Saturday, April 9, 2016

Got Old Camden Riversharks Gear? Exchange for Tickets to 2016 Thunder Games!

With Opening Day just around the corner, the Thunder want to extend a special offer to fans of the defunct Camden Riversharks during the 2016 season.

Fans with hats, shirts, jerseys, pants, shorts, socks or shoes of the Camden Riversharks, Atlantic City Surf, or Newark Bears may exchange their items at the Thunder ticket office and receive a $13 ticket to a 2016 Thunder game (based upon availability), a food voucher, and 20% off at the Thunder company store.

The exchange will run throughout the 2016 season and will be limited to one article of clothing, per person, per transaction. At the end of the season, the Thunder will donate all of the collected items to a local non-profit.

"We're proud to put together a program of this nature," said Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley. "The Thunder play the highest level of professional baseball in the state of New Jersey and we are here to stay!"

Opening Day at ARM & HAMMER Park is Thursday, April 7 against the Erie Seawolves (Detroit Tigers) at 7:00pm. Tickets are available by phone at609-394-3300 or online at


ICYMI: Yankees Respond to John Oliver on Thursday

John Oliver of HBO’s comedic show “Last Week with John Oliver” has been trolling the New York Yankees a bit during this first week of the baseball season and before the team left Yankee Stadium the organization finally responded to the comedian. We spoke about this yesterday that Oliver was out to send a message to the club and the fan base and that he needed to stop there or risk going overboard and counterproductive, well I can’t see him stopping now that the Yankees took the time to acknowledge him and respond to him.

In case you missed the whole story here is the Readers Digest version of it all. New York has been called “elitist a-holes” by Oliver after Lonn Trost basically said in not so many words that he didn’t want fans who couldn’t afford premium seats on a normal basis sitting with those who do. That and fraud was the reasoning behind the Yankees decision to stop taking print-at-home tickets and Oliver took offense to that. Oliver then purchased tickets and sold them to fans for a quarter if they agreed to dress up in costumes and attend the games.

All in all the crowd was protected by two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, scared by a pair of sharks, mesmerized by a pair of unicorns and terrified by a pair of dinosaurs prompting the Yankees organization to take notice via a message on the team’s videoboard. The message said “Thanks, John Oliver. Everyone is welcome at Yankee Stadium.”

Touche, Yankees and kudos. 

BREAKING: Yankees "Anticipating" a MiLB Deal w/ Nick Swisher

According to Meredith Marakovits during the Yankees broadcast on YES Network today free agent outfielder and first baseman Nick Swisher is reportedly down at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa working out with the team. Marakovits goes on to say that the Yankees are "anticipating" a minor league deal between Swisher and the club to come in the coming days.

If you watched at all during the 2009 season this has to bring you back a little and it has to excite you just a little. Come on, it's a minor league deal and it's insurance and depth in case Mark Teixeira gets injured.

I love it.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 4/9

Ladies and gentleman I believe this is the third straight afternoon game for the New York Yankees this season, you have to love early season baseball. It’s cold in the morning, warm in the afternoons and frigid again at night leaving many of the April games to be played while most of us are at work. That’s all fine and well though when the game is on a Saturday afternoon so let’s get to it with CC Sabathia taking the mound against Mike Pelfrey inside Comerica Park.

The game will be played at 1:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV while you can also listen along on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Also if you’re looking to grab a pair of Yankees tickets for when the team returns home to the Bronx click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to secure your seats now. We can’t help you with the costumes though, John Oliver may have to help you with that.

Go Yankees! 

Jake Cave & the Last Notable Rule 5 Pick to Be Returned to New York

The New York Yankees had a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason just like any other team and many of those decisions came down on the farm within their own organization. Many prospects and young players were added to the Yankees minor league depth and farm systems this year while just as many, if not more, were released, traded or left unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft. New York lost two notable players in the Rule 5 Draft in Evan Rutckyj and Jake Cave and as of last week the Yankees had received both of them back which got me thinking about the last notable Rule 5 loss the team received back and how it worked out specifically for the ball club.

Way back in the winter before the 2009 season the Yankees opted not to protect Nova leaving him unprotected for the Rule 5 Draft. The San Diego Padres selected Nova in the draft and gave him an opportunity to win a spot with the team during spring training but Nova was not up to the task and was ultimately handed back to New York after being designated for assignment and after clearing through waivers like both Cave and Rutckyj. How Cave and Rutckyj will respond is yet to be determined but we now have a five-year sample size to talk about in regards to Nova and whether he took the DFA personally and used it as motivation for the remainder of his career.

Nova stuck around with the Yankees before getting an opportunity in 2010 to showcase his talents in 10 games, seven of them starts. This was enough of a showcase for the Yankees to judge on that they handed Nova 28 more appearances as a starter (one as a reliever in 2011) in both 2011 and 2012 and were rewarded with a 16 win and 12 win season respectively. Nova did struggle a bit in 2015 and missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery but it’s fun to think what could have been had Nova not been given back to the Yankees. Remember that 2012 team was a team that was one broken ankle (Derek Jeter) away from the World Series and you have to wonder if they get there without the contributions of Nova. You never know.

I said all that to say this, some players like Nova will use the Rule 5 selection and eventual DFA as motivation to push them for the remainder of their career. No one likes to fail and some may take that as a failure. It’s not the failure that defined Nova and it’s not the failure, for lack of a better term, that will define Cave or Rutckyj but it will be how they react to the failure. Nova bounced back and had a solid couple of years and I’m hoping that Cave and Rutckyj, given the opportunities, can do the same. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 4/9

The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers will continue their three-game weekend series today with the middle game inside Comerica Park. Each team flashed and showed off their shiny new toys in yesterday afternoon’s game and today we get a matchup between a couple of old veterans with something to prove in the Yankees lefty CC Sabathia and Mike Pelfrey for Detroit.

Sabathia won the 5th spot in the Yankees rotation over Ivan Nova and Bryan Mitchell in a spring competition despite going 1-3 with a 5.51 ERA in five spring training starts. General Manager Brian Cashman said the decision is not necessarily permanent and that Nova could earn his way back into the rotation while Sabathia takes his place in the bullpen so the big lefty has a lot to prove early and often this season.

Pelfrey is making his Detroit Tigers debut inside Comerica Park just a day removed from Jordan Zimmermann making his debut there as well and is coming off a solid spring training as well. Pelfrey finished the spring with a 2-2 record and a 2.66 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts and is looking to continue that success when the games actually mean something while he tries to resurrect his career at the same time.

The game will be played at 1:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park and can be seen locally on the YES Network and nationally on MLB Network and MLB TV. Go Yankees!

Thunder Partners With Sunrun To Educate Fans On Solar Power

Leading Residential Solar Company Selects Thunder Shortstop Tyler Wade to its "The Future is Bright" Lineup

The Thunder today announced they will be one of 16 communities featured in Minor League Baseball's new multi-year sponsorship with Sunrun(Nasdaq: RUN), the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States. As the "Preferred Residential Solar Power Provider of Minor League Baseball," Sunrun will share how baseball fans across the country can save 20 percent on their home electricity bills with clean power from the sun.

To kick off the partnership and the 2016 season, Thunder shortstop Tyler Wade has been selected to Sunrun's "The Future is Bright" lineup. The list consists of one top prospect from each of the 16 local communities that Sunrun serves in partnership with MiLB.

In 2015, Wade played in 98 games for the Single-A Advanced Tampa Yankees and 29 games with the Double-A Thunder. The fourth round draft pick in 2013 hit .262 with a .321 on-base percentage last season.

The Thunder will also be hosting "Sunrun Sundays" throughout the season, giving young fans the opportunity to escort players to their on-field positions as part of Sunrun's Jr. All-Stars program.

"Tyler Wade is one of our organization's top prospects, and we're happy to see him receive recognition in Sunrun's 'The Future is Bright' lineup," said Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley. "The new partnership with Sunrun gives us the opportunity to further develop the family atmosphere at ARM & HAMMER Park by incorporating 'Sunrun Sundays' activities and promoting home solar power."

To learn more about the partnership, visit Sunrun's website.


This Day in New York Yankees History 4/9: Joe Torre Re-Signs w/ Yankees

On this day in 2004 the New York Yankees and manager Joe Torre agreed on a new three year deal, a three year pact that would be his last in Yankees pinstripes. The deal also included an additional six year deal in which the 62 year old manager would become a team adviser through the 2013 season.

Also on this day in 1965 the Houston Astros opened the first domed stadium when they hosted the New York Yankees at the Astrodome. During the opening ceremonies 24 astronauts threw 24 ceremonial first pitches in the "Eight Wonder of the World" as the Colt .45's became the Astros.

Finally on this day in 1963 Yogi Berra made an appearance on the television soap opera General Hospital as Dr. Lawrence Berra, a brain surgeon. Yogi did this as a favor to former Indians infielder Johnny Berardino, now known as Johnny Beradino who played Dr. Steve Hardy on the soap.