Category Archives: Scandal

Yanks trade Cervelli; CYA winners announced

The Yanks traded backup C Francisco Cervelli to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for LH reliever Justin Wilson. Wilson, 27, was 3-4, 4.20 for the Pirates in 2014. He has a 2.99 career ERA.

Cervelli, 28, hit .301-2-13 with the Yanks in 2014, OPS+ 126 in 49 games. He is a .278 career hitter, OPS+ 97 for his career. His 162 g. average is .278-6-60. You wonder if, after the Biogenesis suspension, the Yanks were looking for just the right deal to dump him.

As for A-Rod, no dumping him. Too much $$$$. Not so with Cervelli.

The funny thing is that Pirates starting catcher, Russell Martin, is a free agent and now the Pirates have Chris Stewart and Cervelli, all three going from the Bronx to the “Burgh.”

This clears up a bit of a logjam that the Yanks had at catcher. Brian McCann remains the starter, but it appears as if John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine will compete for the backup job, with the loser of the competition going to AAA to play there along with prospect Gary Sanchez.

The Yanks also signed a minor league lefty, 26 yr. old Jose De Paula, yesterday. De Paula is 33-27, 3.86 in his minor league career.

MLB announced the CYA winners yesterday. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw won the NL CYA unanimously. It’s his second straight Cy Young award and third in four years. He finished second in 2012. The AL CYA winner was Corey Kluber of Cleveland.

 

A-Rod ‘fesses up, a tragedy, and Gardner gets surgery.

No surprise to anyone, but A-Rod ‘fessed up to the DEA in January that he was taking PED’s supplied by Biogenesis, with his cousin as the procurer. Then why all the denials, money paid to lawyers, lies, etc. What a waste. Imagine all the money he could have saved, not to mention his reputation, if he had just never done the stuff in the first place.

…and the Yanks have three more years of this guy. Their best bet is that he just retire, but that won’t happen, and the Yanks won’t just release him and eat $61MM. Alex can achieve three major milestones* this year: catching Willie Mays on the all-time HR list, RBI #2000 and hit #3000 but will anyone care? Maybe for all these achievements* they can give him a standing boo.

Sad news. Brad “Admiral” Halsey, who pitched for the Yanks in 2004 and was later included in a deal to net Randy Johnson for the Yanks, died in a recreational climibing accident. He was just 33.

Brett Gardner had surgery to repair a core muscle near his ribcage which hampered him at the end of the season.

 

WS Game 4. SF evens it up.

Hunter Pence had 3 hits and 3 RBI, and the Giants’ bullpen tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief after starter Ryan Vogelsong was knocked out in the third. Down 4-1 after 2 1/2, San Francisco came back to win 11-4 and even the World Series at two games apiece with Game 5 Sunday night.

Pablo Sandoval, seeking to become only the fourth player to win two WS MVPs in his career (Koufax, Gibson, Reggie Jackson; Sandoval won it in 2012), chipped in with two hits and two rbi.

I find it funny that there was talk over the Internet yesterday about the Giants possibly watering down the basepaths in order to slow down Kansas City’s running game. Heck, they did it in 1962 to try to slow down Maury Wills. It isn’t new… especially in San Francisco.

Baseball resumes/Yogi/The SS search

The ALCS gets started tonight with Game 1 between Baltimore & KC. The NLCS starts tomorrow between SF and StL.

Meanwhile, sad and disturbing news. Late Tues. night or early Wed. morning, professional thieves broke into Yogi Berra’s Museum. Items stolen include his WS rings and MVP trophies. I hope the scumbags are caught soon. Their punishment should be that every Yankees fan gets a bat and one good swing at these thieves, hitting their bodies wherever.

Yogi, of course, is devastated. The 89-year-old legend lost his wife earlier this year, and now this.

Cross J.J. Hardy off your wish list for Yankees’ SS. He won’t be going into free agency. Instead he signed a 3-yr. extension with the Orioles.

2015 Yankees: Image, Identity problems?

So the last of the Core Four (+ Bernie) is now gone. After farewell tours for Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, the focus won’t be on an individual player, but on the team’s performance.

Or will it?

The past two years, the focus was on two of the most respected players in baseball, and two future certain first-ballot Hall-of-Famers. The farewell vibe was good.

Two players who spent their whole career with one team. Who were leaders on and off the field. Jeter, in particular, was not only the face of the Yankees, but the face of baseball.

The Yanks may have an image problem in 2015. For who now becomes the face of the Yankees? Oh yeah, someone who is returning from a full-year suspension because of steroid abuse.

A-Rod. No Yankee in 2015 will have as much Yankee “tenure” as A-Rod.

Barry Larkin on ESPN mentioned about the lack of cohesivity with the Yanks. It’s one thing to go and sign different players each year to fill in positions. But it’s like trying to find the right piece to complete a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes the pieces don’t mesh.

With the core four and Bernie, you had cohesiveness. The extra pieces (Tino, O’Neill) fit in perfectly. But the Core Four and Bernie came up through the system. They played many years for the same team. They were leaders.

It is hard to find leaders among mercenaries. When your big names all came from other teams, who is the leader? CC, Teix, Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, A-Rod, Prado …. all brought in from elsewhere. Some, like Ellsbury, Tanaka and McCann, are too new to be leaders, and especially in the case of Tanaka, there is the language/cultural barrier.

Larkin mentioned the need for the Yanks to build from within. This may take years. There is no homegrown product, like a Mattingly, a Core Four (+ Bernie), who is a leader on this team right now. The closest thing to that would be the Yankees’ best player (according to WAR, Wins Above Replacement) of 2014—Brett Gardner.

No offense to Gardner, but do you consider him the face of and leader of the Yankees?

So who is the leader of the 2015 Yankees? Is it a guy who was suspended for all of 2014 and, let’s remember, only played in 44 games in 2013 because of his second hip surgery? A guy (A-Rod) who sued his very own union and in extension, the players themselves? His own teammates?

Here is a problem for next year’s team. The image of the Yanks will be A-Rod, and it won’t be a nice image. There will be attempts to celebrate certain accomplishments that A-Rod is looking to achieve in 2015. After all, he is just six homers from tying the great Willie Mays on the all-time list. He is 61 hits away from 3000. He is 39 RBI from 2000 and 81 runs scored from 2000.

But how “celebrated” will those achievements be? After all, they are tainted.

Is that what the “highlights” of 2015 will be? Celebrating tainted “accomplishments”?

After all, 2013 and 2014 didn’t bring much in the way of accomplishments other than the farewell tours of Mo and Derek. 85 and 84 win seasons. In both seasons, their Pythagorean records stated that they should have finished below .500 in both years. They weren’t exactly a pretty team to watch in both years, especially offensively. Often, they were flat out boring on the offensive side.

Without many true Yankees, or many who have been with the team say, longer than 2009, who becomes the leader? The face of the team?

It may very well be that it may have to be not a player, but the manager.

It may be that Joe has to be even tougher than usual. More the guy who ripped some players on Thursday. How that will play in a clubhouse of aging veterans, many with very few Yankees ties and who are, for lack of a better word, mercenaries, we won’t know. It may not go over well.

So there may be no identity or true leadership, and the face and image of the 2015 Yankees may be A-Rod.

I don’t know about you, but it’s not something I’m looking forward to.

The Yanks need to develop another Core Four + Bernie. It’s way beyond time to fix that farm system and bring up players who know and behave the Yankee way (all they have to do is follow the steps of Jeter and Mo, for example) and become leaders. It’s unfair to expect the on-the-field excellence of Jeter, Mo, Posada, Pettitte and Bernie, but the Yankees need a new image and new leader—from within. Someone who comes up through the system. Someone who becomes a star and is a true leader. Someone who becomes the face of the franchise with a good image.

Someone like Jeter and the rest of the Core Four + Bernie.

Who will it be? How long will it take?

As for now, the thought of A-Rod being the image and face of the Yankees, and maybe their “leader” doesn’t excite me in the least.

What about you?

 

Game 119. Yanks lose 4th straight, 5-3.

This was a killer. The Yanks’ offense didn’t do much, but they still had a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the 8th down in Baltimore. Dellin Betances was on the mound, and he’s been great all year.

But it was Betances’ third inning of work, a move that may have deeper complications, such as lost confidence in Warren or Whitley, both of whom have been struggling mightily lately, overwork of some members of the bullpen (especially because, with the lack of offense, there have been so many close games) or desperation.

Betances gave up a game-tying HR, then Shawn Kelley blew the game by giving up a 3-run HR in the same inning as the Yanks lost 5-3.

Forget the division. The loss puts the Yanks 8 behind Baltimore with 43 games to go. Only a drastic change and torrid hot streak by the Yanks and collapse by Baltimore will enable the Yanks to catch the Orioles. It looks like Baltimore will be the AL East champs. Getting tougher for the Yankees is trying to gain that second wild-card spot. At 61-58, the Yanks are 3 1/2 behind co-leaders Detroit and Seattle for that final playoff spot. Toronto is just ahead of the Yanks, 3 back. So the Yanks need to get hot and do some leap-frogging.

Francisco Cervelli gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with his 2nd HR of the season in the third inning.

Michael Pineda, making his first appearance in almost four months after the pine-tar incident and injury, pitched very well, giving up just one run in the fifth inning. 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. In his five starts this year, his ERA is 1.82, but his record remains at 2-2, a sign of the Yanks’ lack of support. It also shows Pineda’s talent if he is ever healthy and his head is screwed on straight (no pine-tar stupidity).L

In the bottom of the 8th, Jonathan Schoop proved to be a Yankee-killer again. His 11th HR of the season tied the game. It’s his 4th against the Yankees this year, one against Betances, and two against Tanaka. Go figure.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the 9th on an RBI groundout and got the tying run to the plate, but to no avail.

Betances 2 1/3, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 1.52.

Later in that same inning Shawn Kelley gave up a three-run HR to Adam Jones. That was the game.

Kelley (L, 2-4, 4.74) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K.

To make room for Pineda, the Yanks let Chris LeRoux go. You could see that coming when LeRoux was brought up a couple of days ago and Bryan Mitchell was sent down.

Brian McCann should be back on Saturday. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Sunday.

The Yanks are off today (Thursday).

Earlier in the day, Hal Steinbrenner commented on the disappointing offense (after all, he shelled out big bucks to bring in Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran) and refused to comment on GM Brian Cashman, who is a free agent after the season. Personally, I don’t blame Cashman. He brought in players with track records. Although Ellsbury has done OK (and truthfully, he shouldn’t be batting third, but…) McCann and Beltran have been disappointing and others who are gone didn’t play to former potential (Soriano, Roberts). Hal also said he expects A-Rod to rejoin the Yanks in 2015. That is something I’m not looking forward to. Alex’ talents have gone down in the last few years, he will be 40 in July 2015 and after a year off, who knows what he’ll have left. Not to mention the circus and baggage there will be…

Game 84. Yanks carry Tanaka to 7-4 win.

This year, Masahiro Tanaka has carried the Yankees. In his last start, he lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Boston.

It was time for the Yankees’ offense to return the favor.

Last night was the first night Tanaka didn’t get a “quality start”, after 16 consecutive quality starts to begin his MLB career.

Tanaka had his worst start as a Yankee, going 7 innings, giving up 4 R on 9 H, 0 walks and just 3 K. He improved his record to 12-3, and his ERA went up to 2.27.

Down 2-0 in the fifth, Carlos Beltran hit a 3-run HR (9) to give the Yanks the lead. It was the 367th HR of Beltran’s career. After an out, Zelous Wheeler, just called up from SWB, hit a HR in his second MLB at bat to put the Yanks up 4-2.

Tanaka gave up a run in the sixth before the Yanks gave him a cushion by scoring three times in the seventh. Ichiro walked, Wheeler singled, and Brendan Ryan doubled home a run. Brett Gardner singled in a run and Derek Jeter hit into an RBI force out to make it 7-3. Tanaka gave up a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 7-4.

Dellin Betances pitched the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.47.

David Robertson picked up his 19th save by pitching the 9th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 2.83.

The win put the Yanks back at .500, 42-42, 3 1/2 back of Toronto in the AL East.

Earlier in the day, disconcerting news on CC Sabathia. After his rehab outing on Wednesday, CC woke up with swelling and fluid in his knee Thursday. A setback.

In order to bring Wheeler up, Yangervis Solarte was sent down. Dean Anna was DFA’d. Meanwhile, Alfredo Aceves was suspended 50 games for marijuana usage.