Monday, November 11, 2013

Scorpions drop fourth straight game to Saguaros, 8-2

Well, now the Scorpions have officially hit rock bottom. After tonight's 8-2 loss to the Surprise Saguaros, the Scorps record sits at 10-18, the worst in the Arizona Fall League. This loss is also their fourth consecutive, meaning that for a while they actually played well. But that was a long time ago. A long, long time ago. 

Anyway, Yankees outfielder Mason Williams did play pretty good in this one, going 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and an RBI. Besides him, reliever Fred Lewis, who we haven't seen for a while, pitched a scoreless inning out of the pen. Remember, the Scorpions are already eliminated from playoff contention, so the rest of their games this season don't really matter. But still, it's fun to win. 

The Yankee Stadium Experience - Part Three: The Audi Club

PART THREE: The Audi Club

I don't want anyone to think I have an obsession with food, but the third installation of the Yankee Stadium Experience once again involves just PLENTY of it.

If you look above the second deck at the New Yankee Stadium you will notice a glassed-in area above the 3rd base line behind the FAIR pole.  Behind the glazed glass sits 3 rows of exclusive indoor seating and dedicated dining area known as "The Audi Club"
The Audi Club as seen from the Bleachers
The cost will keep most "regular" fans (you know people like me) out of this exclusive little area, especially if you are bringing family members or that special someone with you, but on occasion you can find tickets for the Audi Club on TiqIq (right off of The Greedy Pinstripes website I might add--shameless plug) or other various ticket re-sellers on the cheap (i.e. $65-$100 range).  These tickets used to cost $150 each, but that may have changed with the recent pricing adjustments.

If you ever get the chance to see a game from the Audi Club, do least once.  My family enjoyed a Yankees / Tigers game in 2009 from the "exclusive" seats compliments of some last minute online shopping and it was an awesome experience.  You get into the stadium early with a dedicated entrance (through the SAP Suite Level), there is a dedicated bar area at the front, and then a large dining area fit for a king, well at least a King that loves to eat high-end quality food in an unlimited fashion.  Yeah, this isn't buffet-style food, it's filet mignon, lobster, seared ahi tuna, sushi, and the like all prepared by chefs complete with the white chef hats.
View of the Stadium from the AUDI Club
Just a Sampling of the Tastiness that is All-You-Can-Eat Chef-Prepared Food
The view from the Audi Club is spectacular and you don't have to worry about good ol' Billy Bob spilling his bubbly Budweiser brew down your backside (bad experience at the Old Yankee Stadium with an Orioles fan in 1998...let's not talk about it...).  Three rows of true stadium seating gives each fan an unimpeded view of the action on the field through floor-to-ceiling glass, but if you have to get up from your seat to get a 5th helping of Jumbo Shrimp, you won't miss any of the action as High-Definition televisions are spread throughout the space.  It's also nice that you have access to basically private restroom facilities that don't smell entirely like beer, at least until the 7th inning.  If it is a cold and rainy day say in April, the Audi Club is perfect and very, very warm.

Three Rows of Unimpeded View Seating
Of course there are some detriments to viewing a Yankees game from inside the Audi Club.  The biggest being you don't necessarily feel like you are at a ballgame.  There's nobody yelling HOT DOGS or GIT YA BEYAH HEYAH! over and over....wait did I say detriment?  You can't hear or feel the vibes running through the Stadium, but like I said it's just one of those things worth trying once or twice if the budget allows.  If you end up finding yourself in one of these seats, get there early, fast for a few days beforehand, sit back and enjoy the sushi/filet/jumbo shrimp...and yes even gourmet hot that even possible???

Myers & Fernandez Win Rookie of the Year Awards

The Tampa Bay Rays Wil Myers and the Miami Marlins Jose Fernandez have won the Rookie of the Year awards in their respected leagues tonight. Personally I had Chris Archer winning it for the American League and Yasiel Puig winning it for the National League. As you can SEE HERE in my predictions post I did say that Fernandez deserved to win it so I get points for effort I guess. I know sometimes guys win these awards just because and not because they deserve it, see Puig for example, and I am glad to see that the right guys got the award this time around.

The Yankees did not have anyone in the running so it was kind of fun to just sit back and watch and not have to worry yourself to death about whether your hometown guy was going to win or not. Maybe next season though.

Tomorrow the Manager of the Year awards are given out so check back.

Happy Veterans Day From The Greedy Pinstripes

I know I am a little late to this party but better late then never right? Happy Veterans Day everybody. Don't forget to thank a veteran for their service because without them this country would not be what it is today. Thank you to all the service men and women that give their loves for myself and this country.

D' Backs Interested In Mike Harkey As Pitching Coach

The Arizona Diamondbacks are interested in Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey as their pitching coach for 2014. The D Backs currently do not have a pitching coach and it is not reported whether Harkey has or will interview for the job in Arizona. Harkey is one of Yankees manager Joe Girardi's closest friends so it seems unlikely that he would jump ship but you never know. I don't think the Yankees would block him from bettering himself and furthering his career so this is going to be one of those watch and see kind of scenarios.

Cano, Granderson, & Kuroda All Turn Down Qualifying Offers

To the surprise of absolutely no one, today Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, and Hiroki Kuroda all declined their qualifying offers of a $14.1 million 2014 contract, making them free agents and guaranteeing the Yankees of a 1st round draft pick should any of them sign with a different team.

Cano is of course seeking a huge pay-day and still will likely get it from the Yankees. Though negotiations have stalled, everyone still sees Robbie staying in pinstripes for next season and beyond.

However, the case is very much different for Granderson and Kuroda, for it is likely that these two have played their final game in Yankee pinstripes. Granderson is seeking a multi-year deal, and the Yankees were only going to bring him back for 2014. Despite all of his flaws (high strikeout rate, low average, low OBP, etc.), the Grandy Man's prolific home run power will attract many teams and likely make them overpay for his services. So, the Yanks are wisely taking the high road here.

As for Kuroda, it becomes another waiting game similar to the one he played last offseason. But, this time it's not as likely he returns for another go in the Bronx. Turning 39 in February, there is a growing belief that Kuroda will either retire or go to Japan to finish off a terrific professional baseball career. Even if he does want to return for one last season in Major League Baseball, his original team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, could make a big play for him and pry him away from New York, as they have the money and are better set-up to help Hiroki go out a World Series champion.

So what this all means is that the Yanks can now start negotiating with Cano on his long-awaited long-term deal, and that Granderson and Kuroda are almost certainly not coming back.

Curtis had a solid four-year run with New York, and with the struggles of Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy (the prospects the Yanks dealt to get him), the trade made back in December of 2009 can likely be chalked up as a win. He even came close to winning the 2011 AL MVP with 41 home runs, 119 RBI, and 136 runs scored.

In both 2012 and 2013, Hiroki Kuroda was the staff ace, even if that label was attached to CC Sabathia. The right-hander posted 3.32 and 3.31 ERAs in his two seasons with the Yankees, providing a solid, consistent veteran presence in the rotation. One of his greatest starts with the team is already not too well remembered by fans, when he struck out 11 Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the 2012 ALCS -- a game the Yankees lost in ugly fashion, 3-0.

We'll see if any talks between the Yankees and Granderson/Kuroda emerge, but no one in the baseball world views that as a possibility. So, get ready to say goodbye to #14, and #18.

Is It Time For Pitchers & Catchers To Report Yet?

Well... is it?

All Home Grown Yankees Team - The Starting Rotation

We thought it would be fun to take a look at a hypothetical all Yankees home grown team using prospects that have come through the Yankees system. Just as a reminder we are only going to use players from the last 20 years or so for the sole purpose of including the dynasty years and cour four. We tried to stay away from guys that spent most of their minor league careers elsewhere only to come to New York later, for example Jose Quintana and Jose Veras who come to mind automatically, so keep that in mind as well before jumping up and down saying we snubbed somebody. 

Today we will look at the starting pitchers:

SP: Andy Pettitte
SP: Phil Hughes
SP: Ivan Nova
SP: Chien Ming Wang
SP: Ian Kennedy

Andy Pettitte is Andy Pettitte, that is really all that needs to be said. Over 250 wins in his career and retired sitting at the top of most of the Yankees all time pitching records. Andy came out of the Yankees system in 1995 and made an immediate impact on the team as part of three World Series Championships in the 90's. Andy would also get a ring in the year 2000 and 2009 before retiring as a Yankee for the second time in 2014.

Phil Hughes probably shows the weakness of Yankees home grown pitching in the last 20 seasons because he has struggled mightily. Hughes did have a 18 win season in 2010 though and had a few memorable moments including a perfect game run that fell short in Texas. Hughes Yankees career is all but over after a struggle of a 2013 season.

Ivan Nova has been a roller coaster of a pitcher for the Yankees since coming through the system including being lost to the Rule 5 draft only to be returned by the San Diego Padres. Nova threw his first two complete game shut outs this season and was absolutely lights out for most of the season after an injury sent him down to AAA to work on things.

Chien Ming Wang burst onto the scene as a part of the Yankees youth movement during the 2005 season and responded extremely well. Wang won 19 games in consecutive seasons and was well on his way a third time before a base running blunder basically ended his career in Houston.

Ian Kennedy was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as a part of the Curtis Granderson deal after flying through the Yankees system after being drafted in the 2006 draft. Kennedy was on the 2009 Yankees World Series team although he was not on the playoff roster. Kennedy would have a 21 win season in 2011 for the Arizona Diamondbacks before being traded to the San Diego Padres this season.

All Yankees Home Grown Team From The Last 20 Years

The New York Yankees have not been known for their farm system since around the 1995 season where we saw the emergence of the "Cour Four" of Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada. The Yankees went through a time where there prospects were seasoned for the sole reason of trading for veterans or over priced talent or mercenaries for the big league club by the likes of Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner. Now with the Yankees trying to get back under the luxury tax thresh hold of $189 million the Yankees are having to go back to developing and relying on their own guys from their farm system again. We are going to take a look at the best of the best that the Yankees have developed over the last 20 years or so, whether they are still members of the Yankees anymore or not.

Last week we featured the greatest Yankees team of all time now let's look at what the Yankees have produced over the last 20 or so years out of the farm system this week. Enjoy!!!

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/11

On this day in 1941 Joltin' Joe Dimaggio won the American League Most Valuable Player award for the second time in his career. The Yankee Clipper edges Ted Williams in his season in which he hit .406 when a Red Sox writer leaves Williams off the ballot. The Curse of the Bambino continues...

Speaking of Joe Dimaggio on this day in 1948 the Yankee Clipper was put into John Hopkins Hospital in New York to remove bone spurs on his right heel. DiMaggio would not make his debut for the Yankees in 1949 until June, 28 of that season and would debut by hitting a single and a two run home run in his first two at bats in a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox in Fenway.