Category Archives: Media

The Minors, 7-11-14.

AAA: SWB won 5-1. RF Jose Pirela 3 hits, rbi. (.324). How I wish the Yanks would call him and Refsnyder up. Of course, you’d have to determine who they would replace. C Austin Romine 3 H, 2 RBI. Up to .244 after a brutal start to this season.

AA: Trenton lost 5-4 in 10. I really am down on Manny Banuelos, once considered a pitching star of the future. Banuelos has not gone more than three innings in any start this year as the Yanks are bringing him along slowly after his recovery from surgery. But he has an ERA of 5.79 at Trenton this year. Last night 3 R in 2 2/3. Until I see him going six-plus innings and getting that ERA down, how can I be encouraged? 1B Zach Wilson solo HR. 3B Rob Segedin 2 doubles, 2 rbi.

High A: Tampa lost 2-1. Three players with two hits each.

Low A: Charleston’s game was postponed, but here is an interesting announcement the Charleston Riverdogs put on Twitter:

Charleston RiverDogs ‏@ChasRiverDogs · 21m
Thirty five years ago today our Pres Mike Veeck blew up disco records, on July 19 we will give @MileyCyrus & @justinbieber similar treatment

Game 83. Yanks fall below .500 with 6-3 loss.

Not the way to end a homestand, losing five in a row.

Maybe the road will do them some good.

The Yanks lost to the Rays today 6-3. Tampa sweeps the three game set at the Stadium.

Vidal Nuno was, well, Vidal Nuno. He drops to 2-5, 5.42 after going 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 8 H, 2 walks and 5 K. He faced one batter in the sixth after giving up 3 R, 2 earned.

Shawn Kelley, struggling since coming off the DL, let that inherited runner score, and another, by giving up a HR. 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.63.

The game got off on a good foot, when Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a HR (8). He tied his career high with that HR.

The Rays got a run in the third to tie it up, but Brian McCann Hit a HR in the bottom of the third (10) to put the Yanks up 2-1.

Tampa Bay tied it in the top of the fourth off of Nuno, then the Yanks went up 3-2 in the bottom half of the inning on a Gardner single. Gardner had 3 hits and 2 rbi in the game. He also threw a runner out at the plate.

But then Nuno gave up a run in the fifth and Kelley the 2-run HR in the sixth. Tampa Bay tacked on another run in the ninth.

Warren 1 1/3, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.82.

Huff 1 2/3, 1 R, unearned, 0 hits, 2 walks and 1 K. 4.73.

The Yanks were 1 for 9 with RISP.

The loss drops the Yanks under .500 to 41-42 and 4 1/2 behind Toronto in the AL East. They are still in 3rd, but 3 back of the 2nd place Orioles. They are five out of the last wild card spot.

Some A-Rod news coming from SI. Apparently he was approved by MLB to take some testosterone and some other strong PEDs in various years, including his MVP year of 2007. Rumors are he’s been using PEDs since his junior year in high school.

The Yanks are going big in the international market. Apparently five of the top 10 young international stars will be signing contracts with the Yanks and as many as 11 of the top 18. Now if just half pan out…

Game 74. O’s blank Yanks 8-0, beat Tanaka.

It was nice to see some people from both my Lehigh Valley Yankees Fan Club (with whom I went up to the Stadium for Old-Timer’s day via a bus trip) and also some members of Pinstripe Mania yesterday once I got to the Stadium.

It was also nice to see some great Old-Timer’s Day festivities and see Goose Gossage get a plaque for Monument Park.

It wasn’t nice to see what happened in the actual game, for the Yanks got blanked, 8-0, and Tanaka got the loss.

Tanaka didn’t pitch badly. In 15 starts this season, every single start has been a quality start.

He gave up two hits to lead off the game, but got out of it with a flyball and two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the first, Gardner tripled. At least we thought it was a triple to lead off the bottom of the first. Instead, upon review, it was determined that in sliding into third, Gardner came off the bag and was then out when he was tagged. Right there and then it probably wasn’t going to be the Yankees day, for he had beaten the throw.

Tanaka gave up a HR in the second, but settled in. After six innings, it was just 1-0 Orioles.

But the Yanks offense was doing nothing.

In the seventh, Tanaka gave up two runs. He went 7 innings, 3 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 6 K. Even with the loss, that puts him at 11-2, and his ERA is 2.11.

But the Yanks got four hits all game, two by Ichiro. No support.

Yangervis Solarte is 0 for 27 since June 8th. Hopefully he snaps out of it soon. Maybe he has to be sent down soon. Before you balk at that, remember that in 1951, the great Mickey Mantle, in his rookie season, had to be sent down for a while to get straightened out. But hopefully Solarte does get straightened out soon.

The game really got out of hand in the eighth, when Adam Warren came in and had nothing. Two Yankees errors didn’t help, even though the O’s Steve Pearce probably got away with baserunner interference.

Warren 1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.88.

David Huff pitched the 9th and gave up a HR. 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 5.76.

With the loss, the Yanks drop to 39-35 and into a tie for 2nd in the AL East with Baltimore. They are 1 1/2 back of Toronto and now go to Toronto for a three-game set. The Yanks and O’s are tied for the final WC spot, one pct. point above Seattle.

It appears the Yanks will be needing a starting pitcher and a bat soon. The trade deadline is five weeks away. Stay tuned.

Just to clarify one thing from the Old-Timer’s Day festivities: John Sterling, in announcing Joe Torre, stated that Torre was the second manager to win three consecutive World Series. He was wrong. Joe McCarthy was the first (1936-1939), Casey Stengel the second (1949-1953) and Joe Torre was the third (1998-2000). As a Yankees broadcaster, Sterling should have known that (not to be a curmudgeon about it, but…). I don’t know why everyone forgets about “Marse Joe” ‘s accomplishment.

Now the A’s won three straight WS from 1972-1974, but with two different managers. Dick Williams was there in ’72 & ’73, but it was Alvin Dark who skippered them in 1974.

Jesse Barfield homered off of David Cone in the Old-Timer’s game.

Game 66. Yanks blank A’s, 7-0.

David Phelps needed a game like this. After four consecutive bad outings, he needed a good one, and this one was as good as it gets.

Phelps tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings, just 2 hits, 3 walks and 4 K as the Yanks shut out Oakland, 7-0. The win improves Phelps’ record to 2-4, 4.32.

Dellin Betances pitched 1 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.63.

Jose Ramirez wrapped it up. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.08.

A combined two-hit shutout.

Finally, in the last two games, the Yanks’ offense has come around. In the first inning, Gardner, Jeter and Ellsbury all singled, Ellsbury’s knocking in Gardner, and Teixeira delivered a SF.

A single by Roberts, walk to Johnson and single by Gardner made it 3-0 in the second.

The Yanks broke it open with four in the eighth. With one out, Teixeira and McCann singled. After Beltran made out, Ichiro singled in a run, Roberts singled in another, with another run scoring on an error. A single by Kelly Johnson closed the scoring.

Gardner, Suzuki and Roberts each had two hits and an RBI. Jeter’s two hits put him up to 3379 for his career, 40 behind Yaz for 7th on the all-time hit list.

Maybe I should recommend Jeter be dropped in the lineup more often. Since I recommended that (and I’m not the only one. WFAN was stating it, and others), Jeter has raised his average from .254 to .275.

The win, the Yanks’ 4th in a row, puts their record at 35-31 and moves the Yanks into 2nd in the AL East, 3 1/2 behind Toronto. They have a one-game lead for the last WC spot.

Earlier in the day, the Yanks signed Heath Bell to a minor league deal and put him at AAA SWB. They are taking a flyer on him. Bell will be 37 in September. The three-time All-Star went 15-9, 2.36 and 132 saves from 2009-2011 for the Padres, but has gone 10-8, 4.91, 34 saves since. The Yanks picked him up after the Rays released him. This year for Tampa Bay Bell was 1-1, 7.27 in 13 games. Mark Montgomery was demoted from AAA to AA to make room for Bell.

Yanks to add 3B, but it is not Reynolds

From Twitter, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

Mark Feinsand ‏@FeinsandNYDN 8h
Doesn’t look like Mark Reynolds will be back with Yankees. NYY only offered him minor-league deal according to source. He won’t take that.

Reynolds D, BA and his strikeouts aren’t good, but he would have provided the power lost in the A-Rod suspension. Maybe the Yanks are just looking for D there now that Alex is suspended for the entire year but they do need some kind of a stick there. Last year was pathetic, and A-Rod’s mediocre .244-7-19, ops+ 111 line in 44 games was the best of the bunch. Youkilis had just 28 games. David Adams, Jayson Nix and Luis Cruz are now gone and you didn’t get much offensively there. Nix got the most time of anyone at 3b last year, .236-3-24, 13 SB. OPS+ 71. Adams got 140 at bats, .193-2-13, OPS+ 48. Youk 105 at bats, .219-2-8, ops+ 78. Then you had Cruz, Chris Nelson, Brent Lillibridge and Eduardo Nunez… let’s hope 3b isn’t a rotating door like it was in 2013 and there is a constant there.

Which is why I wanted Reynolds re-signed. But if the Yanks are offering just a minor-league deal, as Feinsand reported, it ain’t happening.

But one guy who is taking the minor-league deal is Scott Sizemore. I can’t say I’m too thrilled. It looks like another bargain shop (if so, I hope they are saving the $$$ for Tanaka). Dumpster-diving. Sizemore doesn’t look like much of an upgrade over the likes of what was there last year in Cruz, Nelson, Lillibridge, etc.

Sizemore, 29, is a righty bat who can play 2B (60 MLB games there) or 3B (97). In his MLB career, 160 games (full season’s worth) he has hit .238-14-70. OPS+ 95. A little pop, not as much as Reynolds. Average not inspiring. The thing is, 110 of those 160 games played came in 2011. Since then he has been battling injuries. He’s played in just two MLB games since 2011, and so I think he isn’t the answer at 3B.

I am wondering how much of a shot 27-year-old Dean Anna may get in spring training. Anna has only played in 53 games at 3B in the minors. He has mostly played 2B and SS. But besides 2B and SS, the lefty hitter has also played 3B, LF and RF. He hit .331-9-73 for SD’s AAA team last year and .271-10-47 for their AA team in 2012. But you wonder if Anna could be like Adams—decent minor league numbers but when he gets to the bigs, nothing. The only way to find out is to play him and see what he has.

But I’m a bit disappointed that Reynolds wasn’t offered a major league deal. Maybe the Yanks do find a diamond in the rough by dumpster-diving. But I’m worried about 2014 being like 2013, where for most of the season it was a “bum of the month club.”

If they were only offering Reynolds a minor-league deal, and signed Sizemore to one, then I am guessing that there may be no interest then in Michael Young. We’ll see if I am right.

A-Rod decision soon?

Now that the HOF inductees have been announced, we wait for the decision on A-Rod, which could come as early as today. There are reports that Alex may accept a suspension if it’s less than 100 games, to which I say, wouldn’t that be an admission of guilt? Why fight as he has, if he IS guilty? Besides, after his 2009 mea culpa of using while with Texas, how stupid is he to go back on the stuff? Really, I wish he’d just go away.

The Tampa Bay Rays signed ex-Yankee utility IF Jayson Nix. Reports are that ex-Yankee A.J. Burnett may retire.

The BBWAA suspended that writer who sold his ballot to Deadspin.com for one year and that writer won’t ever be allowed to vote for the HOF anymore. It’s too bad that they also didn’t do that for other writers, like the one who voted for Jack Morris and only Jack Morris, or the one who voted for Armando Benitez. Armando Benitez? Really?

Or, for that matter, kick off all 16 writers who did not vote for the winningest living pitcher, Greg Maddux. Maddux won 355 games, and never a whiff of PEDs. To find an MLB pitcher who won more games than Maddux over the course of their career, you need to visit a cemetery.

But then, 23 idiots did NOT vote for Willie Mays in 1979. TWENTY-THREE.

There will be someone who won’t vote for Mariano Rivera in 2019. I only wish we could identify that jackass now so that said jackass could have his ballot stripped from him NOW.

3 make HOF

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas made the Hall of Fame today.

Maddux is the winningest living pitcher (by one over Clemens), with 355 wins. He got 97.2% (75 is needed) of the vote. Shame to the 16 who didn’t vote for him.

His long-time teammate, Glavine, also a 300-game winner, got 91.9%. Thomas, who hit .301 with 521 HR (the same # as Ted Williams and Willie McCovey) got 83.7%

Craig Biggio, who had over 3000 hits in his MLB career, missed induction by two votes. Two. One writer sent in a ballot listing Jack Morris and no one else. He voted for no one from the steroids era. Will this asshole (and I hope he reads this, for that is what he is) also NOT vote for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera just because of the era they were unfortunate enough to play in? If so, then he is an asshole.

As for Morris, he got 61.5% and after 15 years on the ballot, drops off. Maybe he will be selected by the Veterans’ Committee. Mike Piazza got 62.2%.

Steroid, or accused steroid users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens got 34.7 and 35.4% of the vote, respectively. Sammy Sosa barely stayed on with 7.2% and Rafael Palmeiro, despite 3000+ hits and 500+ HR, drops off after getting just 4.4%.

The rule of 10 (a voter couldn’t vote for more than 10) seemed to hurt some players. Mike Mussina got 20.3%, Curt Schilling 29.2%. Others, like Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Alan Trammell were hurt. With the steroid (or accused) steroid users staying on the ballot, there is a backlog of good players there and sometimes it is now hard to decide on the best 10. Trammell or Edgar Martinez? Raines or Piazza, etc.

Next year, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez probably will be elected. Biggio is back, same with Piazza. Gary Sheffield, I think, will just miss next year despite his 500+ HR. I can’t see Nomar getting in. Smoltz, I think, will get in.

It’ll be a Braves weekend. Maddux and Glavine are most famous with their time in Atlanta and their ex-manager, Bobby Cox will be going in the same day. Joe Torre, getting in for his managing with the Yankees, played with and managed Atlanta.

As for Don Mattingly, he stays on the ballot but next year will be his last. He got just 8.2%.

Now for the decision on A-Rod.

Cashman pessimistic on retaining Cano?

Brian Cashman, in this NY post article

http://nypost.com/2013/12/02/cashman-pessimistic-on-yanks-re-signing-cano/

sounds pessimistic on the Yanks retaining Cano. Personally, if Cano refuses to budge from 9 yr. $250-$260MM (some $28-29MM/yr. to take him to age 39), let him go and go after Omar Infante or deal for Brandon Phillips. The Yanks offer of something like 7 yrs., $168 MM ($24 MM/yr to take him to age 37) is more than fair. There are other holes to fill and you can’t put all your eggs in Cano’s basket. Say he gets hurt? What then?

The Post also reports that the Yanks have offered Kuroda a one year deal to return. Kuroda was 11-13, 3.32 last year but is 39 and faded badly down the stretch. Still, the Yanks need him back, what with Pettitte retiring and Hughes going to Minnesota.

Another report is that A-Rod used the term “food” when texting or discussing PEDs with Biogenesis. It’s reported that the Yanks could be looking at bringing Eric Chavez back to play 3B if A-Rod’s suspension is upheld. Chavez played for the Yanks in 2011 and 2012 and his lefty bat translates to Yankee Stadium well, but he’ll be 36 soon and only once (2012 with the Yanks) has he played 100 games in a season since 2006. He’s too fragile in my opinion to be the regular, or possibly even a platoon 3B. Bring back Mark Reynolds, strikeouts and all. Reynolds enjoyed his brief time in NY late last year, can play 3b and has power. His low average and K’s are a problem, but you need someone who will be healthy, which you probably won’t get with Chavez.

Yanks targeting Japanese pitching star

Yeah, I know. You read the headline and are thinking about Irabu and Igawa and those memories just made you upchuck.

But according to the NY Post, the Yanks are serious about putting in a high bidding fee for 24-year-old Mashiro Tanaka of Japan. Tanaka’s team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, won the Pacific League championship, and Tanaka went 22-0, 1.23. Yes, those numbers are real. 22-0, 1.23. Tanaka turns 25 on 11/1.

The Yanks lost Pettitte to retirement, will lose Hughes to free agency, and don’t know what will happen with Kuroda. Pineda didn’t pitch in 2012, only 40 some innings in 2013 after shoulder issues. (In a recent column, I omitted Manny Banuelos. Why? Because he most likely won’t make the MLB team in the spring of 2013 after pitched only 24 some innings in 2012 and not pitching at all this year due to TJ surgery in 2012. Reports are that he is throwing and throwing well right now, and he turns 24 next March, but after a long period of inactivity, he probably needs to go back to AAA, where he’s only pitched 58.1 innings so far (2-4, 4.32). )

As for Tanaka, some think he’s better than Yu Darvish, and could be the best pitcher ever to come from Japan. Yankees fans have reason to be leery because Irabu was considered the “Nolan Ryan of Japan” and Igawa was a bust. Even Dice-K, who I hoped the Yanks would get, was only good for two years in Boston (33-15 in 2007-2008, 17-22 since then).

The Yanks could use pitching help. If this guy is the real deal, great. Go get him. The Yanks have been scouting the guy for a while, and I don’t believe it is with the same scouts who scouted Igawa (Just kidding. I sure as hell HOPE not!).

But if Yankees fans are wary about spending big bucks on another free agent pitcher from Japan, could you blame them?

The Tigers shut out the A’s in Game 5 and advance to play Boston in the ALCS. So the NLCS is Dodgers/Cards, the ALCS Tigers/Red Sox. All four of the teams four of the ORIGINAL sixteen teams (taking into account the Dodgers move from Brooklyn).

Nice piece by Phil Mushnick in the Post about Dick Stockton commenting on Marlon Byrd moving from one team to another over the past few years but not once commenting on his 50-game suspension. Why not, Dick?

I’m still working on looking at 2014, Part 3 (the infield/C/DH). Part 4 will be the outfield. Both parts should be coming soon, probably over the weekend.

Game 146. Yanks beat O’s 5-4

Robbie Cano’s 100th RBI of the season was a big one. A HR in the top of the 9th that broke a 3-3 tie as the Yanks beat Baltimore 5-4.

The Yanks scored in the first on a walk to Gardner, a SB (24) and a couple of groundouts.

Andy Pettitte gave up 2 in the third and another in the fourth.

He went 6 1/3, 3 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 3K. 4.04.

Granderson HR in the 5th cut it to 3-2 (5).

A-Rod HR in sixth tied it up (6, 653 career).

Kelley 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.96.

Robertson the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. (W, 5-1, 1.82.)

In the 9th, Cano, who had the RBI groundout in the first, hit HR #27 to put the Yanks up 4-3. It was RBI #100 on the year. Granderson tripled and Overbay got an infield hit to make it 5-3.

The Yanks needed that insurance run.

Mo got the first two guys in the 9th, but then gave up a double and single to cut it to 5-4. He then struck out Manny Marchado to end the game. Save #43 and #651 of his career.

1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and and 1 K. 2.34.

A lot of moves lately. SS Brendan Ryan was picked up for a player to be named later from Seattle. Good field, no hit and not postseason eligible. Jim Miller was DFA’d. Mike Zagurski (LHP) added. Jeter was shut down for the year.

Not only that, but the Yanks move from WCBS 880 AM to WFAN 660 AM next year.

Update: With the Rays’ loss to Boston late last night, the Yanks are just 1 game out of the last wild card spot. Go figure.