Tag Archives: Corbin

ALCS Game 3. Yanks fall 4-1, trail in Series 2 games to 1. Nats win NL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Since May 22, Gerrit Cole has been unbeatable, going 19-0 in 25 starts with a 1.59 ERA. Incredible.

He was vulnerable against the Yankees, giving up 5 walks and 4 hits in his seven innings of work, but no runs.

Luis Severino was OK, but gave up a HR in the first to Jose Altuve (Altuve kills the Yankees) and another in the second to Josh Reddick and that is all Cole needed. Houston wins Game 3 of the ALCS, 4-1, and is up two games to one in the series.

The Yanks have a couple of problems. For one, manager Aaron Boone has to wonder if he should bench Gary Sanchez and start Austin Romine instead. Sanchez is 1 for 13 in this series with six strikeouts. For the whole postseason, he is 2 for 21 with 10 strikeouts. He also couldn’t block a WP that enabled Houston to score a run.

In a post-game interview, Boone said no when asked about going to Romine. I think he may be making a mistake.

Another is Adam Ottavino, who came into Game 3 with the score 2-0 in the top of the seventh. Ottavino isn’t getting anyone out and gave up a walk and a single before being pulled. Both runners later scored. Boone said he’ll continue to use him…. what else is he going to say?

Ottavino’s numbers this postseason: 2 1/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 W, 3 K.  1 HR given up. He’s faced 16 batters and 9 have reached base. You just can’t trust him in tight games anymore. At least not now.

There is no time in the postseason to hope. It’s do or die. It’s why Joe Torre once benched Wade Boggs, Tino Martinez AND Paul O’Neill for the same game (replacing them in the lineup with Charlie Hayes, Cecil Fielder and Darryl Strawberry).

Cleanup hitter Edwin Encarnacion is also slumping. 1 for 12 with 6 strikeouts in this series. Maybe he needs to be dropped in the lineup.

The one constant is Gleyber Torres. The only Yankees’ run came on a HR by Torres in the eighth inning. He is 10 for 24 this postseason with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Maybe Boone should just keep him in the 3 spot. He batted fifth in Game 3, probably to try to protect Encarnacion and hopefully get Edwin going.

But that meant Brett Gardner hit third. Now the Yanks did get singles from D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge to lead off the bottom of the first, but Gardner flied out. The Yanks didn’t score. Maybe Gardner should have bunted the runners over there. I know you are thinking big inning, but this is Cole on the mound, and Gardner is not your prototypical #3 hitter (like a Ruth, DiMaggio, Maris or Mantle), and who knows, maybe Gardner beats it out. Just saying.  Gardner is 2 for 13 in this series with five strikeouts.

Didi Gregorius JUST MISSED putting the Yanks up 3-2 with a two-out drive with two on in the fifth that was caught at the wall. Tough break. Didi is 1 for 12 in this series.

The forecast is for rain. There is a very strong chance Game 4 gets rained out tonight. If so, I believe the Yanks HAVE to come back with Tanaka then for Game 4 on regular rest (and in his six innings on Saturday, he only threw 68 pitches in Game 1) to try to even the series and avoid going down three games to one.

The Yanks only had five hits in the game. In their last 20 innings, they’ve scored just three runs.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Torres HR, 2 walks
Aaron Hicks, starting his first game in over 2 months, walked twice.

Severino (LOSS) 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 3 W, 6 K.  Gave up 2 HR
Green 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  1 WP that scored a run.
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.

Who’d have thought Cessa would be out-pitching Ottavino this postseason?

Hopefully some of these Yankees’ bats heat up.

Also, hopefully Boone makes some right, and maybe necessary, tough decisions to shake the Yanks up.


Washington won the NLCS by beating St. Louis 7-4 last night, scoring all seven runs in the bottom of the first. With the four game sweep, the Nationals go to their first WS in franchise history, going back to 1969 when they were the Montreal Expos 1969-2004 before moving to Washington.

For D.C., it’ll host their first WS games since 1933 when the old Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) won the AL pennant but lost the WS to the NY (now SF) Giants.

Howie Kendrick was named the NLCS MVP.

So whoever wins the ALCS knows they’ll have to face Washington with its trio of Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin (not to mention Anibal Sanchez).

 

 

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NLCS Game 3. Long time coming? Washington 1 win away from WS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Washington, D.C. has been part of three World Series—in 1924, 1925 and 1933, when the original Washington Senators (who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961) won the AL pennant in those years, and the World Series in 1924. Walter Johnson, near the end of his career, was on the 1924 and 1925 teams.

The current Washington Nationals team came from Montreal, where from 1969-2004 they were the Montreal Expos. This franchise has never made it to the World Series.

They are one win away after an 8-1 win over the suddenly punchless St. Louis Cardinals. The Nationals lead the series three games to none and could make it a sweep tonight.

Houston has their threesome of Verlander, Cole and Grienke, but Washington’s trio of Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin is right up there.

Strasburg went seven, and gave up just one unearned run while striking out 12.

Howie Kendrick, whose grand slam in Game 5 of the NLDS doomed the Dodgers, had 3 hits and 3 RBI last night.

Long-time National Ryan Zimmerman drove in two runs.

Game 4 of this series is tonight.

Game 3 of the ALCS between the Yanks and Astros is at 4 this afternoon.

Dodgers and Braves go up 2-1 in their NLDS’s.

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The Dodgers put up a 7-spot in the top of the sixth and beat the Washington Nationals 10-4 to go up two games to one in their NLDS. The Nationals had Patrick Corbin, the Game 1 starter and losing pitcher, come out of the bullpen, and it was a disaster, Corbin giving up six runs in just 2/3 of an inning.  Justin Turner had a 3-run HR in that inning. Ex-Yankee Russell Martin had a 2-run HR in the ninth for LA, and 4 RBI for the game.

So far in the postseason, the Nationals have used Strasburg (WC game), Scherzer (Game 2 NLDS) and Corbin (Game 3 NLDS) out of the bullpen as well as starters. It obviously didn’t work last night with Corbin.

In the other NLDS, Former starter turned closer Carlos Martinez, who almost blew Game 1 for St Louis, giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth when the Cardinals had a 4-run lead, DID blow Game 3. He came in with the Cardinals leading 1-0 in the top of the ninth, and gave up 3 runs—all with two out— as the Atlanta Braves beat St. Louis, 3-1, to go up two games to one in their series.

There could be four advances today if LA and Atlanta win, and Houston and the Yankees sweep their series by each winning Game 3 today.

Houston @ Tampa Bay 1 PM MLB Network
Atlanta @ St. Louis 3 PM TBS
LA @ Washington 6:40 PM TBS
YANKEES @ Minnesota 8:40 PM  FS1

All times Eastern.

 

 

 

Trade deadline. No major move done by the Yanks. Thoughts.

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The Yanks did not make a major move at the trade deadline.

They only made a minor one, trading rookie RHP Joe Harvey (1-0, 4.50 in nine games this year for the Yanks) to Colorado for LHP Alfredo Garcia. Per the NY Post: Garcia, 20, has pitched for Single-A Asheville and Boise this season. With the two teams, he’s combined for a 3-10 record and 6.00 ERA in 22 starts.

They apparently were looking at LHP Robbie Ray of Arizona but Arizona wanted OF Clint Frazier, RHP Clarke Schmidt (the Yanks’ #1 draft pick in 2017, who is now pitching at High A Tampa) and two other prospects. The Yanks thought that price was too steep.

Arizona did trade Zack Greinke to Houston (they made other moves as well). Now Houston is really scary with Justin Verlander, Greinke, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley.

Greinke never would have come to the Yankees. He has a no-trade to the Yanks, and with his problems with depression and anxiety early in his career (2005/2006) NY wouldn’t be right for him at all.

That is the situation at the trade deadline. Some teams are asking too much of you, like the teams that wanted Gleyber Torres for a pitcher that other teams say is an ace but you know they are middle to back end of the rotation caliber. And Torres shouldn’t be going anywhere. He is not even 23 yet, a 2x All-Star, and someone with 20+ HR in both of his seasons in the majors. Torres for Matthew Boyd of Detroit (6-8, 3.94 now, career 28-43, 4.82)? Please. Spare me.

Some players, like Greinke and Madison Bumgarner, have no-trade clauses. Whether Bumgarner would have waived his to go to the Yankees, who knows. But we also don’t know what SF would have wanted for him.

Some teams, like the Mets, won’t deal with the Yankees. I can see that with the Red Sox not dealing with the Yankees, but the Mets are in a different league. But the Mets have the fear of looking bad in a deal with the Yanks, and don’t want the Yanks to “take over the city” or is it “Citi”? LOL. But the Yankeephobia the Mets’ front office has hurts them if they are making trades with other teams and getting less return from them than in what the Yankees would give them for say, Wheeler or Syndegaard—and neither Wheeler or Syndegaard went anywhere.

So the Yankees don’t get a starter that could have helped them. No Minor, Bumgarner, Wheeler, Ray, Stroman, Boyd, Bauer, Roark, Leake, etc. Most, as I stated, don’t fall into the “ace” category.

They didn’t get relief help either. Shane Greene and Mark Melancon (both former Yankees, by the way) both went from their respective teams (Tigers and Giants) to the Braves.

By the way, ex-Yankee (twice) David Robertson, who went to the Phillies last offseason as a free agent, and who has barely pitched this year, is headed for elbow surgery that could include TJ surgery. If TJ (Tommy John) surgery, then he misses ALL of 2020.

So the Yankees have to hope some, or all of the following, get healthy enough to contribute soon: Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga and Dellin Betances. Loaisiga had a rehab stint (2 innings for AA Trenton last night). The others haven’t pitched yet in a game for any rehab assignment yet.

Either that or some pitchers need to pick up the slack and pitch better than they have so far this season (Happ/Paxton, even Tanaka).

I don’t know if I would call the Yanks’ efforts at the trade deadline here a failure. If you DO want to point any blame for not improving the rotation, I don’t think it is now, but things that happened BEFORE getting to this point.

For example, the free agent market. I didn’t mind bringing back Happ at the time (and that may be a mistake, given what he’s done this year and that he has a couple years left on the contract). But Happ wasn’t my first option. He was a fallback option. I think that the Yanks felt as I did. Getting Patrick Corbin being the top priority, with Happ as a fallback. But Corbin wanted more than the four years that the Yanks were offering, and got six from Washington where he is 9-5, 3.23. The Yanks sure could use that now.

Then there was Gio Gonzalez. The Yanks signed him at the end of spring training to a minor league deal, one that Gonzalez opted out of a few weeks later when it was obvious, at that time, that there was no place in the rotation for him. He is 2-1, 3.48 for Milwaukee right now.

Lastly, Dallas Keuchel. The Yanks wouldn’t go an extra mile to land him, lost him to the Braves, and Keuchel is 3-4, 3.86 right now.

Any of those three would not have cost players, just money. Now the question is why the Yankees were not more proactive towards those three? And that may not be the fault of Cashman, but of Hal Steinbrenner, who, let’s face it, is more frugal than his dad. Hal may have set a certain price that he wouldn’t allow Cashman to exceed, and if a deal then wasn’t made, the blame falls on Hal then, not Cashman.

If there is something to gripe about, I feel as if it isn’t because of what wasn’t done today at the trade deadline, but what wasn’t done BEFORE—namely, Corbin, Gonzalez and/or Keuchel. For those three have/had better potential and results than almost all of what was out there today.

One more thing. I wasn’t too keen this offseason about bringing back CC. He hasn’t been bad this year, but you are getting what you expected you’d get from a guy who just turned 39. Two trips to the injured list. Not much length in his starts. He has not recorded a “W” in more than a month. Yes, having him retire as a Yankee is nice. It’s his final season. But sentiment doesn’t win titles. You think with your head, not your heart.

Being a clubhouse presence and a great teammate is great. But you also have to do it between the lines, and of course, CC isn’t what he used to be.

So we hope now for help from within. Severino, Montgomery, Loaisiga, Betances. Maybe Deivi Garcia, but I doubt it. I’d be surprised. At 20, he probably needs a full season of AAA, so maybe 2021 for him (or late 2020?)

And after this season is over, don’t mess up on the free agent market. For example, Gerrit Cole of Houston, who the Yanks once drafted (he didn’t sign) and later coveted (traded by Pittsburgh to Houston because the Yanks wouldn’t give the Pirates Miguel Andujar) is a free agent after this season. He is 12-5. 2.94 for Houston now. He was 15-5, 2.88 for them last season. He struck out 276 last year and leads the majors with 212 strikeouts right now. Houston is one of your top competitors right now for AL supremacy. You can improve yourself and hurt Houston after this season in one move. Are you listening, Hal? Cash?

 

 

Game 103. Pitching woes continue in Yanks’ 10-5 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

For the third straight time, James Paxton gave up a HR to the leadoff hitter.

And this time, that leadoff hitter then proceeded to go deep two MORE times against Paxton.

Mookie Betts hit three HR, all in the FIRST FOUR INNINGS, off of Paxton, to lead Boston to a 10-5 win over the (66-37) Yankees Friday night.

The loss cuts the Yanks’ lead to 8 1/2 over Tampa Bay and 9 over Boston.

Paxton has struggled, while targets like Patrick Corbin, Gio Gonzalez, and Dallas Keuchel are doing Ok elsewhere. Three guys the Yanks could have had (they had Gio, but he opted out when there was no room in the rotation for him).

Also disheartening is when guys like Paxton or Sonny Gray have success elsewhere (and what do you think Gray would tell his former Vanderbilt teammate, Mike Minor of Texas, a trade target, about NY?) come to NY and don’t do well. In Gray’s case, now that he is out of NY, he’s doing well again. You could put J.A. Happ in that category for this year, but to be fair, Happ did pitch well last year for the Yanks before the playoff outing.

Another disheartening thing is not having some players, like Michael Pineda or Nathan Eovaldi, realize their potential while in pinstripes.

You may say, that some guys can’t pitch in NY. True. But when it happens over and over and over again, that pitchers good elsewhere come to NY and have difficulties, when do you start looking at the pitching coach, and not just blame it on NY?

Remember that Larry Rothschild was inherited by Aaron Boone. Boone picked some, not all, of his coaching staff. He inherited the pitching part, Rothschild and bullpen coach Mike Harkey.

If the Yanks don’t turn this abysmal week by the starting pitchers around, they not only could blow their lead (Boston worries me more than Tampa Bay, because the Rays have now lost Snell for a month) and if so, could Rothschild be on the hot seat? The next few months will be very interesting to see how the starting pitching does. Because if it continues to flounder as it has, it won’t be good. Changes would have to be made, and maybe not just the pitchers but also the coach. Maybe this is only a blip. We hope so.

For the first 14 games of July, the Yanks’ starter’s ERA was 2.88. In the last six games, an atrocious 15.61. The Yanks have given up 64 runs in their last six games. 10.66 per game. Amazingly, they won two of those games. No Yankee starter in the last six games has pitched in the fifth inning. None in seven games has pitched in the sixth.

Forget about any of these starters, even when they are going GOOD, pitching in the seventh, eighth or ninth. They just don’t do that.

One worry I have is this. Even if they rebound, and wind up with 100 to 105 wins, who, amongst all the starters in the rotation, do you absolutely trust to start a must-win postseason game? A fair question, I think. None are “old reliable” Andy Pettitte’s, El Duque’s, or David Cone’s.

With this bad stretch, the Yanks’ ERA+, which was about 110 most of the year, has dropped to 104, just 4% above league average. No starter has an ERA less than 4.00.

Tanaka 7-6, 4.79. ERA+ 93 (7 % below league average)
Happ 8-5, 5.23  ERA+ 86
German 12-2, 4.03  ERA+ 111 ( his youth and inexperience are a concern)
Sabathia 5-5, 4.50  ERA+ 99
Paxton 5-6, 4.72  ERA+ 95.

As I mentioned, which of these would you trust to start a must-win playoff game? It’s a huge concern.

One last thing before the game recap. Could it be that Boston sees some guys tipping pitches or has some Yankee pitching been too consistent in their approach? Rumors are that Severino was tipping pitches in Game 3 of the ALDS last year. Boston has pounded Tanaka this year, and Tanaka thought he made good pitches at some points the other night. Did Boston know what was coming? Paul O’Neill on WPIX last night mentioned Boston waiting for hard stuff inside from Paxton, got it, and creamed it.

Paxton’s line is strange. 9 K in 4 IP. But 4 HR given up, 3 to Betts, 7 runs allowed.

If guys ARE tipping, why isn’t the pitching staff seeing it? Remember that Chad Green was straightened out at AAA, not by the major league staff. Once sent down, he worked it out. Also, Jonathan Holder has had to go down. He also, couldn’t work it out at the big league level.

Could there be a problem with the pitching coach? Sorry, Rothschild, but that has to be addressed right now. To stop that, the starting pitching, once again, has to improve, and IMMEDIATELY.

Let’s remember that Gray took some parting shots at Rothschild on the way out to Cincinnati, where Gray is doing well. Could there be something to what Gray said?

And it’s not just Rothschild. Let’s remember that the Yanks lost out on possibly getting Verlander, Cole, Corbin, Keuchel, and Gonzalez, all of whom could certainly be helping right now.  If the Yanks would have just one of those right now…

So something is amiss with their pitching philosophy. Whether it is the coach, or the whole organizational approach of what is coached, who is targeted, what you’ll give up for a stud pitcher…

Anyway you look at it, corrections and improvements are necessary. The Yanks have two more games against Boston this weekend, and after two games against Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday, have four more against Boston next Friday to Sunday, including a DH on Saturday. If they don’t turn it around, and FAST, Boston could be right back in it. Let’s just say Boston takes 6 of 8 in the games this weekend and next. The lead goes from 11 to 7. If they take 7 of the 8, it’s 5. Sweep and 3. Yankees’ fans don’t want 1978 in reverse. Yes, there is the wild card to fall back on, and that wasn’t there in 1978. We don’t want that. Win the division, avoid the wild card game.

This is the time to bury Boston, not have them rise from the dead. So far, the shovels have been put away. Boston has woken up.

As for making a trade, I am getting really discouraged that that may happen. Teams are asking for Gleyber Torres in any deal. That is a non-starter. The two-time All-Star, who has hit 20 or more HR in both of his MLB seasons, isn’t even 23 yet.

As for the game, Paxton gave up, as noted above, a leadoff HR to Betts, marking the third straight time he gave up a HR to the first batter of the game. He has had (like German) first inning woes all season. Then a single, strikeout and HR (by J.D. Martinez) and it was 3-0 already. After the week the Yanks have had, it was like here we go again.

A HR by Betts and an RBI triple by Martinez made it 5-0 after three innings.

Then Betts hits his THIRD HR of the game to make it 7-0 in the fourth.

The Yanks got a run in the sixth when with two out, they got consecutive singles by Encarnacion, Gregorius and Voit.

Boston got two in the bottom of the sixth to make it 9-1. Betts doubled in one run and scored the other on another double. He was 4 for 5 with 5 RBI—3 HR and a double.

Before the game, Stephen Tarpley was sent down and Cameron Maybin came off the IL. Maybin walked to lead off the seventh, and went to third on a double by Mike Tauchman. Austin Romine singled in one run, and another scored when D.J. LeMahieu GIDP.

Boston got a run in the bottom of the seventh, 10-3.

The Yanks got two in the ninth before succumbing. Tauchman led off the inning with a single, and scored on a double by Romine. A walk to LeMahieu and an error on a ball hit by Judge loaded the bases. But then three consecutive outs ended the game. One out was a SF by Gregorius.

It is hard to win when you are giving up 10 or more runs a game.

Tauchman 3 hits
Romine 3 hits, 2 RBI

Paxton (L, 5-6, 4.72) 4 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 0 W, 9 K. Gave up 4 HR, 3 to Betts. Weird line.
Hale 2 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 W, 0 K.   2.89
Ottavino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.59
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.57

The Yanks really could use a well-pitched, crisp victory right now. They are taking it on the chin right now.

July 27. The trade deadline is just four days away.

Is any pitching help coming from the outside? Or do the Yanks have to keep their fingers crossed that internal options who have been on the IL (Severino, Betances, Montgomery, Loaisiga) will be coming to the rescue?

 

 

 

 

 

Yanks appear out on Machado

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It appears that the Yanks are out on Machado, as they won’t give him the years or money he is asking for.

It appears that they haven’t even made an official offer, either.

It appears that the Phillies and White Sox (and the White Sox just recently added Machado’s brother-in-law as well as one of his good friends to the team) are the two teams he may go to, with the Phillies being the favorite.

This isn’t George’s Yankees anymore, it’s Hal’s. That’s becoming apparent with how they have handled (mishandled as some fans might say?) the Corbin and Machado dealings.

Note the word “appears.” We’ll see. Some rumors have the Yanks wanting to go no more than say 5 years, $130MM or so, not the 7-10 years and $210-$300MM that some say that the Machado camp is looking for.

It is becoming apparent that if Machado wants to go to his allegedly preferred destination, the Yankees, that it will be for less years and probably less money.

Despite the Dodgers having cleared some space by trading both Puig and Kemp to Cincinnati, the rumors are that Bryce Harper, instead of going to L.A., could be headed back to Washington.

Decisions for the two should be coming shortly. After all, we are just over a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting.

Soon, rumors will be facts.

Pitchers, 2019 S.T. schedule and 2020 AAA All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry, was very busy at work with a lot of overtime and have been sick (to the point where I have very little voice left) but catching up…

Nathan Eovaldi won’t be coming back to the Yankees. The free agent re-signed with Boston on a 4-yr., $67MM deal.

Cleveland extended Carlos Carrasco for 4 years, but Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer may be had in a trade. Mike Clevenger is very cost effective for the Indians, so he may not be available.

Hyun-Jin Ryu re-signed with the Dodgers, one yr. $17.9 MM. Pitched well (1.97 ERA for them in 2018) but the lefty missed 1/2 the season.

Arizona may be looking to unload Zack Greinke’s salary in a deal, and the Giants may want to do the same with Madison Bumgarner.

But you wonder what the Yanks would have to give up in a deal. Miguel Andujar?

The Yanks are still looking to trade Sonny Gray and would like another starter to join Severino, Paxton, Tanaka and CC in the rotation. Hopefully a #3 or better.

Some free agents available are Happ, Lynn, Keuchel, Kikuchi,  Charlie Morton, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley…. so you can see outside of Happ and possibly Keuchel (who is up and down and slipping) a dropoff.

Apparently the Yanks didn’t even make an offer to Corbin. They apparently told him they were comfortable with $17-$20MM per year for 4-5 years and when Corbin said he was looking for Yu Darvish $$$ (and he eventually got 6 yrs at $23.5MM per from Washington), the Yanks basically said good luck.

The AAA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Yanks’ AAA club in Moosic, PA (Scranton/Wilkes Barre, or as is usually abbreviated, SWB).

Good video recently on the YES network showing how Luis Severino was tipping pitches at the end of last year. Apparently Boston picked up on it (hence Sevy’s poor outing in Game 3 of the ALDS) but the A’s didn’t (or else maybe Oakland wins the Wild Card game). It may also explain his pedestrian second half.

The Yanks announced their 2019 spring training schedule. Pitchers report Feb. 13, first workout the next day. Position players report Feb. 18 with the first full-squad workout the following day. The first spring training game will be Feb. 23 vs. you-guessed-it, Boston.

Sad to read about a failed car robbery that resulted in the deaths of two players (one being Luis Valbeuna) in Venezuela. You fear for the players from Venezuela and their safety, like Gleyber Torres. Maybe (hopefully?) Gleyber can just come and stay here in the U.S. instead of being subject to the B.S. going on in Venezuela.