Friday, March 6, 2015

Recap: Yankees 4, Phillies 1

Didi Gregorius collected his first hit of the month and Bryan Mitchell threw two shutout innings as the Yankees beat the Phillies, 4-1, in their first split-squad matchup Friday in Clearwater.

Gregorius Drives in a Run: After making a pair of nice defensive plays early on, Gregorius drove a Mike Nesseth offering down the right-field line in the Yankees' half of the fourth -- bringing home Aaron Judge to give New York a 3-0 lead. The knock followed another RBI double by Greg Bird and an RBI single by Ramon Flores in the frame -- the only one in which either club scored multiple times.

Mitchell Matches Hamels: The Yankees managed just one baserunner in their first two at-bats against the Phillies' Cole Hamels in this one, but thanks to the endeavors of the youngster Mitchell, they were still able to keep things even. In two innings of work, Mitchell nicely surrendered just one hit -- facing the minimum while striking out two.

Starters Stats: The Yankees' starting infielders all played in this contest, and -- along with Gregorius -- three of them got hits. Stephen Drew singled off Hamels in the first and Mark Texeira off Nesseth in the fourth, with Chase Headley going 0-for-2. 

Kevin Long's Son Earns a W: Kevin Long might not be the Yankees' hitting coach anymore, but his son still pitches in their organization. Wearing #97 on his back, righty Jaron Long tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in this one, and was rewarded with the win for doing so.

Noonan Stays Hot: Yankees spring training invite Nick Noonan has swung the bat well over the first week of camp -- a trend that only continued in this victory. Noonan went 1-for-2 with an RBI double in this preseason matinee, lifting a Ken Giles changeup to right with a man on in the sixth.

Next Up: The other half of the Yankees will host the Pirates Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET -- the Yanks' second home game of the week. Chris Capuano will start for the Yankees in it and Jeff Locke for the Pirates -- a head-to-head set to be broadcast on's Gameday Audio. 

Spring Training: New York Yankees vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Game Thread

And now for the night cap as the New York Yankees play their second contest of the day, this time back at home at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. New York will play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates and will welcome them with lefty Chris Capuano on the mound.

There is nothing better than spending a Friday night watching baseball, yes I know I am doing something wrong and no I don’t want to change it, so let’s watch or listen to some Yankees baseball. 

Yankees Sign Mat Gamel

The New York Yankees added a little more depth today at first base when the team signed Mat Gamel, brother of Ben Gamel. Ben is a Yankees farmhand and will now welcome his brother and former top prospect to the club. There was no mention of whether he will be coming to Yankees spring training camp or not but it's a safe bet to say that he is sooner than later.

Gamel hasn't played since the 2012 season after numerous knee injuries included torn ACL's in recent seasons. If Gamel is finally healthy it's not outside the realm of possibilities that he could be a nice addition to the lineup in June or a nice trade piece in July, not a big league option though right now in my opinion.

Jimmy Rollins Considered Trade to Mets but not Yankees

The New York Post, who as you know I am not entirely happy with at this particular minute, reported that former Phillies and current Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop considered waiving his no trade right to accept a trade to the New York Mets. One team that Rollins did not consider waiving his trade right for was the New York Yankees. Interesting.

Rollins did state that the only destination he actually wanted to go to was Los Angeles and was very happy to be a Dodgers player, and who could blame him, but the idea of being a Mets player at least intrigued him. Rollins mentioned the stockpile of young arms the Mets have as his reasoning behind it as he saw a bright future with the Metropolitans.

Rollins stated in that same interview that it would have been hard to replace Derek Jeter this late in his career and would have never gone to the Yankees for that reason. I get that because I don’t think anyone necessarily wanted to be the one to replace Jeter except for Troy Tulowitzki but someone has to do it. Long story short Rollins is in Los Angeles, Didi Gregorius is in New York and Wilmer Flores is written in pencil as the shortstop in Queens. 

Spring Training: New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies Game Thread

The New York Yankees are playing a pair of split squad games today as a part of their Grapefruit League schedule and that first game comes this afternoon on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. I love split squad games because myself as a fan gets a little bit of the best of both worlds. I get to see a ton of prospects get at bats since the rosters are spread thin and I also get to see a lot of regulars getting their turns and at bats as well.

Bryan Mitchell will start the road game for the Yankees and the game will start at approximately 1:05 pm ET. Watch out later tonight for the Yankees second game of the day back at home at George M. Steinbrenner Field. 

Introducing BetaBall: Part Three

Probability of scoring a Defensive Point

DPP Scenarios with           Running distance        Probability of a point
Strike-out                               120 meters                            65%
Ground out to first                 95 meters                              40%
Line drive out                        100 meters                            50%
Infield Fly out                                    70 meters                              30%
Short Foul out                       80 meters                              30%
Long fly or foul out                70 meters                              30%
Pick-of at first base               80 meters                              25%
Pick-off at second base       60 meters                              <5%
Pick-off at third base            28 meters                              <1%

Scoring Example:
Assume the league has declared that 5 Defensive Points (DP) will convert to 1 run. But DP are still cumulative so the score is always quoted to the first decimal place.  To explain, let’s say the score after the top of the 9th inning is  5.0 to 4.6 for the home team.  Game over?  No. The home team must hit in the bottom of the last inning because the visiting team could score 2  Defensive Points and tie the game; or score 3 DP’s to win the game. In tie situations after 9 innings, the top half of the 10th inning will almost always decide the game since both teams can score.  Extra innings are very rare in BetaBall. As Yogi said: “It’s never over until it’s over”.

Worst Situation:  In BetaBall, a hit or lead-off walk is the worst scenario for the defensive team. It negates the possibility to score any defensive points in that inning unless the runner is picked-off, or doubled-off, or scores on a home run thereby reopening the possibility of defensive points in that inning.

Therefore the strategy for the batting team in BetaBall is to get a lead-off walk or a runner on base at any cost. The fielding team then has no opportunity for further defensive points in the inning unless there is a home run.

BetaBall rules deliver a very different game than baseball. New scoring, new strategies, new skill priorities, new statistics, faster action, different skills (a 120 meter dash 40 times a game), and a faster pace, (3 strike outs; and 3 ball walks).  The pprobability that an offensive run will be scored when the lead batter walks or hits safely is 38%.

DPP:   Defensive points are possible in all situations where the bases are empty and the batter is out by strike-out, line drive, fly out, ground out, or a foul ball is caught; then the batter must round and tag the bases and tough home plate before each defensive player has handled and touched the ball.  If the batter is successful, his team avoids a defensive point. If each defensive team player can handle or touch the ball and return it to home plate before the batter; then the defensive team is awarded a defensive point. Cumulative defensive points convert into “runs” at benchmark levels determined by each league.

Conclusion: The result  is a game where both the offense (batting team) and the defence (fielding team) can score; and during an eligible play (DPP)  The offensive batter will suddenly be on defence defending his team to avoid a defensive point; while the fielding defensive team is suddenly on offense and into a routine that can win them a defensive point.  This substantially differentiates BetaBall from traditional baseball.  The scoring, strategy, skill sets, physical and endurance parameters of the game are dramatically different. Running ability is a priority while batting power is less of a priority. This caters to Asian players who are smaller, faster, and less powerful then their North American counterparts.

BetaBall Statistics:
Statistics are a hallowed part of all sports. BetaBall will stimulate some new data for individual players and teams:
1.    Individual base running speeds.
2.    Number of Defensive Points per inning:
3.    Number of DPP points per game / season:
4.    Percentage of DPP opportunities that resulted in Defensive Points
5.    Percentage of DP’s on strikeouts / ground balls, pop-ups, fly outs, lie drives, foul balls caught/ etc.
6.    Base running time from home plate /first base / second base/ etc.
7.    Catching errors on DPP’s per 1000 opportunities.
8.    Throwing errors on DPP’s per 1000 opportunities.
9.    Player rankings by team for base running speed.
10. Team rankings for base running speed.
11. Team rankings for all 9 fielders to touch or handle the ball and get it to home plate.

BetaBall Sevens 7770.  Format for weekend Tournaments

BetaBall Sevens is a smaller shorter version of the 9 player BetaBall game previously described. It is designed for fast paced weekend tournaments for 16 – 24 teams over a 3 day weekend.  Games are normally 30-45 minutes.

7 players play for 7 innings on a narrower 70 degree vector field. All 7 players must handle the ball on all DPP plays. 2 outs per inning. 2 strikes you are out, and 3 balls to walk. Bases are laid out in a diamond shape rather than a square box shape; and are approximately 28 meters to first, 24 meters to second, 24 meters to third, and 28 meters to home. Base runners cannot lead off from first or second base.  The game is about 30-45 minutes in length.

To repeat, BetaBall 770 is a modified game designed for 3 day tournaments with 7 players (2 outfielders, 3 infielders, a pitcher and catcher) on a 70 degree vector field with 4 bases in a diamond shape; in contrast to the regular BetaBall 90 degree vectored field with 4 bases in a square shape and 3 outfielders, 4 infielders and a pitcher and catcher. 3 field complexes may eventually be built that accommodate 3 or 4 x 70 degree vector fields and their spectator areas that divide the fields. 

The inspiration comes from Rugby Sevens in Asia where the most popular 3 day tournament is in Hong Kong every year. The normal 15 player rugby rooster is reduced to 7 players. The standard 8 person scrums are reduced to 3 players. The scoring, kicking, field size and rules remain the same. Speed and nimble running are the featured skills. The clocked games are 15 or 20 minutes in length divided into 2 halves. Sevens is fast, exciting and enormously popular. Research Hong Kong Sevens on Google.

High Risk/High Reward Fantasy Baseball Pitchers

Once the top talent in Fantasy Baseball is gone and the big names have been picked is when the leagues are truly won and lost each season. It’s the later picks, the scrap wire picks and the high risk high reward picks that can truly make you or break you each season. This season will be no different as I expect there to be more than a few starting pitchers that are coming off injuries that will still be on the board late or after your draft wraps up. Should you pick them?

In the first case, yes, you should absolutely pick him. Yu Darvish was cruising right along on his way to another great season in 2014 when an elbow injury ended his season. Darvish is already back on his usual schedule as far as throwing and spring training and all signs point to him being dominant in 2015 like he has been his entire career. The triceps injury yesterday does worry me but only a little. 

Homer Bailey was always one of those prospects you thought were going to finally break out that year and it never happened, and then his no hitter happened. Bailey also suffered from an elbow injury in 2014 and pitches in a very hitting friendly Citizens Bank Park in Cincinnati. Bailey is one of those guys that is behind in spring and will possibly be still on the board after the last pick is made and definitely worth a final roster spot if you can wait on him.

For the third elbow injury thrown into the mix we have the Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee. Lee missed more than half the season in 2014 with an elbow injury after several setbacks ruined his attempts at a comeback. Lee will have no pressure in Philadelphia and if he can prove that he is still effective he will likely be dealt to a contender. I’d definitely take a waiver on him late in the draft and hope for the best.

I’ll personally always remember Clay Buchholz as the guy who gave up Derek Jeter’s final hit in the major leagues in 2014 and the guy that Jeter shook hands and congratulated before walking off into the sunset. Other than that game Buchholz battled knee injuries and a less than mediocre team behind him in 2014 and his stats suffered for it subsequently. If you need an ace you probably shouldn’t draft Clay but if you need a solid innings eater type pitcher that will get you wins while sacrificing ERA then he may be your man. 

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Will Win Today

New York is playing a set of split-squad games at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates and on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. New York will win at least one of those.

Vote in our predictions poll on

Remember When the New York Post was Credible?

Remember when the New York Post was a credible and honorable news site and newspaper that New Yorkers could depend on? That all went out the window with the trashy low blow on Alex Rodriguez that apparently they deemed as appropriate and humorous. Newsflash, it wasn’t. It was irresponsible, unneeded and to use a baseball term, it was Bush League.

You used to be better than that. Anything for a purchase, a click or a view though right guys? 

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/6: Suzyn Waldman Called Up to the Show

On this day in 2005 Suzyn Waldman made her debut alongside John Sterling on WCBS-AM 880, the Yankees radio network. Waldman would become the first woman in big league history to be a full time color commentator. Waldman was also the first female to broadcast on a national baseball telecast as well as the first to provide local TV major league play by play with her time on the YES Network.

On this day in 1922 Babe Ruth became the highest paid player in Major League Baseball history at the time when his three year deal worth $52,000 a season becomes official. The total is three times more than his teammate Home Run Baker, the second highest paid player in the game. Ruth would earn every penny hitting 122 home runs and earning the MVP Award in the Yankees first World Series victory in 1923.