The New Divisions Could Give the New York Yankees a Huge Edge

New York Yankees, Yankees, Luke voit

The MLB has been experimenting with ideas to get baseball up and going in May, and this is huge for sports. If the MLB is able to start up their season it means that the NBA and NHL can startup as well. Sports fans are hoping for a breakthrough, and honestly, this could be seen if this proposal goes through. There’s one major controversy though, a realignment of divisions for this season is part of the plan to limit travel. With an unprecedented crisis causing proposed unprecedented change, how would it affect the Bronx Bombers?

Helps Acquire the Top Seed

The New York Yankees have always wanted to have a shot to clinch the #1 seed, as the last time they did this, they won the World Series in 2009. This is very easy now, as they could be playing the Tigers, Pirates, and Blue Jays a whopping 54 times. If they win 75% of those games that’s already 40-41 wins. The only team that wasn’t sub-.500 in these proposed divisions was the Phillies, at 81-81. The Yankees could get 60+ of their wins off of divisional games, note that they won 54 games in their division in 2019 when the competition was much better. This could help lock up a very important #1 seed in 2020, even if it feels cheap.

League Rivals Are Much Stronger Divisions

The Yankees are in the Grapefruit League, and the other two divisions are stacked now. The other two divisions host only 2 teams in total that were sub-.500 in 2019, one in each division. One division (the East) has the pennant winners in the same division. This means their rivals for that top seed are going to have to brawl for the 4 playoff spots available.  This is all while the Yankees only face the cakewalk division in front of them, and if the Phillies are our closest approximation to “opposition”, then things are looking so good for the Yanks.

Should These Divisions Even Go Into Place?

Well from a safety perspective, yes, of course, they should. Obviously these divisions aren’t perfect but for health reasons, these divisions are best the way they are, with some minor changes at most. From a baseball perspective, it’s not great but again I do believe they will alter these divisions, but not by much.

Yes I know it’s completely unfair to teams who are in impossible divisions, but at the same time, I can’t make these decisions. It will be a weird year for baseball, and sports in general, but if you want baseball back soon, this is the MLB’s best bet.

New York Yankees likely bringing back Brett Gardner on one-year deal

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees have a decision to make regarding veteran outfielder Brett Gardner. Having already spent 12 seasons in the Bronx, the Yankees Captain is looking to re-join the team on a one year deal, similar to his contract in 2019.

Last season, he signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract to stick around with the Yankees and contend for a World Series. This off-season, general manager Brian Cashman has been in talks with Gardner and his representation, and they continue to strive towards finding a meeting point to bring him back for a 13th year.

“Yankees made another offer to Brett Gardner so the sides continue to talk,” Heyman tweeted. “Gardy has made clear he prefers to return to them for a 13th season. They love him as well, and with Hicks sidelined to start the year, it’s hard to imagine Gardner and the Yankees not working things out.”

With starting centerfielder, Aaron Hicks, set to miss 8 to 10 months after having Tommy John surgery in late October, re-signing Gardner is justifiable. Also, Gardner’s numbers from 2019 deserve more appreciation, as he hit career highs in home runs with 28, RBIs (74), and .829 OPS. He could earn more money in 2020 then the $7.5 million he raked in last season, based on his production at the plate. He is also a quality outfielder that can be a starting option in place of injured players.

Considering Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge’s injuries last season and their inconsistency in the category, Gardner is a perfect player to supplement any losses. The Yankees also have Mike Tauchman, who is expected to play a more significant role with the team moving forward.

The New York Yankees’ muscle and toughness comes from their savvy veteran:

Gardner is much more than just a player, though, he’s a testament to the grit and passion bleeding from the Yankees organization. His infamous bat busting scene became a viral sensation across baseball and developed into a sign of success at the plate, with players mimicking his actions after getting on base.

The reality is, Gardner played well enough to earn another contract, and Cashman is more than happy to oblige when he came calling for another season in the Bronx. There’s no question he should be a priority signing.

How the New York Yankees can steal game six of the ALCS against Houston

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees grinded out a phenomenal victory against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros in their final home game before heading down south. Staving off elimination was no easy feat for the Bombers, who rode a four-run first inning to victory, thanks to a DJ LeMahieu leadoff homer and a three-run blast by Aaron Hicks shortly after.

Verlander was immediately stunned and will undoubtedly be disappointed in his performance Friday night, but he did manage to work his way into the seventh inning without allowing a run after his porous first-inning.

The Yankees have a tall task ahead of them in Houston; however, they may hold the advantage due to their solid bullpen. Game six of the ALCS will be what some call a “bullpen game,” as both teams will tap into their reserve pitchers to help either tie the series or close it once and for all.

The Yankees have the advantage in this category, as their bullpen has been stellar throughout the season, but the ALCS has imposed its will at times. The Astros have quality hitters up and down their lineup, which has proven to be difficult, especially in game four, when Chad Green allowed a three-run blast to Carlos Correa to secure the win for Houston.

Green, who has an 11-4 record when opening games this season, will help give the Yanks a running start on Saturday night, a quick turnaround due to a lost game on Wednesday (bad weather).

It seems, though, that starter James Paxton has been the catalyst for the Bombers, as he’s been at the forefront of both their wins, in games one and five. His 112 pitches across six-innings were the headline of the game, as he mowed down nine batters, allowing just four hits and one run. Unfortunately, he cannot pitch every game.

To win game six, the Yankees have to utilize their bullpen strategically. Green needs to take them into the third inning without giving up any significant damage. It’s also possible they elect to star J.A. Happ, despite his struggles this season. If he can step up to the plate and offer three good innings before handing the ball over to Green, that would be more than acceptable.

Here’s the predicted pitching order for the New York Yankees on Saturday:

1.) J.A. Happ

2.) Chad Green

3.) Zack Britton

4.) Tommy Kahnle

5.) Adam Ottavino

6.) Aroldis Chapman

This order will give them an experienced starter to open the game, a trusted relief pitcher to carry them into the latter portion of the contest, and then their primary closers to finish off the Astros. Now, it all comes down to Gary Sanchez catching the ball and not letting pitches fly by him at an astronomical rate. Sooner rather than later, manager Aaron Boone will need to plug LeMahieu in at catcher.

BREAKING: New York Yankees trade for Mariners star Edwin Encarnacion

New York Yankees acquire Edwin Encarnacion.

If it wasn’t the starting pitching rotation that needed more reinforcements, why not go out and grab another big bat to add to the lineup. At this point, it seems as if run support is the supplement for bad pitching, which has proven to work in the past. The New York Yankees have traded for Seattle Mariners star, Edwin Encarnacion.

Leading the American League with 21 home runs, Encarnacion will be a lethal addition to the lineup and likely slot in at the first base position while Luke Voit drops into the designated hitter and rotational role.

Edwin was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Mariners in a three-team swap last offseason. Clearly, the Mariners are trying to rebuild and got a rather sweet deal from the Yanks. I imagine it includes plenty of youth.

Among Active players, Encarnacion has a total of 401 homers behind Albert Pujols (644) and Miguel Cabrera (468). Pairing him with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez will make the Yankees’ lineup one of the most daunting in baseball.

In addition to his stellar bat, the Mariner brings an elite glove to the first base position as well. Joining a group consisting of Gio Urshela, Didi Gregorius, and Gleyber Torres, Encarnacion is essentially the final piece to the puzzle.

New York Yankees Honored: Mickey and Whitey in the Hall

New York Yankees

On January 16, 1974, New York Yankees star Mickey Mantle became the seventh player to be voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He had played for the Yankees only from 1951-1968, during which time he blasted 536 homers, knocked in 1,509 rbi’s, and sped to 153 stolen bases.  Quite an honor, but not unprecedented. The thing that makes it special is that on the same day, Mickey’s teammate Whitey Ford, the “Chairman of the Board,” achieved Hall of Fame status too.

Number 7’s Numbers

Mickey was the AL MVP three times, came in second in that vote another three times, and in third once. He came in first in offensive categories time and time again: batting average in 1956; rbi’s in 1956; home runs in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1960; triples in 1955; extra-base hits in 1952, 1955, 1956; total bases in 1956, 1958, 1960; runs in 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961; on-base percentage in 1955, 1962, 1964; slugging percentage in 1955, 1956, 1961, 1962; OPS in 1952, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1964; and walks in 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962.

Number 16’s Numbers

Whitey’s pitching stats are pretty impressive as well. His winning percentage was almost 70 percent (236-106) over a Yankee career that spanned 1950-1967. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 1961, and on a team that shattered the record for team home runs in that same year, it was Whitey who won the World Series MVP. First places in pitching stats include era in 1956 and 1958; wins in 1955, 1961, 1963; innings pitched in 1961 and 1963; shutouts in 1958 and 1960; starts in 1961 and 1963; and complete games in 1955. In 1961, Ford bested the (29.67) consecutive scoreless innings streak in World Series play that Babe Ruth had set with Boston in 1918, when he extended his to 33.67 frames in 1962.

In Addition

On January 16, 2001, long-time Yankee Dave Winfield was voted into the Hall of Fame, along with Kirby Puckett. Dave pounded 205 of his career 465 homers and drove in 818 runs of his 1,833 in pinstripes. Winfield had a falling out with George Steinbrenner in New York,  and he wore the cap of the San Diego Padres in his Hall plaque. While Winny did not perform well in the postseason in New York, he did drive in the World Series-clinching runs for the Blue Jays at age 41 on October 24, 1992.

They Say It’s Your Birthday

A stalwart on the mound for the 1995 Wild Card team, Jack McDowell (1966) is joined on the Yankee birthday list by five other players, most notably Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni (1957). Also born this day was Hall of Fame hurler Dizzy Dean (1910), along with current Anaheim Angel Albert Pujols (1980).