Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 4/13

It’s that time again ladies and gentleman, it’s time for the New York Yankees to come up to the plate and it’s time for the Toronto Blue Jays to take the field. It is game time in Toronto, Rogers Centre is packed out and it’s time for baseball. Tonight the pitching matchup for these two clubs will be Michael Pineda taking the hill for the Yankees on extra rest while Toronto sends JA Happ to the mound to oppose Big Mike.

The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET inside the Rogers Centre and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. These games can also be seen live either in the Bronx or wherever the team may travel if you click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and snag a pair of tickets from our friends over at Ticket Monster. You support the blog, you support the Yankees and you get to take the family or friends, or yourself if that’s what you’re into, to the ballpark to see a live game. Doesn’t get any better than that. Well unless you also live tweet the game with us and give us a follow on Twitter, our handle is @GreedyStripes.

Go Yankees!!

MLB Funding 30 Jackie Robinson Scholarships in 2016

Jackie Robinson Day is fast approaching Major League Baseball and in just a couple of days everyone will wear the #42 one more time. One last time, well until next year, and right about now is when all the Jackie Robinson related news and stories come out including the press release stating that Major League Baseball would fund 30 Jackie Robinson scholarships this year in honor of Mr. Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in the sport we all love.

Major League Baseball announced the funding of 30 different four-year scholarships, one for each MLB team, as well as a $1 million donation to the project to build a Robinson museum in New York City. MLB has previously given over $15 million to the scholarship program and museum fund that assists 225 students annually. The foundation reports that $21 million has been raised towards the museum’s goal of $24 million for construction.

MLB is making money hand over foot these days but they aren’t scared to give it back and that makes me proud to be a fan of the league. Good job Commissioner Manfred. 

Some Details Behind the George M. Steinbrenner Field Renovations & Extension

The New York Yankees spent billions of dollars building the cathedral that is the newest version of Yankee Stadium and apparently with this front office that was just the beginning. The team announced that they have struck a deal to keep George M. Steinbrenner Field their spring training home through the 2046 season but they have also announced an estimated $40 million renovation plan for the stadium bearing the former Yankees owner’s name.

The Yankees have been in Tampa, Florida since the 1996 season after moving over from Fort Lauderdale and they will stay there at least 50 seasons with this new extension. The Hillsborough County tourist development tax, the Florida spring training program and the Yankees will each fit the bill for the renovations equally.

The renovations should begin almost immediately and are expected to be complete by next March in time for spring training. The list of renovations coming to the field include new outfield concourses that provide a 360-degree view of the field and additional shaded and gathering areas. I’m sure more will be released the closer we get to it so stay tuned because we’ll bring it to you. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 4/13

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. Round 2… Fight! The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays faced off last night inside the Rogers Centre and these same two teams will go at it again head-to-head, same time same place. The only difference tonight will be the pitching matchup as Michael Pineda takes the mound on extra rest, and we all know how well that usually doesn’t work out for the right-hander during his career, to face off against JA Happ. Yes that same JA Happ that has hurt Jacoby Ellsbury, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson in his career by hitting them with pitches. Batters beware, especially of the left-handed variety.  

Pineda has historically struggled on extra rest and he has just that tonight in Toronto after an off day on Monday and a rain out of the Sunday game. Pineda was far from consistent in his first start of the season giving up six hits, including three home runs, and eight runs in five innings pitched against the Houston Astros but the cold weather could be to blame for the struggles. Or it couldn’t, we find out more tonight in Toronto.

Happ made his season debut last week against the Tampa Bay Rays and after a strong pitching performance he comes into the start with an 11 start undefeated streak, something the Yankees need to snap tonight in Toronto. During those 11 starts Happ has thrown a 1.55 ERA while yielding two runs or fewer in 10 of those 11 starts, pure dominance.

The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET inside the Rogers Centre and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Go Yankees!

Imagining a Lineup without Teixeira & with Swisher

The talk all week around the Yankees blogosphere, especially after an off day Monday and a rainout on Sunday, and on Twitter has been the second coming of the man they call Swish, Nick Swisher. Swisher is still working out down in Tampa at the Yankees minor league complex waiting on his minor league deal to be finalized and waiting for his number to be called so he can return to the Bronx. Swisher is not what he once was, not after a pair of knee surgeries and not by a long shot, but the grim reality is that same man that couldn’t crack a rebuilding Atlanta Braves roster could be on his way to a Yankees bench near you. Nostalgia aside what would the Yankees lineup look like tonight in Toronto if Swisher were in it and Mark Teixeira was not?

Let the speculation begin:

Jacoby Ellsbury
Brett Gardner
Alex Rodriguez
Brian McCann
Carlos Beltran
Chase Headley
Starlin Castro
Didi Gregorius
Nick Swisher

Keep in mind this is the lineup I think the Yankees will put out there. This is my speculation on Joe Girardi’s lineup, not my own. Please forward the hate mail accordingly. I’d personally have Starlin Castro hitting second, McCann third to keep the left, right, left thing going and maybe A Rod cleaning up. This lineup doesn’t look as much like a daunting task for opposing pitchers with Swisher in it and Teixeira out of it, does it? Let’s hope for the health of Teixeira if we plan on watching any meaningful baseball this October in the Bronx. 

Weekly Check In: Aaron Hicks

Continuing with our weekly check-ins with new Yankees faces and old Yankees faces in different places we check in with one Yankees player who doesn’t have an incredibly large sample size. Aaron Hicks was brought in to essentially replace Chris Young as the Yankees fourth outfielder and bench player and while over the course of the season Hicks should get in plenty of at bats right now the sample size just isn’t there. Injuries will happen and legs will need to be rested in the Yankees lineup so keep that in mind when checking out this weekly check in with a new face inside the Yankees clubhouse and dugout, Mr. Aaron Hicks. 

2016 5 8 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .143 .250 .143 .393 16

This Day In New York Yankees History 4/13: Nick Swisher the Pitcher

On this day in 2009 Nick Swisher was brought in as a relief pitcher throwing 22 pitches and allowing one hit and surrendering one walk in an inning of work. Swisher also struck out Gabe Kapler on a swinging strikeout and retired three consecutive batters to become the first positional player to pitch for the Yankees since Wade Boggs did it in 1997. Swisher volunteered to pitch an inning to save the bullpen in a 15-5 loss at Tampa Bay after Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang only lasted one inning.
Also on this day in 2008 construction workers at the new Yankee Stadium dug up a tattered David Ortiz Boston Red Sox jersey in the concrete of the new ballpark. The jersey was auctioned off to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. The New York construction worker, obviously a Boston fan, put it there hoping to put a curse on the new stadium.

Also on this day in 2005 a near by pedestrian saved the life of eight year old Patrick McCarthy by preventing him from walking out into a Boston road and getting hit by a truck. The hero who prevented the accident put his arm out and said "Whoa, watch out buddy" and caught the boys attention since he was his favorite baseball player, Alex Rodriguez.

Also on this day in 1998 a beam fell at Yankee Stadium and forced two Yankees home games to be postponed and one to be played at the New York Mets Shea Stadium.

Also on this day in 1978 Roger Maris returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since the team traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966. Maris came back to help former teammate Mickey Mantle hoist the World Series flag after a promise was made to Maris by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to install sod and lights at a baseball field at Maris' children's school in Gainesville, Florida.

Also on this day in 1978 Reggie Jackson hit a home run in the first at bat of his season at Yankee Stadium. This is important because Reggie's final three at bats at Yankee Stadium in 1977 were home runs making this a fourth consecutive Yankee Stadium home run for Mr. October.

Also on this day in 1962 the Detroit Tigers pitcher Frank Lary pulled a muscle in his leg running out a triple, which he overcompensated with in his arm and ultimately injured himself and ended his career. This is Yankees news because Lary was always known as one of the original "Yankee Killers."

Finally on this day in 1939 Lou Gehrig, with apparent muscle loss around his shoulders, hit two home runs in an exhibition game against the Dodgers. These two home runs will be the last that the "Iron Horse" would ever hit in his major league career.