Monday, March 2, 2015

Photos from Tampa and Yankees Spring Training Camp

Masahiro Tanaka

Nathan Eovaldi

Andrew Miller

Jacoby Ellsbury

Luis Severino

Jacob Lindgren

Robert Refsnyder

Brian McCann

Will Graig Nettles Ever Get His Day At Yankee Stadium?

The New York Yankees look like Oprah right now handing out new cars or something on her show. You've seen the meme's of her with her arms up saying that everyone gets whatever the big prize is and if you haven't, just look up. Those memes started popping back up when the team announced that they would be retiring the numbers of Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada. The Yankees retire a lot of numbers, that's their prerogative and that's their right, but there are a few notable omissions in my opinion. What about Graig Nettles? Where's his plaque? 

Nettles was acquired from the Cleveland Indians before the 1973 season and was a huge part of the Yankees World Series teams in 1977 and 1978. Ask any fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers about his defense in those World Series games and they could probably tell you on the dot how many hits and runs he stole away from LA that series. Nettles was a part of five AL East champion teams and four American League pennants as well to go along with those two World Series crowns. Reggie Jackson was also an integral part of those two World Series teams and has his number retired but Nettles doesn't and that is a bit of a shame in my opinion. 

Nettles was a .250 hitter but he wasn't paid to be a high average hitter. He was paid to hit in the middle of the Yankees lineup, which he did, and hit home runs, which he did, while he played stellar defense, which he did, and be team captain for a couple of seasons, which he did. Nettles isn't Brooks Robinson and he isn't Mike Schmidt but he was a borderline Hall of Fame player in my eyes and if Reggie can have his number retired then Nettles should have his day at Old Timer's Day as well. 

Do We Have a Clearer View on Tommy John Surgery?

Glenn Flesig is a an in jury expert in the field of sports medicine and has turned his attention to the growing epidemic of the Tommy John Surgery that is ravaging Major League Baseball. Flesig presented his findings at the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference that Tommy John surgery may be starting at a very young age. First, who is Flesig and why should we believe a word that he says? Flesig has a doctorate in biomedical engineering and has been working with Dr. James Andrews at the American Sports Medical Institute while gathering information for the presentation.

Flesig has reported that 16% of MLB pitchers go under the knife at least once for Tommy John surgery and has reported what we already knew, the success rate and "back to normalcy" ratio is now through the roof. Flesig notes that youth pitchers who threw more than 80 pitches in a game were four times as likely to require the surgery in their life. Those pitchers who pitched at least eight month a year were five times as likely to require the surgery.

Flesig notes that pitching while fatigued is the biggest factor in the surgery as youth pitchers who admitted to pitching with fatigue are a staggering 36 times more likely to have the surgery. I am a father of two young boys and this is eye opening to me. Some blame the mounds being lowered, some blame the schedule, the ball, the five man rotation, whatever. Me personally though I am going to be safe rather than sorry and teach them how to play shortstop rather than pitching.

MLB Could Be Returning to Cuba

Now that President Obama has been working with Raul Castro to improve the relationship between the United States and Cuba there has been plenty of speculation that Major League Baseball may be returning to Cuba. I say returning to Cuba because the Cincinnati Reds once had their Triple-A affiliate in Cuba, the Havana Sugar Kings, and the Major League Baseball Player's Association President Tony Clark may be open to seeing the game return there.

Not to get too political here but it is going to be a slow healing process between the US and Cuba after tensions were so high for so long. Major League Baseball may be the common ground between these two countries and could act as an olive branch from our side of things. Cuba is worried about how the new relations, and laws, could affect their league the Serie Nacional. There are now talks of Spring Training games heading to Cuba in the near future with the eventual goal of playing MLB games and having minor league affiliates there.

Major League Baseball is a global game and this is the next step in its expansion of that goal. This is a great time to be a fan of MLB and a great time to be alive in my very humble opinion.

Quick Hit: Andrew Miller Took Less to Sign w/ Yankees

Well isn't this a different change of events for the Yankees? Usually when New York is interested in a free agent in free agency the team has to pay a premium to acquire this talent. This time around in the case of Andrew Miller the Yankees actually paid less for his services. This is not new news, I realize that, as it was reported shortly after the team signed the lefty but now we have a few of the details.

It was always assumed that the largest offer came from Houston who seemed desperate for bullpen help this winter and now he have that as confirmation. The Astros offered Miller four years and $40 million while the Boston Red Sox reportedly topped out at four years and $42 million. In case you forgot the Yankees signed Miller for four years and $36 million.

So the Yankees got a bit of a discount. That's still a ton of money for a guy with virtually no closer experience, and that's closer money don't get me wrong, but it goes to show you that maybe Miller actually wanted to be a Yankee. I like players who want to be with the team, that counts for a lot in my book.

Yankees Have $7.885 Million to Spend on 2015 Draft

Last month OJ Mayo reported the 2015 draft numbers for each team this June but those numbers have seemingly changed according to John Manuel. Manuel reports that the Yankees have $7,885,000 to spend on the draft this June, although no slot recommendations have been announced, and not the $7.922 million that Mayo reported. New York has the sixth highest draft pool in the league this summer behind, in this order, the Houston Astros, the Colorado Rockies, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves.

New York has the 16th overall pick from their mediocre season in 2014 and the 30th pick overall for losing David Robertson to the Chicago White Sox. The team will then pick again 57th overall with their second round pick giving the team three picks in the Top 60, which is great.

In case you were wondering our in-state rivals the New York Mets have the lowest draft pool in 2015 with $3.6 million after signing outfielder Michael Cuddyer and losing their first round pick.

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/2: Babe Ruth Gets Paid

On this day in 1927 Babe Ruth became the highest paid player in Major League history at the same when the Yankees announced that the Bambino will make $70,000 per season on a three year contract. Ruth asked for $100,000 but Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Yankees owner got him to agree for less.