Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So it Seems… I’ve Been Quiet and Now I’m Explaining


Good morning everyone and Happy Wednesday. It has been a bit quiet on the blog here lately and for that I apologize. The last time we really spoke I described how work was getting busy, well work got busy. When work started to slow down I got sick. I don’t get sick very often but when I do, usually once or twice a year, I generally tend to get really, really sick. I had a fever for over five days straight and that was with taking ibuprofen every four hours or as often as I could stand it. As I finally started to get better now my baby is starting to get sick, ugh.

First I want to thank you for all your patience with the blog. I am not going anywhere, we are not going anywhere and we will continue to push on, together. I then want to thank my beautiful love, Kari, for taking care of me as I have been sick. You’re the best baby. Oh, and I’m sorry I got you sick. Ugh again. I guess it’s time to return that taking care of you favor, huh? I’ll do it happily, because I love you.

Have a great day everyone, except for Dallas Keuchel. Screw that guy. I love you all, especially you. HEY YOU. Have a great day and I hope you’re feeling a little better this morning.


This Day in New York Yankees History 10/18: Mr. October



Reggie Jackson was brought in by owner George Steinbrenner to propel the Yankees to their first World Series title in what felt like forever, and that he did. On this day in 1977 Reggie hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches in the World Series in the clinching game of the Yankees 21st World Series title. The nickname Mr. October stuck immediately as he had hit a home run in his last at bat of the previous game as well making for four consecutive home runs across two games.


Also on this day in 1960 a mere five days after losing the World Series to Bill Mazeroski and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 7 of the World Series manager Casey Stengel was fired. The Yankees cited the fact that Stengel was too old to manage in which Stengel replied “I’ll never make the mistake of being 70 again.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

All Rise for Home Sweet Home...

Credit:  Abbie Parr-Getty Images

American League Championship Series
Yankees 8, Astros 1
Astros lead Series, 2-1

CC Sabathia is proving, again and again, that he is the team's prime stopper in 2017. I almost feel bad since I was among those who left CC for dead. I started to buy into Sabathia early in the season, but when he ran into his bump in the road and time on the DL, I was burying the guy again. Yet, here he is on the main stage, being trusted with the ball in the most dire situations and he has not disappointed. Monday, backed by home runs from Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge, Sabathia reeled off his 10th win (against no losses) following a Yankees loss with an elite 1.69 ERA in those situations as the Yankees put the brakes on Houston's march to the World Series.  

Aaron Judge draws the most attention when going yard, but the biggest hit was provided courtesy of Todd Frazier. At the trading deadline when the Yankees acquired Frazier, it felt like he was going to be a two month rental before moving on. However, Frazier is showing how much he enjoys playing in the Bronx and seems to be tailor made for Yankee Stadium. I recognize that Miguel Andujar (or perhaps a free agent signing of Manny Machado after the 2018 season) represents the future at third, but Frazier deserves an encore performance in the Bronx next season.  


Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

While the final line for Astros starter Charlie Morton was not pretty, he was pitching great early. After two strikeouts by Morton to start the game, Didi Gregorius got the first hit for the Yankees with an infield grounder to third, but he was quickly erased for the final out when Morton's pickoff throw to first was a little faster than Didi's sliding hand.  

It looked like Morton, who grew up as a Yankees fan in Connecticut, was going to have a very good game in this pitching-strong series. Like the first inning, Morton got two quick outs to start the second inning...a line out to center by Gary Sanchez, who jumped on the first pitch, and a strike out of Greg Bird. Then, Starlin Castro hit a weak squibbler toward third that third baseman Alex Bregman tried unsuccessfully to barehand. Carlos Correa retrieved the ball and threw to first, but Castro had already crossed the bag. Aaron Hicks followed with a high fly to left that dropped in for a single. The Yankees had runners at first and second, but those were two hard earned hits so you couldn't really fault Morton. On Morton's third pitch to Todd Frazier, he threw a good outside fastball but Frazier reached out and got enough of the bat on the ball with a one-handed swing to power it over the right field wall. The Yankees were up, 3-0.


Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Staked to a three-run lead, CC Sabathia appeared to wobble in the top of the 3rd inning. After getting two outs, he walked George Springer. Alex Bregman singled to deep left, but a great throw by Brett Gardner to second base held the runners at the corners. The very dangerous Jose Altuve was up next and Sabathia pitched very cautiously to him before losing him on four balls. The bases were loaded for the Astros, the best hitting team in baseball with runners in scoring position. However, Sabathia got Carlos Correa to pop out to short for the final out. Weebles wobble but they don't fall down. Excellent job by Sabathia to get out of the inning unscathed.

Greg Bird led off the bottom of the 4th with a fly to left that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double. Left fielder Cameron Maybin came running up to catch the ball but then pulled up at the last moment before the ball hit the ground and became a souvenir in the seats. After Starlin Castro grounded out to third, Aaron Hicks hit a fly to right which Josh Reddick caught on the warning track but Bird was able to tag and move to third. Todd Frazier walked to bring up Chase Headley. Headley hit a grounder to second baseman Jose Altuve in shallow right and reached when Altuve bobbled the ball. Frazier was safe at second and Bird scored on the play. Brett Gardner was hit by a pitch on the left knee to load the bases, which brought Astros manager A.J. Hinch out of the dugout with a call to the bullpen. He brought in Will Harris to replace Morton. With Aaron Judge batting, Harris threw a wild pitch and the runners advanced, pushing Frazier across home plate to score the Yankees' fifth run. Judge finally broke out of his ALCS slump when he blasted a line drive into the left field seats for three more runs. The Yankees had increased their lead to 8-0.


Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The Astros threatened again in the top of the 6th inning. Carlos Correa started the inning with a hard grounder that deflected off the glove of Didi Gregorius to safely reach first base. After Sabathia recorded two outs, Marwin Gonzalez hit a grounder to Gregorius and reached base when Didi lost his footing and overthrew Greg Bird at first. Correa moved to third. After a visit to the mound by Larry Rothschild, Sabathia got Josh Reddick to hit a soft grounder back to the pitching mound that CC was able to field and throw to first for the final out. The shutout remained intact for the great 37-year-old Yankees lefty.

For Sabathia, his day was finished. Adam Warren took over in the top of the 7th. It didn't start well when he walked his first batter, but he settled in and retired the next three batters to push the game to the 8th inning. Warren was back out for the 8th and retired the Astros in order.


Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

It was inevitable that we'd see Dellin Betances at some point and Joe Girardi decided his time was the top of the 9th inning to seal the deal for the Yankees. It was a great opportunity for Betances to earn redemption and show that he can be a trusted arm for the duration of the playoffs. Unfortunately, it was a missed opportunity for Betances who walked the first two batters he faced and was pulled.  


Credit:  Getty Images

Tommy Kahnle was brought in. Cameron Maybin greeted Kahnle with a single to left to load the bases. Kahnle struck out George Springer for the first out but then he walked Alex Bregman which pushed Marwin Gonzalez across the plate for the Astros' first run (a run charged to Betances). Bases still loaded for likely AL MVP Jose Altuve and only one out. Kahnle came up big when Altuve hit a grounder to second baseman Starlin Castro, who stepped on second and threw to Greg Bird at first to complete the double play. Game over. Yankees win!

Granted, Judge's home run was huge. While I still feel that Frazier's bomb was the difference-maker (offensively), the play of the game occurred in the top of the 4th inning when Marwin Gonzalez led off with a fly to right that took Aaron Judge to the wall. Judge reached up to catch the ball as he crashed into the wall and fall to the ground. It was an incredible catch to rob Gonzalez of a potential home run. Of course, it brought the obligatory questions of who was hurt the most...Judge or the wall...but it was the play of the game in my opinion. The Yankees were holding the three-run lead at that point courtesy of the Frazier home run, and a rally by the Astros in that spot would have made it a much different game.  


Credit:  Elsa-Getty Images

Judge, proving his glove is as powerful as his bat, also made a diving catch of a line drive hit by Cameron Maybin in the fifth inning.


Credit:  Robert Sabo

I can't say enough great things about CC Sabathia. Time and again, he has proven to be a crafty veteran who simply knows how to win. He's faced his share of adversity but continues to overcome. Like Frazier, I think that CC Sabathia was earned a spot on the 2018 Yankees.  


Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The Yankees now turn Game 4 over to the forgotten Sonny Gray. Like Betances (who failed his ALCS audition), this is a chance for redemption for Gray. We know that he will be a huge part of future Yankee teams but this is his time to grab the moment and make his mark in New York. Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA) will be opposed by Lance McCullers, Jr (7-4, 4.25 ERA). Don't let the ERA fool you, McCullers, the son of a former Yankee, has been very tough on the Pinstripers.  This game should be a classic. Hopefully, Sonny Gray rises to the challenge to craft an exciting first chapter of his Yankees post-season career.  

Odds & Ends...

I missed the weekend game (Game 2) due to a preplanned trip. The Yankees failed to tell me that they were going to make it to the American League Championship series earlier in the year when I made plans. A heartbreaking loss is not fun to write about, but I really appreciated the way that Astros catcher stood up for Gary Sanchez after the game. McCann could easily join the throngs who love to bash the Yankees but he's been nothing but the professional that we came to love during his days in the Bronx.  

I keep reading so many articles that speculate whether or not Manager Joe Girardi will return and how he seems to be edgier around friends and family. Personally, I think he'd be foolish to leave at the dawn of a new era in Yankees baseball.  I think he'll come to an agreement with the Yankees after the season is over to help the Baby Bombers strive for greater heights over the next few years. Honestly, I do not see any viable alternatives and nothing against Yankee coaches like Tony Pena or Rob Thomsen but I think, despite his faults, Joe Girardi is the best man for the job.

Have a great Tuesday! Like Joe Girardi and Joe Torre before him have said, let's just win one game today. We believe. Go Yankees!

So it Seems… Just When I Needed it Most!


I’m going to be honest, yesterday was not a good morning for me. Without going into too much detail it was just one crap storm after the other. Now I can’t complain too awful much, I did wake up next to my best friend and the one put on this planet for me while all my kids were both healthy and alive but it was just the little stuff that just kept on snowballing. Little things, big things, trivial things and things that I shouldn’t let bother me like I do. Then I went to work, which is always fun on a Monday, and found out that my computer was worked on over the weekend. What that means in my company is if the IT guys work on your computer you can expect it to not work when they get done with it, period. And it didn’t, again. It worked before they touched it, but I digress.

As I was sitting there watching them “fix” my computer I had an email come through that caught my eye. It has a quote on it and I’ll be damned if that quote didn’t sum up my morning and my thoughts on the day in one sentence. That quote is below, maybe it can help someone else too.

“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” -Dorothy Height


I may not be great, but I will be. I won’t give up until I am. I LOVE YOU. Hey you. Let’s keep this damn thing together. Have a great Tuesday everyone. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/17: David Justice Strikes Again


Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman took over the reins of the New York Yankees in 1998 and immediately helped build one of the best teams of all time in Major League Baseball. The Yankees were looking for their third consecutive World Series title when Cashman acquired David Justice before the season ended hoping his impact would help in the postseason. It did help on this day in 2000 when Justice hit a three run home run to propel the Yankees to their 37th American League pennant and a trip to the Subway World Series as New York beat the Mariners 9-7.


Also on this day in 1985 Billy Martin was fired and/or replaced by the Yankees for the fourth time and replaced by Lou Piniella. Martin managed the Yankees to a 97-64 record this season and a second place finish two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.


Also on this day in 1978 the Yankees would win their second consecutive and 22nd World Series championship overall beating the Los Angeles Dodgers by the score of 7-2. Bucky Dent was named World Series MVP.


Finally on this day in 1964 the Yankees fired manager Yogi Berra after a 99-63 record and loss in seven games in the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Johnny Keane, the Cardinals manager that season, was named the new Yankees manager after he resigned from the Cardinals after the World Series victory.

Monday, October 16, 2017

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/16: Aaron Bleeping Boone

Watch the entire Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS right here for free on the blog. 



The most hated and closely played rivalry in Major League Baseball history is between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This rivalry was never stronger, at least during my years of being a fan, then in the early and mid-2000’s. On this day in 2003 the Yankees and the Red Sox played Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. After the Yankees came storming back late in the game off Pedro Martinez Aaron Boone came to bat in the bottom of the 11th inning to face Tim Wakefield. On the first pitch he saw the Yankee third baseman slammed a home run down the left field line helping the Yankees capture their 39th American League pennant of the franchise’s history and yet another decisive blow to the Red Sox.


Speaking of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry in the postseason and Pedro Martinez it was on this day in 1999 when Martinez faced off with the Yankees ace Roger Clemens in the ALCS. This was touted as one of the best pitching matchups of all time on paper but that did not translate onto the field. Clemens did not last three innings in the contest as the Red Sox blew out the Yankees 13-1.



Also on this day in 1962 the Yankees beat the San Francisco Giants in Candlestick Park in Game 7 of the World Series to capture the team’s 20th World Series Championship. The Giants threatened late before Willie McCovey lined out to the Yankees Bobby Richardson as New York won the game 1-0.


It is also worth mentioning that the New York Post sucks... sucked back in 2003 and it sucks now.

As we remember Aaron Boone hit that dramatic walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox in 2004 to cap off an improbable comeback for the New York Yankees. The NY Post didn’t share the same enthusiasm and confidence as the team apparently as the newspaper released early editions of the paper claiming that the Yankees had fallen to the Red Sox in Game 7. The game was over shortly after 11:00 pm… whatever.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/15: 2001 Yankees Move On


Just days after Derek Jeter saved the Yankees season in the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics with “the flip” the Yankees clinched the ALDS victory and a trip to the 2001 ALCS with a 5-3 victory over the A’s. The Yankees became the first team ever to win a best of five series after losing the first two games at home.


Also on this day in 1981 the Yankees clinched their 33rd American League pennant in the franchise’s history with a 4-0 victory and sweep of the Oakland Athletics. Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, and Goose Gossage combined for the victory sending the Yankees to play the Dodgers for the third time in the past five Fall Classics.


Finally on this day in 1923 the New York Yankees captured their first World Series championship when they beat the New York Giants in six games. The Yankees, still playing in the Polo Grounds at that time, would win the game by the score of 6-4.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

No Love for Dallas in Houston...

Credit:  Tony Gutierrez-AP

American League Championship Series
Astros 2, Yankees 1...
Astros lead Series, 1-0

The Yankees had the answer this season for Chris Sale and they finally figured out likely AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber in the post-season but Dallas Keuchel remains a mystery. Unable to generate any runs against Keuchel, the Yankees fell to the Astros in the first game of the ALCS despite a solid outing from Masahiro Tanaka.

Credit:  Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees didn't pick up their first hit against Keuchel until Brett Gardner lined a single to left with two outs in the 3rd inning. Unfortunately, he didn't go anywhere when Aaron Judge followed with his only strikeout of the game.

Starlin Castro picked up a single to left, just past the outstretched glove of running shortstop Carlos Correa, in the top of 4th inning, also with two outs, but like Gardy, he did not do anything except have a brief conversation with first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Aaron Hicks flied out to center, on huge fly that nearly took center fielder George Springer to the wall, to send Castro looking for his hat and glove to take the field. A couple more feet and the Yankees might have taken the early lead.

The Astros, meanwhile, didn't miss the only opportunity that Masahiro Tanaka gave them. With one out in the bottom of the 4th, Jose Altuve singled on a grounder to second, beating the throw to first.  He subsequently stole second to put himself in scoring position. Carlos Correa's single to left brought the probable AL MVP around to score the game's first run. Marwin Gonzalez hit a  slow grounder to second and was thrown out at first for the second out, but Correa advanced to second base. Yuli Gurriel's single to center, a grounder up the middle between Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius, scored Correa and the Astros had a 2-0 lead.

Credit:  Elsa-Getty Images

The Yankees had their chance in the top of the 5th but were unable to convert. Greg Bird led off with a single to right, a sharply hit ball just past first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Matt Holliday reached on a fielding error by Jose Altuve (bobbled the ball after stopping the grounder) so the Yankees had runners at first and second with no outs. Todd Frazier lined out to center and Brett Gardner struck out but Aaron Judge followed them with a single to left. Bird hesitated a moment and then raced around third and headed home. Unfortunately, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez threw a perfect strike in to catcher Brian McCann to nail Bird at the plate for the final out of the inning. The Yankees challenged the play but replay showed Bird was less than a second too late. Sadly, Bird's run around third seemed like slow motion compared Jose Altuve's run in the prior inning. Credit Gonzalez and McCann for the stellar play.

Credit:  Elsa-Getty Images

Dallas Keuchel finally left the game after seven scoreless innings (and ten strikeouts). Houston fans may love Dallas (the pitcher, not the city) but I was very glad to see him leave.  But the Astros bullpen is strong and set up artist Chris Devenski has been a better version of Dellin Betances this year. Still, the Yankees had their chance in the 8th against Devenski. Brett Gardner worked a one-out walk, which brought Astros manager A.J. Hinch out of the dugout to replace Devenski with closer Ken Giles. Giles promptly threw a wild pitch with Aaron Judge at the plate, allowing Gardy to move to second. Judge grounded out to third for the second out, but Gary Sanchez walked to put two runners on for Didi Gregorius. The Yankees replaced Sanchez at first with pinch-runner Ronald Torreyes. Didi has come up so big for the Yankees in key spots this year but on this night, Giles won the battle when Didi swung and missed on an 0-2 count after three successive foul balls.  

In the top of the 9th, Giles struck out both Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks to start the inning. Greg Bird finally put the Yankees on the board when he homered to right, a high fly inside of the foul pole, to make it a one-run game.

Credit:  Anthony J Causi-NY Post

DH Matt Holliday was due up next, but Manager Joe Girardi opted to send Jacoby Ellsbury to the plate. Ellsbury went down swinging to end the game and hand the series advantage to the Astros.

In retrospect, the huge missed opportunity was Greg Bird's out at the plate in the 5th inning. If he had gotten a good jump when Aaron Judge hit that drive to left, he might have beaten the throw. But hats off to the Astros for making their plays. The Yankees pitched a good game but the Astros pitched a little better.  Fortunately, the bullpen will be rested for Game 2 as the Yankees only had to burn Chad Green in relief of Tanaka. Green pitched two frames of scoreless relief with 31 pitches thrown.  

Credit:  Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

On the bright side, Dallas Keuchel won't take the mound again until a potential Game 5. The Yankees offense should fare much better against crafty veteran Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.38 ERA) and the rest of the Astros starters. TGP's Daniel Burch did a great job yesterday illustrating why the Yankees should not fear Verlander for Game 2. Verlander will be tough, no doubt, but the Yankees can win this game and send the series to New York with a split. We'll have staff ace Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) to lead the way.  I like those odds.

Have a great Saturday! A perfect day would feature a Yankees win! Let's make it happen.  Go Yankees!

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/14: Chris Chambliss Wins the Pennant




Chris Chambliss will forever be known and remembered for his home run that won the pennant in the America League for the New York Yankees in 1976. Chambliss won the Yankees 30th AL pennant with his bottom of the ninth walk off home run to beat the Kansas City Royals in Game Five of the ALCS 7-6. Fans rushed the field, security lost control, and the Yankees are headed to the World Series. My, oh my I don’t believe it.


Also on this day in 2000 Roger Clemens strikes out a record setting 15 Seattle Mariners in a 5-0 victory in Game Four of the ALCS. The Yankees would win the game behind Clemens’ one hitter.

Friday, October 13, 2017

ALCS Game One Thread: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros


And just like that ladies, gentleman and Yankees doubters/haters it is game time and time for Game One of the 2017 American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. In the opener of the series the Yankees face a familiar foe and a tough opponent in Dallas Keuchel for the Astros while New York counters with Masahiro Tanaka. The game will be played at 8:00 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on Fox Sports One. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into either WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman or by turning on ESPN Radio.

Follow us on Twitter to interact with us during the game by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Need a win, one win at a time, so get a win and Go Yankees! Also be on the lookout for my prediction below. Some may call it…. Bold. Enjoy the game.

Prediction: Yankees win 9-4