Category Archives: Awards

Game 12. Yanks sweep Rays, 5-3. Back at .500

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The Yanks completed a sweep of the Rays today with a 5-3 victory that put them back at .500 on the young season.

Michael Pineda didn’t have his best stuff, but picked up the win. (2-0, 5.00)

5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 5 K. The bullpen and defense were solid.

Martin 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.18

Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K.  7.36

Betances 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 0.00

Miller 1 IP 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 3 K. Save #4. It appears as if Betances will remain the setup man with Miller the closer. 0.00

Nice to see struggling Garrett Jones get a start and snap out of it with 3 hits. Also struggling Didi Gregorious had 2 hits. Chase Headley had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

Good to get those struggling guys off the schneid a little bit.

Alex Rodriguez’ hit today was #2951 of his career. Earlier this week, he passed Derek Jeter on the all-time runs scored list. So Alex is currently 49 hits from 3000, 2 HR short of tying Willie Mays at 660, 71 runs scored short of 2000 and 20 RBI short of 2000. If only….    *

Game 4. Three comebacks not enough as Yanks lose in 19th, 6-5.

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Ok. I just woke up after being up past, what, 2:30 AM? God only knows how the players are going to turn it around.

If you didn’t stay up late, and don’t know what happened because the ending was too late for your morning paper (and you haven’t checked out the highlights online so far, here goes:

A brief recap on a game that was anything but brief. I won’t touch on all the highlights. Had the game continued further, the Yanks would have sacrificed the DH. Garrett Jones would have gone to the mound.

Down to their last out in the 9th, Chase Headley homered to tie the game. Down a run in the 16th, Mark Teixiera, who, since it was past midnight, was now a 35th birthday boy, homered for the second consecutive game (365th career HR) to tie it up again (Yankees nemesis David Ortiz had homered in the top of the 16th. I am STILL waiting for some Yankees pitcher—I have been waiting for YEARS—to show some balls and put one in his butt. Back him off the plate. Get some courage, as the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz would say. When have you ever seen them do that to Ortiz? They have done it to us, haven’t they?) Down in the 18th, a Carlos Belran double tied up the game again.

Nice resiliency.

However a passed ball by backup C John Ryan Murphy in the top of the 19th set Boston up for a GW SF and the Yanks lost to the Red Sox, 6-5, in 19 innings.

The game was delayed for about 15 minutes due to a lighting incident.

There have been no moves made as of this writing, but after having used eight pitchers, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was sent down to get a fresh arm (or two) up—even if we are just four games into the season.

The loss drops the Yanks to 1-3. It was the first Yankees game on WPIX, Channel 11 in NY in 17 years. It was nice watching the game on Channel 11, where I more or less grew up. WPIX was the Yanks’ “home” for many, many, years.

The pitching line:

Eovaldi 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 1 K. Funny only 1 K since he did hit 101.

Martin 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K.

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

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

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

Carpenter 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K.

Shreve 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 4 K.

Rogers (L) 4 2/3, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 walk and 4 K.

Rogers gave 4 2/3, the day after going 2 1/3 vs. Toronto. Like I wrote above, had the game gone into the 20th, 1B/OF/DH Garrett Jones would have taken the mound.

A nice job by the Yankees’ bullpen went for naught. Between Eovaldi and Rogers, there were some scary moments, but those six pitchers had a line of:

9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 6 walks, 10 K.

Too bad the offense couldn’t take advantage.

Before the game, Yankees’ radio announcer John Sterling got replicas of Emmy Awards he lost when all his possessions went up in a huge condo fire this fall. Nice gesture and I hope he is somehow recovering from that tragic event.

 

 

 

 

Yanks to honor 4, retire 3 numbers.

I was going to write a column looking at 2020, and look to what we can expect in the future, but that will have to wait.

For this column is to honor the past.

Today, the Yankees announced that #51 for Bernie Williams will be retired on May 24 (I’ll be there that day. I was there for #23, Don Mattingly and for #42, Mariano Rivera). On August 22nd they will retire the number of #20, Jorge Posada (I think I have to work that day) and on August 23rd they will retire #46 for Andy Pettitte (I will be there for that one).

In addition, on Old-Timer’s Day this year, Willie Randolph will join recent legends Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Goose Gossage by getting a plaque in Monument Park (no retired number).

No word on when Jeter’s #2 gets retired.

So the Yanks are going to have a serious problem. Once Jeter’s number is retired, that will be 20 retired numbers. Now, there are a few I believe should NOT be retired. I know I’m opening a can of worms here, but here goes. Should these numbers be retired? For the way things are going, the Yanks are 1) going to look like a football team with #82 playing CF, or 2) need to go to 1A, 2A, 3A, etc.

#1 Billy Martin (I believe it shouldn’t be retired. Billy was a major factor in three WS titles as a player, and hit .333 in the WS. He was WS MVP in 1953 when he had 12 hits in six games. He made a WS saving catch in Game 7 of the 1952 Series. He managed the Yanks to a WS title—-but in comparison, Ralph Houk managed the yanks to TWO WS titles, and Houk’s #35 won’t be retired —. Billy was a .257 career hitter. He wasn’t even the best player to wear #1 (Earle Combs, a HOF, was). No).

#2 Derek Jeter (Not officially retired yet). 3465 hits and 1st ballot HOF screams yes.

#3 Babe Ruth. Ummmm…. greatest Player ever. Yes.

#4 Lou Gehrig. Yes.

#5 Joe DiMaggio. Yes.

#6 Joe Torre. Interesting question. The Yanks have so many numbers retired, that you have to ask, players only? Or include managers. If you include managers, then Torre is a Yes. If players only, no. (BTW, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy never wore a number).

#7 Mickey Mantle. Yes.

#8 Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Both Yes.

#9 Roger Maris. No. Honor Roger’s 1961 with a plaque, but not the number. .260 career hitter. GREAT for 1960 and 1961, very good in 1962, above average 1963-1964, not even average in 1965-1966. Sweeney Murti argues that Graig Nettles, who also wore #9, should get a plaque in Monument Park. Speaking of, Willie Randolph is getting a plaque. How about Tony Lazzeri and Joe Gordon getting plaques? Both are in the HOF. Willie won’t be. Love Willie, but….

#10. Phil Rizzuto. No. Plaque yes, honoring his 56 or so years of service, but not retire the number.

#13… just kidding. Based on his suspension and turbulent relations with the Yankees, I’ll be shocked if the Yanks honor A-Rod.

#15 Thurman Munson. Yes. Esp. considering the circumstances of his passing.

#16 Whitey Ford. Yes.

#20 Jorge Posada. No. No Offense to Jorge, but unless you are HOF, it’s hard to justify retiring the number.

#23. Don Mattingly. No. I was there when they retired his number. I loved Donnie, but is he more worthy or better than two people who each got a plaque but whose numbers aren’t retired? O’Neill or Tino? I think not. Also, no HOF. Should have the same treatment as Paul and Tino. Plaque, no retired #. Hey, with so many retired numbers, we have to be tough here.

#32. Elston Howard. Plaque yes, retired number, no. 1st black on the Yanks, 1st AL Black MVP, but not a HOF. Tough call, but no.

#37 Casey Stengel. See Torre above. If you want players only, no. If you include managers, yes.

#44 Reggie. No. Only was with the Yanks 1977-1981, not long enough. Plaque yes, retired number, no.

#46 Andy Pettitte. Close call. No. Chuck Knoblauch, who is in the Mitchell report along with Andy (HGH) blasts the selection of Pettitte. I’d argue yes, but it’s a close call. By the way, Red Ruffing #15 and Allie Reynolds #22 both have plaques, no retired number. Of course, #15 is retired for Munson.

#49 Ron Guidry. No. Tough Call. I loved the Gator, but no HOF and not even 200 wins.

#51 Bernie. Tough call, but no HOF. The only difference between him getting his # retired and Paul and Tino getting just plaques is that Bernie spent 16 years as a Yankee while Paul and Tino spent considerable time with other teams (Cincy and Seattle).

So I eliminated 10 numbers, 12 if you think players only should have the numbers retired. This isn’t to disrespect the players whose numbers I want to “unretire” but to state which I think should be retired vs. those I think the Yanks went overboard on.

The Yanks could have a problem in years to come. Hopefully I am alive to see it. It means I would have lived through one more dynasty.

 

 

Yanks to retire #46.

On August 23rd, Andy Pettitte will join the list of retired numbers when #46 will be retired. Andy won 256 games, 219 with the Yanks (37 with Houston) and won most of his 19 postseason victories with the Yanks as well.

Bernie Williams will have a day this year, too. No word yet on whether #51 will be retired. I expect it will be.

O’Neill (21), Gossage (54) and Tino (24) had plaques put in Monument Park in their honors. Probably because they didn’t spend 15-16 years as a Yankee like Pettitte did (although that didn’t stop the Yanks from retiring Reggie’s #44 (1977-1981) or Maris’ #9 (1960-1966)). No one may be wearing those numbers now, but they are not officially retired and they are probably just “out of circulation” for a while.

You know Posada and Jeter are coming. Hey, the more days, the bigger crowd. Milk it for what it’s worth…

We may need to get into 1A, 2A, 3 A soon….

Anyway, here’s the list….

1 Billy Martin
2 Derek Jeter?
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Bill Dickey AND Yogi Berra
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford (the only one not retired while the Yanks were at Yankee Stadium; the Yanks were in Shea in 1974 and 1975 while Yankee Stadium was being remodeled).
20 Jorge Posada?
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera  (and Jackie Robinson )
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams?

Yankees make incremental move.

You remember when, in playing SCAT, the card game, that you would put down a 3 of hearts and pick up a 5 of hearts because it gave you more points? (Especially if you already held the Ace and King of Hearts?)

That is kind of like the move the Yankees did yesterday. They picked up Chris Martin for cash from Colorado. Martin is a RHP, and a project. He did make the majors last season, and went 0-0, 6.89 in 16 games. 15 2/3 IP, 14 K. He is 6’8″, a big boy, and 28 years old.

In picking him up, they DFA’d Gonzalez German, a 27-year-old RHP, who they got from the Mets for cash just last month. German was 0-0, 4.75 for the Mets in 2014 in 25 games, 31 K in 30 1/3 IP.

Apparently the Yanks felt that Martin is, or has to potential to be, an incremental upgrade over Germen. We’ll see. It doesn’t appear like a major move or upgrade, but…. see the SCAT reference above.

The Yanks finalized their coaching staff. The hitting coach will be Jeff Pentland, who will have Alan Cockrell as the asst. hitting coach. Joe Espada (3b/infield). Tony Pena moves to 1b Coach and Rob Thomson becomes the bench coach. Larry Rothschild is the pitching coach and Gary Tuck the BP coach.

One thing I’ve pointed out elsewhere. Some people wanted a former major leaguer to be a coach. Sometimes it works. But coaches have to teach and just because someone was talented themselves doesn’t mean they can teach. Charlie Lau was a great hitting coach who was a .255 hitting catcher. Meanwhile, Ted Williams was the manager of the 1972 Texas Rangers who only hit .217 as a team.

So the #4 seed won the national championship? What’s scary is that Urban Meyer thought next year would be the time. A lot of sophs and juniors here. Ohio St. and TCU (who finished #3) are on top of a lot of lists right now for the best of next year.

Championship Sunday is set. AFC: Colts @ Patriots (the 4th straight AFC title game for New England), and NFC: Green Bay @ Seattle. Both home teams are favored by about 7.

 

Yanks re-sign Drew, and HOF gets 4 new members.

The Yankees re-signed Stephen Drew to a one-year, $5MM contract, and I must admit, I am perplexed and not too happy about the deal.

Ok, does Drew play SS or 2B? Where does Didi Gregorious play? What about the youngsters, Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder, each of whom hit .300+ at AAA last year while Drew (32 in March) hit .162-7-26 between Boston and the Yanks last year? That’s an OPS+ of 51, 49% below league average. I don’t understand the move—-unless it is to package Gregorious, or Refsnyder or Pirela along with the one to two of the surplus of lefty relievers (and maybe someone like Gary Sanchez or Austin Romine?) to say, the Phils for Cole Hamels, or, if they can sign him to a contract extension right away, Johnny Cueto of the Reds (who is a free agent after 2015)?

As of now, I don’t like the move. Drew’s 162 g. ave. is .256-15-70, OPS+ 95 (100 is average). He is a lefty hitter who may (along with Gregorious) have pop for the porch but was flat out awful in 2014.

After the signing of Gregorious, I just don’t get this move. I’d rather give Refsnyder and Pirela a chance at 2B. I don’t like it.

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame will have 4 new members. The BBWAA elected Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio to the Hall today. Mike Piazza got about 70%, and 75% is needed for induction.

Very brief thumbnails about the new Hall-of-Famers.

Johnson: I wonder about the cap, but I think (sorry, Seattle) that it’ll be Arizona. 5X CYA (4 with AZ, and another year a runner-up w/AZ) 10x All-Star. 303-166. 4875 K (2nd all-time and most by a lefty). 3x 20-game winner. 162 g. ave. 17-9, 3.29, ERA+ 135. 7-9, 3.50 in the postseason. 2001 WS Co-MVP, when he won 3 games in that WS. Twice in the top 10 for MVP. Too bad he was past his prime and only mediocre in his two seasons as a Yankee. (One decent enough year, ERA+ 112, 17-8, 3.79, but the other bad, 17-11, 5.00, ERA+ 90). Won CYA in each league.

Pedro:  His ERA+ is the best of any starter, ever. 2x  20-game winner. Like Johnson, won the CYA in each league. 219-100. 2.93 career ERA, ERA+ 154. 8X All-Star. 3x CYA. 2x top 5 for MVP, inc. runnerup in 1999. 6-4, 3.46 postseason. Definitely a Boston hat. Ave. 162 g. season, 17-8, 2.93.  Over 3000K.

Smoltz: Braves. 213-155. 154 saves. Only pitcher ever with over 200 wins and over 150 saves. Started as a starter, arm problems forced him to close, then went back into the rotation.  Led league in wins 2x (one-time 20 g. winner w/24). Led MLB with 55 saves in 2002. 162 g. ave. 12-9, 9 saves, 3.33, ERA+ 125. This is hurt by the four years he spent closing. 8x All-Star. 1996 CYA. Over 3000 K. 8th in MVP voting in 2002.  Great postseason pitcher, 15-4, 2.67, 4 saves in the postseason.

Biggio: Whole career w/Astros. 7x All-Star. Twice top-5 for MVP. 3060 hits.  Versatile. Mostly 2B, but also C, CF, LF. 162 g. average .281-17-67, 24 SB. Over 400 SB. OPS+ 112.  4 x GG. 40 postseason games, .234-2-11.

HOF Vets Committee elects no one

The Golden Age (1947-1972) Veterans Committee elected no one to the HOF today. Out of 16 voters, one of the 10 nominees needed 12 votes to be voted in.

Dick Allen and Tony Oliva each missed by one vote, getting 11 votes. Jim Kaat missed by two votes.

Others on the ballot included Minnie Minoso, Reds GM Bob Howsam, Luis Tiant, Gil Hodges, Maury Wills, Ken Boyer and Billy Pierce.