Posted tagged ‘New York Yankees’

Photo of the Day: Mariano Rivera’s #42 retired with the legends

September 23, 2013
(ELSA/GETTY IMAGES)

(ELSA/GETTY IMAGES)

Exit Sandman. The greatest closer in the game of baseball celebrated a 50 minute ceremony as a good bye send off from the Yankees organization at Yankee Stadium yesterday. The whole ceremony and game gave me chills down my back because it reminded baseball fans everywhere that this will be the last time you will see #42 in pinstripes pitch in the Bronx again. It’s sad to see him go, but it was special to see him given his own day for all his accomplishments. No one will be better than Mo and there will only be one Sandman. He pitches like a legend and leaves the game of baseball like a legend…

Photo of the Week: Mariano Stands Center Stage

July 18, 2013

Via New York Times:

ALLSTAR1-sfSpan-v2

Mariano Rivera took center stage in the All Star game and produced a 1-2-3 8th inning for the American League. What made the inning special was the long standing ovation by the crowd and both dugouts during his warm up pitches. The whole scene just gave me and probably most of America goosebumps after such a great display of respect for a remarkable person and player. We may never see “Enter Sandman” enter that stage ever again so it was good to see the best closer in baseball history go off as MVP…

Yankees and Mariners trade finalized and Cashman shocked Yankee fans

January 24, 2012

“He may very well be the best player I’ve traded.”

Those are the words Yankees GM Brian Cashman used regarding the young catcher Jesus Montero in the exchange for All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda and 19-year-old pitching prospect Jose Campos.

This trade as I said in my previous post was all about need-for-need: power arm in exchange for power bat.

Pineda immediately brings youth to the Yankees rotation. He just turned 23 and was an All-Star in his rookie season last year. Pineda went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and led all of baseball in holding right-handed batters to just a .184 average. He struck out 173 in 171 innings.

And no matter what arms Seattle had last season they lacked one thing to win ball games, Runs. Seattle hit just .233 as a team, scored 556 runs — worst in all of baseball — and hit only 109 homers in 2011. Seattle has failed to average four runs per game each of the past three seasons.

Montero could eventually provide the boost Seattle needs. During his brief call-up last September, Montero showed patience at the plate and an ability to hit with power to the opposite field. So before even playing his first game in Seattle, Montero is already being touted as the middle-of-the-order answer to the Mariners’ offensive woes.

Let’s put this trade to rest Yankee fans who miss Montero and realize this could turn into a Hamitlon-Volquez type trade that Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik projects:

“I look at it like we had a need and we were trying to address that need, and to get really good players you have to give up really good players. If this goes down and helps the Yankees and helps us both long term and short term, it’s a win-win for everybody.”

New York Yankees added much needed pitching this season with key deals

January 23, 2012

Last year, the Yankees were still the best in baseball despite having such a mixed rotation. This has been the story for the Yankees in the past few years since they have won the World Series in 2009.

Let’s be honest Yankee fans, you cannot win baseball games when your #4 and #5 starters are Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. While they made great stories and both players produced, it doesn’t lead to postseason success.

So the Yankees made two significant deals in their big spending week. The New York Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for phenom pitcher Michael Pineda and righty Jose Campos.

The Yankees receive the 22-year-old Pineda after he went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA for the Mariners as a rookie last year.

After an up-and-down year in Triple-A, Montero came up to the majors and showed off his electric bat. In 18 games, he hit .328 with four home runs and 28 RBIs. He was expected to be the Yankees designated hitter this season.

This was the right move because the Yankees needed to get better in the rotation and Pineda has PLUS stuff and he is definitely the right pitcher the Yankees needed in the rotation. With Lefty Sabathia and Righty Pineda both throwing 95+ at the top of your rotation, it scares a lot of batters. This move makes the Yankees better in 2012 and for future seasons regardless of letting go of Montero.

He was a guy who had potential and tons of power but where were the Yankees going to play him? DH spot? Catcher? He had no clear-cut decision. Now he goes to the already young Mariners who are looking for some offense and Montero can do that especially playing the DH position. He can be put in the middle of the lineup with Smoak, Ackley, Wells, and Ichiro.

He will get a chance to play everyday on a young squad and will not be played around like the Yankees did for the past few seasons. Yankee fans should thank the organization for giving him a chance somewhere else. Otherwise, he would have been stuck in Yankees purgatory for many years.

The Yankees didn’t stop there. They added former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to their rotation.

Kuroda went 13-16 in 2011, but that was more a reflection of the Dodgers’ awful run support than his performance. He posted a career-best 3.07 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 202 innings. He made $12.5 million last season and has a 3.45 ERA with a win-loss record of 41-46 in four years.

This deal gives the Yankees depth and now a rotation that fills out to be Sabathia, Pineda, Hughes, Kuroda, and Nova. Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett will be the 6th and 7th starter on the team in case of injury or emergency.

This depth in the rotation gives the Yankees stability that they can win 97 games but also can be a consistent AL East winner every single year. So yes they did give up offense in Montero but how did they lose to the Tigers last year in the Playoffs? Pitching.

The games of baseball always comes down to the guy on the mound. If the starter cannot get you into the 7th or 8th inning, you won’t be able to hear “Enter the Sandman” as much as you want to on a daily basis. The Yankees made great moves and you will see the improvement this season.

The New York Yankees are Good, Rich, and Lucky

August 31, 2011

This is a great article by Grant Brisbee of SB Nation regarding baseball and the luck the Yankees have had. Not to mention how much payroll leads to success in the MLB. Check it out…

The Yankees are leading MLB in payroll. Again. Silly Yankees. Don’t they know that money can’t buy championships? Of course not. Money can’t buy anything. It’s an inanimate object. It can’t even buy a bag of FunYuns if the dollar is too wrinkly.

Teams can use money to buy players, but the teams who spend a lot of money on payroll aren’t even guaranteeing wins, much less championships. Here are the twelve teams who will spend more than $100,000,000 on payroll this year: 

1. New York Yankees $201,689,030
2. Philadelphia Phillies $172,976,381
3. Boston Red Sox $161,407,476
4. Los Angeles Angels $138,998,524
5. Chicago White Sox $129,285,539
6. Chicago Cubs $125,480,664
7. New York Mets $120,147,310
8. San Francisco Giants $118,216,833
9. Minnesota Twins $112,737,000
10. Detroit Tigers $105,705,232
11. St. Louis Cardinals $105,433,572
12. Los Angeles Dodgers $103,788,990

The top three are three of the best teams in baseball, of course. But of the nine teams that follow, only one is likely to make the playoffs. The Angels have a decent chance, and the Giants technically aren’t out of it, but the teams who spent more than $100 million in 2011 had just as good of a chance at finishing under .500 as they did of making the playoffs.

One of my biggest pet peeves in baseball today is a reductive haves/have-nots discussion. That sort of thing makes baseball seem predictable, which it most certainly isn’t. Yes, the Yankees have a substantial, irrefutable advantage as the only team willing to spend $200 million. They can afford players like Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett, and when the latter started to stink, they offered to throw sacks of doubloons at Cliff Lee. The Yankees are rich, and that helps them greatly.

When people focus on what the Yankees spent this year, though, it’s irritating. Not because I’m some radical laissez-faire fetishist, but because it ignores how lucky the Yankees have been this year.

  W-L G GS CG SHO     IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Bartolo Colon 8-9 24 21 1 1     138.2 138 65 56 17 34 116 3.63 1.24

 

  W-L G GS CG       IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Freddy Garcia 11-7 22 21 0       128.1 125 48 44 10 38 85 3.09 1.27

 

  W-L G GS CG       IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Ivan Nova 14-4 24 22 0       131.2 136 64 58 12 45 81 3.96 1.37

The Yankees have gotten 64 starts out of those three pitchers. Two of them might have been dead before this season started, I haven’t checked their Wikipedia pages yet. The Yankees entered the season with three known quantities in the starting rotation. After that, they were just hoping to patch things up until the trading deadline. And of those three known quantities, here’s how they’ve done this season:

  • One was the ace he was supposed to be
  • One has continued to pitch far below expectations
  • One completely disintegrated

It should have been a complete disaster. It should have been “Sabathia and Sabathia, and pray for Sabathia.” Instead, the Yankees found three good pitchers by putting an ad on Craigslist. Other teams spend millions internationally, in the draft, and on the market looking for pitchers like Colon, Garcia, and Nova. Like, oh, the Yankees, for one. And after all of that, the Yankees rotation is being held together ably by two minor-league deals and a semi-prospect.

Don’t let the word “luck” irritate you, Yankees fans. All sorts of credit goes to the Yankees’ scouts, coaches, and front office for correctly predicting that they could find a couple of useful players out of the group they invited to camp. But for all three of them to hit in the same season with barely a hiccup? That’s not how any pitching staffs are supposed to work, much less pitching staffs cobbled together in January.

Colon hadn’t pitched since 2009, and he hadn’t pitched a full season since 2005. Garcia hasn’t stayed healthy for a whole season since 2006, and he was merely decent when he has been healthy since then. Nova’s career strikeout rate in the minors was 6.4 — that’s a hard strikeout rate for a right-hander to thrive with in the majors, and that was his career mark in the minors. And that’s before accounting for the fact that young pitchers are all weirdos whose performances are usually impossible to predict.

Yet here the Yankees are, ready to make the playoffs again, behind a ridiculous offense and a lot of good pitching. A ton of that has to do with money (and talent evaluation), don’t get me wrong. But don’t ignore the good fortune that the Yankees have enjoyed, either.

I know what you’re thinking now: “Finally. Finally the Yankees catch a few breaks.” Yep. It’s about time.

This is perfectly argued and perfectly said. As a New Yorker and a guy who follows the Yankees, I don’t even know how they have won as many games and are even in contention for first place. I guess when you have the big bucks, there are no whammies…

Photo Gallery: Yankees vs. Athletics on July 22, 2011

August 22, 2011

Here is a photo gallery of the New York Yankees 17-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics at new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The biggest part about this game was the fact that it was 101 degrees at the stadium, Texiera hit a grand slam, and rookie 3rd Baseman Brandon Laird (brother of Cardinals catcher, Gerald Laird) got his first major league hit. We were sitting in section 332A Row 4 Seats 1-4 and lets just say they were right by the foul pole in left field. To get the shots on my new Cannon Rebel Camera are phenomenal. I hope you enjoy the pictures and would love to hear your comments about them…

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Fan who caught Jeter 3,000 hit will get his own Topps baseball card

July 14, 2011

Via AP:

The fan who returned Derek Jeter’s ball from his 3,000th hit will get a bit of memorabilia to keep — his own baseball card.

Topps says it will produce a trading card featuring Christian Lopez that will be included in sets later this year.

“We thought what he did captures the essence of what baseball and the Topps company is about,” said Mark Sapir, Topps vice president for sports.

The recent college graduate with outstanding student loans will get some financial help, too.

Memorabilia dealer Brandon Steiner and sporting goods CEO Mitch Modell said they will make sure Lopez gets at least $50,000 toward his outstanding student loans of $150,000.

Steiner said he got a call on Wednesday from his buddy Modell, and they got the ball rolling. Steiner set up an auction of memorabilia that eventually will include baseballs signed by both Lopez and Jeter and said Modell is pledging 5 percent from the sale of Yankees-related merchandise at the Modell’s chain during what will be called “Christian Lopez Week.”

“That itself is a totally awesome situation right now for all parties involved,” Lopez said.

What impressed the sports executives — as well as countless fans across the country — was the way a 23-year-old mobile phone salesman passed on the chance to sell the ball.

Instead, Lopez gave the ball to Jeter, saying he deserved to have the keepsake.

“Can you believe how good a mensch this kid was?” Steiner said.

Lopez has been overrun with requests since Saturday.

“It’s been overwhelming to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s been a little crazy. But I’m handling it as best I can. I’m trying to get back to everybody I can.”

That includes Topps.

“Yeah, I spoke with them a couple days ago,” Lopez said. “All I know, is they kind of want to make a baseball card out of me.”

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Lopez was an avid collector as a kid. He said he has “probably a couple thousand baseball cards.”

His favorite? A Yankees card, of course. It depicts Babe Ruth and one of the Yankees’ owners at the time he came over from the Red Sox in 1920.

“It’s a very dear card to me. I’ve had it for 15 years now or so,” Lopez said.

Now he’ll have another Yankees card to keep next to it.

This is awesome because the guy is a class act. He did one tremendous deed and he is getting repaid with tickets, memorabilia, and now his own baseball card! That’s a big deal. I know as a huge baseball card collector that being on the card itself is a huge deal to any player let alone a fan. The best part about this is that he makes one catch on a lucky day and now he is not only a celebrity but a star in New York. That’s why it’s the Empire State folks…