Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2015 Yankees: Dustin Ackley Talks Yankees Pride

Jose Bautista Needs to Calm Down

Jose Bautista has been seen during the ALCS pre-game workouts and such wearing a “Toronto vs. Everybody” t-shirt as the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder continues to play the victim. The victim that was seen in right field doing WWE star John Cena’s signature “you can’t see me” after throwing out two members of the New York Yankees. The victim that flipped the bat during Game 5 of the ALDS almost as far as the eventual game winning home run he hit. It’s not Toronto vs. Everybody it’s YOU vs. Everybody and you need to calm down.

I understand that this is the first time the Blue Jays outfielder has been to the postseason in his 12-year career and I understand that emotions and pressure are running amuck right now. Calm down, you have gone from keeping the Toronto Blue Jays relevant in a way only Carlos Delgado could in the past 22-seasons without a postseason berth to being the players that all the fans love to hate. You’re better than that Joey Bats.

It’s not a team-based thing, I actually respect the Toronto Blue Jays as a team and as an organization, and it’s 100% not an ethnic thing, although I’ve seen the ethnic card being tossed around of late, it’s a respect thing. You disrespect yourself, the game and the opposing team’s players and fans when you act like this, flipping bats, making gestures etc. You’re a role model, is this how you want your kids to act on the High School ball field when they don’t have the MLB Players Association, the league, droves of security and teammates and fans to back them up?

You’re 35-years old now and you’re finally in the postseason, congratulations. No one on that field probably deserves it more than you. I know I can’t say act like you’ve been here before, because you can’t because you haven’t, but act like the face of the franchise that many believe you to be and not some young, arrogant up-and-coming kid that that everyone is going to love to hate. Represent the game and represent your homeland and people, don’t give them a black eye before they even make their way over to the states to pursue THEIR dream.

Tim Hudson, Barry Zito & the New York Yankees

Who doesn’t remember the latter part of the “Dynasty Years” with the New York Yankees when the same teams kept coming up and meeting New York in the postseason. You had the Minnesota Twins, you had the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, you had the Boston Red Sox and you had the Oakland Athletics. Leading the charge for the Oakland A’s was a three-headed starting pitching monster that few could emulate, or beat for that matter, in Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson. When all was said and done all three men left Oakland for greener pastures, pun intended money reference, and when all is said and done in 2015 the threesome will all officially be retired.

It was announced earlier during the season that Hudson, currently listed on the San Francisco Giants roster, would retire and around lunch time on Monday Zito, who will retire an Athletic after leaving town also for the San Francisco Giants, announced that he would be doing the same. Two great ambassadors and representatives in the game are leaving after 2015 and while most are sad I have a sneaking suspicion that the New York Yankees are not.

Zito and Hudson had varying degrees of success against the Yankees in their careers, Hudson more than Zito obviously, so I thought it would be fun to go over exactly what each did against New York respectively. The stats and such are meaningless in the grand scheme of things by today’s standards but just have fun with it as we inch closer to the World Series and the long, cold winter that we call the offseason.

New York Yankees164076193141764678.264.354.460.814.293127
New York Yankees395.201690.09361521746781.5447.8

New York Yankees 12 329 35 70 13 7 5 25 58 .237 .298 .353 .651 .270 92
New York Yankees 2 4 3.83 12 80.0 70 35 34 7 25 58 1.188 6.5

The Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Hiroki Kuroda Comparison That Could Help the Yankees in 2016

The Major League Baseball postseason is still in full motion as we sprint towards the World Series in a classic “hurry up and wait” type situation. I say that because the ALCS and NLCS series look unlikely to go deep into the month of October with seven game series looking less and less likely. We’re all in a hurry to get to the World Series so we can sit by our window looking out it with sadness across our faces while we wait for Spring Training 2016. The good news for the MLB fan, and especially for the Yankees fans until recently, is you have the Hot Stove and free agency markets to keep you busy and occupied until then. New York has never shied away from reloading and retooling via free agency, although the team is trying to be smarter about it these days, and that mindset may lead them to a man that reminds me a lot of a former Yankee Hiroki Kuroda, Hisashi Iwakuma.

The comparisons only begin at the fact that both are Japanese-born players that have made their way over to the United States to play in the Major Leagues. Both are veteran right-handed starting pitchers that have expressed an interest in staying out on the West Coast to stay closer to their native Japan, could both be lured East for significant salary on a one-year or two-year deal? If you’re looking at the stats and the current status of the Yankees starting rotation you would certainly hope so.

Here are Iwakuma’s stats thus far in the Major Leagues with the Seattle Mariners:
2012 9 5 3.16 30 0 0 125.1 117 49 44 17 43 101 121 4.35 1.277 8.4 1.2 3.1 7.3
2013 ★ 14 6 2.66 33 0 0 219.2 179 69 65 25 42 185 138 3.44 1.006 7.3 1.0 1.7 7.6
2014 15 9 3.52 28 0 0 179.0 167 70 70 20 21 154 103 3.25 1.050 8.4 1.0 1.1 7.7
2015 9 5 3.54 20 1 1 129.2 117 53 51 18 21 111 107 3.74 1.064 8.1 1.2 1.5 7.7
And here are Kuroda’s stats, specifically with the Yankees:
2012 16 11 3.32 33 3 2 219.2 205 86 81 25 51 167 127 3.86 1.165 8.4 1.0 2.1 6.8
2013 11 13 3.31 32 1 1 201.1 191 79 74 20 43 150 121 3.56 1.162 8.5 0.9 1.9 6.7
2014 11 9 3.71 32 0 0 199.0 191 91 82 20 35 146 104 3.60 1.136 8.6 0.9 1.6 6.6
Iwakuma would give the Yankees another top of the rotation type starter, maybe not an ace but definitely a solid #2 or great #3, adding to Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino. Iwakuma would likely come attached to a qualifying offer and draft pick compensation but many of the great starters, besides David Price and Johnny Cueto who were traded mid-season and are ineligible, will be this winter so it’s six of one and a half dozen of the other. Iwakuma gives the Yankees a substantial upgrade in the starting rotation without sacrificing the future in long-term contracts and in potential trades on the trade market.

Iwakuma makes perfect sense for the Yankees, will Brian Cashman once again get his man?

What About Raul Ibanez for the New Yankees Hitting Coach?

Earlier in the week I discussed the possibility of Jason Giambi replacing the recently departed Yankees hitting coach Jeff Pentland and while writing it another intriguing name came to mind, former Yankee Raul Ibanez. Ibanez spent just a short time as a member of the New York Yankees but made the most of his time here in the Bronx leaving the fans with memorable home run and clutch hit after memorable home run and clutch hit. You think he could teach some of the Yankees hitters, namely Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann, to do the same in 2016?

Raul is a 19-year veteran of Major League Baseball spending time with the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Raul is the type of hard-nosed veteran type player that any team would be lucky to have if not for his production but what he brings to a group of young guys in the way of teaching. Much like Jason Giambi I truly believe that Ibanez is a candidate for a managerial job if that’s the route he so chooses to go in, he always seemed to have a grasp and a true knowledge of the game. That cannot be taught.

Raul has zero formal coaching and managing experience so he would likely be better suited as an assistant hitting coach or the potential replacement for Marcus Thames in the minor leagues (assuming Thames takes the big league job) but either way I think everyone would benefit from having him back in the organization. Raul, You’re so cool… now come back. 

Happy Back to the Future II Day

Happy Back to the Future II Day Yankees family.... hope you dressed accordingly. Go Cubbies!

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/21: 4:51 World Series Game

On this day in 2000 the Yankees would beat the Mets in the longest World Series game ever played. The Yankees would beat the Mets 4-3 in a four hour and 51 minute game that went 12 innings. This also keeps the streak alive at 13 consecutive World Series games with a victory.

Also on this day in 1998 the Yankees completed a four game sweep of the San Diego Padres by winning 3-0. The Yankees would win their 24th World Series title in their storied history and the 125th win of the season with the regular and post season’s combined.

Finally on this day in 1976, older Yankees fan turn your heads here because you are not going to like this, the Yankees lost their fourth consecutive game getting swept in the World Series. The "Big Red Machine" proved to be too much for the Yankees team. The Reds would win 7-2 behind a two run home run and a three run home run from Johnny Bench.