Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Girardi Says Yankees Finding New Leader is "Important"

Yankees' Manager Joe Girardi said that the team finding a new leader for next season is "important."

This year, as you all know, longtime New York Captain Derek Jeter retired, ending a memorable career that began in 1995. Jeter had held the postion since 2003, when George Steinbrenner gave him it following the former's assistance in the winning of five AL Pennants and four World Series. 

"I think it's important," Girardi told's Bryan Hoch. "People have talked a lot about who's going to step up as the leader in the clubhouse, and I was on four teams here. There wasn't one particular leader. There will be guys that step up. I have no doubt in my mind."

The hope in the organization is that one of those guys will be a recent free agent signing, most of which have struggle since being acquired. Veteran Catcher Brian McCann, for example, could be considered as a possible successor to Jeter next spring, yet will likely have to improve his offensive numbers soon if he wishes to do so.

Girardi said that players may have intentionally not talked about their chances of replacing Jeter this season out of respect for him. 

"You wait your turn, just like a lot of times as a player, you have to wait your turn to where it's your time to shine," Girardi said.

If the Yanks are lucky, that time will come for many different guys in 2015. Because this year, strangely, their group of usually-good hitters struggled mightily at the plate, batting just .245 for the 11th best average in the league.

FORBES: Yankees Top Brand, YES Network 7th

The New York Yankees have not made the postseason in two consecutive seasons but that has not stopped the powerhouse that is the Yankees money making machine. FORBES released their annual list of the most valuable brands and the New York Yankees ranked at the top spot. The Yankees YES Network ranked 7th on the list. 

Here is the write up for the Yankees brand: 

Team brand values are calculated by applying the same multiple we use to value the entire team to only those revenues not associated with the size or demographics if its market as well as equally-shared league revenue. The New York Yankees are the most valuable team brand in sports, worth $521 million, or about one-fifth of the baseball team’s enterprise value. The $521 brand value captures the name recognition and incremental earnings power that comes with winning 27 World Series. But it omits the portion of the team’s media, ticket and concession revenue that any team playing in the Bronx would get, and also excludes the $26 million that each of the 30 MLB teams took in from broadcasters Fox , TBS and ESPN in 2013.

And here is the write up for the YES Network:

Brand Value 2014: $680 million
Brand Value 2013: $625 million
YES posted the highest estimated revenue ($540 million) and operating income ($270 million) of any regional sports network in 2013.

The George Steinbrenner Quote That Will Define 2015

Baseball is not just a sport anymore; we are a business. We are show business. To compete for the entertainment dollar, particularly in New York, you have to have more than nine guys playing baseball; you have to have an attraction. And I have tried to do the best job I possibly can to give my fans an attraction.”
George Steinbrenner, New York Yankees

Kenta Maeda The $20 Million 5th Starter?

We have not even reached the World Series yet and the hot stove is already turned on and preheating for the New York Yankees. Speculation has already started that the latest Japanese phenom to come over to the states, Kenta Maeda, will sign with the Yankees or the Boston Red Sox for a reported six year deal worth $120-130 million. Looking at Maeda's numbers in Japan and expecting some sort of regression from those numbers when he comes state side will someone really make Maeda the first $20 million AAV fifth starter?

Maeda's stats in Japan are good, but not overwhelming, and in no way should warrant that sort of contract. Maeda has thrown 1,259 IP in seven seasons in Japan and totaled under 175 IP just once in his career, his rookie season. Maeda tops out at 92 MPH on his fastball and like most Japanese pitchers offers multiple off speed and breaking pitches. Maeda went 11-8 for the Hiroshima Carp this season posting a 2.56 ERA with 154 K's in 179 IP. Maeda sounds like a right handed present day CC Sabathia.

Maeda's only saving grace is that he is just 27 years old and could be entering his prime just in the nick of time. I'm not saying I wouldn't take Maeda but he wouldn't be my Plan A or even my Plan D. He would rank behind Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, James Shields, and Brandon McCarthy at least.

Yankees Don't Have Interest In Yasmani Tomas

According to George King of the NY Post, the Yankees don't appear to have any interest in Yasmani Tomas.

Tomas is a 24 year-old outfielder who is the latest "big thing" to come to Major League Baseball from Cuba.
“He is a good player, but for $100 million? I don’t know... He is better than [Castillo], but that doesn’t mean he is worth $100 million."
Rusney Castillo, the last "big thing" from Cuba, was signed by the Boston Red Sox for 7 years and $72.5 million. Current Rookie of the Year favorite Jose Abreu was signed for $68 million, Yasiel Puig (who finished 2nd in 2013 ROY voting) was signed for $42 million, and new Red Sox slugger Yoenis Cespedes was signed for $32 million.

Even though taking a shot on Tomas may be prudent, there is one big problem with bringing him in... where does he play? The Yankees have Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner in two outfield spots, while the team is likely hoping Carlos Beltran can take the other so that Alex Rodriguez can be the designated hitter most of the time.

So even if the $100 million doesn't turn off New York, the fact that they don't have a true need for any outfielder could be the real issue.

The World Needs a Little More RE2PECT

If I have learned anything in my 28 years of living I have learned that one thing this world is lacking and could really use is a little more respect. Respect for others, respect for the game, and respect for ourselves. Derek Jeter was a walking poster child for this philosophy during his 20 year tenure as the New York Yankees shortstop and with him gone I worry that he may take a little of that with him.

Derek was well known to talk to opposing players during the game, umpires before an at bat, tip his cap to the opposing pitcher, people in the stands while he was on the on-deck circle, and to each and every member of personnel in the clubhouse behind closed doors. This is just what we know as fans from a very guarded and very secretive man and ball player so imagine all the things we don’t know or won’t learn until now since he is retired. The Yankee Way, or as I liked to call it the “Jeter Effect” trademark pending,  may be on the way out along with Jeter and his personal belongings.

The Yankees are their fans are entering an era that many of us have never seen, the era without the great Derek Jeter, an era without the Boss George Steinbrenner, an era without Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig, and an era without respect. When I speak of respect I hold the players as accountable as the fans and I speak of respect from the players as well as to the players. I speak of respect to your men and women covering the team from Buster Olney all the way down to the aspiring writers and fans. I don’t want to stand on my soapbox and scream “can’t we all just get along?” but really, can’t we?

We are all on the same team here and we’re all a family. Hal Steinbrenner, Joe Girardi, Alex Rodriguez, the 25th man on the active roster, the towel boy in the clubhouse, the ball boy on the field, the trainers, the writers who cover the team, the fans who passionately follow the team, the guy selling hot dogs in section 203 or that bald guy who keeps yelling all game long. We’re all on the same team and we need to start acting like it.

I used to run and basically own a sports forum that had daily threads and live discussions during the game and the unwritten rule was that anything, within reason of course, said in those live blog type threads was brushed off. We’re fans and we’re passionate and while that thin line between douche and passionate gets blurred sometimes as long as we didn’t go overboard it was overlooked and understood by all. It really made for a great environment, a friendly environment, and an active environment because we could all vent, call for this person and that person’s job, and at the end agree and work towards one common goal.

With that said I challenge everyone reading this today to add a little more respect and a little more understanding into your life. The most patient person in the world can use a little more patience and the most understanding person in the world could always understand a little more. As we head into this offseason of uncertainty and this era of new beginnings I challenge everyone here to start it off the right way, with respect. I love this game, I love this team, and I love each and every one of you reading this and I truly appreciate you all. Pay it forward, go!

Should The Yankees Sign Headley Over Sandoval?

First of all, I may nor may not have had a brain fart earlier in which I said the Yankees should possibly extend Chase Headley a qualifying offer. Chase was traded for during the season, therefore he can't be extended a qualifying offer. But that post has disappeared, so there's no proof that mistake ever happened, so let's move on.

With all the talk about possibly signing Pablo Sandoval, who is said to want a five year deal worth around $100 million, which makes him unaffordable for all but a few teams (the Yankees are one of the few), I thought of something...

Would it be better to offer Sandoval about $20 million a year for five years, or should the Yankees offer Chase Headley a one or two year deal with an average annual value of around $17 million?

Last season, which was hardly one of his best, Fangraphs pegged Headley's dollar value at $24.2 million. Of course, that dollar value could have been skewed by defensive numbers that were well above his previous two seasons. So what about in 2013, when he his offensive stats were about the same as in 2014, but his defensive stats were right in line with the year before? Well, that season his dollar value was $18 million.

Therefore, giving Chase $17 million would be a bit of a bargain. And with Headley's home run percentage being better in New York than it was in San Diego (everybody loves the short porch in right field), that value could certainly rise.

So how about it? Pablo Sandoval for five years, or Chase Headley for one or two?

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is officially retired so what is one more tribute to the great Yankees captain right? Here we remember Yankees of the past and today we remember Derek Sanderson Jeter. Jeter played 20 seasons in the Bronx as he spent his entire career at the shortstop position for the New York Yankees. Now Jeter is moving on to bigger and better things with his blog The Player’s Tribune and his wife or soon to be wife Hannah Davis but we will never forget what he was and what he meant to his great organization. One more time, thank you for being you Derek.

Derek Sanderson Jeter was born on June 26th, 1974, in Pequannock, New Jersey to parents Dr. Sanderson Charles Jeter and Dorothy Jeter. Derek's parents, a substance abuse counselor (Sanderson) and an accountant (Dorthy), met while serving in the United States Army in Germany. Derek's parents, at a very early age, were very strict and hard on him but very consistent. As a child his mother instilled Derek's positive attitude in him, insisting that he could not use the word "can't". Derek even had to sign a contract every year that set acceptable and unacceptable forms of behavior. Derek lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, until he was four years old when he moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Derek and his sister, Sharlee, attended New York Yankees games while spending the summers with their grandparents in New Jersey and became very passionate about the Yankees. Derek later said that as a child Yankees stand out Dave Winfield inspired him to pursue baseball. 

Derek was drafted straight out of High School by the New York Yankees in the first round of the MLB First Year Players Draft 6th overall. Hal Newhouser, a scout for the Houston Astros team that had the first pick overall that season, lobbied for his team management to select Jeter although the Astros feared that Jeter would require a salary bonus of at at least $1 million to Skill College and go pro. The Astros, instead, drafted Phil Nevin and signed him for $700,000. Newhouser felt so strongly about Jeter and the waste of a pick that he quit his job with the Astros in protest. The Yankees gave Jeter an $800,000 signing bonus to skip being a Wolverine and instead become a Yankee. Yankees scout Dick Groch said he would not go anywhere but "Cooperstown".

Derek played four season in the Yankees minor league system, beginning with a struggle in the Gulf Coast League. His manager even had to bench him at the end of the season in 1992 so his average did not drop below the Mendoza Line, .200 Batting Average. In 1993 though he came out of the offseason determined and was voted the Most Outstanding Major League Prospect  by the South Atlantic League managers after hitting .295 with 5 home runs, 71 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases. He was also named to the All Star team even though he committed a South Atlanta League record 56 errors. Somehow, though, he was named the SAL's Best Defensive Shortstop, Most Exciting Player, and Best Infield Arm by Baseball America. In 1994 he was named the Minor League Player of the Year Award by Baseball America, The Sporting Newas, USA Today, and Topps while winning the MVP of the Florida State League. The 1994 MLB strike and mild inflammation in his right shoulder while in the Arizona Fall League kept Jeter from the majors, officially, in 1995 but he would be called up for the post season run to sit on the bench and take in the experience of playing for New York. 

Derek was named the Yankees starting short stop starting for the 1996 season after Joe Torre stood up against George Steinbrenner, who as we all know was never happy about the growing pains young players have to go through. Steinbrenner even approved a trade that would have sent pitcher Mariano Rivera to Seattle for short stop Felix Fermin because Gene Michael and Brian Cashman convinced Steinbrenner to give Jeter an opportunity. Aren't we glad that he did? 

Jeter was the first rookie short stop to start the season as a starter for the Yankees since Tom Tresh in 1962 and he did not waste any time getting acclimated, hitting his first MLB home run that day. He won the Rookie of the Year award after hitting .314 with 10 home runs, scoring 104 runs, and driving in 78 RBIs. His first post season home run came in the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles, the Jeffrey Maier home run.  Jeter won his first World Series ring in that rookie season when the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves in 6 games, the first Yankee World Series since 1978. Jeter batted .361 in that post season. 1998 was Jeter's first All Star Game appearance while the Yankees won 114 games during the regular season while on, in my very biased opinion, the greatest team of all time. Jeter would finish third that season in MVP voting but most importantly Derek had his second ring as the Yankees beat the Padres in 4 games. Another All Star appearance in 1999 and another World Series ring with the Yankees beating the Braves again for Jeter's third ring. After the 1999 season Derek agreed to a 7 year $118.5 million dollar contract but George Steinbrenner did not want to set a salary record and pay Jeter more than Juan Gonzalez, who was working on an 8 year $143 million dollar extension, so the Yankees agreed to a 1 year deal worth $10 million. That ended up being a "mistake" because Jeter had another All Star appearance, including the game winning hit and All Star Game MVP, and had yet another World Series ring when the Yankees beat the Mets in 5 games.  Jeter, while winning his fourth World Series ring, won the World Series MVP and became the only player to ever win the World Series and All Star Game MVP in the same season. Jeter then signed a 10 year $189 million dollar deal, making him the second highest paid player in baseball behind Alex Rodriguez, which was much more than the original extension proposal.

erek would make his fourth All Star game appearance in 2001and also made the "flip play" in the ALDS against the Oakland A's that will forever be remembered. Jeter would also earn the title "Mr November" when he hit a game winning home run as the clock struck Midnight on November 1st, the first World Series to ever be played in November. The Yankees would lose the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks in, again in my biased opinion, the greatest World Series of all time.  Jeter would dislocate his left shoulder on Opening Day of the 2003 season when he collided with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby at third base, missing 36 games. That season Derek Jeter was recognized as the 11th captain in Yankees history eight seasons after Don Mattingly, the last Yankees captain, retired. After typical Jeter seasons from 2003-2007 Jeter tied Lou Gehrig's record for hits at Yankee Stadium with his 1,269th hit with a home run off of Ray's pitcher David Price in 2008. He broke the record two days later when he got a hit off of White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd. 

2009, after the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons, reloaded with many free agents signings and trades that brought CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Texeira, and Nick Swisher to name the big ones. This would also be the season that Derek would return to the lead off role when Girardi flipped him and Johnny Damon in the batting order. Jeter recorded his 2,675th hit as a short stop, passing Luis Aparicio's previous record for short stops, in August of the 2009 season. Jeter followed that up by passing Lou Gehrig as the Yankees all-time hits lead when he singles off of Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman on September 11th, 2009. Jeter would win his 5th World Series championship in 2009 when the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in 6 games to win their teams 27th World Series Championship of their storied history. Jeter also won his 5th gold glove that season and finished third in the MVP voting behind eventual winner Joe Mauer and teammate Mark Texeira. In July of 2011, off of pitcher David Price of the Rays, Derek collected his 3000th hit on a home run to left field at Yankee Stadium. Derek is the only member of the New York Yankees to ever reach the 3000 hit plateau in pinstripes, not Gehrig, not Ruth, and not DiMaggio, just Jeter.

Derek enjoyed one of his best seasons of his career in 2012 finishing the season leading the majors with 216 hits as he moved into the Top 10 all-time in hits passing Willie Mays for his 3,284th hit of his career. Jeter hit .364 in the 2012 ALDS on a bum ankle that finally gave way and cracked during Game One of the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Jeter ultimately had surgery on the ankle on October 20 but was expected to be in the lineup on Opening Day. While rehabbing the ankle Jeter suffered a small crack in the area and began the 2013 season on the disabled list and missed all the way to July 11. Jeter lasted all of one game after straining his quadriceps muscle and stayed out of the lineup until July 28 when he hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore. Jeter again was placed on the disabled list on August 5 due to a calf strain and was back on the disabled list once again by September 11 after reoccurring ankle problems.  2013 was a season to forget for Jeter as he watched his friends Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera retire while he sat on the bench vowing a stronger return in 2014, his final season.

Jeter signed a one year deal worth $12 million before announcing on February 12 on Facebook that 2014 would be his final season. Jeter of course started the 2014 All Star Game at shortstop batting leadoff for the American League and went 2-2 with a double, a single, a run scored, and an RBI in four innings. Jeter finished his Yankee Stadium career in true Derek Jeter fashion getting a walk off single to win the game against the Baltimore Orioles in his final games as a shortstop. Jeter would DH for two games in the final series in Boston before getting an RBI infield single in his final at bat off Clay Buchholz before walking away from the game forever. Jeter may not be on the field anymore but with his inception of the Player’s Tribune and his Turn 2 Foundation Jeter will always be around the game and around our hearts.

Derek Jeter created the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996, a charitable organization, to help children and teenagers avoid drug and alcohol addiction. The foundation also rewards those who show high academic achievements. Derek also serves as an ambassador for Weplay, a website designed to get children involved in sports.  Jeter, when not being a good charitable person, is probably hanging out with a beautiful woman. Derek's little black book includes girls like Scarlett Johannson, Minka Kelly, Mariah Carey, Miss Universe Lara Dutta, Gabrielle Union, Joy Enriquez, Jordana Brewster, Vanessa Minillo, Jessical Biel, Jessica Alba,  and the list goes on and on and ends with Hannah Davis... I hate you Derek Jeter. Enjoy retirement, you deserve it. 

TGP Daily Poll: The Player’s Tribune’s Next Writer Will Be Kevin Durant

Derek Jeter started the Player’s Tribune as a sort of blog that athletes could post their unfiltered thoughts and feelings without the content being picked apart, edited, or basically taken out of context. Jeter has already brought Seattle Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson on board and I believe with the NBA gearing up for the 2015-2016 season one of their own is next, why not Kevin Durant. He is the poster child for the NBA right now so he would be the best fit in my opinion.

Vote in our poll. 

Quick Hit: Pablo Sandoval May Be Headed To New York

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe the San Francisco Giant's third baseman Pablo Sandoval is headed to free agency for the first time in his career and may be on the way out of San Francisco. Cafardo speculates that Sandoval, easily the best third baseman in a weak market at the hot corner, could fetch as much as a five year deal worth $100 million. Cafardo speculates that if the Panda gets a contract that lucrative that only three or four teams would be involved, the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Miami Marlins.

Here's the quote:

Nonetheless, most major league executives we’ve talked to believe Sandoval will wind up with a five-year deal worth about $100 million. That could be with the Red Sox, Yankees, or Dodgers.

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/8: Don Larsen is Perfect

There has only been one perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball and that came on this day in 1956 and it came from a man in a New York Yankees uniform. That man’s name was Don Larsen and the feat came in Game 5 of the World Series as the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers by the score of 2-0.

Also on this day in 1939 the Yankees completed their sweep over the Cincinnati Reds to win their fourth consecutive World Series championship thanks to “Lombardi’s Swoon.” Joe DiMaggio scored all the way from first in the top of the 10th inning when Charlie Keller almost knocked Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi unconscious in a home plate collision that allowed three runs to score in the Yankees 7-4 victory. Keller earned his nickname “King Kong” with that shot.

Finally on this day in 1927 the best team to ever play Major League Baseball completed their quest and won their World Series by sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. This was New York’s second World Series of the franchise’s history. 

Also on this day in Yankees history the team had a couple exits from the postseason that were notable including the 1995 walk off victory by the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS and Joe Torre's final game in the 2007 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, but that's none of my business.