Category Archives: Scandal

Gossage, like Levine, needs to zip it.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Besides Randy Levine needing to zip it more often, another person who needs to zip it is Rich “Goose” Gossage, who showed up in camp with his annual rant against relief pitchers, and particularly the great and classy Mariano Rivera.

Goose was great. His plaque is in Monument Park, deservedly so. In his prime, 1978-1983 as a Yankee, he averaged 7-5, 2.10, and 25 saves/yr. Remember that he missed 1/2 of 1979 due to the Cliff Johnson fight and 1/3 of 1981 due to the players’ strike. He is in the HOF, rightfully so, with a record of 124-107, 310 saves, 3.01 ERA and ERA+ of 126. (Goose also spent part of 1989 with the Yanks, at the end of his career). In that 1978-1983 time frame, he averaged 1 2/3 innings per appearance.

Goose spent one year starting for the White Sox in 1976.

Now Goose did pitch 2 2/3 innings in that famous Bucky Dent playoff game vs. Boston in 1978.

In what seems to be his annual rant against baseball today, he says (with expletives) not to compare him, Sutter, Fingers, etc. to pitchers like Rivera, Chapman, etc. because the latter day pitchers are one-inning guys. Fair enough.

But the way Goose disparages Rivera is uncalled for. Mariano’s #42 is retired by the Yankees, rightfully so, and Mo should be joining Goose in the HOF in 2019. He should get in almost unanimously, if not unanimously (there is always one jerk out there) on the very first ballot. What’s Goose going to do, boycott the ceremony?

Taking away Mo’s rookie season of 1995, when he started 10 games, from 1996 to the end of his career, Mariano pitched in 950 games, 1216 2/3 IP, averaging almost 1 1/3 innings per appearance—not too far off of Goose’s 1978-1983 average of 1 2/3. Rivera, of course, finished his career 82-60, a record 652 saves, 2.21 ERA and ERA+ a record 205.

And Mo did pitch three innings in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

The game changed. Goose should not hold Mo responsible for that or disparage Mo. Mo did his job, as the job requirements demanded at that time, as good or better than anyone else, just as Goose did his job, as the requirements demanded at the time, as good or better than anyone else.

The game has changed. Pitchers don’t throw complete games anymore. You don’t see starters throwing 300 innings in a season anymore. But you don’t hear Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson bitching about today’s great starters, do you?

In the same way, relief pitching has changed. I’m old school, and can agree with and sympathize with Gossage’s opinion.

But at the same time, Goose comes across as a bitter, classless, crotchety old man.

It’s to the classy Rivera’s credit that he doesn’t respond in kind. Mo’s not like that.

Enough already. Goose should just praise Mo for the great reliever he was, add that there were two different kinds of eras, and say I was great in mine, Mo was great in his, and be done with it.

Because Goose’s bitching is getting rather tiresome.

Between Goose’s rant and Randy Levine’s gloating over the Dellin Betances’ arbitration case, I was a little ashamed this week—a week I usually can’t wait for, what with spring training starting.

Hey guys, zip it, and let’s concentrate on baseball. Don’t disparage the game and the players but respect and honor good players.

Because your comments this week were very sad to hear, and I’m sure I am not the only Yankees fan saddened, disheartened, and quite frankly, a bit pissed at what I saw and heard.

Betances loses arbitration case, Bleier DFA’d, and not too nice thoughts on Randy Levine.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In his three full years as a Yankee, Dellin Betances has been an All-Star all three times, and has averaged 5-3, 1.93. That wasn’t good enough for him to win an arbitration case, where he wanted $5MM for 2017. He’ll settle for $3MM instead.

But that is where it should have ended. Now you start the season. But no, team president Randy Levine, whom I have never liked because of various arrogant things he has said and done (remember his quotes from last year’s trade deadline?) came out afterwards and basically rubbed the decision right into Betances’ face, like doing a touchdown dance and spiking the ball right into your face.

Why? Why rub it in and piss off your player, especially when he is one of the best players on the team and one of the best setup men in baseball? For a $2MM difference? Why not just say it’s over with and wish Betances a good year?

Betances was pissed at what Levine had to say and I don’t blame him. I hope it doesn’t affect Betances for the season.

As for Levine, once a jerk, always a jerk.

The Yanks earlier this week DFA’d Richard Bleier to make room for newly acquired Chris Carter on the roster. I was sad to see this. Bleier, 29, LHP, did a good job for the Yanks in 2016. In 23 games, 23 innings pitched, he had an ERA of just 1.96. Maybe he’ll be re-signed and go to AAA, we’ll see. But he did a good job in 2016 and I was sad to see that he got the axe because of the Carter signing.

That Carter signing doesn’t look as bad now that Austin got hurt. You never know.

Game 159. Yanks sweep Bosox, but are eliminated.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks got a little bit of payback for getting swept up in Boston last weekend by sweeping Boston in three games at the Stadium this week, but with Baltimore’s win over Toronto, were officially eliminated from postseason activity.

CC Sabathia was great in the Yankees’ 5-1 win. It’s the last time the Yanks will have to face the retiring David “Big Papi” Ortiz.

CC’s win was #223 of his career.

The Yanks are now 83-76.

The Yanks got a run in the first when Jacoby Ellsbury walked, stole second, and scored on a Starlin Castro double.

Boston tied it in the fourth on a HR by Xander Bogaerts.

In the fifth, Aaron Hicks bunted for a hit and was doubled home by Ellsbury.

In the sixth, Castro singled, Headley walked and McCann singled to load the bases with one out. After a fly out by Hicks that failed to bring in a run, Tyler Austin walked to force in a run and another scored on a WP.

McCann walked and scored on a double by Hicks in the eighth.

It was a rough night for Gary Sanchez, who went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts.

Sabathia (w, 9-12, 3.91) 7 1/3 IP, 1 R,  4 H, 2 walks, 8 K.
Clippard (H, 25) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.63 (AZ/NYY)
Bleier 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks 1 K. 2.14.

One-time Yankees prospect Jesus Montero, who hasn’t lived up to his billing after the Yanks traded him for Michael Pineda a few years back, and who had some run-ins with his own team’s personnel, was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

Game 156. Yanks rally with 5 in 9th to win “brawl” game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees scored 5 times in the top of the ninth and won 7-5 over Toronto in a game that saw a brushback battle, and Luis Severino, Joe Girardi, Rob Thompson and Larry Rothschild all ejected.

The Yanks go to 80-76 and close the season with six games at home. They are all but officially eliminated, being 5 out of a playoff spot with six games to go. The most wins the Yanks can have is 86. Toronto already has that and Baltimore has 85. Not only that, there are three teams between the Yanks and Baltimore.

In the first, Gardner got on on a bunt single (where was that all year) and went to third on a 2-base throwing error on the play. He scored on an RBI groundout by Sanchez.

In the bottom of the first, with one out, Severino hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch. A single and two walks later, the game was tied at 1. Severino got out of the inning giving up just that one run.

In the top of the second, Headley was HBP and the benches cleared. Girardi was tossed. In the bottom of the second, Toronto’s Josh Smoak was drilled, benches emptied and more ejections were made.

Toronto got two in the third to go up 3-1.

The Yanks got one back in the eighth. Gardner, who doubled,  scored on an RBI single by Ellsbury.

In the ninth, Teixeira homered with one out (14) to tie the game. #408 of his career passed Duke Snider on the all-time list. Gregorius singled, and Hicks homered (8) to put the Yanks up 5-3. Solano doubled, Gardner walked, and Ellsbury singled in a run to make it 6-3. Sanchez got a SF to make it 7-3.

Betances came in and needed help. He once again looked completely out of gas and couldn’t field his position. Layne came in to save it.

Gardner had 3 hits and scored 3 runs. Ellsbury had 2 hits and 2 RBI. 2 RBI for Sanchez. Big 2-run HR for Hicks.

Severino 1+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 2 HBP. Ejected. 5.75
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walks, 0 K. 7.11
Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K, 7.71
Yates 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 3 K. 5.36
Bleier 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.33
Warren (w, 7-4, 4.64 Cubs/NYY) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Betances 0 IP,  2 R, 1 earned, 0 H, 2 walks, 0 K.  Made an error. 3.13. Faced 3 batters, all reached. 2 walks and an error.
Layne (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.14.

James Kaprielian, who was dominant in spring training and in three games for High-A Tampa this year before being shut down with a flexor strain, is now OK and will be making up time in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. Good news.

Game 129. Yanks blanked, 5-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Maybe I should go away for the weekend more often.

Or take more time off of work and stay longer. (Actually, it’s a weekend retreat, so I couldn’t stay longer).

While I was away, the Yanks beat the Orioles 13-5 on Friday night and 14-4 on Saturday afternoon. Gary Sanchez homered in both games to become the fastest player to hit 11 homers. Starlin Castro homered, Mark Teixeira got one (#405 career), Hicks, even Headley, who must have seen my criticism of him the other day when he complained about playing time and I basically said shut up and produce.

Then I come home Sunday afternoon and the Yanks lose 5-0. Sanchez did have a single and double, and is hitting .405. Ronald Torreyes, who has for now taken Headley’s job, had two more hits.

With Sanchez and Torreyes hot, McCann and Headley’s playing time has decreased.

Before the loss, the Yanks had hit their high water mark of the year, six over .500. They are presently 67-62 with 33 games left. 4th in AL East, 6 1/2 out. As for making the playoffs, they are 3 1/2 out of the second wild card spot, but the problem is the logjam. They have to jump five teams.

As Al Davis, former Raiders’ owner would say, “Just Win, Baby.”

Steve Pearce had 3 hits, inc. a HR, and 3 RBI for the Orioles yesterday. A few years ago, he was doing well for SWB and I thought he should be brought up by the Yanks to platoon. A certain NY sportswriter criticized me. Let’s just say that I don’t care for the reporter or his rag of a paper, and have been proven right. Pearce has proven to be a decent platoon player. (.301-12-33 this year so far between the Rays and O’s, 21 HR as a part-timer in 2014 for the O’s).

CC pitched well, made one mistake, a HR to Pearce, left with some runners on, and instead of shutting down Baltimore and getting out of the inning, Adam Warren gave up a hit that let the inherited runners score. Ballgame over.

Sabathia (L, 8-11, 4.31) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.11 (Cubs/NYY)
Heller 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2nd MLB game. 10.80
Parker 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 1.17 (Sea/NYY)

To the NFL for a bit.

I see Tony Romo of the Cowboys got hurt AGAIN. He didn’t play in the first two preseason games, and on the third play of the third preseason game—and first one he plays in—he gets a broken bone in his back. This after a couple of broken collarbones, one of which cost him 12 games last year (in which Dallas went 1-11). Now he is out for 2 months.  Maybe he  should just retire.

… and a big resounding BOO to Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand for the National Anthem. In what other country can you earn $19MM per year for doing what you do? And not too well lately, I may add. Spoiled brat.

Finally, back to baseball. Steve Arlin, a pitcher for the Padres in the early 1970s, in the first years of the Padres’ existence, passed away recently.

 

 

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Yankees’ top prospect Jorge Mateo has been suspended for two weeks for popping off to the front office about a promotion from High A Tampa to AA Trenton. Apparently he said to release someone else so that he could be promoted. The suspension means that Mateo will not be playing in the Futures game.

AAA: SWB won 10-0. Remember a few days ago that I told you to watch out for Dietrich Enns? 7 IP, 0 R, 2 Hits. 3-1, 0.70 at SWB. Between AA and AAA, 10-3, 1.60 this year. Green is up, and for the time being anyway, has replaced Eovaldi in the rotation. Could Enns replace Pineda or Nova? 3B Donovan Solano 4 hits, 4 RBI….. but Headley has two more years on his deal unless the Yanks move him. Solano is hitting .305 with 39 RBI. OF Ben Gamel 3 hits, rbi (.300). Home runs for 1B Tyler Austin and OFs Cesar Puello and Jake Cave. Each had two hits, Cave with 2 RBI. All three are at .290 or better. 2B Jonathan Diaz 2 hits.

AA: Trenton lost 7-1. Lane Adams two hits.

High A: Tampa lost 7-0. Will Carter 2 R in 7 IP, then the bullpen fell apart. 2B Thairo Estrada 2 hits.

Low A: Charleston lost 4-1. Nestor Cortes 7 IP, 1 R, then the bullpen gave up more. OF Jhalen Jackson solo HR, 2 hits.  2 hits each for SS Kyle Holder, OF Cesar Diaz.

Game 53. Didi’s D saves Yanks, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

He didn’t start the game, but Didi Gregorius, brought in for defense in the 8th, saved it for the Yanks.

This wasn’t the way you expected the Yanks to win a game.

Michael Pineda finally pitched a decent game, giving up just one run. The Yanks, however, didn’t get a hit until the sixth.

Rob Refsnyder, starting against a lefty (with Castro at SS) doubled for the Yanks first hit of the game. He tug up and went to third a a flyball (to left!) and scored on a SF by Ellsbury to tie the game.

The Yanks got four in the seventh, and once again Refsnyder and Ellsbury were involved. A-Rod and Headley singled and after a force out, Refsnyder singled in a run to give the Yanks the lead, 2-1. Hicks singled to make it 3-1 and Ellsbury tripled to make it 5-1.

No problem with the big 3 on the way, right? Wrong.

Betances, Miller and Chapman EACH gave up a run.

In the 8th, a run scored off Miller to make it 5-3. It would have been 5-4 except that Didi’s relay throw gunned down Upton at the plate.

In the 9th, Chapman had the bases loaded and no one out when Didi and Castro converted a tough DP. The run scored, and now the runners had the tying run on third with future HOF Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Chapman got Cabrera to ground out to Castro.

Pineda 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 7 H, 0 walks, 8 K. 6.41. (Where was this all year?)
Betances (w, 2-2, 2.81) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 3 K.
Miller (H, 7) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 1.25
Chapman (S, 8) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.61.

You aren’t going to win many games when all three of Betances, Miller and Chapman give up runs.

The Yanks have to find a way to get Refsnyder’s bat into the lineup. Whether it is for Gardner in LF one day, for Headley at 3B another, for giving Didi a rest by playing 2B and having Castro slide over to SS, or if he works out at 1B, for Teixeira. Even DH him instead of A-Rod at times. He had two hits last night. As we know, Gardner, Hicks, Teix, Headley and A-Rod have all been slumping.Of those five, three are under .200, and Gardner is at .211. Maybe rotating Refsnyder around, and getting one of those five out of the lineup on each given day may help. It can’t hurt.Maybe Refsnyder can be a super sub.

Ellsbury had 3 rbi.

Cleveland’s Marlon Byrd recently was nabbed for the 2nd time for PEDs. 162 g. suspension. At his age and at this stage of his career, he is most likely done.