Results tagged ‘ All-Star ’
The National Football League began its amateur draft Thursday in Manhattan. The Yankees made two first-round selections in Major League Baseball’s first-year-player draft that went on to play pro football.
John Elway, who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, was the Yankees’ first pick of the 1981 draft and the 26th choice overall. Two years earlier, he had been drafted by the Royals but decided to attend Stanford. Elway played one season in the Yankees’ organization at Class A Oneonta and returned to Stanford where he played both football and baseball. In 1983, Elway was taken in the NFL draft by the Colts, then based in Baltimore. He was eventually traded to Denver where he became one of the city’s greatest sports legends.
Another first-round choice was Brandon Weeden, now the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. The Yankees made him the 71st overall pick in 2002. Weeden pitched in the minors for several seasons both before and after the Yankees included him in the 2003 trade with the Dodgers that brought Kevin Brown to the Bronx. Weeden left baseball for good in 2006.
Also picked by the Yankees in lower rounds of the draft were two future football stars who also spent some time in the major leagues.
They chose Bo Jackson in 1982 with their second pick of the second round. He later played for the Royals and made the All-Star team. The Yankees took Deion Sanders in the 30th round in 1988. “Neon Deion” got into 71 games for the Yankees in 1989 and ’90 and batted .178 with 31 runs, four doubles, two triples, five home runs, 16 RI and nine stolen bases in 11 attempts in 180 at-bats. Sanders played in the World Series for the Braves in 1992 and on Super Bowl champion teams with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Derek Jeter was back at Yankee Stadium Thursday as the Yankees opened a 10-game homestand over 11 days. It was uplifting to see the Captain back in uniform, although he is months away from being able to man his usual shortstop position again.
“Jeet told me he could DH tonight,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It was good to see his smiling face in the clubhouse.”
“It’s a difficult process, very frustrating,” Jeter said of his recovery from a second broken bone in his left ankle. “I have been in physical therapy every day for, what, four or five weeks, so I’m happy to be able to be here and walk around.”
Jeter does not like having to wear the walking boot on his ankle, but he does what the doctor tells him. The Yankees have said that Jeter will be back sometime after the All-Star break in mid-July but no specific date. DJ has a date in mind, but he is not sharing it with anyone.
“I can’t magically make the ankle heal,” Jeter said.
Jeter has learned his lessons about deadlines. During spring training, he said he planned to be ready by Opening Day. About a week before the opener, the ankle got sore again, forcing Jeter to back off his program. It was discovered that he had a small crack in another part of the ankle.
“Same bone, different spot,” Jeter said. “You guys know me; that I don’t like talking about injuries. Once I am told that the ankle is healed, I can get back to my program.”
Jeter smiled when several questions mentioned his age, which will be 39 by the time the All-Star break comes around. He said the injury was not age-related and that “there is no doubt in my mind” that he can play at his usual level once he returns to action.
“I have no doubt,” Jeter said. “When you have doubt, you’re in trouble. I think I’ll be very well rested.”
Always antsy when out of the lineup, Jeter said he has not followed the Yankees that closely on television because he does not have the MLB package on his cable in Florida and has not seen many games. No surprise there. The Captain wants to be on the field, not watching from the sidelines.
He was asked if Mariano Rivera’s return from a torn right ACL was an inspiration.
“I didn’t need Mo to get hurt to put my mind at ease,” Jeter said. “Once the ankle is healed, I’m going to get right at it.”
Do not be surprised if Derek Jeter earns a spot on the American League All-Star squad even though he probably won’t play an inning of baseball before the game, which is scheduled for July 16 at Citi Field in Flushing.
The Captain is extremely popular with fans all over the country. Just last year, he received more than 4.4 million votes, the third highest total of any AL player. Only Josh Hamilton and Jose Bautista were ahead of him, and no other shortstop was within three million votes of Jeter.
Jose Reyes, in his first year in the AL with the Blue Jays after being traded from the Marlins, might have threatened Jeter’s hold on the All-Star vote at shortstop. But Reyes is also out for three months with an ankle injury, so his chances of overtaking the Captain seem out of the question now.
How weird would it be for Jeter to win an All-Star spot without having played a game? Well, go back to 1989. Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt retired in late May while batting .203 in 148 at-bats. The All-Star balloting was only a week old, and yet when it was over Schmidt was voted onto the National League squad as the starting third baseman, even though he had not played for six weeks. You could say that at least Schmidt played as many as 42 games, but then again, he was not very good in many of them. The future Hall of Famer was invited to the game that year at Anaheim Stadium and took a bow, but his place in the NL starting lineup was taken instead by the Mets’ Howard Johnson.
So don’t bet against Jeter.
Forget about seeing Derek Jeter back with the Yankees next month. The club got disturbing news Thursday that the Captain suffered a setback in his recovery from off-season left ankle surgery and is now not expected to return to active duty until after the All-Star break in mid-July.
Jeter had been working out in the extended spring training camp at Tampa, Fla., taking batting practice and fielding ground balls. His workload was halted recently as apparently the shortstop was dealing with some discomfort. He last played in an extended spring game March 23. A CT scan of the area revealed the cause. Jeter has a small crack in the area of his left ankle.
The ailment is not serious enough to require another surgery, but a time frame of anywhere from four to eight weeks of rest is required. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said that Jeter needs the equivalent of a full spring training before he can return, and this situation pushes him back even further.
Jeter, 38, was scheduled to travel to Charlotte, N.C., Thursday to visit Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed the operation last October on the left ankle DJ fractured during the American League Championship Series against the Tigers.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he was pleased with the work Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix have done at shortstop in Jeter’s absence and indicated that help at the position from outside the organization is not expected. The Yankees are not the only club with an injured shortstop. The Blue Jays’ Jose Reyes will be sidelined for two months because of a sprained left ankle.
For those who thought that Jeter had a chance to chase Pete Rose’s career hits record, this latest development probably queers that for good. Not that Jeet was expected to make such a run. He continually avoided questions about challenging Rose’s all-time hits mark of 4,256. Jeter ranks 10th on the career list with 3,304 – 11 hits behind ninth-place Eddie Collins. Jeter would have to play at least five more seasons for any shot at catching Rose, an unlikely scenario for someone who turns 39 in two months.
Robinson Cano certainly made a big comeback in the 2013 World Baseball Classic from his disappointing 2012 postseason for the Yankees. The All-Star second baseman earned Most Valuable Player honors for his pivotal role in the Dominican Republic’s capturing the event.
“Well, this is something that you never are going to get done by yourself, so I want to thank the guys, my teammates, the manager, also the Dominican team for giving me that opportunity to be here with all these guys, all this great talent,” Cano said. “Without my teammates, I would have never won an MVP, so I would say it’s not only me, it’s about the whole team.”
Such an attitude is what the Yankees have always seen in Cano, a team-first guy. It was also a major accomplishment for another member of the Yankees family, bench coach Tony Pena, who served as the manager of his home country’s entry in the WBC, an event that has yet to connect as strongly with fans in the United States as fervently as with those in places beyond our borders.
“Now, Robinson Cano is starting to see himself like a leader,” Pena said. “He’s starting to see himself like giving direction to all the players and talking to the young players.”
Watching the DR beat Puerto Rico for the WBC title was akin to a World Cup soccer match, and throughout the tournament Cano was something to watch. He led all tournament players in hits with a record total of 15 while batting .469 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI and 6 runs in 32 at-bats. Robinson became the first position player to be named MVP. Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was the MVP of the first two WBC events.
Cano’s performance soothed some of the bitter taste he felt after last year’s two playoff rounds in which he was a combined 3-for-40 (.075) with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. He went into a slump at the absolutely wrong time of the year. It is hoped his WBC play will be a catalyst for Cano to get the Yankees off to a hot start to the 2013 season that is right around the corner.
With David Phelps filling in momentarily for disabled CC Sabathia in the rotation, the Yankees needed to find length for the bullpen and did so Monday with the signing of Derek Lowe, who joined the team at Yankee Stadium Monday and was available for the night game against Texas.
The righthander, 39, was 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts and 119 innings for the Indians before he was designated for assignment Aug. 2 and released Aug. 10. Lowe’s career mark is 174-156 with 85 saves and a 4.01 ERA in 655 games, including 377 starts, over 16 major-league seasons with the Mariners, Red Sox, Dodgers, Braves and Indians. He is one of three pitchers to have won at least 160 games and saved at least 80, along with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz.
“He’s a guy in our bullpen who can give us distance,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He has done well in a lot of different roles.”
Lowe has made 278 career relief appearances, going 18-22 with a 2.95 ERA in 381 innings and holding opponents to a .248 batting average. In his career, Lowe has compiled a 3.54 combined ERA from Aug. 1 through the end of the regular season, nearly three-quarters of a run lower than his combined ERA to start the season through July 31 (4.22).
The most successful period of Lowe’s career came during his eight seasons in Boston. He and catcher Jason Varitek were acquired July 31, 1997 from the Mariners in a lopsided traded that only cost the Red Sox relief pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb. Lowe was 70-55 with 85 saves and a 3.72 ERA for the Red Sox. He pitched a no-hitter April 27, 2002 against Tampa Bay during a season when he was converted to a starter and was 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA. Two years earlier, Lowe led the American League in saves with 42 as Boston’s closer. He was named to AL All-Star squads in 2000 at Atlanta and 2002 at Milwaukee.
Lowe has made 23 postseason appearances, including 12 starts, and has a 5-7 record with one save and a 3.21 ERA in 95 1/3 innings. When the Red Sox ended their 86-year drought and won the World Series in 2004, Lowe was the winning pitcher in the clinching game of all three of their postseason series – Game 3 of the AL Division Series sweep of the Angels, Game 7 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees and Game 4 of the World Series sweep of the Cardinals.
Truthfully, that was many years ago. In recent seasons, Lowe has struggled. He led the National League in losses last year when he was 9-17 for the Braves. Over the past two seasons, Lowe has a 17-27 record with a 5.24 ERA. As with Ichiro Suzuki, the Yankees are hoping that a return to a contending club might rejuvenate Lowe, who has never been on the disabled list.
The Yankees have been without left fielder Brett Gardner for more than six weeks, and it appears that he will not return to action before the All-Star break. Gardner, who has been disabled since April 18 because of a right elbow strain, suffered a setback in his second injury-rehabilitation assignment and will visit two specialists.
The Yankees had hoped Gardner could return for their upcoming trip to Atlanta and Washington, D.C., for a couple of inter-league series, but instead he will be examined by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedic surgeon, and elbow specialist Dr. Tim Kremchek. Gardner reported pain in the elbow when he played for Class A Charleston Friday on injury rehab.
“There is a concern that we won’t have him for a while,” Yankees manager Joe Giardi said. “He seems to get to a point where he can do everything he needs to do. Then when he plays in the game, maybe it is the intensity being turned up a little bit, some swinging and missing, it seems to bother him.”
Gardner played in nine games for the Yankees and hit .321 with two doubles, three RBI and two stolen bases in 28 at-bats. His place in left field has been taken by a platoon of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones with DeWayne Wise and Jayson Nix as defensive backups.
The drop-off in defense is the main concern to general manager Brian Cashman, who did not rule out the possibility of a trade. “I don’t want to expose the old guys,” he said, referring to Ibanez, 40, and Jones, 35.
Say this for Robinson Cano. He has fought his way out of an early-season slump. The All-Star second baseman was out early again Thursday for extra hitting four hours before the first pitch. All this additional work has started to pay off.
Cano was a major part of the Yankees’ assault on Tampa Bay lefthander David Price in a 5-3 victory behind CC Sabathia, who remains unbeaten at 5-0. Price may be remembered for being the victim of Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit in the Captain’s five-hit game last July 9, but the Yankees have had their share of difficulty against him over the years. So has CC.
Entering the game, Price was 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five career starts against Sabathia, and the Rays had won all five games. The Tampa Bay lefthander sported a 5-1 record and 2.35 ERA this year that the Yankees blemished into 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA. That’s still pretty good, but Price’s career mark against the Yankees fell to 5-3 with a 4.15 ERA.
The Yankees overcame a 2-0 deficit that was no fault of Sabathia since both Tampa Bay runs were not earned due to a pair of errors by Eduardo Nunez at third base. Cano was a big part of the comeback with a two-run home run in the fifth inning that broke a 2-2 score. Doubles by Alex Rodriguez and Andruw Jones accounted for a third run that inning. Curtis Granderson had homered in the second off Price, who gave up as many extra-base hits in this game – 4 – as he had in his previous five starts combined totaling 30 1/3 innings.
One night after scoring merely one run off Tampa Bay pitching, the Yankees banged out 11 hits off the Rays’ ace. Sabathia took control and held the Rays scoreless for the last six innings of his eight-inning outing in which he had 10 strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 3.51. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth and despite giving up a run earned his first save of the season.
CC’s endurance is a pleasure to behold in this era of pitch-count shortened starts. Since 2009, Sabathia’s first year in New York, a Yankees starter has pitched eight or more innings 52 times. On 32 of those occasions, or 61 ½ percent, that pitcher was CC. Next closest is since-departed A.J. Burnett, now in Pittsburgh, with seven.
Cano’s hot hitting of late has been a long time coming. He is now on an eight-game hitting streak during which he has batted .375 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBI in 32 at-bats to raise his season average 31 points to .286.
It shows you what some extra batting practice can do.
It is coming at an opportune time because the Yankees received additional bad news on Brett Gardner, who has a muscle strain above his right elbow that will keep him disabled for perhaps another three weeks. Manager Joe Girardi said the left fielder will not swing a bat for at least 10 days and could be out for another 25 days overall.
CC Sabathia is the Yankees’ 2011 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. The ace of the Bombers’ pitching staff is one of the 30 club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Wednesday will mark the 10th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by MLB to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize club nominees of the award named for the 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in an airplane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
In 2009, CC and his wife, Amber, officially established his “PitCCh In” Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports inner-city youth through funding and support of academic and athletic programs in the Northern California and New York areas. The foundation is committed to the care and needs of inner-city children while helping to raise self-esteem through sports activities and education.
Besides running baseball clinics, participating in school visits and hosting various charity events, Sabathia and “PitCCh In” often make efforts to give students a needed boost in their academic careers. Earlier this month, the foundation helped young children get a head start on the school year by donating backpacks filled with school supplies to 1,700 New York-area students at P.S. 106 Parkchester in the Bronx.
Every June, the Nathan Berhel Scholarship award, named in honor of Sabathia’s cousin and childhood friend who passed away in 2004, is given to Vallejo (Calif.) High School students who excel in the classroom and are part of athletic teams.
The Yankees will recognize Sabathia’s nomination for this year’s Clemente Award with an on-field ceremony at Yankee Stadium Sept. 22 prior to their 7:05 p.m. game against the Rays.
Former Yankees players who won the Clemente Award were Ron Guidry in 1984, Don Baylor in 1985 and Derek Jeter in 2009. Other ex-Yankees who won the award while playing for other teams were Dave Winfield (Twins) in 1994 and Al Leiter (Mets) in 2000. Phil Niekro, who won in 1980 with the Braves, later played for the Yankees. The 1982 winner was the Orioles’ Ken Singleton, now a Yankees broadcaster for the YES Network.
Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting http://www.chevybaseball.com/clemente, a site powered by MLB.com and created specifically for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet platform, and voting for one of the 30 club nominees. Yankees fans should reward CC for his charitable efforts by giving him their vote.
Voting ends Oct. 9. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2011 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes commissioner Bud Selig; Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow and MLB Goodwill Ambassador; TBS broadcasters and former winners Cal Ripken Jr. (1992) and John Smoltz (2005); MLB Network analysts and former winners Harold Reynolds (1991) and Leiter, and MLB.com senior correspondent Hal Bodley.
As Warner Wolf used to say, “Let’s go to the video tape,” – again!
Still stung by what happened Wednesday night at Kansas City, Yankees manager Joe Girardi bounced out of the dugout right away in the first inning Thursday night at Minneapolis to challenge a home run call. He asked the umpires to review the towering drive by Twins first baseman Justin Morneau that was initially ruled a two-run home run. From his view in the visitors’ dugout along third base, Girardi was certain the ball was foul.
And to Girardi’s possible surprise, the umpires backed him up, reversing the call and sending Morneau back to the plate. That brought Twins manager Ron Gardenhire out of his dugout to get in his two cents of protest that wound up getting him ejected. Girardi probably could emphasize with his opponent’s emotions.
So the Yankees skipper is batting .500 in questioning home run calls by umps on this trip. The reversal also took a home run allowed away from CC Sabathia, who was taken deep five times in his previous start. Those were all solo shots, by the Rays. Morneau’s homer that wasn’t came with Joe Mauer on first base. On defense, Mauer, an All-Star catcher, played right field for the first time in his career because of all the injuries Minnesota has.