New York Yankee Legends: Jose Altuve ties Bernie Williams for postseason home runs

The home run postseason record belongs to Manny Ramirez, who has 29 long balls. But second, on the list is New York Yankee Bernie Williams with 22 homers. Last night in Houston in the seventh inning Jose Altuve joined Williams with his 22nd long shot to left.

Let’s take a look at those exciting records. Ramirez played in 11 postseasons for the Indians, Red Sox, and Dodgers got 493 plate appearances (third all-time) and slugged a typically robust .544. In Game 2 of the 1995 ALCS, he got his first two postseason home runs. Most Yankee fans know him for his time with the Boston Red Sox when he was MVP of Boston’s 2004 World Series, the first Fall Classic the Sox won since 1918. They lost three games in a row in the ALCS against the New York Yankees but came roaring back to advance to the World Series. Manny, at age 36, was still cracking the long ball for the Dodgers when he hit four homers in eight postseason games.

Bernie Williams was one of the most popular New York Yankees but wasn’t known as a tremendous power hitter during his playing days. His most remarkable number in a season between the 90s and the 2000s was 30 long balls. But with the Yankees winning ways in those seasons, he had many opportunities to hit homers, and he did, 22 of them. One of the best center fielders to play for the Yankees he was MVP of the 1996 ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles. He homered once in the series, but his second shot that year was an 11th inning walk-off homer in Game 1 of the World Series. He finished that year’s championship series with six long balls. In 1999 he added his name to David Ortiz and Carlos Correa as the only Yankee to end two different postseason games with a home run.

Last night Houston’s Jose Altuve matched Williams’s record with his 22nd postseason home run. Unfortunately for Altuve, his record will always be tainted by his involvement in the cheating scandal proven by MLB. Many believe the Astros cheated in other seasons as well but weren’t caught. In the 2017 ALCS, they excluded the New York Yankees from a World Series appearance and Aaron Judge as an MVP. There is no question that Altuve is a great baseball player, but hanging around his neck will always be that he was a cheater. In the postseason, he holds the record for the most first-inning home runs (7); in 2017 (the proven cheating year), he hit three homers in the ALDS against the Red Sox. For Yankee fans, his long ball against Aroldis Chapman in game six of the 2019 ALCS still stings as it sent them to the World Series. Yankees fans are still happy that the Nationals beat them in the Fall Classic and hope the Atlanta Braves will do the same this season.

Today, let’s look back at Bernies Williams’s career with the New York Yankees. Bernabe Williams Figueroa Jr. was born on September 13, 1968. But, first, let me clear up a misconception that many fans have. They think he is Puerto Rican; actually, he is an American citizen born in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium and didn’t move to Puerto Rico with his family until he was one year old. His father was a merchant marine, and his mother a college professor. As a child, Bernie played baseball in the sandlots of San Juan but also learned the guitar and had a penchant for classical music.

In Bernie’s early teen years in Puerto Rico, he ran track and field and won a Gold medal in the 200 meters and Silver in the relay in international competition, all while playing baseball. Then, in 1985 just shy of seventeen, he was noticed by a Yankee scout who wanted to sign him, but he was too young. So they did the next best thing and put him in a training camp in Connecticut and signed him on his 17th birthday. During this time, Bernie was conflicted about seeking a medical career or looking to baseball for his future. Luckily for Yankee fans, he finally chose baseball.

The Yankees assigned him to double-A Albany, while there, he honed his skills as a switch hitter. Finally, at the age of 23, on July 7, 1991, Bernie advanced to the stadium to replace Roberto Kelly; he batted .238 but was demoted back to the minors upon Kelly’s return, only to be called back up when Danny Tartabull was injured. That’s when he took his place in center field. This is where I will put in my two cents that the homegrown Bernie should have been a member of the “core four” (Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Rivera), making it the core five as he was just as responsible for the dynasty years as the other four.

By 1993 William had become the regular center fielder for the Yankees. He was .268 and a favorite of the then Buck Showalter in his first entire season, but the “boss” wanted him used as a trading piece. He cited his average throwing arm and lack of home runs. The Yankees did keep Bernie even though he was considered trade bait more than once. In 1995 Bernie had his break-out year had 18 home runs, the most hits and stolen bases on the season and in the postseason batted .429. In 1996 Bernie just got better, and in the postseason, he batted .467 and shined in defense of center in the ALDS against Texas. In the ALCS against Baltimore, he hit an 11th inning walk-off home run. He hit two homers in the ALCS and was named its MVP. He had only four hits in the World Series, but the hits were RBI’s, and the clutch Williams led the Yankees to their first World Championship in eighteen years.

In 1997 William was again almost traded to the Tigers for a trio of young pitchers, but then-general manager Bob Watson blocked the trade. During the 1998 season, when the Yankees went 114–48 to set a then-American League regular-season record, Williams finished with a .339 average, becoming the first player to win a batting title, Gold Glove award, and World Series ring in the same year. He finished the season with a .339 average. After the 98 season, Williams signed a seven-year deal with the Yankees worth $87 million.

The Red Sox and the Diamondbacks also bid for his services during his free agency, but Bernie became a lifelong Yankee. For the length of the contract, the Yankees made the playoffs every single year. As a result, Williams continued to add to his postseason statistics, placing in the top 10 of various career postseason categories; the last year of his contract proved to be a difficult one for both Bernie and the Yankees. Bernie’s average arm was diminished, and it showed in his fielding and batting. He played in 99 games in center and 22 as DH. The Yankees did not pick up his $15 million option, and Bernie was once again a free agent.

Cashman and Bernie eventually worked out a deal and an one year contract. 2006 would see injuries to Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, which caused Bernie to get a lot of playing time covering the corners and resting center fielder Johnny Damon. In the same year, Williams would play in the World Classic and hit two home runs. On July 26th, he hit his 2,300th hit becoming only the 11th active player to reach that record. He also hit his443rd double in August of the year.

After Bernie’s contract ended in 2006, he played with the Puerto Rican league for a short and unsuccessful time, as injuries sidelined him. In 2007 the Yankees offered Williams an invitation to spring training as a non-roster invitee, giving him a chance to compete for a job. Williams, however, wanted a guaranteed roster spot and declined the invitation. In 2008 ceremonies at the closing of the old stadium, he returned to the stadium and was introduced as the last dignitary to the field. He received a near 2-minute standing ovation from the adoring Yankee fans. Bernie retired from baseball as a Yankee on April 24, 2015. On May 24, the Yankees unveiled Williams’s plaque in Monument Park and retired his number in a ceremony at Yankee Stadium. I will repeat my thought that it should have been the “Core Five.”

During Derek Jeter’s last game as a Yankee, Bernie played his rendition of “take me out to the ball game” on guitar in pre-game ceremonies honoring Jeter. When he took his place in centerfield, his play was delayed by both Red Sox and Yankee fans cheering from the stands with “Bernie Williams, Bernie Williams.” “Burn baby burn” is still one of the most famous living New York Yankees.

MLB News: Fall Classic tied at one game apiece as Astros win

The New York Yankees lost in the wild card game against the Boston Red Sox, but the postseason marches on. The Houston Astros won over the Red Sox in the ALCS, and the Atlanta Braves won the NLCS. That series also went six games, the Braves winning four days ago 4-2 and moving them on to the World Series against the ALCS Champion Houston Astros. The Atlanta Braves won game one in Houston.

The final score was the Atlanta Braves 6 and the Houston Astros 2. The winning pitcher was A. J. Minter, and the loser was Framber Valdez. The Atlanta Braves up one game in the best of seven series. It was the Braves’ first World Series game win since 1995 It was a great win at Houston’s MinuteMaid Park, but all was not well with the Braves. Their ace Charlie Morton, is out of the World Series with a fractured leg, when he was hit with a comebacker.

Game Two: Last night was the last game in Houston, before moving back to Atlanta’s Truist Park for the middle three games in the best of seven contest. The Astros came away with the win last night, when they bested the Braves 7-2. It was a battle of the starting pitchers, as both went five innings. The difference was that Jose Urquidi pitched great, allowing two earn runs, while Max Fried allowed six earned runs. Both bullpens did their job, the difference there was the Braves Drew Smyly gave up a run in the seventh.

Last night, was the first night that the roof was open during postseason play in the last 16 years. Jose Urquidi on the mound, Eddie Rosario struck out in a night that Urquidi would strike out seven, over five innings of work. In the bottom of the first, Jose Altuve doubled and moved to third. Alex Bregman had a sac fly to left field, scoring Altuve as the Astros got on the board first in the game. In the top of the seventh, after Urquidi had struck out four Braves in a row, Travis d’Anaud answered with a homer into the left field stands, evening up the score at one.

The bottom of the second was big for the Houston Astros. With men on the corners, Jose Siri was safe on an infield grounder and the Astros scored another run taking the lead. Martin Maldanado doubled to left scoring Yuli Gurriel from third. On a bad throw to home trying to catch Gurriel the, ball got past Travis d’Anaud, and Siri scored as well, giving the Astros the 5-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning Freddie Freeman had a sac fly to left, with Travis d’Anaud scoring from third base, that gave the Atlanta Braves two runs in the game and would be the last time that they would score. That sac fly also knocked Urquidi out of the game being replaced by Cristian Javier. At the top of the sixth the ball was taken from Max Fried in favor of Dylan Lee who would pitch a clean sixth. At the bottom, Alverez was driven in, for the sixth run for the Astros.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Astros would score their seventh and last run of the game when Jose Altuve off of Smyly would hit his 22nd postseaon home run deep into the left field stands at MinuteMaid. 22 post season home runs, ties him with the New York Yankees Bernie Williams for second all time. The final score was the Houston Astros 7 and the Atlanta Braves 2. The winning pitcher was Jose Urquidi and the loser was Max Fried.

Today is as day off, travel day for both teams as they move on to Atlanta. With the series tied at one game apiece, if the Astros win all three Atlanta games, they will win their second World Series in four appearances, if not they would travel back to Houston to play one or two more games. The Atlanta Braves have won the World Series three times, the last time was in 1995. To put that into perspective the New York Yankees have 27 World Championships under their belt.

Game three of the 2021 World Series will be on Friday night at 8:09 EDT. Ian Anderson will be on the mound for the Atlanta Braves, and Luis Garcia for the Houston Astros. Truist Park unlike MinuteMaid is an open air stadium. Today in Atlanta there is a 100% chance of showers, Friday and Saturday there is a 50% chance. Sunday’s game will be the only game without showers in the area. All the World Series games will be televised nationally on the Fox Network.

MLB News: Houston Astros dominate to meet the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS

The New York Yankees postseason ended with the loss in the wild card game against the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have conquered the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS and will face the winner of today’s Astros White Sox game. Going into the game the Houston Astros are ahead in the series two games to one. A win today would send the Astros to the ALCS. The Astros won the game 10-1, dominating their rivals from the north.

Here is how the Houston Astros won their chance to face the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

In Game one, Lance McCullers Jr. bested the White Sox Lance Lynn. The Astros got a few small ball runs, and then Michael Brantly got a two-run dinger helping the cause. Yordan Alverez sealed the deal with a solo shot for the Astro’s sixth run in the 6-1 win.

Friday night’s Game two was more of a contest as the White Sox scored four runs to the Astros 9. The White Sox struck first in the first inning, but the Astros got it back in the second. Tim Anderson of the Sox tied a baseball record getting 12 hits in his first five postseason games. However, the tide turned for the Sox when the Astros Yuli Guirrel got a two-run homer. Two-run homers followed that by both Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker.

Game three: With their backs against the wall, the White Sox faced elimination, but they rose to the occasion and won 12-6. Dylan Cease allowed the Astros to score three runs before being taken out of the game. Kopech replaced him, giving up another three runs. But the combo of Tepera, Bummer, Kimbrel, and Hendriks kept the Astros hitless from the fourth inning on. Meanwhile, the White got to work and tacked on six additional runs off Astro’s pitching.

In the bottom of the fourth, Leury Garcia hit a three-run homer to left, giving the White Sox the lead in the game. The eighth inning sealed the deal. Andrew Vaughn doubled driving in a run. Garcia, after already hitting a three-run homer, drove in another run in the eighth. With men on the corners, Tim Anderson would double driving in Vaughn as the game’s final run. Sox 12 Astros 6, forcing a game four.

Game four: Today, the pitchers were Lance McCullers Jr. for the Astros and Carlos Rodon for the White Sox. Jake Meyers left the game in the second inning after crashing into the wall robbing the Sox of a homer. But the Chicago White Sox got on the board first when Gavin Sheets homered off McCullers Jr. in the bottom of the second inning. But that lead would not last long as the Astros came roaring back in the third and fourth.

In the third, Carlos Correa got a two-run double to left field at Guarantee Park. In the fourth, Alex Bregman would get his two-run double into the centerfield gap scoring Martin Maldonado and Jose Altuve; Bregman scored, extending the Astro lead to 5-1. With Tepera, the fourth Sox pitcher on the mound, he held down the Astros. The fifth inning was scoreless for both teams.

The Astros, in the sixth inning, put a McCormick on second, ending Tepera’s day. Against new Sox pitcher Aaron Bummer, Brantley doubled, scoring McCormick driving in another Astros run. In the bottom, the White Sox were scoreless. Astros 6 White Sox 1.

The seventh with Bummer still in for the Sox silenced the Astros. The White Sox didn’t do any better. In the eighth, Altuve scared the Sox with a double on a Sox throwing error to first. He then stole third. Brantley singled, scoring Altuve for another Astros run. Brantley stole second. Alverez walked, but Correa ground out, but the Astros tacked on another run. The eight ended the Astros 7 White Sox 1.

In the ninth, the Houston Astros tacked on another three runs including a Jose Altuve homer that the White Sox could not recover from. The final score was the Astros 10 and the White Sox 1. The Astros won their ticket to the ALCS for the fifth time in the last five years.

AL Championship series:

The Boston Red Sox will face the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series on Friday, October 15th.

 

New York Yankees Recap: Altuve comes back to haunt the Yankees, prevents the sweep

In a matinee today, the New York Yankees met up with the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium for the finale of a three-game series and the Astros sweep. The Yankees won the first two games, 7-3 and 6-3, with fans booing the Astros from the start of the games all the way to the end of the games. Today Yankee ace Gerrit Cole would try to get the sweep facing the Astros Lance McCullers Jr; both pitchers were coming off their best starts of the season. It was a beautiful day for baseball in the Bronx. The field was bathed with sunshine, and the game-time temperature was 60 degrees.

In the first inning, Cole faced the Yankees’ most hated opponent Jose Altuve. Altuve singled past short. Michael Brantley hit into a double play. Alex Bregman struck out for a fast half for Cole. DJ LeMahieu led off the bottom of the inning, facing Lance McCullers Jr., he ground out. Giancarlo Stanton being patient he walked. Judge was called out on strikes. Gleyber Torres walked to load the bases. Mike Ford had a line drive directly at the first baseman to end the inning and leave the bases loaded with Yankees. No score.

At the top of the second Yordan Alverez, the DH led off against Cole, and he struck out. Yuli Gurriel blooped to short. Carlos Correa ground out for a 1-2-3 inning for Cole. Aaron Hicks led off the bottom by having a base hit to the right off the first baseman’s glove. Kyle Higashioka struck out. Clint Frazier ground out. LeMahieu struck out swinging. No score.

Tucker led off the third inning by grounding out. Straw flew out to Gardner in left. Maldonado singled in front of the charging Hicks in center. Altuve ground out to short to end the half. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton hit a monster homer off the centerfield bullpen wall. Judge stuck out. Urshela singled. Torres reached on a force with Urshela out at second. Ford struck out, but the Yankees took the lead in the game with Stanton’s home run. New York Yankees 1 Astros 0.

At the top of the fourth, Brantley led off by grounding out to Ford at first. Bregman flew out to the diving Aaron Judge. Alverez homered to the second deck of the right-field stands to tie up the game. Gurril flew out to end the half. Hicks led off the bottom, and he had a slow roller that he beat out for a single. Higashioka flew out to center. Frazier homer into the right-field stands for his third home run of the season, a two-run shot. LeMahieu ground out. Stanton struck out to end the inning, but the Yankees went two runs ahead on Frazier’s homer. New York Yankees 3 Astros 1.

The fifth inning was led off by Correa, who ground out to Torres. Tucker lined to; first, Ford flipped to Cole for the out. Straw ground out to Ushela for another 1-2-3 inning for Cole. At the bottom, Aaron Judge ground out to third. Urshela got a hustling double through the hole in left.  Torres went down on strikes. Ford flew out to left to end the scoreless inning for both starters.

Still, on the mound after 70 pitches and 8 ground outs, Cole faced Maldonado, who singled to left. Altuve flew out with LeMahieu running all the way to right field territory to catch the ball. Brantley hit into a double play to end the half. McCullers Jr. still in the game with 90 pitches,w Hicks led off the bottom by walking. Higashioka, with one on and no outs, went down looking. Frazier got a line drive to Altuve for the first out of the inning. LeMahieu, 0 for 3 in the game, ground out to second to end the inning. New York Yankees 3 Astros 1.

Leading off the seventh was Bregman, who flew out to Judge. Alverez hit a home run into Monument Park. Gurril struck out swinging. Correa went down looking end the top half. At the bottom, Andre Scrubb came in to replace McCullers Jr., who pitched really well. Stanton struck out swinging. Judge ground out to third base. Urshela flew out to the right-field wall. Yankees 3 Astros 2.

Chad Green took over for Cole at the top of the eighth inning. Tucker walked. Diaz hit to third, Urshela made an amazing diving catch but couldn’t get Diaz out first; Tucker advanced to third.  Pinch-runner McCormick replaced Diaz. Maldonado struck out. Altuve got a three-run homer to the left-field stands, knocking Green out of the game. Lucas Luetge replaced him, facing Brantley, who flew out to Hicks, who had to make a long run to make the catch. Bregman hit a two-out single. Alverez got his third hit of the game. Gurril popped out to Tyler Wade in for Ushela at third with two outs and runners on the corners.

At the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly was on the mound for the Astros facing Torres, who singled between first and second. Ford struck out swinging for the first out. Hicks singled, the ball was bobbled, and Torres with excellent base running and the shift on went to third and the scored shocking the Astros. Higashioka, with one on and one out, hit into a double play to end the inning. Houston Astros 5 New York Yankees 4.

With Justin Wilson on the mound for the ninth, Tucker walked. McCormick struck out. Maldonado had a two-run homer, probably putting the game out of reach for the Yankees. Altuve flew out to Judge, but the Astros picked up two runs. At the bottom, with last licks on the line for the Yankees, Gardner walked to the plate and singled up the middle. LeMahieu struck out. Stanton hit into a double play ending the game and preventing the sweep. Final score Astros 7 Yankees 4. The winning pitcher was Andre Scrubb, the loser Chad Green and the save went to Ryan Pressly.

 

 

New York Yankees: Judge vs. Altuve, how are they doing now?

The New York Yankees Aaron Judge and the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve have a storyline that starts long before the cheating scandal that the Astros were enveloped in. Altuve is an eleven-year veteran that made his major league debut at the age of 20 in 2011. At the time, he was one of the shortest players in the game, and that still stands today at just 5 feet 6 inches, and even that may be an exaggeration. Judge, on the other hand, made his major league debut at the age of 24. Judge is 6 foot 7 inches. The size difference between the two stars had made the two internet fodder from the first time they were seen together.

Aaron Judge looks like a giant and Jose Altuve a little person when you see the two together. There is good reason for that; Judge looks a good two feet taller than Altuve, although, in reality, it is only eleven inches. Add to that; Judge is almost 120 pounds of muscle heavier than Altuve. Little did they know at the first meeting that the two would be drawn apart by one of the most egregious scandals in baseball.

After the 2017 season, Jose Altuve was named the MVP of the American League. Aaron Judge came in second in the voting. Altuve finished the year batting .346 with 24 home runs and an OPS of .957. He won the MVP, was a Silver Slugger, and an All-Star. At the end of the season, Judge had a batting average of .284 with 52 home runs and an OPS of 1.049. He was the Rookie of the year, an All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and came in second in the MVP voting even though he had the higher WAR. It is common for the Championship winner to get the most votes. It was announced after a long investigation on February 18, 2020, that MLB had proved that the Houston Astros cheated by electronically stealing signs in the 2017 season and into the playoffs.

With that announcement, the rift between the two players gained momentum. Judge and the entire New York Yankee organization realized that not only Judge’s slight in the MVP voting may have been caused by Altuve taking part in cheating, but the Yankees themselves may have been denied a shot at a 28th World Championship. The rift increased when the Yankees learned that not a single player would be charged or punished for their part in the scandal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended manager A.J. Hinch for a year for his part in the systemic cheating scandal. The same suspension was issued to the club’s general manager Jeff Luhnow. Upon learning of the MLB decision, Astro’s owner Jim Crane fired both employees. Luhnow launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against Crane and MLB, claiming that he was being used as a scapegoat. However, the MLB investigation showed that the cheating was teamwide, and it was unbelievable that everyone not only wouldn’t have known about it but did nothing to stop it.

The cheating was thought to be so widespread that it had further implications. Newly hired Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the Houston Astros bench coach, was fired by the Red Sox for his part in the scandal. Newly hired New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran was also fired for his part. But because the Houston Astros players cooperated with the investigation, they were allowed to go scot-free, not being charged or implicated in any way.

Much to the chagrin of the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers who lost to the Astros in the 2017 World Series, and all the other MLB teams, the Astros were not stripped of their title that they didn’t deserve. Also, all the players maintained their World Series rings. The only solace for the Yankees is that the Astros will always be known as the team that stole a World Series victory.

This writer will let Aaron Judge speak for the team and how they felt when the February 18th news was released.

“the team should vacate the title and that players should have been punished. … You cheated and you didn’t earn it,”

The relationship between the two teams has been permanently ruined and will likely never be repaired. Although manager Aaron Boone has said he has put it behind him, that may not hold for Aaron Judge and many of the other New York Yankee players.

Last night due to the league alignment in the shortened 2020 pandemic season, the Astros met up with the Yankees for the first time since the cheating scandal was revealed. The Yankee fans got to show the Astros how they felt about them. Fans all over the Stadium that was limited to only 10,800 had signs saying shame, and you cheated, among many others, some not as dignified. The entire game was electric at the Stadium; many players after the game said that it had a “playoff feel.”

The fans stood more than sat throughout the game, rooting on the Yankees in the eventual 7-3 win over the Astros. The Yankee fans remained mostly under control, although there was constant booing when each Astro player was introduced. It wasn’t just in the first inning; it was throughout the game with second baseman Jose Altuve receiving the brunt of the shame and the loudest boos. Several times during the game, the fans resorted to chants repeating Altuve’s name over and over again. Tonight and again on Thursday, the two teams will meet again, don’t expect that the boos stopped with last night’s game.

Throughout Jose Altuve’s career, like it or not, he has been the better player, mostly because his little body has stayed healthy, whereas Judge’s hulking frame has not. With Aaron Judge healthy so far this year, he is tied for the most home runs and the most RBI’s with Giancarlo Stanton. Judge has a career WAR of 20.5, Altuve’s career WAR sits at 36.5. Altuve is having a bit of a rough start this season. He is batting .247 with only one home run and is 1 for 24 in his last plate appearances. Last night he ground out once and struck out three times.

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

MLB News/Rumors: Alex Cora is old new Boston Red Sox 2021 manager

Boston Red Sox, Alex Cora

In more bizarre MLB News, Boston Nation is already cheering the decision to bring back Cora. Ownership and key players supported Cora’s return, but it was GM Chaim Bloom’s call in the end. Ownership went to Puerto Rico this week to interview Cora, his answers were apparently what the Red Sox wanted to hear, and they have rehired the shamed Alex Cora.

The Sox news was first reported by John Hayman, insider, at MLB Network. Hayman reported that Cora got his old job back over Sam Fuld in the end. Hard not to hire the guy who guided the team to a World Series title only a couple of years ago.

Alex Cora was fired by Red Sox management for his proven involvement in the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal. Cora at the team was the bench coach for the Astros. According to the New York Times…

“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” the report said. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct.”

For New York Yankees fans the rehiring of Alex Cora is a slap in the face for a team that is an annual rival. The Cora cheating scandal may have cost the New York Yankees a World Series berth in 2017 for sure and possibly a 2019 appearance. The Astros used electronic means to steal signs from Yankees pitchers and relay them to hitters. The Los Angeles Dodgers also lost out when the Astros stole the World Series from them. Another slap for the Yankees was when Jose Altuve won the MVP award when the World Series was over. It was a personal loss to the Yankees Aaron Judge, who came in second in the MLB MVP voting.

Now the Yankees will face Cora again as the Red Sox Manager. Apparently the Red Sox and its fans have no shame in allowing Cora to again manage for them when many in baseball believe he should have been banned from baseball for life, instead of the one-year suspension he received. The Boston Red Sox and Cora will surely hear it from Yankee fans when they visit Yankee Stadium.

 

 

MLB Analysis: Why are there no women in Major League Baseball? (Video)

MLB has no specific rules that say girls can’t play in the major leagues.  The did back in the 50s, be not now.  So why are there no women in baseball?  Could it be bias against women playing a man’s sport? Could it be they can’t play to the level of men? Could it be that they don’t want to? Could it be that stadiums only have men’s gang showers?

First, let’s throw out the no shower argument.  Major League teams have plenty of money to install a private locker and shower.  Could it be biased? Yes, it could be.  There are instances of Little League teams refusing to hit when facing a female pitcher, with parents and grandparents shouting from the stands with disapproval.  Would it be embarrassing to strike out against a girl?  One parent yelled down to their on-deck son, if you strike out, no dinner for you. 17-year-old pitcher female Tsujikawa recalls. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s kind of strict.’” Her team won. ”I honestly had a pretty good game, but it was just strange to encounter that — especially being only 12.”

Could it be women just don’t have it? Maybe, but there are women that can measure up to several slow ball pitchers in MLB and hitters as well. Think of pitchers Steven Wright, R.A Dickey, Jamie Moyer, and last but not least Jered Weaver of the Angels, he has an 82mph fastball and a career record of 150-98. Could it be that women are smaller?  Well, that argument goes out the window with the qualities of super small Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. Humplik below and Altuve are the same height.

 

That is Emma Humplik, yes that’s a softball, but watch closely. Her eye for hitting the ball is totally on, and her ability to hit the ball out of the park over and over again is undeniable. There have been female star pitchers in the Little League. Remember back in 2014, when Mo’ne Davis was just 13-years-old, she captured the attention of every sports fan in the nation when she dominated at the Little League World Series. On those fields in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Davis became the first girl to pitch a shutout in the tournament. She was also the first African American girl to play in the LLWS.

This year she is in college and seeing no hope of entering the major league that has few blacks and no women, switched to the girl’s sport of softball. In her first game, she started at 2nd base and batted ninth.  She was 1 for 3, scored a run, and drove in two in her teams 15-4 win.

Then there is the USA Women Baseball team. Following an undefeated run to a gold medal at the 2019 COBAPE Women’s Pan-American Championships, the staff will look to guide this year’s team to the program’s first world championship title since 2006-and third overall-at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Baseball World Cup in Monterrey, Mexico, from September 11-20. Another baseball country Japan also has a national women’s team.

Why do you think there are no women in baseball? New York Times writer Jen Mac Ramos has said that “women players and women’s leagues simply aren’t scouted by MLB teams, largely due to a structural belief in front offices that they aren’t good enough. Simply put, explained Ramos, “these women don’t even come close to a lot of front offices’ radars.” When asked if she believed that women aren’t good enough as well, she responded no.

Given this evidence, it seems remarkable that MLB appears not to scout women at all. And that, in and of itself, may not be legal under Title VII, because MLB is basically excluding an entire population from consideration solely on the basis of their gender.

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

 

MLB: It’s only Spring Training and things are already rough for the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros haven’t even begun regular-season games yet and fans are already ruthless at their games. The main executives and players have apologized for the 2017 season but that isn’t stopping fans from holding back during their Spring Training games.

Jose Altuve has received some of the most boos during his at-bats. Despite what Carlos Correa said in defense of his teammate, Altuve is still heckled a ton during their games – even their home Spring Training games.

I don’t see it getting any easier for the Houston Astros for the rest of the year. Away games are going to be rough for the team and it’s going to be interesting on how they handle everything. It will especially be tough for the team when they go to the Bronx to play the New York Yankees after knocking them out in 2017 and 2019.

There’s already been talks that pitchers in the league are going to be throwing at the Houston batters this season despite what the commissioner said about punishments for pitchers who choose to do that.

Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling was among those who weren’t happy about what the Astros did. He has said he wouldn’t be against the idea of throwing at an Astros batter if an opportunity presented itself. “I would lean towards yes,” Stripling said. “In the right time and the right place.”

Yankee and Dodger fans have been the most vocal about the scandal since they were two teams that were knocked out during the 2017-2019 seasons. Even though the Astros don’t play the Dodgers this season, if the Astros somehow find themself playing the Dodgers in the postseason, it’s gonna be a tough series.

I could see the Astros doing one of two things this season. They are either going to have a terrible season since the pressure is on and every series is gonna be tough, or the team is going to use this to come together and put a good season in place. Regardless of what happens, it’s going to be interesting to watch.

Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman Doesn’t Throw Jose Altuve Under The Bus Over ALCS Home Run

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

In game six of the 2019 ALCS, New York Yankees‘ flame thrower Aroldis Chapman gave up a series-ending home run to Houston Astros’ mighty midget Jose Altuve. While Altuve clutched his jersey on his way to home plate, yelling an inauspicious comment that seemed to indicate a buzzer, Chapman wasn’t willing to blame anyone but himself for the home run.

“Yeah, I’ve seen that video,” Chapman said Thursday morning, through an interpreter, at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “I think a lot of people have seen that video. It’s a popular video right now. And yeah, if you look at his actions, they look a little suspicious. But at the end of the day, I just don’t know” whether Altuve illegally knew what pitch was coming.  …

“I assume responsibility for how the events developed,” Chapman said. “I gave up the homer and we lost, and that’s the bottom line. I was the pitcher on the mound. I was the guy facing Altuve.”

Several Yankees players have expressed their opinions this week, including starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, who featured on the Astros’ last season. Cole neglected to confirm their cheating scheme and stated that he was unaware of their wrongdoings. While Cole provided vague statements regarding the troublesome of-season for Houston, Chapman seemed convinced that they had an advantage during the 2017 campaign.

Chapman also said, “I think it was the extra edge that allowed them to move on,” in 2017.

Moving forward, baseball will revert back to its sacred form, and the Yankees will push forward in 2020 with one of the best teams in the league. Void of any known cheating, the Yanks will persevere and survive this tumultuous time. While we may never discover if Gerrit Cole knew about the cheating scheme, he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball and offers the Yankees a chance at a legitimate world series appearance in 2020.

Yankees: Baseball Yankee fans finally get an apology from the Astros!

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP has reported that the Houston Astros, after a postseason of complete silence, have finally addressed the sign-stealing scandal this morning.  In front of the media, Astro owner Jim Crane, new Manager Dusty Baker and players Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman discussed the sign-stealing situation by reading prepared statements.  Team owner Jim Crane spoke first, saying this will never happen again, while he’s in charge.  He blamed the scandal on the front office and leadership.  He further added that the players should not be held responsible for the lack of leadership.

Alex Bregman than spoke, saying:

“I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me. I have learned from this, and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.”

Jose Altuve said he felt remorse:

“I want to say that the whole Astros organization feels bad about what happened in 2017. We especially feel remorse for the impacts on the fans and the game of baseball. Our team is determined to move forward.”

Following Bregman and Altuve’s statements, they immediately returned to the clubhouse without taking any questions from the media.

Crane and Baker did stick around to answer some questions.  Crane, in answering a question, said: “Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series, and we’ll leave it at that.” “I truly believe there were no buzzers ever.” He continued that he felt that he should not be accountable for the actions of the team.  He also added that he did not think it was necessary to reach out to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He did not refer to the Yankees.  Altuve and Bregman’s comments were an improvement over their less than apologetic comments made recently at the Houston Astros FanFest.

After Commissioner Manfred released his report on January 15 detailing the scheme, reactions around the league began to seep out slowly.  Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, many of the pent up feelings of anger are coming to light.  Yankee pitchers CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have both expressed that they felt cheated.  Sabathia now retired felt he may have missed on his last chance at another WS ring.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and catcher Gary Sanchez expressed doubt that the Astros were totally clean this past year either.  Boone, in his news conference, said when asked about the scheme, he summarily replied that we have moved on and are focused on the 2020 campaign.  There will likely be many more statements coming forth that will express disappointment with the Astros.  With spring training starting, the Astros had to address the situation to ease the backlash they will most certainly feel as the storyline occupies the season.