Tag Archives: Martinez

Once again, time to strip the HOF ballot from some BBWAA members.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Baseball HOF ballots are being counted (and new, if any, members are to be announced January 24) once again we see that the BBWAA should seriously consider stripping voting privileges away from some of its members.

This year’s case in point (so far): Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who only voted for two ex-players: former Indians Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

If he wants to skip over known and suspected steroid users like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez, that is one thing.

But what about others who may need every vote they can in order to receive the 75% it takes to get in? Ex-players like Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero or Edgar Martinez?

If someone like Mussina winds up with 74.7%, they don’t round up. Hoffman missed by only a handful of votes last year.

And, if someone like Mussina just misses, he has a legitimate gripe against voters like Livingston.

Voters like Livingston (and others who vote for candidates clearly not HOF worthy just to give them a vote—maybe they were drinking buddies with that player?) should have their voting privileges revoked.

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Astros take wild Game 5, 13-12 in 10.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Add Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the list of possible Yankees’ mangerial candidates. The long-time utility player is 41 and was a member of the 2009 WS Champion Yankees. He’s with the Dodgers in a broadcasting capacity right now. But another without managerial experience.

WS Game 5 was wild. Houston won 13-12 in 10 innings to take a 3 games to 2 lead in the WS, and they have Verlander going in Game 6 Tuesday night.

Going blow by blow could take me years.

LA had a 4-0 lead with Kershaw on the mound. Seemed safe, right? Nope.

Houston came back to tie it. LA then went up 7-4. Houston came back to tie it. In the seventh, LA went up 8-7, Houston came back with four to go up 11-8. Both teams traded runs in the 8th, then the Dodgers scored 3 in the 9th to tie it up at 12. Houston scored in the bottom of the 10th to win it.

Altuve, Correa and Gurriel, 3-4-5 in the Astros’ lineup, combined for 10 RBI.

Alex Bregman with the GW hit, and Kensley Jansen is being mortal this WS.

With Kuechel and Kershaw, you expected a pitcher’s duel. Nope.

Two wild extra-inning games in this WS, and both went to the Astros.

The Arizona Fall League is off Sundays.

Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez is now the new manager of the Washington Nationals. The Phillies are apparently hiring Gabe Kapler.

Game 66. CC, Didi, lead Yanks, 4-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia pitched six strong innings for the win, and Didi Gregorius’ sixth HR of the season, a 3-Run shot in the top of the seventh, led the Yanks to a 4-1 win on Thursday night and snapped their four game losing streak.

CC’s win enabled him to tie Kenny Rogers and Pedro Martinez on the all-time list with 219. He gave up a run in the fourth but lowered his ERA to 2.20. The Twins run scored on an RBI single by ex-Yankee Eduardo Nunez.

The Yanks tied it in the sixth on an Ellsbury single but should have had more. They had the bases loaded, no one out, and only scored one run.

But Gregorius’ HR in the seventh made up for it. Then came the Big 3.

Sabathia (w, 5-4, 2.20) 6 IP, 1 R,  6 H, 3 walks, 7 K.
Betances (H, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.03.
Miller (H, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 1.26
Chapman (S, 12) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.25

Game 5. Yanks fall to 1-4 with an 8-4 loss.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

If Billy Martin were running the team right now, there might be a team meeting with the food tray being toppled over. If George Steinbrenner were the owner, someone may already be getting fired (hey, he fired Yogi when Yogi was 6-10 early in the 1985 season).

Yes, we are only five games into the season, but not only are the Yankees 1-4, it’s how they are 1-4 that is disturbing. For it’s one thing to play well and lose and know that you are playing well and things will straighten themselves out soon. It’s another to lose and look really bad in doing so.

That is what a team batting average of .193 (OPS+ 81, 19% below league average) and eight errors in five games (not counting two passed balls by backup C John Ryan Murphy) will do for you. Make you look really bad.

Throw in the fact that three Yankees have been picked off so far and that they are 1 for 4 in SB this year. Throw in also that two balls were hit yesterday that should have been caught (Gardner, Jones) and were ruled doubles. Throw in again some plays were there were no errors made but mental errors (Didi Gregorious) and you have a team that is really out of sync and playing badly right now.

Thank goodness there are 157 games left and plenty of time to turn it around. But it may NOT be too early for a team meeting. This can’t continue.

The Yanks not only lost to Boston 8-4 on Saturday, but looked bad in doing so. The two balls that should have been caught by Gardner and Jones, for one thing. A-Rod played 1B for the first time in his career, made one error and looked, let’s say, uncomfortable over there. Definitely not smooth (which was to be expected) but awkward. Gregorious held the ball on a relay while a Boston runner was rounding third and scoring (mental error). Earlier in the week, Gregorious made a couple boneheaded plays as a baserunner. He has to be a more savvy player than he has shown so far.

Seven innings into the game, the Yanks had just one hit. They had just five for the game. Only a late Chris Young 3-run HR made the score semi-respectable.

Teams that don’t hit (.193) look really bad and boring. Hopefully the Yanks snap out of it soon.

Beltran is 2 for 20. Drew 2 for 17, Gregorious 2 for 15, Teix has 2 HR but is 3 for 16. Headley had the clutch HR but is 3 for 22, and so on and so forth (I won’t list them all). You can make the case that A-Rod (5 for 18, 2944 career hits now) has been their best regular hitter.

With a lineup like that, as was mentioned on the FoxSports1 telecast, there isn’t much room for error. They can’t afford to make errors, and they have made eight (along with two passed balls and two wild pitches) so far. The team is slow in the middle of the lineup, where you have Beltran, Teix, McCann and A-Rod. As mentioned on the telecast, they are a station to station team, don’t bunt, don’t hit-and-run, don’t steal bases (outside of Ellsbury and Gardner, but are as a team 1 of 4 so far this year). The commentators (and I am NOT a Joe Buck fan) were right in implying that this is a team that waits for the HR, and that HR is to come from aging players who the team hopes can find the fountain of youth for one final, good season.

Hopefully things change soon. The team needs an injection of youth badly but the Yanks’ hands are tied. What do you do when you have these players—CC, Teixeira, A-Rod, Beltran—all of whom will be 35 or older before season’s end—making around $90MM between the four of them and you can’t trade them (either no one will pick up the $$, you’d have to eat a lot of it and/or there are no trade clauses) and you don’t want to eat the money by releasing them? Then throw in Tanaka’s ($25MM) possible problem with his elbow (diminishing his effectiveness) and that fact that so far, 31 yr. old Brian McCann, earning what $15MM/yr.? has underperformed?

As mentioned, as a diehard Yankees’ fan, I hope things turn around soon. This is not to be negative, just a reflection of how things have gone this week. When you hold a mirror up to something that looks terrible, it looks…..terrible. All Yankees fans have to be disappointed at how this season has started.

The pitching has an ERA of 3.44 and an ERA+ of 115 (eight of the 29 runs given up so far have been unearned). That is really pretty good. The bullpen has looked like a strength. Warren (pitching line to come in a moment) wasn’t that bad yesterday, although he had a bit of trouble putting people away, but it is hard to pitch with no margin of error because a) you are getting no run support and/or b) your defense is letting you down.

Warren 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 walks, 1 K. Not a bad outing. Only his 4th MLB start.

Wilson 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K.

Martin 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Here is where the game got away.

Matt Tracy (MLB Debut) 2 IP, 3 runs (all unearned), 2 H, 2 walks and 1 K.

Four of the eight runs the Yanks gave up were unearned. Combine that with a .193 team batting average and, well, you get the picture.

Tonight’s ESPN game will be interesting to watch. Will the bats finally wake up? How will Tanaka do? Hall of Famer and MLB network commentator Pedro Martinez estimates Tanaka at 65% due to his elbow issue. If the Yanks are really struggling in June and have fallen way out of the race (let’s hope that isn’t the case) does Tanaka bite the bullet and get the Tommy John surgery that would cost him the rest of 2015 and all of 2016? Will Tanaka be pitching at 2/3 effectiveness all year? Will the elbow give at some point?

Will the Yanks start hitting and tightening up their defense? Will they turn to the kids sooner than expected? Will the kids be rushed?

Right now, there are a lot of questions. There is only one solution.

They have to start playing better, starting now. Granted it’s just five games, but so far, it hasn’t been acceptable. It’s one thing to play well and have some tough losses.

It’s another to have a week like this one has been.

Get back to .500 and go from there.

So wake up and Let’s Go, Yankees!

Yanks re-sign Drew, and HOF gets 4 new members.

The Yankees re-signed Stephen Drew to a one-year, $5MM contract, and I must admit, I am perplexed and not too happy about the deal.

Ok, does Drew play SS or 2B? Where does Didi Gregorious play? What about the youngsters, Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder, each of whom hit .300+ at AAA last year while Drew (32 in March) hit .162-7-26 between Boston and the Yanks last year? That’s an OPS+ of 51, 49% below league average. I don’t understand the move—-unless it is to package Gregorious, or Refsnyder or Pirela along with the one to two of the surplus of lefty relievers (and maybe someone like Gary Sanchez or Austin Romine?) to say, the Phils for Cole Hamels, or, if they can sign him to a contract extension right away, Johnny Cueto of the Reds (who is a free agent after 2015)?

As of now, I don’t like the move. Drew’s 162 g. ave. is .256-15-70, OPS+ 95 (100 is average). He is a lefty hitter who may (along with Gregorious) have pop for the porch but was flat out awful in 2014.

After the signing of Gregorious, I just don’t get this move. I’d rather give Refsnyder and Pirela a chance at 2B. I don’t like it.

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame will have 4 new members. The BBWAA elected Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio to the Hall today. Mike Piazza got about 70%, and 75% is needed for induction.

Very brief thumbnails about the new Hall-of-Famers.

Johnson: I wonder about the cap, but I think (sorry, Seattle) that it’ll be Arizona. 5X CYA (4 with AZ, and another year a runner-up w/AZ) 10x All-Star. 303-166. 4875 K (2nd all-time and most by a lefty). 3x 20-game winner. 162 g. ave. 17-9, 3.29, ERA+ 135. 7-9, 3.50 in the postseason. 2001 WS Co-MVP, when he won 3 games in that WS. Twice in the top 10 for MVP. Too bad he was past his prime and only mediocre in his two seasons as a Yankee. (One decent enough year, ERA+ 112, 17-8, 3.79, but the other bad, 17-11, 5.00, ERA+ 90). Won CYA in each league.

Pedro:  His ERA+ is the best of any starter, ever. 2x  20-game winner. Like Johnson, won the CYA in each league. 219-100. 2.93 career ERA, ERA+ 154. 8X All-Star. 3x CYA. 2x top 5 for MVP, inc. runnerup in 1999. 6-4, 3.46 postseason. Definitely a Boston hat. Ave. 162 g. season, 17-8, 2.93.  Over 3000K.

Smoltz: Braves. 213-155. 154 saves. Only pitcher ever with over 200 wins and over 150 saves. Started as a starter, arm problems forced him to close, then went back into the rotation.  Led league in wins 2x (one-time 20 g. winner w/24). Led MLB with 55 saves in 2002. 162 g. ave. 12-9, 9 saves, 3.33, ERA+ 125. This is hurt by the four years he spent closing. 8x All-Star. 1996 CYA. Over 3000 K. 8th in MVP voting in 2002.  Great postseason pitcher, 15-4, 2.67, 4 saves in the postseason.

Biggio: Whole career w/Astros. 7x All-Star. Twice top-5 for MVP. 3060 hits.  Versatile. Mostly 2B, but also C, CF, LF. 162 g. average .281-17-67, 24 SB. Over 400 SB. OPS+ 112.  4 x GG. 40 postseason games, .234-2-11.

Game 73. O’s snap Yanks 4-game win streak, 6-1.

There’s been talk that Vidal Nuno is pitching to keep his spot in the rotation. He didn’t do anything to help himself on Saturday.

The Yanks offense didn’t do anything to help Nuno either, as the Yanks lost 6-1. The loss snapped the Yanks four-game winning streak.

Nuno gave up 3 HR in falling to 1-4, 5.88. He went 6 1/3, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 H (3 of which were HR) 2 walks and 4 K.

Jose Ramirez shows promise, but is raw. Hopefully he develops. He did give up a run (HR) in his 2 2/3 IP, but also struck out 4.

2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 1 HBP and 4 K. 5.63.

The Yanks only run came on a HR by Teixeira (12, 353 career).

Before the game, Tino Martinez was honored with a plaque in Monument Park. The Yanks will honor Goose Gossage with a plaque tomorrow (Sunday) on Old-Timers’ Day.

As for Nuno, we’ll have to wait and see. Although he hasn’t done well, the Yanks don’t exactly have a ready replacement for what really is the #8 starter (3 of what were supposed to be in the rotation are on the DL—-CC, Pineda and Nova).

You wonder if a trade is brewing, who would go and who may come to replace Nuno in the rotation.

Jeter got one hit. 3386.

Because I’ll be heading up to the Stadium early tomorrow morning for the game, there will be no minor league report on the games of today.

The minors. A-Rod washed out again.

AAA: SWB went 11 before the game was suspended by rain with the score tied at 6. David Huff 6 R in 5 1/3. RF Fernando Martinez 3 H, HR, 2 RBI. CF Corey Patterson 3 H, 2 RBI. 3B David Adams, C J.R. Murphy and LF Thomas Neal 2 hits each. (Wish Adams did that at the big-league level. Hopefully he get can his stroke back).

AA:  Trenton won 4-1. Sean Black 1 R in 6 IP. Former top draft pick Jeremy Bleich is now a reliever with a 2.66 ERA. LF Ramon Flores 3 hits, 2B Jose Pirela 3 H, 2 doubles and an RBI.

High A: Tampa (and A–Rod) rained out again.

Low A: Charleston won 8-7. 1B Greg Bird 3 h, triple, HR, 4 rbi. DH Angelo Gumbs 2 h, 2 rbi. 2 H, HR and 2 RBI C Jackson Valera and 3 H LF Aaron Gates.