Happy 20th Anniversary, Frank Costanza!

20 years ago tonight, on January 25, 1996, the infamous Seinfeld episode “The Caddy” aired. If you are too young to have seen it, or if you are old, and don’t remember the plot, here’s the episode description from tv.com:

Kramer befriends a caddy, who helps him to improve his golf game and offer his other advice. George’s bosses consider him for a promotion when they think he is so dedicated to his work that he is there in the morning before everyone else and still there after they all leave. They don’t know that he’s just been leaving his car in the parking lot waiting for his free visit from a locksmith. Taking advantage of the situation, he and Susan go up north to her parent’s rebuilt cabin. Elaine meets an old rival who’s heir to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune and has never worn a bra. She wears the bra as a top and cause Kramer and Jerry to have an accident with George’s car.

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Saturday Morning News And Notes: 1/23/16

I had internet issues at the office yesterday, so I couldn’t get on and write what I had planned to write about.  I’ll make it up in an abridged version now along with some other news nuggets and happenings around Yankeeland.

– On Thursday, local authorities announced that they would not be filing charges against Aroldis Chapman in connection with the alleged events that took place at his home last year.  Police were called to the house in response to a domestic dispute and Chapman was accused of choking and pushing his girlfriend during an argument as well as firing a gun in his garage.  Chapman admitted to firing the gun out of frustration, but denied assaulting his girlfriend and he was not arrested at the time.  There was a fair amount of internet outrage earlier in the week when Hal spoke about the signing and dropped the “innocent until proven otherwise” line, but with the timing of this announcement you have to think that he and the team knew the situation when he made those comments.… Click here to read the rest

Happy Anniversary, Masahiro Tanaka!

On this day two years ago, Masahiro Tanaka signed a seven year deal with the Yankees and while his time in pinstripes hasn’t exactly been perfect, it has been a lot of fun at times. You know, when we’re not worried about his elbow shredding apart…

Anyway, here are some clips of #TANAK in action:

Baseball is less than a month away! … Click here to read the rest

Thursday Morning Links: 1/21/16

Tired, neck hurts this morning, and the coffee and cough drop flavors are not mixing well in my mouth.  Let’s do some linking.

– On Monday, Chad Jennings pondered just how good the Yankee team defense could be in 2016.

– On Tuesday, our own Stacey Gotsulias posted a very personal piece at The Hardball Times about the bond that she and her father shared over baseball and the Yankees.  Definitely read this if you haven’t already.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa profiled Aroldis Chapman as a complete pitcher, showing that he’s more than just than just the high, stinky cheddar.

– Ken Davidoff of The Post had Hal Steinbrenner’s thoughts on the Chapman signing and potential suspension.  I didn’t have as big a problem with this as the rest of baseball twitter seemed to, but I also hate it anytime Hal says anything so I could be desensitized to him in general.

From the IIATMS team:

– On Tuesday, Scott dove into the details of Brian McCann’s decline and touched on what it means for the remainder of his contract.… Click here to read the rest

Thoughts And Afterthoughts A Month Away From Pitchers And Catchers

Technically it’s less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting, but I’m rounding up.  Creative license.  The important thing is that the light at the end of the football tunnel is getting pretty bright and that means baseball isn’t far off.  We’ll have to slog through that week-and-change dead zone after the Super Bowl and that’s always a bummer, but it won’t be long after that when it will officially be baseball season again.  With that in mind, here are some quick thoughts on a variety of Yankee topics I’ve had rattling around in my head over the last few weeks:

– I’m already looking forward to this season more than I have the last few and I’m taking that as a sign that I’m pleased with what the team did this offseason.  I definitely would have preferred they get more involved in the free agent pitching market, at least the shallow end of it, but the moves to add extra Triple-A depth were fine, they retained all their top MLB-ready or near MLB-ready prospects, and they got better at multiple other spots on their 25-man roster.  … Click here to read the rest

Yanks And Eovaldi Come To Terms On New 1-Year Deal

And another arb-eligible player checked off the list.  The Yankees announced that they have agreed to terms on a new 1-year deal with Nathan Eovaldi today, avoiding arbitration in the process.  Via Jon Heyman, the deal is worth $5.6 million, the exact midpoint between the numbers each side submitted last week and slightly below the MLBTR projection of 5.7

It’s not quite the same as Didi’s situation, as this was Eovaldi’s second year of eligibility and he is not a Super Two, but it’s similar in that Eovaldi does stand to make himself some big bucks in the future if he can continue to build on his solid 2015 season.  He pitched to a 4.20/3.42/3.81 tripleslash in 154.1 innings, setting a new career high in K rate and racking up 3.2 fWAR in 27 starts before finishing the year on the DL with elbow soreness.  Before the injury, Eovaldi was really humming along in July and August as he started to feel comfortable with his splitter as an effective third pitch and he is expected to be fully healthy and ready to go when Spring Training starts.  … Click here to read the rest

It’s Not a Blip: McCann is Old and Declining

McCann HBP 2015

Courtesy of Getty Images

Every off-season, you get emptily hopeful pieces like this one that must’ve taken Newsday reporter Steven Marcus several minutes to write:

McCann wasn’t satisfied with his .232 batting average. “I don’t like looking up there and seeing I’m hitting around .230,’’ he said Friday from Orlando, Florida, where he was participating in a charity golf tournament. “I’ve got to get better. I’d like to hit .300 with 30 [homers].

Don’t scoff yet at an “article” from a 5-minute call Brian McCann returned in a slow golf moment: maybe Marcus got a scoop on McCann’s new contact-hitting strategy after years of .230, .256, .232, & .232? Here’s McCann’s big quote: “‘I think Tex says it the best: walk more and hit for extra-base hits. The game today is about getting on base and driving runs in.’” So we’re told McCann will raise his batting average by improving the non-batting-average OPS components: walks and extra-base hits. Relatedly, I plan to lose weight by putting lifts in my shoes.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks Avoid Arbitration With Didi, Agree To A 1-Year Deal

Three down, three to go.  Via Jack Curry, the Yankees knocked another one off the to-sign list yesterday, agreeing to a 1-year, $2.425 million deal with starting shortstop Didi Gregorius.  Didi filed for a $2.525 million salary last week while the team came in at 2.3, so this final figure is a bit above the midpoint and a small victory for Didi.

This was Didi’s first year of arbitration eligibility and based on service time he qualifies as a Super Two player, so he could be looking at some very nice paydays to come if he can continue to improve on his solid 2015 season.  After a sloppy start in the field and a slow start at the plate, Didi finished the year with a .265/.318/.370 batting line, 9 HR, 57 runs scored, 56 RBI, 5 defensive runs saved at short, and 3.1 fWAR.  His K rate was below 15% and he hit .294/.345/.417 in the second half of the year while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.  … Click here to read the rest

Monday morning news and notes: 1/18/16

Happy Monday morning, everyone.

It has been a while since I’ve posted and I figured, why not start off with an entry talking about what other writers have written? We’ll look at some Yankees news, and some news from around baseball, so grab a cup of joe, sit back and relax.

Yankees Stuff

First up, Ken Rosenthal, in his column on Fox Sports, posted this morning at 8:00 a.m., expounded on the Yankees and Yoenis Cespedes. Amazingly, it’s January 18 and Cespedes has not been signed by anyone. Yesterday, Peter Gammons suggested that the Astros go in on Cespedes and today, Rosenthal suggested the Yankees trade Brett Gardner for a pitcher, then sign Cespedes.

Such a move would require a trade of left fielder Brett Gardner, who is under contract for three more seasons and owed $38 million. A Gardner deal, however, would be difficult to pull off this late in the off-season, and any pitcher the Yankees acquired for him would need to be inexpensive if the team also was signing Cespedes.

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