Thursday, September 19, 2013

Joe Girardi & The New York Yankees Playoff Chances

This about sums up the Yankees playoff chances thanks to Joe Girardi's infatuation, emphasis on FAT, with using Joba Chamberlain in big spots. The Yankees went down from 3-1 to 6-1 in the matter of three batters with Joba on the mound and I don't get it. Phil Hughes threw ONE bad pitch and was taken out but we continue to let Joba go out there and give up runs and games. I don't get it, I just don't. That's all I've got. I'm done.

Jose Dariel Abreu Establishes Residency

Jose Dariel Abreu took the next step in signing with a big league club this off season as he established residency in Haiti this morning. The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has unblocked the 26 year old first basemen and now the only thing standing in his way is filing some paperwork with Major League Baseball. I have been clamoring for the Yankees to give this guy a shot as a DH and occasional first basemen to give Mark Teixeira a day or two off so this news excites me just a little.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Blue Jays 9/19

For the final time this season the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays will play a game at Rogers Centre tonight. The pitching match up is Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees and Todd Redmond for the Blue Jays and the game can be seen at 7:05 pm ET on the YES network and MLB TV. Hiroki Kuroda has been anything but a hero since August 17th as he has had a 0-4 with a 6.69 ERA since the middle of last month. Hiroki is still keeping us in games but is not the dominating starter that he was just a few months ago and it has come at the exact wrong time for the Yankees.

Here is the Yankees lineup in the #SprintTowardsOctober

Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Vernon Wells RF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Mark Reynolds 3B
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Go Yankees!

Toronto Blue Jays Post Season Chances Meme


New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/19

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays play the final game head to head of the season tonight in Rogers Centre north of the border. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with Todd Redmond for the Blue Jays. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the YES Network and MLBTV.

Talk Of Renaming River Avenue to Rivera Avenue

It may not be as big as naming an award for relievers after Mariano Rivera, as I've advocated for years, but it's still pretty cool...

A lot of people, including some of Rivera's own teammates, are pushing for River Avenue to be renamed Rivera Avenue. The road is famous, not only because of the Yankees blog named after it, but because it runs along Yankee Stadium beyond right field.

When asked what he thought of the idea, Mariano had this to say...
That would be nice. It's not my decision. I drive on that road every night. 

Be Happy We're Not Browns Fans

I'm about to talk about football, but bear with me...

Cleveland Browns fans are in an uproar over yesterday's trade, which sent star running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, and in return Indy sent their 2014 1st Round pick to Cleveland. Unless the Colts crap the bed, which would give Cleveland a top pick, the chances of the Browns drafting somebody anywhere near the caliber of Richardson are minuscule. For reference, Trent was the third pick in the 2012 draft.

On top of dealing away their best player, the Browns team payroll is currently 25th out of the 32 NFL teams. Taking those two things into consideration, Browns fans certainly have reason to be up in arms.

The reason I talked about the situation for Browns fans is to put things in perspective for New York Yankees fans.

The best player on the 2013 Yankees, in terms of bWAR is Robinson Cano. The best player on the 2012 Yankees was Robinson Cano. In 2011 the top player for the Yankees was a tie between Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. In 2010 Cano was yet again the top player for the Bombers. And in 2009 the top Yankee was Robinson Cano Derek Jeter. What I'm saying is that the Yankees do not trade away their top talent. And no, Jesus Montero, while their top prospect a couple of years ago, does not count as trading away a top player.

I don't have to throw numbers out there to remind you that the Yankees have had the top payroll in MLB for well over a decade. So you can't complain that they don't spend, either.

But here we are, on September 19th of 2013, and Yankees fans are indeed angry. Not just because of the team's current predicament, but because management is talking about lowering payroll to *gasp* $189 million. That's about $24 million more than the Phillies, who have the 3rd highest payroll this season.

I'm not saying it's totally cool for the Yankees to lower their payroll. Unlike the Cleveland Browns, the Yankees are one of the most profitable franchises in the World. So they absolutely don't have to lower their payroll to try and save money. But with Alex Rodrigez's gigantic salary off the books next year, and millions more going away as well, it's not impossible for them to put a contending team out there.

If anything, Yankees fans do have reason to be concerned that Cashman & Co aren't smart enough to get the job done. Personally, while I don't have 100% confidence in them, I'm not about to give up on them either.

It won't be easy, but I've taken a look at what the Yankees could do this offseason, and I like it. And as hard as it is to look beyond next season, once this austerity budget stuff has passed, and those large contracts keep falling away, we may all look back at the decisions made for 2014 and be really... really... happy.

Unrealistic 2014 Free Agent Targets: Jacoby Ellsbury

If you have been on twitter at all this season or simply asked a casual fan of the New York Yankees who our number one free agency target should be more people than not are saying Boston's center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. I do not know if this is more of a "get back at the Red Sox' motivated signing or it addresses a Yankees need since we already have Brett Gardner but I think ultimately the point will be moot. This is Ellsbury's big money contract free agency period entering the 2014 season coming off of a healthy 2013 season and only being in his age 30 season. Ellsbury plays a premium offensive and defensive position and is above average in both departments, hitting in Fenway Park or not. Ellsbury is another one of those left handed hitters that would benefit from the new Yankees Stadium but ultimately I can see him wanting too many years, too much money, and a team not named the New York Yankees based on principal alone. Wouldn't it be nice though to have an outfield of Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner, and Jacoby Ellsbury with a mixture of Ichiro Suzuki? Not to mention such a move would allow us to release Vernon Wells which becomes an addition by subtraction by itself and does not give us a hit on the 2014 luxury tax.

Ellsbury is not without his injury concerns since he was limited to just 18 games in 2010 and 74 games in 2012 with a second place finish in the MVP voting sandwiched in there in 2011. Ellsbury has been healthy again and productive once again in 2013 but do you know what you are really getting from the guy at this point? When he is on the field he is a spark plug and a catalysts but the Yankees already have two of those in Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, do we need a third? Granted Ellsbury will steal more bases this season then Gardner and Ichiro combined at this rate and I am a huge advocate for speed killing but would he have enough offense to be a better option for us than say a Curtis Granderson? I honestly cannot say I believe that statement even with his left handed swing in Yankees Stadium. Outside of that power campaign in 2011 when he hit 32 home runs Ellsbury has never hit for much power, even in lefty friendly Fenway Park, and has never approached 100 RBI's outside of that season either. I know he is a lead off man but with that offense in Fenway you think he would have more than 40-50 RBI's a season. As unrealistic as it sounds though how many balls fan in the outfield consisting of Gardner, Ichiro, and Ellsbury? That is a fly ball pitchers dream but it is just that for the Yankees in 2014, a dream. 

Yankees rally in eighth, beat Blue Jays 4-3

Thanks to 3.2 innings of relief from David Huff in which the Blue Jays scored just one run, the Yankees were able to rally late tonight to beat the Blue Jays in thrilling fashion, 4-3. This win was big, but since the Rays also won tonight this victory seems a little tainted. I guess scoring four runs late to win a big game is still good, but it's tough to swallow that, while you don't lose anything, you don't really gain anything from this comeback. 

The Bombers four eighth-inning runs tonight came on an RBI Single from Cano, an RBI Double from Soriano, and a two-run double from Wells. With this win, the Yankees are now just two wins away from clinching a winning season, which is pretty good considering all of the injury problems they've had this year. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/19

On this day in 1937 the Detroit Tigers  Hank Greenburg becomes the first player to ever hit a home run into the black seats at Yankees Stadium.

On this day in 2001 Roger Clemens improved his record to 20-1 becoming the first pitcher in major league history to do so. Clemens won his final 16 decisions of the season to reach the mark.

On this day in 2011 Mariano Rivera recorded his 602nd save of all time passing Trevor Hoffman for the all time mark. Rivera did so against the Minnesota Twins at home in front of the smallest crowd in the then three year history of the newest version of Yankees Stadium.