Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why Alex Rodriguez Is A First-Ballot Hall Of Famer

By IBWAA owner and founder Howard Cole. Check it out and give him a view. Howard teases "it's not what you think" when he passed his article around to us. Here is a very short blurb from the article that can be seen HERE. 

Save the date. On Monday January 18, 2022, hours into an MLB Network broadcast (by this time long enough to rival the Super Bowl Pre-Game Show), BBWAA Secretary Treasurer Jack O'Connell will step to the microphone and announce that Alex Rodriguez has been voted into the Hall of Fame.
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
That's right. A-Rod makes it to Cooperstown on the first ballot, and will be enshrined in a ceremony on Sunday, July 31, 2022.
The iconic numbers will be cited. The 3115 hits (20th all-time), the 696 home runs (fourth), the 2086 RBIs (third), along with the .295/.380/.550/.930 lifetime line. The three Most Valuable Player Awards, the 10 Silver Sluggers, the 14 All-Star Games, and the 2009 World Series championship.
But that's not why.

In No Way, Shape or Form is Rich Hill Worth $16 Million Annually

The New York Yankees dodged an absolute huge bullet this offseason. I’m not kidding, the team should send the Los Angeles Dodgers a “Thank You” card from the organization and the fans after the team signed Rich Hill, a left-handed starting pitcher the Yankees were said to be interested in this offseason, to a three-year deal worth $48 million. I’m sorry but as the title of this blog states there is no way, shape or form where Rich Hill is worth an AAV of $16 million annually. No way. Here’s why.

First and foremost Rich Hill is 36-years old which does not fit into the Yankees current youth movement and nor does a $16 million AAV fit into New York’s sudden plan for austerity again. Hill has battled injuries throughout much of his career, some major some minor of course, and you have to think despite his last couple of seasons that he is going to become more injury prone as he ages, not less injury prone. Hill has had a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder in 2009 and even has elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2011 causing him to miss some time and he even potentially missed out on a perfect game in September of this past season due to a groin injury and blisters on his throwing hand.

If the Yankees had given such an “old” and injury prone type pitcher that kind of deal the media and fans would be going head over heels bonkers right now. When it happens in a town like Los Angeles though it’s celebrated, I don’t get it. Hill pitched great last season, he went 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA for the Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics, but he was only able to make 20 starts all season. That’s almost a million dollars a start in a game where pitching is at an all-time high of importance. I understand the flow of money in the game is insane right now but this deal is just foolish for a soon-to-be 37-year old arm with a history of arm trouble.

New York dodged a serious bullet here in my opinion and by the time this three-year contract ends, and this is pure speculation on my part, I think the Dodgers would have traded Hill away or begun to truly regret the deal they just gave the southpaw and former Independent League pitcher. Just a hunch, stay tuned to find out if I’m right. We’ll still be here.

Meet a Prospect: Matt Holliday Edition

The New York Yankees missed out on Carlos Beltran for their recently vacated designated hitter spot and the team presumably thought that Edwin Encarnacion was either not a fit or too expensive, or both, so the team decided to sign former St. Louis Cardinal left fielder Matt Holliday to a one-year deal worth $13 million. Holliday will be the Yankees regular DH while also presumably taking turns in the outfield and at first base when needed so let’s introduce him and meet him the only way we know how here at The Greedy Pinstripes. This is Meet a Prospect: The Matt Holliday Edition.

Matthew Thomas Holliday was born on January 15, 1980 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Holliday has spent time with the Colorado Rockies, the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals before making his trip to the Bronx for the 2017 season. Let’s recap and hit the high points of everything that happened in between.
As a youth in Oklahoma the athletic Holliday played baseball, football and basketball where his size became an issue for him with his friends. According to Wikipedia Holliday was forced to play quarterback for both teams and in baseball every three of his home runs were counted as one because of his sheer talent and size as a kid. His friends had to adapt the rules of the game to keep things on a level playing field when Holliday was around. This led to Holliday playing both football and baseball at Stillwater High School where he was named his region’s Gatorade Player of the Year award winner in both sports as a senior leading him to skip college despite interest from the Oklahoma State University to begin his professional career.

The Colorado Rockies selected Holliday in the seventh round of the 1998 MLB First Year Players Draft as a third baseman despite many teams wondering about his true commitment to baseball since he was so talented as a quarterback in football as well. Colorado handed Holliday a deal worth $840,000 over the slot, the most money Colorado has ever paid to a player in that round, leading to the signing and the beginning of his professional career. Holliday spent the 1998 season through parts of the 2004 season in the Rockies minor league system before injuries to Preston Wilson and Larry Walker led to Colorado calling up Holliday after just six games in Triple-A. Holliday made his MLB debut on April 16th inside Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals going hitless in three at bats. Two days later, also against the Cardinals, Holliday picked up his first MLB hit against Woody Williams, a double which drove in an RBI. Holliday hit his first home on April 22nd against the Los Angeles Dodgers righty Jose Lima.

Holliday was named the Rockies cleanup hitter in 2005 behind Todd Helton and in 2006 the left fielder was chosen to represent Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Holliday also earned his first trip to the All-Star Game in 2006 hitting .339 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI at the time of his selection. It was the 2007 season though that Holliday finally broke out and broke out in a big way as Holliday led the Rockies to the postseason after an epic Game 163 victory, another All Star Game appearance, won his first batting title and even won an NLCS MVP Award on the way to the World Series. It’s too bad the Rockies ran into the red hot Boston Red Sox though as Boston won the World Series with Matt Holliday sitting on the sidelines in the series loss. Holliday finished second in the NL MVP vote in 2004 losing to the Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

 After that monster 2007 season Holliday earned a new two-year deal from the Rockies worth $23 million which essentially bought out the final two years of his arbitration. Colorado also offered a four-year extension worth $72 million to go along with the deal plus a club option fifth year valued at $12 million but Holliday and his agent Scott Boras felt as if the deal was a bit undervalued and ultimately declined the offer. Holliday was an All-Star for the third consecutive year in 2008 backing up his claim that the Rockies extension offer was a bit on the low side which may or may not have led to the Rockies trading Holliday to the Oakland Athletics in the winter before the 2009 season. Oakland sent pitchers Huston Street and Greg Smith along with outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in the deal for Holliday.

The A’s did not have the start they were hoping for to begin the 2009 season and Holliday was right back in the trade rumor spotlight since Holliday was set to become a free agent at the end of the season. On July 24, 2009 the A’s traded Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson along with $1.5 million in salary as the Cardinals prepared for a chase towards the World Series. Holliday led the Cardinals to an NL Central Division title and a trip to the World Series although the team would fall short to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Holliday was not officially a free agent for the first time in his career.

Holliday signed a seven-year deal worth $120 million to remain with the Cardinals before the 2010 season including a no-trade clause and a team option for the 2017 season that we now know was declined by St. Louis. Holliday, now nicknamed the Stillwater Stinger, once again made the All-Star Game in 2010 and also participated in the Home Run Derby and again made a repeat appearance in both once again in 2011 as well. From 2011 – 2013 the Cardinals made three consecutive trips to the NLCS and even won a World Series in 2012, Holliday’s first as a MLB player. Holliday remained consistent with the Red Birds through the 2014 before injuries began to creep up on Holliday during the 2015 season.

In 2015 Holliday spent time on the DL two separate times with a right quadriceps injury missing almost three months of the season and forcing the Cardinals to have Holliday play a position other than left field for 2016. Holliday was the Cardinals Opening Day first basemen in 2016, a position he had never played up until that point during his MLB career, but a fractured thumb once again derailed the season for the big right-hander. Holliday was hit by a pitch and missed a good chunk of timing leading the team to not pick up the team option for the 2017 season, well that and the $17 million price tag to be fair.

The Cardinals let Holliday hit the free agent market this offseason and the Yankees swooped him up. The rest, as they say, is history. Welcome to the organization Matt and welcome to the family. 

Imagining a Yankees Lineup w/ Matt Holliday

The New York Yankees have Matt Holliday in the fold for at least the 2017 season after giving the free agent a $13 million contract for next season. Holliday will DH for the Yankees but don’t be surprised to see him in left field from time to time as well as first base. Let’s assume everything is in a perfect world with everyone healthy, everyone having equal splits against RHP and LHP and that no one “needs a day” from manager Joe Girardi. What will the Yankees lineup look like in 2017? Here’s my shot at it.

Against RHP:

CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
LF: Brett Gardner
DH: Matt Holliday
C: Gary Sanchez
1B: Greg Bird
RF: Aaron Judge
2B: Starlin Castro
SS: Didi Gregorius
3B: Chase Headley

Against LHP:

CF: Jacoby Ellsbury / Brett Gardner
2B: Starlin Castro
1B: Matt Holliday
C: Gary Sanchez
RF: Aaron Judge
LF: Aaron Hicks
SS: Didi Gregorius
3B: Chase Headley
DH: Robert Refsnyder/Tyler Austin/ Rotation

Keep in mind that this is what I would do, not what I think manager Joe Girardi will do. Thanks. Leave your lineups and criticisms in the comments below. 

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It was this day in 1941 that the Japanese bombed the port in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. With that act of war the United States was forced into a war they didn’t really want to be a part of, World War II. We all know the stories, the movies and the history behind Pearl Harbor and the war and I don’t know about you but I’d like to not remember the day. Let’s remember the people, the people that died, the people that lived and shot those Japanese planes into the Pacific Ocean and the people who were survived by the decease.

I can’t say it enough, thank you. Remember the people, remember the day just don’t remember the event.

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/7: Enter Jacoby Ellsbury

On this day in 2013 the New York Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven year deal worth $153 million to join Brian McCann as the second new member of the Yankees this week. Ellsbury turned down offers from his former team the Red Sox, the Tigers and the Mariners to patrol center field in the Bronx.

Also on this day in 2001 the Yankees and the Mets made a rare trade as the Yankees acquired third basemen Robin Ventura for outfielder David Justice. This is only the sixth time these two teams have made a trade in the 40 years the Mets have been around and the first time since the 1992 trade of Kenny Tanaka to the Yankees for Kenny Greer.

Also on this day in 1995 the Yankees acquired a couple former Seattle Mariners players. First New York signed Tino Martinez to a deal worth $20.25 million on the same day his wife gave birth to replace Don Mattingly at first base. Also the Yankees swung a trade to acquire relief pitcher Jeff Nelson for Sterling Hitchcock and Russell Davis.

Also on this day in 1973 the Yankees acquire outfielder Lou Piniella from the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Ken Wright and pitcher Lindy McDaniel. The Yankees definitely won this trade as Piniella would hit .295 in 11 seasons as a Yankee including four trips to the World Series. McDaniel would only win six games in his two seasons in Kansas City

Also on this day in 1962 the Yankees rookie short stop and left fielder Tom Tresh would win the Rookie of the Year award from the BBWAA. The 24 year old got 13 of the 20 votes from the voters to win the award

Also on this day in 1939 the owners voted on a new rule that would prevent the team who won the pennant the previous year from buying, selling, or trading players the next season. Boy the efforts to hold the Yankees down have been going on forever. The Yankees would finish in third place the next season due to this winter meetings decision.

Finally on this day in 1939 the Yankees Iron Horse Lou Gehrig was elected into the Hall of Fame. The five year waiting period was waved for Gehrig, who played his final game on June 30th of 1939, because of Gehrig's diagnosis of ALS.