Thursday, March 21, 2013

TicketMaster, StubHub, TiqIQ, And The Yankees

I really do not understand all this commotion over the New York Yankees tickets this off season. First we heard that the Yankees opted out of the MLB deal with Stubhub and decided to start their own Yankees Ticket Exchange with the help of Ticketmaster and now we hear that the Yankees are suing Stubhub to prevent them from opening up a shop near the stadium. I just have to ask myself why. What do the Yankees care how much places like TiqIQ and Stubhub sell the tickets for? Last I checked the tickets on both of those sites were second hand tickets, which means someone has already paid the Yankees astronomical asking price once for these tickets that are, in most cases, not going to be used without the help of these second hand ticket sites. If it were not for places like TiqIQ and Stubhub you would not garner nearly as much revenue if the tickets went wasted, which means no concessions, no parking, no merchandise, etc, than if they were sold below face value. TiqIQ's job is finding the best deals and sellers out there for you, and for this game you may want to have a look at GoTickets for New York Yankees tickets. I do not purchase season tickets mainly because I live in Atlanta, Georgia but even if I did I think I would have to resist feeding into the Yankees greed and would purchase ALL my tickets off sites like this. I can understand that making money is the ultimate goal in baseball because baseball is a business first but there comes a point where a team goes to far and the Yankees are walking that dangerous line right now...

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees 3/21

The Yankees will continue their strong spring tonight when they host the Minnesota Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field down in Tampa, Florida. The Yankees are coming off shutting out the Boston Red Sox behind yet another strong pitching performance from a young guy. Another young guy, David Phelps, will take the mound tonight to try and keep the winning ways going. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES and on MLB Network on a delay.

Yankees Are "Asking About Everybody"

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are "asking about everybody" in trade talks. Not surprisingly, there's little to nothing available as far as an impact bat, so I wouldn't expect to see a "wow" sort of trade happen anytime soon.

Ken notes in an article of his on that the Yankees could sign Kyle Lohse, and then trade either Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova for a bat. However, Brian Cashman responded to that idea saying "I don't think it would make any sense whatsoever." Rosenthal does point out that the team currently has 6 viable starters (Sabathia, Pettitte, Kuroda, Hughes, Nova, and Phelps), with possibly a 7th on the way (Pineda), so the idea isn't without any merit. But after Nova's rough 2012 season, Hughes not yet being totally reliable, and the uncertainty surrounding Pineda, I can see where Cash is coming from.

Knowing that Mark Teixeira could very well be lost for the season, or a larger chunk of it, due to possibly needing surgery on his wrist, I think it's clear that something needs to be done. Maybe not right away, but if I were running the Yankees I'd have a trick up my sleeve in case things get even worse than they already are, or the team doesn't start off the season too well. Luckily, it seems as though Brian Cashman and myself are on the same page.

Will Cano's leadership in WBC help him with Yanks?

Robinson+Cano+Puerto+Rico+v+Dominican+Republic+emuLftpptPLlThe Yankees get a welcome addition back to their lineup today in Robinson Cano.  Cano is by FAR the team's best position player and the team will need him more than ever this season with the weak lineup and all of the injuries.  He's coming off an incredible performance in the WBC where he was the leader of the Dominican team that dominated the tournament.  More than his performance, he was also the leader of the team which has Kevin Kernan of the NY Post thinking Cano can and will step into the leadership void on the Yankees with the old Core winding down.

While Cano has always been extremley talented, he's often thought of as aloof and not a hard worker because of his smooth style and lack of running out all ground balls.  While it's frustrating to me when Robbie dogs it to 1B on groundballs, I don't buy for a second that he's not a hard-worker.  He has turned himself from an average prospect into an incredible and complete player who is one of the best in the Majors.  His work ethic is praised and respected by his peers and many Dominicans have asked to join him in his daily off-season workouts with his father, Jose Cano in the Dominican Republic. 

Colin Cowherd said on the Radio yesterday that Cano was trying harder in the WBC than he ever has for the Yankees.  I don't agree with that and think it's more a matter of perception.  The DR team was playing with emotion and exuberance and clearly wanted to win more than most other teams in the "exhibition" tourney.  Their celebrations and style of play would be considered "bush" in MLB and by the old-school, corporate Yankees.  I'm not a fan of the WBC although I did enjoy watching some of the games.  You will never getplayers, especially American players, to go all-out in March before a 162-game MLB season - it just doesn't make sense.  But if Cano gained some self-confidence and blossomed a bit as a leader, than that is the best thing that came out of the event.  With Mariano retiring, ARod hurt/banished? and Jeter possibly winding down, Robbie needs to step up both on the field and in the clubhouse.  He's asking for a massive amount of money and for the Yankees to commit to him for the next 7-8 years, so showing himself to be the new leader of the team will make it easier to make that committment.

Cano is going to have a lot on his shoulders with no protection behind him in the lineup for at least the first month.  Last year, despite a career year, he hit just .268 with an .830 OPS with RISP.  But pitchers pitched around him with RISP last year as evidenced by his whopping 16.9% Walk Rate as oppossed to just 6.1% with no one on base.  And that was with Teixeira, ARod, Swisher & Granderson batting behind him.  This year, with Hafner & Youkilis being the only legitimate bats behind him, expect him to get even less to hit.  Cano needs to remain selective and drive in more runners for the Yankees to have success this year.  Ironically, Cano said that to his Dominican teammates in the WBC according to the Post article.

“Cano has grown up so much,’’ said Dominican Republic manager and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena. “Not only has he grown as a player, but he has grown as a person. He feels like he needs to step forward and he has done that. Tonight he said to our hitters,  ‘Guys, we’re swinging at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone. Let’s concentrate a little more; he will give us a pitch to hit.’  That means a lot and it worked tonight.  Little things like this will make him a good leader.’’

Hopefully Cano, can practice what he preaches because they need a monster season from their star 2B.

Spring Training 3/21/13 Lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

RHP David Phelps

Yankees Announce Fifth Annual HOPE Week

The week of July 8th-12th the New York Yankees are set to bring the fans their fifth annual HOPE Week. Each day of the week the Yankees will reach out to an individual, a family, an organization, etc and will surprise the honoree rewarding them for their hard work and dedication to their cause. All the minor league affiliates the Yankees own conducted their own HOPE Week's last year and will do so again this year as well. For an Evil Empire we always do the right thing whenever we can.

Baseball Cards : Joba Chamberlain

With all the trade winds swirling around Joba Chamberlain and the Texas Rangers Mike Olt I wanted to post these little gems of Joba out of my personal baseball card collection while I still can. Enjoy!