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Monday, September 15, 2014

Calcaterra: Derek Jeter got a bucket of crabs and a captain’s hat from the Orioles

Crabs, huh? Got to be more careful with the gift baskets, Derek.

We haven’t checked in on Derek Jeter gifts for a while. But this past weekend marked his last visit to Camden Yards as a player, and here was his haul:

   A U.S. Navy Captain’s hat;
   A bucket of crabs, presented by Boog Powell; and
   a $10,000 check in his name for the Miracle League of Manasota, which is a charity that helps kids with special needs play baseball.

JE (Jason) Posted: September 15, 2014 at 10:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, orioles, yankees

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang to be posted; should the Yankees pursue him?

However, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, there might be a new name to enter the ring: 27-year-old Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang (or Jeong-ho Kang). Don’t let his age deceive you—Kang appears to be someone who could start playing in the majors leagues as soon as he’s signed, without needing time in the minors. Cafardo says that Kang’s team, the Nexen Heroes, plan to post him this off-season:

   Kang is going to get posted for a major league job. The righthanded power hitter, who has 38 home runs and 107 RBIs in 107 games this season, is 27 years old and will stay at shortstop or convert to second or third base. He’s listed at 6 feet, 180 pounds, but he looks bigger. The Cardinals were interested early, but a few teams have been added to the mix. Kang has major power and with the absence of it in the majors, he should get some serious money.

Kang’s success in Korea goes beyond the traditional stats as well, though the home run numbers are gaudy enough to be intriguing regardless.

Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jung-ho kang, korean baseball, yankees

Monday, September 08, 2014

NYP: Andy Pettitte skipped Jeter Day … to go elk hunting

For committing the unpardonable sins of hunting deer and spurning St. Jeter—obviously, the only thing worse would be to hunt The Captain while he’s on his 10-day holiday in Tuscany—we have a new History’s Greatest Monster:

Andy Pettitte was the one notable absence Sunday at Yankee Stadium for Derek Jeter Day. Jeter’s former teammate was busy elk hunting in Colorado with family, his son Josh tweeted.

Josh Pettitte tweeted a photo of him and his father, each in a hunting outfit.

“He had a trip planned long ago with his family,” agent Jim Murray told The Post. “He was upset that he could not make it today, but he will be [at Yankee Stadium] before the end of the season.”

JE (Jason) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 08:49 AM | 360 comment(s)
  Beats: andy pettitte, derek jeter, hunting, yankees

Sunday, September 07, 2014

NY Post: Stars and fans embrace Jeter in Yankee Stadium ceremony

Jeter received numerous gifts from the Yankees, including a massage machine — since he’s old and retiring, get it? — a commemorative crystal, a trip to Italy and a donation of $222,222.22 to his Turn 2 Foundation.

First 20,000 Women (18 and over) received a gift basket including an autographed ball. :)

bobm Posted: September 07, 2014 at 05:35 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, yankees

Saturday, September 06, 2014

NY Times: The Man Who Spins Pinstripes Into Gold

Brandon Steiner’s mind was churning as he watched the groundskeepers carrying their rakes off the Yankee Stadium infield.

“I can sell those,” he said. “I can put a plaque on them and have Derek sign them.”

What Yankees fan, he asked, wouldn’t want to gather fallen leaves or clear a garden with the rakes that once smoothed the dirt on which Derek Jeter roamed?...

“Pre-Steiner, we had two sets of bases for the season, and we’d repaint them and put them back on the field,” said Scott Krug, the Yankees’ chief financial officer. “Now we use at least three sets a game.

Jeter signed many of those bases, and many other artifacts, as he became the central athlete in Steiner’s business. When Jeter was on a path to 3,000 hits, Steiner masterminded much of the merchandising. He has a similar role for Jeter’s final season, a year after managing the sales of collectibles during Mariano Rivera’s retirement tour.

Before the season, Steiner published a 62-page Jeter catalog, and fans now can buy items like his shoes, his caps and the balls he throws to first base. ”...

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 06, 2014 at 07:04 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: business, yankees

Friday, September 05, 2014

No No: A Dockumentary - Rotten Tomatoes

No No: A Dockumentary, a portrait of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis and the no-hitter he threw while on acid, is at 100 percent.

Movie Info

On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 137 years of organized professional baseball, it’s the only no-hitter tossed while the pitcher was on LSD. Dock was often embroiled in controversy on and off the field. While professional baseball hadn’t fully embraced racial equality, he was an outspoken leader who lived the expression ‘Black is Beautiful!’ His fearlessness enabled him to become one of the most intimidating pitchers of the 70’s and a trailblazer for a new wave of civil rights. (C) The Orchard

Unrated, 1 hr. 40 min.
Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By: Jeffrey Radice
In Theaters: Sep 5, 2014 Limited
The Orchard - Official Site

The District Attorney Posted: September 05, 2014 at 11:04 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, dock ellis, mets, movies, no no a dockumentary, pirates, rangers, yankees

Tim Sommer: Jeter Will Rise Again! The Truth Behind His So-Called “Retirement.”

Past a divining Jeter…re-kill yr. idol.

A true rumor defies the post-space age hum of the Internet. A true rumor is like a summer rain: it may come on suddenly or it may not come at all, it may be sensed as a lithium lightness in the air when it is an eighth of a mile or a way or it may not even be believed after it has already occurred.

The gravest keepers of baseball’s most somber secrets, those who hover around (and above) the game at a Templar-like level of secrecy and power, are beginning to talk in tones hushed but firm that September 28, 2014 may not be Derek Jeter’s last game as a player.

First, a tiny dollop of back-story to explain how I have gained access to these secrets, and to underline my credibility: Many years ago when I was working in Los Angeles at a major record label, I made the acquaintance of a fellow from a group called Corporis Fraternitatis Giamatti. In exchange for access to master tapes of unreleased material by some very major rock bands, this person would give me remarkable inside information on MLB injuries, potential trades, home-team favorable groundskeepers, even stadium PA system operators who would feed tones through the system that could disturb an opposing pitcher or batter (but were undetectable to the human ear). There was more to this transaction, by the way: The CFG, in league with a sometimes allied, sometimes rival organization called Nos Custodire Moe Berg Sepulcrum, would sell bootleg CDs gleaned from these musical rarities (this was before the ubiquity of free downloads and streaming). With the profits, they would finance some of their more shadowy operations, including deeply entrenched groups that sought to overturn Interleague Play and the DH Rule; one of the more extreme splinter cells, Земля за Sabermetrics, was determined to use every means possible, including violence, to end night baseball (it was rumored that Земля за Sabermetrics were involved in the 1996 on-field death of umpire John McSherry). This was all very interesting and very, very hush-hush.

...After 40 days, Jeter’s mysterious and almost miraculous “resurrection” tour will end as abruptly as it started. Those fortunate enough to have seen Jeter, post-retirement, in uniform on the baseball fields of the Caribbean, will have their lives changed forever, and they will have a renewed faith in the power and glory of Derek Jeter, a faith that will warm them and inspire them for the rest of their lives.

And Peter of Gammons will proclaim: “He has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in the Bronx: ‘The Son of Sanderson must be delivered over to the hands of statisticians, be criticized and on the third day be raised again.’ ”  And Jim of Rome will say “Then Jeter came to them and said, ‘All authority in Cooperstown and in Bristol has been given to me.  Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you, with the possible exception of an endorsement I made for Florshiem. I mean, really, can you imagine me wearing anything from Florshiem? And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ ”

Repoz Posted: September 05, 2014 at 10:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Brisbee: Finding baseball’s most hopeless franchise

The included tweet should guarantee the honor just on principle.

Old teams in large markets with thin farm systems

This is where the Phillies are. This is where the Yankees are. Here be the White Sox… None of these teams will ever qualify for most-screwed status, though… their large-market status will always guarantee that there’s someone in a worse spot.

Older teams in small markets

The Reds might really be screwed… A lot of what makes the Reds a sorta-contender now, though, could still be good in the future… In about a week, the Brewers could be here… A lot of their best players are still 30 or under, though, so I’m not sure if they’re close to an “old” team just yet…

Cursed teams

the Padres… have a respected farm system, for what it’s worth, and they have young talent on the roster. Heck, they’re close to .500 right now because they’ve proven adept at developing pitchers, at least the ones who stay healthy.

They make the list, though, because they’re the Padres…

The Rockies

They get their own category because they win. What are the Rockies? Have you ever seen a team like this, a team so committed to its GM through 90-loss seasons, unless that’s not really the GM? An owner who might be something of a meddler and whose brain might be filled with gestational YouTube comments that he filters through his fingers and shares with fans?

Their franchise players are chronically hurt, and they have a long track record of breaking young pitchers, both in body and spirit. Everything about them is a mess right now, from the top down. That’s all before you get to the worst part: They already start with the biggest disadvantage in baseball, the thin air of Coors Field… It’s one of the Hilbert problems of baseball, except it’s been the same mathematicians working on the problem for the last 15 years, and most of the available evidence suggests they’re using a watch calculator with the “7” key missing.

The District Attorney Posted: September 04, 2014 at 04:27 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, mets, padres, phillies, reds, rockies, white sox, yankees

Ichiro Talks Shit In Spanish, And Latin Players Love Him For It

Ah, mierda!

   Veteran first baseman Carlos Pena remembered one of his frequent encounters with Ichiro. He was defending first for the Tampa Bay Rays, and Ichiro had just arrived on one of his patented infield hits. Ichiro peered over at Pena and asked, “Que coño tu mira?,” or, “What the hell are you looking at?” Pena clamped his lips together to prevent the laughter from bursting through.

Ichiro’s apparently been doing stuff like this for years, and it seems to have made a real impression on Latin players around the league:

   Some years later, at the 2004 All-Star game in Houston, the seven participating Venezuelan players lined up for a commemorative photo. But eight players appeared in the shot when Ichiro was summoned over and asked to stand right in the middle. That was when Miguel Cabrera, then with the Marlins, first met Ichiro.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:13 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, latino players, profanity, spanish, trash-talking, yankees

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter

The indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is often portrayed as the perfect team player, but the inevitably poor production of his age-40 season is putting the Yankees in a bind from which only he can free it. The reason so many people get annoyed with Derek

EvilBoWeevil Posted: September 02, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 162 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Klapisch: Yanks need Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira to lead way to postseason

Mark sends a Tex message! (okay…who pressed the new Invisible Tex app?)

September will require more than a better winning percentage, it means a full makeover for Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira, who combined to hit .201 with 14 RBI in August. The two were part of a much larger problem for the Yankees, who rank 13th in the American League in runs and have a minus-27 run differential. ESPN.com says it’s practically hopeless, giving the Bombers a mere 5 percent chance of getting to the playoffs.

The lineup poses two distinct problems for Joe Girardi in particular. He has no everyday replacement for Teixeira, yet watches his first baseman struggling to make contact, let alone drive the ball into the gaps. Over the last month, Teixeira has been striking out once every three at-bats, a decline so steep one talent evaluator said, “It feels like I’m watching a totally different player” than the one the Yankees signed in 2009.

“[Teixeira] only seems to hit mistakes now,” said the scout. That’s what’s so demoralizing to ownership: Teixeira is owed another $45 million through 2016, which means the Yankees are stuck with him, just as they’ll be left to figure out what to do about Carlos Beltran, who’s also signed through ’16.

...To be fair to Jeter, he’s stayed healthy all year, playing 111 games in the field. He’ll likely finish with at least 130, making good on a vow to overcome the effects of a devastating ankle fracture in 2012. But the grind appears to have had a corrosive effect on Jeter, as it would any 40-year-old. One major-league executive said, “Derek just looks tired sometimes.”

Good luck trying to get Jeter to understand the concern. His legacy is secure, his popularity with the fans at an all-time high. There’s no doubt Jeter would be embarrassed by a demotion to, say, the No. 6 spot. But what choice does Girardi have? He’s on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second straight year – a catastrophic setback for a franchise that spent $483 million last winter to ensure October wouldn’t be dark again.

 

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:35 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Sharp: Yankees chasing history down the stretch

This: “If the Yankees maintain their current season pace, they would become the first team in major-league history to post back-to-back winning seasons while being outscored by at least 20 runs in each year.”

The reasons for the Yankees outperforming their expected record in 2013 and 2014 are pretty clear.

The team has played extremely well in close games, going a combined 92-60 (.605) in games decided by two runs or fewer since last year, which is easily the best such record in MLB over the last two seasons. They led the majors in 2013 with a 50-30 record and are tied with the Orioles for the best record this season (42-30).

And they have been on the losing end of a lot of blowouts, going 29-38 in games decided by five or more runs, one of the worst marks in baseball since 2013. This disparity in their record in close/blowout games easily skews their run differential into the red.

Some people may argue that the Yankees have been “lucky” to win these close games. But the fact that they have done so in consecutive years probably means that more than simple luck is involved.

So what has been the Yankees’ “secret sauce” during this historical run of beating their expected record over the last two seasons?

...Simply put, the Yankees’ late-inning guys are not letting batters get on base in these close games, keeping enough runs off the board to either preserve the team’s slim lead or give the anemic offense a chance to win with a rare clutch hit or two.

So after the Yankees postseason odds inevitably reach zero this season and as you count down the days until Number Two tips his cap for the final time, remember that there will be one statistical record within reach for this Yankee team… albeit one that may be more forgettable than remarkable.

And, needless to say, while the Yankees’ current two-year stretch of defying their run differential at historic pace is quite a feat, it’s one that most fans would gladly replace with a couple postseason appearances and meaningful games to watch in October.

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Madden:Captain Catch-22: Offenses suffer with Derek Jeter, David Wright in prime batting order spots

Carleton Carpenter, Debbie Reynolds and Aba Daba Honeymoon incredibly still live on from ‘51…so should grace saving Batting Averages!

On the other hand, Jeter’s decline, in which, since late June, he’s had more parting gifts from opposing teams than extra base hits, has been both sad to watch and a real dilemma for Yankee manager Joe Girardi. While it would be tough to finger Jeter as the primary culprit for the Yankees’ offensive struggles this season — there are plenty of other more worthy candidates for that in the middle of the order — his inability to get around on almost any hard-throwing righties, his seven extra base hits since June 24, and the 12-point drop in his batting average since Aug. 1 cries out for moving him out of the No. 2 hole to the bottom of the lineup. But even though Girardi so famously stated he wasn’t hired to manage a farewell tour, he’s forced to do just that because moving Jeter would create a whole new media controversy that this delicate Yankee season doesn’t need.

At the same time, suggestions that Girardi should start giving more and more at-bats at shortstop to defensively superior Brendan Ryan or Stephen Drew are absurd, if only because neither of them is going to provide any added juice to the lineup, or is being groomed to succeed Jeter next year. Rather, for all of us who have admired Jeter’s sustained excellence and nobility these past 19 seasons, the hope is he just finishes the season respectably and not in the throes of a prolonged slump that drops his batting average — his one saving grace right now — to under .250 or worse. Remember, Joe DiMaggio hit .263 his final season, at only 36. So much has been said about the Yankees needing to get Jeter to just one more October. But considering the way Jeter is struggling down the stretch, maybe, for his sake, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the finish line came sooner.

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2014 at 06:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, yankees

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka shut down with ‘general arm soreness’

General Arm Soreness isn’t undefeated like General Winter, but…

After being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in July, New York Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka has been rehabbing diligently in hopes that he’ll not only avoid Tommy John surgery, but return and contribute to New York’s rotation’s again during the 2014 season.

Until Friday, anyway, the news had been surprisingly encouraging. Tanaka had passed several important tests, including most recently throwing a 49-pitch simulated game on Thursday, which seemingly put him on track for a September return.

However, the news on Friday was a little less encouraging for the Yankees new ace.

Tanaka is experiencing general arm soreness. He will return to NY to do some strengthening exercises. No appointments scheduled with doctors
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) August 29, 2014

... It’s probably good news that there’s not enough concern to schedule another doctor’s visit right away. That said, it’s a little surprising the Yankees wouldn’t have the elbow closely examined again… While this season isn’t lost yet, Tanaka at anything less than one-hundred percent wouldn’t provide the difference maker they need anyway. There’s no sense continuing to push beyond this point unless there’s reason to believe real progress has been made, and any time that’s wasted now could cost them time (and money) down the line.

The District Attorney Posted: August 30, 2014 at 03:07 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, masahiro tanaka, yankees

Friday, August 29, 2014

After awkward attempt at game-saving catch, Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki gets testy with reporters

“But now frustration and heartache is what you got…”

Ichiro Suzuki, suspected of flubbing a catch that could have saved the Yankees on Thursday, got testy with reporters who wanted to know exactly what happened on the game’s final play.

Ichiro appeared to botch an attempt to catch Mike Avila’s walk-off hit, which gave the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 victory. And when the questions persisted, an exasperated Ichiro told a reporter to watch the replay himself for an explanation, and he even slapped his own leg at one point.

As Avila’s two-out, first-pitch rip off reliever Shawn Kelley flew toward the right-center seats, reliever Sean Kelley hung his head, slammed his glove to the ground and walked off the field, sure it was a homer. Catcher Brian McCann said he refused to watch the ball for the same reason.

Ichiro, playing at about regular depth, raced toward the wall. When he got near, he leaped in an attenpt to catch the ball, but it landed several feet toward center, and near the wall’s base. When he leaped, Ichiro also seemed to duck.

The strange effort led to a string of reporter’s questions: Was he trying to catch it? Did he think he had a chance? Was he trying to catch it on the fly or off the wall—which would have been useless given the runner on second.

 

 

Repoz Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:07 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, yankees

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Markusen: Seinfeld, Sabermetrics and Ken Phelps

Bruce, Bill James made me love Phelps also, but c’mon, they already had Don Mattingly and Jack Clark, it was never gonna work.

this year marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of Seinfeld, arguably the most successful sitcom in the history of American television. This month (August) also marks the 60th birthday of Ken Phelps, one of the poster children for Bill James’ Sabermetric movement of the 1980s…

Phelps had had drawn the Yankees’ interest since 1985, when Billy Martin had instructed the front office to do whatever it took to get him. Three years later, Phelps finally arrived, too late for Martin but just in time for new manager Lou Piniella. Here was the plan. Phelps would DH against right-handers, allowing the Yankees to alternate days off for Jack Clark, who was 32 years old, and Dave Winfield, who was 36. To make the trade even more favorable for New York, scouts had their doubts about Buhner, the primary ingredient the Yankees sent to the Mariners. Buhner, a onetime prospect with the Pirates, had several holes in his uppercut swing, struck out at an alarming rate, and appeared ill-suited for Death Valley at the old Yankee Stadium.

So on all fronts, trading Buhner for Phelps made me happy. Unfortunately, Piniella, who was early in his career as a field boss, couldn’t figure out how to get Phelps into the lineup more regularly. (In fairness to Piniella, the injury-prone Clark complained about having to move back to the outfield to make room for Phelps, making life more difficult for Sweet Lou.) ...

Although Phelps’ Yankee career will never amount to a Yankeeography, he is far from forgotten. Quite the contrary, he has become a popular culture icon, thanks to the efforts of Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, and the mythical George Steinbrenner (voiced by the brilliant Larry David)... Much like Larry David did in voicing the role of George Steinbrenner, I found myself saying “Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps” a lot in 1988, to the point that his name became an obsession with me. I thought he would become the next big thing in New York. It never happened. But I understood where George Steinbrenner was coming from. And if you were a Mariners fan in the mid-1980s, you probably did, too.

The District Attorney Posted: August 28, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, ken phelps, mariners, sabermetrics, television, yankees

Fangraphs: Sullivan: Anatomy of a Disaster.

Numbers are the easy part, so let’s start with some numbers. David Price got thrashed by the Yankees, ending with twice as many hits allowed as outs recorded. He was charged with eight runs, all of them scoring in the top of the third, which Price began, but which Price was removed from without getting an out. That third inning saw Price allow nine consecutive hits, the first time that’s happened to a pitcher since 1989. The all-time record for consecutive hits in an inning by a team is 11, and that was in Colorado. Never before had Price allowed nine hits in an inning. Never before had he allowed eight hits in an inning. Never before had he allowed seven hits in an inning. Never before had he allowed six hits in an inning. In Price’s previous game, he one-hit the Rays.

Price on Wednesday got one swinging strike. His previous season low was six. In his regular-season career before Wednesday, he’d allowed at least nine hits just 20 times. He’d allowed at least eight runs just four times. Price set a new career Game Score low, of 2. In Price’s own words: “That was probably the worst game I’ve ever had in my life.” It was an awful game, but really, it was an awful inning. And, technically, it was an awful fraction of an inning. David Price is one of the best known pitchers in the universe.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: comedy, david price, tigers, yankees

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kapler: Pinstriped Yarmulkes

“the day we proclaim the King of the Universe”... wait, that’s what I thought Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium was.

This year, Derek Jeter dons his stripes at Yankee Stadium for the final time on one of the holier days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah. It also gives me a chance to pose a question to all of the media members. The tables have turned, punks. For those of you who are also members of the tribe, will you be covering this game?...

Granted, I’m not Sandy Koufax. I’m not even Kevin Youkilis or Shawn Green. Hell, I’m probably not Scott Feldman. The likelihood of my being in the lineup on any given Jewish holiday was roughly the same as the odds of a left-handed pitcher (or Kent Bottenfield) being on the mound.

That didn’t stop the reporters from asking.  “Gabe, what’s your plan? Will you play?”

My reply was always the same.

“I’m ridiculously proud of my Jewish heritage. I have a Star of David tattooed on my body for that reason. That said, I don’t practice Judaism. It would be awfully hypocritical for me not to be available to my manager and my team if I wouldn’t be attending synagogue. I’m just as likely to be setting my fantasy football lineup as reading from the Torah.” ...

This isn’t an article about whether to play (or work) or not to play. Nor is it a discussion about Jewish holidays. Instead, it’s just a chance to ask the media the question I was always asked. There are lots of Jews in the New York media who will be deciding whether to be loyal to their synagogue or to the Captain on September 25th. I won’t be in Yankee Stadium the day Jeter waves goodbye; I’ll be in Los Angeles. What will you do? Before you answer, I have your rabbi on speed dial. How’s that for some good old-fashioned Jewish guilt?

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:54 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, religion, yankees

Yankees To Sign Chris Young

Met mojo… Yankee mojo… we know how this turns out, right?

The Yankees have agreed to terms with outfielder Chris Young on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter)...

after signing a one-year, $7.25MM contract… The former Diamondback batted just .205/.283/.346 in 287 plate appearances with the Mets before being designated for assignment and ultimately released earlier this month…

With Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury locked into left and center field, respectively, Young could potentially join a right field mix that includes Ichiro Suzuki, Martin Prado, Zelous Wheeler and Carlos Beltran if added to the roster.

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:48 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: chris b. young, transactions, yankees

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yankees undefeated with relief pitcher wearing horse’s head

How about naming it after Legolas’s horse?

At the bottom of Shawn Kelley’s locker sat 1.1 pounds of horror. It had giant nostrils and a full set of teeth and frightened brown eyes and a lovely mane. It is the New York Yankees’ new good-luck charm… Since he debuted the horse head during the Yankees’ pregame stretch Thursday, they are 5-0…

Kelley tries to make the performance all his own. He ran around the clubhouse wearing the head after Monday’s win and high-fived teammates. He’ll bring it on the field before games, looking like a pinstriped Hayagriva.

“You can’t help but laugh at a guy in a horse head,” Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. “He nails it. When he goes into character, there’s no getting him out of it. He’s a rock star. That’s what he is.”

Every animal needs a name, of course, and this one offered tantalizing possibilities. Khartoum? Probably too obscure. Secretariat? Certainly presumptive for a team that at the time sat two games over .500. George? Well, The Boss did own and breed racehorses for years, though were he still around he probably would’ve fined Kelley and called him a horse’s ass for wearing it.

“Seabiscuit,” Kelley said. “That’s what we’re calling him.”

The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: shawn kelley, yankees

Fan puts Derek Jeter’s head on the Mona Lisa, terrifies the world

Are you warm, are you real, Derek Jeter
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art sculpture

llo

With Derek Jeter’s retirement coming at the end of the year, people are falling all over themselves to pay tribute to the surefire Hall of Famer. Teams are giving him gifts. Fans are making him signs and corn mazes. And then—AHHHHHHHHH

Repoz Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: art shamsky, royals, yankees

Sunday, August 24, 2014

HardballTalk: White Sox veteran Paul Konerko gets autographed base from Yankees in final trip to Bronx

Derek Jeter has been collecting retirement gifts in every road city that the Yankees have traveled to in his farewell season, but he did the presenting Sunday afternoon in New York …


Madden: After coming up aces at trade deadline, Athletics and Tigers look lost at the plate

RBI’s! Fraternization! Smith Wigglesworth’s Plumbers Guide to God! More new old world speak from Bill Madden!

Whereas the Tigers’ decline in offense can be directly traced to injury-riddled Miguel Cabrera’s power outage — three homers since July 1, and just one with eight RBI in August — and the return to earth of J.D. Martinez, who’s dropped 42 points off his batting average since July 13 and has just 10 RBI (three of them in one game) in August, there also seems little doubt the A’s are just not the same without Cespedes providing middle-of-the-order protection for Josh Donaldson (2 HRs, both in the same game, 8 RBI in August) and Brandon Moss (no homers since July 24 and four RBI in August). Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija, for whom Beane traded top shortstop prospect Addison Russell to the Cubs, has lost his last two starts and is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA as an Athletic, while Lester, in his previous two starts before Saturday’s no-decision, failed to get past the sixth inning, with a yield of three earned runs in both. For this, they traded their cleanup hitter?

...—I’m told morale in the Mark Newman Yankee minor league system is at an all-time low as the pitch count and innings limits obsession goes on, with minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson calling the dugouts each night from his compound in Tampa and ordering when pitchers should be pulled from games. A couple of weeks ago at Triple-A Scranton, they ran out of pitchers two straight nights and had to use position players to finish the games! Joe Girardi lost two games Michael Pineda pitched because the rehabbed righty wasn’t prepared to go beyond 70 or 80 pitches. At least neither Scranton nor Double-A Trenton will be in the playoffs so there will be no place to extend the seasons of their better pitchers and further tax their arms. And speaking of morale, I’m also told the players at Trenton were wondering about continually-entitled catcher Gary Sanchez going on a three-day leave to be with his wife who was giving birth — right there in Trenton. “You’d have thought he might have at least come by the ballpark to work out,” grumbled one Trenton insider.

—The announced attendance at Thursday’s Little League World Series game between Illinois and Pennsylvania was 34,128 — or 14,939 more than the Tampa Bay Rays drew the same day against the Tigers in David Price’s return to St. Pete. Maybe Stu Sternberg needs to think about signing Mo’ne Davis. By the way, was that really Price hanging out and playing video games in the Rays clubhouse before Tuesday night’s game? Whatever happened to the fraternization rules in baseball?

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Japan Today: Fanatic fans oblivious to sleazy side of Koshien high school baseball

My local sports team can beat your local sports team.

Whatever else you may think, opines Jitsuwa Bunka Taboo (Oct), Koshien high school baseball is, in reality, nothing more than the club activities of certain high schools that are organized into a national tournament. So what is it, the magazine wonders, that makes grownups such fanatical enthusiasts for this “sport” that they want to watch it on TV all day long?

“Reisei ni kangaete Koshien ni miryoku ga nai” (if you think about it calmly, Koshien has no appeal), reads the subhead that follows.

Greg Franklin Posted: August 21, 2014 at 02:56 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: high school, japan, training, yankees

FG: Brian McCann Probably Couldn’t Be Given Away For Free

Take a real class about McCant’s!

Much has been made of [Brian] McCann and his issues facing the shift, and that’s true to an extent… [but] He’s always been shifted on. It’s overly simplistic to put it all on that.

Besides, McCann has been doing what he can to avoid it. His grounder rate of 33.0% is easily the lowest of his career, and… He’s actually in the top 15 as far as lefty hitters going the other way…

McCann’s walk rate [has declined] pretty steadily from 2010 until now, where it’s less than half what it was, and this is sort of the thing: McCann’s lousy year isn’t any one thing. It’s a few small things, adding up… McCann’s power, which everyone figured would translate well to the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, hasn’t come with him. It’s actually less that he’s failed to take advantage of right field in the Bronx, and more that it’s been the only thing making his homer totals look even respectable… Every single one [of his homeruns] is out to right field; all but two are at Yankee Stadium…

McCann will need to improve considerably just to get back to being a league-average hitter, and even with how difficult it is to find offense from behind the plate, that’s not exactly what the Yankees were hoping for when they invested so much in him over the winter.

The District Attorney Posted: August 21, 2014 at 01:49 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: brian mccann, sabermetrics, yankees

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