• Looking For Holiday Baseball Book Gift Ideas?

    Posted by on November 25th, 2018 · Comments (0)

    I recently read 3 new baseball books and wanted to share a review on them.

    Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game Hardcover – by Rob Neyer

    It’s smart, fun and insightful. It’s one of the best baseball books that I have read this year and one of the better ones that I have read in a long time. You will want to read this one and have it be part of your baseball library. Have no reservations about it. Get this book!

    Baseball Cop : The Dark Side of America’s National Pastime – by Eddie Dominguez

    It’s not the smoothest story ever told. But, it’s an interesting read. For sure, it will show you a side of baseball that most don’t realize exists. And, it really helps the reader understand that people like Rob Manfred and A-Rod are sometimes really bad guys. I came away from this one convinced that baseball really doesn’t care about cleaning up the game – they just care about hiding their dirt and getting in front of it before it becomes public.

    The Story of Baseball: In 100 Photographs – by The Editors of Sports Illustrated

    Fun book. Obviously, lots of great pictures. I enjoyed flipping through the pages. Nice stories accompany the photos.

    2018 Post Season

    Posted by on October 2nd, 2018 · Comments (0)

    The Wildcard is a coin flip. Anything can happen at any time in one baseball game. This is why betting on baseball games is foolish. That said, if the Yankees win, it would really make my day if they could then go on and beat Boston. Anything after that would be gravy, in my mind. This is supposed to be the season of the Red Sox juggernaut. How wonderful would it be for the Yankees to vanquish them? The only thing better would be if the Yankees came back from being down 0-3 to beat them in seven. I swear, literally, I would do a dance in public if that happened. Yeah, like Thanos, I want balance in the universe!

    Andrew McCutchen

    Posted by on August 31st, 2018 · Comments (1)

    Andrew McCutchen? That’s A LOT better than Shane Robinson! But, I guess it means that Judge is not coming back any time soon…if at all this year.

    The Yankees? It’s such a different feel this year compared to last year, isn’t it?

    Anyway, they are not catching the Red Sox. The gap is too big, there’s not enough time, and the team is not talented enough to pull a miracle comeback. As far as the wildcard, it would be a MAJOR upset if they didn’t get one of the wildcard spots at this point.

    Earlier in the season, things were looking great. But, the situation with Sanchez and Bird, Gardner’s poor season, and then the injury to Judge…ugh. And, the pitching? Severino in the second half has been terrible. The pick-ups of Happ and Lynn help…but, it’s not enough. Lastly, I am not impressed with Aaron Boone. He’s not totally terrible. But, he’s not an asset. He’s basically a puppet for the post-game media sessions.

    Other than the Rookie of the Year battle, there’s really not a lot of interesting stuff here with this Yankees team – at least not now. It just seems like nothing goes right for this team any more. (See: Clint Frazier. This would have been the perfect spot for him to get playing time. But, with his injury, we got to watch Shane Robinson instead. Ugh!)

    Maybe they win the wildcard game? That’s not a lock. But, even if they advance to the ALDS, I don’t see them going past that point. The Yankees are not a bad team. But, they are nowhere as good as the really good teams. And, I think it might be the same story next year unless A LOT of guys have really big bounce back seasons.

    PSA for JSA

    Posted by on August 30th, 2018 · Comments (0)

    Still kicking here! Just been insanely busy. I hope to add some Yankees commentary soon. Maybe this weekend?

    Anyway, I’m using this post to try and help my daughter with a modest fundraising goal of hers…in case anyone is interested in helping with it. Even a donation of $1 or $2 would be GREATLY appreciated since she doesn’t need that much to met her target. Here’s the story in HER words and the link to donate follows below:

    As many of you may know, I’ve spent a lot of my time participating in the Junior State of America. JSA is the largest student-run organization in America, focused on engaging high schoolers in debate, politics & government, and activism. Members of JSA can attend a mock congress held in Washington D.C, multiple debate conferences per year, summer programs held at the nation’s top universities, and smaller (yet just as exciting) events within their own schools and communities.

    One of my favorite parts of high school, JSA has given me the chance to improve myself immensely and meet so many incredible & intelligent new friends. I also currently serve on JSA’s cabinet, a selected group of student leaders organizing and running the upcoming year of JSA.

    JSA gives students a chance to voice their opinions, and even more importantly, allows students to listen to others’ opinions and learn new perspectives. The collage of differing stances leads to civil discussion, and that discussion leads to bright new ideas.

    I joined JSA in my freshman year, wanting to learn more about politics & reduce a fear of public speaking. Little did I know then that JSA would not only help me achieve those goals, but also lead to so much personal growth, learning experiences, and new opportunities. My time in JSA has lead me to internships, leadership positions, and most importantly, made me into the person I am today. And I’m only halfway through high school.

    While everyone deserves the amazing opportunity to participate in JSA, not everyone can afford it. For those financially struggling, fees for conferences/hotel/travel/etc can be an obstacle. Your donation can help a student overcome this obstacle and participate to the fullest in this outstanding organization. Even the smallest amounts can make a big difference. Thank you.

    Link to donate is here.

    Harper

    Posted by on July 31st, 2018 · Comments (0)

    Don’t discount the imminent trade deadline and the Aaron Judge injury as factors for the Nationals reportedly putting free agent to-be Bryce Harper on the market. I’m not saying he’s coming to New York. But, that potential fit and the Yankees stable of prospects makes for a great seller’s market for Washington. Sonny Gray, Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and Thairo Estrada for a 2 month rental? It’s possible. The question is…will someone else offer more?

    Still Ticking…

    Posted by on July 27th, 2018 · Comments (3)

    Hey, the Judge thing SUCKS. Really a bad break.

    At this point, it’s wildcard time. And, I’m pretty sure the Yankees will get a wildcard. What happens from there? Man, it would stink to lose a one-game playoff to the A’s or Mariners. But, it’s always possible. Anything can happen in one game.

    Don’t even get me started on Sanchez. DL excuse or not, the thing to always remember regarding Gary Sanchez is that he was somewhat losing favor with the Yankees as a minor leaguer for 3 or 4 years, and as recent as 2014, for a lack of conditioning, being lazy on the field, and for being sometimes insubordinate. That was written off as immaturity when he seemed to turn a corner and reportedly saw the light in 2015 and was knocking on the door of the big leagues. But, maybe that turn was just a blip and we shouldn’t be shocked now when he looks fat and dogs it on the field and seems indifferent to things? It could just be a return to the norm for him. I could really see the Sanchez thing going either way.

    What about me? Yeah, I know, I haven’t been around much. It’s been real busy. I’m still working a temp job and my son’s baseball schedule is crazy. Assuming the rain works out this weekend. He’ll be knocking on his 50th game played since the start of April this year (between school ball and his two travel teams). I haven’t missed a single game. And, when he’s not playing, I am usually the one taking him to practice and workouts. That’s really been my baseball focus this year. He’s a H.S. Freshmen next year. And, he’s already working out with the H.S players this summer. This stuff is starting to get real. May seem funny for some who go back to the beginning with me and this blog. He was a one-year old when I made my first blog post here.

    And, my daughter will be a H.S. Junior this September. The two of them really keep me and my wife occupied. I have to assume that the end of this blog is really coming. It’s been 14 seasons now. I don’t think it’s going to see 15? Anyway, let’s go Yankees!

    Back to my kid…

    Here’s an artsy photo that I made of him playing with some filters of a photo that I took last night. And, a video of him hitting a couple of days ago. Again, this is my baseball life these days. I squeeze the Yankees in where I can…and it’s not very often.

     
    I like this clip because it was a big AB late in a close game against a really good pitcher. It was 0-2 and he fought back to 3-2, with 2 outs and the bases loaded. (That’s why the runners are going.) He singled into left-center to drive in two and make a close game somewhat more comfortable.

    Neil Walker

    Posted by on July 4th, 2018 · Comments (7)

    Things are going GREAT for the Yankees.  No one can say that it’s not happening.  But, can someone please explain to me what is the deal with Neil Walker?  I mean…the greatest G.M. in the history of the game made Louise Meanwell go away like Thanos wiped out half of everybody.  But, for some reason, we still have Neil Walker?  Man, I don’t get it…

    No Pressure Guys

    Posted by on June 20th, 2018 · Comments (6)

    Like A Good Gleyber, Torres Is There!

    Posted by on May 25th, 2018 · Comments (3)

    Please, please, please, let this be real and not something that’s going to pop like a balloon.

    Sonny Gray

    Posted by on May 12th, 2018 · Comments (3)

    He seems like a nice guy and I do hope that he pitches better.

    But, there’s always the case that he may just be another failed Cashman pitching acquisition along the lines of Michael Pineda, A.J. Burnett, Javy Vazquez, Kei Igawa, Nathan Eovaldi, Hideki Irabu, Jeff Weaver, Carl Pavano, Denny Neagle, Kevin Brown, Esteban Loaiza, etc.

    I’m Keith Hernandez

    Posted by on May 12th, 2018 · Comments (1)

    Well, actually, I’m not…

    …but, I did read a review copy of “I’m Keith Hernandez: A Memoir.”

    It’s a really, really, good book. Hernandez is honest, transparent, frank and blunt. This one is no holds barred. It’s also one that’s not for the kiddies. It’s PG-13, at the least.

    It’s the Keith Hernandez story from being a kid until April 1980 – with a little current stuff sprinkled in, here and there. It’s all very interesting and I highly recommend this book – and that’s coming from a Yankees fan.

    This could be the best baseball book of this summer.

    It’s All Good

    Posted by on May 3rd, 2018 · Comments (5)

    It’s been an interesting last 24 days! See? I told you the Yankees would be fine! They are rolling now. Although, can we please stop with the injuries? That said, it’s going to be a fun year. I totally LOVE watching Aaron Judge. You know that other teams have Trout, Harper, and guys like that…where you say “Why can’t we get a guy like that?” Well, we DO have that guy. There’s nothing not to love about Judge. And, Didi…I never thought he would be this good. But, I am happy that he is! And, how about Sabathia!

    Me? It’s been crazy since my last post. School baseball season started the day after that post. And, we’re heavy into travel baseball now too. Each week, my son as two or three school games. And, then he’s playing ball all weekend long too. Last weekend, we were over in Pennsylvania, the weekend before, we were in Mickleton NJ (real far away). This coming weekend, we’re in Yaphank, Long Island. Lots of driving! And, lots of times leaving at 5 AM to head to games. On top of that, in order to make his school games, I have been going into work early and leaving early. Basically, I get up at 5 AM EVERYDAY now – and, I am NOT a morning person.

    It’s all good. School ball stops in about 3 weeks. And, the tournament schedule is lighter in June. (Although, it’s going to be insane again in July.) But, this is his thing and it’s fun to watch.

    For those who have been here since the beginning, remember, he was ONE year old when I started this blog. And, next September, he heads off to High School. Man, that went quick! (Yeah, that’s him in the picture, hitting.)

    Anyway – back to the Yankees. Enjoy it! This is a very good team. I would be shocked if they don’t make the playoffs. What happens there…we will have to wait and see.

    Hello & OMG

    Posted by on April 9th, 2018 · Comments (4)

    Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry guys! Started a new gig 15 days ago and had a serious family emergency 13 days ago. Needless to say, the past couple of weeks have been a blur. And, the two weeks before that? I can’t even remember at this point.

    Things are starting to get back to “normal.” And, it’s baseball season.

    My son had his first game yesterday. Only 55 or so more to go for him over the next 17 weeks. He’s on four teams right now. It’s going to be a busy baseball season! But, that’s all good.

    Now, the Yankees. Gosh, people are freaking! Seriously, it’s been ten games. Chill! They will be fine. Stanton will be fine.

    Look at it this way: Injuries? Yes! Slumps? Yes! Bullpen failures? Yes!

    And, with all that STUFF going on, they’re still playing .500 ball and are just one win away from being on a pace that would get them 97 wins. (Yeah, if they were 6-4 instead of 5-5, that’s a pace for 97.)

    Besides, teams will always have streaks where they hang around .500. It’s what you do during those other times that will make and break your season.

    Can we at least wait until May before we start running guys out of town on a rail and jumping out of windows?

    Neil Walker

    Posted by on March 12th, 2018 · Comments (11)

    I hate this move.

    It’s nothing against Walker. By some reports, he’s a grinder and an above average hitter.

    Sure, Torres is not ready. But, you already have Brandon Drury. I assume he’s getting third. That said, would it have killed you to play Tyler Wade at second and bat him 9th? Do you really need Walker, even if it is super cheap?

    Tyler Wade

    Posted by on March 7th, 2018 · Comments (9)

    He would be my pick to start at second this year. He’s looked OUTSTANDING this spring. And, don’t lose sight of the fact that he had a .380 OBA in Triple-A last year.

    Can The Yanks 2018 Offensive Be As Good As These Guys?

    Posted by on March 6th, 2018 · Comments (5)

    The Greatest Yankees Teams Ever

    Posted by on March 3rd, 2018 · Comments (3)

    Will we be adding 2018 to this list when it’s done and over?

    Franchise History
    Year Tm Lg G W
    L Ties W-L% Finish Playoffs R RA Top Player Managers
    1998 New York Yankees AL East 162 114 48 0 .704 1st of 5 Won WS (4-0) 965 656 D.Jeter (7.5) J.Torre (114-48)
    1927 New York Yankees AL 155 110 44 1 .714 1st of 8 Won WS (4-0) 975 599 B.Ruth (12.4) M.Huggins (110-44)
    1961 New York Yankees AL 163 109 53 1 .673 1st of 10 Won WS (4-1) 827 612 M.Mantle (10.5) R.Houk (109-53)
    1932 New York Yankees AL 156 107 47 2 .695 1st of 8 Won WS (4-0) 1002 724 B.Ruth (8.3) J.McCarthy (107-47)
    1939 New York Yankees AL 152 106 45 1 .702 1st of 8 Won WS (4-0) 967 556 J.DiMaggio (8.1) J.McCarthy (106-45)
    2009 New York Yankees AL East 162 103 59 0 .636 1st of 5 Won WS (4-2) 915 753 D.Jeter (6.5) J.Girardi (103-59)
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 3/3/2018.

    8-1

    Posted by on March 3rd, 2018 · Comments (5)

    Yeah, I know, it’s only Spring Training. But, damn, the Yankees look like no one can beat them. If the Yankees have any problem, they have TOO many good players. (Nice problem to have!) Seriously, there’s guys who won’t make this team who deserve to be playing in the Major Leagues. This team may end up winning two-thirds of their games this year. Maybe more?

    The Baby Bombers – The Inside Story of The Yankees Next Dynasty

    Posted by on February 22nd, 2018 · Comments (2)

    “The Baby Bombers – The Inside Story of The Yankees Next Dynasty” by Bryan Hoch hits book sellers on March 6th. I was fortunate to receive a preview copy and can share some information on the book at this time.

    First, and foremost, this book is beautifully written. Bryan Hoch has amazing story-telling skills. It’s a rich and deep reading experience – every page, from the start until the finish.

    Secondly, it’s page-turner that you will not want to put down. Sometimes books are “good” but you do have to force yourself to read them. This is not the case with “The Baby Bombers – The Inside Story of The Yankees Next Dynasty.” You will skip other things to make time to read this book. I found myself carrying it around with me and reading it anywhere and everywhere because I wanted to read it.

    Lastly, it’s full of insider information and fascinating backstories. It’s a must read for Yankees fans and an enjoyable and insightful read for any baseball fan.

    Remember “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty” that came out almost 14 years ago? “The Baby Bombers – The Inside Story of The Yankees Next Dynasty” by Bryan Hoch is very much like that great book – except on the front end of the story rather than being on the back end. I highly recommend this book.

    Brett Gardner, 2018

    Posted by on February 20th, 2018 · Comments (6)

    Big decision on Gardner at the end of this season. It’s a $12.5M Team Option, or, a $2M Buyout.

    You could make a case that Gardner is one of the ten best left-fielders, all-around, in the major leagues. But, he will be 35-years old in 2019.

    You could make a case that Gardner is one of the Top 25 Yankees players of all-time. But, you also have Stanton, Judge, Hicks, and maybe Ellsbury and Frazier on the 40-man roster in 2019. Lastly, Cave, McKinney and Florial are in the wings.

    It would be fair to say that Gardner is a leader on the Yankees team. But, it’s also fair to say that he’s basically been a league average offensive player the last 3 years and his real value comes from playing the field. And, when the glove, arm, and legs start to go, he’s not a $12 million player.

    I’m sure that Gardner saw the free agent market this past off-season. He’s probably still waiting to see what happens with Melky Cabrera and what kind of deal there is for him.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of season Gardner posts in 2018 and what that means for him afterwards.

    Second And Third

    Posted by on February 19th, 2018 · Comments (11)

    I really don’t understand the debate around who is playing second and third for the Yankees this season.

    Does it matter?

    We’re talking about the 8th and 9th slots in the batting order – and the first seven slots are loaded.

    Seriously, you could play Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade, both, in the infield. And, as long they catch everything in the field, it doesn’t matter what they do with the bat. Literally, they could post an OPS of .600, and, who cares?

    Maybe it will be Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres? Or, maybe it will be Danny Espinosa and/or Jace Peterson?

    As long as it’s not me and you, the Yankees are going to be fine. This team is not going to win or lose because of who is batting 8th and 9th.

    96 In 18

    Posted by on February 17th, 2018 · Comments (5)

    PECOTA has the Yankees winning 96 games this season. And, all things considered, I think that is a reasonable projection.

    Of course, things can always go wrong. Stanton could miss 50 or more games with an injury. Judge could have a sophomore jinx. Tanaka’s elbow could blow out. Bird could prove to be injury prone. There’s probably 20 things that COULD go wrong. But, if MOST things do go well, this Yankees team should win more than 95 games this season.

    The last time I was “this excited” about a Yankees team heading into a season was probably Spring Training of 2001.

    Actually, that 2001 season started a helluva six year run for the Yankees where they were a beast and they really got fat on some weak teams – averaging 98.7 wins a season. Yes, almost 99 wins a year for 6 years! But, of course, there were no rings during that incredible run. And, that’s why most don’t even think about it.

    Anyway…

    96 in 2018 is a fair expectation. Anything less than 94 is a failure. Maybe it could be closer to 100? But, 96 has a nice…well…let’s hope it has a ring to it.

    The Toddfather

    Posted by on February 6th, 2018 · Comments (4)

    Mets got him really cheap. Maybe the Yankees think they can get Moustakas cheaper?

    Happy 20th Cashiversary!

    Posted by on February 3rd, 2018 · Comments (7)

    Today is Brian Cashman’s 20th Anniversary as the Yankees’ GM.

    If it was up to me, I still would have fired him after the 2008 season.

    The Yankees Problem That No One Wants To Talk About

    Posted by on January 28th, 2018 · Comments (5)

    Unless Aaron Hicks starts taking grounders at third, the Yankees have TOO MANY outfielders on their roster. It’s really a shame that they could not unload Jacoby Ellsbury. Yes, it’s good (?) insurance in case someone gets hurt – and Hicks got hurt a lot last year. But, Ellsbury is the 5th outfielder, at best, now on this team. And, he’s going to be a bad citizen if he only gets a couple of PA a week. Hopefully he lights it up this spring and then the Yankees can move him – even if it means eating money.

    Miguel Andújar

    Posted by on January 28th, 2018 · Comments (2)

    I love Todd Frazier’s leadership and what he adds to the clubhouse. That said, I am more excited about Miguel Andújar in 2018 than I am for Gleyber Torres. The kid hit the cover off the ball last year. Let him play third, bat him eighth, and see what happens. The only possible issue for him could be the lack of a mentor on the team who understands his upbringing and culture. Maybe Sanchez and Severino could help? But, they are kids themselves still.

    Andy Pettitte & Jim Palmer, Side By Side

    Posted by on January 25th, 2018 · Comments (4)

    The numbers (here) do not lie.

    Pettitte During WAR Time

    Posted by on January 25th, 2018 · Comments (0)

    The Top 8 pitchers in WAR from 1995 to 2013 are Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Greg Maddux and Andy Pettitte. Johnson and Pettitte are the only LHP in this top eight. (During this time period, Pettitte threw 3,316 regular season innings – by far the most of any pitcher from 1995 through 2013. Only Pettitte, Livan Hernandez, Maddux, Jamie Moyer and Tim Wakefield had 3,000+ IP during that span.)

    Big Game Pitcher

    Posted by on January 25th, 2018 · Comments (1)

    “Jack Morris was a big game pitcher.” Andy Pettitte made 44 post-season starts and his team won 26 of those games. No one else in baseball history has made that many post-season starts where his team won. Next on the list is Tom Glavine with 18 team wins in 35 post-season starts. Pettitte himself earned the win in 19 of those 26 games.

    Moose

    Posted by on January 19th, 2018 · Comments (6)

    Mike Mussina pitched in 537 big league games – all but one as a starter. 157 were in Camden Yards. 136 were in Yankee Stadium. 27 were Fenway Park. 23 were in Toronto. 18 were in the old Homerdome in Minny. And, 10 were in old Tiger Stadium. That’s 69% of his games pitching in parks that were hitter friendly. Oh, and, his also had two games in Coors Field, and, 6 in the old Kingdome, for what it’s worth. That would push the number to 70% of his career total in hitter’s parks. Lastly, he pitched from 1991 through 2008. That’s 14 of 18 years where it was PED city in MLB without a policy against it. That’s why his ERA was 3.68 for his career. There’s no question that he deserved to be in Cooperstown.

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