Could Marcus Thames Be The Sleeper Hitting Coach Candidate?

Thames Trenton

He definitely passes the “early season hat style” part of the interview. Courtesy of Martin Griff/The Times of Trenton

We’re less than 2 days from the reported team-set deadline for hiring a new hitting coach.  We know the Yankees interviewed Dave Magadan last Wednesday, we know they interviewed Chili Davis on Thursday, and via Rob Bradford and Alex Speier, we know that Davis was hired by the Red Sox to be their new hitting coach last night.

The Yankees were scheduled to meet with a few other candidates on Friday and this past weekend, but as of yet we have not found out the names of those other interviewees.  One of the names that was connected to the job was Marcus Thames, most recently the hitting coach at Double-A Trenton and former Yankee player.  While Magadan appears to be the front runner for the job based on the reports that are out, I can’t help but think that Thames could be the surprise sleeper candidate from the rest of the pool.…

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10/15/01: A playoff game with dad

[A note: Tonight marks the 13th anniversary of what turned out to be a fun night for me and since I'm in the mood to reminisce and write about the happy memories of my father, I thought I'd share this story with all of you.

It was originally published on my Aerys Sports Yankees' blog back in 2011 for Father's Day and I've gone in and edited it a tad. Hope you enjoy it. ~Stacey]

***

My dad, Gus Gotsulias, is the reason I like sports so much and why I root for the New York Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants.

He took me to my first Yankees and Rangers games. He bought me my first pair of Knicks tickets but, at the time, I was 19 and wanted to go with my best friend. She ended up watching Madonna the entire time – she was sitting courtside right below us – and the Knicks beat the Heat by 35 points (Yes, it was a very long time ago.) And it always seemed that whenever my dad could get us Giants tickets, they were for November or December and he didn’t want me to freeze which, while considerate of him, still annoyed me as a kid, so I didn’t get to attend my first Giants game until 2009 when I was well into my 30’s.…

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Forget About A-Rod Playing Shortstop

After a season in which he was almost never mentioned, Alex Rodriguez is starting to creep back into the Yankee headlines.  He’s been working out in preparation for his return from this year’s suspension, the team has been speaking openly and positively about him rejoining the lineup in 2015, and all signs point towards A-Rod being the starter at some position on Opening Day.

What position, exactly, is up for debate and appears as though it could be something that’s not set in stone.  One suggestion that’s been talked about on our daily email chains and multiple times in the comment section of this blog is the idea of moving A-Rod back to shortstop.  That is an idea that any and all believers should stop believing right now.  Forget about it.  Because it’s not going to happen.

At 39 years old and turning 40 next July, and with 2 bad hips, A-Rod’s days of playing every day are long gone.  Cash used that point as the main reason why the team reportedly asked A-Rod to learn first base this offseason.

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Marchand Could Be On To Something With His Shortstop Theory

The Orioles and J.J. Hardy caused a bit of a stir before the start of the ALCS yesterday when they announced an agreement to a 3-year/$40 million contract extension with an option for a 4th year.  This was bad news for the Yankees, who were surely interested in Hardy as the best defensive shortstop of the potential FA pool and a guy with AL East experience.  It could also hurt them in the free agent long run.  Hardy’s new deal basically sets the market for what the rest of the top guys are going to want. with the exception of Hanley Ramirez.  He’ll get more.  But the higher the numbers get for the Lowries and Cabreras of the world in years and millions, the less likely the Yankees are going to be to pull the trigger.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY thinks he has it all figured out as to where the Yanks go now, and I’m inclined to agree with him.…

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Headley And McCarthy’s Reported Interest In Returning Should Not Be Ignored

McCarthy vs KC

B-Mac says he wants to come back. Courtesy of Getty Images

With the divisional round done and the league championship series starting later this week, the time draws closer to when the Yankees can be active in the baseball world again.  Dom started laying out their list of offseason needs yesterday in preparation for the start of hot stove season, and 2 guys who will be very important in determining how those needs are addressed are Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley.  The trade deadline pickups were among the best players on the team post-acquisition.  Their performances in New York set them both up to earn pretty nice free agent paydays, and given that aforementioned list of needs, there’s a fair-to-good chance those paydays comes from the Steinbrenner checkbook.

The local media has already started covering these upcoming free agent cases and the stance coming from both Headley and McCarthy is that they would want to return to the Yankees next season.  …

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Another Martin Prado Would Be A Very Good Thing

Pirela vs BOS

Courtesy of Getty Images

Before the emergency appendectomy abruptly ended his season, Martin Prado was having a nice little go as a Yankee.  At the time, he was the hottest hitter on the team and his bat was carrying the Yankees to victories they probably didn’t deserve.  All in all he hit .316/.336/.541 in 137 plate appearances as a Yank, with 7 HR, 18 runs scored, and 16 RBI.

While there’s no chance that Prado replicates those numbers over a full season next year, he figures to be a very important part of the Yankee roster.  For now he’s penciled in as the starting second baseman, but his flexibility combined with the Yankees’ age and tendency to get hurt in some spots should lead to him playing multiple positions at multiple points next year.

Yesterday Chad Jennings wrote a post over at LoHud about Jose Pirela and the similarities between he and Prado.  The point of Jennings’ post was that Pirela could serve as a second version of Prado on the Yankee bench next season and provide additional defensive flexibility that the team will assuredly need.  …

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Friday Morning Food For Thought: Picking The Yankee Playoff Roster

The Yankees are not in the postseason.  Again.  That reality hit home again last night when the divisional round kicked off and it got me thinking.  What would their roster have looked like if they did make the postseason?  They would have been in trouble if rosters didn’t expand in September with how banged up they were, so what 25 guys would Joe have taken to try to avoid getting swept by the Angels?  Yes, I’m assuming the Yanks would have made it as the second Wild Card and gotten trucked by Anaheim.  Partially for fun, partially because I still don’t like thinking about how terrible they were this season, here’s my attempt at building the 25-man postseason roster.

Starting Lineup:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
2) Derek Jeter- SS
3) Brett Gardner- LF
4) Brian McCann- C
5) Mark Teixeira- 1B
6) Carlos Beltran- DH
7) Chase Headley- 3B
8) Stephen Drew- 2B
9) Ichiro Suzuki- RF

Starting Rotation:

1) Hiroki Kuroda
2) Michael Pineda
3) Masahiro Tanaka
4) Brandon McCarthy

Bullpen: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, Chris Capuano, David Huff, Shane Greene

Bench: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Pirela, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, Eury Perez

That’s a really banged up starting 9.  …

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Hal Speaks On The Season

Hal Stein

Courtesy of USATSI

Joe didn’t waste any time issuing his post-mortem on the season, holding his end-of-season press conference the day after the final game.  Hal Steinbrenner followed suit yesterday, talking to Michael Kay on his radio show at length about the season that was and what things he thinks the team needs to address to prepare for next season.  You can check out the entire interview here, but since Chad Jennings was nice enough to compile the money quotes, I’m going to cherry pick from those and highlight some of the more important/strange things Hal had to say.

“The hitting coach is responsible for the hitters, the pitching coach is responsible for the pitchers, and we’ve got an infield coach responsible for defense and fielding.  That comes with any position in life. You are liable for what goes on. We have not made any decisions yet as to what we’re going to do with any of the coaches.

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Guest Post: Girardi and Pythagorean Winning Percentage Or What Happened to The Yankees in 1986?

(** Editor’s Note**- This guest post comes courtesy of commenter and friend of the blog Professor Longnose.  It is about historical Pythagorean win expectancy and what it might say about Joe Girardi’s managerial skills.)

As manager of the Yankees, Joe Girardi has his boosters and his detractors, which is no surprise.  Few Yankee fans have been happy with the results of the last 2 years, but there are arguments about how much of the blame is Girardi’s. One of the arguments I hear quite a bit is that the teams Girardi has managed weren’t very good, and were hit with injuries on top of that, so that even being in the hunt for playoff spots shows how good a job Girardi did. This is more or less the “company line” among Yankee broadcasters.

One stat used to promote this view is that the Yankees in 2013 and 2014 have outperformed their Pythagorean winning percentage. In 2014 they were 7 games better than the Pythagorean formula suggested they should have been, and in 2013 they were 6 games better.…

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