Friday, March 25, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Chris Godinez

The Los Angeles Dodgers made a Bradley junior second baseman’s life goal come true in the MLB First Year Players Draft recently when they took Chris Godinez with their 18th round pick, 552nd overall. Godinez was expected to come out of the draft somewhere between the 10th and 20th round showing he has obvious talent and/or upside but the Dodgers apparently didn’t see enough to justify keeping him on the roster and released him on March 10th. The New York Yankees saw something in Godinez that the Dodgers did not and signed him to a minor league deal this month allowing Godinez’s dream to reach the Major Leagues continue with his second organization in his young professional career. Let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Chris Godinez Edition.

Chris Godinez stands 5’9” and weighs in at 182 pounds which is a nice stature and build for a middle infielder. Godinez was not your typical middle infielder though as he brought a big bat as an amateur player appearing in 48 games and batting .302 with five home runs and 19 RBI in his final season before the 2015 Draft. Godinez did most of his damage as a leadoff hitter drawing many praises by his coaches for his speed and athleticism. Godinez came into his final season before the draft with question marks surrounding him and that speed after sitting out nearly his entire sophomore season with a pair of torn hamstrings, one on each leg, but his legs looked healthy enough in his junior season to justify the Dodgers taking a chance on him.

Godinez has a rocket for an arm and was actually used as a closer during his senior year at Lake Forest High School. Godinez was moved to the middle infield while at Bradley College and took over for Rob Elliot and took over at the position due to injury just before conference play began in 2012. Godinez responded with all eyes on him by hitting .462 with four stolen bases and four runs scored in the opening series at Southern Illinois. Godinez remained the team’s starting second baseman throughout his freshman year and earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors. Godinez impressed throughout his collegiate career with a high contact average and batting average along with a great batters eye, 44 walks and 14 HBP’s in his junior season are evident of that, and even reached base in 30 consecutive games at one point.

Godinez told reporters after being drafted and signing with the Dodgers that both the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees also showed interest in him during the draft but obviously Los Angeles beat them both to the bunch. Like the Yankees have a tendency to do though they ended up getting their man in the end anyway so let’s all take this opportunity to not only welcome Chris into the organization and onto the team but also let’s welcome him to the family. Good luck Chris, we’re rooting for you. 

2016 Predictions- AL West

    We are just nine days away from opening day! Now that we have established Boston and Kansas City as the predicted AL division winners, we need to jump into the American League West. This division saw two representatives in the postseason last year, Texas and Houston. Will it be the same again in 2016? Let's go...

5. Oakland Athletics

    Billy Beane strikes again. A year after trading away the eventual MVP, Josh Donaldson, the "Moneyball" man traded away the main return piece of that trade, Brett Lawrie, to the South Side. They did sign Jed Lowry, Ryan Madson and Rich Hill. They made trades for Kris Davis and Yonder Alonso. Despite the typical off season for the A's,  I don't see how this team finishes anywhere but last in the division.

4. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

     Despite the fact that the Angels continue to have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, they continue to squander their opportunities of maximizing his talent.  They tried signing the top free agent pitchers this off-season, but failed. They tried trading for an outfield piece in Michael Saunders, and failed.  The Halos also managed to trade away the few remaining quality pieces in their farm system for Andrelton Simmons. There are so many question marks in both their lineup and rotation that it will be difficult for them to fair any better then cellar dwelling.

3. Seattle Mariners

   The Mariners might be the most overhauled team in all of baseball this off-season. They began the offseason by hiring a new GM from within the division, Jack Sorenzic. He then proceeded to make several trades, including Morrison and Miller for Nathan Karns, Carson Smith and Elias for Wade Miley and Mark Trumbo for Steve Clevenger. In addition, the M's also acquired Leonys Martin, Steve Cishek, Chris Iannetta, Adam Lind, Rob Brantly, Ryan Cook and re-signed Iwakuma,  after his deal with the Dodgers fell through. Despite all the moves, as previously referenced, this team could end up third or a top the division depending on how the cards fall.

2. Texas Rangers

  After finishing the 2015 campaign strong, the team from Texas went into the off-season with a head of steam, looking forward to 2016. After acquiring Cole Hamels mid season, they await the return of Yu Darvish to join Hamels atop the Rangers rotation, as one of the best one-two punches in all of baseball.  They added Tom Wilhelmson to the back of the bullpen to help Tollison's efforts,  although at first glance, Choo's  contract appeared to be a bust, he blossomed towards the end of the year and put up numbers we come to expect from a quality corner outfielder such as himself. In an ironic twist, they acquired Ian Desmond to play the outfield, although if Elvis Andrus can't get the job done at short(ALDS game 5),  Desmond could move back to his original position. And, if Hamilton and Beltre  can stay healthy for the season,  I could see this team winning the division for a second straight year.

1.  Houston Astros

     Just like the Minnesota Twins, the Astros really took the league by storm last season.  We baseball fans got to witness the breakout season for the game's next big superstar, Carlos Correa. Dallas Kuechel won the AL Cy Young Award, and looks to continue his dominance in the upcoming season. The Achilles Heel for the 'Stros in '15 was their  inability to close out ballgames, which they addressed by adding Ken Giles in a trade with the Philidelphia Phillies. They re-signed Tony Sipp and Colby Rasmus, Who had an unbelievable postseason for Houston in 2015. I made the mistake of picking them last a season ago, and, won't make the same mistake again. Houston, we have no problems.

Mark Teixeira & a Future in Acting?

Mark Teixeira wants to play at least four or five more seasons and he wants to reach the 500 home run plateau, these are goals that have come out of his mouth. I wonder though, does he have a plan for after he gets done playing Major League Baseball? And if he does you have to wonder whether it’s a potential job in acting.

For the second time in the last five seasons the Yankees first baseman has made an appearance on television playing himself. Teixeira was on Showtime’s show “Billions” this month and was seen at the Big Apple Circus signing autographs for the actors and the boys playing their sons. Teixeira was also seen on the HBO show “Entourage” back in 2011 as he appeared at a Yankees batting practice alongside fellow Yankee Alex Rodriguez.

Mark also hosted his own show while with the Yankees, Foul Territory, which aired on the YES Network a few years back. Mark caught a lot of flak for this show because for much of it he was too injured or beat up to play on the field but continued on with the show through the end of the season.

Will Teixeira act and/or host a show when his playing career is done? Who knows, if I see him I’ll ask him for you all. Stay tuned. 

Yankees ST: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 3/25

It's Friday, you ain't got no job and you've got nothing to do, let's watch the Yankees today. Surely most of you get the reference and hopefully you understand why I had to clean that up a bit, we're PG for the most part here but the message remains the same. It is in fact a Friday and the New York Yankees are in fact taking on the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon inside Ed Smith Stadium. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound looking to secure a fifth starter spot in the Yankees rotation.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Since an Alex Rodriguez Farewell Tour May Never Come

If you’ve been paying attention to Alex Rodriguez specifically, the New York Yankees at all or Major League Baseball in general then you know why there may never be a farewell retirement tour for slugger and steroid user Alex Rodriguez. While Rodriguez may have finally put it all together and figured it all out some people refuse or absolutely cannot leave the past where it belongs, in the past. There were multiple steroid allegations and admissions and multiple lawsuits that came associated with these allegations and admissions including Rodriguez suing the Yankees team doctor Dr. Chris Ahmad and the MLB Players Union that is entrusted with protecting him and his best interest. A lot can happen between now and the end of the 2017 season, look at how far Alex has come in the hearts and minds of many just last season, but since the Alex Rodriguez Farewell Tour may never come to fruition in 2017 I wanted to go ahead and get our ceremony out of the way now.

Who didn’t see the framed Centaur picture joke coming? If you didn’t, you should have. Centaur framed photo etched in gold. Either that or the picture of him kissing himself in the mirror. Why not? You have to laugh at yourself in this world.

On a serious note though I think Alex always wanted to be a true leader, a true Yankee and a captain. Give the man the captain for a day. Yes, I know how some feel about him and yes I know this will be unpopular as a decision but it’s just for a day. Let him know what it feels like. Especially if he has a 2016 and 2017 season like he had in 2015 both on and off the field, in and out of the clubhouse.

Alex donated his $6 million home run milestone bonus to charity in 2015 when he tied Willie Mays on the all-time home run list inside Fenway Park. Alex showed a good faith gesture to the team and proved that he could follow the Yankee way. Give it back, give it back in a donation to his children’s softball team or the Boys and Girls Club or something.

Finally I would give Alex a 2017 World Series ring, wait…. He’s going to give that to us. 

Smokeless Tobacco No Longer a Thing in New York

The State of New York and the New York City Council announced this week that smokeless tobacco inside both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field will not be a thing anymore come the 2016 regular season. The council approved a bill that will ban the consumption altogether in 2016 after a 44-3 in favor vote was cast this week.

Smokeless tobacco had already been banned in Boston’s Fenway Park, Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium and Angels Stadium, San Francisco’ AT&T Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field and US Cellular Field while the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates don’t allow smoking at all at their stadiums.

How is this going to be enforced? That’s my main question about this. Will they stop a game if a player is seen using it or will they simply get a letter/fine/citation after the game? Will fans be asked to leave games or get similar citations and fines? Right now it seems like there are more questions than answers so I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/25: Enter Pat Malone

On this day in 1935 the Chicago Cubs sold Pat Malone to the New York Yankees. The right hander will go 12-4 in 1936 for New York but will only post a 19-13 record in his three years in the Bronx.