Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 2001 World Series Game One HERE

Game 1 of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

MLB to Return to Mexico City in 2016

After spending the last 12 major league seasons outside of the city of Mexico City the league and its players are making a return to the Mexican capital. Major League Baseball is set to return to Mexico City, Mexico for two spring training games between the Houston Astros and the San Diego Padres.

MLB has not been in Mexico’s capital since March of the 2004 season when these same Astros faced off against the Miami Marlins in a two game exhibition series. This time around the games will be played on March 26th and 27th at Fray Nano Stadium home of the Red Devils of the Mexican Baseball League. The venue can hold about 5,000 people. 

Remember All, Justin Wilson Was Traded Because He Was About to Get “Expensive”

The New York Yankees made a trip this winter with the Detroit Tigers that had a lot of the fan base scratching their heads a bit. The Yankees had a dominant bullpen in 2015 and that was due in large part to the threesome of Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Betances and Miller are still donning pinstripes as we speak today but Wilson is wearing the Detroit Tigers uniform after the trade and a bit of a raise.

When asked what motivated Yankees GM Brian Cashman to make the deal that brought back prospects Luis Cessa and Chad Green the reasoning was two-sided. One side of things was that the Yankees lacked starting pitching depth in Triple-A, and both men could start the season in the RailRiders rotation, while the other side of things was that Wilson was about to get expensive through the arbitration process. Well after this week when 156 players filed for salary arbitration we are beginning to know just how expensive Wilson is going to get.

Wilson made $556K with the Yankees in 2015 and has agreed to a deal with the Detroit Tigers worth $1.525 million avoiding arbitration. Wilson is entering his age 28 season and is fresh off a season where he posted a 5-0 record with a 3.10 ERA in 74 relief appearances with the Yankees last season. Wilson’s career totals are 14-5 with a 3.03 ERA in just a shade under 200 innings.

The Yankees traded away a player who was due roughly a million dollar raise only to acquire one year (potentially more) of Aroldis Chapman. Either Cashman had to justify to Hal Steinbrenner the worth or offset the salary difference between Wilson and Chapman a bit or the New York Yankees lack not only a plan but a direction as well. Either scenario is equally as likely at this point or anyone’s guess I just hate being pissed on and being told it’s raining is all. 

Fangraphs: All 30 MLB Team's Projected WAR's is a great resource for all your baseball information. I use Fangraphs along with Baseball Reference probably daily since I've had this blog and every once in a while they bring you something that's not just research only. This week they brought every team's projected 2016 WAR's broken down by position and totaled up. How did the Yankees and their super bullpen do? How do they stack up against the rest of the American League East? See for yourself...

It is also worth mentioning that Fangraphs has another 54.4 WAR available on the free agency market including Chris Davis, Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, and others.

Meet a Prospect: Anthony Swarzak

The New York Yankees continue to stockpile pitchers for the arms race that the American League East is about to turn into and the latest mercenary to join the squad is former Minnesota Twins starter and relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak. Swarzak was playing in Korea as recently as the 2015 season as a member of the Doosan Bears and is said to be grateful for a second chance after signing a minor league deal with the New York Yankees. The minor league deal will come with an invitation to spring training camp so before we officially meet him down at George Steinbrenner Field let’s meet him today. This is Meet a Prospect: The Anthony Swarzak Edition.

Anthony Ray Swarzak was born on September 10, 1985 in Florida where he attended Nova High School in Davie, Florida. While at the school as a pitcher Swarzak earned two High School All-American titles in 2003 and 2004 which led to the Louisiana State University Tigers to offer him a full ride for college. The scholarship promises were enticing but the Minnesota Twins offer of $575,000 after drafting him in the second round of the 2004 MLB First Year Players Draft was even more enticing and Swarzak accepted the Twins offer to begin his professional career.

Swarzak entered his first professional season ranked the 15th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League according to Baseball America while on his way to a Midwest league All-Star Game. Swarzak moved up the list and moved up the Twins ladder in 2005 and 2006 but in 2007 his stock and his development took a bit of a hit after a drug suspension handed down by Major League Baseball. On April 20, 2007 Swarzak failed a drug test for marijuana and received a 50 game suspension. Swarzak took a step back after being reinstated from the suspension and stumbled into the finish line in 2007.

In 2008 Swarzak was promoted to Triple-A and took off for Minnesota posting a 5-0 record with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts leading the Twins to add him to their 40 man roster. Swarzak was invited to the club’s spring training camp in 2009 although he did not make the club and was sent back down to Triple-A to begin the season. Swarzak was not long for the minors though as the team called him up on May 20, 2009 and he made his Major League debut three days later against the Milwaukee Brewers. Swarzak pitched seven innings of shutout baseball earning his first MLB win. For every high though for Swarzak was another low.

Swarzak missed a lot of the 2010 season after shattering his foot on a line drive and spent the entire season either on the disabled list or in the minor leagues rehabbing the injury. Swarzak entered 2011 looking to rebound from a 6.21 ERA the previous season and looked to do so while pitching both in long relief and as a spot starter for the Twins. Swarzak would continue to be a swingman for the team not only in 2011 but in 2012 as well as he became an asset for Minnesota. Another high for Swarzak and another low ad he began the 2013 season back on the disabled list with fractured left ribs while what he described as “wrestling around a little bit.”

Swarzak spent the remainder of the 2013 season as a long relief pitcher and appeared in 48 games posting a 3-2 record with a 2.91 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 96 innings. That was not enough to stick around with the Twins though after the 2014 season as the team outrighted him off the 40 man roster and allowed him to hit the free agency market. Rather than try to latch on with another team Swarzak went to the Korean Baseball Organization to rebuild his value with the Doosan Bears. Swarzak must have done something right while over in Korea because the New York Yankees came calling on a minor league deal that will pay him $750,000 if he makes the Major League roster this season.

Welcome to the team, welcome to the organization and most of all Anthony, welcome to the family. 

Former Citadel Standout Asher Wojciechowski to Participate in Hot Stove Banquet

Houston Astros pitcher to join Ryne Sandberg at the 12th annual event on Jan. 22

CHARLESTON, SC – Former Citadel standout Asher Wojciechowski of Beaufort who now pitches for the Houston Astros, will join headliner Ryne Sandberg at the Charleston RiverDogs’ 12th Annual Hot Stove Banquet on January 22 at the Marriott Hotel on Lockwood Blvd.

Named the Southern Conference’s pitcher of the year in 2010, “Wojo” helped lead Bulldogs to the league regular-season and tournament championships as The Citadel advanced to the Columbia Regionals hosted by the University of South Carolina.

That year, Wojciechowski struck out 155 batters over 125.2 innings and averaged 11.1 punchouts per 9 innings.  For his three-year career, he won 20 games and struck out 308 batters.

The reception begins at 6 pm with the dinner starting at 7. Tickets are $70 per person and include dinner, a table gift and autograph or photo opportunity. Tables of 10 with preferred seating are available for $680.

For tickets and additional information, please contact the RiverDogs at (843) 577-DOGS (3647).
Tickets may also be purchased online at or

This past season, Wojciechowski pitched in five regular-season games and started three.  He threw 16.1 innings and fanned 16, and remains in the Astros plans for 2016.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Wojciechowski in the first round, with the 41st overall selection, of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.  He made his professional debut with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League and in 2011, Wojciechowski played for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League.

The Blue Jays later traded him to the Houston Astros on July 20, 2012, and then played for the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League. He started the 2013 season in Corpus Christi, but received a midseason promotion to the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. He was added to the Astros’ 40-man roster on November 20, 2013.

The Hot Stove Banquet, which coincides with the RiverDogs new slogan of “Take Me Out With the Crowd,” is an annual event hosted by the RiverDogs that brings baseball fans together to celebrate the magic of America’s favorite pastime in a setting that usually sells out. The former Chicago Cubs infielder and Philadelphia Phillies manager will share behind-the-scenes stories, answer questions and pose for pictures all of which will create memories that could last a lifetime.

Tom McQueeney State Farm Insurance is the presenting sponsor for the ninth consecutive year. Proceeds from the Hot Stove Banquet benefit The Citadel, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern baseball programs in addition to the Singleton Memorial Fund.

The Singleton Memorial Fund is in memory of Chris Singleton’s mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, who was one of the nine individuals killed on June 17, 2015 at the Mother Emanuel AME Church. Chris is a member of the Charleston Southern baseball team, and funds will be used to meet Chris’s educational expenses. It is Chris’s wish that any remaining funds be applied to the planned CSU Baseball enrichment center in memory of his mother, Ms. Singleton

The RiverDogs will also offer the opportunity to rub elbows with Sandberg during a special Meet & Greet opportunity presented by Kickin’ Chicken earlier in the afternoon to secure autographs, photos and a visit with the Hall of Famer.  There will be weekly opportunities in which to bid on the Meet & Greet and for more information, please visit  


This Day in New York Yankees History 1/17: Alex Rodriguez Decides

On this day in 2006 Alex Rodriguez announces that he will be a member of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Rodriguez had the option to either play for the United States team or the Dominican Republic's team, the homeland of his parents, but chose the USA.

Not really Yankees history as much as Houston Astros history but on this day in 2005 the Astros offered Roger Clemens $13.5 million in arbitration after Clemens asked for $22 million. That amount would make Clemens the highest paid pitcher in Major League history and would be the most given in arbitration passing the Yankees Derek Jeter in 2001 when he received $18.5 million.

Finally on this day in 1970 the Yankees drafted Fred Lynn in the January phase of the free agent draft. The Chicago native would become the first player in baseball history to win the MVP and Rookie of the Year Awards in the same season but he did it for the Boston Red Sox in 1975, not with the Yankees. Lynn chose not to sign with the Yankees.