William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

Author Archives: William Tasker

Three more cheers for Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano proudly posted that on Twitter today he became a citizen of the United States of America. Such an act used to have a lot more significance in this country than it does now. But for this old-timey baseball writer, such an act is a very cool thing. Way to go, Cano. Welcome to citizenship. If you click the link for his tweet, you will also see a picture of the proud ballplayer holding a flag and his certificate. Nice.

Read more

Lee MacPhail’s life interwoven in Yankee history

Lee MacPhail passed away today of natural causes at the age of 95. MacPhail’s life work of baseball brought him recognition in the Hall of Fame. But his long legacy also leaves good and bad memories for long-time Yankee fans.

The son of another Hall of Fame executive, Larry MacPhail, Lee MacPhail got his start in baseball working for his father when the elder MacPhail was an executive with the Brooklyn Dodgers. When Larry MacPhail became an executive and part owner of the Yankees, Lee followed him there.

Lee MacPhail is given much credit as he rose to become the farm system director of the Yankees in the late 1940s for many of the World Series champions. Larry might have signed the checks, but Lee and his staff found the talent and brought it along.

His success in the Yankees’ organization led to him becoming the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles who took over from the Yankees as the powerhouse of the American League.…

Read more

Yankees may have already made their best off-season move

When the Yankees “reassigned” Nardi Contreras as the head honcho of minor league pitching, the first reaction would be to write a negative piece about the Yankees’ recent history of developing young pitchers. But as Brien mentioned in his post today, such thoughts are merely speculation and it is hard to pin down how much of any success or failure is due to bad luck such as injuries, etc. But instead of writing such a piece, it seems more fitting on an Election Day to look ahead and not backwards. The Yankees might have already made their best off-season move by hiring Gil Patterson as their Director of Pitching. Forget the past and welcome to the now and the future. Patterson is a wonderful choice.

Again, we can talk about good fortune and the like, but look what the Oakland Athletics did in 2012 and as far as they went thanks to their young pitching. That young pitching has been developed in their own system and who was the head of that system’s pitching?…

Read more

So who plays right field in 2013?

The foregone conclusion is that Nick Swisher has completed his run as the New York Yankees’ right fielder. Swisher is looking for a multi-year deal and with 2014 looming for the Yankees, his demands will not fit with what the team hopes to do budget-wise. So who, then, will be the right fielder? In this post, we’ll look at internal options, trade possibilities and free agents available.

Internal options

This one is easy. There aren’t any. Chris Dickerson cannot really be considered as anything more than a fourth outfielder. Plus, two-thirds of the outfield with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner are already left-handed batters. Cole Garner got the bulk of the right-field duties at the Triple-A level and he is not going to cut it. Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte are both interesting, but Mesa only got a taste of Triple-A last year and Almonte has not played above Double-A. Both have some speed and some pop. Mesa is a right-handed batter and Almonte is a switch-hitter.…

Read more

Yankee kids have good day in Rising Star Game

The Arizona Fall League held its annual all star game yesterday and the Rising Star Game, as it is called, ended up being a nice showcase for some Yankee prospects. Austin Romine tripled in one of his two at bats and scored the tying run at the time on a wild pitch.  David Adams went one for four and played second the entire game. Adams’ one hit was a double and it drove in two runs. He would later score a run. Mark Montgomery pitched the eighth inning and threw a perfect inning, striking out all three batters he faced.

The only semi-negative aspect of the game was the two stolen bases that Billy Hamilton recorded while Romine was behind the plate. Hamilton stole over a hundred bases this season in the minors, so it’s not like Romine is alone in that category. And Romine’s throw to second on the first steal was a laser and appeared to beat Hamilton there.…

Read more

A few notes from the past two days

The New York Yankees did extend qualifying offers to Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano and Hiroki Kuroda according to the New York Post. That same newspaper article stated the obvious that Swisher will probably not accept the offer by this coming Friday’s deadline. Soriano will likely not accept the offer, though the article did say there was an outside chance of him doing so. Russell Martin was not given a qualifying offer, which is no surprise considering that it would have cost the Yankees $13+ million for one year of that catcher’s services which is way above his market value.

Kuroda could accept the offer or ask for a slightly higher paycheck for a one year deal. The Yankees would like to have him back.

Chad Jennings of The Journal News wrote that the Yankees will keep Cesar Cabral on the roster through the winter and give him a chance to win a job with the Yankees in Spring Training.…

Read more

Casey McGehee has elected free agency

According to Bryan Hoch, Casey McGehee has elected free agency rather than pursue staying with the New York Yankees. It’s hard to blame McGehee who never really got a shot with the Yankees and was rather abused in roster moves. His short time with the Yankees was one of the stranger developments this past season. The Yankees traded Chad Qualls to get McGehee on July 31 and McGehee only garnered 59 plate appearances for the Yankees after that date.

In other roster news, Hoch also reported that the Yankees have returned Brad Meyers to the Washington Nationals. Meyers made only one minor league appearance all season.

Read more

Yankees donate a half a million to Red Cross

According to several sources, including the Yankees public relations Twitter account, the Yankees have donated $500,000 to the Red Cross to aid relief to the tri-state area battered by Hurricane Sandy.

In a statement, Hal Steinbrenner said the following:

“The damage and destruction to the Tri-State area caused by Hurricane Sandy is daunting, but we have seen the great resiliency of this region before. As a neighbor and community member, the Yankees embrace our role of stepping forward and assisting the American Red Cross.”

Read more

Rafael Soriano opts out

According to Jon Heyman, it is now official that Rafael Soriano has opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees and is a free agent. This is certainly no surprise and was long expected. Expect the Yankees to make a qualifying offer to Soriano by the deadline on Friday and then Soriano can negotiate with the Yankees and then other teams. Soriano is reportedly looking for a four year deal.

Read more