Tag Archives: a-rod

S.T. Game 14. Cessa makes statement in Yanks’ 6-1 win. Tanaka named Opening Day Starter. A-Rod engaged to J-Lo.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

On a day when Masahiro Tanaka was named the Opening Day Starter, Luis Cessa made a statement about who should fill in while Luis Severino and CC Sabathia are on the shelf.

Cessa pitched four great innings (granted, against Baltimore) in the Yanks’ 6-1 win over the Orioles last night. The win puts the Yanks’ spring training record at 7-6-1.

Paxton and Happ will follow Tanaka, in that order.

Getting back to the game.

C Gary Sanchez drove in 2 runs.

Tyler Wade, who’ll probably stick as a utility man, had a double. Clint Frazier, probably AAA bound to get regular at bats (especially since most of 2018 was lost due to the concussion issues) went 0 for 4.

Greg Bird, fighting it out with Luke Voit for the 1B job only one will win, went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Billy Burns had a double, RBI and 2 SB. Angel Aguilar went 1 for 1 with an RBI, as the lineup was very prospect-heavy.

Cessa (w) 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K.
Tarpley (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Don’t count him out for a spot.
Abreu 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 1 K.
Diehl 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Harvey 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up HR.

In other news, Yankee-related, ex-Yankee Alex Rodriguez and singer/dancer Jennifer Lopez announced their engagement.

Beltran appointed special advisor to GM Cashman

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok, let’s put some pieces of a puzzle together. Even though the Yanks say that Manny Machado has some explaining to do about his actions and statements in this year’s postseason, the Yanks are still meeting with him tomorrow. Obviously, with Didi out half the season, the Yanks could go with Machado at SS until Didi returns.

What they then do with Miguel Andujar is anybody’s guess. (Trade for a top-notch pitcher? A top-notch 1B if Voit/Bird don’t cut it? Move Andujar to another position? 1B? LF? But of LF, what of Clint Frazier? You get the drift).

But here is the rub. A-Rod, Machado’s idol, is a special advisor to the Yankees. Machado has made it clear he’d love to play in NY (in the case above, regarding Machado’s offseason, some columnists have suggested that maybe Machado needs to sell himself to the Yankees and not the other way around). #13, A-Rod’s number, hasn’t been retired, and wouldn’t Machado like to follow A-Rod by wearing the number Machado wore in Baltimore? (#8, which Machado wore for the Dodgers, is retired by the Yankees for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey).

Now today, the day before the Yanks meet with Machado, the Yanks announce that they have hired Carlos Beltran as an advisor to GM Brian Cashman. It just so happens that Beltran’s former agent happens to be Machado’s current agent. Now Machado’s brother-in-law, Alonso, was just traded from Cleveland to the White Sox, and blood may be thicker than water, but with A-Rod and Beltran both now special advisors in the Yanks’ front office, maybe that water is getting mighty thick.

Me? Here is my guess: that Machado does wind up a Yankee (with Harper going to the Phillies). Which could give a lineup of Gardner, Judge, Machado, Stanton, Hicks, Sanchez, Andujar, Voit/Bird and Torres come opening day.

Should Clint Frazier make the team (I doubt it, unless the Yanks can dump Ellsbury—keeping Ellsbury means AAA for Frazier—no room) maybe against lefties Hicks leads off, everyone below Hicks moves up a notch and Frazier bats ninth.

Just saying.

But an interesting move in Beltran (who by the way, interviewed for the Yanks’ managerial job last year….possible managerial material?) being hired by the Yanks the day before the Machado meeting.

Just trying to read the tea leaves here.

Hal Steinbrenner will probably not be at the meeting with Machado. After all, his mom just passed away.

But I keep thinking of Machado as another A-Rod. All that talent, but all that baggage that may be coming with it.

 

Beltre, one of the greatest 3B ever, retires.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Adrian Beltre announced his retirement from baseball today, and will most likely be a first ballot HOF in 2024.

Beltre, listed on baseball-reference.com as the 4th greatest 3B ever (behind Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews and Wade Boggs, and ahead of George Brett, Chipper Jones, Ron Santo and Brooks Robinson) finishes his career with 3166 hits (16th on the all-time list) and 477 HR (30th). He was a 4x All-Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, and 2x Platinum Glove winner. Six times he finished in the top 10 for MVP voting, including a runnerup finish in 2004 and a 3rd place finish in 2012. He played for the Dodgers 1998-2004, Seattle 2005-2009, Boston 2010, and Texas 2011-2018. My guess is he goes into the HOF as a Ranger. His 162 game average was .286-26-94, OPS+ 116. In 28 postseason games, he hit .261-5-11.

A passing. Ken Howell, who pitched in the majors from 1984-1990, passed away November 9 at the age of 57. He pitched for the Dodgers 1984-1988 and the Phillies 1989-1990. His best season was in 1989 for the Phils, when he went 12-12, 3.44, ERA+ 103. He went 38-48, 3.95, ERA+ 92 in his MLB career, 162 game average 9-11, 3.95, ERA+ 92. He got into one postseason game with the Dodgers in 1985 against the Cardinals in the NLCS.

I’ve seen some news about the Yankees and Manny Machado that make me laugh and want to shake my head.

First off, Reggie Jackson is raising some concerns about the statements Machado made that he isn’t “Johnny Hustle”. Now I do agree that Reggie has the right to question Machado’s remarks, and mentioned that a lack of hustle wouldn’t play in NY. But lest we forget June 18, 1977, when REGGIE’S lack of hustle after a bloop single made Billy Martin pull him from a game in Fenway and which almost caused a brawl between Billy and Reggie in the dugout? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Also, A-Rod apparently is calling Machado a “fine young man.” So a guy who was suspended from baseball for an entire year due to steroid usage is being a character witness for Machado? (Shaking my head).

 

WS Game 3. Muncy’s walkoff HR wins it for LA in 18th, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In a game that ended around 3:30 AM Eastern Time, the Dodgers won the longest WS game in history, 3-2 in 18 innings, on a Max Muncy walkoff HR off of Nathan Eovaldi to avoid an 0-3 deficit in games. Boston leads two games to one.

With the game going so long, teams will have to decide who starts Game 4 (see below), and players could be exhausted. Eovaldi threw 97 pitches of relief in Game 3.

Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers in the third to put them up 1-0.

In the sixth, Manny Machado hit what he thought was a HR, showboated, and wound up with a long single instead of a double. So far this postseason, there is a lot NOT to like about a team potentially signing him as a free agent. So much talent, too many headaches. If the Yanks sign him, could they be getting another A-Rod, another person with so much talent and so many headaches?

Funny how Manny adores A-Rod, A-Rod is pushing for Machado and A-Rod despite his TV connections, is still a Yankees’ advisor. You wonder if A-Rod will bring Machado, and all his talent, but also all his problems, to the Bronx.

A-Rod redux. And just like A-Rod, a guy who wants to play one position, but is forced into another (although, with Didi’s injury, Machado may get to play the position he desires, at least temporarily, but then what? Where does Andujar go if Machado does wind up a Yankee?)

Dodgers’ starter Walker Buehler was brilliant.

But in the bottom of the eighth, Jackie Bradley tied it with a HR off of Kenley Jansen.

Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers pulled a rock, getting picked off of first in the bottom of the ninth. In the top of the tenth, he made up for it by throwing out a runner at the plate for an inning-ending DP.

Boston scored in the top of the 13th, but left the bases loaded. LA came back to tie it up with two out in the bottom of the 13th on an error, setting the stage for Muncy’s walkoff HR in the bottom of the 18th. Muncy had just missed winning it with a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 15th, as his long drive was just foul.

Wood the winner, Eovaldi the loser. As the NY Post’s Joel Sherman reports, the Dodgers didn’t use Rich Hill, and have him to start Game 4, but Boston used Price in relief, used up Eovaldi, and didn’t even use Drew Pomeranz who now may be forced to start Game 4. Who starts?

The Hank Aaron awards for league’s best hitters went to Christian Yelich of the Brewers and Boston’s J.D. Martinez.

And if you want a good chuckle, agent Scott Bora$$ says that Jacoby Ellsbury will be ready to go for the Yanks in 2019 spring training. What else did you expect Bora$$ to say? The guy is great at fleecing owners.

Minor League Report (SWB loses Game 3) and some Yankees’ observations.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

AAA: SWB lost Game 3 of the AAA International League Finals, 3-0, Thursday night and are now down 2 games to 1 in the best-of-five series.

LF Mark Payton 2 hits.

King (L) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Diehl 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Sosebee 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Interesting stuff on the Yanks today. Hitting just .214 on the road since the All-Star break. Ouch. Stanton 8 for last 71 with 31 strikeouts. Joel Sherman in the NY Post saying Stanton could become another lightning rod like A-Rod was when he failed. I hope not.

They miss Judge. We can see that. Some of Boone’s decisions are being criticized right now, but he doesn’t have Judge or Chapman. The lack of OF depth, esp. since people like Gamel, Fowler, Cave, McKinney, Austin were traded (and with the injuries to Frazier and Ellsbury) hurt right now. Gardner, Stanton, Hicks all slumping.

It’s looking like Chapman may be coming back, but how late and how rusty? Same with Judge.

As far as next free agent class goes, and as much as I’d like Machado and as much as Machado may want to come to NY (moving Andujar where? DH (Stanton to LF?) 1B? LF?) I am thinking more and more that getting Bryce Harper may be the better fit. Here is why.

Gardner. Yanks can pick up his option at $12.5 MM for 2019 or buy him out at $2mm. He is 35 and hitting .238. The buyout is looking likely.

So who to replace him in LF? Ellsbury isn’t reliable with the injuries, nor is Frazier after the concussion. Both could serve as backup OF.

So replace Gardner with Harper? Let’s look at lineup balance.

Righty bats: Sanchez, Voit, Torres, Andujar, Judge, Stanton.

Lefty bats (in a stadium built for lefties): Hicks (switch hitter), Didi, Bird.

So if Gardner is paid off, where does the lefty power come from? Bird has been disappointing.

Looking at that imbalance, as much as I’d like Machado, Harper could be the better fit.

Imagine this in 2019.

Hicks CF S
Judge RF R
Harper LF L
Stanton DH R
Didi SS L
Sanchez C R
Andujar 3B R
Bird/Voit 1B (platoon?) L/R
Torres 2B R

A little more balance, and we can always dream, can’t we?

 

Game 92. Bullpen comes through. Yanks 7, Indians 4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

What was supposed to be a pitching duel between Cy Young candidates Luis Severino and Corey Kluber turned into a bit of a slugfest, as neither pitcher had his best stuff. The Yanks (61-31) rallied late to win 7-4 and stay 3 1/2 back of Boston, who won their 10th straight.

Severino struggled right off the bat, giving up a double, groundout and single for a run, and after a caught stealing, gave up a HR. The Yanks were down 2-0.

In the third, Brett Gardner hit the first of his two HR for the game, a 2-run shot that tied it up.

Severino gave the lead right back to Cleveland, giving up a run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2.

Didi Gregorius, who homered off Kluber twice in Game 5 of last year’s ALDS, tied the game with a HR (16) in the fourth, and later in that inning Stanton singled, advanced to third on an error on Hicks’ sacrifice bunt. Bird, heating up, doubled to make it 4-3. The Yanks loaded the bases with no one out but could not tack on more runs.

Severino gave up a HR in the fifth that tied the game.

In the eighth, Gregorius walked, and with one out, Hicks doubled him in. Hicks stole third and scored on a SF by Bird that make it 6-4.

Gardner hit his second HR (9) of the game in the ninth for the final score of 7-4.

Not a good game for Austin Romine, who got the golden sombrero (0 for 4, 4 strikeouts).

Gardner 2 HR, 3 RBI
Didi solo HR
Bird 2 RBI
Andujar 2 hits

Great job by the bullpen. 4 IP, no runs, no hits.

Severino 5 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 2 HR.  2.31
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.85
Robertson (W, 6-3, 3.19) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Betances (H, 14) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.68
Chapman (S, 25) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.38

Other notes. Hopefully MLB is wrong. They give Boston a 62 percent chance of winning the division, the Yanks, 38 percent.

The Yanks are 16-13 without Gleyber Torres, 45-18 with him.

Ex-White Sox backup INF Sammy Esposito (member of 1959 AL Champs) has passed away at age 86.

As for Manny Machado wanting to play SS? He’s a great hitter, but if he comes to the Yankees, the Yankees already have Didi. The defensive runs saved above average stat has Manny at -20, Didi -1. Big difference defensively.

Albert Pujols tied Ken Griffey, Jr. on the all-time HR list with #630 last night. The only players with more are Barry Bonds 762*, Aaron 755, Ruth 714, A-Rod 696* and Mays 660.

Football player LeSean McCoy is in trouble, apparently beating the heck out of his girlfriend. We’ll see what kind of punishment the law and the NFL enforce.

 

 

Yanks’ game suspended, meanwhile, Seattle’s Cano suspended, too.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees game vs. the Nationals was suspended after 5 1/2 innings with the score tied at 3. The game will be resumed Wednesday at 5 PM, before the regularly scheduled game.

I hate inter-league games at NL parks where the Yanks lose the DH. Masahiro Tanaka started tonight and batted 8th in the lineup.

My grammy beating a rug had a better swing than most pitchers. I am a traditionalist when it comes to baseball except for the DH. Watching a pitcher hit is like enduring Chinese water torture.

Because of inter-league, and the possible need for another PH on the bench, Clint Frazier was called up from SWB and David Hale was DFA’d (again… the Yanks DFA’d him earlier this year, he went to the Twins, THEY DFA’d him and he came back to the Yanks. Some spring for Hale). How long Frazier’s call up lasts, who knows. It could be just for these 2 inter-league games vs. the Nationals.

Robbie Cano was suspended for 80 games by MLB. A couple things about this. When asked if he knew about PED use by Cano, and if that was why the Yanks didn’t re-sign Cano when Robbie became a free agent, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman stated that he had no knowledge, because knowledge requires you to report it and if not reported, it is a $1MM fine. But, Cashman stated, knowledge is one thing and suspicions another. A very telling line by Cashman.

Maybe there were suspicions. The Yanks did offer 7 years and $180MM, but were blown away by Seattle’s $240MM, 10 yr offer.

Maybe the suspicions made the Yanks low-ball Cano.

The suspicions would be this: Cano’s two best friends on the Yankees were A-Rod and Melky, both of whom were busted. His charity was run by someone whose name became linked to Biogenesis. It could be Robbie was getting away with it for years but finally was caught.

What he was caught for was furosemide, the generic of Lasix, a diuretic. Furosemide in and of itself is not a PED, or steroid. But it can be used as a masking agent to hide steroids. Cano denies that it was used for that purpose, but MLB apparently had evidence that it was.

So Cano is suspended for 80 games, and is ineligible for the postseason should Seattle make it.

But here is the rub. The suspension begins immediately. Cano was appealing the suspension until he had his hand broken while hit by a pitch the other day. So he’d have been out 6-8 weeks anyway because of the break. So the suspension runs concurrently with his time on the DL.

This is wrong. MLB should change the rules so that any suspension like this starts AFTER THE PLAYER COMES OFF THE DL. That is why Cano dropped the appeal, because he knew that because of the broken finger, he would miss only a few weeks of REAL time.

Cano is listed as one of the top 10 2B of ALL TIME. His HOF credentials just took a serious hit today. Because of this, he may never make the HOF.