Results tagged ‘ Lou Gehrig ’

Yankees and Rangers swap zeroes

Go figure this game. Two pitchers take the mound with identical 5.10 ERAs. Each has struggled a ton lately. The Yankees’ Chase Whitley was 1-3 with an 11.25 ERA in his previous five outings. The Rangers’ Nick Martinez, who pitched college ball at Fordham, was winless in seven starts since his only victory of the season May 24.

So what happened? Both pitched shutout ball over six innings.

It was a very positive sign for Whitley, who got solid support from his defense. Five of the seven hits he allowed were at the start of innings, usually a bad omen.

In the second inning, Leonys Martin got to third with none out on an error by third baseman Zelous Wheeler and a wild pitch, but Whitley kept the ball in the infield with two groundouts bookending a strikeout to strand Martin.

In the third, Daniel Robertson led off with a single and stole second base. After Shin-Soo Choo was called out on strikes, Robertson tried to steal third and was gunned down by Francisco Cervelli. Whitley finished off the inning by striking out Elvis Andrus.

Adrian Beltre followed Jim Adduci’s leadoff single in the fourth by grounding into a double play. In the fifth, Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos, who doubled with one out, tried to score on an infield single by Robertson but was thrown out at the plate by Brian Roberts.

Whitley’s night was done after he gave up another leadoff hit in the seventh, a single by Beltre, but Matt Thornton and Adam Warren made sure the All-Star third baseman did not advance.

The Yankees had it even worse against Martinez, who held them to three hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings before Neftali Feliz, the former American League Rookie of the Year, followed with 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief. The Yanks did not get a runner past first base over the first seven innings.

Martinez, too, had helped from his defense. Martin in center field climbed the auxiliary scoreboard in right-center to rob Brian McCann of a potential extra-base hit in the second inning. The ball did not appear to be over the wall when Martin gloved it.

The zeroes kept piling up after the starters were gone. The Yanks did not get a runner into scoring position until one out in the ninth when Derek Jeter doubled into the left field corner. It was career double 535 for DJ, who replaced Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig as the franchise’s all-time leader in two-base hits.

Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to have lefthander Neal Cotts walk lefty-swinging Jacoby Ellsbury intentionally and go after Carlos Beltran, a switch hitter who would bat right-handed against Cotts. The curious strategy worked as Beltran grounded into a double play that sent the game into extra innings.

Yanks fall below .500, latest in season since ’07

South of .500 went the Yankees Wednesday on what should have been a feel-good day with a special ceremony commemorating Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech of 75 years ago. A moving video before the game featured Derek Jeter and baseball’s 30 current first baseman reading the entire text of the Iron Horse’s impromptu address in which he essentially bid farewell to the sport because of his illness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that now bears his name.

The 6-3 loss to the Rays before a crowd of 42,343 at Yankee Stadium was a dismal end to a very disappointing homestand as well as a 15-game stretch against American League East foes in which they could have made some real headway.

“It started off good and ended badly,” Girardi said of the stretch in which the Yankees swept a three-game set from the Blue Jays and proceeded to lose nine of the next 12 games, including the past five in a row, their longest losing steak of the season. “We lost every series after sweeping Toronto and had chances to win a number of games.”

You probably keep reading media accounts of how the Yankees are in the market to improve their pitching. Well, during the past homestand, pitching was the least of their problems. The Yanks’ staff pitched to a 3.16 ERA in the six games. That is good enough to win a lot more than one game usually.

A greater problem for the Yankees is their offense. They averaged 3.17 runs per game in the homestand while hitting .222 as a team and slugging .362, appalling numbers. They batted .146 in 41 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees were without two of their most productive hitters, Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury, in Wednesday’s game due to minor ailments. Tex had fluid drained from his right knee while Ellsbury, in manager Joe Girardi’s words, was “banged up.”

Yet a lineup in which the 3-through-6 hitters were all batting under .230 managed to get 10 hits, including home runs by Brett Gardner and Brian McCann, but were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

“We swung the bat better, but in a couple of rallies we couldn’t get the big hit,” Girardi said. “We’re being outscored and out-hit at home.”

The Yankees’ record at the Stadium is 18-23. Overall, it is 41-42, the first time they have been under .500 since April 11 when they were 5-6 after the 11th game of the season. It is the latest point in a season that the Yankees have been under .500 since 2007 when they were 42-43 July 7. The Yankees went on to a 94-68 record that season and qualified for the playoffs as a wild-card entry, so there is still hope.

“I don’t see confidence as a problem,” Girardi said. “I still believe in this team because there is talent in that room. We need to play better.”

Jeter ties Gehrig’s club mark for doubles

In the same week that Lou Gehrig, the Yankees’ Hall of Fame first baseman, will be honored throughout Major League Baseball on the 75th anniversary of his farewell speech, Derek Jeter tied the “Iron Horse’s” franchise record for doubles.

Jeter’s blast to center field off David Price leading off the bottom of the third inning Tuesday night was career double 534, equaling Gehrig for the club mark. Jeet went to third on a sharply-hit single to center by Jacoby Ellsbury and scored on an error by shortstop Ben Zobrist, whose throw hit Ellsbury in the back in a rundown. Price was the pitcher off whom Jeter got his 3,000th career hit, a home run, in 2011.

The Yankees will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech of July 4, 1939 at Yankee Stadium between games of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators because the club is on the road Friday at Minneapolis on the actual anniversary. The Twins are the descendants of the original Senators, who moved to the Twin Cities in 1961.

As part of the commemoration, Lou Gehrig bobbleheads presented by AT&T will be given to the first 18,000 guests. The sides of the bases will have special logos and the Yankees will wear a patch depicting Gehrig. The scoreboard will run a video featuring Jeter and first basemen from all 30 teams reciting Gehrig’s speech.

The on-field ceremony at the Stadium will include Kevin Brown Thompson, who lives with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the disease that took Gehrig’s life in 1941 at the age of 37, and is an advocate with the ALS Association Greater NY Chapter. Also participating will be the Goldsmith family, who were part of the 70th anniversary Gehrig commemoration at the Stadium and who mourn the loss of Michael Goldsmith to ALS (Goldsmith spearheaded the effort to get MLB to recognize this day continent-wide) and U.S. Navy Lt. Commander (Select) Matthew Bellina, who began his career flying the EA6B Prowler and was diagnosed with ALS in April of this year.

75th anniversary of Lou’s “luckiest man” speech

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Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium July 4, 1939

One of baseball’s most memorable moments had nothing to do with a ball being pitched or hit. It was a speech delivered July 4, 1939 by Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium as he bid farewell to the game and his fans.

Having been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Gehrig took himself out of the lineup May 2, 1939, in Detroit, thereby ending a consecutive game streak of 2,130 games that lasted as a record until broken in 1995 by Cal Ripken Jr.

On the Fourth of July that year, the Yankees honored the “Iron Horse” at the Stadium before a sellout crowd of nearly 70,000 people. Along the baselines stood his teammates from the current Yankees and those from years gone by, the famous “Murderers Row” teams of the 1920s, including Babe Ruth.

Gehrig had not prepared a speech. He did not expect to talk but just to wave his cap in appreciation. Yankees manager Joe McCarthy whispered to Gehrig, “Lou, you’ve got to say something,” and out of the first baseman’s mouth came words of emotion and dignity.

Here is what Lou Gehrig said:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

That moment will be celebrated this week. At Yankee Stadium Wednesday, the first 18,000 customers will receive a Lou Gehrig bobblehead that depicts him the day he gave that speech.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of Lou Gehrig Day in Cooperstown, N.Y., with special programming while teaming up with the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter to honor the Hall of Fame first baseman.

The Museum will offer tributes throughout the day Friday, July 4 as well as provide complimentary admission for those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a care-giver, pre-arranged through The ALS Association UNY Chapter.

Gehrig was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939 in a special election by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America before passing away June 2, 1941.

Special programs offered by the Museum Friday, July 4 – all included with Museum admission – will feature:

10 a.m. – The Plaques of the Gallery (Buck O’Neil Award, 1st Floor)
Learn about the history of the Hall of Fame Gallery and the process by which each plaque is made and installed in this 20-minute guided tour.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Operation Gratitude (Learning Center, 1st Floor)
Honor the military personnel and veterans by taking some time out of your visit to write a letter to our soldiers and veterans. All letters will be sent to Operation Gratitude. In honor of the 4th of July we will be handing out American Flags participants in this Museum program.

11 a.m. – Guided Tour: Lou Gehrig (Location, 2nd Floor)
Gehrig’s career will be highlighted in a guided tour throughout the Museum focusing on artifacts that relate to the Iron Horse.

1 p.m. – Artifact Spotlight: Lou Gehrig (Bullpen Theater, 1st Floor)
Get an up-close look at artifacts highlighting Gehrig’s career not currently on exhibit, and learn about the stories behind them.

2 p.m. – A Tribute to Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” Speech
A tribute features a first baseman from each major league team reciting a line from Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech.

3 p.m. – Lou Gehrig Trivia (Bullpen Theater, 1st Floor)
Test your knowledge of Gehrig in this interactive game show. Make your way through nine ‘innings’ of questions, and win a free year-long membership to the Museum.

4 p.m. – “The Pride of the Yankees” (Bullpen Theater, 1st Floor)
A special screening of the 1942 film starring Gary Cooper as Gehrig and featuring Babe Ruth as himself. Gehrig died only one year before its release at the age of 37.

For more information about Lou Gehrig, please visit http://www.baseballhall.org/hof/gehrig-lou.

Bobblehead promotions at Stadium

The Yankees and AT&T will feature four bobblehead promotions this season at Yankee Stadium.

The promotional lineup has Mark Teixeira Thursday, June 19, against the Blue Jays; Lou Gehrig Wednesday, July 2, against the Rays; Paul O’Neill Sunday, July 27, against the Blue Jays and manager Joe Girardi Wednesday, Aug. 20, against the Astros.

In addition, the Yankees will distribute bobbleheads of Hello Kitty Sunday, Aug. 24, against the White Sox and Lucy from Peanuts (presented by MetLife) Tuesday, Sept. 9, against the Rays.

All bobblehead promotions are for the first 18,000 guests, with the exception of Hello Kitty, which will be for the first 18,000 Guests 14 and younger.

Sunday twin bill has become a rarity

There was a time when Sunday doubleheaders were just about a weekly occurrence for major league teams. That has not bee the case for quite some time. Take this Sunday, for example.

Friday night’s rainout of the scheduled game between the Yankees and the Pirates at Yankee Stadium, Saturday’s game being locked into the FoxSports television schedule and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball forced the Yankees to re-schedule the postponed game to a single-admission twin bill Sunday.

How rare is that? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it will be the first single-admission doubleheader at the current Stadium, which is in its sixth season, and the first in the Bronx since Sept. 29, 2004 against the Twins, a 5-3, 5-4 Yankees sweep. It will be the first single-admission doubleheader anywhere for the Yanks since May 13, 2013 at Cleveland (a 0-1, 7-0 split) and the first on a Sunday at the Stadium since April 13, 1997 against the Athletics (a 3-2, 4-7 split).

In the years when Sunday doubleheaders were regular parts of teams’ schedules, the players often had two open dates during the week, which eased travel concerns. But as television increasingly became a major source of revenue through prime-time advertising rates, the single-admission doubleheader went the way of getaway day games and pitchers hitting in the National League.

The Pirates are visiting the current Stadium for the first time and the Bronx for the first time since 2007. Pittsburgh is the 26th different opponent to play at the current Stadium. The Yankees are 20-5 in an opponent’s debut at the current Stadium.

The Yanks and Bucs opposed each other twice famously in World Series play. The Yankees’ “Murderers Row” team of 1927 featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig swept Pittsburgh. The Pirates got revenge in 1960 with an upset victory in seven games in which they were outscored, 55-27, but still survived with Bill Mazeroski nailing the Series with a leadoff home run off Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 at Forbes Field, one of the most exciting postseason games in history. The final score was 10-9. It remains the only World Series game in history in which no player struck out.

Jacoby Ellsbury was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup because of the flu. The revamped lineup had Brett Gardner shifting from left field to center and opening up a start in left for Zoilo Almonte.

The Yankees’ Class A Tampa affiliate won an 18-inning marathon, 7-6, over the Palm Beach Cardinals Friday night at Steinbrenner Field. The winning pitcher was Wes Wilson, who in his first professional pitching appearance supplied four shutout innings in which he allowed one hit and no walks with three strikeouts. What made that so unusual is that Wilson played the first 14 innings behind the plate in his regular role as the team’s catcher and was 1-for-6.

Girardi marks 1,000th game as Yanks manager

Friday night’s opener of a three-game series against the Rays marked the 1,000th career game as Yankees manager for Joe Girardi. He became the seventh active manager to manage 1,000 games with his current team and the sixth Yankees skipper to go into four figures.

Girardi’s .580 winning percentage based on a 579-420 record entering play Friday night was the highest among the 1,000-game managers, ahead of the Angels’ Mike Scioscia (.543 on 1,247-1,048), the Rangers’ Ron Washington (.538 on 626-537), the Rays’ Joe Maddon (.520 on 690-636), the Giants’ Bruce Bochy (.513 on 596-566) the Twins’ Ron Gardenhire (.512 on 1,010-961) and the Padres’ Buddy Black (.475 on 533-611).

Girardi’s winning percentage ranks fifth on the Yankees’ list of 1,000-plus game managers, behind Joe McCarthy (.627 on 1,460-867), Casey Stengel (.623 on 1,149-696), Joe Torre (.605 on 1,173-767) and Miller Huggins (.597 on 1,067-719) and ahead of Ralph Houk (.539 on 944-806).

Friday also was the 75th anniversary of the end of Lou Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 consecutive games. Gehrig took himself out of the lineup May 2, 1939 at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium, a 22-2 Yankees victory over the Tigers. Babe Dahlgren played first base and had a double and a home run.

Gehrig, who was later diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral schleroris (ALS), did not play another game in the majors and died in 1941, two years after the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted him into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by acclamation.

Future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. eventually broke Gehrig’s mark in 1995 and continued the streak to 2,632 before he ended it Sept. 19, 1998 in a game between the Orioles and the Yankees at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

Battery charge

In Saturday’s 4-3 Yankees victory over the Angels, Dellin Betances got his first major-league victory and catcher John Ryan Murphy his first major-league home run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the seventh time in franchise history that the Yankees had a pitcher earn his first career victory and a player hit his first career homer in the same game.

It also happened in 1912 (Al Schulz victory and Jack Lelivelt home run), 1923 (George Pipgras and Lou Gehrig), 1943 (Butch Wensloff and Billy Johnson), 1947 (Dick Starr and Bobby Brown), 1965 (Rich Beck and Bobby Murcer) and 1980 (Mike Griffin and Joe Lefebvre). Elias also noted that Murphy was the first Yankees rookie catcher with one home run and three RBI in a game since Jorge Posada did it three times in 1997.

Alfonso Soriano has 992 career hits in the American League and 1,077 career hits in the National League. He needs eight hits to become the seventh player in history with at least 1,000 hits in each league. The others are Frank Robinson (1,184AL/1,759NL); Dave Winfield 1,976/1,134), Vlad Guerrero (1,375/1,215), Fred McGriff (1,143/1,347), Orlando Cabrera (1,020/1,035) and Carlos Lee (1,033/1,240). If Soriano reaches 1,000 hits in the AL, he would become the first player in MLB history to record 1,000 hits, 500 runs, 500 RBI, 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases in each league.

MLB: No discipline against Pineda

In the latest much ado about nothing episode in baseball, Major League Baseball has no plans to discipline Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for his apparent use of pine tar on his right hand in Thursday night’s victory over the Red Sox.

“The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox,” MLB said in a statement. “Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred.”

The incident was spurred by social media as photos of Pineda’s hand circulated across the Internet. Boston manager John Farrell said before Friday night’s game that the Red Sox were made aware of the situation, but by the time they knew about it Pineda had washed off the substance.

Pitchers often resort to using pine tar in cold weather to improve their grip. The Red Sox had two separate incidents last year of their pitchers putting foreign substances on the ball.

Derek Jeter’s two hits Thursday night moved him past Joe DiMaggio into third place on the Yankees’ career hit list against the Red Sox. DJ entered play Friday night with 324 career hits against Boston pitching, one more than Joe D. The only Yankees players with more career hits against the Red Sox than Jeter not surprisingly are Babe Ruth with 404 and Lou Gehrig with 347.

Happy Birthday to Mark Teixeira, who turned 34.

Jeter re-ups for 20th big-league season

Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte may be leaving the Yankees but not Derek Jeter. The captain signed a one-year contract for $12 million Friday and intends to be healthy for the 2014 season.

Jeter, 39, is a career .312 hitter with the ninth highest total of hits (3,316), among which are 525 doubles, 65 triples and 256 home runs. DJ has scored 1,876 runs, driven in 1,261 and stolen 348 bases in 2,602 games over 19 major-league seasons, all with the Yankees (1995-2013). A five-time World Series champion (1996, 1998-2000, ’09), 13-time All-Star (1998-2002, ’04, ’06-12) and five-time Gold Glove Award winner (2004-06, ’09-10), Jeter will become the longest-tenured player in franchise history with his first game played in 2014, breaking the record he currently shares with Rivera.

In 2013, Jeter batted .190 with eight runs, one double, one home run and seven RBI in 17 games (13 starts at shortstop, four at designated hitter) and 63 at-bats. He missed 145 games during four stints on the disabled list. Prior to last season, he had been on the DL only five times and missed just 82 games.

Jeter is a five-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (2006-09, ’12) with eight career 200-hit seasons, including a majors-leading 216 hits in 2012. Prior to last season, Jeter had a 17-season streak (1996-2012) of at least 150 hits per season, matching Hank Aaron (1955-71) for the longest such stretch in major-league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jeter, who was named the 11th captain in team history June 3, 2003, is the Yankees’ all-time leader in hits, games, stolen bases, at-bats, singles (2,470) and hit by pitches (164). He also ranks second in doubles (Lou Gehrig-534), third in runs (Babe Ruth -1,959, Gehrig-1,888) and ninth in homers. No active player has appeared in more games for his current team than DJ, who is 10th all-time in games played among big leaguers who have spent their entire careers with one club.

Additionally, Jeter is one of just two players in Major League history, along with Willie Mays, to record at least 3,000 hits, 250 home runs, 300 stolen bases and 1,200 RBI in their careers.

Born in Pequannock, N.J., and raised in Kalamazoo, Mich., Jeter was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 1992 First-Year Player Draft (sixth pick overall). In 1996, he established the “Turn 2” Foundation to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2″ healthy lifestyles. As a result of Turn 2’s programs and his other good works off the field, Jeter was honored by Major League Baseball with the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.

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