Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scorpions season ends with 3-2 loss to Rafters

Yankees outfielder Mason Williams went 2-for-3 with a double, a single, and a scored run today as the Scorpions ended their 2013 season with a 3-2 loss to the Salt River Rafters. This defeat was the Scorps seventh consecutive, and their twenty-first overall. That total, going along with just 10 wins, makes up for an awful season. But, in the end, the Yankees prospects who were on Scottsdale's roster this past month and a half did okay. So, without further ado, here are the final stats from all of the Pinstripe Prospects who played in the AFL this season:

• Mason Williams - 86 ABs, a .267 AVG, 23 Hits, 0 HR, and 4 RBIs
• Peter O'Brien - 63 ABs, .190 AVG, 12 Hits, 4 HR, and 13 RBI
• Vidal Nuno - 19.2 IP, 20 Hits, 7 Earned Runs, 3.20 ERA, O wins, 1 loss
• James Pazos - 10.1 IP, 13 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1.74 ERA, 1 win, O losses
• Brett Gerritse - 11.2 IP, 12 Hits, 12 Earned Runs, 9.26 ERA, O wins, 2 losses
• Fred Lewis - 11 IP, 8 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0.00 ERA, 0 wins, 0 losses

So yea, that's it. Hope you guys liked my recaps this fall and I'll be back here at TGP when Spring Training starts in February.

Derek Jeter Getting Into The Book Publishing Business

Derek Jeter is getting into the book publishing business as a way to supplement his income because apparently he can't feed his family on $12,000,000. Obviously the latter part of that is sarcasm that I interjected but the book publishing part is true. Here is the story from

Derek Jeter is getting into the book publishing business.
Jeter, whose book, "The Captain," by Ian O'Connor, was released in May 2011, has partnered with Simon & Schuster to identify and publish adult nonfiction titles, children's picture books, middle-grade fiction and ready-to-read children's books.
"This publishing partnership with Simon & Schuster is an exciting way for me to discover and develop new books, sharing insights of my own or from people I believe have interesting stories, philosophies or practices to share," Jeter said in a news release.
The news release cites Jeter's world-renowned fame and success having allowed him to meet some of the world's most "interesting and diverse people, while establishing a brand synonymous with trust and credibility."
The publishing company is hoping Jeter helps identify stories that will "appeal to audiences ranging from children who look up to him as a role model to sports-savvy adults who have been witness to his remarkable career."
The partnership will be called "Jeter Publishing."

Cabrera & McCutchen Win Most Valuable Player Awards

The final award handed down by the Baseball Writers Association of America tonight and it is the big one, the Most Valuable Player award. Miguel Cabrera would win the American League MVP for the second consecutive season followed by Mike Trout, Chris Davis, Josh Donaldson, and Robinson Cano in that order. Cano received one third place vote. The National League MVP winner is Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cutch got 28 of the 30 first place votes and was followed by Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and Freddie Freeman in that order.

Congratulations to both players, their respected teams, fans, and families.

Expanded Instant Replay Approved For 2014

Major League Baseball owners have voted to expand instant replay in 2014 and has unanimously voted to approve the change for next season. Obviously the Umpire's union and the Player's Union have to agree and sign off on it but that is expected to happen without a hiccup.

Each manager will be given two challenges to use at any point in the game, much like the NFL has, and are only lost if the challenge is lost, again just like the NFL. The play will be ruled off the field and the decision will be relayed to umpires on the field to make the call which I like. Obviously balls and strikes cannot be argued or challenged and home run calls will still be handled by the umpires like they have sine 2008.

Masahiro Tanaka May Not Be Posted Afterall

The worst case scenario for the New York Yankees may be coming true after we learned this morning that Major League Baseball is withdrawing their proposal for changed to the Japanese posting system. Apparently talks have hit a snag on the changes for the new posting system and it is up in the air for whether or not Tanaka will be posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

MLB owners are concerned that teams will no longer be able to afford the posting fees for these players if the upward trend continues and that may be the deal breaker. Without an agreement Japanese players would not be able to come over to the states until they have had nine years of service time in Japan. This would make them a free agent and totally eliminate the posting system all together. 

Home Plate Collisions May Become A Thing Of The Past

According to the Associated Press Major League Baseball is making progress towards making home plate collisions on catchers a thing of the past.  Here is the official write up from the AP:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Lou Brock’s shoulder-to-shoulder collision with Bill Freehan during the 1968 World Series and Pete Rose’s bruising hit on Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star game could become relics of baseball history, like the dead-ball era.
Major League Baseball Executive Vice President Joe Torre said Tuesday momentum is building toward taking action that would help prevent collisions at home plate.
“There’s a pretty good possibility that something eventually will happen,” he said Tuesday after a meeting of big league general managers. “Whether it’s going to be soon enough to have it done this coming year, that remains to be seen. But I don’t think it’s impossible.”
Torre said a written proposal will be developed that will be discussed when GMs gather again during the winter meetings, to be held at Lake Buena Vista from Dec. 9-12.
“There are college rules where you have to slide. I’m not saying that’s what you’re going to do.” Torre said. “The players are bigger, stronger, faster. It’s like in other sports. They’ve made adjustments and rules in other sports for that reason, to protect people.”
Torre said collisions when pitchers cover the plate on wild pitches and passed balls also are an issue. He planned to discuss the matter Wednesday with baseball’s rules committee.
“You’re going to have very understanding people there, a feeling that something has to be done,” he said.
A change for 2014 would need the approval of the players’ association.
“Suffice it to say, the players have some thoughts of their own regarding home-plate collisions as well as a number of other topics,” union deputy executive director Tony Clark, a former All-Star himself, said in an email to The Associated Press. “We’ll be addressing them all when we meet next month.”
Discussion to limit or ban collisions has intensified since May 2011, when San Francisco’s Buster Posey was injured in a collision with Florida’s Scott Cousins. Posey, an All-Star catcher, sustained a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, an injury that ended his season.
Posey returned to win the NL batting title and MVP award in 2012, when he led the Giants to their second World Series title in three seasons.
“All that we know now about what’s happening in any sport with collisions and concussions has to be examined, not only from the catcher’s standpoint, but from the baserunner’s standpoint,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. “Do you really want anybody in harm’s way and should they allow there to be any malicious intent in baseball?”
Torre said he will get together at the winter meetings next month with San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy and St. Louis skipper Mike Matheny, who retired as a player after the 2006 season because of a concussion.
“I’d be in favor of further discussing that position and ending that situation,” New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. “I don’t think catchers should be getting pounded. I’d certainly be in favor of changing that rule.”
Concussions have become a bigger issue in baseball. David Ross of Boston and Alex Avila of Detroit jettisoned their hockey-style headgear and went back to old-style, heavier catcher’s masks because of foul tips. Ross missed a large portion of the season after concussions caused by tips off the bat of Toronto’s Colby Rasmus and Baltimore’s Manny Machado.
“Guys are throwing harder on a consistent basis, the ball moves more, more foul tips,” Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said. “Our catcher takes a beating on a day-in, day-out basis.”

Yankees Check On Kendrys Morales

In a bit of news that likely falls in the "due diligence" file, the Yankees have reportedly looked in Kendrys Morales.

Morales spent most of his time in 2013 as the Seattle Mariners' designated hitter, while also playing some first base. On top of being a good defender at first, Kendrys hit .277/.336/.449 with 23 home runs as a switch-hitter, earning him a qualifying offer from the M's. Like the other 12 players that received offers, Morales turned it down and is a free agent.

While on the surface he seems like a good enough player, you don't have to look very hard to realize the Yankees don't need him. Unless they are okay spending a lot on a back-up first baseman to Mark Teixeira, on top of adding a third DH with Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter. Not to mention that the Bombers would give up a draft pick along with spending more money than a bench player should make.

All Home Grown Yankees Team - The Bench

Continuing with our look at the Yankees all home grown team over the last 20 years or so we look at the prospects who did not quite make the cut for the starting nine and have been sent to the bench. On this team this is not necessarily something that should make you feel slighted as the Yankees have been pretty successful in bringing guys through their system and turning them into stars over the last couple of decades. 

Let's take a look at the Yankees bench they would send out with an all prospect team:

BN: Dioner Navarro
BN: David Adams
BN: Jimmy Paredes
BN: Jesus Montero

Dioner Navarro was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees back in 2000 and made it all the way to the major leagues in 2004. Navarro was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005 with Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey for Randy Johnson. The same day Navarro was sent packing to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shawn Greene. Navarro has spent the rest of his career playing behind the dish for the Dodgers twice, the Tampa Bay Rays, Reds, and the Cubs. 

David Adams was brought up and spent a huge chunk of the 2013 season playing with the big league New York Yankees. Adams spent most of his time at second base, and injured, in the minor league system before being primarily a third basemen this season. Adams also spent time at second base and first base this season making him my utility player for lack of a better word on this team.

The New York Yankees signed Jimmy Paredes as a amateur free agent as a short stop before the 2007 season. Jimmy spent the next three seasons in the Yankees system, including a minor league All Star appearance for the Staten Island Yankees before he was sent to the Houston Astros along with Mark Melancon for Lance Berkman. Paredes is now a jack of all trades making his major league debut for the Astros as a third basemen and now spending most of his time in right field. 

Jesus Montero is one guy that I felt compelled to add as that last option on the bench. If this was a real team he would not be on the team obviously because he would give us two DH only types, unless you still think that he can catch for some reason, but this is pure nostalgia here. I can remember drooling over the thought of Baby Jesus in pinstripes ever since he was signed as an international free agent in 2006. Montero was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Michael Pineda before the 2012 season and has since lost his starting catching job, sent to the minors, and is now working out as a first basemen. I still love Montero so he gets the last spot and always had the last spot as soon as I came up with this idea. 

Derek Jeter - DH?

Jon Heyman reported that Hal Steinbrenner and Derek Jeter have discussed his future at shortstop, and the Yankees owner told DJ that the team is looking for a starter at the position. Jeter said he understands the situation, as his injury-riddled season leaves a lot of questions about his ability to play the position regularly.

It's been reported that the team is close to signing Brendan Ryan, however I highly doubt they plan to have Ryan at SS regularly. They've also been connected to Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew, leaving Jeter to spend most of his time at DH.

This could also mean that Alfonso Soriano would play most of the time in the outfield, so the Yankees would be looking to bring in only one of Carlos Beltran or Shin-Soo Choo.

New Posting System Set For Approval

There has been a lot of talk about the posting system from Nippon Professional Baseball, and for good reason. Until the new posting system is approved, Masahiro Tanaka... a giant target for the Yankees... is stuck.  Well, an agreement is about ready.

It was believed that players posted from NPB would be able to choose from the top three bidding teams, but that is no longer the case. The only change the system will have is that instead of the top bidder paying how much they bid, the top bidder will instead pay the average of the top two bids.

This is to prevent what we saw happen to the Texas Rangers when they won the bidding for Yu Darvish. The Rangers had apparently bid about $20 million higher than the second team, but they still had to pay nearly $60 million for the rights to negotiate with Darvish (who eventually signed a $60 million contract). If the new system was in place at the time, the Rangers would have instead had to pay roughly $50 million to negotiate.

The new system is set to be approved on Monday, and bidding for players such as Tanaka could start next Wednesday. I know the Yankees and their fans will be relieved, as we tend not to be the most patient people.

Williams, O'Brien have nice performances in 8-5 loss to Rafters

Last night, the Scorpions finally found their offense in an 8-5 loss to the Salt River Rafters. While that score is obviously not too great, this one overall was a a good one. The Scorpions, as a whole, were very good on offense while the two Yankees prospects who played, Peter O'Brien and Mason Williams, each had very productive games. 

In his 5 ABs, Williams had 3 hits and scored two runs, while O'Brien had just 1 hit in 4 ABs, driving in two runs. With this loss, the Scorps record on the year is now just 10-20 going into their season finale this afternoon. 

And The Alex Rodriguez Saga Continues...

The Bronx is Burning once again and this time instead of the straw that stirs the drink we're talking about the straw that can't stay in the wrapper. We're talking about Alex Rodriguez, who else right, who was caught in the women's rest room doing God knows what with an unnamed brunette. Last I checked, and the above picture was posted not all that long ago by Torri Wilson herself on Twitter, Alex's girlfriend is blonde, not brunette.

Alex was caught in the women's bathroom in the Delano Hotel in Miami blowing off some steam and stress from his one of many lawsuits he has going on. After eating at the UMI Sushi and Sake Bar Saturday night Alex was seen getting "hot and heavy" with the brunette near the elevators in the hotel lobby early Sunday morning according to an unnamed hotel guest. They then disappeared into the women's bathroom for around 20 minutes before being interrupted by another hotel guest.

Alex this is getting beyond ridiculous. You want to screw around on a very hot woman that's your business but come on man, be smart about it. Whatever I could go on for hours about how Alex is not the sharpest crayon on the box but he would just love the attention from it so I'll just end it here.

"Please get suspended in 2014 and please retire."

- signed all Yankees fans (I still forgive you)

Looking Back At My 2013 MVP Predictions

2013 Predictions : MVP

The 2013 season is right around the corner and I wanted to take a stab in the dark at who will win the MVP Awards in both the American and National Leagues. These are rarely ever right so my guess is as good as anyone's I guess. Here goes:

My prediction for the American League MVP will be, as much as it kills me, King Albert Pujols. He will not have a month or so of a powerless drought and does not have to adjust to a new team, a new league, etc etc etc. I expect him to start early and often and not stop until October. I fully expect the old Albert Pujols to show his face in 2013 and bring home yet another MVP award.

Finished with a .258 BA, 17 HRs, 64 RBIs, and missed 63 games due to injury

My prediction for the National League MVP will be Matt Kemp. Matt had to deal with injury after injury last season after a huge 50/50 season prediction around this time last year. Kemp will be healthy this season and actually have some legit protection in the lineup. I expect him to have a monster season and lead his team to the NL West title. #BeastModeNeverSleeps

Finished with .270 BA, 6 HRs, 33 RBIs, and missed 89 games due to injury

Wrong and wrong... wrong by a lot. Both of these players missed significant time in 2013 due to injuries and I take personal responsibility for it. The NFL has the Madden Curse and now MLB has The Greedy Pinstripes curse. These guys had a combined 23 home runs, 97 RBI's, and missed a combined 152 games this season. We will see who will win the award tonight at 6:00 pm ET on MLB Network and, spoiler alert, it won't be either of these two guys. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/14

On this day in 2007 Alex Rodriguez the reports started to fly around that Alex Rodriguez was close to a new deal with the New York Yankees somewhere in the neighborhood of $290,000,000. This was confirmed by Alex on his website and by the Steinbrenner family as well. This was done to try and soften Alex's look after the harsh criticism he received from opting out during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series. The rest is history...