Monday, February 23, 2009
Pitcher Mark Melancon springs up the charts at Yankees camp
New York Daily News
"Mark Melancon looked at the workout schedule Sunday morning, a daily ritual for virtually every player in camp. He knew he was penciled in for live batting practice, but when the 23-year-old saw Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano were in the group hitting against him, he texted his father back in Colorado.
"He said, 'Just picture your mom standing in there,'" Melancon said. "I said, 'No thanks. I'll be fine.'"
Melancon was right. He threw 30 pitches during his session, getting Jeter to swing and miss a couple times and breaking Cano's bat with a filthy four-seam fastball.
With Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman watching the pitcher many think could be Mariano Rivera's successor, Melancon took advantage of an opportunity to impress, something he hopes to do every time he takes the mound this spring.
"I think I'm ready," Melancon said when asked if he feels he belongs in the majors. "I still think I have a lot of learning to do. I'm definitely not at the level I want to be at."
Confident words from a pitcher with just 12 games of experience at the Triple-A level. But having worked his way back from reconstructive elbow surgery, Melancon doesn't come off as arrogant. It's more a case of ... he's good, and he knows it.
With Joba Chamberlain's future seemingly locked in as a starter, there are those - both inside and outside the organization - who believe Melancon will be Rivera's successor when the Hall of Fame closer finally hangs up his spikes.
While Girardi tried to quell any talk about Melancon succeeding Rivera, the topic didn't seem to faze the youngster.
"It's not overwhelming, because I know it's not true unless I make it true," Melancon said. "I think it's able to be done, so I'm excited for that. I'm excited that people are throwing that out there, but I know it's not true until I make it true.""
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Yankee years
Boyer became the Yankees' regular third baseman in 1960, beating out three others (including Gil McDougald, who in spring training had announced that this, his 10th season in the majors, would be his last) for the starting job. He batted .242 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs as the Yankees won the pennant. However, he had a humbling moment in the first game of the World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. With two runners on base and the Yankees trailing 3-1 in the second inning, manager Casey Stengel, never confident in Boyer's hitting, replaced him with a pinch-hitter, Dale Long, who flied out to right fielder Roberto Clemente. The Yankees didn’t score in the inning and lost 6-4, ultimately losing the Series in Game 7 on Bill Mazeroski’s home run off Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth. Boyer didn't play in the Series again until Game Six.
After the Series, the Yankees fired Stengel. Ralph Houk replaced him as manager and restored some of the confidence in Boyer that Stengel had taken away. Whereas Stengel preferred other players at third base over Boyer, Houk saw something special in Boyer's defensive prowess and gave him the opportunity to play every day.
The 1961 team (with Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Elston Howard, Yogi Berra and Moose Skowron), which defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series, was considered by many as the best ever, with sluggers Mantle and Maris chasing Babe Ruth's 1927 record of 60 home runs (Maris eventually broke the record on the final day) and pitcher Whitey Ford winning 25 games and losing four. What Boyer did not do with the bat (he hit .224 during the regular season), he more than made up for defensively, in an infield that also featured the double play duo of Tony Kubek at shortstop and Bobby Richardson at second base.
During each of Houk's three seasons as Yankee manager (1961–1963), Boyer led American League third basemen in putouts, assists and double plays, finishing ahead of even rival Brooks Robinson—yet Robinson, not Boyer, won the Gold Glove Award each year. In the first game of that 1961 World Series, Boyer displayed his defense by making two spectacular plays—one on a Gene Freese ground ball in the second inning, in which Boyer stopped the ball backhanded and threw Freese out from his knees, and another on a Dick Gernert ground ball in which Boyer dove to his left and threw Gernert out, also from his knees.
Boyer's offensive numbers improved in 1962: career bests in batting average .272, home runs (18) and runs batted in (68). He also came within nine assists of the third base record of 405 set by Harlond Clift of the 1937 St. Louis Browns. Once again, the Yankees won the World Series, this time in seven games over the San Francisco Giants. The Series ended with Bobby Richardson catching Willie McCovey's line drive with runners on second and third. Just a few feet to either side, and Richardson could not have gotten his hands on it, and the Giants would have scored two runs and won the Series. In 1963 Boyer batted .251 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs as the Yankees won another pennant, however, they were swept in the World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the first time this had ever been done to a Yankee team in a World Series. Dodger ace Sandy Koufax won the first and fourth games, striking out a series record 15 batters in the opener. Boyer was the only Yankee regular not to strike out against Koufax.
After the 1963 season Houk was promoted to general manager and Berra replaced him as field manager. Early on, the 1964 team slumped under Berra, especially Boyer who batted .218 on the season. As Berra's managing improved, the team improved with it and won its fifth straight pennant by one game over the Chicago White Sox and two over the third place Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series with Clete playing against his brother Ken. The Yankees lost in seven games, but not before Ken and Clete became the first brothers to hit home runs on opposing teams in a World Series game. In the 7th inning of that seventh game, Ken homered off Yankee pitcher Steve Hamilton and exchanged nods with Clete. Clete returned the favor in the 9th after homering off Cardinal ace Bob Gibson.
After the 1964 Series, Houk unceremoniously fired Berra (in mid-season the management, dissatisfied with Berra's work, made up their mind to fire him at the end of the season no matter what the Yankees did) and replaced him with Johnny Keane, who had managed the Cardinals to the World Series victory over the Yankees. In spring training of 1965 Boyer was involved in a fight in a Fort Lauderdale bar with a male model, Jerome Modzelewski, while in spring training. During the season, he did bat .251 with a career-tying 18 home runs, but the Yankees slumped to sixth place, their lowest finish in 40 years. In 1966 the Yankees fired Keane two weeks into the season, and Houk returned as manager. However, Houk's second managerial stint was far less successful than his first. Their talent and farm system both depleted, the Yankees finished dead last—the first time they had done so since 1912. After a season in which he hit .240 with 14 home runs, Lee MacPhail, who replaced Houk as general manager, traded Boyer to the Atlanta Braves for Bill Robinson, that year's Minor League Player of the Year.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Aceves pitched in the Mexican League for six seasons, including for the Yucatán Leones and Sultanes de Monterrey.
Aceves signed with the Yankees that next offseason, beginning 2008 with the Single-A Advanced Tampa Yankees. He was promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. He was named Eastern League pitcher of the week for the week ending May 25, 2008 .
After going a combined 8-6 with a 2.62 ERA on the three Yankee farm teams, Aceves was called up to the Yankees on August 28, 2008. On August 31, Aceves made his Yankee and major league debut, becoming the 106th major-league player to have been born in México, pitching two scoreless innings in relief.
After pitching effectively through his first few relief appearances, Aceves was moved to the rotation in replacement of Darrell Rasner. In his first career start, he pitched seven innings of one-run ball with two strikeouts against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, earning the win.
His nicknames in México are Shely and Patón, this last one means Large Feet in Spanish.
He wears # 91 because growing up, he and his friends were huge Chicago Bulls fans. While they admired Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, his favorite player was Dennis Rodman.
He got married in November, 2008.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Big day for Brackman
list of pitchers in the bullpen today:feb 15th,2009
1: Aceves, Hughes, Pettitte, Wang
2: Coke, Marte, Ramirez, Tomko
3: Brackman, Jackson, Melancon
4: Claggett, De La Rosa, Hacker, Texeira
This will be the first time Brackman will be able to show the Yankees what he can do. He was rehabbing while in camp last season and never threw off the mound. Since being picked in the first round in 2007, he has thrown only 31.2 innings. Those came in the Hawaiian Winter League last fall.
“Today is a big day for me,” he said. “I just need to get out there and pitch.”
Brackman was 270 when he came to camp last year. He is 232 now.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
i will never forget hayes catching the final out in 1996...one of my best memories as a yankee fan...
Charles Dewayne Hayes (born May 23, 1965 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the San Francisco Giants (1988-1989, 1998-1999), Philadelphia Phillies (1989-1991, 1995), New York Yankees (1992, 1996-1997), Colorado Rockies (1993-1994), Pittsburgh Pirates (1996), Milwaukee Brewers (2000) and Houston Astros (2001). He batted and threw right-handed.
In a 14-season career, Hayes posted a .262 batting average with 144 home runs and 740 RBI in 1547 games played.
He caught the final out of the New York Yankees' 1996 World Series victory.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
what a homerun that was in the alcs!!...
In the 1976 American League Championship Series, his first-pitch, walk off home run off Mark Littell of the Kansas City Royals gave the Yankees their first trip to the World Series since 1964.
"Mark Littell delivers . . . High drive hit to right-center field . . . It could be . . . it is . . . gone!" -- Keith Jackson, ABC-TV.
"Chris Chambliss has won the American League pennant for the New York Yankees. . . . A thrilling, dramatic game. . . . What a way for the American League season to end!" -- Howard Cosell, ABC-TV.
"My first thought was that I hit a home run. Then I realized it was the ninth inning, the game was over and we'd won the championship. Then I thought, 'Oh no, the people are on the field.' I was in the middle of a mass of people and when I fell to the ground, it was scary." -- Chambliss.
"I never felt like it was fun to celebrate that home run with the fans. They didn't belong on the field. I wanted to meet my teammates at home plate and I couldn't." -- Chris Chambliss.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
William Malcolm Dickey (June 5, 1907 – November 12, 1993) was a Major League Baseball player and manager. One of the most famous catchers in major league history, he played his entire career with the New York Yankees, with whom he appeared in eight World Series and won seven World Series championships.
Dickey was born in Bastrop, Louisiana. He broke into the majors in 1928 and played his first full season in 1929. It was his first of ten seasons out of eleven with a .300+ batting average. Although his offensive production was overshadowed by Yankees greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, in the late 1930s Dickey posted some of the finest offensive seasons ever by a catcher, hitting over 20 home runs with 100 RBI in four consecutive seasons (1936 - 1939). His 1936 batting average of .362 is the highest single-season average ever recorded by a catcher (tied with Mike Piazza of L.A. Dodgers in 1997). Dickey was also noted for his ability to handle pitchers and his strong throwing arm. He was also known for his relentlessly competitive nature. In 1932. Dickey broke the jaw of an opposing player with one punch in a 1932 game after the man collided with him at home plate. Dickey received a 30-day suspension and $1,000 fine as punishment.
His mentor was Albert Edwin Dickey. Ed Dickey often sat in the dugout with Bill as his personal coach. It has been said that Ed lost his index finger in a bench clearing brawl when Ty Cobb bit his finger off at the knuckle.
In 1942, while still an active player, Dickey appeared as himself in the film The Pride of the Yankees, which starred Gary Cooper as the late Yankee captain and first baseman Lou Gehrig. Late in the movie, when Gehrig was fading due to the disease that would eventually take his life, a younger Yankee grumbled, in the locker room, "the old man on first needs crutches to get around!"--and Dickey, following the script, belted the younger player, after which he said the kid "talked out of turn."
Dickey had been regarded as Gehrig's best friend on the team, and while the title of Yankee captain remained officially vacant until it was awarded to Thurman Munson in 1976, Dickey was seen by many as the Yankees' new leader on the field.
After several seasons of offensive stagnation and time off during World War II, Dickey became the manager of the Yankees in middle of the 1946 season and led the team to 3rd place in the American League. He retired after the season, having compiled 202 home runs, 1209 RBI and a .313 batting average over his career.
In 1949, Dickey returned to the Yankees as a coach, as first base coach and as catching instructor, to aid Yogi Berra in playing the position. In his trademark fractured English, Berra said, "Bill Dickey is learning me all of his experiences." Already a good hitter, Berra became an excellent defensive catcher. With Berra having inherited his uniform number 8, Dickey wore number 33 until the 1960 season.
Dickey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954. In 1972, when Berra was elected to the Hall of Fame, the Yankees retired uniform number 8 for both men. On August 22, 1988, the Yankees honored both catchers with plaques to be hung in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. Dickey's calls him "An elementary Yankee" who "is considered the greatest catcher of all time." This is in dispute, as there have been many fine catchers in baseball history (including, but not limited to, Berra, Johnny Bench and Roy Campanella). Like Berra, Dickey was named in 1999 to The Sporting News list of Baseball's Greatest Players, ranking number 57, trailing Bench (16), Josh Gibson (18), Berra (40) and Campanella (50) among catchers. Also like those catchers, Dickey was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, but the fan balloting chose Berra and Bench as the two catchers on the team.
Dickey is currently the only Yankee with a retired number not yet featured on the YES Network series Yankeeography.
In 2007, Dickey-Stephens Park opened in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The ballpark was named after Bill; his brother, former baseball player, Skeeter Dickey; and two famous Arkansas business men, Jack and Witt Stephens.
He died in Little Rock, Arkansas.