Saturday, November 5, 2016

Arizona Fall League All-Star Game Open Thread!

Here we go ladies and gentleman the 2016 Arizona Fall League All-Star Game. Team East against Team West and two members of the New York Yankees should take the field. Infielder Gleyber Torres and RHP Dillon Tate suit up tonight for Team East with Scottsdale Scorpions hats on. The game can be seen on and MLB Network. Go Team East!

2016 Offseason Calendar for Major League Baseball

Bookmark me because here is the 2016/2017 offseason calendar for Major League Baseball:

Options decisions are made.

Monday, December 7th:
MiLB free agency begins, qualifying offers are made, the Award season begins and 60-Day DL players have to be activated. The qualifying offer is set at $17.2 million and the Yankees have five players to activate off the 60-Day DL including Nathan Eovaldi, Branden Pinder, Nick Rumbelow, Chad Green and Dustin Ackley.

The GM Meetings also begin on this day and will run through November 10th in Scottsdale.

November 8th:

Free agency officially begins and Gold Glove Awards are announced.

November 10th: 

Silver Slugger Awards announced.

November 14th: 

Decision day on all qualifying offers.

Also starting on the 14th and running through November 17th the major award winners will be announced.

November 18th:

Last day to protect players like Kule Higashioka, Tyler Webb and others from the Rule 5 Draft.

December 1st:

Collective bargaining agreement expires. This is a big one to watch out for.

December 5th - December 8th

2016 Winter Meetings! Also the Rule 5 Draft goes down on Thursday the 8th.

January 18th:

Hall of Fame class announced for 2017.

March 7th - March 22nd:

World Baseball Classic 2017

Spring training, arbitration numbers and hearings are currently TBA. Opening Day is April 2nd.

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Marcus Thames

Marcus Markley Thames, born March 6, 1977, played with four different teams including the New York Yankees three separate times during his playing career from 2002 to 2011 and has since spent his time in the minor leagues with the club as a coach. During the 2013 season Thames was the hitting coach for the High-A Tampa Yankees and was promoted to the Trenton Thunder in the same position for the 2014 season drawing rave reviews from one of the Yankees top prospects Robert Refsnyder. Now, in a bit of irony, we remember a Yankee of the past (as a player, not as a coach) and we remember Marcus Thames during his playing days.

Thames was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 1996 MLB Draft but did not make a true impact in the minor leagues until 2001. Thames was with the Double-A Norwich Navigators that season and he batted .321 with 31 home runs and 97 RBI where he was named to Baseball America’s minor league All-Star team and where he put himself on the map for the Yankees. New York was so impressed with Thames that they called him up before a June 10 game in 2002 and Thames responded immediately. Thames, facing the Arizona Diamondbacks big left-hander Randy Johnson, hit the first home run of his career on his first at bat becoming just the 80th player in MLB history to do so. Thames earned his first curtain call from the Bronx faithful, what a moment if you were fortunate enough to see it live.

Thames’ tenure with the Yankees ended on June 6, 2003 when he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Ruben Sierra. Thames went on to hit a home run in his first at bat with the Rangers as well but was back in the New York groove in 2010 when he signed a minor league deal with the club. Thames made the Opening Day roster and was set to be a platoon partner with Brett Gardner in left field before his defense forced him to accept a bench role. Thames was delegated to the bench behind Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Austin Kearns who was traded for before the trade deadline and ended up playing in just 82 games that season. In half of a season Kearns hit .288 with 12 home runs, mainly against left-handed pitching.

Thames elected free agency in November of 2010 but was right back with the team on July 22, 2011 after New York signed him to another minor league deal. Thames never played a game for the Yankees at any level that season and would retire from the game a member of the New York Yankees before pursuing his career in coaching with the ball club. Thames has continuously defied the odds and has defied the odds once again with his promotion to assistant hitting coach with the club. Congratulations to him and his family. You have to think that Thames is on the short list for hitting coach after Cockrell’s contract expires, no?

Weekly AFL Check In: James Kaprielian

Good morning Yankees family and good morning to the Scottsdale Scorpions as they prepare to send two of their own and two Yankees to the AFL All-Star Game tonight. While Gleyber Torres and Dillon Tate will represent the Yankees tonight in the AFL the man that will likely represent the Yankees as soon as the 2017 season is James Kaprielian.

He's still healthy, and that is more important than these stats could ever be, so let's check out what he's been up to down with the Scottsdale Scorpions.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/5: Yeah Jete's Wins Rookie of the Year Award

It was on this day back in 1996 that Derek Jeter was unanimously selected by the Baseball Writers Association of American to be the American League Rookie of the Year. Jeter hit .314 with 10 home runs and 78 RBI in his rookie campaign as the 22 year old shortstop became only the 8th Yankees to win the award and the first since Dave Righetti in 1981. Congrats Jete, that kid is going to go far I think.