Saturday, July 13, 2013

Alex Rodriguez 0-4 In Latest Rehab Assignment Game

Alex Rodriguez continues to struggle in his rehab assignment games with the Tampa Yankees as he went 0-4 tonight making him a whopping 2-19 since his rehab started. He was a no show at the stadium last night, which luckily got rained out, which can only hurt his already fragile relationship with the Yankees. Alex played seven innings at third base and had one play that resulted in an infield single. Alex is not expected to play the night cap of tonight's double header with Tampa. No word yet on whether he is set to play tomorrow or not but I would think it is time to push Alex a little and try to play him in a back to back.

Michael Young Said To Not Be Available

The Yankees called the Philadelphia Phillies earlier in the week and they were told that third basemen Michael Young was not as available as we all thought. The Phillies have won six of their last eight games are are climbing in the second wild card standings and look to hold on to their pieces for now. Time for plan B I guess for Brian Cashman and the Yankees.

Michael Young "Not Available"

"No soup Young for you!"

According to Peter Gammons, last week the Yankees asked Philadelphia about Michael Young, and were told Young wasn't available.

This isn't a surprise to me, as I really didn't expect the Phillies to be sellers. We're not talking about a team that is known for wanting to save a couple million dollars, or gives up on a season easily. Not to say there are teams in MLB that are okay with losing, but the Phillies have become one of those teams that not only expects to be in the hunt for the postseason each year, but oftentimes are in the hunt.

Of course, things can change in the next couple of weeks, not to mention that Philly has a couple players in Erik Kratz and Kevin Frandsen who make Young and Carlos Ruiz expendable. So I won't totally give up on a trade happening between the Yankees and Phillis.

Game Thread: Twins @ Yankees 7/13

It's game time between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV. Phil Hughes and Samuel Deduno is the pitching matchup so expect some home runs given up in home run friendly Yankees Stadium. Go Yankees!

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte LF
Luis Cruz SS
Alberto Gonzalez 3B
Austin Romine C

Fllow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes

Changes Coming To A Rod's Rehab Assignment

Alex Rodriguez has had a tough go of it in this rehab assignment down in Tampa. A Rod has managed to go 2-15 with with three RBI's in six games in between rain showers down in Tampa. Alex has managed six games in 11 days of his 20 day rehab assignment so the Yankees are now questioning whether or not he will be ready to come back to the majors when his rehab assignment is up. This predicament leaves the Yankees two options they can either move Alex up to AA or AAA to continue his rehab there or they can let the clock run out, shut him down for five days, and restart the 20 game clock.

It is really unfortunate if Alex has to sit our five days and restart his rehab assignment because of good ole mother nature but right now he does not look 100%, not even close, so it may come to that. Alex is scheduled to go seven innings tonight, or tomorrow, or whenever they can fit a game in down in Tampa.

Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees 7/13

The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins will play game two of the three game weekend series this afternoon at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound to face off with Samuel Deduno for the Twins. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

Matt Thornton Comes Off The Trade Deadline Board

Matt Thornton has long been coveted by the New York Yankees as that second left handed LOOGY that we love so much but it will not happen again this season. The Boston Red Sox acquired the White Sox lefty for a minor league player and ever got cash back. Looking at this trade we could have acquired him for a Thomas Neal or a Melky Mesa and we didn't. I know Thornton has struggled a little bit today but he absolutely owns left handed hitting and could have been useful down the stretch.

Three years later, George's death looms large over the Yankees

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
nd the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

The last verse of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’” can perfectly be applied to the current state of baseball’s most championed franchise, the New York Yankees.

Yes, the team has continued to make the playoffs and be perennial contenders, but things haven’t been the same and the times surely began to change when the “dynasty” era of Yankees baseball came to a crashing end on July 13th, 2010.

New Yorik Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner speaks at a new

This of course was when George Steinbrenner passed away due to a massive heart attack at the age of 80. His death came just two days after long-time public address announcer Bob Sheppard, known as “The Voice of God”, passed on as well at the ripe old age of 99. Two seemingly immortal figures of the organization were gone in a flash.

Admittedly, both legendary men had disappeared from the public years prior. Due to deteriorating health, Sheppard could no longer muster the strength needed to do his job, as he announced his last game in person on September 5th, 2007. He would later officially retire in November of 2009.

The Boss, on the other hand, made the decision himself to step down as the day-to-day operator of the team. On November 20th, 2008, his sons Hal and Hank Steinbrenner officially became the co-owners of the Yankees, with Hal becoming the managing general partner as well.

George had faith in them, so everyone else did too. And Hal gave no reason to think otherwise when he went out and signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixiera all to huge free agent contracts during his first winter as the owner of his dad’s most prized possession. Spending in excess of $400 million, the phrase “like father, like son” held true when he put the Yankees in a position win the World Series in 2009.

Which they did on November 4th, 2009, with George Steinbrenner watching from his home in Tampa, Florida. The Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to capture, what seemed like, an elusive 27th championship since losing the 2001 Fall Classic to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

100_0806Sitting high up in the grandstands that night, I can recall, “Boss, this is for you!” displayed across the Yankee Stadium jumbo-tron. And it was true - the Yanks had won this for George. They sensed his morality and Hal wanted to ensure that if his dad’s life was coming to an end, one of his last memories could be watching his Yankees win the World Series, as George once said that breathing is the only thing better than winning.

So, when The Boss did pass on eight months later, the Bombers were the defending champions and in first place, which was probably the only way he could envision leaving the earth.

And it was that day, as I said, when times really started to change. The Yankees lost control of the AL East and settled for the Wild Card in 2010, losing in the ALCS to the Texas Rangers. Of course, the Yankees had far worse seasons under The Boss’ reign, but you really felt his absence, especially in the following offseason. The Yanks attempted to sign lefty ace Cliff Lee to a contract similar to the one Sabathia received, yet they couldn’t quite close the deal as Lee went back to the Phillies.

Once Cliff spurned the Yankees, the team didn’t know what to do, and most probably were looking back on some foolish moves made once The Boss stepped down as the team’s owner. On December 9th, 2009, the Yankees traded two of their most highly touted prospects, Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, in a three-team deal to get Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson. New York had decided to sacrifice its future for immediate success, something that George had been turned away from doing for years.

Now, there is no denying that The Boss had looked into, and nearly pulled the trigger on, trading the Core Four and other players such as Bernie Williams and Robinson Cano early in each of their respective careers. But when George felt the need to upgrade the team for a particular season, there were guys like Buck Showalter and Gene “Stick” Michael to convince him to hold onto the future stars.

Buck was, of course, fired by George after 1995, and Stick left his position as vice president of the team in 2002. It can be argued that with their departures, went the genius scouting of the Yanks that they had lacked for decades, and once again are in need of. As mentioned, with the Granderson trade, the Yankees mindlessly dealt top prospects for what will turn out to be a three-year rental of a potent, yet strike-out prone outfield bat. Meanwhile, Jackson has become one of the best lead-off men in the game with the Tigers, and Kennedy was an N.L. Cy Young candidate in 2011 with Arizona.

That trade, along with the one for Javier Vazquez weeks later, are moves that wouldn’t have happened if The Boss and his “cabinet”, if you will, were still here. They had the guts to stand up to George and tell him he was wrong, and he had the trust in his advisors to realize that and pull back or prevent any franchise-altering moves to go down. In the three years since he died, there’s already been a slew of those types of trades, and not for the better. Don’t even remind me of the Montero-Pineda deal, which, while we can’t judge quite yet, certainly hasn’t benefited the Yankees at all.

At the same time, while trading away and failing to develop solid prospects, the Yankees haven’t dipped back into the free agent market for any impactful players either. This has left them to piecemeal together their roster over the past few years, signing players off the scrap-heap and simply getting lucky that they actually perform well. The Yanks ran out of such luck towards the end of 2011, resulting in a disappointing ALDS loss, and in 2012 Derek Jeter broke his ankle and the team was subsequently swept out of the ALCS.

While consistently making it into October is universally considered a successful streak of seasons, every year since George Steinbrenner died, it just feels like the franchise is pushing itself farther and farther away from a championship. Although 2013 can perhaps be considered a fluke season considering all the injuries, the Yankees are in a dire situation for the future. Their top prospects are either just drafted or still in the lower levels of the minor league system, and their lone star is Robinson Cano, who is an impending free agent. Their headlining talent of the past such as Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and CC Sabathia, are all either injured, aging, and past their primes, or perhaps a combination of all three. Relying on them to be key contributors at this point is downright foolish, and won’t garner the results the team may hope for as far as October appearances are concerned.

A reluctancy to spend, coupled with an ignorance to focus on developing the farm system, the Yankees have little to offer their fans that would make them, first of all, return to Yankee Stadium and turn their TVs back on to the YES Network. And second, sense a 28th world championship soon to be won.

You may blame it on the scouting. You may blame it on the front office. Heck, you may blame it on the baseball gods giving the Yankees hell for the first time in decades. But the fact remains that since The Boss passed away three years ago today, things haven’t, and probably never will be the same.

New York Yankees Final 2013 Draft Tally & Signings

The deadline for signing players drafted in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft has come and gone and the final results are in. The Yankees signed their first picks including all three of their first round picks and every pick in rounds 2-15 and 32 of their 42 picks in this years draft. The Yankees finished with ponying up an extra $85,500 for going $114,000 over the slot recommendations set by Major League Baseball. Overall I call this a very huge success for the Yankees now and for the future and my hat goes off to the scouting department and everyone involved.

Game 94 Lineup: Twins vs. Yankees

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte LF
Luis Cruz SS
Alberto Gonzalez 3B
Austin Romine C

Phil Hughes RHP

Some Notes:

-- If you haven't heard, Derek Jeter has a Grade 1 strain of his calf and will be out until after the All-Star Break. He's not going on the DL yet but he will be reevaluated before the Yankees go to Boston.

-- Tomorrow is the last day to vote for the Yankees Fans Unite 'First Half Awards'. You can vote as many times as you want. During the All-Star Break, I will post the results. You can vote here.

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

Yankee fans who stayed awake to watch last night's game after a 73 minute rain delay were treated to a 2-0 victory by the Yankees over the Twins last night.

Hiroki Kuroda returned after the long rain delay to pitch the 5th inning and then gave way to Preston Claiborne, Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera who all pitched scoreless innings.

The Yankees offense was woeful, managing only six hits off of five Twins pitchers who will never be mistaken for Sandy Koufax, to say the least.Fortunately for the Yankees, three of those six hits came in the fifth inning where they managed to score the game's only two runs on RBI singles by Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano.

The win put the Yankees at 5-3 so far on this second of three ten-game homestands that they will host this season.

The Yankees and Twins will meet again today in the Bronx in an afternoon game that is sure to have some weary players from last night's late night affair.  Today's game starts at 1:05 PM ET and will be televised by YES.  Phil Hughes(4-8, 4.55 ERA) will make what could be his last start in Yankee pinstripes before being traded over the All-Star break against Samuel Deduno(4-4, 3.90 ERA).

I don't normally rant during Morning Links but this particular subject calls for some attention.

Hughes was abused and confused by Yankee GM Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi's "Joba Rules" and has been "pitching for his rotation spot" for what seems like three seasons now.

It is very likely that Hughes will depart and thrive with a different club where he is just given the ball and allowed to pitch without constant "will he stay in the rotation?" pressure.

Like Joba, Hughes was flip-flopped constantly between starting and relieving.

With Joba Chamberlain also likely to be traded soon, Cashman and Girardi should be ashamed of themselves for screwing up the Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy trio which had so much promise by trading one too early and screwing up the two that they kept.

Now on to today's news links:

Mark Feinsand says the Yankees dropped the ball on Derek Jeter's return from the DL.

Dustin Knosler of the Yahoo Sports writes that the Yankees and Dodgers could be great trade partners.

Have a great day everyone!





This Day In New York Yankees History 7/13

On this day in 1984 the New York Yankees retired Roger Maris's #9 jersey and Elston Howard's #32 jersey in a pregame ceremony. The team also erected plaques in honor of the Yankees legends.