Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

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.

June 13 – Happy Birthday Darrell May

The only Yankee player in history to be born on June 13th was a journeyman pitcher named Darrell May. The Yankees picked May up from the Padres in July of 2005 in exchange for another reliever named Paul Quantrill. May had made his big league debut in 1995 for the Braves but by 1997, he had pitched his way back to the minor leagues. The Royals brought him back to the Majors in 2002 and he was a member of the Kansas City starting rotation for three seasons. His best year was 2003 when he went 10-8 for KC with a career low ERA of 3.77. The following year, May led the League in losses with 19 and he was traded to the Padres. He went 1-3 in San Diego before getting dealt for Quantrill and he made just two appearances in pinstripes, getting rocked each time and he lost his only decision as a Yankee. He pitched in the minors for one more year then hung his glove up for good.

May was born on this date in 1972, in San Bernardino, CA. The most famous ballplayer and only Hall of Famer ever born in that same city was the great big league pitcher and former Yankee manager, Bob Lemon. Darrell became the third player named “May” to play in pinstripes joining pitcher Rudy May and outfielder/DH Carlos May.

Over the years, several players have played for both the Yankees and Padres during their careers. Here’s my all-time best lineup of guys who played for both San Diego and New York. (*) Note that four members of this group are now in the Hall of Fame:

1B – Jack Clark
2B – Mark Bellhorn
3B – Graig Nettles
SS – Tony Fernandez
C – John Flaherty
OF – Dave Winfield*
OF – Ricky Henderson*
OF – Jerry Mumphrey
P – David Wells
P – Gaylord Perry*
CL – Goose Gossage*

Here’s Darrell May’s Yankee and career stats:

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2005 NYY 0 1 .000 16.71 2 1 0 0 0 0 7.0 14 13 13 4 3 3 2.429
7 Yrs 26 43 .377 5.16 161 97 23 7 3 0 660.2 746 411 379 123 212 414 1.450
KCR (3 yrs) 23 37 .383 4.81 96 84 4 7 3 0 527.1 575 311 282 97 158 330 1.390
ANA (2 yrs) 2 1 .667 5.47 34 2 9 0 0 0 54.1 59 34 33 7 27 43 1.583
PIT (1 yr) 0 1 .000 9.35 5 2 0 0 0 0 8.2 15 10 9 5 4 5 2.192
ATL (1 yr) 0 0 11.25 2 0 1 0 0 0 4.0 10 5 5 0 0 1 2.500
SDP (1 yr) 1 3 .250 5.61 22 8 9 0 0 0 59.1 73 38 37 10 20 32 1.567
NYY (1 yr) 0 1 .000 16.71 2 1 0 0 0 0 7.0 14 13 13 4 3 3 2.429
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/13/2013.