Ex-Red Sox Star Malzone dead at 85.

Frank Malzone, who was an All-Star third baseman for seven seasons and a 3x Gold Glove winner for Boston in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, died at the age of 85.

Malzone played for the Red Sox from 1955-1965 and for the California Angels in 1966. He finished runnerup for the ROY in 1957, when he finished 7th in the MVP voting.

He also received MVP consideration in 1958, 1959, and 1962.

His 162 g. average was .2744-15-82 with an OPS+ of 92.

The Philadelphia Eagles let go of Chip Kelly. It’s hard enough to coach in the NFL. Taking on more responsibilities, like GM and/or personnel decisions, was probably too much for him. My feeling is that he bit off more than he could chew in wanting total control.

As far as Chapman goes, we’ll have to wait and see about a possible suspension for the domestic issue. But the Yanks knew about that going into the deal.

Major trade may give Yanks best bullpen.

The Yanks pulled off a major deal today, and as long as they keep their bullpen intact, they may have the best end trio in the game.

The Yanks traded four minor leaguers–and NONE of their untouchables (Bird, Severino, Sanchez, Judge or Mateo) to the Cincinnati Reds for Aroldis Chapman, he of the 103 MPH fastball.

If the Yanks don’t deal Miller, they would have an end game of Betances, Miller and Chapman. Talk about shortening the game! Starters would just need go to six.

Since it is late, I’ll link to Lohud’s website below. It gives the stats on Chapman and the four minor leaguers the Yanks gave up, Tony Renda, Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis and Eric Jagielo.

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2015/12/28/yankees-trade-four-minor-leaguers-aroldis-chapman/

Thank you, Brian Cashman. This was a great birthday present for me!

 

Dave Henderson dead at 57.

Dave Henderson, who hit a dramatic HR for the 1986 Red Sox and who later was the CF for three consecutive pennant winning A’s teams from 1988-1990, died of a heart attack today at the age of 57. Henderson recently had a kidney transplant.

Henderson, nicknamed “Hendu,” hit a HR in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS when Boston was one strike away from elimination. The Red Sox came back to win the ALCS before losing to the Mets in the WS.

He was CF for the A’s 1988-1990, winning the WS in 1989.

He played for Seattle 1981-1986, Boston 1986-1987, the Giants 1987, A’s 1988-1993 and KC 1994.

He finished 13th in the 1988 MVP voting and 21st in 1991 when he made his only All-Star team.

His 162 game average was .258-21-75, with an OPS+ of  108.

Ex-Red O’Toole dies at 78.

Jim O’Toole, a lefty who pitched for the Reds against the Yankees in the 1961 World Series, died today, December 26th, at the age of 78.

O’Toole pitched for the Reds from 1958-1966, and concluded his MLB career with the 1967 White Sox.

He won 19 games in 1961 for the NL Champs, and went 0-2 in his two WS starts, giving up 4 runs in 12 IP. He finished 10th in MVP voting that year (won by teammate Frank Robinson).

O’Toole won 16 games in 1962 and was an All-Star in 1963 when he won 17 games. He also won 17 in 1964 when the Reds missed winning the pennant by one game.

At his peak, 1961-1964, he averaged 17-11 with a 3.05 ERA, ERA+ 123. But his peak didn’t last long.

O’Toole’s career went south after 1964 and his last game came in July 1967 for the White Sox, who finished fourth that year, just three games out. O’Toole was just 30 when he pitched in his final game.

He was 98-84 in his career with a 3.57 ERA (ERA+ 106). His 162 g. average was 13-11, 3.57, ERA+ 106.

Rose banishment sticks.

Commissioner Manfred today upheld the banishment on Pete Rose. Many may disagree, but I have one question for those people.

Have they ever read the Dowd report or are their opinions not based on the facts in the report, but on their own opinions?

I HAVE read the summary of the Dowd report, and there is no doubt in my mind that Rose’s banishment from baseball is deserved and should stick.

Another thing that grates on me are the people who call Rose the best hitter ever. Just because he has the most hits ever doesn’t make him the greatest hitter ever.

Really, would you take him over Ruth, Ted Williams, Mays, Aaron, Cobb, even steroid users like Barry Bonds? I wouldn’t.

Heck, Rose isn’t even the greatest switch-hitter ever. That would be Mickey Mantle.

This isn’t to knock Rose, a great player. But he isn’t the greatest hitter ever.

Those other guys didn’t get the hits Rose did because they drew many more walks—because they were FEARED more.

Rose was a great player. Greatest hitter ever? No. But also a player whose ego and transgressions sadly barred him from the game he was so great in…and deservedly so.

I  don’t have the time or place to chronicle each free agent signing, but Johnny Cueto goes to SF to team up with Samardzija and Bumgarner out there.

Lastly, a passing. Legendary NY Sportswriter Phil Pepe has died at the age of 80 from an apparent heart attack.

Could SWB have a strong core in 2016?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

What the Yanks do now with Rob Refsnyder I don’t know. Starlin Castro is a 3x All-Star and only a year older than Refsnyder and is a righty hitter like Refsnyder is. Dustin Ackley hits lefty and is more versatile than Refsnyder. It appears that Refsnyder’s way to the majors is blocked, and he will be going back to SWB unless the Yanks package him in a deal.

Which they may do. After all, with the trades of Warren and Wilson, the Yanks will need to replenish their bullpen.

Meanwhile, Greg Bird’s pathway to the majors is blocked right now by Mark Teixeira. A-Rod can only DH.

Then we come to Gary Sanchez. It’s not a given that he will be the backup catcher now that the Yanks have traded Murphy. Austin Romine is out of options, and the Yanks may decide to have Romine backup Brian McCann for that reason and to let Sanchez play every day at SWB so that he can develop further. Sanchez doesn’t have that much AAA experience. Neither does Bird for that matter.

The Yanks could also get a backup catcher yet as well.

Since the Yanks traded for Aaron Hicks, and since Ackley can play corner OF, Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott could be AAA-bound to play OF along with Aaron Judge.

So if the Yanks do decide to keep Refsnyder, and decide that Sanchez could benefit further from playing every day at AAA as opposed to once a week in the majors, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (SWB), the Yanks’ AAA team, could have a team with Bird, Refsnyder, Sanchez, Heathcott, Judge and Williams as starters.

We’ll see.

But it’ll be an interesting team if that happens.

Yanks deal Wilson for 2 minor league pitchers

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

The Yankees made another deal today, dealing Justin Wilson to the Tigers for two minor league right-handed pitchers. The Yanks must have faith that James Pazos, Tyler Webb or Jacob Lindgren can fill Wilson’s shoes, or maybe another deal is brewing, because with Warren and Wilson gone, the bullpen can now need some reinforcements.

Wilson was 5-0, 3.10 for the Yanks in 2015. In return for him, the Yanks get two prospects from the Tigers. Both are righty pitchers.

Luis Cessa is 23, and went 8-10, 4.52 between AA and AAA last year. He excelled at AA, and ran into trouble at AAA.

Chad Green, 24, went 5-14, 3.93 at the Tigers’ AA team last year.

They provide minor league depth. Losing Wilson hurts. The Yanks must think the trio I listed above are ready, or another deal is brewing.

Having traded Warren and Wilson in consecutive days, something tells me another deal is brewing.