Results tagged ‘ Major League Players Association ’
Curtis Granderson, activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, was thrown right into the fire as the starting left fielder and cleanup hitter against the Mariners and Felix Hernandez at Yankee Stadium to open the homestand following a 6-2 trip through Denver, Kansas City and Cleveland.
Granderson played all three outfield positions during his injury-rehabilitation stint at Triple A Scranton. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he will use Granderson in each spot, although it appears that left field will be the one where he will play most often. Brett Gardner has done an outstanding job in center field during Granderson’s absence, and Girardi noted that while he has played some left field Ichiro Suzuki is more comfortable in right field.
Center field with the Yankees is one of the sexiest positions in baseball, yet Granderson told reporters before Tuesday night’s game that he is fine with his new surroundings. Just being back in the major leagues is satisfying enough for Granderson, who enjoyed being back at the Stadium where he was also visited by Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association. Granderson is the Yankees’ player representative to the union.
Granderson is among several Yankees individual players with good career numbers against King Felix, who entered the game with an 8-5 record and 3.08 ERA in his career against the Yankees. The righthander has been especially tough at the current Stadium with a 4-1 mark and 1.13 ERA.
Granderson is a .273 hitter with two doubles, one triple and two home runs in 55 at-bats against Hernandez. Others with good numbers are Robinson Cano (.366, 2 doubles, 2 homers in 41 at-bats) as well as Ichiro (.400) and Jayson Nix (.500) in a limited number of at-bats. Ichiro is 2-for-5 and Nix 5-for-10.
Missing from the lineup will be designated hitter Travis Hafner, who was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his right shoulder that has been sore for several days. The Yankees hope the situation is not serious, but Hafner has had shoulder problems in the past. Vernon Wells, who had manned left field while Granderson was out, was in the lineup as the DH.
CC Sabathia will start for the Yankees in the matchup of former Cy Young Award winners. This is the pairing of Sabathia, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2007 with the Indians, and Hernandez, the 2010 AL winner. It marks the fourth time former Cy Young Award winners will meet at the current Stadium after the winning the award. The others were Sabathia against Lee June 16, 2009, Sabathia against Roy Halladay June 15, 2010 and Sabathia against Johan Santana June 20, 2010.
Sabathia took a 12-4 record and 2.46 ERA in his career against the Mariners into the game. He has won each of his past eight starts against Seattle dating to Aug. 13, 2009 with a 1.20 ERA in 60 innings over that stretch.
The unfortunate side of the Granderson transaction is that pitcher Vidal Nuno, who got his first major-league victory in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader at Cleveland, was optioned to Scranton to create roster space. It was the obvious move because having pitched five innings Monday Nuno could not be used for several days. The lefthander, who pitched eight scoreless innings in two appearances for the Yankees, made a strong impression and will be in Scranton’s rotation to get innings and be available if the Yankees need pitching help down the road, which they almost surely will.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nuno and righthander Adam Warren became the second pair of Yankees pitchers to earn their first career victory and first career save, respectively, in the same game. The others were Alan Closter (victory) and Fritz Peterson (save) July 25, 1971 in the second game of a doubleheader at Milwaukee. Warren was also the winning pitcher of the Yanks’ victory Thursday at Denver. Elias points out that he and Nuno marked the first pair of Yankees pitchers to earn their first major-league victories on the same trip since Matt DeSalvo and Tyler Clippard in May 2007.
The Yankees shut out their opponent in Game 2 of a doubleheader after being shutout in Game 1 of the DH for only the second time in the past 37 years. They also turned the trick on May 12, 2010 at Detroit, dropping Game 1, 2-0, and winning Game 2, 8-0. The Yankees are 4-0 in games immediately following a shutout loss this season, and have gone 30-9 (.769) in such games since 2008 when Joe Girardi took over as manager.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, were in complete agreement on one issue Tuesday. Both executives felt that fans here overdid it in their persistent booing of Robinson Cano during Monday night’s Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium.
Cano was taken to task by local fans for not including Billy Butler, the Royals’ representative on the American League squad, for the AL’s quartet in the Home Run Derby. Cano is captain of the AL team and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp for the National League. Cano was booed whenever his face appeared on the video board and throughout his at-bat in the first round when he failed to hit a home run.
“I felt badly about Robinson Cano,” Selig said. “He picked the people he thought were deserving and did a good job. I really felt bad for him.”
“I don’t think anyone could quarrel with the players he took,” Weiner said. “They had the three most home runs in the competition.”
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder won the event. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo had the second and third highest totals, respectively. Even with Cano getting shut out, the AL out-homered the NL, 61-21.
Selig and Weiner spoke at the annual All-Star Game meeting of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at the Kansas City Marriott County Club Plaza Hotel on a variety of topics on which they did not always agree except for the Cano situation.
Cano was not criticized by Butler, who said he did not fault the Yankees second baseman nor did he feel snubbed. KC fans, on the other hand, took it personally. Cano said he understood why the fans were upset and that part of being a Yankee is to get used to being booed on the road.
What fans here did not realize is that Cano had to name the Home Run Derby team before the AL squad was complete. Cano, Fielder and Bautista were voted into the starting lineup in the fans’ ballot, and Cano was told by a league official that Trumbo would be on the team. Butler was not named to the team until several days after Cano had to submit his list. He had inquired about two other stars, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, but both declined to participate.
“Fans have the right to express their opinion,” Weiner said, “but it seemed to me that it was more than the traditional booing.”
ESPN, which cablecast the event, did not help matters, either. Cameras were focused on Cano for what seemed an inordinate amount of time, almost as if the network encouraged fans to boo him.
Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson is one of six finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which has been presented annually since 1997 by the Major League Players Association. The award, named after the first executive director of the union, goes to a player elected by his peers as the one who best combines on-field performance with community service.
Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on http://www.MLBPLAYERS.com between Sept. 9-12 to determine which six players, one from each division, inspire others to higher levels of achievement by on-field performances and contributions to their communities.
From the list of 30 players, Robertson was selected to represent the American League East. The other finalists are White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko (AL Central), Rangers designated hitter Michael Young (AL West), Mets third baseman David Wright (National League East), Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright (NL Central) and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (NL West).
These six players will have their names placed on the 2011 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award winner. The 2011 Players Choice Awards mark their 20th anniversary. The 1992 winners were Dennis Eckersley (AL) and Barry Bonds (NL). The Players Choice Awards also honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, as well as the overall Player of the Year. 2011 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust that has contributed more than $3 million to charities around the world.
No Yankees player has won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Center fielder Curtis Granderson was honored in 2009, his last season with the Tigers. Another Detroit player, Brandon Inge, won last year. Ballots are being distributed to players Tuesday and Wednesday.
After watching tornadoes tear through Tuscaloosa, Ala., and spending an off-day touring the damage first-hand, Robertson was determined to help his hometown rebuild. In May, he and his wife established the David and Erin Robertson Foundation to raise relief funds and lend support to local charities helping those affected by the storms, with Robertson personally donating $100 for every batter he strikes out this season through his High Socks for Hope campaign.
Yankees fans have reason to be upset that CC Sabathia did not win the American League Cy Young Award that was given instead by the Baseball Writers’ Association to the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez. Heck, the big guy didn’t even finish second as the Rays’ David Price was the runner-up.
One of the arguments made last year when the Royals’ Zack Greinke won in the AL with only 16 victories and the Giants’ Tim Lincecum in the National League with merely 15 was that there were no 20-game winners, so the field was much more open.
That was not the case this year. Sabathia was 21-7 and had plenty of other good numbers, too, including a 3.18 ERA, which is not shabby for a guy pitching in the AL East and hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. That Hernandez won despite posting a record of 13-12 seems absurd until you look a bit deeper into his season and not just at the statistics that a lot of people believe are too esoteric but to which the increasing numbers-conscious are devoted.
Hernandez led the league in ERA (2.27) and innings (249 2/3) and was second in strikeouts (232), only one behind league leader Jered Weaver of the Angels. These are not intangible stats. They are pretty tangible, one might even say traditional.
Think of how Hernandez felt last year. He went 19-5 and couldn’t beat out Greinke. Hernandez said Thursday from his home in Venezuela that he did not know how to gauge this year’s balloting after what happened last year. “Are they going to tell me that I didn’t win enough games this year but that I won too many last year?” he asked me.
I told him one year to the next is different, which I still believe even though the recent voting indicates a trend may be developing. I hope not. The day when victories aren’t considered the important part of the pitching equation is the day you might as well stop keeping score. I mean, if pitching victories don’t mean anything, why are they still kept? Imagine trying to tell the Major League Players Association that pitching victories won’t be totaled any more? Good luck explaining that to the union.
It is interesting that the list of pitchers who have 300 or more career victories are all in the Hall of Fame except for those not yet eligible, whose names are Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson. It would seem that winning a lot of games is a big deal, huh?
This is all coming from someone who thought Hernandez was the best pitcher he saw this year. No knock on CC, who I probably would have voted for had I been on the committee, but look what Hernandez did in his three starts against the Yankees: 3-0, 0.35 ERA. That is not a misprint. He allowed 1 run, 16 hits and 8 walks with 31 strikeouts in 26 innings.
The only reason he did not pitch 27 innings for a third complete game against the Yankees was that Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu did not let him finish the Aug. 20 game at the Stadium while working on a four-hit shutout with 11 Ks. Writers in the press box can recall my reaction to that. I was beside myself, howling that Wakamatsu’s move was akin to grabbing the brush from Picasso before he could complete his painting. It was absolute disregard for artistic endeavor, and the manager deserved to be fired, which he eventually was.
Remember, though, that was a night Hernandez won, not one of the many games in which he pitched splendidly and either lost or got hung with a no-decision because of such scant run support by an offense that scratched out an average of 3.2 runs per game. The Mariners’ run support for Hernandez was 2.4 per game. Seattle scored two runs or fewer in 15 of his 34 starts. He was 2-10 with a 2.84 ERA in those games. In his nine no decisions, Hernandez pitched to a 1.92 ERA.
I kept in mind that in 1972 Steve Carlton won the NL Cy Young Award with a 27-10 record for a Phillies club whose overall mark was 59-97 and also averaged only 3.2 runs per game. The point of view of Sabathia supporters, of which there were three who gave him first-place approval on the ballot, came Tuesday from none other than this year’s NL winner, Roy Halladay, who had the same victory total as CC.
“Obviously, Felix’s numbers are very, very impressive,” Doc said. “But I think, ultimately, you look at how guys are able to win games. Sometimes the run support isn’t there, but you sometimes just find ways to win games. I think the guys that are winning and helping their teams deserve a strong look, regardless of how good Felix’s numbers are. It definitely could go either way; it’s going to be interesting. But I think when teams bring guys over, they want them to, ultimately at the end of the day, help them win games.”
It is hard to argue with that logic.
Center fielder Curtis Granderson is the Yankees’ 2010 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. He is one of the 30 nominees, one from each club, which are finalists for the national award that is given annual to the major league player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.
Wednesday marked the ninth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor his legacy and officially recognize nominees of the award named for the 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing talented current players who understand the value of helping others.
Granderson established the Grand Kids Foundation in 2008, an organization that focuses on improving opportunities for inner-city youth in the areas of education and youth baseball. The foundation recently partnered with the 2010 ING New York City Marathon to create “Team Granderson,” a charitable team that helps raise money and promote awareness for stronger educational programs for inner-city youth. He has also participated in various public service announcements, including the White House’s anti-obesity campaign and as a spokesman for the New York Public Library’s summer reading program.
This marks Granderson’s third Roberto Clemente Award nomination. He was also the Tigers’ nominee in 2007 and 2009. Last year, he won the Jefferson Award for Public Service from All Stars Helping Kids as a top athlete who has given back to his community and the Major League Players Association’s Marvin Miller Award, as voted by major-league players, for his work on and off the field that inspires others to higher levels of achievement.
The Yankees recognized Granderson’s nomination for this year’s Clemente Award on the field at Yankee Stadium before Wednesday’s game against the Orioles. Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter was last year’s Clemente Award winner. Other Yankees winners were pitcher Ron Guidry in 1984 and outfielder Don Baylor in 1985. YES broadcasters Al Leiter and Ken Singleton also won the award, Leiter in 2000 with the Mets and Singleton in 1982 with the Orioles.
Fans are encouraged to take part in the process of selecting the award winner by visiting http://www.chevy.com/clemente, powered by MLB.com, from now until Oct. 8 to vote for one of the nominees. Participants will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2010 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 consisting of Vera Clemente, the Hall of Famer’s widow; commissioner Bud Selig; MLB Network analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Harold Reynolds; MLB Network analyst, TBS broadcaster and former Roberto Clemente Award winner John Smoltz; Hall of Famer and ESPN broadcaster Joe Morgan; former All-Star catcher and FOX broadcaster Tim McCarver; and MLB.com senior correspondent Hal Bodley.
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.
Yankees fans will be able to deck themselves out in t-shirts, jerseys and caps of some of their favorite players who designed the outfits themselves. This very personal line of gear was unveiled Wednesday and went on sale for the first time at Yankee Stadium, except for the caps, which won’t be available until next week. The merchandise is also available exclusively at New York metro area Modell’s locations and online at MLB.com.
Pitchers Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain, outfielders Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson and first baseman Mark Teixeira are the Yankees players involved in the Players Choice Signature Series, a joint effort of Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association and the union’s apparel licensees, VF/Majestic (jerseys, t-shirts) and Twins/Banner (caps). The Mets, Phillies and Twins are the other clubs involved in this special collection.
“The items are a reflection of everybody’s personality,” Swisher said. “We’re all Yankees, yet we’re all different. The hats and shirts and jerseys show off what makes us individuals.”
In the case of the six Yankees, however, there was a connecting thread among them, the World Series. While their items extol unique traits, all have some mention of the World Series. Swisher went so far as to have all 27 seasons the Yankees won the World Series embossed on the side of his t-shirt.
“The World Series is very special to all of us,” Swisher said.
Sabathia’s theme surrounds his tattoo of the phrase, “Truly Blessed.” It is emblazed with his number 52 on the back of his t-shirt. On the front is an illustration of CC standing above the New York City skyline.
Chamberlain’s items pay homage to his Native American roots with eagle feathers and the city skyline within his name on the jerseys and in the interlocking NY logo on his cap. There are also photos of him and his father in the background. His t-shirt is an enlarged version of his tattoo.
Swisher’s t-shirt features him giving his signature salute to the bleacher creatures in right-center field at the Stadium and the World Series champions down the sleeve. On the back are the Yankees logo and the Statue of Liberty.
Granderson’s t-shirt emphasizes his love of music. It shows him mixing music in a studio DJ-style on the front with a picture of headphones on the back. His jersey with No. 14 on the back is tastefully done in gray with blue piping and features a patch on the side that reads, “Officially Designed by Curtis Granderson.”
Teixeira, noting that he is “old school,” went with a red, white and blue motif on his No. 25 with a picture on the sleeve of the 2009 World Series trophy. Tex also designed his cap with blue pinstripes on a white background.
“I knew I’d have the World Series trophy in there somewhere because it is special to be a champion,” Teixeira said. “The pinstripes in the hat came from my belief that pinstripes are the signature of the Yankees.”
Not surprisingly, Pettitte, the elder statesman, also took the traditional route. For example, the back of his tees and jerseys have just his No. 46 but not his name above it, maintaining the tradition of the Yankees’ uniform. On the front is a likeness of Pettitte standing above the new Yankee Stadium.
The t-shirt depicts him with his familiar stare to the plate under his low-billed cap and behind his glove. An avid hunter, Andy has a camouflage design on his shirts and caps. On the cap are a Yankees logo and a small cross that denotes his religious faith. The shirts feature patches from the five World Series championship teams he pitched for with the Yankees.
List prices are $119.99 for jerseys, $24.99 for caps and $19.99. Proceeds go to the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by major league players.