Friday, May 27, 2016

Recap: Yankees 4, Rays 1

People doubting Alex Rodriguez's ability to contribute during his later years is nothing new.

But there's one thing no baseball enthusiast can deny about the veteran: even in his 40s, he finds a way to bouce back.

Such was the case Friday night, when a two-run shot by Rodriguez lifted the Yankees to a 4-1 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Yankees' offense had started slow, registering just two hits off Chris Archer across the first five innings. But in the sixth, with the help of some shady fielding, New York's bats finally broke through.

After a one-out walk to Brett Gardner, Archer made an errant throw on a pickoff attempt, allowing Gardner to advance to third easily. The Rays responded by bringing the infield in, at which point Taylor Motter botched a Carlos Beltran grounder to put runners on the corners.

Brian McCann plated the game's first run on a fielder's choice, and then A-Rod crushed his sixth long ball of the year to left-center.

The mini outburst backed up a great start by Yanks ace Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka, who entered with a 1.69 ERA on the road, tossed seven shutout innings, yielding only two hits while walking none and striking out four.

He ran into trouble in the fifth, but a leaping catch at the wall by Gardner kept Tampa Bay off the board.

Tanaka was ultimately removed with a pitch count of just 82, despite Beltran's eighth-inning solo blast adding additional insurance. Andrew Miller, Kirby Yates and Aroldis Chapman combined to get the last six outs -- though the Rays did score a run when Steve Pearce homered off Yates.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees won their third consecutive series opener, pulling them to within a game of .500. 

NEXT UP: The Yankees and Rays meet again on Saturday. Michael Pineda (2-5, 6.34 ERA) and Matt Moore (1-3, 5.47 ERA) are slated to be your starters, with first pitch set for 4:10 p.m. ET.

Live Game Updates: Yankees at Rays - 5/27

7:22 p.m., Mid 1st: You can never tell how a game's going to go by the top of the first, but the Yankees certainly did not start this one promisingly. They a waste a two-on, no-out opportunity against a struggling Chris Archer, and now it's Masahiro Tanaka's turn.

8:19 p.m., Mid 5th: Wish there was more to update on, but there isn't. The Yankees and Rays are still scoreless halfway through the contest.

8:40 p.m., Mid 6th: Yankees score three in the sixth. A couple of Rays errors and a two-run shot by A-Rod finally break the scoreless tie.

8:50 p.m., End 6th: That's six shutout frames for Tanaka. Let's see if the Yankees can give their bullpen some rest.

9:15 p.m., Mid 8th: Yankees add another a solo shot by Beltran. Looks like Tanaka will be back out for the eighth.

9:59 p.m., End 9th: That's your ballgame. Yankees win 4-1.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 5/27

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays are ready to entertain a raucous crowd of 194 people, these jokes will get old soon I promise, with what is actually going to be a great pitching matchup tonight inside Tropicana Field. In the contest the Yankees will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with the Rays ace Chris Archer. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside the Trop and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

Masahiro Tanaka. Chris Archer. Alex Rodriguez is back. Mark Teixeira is not. I should have plenty to say about it on Twitter tonight so if you want to read what I have to say head over to the app and give @GreedyStripes a follow. I’m pretty entertaining if I don’t say so myself in my very humble yet bias opinion.

Start the weekend and the series off right. With a victory. Go Yankees!

Trenton Thunder Press Release: Pork Roll Eating Championship

Thunder to Host 2nd Annual World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship

The Thunder are pleased to announce some event details for the second annual Trenton Thunder World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship set to take place on Saturday, September 24, 2015 at ARM & HAMMER Park from 12-4pm. Gates will open for the inaugural event at 12pm for a festival-style atmosphere of food, beverage, entertainment and competitive eating.

The champion of last year's World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship, Joey Chestnut, will return to ARM & HAMMER Park to defend his title.

Tickets are on sale now for $5 each and parking will be free. TICKETS

An array of "pork roll-inspired" food selections will be available at the concession stands including many of the favorites currently served at the Case's Pork Roll stand at ARM & HAMMER Park. Beer sales will include Fall pumpkin selections from various breweries during the second annual event.

A variety of kid-friendly outdoor games, including inflatables, and bounce houses will be part of the day's activities free of charge. The Thunder will also have a DUNK TANK at the event with participants able to take three throws at the target for just $1 with all proceeds from the tank going to Trenton Thunder Charities.

The Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship will take place at 3:00pm. The main event will feature 12 eaters, including 8-time Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Champion, Joey Chestnut. This Major League Eating sanctioned event will be a 10-minute battle of humans vs Case's Pork Roll sandwiches vs themselves vs each other. The total prize purse is $4,000 with the following payout:

1st: $2,000
2nd: $1,000
3rd: $600
4th: $300
5th: $100

Contestant registration is closed for the Eating Championship, however, the Thunder will host a qualifying Pork Roll Eating Contest at ARM & HAMMER Park on Friday August 12 when the Thunder host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays). The contest will be five minutes in length and contestants will consume as many 1/4 lb Pork Roll Sandwiches as possible in that time frame. The contestant who eats the most Pork Roll Sandwiches will be crowned as the winner and earn a spot in the Trenton Thunder World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship on September 24, 2016.

Those who wish to enter the contest must submit a video to the Thunder explaining why they should be in the Pork Roll Qualifying Contest. The video should be no longer than one minute and should tell us how Pork Roll has impacted your life and how much Pork Roll you think you can eat. The link to your video should be emailed to

More details about the festival will be announced this summer, visit for the latest information.

Charleston Riverdogs Press Release: Charleston Hall of Fame Announced

Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame
Releases 2016 Candidates

CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s advisory committee has released its candidates for the Class of 2016, and enshrinement will be conducted by voting from local fans.

The Committee also announced that fans will select the two that collect the most votes while the committee will vote in two members. Official ballots will be at Riley Park beginning today and on-line voting will also be available via a link posted at or at

Voting will conclude on Friday, July 21. On Friday, Aug. 5, the top two individuals with the most votes will be inducted in August prior to a RiverDogs’ home game.

The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame is coordinated and operated by the Charleston RiverDogs. An advisory committee consisting of knowledgeable local volunteers was created to come up with the names as potential nominees. The Hall of Fame is located inside Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, for the Class of 2016:

· Ted Byrne – The South Atlantic League’s 1984 Broadcaster of the Year, Ted Byrne, who brought Charleston its first sports talk radio show, has been a sports broadcaster since 1967. He currently is the Operations and Traffic Manager for Kirkman Broadcasting and oversees all six of their radio stations. In 1984 he was named South Carolina’s Broadcaster of the Year. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Byrne was part of a group that won his industry’s highest award, The Peabody Award, which recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television broadcasters, and has been the “voice” of The Citadel and College of Charleston, and has worked TV broadcasts for Fox Sports, SportSouth, Comcast and ESPN. He twice broadcasted the SAL All-Star Game, and also did play-by-play for Georgia Southern basketball and baseball from 1997-05. He served as the public address announcer for the River Dogs and SC Stingrays, and was the sidekick to Bobby Hartin on the long-running sports talk show, “Fan Talk,” until 2012 when Ted was diagnosed with lymphoma, the type that is incurable but treatable, and currently is in remission.

· Chris Campbell – Chris Campbell played second base for the College of Charleston from 2004-07, and when he graduated, he ranked as the program’s all-time leader in games played (240), hits (355), doubles (79) and RBIs (290). In 2007, Campbell led the nation in RBIs per game with 1.41 while his 87 RBIs in 2005 rank second all-time in Southern Conference history. When he finished in ’07, Campbell’s 290 career RBIs were tied for first in SoCon history, while his 355 career hits were tied for second in the league record books. Campbell was the 2004 SoCon Freshman of the Year, while earning First Team All-SoCon honors in 2005 and Second Team All-Conference accolades in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He played on the Cougars first three NCAA Regional teams and was the only player in Southern Conference history to record two seasons of at least 100 hits.

· Nick Chigges – College of Charleston’s Nick Chigges was a two-time Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year and collected first team All-Conference accolades in 2006 and 2007. Named co-MVP of the 2006 SoCon Tournament, Chigges earned second team Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger and NCBWA All-America honors in 2006 and second team ABCA All-American recognition in 2007. He had a 31-5 career record and a .861 winning percentage, and when he finished, the 31 wins ranked first all-time at CofC and fifth in SoCon history. Chigges’ ERA of 1.40 in 2006 ranked third in the country. He was named to the 2006 Kentucky Regional All-Tournament team after a complete-game, 13-strikeout performance in the win over Ball State in the semifinals. A 2004 member of Collegiate Baseball’s All-America Freshman Team, Chigges was drafted by the NY Yankees and played for the 2008 Charleston RiverDogs. He led the Cougars through the program’s most successful four years, winning three SoCon regular season championships in 2004, 2005 and 2007 and the 2006 SoCon Tournament title, and is a member of the Cougars’ Baseball Wall of Fame.
John Couch – St. Andrew’s High product who played minor league baseball for the Charleston White Sox (1958-63), John Couch, a local CPA, attended Baseball Umpire Development School in St. Petersburg, Fla. He umpired classes A (Western Carolina League) and AA professional baseball in addition to American Legion and college baseball. Couch was an umpire during the 1975 NCAA College World Series in Omaha.
Timmy Linker – Local volunteer youth coach with St. Andrews Parks and Playground for more than 45 years and named the state’s volunteer coach of the year in 2004.

· John Pawlowski – John Pawlowski is a former Clemson pitcher who reached the majors with the Chicago White Sox (1-0 MLB record) and was later the former College of Charleston head coach who led the Cougars to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, the first three in school history (2004-06), and a Super Regional in 2006. Elevating the program to national status, he signed and coached many standout Cougars, including Brett Gardner of the Yankees. Pawlowski left College of Charleston to become the head coach at Auburn, and served as the pitching coach at San Diego State before becoming the head coach at Western Kentucky.

· R.J. Swindle– R.J. Swindle etched his name in the Charleston Southern record book thanks to a brilliant 2003 season. He set the still-standing single-season records for wins (10) and strikeouts (140) en route to finishing the year 10-5 with a 2.21 ERA. He capped his collegiate career as the Bucs’ all-time leader in wins (24), while placing second in innings pitched (349.2) and games started (51). Swindle, a native of Vancouver, Canada, suited up for the Canadian National Team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Germany, and the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the US. Swindle also enjoyed two stints in the major leagues, a three-game run with the eventual World Series Champion Phillies in 2008 and a six-game stretch with the Brewers the following year. After starting his pro career in the Red Sox organization, Swindle signed with the Yankees and pitched for the Charleston RiverDogs. He concluded a nine-year career in 2012, pitching with the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals’ AAA affiliate).


2015 – Pete Ayoub
            John Chalus    
            Lee Curtis

2014 – Reese Havens
            David Hoffman
            Billy Swails, Jr.

2013 – Steven Jackson
            Drew Meyer
            Britt Reames

2012 – Gettys Glaze
            Tom Hatley
            John Rhodes

2011 – Bill Ackerman
            Roberto Alomar
            Mike Kimbrell

2010 – Lee Glaze
Fred Jordan
D.K. Walters
Kenny Wilkinson

2009 – John Dodds, Jr.
            W.S. “Bull” Durham
            Donald Morillo
            Doug Pounder

2008 – Bryce Florie
            Danny Jones
            Charley Smith
            Richard Wieters

2007 – 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Star Team
            1990 Citadel World Series Team
            Anthony Jenkins
Modie Risher

2006 – Ty Cline
            Mike Cook
            Gary McJunkin
            Chal Port

2005 – John Candelaria

2004 – David Cone

2003 – Willie Randolph
Gorman Thomas

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 5/27

The New York Yankees made the trip down to Florida overnight and will face off with the Tampa Bay Rays inside the Trop. In front of the presumable 1500 fans tonight, 900 of them being Yankees fans, the New York Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Chris Archer to begin the series. The Rays send three of their best pitchers to the mound this series while the Yankees counter with three of their best as well. This is going to either be extremely fun or extremely, extremely frustrating for New York and their fans. There will be no in between.

Tanaka has been everything the Yankees have advertised him to be lately which is a sight for sore eyes in New York. Tanaka has been getting stronger and sharper with almost every start this season and has seemingly gotten the train back on the rails after a pair of rocky starts earlier in the month. Tanaka faces one of the teams the Yankees are chasing in the standings tonight, no pressure.

Archer is coming into this start fresh off a disappointing start against the Detroit Tigers last time out. In the start Archer lasted just three innings and allowed six runs seeing his ERA balloon all the way up to 5.16. Archer doesn’t tend to have back-to-back bad starts and Archer doesn’t generally pitch badly against the Yankees, his 5-2 record and 2.25 career ERA are proof of that, so except a lot of frustrated Yankees fans tonight in Tampa.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside of Tropicana Field and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. This rivalry doesn’t hold the same luster it once did with James Loney and David Price on the Rays side but that doesn’t mean I’m sleeping on this team either. They still have a talented core, Evan Longoria and some dude named Archer so this will by no means be an easy series for either side. Let’s just hope this side gets the better of that side and New York brings home another series victory. Go Yankees!

Don't Talk Trash If You Don't Know Who Is Listening

Spoiler Alert: This is the story of how I met David Ortiz.

On May 3rd, I received an unexpected Twitter notification "Buffalo Wild Wings has followed you." Pretty cool I thought to myself, I even told some friends about it proclaiming I was "Twitter Famous." A few minutes after I received a direct message the gist of the message was that they saw by my tweets I was a big Yankees fan, and they were interviewing fans for a video, if I was interested, I should contact the producer.

I immediately called the producer, and we talked about my fandom, my thoughts on Boston, David Ortiz and I obviously mentioned that I write for The Greedy Pinstripes. The producer said that she'd let me know in a couple of days. I received an email the next day that they would like to interview me if I was available and provided me with an address and time, I gleefully accepted.

I'm going to take a quick tangent (it's important to the story). I have the Friday Night Package for the Yankees. On Friday, May 6th the Yankees beat the Red Sox 3-2. This was the game that David Ortiz went on a tirade against the umpire. I was in section 420B booing as loud as I could with my friend Sean. Tangent over, back to the story.

After work in Brooklyn on Saturday, May 6th, I headed up to the Bronx for the interview. I met with the producer and one by one we were summoned to the interview area. The director mentioned that the first portion would be about how I became a fan of New York baseball. For trademark purposes, I couldn't say Yankees. I talked about how my father and grandfather would take me to games, how my favorite moment was being at game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and generally all the things that make my heart warm and fuzzy. I headed back to the staging area; a few more fans came in, and I waited my turn for the next segment.

The next segment was in pairs, my friend Matt (who came as a guest and ended up in the video) and I were escorted to the table by an actual waitress this time. We briefly chatted with her for the camera and then the director told us this segment he would be asking about our thoughts on Boston. I talked about how I loved the city and enjoyed the history of Fenway Park. They asked my friend and me about our least favorite player; my friend said David Ortiz and I went with Kevin Youkilis. I talked about hating his goatee and his batting stance. After some prodding from the director on Ortiz, I thought to myself "if you want a sound bite I'll give you a sound bite" and went off on how I felt about his attitude and how he shows up everyone with his swagger.

At this point, I hear someone say "So you don't like my attitude?" I looked up, and it took me a moment to realize it was David Ortiz, this is when I said "Holy Shit."At this point I refer to the tangent, I thought angry Ortiz was coming after me, I truly did. Only after seeing the smile on his face to my reaction did I somewhat gain my composure. I then got to spend a few minutes speaking to Ortiz about how he kills the Yankees, how Dustin Pedroia is only a few inches taller than me and how he was a Yankees fan growing up because that is all they knew in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz thanked us for coming out and then we waited behind the camera crew as other fans interacted with him. Getting to see the reactions of the five other fans was humorous to watch. I think it is awesome that my entire segment ended up being shown in the video.

The last part was how we felt about meeting Ortiz and if our opinion had changed on him. Honestly, mine has. He was a nice to all of us especially after he had to listen to us talk trash about him. Bonus, I got a $25 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings. I think I'll save it for the next time the Yankees play the Red Sox... You can watch the video below.

Yankees Release Slade Heathcott

I hope I'm at least fashionably late to this party...

Last night we learned that the Yankees released Slade Heathcott. No, they didn't designate Slade for assignment, they outright released him.

It was speculated by many that the Yankees gave Heathcott his unconditional release to make it easier for them to re-sign him to a new minor league deal, like they have in the past. Had the Yanks DFA'd Slade, he surely would have been claimed by another team, and therefore he'd only come back to the Yankees if that other team returned him.

However, according Chad Jennings, that is not the case. The Yankees have let Slade go, and as of right now they have no intentions of bringing him back into the organization.

This news came as quite a surprise to me, seeing as how it wasn't long ago that Heathcott was considered one of the Yankees' top prospects. Mind you, he was never at the Aaron Judge/Jorge Mateo/Luis Severino level of prospect, but many fans had high hopes for the Yankees top pick of the 2009 Amateur Draft.

Unfortunately, Slade has yet to live up to those high hopes. Multiple surgeries to both his shoulder and knee has led to a lot of missed developmental time. In fact, Heathcott has only played in 302 games since 2012. His batting line of .257/.303/.334 in 368 plate appearances for AAA Scranton didn't excite anybody, either.

Another thing to consider is the organizational depth in the outfield. Along with Aaron Hicks, the Yankees have Mason Williams, Dustin Fowler, and Aaron Judge waiting in the wings. Not to mention that Brett Gardner may be around through 2019, and Jacoby Ellsbury's contract could go through 2021 (both have club options for the aforementioned seasons).

I know I'm not alone in wishing Slade Heathcott the best of luck in the future. Just as long as he's not hurting the Yankees. ;)

Why Not DL Mark Teixeira & Make Sure He’s Healthy?

It’s the same old song and dance with these New York Yankees. A player gets hurt and rather than placing said player on the disabled list the team would rather play with a 24 man, and even a 23 man for a few games this season, bench for whatever reason. The team did it when Jacoby Ellsbury was hurt and missed what felt like a month and they’ve done it with Mark Teixeira due to this neck pain once already this season. Why do it again? Why not just place Teixeira on the disabled list, especially with Alex Rodriguez coming off the disabled list, and make double sure that Teixeira is healthy and effective? I don’t get it.

Are the Yankees truly concerned about missing his sub-.200 batting average in the middle of the lineup? Are the Yankees truly concerned about losing his one home run a month pace, which I am under-exaggerating on for emphasis, for two weeks? The Yankees could place almost anyone in his spot and get comparable or better production from them offensively. Teixeira has stunk up the place to date this season.

I know one thing the Yankees are truly concerned about doing without and that is his defense at first base. The best option the Yankees have at first may be Chase Headley and he is nowhere near as effective or talented at the position than Teixeira is. Dustin Ackley is not the answer at first base, again defensively speaking, and New York doesn’t have any true options down on the farm leaving the Yankees in a pickle.

Do they sacrifice defense in lieu of offense and try to get by with Ackley while Robert Refsnyder heads down to Triple-A to learn a new position? It almost feels like they have to at this point, no? This is already the second time the neck has stiffened up and given Teixeira pain which leads you to believe that if it’s not properly rested, rehabbed and/or fixed that it will happen again the longer the season draws on. We need Teixeira more in August and September than we do now, although granted we need him back and effective pretty badly right now, so the team needs to get this done sooner rather than later. DL him, get him healthy and get back to our winning ways.

Weekly Check In: Jorge Mateo

Jorge Mateo stole over 80 bases last season and for a while chased down Billy Hamilton’s minor league baseball single-season stolen base record. Mateo was good last year but this year many are calling his 2016 campaign his breakout season. That shows you just how good Mateo has been this season and just how untouchable he should be as a prospect.

Now I know I have suggested trading him in a deal that makes sense in the past, and I still stand behind that statement, but I reiterate that only if the deal makes sense. You almost always trade away an A-Ball player for an established veteran on the right side of 30-years old unless they are coming up on a free agent season. There are other exceptions but I don’t feel the need to lay them all out here, the people reading this are in my opinion the smartest fans in the world because you’re Yankees fans.

Mateo is having a big season and he may be in Double-A Trenton before we all know it. Stay tuned. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/27: Knuckle Ball Glove is born Against Yankees

On this day in 1997 Luis Polonia of all people ruined the Oakland A's Steve Ontiveros bid for a no hitter with a two out sixth inning single. The single by Polonia would be the only hit that Ontiveros would give up in the A's 3-0 victory over the Yankees.

Also on this day in 1960 the knuckleball glove is born for catchers as Orioles catcher Clint Courtney became the first backstop to use the glove. Manager Paul Richards came up with the 45 inch glove that helped knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm go the distance in a 3-2 win at Yankee Stadium over the Yankees. Wilhelm did not throw a single wild pitch or passed ball in the game, amazing.