Friday, October 24, 2014

Long Excited to Join "On the Rise" Mets

Former Yankees Hitting Coach Kevin Long is excited to join the Mets.

Long, 47, was hired for the same position by New York's NL representative yesterday. In eight seasons with the Yanks, in spite of his struggles lately, Long often proved contributive, helping the club average at least 4.5 runs per game each year from 2007-2012.

"I'm excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise," Long said yesterday, via "I had a great meeting with [GM] Sandy [Alderson] and [manager] Terry [Collins] yesterday, and I can't wait to get started and help in any way I can."

Alderson also expressed confidence in Long switching boroughs, calling the move to acquire him a "very positive step" for the team. 

"Kevin's experience, success, and wealth of knowledge make him the perfect fit as our hitting instructor," he said. 

As those attributes should, with Long's Yankees only batting lower than .260 twice during his tenure with them. Nonetheless, since that duo did unfortunately come over the last two seasons it's basically a mystery how Long's offenses will perform now that he's in Queens, especially since the Mets are obviously a lot younger going into 2015 than their crosstown rivals.

How Are Baseball's Made?

Ever wonder how a Major League baseball is made? Wonder no more thanks to the Discovery Channel's show "How It's Made." Recently the show showcased how a baseball is manufactured for Major League Baseball. Enjoy as this is something to pass the time while you're supposed to be working.

Knicks, Yankees, Giants, the Ultimate Show Down for New York

The Star-Ledger recently released a color coded illustration of New York trying to compare the popularity of three popular New York sports teams, the New York Yankees, the New York Knicks, and the New York football Giants. The Yankees far and away have had the most success of the three teams, especially in the postseason, but may not be at the top of the list surprisingly.

As you can see by the graphic the New York Knicks appear to be the team of New York. I can't say I agree with that but okay, there you have it.  Yet another reason I prefer Twitter, @GreedyStripes, to Facebook. 

Joe Maddon Opts Out of Contract With Rays... Should We Care?

When I first read the news that Joe Maddon had opted out of his contract with the Tampa Rays I wasn't going to write about it. After all, it's not Yankees news, so should a Yankees blog bring it up?

Well, seeing as how plenty of people despise Girardi, and love Maddon, then of course it should. Never mind the fact that the Yankees signed Girardi to a four year contract before the 2014 season. They could always buy out the final three years on that deal and go for the other "Joe". But should they?

I admit that I'm not the biggest Girardi supporter. While I think he's done a great job managing the bullpen, he can tinker with things like the lineup and pitching match-ups too much. But you can do the same type of pros and cons list with anybody.

While Maddon is put on a pedestal for doing things like using defensive shifts long before other teams did, he's also called for more sacrifice bunts than he should have. Yeah, this sabermetric-minded manager, who has spoke out against the sac bunt in years past, was responsible for the 2014 Rays laying down more non-pitcher sac bunts than any other team in MLB.

However, I'm not interested in going over each manager's pluses and minuses as on-field managers. Heck, if you want, I'll go ahead and say that Joe Maddon is better than Joe Girardi. I don't really care. But my problem with the Yankees employing Maddon over Girardi is that I'm not sold on the idea that Maddon is an overall better fit for the Yankees.

Face it, Maddon is a bit of a hot-head. After Boston's John Lackey hit Matt Joyce in the postseason a couple of years back, Maddon went off about on Lackey, calling him a bad teammate. You can say that it's great that the manager would back-up his player like that, but the fact of the matter is he's just adding fuel to the fire. Pitchers hit batters on purpose, and sometimes it's completely uncalled for, but it happens and you have to move on. Instead of making sure his team was focused on what was important, and that be winning the next game and the series, Maddon did the opposite and dwelled on the past.

And while you may find it endearing that Maddon has worn some funky clothes and hairstyles, and there has been plenty of silliness in the Rays locker room, I find it unprofessional and too laid back. Baseball is a multi-billion dollar business. I don't care what type of company it is, if I'm the owner of said company I don't want it run by some unpredictable maverick. Especially if my company is one of the largest and most well-known sports entities in the World.

Furthermore, I can't help but think wanting Maddon over Girardi is yet another case of people thinking the grass is always greener on the other side. But is it?

In seven seasons as the Yankees skipper, Girardi has led the Yankees to a World Series title, as well as three other postseason appearances. And don't you dare bring up the name "Joe Torre", because if you think Girardi has had nearly as much talent on the team as Torre did, then you're flat-out nuts. You can add a myriad of injuries, plenty of them to key players, to the challenges that's faced Girardi over the years too.

So while he's got his downsides, I'm more than happy to see Joe Girardi return as the Yankees' manager in 2015.

Now... about those rumors of Don Mattingly being the new Yankees hitting coach...

Give it to me!

Yankees Catching Depth Should Help in 2015

The New York Yankees have a plethora of depth at the catcher position both on the 40 man roster and down in the minor league systems, a fact that may really help the Bronx Bombers in 2015. The catching depth should help the Yankees because one or two of these pieces should be traded to bring in key pieces for another postseason run. Currently the Yankees have two spots on the 25 man roster for catchers and easily five or six guys to fill the positions and New York should take that position of power into the trade market this offseason.

Brian McCann is going to be in Yankees pinstripes for at least three more seasons, likely four with the option on his deal, so the starting job seems secure for a while. Francisco Cervelli has done an admiral job backing up McCann and has shown flashes of brilliance with his bat especially when given the everyday job in 2013. John Ryan Murphy, don’t call me JR, excelled in short spurts and sample sizes in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons while Austin Romine followed up a strong 2013 season with a step back in 2014. Also take note that the Yankees, in my opinion, second best prospect Gary Sanchez is also on the 40 man roster and will start the season in Double-A with Triple-A in his sights.

The problems the Yankees are having, specifically with Romine, is that there are not enough opportunities and at bats to go around for all these guys. Romine sat on the bench when he wasn’t injured in 2014 while essentially backing up Murphy in Trenton. I think this really affected Austin both on the field and mentally as he struggled with his timing and his hitting all season long. Not everyone is made up character wise to be a part time player and I truly think that Romine will continue to struggle without ample playing time, whether it be in New York or elsewhere.

With that said New York should look to move either Murphy or Cevelli. You obviously would like to move Romine but he has absolutely no trade value right now and at this point is more of a throw in type organizational player then the centerpiece of a deal. One of the two is traded and the other acts as a backup catcher for McCann while opening up the Triple-A starting job for Romine. I also would not be against a trade involving Gary Sanchez as long as it brought back a key piece in return, a young shortstop or Giancarlo Stanton for example. Whatever Brian Cashman and company decides to do they need to do it this offseason because if they wait too long it may be too late. Do what the good teams do and trade from a position of power and a position of depth and fill a key spot for cheap on a reasonable contract instead of throwing money at people like a money machine. 

Pablo Sandoval Goes Off in the World Series

Pablo Sandoval is a free agent to be this winter and plays a premium position in third base that the New York Yankees have a need for. If that’s not enough to make Brian Cashman and company offer Sandoval a very lucrative contract this offseason then maybe his World Series stats and heroics will do the trick for the Bronx Bombers.

It was this day in 2012 that Pablo and the Giants went off against the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. If you remember it was this same Detroit team that swept the Yankees out of the ALCS after Derek Jeter broke his ankle in Game One. Sandoval became only the fourth major league player to hit three home runs in a World Series game joining Babe Ruth (1926, 1928), Reggie Jackson (1977), and then Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols (2011).

Sandoval hit a home run in each of the first, third, and fifth innings in Game One of the 2012 World Series to set the tone and the series as the Giants won the game by the score of 8-3. Sandoval does it in the postseason and on the biggest stages and his next stage may be New York. 

CC Sabathia Next To Join The Player's Tribune

Derek Jeter is set to release another writer for his blog, The Player's Tribune, on October, 26 and I am predicting that this will be CC Sabathia. It coincides with CC's Christmas story book he co-wrote and would bring in the blog's first baseball writer other than Jeter.

Vote in our poll!

CC Sabathia Releases Children's Christmas Book - CC Clause, A Baseball Christmas Story"

When CC Sabathia is not rehabbing his degenerative knee condition in his right knee or posting pictures of his food from NYY Steak making me extremely jealous he is writing children's books. CC has written a children's Christmas book titled "CC Clause, a Baseball Christmas Story" 

In the bookthere’s a letter to Santa Claus mixed in with Sabathia’s fan mail. It’s from a little girl whose family lost everything in a flood. The Sabathia's try to help and they enlist some of baseball’s biggest names, including George Steinbrenner, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, and others to Santa Claus.

The book was co-written by Ray Negron, Yankees special adviser for community relations, and even includes CC's children and family in the book. I can't lie, I'm going to buy this book for my sons. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/24: El Duque Orlando Hernandez

Orlando Hernandez was a God send to the New York Yankees during their Dynasty run during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, especially in the postseason. El Duque started his career 8-0 with a 1.90 ERA in the postseason before the Mets got to him on this day in 2000. The Mets beat the Yankees on this day in the Subway World Series after Benny Agbayani hit a game winning 8th inning double to give the Metropolitan's a 4-2 win. New York native and Mets closer John Franco secured the victory for the Mets ending the Yankees 14 game World Series winning streak.