Results tagged ‘ Willie Randolph ’
Prior to Wednesday’s conclusion of the Yankees’ Grapefruit League schedule with their victory over the Mets at Tampa’s Steinbrenner Field, the Yanks honored pitcher David Phelps with the 2012 James P. Dawson Award as the outstanding rookie in camp as voted on by writers covering the team.
Phelps, 25, had a 0-1 record with one save and a 2.08 ERA in seven spring appearances, including one start. The righthander pitched 17 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (four earned), 16 hits, including one home run, and four walks with 14 strikeouts.
In 2011, Phelps led all minor-league pitchers in the Yankees organization in ERA at 2.99 in his 7-7 season at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he made 20 starts and pitched 114 1/3 innings. Phelps was also the 2010 recipient of the Kevin Lawn Award as the organization’s minor-league pitcher of the year for compiling a combined 10-2 record with a 2.50 ERA in 26 outings, all but one as a starter, for Scranton and Double A Trenton.
The Missouri native attended Notre Dame and was the Yankees’ choice in the 14th round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft.
The award was established in honor of James P. Dawson (1896-1953), who began a 45-year career with The New York Times as a copy boy in 1908. Eight years later, he became boxing editor and covered boxing and baseball until his death during spring training in 1953. In conjunction with the award, Phelps received an Elysee watch from Manfredi Jewelers.
The first Dawson Award winner was Norm Siebern in 1956. Tony Kubek won the next year and went on to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award that season. Another future AL Rookie of the Year Award winner who had also won the Dawson Award was Tom Tresh in 1962. Other prominent Dawson Award winners over the years include Roy White (1966), Willie Randolph (1976), Don Mattingly (1983), Al Leiter (1988), Jorge Posada (1997), Alfonso Soriano (2001), Hideki Matsui (2003) and Brett Gardner (2009).
The good news is that the Yankees will have six players on the American League roster, four in the starting lineup, for the All-Star Game July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix. The bad news is that several deserving players from the Yankees will not be making the trip next week to Arizona.
Let’s start with the positive. The Yankees will make up three-quarters of the AL starting infield for the third time in franchise history with second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter.
The only other time the Yankees had three infielders elected to the starting unit was for the 2004 game at Minute Maid Park in Houston with Rodriguez, Jeter and first baseman Jason Giambi.
The Yankees also had three starting infielders in 1980 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, but only one – shortstop Bucky Dent – had been elected by the fans. Graig Nettles started at third base as a replacement for injured George Brett of the Royals. The Brewers’ Paul Molitor was voted the starter at second base but had to be replaced due to injury as well. The Angels’ Bobby Grich was added to the roster, but the Yankees’ Willie Randolph started the game at the position.
This will mark the 10th time that the Yankees have had at least three infielders on the All-Star roster. First baseman Mark Teixeira’s failure to make the squad this year cost the Yankees the chance to have four infielders overall for the third time. The Yankees had four infield All-Stars in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee (Jeter, Giambi, 2B Alfonoso Soriano, 3B Robin Ventura) and in 1939 at Yankee Stadium (1B Lou Gehrig, 2B Joe Gordon, 3B Red Rolfe, SS Frankie Crosetti). Giambi and Soriano were starters in 2004 and Gordon in 1939.
Other years in which the Yankees had three All-Star infielders were 1950 at Comiskey Park in Chicago (1B Tommy Henrich, 2B Jerry Coleman, SS Phil Rizzuto), 1957 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (1B Moose Skowron, 2B Bobby Richardson, SS Gil McDougald), Game 1 in 1959 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh (Skowron, Richardson, SS Tony Kubek), Game 2 in 1959 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles (Skowron, Kubek, McDougald) and 2006 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh (Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez).
Yankees catcher Russell Martin had led in the voting until the last week when he was passed by the Tigers’ Alex Avila. At least Martin made the team as an alternate. His handling of the Yanks’ pitching staff has been superb.
Mariano Rivera was an obvious choice for the staff despite his blown save Sunday, which ended a 26-save streak against National League clubs in inter-league play.
Now for the head-scratching stuff – why no Teixeira or CC Sabathia? And has anyone other than Yankees fans been paying attention to the season David Robertson is having?
Tex fell out of the balloting lead at first base last month behind the Red Sox’ Adrian Gonzalez, an admitted Most Valuable Player Award candidate, but still ran a strong second in the voting. The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera cannot compare with Teixeira defensively and trails him in homers, 25-17, and RBI, 65-56, but his .328 batting average is 80 points higher than Tex’s.
Now, here’s the rub. Teixeira has been invited to participate in the Home Run Derby. Nice. He can’t be on the team but he can fly all the way to Phoenix and take part in an exercise that could ruin his swing. Ask Bobby Abreu or David Wright about that? Say no, Tex.
All Sabathia has done is lead the AL in victories with 11 and posted a 3.05 ERA. Oh, that’s right. Pitching victories do not count anymore. I guess that’s why there was room for Felix Hernandez on the staff. The word is that CC pitching Sunday before the Tuesday night All-Star Game hurt his chances of making the team. Dumb reason.
To his credit, AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers said nice things about Robertson when Texas was in town and that he was given him strong consideration. With so many other Yankees on the team, Robertson didn’t stand much of a chance, particularly since every team needs to be represented. When you see the Royals’ Aaron Crow in the pre-game announcements, think of Robertson. Crow, also a set-up reliever, is Kansas City’ lone representative.
It is a tough break for Robertson, but he is no more deserving than Sabathia, so it is hard to say he was snubbed. A lot of people don’t like the baseball rule about All-Star Games having to have players from each team, but I think it is a good thing. The 2012 game is supposed to be in Kansas City. It would be a shame if someone from the Royals was not on the team.
Each club no matter where it is in the standings has someone who deserves All-Star recognition. That the Yankees have so many is a testament to the terrific season the team is having.
A moment of silence was observed before the Yankees-Royals game Wednesday night in honor of a couple of guys named Bill, Bergesch and Gallo, who both died Tuesday.
Yankees fans may recall that Bill Bergesch served the team in various capacities in a 50-year career as a baseball executive, notably as general manager in the early 1980s. Bergesh, who was 89, first worked for the Yankees from 1964-67 as stadium manager after a two-year stint as assistant general manager and farm director of the Mets in their first two seasons at the Polo Grounds under former Yankee GM George Weiss.
As Yankee Stadium manager, Bergesch was instrumental in arrangements for the Papal Mass celebrated there by Pope Paul VI in October 1965 and received a medal issued by the Vatican to commemorate the occasion.
Bergesch’s other duties with the Yankees included director of scouting, vice president of player personnel and senior consultant. During his tenures with the Yankees, the team won the World Series in 1978 and 1996 and American League pennants in 1964 and 1981. He also held a variety of executive positions with the Cardinals, Athletics and Reds. As farm director of the Cardinals, Bergesch, a St. Louis native, signed future Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson in 1957.
Bill Gallo, who was 88, spent more than half a century as the sports cartoonist with the New York Daily News and penciled drawings of Yankees stars from Joe DiMaggio to Derek Jeter. I got to know Bill well when we worked together at the News in the late 1980s. He loved baseball, but his real passion was boxing.
I recall a promotion the News sponsored at a mall in Jersey City in which I and Bill, Yankees stars Dave Winfield and Willie Randolph and others took part in a forum discussion.
I lived in Yonkers at the time, as did Bill, and the News sent a limousine there to pick us up. Along the way, we stopped in Manhattan to pick up Mark Breland, then a contending welterweight, and two retired champions, heavyweight Floyd Patterson and middleweight Rocky Graziano. I got an education about the fight game that day.
“Through his work as a cartoonist and columnist, Bill Gallo was the voice of generations of New Yorkers,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “My father was a frequent subject of his work, and he had tremendous respect for Bill’s talents. My family and the entire Yankees organization offer our condolences to his wife, Dolores, and the Gallo family.”