Former Yankees star gets rough welcome in first year of Hall of Fame eligibility

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

The first season of Hall of Fame eligibility for Alex Rodriguez was, for the lack of a better word, rough. The former New York Yankees third baseman is, by the numbers, one of the best players in the history of the game, but voters punished him harshly for his involvement with steroid use.

A three-time MVP, A-Rod saw his name in only 34.3 percent of the Hall of Fame ballots, well short of the necessary 75 percent for enshrinement. He only got 135 of 394 votes and has a long way to get in.

The future is not looking bright for Rodriguez as far as the Hall concerns. If Barry Bonds, who has been linked to steroids use but allegedly did it when they were widely used around the league, couldn’t get in, it’s hard to see A-Rod, who was caught and suspended in 2014, entering Cooperstown.

Bonds got 66 percent of the votes in his final shot. This means there is at least one third of the voters that will never allow players linked to steroids in the Hall. The Yankees’ third baseman in the 2000s and 2010s is one of these players.

The former Yankees’ slugger chances are not looking good

Rodriguez had to sit out the whole 2014 season with the Yankees after being found guilty of steroids possession and use, thus breaking MLB’s rules.

The league said that Rodriguez’s suspension stemmed from the “use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years” and “attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.”

The New York Post illustrated a good point: perhaps A-Rod chances can improve over the years (he still has nine years of eligibility as long as he clears 5%) as new voters enter the system.

“The infielder’s best chance for a turnaround probably lies in a turnover of the electorate, as younger writers obtain a vote (with 10 years of service in the BBWAA) and take a different stance on the illegal PED issue,” the publication said.

The former Yankees star, who won a World Series in the Bronx in 2009, has an uphill battle towards immortality.

Yankees News: Yankee long time adversary “Big Papi” elected to the MLB Hall of Fame

The New York Yankees had no players on the 2022 ballot elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The only player voted upon to be inducted this year was the famed Red Sox star, David Ortiz, otherwise known as “Big Papi.” The Yankees had several on the ballot, but none achieved the necessary 75% of the vote required for induction. Here are the results of the Baseball Writers Association vote:

David Ortiz: 307 votes, 77.9%

Barry Bonds: 260 votes, 66% (final year on ballot)

Roger Clemens: 257 votes, 65.2% (final year on ballot)

Scott Rolen: 249 votes, 63.2%

Curt Schilling: 231 votes, 58.6% (final year on ballot)

Todd Helton: 205 votes, 52.0%

Billy Wagner: 201 votes, 51.0%

Andruw Jones: 163 votes, 41.1%

Gary Sheffield: 160 votes, 40.6%

Alex Rodriguez: 135 votes, 34.3%

Jeff Kent: 129 votes, 32.7%

Manny Ramirez: 114 votes, 28.9%

Omar Vizquel: 94 votes, 23.9%

Sammy Sosa: 73 votes, 18.5% (final year on ballot)

Andy Pettitte: 42 votes, 10.7%

Jimmy Rollins: 37 votes, 9.4%

Bobby Abreu: 34 votes, 8.6%

Mark Buehrle: 23 votes, 5.8%

Torii Hunter: 21 votes, 5.3%

Players that received less than 5% of the vote were automatically dropped from the list for future voting. There were no Yankees players that fell within that category. Many of the above players will become eligible again under the Golden Days and Early Baseball Era committees in the years ahead. Back in December, that vote was held, and Yankee pitcher Jim Kaat was inducted along with five other players from other teams, making a total of seven players to be honored during the ceremony in Cooperstown, New York on July 24, 2022.

For many seasons, David Ortiz, the long-time designated hitter for the Red Sox, was a Yankee pain in the butt for the Yankees. After a successful six-year stint with the Minnesota Twins, he served on the Red Sox for 14 years. He retired after the 2016 season with a .290 batting average, a .956 OPS, and 483 home runs for the Red Sox. This was the first year of eligibility for his induction, and he succeeded with 77.9 of the vote. During his time with the Red Sox, he was a Yankee killer with his home runs. He helped the Sox to three World Series while being a ten-time All-Star and an eight-time MVP nominee as well as a seven-time Silver Slugger.

David Ortiz came into his own with the Red Sox and turned into one of the greatest designated hitters and most clutch postseason performers in major league history after being released by the Twins. He was elected to the Class of 2022 on Tuesday. Ortiz received votes from 307 of the 394 voting members of the Baseball Writers of America. Meanwhile, The Yankees, Roger Clemens, and the Giants, Barry Bonds, along with Sammy Sosa and Curt Shilling, failed the vote in their final year of eligibility.

“I’m always going to thank the Minnesota Twins because the one thing I learned in that organization was that opportunity is not out there every day,” Ortiz said coyly about his six years with the Twins, only two of which found him in the lineup for more than 100 games. “Once you get it, hold on to it because once you let go, it’ll probably never come back to you.”

As I said earlier, Roger Clements failed in his last year of eligibility. He, along with the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, has been unable to reach Hall of Fame status as at least 25% of voters have kept them from receiving the votes needed due to their performance-enhancing drug usage. Another Yankee, Andy Pettitte, also tainted by his short-term drug usage, only received less than 11% of the vote. Other ex-Yankees on the list, Andruw Jones, received 41.1% of the vote, and Gary Sheffield received 40.6%.

7 New York Yankees that should be in the Hall of Fame but aren’t, what do you think?

The New York Yankees history is riddled with great players, many of which have a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Frank “homerun” Baker, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, and so many more. The most recent inductees are #2 Derek Jeter and of course Mariano Rivera, the first player ever to be enshrined unanimously. But even with all these many Yankee fans think that their favorite player should be in the Hall as well. Today we look at just seven of those that are usually mentioned as snubbed of the ultimate recognition.

Graig Nettles: Career bWAR 68.0. A third baseman was one of the best to man the hot corner ever, making impossible play after impossible play. He was as slick as they come. He was a steady hitter with all of his five teams, the Twins, Indians, Yankees, Braves, and Expos. He won two Gold Glove awards at third base and appeared on six All-Star teams. His slash line of .248/.329/.421 with a 110 OPS+ across his career would be the lowest if ever selected, but his 390 home runs were the third-best in baseball history for a third baseman. “Puff” helped the Yankees to titles in 1977 and ’78. Nettles’ glovework in Game 3 of the 1978 Fall Classic against the Dodgers remains one of the most recognizable exhibitions of game-winning defense ever. He was the 1981 AL Championship MVP.

As I said, Nettles had the third most home runs of any owner of the hot corner in all of baseball. He is only behind Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews, both of whom are enshrined in Cooperstown. Nettles has appeared on five Hall of Fame ballots, the most votes he received from the writers was in 1994 with 8.3%. There is a very strong case for him being in the Hall of Fame, what do you think?

Thurman Munson Career bWAR 46.1. Munson was one of the best Yankees catchers of all time, next to Bill Dickie and Yogi Berra. It appears his injuries that led him to only be with the Yankees for eleven years. It is something that the writers can’t forgive because he has been kept out of the Hall of Fame. Munson hit .271 with the Yankees and drove in over 700 runs. He was a warrior playing through several injuries until he was killed in his own plane while at home in Ohio. Most Yankee fans think the writers should put aside their belief that he didn’t play long enough and enshrine him. What do you think?

Andy Pettitte Career 60.7 bWAR. Few pitchers have ever reached the heights that Andy Pettitte did in the postseason. He was one of the most reliable big-game performers of his era, Pettitte was a five-time World Champion with the Yankees and a three-time All-Star. He joined Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada as members of the “Core Four.” Pettitte pitched to a 256-153 record with a 3.85 ERA (117 ERA+) across his career. That includes a three-year stint with the Astros from 2004-06. He returned to the Yankees in 2007, having winning seasons in all six remaining years. He was 14-8 during the Yankees’ last World Championship season in 2009.

He is one of six pitchers to win 250 games that are not in the Hall of Fame. This big difference with Pettitte is that he is the most winning pitcher to ever pitch in the postseason. He has 19 postseason wins. In 2020 he achieved 11.3% of the vote, far below what is needed, but this tremendous success in the postseason is sure to keep him in the conversation for years to come. What do you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaoyULBUQUc

Alex Rodriguez Career bWAR 117.5. A-Rod completed his 22-year career with 696 home runs, fourth all-time behind Barry Bonds (762), Henry Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714). His WAR alone states that he should already be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player who collected 3,115 hits, Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star, 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and two-time Gold Glove winner. For the Yankees, he played twelve years in pinstripes from 2004. With the Yankees, he had a .283/.378/.523 slash line with 351 homers, 1,096 RBIs, a 136 OPS+, and 54.0 bWAR while winning his only World Series title in 2009.

Rodriguez is on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2022. This marks a candidacy that presents an opportunity for voters to weigh his best in baseball stats against a suspension related to performance-enhancing drug use that cost Rodriguez the entire 2014 season. His candidacy will test the writer’s will when it comes to drug-related stats.

Roger Clemens Career bWAR 138.7. The “Rocket” was the best pitcher of his era. He won 354 games in the majors during his remarkable 24 years while with four MLB teams. He was a seven-time Cy Young Award winner which should be an automatic entry to the Hall of Fame, but he, like Alex Rodriguez, has a tainted career due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs. In 2020 he had his best showing, just falling short of enshrinement with 61% of the vote. Since first named in a report that he took drugs, Clemens has consistently and defyingly denied using PEDs.

He spent the second most years of his career with the New York Yankees. During that time, he amassed an 83-42 record with an ERA of 4.01 in 175 games with three complete games. In wins, he ranks 12th all-time and sixth among current Hall of Famers. What are your feelings? 

 

Bernie Williams Career bWAR 49.6. In his sixteen years with the Yankees, he had a career batting average of .297 with 287 home runs with 1597 RBIs. Williams was the center fielder during the height of the Yankees’ dynasty from 1996-to 2003; the Bronx Bombers won 4 World Championships and six pennants during those eight seasons. William was often overshadowed by the “Core 4” of Pettitte, Rivera, Jeter, and Posada but was every bit as important to the Yankees in those championship years. There is a strong case for Williams being in the Hall of Fame, but the writers have scrubbed him off the list. He now becomes eligible for The Today’s Game Committee, which is one of the modern incarnations of Veterans Committee, the Hall of Fame’s “second chance” selection process. He will become eligible in 2023. Williams was a five-time All-Star, a six-time MVP candidate, and a four-time Gold Glover.

Don Mattingly Career BWAR 42.4. “Donnie Baseball” was one of the greatest hitters in baseball during his time. He spent all of his fourteen years in baseball with the New York Yankees. He was one of the best defenders at his position throughout his career. His career slash line was .307/.358/.471/.830. A .307 batting average over fourteen years is an amazing stat when you consider that there are dozens in the Hall with a much lower batting average.

The former Yankees great seemed to be well on his way to earning a place in Cooperstown in the late 1980s before a back injury derailed his career. Playing just fourteen years seems to cast doubt over his candidacy. After retiring following the 1995 season at the age of 34, Mattingly went on to receive just 28.2% of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 2001. He received enough votes to remain on the ballot for the maximum years but has never again reached that 28.2%. Working against Mattingly is the fact that the last several years of his career were nothing like his previous years due to a congenital disk deformity. He also was never on a World Series-winning team.

New York Yankees on the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., has unveiled its 2022 ballot. The 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot features 30 former players, including 13 new candidates and 17 returnees. Seven on the ballot are former New York Yankee Players, most notable are Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Andy Pettitte.

Every year the Hall of Fame and the baseball writers put forth a list of eligible players for the annual ballot. Last season the writers did not put threw any new player to the Hall. However in 2019 Derek Jeter was elected to the Hall one short of an unanimous vote. Because of the pandemic he was not installed until last July.

This years list will be voted upon and the results announced on 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 25 on MLB Network. If there are any electees, they will be inducted during the Hall of Fame Weekend on Sunday, July 24, at 1:30 p.m.

Alex Rodriguez:

Even his detractors because of his use of performance enhancing drugs will have to admit the Rodriguez is one of the best baseball players to ever play the game. He started his career with the Seattle Mariners and was already a big star when he became a Texas Ranger. By the time he reached the Yankees he was already a baseball legend.

During his tenure in the Bronx, A-Rod blasted 351 long balls, won two MVPs, three silver slugger awards, and was a six-time All-Star. He ended his career with the Yankees with a .283 batting average over 12 years. He should be a shoe in for a place in the Hall, although some writers will not vote for him due to his short drug involvement.

Mark Teixeira:

The switch-hitting Teixeira launched 206 home runs in the Bronx, earned one silver slugger award, three gold glove awards, and was twice an All-Star. Mark did his best hitting for the three teams he played for before the Yankees. Nevertheless he hit .248 over eight years in the Bronx. He was known for his excellent defense at first base. He had a fielding percentage of .997.

Andy Pettitte:

Known as the best postseason Yankee pitcher, Andy spent 15 years with the Yankees boasting a 3.94 ERA and a record of 219-127. But what he is most known for was how he pitched in important games particularly in the postseason.  In 32 series he was 19-11 with a 3.83 ERA.

Andy Pettitte will go down in Yankee history as the winning-est postseason pitcher of the modern era. Andy, with his number 47 already retired, will always be a favorite player for the Yankees, as shown by the huge ovation he got when he returned for his first Old Timer’s Day in 2018.

Others on the ballot:

Former Yankees’ returning to the ballot are Roger Clemens (tenth and final year), Gary Sheffield (eighth year), Andruw Jones (fifth year), and Bobby Abreu (third year).

Early Baseball Era Committee and Golden Days Era Committee for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2022. These Era Committees will both meet on Dec. 5 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

The Early Baseball Era ballot includes Bill Dahlen, John Donaldson, Bud Fowler, Vic Harris, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, Lefty O’Doul, Buck O’Neil, Dick “Cannonball” Redding, Allie Reynolds, and George “Tubby” Scales. All of these candidates are deceased.

The Golden Days Era ballot includes Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Roger Maris, Minnie Miñoso, Danny Murtaugh, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills. Of this group, Kaat, Oliva and Wills are living.

The results of the Early Baseball Era Committee vote and the Golden Days Era Committee vote will be announced live on MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight” at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 5.

Allie Reynolds was 182-107 over 13 years with the Indians and Yankees, with six All-Star team selections. He led his teams to six World Series titles, going 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He twice finished in the Top 3 of the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Jim Kaat had a long coreer, playing his last season with the New York Yankees. When his was finished pitching he bacame a Yankeee announcer. Kaat was named to three All-Star Games and helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series.

Roger Maris won back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player Awards in 1960 and 1961, setting a new single-season home run record in the latter season with 61. In 12 big league seasons with the Indians, Athletics, Yankees and Cardinals, Maris earned seven All-Star Game selections and was a part of three World Series title teams.

 

 

 

New York Yankees look to improve the team, here’s their 10 best acquisitions ever

In my New York Yankees top 10 series that has covered most aspects of Yankee baseball,  with the Yankees looking to make acquisitions to improve the team for the 2022 season, today we look at the top 10 acquisitions in the modern era.  These acquisitions come from both signings and trades.  The Yankees have had many star players that were homegrown, but also have had to look outside their farm system to fill various needs.  Owner George M. Steinbrenner was the first owner to make big moves and set the tone for acquisitions for the future.

This has been the most difficult to complete top 10s so far.  Many will disagree with the placements; however, with the Yankees now looking to acquire players to improve the team, it seemed appropriate to examine these past acquisitions. Keep in mind that many of the Yankees’ best players were not acquisitions.

10. Ricky Henderson

Henderson was one of the longest-tenured players, playing for 25 years, 5 of them with the Yankees.  During his five years, he stole 326 bases, making him the all-time base stealer for the Yankees. He hit .288 and had 78 home runs during the span while having an excellent fielding percentage in all outfield areas.  He was an All-Star every year; he was a New York Yankee.

9. CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia was instrumental in the Yankees winning their last World Series in 2009.  Sabathia came to the Yankees from the Milwaukee Brewers. In his eleven years with the Yankees, he had a record of 134 and 88.  During the Yankees’ years, he was a workhorse, always giving his best effort for a win.

8. Masahiro Tanaka

Brian Cashman brought Masahiro Tanaka to the Yankees from the Eagles of the Japanese league in 2013 in a seven-year contract that will end this season, whether there is one or not. During his time with the Yankees up to this year, he is 75-45 with a 3.75 ERA. Tanaka has never had a losing season with the Yankees.

7. David Wells

The highlight of David Wells’s career was his perfect game on May 17, 1998, the tenth no-hitter in Yankee history.  Wells for the Yankees was 34-14 in his two-year stint; that’s a .706 winning percentage, one of the best for the Yankees. Wells pitched 21 years, all in the American League.

Wells was quite a character that didn’t care much for rules.  He has admitted he pitched his perfect game while nursing a bad hangover. In 1998 he would help the Yankees with his 18-4 record and propelled them to the World Series shut out of the San Diego Padres.

6. Reggie Jackson

Yankee owner George M. Steinbrenner made Reggie Jackson the highest-paid baseball player when he hired Jackson from the Baltimore Orioles. However, Jackson was a controversial player as he was a show-off, and Manager Billy Martin didn’t want the Yankees to hire him.  It didn’t help when he was quoted as saying, “I’m the straw that stirs the drink,” a phrase that he never said but caused a rift with Yankee catcher Thurmon Munson.

In his five years with the Yankees, Jackson had many memorable moments, including his three home runs that caused him to be called “Mr. October.” In 1977 in the sixth game of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson hit three home runs off three consecutive pitches from three different pitchers. Jackson batted .284 with 144 home runs while a Yankee.

5. Mike Mussina

On this list, Mike Mussina is the one player that often flew under the radar. Mussina, after being a Baltimore Oriole star pitcher, became a New York Yankee.  He never had a losing season in his eight years with the Yankees, winning 10 or more games every year.  Mussina was not only an outstanding pitcher, but he was an excellent defender as any pitcher ever to grace the mound.

On some writer’s top 10 lists, they don’t even include Mussina.  For the Yankees, Mr. Steady is one of the Yankee’s most dependable pitchers during his time with the Yankees.  The brilliant Stanford grad, with a thinking pitcher that adjusted to every situation.  His performance never diminished with age. In the last year of his career, he had his first 20 win season, becoming the oldest pitcher to have a 20 win season.

He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his pitching with the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees on January 22, 2019; he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, receiving 76.71% of the vote.  Mike distinguishes being the first American League pitcher to win ten or more games in each of 17 consecutive seasons.

4. Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is a controversial New York Yankee, to say the least.  Many fans cite his performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers and ignore his Yankee club performance. But the facts are still the facts.  During his 22 years playing the game, he was one of the best in either league.

For his 12 years with the Yankees, he hit 30 home runs a year, with 1,100 RBIs while hitting .283. He was a seven-time All-Star and a seven-time MVP candidate, winning the prestigious award twice.  He would be a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame if it were not for his drug use, which most likely will never come to fruition.

I have to admit that I am a writer that does not place as much importance on drug use as many writers do.  My stance is that dozens of other players used some doping during that period that was never caught; thus, many stats may be in question. However, in the case of Rodriguez, his career wouldn’t have been less impressive even if he hadn’t made the bad decision to break the rules.

3. Paul O’Neill

Paul O’Neil played for only two teams in his baseball career, nine years with the Yankees in the second half of his career. Then, at the end of the 1992 season, the Red traded O’Neill outright for Yankee outfielder Roberto Kelly. In his first year, he batted .311 with 20 home runs and 75 RBIs.  O’Neill played with such vigor that owner George M. Steinbrenner would give him the nickname the “Warrior,” which stuck.

In his second year, he got the AL batting title batting .359.  If O’Neill missed a hit he thought he should have gotten, batting racks and water coolers often felt his wrath.  Stick Michael made the trade that would change the face of the Yankees for years to come.  Paul made amazing plays in defending the right field. He played fiercely and hurt; he was the ultimate warrior the Yankee fans loved.

2. Roger Clemens

The acquisition of Roger Clemens was one of the best the New York Yankees ever made. In 1996 the Yankees sent Graeme Lloyd, David Wells, and Homer Bush to the Toronto Blue Jays for their ace pitcher Clemens. In his first year with the Yankees, he helped them win the 1999 World Series. In 2000 he almost single-handedly retook them to the World Series with his 20-3 season.  The Yankees would win that series as well. Clemens was never fully embraced by Yankee fans due to his long tenure with the Boston Red Sox.

Also, in 2000, Roger would win the prestigious Cy Young Award at the age of 38.  Roger is one of the longer-tenured pitchers in baseball, pitching for 24 years.  With the Yankees, he would win twice as many games as he lost.  He went 83-42 in his six years with the Yankees for a .664 winning percentage.  It is outrageous that this 3 time Cy Young Award isn’t in the Hall of Fame.  This year he received 72.5% of the votes compared to the 75% needed to be inducted.  He has two years left of eligibility.

1. Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth isn’t a modern era Yankee acquisition but must be included in the list as the best move the Yankees ever made in procuring him from the cash-strapped Boston Red Sox.  Following Ruth becoming a Yankee, he transformed himself into a great hitting outfielder. He really made his name with the Yankees as one of the best if not the best player to ever play baseball.

Honorable mentions:

David Cone, Sparky Lyle, Roger Maris, Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher.

Gerrit Cole could not be included for the Yankee top 10s as he hasn’t had a long enough time or games thrown to prove he belongs on this list. However, he has to be mentioned as he may be in the future proclaimed one of the best Yankee acquisitions in history; only time will tell. The same goes for DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela; how they play will tell if they can be included on this list in the coming years.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

New York Yankee Top 10’s: The Yankees top base stealers

In my latest installment of the New York Yankee Top 10’s, we examine the best base stealers the Yankees have been blessed with in modern history. In my other top 10 articles, I have covered everything from top position players, pitchers, catchers, and more obscure top 10’s such as memorable moments in Yankees history and top 10 best seasons. Today we examine those unique players that run like the wind and become base stealing specialists.

Some players that were fast on the bases never became great base stealers. A good example is Billy Martin; he only stole 19 bases over seven years of play during his playing days with the Yankees. Other players that weren’t so fast on the base, like catcher Yogi Berra weren’t expected to steal many bases and didn’t. In his 19 years with the Yankees, he stole only 30 bases. Compare that to Derek Jeter; in his 20 years with the Yankees, he stole 358 bases. Fans don’t even like to hear the name of Jacoby Ellsbury, but in his short time with the Yankees, he stole 108 bases. An honorable mention has to go to Alfonso Soriano, who stole 130 bases for the Yankees, Bernie Williams for his 147 stolen bags. The “Scooter” Phil Rizzuto’s 149.

10. Horace Clarke– 151. Clark was a second baseman who probably is not known to many young Yankees fans, but he would steal 151 bases; he was only caught 58 times. Clarke had speed on the bases and was a decent player. However, he also has the distinction of never reaching the postseason in his ten-year career.

9. Roberto Kelly– 151. Kelly did not spend his entire career with the New York Yankees, but he stole 151 bases while a Yankee. In 1990 he stole his career-high 42 stolen bases. Unfortunately, he was with the Yankees for only four whole years. He was an All-Star in 1992. He was then traded to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Paul O’Neill. Over the life of his baseball career, he would steal 235 bases. He was lucky enough to be back with the Yankees in 2000, where he finished out his career playing ten games that year.

8. Alex Rodriguez – 152. Rodriguez was one of the best baseball players ever to play the game. He was a brilliant hitter and defender and continued that trend when he came to the New York Yankees, being just as good a hot corner defender when he changed from being a career-long shortstop. What many present-day Yankee fans don’t know is that he was an excellent base stealer. Few were ever more successful; he had an 84% success rate. While with the Yankees, he stole 152 bases. An 84-percent success rate is second for the Yankees all time. After hip surgery and as his time in the game waned, he was 24 for his last 27 attempts. A-Rod was one of the smartest Yankees base stealers ever. In his career with the Seattle Mariners, the Rangers, and the Yankees, he stole 329 bases and fell four home runs short of 700.

7. Mickey Mantle– 153. Mantle was known as a player that played through many injures and still hit 536 long balls. Many only know him from his 1961 race with Roger Maris for the most home runs of the season. Maris finally won with 61. But, not only was Mantle one of the best switch hitters over his career, but he was also an excellent base runner. In this Yankee career, he stole 153 bases. Many think the total would have been much higher if he hadn’t spent so much time trotting his home run trot. He was caught just 38 times.

6. Roy White 233. While playing and still today, Roy White is often overlooked for the fine baseball player he was, primarily due to some of the star players he played with. But White was a giant in his own right. Even though he didn’t hit many home runs, he was a consistent contact hitter with a career .271 batting average over his 15 years, all with the Yankees. He also was an excellent base runner, stealing 233 bases for the Yankees.

5. Hal Chase – 248. For most New York Yankee fans, Hal Chase is one of the more obscure Yankee players even though he played 15 years in the majors, mainly because it was 1905 to 1919. Chase stole an excellent 248 bases for the Yankees when base stealing was not widely known. He had a .291 career batting average, playing his best with the New York Yankees in the nine years.

4. Willie Randolph – 251. Willie Randolph hasn’t played for the Yankees in years, but you still hear his name frequently, mostly being in consideration for managing the Yankees. But, it is doubtful the talented second baseman ever will, being that he has been passed by twice already. The ever-popular Randolph had a career batting average in his 13 years with the Yankees of .275. He was a great contact hitter and drove in six short of 500 RBIs. He also was one of the best Yankee base stealers, stealing 251. That’s an average of about 20 per year.

3. Brett Gardner– 274. Of present-day New York Yankees, veteran Brett Gardner is the hands-down best Yankee base stealer, even though his stealing has waned in the last few years. He is still the best stealer over the previous six seasons. During his base-stealing prime between 2010 and 2011, he stole 96 bases. Even at age 38, few in the major league can compete with his wheels around the bases, and his 274 career stolen bases.

2. Ricky Henderson- 326. Whether to put Henderson or Jeter as the best Yankee base stealer was somewhat of a dilemma for me, but I decided to go with career stats with the Yankees and not most productive years. That said, know this, Ricky Henderson is the major league’s record holder for the most career bases stolen (1406). No one in baseball comes close to that and likely never will. However often overlooked is that during his four years with the Yankees, he was the most dominant base stealers the Yankees have ever seen. He had his best stealing years with the Yankees. Pitchers feared him as they knew if he got on base, he would probably steal.

1. Derek Jeter – 358. In his Yankee career, Derek Jeter broke many records; one of the most overlooked was he was one of the most consistent base stealers throughout his career. He stole 358 bases for the Yankees over his 20-year career. The Hall of Famer stole a career-high 32 bases in 2002 while only being caught three times. Well past his prime and in his last year in baseball in 2014, he stole ten bases, only being caught twice. Over his career, he had a 79% stealing success. Throughout his career, the Captain was one of the most reliable base stealers for the Yankees.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow him on Twitter @parleewilliam.

Former Yankees’ star defends Aaron Boone and takes shots at analytics

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

In the past few hours, rumors about the New York Yankees keeping manager Aaron Boone and offering him a new contract are starting to grow. He still has believers inside the organization and one of them, apparently, is Hal Steinbrenner.

A former Yankees’ star, Alex Rodriguez, seems to believe in him, too. The 2009 postseason hero and longtime member of the Bombers offered his thoughts about the situation on The Herd, with Colin Cowherd, and defended the current skipper.

“I would give him a three-year extension. Aaron Boone did a fantastic job. If anyone thinks Aaron Boone has anything to do with the Yankees’ failures, they’re wrong. I met with the front office, and they said, ‘We had a Wild Card Game. We had 30 people around the table making the lineup.’ What do you need 30 people, analytics people? What are you, a hedge fund? You making a $2 billion bet? You’re making a lineup. You think Joe Torre had 30 people? I’m not saying it was the Yankees. But it was a team like the Yankees. It’s too much thinking. You take half the IQ, you’re going to throw it in the ocean,” he stated (link to NJ Advance Media article here).

The former Yankees’ slugger is a known traditionalist

A-Rod, who bid to own the New York Mets before the team was awarded to Steve Cohen, has become famous for his anti-analytics takes.

“Go back to Manny Ramirez. Just plays baseball. See ball, hit ball. You gotta be able to compete. You gotta be athletic. You gotta play defense. It’s not softball. You don’t put a right fielder in left field and a shortstop at second. (Derek) Jeter was shortstop. I played third. (Robinson) Cano. (Mark) Teixeira. Everybody knew where they were every place. You go to work every day, you’re here. Imagine Monday, you’re here. Joe, you’re here on Tuesday. Wednesday you’re here. That’s what baseball is. You know your spot.”

Boone’s contract with the Yankees is up after the World Series, and a sizable portion of the fans want him out. He does have supporters, though.

He has a very good regular season record, but ever since he took over in 2018, he has failed to advance to the World Series.

Is A-Rod right about Boone and analytics?

Yankees News, 7/16: Alex Rodriguez says ‘the party’s over’ for the Bombers, rips strategy

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

The All-Star break is meant to offer a short resting period for MLB teams heading into the second half of the season. As for the Yankees, they desperately needed some time to regain their strength and turn the corner after finishing the first half of the year just barely above the .500 mark. They currently sit 8.0 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and 4.5 games back on the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card race. With plenty of games left to catch up, the Yankees are still in the fold but desperately need their starting pitching and offensive production to increase.

The Bombers were scheduled to take on Boston on Thursday evening, but a COVID-19 outbreak within the team forced the game to be postponed. Just when the Yankees felt as though they were ready to flip the script, another obstacle was presented, and it is possible they miss the entire series after six players were confirmed with positive cases.

However, one former Yankee believes the season is all that but done for his team:

“The way the Rays and the Red Sox are going, I think, unless there’s radical change—and I don’t see one coming—I think the party’s over at least this year for the Yankees,” said Alex Rodriguez on FOX Sports.

Ultimately, one of the biggest flaws for the Bombers this season is their lack of lefty-hitting, which normally offers diversity in the batting order, providing leverage over pictures.

“As a right-handed hitter, I loved having a left-handed guy right behind me like [Ken] Griffey [Jr.], or [Mark] Teixieira, or [Hideki] Matsui,” Rodriguez added, via Pat Ragazzo’s transcription on SI. “What we want as a lineup, we want lefty-righty-lefty-righty. That way, that opposing manager always has a tough decision. Right now, the way that team is architected, there’s eight righties against a righty [pitcher]. They’re last in doubles, they’re last in triples, they’re second in double plays. They have made a ton of outs, almost 40 outs, on the bases.”

Rodriguez nails it on the head, the Yankees have followed an analytically distraught method, and if that doesn’t change quickly, they will find themselves plummeting down the standings even further. Rumors have indicated that general manager Brian Cashman could be intrigued by Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo, who offers a big lefty bat. While he would be expensive to acquire, he’s exactly what the Yankees need in the middle of the lineup, fitting their mold perfectly while adding a bit of variety.

Unfortunately, the Yankees are strapped for cash and are still dealing with injuries all over the roster, so unless they can find more supplementary pieces, this season could be over well before the playoffs roll around.

New York Yankees: Sanchez, Andujar and all the Yankee news in one place

yankees, joey gallo

New York Yankees start at 3 game series with the Minnesota Twins

With the New York Yankees‘ disastrous homestand going 2-5, they have dug themselves into a hole that is becoming increasingly more difficult to climb out of. If the Yankees can climb out, each new series becomes even more important that they take that series. One-third of the season’s games have already been played, and the Yankees after this homestand have slipped back to fourth place 6 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

The New York Yankees are 31-29 in fourth place in the AL East. The Minnesota Twins are 24-35, sharing the bottom of the AL Central with the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees suffer from underperforming hitters; the Twins suffer from everything, nagging injuries, and the worst bullpen in baseball.

Today at 8:10 pm, the Yankees will meet the Twins at Target Field in Minnesota with Jordan Montgomery on the mound for the Yankees. He is 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA over 11 games this season with a strikeout per inning. Montgomery will face Michael Pineda, who was with the Yankees from 2014  to 2017. Pineda is 3-3 with an ERA  of .3.40 ERA. He is coming off on June 1st, when he lasted only three innings, giving up five runs. 

Wednesday night Gerrit Cole will face the Twins’ Randy Dobnak, a righty 1-5 with an elevated 6.19 ERA. Then, on Thursday, a yet-to-be-announced Yankee pitcher will face ex-Yankee in J.A. Happ, 3-2 with an ERA of 5.61. Happ was with the Yankees for three seasons, including last year when the Yankees did not offer to keep him in pinstripes.

Gary Sanchez inching his way back?

After an abysmal start to the season, the always controversial Gary Sanchez lost his starting catcher position in what was called a shared start with Kyle Higashioka. In 26 games since Aaron Boone called the team’s catching situation “a day-by-day thing” and said Kyle Higashioka had “earned more playing time,” Gary Sanchez has improved by simplifying his hitting approach. He has five doubles, four homers, and an OPS of .781. This performance, although not ideal, is something the Yankees can deal with.

At the same time aiding Sanchez, Kyle Higashioka’s performance at the plate has dramatically dropped since April 27; he is 6-for-51 with three extra-base hits and an OPS of .426. His power has also seemed to disappear. At one point, he had the most home runs per game. Instead, slugger Aaron Judge has taken over that stat.

Yankees targeting Rangers’ Joey Gallo?

With the New York Yankees in dire need of a permanent centerfield with the loss of Aaron Hicks for the year with wrist surgery, there are all kinds of talks about trades before or at the trade deadline. One name that keeps popping up is the Texas Ranger’s, Joey Gallo. Being a left-hand hitter makes him the perfect fit for the Yankees.

Gallo was a Gold Glover last season and, in 2018, an All-Star. He had hit 40 home runs in 2017 and 2018. The downside to Gallo is that he is more of the same for the Yankees. Although he hits home runs, he leads the AL with 79 strikeouts and has a lousy batting average of just  .207, which is pretty much in line with his career batting average of .208. However, he is a patient hitter and is tied for the most walks (45) in all of baseball. He also has 10 homers on the season.

Oswald Peraza promoted

Another Yankee getting closer to playing a game at Yankee Stadium is the possible future shortstop Oswald Peraza. He is considered one of the top New York Yankee prospects. In 127 plate appearances with High-A Hudson Valley, Peraza leads the team with a .917 OPS. As far as his defense is concerned, he is stellar.

Yesterday Peraza announced that he had been promoted to the Double-A Somerset Patriots. Still very young, he will turn 21 this month and was the youngest Yankees during spring training.

Alex Rogriguez voiced what’s wrong with the Yankees

With the Yankees playing so poorly of late, many opinions are expressed as to what is wrong with the Yankees. They are 31-29, fourth in the American League East, and have been swept in each of the last two weekend series: first in Detroit to the rebuilding Tigers, and then in the Bronx to surprising Red Sox. On Sunday night, they struck out 11 times and left 12 runners on base in another loss.

After Sunday night’s loss Aaron Judge had this to say: “We’ve still got about 100 games left in this season, that’s what we’ve got to focus on, is the bigger picture. We can’t sit here and listen to outside noise telling us we’re this and that.”

Also, Sunday night, former Yankee and ESPN broadcaster Alex Rodriguez added to the noise. Rodriguez, no longer a Yankees adviser, knows the team and management really will after spending 12 seasons with the team and was unsparing in his criticism of the roster. It was refreshing candor from Rodriguez, whose knowledge of the game is undeniable, despite his tangled history within it. In so many words, he said the team must diversify and separately needs life-handed bats.

“Sticky” issue again names Gerrit Cole

Here we go again. Gerrit Cole has again been criticized for using sticky substances to increase the spin rate. Going into a 3 game series with the Minnesota Twins, the Twins Josh Donaldson has suggested that Cole is suspect with sticky stuff. He cited how Cole’s spin rate dropped considerably after an AP story stated that four minor leaguers were suspended for using foreign substances.  Manager Aaron Boone responded to the allegation.

“I don’t make much of it, Gerrit, as well all of our staff members, I believe are mostly above board and will be able to handle this situation in the right kind of way,’’ Boone said. “And it’s not gonna affect the kind of pitchers they are.”

MLB owners met last week and agreed on the need to crack done on pitchers that potentially increase their spin rate with greater revolutions using illegal and prohibited foreign substances.

New York Yankee expectations turn on their head

This season, now a third of the way completed, has been full of surprises. One of the biggest of those surprises is that the New York Yankees are not the team that was projected to be the team to beat on their way to an inevitable World Series appearance. However, now it appears if they continue to play the way they have so far, they might not only lose the division, but they could lose it badly.

Fast forward two months, and New York is looking up in the standings at the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, the surprising Boston Red Sox, and even the Toronto Blue Jays. The only team worse in the East is the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankee pitching rotation and bullpen have been more than adequate. The problem is that the lineup projected to be the team’s strength is nothing short of lousy.

Those projections at the beginning of the season have been turned on their head. The opposite has played out at home and away. New York ranks among the lowest-scoring teams in the majors and has had to lean heavily on its starting pitching to win any games. At the same time, the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays have been playing better than their projections, and the Yankees don’t seem to be able to win against the teams they are trailing. The Yankees have given no one in baseball any reason to believe that will change.

Miguel Andujar heating up for the Yankees

Miguel Andujar has been living in no man’s land ever since his surgery on his shoulder. His everyday position at third base has been lost to Gio Urshela. While he spent time at the alternate site, the Yankees have struggled to find a place for him on the team where he could contribute. So they tried him at third and first base and in the outfield.

Injuries and underperformance forced the Yankees to give him some playing time. Most of it was in the outfield when Aaron Hicks went down to wrist surgery. With some significant time in left field, Andújar seems to be settling in. The problem, he wasn’t hitting. However, he seems more comfortable at the plate in the past week and appears to be heating up. Andujar was one of the team leaders before his surgery. Last Monday, he hit an exit velocity 102.2 mph home run; he also hit a single in the game. On Tuesday, he hit another hard-hit home run. On Wednesday, a single. On Thursday, he had a 110.2 mph groundout.

On Saturday, he went hitless, but on Sunday, he hit a double. So far, for the season in 85 at-bats, he has 20 hits and 3 home runs, two of them last week. His is hitting just .235, but he appears to be trending up. If he can return to form, it will be big for the Yankees that direly need hitting.

New York Yankees: This week in Yankee history (videos)

New York Yankees, Bernie Williams

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasn’t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. Here is a look at this week’s happenings in that history.

1933 April 25th:

Yankee pitcher helps himself. Rookie Russ Van Afta shuts out the Senators 16-0 while hitting 4 for 4. the 26-year-old ended his rookie season 12-4 with a .283 batting average in 67 at-bats.

1904 April 25th:

The New York Yankees’ winningest ever pitcher Jack Chesbro wins his first game of the season at American League Park, the Washington senators’ home. The Highlander right-hander would go on that season and win 41 games, creating a pitching record that still holds today.

1999 April 25th:

The legendary Joltin Joe DiMaggio joined Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Miller Huggins, and Mickey Mantle with a monument at Yankee Stadium, only the fifth New York Yankee to do so. Unfortunately, DiMaggio had died a month earlier. As part of the celebration, singer-songwriter and life long Yankee fan Paul Simon took to the field to sing Mrs. Robinson; the lyrics included “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes on you.”

1961 April 26th:

Eleven games into the season, Roger Maris hits his first home run of the season in a 13-11 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Maris would go on to his 61 iconic home runs that season, still a Yankee record.

2005 April 26th:

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez hit a home run that day in his first plate appearance; He would do the same in his next two at-bats, becoming only the 11th major leaguer to have 10 or more RBI’s in one game, just one shy of Tony Lazzeri’s feat (11) in 1936.

2012 April 27th:

Yankee right-hander Ivan Nova fails to tie the franchise mark of 16 consecutive wins established last season by Roger Clemens when he doesn’t get a decision in the team’s 7-6 victory over Detroit.

1985 April 28th:

The New York Yankees fire Yogi Berra after the team got to a 6-10 start. The Yankees brought back Billy Martin for a fourth stint as manager. George Steinbrenner broke his promise not to fire Berra causing a rift between Berra and the Yankees that lasted 14 years before the elder Steinbrenner apologized to Berra and celebrated Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium.

1939 April 29th:

The legend Lou Gehrig came to the plate and hit a single. The 2,721st hit of his career and his last. The record endured for 70 years until Derek Jeter broke the record in 2009. ALS debilitated Gehrig; he died two years later of what was named Lou Gehrig’s disease.

1939 April 30th:

Lou Gehrig plays his last game as a New York Yankee; he went hitless in a loss to the Washington Senators. This day would end his 2,130 consecutive games played. He would end his 17-year career with a  lifetime batting average of .340 with 490 home runs.

2010 April 30th:

Mariano Rivera ties the record for the most consecutive saves at a home park with 51 saves. He also moved ahead of Roger Clemens for 10th all-time, with 1,015 strikeouts.

1996 May 1st:

Bernie Williams becomes only the second player in New York Yankee history to hit 6 hits in a single game. On this day, he would go 6 for 8 in an extra-inning contest at Orioles Park at Camden Yards. The Yankees were victorious, winning the game 11 to 6.

2015 May 1st:

Amid loud boos, Alex Rodriguez blasts a 3-0 fastball over the Green Monster for his 660th career home run, tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list. Willie Mays congratulated A-Rod, saying that “milestones are meant to be broken. I wish him continued success throughout his career.”