Friday, April 20, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 4/20

And just like that it is game time here in the Bronx as the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium play host to their division rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays. In the start tonight in the Bronx the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound to face off with Marco Estrada for the Blue Jays. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the team all season long. Enjoy the game, Marco Estrada who?, and go Yankees!!

Looking for Help from the Fans

As you saw about an hour ago I have been busy working on the blog in search of what being a Yankees fan means to you. I want to know what it means to us all, because if you’re reading this then it is very likely that you are a fan just like I am. I have more than a few of these posts lined up already, but me being me… I want more. I want to get greedy, and I want to know what being a Yankees fan means to YOU. So, with that said I need a little bit of help from my friends here on the blog and from my fellow Yankees fans. I want to know what being a Yankees fan means to you.

Answer the same four questions that I answered above and send them to me via email to be showcased here on the blog. We aren’t looking to win any Pulitzer prizes here with these entries so if your grammar isn’t perfect, don’t worry about it. An English major and degree doesn’t change your heart and your fandom and that is what we are ultimately looking to capture here.

Send submissions to DanielBurch 1102 at yahoo dot com or thegreedypinstripes at gmail dot com. We look forward to seeing your submissions, your stories and your fandom on full display! You won’t find this opportunity on any other Yankees site, I assure you of that, so take advantage now while you still can. See you around on the blog.

What it Means to Be a Yankees Fan: Daniel Burch

What does being a fan of the New York Yankees mean to you? It seems like such a simple question, but the answers may not be as cut and dry, black and white, and as simple as you think. When thinking about it myself I couldn’t quite put my finger on just one thing or aspect that made me a Yankees fan, and I knew that it wouldn’t be that easy for others to answer as well, so I scoured the internet, our own family here on the site, and I looked within myself to try and find a concrete answer to the question, “What does being a Yankees fan mean to you?” Here are my own personal findings, enjoy.

What makes you a fan of the New York Yankees?

I was always destined to be a fan of the New York Yankees. Looking at my fandom and my life I couldn’t imagine a path where I wasn’t a fan of the team. I mean, I was born in the Bronx, New York in Bronx Lebanon Hospital. Now while my family moved out of the city while I was still very young, and while I don’t remember it well, I was always told that you could see Yankee Stadium from my hospital bed. True, not true. I don’t know, but it is a story I have always told because I’ve always been told that way. Maybe one day soon I can go up there again and see for myself.

My family are all Yankees fans, with the occasional black sheep that we don’t really like to talk about, and I was just immediately drawn to the Yankees and to the sport of baseball. My mother has told me stories from my childhood of me trying to toss baseballs up in the air and hitting them as young as two-years old. The Yankees weren’t the best team back then, I was born in 1985 so by the time I was starting to pay attention New York was still feeling the ill effects of George Steinbrenner and his iron fist, but they were my team and I loved them regardless.

The history drew me to the team. The World Series rings. The traditions. The facial hair policy, which I am not really a fan of anymore, and the lack of last names on the backs of their uniforms. It was everything. The Yankees were different to me, and as you can see on this blog daily I have always been drawn to and attracted to doing things a little different. It was just everything, the team and he organization just completely consumed me.

What is your earliest memory of the New York Yankees?

For some, you are just born into Yankees fandom. Personally, I can remember growing up as a young child as young as two-years old watching Yankees games with my family. Now while my mother and father weren’t the biggest Yankees fans I can say my Yankees fandom began with my uncle, David Pittinger of New York, and his wife, Lisa. My parents had to give up custody of me due to personal reasons and rather than toiling away in foster care or whatever they were gracious enough to pick up the slack and take me in at a very young age. I am and will always be forever grateful for that, and I am also grateful for my uncle for introducing me to my Yankees fandom.

I can remember sitting on the couch watching games with him. I can remember really getting into baseball religiously during the 1994 season, and I can remember never fully understanding why the 1994 season was shortened due to strike. I can remember being supremely disappointed at the cancellation of the World Series and I can remember almost being heartbroken when the 1995 season did not start on time and began in jeopardy as well.

What is your fondest memory of the New York Yankees?

 I can remember watching the Yankees win game after game and World Series after World Series in the 1990’s with him as well. I can remember specifically being so mad at him because he was laying on the couch during Game 4 of the 1998 World Series, he worked nights and it was hard for him to stay awake and watch a game sometimes. I can remember asking him, no it was more like begging him, to wake up and watch the game. I can remember counting down the outs until the Yankees were back on top, and I can remember mocking the San Diego Padres with every pitch thrown. Three outs away, two outs away, and then one.

I can remember begging at this point. “Uncle David, please wake up. One more out!” and I can remember him replying with a simple grunt and a wave of his hand, almost dismissive. I can remember being excited about the Yankees winning another World Series, but I can remember also being a bit disappointed that we couldn’t and wouldn’t share this together. To my surprise he was playing coy the whole time and when the final out was recorded I can remember him waking up and grabbing a conveniently placed broom and sweeping the living room, which was carpet FYI which made it all the more comical. I can just remember him yelling “sweep!” as he did it, which may not be my earliest memory, but it was definitely my fondest moment as a Yankees fan in my early fandom.

The next day, just like we did after every World Series victory, I can remember my Aunt getting me the World Series championship shirts from Modell’s that I wore until I literally could not wear them anymore. We definitely always got our monies worth out of our Yankees gear in that household, a tradition that still holds true today.

What do you think of when you see the interlocking NY of the Yankees?

That symbol means everything to me. To be honest, I am surprised I don’t have the symbol etched into my skin somewhere via tattoo. When I see that symbol I see tradition, pride, history, greatness, winning, family, friends, and everything that is good in the world. It means a lot to me. Maybe it means more than it really should to me, but I don’t care, and I don’t mind. I wear that symbol with pride and I wear it down here in Atlanta just as proudly as I did when I was in New York.

So, what does it mean to be a fan of the New York Yankees? To me, Daniel Burch, it means everything.

What does it mean to you?

A Yankees Day in the Life: Sonny Gray

Want to know what it would be like to walk a mile in tonight’s starter Sonny Gray’s shoes? Well, truth be told you will probably never get that opportunity, but you can come pretty close right now by watching the latest “A Day in the Yankees Life” story showcasing the young right-hander, Sonny Gray. Enjoy!

ORIGINS: Chance Adams

Many have given up on the idea of this one particular prospect becoming a top-end starter at the Major League level for the New York Yankees, but I haven’t. I am talking about Chance Adams, the right-handed pitcher that was drafted as a reliever only to be converted as a starter early on in his minor league career. Adams and the Yankees started a trend by taking the best available arm, regardless of position, and grooming them as starters, so it feels only right to watch the origin story for the man that may or may not have started it all for New York.

ORIGINS story, Chance Adams. Enjoy.

Time to Improve is Now…

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Julie Jacobson)

Please End the Battle of .500…

We are two-thirds the way through April and the Yankees are only one game above .500. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox are winning at an amazing .889 clip. 

Remember back in January and early February when we were so excited about the dynamic Yankees offense featuring the NL MVP and everyone said that the Yankees pitching staff was better than any potential replacements? Or how the Red Sox had no offense to go with their solid pitching rotation? Yeah, I miss those days. 

Three weeks into the season and things are not quite as rosy. Yes, it’s a long season and much can happen between now and the end of September. I keep waiting for the silver lining to appear but sadly, so far anyway, the Boston Red Sox continue to devastate their opposition. Absolute annihilation might be more descriptive. It feels like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Red Sox manager Alex Cora is the Night King with an ice dragon and an army of the undead at his disposal.  

.292/.362/.496, .859 OPS, 24 Home Runs, 109 RBIs, 323 Total Bases
.249/.343/.438, .781 OPS, 23 Home Runs, 92 RBIs, 260 Total Bases

2.63 ERA, 127 Hits, 10 home runs, 1.09 WHIP
4.47 ERA, 145 Hits, 18 home runs, 1.27 WHIP

.992 Fielding Percentage, 5 Team Errors
.971 Fielding Percentage, 18 Team Errors

It’s easy to look at the above numbers and recognize that the team with the top line is superior to the lower line team. I guess it’s little wonder why the Yankees trail the Boston Red Sox by six and a half games and it’s still only April (allegedly, according to my calendar). 

The team fielding is the most horrific stat since the Yankees are the worst team in Major League Baseball and the Red Sox are the second best, trailing only the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s starting to feel like the Yankees are going to give away runs every game with their defense. 

The law of averages say that the Yankees will improve their numbers while the Red Sox should cool off, but for the first three weeks of the season, Boston has been in a sprint. The Los Angeles Angels got off to a great start this year. When their series against Boston (at home) started on Tuesday, the Angels were 13-3. Three games later, when the Red Sox finally left Anaheim, the Angels had fallen to 13-6. They were decimated by a combined score of 27-3 over the course of the three games series sweep by the Red Sox. The Red Sox Nation is gloating and it sucks. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The Yankees have won three of four after last night’s 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, although the sting of the drubbing by the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night still hurts. Even though the Yankees did hang on Thursday evening for the one-run win, they gave two runs away and David Robertson walked a precarious tightrope in the 8th inning when the Jays loaded the bases with a couple of hits and walks and only one out. It was incredible that he emerged from the inning allowing only one run on a single by his former Yankees teammate Curtis Granderson. No offense to Dellin Betances (who pitched decently in the seventh inning), but it seems like if it had been Dellin in the eighth with the bases juiced, the Jays would have scored a plethora of runs. D-Rob’s performance (cleaning up his own mess in the face of great adversity) is one reason I hope the Yankees re-sign him in the off-season. I have far greater trust in Robertson as the setup man for Aroldis Chapman than I do Betances. By the way, it was very nice to see Chapman strike out the side in the ninth inning to preserve the win. It was a win but one that could have very easily gotten away from us.

Something’s got to give. At some point, Giancarlo Stanton is going to hit and he’ll carry the team on his back. I have no doubts about it but how deep is the hole going to be before it happens. That’s my biggest concern.  If the Red Sox play .550 baseball the rest of the way, they are a 95-win team. The Yankees need to improve their hitting, pitching and defense now, not later. The Yankees can’t let the Red Sox run away and hide with the AL East championship. Otherwise, we’re back into the one-game ‘do or die’ situation, assuming that the Yankees can grab one of the Wild Card slots. 

There are 145 games left to play. Let’s make the most of them. 

The Yankees re-signed first baseman Adam Lind this week to a minor league contract, most likely as a hedge against the health of Greg Bird and the sustained play of Tyler Austin. I don’t see how Lind will be ready to play when Austin begins serving his five-game suspension (or three or four games, whatever it turns out to be after the appeal is heard). I kind of wish Austin had started serving his suspension immediately. Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies received his five-game suspension after Austin and he has already finished serving his time.  With the Yankees only one game into a brutal 18-day consecutive game stretch against some of the best teams in baseball, it sucks that we’ll have to feature Neil Walker as the starting first baseman for a chunk of the games. 

At this point, I can only say Thank God for Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius. I am not sure where the Yankees would be without those two guys. The rest of the team should feel free to raise the level of their game to match the two young Yankees superstars. It starts tonight.  Sonny Gray, this is your wake up call. Pitch like we know you can. That’s all we ask. 

Photo Credit:

I hate to keep using Daniel Burch’s line, but it’s never been more appropriate. Need a win…get a win. 

Maybe one of these days I can wake up happy and cheerful like Daniel.

Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 4/20

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays continue their four-game set into the weekend tonight with the second game of the series inside Yankee Stadium. In the first matchup we watched as CC Sabathia and Aaron Sanchez squared off in a battle of the future for Toronto and the veteran presence for New York, and tonight we will all be entertained by an equally interesting matchup. Tonight the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound to face off against Marco Estrada for the Blue Jays. Always fun against the Blue Jays, so let’s get to it in the Bronx.

Gray has reportedly been working on mechanical adjustments with pitching coach Larry Rothschild after the Boston Red Sox beat up on him in his last start to the tune of six runs allowed over three innings of work. In the start previous to his disaster in Boston the Yankees right-hander allowed just one run in four innings of work in Toronto while striking out eight.

Estrada had to leave his last start due to back spasms despite having a no-hitter going into the fourth inning. Estrada had trouble following through on his delivery in that start after the spasms began, but the team doctors have cleared him for his start tonight in the Bronx.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network locally and MLB Network if you are out of the Yankees market. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app or by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Enjoy the game, put up some crooked numbers, and go Yankees!!

Hello… Remind Me to Stay Off Social Media Today

Good morning everyone. Yes, I am still alive and yes, I am back. My apologies for the lack of content on the blog lately, but life has been busy. Work has been busy. Rest assured though, I am here, and I have been working since I have been gone, some of that work will begin showing up today on the blog. Stay tuned for that.

I have to admit, I have been extremely frustrated with the Yankees faithful here lately. Against my better judgement I accepted a couple requests to join some Yankees fan pages and groups on Facebook and I have to say I was shocked to read what I was reading. Fans want the pitching coach fired, the best pitching coach we may have had in my entire lifetime, Aaron Boone fired, Giancarlo Stanton traded and/or benched, the hitting coach fired and a slew of other things that just left me with my mouth open. Yeah. I think I am taking a step back from Facebook groups and I’ll stick to my Twitter family.

Also, remind me to stay off social media today. It is April 20, which apparently is some sort of (not in my opinion) “holiday.” I see both sides of the argument and I get all the good uses for some people, but the morons and losers of the world just ruin it for the entire bunch. As usual. My two cents, nothing more.

Finally, my baby. My beautiful, beautiful girlfriend and the woman who owns my heart. I love you, inside and out. You are amazing. Thank you for being you and thank you for being mine. I loves you.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/20: Ivan Nova Makes Yankees History

On this day in 2012 Yankees RHP Ivan Nova passed a few notable starting pitchers in Yankees history when he won his 15th straight decision of the season. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on this day in 2012 and moved Nova ahead of Whitey Ford (1961) and Steve Sundra (1938-1939). This win set Nova one behind Roger Clemens for the franchise record in consecutive decisions won.

On this day in 1988 Claudell Washington hit the Yankees 10,000th home run in franchise history as a pinch hitter. This total was the most in the major leagues and came off Minnesota's pitcher Jeff Reardon in the top of the ninth inning in a Yankees victory.

On this day in 1912, after two days of rain, the first ever game is finally played at Fenway Park in Boston. Of course the first game in the historic stadium was with the New York Highlanders, soon to be the Yankees, and a Red Sox victory 7-6 in 11 innings.