The Yankees have won 11 straight Opening Day games when playing at home dating to 1986 – and last lost an Opening Day game at home in 1982 vs. the White Sox (7-6 in 12 innings). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it ties the all-time Major League mark held by the Mets, who won 11 straight such Openers from 1971-89.
#NYYOpeningDay fact: The previous 4 times Yankees were swept out of the postseason, they went to the WS the next yr (’23, ’64, ’77 & ’81)
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) April 1, 2013
Different owners these days for the Yankees. Instead of getting even, they’re more concerned with not paying the luxury tax.
By my count, there are 65 media members and three -3!!!- players in the Yankees clubhouse right now
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) April 1, 2013
Just wait for A-Rod to show up…
29 Francisco Cervelli
19 Chris Stewart
55 Lyle Overbay
24 Robinson Cano
36 Kevin Youkilis
26 Eduardo Nunez
17 Jayson Nix
33 Travis Hafner
11 Brett Gardner
31 Ichiro Suzuki
12 Vernon Wells
45 Ben Francisco
22 Brennan Boesch
52 CC Sabathia
18 Hiroki Kuroda
46 Andy Pettitte
47 Ivan Nova
41 David Phelps
42 Mariano Rivera
30 Dave Robertson
62 Joba Chamberlain
48 Boone Logan
27 Shawn Kelley
38 Cody Eppley
43 Adam Warren
I’m guessing that Adam Warren made the team because Girardi feels like he needs a long/mop-up man in April? Related, how did the Yankees bullpen, which was supposed to be a strength, reach there level where Joba Chamberlain is the number three man out there?
I have an urge to record the introductions of the team today at the Stadium. Sans numbers 24, 52, 18, 46, 42 and 30, there’s not many potential 2013 All-Stars there, eh? This one is somewhat historic. Three-quarters of this roster is has-beens and never-were players.
Via Forbes -
The Bronx Bombers are set to open the 2013 season on April 1 with $90 million worth of payroll on the disabled list, as they pick through spring training garage sales to fill out the roster. Of those who do take the field against the Red Sox, none will be younger than 30 aside from outfielder Brett Gardner, who turns 30 in August and who’s coming off elbow surgery.
No Alex Rodriguez, no Derek Jeter, no Mark Teixeira. No Curtis Granderson or Phil Hughes. Not all of them will necessarily be out long, but not everyone on the healthy list will necessarily stay there either (who thinks Kevin Youkillis and Andy Pettitte will put in healthy, full seasons? Or that Jeter will be just fine once he rests his ankle a bit more in early April?).
Short of a miracle, it’s time for the Yankees to look ahead.
Maybe the Yankees will surprise people by holding it together for another season. Maybe 40-ish pitchers Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda will stay healthy and team with CC Sabathia to form a solid starting rotation. Maybe veterans like Ichiro Suzuki , Kevin Youkillis and Vernon Wells will be productive enough to help Cano lead a decent offense, keeping the club above water until the reinforcements arrive from the disabled list.
Most likely, though, the club is going nowhere. Even Granderson (32) and Teixeira (33), the relative babies of the roster, are slipping incrementally past their primes. Studies appearing in publications like Baseball Prospectus show that a typical major leaguer peaks between the ages of 26 and 29. The Yankees have essentially no key players in that category. The club continues to force feed the model of perennial contention as it watches the core rot away.
O.K., so, this is the last pre-season “beware” item that I will share on the Yankees. As I post this, Opening Day 2013 for the Yankees is about 19.5 hours away. No matter what your view on the current state of the Yankees and their prospects for this season, and, no matter what you think about the direction the front office is forging for this team, it’s time to get yourself into a position where you can enjoy this baseball season.
Personally, I am very excited about this year, overall, as a baseball fan. The Central Divisions in both leagues do not appear to be very deep. But, everywhere else, it looks like we should see some good battles in the standings. Teams will be playing with a lot on the line, for the most part.
As far as the Yankees, without question, albeit for whatever reason, this may be the worst collection of talent that they have to open the season in a very long time. And, while many think this is just an early speed bump, I don’t believe it. Yes, Granderson will be back. But, he may suck when he comes back – see the way he closed out 2012. And, there’s a chance that Teixeira and A-Rod come back this year. But, given their recent performance trends and the nature of their injuries, they will not be studs upon their return. Lastly, I fear for Derek Jeter. His age and the fact that his repaired ankle will hurt his mobility suggest his better days are behind him too.
Yet, I am willing to see where it goes with the Yankees. This will be a test on Joe Girardi. And, I don’t think he will fail. Granted, the Yankees, even with Joe as skipper, will probably fall short of a playoff spot. But, I still think they can win 87 games. Heck, I expect them to win that many contests. And, I will try not to wig out that much when they lose 75 games this year – as best that I can…
In Yankeeland, this year, it’s “Expect Nothing; Be prepared for anything!” At the least, it should make for interesting watching…and, I do look forward to do that now.
Via the Times –
Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera was convinced that Alex Rodriguez had made a colossal blunder.
Rodriguez, the Yankees’ standout third baseman, had created a public uproar and infuriated team officials by opting out of his contract, the richest in the history of baseball at the time, seemingly to pursue options with other teams.
“I told him he had to take responsibility and make it right,” Rivera said last week at spring training, recalling how he admonished his teammate in the fall of 2007 and urged him to reconcile with the Yankees. “He had to call them.”
Rivera’s stern telephone call set in motion a negotiation that led to a contract that stands as the largest ever in American sports: $275 million over 10 years. It involved the rapper Jay-Z urging his friend Rodriguez to stay in New York, Goldman Sachs executives stepping in as intermediaries to smooth the negotiations and Rodriguez flying to Tampa, Fla., to ask the Steinbrenners for forgiveness, according to interviews with nearly a dozen people with direct knowledge of Rodriguez’s negotiations.
Within two years, he helped to deliver the team’s 27th World Series title.
But now, five years into the contract, that financial commitment hangs ominously over opening day, threatening to impose itself on virtually every decision the Yankees make and severely hampering management’s ability to cope with the shortcomings of an aging roster.
Well, still, in the end, if Hank Stein has any real stones, he would have told A-Rod to crawl back on his belly and then give him no more than five years. So, maybe Rivera had a hand in getting the parties together…but, it was the Yankees who signed off on the deal with the devil when they were only competing against themselves.
I found this one hatching in my backyard this morning. A gift from the Easter Bunny?
The skinny on a Yankees diehard via The Record -
George Steinbrenner wasn’t interested in posing for a photo, not in an Atlanta hotel bar, not even in the afterglow of Jim Leyritz’s clutch home run in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series. And the Yankees owner always had gotten his way.
But until then, he hadn’t met Richie Deiser.
“I told him I was a kid from the Bronx and I wasn’t taking no for an answer,” he said.
When it comes to the Yankees, nothing stands in Deiser’s way. Not even the late Steinbrenner in his prime.
Deiser doesn’t claim to be the biggest fan in the Yankee Universe, even if he does have two awards to prove it. But Monday is his special holiday.
The magic, hope and sense of renewal that is Opening Day returns when the Yankees host the archrival Boston Red Sox in the afternoon at the Stadium.
Even with stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson starting the season on the disabled list, Deiser will be there for his 31st consecutive home opener.
He wouldn’t miss it.
“I’m addicted to the Yankees,” said Deiser, a postal worker. “Some people are addicted to sugar. Some people are addicted to booze. My addiction is the Yankees.”
He is hardly alone. After all, there will be 50,000 other Yankee fans at the stadium Monday. But his devotion does stand out.
Deiser, 48, has held season tickets since 1983 and owned a ticket plan since 1979. He attends 25 home games a year — down from 50 a few years ago — and five to 10 road games.
The Bronx- and Dumont-bred Deiser lives in Bergenfield. But home is really 161st Street and River Avenue, Section 103, Row 10, Seats 5-6 — the front row in right field just above the auxiliary scoreboard. He hasn’t missed a home playoff game since 1995 — attending all 83 of them. And he doesn’t leave games early “for any reason.”
“That’s basically when I’m the happiest, when I’m at Yankee Stadium,” he said.
If I had any magic powers, I would let Deiser throw out the first pitch tomorrow instead of Sweet Lou.
Jon Heyman goes Henny Youngman on the Yankees:
Take the Yankees. Please.
No one had a worse spring training than baseball’s most storied team, maybe ever.
“I think it’s going to be a long year in New York,” one National league scout said. “I look at that Yankees lineup, and I say, ‘Who are these guys?’”
With two starting-position players leaving via free agency, three more getting hurt in winter or spring and legendary shortstop Derek Jeter still recovering from a broken ankle, at least to start the year the Yankees will field a lineup that appears in segments very manageable and almost unrecognizable. Small ball will be their style, at least to start. Rather hopefully, Yankees people are saying publicly that they believe their proven pitching will tide them over until some of the boppers get back. But behind the scenes, even many of their own people are skeptical.
“We’re not going to sell many tickets if we get off bad,” one longtime Yankees executive said, sounding worried.
Long track records and very big bucks aren’t going to guarantee anything to anyone anymore. The Yankees, baseball’s surest thing for 17 years — they’ve averaged an astounding 97 wins the last 17 seasons, and made the playoffs every year but one — have their highest ever $220 million-plus payroll. Yet, they are far from a certainty.
Just about every team has someone young to be excited about.
Of course, if anyone could use new blood, it’s the Yankees. The oldest team in baseball was the most injured team this spring. The Yankees picked up a new player every few days it seemed, and while they have no great new kids from the farm to unveil, they did acquire Ben Francisco, Brennan Boesch, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay in what one scout joked was akin to their version of a spur-of-the-moment “youth movement.”
The Yankees still can spend cash — this year, anyway. The old money team has figured a way to make it work well into a second decade of unabated success. But many wonder whether their time is finally up. Yes, it may finally be the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.
Via the good folks from Cooperstown today:
Today’s Date in History: 1993 – Peanuts character Charlie Brown hits a game-winning home run – his first round tripper in 43 years. Almost ten percent of the nearly 18,000 Peanuts strips created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz focus on Baseball.
Via Andrew Marchand -
The Yankees are giving away free tickets for their most expensive seats for the 2013 season.
The Legends seats, which normally cost $500-$1,250 per game, stretch from dugout to dugout around home plate. Since the inception of the new stadium in 2009, they have been noticeably sparsely filled at times.
ESPNNewYork.com obtained an e-mail sent to Legends suite licensees on Thursday, which offered “complimentary” Legends tickets for preselected games to multiyear season-ticket holders who own those seats.
A Yankees spokesman said season-ticket holders will receive two tickets per seat and can use them at select games. In other words, if you own two seats, you will receive two more Legends tickets.
“As the 2013 season approaches and the Yankees begin their quest for a 28th World Series title, we are excited to continue extending new benefits to our most valued Legends Suite Licensees,” the e-mail read.
“New for the 2013 season, you will be eligible for a total of ONE complimentary Legends Suite Bonus Tickets for each seat you own to be used during pre-selected game(s) of the Yankees 2013 regular season. The tickets you redeem can be split among various games, subject to availability.”
In explaining their side, the Yankees said they are just trying to give their Legends suite holders added value.
“The Yankees have always provided numerous benefits to our Season Ticket Holders and over the past year we have received requests from our Legends Suite Holders for benefits similar to those provided to other Suite Holders in Yankee Stadium,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said in a statement to ESPNNewYork.com. “For the 2013 season, we have implemented this new benefit for our multi-year Legends Suite Holders based on those requests.”
The Yankees have never extended the offer to Legends suite season-ticket holders before.
Seems like Lonn Trost is treating Yankee Stadium as if it was Fort Zinderneuf – lining up dead soldiers posed at their stations, guarding the compound, for appearances-sake.
I blame sabermetrics. Those familiar with the study of Run Expectancy are always quick to add that “going down on strikes” is merely another vanilla form of being retired – and that the “K” was no better or worse, for the most part, than any other way of being retired as a batter. And, there’s no longer any stigma applied to having a high whiff total. This, batters don’t care and they hack away…
Everyone getting extensions today except for Robby?
Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale, Adam Wainwright, Allen Craig, David Wright, Martin Prado and Gio Gonzalez got extended somewhat recently too.
Cashman on scouring the waiver wire for players: “It’s the American way, buddy. It’s right on the plaque on the Statue of Liberty.”
— Anthony Rieber (@therealarieber) March 29, 2013
Cashman on whether Yanks are seeing what’s “attractive” out there: “They don’t have to be attractive right now.”
— Anthony Rieber (@therealarieber) March 29, 2013
Is Cashman confident he’s made club whole after injuries? “I wouldn’t say confident, because that would be arrogant.” So Yanks not arrogant.
— Anthony Rieber (@therealarieber) March 29, 2013
Cashman: “My job is to find players who are better than what we have. Always.”
— Anthony Rieber (@therealarieber) March 29, 2013
A nice history of the balls used by Major League Baseball:
Brief History on Major League Baseballs
Some time around 1876, Albert G. Spalding and his brother, J. Walter Spalding, obtained the right to produce the official National League baseball, which they would continue to produce for the next 100 years.
The American League, formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs combined with the National league in 1901 to form Major League baseball. Alfred James Reach, owner of The Reach sporting Goods company, sold his company to Spalding in 1889. Spalding continued to use the Reach label to produce American League baseballs beginning in 1901.
NOTE: American League baseballs with the Reach Trademark had Red & Blue stitching, and the National League Spalding Trademark baseballs had Black & Red stitching up until about 1934 when in both league started using only red stitching.
Spalding along with the Reach label was producing Major league baseball for about 100 years until Rawlings took over in 1977, and Rawlings have been making major league baseballs ever since.
Baseball made before 1974 were made with Horsehide covers. In 1974 Major League baseball switched to Cowhide covers.
Rawlings first started to make World Series baseballs in 1978 that features The World Series logo.
One baseball for both leagues. Rawlings introduced the newly designed official Major League baseballs for the 2000 season that also features the MLB Silhouetted Batter logo. Changing from the Official American League, and Official National League baseballs, the Official Major League baseball replaced both balls that were used.
This Date in Baseball History (1973): A’s owner Charlie Finley introduces his newest innovation, the Alert Orange Baseball, in an exhibition game between Oakland and Cleveland. Despite Finley’s claim that the ball will be easier for players and fans to see, it is never used again.
These would have been great in the Homerdome – and maybe useful at Tropicana Field today.
Could it be this?
Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C
Love the commentary in the videos. No punches pulled.
Is every Yankee newspaper columnist contractually obligated to suck up to Brian Cashman and praise his “genius”? Sure seems that way.
— Subway Squawkers (@subwaysquawkers) March 29, 2013
Yup. It sure seems that way…
Expect it to get worse now that Johan Santana is toast. Cashman will beat his chest over that one for days citing how he knew not to trade for him, despite what Hank Stein wanted (at that time).
Of course, Cashman will ignore the fact that Santana was stellar from 2008 through 2010 – and may have helped the Yankees make the playoffs in 2008 (when they missed the dance).
Further, if the Yankees had Santana in 2008, then they – meaning Cashman – don’t have to give A.J. Burnett a bleep-load of cash to come here in 2009 – and then still pay A.J. all that money to go have him pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And, Cashman won’t mention that the players who the Twins wanted for Johan – Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain and Melky Cabrera – haven’t done anything in New York that comes close to what Santana gave the Mets for the first three years of his contract.
Lastly, who knows if Santana blows out his shoulder with the Yankees? Yes, there was concern there – as there is with any pitcher with a lot of innings. But, maybe the super smart Yankees and coaches – and General Manager! – use Johan in a way to protect his shoulder and get more than three years out of him?
Also, let’s see how CC Sabathia is doing from 2014 through 2017 before we say how stupid it is to give a pitcher a ton of dough and a long term deal and then only getting something out of him for the first half of the contract.
In any event, Cashman won’t mention any of this when he’s talking about what a genius he is for not making the Santana deal…and that’s why he’s wily…and has no idea that an anvil is about to fall on his head.
Via the Daily News -
Zack Wheeler, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, was reprimanded last weekend along with teammate Aderlin Rodriguez for an on-field incident that led to ethnic tensions in the Mets’ minor league clubhouse, according to organizational sources.
In a minor league intrasquad game last Saturday, Rodriguez, a 21-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic, homered against Wheeler, 22, and “pimped it” around the bases, as one witness described it. Rodriguez apologized to Wheeler, but the phenom still hit Rodriguez’s teammate with a pitch later in the game. That drew a long glare from Rodriguez, who shouted at Wheeler during a slow walk to first base. At one point, the home plate umpire stepped between the two prospects.
Later, ethnic tensions arose in the clubhouse, according to two people present at the time. “Some of the American guys and some of the Latin guys were circling and yelling at each other,” one source said. The same source added that Wheeler and Rodriguez “are both great kids, competitors, and this stuff just happens sometimes.”
Mets brass reprimanded both players, and the team considers the issue closed. Vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta acknowledged the incident, and said, “We’ve talked to everybody involved, and I think at this point it’s done with.”
Asked if there was any concern about ethnic tensions arising from the incident, DePodesta said: “From our perspective, we treated it as any parent might treat a dispute between two of their kids. You don’t take sides. There is no such thing as sides. You just try to tell them what the right thing to do is, the responsible thing to do, and you go from there. There aren’t any sides taken (by the organization).”
Although the Mets were displeased by Wheeler and Rodriguez’s behavior last Saturday, both players have otherwise impressed the team. Wheeler, acquired in July of 2011 from San Francisco for Carlos Beltran, is one of the top pitching prospects in the game. He saw just two innings of Grapefruit League action this year because of a rib-cage injury, but returned Saturday to game action, and wowed scouts yet again, throwing a 97-mph fastball, high-80s slider, and sharp curveball.
Rodriguez is a power hitter who one evaluator predicted “could hit 25 home runs in the major leagues.” He split last season between Single-A Savannah and St. Lucie, combining for a .274 batting average, 24 home runs and a .324 on-base percentage.
Reminds me of the stories regarding the tension between caucasian players and “Dominicans” (a catch-all term for Latino players that is reportedly used in baseball), as described in Matt McCarty’s Odd Man Out.
CC is the key. If he’s not 10 to 13 games over .500 this year, and good for 200+ IP, the Yankees are toast.
Via the AP –
The mother of a woman accused of stalking New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has abruptly dropped her lawsuit against him.
The New York Post reports that Caroline Meanwell filed documents in court Tuesday to drop the lawsuit.
The suit had alleged that Cashman conspired with her daughter’s former therapist and his legal team to trick Meanwell into calling 911 to discredit her daughter, who had claimed to have a nine-month affair with Cashman.
The suit claimed Meanwell was coerced into telling authorities her daughter, Louise Neathway, was going to kill herself so Neathway would be institutionalized.
Prosecutors say Neathway stalked Cashman and got him to pay her $6,000 by threatening to damage his reputation.
Neathway has pleaded not guilty.
Gotta think Cash settled with her, no?
Man, this is going to be fun. There’s a lot of decisions to be made between today and Monday on both the Yankees 25 and 40-man rosters.
Do you have any predictions on who may be added or cut from both?
What happens with NRI’s Jayson Nix, Ben Francisco, Thomas Neal, Juan Rivera, Dan Johnson and Lyle Overbay? Has someone like Preston Claiborne or Josh Spence pitched their way on to the team? Someone else in the picture that we should be talking about in terms of coming or going? Has Ronnier Mustelier hit his way on to the team? Does Travis Hafner get a buddy pass on his rough spring? Is Brennan Boesch heading to the minors? Goodbye to Cody Eppley?
So, so, many questions…
Only 4 times in the last 17 seasons has Jeter played in less than 150 games (in a year). And, one of those was a year where he played in 149 games – and another was when he played in 148 games.
Something tells me we’re going to be hard pressed to see Jeter play in 130 games (or more) for the Yankees this year.