Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MiLB Press Release: Top 25 MiLB Merchandise Sales Includes One Yankees Affiliate

Minor League Baseball Announces its Top 25 Teams in Licensed Merchandise Sales

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Minor League Baseball today announced its list of Top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales for 2015, with the combined totals of all 160 teams setting a Minor League Baseball record with more than $65.1 million in retail sales.

The $65.1 million total marks a 7.9 percent increase over 2014’s total of $60.3 million, which had been the highest total recorded since Minor League Baseball’s licensing program began in 1992. The numbers are based on total licensed merchandise sales from January 1 – December 31, 2015, and include the 160 teams in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games.

Alphabetically, the Top 25 list includes: the Albuquerque Isotopes, Biloxi Shuckers, Charlotte Knights, Columbus Clippers, Dayton Dragons, Durham Bulls, El Paso Chihuahuas, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Frisco RoughRiders, Indianapolis Indians, Lake Elsinore Storm, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Louisville Bats, Nashville Sounds, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Pawtucket Red Sox, Reno Aces, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, San Antonio Missions, South Bend Cubs, Tacoma Rainiers, Toledo Mud Hens and Trenton Thunder.

“Minor League Baseball team names and logos are quirky, fun and contemporary, but they are also incredible marketing tools for the clubs they represent,” said Sandie Hebert, Minor League Baseball’s Director of Licensing. “Each year, we see familiar logos on the Top 25 list, and some newcomers, showing both the longevity and modern appeal of our trademarks. It’s interesting to see how clubs choose to brand their identities, and how that translates into merchandise sales.”

Online sales have also played a significant role in the steady growth of merchandise sales, as Minor League Baseball experienced a 9.4 percent increase over 2014. Of the Top 25 teams, 23 have online stores using the platform.

“Our clubs continue to record online sales from around the world in addition to strong sales at their ballparks,” added Hebert. “The increasing popularity of Minor League Baseball, combined with the ease of online ordering, has created a tremendous amount of growth for our merchandise.”

Yanks Drop Fourth Straight, Fall to Rockies 6-3

     A day after both teams put double digits on the scoreboard, the Yankees and Rockies faced off in game two of this short two-game set. Hoping to get the Bombers back in the win column, Ivan Nova(5-3 record, 4.39 ERA) took the ball for New York. On the mound for the Rockies this afternoon was right-hander Chad Bettis, sporting a 4-5 record with an ERA of 5.85. It's been a tale of two seasons for the Texas Tech alumn, where in his first eight starts he went 3-1 with a 3.88 ERA, but, in his last five starts has gone 1-4  with an ERA just south of eight. However, the lack-luster Yankee bats, highlighted by Chase Headley hitting cleanup, made Chad look like the Bettis from the first eight starts.
     Though both starters went scoreless through the first two frames, the Rockies hit the scoreboard first this afternoon. With one out in the bottom of the third, D.J. LeMahieu drilled a double and scored when the next batter, the National League leader in RBI, Nolan Aranado followed up with his own double, 1-0 Colorado. The Yankees would respond in the top of the next frame, where Bettis allowed a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury that was followed by a Starlin Castro one out single. With two down, the five-hole hitter Didi Gregorius singled in Ellsbury from second, tying the game at one. Then, Aaron Hicks nubbed an infield single that was accompanied by a throwing error from catcher Tony Walters that scored Castro and gave the Yankees a one run lead.
     The Rockies would come back to take the lead against Ivan Nova in the bottom of the fifth. Charlie Blackman let off the inning with a walk and then stole second base. The next batter D.J. LeMahieu muscled a single up the middle that scored Blackman, tying the game at two. Then, Nolan Aranado hit his National League leading 20th homerun, giving the Rockies a 4-2 lead. Now THAT is a dude I wouldn't mind giving up some major pieces to see in Yankee pinstripes. Colorado put their fifth run of the day on the board when Mark Reynolds singled in rookie sensation Trevor Story, making it a 5-2 contest. New York would get one of those runs back in the top of the sixth when Aaron Hicks drove in Chase Headley on a two out RBI single, 5-3 Colorado.
     Anthony Swarzak replaced Nova to begin the sixth, leaving with a sub-par final line of 5 innings pitched, allowing five earned runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out five. Bettis was also pulled to begin the seventh, departing with a final line of six innings pitched, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and five K's. It seems as though the Yankees have been making all stars out of sub par starters all season long, with today being no different.
     A combination of Delin Betances and Aroldis Chapman were used in the seventh and eighth innings in efforts to keep the deficit at two. Chapman ended up allowing another Rockie run, an RBI triple by today's Yankee killer D.J. LeMahieu, 6-3. Unfortunately for New York, the star-powerless offense made no noise in the final two frames, tying the bow on an abysmal two-game sweep.
     Let's hope the Pinstripers can turn this thing around before management dismantles this roster. New York travels to Minneapolis tonight to face off against the Twins in a four game series, with first pitch scheduled tomorrow for 8:05 PM ET.

Candy Cummings & Inventions of the Curveball and Glove

William Arthur "Candy" Cummings was born on October 18,1848 in Ware Massachusetts and went on to be a professional baseball player that was eventually one of the first members to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. What Cummings added to the game of baseball was the addition of a curveball to a pitcher's repetroire and the addition of a glove for the catcher to catch the ball with.

When Cummings pitched the pitcher threw underhand and was essentially there to throw the ball where the "striker," or more commonly known as the batter today, wanted the ball to be thrown. The story goes that one day as a teenager Cummings was throwing clam shells into the ocean when he learned to added a bit of a curve to the shell when he threw. Cummings tried this with a baseball as a member of the National Association of Base Ball Players team the Brooklyn Excelsior's. Cummings pitched with Brooklyn in 1866 and 1867 before pitching for the Stars of Brooklyn from 1868 to 1871.

The problem with the curveball at that time was the fact that the catcher stood twenty feet behind the batter to catch the ball without a glove. When the curveball hit the ground it would skip away allowing runners to move up or score which led Cummings catcher, Nat Hicks, to stand behind the batter and catch the ball on the fly. Hicks and Cummings came up with the idea of the catcher having leather bound gloves with the fingers cut out of them to help with catching the ball and saving the catcher's hands.

The sport of baseball was in its infancy at the time but within a few years the way the pitcher played the game was changed, the pitcher's repertoire was changed, the catcher position was changed and how the catcher did his job was changed. All because of a 17 year old kid throwing sea shells by the sea shore that just loved playing this great game of baseball.

Cummings was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939.

Now the Yankees know why they have those gloves on their hands and now it's time to start using them. Thanks.

Live Game Updates: Yankees at Rockies - 6/15

3:28 p.m., End 1st: Nova strands men on the corners in the first. This one's still scoreless heading into the second.

4:00 p.m., End 3rd: Arenado puts the Rockies on top with an RBI single in the third. The Yankees, meanwhile, are still looking for their first baserunner.

4:18 p.m., Mid 4th: Yankees grab a lead in the fourth. Didi ties the game with two-out RBI single, and after Hicks squibs one in front of the plate, the Yanks get another run on a Tony Wolters errant throw.

4:47 p.m., End 5th: Nova gets tagged for four runs in the fifth. Just like that, the Rockies are up 5-2. 

4:58 p.m., Mid 6th: An RBI single by Hicks brings the Yankees a little closer. It's now 5-3 Colorado.

5:44 p.m., Mid 8th: Yankees still trail 5-3. They're comeback appears to have stalled.

5:59 p.m., End 8th: Rockies get an insurance off Chapman in the eighth. They're up 6-3 heading into in the ninth.

6:07 p.m., Mid 9th: Make that four straight losses for the Yankees. They fall to the Rockies 6-3.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Colorado Rockies 6/15

The New York Yankees and the Colorado Rockies played late into the night last night, well late if you live on the East Coast like I do and a ton of Yankees fans do, and are back at it again this afternoon in beautiful Denver, Colorado to finish off their quick two-game interleague series. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound looking to continue his contract season with another good start while the Rockies will counter with Chad Bettis who needs to turn things around in the worst way. The game will be played at 3:10 pm ET inside Coors Field and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and of course MLB TV.

The Yankees head to Minnesota after the game to take on the Minnesota Twins who just may have a worse off offense than New York does. I mentioned this earlier but this little stretch of games against teams under .500 may be a gift and a curse as New York may beat up on teams like Colorado and Minnesota giving them and their fans a false hope of security in the playoff and Wild Card chases. Although if the team falls flat on their faces inside Target Field in Minnesota we may see a huge sell off and potential fire sale, but I doubt it.

Either way I’m still going to be sitting over here rooting for every victory I can regardless of the place in the standings or what it could mean to the make-up of the team in the future. Go Yankees! Follow us on Twitter and root for the team with us by giving @GreedyStripes a follow and don’t forget to check out our new T-Shirt Shop!!!

Introducing TGP Designed T-Shirts and a New Partnership w/ BreakingT

You guys don’t know how long I’ve had this on my mind and you have no idea how long I’ve waited to share this news with everybody reading this. For the longest time I’ve wanted to and for an even longer time I’ve been told that The Greedy Pinstripes needs to design and sell their own T-shirts much like other bloggers and Bald Vinny do. Me being me, the guy scared to take such a risk and a plunge no matter the certainty, I have drug my feet until the group over at BreakingT contacted us about potentially working together to achieve these goals. The partnership was completed recently and we are ready to begin the process of selling TGP designed and BreakingT designed shirts right here on the blog!

The first shirt is seen above, the Jacoby Ellsbury steals home shirt. This is a clever design by BreakingT to commemorate Ellsbury stealing home not once but twice already this season. Also if you check out the link, seen here, you can see they provide merchandise for other teams as well as general MLB merchandise as well. Another good part about this partnership is that BreakingT is licensed by the MLBPA so there are no worries about getting sued or these shirts coming off the presses.

Possibly the best part of it all is that BreakingT has given us, us being the writers here at TGP and YOU who are reading this, the opportunity to design our own shirts as well. You don’t need to be a Photoshop expert either all you have to do is pitch an idea, for example my original idea for a TGP shirt was a “#BringBackTino” shirt, and we can take it from there. Now obviously every idea can’t be used for a plethora of reasons but if it’s a good idea we’ll definitely do everything we can to make it happen. Because you want it!

So celebrate with us. This is a big day for The Greedy Pinstripes and it is a big day for Yankees fans in general. We have another place to buy original and unique Yankees merchandise and we, the fans, have the say in what we wear and what we buy. WE, I keep saying “we” but I truly mean this. This is a WE accomplishment and another big step for the blog. Won’t you support us?

I am in the process of adding a link in the header at the top of the blog but until I get that up and going and nice and pretty like I like things click HERE to visit the BreakingT store to get your Jacoby Ellsbury milk carton shirt or any shirt they have in stock. Thank you in advance for all your support and if you have any suggestions, comments or feedback you can leave it below in the comments section, tweet us @GreedtStripes, get with us on Facebook or shoot us an email at TheGreedyPinstripes at gmail (com). 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Colorado Rockies 6/15

The New York Yankees and the Colorado Rockies feel like they just started their head-to-head series this week, probably because they just did, and already we reach the finale of the quick two-game set tonight in Denver. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound who is pitching for his position in the starting rotation every time out now that Luis Severino is back to being healthy while the Rockies will counter with Chad Bettis tonight in the contest.

Nova may be finally getting his command back after Tommy John surgery cost him over a year of baseball stretched across parts of 2014 and 2015. Entering this start Nova has been walking just 1.5 batters per nine innings, a career low, which is more than half his career walk rate. Just in time for a contract season too.

Bettis on the other hand is going through a string of bad starts entering his start tonight which is highlighted by him not getting past the fifth inning in each of his last four starts. Bettis has allowed at least four runs in each of those starts as well which is good for an 11.57 ERA. Five sounds better than four, a nice milestone number, so let’s get it done Yankees!
The game will be played at 3:10 pm ET inside Coors Field and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. The Yankees stay out on the road after this contest as the team heads north to Minnesota to face off with possibly the worst team in the American League in the Minnesota Twins. Games like tonight and games like this looming four-game set with the Twinkies are games that the team must win if they are to be taken serious in the 2nd Wild Card chase. This series and the next series may also be a gift and a curse to those who want to see the team sell off at the trading deadline. Either way I can’t bring myself to root against the Yankees winning each and every game so tonight, like every night, we finish this with a Go Yankees!

Weekly Prospects Check In: Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees have quietly been worried about Aaron Judge and his struggles with Triple-A pitching but it seems now like it may come and go. Just around the time the reports start coming out regarding Judge and him being a “bust” of a prospect the Judge goes off on a 4-for-4 night with a couple home runs dispelling the rumors of his demise at least temporarily.

Judge is in the middle of a hot streak right now but until that hot streak becomes the norm in Triple-A I doubt we will see him in the Bronx any time soon. Obviously an injury or three has a way of changing that but I doubt Judge wants to back into his MLB debut. Judge wants to earn it, so earn it. We’re rooting for you Aaron.


This Day In New York Yankees History 6/15: Yankee Stadium III

On this day in 2005 George Steinbrenner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, and team officials announce plans for the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The Yankees will finance the $800 million stadium which will be built north of the current stadium in Macombs Dam Park. The new stadium is announced to mirror the old stadium and will seat 51,800 fans.

Also on this day in 1976 the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles completed a ten player trade in which both teams swapped four pitchers and a catcher each. The Yankees acquire pitchers Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Jimmy Freeman, Grant Jackson, and catcher Elrod Hendricks. The Orioles acquire pitchers Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor, Dave Pagan, and catcher Rick Dempsey.

Finally on this day in 1958 the Kansas City Athletics send Woodie Held and Vic Power to the Cleveland Indians for Dick Tomanek, Preston Ward, and Roger Maris. This is significant because Kansas City and owner Arnold Johnson was warned by American League president Will Harridge that they could not send any players, especially Maris, to the Yankees for at least 18 months. The Indians would later trade Maris to the Yankees which made everyone think the deal was a prelude to the deal.