Thursday, October 13, 2016

Yankees Postseason History Recap: Chris Chambliss Walks Off

The New York Yankees were a good organization with a new owner back in the 1970’s and one player the team brought in for that run is Chris Chambliss. The Yankees and the Kansas City Royals were fighting for the spot in the 1976 World Series when Chambliss stepped up to the plate in Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS causing chaos in the Bronx. The Bronx burned the next year but in 1976 it got trampled and high-fived.

Chambliss broke a streak of 12 seasons without the Yankees in a World Series when he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning against Kansas City reliever Mark Littell. The game was tied at 6-6 and Littell had not allowed a run in 4.2 innings pitched thus far that series before Chambliss hit a walk off home run in the Bronx.

The Yankees fans and New York police flooded the field while Chambliss rounded the bases as a riot broke out in the Bronx. What a feeling and what a shot. Watching this one never gets old.

ICYMI: The Greatest Home Run in MLB History?

In case you missed it quite possibly the greatest home run in Major League Baseball history was hit on this day in 1960. It was not hit by a member of the New York Yankees but against the New York Yankees as Bill Mazeroski hit the home run that ended the 1960 World Series. The Yankees were devastated and the Pirates and Mazeroski went down in Major League Baseball History. Enjoy.

Watch the entire game from start to finish above, your boss or significant other won't mind. I promise.

The Yankees Search for Bullpen Help this Offseason

If the Yankees are serious about making a run at the postseason in 2017, and by all accounts and by all the interviews and such given by the Yankees brass they are planning to be back and at least competitive in 2017, the team is going to need some bullpen help. I am very confident that Dellin Betances could figure it out as the closer and his last couple of weeks were merely just a blip on the radar to me rather than the norm. I chalk it up to fatigue, nothing more, so this post is not a “sky is falling” thread but instead just a thread to show you why the Yankees need at least one bullpen arm this winter and what it could mean to everyone already in the bullpen. 

I said all that and this is going to sound contradictory of me but hear me out before you begin to roll your eyes. I want to move Dellin out of the closers role. I believe he could be a closer and if the Yankees can’t get a closer then I feel 100% confident with him as the closer. It is just my personal belief that Dellin’s true value is that of a pitcher who can come in during a jam and strike out a couple batters or a pitcher that can give you multiple innings every other day rather than being saved for one inning at a time in the 9th. He can pitch the ninth just fine but I simply think he is better suited as a setup man and as a fire man. With that said there are a couple interesting closers out there on the market that could make this come true for New York and the man at the top of everyone’s list is a man that was wearing a Yankees uniform not too long ago, Aroldis Chapman. 

Chapman is still pitching for the Cubs as they look to reverse to Curse of the Billy Goat but his tenure there ends, even if just temporarily, when the last out is recorded for Chicago this season. The Yankees should do what they have to in order to bring Chapman back because he’s a special talent that’s still reasonably young and can handle the bright lights of any stadium. Those are all reasons why the Yankees should bring him back so those are also the same reasons that other teams will be interested in him so it will be just as important for the Yankees to have a Plan B of sorts. Who are those Plan B’s you ask? Well I’m glad that you did. 

Mark Melancon, another former Yankees player and prospect that the team developed before trading away prematurely during the latter years of the George Steinbrenner era, is also expected to hit the free agent market this season after impressing with the Pittsburgh Pirates as their closer while most recently pitching for Washington Nationals. Melancon would fit as a closer in New York and while he lacks the dominance that Chapman has he more than makes up for it in his ability to throw strikes and simply get people out. 

The final piece the Yankees could add is another dominant reliever that many may not know about, Kenley Jansen. Jansen is the product of East Coast bias as most of his saves made for the Los Angeles Dodgers are happening at 1:00 – 2:00 am in the morning on the East Coast. Since debuting in 2010 Jansen has racked up a lot of those saves for Los Angeles though and he sports a 2.20 ERA, 189 saves and a 13.9 K/9 ratio. That’s devastating no matter what coast you’re on. 

So there you have it. The Yankees now have a Plan A, Plan B and a Plan C if they want to drastically improve their bullpen while ponying up some dough. Stay tuned to see if either happens this winter. 

No, I Don’t Want Matt Holliday

Hell YES I want Andrew McCutchen but no, I don’t want Matt Holliday. I get a lot of tweets and mentions on both Twitter and Facebook as well as emails and real-life interactions (yes those still occur hahaha) and when the people I’m speaking to find out I have a Yankees blog I usually get flooded with questions. Should the Yankees make this trade? Should the Yankees sign this guy? Do you think the Yankees will win the World Series next year? I’m happy to answer them all so today I answer one in blog form as I received an email from an old friend asking me my thoughts on signing Matt Holiday, former St. Louis Cardinals slugger, and I can answer that in one word. No.

Holliday is set to hit free agency if and when the Cardinals decide to decline his $17 million team option for the 2017 season and there are more than a few reasons why St. Louis will be saying good bye to their right fielder this season. Holliday’s power numbers are down across the board and so are the number of games he’s played over the last couple of seasons. Holliday has become injury prone and expensive for the production he is going to give any team, especially a team like the Yankees where the Yankees have their own version of Holliday in Tyler Austin already.

Holliday can play some first base as well as the outfield and designated hitter but Austin can do that as well for half the cost, or much less, while adding some versatility on the base paths as well. Holliday is a station-to-station runner at this point and is no longer a stolen base threat, although his extra-base hit numbers are borderline legendary for his era. The biggest problem though is the fact that Holliday has only played in 183 games during the last two seasons while hitting just 24 home runs. The Yankees are finally getting out of a Mark Teixeira type contract and they don’t need another.

So when people ask me if the Yankees should go after Holliday I just have to say no. Sure he expressed numerous times throughout his career a desire to be a Yankee and I have always emphasized having players who want to be here over simply having hired mercenaries at every position but the deals have to make sense as well and signing Holliday goes against everything the Yankees worked towards this summer. A Holliday signing stunts the youth movement, pushed the team farther over the luxury tax threshold and gives the team another injury prone, aging veteran to clog up the 40-man and 25-man rosters. No thank you. No all over again. 

MLB Playoff Schedule for 10/13/16

After the first official off day of the postseason Major League Baseball is back and ready to settle a few scores. Congratulations to the Toronto Blue Jays for taking down the Texas Rangers and congratulations to the Cleveland Indians for disposing of David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox. Also we have a set of congratulations set to go out to the Chicago Cubs as well who defeated the San Francisco Giants in dramatic fashion in Game 4 of their series leaving just one more game in the Division Series before we move to the Championship series. That game takes place tonight between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (Game 5) on Fox Sports One at 8:08 pm ET

Enjoy and good luck to both clubs. It all comes down to this. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/13: Zimmer Apologizes

Yesterday in this day in New York Yankees history the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox had their brawl in the ALCS that resulted in Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez throwing Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground. Zimmer apologized to the media and the fans on this day for his part in the incident.

Also on this day in 2001 the Yankees staved off elimination by beating the Oakland Athletics and Barry Zito 1-0 behind a beautiful pitching performance by Mike Mussina. The only run scored was a fifth inning home run off the bat of Jorge Posada and the game was saved by the now famous "flip" play by shortstop Derek Jeter.