Hal Is Drinking The Small Sample Size Kool-Aid

Hal S 2014

Yesterday’s rainout gave everybody an extra day to process the first 13 games and form some more opinions on what this team needs right now.  Obviously the infield is the biggest area of concern, but not according to Hal Steinbrenner.  Speaking to reporters for what I believe is the first time since the regular season started, Hal shared his thoughts on the Yankees’ current infield situation.  They were unanimously positive:

“I’m pretty content with our infield right now.  I think guys like Anna and Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson has been good. Derek is healthy. So so far, so good. But it’s early.”

Nothing to really argue with there.  If I wanted to pick nits, I could say that calling Derek Jeter “healthy” when he just had to miss a few games due to a sore quad is a bit of a stretch, but I won’t go there.  Hal’s basically right about everybody he mentioned in that statement.  …

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Rainy Night Open Thread: 4/15/14

This is what happens when a game is rained out:

Stacey posts 80′s music videos about the rain.

If I really wanted to be a smartass, I’d post as many rain videos as possible but I’ll spare you. This time.

So yes, the Yankees and Cubs, as you already know, were rained out tonight and in a somewhat seemingly unprecedented move, the Yankees called the game which was scheduled for 7:05p before noon. They scheduled a separate admission doubleheader tomorrow for 1:05p and 7:05p.

Anyway, this is your open thread. Feel free to discuss whatever your heart desires: baseball, weather, songs, etc.

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How Did The “Pine Tar” Affect Pineda’s Performance?

To most, it was fairly obvious that Michael Pineda had pine tar on his hands during the first 4 innings of his last start against the Red Sox. (Though I do think it could have been BBQ sauce.) Pineda denied it, calling it dirt and sweat, but it’s hard to believe that it took him 4 innings to wipe it off, especially as the slick surface of mud would likely have an adverse effect on his command. The mysterious glob also moved over to his wrist after the NESN broadcast found the substance. The fact that it remained for so long and moved around to a more concealing area makes the situation awfully suspicious.

NESN called Pineda a cheater, however the Red Sox’ coaches and players had no problem with whatever Pineda used. It’s an accepted practice to break this rule, and the Red Sox’ own Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester have repeatedly been accused of using their own gripping agents.…

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Gardner and Ellsbury Living Up To New Contracts

When the Yankees signed Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury to contracts this winter it represented a pretty big change for them and it has paid huge dividends so far.

The Yankees invested big money in two outfielders who are known for their speed, defense and contact hitting. Brian Cashman has never been one to hide his love for “big hairy monsters” who hit home runs, so the fact that he signed two non-power outfielders in one offseason was pretty surprising.

Also, when the Yankees gave Gardner a new four-year, $52 million contract it represented another change in philosophy. The Yankees never gave out contract extensions to players before their current deals expired, and it might have cost them Robinson Cano. Most other MLB teams have been locking up their young players early for years now, while the Yankees were lagging behind, so it was big of them to see what they were doing wrong and adjust.

The Gardner signing was an easy call, and the Yankees got a great value.…

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The Girardi name game

If you have not read this article by Daniel Barbarisi this morning, it is well worth a look. The article is all about how Joe Girardi gives all his players nicknames. You will want to read it just to figure out why Dean Anna is called, “Raccoon.” The article received a lot of traction in our staff e-mails this morning and I decided to play this Girardi name game for our staff generals and soldiers. Here is what I came up with.

Some of them are not real original, but then again, some of Girardi’s are either. “Jeets,” is rather bland is it not? Therefore Stacey Gotsulias simply becomes, “Gots.” Without further ado, here are the rest of our staff in Girardi form:

  • Jason Rosenberg = “Skip.”  I’d call him, “Rosie,” but I like writing here.
  • Larry Koestler = “Coast.”
  • Moshe Mandel = “Mosh.”
  • Brien Jackson = “Jackie.”
  • We’ll just call Michael Eder, “E.”
  • Tamar Chalker = “Tam.”
  • E.J. Fagan already has one in, “EJ.”
  • Brad Vietrogoski = “Veet.”
  • Domenic Lanza = “Major,” as in Major Domo.
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Quick hit: Cervelli to the 60-day DL, Sizemore and Murphy called up

From Dan Martin of the New York Post:

“Yanks call up Scott Sizemore and John Ryan Murphy from Triple-A Scranton and place Cervelli on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man.”

Poor Cervelli. That guy cannot catch a break. Actually, this time it wasn’t a break which is a switch.

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Infield Trade Targets?

The rash of injuries to Yankees infielders has led to rampant Stephen Drew speculation and the requisite denials. “Drew Day” is probably six weeks away regardless, as Scott Boras, having overplayed his hand this winter, has a new opportunity to create a sellers market once Drew’s draft compensation expires in June. Moreover, the timetable for signing a free agent, likely measured in weeks, isn’t exactly conducive to the Yankees pressing need. Players acquired via trade, on the other hand, may be available in as little as 24 hours. While pursuing this course of action probably depends on today and tomorrow’s injury updates, here are what I believe to be some realistic options. None of these players are world-beaters, but they are proven major-leaguers whose skill sets make them amenable not only for filling current gaps, but being valuable in various roles throughout the season.

Nick Franklin – 2B/SS – Seattle Mariners

Franklin’s youth (23) and pre-arbitration status make him an asset of considerable value and a somewhat unlikely trade chip.…

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Quick hit: Tonight’s game has been postponed

Per Yankees PR:

“Tonight’s Yankees-Cubs game is postponed & will be played tomorrow (4/16) at 1:05pm as the first game of a separate-admission, day-night DH. Tonight’s pre-game ceremonies and press conference honoring Nelson Mandela and Jackie Robinson are also rescheduled for tomorrow.”

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The Underrated Jackie Robinson

[Editor's note: This piece was originally published on 4/16/13 but we felt it would be nice to revisit today. -SG]

Over the past week or so, there has been much ado about Jackie Robinson – and deservedly so, at that. To many, myself included, Robinson towers over the game of baseball a la the Colossus at Rhodes, marking a turning point in not only the game that we all know and love, but in the United States as a whole. The courage and grace that Robinson displayed has become a part of the mythology that is our sport’s history, transmogrifying the man himself into something of a myth. That is not to say, of course, that Robinson is not deserving of the mighty stature that has been affixed to his memory. Rather, that the narrative has markedly obscured one simple fact that seems to be glossed over in discussions and commemorations of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier:

Jackie Robinson was really freaking good at baseball.…

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