All posts by @Jason_IIATMS

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

Wanna watch ARod and Mo talk baseball up close and personal?


The good peeps at Steiner Sports have made available discounted tickets to an event highlighted by Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez on November 6th in NYC. General admission tickets are available for $99, but with the code IIATMSSTEINER, you can get them for $79. For those of you in the area, this should be a cool thing to attend.

Take $20 Off Steiner Sports’ Business + Baseball Event General Admission Tickets with code IIATMSSTEINER.

I’m sure we’ll get to watch ARod lustily dining on the souls of the young and being the general demon he is while Mo returns them to their rightful places, but honestly, I’d listen to Mo and ARod talk anything baseball. These guys are savants. I’ll do my best to be there, too, because I love this stuff.

And in case you missed it yesterday, here’s some video proof of ARod being the worst human on Earth.

Quick hit: IIATMS, The NY Post, and ARod


Holy crap, did Alex Rodriguez have a week yesterday or what?!? Three home runs? Seriously?

I’ve never been his biggest fan; I’ll leave that to Stacey. But this season has really changed the way I look at him. All I have seen is a guy who wants to play baseball with his friends once again. Nothing more. No drama. Just completely appreciative about (yet another) chance to play and he’s not letting this one get by him. He’s always been a great teammate, we’ve been told, doing things like buying suits for the rookies who don’t have the money to do so. Teaching and offering advice. But it was routinely overshadowed by Derek Jeter and other self-inflicted feet in the mouth. So what we’ve seen appears to be genuine love of the game. I don’t think this one’s a lie and I’m enjoying it far more than I ever would have considered.

Yesterday, the NY Post reached out to Stacey and I, as well as others, to get our thoughts on Alex.

Said Stacey:

Fans grew warmer this season as his hits piled up, says Stacey Gotsulias of co-Editor-in-Chief at, a Yankees blog. “Obviously, if he was batting .225 . . . and striking out . . . people wouldn’t be embracing him,” she says.

On Opening Day, “It was mixed when he first stepped up to the plate and before the game started, but as soon as he got on base, the cheers went up,” she says. “Most of the people I’ve encountered, if they claimed to have hated him before the season, they say, ‘I can appreciate what he’s doing, and it’s fun to watch.’ I love that he’s proving so many people wrong.”

And they gave me the parting shot:

“There will always be those who hate, but many, self included, are happily impressed and converted,” says Jason Rosenberg, founder of “We can only wonder where this was in prior years.”

Lastly, as a preview of ESPN’s PowerRankings comment which will appear tomorrow, furthering the ARod theme:

Alex Rodriguez is not slowing down, despite turning 40 years old on July 27. He hit four home runs this week, including three on Saturday against the Twins. And these were no “gimme” shots, averaging nearly 108MPH off the bat and travelled over 440 feet on average. Two this week represent the longest home runs hit in both Target Field (450′) and Yankee Stadium (453′) this year. (click image below to expand)


 So cool.

Quick hit: LOLMets, Kelly Johnson edition

From Buster Olney today (Insider required, sorry):

From ESPN Stats & Info: Kelly Johnson hasn’t exactly been a world-beater this year, but if he were on the Mets all year, he’d probably be considered their best hitter. His batting average (.275), OPS (.772) and at-bats per home run (20.2) would hypothetically be No. 1 among Mets players with 100-plus plate appearances.

Now, I don’t root against the Metsies; actually I want them to do well. Better for the NY market if both teams are strong, and a whole lot more fun. But seeing that the 2014 Yanks’ castoff, Kelly Johnson, would be the Mets best offensive player made me chuckle.

Of course, we here at IIATMS would be remiss to point out that it was just about this time last year when the Yanks flipped Johnson to Boston for Stephen Drew and $500K, who we then re-signed and continue to play nearly every day. Maybe the joke’s really on us?

*UPDATED* BREAKING: Josh Rogers (Yankees 11th round pick) agrees to terms

UPDATE: July 16, 2015, 11:45am EST:

Josh Rogers has officially signed with the Yankees for the largest college overpay (vs. slot figures) in the draft. Rogers’ slot was $100K; he received $485K plus additional scholarship funds.

Agent Matt Sosnick noted that the deal had very little to do with him (Sosnick) and had everything to do with Rogers and Yanks’ area scout Mike Gibbons.

Also updating: James Kaprielian signed with the Yanks for 2.65M, pending his physical.


Josh Rogers

According to a source close to the Yankees, 11th round pick Josh Rogers (Twitter) has agreed to terms with the New York Yankees for $485K, plus additional scholarship money. Rogers is scheduled to take a physical early this coming week (Monday or Tuesday). This figure represents the highest amount the team can offer Rogers, and is well above-slot for an 11th rounder.

The issue is that James Kaprielian, who was selected 16th in the first round, remains unsigned. Kaprielian is represented by Scott Boras, who is known to demand above-slot figures for his players. However, given the figure signed by Rogers, the Yanks must feel confident in their ability to sign Kaprielian for at/near slot figures (~$2.5M).

The signing deadline is this coming Friday, July 18th.

Baseball America described Rogers:

At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Rogers has a near ideal pitcher’s build. He locates his 87-91 mph fastball, mixes in a slider that flashes average at his best and below-average at other times and a usable changeup. Rogers’ mix of three pitches and an ability to locate them makes him a potential back-end starter.

h/t to Jim Callis for the slot figures.

And the winner of the factually irresponsible Tanaka article of the year goes to…

…Kevin Kernan, for this stunning piece of overly-sensationalized, factually devoid, panic-pandering trash. In a season filled with back seat doctoring, Mr. Kernan has somehow leapt them all with this take. Let’s feast on this buffet of goodness, shall we, with Mr. Kernan’s opener:

This was the sound and the fury.

And the Yankees better take this warning to heart as the decline of Masahiro Tanaka continues.

“…as the decline of Masahiro Tanaka continues“? We’ve been through this before, with the second guessing of the doctors, but hey, facts don’t seem to be a prerequisite for Mr. Kernan or The Post, who pays him to grind his pencil into the paper with a ferocity and anger which should be better applied to warcrimes.

Yes, our favorite elbow ligament surrounded by the body of Tanaka is a source of angst and nervousness for us all, but let’s sneak a quick peek at his last three starts since returning from the DL:


That’s right: Three starts, 1.71 ERA, a grand total of 4 earned runs over 21 innings (an even 7 IP/start). Strike out rate of 1 per inning with a WHIP of <1 per inning. How about a 21:0 K:BB ratio? And that game he lost, the last game prior to yesterday, was a 2-1 heartbreaker. Sure, small sample size warnings abound, but when facing off against a 1 game sample size that Mr. Kernan is thrashing, three games seems like a Library of Congress-level of “evidence”.

Oh wait, Mr. Kernan has looked at this evidence and sees evil:

This was Tanaka’s fourth start since coming back from his wrist and forearm issues. He had been 3-0 over that span, but perhaps the wear and tear is catching up to his right arm, which has a slight tear in the ulnar collateral ligament.

In his last two outings, Tanaka has surrendered 19 hits and four home runs over 12 innings. Red flag time. He said his arm is fine.

“He said his arm is fine”. Maybe it is. But then again, Mr. Kernan —or should I call him Dr. Kernan has been beating the Tommy John surgery drum for ages (a link from older article):

Tommy John surgery has yet to be scheduled for Tanaka, but that is just a matter of time, too. It always is just a matter of time when it comes to these types of elbow injuries.

Tanaka clearly was in a state of denial Tuesday night outside the Yankees’ clubhouse when he was talking about the latest arm issue that will put him on the disabled list for at least 15 days.


It’s time to change game plans. This is not working. He needs to have Tommy John surgery to have any chance of getting back to being the kind of pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they shelled out $175 million.

For Pete’s sake, Doc, just trust in the PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED physicians handling Tanaka to make the best call for this individual. He is not a robot with a faulty circuit. His body might be different than others.

Back to the article in question… Tanaka had a horrible game yesterday. It happens. Again, ball players are not video game players or robots. Every pitcher, ever, in the history of this wonderful game, have had horrible games. It does happen to the very best. Remember what we did to King Felix not too long ago? I betchya Doc Kernan wasn’t advocating TJS for him.

How would Doc Kernan remedy this latest Tanakadebaclea? Let’s go get a guy who also had an elbow issue this season and is a pending free agent:

To that end, the Yankees need to go out and land a quality starting pitcher — hello, Mike Leake or Johnny Cueto from the Reds — as soon as a losing team is ready to unload an arm.

Now, I would love to see Cueto in pinstripes, but probably not at the cost required. To throw his name out there with at least mentioning his elbow pain is misleading at a joke. [His MRI came back clean, but again, it’s worth a mention if you’re going to throw the name out there as a solution.] Mike Leake is a fine pitcher, nothing special.

The Yanks have a whole lot of needs to resolve but Tanaka is not even close to the Top 5. If he hits the DL, then yes, Tanaka is worth worrying about. For now, it was one bad game on a steamy Sunday, following three starts that were otherwise exemplary.

Doc Kernan, please get off that ledge and stop trying to drag the rest of us with you. We ain’t going.

Game 47: Sweep the leg

Your first place in the (not-so) rough-and-tumble AL East New York Yankees (24-22) go for the sweep against Central division-leading Kansas City Royals (28-17). Tall man Michael Pineda faces off against even taller man Chris Young.

Game time: 1:05pm

Per ESPN: New York hasn’t swept the Royals at home since April 11-13, 2006.

Your lineups:

Kansas City Royals New York Yankees
Alcides Escobar, SS Brett Gardner, LF
Mike Moustakas, 3B Chase Headley, 3B
Lorenzo Cain, CF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Eric Hosmer, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH Brian McCann, C
Alex Gordon, LF Carlos Beltran, RF
Salvador Perez, C Stephen Drew, 2B
Omar Infante, 2B Slade Heathcott, CF
Paulo Orlando, RF Didi Gregorius, SS
Chris Young, SP Michael Pineda, SP

I also spent some time digging in the archives to unearth this gem from 2013 by our William Tasker: The Kansas City Connection. Go ahead and read it, will ya? You’ll learn something, or your money back. Promise.

Which, of course, leads to this fun bit of Royals-Yanks trade history to annoy your Royals-rooting friends, particularly this one:

December 11, 1959 – KC sends Roger Maris, Kent Hadley, and Joe DeMaestri to NY for Norm Siebern, Hank Bauer, Marv Throneberry, and Don Larsen.

This is one of the most lopsided trades in history.

Siebern was a good hitter, but he fell out of favor with Casey Stengel after a few fielding lapses in the 1958 World Series. He performed well for the A’s for several years after this. However, Bauer was at the end of the line (he became the A’s manager in 1961), Larsen went 1-10 on the hill in 1960, and Throneberry never lived up to the potential he displayed in the minors. The A’s let go of their starting shortstop, DeMaestri, because they thought Ken Hamlin was ready to step in. However, Hamlin hit only .224 in 1960. Maris, on the other hand, belted 39 homers for the Yankees in 1960 and 61 more in 1961, winning the MVP Award both years.

Advantage – Yankees, by a wide margin

And for your moment of zen:

As Gardner and Ellsbury go, so go the Yanks (or: Crap, Ellsbury hit the DL)

One of my favorite things about this site and the staff here is the off-site chatter amongst all of us that takes place over the course of every day. We talk baseball. We loudly bemoan really bad, hackneyed, trite, ad hominem attacks on players by the MSM, and laugh about silly Twitter spats. We talk about non-work stuff and provide a measure of support for one another when life gets in the way of baseball/writing (we’re all mourning the loss of Stacey’s best buddy, her cat Jack, who had to be put to sleep last night). I haven’t written much in the last few years due to work, but I’m here in the background every day, reading everything we (and you) write. Fun stuff, really.

This morning, William asked/challenged the following: What’s the Yanks record when Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner get on base (H/BB/HBP) a combined 4 or more times in a game? That’s a fine question, William, particularly because we all know how good these two have been so far this year and we’re losing Ellsbury to the DL (did you know he’s in the midst of a $153M contract?!? /snark).

The short answer is, the Yanks could be in for a rough few weeks…With the infield pretty much not producing much as we mentioned the other day a few times, any (further) cool-down from Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira could really spin this team back towards .500 in a hurry.

Because I love charts and graphs as a way to easily depict data, this should be easy enough to grasp:

Yes, the Yanks are 12-1 when Gardner/Ellsbury are on base a lot. They are 7-12 when they are not. And Ellsbury is now on the DL.

Keep in mind this chart only includes games where the combined times on base (hit, BB, HPB) for Gardner and Ellsbury together. It excludes the one game where Gardner did it when Ellsbury wasn’t playing (the team lost).

Caveat: I’m sure we could create a similar chart for other players and other teams, but the freshness of the Ellsbury DL situation and the painfully obvious split shown above was too interesting not to share.

[all data courtesy of our friends at and their play index]

Fun with charts?

There’s an obvious lack of enthusiasm we all seem to be sharing with nearly the entire infield (thanks for not being terrible, Mark Teixeira) after six weeks [looking squarely at you, Stephen Drew and Chase Headley, and of course, Didi Gregorius].

Earlier today, Brad, Matt, and Stacey pointed out the failings of Drew (here), Headley (here), and the rest (here) so that spurred me to go take a peek at the oWAR from for all American League players who have played at least 10 games this season at 3B/SS/2B. Below is the chart of all such players, with the Yanks’ starters (and Gregorio Petit for kicks) highlighted.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 New York Yankees infield (or at least 75% of it):


Now I’m no SABR-magician like Michael Kay thinks Stacey is, but just using the old fashioned eyeball test, this ain’t good.

I hold some irrational faith in Headley, as at least he’s manning 3B quite well. The numbers say Drew is doing capably at 2B defensively, but he’s adding nothing with the bat. Yawn. Not impressed. Spare me the “bad luck”. After this long (not just 2015), I am dropping the “luck” part of that description and just going with “bad”. We knew Didi couldn’t hit so at least there’s that lack of surprise. And Petit shouldn’t even be in any discussion, but given that he’s played over 10 games, we can all agree that he’s no Luis Sojo, can’t we?

Can you believe we’re relying on the old guys (Teix and Alex Rodriguez), plus Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury?