Results tagged ‘ David Cone ’

Old-Timers’ Day never gets old

Funny thing about the Yankees’ Old-Timers’ Day is that the event itself never gets old.

Other organizations that followed the Yankees’ lead over the years in staging reunions of their old players discontinued the practice except for special occasions.

With the Yankees, however, the exercise remains an annual event, and each year it seems something new is added. This year’s 68th annual gathering marked a return for the first time of favorites such as Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, key stars of the franchise’s last World Series championship of 2009. Another new returning alumni was John “The Count” Montefusco, a former National League Rookie of the Year with the Giants who became part of the Yankees’ rotation in the 1980s.

“I have been waiting to come to this almost as much as I waited to get to the majors when I was in the minors,” Montefusco said. “I just wanted my grandson [Nicholas] to see what his grandpa did for a living and some of the great guys he played with.”

One of the great things about new blood joining the exercise is that new old timers like Matsui and Damon are still agile enough to play in the three-inning game. Matsui hit a home run this year in the Hall of Fame Classic last month and after watching him swat a few into the stands during batting practice I thought he might pop one during the game but no such luck.

Matsui even pitched to one batter, a Hall of Famer no less, and gave up a single to Reggie Jackson. Meanwhile, there were pitchers all over the field. David Cone played some third base. So did “El Duque,” Orlando Hernandez. David Wells made a sparking scoop of a short-hopper at first base. Coney had a tough day on the mound. He gave up a home run to Jesse Barfield and a hit to his old running mate, Wells.

Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson told me during batting practice that he has been bothered by a sore toe. He said he went to the doctor thinking it was broken, but that x-rays were negative.

“Turns out I have arthritis from all the pounding I took,” said the all-time stolen base leader. “I guess I’m officially old.”

I told him, “No, that just means you’ll steal only two bases instead of five.”

Actually, stolen bases are frowned upon in the Old-Timers’ game. In the first inning, Henderson drove a liner to left-center and sore toe and all legged out a double.

A special treat in this year’s event Sunday was the dedication of a plaque in Monument Park for Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage, the day after first baseman Tino Martinez was installed.

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The inscription reads:

RICHARD MICHAEL GOSSAGE
“GOOSE”

NEW YORK YANKEES
1978-1983, 1989

ONE OF THE MOST INTIMIDATING PITCHERS
EVER TO DON PINSTRIPES, GOSSAGE HAD AN EXPLOSIVE FASTBALL AND FEARLESS DEMEANOR, FREQUENTLY PITCHING MULTIPLE INNINGS PER APPEARANCE.

IN SEVEN SEASONS WITH THE YANKEES, COMPILED A 42-28 RECORD WITH 151 SAVES AND A 2.14 ERA. WAS A FOUR-TIME ALL-STAR WITH THE CLUB AND 1978 A.L. RELIEF MAN OF THE YEAR.

INDUCTED INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME IN 2008.

DEDICATED BY THE NEW YORK YANKEES
JUNE 22, 2014

“To receive this today in front of all those guys and all you fans is overwhelming,” Goose said. “I can’t think of another word for it.”

Gossage reminisced that Old-Timers’ Day was always his favorite day of the year. He grew up in Colorado Springs with a father who was a huge Yankees fan. Goose followed the career of Mickey Mantle closely and got to see his hero at the first Old-Timers’ Day he attended while a visiting player. When he came to the Yankees in 1978, he made sure to circle that day on the calendar.

So it was fitting that Old-Timers’ Day was the venue for Goose’s entrance into Yankees immortality.

Tino turned out to be a legend, too

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The current issue of Yankees Magazine features an article I did on Tino Martinez, who was honored Saturday at Yankee Stadium with a plaque in Monument Park. Tino still couldn’t believe it until he finally got a look at the plaque itself.

​The inscription reads:

CONSTANTINO “TINO” MARTINEZ
NEW YORK YANKEES
1996 – 2001, 2005

KNOWN FOR HIS POWERFUL BAT AND SUPERLATIVE DEFENSE AT FIRST BASE, MARTINEZ WAS A FAN FAVORITE ON FOUR YANKEES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS. HIT TWO OF THE MOST MEMORABLE HOME RUNS IN YANKEES POSTSEASON HISTORY – A GRAND SLAM IN GAME 1 OF THE 1998 WORLD SERIES AND A GAME-TYING, NINTH-INNING HOMER IN GAME 4 OF THE 2001 FALL CLASSIC. AMASSED 192 HOME RUNS AND 739 RBI IN SEVEN SEASONS WITH THE CLUB.

DEDICATED BY THE
NEW YORK YANKEES
JUNE 21, 2014

I was thinking after I finished the interview with him for the piece that I must have talked with Tino hundreds of times and thought I knew everything there was to know about him. But what I was not aware of until that interview was that Martinez wanted to succeed Don Mattingly as the Yankees’ first baseman.

It is always a tough assignment for a player to come to a new team and try to replace a legend. There is an enormous amount of pressure in that situation. This is not to say Martinez did not feel that pressure because he certainly did. He could have avoided it. There were other clubs interested, the Cubs and the Padres specifically, who coveted Martinez if the Mariners indeed were going to trade him after the 1995 season.

The Yankees were, too, of course, and Martinez told his manager, Lou Piniella, that New York was where he wanted to be. That was the part of which I was not aware beforehand. Martinez actually pushed for the trade despite knowing that a huge spotlight would be foisted on him as the man to follow Donnie Baseball.

Tino explains in the article that he had the utmost respect for Mattyingly, but that he was retiring as a player and his team needed a new first baseman. Martinez said he felt it would have been different if Mattingly had become a free agent and signed with another team. The pressure then would have beeb worse. But Mattingly’s retirement left a void, and Martinez was anxious to try and fill it.

He did all the smart things, beginning with not wearing Mattingly’s old uniform No. 23, the same numeral Martinez wore in Seattle. I think Yankees fans appreciated that sign of respect right from the get-go.

Martinez pointed out in the article and reiterated Saturday that he got off to a slow start in ’96 and that fans did not warm up to him immediately. But once he took off, so did the fans, whom he thanked Saturday.

His former manager, Joe Torre, and teammates Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Paul O’Neill and David Cone plus former trainer Gene Monahan took part in the pregame ceremony in which Martinez continued to express surprise that he was so honored.

From now on, whenever he comes to Yankee Stadium Tino can stop by Monument Park and see that the plaque is more than a dream.

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HOPE Week: Reunion of previous recipients

The Yankees opened HOPE Week 2014 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Monday by bringing together representatives from all 25 prior HOPE Week days for a reunion at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86 on Manhattan’s West Side. The gathering celebrated the five-year anniversary of the initiative.

Attending the event to support the former HOPE Week honorees were Yankees general partner and vice chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, general manager Brian Cashman, former pitchers Mariano Rivera and David Cone and disabled pitcher Ivan Nova, who is recovering from right elbow surgery.

“Everyone in our organization – from my family to the players to the front office – have been touched by our honorees’ struggles and inspired by their spirit,” Steinbrenner Swindal said. “HOPE Week shines a light on stories that need to be told and people who might otherwise go unnoticed. It is our privilege to give honorees a well-deserved moment in the sun and a chance to affect others with their message.”

No sale for Yanks against Sale

Zoilo Almonte may not have realized it, but his single with two out in the sixth inning Thursday night off Chris Sale took pressure off opposing manager Robin Ventura. Before that at-bat, Sale was working on a perfect game as the 6-foot-6 lefthander continued his dominance over the Yankees.

Where Ventura comes in is that Sale was on a strict pitch count. He was making his first start after coming off the disabled list and a left arm flexor injury. The White Sox skipper was likely relieved when Almonte poked his single into center field. Sale kept the shutout in place by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury to end the inning and as it turned out his outing.

Any temptation Ventura might have had in sending Sale out there to keep a perfecto in place went out the window at that point. It reminded me of that game in Oakland in 1996 when David Cone had a no-hitter through seven innings in his first start after coming back from an aneurysm.

Manager Joe Torre refused to risk Cone’s health to let him continue the no-no and took him out. The Athletics broke up the no-hitter in the eighth, but the Yankees held on to win the game. Torre did the right thing, and I think Ventura would have done the same but did not have to face the question.

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Chris Sale (naplenews.com)

Sale was as unhittable as a pitcher can be. While on rehab at Triple A, he faced 12 batters and struck out 11. Sale treated the Yankees pretty much the same. Other than Almonte’s hit, only one other batted ball off him went to the outfield, not that there were all that many batted balls. Sale had 10 strikeouts and got seven other outs in the infield.

Sadly, the Yankees are getting used to this type of treatment from Sale. His earned run average in eight career appearances against them is 0.85 with a 3-0 record and 40 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. Sale has been even tougher in his five games against them at U.S. Cellular Field where he is 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA and 33 K’s in 23 2/3 innings while holding them to a .125 batting average in 80 at-bats.

For the second straight game, the Yankees came up with a two-run rally in the ninth after being scoreless for eight innings, but this time it only cut the deficit to one run instead of tying the game and sending it into extra innings where they won in the 13th.

A two-out, two-run single by Mark Teixeira off Chicago closer Ronald Belisario got the Yanks on the board finally, but Alfonso Soriano was called out on strikes to leave them one run short.

It was a tough loss for David Phelps to absorb. The righthander gave the weary bullpen a break by going seven innings in an efficient 104 pitches. He gave up two runs in the second after two out on successive doubles by Paul Konerko and Alejandro De Aza and a single by Adam Eaton. Phelps retired the final 10 batters he faced from the fourth through the seventh.

Alfredo Aceves pitched the eighth and gave up what proved an important run for the White Sox. After getting two infield outs following a leadoff double by Gordon Beckham, Aceves yielded a single to Adam Dunn for that valuable third run.

The Yankees have now gone 25 innings without an extra-base hit, a power outage of epidemic proportion.

Yankees pitch in to assemble USO Big Apple Packs

Yankee Stadium’s Great Hall will be the site starting at 10:30 p.m. Thursday where some 150 volunteers will help assemble approximately 5,000 USO Big Apple Packs for active servicemen and servicewomen.

Yankees front office employees, service members and veterans will be present to help prepare care packages for those serving in our Armed Forces. Additionally, volunteers from PepsiCo, FedEx, ESPN and Disney will also participate.

On hand to lend support to the cause will be Yankees manager Joe Girardi and former Yankees pitcher and current YES Network analyst David Cone. They will help assemble packs with various items, including Yankees memorabilia. The USO will distribute the packs to troops serving in remote units in Afghanistan during this holiday season.

The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. It provides a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases stateside and abroad, quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. It also provides critical support to forward-deployed troops, military families, Wounded Warriors and their families and families of the fallen. For more information about the USO of Metropolitan New York, visit usonyc.org.

Mo to be honored with Lou Gehrig Sports Award

Mariano Rivera will be honored at the 19th annual Lou Gehrig Sports Awards Benefit Thursday night at the New York Mariott Marquis at Broadway and West 45th Street.

Rivera, baseball’s all-time saves leader who ended a brilliant 19-season career in 2013, will receive the prestigious Lou Gehrig Sports Award along with formers Mets pitcher turned broadcaster Ron Darling and former Giants quarterback turned sportscaster Phil Simms.

Also to be honored will be former Eagles and Patriots fullback Kevin Turner, who is living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that ended Gehrig’s life in 1941 and bears his name.

Former Yankees pitchers David Cone and Tommy John, who are past recipients and honorary board members, will also be in attendance. The master of ceremonies will be ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap.

“We are truly inspired by our honorees for their performance both on and off the field and are grateful to their support in helping to raise awareness of ALS,” said Dorine Gordon, president and chief executive officer of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. “We are pleased to be honoring these four athletes who through their character, courage and determination embody the legacy of Lou Gehrig.”

Yankees keep their manager for four more years

Well, that was quick. All things considered, the Yankees were fortunate to keep their manager in place in a relatively quick period of time during an off-season that promises to be busy. Surely a fourth year on the contract extension was a deal doer. Other clubs – notably the Cubs, Nationals and Reds – as well as a television network or two may have had designs on Girardi, but four-year contracts at seven figures per annum are hard to come by, so the Yankees were able to retain the guy they wanted to continue running the club before his current pact was to expire Oct. 31.

Girardi was deserving of the extension. Even with the World Series championship of 2009 at the top of his accomplishments, Joe’s effort with the 2013 Yankees may have been his best work. It certainly was his most arduous. With the abundance of injuries the Yankees had to deal with, just running out a healthy lineup every day was an ordeal for the manager.

Much was made in the media of Girardi’s Illinois background and ties to the Cubs as a fan while growing up and as a catcher as a player being a temptation for him to go off to Wrigley Field. On a conference phone hookup Wednesday, Girardi emphasized it was a family decision. Mom and the kids were A-OK with the Yankees and New York. The Girardi’s have made solid roots in Westchester County.

And let us not forget that Joe Girardi despite all the Cubs history has become a part of Yankees history as well. He fits in very well come Old Timers’ Day as a player who was part of three World Series championship clubs as a player (1996, ’98-99) as well as his one as a manager. He pointed out that in his conversation with the family that getting to manage in the same place for 10 years, which would be the case if Girardi fulfills the whole contract, is pretty special.

Over his first six years as Yankees manager the club has led the major leagues in home runs (1,236), ranked second in runs (4,884) and seventh in hits (8,836) and batting average (.265). The Yankees have also committed the fewest errors (484) over the span with a majors-best .986 team fielding percentage.

In 2013, Girardi did a good job getting the beaten-up Yankees to an 85-77 finish and third-place tie in the American League East with the Orioles. He got his 500th win as Yankees manager May 10 at Kansas City. The club made just 69 errors in 2013, the third-lowest total in the majors and tying the franchise record for fewest in a season (also 2010). Their .988 fielding percentage set a franchise record, fractionally better than their .988 mark in 2010.

In 2009, Girardi became the ninth Yankees manager to win a World Series, and just the fourth to do so in his postseason managerial debut, joining Casey Stengel (1949), Ralph Houk (1961) and Bob Lemon (1978). Girardi also joined Houk and Billy Martin as the only men to win World Series for the club as players and managers.

Girardi was named the 32nd manager of the Yankees Oct. 30, 2007, becoming the 17th Yankees manager to have played for the club and the fourth former Yankees catcher to skipper the team, joining Bill Dickey, Houk and Yogi Berra.

In 2006, Girardi was named National League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America after guiding the Marlins to a 78-84 record in his first season as a big league manager. With the award, he matched the Astros’ Hal Lanier (1986) and the Giants’ Dusty Baker (1993) as the only managers to win the honor in their managerial debuts.

In 15 major-league seasons as a catcher, Girardi played for the Cubs (1989-92 and 2000-02), Rockies (1993-95), Yankees (1996-99) and Cardinals (2003) and batted .267 with 454 runs, 186 doubles, 36 home runs and 422 RBI in 4,127 at-bats over 1,277 games. He had a .991 career fielding percentage and threw out 27.6 percent of potential base stealers. Girardi was named to the National League All-Star team in 2000 with the Cubs.

With the Yankees, Girardi was behind the plate for Dwight Gooden’s hitter May 14, 1996 against the Mariners and David Cone’s perfect game July 18, 1999 against the Expos. In World Series Game 6 against the Braves in 1996, Girardi tripled in the game’s first run in a three-run third inning off Greg Maddux as the Yankees clinched their first championship since 1978 with a 3-2 victory. He has a .566 winning percentage with a 642-492 record as a manager and is 21-17 in postseason play.

An august August for Nova

The Yankees would love for Ivan Nova to duplicate his August success in September. He will get his first start of this month Thursday night opposite Boston’s Jake Peavy in the opener of a four-game series against the Red Sox.

Last month was indeed august for Nova. The righthander had a 4-0 record with a 2.08 ERA and was a very deserving winner of the American League Pitcher of the Month Award, the first for a Yankees hurler since CC Sabathia in July 2011. Nova has been a key ingredient in the Yankees’ turnaround in recent weeks.

Among league leaders for August, Nova was first in ERA, tied for first in victories and starts (six) and tied for third in innings pitched (43 1/3) in which he walked 12 batters and struck out 31. Opponents batted .250 against him with only one home run – the fewest allowed per nine innings in the AL during the month.

Nova began his honored month with seven shutout innings at San Diego in a game the Yankees won, 3-0. He held the Padres to four hits with eight strikeouts. In his next start Aug. 9 against the Tigers at Yankee Stadium, Nova limited Detroit to one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings but got a no-decision in a 4-3, 10-inning victory.

In defeating the Angels, 11-3, at the Stadium Aug. 14, Nova became the first Yankees pitcher to throw at least seven innings and allow three or fewer earned runs over seven consecutive starts – a run that began July 5 – since Sabathia in 2011 and the first Yankees righthander to do it since David Cone in 1998.

Nova capped it off with his first career complete-game shutout, a 2-0 three-hitter against the Orioles on the last day of the month. He walked one batter, hit two and struck out five.

Old-Timers’ Day June 23 at Yankee Stadium

Nearly 50 former Yankees players and managers will participate in festivities at the 67th annual Old-Timers’ Day Sunday, June 23, at Yankee Stadium. Ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. with the traditional Old-Timers’ game to follow, both of which will be aired exclusively on the YES Network.

The Yankees will play the Rays at 2:05 p.m., also on YES. Stadium gates will open to ticket-holding guests at 10 a.m. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 11 a.m. for the program.

The Old-Timers headliners are five Hall of Famers – Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson. Former Yankees and current YES broadcasters David Cone, John Flaherty, Paul O’Neill and Lou Piniella will also take part.

Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who helped lead the Yankees to three consecutive World Series titles from 1998-2000, will make his Old-Timers’ Day debut along with Flaherty, Brian Dorsett, Todd Greene, Scott Kamieniecki and Andy Phillips.

Joining the Hall of Famers and former Yankees on the baselines will be the widows of five legendary Yankees – Arlene Howard, widow of Elston Howard; Helen Hunter, widow of Jim “Catfish” Hunter; Jill Martin, widow of Billy Martin; Diana Munson, widow of Thurman Munson; and Kay Murcer, widow of Bobby Murcer.

Here is a list of those expected to attend:

Luis Arroyo, Steve Balboni, Jesse Barfield, Yogi Berra, Ron Blomberg, Brian Boehringer, Dr. Bobby Brown, Homer Bush, Chris Chambliss, Horace Clarke, Jerry Coleman, David Cone, Bucky Dent, Brian Dorsett, Al Downing, Brian Doyle, John Flaherty, Whitey Ford, Oscar Gamble, Joe Girardi, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Todd Greene, Ron Guidry, Charlie Hayes, Rickey Henderson, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, Sterling Hitchcock, Arlene Howard, Helen Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Scott Kamieniecki, Pat Kelly, Don Larsen, Graeme Lloyd, Hector Lopez, Jill Martin, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill, Gene Michael, Gene Monahan, Diana Munson, Kay Murcer, Jeff Nelson, Paul O’Neill, Joe Pepitone, Andy Phillips, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Bobby Richardson, Mickey Rivers, Mel Stottlemyre, Mike Torrez, David Wells, Roy White, Bernie Williams.

Pinstripe Bowl charity golf outing May 20

The New York Yankees Foundation will be the host of the third annual New York Yankees/New Era Pinstripe Bowl charity golf tournament, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, Monday, May 20, at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y.

Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Center, Tourette Syndrome Association of Central New Jersey, Boomer Esiason Foundation Fighting Cystic Fibrosis and UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation. More than 400 individuals have participated in the tournament the past two years, and in excess of $200,000 has been raised for charity.

Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start for the scramble-format tournament. A cocktail reception, dinner and an awards presentation will take place at 6:30 p.m. For more information, fans can call (646) 977-8400.

This year’s event includes Yankees alumni and broadcasters, football Giants alumni and select head coaches from Big East football and basketball teams.

Among those scheduled to attend are Yankees president Randy Levine; general manager Brian Cashman; former Yankees players Ralph Branca, David Cone, John Flaherty, Ron Guidry, Pat Kelly, Lee Mazzilli and Mickey Rivers; former Giants players Mark Bavaro, Luke Petitigout and Amani Toomer; Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood; Syracuse University athletic director Dr. Darryl Gross; Syracuse head football coach Scott Shafer; Princeton head basketball coach Mitch Henderson; CBS sportscaster Don Criqui; WABC-TV weatherman Bill Evans; Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum, ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer; WPLJ Radio personality Scott Shannon and New Era Cap Company chief executive officer Chris Koch.

Westchester Country Club offers two championship golf courses and a nine-hole executive course. The West Course continues to be a regular location for professional golf events, including the Westchester Classic, Buick Classic and most recently, The Barclays, the first of four stops on the FedEx Tour. Westchester Country Club was also the site of the Senior Players Championship in 2011.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl will take place Saturday, Dec. 28, at Yankee Stadium, pitting a team from the Big East Conference against a representative from the Big 12 Conference.

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