Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/23/13

I'm just 2 weeks away from my Yanks-Sawx weekend series.  Officially time to start getting excited.  I can almost feel the sun on my face as I get my picture taken in Monument Park.  I can almost smell the poor and homeless people on the subway.  I can almost taste the $9 beer.  It's going to be an awesome time and barring a complete bed shitting by the team to offset this current hot streak, it might actually be meaningful Yanks-Sawx baseball with the added intrigue of payback for the A-Rod plunking thrown in.  Not a bad setting for a first YS3 experience.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Mike Axisa of RAB took an early look at the potential call-up candidates when rosters expand in September.

- Hunter Farman of Yanks Go Yard made a case for why the Yankees should release Joba Chamberlain.  Even with Claiborne back on the roster, I'd support the move.

- Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes praised Joe for what he said following the A-Rod-Dempster incident last Sunday.  Lotta that goin' around this week.

- Scott Lemieux of Deadspin wrote a very interesting commentary on the A-Rod case and how it's blown up to comical levels of hysteria in the MSM.

- On Wednesday, Chad Jennings of LoHud unveiled the admittedly pretty slick Alex Rodriguez career timeline.

- Michael Eder of IIATMS/TYA broke down how Justin Morneau could fit into the current Yankee lineup.

- Matthew B. of Yankees Fans Unite commented on the positive contributions A-Rod has made on the field to help the Yankees get things going in the right direction again.

- On Thursday, Martin Riggs of NoMaas reminded everybody of just how filthy D-Rob's curveball has been this year.  Seriously, check out those numbers.

- El duque of It Is High... mused on the anti-A-Rod sentiment among the MLB players and wondered if Tampa would be the next team to hit him with a pitch this weekend.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog investigated the Yankees' history in day games after night games, a timely investigation after their series against Toronto.

- On Friday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits asked if Joe will want to come back in 2014.  It seems all but certain that the team will want him back, but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't want to deal with the effects of the payroll budget.

- Jesse Schindler of Pinstriped Bible examined the turnaround in the starting rotation's performance and how it's helped fuel the team's turnaround.

- SG of RLYW put Eduardo Nunez's horrific WAR totals to the test against the competition to see if he's been the least valuable player in baseball in 2013.

Coming in HOT for today's Friday Jam.  "The Safety Dance," Men Without Hats, right in your eyeball.  I don't think I need to say anymore than that.  Just drink it in.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Hal Late To The Party Again With His Minor League Meeting Of The Minds

(Courtesy of Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Earlier in the week, Hal Steinbrenner made the news when it was reported that he called some of his baseball people together in Tampa to discuss the team's lack of upper-level Minor League talent.  The Yankees have been patching holes in their roster since before the regular season started, and they've used a fair amount of rookies as part of the patchwork plan, with little offensive success to speak of.

The Yankees not developing much homegrown talent is hardly a new talking point.  The last batch of real prospects was the Hughes-Kennedy-Joba trio that in a matter of months might all be on different teams, and the last batch of real prospects to stick and make a positive impact at the Major League level was the Core Four.  The Yankees being stuck between the marginally competitive rock and the 2014 payroll budget hard place has just as much to do with their failure to scout, draft, and develop Major League talent as it has to do with any of the other organizational missteps they've made in years past.

Mil Rehab Roundup: Derek Jeter Comeback Part IV Edition

The Captain was back on the field for a live game last night, going 2-3 with an infield single and a double and making an error in the field in his 5 innings of work at shortstop.  There were no reports on how he looked or felt after the game, but since there's nothing breaking on any further tweaks to his legs I'm assuming he's fine.

Neither Joe nor the team has committed to anything beyond another game with SWB today, and details on where he'll play and for how long in that game are not known at this time.  Joe has been pretty emphatic in his statements that Jeter will not be activated this weekend to replace Jayson Nix on the active roster, so I expect Jeter will remain with the Triple-A squad at least through the weekend to see how his body responds.  It's like a broken record writing about this rehab outings at this point.  We should find out more details on what the plan is for Jeter later today.

Game 127 Wrap-Up: NYY 5 TOR 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

With all due respect to the Dodgers, the Yankees have become the most exciting team in baseball in the last 2 weeks.  They've got the eye of the current steroid storm playing for them every night while holding the league trying to ban him for life at bay and trading barbs with his team in the media.  They've got the hottest power hitter in baseball in Alfonso Soriano.  They've got one of the best players in baseball in Robinson Cano playing like it again in the final 30-something games of his contract year.  They've got good pitchers pitching terribly, bad pitchers pitching well, Mo blowing 3 saves in a row then saving 2 games in a day, Ichiro reaching historic milestones.  They've got power, they've got speed, they can play some D every now and then, and they've got plenty of guys who can make you swing and miss.  And after this 4-game sweep of the Blue Jays, they're suddenly back in contention.

Game Notes:

- Very strong start to Andy Pettitte's night.  He allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk through 4 scoreless innings, and the only batter he failed to retire was Rajai Davis.  Davis bested him on 2 stolen base attempts, once because nobody was at second for a tag, but Andy was in control.

- He was matched by J.A. Happ, who retired the first turn through the lineup in order and worked around a double and a walk in the 4th.  It was Andy who blinked first, leaving a changeup up just enough that J.P. Arencibia could go down and hit for a home run to lead off the 5th inning.

- The Toronto lead didn't last long.  The Yankees struck back for 2 in the bottom half of the 5th thanks to a Curtis Granderson leadoff HR to match Arencibia and some shoddy umpiring.

- With the bases loaded and 1 out, Vernon Wells lined a ball to center that Rajai Davis appeared to catch.  Yankee runners got hung up when the ump ruled it not a catch, but Eduardo Nunez ran home in all the confusion and the run stood.  John Gibbons was understandably upset and was ejected.  Nice break for the Yanks.

- The Yanks plated 3 more the next inning on 3 straight walks, an Eduardo Nunez 2-run single, and a Chris Stewart RBI groundout.  Good to see the Yankee patience coming back.

- Shawn Kelley relieved Andy after 6 good innings and was a disaster.  He loaded the bases and gave up 2 runs to give the Jays late life in the 7th.  But the trio of Logan, Claiborne, and D-Rob was good after that, as D-Rob covered for Mo's day off again and closed out the sweep.