Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

HOF, a minor move, free agency, and a passing.

A minor move the Yanks made before we get to more major things. They got Kirby Yates, who was DFA’d by Cleveland, for cash considerations.

In 2014, Yates’ rookie year, he went 0-2, 3.75 for Tampa Bay. Last year, he was downright awful. 1-0, 7.97 for Tampa Bay, and he gave up 10 HR in 20 1/3 IP.

For his career, 1-2, 5.27 in 57 games. An extreme fly ball pitcher, 30%+ of his balls were fly balls last year, and you can see the HR ratio. Not good. 63K in 56 1/3. A flyer. The Yanks gave up no players for him and I am sure the cash considerations are minimal. Cleveland purchased him off the Rays in November, and the Yanks purchased him off of Cleveland now.

Vern Rapp, who managed the Cardinals in 1977 and part of 1978, died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 87. He went 83-79 for the 1977 Cards, and was fired after starting 1978 6-11.

Denard Span signed with the Giants.

The HOF voting was announced on Wednesday, and Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza werer elected.

Griffey broke the record for highest percentage. Only three voters (Moe, Larry and Curly? Were these the three idiots who voted for Mike Sweeney?) didn’t vote for Griffey. Why, who knows. Egotistical assholes? Perhaps. Griffey, while young and in his prime, was as close to Willie Mays as you would want. Power (630 HR), Speed (he didn’t steal often, but he had speed), Defense and throwing (10 GG), hit for average, .284. Not .300, but….               a 13x All-Star. 1997 MVP (Tino finished 2nd).    The only thing he didn’t get was a ring.

I saw one of his last HR’s at the Stadium. I think it was #601.

He was a joy to watch, but you hated it when he beat your team. Seattle, Cincy and the Chisox. OPS+ of 136.

4x HR champ. 56 in 1997 and 1998. Topped 140 RBI in three consecutive seasons, 1996-1998.

JAWS ranks him as the 5th best CF of all-time. Behind Mays, Cobb, Speaker and Mantle, and ahead of Dimaggio and Snider. Do you who rounds out the top 10? Beltran, Lofton and Andruw Jones. (Ashburn is 11th).

Piazza’s defense wasn’t that great, but a catcher with a .308 BA and 427 HR made up for it. OPS+ 142, even higher than Griffey’s, and this was a catcher. Higher OPS+ than Griffey, and higher BA.

I hope the rumors that kept him out until now are not true. Steroids. Rumors, but not confirmed. I’d hate for those rumors to be confirmed years down the road. What then, remove him?

He and Bill Dickey, another HOF catcher, hit .362 in a season.

The 1993 ROY, Piazza finished top 10 for MVP 7X, including back-to-back runnerup finishes in 1996 and 1997 with the Dodgers.

While Griffey is going in as the first Mariner in their history, Piazza is going in as the second Met (Tom Seaver).

Close but no cigar goes to Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.

Significant improvement for Mike Mussina & Curt Schilling.

Even for Bonds and Clemens.

Next year, Jorge Posada is on the ballot. I’d expect a nice vote, maybe 25% but nowhere near the 75% to get in.

Vlad Guerrero comes on. I believe he will make it but on the first year may get only 63% or so.

Ivan Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, while they certainly have the stats and credentials, are linked to steroids and I don’t believe they will get in. While Pudge (Rodriguez) wasn’t convicted, Manny as suspended twice.

Ex-Red Sox Star Malzone dead at 85.

Frank Malzone, who was an All-Star third baseman for seven seasons and a 3x Gold Glove winner for Boston in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, died at the age of 85.

Malzone played for the Red Sox from 1955-1965 and for the California Angels in 1966. He finished runnerup for the ROY in 1957, when he finished 7th in the MVP voting.

He also received MVP consideration in 1958, 1959, and 1962.

His 162 g. average was .2744-15-82 with an OPS+ of 92.

The Philadelphia Eagles let go of Chip Kelly. It’s hard enough to coach in the NFL. Taking on more responsibilities, like GM and/or personnel decisions, was probably too much for him. My feeling is that he bit off more than he could chew in wanting total control.

As far as Chapman goes, we’ll have to wait and see about a possible suspension for the domestic issue. But the Yanks knew about that going into the deal.

Nothing new.

I’ve been busy working a lot of OT and getting over a month of bronchitis. Meanwhile, nothing new on the Yankees’ front. Shelby Miller has been dangled by the Braves, but the asking price is Luis Severino.

The Yanks are remaining adamant in retaining Severino, Bird and Judge (the Phils asked for Judge last year in a possible Hamels transaction).

Meanwhile, Boston signed David Price to a $217MM/7 yr deal. $31MM per. What if he blows out his elbow in season 2 and needs TJ surgery?

Jordan Zimmerman went to the Tigers.

The winter meetings are next week. We’ll see what free agent signings and trades are made.

Mark McGwire is now a bench coach in SD and Barry Bonds may join Don Mattingly in Miami as a hitting coach.

Roberts to become Dodger mgr.

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In 2004, Dave Roberts pinch-ran, stole second (barely) and sparked the Red Sox comeback from down 3-0 and three outs from being swept to overcoming that deficit and breaking the “Curse of the Bambino.” Those 2004 Red Sox came back from 0-3 down to beat the Yanks in the 2004 ALCS and went on the sweep the World Series. It was the Red Sox’ first WS title in 86 years.

It is being reported that Roberts will become the next manager of the Dodgers, replacing Don Mattingly, who left by mutual agreement. Mattingly is now the new manager of the Marlins.

Roberts becomes the first colored manager in Dodgers history.

Surprise, the AFL team that had Yankees prospects on it, lost the Arizona Fall League Championship a few days ago. Although catcher Gary Sanchez played well in the league and was considered, he was not named the AFL MVP.

Maddon, Bannister Mgrs. of Year

Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Jeff Bannister of the Rangers were named the Managers of the Year last night.

Joe Girardi of the Yankees finished fifth.

David Ortiz is apparently retiring at the end of the 2016 season.

Harkey back as bullpen coach

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Mike Harkey is back as the Yankees bullpen coach as the Yanks are bringing back almost all of their coaches. The only other change was at hitting coach, reported earlier.

Yogi Berra and Willie Mays are two of the newest recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s too bad Yogi died before he could receive the award.

The Rookies of the Year were named: Kris Bryant of the Cubs and Carlos Correa of Houston.

Brett Gardner may or may not be still on the trading block, but one possible suitor (Seattle) may be out after the Mariners made a deal with Texas for Leonys Martin.

The managers of the year will be announced tonight.

Gardner played with wrist injury the entire season

From the Lohud blog, new hitting coach Alan Cockrell states that Brett Gardner played the entire 2015 season with a wrist injury.

Gardner’s offense began to significantly decline after the All-Star break. He was still getting on base at a pretty decent clip through the end of July, but Gardner hit just .203/.288/.290 from August 1 through the end of the year. Why would a hit by pitch in April cause a massive second-half decline? Cockrell said Gardner got injections to deal with the issue, but eventually he wasn’t allowed to get any more.

“I know he was getting some cortisone and some things like that to try to help him, and they did,” Cockrell said. “They helped him in spurts, but you can only get three of those in a year.”

That wrist injury, along with lingering trouble with Jacoby Ellsbury’s knee, might have been a factor in the Yankees’ struggles at the top of the order.

“It’s tough to hit if you don’t have legs,” Cockrell said. “And it’s tough to hit if you don’t have your hands. … I think it probably was a bigger thing than either of those guys let on.”

Also, the Yanks have let minor leaguer Kyle Roller go. Andrew Bailey is gone as a free agent. Chris Martin was released to go to a Japanese team.