Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quick Hit: Roger Clemens to be Honored by The Sports Museum

The Sports Museum will be holding their 14th annual “The Tradition” this year on December 2nd and will be honoring a very special guest and former member of the New York Yankees, Roger Clemens. Alongside Clemens, who will be receiving his award from Red Sox radio voice announcer Joe Castiglione, will be Danny Ainge, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Richard Seymour, Gerry Cheevers and Don Rodman.

Too much Boston for my taste but Clemens was a member of the Yankees and a good Yankee, on the field of course, so I figured I would bring you the particulars in case you were interested. Enjoy

When: December 2, 2015
Where: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Cost: Reserved seating is $300 and general admission is $200 with net proceeds benefiting The Sports Museum.

More information can be found at or by contacting Renee Quinn at (617-624-1231).

FYI: Comcast Drops the YES Network

Is your television provider Comcast? If so I have some bad news for you that you may or may not already know. Comcast is set to drop the YES Network immediately leaving you without your home for the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New York FC soccer club. Due to a dispute over fees, imagine that, Comcast is blacking out the YES Network in certain areas of Northern New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

According to the report I read approximately 900,000 cable customers have been affected by the blackout as many missed the New Jersey Nets game against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.

YES is said to be asking for a 33% fee increase that Comcast doesn’t want to pass down to their customers. Just as an FYI it is FOX and no longer the New York Yankees and the Steinbrenner family that owns the majority in the YES Network. Fox owns 80% of the YES Network while the New York Yankees control the rest.

Here is a direct quote from YES:

"Comcast's reputation for poor customer satisfaction is well known, but this surprise development represents a new low. YES and Comcast reached an agreement in principle on the key points of a new contract many months ago, and YES continued to operate in good faith under that arrangement through the entire Yankees and NYC FC seasons and into the Nets season.

"Unfortunately, because YES will not yield to Comcast's demands for special treatment and anti-competitive terms, Comcast has decided to drop YES Network and its coverage of the NY Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and the New York City FC." 

Brian Cashman CANNOT Rely Solely on Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira

The New York Yankees made the postseason for the first time since their 2012 loss in the ALCS to the Detroit Tigers this past season and if the team wants to return improvements will need to be made. Much of why the team made the postseason as the first Wild Card winner in 2015 was the returns of a healthy Mark Teixiera and an effective Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees were flying high until the month of August when Rodriguez’s production, undoubtedly due to fatigue after basically missing the last two seasons with injuries and a suspension, and Teixeira’s health, he fractured his shin and missed the remainder of the season, reared their ugly heads. I’ll say it again, if New York wants to return to the Promised Land in 2016 they absolutely cannot rely solely on the returns of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira in the middle of the lineup. 

In 2015 Rodriguez finished with a .50/.356/.486 triple slash playing in 151 games. Rodriguez hit 33 home runs but it was obvious that the fatigue had set in by the month of August. Rodriguez disappeared in the months of August and September slashing just .215/.313/.454 since August 18th. Speaking of August 18th, this was the day after Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin and it was also the day after Teixeira’s season ended. Teix played again on the 15th and 26th of August before ending his season at .255/.357/.548 and 32 home runs in just 111 games. If Cashman thinks he is going to get another productive season like this out of Rodriguez as he creeps towards 41-years old, even as a full-time DH, and a healthy season of 140+ games out of Teixeira, he hasn’t played in more than 123 games since 2011, then the Yankees are in for another long season. 

According to Fangraphs and their Steamer projections system Teixeira is projected to play in 126 games in 2016 and will slash .233/.328/.451 while hitting 27 home runs while Rodriguez projects to hit .240/.335/.415 with 21 home runs in 128 games. To be fair the Steamer projections usually underbid a lot of these projections, the 2015 versions had Teixeira hitting 20 home runs and Rodriguez only hitting nine home runs, but the fact of the matter is this cannot be the middle of your lineup in 2016. The consensus around sabermetric based franchises is that your best hitter is supposed to hit third in the lineup, if Alex is hitting .240 and hits 21 home runs and is the Yankees best hitter in 2016 I think this team is truly in trouble. 

New York won’t have the weak Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays to pick on for at least half of the season this time around. Tampa will be better, they always are, and Baltimore could be better as well even if they lose many of their big free agents. Boston will definitely be better, I have the utmost faith in Dave Dombrowski unfortunately, and the Blue Jays will have full seasons with Troy Tulowitzki and their newly revamped offense in 2016. Aaron Hicks is a nice move that compliments the team and the bench well but if another bat isn’t added somewhere that can help the team I truly worry about this team’s chances in 2016. Another year older, another year out of their primes and another year closer to the twilight's of their careers. 

The 2016 Draft Order Before the Big Free Agents Come off the Board

First Round
  1. Phillies
  2. Reds
  3. Braves
  4. Rockies
  5. Brewers
  6. Athletics
  7. Marlins
  8. Padres
  9. Tigers
  10. White Sox
  11. Mariners
  12. Red Sox
  13. Diamondbacks
  14. Rays
  15. Orioles
  16. Indians
  17. Twins
  18. Nationals
  19. Giants
  20. Angels
  21. Astros
  22. Yankees
  23. Rangers
  24. Mets
  25. Dodgers
  26. Blue Jays
  27. Royals
  28. Cubs
  29. Pirates
  30. Cardinals

Competitive Balance Lottery Round A

31. Reds
32. Athletics
33. Rockies
34. Diamondbacks
35. Braves (from Marlins in three-team Alex Wood trade with Dodgers)
36. Dodgers (compensation for failing to sign 2015 first rounder Kyle Funkhouser)
37. Pirates

Second Round
38. Phillies
39. Reds
40. Braves
41. Rockies
42. Brewers
43. Athletics
44. Marlins
45. Padres
46. Tigers
47. White Sox
48. Mariners
49. Red Sox
50. Diamondbacks
51. Rays
52. Orioles
53. Indians
54. Twins
55. Nationals
56. Giants
57. Blue Jays (compensation for failing to sign 2015 second rounder Brady Singer)
58. Angels
59. Astros
60. Yankees

Where do the Yankees go from here? Payroll questions loom large

Even though the off-season recently got underway, it is never too early to start thinking about 2016. In fact, many of us have been pondering next season while watching the Yanks slog their way through September! Brian Cashman will have to be creative in order to field a successful 2016 team and not have essentially a repeat of 2015. Reports indicate that the Yankees are open to trading any player and do not want to dip into the free agency.

Cashman needs to rethink this off-season how to position his team for a successful rebuilding in order to meet both the short and long-term goals. Cashman is reportedly working on a restrained budget since Yankees brass awaits some contracts to end before taking upon new long-term investments. While that is a sound monetary strategy, the Yankees results these past few seasons indicate they don’t have that luxury of standing pat (at least) for the next few years if they want to remain competitive. Their aging roster certainly isn’t going to get them where they need to be to achieve results Yankees-style.

Relying on the aforementioned aging roster paid some dividends this season, as Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez helped lead the Yankees to their first post-season appearance since 2012. However, they need to do more than simply depend on their older veterans in order to achieve success that has been lacking recently. If the Yankees want to return to the playoffs (for more than a one night-stand) they will have to make some sort of moves, unless Cashman gets approval to add additional contracts to the team’s historically large payroll. Looking ahead, Teixeira and Carlos Beltran’s contracts come off the books after this season. It’s hard to foresee the Yankees not signing at least one big-ticket free agent. They are the Yankees after all.

In order to do so, Cashman will have to trade an existing contract to free up some payroll. It’s been rumored that Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller both could be moved this off-season. While it would sad to see them go, trading one or both players would be a tremendous help for the future of the franchise. The off-season is already off to a good start with the Yankees acquiring Aaron Hicks from the Twins for John Ryan Murphy.


Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its Manager of the Year category Tuesday, with the Chicago Cubs’ Joe Maddon winning the group’s National League award, and Jeff Banister, of the Texas Rangers, being selected in the American League.
Maddon received 111 first-place votes (62.71%) and 700 points while being named on 170 of 177 ballots (94.44%). Others receiving first-place votes include Terry Collins (39), Mike Matheny (17) and Clint Hurdle (6).
Banister received 60 first-place votes (34.09%) and 440 points while being named on 124 of 176 ballots (70.45%). Others receiving first-place votes include A.J. Hinch (43), John Gibbons (33), Ned Yost (17) and Paul Molitor (13).
Election results are as follows:
AL Manager:
1st Place:                  Jeff Banister, Texas Rangers – 440 points
nd Place:                 
A.J. Hinch, Houston Astros – 415 
3rd Place:                  
John Gibbons, Toronto Blue Jays – 271
NL Manager:
1st Place:                  Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs – 700 points
nd Place:                 
Terry Collins, New York Mets – 406 
3rd Place
:                  Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals – 227
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
In 2010, the IBWAA began voting in its own relief pitcher category, establishing the Rollie Fingers American League Relief Pitcher of the Year and the Hoyt Wilhelm National League Relief Pitcher of the Year Awards.

Among approximately 400 others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Jim Caple, David Schoenfield and Mark A. Simon of; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck,; Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; King Kaufman, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Will Leitch, Sports on Earth; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder,; Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News; Tom Hoffarth and J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Pedro Moura, Orange County Register; Tracy Ringolsby,; Ken Rosenthal,; Eno Sarris, FanGraphs; Dan Schlossberg, USA Today; Jesse Spector, Sporting News and Wendy Thurm.
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20, or $35 lifetime. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit


Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA

Was Andrelton Simmons Worth Two Top Prospects?

I have to admit whenever a big trade goes down like the trade that sent the Atlanta Braves shortstop and MLB’s Defensive Player of the Year Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for two top prospects I get a little bit of trade envy. I see Simmons, a defensive wizard, and I imagine an up-the-middle defense of Simmons and Gregorius and I salivate. Simmons isn’t a wizard with the bat by any means, and I think everyone knows where I stand as far as my preference and fandom towards Robert Refsnyder, but the defense is definitely intriguing. Once I get my head out of the clouds and back to a level playing field I start to wonder if New York could have pulled off a similar trade with Atlanta for a comparable package and whether the trade would be worth it.

For the sake of this post we’re going to 100% leave out Simmons’ offense and focus totally on his defense. That’s why Simmons was acquired, his glove not his bat, and that’s why he was so expensive. Using advanced metrics, I have seen tons of him live and on television living in Atlanta but I can understand that not everyone has the eye test at their disposal for Simmons, Simmons posted these key and overall trusted defensive metrics in 2015 and during his four season career with the Braves.

Using these key stats you can see that Simmons has a career average of 21.4 UZR/150 and a UZR of 68.4. Simmons has a career 11.8 WAR and a career 90.7 defense rating according to Fangraphs. Those are great until you look at his -40.6 offensive rating on Fangraphs but we said we're going to leave the offense out of it for this post. Simmons is great defensively but is defense only worth two top prospects and Erick Aybar? With the deep free agent market this season, probably not in my opinion. 

In conclusion, giving up two top prospects for a defensive only type middle infielder is the epitomy of over paying for a player in my opinion. Sure, Los Angeles could hope for a bump in his offensive stats but after 499 games and 1847 at bats in four years I think the sample size is conclusive enough. Simmons and his career .256/.304/.362 triple slash was acquired for his defense alone. Defense can be found elsewhere and is not, again in my opinion, worth your top two prospects. Even in a “bad” farm system like the Angels have. 

Weekly AFL Check In: Domingo Acevedo

photo credit: and Robert Pimpsner

Welcome to the final week of the Arizona Fall League 2015. On the 21st of November the Arizona Fall League Championship Game will be played and if the season ended today the Surprise Saguaros, the home to many members of the New York Yankees including Domingo Acevedo, would face off with the Scottsdale Scorpions. The more these Yankees get used to winning championships the better if you ask me so take care of this thing Mr. Acevedo.

Domingo Acevedo:

G: 6
GS: 0
IP: 10.0
W/L: 1-0
ERA: 2.70
K: 7
BB: 2
WHIP: 1.10

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/18: Clemens Edges Mattingly

On this day in 1986 the Yankees first basemen Don Mattingly misses out on winning back to back Most Valuable Player awards as the Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens would win the award. Clemens received 19 of the 28 first place votes and became the first pitcher to win the award since Vida Blue won the award in 1971. Mattingly won the award in 1985 and would have been one of the few to win back to back MVP awards had he won the award.