Saturday, May 6, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs 5/6

Here we go ladies and gents! The lights are on, the fans have filed in and the teams are on the field. It is officially game time between the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs as these two teams play in the middle game of their three-game weekend set. The Yankees will send rookie Jordan Montgomery to the mound tonight looking to keep the good times rolling for New York while the Cubs will expect more out of LHP Brett Anderson than they have been getting as of late. The game will be played at 7:15 pm ET inside Wrigley Field and can be seen on FOX. You can also follow along on the radio by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Give us a follow on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Now let’s go watch some Saturday night baseball. Enjoy the game Yankees family. Go Yankees!

Pre-1980 Non-Vested Retirees Not Receiving Pensions from MLB

Happy Saturday all. I received this email a few weeks back and just now got around to reading it, my apologies to the sender but this is proof positive that I do read every single email you guys send me… it just takes a while sometimes… because distractions.. because the very best distractions, and the subject matter kind of shocked me. It’s pertaining to pre-1980 MLB non-vested players and the fact that said players are not receiving their pensions from Major League Baseball. Rather than try to disseminate the email and put my own spin on it I am simply going to copy and paste it straight from the horse’s mouth for your viewing and reading pleasure. Usually I say enjoy but this is not one of those articles that you enjoy, this is the type of article that tugs at your heart and puts anger in your soul towards people who don’t take care of other people. Or maybe it’s just me. 

Don't know if you're familiar with the above, but there are 500 or so former players, being hosed out of pensions by the league and the players' association.

All these men have been getting since 2011 are non qualified retirement payments of $625 per quarter, up to 16 quarters, or a maximum payment of $10,000 per year.

Meanwhile, the maximum IRS pension limit per year is $210,000.

One of these men is Bill Burbach, of Johnson City, Tennessee. Born in Dickeyville, Wisconsin in 1947, Mr. Burbach attended Wahlert High Scholl in Dickeyville as well as Iowa State University.

Mr. Burbach, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, turns 70 in August.

A pitcher who spent parts of three seasons, in 1969, 1970 and 1971 in the Show with the New York Yankees, Mr. Burbach appeared in a total of 37 games, 28 of which were starts. He recorded six wins, including two complete games and one shutout during his career.

The union representing the players, the MLBPA, doesn't have to be the legal advocates for these men, the league doesn't have to negotiate about this matter and the alumni association is too busy putting on golf outings.

Neither the league nor the union want to retroactively restore these men into pension coverage; instead, taxes are taken out of the nonqualified retirement payment, which cannot be passed on to a surviving spouse or designated beneficiary. So when Mr. Burbach passes on, the payment he is currently receiving is not passed on to any of his loved ones, such as his wife, Wanda. They are also not eligible to be covered under the league's umbrella health insurance plan.

Former pitcher Steve Rogers is a special assistant to Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. He is the players' pension liaison; his email address is

Doug Gladstone, Author
"A Bitter Cup of Coffee; How MLB & The Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve"

Quick Hit: Gleyber Torres Bobblehead Night Scheduled for August 25th in Trenton!

If you love bobbleheads like I do and you are in the Trenton, New Jersey area then this post is for you.

Press release from the Trenton Thunder for immediate release: 

Following six weeks of fan voting, your Thunder are pleased to announce that INF Gleyber Torres will be the final bobblehead giveaway of the season taking place on Friday, August 25 when the Thunder host the Richmond Flying Squirrels. TICKETS

Ranked as the #2 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball by, Torres is batting .292 with a .393 on-base percentage in 13 games with the Thunder. On Saturday against the Erie SeaWolves, Torres hit his first home run with Trenton.

Fans had the opportunity to vote during the months of March and April for one player from a selection of Thunder stars Tyler Austin, Rob Refsnyder, Chance Adams, Bryan Mitchell, and Torres. Now the first 2,000 fans, ages 14 and up, through the gate on August 25 will receive the Gleyber Torres bobblehead giveaway.

The selection of Torres rounds out the set of three bobbleheads that will be given away during the 2017 season at ARM & HAMMER Park. On Friday, July 21, the first 2,000 fans will receive a Gary Sanchez bobblehead when the team hosts the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. On Friday August, 4, when the Thunder host the Altoona Curve, the Thunder will giveaway a combination Reggie Jackson/Derby bobblehead. To view the entire promotions schedule, click here.

Your Thunder are back in action at ARM & HAMMER Park tonight against the Harrisburg Senators at 7pm. For tickets and the latest information on Thunder baseball, visit or call 609-394-3300.


Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs 5/6

Ladies and gentleman we are in for a treat tonight as the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs are back at it again inside Wrigley Field. This time these two teams will be playing under the lights though as Wrigley hosts these two historic MLB teams for a primetime matchup. With such a great matchup comes great responsibility and the two pitchers shouldered with such pressure are Jordan Montgomery for the Yankees, the rookie, and Brett Anderson for the Cubs, the veteran. This should be another fun one in the Windy City.

Montgomery has been just what the Yankees needed out of him since making his MLB debut with the team last month. Montgomery keeps the Yankees in every game and gives his teammates a chance to win and that was on display in his last start as well against the Baltimore Orioles. In the start Montgomery allowed three runs in five innings of work keeping the Yankees around long enough for Aaron Judge and company to bash the team to victory.

Anderson did not keep his team in the game and did not give Chicago a chance to win the game last time out lasting just 1.1 innings while giving up seven runs on seven hits. In Anderson’s defense he was dealing with heavy winds and rain during his last start but either way I’ll take that kind of production out of him once again tonight in Chicago.

The game will be played at 7:15 pm ET inside Wrigley Field and can be seen on FOX. I’m not sure how this will affect MLB TV but I’d venture to say the game will be blacked out everywhere but on FOX. You can also follow along on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Enjoy the game and as always Go Yankees!

It’s Bird, it’s a Plane, no, it’s Gardyman!…

Credit:  David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

It is frustrating when the Yankees lose games they should have won so there was satisfaction with Friday afternoon’s stunning victory over the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, thanks to a ninth inning two-out, two-strike three-run home run by Brett Gardner.  The Yankees had their chances early in the game, but seemed to self-sabotage every attempt to push runs across the plate.  

The Yankees were fortunate that Cubs closer Wade Davis was unavailable after pitching in the three preceding games for the Northsiders.  Davis is currently 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA in 13 1/3 innings.  He has 15 strikeouts and has only given up four hits and walks.  His WHIP is a paltry 0.60.  I’ve read a few Chicago articles that think the Cubs upgraded the closing position with the addition of Wade Davis (a bit of a slam against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman).  But with Davis unavailable, the Cubs were forced to turn to former closer, Hector Rondon, who had been displaced last July when Chapman arrived.  

Honestly, it didn’t feel like Gardner was going to emerge from the day victorious.  After he reached two strikes, he fouled off a couple of Rondon pitches to stay alive.  It felt like Rondon just needed to put one in the outside corner to earn his first save of the season.  Instead, he left the pitch in the exact spot that he shouldn’t have…low and inside.  That’s all Gardner needed to deposit the pitch in the outfield bleachers.  

The Gardner home run put the game in the hands of former Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman.  It wasn’t pretty when the first batter, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, reached second base as a result of a Chase Headley error.  With the game-tying run on second and no outs, Chapman retired the next three batters which included a swinging third strike by Cubs powerful second baseman Javier Baez to end the game.

Hats off to Michael Pineda.  I know that he gave up two home runs, but he could’ve folded like a cheap suit as he has in years past.  He held the Cubs to only two runs on the solo homers and only three hits overall in six innings of work.  He struck out six and walked only one.  It was a quality start and there’s no way the Yankees could have staged the improbable comeback if not for Pineda’s efforts.  

The win moved the Yankees to 18-9.  They precariously remain in sole possession of first place in the AL East by a half-game over the Baltimore Orioles.  The Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 despite starting pitcher Wade Miley being hit by successive line drives 12 pitches into the game that forced his departure.  

Aroldis Chapman received his World Series ring prior to the start of the game.  It was good to see him receive recognition for his contributions for helping to bring the first World Series championship to Chicago for the Cubs in 108 years.  People tend to remember the game-tying home run that a weary Chapman gave up in Game 7 but the Cubs would not have been in the World Series if not for #54.  

Credit:  Tannen Maury/EPA

Adam Warren also received his World Series ring as a member of the 2016 Cubs, but he chose a private ceremony (he wanted the spotlight on the Yankees closer since Chapman was part of the post-season team that won the World Series plus he didn't feel right wearing Yankees gear with a Cubs ring...'Attaboy, Adam!).  

It was also a fun day for former Cubs shortstop/second baseman Starlin Castro.  He received a standing ovation as the Cubs played his walk-up music when he came up to bat for the first time.  There’s no doubt it was an emotional day for Castro who remains appreciative of the Cubs for giving him his first opportunity in Major League Baseball.  

Credit:  Getty Images

Gary Sanchez was activated before the game and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.  Kyle Higashioka was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/WilkesBarre after failing to record in a hit in 18 at-bats.  I had really been hoping that he could have gotten that first one out of the way before heading back to Eastern Pennsylvania.  

Have a great Saturday!  Sounds like it may be a cold, windy night in Chicago.  Hopefully it will be a memorable evening for the Baby Bombers in the Windy City.  

Austin Romine Almost Has to Be Traded Now, Doesn’t He?

The New York Yankees and their fans had to feel at least a twinge of certain and impending doom when they learned that their catcher and star player Gary Sanchez would be heading to the disabled list with a biceps strain, I know I felt it anyway. Somehow, someway the New York Yankees have been resilient and have somehow improved without Sanchez under the combination of Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka begging the question, does Austin Romine have to be traded now? I mean he almost does, doesn’t he? Or maybe that’s just me.

Romine didn’t just keep the Yankees heads above water during the Sanchez disabled list stint but he actually performed pretty damn well not only behind the plate but at the dish as well. The Yankees have gone 16-5 with Romine as their everyday starting catcher and Romine himself has compiled a .316 batting average with timely hits, home runs and RBI. In short Romine showed that he can handle the everyday catching duties at the Major League level. That’s good, the problem is that Higashioka was pretty damn impressive for the Yankees as well. Higashioka has options and Romine doesn’t so a trade isn’t imminent but it almost makes sense to move Romine now for prospects or as a part of a deal for something the team needs later on in the season. At least to me.

Romine has done well for the Yankees and to me, and this is a fan’s perspective obviously, I’d like to see him earn a shot to be a starter somewhere because I feel like he’s earned it. I feel like Higashioka has earned the right to be the Yankees backup catcher. I could be premature a bit in my thinking on both admittedly but that is how I feel. Romine is 28-years old and out of minor league options so the time is now for him and that “now” is not going to come with the Yankees. Not as long as Gary Sanchez is on the team and healthy. I’d miss him, I love him as a player, but I’d wish him well with the thought process that he is finally getting the opportunity to live out his dreams as a starter.

So could Romine be the next John Ryan Murphy and fetch the Yankees something useful in a trade? I honestly think it should happen, whether it will happens remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

So it Seems We’re Really Okay

Before the start of the 2017 regular season while I was looking around on Twitter, Facebook and here on the blog you generally had your same cast of characters. The eternally optimistic crowd that had this person and that person exceeding expectations leading the Yankees to the postseason, this is me. Then you had the eternally pessimistic crowd who had the team losing 100 of their first 105 games while being mathematically eliminated from the postseason by June 1st, that’s definitely not me but there are quite a few of these people floating around the internet. Then you have the crowd that is just along for the ride. I’m far too passionate to be just along for the ride but this week I was tested and I came out of it knowing one thing, we really are okay.

The Yankees are okay and better than most expected and life just keeps on getting better all the time. Sure we get thrown the occasional curve ball and the far-too-often fastball that knocks you on your butt but it’s those jabs and punches that defines us. It is those that makes us what we are… and we are pretty damn great. Hey you. Have a great Saturday everyone. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/6: “I’ll Be Seeing You Guys Real Soon”

On this day in 2007 Roger Clemens announced that he would be coming back for another season and that it would be with the New York Yankees. Clemens agreed to a one year deal worth $28 million, which prorated down to a little more than half that. This would be the richest deal in the history of the game for a pitcher. Clemens made the announcement in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium in owner George Steinbrenner's press box.