Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves now IS Ramiro Mendoza. This is new this season, and tonight’s 2-inning no-hit performance was a fitting tribute to his predecessor in his first appearance as Mendoza himself. (Yankees 6 @ Red Sox 4) He was dubbed “the latter-day Ramiro Mendoza” last year by WCBS radio’s Yankees broadcaster John Sterling largely because of his ability to pitch effectively at any point in the game, especially in extended middle relief, and to execute a wide repertoire of pitches “that move,” as Sterling’s broadcast partner Suzyn Waldman says, and which emerge from a disconcerting variety of arm angles, much as Mendoza did for the Yanks during the late 1990’s before being unceremoniously cut and left for the Red Sox to pick up. (I should say “pick up the pieces. Mendoza so wanted to stay with his team that he said “I want to die a Yankee.”) I remember then-manager Joe Torre asserting that he had “ice in his veins.” Aceves’ moniker entered the airwaves last season after a conversation among Sterling, Waldman, and NY Daily News beat writer Mark Feinsand, during the “Daily News Fifth” inning segment. It soon took on a life of its own, and Waldman seems to find a charming way for Sterling to make the observation afresh each time Aceves comes to the mound, as she did tonight.
So Joba pitched 3 (35 pitches!) and so did Aceves, who is now 9-1!
Jorge (Suzyn’s Star) said Aceves’ shoulder had been tired and slowed him down but that he seems to be hitting a second wind and pitching great again.
I mean Aceves.
OK, now it’s official: Alfredo Aceves is Ramiro Mendoza re-Incarnate.
In today’s “Daily News 5th” segment, columnist Mark Feinsand mentioned that Pettite made the same comparison yesterday. He also said that Posada pointed to similarities between the pitching style of Aceves and a teammate of Mendoza, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who threw off batters with his unpredictability in the face of the count, willing to throw any pitch at any point.
If Derek Jeter says so, it must be true!
After Alfredo Aceves picked-up Andy Pettite by pitching 3 scoreless innings in Cleveland last night, Derek Jeter told Suzyn Waldman that Aceves reminds him of our house-favorite righty middle reliever, Ramiro Mendoza. That was on the WCBS-AM postgame show.
Then on today’s pregame “Manager’s Show,” John Sterling mentioned Jeter’s comment to Joe Girardi, qualifying the point by noting that it’s the flexibility more than the pitching itself that inspires the comparison. Mendoza was known for excelling in both short and long relief at any point in the game. Girardi concurred.
3 days ago in Texas, columnist Mark Feinsand said in the “Daily News 5th” segment of the WCBS broadcast that Aceves reminded him of Mendoza. Aceves was relieving Joba Chamberlain, who had started the game weakly. As far as I know, Feinsand was the first to draw this comparison.
I once heard Joe Torre say that Mendoza pitched with ice in his veins. That must have been during his first stint with the Yanks. The pressure surrounding some of his playoff appearances was extraordinary. I remember wishing he had been named MVP during one of those playoff series.
Re: Alfredo Aceves in relief of Joba Chamberlain
NYY@TEX Tues. May 26, 2009 Bottom 5th
John Sterling: Becoming “the most trusted man in the bullpen.”
Mark Feinsand: “Almost a modern-day Ramiro Mendoza.”
Wow. Where’s my Mendoza now?
Last seen in Columbus?