Tag Archives: Berra

Yanks retain infield depth. Re-sign minor leaguer Urshela. Twins’ Mauer retires. Catching up with the AFL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have apparently re-signed Gio Urshela, 3B, to a minor league contract to provide minor league depth.

Urshela, 27, finished last year at SWB. In 167 MLB games, with Cleveland and Toronto, he has hit .225-8-39, OPS+ 57. He is known more for his defense.

In 2018, he only played in 19 MLB games, all with Toronto, and hit .233-1-3 in 43 at bats.

Twins C/1B Joe Mauer, 35, has announced his retirement. Mauer was a 6x All-Star, won 3 batting titles, the 2009 MVP (he finished in the top 10 three other years), 5x Silver Slugger winner. He also won 3 Gold Gloves. His 162 g. average was. .306-12-80, OPS+ 124. He hit .275-0-1 in 10 postseason games.

On baseball-reference.com, Mauer is listed as the 7th best catcher of all-time, between Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey.

Catching up with the Arizona Fall League,  the Glendale Desert Dogs, who have some Yankees’ prospects on the team, are 10-15. The season ends next Thursday, Nov. 15 and the Desert Dogs have been eliminated from the playoffs. Not too good numbers by these guys:

SS Thairo Estrada .250-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .179-0-7
CF Estevan Florial .169-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 10.34
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.50
RP Matt Wivinis 1-0, 1.59
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 16.20



Game 149. Yanks lose, 6-4. Didi Ties Yanks SS HR record.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Didi Gregorius hit his 24th HR of the season, tying the Yankees’ record for HR in a season by a Yankees’ SS, set in 1999 by Derek Jeter, but the Yanks lost to Baltimore Sunday, 6-4.

The loss keeps the Yanks (82-67) 3 games back of Boston for the AL East with 13 games to go. The tragic # for losing out on the division is 11.

The Yanks are still up on the top wild card spot by four games over the Twins. The Yanks’ magic # for clinching the top wild card spot and that sudden-death wild card game at home is 10. With games against the Twins tomorrow (Monday), Tuesday and Wednesday, the Yanks can decrease that number significantly. The magic # for making the playoffs at all, (wild card game on the road) is 8.

By the way, Gary Sanchez has the most HR in a season by someone who was primarily a catcher for the Yankees with 31 but he does NOT have the most HR by a Yankees’ catcher in a season. Yogi Berra (both 1952 and 1956) hit 30, and ALL were as a catcher, none at PH or at another position. Jorge Posada’s 30 in 2003? All were hit as a catcher, none as DH, 1B or PH or another position Not all of Sanchez’ 31 this year were as a catcher. 25 are at C, 1 at 1B, 5 at DH.

Sonny Gray didn’t have it. He gave up a run in the top of the second, and Didi tied it with his HR in the bottom of the frame.

Baltimore got one in the third, but the killer came in the fourth when Gray gave up a 3-run HR to Tim Beckham.

Baltimore got a run in the fifth off of Bryan Mitchell to make it 6-1.

Matt Holliday doubled in two in the sixth to cut it to 6-3.

A Castro SF in the eighth made it 6-4.

Buck Showalter made an odd move in the ninth. With a man on third and two out, he intentionally walked Aaron Judge to set up a force. But in doing so, he put the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate in Gary Sanchez. Sanchez struck out to end the game.

Castro had 2 hits.
Didi HR.
Holliday 2 RBI.

The Yanks struck out 14X.

Gray hasn’t been getting run support, but he has himself to blame for this one.

Gray (L, 9-11, 3.38) 4 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Mitchell 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. 4.73.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.04
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.54

With Garcia going on Monday, and Chad Green rested, don’t be surprised to see a quick hook from Girardi.



Game 126. Yanks lose brawl-filled game, 10-6.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Now for the repercussions. Fines and suspensions to come. Including to the Yankees’ hottest hitter right now, Gary Sanchez.

The Yanks lost a brushback, beanball, brawl-filled game yesterday afternoon, 10-6. The game featured eight ejections. For the Yanks, manager Girardi, bench coach Thomson, pitchers Kahnle and Betances and catcher Romine. Had he been caught (umpires were looking at the main brawl and not a side brawl that was going on), Gary Sanchez could have been tossed too. That would have been interesting, who would have caught the rest of the game? For the Tigers, their manager, Brad Ausmus, was tossed, as well as Miguel Cabrera and Alex Wilson. Not only that, but two Tigers’ teammates bickered in the dugout. Justin Verlander (Kate Upton’s boyfriend) didn’t like Victor Martinez being too nice to Sanchez in trying to play peacemaker.

It’s a good thing these teams are done for the season. They won’t play each other until spring training 2018 (the Tigers are way out of contention), and we’ll see what happens then.

The seeds of this were sown on July 31. Tommy Kahnle unintentionally hit (from MLB.com) Mikie Mahtook off his helmet. The next inning, Michael Fulmer hit Jacoby Ellsbury, prompting warnings to both benches. No further incidents happened the remainder of that series.   

But apparently bad blood carried over, and that fire was stoked by Gary Sanchez kicking butt in this series and by the Yanks winning the first two games of the series handily.

Jaime Garcia, so far a disappointment for the Yanks (0-1, 5.95) started the game and gave up a first inning HR to Justin Upton.

The Yanks got it back in the second on an RBI single by Chase Headley.

Sanchez hit his fourth HR of the three-game series to put the Yanks up 2-1 in the fourth. The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the fourth, 2-2.

In the fifth, after Hicks got a SF to put the Yanks up 3-2, Sanchez got HBP, and the fireworks started. From mlb. com : Sanchez was clearly displeased as he slowly made his way to first base, while Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and manager Brad Ausmus made their way to the mound to check on Fulmer, who returned from the disabled list last week following a bout of ulnar neuritis that left him struggling to get feeling on his pitches. He was shaking his hand as Sanchez went to first base.

Sanchez and the Yanks thought the HBP was intentional. Maybe it wasn’t, but after the HR and Sanchez’ series in Detroit, it sure didn’t look good…

The Tigers responded with four in the bottom of the fifth to go up 6-3.

With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Tommy Kahnle threw one behind Miguel Cabrera’s back. He and manager Girardi were ejected. After that was taken care of, Cabrera had words for catcher Austin Romine, words were sent back and the two of them got into a fight and both were ejected.

The Yanks tied it in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Gardner, SF by Hicks and RBI single by Sanchez.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Dellin Betances hit the first batter he faced and was ejected along with bench coach/now manager Thomson. David Robertson came in and hit a batter, but with it being an 0-2 pitch, no intent was discerned and Robertson was NOT ejected. But the Tigers went on to score three in the inning for a 9-6 lead.

To the eighth, when Todd Frazier gets hit by a pitch, causing Alex Wilson and his manager, Brad Ausmus, to get tossed.

The Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the eighth for the final of 10-6.

The commissioner’s office will have their work cut out for them with fines and suspensions after this one.

And the way Sanchez has been going lately, the Yanks will miss him. The Yanks’ record for HR in a season by a catcher is 30 (Yogi & Posada). Sanchez has 23 as a catcher, 3 at DH and 1 as a 1B. All of Yogi’s and Posada’s were as a catcher.

Gardner 4 hits, RBI.
Hicks 2 RBI
Sanchez 2 hits, HR (27), 2 RBI.

Garcia 4 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. Very disappointing so far. 4.52
Warren 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.33. Rare off game for him this year.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.04. Ejected.
Chapman 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.10.
Betances (L, 3-5, 2.30) 0 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. Faced one batter, HBP, ejected.
Robertson 1 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K, 1 HBP. 2.50
Smith 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.75 Gave up 1 HR.

No reports until late Sunday night/monday morning. I am leaving town this afternoon (Friday)  and won’t return until Sunday afternoon.

Game 125. Hot Kraken & the Mighty Mite lead Yanks to 10-2 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (68-57) weren’t able to pick up ground on the AL East leading Red Sox tonight, but at this point, they need to make sure they make the playoffs and have the wild card game at home.

They accomplished that feat tonight, whipping Detroit 10-2.

The “Kraken”, Gary Sanchez, is hot. He hit a HR in the first inning (26) to put the Yanks up 1-0. The Yankees’ single season HR by a catcher is 30, shared by Yogi & Jorge. Now of the 26, 2 were at DH, and 1 as 1B, leaving 23 as C. We’ll see if Gary can break that.

The Yanks broke it open in the third, scoring five runs. Ellsbury & Torreyes singled. Gardner’s flyout moved both runners up. Hicks walked to load the bases and Sanchez singled in two. Judge doubled in another to make it 4-0. Didi singled one in, 5-0, and Headley hit a SF, 6-0. Game over.

Didi Gregorius’ 19th HR of the season made it 7-0 in the fifth.

Ronald Torreyes hit a bases-loaded hit in the sixth to make it 8-0. Torreyes was 4 for 4 with an RBI tonight. .299 for a utility backup IF.

Severino died off a bit in the sixth, giving up a HR, 8-1.

But Chase Headley hit a homer (8) in the top of the seventh, 9-1.

Aaron Hicks’ RBI single in the eighth made it 10-1, but Tommy Kahnle gave up a ninth-inning HR.


In that one game wild card playoff, who’d you want other than Severino?

Severino (W, 11-5, 3.10) 6 2/3 IP, 1 R,  6 H, 1 W, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W 4 K. All outs by K. 2.19
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.10

Sanchez 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI.
Judge 2 hits, RBI.
Gregorius 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Headley 2 RBI, HR.
Torreyes 4 for 4, RBI.



Baseball passings.


Tony Phillips and Jim Davenport, two infielders of the Bay Area, passed away this week.

Phillips, 56, was a utility man who was on the 1988 A’s AL Championship team and also the 1989 WS Champion A’s team. He played in the majors from 1982-1999 for Oakland, Detroit, the Angels, White Sox, Angels again (first Angels when they were the California Angels, the second time the Anaheim Angels), Toronto, the Mets, and back with the A’s again.

He finished 16th in the 1993 MVP voting when he hit .313 for Detroit and led the majors with 132 walks.

The versatile Phillips played over 100 games at five different positions (2B, SS, 3B, LF, RF) and 97 games at a sixth (CF), and played over 100 games at DH as well.

His 162 g. average was .266-12-61, with 13 SB, 99 walks and an OPS+ of 109. Phillips led the league in runs scored in 1992 and walks in 1993 and 1996.

Davenport was a slick fielding 3B for the SF Giants from 1958-1970. He was the 3B on the 1962 NL Champion Giants squad. Davenport, 82, was an All-Star, Gold Glove, and finished 24th in MVP voting in 1962.

Davenport’s 162 g. average was .258-8-49, OPS+ 90. Besides 3B, he put some time in at 2B and SS as well. He led the majors in sac bunts in his rookie year of 1958.

I would like to understand the logic and criteria of some radio hosts where I live. Granted, I was coming home from work and only heard the last half hour of the show, so maybe I missed something. But they were talking about the 100 most famous athletes of the last 100 years. Not best, mind you, but famous. I did scratch my head when they weren’t going to include Tiger Woods.I could see and understand their exclusion of Jim Thorpe, who as talented as he was, is mostly forgotten today except by the most avid and knowledgeable of sports fans.

I nominated Yogi Berra. They poo-poohed it, saying that “other than Yankee fans…”

Really? Yogi was one of the most recognizable people in America. He crossed over from the sports culture to everyday life culture. Even people who know little about baseball would a) recognize Yogi Berra in an airport b) recognize one of his famous quotes. Maybe it was just that unique face of his, maybe it was the quotes, maybe it was the commercials he did. But Yogi wasn’t just a baseball icon, he was an AMERICAN icon. That is my point. If that (crossing over from a sports icon to an AMERICAN icon) doesn’t qualify as famous, what does? They did list Derek Jeter.

I’d love to hear their point. Granted they (the hosts) are some 20 years younger than me and not as experienced  (or as knowledgeable as they think they are). But by famous, are they talking just in the USA or worldwide? As I mentioned, this wasn’t about BEST athletes in the past 100 years, but the most famous. They did mention Derek Jeter. I’d love to see how many of their choices are of more recent vintage as opposed to people like Berra, Mantle or DiMaggio, for instance.

Or even a Wilt.

UPDATE: The Yanks will continue to wear Yogi’s #8 on their uniforms this season as a tribute to the legend who passed away late in the 2015 season.


Game 150. Bird’s HR wins it for Yanks, 6-4.


This will be brief, because of the other sad post I wrote regarding the passing of the legendary Yogi Berra.

The Yanks won last night 6-4, on a 3-run HR by Greg Bird (10) in the top of the 10th inning. The win puts the Yanks at 83-67 and 2 1/2 behind Toronto with 12 games to go.

They remain 4 up on Houston for WC #1 and six up on the Twins for WC #2. The magic number to get into the wild card game is now 7.

A single by McCann and a SF fly by Beltran gave the Yanks two in the first. Ellsbury had started the game off with a double.

Luis Severino had another strong outing, giving up two runs in six innings. He gave up a solo HR in the third and another run in the fourth.

Carlos Beltran’s 17th HR of the season put the Yanks up 3-2 in the eighth. It was the 390th HR of Beltran’s career, tying him with Graig Nettles on the all-time list.

The Yanks’ bullpen was shaky however. Betances escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 8th, but Andrew Miller gave up a game-tying HR in the bottom of the 9th.

Bird’s HR in the 10th put the Yanks up 6-3 and it was huge because Miller gave up another HR in the bottom of the tenth for the final score of 6-4.

Severino 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 walks and 3 K. 3.10
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.04
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 2 K. 1.40
Miller (W, 3-2) 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 walks and 4 K. 2.04

Game 113. Yanks snap 5-game losing streak with a 8-6 win.


The Yanks snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating Cleveland in Cleveland last night 8-6. The win kept the Yanks 1/2 game back of Toronto, who won their 11th straight.

Before the game, Greg Bird was called up from AAA. He made his MLB debut, spelling Teix at 1B. Bird went 0 for 5 with three lineouts and two strikeouts. Nick Goody was sent down.

Brian McCann hit a 3-run HR in the first to get the Yanks rolling. McCann’s 20th HR put him in select company. Only he, Yogi Berra and Mike Piazza among catchers have hit 20 or more in 8 straight seasons.

Stephen Drew homered in the second (15) to make it 4-0. He is still under the Mendoza line, but we’ll take those 15 HR.

Nathan Eovaldi was, well, Eovaldi. He improved to 12-2 but he once again didn’t give length of outing. He gave up two in the third but the Yanks bounced back with two in the fourth on RBI doubles by Drew and Gardner.

Gardner singled in a run in the sixth to make it 7-2.  Cleveland knocked Eovaldi out in the bottom of the sixth when they cut it to 7-4 and cut it even closer with a run in the seventh off a Dellin Betances WP.

Gardner singled in another run in the eighth to make it 8-5. Andrew Miller gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth before closing it out.

The Yanks now head to Toronto for a big three game series. Hopefully they return the favor and sweep the Blue Jays (after 11 in a row, Toronto is due to lose some). A sweep puts the Yanks up by 2 1/2. Getting swept drops the Yanks 3 1/2 back. Big series.

Ellsbury got two hits, hopefully that means he is snapping out of it. Gardner was 3 for 4 with 3 RBI. Drew was 2 for 3, drove in 2 and scored 4.

Eovaldi (W, 12-2, 4.26) 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 4 K.
Warren 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K, 3.32.
Wilson 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.55
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 1.21.
Miller (25th save) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 hits, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.25.