Category Archives: Scandal

Game 40. Yanks lose 3rd straight, 9-5. Concerns after Tanaka bombed again.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If I were the Yankees, I’d make Masahiro Tanaka take an MRI. For if he isn’t hurt, he’s certainly lost right now.

But maybe we need to know if he is hurt.

Tanaka can opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but the way he’s pitching now, no one would take him.

Tanaka didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, and gave up 3 HR. In his last two starts, he has pitched less than six innings combined, and has given up 14 runs and seven HR.

That is just not him. Neither is that unsightly 6.56 ERA.

You wonder if he’s ok. You wonder if that partially torn UCL is a fully torn one now, and if Tanaka isn’t saying anything but hiding something.

You don’t have to wonder if he is lost out there right now. He is.

He gave up a HR right away, on his third pitch of the game.

The Yanks came back in the top of the second and tied it at one on Aaron Judge’s 15th HR of the year, but Tanaka gave up a run in the bottom of the second. 2-1 Rays.

Evan Longoria homered off Tanaka in the third. 3-1 Rays.

The Yanks tied it in the fourth on a two-run double by Chase Headley, but Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR to Corey Dickerson in the bottom half of the inning. 6-3 Rays and Tanaka was out of there.

Gary Sanchez hit his fourth HR of the year to make it 6-4 in the top of the fifth, but Tommy Layne, who has been struggling badly himself, gave up three runs in the bottom half of that inning.

Headley got an RBI groundout in the sixth for the final run of the game. 9-5 Rays.

Both manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild were ejected by the HP umpire. Hearing about the ejections and what the HP umpire, Scott Barry, did or didn’t do, Barry deserves a reprimand. Hey buddy, people don’t come to see YOU. For example, Rothschild was ejected just for saying “you missed a few”. Touchy, touchy, snowflake. Then, when Girardi was ejected just for demanding an explanation of Rothschild’s ejection, Girardi spread dirt over the plate, ala Billy Martin, that Barry left there. He didn’t dust off the plate for the pitcher afterward, and it stayed there for several pitches until Sanchez cleaned it off. Totally unprofessional.

Sanchez 2 hits, solo HR. Now at .303. The Kraken has awoken.
Matt Holliday was 0 for 3, 3 strikeouts. Played 1B.
Aaron Judge 2 hits, double, solo HR, was HBP which forced the ejection of the Rays’ starter, Andariese, who hit two batters. No, Judge didn’t charge the mound. What a sight THAT would have been! Judge DH’d.
Headley  3 RBI

Tanaka (L, 5-3, 6.56) 3+ IP, 6 R, 9 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 3 HR.
Layne 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 8.18. 1 HBP.
Gallegos 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.06
Shreve 1 1 /3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 0.00
Holder 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 w, 1 K. 1.93

The Yanks need to either get Tanaka straightened out or find out if he is hurt.

As for Layne, I wouldn’t be surprised if a move is made regarding him, like maybe replacing him with Tyler Webb, who is now at SWB.

But something needs to be done about both of them. Both have to get their mojo back.

The loss drops the Yanks to 24-16. It’s their third in a row, and they’ve lost seven of the last 10. It dropped them out of first place, into second, 1/2 game behind the Orioles.

Game 25. Judge (2 HR), Jury (Gardner, 2 HR) and Executioner (Hicks) as Yanks win 11-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Judge hit 2 HR and so did Brett Gardner as the Yanks beat Toronto tonight, 11-5, to go to 16-9 on the season.

One bit of concern. Austin Romine left the game with a groin injury. Will the Yanks be forced to rush Gary Sanchez back from rehab? (See my minor league report on what Sanchez did in his first rehab game tonight. I should be posting that tomorrow morning.)

Before the game, a couple of moves. Cessa down, Shreve up. Bird to the 10-day DL. Refsnyder up.

Doubles by the resurgent Brett Gardner and by Matt Holliday gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead in the first.

In the second, the Yanks got a 2-run HR by Hicks (5) and Gardner’s first HR of the game (3), also a 2-run shot, to make it 5-0.

Aaron Judge sliced a HR around the opposite field (RF) foul pole (11) to make it 6-0 in the third.

Gardner, who had no RBI in the first 20 games, had his second 2-hr game of the week by hitting a HR in the fourth to make it 7-0. You need this. Guys hot will cool off, and then guys cold need to heat up. Not everyone is hot at the same time. You need the guys who are cold to heat up when the hot guys cool off.

Chase Headley got an RBI single in the sixth, but Steve Pearce hit 2 HR for Toronto, one in the fifth and another in the seventh, and Dellin Betances balked home a run in the seventh, and the next thing you know, it was 8-4 Yanks.

Aaron Judge then hit his second HR of the game, a three-run shot (12) in the seventh to put the game away, 11-4.

Toronto got a run in the eighth, but that was the end of the scoring. Yanks win 11-5.

Gardner 3 hits, scored 3, drove in 3, 2 HR.
Headley 2 hits, rbi.
Holliday 3 hits, rbi.
Castro 2 hits (.360).
Judge 2 for 3, scored 3 runs, drove in 4, walked twice. 2 HR.
Hicks 2 hits, 2 RBI. HR.

Hopefully Kyle Higashioka gets his first MLB hit soon. The poor guy is 0 for 15.

Tanaka (w, 4-1, 4.46) 6 1/3 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Clippard 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1.80
Betances (H, 5) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.08
Layne 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.00
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.00

Some Red Sox’ fans hurled racist epithets at Baltimore’s Adam Jones last night. Disgusting. Boston was the last of the original 16 teams to integrate. They even had a disgusting, racist thing happen to Celtics’ legend Bill Russell in the 1960s. Not all Red Sox fans are assholes like this. All fan bases have jerks. But what happened is uncalled for.

Manny Machado, Jones’ teammate, blasted the Red Sox. Nice job, asshole fans who did that. Machado is a free agent soon. He is a superstar. If he signs with, say, the Yankees over Boston, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

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.