Saturday, October 20, 2018

Happy Birthday to Mickey Mantle!...

Photo Credit: Associated Press
Yankees Legend would have turned 87 today…

Mickey Mantle was born October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, a town with a population of 437 (according to 2010 census) in Northeast OK. He died August 13, 1995 in Dallas, Texas at the age of 63. Mickey was taken from us too soon but he’ll never be forgotten. I remember following the news of his liver cancer and other ailments, subsequent transplant, and finally his death, and even attended his funeral in Dallas. My earliest memories of Mantle were late in his career so I didn’t get to see the great Yankees Legend at his best but you didn’t have to be there to know that he was one of the finest Yankees in the history of the organization. He had his faults, but that’s true of us all. Mantle, the  baseball player, was one of the greatest to ever play the game.  

Photo Credit: Associated Press

A funny thing happened to the Los Angeles Dodgers on their way to the World Series. I’ll have to give Game 6 of the NLCS to the Milwaukee Brewers and especially their fans for getting inside the heads of the Dodgers and Manny Machado. Many on Social Media were referring to the fans as the Milwaukee Booers and there’s no doubt it played a huge role. It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers rebound today for their final chance to win a trip to Boston, Massachusetts to play the Red Sox starting Tuesday night. If the Dodgers lose, I am finished with baseball for 2018 as I have no interest in Brewers/Red Sox even if there are a few former Yankees involved.

I was surprised to see Joe Girardi remove his name from consideration for the Cincinnati Reds managerial vacancy. Girardi apparently had been a frontrunner for the job, in competition with former Detroit Tigers manager, current Los Angeles Angels special assistant and one-time Yankees prospect Brad Ausmus and David Bell, currently VP/Player Development for the San Francisco Giants. I wonder if Girardi has a preference for the American League or if he wants to hold out for a Chicago job should one of the jobs open within the next year or so. Girardi is apparently still under consideration for the job with the Texas Rangers. With no offense to Cincinnatians, I know that I’d prefer to call Dallas/Fort Worth home but that’s me. For now, Girardi will continue his work with The MLB Network. Regardless of what he does, I suspect he doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal is coming from.

I know the Yankees don’t need a superstar at every position (yeah, I am talking to you, Ken Reed). Erik Kratz is proving that you can be one game away from the World Series with a marginal catcher. But the more I think about it, why wouldn’t you want to drop Bryce Harper in the Yankees lineup between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton? I know, money. But I am confident money is not an issue for the Yankees organization. Sure, I believe you don’t need to spend $200 million to win a World Series, but I also believe in putting the best players on the field. TGP’s Bryan Van Dusen made a great correlation earlier this year about how success = money for those who think Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t want to spend money. I don’t just want to beat the Boston Red Sox next year, I want to crush them.  Having Judge-Harper-Stanton in the heart of the Yankees order, with so many great bats elsewhere in the lineup, would truly be the modern Murderer’s Row. Harper can’t pitch, it’s true, but I fully expect the Yankees to bring in reinforcements to help Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka in the starting rotation regardless of any run for Harper.  

The Yankees are apparently going to buy back controlling interest in the YES Network according to reports. The Yankees sold 80% of the network, retaining 20%, in separate deals completed in 2014 to 21st Century Fox.  The YES Network, at the time, was valued at $3.8 billion. If the Yankees have the money to buy back the YES Network, they have the money to sign Bryce Harper. Another superstar for YES Network subscribers? Makes sense to me. Remember, Success = Money.

Photo Credit:  New York Daily News Illustration

If the Yankees were headed for the World Series, non-Yankee fans would be in an uproar about how they are the best team money can buy, yet nobody is saying a word about the nearly $240 million payroll-bloated Red Sox.  

After a lost season for Yankees prospect Thairo Estrada (he was shot in the hip during a robbery attempt in Venezuela in late January, missed Spring Training, and then was lost for the season in June due to the hip and a back injury), it’s good to see his participation in the Arizona Fall League. The numbers aren’t there (4-for-25, with no extra base hits and a lone RBI) but at least he’s back on the playing field. Here’s hoping 2019 will be much more productive for the talented shortstop. He still has the bullet lodged in his hip but hopefully he is back stronger than ever next year.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Didi Gregorius.  As most of us know, he had successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Wednesday morning in Manhattan. At this point, we don’t know when we’ll see Sir Didi again as some reports say he may be out until August, but I wish him much success and a quick return to good health with his post-surgery rehabilitation. I really hope the Yankees move to lock up Didi long-term and don’t allow the surgery, and subsequent lost time, as a reason to non-tender the player. I’d prefer to see the Yankees find shortstop alternatives to hold them over until Didi’s return, keeping Gleyber Torres at second, rather than moving Torres back to his natural shortstop position and bringing in a name second baseman like Joe Panik or D.J. LeMahieu. I love having Didi Gregorius as this team’s shortstop and I don’t want that to change anytime soon. Get well, Didi!

I am anxious to get the playoffs and World Series over so that we can begin the Hot Stove League season. I am excited to see what presents Santa Cashman has in store for us this year. Fans of the Red Sox, Brewers and Dodgers may think differently, but I am ready to begin building the 2019 New York Yankees and starting their run for the Championship. Pinstripes for you, Pinstripes for everyone. Climb aboard the 2019 Victory Train!

Go Yankees!


  1. I never said I didn't want them, I pointed out, we don't NEED both of them we really don't need a star at every position to win games.
    I would go for one of the two, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado...both of them want to play for the Yankees.
    If we were to get Manny, we can move Andujar to 1st and keep his big bat and young age.
    Harper in left Hicks in center and Judge in right makes for a very good defense and hitting group.
    I would go for Manny, just because we would have a big bat at both corners and wouldn't disrupt the team so much. We already have a fine outfield with Clint, Hicks, and Judge our need is a 1st baseman.

    As for Mickey, I was listing to that game in '51 when he got hurt, but there is more to the story......
    When he died they did the cut job on him and found out he had played all those years with a 1/2 torn ACL and was still the fastest man in baseball for many years and one of the greatest Yankees of all time.

  2. Bryce Harper will be.....Don Mattingly on steroids.
    Correct the pitching, by packaging excess young outfield talent,
    among other excess'...and add Harper. You just killed the Sox.

    1. Hi patrick,
      Numbers and being a left handed bat with some speed make him the better of the two, most everyone agrees...myself included!
      I just think everyone is giving up on Andujar too soon. DJ had 22-18-9-14-24 Errors from age 22 to maybe we should give him a bit of a break...he is 22years old and has a good bat.

    2. After reading about Manny Machado and a few of his dirty playing...I take back my vote for him on the Yankees. Breaking unwritten rules are one thing but to break THE RULES of play are just dirty play.
      I was one hell of a "Unwritten" rule breaker back in the day but so did many of the other players. We never tried to hut anyone, as did Manny! Well maybe a little bit of hurt like, taking out the 2nd baseman on a double play...and other things!

    3. Hi Kenneth,
      Re: Must get Machado.
      Why all the fuss over 'another' high priced RH bat.
      Is the goal, an all RH team, in Yankee Stadium ? Seems like it.

      Leaving Andujar at third, is not really the end of the world.
      Move Torres to short if one must. To find a quality 2nd baseman,
      who is better than Walker should not be hard.

      Old George would find his way out of the ground, to watch the
      wonderful circus that Harper would bring to the city of New York.
      And...duh ! He bats left handed.

    4. patrick, I have come to the same conclusion myself, Harper is the man he makes the outfield just as it was with Brett except adds a stronger arm in left.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)