Saturday, October 8, 2016

Yankees Postseason History Recap: Mr. November

You know I may be willing to admit that I may be a little bit of a homer and a little bit of a bias Yankees fan, sue me. I can hide that in my writing if I have to but when I am on the blog I let my passion and my fandom show so you have to excuse me when I say that Michael Kay is the best play-by-play announcer in the league. I love his voice, his knowledge and the way he and the crew over at the YES Network calls the game. I can’t help it. One call I will always remember is the call he made back in the World Series of 2001 after the clock struck midnight on November, 1st.

Game 4 of the 2001 World Series was pushed back due to the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States and for the first time in major League Baseball history a World Series game was played in the month of November. The Arizona Diamondbacks had closer Byung-Hyun Kim on the mound and the Yankees had Derek Jeter at the plate in a series that they trailed 2-1 in.

Jeter fought off eight pitches before hitting a home run on the ninth pitch to walk off and give the Yankees the lead. What did Michael Kay call Derek Sanderson Jeter after the home run? He called him “Mr. November.”

Sporcle Quiz for the 2016 Yankees

We do these quizzes every year and it seems like year in and year out I get a little worse at them every time. I’m never going to get my 100%, that I can be sure of, and I would literally kneel before you and kiss your feet if you did without looking it up. These are hard.

There are too many players who are called up to make just one appearance, others who were called up and made zero appearances and then you just have the names that simply don’t stick in your head for whatever reason. When I took my quiz for some reason Anthony Swarzak was a name I just couldn’t come up with.

So here is the quiz for the 2016 season. Post your results in the comments or tweet us @GreedyStripes. 

The George Steinbrenner Quote That May Define 2017

Hal Steinbrenner, I’m calling you out. I’m calling you out to the front because there is one monumental difference between you and your late, great father. Your father knew how to build not only a team and an organization from the ground up but he also knew how to build a mindset as well. A mindset that has long gone by the wayside unfortunately. The good news is though, for you anyway, is that it’s not too late. Listen to this quote from your father and take it to heart because he, of all men, knew how to build a contender and a mindset in the state of New York.

Baseball is not just a sport anymore; we are a business. We are show business. To compete for the entertainment dollar, particularly in New York, you have to have more than nine guys playing baseball; you have to have an attraction. And I have tried to do the best job I possibly can to give my fans an attraction.”
George Steinbrenner, New York Yankees

You can be excited for the future all you want but you must remember one thing. The New York Mets beat the New York Yankees in television ratings for the first time EVER in 2016. Ever. Ratings have been down across the board for a long time now. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results as that will never work. It’s time to bring the fans back to the stadium and it’s time to bring them an attraction again.

How about this guy? I already laid out how… now it’s time to do it. 

Hal Steinbrenner Discusses Selling the Yankees, Other Notes

So I may have just used the ultimate click bait for Yankees fans by saying that Hal Steinbrenner recently conducted an interview in which he discussed selling the Yankees, rookie outfielder Aaron Judge and other notes but it’s not a click bait if it’s true. Hal did in fact discuss the possibility of selling the Yankees and a plethora of other topics we’ll cover for you here but be warned, Hal isn’t likely to sell the team no matter what he says in this interview. Remember all those interviews where he said the Yankees had a World Series caliber team? Yeah his word and $15 bucks can get you a beer at Yankee Stadium but please, keep reading regardless.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post conducted the interview, yeah it took the possibility of Hal selling the team for me to break my protest of reading his garbage work, and when asked about the possibility of selling the team Hal shot it down immediately. Hal was quoted as saying in the interview that “I never considered selling three years ago when the future looked tough, why would I sell now that the future is bright? There is no consideration. I am excited for March to get here. I am excited for the next few years.” There goes that pipe dream.

Also in the interview Hal mentioned that he wanted to give Aaron Judge a chance to win the right field job in 2017 despite his struggles at times this season while the Yankees owner also felt comfortable with handing two of the vacant starting rotation spots to two of Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Severino, Adam Warren, Chance Adams or James Kaprielian.

Finally in the interview Hal mentioned that he was very happy with manager Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman indicating that no moves would be made before their contracts run out after 2017. A man can dream though, can’t he?

Looking Ahead to the 2017 Offseason Pitching Will Be a Key for New York

The 2016 MLB Playoffs are now in full swing but no one invited the New York Yankees to the part unfortunately so instead we, “we” being the fans, the team and the GM Brian Cashman, are left getting prepared for the offseason before the 2017 season. It’s not hard to see what did the Yankees in this season, an aging core that finally got old and less than stellar starting pitching, and while the Yankees have seemingly addressed one of these issues the other will have to wait until free agency and the trade markets officially open up. With the retirements and trades of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran the Yankees are a whole lot younger but with a staff anchored by Masahiro Tanaka and a bunch of questions marks the pitching is still an issue.

First and foremost, and I don’t care if Buster Olney said it, Rich Hill is not and should not be coming to the Yankees. He is 36-years old, injury prone and all he does is block potential youth from making the club both in terms of a roster spot and in terms of the pretty penny he is going to command in a weak free agent market this winter. Hill won’t command $100 million, don’t think I’m saying that, but I could see him commanding $50 million on a three year deal or so and that, again in my opinion, is the biggest overspend and reach the Yankees could make this winter.

Instead it looks like the Yankees may have to once again scour the trade market and that may begin Colorado with Chad Bettis. Acquiring players like Bettis though requires prospects and right now the Yankees need all the prospects they can keep in my opinion. That’s where an old plan becomes a new plan, stockpile the bullpen and simply let Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, James Kaprielian and others fight it out. Add Mark Melancon to be the closer, move Dellin Betances back to the 8th inning and let Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren fight it out for the 7th. If Warren loses, or maybe you could do it anyway, stretch him out back as a starter and let him compete with the young kids.

The ultimate goal is to leave the team with too many options where statistically and mathematically they can’t, and I use the word can’t lightly, fail. Make them “too big to fail.” One thing is for certain though the Yankees have to add pitching and they have to add more than one arm. One arm has to be added to the bullpen at least and another has to be added to the rotation if possible. If not we could see a repeat of what happened here in 2016 and nobody reading this wants that to happen again. Do we?

MLB 2016 Playoffs Scoreboard Watching for 10/8/16

Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening baseball today ladies and gentleman as the National League stands along tonight with the NLDS. The American League foursome is off tonight while the four teams remaining in the National League take center stage to showcase their talents in a pair of Game 2’s. This should be fun and strategic, but mostly fun.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals (Game 2) – 4:08 pm ET on Fox Sports One

San Francisco Giants @ Chicago Cubs (Game 2) – 8:08 pm ET on MLB Network

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/8: Don Larsen is Perfect

There has only been one perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball and that came on this day in 1956 and it came from a man in a New York Yankees uniform. That man’s name was Don Larsen and the feat came in Game 5 of the World Series as the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers by the score of 2-0.

Also on this day in 1939 the Yankees completed their sweep over the Cincinnati Reds to win their fourth consecutive World Series championship thanks to “Lombardi’s Swoon.” Joe DiMaggio scored all the way from first in the top of the 10th inning when Charlie Keller almost knocked Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi unconscious in a home plate collision that allowed three runs to score in the Yankees 7-4 victory. Keller earned his nickname “King Kong” with that shot.

Finally on this day in 1927 the best team to ever play Major League Baseball completed their quest and won their World Series by sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. This was New York’s second World Series of the franchise’s history.

Also on this day in Yankees history the team had a couple exits from the postseason that were notable including the 1995 walk off victory by the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS and Joe Torre's final game in the 2007 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, but that's none of my business.