Archive for May 2007

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Kid Lincecum

Mets Rumors & News

Tonight the Mets will get their first look at Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ 22-year-old phenom right-hander with the funky delivery and sizzling fastball. In 62 2/3 minor league innings, the kid struck out 104 and allowed just seven earned runs. After a shaky major league debut, Lincecum has settled in nicely. Over his last 3 starts, he has a 2-0 record, allowing 4 earned runs and compiling 20 Ks through 22 innings of work.

Lincecum looks like a strong wind could knock him over, standing just 5-foot-11 and weighing in at a mere 160 pounds, but his fastball consistently clocks in the upper 90s, and he compliments the heater with a deadly 12-6 curveball. After just 4 major league starts, the pitcher is already drawing comparisons to players such as Luis Tiant, Kevin Brown, Roy Oswalt, and even the great Sandy Koufax. It will be interesting to see if he lives up to the hype tonight against one of the more potent lineups in the National League.

Torre Is YES Fall Guy

Yankees Rumors & News

(AP PHOTO/CP, Frank Gunn)Via Newsday’s Neil Best:

The Yankees haven’t faced a situation this dire since the YES Network launched in 2002.

So given the political machinations that always surround the team and its network, everything it does in the coming days and weeks will carry an added layer of intrigue.

Take Sunday: YES returned from a break to show tape of Joe Torre walking off the field to boos after a pitching change.

Hmm. Sound journalistic practice … or going out of its way to make a beleaguered manager look bad? Or both?

Is Barry Safe?

Mets Rumors & News

With the San Francisco Giants in town for their series against the Mets, much of the media coverage today centers around embattled slugger and suspected cheat Barry Bonds.’s Wayne Drehs takes the opportunity to ask just how safe is Barry Bonds? Says Drehs:

Barry Bonds is one of the most polarizing figures in American sports history. Everyone has an opinion: love or hate. There’s no middle ground. A recent ESPN/ABC Sports poll showed that half the nation is hoping for Bonds to break Hank Aaron’s record; the other half hopes he fails. With Bonds now just 10 home runs shy of breaking the record, the spotlight is only going to get brighter, the pressure greater. And with Bonds’ precarious position in our society, the question has to be asked: What is the likelihood of a frustrated fan making a crazed attempt to stand between Bonds and his place in history? And what is being done to stop that from happening?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Hello Mota

Mets Rumors & News

“The moment he’s eligible, he will be back.”- Mets GM Omar Minaya of reliever Guillermo Mota

That moment is fast approaching, as tonight the Mets are set to play their 50th game of the season. It will be the final game in the 50-game ban imposed on Guillermo Mota for violating baseball’s steroids policy at the end of last season.

Mota won’t be the only cheat returning to the Shea on Wednesday, as Barry Bonds is expected to get the day off when the Mets host the Giants tonight, but will be back in the lineup tomorrow night.

In The Post today, Mike Vaccaro speculates on the reception that Mota will receive from the Shea Faithful, and examines the hypocrisy of the whole situation. Says Vaccaro:

Now, if Mota comes back to the Mets and he’s missing a yard or two off his fastball, Shea Stadium is going to greet him the same way they did last October, when he surrendered the Game 2 Scott Spiezio blast that turned the …

Ready For Roger

Yankees Rumors & News

Roger Clemens had a successful outing for AAA-Scranton last night, throwing 89 pitches and striking out six through six shutout innings. After the game, VP of player personnel Billy Connors reported that Rocket is “ready to go,” and barring some unforeseen development, Clemens’s next start will be in the major leagues.

According to Clemens, he could pitch Sunday in Boston or Monday in Chicago. Interestingly, the pitcher is on-turn for Saturday, but perhaps the Yankees have already ruled out bumping Mike Mussina from his scheduled start since the fussy pitcher finally seems to be getting on track.

There is a ground-swell among media and fans for the Rocket to make his dramatic debut against the division-leading Red Sox, however the chance of that seems slim. Currently, the Yanks’ big three of Chien-Ming Wang, Mussina, and Andy Pettitte are lined up for the weekend series at Fenway, and Joe Torre has already voiced his distaste with the notion of throwing Clemens into the Boston media circus.

I guess $28 million doesn’t …

Weinman: “Stay the Course” Philosophy In Jeopardy

Rangers Rumors & News

It’s official…VP of player personnel and assistant GM Don Maloney is leaving the New York Rangers to take over as general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes. As the Journal News’ Sam Weinman states, the Blueshirts’ long-term building strategy could be disrupted now that one of the “key member of the brain trust” is leaving.

Early speculation is that Mark Messier could join the organization, beginning his apprenticeship to eventually succeed Glen Sather as the team’s GM. Of course, this is just speculation, and largely based in Messier’s February assertion that he’d like to assume the job when Sather retires.

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Rangers’ Maloney On the Move?

Rangers Rumors & News

The Journal News’ Sam Weinman directs us to an unconfirmed report in the Toronto Globe and Mail that states that according to a source, Rangers vice-president of player personnel and assistant GM Don Maloney was negotiating to become the next general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes as of Thursday night.

The loss of Maloney would be a huge blow for the franchise. It has been widely reported that for several years now, Maloney has done much of the legwork for GM Glen Sather and deserves as much credit as anyone for the Blueshirts’ post-lockout revival. Furthermore, Maloney’s exit could open the door for Mark Messier, who had expressed interest in taking over as Rangers’ GM when Sather retires, despite his complete lack of experience in the front office. Sather’s return to everyday duties with the novice Moose at his righthand should be enough frighten any Rangers fan.

But as Weinman points out, the report is unconfirmed, and it’s very probable that the Rangers may be in a position …

Helton to the Yanks? Don’t Count On It.

Yankees Rumors & News

The rumor mill is buzzing with talk of Todd Helton being shipped to the Yankees, largely due to this report from Wednesday’s Denver Post:

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters this week that although trades are always possible, nothing is warm right now. Still, multiple scouts said Wednesday the Yankees are interested in Rockies first baseman Todd Helton and closer Brian Fuentes, though nothing is brewing.

While undoubtedly the Yanks are beginning to realize their platoon experiment at first base is a failed one, I don’t see Helton landing in New York for many of the same reasons he didn’t land in Boston this offseason.

At the time, we had this to say concerning Boston’s interest in the Rockies slugger:

Frankly, the move stinks of the same sort of narrow-minded, short-sighted maneuvering that has gotten the Yankees in trouble since their last World Championship in 2000. Though it has already been an unusually expensive offseason for Boston, it’s nearly impossible to believe that the fiscally-conscious Sox would agree to the swap unless …

El Duque Returns Tonight

Mets Rumors & News

Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez had been sidelined since April 25 with bursitis of the right shoulder. He returns tonight against the Marlins in Florida.

When the pitcher faced the Marlins on April 19th, he allowed just one earned run through seven innings in an 11-3 Mets’ romp. It’s doubtful we can expect to see the same kind of dominance in just his first start off the DL, but regardless, the Mets’ rotation just got a whole lot more formidable.

Jason Vargas will now almost certainly be sent back down to AAA, though there’s an outside chance that he could be used in the bullpen in place of Aaron Sele, who just recently had his major league deal guaranteed. Jorge Sosa will remain in the rotation as the Mets’ 5th starter, despite his recent hiccup in Atlanta.

It’s the Same Ol’ Song…

Mets Rumors & News

Say what you want about the struggles of the New York Yankees, at least they’ve taken a series from the rival Red Sox. The Mets are 0-for-3 now against the Atlanta Braves, losing yet another rubber game against their NL East rivals last night, and dropping their 6th game to the Braves in 9 tries overall this season. Remarkably, the Mets still maintain a 1.5 game lead in the division.

Last night, Braves starter John Smoltz bested his buddy Tom Glavine once again, recording his 200th career victory in the process. While still 95 wins short of Glavine, Smoltz surrendered over three years of his career to fill Bobby Cox’s void at closer. The 154 saves he compiled during that period along with the 200+ wins he’ll have collected as a starter make him a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer, along with his soon-to-be 300-game-winning pal.(AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Derek the Great

Yankees Rumors & News

Via The Post’s Mike Vaccaro:

Derek Jeter collected a couple of base hits in his first two plate appearances last night…The first one was the 2,214th hit of Jeter’s career. That tied Joe DiMaggio on the Yankees’ all-time list.

The second was No. 2,215. That put Jeter alone in fifth place in Yankees history. He is a month away from his 33rd birthday, and it’s becoming clear that he’s not only a cinch to cruise to 3,000 hits – becoming, quite remarkably, the first Yankee to ever reach that forever milestone – but has a wonderful chance to become only the third man ever born to reach 4,000.

It’s always been fashionable to say that the numbers don’t define Jeter, but the fact is they do define him, they have to. His lifetime batting average entering last night was .318. In club history the only men north of him on that list have names like Ruth and Gehrig and Combs and, yes, DiMaggio.

Good Golly, Ollie!

Mets Rumors & News

“He’s turning into a monster.”- Paul Lo Duca

(Gregory Smith/Associated Press)Through 8 games against the Atlanta Braves this season, the Mets have won just three. Oliver Perez has won all three games. Following his seven innings of shutout work last night, Perez (6-3 with a 2.54 ERA) has now recorded wins in his last three starts – the first time he’s done so in his career.

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