Yankee play-by-play announcer John Sterling has been delivering his home run call a lot lately. Unfortunately for the Yankees, he's been using it more than ever for their opponents, espeically when Randy Johnson and Carl Pavano are on the mound. Until the two pitchers at the front of the Yankee rotation can keep the ball in the park, the Yankees will continue to sputter near .500.

Pitchers have complete control over three things: strikeouts, walks and home runs. Hits are more about luck than anything else, and they can fluctuate from start to start and year to year. Johnson has given up 16 dingers this year (including two to Eduardo Perez!), and Pavano has allowed 14.

Pavano's latest dinger allowed was a game-deciding blast to Nick Green in yesterday's 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay. It would be one thing if he they were giving up home runs to established sluggers, but they're not. Home runs are the most exciting events in sports. They've proven especially exciting for the Yankees' foes.

Photo by Newsday/David L. Pokress