Saturday, January 10, 2015

ESPN's Hall of 100 Ranks Derek Jeter All-Time

For much of the 20 season career of Derek Jeter many around the league thought of the Yankees shortstop as one of the best of our generation and definitely in the conversation among the greatest of all-time. ESPN worked on a list of the Top 100 players in Major League history and Jeter's name appeared on the list in the #31 position making him the 31st best player in Major League history.

Jeter won five World Series titles in his career and made the postseason 18 times, seven times making the World Series, while being named to 14 All-Star games. Jeter also won five Gold Glove Awards and was named the 1996 American League Rookie of the Year. For the entire list CLICK HERE but I will detail some of the Yankees on the list below as an excerpt, enjoy.

1.Babe Ruth
7. Roger Clemens
9. Mickey Mantle
11. Lou Gehrig
14. Rickey Henderson
19. Joe DiMiaggio
21. Randy Johnson
23. Alex Rodriguez
31. Derek Jeter
52. Mariano Rivera
56. Wade Boggs
57. Reggie Jackson
58. Yogi Berra
96. Tim Raines
100. Phil Niekro

Mike Piazza Should Make Hall of Fame in 2016

Mike Piazza fell just short of the Hall of Fame for a third straight vote in 2015 but should not have to wait much longer to get elected. Piazza topped out at 69.9% of the vote this season after garnering just 62.2% in 2014 and 57.8% in his first season in 2013. If Craig Biggio, who missed the Hall by two votes in 2014 before getting in this season, and his eight point jump is any indication it looks like Piazza may finally enter the Hall in 2016.

Entering a class with new comers like Ken Griffey Jr., Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman there is undoubtedly going to be another big class elected and another logjam on the ballot. Next year seems like the most likely of seasons for the best hitting catcher in Major League history to join the rank of the immortals. Piazza was a 12 time All-Star and will use Biggio’s induction as a precedent for positional players of the “Steroid Era” to finally get into the Hall in my opinion. 

Reasons to support the Stephen Drew signing

Well, Stephen Drew's a Yankee again. I know that's not news to any of you, but still, I find it tough to accept. Just over a month ago, it seemed Drew was destined for elsewhere. The Yankees had traded Martin Prado to the Marlins and publicly stated their intentions to let Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela compete for the 2015 second base job, so it looked like a sure thing Drew's short tenure with them was over.
Nonetheless, after Drew signed a one-year, $5 million deal with New York on Wednesday, it isn't, and neither apparently is the Yankees' inability to resist acquiring names. But that's not what I'm going to talk about here, because much as I'd prefer giving a youngster a chance, I don't hate Drew. In fact, I think he's an overall solid guy, and though it's a safe bet he'll struggle at times, I think he'll improve the Yankees. Here are a few reasons to support that, and keep in mind, I don't believe Drew will be a star. I simply expect him to contribute.
1. His Defense: I'll be honest, I know little to nothing about the gloves of Refsnyder and Pirela. I assume they're solid, but are they better than Drew's? Probably not. Drew's been one of the best defensive shortstops in the league for years now, and should only be better next season when he's a second baseman instead. Add on the fact Brendan Ryan and Didi Gregorius are also working the middle infield, and it's clear the Yankees have an alright group.
2. He's Better Than Ryan: Not that Drew's a great hitter, but is it really debatable whether or not he's better than Ryan? Drew's batted .256/.322/.425  in his career and Ryan .234/.295/.314, so the former certainly appears to be superior offensively. Granted, Drew was painful to watch in 2014, but most probably wouldn't be great either when their seasons start in late May. Now maybe you could still argue Ryan's the better defender, but how much is that worth when he's never getting on base? With Drew re-signed, Ryan's role with the Yankees will unquestionably be reduced, so it's necessary the two are compared. And when you do so, Drew is no doubt more likable, mediocre as he may be.
3. He Could Start if Needed: This sort of falls into the same category as the last one, but then again, it's different. Sure, having a good bench available when starters take days off is important, but then what about when starters get hurt? Basically, Drew could play everyday if needed. Yes, I'm aware he likely wouldn't be great at it, and yes, I'm aware he might still have the second base job come April. But in my opinion, he won't, so let's all just agree on the undeniable fact at hand: Drew is capable of starting, Ryan isn't. That kind of stuff matters a lot more than people usually acknowledge.
To put it simply, Drew signing this week won't be remembered for long, but for the year the contract lasts, it will definitely affect the Yankees. I'm one of those who assumes it will positively, and encourage those who don't to give Drew a chance. It's possible he'll struggle, but it's also possible he'll flourish. Let's just see what happens before we make too harsh of judgements.

Your Saturday Morning Quick Refresher on Yoan Moncada

A bit of “news” broke on Thursday night that the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox were the “heavy favorites” to sign Cuban defecting infielder Yoan Moncada. I say this is “news” because he has yet to be unblocked by the US government and cannot be signed by major league teams yet so to name a team or two the favorite right now seems to be a bit premature, don’t you think. Also it’s not news in my opinion, it’s more stating the obvious, as these two teams along with 28 others will at least be involved in the discussions for Moncada. Anyway, I could rant and rave all day about the media and insiders recycle the same garbage and attach names like the Yankees to attract clicks but I am here to give a refresher course on Moncada as the signing draws closer.

We went back in the Greedy Pinstripes archive to bring you these two articles about Moncada and what he could potentially bring to New York, or any team. Moncada is being donned as a franchise changing player and a must have for most teams so expect the bidding to get expensive, hot and heavy. 

TGP Daily Poll: Max Scherzer Returns to St. Louis

It’s probably not a coincidence that the St. Louis Cardinals are said to be interested in adding a top of the rotation starting pitcher after the rest of their division beefed up. Max Scherzer was born and raised in St. Louis and would make that Cardinals rotation scary for years to come, and he will.

Vote in our poll.

Brandon McCarthy Joins The Player's Tribune

Mets v Yankees X Clemens

I was reading Derek Jeter's blog "The Player's Tribune" yesterday and I ran across a post titled "Hall of Fame Denial" which immediately peaked my interest. As many of you know I am on the side of letting the steroid era players into the Hall of Fame and I hoped that this article shared the same view I have, and it did, but what was most interesting was who the author was. Former New York Yankee and current Los Angeles Dodgers player Brandon McCarthy wrote the article and touched on a lot of key points that had me shaking my head in agreement for the entire article.

To close out the article McCarthy revealed who would have been on his Hall of Fame ballot had he been able to fill one out and, spoiler alert, it's very steroid era friendly. CLICK HERE to read the entire article from Mr. McCarthy and as an excerpt I will share his Hall of Fame Ballot below. Enjoy!

Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds
Curt Schilling
Mike Mussina
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Mike Piazza

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/10: Boomer David Wells

On this day in 2002 the Yankees signed David Wells to a two year deal worth $7 million to re-join the team. Wells was coming off missing the second half of the season after having back surgery. Wells posted a 34-14 record including his perfect game in his last two year stint with the Yankees from 1997-1998 before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roger Clemens.

Also on this day in 1983 a preliminary injunction was issued by the New York Supreme Court barring the Yankees from playing their opening games against the Detroit Tigers in Denver, Colorado. The Yankees asked for the games to be moved due to fears that their renovations to the new Yankee Stadium would not be completed on time.