Friday, September 23, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/23

Here we go ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees begin an absolutely huge series with the Toronto Blue Jays this week and into the weekend inside Rogers Centre. This series will absolutely make or break the Yankees this season as it’s getting pretty damn late this season. These four games, the four final road games of the regular season for New York, will decide it all so luckily for the team the Baby Bombers seem up to the task and unfazed by the bright lights and the pennant chase. In the start tonight the Yankees will send Bryan Mitchell to the mound with the weight of the team on his right shoulder and pitching arm while the Blue Jays will counter with Francisco Liriano. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Rogers Centre and can be seen locally on the YES Network, on ESPN 2 nationally and also on MLB TV wherever you are.

Here we go, the biggest four games of the season. Last season it was a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays that essentially ended the Yankees chance of winning the AL East Division race and led the team on a tailspin that ended with the Yankees losing at home in the AL Wild Card game. Let’s see if we can return the favor tonight in Toronto with a big series victory or sweep.

Root along with us on social media by either liking our page on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on Twitter. It’s time to play the spoiler and it’s time to bring 1995 back. Go Yankees!

Checking Back on My Bold Predictions for 2016

Bold predictions are generally harder to predict than about anything in Major League Baseball, especially almost nine months in advance, but I took a shot nonetheless back in January and here are my results for better or worse.

--Robinson Cano who? That's going to be something I feel like I'm going to be saying a lot this season. "Robinson Cano who" will be this season's "Stephen Drew sucks." Why? Starlin Castro and his .280 batting average and his 22 home runs in the second hole of the Yankees batting order.

I was actually pretty good with this prediction. The batting average was slightly high and so was the prediction that he would hit second all season long but I think I did pretty well on this one.

--Speaking of second base I can see Chase Headley missing some time this season, he played in almost all 162 games last season, and will have at least one trip to the disabled list. That will allow Robert Refsnyder to force the issue from the bench, he'll still spend less than a month on the MLB roster though.

Refsnyder had to force the issue once again from the bench and only got a chance due to injury, that was correct, but Headley has surprisingly held up well thus far this season. He has missed days banged up and has recently been out after his back locked up on him but other than that he has been great down at third base. I guess I can’t complain about that.

--Speaking of spending time on the MLB roster Refsnyder will spend about as much time on the roster as Greg Bird thanks to Mark Teixeira getting into 140+ games and having a hell of a contract season. 30 more home runs at least for Teixeira and he will finally drive in those 100 RBI.

Refsnyder spent more time on the MLB roster than Greg Bird did unfortunately but this prediction was made prior to the shoulder injury. Oh and Mark Teixeira playing in 140 games, LOL. Those stat predictions, LOL. When I say BOLD I mean BOLD!

--Alex Rodriguez will not be able to replicate his huge 2015 campaign, although he will stay healthy once again and hit over 20 home runs once again. The decline will be obvious but he will be kept out of the lineup more often with Gary Sanchez on the roster.

Hey now, I got this one right. A Rod did decline and he was kept off the roster due to Baby Bombers like Gary Sanchez. He just didn’t reach 20 home runs. I’ll still take this one as a win though.

--Quite possibly the biggest bold prediction will be one that has to do with the Yankees starting rotation. The health specifically of the starting rotation. None of Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda or Luis Severino will head to the disabled list this season. Yeah, I said BOLD predictions.

Eovaldi had two surgeries including Tommy John surgery and Severino went on the shelf earlier in the season. Two out of four ain’t bad.

--The final prediction is quite bold given the state of the division. The Yankees will make the playoffs once again as a Wild Card team.

To be continued…..

Article Revisit: Raising Up & Defending Gary Sanchez's Prospect Status

Originally posted one year ago to the day HERE: 

This has been something that has been on my mind for quite some time but I’ve always struggled to put it into words without coming off as condescending, cocky or downright rude. I have been content to simply roll my eyes and pass by tweets, comments and articles stating that Gary Sanchez has no future with the team, he’s the next Jesus Montero, he’ll never catch a game with the New York Yankees etc. but I received an email over the weekend that I simply cannot ignore, one that I cannot simply bite my tongue and roll my eyes at because it was absolutely ridiculous.

The email, from a person who will remain nameless but a reader of the blog obviously, asked me what I thought the team would do with Sanchez over the winter. In the handful of emails we exchanged back and forth, because I am a nice guy and I believe in putting the social back into social media, I heard the usual grumblings that Sanchez has been in the organization forever and he’s blocked by John Ryan Murphy and Brian McCann but the final email put the icing on the cake. The emailer, who I respect and I’m not calling out whatsoever here, stated that Sanchez was merely an organizational prospect and that he needed to be packaged away with Rob Refsnyder and Ivan Nova for a “real second baseman this offseason.”

Whoa there pal, Sanchez is an organizational prospect? First and foremost you are correct, Sanchez has been in the organization for what feels like forever. Most international free agents that sign at age 16 feel like they have been in the organization forever after five years, that’s the name of the game. Also you hit another nail right on the head, in a perfect world Sanchez is blocked by both Murphy and McCann and may never get into a meaningful game with the team without a devastating injury or disabled list trip but to say he’s merely an organizational prospect or a filler is a stretch and one that I don’t feel comfortable with letting slip by.

Sanchez is 21 years old, if he had not been an IFA and your run of the mill college student he would have graduated college this summer. Name one college senior that can not only hit Triple-A pitching but dominate them as well as lead a pitching staff from behind the dish. I’m sure there’s probably at least one but would that prospect be considered an organizational prospect or a top prospect? I’d lean towards the latter despite claims that the Yankees “over-hype” their prospects for trades or the fact that the Yankees prospects simply “aren’t that good.” Sanchez is a fine prospect and since you obviously haven’t been watching I’ll be quick to point out that Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Dellin Betances, and a slew of other “not so good” prospects have done quite well for the team despite being “over-hyped.”

I, as a blogger and as a fan with some would say a relatively large following, am held to a higher standard than most and I subsequently I hold myself to a higher standard because I want to lead by example. I’ll tell a Toronto Blue Jays fan as quick as I’ll tell a Yankees fan that the crap talking and trolling is unnecessary and not needed but sometimes a troll is simply a troll. I believe, well I hope, this email was a troll. If it was, you win…. I fed the troll. If it wasn’t then at least know what you’re talking about or at least be passionate about what you’re talking about because when you call a 21-year old catching prospect who dominated Triple-A pitching and is currently sitting on the bench for the Yankees a “organizational prospect” you just look silly.

Thank you for listening to my rant. I admit that sometimes I get a little too worked up over prospects, I love prospects and I can’t help it, and I’ve tried to temper those expectations and my words a bit because of it. This one I couldn’t let pass, not because I’ve had conversations or a connection with Sanchez but because I feel like it is the right thing to do. To educate, that’s all I want to do whenever I can. This post was not intended to be malicious or to call anyone out as much as it was intended to put everything into perspective, I hope. I hope you enjoyed it, I hope everyone learned something and I hope that we can at least agree to disagree on the matter because I will in no way, shape or form agree to the fact that Sanchez is anything less than a TOP prospect for the New York Yankees.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/23

You know what Yankees fans? Stand up! The math and the standings still say that the New York Yankees are still in this so dammit we’re still in this. Is it unlikely? Sure. Is it going to happen? Probably not. But will we go down fighting? We damn well better. That fight starts and continues tonight as the New York Yankees make the trip to the Rogers Centre tonight to take on their AL East rivals the Toronto Blue Jays. In the first of the four-game set this week and into the weekend the New York Yankees will send Bryan Mitchell to the mound looking to inch and claw the team that much closer to the postseason while the Blue Jays look to put the nail in the Yankees coffin by sending Francisco Liriano to the mound to oppose Mitchell. This one should be fun and it’s the biggest series of the season to date.

Mitchell will be making his fourth start of the season after missing much of the year with a toe injury suffered in spring training and thus far his results have been in a mixed bag. Mitchell looked downright filthy in his first start but some fatigue and general effectiveness problems have arose since, not that he hasn’t pitched well enough to win in some of these starts.

Liriano has essentially taken the spot of RA Dickey in the Blue Jays rotation after allowing just four runs in his last 12.1 innings pitched. Meanwhile Dickey has been on a slide as he may or may not be inching towards retirement and has especially struggled against the Yankees, especially this season.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Rogers Centre, eh, and can be seen live on the YES Network, ESPN 2 and MLB TV. We cannot expect the Yankees to believe if we, the fans, do not believe so we need to start believing. Turn on some Journey, do what you have to do. Just keep rooting until the math tells us not to anymore. It’s the Yankee (fan) way. Go Yankees!

Checking My Preseason 2016 MVP Award Predictions

Here we go ladies and gentleman, the big one. The award we’ve all been waiting for and the prediction we’ve all been waiting to laugh at and mock for the rest of the weekend. The American League and National League MVP Awards. While we have a couple months before the actual awards are handed out I took a stab at predicting the award winner back at the end of Spring Training this year. How far off was I? Here is the original post from earlier this year.

In the American League there isn’t many times I go against the safe pick in the Angels Mike Trout but you know what, I’m feeling it today. I’m feeling either incredibly foolish or incredibly lucky today so I will not pick Trout even though he’s as likely a candidate as anyone to win the award year in and year out and instead I will move to Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox. Abreu has had little in the way of true protection in his years in the Major Leagues but with Todd Frazier hitting somewhere in the lineup around him or behind him I can see a lot more fastballs and a lot more home runs and RBI this season for the Cuban-born star. 

In the National League I have gone with Giancarlo Stanton using the whole “I’m going to keep picking him until he proves me wrong” philosophy and every year he proves me wrong. He’s injured or he simply gets outperformed by Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh so I’m going to go against the grain once again here, but not by much. What about Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks? He’s probably the best first baseman in the game and probably the best hitter in the National League but he hasn’t received much attention due to the fact that his team has struggled. With Shelby Miller and Zack Greinke now in the desert that shouldn’t be the case any longer. ---
Paul Goldschmidt has once again had a solid season for the Arizona Diamondbacks and once again no one in the league has seemingly noticed. I don’t know if it’s going to be enough to win an MVP Award though and that’s really a shame. Jose Abreu on the other hand, yeah he’s not winning an MVP Award. He’s not getting a single vote. He’s not even in the discussion anywhere but here in this blog post. Oh well, another one bite’s the dust for me.

What were your predictions? Do you remember? Leave them below in the comments section. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Mike Ford

The New York Yankees have had to do a lot of roster reshuffling this season, especially in their minor league camps, due to injuries and movement both in the minors and at the Major League level. The latest major movements came when Starlin Castro came up lame on a double forcing him to the bench and Donovan Solano to come up from Triple-A. So who replaced Solano at Scranton? Technically Jonathan Diaz is playing second base but the man who came up and took his roster spot is the showcase post for today, Mr. Mike Ford.

Ford made his Triple-A debut in the Triple-A Championship Game this week playing DH for the RailRiders. What did he get for his efforts? A Triple-A Championship, the first one in the franchise’s history. Here is the stat line that forced the hand of the Yankees to call him up and here is what he did in his one game in a RailRiders uniform.

Congrats to him and congrats to the RailRiders as well.

Mike Ford went 0-3 with a walk in the Championship game.  

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/23: RIP Yogi Berra

On this day in 2015 the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball lost a great man and a member of the family. Yogi Berra passed away on this day, he was 90-years old.

The year 2008 was a year of change for the New York Yankees. Joe Torre was no longer the manager after spending the last 12 seasons as the skipper and was replaced by Joe Girardi. This was the final season at the old Yankee Stadium as a new stadium was being built across the street. This also marked the first year in 13 seasons that the Yankees would not make the playoffs. The Red Sox beat the Indians 5-4 at Fenway Park clinching at least a Wild Card berth and officially eliminated the Yankees.

Also on this day in 2007 Mike Mussina became the 45th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win 250 games in his career. On this day the Yankees would beat the Blue Jays 7-5 and in the game Joba Chamberlain picked up his first career save. Mussina insisted that the game ball go to Joba rather than himself.

Also on this day in 2001 Mariano Rivera set a single season record for the Yankees when he recorded his 47thsave of the season. Dave Righetti held the old record at 46 when he set the record in 1986.

Also on this day in 1999 the Yankees set the New York City record for attendance in a single season when their crowd of 27,549 fans set the season total at 3,072,009. The New York Mets held the previous record for New York with 3,047,724 fans attended a game in one season.

Finally on this day in 1998 the greatest team of all time the 1998 Yankees tied the 1927 Yankees team for the most wins in franchise history with 110 wins. This win put the Yankees just one win behind the American League record of 111 wins by the 1954 Cleveland Indians.