Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 5/3

Too many off days to begin the season, I need some baseball. Tonight we get baseball back as the New York Yankees make the trip to Camden Yards to face off with the Baltimore Orioles in an AL East division matchup. The Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to turn things around not only for himself but for the team as well while the Orioles counter with their defacto ace Chris Tillman. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Oriole Park and Camden Yards and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox return to the Bronx this weekend for another three-game set, this time at Yankee Stadium. To see any of these games live be sure to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to visit Ticket Monster and snag a pair before they are all gone. Until then you can follow along on Twitter with us by giving a follow or tweet to @GreedyStripes. We’re around for most every game until we get frustrated and bang our keyboards until they don’t work anymore so check out the page.

Chris Tillman is ready and so is the Yankees offense so let’s get this thing done. Go Yankees!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Another week of the 2016 MLB season in the books and another week of games down the drain for the New York Yankees. The Yankees got swept this weekend inside of Fenway Park which likely left a bad taste in the mouth for not only all Yankees fans but for the crew over at the USA Today as well. How far will the Yankees fall this week? Keep reading.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Pittsburgh Pirates who rose five spots to crawl back within the Top 10 and the #9 position. Meanwhile the biggest fall this week, surprisingly not the Yankees believe it or not, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers who fell from the fourth spot in the rankings all the way to the #13 spot. If you don’t have your calculator handy that is a big nine spot drop for the largest payroll in Major League Baseball. Ouch.

I won’t keep you waiting too long for the Yankees ranking. The team fell another four spots all the way to the #25 position. How far will the mighty Yankees fall? It’s anyone’s guess but I’m sure the rest of the American League East is loving it as they watch it happen. Speaking of the rest of the AL East the other four teams came in as follows: The Baltimore Orioles were 6th, the Boston Red Sox were 9th, the Toronto Blue jays were 15th and the Tampa Bay Rays were 20th.

The Top Five teams according to the rankings were the Chicago Cubs who continue to defy the odds and their history while the Washington nationals, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates finished out the Top 5. The bottom five in the rankings belonged to the #26 San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds and the #30 Atlanta Braves.

You know my wife told me this morning while we were driving to work not to worry about it. That the Yankees would come back. She even threw in a “they always do.” I know she was just trying to be nice and supportive because she knows how I get when the Yankees don’t do as well as I expect or would like them to but I am still a believer. That may have been what I needed to get me back in the New York groove and out of this negative slump I’m in so I leave you this week with a prediction. The biggest rise of next week’s MLB Power Rankings will be the New York Yankees. Write it down and stay tuned. 

Joe Girardi & His Hypothetical Leash

In the immortal words of George Steinbrenner, before presidential nominee Donald Trump made them cool, the words “you’re fired” came out far more times than the Yankees would like to admit in the 70’s, 80’s and into the 90’s. Steinbrenner was a passionate fan and the Yankees were his passion and his hobby, he had made his money before buying the team and regularly operated in the red due to payroll, and when a manager wasn’t cutting it then he got cut. Simple as that. The only constant was change but ever since the Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman regime took over in the Bronx right around the 2008/2009 timeframe there has been one man at the helm and in the dugout for New York but on a long enough timeline everyone moves on or gets fired so after this putrid start in 2016 you have to wonder how long Joe Girardi’s leash is with the club.  

Obviously this is all pure speculation as I am not an insider, contrary to popular belief Hal does not have me on speed dial and I know no more than you. Again, I like to use common sense, history and a little bit of speculation and predictions in posts like this. The Yankees are a well-oiled business marketing machine that makes the Steinbrenner family an absolute ton of money but if history has told us one thing about this team it’s this, they don’t make as much money when they are losing as they do when they are winning. When a team is losing and when the management wants to shake things up the first person to go is usually the manager and you have to wonder how much patience the AL Wild Card Round trip to the postseason last season bought Girardi from the Steinbrenners. 

I know I sound like a spoiled brat right now but this is the worst start and possibly the worst team I have ever seen in my lifetime. I started watching religiously in 1994 at just eight years old, I would later turn nine after the World Series, and I’ve been spoiled and come to expect the best out of this team. I was crushed when Girardi took over and the Yankees missed the postseason in the final year of Yankee Stadium and I am even more crushed thus far this season because this team is so loaded down with talent. What frustrates me is that the team had obvious needs this winter, the middle of the lineup and the starting rotation specifically, and the GM did nothing to address either. That’s not as much Girardi’s doing and fault as it is Cashman’s but we all know how this works. The manager goes first and so does his coaching staff before the organization realizes it was the GM’s fault all along so if Girardi wants to remain in pinstripes he needs to turn things around quickly, preferably now, or he may be headed to the free agent market. My opinion only. 

Listen I like Joe Girardi. Sure he frustrates the hell out of me with his constant veteran over prospects decisions, see Stephen Drew and Andruw Jones as recent examples of this, and I would be a liar if I said I didn’t want to take his binder (which is now an iPad) and light the thing on fire before breaking it into a million pieces. I do. The thing is though he has shown an uncanny ability to work with a bullpen and piece together a game for a victory that the Yankees had no business winning. He took the same exact bullpen that fell apart time after time in 2007 for Joe Torre and turned them into a powerhouse in 2008 and has in every single season since and that I will miss. I have to say though, there isn’t a whole lot more that I would miss. Especially when Girardi gives me a day when I’m ready to pump out another two or three articles. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 5/3

The New York Yankees were swept away by the Boston Red Sox this weekend, how sweep it was not, but luckily for the team they had an off day to lick their wounds and mentally prepare for another tough division foe in the Baltimore Orioles. The season is not over Yankees fans, news flash I know, but it can be rather soon with this series and another Red Sox series looming in the Bronx over the weekend. There is already pressure on every Yankees player every at bat and with every pitch thrown and with every loss the pressure gets more and more immense. Donned with the task of not only getting the Yankees a win but alleviating some of that pressure is Luis Severino while the Orioles will counter with one of their best in Chris Tillman.

Severino has not had the start to the season he nor the Yankees would have liked after a strong debut in 2015. Severino has shown poor command of not only his fastball but of his slider as well and has been seen shaking off veteran catcher Brian McCann far too much. That shaking off landed Severino on the bench in his last start after just three innings due to him giving up six earned runs on seven hits in yet another bad start for the rookie right-hander.

Tillman started Opening Day for the Orioles but has not lived up to the distinction and the hype that usually comes along with that honor thus far this season. Tillman did have an impressive start last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays but has looked inconsistent for much of the season, a trend that he hopefully gets back to tonight in Camden Yards.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Oriole Park and Camden Yards and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The last place team in the American League East Division against the first place team in the division. With this series this week and another Red Sox series looming in the distance this weekend New York is primed to make a move back towards the top of the division. Whether they are ready and able to do it is a whole other story unfortunately. It all starts tonight in Baltimore.

Go Yankees!

Who Takes The Fall If Yankees Continue To Flounder?

There are a few things certain, namely life, death and Yankees fans calling for the jobs of the Manager and General Manager when the team falls short of expectations. The calendar has barely turned to May and fans and the media have invoked the all too familiar phrase "If George were still alive..."

The Yankees have struggled tremendously out of the gate stumbling to an 8-15 record at the time this was writing. There is still some hope for the Yankees as no team in the AL East has run away with the division however if the ship doesn't right itself, and the Yankees finish with a sub .500 record / last place it is hard to see Joe Girardi, his staff, and Brian Cashman retain their jobs.

Joe Girardi's Staff - Girardi's staff has born the brunt of punishment for failing to make the playoffs in the past, Kevin Long after 2014 and Mick Kelleher, Jeff Pentland did not return after their Wild Card Game loss in 2015. Girardi's staff is not looked on as fondly as Torre's staff to fans. With the Yankees already replacing staff the past few years doing so again may be seen as a half-measure.

Joe Girardi - Manager's are fired because teams can't fire the players. Joe Girardi has never had a losing record in his 8+ years at the helm of the Yankees though he has failed to make the playoffs in 3 of those years, 4 depending on your feelings on the Wild Card Game. It can be argued that in 2013 and 2014 Girardi did a tremendous job of getting those teams to a winning record. Fans despise Joe for his strict adherence to his binder. I like Girardi though I do find myself frustrated with his defined roles for relief pitchers. I believe he is one of the better Managers in the game but with his contract only running through 2017, he could be shown the door.

Brian Cashman - Cashman has been GM since the 1998 season and has seen tremendous success. He has also proven himself to be an evolving GM embracing analytics, an increased focus on drafting and development and more. In recent years, he has consistently made excellent trades acquiring the likes of Didi Gregorius, Nathan Eovaldi, and Justin Wilson. Hal Steinbrenner appears to have full faith in Cashman from top to bottom within the organization. If changes are made I could see Cashman surviving them.

When it comes down to it I think the Yankees will end up recovering from this abysmal start to be competitive. Whether they are competitive enough to ensure no one loses their jobs is still to be seen.

Yankees Stat Leaders Through 23 Games


Games Played:

Four players have played in all 23 games. Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Starlin Castro.

At Bats:

Jacoby Ellsbury has 89 at bats.

Runs Scored:

Brian McCann has scored 14 times this season.


Starlin Castro leads the team with 27 hits.


Jacoby Ellsburh has six doubles.

Home Runs:

All of a sudden Alex Rodriguez has five home runs. When did that happen?


Alex Rodriguez has also caught Starlin Castro for the team lead in RBI with 12. 


Qualifying: Starlin Castro .314
Non Qualifying: Ronald Torreyes .375



Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi all have five starts each.


Dellin Betances has seen 12 games this season already, his last two we could have done without though. 


Eight different Yankees have one win each. No one has two. Problem?


Michael Pineda and Luis Severino both have three losses. Problem?


Bullpen: Andrew Miller 0.00

Rotation: Masahiro Tanaka 2.87


Rotation: Nathan Eovaldi - 31

Bullpen: Dellin Betances - 24

Weekly Check In: Nick Swisher

Over the weekend we wrote about the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees rivalry needing a spark but before any rivalry or division can be sparked the Yankees offense needs to be sparked first. The Yankees offense is stagnant, the pitching is mediocre and the bullpen is going through some ups and downs currently, namely Dellin Betances. The New York Yankees need a shot in the arm, they need a change of pace. What they need is a hero. Could that possibly be Nick Swisher?

I’m not donning Swisher as the savior of the 2016 season by any means but you’re almost at the point in the season where you have to start throwing crap at the wall and see what sticks. It’s getting late awfully early and the Yankees cannot try the same thing over and over again and expect a different result, that’s the exact definition of lunacy.

The Yankees have three potential 60-day DL candidates so the 40 man roster spot wouldn’t be an issue and with Swisher’s versatility at first base and in the outfield the bench would survive in my opinion. Swisher’s Triple-A stats support it and if anything New York should be riding this hot streak in the Bronx rather than down in Scranton. But hey, what do I know. I’m just a frustrated and passionate Yankees fan who rants and raves on the internet.


This Day In New York Yankees History 5/3: Three Sac Flies in One Game

On this day in 1986 Don Mattingly hit three sacrifice flies in a 9-4 victory over the Texas Rangers. The Yankees first baseman and All Star is only the sixth player to ever have three sac flies in one game in major league history.

On this day in 1952 the Yankees traded Jackie Jensen and right handed pitcher Spec Shea to the Washington Senators for veteran outfielder Irv Noren. The Yankees felt the need to make the move after Joe DiMaggio retired and Mickey Mantle required a knee surgery that season. In 1958 Jensen would win the American League MVP award for the Boston Red Sox.

On this day in 1936 Joe DiMaggio finally makes his major league debut after his season was delayed due to a foot injury. The 21 year old rookie outfielder started off great with three hits, one of them a triple, and scored three runs in a Yankees 14-5 victory over the Browns.