Saturday, March 5, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/5

So what happened down at Yankees spring training camp today?

Aaron Judge hit an absolute monster opposite field home run for the Yankees giving the Yankees and their fans a huge glimpse into the future. It was a great shot. It was more impressive because it was an inside curve ball and it was up, two things that have given Judge fits in the past.

Jorge Mateo hit a home run as well and was running around the bases so fast he lost his batting helmet a la Eduardo Nunez.

Jacoby Ellsbury made his spring debut and tripled in typical Jacoby Ellsbury fashion.

Robert Refsnyder has informed the Yankees he is ready to play third base in a Grapefruit League game just a couple weeks after the team asked him to start taking ground balls there.

Chasen Shreve also made his spring debut today after taking a line drive off the bat and off his back earlier in the week.

Alex Rodriguez improved his meaningless spring batting average to .750 with two more hits today.

The New York Yankees won the game over the Boston Red Sox 6-4.

A Potential Solution To Being Blacked Out of Local Yankees Games

Major League Baseball's blackout rules and regulations are finally under attack in a court of law but that doesn't mean there is necessarily a solution in the foreseeable future. As it stands right now if a local game is being showcased on FOX, for example, in New York you will be blacked out if you are in the market and you don't get FOX. While there is no solution for this currently I may have found a way around it, the problem is it may cost you a little bit.

I received an email from the guys over at who sell a VPN changing service for frustrated sports fans like yourselves. In a nut shell this tricks your coimputer and the third party services who are snooping into your computer to believe you are somewhere that you are not thus allowing you to watch the local games.

It's not free but it does come with a free week trial that does not require a credit card. If anything keep it bookmarked and if you like it then it's $4.99 per month for the service. You can just pay for one month or you can pay for a total year, totally up to you.

You may also find a comparable VPN service that can allow you to do the same for free but I wanted to bring this service to you guys just in case. I don't get anything off of this and I'm not doing it as a part of a sweetheart deal between us. I get nothing if you join and I don't want anything, I just wanted to bring you the option so you don't miss a Yankees game that you don't have to.

Let me know how it works out for you if you use it because I am genuinely interested in it myself.

Injuries Are Bound To Happen, So What If?

The New York Yankees built a team around youth, aggression, versatility and flexibility this season giving the team a ton of depth and manager Joe Girardi a ton of options. As the Yankees phase out the older players and bigger contracts of Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and others the team has an army of prospects and young players lining up behind them ready and hungry to take over the positions when they become vacant. Those positions may become vacant earlier than the team would have hoped though because as we know, injuries happen. Thankfully for the Yankees they have almost every position covered if an injury were to occur and thankfully for you I am bringing you a few of those options (obviously not all of them) if the injuries were to occur.

If Mark Teixeira were to go down at first base the Yankees could call up recently signed first baseman Chris Parmelee and plug him into the position. The team also has seen players such as Chase Headley, Brian McCann, Dustin Ackley and Tyler Austin down in Triple-A play the position in recent years.

If Starlin Castro were to go down at second base the obvious choice in my opinion would be the right-handed Robert Refsnyder. Of course the team also has Ronald Torreyes, Donovan Solano, Dustin Ackley, Jonathan Diaz and a slew of other options including the possibility of a young shortstop named Tyler Wade.

Speaking of shortstops if Didi Gregorius were to go down the team would likely put Starlin Castro back at his natural position. If Castro were not available to move the team could always call up Wade, sign Pete Kozma to a major league deal or absolutely go crazy and bring up Jorge Mateo. Mateo is completely a shot in the dark but I got excited and I had to bring him up. Ha!

If Chase Headley were to go down at third base I think the Yankees would have a problem. No, one man does not make or break a team but one man with a lack of depth behind him can in my opinion. See the Yankees last season when Mark Teixeira went down. Greg Bird was fantastic but the team as a whole took a swan dive into the offseason. Anyway, if Headley goes down the Refsnyder/Castro experiment would come to fruition because the number of minor league possibilities outside of Solano, Diebinson Romero and others are slim to none.

In the outfield the Yankees have a gluttony of prospects and young players headed by Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge and filled in with Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel, Tyler Austin and others. Don’t count out recently signed Chris Denorfia either and Dustin Ackley also has experience in the outfield as well which is worth mentioning.

The catching position is looking thinner than it has in recent years only because of the Yankees minor league options situation. Gary Sanchez has minor league options but Eddy Rodriguez, Austin Romine and Carlos Corporan to name a few do not.

The pitching is more stacked than it looks in my opinion with the recent strides taken by Luis Cessa and Chas Green for the starting rotation. We haven’t seen much of Bryan Mitchell yet but if he can harness any sort of understanding and control over what he throws he could be a dangerous mix going forward in either the bullpen or rotation while Ivan Nova looks to be the odd man out in the starting rotation currently. While the rotation options may be limited the sky is the limit when it comes to options in the bullpen as the Yankees can offer anywhere from 5-20 capable and ready pitchers that could join the big league club this season. That’s all without every mentioning Yankees top pick from the 2015 Draft James Kaprielian. Happy belated birthday by the way James!

It looks like the Yankees have plenty of depth and plenty of versatility, here’s to hoping they don’t have plenty of injuries to test that theory though. Have a great rest of the weekend Yankees family. 

Yankees ST: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 3/5

Rivalry renewed! Sort of anyway as the New York Yankees face off against their most bitter rival the Boston Red Sox. Instead of the games counting for anything they are facing off as a part of the Grapefruit League but hey you have to start somewhere, right? On the mound for the Yankees for this Saturday afternoon game is newly signed Tyler Cloyd and he will be pitted against Steve Wright for the Boston Red Sox. This game will all go down in Tampa, Florida at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN. Enjoy!

You're A Tool, Jenrry Mejia

When I first read that Jenrry Mejia was accusing Major League Baseball of a witch hunt, that resulted in him being banned from the league due to failing a third drug test, I laughed. The guy failed the test three times, and the league's policy is clear that a third failed test would result in being banned from the league.

Even if he wasn't in a Mets uniform, I'd still say he looks like a tool.

It turns out that Mejia claimed that the second failed test was inaccurate, which I again found laughable. Whenever you see something that people fail at, you'll hear any and all excuses as to why they failed. It's not because that person simply isn't good at that particular test.
My kid didn't fail his math test because he didn't study. No, my kid failed that math test because the teacher is a Red Sox fan, and my son and I are Yankees fans*.*This is not a true story. I do not have a son, and Red Sox fans are not smart enough to be teachers.
Then I came to the part of the story that I found plausible, and for a second made me feel bad for Jenrry. Allegedly, somebody in MLB told him that if he appealed the second failed test they would find a third failed test and kick him out of the league. So, naturally, Mejia didn't appeal the test for fear of being banned.

But don't worry, that feeling of empathy faded very quickly. For three reasons...

First of all, Jenrry Mejia went on to fail a third test. It didn't go down like Mejia said, where somebody in MLB dug up a third failed test out of nowhere. At least, Jenrry didn't accuse them of doing that, which... to me... is basically an admission that he failed that third test.

Secondly. Mejia never said the first failed test was either inaccurate or dug up out of nowhere by MLB. Why else would he say the second test was shady, but not say the same thing about the first and third?

And finally there were these quotes...
“I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career,” Mejia told Ben Berkon of the New York Times.
“The association should have done more,” Mejia went on to say to Berkon. “[The union] should have been there to defend me—because that’s what they’re there for. They should have found something to appeal for.”
A conspiracy against Jenrry Mejia? Really? We're not talking about a guy like Barry Bonds, who spent many years tearing up Major League Baseball and its record book, and was one of the biggest faces in the battle between Major League Baseball and PEDs. Not even close. Mejia only threw 183.1 innings in MLB, and was only above average in the 27.1 innings he tossed in 2013. His saves total of 28 in 2014 was nice, but a 3.65 ERA and 1.484 WHIP are not.

If MLB was going to conspire against somebody, I imagine it would be against somebody a little more high profile than Jenrry Mejia.

And then there's that second quote, where Jenrry doesn't say the Union failed to stick up for him due to his accusations of a conspiracy. Apparently, worker unions aren't there to fight for workers' rights. No. Worker unions, like the MLB Player's Association, are there to find a way to get guilty men off the hook.

Well that's too bad, Jenrry. The MLBPA has more important things to do, and for innocent players in the league, than spend their time trying to figure out a way to get you and your dumbass off the hook for failing not one drug test, not two drug tests, but three drug tests.

Good riddance to idiots like Jenrry.

Yankees Family, What is a Blog?

Hello Yankees family and I hope you are having a great weekend. I come to you today with a question that has been bugging me, what is a blog? The dictionary defines a blog as “a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.” The reason I bring this up is because I have recently come under fire for the way I run my blog and for the content that I create. I have been called too emotional, I’ve been told I push my opinions and beliefs on people and my words are sometimes taken out of context. I am okay with this, you are allowed to disagree with my and all that, but why am I being attacked for putting out my observations and opinions on a blog that I own? 

I am under no illusions that I am a beat writer or a journalist although sometimes bloggers and their work are compared to them. I write from a fan’s perspective, I’m not an insider and I don’t work for the team. I was being compared in these emails to people who work for the Yankees, either directly or indirectly, and who presumably have their opinions, their observations and their emotions limited by the team and the people signing off on their paychecks. I don’t live under those restrictions and I am not Jon Heyman, Andrew Marchand, Wally Matthews, Chad Jennings,  or Jack Curry (all men I have an enormous amount of respect for FYI), I am Daniel Burch and that’s all I’m ever going to be. 

When I started this blog along with Bryan Van Dusen we didn’t go out of our way to be different, but we are. We are fans first and foremost and we’re not the GM. If I want Cliff Lee in pinstripes I’m going to write about it, if you don’t then don’t click the article. I don’t push my material on anyone, I don’t even post links to my stuff 99% of the time. I am a fan so yes I have an opinion and yes I am emotional and yes I may be dramatic and over the top sometimes, so what? I’m human. I’M A HUMAN BEING TOO. My feelings are hurt and that's why I've been quiet. 

I have done things my way for better or worse since the first day of the blog until today and I will continue to do so until I decide to close up shop. If that means I never become more than what I am today as far as writing then that’s A-OK by me. I’m happy where I’m at and as much as I would love to turn this into a career I am quite content with it not being. My wife and kids have everything they need and then some and I have a hobby, a hobby I enjoy and I’m told I’m quite good at most of the time. This blog is not changing and if emotions and opinions and observations and the use of common sense to make determinations isn’t for you then maybe this blog isn’t either. 

I have respected anyone and everyone that has ever come my way in this industry whether it be in emails, on Twitter, in comments etc. and I expect the same in return. If I don’t get it then I burn the bridge. Life is too short to be disrespected and I feel disrespected. This is just something I had to get off my chest and I appreciate you all listening. Thank you.

Oh and FYI apparently it’s unprofessional to do Twitter polls despite the fact that you guys all enjoy them and enjoy being on the blog. That’s not changing either. Thanks again, love you guys!

What Do the Yankees First 30 Games Look Like?

The New York Yankees knew when they acquired closer Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds that the left-hander was going to be suspended using Commissioner Rob Manfred’s new Domestic Violence Policy. The team didn’t know for how long but it was almost a foregone conclusion that a suspension was coming but New York took a chance regardless. Whether the team and their GM Brian Cashman secretly counted on Chapman getting suspended for 46 days or more making him ineligible for free agency at the end of the season is anyone’s guess but common sense would tell you that the team would not have been terribly upset if it happened, especially for a year-and-a-half of control of Chapman for what they gave up in return. In the end Chapman was only suspended for 30 games, rumor has it that it would have met the 46 days suspended if he had appealed which is kind of shady in my opinion but that’s another discussion for another blog, so I wanted to take a look at what the Yankees first 30 games will look like in 2016.

As you can see the Yankees can absolutely weather the storm without Chapman if the team comes out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The bullpen is still strong with the returns of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller and the bullpen has the potential to be truly unfair and absolutely ridiculous, in a good way, if Chasen Shreve, Jacob Lindgren and others can return healthy and return to form. It sucks losing your closer for a month of baseball but when you put it into perspective it’s not that bad. A closer averages about 10-15 innings per month so that’s all the Yankees would be losing. This is easier to swallow when you have two potential closers in Betances and Miller behind him so in my opinion the Yankees will be fine.

Don’t fret Yankees family the 30 games will be over before you know it and Chapman will be back to throwing 105 MPH+ heat coming to a mound near you. Stay tuned. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/5: The Original Wife Swap

On this day in 1973 Yankees teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich announced that they traded their families, including wives, children, and dogs. The first ever episode of Wife Swap worked out well for Peterson who eventually married his best friend's former wife and had four children with her. Kekich and Marilyn Peterson broke up shortly after the swap.

Also on this day in 1922 Babe Ruth signed a three year deal with the New York Yankees for $52,000 per season. This was an, at the time, unheard of $1,000 a week to play the game. In November the Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and Ruth agree to a contract addendum to limit the Babe's off the field behavior. No more "excessive consumption of alcohol" or "late night carousing" for the Bambino.