Results for tag: New York Yankees
Posted by: Jack Curry on Oct 9, 2010 at 12:44:51 PM

Phil Hughes wasn’t supposed to be a pitcher at Foothill High School in Santa Ana, California. He was a third baseman, a superb athlete who felt awkward while growing into his changing body as a freshman. Hughes had excruciating pain in his right elbow, the residue of expanding bones, ligaments and joints on a collision course.

Then, in a random summer game before Hughes started his sophomore year, his high school team needed some pitchers. A coach asked Hughes if he could help. Hughes quickly agreed to devour a few innings. A pitching career was born.
 
“All of a sudden, he started pitching,” said Gary Fishel, one of Hughes’s high school coaches. “All of a sudden, we realized that we had to watch this guy.”

Now the baseball world is watching Hughes.

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Oct 5, 2010 at 02:18:13 PM

When Brian Cashman sat in CC Sabathia’s home 22 months ago, the Yankees’ general manager offered him a massive free agent contract and a tremendous opportunity. If Sabathia signed with the Yankees, Cashman told him, he could be the man to help guide them to multiple championships.

“I wasn’t leaving that house without a deal,” Cashman recalled. “It was like recruiting a player for college. You don’t leave without knowing you’ve got the player.”

Cashman got the player, got one of the best pitchers in baseball for $161 million. In Sabathia’s first year with the Yankees, they also snagged a championship. Now, as the Yankees prepare for Game 1 of the Division Series against the Twins Wednesday night, Sabathia is the big man on campus

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Sep 29, 2010 at 01:58:07 PM

The question about the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays was simple enough. Since those teams are separated by one-half game in the American League East, and have been within two-and-a-half games of each other for the last nine weeks, I asked Buck Showalter to assess how evenly matched they are.

Showalter has been managing the improved Orioles for two months and he has been studying the Yankees and the Rays for a lot longer than that. When we spoke on Tuesday, his Orioles were a few hours away from opposing the Rays at the Tropicana Dome. But Showalter’s answer started with praise for the Yankees.

“I wouldn’t underestimate the Yankees,” Showalter said. “I know they’ve been leaking all over lately, but I wouldn’t focus on that. They know where the finish

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Sep 27, 2010 at 03:05:26 PM

NEW YORK – The former Most Valuable Player looked like the injured kid on the playground who had been left out of another game. With his left foot in a cast and crutches by his side, Dustin Pedroia sat in the third base dugout at Yankee Stadium and watched. He hates watching. He would rather play.

While Pedroia can’t play baseball, he can talk baseball. Since Pedroia won the MVP two years ago for the Red Sox and has done a lot of watching lately, I wanted to know who he thinks has been the most valuable player in the American League. He responded in 1.2 seconds.

“It has to be Robbie, you would think,” Pedroia said. “Doesn’t it have to go to him?”

Robinson Cano, Pedroia’s counterpart as the Yankees’ second baseman, is having a memorable

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Sep 21, 2010 at 02:17:23 PM

It took me 20 minutes to find the notebook that included an unused Derek Jeter interview. I knew the notebook was in my home office, but I didn’t know it was buried beneath several more old notebooks, a book about how to win at blackjack and a compact disc player. Yes, a CD player.

I searched for the notebook because Jeter’s disappointing performance this season reminded me of a conversation we had six months ago. On a random morning in Tampa, Fla., I asked Jeter about the future. Jeter didn’t want to discuss being in the final year of his contract with the Yankees so I asked him about the years beyond 2010. Just how long does Jeter want to play?

“As long as I’m having fun, I’m going to keep playing,” Jeter said. “Why would you put limitations

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Sep 10, 2010 at 03:55:34 PM

Your favorite team always has the most question marks and the most flaws. Why? Because you analyze your team more than you scrutinize the opponents. You know more about your team than you know about any other team. It is natural to fret.

When Yankee fans lament the status of their team, I often tell them exactly what I wrote in the first paragraph. Study the full landscape. Every team has problems, but fans typically believe that their team has more problems than anyone else. That’s not always true, especially with the Yankees. Still, I don’t blame fans for worrying. That’s one of the prerequisites for being a fan.

As the Yankees prepare to begin a three-game series against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Friday night, I wondered what it must be like to be a Rangers’

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Aug 23, 2010 at 01:21:27 PM

TORONTO – Robinson Cano was exasperated. He waved his hands toward the scoreboard operator’s booth at Yankee Stadium, futilely trying to get some music pumping during early batting practice. Cano never got the music a few weeks ago, but he did get his swings. Cano always gets his swings.

For a team that has the best record in Major League baseball, the Yankees have spent a lot of time explaining what has gone awry. A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez have had too many erratic starts. Joba Chamberlain fumbled away his job as the eighth-inning setup man. Mark Teixeira was missing for most of April and May. Derek Jeter’s average is over 50 points lower than last season’s average. Alex Rodriguez’s average and home run totals are down, too.

But, other than some occasional

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Aug 12, 2010 at 02:34:27 PM

Sometimes, Mariano Rivera’s greatness in the most delicate job in baseball is taken for granted. Rivera is so superb and so precise that he is expected to be unhittable. Not just effective, but excellent. Sometimes, Rivera’s prolonged excellence even baffles the people who have watched him the longest.

“Can you believe what Rivera is doing?,” asked Gene Michael, who was the Yankees’ general manager when Rivera debuted in 1995. “He just keeps getting better. How do you do that?”

As a baseball lifer who was a player, a coach, a manager, a general manager and an adviser for the Yankees, Michael has scouted hundreds of players. He has never seen someone as good at what he does as Rivera is as a closer. I haven’t seen as many players as Michael,

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Aug 4, 2010 at 09:56:50 AM

You would think it would be easy by now. Once your son had made it to the Major Leagues, played 12 seasons, clubbed 326 homers and appeared in a World Series, you would think it would be easy to watch his games.

Larry Berkman, Lance’s father, said it isn’t easy. It can be torturous.

After Berkman’s first two games with the Yankees, I called his father to ask Larry about turning his son into a switch-hitter. After Larry explained in vivid detail how he helped transform a six-year old right-handed hitter into a polished switch-hitter, I asked him how excited he was about his son being traded to the Yankees from the Astros. The father was blunt.

“To be truthful, it scares me to death because I want him to do so well,” Larry said. “It’s tough to sit and

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Jul 7, 2010 at 02:20:06 PM

OAKLAND – If Alex Rodriguez had squinted or adjusted one finger on his bat before hammering a grand slam on Tuesday night, I would have seen it. That is how close I was to the plate during the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum. If there was an on deck circle behind the on deck circle, that would have been my neighborhood.

In two decades of covering baseball, I have been fortunate enough to have some terrific views from several press boxes. But I’ve never had a more prime location than the one I have enjoyed during the series between the Yankees and the Athletics. I never thought that standing on a pile of television cable wires and wedging between two camera operators would be so memorable.

While standing about 20 feet from the first base dugout for an inning in each game,

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