Friday, October 7, 2016

Yankees Postseason History Recap: Jeffrey Maier

I can remember the first playoff game that I watched all nine innings of. Sure I watched a lot of the 1995 Wild Card round and I had watched some of the ALDS from 1996 but the first game, due to school, homework or the fact that I was just 10-years old and had the attention span of a 10-year old, Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles was the first game I watched from the first pitch to the last and boy was I not left disappointed.

If you don’t remember that was the game at Yankee Stadium that saw Derek Jeter step up to the plate against Armando Benitez with the Yankees trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Jeter would slap the ball the other way to the right field wall where outfielder Tony Tarasco and a 12-year old little boy who will forever be remembered were waiting. His name was Jeffrey Maier.

Maier visibly reached into the field of play and grabbed the ball from Tarasco leading umpire Rich Garcia to rule the play a home run. The game was tied thanks to a little help, a game the Yankees went on to win leading to a series victory as well for the Bronx Bombers. 

New York Mets Beat New York Yankees in Television Ratings in 2016

Remember back earlier this offseason when I said the New York Yankees had set a new franchise record? It wasn’t a record you necessarily want to be remembered for, the team went an entire 162 game season without a single complete game from their pitching staff, and this other first to happen this season isn’t necessarily one either. For the first time in the history of these two franchises the New York Mets beat out the New York Yankees in television ratings. First time ever. Let that sink in because the New York Yankees have had some terrible teams.

The New York Mets averaged 263,850 viewers per game this season on the SNY Network while the New York Yankees averaged just 218,000 viewers per game on the YES Network. Now one must keep in mind that the Comcast and YES Network breakup caused an estimated 900,000 homes to be without the YES Network this season but still, this is not a great sign for the future of the Yankees.

The Mets went to the World Series last year while making the postseason this year which helps but I guess people finally got tired of the same old, and I mean old literally and figuratively, team being thrown out there each and every day in Yankee-land. The youth movement should help but it goes to show you that Hal Steinbrenner is going to have to open his purse a little bit or this “first time ever” could become the norm.

Make a Splash… Trade for Mike Trout

This is a pipe dream but as the New York Yankees season ended abruptly on October 2nd the offseason is officially underway for the team and now is the time to dream. If you’re going to dream then you have to dream big and I don’t think it gets any bigger than thinking about the Yankees making a huge splash this offseason by acquiring Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Now before you all simply roll your eyes and click off the post please hear me out. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were absolutely horrible again in 2016 and with now five seasons under the belt for Trout and Albert Pujols together the team has about as many playoff game victories as I had during my MLB career, zero. In fact the 2016 season was the worst season for the Angels since 1999 so why wouldn’t they at least entertain the thought of blowing it up and beginning a rebuild with a move of Trout and Pujols?

The Angels have a top-heavy payroll and no farm system in sight to bail the team out if and when they get hit by the injury bug like they did in 2016 and at some point the team has to either sacrifice winning now for a future or continue to live in mediocrity while wasting the best years of Mike Trout’s playing career. CJ Wilson made $20 million in 2016 and didn’t throw a pitch, Garrett Richards missed five months with an elbow ligament injury, Andrew Heaney and Andrew Tropeano will likely miss 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery and no one knows the status of Matt Shoemaker after taking a line drive to the head late in the 2016 season. With no arms, no prospects to replace them and no money to acquire any the Angels may have to make a trade. They don’t want to, they may have to though and that is where the Yankees should come in with their new-found Top 5 farm system they acquired this summer doing similar trades.

Before we get too far into this you must remember that Brian Cashman’s former right-hand man Billy Eppler is now the GM in Anaheim so you have to think he is at least somewhat familiar with the bulk of the Yankees system. So what can the Yankees offer to make this deal work for both clubs? I honestly think there are two options that could work. One option is throwing prospects at the Angels and hoping for the best. Headlining a package for Trout could be Jorge Mateo, an outfielder (preferably not Clint Frazier but to acquire Trout it would likely have to be Aaron Judge), and a pitching arm like James Kaprielian or Chance Adams (or Justus Sheffield or Brady Lail or a slew of other names and prospects) and hope for the best or the New York Yankees could get creative and help Anaheim out in multiple ways.

The Angels need prospects, salary relief and MLB ready talent so why don’t the Yankees give them all three? No I’m not suggesting taking on an aging Albert Pujols to play DH, he has five years left on his deal at $140 million and he is 36-years old, but instead I am suggesting “taking the Josh Hamilton contract” off the Angels books. I put that in parenthesis because Hamilton is not on the Angels anymore, he’s being paid over $26 million by the Angels to play for the Texas Rangers, so if the Yankees could send “cash considerations” over to Anaheim to essentially pay for the Hamilton contract while giving up significantly lesser prospects I think this could work for both sides.

The Angels have CJ Wilson and Jered Weaver coming off their books which should help but having an extra $26 million, or even less depending on what the league would allow, could only help Anaheim rebuild and get better. Adding back some talent for Trout as well can only help speed up the impending rebuild in Anaheim. Is it unlikely? Yeah, sure is. Is it impossible? No, nothing is impossible. Well it’s only impossible if you don’t ask. So Cashman, ask.

So I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m either the biggest idiot you’ve ever read for even suggesting this or that they should make a Moneyball type movie about me and let me play myself in it since I am so much better looking than Brad Pitt. Whichever it is, leave it below in the comments section or Tweet me @GreedyStripes. 

Recapping the Head-to-Head NLDS Matchups from 2016

Now it’s time for the National League to have their time to shine here on the blog as yesterday we looked at the head-to-head matchups for the four teams currently in the ALDS. Now we shift to the NLDS that gets kick started tonight with those matchups from 2016. All that and about $15 gets you a beer inside Dodger Stadium these days but it’s still interesting to look at anyway as long as you don’t put much stock into this. They call it the second season for a reason.

San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs in 2016:

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals in 2016:

Rk Date Tm Opp R RA Win Loss Save
Rk Date Tm Opp R RA Win Loss Save
72 Monday, Jun 20 LAD WSN 4 1 Kershaw Petit Jansen
73 Tuesday, Jun 21 LAD WSN 3 2 Coleman Roark Jansen
74 Wednesday, Jun 22 LAD WSN 4 3 Hatcher Kelley
95 Tuesday, Jul 19 LAD @ WSN 8 4 Kazmir Lopez
96 Wednesday, Jul 20 LAD @ WSN 1 8 Gonzalez Norris
97 Thursday, Jul 21 LAD @ WSN 6 3 Liberatore Strasburg Jansen

I’m sorry goes out to the San Francisco Giants and their fans but no one is stopping the Chicago Cubs in the National League playoffs. Too much youth, too much talent and too good of a coach and manager to let this one slip away. Cubs to the NLCS.

Cubs in four

The Dodgers have never impressed me much in the playoffs during my life period and I can’t see them doing so this postseason. Their postseason hinges on the left arm of Clayton Kershaw and unless he is able to find and flick the switch that is turned off every time he takes a mound in the postseason then it could be a long series for the Dodgers.

Nationals in five.

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. 

Recapping 2016: For The First Time in Yankees History….

The New York Yankees made a bit of history in 2016 but it’s not the kind of history the team probably wants to be remembered for. This wasn’t a Yankees team setting a franchise record for home runs, wins or even RBI. Nope. This team was too busy setting another record. A record that has never happened in Yankees franchise history. For the first time ever in the 113-year history of the Yankees the team failed to throw a complete game in 2016. The binder says hello.

In 2004, 2007 and 2008 the New York Yankees put up just one complete game in each of those three seasons while last year the staff managed three complete games. In 2016 the rotation managed none. The Yankees staff did set a record for most strikeouts in a single season this season as well so you have to take the good with the bad but after 1123 years you figured the team would be running out of firsts to accomplish.

If this doesn’t tell you that at least an arm or two need to be added next season then I don’t think anything will. Dellin Betances is begging for it right now. 

MLB 2016 Playoffs Scoreboard Watching for 10/7/16

The Wild Card Games are over and now we are running a full MLB postseason schedule. The weekend is coming and we will see these eight teams fight it out all weekend long on national television. There is no better time of the year than right now and you can take that all the way to the bank.

Here is your postseason for this Friday. Hope everyone is safe and okay out there with that hurricane. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Enjoy and have a great Friday!

Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers (Game 2) – 1:08 pm ET on TBS (TNS for Canadian viewers)

Boston Red Sox @ Cleveland Indians (Game 2) – 4:38 pm ET on TBS

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals (Game 1) – 5:31 pm ET on Fox Sports One

San Francisco Giants @ Chicago Cubs (Game 1) – 9:15 pm ET on Fox Sports One

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/7: Torre on the Block

George Steinbrenner was known for his hiring and firing of his manager’s but easily the longest tenured manager during his reign as Yankees manager was Joe Torre. After winning four World Series championships with the club and reaching the postseason every single season as the Yankees manager Steinbrenner threatened Torre’s job on this day in 2007 stating that if the team did not beat the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS this season that his job would be in jeopardy. The Yankees trailed 2-0 in the best of five series and would rally behind Mr. Torre on this day to win 6-4 in come from behind fashion.

Also on this day in 1988 Billy Martin was once again replaced as the manager of the Yankees by Dallas Green. During his tenure Martin compiled a 1253-1013 record as the manager of the Tigers, Yankees, Twins, A’s, and Rangers in 19 seasons.

Finally on this day in Yankees history New York clinched two different World Series titles. The first was in 1950 when rookie pitcher Whitey Ford helped the Yankees sweep Philadelphia for the team’s second consecutive World Series title. In 1952 the Yankees would win their fourth consecutive title, also on this day, as the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games.