Friday, November 6, 2015

CC Sabathia Realized His Battle w/ Alcoholism in 2012

CC Sabathia has completed his rehab stay for alcoholism and will now take the biggest, and the hardest, steps forward in his battle with the disease. He will try and manage the disease without the rehab, the counselors, etc. and will attempt to manage it by himself, at home with his wife and children and presumably out on the road with his teammates in 2016 and 2017. CC has been battling these demons for an undisclosed time but he first realized it back in 2012 according to recent reports, we post this not to shame CC or because every other blog and publication is. We post this as another excuse to give our undying support and prayers to CC, Amber and their young children.

Here are a few quotes from CC during his Good Morning American interview with Robin Roberts:

"I would go a couple, you know, two, three months at a time sober, and then I would just relapse, and, you know, go on these weekends when I thought nobody was paying attention, and I would get in a hotel room and drink out of the minibar, pretty much everything."

"That weekend I had started drinking and, you know, thought nobody was paying attention and, you know, was isolated by myself, staying in my room the whole weekend." (in reference to when he informed the Yankees and his teammates.

"That was one of the things I think I wanted to clear up," he said. "You don't ever drink before games or anything like that."

"I was just tired of hiding," he said. "I just felt such a relief that everybody knows now. ... I can start the healing process and take the steps forward to get myself better."

Alcoholism is a disease CC. You got this big man and you have the full support from our blog and many other blogs, readers and fans out there. You got this, remember that. Take all the time you need to heal yourself and just know that we’ll be here waiting on you when you get back with open arms. We’re family… the Yankees family. #StandWithCC.

YES Network: Exit Interview with Brett Gardner

Another night and another YES Network exit interview from our friend Lou DiPietro. DiPietro works for the YES Network and brought you THIS interview with Brett Gardner. See below for an excerpt from the article and click the link above, or HERE, to see the entire interview and to support DiPietro and the YES Network. DiPietro is a friend of the blog and we would appreciate your support for our very dear friend. Thank you and enjoy.

The New York Yankees' 2015 season ended at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night, thanks to a 3-0 loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card Game.

Following the game, many Yankees players, coaches, and officials were in a reflective mood, beginning both the look back on this year and the look ahead to 2016 - so much so that the team was able to conduct a series of "exit interviews" on the subjects.

Here is the exit interview from Yankees All-Star outfielder Brett Gardner, after setting career highs in hits (148), walks (68) and RBI (66).

Q. How tough was this loss tonight?

GARDNER: It's tough. I really felt good coming in to the game with Masahiro [Tanaka] pitching and I felt good about our chances. Dallas [Keuchel] threw the ball really really well, and obviously we weren't able to get anything going off him. It's a tough way to end the season. I was happy with the season that we had, we overcame a lot of adversity. We definitely played better than people expected us to. I was happy about making the postseason obviously, but the way the season ended is a tough pill to swallow right now.

Q. Was there any point that you thought you could put something together offensively against Keuchel?

GARDNER: Even with two outs in the ninth inning I still think we're bringing a couple of guys on base and can make some magic happen. He just kept the ball down and kept the ball on the corners of the plate for the most part. It keeps guys off balance, and his fastball is not straight. You see it on TV and it doesn't look straight, then you get in the box and it's doing ten times more than what it looks like it was doing on TV. He's had a great year, he pitched great against us and it's just frustrating.

Donald Trump Wants to Own the New York Yankees

"You kidding me Amare? You're fired!"

Yes, please!

According to recent reports Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman and Republican Party Presidential hopeful, wants to own the New York Yankees. Trump grew up in New York City and made his millions in the greatest state, in my humble opinion, in the United States and would like to return there if he could land an ownership role in any sports team.

George Steinbrenner and Trump were known associates, business partners and friends and the similarities don’t stop there. Heads would roll when the team didn’t make the postseason in two consecutive years and player contracts would be eaten when they were no longer useful. Trump would own, run and manage the team like the $3.5 billion powerhouse that it is.

Trump would do is smart though, in my opinion. He wouldn’t be a tyrant, he would just do whatever was necessary to turn a profit. Trump understands the added revenue, attendance, merchandise sales and the growth to the brand that comes with the playoffs and would basically demand that the team make it there every season. He would also give Brian Cashman the power he had from 1998-2009 along with a blank check.

Trump was just asked a question and he answered it, he isn’t seriously considering making a run at buying the team and there is no speculation that the Steinbrenner family is interested in selling. This is the offseason and it’s time to dream and that’s what I did with this article, hopefully it’s taken that way by the reader. Enjoy as we dream about the return of the GREEDY Pinstripes. 

Meet a Prospect: Alan Cockrell

Alan Cockrell was named the New York Yankees assistant hitting coach prior to the 2015 season and the team responded with the second best offense in all of Major League Baseball. Jeff Pentland, the head hitting coach from 2015, was fired after the season and Cockrell has accepted a position as the team’s main hitting coach and will work side-by-side with former Triple-A hitting coach and current Yankees assistant hitting coach Marcus Thames. Not many players and fans knew much about Cockrell before the 2015 season and not many know him today, until now.

Atlee Alan Cockrell was born on December 5, 1962 into a Christian household. Cockrell spent his High School days at Joplin, Missouri’s Parkwood High School where he represented the Parkwood High School Bears. The Bears were the team’s football team, not the school’s baseball team as you would expect, and Cockrell was the team’s starting quarterback. During his tenure there, three seasons as the starting QB, Cockrell led the team to a 31-3 record with 3,499 yards, 44 touchdown passes, 1,541 rushing yards and 36 rushing touchdowns and even kicked 154 PAT’s with eight field goals. Cockrell did it all including the year when he led the Bears to a perfect 14-0 season outscoring their opponents 653-33 and a Missouri State Class 4A High School Championship in 1980. Cockrell’s efforts there led him to take a scholarship at the University of Tennessee to be the team’s starting quarterback.

Cockrell was the first ever true freshman to start for the Volunteers when he did so in 1981 but five games into his Tennessee football career he suffered a major knee injury that threatened his college and professional career. Cockrell led the Vols to a 6-5-1 record in 1982 and a 9-3 season in 1983 including a Florida Citrus Bowl win over Boomer Esiason and the Maryland Terrapins in his final game with the school. The San Francisco Giants drafted Cockrell in the first round of the 1984 Draft, 9th overall, and his love for baseball drowned out any aspirations to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League.

Cockrell played nine seasons in the minor leagues for five different organizations before finally making his Major League debut in 1996 with the Colorado Rockies. Cockrell had a strikeout against Billy Wagner and a double off future Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine in Atlanta before playing in his final MLB game on September 29, 1996. Cockrell bounced around various minor league affiliates inside the Rockies organization as a manager and hitting coach before returning to the Majors as the Rockies hitting coach in 2007. Under Cockrell the Rockies slugged their way to a National League Championship and a trip to the World Series before running into the red hot Boston Red Sox. Under Cockrell the Rockies led the league in on-base percentage, batting average and total hits although it was not enough to keep Cockrell in a job after the team fired him before the 2009 season.

Cockrell was named the Seattle Mariners hitting coach in 2010 replacing Alonzo Powell but unfortunately for him he was the first out four coaches who were relieved of their duties alongside then manager Don Wakamatsu. Cockrell was out of the game completely until the New York Yankees came calling in January of 2015.

Cockrell and his SwingPath Coach training device he invented will now bring his talents to New York to be their hitting coach. How will the Yankees offense respond? I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned, either way congrats to Cockrell. After the career, the setbacks and the life in the game that you’ve had you have definitely earned your stay here in the Bronx.

Complete List of All 155 Free Agents This Winter

All 155 MLB free agents that will be competing for a new job this winter have hit free agency as soon as the World Series ended. Today is the final day that their former teams have exclusive negotiating rights and tonight at 12:01 am the free agency free-for-all begins. Do you think the Yankees sign any of the below 155 free agents? Leave those predictions in the comments section below.

Atlanta Braves
Ross Detwiler
Edwin Jackson
Peter Moylan
A.J. Pierzynski

Arizona Diamondbacks
David Hernandez
Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Baltimore Orioles
Wei-Yin Chen
Chris Davis
Darren O’Day
Gerardo Parra
Steve Pearce
Matt Wieters

Boston Red Sox
Craig Breslow
Rich Hill

Chicago Cubs
Trevor Cahill
Chris Denorfia
Dexter Fowler
Dan Haren
Tommy Hunter
Austin Jackson
Jason Motte
Fernando Rodney

Chicago White Sox
Matt Albers
Gordon Beckham
Jeff Samardzija
Geovany Soto

Cincinnati Reds
Sean Marshall
Manny Parra
Brayan Pena

Cleveland Indians
Mike Aviles
Gavin Floyd
Ryan Webb

Colorado Rockies
Kyle Kendrick
Justin Morneau

Detroit Tigers
Alex Avila
Rajai Davis
Tom Gorzelanny
Alfredo Simon
Randy Wolf

Houston Astros
Scott Kazmir
Oliver Perez
Colby Rasmus
Tony Sipp
Joe Thatcher

Kansas City Royals
Johnny Cueto
Ryan Madson
Franklin Morales
Chris Young
Ben Zobrist

Los Angeles Angels
David Freese
Chris Iannetta
Matt Joyce
Matt Latos
Shane Victorino
Wesley Wright

Los Angeles Dodgers
Brett Anderson
Howie Kendrick
Jimmy Rollins

Miami Marlins
Don Kelly
Jeff Mathis
Casey McGehee

Milwaukee Brewers
Kyle Lohse

Minnesota Twins
Blaine Boyer
Neal Cotts
Brian Duensing
Torii Hunter
Mike Pelfrey

New York Mets
Jerry Blevins
Yoenis Cespedes
Tyler Clippard
Bartolo Colon
Kelly Johnson
Daniel Murphy
Eric O’Flaherty
Bobby Parnell
Juan Uribe

New York Yankees
Chris Capuano
Stephen Drew
Chris Young

Oakland Athletics
Edward Mujica
Barry Zito

Philadelphia Phillies
Chad Billingsley
Jeff Francoeur
Aaron Harang
Jerome Williams

Pittsburgh Pirates
Antonio Bastardo
Joe Blanton
A.J. Burnett
J.A. Happ
Corey Hart
Aramis Ramirez
Sean Rodriguez
Joakim Soria

San Diego Padres
Josh Johnson
Shawn Kelley
Ian Kennedy
Brandon Morrow
Bud Norris
Justin Upton

San Francisco Giants
Jeremy Affeldt
Alejandro De Aza
Tim Hudson
Mike Leake
Tim Lincecum
Marco Scutaro
Ryan Vogelsong

Seattle Mariners
Joe Beimel
Franklin Gutierrez
Hisashi Iwakuma

St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Belisle
Randy Choate
Jason Heyward
John Lackey
Mark Reynolds
Carlos Villanueva

Tampa Bay Rays
Asdrubal Cabrera
John Jaso
Grady Sizemore

Texas Rangers
Yovani Gallardo
Colby Lewis
Mike Napoli
Ross Ohlendorf
Drew Stubbs
Will Venable

Toronto Blue Jays
Mark Buehrle
Marco Estrada
Jeff Francis
LaTroy Hawkins
Munenori Kawasaki
Mark Lowe
Dioner Navarro
Cliff Pennington
David Price

Washington Nationals
Ian Desmond
Doug Fister
Denard Span
Matt Thornton
Dan Uggla
Jordan Zimmermann

Recently Opted Out or Released:

Burke Badenhop (Reds)
Skip Schumaker (Reds)
Joe Nathan (Tigers)
Chad Qualls (Astros)
Jeremy Guthrie (Royals)
Alex Rios (Royals)
Zack Greinke (Dodgers)
Cliff Lee (Phillies)
Jonathan Broxton (Cardinals)
Clint Barmes (Padres)
Casey Janssen (Nationals)
Nate McLouth (Nationals)
Alexei Ramirez (White Sox)
David Murphy (Angels)
Alex Gordon (Royals)
Ryan Raburn (Indians)

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Marcus Thames

As we’ve all surely heard by now Jeff Pentland is out as hitting coach of the New York Yankees and Alan Cockrell is in after spending the 2015 season as the assistant hitting coach to Pentland. The Yankees needed someone to fill the vacancy left behind by Cockrell and that man was former Triple-A hitting coach Marcus Thames. Marcus Markley Thames, born March 6, 1977, played with four different teams including the New York Yankees three separate times during his playing career from 2002 to 2011 and has since spent his time in the minor leagues with the club as a coach. During the 2013 season Thames was the hitting coach for the High-A Tampa Yankees and was promoted to the Trenton Thunder in the same position for the 2014 season drawing rave reviews from one of the Yankees top prospects Robert Refsnyder. Now, in a bit of irony, we remember a Yankee of the past (as a player, not as a coach) and we remember Marcus Thames during his playing days.

Thames was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 1996 MLB Draft but did not make a true impact in the minor leagues until 2001. Thames was with the Double-A Norwich Navigators that season and he batted .321 with 31 home runs and 97 RBI where he was named to Baseball America’s minor league All-Star team and where he put himself on the map for the Yankees. New York was so impressed with Thames that they called him up before a June 10 game in 2002 and Thames responded immediately. Thames, facing the Arizona Diamondbacks big left-hander Randy Johnson, hit the first home run of his career on his first at bat becoming just the 80th player in MLB history to do so. Thames earned his first curtain call from the Bronx faithful, what a moment if you were fortunate enough to see it live.

Thames’ tenure with the Yankees ended on June 6, 2003 when he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Ruben Sierra. Thames went on to hit a home run in his first at bat with the Rangers as well but was back in the New York groove in 2010 when he signed a minor league deal with the club. Thames made the Opening Day roster and was set to be a platoon partner with Brett Gardner in left field before his defense forced him to accept a bench role. Thames was delegated to the bench behind Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Austin Kearns who was traded for before the trade deadline and ended up playing in just 82 games that season. In half of a season Kearns hit .288 with 12 home runs, mainly against left-handed pitching.

Thames elected free agency in November of 2010 but was right back with the team on July 22, 2011 after New York signed him to another minor league deal. Thames never played a game for the Yankees at any level that season and would retire from the game a member of the New York Yankees before pursuing his career in coaching with the ball club. Thames has continuously defied the odds and has defied the odds once again with his promotion to assistant hitting coach with the club. Congratulations to him and his family. You have to think that Thames is on the short list for hitting coach after Cockrell’s contract expires, no?

Weekly AFL Check In: Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade could be the Yankees second baseman of the future, their shortstop of the future or he could be the latest prospect to never make it to the Major Leagues. Honestly it's a total unknown, and not because it's Tyler Wade. That's just Major League Baseball. Either way Wade is down in Arizona with the Surprise Saguaros and is still representing the New York Yankees.

You'd like some better stats out of Wade honestly but he's still relatively young for the league.

Tyler Wade: 

Games: 11
At Bats: 34
AVG: .206
OBP: .263
SLG: .265
OPS: .528
H: 7
HR: 0
RBI: 5
BB: 3
K: 6

This Day in Major League Baseball History 11/6: Maddux is Gold

Surprisingly there was zero notable New York Yankees news on this day in history so I figured I would hit the high spots across Major League Baseball. Enjoy.

On this day in 2007 Greg Maddux broke a tie with Brooks Robinson and Jim Kaat when he won his 17th Gold Glove of his career. The 41 year old future Hall of Fame pitcher spent the 2007 season with the San Diego Padres and had won the award every season since 1990 with the exception of 2003 when the Braves Mike Hampton won the award.

Also on this day in 2007 in a 25-5 vote Instant Replay in a limited basis was approved by Major League Baseball. Replay was initially used to take a second look at home runs before it was expanded to the current state we see today.