Category Archives: The Front Office

Ex-White Sox CF Landis dies. Thoughts on Jeter being an exec.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jim Landis, CF for the Go-Go White Sox that won the 1959 AL pennant, died at the age of 83. He hit .272-5-60 with 20 SB that year with an OPS+ of 108 and finished 7th in the MVP voting.

A 2x All-Star and 5x Gold Glove winner, he played for the White Sox from 1957-1964, the KC A’s in 1965, was with the Indians in 1966, and split his final season of 1967 between Houston, Detroit and Boston.

His best years were from 1958-1961, with 1961 being his best when he hit .283-22-85 with 19 SB and an OPS+ of 123.

His 162 g. average was .247-11-56, 17 SB and an OPS+ of 99.

He went 7 for 24 with 1 RBI in the 1959 WS.

Meanwhile, a good article I read recently raised questions. Derek Jeter has already pilfered Gary Denbo from the Yankees’ front office to go to work for the Marlins. How many others may he try to steal? If Jeter raids the Yankees for front office talent and even coaching talent, will the beloved captain become not so beloved anymore?

Sounds like sacrilege, but…

Imagine Matsui or Tino or maybe Paul O’Neill being hitting coaches for the Marlins. David Cone or Andy Pettitte as a Marlins pitching coach (although, to be honest, I can’t see Cone or O’Neill leaving the comfy broadcasting booth of YES). Mo as bullpen coach? Posada as bench coach or even manager?

Can you imagine a Yankees’ Old-Timer’s Day without Jeter, Matsui, Mo, or any of the rest that I mentioned, because they are all now working, managing or coaching the Marlins? Would be kind of boring, right?

Will the most beloved Yankee since Mattingly, and one of the most beloved Yankees ever, tarnish his sheen with a raid on Yankees’ talent to build his Marlins teams?

If so, how will the Yankees’ fan base react?

This will be interesting to see.

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Gene “The Stick” Michael, ex-Yanks player, coach, manager, GM, front office exec, dies at 79.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

He served in just about every capacity with the Yankees you could imagine. Player, coach, manager, GM, front office executive.

Gene “The Stick” Michael died this morning at the age of 79.

Way before shortstops like Robin Yount, Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter transformed the game, most shortstops were good fielding/no-hit/no-power types like Bucky Dent, Bud Harrelson, Don Kessinger, … and Gene Michael.

Michael played from 1966-1975 in the majors, not becoming a MLB player until he was 28. He played for the Pirates (1966), Dodgers (1967), Yankees (1968-1974) and Tigers (1975). As a player, he is best known for being the Yankees full-time SS from 1969-1973.

His best year was 1969, when he hit .272 with an OPS+ of 101. That was 43 points higher than his lifetime batting average, and the OPS+ was 34 points higher.

He hit just .229 in his MLB career, with just 15 HR. His 162 g. average was .229-2-38, with an OPS+ of just 67.

Mostly a SS, he did play some 2B and 3B. He even pitched in one game, for the 1968 Yankees, and pitched 3 innings, giving up  5 runs on 5 hits, but all runs were unearned. He walked no one, struck out 3 and hit a batter.

It was OFF the field were he made his biggest impact. After his playing career was over, he became a coach.

In 1981, he took over as Yankees’ manager. He guided them to a 34-22 record and first place when the strike hit. The Yanks were declared first-half AL East champs. He was 14-12 in the second half and was fired. Bob Lemon managed the Yanks in the 1981 postseason.

He took over for Lemon in 1982 and was 44-42 before being fired by George Steinbrenner again.

He managed the Cubs in 1986 and 1987. His total managerial record was 206-200.

He rejoined the Yankees administration as a GM and front office executive and was there in the early 1990s when the Yanks were down (worst AL team in 1990) and rebuilt the team into the dynasty it became from the mid-1990s on. He wouldn’t trade Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams, and showed faith that a young Derek Jeter was ready for the SS job in 1996.

His nickname, “Stick”, came from his lean, 6’2″, 183 lb. frame.

 

Game 133. Bird is the word in Yanks’ 6-2 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It’s been a horrible year for Greg Bird, who had such a great spring training before fouling a ball off his ankle which messed up his swing, put him on the DL, and required surgery.

Last night, we saw what could have been for this year if Bird had stayed healthy. He hit a 2-run HR (3) to give the Yanks a cushion and had 3 RBI in the Yankees’ 6-2 win over Boston.

The win puts the 71-62 Yanks 4 1/2 behind Boston in the AL East. They have the top wild card spot by just one game over the Twins, and have a 2 1/2 game edge over the Angels for falling out of the playoffs altogether. The Angels made a couple of big moves to try to get over the hump and into the playoffs, picking up Justin Upton from the Tigers and Brandon Phillips off the Braves. Meanwhile, AL West leading Houston picked up Justin Verlander (Kate Upton’s fiancee, LOL) from the Tigers.

CC Sabathia escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning but gave up a run in the third. The Yanks won one challenge in the top of the third when Aaron Hicks threw out Andrew Benintendi when Benintendi was trying for a double, but lost another when Mookie Betts was called safe at second when the Yanks were trying for an inning-ending DP that would have prevented a run from scoring. Instead, one out, no DP and Boston up 1-0.

Gary Sanchez tied the game in the bottom of the third with his 28th HR of the season.

The Yanks got a big break in the fifth. With one out, Brett Gardner singled. Aaron Hicks was jammed, but his little jam shot found grass, and the single pushed Gardner to third. Sanchez popped up, but Eduardo Nunez, shifted over from his normal position, overran the popup, it fell for a single, and the Yanks were up 2-1.

Bird’s 2-run HR (3) made in 4-1 in the sixth. It came after a Chase Headley double that led off the inning. After Bird’s HR, Todd Frazier singled, and with one out, Aaron Hicks singled. With two out, Didi Gregorius singled to make it 5-1.

A walk to Aaron Judge (dropped to sixth in the lineup), a single by Headley and a single by Bird made it 6-1 in the seventh.

Boston got a run in the ninth for the final of 6-2.

Gardner 2 hits.
Hicks 2 hits. Robbed of a third, when a line drive was turned into a 1-3 DP.
Sanchez 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI.
Castro 2 hits.
Headley 2 hits.
Bird 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI.

Nice TEAM effort.

Sabathia (W, 11-5, 3.71) 6 IP, 1 r, 4 H, 5 W, 6 K.
Robertson 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 w, 1 K. 2.36
Betances 1 Ip, 1 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.34

CC was in and out of trouble, what with the walks, but got out of it. Hicks and Judge made nice throws from the outfield to nab runners at second.

UPDATE: Rosters can expand now, and Matt Holliday will be back with the Yanks tonight (Friday). We’ll see who else joins the team.

The Yanks got 37 year old catcher Erik Kratz off of Cleveland for cash considerations. This is because Romine and Sanchez will have to serve their suspensions soon (not simultaneously, of course). But it gives them a backup catcher. Kyle Higashioka is on the DL down at SWB. Kratz has played with the Pirates, Phillies, Blue Jays, Royals, Phillies again, Astros, and Pirates again. In 225 games, 599 AB, he is .200-24-73. Low average, has a bit of pop. 162 g. average: .200-17-53, OPS+ 66. This is just a temporary thing b/c of the suspensions.

This year, Kratz was at AAA Columbus, .270-13-37 in 86 games.

Minor League Report.

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AAA: SWB (84-50) won 5-3. CF Jake Cave 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI. (.342). LF Mason Williams 2 hits, solo HR. SS Cito Culver HR, 2 RBI. 3B Miguel Andujar 2 hits. This win clinched the division for SWB.

Mitchell (W, 3-3, 3.25) 5 Ip, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Feyereisen (H, 6) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.57
Rumbelow (S, 5) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.64

AA: Trenton won 3-2 in 13 innings. 1B Ryan McBroom 3 hits, RBI. SS Thairo Estrada 2 hits.  3B Abiatal Avelino made an error that allowed Bowie to tie the game in the 12th but he doubled and scored the winning run in the 13th.

Tate 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 4 W, 6 K. 3.24
Schwaab 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.24
Coshow 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. 3.81
Brewer (W, 3-1, 1.37) 2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Reeves (S, 2) 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00

High A: Both of Tampa’s games, one of which was a makeup from July 10, were ppd. Tampa manager Jay Bell named Mgr. of Year for FSL,

Low A: No game scheduled in Charleston’s League.

GM Brian Cashman in Japan scouting Otani, the Japanese player who is called “Japan’s Babe Ruth” because he pitches and hits well.

Game 115. Boston blasts Severino, Tanaka to Dl. Montgomery escapes DL. Mets trade another Yanks’ target elsewhere.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

What a bad day for the Yanks.

Masahiro Tanaka joins CC on the 10-day DL. For CC, knee. For Tanaka, shoulder inflammation.

…. Seand the Yanks almost had to put Sunday night’s starter, Jordan Montgomery, on the DL himself. He was hit in the head with a BP line drive while signing autographs before today’s game.

The Yanks fell to 61-54, 4 1/2 back of Boston due to a 10-5 loss Saturday afternoon. Luis Severino got rocked, giving up two 3-run HRs to Boston’s Andrew Benintendi.

The Yanks started well, getting a 2-run HR in the first by Gary Sanchez (19).

But Boston got five in the third, keyed by Benintendi’s first HR.

The Yanks loaded the bases with no one out in the fourth but only got one run. As you readers of mine know, I criticize Girardi for never MAKING THINGS HAPPEN. He doesn’t steal much, doesn’t hit and run, almost never bunts, and never squeezes runs home. He doesn’t play littleball. He doesn’t CREATE RUNS, and this team is having trouble scoring runs lately. It drives me crazy. Bases loaded, no one out and only one run.

Boston got five more in the fifth, keyed by another 3-run HR by Benintendi to go up 10-3.

The Yanks got back-to-back HR by Headley (7) and Ellsbury (5) in the ninth. 10-5 final.

Aaron Judges’ post All-Star game troubles are a problem. He has dropped 40 points of the batting average. .329 to .289,  W.161-5-12 since winning that HR derby. A curse. Some 43 strikeouts or so in 93 at bats. Strikeouts in his last 29 straight games. We have to get him back on track. As I mentioned, so many strikeouts are LOOKING. Pitch recognition? Aaargh. Swing that bat!

He is so strong. Stay WITH the ball and work on going the other way. He is so strong it will go out to RF.

Before the trade deadline, the Yanks were talking to the Mets about Neil Walker. They didn’t like his medicals, so a trade didn’t happen. He was dealt to the Brewers. So a third Yankees trade target from the Mets goes elsewhere. It really looks like the Mets have a thing about trading anyone to the Yankees, even if the Yanks give them a better deal (inferiority complex?). Whatever, I hope the Yanks kick the Mets’ ass this coming week as a result.

Severino (L, 9-5, 3.32) 4 1/3 IP, 10 R, 8 ER, 8 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Gallegos 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. 5.79
Mitchell 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.33

I guess we can rule OUT Mitchell for Monday against the Mets (taking Tanaka’s turn).

 

 

Game 113. Yanks blanked, 4-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If the Yanks want to win the division, they better start thinking about sweeping the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium this weekend, because otherwise, the division is slipping away. To do that, the bats have to wake up.

Toronto blanked the Yanks 4-0 Thursday night to drop the Yanks to 60-53, 4 1/2 games behind Boston. The Yanks still have the top wild card spot right now.

Sonny Gray is now 0-2, 3.00 as a Yankee, and in both he games received little to no run support as well as suffered defensive miscues. In this game, the defensive miscue was done by Gray himself.

In the second, a wild throw on a pickoff attempt by Gray, and a fielder’s choice by Gray in which the runner scored and the batter still reached, enabled Toronto to score the only run they’d need. Toronto also nicked Gray for runs in the third and fourth.

Jose Bautista homered in the seventh off of Chasen Shreve to make it 4-0.

Aaron Judge has struck out in 27 consecutive games. I wouldn’t mind so much the swinging strikeouts, but the called ones…. swing the bat, Aaron!

The Yanks were 0 for 9 w/RISP.

Clint Frazier was put on the DL. Aaron Hicks was brought back off the DL.

The Yanks have tried to get help. They inquired about Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce from the Mets but the Mets sent Duda to the Rays, Bruce to the Indians, and both for what it seems are inferior packages to what the Yanks offered. Perhaps the Mets are gun-shy about having one of their players do well for the cross-town team.

It looks like Derek Jeter’s bid to buy the Marlins is picking up some steam.

Gray (L, 6-7, 3.39) 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 W, 6 K.
Shreve 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.84

Minor League Report. Hicks continues rehab. Austin starts his.

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Very nice news to see. Before the trade deadline, the Yanks were ranked #2 in MLB for the minor league system.

Even after the moves at the trade deadline, the Yanks are still ranked #4. Very nice, Cashman.

AAA: SWB (69-41) lost 4-2. Aaron Hicks DH’d in his second rehab game. He went 1 for 3, double, walk, scored a run. LF Jake Cave 2-run HR. Cave is having a fabulous year (.372-13-31) at AAA and deserves a Sept. callup.  You wonder who will come up when the rosters expand. 1B Tyler Austin came off the DL to begin rehab, going 0 for 2. RF Billy McKinney had 2 hits.

Caleb Smith (L 8-1, 2.35) 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H,  3 W, 2 K.
Lail 1 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.47
Rumbelow 2 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.00.
Gallegos 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H,  0 W, 1 K. 1.87.

AA: Trenton (73-36) split a DH.

Reg. sched. game: Lost 2-0. They got just 2 hits. CF Jeff Hendrix recently promoted from Tampa to Trenton. Nice average, decent speed, no power (70 games, .275-2-12, 13 SB).

Camarena (L, 1-1, 3.40) 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 1 K. (5-3, 3.35 AA/AAA)

Makeup of 8/2 rainout: Won 4-1. 2 hits, double, solo HR for Nick Solak, just promoted from Tampa. Hendrix 2 hits. LF Zack Zehner 2 rbi.

Jose Mesa is the son of the former reliever, Jose Mesa, who pitched in the majors for 19 seasons with eight different teams and who saved over 300 games.

Between A+/AA, he is 2-1, 2.56 this year with 4 saves.

Mesa (W, 1-0, 1.80) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 7 K.
Carroll (S, 1) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.10  (has split year A+/AA)

High A (A+) Tampa: (64-45) lost 6-2. Just promoted CF Estevan Florial 2 hits, RBI.

Widener (L, 5-7, 3.99) 3 IP, 3 r, 4 H, 2 W, 2 K.
Frare 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.74
Reeves 2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.70.

Low A (A): Charleston (59-50) lost 6-3. LF Isiah Gilliam 3 doubles, rbi. DH Carlos Vidal 2 hits.

Nelson (L, 2-8, 4.81) 5 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Morris 3 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. 2.97

Quick note: former ND football coach Ara Parseghian died a few days ago at the age of 94. The legendary coach was just 50 when he retired after the 1974 season. He coached the “Fighting Irish” for eleven seasons, 1964-1974, winning two national championships (1966, 1973).