Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Current Arizona Fall League Standings - 10/24

The Scorpions are currently 1.5 games out of first place in the AFL East. 

A little Yankees news to report here as it was announced today that infield prospect Tyler Austin has been removed from the Arizona Fall League due to a wrist injury. Austin has not appeared in a game since October 16, and went 4-for-12 with a triple, two walks, and a strikeout while playing for Scottsdale this month. 

World Series Game 1: Open Thread

Tonight we have Game 1 of the 2013 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox, thanks in part to Mariano Rivera, have home field advantage for this World Series after the American League won the All Star Game this year. Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester is the pitching match up for tonight and the game can be seen on FOX.

Check back on the blog from yesterday and today to see the predictions from all of our writers on who will win the 2013 World Series. They are well written, in my humble and biased opinion, and offer a varying assortment of opinions to pass the time while you listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver babble on for the next 45 minutes before the game even starts.

Post your comments in the comments section here or follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes to keep the conversation going for the entire World Series.

Scorpions rally in extras for thrilling 2-1 win over Mesa

Despite trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Scorpions beat the Mesa Solar Sox this afternoon in 10 innings, 2-1. The Sox had some dominant pitching today, so this loss must really sting. They had this one in their back pocket, but now it's gone, and their lead over the Scorps in the AFL East is now down to just 1.5 games. 

Pinstripes outfield prospect Mason Williams went just 1-for-4 in this game with a single and a walk. Despite getting on base twice, the speedster did not score a run. As for catcher Peter O'Brien, he went 0-for-4 today with a strikeout. They won, but no thanks to him. 

As for the pitchers, Pinstripes prospects James Pazos and Fred Lewis each threw scoreless innings. Now I don't want to take away from that success, but in this win it seemed easy to get outs. The Solar Sox just looked terrible. 

Yankees May Lose Kevin Long To Don Mattingly

Don Mattingly's future is up in the air in Los Angeles as the manager of the Dodgers, not that it should be. We heard earlier in the offseason, and we reported it because of our love for Donnie Baseball, that the option was picked up for Mattingly on the 2014 season, see the details HERE. Apparently Mattingly is not out of the woods just yet, not as much as we were led to believe by the reports anyway, as there are still talks of Mattingly being replaced in 2014. Mattingly's bench coach was fired yesterday, Trey Hillman, which cannot be good news for Mattingly and his Dodger future.

I said all that to say this, believe it or not this is not another Don Mattingly update, there is now speculation that the Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long may join Mattingly next season, in Los Angeles, in Washington, in Chicago, wherever he may go. I can see the appeal for Long to want to join Mattingly, especially in Dodger town, so if you are a Kevin Long fan I would start getting scared now. The Yankees could replace Long with Tino Martinez or a plethora of names that are not household names yet, honestly who knew Kevin Long's name before his tenure with the Murderer's Row plus Cano? Thank you Jim Leyland for that and may you enjoy your retirement, I know all Yankees fans will enjoy it.

Predictions For The 2013 World Series - Daniel Burch

The World Series starts tonight and I wanted to take the time to make my yearly predictions, which will end up being totally wrong if history is any indicator, on who will win the Fall Classic. This World Series, which will make FOX certainly very happy, has the makings of living up to the name fall classic. It has the potential to have a little bit of everything. The Cardinals have the young power arms that seemingly excite everyone, casual fans to hardcore fans, with Michael Wacha and Trevor Rosenthal leading the way. Both teams have shut down closers who can come in an dominate for more than an inning at a time, both teams have great offenses and can both explode for an inning or a game at a time, and both teams are as closely matched as we have seen in recent World Series. This is the kind of series where these teams will trade punches until the final bell sounds when Game 7 is over.

Game 1: at Boston, Wednesday, October 23rd 8:07 pm EST

Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)

In a pitcher's duel for the ages to start the World Series you have to remember one thing, Jon Lester pitches his ass off in Fenway Park. The crowd will be deafening, not that it will affect Adam Wainwright as much as it will the young batters in the Cardinals lineup, and Lester is tough anywhere he pitches. This is not going to be one of those sexy games that chicks love, long balls and all, as I see the Red Sox winning this game 3-1.

Red Sox lead World Series 1-0

Game 2: at Boston, Thursday, October 24th 8:07 pm EST

Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)

Michael Wacha does not strike me as a guy that will let nerves get him down or let him get rattled, even if it is his first World Series start in his young career, on the road, in Fenway, in front of millions of eyes. The Boston crowd and players will be pumped but by the 5th or 6th inning I can see Fenway and their faithful scratching their heads as the Red Sox players on the field scratch their beards trying to figure out Wacha. Another close one, another boring one, but a Cardinals victory ties the series as it shifts to St. Louis. Cardinals win 4-2.

Red Sox and Cardinals tied World Series at 1-1

Game 3: at St. Louis, Saturday, October 26th 8:07 pm EST

Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA)

This is where the Cardinals take advantage of their home crowd and their home ball park and stick it to the Boston Red Sox. The pitching match up looks sexy and Carlos Babe Beltran will continue to come up big in a 6-3 Cardinals victory. While Buchholz looks good on paper his velocity is down and he cannot hit a lick and I think he will make two or three too many mistakes in the loss.

Cardinals lead World Series 2-1

Game 4: at St. Louis, Sunday October 27th 8:07 pm  EST

Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA)

The Cardinals bats will finally wake up and explode in this game as Jake Peavy and his 21.00 something ERA come to shine it's ugly head. The Cardinals will jump on the backs of Matt Adams, Allen Craig, David Freese, Carlos Beltran, etc in route to a 8-4 victory and a commanding lead in this World Series.

Cardinals lead World Series 3-1

Game 5: at St. Louis, Monday October 28th 8:07 pm EST

Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)

In a rematch of Game 1 with the two dueling aces on the mound, the Cardinals at home, and Wainwright on the mound it seems like fate for St. Louis right? Wrong. While Wainwright pitches well again he becomes a tough luck loser again as the Cardinals should have saved some runs from Game 4 as they take the loss 5-1. 

Cardinals lead World Series 3-2.

Games 6: at Boston, Wednesday Oct 30 8:07 pm EST

Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)

Michael Wacha with his nerves of steel back in Fenway and back in the World Series spotlight where he made himself a household name just a few games ago, seems like fate again right? Nope. The Red Sox bats are against the wall and they refuse to lose this thing at home at the big bats come out and destroy the Cardinals bullpen. Wacha pitches well into the 6th but leaves after working into some trouble and the bullpen blows it. Red Sox win 9-4 to even the series and send this thing to everyone's dream, a Game 7 of the World Series

Cardinals and Red Sox tied World Series at 3-3

Games 7: at Boston, Thursday Oct 31 8:07 pm EST

Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA)

Joe Kelly starts this game but I think ultimately we see Adam Wainwright make an appearance and get a chance to redeem himself. The Cardinals will be down early, the crowd in Fenway will be electric, and St. Louis will go to Wainwright in relief on just two days rest. The Cardinals, led by none other than Carlos Beltran, will lead a comeback in the 8th inning to put them up before the Red Sox can turn to Koji Uehara. Rosenthal will close it down and the Cardinals will celebrate their World Series championship in Boston and I will enjoy watching the beards, the fans, and everyone else cry as the Duck Dynasty boys lose it in seven. 

Cardinals win World Series 4-3

Good luck to both teams... but extra good luck to the team that is not the Boston Red Sox. Watch Game 1 tonight on Fox at 8:00 pm ET with Adam Wainwright, my preseason pick for the NL Cy Young Award, for the Cardinals taking on Jon Lester for the Red Sox. #YankeesFansForTheCardinals.

2013 World Series Prediction - Brian Danuff

Although the Yankees aren’t in it, it’d be foolish to miss out on this year’s Fall Classic. Sure, our rival Boston Red Sox may be vying for their third championship in ten years, but so are the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s a rare matchup of truly the two best teams(record-wise) from this summer. St. Louis boasts another club full of homegrown talent, while Boston is riding off of underestimated returns from some of the most overlooked free-agent signings of the offseason. Both lineups are stacked top to bottom, but the Cardinals get the edge in my view thanks to the Ruthian postseason efforts of Carlos Beltran. The pitching rotations are pretty even as well, with Adam Wainwright and 22-year old Michael Wacha proving to be just as good of a 1-2 punch as Boston’s long established duo of Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. With Wainwright’s and Wacha’s recent dominance of the Dodgers, I’d have to say St. Louis wins out in the battle of the aces, however. The only aspect of the teams where the Red Sox have the upper hand has to be the bullpen. Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara have been unhittable, while the Redbirds constantly mix-and-match between Carlos Martinez, Edward Mujica, John Axford, and Trevor Rosenthal to narrowly close out ball games. We are in for a terrific World Series that despite taking place in Fenway Park, will feature intense pitching duels a la the ALCS, with one or two hits being the difference in each game. That’s why I truly have no idea what to expect. But if I had to pick one team to be crowned 2013 World Series Champion, it would have to be the Boston Red Sox. It pains me to say it, but home field advantage [which Mariano Rivera helped secure for the American League] will be a deciding factor. I think the series will at least extend to 6 games, and possibly 7, but to me it makes no difference as in each game I see Boston winning. It’d be a storybook ending to a magical Red Sox season, and a predictable end to a disastrous 2013 campaign for the New York Yankees.


PREDICTION – Red Sox win World Series in 7 games.

The Yankees Are Interested In Shin Soo Choo

The worst thing the New York Yankees may have done is release a statement stating that they would be able to shell out in excess of $300,000,000 in contracts this season while still getting under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. I say that could be the worst thing because now every single free agent in the top 100 will seemingly be linked to the Yankees making more work for me, and driving up the price on all those players. It seems like the Yankees could have five Giancarlo Stanton's in the outfield and we would still be linked to Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin Soo Choo.

Speaking of Choo we are reportedly interested in the switch hitting outfielder, and no we do not have five Giancarlo Stanton's in the outfield (yet), who is a free agent of the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds will undoubtedly offer Choo a qualifying offer worth $14,100,000 that he will also undoubtedly decline making Choo not only expensive dollar wise but would also cost the Yankees their 18th overall pick in the draft.

The Yankees like Choo's ability to get on base, the fact that he is a switch hitter, and they like his power especially with his left handed swing in Yankees Stadium. Choo hits righties quite well but his hitting against left handed pitchers leaves much to be desired. Choo led off for the Reds and put up a  .285/.423/.462/.885 slash line in 2013. Choo also hit 21 home runs and knocked in 54 RBI's while stealing 20 bases.

The Yankees will have competition from the Reds, Mets, Rangers, Cubs, Astros, Phillies, and Mariners for Choo's services and the bidding is expected to get expensive, count me out. I think Choo ends up in New York ultimately but with our little brother, or sister in recent years, the New York Mets on a six year deal worth around $90,000,000.

My World Series Prediction - Bryan Van Dusen

I have watched very little of the 2013 postseason.

"Whoa, there. I thought you were a baseball fan?"

The main reason is that, to put it simply, the Yankees are not a part of it. Watching any sporting event is more fun if you have a rooting interest in it. That's not to say that it's "Yankees or bust" with me, as I do love the game itself. I just find it hard to watch baseball right after the Yankees season is over with. 

But it's time for the World Series! At this point I don't care who you root for. If you truly are a fan of baseball, then you're going to be tuning in. Personally, I'm over the fact that the Yankees are not going to be a part of it. It's time to just be a baseball fan and watch. 

Oh, and root hard for the Cardinals to beat the crap out of Boston!

Here's how I think the 2013 World Series will play out...

Game 1

Adam Wainwright has thrown the ball extremely well this postseason, as he currently has an ERA of 1.57 and WHIP of 0.78. Looking back at the postseason, the Sox beat up on Matt Moore and David Price, but I'm sure it helps that Boston has faced Moore five times, while they've faced Price twenty times. Meanwhile this will be the first time Wainwright has ever faced Boston. 

Not that I see the Cardinals putting up double-digits on Jon Lester. St. Louis hasn't seen Lester since one game in 2008. Sure, Lester was hit fairly hard that night, but the 2008 Cardinals and 2013 Cardinals are not the same team. Lester has done pretty well in the playoffs, with an ERA of 2.33.

I think the Cardinals win Game 1, but don't expect many runs from either side. The Sox have a slightly better bullpen, but I think the Cards will have a lead that the offense can't overcome.

Game 2
St. Louis leads series 1-0

Game 2 will see Micheal Wacha vs. John Lackey. While Wainwright has done very well in the playoffs for the Cardinals, Wacha has done even better. Michael's ERA so far in the postseason is 0.43, and his WHIP is only a bit higher... 0.57. Which leads me to believe Red Sox fans are going to get impatient with their offense again.

John Lackey hasn't done too badly, either. Sure, his ERA of 3.00 and WHIP of 1.17 isn't quite as impressive as Wacha's, but John shouldn't feel ashamed of his performance in the playoffs either. But will the John Lackey that faced the Rays arrive at the park tonight, or will the John Lackey that faced the Tigers show up? If it's the Lackey that faced the Rays, or even in between those two guys, then Boston could be in trouble.

I was ready to say St. Louis will take a 2-0 series lead back home, but I have a feeling that this is the first time in the postseason that a team gets to Michael Wacha. The final score may not be that high, but the Red Sox will score just enough to win and even things up.

"So close to going home with the series lead."

Game 3
Series tied 1-1

It's time for both teams to put on a little hitting display.

The starter for the Cardinals, Joe Kelly, was hit hard by the Dodgers in Game 5 the NLCS. Joe gave up 4 runs off of 7 hits, two of them home runs. Kelly only gave up 5 runs in his previous two postseason starts against the same Dodgers in Game 1 and the Pirates in the NLDS, but Joseph gave up too many hits and walked too many batters (11 and 6, respectively, in 11.1 innings). 

Then there's Boston starter Clay Buchholz. He wasn't bad against the Tigers in Game 6 the ALCS, going 5 innings while giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits. But those same Tigers roughed him up for 5 runs off of 8 hits, including two homers, in Game 2 of that series. And giving up 7 hits, one of them a home run, and walking three hitters against the Rays in the ALDS was not good either.

While it was easy for me to pick a winner in the first two games, this one makes me think a bit more. And when I think too much, I know there may be a problem. Another problem is that I'm going to let home field decide this one for me. The St. Louis fans are awesome, and I'm going to say they push their team to that extra run needed to win this game.

Game 4
St. Louis leads series 2-1

If both teams put on a little hitting display in Game 3, then it's time for both teams to put on a big hitting display in Game 4.

Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. While Jake Peavy has an ERA of 8.31, and Lance Lynn has an ERA of 5.40, it's not as though both pitchers have been lit up in each of their starts. In fact, even though he was beat up by the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS, Jake Peavy threw pretty well in his first start of the postseason against the Rays. 

Lance Lynn has only started two games, as he had to come into Game 1 of the NLCS in relief, and did a fine job in his two innings... earning the win. Lynn's one bad performance came in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Pirates, when he gave up 5 runs thanks to 7 hits and 3 walks. 

In yet another game where the winner doesn't stand out to me, I'm taking the Cardinals. But unlike Game 3, I think St. Louis wins this game decidedly. I'm not talking about a score of 9-0, or something like that, but Cards fans won't be biting their fingernails in the top of the 9th inning of this one. Instead, Busch Stadium will be electric as fans know they're just one win away from winning the World Series.

Game 5
St. Louis leads series 3-1

Can the Cardinals win it all at home? 

Although starters haven't been announced for this game, I imagine it'll be a rematch between Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright. 

While it's easy to see why Boston will put Lester out there in an elimination game, it wouldn't surprise me if the Cardinals, with a 3-1 lead in the series, gave Wainwright a bit more rest. But why not try and win it all at home instead of going back to Boston? Besides, with another off day coming up, and St. Louis having two other very good starters, there's no reason to let up here.

I see this being a closer than it was in Game 1. Boston's bullpen will keep St. Louis from doing any damage, while the Sox hitters will put up a couple extra runs to send the series back to the east coast.

Game 6
St. Louis leads series 3-2

This is as close to a "must win" for the Red Sox as they come. After Lackey, Boston doesn't have another truly dependable starter. 

Of course, St. Louis will run Michael Wacha out there for another shot at winning it all. 

I'm happy to say that we see more of John Lackey 2012 (6.41 ERA), than we do John Lackey 2013 (3.52 ERA). In the past it's been walks that have really hurt Lackey, and they will haunt him again on this night and for the rest of his life. Cardinal hitters will be a bit more patient at the plate this time than in Game 2 against Lackey, leading to a few too many runs scored for the Sox to overcome.

 St. Louis wins series 4-2

Revenge for 2004.

I'm sure my hatred for the Boston Red Sox had something to do with me picking the Cardinals to beat them. But I don't care. St. Louis has the ability to win, so I don't think I'm going out on a limb here at all. Boston is a good team, though, so I really wouldn't be surprised if the result is the opposite of what I just said. 

So enjoy the Series, and join me in rooting hard for the Cardinals.

Tyler Austin Removed From Arizona Fall League


Come back from the edge Yankees fans because Tyler Austin is fine. Here is a tweet from his mother proving so. Thank you Mrs. Austin for your quick response and putting a lot of Yankees fans minds at ease. 

The Yankees have removed their mega prospect Tyler Austin from the Arizona Fall League after only playing in four games. Austin has not played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in over a week so the first cause that comes to mind has to be an injury, specifically to that wrist that caused him to miss so much time in 2013. Austin has been replaced by a player from another team so no new Yankees reps will be present, not at this time anyway. I am currently trying to get the information of why he has been removed so stay tuned to the blog and to the twitter for updates by following @GreedyStripes.

Bloomberg: Yankees Are Worth $3.3 Billion

According to the New York Yankees are worth $3,300,000,000. In case you didn't know or are not that good at math that is $3.3 BILLION. The Yankees are sports most valuable franchise according to the site with  the Los Angeles Dodgers ranking second behind us with $2.1 billion in value. Ten teams around Major League Baseball are worth at least $1 billion making the MLB nearing the same level, fiscally, as the NFL. A couple of the other teams to break the $1 billion mark are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets who both broke the $2 billion mark while the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals are only valued at $805 million, go figure. Obviously this value for the Yankees, and other clubs, is based on baseball operations but also factor in television networks like the YES Network where the Yankees get about 20% of their value from.

All this value, all this money floating around, we're still the kings of the finance and we have Chris Stewart starting at catcher and we're trying to reduce payroll by over $40,000,000 next season to save a few bucks. You really cannot predict baseball.

Yogi Berra Wins Inaugural Bob Feller Act of Valor Award

Over the weekend Yankees legend and fan favorite Yogi Berra won the first ever Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. The Bob Feller Award was created for Major League Baseball to pay homage to the United States military. Berra served in the military during World War II and was even on the front  on D Day in France. 

The award was named after Feller because the day after Pearl Harbor he walked away from a $100,000 contract with the Indians to join the Navy and fight for his country. Feller died three years ago and this weekend we finally saw an award in his name that honors the link between the US military and Major League Baseball. Each year the award will be given to one active Major League player, one player from the Hall of Fame, and one active duty sailor. 

The best quote from the entire weekend can be seen below. Congratulations to Yogi and this award, not that I matter, has my 100% full support. Great idea and a great award for a great man. Go Yogi!

“He didn’t like me,” Berra said. “One day I asked why. He said, ‘I don’t respect people who didn’t serve their country.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about? I was at D-Day.’ After that, we became best friends.”

Yankees Fire Conditioning Coach Dana Cavalea

The New York Yankees have fired their strength and conditioning coach Dana Cavalea according to Joel Sherman. After a year riddled with injuries and lack luster performances Cavalea seems like the first of possibly many fall guys this season in the coaching staff. Hey you know know maybe we can blame Cavalea for the lack of hustle out of the box from Robinson Cano. No? I didn't think so but I had to try.

Cavalea has been in this spot since the 2007 season and was our strength and conditioning coach in Spring Training from 2003-2007 before that so he is definitely a Yankees mainstay in the clubhouse lately.

Just for the record I said that the Yankees needed to do this back in May, SEEN HERE, and then I reiterated it in September, SEEN HERE. I know this doesn't make me smart of anything just pointing out that I am glad to see it done.

Ichiro Suzuki's 4,000th Hit Highlights

Let's take another look at Ichiro's 4000th hit between the Major Leagues and his time in Japan. Enjoy!

Arizona Fall League Standings - 10/23

The Scorpions are currently 2.5 games out of first place in the AFL East. 

World Series Game Start Times & Schedule

The World Series field is set for the 2013 season and it will showcase the St. Louis Cardinals representing the National League and Boston Red Sox representing the American. Just as a reminder the American League won the All Star Game this season so they will have home field advantage for the World Series. All the games will be broadcast on FOX so we will hear lots of Buck and McCarver, and that is honestly the way it should be. Just as a reminder all games coverage will begin 30 minutes before the scheduled pitch and the first pitch probably will not happen for another 10 minutes after the scheduled first pitch.

This has all the makings of having everything that you would want in a World Series. You have your young up and coming talent with the bats, you have your young fireball pitchers, you can have a 10-9 game and you can have a 1-0 game the next day, so it should be fun. Honestly of course I want the Yankees in there but with no real loyalties to either team I think I can finally just watch and enjoy the games for once.

Here is the World Series television schedule:

Wednesday 10/23 @ Fenway Park
8:00 pm ET

Thursday 10/24 @ Fenway Park
8:00 pm ET

Saturday 10/26 @ Busch Stadium

8:00 pm ET
Sunday 10/27 @ Busch Stadium

8:00 pm ET
Monday 10/28 @ Busch Stadium

8:00 pm ET
Wednesday 10/30 @ Fenway Park
8:00 pm ET

Thursday 10/31 @ Fenway Park
8:00 pm ET

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/23

On this day in 1995 the Yankees hired a new GM, replacing Gene Michael, in former Astros GM Bob Watson. Watson would only last two years in the Bronx before the Brian Cashman regime started after being upset with the "chain of command" in the Yankees organization, I think that probably means George Steinbrenner. Watson would be the GM when the Yankees would win their first World Series in 1978 when they were crowned the 1996 champions.

On this day in 1996 David Cone shut down the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the 1996 World Series with the Yankees down two games to none. This would be the first of 14 consecutive World Series games victories for the Yankees before the New York Mets ended the streak in the 2000 Subway World Series.