Saturday, February 18, 2017

RiverDogs Announce Game Times for the 2017 Season

RiverDogs Announce Game Times for the 2017 Season
Solar eclipse start among four day games on schedule

CHARLESTON, SC – With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in only a matter of days, the Charleston RiverDogs are aiming high for another record-breaking season. Following a year in which the club welcomed over 293,000 fans for the first time in their history, the RiverDogs have announced their game times for the 2017 season, the 21st in the history of Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

“RiverDogs baseball is always an integral part of the summer in Charleston, and our schedule taking shape means the first pitch of the season will be here before we know it,” said RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols. “Throughout the years, we have adjusted our game times from fan feedback, and our schedule’s development showcases another way in which we take pride in providing an exciting, family-friendly atmosphere for our fans at The Joe.”

As in years past, RiverDogs home games will feature a standard 7:05pm first pitch on Monday-Fridays, a 6:05pm start on Saturdays, and 5:05pm open on Sunday home games. The RiverDogs also have several special days in which the normal start time will be slightly adjusted including:

· Wednesday, May 3- Education Day at 11:05am

· Wednesday, May 31- Education Day at 11:05am

· Sunday, June 18- Father’s Day Brunch at 1:05pm

· Monday, July 3- Independence Day Celebration at 6:35pm

· Tuesday, July 25- Big Splash Day at 12:05pm

· Monday, August 21- Day of Eclipse at 4:05pm

· Thursday, August 31- Fan Appreciation Night at 6:35pm

The RiverDogs begin their season on Thursday April 6, taking on the Lexington Legends in the first of 11 Thirsty Thursday dates over the course of the season. The RiverDogs will also host 11 home games each on Fridays and Saturdays during the 2017 campaign.

The club will offer RiverDogs fans 13 home games featuring a postgame fireworks spectacular including all Friday home dates along with the July 3 Independence Day celebration and Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday, August 31 at Charleston’s final home game.

The 2017 schedule also features nine Citadel doubleheaders with The Military College of South Carolina overlapping with the RiverDogs schedule on the following dates at The Joe:

· April 21-23

· May 5-7

· May 18-20

For the fourth consecutive season, WTMA 1250 AM will serve as the radio home of the RiverDogs in the Lowcountry. For all regularly scheduled games home and road, Matt Dean will have the play-by-play duties on “The Big Talker.” Every pitch of the RiverDogs season, including mid-week day games and specialty start times, can be heard online at and via the TuneIn radio app.

RiverDogs season tickets, half-season ticket packages and mini plans are now available for the 2017 campaign. The RiverDogs, the Class-A affiliate of the 27-time world champion New York Yankees, begin the season on April 6 when they host the Lexington Legends at Joseph P Riley, Jr. Park. Single-game tickets and the full promotional schedule will become available in March. Ticket information can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at

ICYMI: Remaining Spring Training Dates & Events for 2017

The New York Yankees spring training officially kicks off today with all players reporting to camp so here are a few important dates on the schedule including game times and what television network will be picking up the Grapefruit League games.

New York plays 34 games this spring including an exhibition game on March 31 against the Atlanta Braves in newly opened SunTrust Park in Atlanta. Here is the complete spring televised schedule for the Yankees with all games but the March 23 game against the Tampa Bay Rays able to be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Friday, February 24, vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Sunday, February 26, vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Wednesday, March 1 at 6:35 p.m. ET, vs. Atlanta Braves
Thursday, March 2 at 6:35 p.m. ET, vs. Baltimore Orioles
Sunday, March 5, vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Tuesday, March 7, vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Saturday, March 11, vs. Detroit Tigers
Wednesday, March 15, vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 18, vs. Baltimore Orioles
Tuesday, March 21, vs. Boston Red Sox
Thursday, March 23, at Tampa Bay Rays, ESPN
Friday, March 24, vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 25, vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Sunday, March 26, vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Tuesday, March 28 at 6:35 p.m. ET, vs. Detroit Tigers
Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m., at Atlanta Braves

Also keep in mind that starting on March 12 we will be springing forward in Daylight Savings Time.

My Point of View On the 2017 Opening Day Lineup

This morning Daniel Burch posted an article about predicting and projecting the Yankees 2017 Opening Day lineup. The game will be held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 2nd. This year will have a whole different feeling then the years prior. The Yankees are a much younger ball club with a few new veteran faces. Young players like Judge, Severino, Green, Cessa, Mitchell, and Hicks among others will have been fighting it out for starting jobs all spring. It's not like the years past with a bunch of veterans showing up knowing that they have a set job and a World Series in the grasp of their hands. These young players are showing up to spring fighting for a job, actually trying to do their best.

On April 2nd in Tampa, the Yankees will have their  roster set and the lineup cards will be posted. Though the Rays have not announced their Opening Day starter yet, I believe it will be their young ace, Chris Archer. Brian Cashman has recently mentioned maybe breaking up the 1-2 punch of Ellsbury and Gardner. They haven't been dynamic 1-2 punch that the Yankees have been looking for. So on that exciting April day when the Rays run onto the field and the Yankees step up to the plate i think Joe Girardi will put this lineup against the Rays.

LF Brett Gardner
2B Starlin Castro
C Gary Sanchez
DH Matt Holliday
1B Greg Bird
RF Aaron Judge
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
SS Didi Gregorius
3B Chase Headley

Do think this lineup will change a lot throughout the year, yes, but do I think it's the best lineup he can put out. By the end of the year hopeful more young stars will be in the lineup including Torres and Frazier. The lineup will also be very different if we struggle up to the trade deadline which would lead to another fire sale of Carter, Holliday, Castro, Gardner, Sabathia, Tanaka, Pineada, Headley, and Ellsbury. But of course, it will very unlikely trade all of those players, but trading a few will bring in a lot more talent to help us in the future. I don't know exactly what this season will bring, but their still will be baseball in the Bronx and it will be a blast!

Do We See Clint Frazier Sometime in 2017?

The youth movement currently going down in the Bronx is in full swing, well as close to full swing as you are going to get with the New York Yankees anyway, and that means there will be prospects a’plenty here in 2017 and beyond. One prospect in particular has a real shot at making the team out of spring training or shortly after in my opinion is Clint Frazier, the Cleveland Indians former top prospect that came over in the Andrew Miller trade from last season. Will he make the team out of spring training? Will he be one of those late additions at the trade deadline after, for example, a Brett Gardner trade continues the youth movement? Will we see Frazier before September call ups? Will we see him at all? Keep reading to see what I think on the matter.

Frazier finally reached Triple-A in 2016 with the Yankees spending 25 games with the RailRiders posting a .228/.278/.396 triple slash with just three home runs and seven RBI. That’s not impressive on paper and when you look at his strikeout numbers, 20 K’s in 25 games, you are left wondering if he, like Aaron Judge, has discipline problems at the plate that are finally being exposed in the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. For that reason, along with the most common reason that he simply doesn’t have the experience to take the next step just yet, he will likely begin the season down in Scranton this season, but how long is he destined to stay?

Well that depends on how quickly he can put into effect the things he worked on over the offseason. Well that and the absolute logjam in the outfield that the Yankees currently have. Manning four spots already are Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks but when you look at the roster you also have players like Rob Refsnyder, Matt Holliday, Tyler Austin, Chris Carter and others who could play the outfield as well that sit ahead of Frazier on the depth chart. This is not simply a “one injury and Frazier is up” sort of deal this time around, the Yankees would need probably four-or-five injuries to see Frazier before at least July in my opinion, if that early.

Either the Yankees will have to have a lot of injuries or the team will need to move a couple players, Brett Gardner for instance, at the trading deadline before we see Frazier in my opinion. I don’t expect to see the red-headed whiz kid until at least the 2018 season but weirder things have happened in the Bronx… so stay tuned. 

Dellin and the Case of the Missing $2 mil...

Admittedly, it seemed odd for the Yankees to quibble over $2 million at the risk of alienating their all-star reliever Dellin Betances.  But the Yankees were right to hold the line at $3 million and take Betances to arbitration rather than succumb to his request for $5 million.  It’s rare these days for the Yankees not to settle their arbitration cases before hearings, but the gap between player and team was too great.

There were reports the two sides discussed a long-term deal but they could not find common ground.  

So, Betances went through the process of hearing about all his faults and walked away with only $3 million in his pocket after the arbitrator ruled in favor of the Yankees.  I do not feel bad for Betances.  He’ll get his money.  If he continues to perform, he’ll be making his mega-millions whether it is from the Yankees or another team on down the road.

It was probably tough for Betances to walk into Yankees training camp today even if he didn’t say so.  But I suspect long-term, he’ll be okay.  Baseball is a business and the Yankees have a strong desire to get under the luxury tax threshold even if they did majorly overpay to get their 103 mph closer Aroldis Chapman back in the fold.  In an idealistic world, Chapman and Betances would be making similar money.  But Chapman has paid his dues and earned his right for free agency.  The day will come for Betances when he’ll be able to back up a truck to get his cash too.  

With the arbitration case behind us, the Yankees can return to throwing accolades Dellin’s way and work to restore the psyche of baseball’s best set up man.  

It’s easy to say it’s just money.  Why not just give Betances what he wants?  This decision has implications on future dollars for Betances and it sets precedent for future arbitration cases.  The Yankees decision to arbitrate goes far beyond $2 million.  Their stance and the victory has probably saved the Yankees many millions in future years.  Any way you slice it, one can live very comfortably on $3 million.  Granted, the IRS and the state of New York will take a healthy slice, yet it is still a lot of money.  It is also $2.5 million more than Betances made last year.  Heck, I would have been happy with a $25,000 pay increase...

Stand strong, Dellin.  Show the Yankees and the Baseball world that you are still the best set up guy in Major League Baseball (no offense, Andrew Miller).

I'm Just A Grumpy Old Man!

You're telling me this isn't Goose Gossage?

Let me get this out of the way...

Just because you say you don't mean any disrespect, it doesn't mean you aren't being disrespectful. So when people say Mo is the great reliever ….
Gossage. “(Bleep). That’s [expletive].
Goose says that it's insulting to be compared to Mariano Rivera, seeing as how he'd regularly pitch three innings per outing, whereas Rivera and Chapman generally only throw one inning per outing. Honestly, it's a fair point. Comparing closers during Goose's era with the closers of today is very difficult. You run into the same problems when comparing hitters of today with hitters of 30+ years ago. The game is quite different now. And we'll run into that problem when comparing hitters like Mike Trout of today to the American League MVP of the 2047 season.

But when you make comments like Gossage did, you're also making assumptions. You're assuming Mariano Rivera, Aroldis Chapman, and others couldn't be effective if they regularly threw three innings at a time.

You may be right, you may be wrong. However, you'll never know so what's the point?

I tell you what I do know though... some stats. And I won't use the counting stats, because they are so dependent on how much one plays or pitches. Let's look at percentage stats.

Goose Gossage's career ERA was 3.01, his WHIP was 1.232, and he did that while averaging 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.6 walks per nine.

Mariano Rivera's career ERA was 2.21, his WHIP was 1.000, and he did that while averaging 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.0 walks per nine.

So make all the assumptions you want about Mo throwing more than one inning during most outings, but to disrespect what he's done and to feel insulted by being compared to him is downright dumb.

Predicting and Projecting the Yankees 2017 Opening Day Lineup

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will kick off the 2017 Major League season with a game inside Tropicana Field on Sunday, April 2nd. While the Opening Day starters have yet to be announced and while a lot can go down between then and now I wanted to take a stab at predicting the Yankees Opening Day lineup anyway. Keep in mind this may not necessarily be my lineup but this is the lineup that I believe manager Joe Girardi will throw out there here in a couple months. So keep that in mind when directing the hate mail, friends. Thanks.

LF. Brett Gardner
CF. Jacoby Ellsbury
DH. Matt Holliday
C. Gary Sanchez
1B. Chris Carter
SS. Didi Gregorius
2B. Starlin Castro
3B. Chase Headley

RF. Aaron Judge

So it Seems it’s Going to Be a Good Saturday

So it seems like today is going to be a good day. I’m back to writing, and to be honest I didn’t know how much I missed it until I stopped doing it and then started it back up again, it’s Saturday and I don’t have too much planned for the weekend. I have to help a friend this morning clean out his garage so he can buy himself a brand new boat to park in the empty slot but I am glad to help out a friend. It’s also going to be a good day because we came up with the idea to simply vent and talk here every morning, while mixing in Yankees baseball whenever possible of course, right here on the blog. Again, I know this is a Yankees-centric blog and I appreciate you guys just listening to me ramble on like I tend to do each and every morning.

Yankees positional players report to camp this morning if they haven’t already which truly kicks off the spring training season, so naturally that’s exciting. I can’t wait to see how everyone looks and see how much work everyone has put in over the offseason. Fun times, fun times.

Hope everyone has a great Saturday and a great weekend overall. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/18: Roger Clemens Era Begins in the Bronx

On this day in 1999 the Toronto Blue Jays traded pitcher Roger Clemens to the New York Yankees for David Wells, Graeme Lloyd, and Homer Bush. The rest is history, no pun intended.