Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 3/7/14

If you haven't already, I cannot stress enough how much you should be watching "True Detective" on HBO.  I don't have HBO myself, and I was planning on catching up on the first season once it ended after hearing some really positive early reviews, but the internet coverage and discussion of the show has blown up so much over the last few weeks that I couldn't wait anymore.  I finally found some reliable links online to stream previous episodes without virusing my computer up the ass and I caught up on the first 7 episodes this week in preparation for Sunday's season finale.  Phenomenal show.  Phenomenal.  Best new show I've watched since "Mad Men" first debuted and I can't recommend it enough.  Now onto the links!

- On Tuesday, Chad Jennings of LoHud unloaded his first batch of early spring musings.  He likes what he's seen from Mason Williams so far and he's optimistic about Kelly Johnson.

- Mike Axisa of RAB previewed CC Sabathia's 2014 season.  He thinks CC is due for a rebound and I'm inclined to agree.

- Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley looked back at the Yankees' history of above-average pitch framing and what that means going forward with one of the best in the biz in Brian McCann behind the plate.

- El duque of It Is High... tried to talk the Mariners into taking Ichiro back now that he's declared that he wants to play for "many more years".

- On Wednesday, Michael Eder of IIATMS/TYA floated Oliver Perez as a possibility to increase the bullpen depth.   I know his name doesn't bring up great memories for New Yorkers, but I'd be open to it.

- SG of RLYW projected Brett Gardner's 2014 season in response to the recent contract extension.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog reviewed historical ST home attendance numbers and the effect last season's down year could be having on this spring's attendance.

- On Thursday, Derek Albin reviewed the Yankees' 2008 top prospects, the last time they ranked as a top 5 organization, and what that class has turned into for the organization over the last 5 seasons.

- On Friday, Grant Graulich of Yanks Go Yard issued his 5 bold predictions for 2014.  To be honest, one of them is so un-bold that it's almost comical.  The other 4 are pretty bold though.

I'm sticking with the "True Detective" theme for this week's Friday Jam and going with "A History of Bad Men" by The Melvins.  Pretty sure this was the song playing during the scene when Rust walks into the biker bar in episode 4.  If I had full creative control over every aspect of my life, I'd go into slo-mo and have this song play every time I entered a room.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

A Rainy Day Of Firsts Yesterday

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

For a while, it didn't look like yesterday's game was going to happen.  It was raining hard, the scheduled start had been pushed back, and the forecast wasn't all that promising.  It was supposed to be Masahiro Tanaka's second ST appearance and first official start in a Yankee uniform, cause for as much excitement as any ST game should cause, and both Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano were also slated to make their first ST appearances.  As luck would have it, the weather cooperated long enough to get the game in and not deprive us of another chance to dissect Tanaka's outing or the string of related "firsts" that happened yesterday.

Joe's Got The Mental Wheels Turning On All The New Rules

A power outage prevented the replay system from being used in yesterday's game, but via Chad Jennings, that didn't stop Joe from being right on top of things when it came to another new rule change for this season.  In the 7th inning, Scott Sizemore had to slide around the catcher to avoid a tag on a play at the plate, and it looked to Joe like the catcher was blocking Sizemore's path.  Joe immediately went and had a chat with the home plate umpire to get an explanation:

“What constitutes giving them a lane to slide is what I want some clarification (about).  I’d have to see where he was standing, but it looked like he was somewhat straddling home plate toward third base, not behind it, and is that enough?”

Going over potential replay situations in his head, questioning umpires on the definition and proper enforcement of the new home plate collision rules.  It may only be the first week of March, but it sounds like Joe is already in regular season mode mentally and I love it.

Spring Training News And Notes: 3/6/14

The rain let up long enough for the Yankees to get in a 4-3 win today.  It was Masahiro Tanaka's second start and the first game of the year for both Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano.

- Tanaka's second start was a different kind of good from his first.  He went 3 innings and threw 41 pitches, gave up a solo HR, walked nobody, struck out 1, and recorded 7 of his outs on the ground.  Not bad for a 90-minute rain delay.

- Teix and Soriano combined to go 0-6 with Soriano whiffing 3 times.  Clearly the lost time from that flu bug has him behind.  Derek Jeter got his first hits of the spring with a 2-3 day.

- Michael Pineda will make his first appearance since ST 2012 today in relief of Hirok.  Joe announced yesterday that Manny Banuelos will do the same for an inning on Saturday.

- CC Sabathia threw a simulated game in the morning.  David Phelps threw a bullpen session.

- Another step forward for Tyler Austin, who hit off a tee without any discomfort.