Tag Archives: Cora

Boone AL All-Star Game Mgr.?and Yanks make a minor deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

OK, with Hinch, last year’s pennant winning manager gone, and same with Cora, does this mean Aaron Boone, who lost last year’s ALCS, now is the AL All-Star game manager?


The Yanks made a minor deal. When Gardner’s contract was finalized last week, LHP Stephen Tarpley was DFA’d. Today they traded him to Miami for a prospect, James Nelson, 3B. Nelson will most likely be with A+ Tampa.

From MLB.com:

Nelson, 22, spent his 2019 season with Class A Advanced Jupiter, batting .228 (98-for-429) with 36 runs, 13 doubles, two triples, four homers and 36 RBIs in 121 games. Over four Minor League seasons, the right-handed hitter has hit .259 with 14 homers and 147 RBIs in 328 games, playing exclusively at third base.

Tarpley, 26, made 31 Major League appearances (one start) for the Yankees from 2018-19, going 1-0 with two saves and a 5.88 ERA (22 earned runs in 33 2/3 innings).

 

Less than a week to go before the HOF announcement…

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With less than a week to go before the HOF announcement, Derek Jeter is still running at 100% with 37.4% of the votes known.

Larry Walker is at 85.1%
Curt Schilling 79.9%
Barry Bonds 75.3%
Roger Clemens 74.0%

You need 75%.

But the unknown votes that haven’t come in yet, and the votes that remain anonymous usually drop people by as much as 10%, thus Jeter and Walker could be the only two getting in, and even Walker could be on the bubble.

Will Jeter join Mariano Rivera at 100%?

Others: Despite hitting over 400 HR each, Adam Dunn and Alfonso Soriano have no votes. Jason Giambi has one, as does Paul Konerko.

LHP Cliff Lee has only one. It looks like these players, among others, will drop off the ballot.

You need 5% to stay on the ballot.

Some Notables: Bobby Abreu 7.1%, Andy Pettitte 12.3%, Sammy Sosa 18.2%, Andruw Jones 27.9%, Manny Ramirez 35.7%, Gary Sheffield 39.6%, Scott Rolen 50.6% …..

For the whole list:     http://www.bbhoftracker.com/


CC Sabathia has been hired by the Yankees as a special advisor. Don’t know about him in the booth, however, as rumors are he doesn’t get along with Michael Kay.


So Alex Cora and the Red Sox have parted ways. Nice way of saying he resigned before he got fired or suspended. I’m waiting to see what the suspension will be like. After all, he was involved in BOTH places—at Houston, who just got hammered, and Boston, whose investigation is still ongoing. I think his punishment will be quite severe.

MLB hammers Astros; Cora and Red Sox next.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Worked OT, and am watching the College Football National Championship game, so I’ll do a lot of cut and pasting here.

From MLB.com (edited) Bold is from me :

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were each suspended without pay for the 2020 season by Major League Baseball, which on Monday released the findings from its investigation of Houston’s sign-stealing allegations.

Approximately one hour after the penalties were issued, Astros owner Jim Crane announced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston that Luhnow and Hinch had both been dismissed by the organization.

As part of the penalties, Houston also forfeits its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts. In addition, the Astros were fined $5 million, which is the highest allowable fine under the Major League Constitution.

Former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman, who was dismissed by the club in October after he made offensive and insensitive comments directed at a group of female reporters at the conclusion of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 19, 2019, was also suspended for one year for his inappropriate conduct in the clubhouse. Taubman “shall be ineligible to perform services on behalf of any Major League club, either as an employee or independent contractor.”

The suspensions of Luhnow and Hinch are to begin immediately, ending on the day following the completion of the 2020 World Series. Taubman, who is currently not employed by a Major League club, will be eligible to apply for reinstatement at that same end time as well.

Should either Luhnow or Hinch be found to engage in “any future material violations” of Major League rules, the offender will be placed on the permanently ineligible list.

The report says the illegal sign-stealing was mostly player-driven, but it states that former bench coach Alex Cora, who is now the manager of the Red Sox, was involved in setting it up. Cora was not disciplined as part of this investigation, but the report states that he could face penalties at the conclusion of the ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal sign-stealing by the Red Sox during the 2018 season.

There were no penalties given to any Astros players as part of the investigation, though Mets manager Carlos Beltrán — who was a DH/outfielder on the 2017 Astros — was mentioned in the report as one of the players involved in the illegal sign-stealing. In explaining why no players would face any discipline, Commissioner Manfred wrote the following:

“Assessing discipline of players for this type of conduct is both difficult and impractical. It is difficult, because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme, and I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability.

“It is impractical given the large number of players involved, and the fact that many of those players now play for other clubs.”

Now the Astros need to find a new GM and manager. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that Astros bench coach Joe Espada (a one-time Yankees coach) is the favorite to become interim manager

As for Cora and Boston, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.  They may need a new manager soon as well.

Once again, from MLB.Com, once again, edited :

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was named by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred as a primary participant in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme of 2017 and may face future discipline for his role upon the completion of an ongoing investigation into a similar scheme allegedly used by the Red Sox during Boston’s World Series championship season of 2018.

The Red Sox organization also could receive penalties when that investigation is concluded.

“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” wrote Manfred. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct. I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the [Department of Investigations] completes its investigation of the allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 while Cora was the manager.”

The two teams hurt the most are the Yankees, who lost the ALCS to Houston in a series where the home team won every game, and the Dodgers, who lost the WS to Houston in 2017 and to Boston in 2018. 

One last thing: with Hinch out, don’t be surprised if Aaron Boone is now the manager of the 2020 AL All-Star team.

 

Yanks sign utility player, and more MLB investigations

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Bleeding Yankee Blue blog states that Baseball America is reporting that the Yankees have signed Rosell Herrera to a deal. Herrera is a 27 year old switch-hitter who has played in 149 MLB games, hitting .225-3-31 with an OPS+ of 64. He was with Cincinnati and KC in 2018, and Miami last year.

He’ll most likely start at AAA and be ready in case of injury. One thing about him, he is versatile. He’s played 44 MLB games in RF, 37 in CF, 19 at 2B, 15 in LF, 6 at 3B and 1 game at SS.


Hmmm…. while MLB is investigating the WS Champion 2017 Houston Astros for cheating, using video technology to steal signs, now they are ALSO investigating the WS Champion Boston Red Sox for the same type of infraction. What do both teams have in common? Alex Cora, who was the bench coach for the Astros and who became the Red Sox’ manager.


Ex-Yankee Ronald Torreyes “The Toe” has signed with the Phillies, teaming up once again with manager Joe Girardi.


A Passing: Andy Hassler, age 68. Hassler, a lefty pitcher, pitched for the Angels (1971, 1973-1976), KC Royals (1976-1978), Red Sox (1978-1979), the Mets (1979), Pirates (1980), back with the Angels again (1980-1983) and Cardinals (1984-1985). Hassler was 44-71, 3.83, with 29 saves in his MLB career, ERA+ 97. He pitched in five postseason games, and three were against the Yankees. His postseason record was 0-2, 4.60. He started Game 3 of the 1976 ALCS against the Yankees, taking the loss in a 5-3 Yankees win. In 1977, he started Game 2 of the ALCS against the Yankees, taking the loss in a 6-2 Yankees’ win. He also pitched for the Angels in the 1982 ALCS against the Brewers.

 

Game 109. DJ Rox the Sox! Yanks win opener of DH, 9-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

D.J. LeMahieu led off the bottom of the first with a HR (16), and added a three run HR (17) later as the Yanks (70-39) beat Boston in the first game of a day/night DH, 9-2.

When is it too early to start an “MVP” chant for DJ?

In the process, the Yanks, for now, opened up an 8 game lead over Tampa Bay and a
12 1/2 game lead over Boston.

And Boston looked like they were unraveling. Manager Alex Cora got ejected, and starting pitcher Chris Sale was also ejected for yelling at the umpire as he was pulled from the game.

Andrew Benintendi, who seems to own Domingo German, homered in the second to tie the game at one each.

But the Yanks struck for seven in the bottom of the fourth. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a single, and one out later, Gio Urshela (who made a great defensive play in the game in the top of the third inning) singled. After another out, the Yanks exploded, scoring all their runs with two out. Kyle Higashioka singled to load the bases. Breyvic Valera singled in one run to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. Brett Gardner singled in two runs to make it 4-1. LeMahieu hit his second HR of the game, a 3-run HR, to make it 7-1. Aaron Judge doubled, and after Sale was pulled (and ejected) Edwin Encarnacion singled in Judge. 8-1.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. homered off of German in the fifth to cut it to 8-2, but other than the two gopher balls he gave up, German was great.

The Yanks got one more run in the sixth when Gardner singled, stole second, went to third on a flyout and scored on a single by Encarnacion (that should have been a double had Edwin busted it from the box instead of thinking it was gone). 9-2 Yanks.

LeMahieu 3 hits, 2 HR (17), 4 RBI   .338 leads majors
Encarnacion 3 hits, 2 RBI  HBP late in game—scary.
Urshela 2 hits, .314    great defensive play
Gardner 3 hits, 2 RBI

German (W, 14-2, 3.98) 7 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 W, 7 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Holder 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  6.28

And, very importantly, German saved the bullpen (save for Holder) for Game 2 of the DH. Chad Green will be the “opener.” The 26th man for the Yanks in the DH is P Chance Adams.

 

 

Gardner back; Classless Cora; RIP Willie McCovey, Hall of Famer.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have Brett Gardner back in 2019, and it was a good move in how they are bringing him back.

The Yanks declined his $12.5MM contract, buying him out at $2.5MM. They then turned around and brought him back for 2019 at $7MM, saving $3MM in the process.

A good move on both ends. Gardner remains with the only MLB team he has ever been with, the Yankees. The Yankees don’t have to pay as much next year for a 35 year old coming off a bad season (.236-12-45, 16 SB, OPS+ just 86, 14% BELOW league average). Not only that, in the final couple of months, Gardner lost his job to Andrew McCutchen, expected to sign elsewhere as a free agent.

If Gardner can revert back to form in 2019, a good deal for the Yanks. Cost-effective production. If not, it is a 1-year deal, and the Yanks could trade or cut Gardner mid-2019, it won’t cost too much to do, and maybe Clint Frazier or Jacoby Ellsbury can do something in place of Gardner. Of course, both Frazier (concussion) and Ellsbury (various incidents inc. hip surgery) are question marks right now.

(Updated 11/4: I can see a platoon of Gardner/Frazier in LF if Frazier is healthy, and perhaps Frazier takes over. As for Ellsbury, who knows? At 35, Gardner’s playing time will probably be, and would have to be, reduced. Gardner hit .260 up until July 9, .206 thereafter.)

Alex Cora, manager of the WS Champion Red Sox, proved he has absolutely NO class. In the postseason celebration today, he said something that even if I were a Red Sox fan, I would be quite upset about it if I had a young child with me at that celebration. I won’t repeat it. He mentioned about how the Red Sox scored 16 runs in Game 3 of the ALDS and used a profanity afterward. No class. Hey Alex, congratulations on winning 108 and then the WS. Need I remind you that you were a great manager this year (I don’t know about the future) but that you were NOT that great a player? Really, I wonder how you lasted 14 years in the majors with a 162 G. average of .243-4-36, OPS+ 72 (28% below league average), and in only 5 of those 14 years did you play in 100 or more games. Pick up a lot of splinters in your ass while riding the pine? Anyway, can you imagine someone like Joe McCarthy or Joe Torre using those words to denigrate an opponent? And you wonder why the world is like it is in a lot of ways today. NO CLASS CORA.

Hall of Famer Willie McCovey died today at the age of 80. With two out and men on second and third in the bottom of the ninth of game 7 of the 1962 WS, McCovey scorched a liner right at Yankee 2B Bobby Richardson to end the game. If that ball were hit six feet to either side of Richardson, the Giants win the game 2-1 instead of the Yanks winning 1-0. Especially since the runner on second was Willie Mays. It was the last title of the Yanks’ great dynasty era. They lost the WS in 1963 and 1964 then the dynasty collapsed in 1965.

McCovey hit 521 HR in his career, the same total as Ted Williams and Frank Thomas. He won the ROY award in 1959,  when despite playing in just 52 games, he hit .354-13-38.

In his very first MLB game, he went 4 for 4 (single, triple, single, triple) against HOF pitcher Robin Roberts in 1959.

McCovey played in 4 decades, 1959-1980. SF Giants, 1959-1973, San Diego Padres 1974-1976, and back with the Giants 1977-1980.

He won the 1969 MVP Award, hitting .320-45-126, OPS+ 209 that year, leading the NL in HR, RBI, and the majors in OBP, SA, OPS, OPS+ and intentional walks. The runnerup for MVP that year was Tom Seaver of the Amazin’ Mets.

Three other times he finished Top 10 for MVP, inc. 3rd in 1968, when he also led the NL in HR and RBI.

He led the NL in HR 3X. RBI 2X. The majors in walks, once. He hit 2 HR in the 1969 All Star Game.

He was a 6x All-Star. He hit 18 grand slams.

McCovey Cove, the bay behind the RF wall at the Giants new ballpark, is named for him.

He played in 2 postseasons, the 1962 WS and the 1971 NLCS. In 8 games, he hit .310-3-7.

He was the 1977 Comeback POY at the age of 39.

Mostly a 1B, he did play some LF in his career.

His 162 g. average was .270-33-97, OPS+ 147.

After a rough 2018 in which he only hit .212-7-23, OPS+ just 79 in 63 games for Houston in 63 games, the Astros declined the option on Ex-Yankee Brian McCann. McCann did win a WS ring with them in 2017 when he hit .241-18-62 in 97 games, OPS+ 106. While with the Yanks 2014-2016, he was average. Had some pop, averaging 23 HR and 76 RBI / yr, but the shift killed him, as he only averaged a .235 batting average.

It appears his future (he turns 35 next year) is as a backup.

 

 

 

WS Game 5. Boston wins series; Pearce MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Allow me to repeat the first couple of lines from yesterday’s blog.

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce.

Last night, Pearce won the WS MVP award by hitting 2 HR (3 for the WS) as Boston won their fourth WS of this century (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) by beating L.A. 5-1 to wrap up the Series in five games.

For L.A., it’s back-to-back WS losses.

Pearce got things started in the first with a 2-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who can now opt out of his contract, for all his brilliance, somehow can’t get it together in the postseason. This was his second WS loss this year.

David Freese homered off of David Price to lead off the bottom of the first for L.A., but that was all they’d get. Price was great, and the Dodgers got 3 hits all night.

For Price, 2 WS wins after having had a career filled with postseason failure.

Mookie Betts homered in the sixth to make it 3-1 Boston.

J.D. Martinez homered in the seventh, 4-1.

Then Pearce capped off everything with his second HR of the game in the eighth for the final score of 5-1.

And it was Manny Machado who struck out for the WS’ last out.

Alex Cora, as a rookie manager, wins the WS. Boston led the majors with 108 wins in the regular season, then went 11-3 in the postseason.

So Yankees’ fans have to watch their archrival win the WS. They can only take solace in two things.

One, that no one has repeated since the Yankees threepeated in 1998-1999-2000. So maybe that streak continues next year.

Two, that the Red Sox began last century with WS wins in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 and we know how the rest of the century played out. The Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. The “Curse of the Bambino.”

But somehow, I don’t see a “Curse of the Mookie” coming….

But hopefully next year for the Yanks.

We’ll see what moves the offseason brings and what awards are won by whom.