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soft hands.

let the messing with my head begin

10.29.2005
The agent for Baltimore closer B.J. Ryan yesterday said that Ryan will test the free-agent market and is interested in the Yankees, even though that would mean moving to a set-up role.

"If and when the Yankees want to talk to us about him, we certainly will -- as with every other club," John Courtright said. "The Yankees aren't every other club.

"I think he'd love to close. But I think the first parameter to him is a chance to compete to win." [newark star ledger]

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8:14 AM :: 3 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink


i just wanted to use this photo

10.26.2005
Brian Cashman has agreed to a three-year deal worth about $5.5 million to return as Yankees general manager. According to a Major League Baseball official, an announcement is being held until the World Series is finished.
[newsday]


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6:51 PM :: 6 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink


as one of those nerds girls who cultivated crushes on literary characters, i suppose it's only a natural sort of progression to fall in like with, um, literary characters turned bloggers.

hello, jack keefe:
For pitching we had Contrary let me tell you his story Al. Contrary is a Cubano American who once swum to Tampa so he could pitch for the Yankees but Mr Steinburner used him about twice and cast him onto the midden heap. Now he pitches for the Sox and though he is aprox 77 yrs old he can throw a complete game like you or me could pull on our boxers.


for those who find this all a little obscure, jack keefe is the voice of ring lardner's You Know Me Al short stories.
2:40 PM :: 6 comments ::

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patience? what a novel idea

Theories abound as to why Contreras, 33, has succeeded in Chicago after failing in New York, but the most plausible explanation is patience. The Yankees couldn't wait for Contreras to figure it out. The White Sox, who haven't been to the Series since 1959, could and did. Contreras was 5-4 with a 5.30 ERA after the trade in 2004, and 4-5, 4.26 before the All-Star break this past season.

"Even when Jose was struggling, we kept sending him out there to get him over it," Guillen said. "And it was a long process, but it has paid real well."

Contreras walked too many batters, threw his forkball too often and tipped off his pitches, all issues the Yankees failed to correct. Still, he was 7-2 in '03, pitching effectively in middle relief during the postseason, and was 8-5 in '04.

The Cuban government refused to let Contreras' wife and children join him in the U.S., a problem resolved in June 2004. Soon after, Contreras was hit hard in successive starts by the Red Sox and Orioles and the Yankees deemed the family separation was not the problem. He was traded to the White Sox for Esteban Loaiza, who pitched even less effectively for the Yankees.

"My perception was that he was a great physical specimen, and what a worker," Cooper said. "He didn't have as much confidence in himself as he should, wasn't as aggressive as he should be, and we began a process - and it was a process - of getting him to believe in himself." [hartford courant

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2:27 PM :: 0 comments ::

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cute and all, but people really get paid to think of this stuff?

from the daily news:
Postcard to the Boss

If Orlando (El Duque) Hernandez had written a postcard to George Steinbrenner last night, it might have looked something like this:

Dear George:

Hello, my friend. I'm like you, sitting and watching the World Series, but I think I have a better seat!

I tell you, Boss, being here with the White Sox makes me think all the time about last year with the Yankees and how we just couldn't win that fourth game against Boston. It still makes me mad. I mean, I know I was only on two days' rest for Game 7, but don't you think I would have done a better job than old Kevin Brown?

Actually, maybe you shouldn't answer that. Contreras told me that you and Joe are finally getting along, so I don't want to stir anything up!

Adios,
Duque

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10:12 AM :: 5 comments ::

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quote of the year

10.25.2005
"Fuck Wrigleyville. You think I want some yuppie pissin' on my lawn?" -- Terry Lacino, chisox fan

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5:34 PM :: 0 comments ::

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the joe west fan club

found this priceless email exchange over at shannon's blog and took the liberty of reposting it here:

My good friend Joe West:
I just wanted to extend my most sincere thanks for ending the Yankees season on such a high note. Your call on Robinson Cano in Game five has to be one of the most ludicrous calls I have seen in all my days. I really hope that you look into getting laser eye surgery because it sure seems like you are in dire need of it. It must be a wonderful job that you have, being able to send a team home for the winter and end their dreams of the World Series all because you made craptastic calls. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Love Always,
Brenda

and wouldn't you know he replied to her? i shit you not:

from UmpireJoeWest@aol.com...

I'm not your good friend and never will be.
I don't usually respond to people as stupid as you are. No one in Major League Baseball believes that I missed that call.
So thanks for be so incompetent.

Joe


no joe, thank you. you just made my day.

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5:10 PM :: 1 comments ::

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"You don't slap a New Jersey girl and get away with it." - craig biggio, on sunday night's incident
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10.24.2005
Before yesterday's World Series workout when Ozzie Guillen came stalking out of his office and shouted: "Hey Donnie! I just heard Dave Righetti got the job in New York and you got (bleeped)! Now you got to beg me to come back here!" [daily news]


at least cooper's already had the experience of working for a crazy person.
8:15 AM :: 4 comments ::

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twitter

10.23.2005
The closest Giambi sighting is on webshots.com where the burly first baseman has his arm around a pretty blonde who goes by the Internet name "lovebug304a1." Giambi didn't emerge from the team bus after the cross-country trip from Anaheim so it's likely he's at home in Las Vegas. [daily news]


the album also features a picture of ms lovebug with a smilingly uninjured-looking carl pavano and his chest hair, and one of her with my ever-dapper baby daddy.

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10:33 AM :: 6 comments ::

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10.22.2005
from buster olney's blog:

If Cashman is actually thinking about going to the trouble of having his autonomy spelled out in contractual language, then he ought to just leave. He, above all others, knows that this type of thing would be completely unworkable, because he works for Steinbrenner and he cannot prevent Steinbrenner from surrounding himself with his baseball advisers. Plus, if Cashman actually did get the language and then found -- inevitably -- that it had been violated, would he actually bring himself to sue the Yankees for violation of contract? The legal fight could be messy, and it would not reflect well on him: Baseball -- and all businesses, for that matter -- is rife with executives who work within imperfect chain of commands.


much as i'd be sad to see cashman go (not least because something like "divas of damon oppenheimer" just doesn't have that slick ring to it) olney's right about the inevitable lack of autonomy. but that last bit is laughable -- yankeeworld has an inarguably unique "imperfect" chain of command. and much like any person involved in a long-running dysfunctional relationship, cashman might be painfully aware that he should leave, but can he really bring himself to?

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10:56 AM :: 0 comments ::

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somehow i like him more now

10.21.2005
or dislike him less, anyway:

''I've got a real weird religion,'' Guillen said.

Weird?

''Santeria,'' he said. [miami herald]


link courtesy the inimitable CSTB.
11:51 PM :: 1 comments ::

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it's a very yankee reunion!

10.20.2005



edited to add:


and how could i have forgotten


thanks mike!

edited again to add anonymous' contribution, russ springer:
7:30 AM :: 3 comments ::

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qotd

10.18.2005
"I love rooting against La Russa and have no idea why. Even read Buzz Bissinger's La Russa book just to be annoyed by him some more." - Bill Simmons

funny cause one of the first things i thought after the game was this quote on albert, which was the only thing about the book i thoroughly enjoyed:
"...there is the glimmer of desire, almost a kind of dreaminess, the eyes narrowing ever so slightly as he watches, a big cat who, when the time is right, will consume the mouse who needs a mound to stand tall."

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8:40 PM :: 4 comments ::

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hee hee hee



found at jjb
6:54 PM :: 3 comments ::

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prince albert

capt.hta13910180351.nlcs_astros_cardinals_hta139


It hardly seemed fair, leaving Busch Stadium, the Cardinals' venerable home of 30 seasons, to just stand there in downtown St. Louis without a proper send-off.

No confetti or standing ovations or thanks-for-everythings. For the first 26 2/3 innings of this National League Championship Series, it seemed the Houston Astros were on their way toward dismissing the Cardinals in shockingly quick fashion and clinching their first World Series berth in franchise history.

Two outs in the ninth. No one on base. Facing closer Brad Lidge.

But the Cardinals, who had looked so lifeless in Games 3 and 4, mounted an amazing rally that may wind up stunning the Astros into submission. St. Louis turned to slugger Albert Pujols, the only Cardinal, it seemed, who was successful against Astros pitching, to ensure that a late-night plane ride home was a happy one.

With two runners on base, Pujols clobbered an 0-1 pitch deep, deep, deep into the left-field stands, propelling the Cardinals to a thrilling 5-4 victory in Game 5 on Monday, and deflating a sellout crowd at Minute Maid Park. [ny times]

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11:43 AM :: 2 comments ::

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a girl can dream

10.17.2005
The Yankees have received permission to speak with Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, targeting him as their top choice to replace Mel Stottlemyre. [yankees.com]

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6:07 PM :: 1 comments ::

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as if knowing people are googling for jason varitek's penis wasn't bad enough

10.13.2005
www.google.com/search?q=sexy+pictures+of+Jeanne+Zelasko&lr=&hl=en&start=20&sa=N

i am shocked and appalled.
9:31 PM :: 2 comments ::

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quote of the day

"I'm going to come here to do what I can do to help the team. Which right now is to grow a beard." - Scott Rolen

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8:15 PM :: 2 comments ::

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got an incredulous comment in reponse to the crappy call post, asking if that was really the most important part of the elimination game to me. at the moment, it was just a sort of touching bewildered rookie anecdote i wanted to share, my lingering annoyance at the call an afterthought. i hadn't dwelled on any significant moments and hadn't planned to... but looking back on it i'd say the turning point, the thing that eradicated any optimism i'd held, was this combination of events: scioscia rushing out to the mound to pull colon, the sight of ervin santana jogging out from the bullpen, and watching moose struggle while torre mulled pulling him and subsequently took his time warming randy johnson up.

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6:40 PM :: 2 comments ::

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someone wanted a review so here's one kinda

10.12.2005
they shouldn't have even come THIS far, but they did.

it's too bad so many people see not getting out of the first round of the playoffs as an abject failure -- and i'm sure somewhere mike lupica is pawing himself from the rooftops -- but in my mind, for this team, it was a success. does my heart hurt a little bit? sure. but less than it did last offseason when i was displeased, to say the least, at the front office's decisions. less than it did as i sat at one of randy johnson's first starts and watched as he bombed against baltimore; as i watched them trot out tony womack day after day, week after week; as i listened to a season ticket holding meathead behind me scream his throat raw for arod to be traded back to texas for soriano. less than it did when they got swept by the likes of the devil rays and the royals. i thought the team i watched play in the alds (shaky defense, shaky starters, shaky pen, the population of china left stranded on base) resembled more closely the team i'd watched all year than whatever team of bloodthirsty aliens came roaring down the stretch.

still, there was plenty to love -- mo's cy-worthy year after a few blips (0.87 WHIP, .177 BAA, 1.38 ERA, with a .26 road ERA and a 23 game scoreless streak), arod being arod (.321/.421/.610, and a 67 game errorless streak after a miserable start), tino's may, giambi's july, no more The Graphic flashing across the screen as jeter struts up with the bases juiced, aaron small's unlikely and amazing run, my baby daddy chacon suprising everyone, the emergence of cano of the 60 watt smile and tiger "i hope he can't understand a word mel's saying" wang, that the historically trade-happy yankees actually kept cano and wang, the beautiful improbable ulcer-inducing race for the al east title.

would i have liked more? of course. but baseball doesn't give you what you want 99% of the time. june says it's 18 weeks to pitchers and catchers. that's not so bad, now is it?

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8:57 PM :: 2 comments ::

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10.11.2005
found this is the comments section of shannon's blog:

"[Suzyn Waldman] said he kept saying, "I don't know what else I could have done" and then Ruben came over and put his arm around him and said, "You did just what you're supposed to do."


while the snarky unforgiving part of me wants to say, "well, you could've not struck out in the first place," but the rest of me is still fuming at one of the worst calls i've ever seen in my whole baseball watching life.
8:02 AM :: 7 comments ::

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ignoring that other thing

go cards!
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quote of the game[thread]

10.10.2005
"matsui must be getting paid by the angels in porn to leave runners on base tonight." - shannon

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dear shawn chacon

10.09.2005
marry me!

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things that really boil june's bunny rabbit:

the mere mention of the word labrum, kerry wood, carlos zambrano, dusty baker, the clutch myth, curt schilling, rbi, kenny lofton, the infield fly rule, joe morgan, wins as a measure of a pitchers ability... i'm sure i'm leaving something out.

Anyone who can look at this line

.321/48/130/1.031 OPS

and call the player overrated, is plainly stupid, pettily and pointlessly envious, or both.

in the regular 2005 season, Alex Rodriguez got on base more than David Ortiz by a long shot (.421 to .397) -- second in the AL only to Giambi -- and had a .610 slugging percentage, good for best in the AL - that's right, even better than Ortiz (gotta admit that one surprised me).

A-Rod's RC27 is an AL leading 9.53, which means that if you had had 9 A-Rods in your batting order this year, you'd be very poor. Ha ha! Seriously now, in addition to being very poor, you'd be very happy, because you could have expected to score NINE AND A HALF FUCKING RUNS on average per game. (In all of MLB only Derrek Lee's was higher, a hilarious 10.02.)

yeah, the inevitably HOF-bound A-Rod is sooooooo overrated.

And I swear this will be my only MVP rant:

David Ortiz deserves the MVP because:

1- he's more "clutch". Never mind that "CLUTCHNESS" is stubbornly statistically unprovable across all of baseball history and is a product more of our (and by "our" I include "sportscasters' and writers' ") human-nature desire to inject factually unfounded "character" traits into the players and create dramatic storylines, as well as the emotion we attach to typical "clutch" situations because of our passion for one team or player over another, than of reality or truth ... YES Derek Jeter does well when it matters, but he DOES WELL ALL YEAR LONG. (see previous post.) If he happens to CONTINUE to do so - i.e., be the same person - in October, or close-and-late, or with runners on, or to win the game, or with a gun to his head, or while juggling torches - that's great, but THERE IS ZERO MATHEMATICAL BASIS to support the myth that he is therefore CLUTCH. It's the tree falling in the forest thing - he makes a sound either way, whether it's May or October or down by one with a RISP.

The fact that it happens to make me really HAPPY if he chooses to have his (on average) one hit per night in a situation that ties the game, or that it severely pisses me off when Ortiz does it to win a game against the Yankees, DOESN'T MAKE EITHER OF THEM BETTER HUMAN BEINGS OR MORE "VALUABLE" AS PLAYERS. It just isn't so. Virginia, there is no fucking Santa Claus.

And don't be flapping Ortiz' 354 BA/RISP vs A-Rod's 290 at me. First of all, 290 ain't shabby. Second of all, that one thing doesn't outweigh all other factors to me. I'm not gonna take a Yugo over a Mercedes because the Yugo has a shorter turning radius. Please. Well, that's not a perfect analogy. I'm not saying Ortiz isn't a great hitter. He is. But I'm not going to decide that he's more VALUABLE as a hitter because he exceeds A-Rod in ONE criterion when he is inferior to him on all of the other ones that matter.

2- He has more RBI. Never mind that he has only partial control over RBI and it is therefore a stat of EXTREMELY LIMITED USEFULNESS... I mean, are you kidding, that someone who has 100 RBI for, say, the Yankees while batting 5th all year, should be given as much credit for it as someone who has 100 RBI batting first in the order for, say, the Devil Rays?? {suppresses further ranting, with difficulty}

To recap... Ortiz deserves the MVP over A-Rod because he is more "clutch" (which is like saying he's a unicorn) and because of his higher RBI total (which is like saying - no, it IS saying - that HE deserves the credit for everyone in front of him who got on base, never mind that they might, just might, had something to do with it themselves)...

all this despite having inferior offensive numbers on all other major counts and having an RC27 of 8.51. Uh, I can't be sure, but I THINK I'd rather have the guy that's gonna score me one more run, on average, every time, because I THINK scoring more runs USUALLY wins games and therefore he by definition is MORE VALUABLE than the other guy... but then I'm assuming that everyone agrees that winning games is "VALUABLE", which maybe isn't a safe assumption given all the profoundly stupid things I've been subjected to about these two guys in print and conversation.

And don't even get me started on the fact that Ortiz literally doesn't even statistically qualify to be considered for his defensive "contributions".

So: all you A-Rod-hating yankee "fans" (you know who you are, asshole mediaites) and all those who keep squawking that Ortiz deserves this award over A-Rod: I got a gatorade thingy full of boiling SHUT THE FUCK UP. C'mon over here a minute.
[june has decided]

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4:29 PM :: 3 comments ::

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my heart coulda done without the interesting save, but anyway



at lease some people remember how to make me happy.
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dear randy johnson

10.08.2005
well. fuck you too.
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10.07.2005
"During his interview session yesterday in the Bronx, Randy Johnson noted that the level of intensity from Stadium fans hasn't been consistent during his starts this year."

dear randy johnson,

the crowd intensity's been about as consistent as you've been -- half a season of Big Useless isn't exactly going to endear you to an already hostile crowd. they need you, though. they want to believe in you. you just have to give them reasons. those who wanted you want to be proven right and those who didn't? make us them forget '95, forget '01.

mhm.
10:05 AM :: 0 comments ::

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separated at birth?

10.05.2005
thanks to kimmeh for nudging the realization along



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11:08 PM :: 1 comments ::

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quote of the evening

on learning chone figgins fav movie:
buck and mccarver, in unison: "rocky FIVE?!"
buck: "it kinda tapered off after two, didn't it?... [lengthy debate about choney's age] so he's a guy that got a taste of the rocky franchise and thought five was pretty awesome. and who didn't!? i'm gonna introduce him to rocky one!"

not that there was a game going on, or anything.

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Robinson Cano was standing at the plate in the first inning Tuesday night, living out the dream of every kid who's ever aspired to October greatness. There he was, facing the Angels' Bartolo Colon with the bases loaded, fighting off the kind of fastball that'd doomed most of the American League all summer.

With a 1-2 count, Cano was drowning, too. Colon was lighting up the radar gun at 95-mph, pouring in one fastball after another, essentially telling the rookie: I Dare You.

Everyone in the ballpark knew another heater was on the way, too, which is why Cano took a deep breath and geared up for an old-fashioned playoff war. This was Game One of the AL Division Series, and if the karma between two teams can be decided in one game, then it's not impossible to say one at-bat can change the course of the post-season, too.

Want to know why the Yankees beat the Angels, 4-2 Tuesday night? Why they might just avoid their worst nightmare in this series, having to make another west coast trip to play Game Five?

It's because of what Cano did after the count was evened at 2-2. He met Colon's outer-half fastball dead-on, crushing it to left and sending it screaming over Garret Anderson's head, giving the Yankees an instant 3-0 lead.
[bob klapisch]

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a few things

10.04.2005
1. izzy: STOP DOING THAT.

2. this is going to be me one day:
capt.modp10610041712.padres_cardinals_modp106

3. to do: send juicy carp a case of bottled water. better yet, IV fluids and a hookup.

4. go el titan!

5. fuck 10 pm starts, the rally monkey, thunderstix, and as much as it pains me, chone figgins.

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4:21 PM :: 3 comments ::

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daddy yankee

Alex Rodriguez spent the year taking swings at the many myths and misconceptions about him. He hit almost every one of them out of the ballpark. There's satisfaction in that.

There's always expectation staring him down, expectation to outplay everyone, to dominate everything. No matter what he says or does, he'll be too perfect for some, not perfect enough for others.

Tonight in Game 1 he'll face Angels ace Bartolo Colon, the 98 mph-throwing Cy Young favorite he's habitually tormented. A-Rod's a .442 hitter against Colon, with seven home runs in 43 at-bats, including four homers in four at-bats earlier this season.

Tonight the pressure comes from having to carry over his superhuman efforts from the Yankees' regular-season roller coaster into the postseason, in which his good deeds have largely gone unnoticed or overshadowed. But Rodriguez insisted the worst is behind them. And maybe it is.

...A-Rod's spent the season completing circles, answering questions and knocking back knocks.

Can't play in New York? He set the Yankees' single-season home-run record for a righthanded batter, hitting 48 to beat Joe DiMaggio.

Can't play third base? He played the best third base we've seen since Graig Nettles, maybe better.

Can't beat Boston? He had four hits, including a home run, in the clincher.

When it was all over, Ortiz, using a batboy as a messenger, sent words of congratulations to Rodriguez for his superb season. A-Rod was so touched that he reciprocated, sending that batboy back like a boomerang with kind words for Ortiz. [jon heyman]

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10:39 AM :: 0 comments ::

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i agree with this guy

10.03.2005
buster olney's mvp/cy picks: alex rodriguez, albert pujols, chris carpenter, and mo:

You tell me that Santana has been the most effective starting pitcher in the AL, and I say, you're right. You tell me that Bartolo Colon should win because he leads the league in victories, and I say, you've made a good case. The Twins have basically been out of contention for the last two months, and Colon has been great but not dominant.

Rivera's road ERA, going into Saturday's game, was 0.26. His overall ERA was 1.40. He's blown only two saves since those first two blips against the Red Sox. You show me stats that say Rivera is not that much better than other closers. I will tell you that hundreds of players, managers and talent evaluators strongly disagree with you, and believe Rivera gives the Yankees an edge no other team has, as it pursues championships.

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7:50 AM :: 2 comments ::

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10.02.2005
0670674249.01.LZZZZZZZ


as if i wasn't emotional enough yesterday, leave it to the post to start me choking up all over again:

There were early career moments when [Bernie's] talent was questioned. The game came hard to Williams; still does. The instinct he found in his fingers to play guitar never came to his baseball brain. He weathered it. He knew the organization doubted him, he heard all the trade rumors, experienced the Yankees undervaluing him. The Yanks nearly signed Albert Belle after the 1998 season, continuing a career pattern of feeling Williams was not worth his requests. Williams nearly ended up a Red Sox, though his heart was always here. The Yanks finally caved and gave him $87.5 million over seven years. That, too, changed baseball history.


Belle, a nuisance, broke down. Williams, a clubhouse prince, helped the Yanks win two more titles as their cleanup hitter. That October he won Game 1 over Boston with a walkoff homer, the second time in the postseason he had done that. David Ortiz is the only other player who can say that. No other switch-hitter can say they hit homers from both sides of the plate two different times in a postseason game. No one else who ever played the game can say they had 22 postseason homers. Williams had the stomach for October. He was plenty tough.


That seven-year contract expires now, and so, too, possibly does Williams' Yankee career. The shy 16-year-old is near the top of every important career offensive list in team history, one of the 10 greatest players to ever play for the greatest team.

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7:38 AM :: 2 comments ::

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reason number 362 to love shawn chacon

10.01.2005
"I don't know who to thank... Thanks Colorado for trading me here, and thanks for taking me New York!"
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no words

capt.bxf13510012202.yankees_red_sox_bxf135
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