For the sixth year in a row, the Yankees are the most expensive team in history not to win a World Series.

October 7th, 2006 → 10:48 pm @

“They have won almost 600 games over six regular seasons, spending nearly $1 billion on salaries. They have imported some of the biggest stars in baseball, created their own cable network, set attendance records at their ballpark and broken ground on a new one.

But the one thing that used to define the Yankees, the boast spelled out across the marquee at Yankee Stadium, has escaped them. The Yankees no longer win championships.

Another year is over, and another chance is gone. The Yankees shuffled meekly from the postseason stage Saturday, falling to the Detroit Tigers, 8-3, in Game 4 of their American League division series at Comerica Park.”

— “For Yankees, October Has An Early Exit
Tyler Kepner
New York Times
October 7, 2006

Indeed. The Yankees — the heralded best-hitting team of all-time, the first team in history with three $20 million players, the first team in history with 11 $10 million players, and the second team in history with a payroll over $190 million (last year’s $208 million Yankees were the first) — have lost in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Tomorrow’s headlines are gonna be fun.

The breakdown:

Alex Rodriguez, $25 million: 1-14, 4 Ks, 0 RBI, .071 av., .133 obp, .071 slg.
Derek Jeter, $20.5 million: 8-16, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 15 tb, .500 av., .529 obp, .938 slg.
Jason Giambi, $20.5 million: 1-8, 1 HR, 2 RBI, .125 av., .417 obp, .500 slg.
Mike Mussina, $19 million: 0-1, 7 IP, 5.14 ERA
Randy Johnson, $15.5 million: 0-1, 5.2 IP, 7.94 ERA
Bobby Abreu, $13.5 million: 5-15, 4 rbi, .333 av., .412 obp, .400 slg.
Johnny Damon, $13 million: 4-17, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .235 av., .278 obp, .412 slg.
Hideki Matsui, $13 million: 4-16, 0 RBI .250 av., .250 av., .312 slg.
Jorge Posada, $12 million: 7-14, 1 HR, 2 RBI, .500,. .563, .786
Gary Sheffield, $10.75 million: 1-12, 1 RBI, .083 av, .083 obp, .083 slg.
Mariano Rivera, $10.5 million: 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA
Jaret Wright, $7.5 million: 0-1, 2.2 IP, 10.12 ERA
Kyle Farnsworth, $5.17 million: 2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA
Cory Lidle, $3.3 million: 1.1 IP, 20.25 ERA
Ron Villone, $2.5 million: 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA
Bernie Williams, $1.5 million: 0-3, .000 av., .000 obp, .000 slg.
Mike Myers, $1.15 million: 0.0 IP, infinite ERA

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Yankees

Damon: There must be a wormhole around here somewhere

October 7th, 2006 → 10:46 am @

From this morning’s Jerry Krasnick ESPN story on the Yankees 6-0 Friday night loss — and 2-1 deficit in the ALDS — against the Detroit Tigers:

“We negatively need to have more life,” Damon said. “Not so much rah rah, but that inner confidence that says, ‘Every time I go up to the plate, I’m going to get the job done.’ And when you don’t, the next guy needs to have that confidence.” (Emphasis added)

I assume that’s a typo on Krasnick/ESPN’s part, but there definitely is a lot of negativity:

New York Post
Yankees Loss Is Un-Kenny; Team on Brink After Rogers’ Gem; Joe Fumes
Paper Tigers: Yanks’ Expensive Ship Needs to be Wright-ed

New York Daily News
Yankees Face Doom, Gloom; Torre’s warning: End is Near
Last Licks for A-Rod; May Be Goner if Yankees Fail
Bernie Gamble a Bust
Yanks Big ‘O’ 0-for-key spots

New York Times
Yankees, Looking Powerless, Face Elimination
Rodriguez, Batting Cleanup, Fails to Repeat Success Against Rogers

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Johnny Damon & Yankees

Truckin…up to Brattleboro

October 6th, 2006 → 10:51 am @

I’m about to take off for Brattleboro, Vermont, where I’ll be reading as part of their annual literary festival. As a result, I won’t have any trenchant comments on:

* The Yankees loss to the Tigers.
* The continuation of A-Rod’s playoff disappearing act. Yesterday, A-Rod struck out with the bases loaded in the first. Since Game 4 of the ’04 ALCS, he’s 4-35 with 0 RBIs in October.

* The Dodgers loss to the Mets. Grady Little started the rookie Hong-Chih Kuo (who-o?) (sorry – – couldn’t resist) instead of Greg Maddux. Seriously. (Let’s hope nobody takes Keith Law’s and Bill Simmons’s columns and reads them to Grady.)
* Nomar’s injury.

More, and more of those year-end wrap-ups, over the weekend…

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & A-Rod & Feeding the Monster Readings & Grady Little & Oblique references to Grateful Dead lyrics

Guitar solos and tour riders, oh my! (All praise Iggy and the Dragonforces)

October 6th, 2006 → 10:36 am @

Two must-views:

1. The dual guitar solo on Dragonforce’s “Through the Fire and Flames.” (The whole clip is only about a minute long. I was tipped off to this by Kelefa Sanneh’s Times piece from earlier this week. As K. says: “A one-minute video of Mr. Li and Mr. Totman trading impossibly fast solos — from a song called “Through the Fire and Flames” — has been viewed nearly half a million times. (The fretwork is astonishing, but what’s even better is watching Mr. Totman swig a beer while Mr. Li plays.)” It’s truly mind-blowing…and actually better than Jake Shimabukuro’s ukulele rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Tangentiallly, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Kelefa is the best music writer in the country. I can’t think of a bad piece he’s written, and at least twice a week he comes out with something that examines some aspect of the music world in a whole new way.

2. Rock ‘n roll tour riders have been the subject of much fascination and awe ever since Van Halen demanded that their dressing rooms have bowls of M&M’s…with all the brown ones taken out.

Without further ado, I present to you the Iggy and the Stooges rider, dug up by the Smoking Gun. It is the best tour rider ever.

Some selected examples:

* “By the way, if there are any Reality TV executives reading this — hardly likely, I know, but — here is my idea for a Reality TV show. It’s called ‘Dead Dog Island’, where a group of contestants/dog lovers is asked what is their favourite breed of dog, then whatever they reply…they are then presented with a dead dog of that particular breed, which they have to cook in a number of different ways…”
* Sandwiches: “Hopefully not one of those sandwiches from Subway with beef and alfalfa sprouts sticking out like a Florida retiree’s bikini bottoms. Yuk.”
* Backstage entertainment: “Someebody dressed as Bob Hope Doing fantastic Bob Hope impersonations and telling all those hilarious Bob Hope jokes about golf and Hollywood and Bing Crosby.”
* For the Stooges dressing room: “6 cans of red bull or similar. Something with testicles in it. Or testicles lite.”

Read all 18 pages. It’s worth it.

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & A-Rod & Feeding the Monster Readings & Grady Little & Oblique references to Grateful Dead lyrics

Here’s a headline that should surprise exactly no one

October 5th, 2006 → 6:24 pm @

Little Decides to Use Penny, and Dodgers Pay the Price

That succinct head ran on top of Bill Paschke column in today’s LA Times after the Dodgers pretty much handed the Mets Game 1 of the NLDS.

And the money quote: “This game was lost. … when [Grady] Little, with the score tied in the top of the seventh inning, decided his best possible reliever would be his most struggling starter.”

It hasn’t been an easy couple of days for ol’ Grady. Yesterday’s Times featured a story in which Little was read sections of Feeding the Monster that describe Red Sox management’s take on the man who refused to call on Alan Embree in Game 7 of the ’03 ALCS. “A hunch manager” who exhibited a “total lack of preperation” and “was not capable of dealing with…flexibility and creativity.”

Grady’s response: “I’m not going to lower myself to make any comments on what you’re talking about right there. And I accent the words ‘lower myself.’ Because they run a big business around there, they’ve got to justify everything they do, just like I do as a manager. So, you’ve got to respect them for that. Whatever they’ve got to do to justify their decisions and their moves, so be it. But I’m not lowering myself to comment on it.”

How long before Grady won’t lower himself to comments about his tenure with the Dodgers?

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Grady Little