Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Is Up With Girardi Lately?

So I sent out a poll to all of my followers on Twitter and asked them what topic they wanted to hear my take on the most and the winner was my feelings on Yankees manager Joe Girardi -- not a result I'm shocked about either. Joe definitely has not seemed like himself lately.

Sunday, August 7 2016.... Yankee 'legend' Alex Rodriguez depressingly announces that after the game on Friday, August 2016 he will be released from his contract and no longer be playing for the New York Yankees *cough* forced retirement *cough*. Anyway, when Joe was asked at the press conference on the situation with playing Alex in his final week as a Yankee he replied to the media by saying that he would speak to Alex on whether he would like to play or not and take it from there. So basically he claimed he would let Alex take control of his playing time for the final week of his Yankee career..... Sounds fair enough.

Unfortunately this is not what wound up happening-- Sunday...No Alex, Monday...No Alex, Wednesday... Alex gets one at bat coming in as a pinch hitter for Aaron Hicks Girardi probably thinks he has done the greatest thing in the world by letting him get an at bat tonight and then 'play him tomorrow'. Joe continues to keep throwing Aaron Hicks in the lineup with no problem over Rodriguez DESPITE the fact that Hicks is batting worse then A-Rod this year, yes WORSE.

So how did Joe react when the media asked him why Alex hasn't been playing? Lets just say he wasn't too amused. "I’m putting out what I feel is the best lineup," he told reporters in explaining the A-Rod decision. "That is in my job description. My job description does not entail farewell tours." Well Joe lets just put it this way, without Alex you would not even still be the Yankees manager because without him you would have never won your only world series as Yankees manager in 2009. You would probably be assistant coach for the Long Island Ducks--So if I were you I would be treating Alex even better then you treated Jeter. Then when reporters asked him why he played Jeter during his farewell tour and not Alex he claims, "It was a different case."

But maybe the real question is... Why is Joe acting this way? Is he losing it? I think I have an answer for you guys....Hal Steinbrenner. Believe it or not Joe is under the most pressure of anybody in the Yankees organization right now because his job on the line. Hal must be down his throat because of how poor the team has been competing under his leadership for the past couple of years.

Lets take a look:
2008: Missed Playoffs
2009: Won World Series
2010: Lost in ALCS
2011: Lost in ALDS
2012: Lost in ALCS
2013: Missed Playoffs
2014: Missed Playoffs
2015: Choked in 2nd Half, Lost AL Wild Card Game
2016: Finishing with .500 record???

Joe has not been able to get the team over the playoff hump and bring them to a World Series since 2009, and he has already missed the playoffs 3 times as his tenure as the manager, not a good look. The point is that Joe is probably under a lot of scrutiny from the higher ups in the Yankees front office.

So should we maybe be feeling bad for Joe that he will possibly be losing his job due to an underperforming old roster he has been put in front of him?

It's YOUR call! Let me know in the comments how you feel

Follow me on Twitter- @Yankeesfan0504 

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/10

Ladies and gentleman it is time to renew a rivalry once again as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox continue their three-game set with the middle game of the series coming tonight inside Fenway Park. In the middle game of the set the Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound who has struggled a bit inside the historic stadium in Boston but has pitched much better overall after a demotion to the bullpen before the All-Star break while the Red Sox will counter with one of their shiny new toys in Drew Pomeranz. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball and MLB TV.

Yankees fans. You have one more game after tonight before we wave goodbye to Alex Rodriguez for the final time in a Yankees uniform. His final game is Friday night in the Bronx against Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays and if you want to say goodbye in person to the Yankees star then click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and secure your seats now. That’s sure to be one of the few sellouts this season I assure you. Also be sure to look the part while down in the Bronx by clicking the TGP T-Shirts link also located at the top of the blog to not only support the Greedy Pinstripes but to also support the team we all love, the Yankees.

Follow along during this game, the A-Rod finale and any game this season with us by either liking us on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on Twitter. Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Eovaldi? Let’s find out. Go Yankees!

Article Revisit: Since the Alex Rodriguez Farewell Tour May Never Come

So when I wrote this I fully expected this discussion to never really come up, not anytime soon anyway. This article was written more as a jab at the retiring Red Sox DH more so than to Alex but now that Alex will play his final game of his career against the Tampa Bay Rays I feel like we should revisit this article because now it has meaning. Now Alex is leaving to become a special advisor and member of the Yankees front office and his playing days are all but numbered so just in case the Alex Rodriguez farewell tour never comes, one last time, I’ll give him one today. Enjoy. 

Originally written HERE on March 25, 2016

If you’ve been paying attention to Alex Rodriguez specifically, the New York Yankees at all or Major League Baseball in general then you know why there may never be a farewell retirement tour for slugger and steroid user Alex Rodriguez. While Rodriguez may have finally put it all together and figured it all out some people refuse or absolutely cannot leave the past where it belongs, in the past. There were multiple steroid allegations and admissions and multiple lawsuits that came associated with these allegations and admissions including Rodriguez suing the Yankees team doctor Dr. Chris Ahmad and the MLB Players Union that is entrusted with protecting him and his best interest. A lot can happen between now and the end of the 2017 season, look at how far Alex has come in the hearts and minds of many just last season, but since the Alex Rodriguez Farewell Tour may never come to fruition in 2017 I wanted to go ahead and get our ceremony out of the way now.

Who didn’t see the framed Centaur picture joke coming? If you didn’t, you should have. Centaur framed photo etched in gold. Either that or the picture of him kissing himself in the mirror. Why not? You have to laugh at yourself in this world.

On a serious note though I think Alex always wanted to be a true leader, a true Yankee and a captain. Give the man the captain for a day. Yes, I know how some feel about him and yes I know this will be unpopular as a decision but it’s just for a day. Let him know what it feels like. Especially if he has a 2016 and 2017 season like he had in 2015 both on and off the field, in and out of the clubhouse.

Alex donated his $6 million home run milestone bonus to charity in 2015 when he tied Willie Mays on the all-time home run list inside Fenway Park. Alex showed a good faith gesture to the team and proved that he could follow the Yankee way. Give it back, give it back in a donation to his children’s softball team or the Boys and Girls Club or something.

Finally I would give Alex a 2017 World Series ring, wait…. He’s going to give that to us.

Press Release: Riverdogs Ask Fans to Vote for 2016 “Top Dog”

RiverDogs Asking Fans to Vote for the
“Top Dog” of 2016
Five candidates announced for fan voted Player of the Year

CHARLESTON, SC – Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Delmon Young, and Jorge Mateo, just some of the names of the RiverDogs greats that once called Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park home. With the 2016 season nearing a close, the RiverDogs will once again open up the floor to the fans to decide who will be elected as Charleston’s “Top Dog” as the fan-voted player of the Year for 2016.

The RiverDogs are having one of their most successful seasons in history, securing the Southern Division first half title with a 42-27 record at the All-Star break to clinch their first playoff berth in over a decade. The club’s success has also been highlighted by a number of stellar individual performances. The RiverDogs are asking fans to vote between five finalists for the RiverDogs’ “Top Dog” of 2016, awarded to the most outstanding player of the season by using the web link HERE. The finalists are LHP Nestor Cortes, first baseman Chris Gittens, center fielder Jeff Hendrix, RHP Christian Morris, and RHP Andrew Schwaab.

Cortes, a 21-year-old lefty out of Hialeah, FL, dominated South Atlantic League hitters since a midseason call up to Charleston on May 6. After yielding one run in a five inning effort against Lakewood on July 18, just his second run allowed in his last 37.2 innings with Charleston, the RiverDogs lefty fell to a 6-2 record while raising his ERA to a 0.79 mark before getting the call up to High-A Tampa. The Yankees’ 36thround pick in 2013 has struck out an impressive 75 batters in 68.1 innings, an average of 9.9 per nine innings, while walking just 15 and opponents hitting a measly .210 against him. Across 13 appearances, eight of those starts, with the RiverDogs, Cortes allowed just six earned runs and never allowed more than one unearned run in any given outing.

After representing the RiverDogs as a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star, Cortes was also called up for a spot relief appearance with Double-A Trenton, logging four innings to pick up the save on June 26 allowing two runs on just a hit before rejoining Charleston. The Cuban-born, native Floridian was also named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week after striking out 12 batters in six innings, giving up no runs, two hits, and one walk in a start against Columbia on May 19.

Gittens, 22, has been the heartbeat in the middle of the RiverDogs’ lineup since opening day. As of August 8, The 6’4”, 250 pound slugger out of Sherman, TX has hit .255/.361/.487 with 17 home runs that ranks second in the league while driving in a team leading 61 runs on the season in 87 games. Also a solid defender at first, the Grayson County College product is also fourth in the league in slugging and averages a home run every 19 at-bats, the best rate in the league.

Gittens’ most impressive game came on the road in West Virginia on June 16 when he smashed three home runs, one of just two three homer performances in the league this year, while going 3-for-5 with a career-high six RBIs. Along with his eye-popping power, the Yankees’ former 12th round pick in 2014 has shown solid plate discipline, reaching base safely in a league high 33 straight from April 21-June 2.

Hendrix, 23, stood in as the spark plug at the top of the RiverDogs order since Opening Day, and impressed enough in his time in Charleston to garner promotion to High-A Tampa. With an already polished defensive game, the Corvallis, Oregon native hit .299/.397/.389 with 16 doubles, a home run, and 25 RBI in 36 games with the RiverDogs before getting the call up on July 17.

The former Oregon State Beaver was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week when he went 15-for-24 (.625) at the plate with three doubles and five RBIs in six games from May 30-June 6 that included a 5-for-5 day at the plate in Greenville on June 1. Already a polished center fielder, Hendrix went on a tear to finish out his time with the RiverDogs, hitting .427 (38-89) since June to raise his average just a shade under the .300 mark before his call up.

Morris, 22, another mid-season call up to Charleston, has posted All-Star worthy numbers while rounding into form in the second half as the staff’s ace. Morris is having a breakout season in his second year as a pro, boasting a 7-2 record with a 2.45 ERA that ranks first among all qualifying pitchers in the league with 76 strikeouts in 88.0 innings.

The former Indiana Hoosier was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 6-12 for his performance against the Asheville Tourists on June 9 when he tossed six innings, giving up no runs, just a lone hit, two walks, and 7 strikeouts. The 6’4” righty made his debut with Charleston on April 30, after spending last season in rookie ball and one game with Advanced-A Tampa.

Schwaab, 23, was the linchpin of the dominant Charleston bullpen as the closer since Opening Day before getting a call up to High-A Tampa in mid-July. The former Missouri Tiger went 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA and his 18 saves still ranks second in the SAL. A non-drafted free agent signee by the Yankees in 2015, the side winding closer out of O’Fallon, Missouri struck out 38 batters while walking just eight in his 34 innings with Charleston. The 6’1” righty was named a SAL Mid-Season All-Star and was one of five RiverDogs representatives at the Midsummer Classic in Lexington.

Ticket information for the upcoming homestand and any of the remaining home games can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at RiverDogs playoff tickets for Game 2 of the SAL Divisional Series on Friday, September 9 are now available. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/10

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will continue their three-game set tonight inside Fenway Park with the second contest of the series. Last night marked the return of the Yankees future as the team welcomed Luis Severino back into the starting rotation and tonight the Yankees send a man who hopes to fit into the Yankees future in Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi is signed through the end of next season when then he will hit free agency for the first time but the team will cross that bridge when they get there, first they have to tackle Drew Pomeranz tonight’s starting pitcher for the Red Sox and that will be no easy task unfortunately.

Eovaldi has not enjoyed pitching inside Fenway Park during his career which is evident by his career 5.94 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in three career starts. Surprisingly though, due in large part to the Yankees offense obviously, Eovaldi is 2-0 in those starts. Give up ten runs for all I care as long as the Yankees offense can score 11. Am I right?

Pomeranz will be thrusted into the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry tonight as he makes his fifth start for the club since being traded by the San Diego Padres. Pomeranz is still searching for his first victory inside a Red Sox uniform and that would hurt even more if that were against the Yankees so let’s do everything we can to prevent that, shall we?

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball and MLB TV. The Yankees have struggled against left-handed pitching all season long which comes as a surprise to me with right-handed additions like Starlin Castro and Robert Refsnyder in the mix but it’s hard to come back from having such a reliance on the likes of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez only to feel let down and left behind when Father Time finally catches up to them. Oh well, we’re still grinding and we’re still winning so say it loud and say it proud Yankees family… Go Yankees! Beat those Red Sox.

The Cry For Homegrown Talent May Be Ill Advised: 1996

I am probably one of the wors tYankees fans there ever was for even thinking this let alone saying this but the thought of having a mostly homegrown team may not be the best thing for the Yankees. I got to thinking about how much homegrown talent the Yankees actually had when they won the World Series in 1996 and the results were shocking. The Yankees had a total of six regulars on that team that came from the farm system, six. Let's take a closer look at that 1996 Yankees roster and see if this current youth movement and push for youth can learn a thing or two from the team that Gene "Stick" Michael brought to us 20 seasons ago.

The Yankees infield wasn't exactly homegrown with catcher Joe Girardi (Cubs and Rockies), Tino Martinez (Mariners) filling the huge shoes of Don Mattingly at first base, Mariano Duncan (many NL teams) manning second base while Wade Boggs (Red Sox) manned the hot corner. Jim Leyrtiz did split time catching and Derek Jeter was named the Opening Day shortstop despite George Steinbrenner's best efforts to acquire someone else for the position.

From the infield to the outfield we saw much of the same story. Darryl Strawberry (Mets) and Tim Raines (Expos) played a lot of left field after home grown talent Gerald Williams was traded to Milwaukee midway through the season. Paul O'Neill (Reds) was the rock of the outfield after coming over from Cincinnati. The Yankees had Bernie Williams manning center field for the only Yankees homegrown talent in the outfield.

The designated hitter spot belonged to Ruben Sierra (Rangers) before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Cecil Fielder.

The Yankees rotation in 1996 was far from homegrown with Kenny Rogers (Rangers), Jimmy Key (Blue Jays), Dwight Gooden (Mets) and David Cone (Royals) joining the homegrown Andy Pettitte on the mound.

The Yankees bullpen, again, was far from homegrown with John Wetteland (Montreal) closing out games, Jeff Nelson (Mariners) pitching in middle relief, and had Jim Mecir (Mariners) and Steve Howe (Dodgers) making major appearances. The only homegrown Yankees in the bullpen that season were Bob Wickman and the great Mariano Rivera.

So as you can see the cry for the homegrown talent may be fun for us fans but it won't necessarily win us a World Series this year or any time in the future. The Yankees will still need free agency, they will still need international signings, and they will still need to make trades.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Justus Sheffield

The New York Yankees have a new arm to salivate over and his name is Justus Sheffield. Justus sure knows how to make an entrance and introduction to his new team, doesn’t he? After being traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal Sheffield was assigned to the High-A Tampa Yankees. The 20-year old made a pretty damn good first impression with his new club striking out 11 batters in six innings of work including one run allowed, two hits and a walk.

Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even the centerpiece in the deal, huh? But yeah, fire Brian Cashman.

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This Day In New York Yankees History 8/10: David Cone & The Streak

David Cone was one of the best Yankees signings in the mid to late 90's but in the year 2000 the right hander seemed to hit a wall. Cone went from throwing a perfect game in front of the Yankee Stadium crowd to not getting a victory in 16 straight decisions, until today. On this day in 2000 Cone finally got the long sought after win when the Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 12-6. Jose Canseco hit a three run home run to help Cone end his skid.

Also on this day in 1986 the Yankees held Billy Martin Day at Yankee Stadium and retired his #1 jersey and erected a plaque in his honor in Monument Park. The plaque read "There has never been a greater competitor than Billy." The four time manager and former second baseman addresses the sold out crowd by saying "I may not have been the greatest Yankees to put on the uniform, but I am the proudest."

Finally on this day in 1957 Mickey Mantle became the first player to ever hit a home run that cleared the center field hedge at Memorial Stadium. The home run was an estimated 460 feet and helped the Yankees beat the Orioles 6-3.