Tag Archives: Bruce

“Hot” Stove League?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Hot Stove League has been anything but, and we are only a month away from pitchers and catchers. Many top players are still available. The biggest move recently has been Jay Bruce back to the Mets. Nice for Yankees fans, since Bruce was a thorn in the Yanks’ side during that ALDS series with the Indians.

Because of the inaction, I haven’t written much. Hey, nothing to write about.

The Cold Stove is probably so because a lot of previous big-spenders like the Yankees are trying to get under the cap and are out of the market. They want to get under the cap to reset themselves for next year’s killer free agent class.

The Gerrit Cole rumors have apparently died down regarding the Yankees, but have heated up with the Astros to the point a false rumor came out yesterday stating the Astros traded for him. If the Yanks get Cole, they want to do so without giving up Gleyber Torres or Estevan Florial, and apparently the Pirates want one or both. If the Yanks get Cole, they would want the deal focused on Clint Frazier, who is blocked in NY, and other prospects, like Chance Adams and/or Miguel Andujar. But if I’m the Yanks, and I am including Andujar in the deal, then I need an infielder back, and that would be Josh Harrison.

One infielder that would have fit the Yanks well was ex-Yankee Yangervis Solarte, a switch-hitter with pop who could play 2B and 3B. He could have been nice insurance for Torres and/or Andujar, but Solarte was dealt from SD to Toronto.

One baseball passing, Bob “Beetle” Bailey at the age of 75. Bailey played for the Pirates (1962-1966), Dodgers (1967-1968) Expos (an original Expo, too, 1969-1975), Reds (1976-1977), and Red Sox (1977-1978). His last MLB appearance was as a PH in the “Bucky Dent” game. He PH for 3B Jack Brohamer in the seventh inning against Rich “Goose” Gossage and struck out. He never played in a postseason game, not even with those 1976 Reds.

Bailey hit .257 with 189 HR and an OPS+ of 111 in his career. His 162 g. average was .257-16-65. Primarily a 3B, he also played some LF and 1B. He had his best seasons from 1970-1974 with Montreal, and of course had that great nickname.

Lastly, from the NY Post. The Yanks will finally extend the netting in order to protect fans.

The Yankees announced details about the additional protective netting that will be installed at Yankee Stadium in time for Opening Day and will extend far down both the first- and third-base lines.

The netting will be 9 feet high on both dugouts and 8 feet as the net extends toward the foul poles, from Section 011 on the first-base side to Section 029 on the third-base side — essentially to where the stands jut out to parallel the foul lines.

Above the dugout, the netting will be partially retractable to allow for interaction between fans and players during batting practice.

The old netting ended near the on-deck circles, short of the dugouts.

The netting will be in place by the Yankees’ home opener against the Rays on April 2. There also will be protective netting installed at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa by the start of spring training next month.



ALDS Game 1. Yanks shut down, lose 4-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

All this morning, I heard about how Terry Francona was a dummy for pitching Trevor Bauer, arguably his third best pitcher, in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees, instead of Corey Kluber, who may win his second CYA this year.

Excuse me? Francona has 2 WS titles and almost (last year, extra innings in Game 7) a third, to his name. Give the guy credit, he knows what he is doing.

So Bauer takes a no-no into the sixth inning. The Yanks managed only three hits all night.

Now, not to make excuses, but the HP umpire’s strike zone tonight left something to be desired. Didi, Headley and Judge, to name three, argued against some calls tonight, and in watching the game, I had to agree. Judge had the “Golden Sombrero.” 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts.

The Yanks have a problem. In the wild card game, Severino only lasted one out. Tonight, Sonny Gray was knocked out in the fourth inning. You can’t burn your bullpen.

Gray got out of a bases-loaded, no out situation in the second by only giving up one run.

He gave up a two-run HR to Jay Bruce in the fourth. Bruce doubled and scored the previous run.

The Yanks only got three hits tonight, but struck out 14x.

In the fifth, Bruce got a SF. Yup, him again. There were rumors about the Yanks going after Bruce, who started the year with the Mets, at the trade deadline. Instead of the Mets trading him to the Yankees, he got dealt to Cleveland.

That hurt tonight. Bruce got 2 hits, one a HR, and drove in 3 runs in the Indians’ 4-0 win. So Cleveland takes Game 1 of the best-of-five series, 4-0.  Cleveland only got 5 hits all night, but made them count. By contrast, the Yanks only got 3 hits. Castro had 2 of the three hits.

Gray (Loss) 3 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3H,  4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Garcia 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.

Good to see Betances on track.

Game 2 could be rained out Friday, with a lot of rain in the forecast.

CC vs. CYA candidate Kluber in Game 2.  A tough road for the Yanks. But then, they are facing a team that set an AL record of 22 wins in a row, and who has won 34 of their last 38 games.

In the other ALDS game, Jose Altuve hit 3 hr for Houston as the Astros took Game 1, beating Boston, 8-2






Game 113. Yanks blanked, 4-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If the Yanks want to win the division, they better start thinking about sweeping the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium this weekend, because otherwise, the division is slipping away. To do that, the bats have to wake up.

Toronto blanked the Yanks 4-0 Thursday night to drop the Yanks to 60-53, 4 1/2 games behind Boston. The Yanks still have the top wild card spot right now.

Sonny Gray is now 0-2, 3.00 as a Yankee, and in both he games received little to no run support as well as suffered defensive miscues. In this game, the defensive miscue was done by Gray himself.

In the second, a wild throw on a pickoff attempt by Gray, and a fielder’s choice by Gray in which the runner scored and the batter still reached, enabled Toronto to score the only run they’d need. Toronto also nicked Gray for runs in the third and fourth.

Jose Bautista homered in the seventh off of Chasen Shreve to make it 4-0.

Aaron Judge has struck out in 27 consecutive games. I wouldn’t mind so much the swinging strikeouts, but the called ones…. swing the bat, Aaron!

The Yanks were 0 for 9 w/RISP.

Clint Frazier was put on the DL. Aaron Hicks was brought back off the DL.

The Yanks have tried to get help. They inquired about Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce from the Mets but the Mets sent Duda to the Rays, Bruce to the Indians, and both for what it seems are inferior packages to what the Yanks offered. Perhaps the Mets are gun-shy about having one of their players do well for the cross-town team.

It looks like Derek Jeter’s bid to buy the Marlins is picking up some steam.

Gray (L, 6-7, 3.39) 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 W, 6 K.
Shreve 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.84

Game 85. Yanks win 6th straight behind Andy and Alex. The Value of the bunt.

Six in a row for the Yanks, but it wasn’t easy. Quite frustrating, actually in the 3-1 win.

The Yanks blew numerous scoring opportunities. The M’s scored in the 6th to go up 1-0. More on that later on how and why they scored.

The Yanks tied it in the 8th when A-Rod walked, Cano singled, only A-Rod advanced on a WP (why didn’t Cano advance?) and Alex scored when Jorge GIDP.

In the 9th, with one out Jeter walked. Swisher doubled. You have to say this for Swishalicious. On the day he was voted into the All-Star Game (and no matter what you think about ballot stuffing, deservability, etc. , consider this:) he went 4 for 4 with 2 doubles and a walk to raise his BA to .307. I cursed as Teix popped up to the catcher. But Alex came through with a 2-run single to put the Yanks up 3-1.

Exit Andy who would go to 11-2, ERA 2.70 and he passes Wells on the all-time wins list. #240 ties him with Frank Tanana.

Mo for the 9th for save #546 (20 this year) but it wasn’t easy. How tough? He struck out the first batter, Casey Kotchman, but it took 12 pitches as Kotchman fouled off everything. Mo is skipping the ASG claiming rib and knee injuries, but save #20 lowers his ERA (he had a 1-2-3) to 1.05.

The power of the bunt: Before the Yanks game started, I caught the end of the Phillies game, in which Brian “Hoops” Schneider hit a walk-off HR to win it. Brian graduated from my hometown’s high school and I knew (and know) his grandparents and uncle well.

But the Reds could have won it in the 9th. Down 3-2 and with no one out in the top of the 9th, the Reds had 1st and 2nd with no one out. I mentioned to friends at the bar that I was at that the Reds needed to bunt the runners over. Stay out of the DP. Get 2nd and 3rd, one out. A SF ties the game, a hit puts Cincy in the lead. The only problem was, the guy at the plate, Jay Bruce, can’t bunt, while the guy in the on-deck circle, our old buddy Miguel Cairo, can. Sure enough, fears were realized as Bruce GIDP. Runner at 3rd, two out, whereas if Bruce could have laid one down, it would have been second and third, one out. Cairo, the guy who CAN bunt, doubled to tie the game. Had Bruce been able to sac, Cairo’s double would have put Cincy INTO the lead instead of just tying it. Cincy could have won in 9. Instead they lost in 12.

Let’s take this further. As mentioned above, the Yanks won, but how did Seattle score its only run? Two singles to lead off the 6th, then Ichiro laid one down for a hit. Andy threw it away and the runner on 2nd scored. The ability and speed of Ichiro to bunt for a hit.

Not only that, the inability (once again) of Pettitte to field a bunt. He had the same problem with the Dodgers, remember?

The ability to lay down a bunt (or field it) is a lost art. How many of you remember Pettitte’s exquisite play on a bunt in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series that preserved the Yanks’ 1-0 win? How many remember the bad throw Mo (a GREAT athlete and fielder) made in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2001 WS? How many of you remember the poor job Detroit pitchers did on the bunts on them in the 2006 WS? Now Andy in LA and Seattle. Granted the Yanks are in the DH-less AL, but the little things DO matter. The ability to lay down—and field—a bunt could determine a championship. 

King James is Miami bound to join Bosh and Wade. Miami has to be the favorites in the East come 2010/2011. As for Cleveland, the wait for another title (last one, late December, 1964) will continue for quite some time.