June 24, 2015

What I would've done with A-Rod's 3,000th hit ball

Quite simply, I would have done what Christian Lopez did with Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit: given the ball back to Alex Rodriguez and accepted any gifts he or the Yankees offered. I'm pretty sure most people would do the same.

But, in case you've missed what's actually transpired, this is not what's happened at all. Instead, a ballhawk named Zack Hample managed to catch the ball and has milked this situation for as much press as possible. Here's one of his latest tweets:
What is he trying to do here? Become friends with A-Rod? In the article linked above, he claimed he "didn’t think the eyes of the world would be on me" after tweeting this, despite being written about in the tabloids day after day.

Still, the ball remains in Hample's possession. Here's his latest update on the talks with the Yankees: “I just have an open dialogue right now with the Yankees. It’s gonna take a little longer, probably a week at least before anything is finalized, if anything is finalized. … I have been talking a lot with the Yankees and I’m hopeful something could work out with them.”

It sounds to me like he's asked for something far beyond a typical request for a milestone baseball.

As a ballhawk, Hample knew exactly where to sit for the best chance at catching A-Rod's homer, and it worked out for him. But if you were looking for betting online, take a look at future odds provided by www.carbonsports.ag.

June 4, 2015

With Tanaka back, the Yankees have a chance

Masahiro Tanaka returned from the disabled list yesterday, and he was flat-out filthy. Here's what pitching dominance looks like:
 

Tanaka was held to a hard 80-pitch maximum in his return, but he made the most of them with seven pretty innings in 78 pitches (3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K).

The only knock on Tanaka's return was it was against one of the weaker offenses in baseball. Still, his stuff looked good enough to get most hitters out: he painted corners with a two-seam fastball, embarrassed hitters with his splitter, and surprised hitters with his backdoor slider.

Tanaka isn't the only surprise on the Yankees this season. Mark Teixeira finally looks healthy and his production has been huge. He leads the league in RBIs (41) and is second in homers (16).

The Yankees are one game up in the relatively weak AL East, but if Tanaka and Teixeira can keep this up that one-game margin should expand.

May 6, 2015

Babe Ruth's insane home run milestones [Infographic]

With Alex Rodriguez sitting on 660 homers, tied with Willie Mays for fourth most all-time, I felt this Babe Ruth infographic by ESPN was worth sharing.

The crazy thing is this infographic only tells half of Ruth's story. Check out his five fairly dominant years of pitching with the Red Sox before joining the Yankees.


April 27, 2015

Coincidence? Bullpen ERA leaders also lead their divisions

The Yankees didn't even get five innings out of their starter last night but still won. How? It's no secret: their bullpen has been untouchable.

No Mariano? No problem. David Robertson put an end to that discussion quickly, but then left for the White Sox and more money.

This year's dynamic duo is Dellin Betances & Andrew Miller, who've combined for 18.2 scoreless innings in 17 appearances. Betances had a "slow" start but has really looked sharp in his last few outings, and Miller has been as filthy as advertised. Esmil Rogers also deserves a shoutout as the go-to long reliever with a 2.84 ERA in 12.2 innings.

After last night's W, the Yankees sit atop the AL East tied with the Rays at 11-8. It turns out the Yankees aren't the only team benefiting from their bullpen. Sorted by bullpen ERA, the top six ranked teams also lead their division, except for the Royals who are a half game behind the Tigers.

But the Tigers are pretty to explain. First, their offense has been explosive in 2015 – I still can't get over how Miguel Cabrera has a .652 AVG against the Indians this year (15-for-23). The Tigers also lead the majors in innings pitched by starters, so they haven't had to rely on their 26th-ranked bullpen as much to win games.

For a bit of context, six of last year's 10 playoff teams had a bullpen ERA in the top 10, including the World Series champion Giants.

Fifty years ago, bullpens were barely even a thing. 

April 13, 2015

Yankees Bleacher Creatures Roll Call

Just attending last night's Yankees-Red Sox game would have been satisfying enough for me. But with a last-minute invite, I found myself chanting with the Bleacher Creatures in the first inning before the Yankees scored seven in the first and went on to a 14-4 victory.

Here's the full roll call video, just a few seats away from Bald Vinny & The Creatures.


ELLS-BUR-Y! ELLS-BUR-Y! ELLS-BUR-Y!

Also, The Boss.
Oh by the way, I've attended two Yankees games this year and they've been their only two victories thus far. Anyone have tickets for tonight?

April 12, 2015

The best time to buy Yankees tickets

Looking to get out to Yankee Stadium? Of course you are. Go ahead and plan your trip out to the Bronx, but consider holding off on purchasing the tickets until just before game time.

According to Rukkus, a website that helps people find the best ticket deals for events, the best time to buy for Yankees game is an hour or two before it starts. 

April 5, 2015

2015 MLB predictions: Yankees & Mets, A-Rod & Severino, World Series, MVPs and more

It's that time again. Baseball is BACK! And so are my annual predictions. 

See below for the usual standings, World Series picks, awards and Yankees player stats. But the real prediction that everyone seems to be buzzing about this year isn't really covered below. That would be the Battle for New York -- who will be better this year: Yankees or Mets?

I say Yankees. Sure, the Mets got Matt Harvey back. He's excellent, but it was really unfortunate for them to lose Zach Wheeler in spring training. Their bullpen hasn't improved much and neither has their hitting. Plus, they play in a pretty tough division with the all-hailed Nationals and hyped-up Marlins. 

The Yankees, on the other hand, play in a very weak division that is totally up for grabs. Heck, I even see them stealing an AL wild card spot. CC Sabathia's velocity (and weight) increase excites me, and so does the fact that their worst injury of the spring was to fifth starter Chris Capuano. He'll be OK, and, if not, I like his replacement, Adam Warren, a lot. 

Bottom line: the Yankees, when healthy, easily have the best staff in the division and maybe even the American League when you weigh in the bullpen too. The hitting is looking, well, old, but we'll see if Alex Rodriguez's good spring was any indicator of how he'll perform this year. We shall see. 

AL East 
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees*
3. Blue Jays 

4. Orioles
5. Rays

AL Central 

1. Tigers
2. Indians
3. Royals
4. White Sox
5. Twins

AL West 
1. Mariners
2. Athletics*
3. Angels
4. Rangers
5. Astros 

NL East 

1. Nationals
2. Marlins*
3. Mets
4. Braves
5. Phillies

NL Central 
1. Pirates
2. Cubs*
3. Cardinals
4. Brewers
5. Reds

NL West 
1. Dodgers
2. Giants
3. Rockies
4. Padres
5. Diamondbacks

*Wild Card Winner 

Playoffs
AL Champion: Mariners
NL Champion: Dodgers
World Series Champion: Dodgers, 6 games

Awards
AL MVP: Robinson Cano
NL MVP: Yasiel Puig
AL Cy: Felix Hernandez
NL Cy: Stephen Strasburg
AL RoY: Kendall Graveman
NL RoY: Kris Bryant
AL Manager: Terry Francona
NL Manager: Bruce Bochy

Yankee Stats 
Alex Rodriguez home runs: 24
Carlos Beltran RBIs: 74
Jacoby Ellsbury OBP: .349
Masahiro Tanaka games stared: 29
CC Sabathia ERA: 3.91
Dellin Betances saves: 21
Andrew Miller saves: 19
Luis Severino holds: 10

Previous Predictions
2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

Results

2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

April 3, 2015

Results for my 2014 MLB predictions

As you'll see below, one glaring thing from last year's predictions is not a single correct call by me in the AL East. Don't expect that to change next year when we look at my 2015 predictions (coming this weekend). Top to bottom, the AL East is one mediocre division.

As a Yankees fan, I of course loved the Yankees and Red Sox (mostly the Yankees) being at the top year after year for a decade. But this is pretty fun too, I guess: Not knowing whether last year's division winner, the Orioles, will finish in first or last.

February 25, 2015

Radio Show: A-Rod, Yankees & Mets discussion

So after Alex Rodriguez made his surprise appearance in Tampa on Monday, my good friend Jeremy Schilling invited me on his weekly online radio show. Topics covered include:

  • A-Rod's impact on the Yankees
  • Who's better in 2015: Yankees or Mets?
  • How the NL can avoid being so pitching-heavy
  • Who's the new leader of the Yankees clubhouse?

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with JSchil1 on BlogTalkRadio

February 19, 2015

More fun A-Rod reading this week

The official report date for Yankees' pitchers and catchers is tomorrow, but next Wednesday might be the biggest media day for all of spring training. Why? That's the day Alex Rodriguez is due to report.

In case you've been living under a rock this week, here are a few A-Rod stories (and reactions) that are worth your while: 
  • First up, a #longread on the Yankees DH/3B/DH/3B/DH (who knows) from ESPN The Magazine: "The Education of Alex Rodriguez." The story reveals very personal details, such as his encounters with a therapist, but here's a fun little excerpt that caught my eye:

February 3, 2015

LINK: How Phil Hughes turned his career around in Minnesota

Phil Hughes quietly had one of the best seasons by any pitcher in 2014 after leaving the Yankees and moving to Target Field. He even set the all-time single season record for best K/BB ratio (11.63). Who knew? Unreal.

But it wasn't really until now when someone finally cared to look into it more closely. That person was Matt Goldman from Beyond the Box Score, an awesome baseball analytics site that I can't recommend enough.

Most people would take one look at Hughes' record and say that Yankee Stadium is simply a much harder stadium to pitch in than Target Field. Sure, that may have been a factor. But, as BtBS points out, Hughes finally figured out an effective pitching style.

Hughes always had great stuff. In Minnesota, somehow he figured out how to use his arsenal most effectively. Would you bet on Hughes duplicating his 2014 success next year? Do all of your baseball betting here.

Here's the game-changing chart, and here's the full article

Keep up the great work, BtBS!

February 2, 2015

Baseball’s most hated player ever: A-Rod or Barry Bonds?

Barry Bonds has the most homers. A-Rod has the most haters. And now we know the two reportedly worked out together this offseason. Watching how the A-Rod Saga plays out during spring training and the season will really be something, especially with the majority of fans feeling the exact opposite about A-Rod as they did about Derek Jeter during his farewell tour.

I don't think Yankees fans generally hate Barry Bonds any more than the average fan. It's not like he broke Babe Ruth's record (Hank Aaron already took the hate for that). But since A-Rod plays for the Yankees and has lied over and over again (while Bonds has simply denied), I believe A-Rod is the most hated ballplayer ever

Brian Cashman re-signed Chase Headley with full intentions of darting him at third base, thereby shifting A-Rod to full-time DH duties. Still, A-Rod had the gall to publicly undermine Cashman's plans by saying he's vying to play third. What nerve.

January 15, 2015

Storify: PITCH Talks: Yankees, Mets & Hall of Fame

Last night, I watched live as some of the best baseball writers in the country fielded questions from former Boston Globe coworker Pete Abraham and an audience of 300 other crazed baseball fans like me.

And yes, as I said I would, I tweeted my brains out. See below for some of the highlights of the 2-hour panel discussion.

January 14, 2015

NYC Event Tonight – PITCH: Talks on Baseball

While I'm no longer working directly in sports journalism as I was at the New York Daily News and the Boston Globe, I still pay attention to the scene and read various beats and writers daily.

An organization called PITCH: Talks On Baseball, a new speaker series about baseball, has planned what sounds like an awesome event that features some of the top baseball writers in the country: Pete Abraham, Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal, Matthew Cerrone, Sweeny Murti, Adam Rubin, Tyler Kepner, and Jay Jaffe.

It's not very often an event with this caliber of writers comes along, so I will be in attendance tonight and, of course, tweeting my brains out.

January 11, 2015

Early 2015 Yankees Projections

It's been a long time since my last writing here but thought there'd be no better a time to return to the blog six years and a day after I started it.

Brian Cashman has made a slew of small moves this offseason that has made the the Yankees a younger team, acquiring a pair of 24-year-olds: Derek Jeter's replacement Didi Gregorius and starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. 

Not exactly the two huge names Yankees fans have become accustomed to welcoming.

But maybe that's just what the Yankees need after missing the playoffs for the second straight season. The Yankees are younger and projected to be a much better defensive team than they've been in years. Getting younger and better defensively are two key ingredients to winning, but in the end it's all about scoring and preventing runs. 

Using pure statistical analysis, FanGraphs projects the Yankees to have a +14 run differential in 2015, ranked 15th overall for an 83-79 record. Doesn't look like the Steinbrenner family can honestly expect a championship in 2015. But that's what faithful fans like me are here for – to attend games, cheer passionately, and not lose hope.

That being said, here's what the Yankees are working with in 2015.

Lineup
Rotation
C Brian McCann RHP Masahiro Tanaka
1B Mark Teixeira RHP Michael Pineda
2B Stephen Drew LHP CC Sabathia
SS Didi Gregorius RHP Nathan Eovaldi
3B Chase Headley LHP Chris Capuano (eventually Ivan Nova)
LF Brett Gardner Bullpen
CF Jacoby Ellsbury RHP Dellin Betances
RF Carlos Beltran LHP Andrew Miller
DH Alex Rodriguez RHP Adam Warren
Bench RHP David Carpenter
C John Ryan Murphy LHP Justin Wilson
OF Chris Young RHP Esmil Rodgers
INF Brendan Ryan RHP Gonzalez Germen
OF/INF Garrett Jones

And here's what it will take for these Yankees to win it all.

September 18, 2014

Gatorade's "Made in New York ft. Derek Jeter" commercial is pretty awesome

Teams lucky enough to host the Yankees this season have presented Derek Jeter with farewell gifts, columnists have produced countless tributes to him, and so have his sponsors.

Now batting: Gatorade.


Unlike Jordan's #RE2PECT commercial, this Gatorade commercial doesn't seem staged at all. It captures natural fan reactions to Jeter walking to Yankee Stadium, and shows him interacting with fans too. It's a great 90-second spot and pulls on your heart strings, especially if meeting Jeter was your childhood dream.

Make sure to retweet the following tweet for a chance to win one of these sweet commemorative Jeter bottles. Gatorade gave me 10 to give away to my readers.

August 18, 2014

Upgraded defense could be the difference for Yankees

Yankees fans love Billy Crystal just as Mets fans love Jerry Seinfeld. In this case, I love Seinfeld more than Crystal, but both are pure baseball guys at heart. Anyway, there's a great Q&A with Seinfeld on ESPN that I implore you to read, simply talking baseball. He touches on a variety of topics.
I've been doing this joke lately, because I turned 60 this year, and people around that age make a bucket list. I made a bucket list, turned the "b" to an "f" and was done with it. If you want to kite surf down the Amazon, go ahead. I'm going to crack open a beer and watch a ballgame. 
When I think of retirement, all I would think of is going to a baseball game every day.
Perfection. Couldn't agree more.

Later in the interview, he's asked about the evolution of statistics in baseball, to which he responds, "I love it. ... There's no such thing as too many stats."

Again, couldn't agree more. One area of statistics that I'm especially interested in as defensive metrics. For starters, it relates directly to my job (I help manage the Wilson Ball Glove social media accounts). 

But more important, the defensive stats currently being used (UZR/150, DRS, etc.) are hurting the game because they're so far off. Yes, hurting, because WAR, a metric that is now widely regarded as the best overall metric to rate a player, can be so heavily swayed by defensive metrics.

Eventually, I hope there will be statistics for each portion of defense (range, throwing power, throwing accuracy) that can then be used to form the most accurate overall metric by averaging those three stats properly weighted for each position.

Until that day comes, it's best to just ignore what's out there and stick with the eyeball test. And let me just say this: anybody with an eyeball can see that the Yankees' infield has taken a turn for the better since Brian Cashman brought in Chase Headley, Stephen Drew and Martin Prado to play third, short and second.

If you only caught the highlights of Sunday's game, you probably saw that Brett Gardner had the key two-run single to give the Yankees a lead. But it was really a win for the defense today. Headley and Prado each had at least a few hit-saving plays and Drew flashed the leather as well. These three are major, major upgrades to Yangervis Solarte, Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts.

They've always had great outfield defense with Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury supplying tremendous range, and we all know what Mark Teixeira can do at first, but now with an infield defense to match the Yankees are starting to win games with their defense.

The Yankees are seven games out of first place but just 3.5 games behind in the wild card race. It may be too early to place bets – if you're into that sort of thing you can do so at william hill online betting – but a few defensive victories could be the difference in playing in October or playing golf. 

July 20, 2014

LAST CALL! Spend Game Day with Derek Jeter

You have until midnight to enter for a chance to have one of your dreams come true.

All you have to do is support Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation with at least a $10 donation, and there's a chance you'll be selected to spend a day with Jeter on game day. The full deets are below, and then try watching the video below and not donating.

It's impossible. #RE2PECT 
The Turn 2 Foundation wants to invite you and three of your friends to come to New York City and go to a private pre-game lunch for four with Derek Jeter at one of his favorite Manhattan restaurants. You will then travel from lunch to Yankee Stadium with Derek and get a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Stadium courtesy of the New York Yankees.

State of the Yankees: Midseason Review

The Yankees just finished off a sweep of the Reds to start the second half and sit three games out of first with a 50-47 record. Despite how poorly they've played, the AL East is still, somehow, wide open for the taking.

Last time I checked in, Yangervis Solarte was leading the team in just about all offensive categories and CC Sabathia had just hit the DL for his knee, which, at the time, I thought was a cover for his poor performance. Today, Solarte is back on the active roster after a massive cold streak sent him down to the minors, and we just found out CC is getting season-ending knee surgery.

Injury Bug
While CC's injury is certainly a concern for his career, it doesn't compare to the impact Masahiro Tanaka's elbow surgery will have on the Yankees season outlook. Tanaka was an AL Cy Young candidate, and now he's likely out for the year. Now, the only member of the Opening Day rotation who hasn't spent time on the DL this season is Hiroki Kuroda.

May 12, 2014

State of the Yankees: Quarterly Review

The Yankees (19-17) are 1.5 games behind the Orioles for the division lead and just a half game ahead of the Red Sox. Before the Yankees start this week's Subway Series, there's the good, the bad, and plenty of first quarter surprises to review. Let's get right down to what really matters, shall we?

Opening Day Rotation
1. CC Sabathia – 15-day DL (knee), 5.28 ERA
2. Hiroki Kuroda – 4.43 ERA, had 5.00+ ERA in August, September & April
3. Ivan Nova – underwent Tommy John Surgery, out for season
4. Masahiro Tanaka – 5-0, 2.57 ERA, 58 K's, what else is there to say?
5. Michael Pineda – 15-day DL (muscle strain) out until June, 1.83 ERA possibly spiked with pine tar

Current Rotation
1. Masahiro Tanaka – proven quickly he's the true ace of the staff
2. Hiroki Kuroda – two strong starts in a row is encouraging for 39-year-old
3. Vidal Nuno – coming off very promising start vs. Angels (W, 6.1 IP, ER, 82 pitches)
4. David Phelps – two decent starts as Pineda's replacement, 4.09 ERA
5. Alfredo Aceves – the only real candidate to replace Sabathia, hasn't made a start yet

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP