Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners 8/23

Here we go ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees make the trip to Safeco Field tonight for the middle game of their three-game set. The first game was a homecoming of sorts for some but tonight it’s back to business as usual as the New York Yankees send their veteran left-hander CC Sabathia to the mound to square off against --- for the Seattle Mariners. The game will be played at 10:10 pm ET inside Safeco Field and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and MLB TV.

Following along during this game and every game this season with us by either liking our page on Facebook or by giving us a follow on Twitter @GreedyStripes. Just a few more games on the west coast and we can all return to normalcy, I can’t wait. Get your Yankees Tickets for when the team does return to the east coast by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog.

CC vs. --- Let’s do it. Go Yankees!

While We Wait: Praying for Doc Gooden’s Health as Well

Last week I asked for you all to think and/or pray for Bob Watson as he revealed that he was fighting kidney failure that left him with just a few more years to live and tonight apparently we need that same focus and power for former Mets and Yankees pitcher Doc Gooden. Gooden was last seen inside Yankee Stadium during a ceremony in which the Yankees honored their 1996 World Series Championship squad and I have to admit that my first impressions of Doc was not a good one. Doc looked skinny, almost sickly, and of course my first thought went to him and his past struggles with cocaine addiction. It turns out I may have been right in my assumptions.

Dwight Gooden Jr. issued a statement on Sunday thanking former teammates including former Yankees and Mets teammate Daryl Strawberry for their concerns about his father’s health. It seems that Doc is still fighting his cocaine addiction and is in “horrible” condition per Strawberry in a statement made to the New York Daily News on Sunday.

Doc denied all allegations of use, and why wouldn’t he?, and says he is fine but I don’t buy it. Doc I highly doubt you are reading this but if you are pay attention and listen. I know what your son is going through because I too had a father who battled addiction to drugs his entire life. My father died because of his addiction to drugs and I always felt a little twinge of guilt because of it. Don’t do that to your son. Put the crap down and shape up or you may be shipping out and where you are going there is no coming back from. Let it sink it, please!

Prayers for Doc, his son Doc Jr., and the entire Gooden family and friends circle. You’re going to need it.

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Another good week of baseball in the Bronx and another week that the USA Today really didn’t notice. What’s going on here? Is the publication simply waiting for the youth movement to fail and for the Yankees to fall? Do they not believe this team has a legit shot, and I am not saying I think they do or they don’t by this statement before I get flamed in the comments section and on Twitter, at making a run at the second Wild Card playoff spot in the American League? What’s really going on here guys? Explain…

The Yankees finished the week still at the #17 slot in the rankings, no movement whatsoever. To round out the rest of the American League East the Toronto Blue Jays finished 5th while the Boston Red Sox finished 6th overall in the rankings. The Baltimore Orioles finished the week ninth while the Tampa Bay Rays finished the week in the #22 spot.

The Top Five teams according to the rankings are the #1 Chicago Cubs, the #2 Washington Nationals, the #3 Cleveland Indians, the #4 Texas Rangers and the #5 Toronto Blue Jays. The five worst teams according to these same rankings are the #26 Oakland Athletics, the #27 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the #28 Minnesota Twins, the #29 Arizona Diamondbacks and the #30 Atlanta Braves. It’s always the Cubs at the top and always the Braves at the bottom. Always.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Kansas City Royals who rose Six spots to the #13 position, congratulations to them. The biggest fall of the week went to the Milwaukee Brewers who fell three spots to the #25, try to pick that up next week.

This is one of the final set of rankings before the August 31st waiver-wire trade deadline so check in next week and the week after so we can diagnose just what went down, if anything, and how it may affect the potential playoff pushes this season. 

Alex Rodriguez to Work w/ Gleyber Torres & Jorge Mateo

When the New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez announced that his final game would be played in the Bronx against the Tampa Bay Rays many wondered what the future would hold for the Yankees former 3B and DH. The team announced they would immediately sign Alex to a front office contract to serve as an advisor for the club but many wondered if that was just an empty promise and an empty job title just to get him off the roster. Now we are learning that Hal Steinbrenner has big plans for the man that will retire with 696 home runs, to work with the Yankees two top shortstop prospects Gleyber Torres and Jorge Mateo specifically.

Many of you should remember that when Alex flew through the Seattle Mariners system he was a shortstop prospect, a position he not only played but played exceptionally well until a trade to the New York Yankees pushed him to third base. Many of you should also remember that Alex is an absolute student of the game and has drawn rave reviews from anyone and everyone you talk to about his knowledge and understanding of this game. Who better than Alex, or maybe Derek Jeter, to teach and work with the Yankees two top studs at the position down in the minor leagues?

Alex is a Miami, Florida resident and currently both players are occupying the middle infield for the Yankees High-A affiliate, the Tampa Yankees, which makes things easier on the now retired slugger.

One last thing you should remember before we go. Remember when Didi Gregorius was acquired and was struggling at the shortstop position for the Yankees? Remember the “Daily Dammit Didi” tweets on Twitter? It was Alex Rodriguez that worked with Gregorius in the infield and boom, six months later Gregorius was being robbed of a Gold Glove at the shortstop position. It’s not a coincidence. If he can do that for Didi imagine what he can do to help mold and shape young guys like Torres and Mateo. The sky is the absolute limit right now for both and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners 8/23

The New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners will continue their three-game set tonight inside Safeco Field with the middle game of the series. The Yankees watched a homecoming of sorts last night as Michael Pineda, a former member of the Seattle Mariners, returned to where his MLB career began inside Safeco Field and tonight the Yankees will watch as CC Sabathia toes that same rubber for New York. Opposing CC will be TBA (at the time of this writing... sorry guys I can't be everywhere all of the time)for the Mariners.

Sabathia cannot wait until the calendar turns from August to September because this month has not been kind to the left-hander. Sabathia owns a 6.94 ERA this month and has not allowed fewer than three runs in each of his last four starts. If the Yankees had any sort of pitching depth right now you would wonder if CC would be making the start tonight in Seattle.


The game will be played at 10:10 pm ET inside Safeco Field and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and MLB TV. If a game happens in the middle of the night on the East Coast on a Tuesday and no one is there to see it happen, did it really happen? Well I guess we’re about to find out here in about 10 hours or so. Go Yankees. And before you ask, of course that’s where the bear does his dirty work is in the woods. He does everything in the woods. Go Yankees!

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte, left handed starting pitcher, was drafted in the 22nd round in the 1990 First Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees out of his high school in Deer Park, Texas. Andy did not sign with the Yankees that season and instead decided he would go to a junior college which, you may or may not know, allows you to get drafted every season rather then having to play two seasons of college baseball before being eligible again for the draft. Also, as the rules have since changed, no other team could talk to Andy Pettitte nor sign him until a day before the next year's draft because he did not sign with the Yankees. It did not matter anyway as Andy signed with the Yankees the very next season, in 1991, as an amateur free agent for $80,000 which was a nice bonus at that time. Andy turned down a chance to pitch for perennial powerhouse University of Texas to travel to New York.

Pettitte made his pro debut in 1991 going 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 6 Gulf Coast League (GCL) starts followed by a 2-2 record with a 2.18 era in the New York Penn League (NYPL). Those two levels combined Pettitte had 83 K's and 24 BB's for nearly a 4-1 ratio, which is amazing. His command was very impressive but his velocity and "stuff" were considered nothing more then average. Throughout the minors his walk rates got better and better but his K/9 rate got worse and worse. While he showed all the way through the system that he could get advanced hitters out no one was every crazy about Pettitte due to his strike outs. He never once did rank as a Top 10 prospect in any league that he played in because of the low strike out rates and Pettitte projected to be a back end of the rotation starter due to his strike out issues. Pettitte was never graded higher then a "B" graded prospect in his entire minor league career but he had an uncanny ability to hammer the strike zone, keep batters off balance with his off speed stuff, and give his team a chance to win every single time out there.

Pettitte started his Major League career in the bullpen in 1995 after losing out on the fifth starter competition to Sterling Hitchcock. Pettitte was not long for the bullpen though as he replaced an injured Jimmy Key in the rotation where he won six of his last seven starts finishing his rookie season with a 12-9 record and a 4.17 ERA. Pettitte did enough to force the Yankees to trade Hitchcock before the 1996 season and led New York to place Pettitte in the starting rotation. Pettitte started the first half of the season with a 13-4 record which earned him an All-Star appearance for the American League. Pettitte finished the 1996 season with 21 wins which led the American League and finished second in the AL Cy Young Award vote to Toronto's Pat Hentgen. Pettitte would have the last laugh though as the Yankees won the World Series in 1996.
Pettitte followed that amazing season off with 18 more victories in 1997 and a fifth place finish in the AL Cy Young Award vote. Pettitte did not get another ring in 1997 but after 16 more wins in 1998 for possibly the best team of all-time, the 1998 New York Yankees, he received his second World Series ring with a sweep of the San Diego Padres. Pettitte got rings in the 1999 World Series and 2000 World Series as well with two more great seasons from the left-handed pickoff specialist cementing his position as one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. Pettitte made his second All-Star Game trip in 2001 and even won the ALCS MVP by mowing down the Seattle Mariners although the team lost the World Series with two outs in the 9th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a tough loss for all Yankees and their fans.

Pettitte continued his streak of dominance for the Yankees through the 2003 season before hitting free agency for the first time in his career. Pettitte had his contract put on the back burner by owner George Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman which led him into the arms of the Houston Astros before 2004 on a three-year deal worth $31.5 million. Pettitte had elbow surgery in 2004 but was back healthy in the 2005 season just in time to lead the Astros to their first World Series in their organization's history. Pettitte and Clemens, teammates now in Houston, had the two best ERA's in the National League that season but it was not enough in a World Series loss. Pettitte finished his 2006 campaign out of the playoffs before hitting free agency once again before 2007.

A wrong was righted in 2007 as the New York Yankees brought Pettitte back to the Bronx on a one year deal worth $16 million topping the Astros offer of $12 million for one season. Pettitte won his 200th game of his career in a Yankees uniform in 2007 finishing the season with a 15-9 record. Pettitte was back on a one year deal worth $16 million again in 2008 where he made the last start at the old Yankee Stadium. In that final game in Yankee Stadium Pettitte recorded his 2,000th strikeout of his career although he missed the playoffs for the first time in his Yankees tenure. Pettitte had done enough to earn a one year deal worth $5.5 million contract with incentives for the 2009 season, maybe his last.

Pettitte, along with new teammates CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, led the team to the World Series in 2009 with Pettitte on the mound for the clinching contest in every series. Pettitte grabbed his 18th postseason win in that Game 6 of the 2009 World Series and extended his own record of series clinching wins with his seventh of his playoffs career. Pettitte decided to pitch for the Yankees for the 2010 season when he signed for one year and $11.75 million, a great decision for Pettitte and the Yankees. Pettitte started the season 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA earning another All-Star Game appearance. The 2011 season, which ended with a loss to the Detroit Tigers in the postseason, ended up being his last as he announced his retirement before the 2012 season.

Pettitte sat out the 2012 season but decided he had at least one more season in his left arm and agreed to come back on a minor league deal worth $2.5 million for the 2013 season. Pettitte missed two and a half months with a fractured left fibula that season which limited him to just a 5-4 record with a 2.87 ERA in just two starts. Pettitte still had the itch in 2013 though as he agreed to a one year deal with New York worth $12 million. During that 2013 season Pettitte earned his 250th win of his career and became the wins leader for the Yankees organization all-time passing Whitey Ford. He also passed Ford on the Yankees all-time strikeouts list as well this season with a strikeout of Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.

Pettitte announced on September 20, 2013 that he would retire at the end of the season along with Mariano Rivera and Pettitte decided to go out in a big way. Pettitte started against the Houston Astros on the day before the final game of the season and pitched a complete game victory thus closing the book on a great career with an exclamation mark. Pettitte finished with a pair of 20 game winning seasons in 1996 and 2003, he reached the World Series seven times with the Yankees and one time with the Astros winning five of them, he still holds the postseason record for victories with 19 in his career and finished with a 256-153 win-loss record. Pettitte never had a losing record in his career and holds the record for the most win-save combinations along with Jorge Posada with 81 victories.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Gleyber Torres

The Yankees top shortstop prospect is set to learn from the best, more on this later, next month which raises the question. How good can Gleyber Torres possibly be before it is all said and done? I won’t let you in on who “the best” is but if you’re curious check back in with the blog later on today and we’ll share it with you. Torres, with the help of this special advisor and coach, has everything he needs to be special for the Yankees.

He has the makeup, he has the talent and now he’ll have the coaching to aid in his development. The Yankees are taking this whole youth movement thing serious it seems and it is definitely a sight for sore eyes. Congratulations Gleyber and good luck going forward.

Here is what Mr. Torres did this week for the Yankees and has done all season in High-A Ball: 

201619Myrtle Beach94409629823947194287.275.359.433.791

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/23: Yankees Present Andy Pettitte Day 2015

On this day in 2015 the Yankees presented to us all Andy Pettitte Day at Yankee Stadium. What another great ceremony and another great weekend in the Bronx as the organization honored their greats like no other team could or would.

Joe Torre passed Casey Stengel for second place on the Yankees all-time managerial wins list on this day in 2007. The victory was Torre's 1,150th win as a Yankees manager.

In case you were wondering Joe McCarthy still holds the all-time Yankees managerial wins record with 1,460 wins in 16 seasons as the Yankees manager.

Also on this day in 2003 the Yankees honored another great from the past when they held Ron Guidry Day at Yankee Stadium. Guidry's #49 uniform was retired after Louisiana Lightning spent his entire career with New York posting a 170-90 record and being co-captain of the club with Willie Randolph. Guidry also received a plaque in Monument Park in his honor on this day.

Finally on this day in 1958 the Yankees Whitey Ford ended Nellie Fox's consecutive games streak without a strikeout. Fox had gone 98 straight games without striking out before Ford rung him up in a 7-1 victory for the White Sox.

Yanks Drop Seattle Series Opener Despite Two-Homer Games By Sanchez & Castro

On a chilly night in Seattle. the Yankees squandered two two-homerun games by Gary Sanchez and Starlin Castro as they fell to the Mariners in game one of the three-game set. Former Mariner Michael Pineda and emergency call-up Cody Martin started the game for both sides tonight, neither of which would factor into the final decision in this wild west coast non-sanctioned homerun derby. Tonight's contest had a little bit of everything, from multi-homerun games to highlight reel catches to a ninth inning balk, with a total of seven longballs that accounted for every run of the game sprinkled on top in this action-packed back-and-forth game one.

The first Yankee catcher to win the AL Player of the Week Award since former captain Thurman Munson did it in 1978, Gary Sanchez put the Bombers on the board first with his sevent bomb in the first 17 games of his young career. Sanchez's homer bounced off the top of the left field wall and into the stands to put the Yankees up 1-0 in the top of the first.

Not to be outdone in the top of the second, Starlin Castro obliterated a hanging breaking-ball from Martin that went deep into the stands in left to extend the Yankee lead to two.

After keeping the potent Mariner offense scoreless through three, Pineda gave up the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Seth Smith started the rally with a leadoff opposite field double down the line in left, advancing to third on a Robinson Canó single. Two batters later, the RBI leader for Seattle Kyle Seger unloaded on a Pineda 3-0 get-me-over fastball to dead center that gave the M's a 3-2 lead.

The homerun derby continued in the top of the sixth as the Bombers slugged their way back on top. After Ellsbury ripped a one-out single, the dream career start for rookie sensation Gary Sanchez continued as he went deep for the second time tonight, a two-run blast to center that put the Yanks up by one. And then two batters later, Starlin Castro followed with his second longball of the game, another blast to dead center that made it 5-3 New York.

The Mariners again used the homerun ball to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth as they knocked Pineda out of the game. After giving up a single to Canó and a one-out walk to Seger, Pineda was pulled for Tommy Layne while responsible for the two runners on base. Layne got Adam Lind to pop out and was taken out for Anthony Swarzak, who worked Mike Zunino to a full count before serving up a three-run jack to the M's backstop that put them back on top by a 6-5 score. Because both runners were his, Pineda's final line ended up at 5.1 innings pitched, allowing five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six. The Zunino shot was also the 10th homerun allowed by Swarzak in just 28 innings of work, which should be good enough for a ticket back to Scranton if you ask me.

In this road trip of unbelievably amazing catches, late-inning defensive replacement Sean O'Malley added his name to the list as he dove into the stands in foul territory to record the second out of the seventh. And then in the bottom of the eighth, Jacoby Ellsbury soared through the air to steal an extra-base hit away from Canó, crashing into the wall to record the first out of the eighth.

Before turning it over to their young closer Edwin Diaz, Nelson Cruz launched, you guessed it, the seventh homerun of the game, a broken-bat bomb to left that extended the Mariners lead to two. The rookie closer Diaz made things interesting by hitting the ninth inning leadoff hitter Brian McCann, who advanced to second base on a Chase Headley single. And after a rare balk that advanced both runners up a base to put the tying run in scoring position, Diaz got Brett Gardner to ground out to second to end the scoring threat and the game.

Let's hope the Yankees  have a short memory as they look for a series-tying victory in tomorrow night's game two, with first pitch scheduled for 10:10 PM/EST.