Sunday, November 1, 2015

World Series Game 5 Open Thread


My birthday is tomorrow and I'm too old to stay up all night drinking. You know what I'm doing? Going to bed, very soon actually. Every Sunday I get up early with my boys, cook them breakfast and enjoy the morning while letting the wife sleep in. That's my plan again this weekend so I leave you with this open thread for the night. Enjoy, you never know when you can't enjoy again.

My 2015 AL & NL Gold Glove Award Predictions



The player I think will win the award is bolded below. Leave yours in the comments section.



AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher: Mark Buehrle (Blue Jays), Sonny Gray (A’s), Dallas Keuchel (Astros)

Catcher: Jason Castro (Astros), Russell Martin (Blue Jays), Salvador Perez (Royals)

First base: Eric Hosmer (Royals), Mike Napoli (Rangers), Mark Teixeira (Yankees)

Second base: Jose Altuve (Astros), Brian Dozier (Twins), Ian Kinsler (Tigers)

Third base: Adrian Beltre (Rangers), Evan Longoria (Rays), Manny Machado (Orioles)

Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Alcides Escobar (Royals), Didi Gregorius (Yankees)

Left field: Yoenis Cespedes (formerly Tigers), Brett Gardner (Yankees), Alex Gordon (Royals)

Center field: Kevin Kiermaier (Rays), Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays), Mike Trout (Angels)

Right field: Kole Calhoun (Angels), J.D. Martinez (Tigers), Josh Reddick (A’s)


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher: Jake Arrieta (Cubs), Gerrit Cole (Pirates), Zack Greinke (Dodgers)

Catcher: Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Buster Posey (Giants), Wilson Ramos (Nationals)

First base: Brandon Belt (Giants), Paul Goldschmidt (D-backs), Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers)

Second base: Dee Gordon (Marlins), DJ LeMahieu (Rockies), Brandon Phillips (Reds)

Third base: Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Matt Duffy (Giants), Todd Frazier (Reds)

Shortstop: Brandon Crawford (Giants), Adeiny Hechavarria (Marlins), Andrelton Simmons (Braves)

Left field: Starling Marte (Pirates), Justin Upton (Padres), Christian Yelich (Marlins)

Center field: Billy Hamilton (Reds), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), A.J. Pollock (D-backs)

Right field: Curtis Granderson (Mets), Bryce Harper (Nationals), Jason Heyward (Cardinals)

The Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium in November


The 7th Annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium comes to the Bronx, New York on Sunday, November 15. The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation will host the event and 100% of the proceeds go directly to cancer research and cancer scientists.

The 5K course runs throughout Yankee Stadium including up the stairs between the levels, twice around the warning track and through the stadium’s concourses and ramps. Runners will be showcased on the center field video board and will be allowed to meet the scientists funded by Damon Runyon in November.

You have children? No problem, the Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation has also kicked off the Kinds Fun Run event allow children between the ages of five and 12 years old to take one lap around the warning track before the actual 5K begins.


Brett Gardner will be the event’s Ambassador. The Kids Fun Run starts at 9:00 am, opening remarks and kickoff starts at 9:25 am with the actual 5K starting at roughly 9:30. Registration is $60 through November 5th and the entry fee for children is $25. Visit runyon5k.org or email runyon5k@damonrunyon.org for more details. 

Bring Me Alex Anthopoulos


I have written a lot of these “Being Me so and so” posts before regarding free agents but I cannot say that I have ever written one about a member of a front office before, until now. News broke earlier this week that the Toronto Blue Jays offered an extension to their GM Alex Anthopoulos but the extension was ultimately turned down making Anthopoulos a free agent of sorts. The Yankees have an assistant GM position open, think Anthopoulos would bite on it?

This is a long shot, so was signing Don Mattingly to be the team’s bench coach (with some maneuvering) or hitting coach, and a demotion of sorts but the Yankees absolutely have to make the call. New York tried to lure Ben Cherington to the dark side after he stepped down as the GM of the Boston Red Sox and they absolutely have to do the same with Anthopolous. Anthopoulous is the man that is credited with building and developing the Toronto Blue Jays as they stand today. Anthopoulos, like Dave Dombrowski, has never shied away from trading big time prospects for established veterans and basically emptied the Blue Jays farm this summer for basically an ALDS championship but would not have that sort of power and pull here in New York.

Anthopolous could work under Cashman and presumably take over as the GM for the Yankees whenever Brian decides to hang it up or move on to another era in his lifetime. I have said many times that I personally thought that Anthopoulos was the best GM in Major League Baseball, and this was before he pulled off deals for Troy Tulowitzki, David Price and Josh Donaldson, and I personally would love his will to win here in New York.

It is a long shot, why would he turn down an extension with a team that is expected to be a power house once again in 2016 to take a position with a team with widespread change on the horizon, but it’s a shot worth taking in my opinion. I’m not holding my breath for Anthopoulos but I’m jumping for joy if the Yankees bring him into the organization.


Get On With It!


Coming from a baseball fan that might sound weird. I mean, more baseball should be a good thing? Right? Well, I'm as big a Yankees fan as you'll find, so when the Yankees are no longer playing my love for the game does take a hit. 

Don't get me wrong, it's been fun watching the postseason, and seeing a team like the Royals one win away from the title is cool. I guess it's because there's nothing about the Royals that I don't like. Other than the fact they aren't the Yankees, of course.  But I'd be lying if I didn't want it to be over with, because the sooner the World Series ends the sooner the offseason starts, and the Yankees can start to make improvements for the 2016 season.

However, I'm afraid this offseason is either going to be awesome, or it's going to be a big disappointment. For right now I just don't see any in between.

Let's start with the "disappointment" part.

The last time the Yankees spent a lot of money during the offseason we saw some big contracts come off the books. Between Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Andy Pettitte, Kevin Youkilis, Mariano Rivera, and Phil Hughes, the Yankees had over $71 million coming off the books after the 2013 season. What did they do the next year? They paid Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran just over $75 million.

That didn't turn out too well, huh?

We saw the same thing at the end of the 2008 season, when Jason Giambi's, Bobby Abreu's, Mike Mussina's, and Carl Pavano's contracts were up. That was when the team agreed to spend over $400 million for CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett.

So how much payroll will come off the books for the Yankees between last season and next? A whopping $17.5 million (Chris Capuano, Stephen Drew, Garrett Jones, and Chris Young are free agents). And that doesn't take into account possible arbitration raises for Nathan Eovaldi, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Esmil Rogers, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson, and Didi Gregorius.

So there's one reason to be pessimistic about the Yankees making a big splash this offseason.

And then there's the fact that the Yankees roster is basically full. Losing Capuano affects nothing, as the team has plenty of pitching (how good or bad it is is a different story). The Yankees have Dustin Ackley and/or Rob Refsnyder to replace Stephen Drew at second base. And as for the losses of Jones and Young, I don't count filling bench spots as "big" moves. 

So how could I, one of the more optimistic writers when it comes to the Yankees, believe the team will make big improvements for next season?

Well, I admit that the chances of that happening roam around somewhere between "slim" and "none". They would have to open up roster spots by trading away guys. For example, I'm not the only person on the "sign Jason Heyward" bandwagon. However, the Yankees outfield is full with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran (who should probably DH, if it weren't for Alex Rodriguez). The latter two players are not going to get traded, meaning the Yankees would have to find a taker for Brett Gardner. Honestly, that wouldn't be that difficult, as Gardy can play strong defense anywhere in the outfield (including the all-important centerfield), and at least be a solid lead-off hitter.

But would the team do that? Even though he was far from great in 2015, Brett still outplayed his contract by quite a bit (he made $12 million, while Fangraphs had him worth $20.4 million). The Yankees may also still believe he and Jacoby Ellsbury could be a vicious 1-2 punch atop the lineup. I don't... but they might.

I'm not going to give up on that idea, though. 

Nor am I going to accept that the team doesn't want to increase payroll. While I accept that the Yankees still want to get under the luxury tax someday, 2016 should not be the year to do it. The free agent market after this year is far from great, so biting the bullet and going with a higher payroll next year is the way to go. After next season Teixeira's and Beltran's combined $38 million to go away, the year after that Rodriguez's and Sabathia's* $46 million goes b-bye.

*I see Sabathia's option for 2017 vesting.

So as much as I'm looking forward to this offseason getting underway for the Yankees, I'm afraid that by Spring Training of next season they will have done little to nothing to improve. But there's nothing wrong with staying positive, right?

Cespedes Would Complete the Yankees, No?


With the playing days for Yoenis Cespedes in a New York Mets uniform coming to a close the speculation is already beginning as to where the outfielder may end up for the 2016 season. I personally predicted that Cespedes would win the American League MVP Award in 2015 with the protection of Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera in Detroit and I would pick him again in 2016 if he had the protection of Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran and the rest of the New York Yankees. 

Cespedes would be expensive undoubtedly but we didn't start a blog titled The GREEDY Pinstripes because we worry about spending other people's money. We worry about winning and putting the best team on the field one dollar at a time and that route starts and ends with Cespedes. The Yankees love having multiple center fielders in order to keep everyone fresh and rotated along with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner and Cespedes fits that mold. The most attractive part about about Cespedes is the fact that he's right handed.

The obvious problem is finding a roster spot and enough playing time for him, the Yankees starting three outfielders are basically set in stone right now, but if Joe Girardi can come up with a plan to make it work then I'm all for it. Rotating Cespedes in and out of the lineup keeps Ellsbury healthy and Gardner fresh and effective not only through the month of June or July but through the months of September and October. Adding Cespedes to the lineup makes pitchers like David Price and Dallas Keuchel less intimidating and could possibly give the Yankees an offense potent enough to compete with the Toronto Blue Jays juggernaut of an offense. 

Ellsbury, Cespedes, Beltran. Teixeira, Rodriguez, McCann, Gardner, Gregorius, Refsnyder. That may not be the 1929 Yankees but it's close enough for me. 

Weekly AFL Check In: Tyler Webb


Let's finish the week off and finish the "Tyler Guantlet" that the New York Yankees have sent to the Arizona Fall League. Tyler Austin is our Monday check in, Tyler Wade is our Saturday check in so let's make the left-handed relief pitcher Tyler Webb our Sunday check in, shall we?

Tyler Webb

G: 5
GS: 0
IP: 6.0
W/L: 1-0
ERA: 4.50
K: 4
BB: 0
WHIP: 0.83

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/1: Dodgers Joe Torre


On this day in 2007 the Los Angeles Dodgers hired long time Yankees manager Joe Torre. Torre would become the 26th manager in the Dodgers long history and their eight since moving to Los Angeles. Torre wasted no time as he was replaced this week by the Yankees when they hired current manager Joe Girardi.


Also on this day in 2006 the Yankees promoted long time Yankees player Don Mattingly to bench coach to serve under then manager Joe Torre. Lee Mazzilli, you remember the guy that rocked back and forth constantly, was not brought back after the 2006 season.


Also on this day in 2001, barely, we would see the first ever MLB game played in the month of November and it was Derek Jeter at the plate. Derek would kick off the November baseball month with a home run that would walk off with a win in the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jeter was immediately donned "Mr. November" by a fan in the stands and then Michael Kay.


Finally on this day in 1978 Yankees starting pitcher and World Series winning pitcher Ron Guidry would win the American League Cy Young Award unanimously. Guidry would garner all 28 first place votes and beat out Mike Caldwell and Jim Palmer for the award.
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