Friday, May 20, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics 5/20

So last night we discovered that if two teams played a game in the middle of the night on the west coast that it did actually happen. Now that we have that out of the way we can move on to the more important questions like does the tree that falls in the woods make noise if no one is around and where does a bear use the bathroom. I joke but hopefully the Yankees are all business tonight as they welcome CC Sabathia back off the disabled list. Opposing the Yankees left-hander is the A’s ace and Yankee killer Sonny Gray. The game will be played at 9:40 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network locally and of course MLB TV nationally.

At least the majority of us with daytime jobs can watch tonight and through the weekend, there’s always that. Friday night or not it still irks me to stay up half the night just to watch the Yankees lose. So win. Please? And follow along on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes as we finally live tweet a game again, it’s been too long.

Go Yankees!

Cotts, Coke, Hensley & Left-Handed Yankees Pitchers

A few key notes from a few key left-handed Yankees pitchers today:

Neal Cotts has been signed to a minor league deal after opting out of his minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Cotts was assigned to Triple-A Scranton and will presumably be a LOOGY for Joe Girardi before long.

Phil Coke was designated for assignment and has cleared waivers. The Yankees have outrighted and assigned Coke to Scranton but I don't think that necessarily means 100% that he is staying with the organization.

Ty Hensley had a "setback" with his Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2016 season. No one has said a second Tommy John surgery is coming but it sounds like a second Tommy John surgery is coming.

While We Wait: Link Dump from my Bookmarks

I don’t know about you but I read. A lot. Books, websites, news, sports, comic books. You name it, I read it. I like to catch up on my reading and my bookmarks during west coast games and off days because there just simply isn’t enough hours in the day so I thought while we wait I’d share a little bit of what I’m reading tonight on this beautiful Friday night.

Maybe you find something you will enjoy as well. Enjoy!

Translating Hal Steinbrenner’s Statements Through George Steinbrenner’s Mouth

Hal Steinbrenner channeled some of his inner Steinbrenner this week when he released a bit of a sound bite regarding the Yankees this season. To paraphrase, because by now we’ve all heard the quotes and listened to the news broadcasts all over, Steinbrenner said the Yankees players were not living up to their potential offensively and the team is not playing as well as they should. Steinbrenner praised the Yankees coaching staff and manager Joe Girardi in the statements which left many wondering “what would George do” if he were here so I decided to take the exact quotes from the Hal interview and translate them in George’s words here on the blog.

“The first five weeks were disappointing, frustrating, particularly looking at the offense. Clearly not living up to their potential [the offense]. When you look at a guy like Mark Teixeira, clearly, he’s not playing to his potential with the bat.”

“Mark Teixeira, you’re benched. Bye Felicia!”

Daniel Burch and @GreedyStripes on Twitter:
“Mark Teixeira Sucks!!”

“The coaches are doing a good job.”

“Where is Billy Martin when you need him? Oh yeah, I fired him.”

Daniel Burch:

“And he’s dead, God rest his soul.”

“These are professional athletes. They’re the best baseball players in the world, and sooner or later it comes down to them, on the inside, to push through whatever it is they’re going through and to persevere.”

“Hello (fill in the blank with a team name) GM, what do you want for (fill in the blank with star name). Would you take (fill in the name of any top prospect) as compensation?”

Daniel Burch:
“The Yankees suck!”

Hal on Michael Pineda:
“All these strikeouts, and yet he’s given up these runs. Whatever technically is wrong with the delivery, Larry [Rothschild, pitching coach] is going to work on, but the rest is up to Pineda to figure out. He’s a professional, and that’s what we expect from him, and that’s what his teammates expect from him.”

“To the bullpen with you. Good thing I signed Zack Greinke, David Price and Jordan Zimmermann this winter.”

Daniel Burch:

“Michael Pineda sucks!”

This post was all in fun, treat it that way. Have a great rest of the day Yankees family. 

Charleston Riverdogs Press Release: Legends in the South Tickets Now On Sale!

Tickets for Inaugural “Legends in the South” Alumni Game Are Now on Sale
Start Memorial Day Weekend with the Yankees–Braves legends on May 27

CHARLESTON, SC -- The Charleston RiverDogs will host an alumni baseball game between teams of New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves greats at the inaugural “Legends in the South” Game presented by Budweiser and Container Maintenance on Friday, May 27 at 6:35pm at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

General admission tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime event start at $12 and are now on sale. Box seats are $25 each, lower reserved seats are $20, and upper reserved tickets are $15. Tickets may be secured by calling 843/577-DOGS (3647), online at or at the Riley Park Box Office. Proceeds benefit the Singleton Fund with fans being able to text donations throughout the event.

Participating in the game will be Bobby Richardson (3rd base coach), Ron Blomberg, Ken Griffey, Sr., Gene “Stick” Michael, Ron Blomberg, Marquis Grissom, Denny Neagle and Ryan Klesko, to name a few.

Gates open at 4 pm so fans may watch batting practice and secure autographs. The Joe will transition into a “Thirsty Friday” with $1 beers in the Ashley View Pub with DJ Natty Heavy spinning popular tunes.

Various VIP meet and greet opportunities are available for auction on and offers fans once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to rub shoulders with the shining cast of former big leaguers. Auction items include a spot at a welcome reception and welcome dinner with the Legends’ teams on Thursday, May 26, from 7-9pm and a pregame luncheon on Friday, May 27, from 1-3pm at a local restaurant.

Fans can also bid on a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take batting practice on the pregame field, suit up in full uniform and experience the exhibition from either the Braves or Yankees dugout with one spot for each team available for auction.

Braves Legends Roster*

Johnny Estrada

Jesse Garcia

Marquis Grissom

Chris Hammond

Ryan Klesko

Greg McMichael

Denny Neagle

Jeff Ridgway

Dwight Smith

Jeff Treadway

Yankees Legends Roster*

Ron Blomberg

Brian Boehringer

Homer Bush

Ken Griffey, Sr.

Charlie Hayes

Jim Leyritz

Ramiro Mendoza

Gene Michael

Bobby Richardson (3rd Base Coach)

Jeff Nelson

*Rosters subject to change

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics 5/20

The New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics continue their four game set tonight on the west coast with the return of a Yankee and an emergence of a Yankee killer on the mound. For the former the Yankees welcome back CC Sabathia off the 15-day disabled list after he struggled with a tight groin muscle while the Athletics counter with their ace Sonny Gray. This is a homecoming of sorts for Sabathia who is a California-boy so presumably he should be pumped to come off the disabled list and make the start tonight for the Yankees.

Sabathia returns off the DL tonight after straining his left ground and missing 15 days with the injury. Sabathia is a Vallejo, California native and will presumably have his friends and family in the audience rooting him on tonight in his return. Sabathia has made 15 starts inside the Oakland County Coliseum in his career and has struggled a bit posting a career 4-7 record with a 5.44 ERA in 15 starts.

Gray has not had the start to the 2016 season that many would have hoped for but with a pitcher with as much talent as the Oakland right-hander has he can turn it around at any point. Gray is winless in his last four starts and has a 5.84 ERA as he has struggled in each of his first eight starts this season. Nine sounds so much better than eight, doesn’t it?

The game will be played at 9:35 pm ET inside of Oakland County Coliseum and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The Yankees desperately need wins after dropping the ball in the Arizona series and the team desperately needs them now. Every game is important and every game is inching closer and closer to a must win as their gap in the AL East gets wider and wider. No pressure CC but we need a vintage start from you tonight and a little help from the offense. Go Yankees!

So My Son Graduates Kindergarten Today

The New York Yankees game isn’t on for another 12 hours or so and the way the team is playing you may not want to hear any more about than you have to at this point. Instead I’ll use this time to brag a little, show the world how proud of my family I am and leave you with a little bit of personal information from me to start your morning.

My son graduated from Kindergarten today. He is actually graduating right now as this post is going live and I while I wrote this post in advance I still lack the ability to put into words how I feel right now. I want to hug the kid and tell him how very proud I am but at the same time I want to hug his teacher and tell her I’m sorry for all the presumable trouble he caused her this year. I want to hug his mother and show her, because she doubts the way we handle him and certain situations sometimes, that we did an alright job at this whole parenting thing for not knowing a thing before we got into it and most of all I just want to cry.

I may be overreacting a tad, hell I am overreacting a lot actually, but if you haven’t had a child and had that proud moment you probably wouldn’t understand. I know I didn’t 10 years ago. So this post goes out to my little Evan that isn’t so little anymore. Congratulations and happy graduation day little buddy! Thank you for making me proud!

Weekly Check In: Jorge Mateo

Jorge Mateo is back in the lineup and back to stealing bases with no ill-effects after his benching for lack of hustle a couple weeks back now. Mateo is now working his way towards a promotion and back on the fast track through the Yankees farm system like so many others in front of him.

I would expect Mateo to take the next step forward around the June timeframe which seems standard for prospect promotions with the Yankees. By August you never know, Mateo could be in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder or even higher. Higher seems unlikely with his position change from shortstop to second base but I’m not going to be the one to doubt him. He’s too fast and he’s too talented to count against right now.

Mateo’s stock may actually take a hit after moving positions, shortstops are more valuable and harder to find than second basemen generally, but his stock should still be through the roof if he keeps on getting on base and stealing bases when he does. 


Nova Rolls Over Oakland, 4-1

     Tonight, the Yankees faced off against the Athletics in game one of a four-game series in Oakland. Pitching to his first win as a starter his last time out, Ivan Nova toed the rubber for New York in hopes of improving upon his first two starts, where he went 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA. Against the White Sox, Nova's sinker induced 13 ground ball outs, and in order to be effective tonight, his best pitch would need to be equally effective. Taking the ball for Oakland was right-hander Kendall Graveman, sporting a record of 1-5 with a 5.84 ERA. Graveman, a sinker-baller himself, has also allowed a team-high 10 home runs this season, which is an alarming statistic considering he's supposed to be a ground ball pitcher. And Graveman's struggles would continue.
     New York struck first tonight, coming in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Brett Gardner walked and came around to score when the next hitter, Carlos Beltran, lined an opposite-field double down the left-field line that gave the Yankees a one run lead. A Yankee mental error, which, unfortunately, would be a recurring theme throughout the ball game, cost them what could have been there second run of the inning when Brian McCann hit a ball deep to right field that was misplayed by Josh Reddick, bouncing off the right-fielders glove. But, Beltran apparently forgot how many outs there were(two) and only advanced to third base. Reddick would atone for his fielding miss cue when he tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a solo shot to right field.
     The mental errors for New York reared their ugly heads yet again, this time coming in the top of the sixth. Chase Headley led off the inning with a single, but would get picked off of first, trying to take too large of a secondary lead. After Dustin Ackley followed with the second straight hit of the frame, Didi Gregorius hit a third consecutive single that moved Ackley to third, but was gunned down in plenty of time while trying to advance to second base. But, Aaron Hicks would pick up his teammates as he lined a double to left field that scored Ackley, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead and forcing Gravemen from the game.
     On the flip side, Ivan Nova was magnificent again tonight for New York. With the exception of the Reddick homerun, Nova kept the ball on the ground throughout the game, only allowing four total hits with no walks and three strikeouts. With C.C. Sabathia set to return from the DL tomorrow, Nova has pitched brilliantly in his three starts, well enough to stay put in the rotation, even with the impending return of Luis Severino.
      The Yankees would add some insurance in the top of the ninth inning, when Carlos Beltran hit a two run homerun that gave the Yanks and insurmountable 4-1 lead. Additionally, for the second consecutive night, all three members of No-Run DMC would pitch for New York, locking down a win in the series opener. Delin Betances allowed a leadoff baserunner, but would go on to retire the next three batters. Miller worked a perfect eighth and Chapman shut the door on Oakland, Recording his fifth save in pinstripes. It will be interesting to see who, if any of the trio, makes an appearance in tomorrow nights game, considering Girardi is notorious for not letting a reliever throw on three consecutive nights . And, again, since C.C. Sabathia will be activated from the DL and is slated to start tomorrow nights game, one or all three pitchers may be needed.
     The drama unfolds tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 PM ET.


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/20: Babe Ruth Jersey and One Armed Outfielders

On this day in 2012 Babe Ruth's 1920 jersey sells at auction for $4,415,658. This was the largest amount ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia according to The woolen uniform was worn by Ruth during his first season as a Yankee after being traded to New York by the Red Sox.

Also on this day in 1976 the Yankees and the Red Sox are in one of the ugliest brawls in the history of the rivalry when Carlton Fisk stabs Lou Piniella with the ball when Sweet Lou tried to score. Bill Lee suffered a separated shoulder in the fight with Graig Nettles and caused him to miss most of the season.

Also on this day in 1959 the Yankees enter last place in the American League for the first time since 19 years when they lost to the Detroit Tigers 13-6.

Also on this day in 1948 Joe DiMaggio had four extra base hits for the fourth time in his career in Chicago in front of 5,001 fans. DiMaggio hit for the cycle for the second time in a 13-2 victory over the White Sox. The Yankees had 22 hits and DiMaggio had two home runs, a triple, a double, a single, and six RBI's.

Also on this day in 1945 Pete Gray led the St. Louis Browns to a doubleheader sweep of the New York Yankees after scoring the winning run in the second game. Gray collected three hits in the first game and the one-armed outfielder makes ten putouts in the field in the second game.

Also on this day in 1918 Tris Speaker was struck in the head with a pitch off of Red Sox submariner Carl Mays. Mays would also hit Ray Chapman two years later in the head with a pitch that would kill him as a member of the New York Yankees. Speaker thought that Mays hit him on purpose in the head but Mays always denied the allegations.

Finally a mere seven years later in 1925 Speaker scored from first base on a single scoring the winning run in a 10-9 walk off win over the Yankees. The Indians scored six times in the bottom of the ninth to cap off the comeback. Where was Mariano Rivera when you need him?