Friday, May 25, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5/25/18

And just like that it is game time here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the opener of a three-game weekend set between these two clubs the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to face off with Andrew Heaney. 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, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

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, Mike Trout… Meet Gleyber Torres, and go Yankees!!

SPECULATION: Cole Hamels the Best #35 in Yankees History?

Let’s have a little fun today, shall we? It’s Thursday, it is almost the weekend, and why not. Let’s assume that the New York Yankees acquire Cole Hamels in a midsummer trade much like the team acquired Sonny Gray before the trade deadline in 2017, would Cole Hamels be the best #35 in the Yankees history?

Well first and foremost, no. Hamels could be here in the Bronx for a couple months and be gone by November. No one knows what the future will hold, but before we send too much time speculating let’s look at some of the other notable players to wear the #35 in New York Yankees history.

Michael Pineda wore the number from 2014-2017. One pine tar scandal and a few shoulder and elbow injuries later and Pineda is currently wearing the number in Minnesota. I think. Who can really keep up with that the Twins are doing these days?

Brendan Ryan wore it in 2013. David Aardsma wore it in 2012. Meh and meh. Mike Mussina wore the number from 2001 – 2008 though and will likely go down as the greatest player in the Yankees history to wear #35. Mussina won a lot of games here including 20 games, finally, in 2008 alone.

Hideki Irabu was called a fat toad by George Steinbrenner while wearing #35 in 1997, John Wetteland won a World Series ring wearing the number in 1996 and went to the postseason as the first Wild Card winner in the American League in 1995, Phil Niekro wore the number in 1984 and 1985, and even a guy by name of Yogi Berra wore the number in 1946 and 1947 before switching to the number he would have retired with the Yankees, #8. 

Would Hamels be the best to wear #35 with the Yankees? Spud Chandler, who wore the number back in 1937, says no… and I would have to agree. Hope this post was as fun to read as it was to write. Enjoy.

The Excitement of Old Timer's Day at Yankee Stadium...

The 2018 Old Timer's Day Rosters are loaded...

Yankees Old Timer’s Day is always an exciting event each year. I love the introductions and watching former Yankees greats take the field to the massive cheers of the home crowd. I cannot think of another team that honors its alumni as well as the Yankees. While I am grateful for each year that allows legendary Hall of Famer Whitey Ford to return to Yankee Stadium, the name which excited me the most this year was Andy Pettitte. It’s always fun when Andy makes a brief appearance during Spring Training or shows up while the team is on the road in Houston, but nothing is going to match his presence in the Bronx wearing the famed Pinstripes and the interlocking N-Y baseball cap. It will be Andy’s first appearance at Old Timer’s Day. The two greatest lefties in Yankees history will share the same field at the same time. Sweet...

I am also excited to see fellow first-timer Jason Giambi who will gleefully be sporting a Gleyber Torres jersey for the day.  

While I am not a fan of Yankees President Randy Levine, I do not appreciate the bitterness expressed by former Yankee Jim Leyritz who did not receive an invitation.  Leyritz directed his anger at Levine. He took to Twitter yesterday with “Yes it’s a joke already. Randy Levine and Debbie Tymon (Yankees SVP, Marketing) have said I didn’t do enough in Yankee history to be invited. How many sliders did they hit. Lol” I am appreciative of Leyritz’s contributions to the Yankees but he was never a star nor considered a key performer. Maybe the results of the 1996 World Series would have been different if Leyritz didn’t hit the eighth-inning three-run homer in Game 4 to tie the game which the Yankees eventually won in extra innings on their way to the championship in six games. I have no problem with the Yankees’ decision to pass on an invitation to Leyritz. Professionalism and character are part of the package for the invitees.  

Here is the complete list of this year’s Old Timer’s Day participants:

Jesse Barfield (RF, 1989-92 Yankees)
Ron Blomberg (DH...MLB's first, 1B, RF, 1969-76 Yankees)
Brian Boehringer (RHP, 1995-97, 2001 Yankees)
Aaron Boone (3B, 2003 Yankees; Manager, 2018-Present)
Jim Bouton (RHP, 1962-68 Yankees)
Scott Bradley (C, 1984-85 Yankees)
Dr Bobby Brown (3B, SS, 1946-54 Yankees)
Homer Bush (2B, SS, 1997-98, 2004 Yankees)
David "Coney" Cone (RHP, 1995-2000 Yankees)
Johnny Damon (OF, 2006-09 Yankees)
Ron Davis (RHP, 1978-81 Yankees)
Russell Earl “Bucky” Dent (SS, 1977-82 Yankees)
Al Downing (LHP, 1961-69 Yankees)
Brian Doyle (2B, SS, 3B, 1978-80 Yankees)
Mariano Duncan (2B, SS, LF, 1996-97 Yankees)
John Flaherty (C, 2003-05 Yankees)
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford"The Chairman of the Board" (LHP, 1950-67 Yankees)
Jason Giambi (1B, DH, 2002-08 Yankees)
Ron "Gator" Guidry (LHP, 1975-88 Yankees)
Charlie Hayes (3B, 1992, 1996-97 Yankees)
Reginald Martinez "Reggie" Jackson (RF, 1977-81 Yankees)
Dion James (OF, 1992-96 Yankees)
Jay Johnstone (OF, 1978-79 Yankees)
Scott Kamieniecki (RHP, 1991-96 Yankees)
Don Larsen (RHP, 1955-59 Yankees)
Graeme Lloyd (LHP, 1996-98 Yankees)
Hector Lopez (LF, 3B, 2B, 1959-66 Yankees)
Lee Mazzilli (1B, OF, 1982 Yankees)
Ramiro Mendoza (RHP, 1996-2002, 2005 Yankees)
Gene Monahan (Trainer, 1973-2011 Yankees)
Jeff "Nellie" Nelson (RHP, 1996-2000, 2003 Yankees)
Paul "The Warrior" O’Neill (RF, 1993-2001 Yankees)
Andy Pettitte (LHP, 1995-2003, 2007-13 Yankees)
Lou "Sweet Lou" Piniella (LF, 1974-84 Yankees; Manager, 1986-87, 1988)
Willie Randolph (2B, 1976-88 Yankees; Coach, 1994-2004)
Bobby Richardson (2B, 1955-66 Yankees)
Mickey "Mick the Quick" Rivers (CF, 1976-79 Yankees)
Nick Swisher (RF, 1B, 2009-12 Yankees)
Frank Tepedino (LHP, 1967-1971, 1972 Yankees)
Marcus Thames (OF, 2002 Yankees; Coach, 2016 to Present, Yankees)
Roy White (LF, 1965-79 Yankees)

Elston Howard widow Arlene Howard (C, LF, 1B, 1955-66 Yankees)
Jim “Catfish” Hunter widow Helen Hunter (RHP, 1975-79 Yankees)
Alfred Manual "Billy" Martin widow Jill Martin (2B, 3B, SS, 1950-57 Yankees; Manager, 1975-78, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1988) 
Thurman Munson widow Diana Munson (C, 1969-79 Yankees)
Bobby Murcer widow Kay Murcer (OF, 1965-74, 1979-83 Yankees)

The 72nd Annual Old Timer’s Day will be on Father's Day, Sunday, June 17th prior to the Yankees scheduled game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Heck, Rays Manager Kevin Cash (C, 2009 Yankees) might want to join the festivities.

As badly as it hurt to watch the Texas Rangers make mince meat out of the Yankees pitching staff on Wednesday night, it was probably salt in the wound to watch Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals bullpen hold the same Rangers to five hits and two runs last night. Duffy (2-6, 6.14 ERA) took a shutout into the eighth inning. Seriously? I hope CC Sabathia was watching and taking notes. 
Hats off to the Tampa Bay Rays for turning back a furious Red Sox rally to beat Boston, 6-3, yesterday. The loss reduced the Red Sox lead over the Yankees in the AL East to only one game. The Red Sox entertain the Atlanta Braves (29-19, 1st in the NL East) at Fenway Park for a three-game weekend series starting tonight. Glad to see them finally play some winning teams.  

The Major League career of reliever Ryan Bollinger lasted one game without an appearance. He was returned to Double A-Trenton after sitting in the bullpen for Wednesday night's loss in Texas.  His spot will presumably be filled by Tommy Kahnle who is expected to be activated off the disabled list today. Greg Bird is also expected to return this weekend. I still think Tyler Austin will be the odd man out with a free bus ticket to Scranton, PA.

Hopefully Luis Severino gets the Yankees back on the winning track tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Given that we will not see Shohei Ohtani pitch this weekend, there's no doubt he'll be penciled in at DH to take his shots at Yankees pitching. I am sure if he watched the Yankees-Rangers highlights, he is drooling at the prospect. I trust Sevy will set the right tone for the series.

Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5/25/18

Good morning everyone and welcome to the weekend. This weekend the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium will play host to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a three-game set. Memorial Day weekend and Yankees baseball, now that is American. In the start tonight the Yankees will send out Luis Severino to the mound to face off with Andrew Heaney for the Angels. Let’s get to it here in the Bronx.

Severino has not lost a start in his last seven starts and will look to keep that unbeaten streak alive tonight in the Bronx against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In his last start against the Angels on April 27 the Yankees right-handed ace took a no decision. Severino last pitched against the Kansas City Royals five days ago where pitched six innings allowing three runs in an eventual Yankees victory.

Heaney took the loss in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays after giving up four unearned runs in six innings of work. In Heaney’s last five outings the Angels left-hander has pitched to just a 1.45 ERA and will look to improve on his career 1-0 record and 1.50 ERA against the Yankees in two career starts.

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, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Enjoy the game, make up your mind what city you want to represent already, and go Yankees!!

My Thoughts on Sports Betting and Major League Baseball

I touched on this a bit in a previous post this week, but I wanted to take it one step further and really give my opinion on the United States Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports betting in the United States. I think this is going to be terrible in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time you have to wonder how much is really going to change? Those two statements seem contradictory, I understand that, but if you really think about it they aren’t. Let me explain.

Before if you wanted to do any sort of sports betting you couldn’t just run down to an online casino and do so, but those who wanted to do it still did it regardless. They might make a trip to Nevada and Las Vegas, or they may know a guy who knows a guy. Either way, sports betting was happening regardless, now with this ruling it is up to each individual state whether they will allow sports betting or not. I believe that all this ruling will do is make it easier for those who want to bet to do so. Convenience wins once again.

The players are going to want a cut of this and so are the teams. Will this drive down prices at the ball parks since there will presumably be added revenue for the teams and for the players? I doubt it, but there should be. This is going to be potentially a huge money-making aspect for the league and I think if the top executives, owners, and players benefit from it I think it should trickle down to the fans as well. Again, it won’t, but it should. The league has asked for a 1% integrity fee from these sports bets and have even been on record as willing to go as low as 0.25 percent on this fee. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money but when you consider how much money is spent and wagered in gambling every single year the amount of money the league would garner from this before they do anything significant would be astronomical. That is before you consider advertisements and such as well.

This is going to be terrible in the grand scheme of things because the rich will continue to get rich while the fans continue to foot the bill. The owners will get their integrity fee and the players will receive a portion of that, it is going to happen either right away or when the two sides meet for a new collective bargaining agreement in 2021. This could potentially lead to a strike if either side cannot agree to terms and meet in the middle, which could be detrimental to the progress that the league has made since the 1994 strike. But, to go back to my original statement, are things really going to change that much? Obviously, they will if we see another work stoppage, but hasn’t the owners and the players always gotten rich while prices for the fans have continued to go up? Television stations and such for teams have been making teams money at an all-time high, yet ticket prices continue to go up. Merchandise continues to go up. Concessions continue to go up. Do you think any of that will change when, not if, the league, owners and the players start receiving money from legalized gambling? If your answer is yes, think again, because it won’t.

The only constant is change, except when it comes to greed and money. Think on it, and reinstate Pete Rose.

Hello… Fridaaaaaay!

Good morning everyone and a Happy Friday to you all. We made it! Pay day, the weekend, or whatever Friday means to you I hope it is great for you regardless. Tonight, the Yankees start a three-game weekend set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim which should be fun so stick around for that. Other than that, this is going to be hopefully a relaxing holiday weekend for me. I have a couple things to do on Saturday, but other than that I am free! I love it. That means more time with my family and more time with my baby!

I hope everyone has a good weekend, but I especially hope that you, my Kari, have a great weekend. I love you. Five more days. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/25: Mariano 1K

On this day in 2011 Mariano Rivera became the first pitcher to appear in 1,000 games for the same team. The 41 year old right handed pitcher compiled 572 saves and 75 wins during his 17 seasons in New York at the time.

Also on this day in 2002 former major league pitcher and former Yankee David Cone was hired as a part time television analyst by the YES Network. Cone'd deal included covering five games for the Class A Staten Island Yankees, he would be a radio announcer with WCBS for the June 14th game between the Yankees and the Mets, and would be a pregame and post game show announcer.

Finally on this day in 1922 Babe Ruth was called out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double and started a tirade. Babe Ruth threw dirt in an umpire's eyes and then went after a heckler in the stands. Ruth finished by standing on the roof of the dugout and calling the crowd yellow cowards. Ruth would receive a one game suspension, a $200 fine, and would lose his captaincy.