Saturday, May 20, 2017

MLB, Nippon Professional League and the Yankees Acquiring Shohei Otani?

Good evening Yankees family. I know usually after the games we are done for the day here on the blog but there is one more bit of information that I just feel compelled to bring to you and it involves the slew of Japanese imports that Major League Baseball has seen over the years and will continue to see for the foreseeable future. Major League baseball wants to see changes in their player acquisition agreement with Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League.

Back in December of 1998 the NPBL and MLB agreed to a posting system that allowed Japanese clubs to make their players available for teams in the United States to acquire without their former Japanese League team getting basically nothing for the player in return. MLB teams would bid and/or pay a posting fee to the team just for the exclusive rights to negotiate with the player. We saw some incredible posting fees over the years under this plan including Daisuke Matsuzaka’s $51,111,111.11 posting fee and Yu Darvish’s $51,703,411 posting fee. Matsuzaka received a six-year deal worth $52 million from the Boston Red Sox after the posting fee while Darvish received a six-year deal worth $56 million from the Texas Rangers after the astronomical posting fees were paid.

MLB and NPBL changed the way they do things during the offseason before the 2014 season when they capped the fee payable to the Japanese club at $20 million while also giving some of the power back to the player allowing the player to negotiate with any of the teams willing to put up the $20 million posting fee. This helped the Yankees that season as they willingly paid the $20 million to the Rakuten Golden Eagles before signing Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year deal worth $155 million.

Now MLB wants to change it again and make it a more uniform and straightforward process much like they are trying to do with Cuban imports right now. So specifics were released as to what these potential changes are or when they could be implemented, just that Rob Manfred and company want to see more uniform and widespread changes in the process. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned, especially since Shohei Otani is set to come to the states sooner rather than later. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 5/20

For the second time already this weekend it is game time between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. In the middle contest of this three-game weekend set the New York Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, Happy Tanaka Day everybody, to square off with the always pesky Matt Andriese for the Rays. The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio with the WFAN broadcast featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Enjoy the game and Go Yankees!

Quick Hit: Under Armour to Make MLB Jerseys Starting in 2019

For what seems like forever Majestic has made jerseys for Major League Baseball, well it hasn’t been forever but they have been making batting practice jerseys for the sport since 1982 and has made all their jerseys exclusively since 2005 but still, but that is all set to change in 2019. In 2019, a year earlier than expected, under Armour will begin making the batting practice and game uniforms according to the league.

Under Armour will also make dugout clothing for the 2018 postseason before fully taking over the on-field apparel in 2019. Fanatics Inc., who owns Under Armour, purchased the business, the plant in Easton, Pennsylvania and the 600 employees from Majestic back in December.

Not really big news here but it’s kind of a lazy and hot Saturday anyway so I thought why not share. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 5/20

Saturday afternoon baseball in the middle of May, it really is getting harder and harder to beat this the older I get. I mean I could think of a few things I may rather be doing but this is near the top of the list, especially considering that the Yankees will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to square off with the Rays in the contest. Happy Tanaka Day everybody. Opposing Tanaka on the mound this afternoon for the home team will be Matt Andriese.

Tanaka is well rested coming into this afternoon’s start with the Tampa Bay Rays. If you’re looking for a silver lining from his last start against the Houston Astros where he couldn’t even get out of the second inning then I guess that’s as good as you’re going to get. He was terrible and he hasn’t been exceptionally sharp or effective all season long to be honest, a trend that hopefully changes today in Tampa.

Andriese picked up the win in his last start against the Boston Red Sox after allowing just two runs and four hits in five innings worth of work. The last time Andriese pitched against the Yankees he pitched well also lasting six innings allowing one run on just five hits in a no-decision.

The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio with WFAN and their broadcast featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game and enjoy your weekend. As always, go Yankees!

Bryce Harper's a great player BUT...

How much are these stats worth?

13 Home Runs
36 RBI’s
.355 Batting Average
.468 OBP
.702 SLG
1.170 OPS

New speculation is placing the value of Bryce Harper’s next contract closer to $500 million than the previously thought $400 million.  With an argument that Harper is twice the player Giancarlo Stanton is, is he worth twice the contract (or $650 million)?  Harper is going to bring new meaning the term “franchise player”.  How much did George Steinbrenner pay for the Yankees back in 1973?  It’s a rhetorical question but the answer is $10 million (with 60% in borrowed funds).  Granted, the Yankees are now worth more than $3.7 billion but it’s still phenomenal to think how much money Harper is going to get.  

At face value and with a strong right-fielder already in place, I have to say that despite Harper’s greatness, Manny Machado is looking better and better every day.  As luck would have it, we happen to need a third baseman.  I am just not so sure about the one more year of Chase Headley part…

Credit:  Patrick Smith/Getty Images

As a Yankees fan, I am not a supporter of the Toronto Blue Jays but their players continue to provide more reasons to dislike them.  The bat flip by Joey Bats after a home run against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday was ridiculous.  I had no problem with Braves catcher Tyler Flowers pointing at Bautista with an inside-fastball sign on a pitch selection the next night.  Braves pitcher Julio Teheran promptly drilled one into Bautista’s thigh.  But the homophobic comments that Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar directed at Braves reliever Jason Motte were totally unacceptable.  The anti-gay slur resulted in a two-game suspension for Pillar.  I hope the Atlanta Braves fans realize that the Blue Jays are not representative of all AL East teams.  

Tyler Austin has joined High-A Tampa to begin his rehab assignment.  The Yankees will have some decisions to make when he finishes the rehab assignment.  With Greg Bird ready to begin his rehab assignment next week, it increases the likelihood that Austin heads to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  But the RailRiders have a good recent addition at first already.  Mike Ford, called up last week from AA-Trenton, has three homers in six games and nine RBI’s.  He is 8-for-26 (.308).  The RailRiders are also loaded in the outfield with Clint Frazier, Dustin Fowler, Mason Williams, and Mark Payton.  If it were up to me, I’d think hard about moving/cutting Chris Carter and slotting Austin in as backup first baseman/outfielder. 

Roy White Day.  

Alright, I'll join the Daniel Burch bandwagon.  My awareness of White was more acute during his age 30+ seasons, but he was a trusted, reliable and a bit under-appreciated member of the Yankees and those back-to-back World Championships in the late 70's.  For a team that was overflowing with superstars, White simply did his job when called on.  With no disrespect to Joe Torre who retired #6, I still think of White when I see the number.  Not many players stay with one team their entire career, but White was one of them with fifteen years in Pinstripes.  The other outfielders, Reggie Jackson and Mickey "Mick the Quick" Rivers, were more flamboyant but White always seemed to come up big whenever you needed him.  I agree, he gave his baseball life to the Yankees and it is only right that they give Roy his day at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees have a new manager!  

Credit:  Brendan Kuty/NJ Advance Media

Okay, it was just one game.  Bench coach Rob Thomson was manager of the New York Yankees on Friday night so that Joe Girardi, could attend his daughter’s high school graduation.  Congrats to Joe Girardi for showing (and the Steinbrenner Family for allowing) that family does truly matter.

Credit:  YES Network

A lost night in St. Petersburg...

Rob Thomson, you’re fired (just kidding…well, maybe a little serious).  One-game manager Rob Thomson, filling in for Joe Girardi, failed in his one attempt to steer the ship.  Back to the bench for you, Rob.  The Yankees were undone by a pitcher who couldn’t make it more than five innings, thereby placing a heavier burden on the bullpen, a bad defensive play at third, and Thomson’s decision to leave his best hitters on the bench in a three-up, three-down ninth inning that led to the 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Luis Severino only gave up one run, a first inning double by Logan Morrison that scored Evan Longoria, and struck out seven Rays.  But he gave up five hits and three walks with 89 pitches (only 59 for strikes) and was gone by the sixth inning.  

After the Rays had tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning at 2-2 with runners at second and third and two outs, the Yankees could have avoided further damage.  With third baseman Ronald Torreyes thinking about the runner advancing to home plate, a hopper by Rickie Weeks Jr went under his glove into left field, scoring the two runners on base.  Weeks Jr was credited with a double in a very liberal decision as it probably should have been an error by Toe.

Matt Holliday did his part in trying to bring the Yankees back.  After a walk to Brett Gardner and a pop-out by Jacoby Ellsbury to open the eighth, Holliday homered to right to tie the game at 4.  The Rays came right back in the bottom of the inning when Tyler Clippard (0-2) gave up a run-scoring single by Evan Longoria after putting two men on base through walks.  Longoria has gotten off to a slow start this season but against the Yankees, he always looks All-World.  A 4-for-5 night, with two runs scored and the RBI, ensured the Yankees were playing from behind.  

Credit:  Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Still, the Yankees could have rallied again in the ninth inning, but Thomson kept both Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks on the bench so we’ll never know.  Sanchez and Hicks, both of whom had the night off, could only watch as Chris Carter struck out (surprise, surprise) and Austin Romine grounded out to end the game. 

The loss dropped the Yankees to 24-15.  With Baltimore’s 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in extra innings, the O’s closed the gap in the AL East to just a half-game again.  The Boston Red Sox lost so I guess the evening wasn’t a complete disappointment.

Welcome back, Joe Girardi.  I will be glad to have you back in the saddle for today’s game.  I hope the graduation ceremony was a tremendous success for Serena and the family, but it will be great to have you making the lineup decisions today.  

Have a great Saturday!  Let’s win the games we should win and not give them away.

Quick Hit: Facebook Friday Games in MLB

You know how ESPN has their Monday, Wednesday and Sunday night baseball programs every week and you know how that prompted MLB Network to have their showcases on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon? Well Facebook wants to get involved with that so every Friday, starting yesterday, Facebook will live stream one nationally televised game. How freaking awesome is this? Especially for those fans who have moved, displaced or uprooted from where their home team plays their home games 82 times a season.

This week Facebook live streamed the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds and will showcase the next 19 Fridays until the end of the season. Twitter also has a feed of a game weekly, which started April 7, that will move to every Tuesday from its former slot on Friday. Competition and all.

The game and the sport as we know it is evolving and I personally think we all have Rob Manfred to thank for that. This stuff just never happened under Bud Selig and probably never would have to be honest.

This is so awesome and I just had to share this morning. Enjoy and I guess my return to Facebook, which I have been off of for over a year now, is probably imminent. Dammit. Welcome back, begrudgingly. 

So it Seems We Could Have MLB Games in Europe by 2019

So it seems we could have Major League Baseball games in Europe as soon as 2019? According to Rob Manfred and the USA Today that is the plan anyway! How exciting is that?

MLB had hoped to have games at least in London by the 2018 season but that doesn’t seem to be a realistic option at this point. At one point last season and this winter it was being discussed that the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox would play inside London’s Olympic Stadium but it seems like there is not enough team for that to be feasibly possible.

Even if it doesn’t happen in 2019 it looks like it will happen eventually so at least that’s progress. Enjoy the weekend Yankees family… and hey you. Good morning. I can’t wait to be your alarm clock.

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/20: Babe Ruth Jersey and One Armed Outfielders

On this day in 2012 Babe Ruth's 1920 jersey sells at auction for $4,415,658. This was the largest amount ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia according to The woolen uniform was worn by Ruth during his first season as a Yankee after being traded to New York by the Red Sox.

Also on this day in 1976 the Yankees and the Red Sox are in one of the ugliest brawls in the history of the rivalry when Carlton Fisk stabs Lou Piniella with the ball when Sweet Lou tried to score. Bill Lee suffered a separated shoulder in the fight with Graig Nettles and caused him to miss most of the season.

Also on this day in 1959 the Yankees enter last place in the American League for the first time since 19 years when they lost to the Detroit Tigers 13-6.

Also on this day in 1948 Joe DiMaggio had four extra base hits for the fourth time in his career in Chicago in front of 5,001 fans. DiMaggio hit for the cycle for the second time in a 13-2 victory over the White Sox. The Yankees had 22 hits and DiMaggio had two home runs, a triple, a double, a single, and six RBI's.

Also on this day in 1945 Pete Gray led the St. Louis Browns to a doubleheader sweep of the New York Yankees after scoring the winning run in the second game. Gray collected three hits in the first game and the one-armed outfielder makes ten putouts in the field in the second game.

Also on this day in 1918 Tris Speaker was struck in the head with a pitch off of Red Sox submariner Carl Mays. Mays would also hit Ray Chapman two years later in the head with a pitch that would kill him as a member of the New York Yankees. Speaker thought that Mays hit him on purpose in the head but Mays always denied the allegations.

Finally a mere seven years later in 1925 Speaker scored from first base on a single scoring the winning run in a 10-9 walk off win over the Yankees. The Indians scored six times in the bottom of the ninth to cap off the comeback. Where was Mariano Rivera when you need him?