Friday, November 14, 2014

Pettitte's Advice to A-Rod on How to Deal With a Steroid Scandal

Former Yankees Pitcher Andy Pettitte has broken his silence on Alex Rodriguez' steroid scandal.

The 42-year-old retiree, who last played Major League ball in 2013, said that Rodriguez should just admit his wrongdoings. Pettitte, who was cited in the Mitchell Report in 2007, essentially did the same thing after it came out that he had taken HGH in 2002, though he claimed he only did so to speed up the healing of an elbow injury.

"Just get everything out," Pettitte told ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews Thursday night. "Everything has to be out, otherwise it seems like something's always chasing you around. That’s just the best way to do things, I think, the easiest way to do things."

Pettitte played alongside Rodriguez from 2007-2010 and from 2012-2013, winning three division titles and a World Series with him during that time. He had three series-clinching victories in the 2009 playoffs, the same ones in which Rodriguez hit .365 with six home runs. 

"Whatever’s out, I hope it’s all out and he can move forward and be a productive player, because I care about him, I do," Pettitte said. "He's a friend of mine. Once you play with a guy and you get to know him, you spend time with him, you just love him and I do. I wish him nothing but the best."

As is likely the case with the rest of the Yankees family. Nonetheless, with the recent revelations that Rodriguez paid his cousin $900,000 to keep quiet before urinating on said cousin's floor, it'd be strange if a confession suddenly fixed everything here, regardless of how sincere it may be. 

Marlins and Stanton About To Make History

It's not official yet, but pretty soon Yankees fans can take solace in the fact that their team no longer has the highest paid player in baseball history*.

Jon Heyman was the first to report that the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton are about to finalize a 13 year contract worth $325 million.

I'd be smiling pretty damn big too if I was about to make that much money.

It's hard to believe a team with a payroll under $50 million last season will pay one of their players $25 million (or that's what the average annual value of the deal would be), but if anybody in the league deserves that type of payday it's Giancarlo.

Stanton finished the 2014 season with a batting line of .288/.395/.555, to go along with 37 home runs. It was recently announced that he finished 2nd in National League Most Valuable Award voting behind Clayton Kershaw.

It's being said the not only will Stanton get the largest contract in baseball history, but his deal will include an opt-out clause. So the chances of seeing Giancarlo in pinstripes is not dead. Although, I'm afraid that it will be after the eighth year of his contract, when he'll be 35 years old and on the decline.

*Unfortunately, those same Yankees fans still have to come to terms with their team paying Alex Rodriguez $61 million over the next three years for next to nothing. 

MLB Games Don't Need to be Sped Up

Major League Baseball is continuing their undying quest to speed up the game of baseball this offseason by putting together a committee whose sole job is to find ways to speed up the game. The reasoning for the change is that the average MLB game eclipsed the three hour mark in 2014 and I respond with a "so what?"

While I understand that MLB plays 162 games a season and plays almost every single night where as the NFL plays once a week and the NBA plays three to four times a week. If you look at the average times per game in the three major leagues you have 3:08 for MLB while scoring is down across the league. In the NFL we used the 2013 season as the 2014 season is incomplete and came up with 3:10 with a mere 11 minutes of "action" in the game. The NBA apparently doesn't have this problem or keep track because I could not find the stat anywhere but those fourth quarters, especially when close, are brutal with constant time outs and such.

Why should MLB increase their game speed while the NFL, who kills MLB in ratings, continues to pack more commercials and less action into their games and are doing it successfully? By the way in case you were wondering here are some of the rules that are being discussed and likely to be implemented in 2015:

  1. Batter's Box Rule: The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout his at-bat, unless one of a series of established exceptions occurs, in which case the batter may leave the batter's box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate. (Exceptions include a foul ball or a foul tip; a pitch forcing the batter out of the batter's box; “time” being requested and granted; a wild pitch or a passed ball; and several others.)
  2. No-Pitch Intentional Walks: In the event a team decides to intentionally walk a batter, no pitches shall be thrown. Instead, the manager shall signal to the home plate umpire with four fingers, and the batter should proceed to first base to become a runner.
  3. 20-Second Rule [AT 17 SALT RIVER FIELDS HOME GAMES ONLY]: A modified version of Rule 8.04, which discourages unnecessary delays by the pitcher, shall apply. Rule 8.04 requires the pitcher to deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball with the bases unoccupied. The penalty prescribed by Rule 8.04 for a pitcher's violation of the Rule is that the umpire shall call “Ball.”

New York is Stock Piling Fire Balling LHP in the Bullpen

The New York Yankees made two acquisitions on Wednesday that left many scratching their heads a bit. The team signed minor league free agent Jose De Paula out of the San Francisco Giants organization. De Paula is a left handed throwing power pitcher that has been a starting pitcher his whole career but could be destined to the bullpen before long. De Paula has one minor league option remaining and could start his Yankees career serving as depth in Triple-A with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Before the ink was dry on that signing New York traded backup catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Justin (not Josh, although I called him Josh about 19 times of Twitter) Wilson. Wilson is another power left handed arm that can hit 95 with two different fastballs and can touch the low 90’s with is cutter. Wilson is pre-arbitration in 2014 before hitting his arbitration years in 2015 and could also serve as minor league depth for the Yankees in Triple-A to start the season.

Adding Wilson and De Paula to the already growing group of left handed power throwing pitchers in Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, James Pazos, and Tyler Webb leaves the Yankees and manager Joe Girardi with a ton of left handed power bullpen arms to call upon this season and next.

If you look at the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants and specifically examine their bullpens you see a pair of pens stockpiled with young flame throwing arms that can come in, touch 100 MPH, and strike a guy or three out when necessary. This looks to be the model the Yankees are following as well going forward which could mean good things in 2015 for a starting rotation that will be littered with question marks and concerns all season long. 


Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its MVP category Thursday, with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout winning the group’s American League award, and Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, being selected in the National League.
Trout received 145 first-place votes (91.77%) while being named on all 158 ballots. Others to garner first-place votes include Victor Martinez (5), Jose Altuve (3), Jose Abreu (2), Miguel Cabrera (1), Robinson Cano (1), Nelson Cruz (1) and Alex Gordon (1).
Kershaw received 105 first-place votes (66.04%) while being named on 141 ballots (88.68%). Giancarlo Stanton received 26 first-place votes (16.35%) and was named on 157 ballots (98.74%). Others receiving first-place votes include Andrew McCutchen (24), Justin Upton (2), Jonathan Lucroy (1) and Justin Morneau (1).
Election results are as follows:
1st Place:                  Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 2141 points2nd Place:                 Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers – 927 
3rd Place:                  
Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians – 726
4th Place:                  Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox – 658
5th Place:                  Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners – 597
6th Place:                  Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics – 583
7th Place:                  Jose Altuve, Houston Astros – 560 
8th Place:                  Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays – 533
9th Place:                 Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles – 447
10th Place:                Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers – 437
1st Place:                  Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1762 points
nd Place:                 
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins – 1430 
3rd Place
:                  Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates – 1365
4th Place:                  Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants – 769
5th Place:                  Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers – 758
6th Place:                  Anthony Rendon , Washington Nationals – 619
7th Place:                  Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates – 286
8th Place:                  Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers – 246
9th Place:                  Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers – 241
10th Place:                Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers – 224
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
In 2010, the IBWAA began voting in its own relief pitcher category, establishing the Rollie Fingers American League Relief Pitcher of the Year and the Hoyt Wilhelm National League Relief Pitcher of the Year Awards.

Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Jim Caple, Mike Petriello, David Schoenfield, Mark A. Simon andDan Szymborski,; Kevin Baxter Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck,; Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; King Kaufman, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy, Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Jonah Keri, Grantland; Vlae Kershner,; Chuck Culpepper and Will Leitch, Sports on Earth; Jill Painter Lopez,, Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder,; Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News; Eno Sarris and Wendy Thurm, FanGraphs; Tom Hoffarth and J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Pedro Moura, Orange County Register; Neil Payne,, Tracy Ringolsby,, Ken Rosenthal,, Dan Schlossberg, USA Today and Jesse Spector, Sporting News.
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20, or $35 lifetime. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit


Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA

Meet a Prospect: Justin Wilson

Justin James Wilson was born on August 18, 1987 and spent his college years with the 2008 College World Series Champion Fresno State Bulldogs. Wilson spent parts of the 2012 to the 2014 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to the New York Yankees for catcher Francisco Cervelli. Wilson is a member of the Yankees on paper but he wasn’t official until now so let’s meet a prospect, let’s meet Justin Wilson.

Wilson attended Buchanan High School in Clovis, California where he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. Wilson did not sign and opted to instead head to Fresno State University where he was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team and won a College World Series in 2008 in his junior season. After his junior season the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted the lefty in the fifth round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft 144th overall.

Wilson spent the next three seasons in the Pirates organization before breaking out during the 2012 season when he pitched the first 7.1 IP of a combined no hitter against the Durham Bulls. Wilson would pitch another no hitter that season this time going the complete 8.0 IP against the Charlotte Knights. Rain ended the game in the eighth inning but it did not rain on his parade as 11 days later he was called up to the major leagues. Wilson pitched a scoreless inning with three strikeouts in his major league debut on that same day.

Wilson had a successful 2013 season pitching to a 6-1 record and a 2.08 ERA while regressing a tad in 2014 pitching to a 3-4 record with a 4.20 ERA. Now Wilson will spend the 2015 with the New York Yankees and we welcome him and him monster left arm with open arms.

TGP Daily Poll: John Ryan Murphy Named Yankees Backup Catcher

After news broke that the New York Yankees had traded backup catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Justin Wilson there was a faint celebration heard from the home of John Ryan Murphy. I believe John Ryan Murphy will be named the Yankees backup catcher for the 2015 season.

Vote in our poll!!

My Worries for the Offseason: Offense

When I picked up my phone the other day and I saw that the Detroit Tigers had signed Victor Martinez to a four year deal I immediately began to worry. The New York Yankees had one of the worst offenses in all of Major League Baseball in 2014 and the hopes of all the fans was that this would/could be fixed this offseason. If the V Mart signing taught us anything it is that offense is going to come at an absolute premium this offseason.

This tells me that New York will go the route that they went at this past season’s trading deadline acquiring middle of the road talent and veteran players that the team expects to bounce back. There will be no Hanley Ramirez’s, Pablo Sandoval’s, etc. coming to New York this offseason. It is like we will see Chase Headley get a four year deal, Martin Prado play second base, John Ryan Murphy snag the backup catcher job, and we call it an offseason offensively. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/14: Enter A Rod… Again

On this day in 2007 Alex Rodriguez the reports started to fly around that Alex Rodriguez was close to a new deal with the New York Yankees somewhere in the neighborhood of $290,000,000. This was confirmed by Alex on his website and by the Steinbrenner family as well. This was done to try and soften Alex's look after the harsh criticism he received from opting out during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

And the rest, as they say, is history...