Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yankees Ask Morales To Hold Off Signing

The New York Yankees had the audacity to ask free agent Kendrys Morales to hold off signing so they would have more time to evaluate the injuries to Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira. Morales has not played at all this seasons after not being tendered a contract after declining a qualifying offer and the Yankees want him to wait longer? Wow.

Obviously Morales and his agent Scott Boras said no and said that he would sign within a day or two of the first day of the draft being over, so tomorrow or Saturday. The Yankees need help and they need depth and while Morales may not be the most ideal person to fill those holes he would be invaluable if either Beltran or Teixeira goes down and we're going to miss out on him because we're being hesitant.

Scott Sizemore & Francisco Cervelli News

I know I am a little late to this party but Scott Sizemore has been designated for assignment to make room for Carlos Beltran on the active roster. Beltran was activated today and went 0-3 with two strikeouts in the game. Sizemore will likely clear waivers but it is unclear whether he will accept a minor league assignment again after losing his opt out clause in his contract the first time he was called up. Sizemore is not cut from the team and this is merely a procedural move. Sizemore is still on the 40 man roster and will be in Scranton tomorrow night.

Francisco Cervelli will start a minor league rehab assignment tonight with the Tampa Yankees. Cervelli is still a little under two weeks away from being eligible to come off the 60 day DL but this is still encouraging news. Expect Cervelli to use most if not all of his 30 day clock.


Free Event Will See Bronze, Silver, & Gold Medals Decided
A national championship will be decided at ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the Trenton Thunder, when the Special Olympics USA Games Inaugural Baseball Finals are held on Thursday, June 19.

"We've had High School, College, and Eastern League championships decided at ARM & HAMMER Park, and now we get to see Olympic medals up for grabs," said Thunder COO/GM Will Smith. "The Special Olympics USA Games is a huge event for the state of New Jersey and we are thrilled to host the baseball medal games.  Come see the best athletes in the United States of America go for the gold in this historic inaugural event!"

The Baseball Finals will include the Bronze Medal Game at 4:30pm followed by the Gold Medal Game at 7:00pm. This is a General Admission event and it is free and open to the public. The normal parking fee of $3 per car will be charged.  The gates at ARM & HAMMER Park will open at4:00pm.

"The Trenton Thunder organization has demonstrated the ultimate level of respect for our athletes with the hosting of the medal rounds of our first ever national baseball event at these 2014 USA Games,” stated Marc Edenzon, President of Special Olympics New Jersey.   “Our athletes have waited over 45 years for this opportunity and now will experience playing at ARM & HAMMER Park, on the very same field that Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Tony Clark and other baseball greats have played.”

The Special Olymics USA Baseball tournament includes teams from New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Alabama.

With this being the first time that the sport of baseball is included in the Special Olympics USA Games, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be on hand for a ceremony between games.

The Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted by New Jersey June 14-21, 2014. Nearly 3,500 athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 family, friends and spectators. For more information, please visit
 The Thunder will begin a three-game weekend series with the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh) on Friday, June 6 at ARM & HAMMER Park.  Tickets are available at or by calling 609-394-3300.

Gardner's Home Run Lifts Yankees to Finale Win Over A's

In recent games, the Yankees' starting rotation has been pretty good.

With the exception of David Phelps on Monday, the Yanks' first hurlers have put together a solid 2.20 ERA over the last four contests, despite not getting a win.

That trend was finally broken today, with Masahiro Tanaka leading the team to a sweep-avoiding 2-1 victory over the A's.

Tanaka wasn't perfect by any means, as it did take him 104 pitches to get through six innings, but in the end, the performance he put up was good enough, improving his record to 9-1.

The second hitter the rookie faced on the day, Jon Jaso, did homer to right field, but after that Tanaka completely took control, not allowing another run while striking out 4 to get the W.

Backing him up on offense was the struggling Alfonso Soriano and Brett Gardner, who singled home a run and drove one into the seats respectively.

That single by Soriano snapped an 0-for-16 skid, and was just one of two hits for the veteran in the game.

After Tanaka's exit, a duo of pitchers in need of a rebound entered, with Dellin Betances tossing a perfect seventh and Adam Warren following him with a scoreless eighth.

In that frame, Warren did give up hits to the first two hitters he faced, but thanks to a nice sliding catch from Ichiro in between a couple of strikeouts of Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes the youngster was able to get the hold.

His outing wasn't great, but after a David Robertson save in the ninth it definitely was productive. 

In other news, the injured Carlos Beltran made his return to the Yankees' lineup in this one, going 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts. He didn't necessarily contribute, but since he did swing the bat painlessly I'd say his performance was an overall good sign.

Finding Gems Late In The MLB First Year Players Draft

The MLB First Year Players Draft starts tonight on MLB Network and the Yankees will once again look to find some gems for cheap in the later rounds of the draft. The Yankees don't have a pick in the first round and will have to wait patiently for their turn until the second round, 55th overall.  The Yankees have made a killing, which we will highlight here, finding absolute gems in the later rounds of the MLB draft. Granted we haven't drafted a Albert Pujols type but who has besides the St. Louis Cardinals, you know? Let's hit the high spots of the gems in the rough that the Yankees have found in recent drafts.

This is more of a prospect hugging homer type beginning but the Yankees originally drafted outfielder Chris Dickerson back in the 2000 draft in the 32nd round. Dickerson did not sign but it makes you think what could have been (and what should be for that matter) had he signed and we had an extended look at him in our minor league system.

Phillip Humber was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 29th round of the 2001 draft. This was all obviously before his perfect game with the Chicago White Sox, not that he has done much since. Still worth noting that the Yankees originally drafted a guy who has thrown a perfect game.

Tyler Clippard was drafted by the Yankees in the 9th round of the 2003 draft and quickly became the Yankees #1 prospect before Phil Hughes came along. Not given his fair shot in the majors until he made a name for himself in the Washington Nationals bullpen but has had quite the career since being traded for some guy named Jonathan Albaladejo. The Yankees also drafted David Purcey, Jeff Karstens, Daniel Bard, and Daniel McCutchen in this draft. Obviously Bard and Purcey did not sign but Karstens and McCutchen all had careers in the major leagues before falling victim to pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates and basically ending their careers.

Austin Jackson was taken in the 8th round of the 2005 draft and has become one of the best center fielders and lead off men in the game. Granted the Yankees also took Brett Gardner earlier in this draft but still I think I would rather have A Jax at this point in their careers. Another notable Yankees draft pick in this draft was Doug Fister in the 6th round before making his career in Detroit with the Tigers.

David Robertson was taken in the 17th round of the 2006 draft out of Alabama and has made a name for himself as the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera's closing job when he hangs up his cleats after 2013. Other notable picks in this draft were Daniel McCutchen (again), Zach McCallister who has pitched well in Cleveland, and Dellin Betances and Mark Melancon who once were considered to be big time Yankees prospects.

Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher we have stashed in AAA, was drafted in the 45th round of the 2007 draft. While Pat has not made the majors yet he has still drawn some attention to himself and the Yankees for throwing from both sides of the rubber and I thought that was worth mentioning. Most 45th round picks do not even make it for AAA so there is always that. The Yankees also got current minor league hitting coach Eric Thames in the 39th round in this draft as well as Nationals closer Drew Storen in the 34th round. Astros 3B Brandon Laird was drafted in the 27th round of this draft and current catcher Austin Romine in the second round.

David Phelps signed with the Yankees in 2008 after being drafted in the 14th round of the draft and that signing has worked out pretty well for the Yankees in the last two seasons. David Adams is the current Yankees 3B and has done nothing but impress since coming up and was drafted as well in this draft in the 3rd round.

The 2010 draft brought the Yankees a couple interesting pieces as we saw the Yankees grab current bullpen guy Preston Claiborne in the 17th round and current top prospect Tyler Austin in the 13th round.

Who will the Yankees add this year that we will be talking about in two or three years? You have to tune in to find out on MLB Network. Go Yankees!

Jeter: Zimmer's Death a Tough One to Swallow

Last night, as you all know by now, former Yankees Bench Coach Don Zimmer died of heart problems.

The baseball legend, who had been involved in the sport since 1954, helped coach the Yanks alongside Joe Torre from 1996-2003, in which they won six AL Pennants and four World Series.

During that time, Zimmer was always close to Derek Jeter, who gave his reaction to the former's death last night.

“That’s a tough one to swallow,” Jeter told the New York Post following the team's loss to the A's. “Everyone knows how much Zim has meant, not only to our organization, but to baseball as a whole. Your thoughts and prayers go out to his family. That’s tough news. I found out halfway through the game. That’s a rough one.”

During his playing and managing careers, Zimmer was a 2-time All Star and the 1989 NL Manager of the Year, both coming during his stints with the Chicago Cubs.

Since 2004, he had served as a Senior Advisor for the Rays, where he wore #66 this season. In Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, Zimmer was chosen to throw out the first pitch, marking Tampa Bay's first ever playoff appearance.

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Athletics 6/5

The New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics will play in the finale of their three game set this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with the A's Drew Pomeranz. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV, and WFAN.

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes to chat during the game. You can also drop us a line in the comments section of the site, I really want to build that up this season if we can. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your day. Oh and get to work.

My Day With Zim

It was August 26th, 2004 that I got to spend one of the most remarkable days of my life with a baseball legend. His name was Don Zimmer and he was truly a wonderful man.

On the afternoon of Thursday August 26th, 2004 the featured horse race at Saratoga Race Course was to be the Union Avenue Stakes. It was a small stakes race for fillies and mares who had been bred in New York State, not an important race in terms of status or purse money.
What gave that stakes race some flair was that the favorite in the race, a filly named Sugar Punch, was co-owned by the manager of the Yankees, Joe Torre.
Joe Torre and Don Zimmer shared a bond that went beyond baseball, they both loved horse racing. The Yankees were in Toronto that day so Torre could not attend the races at Saratoga to see his filly run. Because he could not attend the race he sent his former bench coach Don Zimmer to watch the filly run and hopefully lead her into the winners circle.
My friend Rick Dutrow Jr. was the trainer of Sugar Punch and he asked me to go the box seats where Zimmer was going to sit all day at the races and entertain him and talk horses with him. Rick was going to be busy saddling other horses that day and couldn't spend the whole day up in the box seats. I assured Rick it would be my great pleasure to spend the day with Zimmer.
I eagerly arrived to the box seats to meet this baseball legend who I found with his head buried in the Daily Racing Form and sitting with another baseball legend who I already knew, Mr. John Podres. John Podres lived right above Saratoga Springs in Glens Falls,NY and was well known to everyone in the area who had visited the racetrack, Mr. Podres loved the horses.
After saying hello to Mr. Podres I introduced myself to Zim, whose response was a quick hello followed by “Who do you like in this daily double?”.
The entire afternoon went just like that! Three guys talking horses and reading the Daily Racing Form. I stayed away from asking Yankee and baseball questions because it was obvious that Zim had no interest in anything other than his passion, the horse races.
When it was time for the stakes race with Mr. Torre's horse, Zim went down to the paddock where the horses are saddled and graciously shook hands and said hello to the many people who walked up to him. He arrived back at the box with the filly's trainer Rick. Rick was on a cell phone and with one minute to post he told the person on the other end of the cellphone while looking at me “Ok babe, I'm going to give you to Mike. He's going to call the race for you.” Slightly annoyed, I mouthed the words to Rick “who is it?” and Rick replied very casually “It's Torre”. My eyes must have looked as wide as pie pans.
Having been in the horse business, which is full of celebrities, I am not easily awed by anyone. This was different. This was the manager of the my favorite thing in the whole world, the New York Yankees. I took the phone from Rick and said nervously, “hello Mr. Torre, I'm Michael and will call the race for you.” He calmly said “Hi Mike, thanks”. The race went off and Sugar Punch was in perfect position the whole way and made her big move in the stretch, I called the race like a pro until the last 100 yards when I excitedly exclaimed “You're going to win Mr. Torre!! She's going to win”. Mr. Torre's response? He asked me who had ran second because he had bet an exacta! He hit it.
We went down to the winner's circle where Zim proudly lead Sugar Punch in by the reins. The NY Times had this to say about the race and Zim:

After the races we all went to dinner at a great Italian place. It was then that I got to ask Zim all of the questions I wanted to know about baseball, some of the Yankees and Yankees execs, and also about George Steinbrenner. Zim answered them all very candidly and had me laughing most of the evening. Zim and Mr. Podres had been teammates in MLB with the Brooklyn Dodgers, something I didn't realize until that evening. They recounted their days as teammates, laughing as they recalled how many times their manager Walt Alston would be furious with them for being late to practice because they stayed too long at the track! With Mr. Podres sheepishly looking at the table and roaring laughter, Zim told me his favorite story involving their time with the Dodgers. One day they were very late to practice and Alston asked to be informed when they arrived in the locker room. Shortly after they arrived, Alston came storming in to the locker room, tearing into them for being late again, certain they had come from the track. Mr. Podres began to explain to Alston that they had been caught in traffic and hadn't been to the track. Alston's face turned red with anger, and he snatched the racing program that Zim had forgotten to take out of his back pocket and held it up in front of them before storming out of the room.
I can't recount what Zim told me about some of the players and execs because it wouldn't be right to do, but I can assure you it was not only one of the greatest dinners I've ever had but also one of the best and most remarkable days of my life.
Zim signed a lovely note for my aunt and uncle before he left, who were big fans of his.
My life was enriched by spending just one day with this man, who truly lived a wonderful life.
He's been reunited with his friend Mr. Podres in Heaven now, and I'm sure they'll hit every trifecta on Belmont Stakes Day.

The Pitching Not Named Tanaka Are STRUGGLING

This graphic is a little outdated as it was made on Fox Sports after the Yankees loss on Monday but you still get the picture. The Yankees are still in the discussion for an American League East division title and a playoff spot and we wouldn't be relatively close to either if not for Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka has been our stopper, our streak extender, our ace and our savior this season. $155 million and worth every penny.

Preview: New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics 6/5

The New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics will play in a getaway game for both clubs this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, Happy Tanaka Day by the way, to face off with Drew Pomeranz for the Athletics. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Tanaka is making his first start of the month of June after capturing the AL Pitcher of the Month Award for the month of May. Tanaka allowed just four hits and an unearned run last Saturday against the Minnesota Twins at home in Yankees Stadium for his eight victory of the season. Tanaka has a league leading 2.06 ERA this season and has thrown over 100 pitches nine times in eleven starts this season.

Pomeranz is coming off a start in which he allowed five runs in 5.2 innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Pomeranz had allowed just five earned runs in 32.2 innings all season long before his last outing. All in all Pomeranz got the victory and improved his record to 5-2 on the season.

Get your Yankees tickets for this game and every Bronx Bombers game this season right here on the blog through our friends at Ticket Monster. CLICK HERE to get your tickets with no fees and free same day shipping with Fed Ex Express.

Go Yankees!!

Can't Predict Baseball: One Shutout In A Season

On this day in 1939 the New York Yankees were shut out for the first and only time that season, an amazing feat. This feat was not matched by the Greatest Team of All Time in the 1929 Yankees or by the 1998 Yankees that may have been the second best team in Yankees history, but it was done in 1939.

The Tigers right handed pitcher Tommy Bridges limited the New York offense to just four hits and zero runs. The Tigers would beat the Yankees 3-0 on this day.

Quick Hit: Will Carlos Beltran Be Enough?

The Yankees will get Carlos Beltran back tonight barring something getting Yankeed up, trademark pending on using Yankeed up as an adjective, but will he be enough for this struggling offense? In short I can't say with much confidence or certainty that he will be, this team is struggling across the board with the bats.

Beltran does add a patient bat and a power hitting bat to the middle of the lineup but cannot single-handedly make up for the short comings of the likes of Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, and most notably Alfonso Soriano.

With Beltran coming back basically as a full time DH either Soriano or Ichiro Suzuki will have to play right field in a platoon situation and will get many at bats. For every base runner Beltran gives the Yankees I truly think Soriano will just strand them with another strikeout.

Beltran is not the savior on this team it will be whoever replaces Soriano on the roster. Or maybe this post will serve as a reverse jinx and this will all be a moot point in a week or two. One can hope.

Rest In Peace Don Zimmer

He was 83 years old. Rest in Peace Zim. 

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap 6/4

Early Lead Slips to Crawdads in Series Finale
Charleston swept in three-game series, eliminated from first-half playoff contention

HICKORY, NC - For the third straight game, the Charleston RiverDogs scored the first run of the contest against the Hickory Crawdads but suffered a loss in a 3-1 defeat on Wednesday afternoon at L.P. Frans Stadium in South Atlantic League action. Former Citadel Bulldog Joe Jackson drove in all three runs for the Crawdads.
Charleston was swept in a three-game road series and was also eliminated from the First-Half Southern Division pennant race. The RiverDogs have a 27-32 record after their eighth straight loss. The Crawdads are now 31-27 with their fifth consecutive victory.
Tyler Wade propelled the RiverDogs to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Following a one-out single to center field, Wade stole second base and reached third on a wild pitch while Aaron Judge was at the plate. Judge grounded out and scored Wade for a quick Charleston lead.
The RiverDogs lead would be short-lived as the Crawdads tied the game during the bottom of the first. Evan Van Hoosier led off with a single. Van Hoosier tried to score on Nick Vickerson's double but was thrown out at the plate on a relay from Michael O'Neill to Wade to Jackson Valera. Vickerson advanced to third on the throw and came in during a single by Jackson.
The next few innings included scoreless work by Charleston's Luis Severino and Hickory's Akeem Bostick. Severino stranded runners at second base in the second and third innings before quicklyretiring the side in the fourth. Bostick left one runner aboard during each of his final three frames before Ricardo Rodriguez relieved him with a scoreless top of the fifth.
Hickory took a 3-1 lead in the home half of the fifth. Jackson batted with two outs and had Michael De Leon and Van Hoosier on base. Jackson doubled to center field, driving both runners home as the Crawdads went ahead. This was the sixth straight multi-hit game for Jackson, who also has a nine-game hit streak overall.
Charleston did not score any runs after taking its early lead in the first inning. The RiverDogs got the potential tying runs aboard with back-to-back singles in the ninth, but their comeback was snuffed out by a strikeout and a foul pop out. Wade ended the game with two hits, including a double, and the only RiverDogs run.
Rodriguez earned the win, improving to 3-1 following four shutout innings of relief. Severino recorded a quality start but was charged with a loss and dropped to 1-2. Hickory's Angelo Leclerc pitched a scoreless ninth inning to claim his first save of the season.
COMING UP: Charleston returns to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Thursday to start a four-game homestand against the Savannah Sand Gnats at 7:05pm. RiverDogs LHP Ian Clarkin (1-3, 4.23 ERA) will open against Sand Gnats RHP Miller Diaz (5-0, 1.93 ERA). Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, presented by 95SX, includes $1 drafts and DJ Natty Heavy in the Ashley View Pub. The RiverDogs are also partnering with Palmetto Goodwill for the Goodwill Homestand and the "Drive for 5" to collect 5,000 pounds in donations, and anyone who brings a tall kitchen bag full of donations will receive afree voucher to a future RiverDogs game. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs. The original post can be seen HERE

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/5

On this day in 1992 the Mets first baseman Eddie Murray knocks in two RBI's to pass Yankees legend Mickey Mantle for most RBI's all time by a switch hitter. Murray's 1,509th RBI was knocked in at the old Three Rivers Stadium.

On this day in 2001 the Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez is intentionally walked four times in one game to tie a major league record. The game lasted 18 innings and 5 hours and 52 minutes as Ramirez tied the Yankees Roger Maris in the history books.