Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/15

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

Apparently I missed this yesterday, and I apologize for that, when Vicente Campos was optioned from Yankees spring camp back to High-A Tampa. This comes as no surprise since Campos was a long shot to make the Yankees roster, especially after the team announced that he would be converted and tried as a starting pitcher rather than a relief pitcher after undergoing a Tommy John surgery.

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are currently airing on MLB Network with David Price going for Boston, although he may be out of the game by the time you read this, and Ivan Nova, see Price, facing off head-to-head. 

Landis Sims Not the First Child to Sign with Yankees

The New York Yankees organization has been referred to as the Evil Empire by some over in the Boston area but in my opinion that couldn't be the farthest thing from the truth. For example, New York didn't disappoint last week and didn't leave a dry eye in the room when they signed Landis Sims, a young man who was born without any hands or any lower legs, to a one-day contract that invited him to the Yankees spring training camp. This is not the first time the organization has signed a child to a one-day contract to set the tone and lead the charge, it has actually happened three times before Mr. Sims did it.

The Yankees organization signed three children during HOPE Week 2014 after all three were diagnosed with brain cancer. Ryan Tucker (12), Sean Callahan (11) and Quinn Ostergen (4) signed with the Yankees when the club showcased the Friends of Jaclyn organization during their annual HOPE Week.

The three signed their one-day contracts at the same table that players like Masahiro Tanaka and Brian McCann signed their contracts and even participated in stretching and batting practice before staying in the dugout for a game. Ostegren was the first female to ever sign a professional contract with the Yankees and is still fighting the disease along with her cousin, Tucker. Unfortunately Callahan lost his battle with the disease at age 15 in 2015.

Yankees Have Second Hardest Schedule in MLB in 2016

The NL graph in case you were wanting it as well. 

Every season Fangraphs and Jeff Sullivan post their projections on which team has the easiest and the strongest schedules in the upcoming MLB season. This season is no different although the projections are so tough to nail down on a consistent basis. Injuries happen, trades happen, free agents are signed, prospects break through etc. so take these predictions with a grain of salt. It's still fun to look at them though, well unless your favorite team has the third hardest schedule in all of MLB like my beloved New York Yankees do in 2016.

Looking at the graph over at Fangraphs you can see that the Baltimore Orioles have the toughest schedule in the American League while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have the second toughest schedule in the AL. The Yankees, Rays and Athletics have the third toughest schedule in the AL while Indians, Red Sox and Tigers have the three easiest schedules in that order.

To explain, the Yankees are projected to lose one more game with their current schedule then they would if they had an average schedule. They take the schedule of all 15 AL teams and average it out to a number, we'll call X, so the Yankees would lose one more game than X. The Orioles would lose two more games than X while the Indians would far exceed the average. Get it? Me either, but it is what it is.

Yankees ST: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 3/15

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will face off for the second time this spring as a part of their Grapefruit League schedules this afternoon inside JetBlue Park. The Yankees will get their first glimpse of David Price in a Red Sox uniform this weekend as they send Ivan Nova to the mound to oppose their old foe.

The game will be played at 6:05 pm ET and can be seen on MLB Network, MLB TV and it can also be seen on NESN if you live in the Boston area. Go Yankees, especially today!

My Own Superstitions and My CPU Desktop

This all started back in the spring before the 2009 season. The New York Yankees had made a huge splash in the free agency and trade markets acquiring Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Nick Swisher and AJ Burnett in separate deals and the team was ready to make a deep run into the postseason. I have made it no secret that Burnett was my favorite pitcher at the time, there's something about throwing a no hitter with nine walks that can turn a guy on, and I was ecstatic to have him finally on the team. What did I do to celebrate? I placed the above image on my desktop to showcase to the world, or anyone in the room watching me type over my back anyway.

I don't need to tell you how the 2009 season went not only for the Yankees but for Burnett in particular. It was magical and it ended with a World Series championship, a championship that may not have happened had Burnett not pitched so brilliantly in Game 2 of the World Series. I of course took all the credit for that because of my own superstitions and I decided to make this a yearly tradition going forward.

In 2010 it was Phil Hughes and 18 wins later I had Mariano Rivera on the desktop in 2011. In 2012 I had Derek Jeter donning my CPU while in 2013 it was Robbie Cano, don't ya know? In 2014 the Yankees went on another spending spree so I decided to think long and hard about who would get the honor of gracing my desktop much like NFL players salivate over the Madden NFL cover and I stopped on one of the newest Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury had a relatively healthy and productive season in 2014 so I decided to let Masahiro Tanaka grace my computer last year with his presence with another good turnout... so who gets it in 2016?

The votes have been tallied and the results are in.... and the winner is.... no Steve Harvey stand back, I got this.... and the winner is...... Starlin Castro! Congratulations to him and his family on the award and the prestige that comes along with staying on my desktop all season long. Good luck!

Quick Hit: The Yankees NBA Pickup Team

Many fans of Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees in specific are solely baseball fans but other enjoy other sports. I've seen many of my Twitter follows tweet #KnicksTape or #LGR or tweet about the firing of this Jets coach or this Giants coach and that got me thinking, how would these Yankees stack up against other leagues in other sports? The Knicks and Nets are the home teams so let's compare them to these Yankees but not in the way you would think. It would be impossible to compare how Carmelo Anthony would do with a bat in his hand and it would be impossible to judge how Aroldis Chapman would do down in the paint at Madison Square Garden but we can see how they stack up another way, literally.

Lane Adams 6'4"
Greg Bird 6'4"
James Kaprielian 6'4"
Chasen Shreve 6'4"
Aroldis Chapman 6'5"
Ivan Nova 6'5"
CC Sabathia 6'6"
Tyler Webb 6'6"
Aaron Judge 6'7"
Andrew Miller 6'7"
Michael Pineda 6'7"
Dellin Betances 6'8"

Jose Calderon 6'3"
Arron Afflalo 6'5"
Thanasis Antetokounmpo 6'7"
Carmelo Anthony 6'8"
Robin Lopez 7'0"
Kristaps Porzingis 7'3"

Jarrett Jack 6'3"
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 6'7"
Thaddeus Young 6'8"
Willie Reed 6'10"
Brook Lopez 7'0"

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/15: Yankees Honor Mo Rivera in Panama

On this day in 2014 the New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins began a two game spring training series at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama to honor the legacy of the great Mariano Rivera. Rivera was born in a fishing village in Puerto Caimito and was honored by the Yankees show of respect. These two games were the first to be played in Panama since the Yankees and the Dodgers played in an exhibition game in 1947.

Also on this day in 1999 the Yankees named Don Zimmer the team's interim manager while then manager Joe Torre received treatments for prostate cancer. Zimmer was the Yankees bench coach at thew time and recorded a 885-858 (.508) record during his time as a manager in San Diego, Boston, Texas, and Chicago.

Finally on this day in 1960 the Southern Association announced that the New Orleans Pelicans, for the first time since 1901, will not be part of any AA affiliates inside Major League Baseball. The Pelicans were an affiliate of the New York Yankees in 1958 and were essentially replaces by the Little Rock Travelers.