Sunday, October 9, 2016

Yankees Postseason History Recap: Raul, You’re So Cool

Since the New York Yankees are not in the postseason and since I won’t be doing game threads again until the World Series I figured let’s take a look back at some of the best Yankees moments in the team’s 113 season history. Every night we’ll end the day with a Yankees postseason history recap if we can while the 2016 playoffs are going on. Enjoy and if you have a suggestion leave it below in the comments section.

“Raul, You’re so Cool!” Raul Ibanez spent just one season in a Yankees uniform but it was enough to win the hearts and minds of a whole lot of Yankees fans. Ibanez didn’t hit for much in the average department during the regular season but he could always be counted on for the clutch hit when the Yankees needed it and they needed it on October 8th, 2012.

The Yankees went into the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles trailing 2-1 to the Baltimore Orioles while the ALDS was tied at one-game each. The Yankees offense was struggling and Alex Rodriguez was pinch hit for in the bottom of the ninth leaving many to question Joe Girardi and his binder. The questionable move ended up working out for the Yankees as Ibanez launched a home run into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium sending the game to extra innings.

The game remained tied until the 12th when Ibanez came back up to the plate and it was de ja vu all over again. Ibanez hit another home run to walk off against the Orioles and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the ALDS. Ibanez earned more than one pinstripe on this night. 

Hell YES I Want Andrew McCutchen

Everyone around Yankee-land is asking the same question right now if you're a fan, if the Pittsburgh Pirates make Andrew McCutchen available do you think New York should go for him? Well I can only speak for myself but if you're asking me my answer is simple. Hell YES I want Andrew McCutchen.

Obviously a move would have to be made to accommodate McCutchen joining the crew in the Bronx whether it be an Aaron Judge move, maybe in the trade for McCutchen, or a Brett Gardner trade this offseason but some things needs to be done before the deal becomes realistic. The deal makes a lot of sense for the Yankees though despite his stat line from 2016.

McCutchen has one more year at $14 million while the team owns a team option for him for the 2018 season worth $14.8 million and while McCutchen was hitting .313/.404/.533 with 25 home runs from 2012 - 2015 that was an absolute bargain but Pittsburgh did not get their monies worth after Cutch dropped to .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs this season. This, among other reasons, is why Pittsburgh may decide to trade McCutchen this winter but why would the Yankees want him?

McCutchen will be 30-years old this month and by all accounts is still a star in this league. Players have down seasons for whatever reasons, injuries being one of them,and it's not uncommon to see it happen like it did with McCutchen this season. His stolen bases were down but his power was up. His walk totals were good and many of his stats were comparable to his 2012 - 2015 run meaning he could be in line for a bounce back in 2017.

That's also why the Pirates likely won't trade him despite what all these bloggers and news outlets are speculating. Pittsburgh doesn't HAVE to trade him. Austin Meadows is on the way and he can play right field while McCutchen plays left. If Pittsburgh moves McCutchen it will be for at least two top prospects or a crap load of talented bodies and it will be more than the Yankees are comfortable with so while everyone is getting ready to pre-order their Andrew McCutchen Yankees jersey as we speak I am thinking that may be a bit premature, maybe even a pipe dream.

The Curse of the Billy Goat & Other Baseball Superstitions

If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball or if you’ve ever played baseball down from Little League all the way to the show chances are there is at least a little superstitious blood running through your body. I can remember wearing a red power rangers shirt under my jersey back in my early Little League years and the first time I did I went 3-4 and we won. So what did I do? I wore that same shirt under my jersey every single game until the superstition ran out. If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball you probably also believe in curses no matter what you say out loud. The Curse of the Bambino was a real thing, even if it was just in the heads of the Boston Red Sox fans and players, and until the Curse of the Billy Goat and other superstitions around baseball are broken by Cubs players and fans alike those traditions will remain a part of the game as well. 

With the Cubs once again looking to break the Curse of the Billy Goat this fall I wanted to take a look at some of the superstitions in baseball and some of the attempts to specifically end the curse surrounding Wrigley Field. Fans have tried to smuggle in goats into Wrigley Field and one local food company, Carnivore Inc., even went as far as to butcher a goat that lived 90 minutes south of Chicago to turn into sausage that will be served in the Chicago suburbs. Will thousands of Cubs fans eating a goat during the playoffs reverse the Curse of the Billy Goat? Stay tuned, but I doubt it. 

Some other superstitions around baseball include Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Burnett putting a poke chip in his back pocket before taking the mound, Wade Boggs eating fried chicken before every start, Derek Holland watching scenes from “For the Love of the Game,” Jason Giambi and his gold thong he passed around the Yankees clubhouse, CC Sabathia keeps a picture of his children in his jersey while he pitches and so many other superstitions. 

Players won’t step on the white line when entering or leaving the field, players won’t get a new hat or batting helmet if they are hitting well no matter how disgusting they look, Roger Clemens would not take the mound without first rubbing the forehead of Babe Ruth in Monument Park, Phil Hughes doesn’t shave the day he is scheduled to pitch and so much more. Superstitions run rampant in Major League Baseball! 

So will the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series since 1908 and will any other superstitions or outlandish beliefs be put to bed before the end of the 2016 season? Stay tuned. 

Yankees Offseason Week in Review

What happened this week during the Yankees offseason? Let's recap what went down:

 -- CC Sabathia will undergo a routine knee surgery this offseason. CC will have his knee cleaned up a bit and this was considered to be scheduled and not a big deal, and I believe the team this time.

 -- Larry Rothschild was the Yankees only free agent to be in the coaching department and the team has already signed him to a new deal for the 2017 season.

 -- Blake Parker and Kirby Yates were claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim while Anthony Swarzak and Eric Young Jr. elected free agency.

 -- James Kaprielian was officially added to the Arizona Fall League roster for the Yankees.

 -- George Steinbrenner has been added as a finalist for the Hall of Fame.

MLB Playoff Scoreboard Watching for 10/9/16

The first full week of the 2016 MLB Playoffs comes to an end today and so could the season of the Texas Rangers. The Toronto Blue Jays have jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the AL West Division Champions and will look to move on to the ALCS tonight in Toronto. Meanwhile the Cleveland Indians could end the career of David Ortiz on a sour note as Cleveland also leads 2-0 in their best-of-five series. Two teams could go home tonight or two teams could live to fight another day. Stay tuned to find out what goes down.

Cleveland Indians @ Boston Red Sox inside Fenway Park - 4:08 pm ET on TBS

Texas Rangers @ Toronto Blue Jays inside Rogers Centre - 7:38 pm ET on TBS 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/9: Jeffrey *Bleeping* Maier

Set the stage, the year is 1996 and the New York Yankees are at home playing the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. New York was trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the eight inning when Derek Jeter sent a deep fly ball to right field that cleared the fence for a game tying home run according to umpire Rich Garcia. Baltimore outfielder Tony Tarasco and manager Davey Johnson protested that a young fan, Jeffrey Maier, had interfered with the ball. The Yankees went on to win the game and the series and many think the young man changed the game and the series.

Also on this day in 1961 the Yankees would capture their 19th World Series Championship when they beat the Cincinnati Reds in Game 5 by the score of 13-5. Johnny Blanchard, a reserve player, would hit two home runs and bat .400 in the series.

Also on this day in 1958 the Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in Game 7 of the World Series for their 18thWorld Series Championship. This was also the Yankees seventh World Series win of the decade capping off an incredible streak.

Also on this day in 1938 the Yankees became the first team to win three consecutive World Series titles when they beat the Chicago Cubs in four games.

Finally on this day in 1928 the Yankees would win their third World Series Championship in the franchise’s history as they completed their second consecutive sweep in the Fall Classic. Babe Ruth hit three home runs in the World Series game and the Yankees as a team hit five in the contest.