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.”

 

 

New York Yankees Top 10’s: A history of great 3rd baseman, is yours on the list? (videos)

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

In their glorious history, the New York Yankees have many of the best players ever to play at their positions in the history of MLB.  In this installment of Yankee top 10’s, I give my picks for the best Yankee 3rd baseman throughout the Yankees years.  This list may change in the near future, as Yankee third baseman Gio Urshela is making his mark at the hot corner with his Gold Glove-like play.

10. Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone was an average player and didn’t play but part of one season with the New York Yankees.  His claim to fame includes playing injury-free for two years of his career while racking up 322 games within the two years, but they weren’t with the Yankees.  The only reason he makes this list at all is that as a 3rd baseman for the Yankees, he had one of the most iconic moments in baseball history.  In 2003 his home run to left field at Fenway Park brought the Yankees to the 2003 World Series.  The walk-off home run in the eleventh inning is generally considered the ninth-best home run in baseball history by Baseball Tonight.

9. Joe Sewell

Sewell played 3rd base for the Yankees from 1931 to 1933.  He would likely be placed higher on the list if he had played longer with the Yankees.  Coming from the Cleveland Indians after the 1930 season, Sewell played excellent defense at third and hit .282 over the span.  The other factor is that the Hall of Famer played most of his career with the Indians at shortstop. He played his Yankee career at third and was an MVP candidate in 1932.

8. Frank “Homerun” Baker

Baker was a well-known Yankee getting his nickname from his timely home runs as Phillie.  He got 96 home runs in his career, which is not a lot by today’s standards, but in his period of play from 1908 on, it was a lot.  More specifically, his home runs won a lot of games, including postseason games.  With the Yankees, he was an excellent .942 defender of the hot corner.  He also had a .288 average with the Yankees.

7. Clete Boyer

Clete Boyer was a Yankee fan-favorite between 1959-1966.  Boyer would have been a national star at third, except that he played at the same time as Brooks Robinson, one of MLB’s greatest third baseman.  He wasn’t as good a hitter as Boggs or Brosius, but his defense was second only to Robinson. He had 25 home runs as a Yankee and batted .243

6. Gil McDougald

Gil would be rated considerably higher in this list if it wasn’t for manager Casey Stengel’s penchant for platooning players.  McDougald played much of his time at second base while with the Yankees and is in the top 10 in that position as well.  He won an All-Star nod in 1952 at third.  The reason he places lower than Scott Brosius is because of his World Series stats.  McDougald hit .237 in World Series play, and Brosius hit .314.

5. Scott Brosius

Scott Brosius was another New York Yankee fan favorite.  He played during the dynasty years from 1998 to 2001. During his four years with the Yankees, he hit 65 home runs and batted .267.  The Yankees reached the World Series all four years during his stint with the Yankees.  He was stellar at third, but his claim to fame is his postseason stats.  In the 1998 ALDS and ALCS, he hit .350.  But in the World Series that year, he hit .417 and was named the most valuable player.  All tolled in postseason play, he hit eight home runs and drove in 30.

4. Red Rolfe

Red Rolfe was a product of the Ivy League Dartmouth College.  He was an All-Star four of his ten years with the New York Yankees. In 1939 he had 213 hits, 46 doubles while scoring 139 runs.  1939 was his best year with the Yankees when he batted .329, one of four seasons above .300.  He ended his career, all ten of which with the Yankees.  His career batting average was .289, with almost 1,000 runs scored.

3. Wade Boggs

Boggs might be at the top of this list, but he is known mostly as a Boston Red Sox.  He played only five of his 18 seasons with the Yankees.  Those five years were impactful not only for his defense at 3rd but for a .313 batting average as a Yankee. In his first four years with the Yankees, he hit over .300 and was an All-Star each of those years.  He also won two Gold Glove awards while he was a Yankee.

In most of his years with the Yankees, he led off due to his hitting and walking abilities. Like the present DJ LeMahieu, he found a way to get on base. To set the stage for the 1996 World Series, the Yankees had lost the first two games at Yankee Stadium and then won three in Atlanta. Back at Yankee Stadium, the Yankee had two chances to win the World Series. They didn’t need it as they won game six against the Braves. Boggs walked in the three-run third inning, and that was all the Yankees needed. During the Championship celebration, Boggs left the dogpile in one of the most iconic moments in Yankee history, jumped on the back of one of the police horses, and rounded the warning track in celebration of the victory.

2. Graig Nettles

Graig Nettles was one of the finest defenders at the hot corner. He won two Gold Gloves at the position but was another player overshadowed by Brooks Robinson, often considered the best 3rd baseman in all of baseball history.  Graig played an incredible 22 years, 11 with the New York Yankees.  Although not the best hitter on the club, he did hit 250 home runs as a Yankee.  Nettles’ Game Three defensive performance in the 1978 World Series was as good a post-season game as any fielder ever had.

Nettles sizzled in the 1981 American League Championship Series, going 6-for-12 with 9 RBIs in just three games and being named MVP.  His defensive and offensive leadership brought the Yankees two world championships, two more A.L. championships, and a fifth division title from 1976 to 1981.  He is a frequent participant in the Yankee Old Timers Day celebrations.

My number one pick for the best New York Yankee 3rd baseman will be somewhat controversial, but I can deal with that.  Many would exclude Alex Rodriguez as the top player or even exclude him from the list due to his involvement in performance-enhancing drugs.  I am not considering that and only looking at his performance at the hot corner while with the Yankees. Nettles could have been first on this list, but I picked A-Rod because he became one of the best 3rd basemen after changing from his natural position as one of the best shortstops when he became a New York Yankee.

1. Alex Rodriguez

This writer had no trouble having Alex Rodriguez top the list of the best Yankees third baseman.  He is one of the top 20 baseball players ever to play the game of baseball and is number one or two as the best shortstop to play the game.  Rodriguez came from the Texas Rangers, where he had his best three years stat-wise.  They are also the years that he was accused of doping.  In this writer’s opinion, if he had not doped, he still would have had superstar status throughout his career.

Graig Nettles had far more appearances at 3rd than Rodriguez, but he had over 1000 games on 3rd and was by far more productive.  After being an eight-year All-Star at short for the Mariners, and the Rangers, A-Rod came to the Yankees and accepted a switch to 3rd base, as the Yankees already had a star shortstop in Derek Jeter.  To show what a universal talent Alex was, he became a seven-year All-Star at 3rd while becoming a Yankee MVP twice and a Silver Slugger three times. At the close of his career, he was four runs short of 700 home runs 4th all-time behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714).

Many think that the Yankees got back at A-Rod for his suspension and somewhat bad relations by not letting him finish his 2016 season, allowing him to reach 700 home runs.  The other punishment he will endure, probably for the rest of his life, is that his involvement in enhancing drugs will prevent one of the best players ever from having a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nearing the end of his 22-year career and after his suspension in 2014, he returned to the Yankees. He made every effort to regain his reputation by becoming a mentor to younger players and being a leader in the clubhouse.  He finished his career with the Yankees with a .283 batting average and 351 home runs.

During the recent coronavirus, Rodriguez has been giving online baseball classes for children via his Instagram account.  He and Jennifer Lopez has partnered with their new meal-delivery company, Tiller & Hatch, and have donated an entire year’s food to the students of Jacksboro Elementary school and stock their food pantry.

New York Yankees: Is it wise for Aaron Judge to party unmasked?: Super Bowl 2021

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

One of the big questions for the New York Yankees going into the 2021 baseball season is can the newly improved starting pitching rotation get the Yankees over that hump of reaching a World Series and winning an unprecedented 28th World Championship. Another question is can the Yankees avoid another injury-plagued season that has cost them dearly in the last two seasons, with some of the biggest names spending far too long on the IL?

Add to that, there are still big concerns over the coronavirus and the delays in getting the vaccines into the American public’s arm, and what effect that will have on the 2021 season. Will the players let their guards down? If the 2021 Super Bowl in Tampa last night is any indication, the answer is yes, even for the most important players to the Yankees. Last night slugger Aaron Judge partied at the game with the likes of former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, who is engaged to A-Rod, Pats owner Robert Kraft, Shaquille, rapper Meek Mill, and others.

Nothing wrong with a Super Bowl party, but all of those mentioned, including Aaron Judge, were having fun, not socially distanced, and with none wearing a mask. Is this wise behavior less than two weeks away from the begging of spring training? To see the photo of the group, click here. Robert Rubin, the co-owner of the Philadelphia 76’s and the New Jersey Devils, took the photo.

Judge was wearing a Patrick Mahomes jersey. It didn’t turn out well for him because Tom Brady’s Buccaneers won the game 31-9, depriving the Kansas City Chiefs of back-to-back Super Bowl wins. Kraft said he was rooting for Tom Brady to win it even though Brady left the New England Patriots two seasons earlier. Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for a record fifth time.

New York Yankees fans’ question is that if their players ignore basic CDC safety rules, will they be able to stay healthy? With many more ” “halftime with the boys!!!” situations, that may not be the case. Mask up, Aaron Judge!

 

Baseball’s Hall of Fame Needs To Fix Their Selection Process

Tuesday marked the ninth time no players were selected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame since the first class was inducted back in 1936. The BBWAA also set a record with 14 blank ballots because of the controversial Curt Schilling and steroid tied candidates.

Baseball is the only Hall of Fame among the four major sports where only the writers are the judge, the jury, and the executioner. This flawed process allowed writers with bruised or exacerbated egos to severely damage the voting process’s integrity.

Election rules state, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” Some voters stick to the rules provided while others insert “did I like him?” to the end of that sentence. This year’s fiasco heightens the need for change in the selection process.

By no means is this a rebellion against the writers, considering that I fall into the same category. The issue is that people who never spent a day playing, coaching, or working in the front office of a Major League Baseball team hold the fate of all-time great players in their pens. 

If writers do not have egos, then explain why Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, or Greg Maddux never got 100% of the vote or why certain biases against first-ballot players exist?

Enlist a Committee

It is not a matter of kicking writers off the vote; it is about bringing in the perspective of people who had to play and manage against the considered players. Committees already exist for separate eras, but it should encompass the entire Hall of Fame. The other three major sports use a committee filled with writers, executives, Hall of Famers, and other experts in their respective sports.

Earning a spot on these committees is a thorough process and eliminated the current situation in baseball. Plenty of current voters do not deserve their vote, and plenty of former players have different opinions that would allow deserving players to get their moment in Cooperstown.

Holding a vote from Schilling is reasonable due to his support for a terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol. There are plenty of gray areas for the rest of the ballot. It has been a struggle for “steroid era” players to enter the Hall even though MLB did not implement PED testing until 2004.

Bud Selig was the commissioner during this era and did next to nothing to solve the problem quickly. Selig got his day in Cooperstown, while the players who kept baseball alive might not get theirs. During Selig’s era, taking steroids was as normal as drinking Gatorade in between innings. Even players who did not have the special talents of the potential Hall of Famers were juicing.

It is impossible to describe baseball’s past without these names in the Hall of Fame. When they are enshrined, the steroid conversation does not fade away. It will never be engraved on their plaques, but it will always be attached to their names. Post-2004 abusers like Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano deserve to miss out on enshrinement. They tested positive in an era where mainstream cheating comes in the form of technology.

Players See The Game Differently

Most players and managers would tell you Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens belong in the Hall. If you are against steroid users, ask about Billy Wagner or Jeff Kent; you would get the same results. Instead, all four of them, along with much more, are polling at numbers that will keep them out for the rest of their time on the ballot.

There are plenty of great media members who deserve to keep their vote, but others have egos as large as the players they despise. Some voters are not even covering the sport at the moment. Replacing media members with other baseball voices will bring back lost integrity from the most historic and illustrious sports Hall of Fame.

New York Yankees: Loose odds and ends of interest to Yankee fans (video)

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

There are days that there are no big New York Yankee stories to report on, but there is always news that might be of interest to those same fans. Some involve the Yankees directly, and some others are just interesting stories that show up on the web. Here are a few of those stories.

Mets general manager fired over lued behavior

The New York Mets have recently learned sexual behavior issues with their just hired general manager Jared Porter. He allegedly harassed a young female journalist while Vice President of the Chicago Cubs. Apparently, something was missing in the Met’s vetting of their new GM. According to an ESPN report, the women received over 60 unsolicited text messages from Porter, even a photo of a penis. Porter has admitted to his behavior, and Steve Cohen, the Met’s owner, immediately fired him this morning.

ESPN re-hires ex-Yankee star Alex Rodriquez

ESPN has announced that Yankee star Alex Rodriquez will again announce and provide commentary for the Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN presented by Taco Bell. The press release also had Buster Olney and Matt Vesgersian at his side.  This will be Rodriguez’s 4th year with Sunday night baseball. He is a 14-time MLB All-Star and three-time American League MVP, made his regular-season ESPN broadcast debut on Opening Night in 2018. Half of Yankee fans have no use for Rodriguez and the other half like listening to his vast knowledge of the game.

Yankees could target Kirby Yates, but what about the Jays?

Kirby Yates would be the perfect reliever for the New York Yankees to fill the hole caused by the departing Tommy kahnle, who recently signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers. But the Yankees are not the only team looking at Yates. The Yankees have missed several top relievers while they waited for DJ LeMahieu to sign with the team. They may lose another option. Yates, according to John Heyman, is in Dunedin, Florida today, the Jays training site. Again, looks good for them to get the star reliever. Yates underwent surgery in August to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

Will DJ LeMahieu contribute for six years?

The Yankees originally wanted to sign DJ LeMahieu to a three years contract. Still, after two months of negotiations that seemed to be going nowhere, they ended up signing him to a money-saving six-year contract. But the deal worked for both parties, a low annual cost for the Yankees and DJ, security for six years until he will probably retire. The question is can DJ continue to perform as he has for the last two years with the Yankees deep into his contract? The answer to that is probably not. But with LeMahieu’s good injury record his easy play, he sure can repeat several years in and even in his fifth and sixth year compete at a satisfactory level. Even at 32, he not only shows no decline but seems to get only better with age.

These Yankee players are avoiding arbitration.

Several New York Yankee players avoided arbitration last week by accepting small raises and a non-guaranteed one year deal. Included in those that accepted were the Yankee slugger Aaron Judge who will earn $10.175 million this year, Gary Sanchez, $6.35 million, Gleyber Torres, $4 million, Gio Urshela settled for $4.65  million, Luke Voit will get $4.7 million, Jordan Mongomery agreed to $2.5 million, Clint Frazier at $2.1 million, and Chad Green signed a one year $2.15 million contract. Ben Heller and Luis Cessa signed earlier before the deadline.

The Yankees trade for Luis Castillo is pretty well dead

The Cincinnati Reds overstepped in their negotiations to trade Luis Castillo to the Yankees by demanding that Gleyber Torres and a few other prospects would put the star reliever in pinstripes, but the Yankees said flatly NO. No way they will trade away their shortstop. With the Red’s demand for Torres, that pretty much makes any deal for the reliever dead in the water.

Gleyber Torres will be ready for the 2021 season

The New York Yankees have reported that Gleyber Torres was not ready to start the season as the 2020 season started, and it took him half the season to be where he should have been at the beginning of the season. Manager Boone stated that he screwed up his preparation between the spring training cut short and the beginning of summer camp. He also said that Torres is preparing and will be ready for this upcoming season. Torres was recently seen working out with fellow 2019 American League All-Star first baseman and catcher with the Indians Carlos Santana.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees: This week in New York Yankee’s history

In the glorious history of the New York Yankees, almost every day has significance in Yankee history.  This week was the first time in baseball history that the New York Highlanders were referred to as the “Yankees” by the Boston newspaper, the Boston Herald. The team would officially become the New York Yankees 1913. Here are some other notable happenings this week in Yankee history.

10/26/1950: The BBWAA selects Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto (.324, 7, 66) as the American League MVP. The ‘Scooter,’ who receives 16 of 23 first-place votes, easily outpoints runner-up Boston’s Billy Goodman, the first player without a regular position to receive consideration for the prestigious award.

10/26/1996: After two stunning defeats at home, 12-1 and 4-0 losses, to start the series, the Yankees win the next four games to clinch their first World Series since 1978 with a 3-2 victory in the Bronx over the defending World Champs Braves. The Fall Classic victory will be the first title of four in five years for the Bronx Bombers.

10/26/2000: In Game 5 at Shea Stadium, the Yankees win their third consecutive World Series, the fourth title in five years, and record 26th championship by defeating the Mets, 4-2. Luis Sojo’s ninth-inning two-out, tie-breaking single off starter Al Leiter is the decisive hit.

10/27/1954: Former Yankees superstar Joe DiMaggio’s and actress Marilyn Monroe’s well-publicized stormy marriage ends in divorce after the famous movie star files on the grounds of mental cruelty, just 274 days after the wedding. Joltin’ Joe will send roses to ex-wife’s grave three times per week for the next 20 years after she died in 1962.

10/27/1999: The Yankees, behind the solid pitching of Roger Clemens, sweep their second straight Fall Classic, beating the Braves, 4-1. Atlanta joins the New York Giants (1910-19) as the only teams to lose four World Series in a decade.

10/29/2009: Derek Jeter is the recipient of this year’s Roberto Clemente Award, an honor given to a player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and community involvement. The 35-year-old Yankee captain joins 13 Hall of Famers and former Bronx Bombers Ron Guidry and Don Baylor in winning the prestigious prize.

10/30/2007: The Yankees sign Joe Girardi to a three-year deal worth a reported $7.5 million to replace popular manager Joe Torre, who left earlier in the month, rejecting a 29% pay cut after guiding his club to their 12th postseason appearance in 12 years. The 43-year-old former catcher and broadcaster, the NL manager of the year with the 2006 Marlins, beat out coaches Don Mattingly and Tony Pena to become the team’s 32nd skipper.

10/31/2000: New York Yankees completed the threepeat. The Yankees defeated the New York Mets, 4-2 in Game 5 of the World Series at Shea Stadium. The Subway Series victory earned the Yankees their twenty-sixth title in franchise history. They became the first team since the 1972-74 Oakland Athletics to threepeat. No other team has even repeated as champs since this team. It also capped off a run of four titles in five seasons for the Yankees.

10/31/2009: Alex Rodriguez’s Game 3 fly ball in the right-field corner of Citizens Bank Park becomes the subject of the first instant replay call in World Series history. The Yankee third baseman’s hit, initially ruled a double, is changed by the umpires to a home run after the replay clearly shows the ball going over the fence before striking a television camera and bouncing back to the field.

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

 

New York Mets Opinion: Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez Need To Quit

As each day marches forward towards the end of the season, we get closer to the New York Mets being handed off to Steve Cohen. Unfortunately, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez see that differently and attempt to brainwash people into thinking the same way. Despite it being a 99% chance for Cohen to own the team, they continue to hang on to the 1% of hope, and they are making a circus out of it.

The Wilpon’s personal reporter, Andy Martino, dropped a new report that Mayor Bill de Blasio could stop the sale. Martino’s reporting is the baseball world’s equivalent of Rudy Giuliani leaks to the NY Post. It is not just the de Blasio report that is continuing the Cohen slander. ESPN’s First Take made it a topic of discussion that Lopez should be the owner because she is a woman and minority.

Alex Rodriguez is employed by ESPN and has made plenty of friends with the higher-ups of the network. It became another play by Rodriguez to have this topic discussed on the channel’s most-watched show so it could become a trending topic on social media. Using the media and other people is exactly how this process has gone since Rodriguez lost the team.

Nothing But Talk

This is the “sore loser” game Rodriguez loves to play when his back is up against the wall, but it does not stop there. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is Rodriguez’s mentor and also joined A-Rod in his quest to stop Cohen. In 2013, the two coupled to work with Bud Selig to reduce Rodriguez’s record 211 game suspension. Reinsdorf and A-Rod were in cahoots again as the White Sox owner was the one person in the ownership committee who voted against Cohen’s bid on the ownership committee. Reinsdorf also successfully lobbied against Cohen’s run to buy the Dodgers in 2012, but no such miracle is in place to stop Cohen now.

Rodriguez continued his imaginary promises to Mets fans when he stated that he would raise the Mets payroll to $225 million if he became the team’s owner. The statement in itself is laughable, and it does not take a brilliant accountant to understand making that happen under A-Rod’s ownership would be impossible. The reason Cohen is getting the team is because of the enormous amount of money he brings to the table.

At the moment, Cohen would absorb the debt left by the Wilpons and still have plenty left over to continue to improve the franchise. On the other hand, Rodriguez’s net worth ($350 million) is equal to the amount the debt the Mets are in. The money would have to come from other investors instead of A-Rod himself.

Why Cohen Gets the Team

People outside the situation still do not understand who Steve Cohen really is. Whether people like him or not, there is no denying that he is a brilliant businessman. Cohen shows his strategic abilities to escape trouble by avoiding any financial criminal charges while making his fortune. His hedge fund was the focal point of a prior investigation. The advisors plead guilty, but Cohen got nothing despite being the heart of S.A.C. Capital.

A prime example of this “4D Chess” game that Cohen has mastered shows his decision to pay the Mets seasonal employees during the offseason. The $2,500 committed money to each of the 1,140 workers is a move Rodriguez cannot make. This was announced way before the de Blasio news broke, which is why paying the workers came first.

Should de Blasio halt the deal he is making a statement against Cohen, the workers, and the unions representing them. The mayor is disliked in his state by teachers and law enforcement unions due to prior mistakes. Should he want any future political career in NY or even the country he cannot afford more enemies.

Cohen also did the same by hiring Sandy Alderson to a key position in his front office. Alderson is widely respected throughout baseball and shows his commitment to bettering the franchise. This is a classic case of someone playing chess while the opponent is playing checkers. Cohen has everything to become the owner despite any distractions his opponent tries to put out. The final vote for Cohen could come as soon as the first week of November. Should this be an action movie, Cohen is standing over A-Rod while he tries to hang on to the ledge by his fingernails with Lopez dangling from his ankle.

 

Alex Rodriguez ‘had a plan to save New York Mets’, including a payroll increase

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez, the former New York Yankees’ star, and his fiancée Jennifer Lopez had a plan to acquire the New York Mets. The Wilpons, who had owned the franchise since 2002, put the team on sale and the “J-Rod” combo was a finalist to end up with exclusive negotiating rights.

However, their attempt was unsuccessful in the end, as hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, a lifelong New York Mets’ fan, entered an agreement with the Wilpons and is now on his way to finalize a deal to own the club.

While Cohen’s deep pockets represent a glimpse of hope for Mets’ fans that their team could eventually become a perennial contender in the National League, Rodriguez claims he had a plan to save the team, one that included an increased payroll.

Rodriguez talked to Newsday, and said:

“The Mets were a team I grew up watching. I thought that the Mets did — and do — have an opportunity to be one of the great franchises around the world, with an incredible fan base, and we were really excited to take payroll from like $150 [million] to $225 [million] and bring a championship back to the city of New York. What I learned is that these national treasures [sports franchises] are coveted very badly.”

Cohen is expected to be the new Mets’ owner

MLB’s ownership committee approved the sale to Cohen earlier this week, but to be considered the new Mets’ owner, Cohen needs to gain approval from at least 23 of the remaining 29 ownership groups. It should happen in November.

The final numbers of the Mets’ sale are said to be around $2.4 billion. According to Forbes, Cohen’s net worth is at $14.5 billion.

Rodriguez and Lopez had gathered quite the supporting group to his bid, including Washington Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal, Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, former NFL stars Brian Urlacher, Joe Thomas, and DeMarco Murray.

The Mets failed to qualify to the MLB playoffs, but have an impressive core of talented players to make a run in the near future. Jeff McNeil, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, David Peterson, Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis, Edwin Diaz and company are still under contract.