Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Road to 162-0...

So Far, So Good…

Two games into the 162-game schedule and life in the Yankees Universe is fantastic. Okay, we’re not going to win every game and of course winning only 60% of the remaining games would be a stellar regular season but it’s fun to open the year with successive wins.

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
The Opener was a perfect day for Yankees fans and new Manager Aaron Boone. It couldn’t have been scripted better with the superior work of ace Luis Severino, the bullpen (particularly Chad Green with three strikeouts against the four batters he faced), and the bat of Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton’s two home runs were the talk of the game but it was a great team victory from top to bottom. The only blemish was the solo home run that Dellin Betances allowed to Kevin Pillar when he entered the game in the bottom of the 8th en route to the 6-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.  

Yesterday’s game was a little tougher for Boone. The big guns (Aaron Judge, Stanton, and Gary Sanchez) were a combined 0-for-12 with four strikeouts, but in the end it did not really matter. Batting clean-up for the first time this season, Didi Gregorius was 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored on two extra-base hits. Getting thrown out at the plate with no outs was the only negative for an otherwise tremendous day for Sir Didi. The big bats belonged to the bottom of the order with the 8th and 9th hitters, Brandon Drury and Tyler Wade. Drury had two RBIs on a single and a double, while Wade had a two-run double. I groaned when Masahiro Tanaka gave up a home run (fortunately with the bases empty) to former St Louis Cardinal Randall Grichuk in the 2nd inning but it was only one of three hits Tanaka allowed over the course of 79 pitches and six innings of work. The Yankees won the game, 4-2, to earn no less than a split of the four-game series pending the outcome of the next two games in Toronto.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Tom Szczerbowski)
What can you say about the debut performances of Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka? Collectively, they pitched 11 2/3 innings, allowing only 4 hits, one run, 3 walks, and 15 strikeouts. They’ve set the bar high for the rest of the starting rotation. I am sure that no one wants to be the first to implode.  

The bullpen has been outstanding, as usual and as expected, despite the homer Betances gave up or the run-scoring double Aroldis Chapman allowed last night. Both guys were able to finish the job without assistance and will no doubt prove to be their dominant selves for the course of the long season. Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, and David Robertson showed why this is Baseball’s best bullpen. I am sure that Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren and Jonathan Holder are itching for their 2018 premieres and should take the mound today and/or tomorrow.  

I saw an interesting fact yesterday when it was mentioned that the Blue Jays featured more members of 2011 Yankees Opening Day lineup in their batting order than the Yankees did. Looking back at the March 31, 2011 game that saw Joba Chamberlain pick up the win in relief of CC Sabathia for the Yankees’ 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, the starting lineup featured the following guys:

Brett Gardner, LF (Yankees LF/CF)
Derek Jeter, SS (Marlins CEO)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (Retired, Baseball Analyst)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (Retired, Baseball Analyst)
Robinson Cano, 2B (Mariners 2B)
Nick Swisher, RF (Retired, Highly Wired)
Jorge Posada, DH (Retired, Humanitarian)
Curtis Granderson, CF (Blue Jays LF)
Russell Martin, C (Blue Jays C)

This seems like so long ago. I enjoyed the Grandy Man and Martin during their time in Pinstripes but I am glad that they are Blue Jays today. Hopefully Sabathia picks up another win seven years later to the day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
I am not going to read too much into a 2-0 start given that there are still 160 games to be played, but I am glad the Yankees are faring much better than the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have opened the season by scoring no runs over 18 innings and have lost two heart-breaking 1-0 losses to one of baseball’s worst teams last season (the San Francisco Giants) on two solo homers by second baseman (and New York native) Joe Panik. While the Dodgers may not be “Paniking”, I’d rather be 2-0 than 0-2. Watching the Dodgers bat in the bottom of the 9th last evening showed how deep and special the Yankees lineup truly is. After the Giants had homered against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to take the lead in the scoreless battle, the Dodgers sent 39-year-old Chase Utley and Logan Forsythe to the plate in the bottom of the 9th for the rally attempt. Both Utley and Forsythe left their bats on their shoulders for called third strikes. Joc Pedersen, a good but inconsistent hitter, pinch hit for Jansen. He weakly popped up in foul territory to end the game.  With no offense to the fine career Utley has had, I’d much rather have Brandon Drury and Tyler Wade at the bottom of the lineup any day of the week.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images
It didn’t take too long for the Yankees depth to be tested. In a surprise move yesterday, the Yankees placed center fielder Aaron Hicks on the 10-day DL before the game with an intercostal muscle strain. Hicks was not happy with the move as he felt he’d be fine with a few days rest but the Yankees are notoriously conservative when it comes to potential injuries. It was a great story to see outfielder Billy McKinney get his unexpected Major League debut. He woke up in Tampa on Friday morning, thinking about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders season opener in a week, only to find out that he had a mid-day flight to Toronto to catch. By the end of the evening, he had collected his first Major League hit. I couldn’t help but think of Dustin Fowler’s horrific debut last year with the devastating knee injury, but the results were much better for McKinney. He was only 1-for-4 but it’s nice to get that first hit out of the way.  He had a few good defensive plays in left as well. After the game, McKinney said that ball for the first hit would go to his parents. A very classy move by the 23-year-old.’s Bryan Hoch posted an interesting stat that McKinney is only the second Yankee since 1956 to make his MLB debut in the starting lineup within the first two games of the season. The last Yankee do it was Hideki Matsui on this date in 2003, also in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Like McKinney, Matsui had a hit in four at-bats but Godzilla did knock in a run in a game that saw Rogers Clemens defeat former Blue Jays great Roy Halladay.  

McKinney’s stay with the big league club figures to be short. Jacoby Ellsbury is eligible to come off the DL next Thursday so it’s likely that McKinney will be playing in next Friday’s season opener for the RailRiders at PNC Field in Moosic, PA against the Syracuse Chiefs. But for now, McKinney gets to play and make an impression for our favorite team. It sure beats working out at Minor League Camp in Tampa. Welcome to the Show, Billy!

Photo Credit: The New York Post (Corey Sipkin)
For Yankees fans, like me, who had hoped Aaron Hicks would stay healthy for an entire season, it is not a great start. But at least it sounds like he’ll be able to return as soon as he is eligible. We’ll see. Hicks must prove he deserves our trust and support. As frustrated as I get with the health of Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Greg Bird, I feel badly for Toronto and their fans. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki remains one of the game’s best but the guy can’t stay on the field. Every year, it’s something. The latest setback was this week when it was announced that Tulo would need surgery on both ankles to remove bone spurs. Very sad for the talented player who can’t seem to get or stay healthy. So, I guess the Yankees are not the only team to get Ellsbury’d on a routine basis.

Great tweet by Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media this morning: “I mean, how do you bet against Aaron Boone? He’s never lost.” True statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Tom Szczerbowski)
Today, CC Sabathia takes the mound against Blue Jays fan favorite Marco Estrada. I guess you could say that it is a battle of former Milwaukee Brewers. May the 6’6” left-hander and 2008 Brewer emerge victorious!

Photo Credit: The Record (Kevin R Wexler)

Go Yankees!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 3/30

Good evening, and welcome back to Yankees baseball as the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays continue their three-game set with the middle game of their series. In the opener we watched as Luis Severino and JA Happ attempted to keep the opposing offense down from the other team and tonight we are treated with the pitching matchup of Masahiro Tanaka taking the ball for the Yankees against Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays. The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET inside the Rogers Centre, eh, and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the game by using MLB TV, the app or by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with, interact with and to talk Yankees baseball all season long. Enjoy the game and Go Yankees!!

Five New York Yankees BOLD Predictions for the 2018 Season

The 2018 season kicked off officially yesterday afternoon with the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays squaring off head-to-head inside the Rogers Centre. These two teams will meet plenty of times this season including once again tonight so to say that these two teams will be familiar with each other by the time September and October comes around is an understatement. I don’t usually partake in the understatements of the world, I like to be bold and I like to make predictions, so here are five bold predictions for the New York Yankees here in the 2018 season.

Sonny Gray Will Be the Ace of the Yankees Staff:

Luis Severino started on Opening Day, Masahiro Tanaka starts tonight, and the Yankees stopper from the 2017 season starts tomorrow leaving little (figuratively and literally) Sonny Gray to start the Yankees home opener in the Bronx against the Tampa Bay Rays. Being a fourth starter and having to wait that long to make your first start of the season has to be a huge adjustment for Gray who has been the ace of the Oakland Athletics staff for quite a few years now, when he was healthy enough to do so anyway. Some may take this as a slap in the face and as a bit of an insult, but others will only use this as motivation to do better and strive to be great. For some reason, and this is obviously pure speculation on my part as I personally do not know Sonny, I have a feeling Gray will be the latter kind of guy on the field here in 2018 more so than the former. In fact, Gray will ride that chip on his shoulder all the way to becoming the ace of this Yankees staff here this season.

A full offseason and spring training camp with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and with primary starting catcher Gary Sanchez will only help Gray as he moves forward towards his first start here in 2018. It isn’t like Gray pitched bad in 2017, he pitched quite well actually, but fell victim to a lack of run support more times than not. This will not be the case here in 2018. New York has too much depth, too much versatility, too much power and too much talent to be consistently held down on a nightly basis in my opinion. The team has the potential to be an offensive juggernaut and every pitcher on the staff will benefit from it, especially Gray. Gray will no longer have the pressure of pitching in a close game or from behind every single time he takes the ball here in 2018 and his on-the-field production will benefit from it in my opinion.

Brandon Drury Will be Boo’d Within Two Weeks:

The New York Yankees fans are some of the most passionate, loud and best fans in the world in my very humble, yet clearly bias, opinion when you are doing well, but at the same time they can be toughest and most impatient fans in the world when you’re struggling. Most of the current Yankees have seen at least a glimpse of what the Yankees fans can be like, especially players like Didi Gregorius who had a tough transition to the Bronx after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks to replace the legend that is Derek Jeter. Didi made a few errors at shortstop to start his Yankees tenure and the fans in the Bronx were not shy about showing their displeasure with the now fan favorite, and I think unfortunately that Brandon Drury will be in for a similar treatment from the Yankees faithful.

I give it two weeks, tops, before Drury comes out of the gates struggling either offensively, defensively or both and the Yankees boo birds let him have it. This may not be a bold prediction given the current state of affairs, but at least we aren’t Phillies fans. Those guys are absolutely horrible, so I hear.

Gary Sanchez Will Hit 50 Home Runs:

All offseason long it has been Aaron Judge this and Giancarlo Stanton that, but I truly think many fans and writers alike are sleeping on Gary Sanchez a little bit. After a slow start to his 2017 campaign Gary bounced back to hit 33 home runs for New York, a number he is going to smash out of the park here in 2018. There will be no slow start for the Kraken, only bomb after bomb after bomb after bomb after bomb after… well you get the point. Sanchez, not Giancarlo or Judge, will lead the team and the league in home runs with at least 50 long balls in 2018.

Gleyber Torres Will Play in 100+ Games:

The New York Yankees teased their fans this winter with the idea that one of, or both of, Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar could be on the team’s Opening Day roster. A Brandon Drury acquisition and Neil Walker signing threw a bit of a monkey wrench into those plans for both of the Yankees young stars in the making, but I don’t think either addition will have much of a factor in how much playing time Torres gets at the Major League level in 2018.

We know Torres will be down on the farm for at least the first three weeks and 20 games of the Minor League season, so the Yankees can delay his free agency by one year, but after that I think Torres will be unleashed on the rest of the league for good. I am not all that high on Walker and Drury may be too useful and versatile for his own good which could lead him into more of a utility role than an every day slot thus opening the door for Torres at either second base or third base. With the injury to Greg Bird I think we will see a lot more of Walker at first base than we are comfortable with, even with Tyler Austin on the roster, leaving plenty of at-bats for Torres to have in 2018.

Gleyber Torres will play in at least 100 games at the Major League level in 2018.

Aaron Judge Will NOT Be the 2017 Version of Aaron Judge:

When I posted my post comparing the lineups and defensive positioning for both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox one reader and fan had a question for me, why in the world did I pick Mookie Betts, the presumed starting right fielder for the Red Sox this season, over Aaron Judge, the Yankees starting right fielder on more nights than not. The answer is simple, while I think Judge is a great player that will do great things during his MLB career and 2018 season I just cannot see him matching his production from his breakout 2017 campaign. History is against it, and baseball (and the fact that you cannot predict it) is against it happening again.

Judge slashed .284/.422/.627 in 2017 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, 128 runs scored while walking 127 times. How many times has a right-handed hitter hit 50 home runs playing his home games inside Yankee Stadium? Not often, in fact only five players have ever hit 50 home runs in a season as a Yankee, period. Babe Ruth did it four times (1920, 1921, 1927 and 1928), Mickey Mantle did it twice (1956 and 1961), Roger Maris did it once (1961), and Alex Rodriguez did it once (2007). That’s quite the cast of characters to keep company with for Judge, but that also means it is highly unlikely for him to match that this coming season, let alone improve upon it.

Looking at Judge’s career numbers in the Minor Leagues he is career .278/.373/.473 hitter which is a far cry, and a much larger sample size, from his 2017 stats. Judge will still be great in 2018, and in my opinion, he is truly a once-in-a-generation type talent, but I can’t see him matching that slugging or on-base percentage in 2018. The average I expect to drop slightly as well, although I am skeptical to commit to that with what he has backing him up and protecting him in the Yankees lineup. Either way, I think we see a regression, however slight, for Judge in 2018.

I have been told to start writing with an edge, hopefully this was a step in the right direction there. More to come I’m sure, so stay tuned.

Good Friday Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 3/30

You know what possibly the best thing about Major League Baseball is? I personally love the fact that the games are played basically every single day. Sure, I love football and basketball as well from time to time, but watching your team lose on a Sunday only to have to feel that sting for a few days or a week can sometimes just be torture. In baseball if you have a tough loss on Sunday you usually go right back out on the field on Monday and can turn things around. At the same time a big win on Sunday can be erased just as fast the following Monday with a tough loss, it is just one of the many things that make the game great in my opinion. With that said the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are back at it again tonight inside the Rogers Centre with the second game of their three-game set to open the 2018 season. Yesterday afternoon we all watched as JA Happ and Luis Severino squared off to kick off the season and tonight we are treated with another great pitching matchup. Masahiro Tanaka, who normally starts on Opening Day for New York, will take the mound for the Yankees while the Blue Jays will counter with Aaron Sanchez, who missed almost all of the 2017 season with an injury for Toronto.

Tanaka made his Major League debut pitching in the second game of the season back in 2014 against these same Toronto Blue Jays inside the Rogers Centre and he will do so again tonight after Luis Severino took the Opening Day nod from him here in 2018. Tanaka gave up a home run to the first batter he faced that season and gave up a ton of home runs in 2017, a career-high 35 long balls to be exact, which led the right-hander to focus on his fastball command and control in hopes of lowering that number significantly here in 2018.

Sanchez missed most of the 2017 campaign with Toronto due to lingering blister issues on his throwing hand. Sanchez has put to bed any rumors of this becoming a recurring issue this spring after showing no signs of trouble while in camp with the Blue Jays. In Sanchez’s final tune-up start before the season he allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings pitched at home against the Atlanta Braves, hopefully a sign of what’s to come if you are a Blue Jays fan.

The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the MLB TV and the app or you can tune into the WFAN radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. No matter how you get to follow along enjoy the game and go Yankees!

Hello… and Good Friday to You All

Good morning everyone, and a Good Friday to all if you celebrate. If not, then just Happy Friday to you as we inch towards the weekend. Good Friday, according to Wikipedia, is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Jesus died on Good Friday and was reborn on Easter Sunday. Whether you believe or not, celebrate the day or not, or whatever you choose to do just make sure it is a great day regardless. It is another day with Yankees baseball, and it’s a Friday, so how could it not be? Right?

Have a great day everyone. Especially you. I hope you have an amazing Friday, because you deserve it. You deserve the world and everything in it, and I won’t sleep until you have it all. I love you. My rock. My Kari. My baby.

Have a great day everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/30: Dwight Gooden's Final Walk

On this day in 2001 former Yankee Dwight Gooden announced his retirement from baseball. Doc finished with a 194-112 record playing for the Mets, Yankees, Indians, Astros, and Devil Rays and won a World Series and pitched a no hitter with the Yankees.

On this day in 1991 the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles played an exhibition game at Joe Robbie Stadium which drew 67,654 fans, a new spring training attendance record. The two day series between the two teams was a part pf South Florida's efforts to get a National League expansion team, soon to be named the Florida Marlins.

On this day in 1984 the San Diego Padres obtained Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles for pitcher Dennis Rasmussen and prospect Darin Cloniger.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Opening Day Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 3/29

Ladies, gentleman and Greedy Pinstripes readers alike, it is FINALLY time for Opening Day, meaningful and real baseball. After a long, cold winter and a slow hot stove season aside from the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton I think I can confidently speak for all Yankees fans when I say “thank goodness” for today. We made it, now let’s get down to business. To kick off the 2018 campaign the New York Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to face off with J.A. Happ for the Blue Jays. The game will be played at 3:37 pm ET inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along with the Yankees radio stream on WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) and Like us on Facebook (The Greedy Pinstripes) to keep up with us and the New York Yankees all season long. Enjoy today’s game and Go Yankees!

Fan Time....

Fan Time......


Hello fellow Yankee fans!!! It’s just about that time of year again. The spring is upon us, the weather is heating up and it’s time for opening day. The baby bombers are staring to mature and the veterans are looking confident. We have added one of my favorite players in Giancarlo Stanton and the bullpen… well it’s locked and loaded!! The only real question is how does the starting pitching hold up? I guess we will have to play a few games to see how it will come together.  

This season I’ll be doing a new interactive post called Fan Time. I’ll set out in search of hardcore Yankee fans of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you email me with an interview request, someone I’ve know for a while or just some random person on the street. I want to get theirs and your opinion on everything Yankees.

My first participant will be a long time friend, Matt Summa from New Rochelle, NY. He and I go way back and we still keep in touch as foes on the softball field. He is a big time sports fan and a die-hard Yankee fan. My first question to him was one I already knew the answer to, how long have you been a Yankee fan?

 Matt: “I’ve been a Yankee fan since birth, over 30 years.”  

 Me: “Aaron Boone is all set to replace Joe Girardi, are the Yankees better because of it?” 

 Matt: “Aaron Boone replacing Girardi definitely makes them different. I don’t know if it makes them better, but the roster Boone takes over makes them better for sure.”

 Me: “I definitely agree with Aaron Boone, but only time will truly tell. I do think the club house will be a little looser.” “What was your initial reaction to the Giancarlo Stanton trade?” 

 Matt: “I couldn’t believe the Stanton trade when I first heard it. I had to check several websites to make sure I read it correctly. When I did, I realized this lineup has the chance to be really special.”

 Me: “I had to do the same thing, especially because last year as one of my first blogs, I did a post predicting him becoming a Yankee.” “How many home runs and RBIs do you think he gets this year?”

 Matt: “I’d say 40 HR and 110 RBI.”

 Me: “Who puts up better numbers, him or Judge?”

 Matt: “I’d say Stanton puts up better numbers just based on his career numbers. I want to say Gary Sanchez will be the team MVP, my little prediction. I see a huge year coming from Sanchez!”

 Me: “I agree!! Gary is going to be nuts! I think Stanton’s RBI’s will be about 110 or close to it. I do feel with his ability to go to right may raise the HR’s above 50 with a few cheap shots possibly?”

 Matt: “I almost typed 50 for Stanton but then deleted it lol. I’ll go 50!”

 Me: “Do you think it was a mistake that the Yankees didn’t add another starting pitcher?” 

 Matt: “I think it would’ve been nice to add a starting pitcher but I think they trust their 5 to give them 25 plus starts a piece. They have young talent at triple A ready to step in when needed, that also softens the blow of not signing one.”

 Me: “What are your thoughts of the Yankees moves concerning 3B? Are you happy with Brandon Drury? Would you rather See Miguel Andújar?” 

 Matt: “I love the Drury trade! Scouts say he projects as a better 3B than a 2B and it gives Andújar time to mature and work on his defense. If Drury is awful, then mid year or even next year hand over the position to a more ready Andújar.”

 Me: “I am big on the Drury trade as well, plus I think some Didi luck from Arizona will help lol.” “What are your feelings on the Neil Walker signing? Should he start at 2B or did Tyler Wade do enough this spring to earn the Job?” 

 Matt: “I think the Walker signing is smart for a few reasons: it gives the Yankees a veteran on a relatively young infield. If he gets hurt or can’t hack it, then I’d say Wade has done MORE than enough to show he can start for this team!”

 Me: “Who is you favorite all time Yankee? Why?” 

 Matt: “Favorite all time Yankee is a tough one… I’d say Mickey Mantle for all he did for an entire career and on essentially one good knee for the bulk of it. But I’d lean to Derek Jeter because of everything he did for this team. Always clutch in the biggest of moments, the bigger the moment the more you knew Jeter would produce.”

 Me: “Derek Jeter is the definition of clutch!” “What is your favorite Jeter moment? I know, I know, how to choose lol.”

 Matt: “Probably his walk-off homerun making him Mr. November or his leadoff homerun against the Mets. But I’ll go with the flip play against Oakland as my favorite Jeter moment.”

 Me: “What is your biggest Yankee memory?”  

 Matt: “Biggest Yankee memory is easy: game 4, 2001 World Series, bottom of the 9th, Tino Martinez two run homer to tie the game against the Diamondbacks.

 Me: “It’s now the 2018 off season, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew Miller , Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, and Dallas keuchel to name a few are all free agents. Who do you sign and why? Anyone not named?” 

 Matt: “I’d love to see Machado and Kershaw but I’d honestly say none of them. Roll with the young kids we’ve got coming and the guys we’ve got on the field currently.”

 Me: “No Bryce?”

 Matt: “I don’t think there is space honestly.”

 Me: “Me either, however looking from a business stand point I don’t know I can not add Mr. Harper. The amount of HR’s he could hit in Yankee stadium would be Monumental. Plus now I’m splitting the 3 big righties, it would be mind blowing.” “What would you say if I countered with Bryce Harper in LF, Brett Gardner in CF, Aaron Judge in RF, and Stanton at DH?”

 Matt: “I’d say Hicks in CF is more likely, but hey anything is possible.”

 Me: “Ok last series of questions. Do you find these statements to be true or false? Severino becomes a true ace and delivers 18 wins?” 

 Matt: “True! Severino wins 18 yes.”

 Me: “Aaron Judge hits 50 HR’s?”

 Matt: “False, Judge hits 40.”

 Me: “Brett Gardner is the Leadoff hitter come September?”

 Matt: “True.” 

 Me: “Sonny Gray has a winning record?”

 Matt: “True, Gray goes 14-10.” 

 Me: “The Yankees regret Tanaka opted in?” 

 Matt: “False, he has a bounce back year.” 

 Me: “Chris Archer becomes a Yankee?” 

 Matt: “False.” 

 Me: “Do the Yankees Win 95 Plus games?”

 Matt: “False, Yankees Win 92 games.”

 Me: “Does 92 games win the division?”

 Matt: “I take it back, they win 96 and yes that wins the division.” 

 Me: “Gleyber Torres makes the big league Roster? 

 Matt: “False.” 

 Me: “Manny Machado is a Yankee this year?”

 Matt: “False, next year lol.” 

 Me: “Well that’s about it, thank you for your time. Do you have any final thoughts or statements on the Yankees this season?”

 Matt: “The Yankees win 96 games and a World Series Title!!!” 

 Well there we have it, and thanks again to Matt Summa, a knowledgeable Yankees fan that had some good opinions to offer. Let’s see what happens and I hope he’s right about us taking home the World Series trophy. Since 1923, the year of their first championship, the only decade the Yankees didn’t win a title was the 1980’s and I would really like to keep it that way!! 

 Please email me at james palma at yahoo dot com with any questions, comments, and/or would like to be interviewed. I look forward to hearing from you. It could be you that’s my next victim lol. Here’s to another great season… LET’S GO YANKEES!!!!




And the 2018 “Stephen Drew Sucks Award” Goes To….

The 2018 season and the annual “Stephen Drew Sucks Award” given out here on The Greedy Pinstripes has a little bit of a different feel to it. Last year and in years past we have always given this award to not only one of the players on the roster that we expected to fall far below expectations, but we also prefaced the award presentation by stating that this player would receive far too much playing time than he deserved because of manager Joe Girardi’s insistence on playing a veteran over a rookie or young guy at all costs. With the hiring of new manager Aaron Boone I am not entirely sure anyone really knows what to expect going forward in terms of bullpen usage and how production will or will not dictate playing time. With that said we will simply have to use the thought process and prediction power that we clearly (and sarcastically) possess to predict, and subsequently award, the player we think that will most live up to the name, Stephen Drew Sucks. Congratulations, I think, go out to the newest member of the New York Yankees, Neil Walker.

Now before I get too far into this post I want to preface this by saying that after the news that Greg Bird would start the season on the disabled list and would miss six-to eight weeks (which in Greg Bird terminology means six-to-eight months) I felt pretty fortunate to have Walker on the team. The guy is a veteran than can play all over the field, literally, and is a player that was once thought of as a middle-of-the-order type hitter that signed for a measly $4 million plus incentives on a one-year deal. I am not terribly upset to have him for depth purposes, but it doesn’t mean I think he is going to excel here in 2018 either, and for more than a few reasons.

Walker is very injury prone and has been for quite some time now at the Major League level. Playing in the American League should only help him as he can potentially take “half days off” at the designated hitter position whenever necessary, but I still can’t bring myself to really feel confident that he can hold up over the course of a 162-game season. I won’t feel confident in that until he proves he can do it for a season or two, who could blame me?

Walker posted a combined 1.4 WAR in 2017 according to Baseball Reference, and that was playing every day with the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers. Walker could conceivably see his playing time reduced in 2018, which would ultimately see his WAR and overall production numbers drop as well. It isn’t like a 1.4 WAR is all that great anyway, well unless you consider players like Manny Pina, Jordy Mercer, Evan Gattis, Rafael Devers and Cameron Maybin to name a few who all put up similar or close WAR’s in 2017 as well to be “great” players. At this point in his career Walker is just average, if even that, and he is line to take a huge step back, even if he stays healthy.

I am not meaning to talk bad about Walker, and again I am grateful for his presence on the team with the loss of Bird… I just can’t bring myself to be excited about him being here though. I usually have high hopes, but I picked Walker over players like Brandon Drury (who Bryan Van Dusen is not high on this upcoming season if you read his most recent post), Jacoby Ellsbury, CC Sabathia and others… so that should tell you something about how I feel about the prospect of having him in Pinstripes here in 2018. Prove me wrong, Neil, but if you do you have to give the award back. “Thems the rules”

Opening Day Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 3/29

Good morning Yankees family and welcome, finally, to Opening Day 2018! The grass has been cut, the lines have been painted on, the infield dirt has been saturated with the perfect amount of moisture, and Major League Baseball is now ready to kick this season off. The New York Yankees start the 2018 season inside the Rogers Centre, a dome in Toronto and home of the Toronto Blue Jays, so they will be playing on Astroturf and in 72-degree weather, but Opening Day baseball is Opening Day baseball regardless. Kicking off their respective 2018 campaigns will be the Luis Severino for the Yankees and J.A. Happ for the Blue Jays who both received Opening Day nods from their managers. Both offenses are ready, the pitchers are ready, and so are the fans, so let’s do this thing!

Severino will make his first Opening Day start of his career this afternoon in Toronto after coming off a strong 2017 campaign that saw him place third in the American League Cy Young Award vote. Severino, while successful last season, struggled against the Blue Jays in particular in 2017 posting an 0-1 record with a 4.97 ERA in two starts. Severino will have to do better than that this afternoon, or maybe he won’t with the potential juggernaut of an offense behind him, and will also have to quell his adrenaline as well as to avoid a repeat of the 2017 American League Wild Card Game where he struggled, later admitting he was too pumped up and excited which led to his command and control being a bit off.

Happ earns his first Opening Day nod as well, but for an entirely different set of reasons than Severino. Happ will take the ball for Toronto today due to their ace, Marcus Stroman, injuring his right shoulder early on during Spring Training camp this season. Happ, again like Severino, faced the Yankees twice during the 2017 campaign allowing just two runs in 11.2 innings. Last season Happ didn’t have to face Giancarlo Stanton though, so that may change for the 2018 season. Stay tuned.

The game will be played at 3:37 pm ET inside Rogers Centre in Toronto and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also listen to the game in your cars, on the radio, and when you’re at work like I will be today by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with the legendary John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game, hit some homers, and start the 2018 season off right. Go Yankees!!

Pictures From My Visit To George M. Steinbrenner Field

Well, at least two people wanted to see the pictures I took of my visit to George M. Steinbrenner Field, so here they are.

And yes... I do realize that I suck at photography, as my finger got in the way a couple of times. Oh well, sorry.

One other thing, I wasn't able to go into the stadium as everything but the team shop was closed, so I'm sorry there aren't any pictures of the playing field other than a snippet through a fence.

I wish I had timed my visit to Tampa better so I could check out a Spring Training or Tarpons game, but that'll have to wait until next time.