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.

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.

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