Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"It's Not What You Want" Podcast Brought to you by The Greedy Pinstripes: Episode 3

My apologies for the delay but Jacob Westendorf and Matt Bove are back for episode three of the "It's Not What You Want" Podcast brought to you by The Greedy Pinstripes. Check it out and give it a listen before Game Two of the World Series goes live. Enjoy and have a great night.

World Series Game Two Thread: Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians

Here we go ladies and gentleman, Game Two of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Tonight's pitching matchup should be a good one as the hometown Cleveland Indians send Trevor Bauer to the mound to square off with the Cubs age and 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta. The game will be played at 8:08 pm ET inside Progressive Field and can be seen on FOX.

Good luck to both teams as time is running out on the series and the 2016 season as a whole.

The Thought of Edwin Encarnacion in Pinstripes & How Toronto Closed the Door

The New York Yankees, depending on the Brian McCann situation and what happens with him this winter, may or may not have an “open” slot at the DH position in 2017 and many have already begun to speculate that the team should fill that spot with Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion does not fit in with the Yankees new youth movement nor does he fit in with the team’s austerity plans presumably but if you needed one final nail in the coffin the Toronto Blue Jays organization may have just given it to you with the news that the team plans to extend both Jose Bautista and Encarnacion qualifying offers after the World Series ends this season.

The Yankees as it stands right now have the 17th overall draft pick in the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft so you have to judge any and all potential free agent signings by that if they have draft pick compensation attached to them. Remember, and this is probably the exception and not the rule but it still happened so stay with me, the Yankees landed a potential Top 10 or even Top 5 pick last year in Blake Rutherford due to signability concerns with the 18th overall pick and there is no reason to think that possibility doesn’t still exist for 2017 as well. Is an aging and presumably expensive Encarnacion really worth the 17th overall pick plus whatever contract demands that come with him?

If the Yankees planned on competing for not only a playoff spot but potentially a World Series spot in 2017 then yes, you sacrifice the draft pick for the one missing piece and hope for the best. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians both did it this July acquiring Yankees relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman and it has seemingly worked out well for both. The Yankees, though, are not at that level yet in their rebuild. They may compete for a playoff spot in 2017 but only because of the Wild Card and 2nd Wild Card. As it stands right now this is not a team that is going to make a serious run at a World Series in 2017 so for that reason, among others including aforementioned points about the cost of Encarnacion and the fact that he does not fit in with the new youth movement in the Bronx, I cannot see the Yankees inking a deal and bringing the slugger to the team.

So if the Yankees and their fans had plans and hopes of signing Encarnacion to fill their DH and occasional first base positions the Toronto Blue Jays may have just closed the book on the whole ordeal, and that’s not exactly a bad thing.

Tampa Yankees nominated by FSL for 2016 Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award

Tampa, FL - Directors and General Managers of the Florida State League have nominated the Tampa Yankees for the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award. The award recognizes a team for their outstanding support of and engagement with the United States Armed Forces and veterans, both at the ballpark and in the community.

One overall winner will be selected prior to this year's annual Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland, December 4th-8th. All 15 Minor League Baseball Leagues will have a nominee. The Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award is named after the late Florida State League President, "Chuck" Murphy.

Every Saturday home game, the Tampa Yankees hosted "Salute to Service Members Saturday" where active and retired military received a free game ticket. The team also honored an active member of the military and their family from MacDill Air Force Base on the field during each game.

Prior to the 2016 season starting, the Tampa Yankees mascot, Blue, and staff were present at MacDill Air Force Base for the annual Air Fest celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the base. The team returned to the Air Force Base multiple times throughout the season for different events like the Youth Baseball Opening Day, Back to School Fair, and Family Appreciation Picnic. In July, players and members of the front office staff were invited to try out the BOOM Simulator and learn about refueling a plane in the air. Afterwards, the players signed autographs at the Base Exchange.

The Yankees Foundation partnered with the Tampa Bay History Center to offer free admission to all military at the History Center for one day in April. For Memorial Day, Blue and the street team went to the Armed Forces History Museum Family Fun Fest.

The Tampa Yankees also worked with other local organizations who support the United States Armed Forces. In May, TY players went to Operation Patriot, a veterans nursing home in Land O'Lakes, Florida. The players went room to room to visit the residents and their families, pass out hats, sign autographs and then stayed for their BBQ lunch.

2016 marked the Tampa Yankees 10th annual Bark at the Ballpark and this year, the team worked with a new charity called K9s for Camo - an organization that provides service dogs to veterans that have returned from serving our country with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tampa Yankees game day employee, Dallas McClain is a student at Sickles High School and a proud member of the JROTC. He and his color guard presented the flags at one of our Saturday home games. Dallas was very proud to wear his uniform during his regular work shift that night.

On July 4th, the team supported a local charity, Everyday Heroes USA; "Everyday Heroes USA" is dedicated to assisting the current and past men, women and families of the fire department, law enforcement and military through a series of programs designed to connect them with charities, businesses and volunteers willing to help. Every year, "Everyday Heroes USA" hosts, sponsors and participates in multiple events, with proceeds benefiting local heroes.

Players & Coaches wore custom jerseys that had the Declaration of Independence running through the pinstripes of the jersey. Fans bid on the jersey's in a silent auction at the game and online to raise money for Everyday Heroes USA.

During a pregame ceremony, members of the US Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police and Tampa Fire were each honored with a short bio read as they took the field with the team for the National Anthem. Two flag presentations were done between innings to honor two mothers of fallen soldiers through My Warrior's Place, a Retreat Center for Veterans, Military Service Members, First Responders, Gold Star, Blue Star and Silver Star Families.

As a part of the annual Tampa Yankees H.O.P.E. (Helping Other Persevere & Excel) Week initiative, the team invited military families through the USO out to the ballpark for a morning where they could play catch, take some swings and mingle with the players. Everyone that attended the morning portion was given a ticket to attend the game that night. Over 250 people attended the morning event.

The Tampa Yankees are the Single A-Advanced affiliate of the New York Yankees. For more information you may contact the Tampa Yankees offices at (813) 673-3055or visit

World Series Game Two Preview: Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians

Here we go ladies and gents, we’re back for Game Two of the 2016 World Series. Tonight Game Two will be played inside Cleveland’s Progressive Field with Trevor Bauer taking the mound for the home team while the Cubs counter with Jake Arrieta. The game will be played at 8:08 pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Let’s take a look at the pitching.

Bauer saw his last start end early after a pinky injury forced him to leave just after 0.2 innings pitched. Whether the extra rest will help or hurt Bauer remains to be seen so tune in tonight to find out. 

Arrieta is also well rested entering this start as he has not pitched since his Game 3 loss on the NLCS. Again the extra rest could help or hurt the pitcher tonight so stay tuned to see who is sharp and who may hand their team a loss. 

Tune in and see which World Series drought comes to an end all series long. This is the last baseball we have before the long, cold winter ahead. 

Yankees Potential Trade Partners: Los Angeles Dodgers

The New York Yankees need starting pitching and pitching of any kind this winter if the team wants to compete for a playoff spot again in 2017. As we look at a list of potential trade partners for the team I wanted to focus on that first before I start thinking about any potential additions to the offense or the bench because pitching wins championships and pitching is what the Yankees lack most. The team has a ton of depth, don’t get me wrong, but the team lacks that starting rotation that can scare teams in a best-of-five or best-of-seven series in October. Could the Los Angeles Dodgers be of some help to the Yankees in this department?

The Dodgers have a lot of good-to-great pitchers but their problem is they haven’t been able to rely on many of them as much as they could have wanted due to injury. Clayton Kershaw battled a bad back this season and when the team was eliminated from the postseason they did so without three of their more high-paid pitchers in Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-jin Ryu. Would any of the three be dangled this winter in trades and would the Yankees be interested?

The last thing the Yankees need is another injury-prone or risk in their starting rotation but with the free agent market as barren as it’s ever been the team might be able to use that logic and acquire one of these guys for less than their values because of the injury. Ryu has two years left and $14 million on his contract with McCarthy, a former Yankee who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, has two years and $20 million remaining on his deal. Kazmir has a larger deal but can opt out this season leaving two years and $32 million on the table. Interesting.

Honestly I don’t believe the Yankees would be interested in Ryu and I personally don’t put much stock into what McCarthy did while with the Yankees a few seasons back but Kazmir is an interesting option if he decides to opt out this winter. Kazmir pitched poorly with the Dodgers last season and for much of this season while he also missed a month with a neck injury and many inside the Dodgers organization have speculated that Kazmir may want to leave the team. How it all works out will decide it all though. If Kazmir opts out the Dodgers could offer him a qualifying offer which means, assuming he rejects it and all signs seem to point to that he would, he would be linked to draft pick compensation. I’m not comfortable with giving up a draft pick that early in the first round for Kazmir but if he stays and doesn’t opt out I’d love to have him and his salary for a smaller prospect package.

We’re monitoring this one closely. Stay tuned. Kazmir has three days from the end of the World Series to opt out. 

Quick Hit: Yankees to Renovate Yankee Stadium, Add Social Gatherings

Good morning ladies and gentleman and Happy Wednesday to all. This news is a couple days old but in case you missed it I wanted to touch on it for a minute. Renovations are coming to the new Yankee Stadium and, as shocking as this is to say, it is coming at the expense of capacity in the stadium. You mean Hal Steinbrenner and company actually listened to their fans and sacrificed empty seats that they “could” sell to make the fans happy? Say it ain’t so.

The Yankees will see Yankee Stadium’s capacity reduced by 2,100 seats so that they can bring in seven new social gathering spaces in the stadium. A children’s zone with an artificial surface and mini baseball field will be created in the right field upper deck and playground equipment will be included as well as a replica World Series trophy as well as open-air spaces added to the left and the right of the restaurant in center field. This alone will add a new family dynamic to the stadium while also removing obstructions from the bleacher seats. You can even charge your phones in this open-air space. Always a plus.

Bars, sports lounges and other amenities will be added and it looks like a bunch of other cool stuff. Things like this make me happy, when the organization actually listens to the fans. Plus removing obstructed seats never hurt either. Good job Yankees. Good job indeed. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/26: Don Zimmer Retires

On this day in 2003 Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer resigns from the position. The reason given was George Steinbrenner, which is enough said in that department no? Zimmer would join the Tampa Bay Rays as a Senior Baseball Adviser for the 2004 season.

Joe Torre would become the fifth manager in World Series history to win four World Series championships on this day in 2000 as well joining Casey Stengel (7), Joe McCarthy (7), Connie Mack (5), and Walter Alston(4). The Yankees would win their fourth World Series in five seasons on this day when they beat the Mets 4-2. This would be the Yankees 26th championship in their storied history. Luis Sojo had a ninth inning two out hit off Mets pitcher and former Yankee Al Leiter to win the series after Mariano Rivera closed the door. On this day in 2000 Derek Jeter became the first player to ever win the All Star Game MVP and the World Series MVP in the same season. Jeter finished the World Series with a .409 average and had nine hits including two doubles, a triple, and two home runs. The Yankees beat the Mets in the Subway World Series in five games.

Also on this day in 1999 Chad Curtis hit a home run leading off the 10th inning in Game 3 of the World Series with the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees would take a commanding 3-0 lead and would finish off the sweep the next day. Curtis would become only the 11th player in World Series history to end a game with a home run.

Also on this day in 1996 the Commissioner's Trophy finally came back to where it belongs in the Bronx for the first time since the 1978 season as the Yankees beat the Braves in Game 6 to capture the title. This will be the first of four titles in five years under Joe Torre and the Cour Four.

Finally on this day in 1950 Phil Rizzuto would win the American League MVP as a member of the New York Yankees. Scooter would take home 16 of the 23 first place votes beating out Boston's Billy Goodman for the award. Just as an FYI on what stat line got you the MVP award back in 1950 Rizzuto finished the season with a .324 batting average with seven home runs and 66 RBI's.