Category Archives: Scandal

Things not as easy for Jeter now that he’s in the front office.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In his short time as a Marlins’ executive, Derek Jeter has made, and may yet make, some unpopular, controversial decisions, and the public relations, which always were so good when he was Yankees’ SS and captain, have been pretty bad.

First off, he let some popular Marlins figures go, including “Mr. Marlin”, Jeff Conine. Some people were offered positions back, but at significant pay cuts.

Jeter knew coming into this job that he inherited a mess. Lots of cost-cutting and decisions would have to be made that will make Jeter look like the bad guy. This was the first of those types of moves.

Some moves may be necessary, but Jeter will and has come across as heartless, cold and calculating.

Secondly, the problem with Giancarlo Stanton and his huge contract. 10 more years, $295MM. Stanton most likely will be traded this offseason, and it most likely won’t resonate well with Marlins’ fans who will hate to see the 2017 NL MVP go. Stanton won’t be alone, either. Other Marlins players will go as the Marlins seek to gut the team to get to a very low payroll.

Now, another move that is just bad P.R. and may be the icing on the cake so far. A Marlins scout was just let go. The problem is, this scout just had surgery for colon cancer, and needs a kidney transplant. The scout was informed of his layoff while he was, yup, in the hospital, and Jeter did not inform the scout personally but some underling did the dirty deed instead.

Jeter is finding out being a front office exec of the Marlins is a little different than being the beloved captain of the Yankees.

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Judge has surgery; Ohtani on way?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Apparently Aaron Judge hit a lot of his 52 HR on a damaged shoulder. Judge slumped after the All-Star break, but rebounded to hit 15 HR in September. He had a poor ALDS vs. the Indians, but went 6 for 24 with 2 doubles and 3 HR against Houston in the ALCS.

Could a couple of cortisone shots have helped him in September and in the ALCS?

Judge had surgery Monday on his left shoulder, the one the press said he was icing for a while, to clear out some debris in there. He should be OK for the beginning of spring training.

But he was most likely playing with it like that for a while. Not bad for damaged goods, eh?

Meanwhile, MLB passed a new posting setup with Japan, so Shohei Ohtani looks like he is coming over to play MLB baseball, and the Yankees are the heavy favorite to land the 23 year old.

If you have access to youtube, pull up his highlights and watch them. He could be a combination of Masahiro Tanaka and Hideki Matsui in ONE PACKAGE.

Wow.

A guy who pitches AND hits that well. And the $20MM posting fee does not count against the cap, and the Yankees got extra bonus $ to throw at him. He would come, salary-wise, cheap, and only the salary goes against the cap.

The Yanks have to take a chance on him. Hits 100 MPH on the mound, lefty power hitter at the plate.

Does both well, hence the nickname the “Japanese Babe Ruth.” Think of Babe, ca. 1918 & 1919.

And the Yanks are the heavy favorites to land him. Recruiting pitches from Tanaka and Matsui should help.

The Braves were hit hard today for breaking international signing rules. Their GM was permanently barred from the game and 13 minor leaguers, including their top prospect, are now free agents.

 

WS Game 4. LA evens series with 5-run 9th.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Remember that with the dismissal of Joe Girardi, the new manager will most likely have an all new coaching staff. All of the coaches have contracts expiring Tuesday, and hiring a manager whose coaching staff has been pre-picked for him makes so sense.

The Dodgers evened the WS up at two games apiece by winning Game 4, 6-2. They scored five runs in the top of the 9th. It was the first postseason game this year that Houston lost at home.

Houston scored first, when George Springer’s homer broke up a no-hit bid and put Houston up 1-0.

Cody Bellinger doubled and scored on a Logan Forsythe single to tie the game in the seventh.

A single, walk, and double by Bellinger put LA up 2-1 in the top of the ninth. After a strikeout and intentional walk to load the bases for a possible inning-ending DP, a SF by Austin Barnes and 3-run HR by Joc Pederson put LA up 6-1. Houston got an Alex Bregman HR in the bottom of the ninth for the final score of 6-2.

The two homers for the two Houston runs were the only hits Houston had all game.

Once again, a case where someone does well, and instead of leaving him in, a manager goes to his “closer.” In this case, Devenski has a 1-2-3 eighth for Houston, gets pulled and Giles blows the game.

When will managers learn to keep effective pitchers in the game?

Don’t get me wrong, because of family outside LA, I’m pulling for the Dodgers since the Yankees are out of it, but…

Game 5. Kuechel vs. Kershaw. Maybe the key game of the Series. Should be a good one.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale (8-7-1) won 11-3. Yankees’ prospects:

LF Billy McKinney 2 for 5, double, 4 RBI. .306
RF Estevan Florial 0 for 3, walked 2x, scored 2 runs. .316

Starting pitcher Justus Sheffield (W, 2-1, 2.37) 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 6 K.
Reliever Andrew Schwaab 1 IP, 1 r, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 8.31.

Too bad MLB suspended Yuri Gurriel for 5 games next year and not for during this WS. What he did was uncalled for. But MLB wanted to penalize him and not his teammates for his inappropriate gesture.

A long shot, but besides someone like Raul Ibanez, many say Jason Giambi has what it takes to be a manager, but would Cashman hire someone without managerial experience?

Hearrtbreaker for my alma mater, Penn State, who just like in last year’s Rose Bowl, blew a 2-touchdown or more lead late in the game. This time it’s a 39-38 loss at Ohio State.

 

 

Boras, Ellsbury, the AFL and WS Game 1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Scott Boras is known as a top-notch agent.

He inflates the importance of players to get them ridiculous salaries they don’t deserve, and at a commission.

Often, these salaries are for too long, for too much, and is a burden on the teams that fall for Boras’ BS.

One such example is with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury probably has the worst contract with the Yankees right now, and maybe in all of baseball.

In 2013, Ellsbury helped the Red Sox to a WS title, and made $9MM that year. After the season, the free agent signed with the Yankees for seven years with an option for an eighth at a little over $21MM per year. Nice jump.

And little production since. The oft-injured CF has averaged .264-10-50 with 26 SB a year in his four seasons with the Yankees, and lost his CF job. His OPS+ is 95. 5% below league average, and he is not known for his throwing arm, either.

$21MM for a fourth OF/DH. One with average stats, nice speed, not the greatest arm. And three more guaranteed years on his contract.

One who this season hit .264-7-39 with 22 SB and who went 0 for 9 in the postseason.

One who hasn’t hit .270, hit 10 HR, driven in 60, stolen 25 bases or has had an OPS+ of 100 (league average) in any of the last three years.

So Bore-A$$ starts complaining about his playing time.

Hey Bore-a$$, shut up. Continue fleecing teams for your 15% commission or whatever you get and stop trying to be their manager.

As for Ellsbury, maybe he last a comeback in him at age 34. But the last three years don’t signify that. The Yanks would love to dump his salary if they could, even if they have to eat most of it.

A bad deal. Bore-a$$ should just laugh his way to the bank, having found a sucker who signed Ellsbury for that much.

And he should just STFU about playing time.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 3-1. Yankees prospects:

RF Estevan Florial 0 for 4, struck out 3x.
1B Billy McKinney 2 for 4 with a strikeout.
SS Thairo Estrada 1 for 4, solo HR, one strikeout.

Starting Pitcher Albert Abreu 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Relief pitcher Andrew Schwaab 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Relief Pitcher Cody Carroll (S, 2) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.

In WS Game 1, LA beat Houston 3-1. Chris Taylor hit Dallas Keuchel’s first pitch of the game for a 447 ft. HR. Houston tied it in the fourth on a HR by Alex Bregman but in the bottom of the sixth, Justin Turner’s 2-run HR was the deciding blow. Clayton Kershaw outduelled Keuchel. Kershaw went 7 innings, giving up one run on three hits, and struck out 11.

ALDS Game 3. Yanks survive 1-0 behind Tanaka gem, Bird HR and Judge catch.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

By the skin of their teeth, the Yankees survive to play another game. They won Game 3 of the ALDS 1-0 Sunday night to avoid being eliminated by Cleveland. Cleveland still leads the best-of-five series two games to one.

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant, pitching seven shutout innings. He got two strikeouts after a one-out Kipnis triple in the fourth to get out of trouble.

In the sixth, Aaron Judge robbed Francisco Lindor of a 2-run HR. It appeared that had Judge not stretched out his 6’7″  frame to make the catch that the ball would have cleared the fence or hit the top and bounced over for a 2-run HR.

The Yanks blew a chance in the sixth. Hicks singled but Gardner GIDP (why wasn’t Gardner bunting there?) Judge walked, Sanchez singled and Didi walked, but Castro popped up.

In the bottom of the seventh, Greg Bird accounted for the only run of the game with a HR.

David Robertson got the first out in the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman had to come on for a five-out save, stranding two in the ninth.

Game Four is scheduled for 6:30 today with Luis Severino starting for the Yanks. There is a chance of rain.

Tanaka (Winner) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K.
Robertson (Hold) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Chapman (Save) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.

Chapman had to apologize to Girardi before the game because of a social media faux pas he had made after Game 2, criticizing the manager. Girardi was booed when introduced pre-game because of what happened in Game 2 with his not challenging a call that turned that game around.

In the other ALDS, Boston also stayed alive and forced a Game 4 vs. Houston.

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.

 

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.