Friday, May 15, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 5/15

It is Friday night and the Yankees are in Kansas City for the next three games, sounds like the best way to start out a weekend if you ask me but that’s just if you ask me. Tonight the Yankees leave the Easter Time zone for the first time this season when they travel to Kauffman Stadium to face off with the red hot Kansas City Royals. On the mound for the Yankees will be “Big Mike” Michael Pineda and he will be opposed by the Royals starter Chris Young. The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

The Yankees are almost done with their road trip and are preparing to head home to New York for some Bronx love so be sure to have your Yankees tickets in hand when they get there. Click the Yankees tickets link on the top of the blog to get your Yankees tickets without all the bulky fees or annoying shipping costs through our partnership with Ticket Monster. If you can’t make it live then be sure to at least join us on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) or on the comments section of the blog to interact during the game and keep the conversation going.

Big Mike, do that thing you did on Mother’s Day against the Orioles. Go Yankees!

BREAKING: Jose Ramirez Called Up, Whitley has Sprain

UPDATE II: Whitley's MRI revealed a tear and Tommy John surgery is now likely although he will seek a second opinion, probably Dr. James Andrews.

UPDATE: Chase Whitley has been diagnosed with a sprain, not a strain, in his elbow and will be placed on the 15 day DL. For now, no Tommy John surgery so yay! for that. Jose Ramirez has been called up to take his place on the roster but that is presumably just to stopgap until his next start when Chris Capuano is expected to be activated and thrown to the wolves.

Chase Whitley has left the game tonight between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees in the second inning with an apparent injury. Whitley did not look especially sharp in the contest causing Joe Girardi and Steve Donahue to come out to the mound and remove the right hander. No word on what the injury is, we didn't see him wince in pain or complain of any problems or injuries so you will have to stay tuned.

A Rod Will Only Play Defense in Emergencies

I thought it was a little weird on Wednesday night when I saw the lineup for the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays and I saw that Stephen Drew was playing third base. My initial thought was Alex Rodriguez must be getting the day off and Chase Headley must be the DH but I was surprised when I saw that Rodriguez was the DH and Headley was off. My second thought was that Pirela has experience at third base in the minor leagues while Drew does not but then I remembered what binder I was dealing with and put the thought immediately out of my head. The whole scenario was a little weird to me and today we received some clarification as to why it happened, Rodriguez has been delegated to a DH only by the New York Yankees.

Manager Joe Girardi did say he preferred to use A Rod as a DH only but we all know how quickly that could change in the case of an injury or an emergency but this screams the Jorge Posada treatment that we saw in 2011, minus the whole batting him 9th thing and A Rod throwing a temper tantrum, taking his ball and going home thing. Girardi’s mindset is that keeping Rodriguez out of the field will keep him healthy and fresh at the plate and honestly with a guy who basically took two years off from the game and is creeping up on 40 years old it is hard to argue against that.

If making Rodriguez a full-time DH helps the team then Alex is all for it and so am I. Rodriguez is not 25 years old anymore and his hamstring problems have shown that so anything to keep him healthy for the regular season and potentially beyond is a good thing for all parties involved. 

Will Jorge Posada Please Just Stop?

Alex Rodriguez shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame because of his steroid use and neither should Roger Clemens. Joe Girardi blindsided him when he decided to make him a full-time DH and decided to move him down in the order because of his declining skills both offensively and defensively. Umpires used to fart on him during games while they were calling balls and strikes. The former Yankees catcher had a problem with his manager, especially towards the latter part of his career, and still holds at least some animosity towards him today some four years later. Jorge Posada, could you not? Please just stop.

Posada is doing interview after interview with local and national TV and radio personalities including our very own Michael Kay and Mike Zaun (if you don’t get the reference I can’t help you because you’re not a starting pitchah) and has touched on numerous topics either about his career, excerpts from his book, or both. None of them have been especially positive or made him or his legacy look any better, in fact he has many fans turning on him after the way he has handled this book tour and radio barrage. Posada, please stop.

I haven’t read the book so I am not going to speak on what he said, the truth of it, etc. etc. etc. but I will speak on the fact that he does come across as a little bit of a whiner. He gets dropped in the batting order after becoming a full time DH by the man whose job it is to put out the lineup every day that will help the team win ball games. When this happens he refuses to play the game and threatens to retire before cooler heads prevail but the damage, and the hissy fit, was done. I will also speak on the fact that his timing flat out sucks. The Yankees are retiring his #20 jersey this season and will honor him with a plaque in Monument Park after his somewhat limited involvement in the whole Core Four group. Posada was a part time player in both 1996 and 1998 and really only contributed to the 1999 and 2000 World Series as an everyday player. Now you may be thinking what about 2009 but by that time Jose Molina was starting a couple times a week and even started a few World Series games so that year could go either way and be argued over semantics for the rest of eternity but either way the point is proven.

People say Joe Torre rode the coattails of what Gene Michael and Buck Showalter did but never mention anything about Posada, which is ironic. I’m not trying to take away from anything Posada did in his career he was an awesome talent and one of my favorite players growing up but I am seeing him in a different light these days. If Bernie Williams didn’t write a book and bash the organization then I don’t see why Jorge felt the need to. Again I didn’t read the book so I could be way off base, and the way the media is I probably am, but again I am attacking his timing and his perceived “whiny” character and not the content as I have not read it. Jorge, you’re being out “Yankee Way” ‘d by Alex Rodriguez right now.. Let that sink in for a minute. Could you not?

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 5/15

The New York Yankees are finally leaving the Eastern Time zone, and I hate that by the way because I have to stay up later now, and are traveling to Kauffman Stadium tonight to take on the first place Kansas City Royals. Kansas City is on a dogfight with the Detroit Tigers for first place while the Yankees are hoping to hold off the suddenly charging Tampa Bay Rays in the Eastern Division of the American League. Tonight on the mound for the Yankees is Michael Pineda as he faces off with the great comeback story that is Chris Young. The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

  • Pineda is pitching for the first time since striking out 16 Baltimore Orioles in a victory on Mother’s Day. Pineda did not walk a batter in the contest as he tied Yankees legends David Cone and David Wells for the second most strikeouts in a game in Yankees history behind just Ron Guidry and his 18 K performance. Pineda likely won’t strike out 16 tonight but if he can give the Yankees length again and another victory I don’t believe anyone would complain too loud.

  • Young is coming off a start against the Detroit Tigers in which he didn’t allow an earned runs in six innings in a victory for the Royals. Young’s only two victories have come at home inside Kauffman Stadium as the RHP has allowed just seven hits in 23 IP this season for the Royals. He’s definitely going to be a tough matchup for the Bronx Bombers tonight.

This is going to be a hard fought series on both sides and frankly I am a little worried with how New York played a couple games in Tampa. I know there are up’s and down’s over the course of a 162 game schedule and that is probably the reason why we have never seen a team go anywhere close to 162-0 but you still like your team to have the momentum and be on a hot streak when traveling on the road to face off against a good team. The team has already slayed two early season giants in the New York Mets and the Detroit Tigers so hopefully they can replicate that success this weekend in Kansas City. Go Yankees!

Dear Chase And Jorge, The Yankees Come First

First it was Jorge Posada, lashing out against Joe Girardi about his playing time and spot in the lineup. I was going to write about how ridiculous his comments were, and how angry it made me that he actually refused to play because he didn't like the fact he was penciled into the 9-hole in the lineup, but Andrew Mearns at Pinstripe Alley did an excellent job on that already.

And then comes Chase Whitley. While I'd never get upset with a player because he got injured, I will most definitely get mad at them for hiding an injury. Doing so hurt the team two ways...

  1. That injury certainly contribued to him giving up 8 runs over his past 7.1 innings pitched, both of which ended up with losses for the Yankees. We don't know if the player that would have started those games instead would do any better, but I'd bet on a healthy pitcher over somebody with an injury to his throwing elbow.
  2. The Yanks not only have to figure out what to do with his rotation spot (thankfully, that's not difficult), but they could be without Whitley's services for longer than if they were able to address his elbow earlier. It's never a good idea to let an injury linger without treatment. 

Does anybody think about the team first? Athletes always say something like "I'm here to help the team win", but then you hear about a player that refuses to accept that he's no longer the player he used to be, and then we hear about another player that hid an injury from his team so that he could keep pitching. It's selfish, and as a Yankees fan, it ticks me off.

I love that the Yankees don't have player names on their jerseys, as that is the greatest symbol that the team is the most important thing. The Yankees are not about Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Don Mattingly, or Derek Jeter. The Yankees are about them all. The Yankees are about pride and pinstripes. The players, the championships, the stadium, the iconic "NY" logo, THE FANS... that is what the Yankees are about. The Yankees are not about Jorge Posada's ego, and the Yankees are not about Chase Whitley's elbow.

If you're not here for the team... for the fans... then you don't belong here. And if you attack one of us, you attack all of us.

Are the Phillies & Yankees Potential Trade Partners?

Every team right around this time now has a large enough sample size to start evaluating what their team has, what their weaknesses are and what they potentially need at the trading deadline. It is just as important for a team that’s in first place to solidify their team and upgrade wherever possible as it is for that team that is two or three games out of the second Wild Card position. In recent years we have seen second Wild Card teams reach the World Series while first place teams have fallen in the Division Series and vice versa making the MLB playoff system a total crap shoot and as exciting as ever. You have to wonder what phone calls Brian Cashman has already made this season and what discussions are going on behind closed doors in the Yankees front office. You have to think though that teams like the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies are talked about more so than other teams at this point in the offseason begging the question, are the Yankees and Phillies potentially trade partners this July?

The big ticket items the Phillies will presumably sell this summer are Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon while the team will desperately try and rid themselves of the Ryan Howard and potentially Chase Utley contracts. The ace, the closer, the former slugger who could shine in a platoon position in the American League and the second baseman who still has it at an offensively anemic position. While the Yankees have potentially two aces, when healthy, in Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda one can never have too much pitching unless it’s in the bullpen where the Yankees have two closers as well in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. While Hamels seems like a longshot for New York, although he fills a potential need, there is almost no chance that Papelbon will don Pinstripes, and we thank the baseball God’s and Mr. Cashman for that.

Howard could potentially fill the spot currently being wasted occupied by Garrett Jones but the Phillies would have to pay an absolute ton of his remaining salary to make a deal even feasible. The deal that could potentially intrigue the Yankees though is the Utley deal as New York continues to ignore the steps forward from Robert Refsnyder while continually throwing Stephen Drew out there six days a week. The problem is Utley is htting just .123 and has a no trade clause with three vesting years left on his contract that would guarantee him at least $15 million per season if he reaches 500 plate appearances. So you have a maybe on Hamels, a no on Papelbon, an “I hope not” on Howard and a “oh hell no” on Utley so it looks like New York and Philadelphia are not likely to match up for a trade this season if Brian Cashman plays his cards right.

TGP Daily Poll: A Weekend Sweep in Kansas City

The Yankees have made it a habit of beating the teams many didn’t think they should including three of four against the then best record having Detroit Tigers and two of three against the then best recording having New York Mets. This weekend it’s going to be a clean sweep of the first place Kansas City Royals.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

I’m not in the mood to beat around the bush this morning, Stephen Drew is an absolute black hole in the Yankees lineup and he hasn’t exactly been great in the field by any stretch of the imagination either. While he’s no defensive liability he is far from Robinson Cano at second base either so if the team is going to sacrifice defense at the position, whether directly or indirectly, then why not just bite the bullet, eat the $5 million and call up Refsnyder? I’m getting pretty restless every time I see a ball that should have been caught or at least knocked down roll into the outfield and I am especially tired of seeing his average dip lower and lower below the Mendoza line.

Call up Refsnyder and do it now. I’m not asking anymore.


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/15: Ty Cobb Beats Up a Cripple

On this day in 1961 the George Steinbrenner owned Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League hired John McLendon Jr. as their head coach. McLendon would be the first African American to be named to a top leadership position in any major professional sport. McLendon was well respected in the college ranks as a coach but would leave the job midway through the 1961-1962 ABL season due to interference from the front office. Interference from the front office on a George Steinbrenner run team? Say it isn’t so.

Also on this day in 1941 Joe DiMaggio began his 56 game hitting streak, spoiler alert, with a hit against the White Sox Edgar Smith. DiMaggio would collect at least one hit in every single game until July 17. The streak would be ended in Cleveland with the help of a couple outstanding defensive plays at third base by Ken Keltner.

Finally on this day in 1912 Ty Cobb grew tired of listening to heckling by Yankee fans and jumped into the stands near the Tigers dugout at Hilltop Park and pummeled a handicapped fan. Otto Blotz was the man who could not defend himself against the "Georgia Peach" as he only had one hand. Class act right there.