Tag Archives: Randolph

Yankees let Girardi go. Who replaces him?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So Joe Girardi’s contract has expired, and the Yankees are going in a different direction. They decided not to retain him.

So which direction do they go in?

Girardi in 10 years averaged 91-71. In ten years, he took the Yanks to the postseason six times.

He ranks sixth as far as tenure and games won in Yankees’ history.

He won a WS. Three times he took the team to the ALCS but lost. He lost one series in the ALDS and lost another year in the WC game.

He oversaw the fading out of Pettitte, Jeter, Mo, Posada and A-Rod, not to mention Teixeira.

So I break it down, the manager search, into categories.

A lot may depend on someone who may be a long-term solution with the young guys.

Popular

Willie Randolph and Don Mattingly. Both Yankees’ legends. Willie hasn’t managed since the Mets. No second offers. Donnie is still under contract with Florida. Will they let him go?

Experienced, and available.

Brad Ausmus. Just canned by the Tigers.
Dusty Baker.Just canned by Washington. I am not a fan of his.
Pete Mackanin. Just canned by the Phillies, bumped into their front office.
Terry Collins. just canned by the Mets.
John Farrell, just canned by Boston.

I don’t think they’ll go with that list above.

Other candidates include:

In the organization:
Josh Paul, in the organization.
Tim Naehring, in the organization, former MLB player.
Tony Pena, coach, Managed KC for a few years, but older than they may want. Did win a mgr. of the year w/KC, but too old for a young team?

Guys in the minors now, like

Al Pedrique: current SWB mgr. Guys had to go through him to get to the majors. Since he knew these youngsters at AAA, does he follow them to the majors?

Jay Bell. Former MLB SS managed at Tampa (A+) this year.

An ex-MLB Mgr. associated w/the Yankees:
Trey Hillman, two full years and part of a third w/kc. Currently managing a Korean club.

Guys in the majors, like:

Kevin Long: Mets hitting coach, formerly NYY hitting coach.

Current Yankees coaches like:

Joe Espada, 3B Coach
Robbie Thomson Bench Coach

 

So where do they go from here?

Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner are finalists for Gold Glove awards.

As for the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale tied 4-4.

2B Yankees’ Prospect Kyle Holder was 1 for 4 and scored a run. .417.

WS Game 3 is tonight.

 

 

 

 

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2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Even it up…. and a controversial and painful play.

The Cubs and Dodgers evened their series up vs. the Cardinals and Mets respectively at one game apiece in their respective NL Division Series.

But the Dodgers/Mets game didn’t come without controversy, because Dodger Chase Utley, in making a hard take-out slide, broke Met SS Ruben Tejada’s leg.

Hard take-out slides have been part of the game forever, from Ty Cobb to now. Heck, in the early 1960’s, Al Kaline, in talking about Maris and Mantle, wasn’t talking about their home runs in one interview. He said that the two were the hardest in the league at going in to take out the fielder to break up a DP.

Little guys like Phil Rizzuto and Fred Patek were targets for guys trying to take them out.

Was Utley’s slide dirty? It was hard, it was clean, but until baseball changes the rules to where a runner must touch the bag or go DIRECTLY over it  (Utley didn’t, and the rule states be within reach of the bag) and slide a certain feet in front of it so that they don’t go so far past the bag, it was legal. Legal but very unfortunate.

Baseball has already changed the rules to protect catchers on a play at the plate. We’ll see if they do the same here.

Want to see one takeout slide of the past? Here is Hal McRae taking out Willie Randolph in Game 2 of the 1977 ALCS. Click on the link. Oh, by the way, it was legal and nothing was done to McRae…. just saying.

Game 68. Yanks trounce Tigers, 14-3. Yanks honor Randolph, Stottlemyre.

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A-Rod drove in five runs, the Yanks hit five HR, and Nathan Eovaldi bounced back from a poor performance last time out as the Yanks trounced the Tigers 14-3. The win keeps the Yanks one game behind Tampa Bay for the top spot in the AL East. The Yanks are 38-30.

Before the game, it was Old-Timer’s Day, and as expected, the Yanks honored long-time second baseman and later coach Willie Randolph with a monument park plaque. Then came a surprise. For Randolph wasn’t the only ex-Yankee great who wore #30 to be honored. The Yanks also honored former pitcher and coach Mel Stottlemyre with a plaque as well. It was touching, and no one knew about it. Stottlemyre has been battling cancer.

As for the game, the Yanks made it a rout early. They got one in the first on a triple by Gardner and a fielder’s choice grounder (RBI) by A-Rod that wound up becoming an error.

In the second, Didi Gregorius homered for the second consecutive game (4) and A-Rod tacked on a SF to make it 3-0.

The Yanks broke it open in the third with five runs. Carlos Beltran hit the first of his two HR for the game, Headley singled in a run and A-Rod capped it off with a HR. Hit #3001 and HR #668 (#14 on the season) was a three-run blast. Alex got hit #3002 later in the game.

Nathan Eovaldi started on just three days rest to give everybody else an extra day of rest. The last time out, Eovaldi threw just 36 pitches, lasted just 2/3 of an inning and gave up 8 runs. This time, 6 IP, 2 R before yielding to rookie Bryan Mitchell, just called up from AAA. Mitchell went three innings and gave up 1 run in his first Yankees’ outing of this season. Nice bounceback effort by Eovaldi, and yes, Mitchell, because he went three innings, gets a save despite the lopsided score.

In the fourth, Beltran hit his second HR of the game and seventh of the season to make it 9-0. Beltran now has 380 HR for his career, one behind Teixeira. Chris Young had an RBI single later in the inning to make it 10-0.

The Yanks weren’t done. In the fifth, McCann had an RBI single, Beltran was HBP with the bases loaded, and Gregorius had an RBI groundout. 13-0.

Detroit got three in the top of the seventh before Chris Young closed out the scoring in the bottom of the 8th with his 8th HR of the season. 14-3.

Eovaldi (W 6-2, 4.95) 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 4 K.
Mitchell (1st save) 3 IP,  1 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

The Yanks pounded out 18 hits, five HR. Gardner had 3 hits and is back on track, raising his average 20 points over the past few days. A-Rod had 2 hits and 5 rbi. Beltran 2 HR and 3 RBI. Gregorius 2 RBI. Young had 3 hits and 2 RBI.

The Yanks go for the sweep Sunday afternoon with Tanaka on the hill. Then the Phillies come in for three games.

 

 

Game 67. A-Rod’s 3000th is a HR as Yanks win 7-2.

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Alex Rodriguez joined the 3000 hit club in style, becoming the third player to have his 3000th hit be a home run, following Wade Boggs and Derek Jeter.

Meanwhile, Adam Warren made a strong statement to stay in the rotation. The Yanks will have a difficult decision to make when Ivan Nova is ready to come back. How do you pull your #3 starter and send him to the bullpen?

Before the game, the Yanks made some moves. They DL’d Sergio Santos after just two appearances as a Yankee with elbow inflammation. They also sent Chris Martin down to AAA. To replace them, they brought back Brandon Pinder (poor guy has been a yo-yo this season) and brought up Bryan Mitchell.

The Yanks beat Detroit 7-2, went to 37-30 on the season and stayed one game behind the surprising and resilient Rays.

A-Rod hit the first pitch he saw last night for a home run to RCF. Hit #3000 was HR #13 on the season and #667 of his career.

Warren gave up two runs in the second to put the Tigers up 2-1, but Didi Gregorius tied it in the bottom of the second with a HR (3).

In the bottom of the fifth, Brett Gardner’s two-run HR (7) put the Yanks up 4-2. Gardner went 4 for 5 for the evening, scored two runs and drove in three.

A nice play by John Ryan Murphy on a tag at the plate saved the Yanks a run.

The Yanks broke it open late,. scoring two in the seventh on a WP (the ball didn’t get far away, and Gardner’s speed let him score, great play by Gardy) and a Teixeira single.

Gardner’s single in the eighth made it 7-2, the final score.

Warren pitched 8 strong innings. It’ll be hard to remove him from the rotation. Should they?

Also, considering the way Pinder has pitched, maybe he should stay instead of being yo-yo’d?

Warren 8 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 0 walks and 7 K. (W, 5-4, 3.62)
Pinder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 1.93.

Today’s game is a night game. It’s Old-Timer’s Day and the Yankees will be honoring Willie Randolph with a plaque in Monument Park.

Yanks to honor 4, retire 3 numbers.

I was going to write a column looking at 2020, and look to what we can expect in the future, but that will have to wait.

For this column is to honor the past.

Today, the Yankees announced that #51 for Bernie Williams will be retired on May 24 (I’ll be there that day. I was there for #23, Don Mattingly and for #42, Mariano Rivera). On August 22nd they will retire the number of #20, Jorge Posada (I think I have to work that day) and on August 23rd they will retire #46 for Andy Pettitte (I will be there for that one).

In addition, on Old-Timer’s Day this year, Willie Randolph will join recent legends Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Goose Gossage by getting a plaque in Monument Park (no retired number).

No word on when Jeter’s #2 gets retired.

So the Yanks are going to have a serious problem. Once Jeter’s number is retired, that will be 20 retired numbers. Now, there are a few I believe should NOT be retired. I know I’m opening a can of worms here, but here goes. Should these numbers be retired? For the way things are going, the Yanks are 1) going to look like a football team with #82 playing CF, or 2) need to go to 1A, 2A, 3A, etc.

#1 Billy Martin (I believe it shouldn’t be retired. Billy was a major factor in three WS titles as a player, and hit .333 in the WS. He was WS MVP in 1953 when he had 12 hits in six games. He made a WS saving catch in Game 7 of the 1952 Series. He managed the Yanks to a WS title—-but in comparison, Ralph Houk managed the yanks to TWO WS titles, and Houk’s #35 won’t be retired —. Billy was a .257 career hitter. He wasn’t even the best player to wear #1 (Earle Combs, a HOF, was). No).

#2 Derek Jeter (Not officially retired yet). 3465 hits and 1st ballot HOF screams yes.

#3 Babe Ruth. Ummmm…. greatest Player ever. Yes.

#4 Lou Gehrig. Yes.

#5 Joe DiMaggio. Yes.

#6 Joe Torre. Interesting question. The Yanks have so many numbers retired, that you have to ask, players only? Or include managers. If you include managers, then Torre is a Yes. If players only, no. (BTW, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy never wore a number).

#7 Mickey Mantle. Yes.

#8 Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Both Yes.

#9 Roger Maris. No. Honor Roger’s 1961 with a plaque, but not the number. .260 career hitter. GREAT for 1960 and 1961, very good in 1962, above average 1963-1964, not even average in 1965-1966. Sweeney Murti argues that Graig Nettles, who also wore #9, should get a plaque in Monument Park. Speaking of, Willie Randolph is getting a plaque. How about Tony Lazzeri and Joe Gordon getting plaques? Both are in the HOF. Willie won’t be. Love Willie, but….

#10. Phil Rizzuto. No. Plaque yes, honoring his 56 or so years of service, but not retire the number.

#13… just kidding. Based on his suspension and turbulent relations with the Yankees, I’ll be shocked if the Yanks honor A-Rod.

#15 Thurman Munson. Yes. Esp. considering the circumstances of his passing.

#16 Whitey Ford. Yes.

#20 Jorge Posada. No. No Offense to Jorge, but unless you are HOF, it’s hard to justify retiring the number.

#23. Don Mattingly. No. I was there when they retired his number. I loved Donnie, but is he more worthy or better than two people who each got a plaque but whose numbers aren’t retired? O’Neill or Tino? I think not. Also, no HOF. Should have the same treatment as Paul and Tino. Plaque, no retired #. Hey, with so many retired numbers, we have to be tough here.

#32. Elston Howard. Plaque yes, retired number, no. 1st black on the Yanks, 1st AL Black MVP, but not a HOF. Tough call, but no.

#37 Casey Stengel. See Torre above. If you want players only, no. If you include managers, yes.

#44 Reggie. No. Only was with the Yanks 1977-1981, not long enough. Plaque yes, retired number, no.

#46 Andy Pettitte. Close call. No. Chuck Knoblauch, who is in the Mitchell report along with Andy (HGH) blasts the selection of Pettitte. I’d argue yes, but it’s a close call. By the way, Red Ruffing #15 and Allie Reynolds #22 both have plaques, no retired number. Of course, #15 is retired for Munson.

#49 Ron Guidry. No. Tough Call. I loved the Gator, but no HOF and not even 200 wins.

#51 Bernie. Tough call, but no HOF. The only difference between him getting his # retired and Paul and Tino getting just plaques is that Bernie spent 16 years as a Yankee while Paul and Tino spent considerable time with other teams (Cincy and Seattle).

So I eliminated 10 numbers, 12 if you think players only should have the numbers retired. This isn’t to disrespect the players whose numbers I want to “unretire” but to state which I think should be retired vs. those I think the Yanks went overboard on.

The Yanks could have a problem in years to come. Hopefully I am alive to see it. It means I would have lived through one more dynasty.

 

 

Yankee prospect assaulted

I’ll get into the NFL a bit later. As for baseball, things have been a bit quiet, so I haven’t written much lately (plus, I’ve been busy). James Shields and Max Scherzer are still free agents and there are no indications yet where either may go.

Yankees prospect Ty Hensley was beaten up during the holiday season. Apparently he was at a bar and a mutual acquaintance introduced him to someone else from his hometown who also was a good athlete and could have gone pro as well. The other athlete was a linebacker from a different high school who later went to Weber St. and then who got cut from an NFL team (Carolina). An argument ensued over signing bonuses and the linebacker (Anthony Morales) beat up Hensley, kicking Hensley in the face repeatedly, and breaking Hensley’s jaw and also breaking some teeth.

Hensley, 21, a RHP, was 1-2, 3.00 in 4 starts and one relief appearance in 2012. He missed all of 2013 with an injury, and was 0-0, 2.93 in 10 starts and one relief appearance (30 2/3 IP) in 2014 between rookie league and short season (Staten Island).

The Yanks announced their AA and AAA coaching staffs for 2015. They are still looking for a hitting and 1B/Infield coach for the big league team. Apparently they had talks with Willie Randolph. It’d be good to have Willie back, but nothing official yet. Marcus Thames will be the hitting coach at SWB (AAA), replacing Butch Wynegar.

Ex-Cowboy DT Jethro Pugh, who played for Dallas from 1965-1978 died recently at the age of 70. Pugh played in the Ice Bowl game (and was the victim of the block by Jerry Kramer that sprung Bart Starr for the game-winning last-minute TD). He was a 2x Super Bowl Champion (VI and XII). Besides the two Super Bowl titles, he played in the NFL Title Games that Dallas lost in 1966 and 1967 (Ice Bowl), and losing Super Bowls V, X and XIII. He also was on teams that lost NFC title games in 1972 and 1973.

As I’m watching the divisional round of NFL playoff games, a quick recap. Carolina beat Arizona last weekend, but then lost to Seattle in the divisional game. In the other NFC game last weekend, Dallas got a supposed gift from the refs for a come-from-behind last-minute win over Detroit. Seattle stopped Carolina to advance to the NFC title game next week. Green Bay is playing Dallas (in the first Dallas at Green Bay postseason game since the Ice Bowl 12/31/1967) as I write this. Seattle, the defending SB champ, will host the winner.

In the AFC, Baltimore beat out my Steelers but then lost yesterday to New England. The Patriots were down twice by two touchdowns to the Ravens, but came back. Indianapolis beat the Bengals, as Cincy did their one-and-done routine again. Their coach is 0-6 in the playoffs, and Andy Dalton is still looking for his first playoff win. The Colts take on Denver at Denver later today, with the winner going to New England to play for the AFC title. It’ll be New England’s fourth straight AFC title game appearance. For Brady and Belichick, their 9th in 14 years.

UPDATE: FROM BRONX BASEBALL DAILY

Ladies and gentlemen, the Yankees finally have a hitting coach.

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees are slated to hire Jeff Pentland as their hitting coach and for the first time in team history, will have an assistant hitting coach. The Yankees have hired Alan Cockrell as the assistant coach.

Pentland worked as the hitting coach for the Marlins when Joe Girardi was the manager, was the hitting coach of the Royals when Tony Pena was the manager and when Carlos Beltran was a player; and was the hitting coach for the Mariners and the Dodgers. Cockrell was the hitting coach for the 2007 Colorado Rockies and the Mariners. The 2007 Rockies advanced to the World Series that season.

 

Update 2:

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees announced Joe Espada is going to be the new infield coach, replacing Mick Kelleher who was fired in October along with ex-hitting coach Kevin Long. Espada was a scout for the Yankees last season but has coaching experience; he was the third base coach for the Miami Marlins. Espada joins Jeff Pentland and Alan Cockrell as the new pieces of the Yankees coaching staff.