Friday, July 29, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 7/29

Ladies and gentleman it is time for Friday night baseball at The Trop as the New York Yankees and their fans invade Tropicana Field tonight as they take on the hometown Tampa Bay Rays. In the first of the three-game set that will take us all the way to the August 1st trade deadline the Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound looking to keep the good times rolling for the Bronx Bombers while the Rays will look to play spoilers tonight with Jake Odorizzi on the mound. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Get your Yankees Tickets now before the team sells off pieces or before the price goes up to pay for that new addition the team presumably gets at the August 1st trade deadline. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to secure your seat now. Also look the part while in the Bronx by visiting the TGP T-Shirts link also located at the top of the blog to get a cool Yankees-themed t-shirt for the game.

Follow along on twitter during this game and all the way through the August 1st trade deadline by either liking us on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on twitter. If it happens either Bryan or myself will have it. Odorizzi vs. Nova. Let’s go. Go Yankees!

Charleston Riverdogs Press Release: The Charleston Hall of Fame

Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame
to Induct Five New Members 
on Aug. 25
Class of 2016 includes Mayor Riley, Mike Veeck, Ted Byrne and former Cougars
Chris Campbell, Nick Chigges

CHARLESTON, SC – Former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Charleston, RiverDogs president emeritus Mike Veeck, broadcaster Ted Byrne, and College of Charleston standouts Chris Campbell and Nick Chigges highlight the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.

Byrne, Campbell and Chigges were selected by fan voting while Riley and Veeck were chosen by the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Committee.

The five, which represent the largest class in the 14-year history of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame, will be enshrined on August 25prior to the RiverDogs’ home game against the Columbia Fireflies, which begins at 7:05 pm.

Riley, among the nation’s most loved politicians who guided the Holy City for an unprecedented 40 years (Dec. 1975-Jan. 2016), is arguably Charleston’s No. 1 baseball fan. A native Charlestonian, Riley graduated from The Citadel in 1964 and the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1967. Among his many projects as mayor was the completion of a $19 million baseball field on the banks of the Ashley River in which Charleston City Council appropriately named Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. As mayor, Riley has been honored with numerous citations, including the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolinian of the Year and The National Medal of Arts as presented by President Barack Obama

Veeck, the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, brought his innovative “Fun Is Good” mantra to the RiverDogs when the club moved from College Park to Riley Park in the late 1990s and has kept that momentum going. Focusing on wholesome, family entertainment with major emphasis on customer and community service, Veeck directed the RiverDogs front office as they continually set attendance records that hovered around the 300,000 per year mark. A master showman and promoter who has been referred to as a “maverick” owner due to his wacky promotions, Veeck is a highly sought-after speaker on the national level.

Byrne, the South Atlantic League’s 1984 Broadcaster of the Year, brought Charleston its first sports talk radio show and has been a sports broadcaster since 1967. He currently is the Operations and Traffic Manager for Kirkman Broadcasting and oversees all six of their radio stations. In 1984 he was named South Carolina’s Broadcaster of the Year. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Ted was part of a group that won his industry’s highest award, The Peabody Award, which recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television broadcasters. Byrne has been the “voice” of The Citadel and College of Charleston, and has worked TV broadcasts for Fox Sports, SportSouth, Comcast and ESPN. He twice broadcasted the SAL All-Star Game (once in Charleston and once in Columbia), and also did play-by-play for Georgia Southern men's basketball and baseball from 1997-05 before returning to Charleston.

A second baseman who played for CofC from 2004-07, Campbell ranks as the program’s all-time leader in games played, hits, doubles and RBIs. In 2007, Campbell led the nation in RBIs per game with 1.41. His 87 RBIs in 2005 ranked second all-time in Southern Conference history behind CofC’s Matt Leeds’ mark of 88. Campbell’s 290 career RBIs are tied for first in SoCon history, while his 355 career hits are tied for second in the league record books. Campbell was the 2004 SoCon Freshman of the Year, while earning First Team All-SoCon honors in 2005 and Second Team All-Conference accolades in 2004, 2006 and 2007. In 2005, Campbell was named an ABCA First Team All-American, Baseball America Second Team All-American and Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American. He was selected for the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America team in 2004. He helped Charleston to three NCAA Regional appearances and a Super Regional berth in 2006.

College of Charleston’s Chigges was a two-time Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year and collected first team All-Conference accolades in 2006 and 2007. Named co-MVP of the 2006 SoCon Tournament, Chigges earned second team Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger and NCBWA All-America honors in 2006 and second team ABCA All-American recognition in 2007. He had a 31-5 career record and a .861 winning percentage, and when he finished, the 31 wins ranked first all-time at CofC and fifth in SoCon history. He was named to the 2006 Kentucky Regional All-Tournament team after a complete-game, 13-strikeout performance in the win over Ball State in the semifinals. A 2004 member of Collegiate Baseball’s All-America Freshman Team, Chigges was drafted by the NY Yankees and played for the 2008 Charleston RiverDogs.

The Yankees Shortstop Depth is Disgusting… In a Good Way

The New York Yankees have a gluttony of shortstop prospects right now and it’s absolutely disgusting… in a good way. As we all know by now, because even people under rocks have cell service and Wi-Fi these days, the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for their top prospect Gleyber Torres who joins elite company at the shortstop position in the Yankees farm system. The intention of this post is to showcase some of this talent a bit.

Gleyber Torres is the Yankees top prospect according to my post-trade Top Prospects list we posted on the blog this week while fellow shortstop Jorge Mateo was bumped to second. Torres and newly acquired outfielder Billy McKinney also bumped a fellow shortstop Wilkerman Garcia down from the 8th position to the 9th position while Tyler Wade finished 12th on the list. Those are the names you likely know, here are a few that you may not.

Hoy-Jun Park was one of the many names the Yankees signed during that international free agent haul from a few seasons back and has absolutely been tearing up Pulaski since his signing. Thairo Estrada is another who has been toiling around in short season ball while Abi Avelino just got the call up that Jorge Mateo was hoping for in Trenton this week.

Some of other shortstops who may see either second base or their base in their future due to development and/or the absolute logjam the Yankees have going on right now at the position include Vince Conde who was drafted out of the University of Texas, Kyle Holder who was drafted last year by the organization and Angel Aguilar. Conde seems to be more polished than Holder despite both being college picks in the draft while Aguilar seems to be the farthest from the Major Leagues in the group.

This impressive list of stars is why you don’t worry about acquiring a Torres in a Chapman trade. You don’t worry about having a young and impressive shortstop in Didi Gregorius already in the Major Leagues because shortstops are shortstops for two reasons. Well maybe more than two reasons but two main reasons, arm strength and the range and flexibility that allows you to go all over the diamond. That translates well at second base and it translates at third base as well. And if it doesn’t you can always trade from a strength and get the positions filled that you need so don’t fret Yankees family, having too many shortstops is a good problem to have.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 7/29

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays begin an all-important three-game weekend set tonight in Tampa St. Pete as we inch closer and closer to the August 1st trading deadline. The Yankees were thought to be dead and buried when looking at their second half schedule but the team has come out with all guns blazing and firing on all cylinders changing the entire dynamic of the decision making and the season for the Yankees. The Yankees would be the ultimate procrastinators if they wait until this series to decide whether to truly buy or sell this season but if tonight’s starter Ivan Nova can keep the good times rolling against Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi you never know what the team could do. They have the better part of four days left to decide.

Nova pitched extremely well in his last start and will look to put all the trade rumors behind him at least for a night for his start. Nova pitched seven innings against the San Francisco Giants last time out in a 2-1 extra-innings loss for New York giving up just one run and six hits while striking out seven. Nova had also earned the victory in each of his two starts prior to his last start as well meaning if the Yankees are going to trade him now is the time to do it while the iron is hot.

Odorizzi heads into this start leading the Major Leagues in a category you probably don’t want to be leading in, no decisions. Odorizzi threw eight innings of shutout baseball in his last start against the Oakland Athletics and still came away with one, let’s make it 13 tonight. Or a loss would be okay too, either way.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. It can also be seen live, I’m not sure if Tampa Bay Rays fans truly know that yet or not. I joke but really the attendance down there is horrendous, even for Yankees games. I’ve been to the stadium and it’s an absolute nightmare to navigate the area and get to the stadium and truth be told the stadium leaves much to be desired but still, it’s baseball. And it is cheap baseball, Tampa has some of the cheapest tickets in MLB. Oh well, Go Yankees whether anyone is there to see it or not. 

Yankees Potential Trade Partners: The Tampa Bay Rays

How convenient that I wait until this morning to talk about the Yankees potential trade partners, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees and the Rays begin a three-game series tonight in Tampa that ultimately will have to set the tone for the Yankees before the trading deadline. Many thought the Bronx Bombers were dead in the water heading into that big four-game series with Cleveland right before the All-Star break and ever since then all the team has done was win (with a small hiccup against Boston thrown in the middle there). Now many wonder and believe the Yankees should be buyers and not sellers before the August 1st trading deadline and if they are buying I believe Tampa has a few pieces worth buying this weekend.

While I will preface this article with the fact that I find it unlikely that the Tampa Bay Rays would trade within the division nor do I feel like the team will especially help the Yankees in any way let’s ignore that and have a little fun here on our Friday morning. I will say that while it’s unlikely that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The Yankees and the Rays could potentially hook up in a trade but the Yankees will have to VASTLY overpay for their services, something I’m not quite sure I am comfortable doing personally.

The Rays have made both Matt Moore and Chris Archer available via trade and both could help the Yankees both this year if they are serious about making a push towards that second Wild Card spot and beyond the 2016 season as well. Moore is signed through the 2016 season with team options for the 2017-2019 seasons worth $7 million, $9 million and $10 million respectively while Archer is signed through the 2019 season with a pair of team options for 2020 and 2021 worth $9 million and $11 million respectively. The way the market is today you are seeing #4 and #5 pitchers earning that kind of money annually making the Rays pair of potential aces, one present and one working his way back to being one, an absolute steal and bargain going forward.

For those reasons alone Moore and Archer will not come cheap, especially to the Yankees. Attached to Gleyber Torres already? Don’t be, if a deal is made he’s headed to Tampa. Him or Jorge Mateo, one or the other, and plus some other top prospects as well. Now obviously Moore would come cheaper than Archer for obvious reasons, Moore hasn’t been “great” in about four seasons now, but either would be great additions to the Yankees. Just likely and just really, really expensive.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Jorge Mateo

The New York Yankees former top prospect (at least on my list anyway) has some company in the middle infield and some competition as well. Jorge Mateo was widely believed to be the Yankees best prospect and best shortstop in the system before the trade of Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs brought in two additional top prospects in Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney. On my post-Chapman trade prospects list I listed Mateo as the #2 prospect in the system behind Torres with McKinney 6th overall in the system.

Mateo is not on the path to get his top spot back and he has done well in doing so since returning from his two week suspension. Keep up the good work Jorge, you’ll be back on top before you know it. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 7/29: Billy Martin Back for Old Timers Day

The New York Yankees won a World Series championship in 1977 under then manager Billy Martin and before Martin could try and defend his title he resigned and was replace by Bob Lemon as manager. The Yankees would repeat as World Series champions in 1978 under Lemon but before that Martin made one more trip to Yankee Stadium. The trip was made on this day in 1978 when Martin returned to the Yankees on Old Timer's Day.

Martin couldn't stay away from New York and George Steinbrenner as he would be the Yankees manager once again in 1980.

Finally on this day in 1969 Joe DiMaggio was named the greatest living player in Major League Baseball by a group of sportswriters. A poll was taken to coincide with the centennial of professional baseball and DiMaggio was given the honor. DiMaggio proudly embraced the title until his death in 1999. Not bad for a guy that took four times to get into the Hall of Fame.