Sunday, August 10, 2014

Teixeira Admits "We Haven't Really Been Great All Year"

Throughout this overall bad 61-56 season, it's been clear to us all that the Yankees aren't the dominant team we're used to seeing. 

Yes, at times they sure act like it, with this week's taking three of four from the Tigers a perfect example of that recurring trend.

Nonetheless, overall I'd say it's obvious that the 2014 Yanks are inconsistent, something their starting first basemen, Mark Teixeira, finally admitted after today's loss, telling Brian Heyman of The Journal News the well-known fact.

"We haven't really been great all year," Teixeira said. "We just need to try to do our best and scratch runs when we can and pick it up a little bit."

With this afternoon's embarrassing defeat, New York's second in as many days, the Pinstripes now trail the suddenly-unbeatable Kansas City Royals by 2 1/2 games in the wild card standings, a situation that actually could change soon if the Yankees can get things together. 

Why? Because while the Yanks do have to go to Baltimore this week, a place they should probably fear, the Royals will now have to welcome the mighty A's to town, a fortunate happening that'll likely help the former out, as Oakland will thankfully be starting their dominant rotation in the four game series. 

Yankees' Bats Stay Silent in Second Straight Loss to Indians

Hiroki Kuroda limped through 4 2/3 innings of three-run ball and New York's bats didn't get a hit from frames 3-6 today as the Indians easily beat the Yankees, 4-1, in the rubber game of this weekend series. 

Overall in this afternoon's contest, as expected, Kuroda was actually hanging in there, only surrendering a pair through Cleveland's first four at-bats when Michael Brantley grounded one down the left field line and flew out to deep right.

Nonetheless, in the top of the fifth #18 absolutely collapsed, allowing two singles and two walks to make it 3-0, essentially killing the Yanks' last remaining hope.

Yes, after Kuroda exited the bullpen, led by the trio of David Huff, Shawn Kelley, and youngster Bryan Mitchell (who threw 2 scoreless innings in his MLB debut) did alright, giving up just one more trip around the bases while recording the last thirteen outs.

Still, since Indians' starter Carlos Carrasco tossed five shutout frames in which the Yankees never reached third and the offense only collected five hits on the day New York did eventually fall, with Jacoby Ellsbury supplying them with their only run on a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.

Explaining The Honus Wagner Hit Discrepancy

From Sports Reference:

As Derek Jeter continues his climb up baseball's all-time hits list, we have received several inquiries aboutHonus Wagner's career hit total. We list 3,420, while MLB lists him with 3,430 career hits. While the similarity of the numbers may imply a simple typo, it turns out that the reasons for the one-digit difference are not simple at all.
For an explanation of the history of this deviation, we spoke with Pete Palmer (the source for many of the statistics appearing on this site). Palmer explained that the 1969 Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia was the genesis of the difference. At the time, official NL statistics only went back to 1903. The encyclopedia created new statistics for years prior to that and the changes were approved by an MLB committee set up to rule on various statistics for inclusion in the encyclopedia. However, the Elias Sports Bureau, which is the official statistician for Major League Baseball, never accepted the committee ruling, which leads to some differing numbers between what you see on Baseball-Reference and what you see in official MLB records. Elias, instead, has always used data from the old Spalding Guides.
Pete Palmer (and by extension Baseball-Reference) has preferred to use the Macmillan data*, because daily figures exist to back the numbers up, which allows for the statistics to be proofed for greater accuracy. Here is a year-by-year look at the difference between our totals and the Spalding totals. These are all from Wagner's pre-1903 seasons (Baseball-Reference total listed first):
  • 1897: 81, 83
  • 1898: 176, 180
  • 1899: 196, 197
  • 1900: 201, 201
  • 1901: 194, 196
  • 1902: 176, 177
Another discrepancy that some of you may notice soon is that Baseball-Reference has Cap Anson with 3,435 career hits, while MLB has him with 3,011. While many discrepancies exist with that data, the bulk of the difference is the fact that we count Anson's 423 hits in the National Association, which we believe was clearly a major league.
TL;DR version: Our hit total for Honus Wagner is not a typo. We recognize it does not align with the official total, but we believe it is the most accurate number.
For further reading on some of the issues with official totals in baseball statistics, please read this excellent 2011 post by Retrosheet's Dave Smith.
*The Macmillan data excluded a few games that were protested and replayed in the 1890s. These statistics were included in the NL stats of the day (save for the wins and losses) and Palmer has added these statistics back into the Macmillan data to reflect this.

8/10 Yankees Open Game Thread vs. Cleveland Indians

Welcome to this afternoon's open thread for the finale between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. After today the Yankees will head to Baltimore to look at chasing them down in the AL East division. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with Carlos Carrasco for the Indians. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

It's not too late to get tickets for today's game right here on the blog. It may not be too late to grab that Yankees cowboy hat either if you act now. Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and Like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

Skip the Sunday nap and drop us a line in the comments section of the site. Enjoy the game Yankees family, enjoy the day, and enjoy what's left of your weekend. Go Yankees!

Cleveland Considering Changing Their Team Name

The Cleveland Indians are considering changing their team name after pressure forced the Washington Redskins to change their name. The Indians are considering becoming the Cleveland Caucasians because it's not racism to hate on white people. Good idea? Bad idea?

Oh, as a side not, if I have to explain to you that this is a joke then you lose at life. Just saying.

8/10 Yankees Game Preview vs. Cleveland Indians

Today the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians will play in the finale of their three game set this weekend at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees look to keep their winning ways going today with Hiroki Kuroda on the mound facing off with Carlos Carrasco for the Indians. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Kuroda took a no decision last time out as the Tigers beat the Yankees in extra innings. Kuroda held the Tigers to three runs and six hits in seven innings. In Kuroda's last three starts he is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA making you wonder if another August collapse is on the horizon. Kuroda is 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA against the Cleveland Indians in his career.

Carrasco only has 5.1 innings pitched this season and will be making his first start of the season. Carrasco should be fun to face in an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees try to increase Carrasco's 6.75 ERA this season.

Today is Yankees cowboy hat day at the stadium where the first 25,000 guests receive a cowboy hat with the Yankees logo on the front. No I'm not joking and seeing is believing so grab a set of Yankees tickets off the blog for today's game before the Yankees head out on the road. 

Go Yankees!!

The 2015 Infield Defense Would Shine w/ Rusney Castillo

If the New York Yankees were able to pull Rusney Castillo to the Bronx and plug him in at second base the Yankees could have a pretty stellar infield defense in 2015. Obviously a lot has to happen between then and now for that to happen but nothing too far out of the realm of possibility. Imagine this:

Mark Teixeira's Gold Glove award playing defense at first, young and fresh legs in Rusney Castillo at second base, Stephen Drew (or equivalent) at shortstop, and Chase Headley at third base. Not too many ground balls are getting through that infield. That opens up the designated hitter spot for Alex Rodriguez and still leaves plenty of money to acquire a starting pitcher.

This does create a bit of a logjam though with Martin Prado already signed up for 2015 and this also forces Carlos Beltran to be an outfielder for much of the season but manager Joe Girardi can make it work. The Yankees will get injured, the Yankees will need a day or two of rest from time to time, and Girardi would have so many options with Castillo in the fold the binder would explode. My only issue is that is blocks Robert Refsnyder at second base and may force him to learn yet another new position.

Castillo's right handed lead off type bat would give the Yankees essentially three lead off hitters at the top of the lineup in Gardner, Castillo, and Ellsbury. That would create all kinds of headaches for teams if one or two of these guys were to get on base. If you think speed kills now imagine how much damage the Yankees could do with Castillo on the base paths.

It's a dream but at one point so was having Headley and Martin Prado. Plus I like being a dreamer.

Taking My Son To His First Game Tonight

As many of you probably know I was born in the Bronx, New York but have since moved to Atlanta, Georgia and established a family here. My son is four years old and has never been to a baseball game before and tonight he goes to his first game. I have been waiting on the Yankees to come to town as he was too young (in my opinion) to go in 2012 when they came down but could not wait any longer. My son, Evan, has been asking me to go to a game all season long so we are going to go see the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals tonight.

Usually I am a box seat kind of guy and have never sat in the bleachers, not even in Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium when I lived in New York, so I am going to get my first bleachers experience tonight. We are right over the right field wall and in the second row. The game is on ESPN so we are sure to be on the TV a few times, look out for us. I'll be the guy with a big smile on my face next to the kid hopefully having the time of his life.

With that said I won't be around much at all tonight and since I work tomorrow I may be too tired to do much on the blog tomorrow but hopefully you guys understand. It will all be worth it. Enjoy the game and your day Yankees family and check out that Braves and Nats game tonight on ESPN.

Teixeira's Pinky Should Allow Him To Play Today

Mark Teixeira and his injured pinky that required three stitches should allow him to get into the lineup today finally after missing the last three games. It's a game a stitch apparently. Teixeira has had trouble gripping a bat over the past couple of days and had a slight sprain in the pinky. The Yankees offense has done well without him and the defense hasn't skipped a beat but it's still good to have the guy in the lineup and manning first base just to be sure.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/10: David Cone Ends The Streak

David Cone was one of the best Yankees signings in the mid to late 90's but in the year 2000 the right hander seemed to hit a wall. Cone went from throwing a perfect game in front of the Yankee Stadium crowd to not getting a victory in 16 straight decisions, until today. On this day in 2000 Cone finally got the long sought after win when the Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 12-6. Jose Canseco hit a three run home run to help Cone end his skid.

Also on this day in 1986 the Yankees held Billy Martin Day at Yankee Stadium and retired his #1 jersey and erected a plaque in his honor in Monument Park. The plaque read "There has never been a greater competitor than Billy." The four time manager and former second baseman addresses the sold out crowd by saying "I may not have been the greatest Yankees to put on the uniform, but I am the proudest."

Finally on this day in 1957 Mickey Mantle became the first player to ever hit a home run that cleared the center field hedge at Memorial Stadium. The home run was an estimated 460 feet and helped the Yankees beat the Orioles 6-3.