rockies pay tribute to Helton by retiring his No. 17 jersey," ap. Todd Helton

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Colorado Rockies scoreboard announces game v Reds delayed due to water main break

8/16/14, "Workers toil on the field as the outfield scoreboard displays notice that a water main break has forced the delay of a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorado Rockies in Denver on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. The game was eventually canceled and will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Sunday," ap

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Atlanta Braves security halts streaker on the field in game v Oakland A's, August 16

8/16/14, "Time is halted as a streaker is confronted by Atlanta Braves security personnel during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Atlanta," ap. final 4-3 Braves over Oakland


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Friday, August 15, 2014

Yankee fan sign in Tampa seeks Joe Girardi autograph

8/15/14, "Subtle... Erik Boland twitter pic. Yankees at Tampa Bay, Rays lead 5-0 in the 9th

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Manchester United bans tablets and laptops at home matches due to security concerns-BBC

8/13/14, "Manchester United bans tablets and laptops at home matches," BBC

"Manchester United has banned fans from bringing tablets and laptops to football matches at its stadium. 

The club said it was reacting to "security intelligence", adding the restriction was in line with new checks on electronic equipment at airports.

It said that unlike at airports, it would be "impractical" at the stadium to check the devices were genuine by asking for them to be powered up.

Greater Manchester Police said it was not involved with the ban "in any way".

A statement on the club's site says the ban extends to large and small tablets "including iPad minis", as well as larger electronic devices.

Smartphones are still permitted as long as their dimensions are smaller than 15cm by 10cm (5.9in by 3.9in).

"The regulations at each stadium are a matter for the relevant stadium management authorities, however, the scale of Old Trafford and profile of Manchester United mean that the risk at this venue is unique," it adds.

A spokesman for the club told the BBC it had made the move after receiving "advice", but would not say from whom this had come.

He added the action was unrelated to concerns about fans using tablets to record video of matches, potentially blocking the view of others, as had been reported elsewhere.

A spokesman for the Premier League said: "This is not something we are responsible for or involved in." The Football Association was unable to provide comment at this time.

The government announced in July that passengers flying to the US or elsewhere who passed through UK airports needed to show that devices carried in their hand luggage were charged and could be powered on. The move followed a warning that US officials had become aware of a "credible" unnamed terrorist threat.

The airport restrictions cover phones, MP3 players and cameras in addition to larger kit."

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Born in the Bronx, Sept. 16, 1924, Lauren Bacall

March 2011, "To Have and Have Not," Vanity Fair, Matt Tyrnauer

"She was born Betty Joan Perske, in the Bronx, on September 16, 1924."...Image above from "To Have and Have Not," 1944 from premiumhollywood.com. Lauren Bacall

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Fan sign at Giants v Royals game: 'Will trade sister to meet Tim Lincecum'

8/10/14, "San Francisco Giants fans show their support for Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum before a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014," ap. Final 7-4, Kansas City Royals over San Francisco Giants

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/10/4063768/lincecum-struggles-again-as-giants.html#storylink=cpy

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Paul O'Neill 29th name in Monument Park at the Stadium

8/9/14, "Paul O’Neill’s monumental day draws big crowd at Stadium including Joe Torre (from l.), Gene Michael, Gene Monahan, Mariano Rivera, Tino Martinez, David Cone and Jorge Posada," NY Daily News, Howard Simmons. "Yankees could use a Paul O'Neill now," NYDN, McCarron. "Seeing O’Neill get the 29th plaque in Monument Park while the likes of Joe Torre, Jorge Posada and David Cone looked on sort of brought home the reality that the Yanks’ dynasty days are long gone. Are good times like that ever coming back to the Bronx?"...

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Pujols home run in 19th inning ends Red Sox-Angels game

8/10/14, "Red Sox lose 2 late leads, fall to Angels in 19," AP via USA Today. Final 5-4 Angels over Red Sox. "Vazquez caught the entire game, an incredible 272 pitches." 8/10/14, "Albert Pujols is the hero for Angels," Boston Globe, Peter Abraham. LA Times account by Mike Digiovanna 

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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Lawsuit to proceed against MLB for its broadcast restrictions-AP

"The lawsuits say that the leagues' clubs and some television broadcast entities collude to eliminate competition in the showing of games on the Internet and on television."

8/8/14, "Judge: Trial can decide fate of MLB TV broadcasts," AP via UK Daily Mail, NY

"Major League Baseball cannot hide behind its antitrust exemption to fend off a lawsuit from fans who say the league unjustly dictates television markets for its ballclubs, a judge says.

U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin's ruling came after two lawsuits were brought by fans against MLB and the National Hockey League to stop their strict control over television broadcast rights.

The judge wrote that exceptions to antitrust laws are to be construed narrowly and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has "expressly questioned the validity and logic of the baseball exemption and declined to extend it to other sports."

Thus, she said, she was declining to apply the exemption to "a subject that is not central to the business of baseball, and that Congress did not intend to exempt — namely baseball's contracts for television broadcasting rights."

She said the lawsuits could proceed to trial as fans try to show that the leagues should be forced to open television markets for their games so customers would have more options at less expensive prices to watch games across the country. She said a trial would help show whether the leagues were accurate in saying the restrictions are good for the sports and their fans.

The judge said an expert for some fans who brought the lawsuits says that consumers would pay as much as 50 percent less for packages of live game telecasts if there were more competition.

The ruling, which was signed on Monday, was placed in the public court record on Friday.

The lawsuits say that the leagues' clubs and some television broadcast entities collude to eliminate competition in the showing of games on the Internet and on television.

The fans seek a court declaration that the defendants engage in antitrust behavior and appropriate remedies, including unspecified damages.

Telephone messages seeking comment from lawyers in the case were not immediately returned Friday."

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Roy Halladay throws first pitch in Philadelphia in first visit since retiring in 2013

8/8/14, "Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay tips his cap to the crowd after speaking before a baseball game against the New York Mets, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Philadelphia. Halladay threw out the ceremonial first pitch in his first appearance at the stadium since retiring last season," ap. Final 5-4 Mets. Roy Halladay

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Despite setbacks, Yankees Advance-Kepner, NY Times

8/7/14, "Despite Setbacks, Yankees Advance," NY Times, Tyler Kepner

David Robertson
"Facing a two-time most valuable player with two on, no outs and a one-run lead in the ninth inning Thursday, David Robertson meant to place his pitch low and away. But as he threw it, Robertson said, he simply cut loose. The ball ended up over the middle of the plate.

Miguel Cabrera swung, and Robertson got a break: a ground-ball double play. One pop-up later, the Yankees had won the game, 1-0, and taken three of four in the Bronx against the imposing Detroit Tigers.

“I was just trying to be smart,” Robertson said. “I didn’t exactly throw the pitch where I wanted to, but the outcome was exactly what I wanted.”...

Maybe, in spite of everything, this Yankees season can work out the same way....

The Yankees did not expect to have four injured starting pitchers and have nobody in the top 30 in the majors in on-base plus slugging percentage. But if the outcome is a trip to the playoffs — and the chance to make a deep run if things align as they did this week — it could still be a memorable season, after all. 

“This gives us a lot of confidence in that we can beat anybody,” catcher Francisco Cervelli said. “We’re still there. We’re going to compete, and we want to be in the playoffs.”

The Yankees have not been more games above .500 this season than they are now, at 60-54. It is an unlikely perch, given that they had to beat two Cy Young Award winners, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, as well as Rick Porcello, a 13-game winner this season, in the Tigers series to get there Thursday.

The Yankees’ starters in their victories against Detroit were Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano and Shane Greene. McCarthy started the season with Arizona, Capuano with Boston and Greene with Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

On Thursday, the Yankees’ second, fifth and sixth hitters were all newcomers: third baseman Martin Prado, first baseman Chase Headley and shortstop Stephen Drew. Prado made some nifty plays in the field, Headley singled and Drew doubled in the game’s only run.

That makes three starters and three everyday players, none having played for the Yankees before July (except for a third of an inning by Greene in April), all helping take a series from the A.L.’s glamour team.

“If you went back to the wintertime and said, ‘You’ll be able to get a Prado, that type of guy, a Headley, and you’re going to take a shot on Stephen Drew and move him to second base,’ I wouldn’t have expected any of that,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “It’s just the way a major league season twists and turns.”

The players were available, of course, because they were underperforming, expensive or both. But even the moves that seemed easy, like snagging McCarthy for Vidal Nuno or acquiring Capuano for cash, were not. 

“You never expect anything,” Cashman said. “You have no idea where your conversations are going to take you. You really engage everybody possible, including Tampa on David Price and Boston on Jon Lester. But you have no idea what ones are going to fit and what will lead you where. I just knew it was going to be hard.”

He added: “We wound up getting McCarthy — eventually — but it took us two months. I had offers on the table they were rejecting. It took a long time. So I was not optimistic entering July because it took me so long to get a player who, at the time, was 2-10. It really dragged on.”

Cashman said he wanted Capuano when Boston released him in June. But Masahiro Tanaka was healthy then, and C. C. Sabathia seemed to be recovering from his knee problem. 

Capuano expected a better opportunity with the lowly Colorado Rockies, who never called him up from the minors.

“He had an out in his contract, and I engaged Dan O’Dowd,” Cashman said, referring to the Rockies’ general manager. “I said, ‘If you’re not going to call him up, trade him to me.’ So I bought him.”

The Tigers and the Oakland Athletics stand out as the favorites to play for the A.L. pennant in October. Detroit traded for Price, and Oakland traded for Lester after acquiring another All-Star starter, Jeff Samardzija, in early July.

But we hear all the time about how the best rotations rule October, only to forget what actually happens. Last year’s Cy Young Award winners, Scherzer and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, combined to make four starts in the league championship series. Their teams lost all four games. Verlander allowed one run in 23 innings last postseason — yet the Tigers somehow lost two of his three starts....

But the Yankees showed this week that if they catch a team at the right time, even as they stand right now, they have a chance.

Cashman, though, was not looking too far ahead. As he headed for Manager Joe Girardi’s office late Thursday afternoon, he had more immediate concerns, like making sure Esmil Rogers was cleared to start Friday.

“We could make things interesting,” Cashman said. “But we’ll see. We’ve got a lot of baseball left. We’re still trying to figure this thing out on a daily basis.”"

Image: "The Yankees’ David Robertson tracked Don Kelly’s pop out, which sealed the victory over Detroit," ap.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Chase Headley gets second John Sterling home run call, "Headley is deadly...You can bank on Chase"

8/6/14, In the fifth inning Chase Headley hit his second home run as a Yankee. Following is John Sterling's call:

"Verlander will deal two two, swung on there it goes to deep right, that ball is high, it is far, it is gone!...Headley is deadly! He homers to tie the game in the second deck. Oh, you can bank on Chase. And the ball game tied at one."

Final 5-1 Yankees over Tigers.

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Martin Prado gets first John Sterling home run call, 'The Prado of the Yankees'

8/5/14, Martin Prado in the 5th inning hit his first home run as a Yankee. Following is John Sterling's call:

"It'll be a 2-0 to Prado, he's a right hand hitter, and the pitch, swung on and hit in the air to deep left, that ball is high, it is far, it is gone! That's his first home run as a Yankee! Martin....is keen! He is the Prado...of the Yankees!"

Final in twelve innings, 4-3 Tigers over Yankees.

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander chat at Tigers-Yankee game, 8/4/14

8/4/14, "Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander lovingly presented his girlfriend, ubiquitous super-duper model Kate Upton, with an official cowhide orb," "IMPORTANT GIF: Justin Verlander presents baseball to Kate Upton," CBS Sports, Dayn Perry

8/4/14, "Supermodel Kate Upton looks on from behind the Tigers dugout during the fourth inning of a game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports," via Star-Ledger, final 2-1 Yankees. Ms. Upton was born in Michigan.

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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Jeter ready for first at bat Sunday night in Boston

8/3/14, "Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees prepares to bat in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park," Getty. Final 8-7 Yankees over Red Sox.

8/3/14, "Francisco Cervelli #29 of the New York Yankees chats with Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees before a game with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park," Getty. Final 8-7 Yankees

8/3/14, "The Yankees’ Chase Headley, left, and Brian McCann after scoring on Stephen Drew’s game-tying single in the fifth inning," Reuters, via NY Times. Final 8-7 Yankees over Red Sox.

8/4/14, "Yanks get win, and another scare on a pitcher's health," NY Times, David Waldstein

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Rising from Rivera's shadow, Yankee bullen carves its place-Kepner, NY Times

8/2/14, "Rising From Rivera’s Shadow, Yankees’ Bullpen Carves Its Place," NY Times, Tyler Kepner

Dellin Betances
"In the far right corner of the visitors’ bullpen at Fenway Park, protected under glass in a frame above the bench, the greatest reliever left his mark. Mariano Rivera autographed the wall out there last September, after his final game at Fenway as an active player. The Red Sox preserved the section he signed as a subtle and lasting tribute.

One by one on Saturday, the Yankees’ relievers left the bench under that display and did their best imitation of Rivera. Pressed into action early to take over for a shaky Shane Greene, the relievers allowed just two hits and a run over four and a third innings in a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox.

Dellin Betances and David Robertson got the last eight outs, showing the kind of overpowering stuff that could play well in October, if the rest of the wobbly team can somehow get there. Betances hit 101 miles an hour on the center-field radar gun when he struck out Mike Napoli to start the eighth.

“Those two guys, they are amazing,” catcher Francisco Cervelli said. “If they’re facing, in the seventh or eighth, a guy throwing 100, and then Robertson comes in at 91 with cutters and curveballs, it’s difficult timing.”

The bullpen needed a game like this after allowing seven runs on Tuesday in a wild win at Texas. Robertson, who gave up two hits, two runs, three walks and a long game-ending flyout, called it his worst performance ever in a save. Betances allowed his first career grand slam.

With a team off-day sandwiched between two losses, Manager Joe Girardi could let Betances and Robertson rest for three days in a row. He rarely has that luxury, but managing the bullpen has always been one of Girardi’s strengths.

From his days as a catcher, Girardi said, he could tell when a tired pitcher’s stuff was deteriorating. 

As a manager, he combines that on-field savvy with the larger responsibility he has to each player.

“I never felt as a player that I was abused, and I never want to feel that I’m abusing a player to win a game,” Girardi said. “I don’t think that’s right.

“Yes, we’re here to win, and that’s our job. But it’s their career and it’s their livelihood and it’s how they provide. I don’t ever want to take away from that.”

Betances leads the majors in relief innings, with 65 1/3. But Girardi said he had studied Betances’ workload in the minors, breaking it down to the number of pitches he would throw in a typical month. A former starter, Betances is old for a rookie, at 26, and had more than 640 innings in the minors, with a high of 131 1/3 in 2012. 

The Yankees came into the game ranking 14th in the majors in relief innings — but first in strikeouts, thanks largely to Betances. He came into the game with 21 more strikeouts than any other reliever and now has 96 this season. He has a better earned run average (1.52), a better strikeout rate and allows fewer base runners than Rivera did in his breakout season of 1996.

Last month, Betances became the fourth Yankees setup man to make an All-Star team in recent years, joining Mike Stanton (2001), Tom Gordon (2004) and Robertson (2011). Rivera did not make it in that 1996 season, despite a 1.80 E.R.A. at the break, but he set the standard for a role that would help him — and now Robertson — thrive as closer....

Betances could take over as closer next season if Robertson leaves as a free agent, essentially repeating the career path of Rivera, who replaced the departed John Wetteland in 1997. For now, though, Betances goes perfectly with Robertson, who acknowledged some awe at his apprentice.

“How could you not have fun watching that?” Robertson said. “The dude threw 100 today. I mean, wow! I’m lucky to hit 93 and he’s pumping it at 101.”

Betances said he had never thrown 101 before but added that he did hit 100 miles an hour in New York earlier this season. Doing so was a goal, he said, that helped fuel his winter workouts. He had already reached 99 and said minor league teammates who had reached 100, including Michael Pineda, would urge him to join the club.

With the extra rest, and the adrenaline from pitching at Fenway Park, Betances said he had a feeling he might have set a personal high after fanning Napoli. Yes, he said, he sneaked a peek at the scoreboard radar gun.

“I just felt the ball was coming out better,” he said, smiling. “It’s just one of those situations: He was fouling stuff off; he was kind of late. I took a glance, and the guys told me as soon as I got in the dugout. I try not to look too much, but it’s definitely exciting.”

The need for speed has been mentioned as a reason for this season’s rash of torn elbow ligaments across the majors. Betances had a ligament-reinforcement procedure (not Tommy John surgery) in 2009, three years after the Yankees drafted him out of a Brooklyn high school.

As fun as it is to throw hard, Betances said, he recognizes there is more to pitching well.

“Strikes are better,” he said. “So I’ll take 100 with strikes.”" Top image: "Dellin Betances was clocked at 101 miles an hour Saturday in striking out Mike Napoli.," Getty. 

Sept. 2013

9/13/13, "Yankee Mariano Rivera Leaves His Mark at Fenway," GuardianLv.com, Charles Gille


Unfortunately no one yet comes close to the 1996 Rivera. 107.2 innings in regular season followed by 14.1 innings in post season including 3 days in a row in the World Series (10/21, 10/22, and 10/23) for a total of 122 innings. As for strikeouts, Joel Sherman notes Rivera "broke Goose Gossage's Yankee relief record of 122 strikeouts by fanning 130 in 107.2 innings."

Of Rivera's 41 multi-inning appearances in 1996:

*He pitched 3 innings in 8 games

  • 2.2 innings in 2 games
  • 2.1 innings in 3 games
  • 2 innings in 22 games
  • * 1.2 innings in 3 games
  • 1.1 innings in 3 games
  • Total multi inning appearances in regular season: 41
  • Entered with runners on base 15 games

  • From Joel Sherman: "Rivera went 8-3 with a 2.09 ERA (regular season), held opponents to a .193 batting average, and broke Goose Gossage's Yankee relief record of
    Most amazingly, of the record 4,962 homers spanked in 1996, Rivera allowed just one,
    • to Baltimore's Rafael Palmeiro on June 28."...
    Page 208 from Joel Sherman's book, "Birth of a Dynasty," about the 1996 Yankees, published in 2006 by Rodale.

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    Saturday, August 02, 2014

    Fans in Monster Seats watch Teixeira home run in the 5th

    "Fans in the Monster seats watch as a home run hit by New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira leaves the ballpark during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston," AP, final 6-4 Yankees

    8/2/14, "New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira (25) is greeted after his home run at the dugout by, left to right, Tony Pena, Jacoby Ellsbury and Derek Jeter during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston," AP, final 6-4 Yankees

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