Monday, February 24, 2014

Yankees Wont Offer Aledmys Diaz A Contract

What a difference a couple days make. Over the weekend, and I realize I am a day late and a dollar short on this post, the Yankees were considered to be the front runners for Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz. Yesterday we learned that New York will not even offer the 23 year old a contract. Kind of a bummer if you ask me.

This came after the Yankees held a private workout for Diaz on Friday, they must not have been impressed. New York will also not offer a contract to Odrisamer Despaigne, although he is not a can't miss prospect either. This makes sense if the rumors of Diaz asking for $20 million are true because I cannot see him being worth the contract. He would have been nice though, especially for next season.

Home Plate Collisions Officially A Thing Of The Past

Here are the rules released from Major League Baseball concerning the abolished home plate collisions in baseball:

 A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).
· Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.
In determining whether a runner deviated from his pathway in order to initiate a collision, the Umpire will consider whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate, and whether he lowered his shoulders or pushed through with his hands, elbows or arms when veering toward the catcher. The rule that will be in effect in 2014 does not mandate that the runner always slide or that the catcher can never block the plate. However, runners who slide, and catchers who provide the runner with a lane to reach the plate, will never be found to be in violation of the new rule. Beginning immediately, Clubs will be required to train their runners to slide and their catchers to provide the runner with a pathway to reach the plate at all levels in their organizations.
MLB will distribute training materials throughout Spring Training and discussions on the new rule, including the retraining of catchers and base runners, will be held during MLB’s meetings with managers in the weeks ahead. Additionally, MLB and the MLBPA will form a committee of players and managers to review developments as the season progresses and to discuss the possible application of the new rule in 2015.
Finally, instant replay will be available to review potential violations of Rule 7.13. The Umpire Crew Chief will have discretion to invoke instant replay in order to determine whether Rule 7.13 was violated.
(1) A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball). In such circumstances, the Umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision.
Rule 7.13 Comment: The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation of Rule 7.13. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 7.13. A slide shall be deemed appropriate, in the case of a feet first slide, if the runner’s buttocks and legs should hit the ground before contact with the catcher. In the case of a head first slide, a runner shall be deemed to have slid appropriately if his body should hit the ground before contact with the catcher.
(2) Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 7.13 if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in order to field a throw, and the Umpire determines that the catcher could not have fielded the ball without blocking the pathway of the runner and that contact with the runner was unavoidable.

New York Yankees Spring Training News & Notes 2/24

The Yankees had a light day at camp both in physical activity and news, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen, with no full workouts today. The Yankees had a union meeting this morning and a "team bonding event" this afternoon. Let's get right to the news.

Masahiro Tanaka threw batting practice again today and was throwing all his pitches, not just his fastballs, and garnered more rave reviews. Cervelli once again caught Tanaka, I wonder if that is a sign of things to come this season?

Andrew Bailey has arrived at Yankees camp and threw the ball around the Yankees outfield. Bailey states that he is 100% that he will throw in the majors this season. Bailey is only seven months out of a procedure that usually needs twelve months to recover from so five months from now puts us at late July, he could be the best July 31st pickup we make all season.

Alfonso Soriano was at Yankees camp today and didn't do much but the flu has kept him out of anything for the past three days so just being there is an upgrade. Soriano should be able to work out with the team as early as tomorrow, great news.

Chad Jennings once again Johnny on the spot with the assignments:

Early batting practice:
Group 1
Facing Mason Williams, Eduardo Nunez and Jacoby Ellsbury
Adam Warren (to Gary Sanchez)
Jim Miller (to Pete O’Brien)
Preston Claiborne (to John Ryan Murphy)
Cesar Cabral (to Francisco Arcia)
Chris Leroux (to Jose Gil)
Group 2
Facing Dean Anna, Zealous Wheeler and Scott Sizemore
CC Sabathia (to Brian McCann)
Hiroki Kuroda (to Austin Romine)
Masahiro Tanaka (to Francisco Cervelli)
· Early bullpens:
David Phelps (to Sanchez)
Jose Campos (to O’Brien)
David Herndon (to Roman Rodriguez)
Manny Banuelos (to Murphy)
Mark Montgomery (to Romine)
Matt Daley (to Arcia)
· No full-squad workout today. A few guys came in early to take batting practice on their own, but there’s nothing on the field the rest of the day. The Yankees are in a union meeting right now, and they’re going for a team outing — I believe it’s a pool tournament — this afternoon.

Introducing The New Thunder Team Bat Dog, Rookie

(Trenton, NJ)- After nearly three weeks of fan input and voting, the Trenton Thunder's bat dog of the future has a name. The Golden Retriever puppy, who is the son of team bat dog, Derby, and grandson of original bat dog, Chase, will be named, Rookie. 
Thunder fans submitted 1,164 different names during a 10 day name submission period then thousands of fans voted for one of eight finalists during a week long online vote. 
The eight finalists are listed below in order of votes received: 
1. Rookie
2. (Inside The) Parker
3. Slugger
4. Slider
5. Scooter
6. Thor
7. Ace
8. Mo 
"With all the young players that pass through ARM & HAMMER Park each year, it's only fitting that we have a 'Rookie' here to fetch their bats," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "The interaction we had with the fans throughout the naming process was outstanding and there's no doubt that everyone is excited about Rookie becoming part of the Thunder experience." 
Rookie will make many appearances at Thunder games during the 2014 season. He will be trained by Shelly's School for Dogs in Millstone, NJ and should make his bat dog debut for Thunder fans during the 2015 season.  Rookie, like his dad Derby, is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER.
The Thunder gained worldwide attention starting in 2002 when then two-year old "Chase That Golden Thunder" joined the team as an official bat dog, entertainer and mascot. In 2008, Chase fathered a litter of puppies. His son "Home Run Derby" followed in his father's pawsteps in Trenton while "Ollie" continued the family business with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Class AA, Toronto). Chase and Derby worked alongside each other at ARM & HAMMER Park from 2010 until Chase's passing last July.  
Rookie was born on December 15 at Goldilocks Goldens of Levittown, PA. Derby's mate Reba had a litter of two puppies, a boy and girl.  

The Thunder will begin the 2014 season at ARM & HAMMER Park on Thursday, April 3. Season tickets, group outings, Pic-A-Plans, and Mini Plan renewals are on sale now. Single game tickets will go on sale on March 1, 2014. For more information about tickets, fans should call 609-394-3300 or visit

This post is being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Meet A Prospect: Joe Girardi

Joseph Elliot Girardi, or more commonly known as Joe Girardi, was born on October 14th, 1964 in Peoria, Illinois. Joe stayed close to home, attending East Peoria Neil Armstrong grade school and Sacred Heart where he was coached in basketball by his father. He later attended the Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute, which is now merged into Peoria Notre Dame High School, where he played quarterback for the football team and catcher  for the baseball team. He went on to play baseball at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he earned a bachelors degree in industrial engineering of a bullpen. In college he was elected the president of the fraternity Alpha Tau Omega at Northwestern, the first freshman to ever be donned with the honor. 

Joe Girardi began his career being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the MLB First Year Player Draft in the 5th round in 1986. After a couple years in the Cubs minor league system Girardi played for the Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League where he gained a lot of MLB experience, experience that would end up starting that very season in 1989 where he started the season with the Cubs big league club. Joe stayed with the Cubs big league club as their catcher through the 1992 season. 

At the beginning of the 1993 season the Colorado Rockies, and expansion team, drafted Joe Girardi to be their first ever catcher. Joe Girardi would stay with the Rockies through the 1994 season but was traded eventually to the New York Yankees in 1995 for pitcher Mike DeJean, an obvious win for the Yankees team. 

1995 began Joe Girardi's career as a New York Yankee, and what a career it quickly became. Girardi was the Yankees regular catcher in 1995 and through the 1999 season, earning three World Series rings along the way in 1996, 1998, and 1999. Girardi also caught Dwight Gooden's no hitter in 1996 and David Cone's perfect game in 1999. Girardi did all this while still mentoring Yankees young catching converted prospect Jorge Posada. Girardi and Posada split time together through the 1999 season.  Girardi eventually went back to the Cubs, making his first ever All Star appearance, and spent some time with the Cardinals before retiring as a player but his best and most successful years were always as a Yankee.

After dabbling in broadcasting and turning down the Marlins offer to be their bench coach Joe accepted a spot as the bench coach for Joe Torre's New York Yankees after retiring in 2004. He even managed a game in 2005 during a Joe Torre suspension against the Kansas City Royals, a game that the Yankees lost. 2005 would be Girardi's last season as a Yankees bench coach as he joined the broadcasting world again in 2006, working games 3-5 of the World Series on Fox as a part of the pre and post game team. Joe Girardi joined the Yankees YES Network in 2007, after turning down managerial offers, for 60+ games and served as a color commentator for Major League Baseball on Fox.

In the 2006 season Joe Girardi accepted an offer to manage the Florida Marlins, replacing Jack McKeon. His first notable action was to ban all facial hair, similar to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.  With a $14 million dollar payroll, a salary lower then 7 Yankees players, Girardi guided the team to a 78-84 record and a wild card contending team all season long.  After a public altercation with owner Jeffrey Loria, who almost fired him that night before being talked out of it, Girardi's days were numbered. Girardi was fired on October 3rd, 2006 despite him winning manager of the year. He also won the Sporting News Manager of the Year Award for the National League that season.

Joe Girardi, replacing long time Yankees manager Joe Torre, beat out Don Mattingly and Tony Pena to become the new manager of the New York Yankees in 2008. He signed a three year deal worth $7.5 million bucks.  Joe Girardi immediately chose to wear number 27 to show his goal for the 2008 season, a 27th World Series Championship. He did not start out well because Girardi's Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1993 season. This was especially heartbreaking because it was the last season in the old Yankees Stadium. 

After a SEVERELY long offseason of nothing but "Fire Joe Girardi" threads on forums and rants and raves about how much of a better job Don Mattingly, with no experience, would have done the Yankees returned to the field in 2009. This time, to help Girardi, the Yankees added CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Texeira, and Nick Swisher to name a few. The Yankees were quick out of the gate and by the time the Yanks clinched their 40th AL Pennant, having the best record in basball, the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to win their 27th World Championship. This was his first World Series title as a manager and the Yankees first title win since 2000, a long 9 years. After that season he changed his number to number 28 because the Yankees had/have a new goal... a 28th championship.

Joe Girardi is married to his wife Kimberly Girardi, seen in our WIVES AND GIRLFRIENDS section, and has three children while living in Purchase, New York.  Girardi is the son of Jerry and Angela Girardi, both from Illinois originally and of Italian descent. Joe Girardi considers himself a devout Christian, something that he also gets from his parent.  Girardi is known as a health nut and, since taking over the Yankees, has banned sweets from the clubhouse. No ice cream, no soda, and no Captain Crunch for CC Sabathia in Joe Girardi's clubhouse!

After the 2009 World Series clinching game Joe Girardi was driving home and stopped to help a crash victim who had run their car into a wall on a dangerous part of the highway. The woman that he tried to help save stated that she did not even know who he was until the officers pointed it out, how cool (for lack of a better word) would that be?

Joe Girardi's led New York Yankees team missed the playoffs for the second time in his six seasons in 2013 but Joe was rewarded with a four year contract worth $16,000,000. If Joe finishes this contract he would be at the held for 10 years as a Yankees manager and would have guided us through the biggest transition in recent memory. Girardi may be a lot of things but a good person and a great manager are at the top of that list. 

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #35 Moose Skowron

Moose Skowron played his first nine Major League seasons with the New York Yankees and upped his power production in his final three seasons. From 1960-1962 Skowron hit a total of 77 home runs in those three years in New York. In the 1960 World Series he had two home runs as a part of his 12 hit barrage and finished with a .375 average and six RBI vs. Pittsburgh. That season Skowron started at first base in both installments of the MLB All Star Game.

35 days until Yankees Opening Day

Prospects Month: Top 28 Yankees Prospects List #5

Continuing our look at The Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 prospects list as a part of Prospects Month we name our #5 prospect, Tyler Austin

Here is the complete up to date list. Check back every day as the list fills out and we continue our look at the prospects in the New York Yankees system during Prospects Month here on TGP.

5. Tyler Austin
6. Mason Williams
7. Ian Clarkin
8. Eric Jagielo
9. Greg Bird
10. Manny Banuelos
11. Jose Campos
12. Gosuke Katoh
13. Shane Greene
14. Jose Ramirez
15. Peter O'Brien
16. Aaron Judge
17. Ty Hensley
18. Luis Severino
19. Abiatal Avelino
20. Rob Refsnyder
21. Nik Turley
22. Cito Culver
23. Ramon Flores
24. Mark Montgomery
25. Rookie Davis
26. Jake Cave
27. Ben Gamel
28. Angelo Gumbs

Exclusive Interview w/ Yankees Pitcher Andrew Benak

With our latest interview we have a name that many of you may not know yet, but you will, and his name is Andrew Benak. Benak is a starting pitcher that spent 2013 in the New York Penn League with the Staten Island Yankees and spent his college career at Rice University. 

The Greedy Pinstripes: Mr. Andrew Benak, how are you today sir? How is your offseason going?

Andrew Benak: Off season is going well just looking forward to the upcoming season

TGP:  You are currently a pitcher for the Staten Island Yankees, did you play any other positions growing up, in High School, or in college?

AB: I played a lot of different positions growing up. In high school I played first base as well as pitched

TGP: Do you miss anything about the whole college experience or anything specifically at Rice University?

AB: I loved my experience at Rice. We had a great team all four years and I really enjoyed both baseball and school

TGP: Do you keep up with the Rice University baseball and/or football teams?

AB: I keep up with both teams. I watch the baseball games any chance I get on the internet while I'm playing.

TGP:  What were you doing when you found out that you became a member of the New York Yankees?

AB: I was sitting on my couch with my roommate in college just watching the draft. He was drafted as well and it was a great experience

TGP:  What teams and sports did you root for and watch growing up?

AB: I was born and raised in Houston so I'm a Houston sports fan. The Astros, Texans, and Rockets were all my favorites growing up

TGP: How tough is it to be on the road so much and having your girlfriend at home waiting on you?

AB: It is definitely tough but she's very supportive in what I do. Although it's tough she makes it easier for both of us

TGP: What are you doing this offseason to improve on your 2013 season?

AB: I'm really trying to improve everything going into this year from command to the movement of my pitches.

TGP: What do you do during the offseason to keep yourself occupied?

AB: The past two off seasons I have been doing internships. I graduated from rice in December and I am currently interning with a commercial real estate company

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

AB: My favorite restaurant hands down is Lupe Tortillas. It's a Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston and it has the best queso

TGP:  Are you listening to any good music right now we may not know about?

AB: I listen to all types of music from country to rap and everything in between. I mainly listen to country music if I had to chose a genre

TGP: I think this answer may be obvious but in my time around social media I have noticed there are two kinds of fans when it comes to prospects. You have the "prospect humpers" (myself being a self professed prospect humper) and a name yet to be determined (due to my lack of creativity) describing those who want to sell all the prospects off for the 37 year old "sure thing." Which category do you think yourself as a fan falls into?

AB: That's a hard question to answer. I think it just depends on the type of fan you are.

TGP: What current Major League player do you think you compare to the most?

AB: I'm not sure who I compare to most. Jeff Neimann helped me out a little so I like to think I compare to him in a way

TGP:  Have you ever considered life after baseball and whether you would be interested in coaching or mentoring? Maybe returning to Rice?

AB: I have considered life after baseball but for now I want to focus on the opportunity that I have in front of me and make the most of it. I'm not sure if I would be interested in coach at Rice. I haven't ever thought about it but it's something that would be intriguing

TGP: How important is family to you in your life and in your career?

AB: Family is extremely important I have an amazing family. My family has supported me my whole life and I wouldn't be where I am without them

TGP: Most embarrassing song in your iPod?

AB: We are never ever getting back together by Taylor Swift

TGP: You're home from a long road trip, what are you watching on TV right now?

AB: I'm watching friends right now but you will catch me watching anything from sportscenter to family guy

TGP: We'll finish with this one, where do you see yourself in life and your career in five years?

AB: That's another tough question I know what goals I have but like I said I like to focus on the present and make the most of "now"

Thank you very much for taking the time do this for us Andrew, it is appreciated. Good luck this season and every season going forward. You can follow Andrew on Twitter by following @abenak30.

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/24

On this day in 1948 the Chicago White Sox traded Ed Lopat to the New York Yankees for Aaron Robinson, Bill Wright, and Fred Bradley.