Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recap: Orioles 7, Yankees 5

The Yankees bullpen spoiled a solid five innings from Nathan Eovaldi, yielding five runs in a rough bottom of the sixth as the Yanks fell to the Orioles, 7-5, in Wednesday's series finale at Camden Yards.

Eovaldi Alright: Eovaldi held the Orioles to just two earned runs in five frames, surrendering nine hits and three walks while impressively fanning nine. He escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the third with a much-needed flyout of Adam Jones, maintaining the 3-2 Yankees advantage with which he would ultimately exit. 

Bullpen Struggles: Unfortunately for Eovaldi, though, his relievers didn't pitch nearly as well -- quickly allowing a five spot in the sixth to put the Orioles up four. David Carpenter started the rally by serving up a solo home run to Jonathan Schoop (one of three runs Carpenter was charged with), and Justin Wilson made things worse with a couple of subsequent RBI knocks to Delmon Young and Chris Davis. 

Beltran's Big Hit: Not that guys failing to come through was much of a problem on the night for the Yankees -- indeed, Carlos Beltran laced a two-out, two-run double in the third to erase a 1-0 deficit. The line drive to right-center off Bud Norris missed being a homer by inches, bouncing close to the top of the wall as the Yankees took their first lead.

A-Rod's Solo Four-Bagger: The evening then really appeared to be working in the Yankees' favor in the fourth when Alex Rodriguez drilled a no-doubter to left off Norris -- a towering fly ball that temporarily silenced the crowd. It didn't keep the Orioles in check for long -- Manny Machado hit his own solo blast to begin the bottom of the fourth -- but for a moment, the moon-shot did seem to hand the Yankees a cushion.

Comeback?: Still, that cushion obviously disappeared in the sixth, and from there all the Yankees could do was try to chip away. They pulled to within 7-5 in the eighth thanks to a Brian McCann sac fly and a Tommy Hunter wild pitch -- though their attempt to tie it failed when Chase Headley rolled over to end the ninth. 

Next Up: The Yankees will look to rebound from this disappointing defeat when they head to St. Petersburg for a Friday meeting with the Rays -- beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET and airing live on MLB Network. Adam Warren will get the start for the Pinstripes when he faces off with Tampa Bay's Nathan Karns -- a second-year Ray who gave up six runs in his season debut last Tuesday. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 4/15

It’s game time as the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees wrap up their three game set at Camden Yards and Oriole Park. Tonight on the mound will be a couple of fire ballers as Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for the Yankees to face off with Bud Norris for the Orioles. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Get your tickets for the series with the Tampa Bay Rays, the next Yankees home stand or any Yankees game home or away with Ticket Monster. Through our partnership with Ticket Monster we can offer a small discount on top of already reduced third hand tickets that aren’t inflated by bulky fees or shipping costs. If you can’t make it out to the ballpark then jump on our comments section and interact with your fellow fans. We also try and live tweet every single game so give us a follow on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) and chat with us during the game.

Enough of me rambling on it is game time. Let’s Go Yankees!!!!

Wilking Rodriguez Suspended for 80 Games

Wilking Rodriguez signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees this offseason to be a little bit of minor league depth for the bullpen. Rodriguez pitched fairly well this spring and now we may know why. Rodriguez was suspended for 80 games today after failing a steroid test for Furosemide. Rodriguez was assigned to Triple-A with the Scranton WIlkes-Barre RailRiders but has yet to get in a game this season.

Pinder In, De La Cruz to Trenton, Davies to Scranton

The revolving door that has become the bullpen for the New York Yankees continues to spin as the team made another round of transactions before tonight's finale in Baltimore. New York has outrighted Kyle Davies off the roster where he will presumably go back to Scranton to pitch for the RailRiders. Joel De La Cruz was called up and did not get into a game before being optioned back to Trenton before the game tonight. 

Major League Baseball has an odd rule that states you cannot call up a player on your 40 man roster for the first 10 days of the new season unless an injury occurs. 10 days is officially up and New York called up Branden Pinder for a fresh arm in the bullpen tonight. Pinder last pitched on Monday so he is presumably available out of the pen tonight. 

Welcome to the show Branden and officially welcome to the family. 

The Jackie Robinson Story

Two hours and counting until Yankees game time when all 50 players on the rosters and their managers and coaches will wear the #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. With that said you have two hours to watch this hour long documentary labeled "The Jackie Robinson Story." Enjoy!!!

It’s always about A-Rod

With everything else going on during this young season so far, one would think the Yankees front office might want to turn their attention elsewhere, but alas, the A-Rod fracas does not let up.

During the offseason, word was circulating that the Yankees were going to refuse to honor some of their contractual obligations to Alex Rodriguez. At the time, I thought nothing of the reports. However, since then the reports have gained more traction considering A-Rod is performing much better than anyone expected.

A-Rod is only five home runs shy of tying Willie Mays and six shy of passing him on the all-time home run list. When A-Rod passes him, the Yankees will owe their troubled third baseman a six million dollar bonus. The Yankees have no interest in paying him the “bonus money” as they perceive the milestones tainted and not marketable anymore since he used (and just served the biggest PED-related suspension) in MLB history.

While the Yankees are right in the milestones are forever tainted, they still have no choice, but to pay him the money and honor the terms of his contract. The team has no legal grounds to not pay him the “bonus money” unless they specifically included a clause in his contract. Regardless, of how many home runs A-Rod hits in the rest of his beleaguered career, baseball purists still believe Hank Aaron is the all-time home run king. (A-Rod told Barry Bonds when they were training this past off-season that he wants to break his home-run record). The Yankees should just grudgingly pay A-Rod and avoid creating another witch-hunt. It does not the help their case that A-Rod is leading their struggling offense in the early stages of the season! But more about that later…

C’mon Yankees brass, let it go and turn your attention to the many other issues facing your not very effective team right now.

Another Biogenesis All Over Again?

In less than 16 days Major League Baseball saw four different players suspended for the banned substance Stanozolol including the Minnesota Twins Ervin Santana and the New York Mets Jenrry Mejia. Joining those two were Seattle Mariners pitcher David Rollins and Atlanta Braves pitcher Arodys Vizcaino making many wonder if MLB has another steroid epidemic going on underneath their noses. New Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred thinks so and is planning a similar probe to the Biogenesis probe from 2013 that suspended 14 players including the Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez.

The main reason that Anthony Bosch and his anti-aging clinic down in Miami were found out was because of a string of testosterone positive tests that forced the league to look further into the matter and the same pattern seems to be evolving here with Stanozolol. This could amount to nothing or it could be another black eye for the sport, I guess you will have to just stay tuned… 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 4/15

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles wrap up their three game set tonight inside Camden Yards and Oriole Park with yet another great pitching matchup between the two ball clubs. On the mound for the Yankees will be Nathan Eovaldi making his second start in pinstripes while Bud Norris will be opposing him for the Orioles. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and of course MLB TV.

  • Eovaldi is coming off his first start as a Yankee after taking a no decision against the Boston Red Sox. Eovaldi started the 19 inning marathon between the Yankees and Red Sox and was pumped up for his first start in the Bronx. Eovaldi hit as high as 101 on the radar gun and hit 99 consistently but allowed eight hits and only had three swings-and-misses in the Yankees loss.

  • Norris is coming off his first start of the season in which he took the loss against the Toronto Blue Jays after failing to record an out in the fourth inning. Norris gave up eight runs on seven hits while lasting just 66 pitches against Toronto. Let’s hope that kind of performance is what we have in store for us tonight in Camden Yards.

The Yankees need all the victories they can get at this point in the season and the wins are all that much sweeter at the expense of an American League East foe. Let’s hope the Yankees can nail another one down and at least temporarily quiet the haters and the doubters while crawling back into the very early AL East division race. Eovaldi is someone I will be keeping an eye on all season long and I’m very excited for his second start in pinstripes, go Yankees!!!

Meet a Prospect: Jackie Robinson

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was born on January 31st, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. Jackie was the youngest of five children born to Jerry and Mallie Robinson and had siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae Robinson. Jackie's middle name was given to him in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt who dies 25 days before Jackie was born. Jackie's father would leave his family in 1920 and his mom moved him and his four siblings to Pasadena, California. Jackie would start his high school career at John Muir High School where he played football, basketball, track, and baseball where he would letter in each at the varsity level. He was a shortstop and a catcher for the baseball team and earned a place on the Pomona annual baseball tournament all-star team. This annual baseball tournament included future Hall of Famers like Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. Jackie was also the quarterback on the football team and played guard for the basketball team. Jackie would get some recognition by professional scouts after winning an award in the broad jump in track and field. Jackie was also a member of the tennis team in his high school years. In 1936 Jackie won the junior boys singles championship in the annual Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament. In 1937 the Pasadena Star News newspaper reported that Robinson has been the most outstanding athlete at Muir for starring in five sports for the school.

Jackie would move on to Pasadena Junior College after graduating from Muir High School where he continued his athletic career by playing basketball, football, baseball, and track once again. On the football team Jackie played both sides of the ball this time playing quarterback and also playing some safety on the defense. He would be the leadoff man for his baseball team while manning the short stop position. He would once again get recognition in track for his broad jumping ability after breaking school records in the competition previously held by his brother Matthew, whose nickname was Mack. While playing on the football team Jackie suffered a fractured ankle which would complicate his deployment status while he was in the military. Jackie would also be elected to the Lancers at his time in Pasadena Junior College which is a student run police organization responsible for patrolling the school grounds during various school activities. In 1938 Jackie was elected to the All Southland Junior College Baseball Team and was selected as the regions MVP in that league. Also in that season Jackie was one of ten students named to the school's Order of the Mast and Dagger which was awarded to students who performed outstanding service to the school and whose scholastic and citizenship record is worthy of recognition. In 1938 he was arrested after getting into a shouting match with the police and received a two year suspended sentence. This was the beginning of the reputation of being very combative when it came to racial antagonisms and such. Frank Robinson, Jackie's closest brother, dies in a motorcycle accident towards the end of his PJC career which prompted him to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to be closer to his family.

Jackie transferred to UCLA in the spring of 1939 where he became the school's first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports, which were baseball, basketball, football, and track. He was one of four black players in the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team and was one of three of the four backfield players on the football team. In 1940 Jackie won the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the long jump when he jumped 24 ft 10 1/4 inches. Baseball was surprisingly considered his worst sport in his time spent at UCLA after hitting .097 in his only season there, although in his first game he did for 4-4 with two steals of home. In his senior year at UCLA Jackie would meet his future wife Rachel Isum who was a freshman and was familiar with his athletic career at Pasadena Junior College. In 1941 Jackie left college just shy of graduation and took a job as an assistant athletic director with the National Youth Administration in Atascadero, California. Later that year the government stopped the NYA and Jackie found himself in Honolulu to play football for the Honolulu Bears. Jackie would try and latch in later in that year with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast Football League but by that time the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had drawn the United States into World War II, thus ending Jackie's football career.

In 1942 Jackie was drafted into the military and assigned to an Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. After much protesting Jackie Robinson was admitted into the Officer Candidate School at Fort Riley which would bring Jackie and heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis closer as friends. Robinson was promoted to second lieutenant and was reassigned to Fort Hood, Texas where he joined the 761st Black Panthers Tank Battalion. On July 6th, 1944 Jackie's military career would take a turn for the worse as he was in the hospital awaiting test results on the ankle he injured in junior college. Jackie would board an unsegregated bus afterwards and was ordered to move to the back of the bus, although he refused and was taken into custody by the military police when he reached his destination. After confronting the investigating officer about being racist Jackie was recommended for a court martial. Robinson was not court martialed but transferred to the 758th Battalion where he was charged with multiple charges including public drunkenness, although Jackie was never known as a drinker. Jackie was acquitted of all charges by an all-white panel of nine officers but Jackie still missed being deployed overseas and never saw any combat action. Jackie would receive an honorable discharge in 1944 but not before meeting a former player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League who encouraged Jackie to try out for the Monarchs, which he did in 1945.

In early 1945 Jackie accepted a $400 per month contract to play for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League. Robinson played 47 games at short stop for the Monarchs and hit .387 with 5 HR's, and 13 SB's while being in the 1945 Negro League All Star Game. In August of 1945 the club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers had a meeting with Jackie Robinson with hopes of signing him for either their big league team or their farm club, the Montreal Royals. Rickey was more worried about whether Jackie could refrain from fighting back when faced with racism rather than fight like he had in the military and at Pasadena Junior College. After Rickey got the commitment to turn the other cheek to the racism after the famous quotes from Jackie and Rickey, "Are you looking for a negro who is afraid to fight back" from Robinson which was responded by saying that he needed a Negro player "with guys enough not to fight back." Jackie was signed that day to a $600 a month contract and would be assigned to the Montreal Royals in the 1946 season. This would cause a bit of a ruckus within the Negro Leagues because Jackie was not the best player in the Negro Leagues and people like Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, and Josh Gibson were not happy with him getting the chance before they did. The racism and segregation started right away as many places would not allow Jackie or Johnny Wright, another black player Branch Rickey signed, to be a part of any activities. Jackie could not stay in the hotel with his team and since the Dodgers did not have a spring training facility yet most teams would not hold games that involved these two men. The police chief in Sanford, Florida even went as far as to threaten to cancel games if either of these two men trained there. On April 18th, 1946 the Jersey City Giants and the Montreal Royals played a game and Jackie Robinson made his professional debut, thus officially breaking the color barrier for minor league teams. Robinson went 4-5 including a three run home run, 3 RBI's, scored four runs, and stole two bases in a 14-1 Royals victory. Jackie would be named the International League MVP that season after leading the league with a .349 average and a .985 fielding percentage while drawing over a million fans in 1946 to the ball park to see games that he was in.

Jackie would be called up to the majors six days before the start of the 1947 season. Jackie was a right handed batter that played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers because Eddie Stanky was the Dodgers every day second baseman. Robinson would finish his first season by playing 151 games with a .297 average, a .383 OBP, .427 SLG %, 175 hits, 125 runs, 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, and 48 RBI's. He also led the league in sacrifice hits, 28, and stolen bases with 29 SB's that season. He would earn the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award that season. Stanky was traded to the Boston Braves in the spring of 1948 and Jackie took over the second base job where he finished with a .980 fielding percentage that season. He would hit for the cycle in August of 1948 against the St. Louis Cardinals and led his team to a third place finish in the National League. Jackie, with the help of Hall of Famer George Sisler, would reinvent his swing and approach at the plate and would win the 1949 MVP award with a .342 average, 37 stolen bases, 124 RBI's, 122 runs scored, and would be the starting second basemen for the National League in the 1949 All Star Game, the first to include black players. The Dodgers would win the National League Championship that season but would lose to the New York Yankees in five games. Jackie would become the highest paid player in Dodgers history up to that point with a $35,000 contract and would have a movie about him, the Jackie Robinson Story, made where he played himself in the movie. Before the 1951 season the Dodgers new owner Walter O'Malley offered Jackie the managerial job for the Montreal Royals when he was done playing baseball. The 1951 season would bring some heart break for Jackie and the Dodgers though because that was the season that Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" home run ended the 1951 World Series. They would win the NL pennant in 1952 but would once again lose in the World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. They would once again win the NL pennant in 1953 but would once again lose the World Series to the New York Yankees, this time in six games. The Dodgers would get their revenge though in the 1955 World Series though as the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees to win Jackie's only World Series championship of his career. In 1956 Jackie Robinson was traded to the New York Giants but the deal was never completed because Jackie had agreed to quit baseball due to declining skills and his battle with diabetes. 

Jackie would finish his major league career with a .311 career batting average with 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, 734 RBI's, and 197 stolen bases among other accolades. He would only play in ten seasons, all for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and would play in six World Series and six All Star Games including one World Series ring and one MVP award. In 1962, after pleading with voters to only vote on his on the field play and not his historic impact to the game of baseball, Jackie was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot. The Dodgers would retire his #42 on June 4th, 1972 along with teammates Roy Campanella, #39, and Sandy Koufax, #32. Jackie would make his final public appearance in October of 1972 where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. In 1999 Jackie was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.  Jackie Robinson would die on October 24th, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Jackie has been honored many times since his death of a heart attack at age 53. In 1987 both the American and National League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the Jackie Robinson Award. In 1997 Major League Baseball retired Jackie's #42 all across baseball with Mariano Rivera the only player left that was grandfathered in and still wearing it.  In 2006 the New York Mets modeled the main entrance of their new stadium, Citi Field, after old Ebbets Field and named it the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Also, starting in 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented as the Jackie Robinson Award. In 2007 Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver announced that Jackie would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame. His former college baseball team, the UCLA Bruins, play all their baseball games in Jackie Robinson Stadium and even have a memorial state of Robinson inside the stadium. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1990 and has a statue of Jackie and his two children in front of the stadium. There are many other buildings, houses, fields, etc. named after Jackie because of everything he did both on and off the baseball field.

Jackie Robinson will always be remembered for breaking the color barrier in baseball and leading the charge for black players in baseball. Jackie Robinson always did things the right way and fought for what he believed in and will always be remembered no matter how many years pass. Happy Jackie Robinson Day everybody and thank you Jackie for everything you have done both on and off the field.

TGP Daily Poll: Didi Gregorius Honors Jackie Robinson w/ Four Hits

Didi Gregorius will finally break out of his season long slump in the finale between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. In honor of Jackie Robinson the Yankees shortstop will have four hits and two RBI in a Yankees victory.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Safe to Say Andrew Miller is the Closer, No?

I think it’s safe to say that after eight games of the 2015 season that whether Joe Girardi comes out and says it or not, Andrew Miller is his closer. Miller got the save Monday night in Baltimore getting the final five outs of the contest while getting the Yankees out of a jam that Dellin Betances started. Betances has pitched a handful of times this season and every time he has entered a game it has been in either the 7th or the 8th inning. Miller has three appearances as well (entering play Tuesday) and has pitched in the 8th or the 9th inning but always in a closer’s situation. Miller has two saves in two chances, Betances has none in zero chances. Miller is the closer, officially or not.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/15: Happy Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson Day 2015, let’s do it Yankees family!

On this day in 2007 players around the league including the Yankees Derek Jeter and the Braves Andruw Jones wore the #42 uniform to honor Jackie Robinson on the 60th anniversary of him breaking the color barrier. In the Cardinals and Brewers game in Busch Stadium every player and coach on both teams wore the #42 and Jackie Robinson Day was born.

On this day in 1976 the New York Yankees debuted the "new" Yankee Stadium in front of 52,613 fans. The Yankees would beat the Minnesota Twins 11-4 on this day as the day began with Bob Shawkey, the winner of the 1923 Yankee Stadium opener, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.