Friday, March 20, 2015

Recap: Yankees 11, Tigers 2

Adam Warren put in another solid start and the Yankees scored six runs in the first inning alone Friday as they beat the Tigers, 11-2, in a quickly-decided matinee in Lakeland.

Warren Makes Strong Case for Starting Job: Warren surrendered just one earned run over five strong innings -- giving up a measly four hits while striking out three. He didn't walk anyone on the afternoon, and -- considering Esmil Rogers' rough outing Thursday -- is probably the favorite now for the Yankees' last rotation spot.

Early Offense:  The Yankees crossed home six times on six hits in their half of the first -- circling the bases initially when Brendan Ryan doubled home Brett Gardner in his first spring at-bat. The Yankees then plated five more on a Brian McCann single, a Jose Pirela two-run double and a Rob Refsnyder two-run home run to put Tigers' right-hander Daniel Simon in an early hole -- one he would unsurprisingly never escape due largely to the performance of Warren.

A-Rod Goes Deep: Facing Tigers' reliever Bruce Rondon with the Yankees still up 6-0 in the fifth, Alex Rodriguez drilled a solo shot to right-center field -- his second four-bagger in the last seven games. It was a hard line-drive that cleared the wall by a few feet, reportedly causing the fans in attendance to erupt in a mix of cheers and boos.

Whitley's Dominant Outing: Chase Whitley is currently competing for a role in the Yankees' bullpen -- certainly giving the club plenty to think about with a nice three innings in this one. Indeed, Whitley allowed no runs on three hits while working the seventh, eighth and ninth frames -- walking and striking out none as he recorded a long save.

Good Thing He's Not in Boston Anymore: Former Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes supplied the Tigers with their only run off Warren with a solo blast in the bottom of the fifth -- a well-struck fly ball to right Cespedes was able to keep fair. It was one of two hits for him in the contest -- the other being a routine single in the second.

Next Up: The Yankees will head back to Tampa Saturday when they host the Astros at 1:05 p.m. ET -- a matchup airing only on Houston's KBME radio. Michael Pineda is slated to start for the Yankees against the Astros' Dallas Keuchel -- with Pineda expected to pitch around four innings after throwing three last weekend. 

Yankees Option Five More to Minor League Camp

The New York Yankees have announced their latest round of cuts from major league camp to minor league camp. The list of players going down includes OF Tyler Austin, RHP Danny Burawa and LHP Jose De Paula going to Triple-A while OF Mason Williams went to Double-A. RHP Wilking Rodriguez has been assigned to minor league camp but no affiliate was specifically mentioned.

Nick Rumbelow sent a scare to reporters this morning when his locker was cleared out but apparently, as of right now anyway, is still in Yankees camp. If you can look at me with a straight face and tell me the best team in leaving Tampa and going north with Austin in Scranton and Chris Young on the roster and truly mean it I'll give you $1.

Jared Burton Diagnosed w/ Strained Lat

Jared Burton had hopes of breaking camp with the New York Yankees and traveling north in the bullpen for the Yankees on Opening Day… and then a strained lat muscle happened. Burton was diagnoses with a strained lat muscle during the latest Yankees spring training game on Thursday with the Philadelphia Phillies and may be headed towards the disabled list.

Burton has multiple opt out dates written into his contract so just because he likely won’t make the Opening Day roster doesn’t mean he couldn’t make an impact later down the road. Burton has pitched in four games this spring and only allowed two hits against the 15 batters he faced. It may just be spring but the guy has proven that he can get MLB hitters out before while with the Minnesota Twins so I’m not ready to count this guy out just yet.

I also apologize for this being so late but I was away from a computer for most of last night and today and straight talk wireless has this little joke they like to play on people where they turn your auto refill off so when you wake up in the morning you have “service” because you have Wi-Fi but as soon as you leave the house and try to use your phone you have nothing. It’s a brutal joke and this is the fourth time in recent memory it has happened to me so I don’t recommend them. Anyway, go Yankees? 

Fantasy Baseball Top 10 Catchers Report

Fantasy Baseball is right around the corner for some and the catcher position looks to be as thin as ever heading into the 2015 season. Carlos Santana is no longer listed as a catcher and neither is Joe Mauer leaving the pool of available players very top heavy in an offensive based league. My advice to you, grab a catcher as early as feasibly possible. I’m not saying take Buster Posey with a Mike Trout type available on the board but if you’re considering an outfielder or a catcher, definitely go catcher.

The Top 10 starts with Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals. Ramos should have plenty of runners on base when he comes up and hits for decent power and average for his position. Following Ramos at the number nine slot is Russell Martin of the Toronto Blue Jays. Martin is another who should have plenty of RBI chances hitting in the middle of the Blue Jays lineup and may feast on a seemingly weaker set of American League East pitchers. Yadier Molina is a mainstay in these rankings and is 7th on my list from the St. Louis Cardinals while our very own Brian McCann comes in at the #6 spot. Evan Gattis is listed as a catcher this year and I include him at #5 even though I expect to see him DH and play left field some in Houston. Either way his power is undeniable, even in Minute Maid Park.

The fourth best catcher this season, fantasy wise anyway, has to be Yan Gomes of the Cleveland Indians as he leads a young and up and coming pitching staff as well as an equally young and up and coming offense in the American League Central. Devin Mesoraco leads a talented Cincinnati Reds staff in the three spot and plays in a very hitting friendly park in Cincinnati while Jonathan Lucroy looks to have another fantastic season in Milwaukee. Even with his best season I cannot see Lucroy, or anyone, taking over the top spot from Buster Posey. Posey is still the best catcher in baseball and far and away the best offensive catcher in baseball and will remain in that spot at least for one more season in San Francisco. 

Spring Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 3/20

The New York Yankees have looked good of late both at home in George M. Steinbrenner Field and out on the road this spring and will look to keep that momentum going in their next contest. The team makes the trip to face off with the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 pm ET with Adam Warren on the mound for the Yankees.

The game will not be nationally televised although it may be available on the radio somewhere. Either way I hope you all enjoy the day Yankees family and have a great Friday!

Top 10 Baseball Movies of All-Time

The offseason is over and Spring Training is in full effect so that means that meaningful baseball is right around the corner. Since most of the spring training games are played at 1:05 pm in the afternoon while I am stuck at work I have really been going through a Yankees and baseball in general craving. That’s when I pull out some baseball movies to watch as I gear up for the grind that will be the 2015 season. People love lists and really love reading them on this blog, the view counter for each post has taught me that, so I will take the time to rank my Top 10 Baseball movies of all-time, in my opinion of course, here for you today. Agree, disagree, or if I left one off the list please let me know if the comments section below:

1. Pride of the Yankees

2. Bull Durham

3. Major League

4. The Sandlot

5. Field of Dreams

6. The Natural

7. Moneyball

8. Bad News Bears

9. Eight Men Out

10. League of Their Own (Women hate me now all around the world)

Alex Rodriguez is Back in the News Again

Alex Rodriguez is back in the news again and once again it’s not for something he should be happy with or proud of. A disabled veteran and Tampa, Florida apartment complex resident is not happy with the apartment complex that he is living in and it just so happens that the complex is linked to the Yankees third baseman and DH Rodriguez. Rodriguez apparently co-founded the complex and the apartment

The veteran’s name is James Hill Jr. and he is complaining of rat infestations and roach problems inside the complex and generally feels “disgusted, mistreated and just wants his money back” according to an investigation and interview seen on Tampa’s Channel 10. Hill Jr. also complained of oil spills on the pavement, cats everywhere, cigarette butts in the atriums, pet odor smell, cigarette odor smell, and other issues that made him feel misled when he initially took a tour of the facility.

The name of the facility is Newport Villas Apartments and is located on North MacDill Avenue in downtown Tampa, only a mile away from George M. Steinbrenner Field. Hill is upset because he was not allowed to break the lease he signed and will not get a refund of his $736.77 deposit. The manager of the complex stated he would fix any and all complaints that Hill had but reminded him that he signed a binding contract and would be held responsible for breaking the lease, which honestly sounds fair to me.

Why is this news? It’s not really as Alex co-founded the company in 2005 and was removed from any and all paperwork in 2010. I posted this to show you just how silly and how ignorant and petty some people can get. I wouldn’t put it past Mr. Hill to have found out or learned that Rodriguez was a co-owner and is going after what he can get while playing the disabled veteran card. I have nothing but respect and love for the veterans past and present but you and I both know that there are some in every bunch that will play every card that they can to their advantage and take advantage of anyone and everything that they can. It’s a shame that once again rather than just playing baseball A Rod’s name is being drug through the mud once again. And for what? No good damn reason. 

TGP Daily Poll: Adam Warren Continues to Make Joe Girardi’s Decision Hard

Adam Warren is next up to take the mound for the New York Yankees and will continue to make Joe Girardi’s decision on who will be his fifth starter hard. Warren will pitch at least four innings today and allow one run or less for New York.

Vote in our prediction poll on 

Roger Clemens Defamation Case Finally Settles

Former New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays player Roger Clemens finally has some closure in his defamation lawsuit against him from his former trainer Brian McNamee. Attorneys have finally settled the lawsuit after McNamee appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York. In case you were wondering Clemens did not attend and the final numbers of the settlement amount were not disclosed at the time of this writing. For what it’s worth though Clemens’ attorney Chip Babcock says the former Cy Young Award winner will not contribute any money to the settlement personally and instead AIG insurance will pay the settlement off.

McNamee sued Clemens for defamation of character way back in 2008 after Clemens said that McNamee lied and created evidence in the case where Clemens was accused of using steroids and performance enhancing drugs. We’ll never know for sure whether Clemens really used steroids or not or whether McNamee was really lying or not but the case is finally closed and the matter is finally over and there is something to be said about that kind of closure in life. 

Lou Gehrig the Subject of new Children’s Book

Robert Skead of Wyckoff and Barnegat Light writes children’s books for a living and his latest book, Hitting Glory, will hit home for more than a few fans of the New York Yankees. Skead describes himself as a baseball fan for all of his life and was quoted as saying that “Gehrig was always one of my favorite Yankees as a child. That’s why he was the obvious choice for me when it came time to connect a Yankee legend to a baseball bat found in a school when I crafted Hitting Glory.”

The book follows an 11 year old boy in school named Lou Gibson who finds an old wooden baseball bat engraved with the initial’s “LG” in his school’s basement. Lou remembers that the most famous graduate of his school was the Yankees legend Lou Gehrig and immediately sets off on a mission to prove that the bat belonged to Gehrig himself. What Lou does not know is that the bat is magical and turn Gibson into a great hitter, just like Gehrig. This is something I will definitely be picking up on my iPad for my two boys and I encourage you to do the same as well.  

We finish with this direct quote from the author about the book and the baseball bat adventure:

“It was my goal that the book would leave each reader, young and old alike, with that magical New York Yankees feeling—the kind I always felt while watching “The Pride of the Yankees.”

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/20: Keep Out the New York Mets

On this day in 1961 the New York Yankees announced the team will oppose any plans that would enable the new National League expansion team from New York, later to be called the New York Mets, from using Yankee Stadium. The decision leaves the Polo Grounds as the only viable option for the new team until Shea Stadium was built.

Also on this day in 1958 the Phillies purchased Joe Collins from the New York Yankees after Collins had spent his entire ten season career in pinstripes. Collins, rather than report to the Phillies, decided to retire and finish his career with seven World Series appearances and a .256 lifetime batting average. Good for him, Yankee or bust.