Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

June 18 – Happy Birthday Felix Heredia

The only member of the Yankee all-time player roster to be born on June 18 (1975) is their former reliever, Felix Heredia. The Yankees claimed the southpaw  off waivers during the 2003 season and he pitched real well out of  their bullpen for the remainder of that year, making 12 appearances during which he allowed just two earned runs in fifteen total innings. That effort represented an ERA of just 1.20 prompting New York to sign him to a new two-year contract. But during his second season in pinstripes, Heredia struggled with control problems and his Yankee ERA ballooned by over five times causing Joe Torre to eventually lose faith in him. The Yankees traded him to the Mets after the 2005 season in a deal that returned Mike Stanton to the Yankee bullpen. Heredia retired after the 2005 season with a 28-19 record for his ten years in the big leagues and 6 career saves. During that decade he pitched for six other teams in addition to the Yankees.

The only other member of the Yankee baseball family to be born on this same date is this announcer, who’s most famous call had nothing to do with Yankee baseball.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2003 NYY 0 1 .000 1.20 12 0 4 0 0 0 15.0 13 5 2 1 5 4 1.200
2004 NYY 1 1 .500 6.28 47 0 9 0 0 0 38.2 44 28 27 5 20 25 1.655
10 Yrs 28 19 .596 4.42 511 2 128 0 0 6 458.1 448 259 225 45 232 351 1.484
CHC (4 yrs) 15 6 .714 5.01 221 0 54 0 0 3 163.1 166 102 91 20 80 146 1.506
FLA (3 yrs) 6 7 .462 4.72 118 2 27 0 0 2 114.1 112 68 60 5 72 102 1.609
NYY (2 yrs) 1 2 .333 4.86 59 0 13 0 0 0 53.2 57 33 29 6 25 29 1.528
NYM (1 yr) 0 0 0.00 3 0 1 0 0 0 2.2 1 0 0 0 1 2 0.750
CIN (1 yr) 5 2 .714 3.00 57 0 18 0 0 1 72.0 61 27 24 9 28 41 1.236
TOR (1 yr) 1 2 .333 3.61 53 0 15 0 0 0 52.1 51 29 21 5 26 31 1.471
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/18/2013.

June 15 – Happy Birthday Tony Clark

clarkI was pretty pumped when I learned the Yanks had signed Tony Clark in January of 2004. He had put together three consecutive outstanding offensive seasons as a Detroit Tiger first baseman earlier in his career. He was a switch-hitter and even though he was packed in a giant six foot eight inch frame, he was very agile defensively.

Jason Giambi had become a disaster defensively at first for New York and he was about to experience the worst season of his career, physically in 2004. Having Clark on the roster helped the team return to postseason that fall. Though not nearly as productive offensively as a healthy Giambi was in pinstripes, this native of Newton, Kansas had his moments. He belted 16 home runs that year and at the end of May, he had a stretch where he drove in 12 runs over an 8-game period.

By the end of the regular season, I thought maybe New York would bring Clark back, especially when Giambi’s physical problems persisted and rumors of his steroid use got louder and louder. Then the Yanks suffered one of the most devastating postseason defeats in the history of the franchise against Boston in that year’s ALCS during which Clark averaged just .143. He ended up signing with the Diamondbacks and having a stellar 2005 season in Arizona. Clark retired after the 2009 season with 251 big league home runs.

In December of 2013, Clark replaced Michael Weiner as the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Clark shares his June 15th birthday with this Hall-of-Fame third baseman,  one of the members of the famous Yankee core four, this former Yankee infielder and this other former Yankee first baseman.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2004 NYY 106 283 253 37 56 12 0 16 49 0 26 92 .221 .297 .458 .755
15 Yrs 1559 5120 4532 629 1188 233 11 251 824 6 527 1209 .262 .339 .485 .824
DET (7 yrs) 772 3212 2831 428 783 156 7 156 514 6 343 721 .277 .355 .502 .857
ARI (5 yrs) 396 940 831 105 212 37 3 59 178 0 94 234 .255 .330 .520 .850
NYM (1 yr) 125 280 254 29 59 13 0 16 43 0 24 73 .232 .300 .472 .772
BOS (1 yr) 90 298 275 25 57 12 1 3 29 0 21 57 .207 .265 .291 .556
SDP (1 yr) 70 107 88 5 21 3 0 1 11 0 19 32 .239 .374 .307 .681
NYY (1 yr) 106 283 253 37 56 12 0 16 49 0 26 92 .221 .297 .458 .755
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2014.

June 14 – Happy Birthday Chase Whitley

whitleyIt took 64 years but finally, there’s another member of the Yankee all-time roster who shares my own June 14th birthday. I’m hoping this second one leaves a much more significant imprint on Yankee history than the first one, a first baseman named Fenton Mole did.

After a solid 2014 spring training performance, Chase Whitley was sent back to Triple A only because the Yankees had a sudden wealth of healthy pitching arms for their parent club’s  bullpen. But when starting pitchers CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda went on the DL it was the reliever Whitley who was surprisingly called up to the Bronx to fill in during their absence.

Thus far, he’s performed better than expected. The Yanks have won six of his eight starts and Whitley has won three of his four decisions. Will his good pitching continue? I can’t say for sure but there’s something about this six foot three inch right-hander from Radburne, AL that makes me think he’s going to be continue to pitch successfully at the big league level.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2014 NYY 3 1 .750 4.07 8 8 0 0 0 0 42.0 47 19 19 2 7 28 1.286
1 Yr 3 1 .750 4.07 8 8 0 0 0 0 42.0 47 19 19 2 7 28 1.286
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2014.