Sunday, July 24, 2016

August 1st Trade Deadline Countdown Open Thread

Ladies and gentleman things are about to get interesting. As we sit here on July 24th we have just a week to go before the August 1st trade deadline. Will the Yankees buy? Will the Yankees be sellers? Will the Yankees stand pat and try their luck again at the much less convenient waiver trade deadline of August 31st? A lot of that will depend on the way this week goes.

Truth be told I thought the Yankees would be buried right now after starting the second half with series with the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants but the team has come out swinging and swinging with all hands on deck. Now with one week to go the decision to buy or less is all the more murky.

In the next week the Yankees will face off with the Houston Astros for three games before taking an off day on Thursday and before finishing the month down in Tampa Bay against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees schedule all of a sudden has the ability to make the team want to be buyers... but will they?

That's the question I leave with you tonight in this open thread for the finale of the weekend. Enjoy.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Jake Cave

Speaking of Yankees outfielders who made returns to the team this season and speaking of Yankees outfielders we are going to check in with on this lazy Sunday afternoon let's get caught back up with Jake Cave. If you remember, and I'm sure that you do because the Yankees have some of the most passionate and hardcore fans in all of the land, Cave was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 Draft this season only to be returned after spring training camp.

How far has he come since his return? Let's find out.


Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. San Francisco Giants 7/24

The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants will finish off their three-game weekend set this afternoon in the Bronx. In the finale the Giants will send Jeff Samardzija to the mound in what could be, on paper heading into this series in my opinion anyway, the Yankees best chance to win a game while the Yankees counter with Nathan Eovaldi. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, TBS and MLB TV.

Get your Yankees Tickets by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and get your TGP T-Shirts by clicking that link also located at the top of the blog. You can support the Yankees who are winning more than they are losing all of a sudden while also supporting the blog.

Eovaldi is ready and so is the Yankees offense. Let's get it. Go Yankees!

Mike Piazza & the Ethical Hall of Fame Debate

Mike Piazza is in the Hall of Fame, this much we know and this none of us can really change. For better or worse the first player to be linked or suspected of steroid use that played in the steroid era is in the Hall of Fame which has caused a stir around Major League Baseball. Did Piazza use and should he be in the Hall of Fame? These are just a couple of the questions that I am going to attempt, key word being attempt, to answer today in this blog post.

Before the comments and emails come flooding in I am well aware of Piazza’s autobiography where he admitted to using androstenedione and I am well aware that it was added to Major League Baseball’s list of banned substances in 2004. Andro is a muscle-building compound that was long banned by the International Olympic Committee before it was added to MLB’s banned list. Should he be punished for doing something that wasn’t illegal at the time? I think not, personally. That’s like locking up all the people in California, Colorado, Seattle etc. for smoking marijuana before it was made illegal in those states. It’s irresponsible and, in my opinion, not plausible.

It is worth mentioning that drug testing and Piazza’s home run power, or lack thereof, definitely had a direct correlation between each other. Piazza hit 33 home runs in 2002, the year before drug testing was talked about and before it was implemented in 2004 (and punishable in 2005), and that number dropped to 11 in 2003. Granted Piazza stayed injured for much of 2003 but that is also a side effect of prolonged steroid use per Jose Canseco, especially when you stop taking them. Piazza never went on to hit more than 22 in a season after drug testing was implemented but it is also worth mentioning that Piazza turned 35-years old in 2003. Playing behind the dish for 140 games a season takes a toll on your body, especially your lower half, so it could be chalked up as a coincidence and Mother Nature intervening rather than steroid use.

In the end we will never know EVERYONE who did steroids, either once or for a prolonged period of time. We will never know if someone in Cooperstown already had used steroids in the past and we’re likely to never know in the future if the BBWAA is electing steroid users into the Hall of Fame. This is why we must elect them all, suspicions or not, or none at all. With Piazza in I think that question just got answered, you have to elect them all now. Especially when you almost elected Tim Raines, an admitted cocaine addict that admitted to using cocaine DURING GAMES. There’s a fine line here people and many of you are jumping back and forth between it.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. San Francisco Giants 7/24

The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants will finish off their three-game set this weekend in the Bronx with an afternoon getaway game for both clubs. After this series the Yankees are headed to Houston to face off with the Houston Astros while the Giants are going anywhere but here, I really wouldn't mind them staying to be honest because this series has been fun for me. In the finale the Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi back to the mound after a brief stint in the bullpen while the Giants will send out Jeff Samardzija who was pushed back a day for this start.

Eovaldi has made one start since being reinserted into the bullpen and will look to be just as sharp this afternoon as he was in that start. Eovaldi threw more fastballs in his last start than he had for much of this season and he had great success with it.

Samardzija has not been the greatest pitcher when it comes to Interleague Play during his career which is evident by his 15 career starts, 3-9 win/loss record and his 5.28 ERA. Samardzija has also been pretty home run prone lately allowing 12 home runs in his last eight starts which doesn’t bode well when you are set to pitch inside Yankee Stadium in an afternoon game.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, TBS and MLB TV. I love afternoon games on a lazy Sunday. Now truth be told I tend to fall asleep while watching them but isn't that what Sunday afternoons were made for? I thought so. Go Yankees!

Yankees Close to Trading Aroldis Chapman

According to Ken Rosenthal the New York Yankees are close to trading left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman. While nothing seems necessarily imminent the Yankees may trade their closer before the end of the weekend or by the end of the contest this afternoon.

Rosenthal also states the Yankees will likely hold onto Andrew Miller and insert him back into the closer's role. Get it done Cash.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Mason Williams

The New York Yankees received one of their own back recently when they finally activated outfielder Mason Williams off the 60-day DL after a shoulder surgery ended his 2015 season prematurely. Williams was on a long rehab before the activation and re-addition to the 40 man roster and has already seen three stops this season in the minors including Triple-A.

This is a bit of a different shoulder surgery than Greg Bird had but this is another example to watch if you're worried about the first baseman's future.

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This Day in New York Yankees History 7/24: A Rod and Varitek Fight it Out

One of the best and longest rivalry in Major League Baseball is the rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This rivalry was especially heated in the early and mid-2000's as both teams were perennial winners. These two teams met 27 times a season and ended up fighting for the American League pennant more times than not.

The rivalry continued on this day in 2004 when then Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the previous night's hero with a game winning home run, with a pitch. A Rod stared down Arroyo as he went down to first base causing the Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek to get in Rodriguez's face. Varitek pushed his glove into A Rod's face that initiated a benches clearing brawl between the two teams.

Also on this day in 1999 the Yankees routed the Cleveland Indians on the way to their biggest margin of victory in 46 seasons with the score of 21-1. Chili Davis would go 5-6 with six RBI in the game in the Bronx.

Also on this day in 1983 the Kansas City Royals and the Yankees played in what is widely considered to be the Pine Tar Game. George Brett's ninth inning home run was disallowed when the umpires ruled that there was too much pine tar on his bat. American League president Lee McPhail would overrule the decision and the game would resume on August 18th. The Royals would ultimately beat the Yankees 4-3.

Also on this day in 1978 Billy Martin resigned as the manager of the Yankees. George Steinbrenner would replace Martin with Bob Lemon and Lemon would lead the Yankees to their second consecutive World Series title.

Finally on this day in 1926 Gehrig stole home for the second time this season. Gehrig would steal 102 bases in his career and 15 of those was a steal of home plate. I'm not entirely sure if that's a record or anything but it's still an awesome stat.

Oh and also on this day in 2014 the New York Yankees acquired Chris Capuano from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for cash considerations. Yeah I don’t care either.