Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/23

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, the top two teams in the American League East Division race and two playoff bound teams, one last time. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound tonight to fill in for the injured Masahiro Tanaka while the Blue Jays counter with Marcus Stroman. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and MLB TV.

The Yankees have eight more regular season games and at least one more playoff game inside Yankee Stadium this season so it’s imperative to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog now to secure your seats before they, and the season, are gone. Also be sure to jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us during the games while we root, root, root for the home team and if they don’t win I may rant (which is always fun to watch).

Happy Super Nova Day? It doesn’t have the same ring to it but I could be wrong, the only person who knows for sure is Nova himself. Go Yankees!

RIP: Yogi Berra Passes Away at 90-Years Old

The great Yankees catcher, manager, teammate, person, legend, coach and personality passed away early this morning in an assisted living home while sleeping. Berra was 90-years old. Not only did the Yankees organization and their family, Berra’s family and Major League Baseball lose a great soul today but so did the world. Berra and his family lived and personified the “American Dream.” Berra’s parents were both immigrants with Yogi’s father coming over to Ellis Island at the turn of the century in 1908. Berra fought in World War II and was in France on D-Day as a member of the U.S. Navy. Berra was America and the world lost a great person today.

Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone affected, especially the Berra friends and family. Rest in peace Yogi, while it got late far too early for you here on Earth I feel confident that you brought your book of “Yogi-isms” and your 10 World Series championship rings right along with you to heaven. Save me a seat!

Tanaka's Home Runs, Eovaldi in the Pen & the One-Game Playoff

With the playoffs right around the corner, Masahiro Tanaka missing a start tonight and Nathan Eovaldi playing catch in hopes of coming back into the bullpen this season there is borderline mass hysteria going on right now in Yankees-Land. While the American League East Division race is far from over the Yankees may have to settle for a Wild Card berth and a one-game playoff, and that’s okay, but the idea of having a one-game playoff truly scares me and it should scare you to.

The biggest problem with a one-game playoff is obviously that anything can happen. The Yankees seem unlikely to have to spend their rotation and bullpen in the later parts of the season simply to get in, it’s as close to a done deal as you’re going to get, so New York can line up their ace Tanaka to start the must win victory. While that gives me confidence I still worry about Tanaka’s tendency to give up the long ball. This by no means indicates that I think Tanaka is a bad pitcher or that I think someone else should start the game, because I don’t on either case, but with an “anything can happen” mindset it’s scary to think that Tanaka’s 1.4 HR/9 ratio is a shade under Phil Hughes 1.5 HR/9 ratio that essentially ran him out of town after 2013.

With that said though having Eovaldi in the bullpen essentially replacing the gap left open by Adam Warren when he entered the starting rotation could be a boost. It could give Joe Girardi one more arm that he trusts coming out of the bullpen and one more arm that can reach triple digits. We’ve seen Eovaldi throw 102 MPH in the starting rotation and reach 100 MPH consistently, could you imagine him letting it all go for just one inning? He could make Aroldis Chapman look like Jamie Moyer in his final season, I exaggerate a tad but really.

There is a lot going on inside Yankees-Land right now and that’s a good thing. No one worries about these things if the team was 13 games away from a long winter, the team is headed for at least 14 games if not more, and that’s a good problem to have. 

Twitter Poll: Did The Yankees “Exaggerate” Masahiro Tanaka’s Hamstring Injury?

The New York Yankees watched as Ivan Nova pitched in a game that the team absolutely needed against the Toronto Blue Jays. New York had originally penciled in Masahiro Tanaka to start the series finale and the season finale between these two teams but a hamstring injury that Tanaka suffered while bunting against the New York Mets kept the Japanese right-hander from making the start. In the hours after the announcement the sky was once again falling around New York with the beat writers and fans either showing their frustrations or defending the decision with Tanaka’s elbow and his best interest in mind. The Yankees quickly did an about-face just a few days later when they had Tanaka do his regular between-start workouts and announced that the team may not wait a full turn after Tanaka’s originally Wednesday start to insert him back into the rotation. Was this injury simply exaggerated so the team could justify planning for a potential, and likely, Wild Card one-game playoff round without hearing the backlash from the fans and the media by intentionally skipping the Yankees ace against the team they are chasing in the American League East Division race?

This sounds like the making of a Twitter Poll to me…. Go!

If it looks like a fish and it smells like a fish then it’s probably a fish. I can understand the decision to essentially give up on the AL East Division and to plan for the Wild Card round. I can understand it and I wholeheartedly agree with it, although I understand where some would not, but I don’t appreciate being played for a fool. Honestly I don’t think we as fans will ever know the 100% truth but the fact that Tanaka pitched five innings of dominant baseball after suffering the hamstring injury and after doing his normal routine in between starts despite the fact that the Yankees coddle their pitchers, especially Tanaka, just seems awfully convenient to me. When did baseball become so political? Shoot me straight and I’ll vote for you, politician or not.

To be involved in our next Twitter Poll blog post head over and give @GreedyStripes a follow and be on the lookout for our next Twitter Poll tweet.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/23

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays will finish off their three game set tonight inside the Rogers Centre. Tonight marks the final time these two teams have gone head-to-head and after David Price continuously shutting the team down and Jose Bautista bringing his big stick to the yard against the Yankees ever series I can’t say I’m exactly upset about that. Tonight is not going to be Tanaka night after he suffered a hamstring injury but instead the Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound. To oppose Nova on the hill for the Blue Jays will be Marcus Stroman. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and MLB TV.

  • Nova will step in for Masahiro Tanaka tonight after the Yankees ace suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain in his last start against the New York Mets. Around this time last week it was announced that Nova would be delegated to the Yankees bullpen and he had not made an appearance before being bumped back into the rotation with this injury. Rust will likely be a factor tonight for the Yankees right-hander.

  • Stroman will be making his third start off the disabled list this season, and his second against the New York Yankees, after tearing his ACL in spring training. Stroman threw seven innings and 96 pitches in his last start and seems fully healed from the injury and ready to lead the Blue Jays into the postseason.

The Yankees are 27 outs away, we hope, from leaving Toronto for good and returning home to Yankee Stadium for their final eight home games. The Yankees will play host to the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox for four games each before finishing their season with the Baltimore Orioles inside Camden Yards. I don’t care where the Yankees are going at this point as long as Toronto isn’t coming with them. I’m over it. Go Yankees!

Raising Up & Defending Gary Sanchez's Prospect Status

This has been something that has been on my mind for quite some time but I’ve always struggled to put it into words without coming off as condescending, cocky or downright rude. I have been content to simply roll my eyes and pass by tweets, comments and articles stating that Gary Sanchez has no future with the team, he’s the next Jesus Montero, he’ll never catch a game with the New York Yankees etc. but I received an email over the weekend that I simply cannot ignore, one that I cannot simply bite my tongue and roll my eyes at because it was absolutely ridiculous.

The email, from a person who will remain nameless but a reader of the blog obviously, asked me what I thought the team would do with Sanchez over the winter. In the handful of emails we exchanged back and forth, because I am a nice guy and I believe in putting the social back into social media, I heard the usual grumblings that Sanchez has been in the organization forever and he’s blocked by John Ryan Murphy and Brian McCann but the final email put the icing on the cake. The emailer, who I respect and I’m not calling out whatsoever here, stated that Sanchez was merely an organizational prospect and that he needed to be packaged away with Rob Refsnyder and Ivan Nova for a “real second baseman this offseason.”

Whoa there pal, Sanchez is an organizational prospect? First and foremost you are correct, Sanchez has been in the organization for what feels like forever. Most international free agents that sign at age 16 feel like they have been in the organization forever after five years, that’s the name of the game. Also you hit another nail right on the head, in a perfect world Sanchez is blocked by both Murphy and McCann and may never get into a meaningful game with the team without a devastating injury or disabled list trip but to say he’s merely an organizational prospect or a filler is a stretch and one that I don’t feel comfortable with letting slip by.

Sanchez is 21 years old, if he had not been an IFA and your run of the mill college student he would have graduated college this summer. Name one college senior that can not only hit Triple-A pitching but dominate them as well as lead a pitching staff from behind the dish. I’m sure there’s probably at least one but would that prospect be considered an organizational prospect or a top prospect? I’d lean towards the latter despite claims that the Yankees “over-hype” their prospects for trades or the fact that the Yankees prospects simply “aren’t that good.” Sanchez is a fine prospect and since you obviously haven’t been watching I’ll be quick to point out that Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Dellin Betances, and a slew of other “not so good” prospects have done quite well for the team despite being “over-hyped.”

I, as a blogger and as a fan with some would say a relatively large following, am held to a higher standard than most and I subsequently I hold myself to a higher standard because I want to lead by example. I’ll tell a Toronto Blue Jays fan as quick as I’ll tell a Yankees fan that the crap talking and trolling is unnecessary and not needed but sometimes a troll is simply a troll. I believe, well I hope, this email was a troll. If it was, you win…. I fed the troll. If it wasn’t then at least know what you’re talking about or at least be passionate about what you’re talking about because when you call a 21-year old catching prospect who dominated Triple-A pitching and is currently sitting on the bench for the Yankees a “organizational prospect” you just look silly.

Thank you for listening to my rant. I admit that sometimes I get a little too worked up over prospects, I love prospects and I can’t help it, and I’ve tried to temper those expectations and my words a bit because of it. This one I couldn’t let pass, not because I’ve had conversations or a connection with Sanchez but because I feel like it is the right thing to do. To educate, that’s all I want to do whenever I can. This post was not intended to be malicious or to call anyone out as much as it was intended to put everything into perspective, I hope. I hope you enjoyed it, I hope everyone learned something and I hope that we can at least agree to disagree on the matter because I will in no way, shape or form agree to the fact that Sanchez is anything less than a TOP prospect for the New York Yankees. 

Quick Hit: Honoring David Ortiz after Booing Alex Rodriguez

The Boston Red Sox and their fans have a bit of a selective memory, don’t they? This is the same fan base that boo’s Alex Rodriguez every time he comes up to the plate, and not without reason, while they cheer for David Ortiz every time he comes up to the plate. When ARod tied Willies Mays with a pinch hit home run inside Fenway Park the crowd erupted in boo’s and the young man who caught the ball refused to even discuss the topic of giving it back to Alex yet the team honored David Ortiz for his 500th home run this week inside that same historic ball park.

Whether Ortiz “bought the damn things at GNC in the mall” or not the man failed a steroid test and was part of the Mitchell Report back in 2007. A Rod screwed up, and screwed up more than once, both with steroids and with the person that he truly is. I get it that Ortiz didn’t sue the Major League Baseball Players Association and I get that Ortiz was not part of BALCO or the Biogenesis clinic that Rodriguez was linked to but a failed test is a failed test, let’s not forget that.

Honor Ortiz, he’s as big of a part of Red Sox Nation as any, but boo Rodriguez because of the uniform on his back and because he’s good, not because of his own steroid scandals and drama. No one, and by the way Ryan Dempster is still a word that rhymes with wussy, threw at Big Papi for failing a test let alone three or four times in at bat. Even the playing field is all that I’m asking for because at the end of the day these men are just that, men. Humans. Not God’s and not perfect. Act like it. 

Scoreboard Watching: September 23, 2015

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays will finish their three game set tonight inside the Rogers Centre as the two teams battling for the American League East play for the final time head-to-head. The scoreboard watching truly starts tomorrow and the final push for the postseason finally begins as the fans watch the final 12 days of the 2015 regular season go down.

Wednesday, September 23

New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics

Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Houston Astros

Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/23: Yankees Miss the Playoffs

The year 2008 was a year of change for the New York Yankees. Joe Torre was no longer the manager after spending the last 12 seasons as the skipper and was replaced by Joe Girardi. This was the final season at the old Yankee Stadium as a new stadium was being built across the street. This also marked the first year in 13 seasons that the Yankees would not make the playoffs. The Red Sox beat the Indians 5-4 at Fenway Park clinching at least a Wild Card berth and officially eliminated the Yankees.

Also on this day in 2007 Mike Mussina became the 45th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win 250 games in his career. On this day the Yankees would beat the Blue Jays 7-5 and in the game Joba Chamberlain picked up his first career save. Mussina insisted that the game ball go to Joba rather than himself.

Also on this day in 2001 Mariano Rivera set a single season record for the Yankees when he recorded his 47thsave of the season. Dave Righetti held the old record at 46 when he set the record in 1986.

Also on this day in 1999 the Yankees set the New York City record for attendance in a single season when their crowd of 27,549 fans set the season total at 3,072,009. The New York Mets held the previous record for New York with 3,047,724 fans attended a game in one season.

Finally on this day in 1998 the greatest team of all time the 1998 Yankees tied the 1927 Yankees team for the most wins in franchise history with 110 wins. This win put the Yankees just one win behind the American League record of 111 wins by the 1954 Cleveland Indians.