Sad night for baseball: Oakland 7, Yankees 4

ZimmerThe actual baseball game didn’t seem to matter for one night. About midway , through, the baseball world learned the beloved Don Zimmer had died — right around the time of Yoenis Cespedes‘ second home run of the night.

Zimmer, 83, was part of those magical late 1990s teams. He was New York’s bench coach from 1996-2003, but also had stints with the Yankees in 1983 and 1986. Zimmer was brash, funny and was a wonderful baseball lifer.

One wonders what he would think of the current state of the Yankees. The A’s scored seven unanswered runs on Wednesday, beating New York 7-4.

New York pitching gave up three home runs, the last coming in the seventh inning by Josh Donaldson off Yankees reliever Jose Ramirez, who made his MLB debut. Donaldson smashed a 95-mph fastball that missed its spot.

Trailing by four runs early, the A’s gradually worked back. Cespedes started the comeback with the first of two solo home runs in the fourth to make it 4-1.…

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It’s good to be back: Minnesota 6, Yankees 1

theres_no_place_like_home_matWelcome home, Yankees.

Not really. The Yankees are now 11-12 at home this season (they are 17-13 on the road).

This time, the loss came at the hands of the Minnesota Twins and New York dropped the game 6-1.

New York starting pitcher Vidal Nuno lasted nearly seven innings without walking anyone. He scattered seven hits, but three of those went for home runs.

On the other side of the ball, New York actually went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but ugly base running managed to keep the Yankees off the board.

New York’s lone run came in the third when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled in Brett Gardner.

The good

- News came out before the game that Carlos Beltran’s elbow is feeling much better. He hopes he can return to the Yankees lineup without surgery.

- Brett Gardner swiped two bases raising his season total to 13.

The bad

- Nuno got touched up for three home runs.…

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New transfer rule interpretation goes against how players are taught

Has anything been more annoying in baseball this season than the new interpretation of the transfer rule?

We’ve had pine tar issues, catchers can’t block the plate, and replays galore.

However, the most universally hated “new rule” has been the interpretation of the transfer rule. Essentially, after a player catches a ball – whether it be turning...

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Why players don’t care about Michael Pineda’s “dirt”

Bk6idBvIAAEsBRAMichael Pineda threw with the type of gusto through Thursday he had three years ago when the Yankees traded for him from Seattle.

His slider made batters look foolish. His fastball set up off-speed pitches. And he mixed in a cutter and changeup to keep the Boston Red Sox off-balance.

However, on Friday morning, no one seemed to be talking about Pineda’s pitching performance. Instead, it was about the substance on Pineda’s pitching hand. Television stills showed a brown substance on the base of the palm of his hand.

Pineda called it dirt. Others called it pine tar.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t know anything about it.

The Red Sox players said it didn’t matter.

There are reasons that it doesn’t matter to Boston – or most players asked around the league.

1. No one wants to be the team to point it out. If a manager does, he will set up his own team for the same kind of scrutiny.…

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Replays slowing the pace of baseball games; is it worth it?

Replay was used in Thursday’s Yankees game to check if a count was accurate.

New York’s Yangervis Solarte was at-bat in the ninth inning when there was discrepancy if the count was 3-1 or 2-1. The umpires initiated a review, got on the headphones and went over the count with the replay center.

Yankees.com’s, Bryan Hoch wrote: “The challenge was initiated after Astros catcher Carlos Corporan asked home-plate umpire Brian Knight about the count.

“I asked the umpire, ‘What’s the count?’” Corporan said. “And he said, ‘I don’t know, I’ve got 2-1.’ I said, ‘I’ve got 2-1 as well.’ I kind of forgot about the pitchout that we made. [Solarte] was like, ‘No, it’s 3-1,’ and [the umpire] said, ‘Of course you’re going to think it’s 3-1.’ They wanted to make sure, so they took a little time.”

Replay was expanded this season to incorporate many aspects of the game, and has been used a handful of times during in this season’s infancy.…

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Does Colorado want Dexter Fowler back? Astros 3, Yankees 1

Dexter single-handedly beat the New York Yankees on Wednesday night. He hit a lead off home run in the first inning, then, the speedy center fielder scored again in the third after hitting a triple. It may have seemed the Yankees starting pitcher was in trouble again, but Fowler was the only player to do any damage against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda.

The Yankees had a chance in the eighth when Carlos Beltran led off with a double. However, Houston reliever Matt Albers sent down the next three batters by striking them out. After 10 team strikeouts and leaving eight runners on base, Yankees didn’t seem to have the offensive energy to win this one.

The Good Stuff

- The Brians had nice nights: McCann went 2-for-4 and Roberts 3-for-4 (edited for correction).

- Kuroda had a solid first outing. He gave just three hits (two from Fowler) and two runs through six innings.

- Jacoby Ellsbury got on base with a walk and showed off his speed with a steal of second base.…

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