Game 1 Recap: New York Yankees at Blue Jays

What a great start to the season for the New York Yankees in 2018. The Yankees season got off to a bang. The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1.

W-Luis Severino (0.00) ERA

L-J.A. Happ (3.86) ERA

Offensive Recap:

Brett Gardner reached base on an E7 from former Yankee Curtis Granderson, and Giancarlo Stanton blasted an opposite field homer in his first at bat of the season.

The Yankees added two runs to their lead in the fifth when Stanton and Gary Sanchez hit back to back two out doubles.

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Brett Gardner then hit a solo homer in the sixth off of Blue Jay reliever Danny Barnes. The Yankees final run came on another Stanton homer in the eighth and this time he hit a solo one off of old Yankee Tyler Clippard.

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All in all the Yankees offense was fantastic today and the newest Bronx Bomber Giancarlo Stanton played a big role in the win. Aaron Judge also had a productive day hitting ahead of Stanton as he went 2-4 with a double and single. This was only a taste of what the Yankees offense will look like this season.

Pitching Recap

Luis Severino proved today that he is the Yankees ace. After facing some trouble in the first Severino struck out Kendrys Morales to strand two runners on base. Severino settled down and compiled a strong 5.2 innings pitched and only surrended one hit, a single to Granderson in the fourth.

Chad Green came into the game in relief of Severino in the sixth and struck out Granderson for his first strikeout of the year. Green came back out to pitch the seventh and retired the Blue Jays in order.

Betances came onto pitch the eighth and served up a solo homer to Kevin Pillar on the first pitch he threw. Betances settled down and retired the next three hitters. Chapman came on to pitch the ninth and retired the Blue Jays in order to seal the win for the Yankees and earn Aaron Boone’s first win as a manager.

Player of the Game

Without question Giancarlo Stanton is the Yankees player of the game for the Yankees. He had a tremendous debut and was the first Yankee to homer in his first at-bat as a Yankee since Aaron Judge in 2016.

3-5, 2 HR, 1 Double and 3 RBI

Didi’s Post-Game Tweet

Tomorrows Game

Yankees at Blue Jays

7:07 ET Rogers Centre

Tanaka (0.00) vs Sanchez (0.00)

Getting to Know Your Yankee Bench Coach: Josh Bard


Joshua David Bard (born March 30, 1978) is a former Major League baseball catcher. Bard played for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners from ’02 to 2011.

Bard played along side of the new New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone in 2005 for the Indians. Bard spent most of his career dealing with injuries, however when healthy Josh served as a good backup catcher.

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After Bard retired in 2012 he became a Special Assistant with the Los Angeles Dodgers and would serve in that role until becoming the bullpen coach for the Dodgers prior to their 2016 season.

Through his relationship with Aaron Boone Josh Bard was hired to be the New York Yankees bench coach for the upcoming 2018 season.

Bench Coach? What Does He Do ?

According to the Glossary the definition of what the Pitching Coach is:

“A bench coach is typically considered the right-hand man to his team’s manager and helps to foster a positive environment in the clubhouse as well as communication between the player roster and coaching staff. Bench coaches assist their managers in decision-making and will sometimes relay scouting information from the team’s front office to the club’s players.”

“Many bench coaches are former or aspiring managers. The bench coach typically steps in to act as manager when the regular manager is unavailable (often as a result of being ejected from the game).”

What to Expect ?

Josh Bard is the right hand man of Aaron Boone as thus his responsibilities will be many, however his biggest and arguably most important job will be assisting Boone on this brand new journey.

The Giants, Odell Beckham Jr. And The Wide Receiver Cap Percentage

There has been quite of bit drama and speculation surrounding the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. as of late. Everybody and anybody has been speaking out and voicing their opinions.

There are wide ranging thoughts on what the Giants should do with Odell Beckham Jr. Many Giants fans when hearing of a possible OBJ trade had a conniption, while the OBJ haters rejoiced.

The goal of this article is to allow people to set their biases aside and simply look at the data. The first set of data I will be focusing on has to do with successful teams and the cap hit percentage of their number 1 wide receiver.

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Before we do that, let’s examine what an Odell Beckham’s’ possible contract extension would look like against the cap.

Below I identified three possible scenarios.

Odell Beckham Jr. and his possible cap percentage

Yearly Salary Estimated Cap 2019 Cap Percentage
14.9 million (Julio Jones 2019 cap number) 190 Million 7.84%
20 Million (reported asking price for OBJ) 190 Million 10.47%
22.165 Million (Antonio Brown’s 2019 cap number) 190 Million 11.66%

The next set of numbers we will look at has to do with the last 24 Super Bowl Champions, their #1 wide receiver and their respective cap percentage.

Super Bowl winning #1 wide receivers and their cap percentage

Year Name Salary Cap %
1994 Jerry Rice 2.9 Million 8.54%
1995 Michael Irvin 1.9 Million 5.32%
1996 Robert Brooks 1.7 Million 4.17%
1997 Anthony Miller 1.3 Million 3.20%
1998 Anthony Miller 1.4 Million 2.77%
1999 Isaac Bruce 2.9 Million 5.11%
2000 Jermaine Lewis 1.6 Million 2.68%
2001 Terry Glenn 2.3 Million 3.9%
2002 Keyshawn Johnson 3.3 Million 4.72%
2003 Troy Brown 2.4 Million 3.27%
2004 Troy Brown 3.2 Million 3.96%
2005 Hines Ward 2.1 Million 2.54%
2006 Marvin Harrison 6.4 Million 6.27%
2007 Amani Toomer 4.9 Million 4.54%
2008 Hines Ward 6.7 Million 5.78%
2009 Marques Colston 3.6 Million 2.99%
2010 Donald Driver 5.9 Million No Cap
2011 Hakeem Nicks 1.6 Million 1.34%
2012 Anquan Boldin 7.5 Million 6.24%
2013 Sidney Rice 9.7 Million 7.89%
2014 Danny Amendola 4.7 Million 3.53%
2015 Demaryius Thomas 13.2 Million 9.1%
2016 Chris Hogan 5.5 million 3.72%
2017 Alshon Jeffrey 10 Million 6.23%
Total Average 4.88%


The two biggest cap percentages of #1 wide receivers are as followed.  First, in 1994 with Jerry Rice at 8.56%. Then, in 2015 with Demaryius Thomas at 9.1%. You will also find that in the past 24 years (excluding the cap less 2010) the average cap percentage of a #1 wide receiver on a super bowl winning team is 4.88%.

To analyze a little deeper we will take a look at each playoff teams top wide receiver cap hit from the last three years.


Team Top Wide Receiver Cap %
Bengals 10.25%
Broncos 9.1%
Cardinals 7.48%
Redskins 6.93%
Vikings 6.73%
Steelers 5.12%
Packers 3.77%
Patriots 3.29%
Seahawks 3.16%
Chiefs 2.4%
Texans 1.72%
Panthers 1.34%
Total Average 5.1%



Team Top Wide Receiver Cap %
Falcons 10.34%
Cowboys 8.51%
Chiefs 8.13%
Steelers 7.85%
Raiders 6.69%
Packers 5.94%
Seahawks 5.32%
Lions 4.72%
Patriots 3.72%
Giants 2.84%
Dolphins 1.63%
Texans 1.6%
Total Average 5.6%



Team Top Wide Receiver Cap %
Rams 9.55%
Falcons 8.36%
Steelers 8.34%
Eagles 6.23%
Jaguars 4.29%
Titans 3.93%
Vikings 2.44%
Saints 1.86%
Patriots 1.86%
Panthers 1.31%
Chiefs 1.07%
Bills .79%
Total Average 4.16%

The average cap percentage of #1 wide receivers for playoff teams over the last three years came in at 4.95%. That number is very similar to the wide receiver cap percentages of the last 24 Super Bowl champions which came in at 4.88%.

It’s fair to assume that most successful teams do not dedicate a large cap percentage to #1 wide receivers. In fact, if the Giants gave Odell Beckham Jr. 20 million dollars a season then the cap percentage hit would be twice the amount of the average super bowl champions over the past 24 years.

Odell Beckham Jr. Raises the Level of Play for Eli Manning:

Now we can take a look at Odell Beckham Jr.s effect on the Giants’ offense, in particular relation to Eli Manning. The following stats show a comparison of Eli Manning’s stats the three years he was with OBJ and the three years he was without him prior to being drafted.

2014-2016 (With OBJ) 62.9% 4290 30 15 90.6
2011-2013 (Without OBJ) 59.5% 4233 24 19 83.3
+/- Differential with OBJ +3.4% +57 +6 -4 +7.3

The following chart will represent the Giants’ offensive ranks in the NFL in regards to points and yards. The chart will represent the same years.

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Year Points Ranking Yards Ranking
2014-2016 (With OBJ) 15th 14th
2011-2013 (Without OBJ) 14th 16th
+/- Differential with OBJ -1 +2

Odell Beckham Jr.s presence in a Giant uniform cannot be understated. He has raised the level of play of a two time super bowl winning quarterback. In fact, if you were able to pick and pull Eli Manning’s three best statistical seasons without OBJ, his numbers still would not compare to what he has been able to do with him.

I then reviewed Odell Beckham Jr.s game logs from each of the first three seasons. It is clear to see that he was almost solely responsible for 7 wins. The effect he has on a football game is unparalleled.

Odell Beckham Jr./ Randy Moss Comparison

All this commotion regarding OBJ  had me reminiscing about another great wide receiver early in his career that sounds eerily familiar to what is going on with OBJ.

From 1998 to 2003, Randy Moss was one of the most dynamic wide receivers to ever step on the football field. He averaged 88 receptions, 1396 yards and 13 touchdowns a season over the course of that time.

During those years he was also involved in some controversy on and off the field. In 2001 he verbally abused corporate sponsors on a team bus which sent him to anger management. The following year he bumped a traffic officer with his car, knocking her to the ground. Then, in the next year, he was fined $5,000 for his part in a fight with the Detroit Lions then another $5000 for spiking the ball at Lions Cornerback, Dre Bly’s feet.

In 2004, he had a bit of a down year for his standards mainly in part due to injury. He battled a hamstring injury which held him out of three games and slowed him down in many others.  In 2005, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders. 

Odell Beckham Jr./ Randy Moss Effect on Team Success

Although there are striking similarities between the two wide receivers, we all know Odell Beckham’s’ issues pale in comparison to Randy Moss.

From all accounts, OBJ is well liked by his teammates, does great things off the field and is considered to be a good guy. So what is the most important question to be asked in regards to Odell Beckham’s future on the New York Giants?

Can they win with him and what would the ramifications be if they moved on from him?

Let’s take a look and compare how the Vikings and Giants fared in terms of record before the drafted these prolific receivers and how they fared with them.

Teams avg. yearly win with player Team avg. yearly losses with player
Randy Moss

1998-2004/ 7 Years

9.1 6.9
Odell Beckham Jr.

2014-2016/ 3 Years

7.6 8.3


Team avg. yearly wins without player Team avg. yearly losses without player
Minnesota Vikings(1992-1997) 7 years 9.1 6.9
New York Giants (2011-2013) 3 years 8.3 7.6

This data may have been the most eye opening. Although Randy Moss and Odell Beckham Jr. have such a great impact on the game, their teams record did not vastly improve with them there. In fact, the Giants had a more successful three years prior to drafting Odell Beckham Jr. than they did with him. 

Knowing that, there are other factors that affected the win/loss record for the Giants over the course of those six years. The Giants record would have probably been a lot worse without him.

What Does This All Mean?

To be honest… I don’t know.

In my opinion:

There is not a more talented player in the NFL than Odell Beckham Jr. The things he is able to do on a football field are simply amazing. Odell is on the fast track to becoming a first ballot Hall of famer. As a Giant fan, there is nothing I would like more than to see them retire #13.

On the other hand:

Would it make sense to dedicate so much cap space to a wide receiver?  It does not seem like successful teams do that.

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The way I see it is that the Giants have only two realistic options.

  1. Extend Odell Beckham Jr. and pay him the money he is looking for. In addition to that they need to identify who there quarterback of the future is (whether its Davis Webb or whoever they draft #2 overall)  and follow the same strategy that the Seahawks and Eagles have recently implemented. Have a young, successful quarterback on a rookie deal and pay other positions.
  2. Trade Odell Beckham Jr. for a haul of draft picks and begin the rebuild.

This decision will have a great impact on the New York Giants for the foreseeable future. I for one am glad I do not have to make it. I do however, trust Dave Gettleman and the new regime. They will make the best decision for the New York Giants moving forward.

New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr – Goat or G.O.A.T – part 1

There are likely two possible career arcs for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Part 1 looks at the possibility that OBJ goes down a detrimental path, squandering incredible God given talents.

Is OBJ confused? Does he view himself as a once in a generation NFL football player who can revolutionize the WR positon the way that Lawrence Taylor did for the outside linebacker position or is he an entertainer? One of the elite position players in the league or a Drake side kick?

New York Giants are a no nonsense classy organization:

For well more than a decade, the NYG have been defined by the face of Eli Manning. A dignified, no nonsense player who comports himself with class on and off the field. Manning has managed to get paid, to win super bowls and to avoid controversy for the most part. He has been all about the business of winning, much in the Derek Jeter mold.

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Beckham is wearing out the New York Giants. Is he Drake’s buddy? Is he a public urinator? An out of control thug on the field (Dave Gettleman had a great seat for that infamous meltdown versus his Panthers)? Is he a guy apt to go party in Miami in the lead up to a playoff game he not only lost, but developed a sudden case of the drops? What is Beckham thinking bringing strange woman and their translator into his hotel room camera phone at the ready? None of this is the Giants way.

Do the Giants pay this man over $100 million to be the face of the organization?

Not now. No way. Ownership has no idea what his commitment is to the Giants way. The Giants are a sub .500 team on his watch. He is a risk.

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The hard salary cap league that is the NFL does not allow you to recover from a $100 million dollar roster error easily. If Beckham can’t figure himself out and mature, he could be the goat that causes an uncompetitive roster for years.

Do the Giants trade Beckham?

Do not trade him now. Ownership needs to put Beckham on notice. Declare who you are OBJ! Show us you are worthy. Dedicate yourself full time to be being a great Giants player for life. Right now, Beckman would not provide a sell high return, I don’t think, however, if Carl Banks (see tweet is correct) that some team will offer 3 first round picks plus, PULL.

Otherwise, If Beckham wants to sit out, he is under contract. Fine him. Suspend him when and if that becomes possible. He is not the G.O.A.T. just yet. Or, if he chooses to play, have him audition for that contract. Tag him if necessary multiple times, until we know who we are paying over $100 million to.

Part 2 will examine the path Odell Beckham should take. The path he deserves for himself and commensurate with his potential for G.O.A.T. greatness. Ultimately, the choice will be his!


New York Yankees Player Preview: Aroldis Chapman

The flame thrower Aroldis Chapman is exciting for New York Yankee fans to watch on a nightly basis. He consistently hits 100 mph or over on his fastball. He does have control problems, but a majority of the reason is mental.

Similar to Betances, the heat seeking pitcher can lose confidence with his accuracy when struggling. Chapman is the Yankees closer and looks to build on the success he had to close out the regular and post season.

Champan’s numbers last season:

3.22 ERA, 69 K, 20 BB, 22 SV


Champan was born in the Holguin Province in Cuba. Champan badly wanted to defect from Cuba and play in the majors. When he tried to defect in 2007 he was suspended for the National Season in 2008 and Cuba’s Olympic team.

Fidel Castro allowed him to return to play in 2009 and during the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Chapman got into a car on June 1st and successfully defected from Cuba. Cuba was granted residency in Andorra and was made an MLB Free Agent. The Reds signed him in the 2010 off-season to a six year 30.25 million dollar deal.

Reds Career:

Chapman spent a majority of the 2010 in Triple A for the Reds, but made his Major League debut on August 31. On September 24, he threw the fastest pitch in MLB up to that point at 105.1 mph against the Padres. Chapman gained some Postseason experience in 2010 as he pitched in two games in the division series.

In 2011 Chapman appeared in 54 games out the bullpen for the Reds. In 2012, the Reds wanted to give Chapman a chance as a starter, but due to injuries to some key relievers Chapman became the set-up man and eventual closer for the Reds. He earned his first All-Star Game appearance in 2012. Chapman became the Reds full-time closer in 2013 and made his second All-Star team.

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He had a rough start to his 2014 season as he was struck in the head with a ball in a spring training game and had to undergo surgery. He was activated on May 10 and had a solid season. 2015 was his final season with the Reds and made his third All-Star team. He had 1.63 ERA and recorded 33 saves. The Reds decided to trade Chapman in the off-season. He was originally traded to the Dodgers ,but the deal fell through when Domestic Violence allegations were made against Chapman.

The Yankees decided to make a trade to acquire Chapman because his trade value had diminished from the accusations.

First Stint in New York:

Chapman did not make his Yankees debut until May 9 because of the Domestic Violence case and was suspended 30 games.  Chapman was solid with the Yankees and when they decided to sell off players for prospects, they traded Chapman to the Cubs. Chapman said he loved his time in Pinstripes and would consider resigning in the off-season with the Yankees.

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Breaking the Curse:

Chapman was the Cubs’ biggest acquisition of the 2016 deadline and helped propel them into the Playoffs. The Cubs went on to win their first World Series in 108 years.

Second Stint in New York:

Chapman resigned with the Yankees during the 2017 off-season and was the Yankees biggest off-season signing. Chapman had a rough start to last season and was placed on the DL on May 14 and missed over a month. He was reactivated on June 18 and lost the closers role for a few games. When he was given back the job he pitched much better and helped the Yankees return to the playoffs.

The Yankees hope Chapman can continue his success from the end of last season. If Chapman can be the special pitcher he can be then the Yankees bullpen is truly a monster. Time will tell, but I think Chapman will have an excellent season in the Bronx and earn the save that helps the Yankees win number 28.




Grading the New York Giants Off Season Signings

The New York Giants have been busy since the beginning of the Free Agent Frenzy, but there is plenty of work left to do.

GM Dave Gettleman stuck to his word and worked to fix the offensive line. The Giants added Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh but lost players on the offensive line. They signed several players on the defense to add depth and a veteran presence.

Some of the moves the New York Giants have made were good, some not so much.

Here are grades for each individual signing:

Free Agent Signings:

Nate Solder, LT

By far the biggest move of the off-season for the Giants was signing the best left tackle on the market. Signing Nate Solder was an instant upgrade to the offensive line that will help keep Eli upright.

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This signing provides the opportunity to move Ereck Flowers to the right tackle position, where some say he belongs. Solder signed a four-year, $62 million deal with $32 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid offensive lineman in the league. Grade: B

Kareem Martin, LB

Martin was signed from the Arizona Cardinals to fill a hole from the departure of Devon Kennard. Both are solid contributors at the linebacker position and or similar in talent. Kareem Martin provides a slightly cheaper option then Kennard and provides the benefit of familiarity with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Grade: C+

Josh Mauro: DE

Mauro provides depth on the defensive line and provides some familiarity with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. The Giants signed him knowing that he will be suspended for the first four games of the season for a PED violation.

Josh Mauro’s contract has no guarantees and he may not even make the team, but if he does we will be a backup with a minimum cap hit. Grade: C

Patrick Omameh, OG

Gettleman brought in another “hog molly” to help bolster the offensive line. Patrick Omameh is a proven interior blocker that can help improve the run game. Coming from Jacksonville, Omameh was part of one of the best rushing offense in the NFL.

The best part of the signing is that Omameh provides an instant upgrade to the offensive line with a lower cap hit, at $2.5 million. Grade: B

Cody Latimer, WR

The Giants added depth at wide receiver. Latimer is unlikely to start but will have a chance to compete. He is only 25 years old and a former second-round pick from the Denver Broncos.

Most of his career he played in the shadow of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Not having shown much yet in his career, he might have something to prove. Behind Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and maybe Brandon Marshall, Latimer has a chance offer depth and special teams help.

Latimer’s strength is his blocking ability, which may be an indication that Brandon Marshall is on his way out.

Grade: C+

Jonathan Stewart, RB

This was the most confusing signing of the Giants’ off-season. Stewart is 31 years old and has not averaged more than 4-yards per carry in years. He does provide a quality goal-line presence but accounts for $3.45 million in cap space. Grade: D

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Micheal Thomas, DB

Out of the defensive backs the Giants signed this off-season, Thomas is the most likely to actually play. Micheal Thomas will compete with Darian Thompson and adds leadership to the special teams unit. Grade: B+

Teddy Williams, DB

Williams has potential to play behind Eli Apple and Janoris Jenkins. He will provide needed depth at the cornerback position and comes at a fairly cheap price. Grade: C+

Curtis Riley, DB

Another one-year deal for a defensive back. Riley will compete for the chance to try to fill the void Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left behind. He provides depth and has a chance to play in nickel sets. Grade: C+

B.W. Webb, DB

Webb was signed to one-year a non-guaranteed contract. He will provide depth and play special teams, or he will not be on the team and cost the Giants nothing: Grade: C

Free Agent Re-Signings:

Brett Jones, C

Brett Jones stepped in for injured Weston Richburg last season and played.  Jones emerged in 2018 once he got his chance on the field, and could likely be part of long-term future for the offensive line. Grade: B

Jon Halapio, OL

Jon Halapio has experience has experience at different spots on the lines. Halapio played in 10 games last season and started 6. He showed that he may provide more than just depth going forward.

Grade: C

John Greco, OT

Due to the Giants continue to reconfigure their offensive line, John Greco will not only provide depth at the position. Greco provides a veteran presence and his familiarity with new head coach, Pat Shurmur, he will help spread the proper message to his team. Grade: B-

Robert Thomas, DT

Thomas is simply being brought back as depth behind Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson. Robert Thomas is an experienced interior defender but is unlikely to play much baring an injury. Grade: D+

Kerry Wynn, DE

Kerry Wynn is coming back to the Giants for less than he was paid last year. Due to the recent trade of Jason Pierre-Paul, Wynn may have an opportunity for more playing time. Though, the Giants will likely address the position in the draft as well. Grade: B-

Mark Herzlich, LB

Herzlich did not play in 2018 due to a neck injury, but the Giants brought him back for on one-year deal. Other than contributing on special teams, his locker room presence is where his value really lies.

While his team nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2017, it is clear he will provide a positive, veteran presence in the locker room. Grade: C+









Getting to Know Your Yankee Pitching Coach: Larry Rothschild


Lawrence (Larry) Lee Rothschild (born March 12, 1954) is a former Major League pitcher, coach, and manager. Rothschild played for the Detroit Tigers in parts of the 1981 and 1982 seasons.

Rothschild then worked as a coach with the Cincinnati Reds from 1986 through 1993, Larry was also a part of the coaching staff of the World Series winning Reds in 1990 serving as the team’s bullpen coach for their sweep of the Oakland A’s.

The former pitcher also worked with the Atlanta Braves as a pitching instructor in 1995 before joining the then Florida Marlins in 1995 through 1997, where he won another World Series ring with the Fish against the New York Yankees.

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Rothschild was then tasked with becoming the manager of the newly formed Tampa Bay Devil Rays for their inaugural season in 1998. Larry managed in Tampa from 1998 until the early part of the 2001 season. Tampa decided to move on from Larry as manager and he spent the remainder of 2001 as a consultant with the Florida Marlins. In 2002 Rothschild was brought on to be the pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs.

Fast forwarding to the 2011 season Rothschild then signed on with the New York Yankees to serve as their pitching coach. Under Rothschild’s tenure, the Yankees pitching staff has posted a ERA of  3.73 in 2011, 3.84 in 2012, 3.94 in 2013, 3.75 in 2014, 4.03 in 2015, 4.16 in 2016, and 3.72 in 2017 . Rothschild was kept as pitching coach to serve along side of new manager Aaron Boone.

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Pitching Coach? What Does He Do ?

According to the Glossary the definition of what the Pitching Coach is:

“Pitching coaches instruct their pitchers on pitching mechanics, pitch selection and preparation while also providing insight into the weaknesses of opposing hitters — often with the help of video technology.”

“Pitching coaches can alter a pitcher’s arm angle, placement on the pitching rubber or pitch selection in an effort to improve his performance or durability. During a game, the pitching coach assists the manager in making decisions pertaining to the starting pitcher and relief corps. He will also make occasional visits to the mound to help calm down or provide advice to a struggling pitcher.”

What to Expect ?

Larry Rothschild is widely regarded as a great pitching coach. With his experience as a former manager and years as a pitching coach, Larry will be a key asset to Aaron Boone in his maiden voyage as a big league skipper. Rothschild can be expected to help his pitchers maintain a high level of production throughout the season. And also to be that veteran coaching experience for the relatively inexperienced coaching staff.

New York Mets Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets (3/29-4/1)

Opening Day is finally upon us, after the treacherous winter weather, baseball is back. The New York Mets open up at Citi Field against the St. Louis Cardinals in a three game series to start the season. The St. Louis Cardinals come into town with the newly acquired Marcell Ozuna to go along with their core of Carlos Martinez and Yadier Molina.

Projected Starting Pitchers

(3/29, 1:10 PM) Carlos Martinez (0-0 -.–) vs. Noah Syndergaard (0-0 -.–)

(3/31, 1:10 PM) Michael Wacha (0-0, -.–) vs. Jacob deGrom (0-0 -.–)

(4/1, 1:10 PM) Luke Weaver (0-0, -.–) vs Steven Matz (0-0 -.–)

The New York Mets bring in a very talented team that has a very good mix of knowledgeable veterans and hungry young players. From Amed Rosario to Adrian Gonzalez, the focus for the Mets is simple, win the World Series. The team did not have a winning record in Spring Training but that does not translate to the regular season their confidence is high going into Opening Day.

The Cardinals also bring in a team similar to the Mets and the acquisition of Marcell Ozuna has put them in a position to compete with the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in the strong National League Central. Their ace Carlos Martinez and young upstart outfielder, Tommy Pham, are just a couple of talented players this team possesses.

Both teams bring very talented pitchers to the table in these first three games of the year. It would be no surprise if all three of these games ended with a 3-2 score. Mets manager Mickey Callaway is pulling a page out of old Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa’s book. Callaway is opting to bat Syndergaard eighth and Rosario ninth to put two leadoff men in front Yoenis Cespedes.

Kevin Plawecki is also getting behind home plate over Travis d’Arnaud. This is not unfamiliar to have d’Arnaud on the bench. The same situation occurred last year with Rene Rivera getting the opening day nod. Syndergaard is not comfortable with throwing to d’Arnaud and Callaway feels Martinez is a good matchup for Plawecki.

Matchups to Look For

Jay Bruce has struggled against Martinez and Wacha going 5-47 (.106) in his career against the Cardinals two starters. Jacob deGrom has been terrific over his career during day games. He is 17-8 with a 1.99 ERA during the day.

Marcell Ozuna is no stranger to Citi Field and has shown he love to hit there. Ozuna has hit .310 with 17 RBIs in his career at Citi Field. Mets fans know way too well that Yadier Molina has torched over his career putting a .321 average up in 77 games against the Mets.

Interesting Stats

The Mets are 35-21 on Opening Day but oddly enough they are 1-3 in March Opening Days. The last time they won a March Opening Day was back in 1998, which was a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Yadier Molina will make his 14th consecutive Opening Day start, which is the longest streak by any active player with one team. He will tie former New York Yankee catcher Bill Dickey and put himself one behind Ray Schalk for the most all-time.

New York Yankees Player Preview: David Robertson

New York Yankees, David Robertson

David Robertson never really wanted to leave the New York Yankees Yankees following the 2014 season, but when the Yankees decided to sign Andrew Miller, Robertson moved on. When he was reacquired at last years trade deadline many Yankees fans were elated to have the high socks back in Pinstripes.

D-Rob is a true pro who can pitch in New York and will always give 110 percent. He is one of the nicest guys in the game and hopefully he gets to finish out his career in the Bronx.

Robertson’s numbers last season:

1.03 ERA, 51 K, 12 BB, 1 SV


Robertson is from Birmingham, Alabama and played baseball at two High Schools. He spent his freshman through junior years at Central-Tuscaloosa High School and in his senior year he attended Paul W. Bryant High School. Robertson went on to pitch for the University of Alabama and was dominate.

He was named to the Freshman All-SEC team and a Freshman All-American by Baseball America. In his sophomore year, and his final at Alabama, he led the SEC in saves and with his dominance Alabama won their 25th SEC Championship. The Yankees selected Robertson in the 17th round of the 2006 draft.

First stint with the Yankees:

Robertson made it to the majors quickly. He debuted on June 29, 2008 and appeared in 25 games in the 2008 season. Robertson did not make the Yankees Opening Day roster in 2009 .but played a big role in their run to championship 27.

This was the start of his dominate career as a reliever. Robertson did make the Yankees 2010 Opening Day roster and had a solid season.

His career took off in 2011 as he complied 100 strikeouts, led the league in ERA and holds. Robertson also earned his first All-Star Game nod in 2011 and was named This Year in Baseball’s Setup Man of the Year.  In 2012 Robertson had another great season as he primarily served as Rafael Soriano’s set-up man when Mariano Rivera went down with a torn ACL.

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In 2013, Robertson was the set-up man for Rivera in his final season and was fantastic. He pitched in 70 games and had an ERA of 2.04. When Rivera retired in 2014 Robertson became the Yankees closer. Robertson posted amazing numbers as Rivera’s replacement and many thought the Yankees would lock him up. They ultimately did not and when he turned down their qualifying offer he signed a 4 year 64 million dollar deal with the White Sox.

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White Sox Career:

Robertson was the White Sox closer for his two and half seasons he spent with the Sox. He was solid and proved that he was a dominate major league closer. Throughout his time in Chicago it was speculated that the White Sox would trade him. They eventually did last year when they decided to enter a rebuild. They eventually dealt him back to the Yankees along with Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier.

Second Stint in Pinstripes:

When Robertson returned to the Yankees it felt like he never actually did leave, he is personally my favorite reliever in all of baseball. Robertson showed why he belongs in Pinstripes as he was a leader in the pen and team that helped propel the team back to the playoffs. He was amazing in the Wild Card Game as he pitched in 3 1/3 and threw 52 pitches which was his career high.

Robertson is entering the final year of his contract that he signed with the White Sox. I expect the Yankees will resign him once the season ends because they realize that he needs to finish his career with the Yankees. Robertson will have give Aaron Boone the luxury of inserting him wherever he needs him to, most likely in the 8th and also in some save opportunities. Robertson is glad to be back in the Bronx and the whole Yankees Universe is glad to have D-Rob back for a full season.