Thursday, June 30, 2016

Will Randy Levine Please Shut Up?

Am I the only one that cringes every time I hear Randy Levine open his mouth? I can’t be, right? Will Randy Levine please shut up already? No really, he needs to. In his latest sound bite Levine was bashing the media when asked the question about whether the New York Yankees should be “sellers” at this year’s trading deadline. Now myself, as a person who has watched at least 90% of the games this season with the exception being day games while I’m at work and many of the west coast games, I think the Yankees should be sellers. You know why? Because I watch the games and I look at the schedule and I know that the Yankees being within striking distance of the second Wild Card is a fallacy that will correct itself once the Yankees stop playing teams like the Minnesota Twins. Randy Levine on the other hand? He’s either dumb, delusional, ignorant or a combination of the three.

Here is the exact quote from Levine from the StubHub press conference earlier in the week regarding the idea of the Yankees trading away pieces at the trade deadline:

“You (reporters) obviously have nothing more important to write about than to write nonsense about that,” Levine said. “When we decide to become sellers, if we decide to become sellers, or if we decide to become buyers, you’ll know about it. I guess the difference is most of you guys have never run anything. We have a lot of history here of knowing what we’re doing and a lot of confidence in our baseball operations people, so we’ll see what happens.”

The Yankees should sell and they should start with the team president first and work their way down. Idiot. Just another ignorant and condescending statement from another ignorant and condescending person who rode the coattails of George Steinbrenner and now thinks that their crap doesn’t stink. Well it does because I smell it every time you open your mouth, please shut up. Thank you and have a great rest of your night. 

Yankees Options to Replace Ivan Nova in their Rotation

Ivan Nova Sucks! Not really but if you follow along on Twitter you know that has kind of become my thing since Stephen Drew was manning second base for the New York Yankees. While nothing short of an act from God was going to save or help Drew it has seemed this season that the more I rag on a player and the more I tell them they “suck” the better they do. It’s a reverse psychology thing that I’ve been reluctant to say out loud but I feel like I have to in the curious case of Nova. He’s been terrible lately and in his last seven outings the right-hander has posted a 2-4 record with a 6.92 ERA with an ugly .313 batting average against him. If this post doesn’t work and turn Nova around here are a few options the Yankees could use to replace him in the starting rotation. 

Luis Severino. Any list that doesn’t start and end with Severino is an uninformed list and is wrong. Sure Severino has had his struggles this season but as a man that preaches sample size I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there is a much larger sample size of Severino dominating hitters from A-Ball to the MLB level than there is a sample size of him struggling. Since coming off the disabled list Severino has posted a 3-0 record with a 3.19 ERA down in Triple-A but more importantly than that he has been tweaking things and building confidence with strong starts and victories. He already has a 40 man roster spot and his option has already been used for the 2016 season. If anyone should come up in my opinion it should be Severino. 

If it’s not Severino then Plan B in my eyes is Chad Green who has also been opening up some Yankees fans eyes down beside Severino in the Scranton rotation. Green has flown under the radar after a bad start in his MLB debut which has covered up his (at the time of this writing) 0.98 AAA WHP and his 82 K’s in 81.2 innings pitched. At the time of this writing Green is leading the International League in ERA, is third in WHIP and is sixth in strikeouts. Green has also used his minor league option already for the 2016 season and already has a 40 man roster spot. If you’re not convinced Severino is back then Chad Green may be the best option of the bunch. 

We’ll lump the last two options together because honestly they may both be better off as bullpen pieces at this point. Luis Cessa and Phil Coke are both pitching well down in Scranton and both have made cameos this season with the big league club. Cessa owns a 40 man roster spot while Coke does not. Cessa is stretched out as a starter while Coke is in the process of being stretched out as a starter. Remember when I bragged about how good Chad Green’s WHIP was this season? Phil Coke’s is better as 0.96 and International League batters are batting a meager .202 against him as a starter. If all Nova is going to give you is five innings and six runs allowed what’s the harm in bringing up Coke for five innings and hoping that he can give up three runs or less? I don’t see one.

Walk Off Wild Pitch Pulls Yanks Back Up to .500

     A day after their biggest win of the season, the Yankees and Rangers faced off in the final game of the four-game series. Looking to build off a strong June and earn a series split, big right-hander Michael Pineda took the bump to try and quiet the potent Ranger offense. Pineda's been really good recently, with a 3.00 ERA in a string of five consecutive quality starts. The Rangers countered with right-hander A.J. Griffin, making his second start since returning from the disabled list. Griffin, before the shoulder injury, was having a comeback player of the year type season for Texas. going 3-0 in seven starts with a 3.08 ERA. And on a beautiful afternoon in the Bronx, both Yankee fans and Ranger fans were treated to a phenomenal pitchers duel.
     Texas got off to a real early start, and by early I mean the first batter of the game. Pineda served up a middle of the plate fastball to Shin-Soo Choo that was belted into the right field seats, giving the Rangers a first inning one run lead. Big Mike would settle in after the first inning long ball, retiring seven of the first nine outs of the game via the strikeout, with six of the seven coming against consecutive batters. Griffin also settled in nicely to begin the game, keeping the Bombers scoreless through the first four frames, retiring eight consecutive batters at one point.
     The Yankees didn't record their second hit until the bottom of the fifth, but, it sure was a big one as the Pinstripers came back to tie the game. After getting Headley to strike out looking, Griffin served up a full count cutter to last night's walk off hero Didi Gregorius who promptly deposited the ball into the right field seats, tying the game at one. And once again, despite the homerun, neither starter looked like they were going to budge as the tone of the game would change once both bullpens were In action.
      Neither starter would factor into the decision, as A.J. Griffin was lifted in the bottom of the sixth, giving way to Sean Tollison. Leaving it up to their weakest link, the bullpen, Griffin left with a final line of five innings pitched, allowing one run on two hits while walking two and fanning eight. Michael Pineda was absolutely tremendous today, recording his sixth consecutive quality start. Pineda left it in the top of the seventh, leaving the games in the hands of No Runs DMC. Big Mike's final line was excellent, going six innings while allowing one run on just two hits, walking three and striking out a season-high 12 Rangers.
      With both bullpens keeping the game tied, the ninth inning is where the drama really began to unfold as the Yankees collected their second consecutive victory and earned the series split. Rangers reliever Tony Barnett led off the bottom of the ninth by walking Chase Headley, who was bunted over to second by Didi Gregorius. After walking Aaron Hicks with one out, Barnett slung a slider into the dirt against Jacoby Ellsbury that got through catcher Robinson Chirinos and chased Headley home from third on the walk-off wild pitch. Not exactly the same tamber of drama as last night's walk off, but, kept the momentum going for the Yankees as they got back to .500.
     New York travels to San Diego tonight, facing off against the San Diego Padres in a three-game series, with first pitch scheduled tomorrow night for 10:40 PM ET.

Live Game Updates: Rangers at Yankees - 6/30

1:23 p.m., Mid 1st: Shin-Soo Choo leads off the game with a solo shot to right. For the fourth straight game, the Rangers score first.

1:36 p.m., End 1st: Yankees strand two on base in the first. A.J. Griffin's not exactly getting his curveball down, but he still manages to escape trouble.

2:21 p.m., Mid 4th: Pineda strikes out two more in a scoreless fourth inning. He's already fanned nine today, but the Yankees still trail 1-0.

2:49 p.m., End 5th: Didi evens it up with a solo blast. Griffin had retired 12 straight prior to the long ball, but at least the Yankees are showing some life now.

3:40 p.m., End 7th: Yankees squander a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh. Heading into the eighth, this one's still tied 1-1.

4:23 p.m., End 9th: Another walk-off! With runners on second and third and two out in the ninth, Headley races home on a passed ball, giving the Yankees their second straight win. Just like that, the Yanks earn a split in this four-game series and improve to 39-39 on the year.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers 6/30

Today is the perfect day to lay out from work. Lay out, head down to the Bronx and enjoy an afternoon inside Yankee Stadium watching a getaway game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers. You know what I always say “a bad day off of work is still better than a good day at work” and I truly mean that, especially when Yankees baseball is involved. So in the finale of the four-game set the New York Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound to face off against the Texas Rangers starter AJ Griffin. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV.

I will be at work unfortunately for this game but I will follow along on Twitter. If you want to follow along with us head over and give @GreedyStripes a follow or you can always like us on Facebook as well. We’re always around and always interacting with you guys so check us out. Also check out the TGP T-shirts link at the top of the blog to snag a Jacoby Ellsbury milk carton shirt or any of the other shirts posted on the site. They are awesome, I’m actually wearing mine as I type this.

So with that said let’s get to this game. Good luck boys. Go Yankees!

My Book Review of Mike DeLucia’s “Boycott the Yankees”

About a month ago or so I received an email and a comment on the blog from a Mike DeLucia asking if we would like to read a book that he had written titled “Boycott the Yankees.” For obvious reasons I was a little reluctant at first but as an avid reader and someone who is constantly searching for new types of literature to expose myself to I accepted. I received the book maybe two weeks ago and for two weeks it sat on my desk at home unopened and untouched. I decided to pick up the book on Tuesday and by 8:00 am Wednesday morning I had read the entire thing. Now for some that may not be much of an accomplishment but between my job, my two children who I adore, my wife, this blog and a little thing called “me time” it usually takes me a good week or more to read a book. That should tell you how absolutely hooked I was once I started reading.  

The basic premise of the book is the idea to boycott the Yankees and it’s something I have found myself saying since the end of the 2012 season. Hit the Yankees where it hurts, in the wallet. This is no longer OUR stadium and this is no longer OUR team. The team has forced Bald Vinny into the workforce and out of the stadium, the Bleacher Creatures back from the field and the real fans out of the building entirely. In its place are men in suits and like I like to say on twitter, suits don’t cheer. Mr. DeLucia has a plan to send a message to the Yankees and maybe take back what is rightfully ours, the New York taxpayer did foot the bill for the stadium and the Yankees fans everywhere pay the salaries for the players and the employees and not the Steinbrenner family direct, the New York Yankees.  

The book was not all doom and gloom though. Much of the book touched on key aspects and players from the team’s history and DeLucia’s personal time being a fan. DeLucia did not think we could get behind his ideas without knowing who we were following for lack of a better word and in the book he shared his personal opinions on everything from George Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Shane Spencer, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, David Ortiz, Yankee Stadium in general and Fenway Park, Johnny Damon and a slew of other topics. 

The book can be an eye-opener for some if you don’t know or don’t truly care about what is truly going on and the book can be a call to arms if you have been. Like I said I’ve been saying much of what Mr. DeLucia said in this book since the 2012 season and this has reinvigorated me and reenergized me because what he says in this book makes a whole lot of sense. The Yankees don’t like sense, they like money, and it’s time we give them more of one and less of the other. That’s the only way to get OUR stadium back and OUR team back. 

This book comes highly recommended by me and just as an FYI I receive nothing if you buy it. This is not a paid advertisement or anything like that but just a genuine opinion on a great piece of literature. If you want to join Mr. DeLucia and other visit on the web, give him a follow on Twitter @DeLuciaBoycott or shoot him an email at Purchase the book, it is well worth the read and well worth the money. Enjoy Yankees family!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers 6/30

Well Yankees fans here we are again one last time in the Bronx for one last game with the Texas Rangers. To be completely and brutally honest this series has gone about the way you would have thought it would have gone thus far. When I read that Ivan Nova, who has struggled immensely lately, was starting the first game and that Cole Hamels was starting the second game I immediately went to the mindset that those two games were going to be frustrating. When I saw that it was Happy Tanaka Day yesterday I thought the Yankees would have a fighting chance at a victory and I truly believe they have another fighting chance today in the Bronx in the finale with Michael Pineda on the mound. The Rangers will counter with A.J. Griffin though who may have something to say about that.

Pineda has been improving with every start lately and has had a much better June than he had an April or May. Pineda pitched to a 3.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in four June starts and will make his final June start this afternoon in the Bronx. In Pineda’s last start he held the Twins to one run and two hits in six innings of work while striking out eight.

Griffin heads into this afternoon’s start after lasting just 4.1 innings last time out against the Boston Red Sox. This was Griffin’s first start since coming off the disabled list with shoulder stiffness and in the start he allowed two runs while striking out six Boston Red Sox players.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. The Yankees head west after this game to start a weekend series with the San Diego Padres while the Texas Rangers go anywhere but here. I know I’ve said it a million times so after a million you likely won’t mind a million and one but I hate west coast games. Who in their right mind stayed up until 2:44 am to see the end of the Yankees and Rangers game on Monday? I sure didn’t, I couldn’t. On the weekends these west coast games can be afternoon games. Come on MLB schedule makers, you can do better than this. Oh well, we have to win today before we worry about tomorrow. Go Yankees!

Weekly Prospects Check In: Ian Clarkin

The New York Yankees received terrible news this week and I think I have to take partial blame for it. A couple weeks back now I asked the question “where the hell is James Kaprielian?” and this week I received my answer. He was flown to New York to visit the team doctor after presumably suffering a setback with his elbow while ramping up his rehab down in Tampa. That is never a good sign and one guy that can tell you that from personal experience is today’s prospect check in Ian Clarkin.

As you all know by now Clarkin missed the entire 2015 regular season with a mystery elbow injury and the fear now is that Kaprielian may follow in Clarkin’s footsteps. I know this is all premature at this point and pure speculation but if Kaprielian was to take anything from Clarkin’s experience it would be this. The Yankees left-hander was able to make it back for the Arizona Fall League last season and thus far he’s been throwing well this season.

Get well soon Kaprielian and keep on keeping on Clarkin. You never know who is watching.


This Day in New York Yankees History 6/30: Yankees Pull a Kansas City in All-Star Game

On this day in 2002 the Yankees became the first team in the American League since the 1956 Chicago White Sox to have four infielders and a catcher on the All Star roster. Jason Giambi, Alfonso Soriano, and Jorge Posada were voted in by the fans and Derek Jeter and Robin Ventura were chosen by the AL manager Joe Torre.

Also on this day in 1961 Whitey Ford became the first American League pitcher to win eight games in one month. Ford would throw a complete game win over the Washington Senators as the Yankees would win 5-1. This would be the Yankees 22nd team victory in June, a great month.

Finally on this day Cy Young showed why Major League Baseball would soon name their prestigious pitchers award after him, well that and leading the majors in wins and losses in his career, on this day in 1908 as Young no-hit the Highlanders 8-0. The 41 year old Red Sox pitcher would pitch his third no hitter of his career against the team that would soon be the New York Yankees.