Wednesday, December 11, 2013

River Avenue Will Be Changed To Rivera Avenue

River Avenue and 161st Street will be renamed to Rivera Avenue according to the NY Post. City Council in New York passed the vote 47-0 to change the street name and honor the former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Very cool gesture for Rivera to have a street named after him and for people to recognize his body of work and charity in the city.

And for everyone wondering Mike Axisa has said they would not be changing the name of Bummer, have some fun Mike. They would not change their Twitter name either for Mariano Rivera day, all business I guess. Oh well congratulations anyway go out to Mo and his family.

Yankees Turn Down For Gardner For Phillips Swap

The New York Yankees have reportedly turned down the Cincinnati Reds in a trade that would have sent lead off hitter and center fielder Brett Gardner to the Reds for second basemen Brandon Phillips. A big thank you goes out to the baseball gods for this one as I don't think the Yankees want or need any part of Dat Boy BP.

Phillips is 32 years old and has seen his numbers decline to a .261/.310/.396 with 18 home runs in 2013 in Great American Ball Park. The regression mixed in with the clubhouse issues and the attitude problems will probably keep the Yankees from making a serious run at Phillips.

Home Plate Collisions Have Been Banned In MLB

According to Bob Nightengale on Twitter a Joe Torre and Sandy Alderson led MLB Rules Committee have ruled that home plate collisions are no longer allowed in Major League Baseball. MLB has gone as far as to say there will be fines, suspensions, and penalties for home plate collisions in 2014, sounds like MLB is getting serious about this. The players and their union must approve of the deal for it go into affect for the 2014 season and if that does not happen it will be 2015 before the rule is officially in play. I cannot see a situation where the players do not approve the deal though so expect this to be in place by the beginning of the season.

Brian Kenny Thinks He Can Fix The Yankees

So we have Brett Gardner, Shin Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells, & Ichiro Suzuki? Holy hell what a logjam.

Agreed. Reminds me of Billy Martin and Billy Ball. Well I was born in 1985 so what I have seen on tape and heard anyway, it doesn't actually remind me of anything. Speed does kill and I love having that option in the lineup and in the outfield.

In my series of posts I described in September imagining if Robinson Cano left for greener pastures I said to let Kelly Johnson have the second base job. He can give you 20 home runs, 80 RBI's, hit around .270, and is the closest we have or will get to "replacing" Cano. Long story short, agreed.
Figured Kenny would be more willing to give the young guys a shot but then I forgot he was strictly a numbers guy. One or two I wouldn't be upset with but signing three guys seems like an awful lot for us and takes away innings from guys like Cesar Cabral, Dellin Betances, Preston Claiborne, etc. Girardi has made a living off of revamping our bullpen on a year to year basis with our farm system. If it's not broke...

Yeah I got nothing...

Reds already said they are not interested in Gardner and he is about the only trade chip we have that they want to win now. It would be nice but right now it does not seem realistic.

Finally someone else who doesn't want the Yankees to trade for Brandon Phillips. Thank you!
Surprisingly I think 90% of us are all in unison about this. No more 10 year deals to guys in their 30's, bottom line.

What does it matter if it is front loaded or back loaded? Using AAV it doesn't matter and all we care about is the luxury tax.

Isn't there some kind of sabermetric stat that could you tell you how much effectiveness he would lose if he were to come back to the AL East and Yankee Stadium? I have his BIP locations ready if you would like to discuss it Mr. Kenny.

You skipped Rule 10. Is this one of those things where you buy four pigs and paint them each with a number "1", "2", "3", and "5" and laugh while everyone searches for #4? Did I mention his BIP locations from Great American Ballpark to Yankee Stadium?

Votto is not going anywhere and Bailey is not realistic. Bronson's BIP's... I still have them when you are ready Mr. Kenny.

Volunteering to be a human binder?

For a guy who crunches numbers a lot you sure are skipping a lot of numbers here. Plus Coupon Clipping Hal has priced the Yankees fans out of the new stadium.

Dellin Betances Has One Additional Minor League Option

Dellin Betances has one additional minor league option for the 2014 season, something none of us in the blogosphere thought, and could go down to AAA to start the 2014 season. We all thought this would be the make or break season for Dealin' Dellin but Brian Cashman announced otherwise. The fourth option is due to a rare rule that allows a player that has five or fewer professional seasons that already used up their three options to get a fourth. Whatever works, right?

This gives Betances more time to work down in Scranton out of the bullpen out of Spring Training or a chance to head back down midseason for a month or two if he sticks with the team and then struggles. Either way this gives the Yankees a little more flexibility and the option to sign a veteran presence at the end of the pen. Either way this is great news for the Yankees, probably not for Betances though.

Omar Infante Wants A Four Year Deal, Yankees Don't

Omar Infante and his agent are very aware that he is the best available second basemen after Robinson Cano left for Seattle and he wants to be paid like it. Yesterday we learned that Infante wanted $8 million or more per season and today we learned that Omar wants a four year deal. The Yankees are obviously not crazy about going four years on a 31 year old, soon to be 32 year old, but how can they say no? They gave Carlos Beltran a three year deal at 37 years old and we had other outfield options, the Yankees don't necessarily have that luxury at second base this season. The Kansas City Royals may be willing to go to four years and are now considered to be the favorites after this news broke. Hopefully the Yankees don't get burned again because Howie Kendrick is said to no longer be available from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim so the second base market is drying up quickly.

Yankees Among Eight Teams Interested In Johan Santana

The New York Yankees are among eight teams that have showed interest in free agent left handed pitcher Johan Santana. Obviously all these teams are probably only interested in Santana's services on a minor league deal after two torn shoulder capsule surgeries in his left throwing shoulder have probably all but derailed his career. Along with the Yankees are the Mets, Twins, Rays, Orioles, Royals, Brewers, and Pirates bidding on his services.

Santana will throw to showcase for teams in January. Stay tuned.

The Curse Of Jerry Hairston Jr. Is Over

I say this sarcastically when I say that the curse of Jerry Hairston Jr. is now over as he has announced his retirement from the game. The Yankees have not won a World Series since the 2009 campaign when we saw Hairston jump 19 feet in the air in a big game against the Angels in the ALCS. Hairston has accepted a position with the Los Angeles Dodgers with their broadcast team and will retire from the game at age 37.

Corey Hart Comes Off The Yankees Board

Corey Hart came off the New York Yankees board, if he was still on there, when he signed with Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners today. I had Hart on all of my postseason posts wanting him on the team to backup first base, play right field, and even thought about trying him at third base but they are all dreams now. Hart is 32 years old and missed the entire 2013 season with a knee surgery on each knee so he will be a question mark for the Mariners heading into the season. He is a huge upgrade, if healthy, to that Mariners lineup along with Logan Morrison and Cano.

Pinch Hitting Guest Blogger: David Jones

We have decided that we want to run a series of guest blogging, or pinch hitting, blog posts from our readers, fellow bloggers, and aspiring writers. Our first pinch hitter will be David Jones, @DLJTwo on Twitter, who is a fellow blogger, Twitter follower, and reader of The Greedy Pinstripes. Here is a short write up from David about himself and his inaugural Pinch Hitting Guest Blogger post.

My name is David Jones and I'm a 43 year old I.T. Professional from Rochester, New York, born and raised. I'm a husband to my beautiful wife Liz and the father of 5 great children. My hobbies are photography, music production, saltwater aquariums and anything related to the Yankees.

I've been a Yankee fan all my life and had the chance to attend my first game at Yankee Stadium in 2011. My dream is to visit all the MLB stadiums (and hopefully see the boys play there) over the next 10 years with my wife. I started my blog called Let's Play Nine ( a little over a year ago as a way to talk through some of the things that intrigue me, baffle me or frustrate me. I love writing and hope to write a book within the next 2 years. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @DLJTWO.

"No One Man is Above The Team" - Coach James DeBell Sr.
(A frequent quote by my high school baseball coach)
I knew it was coming eventually. Not the move to another team, not the way that it was done, not the money involved, not the turning his back on the city of New York and the Yankee fans and not the leaving behind a chance to be immortal in the garden that is Monument Park. It was that one question from my wife that I really needed days, not hours, to ponder... "How do you feel about Cano leaving the Yankees?" A question that was so raw and one that I never thought in a million years that I'd have to answer.
I met my wife Liz 3 years ago and though I've been a life-long fan of the Yankees, I'd never been to Yankee Stadium before. She's not a fan of sports at all, but, my very first visit to the stadium was in the form of tickets for my birthday, thanks to her. We played the Blue Jays during Labor Day Weekend... Jeter had the day off due to a late night extra-inning game the night before, Bartolo Colon pitched good enough to keep us in it and Cano, true to form, had the biggest hit of the game... a two-run double to give us the lead and eventually the win. It was a great day and now my wife is as much a Yankee fan as I am, CC Sabathia is her favorite... and she named our puppy after my favorite player. The Yankees are a part of our everyday lives in some way, shape or form. You will always see the logo or some reminder of the team somewhere in our home. Baseball has and always will be a part of my life. I've played the game since I was able to hold a bat and swing it, it's important to me and I love the "game". Fans of other sports find us crazy because we sit and watch what they consider to be a "boring" sport, yet they have no idea just how smart you have to be to either play it or understand this game that we love.
"I don't know how I feel about it babe, I mean... I'll miss him but we have to think about the team as a whole, we can't afford bad deals anymore."
I know that this really gets over-used but sports folks say it all the time, "There is no 'I' in team." However, there is definitely an M & E in "Team" and that's exactly what Robinson Cano was thinking with his demands for a record breaking contract. And to be frank, I personally couldn't care less that he's walking away from the Yankees and possible immortality when I really think about it. Robinson Cano is one of the most talented baseball players I've ever had a chance to watch grow into a major league player. The only flaw that I've ever seen is his game is him not feeling the need to hustle out some at-bats here and there but I personally think there's a deeper reason behind it. I think the game is boring to him and he no longer finds any challenge in it, at least in New York with the Yankees. I saw it this season in his at-bats, in his fielding when flipping the ball to first after having to barely move to get it. Cano is so good at what he does that to the casual eye, he's truly amazing (which he is) and what he's doing is effortless, but, to the trained eye he's just going through the motions and bored with being in that moment. Over the weekend it was mentioned that Cano wanted out of New York because he didn't like playing for Joe Girardi and while I have no idea how much of that is true or not, nothing screams "selfish" like complaining about where your manager puts you in the line-up, especially publicly.  Managers are paid to manage and players are paid to play and the saddest part about this, if it's true, is that Joe bleeds Yankee blue and was tossed from 5 games this past season, mostly for defending his players. But, he's a horrible guy to play for because he just can't seem to put Cano right where he wants to be in the lineup... I get it. Whatever. I personally don't think Cano is the "star" that he thinks he is or that his representation has convinced him that he is. While he was healthy for most of the season and other's like Jeter, Texeira and Granderson were hurt, the Yankees reportedly lost $58 million in ticket sales. If Cano had $240 million star power, I personally think those figures would have been more 'green', seeing as how he spent most of his time on the field this past season.
When Cano first signed with Jay Z's Roc Nation, I thought it was as bad a move for Jay Z as it was for him. Jay is the self-proclaimed "King of New York " and could possibly be labeled as the single person who priced one of our most talented assets right out of the Bronx. He's boasted on songs that he's made the "Yankee hat more famous than a Yankees can"... too much bravado about an organization that he clearly knows little about. The Yankees were winning championships before the Great Depression and while I love Jay and some of his music, this isn't the music business. Legends are made in this game called baseball... through hard work, dedication, patience and hustle. And while most can live with the lack of hustle from Cano, I can't. Mainly because he wants to be paid like a super-star team leader, but, doesn't want to act like one on the field during the final year of his current contract.  I was taught from day one when learning the game of baseball that no matter what, you ran to first like you were ultimately going to be safe, you respected the game and the people that played it before you and you respected your coaches and the umpires even if you didn't understand their decisions. The game of baseball is not easy to play, though the legends in the making who are playing in the majors today make it seem that way. Ted Williams once said something to the effect of players who fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate will end up being some of the greatest to ever play the game.

There is no organization on this planet like the New York Yankees. When you see the logo, you know who it is, if you see a picture of The Frieze, you know where it is and when you see the pinstripes, you know what they're about. Winning. Pride. Loyalty. I've turned the page on my loyalty to Robinson Cano and as being one of his fans. When I look at the men who have played in Pinstripes before him and how most have humbled themselves for the betterment of the team, I'm grateful that Monument Park isn't a part of his vision for his own career. I can't cheer on someone who is okay with coming to the yard every day and making it about themselves instead of the team. I've heard free agent after free agent come to the podium over the years and say, "Being a Yankee has always been a life-long dream of mine, so this is one of the greatest days of my life!" They've come from every organization, even the Red Sox. So while I wish Robinson the best, I really won't miss him or the fact that Jay Z thinks that he would have been the man to help "sell the Yankee brand". The Yankees don't need any player to sell what they have to offer. The proof lies in those free agents coming to the podium... this stuff that the Yankees have sells itself.

MLB & NPB To Ratify New Posting Policy On Monday

Does this mean Masahiro Tanaka will be posted on Tuesday? Obviously that is severely jumping the gun as I wouldn't expect him to be posted the very next day but that definitely opens the door for the posting.

The Japanese team posting the player will be able to publicly "name their price" on the posting fee as long as it does not exceed the $20 million cap.  All teams that meet that asking price will be allowed to negotiate with the player and the player, in this case Tanaka, will get to choose who to exclusively negotiate with from that pool of teams. This new deal absolutely gives the power back to the player and cuts down the cost of the posting fee significantly.

I like the new deal now let's get this show on the road.

Yankees Acquire Kyle Haynes For Chris Stewart

The New York Yankees have acquired prospect Kyle Haynes from the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the Chris Stewart trade. I thought we would simply get some cash so getting an actual player is quite the surprise for me. Haynes is a right handed pitcher that pitched to a 2.38 ERA last season in A Ball. Haynes misses a lot of bats, as showcased by his 9.2 K/9 ratio and his 3.9 BB/9 ratio, and got a total of 83.1 innings pitched last season. Haynes is 22 years old and started his career as a reliever but switched to a starting pitcher the final eight starts of the season and posted a 1.93 ERA with 39 strike outs and 18 walks as a starter. Haynes did not crack the Pirates Top 30 prospects list or any top lists but his switch to a starting pitcher may make him worth something before it is all said and done. Welcome to the family Kyle.

Carlos Beltran Will Wear #36 For The Yankees In 2014

From the man himself on Twitter... #36 will be in right field for the New York Yankees. Mr. Carlos Beltran.

Mark Mulder Attempting A Comeback

Mark Mulder, one of the Big Three in Oakland with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson, has not pitched since 2008 and has been retired since 2009 but is trying to make a comeback with a Major League team. Should the Yankees be interested? There is no such thing as a bad minor league deal so in a word, yes.

I rallied for Johan Santana yesterday on a minor league deal and he has had two torn shoulder capsule surgeries so why not Mulder? How could it really hurt? No guaranteed contract, no 40 man roster spot, no risk whatsoever, simply reward.

Mulder found a new way to deliver the baseball, which fixed a mechanics flaw of his, when mimicking Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Paco Rodriguez in his living room of all places. Mulder immediately began working out, building arm strength, and in five or six weeks is now showcasing for teams. He is reportedly hitting 89-90 MPH on his fastball near his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mulder is still considered to be a young man, 36 years old until August 2014, and does not have a million miles on the arm. Plus it would be an awesome story if he could come up in June or July and make a start at Yankee Stadium.

Do it Cash!

The Yankees Strategy This Offseason

Definitely some truth here...

Yankees Interested In Joaquin Benoit

The New York Yankees have had internal discussions regarding their bullpen and specifically Joaquin Benoit. The Yankees reportedly want to add a bullpen arm or two, which I don't buy the latter unless a trade involving Dellin Betances and another pitcher happens, and Benoit is at the top of that list. Benoit has pitched well for the Detroit Tigers the last few seasons and would fit well at the back end of the Yankees bullpen. No word whether he would pitch the 8th setting up for David Robertson or if Benoit would close but I guess you worry about that if and when you get the guy signed.

Yankees Targeting Indians Justin Masterson

The Cleveland Indians have made Justin Masterson available, well they are listening to offers anyway, and the Yankees have popped up as a possible suitor. Bob Nightengale of the USA Today publication states that the deal could possibly include Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner as a starting point. Hard to believe that makes any sense with the Indians already having Michael Bourn, David Murphy, and Michael Brantley in the outfield with Nick Swisher as a fourth option so a three team deal is probably in the works.

Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti stated that he would like to sign Masterson long term to keep him in Cleveland but is willing to listen on any of his players, the whole due diligence thing. The Diamondbacks are also in on Masterson and I am sure a ton of others team will be as well if talks really turn into something. I don't expect us to land Masterson but if we did that would really shape the way things are in the AL East in our favor just a  little bit.

Yankees Contact Kevin Youkilis About Returning

The New York Yankees desperate search for a guy that can play first base and third base and supply some right handed power briefly extended to Kevin Youkilis. The Yankees reached out to Youkilis' agent to gauge his interest in a return and his agent replied that Youk would like to play closer to his home in California. If you didn't believe in a God before maybe you should at least reconsider.

Joe Torre's #6 Will Be Retired Eventually

Brian Cashman was asked at the Winter Meetings if the Yankees plan to retire the #6 of Joe Torre and Cashman confirmed that it would happen eventually. Torre was unanimously elected into the Hall of Fame and seems to be on the short list to replace Bud Selig as the Commissioner of Baseball when he retires at seasons end. Torre spent 12 season on the Yankees bench as the manager including 11 post season runs, four World Series titles in six trips, and over 1000 wins including the 1998 114-win team. If anyone deserves it it's definitely Torre.

Here is the quote when asked about retiring the number:

“We haven’t given it out for a reason,” said the GM. “It’s been tucked away for quite some time. At some point, that’ll happen, not doubt about it. Clearly it has already unofficially happened.”

How Many More Elite Seasons Does Derek Jeter Have?


This Day In New York Yankees History 12/11

On this day in 1951 the Yankees Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement at the Yankees Fifth Avenue suite. DiMaggio claims he "no longer has it" in his speech due to his age and his injuries and ends his career after 13 seasons. DiMaggio finishes with a .325 batting average and 361 home runs.

On this day in 1959 the Kansas City Athletics traded outfielder Roger Maris and two other players to the Yankees for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry. The A's were banned from trading with the Yankees for 18 months because they were being accused of serving as a big league farm club for the Yankees. This was the first trade between the two teams since the year and a half suspension.

On this day in 1975 the Yankees went crazy trading for players with multiple deals that shaped the look of the franchise. The Yankees acquired second basemen Willie Randolph and pitchers Dock Ellis and Ken Brett from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Doc Medich. The Yankees also acquired outfielder Bobby Bonds for outfielder Mickey Rivers and pitcher Ed Figueroa from the California Angels.