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New Yankee Stadium a hitter's paradise

New Yankee Stadium a hitter's paradise
NEW YORK - What shall we call it?

Coors East? Citizens Bank North? A $1.5 billion bandbox?

Three games are not enough to draw conclusions about a ballpark. Twelve games are not enough to draw conclusions about a team.

And yet . . .

  • Seventeen home runs have been hit in the first three games at the new Yankee Stadium.
  • The Yankees on Saturday allowed 14 runs and 13 hits in an inning for the first time in their 106-year history.
  • Indians 22, Yankees 4
  • .

    Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is a problem. The Yankees' bullpen, aside from Mariano Rivera and Brian Bruney, is a problem. And with popups to right field dropping for home runs, the ballpark is a problem, too.

    It's only April. The first three games at the new stadium took place on warm afternoons. But just imagine: Home runs might fly out of the park even more frequently when summer hits and the weather gets even hotter.

    Right-hander A.J. Burnett and lefty Andy Pettitte are the only Yankees starters pitching well; lefty CC Sabathia and righty Joba Chamberlain have been inconsistent. The bullpen, though, is by far the bigger mess. Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Damaso Marte . . . all have been disappointing.

    The Yankees have allowed 70 runs in their six losses, an average of 11.7 per game. Take away Saturday's debacle, and that average reduces only to 9.6 per game. The Indians, Rays and Orioles — three of the Yankees' first four opponents — are strong offensive clubs. But not this strong.

    The bullpen is in crisis in part because of short outings by Sabathia, Chamberlain and Wang in this series. Poor Anthony Claggett allowed eight runs in 1 2/3 innings Saturday in his major-league debut. Of course he had no chance; this is his first season at Class AAA, and the Yankees promoted him only because they needed another arm.

    For the moment, the debate over whether Chamberlain should be the setup man is not even relevant. Bruney, who has retired 17 straight hitters, seems more than qualified for that role. The Yankees' problem will not be getting to Rivera. It will be getting to Bruney.

    Then there is manager Joe Girardi, whose job security will grow tenuous if this embarrassment continues. Or will it? If anything, the Yankees' deficiencies should earn Girardi a pass. He didn't construct the pitching staff. He didn't construct the ballpark.

    For $1.5 billion, the Yankees should have thought of everything. Alas, they forgot to buy off Mother Nature.

    Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:
    Added: April 19, 2009

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