Category Archives: Scandal

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.

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 33. Jeter HRs in Yanks 9-2 win.

Barring a playoff matchup, Derek Jeter played his last game in Anaheim last night and he made it one to remember, hitting his first HR of the year (257th lifetime, hit #3343) as the Yankees won 9-2. Jeter had another hit in the game and is currently at 3344.

Jeter was presented with a paddleboard before the game. He got a huge ovation from the fans after the HR and before his final at bat. You’d have thought you were in the Bronx.

Vidal Nuno (W, 1-0, 5.47) started and went 6 1/3, 1 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 3 K. He was staked to a five-run lead before he even took the mound.

Mark Teixeira had a two-run double in the top of the first, Yangervis Solarte a SF, and Brett Gardner and Brian Roberts had RBI singles. The Yanks were aided by two Angels’ walks, 2 errors and a WP.

Jeter made it 6-0 with his solo HR in the second. The Angels got one back in the bottom of the second.

In the eighth, John Ryan Murphy singled in two. Jeter grounded into a force in his last time up. Carlos Beltran flied out.

The Angels got a run off Betances in the bottom of the eighth.

Betances went 1 2/3, 1 R, 2 H, 2 walks and 2 K (2.08), and Preston Claiborne (1.00) pitched a scoreless ninth.

Ellsbury (.317), Jeter, Solarte (.306), Gardner and Murphy (.348) had 2 hits apiece.

Teixeira and Murphy each had 2 rbi.

The Yanks are off today. Friday night’s game in Milwaukee is a My9 game, Tanaka on the hill.

Tanaka will also need to bat. The Yanks lose the DH.

I’d be surprised if Tanaka does much with the bat. In his Japanese career, he was 3 for 37.

In case you missed it, Michael Pineda’s suspension ended May 6th, now it’s the DL he is on. As a result the Yanks are back to a 25-man team, and brought up Brendan Ryan off minor-league rehab and off the DL.

Game 23. Angels k-o Kuroda, 13-1.

With Nova out for the year (TJ surgery Tues.) and Pineda suspended, the Yanks have to have CC and Kuroda be solid and Nuno and Phelps step up while Pineda is out. Pineda can return May 5th.

Kuroda didn’t do his part last night, giving up 8 R, 6 ER in 4 2/3 as the Yanks got hammered 13-1. Kuroda falls to 2-2, 5.28. Bruce Billings made his Yankees debut and gave up 4 in 4 IP, even though he K’d 7.

Meanwhile, the Yanks’ offense continued its inconsistency. They were stymied by Lackey on Wednesday, got 14 Thursday but got just one run on six hits against C.J. Wilson and the Angels’ bullpen last night.  Jeter got career hit 3336.

The Yanks are still in first place by 1 1/2 games with a record of 13-10. An interesting tidbit—every AL East team has given up more runs than it has scored (of course, Yanks’ losses of 16-1 and 13-1 in the last week haven’t helped their run differential).

With Pineda out, the Yanks set up their rotation, and gave Tanaka, Kuroda and Nuno each an extra day off.

Kuroda went last night, Nuno goes today. Tanaka on Sunday. Monday is an off-day. CC Tues., Phelps Wed., Kuroda Thurs. vs. Seattle (and Cano’s return to the Stadium). Next weekend will see Nuno, Tanaka and CC against the Rays. Pineda should return (and hopefully will have learned his lesson) at Anaheim on May 5th.

Game 22. Yanks improve to 13-9 w/14-5 rout of Boston.

Boston was sloppy tonight (5 errors) and the Yanks took advantage, beating them 14-5. The Yanks have won 5 of 7 from Boston so far this season.

CC improved to 3-2. 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 w and 8 K. Shane Greene made his MLB debut and struggled (nerves?) 1/3 IP, 3 R (all unearned b/c of a Jeter error and a McCann PB). No hits, but 3 walks and the Jeter E.  Adam Warren 1 2/3 scoreless and David Robertson finished up. Nice to get D-Rob in a game out of hand after spending two weeks on the DL. Get his feet wet again.

ERA’s CC 3-2, 4.78. Greene 0.00 (3 unearned runs). Warren 2.19 and D-Rob 0.00.

The Yanks had 14 h, 12 walks in the game and Boston made 5 errors.

Ellsbury 3 h, 3 rbi. Jeter 2 h (3335), 2 rbi. Solarte 4 rbi. Teixiera HR #1

It’s funny how the Yanks top RBI guys batted 1st (Ellsbury) and 9th (Solarte) tonight.

Pineda got a 10-game suspension.

Game 21. Pineda ejected, Yanks lose 5-1.

The Yanks’ bats were stymied by John Lackey tonight as the Yanks lost to Boston 5-1, but the story of the game was the stupidity of Michael Pineda.

A few weeks ago, cameras caught pine tar on Pineda’s hand. MLB didn’t do anything, but it was basically a warning to Pineda. Don’t do it again.

So tonight, against the SAME TEAM (what, he didn’t think they’d be watching his every move after what happened the last time they met?), he has pine tar on his neck and gets ejected in the second inning.

STUPID.

It’s like speeding past a cop, getting a warning, then speeding on the same street in front of the same cop two weeks later.

Pineda, who was pitching great this year (now we know why), has a long way to go to redeem himself in my eyes, now.

STUPID.

When the Yanks traded for him, he showed up in spring training in 2012 overweight, tried too hard to force velocity and blew out his shoulder.

STUPID.

He missed all of 2012 and 2013. It looked like he was coming back nicely. Maybe not with the same velocity, but he was pitching well. Now we know why.

STUPID.

He faces a possible 10-game suspension—-just at the time when the Yanks lost a rotation member in Ivan Nova, who most likely faces Tommy John surgery (he’s getting a second opinion). Great. Miss two starts while your rotation is already down a member.

Did I mention Pineda is STUPID?

You can’t fix STUPID. Too bad Pineda is 6’7″. You’ll need a stool to stand on to deliver to Pineda what he needs….

a good, swift kick in the ass.   

Update: I forgot about Pineda’s DUI in August 2012.

STUPID.

As a result of his early ejection, the Yanks had to use the bullpen early. The next day, Preston Claiborne and Dean Anna were sent down and Bruce Billings and Shane Greene were called up. Greene made his MLB debut in Game 22. He was nervous, only got one out, and gave up three unearned runs (Jeter E, McCann PB).

Sending Anna down means Solarte is now the backup to Jeter. Ryan isn’t ready yet.

Moves b/c of Pineda being…

STUPID. 

A-Rod drops lawsuit

So Alex Rodriguez has apparently decided to take his medicine. He won’t be carrying his lawsuits into federal court. A-Rod, whose suspension was upheld but was reduced from 211 to 162 games, spent how much money on saving what, 49 games? In the meantime, he sued, or wanted to sue, everyone including his own team and union to save his butt. The only reason he probably dropped the suit was probably because estimates are that by proceeding, it would have cost him $10 million more in lawyer’s fees. That plus the $22 million he is losing this year b/c he won’t be playing. Right now the only thing keeping him going is probably the $61 MM the Yankees owe him from 2015-2017. Don’t think the Yanks wouldn’t like to just drop that and him.

…and A-Rod never did tell his side of the story under oath, did he? Not once did he take the stand in his own defense. His lawyer, both on 60 minutes, and in other interviews, comes across as really smarmy, doesn’t he? What a bunch of losers.

A .299 career b/a (if 2 of those outs would have been hits, it’d be rounded up to .300). 654 HR, 1951 RBI, between 2900-3000 hits. You wonder if after a whole year off, if he ever will come back to pass Willie Mays (660) in HR, get his 3000th hit or 2000th RBI. Frankly, I hope he never plays again.

If he does come back, it’d be at age 39 (40 in July 2015) and after a year off and two recent hip surgeries. His skills were declining pre-suspension to where he was becoming a slightly above average ballplayer. After the suspension?

You have to wonder why someone so rich, so talented, would stoop so low as to even have the phone number (as Bob Costas pointed out) of scum like Bosch. Stupidity, greed, no moral compass…. Without the junk, he would have been known as one of the greatest players ever, and that would have happened even if his numbers weren’t asterisked or artificially enhanced. If he would have been completely clean, and wound up with say a .290 average instead of .299, 554 HR instead of 654 and 1800 RBI instead of 1951, would he be in the HOF instead of (as it now appears) never getting in? You bet, if clean, he’d have been a shoo-in with those kinds of numbers. The same goes for other players who won’t get in. If the numbers of Palmeiro, Bonds, and Clemens (to name just three) would have been slightly lower, they STILL would have had HOF credentials. So why do it?

It’s all about THEM. Greed. Selfishness. And I have no sympathy towards them whatsoever.

In other baseball news, Fernando Rodney went to Seattle. There were some Yankees fans hoping the Yanks would sign him to go with Robertson. Not me. He can take his me-first, hot-dogging, arrow-shooting act elsewhere. Give me TEAM players.

Bronson Arroyo finally got a deal—with Arizona. The guy does eat innings. While just a slightly above average pitcher, he has given 200 or more innings each year since 2005, except for one year where he missed by one inning or so.

A friend recently asked me for my prediction for the Yanks this year. I replied that it was too early to do so. I want to see who gets hurt in spring training (remember Michael Pineda showing up out of shape and then getting hurt in 2012?) and what late pickups there are. Remember that the Yanks picked up Lyle Overbay basically just on the eve of Opening Day last year. Remember the unexpected spring training injuries to Granderson and Teix. How many of you remember that the guy getting the most reps at first base in spring training last year was Juan Rivera? Given all that, I won’t make any predictions until the eve of Opening Day. Too many things can happen between now and then.

Sojo on AAA coaching staff.

No surprise, A-Rod is going to federal court with his appeal of the suspension ruling. One, I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Two, even if he pulls off a miracle and wins, when will that be? August?

I have a friend who during spring training is a security guard outside the Yankees clubhouse. So if MLB and/or the Yanks bar A-Rod from spring training, and A-Rod wants to enter the clubhouse, does this mean my friend has to tell him to buzz off?

Luis Sojo is now a coach with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, about an hour’s drive from me.

Another minor league deal. Switch-hitter Yangervis Solarte, who in AAA for Texas hit .276-12-75 in 2013 and .288-11-54 in 2012. Solarte, 27 next July, hasn’t played in the majors yet. Mostly 2b/3b and some SS/LF/RF.

A-Rod suspension announced. All of 2014, including postseason.

The arbitrator announced A-Rod’s suspension today, and the reduction wasn’t too much. Instead of 211 games, he gets 162—all of this 2014 season, including the postseason, if the Yanks make it there.

It could be we’ve seen the last of A-Rod, who, if he tries to come back in 2015, would be doing so at age 39 1/2 (he’d turn 40 in July 2015) after missing a full season and after having two hip surgeries. You don’t know… come 2015 the Yanks could just say screw this, we’re sick of it and then eat the final three years of A-Rod’s deal. I hope so. I’m tired of the circus.

Alex will of course fight this, but even if he somehow wins (I can’t see it happening), that “victory” would come when, August?

If this is the end for Alex, he falls a bit short of some milestones. His 654* HR are six short of Willie Mays’ 660 (asterisk intentional), ranking him fifth on the all-time list. The .244 average he put up last year knocked his career average down to .299. He was TWO hits away from having that rounded up to become a .300 hitter. He would end with 2939 hits, 61 short of 3000, and he would end with 1969 RBI—31 short of 2000. Baseball-reference. com lists Aaron, Ruth and Cap Anson as the only three to reach the 2000 RBI plateau, and there are problems with Ruth and Anson. Anson’s first five years, (1871-1875) were in a league not recognized by MLB as being major league. Also, RBIs weren’t an official statistic until 1920, making some of Ruth’s total unofficial. Anyway, you can see what an exclusive club 2000 RBIs are (Barry Bonds finished four short and Gehrig five short).

The Yanks opened up roster space for Matt Thornton yesterday by DFA-ing Vernon Wells. Wells hit .233-11-50 for the Yanks last year, but had just one HR after mid-May.

As for now, the Yanks could do a few things. They could platoon Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez at 3B. They could move the aging (40 in June) Jeter to third because of his diminishing range and play good-field/no-hit Brendan Ryan at short.

I’d rather re-sign Mark Reynolds, who had a brief cameo with the Yanks last year and who wants to return.

A-Rod hit .244-7-19, OPS+ 111 for the Yanks last year. 156 at bats in 44 games. If you multiply that by 3, you’d get 132 games, 468 at bats, about a normal full season for one who turned 38 last July. That means .244-21-57. OPS+ 111. No great shakes. Yes, he was coming off hip surgery, but no great shakes, anyway. Clearly a fading player.

Reynolds, 30, played in 36 games for the Yanks and had 110 at bats. .236-6-19. OPS+ 104. Overall, with Cleveland and the Yanks, he played in 135 games, had 445 at bats and hit .220-21-67, OPS+ 96 with 154 strikeouts. Lower BA and OPS than A-Rod, but power-wise about the same. If he is re-signed, and platooned with Johnson at third, the Yanks could get back some of the power lost by losing A-Rod. Reynolds, being 30, may at this point be a better option than the fading Alex.

Reynolds’ 162-g. average is just .233, but 33 HR and 93 RBI (but 209 K). OPS+ 108. Low average, lot of K’s, but a lot of power potential.

If the Yanks re-sign him, they could put out a lineup that could look like this (assuming Gardner isn’t traded for someone like Homer Bailey):

Ellsbury CF
Jeter SS
Beltran RF
Soriano DH
McCann C
Teixeira 1B
Reynolds 3B
Roberts 2B
Gardner LF

DH would, of course, need to be rotated between the aging (40 in June) Jeter, the 38-year-old Soriano and Beltran. Kelly Johnson figures in here, platooning with Reynolds (batting 7th) or filling in for Roberts (batting 8th then).

Signing Michael Young is another option, but I’d prefer Reynolds’ power. Young is aging himself. He is 37. One concern going into 2014 was if A-Rod returned, you’d have an old left side of the infield with one guy 40 in June and the other 39 in July. Those concerns would not be alleviated much with a SS 40 in June and a 37 year-old 3B in Young. Young hit .279-8-46 for the Phils and Dodgers last year. He is a true pro, but only had 8 HR for Texas in 2012. His power is fading, unlike Reynolds (whose problems are in meeting the ball). Young’s OPS+ was 102 last year but just an 80 in 2012. A .300 hitter, Young averaged .278-8-56 over the past two years, OPS+ 90.

I like Young, but would rather go for the power potential Reynolds provides as well as the youth. Jeter, Beltran, Soriano and Teixeira are all on the other side of their prime years (the downside), and that isn’t even including Roberts, who hasn’t played much the past four years. Adding more age in Young isn’t the way I’d like to go. I’d rather have Reynolds. We’ll see.