Monday, September 10, 2012

Melky Mesa Called Up From AAA

With the AAA season ending prematurely the Yankees called up outfield Melky Mesa to the majors to help ease the blow of losing Mark Teixeira for another two weeks. Melky Mesa is a speedy outfielder who can allow Nick Swisher to play some first base along with Eric Chavez and Casey McGehee. Melky is also right handed so that did not hurt either I would assume. I'd personally rather see Chris Dickerson play more but there is no harm in bringing him up since he is already on the 40 man roster and home for the season.

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Teixeira out 10-14 Days

According to Erik Boland, the MRI showed that Tex irritated his calf strain, and will miss the next 10-14 days. Glad he won't be out the whole season, but I'm not sure of what we'll get when he returns anyway.

Melky Mesa will be called up, but I don't expect him to see much time. I'd like to see Swisher take over at 1B, while Chris Dickerson gets regular playing time in the OF alongside Granderson and Ichiro.

Patiently Awaiting Mark Teixeira's MRI Results

As we all know Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira is back in New York to see the team's doctor to get an MRI on his strained calf. Usually these things get done pretty quickly, especially when we are this late into the season and when you consider how important Mark is to the team. The longer that we wait the more that I get nervous about his season potentially being over. I am just waiting on the obligatory "second opinion" post and the sky to fall. Keep yourself tuned in here to get the latest results of the MRI as soon as they are released.

Players Heading To The Arizona Fall League

Zachary Nuding, Mark Montgomery, David Adams, Slade Heathcott, and Austin Romine will play in the Arizona Fall League. The Yankees, along with four other teams, send players to the Scottsdale Scorpions, one of six teams in the AFL. The AFL season lasts about a month and a half, and starts at the end of October.

Zachary Nuding will be there to get a little more work in, as the team was hoping for about 140 innings out of him in 2012, but Zach's only been able to throw 100. Nuding had a nice 3.89 ERA, while striking out 66 hitters, in 85.2 innings, in Tampa.

Mark Montgomery had a great year with high A Tampa and AA Trenton, and the team is looking to see whether he should be sent back to Trenton to start 2013, or go right to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

David Adams has missed quite a bit of playing time since 2010 due to injury, so this is mostly about getting him more PT. After all, Adams has done pretty well in the few games he has been on the field, hitting .306 with 8 home runs in 86+ games for AA Trenton this year.

Slade Heathcott is another example of a player with a good deal of potential, but not enough games under his belt. Due to shoulder surgery Slade didn't start playing this season until June, and since then had a batting average of .307 to go along with 5 bombs.

Austin Romine hit just .213 in 17 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, and had a low 25% caught stealing percentage. So unlike Heathcott, Adams, and Montgomery, Austin is a player that the Yankees just want to see more of. Seeing their catching situation with the big club, I can totally understand wanting to get a better idea of the guy closest (as far as age) to helping the big club.

This Day In Yankees History : 9/10/12

In 1962, in what was a slow day for Yankees history, Mickey Mantle belted his 400th career home run in a Yankees victory.

Fixing Umpiring in MLB

I was going to lead with the picture of Tex sliding into 1B, but you've seen it enough already.

There was a time when I was against pretty much all forms of instant replay. I was a certified umpire in New York for a couple of years, and I'm currently a certified basketball referee in Ohio. So when it came to the instant replay discussions the phrase "slippery slope" would always enter my mind, meaning I was afraid that people would keep demanding more until human umpires were no longer used in baseball. After all, officiating is something that I love, and it would kill me if somebody told me that my services were no longer needed. 

Before instant replay, in any form, came to MLB I said the first thing that needs to be done is that the best umpires need to be on the field. There are currently 94 men listed on the umpire roster at, and out of the 68 that have information on them, 17 of the umps have 20+ years in the league (after this season a handful more could be included, as they had 19 years coming into the 2012 season). Do you know hold old the average rookie MLB umpire is? Well, according to, in 2009, the average starting age for a MLB umpire was 32. That means that a little under 20% of MLB umpires right now (and that's assuming the ones without any information at have under 20 years experience) are over the age of 50. How many men over 40 do you know that have 20/20 eyesight? I'm 34 and have been wearing eyeglasses for around 3 years. I'm not saying a person needs to have 20/20 eyesight to be a good official, as I happen to think I'm a very good basketball official, but you can't help but question the guys that get umpiring jobs in MLB.

Of course, I only get paid $55 for refereeing a varsity basketball game. Last year I brought in a little over $2,000 officiating. According to an article at, which was published in March of 2011, some senior umpires make upwards of $400,000. So comparing where I'm at in basketball, to where MLB umpires are at, is just a tad ridiculous.

It's even more ridiculous than the fact all of you know the name of this troll.

Now, I don't like to insult my readers, as I'm incredibly appreciative of every single one of you, but I have to be straight with you... if you think Jerry Meals is among the top 94 umpires in the entire game of baseball, you're an idiot. 

It's easy to say that anybody getting paid that much money should be good at their job, and be held responsible for the things they do (be it good or bad). But let's face it, we're in a country in which CEOs of failing companies are making millions of dollars a year. So let's just toss the word "fair" right out the window. So as much as a beg and plead for MLB to start employing the best of the best umps, I have no choice but to be realistic and accept the fact Bob Davidson is allowed to umpire MLB games. So the question becomes... where do we go from here?

The Bahamas would be a good place to go. Oh, you meant where do we go with this topic.

Since I'm not going to totally give up on my dream of MLB putting the best umpires on the field, and I'm not going to give in and agree with the idea of robots and cameras making the calls, this is what I propose...
  1. There will be an extra umpire or umpires somewhere in the stadium, that will be in charge of making decisions on instant replay. Having umpires leave the confines of the field to check replay takes too long. Seeing as how MLB pays some umps $400,000 a year, I think they can afford another umpire per game. 
  2. At anytime during a game a manager can appeal a boundary call, whether it be a home run or not. There aren't that many close boundary calls a game, so I don't see this causing the average time of a game to go up by that much. 
  3. Major League Baseball has to clarify what a swing is. Currently the MLB rule book does not define what a swing is, so umpires are left to interpret what a swing is on their own. Everybody thinks it's when the barrel of the bat crosses the plane of the front of home plate, but the rule book says no such thing. That needs to be clarified first. Then, I would allow managers to appeal calls on check swings anytime.
  4. Managers will not be allowed to appeal ball/strike calls. It's not because I don't think a ball/strike call can change a game, but it's because there are just too many pitches during a game. In yesterday's Yankees/Orioles game there were 332 pitches. That's just too much.
  5. Managers are allowed to appeal two safe/out calls per game. In yesterday's Yankees/Orioles game there were 61 balls batted into play, meaning there were 61 out/safe calls. Allowing much more than four appeals on out/safe calls a game, and reading between the lines I'm not opposed to managers being given say three appeals a game, would take too long. 
  6. And finally, umpires who repeatedly make judgement errors will be fined and/or suspended. Mistakes are going to happen every once in a while, but to make a mistake over and over again means something needs to be done. There are too many great umpires rotting in the minors for MLB to keep allowing poor umpires to keep MLB positions.
Burch can tell you that what I just proposed shows that I've come a long way in my opinions regarding instant replay. I've had many heated discussions on this topic, in which I didn't want any part of "IR". But I can no longer ignore the fact that not only has replay been used in football and basketball for years, and neither college or pros are close to doing away with human officials. So we may as well give them more tools in order for them to do a better job. But if only we could get the best officials on the field/court first. 

David Aardsma's Rehab Continues In Trenton

First off congratulations to the Trenton Thunder on winning their first round series in the AA playoffs, a Trenton Thunder team that rehabbing Yankees reliever David Aardsma is pitching for. His latest rehab assignment game was today and he pitched one inning while he threw 20 pitches, 11 of them for strikes, and allowed a run and a wild pitch. Shaky performance once again for David but the important thing is he is coming out of each start healthy and better.