Friday, April 22, 2016

Elsbury, Nova Lead Yanks Over Rays, 6-3

      On a beautiful Friday night at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees would begin their three-game series with the division rival Tampa Rays. On the bump for the pinstripers was Carsten Charles Sabathia, who was in desperate need of a good outing for his offensively reeling team. Taking the mound for the Rays was southpaw Matt Moore, bringing along his 2.95 ERA and 10 strikeouts in his last performance. Before the game started, theYankees seemed very calm and relaxed, as if they had some sort of "closed-door meeting" before they came out onto the field.  Regardless, whatever they did worked. A fluke injury, a couple of rare steals and a glistening long-relief appearance help snap the Yanks five game slide.
     After an uneventful top of the first, Sabathia found himself in some trouble. After recording the first out to start the top of the second, Sabathia proceeded to walk Steve Pearce, gave up a hit to Steven Souza Jr., and walk Tim Beckham. Logan Forsythe opened up the scoring by lining a double to left field, scoring Pearce and Souza. However, unlike the previous seven ballgames, the Yankees fired back in the bottom of the inning. After Teixeira led off the inning with a single, Brian McCann plated the both of them with a blast to right field. And you could hear a collective exhale from Yankee fans everywhere, "finally". Then, in the top of the fourth, Forsyth got to C.C. again, serving up the second double to the second baseman, who was driven in by a Brandon Guyer single, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead. On that hit, Aaron Hicks injured himself diving to try to catch the base hit. He was replaced in the top of the fifth by Jacoby Ellsbury, which would open the door for the Oregonian to make his presence felt in tonight's game,
     In the top of the fifth, Sabathia would record the first two outs in short order, only to depart the game after allowing a walk to Souza and giving up a hit to Beckham. Coming in to save the day was Ivan Nova, and did he ever deliver. Nova did not allow a hit to Tampa in 2.1 innings, striking out two in the process.
     While Ivan was pitching his behind off, Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees were working to get the lead back. In the bottom of the fifth, the newly inserted Ellsbury got a two-out single, moving to scoring position on another single by DIdi Gregorius. Matt Moore would get called for a balk, moving both runners into scoring position. Then, for the first time since 2009, Ellsbury stole home on ball four to Brett Gardner, tying the game at three. In the bottom of the following inning(6) Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira both singled. The Yankees would get their first lead of the game on a hit by their clutch backstop, Brian McCann. scoring Beltran, making it a 4-3 ballgame.
     And then, as if seeing a steal of home wasn't enough, Mark Teixeira stole second base on newly inserted catcher Hank Konger. It was at that point that I knew they were going to win. The fleet-of-foot first baseman and McCann would come around to score on another clutch hit by Jacoby Ellsbury, who was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple. This made the score 6-3, where it would remain for the rest of the night. The backend of the bullpen, Betances and Miller would strike out five of the six batters they faced, locking down the game and putting an end to their five game losing streak.  
     Here's to hoping they keep it going tomorrow, in game two of the three-game set, beginning at 1:05 PM.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4/22

The New York Yankees will look for better success this series than they had in their previous two series. The Yankees should have won both series with the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics and the team lost both in a very frustrating, and at times ugly, fashion. This should have some Yankees fans a little worried as, at least on paper, the team should be able to squeak out a series victory against the Tampa Bay Rays as well. Is another series loss on the horizon for the Yankees or will the “If George was still alive” comments on Twitter only intensify? The good news is we no longer have to wait and wonder because it’s game time. Tonight the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with the Rays starter Matt Moore. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend but you don’t have a lot of cash you’re in luck. Our friends at Ticket Monster, who can be reached by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog, don’t tack on annoying fees or bulky shipping prices to their already low ticket prices leaving you with enough money for the subway, food and beer at the stadium. If you can’t make it live or you just want to stay and watch the game in the comfort of your own home you can follow along and interact with us on Twitter if you give @GreedyStripes a follow. We live tweet each and every game and I may be a little bias but I do damn good at it too.

I’m entertaining, what can I say? Well besides Go Yankees!!

Curt Schilling Fired by ESPN

I’m not saying I want to see anyone lose their jobs but it’s hard to feel sorry for people when they do it to themselves, you know? And leaving any fandom or loyalties at the door Curt Schilling did it to himself. I don’t dislike Schilling personally, I don’t know the guy, and while I didn’t like him as a player, he killed us as an Arizona Diamondbacks player in that 2001 World Series and again as a Red Sox player during his tenure there, I have no real beef with him since his playing career ended. I think he runs off at the mouth sometimes and I think his skills as a broadcast announcer need some work and fine tuning but that’s not for me to decide. It seems as though I’m not alone though as ESPN decided to relieve Schilling of his duties this week firing the former pitcher.

Schilling has had more than his fair share of hiccups and instances that could have and maybe even should have got him fired during his tenure with the Worldwide Leader in Sports. At the end of the 2015 season Schilling was quoted on Twitter comparing “Muslim extremists” to the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. Also earlier this season Schilling was quoted as saying that Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton should be “buried under a jail somewhere” ruffling a few feathers with her fans and supporters. The final straw may have been though when Schilling went on a Facebook tirade this week against access to public facilities and bathrooms for transgender people.

Schilling went too far whether you agree with the whole thing or not. Schilling posted a pretty crazy photo that I won’t share here, it’s not too hard to find with the world of Google, and went after people who were angry with him. Schilling justified his actions and his feelings in his own mind and he’s more than able and welcome to express those behind the first amendment of this country but what a lot of people forget is that for every reaction and use of that amendment there can and usually will be some sort of punishment and lash back.

That punishment is that Schilling is no longer employed by ESPN and honestly, he shouldn’t be. The network doesn’t need people like him giving them a bad image or a bad name and they don’t need him pushing away potential viewership in a business that is reliant on it. Schilling I hold no ill will towards you but you dug your own hole, you covered yourself up and you’re probably still talking as you buried yourself. I wish you well and hope you find work and happiness elsewhere but I can’t lie and say I’m not happy that it won’t be with ESPN anymore.

Schilling, get out of your own way pal. 

USA Today’s Five Worst $100 Million Contracts Includes One Yankee

In the world of Major League Baseball in the year 2016 it seems like handing out a $100 million contract is more common place than a marker or milestone anymore. There is so much inflation in the game and so much money in the game right now and the team and players both know it leading to some interesting contract negotiations and deals every single winter. USA Today picked on those deals that have crossed the $100 million threshold and picked the five worst in the history of the league and unfortunately one of those men is wearing a Yankees uniform today. 

The crew over at USA Today did not simply use fandom, bias or anything like that to make their decisions but instead they used total WAR over the course of the $100 million deal to find the worst value per contract and with that equation they found that CC Sabathia has one of the worst $100 million contracts of all-time. Here is what the crew had to say about the fourth worst contract over $100 million in MLB history according to WAR: 

4. CC Sabathia (2012-16), Yankees 

Salary per 1.0 WAR: $23.2 million Contract details: 5 years, $122 million WAR over contract: 4.2 

Sabathia's first mega-deal with New York, a seven-year, $161 million commitment signed before the 2009 season, actually turned out quite well for the Yankees. It was a five-year extension signed midway through that contract that's proven to be an albatross, as Sabathia has struggled to overcome issues on and off the field over the past few years.
Once a durable workhorse whom you could annually count on for 200 innings and a sub-3.50 ERA, Sabathia recorded a 4.81 ERA while averaging 141.1 innings between 2013-2015. He hasn’t looked any better this year, despite admirably seeking help for his alcoholism last fall. 

Like Howard, Sabathia is only under contract through the end of this season. The Yankees will have to pay him a $5 million buyout for 2017, however. 

To finish out the list Carl Crawford came in 5th with his seven-year deal worth $142 million that the Boston Red Sox gave him while Sabathia came in fourth with his current five-year and $122 million contract he signed before opting out of his previous deal. The third worst contract belongs to Mike Hampton of the Colorado Rockies who gave him an eight-year deal worth $121 million and only got a total of 3.0 WAR back in return while the second worst contract can be found in San Francisco. The Giants gave Barry Zito a seven-year deal worth $126 million only to see a similar 3.0 WAR returned. Rest assured Mr. Zito and Mr. Hampton and Mr. Sabathia that none of these contracts are as bad as the contract that the Philadelphia Phillies handed Ryan Howard before the 2012 season. 

Howard signed for five-years and $125 million and to date, the contract expires after this season so it is a bit incomplete at this time, the first baseman has given the Phillies a -3.0 WAR. That’s not a typo, he has had a negative WAR. Howard is the only $100 million man to ever accumulate a negative WAR and that is something special, just not special in the way that you want to be remembered for. So remember Yankees fans you may not like the CC Sabathia contract and you may not like him being on the team anymore but at least he isn’t Ryan Howard. Think of it that way. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4/22

I don’t think I’ve ever found myself saying this but boy am I glad to see the Oakland Athletics leave the Bronx. What a tough, and at times agonizing, series that was but this is Major League Baseball and every day is a new game and in this case a new series as the New York Yankees welcome their division rivals the Tampa Bay Rays to the Bronx. New York will look to snap this series losing streak they have going while they pull out a couple, or three, wins this weekend inside Yankee Stadium. The way you do that is you take one game at a time and that first game comes tonight with CC Sabathia on the mound for the Yankees and Matt Moore on the mound for the Rays.

Sabathia has given the Yankees some innings in each of his first two starts but not much else in the way of effectiveness unfortunately. Sabathia always seems to pitch well in the first three or four innings of a contest before seemingly falling off around the fifth inning every single time leaving many to wonder if he wouldn’t be better suited as a long man in the bullpen. Sabathia looks like a new pitcher, reinvented, at the beginning of games only to fall back into old patterns late. Sabathia needs to turn this around today and needs to show some improvement because even Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said his starting job is not guaranteed all season long.

Moore struggled towards the end of last season after coming back from Tommy John surgery but it seems like the lefty is getting better and better with every start he makes. Moore’s biggest issues was his control and he has seemingly gotten that under control and will look to harness that control inside of Yankee Stadium tonight where he owns a career 3-1 record and 4.66 ERA.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. It’s Friday and the only way you can ruin a Friday night is if you have to work on Saturday morning or if the Yankees lose. I don’t have to work tomorrow so don’t let me down boys. Let’s pull out this victory and another and another. Go Yankees!!

I’m Mad, Frustrated and a Little Pissed Off. What about You?

When was the last time I did a rant on the blog? I feel like it’s been a while, especially for me, and I also feel like it’s time. The time is right for one. I’m not asking for widespread change or unrealistic trades, DFA’s or anything like that. I’m just asking for some victories. Apparently that is too much to ask as a lot of things seem to be thus far this season.

It’s not like me to keep things bottled up inside, I have to get them out or I will explode, so I do so in a rant here on this lovely Friday morning. I’m mad, I’m frustrated and I am a little pissed off. I don’t even have to ask “what about you?” because I already know the answer. I see the tweets, I read the emails and I respond to almost every comment on the blog. We as a Yankees fan base are NOT happy about this start, not in the slightest. We as a collective group were not happy to see CC Sabathia “win” the 5th starter job and we haven’t been happy very since.

Alex Rodriguez is struggling. How many times are we going to watch him swing at a low and inside fastball that he may not have been able to catch up to even ten years ago and then proceed to watch one right down the middle for strike three on the next pitch? Swing the bat Alex! A frontwards K is always better than a backwards one.

Don’t even get me started on RISPFails. The New York Yankees have failed with runners in scoring position so many times this season they are coming up with new and inventive ways to do it. Second and third with one out, ground into a double play. Runner on second and nobody out, don’t even advance the runner. Have a pitcher on the ropes and swing at the first pitch, especially when that first pitch is a bad pitch. The Yankees have been beaten about three times this season and beat themselves the rest of the losses, it’s crazy.

I only rant because I care and I only care because I love this team. This team is jam packed with talent and while there are a few areas of concern and a few areas that are in need of an upgrade, as I stare at you Chase Headley, I still believe in this team. It’s obvious to me though that this team doesn’t believe in itself and that is a huge problem. That’s a player problem, a manager problem and an organizational problem that needs to be fixed now before the standings tell us that it’s too late. Just win, please?

Weekly Check In: Jorge Mateo

I can’t believe we almost went the entire week without checking in with the Yankees top prospect overall, Mr. Jorge Mateo. Mateo made a name for himself in a big way swiping over 80 bases during the 2015 campaign and garnering much of the attention surrounding him and his pursuit of 100 stolen bases and Billy Hamilton’s minor league record for steals in a single season. An injury and more than a few caught stealing plays kept Mateo from reaching either plateau or milestone but that should not take away from the marvelous season he had in 2015.

Mateo showed up to Yankees camp in 2016 hungry and ready to play and he did just that in a small sample size. Mateo did well but was one of the first cuts in spring camp since he is obviously still a year or two away from the Major Leagues. That’s okay though because that gives us plenty of time to check in with the potential second baseman or shortstop of the future in the Bronx.


A Wrong Has Been Righted Here on The Greedy Pinstripes

A wrong has been righted here on the blog but before we touch on that I'd like to start off your Friday morning with a bit of a story. I've told this story a couple of times here on the blog but in case you missed it here it is one last time. And when I say last I mean I'll likely tell the story again in a month or so, who knows?

Back before we started this blog here myself, Bryan Van Dusen, Bryan Knepper and others all used to post on a forum called Daily Sports Pages. We outgrew the forum and we all wanted more and myself, Bryan V and a man named Jorge Maestre decided we would start a blog. I personally was highly against this, I wanted to simply open up another forum but I was talked into the blog by my colleagues ultimately.

Long story short things didn't work out initially with the three of us, Jorge went one way and obviously Bryan and myself went another. Here we stand some 1.3 million views later but it has never really felt right having all this success and all this fun without Jorge. Well guess what, this feels right because a wrong has been righted.

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you all to one of my very good friends and one of the most talented people and writers I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with and getting to know and love. Mr. Jorge Maestre ladies and gentleman. This is going to be big for the blog, take my word for it.

Welcome J!

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/22: Yankees Turn the Triple Play

On this day in 2010 Alex Rodriguez started the Yankees first triple play since 1968 against the Oakland Athletics in a loss. The scoring on the play would be the traditional 5-4-3 triple play.

Also on this day in 1997 Yankees rookie Chase Wright would give up four consecutive home runs to the Boston Red Sox. The batters that would hit the historic home runs were Manny Ramirez, JD Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek.

Also on this day in 1915 the Yankees would don the pinstripes for good after abandoning the fashion for the 1913 and 1914 seasons.

Finally on this day in 1903 the New York Highlanders, which are currently known as the New York Yankees, would play their first game in the franchise’s history, a loss to the Washington Senators.