Saturday, April 15, 2017

Guest Post: Brooklyn Bat Boy

By Geoff Griffin

When April 15 rolls around every year, we celebrate the day that Jackie Robinson debuted at first base with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. It’s a day for everybody to wear 42 and remember the courage of a genuine American hero.

For Yankee fans, Robinson’s arrival also marked the beginning of an incredible run that saw the Dodgers and Yankees face off in the World Series in six of the 10 seasons that made up Robinson’s career.

In doing background research for my book Brooklyn Bat Boy (, the fictional story of the 12-year-old bat boy for Robinson’s 1947 Dodgers, I was reminded that Robinson’s was one of the central catalysts in making Yankees-Dodgers one of the great rivalries in sports.

Baseball had held the World Series 42 times - there’s that number again - before 1947, but there had only been matchup between Brooklyn and the Bronx, which came in 1941.

That all changed when Robinson changed baseball forever. I don’t have to tell people checking out a Yankees Web site that New York won five of the six series, but it’s also worth noting that four of the series went seven thrilling games.

Robinson established himself as a presence in the rivalry in the 1947 Series, the first ever broadcast on television. In Game 1 he drew two walks and scored a run and went on to finish the series with seven hits, two doubles and two stolen bases. The Yanks eventually won the championship in seven games.

In 1949, Robinson hit .342 and won the NL MVP, but New York dominated 4-1 in the 1949 Series. Robinson did double to knock in the only run in a 1-0 win by Brooklyn.

Robinson socked his first World Series homer in Game 1 of the 1952 Series, but the Yankees once again prevailed in seven.

The 1953 Series was Robinson’s best in terms of hitting. His batting average of .320 was his highest in the post-season, but it was Yanks again in six.

The Dodgers finally brought their one and only title back to Brooklyn in 1955. The Series will also always be remembered for a 36-year-old Robinson performing his signature move - stealing home - off of Whitey Ford in Game 1. Of course, anybody who’s seen film of it can see that the late, great, very much missed Yogi Berra very much disagreed with the call.

The 1957 Series marked the final games of Robinson’s career. He played all seven games and between a double, homer and five walks, tallied a .379 OBP and .796 OPS. After Don Larsen’s perfect game gave the Yanks a 3-2 lead, the Dodgers evened things up in Game 6 when Robinson’s 10th-inning walk-off single gave Brooklyn a 1-0 win. Of course, as every good Yankee fan knows, Berra homered twice in Game 7 to give the Yankees their 17th championship.

The 1957 World Series also offered an unfortunate series of lasts. It would end up being Robinson’s last game. It was the last time a New York team would be the National League representative in the World Series until the Miracle Mets of 1969. It was the last Subway Series until 2000.

Whatever side you take in the Brooklyn-Bronx rivalry, yet one more accolade in Jackie Robinson’s remarkable life and career is that he helped turn Yankees vs. Dodgers into one of the great rivalries in sports.

Geoff Griffin has worked as a lawyer, special education teacher, journalist and editor. He has over 20 years of experience writing for a variety of newspapers and magazines. He has had a number of essays published in anthologies and is co-host of the award-winning Travel Brigade Radio Show and Podcast. Brooklyn Bat Boy is Griffin’s first work of fiction.

Yankees Pitching Prospects Without James Kaprielian

The New York Yankees learned late this week that they would be without right-handed pitching prospect James Kaprielian for the entire 2017 season and some of the 2018 season as well after the righty decided to undergo Tommy John surgery on his elbow. The ulnar collateral ligament surgery is just the latest blow to the arm of Kaprielian who also missed basically all of last season with a strained elbow flexor muscle leaving the Yankees once again short-handed in the pitching depth department… or are they? Let’s take a look at some of the possible reinforcements and the way the Yankees pitching prospects as a whole stack up now that Kaprielian is out of the picture once again for 2017.

We’ll start with the immediate reinforcements just in case a Yankees starter struggles or, god forbid, gets hurt. You have to think that list starts with Bryan Mitchell, who is already in the team’s bullpen, and ends with Double-A prospect Chance Adams. In between you have the likes of Chad Green and Luis Cessa because of their MLB experience and the fact that both are already on the 40 man roster but I truly think Chance will be up in the Majors at some point this season. Adams and Jordan Montgomery are going to create one hell of a tandem for opposing teams going forward, especially if Luis Severino pitches like he did Thursday afternoon in the Bronx. The future is soon and the future is now all at the same time in the Bronx and those are exciting words to mutter.

Beyond the immediate reinforcements there are a few high-end arms the Yankees are currently grooming to eventually follow to the Bronx. That list starts with Justus Sheffield, the left-handed starter the team acquired from the Cleveland Indians in the Andrew Miller trade last season, and continues on with Albert Abreu, the prized pitching prospect the Yankees got back in the Brian McCann trade with the Houston Astros this winter. Domingo Acevedo, the big right-handed arm that can hit and top 100 MPH consistently with his fastball, is another big pitching prospect in the Yankees plans for the future while Nolan Martinez, a recent draft pick out of High School who is currently working his way through extended spring training, is opening the eyes of a lot of Yankees executives and scouts with a 92 MPH fastball and a great curveball at just 18-years old.

Another couple of intriguing arms the Yankees have at their disposal going forward are Jonathan Holder, currently pitching out of the Yankees bullpen where he spent much of his collegiate career although the Yankees did try him out as a starter in the Minor Leagues with great success, while Ian Clarkin, the man who was drafted in the same draft and round as Aaron Judge back in 2013, is slowly making his way through the Yankees system after a Tommy John surgery and a torn meniscus slowed his development a bit. Clarkin is still a bit off but an ETA of around September 2018 may not be completely out of the question. 

Yanks Celebrate Number 42 With 6th Straight

On the 70th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier; commemorated by everyone wearing jersey number 42, the Yankees and Cardinals squared off in game two of their three-game set. CC Sabathia took the mound for New York today and was just awesome, keeping hitters off balance all afternoon with his newfound control of his offspeed stuff. Contrastly, Carlos Martinez got the start for St. Louis and was kind of "all or nothing" this afternoon, striking out double digit Yankees while also walking a small village. Tremendous pitching for New York and shotty defense and pitching for St. Louis led to a game two win for the boys in pinstripes on a beautiful afternoon in the Bronx.

After walking one and striking out 11 and his first start, Carlos Martinez really struggled in the first inning as he allowed a very unusual and early lead. Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks started the frame with back to back walks, advancing to second and third on a passed ball by catcher Yadier Molina. During Chris Carter's at bat, Martinez chucked a wild pitch that made it to the backstop, allowing Gardner to score from third to give the Yankees a one run advantage.

Martinez's roller coaster of an outing continued on into the sixth, and  those struggles led to more Yankee runs and the end of his afternoon. Ronald Torreyes started off the sixth with just the third Yankee hit of the day: a fly ball to left field that Toe turn into a hustle double. Aaron Hicks then hit a one out come backer to Martinez who in turn threw it over the head of the first baseman, allowing Torreyes to score and Hicks to advanced to second base. The throwing error came back to bite even harder when Chris Carter lined a single into left that plated Hicks to open their lead up to three. Martinez was then lifted for left-hander Brett Cecil, departing with one of the most unusual stat lines you will ever see: 5.1 innings pitched, three runs on four hits with eight walks and 11 strikeouts. If that's that doesn't tell you anything else, it should say that there was a lot of no contact throughout the Yankee lineup today.

Although Sabathia gave up an eighth inning solo homerun to Jedd Gyorko to make it 3-1, the big lefty showed that he has plenty left in the tank with his utterly outstanding outing this afternoon. After the long ball, Sabathia was lifted for Adam Warren, marching towards the dugout to a well deserved standing ovation. C. C.'s final line was a thing of beauty, tossing 7.1 innings of three hit baseball, allowing just one run with one walk and six strikeouts.

Another really cool statistic to take away from today is that Adam Warren has faced 20 batters this season and has retired all 20 of them, needing to face and retire seven more to record a season-long perfect game.With Chapman getting the day off, Tyler Clippard took over for Warren in the ninth. Clippard definitely made things interesting by allowing a one out solo homerun to Stephen Piscotty, a deep blast to left that inched the Cardinals back closer at 3-2. After allowing an infield single and a walk, Clippard got Randall Grichuk to strike out to end the game and extend the Yankees winning streak to six.

For the second series in a row, Yankee fans will be looking for their brooms in the hopes of seeing a sweep of the Cardinals on Easter Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 PM/ESP and can be seen on ESPN.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals 4/15

And once again ladies and gentleman it is game time as the New York Yankees and the beautiful Yankee Stadium play host to the St. Louis Cardinals in a matchup of the two teams with the most World Series championships in Major League history. Every time these two teams face off head-to-head it is historic and epic and this afternoon should be no different as the Yankees send veteran CC Sabathia to the mound to tangle with Carlos Martinez for the Cardinals. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV while you can also follow along on the radio with WFAN.

Follow along with us during the game and all season long by giving our Twitter account @GreedyStripes a follow. Help us put the social aspect back into social media while we root, root, root for the home team. Go Yankees! Enjoy your Saturday and the rest of your weekend Yankees family. Love you guys.

I Guess It Was In The Cards...

Credit:  Elsa/Getty Images

The World certainly looks better when the Yankees are winning.  We have our  own problems but somehow they seem more manageable when the Yankees win.

While it was technically a quality start by definition, Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have his best stuff on Friday night.  He got off to an ominous start when he gave up a two-run first inning home run to Matt Carpenter of the St Louis Cardinals.  Carpenter, by the way, makes a strong point for the Yankees Facial Hair policy as he proves not everyone looks good with a beard.  Fortunately, the Yankees answered Carpenter’s homer very quickly when Starlin Castro, no stranger to the Cards from his days with the Chicago Cubs, launched a two-run bomb of his own to tie the game.  

An Austin Romine solo homer and a run courtesy of a throwing error by Cardinals second baseman Kolton Wong were the only additional runs the Yankees needed to hold off St Louis for their fifth consecutive win.  Tanaka was strong after the shaky first inning until he got into trouble in the seventh.  He finished the game with 6 2/3 innings, five hits, three runs, two walks and five strikeouts to pick up his first win of the year.

The game was in doubt in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings as the dynamic trio of Tyler Clippard, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman succeeded Tanaka.  Clippard, replacing Tanaka with runners at second and third and only one out, got both Wong and Dexter Fowler on fly outs with a great play by Aaron Judge on the latter as it looked like it could have been an extra base hit.  Betances was solid as he recorded all three outs in the eighth by strikeout, but he did have  brief trouble throwing strikes as he nearly walked Matt Carpenter and then did walk the next batter, Stephen Piscotty, on four consecutive balls.  In the ninth inning, Aroldis Chapman, pitching for the third consecutive day, walked Randal Grichuk after easily getting the first two outs of the inning.  The next batter, pinch hitter Jose Martinez, hit a solid double to left, which Brett Gardner got back to the infield quickly keeping Grichuk from scoring.  The Cardinals third base coach initially wanted to send Grichuk but quickly changed his mind when the ball was returned by Gardner so quickly.  That brought Chapman’s former Cubs teammate Dexter Fowler to the plate in a match-up of World Series Champions.  Chapman won the battle as Fowler grounded out to Starlin Castro, and the baseball safely made it to first base before the speedy Fowler did.  

It was an intense game but with Yankees-Cardinals, you wouldn’t expect anything less.

I watched Matt Holliday with great interest as this was the first time he had played against the Cardinals since May 8, 2008 when he was a member of the Colorado Rockies.  For the game, Holliday did nothing as he was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.  I am sure that it was an emotional night for Holliday, being reunited with his former Cardinals teammates.  It would be hard to spend eight years with a team and not have emotional attachments.  Holliday’s last game against the Cardinals in 2008 was a much greater success.  He was 4-for-5, with three runs scored, in Colorado’s 9-3 victory over St Louis.  On that same night (to put into perspective how long it has been), Mike Mussina was beating the Cleveland Indians, 6-3, with a save by Mariano Rivera.  Hopefully, Holliday will have greater success against his former team today and tomorrow.

I know that Greg Bird has struggled with the foot injury and the flu, but I am concerned about his 1-for-23 start.  He hasn’t indicated any signs of the hitter he was during Spring Training.  I had hoped the days of Mark Teixeira and his ice-cold starts were a thing of the past with the new first baseman but so far that’s not been the case.  Hopefully, Bird will get untracked soon and start hitting like we know he can.  I prefer Bird at first over Chris Carter, but if Bird continues on this path, we’ll be seeing more of Carter.  

The Yankees are currently 2nd in the AL East Standings behind the Baltimore Orioles.  The biggest surprise to me isn’t that the Boston Red Sox are in the 4th place with a .500 record (they’ll catch fire sooner rather later), but rather the last place Toronto Blue Jays with only one win on the year (1-9).  I think I heard a stat that no team that has lost 9 of its first 10 games has ever made the playoffs.  The Blue Jays were predicted to battle the Red Sox at the top of the division.  

I have to comment on two incidents that occurred with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and two of their former tight ends in the last 24 hours.  One was a very heartwarming story (no pun intended) and the other was one of life’s most devastating moments.  In December, former Ravens tight end Konrad Reuland died of a brain aneurysm.  On Friday, it was revealed that the recipient of his heart and kidney was none other than legendary Hall of Famer Rod Carew.  Ironically, Reuland’s age (29) matched Carew’s playing number for the Minnesota Twins.  Also, on Friday, former Ravens tight end Todd Heap accidentally struck and killed his three-year-old daughter while moving his truck in his driveway in Mesa, Arizona.  This was such devastating news to hear and I cannot possibly imagine how Heap will be able to deal with this tragedy.  I am so very saddened by this news, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Heap and his family.  

It’s kind of hard to say ‘have a great day’ after that news, so I’ll only say hug your loved ones and be thankful they are in your life.

Meet a Prospect: Jackie Robinson

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was born on January 31st, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. Jackie was the youngest of five children born to Jerry and Mallie Robinson and had siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae Robinson. Jackie's middle name was given to him in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt who dies 25 days before Jackie was born. Jackie's father would leave his family in 1920 and his mom moved him and his four siblings to Pasadena, California. Jackie would start his high school career at John Muir High School where he played football, basketball, track, and baseball where he would letter in each at the varsity level. He was a shortstop and a catcher for the baseball team and earned a place on the Pomona annual baseball tournament all-star team. This annual baseball tournament included future Hall of Famers like Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. Jackie was also the quarterback on the football team and played guard for the basketball team. Jackie would get some recognition by professional scouts after winning an award in the broad jump in track and field. Jackie was also a member of the tennis team in his high school years. In 1936 Jackie won the junior boys singles championship in the annual Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament. In 1937 the Pasadena Star News newspaper reported that Robinson has been the most outstanding athlete at Muir for starring in five sports for the school.

Jackie would move on to Pasadena Junior College after graduating from Muir High School where he continued his athletic career by playing basketball, football, baseball, and track once again. On the football team Jackie played both sides of the ball this time playing quarterback and also playing some safety on the defense. He would be the leadoff man for his baseball team while manning the short stop position. He would once again get recognition in track for his broad jumping ability after breaking school records in the competition previously held by his brother Matthew, whose nickname was Mack. While playing on the football team Jackie suffered a fractured ankle which would complicate his deployment status while he was in the military. Jackie would also be elected to the Lancers at his time in Pasadena Junior College which is a student run police organization responsible for patrolling the school grounds during various school activities. In 1938 Jackie was elected to the All Southland Junior College Baseball Team and was selected as the regions MVP in that league. Also in that season Jackie was one of ten students named to the school's Order of the Mast and Dagger which was awarded to students who performed outstanding service to the school and whose scholastic and citizenship record is worthy of recognition. In 1938 he was arrested after getting into a shouting match with the police and received a two year suspended sentence. This was the beginning of the reputation of being very combative when it came to racial antagonisms and such. Frank Robinson, Jackie's closest brother, dies in a motorcycle accident towards the end of his PJC career which prompted him to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to be closer to his family.

Jackie transferred to UCLA in the spring of 1939 where he became the school's first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports, which were baseball, basketball, football, and track. He was one of four black players in the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team and was one of three of the four backfield players on the football team. In 1940 Jackie won the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the long jump when he jumped 24 ft 10 1/4 inches. Baseball was surprisingly considered his worst sport in his time spent at UCLA after hitting .097 in his only season there, although in his first game he did for 4-4 with two steals of home. In his senior year at UCLA Jackie would meet his future wife Rachel Isum who was a freshman and was familiar with his athletic career at Pasadena Junior College. In 1941 Jackie left college just shy of graduation and took a job as an assistant athletic director with the National Youth Administration in Atascadero, California. Later that year the government stopped the NYA and Jackie found himself in Honolulu to play football for the Honolulu Bears. Jackie would try and latch in later in that year with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast Football League but by that time the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had drawn the United States into World War II, thus ending Jackie's football career.

In 1942 Jackie was drafted into the military and assigned to an Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. After much protesting Jackie Robinson was admitted into the Officer Candidate School at Fort Riley which would bring Jackie and heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis closer as friends. Robinson was promoted to second lieutenant and was reassigned to Fort Hood, Texas where he joined the 761st Black Panthers Tank Battalion. On July 6th, 1944 Jackie's military career would take a turn for the worse as he was in the hospital awaiting test results on the ankle he injured in junior college. Jackie would board an unsegregated bus afterwards and was ordered to move to the back of the bus, although he refused and was taken into custody by the military police when he reached his destination. After confronting the investigating officer about being racist Jackie was recommended for a court martial. Robinson was not court martialed but transferred to the 758th Battalion where he was charged with multiple charges including public drunkenness, although Jackie was never known as a drinker. Jackie was acquitted of all charges by an all-white panel of nine officers but Jackie still missed being deployed overseas and never saw any combat action. Jackie would receive an honorable discharge in 1944 but not before meeting a former player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League who encouraged Jackie to try out for the Monarchs, which he did in 1945.

In early 1945 Jackie accepted a $400 per month contract to play for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League. Robinson played 47 games at short stop for the Monarchs and hit .387 with 5 HR's, and 13 SB's while being in the 1945 Negro League All Star Game. In August of 1945 the club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers had a meeting with Jackie Robinson with hopes of signing him for either their big league team or their farm club, the Montreal Royals. Rickey was more worried about whether Jackie could refrain from fighting back when faced with racism rather than fight like he had in the military and at Pasadena Junior College. After Rickey got the commitment to turn the other cheek to the racism after the famous quotes from Jackie and Rickey, "Are you looking for a negro who is afraid to fight back" from Robinson which was responded by saying that he needed a Negro player "with guys enough not to fight back." Jackie was signed that day to a $600 a month contract and would be assigned to the Montreal Royals in the 1946 season. This would cause a bit of a ruckus within the Negro Leagues because Jackie was not the best player in the Negro Leagues and people like Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, and Josh Gibson were not happy with him getting the chance before they did. The racism and segregation started right away as many places would not allow Jackie or Johnny Wright, another black player Branch Rickey signed, to be a part of any activities. Jackie could not stay in the hotel with his team and since the Dodgers did not have a spring training facility yet most teams would not hold games that involved these two men. The police chief in Sanford, Florida even went as far as to threaten to cancel games if either of these two men trained there. On April 18th, 1946 the Jersey City Giants and the Montreal Royals played a game and Jackie Robinson made his professional debut, thus officially breaking the color barrier for minor league teams. Robinson went 4-5 including a three run home run, 3 RBI's, scored four runs, and stole two bases in a 14-1 Royals victory. Jackie would be named the International League MVP that season after leading the league with a .349 average and a .985 fielding percentage while drawing over a million fans in 1946 to the ball park to see games that he was in.

Jackie would be called up to the majors six days before the start of the 1947 season. Jackie was a right handed batter that played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers because Eddie Stanky was the Dodgers every day second baseman. Robinson would finish his first season by playing 151 games with a .297 average, a .383 OBP, .427 SLG %, 175 hits, 125 runs, 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, and 48 RBI's. He also led the league in sacrifice hits, 28, and stolen bases with 29 SB's that season. He would earn the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award that season. Stanky was traded to the Boston Braves in the spring of 1948 and Jackie took over the second base job where he finished with a .980 fielding percentage that season. He would hit for the cycle in August of 1948 against the St. Louis Cardinals and led his team to a third place finish in the National League. Jackie, with the help of Hall of Famer George Sisler, would reinvent his swing and approach at the plate and would win the 1949 MVP award with a .342 average, 37 stolen bases, 124 RBI's, 122 runs scored, and would be the starting second basemen for the National League in the 1949 All Star Game, the first to include black players. The Dodgers would win the National League Championship that season but would lose to the New York Yankees in five games. Jackie would become the highest paid player in Dodgers history up to that point with a $35,000 contract and would have a movie about him, the Jackie Robinson Story, made where he played himself in the movie. Before the 1951 season the Dodgers new owner Walter O'Malley offered Jackie the managerial job for the Montreal Royals when he was done playing baseball. The 1951 season would bring some heart break for Jackie and the Dodgers though because that was the season that Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" home run ended the 1951 World Series. They would win the NL pennant in 1952 but would once again lose in the World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. They would once again win the NL pennant in 1953 but would once again lose the World Series to the New York Yankees, this time in six games. The Dodgers would get their revenge though in the 1955 World Series though as the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees to win Jackie's only World Series championship of his career. In 1956 Jackie Robinson was traded to the New York Giants but the deal was never completed because Jackie had agreed to quit baseball due to declining skills and his battle with diabetes.

Jackie would finish his major league career with a .311 career batting average with 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, 734 RBI's, and 197 stolen bases among other accolades. He would only play in ten seasons, all for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and would play in six World Series and six All Star Games including one World Series ring and one MVP award. In 1962, after pleading with voters to only vote on his on the field play and not his historic impact to the game of baseball, Jackie was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot. The Dodgers would retire his #42 on June 4th, 1972 along with teammates Roy Campanella, #39, and Sandy Koufax, #32. Jackie would make his final public appearance in October of 1972 where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. In 1999 Jackie was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Jackie Robinson would die on October 24th, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Jackie has been honored many times since his death of a heart attack at age 53. In 1987 both the American and National League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the Jackie Robinson Award. In 1997 Major League Baseball retired Jackie's #42 all across baseball with Mariano Rivera the only player left that was grandfathered in and still wearing it. In 2006 the New York Mets modeled the main entrance of their new stadium, Citi Field, after old Ebbets Field and named it the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Also, starting in 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented as the Jackie Robinson Award. In 2007 Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver announced that Jackie would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame. His former college baseball team, the UCLA Bruins, play all their baseball games in Jackie Robinson Stadium and even have a memorial state of Robinson inside the stadium. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1990 and has a statue of Jackie and his two children in front of the stadium. There are many other buildings, houses, fields, etc. named after Jackie because of everything he did both on and off the baseball field.

Jackie Robinson will always be remembered for breaking the color barrier in baseball and leading the charge for black players in baseball. Jackie Robinson always did things the right way and fought for what he believed in and will always be remembered no matter how many years pass. Happy Jackie Robinson Day everybody and thank you Jackie for everything you have done both on and off the field.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals 4/15

Good morning Yankees family. Didn’t we just do this a few short hours ago? Well we are back at it again with the dreaded Saturday afternoon game after a Friday night game here in the Bronx. I say dreaded because Yankees manager Joe Girardi usually sits a lot of his veterans and best players on this Saturday game thus affecting the outcome of the game, even if we are just a few weeks into the young season. Oh well, I digress. This afternoon the New York Yankees will send one of those veterans to the mound instead of letting him sit out as CC Sabathia takes his third turn in the Yankees rotation while the St. Louis Cardinals will counter with Carlos Martinez.

Sabathia has led the Yankees to a victory in each of his first two starts this season, although he was only credited with one victory himself, allowing just two runs combined in both starts. Those two runs came last time out when Sabathia held the Orioles to three runs, two earned, on six hits in six innings last time out in Baltimore. More of the same just like that please, and thank you.

Martinez has had the Tale of Two Seasons thus far in the early goings of this 2017 season. In his season debut Martinez shut down the Chicago Cubs with 10 strikeouts and no walks in 7.1 shutout innings but followed up the start with a six runs allowed start against the Cincinnati Reds last weekend. Both of those starts came at home so this will be Martinez’s first road start of the young 2017 campaign.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars or on the radio by tuning into WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, Mr. and Mrs. Baseball. Enjoy the game everyone and as always, Go Yankees!

Also, Happy Jackie Robinson Day everybody!!

So it Seems it’s Jackie Robinson Day in MLB

Good morning, happy Saturday and Happy Jackie Robinson Day to all the Major League Baseball and Yankees fans alike reading this on this beautiful morning. I won’t spend too much time here talking about Mr. Robinson and what he meant to the sport and the game because I have more than a couple posts scheduled for today on the former Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman but I will say this… he was a true inspiration. If you ever get down and think that one man cannot change the world you are absolutely wrong on that and great men like Jackie Robinson proved that. In the end you may not even change the world but you may spark the mind that does and that, my friends, makes the end result the same anyway. World changed for the better.

So keep your heads up, keep fighting and know that I love you. Especially you. Hey you J

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/15: Happy Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson Day 2017, let’s do it Yankees family!

On this day in 2007 players around the league including the Yankees Derek Jeter and the Braves Andruw Jones wore the #42 uniform to honor Jackie Robinson on the 60th anniversary of him breaking the color barrier. In the Cardinals and Brewers game in Busch Stadium every player and coach on both teams wore the #42 and Jackie Robinson Day was born.

On this day in 1976 the New York Yankees debuted the "new" Yankee Stadium in front of 52,613 fans. The Yankees would beat the Minnesota Twins 11-4 on this day as the day began with Bob Shawkey, the winner of the 1923 Yankee Stadium opener, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.