Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Robertson "Letting it All Play Out," Shawn Kelley Says

David Robertson is just weighing his options, Yankees' Reliever Shawn Kelley said.

Kelley joined MLB.com's Bryan Hoch for a phone interview this week, and didn't seem fearful that Robertson is about to leave the team in doing so. He said that he talks to Robertson "once in a while," and that Robertson is just seeing what's out there after rejecting the Yankees' qualifying offer.

"I’ve texted him personally to see what his thoughts are," Kelley said. "Honestly, I think he’s just kind of letting it all play out at this point. Since he turned the qualifying offer down, he might as well hear what the teams have to say and see what the best situation is personally for him.”

Robertson reportedly received interest from the Astros recently, a happening that has some Yankees fans concerned. Had Robertson not turned down New York's original proposal, he'd make $15.3 million in 2015, but has made it clear that he wants more length.

Nonetheless, according to Kelley, Robertson still has a part of him that is open to a return to the Bronx, where he's spent the entirety of his young career.

“I know he loves New York, I know he’s close with Mariano (Rivera) and wants to kind of follow in Mariano’s footsteps,” Kelley said. "...But he’s got to do what’s best and see what’s out there. That’s where he’s at in his career right now. I’ll support anything he does. We’re close friends, we always will be and I want what’s best for him and his family.”

Robertson has gone 25-19 with a 2.81 ERA in 393 1/3 innings pitched since 2008. This season, his first as the Yankees' closer, he successfully converted 39/44 save opportunities, the third most in the American League. 

However, with Dellin Betances now a record-breaking contributor and Adam Warren slowly evolving into a reliable threat, it's beginning to look more and more like the Yankees could still survive without Robertson if they had to, as good as he's been.

More on the Rays Fire Sale

Last time we spoke about the potential fire sale that is about to go on in Tampa Bay I explained how my semi sarcastic comment claiming that a house cleaning was about to go down in Tampa was killed on Twitter. Well a Joel Peralta, Jeremy Hellickson and Cesar Ramos trade later and a Jose Molina DFA rumors are starting to circulate around more potential trade happenings with the Rays.

Over the weekend my folder full of news sites that I have bookmarked were loaded with potential Rays players being put on the block by Tampa. Some of these players included Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist, and basically everyone else not named Evan Longoria and Alex Cobb (for now). This sure sounds like the team is ready to blow it up and start all over to me.

When the Rays announced two rookie managerial candidates in Raul Ibanez and Doug Glanville I knew the team was ready to start over. I just hope the person who killed me on Twitter for suggesting that it was coming after the team “traded their 7th starter away” and a “terrible relief pitcher” see’s the error of his ways and acknowledges that maybe he isn’t the smartest Rays fan in the world. That’s all that I ask. 


Press Release Header

The tenth annual Trenton Thunder Gift of Baseball program begins today, giving fans the chance to share the experience of cheering on the hometown team with underprivileged families in our community.  For each Season Ticket, Pic-A-Plan and Mini Plan purchased between November 24 and December 19, the Thunder will provide tickets for families in the Holiday Gift Outreach program run by Children's Home Society to attend a 2015 Thunder game.

"Our fans and corporate partners deserve a big "thank you" for supporting this initiative every year," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith.  "We're hoping even more families can visit ARM & HAMMER Park next season thanks to our fans' holiday shopping."

In its first nine years, the Gift of Baseball program has allowed the Thunder to donate a total of 6,344 tickets to the Children's Home Society.

"We are so grateful to the Trenton Thunder for once again sharing this wonderful 'Gift of Baseball' with the children we serve," said Donna C. Pressma, CHSofNJ President and CEO.  She continued, "This gift allows hundreds of our children to experience a live baseball game. It is a chance to make memories that last a lifetime, and we cannot thank the Trenton Thunder enough for always thinking of our CHSofNJ children and families."

2015 Trenton Thunder Mini Plans go on sale December 1st.  Mini plans include five or six of the most popular games on the schedule, free food at each game, a Trenton Thunder hat, a complimentary ticket to Opening Night and start as low as $60. More information about Mini Plans can be found here: MINI PLANS

Pic-A-Plans allow fans to choose any 10 or more games and like Mini Plans include free food, a limited edition hat and a free Opening Night ticket.  More information about Pic-A-Plans can be found here: PIC-A-PLANS

Season Tickets are available as either a full (71 games) or half (36 games) and include a lot of perks such as early entry, special events and more.  More information about Season Tickets can be found here: SEASON TICKETS

The Children's Home Society of New Jersey provides at-risk children and their families with a range of services that empower them to achieve their potential.  They are child-oriented, family focused, community based, and outcome-oriented.

The Thunder will begin the 2015 season at ARM & HAMMER Park on Thursday, April 16 against the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox). Single game tickets will go on sale in March 2015.  For more information about tickets, fans should call 609-394-3300or visit TrentonThunder.com.

Red Sox Get Hanley and Panda, Should We Worry?

The Boston Red Sox are re-tooling and rebuilding their team after missing the postseason in 2014 and the New York Yankees should take notice and worry. The Boston Red Sox will no longer be the whipping boy in the American League East after signing maybe the top two offensive free agents in this class. Each player reportedly will receive a five year deal and both players will receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million each. Paying for guys entering or leaving their primes to mega contracts and stealing all the attention in the media, isn’t that the Yankees job?

Hanley and Sandoval should take advantage of the Green Monster in Fenway and have huge offensive seasons in 2015 assuming health. The worst part about it is that Boston is likely not done this hot stove season either. The team could always bring back Jon Lester and/or trade away depth, Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts for example, for even more pieces to complete the puzzle. The team could always move Ramirez to left field since the dimensions are so small out there if the star would be willing to make the move allowing the team to keep and build around Bogaerts and creates a controversy.

Currently the Red Sox have Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Shane Victorino in right field, and a combination of Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, Brock Holt, and others. I said all that to say this, the Red Sox are far from done and that group of management has a track record of doing things efficiently and the right way. If I were the Yankees organization I would be scared right about now because I know, as a fan, I am. 

My Hall of Fame Ballot

The ballots for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame have been announced and there are a few notable first timers on the list. As many of you know I am a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and I will get a say in that ballot but I will save that ballot reveal for another day. Today I wanted to reveal who I would vote for if I had a vote in the BBWAA ballot.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Gary Sheffield, Tony Clark and John Smoltz are among 17 newcomers to the ballot joining Craig Biggio who fell two votes shy last season among others. Don Mattingly will also appear on the ballot for the 15th and final time in his eligibility this season while Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, and Time Raines make their returns to the ballot.

My ballot includes Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Mattingly, Mike Mussina, Bonds, Clemens, Biggio, Piazza and Raines. While I know many will disagree with the Mattingly pick I had to slide him in there as my 10th and final selection. Many more will disagree with my picks who were linked to steroids and the entire steroid era but it’s referred to as an era because, and I use the term loosely, everyone was doing steroids. The Black Sox threw the World Series but it wasn’t called the Black Sox era it was called the Black Sox scandal because they were one of the only ones doing it. Everyone did steroids and no one should be punished for it before it was illegal in the game. 

TGP Daily Poll: Chase Headley a 2015 Yankee

With the market for Chase Headley shrinking with every third baseman the Boston Red Sox sign it makes me believe that Headley will be a New York Yankee in 2015.

Vote in our poll!!

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/25: Bob Sheppard Retires

On this day in 2009 the long time New York Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard announced that he would not be back to do any more games. The 99 year old Sheppard cited age and lack of stamina, imagine that, for the reason for his retirement. Bob was the voice of the Yankees, and the "Voice of God," for over 50 seasons and saw the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jetah, and Mickey Mantle in his time with the team.

Also on this day in 1980 the Yankees and George Steinbrenner hired Gene Michael to be their manager. Michael would be the 25th manager in Yankees history and would replace Dick Howser after he led the Yankees to a first place finish in the AL East and a 103-59 record. "Stick" did what Howser couldn't though when he won two American League pennants in his first two seasons as the manager.

Finally on this day in 1970 the Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was named the American League Rookie of the Year. Munson received 23 of the 24 first place votes in an absolute landslide over the Indians Roy Foster.