There may be a few more games left, but the 2011 season for the New York Yankees is over, and it has been a stunning, unexpected success. While it is not the topic of this post, it warrants re-mentioning here: The 2011 Yankees have exceeded all expectations. The Yankees were not meant to win their division, let alone the American League. Now, they are legitimate contender to win the World Series. This is a uniquely satisfying season. With the playoffs looming, TYA will begin exploring the Yankees’ season, and laying expectations for October. This post examines the team’s offense. All Continue reading 2011 ALDS Preview, Part 1 | The 2011 Yankee offense, top to bottom
The success of the New York Penn League champion Staten Island Yankees was apparent in Baseball America’s recent release of their top 20 prospects. Much like the GCL Yankees, Staten Island had a player at the very top of the list, in this case it was Mason Williams. Williams’ breakout year saw him hit .349/.395/.468/.863 over 68 games. He had 31 RBIs and 28 stolen bases, though he was caught stealing twelve times. Williams obviously contributed a lot on the offensive side, but he has great defensive potential in the outfield, helping him lock up the top spot on this list. Cito Culver was ranked sixth, with his defense at shortstop being a notable characteristic, a bit surprising as he led the team with seventeen errors. Of course, these lists are not based on what the players have accomplished but their potential. Culver continues to be a draft pick that garners a lot of debate, so it is reassuring to see some positive feedback on the young infielder.
Tyler Austin came in eighth, hitting .323/.402/.542/.943 over 27 games in Staten Island over 27 games. He has recently moved to third base, and still needs to adjust to the new position. Angelo Gumbs was tapped as the 14th best prospect in the NYPL. He is adjusting to a new position in the infield as well, though BA posits that he may be better suited for the outfield due to his strong arm. Rounding out the list is Branden Pinder, who went 2-2 with a 1.16 ERA and 14 saves for the Yankees this season. He came in nineteenth on the list, thanks to his ability to adjust to the bullpen. He’s got a nice fastball that has hit 96mph and a solid slider. For my recap on the Staten Island Yankees championship season click here. Continue reading Staten Island Yankees show up big on Baseball America’s top 20 NYPL prospects list
Over the weekend, my girlfriend and I went to the movies to see the re-release of “The Lion King.” I’m beyond certain that we were the only non-parent adults in the theater. I’m sure I’ve seen the film between the first time I saw it and then, but I’d never really reflected on it. Silly as it may sound, “The Lion King” will probably always hold a special place in my movie-going heart. Why? Because it’s the first movie I remember going to see in theaters. My dad took me, probably on a Saturday, to a theater that no longer Continue reading Looking back in order to appreciate
The Boston Red Sox won a game last night. Their A-lineup beat a split squad Yankees’ team in the second half of a doubleheader. Of course, it took them 14 innings and a matchup of legitimate MVP candidate Jacoby Ellsbury and Scott Proctor to do so. But the Red Sox won all the same, which basically clinches the wild card for them, and the fact that Joe Girardi called on Scott Proctor for the 23rd inning played Sunday after the Yankees have already clinched the American League’s best record basically guarantees the Red Sox will beat them in the ALCS. After the Yankees get swept by the Detroit Tigers, with Justin Verlander throwing a complete game shutout in every game (don’t ask me to make sense of these narratives, I’ve only had three cups of coffee so far).
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Continue reading Oh noes, it’s alive!
Beginning tonight, the Yanks and Rays duke it out in the final regular season series of the year. The Yanks can win the season series with one win this week; the best the Rays can do is tie it. Aside from exacting a small measure of revenge against Tampa — who won the season series between these two teams for only the second time in team history last season — this series is essentially completely devoid of meaning for the Yankees, having locked up best record in the AL over the weekend, although with the Rays still clinging to a Continue reading Series Preview | Yankees vs. Rays VI: The end
On a day that saw the Yankees and Red Sox already playing a doubleheader, baseball fans were treated to some extra baseball Sunday, as the rivals played deep into the night. The Yankees took the first game 6-2, cutting the Red Sox grip on the AL Wild Card to just half a game. The second game of the day was a classic battle that went fourteen innings before a big homer from Jacoby Ellsbury gave the Red Sox a 7-4 victory over the Bombers.
The Yankees took a quick lead off the Red Sox thanks to a struggling John Lackey and some bad defense by Boston. A one out walk to Curtis Granderson gave the Yankees their first base runner of the night. Robinson Cano followed with a single to right and Mark Teixeira followed with one of the stranger plays I have seen in a long time. Teixeira drove the ball to center, where it hit off the very top of the fence and back onto the field for what looked to be a two-run double. Jacoby Ellsbury fielded the ball, which was relayed to Boston’s veteran catcher Jason Varitek. Teixeira moved to third on the throw and Varitek tried to get the slow infielder, but his throw got away from him and landed in the outfield as Teixeira scurried home for a 3-0 New York lead.
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So finally winning a series at home against the Red Sox for the first time in 2011 was quite enjoyable, although the spoiled part of me really wanted the sweep, having been swept by the Sox at home twice this season in historic fashion. Unfortunately with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Russell Martin getting the nightcap off, and various pinch-runners being installed late in the game, the Yankee lineup was pretty close to something Scranton Wilkes-Barre would’ve run out by the time the bottom of the ninth inning rolled around, and the Bombers couldn’t get anything going against an exceptionally Continue reading Yanks can't complete sweep; fall to Sox in extras 7-4
With a loss tonight, the Red Sox will head out of town tied for the Wild Card with the Tampa Bay Rays, who were 5-2 winners this afternoon. It’s been an amazing collapse, one that no one could have seen coming. Their 6.09 September ERA is the worst in franchise history, and beating a record that stood for close to 80 years (5.27 ERA in 1932) by a wide margin. They’re 5-18 for the month and are on track for the worst September since 1926. Game 2 starter John Lackey shoulders much of the blame for their poor showing, he’s Continue reading Game 158-Send ’em off tied
With a loss tonight, the Red Sox will head out of town tied for the Wild Card with the Tampa Bay Rays, who were 5-2 winners this afternoon. It’s been an amazing collapse, one that no one could have seen coming. Their 6.09 September ERA is the worst in franchise history, and beating a record that stood for close to 80 years (5.27 ERA in 1932) by a wide margin. They’re 5-18 for the month and are on track for the worst September since 1926. Game 2 starter John Lackey shoulders much of the blame for their poor showing, he’s Continue reading Game 158-Send 'em off tied