Thursday, October 29, 2015

World Series Off Night Open Thread

The World Series is off tonight so I plan on taking the rest of the night off as well. I'm not traveling to Citi Field and New York City unfortunately but the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals are. I'm sure most of the players are on their phones, watching a movie or listening to music while they travel, speaking of music some friends of mine have a band that I think you all should listen to. This isn't come garage band, two of the three members of this band used to be signed to Capitol Records, but they are trying to branch out on their own to accomplish their dream. As my buddies it's the least I can do to at least leave you with a link to listen to a few of their news songs off their EP Quarter Life Come Up by Southern Gentleman. 

If you like the Southern Gentleman then head over to iTunes and grab their album, it's less than $7.

Gary Sanchez Named AFL Hitter of the Week

Gary Sanchez has been named the Arizona Fall League's Hitter of the Week for this week, congratulations to the New York Yankees catching prospect. Sanchez hit .421 with nine RBI in four games this week. Sanchez leads the AFL in hits (16), home runs (5), RBI (15) and total bases (33).

Three Yankees In Running for Gold Glove Awards

Three members of the New York Yankees are in the running for the American League Gold Glove Awards in 2015. Those three players are shortstop Didi Gregorius, first baseman Mark Teixeira and left fielder Brett Gardner. Here is the rest of the field courtesy of Lohud. 


Pitcher: Mark Buehrle (Blue Jays), Sonny Gray (A’s), Dallas Keuchel (Astros)

Catcher: Jason Castro (Astros), Russell Martin (Blue Jays), Salvador Perez (Royals)

First base: Eric Hosmer (Royals), Mike Napoli (Rangers), Mark Teixeira (Yankees)

Second base: Jose Altuve (Astros), Brian Dozier (Twins), Ian Kinsler (Tigers)

Third base: Adrian Beltre (Rangers), Evan Longoria (Rays), Manny Machado (Orioles)

Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Alcides Escobar (Royals), Didi Gregorius (Yankees)

Left field: Yoenis Cespedes (formerly Tigers), Brett Gardner (Yankees), Alex Gordon (Royals)

Center field: Kevin Kiermaier (Rays), Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays), Mike Trout (Angels)

Right field: Kole Calhoun (Angels), J.D. Martinez (Tigers), Josh Reddick (A’s)


Pitcher: Jake Arrieta (Cubs), Gerrit Cole (Pirates), Zack Greinke (Dodgers)

Catcher: Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Buster Posey (Giants), Wilson Ramos (Nationals)

First base: Brandon Belt (Giants), Paul Goldschmidt (D-backs), Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers)

Second base: Dee Gordon (Marlins), DJ LeMahieu (Rockies), Brandon Phillips (Reds)

Third base: Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Matt Duffy (Giants), Todd Frazier (Reds)

Shortstop: Brandon Crawford (Giants), Adeiny Hechavarria (Marlins), Andrelton Simmons (Braves)

Left field: Starling Marte (Pirates), Justin Upton (Padres), Christian Yelich (Marlins)

Center field: Billy Hamilton (Reds), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), A.J. Pollock (D-backs)

Right field: Curtis Granderson (Mets), Bryce Harper (Nationals), Jason Heyward (Cardinals)

Scratch Don Mattingly off the Yankees Hitting Coach Wish List

Don Mattingly has officially signed a four-year deal with the Miami Marlins to be their new manager for the ball club. Mattingly will take over a young and talented team led by Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, Jose Fernandez and others in hopes of toppling the top two teams I the National League East Division, the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. The Miami job was basically Mattingly’s to lose all along and Mattingly didn’t lose it unfortunately.

I say unfortunately because I, as a fan, wanted to see Mattingly return to the city where he spent his entire playing career but I have to admit that I never fully expected the reunion of Don Mattingly and the New York Yankees to happen. I never lost hope but Mattingly deserves to manage and he can manage in Miami, good for him.

Mattingly will be Giancarlo Stanton’s eighth different manager since the beginning of the 2010 season, with a little stability in his life imagine what that kid could do. Congratulations to Mattingly but more so congratulations to the Miami Marlins organization and players, you guys got a good one. 

Manfred’s Hot Ticket Items for 2016

Earlier this week we praised Rob Manfred’s first season as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and donned the season a success. You know us here at The Greedy Pinstripes by now, we take the time to celebrate what needs to be celebrated and we move on to the next one. Manfred can celebrate his successes in 2015 for now but soon he will have to begin focusing on the 2016 season. I wanted to make this a little easier for him, because I know deep in my heart he’s reading this either directly or having him read it for him indirectly, by laying out the hot ticket items that will be discussed, implemented or changed before the 2016 season.

The New CBA

The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the conclusion of the 2016 season and World Series, well like a month and a half later but who is counting, and it’s never too early to start discussing it now. The players will want this, the owners will want that and the sooner they begin to meet in the middle on the things the better in my opinion. Also this is going to be a huge factor in the decision making on a lot of the key note items below.

Minority Hiring in MLB

We touched on this once in its own post so we won’t spend much time here. MLB’s plan seems to be a long-term plan that begins at the bottom and works itself up. Major League Baseball has begun infiltrating the inner city’s youth and putting baseball academies, the RBI program etc. in trying to lure minorities to the game at a young age. That interest at a young age will turn many of those children, hopefully, into baseball players and then eventual managers, GM’s and owners. It’s a very long-term plan but it’s been in the works since the Bud Selig era so Manfred may end up getting the bulk of the credit for it.

Fan Safety

MLB will continue to talk about potentially adding nets down the first base and third base side of the fields much like they have behind home plate. This is already planning to be discussed at an owners meeting on November 18th and 19th. This seems to me to be a relatively small change and improvement to keep the fans safe. No fans, no revenue and no Major League Baseball.


Parity seems to be showing its ugly face in Major League Baseball and Manfred hopes it continues. The Top 9 teams in terms of payroll did not make the League Championship Series and the 13th highest payroll, Kansas City at $128.1 million, and the 19th highest payroll, the New York Mets at $109.6 million, made it to the 2015 World Series.

The Chase Utley Slide Rule

According to Manfred the whole “takeout the second baseman with a slide to break up the double play” or what am I referring to as the Chase Utley Rule was being talked about before the postseason. Preliminary discussions with the MLB Players Association have already taken place so this one is getting done one way or another.

Shortening or Changing the Schedule

There have been talks of going back to a 154-game schedule instead of the current 162-game schedule and there has also been talks of opening the season earlier to avoid November World Series games. Personally, being born on November 2, I like having World Series games being played on my birthday. I can remember AJ Burnett, my favorite pitcher (there is something about throwing a no-hitter with nine walks that intrigues me) pitching on my birthday with the Yankees on the cusp of clinching the 2009 World Series. That didn’t happen but it was still cool.

That’s just a few of the things Manfred will presumably talk about this winter, if I missed any please leave them in the comments section below or shoot me a tweet by following @GreedyStripes. 

Forcing Minority Hiring’s a Tough Sell in MLB

If the 2016 MLB season were to begin today Major League Baseball would not have any African-American managers in the game, something that Commissioner Rob Manfred wants to change. Lloyd McClendon was the only African-American manager in the league until the Seattle Mariners fired him this month after just two seasons at the helm and unless McClendon, or another African-American manager, finds a job before Opening Day 2016 MLB will be without one for the first time since 1987.

There are managerial openings in Miami, San Diego, Washington and Los Angeles so McClendon could latch on with one of those teams while former Astros manager Bo Porter has also interviewed with the Miami Marlins so it’s not likely that the season starts without a minority manager but it’s still possible. How do you fix this though?

There is already a rule in MLB that states that all teams must interview at least one minority candidate for a managerial vacancy, that doesn’t mean they will be hired though. How Manfred plans to expand the minority hiring’s, and not just African-American hiring’s mind you, remains to be seen but I just can’t see how it happens. Diversity and the opportunity is there in MLB and I firmly believe that in the year 2015, almost 2016, that racism is not a factor here much anymore so what is?

Can you force owners to hire minorities? Not likely, especially when it comes down to the Union vs. MLB. So what’s the answer? Unfortunately nobody has one and I don’t see how Rob Manfred could either.  Manfred already hired a company to provide support services for qualified candidates, specifically for minorities and women, to help them in the interview and preparations process so what more can he conceivably, and legally, do? The opportunities are there, however limited with just 30 MLB managers in the league, so I don’t know. Stay tuned. 

Joe Girardi & The 2010 Offseason That Could Have Changed Everything

The New York Yankees went into the offseason of the 2010 season after failing to defend their World Series crown and an early exit in the postseason. The Yankees faced much uncertainty that offseason like they do most winters but this winter was a little different as their manager Joe Girardi was a free agent.

Girardi was hired for the 2008 season on a three year deal to replace the popular and legendary Joe Torre and promptly snapped the Yankees skid of 13 straight seasons of making the postseason. This was not exactly the way the Yankees wanted to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium and goodbye to Joe Torre but the team bounced back in 2009 to win the World Series. The Yankees were back in the playoffs in 2010 but failed to defend their crown leaving Girardi unsure about his job security.

The Chicago Cubs pursued Girardi hard and heavy this offseason but ultimately on this day Girardi signed a new three year deal to stay with the club. What would the state of the Yankees be in today if Girardi had not signed on with New York and went back to Chicago where he spent some of his playing career? Would the Yankees have made the playoffs in 2011 and the ALCS in 2012? Would the Yankees have missed the postseason in 2013 and 2014? Does the team win the AL Wild Card Game in 2015?Who knows! One thing I do know is that if he had not signed on with New York on this day in 2010 Joe Maddon would probably be donning pinstripes right about now.

It’s something to think about anyway as we head towards a long and cold, dark winter.

Commissioner Manfred’s First Year on the Job a Success

The 2015 Major League Baseball season marked the first season under the new tenure of Commissioner Rob Manfred and with the season just about in the books you have to label this first season as a success. Manfred took over for former Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig with the promise to change the game, maybe not radically but change nonetheless, while improving the game and keeping the most progressive and old school fans happy at the same time. It seemed impossible at the time but it looks like Manfred may have pulled off the impossible.

Manfred’s first agenda was to speed up the game with his new pace of play rules in both the minor leagues and the Major Leagues. Pitching clocks were installed in the minor leagues and experimented with in the Arizona Fall League with varying degrees of success while television time outs, commercials and the annoying “stepping out of the batter’s box to adjust your batting gloves, read the signs from the third base coach and spit in your hands even though you took a ball a foot off the plate” were eliminated from the majors. Excluding the postseason and the month of September, due to rosters expanding to 40 players from 25 players leading to a slew of pitching changes night in and night out, Manfred and his pace of play rules shaved about 15 minutes off a game every single night.

Attendance is up across the board once again in MLB and television deals are fruitful and as plentiful as the oceans on Earth. Baseball is a business and the money is definitely here and definitely being spent. Manfred also introduced a domestic violence policy to train and potentially stop a domestic violence case before it happens and Manfred has enjoyed a spike in youth and exciting young players to hit the game this season. Manfred watched as Alex Rodriguez made his comeback tour, the Yankees (which love them or hate them you have to admit that it’s good for the game when they are relevant) return to the postseason and the return of the Chicago Cubs as a power house team in the league.

What Manfred did not deal with is any major steroid suspensions, Ervin Santana maybe being the biggest name to be suspended this season, or fall outs of any kind. Manfred wasn’t a part of discussions to contract a team or two in the league, instead he is spear-heading a movement to play games in Cuba and Mexico while potentially adding another team or two somewhere down the line. When a manager leads his team to the World Series, much like Ned Yost and Terry Collins have in 2015, you have to push the right buttons more time than not and the same can be said for a Commissioner. Manfred pushed the right buttons this season but his job is far from done. He has the second base collision rule to work on and the collective bargaining agreement ends when the 2016 season does, but if the past is any indication of the future than Manfred, and Major League Baseball, will be just fine. 

Weekly AFL Check In: Domingo Acevedo

We have been checking in with the members of the New York Yankees that are down in the Arizona Fall League all week this week here on the blog and that continues this morning with another promising Yankees prospect. This all started off with Tyler Austin, the man who needed the AFL the most, and it continued to Gary Sanchez, the man tearing up the AFL. It continued on with Ian Clarkin, the biggest story of the AFL as far as Yankees fans are concerned after missing the entire regular season with an elbow injury and today we move on to probably the biggest prospect of the bunch, Domingo Acevedo.

Acevedo opened many eyes this season hitting 100+ MPH consistently this season and tearing up the lower levels of the minor leagues. Acevedo doesn’t have to build innings like Clarkin, or prove himself like Austin, or rebuild his value like Sanchez all he has to do is keep the hype train rolling… and early indications look like he can and then some. Check the stats out below:

Domingo Acevedo

G: 2
GS: 0
IP: 3.0
W/L: 1-0
ERA: 0.00
K: 3
BB: 0
WHIP: 1.00

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/29: Jeter Wins Clemente Award

On this day in 2009 Derek Jeter would win the Roberto Clemente Award which is given to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and community involvement. Jeter would be the 3rd Yankees to ever win the award, Ron Guidry and Don Baylor the other two, and would join 13 Hall of Fame players with the award.

Also on this day in 1991 the Yankees hired Buck Showalter to replace Stump Merrill as the Yankees manager. In four seasons, including the strike shortened 1994 season, Buck would compile a 313-268 (.539) record as a 36 year old manager. Buck would win the American League Manager of the Year Award and the AL East title in 1994 and would lead the Yankees to the playoffs in the first Wild Card series in 1995.

Finally on this day in 1920 the Yankees hired ex-Boston Red Sox manager Ed Barrow to be their General Manager. Over the next quarter of a century the Yankees would see 14 American League pennants and 10 World Series Championships while Barrow would see a Hall of Fame induction.