Tag Archives: College Football

$alary Cap limiting Yanks moves, now.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brrrr. There was a game at Yankees Stadium today but it was a college football game and not a baseball game.

You think of college football games being played in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl—warm weather sites.

But the Pinstripe Bowl is in Yankee Stadium, and Boston College and Iowa played in bitterly cold temps today. Iowa winning, 27-20.

The field was frozen, and instead of cleats, players had to resort to sneakers on a field that was like a hockey rink. Icy.

As for the Yankees themselves, the free agent and trade market is as icy as Yankee Stadium was today. But then, the whole free agent market has been like that so far.

With the Yanks, the problem is that Hal wants to get under the $alary cap, which is $197MM. Right now, depending on what source you are looking at, the Yanks are somewhere around $178-182MM, leaving little for arbitration raises or moves made mid-season 2018 at the trade deadline.

Of course, freeing themselves of some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract would help, but how much can they free for a fifth OF making $21MM?

As far as possible deals to give more depth to the starting rotation, the Yanks apparently have offered Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and/or Tyler Wade/ Thairo Estrada for Chris Archer or Mike Fulmer and a little lesser package for Gerrit Cole.

Gleyber Torres, Estevan Florial and Justus Sheffield are off the table.

So the Yanks, for now, have their hands tied.

That includes trying to re-sign Todd Frazier, who probably wants a multi-year deal. He made $12MM last year, and even re-signing him for 1 yr at the same price puts the Yanks perilously close to the limit they want to stay under.

Why stay under? It would reset the Yanks luxury tax penalty which is currently 50 cents to the dollar.

Then they could actively go after free agents after 2018 with no penalty and next years class is a monster class which includes Kershaw, Machado, Harper and Donaldson for starters.

Yankees news: Yanks add Holliday, no Hall yet for the Boss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

There hasn’t been a report for a while because things have been relatively quiet in Yankee land.

With the winter meetings about to start, that may change soon.

The first order of business was that the Yanks signed Matt Holliday to a one-year deal worth #14 MM. Holliday will mostly DH, and will play the occasional 1B to spell Greg Bird and maybe a bit of LF too. He will be 37 next season, and is a .303 career hitter with 295 HR. Last season, in 110 games, he hit .246-20-62 for St. Louis, with an OPS+ of 107. For his career, his OPS+ is 134. A 7x All-Star, Holliday was a close runnerup to Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies for the 2007 NL MVP. Outside of 93 games for the 2009 A’s, he has spent the rest of his career in Colorado and St. Louis. He made it to three World Series, winning it in 2011.

The Yanks had interest in bringing Carlos Beltran back, but he signed with Houston for 1 year and $16MM. There was also talk of them being interested in lefty pitcher Rich Hill, but the 37 year old Hill signed a 3 year $40 MM deal with the Dodgers.

I don’t know how much interest they had in Yoennis Cespedes, who went back to the Mets for 4 years and $110 MM (too much $$ in my opinion).

Edwin Encarnacion is out there, but the Yanks probably didn’t want to go too many years and too much money with someone entering their mid-30s. Hence a one year deal with Holliday.

With the signing of Holliday, it does not appear as if the Yanks will now bring back free agent Billy Butler.

The Yanks made a couple of moves, the most important being that they basically released Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Lindgren. Both won’t pitch in 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. Lindgren was picked up by the Braves. In two seasons with the Yanks,  Eovaldi was 23-11, 4.45, ERA+94. Lindgren, a top draft pick a few years ago, got in seven games, seven innings, for the 2015 Yankees, going 0-0, 5.14.

Executive John Schuerholz and ex-MLB C0mmissioner Bud Selig were selected to the Hall of Fame by a committee yesterday. Among those not getting in were George Steinbrenner and Lou Piniella (for Lou’s managing).

More when things happen. Meanwhile is PSU alum is happy about the Nittany Lions winning the Big 10 Title and going to the Rose Bowl.


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.

Trouble brewing? Championship games?

Before even being named Boston manager, there could be trouble brewing in Beantown regarding Bobby Valentine.

Championship Games? Have you seen the lines on some of the conference championship games this weekend?

LSU by 13 1/2 over Georgia  Ok, LSU is #1
Wisconsin by 9 1/2 over Mich. St. (that’s reasonable)
Va. Tech 7 over Clemson
Houston 13 over So. Miss.

Ok… but here is the one that tops all.

Oregon 31 1/2 over UCLA.

You read that right. What UCLA at 5-7 is doing in a conference title game (probably due to USC’s suspension?) is beyond me.

31 1/2?  For a Conference Championship?

David DeJesus signed a deal with the Cubs. 2 yr., 3rd yr. option. He hit .240- 10-46, OPS+ 93 this year for the A’s. From MLB.com: DeJesus, who turns 32 next month, will earn $4.25 million each of the next two years, and the 2014 option year is for $6.5 million with a $1.5 million buyout. DeJesus, 31, is a .284 career hitter, OPS+ 106.




Some moves, but otherwise, quiet time

It’s a little quiet right now. The biggest news comes from college football, where Urban Meyer is headed back to the sidelines after a stint with ESPN. The former Utah and Florida (two national titles at FLA) coach will be on the sidelines for Ohio State next year.

In baseball, John Jaso was dealt to Seattle by the Rays. The 28-yr.-old C hit .224-5-27 in 89 games for Tampa Bay this past season. OPS+ 85. Then today, the Rays replaced him with veteran Jose Molina. Molina, 36, hit .281-3-15, OPS+ 103 for Toronto this past year.

The sale of the Astros is now complete, and some “spring cleaning” has begun. President Tal Smith (he of Tal’s hill fame, or infamy depending on how you feel about that CF down in Houston) and GM Ed Wade (former Phils GM) are both out.

Update: More big-name coaches on the way out. Rick Neuheisel at UCLA and Dennis Erickson at Arizona St.

Meanwhile, who knows how the Syracuse basketball scandal will shake out as child molestation rears its ugly head there….

Winning ugly

So the Broncos beat the Jets tonight 17-13. I have to admit, I love it. I can’t stand Rex Ryan (a chip off the old block, Buddy, who I also couldn’t stand).

Tim Tebow is now 4-1 as a starter, and it hasn’t been pretty.

He may be criticized, but let’s face it. I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty.

Let me give you an example. John Shaffer. PSU QB in the mid 1980s. From something like seventh grade until the time he graduated PSU, Shaffer lost one game. ONE. The 1986 Orange Bowl, when #1 PSU lost the national championship game to Oklahoma, 26-10.

Of course the next year PSU beat Miami in the Fiesta Bowl, 14-10, in a game in which Shaffer was something like 5 for 16 passing for what, 50 yards or so?

That, of course, won the 1986 national title for Penn State. You may remember Vinny Testaverde, the Heisman Trophy winner, going 26 for 50 or so but getting picked off five times in that game.

Sometimes there is something to be said for “winning ugly.”

2011 WS Game 4. Rangers even series behind Holland, Napoli.

Derek Holland pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings and combined with Neftali Perez on a two-hit shutout as the Texas Rangers evened up the World Series at two wins apiece with a 4-0 victory.

One day after scoring 16 runs, the Cardinals attack was just about dead. Both St. Louis hits were by Lance Berkman.

The big blow for the Rangers was a 3-run HR in the sixth by Mike Napoli. Earlier, Josh Hamilton had a first-inning RBI double.

I’m watching some NFL and college football now, of course. Happy my Steelers are 5-2, but a big game awaits next week. They are home vs. New England. Meanwhile Penn St. is #21 (19 BCS) & 7-1, but they have Illinois (home), #13 Nebraska (home) @ Ohio St. and #12 Wisconsin (home) coming up.

More on the case for Nova to stay in the rotation.

After his first four games this year, (three starts), Ivan Nova was 1-2, 7.36.

Since then, he’s started 15 MLB games. His record?

9-2, 3.16.

Really, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Leave him in the rotation!

College football poll out: Preseason #1 Oklahoma. Alabama #2. Boise St. #7. ND 18, PSU 25.

Game 52. A gem by Colon. Wins 4-hit CG Shutout, 5-0.

Yanks 28-23, 1 game behind Boston. 2nd place.  OPS+ 113, ERA+ 112
3 games worse than the Pythagorean record.

Posada will play today vs. the righty. The next two games are against lefties, against whom he has been sitting.

I wonder. Once Chavez is healthy, does Chavez (.303-0-6 in 33 AB; compare to Posada’s 132 AB) start DH-ing vs righties? Posada has gone from an everyday C to a full-time DH to now a part-time DH. When Chavez is healthy, does he become … nothing?

Retire, Jorge. Sorry. Love #20 but it’s soon time.

Let’s face it. When Chavez gets healthy, he’s a better option than Posada right now.

Speaking of, Jorge Vazquez has 18 HR and 45 RBI at AAA. In other words, Posada better start hitting or there will be nothing left. But will the Yanks have the courage to release the soon-to-be 40 year old or force the .174 hitting Posada to retire?

A Chavez/Vazquez platoon is better than Posada right now, and if there is no place for Posada….

Derek Jeter SS .258-2-15 4sb/6att   OPS+ 78  2980 hits.
Curtis Granderson CF .282-16-37  7/9  164
Mark Teixeira 1B .258-15-36  0/1  147
Alex Rodriguez 3B .282-9-27   2/3  127
Robinson Cano 2B .279-10-34  5/6  119
Russell Martin C .253-9-26  5/5  130
Jorge Posada DH .174-6-16  0/1  76       last HR, 4/23
Nick Swisher RF .210-3-20  1/2  78      
Brett Gardner LF .253-3-13  8/14  98    0 for last 11
Francisco Cervelli C  .174-1-7  0/0   60    4 for 23

Bartolo Colon P  2-3, 3.77  ERA+ 107

All three starters the Yanks will face in this series vs. the A’s have ERAs under 3.00.

Jeter 54 hits, just 9 XBH. I still think it looks like Wrigley Field, June 18 or 19 for #3000. Maybe Cincy on 6/20. To do it at home, 6/14-16 vs. Texas, Jeter would have to get hot.

Martin was a late scratch. Sore toe.

Quick start for the Yanks. In the first Jeter singled (career hit 2981) and Teix HR (16th of the year) give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. Alex walks. Cano doubles. 3-0.

Hate to say this, but that Indy 500? If that’s baseball or any other sport, they call it like it was. What a choke job.

The pressure and wrongdoing caught up to the vest today. Tressel resigns from Ohio St.

Colon is on. Just one hit, 56 pitches in 5 innings. 39 strikes. Still 3-0 after five. But what I have above on Posada? (He went 0 for 4, .169.) You have to think a Chavez/Vazquez platoon at DH would do better than that once Chavez is healthy.

Yanks bats after the first have gone silent. 3 R, 3 H in the first. Just one hit in five innings after that. 3-0 in the sixth.

The Yanks add a run in the seventh w/out a hit. With one out, Gardner walks, SB (9). Cervelli walks. Double Steal (Gardner 10, Cervelli 2) and a SF by Jeter make it 4-0.

The Yanks add one in the 9th. Swish doubled, Gardner bunt singled PR Dickerson to 3rd and Dickerson then scored on a Cervelli SF.

And that was all Colon needed. Who would have thought back in March that Colon would be this good? CYA in 2005, 14-21 from 2006-2009, out of the majors in 2010?

Colon finishes with a complete game, 4-hit shutout. 9 IP, 0 R, 4 H,  0 walks, 6 K. He goes to 3-3, 3.26.

The Yanks go to 29-23 and are two games away from the 1/3 pole of the season.

Game 160. Lineup change from last night. Berkman out, Alex DH, Pena at 3B.

For stats, refer to the previous blog for the rainout. Pena’s added.  

Game 1 of the DH.

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Brett Gardner LF
Ramiro Pena 3B .231-0-18-6/7, OPS+ 38    34 hits, just 2 for extra bases.

Andy Pettitte LHP

It will be some night. Game 2 of the DH at 9 pm. Meanwhile, my alma mater, PSU, is at Iowa at 8 pm for college football. At that same time, there is ND/BC and FLA/ALA in college football.