Friday, August 23, 2013

Yankees win streak snapped by Rays, 7-2

Hiroki Kuroda gave up 7 earned runs in 6 innings of work tonight as the Yankees had their five-game win streak snapped by the Rays, 7-2. This start is the second consecutive one that Kuroda's struggled in, with the first coming last Saturday in Boston when he gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings. I don't think it's time to panic when it comes to #18, but he stills needs to get back on track. Now is not the time to pitch badly. 

The Yankees only two runs tonight came on an RBI Single by Alfonso Soriano in the first and an RBI Groundout by Robinson Cano in the sixth. Besides those two plays, this one was forgettable.  

Derek Jeter Will Not Be Activated Before Sunday

For all those New York Yankees fans that were hoping and thinking that they would activate Derek Jeter this weekend since Jayson Nix went down with a season ending hand injury prepare to be disappointed. The Yankees have announced that Jeter will play in a rehab game tonight and will play in another one tomorrow before the Yankees even consider activating their 39 year old short stop. Monday in Toronto seems like more of a likely date for the Jeter activation but with Eduardo Nunez and his hamstring not at 100% the Yankees hand may be forced at this point. Let's hope he is really healthy this time around and can stay on the field for more than a week.

Tampa Bay Rays Farewell Gift To Mariano Rivera

The Tampa Bay Rays get two points for creativity and another point for being downright weird and different. The Rays gave Mariano Rivera a sand sculpture of himself before the game today to honor the future hall of famer. Nothing is going to beat the Minnesota Twins gift of the broken bat rocking chair so I guess we should just expect to be disappointed in these gifts from here on out.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Rays 8/23

The Yankees and the Rays start a huge three game set down in Tropicana Field this weekend which could really shape the way the AL East and the playoff races look. The pitching match up is Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees and Chris Archer for the Rays and it can be seen on MY9 and MLB TV. Chris Archer threw a complete game victory the last time he faced the Yankees in Yankees Stadium so hopefully this new found Yankees offense can make the necessary adjustments this time around. Kuroda took a loss last time out against the Boston Red Sox so he looks to bounce back and get back into the win column.

Here is the Yankees lineup:

Brett Gardner CF
Curtis Granderson DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chris Stewart C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes.

Will 4,000 hits take Ichiro to the Hall of Fame?

So, Ichiro made his 4,000th professional career hit this week (and his 4,001st at time of writing). Now this is, as it should be, a time of celebration for Ichiro and in fact for the Yankees as a whole. Watching the game on Wednesday, you could see that Ichiro's hit was a big thing for the whole team and to be honest, you can see why. 4,000 hits is quite the milestone and for him to do it as a Yankee is something special for the fans, the team and I'm sure for Ichiro himself. In a season that has so far seen a lot of mediocrity (at best) in terms of performance, Ichiro has been a constant, often providing fireworks and doing his best to provide some offense in a lineup that, certainly pre All Star break, has been lacking.

With hit 4,000 Ichiro joined a very elite group of baseball players. Only two other people have made 4,000 in their careers - Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,191). You've got to admit, this is a massive achievement by anybody's standards. You would think that 4,000 hits would more or less guarantee Ichiro a spot in Cooperstown and to be fair, we won't know for a number of years whether this is the case or not. However, there are a number of voices at the moment saying, "But he hit almost a third of those in Japan - not the major leagues, so these shouldn't count". The actual percentage of hits that Ichiro made in Japan is 31.94% (taking his 4,001st hit into account). He has 2,723 hits over 13 years in MLB and 1,278 over nine years in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan. It is also worth noting that Ichiro's 2,723 hits is the most in a 13 year period in the majors by ANY player! He beats both Rose (2,650) and Cobb (2,300) already by a long way and he is only going to improve this!

The question is, is Japan that much different to the USA when it comes to professional baseball? Look at the number of players who have come from Japan and the impact that they have had on the MLB.

Hideki Matsui - A name all Yankees fans know
Yu Darvish - Anybody want to argue that he is not one of the best pitchers in the majors?
Daisuke Matsuzaka - Another top quality pitcher
Hideo Nomo - 2 major league no hitters - no other Japanese pitcher has achieved this

It seems like every year, teams are signing Japanese stars and as was the case with Darvish, bidding wars can take place just for the right to offer them a contract, which at the end of the day he might not even accept! Therefore, you must appreciate that at least in some part, Japan can and does breed top baseball players. Since Japanese players have to spend time playing in Japan before they have a shot at the MLB, they have to prove that they can play at a high enough level. The case of saying, "Oh well, he made some of those hits in Japan" only really has merit, if you are saying that the Japanese professional league is of a poor standard overall. I'm not saying that it is a rival to MLB, as the general standard is lower but players who leave Japan, come to the majors and then flourish, clearly have talent and prove that their Japanese success, that the MLB teams based their decision to hire the guy on, is not simply luck.

To give a different perspective, lets briefly look at the world of soccer in the UK and Europe. Each European country has its own professional football leagues of varying qualities and the number of players from the top leagues in each country that transfer is much higher than in baseball. Some may argue that the European club championships they compete in, breed a level playing field but if players are no good, they won't be pursued. As in baseball, natural talent like that of Ichiro will always shine through. Whilst soccer has no league that is the absolute pinnacle, there is never any suggestion that other countries have inferior leagues.

Anyway, back to the man of the moment. People seem to be missing the fact that Ichiro has 2,723 hits in the majors since the age of 27! I also repeat, he has the most hits in a 13 year period OF ANYBODY ALL TIME in the majors! With the influx of young players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout who start in the majors whilst they are still teenagers, they have almost 8 years on Ichiro and have still to reach their peak, which generally occurs around the mid twenties. Will Harper or Trout get 3,000 hits in their careers? Possibly. Will they reach 4,000? History says this is highly unlikely. If Ichiro plays for another 2 years, which would require a 1 year contract extension (he will be 41!), he is highly likely to reach 3,000 hits in MLB alone. If he adds a further 277 major league hits, he will have 4,278 in total, which will beat Pete Rose's all time hits record. I know people would never accept it as a true record as 29.87% of these were in Japan but he would also have joined the 3,000 hit club in the MLB on its own! This should be sufficient for Ichiro to make it to the Hall of Fame with no questions asked. For a guy who, if he plays until 41, will have had a 14 year MLB career and a 23 year career in total, having debuted in Japan at 18, to reach this milestone would be epic and should qualify Ichiro as a true great of the game!

If you ask me, Ichiro should be inducted no matter what happens from now on. He has made 4,001 hits in a professional baseball career that has already spanned 21 years! He always plays to his limits, gives 100% every time he plays and does not get involved in the circuses that often come with a major league career. Another aspect that is harder to quantify is that he seems to have led an influx of Japanese players joining the majors and could be seen in a way as a trailblazer. Since joining the Yankees (let's remember that he only joined in 2012), Ichiro has brought passion, a good bat and speed to a lineup that has been filled with big name stars. He has quietly got on with the job he was employed to do, kept his head and has remained grounded. Rudyard Kipling once said, "If you can keep your head, whilst all those around you are losing theirs, then you will be a man my son". This is what Ichiro has done and even in an interview following number 4,000, he remained grounded and was genuinely overwhelmed by the reaction of the fans, his teammates, his opponents and the situation as a whole. As he started to well up, you got the impression that he got here through sheer determination to play the game he loves as well as he can and 4,000 hits is simply a nice little stop along the way. Compared to some people who seem to see it as their right to break records, Ichiro really does play for the love of the game.

So there we have it. Whether Ichiro is inducted or not will not be decided for some time and will be decided by a panel of people who will have to assess his achievements but I really do believe that fans want to see him there. From a Yankees perspective, if he had not done enough up until now, Ichiro has made himself a Yankee superstar, if not a legend, despite his short time with the team.

Ichiro Suzuki, take a bow, we salute you!

New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 8/23

The New York Yankees travel down to the Tampa St. Pete area to Tropicana Field in what has the makings of another make or break series for the Yankees in the AL East. The Tampa Bay Rays are in a dog fight with the Boston Red Sox for the top spot in the AL East and the Yankees are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive so this has a ton of story lines to follow. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with Chris Archer for the Rays. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the MY9 and MLB TV.

Gary Sanchez Selected to the FSL Post-Season All-Star Team

Tampa, FL - The Florida State League All-Star Team for 2013 was announced today
by League President Chuck Murphy. The team was selected by Field Managers, Official
Scorers, and club Sports Writers representing the twelve (12) teams in the league.

Gary Sanchez was selected as a catcher for the 2013 FSL All-Star Team. Sanchez was
promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder on August 3, 2013. During his time with
 the Tampa Yankees he led the team with 13 homeruns and 61 RBI. He compiled 152
Total Bases in 94 games while maintaining a .254 average. Sanchez was selected New
York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2009. He entered the 2013 season
ranked No. 1 among Yankees prospects by

The Tampa Yankees are the Single-A Advanced Affiliate of the New York Yankees. For
more information about the Tampa Yankees call (813) 673-3055 or

Toronto Blue Jays Celebration GIF

This is the reaction from the Toronto Blue Jays players when they learned they would not have to go back to Yankees Stadium another time this season. Toronto finished the season with an impressive 0-10 record in the house the George built this season.

Metallica To Perform Live On Mariano Rivera Day?

Let the speculation begin because at this point it is just that, speculation, but is it possible that Metallica will play Enter Sandman live when the Yankees honor Mariano Rivera on September 24th? It is definitely possible with Metallica playing live in Harlem the day before on September 23rd but the Yankees are not telling anyone just yet. That would be pretty cool to see that played live to honor the man that has honored that song since the 1995 season.

Derek Jeter Singles & Doubles In Rehab Game

In what is the first of at least two rehab games with the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders Derek Jeter collected two hits, a single and a double, in his first game back. The leg obviously held up or the title and opening line of the post would be a little bit different so that is encouraging. Derek played five innings in the field at short stop and fielded two balls, one for an error, in his 2-for-3 night.

Thunder Drop Series-Opener to Portland, 4-2

Thunder Drop Series-Opener to Portland, 4-2
Thunder threaten in 9th, but fall just short

TRENTON, NJ - The Thunder being their eight-game home stand and four-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs with a 4-2 loss Thursday night.
Eighteen walks, three hit batters, five wild pitches and two passed balls were enough to make a ballgame that featured just six combined runs last 3:34. But the 5,805 in attendance at ARM & HAMMER Park stuck around until the end to see the Thunder fall just short in their comeback effort.
Trenton got on the board first with a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Ramon Flores reached on a walk and scored following a wild pitch, fly out and passed ball. So without recording a hit, the Thunder led early.
After a pair of unanswered runs for Portland, the Thunder tied the game with a run in the bottom of the 4th inning. The first three batters of the inning reached before Jose Gil walked to score Kyle Roller. Following the walk, the bases remained loaded with no outs when Portland starting pitcher Henry Owens was removed from the ballgame in favor of Pete Ruiz. Ruiz was able to escape with a pick-off of Carmen Angelini at third base by the catcher Christian Vazquez, a strikeout and a lineout. The game would remain tied until Portland scored a go-ahead run in the 6th inning and an insurance run in the 9th.
In the bottom of the 9th inning trailing 4-2, the Thunder got back-to-back hits by Gil and Reegie Corona to begin the inning. Mason Williams laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners into scoring position, but Ramon Flores and Jose Pirela were retired to end the game.
Trenton's lead in the East Division Wild Card is 2.5 games over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and 4.0 over the Sea Dogs with 12 games remaining in the regular season.
The Thunder continue their four-game series and eight-game home stand against the Portland Sea Dogs Friday at 7:05 p.m. Limited tickets available at or by calling (609)394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Cave's Walk-Off Double Quenches RiverDogs' Thirst

Cave's Walk-Off Double Quenches RiverDogs' Thirst On Thursday
Charleston scores three in the eighth, two in the ninth to steal series win

CHARLESTON, SC - After being no-hit through six innings the Charleston RiverDogs scored five times in the game's final two frames including a walk-off, two RBI double by Jake Cave to defeat the West Virginia Power 5-4 on Thursday night in front of 4,356 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
With the win, the RiverDogs are back to .500 at 30-30 in the second half and 69-59 overall. West Virginia falls to 36-23 in the second half and 73-56 overall with the tough loss. Charleston also wins the series 2-1.
Offensively, it was not a good start to the game for the RiverDogs to say the least. West Virginia starter Tyler Glasnow allowed no hits, no runs, walked five, and struck out a career high 13 batters over five innings of work.
The Power didn't score the first fun of the game until the fourth inning when Dilson Herrera and Raul Fortunato both doubled to make it 1-0 West Virginia.
After a couple errors, a hit, and a walk in the seventh, the Power extended their lead to 4-0.
The seventh inning stretch seemed to wake up the Charleston bats from their slumber. Jackson Valera lined a single into left to start the home half of the seventh and break up the no-hitter.
In the eighth inning, a couple doubles by Jake Cave and Greg Bird got Charleston their first run, and then Ericson Leonora's third homer of the year, a two-run shot, cut the Power lead to one run.
Leonora threw out a runner at home to end the top of the ninth inning and keep the game just 4-3. The RiverDogs would not be denied in the bottom of the ninth.
Walks to the first two batters put the game winning run aboard, and then a throwing error on the pitcher on a sacrifice bunt attempt loaded the bases with nobody out. Cave wasted no time roping a double to center field and driving in two runs to win the game for the Dogs.
Cave finished 2-4 with two doubles, two RBI, a walk, and a run scored to pace Charleston offensively.
Eric Wooten started for the RiverDogs and was solid allowing only one earned run, four total, on seven hits in six innings and four strikeouts. Adam Smith threw three scoreless innings and gave up just two hits en route to the win and improved to 5-2 on the year.
Bryton Trepagnier faced two batters in the ninth and walked them both without recording an out. He got tagged with the loss to fall to 5-5 after Lance Breedlove gave up the game winning double to Cave.
BALLPARK FUN: For the second straight night there was a new voice behind the mic at The Joe. PA Announcer Ken Carrington had travel issues and couldn't make it to Charleston in time for the game, so Promotions and Special Events Assistant Haley Kirchner took over and entertained a capacity crowd during the RiverDogs' final Budweiser Thirsty Thursday of 2013! Kirchner is believed to be the first female PA Announcer in the history of Riley Park.
COMING UP: The RiverDogs hit the road to begin their final road trip of the season beginning Friday in Asheville, NC against the Asheville Tourists. Charleston will send out RHP Derek Varnadore (1-6, 3.40 ERA) and the Tourists will start RHP Andrew Brown (6-0, 2.35 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 on Friday night at McCormick Field in Asheville for the first game of the three game series. Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original article can be seen HERE. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/23

On this day on 1958 Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford struck out White Sox player Nellie Fox in a 7-1 White Sox victory. This ended a 98 game consecutive streak without Fox striking out in a game.

On this day in 1993 the Yankees retired Ron Guidry's #49 jersey at Yankees Stadium on Ron Guidry Day. Guidry spent his entire career with the Yankees posting a 170-90 record. Louisiana Lightning would also get a plaque to go in Monument Park at the stadium.

On this day in 2007 manager Joe Torre won his 1,150th career game as the Yankees manager passing Casey Stengel for 2nd most all time in their managerial history. Torre would only trail Joe McCarthy on the Yankees manager winning list before leaving for Los Angeles.