Thursday, October 2, 2014

A-Rod Remorseful He Didn't Attend Jeter Day

Yankees Third Basemen Alex Rodriguz recently expressed remorse for not appearing at Derek Jeter Day.

Rodriguez, who's been Jeter's teammate since 2004, was a no-show for the September 7 festivities. Who was there, exactly? Just Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera to name a few, with numerous others from #2's past also contributing to the celebration. 

“When you realize, an hour before the game, 50,000 people are in their seats, ready to go, excited, energetic," A-Rod told The New York Post. "When you see Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken, two of the biggest icons of my lifetime — I thought it was a great day. I’m sorry I wasn’t there."

Rodriguez praised Jeter for being the "head of his class" during his career, in which he and Rodriguez won six divisional titles and a World Series together. 

“Derek’s been a leader from day one. He’s been the head of his class in every way, both on the field and in terms of character,” Rodriguez said. “That’s hard to do. Being undefeated for 20 years? In New York City? That’s remarkable.”

After last week's heroics against the Orioles, it's tough to see how one could argue with that. Nonetheless, since Jeter obviously won't be back next year it's undeniable that A-Rod will have to step up both on the field and off it by the time Spring Training comes around, even if him finding a way to do so at this point seems unlikely to say the least.

Eric Jagielo To Miss AFL< Dante Bichette Replaces Him

Eric Jagielo was hit in the face with a fastball in the face in the Instructional League and will require surgery to fix facial fractures. Jagielo is expected to miss six to eight weeks after the HBP and will miss the Arizona Fall League. Dante Bichette Jr. will replace him on the roster.

The Next Yankee Captain: Brett Gardner?

Derek Jeter has officially retired from Major League Baseball and for the first time in over a decade the New York Yankees are without a captain. If the Yankees are thinking of honoring another player with the captain role as soon as 2015 wouldn't that player have to be Brett Gardner?

Gardner came through the Yankees system after being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft out of College of Charleston. Gardner made his MLB debut with New York on June 30, 2008 and has basically been with the Yankees big league club ever since. Gardner has beat the odds at every stop in his baseball career and has become an every day player and star player for the Yankees. His determination, love for the game, and his fire are on display almost every single game, something a Yankees captain personifies. 

Gardner is not without his faults as he doesn't harness his God given speed enough to steal enough bases and strikes out far too much but I didn't hear anyone calling Derek Jeter perfect until this season either. The Yankees broke one of their unwritten rules this winter as they negotiated a deal with Gardner before his current deal was up and signed him to a four year extension with a fifth year option worth $52 million.

If the Yankees can break one rule for Gardner they must think pretty highly of him and may break a mold in passing the torch from Jeter to Brett this winter with a big letter "C" on his chest. 

Hear Me Out.... Hanley Ramirez For 2015 Shortstop

Before you shoot the messenger hear me out and at least consider Hanley Ramirez as your shortstop for the 2015 season. The New York Yankees will have Alex Rodriguez back in 2015 in one way or another and whether you like it or not so in some capacity the third base position seems to be taken but could Hanley handle the shortstop position one more season before making a move to third base in 2016? I say why not.

Sure the defense would have to deal with the inconsistencies on the defensive side of the ball but I believe Ramirez could more than make up for that with his bat. Ramirez is the type of bat the Yankees could put in the middle of that lineup and one that would make a difference. Hanley could then move to third base in 2016 where he would finish out the remainder of his contract, whatever the length may be.

Imagine this lineup with Ramirez in the middle of it. With him there I truly think, considering that Beltran will be better after the surgery, Teixeira will be better after a "normal" offseason, and McCann will be better after he adjusts to New York, this is your best lineup in all of Major League Baseball:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Martin Prado
3. Brett Gardner
4. Hanley Ramirez
5. Brian McCann
6. Carlos Beltran
7. Mark Teixeira
8. Alex Rodriguez
9. Whoever DH's or Chase Headley if he plays third and A Rod plays as the DH

Bring me Ron Gardenhire

I was scrolling around in the comments section of the site when one of our friends and daily frequenter patrick (always a little “p”) mentioned bringing the recently dismissed Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to New York. Why didn’t I think of that? What a great idea!

Gardenhire is a great baseball mind, a player’s manager, and is available for the low, low price of just a contract offer. The biggest issue here is Gardenhire is likely to, and deserves to, get a managing job elsewhere. The best we could theoretically offer him is a third base or first base coach job unfortunately with the promise that once Tony Pena gets the managerial job that he deserves that a promotion for Gardy would follow.

I don’t think I necessarily have to defend a Gardenhire signing to any one reading this but I will hit the high points just to be on the safe side. The Twins organization has shown a reluctance to spend money for quite some time now and instead have relied on their farm system to re-stock the big league club. When the Twins would get some star power in Minnesota they would either lock them up to financially crippling contracts (Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau come to mind) or trade them away for less than their worth (Denard Span comes to mind). When the Twins do decide to spend a little they throw money at players and hope that they stick, for every Phil Hughes they had three Ricky Nolasco’s as of late. None of this is or was Gardenhire’s fault. He did the best he could with what he had or what he got in return when the team traded a versatile Sam Fuld.

In my opinion the GM in Minnesota should have lost his job, not the manager. Minnesota’s loss should be the Yankees gain. Bring me Ron Gardenhire. 

$500 Million Doesn't Buy What It Used To

The New York Yankees went on an absolute shopping spree this winter and spent in excess of $500 million bringing in the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson,  and others but the team actually did worse, record wise, than the 2013 Yankees did. Is the record column the only place where the 2014 Yankees were lacking in comparison to the 2013 Yankees? The answers may surprise you, keep reading.

2014 Yankees: record 84-78 (-31 run differential) -- Pythagorean W/L 77-85

Team Totals 32.9 162 633 1349 247 26 147 591 112 452 1133 .245 .307 .380 .687 93
Rank in 15 AL teams 13 13 13 8 7 3 9 4 11 14 10 12
Non-Pitcher Totals 32.9 162 633 1347 247 26 147 591 112 452 1127 .246 .308 .381 .689 94

2013 Yankees: record 85-77 (-21 run differential) -- Pythagorean W/L 79-83

Team Totals 31.9 162 650 1321 247 24 144 614 115 466 1214 .242 .307 .376 .683 88
Rank in 15 AL teams 10 13 14 5 14 5 10 9 12 12 14 13
Non-Pitcher Totals 31.9 162 650 1321 247 24 144 613 115 466 1202 .243 .308 .377 .685 89
Provided by View Original Table

So $500 million got you an older team by a full year, although Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki, and Derek Jeter all returning from 2013 another year older did not help. The team also scored 17 runs less, won one less game, drove in less RBI, and had comparable numbers pretty much everywhere else across the board. Was Robinson Cano THAT valuable to the Yankees and their offense or were these stats skewed a tad by Alfonso Soriano's incredible second half? I don't really think it matters, both teams missed the playoffs when their All Star's were retiring. 

TGP Daily Poll: I Hope Kansas City Enjoyed Their Wild Card Victory

 I foolishly went to bed on Tuesday night when the Oakland Athletics took a 7-3 lead in the American League Wild Card game and woke up to multiple notifications on my phone from the MLB At Bat app laying out how Kansas City had come back from behind and won the game in the 12th inning. First and foremost congratulations to Kansas City and their Royals team. I hope they enjoyed their victory because they won’t be getting another one this season. Los Angeles in three.

Vote in our poll. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/2: Don Mattingly The Hit Man

Don Mattingly was the one bright spot for the New York Yankees in the 1980's and early 1990's and on this day in 1986 set a new team record for hits in a season with 232. Mattingly passed Earl Combs team record which was set in 1927 and would finish the season with a league leading 238 hits. 

The reigning and defending World Series champion New York Yankees played the Boston Red Sox in a one game playoff on this day in 1978 in Fenway Park. We all know what happened, Bucky F'in Dent happened. 

The Yankees are known for winning World Series championships but many fans forget that New York had plenty of years where things didn’t exactly go as planned. On this day in 1966 the Yankees would beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 but would still finish a half game behind the Boston Red Sox for last place in the American League. New York finished with a 70-89 record and fell 26.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. This was the first Yankees club to finish in last place in the American League since 1912.

Speaking of winning World Series on this day in 1936 the Yankees would beat the Giants in Game 2 of the World Series by the score of 18-4. That was then and still is now the largest lopsided victory in the history of the Fall Classic.

Finally on this day in 1932 and on this day in Yankees World Series history the team won their 12th consecutive World Series game as they swept the Chicago Cubs. This would mark the third consecutive World Series sweep the Bombers would achieve.