Sunday, August 7, 2016

Weekend Finale Open Thread

For this weekend finale open thread I just have one question for anyone and everyone reading this? Why does the typical work week seem to just drag and drag and drag while you can nod off for a second or stop to breathe on the weekend and it's over? Something seems wrong about that, maybe it's a conspiracy theory. Does the universal timer get put on 2X speed during the weekend and 0.5X throughout the week? I need to speak to someone on this and if the blog goes quiet you know I asked the wrong person the wrong question in the wrong position. President Obama I'm looking at you when I say this.

I am kidding obviously, well hopefully, but seriously this weekend has once again flown by and now it's over. Here is a weekend finale open thread for you guys and girls. I hope you had as awesome of a weekend as I did with my family and children. See you back at it tomorrow bright and early. Good night Yankees family!

Recap: What A Historical Week In Yankee Baseball

This definitely has to be one of the most memorable weeks in the history of the New York Yankees storied franchise. A week that saw the trades of Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, Ivan Nova and the shocking announcement that Mark Teixeira would retire at season's end was capped off by the 11:00 AM announcement that Alex Rodriguez's last game in pinstripes will be this Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays, at which point the controversial superstar will be released from his player contract and continue as a special adviser to principal owner Hal Steinbrenner through December 31st of 2017. Friday will mark the end of a 22 year major league career for A-Rod. A career filled with unbelievable personal achievements, cheating scandals, a record suspension and a 2009 world championship that would not have been possible without his many contributions. I just can't believe that starting next year, we will have a Yankees/Red Sox rivalry that will not include Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz or Mark Teixeira for the first time in 14 seasons. Absolutely crazy when you say it out loud.

But as Ken Singleton said in the broadcast this afternoon, "baseball moves on", and it did today as the Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians in the rubber game of the three-game set to lock down there second series victory over the Tribe this season. Masahiro Tanaka took the ball for New York and was very strong today, improving to 8-4 while lowering his ERA to 3.32 as he shut down a very talented Indians offense. Carlos Carasco was tasked with the start this afternoon, hoping to win the game in the series for Cleveland, but did not receive enough run support and a losing effort that saw his season record fall to 7-6.

One of A-Rod's few remaining '09 Championship teammates Brett Gardner made a statement by ripping Carasco's first pitch of the game for a triple, scoring on a Jacoby Ellsbury sac fly to give New York a first inning one run advantage.

The A-Rod announcement continued to be on the minds of Yankee players, especially Jacoby  Ellsbury. In the bottom of the third after leading off the frame with a single, Ellsbury was inexplicably doubled off at first on a Mark Teixeira pop out to third. Yankee fans, commentators and teammates alike were universally dumbfounded at the typically heady baserunner's absolutely blunderous mental error. I thought, "Where the hell was he going? He HAD to be thinking about the A-Rod decision." At least, that's all I could muster after seeing something I have never ever seen happen in a Major League Baseball game.

Didi Gregorius extended the Yanks lead to two when he launched his career best 13th homer of the season over the wall in right in the bottom of the fourth inning. Of course, every longball the shortstop hits from here on out will be a new career high, as he had never hit more than 11 in any other season.

Another Yankee that has helped to make this one of the most memorable weeks in team history Mark Teixeira padded the Yankee lead in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Ellsbury walked and scored from first when Teixeira ripped a double to left that opened it up to a 3-0 Bomber ballgame.

The Indians didn't manage to put up a run on Tanaka until the top of the seventh, as the Yankee ace had one of his best outings of the season. Rajai Davis lead off the seventh with a double that prompted manager Joe Girardi to take Tanaka out for Adam Warren. After getting Tyler Naquin to fly out to left, Warren served up a single to catch her Carlos Perez that scored Davis and pulled the Indians to within two. Tanaka was charged for the Davis run and finished out the day with a fantastic final line of six innings pitched, allowing one run on six hits while striking out eight with no walks.

More Yankee miscues, this time of the throwing variety, led to the Indians scoring another run as they tried to claw their way back into the game. After Mike Napoli struck out to start the eighth, and was consequently ejected for arguing balls and strikes, Yankee reliever Tyler Clippard walked Jose Ramirez, who took third on a steal of second and a throwing error by catcher Austin Romine after Lonnie Chisenhall struck out. Clippard was then lifted for the closer Delin Betances, who immediately walked Rajai Davis. As Davis attempted to steal second, Betances threw a wild pitch to Tyler Naquin that made it to the backstop and scored Ramirez as a result, pulling the tribe back to within one.

Fortunately, however, the closer would settle down and get Naquin to strike out to end the eighth, and then shut the door on the Indians in the ninth to preserve the Yankee series victory. The win caps off a week that saw the Pinstripers go 4-3, a microcosmic example of what the entire 2016 season has been, which ultimately led to all of the historic events that took place this past week.

New York has the day off tomorrow as they travel to Boston as they prepare for their three-game series at Fenway Park with the rival Red Sox. Tuesday nights first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.

Rebuilding in New York Means KEEPING Brian McCann

The New York Yankees and their GM Brian Cashman may have shifted the philosophy for not only the organization but for the entire fan base as well when they decided to sell at this year’s August 1st trading deadline. I can’t remember the Yankees ever being sellers at the trading deadline during my years of watching so this was a cosmic shift in the universe for me but it was a necessary shift and a necessary change in order to let the organization go forward. The Yankees are no longer retooling nor are they going World Series or bust this season, they are playing for next year and beyond. The New York Yankees are rebuilding and with every rebuild you need a veteran catcher to anchor your staff, work with the young arms and mentor the rotation and bullpen. For those reasons and for a million other reasons that’s why the New York Yankees cannot and should not trade their veteran catcher Brian McCann before his contract runs out.

Let’s forget about what everything McCann does that you cannot really put a stat on, things like framing pitches (yes I know there are “stats” and metrics for this), calling games, working with and speaking to young guys, providing scouting reports, etc., and instead focus on some of the intangibles that can be quantified. Stats like home runs and RBI for catchers, something that McCann does well even in what is considered to be a down season for him offensively, that are all the more important for the Yankees now that Carlos Beltran is gone and Alex Rodriguez doesn’t look too far behind. Think about how demoralizing it would be for a Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge or equivalent to come up and have zero protection in the lineup and only see bad pitches and/or balls. That’s where McCann can come in and provide another intangible that cannot be quantified.

When I think of McCann and now the call up of Gary Sanchez I immediately think of the Jorge Posada and Joe Girardi situation. Girardi was kept on the mentor Posada in the mid-90s, maybe for too long to be completely honest, and Posada not only benefited from it but he flourished from it as well and he went on to have a great career. There’s no reason Sanchez can’t slowly get his feet wet behind McCann and grow into a monster too thus helping the Yankees not only until the McCann contract runs out but for years and years to come after.

Keeping McCann only helps the rebuild and helps those future Yankees stars and teaming that look to bring in a World Series, not hurts. Keep McCann for his two full seasons beyond 2016 and reap the benefits for many, many years to come. It only makes sense. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians 8/7

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians are set to finish off their three-game weekend set inside Yankee Stadium here in just a few minutes. In today's start  the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Carlos Carrasco for the Indians. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen locally on the YES Network and can also be seen on MLB TV wherever you are.

The Yankees are off tomorrow before heading north to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox in a three-game set including the Tuesday game where Luis Severino gets thrown to the wolves in his return to the Yankees rotation. Follow along during this game or any of those games with us by either liking us on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on Twitter.

Happy Tanaka Day ladies and gentleman. Go Yankees!

A-Rod: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Alex Rodriguez, A-Rod, One of the most infamous personalities in the history of the MLB and the New York Yankees organization has announced today that Friday, August 12th will be his final game as a New York Yankeee. It pains me to say this but as I look back on A-Rod's tenure as a Yankee but I can genuinely say that I will miss the guy.

I grew up watching the Yankees and two of my favorite players were always Jeter and A-Rod, the deadly Shortstop/Third Base combo. I idolized him as he would hit 50hr a year and would provide such a spark in the lineup that I have never seen before by any player. He has so many influential moments as a Yankee, good or bad, they made a mark on my life as well as many other people.

Whether it was knocking the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove, Yelling "I GOT IT!" against the Blue Jays or the whole steroid scandal that felt like it went on for a decade I still looked at all these things and felt like it made A-Rod stronger as a person. He was always a clubhouse guy according to former players and coaches and in the past year he was a huge influence to the younger players. He definitely has more haters out there then people who admire him but he never let the hate get to him or stop him from following his passion and playing the game of Baseball.

Then we move on to where he becomes a legend in New York Yankees history and the part I want to focus on the most in this article, his 2009 playoff run.... Oh man this was one of the greatest postseason performances I have ever seen. Before the 2009 playoffs he was always considered to be non clutch or a choker in playoff situations but oh boy did he prove those critics wrong in 2009. It all started with his monstrous division series where in Game 2 in the bottom of the 9th he launched a game tying home run off of Joe Nathan which eventually led to a Yankees win. Then in Game 3 he hit another homerun in the top of the 7th inning off of Carl Pavano to tie the game 1-1 which would then lead to a Yankees division series sweep of the Twins.

And then it's time for the Championship series against the Los Angeles Angels, why would we expect anything different from Arod in this series? He proved his clutchness even more when he hit a game tying solo homer in the Bottom of the 11th of Game 2 to put the Yankees back in the game once again after carrying them the whole playoffs thus far. He would go on to hitting 2 more home runs in that series and lead the Yankees to their first World Series title since 2000 which was 9 years before.

You may not like A-Rod for some of the controversial things he has done but if your are a true Yankee fan you have to give him all of the credit in the world for our 2009 World Series victory because without him we still might not have a World Series since the year 2000.

I'm going to end this very simple with 3 short words..... Thank. You. Alex.

Follow me on Twitter- @Yankeesfan0504

How I Will Remember Mark Teixeira

As we all have likely heard by now the Yankees first baseman has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2016 season. While this came to a shock to many, including myself, after Teixeira stated he wanted to finish his career with 500 home runs and play another four-or-five years if you look at his injury history and his recent production it is likely the best decision he has ever made. While everyone around the Yankees blogosphere will likely kiss his butt and remind us all about him finishing 2nd in the AL MVP voting in 2009 after leading the league in home runs and RBI and will remind us of his walk-off home run in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series I will remember Teixeira in a different way. Call me spiteful and call me disrespectful but I cannot remember Teixeira in any other way than the man made of glass, and that’s just keeping it real with you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way shape or form trying to be disrespectful here and I am the farthest from ungrateful as well. I appreciate Teixeira going out there every day that he could and I appreciate all the production and the memories that we (and I used the term “we” loosely for obvious reasons) had but I just can’t see him in any other form. It’s like that aging veteran that held on for just far too long you always find yourself thinking that he should have retired the season before or retired on top and on his own terms. That didn’t happen this time around with Teixeira, injuries and ineffectiveness forced him out of the game that he loves.

The wrist injury that cost Teixeira almost two full seasons, one season to rehab and one season sitting out after the surgery, and the fractured shin that cost him his resurgent 2015 season. The knee injury that robbed him of a big chunk of his 2016 season. The pinky that he cut sliding into home against the Baltimore Orioles that cost him what feels like a month and the other little nagging injuries that every once in a while reminded us all of Carl Pavano. That’s how I will remember Teixeira and honestly, I hate it. The difference between me and us at The Greedy Pinstripes is that we’ll tell you how we really feel, that’s what a blog is for, and not what we think you want to read just to garner more clicks and views.

Hopefully you appreciate that and if Mark is reading this I hope he knows and understands that we truly appreciate everything he did for us, did for the game and did for the Yankees but some things just cannot be helped nor changed. Get healthy, stay well and enjoy retirement Mark and congratulations on an amazing and illustrious career in the greatest game on Earth. Major League Baseball. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians 8/7

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians will be right back in the Bronx for another weekend game here inside Yankee Stadium as these two teams finish off their three game set. For whatever reason these Yankees struggle against the teams they should be beating on paper, the Tampa Bay Rays for example, while they play the better teams in the league tough and well, see the New York Mets and these last two series with the Indians as a perfect example of this. In the finale the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to square off with one of the Indians best starters in Carlos Carrasco.

Tanaka has not had a great month of August in his short MLB career which is evident by his career 4.24 ERA. Unfortunately this afternoon will be another August start for the Yankees right-hander so maybe he can turn it around against a tough offense in Cleveland.

Carrasco did not have a great August start last time out either pitching just 3.2 innings against the Minnesota Twins. Carrasco allowed eight runs on nine hits in the contest before leaving with an "L" in the loss column.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. Let's hope the Yankees pull another win out with their ace on the mound, dominate another series and head into the off day with the series in Fenway Park looming with the good times rolling. Go Yankees!

Weekly Prospects Check In: Dustin Fowler

The Yankees have gone through a few valleys and a few peaks throughout my career as a Yankees fan but possibly none more drastic than the 2016 season. The Yankees returned to #TooManyDamnHRs in 2015 while also returning to the postseason only to run into #TooManyDamnRISPFails in 2016 that resulted in a fire sale before the August 1st trade deadline. Now the Yankees find themselves with #TooManyDamnProspects and especially #TooManyDamnOutfielders including Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Mason Williams, Ben Gamel, Jake Cave and today's weekly check in showcase (just to name a few) Dustin Fowler.

Fowler seemed like nothing more than a struggling prospect teetering on the line of being an organizational filler prospect before breaking out in a big way throughout the 2015 regular season and into the Arizona Fall League. It was thought that Fowler was down in Arizona to play once or twice a week but like he has a tendency to do lately he pushed the subject and forced his way into the lineup. This is something that has continued throughout the 2016 season with Fowler in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder.

Let's see what Fowler has been up to this season since we haven't checked in with his all season:


This Day In New York Yankees History 8/7: Learned Lesson in August Waiver Traded

As we all found out on Tuesday the August waiver wire trading deadline can be confusing, hard to understand and it can get you stuck with someone you may or may not really want. This happened to the Yankees in 2000 when the team got stuck with the Devil Rays outfielder Jose Canseco. The Yankees claimed the 35 year old on waivers and he appeared in 37 games for New York as a designated hitter and hit .247 in 111 at bats. Canseco unfortunately got the World Series ring that the Yankees received as well.

Also on this day in 1983 the Yankees held Bobby Murcer Day at the Stadium. Murcer played 13 seasons for the Yankees and compiled a .278 batting average in New York before coming a long-time broadcaster for the team.

Finally on this day in 1978 Mel Allen and Red Barber became the first recipients of the Ford C. Frick Broadcasting Award. The voters were unable to choose between the two legendary voices so both Yankees announcers were selected by the Hall of Fame voters.