Friday, June 6, 2014

McCann's 3-Run Double Helps Whitley Collect First Career Win Over Royals

While yesterday's win over Oakland wasn't the slightest bit pretty, you have to acknowledge that it mattered.

The Yankees, who had lost four in a row coming into it, were obviously pretty down on themselves, making the fact that it wasn't a loss extremely meaningful. 

After tonight's 4-2 victory over the Royals, you have to think now that maybe it was actually the beginning of good times for New York's AL team, who are now a solid 31-29 on the season.

No, this evening's W wasn't perfect (the Yanks offense didn't score in their last six at-bats), but is was pretty stress-free.

After Brian Roberts put them on the board in the top of the second with a single, the Pinstripes made the game enough of a blowout to take the worry away from their pitchers in the third, when Brian McCann cleared the bases with a go-ahead, three-run double.

At that point, the Yankees possessed a comfortable 4-1 lead, enough to allow Chase Whitley to dominate.

Whitley, 0-0 in four starts coming in, tossed an impressive 7 innings of two-run ball, two trips around the bases better than his counterpart Jeremy Guthrie, who also lasted 7 frames.

Of those 21 outs, just 3 were strikeouts, as Whitley mostly succeeded in the outing due to grounders and fly balls.

After his exit, Dellin Betances and David Robertson entered for the second consecutive day, with Betances easily getting through the eighth.

Unfortunately, Robertson did have some trouble with two outs in the ninth, surrendering a double and a walk to give the home team some momentum.

He would eventually get out of the jam thanks to chopper off the bat of Salvador Perez (his 14th save in 16 opportunities), but still, the 21 pitches it took him to do so will likely keep him out tomorrow if he's needed, something pretty frustrating considering he struck out the first two hitters he faced.

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Royals 6/6

The New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals will start a four game series tonight at Kauffman Stadium. The Yankees will send Chase Whitley to the mound as he continues to replace CC Sabathia in the rotation and will face off with Jeremy Guthrie. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes to chat during the game. This weekend should be fun as the Kansas City Royals are one of the worst teams in the league this season. Doesn't mean it will be, but it should be. If Twitter isn't your thing then drop us a line in the comments section of the site, Patrick won't bite.

Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your weekend. Don't forget to get your Yankees tickets this season through us with no fees and free shipping RIGHT HERE on the blog. 

Yankees 2014 Draft Picks Updated

Here is a list of who the New York Yankees have drafted through the first 10 rounds of the 2014 MLB Draft:

2nd Round - LHP Jacob Lindgren (Mississippi State)
3rd Round - RHP Austin DeCarr (Salisbury High School)
4th Round - LHP Jordan Montgomery (South Carolina)
5th Round - RHP Jordan Foley (Central Michigan)
6th Round - RHP Jonathan Holder (Mississippi State)
7th Round - CF Mark Payton (Texas)
8th Round - 1B Connor Spencer (University of California Irvine)
9th Round - SS Vince Conde (Vanderbilt)
10th Round - 2B Ty McFarland (James Madison University)

Kansas City Royals Suck... Meme

I love it, I didn't even have to make this meme. I literally laughed out loud and that doesn't happen often.

ICYMI: Yankees Draft Miss. St. Jacob Lindgren

In case you missed it last night the New York Yankees took Jacob Lindgren out of Mississippi State University with the 55th overall pick in the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft. Lindgren is 21 years old and is a full time relief pitcher that is primed to run through the Yankees system pretty quickly.

Lindgren had a 0.81 ERA with an even 100 K's and 25 walks this season in 55.1 innings pitched. Lindgren had an eye popping 16.27 K/9 and throws from the left side at 93-94 MPH. A polished college arm that could move very quickly through the Yankees system, easily in my opinion before the Matt Thornton disaster contract is up.

Lindgren wants to sign as quickly as possible and is eligible to sign at any second since Mississippi State's season ended a few weeks ago. The slot recommendation is $1,018,700 and he may end up signing for less than that, and very unlikely to command more. I see this deal getting done as soon as this weekend.

Royals' Starter Guthrie Excited to Face Jeter

During his time with the Orioles, Royals Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie faced Derek Jeter multiple times.

The 35-year-old starter, who played for Baltimore from 2007-2011, will go up against the Yankees' Shortstop for possibly the last time in his career tonight, when the Yanks and Royals begin a four-game weekend series. 

Going into the outing, Guthrie is admittedly excited to go up against the future HOF, something he recently revealed to's Adam Lichtenstein.

"He's someone I've always enjoyed facing," Guthrie said. "I watched him as a kid growing up and I think he's had a tremendous career. Obviously, he's done everything right on and off the field for the most part, and some kids look up to him as a role model."

As of now, both teams playing in the contest could use a victory, with the Bombers currently sitting at 30-29 and KC 29-31.

To go along with those bad records, both clubs also have low power numbers, with New York First Basemen Mark Teixeira (10) being the only man on either roster with 10+ home runs.

In other words, this set should be one of pitching duels, beginning with this evening's Whitley-Guthrie matchup, where Whitley will again go for career win #1.

Preview: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 6/6

The New York Yankees will start a four game series with the Kansas City Royals tonight in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The Yankees will send Chase Whitley to the mound to face off with the Royals Jeremy Guthrie and the game will be played at 8:10 pm ET. The game can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman with WFAN.

Whitley matched his season high this season last time out by throwing five innings against the Minnesota Twins. Whitley struck out six Twins and didn't walk a batter while allowing just one run.Whitley will look to throw more than 83 pitches this time out and effectively go through a lineup more than twice in a single game.

Guthrie has allowed just one run in seven innings, one run in six innings, and two runs in seven innings in his last three starts and has zero victories to show for it. Guthrie is 0-5 in his last 10 starts for the Royals.

Get your Yankees tickets for this game and every Yankees game this season RIGHT HERE on the blog with no fees and free expedited shipping through our friends at Ticket Monster. Go Yankees!!

I've Got Til 5! - Don Zimmer

In April Don Zimmer had surgery to repair a leaky valve in his heart, and since then spent his time at a rehabilitation clinic in Florida. Unfortunately Zim wouldn't fully recover, and along with kidney issues, he passed away on Wednesday.

I, along with many baseball fans, will never forget that picture of Don. He'd just been hit in the head with a sharply hit ball off the bat of Chuck Knoblauch, but was able to find humor in the whole thing and make us laugh.

Not only was he a fine player, manager, coach, but he also served as a member of the advisory board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties.

We lost a special person, but he left us with some amazing memories.

1. As a player, Don Zimmer won the World Series with the 1955 and 1959 Brooklyn Dodgers. He was lucky enough to play alongside greats like Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale, and Jackie Robinson.

Along with being a two-time all star, winning the National League Manager of the Year award in 1989, and coaching the Yankees to their four World Series titles between 1996 and 2000, Mr. Zimmer had one heck of a career in baseball.

2. While playing for the St. Paul Saints for the AAA American Assocation, Zimmer was hit in the head with a pitch. He was knocked out, had to have brain surgery, and didn't wake up for two weeks. Doctors actually had to drill holes in Don's skull in order to relieve the pressure of swelling.

This led to Major League Baseball adopting batting helmets. Phil Rizzuto was actually the first MLB player to use a batting helmet.

3. Years before Don Zimmer was a bench coach for the Yankees, he was trying to cause the Red Sox to lose.

It was Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, and Zim was the third base coach for the Red Sox. The game was tied in the bottom of the 9th inning, and the Sox had the bases loaded with nobody out. The next batter hit a shallow fly ball to left field that was easily caught, but not deep enough to tag. Unfortunately for Boston, instead of hearing Zimmer yelling "no, no, no", the runner on third heard "go, go, go" and was easily thrown out at home plate.

Carlton Fisk would later hit that classic home run to win Game 6, but the Reds would win Game 7 and take the series.

4. That wasn't the only time Zimmer helped hurt the Red Sox. As the manager for Boston in 1978, he helped the Sox build a 14 game lead in the American League East. But by early September that lead fell to only four games before the surging New York Yankees swept the Red Sox in a four-game series known as "The Boston Massacre".

Later that season, after the Sox and Yankees went back and forth for first place, resulting in a one game playoff, Zimmer pegged rookie Bobby Sprowl to start over Bill "Spaceman" Lee... a very unpopular decision. Sprowl gave up four walks, one hit, and one run in the first inning of the game, which the Bombers ended up winning.

To be fair, though, Zimmer led the Red Sox to some of their best seasons. Boston would actually win more than 90 games in each of his three full seasons as manager (1977-1979). In fact, Zimmer's 1978 Red Sox won 99 games, which is the fourth-best record in franchise history.

5. What some people, myself included, find most incredible about Don Zimmer is the fact that the only paycheck he ever received came from baseball. He never held a job in any other profession. How awesome is that?

To further show you how much the game meant to Don Zimmer, in 1951 he married the girl he'd been dating since the 10th grade, at home plate before a game he played for a minor league team in Elmira, NY.

Thank you, Mr. Zimmer.

Jaron Long, Chris Smith Heading to Tampa

Jaron Long, Chris Smith Heading to Tampa
Single-A Tampa Yankees receive two RiverDogs right-handers via promotions

CHARLESTON, SC – The New York Yankees have announced that Charleston RiverDogs right-handed pitchers Jaron Long and Chris Smith have been promoted to the Single-A Tampa Yankees. Long leaves the RiverDogs as the South Atlantic League leader in earned run average while Smith had a strong start to his debut in affiliated baseball.

In a pair of corresponding moves, Charleston receives left-handed pitchers Evan Rutckyj and Chaz Hebert from Tampa. The RiverDogs will maintain their maximum of 25 active players.

Long, a non-drafted free agent out of Ohio State in 2013, currently tops the Sally League with a 1.64 earned run average and also shares the league lead with one shutout. Long owns a 3-1 record for Charleston and recently recorded a streak of 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings.

Smith joined the Yankees in 2013 after playing in Australia for the Pine Hills Lightning and the Brisbane Bandits. The Louisville, KY native won his affiliated baseball debut on May 12 and earned a save on May 16 in a doubleheader opener. Smith has 1-1 record with a 4.50 ERA.

Rutckyj and Hebert, a pair of southpaws, are added to Charleston roster. This is the third season that Rutckyj has been a member of the RiverDogs, featuring his team-high ten wins in 2013 for Charleston. This season, Rutckyj has one win over 12 relief appearances with Tampa. Hebert went 0-2 in three Tampa starts to begin this season and joins the RiverDogs for the first time.

Charleston starts a four-game homestand against the Savannah Sand Gnats at 7:05pm tonight. Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, presented by 95SX, offers $1 drafts and DJ Natty Heavy in the Ashley View Pub. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.

Article Revisit: My Day With Don Zimmer

This was posted yesterday by our friend Michael Pawluk after hearing the news of the passing of Don Zimmer at age 83. In case anyone missed it HERE is the link to yesterday's post and below is the post once again. It's a great read and it truly gives you a look into the man that Don Zimmer really was. Plus it made me extremely jealous of Mr. Pawluk... enjoy!

It was August 26th, 2004 that I got to spend one of the most remarkable days of my life with a baseball legend. His name was Don Zimmer and he was truly a wonderful man.

On the afternoon of Thursday August 26th, 2004 the featured horse race at Saratoga Race Course was to be the Union Avenue Stakes. It was a small stakes race for fillies and mares who had been bred in New York State, not an important race in terms of status or purse money.

What gave that stakes race some flair was that the favorite in the race, a filly named Sugar Punch, was co-owned by the manager of the Yankees, Joe Torre.

Joe Torre and Don Zimmer shared a bond that went beyond baseball, they both loved horse racing. The Yankees were in Toronto that day so Torre could not attend the races at Saratoga to see his filly run. Because he could not attend the race he sent his former bench coach Don Zimmer to watch the filly run and hopefully lead her into the winners circle.

My friend Rick Dutrow Jr. was the trainer of Sugar Punch and he asked me to go the box seats where Zimmer was going to sit all day at the races and entertain him and talk horses with him. Rick was going to be busy saddling other horses that day and couldn't spend the whole day up in the box seats. I assured Rick it would be my great pleasure to spend the day with Zimmer.

I eagerly arrived to the box seats to meet this baseball legend who I found with his head buried in the Daily Racing Form and sitting with another baseball legend who I already knew, Mr. John Podres. John Podres lived right above Saratoga Springs in Glens Falls,NY and was well known to everyone in the area who had visited the racetrack, Mr. Podres loved the horses.

After saying hello to Mr. Podres I introduced myself to Zim, whose response was a quick hello followed by “Who do you like in this daily double?”.

The entire afternoon went just like that! Three guys talking horses and reading the Daily Racing Form. I stayed away from asking Yankee and baseball questions because it was obvious that Zim had no interest in anything other than his passion, the horse races.

When it was time for the stakes race with Mr. Torre's horse, Zim went down to the paddock where the horses are saddled and graciously shook hands and said hello to the many people who walked up to him. He arrived back at the box with the filly's trainer Rick. Rick was on a cell phone and with one minute to post he told the person on the other end of the cellphone while looking at me “Ok babe, I'm going to give you to Mike. He's going to call the race for you.” Slightly annoyed, I mouthed the words to Rick “who is it?” and Rick replied very casually “It's Torre”. My eyes must have looked as wide as pie pans.

Having been in the horse business, which is full of celebrities, I am not easily awed by anyone. This was different. This was the manager of the my favorite thing in the whole world, the New York Yankees. I took the phone from Rick and said nervously, “hello Mr. Torre, I'm Michael and will call the race for you.” He calmly said “Hi Mike, thanks”. The race went off and Sugar Punch was in perfect position the whole way and made her big move in the stretch, I called the race like a pro until the last 100 yards when I excitedly exclaimed “You're going to win Mr. Torre!! She's going to win”. Mr. Torre's response? He asked me who had ran second because he had bet an exacta! He hit it.

We went down to the winner's circle where Zim proudly lead Sugar Punch in by the reins. The NY Times had this to say about the race and Zim:

After the races we all went to dinner at a great Italian place. It was then that I got to ask Zim all of the questions I wanted to know about baseball, some of the Yankees and Yankees execs, and also about George Steinbrenner. Zim answered them all very candidly and had me laughing most of the evening. Zim and Mr. Podres had been teammates in MLB with the Brooklyn Dodgers, something I didn't realize until that evening. They recounted their days as teammates, laughing as they recalled how many times their manager Walt Alston would be furious with them for being late to practice because they stayed too long at the track! With Mr. Podres sheepishly looking at the table and roaring laughter, Zim told me his favorite story involving their time with the Dodgers. One day they were very late to practice and Alston asked to be informed when they arrived in the locker room. Shortly after they arrived, Alston came storming in to the locker room, tearing into them for being late again, certain they had come from the track. Mr. Podres began to explain to Alston that they had been caught in traffic and hadn't been to the track. Alston's face turned red with anger, and he snatched the racing program that Zim had forgotten to take out of his back pocket and held it up in front of them before storming out of the room.

I can't recount what Zim told me about some of the players and execs because it wouldn't be right to do, but I can assure you it was not only one of the greatest dinners I've ever had but also one of the best and most remarkable days of my life.

Zim signed a lovely note for my aunt and uncle before he left, who were big fans of his.

My life was enriched by spending just one day with this man, who truly lived a wonderful life.

He's been reunited with his friend Mr. Podres in Heaven now, and I'm sure they'll hit every trifecta on Belmont Stakes Day.

The Shakeup That Needs To Starts From Within

The Yankees have been terrible the last couple of weeks and a shakeup is needed. I'm not saying completely blow up the team, that's not necessary, and I am not generally a very patient person both in life and in baseball fandom but something needs to be done and done now. The Yankees should rid themselves of Alfonso Soriano, although they wont, but when Ramon Flores got hurt the chances of that diminished but there are two minor leaguers currently in the Yankees system tearing things up that deserve a shot.

We don't need Kendrys Morales when we have Kyle Roller rotting away in Triple-A. We don't need Brian Roberts when we have Jose Pirela tearing the cover off the ball, albeit for limited power, in the minors as well. Have we learned nothing from the youthful fire that Yangervis Solarte has brought to the team? Are we not tired of veterans that feel like they deserve to be here no matter what?

Look at the stats below and tell me that Pirela at second base and Roller on the bench would not be better for the Yankees than what they currently have. I'll wait.

Quick Hit: Royals Just What The Doctor Ordered?

The New York Yankees are set to start 10 game West Coast road trip tonight first with a four game set with the Kansas City Royals followed by three game sets with the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics. Could the Kansas City Royals be just what the doctor ordered for a scuffling Yankees team?

The Royals are in last place in the American League Central division and have the fewest home runs of any team in the league. The Royals offense is last in the American League in home runs, OBP, SLG %, and total bases. The Royals are also at the bottom of the AL in walks, hit by pitches, OBP, and runs. The Royals offense has struggled mightily.

The Yankees will be facing Jeremy Guthrie, Danny Duffy, a James Shields that has allowed 17 runs in his last three starts, and Jason Vargas. The Yankees offense should blast at least three of these guys and could blow out the Royals all four games. The Royals are towards the bottom of the AL in wins by starting pitchers, complete games, home runs allowed, and strike outs. The pitching has been terrible this season.

The Royals may just be what the Yankees need to really get going this season.

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/6

On this day in 1913 the New York Yankees lose at the Polo Grounds 2-1 for their 13th consecutive game without a victory. The Yankees have 12 losses and a 3-3 tie with the Boston Red Sox in the last two weeks of baseball. The Yankees set a franchise worst record of 9-34 to start the season.

On this day in 1934 Myril Hoag became the first New York Yankee in franchise history to have six hits in one game. Hoag also set a major league record with all six hits being singles in the same game. The Yankees would rout the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on this day 15-3.

On this day in 1971 the New York Yankees fans broke Yankee Stadium during a rally against the Kansas City Royals, literally. The Yankees hosted Bat Day on this day and every child received a youth sized Bobby Murder wooden Louisville Slugger replica bat. All the fans began banging their bats in unison during a 5-2 Yankees victory and caused pieces of concrete to fall into the lower levels of the stadium.

On this day in 1990 Stump Merrill replaced Bucky Dent as the manager of the New York Yankees. Merrill spent two years in the Yankees dugout and compiled a 120-155 record before being fired after the 1991 season and replaced by Buck Showalter.

On this day in 1999 Derek Jeter's streak of reaching base safely in 54 consecutive games comes to an end against the New York Mets. The Mets would win the game 7-2 in Yankee Stadium and keep Jeter off the basepaths with no walks or hits. This game would also end the streak of 20 consecutive wins, an American League record, for Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens.

On this day in 2013 the Seattle Mariners welcomed back Ichiro Suzuki to Safeco Field for the first time this year since being traded to the New York Yankees at the end of the 2012 season. Ichiro was traded in 2012 while the Yankees were in Seattle but no festivities could be planned with that little notice. Ichiro had a .322 average in 12 seasons as a member of the Mariners.