Tag Archives: a-rod

Odds and Ends.

Some odds and ends.

I saw an article that stated that according to insiders, Manager Joe Girardi did broach the subject of dropping Derek Jeter down in the batting order last season. Jeter hit just .256-4-50, OPS+ just 75 in his final season. The idea was shot down by upper management, and apparently Jeter wouldn’t go for moving him out of the #2 slot in the order either. Girardi knew that to do so would open a can of worms, so before it even hit the media, he apparently went through upper management and possibly Jeter himself. Would dropping Jeter have benefitted the Yanks? Possibly. Enough to make the playoffs? Possibly not. Enough to make the playoffs and soothe Jeter’s ego? Possibly not. But it’s interesting to note that the idea of dropping Derek (where to? 8? 9?) was considered.

Jason Giambi retired. He was with the Yanks from 2002-2008, hitting 209 of his 440 HR as a Yankee. Giambi, 44, hit 440 HR in his career, hit .277 with an excellent OPS+ of 139, won an MVP award with the A’s in 2000, was runner-up in 2001, and is one of five Yankees with back-to-back 40 HR seasons (2002 and 2003). He hit two homers off of Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. He won’t make the HOF however, because of his admitted PED usage and BALCO connection. It’s said he is a great teammate, and Terry Francona, manager of the Indians (Giambi’s most recent team) states that Giambi is a “manager in waiting.” His 162 g. average was .277-32-103, OPS+ 139, with 98 walks.

Alex Rodriguez issued a written “apology.” Really, I don’t want to hear it. Who believes anything he says or does anymore? He’s exhausted all credibility. Really, A-Rod, shut up and play. Show us you have something, if anything, left. It’s noted that he was suspended for all of 2014. What’s forgotten is that he played in only 44 games in 2013 and even then looked on the downside.

The Yanks signed Jared Burton to a minor league deal. The righty reliever is 33 and went 3-5, 4.36, ERA+ 91 in 2014 for the Twins with three saves. For his career he is 18-19, 3.44, 10 saves, ERA+ 123.  A depth move. He was 3-2 with a superb 2.18 ERA (ERA+ 189) and five saves for the Twins in 2012.

When I get time (I’ve been doing my taxes, need to do other family members taxes, working (of course) and …. well, shoveling snow and freezing my ass off…) I want to look at the future. I expect the Yanks to tread water for a while, but to me, the 2020 team could be interesting. Players (top prospects) would be in their primes (providing they prove MLB caliber players and aren’t traded away), old guys like CC, Teix, Beltran and A-Rod gone (maybe McCann as well)….it could be interesting to look at what could be the Yankee future. Stay tuned. Hopefully when Yoan Moncada signs (before the end of this month) I can include him on that 2020 future team I want to write about. Will the Yanks fork over the $$$$ to land Moncada?

Yankees fighting A-Rod incentives, Bill Monbouquette dies at 78.

A-Rod is supposed to get $6MM when he ties Willie Mays mark of 660 HR. A-Rod is 6 HR short right now. As I wrote earlier, if A-Rod does it while I am there May 24th, I won’t be applauding #660* or #661*.

The Yanks apparently won’t be applauding either. They apparently are seeking to negate that clause in the contract where they would pay A-Rod his incentive $$, claiming it was done under false pretenses (the steroids). I have to side with the Yankees, here.

Bill Monbouquette, an early 1960s Red Sox ace who played with the Yanks for a short time, died at the age of 78. “Monbo”, as he was known by, pitched for Boston from 1958-1965, and was integral in the Red Sox accepting Pumpsie Green onto the team. The Red Sox were the last of the original 16 teams to integrate, and Green was the first black player on Boston—-in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Monbouquette had a lifetime record of 114-112, ERA 3.68, ERA+ 104. Slightly better than average. He was a 3x All-Star who was a 20-game winner in 1963. He led the AL in losses in 1965 when he went 10-18, 3.70. He spent 1966 and part of 1967 with the Tigers, and was a Yankee for 1967 and 1968. In 1967 he was 6-5, 2.36 with the Yanks as a spot starter and long reliever. Overall that year he was 6-5, 2.33, ERA+ 134. In 1968, his final season, he was 5-7, 4.43 for the Yanks, then was 0-1, 3.75 for the Giants. Overall, 5-8, 4.35, ERA+ 67. He pitched a no-no in 1962.

Nats land Scherzer. Super Bowl set.

Max Scherzer goes to the Nats, $210MM over 7 years, with 1/2 deferred. So $15MM over 14 years. I don’t know about paying someone $15MM between the ages of 37-44, esp. when they are a) washed up b) declining severely and/or c) injured. Not to mention d) retired.

The Yanks said they were not in for Scherzer or Shields, and some but not all, believed them. Maybe with Scherzer off the market, it can be believed now (Shields is still available). It seems last year’s big splash took them out of the market for any big splash (just little splashes–see Headley, Drew….) this year.

That said, there are a lot of free agent pitchers available next year. See this post

http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/2015/01/top-9-pitchers-yankees-can-sign-in-2016/

from our friends at Bronx Baseball Daily to see who may fit the Yanks needs in next year’s free agent draft. The problem is, who comes off the books? McCann has four years left on his deal, A-Rod three, Teix, CC and Beltran a couple. Then you have in-their-prime players like Ellsbury and Tanaka signed to multi-year deals. Even Headley has a four-year deal. Hal doesn’t want to increase the payroll, and there is little flexibility as long as those multi-year deals, especially the ones for aging, fading players, are on the books.

The Yanks did look at Johan Santana, a low-risk, high-reward option. I doubt anything will come out of it. I hope not.  Santana was pitching in the Venezuelan league in hoping for a comeback. Reports have it he was at 86-89 and pitching more on guile than anything else. Santana has missed all of 2011, 2013 and 2014. In his only season since 2010, Johan was 6-9, 4.85 in 2012 (with a tainted no-hitter, the only one in Mets’ history). ERA+ 79. He’s had two shoulder surgeries and turns 36 in March. Minor league deal with incentives? Maybe. But I wouldn’t expect much out of it. Santana had a nice career, not HOF, and it’s a shame his career came to an end basically at the age of 31. 2 CYA, 6x consideration, and 2x in the top 10 for the MVP award. 139-78, 3.20, ERA+ 136. Once great. Now?

I am heading up to the Stadium on May 24th. Hmmmm….. that’s about 1/3 of the way through the season, and A-Rod is 6 HR away from tying Willie Mays at 660. You can do the math. At 18-21 HR/yr. (how much does he have left, if anything?) that could be about the time A-Rod ties or passes Willie. If he does it in front of me, #660* or #661*, I won’t be applauding.

Not much else in Yankeeland right now. That, and busy at work, have me writing less.

The Super Bowl is set. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Patriots. Interesting games yesterday on Championship Sunday. The Seahawks were outplayed by the Green Bay Packers for 57 1/2 minutes, and the Pack had a 19-7 lead with three minutes to go. TD Seattle with 2:09 left to make it 19-14. Recovery of an onside kick. TD. 2-point conversion to put Seattle up 22-19. Green Bay comes back to tie it on a last-second 48-yd. FG. 22-22. Seattle gets the opening kickoff of OT and scores to win 28-22. What a finish. What a choke by the Pack.

It was the fourth OT NFC title game in the last eight years.

In the AFC, no contest. New England wins 45-7 over the Colts. It’ll be SB #6 for the Belichick/Brady duo. Now the authors of “spygate,” Belichick and the Patriots, are being investigated for deflated footballs. Whatever. They still dominated and will be hard to stop.

It’s a pick ‘em right now after the line opened at Seattle by 2 1/2.

So does Seattle repeat for the first time since New England did it a decade ago, or do the Patriots add to their legacy?

 

A-Rod ‘fesses up, a tragedy, and Gardner gets surgery.

No surprise to anyone, but A-Rod ‘fessed up to the DEA in January that he was taking PED’s supplied by Biogenesis, with his cousin as the procurer. Then why all the denials, money paid to lawyers, lies, etc. What a waste. Imagine all the money he could have saved, not to mention his reputation, if he had just never done the stuff in the first place.

…and the Yanks have three more years of this guy. Their best bet is that he just retire, but that won’t happen, and the Yanks won’t just release him and eat $61MM. Alex can achieve three major milestones* this year: catching Willie Mays on the all-time HR list, RBI #2000 and hit #3000 but will anyone care? Maybe for all these achievements* they can give him a standing boo.

Sad news. Brad “Admiral” Halsey, who pitched for the Yanks in 2004 and was later included in a deal to net Randy Johnson for the Yanks, died in a recreational climibing accident. He was just 33.

Brett Gardner had surgery to repair a core muscle near his ribcage which hampered him at the end of the season.

 

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

Stop the nonsense. A-Rod isn’t playing SS.

When looking at other Yankees blogs, I sometimes see posts that have me scratching my head.

Like the ones that say that the Yanks can solve their SS problems by moving one-time SS Alex Rodriguez back to SS. (With maybe a re-signed Headley at 3B, Prado at 2B, or Prado at 3b and rookies Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder at 2B).

As for their talk about 2B and 3B, ok. A-Rod is probably mostly a Dh at this point. Maybe even a backup 1B. As for 3B, probably limited time there.

But as for SS….

Say WHAT?

The Yanks had a 40 year old SS last year in Jeter, who missed most of 2013 because of injury. Now these people want to replace him with someone who

1) turns 40 himself in July.

2) hasn’t played SS regularly since 2003.

3) missed all of last year with a suspension

4) played in only 44 games in 2013

5) has had two hip surgeries.

Please. Stop embarrassing yourself by stating that A-Rod can be moved to SS. It ain’t happening.

And…. I didn’t even mentioning his hitting declining over the last few years.

A-Rod is NOT going to SS. I wish some fans would please stop even suggesting it.

Team of Destiny? KC up 2-0; SF goes up 1-0.

I’m starting to wonder if KC is a team of destiny for this postseason. They won their sixth straight postseason game, doing it late like usual, albeit in regulation, not in extras this time. (Four of their six postseason wins have come in extra innings). They scored two in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 tie and win 6-4 on Saturday. They go home up 2 games to none in the ALCS, winning both games in Baltimore.

Meanwhile the NLCS, the visiting San Francisco Giants shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in Game 1 last night.

Good move in Cashman telling A-Rod to prepare for reps at 1B in spring training. I’m not a fan at all of A-Rod’s return, but since he’ll be 40 next July, missed all of 2014 and all but 44 games in 2013, also is coming off two hip surgeries, you wonder about EVERYTHING with him. Offense, defense, baserunning. There is no guarantee he can hit, handle 3B, etc. But the Yanks didn’t have a legit 1B backup for the fragile Teixeira last year. Kelly Johnson, moving a C to 1B (McCann/Cervelli), even sometimes putting Brendan Ryan there… not answers. At least with A-Rod you would have an experienced infielder… and hopefully power-hitting 1B, playing 1B when Teix can’t.  It beats what was attempted last year, when there was no legitimate backup to 1B.

Turning to college football, this PSU grad has to say that so far he isn’t too impressed with the new coaching staff at his alma mater. I’m not thrilled with some of the play calling this season, there isn’t a running game, for some reason big bull Zach Zwinak appears to be underutilized (the big boy may not be quick or gain too much yards/carry, but he may be able to wear down the opposition in the 4th quarter if used more often earlier in the game) and the O-line has serious issues.