Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 8/30

Here we go ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees once again make the trip to Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium for the middle game of their three game set. In the contest the Yankees and Royals will send their respective aces to the mound both looking for not only a victory but for a leg up on the other in the AL Wild Card chase as well. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound looking to help the club leapfrog one of the many teams in front of them while the Royals counter with Edinson Volquez who is donned with the task of keeping the defending World Series Champions in the playoff hunt and discussion this season. The game will be played at 8:15 pm ET inside Kauffman Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Follow along during this game and every game during the stretch by either liking our page on Facebook, following our Twitter account @GreedyStripes or by leaving a comment on the game threads on the blog. If you choose to go the commenting route I just have one request and one rule. Don’t be a douche. That pretty much covers it all, well it should anyway. No one cares where you are in life or what you’ve done or haven’t done, all we care about is your passion and respect not only for the team but for the fellow passionate fans here as well. Thanks in advance.

Happy Tanaka Day ladies and gentleman. Go Yankees!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Another week of baseball down and another week closer to the August 31st trade deadline, which comes and goes tomorrow in case you don’t have a calendar handy, and another week closer to the playoffs. Whether the New York Yankees will be there in October remains to be seen but the team is doing everything they have to do in order to get there, but will it be enough? The Yankees are winning series, almost every series in fact, but at some point they have to start making up ground on the 900 (slight exaggeration) teams in front of them in the AL Wild Card chase and they do that by sweeping teams. Well that and by rising a bit in these rankings.

The Yankees despite have another great week of baseball rose just one spot in the rankings to the #16 position. I know I’ve said this a couple weeks in a row now but I think the crew over there is being cautious with this team and the first time they go on a three or four game losing streak they will drop them like they are hot in the rankings. Oh well, only way to prevent that is to keep winning I guess. The Yankees best bet to make the postseason may be to leapfrog the teams ahead of them in the division and win and to do that they would have to hunt down the #4 ranked Toronto Blue Jays, the #6 ranked Boston Red Sox and the #9 ranked Baltimore Orioles while holding off the #23 ranked Tampa Bay Rays.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Oakland Athletics who rose four spots to the #22 position while the biggest fall went to the Miami Marlins who are streaking in the wrong direction at the worst possible time. Miami slid five spots this week down to the #17 position in the rankings. Ouch.

The Top Five teams according to the rankings are the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals, the Texas Rangers, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians in order while the five teams that nobody wants to be in the league right now are the #26 Cincinnati Reds, the #27 San Diego Padres, the #28 Arizona Diamondbacks, the #29 Minnesota Twins and the #30 Atlanta Braves.

It will be interesting to see how tomorrow trade deadline affects the playoff chases and these rankings. Stay tuned for that and stay tuned to see if the Yankees continue to stockpile talent for their minor league teams and their future. 

The Yankees Fell for one of Those “Refinance Now” Commercials

Please overlook the tiny bit of sarcasm that I put in the title of the blog post as I couldn’t help it, that’s just how I am here lately. That was the first thought that popped into my head when I read that the New York Yankees were looking to refinance the $1 billion of debt they have racked up from building the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Hal Steinbrenner is looking for new and inventive ways to make more money for himself each and every day, isn’t he?

Truth be told the Yankees could save around $10 million annually from the loans they took out to build the $1.2 billion stadium in the Bronx that opened in 2009 which could go a long way if it was invested back into the team. The problem is, and of course I’m speculating here, it won’t. It will go straight back into the Steinbrenner family bank account never to be heard from again.

According to reports the Yankees are breaking even right now with the stadium payments (which will rise from $73 million annually to $76 million in 2018), YES Network dues and Legends Hospitality and its workings. The Yankees almost need this to work if they don’t want to operate in the red but since the Yankees used taxpayer dollars to build the stadium it may be easier said than done. Since the Yankees are tax-exempt and has 40-year bonds issued to help fund the stadium by the city of New York the team now has to kiss a little butt.

The team has already announced a willingness to give back 2,000 of the 9,000 parking spots it received from the Bronx Parking Development Co. now that the Yankees are officially losing money on their parking garages. Trust me, if there is a way for Hal to squeeze a penny out of this situation he will. Have no fear, we’ll be back to running in the green in no time. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 8/30

The New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals continue their three-game set tonight inside Kauffman Stadium with the middle game of the series. We all watched Big Mike Michael Pineda and Dillon Gee go at it last night with the waterfall in the background in Kansas City and tonight we watch as the Yankees send their ace and stopper Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with the Royals starter and ace Edinson Volquez. This one should be fun as well as both teams are pitching and hitting extremely well. Hopefully the Yankees play Kansas City tough tonight, that’s all you can ask for.

Tanaka has been everything he has ever been advertised as and more lately for the Yankees as he comes into tonight’s start on a great four start stretch. Tanaka has thrown two consecutive scoreless outings, a combined 14.2 innings, and has been dominant in his other two starts as well. Tanaka looks to keep the good times rolling tonight inside Kauffman Stadium.

Volquez was sharp in his last start as well against the Miami Marlins where the Royals ace gave up just three hits and two runs, although neither of the runs were earned. Volquez had struggled since mid-June before that start and could be finally turning the corner at the right time for Kansas City.

The game will be played at 8:15 pm ET inside Kauffman Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. In the battle of the aces who will come out on top? Will it be the red hot Royals behind Edinson Volquez or will be it the Yankees with their Japanese import on the mound? Stay tuned and find out. Go Yankees!

The Curious Case of the Pulaski Yankees Tweet Decoded

I don’t know if you saw it over the weekend, because many people including myself did not, but the Pulaski Yankees put out a puzzling tweet that almost begged to be decoded. I’d link it if the post were still up but around 30 minutes later the Pulaski Yankees had taken the tweet down. Like I said, I did not see it personally and have only read about it so I am basically paraphrasing what the tweet said here when I say that Pulaski said “RE: Blake Rutherford the Pulaski Yankees do not have a comment on Blake Rutherford, please contact the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa.” Something close to that anyway. The tweet was gone thirty minutes later and now we know why.

It was announced on Sunday that Rutherford would miss the remainder of the regular season due to a hamstring injury. This came on the heels of him just coming back from a knee injury. Did one cause or lead to the other? Who knows but Rutherford seems to be out until at least when the Instructional League’s start this fall/winter. At the time of the injury Rutherford was posting a .351 batting average with three home runs and 12 RBI for the Pulaski Yankees. It sucks to lose a top guy so here’s to hoping this isn’t a big or recurring issue for Rutherford.

In other Yankees top prospects with hamstring problem news New York has also lost their top prospect, Clint Frazier, to a hamstring injury. Frazier was added to the MiLB 7-day DL over the weekend as well after straining his right hamstring. At the time of the injury Frazier was hitting just .229 with seven extra-base hits and six RBI in 24 games since joining the Yankees organization on July 31st.

Get well soon boys. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres, what can I say that I haven’t already said a million times before? This kid is talented and he’s overflowing with skills and the Yankees are lucky to have him in their organization. The Cubs paid a pretty penny for a rental closer but when you haven’t won a World Series in about 100 years I guess you tend to get desperate. Their loss, our gain is the way I look at it. I loved having Aroldis Chapman here but I think I’ll like having Torres here more, just a hunch.

We’re glad to have you Gleyber. What else can I say? Keep up the fantastic work: 


This Day In New York Yankees History 8/30: A Rod Hits 40 Home Runs

The New York Yankees are also well known as the Bronx Bombers but in their long storied history they have only had two right handed batters that have ever hit 40 home runs in a single season, Joe DiMaggio and Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez joined DiMaggio, who hit 46 home runs in 1937, on this day in 2005.

Also on this day in 1961 a computer named Casey was used to predict the chances that Yankees outfielder Roger Maris would surpass Babe Ruth's single season home run record of 60 within 154 games. The IBM 1481 predicted that Maris had a 55% chance of hitting 61 home runs in 154 games to establish the new mark for home runs but ultimately Maris hit his 61st home run in the Yankees 161st game of the season.

Finally on this day in 1939 the Yankees Atley Donald throws a recorded 94.7 MPH pitch to establish a new record for the fastest fastball in Major League Baseball history. Donald would also win 12 straight games that year to set an AL record for most consecutive victories by a rookie starting pitcher.

Pineda, Bullpen Rocked For Eight In Royals 8-5 Game One Win

 In front of a sold out crowd in Kauffman Stadium, the New York Yankees fell to four games over .500 in their game one loss to the defending World Champion Kansas City Royals. Taking the ball and the loss for New York was Michael Pineda, who fell to 6-11 with another vintage Jekyll and Hyde performance tonight. And it wasn't just Pineda who under-performed tonight, the Yankee offense made Royals starter Dillon Gee look like a Cy Young contender, improving to 6-7 with his dominant start in game one of the three-game set.

The Royals jumped on Pineda really early as they opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Jarrod Dyson led off the frame with an infield single, advancing to second on a wild pitch during the next at bat. With one out, Lorenzo Cain ripped a single into center that plated Dyson to make it a 1-0 game. Cain stole second and scored when Kendrys Morales smacked a single to left to extend the first inning lead to two. Salvador Perez followed with another single, advancing Morales to second base. Alex Gordon then ripped the fifth single of the inning to score Morales and put New York in a very early 3-0 hole. The first inning outburst was even more so frustrating considering Pineda would go on to retire the next 15 straight Royals over the following five frames.

The Bomber bats were silenced by Gee through the first three frames but managed to get one of those runs back in the top of the fourth. Didi Gregorius smoked a two-out double into right and then the next batter Starlin Castro unloaded on a Gee fastball and just missed a homerun by a matter of a few feet. Castro thought it was gone and had to bust it around first to make it an RBI double that pulled the Yankees to within two. That ended up being the one and only run Dillon Gee surrendered in his six strong innings of work.

In the bottom of the seventh, Morales hit a single up the middle to break the string of 15 straight batters retired by Pineda.  Salvador Perez followed with a single of his own that ended Big Mike's night as he was pulled for lefty Tommy Lanyne, who immediately got Gordon to ground out to first. With two outs, Layne was pulled for rookie righty Blane Parker, who proceeded to serve up a three run blast to Escobar that broke the game open to 6-1. Because Pineda was responsible for the two runners on base, his final line ended up at six innings pitched, allowing five runs on seven hits while tallying no walks and eight strikeouts. Parker then allowed a sharp single to rookie Raul Mondesi, advancing to second on a Dyson ground out and scoring on a Chestlor Cuthbert single that made it 7-1 Royals. Parker was pulled for the fourth reliever in the inning Kirby Yates, who allowed yet another RBI single to Eric Hosmer, ballooning their lead to seven.

Joe Girardi let out some game-long frustration in the bottom of the eighth as the Yankees tried  to claw their way back into the ball game. Unhappy with several called strike three calls on his batters and missed strike calls for his pitchers, a low strike call during Gregorius's at bat sent the manager over the edge and was sent to the showers as a result of his pent-up frustration laden demonstrative outburst.

As Rob Thompson took over as acting manager, the Yankees put together a small rally to inch themselves back into the game. Ellsbury reached on a catcher's interference, Hicks walked and Sanchez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. In the afore mentioned Gregorius at bat, The shortstop lined a double to right that scored Ellsbury and Hicks to make it a five run game. Castro followed with a sac fly that scored Sanchez to pull the Yanks to within slam reach at 8-4. After McCann made the second out of the inning, Chase Headley beat out a throw from the second baseman Mondesi to score Gregorius, making it even more interesting at 8-5. After a walk to pinch-hitter Brett Gardner that brought the tying run to the plate, Kansas City called on Kelvin Herrera to record the final four outs of the game, beginning by getting pinch-hitter Mark Teixeira out on a ground ball to second to end the threat.

Unfortunately, the Yanks late inning efforts were too little too late as Herrera gave up two ninth inning singles but close the door on the Royals game one win. This is the first game of a very important road trip that involves two teams, Kansas City and Baltimore, who are above New York in the race for the Wild Card. If they have any hopes of playing baseball in October, tonight's performance needs to be quickly forgotten, as they turn around to play game two tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 8:15 PM/EST.