Sunday, April 17, 2016

MLB Unveils 300+ New Jersey/Hat Designs for 2016

Major League Baseball, at least from the fans perspective, can be anything from a traditional game where nothing should ever change or be different to a progressive game that should and can be changed at will as long as it's being changed for the better. This debate started with the inception of instant replay around the league and it continues with the emergence of sabermetrics. One thing I think most people can agree upon though is the fact that it's pretty awesome to see new jerseys and hats around the league on special occassions. Major League Baseball has released 300+ new designs for said special events and they can be seen on Sports seen HERE. 

Here are the Yankees related jerseys and hats:

Mothers Day - May 8th

Memorial Day - May 30th

Fathers Day - June 19th

Independence Day - July 4th

MLB All-Star Game & Home Run Derby in San Diego

Recap: Yankees 4, Mariners 3

Sometimes it's hard to lose.

That was the lesson the Yankees learned on Sunday, when another ugly performance by the club's offense somehow translated to a win.

The Yankees went just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base, but found a way to scrape together a 4-3 victory over the Mariners in the series finale at Yankee Stadium.

For the third straight contest, the Yankees probably should have scored a lot more -- only this time they came out on top.

The Yankees grabbed a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the second on a two-run shot by Alex Rodriguez, snapping an 0-for-19 skid for the veteran. 

They added to their advantage with Brett Gardner's ground-rule double an inning later, plating Jacoby Ellsbury after the latter had stolen second.

At that point, the game seemed to be in hand -- but misplays by the Yankees' defense helped Seattle come back.

First, a rocket off the bat of Kyle Seager snuck through Mark Teixeira's legs in the fourth, resulting in a two-base error and eventually setting up Steve Clevenger for an RBI single.

Then, a poorly-judged dive by Ellsbury extended a Norichika Aoki hit to a triple in the fifth, allowing Seth Smith to even the score with a knock of his own.

But Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka hung in there, lasting a full seven innings and yielding just two earned runs on six hits. He walked none while striking out six, besting his fellow countryman Hisashi Iwakuma.

After his team tied it at three, Iwakuma surrendered back-to-back singles in the fifth to Gardner and Carlos Beltran -- putting men on the corners for the dangerous Teixeira. But it wasn't the Yankees' first baseman who re-took the lead for New York; rather, it was Gardner and his hustle home on a wild pitch.

And once they were back ahead, the Yankees had no problem closing it out.

After spotless sixth and seventh innings from Tanaka, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller fanned each of the six hitters they faced in relief. It was the second consecutive day both have struck out the side, and the duo's ERA on the young season remains perfect.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees finally snapped their four-game losing streak. They are now 5-6 on the year, third in the AL East.

NEXT UP: The Yankees will stay in the Bronx to begin a three-game set with the A's on Tuesday night. Michael Pineda (1-1, 6.55 ERA) and Eric Surkamp (0-1, 4.00 ERA) are slated to be your starters, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Rumor: Yankees Turned Down Winter Deal Involving Andrew Miller

The New York Yankees were very aggressive this offseason on the trade market making every and any player available in the right deal. The names that were mentioned out loud to the media most often though were Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner and closer Andrew Miller. News broke this week, and I use the word "broke" loosely here, that the Yankees had a deal in place to trade at least one of them and they ultimately declined the deal at the end of the day.

The Houston Astros were looking for a closer for much of the winter and rumor had it that they at least had preliminary discussions with the New York Yankees about Andrew Miller. Ultimately the Astros ended up sending an impressive package of young players to the Philadelphia Phillies over the winter for their closer Ken Giles although before pulling the trigger an identical offer was made to the Yankees for Miller.

Houston ended up sending RHP Vincent Velasquez, RHP Mark Appel, RHP Harold Arauz, LHP Brett Oberholtzer and LHP Thomas Eshelman to Philadelphia for Giles. The Yankees reportedly wanted Lance McCullers Jr. in any deal involving Miller and ultimately turned down the deal from Houston.

I know I'm far from a GM at the Major League level but that would be an awfully hard deal to turn down if I were Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Velasquez was unproven at the time but had shown glimpses of brilliance in a small sample size with Houston in 2015 while Mark Appel is a former 1st round draft pick by Houston and 1st overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. Arauz and Eshelman are a pair of A-Ball pitchers with underwhelming stats overall while Oberholtzer is entering his fourth season in the Major Leagues and has yet to break out but this would have been an obvious deal for the future for New York.

Adding Appel to their minor league system alongside James Kaprielian while adding Velasquez to a young rotation alongside Luis Severino would have been great for the Yankees future but I am reserving judgement on whether it was a "good" non-trade or a "bad" non-trade at this time. There are a lot of moving parts here and a lot of young and relatively unproven moving parts in this deal as well. Velasquez could bomb, Appel could never reach his potential etc. etc. etc. These trades are a crap shoot.

Stay tuned for a "winner."

Yankees Defeat Seattle, 4-3

    Today was the day that Yankee fans have been waiting for. It was also a day confirming the concerns, or lack there of, of manager Joe Gerardi. Who, in a post game interview yesterday, stated that he was not concerned with Yankees lack of offense, adding that it will come around. He went on to say that he was concerned with the inability for the starting pitching to go deep into ballgames and overuse of the bullpen. Well, a game that saw the top four hitters in the Yankees order with six hits, a homerun by Alex Rodriguez hitting out of the six-hole and a well pitched seven innings of work by Masahiro Tanaka put all the Yankees' concerns to bed, if not only for a day.
      The game started out looking like it was going to be another long day for the boys in pinstripes. Throwing north of 25 pitches in the top of the first, Tanaka loaded the bases, with no ball hit hard enough to break a pain of glass, yet still allowing a run to score on an RBI ground out by third baseman Kyle Seager. But, after a quick top of the second, Alex Rodriguez unloaded on an Iwakuma fastball into the left-field bleachers, giving the Yanks a 2-1 lead and saying goodbye to a 0 for 19 slump. Then, in the bottom of the third, after Elsbury singled and stole second base, Brett Gardner drove him in with an RBI ground-rule double, ending the Bombers 0 for 26 with runners in scoring position slide.
     Tanaka would labor in the fourth and fifth innings of the game, allowing two more runs to score on hits by Steve Clevenger and Seth Smith. And, if you have been following along this season, you know that the fifth inning has been one of nightmares for the Yankees. But, not today. After Brett Gardner got on base with one of his three hits, he advanced to third on a hit by Carlos Beltran. With runners on first and third, Teixeira watched as ball three got past the catcher and celebrated as Gardner scored the go-ahead run.  As was the case yesterday, the eighth and ninth innings were sewn up by the two-headed monster of Betances and Miller. Both bullpen bullies struck out the side for a second consecutive games and their respective innings of work.
     The Yankees finally get back into the win column with a win this afternoon, ending their four game losing streak, and hopefully, turning a corner offensively. With a day off tomorrow, the Yankees welcome the Oakland Athletics to town for a three-game set, beginning on Tuesday at 7:05 PM.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners 4/17

The New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners are ready to face off for the third and final time this weekend inside Yankee Stadium with a pitching match-up that comes attached with a little international flair. Today the Yankees will send their ace pitching stud Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off a fellow Japanese-born right-hander in Hisashi Iwakuma. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees stay home after this start to play host to the Oakland Athletics for a series in the Bronx so to see any of these games live click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to grab a pair of tickets for yourself. If you can't make it to the Bronx then at least head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us during each and every Yankees game this season.

Robbie Cano, let him know. Go Yankees!

New York Finally Has a Second Baseman

How convenient is it, spoiler alert it's not a coincidence, to make a blog post about the New York Yankees finally finding a potential second baseman not only for the present but for the future as well while the last second baseman the team thought that about is in town for a three game series? After just two weeks of the MLB season, and after many rants from myself a self-professed Robert Refsnyder fan boy and his biggest fan, it seems like the Yankees may have finally found their second baseman to finally replace Robinson Cano in Starlin Castro.

The Yankees tried multiple people at the position including Brian Roberts, Yangervis Solarte, Kelly Johnson, Martin Prado, Brendan Ryan, Jose Pirela, Dustin Ackley, Robert Refsnyder and Stephen Drew before finally settling on Castro after an offseason trade. The Yankees seem to be a fan of having Castro at the position and Cano himself does to as he revealed in an interview this weekend. Cano said Castro was "fun to watch" in an interview with Chad Jennings of LoHud.

Castro is still new to the second base position, I think a lot of people forget that defensively, and is still just 26-years old despite playing in his 7th MLB season in 2016. Castro already has surpassed the 1,000 hit plateau for his career and has already made three All-Star Games in his career with the Chicago Cubs. Castro may not even be into his prime yet and he currently sits here with some impressive stats and achievements already in his career.

Castro may be the second baseman of the present and he may be the second baseman of the future. He may grow out of the position and grow into the third baseman of the future and his bat seems good enough to possibly be the Alex Rodriguez type DH of the future. Either way Castro has a future and the Yankees may have finally found a second baseman after Robinson Cano left via free agency for Seattle and it's finally a beautiful thing to say out loud.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners 4/17

The New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners will finish off their three-game weekend series this afternoon in the Bronx. This pitching match-up should be an interesting game not only here in the states but around the world as a pair of Japanese-born pitchers face off head-to-head inside Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound this afternoon to face off with the veteran Hisashi Iwakuma in the rubber match of the series.

Tanaka will make his first start on regular rest this afternoon in the Bronx this afternoon after having at least five days of rest in his first two starts of the young season. Tanaka seemed to start slow in both starts this year but get stronger as the game went on which is encouraging for the Yankees as the season goes longer. 

Iwakuma has made his first two starts of the season against the Texas Rangers this season and will make his third start today in the Bronx. Iwakuma heads into the start with a 0-1 record with a 4.09 ERA that he looks to improve upon as her also looks to improve upon a career 2-2 record with a 3.50 ERA against the Yankees. 

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The Yankees welcome home the Oakland Athletics to the Bronx tomorrow night but one game at a time and you can't look ahead, especially against a good pitcher like Iwakuma. Go Yankees!

Weekly Check In: Mark Teixeira

The final check in before we continue with our normal check in's with the New York Yankees top prospects has to go to someone big, right? I mean it has to. Someone big.. someone big... Mark Teixeira is pretty big isn't he? I mean he isn't Dellin Betances at 6'8" and 265 lbs. but he is far from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid standing at 6'3" and 225 lbs. either.

The reason I want to check in with Teixeira specifically because he missed the last two months of the season with a fractured leg in 2015 and looked to come back strong in 2016. Teixeira is perennially a slow starter during his career with a few obvious exceptions, is one of those currently going on?

2016 9 38 6 7 0 3 8 0 6 8 .219 .342 .500 .842 138

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/17: Thurman Munson the Captain

On this day in 1976 Thurman Munson was named the Yankees captain by owner George Steinbrenner. Munson is the first Yankees captain since Lou Gehrig when he was named the captain in 1935.

Also on this day in 1953 Mickey Mantle hit a reported 565 foot home run off Chuck Stobb in the Yankees 7-3 victory over Washington at Griffith Stadium. The home run length was historic at the time but was later debunked as not going that far. How they determined that is beyond me but I am sure ESPN, Bud Selig, and the Boston Red Sox had something to do with it.

Also on this day also in 1951 the Yankees had another legend making his debut as Bob Sheppard announced the Yankees lineup for the first time. Sheppard announced Yankees legends Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, and Yogi Berra but the first batter Sheppard announced was that of a guy named DiMaggio. That was Dom DiMaggio, he was the leadoff for the Boston Red Sox that day.

Also on this day in 1951 rookie Mickey Mantle made his first ever appearance and grounded out to second base. The 19 year old would go 1-4 with a six inning single and RBI in a Yankees Opening Day 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Also on this day in 1929 Babe Ruth got married on Opening Day at 5:00 am ET to Claire Hodgson, the second Mrs. Babe Ruth. Ruth's first wife, Julia Woodford, died in a house fire in January of 1929. Ruth wastes no time in the love department apparently.

Also on this day in 1925 Babe Ruth underwent an operation for an intestinal abscess at St. Vincent's Hospital. The 30 year old Yankees outfielder missed the first 40 games of the season and the Yankees finished in seventh place that year.

Finally on this day in 1912 The New York Giants and the New York Yankees play an unscheduled exhibition game to raise money for the survivors of the HMS Titanic. Over 14,000 fans came out to the Polo Grounds to see Broadway legend George M. Cohan and the new look Yankees uniforms who were now sporting pinstripes. This would be the first Sunday game ever played between two Major League teams and raised over $9,000 when each fan donated the price of an admission ticket to purchase a special program for the event.