…yeah, yeah, yeah. We know.
This week’s Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Awards go to…
- David Wells (2-4, 4.71) Fri 9-14-06 5IP 2ER 1 BB
Wrap + Box Dodgers-3 Padres-2 Wells-L Maddux-W–19-19–4.22, Broxton-H-9-2.51, Saito-S-19-1.93
Wells pitched a beautiful game against the Dodgers, excepting the 4th inning, when he unravelled after surrendering an unheard-of — for him — walk. Unravelling — for him — nowadays means giving up 2 runs in 5 innings. Why just 5, I do not know. Fellow 40+ man Greg Maddux no-hit the Padres into the 7th, leaving Wells no offense to work with.
- Shawn Chacon (6-6, 6.49) Th 9-13-06 7IP 2ER 1BB
- Wrap + Box Milwaukee 2 @ Pittsburgh 1 Chacon-L Sheets-W–5-7–4.08, Cordero-S-18–3.61
Chacon drew a hand very similar to Wells’ when he lost 2-1 to the Brewers. Like Wells, his opposing pitcher — Ben Sheets in Chacon’s case — pitched a no-no deep into the game. Unlike Wells, he will receive less sympathy, despite his recent return from the DL for knee problems, like Wells, which, unlike Wells’, are unrepaired. Chacon is playing hurt — what he has is a publically-realeased diagnosis, better than he got from the Yankees, who gave him nothing but rumors, a demotion, and, in the end, a 1-way ticket to Pittsburgh.
Red Sox 9 Orioles 2
W Wells (1-2, 6.23, 7IP, 1ER)
Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of these? "Oh, don’t worry, it will be fine, I just don’t want to feel trapped into something so far ahead of time — but, definitely, I have every intention of marrying you/hiring you/granting you a credit line/sharing an apartment with you." Then, boom. They flake out on you, except that they are not flaking out at all, are they?
Mark Feinsand remembers. "At the beginning of Spring Training, Brian Cashman told Gary Sheffield that he didn’t see any reason why the Yankees would not pick up the outfielder’s $13 million option for 2007."
Know what he says now? This is what he told the Associated Press for Sports Illustrated about how he is going to squeeze back into the lineup once his wrist is healed, never mind the 2007 contract: "’I just think that those type discussions will come when we know he’s ready to go,’ he said. ‘But right now there’s no guarantee. I just don’t know when him and Hideki will be here, and so I think we just lined up some choices, insurance policies, whatever you want to call it.’"
How do you read "go," as in "when we know he’s ready to go"? For readers, he probably meant "ready to go," as in ready to go be a right fielder again. However, I think his word choice is pretty conspicuously ambiguous. It’s almost too conspicuous to be intentional, like a slip of the tongue. I don’t know. What do you think?
I do not know what will happen when Gary Sheffield’s contract expires at the end of this season. I do know that something smelled funny several months ago when the front office got him to quiet down when he started agitating publicly about being stonewalled on obtaining a commitment for one more year with the Yankees. It sounded like the reassurance came from the suits, not Daddy George, and that is what made me uncomfortable. I could have this all wrong, but my sense is that the troublemakers are Mr. Steinbrenner’s initiatives, and when he drops them, they are not long for the show, at least not for ours. When David Wells embarrassed the family with his book and subsequent public comments, and then let his weight get out of hand and strain his back, contributing to our loss in the World Series in 2004, he was offered a couple hundred thousand and a minor league contract, despite a quite successful year. Steinbrenner was done with him. Done, or else he wanted Wells to beg. I hope Steinbrenner is not done with Sheffield. I hope Torre wasn’t the official reassurance this time, because, if so, he’s dropped another tier. Plus, I never got the feeling he was one of Joe’s Boys.
Would you find this reassuring, spoken by Joe Torre?
"I told Sheff that, if this deal is done, it doesn’t say for sure that we’re not going to have him here or pick up his option," the manager said. "That doesn’t mean you’re making him any promises that you are, but it doesn’t mean that, because you get an outfielder, tell him that this is the way it’s going to be."
Oh, man. Sheffield, I really like you. I like you as a Yankee. You give EVERYTHING and you deserve a real shot at a ring.
Mr. Steinbrenner (and Mr. Cashman, if you are within hearing distance), please bring Gary Sheffield back for 2007. We all know he deserves it. We all know we have at least one too many adult outfielders now that we have acquired Abreau. Perhaps Abreu or Damon can be trade bait for a pitcher next year. After all, we have wonderful minor leaguers who have been hitting and fielding well under tremendous pressure, and you recall how magically well we did when our team was made mainly of our fine former farmhands, back in 1996-98, and we have helped new outfielders move along in to their futures before. So, please, consider another year of Sheffield’s salary, which pays for far more than his clutch hitting and his no-doubt fielding (don’t you miss that?) It buys the no-restraint energy that inspires the team and the fans who come to see the guy who is not afraid of anyone and who will do just about anything to win. We like the polite Yankees. But we need our Sheffield too. And, while you’re at it, if you feel like angering Boston, perhaps you could offer David Wells a uniform and a hamburger, no mayonaise.
Thank you. You are the closest thing we have to Santa Claus, you know. We count on you. That’s a lot of pressure. But, you love it, right?! Making us happy, making yourself happy?
With love and respect,
Fan of Aging Troublemakers
|Paul Byrd, RHP (7-6, 4.71)
|@||David Wells, LHP (0-1, 8.64)
Red Sox (62-40)
Indians 8 Red Sox 9
David Wells typically gave up an early solo homerun — I never worry about those with him — and then had some trouble with his signature curveball, but his team was hitting behind him, and his delivery improved through the 4th, when he looked so good that he came out for the 5th despite his high pitch count. Unfortunately, the optimism cost him a 3-run homerun and the win, which predictably came about by hand of a homerun by David Ortiz at the bottom of the 9th, went to the reliever Kyle Snyder, who completed the remaining 4.1 innings and did not allow the runner he inheirited from Wells to score, nor his own baserunners, for that matter. All 8 runs, sadly, Wells earned, perhaps out of ego, pitching an inning longer than he had simulated in advance (Boston decided to skip a rehab start). For Cleveland, starting the 5th after Paul Byrd was pulled, Jason Davis held Boston scoreless allowing just 2 baserunners over his 2.2 innings. Rafael Betancourt kept them from scoring when he closed out the 7th, and he allowed no runs or hits during the and he pitched a clean 8th. The rookie closer is a converted starter who could probably use another year in the minors to learn the role. I think he may have gotten spooked by the frenzy of the crowd, because he blew the save and lost the game to the now cliched bottom 9th game winning homerun by He’s Not My Papi.
White Sox (61-42)
White Sox 8 Royals 4
Poor Runelvys. He got 2 balk calls in the first inning. It was that kind of night. It’s been that kind of year for him, ever since he started out ill. I hope this year finishes out with promise, and that next year will be a fine one. Contreras, thank goodness he is not a Yankee, and I am glad he helped the White Sox win again.
Much as I like Chris Capuano, I am becoming a Rockies’ fan. Listening to their KOA radio broadcasters and the way they describe the crowd, the way players describe improvements they discern and are encouraged by even in loss, I am heartened. And, I remember that this is where Shawn Chacon came from.
Nationals 10 Giants 7
Go Pedro!! ASTACIO, that is. A renaissance he is having, and it is a good thing for us to witness, especially the skeptics among us. I agree with Fkay (see comment below) about Lowry being under the radar and better than his numbers. Strange it was to root for Stanton against the Nationals yet not for his team and overall be rooting for the Nationals, whom I saw with Marc Marc last season at Shea and celebrated all the former Yankees on both sides, no matter what the crowd said. Loaiza was pitching. You’ve read about that. That opened up some dialogue that in some ways helped October 28 and New Years Day happen the way they did. That’s baseball, right Mark? (Gremse, that is. Gremse whom I met when Marc took me to his baseball shrine of an apartment on East 4th Street to watch a Yankee game.) Now Stanton is playing for Gremse, once the greatest living New York Giants fan, now the platonic form of New York Giants fan. God, I hope he really did see the World Series before he died. Marc, you said you talked with him about it?
"He’s the best .233 hitter I’ve ever seen."
About whom did WCBS radio’s John Sterling say this? He said it today, Sat. 7-29-06 during the Yankees-Devil Rays game. The same player had completed 11/12 stolen bases at that point.
Answer: Miguel Cairo
Article Link: Notes: Wells Making Progress: Simulated Game Next After Successful Side Sessions. (by Mike Petraglia, Special to MLB.com, 07/17/2006)
Almost sounds as enthusiastic as Joe Torre used to, doesn’t he? That’s Terry Francona, David Wells‘ manager on the Red Sox. Part of me says it serves him right, crossing over like he did. The other part says poor guy, always loved the Babe, who could blame him, after the Yankees wouldn’t offer him more than a minor league deal after 2003, and nothing after 2004 on the Padres as far as I know.
So this is the love he gets at 43, after a summer of serious right knee trouble, after being Pavano-ed by a comebacker to the same bad knee in a start early this season, after fighting back to throw 49 pitches, a lot of them good, in a second side session yesterday:
His loving manager says "…obviously we’ll check on him [Tuesday] morning, because that’s the thing to do."
Who loves ya better babe? Come home. Take whatever George will give you. Take long relief. Partner with Chacon. Whatever. Take it easy. But take it.
Yesterday, 7-15-05, was a great day for pitching match-ups. David Wells (video highlight) starting for the Red Sox against the team he loves most still agitates the achiest spot in my breaky baseball heart. I couldn’t bear to write it, and, without that one topping the list, there were no Games To Watch.
Today’s much easier, and hardly less exciting.
Yankees @ Red Sox 1:20
Randy Johnson LHP (9-6, 4.16) @ Matt Clement (10-2, 3.45)
Johnson can handle the hostility at Fenway Park, and I think he can feed off it. Dare I suggest that he’s not afraid to hit a batter? I still hold that the Yankees lost to Boston so often last year in part because they didn’t know how to channel revenge through their inherent good manners.
Watching Clement pitch for the Cubs at Wrigley years ago, I remember picking up a funny feeling from him. He was solid but uneven, and the unevenness has stayed with him. Despite his grand improvements, this all-star can crack.
White Sox @ Indians 1:20
Mark Buehrle, LHP (10-3, 2.58) @ Jake Westbrook RHP (6-11, 4.57)
In a late switch, all-star Mark Buehrle will start for the first place White Sox in place of John Garland. Hard to argue with that.
Even Westbrook’s high-ish ERA shows that he has been better than his Win-Loss record indicates. Lately, he’s allowed an unusual amount of runs to score for this season, which has been a fairly successful one for him.
Astros @Cardinals 4:15
Roy Oswalt, RHP (12-7, 2.39) @ Jason Marquis, RHP (8-6, 3.89)
After a promising few pitches in the All-Star game, Oswalt lost some luck and let go of his cool. His record speaks for itself, however. Marquis may well be up to the challenge. I’ve always liked his chances, though he didn’t look too good in the postseason last year.
Nationals @ Brewers 7:05
Esteban Loaiza RHP (5-5, 3.57) @ Chris Capuano (10-6, 3.63)
Now that the Nationals are hitting behind him, Loaiza — who seemed to rely on his own run-support for awhile — should be able to relax back into the sophisticated and tough pitcher he is. I look forward to seeing his opponent for the first time.
Braves @ Mets 7:10
Tim Hudson, RHP (6-5, 3.78) @ Victor Zambrano, RHP (4-7, 3.58)
Floraine Kay always says to be wary when the Braves are willing to give up on one of their pitchers. A corollary: Note well when Atlanta picks up a pitcher who has been written off as finished. Everyone had something to say when Oakland kept only one of their dominating triumvirate of Hudson-Mulder-Zito. Leo Mazzone, Atlanta’s longtime pitching coach, seems to be having the last word.
When Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said he needed only a few minutes with Zambrano to “fix” him, I was instinctively skeptical. I still am, but I must cite the complicity of the Mets’ bats in constructing his failing Win-Loss record.
Angels @ Twins 7:10
Bartolo Colon, RHP (11-5, 3.42) @ Johan Santana, LHP (7-5, 3.98)
Colon is another all-star pitcher who started well and ended up unlucky in Tuesday’s game. He deserved better. If you ask the Yankees, Santana is much more dangerous than his record appears. This should be fun to watch.