Monday, April 30, 2018

Take 2 Runs and Call Me in the Morning...

Photo Credit: Associated Press
Yanks win on two-run homer by El Gary…

A deep drive by Gary Sanchez and some stellar pitching were the right ingredients for the Yankees on Sunday night as the winning streak continues. The Yankees won their ninth consecutive game with the 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 

With a runner in scoring position (former Yankee Chris Young at second) in the bottom of the ninth and two outs, the showdown between Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and Angels second baseman Ian Kinsler was electrifying. As we are continually reminded, “Baseball’s greatest player” (Mike Trout…why do I always want to call him Steve?) was standing in the on-deck circle, putting increased pressure on Chapman to end the game with Kinsler. The seven pitch at-bat concluded with a swinging strike for the final out.  Mike Trout could only stand and watch as the Yankees congratulated each other on the field for the series sweep, his bat resting to await the arrival of the Baltimore Orioles.

CC Sabathia pitched much better than I expected him to and the Yankees were, no doubt, the beneficiaries. The Yankees lose this game without CC’s exemplary start. Sabathia shirked the notion that he has become a five-inning pitcher (well, not really) by delivering seven strong.  He held the Halos to five hits and one run, while walking one and striking out four. The run came courtesy of a wild pitch in the sixth inning after Justin Upton had reached base on an infield single and Albert Pujols singled, his 2,996th career hit, to advance Upton to third. It was vintage Sabathia and the Yankees needed every bit of it on this night.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Mark J Terrill)

Credit to Angels starter Tyler Skaggs for holding the Yankees offense in check. When Giancarlo Stanton doubled in the top of the fourth inning, it was the first hit for the Yankees.  Gary Sanchez followed with a home run to left, a shot that traveled 447 feet to give the Yankees a two-run advantage.  Skaggs departed in the sixth inning due to a high pitch count, but those two hits in the fourth and an infield single by Gleyber Torres in the fifth were the only hits Skaggs allowed. He struck out eight Yankees over 5 1/3 innings and only walked two.  He pitched well enough to win but, thanks to Gary Sanchez and CC Sabathia, he did not.    

The Yankees (18-9) kept pace with the AL East division-leading Boston Red Sox. The Sox ended the Tampa Bay Rays’ eight-game winning streak on Sunday in a battle of bullpens which saw Rays closer Alex Colome cough up the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Craig Kimbrel closed out the win for Boston.  Bummer, I was really enjoying Boston’s losing streak and was pulling for the Rays to sweep. Sadly, all good things must end. The Yankees remain two games behind the Red Sox as we enter play on the final day of April. 

Today the Yankees are in Houston, Texas to face the defending World Series champions and the site of last year’s heart-breaking Game 7 of the AL Championship Series that ended the Yankees’ season. I am sure that all Yankees fans on the East Coast are delighted the Yankees are in the Central Time Zone and no longer three hours away in the Pacific Time Zone.   

I suspect the Yankees winning streak will end while the team is in Houston, but it would be nice for them to get at least ten in a row before it is over. I love ten-game winning streaks and we are so very close. 

ESPN staff writer Coley Harvey posted this Giancarlo Stanton quote. “We can all click even more. So we’re getting the timely hitting, the things we need to win ballgames, and if it stays hot like that where it’s a different guy every night contributing, then we’ll be tough, tough to beat.”  I agree but it is going to take solid pitching too.  Sonny Gray takes the mound tonight and admittedly that scares me. Right now, I have the least amount of confidence in Gray among the Yankees starters. I never thought I’d say this but I want Gray to pitch like former Yankee Caleb Smith did yesterday. Smith picked up his first win of the season, going seven innings against the Colorado Rockies. He held the Rockies to two hits and no runs, walking only one batter while striking out nine. I’d love for Gray to deliver that type of performance for the Yankees. I seem to be losing faith in Gray with each start so selfishly speaking, I’d like to see him reverse the trend. I'd really like to see Gray pitch like he did in Oakland one of these days.

The Yankees will miss Gerrit Cole this series but they’ll face every other Astros starter since we are playing four games this week. 

Here are the scheduled starters:

Monday, April 30th
Yankees:  Sonny Gray (1-1, 7.71 ERA)
Astros:  Charlie Morton (3-0, 1.86 ERA)

Tuesday, May 1st
Yankees:  Jordan Montgomery (2-0, 3.76 ERA)
Astros:  Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.36 ERA)

Wednesday, May 2nd
Yankees:  Luis Severino (4-1, 2.61 ERA)
Astros:  Dallas Keuchel (1-4, 4.00 ERA)

Thursday, May 3rd
Yankees:  Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.37 ERA)
Astros:  Lance McCullers, Jr (4-1, 3.71 ERA)

This will be a tough series. Although the Yankees currently have a better winning percentage (.667 to .655), the Astros have the second highest win total in the American League with 19 wins (one behind Boston). The Astros have shown no World Series hangover and it is clear they’ll be a force to be reckoned with come October. The first test begins tonight. I just wish we were leading with our best foot forward (in other words, not Sonny Gray).

I am ready to win a game (or better yet, games) in Houston. Tonight does seem like a good time to start. C’mon, Sonny, don’t let me down.

Go Yankees!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Drama-Free Saturday Night...

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Mark J Terrill)
Yanks Score Early, Win Big…

The Yankees put up ten runs in the first two innings in Anaheim, CA and coasted to an 11-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

I guess the Yankees were telling their East Coast fan base it was okay to go to bed early. Very considerate of these young and very talented Yankees.  Always looking out for Yankees fans.  

The FOX announcers were quick to point out that no team had ever scored five runs in consecutive innings to start a game against the Angels in the history of the franchise. Considering the Yankees have not matched up well against the Angels in recent years, it was even sweeter for the Yankees to win the first two games of the series. What’s amazing to me is the Yankees did it without any home runs or Didi Gregorius (0-for-3, although he did score a run after walking in the first inning, thanks to a couple of errors by the Angels’ Zack Cozart and a huge double to the left field corner by Gary Sanchez). If the Yankees are doing this well with minimal contributions from Giancarlo Stanton, what happen when the big guy goes on one of his home run tears? It’s scary to think what this offense is capable of when they are hitting on all cylinders.   

When the Yankees scored those early runs, I felt this would be the game we’d see the Yankees debut of former Washington National A.J. Cole. Sure enough, Cole was assigned mop-up duty for the game’s final two innings. He extended the game a little further than I would have liked, leaving two baserunners in each frame, but at least he didn’t allow any runs. I’d love for pitching coach Larry Rothschild and the Yankees to figure out a way to unleash the potential talent in Cole but the first outing only reinforced that he is an eventual DFA candidate.  

As for Masahiro Tanaka (4-2), it was a great start. Yes, he gave up another home run (as he, unfortunately, often does), but solo shots when you are leading by ten runs are not consequential. Masa’s final line was excellent…6 innings, two hits, one run, two walks, and nine K’s. He only threw 88 pitches but there was no need to extend him deeper into the game although he certainly could have. This is the Masahiro Tanaka we need for the long summer ahead.

Photo Credit: Orange County Register (Bill Alkofer)
The win was the eighth consecutive for the Yankees (17-9) but surprisingly they are not the hottest team in baseball. They share honors with the Tampa Bay Rays who also won their eighth straight with a big 12-6 win over their former ace, David Price, and the Boston Red Sox. The Rays were expected to reign supreme in the AL East Cellar this year but they’ve hurt their cause with a six-game lead on the pathetic Baltimore Orioles. Meanwhile, the Yankees have quietly slipped to within two games of the front-running Boston Red Sox and the calendar has not yet flipped to May. I guess they were right when they said that the AL East would not be decided in the month of April. Seriously, I didn’t grip when the Red Sox took off running to start the season but there were many Yankees fans who did. It’s still a very long season and it will be awhile before anything is decided…except that these Yankees are very good.

The Yankees conclude their three-game series with the Angels this evening and will be featured on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.  Alex Rodriguez has been in town getting ready to provide color on his favorite team for the ESPN broadcast crew. The game features CC Sabathia (1-0, 1.86 ERA) against Tyler Skaggs (3-1, 2.96 ERA). The Yankees have a flight to Houston, Texas so they’ll have to work quickly tonight if they have any plans for sleep. The most brutal stretch of the schedule continues but at least the Yankees are winning.  I know that helps me sleep better at night.

The Yankees lost RHP David Hale last week when he was claimed by the Minnesota Twins on waivers.  However, his stay with the Twins did not last long.  He gave up four runs in three innings during his Twins debut on Friday night and was subsequently designated for assignment. I suspect he’ll clear waivers this time around and will head to the minor leagues for the Twins. I wish the 30-year-old the very best as he tries to recapture the pitches necessary to sustain MLB success.  

There has been much talk and debate about the impending return of third baseman Brandon Drury. It’s tough. Miguel Andujar has shown that he is ready and capable of being the regular at third. I was and remain a big fan of Drury and I still feel the Yankees will unlock greater magic from the bat of the former Arizona Diamondback. But admittedly, I agree you cannot sit Andujar. Perhaps Andujar goes into a slump and is inevitably sent down to Triple A. I hope not and doubt it but as the FOX crew frequently reminded us, “these things have a way of working themselves out”. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Although I think it will be a pitcher that does down to make room for Drury’s return from the 10-day DL, Neil Walker’s position the roster is becoming tenuous. Sure, he did have 2 RBI’s during yesterday’s win over the Angels but he is only 11-for-67 (.164/.219/.194, .413 OPS) and has yet to rediscover his power stroke. Drury’s ability to play first and second make Walker a redundant luxury since we know Ronald Torreyes is not going anywhere and Gleyber Torres is firmly planted as the team’s starting second baseman.  

Walker is going to hit and he is capable of helping someone so armed with a team friendly contract, the Yankees should get some level of return for him in a trade rather than simply cutting him. I like the guy but there are only so many roster spots.  

It blows my mind the guys the Yankees are connected to on the international market this summer were born four to five years after the great 1998 World Series championship. It seems like it was only yesterday the Yankees were on their magical run en route to 125 victories including the post-season.  

Like many people, I thoroughly enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War this weekend and encourage everyone to see it. With lengthy trailers that carry the overall theater time to more than three hours (as with any Marvel movie, you have to stay through the end of the closing credits), I was caught up in every sequence of the movie and it certainly did not feel like I had been planted in my seat for three hours. It is highly recommended to visit the bathroom ahead of the movie and avoid any drinks. This is not a movie to step away for a few minutes for a trip down the hall.

Enjoy your Sunday and make it a wonderful day before you settle in to watch ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Let’s keep this winning streak alive. Only two games from my goal of ten in a row.

Go Yankees!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Land of Confusion...

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
He’s out or was he?…

I couldn’t help but think of the old Phil Collins/Genesis song during the eventful sixth inning of last night’s game between the Yankees and Angels. The title; not necessarily the lyrics although I could hear the music in my mind when Giancarlo Stanton was ruled out for not tagging second base on the near-home run by Neil Walker that was caught by the Angels’ Kole Calhoun above the right field wall.  Video replay showed Stanton did tag up when Walker’s fly was caught so he should not have been doubled off second.  The photo above occurred earlier in the game when Stanton stumbled after hitting his single in the second inning but it seemed appropriate for the game's events.

Even though the Yankees could not specifically challenge the tag play at second, they could have challenged the overall play which started with the catch by Calhoun and would have encompassed the ‘did he or didn’t he’ play at second. By the time the Yankees figured it out, it was too late to challenge. So much for Joe Girardi as the only manager in Yankees history for not getting a challenge call right. Sorry Boonie, we still love you.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
Fortunately, the Yankees scored a run on the play when Didi Gregorius tagged from third and scored ahead of the questionable tag out of Stanton at second.  There was some doubt whether Didi touched home plate prior to the out at second but the Yankees got that call which was perhaps the only one that eventually mattered. Kudos to Didi for starting that inning by reaching base on a perfectly placed bunt to third.  

As the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. Didi Gregorius ensured the continuation of the Yankees winning streak with a tenth-inning home run, the margin of victory preserved by Aroldis Chapman (despite a two-out double by Zack Cozart) to close out the game, for the 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Didi Gregorius is doing it all for the Yankees right now. It’s amazing that he hit 25 home runs last year and didn’t play his first game until a year ago today.  This year, Sir Didi enters April 28th with 10 home runs and 30 RBI’s. He is batting .368/.459/.828 with 1.286 OPS. Forget Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Yankees are going to need big money to re-sign Didi at this point if he keeps up his All-World performance. And he’ll be worth every penny.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
Didi Gregorius for President.  But he's not as good as Derek Jeter or one of the ten best shortstops in the game, right?  There is no other man I would want covering shortstop for the Yankees right now than Sir Didi.

When I lived in the Los Angeles area, I would frequently attend the Yankees games in Anaheim and was always amazed at the high number of Yankees fans among the Sea of Red. So it was no surprise to me that the seemingly partisan-Angels crowd called Didi out for a curtain call. Weird for a road curtain call but then again the Yankees are like traveling rock stars especially when they are doing well. The Bandwagon is open, hop aboard! 

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
The game’s first score came courtesy of a second inning solo shot by Japanese rookie Shohei Ohtani. 

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports, via Reuters (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
I had viewed this game as a match up of the Yankees off-season targets. The guy they got against the guy they didn’t. Although he departed the game early (trying to run out a ground ball in the bottom of the fifth) with a sprained ankle, the first matchup goes to Ohtani over Stanton for his home run. Stanton was 1-for-4 (single) but struck out twice and did not score a run. Hopefully Ohtani is okay and won’t miss much time. I am still not happy about how the Ohtani signing went down but I certainly do not wish any ill will on the player. I am a firm subscriber in the belief that to be the best you have to beat the best so I want the best Angels on the field.  I had been looking forward to today's match-up featuring Masahiro Tanaka against Ohtani but I assume we'll most likely have to wait for another time.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
Granted, Gregorius was the star of this game (as he is in nearly every game), but one has to throw mention to Brett Gardner. His ninth-inning sacrifice fly with the bases loaded tied the game and set the stage for Didi’s dramatic game-winning home run. Gardy rolled off the bench and pinch-hit for Ronald Torreyes in the key spot, simply doing his job. It was the first blown save of the season for the Angels’ young new closer Keynan Middleton. It would have been great to pick up a few more runs but the Angels could have easily shut the Yankees down from there to emerge with the victory. Brett was unwilling to accept no for an answer and delivered the game-tying sac fly.

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols picked up a hit in the game and now has 2,995 hits for his career. It’s not outside the realm of possibility for Pujols to join the 3,000 Hit Club this weekend but it will most likely happen for him some time next week. He’ll be able to feast on Orioles pitching when the Yankees leave town. I liked the stat Yankees starter Luis Severino was only 7 years old when Prince Albert got his first MLB hit.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
Thanks to the win, the Yankees (16-9) were able to gain a game on the division-leading Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox lost a one-run game (4-3) to the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. The game featured a home run by former Yankee Robert Refsnyder, his first of the year. Thanks Ref! It’s always great when the Yankees win and the Red Sox lose. The Yankees are now only three games behind the Red Sox after Boston’s scorching start to the season. The Rays have matched the Yankees game for game on this current seven-game winning streak as they are unbeaten in the same number of games. I hope their winning streak continues. For whatever reason, the Red Sox Nation does not seem to be beating their chests like they did earlier this year.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Jae C Hong)
I am grateful for a night game this evening even if the East Coast Yankees fans pay the price with lack of sleep. My afternoon features Avengers: Infinity War so I have my priorities. Thanks for your “willingness” to bypass sleep so that I can see the latest and greatest superhero movie. 

Go Yankees (and Avengers, of course)!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4/27

And just like that it is game time here on a Friday night in sunny Orange County, California. In the first of a three-game set this weekend the New York Yankees will send Luis Severino out to the mound to face off with Andrew Heaney for the Angels. The game will be played at 10:07 pm ET inside Angels Stadium of Anaheim and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the team all season long. Enjoy the game, tell me about it in the morning because I am going to bed, and go Yankees!!

While We Wait Article Revisit: The Long Lost TGP Exclusive Interview w/ Tyler Austin

While we wait on the game tonight between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim let’s take a look through the Greedy Pinstripes archives and have ourselves an article revisit, shall we? Will this article be a little dated? Sure, it didn’t happen until two years after he was drafted by the team in 2010, the first year of existence for TGP. Did my writing suck back then? Also, an affirmative answer. Should it be fun to read this and look back at how far he has come regardless? Absolutely! So, enjoy!

If some of you guys missed it a few weeks back we interviewed Tyler Austin's mother, Kim Austin, and apparently hit it off well because we used her as a contact to get an interview with her son Tyler. As you all know, or should know, Tyler is the latest Yankees super prospect that is just simply tearing up the minor leagues with the Charleston Riverdogs. We asked him everything from questions about his childhood, a battle with cancer, his minor league baseball life, and when he plans on hitting some of those bombs in Yankees Stadium. Enjoy the read!

The Greedy Pinstripes: Was your dream as a child always to be a baseball player? If not, then what did you want to be when you grew up? 
Tyler Austin : Yes sir I've always wanted to be a pro ball player.  

TGP: What team did you root for growing up as a kid?
TA: New York Yankees  

TGP: Favorite player(s) growing up?
TA: Derek Jeter and Andrew Jones 

TGP: Your biggest inspiration when it came to baseball? 
TA: I was inspired from people telling me I couldn't do it my whole life. And I don't take no for answer, so when people would say that it drove me even more to make my dreams come true.  

TGP: Did you have a preference to what team you wanted to sign with?  
TA: No sir I didn't really care where I went. But it made it even sweeter cause it was with the Yankees who have always been my favorite team.  

TGP: What a lot of people did not know, including myself , was that you were a center fielder as a young player. Did you always want to be an outfielder for the Yankees? 
TA: I didn't really care where they put me. No matter where it is I'm gonna go out each and every day and give it everything I have.  

TGP: Whose idea/call was it to make you a corner infielder rather then an outfielder? 
TA: I'm not sure whose idea it was. 

TGP: How hard is it being away from your significant other while on the road and such? 
TA: It's really hard being away from my family and girlfriend. But I talk to them every night and just thankful I have them in my life and supporting me through my good times and bad.  

TGP: Favorite moment as a Yankees prospect? 
TA: Winning the New York Penn League championship last season   

TGP: Who was the best prospect in the Yankees system that you ever played with? 
TA: Mason Williams  

TGP: Do you keep in touch with any other current or former Yankees prospects or coaches? 
TA: Yes sir I do  

TGP: Hardest part of being a prospect? 
TA: Nothing is really hard about it. I still have to go out there and play each and every game the right way no matter if I am a prospect or I'm not. 

 TGP: A lot of people dont know you battled cancer, so first off congrats on beating that, how was that whole experience?
TA: Thank you!! It was tough going through that I was only 18 years old and didn't really know how to handle something like that at such a young age. But I just kept faith in the lord and knew everything would be okay if I kept the faith in him.  

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone? 
TA: Justin Maxwell  

TGP: Most embarrassing song/artist in your ipod?
TA: Baby by Justin Bieber, haha 

I want to thank Mr. Austin for taking the time out for a lowly blogger and huge fan. I was like a kid in a candy store typing up the questions to send him and typing this interview out. I was like an anxious kid who could not wait to go to the toy store this weekend while waiting for him to fill it out. It was well worth the wait! Thank you again Mr. Austin and thank you to Tyler's Mom, Mrs. Kim Austin, for being such a kind and giving person (well and for having Tyler lol).

What it Means to Be a Yankees Fan: Scott Fiedler

In my very humble opinion the best writer that The Greedy Pinstripes has is Scott Fiedler. There is no disrespect intended towards the rest of our wonderful writers, you guys are all amazing and all truly appreciated, but I have just been drawn to Scott’s work since day one and I truly think we are all blessed and incredibly lucky to have him on the site. When I came up with the idea to do this running series about what it means to be a Yankees fan I knew I wanted to include him. I knew Scott, and others of course, would just be able to paint a picture with their words while describing their Yankees fandom, and he did not let me down. Here is his story, and here is his fandom. Enjoy.

What makes you a fan of the New York Yankees?

One of the very first books I read as a child was a biography about Lou Gehrig. It set the stage for my interest and passion about the history and tradition of Major League Baseball.  I grew up in the Midwest but was not a fan of the Cardinals, Cubs or Twins (the most common favorites among my friends). At the time of my early youth, the Oakland A’s were winning multiple World Series with a colorful owner and a cast of characters which drew my attention.  My favorite player was the A’s great starting pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter. During this same time period, I had been reading other baseball biographies including books about Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.  Despite reading about other players, the books about Yankees legends appealed to me the most. The most storied franchise, the history of success, my deep and longstanding appreciation for Lou Gehrig…whatever the cause…it left me respectful of the Pinstripes even though “my team”, at the time, was the Oakland Athletics. 

It all changed on December 31, 1974. That’s the day Catfish Hunter left the A’s in free agency and signed with the New York Yankees. Thank you, George Steinbrenner. The combination of my favorite player joining a team I had deep appreciation for made for an easy and immediate choice to switch my allegiance to the Yankees. 

I’ve never looked back. 

What is your earliest memory of the New York Yankees?

While I remember the 1975 Yankees and Manager Bill Virdon, the first memorable season was the next year with Billy Martin at the helm and a new young second baseman named Willie Randolph whom the Yankees had acquired in the off-season from the Pittsburgh Pirates. By this time, Thurman Munson had become my favorite player and the Yankees won the AL East by 10 ½ games over the Baltimore Orioles. I thought at the time the O’s were the Yankees biggest rival. Silly me.

I can still recall so vividly when Carroll Christopher Chambliss stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the ninth inning during Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS with Royals closer Mark Littell, one of the game’s best, on the mound and the game tied at 6. There was something about the way Chambliss placed his back foot that I immediately became convinced he was going to hit a game-winning, series-clinching home run. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the euphoria like I did when Chambliss connected on the dramatic home run like I had expected and watched, with tremendous excitement, as the crowd at Yankee Stadium flooded the field. There have been great Yankees moments in the course of my lifetime but that one remained the most special because it was truly the first huge moment of my Yankees fandom.

The Yankees subsequently lost the World Series when they were swept by the Big Red Machine, but the 1976 Yankees were a young and exciting team. Thurman Munson was a joy to watch in the World Series as he batted .529 (9-for-17), solidifying his place as my favorite Yankee.

What is your fondest memory of the New York Yankees?

Obviously, the Chambliss home run in the 1976 ALCS rates very high but since I’ve already touched on that moment, the fondest will go to the three home runs by Reggie Jackson in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. A total of three combined pitches by three different pitchers and Reggie took them all deep. My mother (now deceased) was in another room watching something else on TV and I would run to her with each home run…so excited to tell her that Reggie had knocked another one out of the park. I am sure my mom could not have cared less about the Yankees, yet I remember how interested she seemed with each home run update. It was important to her because it was important to me.

It was a magical moment in Yankees history and certainly one that I will never forget. 

What do you think of when you see the interlocking NY of the Yankees?

Because the foundation of my Yankees fandom was created when I discovered Lou Gehrig through books which developed a deep sense of pride, the interlocking NY carries the history and tradition of baseball’s greatest franchise for me. It is a symbol of greatness, triumph and unity of the many excellent (and not-so-excellent) players that have worn the Pinstripes. I’ve always felt the Yankees have the very best cap insignia in Major League Baseball. Nothing else comes close.

I am proud to be a Yankees fan.   

Thank you, Scott. You are truly appreciated. I really enjoyed reading this, and I hope everyone else did too.

A Yankees Day in the Life: Justus Sheffield

To steal a few words from Scott Fiedler, which I guess were technically borrowed from myself in the first place, “Sonny Gray Sucks.” Yeah, I am a Sonny Gray fan and yeah, I am a wee bit disappointed in his performance since donning the Yankees pinstripes at the expense of three really good Yankees prospects. It sucks, but I am not worried. You know why? Because the Yankees have a deep farm system with more than a few blue-chip prospects in it including possibly their best starting pitching prospect that was last seen dominating Double-A pitching. His name is Justus Sheffield and he came to the New York Yankees via a trade with the Cleveland Indians involving Andrew Miller. Could 2018 be the year we see Sheffield reach the Major League level and the Bronx? Unfortunately, we will have to stay tuned for that, but while we wait we can all watch this amazing documentary as we try to see what it is like to spend a Yankees day in the life as Justus Sheffield.

Enjoy the video!

You Can’t Send Andujar or Austin Down, Can You?

The New York Yankees head into the weekend and onto the west coast as one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball right now. The Yankees beat up on the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins at home this week and look to continue their winning ways tonight when the team travels to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of Disney Land of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco of the Hollywood sign of not really Los Angeles but not really Anaheim either of Anaheim. The pitching has been better, the bullpen has been better, the defense has been better, and the offense has been amazing which has been led by Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and a couple members of the Baby Bombers, Miguel Andujar and Tyler Austin. The Yankees are hot and the scariest part for the rest of the league right now is that the team is also getting healthy, but when the likes of Brandon Drury, Greg Bird and others come back off the disabled list you can’t really send down either Andujar or Austin, can you? 

How could the New York Yankees in good conscience send down a man that is sitting up there with Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio in any discussion, especially a discussion that has to do with extra-base hits and offense. How could the Yankees also send down a man that not only took the fight to the Boston Red Sox, literally and figuratively, but also has filled in well both offensively and defensively at first base. You can’t, in my opinion. What kind of message does this send? Gone are the days of the contract dictating the playing time, at least I thought, and here are the days of earning your playing time and, again in my opinion, both Andujar and Austin have earned their playing time. 

So, what do you do when both come back off the disabled list and come back to the Bronx with the team? The easiest decision should be to designate Neil Walker for assignment. The Walker signing looked good on paper in the spring, but it hasn’t worked out and the need for his bat is no longer there. Walker was brought in to provide power at the plate and depth at both second base and first base. With the arrival of Gleyber Torres in the Bronx and the emergence of Austin, mixed in with the return of Bird and Drury, the need for Walker is no longer a priority for the team. DFA him, give him a handshake and send him on his way. 

That’s one spot, clearing the second spot won’t be so easy though. In my opinion it comes down to one of two things, either the team has to send Ronald Torreyes down to the Minor Leagues and use up his last minor league option, or the team has to temporarily suspend GleyberMania for the time being. As much as it pains me to say it I have to say it because it makes the most baseball sense, Gleyber has to go back down. At least temporarily, and hopefully not for long. It just makes the most sense from a baseball perspective, not necessarily from a fan’s perspective. 

You have to keep Austin and Andujar as long as the production warrants it in my opinion, even if it means cutting ties with Neil Walker (sucks) and sending down their top prospect. It might not be a popular decision or opinion, but ultimately, I think it will be the best one. Stay tuned.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4/27

Good morning and Happy Friday to you all. I have a question for the Yankees fan base and everyone here on the east coast this morning. If a game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim happens in the middle of the damn night and no one on the east coast is around to see it (east coast bias and all), did it really happen? Well we are about to find out tonight as the Yankees travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels in a three-game weekend set. In the opener of the series tonight the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to stay dominant while the Angels counter with Andrew Heaney. It should be a fun one, even if I won’t get to see a lot of it.

Severino will look for his third straight victory tonight on the west coast as he opens up the weekend series tonight with the Angels. In Severino’s last two starts the Yankees right-handed ace has pitched a combined 13 innings against the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays allowing just one run and four hits combined to go along with three walks and a staggering 14 strikeouts.

Heaney will be making just his third start of the season tonight and already his second home start of the young campaign. Heaney was not sharp in his last start against the San Francisco Giants where he allowed seven earned runs on six hits with two walks in a loss for the Angels. Heaney will be making his second career start against the Yankees tonight, his first start coming back in June of 2015. Different team, different pitcher, different result tonight in Anaheim.

The game will be played at 10:07 pm ET inside Angels Stadium of Anaheim in California and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also follow along with the game with MLB TV, on the MLB At-Bat app, and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with the legendary duo of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Enjoy the game, ugh I hate west coast games… even on the weekends and go Yankees!!

Hello… West Coast Road Trips

Good morning everyone and a Happy Friday to you all. TGIF, we made it through another week. This Friday is especially important to me personally because I am moving this weekend. Long story short we were living in a house that we had an option to buy or rent-to-own. Well we had that option until the landlord’s house burned down. Thankfully everyone was safe, but it meant we were now without a place to live. I hate moving, I just moved into this house in August and I am already having to move out again. I hate it, but it is just one of those things in life I guess. Oh well.

I hope everyone has a better and more relaxing weekend than I have ahead of me, but as stressful or back breaking as it may be it will all be worth it in the end. I will still have my health, hopefully, and I will still have my family. I will still have my Kari and we will still have our three wonderful boys that we have together… and that is all I need in this world.

So, if I go quiet this weekend and into next week a little, now you know why. Enjoy your Friday, and your weekend. I love you all, especially you. Hey you.

This Day In New York Yankees History 4/27: Steinbrenner Sucks!

On this day in 1982 after Reggie Jackson left the New York Yankees via free agency for the California Angels he came back to Yankee Stadium and promptly hit a home run in a 3-1 Angels victory. The crowd was none to PLEASED and chants of "Steinbrenner Sucks" erupted while Jackson rounded the bases. FYI, George Steinbrenner the Yankees owner was in attendance in his press box on that day.
On this day in 1947 a crowd of 58,000 attended Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium to honor the Yankees legend. The crowd was treated to an old fashioned pitchers duel when the Washington Senators Sid Hudson beat the Yankees Spud Chandler 1-0.