Another Rodriguez Thwarts Jeter

    Friday, July 8, 2011, 2:21 AM [General]

    For years, especially since 2004, Derek Jeter has always been linked to a third baseman with the surname Rodriguez. The reasons are varied and have been played out in tabloids and various books.

    As Jeter’s quest for 3,000 hits continues its summer tour this weekend at Yankee Stadium, he is linked to a Rodriguez. Here’s a hint, his first name is not Alex and he has never played with Jeter.

    The man is Sean Rodriguez, a utility man acquired by the Rays two summers ago from the Angels for Scott Kazmir. Rodriguez happened to be playing third base last night and as fate would have it his path crossed with Jeter.

    Rather, his glove crossed with Jeter’s swings. Jeter went 1-for-5 last night and in the four instances following his 2,998th career hit, he grounded out.

    Three of those occasions the groundouts headed Rodriguez’s way.

    Rodriguez spends his time in the field going between second, third and shortstop. Last night was his 14th start and 26th appearance at third and in 2010, he made seven appearances there.

    Rodriguez was there because regular DH Johnny Damon sat out with a swelled left hand and Evan Longoria was his replacement.

    The first meeting between Rodriguez and Jeter was in the fifth. Jeter hinted at a bunt and Rodriguez played off the bag. 

    Jeter hit a sharp grounder down the line, a surefire base hit, except it wasn’t. Rodriguez dove, moved the glove across his body and unleashed a throw that just beat Jeter.

    "It definitely was not a routine play," Rodriguez said to reporters. "But it’s something I practice to try to make it a routine play."

    The next time Jeter and Rodriguez crossed paths it was in the ninth with a high chopper that bounced but didn’t reach the infield dirt. Rodriguez did not make a clean grab but threw low into first baseman Casey Kotchman’s glove.

    "You always say you want to be that guy," Rodriguez said. "Then sure enough, you end up taking hits from that guy."

    And last night, another guy named Rodriguez was that guy.

    "If he gets it, obviously it will be exciting. I'm going to do everything I can obviously to not let him get it, but that's just like I will with anybody else. I don't want anybody to get hits," Rodriguez told reporters. "He's definitely going to get it eventually and it's going to be something that's well deserved, a guy like him, the way he's always played the game. Just great example, a great role model for a lot of young kids that watch him and try and emulate him."

    And future opposing third baseman will want to emulate Rodriguez.

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    Serenity Always with CC on the mound

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 12:56 AM [General]

    Every time CC Sabathia takes the mound at Yankee Stadium, his song of choice is Notorious B.I.G's hit "Big Poppa". Even with some lyrics that probably can't be repeated here, it has a beat of serenity and calmness that signals things will be all right or in recent cases - more than all right.

    That is an appropriate theme for one of the most laid-back personalities in the game, the type who will freely roam around the clubhouse joking around with teammates in the hours before starts.

    Many times, the kind of pitching display that Sabathia has put on gets overshadowed by things such as the inconsistencies of A.J. Burnett or the developmental obstacles of Phil Hughes. It's like a former boss once said in Jersey City - nobody says anything unless you do something wrong - and nowadays that tends to happen.

    Even if dominance gets overshadowed, what Sabathia is doing right now is downright impressive. In his last three starts, spanning 22 2/3 innings, he has allowed one run, 18 hits and struck out 33.

    If you want impressive, how about this. He struck out eight by swings and misses against Colorado, all 13 that way against Milwaukee and all 11 that way last night against the Indians.

    That now gives Sabathia 169 wins two weeks before he turns 31. Sabathia is signed through the 2015 season (assuming he doesn't opt out) and that takes him until his 35th birthday. Sabathia is on pace to 23 games and that would put him at 178 through this season.

    It would also put him 122 wins shy of 300 for his career and his three-year average as a Yankee would be 21 wins. If he maintained that pace, he would reach 300 sometime in the 2017 season.

    Even last night's dominance was overshadowed by Derek Jeter getting two hits and needing four more to get to 3,000. While Jeter was roping a double to left field and reaching on an infield single, Sabathia was doing his thing and nowadays that is piling up outs.

    Before this stretch, Sabathia had won consecutive games over the Cubs and Rangers despite allowing four runs apiece. He was a winner because the Yankees scored 22 times in those instances but right now even with the continued run support this might be Sabathia's best three start stretch of the season, especially since Sabathia has not had consecutive double-digit strikeout games since becoming a Yankee.

    Perhaps there's motivation of not being an All-Star. Normally the league leader in victories would be headed there, but because he is scheduled to start Sunday, Sabathia was not picked.

    It is a decision being widely debated and in public, Sabathia has said all the right things. But know this, whether he's headed to the All-Star game or on a family trip Sabathia is the picture of serenity on the mound and the Yankees are better for it.

    Sabathia will eventually get the attention he deserves for being so consistent, especially when and if he reaches those milestones. For now just enjoy the calm aura that Sabathia presents every time he takes the mound.


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    Remembering when Milwaukee was an AL city.

    Monday, June 27, 2011, 10:30 PM [General]

    In the comedy Wayne’s World, Alice Cooper tells Wayne and Garth that Milwaukee means "The Good Land" in Algonquian.

    In baseball terms, Milwaukee means the Brewers, though the first time the franchise played at Yankee Stadium, they were known as something else.

    The date was June 13, 1969, a Friday the thirteenth no less and a team called the Seattle Pilots visited the Bronx and walked away with a 2-1 victory against Washington native Mel Stottlemyre.

    Gene Brabender, a Wisconsin native, opposed Stottlemyre and pitched a four-hitter for one of his seven complete games for the Pilots.

    A year later he was in Milwaukee when the team was sold to Bud Selig and began playing in County Stadium. The franchise played there until the 2001 season and it took the Brewers five times to finally win at Yankee Stadium.

    That moment occurred the night of July 22, 1970 when the Brewers beat Stottlemyre as Ted Savage and Bob Burda hit consecutive home runs in the fifth inning of a 4-1 win.

    Four years after that occasion Robin Yount began a career that lasted until 1993 and spanned 2,856 games and over 11,000 at-bats. His first at-bat at Yankee Stadium did not occur until 1976 due to the renovations and on May 24, 1976, Yount was 0-for-5 against Ed Figueroa and hitless in 11 at-bats there until getting an infield single.

    The first year Yount visited Yankee Stadium, the Brewers also had Hank Aaron. Aaron hit 10 home runs in 271 at-bats, spanning 85 games but Yankee fans did not get to see any of his 755 home runs in person.

    In his only season getting to play at Yankee Stadium, Aaron was 3-for-14 with an RBI double off Ken Holtzman in September that scored Yount.

    Following the 1976 season, Cecil Cooper arrived to play first base when he was acquired from the Red Sox for George Scott and Bernie Carbo.  Cooper’s career playing games at Yankee Stadium lasted until 1987 and along the way; he did things such as play in Reggie Jackson’s first game in pinstripes on April 7, 1977.

    Besides being opposite "Mr. October" for that game, Cooper had a tendency of knocking around Figueroa. For his career, Cooper batted .333 with five home runs off him as opposed to the .278 produced off Ron Guidry but not as impressive at the .381 produced off Catfish Hunter.

    Cooper was part of the 1982 AL pennant winning team and his role was having a .313 batting average and a .333 mark in seven games in the Bronx.

    Of course no discussion about the Brewers can be without Paul Molitor, who joined the team as a second baseman in 1978. Molitor hit over .300 in eight of his seasons with the Brewers, most notably in 1987 when he put together a 39-game hitting streak and batted .353 overall.

    The streak began July 16 against the Angels and lasted until August 26 against the Indians when he could not get a hit off current Toronto manager John Farrell, who was making his second start at the time.

    During the course of that streak, Molitor did not face the Yankees but he did bat a respectable .290 against them. That pales in comparison to the .408 against the Red Sox or the .526 in five games off Oakland pitching or the .516 against the Tigers.

    That’s not to say Molitor did not hurt the Yankees. He and the Brewers certainly did that year in September by taking five or seven and Molitor went 7-for-20 in those games and those games officially ensured a non-playoff year for the Yankees.

    What is crazy about 1987 is that the Brewers also missed the playoffs in a year that they began 13-0. They won 91 games but by the All-Star break were a sub-500 team.

    On the pitching side, Jim Slaton is the club’s all-time leader with 117 wins followed by Mike Caldwell’s 102 and those often came in the form of complete games against the Yankees.

    Caldwell won those games from 1977-1984 and was a respectable 13-8 against the Yankees.

    Caldwell began by going 3-0 with three complete games, a streak that ended August 8, 1978 when Yount’s error allowed Bucky Dent to reach and led to two unearned runs on hits from Willie Randolph and Lou Piniella.

    A little over a month later, Caldwell got his revenge with a four-hitter and 10 strikeout performance. Three of those strikeouts were to Jackson, who struck out for the final out of a game that left the Yankees 1 ½ up on Boston with 12 to play.

    Caldwell also opened his 1979 season with a seven-hitter at the Stadium that spoiled a championship flag raising ceremony. What is odd about that game is Caldwell did not record any strikeouts or issue any walks, which is four fewer than the amount produced July 3, 1979 in a 10-hitter.

    During that 7-2 loss that saw Ken Clay record just two outs and spit the bit, Caldwell held the Yankees to 1-for-12 with runners on base in a similar fashion to Freddy Garcia against the Indians two weeks ago.

    Caldwell finally lost one of those complete games June 23, 1982 in Milwaukee. That night he gave up a three-run home run to Roy Smalley in the fifth and that stood because Mike Morgan survived five walks in 6 1/3 innings and his Caldwell’s teammates were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

    Three months later with the Brewers trying to stave off the Orioles, Caldwell was at it again, going the distance twice in seven days against the Yankees during a seven-game winning streak. His second complete game of that stretch was a three-hitter in a 14-0 win  that featured four RBI from Young, three hits apiece from Molitor and Cooper and a three-run home run from Gorman Thomas.

    Eventually the Brewers switched leagues and became members of the NL Central, which they would win in 2008 behind the rubber arm of CC Sabathia.

    In their final years as an AL opponent of the Yankees, the Brewers lost their final seven trips to the Bronx. That streak began with a 19-2 loss on September 25, 1996 that was the night the Yankees clinched their first division title since 1981 and the last time Milwaukee stepped foot in the Bronx, they were handed a 3-1 loss on June 8, 1997.

    Of course you can’t discuss Yankee-Brewers without the events of April 10, 1976. That night Don Money appeared to hit a game-winning grand slam off Dave Pagan.

    Billy Martin disputed it by saying he had motioned to Chris Chambliss to call timeout, which first base umpire Jim McKean granted but nobody heard. Martin noticed it and when Money’s ball sailed over the wall, he raced out to point the timeout.

    And appropriately enough since the Brewers play at Miller Park; we’ll wrap this up by hoping that this series featuring visits from Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder tastes great and is not less filling.

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    Items of Oldtimers Day Interest

    Sunday, June 26, 2011, 11:31 AM [General]

    Today is June 26 and 37 years ago, the Yankees played a weekday afternoon game over the Indians and fell short with a 3-2 loss at Shea Stadium.

    The shortstop that day for the Yankees was Jim Mason and eventually Gene Michael, who moved from second to shortstop. It was doubtful that Michael knew 18 years later he would be responsible for drafting another shortstop born sometime that day.

    Elsewhere on that day, the shortstop that Michael would have a key role in drafting 18 years later was starting his life as the first Yankee to reach 3,000 hits and that would be Derek Jeter.

    A month ago if you said Jeter would not have reached the milestone by now, more of that slump talk would have polluted the airwaves, but today Jeter won’t reach that mark because he is in Tampa Bay rehabbing an injured calf.

    Lou Piniella was in the lineup that day for the Yankees, during his first year with the team. He also among the old-timers present for the 65th annual event and first since George Steinbrenner’s passing last July.

    This morning, he kidded that he felt young with Jack McKeon going back to managing at 80, but then he said that his managing days are over, that he doesn’t miss it but that leaving the Cubs last summer is not something he regrets.

    Piniella actually cried when Kansas City traded him in December 1973 for Lindy McDaniel.

    Another first timer is Bernie Williams, who inherited a lot of pressure playing center field for the Yankees when he made his debut July 7, 1991 and began a career that went until the end of the 2006 season that was shaped by a pivotal decision he made around Thanksgiving 1998 to stay with the Yankees as opposed to taking the money from Boston.

    Williams’ fondest memory was the parade in 1996 but when it comes to 3,000 hits and Jeter, he said that Jeter has to be right up there but not just for the hits.

    As for the present, Williams is working on his musical career that he said is going great but is also challenging. He also thinks that the experience from producing numbers has allowed him to step back and enjoy the musical experience even more by stepping back and working hard to go from playing shows in smaller venues to larger venues.

    The third of those first-timers was manager Joe Torre wearing his 1996 ring. Torre returned last September but knew this day would happen once he retired from managing, which he said is official following McKeon’s and Davey Johnson’s return to managing.

    To show perspective on the longevity of Torre’s tenure is to look at the amount of players he managed that were introduced to the crowd. Besides Williams, Dwight Gooden, Ramiro Mendoza, Tino Martinez, Darryl Strawberry and David Cone were among the 18 former players from the Torre era and that also includes others such as Clay Bellinger, Brian Boehringer, Homer Bush, Cecil Fielder, Joe Girardi, Charlie Hayes, Pat Kelly, Graeme Lloyd, Jeff Nelson, Aaron Small, Mike Stanley and David Wells.

    Moving back to the present, the Yankees will play the Rockies today. During their last series with Colorado at Yankee Stadium in 2004, current YES Network announcer John Flaherty drove in five runs and hit a grand slam in the series finale.

    Alex Rodriguez played that afternoon and will also play today. Rodriguez has put his average over .300 by going 12-for-22 with eight RBI over his last six games and by batting .408 in 14 games since June 10.

    Not bad for a guy with a sore right knee.

    Like yesterday, the Yankees will try to get a big enough lead and get him out early. To do so, they will turn to Ivan Nova, who went a career-high eight innings Monday in Cincinnati.

    Nova has gone beyond the seventh twice. The other time he did that was May 6 in Texas and he followed that up by last just three innings against the Royals on May 12.

    All of this will be going on while Jeter rehabs on his birthday. That will take place in Tampa where he will do some throwing and tee and toss work.



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    Jorge Posada's home run locations

    Thursday, June 23, 2011, 4:31 PM [General]

    Jon Lane wrote yesterday about how things in the last month have gone well for Jorge Posada at the plate. That had not included a home run until the seventh inning of yesterday's 4-2 win in Cincinnati.

    When he connected, it marked the 29th different ballpark that Posada had hit a home run. Posada has 268 career home runs and that includes venues such as Olympic Stadium, Tokyo Dome,  Tiger Stadium, Kingdome, Shea Stadium and the Metrodome.

    So of course possessing that knowledge leads one to find out the details of the first time Posada homered in all of those stadiums. By details, that means the date, the opposing pitcher, the situation and other variables.

    1 - Kauffman Stadium - Posada is a .342 hitter in Kansas City with 10 home runs. The first home run he hit there on May 4, 1997 also was the first of his career and the momentus blast occurred in the seventh inning during an 13-5 win off reliever Jim Converse. Converse's major league career ended 11 days later but one interesting link between him and Posada is the same birthday (August 17, 1971) and in another coincidence, the date also saw the Royals split a doubleheader with the Yankees at Old Yankee Stadium.

    2 - Anaheim Stadium/Angels Field - Posada has nine home runs there and the first occurred in the opener of a doubleheader on August 20, 1997 in a 7-3 win.  Posada's second career home run was a three-run shot off Ken Hill in the seventh that gave the Yankees a 7-1 lead. As for Hill, he fell to 6-10 that day but wound up playing until 2001 ending a career that saw him be a part of the 1994 Expos.

    3 - Yankee Stadium - Posada hit 116 home runs in the torn-down version of Yankee Stadium and the first occurred during a four-game series with the Orioles. It also occurred against a future teammate when he hit a two-run shot in the fourth off Mike Mussina in a 10-3 rout. It also was the only hit in seven career at-bats off Mussina.

    4 - Jacobs Field/Progressive Field - Posada has six career home runs there but just a .233 batting average in 150 at-bats. The first home run there came on September 24, 1997 in an 8-4 win over the Indians. It occurred off Brian Anderson, who four years later won a World Series over Posada. Anderson gave up 264 home runs but this was the only time Posada connected in their 12 career matchups.

    5 - Tiger Stadium - Tiger Stadium was two years away from its final game and Posada hit two home runs there. The first occurred on September 28, 1997 as Posada concluded his rookie season with a solo shot off Greg Keagle. Keagle made his debut during the 103-loss Tiger season of 1996 and was out of the majors by May 1998. Keagle is about a month older than Posada and turned out to be an unsuccessful Rule 5 selection by Detroit and now can be found analyzing Rochester Red Wing games.

    6 - Oakland Coliseum - Posada has four career home runs in Oakland and the first one occurred during the magical 1998 season on April 5. Posada finished with 17 home runs that year and the first was a two-run shot in the eighth inning off reliever T.J. Matthews in a 9-7 win. Matthews joined the Athletics the previous summer in the Mark McGwire trade and pitched until the 2002 season, which is right about the time Raul Ibanez's career began taking off. That is related because they were picked consecutively in the 36th round of the 1992 draft.

    7 - Kingdome - Two days after Oakland, Posada hit the first of three career home runs in the Kingdome. In a 13-7 win over the Mariners, Posada contributed to an 18-hit Yankee win with a solo shot during a six-run first inning off Jim Bullinger. Bullinger was a 12-game winner for the Cubs in 1995 but after allowing 10 runs to the Yankees, he did not return to the majors as a player. Bullinger wound up in the independent circuit, pitching in places such as Camden, Newark, Somerset and Long Island for the Atlantic League.

    8 - Metrodome - Four times in 124 at-bats, Posada connected in Minnesota's Metrodome. The first occasion was nine days before he would call a perfect game for David Wells on May 17, 1998. In a 5-1 win over the Twins, he hit a fifth-inning solo home run off Brad Radke. Posada was a .370 hitter off Radke, who won 142 games before retiring in 2006.

    9 - Camden Yards - For most of Camden Yards existence, the Yankees have enjoyed tremendous results there and in terms of home runs, that includes Posada. Posada has 10 home runs there. The first was June 15, 1998 and it occurred during a 7-4 loss. Posada had three hits that night, including a solo shot in the sixth inning off Scott Erickson. Erickson pitched very briefly with the Yankees in 2006 and along the way faced Posada 26 times but did not give up another home run. Erickson was drafted in the fourth round in 1989 the same round the Red Sox picked Jeff Bagwell.

    10 - Rangers Ballpark - Posada has played in three playoff series there (1998, 1999, 2010) and also has 148 career at-bats there. He also has nine home runs there during the regular-season and the first was August 23, 1998. During a Sunday night 12-10 loss, Posada connected for a solo shot off Rick Helling in the second inning. It was one of three hits in 18 at-bats off Helling, who was picked in the same round as Derek Jeter in the 1992 draft. Helling spent most of his career with Texas and won 93 games while also pitching for Florida, Arizona, Baltimore and Milwaukee.

    11 - Tropicana Field - Posada has played 91 games in Tampa Bay to go along with nine home runs. The first occurred September 17, 1998 in a 4-0 win when he a two-run home run in the sixth. Posada's final home run of 1998 occurred off Julio Santana. Santana appeared in 209 games for six teams and faced Posada six times.

    12 - Comiskey Park - Posada has six home runs in the second version of this ballpark and the first occurred May 22, 1999. During the first game of a doubleheader, Posada drove in five runs and that included a two-out two-run home run in the second inning off John Snyder. At the time, Snyder was 6-2 but he went 3-10 the rest of the year and was traded to Milwaukee for Jose Valentin and Cal Eldred. Snyder pitched in the minors until 2003.

    13 - Sun Life Stadium - The soon to be former home to the Marlins has had several names since 1993 and when Posada hit his only home run there, it was called Pro Player Stadium and that was June 11, 1999. In an 8-4 victory, Posada punctuated a five-run seventh with a three-run shot off Brian Meadows. Meadows was 47-62 during a career that lasted until 2006 and saw him get traded for two mediocre Yankee relievers - Dan Miceli and Jay Witasick.  Meadows can't blame Posada for his career as he held him to 2-for-11 during their meetings. If there is another Yankee connection to Meadows, it was his being picked in the third round of the 1994 draft - two picks before Aaron Boone.

    14 - Shea Stadium - This is remembered as a Met classic since July 10, 1999 was the day Matt Franco had the game-winning hit off Mariano Rivera in the ninth. Along the way, Posada slugged two home runs and his first at Shea was a fifth-inning solo home run off Rick Reed. Reed pitched with the Mets until 2001 when he was traded for Matt Lawton, a Yankee briefly in 2005. Along the way, he won 93 games and gave up three home runs to Posada.

    15 - Fenway Park - The most common road ballpark Posada has homered in is Fenway Park. Sixteen times, Posada has connected and the first time was July 30, 1999. In a Friday night 13-3 victory, Posada connected in the seventh inning with a two-run shot off lefty reliever Mark Guthrie. Guthrie began his career in 1990 as a starting pitcher for the Twins. After being traded in 1995 to Los Angeles for Kevin Tapani he signed as a free agent with Boston. A month after allowing this home run, Guthrie and his 5.83 ERA were dealt to the Cubs for Rod Beck. He also pitched for Oakland, Tampa Bay, Toronto the Mets and ended his career with the 2003 Cubs, who were a game away from facing the Red Sox in the 2003 World Series. Along the way, Posada hit .429 in limited appearances against Guthrie, who that night was one of three ex-Twins to pitch for the Red Sox (Mark Portugal and Rich Garces).

    16 - Skydome - Toronto is the second most common of Posada's road home runs. He has 14 here and the first time was also a multi home run game on April 23, 2000. In a 10-7 win, the Yankees scored seven in the fourth and Posada contributed his second home run. His first was a second-inning solo shot off Frank Castillo. Castillo was 82-104 for the Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers, Rockies and Marlins.  Castillo's 82 wins are the most from anyone out of El Paso, Texas and he can proudly say Posada was 2-for-15 off him.

    17 - Olympic Stadium - Posada played four games in Montreal and was 4-for-10. On June 7, 2000, Posada contributed to a 7-2 win with a two-run home run in the fifth inning off reliever Mike Johnson. Born in Edmonton, Johnson appeared in 81 games - 67 with the Expos. As of last year, he was pitching for Yuma in the independent Golden League.

    18 - Veterans Stadium - The Vet was torn down after 2003 but Posada played there six times and hit two home runs. His two home runs came on consecutive nights July 16-17, 2001 and the first was hit in the fourth inning of an eventual 6-3 win over the Phillies. The Yankees won that night in 11, but that was after struggling against a 24-year-old lefty who is still going and that is Randy Wolf. Since that night, Wolf has pitched for the Dodgers, Brewers, Astros and Padres and his next win will be his 120th.

    19 - Safeco Field - Seattle moved to its new stadium in the middle of 1999 and it has become a pitcher's park, which might account for Posada needing three years to hit a home run there and only have two there for his career. The first was in the fourth inning when he hit a two-run shot off Ryan Franklin in an 8-3 win on August 17, 2002 Franklin made 106 starts with the Mariners but has become a reliever with Philadelphia, the Reds and Cardinals and has totaled over 80 saves.

    20 - Comerica Park - Four years after opening, Posada finally hit a home run in Detroit's new digs. Posada has 141 at-bats and 36 games at this ballpark but June 1, 2003 was his only home run there. You might remember it as part of Roger Clemens' 300-win chase but in this 17-inning thriller, Posada hit a solo home run that gave the Yankees a 10-8 lead. The home run off Steve Sparks turned out to be the game-winner. Posada hit the knuckleballer well but this was his only home run 24 at-bats. As for Sparks he was 59-76 and his career ended in 2004 with the Diamondbacks.

    21 - Wrigley Field - The next time Clemens pursued 300 wins, he missed out because Juan Acevedo gave up a home run to Eric Karros. Posada hit his only home run in five games there when he hit a solo home run off Joe Borowski, who briefly was a Yankee in the late-1990s. Borowski also gave up Derek Jeter's only grand slam and pitched until 2008. Borowski is the best major leaguer to come from Bayonne and currently is part of the Arizona Diamondbacks broadcast team.

    22 - Tokyo Dome - The 2004 season began in Japan with two games against Tampa Bay. After losing the opener, 8-3 to Tampa Bay, the Yankees rolled to a 12-1 win on March 31. Posada drove in six runs and hit home runs off Damian Moss and Jorge Sosa. Moss is the only major leaguer from Darlinghurst Australia and originally was a Braves prospect. In a span of one year (2002-2003), he was traded to the Giants for Russ Ortiz and then to Baltimore for Sidney Ponson. The stint in Tampa Bay was also his last major league stop, though Moss pitched last year for Colorado Springs in the Pacific Coast League.

    23 - Busch Stadium - The Yankees made their only regular-season trip to St. Louis in June 2005 and were not playing well on June 12, 2005. In a 5-3 loss to the Cardinals, Posada hit a solo home run off Julian Tavarez, who he was 6-for-10 against. Tavarez was part of those 1990s Indians team and also pitched with 10 other teams before ending up 88-82 after pitching for the Nationals.

    24 - RFK Stadium - The Yankees had not played in Washington since the early 1970s and in the final game of this three-game series, the Yankees were 11-9 losers. Posada added another ballpark when he connected off Ramon Ortiz, who he faced 27 times. This was the only home run off Ortiz, who currently is 5-2 pitching for Triple-A Iowa.

    25 - Citizens Bank Ballpark - Three days after his Washington home run, Posada liked hitting in Philadelphia's new digs. On June 20, 2006 in a 9-7 Yankee win, Posada hit a sixth-inning solo shot off future teammate Cory Lidle. A little over a month later, Lidle joined the Yankees along with Bobby Abreu and sadly in October, Lidle was gone way too soon.

    26 - Minute Maid Park - The Yankees never played in the Astrodome, unless you count Mickey Mantle's 1965 home run there. In June 2008, they made their first regular-season trip to Houston and concluded the weekend with a 13-0 win. After roughing up Roy Oswalt, Posada homered during an eight-run sixth off Wesley Wright. Of course, that home run is a footnote since this was the game Chien-Ming Wang injured his foot running the bases and has yet to fully recover and regain his two-time 18-game winner status.

    27 - New Yankee Stadium - The first game at current Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2009 had everything except a Yankee win. In a 10-2 loss to the Indians and before the game became a rout, Posada hit the first home run at the new place in the fifth inning off Cliff Lee. Lee has allowed 10 home runs to the Yankees and Posada has 30 home runs in 147 games there.

    28 - CITI Field - In their first trip to the new Met home, the Yankees swept a three-game series during a weekend that featured an AJ Burnett one-hitter and Mariano Rivera's 500th save. During that weekend, Posada contributed a sixth-inning three-run home run off Tim Redding, who briefly was a Yankee in 2005.

    29 - Great American Ball Park - Posada added his 29th ballpark yesterday and did so as a first baseman. The momentus occasion occurred during the sixth inning off Mike Leake. Leake was nine years old when Posada hit his first home run and so far is the only pitcher to allow a home run to Posada when he played first base.

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