Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 8/22

Ladies and gentleman it is game time inside Comerica Park between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers. In the opener of this three-game set the Yankees will activate and welcome Masahiro Tanaka back off the disabled list, Happy Tanaka Day ladies and gentleman, while the Tigers will counter with Matthew Boyd. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Aaron Judge needs to wake up because “we need a win, so get a win.” Go Yankees!

My Thoughts on Yesterday’s Solar Eclipse

What happened yesterday with this solar eclipse is something that last happened in 1979, a total eclipse. Basically what happens is the sun is blocked out by the moon. This can last up to three hours in total, from partial to totality, and can be very harmful to your eyes if you don’t look at it with these special glasses. My eyes and head hurt just thinking about it.

What are my thoughts? Bah humbug. What a bunch of craziness and nonsense over relatively nothing. Now I’m not trying to be a sour puss about this, I’m really not, but you have to remember where I live. In the North Georgia mountains where I live things are quiet. Things are peaceful. Things are as they usually are every single day, there’s very little change. I like it. What something like this brought to my little town and community was chaos.

A town with roads set up for maybe 25-30K people had double and triple that. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper and I witnessed two car accidents myself. I didn’t just see them sitting on the side of the road waiting for a police officer to do the police report, no, I actually witnessed the cars hitting one another on two different occasions. I was almost in two car accidents myself because people simply weren’t paying attention or are just bad drivers in general. It was an absolute mess on the roads. My kids were out on these roads, my wife was out on these roads. I worry.

Then you had everyone flipping out because of gas shortages and groceries shortages and this and that. You couldn’t rent a motel, a cabin or an RV spot in a 50 mile radius. You couldn’t do anything but just sit and watch it all go down. Some businesses closed down yesterday and all schools closed down, of course my business didn’t shut down, and all for what? 25 seconds of totality? If that?

I get the historic side of this and the scientific side of it and the “cool” factor but I have noticed that these things become less “cool” when you’re actually out in it fighting the masses. I can remember how I used to love snow until I had to drive in it. Same difference. I’m glad that I was alive to see it happen but dammit am I happy that it’s over. I hope everyone else enjoyed it and I hope everyone made it home safe from it as well. Enjoy the rest of your day. 

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Jorge Posada

As we learned or remembered on This Day in Yankees History this morning it was this day in 2015 that the New York Yankees honored their long-time catcher Jorge Posada with Jorge Posada Day at the stadium. Posada's #20 was retired and a plaque was placed in Monument Park to honor him. With this day one year ago in mind let's remember a great Yankee of the past. Hip Hip, Jorge!

Here is my post from 2015 from Jorge Posada Day:

Welcome ladies and gentleman to Jorge Posada Day! Jorge Rafael Posada Villeta was born on August 17, 1971 in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico to Tamara and Jorge Posada Sr. Posada spent 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, all with the New York Yankees, and helped open the door for the offensive minded catcher along with the New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza. Posada finished his career with a .273 batting average, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI as a switch hitting catcher. Jorge was a five-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and received four World Series rings as a member of the Yankees. Posada wasn't always the man we see before us today, at one time even Jorge Posada was a prospect.

Posada attended Alejandrino High School in San Juan where he not only played baseball for the school but other sports as well. Posada was a shortstop in High School and did enough in his time there to earn a scholarship from Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama. CCC recruited Posada without even scouting him and Posada accepted the scholarship without even visiting the school after his SAT scores kept him from going to a traditional four-year college. Posada was voted the best hitter in his first season, 1990, while earning the co-captain position as well. Posada's bat, rifle arm and attitude was enough to earn the attention of the New York Yankees who drafted him in the 24th round of the 1990 Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft. Posada signed for roughly $30,000 on a three year deal.

Posada began his Yankees career as a second baseman but the team feared that he lacked the speed to remain as an infielder so the team began the move from second base to catcher in 1992. Posada was not happy about the transition reportedly but after a bumpy beginning he agreed to it and ended up flourishing at the plate while catching some lanky lefty named Andy Pettitte for the first time that season. In his first full season as a catcher Posada hit 17 home runs and knocked in 61 RBI in 118 games garnering a promotion to Double-A. Posada's defense behind the plate needed work, he committed 38 passes balls in 1993, his bat was good enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A with the Columbus Clippers for the 1994 season. Posada's season started out well as he had 11 home runs before a collision at home plate broke his left leg, dislocated his ankle and prematurely ended his 1994 season. Posada was recovered from the ankle injury in 1995 and found himself almost immediately in the middle of multiple trade discussions.

The Yankees attempted to trade Posada to the Seattle Mariners for Tino Martinez before those talks fell apart. Just three weeks later the Yankees attempted to trade Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera to the Cincinnati Reds for David Wells but thankfully the Cincinnati GM turned the deal down. Deals like this is what makes me wonder why people state that they want George Steinbrenner back or GM's like Gene Michael running the team again. This also goes to show you how GM's, managers and owners simply get lucky sometimes but that is another discussion for another post I guess.

Posada was called up to the Major Leagues in 1995 and made his MLB debut replacing Jim Leyritz in a game on September 4, 1995. Posada was included on the postseason roster despite that debut marking his only game in the bigs and even allowed him into Game 2 of the 1995 American League Division Series as a pinch runner. Posada was back in Triple-A in 1996 before being added back to the roster as a September call up. Posada lasted just eight games in 1996 and was added to the postseason roster once again. Posada did not appear in the postseason in 1996 but he earned his first World Series ring in 1996 when the Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves in six games.

Posada was handed the backup catcher position in the 1997 season as he quickly became the student of starting catcher Joe Girardi. Posada appeared in 60 games that season before their season was ended prematurely by the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 ALDS. Once again in 1997 the Yankees offered Posada in a deal along with Mike Lowell for Pedro Martinez of the Montreal Expos. Martinez was ultimately traded to the Boston Red Sox instead as the Yankees once again dodged a bullet with their soon to be starting catcher. Posada used the trade rumors as motivation for the 1998 season and it seemingly worked as he finished the season with a .268 batting average, 17 home runs and 63 RBI while catching David Wells perfect game on May 17. Another season, another postseason and another ring for Posada, his second of his career.

Posada split time with Girardi in 1999 as well and once again won a World Series ring with the Yankees as he slowly saw his playing time increase. Girardi left the Yankees as a free agent before the 2000 season allowing Posada to become the full-time catcher in the Bronx. Posada made his first All-Star Game appearance after hitting .287 with 28 home runs and 86 RBI and won his fourth World Series as a member of the Yankees. Posada was right back in the Mid-Summer Classic in 2001 as well and was right back into the World Series as well when he came up one out short of his fifth World Series ring in pinstripes. While Posada didn't reach the World Series in 2002 he did make his third consecutive All-Star Game appearance and got a fourth nod in 2003. Posada was back in the World Series in 2003 after hitting the game tying hit against Pedro Martinez late in Game 7 of the ALCS but the team was unable to stop Josh Beckett and the Florida Marlins in the team's second World Series loss in three seasons. Posada finished the 2003 season in third place of the MVP Award voting behind Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado after hitting .281 with 30 home runs and 101 RBI.

While Posada rode the emotions of the 2003 ALCS after getting the big hit to tie the game he watched in the dugout in the 2004 ALCS when the Boston Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series and eventually their first World Series in 86 seasons. Posada hit free agency after the 2007 season and ultimately turned down a five-year contract offer from the New York Mets before re-signing with the Yankees on a four-year deal worth $52 million. Posada had the security of a large contract in 2007 but in 2008 he had to deal with a disabled list stint for the first time in his career. Posada underwent surgery in his right shoulder to repair a glenoid labrum that ended his season. This season was cut short by injury and was the first time in Posada's career that he did not see his team make the postseason.

Posada entered the 2009 season healthy along with a slew of new teammates and broke in the new Yankee Stadium in a big way hitting the first regular season home run in the stadium. Posada was back from the shoulder surgery and finished the season with a .285 average, 22 home runs and 81 RBI before winning his 5th World Series in a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Posada's power was on full display in 2010 as the team looked to defend their crown and even became the first Yankee since Bill Dickey in 1937 to hit grand slams in back-to-back games against the Houston Astros. Posada also collected his 1,000th career RBI but could not collect his 6th World Series ring as the team lost to the Texas Rangers in the 2010 ALCS. Following the 2010 season Posada underwent an arthroscopic surgery in his left knee to repair a torn meniscus that forced him out of the catcher position and into the DH position for the Yankees, something that did not go over well with Posada.

Posada had to watch as the Yankees signed Russell Martin to be their every day catcher and had to watch as former teacher, and current manager, Joe Girardi dropped him to 9th in the Yankees batting order. Posada asked to be removed from the lineup and told reporters he needed to clear his head and also mentioned he had some stiffness in his back as the reasons for asking out of the lineup. Posada was delegated to a bench role in August of 2011 but it earned him one more final trip to the postseason. Posada played well in the ALDS but the team lost the ALCS to the Detroit Tigers in five games as we all watched Posada on the baseball diamond for the final time.

Posada reportedly received interest from five or six teams during the offseason before the 2012 season but the New York Yankees were not one of them. In January of 2012 Posada decided to announce his retirement from the game of Major League Baseball. Posada has rejoined the team as a guest instructor during spring training since his retirement but has rarely been back to Yankee Stadium outside of Derek Jeter Day and Jeter's final game in the Bronx.

Posada is a legend, Yankees or not, and say what you will he deserves this honor of having his number retired by the Yankees. Not many players win five World Series or almost change a position for the better single-handed. Posada is a Yankee and now he will always be remembered as one. Congrats Jorge!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Another week down and another week down and another week bites the dust. Queen reference, sorry, but really another week of baseball has just bit the dust and the Yankees had a good week overall. After sweeping the New York Mets in a four game series the Yankees ended the weekend losing two-of-three to the Boston Red Sox to finish the week on a 5-2 climb. How many spots would the team climb in the USA Today’s set of weekly MLB Power Rankings though? Keep reading.

Okay, I could have some fun with this but I won’t and I won’t keep waiting for long. The Yankees climbed an impressive three slots this week back up to the #6 position overall.

The Top 5 teams according to the rankings are the Los Angeles Dodgers (duh), the Washington Nationals, the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. The Arizona Diamondbacks were in the Top 5 until the team slid four spots to the #9 spot overall while the St. Louis Cardinals fell four spots to the #13 position and out of the Top 10. Ouch.

Don’t look now but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are 12th overall on the rankings and climbing while the Seattle Mariners are 15th after all their July 31st trade deadline acquisitions. Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Rays are 5-13 since the All-Star Break after some writers and journalist had them winning the AL East Division, because journalism.

Oh and the San Francisco Giants are the only and the first team to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention…. With two weeks left in August. Let that sink in.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 8/22

The New York Yankees needed a day off yesterday to lick their wounds after being pounded by the Red Sox in two of their three games over the weekend and the team got just that before heading to Detroit to take on the Detroit Tigers in a three-game series. In the opener tonight the Yankees will activate Masahiro Tanaka off the disabled list to take the ball against Matthew Boyd for the Tigers. The Tigers are a rebuilding team and the Yankees need to beat the teams they are supposed to beat on paper if they want to make the postseason in 2017… so do it. Sounds easy enough, right?

Tanaka comes off the disabled list tonight after taking a rest due to some shoulder inflammation. In Tanaka’s last start the right-hander lasted just four innings against the Toronto Blue Jays before being removed from the contest. Tanaka allowed three runs in the start, two of them earned, before being replaced by the strong Yankees bullpen.

Boyd struggled against the Minnesota Twins in his last start in which he lasted just 5.2 innings on Sunday. Boyd allowed two early home runs in the contest which doomed him from the start and will be facing another strong home run hitting team tonight in the Yankees.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Need a win, get a win. Go Yankees!!

The Next Baby Bomber to Watch: Nestor Cortes

Attention all Yankees Prospect Humpers, trademark pending on that term, it is time to pay attention to the next wave of Baby Bombers coming through the Yankees system. We have all seen an enjoyed the emergence of Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and others but more reinforcements are on the way including Chance Adams who we have spoken about a lot and another arm we could see as early as the 2017 season, Nestor Cortes.

Cortes reminds me a lot of Luis Severino if I am being honest and not only because of his small pitchers frame. Cortes stands at just 5’11” and weighs in at 205 pounds. That’s where the similarities may end for some but not for me. Cortes does not throw in the mid-to-high 90’s, instead Cortes tops out at around 90 MPH. Cortes does not throw over the top like Severino, instead Cortes has a nice sidearm delivery. Cortes may not be a starting pitcher at the next level but the Yankees may have a hell of a bullpen arm coming their way really, really soon.

Cortes is now 22-years old and was drafted by the Yankees in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft, that same draft the team took Aaron Judge in among others. Cortes doesn’t overpower players but he simply wants to make outs and uses every trick in the bag to get every single out that he can which is evident by his 11-4 record and 1.53 ERA and 0.80 WHIP last season across four Yankees affiliates including the Charleston Riverdogs, the Tampa Yankees, the Trenton Thunder and the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders for one spot start. Cortes strikes out more batters than he probably should with the velocity that he has and has a 5-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio which would fit into any team and any stadium, especially Yankee Stadium.

Cortes has been moved primarily to the bullpen this season in Triple-A, although he started in Tampa and made a return trip to Trenton earlier this season, making 17 of his 27 appearances out of the bullpen. At the time of this writing Cortes is posting a 6-3 record and a 2.16 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP which is encouraging for a player the team will need to add to the 40 man roster or leave available for any team to take this winter in the Rule 5 Draft. I can’t see a scenario where the Yankees leave Cortes unprotected though as any team would love a guy who pounds the strike zone, trusts his fielders as he pitches to contact and just simply knows how to get advanced hitters out. Every team wants the next Ramiro Mendoza or Aaron Small on their team so thank goodness he looks like he is going to be a New York Yankee for a long, long time.  

So it Seems… Chapter Two

Chapter Two: The New Beginning

Good morning everyone and welcome back from the long weekend. We had a total solar eclipse in some areas of the world including my North Georgia area where I currently reside, more on that later, which would explain some of my quietness over the weekend. I had my big move over the weekend and everything went exceptionally well. I planned on having more done this weekend and more unpacked than I currently have but I was a bit distracted, you could say that anyway. The very best distractions though so there’s always that.

Anyway I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed seeing the eclipse in whatever capacity that they could and I hope that you can all read this right now. If you can’t then you probably stared at the eclipse with the wrong glasses on, or no glasses at all. Shame on you.

Oh and on that note the schools down here were going to give out glasses to all the students until they found out that those glasses had been recalled just a few days before the eclipse. That could have been really, really bad huh?

Enjoy your day and I love you all. Especially you. HEY YOU. I love you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/22: Yankees Present Jorge Posada Day 2015

Before we get into this day in New York Yankees history I wanted to remind everyone that on this day in 2015 the team retired the #20 of Jorge Posada. The Yankees conducted a pregame ceremony to retire Posada before the game with the Cleveland Indians. #HipHipJorge

On this day in 2008 Jeter notched one more mark in the Yankees history books as he joined Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth as only the third Yankee to ever collect their 2,500th hit. The historic hit of the bloop variety came off the Orioles pitcher Radhames Liz in a 9-4 Yankees victory. #DJ2.5K

Also on this day in 1961 Roger Maris became the first player in Major League history to hit his 50th home run of the season in the month of August. The 26 year old outfielder would hit the home run off the Angels Ken McBride in a Yankees 4-3 loss.

Finally on this day in 1939 the New York Yankees would win their first night game in their franchises history as they beat the Chicago White Sox in front of more than 50,000 fans at Comiskey Park. The Yankees had nine extra base hits and 14 hits overall in the victory.