Sunday, January 24, 2016

CC Sabathia's Knee Degeneration And The Road To 300

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 2003 World Series Game One HERE

Game One of the 2003 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins.

YES Network Spring Training Television Schedule

Via the YES Network

The Mets, Antonio Bastardo and Another Reason the Justin Wilson Trade was a Bad Idea

The New York Yankees traded away Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers this offseason for two starting pitching prospects Chad Green and Luis Cessa. The reasoning we the fans were given as a reason for it was so that the Yankees could have some depth at starting pitching in Scranton going forward and because Wilson was hitting the years of arbitration eligibility that tend to get a little expensive. Well the dust has settled and Wilson’s arbitration case has settled as well giving the Yankees a clear idea of just how expensive he is but the team also has an idea of just how much of a bargain he was as well. Let me explain.

All winter long I have compared free agent relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo to Wilson and used those comparisons to decide whether the move was a good one or not for the Yankees. If you look at their stats, ages and such they are almost an identical clone down to the fact that both even throw from the left side of the pitching rubber. The striking difference between these two pitchers though will be their salaries in 2016. Wilson agreed to a deal with the Tigers worth $1.5 million to avoid arbitration while Bastardo recently signed with the Mets, again with a comparable age, stats and track record, on a two-year deal worth $12 million.

So you have similar players statistically but you have a $4.5 million difference in salary, tell me why the Yankees traded him again? Oh yeah for a marginal starting pitching prospect and a guy that is considered to be an organizational prospect. How could I forget?

Bastardo heads into 2016 fresh off posting a 4-1 record with a 2.98 ERA and one save for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bastardo struck out 64 batters and issued 26 walks in just 57.1 innings pitched while helping Pittsburgh claims their third consecutive playoff spot. 

Are the Small Market Teams Worried?

Major League Baseball has a big season and a big year ahead of them in 2016. Not only do they have the regular season, postseason and World Series but they also have a collective bargaining agreement that is set to expire after the season. MLB has enjoyed baseball every year without a work stoppage since the 1994 season that saw the World Series cancelled and teams like the New York Yankees and Montreal Expos wondering what could have been and the league intends to keep it that way if they can. You’re not going to get five people to agree on the same thing let alone 30 MLB team’s so finding a common ground is going to benefit some and take from others, that’s the business of things, but are the New York Yankees making the small market teams begin to worry yet?

In 2015 a record four teams paid into the luxury tax including about $70 million paid by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. The other two teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox, paid just $3.1 million combined last season. With the Yankees newfound plan to use their farm system, to acquire cheap and young controllable talent and their plan to get under the luxury tax threshold (for real this time) are teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays beginning to sweat a little?

The Yankees have paid the most in luxury tax since its inception and it’s not even close. The team has also paid in every single year since its inception adding a few dollars to teams like the Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and others. How would these organizations look and run if that money were no longer there? I bring up the new collective bargaining agreement because things like the luxury tax and whether to raise it, stiffen the penalties or leave it alone will be discussed among other things. If the luxury tax is raised making it easier for teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and Giants to get under the cap what do the small market teams do?

Pittsburgh won’t be able to keep Andrew McCutchen unless they gut the team and/or he gives the organization a steep discount while the Rays, Indians and other teams will not be able to hold onto their young starting pitching. The pendulum will sway away from the smaller market teams once again and the larger market teams will once again have the financial power to do as they please and dictate the standings, the free agency market and other areas. The “Get Greedy” era will return and that in itself is a great thing for us Yankees fans. 

If the Yankees Need a Backup Third Baseman…

The New York Yankees and their GM Brian Cashman seem adamant that the infield is set and the roster is basically done. Starlin Castro will not only be the team’s second baseman but will also be the team’s backup shortstop and backup third baseman as well. Usually when you work for a small company you have to wear a lot of hats but the New York Yankees are small from a small company or organization so it leaves you to wonder if there is a backup third baseman in the plans before spring training. If there is one in the plans I know a few that are still available for signing, and for cheap too.

I’ve asked for Juan Uribe before because I think he would be a marvelous fit and I’ve suggested Ian Desmond, although I am personally against it, while Cashman has already shot down my idea of having Robert Refsnyder learn the position. What about career utility infielder Clint Barmes? Barmes is 37-years old and been around the block with the Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres during his 13 season MLB career and has spent time playing first base, second base, third base, shortstop, right field and center field. While his bat is lacking which is evident by his career .245/.294/.379 triple slash his defense and versatility are still selling points for the veteran.

Casey McGehee is another option for the Yankees and is already considered a former member of the organization. McGehee broke out in a big way in 2014 with the Miami Marlins and has enjoyed a consistent seven year career with the Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Marlins, Yankees and San Francisco Giants. McGehee has seemingly been zapped of all his power at this point in his career but he has experience at third base, first base and right field and could be a useful piece on the Yankees bench.

Those are just two of many options for the Yankees if they want a true backup third baseman than can play elsewhere. Will the Yankees sign another player? Who knows, we’ll just have to stay tuned. 

Major League Baseball and Homeland Security

The world is a messed up place and it’s getting messier by the day, let’s not equivocate and let’s refrain from beating around the bush here. The world sucks right now and while the United States as a whole and as a country has missed far more than their fair share of the chaos the country has been vulnerable to terrorist attacks both abroad and domestically by the enemy and by our very own people and citizens. Terrorists love to inflict fear on the population and they like to kill in cold blood. Terrorists aren’t picky and they don’t care. They have a target and they go into their mission knowing they will die just trying to take as many people with them as they can. You and I know this, the terrorists know this, Homeland Security knows this and apparently Major League Baseball does as well.

Major League Baseball presents more than 2,400 games a season and some crowds approach 40,000-50,000 fans on a nightly basis. While MLB has tightened their checks and security over the years including adding metal detectors to all 30 MLB stadiums the threat is still there unfortunately. Some ideas that were mentioned, whether in passing or in suggestion, included not allowing fans to bring in bags and eliminating food and food-service workers. Checking the trunks and bottoms of cars entering parking lots outside the ballparks was also discussed at the seminar. What is this, Bosnia?

I’m all for being safe, I bring my family and my children to ball games, but at some point it will become more trouble than it’s worth. Checking my trunk and the bottom of the car like I’m about to walk into the CIA building and hear some classified top secret information may be that line for me personally. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/24: Boring Rainy/Snowy Sunday Morning

It's cold, it's the dead of winter, it's snowing and raining on and off here and there is no relevant or notable Yankees news to speak of this morning. What do we do? We jam out to some new tunes, of course!

Also we bring you some NSFW, who works on Sunday anyway, picture on Ronda Rousey in nothing but a bucket of painted on bikini. Click HERE.