Sunday, December 20, 2015

Join us on 9 Innings Manager

The offseason is here, the Winter Meetings are over and many of the top tiered free agents are already off the board. What in the world are we going to do all winter long? Binge watch shows on Netflix? Catch up on school/work/house work? Spend time with family? Nah, probably not. Playing video games on your phone instead of doing school work or house work or your actual work is always an option though. I spend most of my time on 9 Innings Manager.

Basically you can draft players, trade players and build your team from an expansion team to the Major Leagues. You can fight for playoff spots, MVP Awards and face off against the AI or a friend. You are the manager though, you don’t actually get to play the simulation. It’s still fun though and I have built a pretty beast team. Join us!

Download the free app and search for HiveID DBurchHero to help us pass the time this winter. 

Dave Echols Appointed President of the Charleston RiverDogs

Echols promoted to President/GM; Mike Veeck named President Emeritus

CHARLESTON, SC – Marv Goldklang, Chairman and principal owner of the Charleston RiverDogs, has announced that Dave Echols has been promoted to President & General Manager of the club, effective immediately. Fomer club President Mike Veeck, who served as the RiverDogs’ president since 1997 and who guided the team during its most successful years, will continue his involvement with the team as President Emeritus.

“Dave has proven to be one of Minor League Baseball’s most talented and successful executives during his tenure as general manager and under his operational leadership, the RiverDogs have experienced unprecedented success,” said Goldklang.

“Dave is a true professional who has become an integral and influential member of the Charleston community outside the ballpark gates,” he added.  “We have every confidence that his transition to this larger role will be seamless and result in ever-deepening ties between the team and the Lowcountry.”

Echols, who held the title of Executive Vice-President & General Manager for the past two years and served as the team’s general manager since 2004, will continue to oversee all operations of the club. Under Echols’ leadership, the RiverDogs have been honored with multiple industry awards for excellence in promotions, marketing and ballpark operations and in 2015, established an all-time attendance record as 292,661 fans passed through the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park turnstiles.  Echols twice has been named Executive of the Year in the South Atlantic League.

Echols enters his 25th season in professional baseball, a career that began in 1992 as an intern with the Fayetteville (NC) Generals of the South Atlantic League.  During the course of his time in baseball, he has served in various capacities including that of director of marketing for the AAA Columbus (OH) team of the International League.

He joined the RiverDogs in 1999 as an assistant general manager, and departed in 2002 to become general manager of the Brockton (MA) Rox of the Northeast League, and was honored in 2003 as Executive of the Year of that league.  He returned to Charleston as general manager in 2004 and now begins his 16th season with the RiverDogs, this time as president.

“I am indeed apppreciative of the continued support of Marv Goldklang and everyone affiliated with The Goldklang Group,” said Echols. “Under Marv and Mike Veeck’s leadership, the RiverDogs have flourished, developing extremely strong roots in the community and making The Joe THE place to be.  I am both proud and honored to be handed the reins.”

Echols, 45, is a native of Delaware, Ohio and a graduate of the Universiyt of Dayton.  He and his wife, the former Debra Glenn, are the parents of a son, Logan, who is 4.

Veeck, son of legendary Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, will continue to teach sports management courses as a visiting professor at The Citadel, where he has been since 2008. He also remains involved with The Goldklang Group as president and co-owner of the St. Paul Saints in the independent American Association of Professional Baseball.

What are the New York Yankees Getting for Christmas This Year?

It’s almost that time, Christmas week has finally arrived. Have you been good or are you going to get coal in your stockings this year? To take it one step further what are the New York Yankees asking from Santa this Christmas season? I asked them just that question and here are their (fictional) answers:

Joe Girardi:
“I’m just asking for the health of my pitching staff and good seasons from Gardy, Birdy, Alex, Refy, Mac, Louie, Evo and Lindy.”

Alex Rodriguez:
“I’m just blessed to be here another season and I want to thank the Steinbrenner family, the New York Yankees organization, Randy Levine, the Yankees fans and family for the opportunity. I’m truly humbled, blessed and rich so I don’t have to ask Santa Clause for anything, I’m an independent woman.”

Robert Refsnyder:
*just stares at me in disgust and refuses to answer*

Chase Headley:
“The Chuck Knoblauch book on how to throw to first base. No really, I’m kidding. Please don’t bring me that, I’m inside my own head enough. Maybe a puppy?”

Mark Teixeira:
“A full and healthy season. Finally. It’s my contract year and Greg Bird’s eyebrows scare me.”

Greg Bird:
“For someone to step on a crack and break Mark Teixeira’s back… maybe? He needs a day”

Stephen Drew:
“Please sign me!”

Hal Steinbrenner:
“For people to stop calling the man writing the $200+ million check every single season cheap!”

Brian Cashman:
“He’s not cheap my ass. But for real though, just let me know when you’re recording because I’ve got this great politically correct line my grandfather always used to tell me growing up.”

Hank Steinbrenner:

“A carton of Newports and something to eat.”

Merry Christmas everyone and to those who don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays to you as well. 

If the Yankees Want to Trade An Outfielder….

The New York Yankees and their GM Brian Cashman are being aggressive this winter, maybe overly aggressive, in the trade market and have sent off a few key pieces from the 2015 squad already. Cashman has named a few other trade candidates including their closer Andrew Miller, a starting pitcher Ivan Nova and outfielder Brett Gardner. If the Yankees want to trade an outfielder this winter shouldn’t it be Carlos Beltran and not Gardner?

Carlos Beltran is 38-years old and will be 39-years old for much of the 2016 season. Beltran showed last season that his defense, and specifically his knees, are not what they used to be. Let’s not beat around the bush, if Beltran was average in right field defensively last season I would be extremely surprised. The good news for any American League team is they still have the DH position, the bad news specifically for the Yankees is that Alex Rodriguez will occupy that roster spot for the next two seasons. The Yankees could ride out Beltran for one more year, his bat is not one that forces his way into the lineup but he did lead the Yankees in batting average last season, but the team would love to be out of his $15 million commitment for next season. This also clears the path for Aaron Judge.

Judge may start the season in Triple-A regardless giving Aaron Hicks a chance in right field (assuming Beltran is traded of course) and either Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams the fourth outfielder job. Judge didn’t get much experience in Scranton last year and when he did he struggled mightily at the plate for much of the year. Judge could use some more seasoning at the upper levels for his own sake and for the betterment of the team. Either way Judge will be ready long before the Beltran contract is up and that’s a problem for New York.

I have mentioned it many times and while I don’t have anything concrete to back me up I think many would agree anyway. You can over-groom a prospect. At some point their development does a complete 180 degree turn and you begin to reverse the trend. I don’t want that to happen with Judge so if he is tearing the cover off the ball in May and June you may be forced to bring him up much like the team did this past season with Greg Bird. If not then you still have the security of Ben Gamel, Williams and Heathcott on the 40 man roster. Trading Beltran is a win-win, trading Brett Gardner is not. 

Chase Headley WILL Be Better in 2016

If you watched a Yankees game in 2015 there is a good possibility that the Yankees third baseman Chase Headley was in the game. Headley led the team in games played with 156 games in 2015 making him one of the more durable players on the team last season. If you watched at least one game in 2015 it is very likely that you also saw Headley either make an error or make a throw that would have been an error had Mark Teixeira or Greg Bird pulled it out of the air or the dirt. Headley was horrible defensively in 2015 and committed 23 errors but he should be much better in 2016.

Headley was considered an elite defender before coming to the New York Yankees in 2014. Earlier this week we discussed the Yankees infield defense for next season and we used the FIELDING stat, formerly known as dWAR, from Fangraphs and we will use it again here to make our case specifically for Headley. Keep in mind that no defensive metric is considered a “be all tell all” type stat like WAR is for batters or FIP, WHIP or ERA+ are for pitchers but it is as close as we can get in modern times. Headley’s FIELDING stat in 2015 was -3.0 which is not great but I truly believe this is just a blip on the radar. Keep reading.

In 2014 Headley posted a very impressive and almost staggering 20.4 FIELDING while in 2013 he was no slouch at the hot corner with a 7.0 FIELDING stat. If FIELDING is not the stat for you then how about an oldie but a goodie? Headley’s fielding percentage in 2013-2015 are here in order for your reference, .968, .975 and .946. Headley committed a total of 19 errors from 2013 and 2014 combined making his 23 errors in 2015 a bit of an anomaly for me.

Look, I believe in my heart of hearts that you just don’t lose it defensively at age 30 (he's 31 now). For every Chuck Knoblauch who just woke up one day and decided he couldn’t throw it to first base anymore you have thousands of other examples where players are at minimum adequate defensively late into their careers. Chase Headley will be fine ladies and gentlemen, it’s amazing what an offseason can do for a guy. 

Insider: Joe Girardi Concerned About Pitching Staff

Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reported recently that a source and Yankees insider told him that Joe Girardi was “concerned” about the Yankees pitching staff. I don’t think you need an insider, especially when you quote Girardi directly from an interview in your piece, to tell you that the Yankees have some question marks in their rotation this upcoming season. The good news is it’s not even Christmas yet and there is plenty of time to go.

Of course Girardi’s concerned, we’re all concerned. Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t had a full and healthy season inside a Yankees uniform and you always have his UCL and a potential Tommy John surgery on your mind. Michael Pineda has yet to have a full and healthy season with New York either after battling shoulder injuries and forearm inflammation and such over the past few seasons. Nathan Eovaldi was shut down last season with inflammation, Ivan Nova is in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery, Luis Severino may have an innings limit next season and CC Sabathia is battling alcoholism and a degenerative knee condition.

This is what makes the trades of Justin Wilson and Adam Warren, two trusted bullpen arms and a safety net for the rotation, even more puzzling. Cashman has a plan, he says he has a plan anyway, so I’ll just sit here and remain patient.

Have a great day Yankees family.

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/20: The American Idle

On this day in 2004 the Yankees signed Mr. Carl Pavano to a four year free agent deal worth $39.95 million. Pavano is coming off of an 18 win season with the World Series champion Florida Marlins and would make a total of 26 starts in his Yankees career.

Also on this day in 1973 the American League President Joe Cronin ruled that the New York Yankees could not sign manager Dick Williams. The Yankees announced a deal with the former Oakland manager just two days earlier.