Friday, August 18, 2017

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/18

Well now that I got Jerry Remy, NESN and Red Sox nation all fired up let’s get to this game preview for the weekend. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will spend their second consecutive weekend facing off head-to-head with this particular series coming inside historic Fenway Park. The Yankees lost two-of-three last weekend in the Bronx and will look to turn their fortunes around in this series as they inch closer to the top of the American League East Division. The Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off with Drew Pomeranz for the Red Sox in the opener which should be an entertaining one to watch as a fan.

Montgomery will make his second consecutive start against the Boston Red Sox after dueling Chris Sale inning for inning on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball last time out. Montgomery matches sale over 5.1 innings allowing just one run on two hits in a no-decision and eventual Yankees loss.

Pomeranz faced and beat the Yankees in his last start despite giving up seven hits and three runs in 6.2 innings of work. That start marked the 10th time in his last 11 starts that Pomeranz has given up three runs or fewer in a start.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, NESN and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN. At least they aren’t openly racist and yes, Red Sox fans, if he had to apologize then yes it was racist. Deal with it and Go Yankees!!

The Mitchell Report: An A+ for Dellin!...

Credit:  Rich Schultz-Associated Press
Yankees 7, Mets 5...

Bryan Mitchell tried to give the game away, loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th and then allowing a grand salami by former Yank Curtis Granderson, but Dellin Betances came in ("it's not really what you want to do" --Joe Girardi) to restore order and give the Yankees the series sweep over the New York Mets.

This should have been an easy win with the dominance of Luis Severino and the power of Gary Sanchez but it was a nail-bitter at the end.  If the Mets had gotten a runner on base against Betances, they would have brought the potential game-tying run to the plate.  But Dellin is no Aroldis Chapman (of late) and he shut the door. 

This game should have been all about the Kraken.  Gary Sanchez is rapidly becoming Mr August although I'd be okay with Mr August through October.  He owned August last year and he owns it again this season.  Brett Gardner led off with a bouncer back to Mets pitcher Steven Matz and reached second when Matz's throw sailed over first baseman Dominic Smith's head.  Aaron Hicks walked.  After Aaron Judge struck out (record extended), El Gary came to the plate and sent a Matz pitch into the left center stands as a souvenir.  The Yankees led 3-0 to give Luis Severino some backing before he had even thrown a pitch.

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-Associated Press
The Yankees got to Matz again in the fourth inning.  Tyler Austin singled to right, his second hit of the game.  Ronald Torreyes followed with a single to left, a roller through the hole at short.  The best hit of the night, sorry Gary, came when Luis Severino popped a bunt that fell in for a single to load the bases.  The Yankees bench went nuts over Sevy's first Major League hit.  Brett Gardner, showing the professional hitter that he is, lined a double into the left field corner.  Both Austin and Torreyes scored.  Sevy stopped at third, huffing and puffing (not seriously).  After Aaron Hicks grounded out, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded again.  The Mets pulled Steven Matz and replaced him with reliever Chasen Bradford.  Gary Sanchez greeted Bradford with a single to left (through the hole between third and short), which scored Severino and Gardner.  Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud was unable to hold Yoenis Cespedes' throw, otherwise, he might have had a play on Gardner at the plate.  The Yankees had scored 4 runs and now led 7-0.  

Credit:  Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Luis Severino was dominant after his collapse against Boston last weekend.  He pitched into the seventh inning.  He got the first out...a ground out by Amed Rosario, but from there, the inning deteriorated.  A fly ball to right by Travis d'Arnaud was dropped by Aaron Judge and d'Arnaud was able to reach second on the two-base error.  With Matt Reynolds batting, a wild pitch by Severino allowed d'Arnaud to move to third. It was another case where Gary Sanchez didn't have his glove low enough to stop the pitch. Matt Reynolds looped a single to center to score d'Arnaud and the Mets had their first run of the game.  Brandon Nimmo also singled to center, and Sevy's day was done. He could only watch from the dugout as both runners were his responsibility.  The Yankees brought in lefty Chasen Shreve, causing Tweeter to blow up with the "Chasen History" references due to the appearance of two Chasens (Shreve and the Mets' Bradford) in the game.  Shreve struck out Curtis Granderson for the second out, but walked Asdrubal Cabrera to load the bases.  In perhaps what would prove to be one of the game's biggest moments, Shreve struck out Michael Conforto to end the threat.  

Shreve easily set down the Mets in the 8th, but Bryan Mitchell was brought in for the 9th to close it out.  Sadly, he was ill equipped for the job on this night.  Travis d'Arnaud led off with a double to the wall in left.  Matt Reynolds singled to right while d'Arnaud was held at third. Following a coaching visit by pitching coach Larry Rothschild (it didn't work), Mitchell walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases with no outs.  Curtis Granderson came up and jumped all over the first pitch from Mitchell for a grand slam to right.  Manager Joe Girardi was visibly unhappy (along with Yankees fans), and finally pulled Mitchell.  Enter Dellin Betances.  1-2-3, game over.  Yankees win!

The Boston Red Sox had the day off so the Yankees (65-55) picked up a 1/2 game and now trail the Sox by 4 games as they head to Boston for the weekend.  The Tampa Bay Rays continue to slide, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3.  The loss, combined with the Blue Jays win, created a three-way tie for the AL East Cellar (the Baltimore Orioles were idle). All three teams trail the Yankees by 6 1/2 games. 

Excellent pitching performance by Luis Severino (10-5).  After giving up 10 runs (8 earned) in his last start, Sevy bounced back to allow only four hits and one run (none earned) over 6 1/3 innings.  If not for Judge's error, he probably could have gone deeper into the game.  He walked three batters, but struck out nine in lowering his season ERA to 3.18.  

Credit:  Mike Stobe-Getty Images
Also, you can't say enough about the huge bullpen performances by Chasen Shreve and Dellin Betances, who picked up his eighth save.  Both pitchers had the outcome of the game in their hands and they triumphed.

As for Mitchell, I know that he is capable of providing long relief but I'd probably send him down to Triple A and recall hot reliever Ben Heller with Caleb Smith, also capable of going long, in the pen.   

Gary Sanchez...The Kraken...El Gary...The Sanchino.  Two hits, including the homer and five RBI's.  Jump on his back and hold on...the man is on fire.  

Credit:  Mike Stobe-Getty Images 
The streak continues.  Aaron Judge extended his own Major League record for strikeouts (by a non-pitcher) to 34 games.  I'd like to see a nice clean 4-for-4 day to put this one in the history books.  For this game, Judge went hitless in four at-bats and was punched out three times.  

The Yankees had a sense of humor with their Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) reference after the game:

We could probably use Dany's dragons as the Yankees head north to Massachusetts.

Credit:  HBO

Next Up:  Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston, MA...

The Red Sox come into the latest series well rested as they had the day off on Thursday following their walk-off win over the St Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.  The Yankees meanwhile had to toil in Queens last night before hopping a plane for the short flight to Beantown.

Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:

Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 3.94 ERA)
Red Sox:  Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.39 ERA)

Yankees: CC Sabathia (9-5, 4.05 ERA)
Red Sox:  Chris Sale (14-4, 2.51 ERA)

Yankees:  Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.37 ERA)
Red Sox:  Doug Fister (2-6, 5.56 ERA) / TBA

It's unfortunate we won't have Luis Severino for this series, but at least we have Sonny Gray.  Gray will be making his first start in the Yankees-Red Sox wars.  He'll really find out that he no longer resides in Oakland (if watching last weekend's series wasn't enough).  I am not sure if Boston has fully decided its starter for Sunday.  Fister is a strong possibility but not a certainty.

Odds & Ends...

The Yankees have recalled 1B/OF Tyler Austin from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  He takes the place of 1B Garrett Cooper.  Cooper has been placed on the 10-day DL with left hamstring tendonitis.  

Greg Bird was in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup last night at DH.  He was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the RailRiders' 5-4 win over the Gwinnett Braves (a team that will soon be called something like the Buttons or the Sweet Teas). 

Have a great Friday!  May the Baseball Gods favor the Yankees this weekend.  Go Yankees!

RANT: Hey NESN … So What if Aaron Judge Strikes Out A Lot?

So the New York Yankees and New York Mets executives and front office personnel keep firing pot shots back and forth at each other which reminds me of the good ole days of the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry. With the Yankees making the trip to Boston this weekend for their second consecutive weekend series head-to-head I wanted to take this opportunity on this beautiful Friday morning to take a cheap shot of my own, not at the Boston Red Sox themselves but at NESN released an article, and if you don’t know who NESN is they are basically the Red Sox equivalent of the YES Network here in the Bronx, stating that Aaron Judge set an “embarrassing” Major League record on Wednesday night against the New York Mets when he struck out in a 33rd straight game. My question is, so what? And while we are on the subject, don’t worry I have plenty of embarrassments to talk about this morning.

First of all it seems like the crew over at NESN never watched or paid much attention to the whole sabermetrics and Moneyball craze. Does NESN and their writer Joshua Schrock not understand that striking out counts just the same in the sabermetrics world as a 400 foot fly out or a ball hit on the screws right at a positional player? Sure, if you want to get more in-depth with it you can bring up sacrifice flies, moving runners over etc.  but in the grand scheme of things one thing is certain in Major League Baseball… A great player is going to make an out seven times out of ten and even the best player will make an out six times out of every ten at-bats. Baseball is failure. What in the hell does it matter if he’s striking out, grounding out, flying out, popping out or whatever? The team is going to make 27 outs on any given night regardless.

Those of us who pay attention to baseball and specifically to Yankees prospects know that Aaron Judge always battled the strikeout and always will. Some reporters, who needs views and clicks I’d assume, are talking about Judge’s strikeout problems like this is new news, or news at all. Judge was never the .300 - .400 hitter he portrayed himself to be in a small sample size in the first half and he never will be. That’s not his game. His game is giving it all in the field and hitting mammoth home runs. Judge can’t and won’t be something that he’s not and he shouldn’t be embarrassed for being the player that the Yankees drafted, developed and called up to lead the youth movement and the potential charge into the 2017 postseason.

Does NESN want to know what is embarrassing though? What is embarrassing is having Jerry Remy rip a Japanese-born player, Masahiro Tanaka, for needing a translator. What is embarrassing is having a blatant racist on your payroll that will be celebrated in a pregame ceremony this season if he hasn’t been already. I don’t know because (insert four letter word) the Red Sox. Especially when it was okay, or nothing was said by Remy anyway, when Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima (to name a few) had translators of their own. Be consistent or stfu. 

So it Seems… TODAY!!!

Good morning everyone and Happy Friday. TGIF, we made it through another week. This is a very special week for me and a very special day, indeed, as today is my big move. I am moving today. Today is the beginning of everything. Chapter one of my life has been written, the introduction, and Chapter Two starts tonight. I couldn’t be more excited. I couldn’t be happier. It’s our time baby. It’s finally our time. I love you and HEY YOU! It is today!

Have a great day Yankees family and a great weekend. The Yankees are in Boston this weekend in another big series for both clubs. Here’s to hoping the Yankees do some major damage tonight in Boston and begin their ascension towards the top of the American League East Division.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/18: Longest Nine Inning Game In MLB History

In the early to mid 2000's the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played some of the most bitter, the most entertaining, and some of the longest games in the history of the game of baseball. The Yankees and the Red Sox played the longest nine inning game in Major League history on this day in 2006 when the Yankees would beat the Red Sox 14-11. The Yankees completed a day and night double header sweep in Fenway Park and the second game took a cool four hours and 45 minutes to play. A team scored in nine of the 18 half innings and combined for 34 hits.

Also on this day in 1989 Bucky Dent replaced Dallas Green as the Yankees manager. This would mark the 17th time the Yankees had changed managers during George Steinbrenner's 17 year tenure as the Yankees owner. The Yankees were in 5th place at the time with a 56-65 record.

Finally on this day in 1940 Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig and roommate Bill Dickey filed a suit against the New York Daily News. Jimmy Powers, the sports editor for the Sunday New York Daily News, suggested the Yankees poor play this season was to blame for a mass polio epidemic that the team contracted from Gehrig. In the end the newspaper retracted its statement and apologized to the Iron Horse.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ New York Mets 8/17

One last time this season the New York Yankees and the New York Mets will face off head-to-head as a part of the Subway Series. Let’s do it. In the finale of the four-game interleague set tonight the Yankees will send their ace and best pitcher to the mound in Luis Severino while the Mets will counter with the struggling Steven Matz. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Citi Field in Flushing, New York and can be seen on the YES Network, WPIX Channel 11, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio and in your cars by tuning into WFAN for the Yankees feed and ESPN Deportes for the Mets feed.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow and enjoy the game. One last time, I promise, I will say “to hell with the Mets” and Go Yankees!

Remembering Game Five of the 2000 Subway World Series

The 2000 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the New York Mets facing off in the World Series for the first time in their history. This was the first Subway Series since 1956 when the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees faced off. Let's take the time to remember Game 5 of the 2000 World Series.
In a rematch of the Game 1 pitchers duel Andy Pettitte took the mound for the Yankees and faced off against the Mets ace Al Leiter. Bernie Williams would get the scoring going with a solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. The Mets would respond by getting two unearned runs across the board in the bottom of the 2nd and would keep that lead until the 6th inning when Derek Jeter hit a game tying home run. Heading into the 9th inning the game was tied a 2-2 each when Luis Sojo hit an RBI single off of Al Leiter to give the Yankees the lead and an errant throw that ended up in the Yankees dugout allowed a 4th run to score giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead going to the bottom of the 9th. Mike Piazza would come up in the 9th as the tying run in the 9th and hit a deep fly ball to center field that would find Bernie Williams glove and that would get the Yankees their third consecutive World Series victory. Mike Stanton would get the victory and Al Leiter would take the loss while Mariano Rivera notched his second save of the World Series in the clinching game.

This would be the Yankees 26th World Series victory overall and fourth in five years cementing the dynasty.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ New York Mets 8/17

With a heavy heart I regret to inform you that after tonight the New York Yankees can no longer beat up on the New York Mets in 2017. Well unless both teams make the playoffs and reach the World Series, but lol. In the finale of the four-game annual Subway Series the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to start a new string of impressive starts while the Mets will counter with Steven Matz, unless he gets injured or traded by then too. Enjoy the game.

Severino was not impressive in his last start against the Boston Red Sox allowing 10 runs, eight of them earned, in just 4.1 innings pitched. Severino was undefeated in his previous four starts allowing no more than one run in any of the starts before the clunker in the Bronx.

Matz has also struggled over his last seven starts posting a 0-5 record with a 9.51 ERA and facing Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and company is usually not the best recipe to fix that. Matz will be pitching at home tonight which helps but a struggling pitcher may be just what the Yankees offense needs to start clicking on all cylinders again.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Citi Field in Queens and can be seen on the YES Network, WPIX Channel 11, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio and in your cars by tuning into WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game, to hell with the Mets and Go Yankees!!!

My Big Day

Part of me would like to go back about five years ago. Back then I had a lot of free time on my hands. I worked, hung out with friends fairly often, I visited my family in New York a few times a year (I live in Ohio), and I also wrote here a heck of a lot more.

But I bigger part of me... much bigger part, in fact... is thrilled to be in my current position.

No, I don't hang out with my friends that often. No, I don't visit my family in New York nearly as much as I'd like. No, I don't write very much around here. However, about five years ago I started dating an incredible woman, and in 18 days we will be married.

Anyone that's gotten married, be it a large or small ceremony/reception (ours is on the smaller side), knows all the time and effort that needs to be put into it. Not a day has gone by in the past three months in which the wedding wasn't mentioned.

Hopefully the few articles I have written around here are enjoyed by at least some of you. For those "some", I can't say how much I'll be writing in the future, so I'm sorry. But I can say that I'm not going anywhere. Even if it's a comment within another article, I will peak around here from time to time.

I haven't been this excited about a Yankees team for a long time, and I want nothing more than to share that excitement with you all. And not just the 2017 Yankees, but the 2018, 2019, and beyond teams.

Perhaps I should have filled you guys in earlier than this, but I didn't really know what I was getting into until recently. Whatever the future holds for us, though, I can't wait.

Thanks, and one last thing...

I love you, Heather!

The Judgian Blast...

Credit:  Elsa-Getty Images
Yankees 5, Mets 3...

...Ya gotta love John Sterling and his home run calls.  Aaron Judge hits a home run and it's almost bigger news than the game itself.  His blast, which traveled into the third deck of the left center stands, traveled 457 feet at a velocity of 117 mph to help power the Yankees to the win over the New York Mets.  It was funny to watch the Mets outfielders stand without moving as they watched the ball fly over.  

I didn't like the first inning when the Yankees failed to take advantage of a scoring opportunity and the Mets did not.  Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single lined to right.  He stole second (the throw bouncing off Ellsbury as he slid), and later advanced to third on Aaron Judge's ground out back to the pitcher.  Robert Gsellman looked at Ellsbury but didn't hold him long enough before throwing Judge out.  Unfortunately, the Yankees could not bring Ells home.  In the bottom of the inning, the Mets didn't waste their opportunity. Juan Lagares opened with a double down the third base line all the way to the corner off Yankees starter Jaime Garcia.  After moving to third on a ground out, he scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Yoenis Cespedes.  The Mets had the early 1-0 lead.

The second inning was weird but the Yankees came away with the game-tying run.  With the Mets rotating third baseman Travis d'Arnaud and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera in frequent positional switches, Chase Headley drew a one-out walk against Mets starter Robert Gsellman.  A wild pitch by Gsellman into the dirt through catcher Rene Rivera's legs allowed Headley to move to second, followed by a passed ball on Rivera that advanced him to third. Rivera's look back at Gsellman was a classic "WTF?". Garrett Cooper grounded out to third on a diving stop by Asdrubal Cabrera but Headley scored on the play.  The Yankees had tied the game.

Aaron Judge led off the 4th inning with his towering blast. It was one of those "wow" moments.  The home run was Judge's 37th of the year.  The Yankees had taken their first lead of the game, 2-1.

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-Associated Press
In the bottom of the 5th, Rene Rivera hit a two-out solo homer over the wall in left center to tie the game.  It seemed so wrong that his homer counted as much as Judge's did.  

The Yankees took their second lead of the game in the 6th inning.  Aaron Judge singled on a liner to left with one out.  Successive walks to Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez loaded the bases and ended the day for Robert Gsellman.  Reliever Paul Sewald was brought into the game and Chase Headley greeted him with a sacrifice fly to center which scored Judge.  3-2, Yankees.

In the bottom of the inning, the Mets came right back to tie the game again.  Asdrubal Cabrera opened the inning with a single to left.  He subsequently  tried to steal second on a ball that got away from Gary Sanchez, but it was a bad idea to test El Gary's arm.  Out at second.  Yoenis Cespedes drew a walk from Jaime Garcia and Michael Conforto doubled to left...a roller to the wall, advancing Cespedes to third.  Manager Joe Girardi pulled Garcia and brought Tommy Kahnle into the game.  Travis d'Arnaud lofted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Cespedes but Kahnle was able to limit the damage to only the one run. Game was tied again at 3.

Ronald Torreyes led off the 7th inning with a double to the left field corner.  What can you say about Toe? He is constantly coming up with key, unsung hits in critical moments. A sacrifice bunt by Brett Gardner, pinch-hitting for Kahnle, pushed Toe to third. Successive walks of Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks by Paul Sewald loaded the bases. Admittedly, the fourth ball to Hicks looked like the third strike but oh well, I'll take it. Aaron Judge had first crack at the potential scoring opportunity but he popped out to the catcher.  Didi Gregorius was next and he didn't miss his opportunity.  He rapped a double with authority to the right field corner, scoring both Toe and Ellsbury.  

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-Associated Press
From there, the Yankees rode the bullpen arms of Adam Warren and David Robertson to victory.  The Mets were given four outs in the bottom of the 9th when a third strike on Amed Rosario rolled under Gary Sanchez's glove to the backstop, allowing Rosario to reach first.  Robertson was charged with the wild pitch, but Sanchez should have had his glove down.  Robertson shook it off and did what he does best.  He closed the game out for his 14th save on a called strikeout of Rene Rivera who had represented the potential tying run.  I continue to be thankful every day that DRob is a Yankee again.

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-Associated Press
The Yankees (64-55) were unable to pick up any ground on the Boston Red Sox.  The Sox were trailing the St Louis Cardinals, 4-2, in the bottom of the 9th at Fenway Park, but Xander Bogaerts homered and Mookie Betts hit a two-run double to give the Red Sox the 5-4 walk-off win.  So, the Yankees remain 4 1/2 games behind the Sox.  The Sox are off today so the Yankees will either gain or lose a 1/2 game depending upon the outcome  of the Yankees-Mets series finale.  Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles lost.  The Rays dropped a 3-2 contest to the Toronto Blue Jays and the O's were beaten 7-6 by Yonder Alonso and the Seattle Mariners.  So, they trail the Yankees by 5 1/2 and 6 games, respectively.  

Despite the monster home run, Aaron Judge set the MLB record for consecutive games with a strikeout for non-pitchers with a swinging strikeout in the top of the 9th.  He has now struck out in 32 successive games.  

Although he was on the mound when the Mets tied the game in the 6th, Tommy Kahnle (2-3) was the beneficiary of the two-run double by Didi Gregorius in the 7th to take the win. Excellent job by Adam Warren who pitched two innings of scoreless one-hit ball with 3 strikeouts.  I am sure that the Chicago Cubs look at Warren and wonder where that guy was at the start of last season.

Mets starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who hadn't played third since high school, was forced to play the position when both Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes were scratched before the game due to ribcage injuries.  d'Arnaud and Cabrera, the second baseman, made a total of 22 positional switches during the course of the game.  Cabrera would frequently move to third for right-handed hitters.  It was a smart play by Mets manager Terry Collins as he limited the fielding chances for d'Arnaud.  Cabrera took all of the grounders to third and d'Arnaud only had to deal with a popup.  

Credit:  Elsa-Getty Images

Odds & Ends...

Credit to Anthony Castrovince of for the words of Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner at the MLB Owners Meeting in Chicago: 
  • If we don't make the play-offs, it's a failure.  Any year, any year.  That's just the mindset for us.
  • It was a great first two and a half months.  It's been tough the last two months for the most part.  But I think they're coming out of it and the pitching additions we made at the Deadline are already helping, and we're going to have a strong last five, six weeks. 
  • The changes we did at the last Trade Deadline a year ago clearly [were] a difficult decision. But I made it, it was mine, and we got a lot of good players from it and we still stayed in contention until the last couple weeks. But we've been fortunate. The young guys we kept talking about for three, four years finally got to the point where they could contribute at the big league level. Other guys -- [international] signings like Estevan Florial -- have been good. So we've got a very good player development system right now, and we're competing. That's always a very good sign. And it's always tough to give up some of the top [prospects], but I wasn't going to do it for a rental. If you do it, you do it for a young guy that's under control for a year or two.
  • We can still go into the free-agent market. We'll just have to see who's ready [in the Minor League system] and who's not and how the team looks at X [payroll] number.
Credit:  Nam Y Huh-Associated Press
Greg Bird began his rehab assignment last night with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.  After the RailRiders completed the rain suspended game from the night before (which they lost 9-4 to the Gwinnett Braves), Bird was penciled into the lineup at first base for the regularly scheduled Wednesday game.  He was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the first four innings of the RailRiders' 4-1 loss to the Braves.  Chance Adams, 9-4, was the losing pitcher.

CC Sabathia will be activated off the DL on Saturday according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN. He's scheduled to make the start against the Boston Red Sox.  I wish I felt more optimistic about this news than I do.

Have a great Thursday!  Let's sweep the Subway Series with a win!  Go Yankees!