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. 

HELLO Opening Day!

Good morning everyone and welcome to the greatest day of the year. No, it isn’t your birthday and it certainly isn’t Christmas either. It’s Opening Day!! The New York Yankees have a young team, but they have a hungry team that will not be sneaking up on anyone here in 2018. The cloak and dagger have been dropped, and in it’s place is a hammer capable of bringing rain down on the entirety of Major League Baseball. With a lineup as deep as I may have ever seen it, a pitching staff as young and talented as it has been in years, and a bullpen that may never be matched ever again during my lifetime the time to win is now. The pressure is on, but this team has proven it can handle pressure. This team has proven it can handle expectations. This team has proven that it can win against all odds, now all that’s left is to do it.

The time for talking has passed, and the time for speculation has ended. The games finally mean something again. The stats begin getting compiled again today. Today, we start spreading the news again. First the first time officially in the 2018 season, I leave you with this. Go Yankees!!

And beautiful, don’t think I forgot about you. I never could, I never have, and I never will. Today our forever continues, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you Kari Ann.

This Day In New York Yankees History 3/29: The Yankees 9/11 Tribute

On this day in 2009 the Evil Empire struck again as they placed a permanent September 11 memorial at the entrance of George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees Spring Training home in Tampa, Florida. The tribute showcased a foundation in the shape of the Pentagon that supported two towers made from steel from the World Trade Center that was placed on a grassy spot representing where United Flight 93 was hijacked and flown into the Earth in Pennsylvania. The Red Sox did nothing.

Also on this day in 1975 the Yankees released Mel Stottlemyre after he tore his rotator cuff. Mel finished with a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA with 40 shutouts before he became New York's pitching coach.

Finally on this day in 1948 the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played an exceptionally long exhibition game that went 17 innings, unheard of nowadays. The game still ended in a 2-2 tie in a four hour and two minute game. The Yankees scored a run in each of the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings to keep the game tied and moving along. New York had the winning run at third base in the bottom of the 17th inning but Frank Crosetti attempted a bunt to squeeze the runner home and failed.