Archive for September 11th, 2010

vs. Tommy Hunter PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brett Gardner LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Nick Swisher RF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Mark Teixeira 1B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Alex Rodriguez 3B 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Robinson Cano 2B 2 0.500 0.500 0.500 0 0
Lance Berkman DH 3 0.000 0.333 0.000 0 0
Curtis Granderson CF 4 0.750 0.750 1.500 1 1
Ramiro Pena SS 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Francisco Cervelli C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 11 0.400 0.455 0.700 1 8
Elvis Andrus SS 14 0.250 0.357 0.250 0 0
Michael Young 3B 35 0.265 0.286 0.382 1 1
David Murphy LF 20 0.313 0.450 0.500 1 2
Vladimir Guerrero DH 52 0.208 0.269 0.417 2 3
Nelson Cruz RF 16 0.167 0.375 0.500 1 4
Ian Kinsler 2B 20 0.222 0.300 0.389 1 4
Mitch Moreland 1B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Matt Treanor C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Julio Borbon CF 7 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 164 0.224 0.287 0.388 6 14


Yankees vs. Rangers    
Season: 2010 Season: 2009 Season: 2008 All-Time
NYY: 4-2 NYY: 5-4 TEX: 4-3 NYY: 357-246


  Last 10 Last 20 Last 30
Yankees 6-4 12-8 18-12
Rangers 4-6 10-10 14-16


  Away vs. RHP
Yankees 38-29 56-33
  Home vs. RHP
Rangers 44-26 55-41

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Baseball has long been the sport most known for unstable labor relations, but that perception has changed.

Since the 1994 strike that canceled that year’s World Series, both the NBA and NHL have suffered work stoppages as well as declines in relative popularity. In fact, the NHL suffered two lockouts over that span, the most recent of which canceled the entire 2004/2005 season, and early indications are there could be another work stoppage on the horizon.

For over 30 years, Donald Fehr’s tireless efforts helped strengthen the MLBPA. Now, hockey players seem hopefully he'll be able to do the same as leader of their union.

After the most recent lockout, NHL owners absolutely obliterated a weak players union, forcing upon them a system that is one-sided in favor of ownership. However, it now seems as if the NHL players union is intent on rebuilding its stature. With the league’s CBA set to expire in September 2012, the NHLPA has taken the first step toward electing Donald Fehr as executive director. That’s great news for the players and bad news for the sport’s owners.

Fehr, who has been serving as an unpaid advisor to the NHLPA since November 2009, may be a newcomer on the hockey scene, but his reputation as an expert union director was long established in the game of baseball. Fehr joined the MLBPA in 1977 when it was under the direction of Marvin Miller and eventually became the union’s head in 1983. During his 26 year tenure as the MLBPA leader, Fehr beat the baseball owners in just about every negotiation and legal battle. For the sake of hockey fans, the league’s owners would be wise to not underestimate Fehr if he is elected to lead the union.

The knee jerk reaction from fans who are not educated on the issues is to decry the contribution of the MLBPA, but the reality is the players union has been a driving force for betterment in the game. Aside from the inherent unfairness in the reserve clause, baseball was plagued by an indifferent and inefficient ownership group that viewed their overlord status as a birthright. Not only did that mean players were treated unfairly, but it also meant the game itself was allowed to stagnate.

By forcing the owners to properly value the players, the efforts of Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr also effectively forced them to properly value the game. Instead of having innovation left in the laps of an old guard that seemed content to take in a modest profit, the era of free agency allowed more innovative owners to expand the game beyond its limited means. It is not surprising that baseball’s revenue has grown exponentially since the strike of 1994. Instead of holding out hope that somehow they could break the union, that last and most costly defeat finally convinced baseball owners that they would be better off growing the game instead of trying to cannibalize the player’s portion of the pie. As a result, not only has baseball’s revenues grown at rates better than even the NFL’s, but for most of the last decade owners were raking in a larger percentage of income than any other sport.

For almost two decades, NFL owners have been able to convince a gullible media and fan base that a salary cap is in the best interest of competitive balance, when in reality it is merely a cost control device. Not surprisingly, the same owners now seem determined to push the envelope further by seeking to lower the pool of revenue allotted to the players. Judging by initial reaction, the league’s thrust seems to have full fan support. Normally, that would be bad news for a sadly weak union, but this time around, the NFLPA doesn’t seem as likely to roll over.

NLFPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith does not strike the pose of a pushover, which may mean the NFL owners are in a for a rude awakening.

In Thursday’s NFL opener, players on both the Saints and Vikings lifted a finger in the sky to represent union solidarity. The move was derided by many as selfish, considering the recent economic downturn in the country, and inappropriate. Under new executive director DeMaurice Smith, however, the NFLPA doesn’t seem as if it concerned with misguided public perception. Again, that’s good news for the players and bad news for the owners.

So far, the NFLPA has been about more than just symbolism. According to ESPN.com, the New Orleans Saints recently voted 59-0 to decertify the union in the event a impasse is reached during future CBA negotiations. Every other NFL team is also expected to do the same before the end of the year. Although decertification would not come into play until after the current season, the preemptive decision clearly shows that this time around the NFLPA is prepared for a lengthy battle. Overcoming the historically weak tendency of the football union will still be a challenge, but with so much money at stake for the owners, it may be the latter who now have more to lose.

Often derided by fans and media members for being the only sport without a salary cap, it now appears as if players in other sports are finally realizing that baseball is the game to emulate. It may take a strike or a lengthy lockout, but using the MLBPA as a roadmap would be the best way for each sports’ respective unions to not only achieve economic fairness, but ensure the future betterment of the games they play.

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The Yankees 6-5 loss to the Rangers was both a parade of pitchers and a comedy of errors, and often both at the same time.

Rangers celebrate walk-off win after Nelson Cruz’ 13th inning home run put an end to the relief pitching marathon (Photo: Getty Images).

Ron Washington got an early start on his record setting chess match with Joe Girardi when he was forced to pull CJ Wilson after three difficult innings in which the lefty threw 76 pitches. Determined to make up for his delayed start, Girardi prematurely lifted his starter when he inexplicably called to the bullpen after Javier Vazquez surrendered an infield single to lead off the sixth inning. Vazquez, who had only thrown 88 pitches to that point, was visibly upset in the dugout after the quick hook, and expressed those feelings during his post game interview.

Considering how strong the Yankees bullpen has been, you can’t blame Girardi for being quick with his hook, but in this case, Vazquez didn’t warrant removal from the game. Making matters worse, Girardi then proceeded to rip through his bullpen, burning one pitcher after another until eventually a tie game was placed in the hands of Chad Gaudin. Only Joba Chamberlain, who was a curious choice to pitch the eighth inning, needed more 13 pitches to get through an inning, but for some reason, Girardi felt the need to shuffle through the entire pitching staff. Ironically, the only pitcher that Girardi decided to extend was Mariano Rivera, a decision that directly contradicted his stated desire to avoid using his 40-year old closer for more than one inning.

The most curious pitching decision was the use of Phil Hughes for only one inning. On what was essentially the fifth day after and before his last and next start, respectively, Hughes was set up perfectly to give the Yankees two or three innings. Had Girardi leveraged this opportunity, it could have both limited the strain on Rivera and avoided the need to use Gaudin. Furthermore, the longer stint could have helped ensure that Hughes would not be rusty in his next start against the Rays.

Of course, the bullpen’s over exposure was made possible by the hanging slider that Chamberlain threw to Nelson Cruz. Despite pitching better of late, Chamberlain has still struggled in the “eighth inning”, posting a 5.50 ERA in the all important frame.

Then again, maybe it is unfair to look for a scapegoat from amid a bullpen that surrendered only two runs over seven innings. After all, had the Yankees been able to score just one more of the 18 runners left on base, there wouldn’t have been such a small margin for error.

Sometimes a team leaves a lot of men on base by misfortune, and sometimes they do so for good reason. Last night, leaned more toward the latter, and once again, Girardi’s maneuvering played a role. In particular, replacing Nick Swisher and Marcus Thames for pinch runners, both of whom remained anchored at the base they came on to occupy, were short sighted moves that resulted in a depleted lineup. Then, when the team did get an unexpected contribution, like Chad Moeller’s leadoff double in the 12th, Girardi had Gardner give away an out with a bunt. Even though Gardner left eight men on base in the game, he had been hitting well over the last week, so setting the inning up for the epically struggling Derek Jeter and rookie Colin Curtis was head scratching to say the least.

The final snapshot from the game was a Chad Gaudin fastball that lit up the eyes of Cruz before lighting up the scoreboard, but the game was lost in so many ways beforehand. Another awful night of umpiring also played a role, but it almost seems like whining to bring that up on a night in which the Yankees, players and manager alike, performed so poorly.

After watching a game like last night’s, it doesn’t seem likely that the Yankees will be able to hold on to the division, especially considering the relative strength of their schedule compared to the Rays’ . As a result, the Yankees could find themselves back in Texas opening up the ALDS, the tone for which could very well be established by the final two games of this series.

Most Runners Left On Base by Yankees in a Loss, Since 1920

Date Opp Rslt PA R WPA LOB
9/5/1927 BOS L 11-12 88 11 0.00 23
7/20/1998 DET L 3-4 76 3 -1.54 22
9/21/1956 BOS L 7-13 54 7 0.19 20
4/24/1971 MIN L 8-11 61 8 0.62 20
5/5/1991 SEA L 4-5 71 4 -0.43 19
9/29/1956 BOS L 5-7 62 5 -0.03 18
9/25/1973 MIL L 2-3 59 2 -0.70 18
10/5/1991 CLE L 5-7 59 5 0.15 18
9/10/2010 TEX L 5-6 62 5 -0.64 18

Source: Baseball-reference.com

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