Friday, March 4, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/3

So what happened today at New York Yankees spring training camp?

Bryan Mitchell has come to spring training looking to earn a spot on the team's Opening Day roster and his first step towards that happened today in spring camp. Mitchell pitched two hitless innings against the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander and while he struggled with control a bit you have to let that go by the wayside at the beginning of March.

Kirby Yates and James Kaprielian also had hitless innings of relief while Luis Cessa pitched two innings of scoreless relief allowing just one hit. The Yankees pitching was on today.

Austin Romine continues to impress behind the plate defensively but unfortunately he continues to lack that little something while batting at the plate. Romine was 0-for-3 today but did manage to throw out Ian Kinsler trying to steal a base on his right arm.

The new protective netting that MLB made teams installed was tested today in the 7th inning when Slade Heathcott lost control of his bat. Instead of the bat entering the stands and potentially hurting a fan it simply hit the netting and fell to the floor. So far so good.

The Yankees lost to the Tigers 3-0.

Tampa Bay Rays Will Visit Cuba on March 22nd

The Tampa Bay Rays, along with a little help from President Barack Obama, will visit the native land of Cuba later this month to play the first exhibition MLB game on the countries soil in quite some time. Major League Baseball has announced that the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team will play an exhibition game between the two teams on March 22, 2016 inside the historic Estadio Latinamericano in Havana, Cuba.

The last time an MLB team was in Cuba was 1999 when the Baltimore Orioles took on the Cuban national team in Havana. This meeting will mark the first between the two countries since the U.S and Cuba announced plans to normalize relations between each other.

This is a historic event and an exciting event for all fans of the game. Frankly, I can’t wait!

Meet a Prospect: Chris Denorfia

The New York Yankees need another outfielder in the organization like they need another hole in the head but that didn’t stop the team from making another minor league signing this week for one. This time the Yankees added outfielder Chris Denorfia on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training this week so we’ll introduce him to the Yankees family the only way that we know how. This is Meet a Prospect: The Chris Denorfia Edition.

Christopher Anthony Denorfia was born on July 15, 1980 and if he makes the New York Yankees he will be playing for his sixth MLB franchise during his career. Denorfia’s amateur career began in Connecticut where he was born and attended Choate Rosemary Hall High School. Denorfia played second base and shortstop in high school until moving to the outfield in college at Wheaton College where he caught the attention of MLB scouts. Denorfia hit .467 in his senior year and did enough for the Cincinnati Reds to come calling with the 19th pick in the 2002 MLB First Year Players Draft.

Denorfia toiled around the minor leagues until reaching the Major Leagues as a September call up in 2005 with the Reds. Denorfia stuck around for the month of September and for 49 games in 2006 as he bounced around between Triple-A and Cincinnati before having Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2007 costing him a year of development. While rehabbing from the surgery he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Marcus McBeth, Ben Jukich and cash considerations despite missing the entire season. Denorfia was back in 2008 and even made the A’s Opening Day roster as a center fielder before a back injured derailed his season in early May. Denorfia did not return to the majors that season until rosters expanded again in September of 2008 getting just 62 at-bats for the A’s. Denorfia only played in four games for the big league A’s in 2009 before the team decided to remove him from their 40-man roster at the end of the season. Denorfia was a free agent for the first time in his career.

In December of 2009 Denorfia signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres and much like with his current Yankees deal he received an invitation to spring training camp. Denorfia did not make the team out of camp and was once again optioned to Triple-A but he was not down for long as the Padres called him in on May, 17 of that season to replace an injured Scott Hairston. Denorfia remained with the Padres for the remainder of the season and finished the season with a .271 average with nine home runs in 44 games. Denorfia remained with the Padres for the 2011 season after signing a new one-year deal and for the first time Denorfia got a full season to prove himself playing in 111 games for San Diego. Denorfia signed a similar one-year deal for the 2012 season as well with the Padres and played in a whopping 130 games that got him an extension with San Diego through the 2014 season. Finally some security for Denorfia.

Denorfia rewarded San Diego once again for their patience with him in 2013 playing in 144 games and by putting up a .279/.337/.395 triple slash. Denorfia also won the Padres Defensive Player of the Year Award and the team’s Heart & Hustle Award for the month of September leaving his mark in Padres history. Denorfia was traded to the Seattle Mariners on July 31, 2014 for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte and pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen ending his tenure in San Diego and ending his tenure of hitting inside Petco Park.

Denorfia signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs for the 2015 season before coming to New York for the 2016 season. Denorfia has represented Team Italy in the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic and will now represent, in my very bias yet humble opinion, the greatest MLB franchise this world has ever seen. Welcome to the team Chris and more importantly, welcome to the family. 

Yankees ST: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 3/4

The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers will hook up for the second time this spring this afternoon as these two clubs hook up with the Yankees on the road. The last time these two teams faced off as a part of the Grapefruit League the Yankees young ace Luis Severino flashed a huge arm with little control to boot in a slug fest between the two teams. The Yankees won the game 10-9 and will look to make it two in a row against Detroit this afternoon with Bryan Mitchell facing off against Justin Verlander.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET at Joker Marchant Stadium. Unfortunately the game will not be televised locally but if you were able to catch yesterday's game somewhere, which was also blacked out everywhere, then I'd suggest going there for today's game as well.

Have a good day family and Go Yankees!

The Aroldis Chapman Rant You All Knew Was Coming

I know I’m going to catch flak for this but truly I don’t care. I left my Yankees bias at the door and I am looking at this as a fan of Major League Baseball. The fact that he wears a Yankees uniform means nothing to me, I’ve also spoken up for Ryan Braun, Barry Bonds and others as the owner of this blog. This whole Aroldis Chapman thing has me pretty upset, pretty angry, and pretty furious. I’m sure you could tell in the way I’m writing. I’m not shoot a gun in a garage furious bit I’m pretty agitated and I’m here to tell you why.

First and foremost I am all for punishing anyone, sports players or not, for committing domestic violence. I am also for punishing an idiot, my opinion, with a gun shooting it off in his garage with a baby in the house. Call it what it is though and it’s not semantics. You cannot, well apparently you can, suspend a player under a domestic violence policy when there is little to no evidence that domestic violence occurred. Witnesses changed their testimonies, there were no marks on Chapman’s girlfriend the night the cops came out to his home and there were no files charged. The police declined an easy opportunity to book, arrest and get some money through fines and probation (at minimum) from a celebrity who would pay it without blinking an eye because why? Because they are fans? They are nice guys? No, because they are upholding their oath to uphold the law and to serve and protect. There was no evidence that there was any protecting that needed done.

Depending on what you read Chapman may have been the one assaulted, not the other way around. The last thing I read was that her brother pushed Chapman down sparking the whole incident. So you get potentially pushed, the cops are called and they are told a story about domestic violence and the police find zero evidence of the fact. The police don’t press charges and no one was arrested, etc. and yet Commissioner Rob Manfred believes he has the power to suspend a guy for domestic violence under his new policy? Stop me when any of this makes sense.

I am not ignorant to the fact that something happened that night but it shouldn’t be on Chapman to prove it didn’t happen it should be on the police and the authorities to prove that it did. The cops took pictures, investigated and followed through with the protocol for a domestic violence case and found nothing. If Manfred wants to show up Ray Rice, the NFL and Roger Goddell then lay it on Jose Reyes, someone who is actually going to court and has charges filed against him for what he did. Not Chapman, not without evidence. And no I don’t believe the decision to waive his right to appeal shows any evidence of wrongdoing and I don’t hear any evidence of that in his statement. The league told Chapman, according to Joel Sherman anyway, that he could reduce his suspension by 10-15 games if he didn’t appeal. If he appealed and got a 45 game suspension he is delaying his free agency by another season, why would he do that?

Chapman is taking the month off, will look to build his value and his character back in 2016 and hit free agency again in 2017. Not appealing does not show any evidence of wrongdoing it shows that he is making the best business decision for him and his family. Manfred had to know that if he was suspended for 45 days that the Yankees would get another year of control over Chapman and he used it against the left-hander. This is rotten all the way around and it’s crap. If you want to suspend the guy for endangering the lives of others for shooting his registered gun that he owned in a garage that he owned then call a spade a spade. If you have evidence that he hurt his girlfriend, pointed the gun at her, etc. then suspend him for domestic violence. Don’t hide behind some policy that you just enacted and don’t hide behind the fact that you’re trying to send a message and make an example out of Reyes, Chapman and Yasiel Puig.

Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining, especially after you just pissed on Aroldis Chapman. 

And Our Leap Year Giveaway Winner Is.....

And the Leap Year giveaway winner is....Benny Tomko!

Benny wins a special collectors edition of the Saturday Evening Post! Enjoy Baseball: The Glory Years and thank you for being a Greedy Pinstripes reader and fan. We appreciate you!

How do you argue logic like that? Congratulations to Benny on the giveaway, it's in the mail!

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/4: Yankees Fans, We’re Sorry!

On this day in 2006 The Yankees played an exhibition game at Legends Field in Tampa and had to post a sign outside the stadium apologizing to the fans. The sign apologized because the Yankees were without Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, and Bernie Williams due to the World Baseball Classic.

Also on this day in 1913 the New York Yankees became the first team to train outside the Unites States when they started their spring training in Bermuda. The team's island ballpark in Hamilton is a converted cricket field. The Yankees would tune up for the regular season by playing a local New Jersey team, the Skeeters.