The Yankee Catching Conundrum

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

I know this is going to come as a complete shock, but the Yankees really haven’t gotten much from the catcher position this season.  After breathing life back into his career last year, Russell Martin has regressed back to his 2009-2010 levels of offensive futility (.187/.333/.333, .309 wOBA, 90 wRC+).  And Chris Stewart, despite my best efforts to hype up his early production, has settled into the exact no-hit/all-field role we all anticipated him filling as CC Sabathia‘s personal catcher Martin’s backup.  This adds up to a combined .196/.314/.313 tripleslash, .290 wOBA, and 77 wRC+ in 192 PA over the team’s first 50 games from the catcher spot.  Production-wise, that wOBA ranks 19th in MLB, probably more of a testament to the overall offensive weakness of the position than anything else.  The Martin-Stewart tandem has been good for 0.8 WAR (T-16th in MLB), mainly on the strength of their positive defensive ratings, but with the up-and-down production of the lineup this season, some offensive improvement at the position would be helpful.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks salvage series

Like Tuesdays game, but in the other direction, the third inning proved to be a big one in the Yankees/Angels matchup. Down 1-0 thanks to a first inning sac fly, and having twice failed to drive runners home, the Yankees broke out for five runs in the inning thanks to a three run homer by Curtis Granderson and a two run homer by Robinson Cano. This put the Yankees up 5-1, though the lead was relatively short-lived.

In the bottom of the fourth, Ivan Nova started the inning off by walking Kendrys Morales and then surrendering an opposite field blast to, shockingly enough, Mark Trumbo. After a Howie Kendrick groundout and an Erick Aybar single, Peter Bourjos flew out to center and things looked under control…until Bobby Wilson executed a perfect bunt single to keep the inning alive. Mike Trout, the other bane of the Yankees’ existence in this series, then doubled, scoring two runs (with a little help from a missed cut-off man) and tying the game.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees escape California with a 6-5 win

Nova certainly did not have a good outing. He does get a little credit for throwing a couple of scoreless innings after the fourth and got the first two outs in the seventh to give his team a chance to bail him out. Nova gave up eight hits, three walks and a home run to Mark Trumbo, who killed Yankee pitching the entire series. Boone Logan was called upon to get the last out in the seventh after relieving Nova, but could not retire a batter. After two straight line drive singles, Joe Girardi called for Cory Wade who struck out Howie Kendrick to end the threat. Nova has now given up thirteen homers this season, matching his total for all of last season.

There was one key play in the ninth inning that is worth mentioning. After Soriano retired Mike Trout with a grounder to short that Derek Jeter charged and threw on the run to get the speedy Trout, Soriano then walked Alberto Callaspo.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 5/30/12

No one in the Yankees lineup had more than one hit, while Curtis, Cust and Laird went hitless.  Cust did score and drew three walks.  Dellin Betances had a decent outing, going six innings and giving up two runs on four hits, four walks and four strikeouts.  Juan Cedeno pitched a hitless inning of relief, allowing one walk.  Meanwhile, Empire State’s newest member, Ryota Igarashi picked up his first save, throwing two scoreless innings and giving up two hits while striking out four.

Trenton beat Erie 4-3 in Game 1:
Erie broke through first, as Wade Gaynor singled in the second and Tony Plagman doubled.  Brandon Douglas singled in Gaynor and Bryan Pounds plated Plagman.  Douglas scored on a sac fly and the SeaWolves had a 3-0 lead.  Addison Maruszak hit a ground rule double in the third, scoring on Abraham Almonte’s double.  David Adams was hit by a pitch to start the fourth, scoring on a double by Zoilo Almonte.  … Click here to read the rest

Game 50: Begging the Question

Is there any explanation for the Yankees inability to win in Los Angeles that doesn’t invoke some sort of logical fallacy? While the Angels have been a very good team for the better part of this decade, that doesn’t quite excuse the Yankees’ veritable incompetence against Los Angeles’ “second team” over that time. As per several of the Twitterati elite, the Yankees are 11-25 as the visiting team since 2005 … which strikes me as baffling, at the very least.

A few items of note:

  • On Monday, MLBTR looked into the Yankees payroll situation as part of its ‘2013 Contract Issues’ series. It is very early to consider how the team will look heading into August, let alone next season, but it is interesting to note that this off-season will be intriguing without even considering non-Yankees free agents.
  • Andy Pettitte is confident in his abilities going forward, per Chad Jennings.
  • Hideki Matsui went deep for the Rays last night, and has now hit a home run in his debut for three of his four Major League teams (with the Oakland A’s serving as the outlier).
Click here to read the rest

Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys…or Jets…or 49’ers

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

During the early part of the 20th century, professional boxing was the most popular sport in American and the heavyweight champion was the king of the sports world. Even the great Babe Ruth took a backseat when Jack Dempsey was in the room. Nowadays, however, most sports fans probably can’t even name the titleholder.

Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth share breakfast at the height of their popularity in 1923.

There are lots of reasons for the decline of boxing. Demographics, economics, and even politics play a role in many intriguing theories, but one factor, in particular, is reoccurring: the impact of violence on participation. Once the refuge of an immigrant class with fewer opportunities at the American dream, boxing slowly began to experience a decline in the quantity and quality of participants as the general population moved up in class and other employment alternatives became available.… Click here to read the rest