Archive for June 20th, 2007

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Yankees DL Another One?

Yankees Rumors & News

Yankees DL Another One?: “Yankees leadoff hitter Johnny Damon was not in the starting lineup last night and may not be at all in the immediate future. Damon, who has played 12 of the last 13 games as the team’s DH due to sore calves, is now suffering from an abdominal injury he sustained while taking batting practice last Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Even though he has played through it up to this point he now thinks it might mean the first trip to the DL of his career.‘I don’t know how much longer I can go with my rib,’ said Damon. ‘It’s not going to get better with just a day off,’ Damon added. ‘Every swing hurts.’This recent development is bad news for the Yankees as they are already scrambling to fill-out their lineup. Yesterday the team designated Josh Phelps for assignment and will now be using Andy Phillips, who is a career .227 hitter, …

Torii Hunting for Next Contract in New York

Yankees Rumors & News

While in town to take on the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins’ center fielder Torii Hunter, a.k.a. Spider-Man, is putting on a clinic on how to leverage yourself as an impending free agent, prompting the Daily News’ Roger Rubin to ask the obvious question, “What if Spider-Man took New York?

While Hunter was speaking in Flushing, he might as well have been on a direct line to the Bronx. Among the highlights:

“I love Yankee Stadium. The atmosphere and energy there is great. And the fans know the game. When they get on you it can be pretty personal, but it’s always about your baseball game.

“When someone screams, ‘You just can’t hit that slider,’ that’s someone who knows what they’re talking about. You don’t hear that kind of informed (chatter) in Minnesota.”

But don’t think that means Hunter has his heart set on playing in pinstripes. After all, the 31-year-old All-Star is also the best of pals with Red Sox monster slugger David Ortiz. Says Hunter:

“My best buddy and me, we’ve …

Andy Phillips Rides Again!

Yankees Rumors & News

Yesterday, the Yankees promoted infielder and cult hero Andy Phillips from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Phillips had been playing well down there, batting .301 with 11 homers and 36 RBIs. Over the last two years, Phillips has battled some trying personal issues, including his wife’s fight with cancer and his mother’s recovery from a critical car accident. He missed a large chunk of spring training this season in order to be by his family’s side, and was beaten out handily by Josh Phelps for the right-handed first baseman’s job.

Phelps, however, was unable to channel his strong spring into a strong season. Yesterday manager Joe Torre told reporters that he felt the first baseman had struggled both offensively and defensively. As a Rule V draftee from the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees were required to keep Phelps on their active roster for the entire season in order to retain his rights. Thus, after being designated for assignment on Tuesday, he must now be offered back to Baltimore for half …

Are the Wheels Falling Off?

Mets Rumors & News

Last night the Mets looked absolutely terrible, committing four errors in a 9-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Johan Santana reminded the fans in Flushing why he is considered the best pitcher in baseball, going the distance while allowing only four hits.

The Mets are now 4-13 in the month of June. They are struggling to find any consistency, and their play is getting worse. Flip Bondy of the Daily News suggests maybe the focus needs to be a little less on Jose Reyes and more on gaining confidence back. Via the Daily News:

The Mets have now dropped 12 of their last 15 games. They are looking way too hard for Jose Reyes to steal every game for them and waiting too anxiously for the mythical return of Pedro Martinez. Meanwhile, there are more signs every day of gaping holes in the club’s confidence.

The team may now require a therapist, in addition to another starter. The Mets went 12 games earlier this season without an error. …

Yankees Rumors & News’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Texas Rangers have been scouting Yankee prospects in expectation that the Bombers will make a run at acquiring first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Teixeira is currently on the disabled list with a strained left quad but is due back just before the All-Star Break. A switch hitter, Teixeira was hitting .302 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs prior to his injury. Though the numbers aren’t astounding, the former All-Star is a notorious second half hitter, hitting 24 home runs in the second half of last season after hitting just 7 in the first. His power and ability to drive in runs coupled with his gold glove caliber defense are something the Yankees could definitely use in their pursuit of the Boston Red Sox.

The question would have to be how much the Yankees are willing to give up. The Yankees are high on rookie pitcher Phil Hughes, viewing him as their future ace, and the Rangers are reportedly seeking him …

Mets Rumors & News

There’s an interesting bit of dirt concerning the Mets that made its way through the blogging circuits today. Over at his blog Nyjer Please, Luke Halpert cites “a source who will remain anonymous,” who told the blogger that the Mets are falling apart, and their problems may stem from a Latino v. non-Latino clubhouse divide. Via Halpert:

First off, my source told me that “the manager doesn’t care much for the center fielder”, obviously alluding to Willie Randolph and Carlos Beltran. In an off the record conversation, Randolph said Beltran “lacks passion” and is fed up with Beltran’s lack of hustle on the base paths.

Secondly, Julio Franco, who recently celebrated his 89th birthday, is becoming a “clubhouse cancer”. Since the losing streak, my source told me that Franco has become the ringleader of a “racial divide” in the clubhouse between the Latinos and non-Latinos. While it isn’t a straight divide, it was painfully obvious there was something going on during last night’s debacle at Yankee Stadium, where the Latinos were …

Maine Event

Mets Rumors & News

John Maine did something last night that Mets fans haven’t seen much of in the past three weeks: he dominated a lineup. Maine overmatched the Twins in one of his strongest outings of the year, going 7.1 innings while only allowing 4 hits (all singles), and 1 run en route to his seventh win of the season. When a team is struggling as the Mets have been, a strong pitching performance could be the fire the team needs to turn things around. Maine’s ERA is currently 2.90, sixth in the National League.

The acquisition of John Maine has worked out well for the Mets. Maine came over to the Mets along with relief pitcher Jorge Julio for pitcher Kris Benson. Originally projected as a fourth starter in the Orioles system, Maine has proved that the Orioles scouts were wrong about him. While he was less than spectacular in nine starts as a member of the Orioles (2-4 with a 6.60 ERA), the Flushing air must …

Will A-Rod Eclipse R-Mar?

Yankees Rumors & News

What do Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds have in common? They all broke Roger Maris’s single-season home run record – and they all did it in the National League. As such, the 61 home runs that Maris belted during the 1961 season remain the American League record, not to mention the Yankees’ franchise record.

In the Daily News today, Mark Feinsand observes that Alex Rodriguez’s 27 homers in the Yankees’ first 67 games puts the slugging third baseman on pace for a 65-homer season. Were A-Rod to break Maris’s record, Feinsand notes that it would not only set a new mark in the AL, but would likely ignite a new debate as to who is the true home run king. Unlike Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa, A-Rod has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs and would offer baseball purists a modern day record-holder they could embrace.

A-Rod set a career-high in 2002 when he hit 57 homers that season. He did not hit his 27th until the …

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