Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fenway South

One of the worst ideas I ever had was downloading Angry Birds on my phone. It's like a bad gambling addiction; you always think you're one move away from beating the level, but one of the really tiny pigs survives in a corner somewhere, just like if a rookie caught a touchdown double-teamed. But enough about me, tell me about you!

My bad dating skills aside, another bad idea I had was the thought of winning a series in Tampa. It has become the new Fenway for us Yankee fans for a few years now--remember five or 6 years ago where we could NEVER win in Fenway. Now we're winning there, but the Trop is off limits. It could be the pumped in crowd noise, or the ultra-annoying cowbells, but in all likelihood it's the fact that the Trop is such a bandbox, maaaaaybe more so than our beloved ballpark. The Rays' lineup is chock full of home-run hitters, as Kuroda found out Friday night. Here was my thought pattern on Friday: "YES SORIANO! Nice early lead, we got this!...Damn off the foul pole, it's still early...oh no...NOOOOOO!...(crying in corner.)" And OF COURSE new Ray David DeJesus makes the great catch off of Chris Stewart. And OF COURSE Sean Rodriguez makes the leaping catch on Saturday night off of Soriano's bat, which would've been an insurance run (although I wasn't so sure after the replay.)

I never thought I'd see the day I feel sick with CC on the mound. I think someone here even called him the five inning pitcher, and boy, is he ever this year. As soon as he's in line for the win, he implodes. How dangerous is Ben Zobrist with a couple runners on?! Evan Longoria is an absolute beast in the Trop; then again everybody is (Jose Lobaton, going back to the bandbox reference from before.) It was a great, hard-earned win, especially since I thought the way Cobb could pitch and how bad Nova was (for him.) I saw on Sun Sports that through 100 pitches, Nova had 50 balls and 50 strikes. I think Phil Hughes has had a better ball-strike ratio, even when he's giving up 10 runs a game. It was a gritty win and a nice save for Mo. I think if Longoria didn't hit the 8th-inning home run Saturday night, the Yankees could've rallied down a run against Fernando Rodney; but they were probably already looking to Sunday.

At least we got the Jays coming up, everyone's preseason pick to finish first. I bet Yankee fans wish we could play Toronto EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am also proud to say I didn't watch one second of the VMA's...I didn't even know it was on tonight!

'Till Next Time!

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

Preston Claiborne Sent Down For Derek Jeter

The Yankees have announced that they will send reliever Preston Claiborne down to make room for Derek Jeter. Jeter is expected to be activated before tomorrow's game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Claiborne has been up since last week and has definitely earned a spot in the rotation but the Yanks have a bit o a roster crunch going on now so we will probably not see Claiborne again until September 1st as a September call up.

Cano, Soriano help Yankees salvage finale from Rays, 3-2

Thanks to 6.2 innings of two-run ball from Ivan Nova, a home run and an RBI Double from Robinson Cano, and a 2-for-5 day from Alfonso Soriano, the Yankees were able to win a game in extra innings today over the Rays, 3-2, avoiding a sweep in this three-game set. Now this game did not have a ton of offense, but it was still very entertaining. 

With the game tied at two in the top of the eleventh inning, Alfonso Soriano hit a one-out double, stole third, and scored the go-ahead run after Curtis Granderson flew out to deep center field. That inning was exciting, but this win, in my opinion, was still tainted. You can't win every series, but it'd be nice if they had won this one. There's just something about St. Pete that this team must not like because they never win at Tropicana Field. 

Happy 26th Birthday To Yankees Adam Warren

A very happy birthday goes out to Yankees pitcher Adam Warren who turns 26 years old today. We hope it is the best yet Adam, Happy Birthday from the Greedy Pinstripes.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Rays 8/25

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays finish up their three game weekend set this afternoon at 1:40 pm ET at Tropicana Field. The pitching match up is Ivan Nova for the Yankees and Alex Cobb for the Rays and it can be seen on the YES network and MLB TV. Ivan Nova looks to keep the Yankees playoff hopes alive in the AL East and both wild cards in the last of a huge series before the Yankees travel to Toronto next week.

Here is the Yankees lineup

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

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Go Yankees!!

Would You Play For The Yankees?

Being posted as a part of Syndicated Sunday from Pinstriped Bible

Would you play for the Yankees?
Of course you would. Stupid Question.
But let's imagine for a moment that you aren't you. You're a Major League Baseball player - a pretty good one at that, approaching free agency. You're not from New York - you're from Cowville, Ohio or Surfer Dude City, California or San what's-his-face, Dominican Republic. You admire the Yankees for what they did when you were a kid, but you have no other connection to them. Would the Bronx be high on your list of possible destinations?
It wasn't long ago when the Yankees seemed to have their pick of the litter every year when it came to free agency. From the end of the '90s championship era through the early 2000s, grandiose press conferences complete with lavish buffet-style spreads to introduce some new perennial All-Star or future Hall of Famer became an annual winter rite of passage at the stadium. From Mike Mussina to Jason Giambi to Hideki Matsui to Gary Sheffield to the troika of Mark TeixeiraCC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, stars were paraded out before the masses year after year, lured by mammoth eight and nine-figure contracts and the beckon call of championship contention.
Over the past few years, something's changed. The Yankees have begun to feel the unfamiliar sting of being spurned by some of their free agent targets. Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies for fewer years and guaranteed dollars than what New York was offering. Role players like Nate Schierholtz and Jeff Keppinger reportedly went elsewhere for more playing time, and Cuban import Jorge Soler picked a slightly larger deal from the Cubs despite the Yankees' best efforts.
What's different? Clearly the Yankees free-spending ways have faded into a much more budget-conscious approach centered around the infamous ‘189 in ‘14' manifesto. MLB teams have handed out 27 contracts worth $100 million or more since 2010, and the Yankees are responsible for just one of them - Sabathia's opt-out extension, which really just tacked on a year and a vesting option year to his existing deal. To catch big fish, you need big bait (from what a quick Google search tells me about fishing, that is). If the Yankees are no longer offering up mega deals, mega-free-agents obviously won't get towed in.
But there may be more to it than just money. According to a pretty unsubstantiated Daily News report last week, Alex Rodriguez has advised Robinson Cano to go elsewhere when he hits free agency this winter. True or not, it would be hard to blame A-Rod for feeling that way. Despite being the ninth most productive position player in Yankee history, according to WAR, in over 2,800 fewer plate appearances than anyone else in the top ten, Rodriguez's tenure in the Bronx has been met mostly with animosity from a media and fan base fueled by insanely unrealistic expectations.
A-Rod was persona-non-grata even before being exposed as a PED user in 2009, and this year, CC Sabathia has felt the burn, too, despite having just completed one of the best four-year stretches of any Yankee pitcher ever. Mired in the midst of a poor season, CC's been booed off the mound more than once. He's been called ‘finished' and a burden going forward by more than one media outlet, and he's even had the Yankees' lead play-by-play man suggest on the air that he's struggling because of his offseason weight loss. If you don't live up to a completely absurd and arbitrary standard of being a "True Yankee", New York is a city that will rip you to shreds once you begin to decline.
New York has always been a tough place to play, and it's getting harder, thanks to an increasingly fickle crowd at a new stadium known for exorbitant pricing. In the past, players were willing to take on that challenge in exchange for a regular chance to win. They knew that, as Yankees, they'd play amongst a bright cluster of superstars, thanks to an owner who valued winning above all else. When Cano makes his decision, he'll have to realize that he isn't going to be supplemented by much new talent, at least not until existing contracts expire. He'll also be aware that if he doesn't perform up to the standards of his next contract, which he absolutely won't, the Yankees may end up not-so-privately exploring ways to void it in a few years. They're allegedly doing just that with A-Rod now, as they did, unsuccessfully, with Jason Giambi's deal back in 2005.
The Yankees are by no means a bad club to play for. Players are treated to clubhouse amenities that rival five-star hotels and they get to wear a logo that carries a ton of cache. Oh, and they get paid lots and lots of money. Still, with more teams around baseball slinging fat stacks thanks to revenue sharing and massive TV deals, it's easy to wonder whether prime free agents still consider New York the place to be.

New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 8/25

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will play their final game of this three game set at Tropicana Field today in a getaway game. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound who has been their second best pitcher to face off with Alex Cobb for the Rays. The game will be televised at 1:40 pm ET on the YES network and MLB TV.

Derek Jeter Singles In Final Rehab Game

Derek Jeter had one hit in three at bats tonight, a single, for the Scranton RailRiders in what is scheduled to be his final rehab assignment game. Derek is expected to travel to Toronto tomorrow and meet the Yankees before being activated for Monday nights game against the Blue Jays.

Two Runs in 9th the Difference in 4-2 Trenton Loss

Two Runs in 9th the DIfference in 4-2 Loss
Cecchini's two-run single breaks 2-2 tie

TRENTON, NJ - Two runs in the top of the 9th inning for the Portland Sea Dogs broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Sea Dogs a 4-2 win Saturday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
After the Trenton Thunder bullpen escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 8th inning, Tommy Kahnle entered the game in the 9th for Zach Nuding. Kahnle recorded outs to two of the first three batters he faced, but walked Shannon Wilkerson and Deven Marrero consecutively to load the bases. No runs had scored at that point, and Kahnle could have gotten out of the inning unscathed with one more out, but lefty Garin Cecchini slapped a single to left field to score a pair of runs.
The game became tied late when Gary Sanchez connected on his first Double-A homerun in the bottom of the 7th inning for the Thunder. On a 2-1 pitch with the Thunder trailing 2-1 in the game, the 20-year old catcher turned on a breaking ball from Portland starter Keith Couch and deposited it out over the four levels of billboards in right field. Sanchez, who had 13 homers for Tampa at the time of his promotion, finished the game 1-for-4.
The Thunder sent the middle of the lineup to the plate against Eric Niesen in the bottom of the 9th inning, but Niesen struck out Jose Pirela and Sanchez for the first two outs of the inning. Kyle Roller then singled to left-field to bring the tying run to the plate in Carmen Angelini, but Angelini grounded into a fielder's choice to end the ballgame.
Thunder starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell started his second career Double-A game, and first Double-A game at home. He was charged with two runs over 6.1 innings in which he struck out three batters, walked two and allowed six hits. He was given his second no-decision in as many starts and lowered his ERA to 3.18.
With the loss and a double-header split by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Reading, Trenton's lead in the East Division Wild Card is 3.0 games over the Fisher Cats and 4.0 over the Sea Dogs with 10 games remaining in the regular season.
The Thunder complete their four-game series and continue their eight-game home stand against the Portland Sea Dogs Sunday at 5:05 p.m. Trenton sends RHP Mikey O'Brien (7-7, 4.20) to the mound against LHP Chris Hernandez (1-0, 2.25) for the Sea Dogs. 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. 

Game 130 Lineup: Yankees @ Rays

Yankees need this game. If not, they'll get swept by the Rays and the Yankees playoff chances will diminsh. Here's your lineup:

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

Ivan Nova RHP

Some Notes and Transactions:

-- Derek Jeter has the day-off today. If all goes well, he'll meet the Yankees in Toronto tomorrow for the series vs. the Blue Jays.

-- Lyle Overbay feels well enough to play today. He sat out the last two games with a stomach virus. Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells were joking about him.

Cano to Overbay: "You're getting your color back,"

Wells to Cano: "Whatever color he had,"

-- Yesterday I was having a conversation with someone on Twitter about Mark Reynolds possibly being a fit at 3B next year if A-Rod is suspended. Well, it looks like today the Yankees are going to try it out and see for themselves.

-- Interesting fact: Mariano Rivera has 36 saves at the Trop in his career. The next player to have the most saves? Jonathan Papelbon (was with the Red Sox at the time) with 10.

Life Without Mo Might Not Be So Bad

Being posted as a part of Syndicated Sunday from Pinstripe Pundits

Thanks to Robertson, life without Mo might not be so bad after all

For the last five or six years, the concern of replacing Mariano Rivera has lingered. There was a degree of uncertainty as to when, given Mariano’s age and desire to continue playing. The Yankees’ got a taste of a Rivera-less finish to victories last year, when Rafael Soriano filled the role superbly after Mo’s injury. There was some solace when Rivera announced that he would return in 2013, but this season is different. This time, we know he’s not returning next season. It’s sad to think that we’re down to a little over a month remaining in his storied career, assuming no torrid ascent into a playoff spot.
While there is a strong case for closers being overrated, Rivera has always been head and shoulders above the fraternity of firemen. Sure, guys like Eric Gagne and Francisco Rodriguez had their runs, but they flamed out quickly. Trevor Hoffman was just about the closest to Mo in terms of production and longevity, yet even he seems miles away from Rivera’s ability. What has set Mariano apart from the rest of the pack has been his high leverage, big game performances. Gagne and K-Rod may have had better individual seasons than Rivera, but nobody has gotten it done in the postseason like Mariano has. Yes, part of Rivera’s success is the amount of postseason opportunities he’s had playing for the Yanks, but he’s more than made the most of them.
Rivera’s accomplishments will be nearly impossible to match, given the turnover in the closer role across the league. No Yankee fan will ever feel the level of comfort they used to in the 9th beginning next season. Yet, this doesn’t mean the Yankees are in trouble. They have an excellent in-house replacement: David Robertson.
Years ago, Joba Chamberlain was the heir-apparent to Mo. It’s safe to say that ship has sailed. Guys like J.B. Cox and Mark Melancon were once touted as future back-end guys (Cox flamed out, Melancon has gone on to be successful). Now, Robertson’s emergence has cast him the future closer. Although Robertson has looked good from essentially day one in the majors, his star wasn’t quite as bright until the last couple of years. Through 2011, there was one legitimate concern about Robertson’s candidacy as future closer. While the strikeouts and ability to strand runners were impressive, his walk rate often led to sweaty appearances. Now, however, he’s honed his control. He dropped his walk rate more than 5% last season, and has held it steady this year. For reference, Rivera’s career walk rate is 5.7%. The past two seasons, Robertson has posted a sturdy 7.5%. That improvement, along with consistently incredible strikeout and strand rates, have made Robertson one of the sport’s elite relievers.
Many might wonder if Robertson has the temperament to be a closer. Sabermetrics tend to discount much of the mental side of the game, and I often lean stat-side in those arguments. Often times, when a player fails in the spotlight, we declare them as mentally incapable of handling a big spot. This is a foolish post-facto assessment. A good example of this common mistake was Alex Rodriguez, who was a “choker” from 2004-2008. That went out the window after his monster 2009 postseason. Back to Robertson: will there be additional fan and media scrutiny in 2014? Absolutely, given the magnitude of the player he is replacing. However, his true talent should trump any string of poor outings. It seems like Mariano always has a bad stretch every season, but he always finds a way persevere. Robertson will too.
Robertson already is one of the best relievers in baseball, and should be one of the top closers next season. Most of my confidence is due to improved control, but I must admit that I also agree with the belief that the difficulty of closing tends to be embellished. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Rivera is overrated. His postseason accomplishments are unprecedented. But as for the regular season closing duties, the only difference we may notice is the man putting out the fire.

Eight Run Ninth Gives Charleston Improbable Victory

Eighth Run Ninth Inning Gives Charleston Improbable Victory
Erase 2-0 deficit, score eight unanswered to even up the series

ASHEVILLE, NC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored eight times in the ninth inning to emerge victorious 8-2 over the Asheville Tourists in one of Charleston's wildest games of the year at McCormick Field in Asheville in South Atlantic League play.
With the comeback win, the RiverDogs improve to 31-31 in the second half and 70-60 overall. The Tourists fall to 23-38 in second half play and 61-68 overall with the victory. The series is tied at 1-1 with the finale coming up on Sunday.
Trailing 2-0 heading to the ninth inning, it looked like Charleston was going to come up short on Saturday on a beautiful night in the mountains. However, that was not the case.
Asheville righty Raul Fernandez had a night he hopes to soon forget. Daniel Aldrich led off the ninth with a single against Fernandez, then Ty Afenir reached on a bunt single, and Jake Cave walked to load the bases with nobody out. Jackson Valera came through for the Dogs and lined a single into right field to plate Aldrich and Afenir and tie the game at 2-2.
The next batter Greg Bird walked to reload the bases with nobody out, and Jose Rosario lifted a sacrifice fly to right to score Cave and give Charleston a 3-2 advantage, their first lead of the game. The RiverDogs were nowhere near done.
Following a pop out to second by Ericson Leonora, a weak grounder towards shortstop resulted in an RBI infield single for Reymond Nunez, and then a base hit by Fu-Lin Kuo plated another to put Charleston up 5-2.
The man who began the inning with a single Daniel Aldrich then stepped up to the plate, and the former College of Charleston Cougar launched his first home run as a professional, a three run blast over the right field wall to complete the miraculous comeback and give the RiverDogs the 8-2 lead.
Finally, Fernandez was removed from the game. The righty reliever recorded just two outs and gave up eight runs on six hits, two walks, and a homer. His ERA rose from 4.70 to 6.89 on the year. He earned the loss to fall to 2-2.
Brett Gerritse was very good for Charleston spinning six solid innings and allowing two runs, one earned, on seven hits and recorded six strikeouts. Lefty Tyler Webb retired all nine men he faced and fanned six en route to the win to improve to 3-1.
Offensively, the RiverDogs were paced by Aldrich (2-5, two runs, three RBI), and they also got multi-hit games from Reymond Nunez, Jackson Valera, Jake Cave and Greg Bird.
Asheville got a fantastic start from T.J. Oakes, but he didn't factor in the decision. Oakes shut down the Charleston offense with six scoreless, six hit innings.
COMING UP: The rubber match of this three game series is Sunday afternoon at McCormick Field in Asheville at 2:05. Charleston will send out RHP Luis Niebla (4-6, 4.76 ERA) and the Tourists will counter with RHP Ben Hughes (8-10, 5.75 ERA) in the series finale. 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

Yankees offer little support for CC in another loss to Rays, 4-2

Despite a solid 6.1 innings of three-run ball from CC Sabathia, the Yankees were not able to score enough runs tonight as they fell in less than amazing fashion to the Rays, 4-2. These kinda games really are frustrating. Every year the Rays team seems to get worse and worse but they still beat the Yankees. I'm getting tired of this, I really am. 

The Yankees only two runs in this one came on a walk by Romine and a groundout by Ichiro. Those plays were nice, but this one still really sucked. When will this team learn that winning in St. Pete is actually possible? 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/25

On this day in 1946 the New York Yankees became the first team in major league history to draw over 2,000,000 fans when they hosted the Detroit Tigers. This day the Yankees would see 42,908 fans come through the gates at Yankees Stadium for the historic feat to be reached. This absolutely destroyed the previous American League record by almost 750,000 fans set by New York in the Polo Grounds in 1920.

On this day in 1968 Yankees outfielder Rocky Colavito pitched 2.1 IP only allowing one hit while collecting the victory in a 6-5 Yankees victory of the Tigers. Colavito would also hit a home run in the game and would be the last positional player to get a victory until the Colorado Rockies Brett Mayne did it in 2000.

On this day in 1996 the Yankees placed their fourth monument out in monument park when they added one for the recently deceased Mickey Mantle. Miller Huggins, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig are the other three Yankees to be included in monument park before Mantle was added. Mantle was the first Yankees player to be honored in 47 years which is an amazing feat.

On this day in 2011 the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 22-9 becoming the first team to ever hit three grand slams in a single game in major league history. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson are the Yankees that hit the grand slams.