Tag:Jorge Posada
Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Love Letters: The Killebrew (and more) Edition

A few tears (farewell, Harmon Killebrew) and a few laughs (hello again, Bronx Zoo), it's good for the soul. ...

FROM: Ed K.
Re: Killebrew was no 'Killer', except when it came to slugging

Dear Scott,

Your tribute to Harmon is terrific. My 10-year-son is starting to learn baseball history, and I will share your story with him. I once met Killebrew in Vegas. He was selling autographs, with ALL proceeds going to a children-based charity.

Cool thing is, you could read his autograph. One of my favorite things is how the Twins' Michael Cuddyer and the Angels' Torii Hunter tell stories that, when they were young, they both scribbled autographs until corrected by Mr. Killebrew. "If you're going to take the time to write your name, write it so people know who you are," Killebrew schooled them. Pure class.

FROM: Brian

"Listed at 6-feet, 190 pounds, until cancer slipped a final fastball by him Tuesday." Really? A man loses his life to cancer and you're making baseball metaphors? I typically enjoy your columns but this line is unprofessional, disrespectful and a literary stretch I'd more likely expect to find in a high school publication.

For a man who devoted his life to baseball ... you really think it's a stretch to use a baseball metaphor in tribute to him? What should be used, good metaphors?

FROM: Chris H.

Scott,

I am a 48-year-old Twins fanatic, and Harmon was and always will be my hero. You did a wonderful job capturing the essence of my hero. Thank you so much for this article. Simply put, you did Harmon justice and being who Harmon was, that is quite a feat!

Thanks, Chris. I think it's our job to educate some of the younger fans who maybe don't know much about Killebrew as to just what a humble and class act he was.

FROM: Mike F.

This story may be apocryphal, but I once heard that the scout Bluege sent to look at Harmon Killebrew as a 17-year-old reported back to Clark Griffith as follows: "He has absolutely no weaknesses as a hitter. In my opinion, he is the best first base prospect since Lou Gehrig."

I just learned that Killebrew was passed over several time in the Hall of Fame voting. How is that possible? I know there are a few HOF voters who will not vote for anyone, but how could any sane person who knows baseball not see this guy as a first ballot Hall of Fame selection?

Especially because, as he was being passed over three times before being voted into Cooperstown, he ranked second all-time among right-handed home run hitters behind Hank Aaron. When he retired in 1975, he ranked second to Babe Ruth all-time among American League home run hitters. Utter nonsense he wasn't a first-ballot HOFer.

FROM: Bob D.

Thanks Scott. You understand.

Sniff.

FROM: Kevin M.

Mr. Miller,

Thank you so much for this article about Harmon Killebrew. He was such an inspiration to me while I was a boy. I loved listening to the radio and watching him play.

We've always gotta remember our inspirations, don't we?

FROM: Norman
Re: History tells us Yankees do not grow old gracefully

Great piece, Scott. A classic. History ... gracefully.

One thing you learn when writing a piece like that: How many Yankees fans lack a sense of humor.

FROM: Lee

Your column that the Yankees do not grow old gracefully is pretty interesting. Are the quotes accurate from these past managers and owners?

Uh, no. The tipoff was in the fact that I said the old Yankees diaries were grabbed by Navy SEALS at the YES Network fortress. Almost all of the historical information in the column is factual: The Yanks dumping Ruth, management leaning on Joe McCarthy to remove Lou Gehrig from the lineup sooner than he did because Gehrig's production was down, Steinbrenner forcing Reggie Jackson to take a physical ... all true. I had some fun with the "quotes" and what they were "thinking" at the time.

FROM: Eric S.

Really liked the concept, Scott. Was completely thrown off when I saw you were going make-believe, and not funny at that. The real dagger was the Gehrig stuff, though. That is just tasteless. I am hard to offend and think I have a well-developed sense of inappropriate humor, but there are some things that will never be funny. With all that Yankee material in your hands, trying to instead get laughs out of a debilitating disease is kind of pathetic. You could have done what it seemed like you set out to do -- tell the actual stories, not a corny, LOL nimrod version and had a great column. You can do far better.

Oh come on now. You can't tell me you didn't at least chuckle at the Joe Pepitone line.

FROM: Steve

You're an idiot. I want the 30 seconds of my life back that I wasted reading this drivel.

We just completed an old-fashioned baseball trade: I dealt your 30 seconds for the 30 it took to read your drivel.

FROM: Lee P.

Scott,
 
I actually know Babe Dahlgren’s grandson.  John wears Babe’s 1939 World Championship ring in honor of his grandfather. He will get a kick out of your column! I grew up in NY and finally moved to sunny, beautiful Southern California in 1995 and still love the Yankees. Yankees management and the media are always up to something. Keep up the good work!

Ah, 1939: A four-game Yanks sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, and Dahlgren contributed a homer and two RBI.

FROM: Edward
Re.: Compared to Yanks, 'immature' Rays whip-smart

You may be the worst baseball columnist on all of the major sports sites on the internet. Your bias shines through in every article you write, and is hardly EVER backed by any facts. Consider a new career. Maybe put a cool rag on your forehead, sit in a dark room, and re-evaluate your life.

Funny, I do that about twice a year. Usually with pizza, Mountain Dew and National Lampoon's Animal House playing.

FROM: Bob

Cheesy? Cheesy? America's game should not wear Red, White and Blue on the most important days of the country? While Jackie Robinson's efforts were tremendous -- big Dodger fan here -- it was only in this country could that have happened in the western world. The only country to elect an African-American and did not have colonies in Africa. But it would seem history is not your forte, Ass!

If 100 percent of the profits from the red, white and blue caps went to the troops, I'd be fully in favor of it.

FROM: Chris

Wow ... banging on the Yankees with Tampa as the new flavor of the week. What guts, Scott. But I guess who would read what you write if it didn't include knocking the Yankees? I know I wouldn't. And congrats on one thing: You didn't even mention New York's bloated payroll. Oh but I forgot, you're a pro. You will save that one for next week when the Bombers have turned it around again.

Sorry, I stopped reading when you said you wouldn't read what I write if it didn't include knocking the Yankees. Was there anything pertinent after that?

Likes: Jim Leyland on interleague play. He's right. ... Very cool story, Cleveland's Orlando Cabrera missing a game the other day to become a U.S. citizen. ... Mets pitcher Dillon Gee. ... Sean Burroughs back in the majors (with Arizona) for the first time since 2007. Great story. ... Stephen Colbert the other night: "Starbucks is being sued for firing a dwarf. Or, as Starbucks calls him, a 'tall.'" ... Bridesmaids is pretty funny for a chick flick. Not great. But entertaining. Probably about as good as we're going to get in another crappy summer movie season. ... Bob Seger in Detroit for three shows this week. Wish I could be there for one of those -- and preferably for this past Tuesday's show when The Rockets opened. What a great, underrated Detroit group they were from the late 1970s-early 1980s. Turn up the radio, indeed.

Dislikes: Farewell to Harmon Killebrew, one of the great human beings the game has ever seen.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"When the Senators stopped playin’ ball
"The Twin Cities got the call
"Minnesota joined the American League
"With Mele at the reins
"The Twins made instant gains
"In ’65 they had the flag and an MVP
"I’m talkin’ baseball
"Allison and Perry
"Twins baseball
"Kitty Kaat and Jerry
"Don Mincher and Mudcat comin’ through
"Jimmie Hall and Davey Boswell, too
"Just like Tony ... the Killer and Carew

-- Terry Cashman, Talkin' Baseball (Twins version)

Posted on: June 26, 2010 2:05 am
Edited on: June 26, 2010 2:12 am
 

Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez: The Sounds of Silence

LOS ANGELES -- The weekend's theme appears pretty well set after the Joe Torre-Alex Rodriguez Cold War continued on its icy path following the Yankees' 2-1 series-opening victory here Friday night.

Torre said he was "relieved" that the pre-game meet-and-greet with several of his Yankees friends was finished and that now he can move on to concentrating on baseball.

Except, he said before the game that he intended to shake A-Rod's hand as well during batting practice. And the two never got close enough to each other for that to happen.

And while he didn't seek A-Rod, the Yankees slugger was noticeably conspicuous in his failure to greet Torre as well.

"I don't look at that as disrespect," Torre said late Friday night. "I don't know what to say. I certainly don't want to dump on Alex that it was disrespect. He was over there stretching and I was talking to people. If we had come close enough. ..."

As far as Torre is concerned, he doesn't think there are any issues to solve with A-Rod.

"I'll say hello to him," Torre said. "I don't know what to iron out. I don't feel there's anything that keeps us from acknowledging each other.

"I'm comfortable with how my feelings are. If he chooses not to talk to me, it doesn't mean I'm not going to like him. I was around him a few years and I thought we got along well."

Down the hall and across the lobby, in the other clubhouse, Rodriguez downplayed what has had all the appearances of a tiff since Torre dropped him to eighth in the lineup in Game 4 of the 2006 playoffs against Detroit and then portrayed him in an unflattering light in Torre's 2009 book, The Yankee Years.

"I'm sure we'll get the opportunity to talk," Rodriguez said. "We're going to be here for three days. There's no rush.

"If he wants to talk, I'm more than willing."

Rodriguez pointed out that he wasn't around Torre as long as core players like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, but noted he learned several things during his time with Torre nonetheless.

"He was a good teacher of hitting," Rodriguez said. "One thing I use to this day, anytime I was struggling he'd say, 'I'm telling you the same thing I told Dale Murphy: Hit the ball into the right-field seats,'" Rodriguez said. "To this day, I can still hear his voice."

Posted on: November 1, 2009 12:46 am
 

Yanks grab World Series lead with 8-5 Game 3 win

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Rodriguez, who until now could only get himself into a World Series by opting out of his contract in the middle of a game in the 2007 Boston-Colorado series, blasted a two-run homer, the first Fall Classic hit of his career in just his third World Series game.

The rest of the Yankees took it from there in a 8-5 Halloween pummeling of Cole Hamels and the Phillies in Game 3, and now things get scary for the Phillies.

It was an important win for the Yankees, and an especially damaging blow for the Phillies, because the pitching matchup in Game 4 heavily favors the Yankees.

This isn't to say that CC Sabathia is invincible, but he's been rock solid, even on three days' rest. The Phillies will hand the ball to Joe Blanton who, as a World Series starter, makes a pretty good long reliever. In three postseason appearances this year (one start), his ERA is 4.66.

It also was a disheartening loss for the Phillies because they grabbed a 3-0 lead and were threatening to bludgeon a shaky Andy Pettitte further in the second inning. They sent eight men to the plate, Pettitte walked two and he fell behind nearly everyone. The lefty was able to locate his cutter only sporadically, throwing first-pitch strikes to only two of eight Phillies in the inning.

Philadelphia's problem was, Hamels, the Brotherly Love city's darling during last year's World Series run, completely fell apart after zipping through the first 11 Yankee hitters without allowing a hit.

After that run, he lasted only 10 more hitters before the Yankees chased him. During that ugly span, he allowed A-Rod's homer, two walks, two doubles and two singles. He was like a short-order cook taking orders.

The whole while, Rodriguez's penchant for plopping himself smack in the middle of whatever's going on was on full display. He homered off of a Fox television camera in the top of the fourth to cut the Phillies' lead to 3-2, historic because it became the first homer in World Series history to be reviewed by instant replay.

Initially, it was ruled a double. But replays clearly showed it was out, and the symmetry was especially nice, too: A-Rod was involved in the first ever instant replay scenario after baseball instituted it in 2008, when another of his fly balls was ruled a homer. That was in Tampa Bay.

In the Never a Dull Moment With A-Rod Dept., however, he turned right around and booted a ground ball to start the bottom of the eighth, giving the Phillies an opening which they could not take against Pettitte. The left-hander settled down and restored order, retiring 12 of the next 14 hitters he faced as the Yankees' offense thundered to life.

Nick Swisher?

He led off the fifth with a double and came around to score. He homered in the sixth, and talk about relishing it. His trip around the bases clocked in at just under the rain delay that pushed the start of Game 3 back an hour and 20 minutes.

Johnny Damon?

Two-run double in the fifth.

Jorge Posada?

RBI single in the seventh.

And with Sabathia on deck for Game 4, the Yankees are in terrific shape.

Posted on: March 8, 2009 7:51 pm
 

Aging Yanks need A-Rod

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The New York Yankees grew sick and tired of discussing Alex Rodriguez and steroids about 30 seconds after they arrived at Camp Steinbrenner this spring.

But given the choice of talking steroids with A-Rod in their lineup, or drifting away from the topic while A-Rod misses the first two months of the season while recuperating from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip?

Don't let anyone kid you, the Yankees would take the steroids conversation and A-Rod in a heartbeat.

General manager Brian Cashman said as much after the A-Rod press conference upon his arrival in Tampa. Nearly 20 Yankees attended, and when someone asked Cashman afterward whether he really believed the roll call was because of a true affinity for Rodriguez, Cashman, in as honest a moment as there was that day, demurred.

Some of them attended out of an affinity for A-Rod, Cashman said. But others attended because they know how vital he is to this season and they know they've got to do everything they can to make sure he's not a basket case.

"We've invested in him as an asset," Cashman said that day. "And because of that, this is an asset that is going through a crisis. So we'll do everything we can to protect that asset and support that asset and try to salvage that asset."

This is a team that ranked seventh in the American League in runs scored last season with Rodriguez. Yes, the Yankees added free agent Mark Teixeira. But they also lost Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu, a couple of solid on-base guys.

And catcher Jorge Posada and outfielder Hideki Matsui each is another year older and returning from surgery, and right now center field is an open competition between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner (no, neither will be posting Mickey Mantle offensive numbers).

And the club's most realistic in-house option as we speak to replace A-Rod at third is ... Cody Ransom?

A-Rod may have perpetual foot-in-mouth disease, but whatever "distractions" he brings, that the Yankees are a far better club with him between the white lines is unassailable.

Colleague Danny Knobler looked up some numbers the other day and came up with this: In five seasons with the Yankees, A-Rod has started all but 46 games. During that time, the Yankees were 146 games over .500 in games he's started and four games under .500 when he was not in the lineup.

The Yankees right now have two huge issues:

One, how in the world they're going to plug the leak while he's away in April and May (CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, time to step up!).

Two, what kind of shape will he be in when he returns? To expect him to come back from hip surgery, flick a switch and immediately post A-Rod-like numbers is completely disingenuous. Even the great A-Rod is going to need a period of rehabilitation, and odds are he will not be playing at 100 percent for a significant part of this season.

Consider this a stark reminder that, despite all the millions they spent this winter, the Yankees remain dangerously old in several key spots. A-Rod is 33, Matsui and Derek Jeter are 34, Johnny Damon 35 and Posada 37.

Somewhere, the defending American League East champion Tampa Bay Rays must be feeling younger and more limber than ever.

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com