Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, And Learning A Lesson From Last Year

A few weeks ago, it seemed like there was a real chance for some change in the planned Opening Day roster construction for the Yankees.  Brendan Ryan was injured, Stephen Drew wasn’t playing all that well (obligatory SSS disclaimer), and both Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder were doing enough in the early going to make legitimate cases for consideration.

A few weeks later, that chance has evaporated completely.  Ryan has returned to game action, Drew has swung the bat a little better and basically been guaranteed the starting second base job by Joe, and Pirela will be out for an extended period of time after colliding with the outfield wall in yesterday’s game and being diagnosed with a concussion.  Barring any more unforeseen injuries, the Opening Day bench now looks as if it will be the rather bland group of Ryan, Chris Young, Garrett Jones, and John Ryan Murphy, with Drew at second.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that, and that’s coming from the guy who’s been openly campaigning for Ryan’s immediate dismissal from the team and for Drew to be penciled into his backup infielder spot to open up a job for Pirela or Refsnyder for a while.  …

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IIATMS Top Moment #8: The Jeffrey Maier Home Run

Jeffrey Mair HR 1996

Screenshot courtesy of MLB.com

October 9, 1996.  Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.  New York Yankees versus Baltimore Orioles.  Every dynasty has to start somewhere.  The infamous play in the bottom of the 8th inning of this game may have been the moment that started the last great Yankee dynasty.

The game was a close one, with the Yankees trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th.  They had gotten off to a quick lead with 1 run in each of the first 2 innings, but the Orioles scored runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th to take a 2-run lead into the final third of the game.  The Yankees chipped away with a run in the 7th and had baby-faced Rookie of the Year Derek Jeter leading off the bottom of the 8th against fireballer Armando Benitez.

Benitez, in what would become his calling card fashion, hurled a first-pitch fastball right down the middle of the plate to start the at-bat.  …

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Spring Training Game 21 Recap: NYM 6 NYY 0

CC vs NYM ST 2015

Courtesy of the AP

CC Sabathia was hitting the road for his second Spring Training start of 2015 this afternoon, and he was bringing his starting infield with him to Port St. Lucie to take on Matt Harvey and the Mets.  Harvey’s on a comeback trail of his own this spring, one that’s come with more positive fireworks thus far than Sabathia’s in terms of on-field results, but CC wasn’t buying into any local media-created storyline there.  He knows what really matters right now and that’s what he was keeping his focus on.

In terms of how successfully he achieved the goals he had for himself today, I’d say it was a mixed bag.  Sabathia once again showcased impressive velocity for this time of year, but his fastball command was a tick off and the Mets hitters made him pay for it on more than one occasion.  Their power display against the big guy was more than enough for them to cruise to victory behind Harvey and a missing Yankee offense.…

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Sunday Morning News And Notes: 3/22/15

Yesterday was a slow day around these parts.  Let’s play a little catch-up.

– The Yankees won their ST game yesterday afternoon, 3-2 over the Astros on a 3-run rally in the bottom of the 9th that was started by an Eddy Rodriguez 2-run double and capped by a Jake Cave walk-off sac fly.  Even in a game where the win doesn’t mean much, that’s pretty cool.

Michael Pineda was the starter yesterday and he struggled out of the gate, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs in the 1st inning before settling down and getting through 3.2 innings without further damage.  He struck out 6 and did not walk a batter, so I’ll chalk the runs up to a mistake pitch and not a real problem.  Big Mike is looking healthy and looking good this spring.

– Strong day from the bullpen behind Pineda.  Justin Wilson, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Nick Rumbelow, and Jacob Lindgren combined to throw 5.1 innings of scoreless, 1-hit ball with 8 strikeouts.  …

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Game Thread: Spring Training Game 20

There’s your starting lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Houston Astros.  It’s mostly regulars with the exception of Austin Romine getting the start at DH.  If that doesn’t scream “auditioning a guy for potential trade partners” then I don’t know what does.

Here’s your game thread for those who are watching.  I honestly have no idea what network the game is on, so if you do, feel free to educate the masses.

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 3/20/15

Nobody is actually going to read this today.  I get that.  But you might need something to read and kill time tomorrow morning before the next round of games starts, and that’s where this baby will come in handy.  We’re a little more than 2 weeks from Opening Day.  It’s close, people.  It’s real close.  Now onto the links!

– On Monday, el duque of It Is High… took a look at how the group of recent former Yankees is doing this spring.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB previewed the season to be for Michael Pineda, who needs to have a healthy and productive season in 2015 to re-establish himself as a legitimate top-tier starter.

– Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes pondered the worst-case scenario for the Yankees this season, one that would surely leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth after Hal’s latest comments.

– Delia Enriquez of Bronx Baseball Daily wondered who will and who should get the start on Opening Day.

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Spring Training Game 18 Quick Recap: PHI 7 NYY 3

Bracket’s garbage.  Hungover as hell.  Hal is out running his trap to his newspaper mouthpieces again.  And the Yanks lost to the Phillies last night.  Not a good morning at all.

Game Notes:

Esmil Rogers got the start and he didn’t help his cause any in the competition for the 5th starter, assuming he actually had a chance to win the job.  He gave up 3 earned runs on 5 hits and a walk in 3.1 innings and struck out 3.

– Rogers was followed by David Carpenter and Tyler Webb, and they each tossed 1.2 scoreless innings.  Carptenter walked 2 while Webb struck out 2.  Is it wrong if I say I haven’t been impressed by Carpenter so far?  Because I haven’t.

– There wasn’t much to talk about on the offensive side of the box score.  Chase Headley went 1-3 with his second home run of the spring, Stephen Drew doubled, drove in a run, and drew a walk in 3 trips, and Carlos Beltran had a ribbie single.  …

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IIATMS Top Moment #10: Mo’s Final Appearance

Mo YS3 Goodbye

The G.O.A.T. says his goodbyes. Courtesy of the AP

The 2013 season was a forgettable one for the Yankees and their fans.  Terrible injury luck, age-related regression across the older core, and an incredibly flawed payroll management/roster construction plan combined to keep the Yanks hovering at or just above mediocrity as they rolled out a line of replacement-level garbage to fill in for the lost regulars.

One of the biggest storylines of the 2013 season was that it would be Mariano Rivera‘s farewell season.  After missing most of 2012 due to a freak knee injury, Mo came back in 2013 determined to go out on his terms.  He announced those terms before the start of the season, telling Yankee fans that it would be his last and setting the stage for what everyone knew would be a very emotional and memorable farewell moment.

Before that could happen, however, the Yankees had to slog through their disappointing season, the first one in which they did not make the playoffs in almost 20 years.  …

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Spring Training Game 17 Quick Recap: NYY 12 ATL 5

Masahiro Tanaka

Courtesy of the AP

It was the second spring start for Masahiro Tanaka last night, and it went even better than the first.  3.2 innings of scoreless, walkless ball and a whole heaping helping of run support against an Atlanta Braves team sporting more former Yankees than Old Timers’ Day.  Only thing that would have made this game better would have been the game actually counting.

Game Notes:

– Tanaka’s full line: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.  He looks great, like he never missed a beat.  In a spring that’s been littered with major starting pitching injuries, it would be pretty sweet if Tanaka was the exception and stayed healthy all year.

Andrew Bailey made his 2015 debut, his first game appearance since July of 2013 actually, and looked about how you’d expect for a guy who hasn’t pitched in that long.  He gave up a few hits, an unearned run, and was wild with his offspeed stuff despite sitting low 90s on the radar gun.…

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