Friday, August 7, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 8/7

There’s no such thing as a meaningless August series in 2015 because parity is in full form around Major League Baseball. That will be on full display this evening as the New York Yankees welcome the revamped Toronto Blue Jays to Yankee Stadium for a three game weekend series in the Bronx. The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound tonight to face off against their second knuckleball pitcher in RA Dickey. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees play host to Troy Tulowitzki all weekend long and David Price at the stadium tomorrow so be sure to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to see these games live. If you can’t make it out to Yankee Stadium then that’s no problem, simply jump on Twitter and follow @GreedyStripes to root like hell for the home team.

TBA is ready to do work and deliver another series victory for the Yankees and I’m ready to keep this high powered offense down so ESPN will shut up about it for a night. Go Yankees!

Rethinking the Idea of a Salary Cap in MLB

Whenever I was asked the question, as a Yankees fan, whether I would care if Major League Baseball instituted a salary cap I always claimed that I would be all for it. Much like we see in the NFL or the NBA year after year there are always those one or two veterans who have always wanted to play for (fill in the blank) or are chasing a championship ring or trophy who sign for the league minimum. There are also the players who are willing to take less money and restructure their contracts to bring in or keep another player a la Peyton Manning or Tom Brady which are all factors that I think would help the Yankees still “get their man” while playing within the rules. Then I got rethinking the whole salary cap thing with the new collective bargaining agreement expiring after the 2016 season.

First and foremost why would you want to fix what isn’t broken? Major League Baseball has been flourishing in attendance, television deals etc. for quite a few years now with loads of young talent and money flooding the game right now. Why mess with that by forcing a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees or other high market teams to carry lesser players just to save a few bucks here or there? Also, why bankrupt (for lack of a better word) teams like the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays who aren’t lighting $100 bills in their fireplace all winter long to stay warm because with any sort of salary cap comes a salary floor as well.

Player salaries are down across the board in Major League Baseball believe it or not from a high of 56% of all revenue being paid to players in 2002 down to 38% as recent as 2014. These rates will continue to go down as you see fewer and fewer Alex Rodriguez type mega contracts and more and more reliance on young studs and rookies, not to mention new television deals like the St. Louis Cardinals just signed for an easy $1 BILLION.

The Yankees would continue to win with or without the salary cap simply because of the team’s popularity and such not only domestically about around the world. The problem here is that I think the league would lose in the long run with a salary cap so let’s hope the owners and MLB Players Association pass on that before 2017. 

Can CC Sabathia Be Relied On in October?

"Maybe I can try to hit instead?"

The New York Yankees seem like the team is ready to break their long stretch of two consecutive missed postseasons and look primed to at least win one of the two Wild Card spots available in the American League. The plan is obviously to win the American League East Division but for the sake of simplicity let’s say the Yankees simply make it into the playoffs, can the team really afford to rely on CC Sabathia in a five-game or seven-game series?

Sabathia hasn’t been all bad in 2015, it has been close but not all bad, but it seems like when some pitchers are getting stronger and better it feels like CC is beginning to regress again. I don’t have a stat to back that up and I don’t have this long drawn out analytic reason for why I think it, I am just a guy that watches every game and knows what he sees. CC is going deep into games less and less, he’s getting right-handed bats out less and less not that he did much of it at the beginning of the season and now he’s beginning to get left-handed hitters out less and less. Is it fatigue? Is it enough of a sample size to scout and prepare for? Or is it simply CC isn’t as effective and is leaving pitches up and over the plate? Unfortunately, I do not know.

The fact of the matter is in a five-game playoff series the Yankees will need a third starter and maybe even a fourth starter depending on the schedule that has yet to be released. Assuming health is not a factor you have Masahiro Tanaka lined up for a Game One start or a one-game playoff in the Wild Card Round while you have Michael Pineda lined up to take the ball in Game Two. At this point I’m not sure who I would take when it comes to Sabathia and Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi has to be a lock by now though, but I believe New York would rely on the lefty before Nova in the postseason. That could potentially be a disaster for New York, especially if they use Tanaka in a one game playoff.

The good news for New York is that they can make some sort of trade or call up to rectify the situation. Maybe that solution pitched Wednesday night for the Yankees, Luis Severino, but one thing is for certain… CC Sabathia seemingly cannot be relied on anymore. You might get some good starts out of him but on a consistent basis Sabathia is done. Bottom line. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 8/7

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays start a big three game series this weekend at Yankee Stadium as both teams are fighting for the American League East Division crown. The Yankees have a nice lead in the division, although Toronto has cut into that lead since the All-Star Break and since the July 31st trading deadline has come and gone, while the Blue Jays are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in my lifetime of watching the game. Tonight New York will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound looking to put another game between the Yankees and the Blue Jays while Toronto will send knuckleball pitcher RA Dickey to the mound hoping to close the gap. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Eovaldi has been all you could ask for and maybe some more as far as back-end of the rotation starters the last two months for the Yankees. For most of the summer Eovaldi has not allowed more than three runs in a game, the last time coming on June 10, and has given the Yankees some strong starts this season. His biggest issue has been, and maybe always will be, going deep into games so hopefully he takes that next step forward tonight.

  • Dickey has been red hot lately allowing just two earned runs or fewer in each of his last five starts. Dickey is riding a modest three game winning streak but goes up against a Yankees pitcher in Eovaldi who is getting nearly seven runs of run support every single start so something will have to give tonight in the Bronx.

The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have 13 more games head-to-head this season including tonight’s contest which should make for an exciting two months of baseball. The Yankees stood pat and relied on their own in Luis Severino at the trading deadline while the Blue Jays took the polar opposite approach unloading a slew of prospects for established veteran players. Which route will reign supreme in 2015? That question begins to be answered tonight. Go Yankees!

Five Bold Predictions for the Rest of 2015

The New York Yankees have less than two months left in their 2015 season and things have gone according to plan thus far, can that continue though? New York has gotten more than expected out of the likes of Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and the overall health of the club while second base among other positions continues to be a black hole at times this season. Nobody knows what is going to happen for sure with the team going forward but I didn’t get nicknamed “The Yankees Wizard” on twitter last season for nothing so here are five bold predictions for the rest of the 2015 Yankees season.

Alex Rodriguez will finish the 2015 season with 30 home runs on the dot. Alex came into the 2015 season with expectations at an all-time low and has crushed them along with many, many fastballs over the fences around the league. The last time Alex hit 30 home runs in a season was in 2009

 Robert Refsnyder comes up and stays up with the big league club. The Yankees are riding the hot bats of Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan now but it won’t last forever, if it even lasts long at all. Refsnyder will be up and get the same confidence and backing from management that Luis Severino is getting now.

 CC Sabathia ends the 2015 season on the disabled list. Sabathia has shown no signs of breaking down physically since his knee surgery in the offseason but the less and less effective he is the more I believe something may be wrong physically.

 The streak will continue. I was born in the Bronx, New York and have since moved down to Atlanta, Georgia where my live Yankees watching has become few and far between. In my 29 years of living I have never once seen the Yankees lose while I was in the stands and that streak continues on August 29th when I’m down in Atlanta watching them play the Atlanta Braves.

The New York Yankees will not only win the American League East Division but they will also win the 2015 World Series. The AL East seems easier said than done at this point but I have faith in this team and I truly think, if healthy, this team is special. Sure the starting rotation isn’t top notch and the offense relies on #TooManyDamnHRs sometimes but they find new and inventive ways to win every single night it seems and play their best against the best teams and the best pitchers. That’s scary for opposing teams in the postseason. Those are mine, what are yours?

Leave them below in the comments section. 

TGP Daily Poll: Sending a Message to Toronto

The New York Yankees need to send a message to the Toronto Blue Jays, their fans and the rest of the American League this weekend. While Toronto added and added and added at the deadline this is still the Yankees division, and upcoming series, to win.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Side note: New York has a great chance to win Game Three of the series with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound while the offense is likely to do something tonight for Nathan Eovaldi if history is any indicator of the future. The tough game will be Game Two with Ivan Nova and David Price on the mound. The Yankees have done well recently against Price but I think the lefty has a chip on his shoulder after being traded so you never know. I still think it’s a series win and a message sent for New York heading into the off day on Monday. 

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

The New York Yankees have gone another week in first place despite having a combination of Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan as their second baseman. Ryan has hit well since coming off the disabled list but if history is any indicator of the future he is due for a steep fall back down to Earth, will that finally open the door back open for Robert Refsnyder?

If Refsnyder received the vote of confidence from Yankees GM Brian Cashman that Luis Severino received I think we would see a totally different on the field performance from Refnsyder. Cashman stated immediately that Severino was a starter, if he got lit up in a start he would make another one five days later. Refsnyder never got that opportunity, he got sent down for Ryan and Drew and criticized because he made one error.

No respect for the Ref.



This Day In New York Yankees History 8/7: Learned Lesson in August Waiver Traded

As we all found out on Tuesday the August waiver wire trading deadline can be confusing, hard to understand and it can get you stuck with someone you may or may not really want. This happened to the Yankees in 2000 when the team got stuck with the Devil Rays outfielder Jose Canseco. The Yankees claimed the 35 year old on waivers and he appeared in 37 games for New York as a designated hitter and hit .247 in 111 at bats. Canseco unfortunately got the World Series ring that the Yankees received as well.

Also on this day in 1983 the Yankees held Bobby Murcer Day at the Stadium. Murcer played 13 seasons for the Yankees and compiled a .278 batting average in New York before coming a long-time broadcaster for the team.

Finally on this day in 1978 Mel Allen and Red Barber became the first recipients of the Ford C. Frick Broadcasting Award. The voters were unable to choose between the two legendary voices so both Yankees announcers were selected by the Hall of Fame voters.