Category Archives: Media

Baseball Tonight. Beltran on rehab.

The Majors were off due to the All-Star break. We will see what trades may develop over the next two weeks.

AAA: The All-Star game was tonight for the AAA. The International League (the League the Yankees’ AAA team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (SWB) Railriders are in) scored 3 in the top of the ninth to win 4-3. Big night for SWB’s 1B/DH Kyle Roller. He drove in 2 of those three runs in the ninth to tie the game. C Austin Romine 0 for 1 with a walk.

AA: The Eastern League ASG ended in a 4-4, 9-inning tie.  From Trenton, C Gary Sanchez, 0 for 2. OF Jake Cave, 0 for 3, 3 strikeouts, 1 RBI. P Brady Lail a scoreless IP.  P Eric Ruth a scoreless IP.

High A: Gabriel Encinas 1 R on 2 H in 7 IP in Tampa’s  6-4 win. On rehab, DH Carlos Beltran 2 for 2, walk, rbi, 2 runs scored. 1B Mike Ford  3hits, 2 rbi.

A:  10-5 Charleston win. 4 SB for SS Jorge Mateo, who now has 60 on the season. 2 h, 2 Rbi for DH Isaias Tejeda.

Regarding the Pete Rose thing, as I mentioned yesterday, it is a a thing where I am sick of the USA just letting people off the hook. Lifetime ban. Make people responsible for their actions. If you want to let Pete, or any gambling or  PED user in the HOF, then LIFETIME ban. Compromise? Lifetime ban. Put them in only AFTER they are dead (and if Pete goes in, so does Shoeless Joe Jacksson). That way they are in (and on the plaque, the bottom line STATES why they were admitted posthumously). That way greats like Rose, Palmeiro, Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, McGwire, etc. are honored, but only AFTER they are dead, and the last line of the HOF plaque states, for eternity, the reason for the delayed induction.

And by the way, ESPN can go bleep themselves. How about awarding the Arthur Ashe Award for courage to an individual who showed REAL courage? Not a transgendered freak (Jenner) or to a person who came out of the closet (Roberts, Sam)… maybe award it  to a vet who ran a marathon or a half-marathon or whatever after losing a leg fighting for our country? Doing so on a prosthetic leg?

The Arthur Ashe Courage award to a freak. I want to vomit.

It is why I am sick of the media forcing their nutcase opinions on us and canceled my newspaper subscription and will fight the nutcase media until I croak.

Game 33. Bronx Bombers! 5 HRs help CC to his first win of the year, 11-5.

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CC Sabathia finally got his first win of the year as the Yanks bombed out five home runs in a 11-5 win over Tampa Bay on Monday night. The win raises the Yanks’ record to 21-12. That means after a 1-4 start, they have gone 20-8. Red hot. They are in first with a 4-game lead in the AL East.

The Yanks got one in the first on an A-Rod HR. HR #662* (8th on the season) made it 1-0. His two hits tonight put him at 2965 for his career and it was RBI #1989. (Unfortunate that asterisks are needed for all accomplishments. Pity).

After the Rays tied it in the bottom of the first, the Yanks went bombs away. In that bottom of the first, for the second time in a week, Brett Gardner threw out a runner. I still don’t know why he hasn’t won the Gold Glove yet.

Chase Headley hit a 3-run HR in the 4th to make it 4-1. (4)

Carlos Beltran, who went some 160 at bats between career HR #373 and #374 (hit yesterday), wasted no time in getting #2 on the season and #375 of his career, making it 5-1 in the fifth.

Brett Gardner hit a 3-run HR in the sixth to make it 8-1 (3). Headley’s SF in the 7th made it 9-1.

CC was doing fine until the bottom of the 7th, when he gave up 2 HR (back-to-back) and kind of stained his outing tonight. That made it 9-4.

David Carpenter gave up a run in the 8th to make it 9-5, but Mark Teixeira hit HR #11 on the season (#374 of HIS career, tying Colavito) for the final tally of 11-5. Teix was 4 for 5 tonight. Headley had 4 rbi.

CC 7 IP, 4 R, 3 ER,  6 H, 2 walks and 9 K. (W, 1-5, 5.20)
Carpenter 1 IP, 1 R, unearned, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.97.
Pinder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 0.00.

Apparently Jorge Posada has a book coming out and apparently he still holds a grudge about losing his catching job in 2011 and becoming just a DH. Sad to hear. All things must pass, and with Jorge’s defense drawing criticism in his last few years, it may be his ego talking. Sad that after some time away, he is still bitter about it.

Game 5. Yanks fall to 1-4 with an 8-4 loss.

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If Billy Martin were running the team right now, there might be a team meeting with the food tray being toppled over. If George Steinbrenner were the owner, someone may already be getting fired (hey, he fired Yogi when Yogi was 6-10 early in the 1985 season).

Yes, we are only five games into the season, but not only are the Yankees 1-4, it’s how they are 1-4 that is disturbing. For it’s one thing to play well and lose and know that you are playing well and things will straighten themselves out soon. It’s another to lose and look really bad in doing so.

That is what a team batting average of .193 (OPS+ 81, 19% below league average) and eight errors in five games (not counting two passed balls by backup C John Ryan Murphy) will do for you. Make you look really bad.

Throw in the fact that three Yankees have been picked off so far and that they are 1 for 4 in SB this year. Throw in also that two balls were hit yesterday that should have been caught (Gardner, Jones) and were ruled doubles. Throw in again some plays were there were no errors made but mental errors (Didi Gregorious) and you have a team that is really out of sync and playing badly right now.

Thank goodness there are 157 games left and plenty of time to turn it around. But it may NOT be too early for a team meeting. This can’t continue.

The Yanks not only lost to Boston 8-4 on Saturday, but looked bad in doing so. The two balls that should have been caught by Gardner and Jones, for one thing. A-Rod played 1B for the first time in his career, made one error and looked, let’s say, uncomfortable over there. Definitely not smooth (which was to be expected) but awkward. Gregorious held the ball on a relay while a Boston runner was rounding third and scoring (mental error). Earlier in the week, Gregorious made a couple boneheaded plays as a baserunner. He has to be a more savvy player than he has shown so far.

Seven innings into the game, the Yanks had just one hit. They had just five for the game. Only a late Chris Young 3-run HR made the score semi-respectable.

Teams that don’t hit (.193) look really bad and boring. Hopefully the Yanks snap out of it soon.

Beltran is 2 for 20. Drew 2 for 17, Gregorious 2 for 15, Teix has 2 HR but is 3 for 16. Headley had the clutch HR but is 3 for 22, and so on and so forth (I won’t list them all). You can make the case that A-Rod (5 for 18, 2944 career hits now) has been their best regular hitter.

With a lineup like that, as was mentioned on the FoxSports1 telecast, there isn’t much room for error. They can’t afford to make errors, and they have made eight (along with two passed balls and two wild pitches) so far. The team is slow in the middle of the lineup, where you have Beltran, Teix, McCann and A-Rod. As mentioned on the telecast, they are a station to station team, don’t bunt, don’t hit-and-run, don’t steal bases (outside of Ellsbury and Gardner, but are as a team 1 of 4 so far this year). The commentators (and I am NOT a Joe Buck fan) were right in implying that this is a team that waits for the HR, and that HR is to come from aging players who the team hopes can find the fountain of youth for one final, good season.

Hopefully things change soon. The team needs an injection of youth badly but the Yanks’ hands are tied. What do you do when you have these players—CC, Teixeira, A-Rod, Beltran—all of whom will be 35 or older before season’s end—making around $90MM between the four of them and you can’t trade them (either no one will pick up the $$, you’d have to eat a lot of it and/or there are no trade clauses) and you don’t want to eat the money by releasing them? Then throw in Tanaka’s ($25MM) possible problem with his elbow (diminishing his effectiveness) and that fact that so far, 31 yr. old Brian McCann, earning what $15MM/yr.? has underperformed?

As mentioned, as a diehard Yankees’ fan, I hope things turn around soon. This is not to be negative, just a reflection of how things have gone this week. When you hold a mirror up to something that looks terrible, it looks…..terrible. All Yankees fans have to be disappointed at how this season has started.

The pitching has an ERA of 3.44 and an ERA+ of 115 (eight of the 29 runs given up so far have been unearned). That is really pretty good. The bullpen has looked like a strength. Warren (pitching line to come in a moment) wasn’t that bad yesterday, although he had a bit of trouble putting people away, but it is hard to pitch with no margin of error because a) you are getting no run support and/or b) your defense is letting you down.

Warren 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 walks, 1 K. Not a bad outing. Only his 4th MLB start.

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

Martin 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Here is where the game got away.

Matt Tracy (MLB Debut) 2 IP, 3 runs (all unearned), 2 H, 2 walks and 1 K.

Four of the eight runs the Yanks gave up were unearned. Combine that with a .193 team batting average and, well, you get the picture.

Tonight’s ESPN game will be interesting to watch. Will the bats finally wake up? How will Tanaka do? Hall of Famer and MLB network commentator Pedro Martinez estimates Tanaka at 65% due to his elbow issue. If the Yanks are really struggling in June and have fallen way out of the race (let’s hope that isn’t the case) does Tanaka bite the bullet and get the Tommy John surgery that would cost him the rest of 2015 and all of 2016? Will Tanaka be pitching at 2/3 effectiveness all year? Will the elbow give at some point?

Will the Yanks start hitting and tightening up their defense? Will they turn to the kids sooner than expected? Will the kids be rushed?

Right now, there are a lot of questions. There is only one solution.

They have to start playing better, starting now. Granted it’s just five games, but so far, it hasn’t been acceptable. It’s one thing to play well and have some tough losses.

It’s another to have a week like this one has been.

Get back to .500 and go from there.

So wake up and Let’s Go, Yankees!

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.

 

 

 

 

Game 1. Yanks lose opener, 6-1.

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It is just one game, but some worries the prognosticators have about the 2015 Yanks reared their ugly heads as the Yanks lost their opener, 6-1.

One worry is the lineup. The 3-4-5 hitters of Beltran, Teixeira and McCann hit .233-.216 and .232 last year. That needs to improve in 2015. The Yanks managed just three hits all day, and the only run was courtesy of 2014’s best Yankee, Brett Gardner, who homered.

Alex Rodriguez got one of the Yanks’ three hits (McCann had the other of the three). For A-Rod, it was hit #2940 of his career.

The ESPN announcers were rough on Tanaka, bemoaning his diminished velocity and what they thought was his fear in throwing a fastball. Tanaka had two really decent innings before coming apart in the third. An error by Chase Headley didn’t help, but he gave up five runs in the third. With the lineup not producing today, those five runs were more than enough for Toronto. Russell Martin had a two-run single and Edwin Encarnacion a two-run HR in that third inning.

Devon Travis homered for the Blue Jays.

Tanaka, of course, didn’t have surgery on that slight tear of an elbow ligament, but instead rehabbed it. It remains to be seen how that will affect him. Some, like the ESPN announcers, and also Pedro Martinez on MLB network, don’t like what they are seeing.

The pitching line:

Tanaka 4 ip, 5 r, 4 er, 5 H, 2 walks and 6 K.
(Even with the bad 3rd inning, he k’d 6)

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

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

David Carpenter 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

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

Esmiel Rogers 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

Yankees pitchers struck out 12, but that third inning, and lack of offense, doomed the Yanks today.

Didi Gregorious made one bad baserunning move today. You don’t try to steal third when you are down 6-1, two on, two out. He was thrown out. He got a talking to by manager Girardi. Unacceptable.

Hopefully the problems of today (hey, it was just one game) are only for today and not part of what some fear will be a trend in 2015.

The Yanks are off tomorrow (Tuesday). Pineda takes the hill Wednesday evening.

New bio on Billy Martin out

Recently, I got a book sent to me in the mail. An advance copy. It is about 500 pages, and from what I’ve skimmed through so far, it may be the most definitive biography of Billy Martin there is.

The book is Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius, by Bill Pennington (HMH, $30.00).

Billy was a complex character. No bio on Billy would be a short one and this one is about 500 pages. It appears well worth it.

S.T. Game 7. Yanks edge Nationals, 3-2.

The Yanks improved their S.T. record to 4-2-1 with a 3-2 win over Washington today. (MLB.com, I think, is broadcasting the game at 8 tonight (Sunday)).

A-Rod got his first action in the field, fielding one sharply hit grounder. As he himself stated, don’t expect an Ozzie Smith-type year. Meaning not great fielding or range, just make the routine play. Of course, we don’t expect to see A-Rod at 3B too much this year, mostly at DH. Chase Headley should be the regular 3B, barring injury.  A-Rod did get a Texas-league bloop double in the game, and also struck out.

After Washington scored in the top of the first on a first-pitch-of-the-game HR off of Adam Warren, the Yanks tied it in the fourth on a Brett Gardner single.

The Yanks went up 2-1 in the fourth on a single by Jose Pirela. It is starting to look like Brendan Ryan (abdominal injury) may not be ready for Opening Day, so Pirela and Refsnyder could be battling for a spot on the Opening Day Roster. Neither is the backup SS you would want, but Drew could slide over. The problem is that Drew, like Gregorious, is a lefty hitter. While considered more of a utilty man, and especially at 2B/3B/OF, Pirela, a righty bat, has played most of his minor league games at SS (364 games, as opposed to 300 at 2B), although he really isn’t considered a SS prospect. Still, his versatility (Refsnyder isn’t a SS) and SS experience could help him make the team if Ryan isn’t ready. Pirela was 2 for 3 today.

The Nationals tied the game in the top of the seventh, but the Yanks pushed ahead the winning run in the eighth on a single by infielder Cole Figueroa. Figueroa has played 2B/SS/3B in his minor league career. He is a lefty bat, however. He is 10 for 43 in his MLB career, 0 HR, 6 RBI, all with Tampa Bay last year. Nick Noonan is also a possibility as a backup infielder, but he also is a lefty hitter (.219-0-5 in 105 AB with SF last year). He has mostly 2B/SS experience.

I don’t know who the prospects would be, but a report on MLB Trade Rumors says that the Yankees have put together the best package as far as trying to lure Cole Hamels away from the Phillies. No word on what prospects would be given up for Hamels. The Red Sox were seeking a top catching prospect that Boston didn’t want to give up, so you wonder if the Phils would want a Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine or John Ryan Murphy as part of the package. The Phils would love to dump Ryan Howard and his salary (could they be interested in Greg Bird?). Chase Utley isn’t getting younger and if the Phils want to dump him to anyone (of course, we have to consider no-trade clauses here) they could be interested in a Refsnyder. MLBTR reports that in addition to the prospects, the Phils would want the other team to pick up ALL of Hamels’ salary. That, to me, is unrealistic for the 31 year old Hamels, who is due $23.5 MM through 2018 with a big 2019 option. Could or would Hamels fit in with the Yanks? Of course. A very good lefty, and could you imagine a rotation of Tanaka-Hamels-Pineda-CC and Eovaldi (with Nova in reserve)? Pushing Capuano out and replacing him with Hamels? With Luis Severino in reserve? Actually, I don’t think Severino would be in reserve. I think the Phils would insist on Severino as part of the package. But that rotation, if healthy, could be one good rotation. Tanaka-Hamels-Pineda-CC and Eovaldi. With Nova in reserve. R-L-R-L-R.

Hamels, 108-83, 3.27, has been the victim of poor run support in Philadelphia. His ERA+ is 125, but his 162 g. average is 13-10, 3.27. With a 3.27 career ERA, you’d expect better. He was both the NLCS and WS MVP in 2008. To show how little run support he got, last year he was just 9-9 despite an ERA of 2.46. Despite that, he finished 6th in the NL CYA voting.

As for getting Hamels, I have mixed emotions. I need to see how much the Yanks would have to give up and how much salary they would have to take on.

But maybe Texas now goes full bore for Hamels because it appears as if Yu Darvish will be out for the year due to probably needing Tommy John surgery.

Not only that, but apparently Cliff Lee’s elbow is barking again. Not good news for the Phils, who want to dump aging players that are making too much money (sound familiar, Yankees fans?) but are finding it tough to find takers and who are probably asking for too much of a return.

Good news regarding the question marks of Tanaka, Pineda and CC. All are progressing nicely (fingers crossed) and all should see spring training action soon. None of the three is reporting any concerns on recent injuries (Tanaka elbow, Pineda shoulder and CC knee).

The pitching line today.

Adam Warren 3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 1 K. His first pitch was hit for a HR.
Adam Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Dellin Betances 1 IP, 0 R 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.
Luis Severino 1 1/3 IP, 1 R (UNEARNED) 2 H, 1 walk and 3 K. The Yanks’ top pitching prospect was hitting 96/97 today.
Jeff Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 k.
Wilkin Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Jared Burton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

One reason I don’t put too much credence in games this early—Adam Miller will not be pitching in the 4th inning in the regular season this year, nor will Dellin Betances be pitching in the 5th.