Tag Archives: Blake

News and Notes.

To no one’s surprise, Aaron Judge was named as one of the three finalists for the AL MVP award. He is considered the favorite to win the award. I still get ticked by people pushing for Alvarez (it’s a regular season award, people!) or Ohtani (the Angels finished 33 games back. So, you are telling me that without him they are 45 back? Whoopdie damn do.).

The Contemporary Baseball Committee will be looking at 8 ex-players for the HOF. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. Five of the eight would be controversial selections because of steroids and/or personality issues, despite in some cases 3000+ hits, 500+ HR, 300+ wins. I won’t get into that. We know about all that. That leaves McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy. I believe McGriff, who is tied on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig with 493 HR (and no steroids) should have already been put in. I’d love Mattingly, but Mattingly’s 1994-1989 pre-back injury (HOF quality) and 1990-1995 post-back injury numbers (merely above average) are drastically different. If Donnie could have only stayed healthy and put up numbers 1990-1995 that matched his 1984-1989 numbers, then he would be a more serious candidate. Murphy I am on the fence on. A back-to-back MVP (1982 and 1983) that like Maris (1960 and 1961) isn’t in the HOF. Maybe a few more HR (he had 398) or a higher average (.265) would have given him a better shot. Once he turned 32, he wasn’t the same player. A few more seasons at his peak would have given him a better chance.

The Yanks have not only players as free agents, but coaches too. Pitching coach Matt Blake is a free agent. (GM Brian Cashman is coming back but as of now is working pro bono. His contract expired October 31 and no new deal has been done yet). Assistant pitching coach Hensley Meulens is gone to be hitting coach for Colorado.

As expected, the Yanks picked up the team option for Luis Severino at $15MM for 2023. Anthony Rizzo opted out of his contract and is a free agent. Here are the Yankees’ free agents and my thoughts.

Andrew Benintendi. Yanks will make an offer to try to keep him.

Zack Britton. Interesting call. With Chapman departing, Yanks could use a lefty reliever, but Britton will be 35 next year and missed almost all of 2022 after a poor 2021 and TJ surgery. Pass. Use $ for Judge.

Matt Carpenter. A tough call. Turns 37 around Thanksgiving. If Stanton is DH most of the time, where does that leave Carpenter? I think it depends on if Judge stays or goes. If Judge stays, pass. If Judge goes, then the Yanks may look to sign Carpenter and Stanton and Carpenter could switch between RF and DH.

Miguel Castro. Pass. The Yanks could probably replace him with Weissert at a lower cost (save $ for Judge). They already have Trivino, Marinaccio, King, Holmes, as RH relievers, as well as Schmidt and German if Schmidt and German aren’t starters. And Stephen Ridings should be over his injury issues that cost him 2022.

Aroldis Chapman. Pass. Goodbye and Good Riddance for missing that mandatory workout before the ALDS.

Marwin Gonzalez. Pass. Only hit .185 in 2022. Since 2019, has only hit .198. Oswaldo Cabrera can fill his utility role for less money. 34 next year. Like Britton, pass, go with youth and less $$. Save $ for Judge.

Chad Green. Pass. Will miss most if not all of 2023 because of TJ surgery. Instead of paying him will need to throw that $ at Judge.

Aaron Judge. Obviously the #1 Yankees target and priority.

Anthony Rizzo. The Yanks will look to retain him.

Jameson Taillon. Questionable. Even if the Yanks get Judge back, is there enough money left to go after a Carlos Rodon (my choice)? Would they give a low in years but high in $$ deal to Verlander, DeGrom or Kershaw? Could go either way here.

Of course, getting rid of the salaries of Donaldson and Hicks would help. As of now, the Yanks think both have something left (excuse me while I get sick), but of course they aren’t going to say anything that diminishes whatever trade value they have.









Game 109. Yanks lose 5th straight, 12-9.

I have friends in the Lehigh Valley Yankee fan club who are on their way home to PA after their road trip to St. Louis. I hope their travels have been safe and the rest of their trip was fun. The games they watched in St. Louis certainly were not fun.

The Cardinals swept the Yanks (70-39) Sunday by winning 12-9 and extended the Yankees’ losing streak to a season-high 5 games.

In losing, the Yanks made, shall we say, some cardinal sins. They gave up too many runs with two out. Those pitchers have to finish off the inning. Also, it’s one thing to let an All-Star in Nolan Arenado beat you all series. It’s another thing to have a guy hitting under .150 beat you all series.

For the first time in months, the Yanks lead in the division is less than 10 games. It’s now 9 1/2 over Toronto. It’s only 1/2 a game over Houston for best record in the AL. The Yanks trail the dodgers by 5 1/2 for the best record in baseball. No need for panic yet, but the Yanks have to right the ship, and soon. They now head to Seattle, so most of us Easterners won’t be awake for the end of the games.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the first when D.J. LeMahieu doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on a SF by Matt Carpenter.

St. Louis tied it in the bottom of the first.

In the top of the second, the Yanks scored three runs and you thought it could be their day. Gleyber Torres singled to lead off the inning. Andrew Benintendi singled Torres to second. Aaron Hicks singled to score Torres and send Benintendi to second. Before those three hits, those three hitters were a combined 3 for their last 79. So, you thought, maybe this’ll be a good day after all. After Jose Trevino struck out, Marwin Gonzalez was HBP to load the bases. LeMahieu struck out, but Aaron Judge singled in two runs, and it was 4-1 Yanks.

But St. Louis came right back with five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6-4 lead. Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, just acquired at the trade deadline, hadn’t pitched since July 26, a 12-day gap, because of being on bereavement due to the death of his mother-in-law. He had just arrived in St. Louis Saturday night and didn’t meet most of his teammates until hours before game time. So, he gets a mulligan here. Tough situation for him. Two walks (oh, those bases on balls! As the old Cardinal, Frankie Frisch would say) started the inning. Then a one-out double drove in one run. Another walk loaded the bases. A SF drove in another run. Then a two-out 3-run HR by Nolan Arenado made it 6-4, Cardinals. All-Star Arenado killed the Yanks all series with his bat and glove.

Meanwhile, the Yanks’ lineup, without Anthony Rizzo or Giancarlo Stanton, was good enough this day to get 16 hits. Rizzo and Stanton were surely missed In Friday’s 4-3 and Saturday’s 1-0 losses.

The Yanks tied the game in the top of the fifth when Benintendi led off with a double and Hicks walked. Trevino singled to load the bases. After a couple of strikeouts, Judge doubled off the base of the wall to tie the game. In fairness, the Yanks did get some big two-out hits of their own, Judge’s double, for example, here. After Judge’s double, both manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake were ejected for arguing balls and strikes. One strike called on Matt Carpenter, batting after Judge, was a terrible call by the home plate umpire. Looking at it on video, the pitch looked a good four inches outside. I can’t blame Boone and Blake for arguing that one.

But once again, the Cardinals came right back in the bottom of the same inning. With one out, a single. Then a double by Paul DeJong, who we’ll read again about shortly. After a pitching change and another out, a single to drive in DeJong. Two walks (there’s those walks again!) to load the bases. Another pitching change, then ANOTHER walk to force in a run before getting the last out of the inning. 9-6 Cardinals.

The Yanks, to their credit, battled back. In the top of the sixth, Josh Donaldson led off with a single. Torres singled Donaldson to second, and one out later, a single by Hicks loaded the bases. Trevino singled in a run, and a force-out by Gonzalez made it 9-8.

But any hopes for a comeback died in the bottom of the eighth when DeJong hit a 3-run HR to put the Cardinals up 12-8. Here was a fatal mistake all series for the Yanks. DeJong had the GW 2-run double Friday night against them. Here yesterday he had a big RBI double and 3-run HR. At games’ end, he was hitting .157. You just wanted to pull your hair out, letting a guy with a batting average that low beat you.

As a result, LeMahieu’s solo HR (12) in the top of the ninth went for naught. 12-9 final.

LeMahieu 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (12)
Judge 2 hits, 4 RBI
Torres 3 hits.
Benintendi 2 hits
Hicks 3 hits, RBI
Trevino 2 hits, RBI

Montas 3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 3.59 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Abreu (L, 2-1) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.73 (Combined 3-team ERA)
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 6.66
Trivino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.86 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Peralta 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.36
Effross 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.06 (Combined Cubs/NYY ERA)

8 walks. Ouch. The Yanks could use a pep talk/clubhouse meeting right now.

Yankees announce 2022 coaching staff.

The Yankees have announced and finalized their 2022 coaching staff.

* is someone new for 2022.

Manager-Aaron Boone
Bench Coach-Carlos Mendoza
Pitching Coach-Matt Blake
Bullpen Coach-Mike Harkey
Asst. Pitching Coach–* Desi Druschel
Hitting Coach-* Dillon Lawson
Asst. Hitting Coaches-*Eric Chavez and Casey Dykes
3B/OF coach-*Luis Rojas
1B/INF Coach-*Travis Chapman.

Nice to have Chavez back. He played for the Yanks in 2011 and 2012.


Game 41. 10-run inning dooms Yanks, 12-7.

Lately, it seems like every move Aaron Boone is making is backfiring on him.

Especially when it comes to the bullpen.

Right now, Brian Cashman is with the team, and after last night’s 12-7 loss, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll after this season.

Watching part of the YES postgame show, it seemed like ex-Yankee and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty had a couple of criticisms, and was more critical than normal.

In the line of fire would be pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and even manager Boone himself.

Blake had no coaching experience before getting the pitching coach job this year and was a bit of a surprise choice to replace the fired Larry Rothschild (now with SD).

You may argue that maybe going with David Cone, who interviewed for the job, may have been a better choice.

I wonder if the Yankees need to take a good, hard look at how their pitching philosophy has or hasn’t worked lately. One reason they have been coming up short has been their rotation. Just getting Cole may be like putting a band-aid on what seems to be a bigger problem.

When you lose 14 of 19, and have free-falled your way into clinging to the 8th and last playoff spot (and that spot is only there because of the virus of 2020), you can expect fans not to be happy on Twitter. And, it appears, there isn’t much happiness on the YES postgame show or in the front office. I would guess Hal isn’t too happy either.

Injuries are one thing, but bad play is another.

If ever there is a time for a good ripping into a team to wake them up, now is the time.

The Yanks (21-20) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, only to see Chad Green and Adam Ottavino give up 10 runs in what turned out to be a 12-7 loss.

Flaherty, on the postgame show, wondered why Boone stayed with Ottavino (who didn’t record an out, all six batters scoring) so long. He also criticized Boone’s body language during the inning. Just an observation, but Flaherty’s words sounded like someone angling for Boone’s job. They were quite critical, and you may add, harsh.

But this was really bad. It’s one thing to lose 14 of 19 in a 162 game season, but in a 60 game season? We’re talking 1/3 of the season here.

The Yanks got back-to-back HR from Luke Voit (14) and Aaron Hicks (4) in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead.

But as has been their wont lately, the Yankees’ pitchers, Jordan Montgomery in this instance, gave runs right back, and Montgomery joined the cast of Yankees’ starters not giving any length, thus putting more pressure on a failing bullpen.

Montgomery gave up a run in the first, another in the second, and the game was tied.

The Yanks got a run in the fourth when Miguel Andujar hit his first HR of the season. 3-2 Yanks.

In the fifth, with one out, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit both singled, and with two out, Clint Frazier’s double scored two runs. 5-2, Yanks.

A bases-loaded walk to Hicks in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.

Then the roof fell in, as Green and Ottavino gave up ten runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final indignity came when Ottavino gave up a grand slam. The bottom of the sixth lasted 43 minutes and took up 67 pitches.

I have wondered about pitch selection a lot lately. In checking out the game on MLB’s gameday, I had to shake my head when, during a 9 or 10 pitch at bat (which resulted in Luke Voit making an error), Green threw nothing but fastballs. Really? Eventually the batter will time the fastball, especially after seeing nine or ten in a row.

There is a difference between pitching and throwing. Yes, there was criticism of that in Twitterworld, and I think, on the YES postgame show as well (I’m not too sure about YES, but YES was a bit critical last evening, and rightfully so).

The Yankees’ defense, suspect lately, made two more errors. Nothing is going right.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by Andujar.

But this game signified “just when you think things can’t get worse…”

Something’s gonna happen. It has to. This can’t continue.

Because the Yanks are close to missing out on the playoffs entirely.

Voit 2 hits, solo HR (14)
Hicks solo HR (4), 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, 2 RBI
Andujar solo HR (1), 2 RBI

Montgomery 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.72
Holder 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.25
Green 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.26
Ottavino (L, 2-3; BS, 3; 7.82) 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up grand slam.

Cessa 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.81
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 7.71

Gardy & Yanks talking. DJ a SS. Yanks name pitching coach. Ex-Yank coach Espada to be SF Mgr.?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks and Brett Gardner are talking about keeping Gardy in the Bronx. The free agent is 36, and with Aaron Hicks to miss at least 1/2 of 2020 due to TJ surgery, the Yanks will need a CF.

On top of that, the Yanks need veteran leadership that Gardy provides.

The problem is, Gardner is 36, 37 next August, so he’ll need a competent backup (Tauchman?) because Gardy can’t be expected to play every day any more.’


The Yanks have chosen a pitching coach for 2020, and it is not David Cone, or the two college guys they interviewed earlier this week.

Instead, it is Matt Blake, who has been with Cleveland the past few years.  From the NY Post:

His last job was as the Indians’ pitching coordinator and he worked for the Yankees as an area scout under Matt Hyde, who heads up the Yankees’ amateur scouting program from New Jersey to Maine and is considered among the best in the business.

Blake also has been involved with the Cressey Institute, a program that works on the strength aspect of developing athletes and has facilities in Florida and Massachusetts.

The Yankees talked to former Yankee pitcher and current YES broadcaster David Cone about the job, as well as Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter and Arkansas’ Matt Hobbs.

Tabbing an outsider wasn’t a surprise because the Yankees didn’t renew the contract of pitching coordinator Scott Aldred and fellow pitching coordinator Danny Borrell left the organization to take the pitching coach job at Georgia Tech after the minor league season was over.

D.J. LeMahieu has won the Silver Slugger Award for best hitter at his position for 2019.

Even though he won a batting title in the N.L. with Colorado in 2016, this is still his first SS Award.


Former Yankees coach Joe Espada is considered the front runner for the SF Giants managerial job.

“Closing” the Deal, and another Yankee makes the HOF, but in a different fashion

Anyone who listened to YFCR over the past four years knows how “Uncle” Joe hated the Angels. He must be smiling today, as K-Rod leaves the Angels for the Mets for a 3-year deal after setting a record of 62 saves this year for the team with the unending name. The Mets bullpen has been a problem the last couple of years, and things got worse when Billy Wagner went down late last year. K-Rod (Francisco Rodriguez) is 26 and already has 208 saves, a 189 ERA+ and an ERA of 2.35.

Meanwhile, reports are that the Indians are close to getting Kerry Wood as their closer. Wood, 31, had to be converted to the bullpen after he developed arm woes. He was 5-4, 34 saves for the Cubs in 2008, 3.26 ERA (ERA+ 137). 77-61 for his career, 3.65, ERA+ 118.

Reports are a deal between SD and the Cubs for Jake Peavy is nowhere close.

Tony Kubek, SS and OF for the Yanks from 1957-1965, and the ROY in 1957, has been selected to the HOF in the broadcasting wing. Kubek was with the Blue Jays and Yanks, and made his mark on the Game of the Week with Curt Gowdy and later Bob Costas. Kubek suffered an injury while on military duty in 1962 (he missed most of that season due to the service, opening up a spot for Tom Tresh), and the injury forced Kubek into an early retirement from playing. When Kubek played his final game, he wasn’t yet 30.

Pete Abraham (link at right) reports that Andy Pettitte told Torre he wanted to stay with the Yankees. “They’re his first choice,” Torre said. Pete also states that Suzyn Waldman will host a Hot Stove show on WCBS 880-AM at 7:30 tonight. As long as she doesn’t shriek for Clemens or advocate the Yanks go get David Wells…

Corey Blake re-signed with the Dodgers, and the Dodgers picked up Mark Loretta, who was with Houston last season. Loretta, 37, hit .280-4-38, OPS+ 95. He’ll be a utility infielder.

The NY Daily News is reporting that the Yanks may offer a two-year pact in the $30 million ballpark for Ben Sheets. Given Sheets potential but injury history, it seems reasonable.