Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trenton Thunder: Holiday Purchases Will Benefit The Children's Home Society of New Jersey


The 11th annual Trenton Thunder Gift of Baseball program begins today, giving fans the chance to share the experience of cheering on the hometown team with underprivileged families in our community. For each Season Ticket, Pic-A-Plan and Mini Plan purchased before December 24, the Thunder will provide tickets for families in the Holiday Gift Outreach program run by the Children's Home Society of New Jersey to attend a 2016 Thunder game.

"Families attending baseball games together is one of the oldest pastimes in our country and we're thrilled to continue a program with a great partner like the Children's Home Society," said Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley.

In the first ten years of the Gift of Baseball program, the Thunder have donated 6,980 tickets to CHSofNJ.

"Trenton Thunder continues to be a strong and caring community partner," praised Donna Pressma, President & CEO of CHSofNJ. "The Children's Home Society of New Jersey is honored to have the opportunity through their generosity to offer the Gift of Baseball to so many of our children and families.

The emphasis on family values that the Thunder and CHSofNJ shares has remained a high priority for both organizations throughout their ten-year partnership.

"Family outings are often too rare for our children," said Pressma. "Spending a day at the ballpark watching our home team play with determination and heart gives hope and makes memories that our children will keep for the rest of their lives. Thank you Trenton Thunder and all of your caring fans who make this possible."

2016 Mini Plans are on sale now. Mini plans include five or six of the most popular games on the schedule, free food at each a game, a free Thunder pint glass, a complimentary ticket to Opening Night and start as low as $60. More information about Mini Plans can be found here: MINI PLANS
Pic-A-Plans allow fans to choose any 10 or more games that best fit their schedule. This flexible plan also includes free ice cream, a $1 savings on every ticket, a free food option, free tickets to Opening Night and a limited edition Thunder pint glass. More information can be found here: PIC-A-PLANS

Season Tickets are available as either a full (71 games) or half (36 games) and include added value like early entry, a picnic with the players, bus trips and more. More information about Season Tickets can be found here: SEASON TICKETS

The Children's Home Society of New Jersey provides at-risk children and their families with a range of services that empower them to achieve their potential. They are child-oriented, family focused, community based and outcome-oriented.

The 2016 season, the 23rd in franchise history, will begin at ARM & HAMMER Park on April 7 when the Thunder host the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers) at 7:00 p.m. Single game tickets will go on sale in March 2016. For more information on the Thunder, visit or call609-394-3300.

Torii Hunter Gives Advice to Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees acquired a young and talented center fielder by the name of Aaron Hicks this offseason in the trade that sent John Ryan Murphy to the Minnesota Twins. Already we’ve heard rave reviews of Hicks in regards to his defense, his speed and his up-and-coming back. Hicks credits his turnaround season in 2015 to a phone call from one Hall of Fame player, Rod Carew, and now the young switch-hitter may be able to look back and credit his 2016 season success to a discussion with a potential future Hall of Fame player, Torii Hunter.

Hunter, a longtime Twins player, revealed this winter some advice that he gave who he called an “immature” Hicks in hopes of helping him for the remainder of his career. Hicks has played in the majors for three seasons now and it is likely not a coincidence that his best and breakout season came in 2015 with Hunter as a teammate.

Torii signed a one year deal with the Twins knowing that 2015 was his final season and opened himself up to any and all questions that the young Minnesota players may have had. Hunter notes that no player was more receptive to the advice and help than Hicks. Hunter took Hicks under his wing and in an interview with the New York Post Twins manager Paul Molitor even noted that Torri “took it personally to help Aaron.”

Hunter focused more on the mental side of the game rather than the physical side with Hicks. The tools are there are Aaron, Hunter thought the mental aspect needed some help. Hunter would tell Hicks to “be warm before it was time to be warm” and “be loose before it was time to be loose” so he could pay attention to who was pitching and look at the game with a “third eye.”

Hicks is trying to be the 2016 version of both Nathan Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius. With all the Yankees coaching staff, trainers, staff and teammates by his side and the wisdom of a Torii Hunter and a Rod Carew in his head how could he not succeed?

Why Would We Want Cano Back????

So I have to say I had a little bit of a mini heart attack this week when my phone lit up that so and so, this follower and that follower etc. had retweeted a tweet put out by Andrew Marchand of When I swiped and opened the tweet the tweet said, to paraphrase, that Ellsbury had a no-trade clause and would have to approve any deal to Seattle. Immediately I began scouring Twitter and the internet to see what I had missed only to notice that Marchand, like many writers (and no I don’t blame them for it if this is their profession), was putting some click baits out there to push his newest article covering how the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners could pull off a Jacoby Ellsbury for Robinson Cano swap. The story was not only unoriginal and already done by myself and others a month ago but it got me thinking, why would the Yankees even want Cano back at this point?

We all know the back story at this point. Robinson Cano signed a 10-year deal worth a whopping $240 million with the Seattle Mariners back in 2013. At the time Cano, a Yankees farm hand and second baseman, was 31 years old and coming off another strong season in the middle of the Yankees lineup. Since the deal Cano has delivered the Mariners just 36 home runs in two seasons including a .300 average and .807 OPS. Cano has gone from being the “lazy” Yankees star that never legged out ground balls and never turned singles into doubles and doubles into triples to a perennial slow starter and a struggling player with a crippling contract. 

Ellsbury’s contract is no walk in the park with five seasons left but there is still some upside with it. Ellsbury showed, if healthy, he can at least be a weapon in the Yankees lineup. Is he overpaid? Sure he is, a defensive center fielder who is never going to hit you 32 home runs again like he did in Boston in 2011, but his contract is far from a disaster at this time. If he has another 2015 type season rather than a generally healthy 2014 season next year then we can talk but just two seasons in and with a deal that pays him until he is just 37 years old, not 41 years old like Cano’s deal, is far better bang for your buck in my opinion. 

Also, did you even head the Andy Van Slyke comments? Come on guys, there is some truth there. The only people that tell the truth and nothing but the truth are drunk people, children up to a certain age and people with nothing to lose. Van Slyke may have fit into two of these categories but still, there’s definitely some troubling truth there. 

I don’t care how much money Seattle kicks in or how much money is offset by another “bad” contract in Ellsbury. Unless Seattle is willing to kick in a few years or a the fountain of youth I simply don’t want to see another player well into his 40’s and long past his prime making an uber amount of money in a Yankees uniform. Those days began with Alex Rodriguez and they need to die with Alex Rodriguez. No more 10-year contracts to players past 30-years old, no more potentially franchise crippling contracts that will become a burden sooner rather than later and no more contracts, period, for historically “lazy” players. No more. Enough! Why would we want Cano back anyway? We wouldn’t, well we shouldn’t anyway. 

What I’m Thankful For: The New York Yankees Edition

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! While I truly love this day I also can see the irony in it all, especially having a significant amount of Native American blood in my body. We, and I say we as a society, spend Thursday praising each other and showing thanks for everything we have and have received and then later that night the greed and avarice is right back in our blood for Black Friday. This post isn’t about society though and what I think is wrong with the world, it’s about what I am thankful for when it comes to the New York Yankees.

The New York Yankees, in my very humble yet biased opinion, is the greatest sports franchise in all of the major North American sports. Once donned the “Evil Empire” the Yankees do what they can to compete year in and year out. While many complain about the owner of the team or the team’s GM you haven’t, at least during the current regime, seen the Yankees fall that far. Even in their worst years New York is in the hunt for a Wild Card, no tanking is allowed in the Bronx. That is something, that while it frustrates me sometimes because it leads to ill-advised deals and free agent signings, I can truly appreciate.

The team understands that you need the big names, the marquee players and the veteran players to make it in New York and despite having a “cheap” owner we still as a fan base get to enjoy the Masahiro Tanaka’s, the Mark Teixeira’s, the Brett Gardner’s and the Andrew Miller’s just to name a few. Speaking of the players I am also thankful for Brian Cashman’s willingness to not only make the plan to build the farm system and build from within but finally stick to it. Thank you for Greg Bird, thank you for Luis Severino, thank you for Gary Sanchez, thank you for Dellin Betances, thank you for Aaron Judge, thank you for Jacob Lindgren and thank you for Robert Refsnyder.

I’m not hard to please and I’m easy to get along with, especially during the holidays. Even more important is the fact that no matter what I am a fan of this team and that will never change. 100-62 record and a World Series or a 62-100 record because of too much World Series of Poker watching, I just love the New York Yankees and I am truly thankful that I get to not only watch them on a daily basis but write about them as well. 

The Yankees and a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

I can remember watching a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving every year growing up with my family. While we lacked in many areas of being a family we had our own quirky traditions and rituals that always included, for whatever reason, Charlie Brown at almost every holiday. Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day specials and Charlie Brown Christmas specials and even a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown but the Thanksgiving special was always my favorite. With that special in mind I thought it would be fun to discuss which Yankees I think would fit the mold of the key Charlie Brown Thanksgiving characters. Enjoy, it was meant to be for fun.

Charlie Brown:
Big bald head, check. Seems like he would be a terrible dancer and an even worse kicker in football, check. Got caught by the cameras screaming “GOOD GRIEF” or something close to that in the AL Wild Card Game after a ground out, check. Brian McCann ladies and gentleman.

Cool character. Never flustered, always calm under pressure. I used to have Derek Jeter pegged as Snoopy, especially when he is the fighter pilot, so why not use another guy with ice in his veins? Throw a pair of aviators on Greg Bird and tell me he doesn’t look like snoopy.

Peppermint Patty:
Athletic. A leader and a teacher. Knows a lot of stuff about a lot of topics. No disrespect intended here but Alex Rodriguez, come on down.

For some reason when I think of Sally I either think of her dancing or running around with Woodstock. And for some reason the first person that comes to mind on the Yankees when I think of Sally is Andrew Miller. Maybe it’s the, what looks awkward to me anyway, high five and hug after a save or the high fives he gives everyone after knocking down a save but he came to mind first and it’s always good to go with your first instinct.

Lucy. Mean as a snake and has a fire unmatched by anyone at that Thanksgiving table. Lucy is passionate and while she may lack in some areas she’s definitely a good friend and there when you need her. Kind of like CC Sabathia. Sabathia is the first one out of the dugout to pick-up his teammates and has a fire unrivaled on the current Yankees staff.

When you see pigpen what else do you see? Usually that cloud of dirt and flies surrounding him, dude is dirty and in serious need of a bath. Now I’m not saying that Brett Gardner stinks but because of the way he plays, all out, his uniform is always dirty. Gardner is pigpen, just in a nice way.

What is Linus best known for? His security blanket. Who was the security blanket for the entire Yankees infield in 2015? Mark Teixeira. Who needed that security blanket the most? Chase “Linus” Headley.

Artistic and has a little bird on his shoulder at all times. Sounds a lot like Didi Gregorius and the ghost of Derek Jeter, no?

Happy Thanksgiving from The Greedy Pinstripes

Happy Thanksgiving Yankees family. I know many of you are waking up either gearing for a full day of football, cooking, shopping or all of the above so I won't take up much of your time this morning. I just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving 2015. I have an absolute ton to be thankful for. I'm healthy, my family is healthy, my kids aren't teenagers so they still love me, heck my wife even acts like she loves me most of the time. I have the blog, I have my job and so much more to list but I promised I wouldn't take up much of your time.

I am wishing the best to you and yours and I'm sending all the well wishes and prayers that I can for this holiday season. Have a great day everyone, make the best of it.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/26: Exit Doug Drabek

On this day in 1986 the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates hooked up in a trade where the Yankees sent prospects Doug Drabek and others for Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante, and Pat Clements. I haven't heard much out of the three we got in return but I do remember Drabek winning the Cy Young Award for the National League in 1990 after posting a 22-6 record.

Also on this day in 1962 the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers hooked up for a trade when the Yankees sent first basemen Bill Skowron to Los Angeles for pitcher Stan Williams. Williams was coming off of a 14-12 season with a 4.46 ERA and Skowron was coming off of a season in which he hit .270 and slugged 23 home runs while knocking in 80 RBI's. In Game 2 of the World Series "Moose" Skowron will hit a home run against his former team as revenge.