Friday, December 27, 2013

Yankees Have Contacted Tanaka's Agent Casey Close

The Yankees are wasting no time with getting in touch with Masahiro Tanaka and his agent Casey Close as they have already had preliminary discussions with the agent. Yesterday was the first day that teams were allowed to negotiate with Tanaka  after being willing to pony up $20 million if they sign the player. The Yankees have until January, 24 to get him signed and officially on the 40 man roster so it's a great sign that we are not wasting any time.

Yankees Must Sign Tanaka To Have A Good Offseason

The title of this thread is pretty self explanatory, in order for the New York Yankees to have a successful offseason they absolutely must sign Masahiro Tanaka, must. Even after the Yankees got older and signed Carlos Beltran, got faster and signed Jacoby Ellsbury, and beefed up behind the dish with the Brian McCann signing. The Yankees lost a ton this offseason and have replaced it with big names and big contracts only to have to settle on the Brian Roberts and Matt Thornton types to fill the voids. Our solution to losing three of our five starting pitchers was to bring back the oldest starting pitcher in the league who is coming off of two straight seasons of breaking down at the end of the season. We must go all in for Tanaka or the offseason will be for nothing as I cannot see us as more than an 85 win team right now.

Tanaka makes the team younger, better, and most importantly all but blows up the Hal Cap of $189 million. The Yankees have said that they will stay under the luxury tax threshold or go way over it, no in between, and there is no way the Yankees stay under while signing Tanaka, even if Alex Rodriguez is suspended for 211 games. This would open the door for the Yankees to sign other free agents like Stephen Drew, Nelson Cruz, Ervin Santana, or Matt Garza not that we are necessarily interested in any of them.

The Yankees toughest competition for Tanaka's services are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the New York Mets. That's a ton of teams so this is going to be a tough sign but hopefully the Yankees brand reigns supreme here because if we want to have a good offseason we have to have Tanaka.

Pinch Hitting Guest Blogger: Old Ranger

"Chris" a True Fish Story

I was fishing one day when a young man joined me. we started talking about baseball and he said he was taking a few weeks off from baseball.

It seamed he was a pitcher for a minor league team and was not getting the job done.
I began by asking him what he threw and the speed of each.

He said a 90-93+/- FB, very good change, curve (working on) a power slider that is workable and a so so cutter.
I asked him how he threw, short or long arm, side, over the top, 3/4 what?

He started by saying, what do you mean short or long arm? I asked him to show me, he did, he was another Ewell Blackwell type (long arm). I told him there were a bunch of kids (17-21) playing at the park (very good park), the fish don't like us, let's go.

He was a bit impressed when I told him I had a big time fast ball at about 82-86, he laughed and said most people say they had a 92-95 fastball, let's go.

Well, to (try) and make this short I asked him (with the blessing of the kids) to just pick up the ball and throw to 1st a few times, well it showed me his natural motion is short arm. I asked him to throw all his pitches.

His fast ball had good pop and jump, his change could be a big time pitch (had great feel for it) but, I asked him to throw his cutter after 3 changes and change again. I asked him how many times he was beat by throwing a cutter after a change or a change after cutter. Then do the same with a curve and cutter and a slider and a curve.

Then I asked him to just mix-up the FB, curve, and change. It seemed as though a light went off in his head. After explaining what Eddie Lopat told me about using short and long arm with the same pitches gave one six pitches not three (and worked for me somewhat) junk the cutter and slider. Unless they are dependable pitches...they go a long way when hit.

The following spring he showed up while I was fishing, we talked an had a good day with our catches. As we were leaving he said he had done very well in the winter league and would be moved up a step.

His pitching coach liked his idea of dropping his cutter and slider and try short arm but, the coach told him to stay with his motion (as had I) he said he is getting a bit more bite on his pitches and was thinking about adding his cuter to the mix come ST. I suggested he forget about the slider and concentrate on making his pitches great.

His name was Chris ???????. I moved to another state, later that year. Never have seen him again. I hope it worked out for him.

The Poor Young'ins, You Never Saw Some Of The Best!?

Bob Gibson
Some of the young-uns think, cutting the pie is an after game treat! Just kidding!
I some times pity the younger generation, They missed out on seeing some of the greatest players of all time in their best years.
How many of them would be shocked to see Bob Gibson just throw bee-bees and not let anyone crowd the plate…Jeter, Posada and some of those guys that are diving over the plate would get a high hard one stuck in their ear. Or the tandem of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax along with Osteen and Podres (4man rotation). Sal “The Barber” Maggly(SP). These guys would go 9 or more innings almost every game.
Remember the “Cleveland Jet” Herb Score, Bob Feller, Bob Turly or Ryne Duren…now those four guys could bring hot hot hot heat and I don’t care who you are, you would never dig in against Turly or the others…at least, not twice.
There were many other old timers pitchers and Pos. Players that some never saw, in real life.
This is why I always say, “Stats are a very good tool but, not a bible,” a very well trained eye lets the stats show him a problem but, it depends on the person putting them together to be good at his job also. Also, stats don't tell you if a problem can be corrected and how to do it.

Sandy Koufax

Take the stats of Jeter compared to Rizzuto, the stats say Jeter was heads above Phil but, how can Ruzzuto (a very good SS in his time), from 60 years ago be compared to Jeter and his stats of today. If one had never seen Phil or Jeter play, one would say Phil couldn't carry Jeters Jock...and they would be right. Having seen both of them play, Jeter was the better of the two but not by as much as the stats show.
Can anyone of you see A-Rod, Tex or Cano swinging a club like they use to just 25 years ago...38 to 40+ ounce bats were used by many players back then, have any of you seen the gloves of 30+ years ago?
According to the stats, Hammering Hank was a better player then "The Babe" in HRs' but, do any of you really believe he was? No, not a bit but, the stats say other wise. So don't make a judgement on who is the better player on stats alone think about it a bit. Would Jeter have hit as well back in the 50s' or 60' as now... No f--king way. He would dive across the plate with that 36 oz., of wood and end up in the hospital. Remember, they didn't have helmets back then and most of the good pitchers would throw at your head in a heart beat. Also, I started with a 36
bottle bat, hands separated and choked way up, from both sides of the plate.

(Jeter and Phil were used because everyone knows of them both.)

Yankees Stadium Legacy: #95 Jorge Posada

Jorge Posada was one of the best hitting catchers in all of baseball. Posada has earned five American League Silver Sluggers and was a five time All Star during his time in pinstripes. In 2003 Jorge finished in third place for the Most Valuable Player award and finished sixth place in 2007 in the MVP award. Since the year 2000 Jorge led all MLB catchers that decade in home runs and RBI's.

95 days until Opening Day.

Pinch Hitting Guest Blogger: Ken Reed


I wonder how great Mickey would've been if he hadn't been injured so seriously and so much. The knee injury from the 51 Series was just the first. I saw a picture of Mickey on crutches detailing the injuries he suffered in his career! He had to tape himself from shoulders to knees before every game. He never complained - he just became bigger then life to some of the Yankee Fans. "We all knew, if the game was on the line and Mickey was coming up, we still had a very good chance of winning it"...said Bobby Mercer.
I think The Babe, Mantle, and Mays are top 3 (OF) of all time (not counting "Shoeless Joe"). But I honestly believe Mickey is the greatest ballplayer I ever saw. He did so much during his career while he was hurt. Without the injuries, there would have been no limit to the records he would have set maybe even brake Babe Ruth's career HR records and many other records along the way.

Joe D was famous for making every catch look graceful and easy. I've seen him play and as many, read books about Joe D, he was not a very nice guy! First words to a rookie were "Don't mess with my WS money"! Us kids from Hells Kitchen (Kitchen Trash) were never given a smile, wave or word from him. His words after  his 56 game hitting gig were (something like) "Hell I could have got more money from Hinze (57) with that last hit".

DiMaggio hot dogged it (some say, not me) going after the ball seeing Mantle coming on and only at the last moment yelled I got it. To be fair, Joe never dove or jumped for a ball, he was that good reading the ball, a talent very very few OF have...even the better ones! In this case his very late call, caused Mantle to try and stop, snag his foot on a sprinkler, the rest is history! Without DiMaggio's (so called) grandstanding, Mantle might have been the best of the best. In my mind, I saw one of the best outfielders of all time.

Some have read stories told by him, and others, about his partying, drinking etc. Without knowing Mickey or the way he talked, one may have gotten the wrong impression of him as a player...the played hard and lived harder...his drinking never got in the way of his playing the game.

One day after a double hitter, Casey told him he wouldn't play the next day, so, being Mickey he made a night of it at the Clubs. The next day he was more sleeping than awake in the dug-out when late in a tie game Casey told him he was going to Pinch Hit. Well, the thing is; he had only wrapped part of his legs, not all of them. he stepped up and untied the game with a HR...he could hardly trot around the bases so as he crossed home plate he said something like, "They will never know how hard that was!" after the game someone asked him, how hard was it to hit it out after sitting all game? Mickey looked at the guy and said, "I saw three and hit the middle one!" He was being self deprecating with a joke.

There will never be another Mickey Mantle but, the best of all, is A-Rod! Drugs and Drinking oh, what they could have been!

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/27

On this day in 1943 former Yankee infielder Roy White is born. White would go on to play 15 seasons for the Yankees while batting a career .271. Not bad for a Los Angeles boy.

On this day in 1984 the Yankees signed Ed Whitson to a five year deal worth $4.4 million. Whitson went 14-8 with the NL Champion San Diego Padres the season before but the Yankees never got close to that production out of Whitson. Whitson only lasted a season and a half with the Yankees and compiled a 15-10 record with 5.38 ERA in 44 games.

On 2001 the Yankees moved their spring training, regular season, and postseason games to WCBS-AM from WABC. The Yankees then signed a five year deal with the newly created YES Network worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million.