Thursday, March 9, 2017

Quick Hit: Alex Rodriguez to Expand Role as FOX Analyst

Alex Rodriguez’s days as a player are officially over, although next time he sneezes or goes to a sports store there will be some dumb ass blog or news publication out there “wondering” if it’s because he is gearing up for a comeback, but his days as a FOX Sports analyst are just beginning. According to a few reports Alex is getting his role with the network expanded in fact which may further confirm that his playing days are over.

After spending each of the past two postseasons as a guest studio analysts for FOX the former Yankees third baseman and DH will now be a game analyst and feature reporter for both FOX Sports and FS1 while also working in the studio as he did before.

Alex signed a multi-year deal with the network but none of the terms were obviously disclosed.

Eric Gagne Wants to Return to MLB

Team Canada has a couple old and recognizable names currently on their World Baseball Classic and while one is a complete douche bag that is such a bad pitcher it took him four tries to INTENTIONALLY hit Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Dumpster and no that’s not an autocorrect or a typographical error, the other was a pretty damn good closer for a long time for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gagne is now looking to potentially make his way back to the Los Angeles Dodgers or any team in Major League Baseball for that matter and he is hoping the World Baseball Classic can act as his audition for such a comeback.

It’s been nearly 10 years since Gagne was seen in a MLB stadium pitching in an MLB game but in his first audition for Team Canada he was seen throwing a scoreless inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. In the contest Gagne’s fastball was clocked at 93 MPH which is great considering the fact that he is not 41-years old.

Gagne won the 2003 NL Cy Young Award with the Los Angeles Dodgers and finished his 10-year career with a 33-26 record with 187 saves including 55 saves in 2003.

If Gagne wants to take a minor league deal with the Yankees you know what I always say…. There’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal. I’d be down. What say you?

Shohei Otani Hints He Wants to Get PAID After 2017

One thing that no one can ever say about me is that I don’t listen when other people talk to me so when Robert Casey of Bleeding Yankee Blue talks to me I always let it soak in. One thing that Mr. Casey taught me was to always be different, to be myself and to always look for the little “nugget” of information that gets passed over or otherwise overlooked by the rest of the Yankees blogosphere. That’s what I did this morning when I read this article from the Bleacher Report regarding Japan’s ace Shohei Otani and his intentions of coming to the United States after the 2017 season.

Shohei Otani, or more commonly known as “Japan’s Babe Ruth”, discussed this week in an interview his intentions of coming to the United States after the 2017 season and there was a little nugget of information in there that screams to me “I want to get paid.” Here is the exact quote from Otani and let’s see if you can pick out which line I’m talking about. I’ll even make it easy for you and bold it.  

"Personally, the new CBA rules do not mean much to me, and it is not going to stop me from going over to the States," Ohtani said. "The only thing that worries me is the other young players that might try to go overseas after me. I don't want to set the bar too low for them and have to get underpaid because of my decision."

Now one must remember that the Japanese people, by culture, are a very respectful and prideful group of people so I genuinely believe Otani when he says that he will consider not only himself, his friends and his family in his decision next season but that he will also hold the Japanese-born players behind him that follow him to the States in his heart when he makes this decision.

How did this come up? Well the Major League Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement states that a player under the age of 25 or with less than six professional seasons under their belt is considered to be an International Free Agent. This would make Otani subject to the IFA spending cap rules which could cost him millions of dollars since it severely limits the pool of teams that could be interested. If Otani were to wait until after the 2019 season he would be a true free agent and could sign with any team for basically any amount of money but Otani seems inclined to forego the wait and sign with a big league club before the 2018 season, just in time for a few key Yankees pitchers to hit free agency and just in time for a literal boatload of money to come off the books.

According to the new CBA if Otani decides to jump ship from Japan to the United States he can only sign for $5 million. This would widen his pool of teams to choose from to whatever number it is now that you want to speculate, mine would be no more than six-or-seven teams given the presumed price tag, to all 30 MLB teams. In this day and age $5 million is almost literally nothing, for a hitter or for a pitcher and Otani can do both exceptionally well.

So Otani has a big decision ahead of him. Does he leave Japan after the 2017 season and possibly leave millions on the table to pursue his ultimate dream or does he wait out two more seasons and go for broke? That only he can answer but I have a feeling that all 30 MLB teams are hoping it’s the former and not the latter. I leave you with this, his 2016 stats from Japan, and a dream of Otani wearing your favorite team’s jersey in 2018. I mean it will just be a dream since he will be wearing Yankees pinstripes but still, everyone needs a dream. Have a great day everyone.

As a pitcher: 10-4, 1.86 ERA, 140 innings, 11.2 SO/9

As a hitter: .322/.416/.588, 22 HR, 67 RBI

Is There Life After Joe Girardi?...

Credit:  Jim McIsaac, Getty Images


I will start off by saying I have great respect for the Yankees beat writers on  It’s one of the primary sites I peruse, particularly since the departure of Mark Feinsand from The New York Daily News.

Wednesday morning, Randy Miller wrote a column entitled ‘Odds For Yankees Manager Candidates if Joe Girardi Doesn’t Return in 2018’.

Personally, I wish the Steinbrenner family would break tradition and  just re-sign both Girardi and GM Brian Cashman right now rather than wait until after the season to talk.  No one likes lame duck status.  Actually, the Yankees should fire Randy Levine and promote Cashman to President of Baseball Operations but that’s another story.

Miller’s favorites to succeed Girardi should he either chose to leave by his own volition or if he is politely shown the door are Fredi Gonzalez, currently third base coach for the Miami Marlins, and Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Both guys are listed with 10 to 1 odds.  No offense to either but I am not enthused.  Miller cites Gonzalez’s managerial experience (10 years managing the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves) and history of working with younger players.  To me, he’s just a manager that has been fired twice.  Admittedly, I was on the “Clueless Joe” train when Joe Torre was hired as Yankees manager and we saw how that one turned out.  Still, I am just not a big Gonzalez fan.

Hurdle is a small market manager.  He failed in Colorado.  Although he’s doing a much better job in Pittsburgh and is a respected baseball mind, he’s not my idea of true Yankees manager.  Miller cites his main attribute as being a players manager.  That’s nice.  He is not the guy I want running baseball’s most storied franchise.

My favorite managers are Don Mattingly, manager of the Miami Marlins, and Terry “Tito” Francona, manager of the AL Champion Cleveland Indians.  Mattingly is listed at 40 to 1 odds.  Donnie Baseball was my favorite player so sentimentally that might be why he is my favorite manager.  I’ll admit that he didn’t get the job done in Los Angeles but I feel that he has continued to improve as a manager every year.  Francona is not listed on Miller’s list of candidates but given his success with (and love for) the Cleveland Indians, he’ll never leave.

The others on Miller’s list are San Francisco Giants bench coach Ron Wotus (15 to 1).  No managing experience does not work for me even if he is Bruce Bochy’s right hand man.

DeMarlo Hale, Toronto Blue Jays bench coach (20 to 1).  I think he deserves a managing opportunity but with no management experience, I’d prefer for him to get it elsewhere.  Plus, I can’t get past his history with the Red Sox even if I did give Francona a free pass.

Ron Gardenhire, Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach (35 to 1).  Nice guy.  No.

Manny Acta, Seattle Mariners third base coach (50 to 1).  Two-time managerial loser.  No, thank you.

Joe McEwing, Chicago White Sox third base coach (75 to 1).  No managerial experience for the former New York Met.  Pass.  

Willie Randolph, unemployed-MLB (100 to 1).  Love the former Yankee but there’s got to be a reason he is never on short lists during manager searches.  Plus, he hasn’t managed for nearly a decade.

Rob Thomson, Yankees bench coach (150 to 1).  The lack of managerial experience is troublesome but he does know the players, organization and city.  I could be talked into this one but it would still not be my preference.

Tony Pena, Yankees first base coach (250 to 1).  He hasn’t managed in a dozen years and when he did, he failed.  If Girardi does leave, I probably want to see a clean slate for manager and coaches.

Jim Leyland (1000 to 1) and Tony LaRussa (5000 to 1).  Great managers in their day but I’ll pass on Octagenarians-to-be patrolling the Yankees dugout.

Joe Torre, MLB Chief Baseball Officer (10,000 to 1).  Great job, limited travel, Hall of Fame, dinner with the family, etc.  Haha, we know this one is not happening!    

I cannot say that I am a big believer in Girardi.  He has his faults but there really isn’t a better guy available to manage the Yankees.  With Girardi, you know the team will be prepared.  He knows how to work with young players and I think he listens to his coaches.  The Steinbrenner family should get a new deal done and end the speculation.  Girardi wants to stay in New York and I think the feeling is mutual.

If he fails on the next contract with the Baby Bombers, then fire his ass!!!

In baseball action, the Yankees didn’t play a real game on Wednesday (yeah, like the other games in March are real!).  They played an exhibition game against Team Canada.

Luis Severino gave up 2 runs in the first inning as the Yanks quickly fell behind the Canadians, eh.  But home runs by Matt Holliday, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks helped power the Yankees to a 10-4 victory.

The Yankees return to “real” games that do not matter today against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida.  Michael Pineda takes the hill for the away team (not to be confused with the dudes in the red shirts on the old Star Trek TV series).

Have a great Thursday!

So it Seems Crying IS Allowed in Baseball

Move over Tom Hanks (League of Their Own reference if you’ve been living under a rock and never saw that classic baseball-themed movie) and take a seat because there is crying allowed in Major League Baseball. It’s Kode. Yesterday and the day before were rough days for me for the most part, I have to be honest here. Without going into details I lost something so unimportant that I let it affect me to the point where I could have lost something that means the absolute world to me. And for that, I cried. Multiple times. At home. At work. On the way to work. Hell I did while typing this out. And for what? For something that’s completely and utterly replaceable?

Irreplaceable > Replaceable

#DontSweatTheSmallStuff #YouJumpIJump 

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/9: A Rod's Hip Surgery V1

On this day in 2009 Alex Rodriguez had an 80 minute arthroscopic surgical procedure to repair torn cartilage in his right hip. The Yankees third basemen expects to return to the lineup in May and will need a more extensive operation in the offseason and would have another surgery, this time on his left hip, before the 2013 season.

Also on this day in 1961 the New York Yankees announced that they would be leaving their spring training home in St. Petersburg, Florida to move to Fort Lauderdale by 1963. The Yankees owners also encouraged the new yet to be named New York National League franchise, now known as the Mets, to play its home games at the Polo Grounds and to not consider Yankee Stadium.