Category Archives: Media

Managers of the Year selected today. … and what is or isn’t a rookie?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Awards week continues as the Managers of the Year will be named tonight.

With last night’s win of the AL ROY by Shohei Ohtani, it once again begs the question of when a Japanese player comes to the U.S. and MLB, what is and what isn’t a rookie?

Ohtani won because of his two-way play, not only hitting .285-22-61, 10 SB, OPS+ 152 in 104 games, but also going 4-2, 3.31, ERA+ 126 in 10 starts before his elbow blew out. That was enough to beat out the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar, who hit .297-27-92, OPS+ 126, but who had defensive liabilities.

The vote wasn’t as close as maybe it should have been. 25 first place votes to 5. (The Yankees’ Gleyber Torres finished third, but received no first place votes).

Because of his two-way status, I really feel that as long as Ohtani didn’t fall flat on his face, and he didn’t, that the novelty of being the first true two-way player since Babe Ruth almost 100 years ago would win him the award, and it did.

Ohtani had spent five years in the “Japanese major leagues” though. Other Japanese players have won the Rookie of the Year Award after coming over to the U.S., notably Ichiro Suzuki, who won both the AL ROY and AL MVP in 2001.

But what about 2003, when Hideki Matsui was denied the award in part because people felt he wasn’t a “rookie”, because he had spent 10 years in the “Japanese majors”?

The inconsistency of the BBWAA is still astonishing.

Of course, in a couple of months, some members will prove their ignorance in how they voted in the HOF voting.

 

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Steinbrenner and Piniella on HOF list, Finalists listed for major awards.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Top 3 finishers for next week’s awards have been named. From MLB.com

AL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox:

Many thought teammate J.D. Martinez might join him as a finalist, but he missed the cut, meaning he won’t be in the top 3.

Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians:

Mike Trout, OF, Angels:

NL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies:

Javier Baez, 2B/SS, Cubs:

Christian Yelich, OF, Brewers:

 

AL CY YOUNG
Corey Kluber, RHP, Indians: After winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and ’17, Kluber is a finalist for the third straight year.

Blake Snell, LHP, Rays:

Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros:

NL CY YOUNG
Jacob deGrom, RHP Mets:

Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies:

Max Scherzer, RHP, Nationals:

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Miguel Andujar, 3B, Yankees:

Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH, Angels:

Gleyber Torres, 2B, Yankees:

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Braves:

Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers:

Juan Soto, OF, Nationals:

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Kevin Cash, Rays:

Alex Cora, Red Sox:

Bob Melvin, A’s:

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Bud Black, Rockies:

Craig Counsell, Brewers:

Brian Snitker, Braves:

 

From ESPN.COM

Late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, former managers Lou Piniella, Davey Johnson and Charlie Manuel, and six players headed by Lee Smith are on the 10-man ballot for the baseball Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Era committee to consider next month.

Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser and Joe Carter also are on the ballot for the 16-man committee — which meets Dec. 9 at the winter meetings in Las Vegas — to consider. The committee considers candidates from 1998 to the present, and a candidate needs at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected.

WS Game 4. Boston takes 3-1 lead in Series as LA blows late 4-0 lead.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce. Last night, Pearce drove in 4 runs to enable Boston to go up 3 games to 1 over the Dodgers in the World Series.

Funny how things turned out.

It’s a painful loss for L.A. Not only are they one loss from losing the WS for the second year in a row, but they blew a late 4-0 lead in losing 9-6.

They scored 4 runs in the sixth, highlighted by a 3-run HR by Yasiel Puig. Boston entered the top of the seventh with only one hit.

Then they woke up. Rich Hill, pitching so great to that point, walked the first batter, struck out the next, and was pulled from the game. The Dodgers’ bullpen imploded.

A walk. Another pitching change. A popup.

And once again, Boston struck with two out. PH Keith Moreland hit a 3-run HR to make it 4-3.

Ryan Madson has allowed EVERY inherited runner to score in this WS. So why was he on the mound with two on in a 4-0 game only to give up a 3-run HR?

Yes, Hill may have been tiring in the seventh. But he was still working on a one-hit shutout!

I swear, sometimes teams—in every sport—don’t win games as much as the other team’s coach or manager blows it.

In the eighth, Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen gave up a game-tying HR for the second straight night. Pearce’s blast tied the game.

Then Boston put it away with five runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted by a bases-clearing 3-run double by Pearce. Pearce’s double, and another hit that drove in Pearce after that, came with…. you guessed it, two out.

Enrique Hernandez hit a 2-run HR for L.A. in the bottom of the ninth, but the final was 9-6, Boston.

WS MVP if Boston wins tonight? Interesting. Pearce has to be considered, but as of now, I might go with Boston reliever Joe Kelly as a frontrunner. He has pitched in all four games, has one win (in last night’s game 4), has pitched five scoreless innings and has struck out seven.

Kelly the winning pitcher last night, Floro the loser.

Seattle’s Edwin Diaz won the Mariano Rivera Award for best reliever in the A.L., and Josh Hader of Milwaukee won the Trevor Hoffman Award for best N.L. Reliever.

Once the WS is over, I’ll take a look at how Yankees’ prospects are doing in the Arizona Fall League.

 

WS Game 2: Boston holds LA to 3 hits, wins 4-2 to take 2-0 lead.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Dodgers only got 3 hits as Boston beat them 4-2 to go up 2 games to none in the Series.

For David Price, previously so bad in the postseason, it was a sweet victory.

For Boston, Mookie Betts had three hits and J.D. Martinez a big 2-run single.

It seems like Boston keeps getting that big hit with two outs.

Off day today as the Series heads to LA.

One-time Yankees’ announcer Hank Greenwald (radio, 1987 and 1988) passed away at age 83. He was the Yanks’s radio guy before John Sterling.

 

Dodgers go 1 up, Boston 2 up in LCS’s. Didi has successful surgery; Machado

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Dodgers went up 3 games to 2 over Milwaukee and are one game away from returning to the WS with a 5-2 win yesterday in Game 5 on the NLCS. Clayton Kershaw, who has had postseason trouble in the past, pitched like the ace he usually is.

Boston took a 3 games to 1 lead over defending WS champ Houston in the ALCS, beating them 8-6 Wednesday night. Jackie Bradley, who hit a grand slam in Game 3, hit a 2-run HR in Game 4. Closer Craig Kimbrel has been shaky this postseason, but with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth, LF Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch to save the game for Boston. If the ball drops and gets past him, Houston at least ties, and probably wins, the game. Also, fans interfered earlier with a ball that went for an out instead of a HR, and that too, cost Houston. Was the call correct? Who knows, but there is a good article by Joel Sherman in the NY Post today criticizing MLB for continuing to use overweight, 66-yr. old umpires as the OF umps down the line.

Didi Gregorius of the Yankees had successful Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow. Once again, he’s expected to miss at least half of the 2019 season.

Meanwhile, one possible replacement for Didi, Manny Machado, isn’t helping his free agent cause. As talented as Machado is, his lack of hustle and sometimes dirty play is turning a lot of people off.

In an interview on the Michael Kay show, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman states that teams have inquired about Gary Sanchez, but that Sanchez is unavailable, even after his disappointing 2018 season.

 

Game 152. Boston clinches AL East, beating Yanks 11-6. Yanks lead over A’s 1.5 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It wasn’t a good night for the Yanks, who lost 11-6 to Boston as Boston clinched the AL East with the win.

Also, the A’s routed the Angels yesterday, so the Yanks’ (93-59) lead over the A’s for the top wild card spot is down to 1 1/2 games. The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s (since the Yanks hold the tiebreaker) is 8, and the Yanks magic # to make the playoffs is 3 over Tampa Bay, 2 over Seattle.

Masahiro Tanaka started and struggled, giving up a run in the first and two in the second.

Luke Voit cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second that set a couple of records. Voit became the 12th Yankee to hit 10 or more HR this season (it was his 11th HR, his 10th as a Yankee), and that set a MLB record for most players on a team with 10 or more. It also was the Yanks’ 246th HR of the season, setting a new team single season record.

But Boston came back with a run in the third. 4-2. Mookie Betts killed the Yanks in this game, getting 4 hits and driving in 5 runs.

In the fourth, Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam (his 35th HR) to put the Yanks up 6-4.

But Tanaka gave up a run in the fifth and the Yanks’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

Up 6-5 in the seventh, the Yanks gave up 3 runs in the seventh and another 3 in the eighth to lose 11-6.

Ex-MLB pitching star and current broadcaster for the MLB network, Jim Kaat (who once pitched for the Yanks briefly) was critical, and rightly so, of some pitching decisions made by either the Yankees’ pitchers or by catcher Gary Sanchez.

Chad Green, who smoked batters in the sixth, gave up a game-tying HR to Jackie Bradley in the seventh on a changeup. Kaat pointed out that his fastball was electric, and that Green has thrown maybe 15 changeups all year long, and you should not get beat on what is, for Green, his third best pitch, and one that is a work in progress. Two more runs scored after this. 8-6 Boston.

The Yanks had to get Aroldis Chapman some work, since he just came off the DL, in order to get him ready for the playoffs, and some rust showed. He gave up a 3-run HR to Betts, 11-6. Once again, Kaat was critical because the HR came off a slider, and not Chapman’s vaunted fastball.

McCutchen 2 hits, 2 walks
Stanton grand slam
Gregorius 2 hits
Voit 2-run HR.

Tanaka 4+ IP, 5 R, 8 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.67
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.81
Green (BS, 4; L, 8-3, 2.64) 1+ IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  2.73
Chapman 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.64 Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.02
Cole 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  5.21 (Wash/NYY)
Tarpley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  5.79

 

Will Judge be in lineup tonight? Yankees observations.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Judge is not scheduled to be in the lineup today or cleared to hit yet as the Yankees face Boston at the Stadium in what is supposed to be an afternoon game.

It’ll be interesting to see if the game is played today because of rain in the forecast.

The Yanks’ magic numbers to clinch the top wild card and also to get into the playoffs remained the same. Besides the Yanks and Oakland both having off, Tampa Bay won.

With just one win in this three game series, Boston would clinch the AL East.

The Yanks have 13 games left and are just 1 1/2 up on Oakland for that top wild card spot. What’s more, the Yanks have the tougher schedule down the stretch, what with six games vs. Boston and four against Tampa Bay as 10 of the 13 games.

The Yanks hurt themselves by recently (since Aug. 26) going just 5-8 against four teams they should have beaten up on: the White Sox, Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays. All four of them have winning percentages of .460 or lower. If the Yanks had gone 8-5 instead of 5-8 in those games, now we are talking being 4 1/2 up on Oakland with 13 to go, a safer cushion.

Recently Mike Francesa called this team the worst 90 win Yankees team ever. He may have forgotten the 1970 team which won 93 games, despite

only 1 guy (Roy White) driving in 80 runs
only 2 guys (White & Bobby Murcer) hitting 10 HR

a lineup featuring

Horace Clarke at 2B OPS+ 68 (100 is average), .251
Gene Michael at SS  .214 ; OPS+ 56
Jerry Kenney at 3B  .193;  OPS+ 61
a RF Platoon of Curt Blefary .212, OPS+ 86, with Ron Woods .227, OPS+ 99

They did have decent pitching. Fritz Peterson won 20, Mel Stottlemyre, Stan Bahnsen and Steve Kline pitched well, and the bullpen had Lindy McDaniel, Jack Aker and Steve Hamilton.

Just saying… but that 1970 team… hmmm….

Lastly, from Joel Sherman:

No player in Yankees history has hit as often as Gary Sanchez has this year (334 plate appearances to date) with as low a batting average (.188). The worst has been Jerry Kenney’s .193 average in 461 plate appearances in 1970.