Thursday, July 14, 2016

One More Day Until Baseball Open Thread

Ladies and gentleman baseball returns to the Bronx this time tomorrow night as the New York Yankees play host to the Boston Red Sox. I hope the team has recharged the batteries, worked on some things, healed some nagging injuries and are prepared mentally to focus because tomorrow night begins a tough stretch for the Yankees in the schedule with games with the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants to name a few. If the team needs to “declare” themselves to Brian Cashman this should be the stretch that does it either way in my opinion.

Anyway we’ll worry about that tomorrow night, tonight we chill and catch Pokemon. Enjoy the final off night of the All Star break and prepare for the second half push that comes right around every trading deadline every season. This is about to get interesting I think. Have a great night everyone. 

Yankees “One More Off Day” Yankee Stadium Music Recommendation

The New York Yankees are off one more day before returning home to the Bronx tomorrow night to play host to David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox inside Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium, the home of the Yankees and the place to hear some differing genres in music when players step up to the plate and enter the game from the bullpen. Players like Brian McCann, the Yankees catcher and a personal favorite of mine.

Every time McCann stands up at the plate in Yankee stadium “Till I Collapse” by Eminem blares in the Yankee Stadium speakers. Enjoy the last day off of the All Star break. 

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

These rankings have been coming out later and later in the week for whatever reason and if you are a fan of them I have to apologize. I can only bring them to you when the USA Today brings them to me unless I start doing my own rankings. I may do that but for now I bring you another week’s worth of MLB Power Rankings from the USA Today. Last week the crew over there at the USA Today were not impressed with the Yankees beating up on the Minnesota Twins but would they be impressed with the team taking three-out-of-four from the first place Cleveland Indians before sending three of their own to the 2016 MLB All Star Game?

In a word, no. The Yankees finished last week’s rankings at the #19 position in the league and that is exactly where they sit this week as well. No movement for the Yankees but that happens a lot the farther you get into a season. The more of a sample size the less you see big jumps and falls and the harder it is to truly gain some ground on your opponents. Opponents like the Baltimore Orioles who finished the week ranked 6th overall, the Boston Red Sox who finished 7th, the Toronto Blue Jays who finished 8th and the Tampa Bay Rays who finished 27th overall.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Pittsburgh Pirates who are making a run rising four spots to the #14 position. Meanwhile the exact opposite can be said about the Detroit Tigers who got ran all over this week falling four spots to the #15 position overall.

The Top Five teams got a bit of a shake up this week as the Chicago Cubs are no longer atop the list but the San Francisco Giants are. The Cubs finished 2nd overall followed by the Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians. The five worst teams in the rankings are the Oakland Athletics, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Minnesota Twins, the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves. Not what you want if you’re one of the latter five teams.

So let me get this straight. The Indians are 5th and they lost three-of-four to the Yankees with some of their best pitching on the mound and New York doesn’t move up at all? Not even one slot? Call me bias but I’ll counter by calling “BS” on that one. Oh well, these rankings and a buck get you a Coke these days. 

Boycott the Yankees – The Movement Has Started

In case you missed it here is a quick recap of what I mean by “Boycott the Yankees” and that the movement has started. In my book review of Mike DeLucia’s book “Boycott the Yankees” I kind of hit the high points of what the book was about and suggested you pick up a copy for your own browsing. Today I want to get a little more in depth with this and I want to start the movement, or better yet continue the movement that Mr. DeLucia has started with this book. We need to boycott the Yankees and take OUR team and OUR stadium back.

This is a movement that I am 100% behind. Why? Because it makes too much sense not to. No longer are the fans dictating where the dollars are spent, when the dollars are spent and how the dollars are spent. They are OUR dollars going into the team, the Steinbrenner family’s contribution is ZERO to the payroll and to the new stadium that we continue to pay for, and we should at least have something to say about it, right? Instead of the team sitting on their hands while watching the best free agent class of the last 10-years or so to pass us while not signing anyone we want the Yankees to do right by us, not do just enough to get the books into the green and preach “World Series or bust” and “World Series caliber team” while counting your money in your back room.

I’m angry with this team and this organization. I touched on it a bit in my previous post, the contract and the money are dictating things here and not what should be dictating things. On the field performance. Character. Versatility. WINNING. I could spend hours ranting and raving on the topic but I don’t think I could say it any better than Mr. DeLucia did. He really lit a flame in me, a flame that has always been there but lacked the organization to really do something about it, and I think it would have the same effect on you if you read it.

Check out his website where you can sign his petition to take the stadium and the team back as well as purchase a copy of the book and other pretty cool items. Again I want to reiterate that this is not some sort of paid promotion. I get nothing for promoting the site or the book and I get nothing if you buy the book. I am promoting it because I believe in what the book says and the message it brings and I know you will too. We interact all day, every day on twitter and I know you’re just as frustrated as myself and Mr. DeLucia as well. Check out the book, sign the petition and join the movement to take our team and our stadium back because it’s not only the right thing to do it’s the only option we have left before falling into eternal mediocrity on the field. 

Alex Rodriguez, Robert Refsnyder, First Base & Brian Cashman Can’t Help His Damn Self

Good morning/afternoon Yankees fans. I feel like we haven’t ranted in a while and I tend to get a bit cranky when I don’t have baseball so whatever, let’s do it. Earlier this week it was announced that Alex Rodriguez would begin taking ground balls at first base over the All Star break and while some may have just read that and moved on with their lives I, the eternal pessimist I guess, can see where this is leading. I know where it’s leading because I’ve seen it a million times before. Alex Rodriguez is about to make Robert Refsnyder a thing of the past at the position because the contract and not the performance always dictates the playing time in the Bronx. Brian Cashman just can’t help his damn self, can he?

Let’s predict how this is going to go. Alex is going to start getting the bulk of the right-handed at bats at first base while Refsnyder sits on the bench. Why? Because the Yankees “want to try to find a way to get his bat going and into the lineup” while “giving Carlos Beltran more half days off at the DH position.” If anyone has the gonads to ask about Refsnyder they will be told that the days Beltran is at DH and Alex is at first Refsnyder will be in right field but we all know that’s a lie. Teixeira will be at the DH position some and Aaron Hicks will have to play the outfield as well for whatever reason possesses Joe Girardi and Refsnyder will once again be the odd man out. Like he always is.

When are the Yankees and the fans going to stop letting the contract dictate the playing time and the decisions made by our beloved team in the Bronx? Who cares what Alex makes this year and next? If he’s not producing by the month of July, and he’s not, then do what any other successful team over the past 10 years have done. Eliminate the contract and the black hole from the team. Designate him for assignment, trade him and eat salary or let him rot on the bench. The San Francisco Giants do it (three World Series in the past five years) and the Boston Red Sox do it as well (two rings since breaking the Curse of the Bambino) but the Yankees just refuse to.

And another question, why Refsnyder? We haven’t seen a prospect treated like this since I don’t know when. Since George Steinbrenner was running the show I guess. “He needs to show more with the bat” is an excuse not to call him up, he does that and still doesn’t get the call up. “Refsnyder is a man without a position” is an excuse, he learns second base, the outfield, third base and first base and is about to get his playing time ripped from him again. I’m tired of it. Refsnyder is not a blue chip prospect or anything like that and I know I talk him up like one sometimes but that’s only because I see the potential in him. He’s less of a Derek Jeter in his prime and more of a Scott Brosius to me. A solid hitter, a tough out and not one that you’re going to draft high on your fantasy team but he is a player that helps a team win. The ultimate goal. If Cashman could just get out of his own way. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Blake Rutherford

Blake Rutherford was drafted 18th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft and has since signed a deal with the New York Yankees to begin his professional career. As we found out last week in our weekly check in post Rutherford was assigned to the GCL West Yankees and has since played in his first game. Last week was an extremely small sample size of just a handful of games but this week he has a full week under his belt and maybe, possibly his first base hit.

Let’s find out and check in with the future in the Yankees outfield, Blake Rutherford: 


This Day in New York Yankees History 7/14: Posada & Jeter Were Teammates a Long Time

We have all heard the stories about the Core Four and how Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were teammates coming through the system and were teammates for a long time as members of the New York Yankees. On this day in 2011 the latter two, Jeter and Posada, appeared in their 1,660th regular season game as teammates, the most two players have been together in franchise history. Jeter and Posada entered the game as pinch hitters in the Yankees 16-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays passing Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri who held the previous team mark in 1937.

Also on this day in 1934 the Yankees got a little creative to keep Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak going in a game against the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees listed Gehrig as their leadoff batter and shortstop and after Gehrig singled in the top of the first he was replaced defensively at short. The streak continued, Gehrig rested his lumbago injury and the Yankees lost the game 12-11.

Finally it's worth mentioning that on this day in 2015 the first MLB All Star Game I ever watched without Derek Jeter took place. There's always that.