Thursday, April 12, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/12

Game time once again ladies and gentlemen as Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox prepare to welcome in the New York Yankees one last time during this three-game set. In the finale of the series that renewed the rivalry for the 2018 season the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound to face off against Rick Porcello for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, NESN and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with the legendary John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

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 everyone, destroy these Red Sox, and go Yankees!!

Quick Hit: If You Didn’t Need To… Then Why Did You?

Simple question, but the answer may not be so simple. I know this isn’t really Yankees related at all but as I have been one of the most outspoken people and writers I know about the steroid era, whether these players should be in the Hall of Fame, etc. I feel like I should and want to touch on this a bit. This week Mark McGwire gave an interview to The Athletic about his 70 home run season in 1998 and, of course, his steroid use.

McGwire, now a bench coach with the San Diego Padres, hit 70 home runs in 1998 with the St. Louis Cardinals setting the then single-season home run record mark, passing the Yankees legend Roger Maris who hit 61 home runs in 1961. Later McGwire admitted steroid use during his playing career, including during the 1998 season, but this week said he could have hit 70 home runs in a season regardless of whether he was taking performance enhancing drugs. Okay, cool…. Then why didn’t you?

McGwire said there was “no way” he would have used illegal and banned substances if they were tested for in 1998 and during his playing career. Listen, I totally get why McGwire, or anyone did steroids. If there was something I could do at my job that could make me millions of dollars I would at least consider it. If it were against the rules, I probably wouldn’t, and if it was downright illegal then I definitely wouldn’t, but if there is a little gray area… I’m sorry… but I am going to exploit that if I ethically can. That’s what the steroid era was, and it doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is, and it is what it was. At the same token though I wouldn’t come out years later and profess how I could have matched those same totals without my shortcuts at work either, because that’s just being an egotistical douche to me.

Only my opinion, what’s yours? Leave it below in the comments section or shoot us a line over on Twitter, @GreedyStripes.

The Last Time the Red Sox Spanked the Yankees…

Let’s not mince words, let us not beat around the bush and let’s leave all the equivocation at the door. The New York Yankees got spanked by the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday to the tune of a 14-1 final score. While my beautiful girlfriend sat in bed with me working from home, she is a CPA so this is crunch time for her, I laid there beside her disgusted while I watched the game on my phone. I am not disgusted because I forgot the very real fact that every day is a new day in Major League Baseball, but I was because of the backlash that I was sure to read on Twitter. The Red Sox fans bragging, the Yankees fans running around trying to avoid the sky from falling on their heads, etc. I just avoided social media altogether, but today I am feeling a little more level-headed and today I remembered that one game is just that, one game. There’s theoretically 161 others throughout the course of an MLB season and this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time, that either the Red Sox spanked the Yankees or vice versa. Life went on then, and life will again, but just in case you were doubting that as a Yankees fan base this week I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone reading just what happened the last time the Red Sox spanked the Yankees. 

The date was five years ago on Saturday, June 1 of 2013. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox were facing off head-to-head inside Yankee Stadium and the pitching matchup was Phil Hughes (Yankees) vs. Felix Doubront (Red Sox). The final score was 11-1 in favor of the Red Sox in a game that took a shade under three-and-a-half hours to complete. The Red Sox were in first place at the time while the Yankees were in second place trying to chip away at the early lead by Boston. While New York didn’t that night, and things probably looked at grim then as they did Wednesday morning when everyone woke up, looking at the rest of the season may give us all some hope. 

The Yankees finished the 2013 season with an 85-77 record, but an embarrassing 6-13 record with the Red Sox head-to-head. The Yankees spent just 17 days in first place that season and the team missed the postseason entirely. Now why would this give us Yankees fans hope? Well the starting lineup on that day for New York was Brett Gardner, Kevin Youkilis, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Vernon Wells, Jayson Nix, David Adams, Ichiro Suzuki and Chris freaking Stewart. That’s disgusting just reading that, and this 2018 team is much more talented, much deeper and flat out better than the team Brian Cashman and company put out there in 2013. Despite this lopsided loss at the hands of the Red Sox and despite a roster that rivaled some team’s Triple-A team in 2013 the Yankees won 85 games in 2013, so what do you think the 2018 version of the Yankees will do with a much deeper roster? 

The team will bounce back, they will win, and this game will just be a blip on the radar come October. The sky didn’t fall, and the world didn’t end back in 2013, and it won’t here in 2018 either. Calm down, exhale, and let’s get back to winning baseball games in this rivalry tonight inside Fenway Park.

Meet a Prospect: L.J. Mazzilli

The New York Yankees made an interesting move this week when they swapped outfielder Kendall Coleman for New York Mets prospect L.J. Mazzilli. It was interesting to see Mazzilli join the organization that currently employs his father, Lee Mazzilli, who is a special advisor to the Yankees front office, and his twin sister and YES Network personality Lacey Mazzilli. While trading Coleman makes sense for the Yankees, the former 11th round pick has struggled in Low-A ball since his drafting in 2013, it hurts a bit as a fan as I have grown close to Coleman and even interviewed him shortly after the Yankees drafted him here on the site. I will try not to hold my fandom and personal feelings against L.J. as I introduce him to the Yankees and Greedy Pinstripes faithful here this morning. This is Meet a Prospect: The L.J. Mazzilli Edition.

Lee Louis Mazzilli Jr. was born on September 6, 1990 in Greenwich, Connecticut to former MLB player and pitching coach Lee Mazzilli and his wife Dani. Lee Louis, or L.J. which stands for Lee Jr., played Little League Baseball while in Greenwich and even won a Little League Home Run Derby at the age of 12 before truly beginning his amateur career at Greenwich High School. Mazzilli later transferred to Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, New York due to their stronger baseball program before ultimately ending up at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for his senior year of High School. All the bouncing around did some good for Mazzilli as the shortstop was able to enroll at the University of Connecticut where he continued his amateur baseball career.

While playing for the Connecticut Huskies baseball team Mazzilli was moved to second base as the Huskies had Nick Ahmed already manning the shortstop position. Mazzilli showed great potential with his bat as a freshman, sophomore and junior garnering the attention of the Minnesota twins who selected Mazzilli in the ninth round, 280th overall, of the 2012 MLB First Year Players Draft. Mazzilli ultimately decided not sign with Minnesota despite being offered a $260,000 signing bonus and returned to UCONN for his senior season. The decision turned out to be a good one for Mazzilli who hit .354 with 51 RBI and 29 stolen bases as a senior.

The New York Mets selected Mazzilli in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft with the 116th overall selection and was immediately signed to the New York-Penn League. Mazzilli was named to the Short Season All-Star team in 2013 before earning a promotion to Class-A Ball and the South Atlantic League (SAL) for the 2014 season. Another year and another All-Star Game appearance for Mazzilli in 2014, this time earning the nod in the SAL All-Star Game, before making stops in Class-A Advanced, Double-A and even Triple-A with the Las Vegas 51s before the end of the season.

The 2014 season was kind to Mazzilli but the offseason before the 2015 season could not say the same. During the 2014-2015 offseason Mazzilli was suspended for the first 50 games of the season after failing a second test for “drug abuse.” Mazzilli was assigned to Double-A Binghamton for the remainder of the 2015 season where he would remain for the rest of that season and for the majority of the 2016 season. In August of 2016 Mazzilli found himself back in Triple-A with Las Vegas, where he finished the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Mazzilli, drafted as a second baseman, was learning the outfield position with the Mets which led to the slow down in progression for him as a prospect.

Mazzilli was back in Triple-A to begin the 2018 season before the need for infield and outfield depth at the upper levels of the organization led the New York Yankees to come calling. The Yankees traded Coleman to the Mets thus bringing Mazzilli to the team and to the organization. Welcome, L.J.! Do us proud.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/12

Good morning Yankees family. Tonight the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will finish off their three-game set inside Fenway Park with a third consecutive exciting pitching matchup. We have seen Severino v Sale and we have seen Tanaka v Price, and tonight we will all hopefully be entertained by the pitching matchup of Sonny Gray v Rick Porcello. On most teams these two starters would be the respective aces on their teams, but in New York and Boston they are 3rd and 4th starters which goes to show you just how deep these two rosters really are. This rivalry has been renewed and it should be fun to watch for a long, long time.

Gray earned his first victory of the season last time out when he took the ball against the Baltimore Orioles. In the start Gray allowed three runs on four hits in six innings, but Gray will have to be much better than that to beat Boston tonight inside Fenway Park. During Gray’s career the Yankees right-hander has posted a 1-4 record with a 4.93 ERA in six career starts against the Red Sox including an 0-2 record and a 6.75 ERA inside Fenway Park. Wicked bad.

Porcello is off to a strong start here in 2018 and will look to keep that going tonight against the Yankees. Porcello is already 2-0 on the young season, albeit against weaker opponents than the Yankees on paper, and will look to make that 3-0 tonight in Fenway. Porcello has made 18 career starts against the Yankees and owns an 8-8 record with a 3.27 ERA against the Bronx Bombers.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park in Boston and can be seen on the YES Network, NESN and MLB 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.

Enjoy the game, leave Boston with a win, and go Yankees!

Hello… Don’t Feed the Troll

Good morning everyone. Enjoy your stay, and don’t feed the trolls. I am not going to name names here because I am not going to give them the glory and the attention they so want and need, but I am going to rant here just for a second. I was checking Twitter Tuesday afternoon before the game and what I saw was not only disgusting, it was infuriating. This was coming from professional writers with blue checks by their names as well, something that I have always hoped and dreamed for on Twitter and something that I would take very seriously if the opportunity were ever to arise.

Red Sox writers and fans were blatantly trolling and baiting Yankees fans before the game. That’s fine I guess, it’s part of sports and if you guys want to do that, you do you. I am not innocent and couldn’t say with a straight face that I have never done it. What irked me the most was, and again this is coming from professionals and not just your every day run-of-the-mill fan, the bragging about “owning” the Yankees fan base and basing their success of their Twitter account and work by how upset they make Yankees fans. It just wasn’t cool and was a bit unprofessional if you ask me.

I will cut up with Red Sox fans, Mets fans, hell I have been known to give a Yankees fan or two crap when they give up on their team or trash talk just for the sake of trash talk. Trash talk is trash talk and it is a huge part of sports fandom, but when you seemingly get off and gloat about it as a professional writer… well you’re just embarrassing yourself and everyone who wants to be you. Everyone who wants the blue check by their name. Everyone who wants the recognition, the respect and the subsequent “power” that comes along with your position as a writer. Instead, you use that power to troll Yankees fans, and in a disgusting and vulgar way which goes above and beyond the norm of “trash talking.”

Yankees fans, don’t feed the troll. They aren’t worth the effort, and as of Tuesday they aren’t worth the follow either. Have fun in your little part of the world, and I’ll enjoy mine. Mindless trolling and projections never got anyone anywhere though, and I hope you stumble upon this and remember that.

Less rants, more love. Kari, I love you. Thank you for being you, thank you for being mine and thank you for being my own personal troll (had to keep this on topic you know… because I am professional and stuff). I love you and I am going to marry you one day. You remember that.

Enjoy your day everyone.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/12: Pope on a Rope Soap

On this day in 2008 the Yankees Low A affiliate, the Charleston Riverdogs, commemorate the first visit of Benedict XVI to the United States with a Pope on a Rope Night promotion. The first 1,000 fans received a soap figurine which looked like the Holy Father.

Also on this day in 1953 Mickey Mantle was informed via the public address announcer that Mickey Mantle had just became a father. Mickey Mantle Jr. was the first of four sons by Mickey and Merlyn. Here is the Brooklyn Dodgers announcement at Ebbets Field: "Mickey doesn't know it yet but he has just become the father of an eight-pounds, twelve ounce baby boy."

Also on this day in 1935 the Yankees named Lou Gehrig the fifth captain in their history. The then 33 year old first baseman joined Hal Chase(1912), Roger Peckinpaugh (1914-1921), Babe Ruth( six days in 1922), and Everett Scott(1922-1925).

Finally on this day in 1931 former Chicago Cubs Joe McCarthy made his managerial debut for the New York Yankees. The future Hall of Fame manager, who has the most wins of any manager in Yankees history with 1,460, saw eight pennants and seven World Series titles during his 16 years in the Bronx.