Sunday, March 13, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/13

What happened down at Yankees spring training camp today? Let's get caught up!

CC Sabathia did not look good in his start allowing three runs on five hits in just 1.2 innings pitched. Not so good for CC. He came out of it healthy though and I guess that's all that matters, especially this early in the spring.

Sabathia was throwing 86-89 MPH consistently on the radar gun.

Michael Pineda threw three scoreless innings in relief of Sabathia.

Dellin Betances struck out the only batter he faced and Aroldis Chapman struck out all three batters he faced in the contest.

The Yankees announced their first round of cuts and they included Jacob Lindgren, Domingo German, Chad Green, Kyle Haynes, James Kaprielian, Brady Lail, Santiago Nessy, Tyler Webb, Francisco Diaz, Kyle Higashioka, Sebastian Valle, Jorge Mateo, Deibinson Romero, Tyler Wade, Lane Adams, Aaron Judge and Dustin Fowler.

The New York Yankees lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.

Quick Hit: Derek Jeter to Join MLB, the Rays and President Obama in Cuba for Exhibition

Major League Baseball is preparing a historical and significant trip to the island country of Cuba this month and they are bringing some big shots with them. When it was announced that the Tampa Bay Rays would face off with the Cuban National Team in Havana on March 22 of this season the President of the United States Barack Obama almost immediately threw his name in the hat and booked a seat along for the ride with the league and the Rays and now a notable baseball legend is coming as well. His name is Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter will join a group headlined by Cuban greats Luis Tiant and Jose Cardenal as a part of the first exhibition in Cuba since 1999.This will mark Jeter's first major public appearance since he retirement in 2014 and speculation has already begun as to why Jeter wants to go. The main speculation is that Jeter wants to one day own a MLB team, but again that is simply speculation. Jeter will be joined by MLB personnel including former manager Joe Torre. 

This was already going to be epic but that just got taken up by about ten notches, at least. 

People Are Actually Upset About Turning Down the Jason Heyward Blockbuster?

The New York Yankees fan is a unique and special fan because of their passion and their love for the team. Most fans I know are the truest of true fans and they bleed Yankees blue just like me. While I mean the utmost respect when I call you fans passionate, special and unique there is a con for every pro for almost everything in this world. One of the cons about being passionate about this team is that you want the best 25 players on the roster at all times and you want a World Series victory at all times, heck I do too to be completely honest, but sometimes you have to step back and look at the bigger picture. The news that the New York Yankees turned down a mega blockbuster deal with the Atlanta Braves before the 2015 season is the perfect example of this because I can’t believe the outrage I am seeing from some fans directed towards the team and Brian Cashman.

First and foremost this is all speculation, I obviously have no insight or inside information with the players, the team and the GM but you have to think that Jason Heyward was going to hit free agency either way this offseason. He’s 26-years old and he was going to want to test the market and get a boatload of money to future proof his and his family’s life. The Yankees would essentially have had Heyward for one season with no real place to put him. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran were all healthy and under contract at the time and Alex Rodriguez was at the DH position, so where does everyone even play? Also these talks happened before the Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade. I’m sorry but if Didi hits half as well as he did after the first two months of the season, he hit .297 FYI, then he would be a huge upgrade over Andrelton Simmons. No contest.

The Yankees farm system would once again be decimated by this trade. Heyward for one season and a draft pick, Hal Steinbrenner proved this winter he was not going to pay Heyward… he had every chance to so this is not speculation, plus Chris Johnson, a third baseman New York could have had for just money on the free agent market and once again passed on, David Carpenter, who the Yankees got anyway and designated for assignment, for the low, low price of Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Ian Clarkin, Gary Sanchez and Manny Banuelos. Where would the Yankees be if they made this trade? A lot farther from the light at the end of the tunnel and in a lot more trouble this season than they may or may not be already. That’s where!

Be passionate, be opinionated but once you calm down think it through Yankees family. This trade would have been extremely short-sighted and would have been the kind of trade that Yankees fans everywhere have been wanting to get away from for years. This is a good thing that this didn’t go down and frankly I am glad that Brian Cashman, Hank Steinbrenner or whoever declined to make the deal. Have a plan and stick to it, the new Yankees way. 

Yankees ST: New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies 3/13

The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies will both continue their Grapefruit League schedules and their spring training work this afternoon in a game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to start the game while Michael Pineda is set to come out of the bullpen following CC.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

My Thoughts on Goose Gossage’s Thoughts on Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes & “Nerds”

Excuse me while I leave my Yankees bias and “homerism” at the door because Goose, “you wrong buddy.” On a serious note though Goose Gossage was interviewed last week by ESPN New York’s very own Andrew Marchand and in the interview the former Yankees pitcher was very critical of some of the game’s best both in the front office and on the playing field. Gossage got to share his thoughts so I figured I would share mine as well, because why not?

First this article means nothing if you don’t know exactly what Gossage said so to quote the article the Goose said “(Jose) Bautista is a f***ing disgrace to the game. He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. (Yoenis) Cespedes same thing… Ryan Braun is a f***ing steroid user. He gets a standing ovation on Opening Day in Milwaukee. How do you explain that to your kid after throwing people under the bus and lying through his f***ing teeth? They don’t have anyone passing the f***ing torch to these people.”

Grammar nazi here, but Bautista is AN f***king disgrace to the game, not A disgrace to the game. Why is Goose going after Cespedes and Bautista directly? Has David Ortiz never flipped a bat? And why just Latin players, did Colby Rasmus not flip a bat against the Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game in 2015? Has about a million instances of bat flipping happened before Bautista did it? Be consistent, don’t just pick and choose who you attack. Braun is a steroid user and got a standing ovation, Alex Rodriguez is also a steroid user and got plenty of them in 2015. He also got a gig covering postseason and World Series baseball for Fox. No mention of this, no mention of Barry Bonds and his standing ovations he receives in San Francisco or his new gig in Miami as a hitting coach. Again, consistency.

But wait, there was more. “The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it. I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f*** they went and they thought they figured the f***ing game out. They don’t know s***. A bunch of f***king nerds running the game. You can’t slide into second base. You can’t take out the f***ing catcher because Buster Posey was in the wrong position and they are going to change all the rules. You can’t pitch inside anymore. I’d like to knock some of these f***ers on their ass and see how they would do against pitchers in the old days.”

I don’t think the nerds you are referring to, the ones that rely on analytics and sabermetric stats to tell the tale rather than the eye test, had anything to do with Chase Utley sliding into second base and hurting the Mets Ruben Tejada and ending his season. The media and in turn the Commissioner Rob Manfred has everything to do with that, not sabermetricians. The same can be said for the catcher rule, what does looking at how a certain player would perform in a vacuum or how he stacks up against the league in certain categories, basically what sabermetrics does, have anything to do with Buster Posey getting hurt? Nothing, you’re right. Pitching inside can be more prevelant than ever, FYI, because the hitters go up to the plate in basically full chain arm and won’t feel a thing… so go ahead and pitch inside, no one cares. You’re just upset you couldn’t intimidate hitters and you would have to rely on your talent rather than your head games, that’s okay. And one final note, you’ll catch more bee’s with honey than you will with crap and the use of vulgarity makes you lose all credibility with some whether what you are saying is 100% accurate and correct or not.

You’re a Hall of Famer and an ambassador not only to the New York Yankees but to the entire game of Major League Baseball but you sure aren’t acting like it right now. You’re better than this Goose!

Dog Days of Summer Coming to the Holy City as RiverDogs Release 2016 Promotional Schedule

Holy City Sundays, Saturdays Live at The Joe, and the Bobbl’ection Highlight the RiverDogs’

20th Season at The Joe

CHARLESTON, SC – It’s hard to surpass 19 years of unprecedented fun in one of the most highly-regarded venues in Minor League Baseball.

The Charleston RiverDogs have merited countless accolades that include the Ballpark Digest’s 2015 Organization of the Year Award presented to the RiverDogs owners, The Goldklang Group, a pair of South Atlantic League Excellence in Marketing Awards, two Larry MacPhail Trophies awarded to the most outstanding promotional effort in minor league baseball, and an all-time attendance record set last year. As the RiverDogs open the gates to a new season at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park for the 20th time, they’ll try to top it all once again.

While keeping their storied history in mind, the RiverDogs announce the promotional calendar highlighted by weekly headliners Saturdays Live at The Joe, Holy City Sundays and the 2016 Bobbl’ection.

“Every year we pride ourselves on giving fans something fresh to look forward to on our calendar while maintaining some of the tried and true promotions that have entertained our fans for years,” said RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols. “This year will be no different and we’re thrilled to be bringing out some of our best promotions to date while still reflecting on what has made us so successful in the past as we celebrate the 20th year at The Joe.”

This year, the RiverDogs are rolling out the “Take Me Out With the Crowd” campaign. Referencing one of the most recognized songs in sports, the theme will be present throughout the 2016 season as the RiverDogs encourage fans join in the collective experience at the ballpark as Charleston celebrates the milestone year at The Joe.


Saturdays: Fans can continue to expect the unexpected as they join “With the Crowd” in a summer series of postgame shows. “Saturdays Live at The Joe” presented by Kickin’ 92.5 and Star 99.7 will quickly become a staple in Charleston as the RiverDogs present a different postgame showcase for all 11 Saturdays. The RiverDogs start the Saturday series off with a bang on April 9 when David “The Bullet” Smith brings his Human Cannonball Show to the Lowcountry. The Saturday series will feature other unique acts that include “Caturday Night at The Joe” as we embrace our feline cousins for a night of internet cat video festivities on August 6 and Speed Painter Tim Decker at the June 4 game against Kannapolis. Fans can also get the game early each Saturday for pregame autographs from the RiverDogs players.

Sundays: The RiverDogs embrace Charleston’s “Holy City” moniker that has defined the community as a place of unity for centuries. The club will wear specialty uniforms that proudly display the “Holy City” namesake across their pinstriped tops with a new HC emblem on the caps. In association with Charleston County Parks & Recreation and Y102.5, every Sunday is a Kids Club Sunday where fans enjoy free parking and Lowcountry youth eat for free, enjoy pregame catch on the field, and run the bases postgame presented by CPI Security.

Mondays: We put the “Dog” in RiverDogs as Dog Days return, this time as a featured weekly promotion in partnership with Z93. On all eight Mondays, bring your pup to cheer with the crowd as you enjoy $1 beers and $1 hot dogs presented by Miller Lite. “Dogs with a Cause” also returns on Monday nights, and for the first time in association with Blackbaud, Inc. The RiverDogs and Blackbaud, the local software and services leader for the global philanthropic community, will share the spotlight with a different local nonprofit each Monday.

Tuesdays: Take advantage of another great night to get out with the crowd on Miller Lite “Take Me Out” Tuesdays presented by Harris Teeter and NASH FM. Special ticket packages include a 2-for-$20 deal that includes two tickets and two meals for just $20. In-game promotions are certain to be full of tandem fun for all the duos in attendance.

Wednesdays: Join in the fun on WEZL Wednesdays at The Joe as the RiverDogs and 103.5 WEZL team up for weekly promotions featuring surprise appearances from the 103.5 DJ team. The RiverDogs tip their caps to seniors and service industry members with two great opportunities to enjoy a night out. Seniors 65+ that enter the gates by 7pm get a free hot dog, chips, and drink. Presented by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, service industry workers can also take advantage of food specials and seating in a reserved area. Each week, The Joe will highlight a different sector of the local service industry as workers from one of the best hospitality cities in America go head-to-head in a series of “Chopped” style competitions.

Thursdays: The ever popular Budweiser Thirsty Thursdays presented by 95SX begin on Opening Night on April 7 and conclude with the season finale when the RiverDogs host Hagerstown on September 1. For all 12 Thirsty Thursdays, fans enjoy $1 beers all night long at the Ashley View Pub as they enjoy the scintillating tunes of Charleston’s own DJ Natty Heavy.

Fridays: A pair of RiverDogs classics highlight the docket as fans complete the work week with a bang with an explosive postgame fireworks show presented by Home Telecom and Mix96 every Friday at Riley Park. The RiverDogs will wear specialty red uniforms to honor our military as part of Red Shirt Fridays in association with ISHPI. Fans that wear red to the game get $1 off their ticket purchase at the gate with the option to donate it to the Wounded Warrior Corps.

Continuing our commitment to the local armed forces community, the RiverDogs will pay homage to a total of 70 past or present military members as a different local military hero is appropriately spotlighted at each game.


April 6: “Battle of the Beaches” Exhibition Game Opener – The RiverDogs clash with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the battle for coastal supremacy as Charleston hosts an in-state rival. The exhibition opener against the High-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs will be the first of two contests between the clubs, with another game slated for next season at Field. The RiverDogs will showcase good old fashioned hospitality to make the Pelicans feel right at home with putt-putt golf holes on the concourse and airbrushed t-shirts. A portion of the night’s proceeds benefit the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. As Charleston battles it out with the Cubbie affiliate, only one question remains: Who will Bill Murray be pulling for?

April 7: Opening Night – Always THE place to be in Charleston, Opening Night features a magnet schedule giveaway and will be the first of 12 Budweiser Thirsty Thursdays. The RiverDogs host the newest members of the South Atlantic League as the Columbia Fireflies, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, come to town in the first rendition of the Palmetto State’s version of the Subway Series. The first of 15 postgame fireworks extravaganzas will follow as we open the 20th season at The Joe with a bang.

May 6: Darius Rucker Surprise 50th Birthday Celebration - The RiverDogs celebrate the 50th birthday of native Charlestonian Darius Rucker. Fans can sign his giant birthday card, enjoy cake and stick around for a fantastic fireworks display to the tunes of Rucker’s favorite hits. But remember, it's a surprise, so don't tell him.

May 24: Night of Man – The RiverDogs tip their collective caps to the Y-chromosome holders on a night of testosterone, machismo, and body hair. Between inning promotions are sure to be chalked full of manly feats of strength.

June 11: Larry Doby Heritage Night – The RiverDogs honor the legacy of Larry Doby, the first African-American player to appear in the American League. The RiverDogs and Asheville Tourists will wear specialty Negro League uniforms of the Newark Eagles, Doby’s former team, and the Frontier Greys. The Hall of Fame outfielder and Camden, SC native collected over 1,500 hits in his 13-year Major League career with the Indians, White Sox, and Tigers after being given his shot in pro ball by HOF owner Bill Veeck. Doby’s ground-breaking career will be highlighted for two nights as part of Larry Doby Weekend presented by SC State University. Charleston’s own Cannon Street All-Stars Little League alumni will be in attendance and 1,000 local underprivileged youth will receive tickets for the Saturday night ballgame.

June 12: Charleston Strong Night – Building off the theme of togetherness highlighted at each Holy City Sunday at The Joe, the RiverDogs and the community will honor the memory of the nine fallen members of the Mother Emanuel AME tragedy. The RiverDogs continue to celebrate Larry Doby Weekend presented by SC State University with former Negro League players being honored at the Sunday night contest against Asheville.

July 1: Watermelon Day – At this annual summer celebration, we highlight everyone’s favorite homegrown fruit presented by the South Carolina Watermelon Association. The Watermelon Queen will grace the ballpark with her presence and in-game promotions will give fans a chance to show off their seed spitting prowess.

July 1-3: Independence Weekend Fireworks Spectacular – The RiverDogs celebrate our nation’s independence with three days of blowing up stuff. Watch the sky light up over the scenic Ashley River all weekend after each game of the series against Augusta. Presented by Bush’s Baked Beans, the American classic will be prevalent all weekend long with in-game eating contests and baked bean splendor throughout the Independence Day festivities with lovable Bush’s mascot Duke set to make an appearance.

August 8: Rainbows Night – The RiverDogs turn back the clock and tip our caps to the days when names like Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and David Cone called Charleston home. The RiverDogs will become the Charleston Rainbows again, complete with throwback Rainbows uniforms, for one night only presented by Dudley’s on Ann and Charleston Pride. The jerseys will also be auctioned during the game. It’s a salute to days past for locals to remember the Charleston Rainbows and historic College Park.

August 23: Bobbl’ection 2016– Fans can also mark their calendars as the RiverDogs play host to the democratic process with the fourth rendition of the Bobbl’ection. Heading to the polls has never been more fun. Get to the gates early to "vote" for either the Democrat or Republican candidate. Five hundred bobbleheads will be available for both sides and the first group to run out will be declared the winner.

August 1: Fan Appreciation Night– It’s the most important night of the season as we celebrate what has made 20 years at The Joe possible -- THE FANS. A postgame fireworks show will follow the conclusion of the home finale against Hagerstown.

Other features include three Military Appreciation Nights presented by ISHPI (Thursday May 19, Saturday July 16, and Wednesday August 24), a pair of Education Days (Wednesday April 13, Tuesday May 10) for school groups, and this year’s Big Splash Day (Wednesday, July 13) where fans can beat the heat as The Joe becomes a water park for a day.

The RiverDogs, the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, begin their season - the 20th in their history at The Joe - on April 6 with an exhibition game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at 7:05 pm and then follow that with Opening Night, also at 7:05 pm, that begins a seven-game homestand. Single game tickets go on sale online on Monday, April 14 at 9am and in person at the box office starting on Tuesday, April 15 at 9am. Ticket information may be secured by contacting the box office at (843)577-DOGS (3647) or online at


This Day in New York Yankees History 3/13: Billy Crystal is a Yankee

On this day in 2008 actor Billy Crystal joined the ranks of Garth Brooks and Tom Selleck as celebrities to appear in an exhibition spring training game with the New York Yankees. Crystal struck out in the first inning as the Yankees lead off hitter after signing a one day contract with New York. Crystal would wear #60 since he would turn 60 years old on 3/14 2008.