Tag Archives: Thomson

Yankees news: Silver Sluggers. Boone mgr. candidate? AFL. Another A-Rod endorsement.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Congratulations to Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, recipients of the Silver Slugger Awards at their positions.

Another player has endorsed A-Rod for Yankees’ manager: Carlos Beltran.

Here is the problem I have with A-Rod.

Back in the 1930s, Babe Ruth wanted to manage. The line teams gave on Babe Ruth was this: “if he can’t manage himself, how will he manage a team?”

The same applies to A-Rod. Suspended for a full year because of steroids, if he couldn’t manage his own affairs, how could he manage a a team?

Despite recommendations from CC and Carlos Beltran, how do they defend that question?

Besides, I don’t believe that all of A-Rod’s outside interests (including J-Lo) would permit him to manage the Yankees.

Apparently Rob Thomson had a five-hour interview with the Yanks about becoming their next manager.

Besides David Cone and John Flaherty being interested in the job, another interesting name has developed.

Aaron Boone.

Now Boone has a lot of baseball pedigree, and not only as ESPN’s voice on ball games the past few seasons. He fits as a younger manager, just 44.

The bane of Red Sox Nation since his HR to end the 2003 ALCS has a grandpa (Ray Boone) who was a 2x All-Star in the 1950s who led the AL in 1955 in RBI.

His dad, Bob, was a top-notch catcher in the 1970s and 1980s for the Phillies and Angels and who managed for a few years. Bob was a 4x All-Star, and 7x Gold Glove C who could work with Sanchez. Could Bob, even though he will be 70 soon, be a bench coach for his son and work with Sanchez?

Aaron Boone’s brother Bret was a MLB star.

In the AFL, Yankees’ prospects: (Scottsdale lost, 7-6):

SS Kyle Holder, 0 for 4, walked, Scored a run
LF Billy McKinney 1 for 3, walked 3 x.

 

 

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Yanks interview Thomson; CC endorses A-Rod, Cone & Flaherty interested.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks’ search for a new manager really began today.  Interviews have begun.

The first person interviewed was bench coach Rob Thomson.

Meanwhile, two YES broadcasters expressed their interest in the job opening, and they are David Cone and John Flaherty.

CC, meanwhile, said that he thinks A-Rod would be a good manager, but A-Rod isn’t interested as of yet, because of too many outside happenings (J-Lo being one, LOL).

No Arizona Fall League action tonight.

A top Red Sox prospect died of complications from cancer surgery. Only 17. Sad.

The Players Choice Awards were announced on MLB network tonight.

Either league

Player of the Year: Jose Altuve (Astros)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)
Majestic Athletic Always Game Award: Nolan Arenado (Rockies)

American League

Outstanding Player: Jose Altuve (Astros)
Outstanding Pitcher: Corey Kluber (Indians)
Outstanding Rookie: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
Comeback Player: Mike Moustakas (Royals)

National League

Outstanding Player: Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins)
Outstanding Pitcher: Max Scherzer (Nationals)
Outstanding Rookie: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
Comeback Player: Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals)

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Game 126. Yanks lose brawl-filled game, 10-6.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Now for the repercussions. Fines and suspensions to come. Including to the Yankees’ hottest hitter right now, Gary Sanchez.

The Yanks lost a brushback, beanball, brawl-filled game yesterday afternoon, 10-6. The game featured eight ejections. For the Yanks, manager Girardi, bench coach Thomson, pitchers Kahnle and Betances and catcher Romine. Had he been caught (umpires were looking at the main brawl and not a side brawl that was going on), Gary Sanchez could have been tossed too. That would have been interesting, who would have caught the rest of the game? For the Tigers, their manager, Brad Ausmus, was tossed, as well as Miguel Cabrera and Alex Wilson. Not only that, but two Tigers’ teammates bickered in the dugout. Justin Verlander (Kate Upton’s boyfriend) didn’t like Victor Martinez being too nice to Sanchez in trying to play peacemaker.

It’s a good thing these teams are done for the season. They won’t play each other until spring training 2018 (the Tigers are way out of contention), and we’ll see what happens then.

The seeds of this were sown on July 31. Tommy Kahnle unintentionally hit (from MLB.com) Mikie Mahtook off his helmet. The next inning, Michael Fulmer hit Jacoby Ellsbury, prompting warnings to both benches. No further incidents happened the remainder of that series.   

But apparently bad blood carried over, and that fire was stoked by Gary Sanchez kicking butt in this series and by the Yanks winning the first two games of the series handily.

Jaime Garcia, so far a disappointment for the Yanks (0-1, 5.95) started the game and gave up a first inning HR to Justin Upton.

The Yanks got it back in the second on an RBI single by Chase Headley.

Sanchez hit his fourth HR of the three-game series to put the Yanks up 2-1 in the fourth. The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the fourth, 2-2.

In the fifth, after Hicks got a SF to put the Yanks up 3-2, Sanchez got HBP, and the fireworks started. From mlb. com : Sanchez was clearly displeased as he slowly made his way to first base, while Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and manager Brad Ausmus made their way to the mound to check on Fulmer, who returned from the disabled list last week following a bout of ulnar neuritis that left him struggling to get feeling on his pitches. He was shaking his hand as Sanchez went to first base.

Sanchez and the Yanks thought the HBP was intentional. Maybe it wasn’t, but after the HR and Sanchez’ series in Detroit, it sure didn’t look good…

The Tigers responded with four in the bottom of the fifth to go up 6-3.

With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Tommy Kahnle threw one behind Miguel Cabrera’s back. He and manager Girardi were ejected. After that was taken care of, Cabrera had words for catcher Austin Romine, words were sent back and the two of them got into a fight and both were ejected.

The Yanks tied it in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Gardner, SF by Hicks and RBI single by Sanchez.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Dellin Betances hit the first batter he faced and was ejected along with bench coach/now manager Thomson. David Robertson came in and hit a batter, but with it being an 0-2 pitch, no intent was discerned and Robertson was NOT ejected. But the Tigers went on to score three in the inning for a 9-6 lead.

To the eighth, when Todd Frazier gets hit by a pitch, causing Alex Wilson and his manager, Brad Ausmus, to get tossed.

The Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the eighth for the final of 10-6.

The commissioner’s office will have their work cut out for them with fines and suspensions after this one.

And the way Sanchez has been going lately, the Yanks will miss him. The Yanks’ record for HR in a season by a catcher is 30 (Yogi & Posada). Sanchez has 23 as a catcher, 3 at DH and 1 as a 1B. All of Yogi’s and Posada’s were as a catcher.

Gardner 4 hits, RBI.
Hicks 2 RBI
Sanchez 2 hits, HR (27), 2 RBI.

Garcia 4 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. Very disappointing so far. 4.52
Warren 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.33. Rare off game for him this year.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.04. Ejected.
Chapman 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.10.
Betances (L, 3-5, 2.30) 0 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. Faced one batter, HBP, ejected.
Robertson 1 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K, 1 HBP. 2.50
Smith 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.75 Gave up 1 HR.

No reports until late Sunday night/monday morning. I am leaving town this afternoon (Friday)  and won’t return until Sunday afternoon.

Game 39. Rays edge Yanks, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi was attending his daughter’s graduation. Bench coach Rob Thomson filled in as manager, and Thomson made a couple of moves that have Yankees’ fans scratching their heads after a 5-4 Yankees loss to Tampa Bay that dropped their record to 24-15.

Luis Severino gutted out five innings, giving up just one run and leaving with a 2-1 lead. The Yanks got a run in the first when with one out, Ellsbury singled, Holliday doubled and Castro got an RBI groundout. Judge singled Holliday to third and stole second, but the Yanks couldn’t add on; Didi struck out. It would cost them later.

The Rays tied the game in the bottom of the first. In the third, Gardner got a bunt single and went to second on an error by Evan Longoria. It’s about the only thing Longoria did wrong all night. He had four hits against the Yankees, including the GW RBI. Ellsbury doubled Gardner home.

Jonathan Holder pitched a scoreless sixth and after that, the Yankees’ bullpen, which has been so great this year so far, let the game get away.

Thomson brought in Warren to pitch the seventh. I hate when managers go “by the book” or “by the formula.” If a pitcher is doing well, leave him in. Change for changes sake, I hate. Seventh inning guy, eighth inning guy, etc. Phooey. Too many cooks (or pitchers) spoil the soup (or game). Holder gave up a double in the sixth, but no runs and had two strikeouts. Why not leave him in? If a guy is doing well, and is smoking, use your own eyes and gut and go with the hot hand. Leave him in.

That over managing, seventh-inning guy, eighth-inning guy, etc., is a change to the game I grew up with that I do not like. A change for the worse. I’m old school, remembering the days when a Gossage or Lyle would come in in the seventh and really close a game out, going 2 1/3 scoreless or so. People older than me may remember Joe Page…

I miss those days.

The move to Warren, who has been great and probably was due for a clunker, backfired. Warren gave up 3 runs in the seventh. Rays 4-2. The key blow was a double that 3B Ronald Torreyes couldn’t come up with, shortly after it appeared Warren Shreve was squeezed on a pitch by the home plate umpire.

In the top of the eighth, Matt Holliday hit a two-run HR (8) to tie it, 4-4.

But Tyler Clippard gave up a run and the game in the bottom of the eighth.

In the bottom of the ninth, with two out, Thomson let Austin Romine hit for himself instead of pinch-hitting Gary Sanchez for him. This is a move, or non-move if you will, that has Yankees’ fans scratching their heads. Even the Yankees’ broadcasters on WPIX, Ken Singleton and John Flaherty, were a bit surprised by the non-move. Sanchez has a far greater chance of tying the game up with a HR than Romine did or does, and you are just PH-ing catcher for catcher. Why Sanchez wasn’t up there, who knows. Romine tapped back to the pitcher, game over. Not only that, Romine (0 for 4) has been slumping lately (0 hits in at least his last 16 at bats) and is down to .247.

So that’s that.

Ellsbury 2 for 4, RBI; Holliday 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI. Castro 2 hits, RBI (.352).

Chris Carter was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. Tyler Austin’s start of his rehab was rained out.

Severino 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 3 W, 7 K. 3.64
Holder (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.04
Warren (BS, 2) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.31
Shreve 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00
Clippard (L, 0-2, 1.53) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K.

 

Ralph Branca dies at 90.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The scene, on grainy black and white, is still poignant 65 years later. Bobby Thomson hits a 3-run HR to win the pennant for the NY Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 3, 1951. The Giants were 13 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in mid-August. The Giants would go on to lose the World Series to a Yankees team that for that one year, featured Joe DiMaggio AND Mickey Mantle.

65 years later, you still hear Russ Hodges’ call of that home run by heart.

The pitcher who gave up that home run, Ralph Branca, died yesterday at the age of 90. The announcement was made by his son-in-law, ex-major league player and manager, Bobby Valentine.

For 65 years, Branca carried that HR with him. But he carried it with great dignity. Often, he and Thomson would tour or appear together, and they became great friends.

When I think of that, I think of Donnie Moore, who by contrast, never got over the HR he gave up in the 1986 ALCS that helped cost the Angels a WS berth, and who killed his wife and himself three years later.

Branca showed true class, dignity and sportsmanship, even when it came out in 2001 that the Giants were stealing pitches and that Thomson may have known what pitch was coming.

The Polo Grounds was shaped like a bathtub. Short down the lines (way under 300 feet) and deep (over 440) to the power alleys. Thomson’s HR barely cleared the 16′ high wall at the 315 mark. If it were hit in Fenway Park today, it most likely would be a single off the scoreboard, not even a double with the short wall.

Branca was more than that one pitch. He was only 18 when he made his major league debut in 1944—a year where the majors were devastated by players having to be in the service due to WWII; a year when the St. Louis Browns—the BROWNS—won their only pennant.

At the age of 21 in 1947, Branca won 21 games. There was no CYA then, since Cy Young wouldn’t die until 1955. Branca was an All-Star and finished 11th in the MVP voting.

More importantly, he befriended Jackie Robinson, who that year, as he was breaking the color barrier, was being ostracized by many, including his own teammates.

The movie “42”, about that year of Robinson’s life, portrays Branca very well.

Branca started Game 1 of the WS against the Yanks in 1947, pitching four scoreless innings before the Yanks tagged him for 5 runs in the fifth for a 5-3 win. Branca pitched a couple of innings in relief in Game 3, and got the win in Game 6, pitching a couple of innings in relief in the “Al Gionfriddo” game.

A 3x All-Star, Branca finished 21st in the MVP voting in 1948. He started, and lost, Game 3 of the 1949 Series to the Yanks, giving up just 1 run for 8 innings before tiring and giving up 3 in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers scored two in the bottom half of the ninth but lost 4-3.

Branca was 1-2, 6.35 in four WS games.

He pitched for the Dodgers from 1944-1953, then was with the Tigers 1953-1954, Yankees (5 games, 3 starts, 1-0, 2.84) 1954, was out of the majors in 1955—ironically the only year Brooklyn won the WS—and got in one more game, fittingly with the Dodgers, on September 7, 1956.

His MLB career was over before he turned 31.

He then helped with BAT, an assistance program for ex-players.

He went 88-68, 3.79 in his MLB career, ERA+ 105. His average year would have been 25 starts, 18 relief appearances, and 12-9, 3.79.  As a hitter, he hit .142 with 2 HR.

He and Thomson are both gone,as are most of the players from that game (Willie Mays, 85, was the on deck batter when Thomson homered).

That moment, however, will live forever.

Game 156. Yanks rally with 5 in 9th to win “brawl” game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees scored 5 times in the top of the ninth and won 7-5 over Toronto in a game that saw a brushback battle, and Luis Severino, Joe Girardi, Rob Thompson and Larry Rothschild all ejected.

The Yanks go to 80-76 and close the season with six games at home. They are all but officially eliminated, being 5 out of a playoff spot with six games to go. The most wins the Yanks can have is 86. Toronto already has that and Baltimore has 85. Not only that, there are three teams between the Yanks and Baltimore.

In the first, Gardner got on on a bunt single (where was that all year) and went to third on a 2-base throwing error on the play. He scored on an RBI groundout by Sanchez.

In the bottom of the first, with one out, Severino hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch. A single and two walks later, the game was tied at 1. Severino got out of the inning giving up just that one run.

In the top of the second, Headley was HBP and the benches cleared. Girardi was tossed. In the bottom of the second, Toronto’s Josh Smoak was drilled, benches emptied and more ejections were made.

Toronto got two in the third to go up 3-1.

The Yanks got one back in the eighth. Gardner, who doubled,  scored on an RBI single by Ellsbury.

In the ninth, Teixeira homered with one out (14) to tie the game. #408 of his career passed Duke Snider on the all-time list. Gregorius singled, and Hicks homered (8) to put the Yanks up 5-3. Solano doubled, Gardner walked, and Ellsbury singled in a run to make it 6-3. Sanchez got a SF to make it 7-3.

Betances came in and needed help. He once again looked completely out of gas and couldn’t field his position. Layne came in to save it.

Gardner had 3 hits and scored 3 runs. Ellsbury had 2 hits and 2 RBI. 2 RBI for Sanchez. Big 2-run HR for Hicks.

Severino 1+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 2 HBP. Ejected. 5.75
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walks, 0 K. 7.11
Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K, 7.71
Yates 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 3 K. 5.36
Bleier 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.33
Warren (w, 7-4, 4.64 Cubs/NYY) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Betances 0 IP,  2 R, 1 earned, 0 H, 2 walks, 0 K.  Made an error. 3.13. Faced 3 batters, all reached. 2 walks and an error.
Layne (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.14.

James Kaprielian, who was dominant in spring training and in three games for High-A Tampa this year before being shut down with a flexor strain, is now OK and will be making up time in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. Good news.