Results tagged ‘ Angel Stadium ’
Normally when games have a twilight start on the west coast such as Monday night’s match-up between the Yankees and Angels at Anaheim (6 p.m., PDT) there is a tremendous advantage for the pitchers because the ball is difficult for hitters to pick up. Not this time. The Yankees batted around in the top of the first inning and Los Angeles came within one batter of doing the same in the bottom half.
The Yankees’ three-run first was aided a great deal by two Angels errors and the loss of starter Jered Weaver. The LA ace was forced from the game with a lower back ailment sustained after an awkward follow through on a pitch to Robinson Cano four batters in. The Yanks already had a run on the board thanks to a bobble by shortstop Erick Aybar on what might have been the start of a double play.
Righthander Bobby Cassevah came out of the bullpen for his first appearance of the season to replace Weaver, who pitched a no-hitter earlier this year and entered the game with a 6-1 mark. A sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez got a second run home. Just when the Angels thought they would get out of the inning when Nick Swisher hit a dribbler to the left of the mound, Cassevah threw the ball wildly to first base for an error allowing another runner to cross the plate.
So despite going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position (there is that dreaded statistic again), the Yankees had a 3-0 lead. They wished they had cashed in on some of those clutch chances when the Angels came back hard against Phil Hughes in the bottom of the inning to pull ahead, 4-3.
The Angels lashed five hits off Hughes, whose parents were in the stands. Hughes grew up in southern California and pitched at Angel Stadium in the 2010 All-Star Game. He did not look much like an All-Star Monday night. After Curtis Granderson tied the score in the second with his 15th home run, Hughes allowed the Angels to regain the lead in the third.
Granderson collided with Swisher as the pair pursued a drive to right-center by Mark Trumbo that fell between them for a triple. Howie Kendrick, who drove in two runs with a single in the first inning, scored Trumbo with a fly to right. Mike Trout’s leadoff home run in the fourth made it 10 consecutive starts from the beginning of the season that Hughes has been taken deep.
Unlike the way the Angels’ bullpen kept the team in the game after Weaver was knocked out, Hughes was not picked up by his pen. After he left the game with one out and a runner on second in the sixth, Hughes watched the Angels load the bases off Cody Eppley and get two runs on a double by Kendrys Morales off David Phelps.
It was the Yankees’ offense that came to Hughes’ rescue by taking him off the hook with three runs in the seventh to tie the score. The big hit was a bases-loaded double by Russell Martin, who has struggled at the plate all season.
There were mixed reviews for the Yankees in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Angel Stadium, a 3-1 National League victory.
Joe Girardi became the first American League manager to lose an All-Star Game since the Indians’ Mike Hargrove 14 years ago at Philadelphia. If you don’t think 1996 was a long time ago, consider that only six players on the rosters that year are still active – three from each league – Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez and Ivan Rodriguez from the AL and Chipper Jones, Mark Grudzielanek and Jason Kendall from the NL.
Girardi did a good job getting players into the game. All the position players except for A-Rod did time. Girardi left himself short in the ninth, however, and did not have anyone to pinch run for David Ortiz after he opened the inning with a single. A-Rod was available, but Girardi said he needed him either to pinch run for hamstring-aching Adrian Beltre if he reached base or to be the designated hitter had the game gone into extras.
Beltre did not reach base and struck out. Blue Jays catcher John Buck dumped a flare to right in front of the Cubs’ Marlon Byrd, but he fired a blazer to Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal covering second to force the plodding Ortiz and essentially kill the rally. So Alex Rodriguez never got to swing the bat.
Phil Hughes was hung with the losing decision, the first Yankees pitcher to lose an All-Star Game since Tommy John in 1980 at Dodger Stadium. Hughes came on in the seventh and got the first out before yielding singles to Reds third baseman Scott Rolen and Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday. Rolen’s reputation for savvy base running was evident as he challenged Angels center fielder Torii Hunter and got to third.
Girardi pulled Hughes at that point for White Sox lefthander Matt Thornton, who got righty-swinging Chris Young of the Diamondbacks on a foul pop. Byrd worked out a walk in an eight-pitch at-bat to fill the bases before lefty-swinging catcher Brian McCann cleared them with a double, which earned him the game’s Most Valuable Player Award.
A wild throw in the fifth inning by Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo had given Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano the opportunity to drive in what proved to be the only AL run with a sacrifice fly. A base-running blunder by Twins catcher Joe Mauer, thrown out at third base trying to advance on a grounder to Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, spoiled the AL’s chance for another run that inning.
Derek Jeter reached base twice in his three at-bats with a walk and a single. Pettitte pitched the third and looked sharp striking out the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier and the Brewers’ Corey Hart before Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina reached the lefthander for a single. Pettitte ended the inning by retiring Ramirez on a fielder’s choice. Nick Swisher batted as a pinch hitter in the seventh and struck out on a nasty curveball by the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright. CC Sabathia was not eligible for duty because he pitched Sunday.
Three decades ago, I worked for a medium-sized daily newspaper in the Detroit suburbs. The sports department had a limited budget, and we had to be careful about out-of-town coverage for that reason. Yet for the seven years I was there, someone was assigned to the All-Star Game every season.
Now, the All-Star Game is a fun event with all the big stars and a lot of pageantry, but it is an exhibition game. Back then, it didn’t decide home-field advantage in the World Series as it does now. So considering how tight money was at our paper, I was surprised that we always covered the All-Star Game. Before going to the 1973 game at Kansas City, I asked my boss why this was.
He told me, “Because it is the only thing happening in sports that day. There is absolutely nothing else going on. What are we going to put in the paper?”
That is a unique quality of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game; that it is played at a time when every other sport is off, including golf and tennis, whose tournaments start toward the end of summer weeks.
So it dawned on me Tuesday morning when I learned of George Steinbrenner’s passing that if the Boss could have picked a day to check out, this would have been it. He would have loved it because it is a baseball day, a special one on the sport’s calendar, and because his life and career could fill the sports news hole on what is usually a slow day.
Here at this year’s All-Star Game, Steinbrenner’s Yankees are well represented on the American League team with seven players and the manager. The flags atop Angel Stadium are at half staff in the Boss’ honor. MLB arranged for press conferences with Joe Girardi, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in recognition that this was a day when a major figure in the sport would be given his proper due.
A moment of silence was observed before the game.
Tuesday morning, I was at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America meeting, which featured Q-and-A sessions with commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, the new executive director of the Players Association. Both men reflected on Steinbrenner.
“A giant in the sport” Selig called Steinbrenner. “Think of where the Yankees were when he bought them in 1973 and where they are today and where baseball is today, going from between $200 million and $300 million in total revenues then to more than $7 billion now. Nobody loved his team more than he did.”
Selig admitted that he and Steinbrenner often clashed but that a friendship grew between them. I had to concur with Bud when he mentioned that back when George was more active than in recent years he frequently accompanied the Yankees on trips to Milwaukee. The commissioner’s home town was one of the Boss’ favorite stops.
“I think that’s how we got to know each other better,” Selig said. “Sometimes when I think I’m somebody because I’m the commissioner or that I was once the president of the Brewers, my wife Sue can always put me in my place. I once told George the story about her getting angry with me for not taking out the garbage one Tuesday, which was when our garbage was collected. Now I am not exaggerating, but every Tuesday for the next three months, George called me and said, ‘Did you take out the garbage?’
“We’d have friendly wages every year. He picked the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I’d have the Wisconsin Badgers and the Green Bay Packers. I did all right with those. I’m sorry this day happened.”
Weiner said he never got to meet Steinbrenner, who was one owner who had a good working relationship with the players’ union. Weiner said he came close to meeting George 20 years ago when the Boss was supposed to testify in a grievance procedure, but the case was settled about an hour before his scheduled appearance.
“I was a Yankees fan growing up and was 12 years old when George Steinbrenner bought the team,” Weiner said. “I was only a year old when the Yankees won their last World Series up to that point. I had no memory of 1962. But in just a few years, the Yankees won back-to-back World Series with George.
“Our system works when everyone tries his best to win. Players always try their best. There have been incidents when owners don’t try their best. Nobody could accuse George Steinbrenner of not trying to do his best for his team.”
The Boss would have been proud to hear that he was characterized that way.
It was inevitable that Yankees manager Joe Girardi as the skipper of the American League for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Angel Stadium would run into some criticism. He knew it would be coming, and he was ready for it.
Naturally, Red Sox Nation was not happy about Kevin Youkilis being passed over for the White Sox’ Paul Konerko when a replacement was needed for the Twins’ Justin Morneau, who is recovering from a concussion. Morneau had been elected to the starting team by fans. The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera will take his place in the starting lineup while Konerko will take Morneau’s spot on the roster.
Girardi identified as a bang-bang call between two players having good years. Youkilis did finish a very close second to Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher in the Final Vote for the 34th roster spot, but despite Boston’s rage over this the Red Sox are well represented on the team with pitcher Jon Lester, catcher Victor Martinez and DH David Ortiz. Besides, pitcher Clay Buchholz, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and third baseman Adrian Beltre had all been named to the squad but had to be replace due to injury.
How many representatives does a third-place team warrant? The White Sox are in first place in the AL Central and had just one representative, pitcher Matt Thornton, before Girardi selected Konerko, who has been a big part of the South Siders’ emergence after a terrible start.
After revealing his batting order, Girardi was questioned about having Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (.274, 8 home runs, 43 RBI, 9 stolen bases, 60 runs) hit second and Rays left fielder Carl Crawford (.321, 11 homers, 50 RBI, 31 steals, 70 runs) hit ninth. Crawford was the Most Valuable Player of last year’s game at St. Louis. Jeter was MVP in 2000 at Atlanta, which played into Girardi’s reasoning.
“With a player like Carl Crawford at the bottom, it’s like having two leadoff hitters,” Girardi said. “Derek Jeter has been here many, many years in a row and deserves to bat second.”
Then, of course, came talk about the Home Run Derby in which the Yankees convinced second baseman Robinson Cano to bow out but allowed Swisher’s appearance.
“I think it’s a great event,” Girardi said. “My son will watch it, and then we’ll practice hitting home runs when we get home. We have a player in it. Robbie has some lower-back issues. We felt his back needed the rest.”
One thing is for sure, however. With home-field advantage in the World Series on the line, Girardi intends to manage the game with a victory in mind.
“We were the recipients of the home field advantage last year,” he said. “We were 7-1 at home in the post-season. We’re going to play the game hard and right and do whatever it takes to win.”
I won’t be blogging off the Yankees’ final two games before the mid-season break Saturday night and Sunday at Seattle because I’ll be on my way to Anaheim, Calif., for the All-Star Game, which is Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. Keep checking in starting Monday because I’ll be filing regular reports on the Yankees’ All-Stars.
Nick Swisher may not have a stronger supporter for his “Send Swish” campaign than his own general manager. For the second consecutive day, Brian Cashman will be joining with youngsters in the Bronx Thursday to stir up votes for the right fielder in the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote.
Wednesday, Cashman was at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Clubs on Randall Avenue on Swish’s behalf. Cash will be at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club’s Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse at 1655 Hoe Avenue to make one final voting push for Swisher, one of five candidates for the 34th spot on the American League squad for the All-Star Game July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
Voting for the final spot ends at 4 p.m. Thursday. Swisher fell behind Kevin Youkilis Tuesday but move back ahead of the Red Sox first baseman Wednesday. Youkilis sustained an ankle injury Tuesday night at Tampa Bay, but it is not believed serious, so he shouldn’t miss much time.
The Red Sox have formed an alliance with the Reds and first baseman Joey Votto to boost their vote total. The same strategy worked a year ago when the Phillies and Tigers combined forces to get Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino and Detroit’s Brandon Inge onto the respective squads.
Swisher has no such “partner” in his quest, so it is up to Yankees fans to get him over the hump. Yankees fans are urged to “Send Swish” to the 2010 All-Star Game by voting an unlimited number of times for him at yankees.com. Supporters of Swisher who vote online will be entered to win tickets to an upcoming Yankees game and a signed Nick Swisher baseball. Fans are also encouraged to check out Swisher’s video at yankees.com where he reaches out to all his fans, with his bags packed, ready for a trip to the All-Star Game.
Vote now. Time is running out.
Yankees fans will have to boost their effort in the “Send Swish” campaign to get right fielder Nick Swisher to the All-Star Game or risk his losing out to a member of the Red Sox. Major League Baseball reported Tuesday that Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis had moved ahead of Swisher at the midway point of the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote.
Swish was leading after the first day of voting, but Youkilis passed him on the second day. Both players are dealing with the disadvantage of being on the road during this special voting period. The Yankees are in Oakland, and the Red Sox are in St. Petersburg, Fla. But fans may vote an unlimited number of times at the clubs’ web sites and with their mobile phones.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is jumping with both feet into the “Send Swish” campaign. Cash will team up Wednesday with youngsters at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx to vote for Swisher. The G.M. will vote with the kids from 1 to 2 p.m. at the club’s Lucille Palmero Clubhouse at 1930 Randall Avenue.
Yankees fans are urged to “Send Swish” to the 2010 All-Star Game by voting an unlimited number of times for him at yankees.com. Voting began Sunday and wraps up at 4 p.m., EDT, Thursday, July 8. Supporters of Swisher who vote online will be entered to win tickets to an upcoming Yankees game and a signed Nick Swisher baseball. Fans are also encouraged to check out Swisher’s video at yankees.com where he reaches out to all his fans, with his bags packed, ready for a trip to the All-Star Game July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
Swisher has reached out to celebrity friends such as Jimmy Fallon and Sean Combs for support, but Youkilis has made his plea in the United States Senate. Constituents of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) received an e-mail Tuesday imploring them to Vote Youk, including a link to the online ballot.
The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has become a part of the Final Vote. Yankees Universe can’t let Red Sox Nation get away with this.
With 1,218,121 followers on his Twitter account, Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher may have a huge step up on the other contenders for the Final Vote spot on the American League All-Star team. And it has showed so far with 10 million votes in over the past 24 hours, and Swisher taking the lead over the White Sox’ Paul Konerko, the Red Sox’ Kevin Youkilis, the Twins’ Delmon Young and the Rangers’ Kevin Young.
The “SendSwish” logo that was featured on the Mitsubishi video screen at Yankee Stadium Sunday was also the desktop background for the Yankees.com website Monday. Yankees fans are getting into it, trying to get Swisher to Anaheim, Calif., next week for the July 13 All-Star Game with teammates Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte.
Pettitte was named to the team Monday to replace Red Sox pitcher Clay Bucholz, who is on the disabled list. Andy was expected to be named to the team next Sunday once Sabathia took the mound in Seattle. A loophole in the process allows Sunday game starters to be excused from playing in the game but still designated as an All-Star. That would permit AL manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees to replace Sabathia with another pitcher now that Pettitte, who might even start the Midsummer Classic, has already been added.
As for Swisher, he is a good example of a hard-working, journeyman having a strong season and deserving of some recognition. It might be his only chance to make an All-Star team, as was the case of his father, former catcher Steve Swisher, who was a reserve on the National League squad for the 1976 game at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Steve, then with the Cubs, did not get into the game. Johnny Bench started and played the first four innings, and Bob Boone caught the last five.
But like pop, Nick just wants to make the roster. Yankees fans can help. Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint mobile ballot, text the word “VOTE” to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text “A2″ to vote for AL Player 2, which is Nick Swisher. Message and data rates may apply.
“It would mean so much extra now because it’s up to the fans,” Nick said. “I think I’ve generated a pretty good rapport here with the fans of New York. There’d be nothing more that I’d want to do than represent them in the All-Star Game. It would mean the world to me and my family, and not only that, but to be able to represent your team and your city. This city has been nothing but great to me. I have an opportunity, and hopefully my Creatures get everybody to vote on that last spot. It’s something I’d be really excited for.”
Voting continues through 4 p.m., EDT, Thursday. So do you part to “Send Swish.”
Word around Major League Baseball is that Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher was making a big surge in the All-Star fan balloting which ends one minute before midnight Thursday. Yankees fans have all day and evening to help get Swish a spot in the American League outfield for the July 13 game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
The Yankees haven’t had an outfielder in the AL All-Star lineup since Bernie Williams in 2000 at Atlanta’s Turner Field. Ten years is too long, folks. Pick Nick.
Swisher entered the day in fifth place behind the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki and the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, who were apparent locks for the first two spots; last year’s All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Carl Crawford of the Rays and Nelson Cruz of the Rangers.
The Yankees will surely have two starters in shortstop Derek Jeter and second baseman Robinson Cano, whose leads at their positions are insurmountable. Hanging on to the runner-up spot at first base behind the Twins’ Justin Morneau is the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira, but the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera in third place has been closing ground as the election winds down.
We are down to the last three days of All-Star voting, so Yankees fans are going to have to pile on the votes if they want to get first baseman Mark Teixeira and right fielder Nick Swisher on the American League squad for the July 13 game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
Teixeira is locked in a tight, three-player race at first base. He trails the Twins’ Justin Morneau by 255,000 votes and has a 30,000-vote lead over third-place Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. Swisher ranks fifth among outfielders behind fourth-place Nelson Cruz of the Rangers and is 436,000 votes behind the Rays’ Carl Crawford for third place needed to break into the starting outfield. The top two outfielders are the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki and the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton.
The Yankees will have at least two starters since shortstop Derek Jeter and second baseman Robinson Cano have huge leads at their positions. Jeter is running second in the overall voting only to Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who has a 2.6-million vote margin over the Yankees’ Jorge Posada. Mauer’s total is 3,968,039 votes to Jeter’s 3,350,155. Cano is just under 3 million at 2,948,269.
Going over the 3-million mark this past week was Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, whose lead over the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez is now more than 1.1 million and is probably uncatchable. With Nick Johnson on the 60-day disabled lists after having right wrist surgery, the Yankees had no chance in the designated hitter voting that has been a runaway for the Rangers’ Vlad Guerrero.
Voting continues through 11:59 p.m. Thursday. The results will be announced at 12 noon Sunday, July 4, on TBS’ MLB All-Star Selection Show Presented by Taco Bell. Former Yankees pitcher David Wells will be an analyst with Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Dennis Eckesley and emcee Matt Winer. American League manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees and National League manager Charlie Manuel of the Phillies will be interviewed on the program.