Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rays complete sweep of Yankees, 4-0

Tonight, the Yankees lost again to the Rays, 4-0. They were swept in this series and their record on the year has now fallen to 82-77. But really, that doesn't matter. What mattered tonight, and what made me watch this game in it's entirety despite the Yankees playing terrible, was that the Bronx had to say goodbye to two members of the core four in this one, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. 

In his final home relief appearance of his career tonight, Rivera threw a perfect 1.1 innings. After getting those four outs, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter emotionally came out to take the ball from Mo one last time. That image will definitely be remembered by baseball fans forever. After that ninth inning ended, Pettitte came back onto the field to tip his hat to the crowd that's loved him so much for the last 18 years. This night was a great night to be a Yankees fan. Sometimes you don't have to score more runs to win. 

Game Thread: Rays @ Yankees 9/26

The New York Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game to be played at Yankees Stadium this season. The Yankees made a hell of a run at a wild card and playoff spot and showed amazing heart until the very last day but it just came up too short. We can throw blame around but honestly that is for another day and another post. Today I would rather talk about how this is going to Mariano Rivera's last home game of his career. There is no doubt in my mind that Mo will be in this game no matter what the score is as a final goodbye to the fans and from the fans. The pitching match up will be Ivan Nova for the Yankees and Alex Cobb for the Rays and the game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Here is the final home game lineup:

Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte LF
Brendan Ryan SS
J.R. Murphy C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. This is the final time this season that you can buy Yankees tickets so buy now right here on TGP.

Mariano Rivera's #42 Jersey Most Popular In Baseball

To nobody's surprise Mariano Rivera's #42 New York Yankees jersey is the most popular according to's jersey sales this season. This is the top 20 list of most popular jerseys according to sale since the All Star break and has been compiled and released by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player's Association.

Matt Harvey, Yasiel Puig, Manny Machado, and Buster Posey round out the top five of the list proving that youth is back in baseball. Add Clayton Kershaw, Yadier Molina, Andrew McCutchen, Yoenis Cespedes, and Mike Trout and you have nine of the top ten guys young and in or entering into their primes.

In case you were wondering if there were other New York Yankees players on the list Derek Jeter's #2 jersey comes in at #12 and Robinson Cano's #24 jersey is sitting at #19 on the list.

ARod To Miss Astros Series, Or Not!


Both Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi have denied the rumors that Alex Rodriguez has been given permission to skip the final series with the Houston Astros. Alex is expected to be with the team through the weekend until the end of the season.

The Yankees have given Alex Rodriguez permission to skip the Astros series, which starts tomorrow night. Alex wants to get with his legal team in order to go over things before deliberations start on Monday.

I don't feel confident that ARod's entire 211-game suspension will hold up, but I do feel good that he'll at least miss all of 2014. And for a player Alex's age, and history of injury, that could mean tonight will be the last time Rodriguez ever wears a Yankee uniform.

Or at least we can all hope.

Bud Selig To Retire After 2014 Season

"Are they cheering or saying "SEEEEEEEEELIG?"


Bud Selig has announced that he will retire from being the commissioner of Major League Baseball  following the 2014 season when his contract ends on January 24th, 2015. While I commend Bud for a lot of the things he has done, the World Baseball Classic, adding more teams for the post season, and "cleaning up" the game, but I am ready for change in the MLB.

Mariano Rivera Could Play CF This Weekend

Manager Joe Girardi has been entertaining the idea of letting Mariano Rivera play center field one time before he retires this weekend while we play the Houston Astros. Girardi will not let Mo play center field tonight because this is a meaningful game for the Tampa Bay Rays and Girardi is seemingly loving the opportunity to spoil this for the Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees 9/26

The New York Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays in the final home game of the 2013 season at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound to face off with Alex Cobb for the Rays. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the YES network and MLB TV. This is Mariano Rivera's final home game of his career since the Yankees are not making the playoffs so this is almost 100% his game to close no matter what the score.

Who You Got?

With the Yankees eliminated from the postseason, I was curious who everybody was going to root for.

I understand that when it comes to some fans, it's Yankees or bust. Meaning that once the Yankees' season is done, they are done with baseball. However, personally, I'm a huge baseball fan, and will therefore be watching and rooting for somebody. Who that "somebody" is has yet to be determined.

I have friends that are Reds fans (I live in central Ohio, so that's inevitable), my best friend is a Cardinals fan, and I'd like to see a small-market team like the Athletics or Pirates win it all. So I'm torn.

However, one thing's for sure... I'm not rooting for the Red Sox.

Who are you rooting for in the postseason? free polls 

Tampa Bay Rays Attendance Meme

End of an era

So there we have it. We have had Mariano Rivera day, complete with ceremony. It was also fitting that on the same day, Andy Pettitte pitched his last home game for the Yankees.

During the ceremony for Mo, it was easy to see that this is the end of an era. The Yankees are losing 2 more of the dynasty that was the mid to late ‘90s Yankees. Only one of the Core Four remains now (Derek Jeter) and who knows how much longer The Captain will be around. It was great to see the Core Four all together, along with other players from the late ‘90s, especially Bernie and Tino. It really did hark back to the time when the Yankees were seemingly unbeatable and people feared them.

In what has been a bit of a low season, Sunday was a chance for Yankees fans to be happy once again. It was a chance to reminisce and to remember better times. With this in mind, Andy and Mo then did what they do best, pitch brilliantly. Ok, so Andy gave up a homer and allowed a double just before being pulled but he allowed only 2 hits all night. Mo obviously did what Mo has been doing, it seems like forever. Unfortunately, the Yankees offense couldn’t give them any assistance and it’s hard to imagine now, what will happen next year when Andy and Mo are gone.

From comments I saw on various social media outlets after the game, it seems that most people have overlooked or ignored the loss and have, rightly, focussed on the two main guys of the night. It was a tough loss and one that pretty much ended the Yankees hopes of making the postseason this year (I appreciate we have now been eliminated outright) but Sunday was more about saying goodbye to old friends.

There is no doubt that they will both be missed and will leave a large gap. With Jeter’s injuries this year, I give him one more season at most before he retires and we will have lost all of the Core Four.

We’ve known this day was coming for some time. Obviously, Mo announced this was his last season earlier this year and everything has been building to this point. I think it’s been pretty obvious that Andy would retire this year as well, albeit he wanted to do it in a more low key way. It will be interesting to see how Jeter announces his retirement as I’m sure he would have a tour just like Mo in his final season.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, I don’t see another dynasty era coming any time soon. These guys were special. They were and still are icons of the sport and true ambassadors of how the game should be played. I think you would struggle to find a nicer group of guys.

What the Yankees currently have is a team that is really struggling, through injuries and underperformance. If the whole team was healthy, then we could win games and make a real challenge to go deep into October but even then, it would lack what guys like Andy, Mo, Derek and Jorge brought. It would lack that true brotherhood of guys who played together in the minors and have come through their major league careers together (though not always in the same team).

Ultimately, the Yankees have a team of top players (generally speaking) with a good number of star names. The problem here is that the majority of these guys have been brought in from other teams, almost in a bid to make a “super” team. I don’t doubt that these guys will play as a team and as brothers but I can’t help but see them in a way as mercenaries and given a chance of more money, would go elsewhere. The camaraderie of the Core Four is missing and this is what will be missed the most with Andy and Mo retiring.

We are losing two more genuinely nice guys who have been at the top of their games with the Yankees and have carved themselves out as true Yankee legends. I don’t think many of the other current Yankees could say this. These guys have seen the highs and the lows of being a Yankee and have stuck with it. They have given the fans years of enjoyment and have played with dignity and respect.

That is why the Yankees gave Mo the 50 minute ceremony (including, of course, Metallica playing live). It is also why both Andy and Mo got huge roars from the crowd. They were both clearly touched and humbled by the response of the fans and again, this is part of what makes them legends. They have not taken the fan appreciation for granted.

So, when we reach the end of the season and these two legends retire, it will be the end of an era, but not the final end. This will come when Jeter retires and the countdown to that must surely have begun at the weekend.

Robinson Cano Wants ARod Money

According to's Wallace Matthews, Robinson Cano is seeking a deal worth $305 million over 10 years. A number that would match the total value of Alex Rodriguez's contract, should ARod reach all his incentives.

"I'm going to get PAID."

At the time of Rodriguez's recent ten-year contract, which was signed in December of 2007, his career batting line was .306/.389/.578, while he averaged 37 home runs a season. On top of that, Alex was coming off of a season in which he batted .314/.422/.645, hit 54 home runs, and won the American League Most Valuable Player award.

As of today, Cano's career batting line is .309/.355/.505, while averaging 23 home runs a season. This season Robbie has batted .315/.384/.519, and hit 27 home runs. For the record, Cano has never finished better than 4th in MVP voting, and is unlikely to win the award this season.

So I think it's safe to say that Cano is not going to get "ARod money". That doesn't mean he's not in line for a very nice payday, though. In fact, Robinson will easily be the highest paid second baseman of all-time, a title that is currently held by Ian Kinsler, who is making $75 million over 5 years (Dustin Pedrioa will make $110 over 8 years).

Matthews went on to say that Cano will take the largest contract offered to him, regardless of the team it comes from. Something that could really drive up the price on the Yankees, seeing as how the Rangers (Kinsler), Red Sox (Pedroia), Cardinals (Carpenter), and Rays (Zobrist) may be the only teams that wouldn't care to add Robbie to their lineup.

Honestly, I don't pay much attention to what a player or his representatives say regarding a new contract. I believe it's simply a negotiating thing. I mean, he's not going to say "Yankees or bust", because that would tell the Yankees that they can low-ball him. Like anybody else in his position, Cano has to make the Yankees believe they are in competition with every other team, and therefore have to give him a better offer.

I've been thinking about a contract for Robinson worth $175 million over 7 years ($25 million a season). I don't know what the Yankees themselves are thinking of offering the five-time All Star, and best hitter on the team, but the final offer may be more like $216 million over 8 years ($27 million a season).

It seems like I've said this about a hundred times in the past couple of weeks, but it's so true... this is going to be a very interesting offseason.

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New York Yankees Wild Card Update

The New York Yankees have officially been eliminated from post season play for only the second time in 19 seasons, both of them under Joe Girardi, after a 7-3 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays last night.  We showed heart till the very end but it just was not in the cards this year.

Article Revisit: Yankees Injuries & The Trainer

I saw this posted by our friends over at Bleeding Yankee Blue yesterday that the Yankees need to start looking at their training staff when pointing the blame for the 2013 season. I have been saying this since May of this year, see HERE, so I felt it necessary to revisit that article, enjoy.

We Need A Replay Of 2007

In 2007 the Yankees had a rash of injuries and ended up firing their strength and conditioning coach Marty Miller, who was in his first year on the job after Brian Cashman hired him earlier in the winter. An impressive list of Yankees stars, including Hideki Matsui, Mike Mussina, Chien Ming Wang, Phil Hughes (the almost perfect game start), and Johnny Damon to name a few landed on the DL or battled various muscle and hamstring injuries in that season before Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner had seen enough. Should we see the same thing happen this season to current Yankees strength and conditioning coach Dana Cavalea? Is current Yankees trainer Steve Donohue or his assistant Mark Littlefield safe? Should they be?

The Yankees have more money on the disabled list this season then 17 major league teams and have by far missed the most games due to injury of any team in 2013. The young guys or guys in their prime, guys like Eduardo Nunez, Chris Stewart, Cesar Cabral, Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Francisco Cervelli, David Robertson, Curtis Granderson, Boone Logan, and Mark Teixeira to name a few,and the older and aging guys, guys like Derek Jeter, Kevin Youkilis, Andy Pettitte, Travis Hafner, and Alex Rodriguez to name a few, have all missed time due to injury this season. At some point it has to stop being called dumb luck or simply "baseball" and has to go towards something else. Should it be the trainer, strength and conditioning coach, manager Joe Girardi, or simply the unpredictability of baseball? I do not really have the answer to that but I sure wish someone would figure it out sooner rather than later.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/26

On this day in 1961 Roger Maris would tie Babe Ruth for the all time single season home run record by smashing his 60th home run of the season. This would come with some controversy as the home run came in the 159th game of the season as the Babe did it in only 154 games.

On this day in 1998 David Cone set a new major league record for most years in between 20 win seasons as the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3-1 for his 20th win of the season. The last time Cone won 20 games was when he was 20-3 in 1988 as a member of the New York Mets.