Category Archives: Ex-Players

Yanks set rotation, Cubs knock off Nats, and AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have set their rotation for the ALCS. In a bit of a surprise, Sonny Gray was pushed back to Game 4.

Game 1 will have Tanaka, then he’ll be followed by Severino, then CC, then Gray. Houston will open with Keuchel, followed by Verlander.

With lefty Keuchel going, does Girardi go to Holliday at DH? Houston has a short LF porch, and Headley and Ellsbury didn’t do much if anything in the ALDS vs. Cleveland.

After losing Game 4 to Washington at home on Tuesday, the Cubs rebounded by beating the Nationals, 9-8 Thursday night, coming back from an early 4-1 deficit. So the NLCS will be the defending champion Cubs going up against the Dodgers.  Washington can’t get over the hump. Same for its manager, Dusty Baker.

In the Arizona Fall League, 19-yr. old OF Yankees’ prospect Estevan Florial went 4 for 5 and scored 3 runs in Scottsdale’s 8-0 win last night. Billy McKinney, an OF learning 1B, drove in 4 runs. SS Thairo Estrada was 1 for 5. Andrew Schwaab pitched one inning of scoreless relief, striking out one.

Don Lock, an OF for the Senators, Phillies and Red Sox from 1962-1969, passed away at the age of 81. He hit 27 HR and drove in 82 runs for the 1963 Senators, and followed it up with 28 and 80 in 1964 for them. His 162 g. avg. was .238-21-66, OPS+ 111.

Also, Johnny Herrnstein, 1B for the 1964 Phillies that Phlopped at the end of the season, passed away at the age of 79. He joins Bunning, Green, Amaro and Sievers as members of the 1964 Phillies who all passed away this year. In that 1964 season, Herrnstein hit .234-6-25, OPS+ 82. He played for the Phillies from 1962-1966, the Cubs in 1966 and the Braves in 1966. In 239 games, he hit .220-8-34, OPS+ 67 in 450 career at bats.

 

 

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Ex-White Sox CF Landis dies. Thoughts on Jeter being an exec.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jim Landis, CF for the Go-Go White Sox that won the 1959 AL pennant, died at the age of 83. He hit .272-5-60 with 20 SB that year with an OPS+ of 108 and finished 7th in the MVP voting.

A 2x All-Star and 5x Gold Glove winner, he played for the White Sox from 1957-1964, the KC A’s in 1965, was with the Indians in 1966, and split his final season of 1967 between Houston, Detroit and Boston.

His best years were from 1958-1961, with 1961 being his best when he hit .283-22-85 with 19 SB and an OPS+ of 123.

His 162 g. average was .247-11-56, 17 SB and an OPS+ of 99.

He went 7 for 24 with 1 RBI in the 1959 WS.

Meanwhile, a good article I read recently raised questions. Derek Jeter has already pilfered Gary Denbo from the Yankees’ front office to go to work for the Marlins. How many others may he try to steal? If Jeter raids the Yankees for front office talent and even coaching talent, will the beloved captain become not so beloved anymore?

Sounds like sacrilege, but…

Imagine Matsui or Tino or maybe Paul O’Neill being hitting coaches for the Marlins. David Cone or Andy Pettitte as a Marlins pitching coach (although, to be honest, I can’t see Cone or O’Neill leaving the comfy broadcasting booth of YES). Mo as bullpen coach? Posada as bench coach or even manager?

Can you imagine a Yankees’ Old-Timer’s Day without Jeter, Matsui, Mo, or any of the rest that I mentioned, because they are all now working, managing or coaching the Marlins? Would be kind of boring, right?

Will the most beloved Yankee since Mattingly, and one of the most beloved Yankees ever, tarnish his sheen with a raid on Yankees’ talent to build his Marlins teams?

If so, how will the Yankees’ fan base react?

This will be interesting to see.

ALDS Game 2. Yanks in 0-2 hole after blowing 8-3 lead. Lose 9-8 in 13.

Yankee Stadium Friezed

Sorry for the late report. I slept in and am not feeling well. Bronchitis again? Same time, just about, every year. Sigh.

1997. Mariano gives up the first of only two postseason HRs he would ever give up. It ties Game 4 for Cleveland and instead of the Yanks winning the series 3 games to 1, the Indians come back to win Game 4 and then Game 5.

2007: The midges. Torre doesn’t pull the team off the field, regrets it later, and his Yankee tenure is over. Joba vs. the bugs.

2017: The Faux HBP that Girardi didn’t challenge. Now Girardi’s contract is up, and I don’t expect him to be fired, but he made a mistake that seems to be as big as Torre’s in 2007.

(ok as for the bad omens…. the Yanks did win it all in 1938, 1958, 1978 and 1998, so we should look forward to 2018, right?)

Anyway, the game started off great when the Yanks knocked around Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. Gary Sanchez hit a 2-run HR in the first inning.

An error by Todd Frazier led to the Indians scoring two unearned runs in the first to tie it up (came back to bite them), then the Indians scored one in the second to go up 3-2. At this point, you are wondering about the Yankees’ starting pitching this postseason. The Indians did lose Edwin Encarnacion due to an ankle injury.

The Yanks went up 6-3 with four in the third. Starlin Castro tied the game and Aaron Hicks hit a 3-run HR.

In the fifth, a two-run HR by Greg Bird made it 8-3. Then the Yanks blew it. For one thing, the game went 13 and they couldn’t score anymore.

CC was pulled in the sixth after 77 pitches. Ok, maybe he should or could have stayed in with an 8-3 lead. But this is how they’ve treated CC for a while now. One out, man on first and in comes Chad Green. Normally a good move and the right one.

But was Green still taxed from the two innings he pitched on Tuesday? Here is where the early knockout of Severino in Tuesday’s wild card game may have come back to bite the Yanks, for Green wasn’t his usual self. He got a flyout for out #2 but couldn’t put Yan Gomes away. After fouling off a few pitches, Gomes doubled.

Then PH Chisenhall was HBP. Or was he?

Chisenall had two strikes on him. Replays showed the ball hit the knob of the bat and ricocheted into Sanchez’ glove. Foul tip, strike three and out of the inning. Instead, the umpire ruled HBP. Bases loaded.

Sanchez pointed to the dugout to challenge. And Girardi did nothing. For the brilliance of Tuesday night, when Girardi pieced together 26 outs out of the bullpen, he bleeped up here.

He stated that the slo-mo replay didn’t come up in the 30 seconds he had to challenge. He also stated that he didn’t want to disturb his pitcher’s rhythm.

What BS. That sounds like the excuses your seven year old kid makes to mommy and daddy when the did gets into trouble.

First off, why aren’t you trusting your catcher when your catcher is urging you to challenge? He’s right there. He caught the ball. To quote Billy Joel, It’s a Matter of Trust. And that matter of trust came up later in the game as well. Players in the dugout were urging the same thing.

Secondly, what do you have to lose by challenging? You win, strike three, out of inning. No, Joe decided to leave it go.

Third, the batter never reacted as if he were hit! He had to be told to go the first.

And you don’t challenge?

As far as his pitcher’s rhythm? Green gave up a grand slam off the foul pole on his second pitch after the incident. 8–7.

We’ll never know what would have happened had he challenged as he should have, got the call and it remains 8-3. There is a huge difference between going home 1-1 in a best-of-five and in going home 0-2. Especially to a team that has won 35 of its last 39 games.

So in came David Robertson, and you had to wonder how much he had left in the tank after his 3 1/3 innings of Tuesday night. Four up, four down, three by strikeouts. Looks good.

But then Girardi tried to extend him. Why? A matter of trust. He trusted Robertson in the eighth over Betances. Betances did pitch in Game 1 (when the Yanks were down 4-0). He also pitched and lost this game. But Betances didn’t come in until other relievers had gone before him.

He tried to extend Robertson, who was already extended on Tuesday night. It didn’t work. Jay Bruce (thanks, Mets) did it again. HR to tie the game.

And so the game went into extras. Kahnle and Chapman came in, then Betances.

Meanwhile in the 11th, Ronald Torreyes pulled a rock. Pinch-running for Todd Frazier, who reached second on an error leading off the inning, Torreyes was picked off second when Brett Gardner had to take a pitch on a sac bunt attempt. Ouch.

Betances came in for the 11th. After Green, Robertson, Kahnle and Chapman. A matter of trust. In because he had to, not so much because Girardi trusted him. After all, if he was trusted, wouldn’t he have come in in the eighth, like usual? It appears that at this point, Girardi doesn’t trust Betances.

Betances had two good innings, but needed to be overextended himself. Working his third inning, he walked the leadoff guy, who stole second. It’s well known that Betances isn’t a good fielder and with his size and delivery, doesn’t hold runners on well. Cleveland took advantage with the SB. Gomes, who extended the AB in the sixth, and who picked off Torreyes in the 11th, got the GW hit.

This is one loss that (unless the Yanks pull off a miracle and win 3 in a row to stun the baseball world and make it to the ALCS) will hurt all winter long.

Sabathia 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 W, 5 K.
Green 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up grand slam.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up HR.
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Betances (Loss) 2+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.

Sanchez 2 hits, 2-run HR.
Castro 2 hits, RBI.
Bird 2 hits, 2-run HR.
Hicks 2 hits, 3-run HR.
Todd Frazier 3 hits, but 2 errors.
Torreyes bone-headed PR play.

In the other series, Houston dominated Boston again and the Astros go into Fenway up 2 games to nothing.

In the NL, the Cubs and Dodgers both took Game 1 over the Nationals and Diamondbacks, respectively.

 

Gray, CC, set for Games 1 & 2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks’ Sonny Gray will start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer Thursday night, and it’ll be CC Sabathia vs. Corey Kluber in Game 2 late Friday afternoon.

Both games will be in Cleveland.

UPDATE: Masahiro Tanaka is penciled in for Game 3 Sunday at the Stadium, with Luis Severino for Game 4 (if necessary). Gray would start Game 5 if necessary. There is a chance that Game 2 will be rained out Friday and have to be played Saturday.

Solly Hemus has passed away at the age of 94. The former infielder played in the majors from 1949-1959 with the Cardinals (1949-1956, 1959) and Phillies (1956-1958). He finished 31st in MVP voting in 1952 when he hit .268-15-52, OPS+ 126, as mostly as the Cardinals’ SS. He led MLB in runs scored and HBP that year. After a good 1953, he hit .304 in 1954 as a part-timer.   The only years he got 300 or more at bats were 1951-1953 and 1958. His 162 game average was .273-9-44, OPS+ 115.

He later managed the Cardinals from 1959-1961. He was 71-83 in 1959, finishing seventh in the eight-team league. In 1960 the Cards went 86-68, finishing third, and in 1961 he was fired with the Cards 33-41 and in fifth place. 190-192 in his managerial career.

Wild Card Game. Yanks advance behind bullpen, 3 HRs, 8-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Luis Severino was awful. No one expected this, for Severino to get knocked out in the very first inning, having given up a HR, popup, walk, HR, single and double. Already it was 3-0 Twins, with men on second and third, and only one out.

Joe Girardi did what he had to do. He pulled Severino and brought in Chad Green. Green got two strikeouts to hold the Twins at three, and the Yankees’ bullpen saved the day and season from there on out.

Once in a while, I’ll criticize Girardi for some managing things but not today. He was brilliant last night in piecing together a game out of the bullpen after Severino blew up.

A hit off Green there and it would have been 5-0 Twins. Instead, great job by Green getting out of it.

The Yanks got the three runs right back when Gardner walked, Judge singled, and with one out, Didi hit a three-run HR.

They took a 4-3 lead in the second when Gardner homered.

Green had a great second inning, but faltered in the third. David Robertson had to come in in the THIRD inning with the bases loaded and one out. He got a force out that tied the game and a strikeout. All tied, new game again.

The Yanks went up 5-4 in the bottom of the third on a double by Sanchez and single by Greg Bird.

Meanwhile, Robertson kept pitching. He was a hero tonight. Normally a one-inning setup guy or closer, he went 3 1/3 scoreless innings tonight, saving the Yankees.

In the fourth, Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR to put the Yanks up 7-4.

After this explosive beginning, 7-4 after four innings, things calmed down. Aaron Hicks drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh for the final score of 8-4.

Gardner 2 hits, walk, HR, scored 3 runs, RBI.
Judge 2 hits, walk, HR, scored 3 runs, 2 RBI.
Sanchez 2 hits.
Didi HR, 3 RBI.

The top four guys in the lineup had 7 of the Yankees’ 9 hits, 6 of the 8 RBI, and scored all 8 of the runs.

Severino 1/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR. Just awful.
Green 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 4 K. Saved Yanks by getting out of first with 2 K.
Robertson (BS; WINNER) 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Hero.
Kahnle (HOLD) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W 1 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.

The Yanks’ bullpen pitched 8 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 3 W, and 13 K. Awesome. Did they ever step up when needed.

The ALDS vs. Cleveland starts Thursday in Cleveland. Hopefully no midges.

 

and, from TMZSports.com:

 

Former New York Yankee Pat Kelly says he and his girlfriend getting booked for assault was just a “misunderstanding” … and “everything’s good” now that he’s outta the slammer.

TMZ Sports broke the story … Kelly and his GF, Marina Cernova, were arrested at the London Hotel in NYC on Sunday after Marina called cops to report Pat had beaten her.

Both Pat and Marina were jailed for misdemeanor assault … ’cause police say Marina also punched Pat in the face.

But when we got Kelly outside Manhattan Criminal Court … he told us he was A-OK — though he did seem kinda annoyed that our guy wouldn’t give up his sources.

Pat’s attorney tells us Pat “denies all wrongdoing and will answer the charges in court.”

 

Game 162. Yanks end season with 2-1 loss, now to the wild card game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost a meaningless regular season finale, 2-1, to Toronto, and finished the regular season 91-71, 2 games back of Boston in the AL East. As the top wild card team, they will host the Twins in the sudden-death, wild card game on Tuesday night.

Toronto only got two hits in the game, but they were enough.

In the fourth, a walk, single and SF plated a run for the Blue Jays.

The Yanks, playing with most of the regulars getting a day off, tied it in the seventh on a HR (19) by Matt Holliday.

The Blue Jays got a run in the eighth on a strikeout, but on the play, ex-Yankee Rob Refsnyder reached on a wild pitch. A walk, sac bunt and infield nubber plated the winning run.

Adam Warren got some work in before the postseason starts.

Aaron Judge got a crystal gavel for breaking the rookie HR record. He also broke Babe Ruth’s 1921 record—set at the Polo Grounds—for most HR hit at home by a Yankee in a season. 33 of Judge’s AL best 52 were at home. Judge also led the league in runs scored and walks, and led the majors in striking out 😦   . He was second in OBP, SA and OPS+.

The Yanks announced they will be extending the netting for next year to protect fans better. The little girl struck by Todd Frazier’s foul ball about two weeks ago is home, but while in the hospital, the two-year-old had tubes in her, suffered a fractured nose and orbital bone, and concern was about blood on the brain that could cause a stroke. Her vision may never recover and be the same.

Montgomery 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 3.88
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.35
German (L, 0-1, 3.14) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 WP.
Heller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.82.

Ex-Yankee Pat Kelly, who grew up and graduated from high school not far from where I live, was arrested with his girlfriend (I guess he got divorced, I thought he married an Australian girl some years ago) in a Manhattan hotel early Sunday morning. Both were thrown in jail overnight for assaulting each other.

As for Tuesday, a lot of tough decisions need to be made. Who is in CF? Hicks or Ellsbury? Who DH’s? Hicks, Ellsbury, Headley or Holliday? (Bird will be at 1B, Todd Frazier at 3B). Being that it is a sudden death game, if starter Luis Severino doesn’t have it, Girardi will have to have a quick hook.

 

Game 161. Yanks win, but Boston’s win relegates Yanks to WC.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (91-70) won 2-1 today, thanks to a bomb by Aaron Judge (HR # 52), but Boston beat Houston, so the Red Sox win the division and the Yanks are relegated to the top wild card seed.

CC Sabathia got the win, #237 of his career, and that passed Whitey Ford on the all-time wins list. It ties CC with one-time Yankees Waite Hoyt and Clark Griffith. Griffith, of course, is remembered best not for playing or managing the Yankees, but for being the owner of the Washington Senators for many years (Griffith Stadium).

In the fourth, Judge hit his bomb, a drive that cleared the LF bleachers and was estimated at 484 feet. Another Judge drive this year, maybe more towards CF, didn’t clear the bleachers and was measured at 495. Anyway, another bomb and #52 for the season.

With the HR, Judge and Sanchez set a record for most HR hit by a pair of teammates 25 or younger at 85 (Judge 52, Sanchez 33).

After the HR, with one out, Didi singled, went to second on a WP and scored on a single by Castro.

Toronto got a run in the eighth on a SF, but nothing more.

Judge HR (52)
Todd Frazier 2 hits.
CC ties Severino for team lead in wins this year.

Ellsbury or Hicks Tues. night? Interesting question. Hicks has the better OF arm, and since coming off the DL this week, robbed a guy of a grand slam and has hit 2 HR. He has 15 HR this year despite missing two months, while Ellsbury has 7 HR. I’d say Hicks.

With a righty on the mound, Frazier 3B, Bird 1B, Headley DH. I think Ellsbury and Holliday are on the bench. We’ll see. Ellsbury can, of course, PR, and Holliday can PH against a lefty pitcher if needed.

Sabathia (W, 14-5, 3.69) 5 2/3 IP, 0 R,  4 H, 0 W, 6 K.
Green (H, 9) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.83
Kahnle 0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.59
Robertson (H, 8) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1.84
Chapman (S, 22) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.22