Tag Archives: Rivera

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.

Needed: New bullpen coach

Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News tweets that the Yanks will be looking for a new bullpen coach. Mike Harkey is leaving to become the pitching coach for the Diamondbacks.

If only Mo would take the job. (I can dream, can’t I?)

Baseball news.

From Lohud, with my comments:

• The Yankees first significant signing of the winter — if you call it that — could be shortstop Brendan Ryan. The team is said to be “close” to a deal that would bring Ryan back as infield insurance. He’s an elite defender, and he had his moments with the bat during his brief Yankees tenure this season.

My thought? Ryan is a great defensive SS who can’t hit. It may be time to get Jeter off of SS and to DH him much more often (the same can be said for A-Rod and 3B if he comes back).  

• Knowing the Yankees are in the market for a shortstop, Derek Jeter spoke at Joe Torre’s foundation gala and said he still fully expects to be the Yankees everyday player at the position next season. Jeter has started his offseason workout and said he feels good. He expects to be 100 percent healthy in 2014.

• Brian Cashman made it clear that the Yankees will tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli, meaning Cervelli will be back in some capacity next season. Chris Stewart might not be back.

My thoughts? Let Cervelli go. Let Stewart go too. Get someone like McCann or go for Pierzynski on a one-year deal to let Romine, Murphy and/or Sanchez develop. I’m down on Cervelli what with that suspension. Stewart, although good defensively, can’t hit a lick.

• The Arizona Fall League season came to an end. Vidal Nuno probably had the most impressive numbers of all the Yankees prospects assigned to the league. The numbers from Peter O’Brien and Mason Williams showed a mix of good and bad, while the most significant Yankees news coming out of Arizona was the early decision to pull Tyler Austin because of ongoing wrist issues.

I liked Nuno. He had a good spring training, is a lefty (needed since Andy retired) and was 1-2, 2.25 in 20 IP (5 g., 3 starts) for the Yanks last season. His season came to a quick end. I’d like to see more of him. Does he have what it takes to be successful over a full season?    

• Nothing official yet, but it certainly sounds like the Yankees are going to play two exhibition games in Panama next season. The trip would be a sort of gesture of thanks to Mariano Rivera, who’s from Panama and would, presumably, make the trip.

Yankees give qualifying offers to 3

Mariano Rivera was named the A.L. Comeback Player of the Year today. Meanwhile, the Yanks gave qualifying offers to 3 players: Cano, Kuroda and Granderson. Should they sign elsewhere, the Yanks get a compensatory draft pick.

Cano is expected to refuse, since he can get over $14.1MM in free agency. Kuroda is anyone’s guess. It would be a $900K decrease from last year. With Kuroda, will he come back, retire, become a free agent or go back to Japan?

Granderson is iffy. Will he accept it? He did miss 100 games due to two broken bones (HBP twice) last season. Will he accept the offer and attempt to rebuild his value? Or will he take free agency instead? We’ll see.

Game 162. Yanks win finale in 14, 5-1.

For a while, it seemed like the season and this game would never end.

But end it did and the Yanks won 5-1 in 14 to finish their season 85-77, tied with Baltimore for 3rd in the AL East, 12 out of the division lead and six out of that 2nd wild card slot.

Speaking of which, Tampa Bay has to fly from Toronto to Texas to face the Rangers Monday night in a one-game matchup to determine who IS the second wild-card. The winner flies to Cleveland to face the #1 WC Indians in a one-game playoff Wed. to determine the AL wild card.

I fear this season may be the last winning season for the Yanks for a while.

Houston ended the season on (I believe, I may be off by a game) a fifteen game losing streak. They end 51-111. Ugh. The Yanks struck out 19 Astros in 14 innings.

David Huff started and went 5. 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and  7 K. Overall ERA 5.50 (Cle/NYY).

Brett Marshall 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 4.50.

Dellin Betances 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 10.80.

Preston Claiborne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.11.

David Phelps 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 4.98.

Matt Daley 2 IP (W, 1-0, first MLB win), 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.00.

David Robertson finished, no save situation. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.04.

Down 1-0 in the 8th, the Yanks tied it on a double by Nunez and single by Granderson.

In the 14th, Reynolds HR’d (21). After two strikeouts, Ryan and Almonte singled and Nunez doubled in two. Murphy singled in Nunez.

Before the game, Mo was feated. He received gifts and apologized to the Astros’ fans for not pitching this weekend (classy). He explained that the farewell at the Stadium, with Derek and Andy coming out to get him, was the perfect ending.

Football: It was a rough enough day for this Steelers’ fan to see his team go to 0-4 on the season, but then I found out that #68, L.C. Greenwood, a DE on that great Steel Curtain team of the 1970s, passed away today at the age of 73. Another piece of my childhood gone. Known for wearing those yellow shoes, I remember him in SB IX, acting like a volleyball player in spiking down a few of Fran Tarkenton’s passes. I always wondered why he wasn’t in the HOF. Maybe now he can be put in—too late for him to relish it.

Mo and Andy: The career stats.

This could take a while.

Rivera: Ends 2013 at 6-2, 2.11 and 44 saves. ERA+ 192 (that could change slightly).

82-60, 2.21 in career. 11x ERA under 2.00. Record 652 saves. The 2.21 ERA is the lowest of any pitcher in the live-ball era (1920 on) who pitched at least 1000 innings. His career ERA+ of 205 is the best, by about 50 points. He led the majors in saves in three seasons.

1115 games pitched, 4th on the all-time list (4 behind John Franco. #1 is Jesse Orosco and #2 is…. wait for it…. ex-teammate Mike Stanton). All-time leader in games finished with 952, exactly 300 more than his number of career saves.

He was ONE OUT away from a WHIP of exactly 1.00. Walks + hits in career: 1284; IP 1283 2/3. Wow.

He made just six regular seasons errors in his career, the last one in 2004.

1999 WS MVP. 2003 ALCS MVP. 2013 ASG MVP. The only man to be MVP of a WS, LCS and an ASG. 

13x All-Star. CYA consideration (not counting this year. Will he get any?) 6x, inc. three 3rd places finishes and a runnerup finish in 2005.

MVP consideration in 9 years, top-10 twice (2004 and 2005). (Any MVP consideration this year?)

8-1, 0.70 ERA in the postseason. An appropriate number of 42 postseason saves, the most ever.  

141 postseason IP, of which his WHIP was .759. Less than one.

11 earned runs given up in the postseason. By contrast, 12 men have walked on the moon.

His HOF monitor on baseballreference.com is a 262. A likely HOF has about a 100. That number is 8th all-time. Not for pitchers, but for EVERYBODY.

Appeared in seven WS, winning five.

Pettitte: 11-11, 3.74, ERA+ 108 (could change slightly) in final season. Only man in MLB history to pitch 15 or more seasons and never have a losing season.

256 wins, 219 as a Yankee. 3rd on Yankees list behind Ford’s 236 and Ruffing’s 231.

438 GS as a Yankee, tied with Ford. Led league in GS 3x.

256-153, 3.85. ERA+ 117. More than 100 games over .500.

Two-time 20-game winner. Led AL in 1996 with 21.

3x All-Star. 3rd in ROY 1995. CYA consideration 5x, runnerup in 1996. MVP consideration twice.

2001 ALCS MVP.

19-11, 3.81 in the postseason.  Most postseason wins.

8 WS, winning 5.

Andy’s HOF monitor is 128, but he is a borderline Hall-of-Famer. The HGH admission hurts his chances severely.

At least he only made a mistake once or twice, confessed and didn’t do it again. I have more forgiveness for a person like that than for someone who took it continuously for years and who denied until he was caught… then went back on the stuff.

But an all-time Yankees great.

#42 is retired (Jackie Robinson and Mo). It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of #46.

#2 will be retired (Jeter).

Numbers 6 (Torre), 21 (O’Neill), 20 (Posada) and 51 (Bernie) aren’t officially retired, but no one is wearing them. O’Neill’s 21 was briefly worn by LaTroy Hawkins, who was booed unmercifully for wearing it.

You wonder if those numbers will be retired or how long it’ll be before anyone else wears those numbers.

Monument Park may need a new wall.

In any case, Mo and Andy’s careers are over. We’ll never see them in another MLB game.

God bless both of them.

Game 161. Pettitte’s last game is a CG, 2-1 win.

Mo wasn’t available. Never would be again.

Before the game, Mariano Rivera announced that the popup he induced at Yankee Stadium would be the last pitch he threw, and that Jeter and Pettitte coming out to get him after that pitch would be it.  He announced the tank is empty and he would not be playing (even CF) in Houston. It was also revealed that he had an injured forearm and has been pitching through it for some time, not telling anybody. How great is he? With an injured forearm, and at age 43, he ends 2013, his final season, at 6-2, 2.11 and with 44 saves.

So Andy Pettitte didn’t have the guy behind him as his cushion. The greatest 1-2 win/save punch in MLB history didn’t have #2. So Pettitte just did it himself, throwing a CG, 2-1 victory in his final MLB game. It was at Houston, near his hometown of Deer Park. It came in front of family against the only other team he pitched for.

It was his first complete game since he pitched for Houston, over seven years ago.

With the victory (career #256, Yankees 219), Pettitte finished 11-11, 3.74 on the season and avoided a losing season. Pettitte NEVER had a losing season in his career (14-14 in 2008, 11-11 this year), and thus became the only man in MLB history to pitch 15 or more seasons and never have a losing season.

Andy went 9, 1 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 5 K. He gave up a run in the fourth on a single, groundout (runner to second) and another groundout in which the runner scored all the way from second.

The Yanks got two in the sixth. Stewart singled and after Granderson struck out, Nunez singled. Cano singled to tie it up. Soriano walked to load the bases. After a lineout, catcher Matt Pagnozzi tried to pick Cano off second with Almonte batting. He lost his grip or something, spiked the ball into home plate, and Nunez barely scored from third when the ball bounded away. What a way to win.

From there it was all Andy. Andy got two outs in the 9th and was a strike away then gave up a hit. With the tying run on first, Girardi came out to check on Andy. You’d have hated to see a walk-off HR there that would have made Andy a loser. But after asking Pettitte if he was ok and getting confirmation that he was, Girardi left him in there. It was Andy’s game, and he got a groundout on his last MLB pitch for the CG victory.

What a way to go out.

 

Game 160. Yanks beat Astros 3-2.

No, Mo didn’t save it, or play CF, but the Yanks beat Houston last night, 3-2.

The Yanks got all three runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Mark Reynolds and a 2-run double by David Adams.

Adam Warren started and went 5. (W, 3-2, 3.39) 0 R, 2 H, 1 H and 4 K.

David Phelps 1 2/3, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 1 K. 5.04.

Phelps wasn’t THAT bad. He left with two on and two out in the seventh and for some inexplicable reason, Girardi brought in Joba who immediately, on two pitches, gave up a double and single to let both inherited runners score. Then, after a SB and 2nd and 3rd, and a walk to load the bases, he got an out to get out of it. Terrible.

Joba 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 4.93. Truthfully, Joba should have the ERA over 5, not Phelps, but what can you do?

Claiborne 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 4.17.

David Robertson got the save, and a lot of boos. The Houston crowd wanted to see Mo. No offense to them, but I hope Mo doesn’t pitch again. The way he went out Thursday night at the Stadium should be the way to go and should be the last pitch he ever throws. Now for CF, who knows?

Robertson (Save #3), 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.07.

I’ll post Rivera’s and Pettitte’s career stats after the season is over, but tonight, Pettitte makes the last start of his career. Hopefully he wins. He is 10-11 and NEVER has had a losing season in his whole career. (He went 14-14 in 2008).

Only one man ever has pitched in 10 or more seasons and had a winning record in EACH one. Do you know it was Babe Ruth?

Game 159. Yanks lose 4-0 in Mo’s home farewell.

The score doesn’t matter, except maybe to Ivan Nova, since the Yanks were eliminated from playoff contention already.

Nova pitched well, 7 IP, 2 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 5 K but the Yanks’ offense apparently decided to shut it down for the season a week before the season officially ends. The offense got just 3 hits tonight in losing 4-0.

Nova ends the year at 9-6, 3.10.

Cano, who apparently wants 10 years and $305 MM, went 0 for 3.

Dellin Betances came in for the 8th and continued to unimpress. 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 h, 1 walk and a K. 20.25.

Then came the special moment. Mo in his last home game. He came in with two on and one out in the 8th and got a fly out and a comebacker to the mound.

In the 9th he got another comebacker to the mound, and then the last batter he would ever face at Yankee Stadium came to the plate.

Yunel Escobar popped up to Robbie Cano for out #2.

Whereupon Mo was pulled from the game—-not by Girardi, but by long-time teammates Andy Pettitte (who made the move) and Derek Jeter.

Upon hugging Pettitte, Mo lost it.

That is when it hit him. That THIS was the last time he’d pitch at home, in the pinstripes. That his home career was over.

And he started crying. As did many of us Yankees fans who have loved him all these years.

The Babe Ruth of closers. It’ll never be the same and no one can ever replace him.

He may pitch in another game this weekend. I hope not.

But maybe he plays CF for one inning out in Houston.

I hope he doesn’t have to run up that damned hill.

I also hope he catches an out.

God Bless You Mo, it’s time for me to get another hankie.

It’s rare when I cry when a player retires. I remember doing it at seven when the Mick hung them up.

I’m doing it now.

For the record, Matt Daley came in for Mo. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and a K.

And a moment Matt Daley can always tell his children, grandchildren and (hopefully) great-grandchildren about.

I pray that I can be in Cooperstown in 2019 when Mo gives his induction speech.

Game 159. Lineup, stats & comments.

It’s a regular lineup, even though the Yanks have been eliminated. The reason is because Tampa Bay is still fighting for something (#1 WC as opposed to #2). No A-Rod. You wonder if he’ll play at all again this year, and when if at all what with that suspension and the resolution of his appeal.

You may see more of a “spring training” lineup in Houston this weekend. Speaking of, there are rumors that Joe Girardi may give Mariano Rivera his one major league dream: to play one inning in CF. That may happen in Houston this weekend. I just hope Mo doesn’t have to run up that damned hill Houston has in CF.

Girardi’s contract is up and you wonder if he’ll be back.

Yanks 82-76, tied for 3rd, 13.5 out in AL East. Eliminated from WC. (They can only reach 86 wins and Cleveland, in the #2 WC position, already has 88; Tampa, #1 WC has 89, Cleveland 88 and Texas 87.)

The Yanks have a winning season. The last time they had a losing season was 1992. It’s just the second time since 1993 that they have been eliminated from the playoffs. (The 1994 strike kept them out of the playoffs. They had the best record in the AL that year).

They are six games BETTER than their Pythagorean record. They have scored 23 runs LESS than they have allowed this season.

OPS+ 89, ERA+ 101. Average is 100. Higher the better.

BA/HR/RBI  SB/total att. OPS+  Comments in italic, team leader bold
significantly subpar bold italic.

Suzuki RF .262-7-35  20/24  77
40 on 10/22. 2740 MLB hits, but do you really want him back in 2014 at $6.5 MM? I don’t, and I LIKE Ichiro.
Nunez 3B .260-3-26  10/13  87    in 86 g.
Cano 2B .315-27-106  7/8   146   Rumors are he asked the Yanks for 10 yrs and $305 MM. No bloody way do I give him that. Better to finish last and use the $$ saved from NOT signing him to build up the farm system. Yanks apparently offered 8 yr., $138MM, and I don’t like that because it takes him to age 38. He turns 31 on 10/22 (same b/day as Ichiro). I would give him 6 years and $120 MM. I think that is more than fair. $20 MM/yr and doesn’t go past age 36. If he don’t like it, let him walk. This could be his last game in pinstripes.
Soriano DH .255-34-101  18/27  112.   406 career HR, one behind Duke Snider on the all-time list. As NYY: 55 g., .256-17-50  8/12  129. 38 next Jan.
Granderson CF .234-7-14  7/8  102.  Just 57 games. Production down and had the two broken bones. Free agent. This could be his last game in pinstripes.
Overbay 1B .241-14-59  1/1  89   37 in January. With Teixeira due back next year, probably his last game as a Yankee. Stopgap this year. 5 for his last 39. 
Almonte LF .258-1-9  3/4  76    Good to see him get a look, esp. now that the Yanks are eliminated. 23 for 89. Beats seeing Wells (who I don’t want back in 2014) out there. Wells .237-11-50, 7/10, 76, turns 35 in Dec. Granted the Angels are picking up $18.6 of his $21 MM salary for 2014, but do you really want Wells back next year? I don’t. Since May 15th, Wells hit .204-1-27 and STILL was batting fifth in the lineup vs. lefties this month! Ugh.  
Ryan SS .201-4-22  4/6  54   As NYY .250-1-1  0/0  82.  11 for 44.
Murphy C  .154-0-0  0/0     2 for 13 in MLB career. May as well look at the kid. He is just 22.

Nova RHP  9-5, 3.13   ERA+ 129

Soon, I’ll be writing about 2014 and the prospects for that year (I don’t like them and think the Yanks are in for a dry spell for a few years). I’ll discuss who I want back and who should go.