Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mariano Rivera Will Not Play This Weekend

Mariano Rivera has been pitching with a sore arm and has said that he will not play this weekend in Houston as the Yankees travel to play the Astros. Mariano will not be pitching and will not be playing center field this season, his finale in Yankees Stadium on Thursday is the last time we will see Mariano Rivera on a mound. I think it is fitting that Mariano's career ends the way it did, good bye Mo. Just as a side note if his arm is sore and he is pitching the way he has I cannot imagine how good it would be if he were 100%. Goodbye Mo!

Game Thread: Yankees @ Astros 9/28

Tonight in Game 161 we will see the end of Andy Pettitte after 18 years of pitching for both the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Conveniently Pettitte will make his final start in Houston against the Astros after making his last start in Yankees Stadium on Mariano Rivera day. Paul Clemens will be on the mound for the Astros to face off with the retiring Pettitte. Pettitte had a perfect game into the sixth inning in his last start and looks to build on that confidence in his final start of his career.

Here is the Yankees lineup:

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

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Houston Astros Meme

New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros play game 161 of this long, long season tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound to make his final start of his career, a career that saw Andy pitch 15 seasons in a New York Yankees uniform and three seasons in a Houston Astros uniform. The Astros will send Paul Clemens, no relation to fellow Yankees and Astros teammate Roger Clemens, to face off with the crafty left. The game will be televised at 7:10 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Gary Sanchez Ranks In Minor League Ball Top 75 List

It is that time of the year now where all the after season prospect rankings start coming out and Minor League Ball has started the season with their annual Top 75 prospects list. The only New York Yankees player to get on the list was Gary Sanchez from the Trenton Thunder who finished ranked at #42. Sanchez was previously ranked at #36 in the mid season rankings and was ranked #46 in the preseason rankings so Sanchez has bounced around a bit this season on the list. Sanchez is widely considered to be the second best catching prospect in all of baseball behind Travis D'Arnaud who was ranked at #24 on the list due to his improving defense.

Minor League Ball also released an "Honorable Mentions" list where Yankees prospects Rafael DePaula, Greg Bird, and Mason Williams were mentioned. DePaula was ranked at #48 in the mid season rankings but struggled a little bit after being bumped up to Tampa from the Riverdogs thus explaining his fall off of the list.

Jose Dariel Abreu Officially A Free Agent

Jose Dariel Abreu, the latest Cuban slugger to defect from his country, is now cleared to play in the major leagues and sign as a free agent. Obviously no one will sign him until after the World Series is over, I am assuming, so he would not count against this years finances and potential luxury tax penalties. Abreu is 26 years old so his contract would be your regular run of the mill free agent signing and would not impact your teams international free agent spending pool.

Abreu is considered to be a real power threat with 30 home run potential with a strong and fluid motion with his swing. Abreu is also a intelligent hitter with enough bat speed to get by. Abreu will not be more than a .260-.275 type hitter and will have his fair share of strike outs but the home runs may outweigh where he lacks in discipline. Abreu is more of a DH type and a first basemen in a pinch type of guy, think Kendrys Morales or David Ortiz, and the market is think for DH and first base type guys so the timing could not be better for Abreu and worse for the Yankees.

A lot of people are saying that Abreu does not much make much sense for the Yankees but I disagree I think he may be just what the Yankees need. The Yankees got exposed this season due to the fact that they had zero right handed pop in the lineup before the arrivals of Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez and Abreu could make this lineup scary again when everyone is healthy. It is not like the Yankees have not recently fallen in love with DH only kinds of guys, Raul Ibanez and Travis Hafner come to mind, so why not sign a young kid with fresh legs and a live bat to do this?

Maybe I am in the minority here but I want to see the 6'2" 258 lb first basemen that put up .382/.525/.735 triple slash in Cuba this year and had a .394/.542/837 last season in pinstripes for 2014.  

Dodgers Will Not Pursue Robinson Cano

"I Want A Barrel Full Of Money THIS Big"

First reported by Mark Feinsand on twitter is the fact that the Los Angeles Dodgers, the West Coast Yankees as I like to call them, will not be in on the Robinson Cano sweepstakes this winter. The Dodgers say they are not even seem interested in Cano, which we all know is a bold faced lie, and would rather spend that money on extending Clayton Kershaw to presumably the richest contract in MLB history for a pitcher. 

Cano will be entering his age 31 season next year after requesting a 10 year deal worth $305,000,000 from the New York Yankees recently. Honestly I think Cano just out priced himself for everyone not named the Yankees with that announcement but who knows. The Yankees offered a fair market value contract of seven years and $161,000,000 that was ultimately turned down by Cano.

The teams besides the Yankees that could be interested in Cano's services  in my opinion are the Los Angeles Dodgers, no matter what they say, the Detroit Tigers, The Washington Nationals, the New York Mets, the Seattle Mariners, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Miami Marlins, and the San Diego Padres in that order. The Tigers scare the crap out of me thing winter with big money contracts like Victor Martinez and Justin Verlander coming off the books soon. 

Hiroki Kuroda Undecided About 2014, May Retire

It is no surprise here but Hiroki Kuroda is still undecided about his 2014 plans and has opened the door for a possible retirement. Kuroda has always said that he wanted to return to Japan to pitch for at least one final season before he retired but now that sounds that may not happen. Next season we know that Kuroda will either pitch with the Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, his Japanese League team, or retire from Major League Baseball.

If Kuroda is skipped from tomorrow's season finale, as it is looking like he will be, Kuroda finished with a stellar 3.31 ERA in 201.1 innings for the Yankees this season although he tired out once the calendar changed to August. The Yankees are expected to hand out a $14,000,000 ish qualifying offer to Kuroda after this season to protect themselves if he did go back to the Dodgers by getting draft pick compensation back for him. If he retires or heads back to Japan than obviously we would get nothing and if he accepted we could see one more season of Kuroda in pinstripes as he enters his age 39 season.

Yankees May Play Exhibition Game In Panama

The New York Yankees are considering playing a exhibition game this coming spring with the Panama Baseball team, the home town of Mariano Rivera. This game would obviously be to honor their retiring closer, the greatest closer of all time. The talks between the Yankees, Major League Baseball, the MLB PA, and the Panamanian Government are underway to try and get this off the ground and make it happen.

No news on when it would happen, whether it be after the season or closer to spring training, and whether Mo would be available to pitch or not but it is still a cool idea no matter what. I hope the Yankees and MLB can get this one done to give one last honor to the last to wear #42.

Alex Rodriguez Will Probably Sit Out Houston Series

Alex Rodriguez's legs are not anywhere near 100% and with the New York Yankees eliminated from post season play Alex will more than likely sit out for the remainder of the season. Alex came back off of a second hip surgery and gave the Yankees an instant jolt of offense but his 37 year old legs may finally be done this season. With his steroid suspension and appeal looming on Monday he needs all the rest, both physical and mental, that he can get at this point.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/28

On this day in 1923 the New York Yankees routed the Boston Red Sox in a 24-4 victory at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees smashed out 30 hits in the game setting a new American League record for most hits by a team in a single game.

On this day in 1947 the Yankees hosted the first Old Timer's Day game at Yankees Stadium. Larry MacPhail is the one we can all thank for the continuing tradition in Yankees history. This was thought of to honor the ailing slugger Babe Ruth.

On this day in 1955 we saw a step ahead in the Civil Rights movement as Elston Howard of the Yankees became the first black hitter to hit a World Series home run off a black pitcher when he hit one in the second inning off of Dodgers Don Newcombe.

On this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez broke Joe DiMaggio's single season home run record as a right hander for the New York Yankees when he smashed his 47th home run of the season.

On this day in 2008 Mike Mussina becomes the oldest pitcher to ever win 20 games for the first time when he got his 20th victory at age 39. Moose would beat the Red Sox 6-2 on this day to clinch the 20th win in Fenway Park.

42 Farewells For Mariano Rivera

Peter Kramer on Lohud last week asked for us all to share our favorite Mariano Rivera moment so they could produce a "42 Farewells" piece honoring Mariano Rivera and it is finally up. I encourage everyone to head over there and check it out, especially if your eyes are finally dry from Thursday night. You can CLICK HERE to head over to Lohud and read 42 Farewells .