QUITE FRANKLY: Joe's Gotta Know Better

The Yankees blew a huge game on Thursday afternoon and I'm not so sure we can blame the offense for this one. I have to place blame on Joe Girardi. I have to second guess a move he made last night that impacted today's loss.

Last night while everyone focused on the 8 runs and 9 straight hits in the 3rd inning off of David Price, I was left scratching my head as Girardi elected to bring in Dellin Betances with the score 8-3 in the 9th. Now, Betances had the previous 3 days off so he was well rested BUT why bring him in when you might need him the following day for multiple innings or in successive days? The Yankees are at a point where every game is crucial, especially Thursday's game with the Detroit Tigers, a team that's in front of them in the Wild Card race. I knew the move would come back to bite the Yankees today, I just knew it.

With the score tied at 2, going into the bottom of the 9th inning, Girardi could've gone with Betances for another inning OR his closer David Robertson who hasn't pitched since Sunday. Joe did neither and went with Shawn Kelley. While good at times, he's not the guy I want out there with the game and "season" on the line. If Betances doesn't pitch last night, he easily stays in for the 9th. Ok, so he didn't, but why not bring in your most trusted guy in the bullpen to a game you NEEDED to win? Robertson is well rested and you could've used him for 2 innings if need be. If you're in the 11th and then need to use your second tier relievers, then do so, but use your "A" squad when you have so much at stake.

 Girardi said it “wasn’t a consideration” to use Dellin Betances for two innings tonight, and he indicated that it had nothing to do with using Betances last night. “You feel good about (Kelley) on the mound, especially the way he’s been throwing the baseball,” Girardi said. Kelley’s past five games leading into this one: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Kelley gives up a double to Victor Martinez to lead off the 9th. He allows another runner to get on base and proceeds to strike the next two guys out. And after all that hard work and maneuvering and strategy, on one pitch, the game, the series, and ANY positive momentum the Yanks could've had is all GONE. When a team has lost two of three in a tight wild card race, a one-run loss feels like rock bottom.
“That’s about as bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound in my career,” Shawn Kelley said. 

I'm emphasizing a lot tonight because that was how important this game and series was. Giradi mismanaged this one, a time he could ill afford to do so. So the Yanks leave town dropping a game in the Wild Card instead of gaining one. The Yanks head into Toronto answering questions of "what now" and "what ifs" instead of keeping the focus on the positive momentum they had to begin the week. The window is closing on the 2014 season and there is very little room for error. On Thursday afternoon, Brian McCann came within inches of hitting his 2nd go-ahead 3-run homerun of the week and putting the Yankees ahead for good, but almost doesn't count because Giradi failed in planning for a win.
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Yanks Mc-Can Make Their Way To A Playoff Spot


The Yankees can hit with runners in scoring position. Well, during their current 4 game winning streak they are. Better at bats have resulted in better results. Those results are finishing a homestand 4-2 after dropping the first two to the not so lowly Astros.

In the process the Yankees have gained ground for that second Wild Card spot and currently sit 3 games out with 3 games against the Tigers coming this week. I asked ESPN NY's Ryan Ruocco and Don LaGreca for their thoughts on this run.

 
I couldn't agree more with both. In Ryan's case, I can relate because I have had this love-hate relationship with this team all season, more so in the last month since Tanaka went down with his elbow injury. In LaGreca's response, he's absolutely right. The Yanks have a huge week coming up. They have a makeup game against the red-hot Kansas City Royals on Monday and then have 3 against the Detriot Tigers, the team in front of them in the Wild Card standings.

My thoughts are, if the Yanks can go at LEAST 4-3 next week and gain a game or two in the Wild Card, then that makes Masahiro Tanaka's return must see tv. He might be the last shot of adrenaline this team needs going down the stretch.

Brian McCann hit a HUGE 3-run walkoff homerun on Sunday to complete the sweep of the Chicago White Sox. He looked pumped going around the bases. Hopefully this is the wakeup call for his underachieving season. Martin Prado has been hot his last 10 games, maybe he continues his tear and it infects the rest of the lineup. Ichiro had a clutch 2 run single on Sunday to give the Yankees the lead in the 6th, maybe that gets him going. Brett Gardner, the Yankees most consistent hitter all year has been quiet lately, can he get things going again? He missed Sunday's game after fouling a ball off his ankle Saturday. He's going to be a key component going down the stretch, the Yanks need him healthy and back to be the backbone of the lineup.

There's still a lot of questions left for this team with 34 games left to go. But none, at this moment are bigger than these next 7. The Yanks are going to face James Shields, Rick Porcello, David Price and Justin Verlander this week. Another run of CY Young caliber pitchers. That's another test for the Bombers, the question is, will be the last? or will it be just another obstacle on the way to October baseball? The only thing known for now, is that the Yankees are going into one of the must crucial weeks of the season with a lot of momentum on their side. Good vibes in the Bronx right now, lets hope they return to the Bronx with them.
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Joe Torre Day

Here are some pictures from Joe Torre Day today at Yankee Stadium. I'll have my thoughts on Joe on Monday with an article on his time in Pinstripes.

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#TBT: Joe Torre

Joe Torre will be honored on Saturday by the Yankees. He will receive a plaque for Monument Park and have his no. 6 retired. The picture above was taken moments after the Yanks won their last championship under Torre in 2000 after defeating the Mets in 5 games. Well deserved Mr. Torre.
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Yanks Avoid Sweep, Gain Ground in Wild Card

The Yankees were hitting .136 (8-for-59) with runners in scoring position in their previous nine games, seven of which they lost.


They didn't need to worry about that today as Brandon McCarthy pitched a complete game shutout against the Astros. The Yankees avoid the three game sweep and gain ground on the Tigers for the second wild card spot.


The Yankees have not scored more than 4 runs in the last 10 games. That's still VERY worrisome for me. Until I see a spark of offense from this team, I'm not sold on them making it to the playoffs. Nice 3-0 win today at the Stadium, but can't help to think how much better it would have been had the Yanks done their job and win the first 2 games of the series. For now...it's just a win in a disappointing season.
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Desperation Leads to More Frustration

Joe Girardi felt it, the Yankee offense felt it. Michael Pineda didn't for 6 innings, but much like this latest stretch, he fell victim of the Yankees desperation.

Girardi ran Pineda out for the 7th inning in a game he HAD to win. He couldn't use his late inning weapons of Dellin Betances and David Robertson. Who by the way, also have faltered in the crucial of times in the last week. Pineda reached his pitch limit through 6 innings but Girardi so desperate for a win, ran him out there for the 7th. I immediately thought back to Betances in Baltimore last week. Betances was lights out through 2 innings of relief but Giradi pushed the envelope and tried to get a 3rd straight flawless inning. He was playing with fire...he got burned. Betances served up a game tying home run and the Yanks lost a game they desperately needed. Tonight, Pineda walked the only man he faced in the 7th. That run came around to score the tying run. The walk also was the beginning of a four run 7th inning for the Astros and gave them a 5-2 lead.

The Yankees never recovered. They never recovered because they can't hit with runners in scoring position. That's it. There's nothing else to look at, second guess, or judge. The Yankee offense is TERRIBLE. A day after going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, they go 1 for 8 and left 10 men on base tonight. The fact that this team can't hit with men on base is baffling. It's frustrating, it BS, it's pathetic. At this point..it doesn't matter anymore. The Yankees are trying to get themselves to a 1-game playoff that they will go in the underdog, no matter who's on the other side. That's because, this team can't hit. If they can't beat the Astros, what makes you think they beat a playoff ready team in a winner take all game? What happens in that game, when the game is on the line and there's runners on base? If the Yankees are tensing up now, what happens when the SEASON is on the line? Nothing...that's the answer. Count down to Sept. 7th, because Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium will be the only special moment for the rest of the season. Such a shame....the Captain deserves better than that.
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Derek Jeter Ice Bucket Challenge



Derek Jeter Ice Bucket Challenge
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RE2PECT

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Beltran Headed to DL

The Yankees made it official today, they placed Carlos Beltran on the 15 day DL with a bone spur in his right elbow.

“It’s frustrating, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Beltran said. “I just have to find a way to get better and get back.
Right now, they gave me some cortisone pills by mouth to try to make it better, and let’s say if in 15 days it doesn’t get better, we have to talk about making another decision.”
With Beltran out, Ichiro should see an increase in playing time. Hopefully this injury doesn't linger on for the rest of the season and derail Beltran when the Yankees need him down the stretch.
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Subway Series Recap, Finale tonight

Granderson homers in return to the Bronx
Game 1:  Mets 9 Yankees 7
Curtis Granderson and company rally twice to take the first game of the 2014 Subway Series, their fifth straight over the Bombers
 





Game 2:  Mets 12 Yankees 7
David Wright drives in five runs, as Mets hit four homers in Yankee Stadium finale of Subway Series. Granderson homers for second straight night in return to the the Bronx





Tanaka throws first career complete game shutout
Game 3: Yankees 4 Mets 0
Masahiro Tanaka continues his new role as Yankee "ace" with a four hit complete game shutout. He also added his first major league hit as Yanks end 6 game slide vs the Mets.





Who are you rooting for? Tweet me @Coolguy924 #SubwaySeriesFinale
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Sabathia's Disasterious Season Takes Another Turn

The Yankees placed "ace" lefty CC Sabathia on the 15 day DL on Sunday. CC's 3-4 record and 5.38 ERA has many concerned as what the future might hold for the once dominant ace. The results from the MRI scheduled will give the Yankees a better idea of what to expect going forward.


 Is the knee injury the reason for CC's subpar numbers? I don't think so, as I think there is still an issue with his surgically repaired elbow. We'll know more as the results are made public.
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QUITE FRANKLY: Ca-NO Longer Welcomed Here

Robinson Cano made his return to the Bronx last night and much was made about the reaction he was given by the crowd at Yankee Stadium. I was one of those in attendance to see Robbie's return. So was about 15,000 other people braving the atrocious weather Tuesday night.

I don't see why a big deal was made. Like any other athlete who leaves in their prime to go to another team, Cano was booed. Ok, ok so it was a little more than just a couple boos.

Everyone in the entire ballpark came last night, sat in frigid temperatures and endured annoying rain drops just to come together as one to mercifully jeer Robinson Cano. They (we) had every right to do so.

For one, I booed him because he left my favorite team. He left my team when he could have been a huge piece to a World Series championship contender this year and for years to follow. People have argued that the portion of the crowd calling Robbie a sell-out is hypocritical. The Yankees have over the years over paid and bought a collection of superstars from other teams in hopes of regaining the dynastic years of the late 90's. To that, I agree. Cano went for more money and a more secure future in Seattle for 3 years and $65 million more than what the Yankees offered.

Let's be honest, we would of all done the same. We all go to the higgest bidder and we're all told we should get out of our comfort zone so we can cash in on our skills and talents. Not many times do we go with the "hometown discount" we all thought Cano would take.

“It was business for the Yankees and business for myself,” Cano said. “They made their decision and I made mine and we’re both happy.”
Robbie Cano left the Yankees for more money. A statement that no Yankee fan or anyone thought they would ever hear. It's unprecendented. The best player on the Yankees gave up the chance to be the face of the franchise, be paid like a boss and then some, a chance to be one of the all-time Yankee greats and a chance to be the next generation's Derek Jeter. None of that mattered. The only thing that did.... $$$$$$. That's the business decision Cano and his agent Jay-Z made. Not a smart one if you ask me.

With Jeter in his final season, the Yankees are looking for their next superstar. Cano was that guy. According to the ratings last season and the low attendance the Yankees received while the collection of superstars were injured during the majority of last season told the Yankees the bigger picture. While Cano was clearly the best player on the team, he clearly was no superstar, and he clearly wasn't worth the extra money and years that Seattle ultimately gave him. I'd say let him walk. The Yankees made the right decision. They did what was best for business.


Still as no. 22 Robinson Cano was announced with each at-bat, every second he had the spotlight on him, he was booed out of the Bronx. He fielded a ground ball, he paused for a second and effortlessly threw to first base to record the out, he was booed and booed and booed. Cano quickly upon his depature to Seattle was stricken with the notion he didn't hustle. One game years ago saw Cano not run out a routine ground ball. Yankees manager Joe Girardi saw enough and benched Cano for his lack of hustle. Since then, it's something that was held against Cano. Why? Because the Captain Derek Jeter always ran hard down the first base line..on every play. He's the standard in New York. Fair or not, it is what it is. Cano has put up MVP like numbers for the last 4, 5 years with only 1 World Series to show.

That is the telling tale of it all. One championship in nine seasons. That's considered a failure in the Bronx. The best player on the team needs to do better than that. He did...he left and took more years and more money from a different team. Who could blame him? Oh right, all of Yankee Stadium did Tuesday night.
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Tar Wars

Michael Pineda will have a lot of time to think about where he should put the pine tar as he gets ejected from the game and will likely face lengthy suspension as a result.

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Photo of the Day: April 22nd!

Derek Jeter slides into third base safely in Tuesday night's win over the Red Sox.

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A 'Bury Good Night at Fenway

A triple, a double, a nice catch in center, and a Yankees win sums up the night Jacoby Ellsbury had in his return to Boston on Tuesday night.

Ellsbury showed Boston he still has the goods
Not to be outdone Masahiro Tanaka pitched 7 1/3 innings in his Fenway debut allowing two homers in the 3rd inning but regained his composure and struck out 7. He's now 3-0 2.15 ERA on the season. The last time Tanaka saw a defeat? Back in 2012!

Derek Jeter added a couple of RBI singles, while Carlos Beltran added another home run in the Fenway rout.

The Yankees are 4-1 against the Red Sox , a stark contrast to the 6-13 record they had against their rivals all of 2013.
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Some news and notes for tonight's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park:


- David Robertson will be available to pitch as he was activated from the 15-day DL. To make room on the roster the Yankees optioned optioning Matt Daley and Bryan Mitchell down to the minors.
**Interesting to see how Robertson fairs in his new role as closer in Boston. This will be one of the major tests David will see this year in his first year replacing Mariano Rivera as closer.

- Jacoby Ellsbury makes his return to Fenway for the first time since leaving Beantown shortly after winning the World Series last October. I'll be looking forward to seeing how the Fenway faithful react to Jacoby's return.

- Tonight also marks Masahiro Tanaka's debut in Boston. This will certainly be watched closely as this start will give the Yankees an idea early on if the Japanese right hander has the makeup deserving of that huge contract given in the offseason. I'm predicting 6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 6 strikeouts with a no decision for Tanaka tonight.
"I'm sure that the fans will be heated up a bit," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I've seen the two teams play (on TV), and I understand there's a rivalry between the two teams going into the game. It should be a good experience going up on the mound that day and I'm very much looking forward to it."

- Derek Jeter is going into tonight's game with a 10 game hitting streak.
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The #OnTheBlockNY blog is back! After a few years away and concentrating on other ventures (Chasing800 and ChasingRecords) I am proud to announce the revival of this blog. I will do as much as I can to keep it fresh and new.
If you would like to contribute with an article or promote, please email me at NYYanksDynasty@MSN.com. As always the mission is to win another World Series for the Bronx Bombers, it will be my mission to try and follow along with them and give my insight. I will be adding new features in the coming days. Any suggestions or recommendation's is always welcomed.
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Simply the Best! Yanks Take 2, Now in First

It was a good weekend for the Yankees as they took 2 of 3 from their crosstown rivals. The Yanks and Mets finish the 2010 Subway Series 3-3.

Friday night the Yankee offense didnt show up, but Saturday and Sunday they awoke. Saturday Mark Teixeria and Curtis Granderson homered for the Yanks in support of Phil Hughes who improved to 10-1 and is surely going to be on his to Anahiem for the All-Star Game next month.

Sunday Teixeria homered again,this it was a grand slam off Mets ace Johan Santana and it was all the Bombers needed as CC Sabathia was lights out and won his 4th straight start. It looks like Sabathia and Teixeria are finally hitting their stride.

The Yankees lead the bigs with 7 grand slams (Alex Rodriguez, 2; Jorge Posada, 2; Teixeira; Granderson; Robinson Cano). The all-time Yankee record is 10 (1987).

The big thing out of this series was Teixeria production. Hopefully this is a sign of the MVP-like Tex we saw last year.

“It’s a daily grind. It’s never easy. You’re always working, especially both
ways,” Teixeira said. “It’s tough for me sometimes. But when I can hit a home
run left-handed yesterday, a home run right-handed today, hopefully that’ll get
some things rolling for me personally.”


The win puts the Yanks in 1st place for just the 3rd day this season. But no complaining here. I really hope Hughes not onlymakes the All-Star team but is the AL starter. How cool would that be? He'll surely be there as he is tied for the most wins in the AL.

Now that the Subway Series is done and over with, the Yanks can focus on the rest of the AL and make thier push towars the All-Star break and then the team usually heats up in the 2nd half so it's definately worth watching. Yanks, best record in baseball...let the haters begin to speak but it wont change the fact, the best team in baseball resides in the Bronx!

C800 Asks You: Should Phil Hughes start the All-Star Game? Are you hyped about the Subway Series? Share your thoughts on The Forum!
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Player Profile: Mark Teixeria

Mark Teixeria is in his 8th major league season, 2nd with the New York Yankees. The Yankees are his 4th team since entering the league in 2003. He also played for the Texas Rangers,Atlanta Braves, and Anahiem Angels.

Teixeira grew up in Severna Park, Maryland. He played varisty baseball for his high school. When Mark finished high school he was attended Georgia Tech. He was orginally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1998 but turned them down to attend college.

In 2001, won the Dick Howser Trophy as the national collegiate baseball player of the year. After that, Teixeira re-entered the draft and was selected by the Texas Rangers with the fifth overall pick.

In 2005, Teixeira became the third switch-hitter in MLB history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons. Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones are the others to accomplish the feat. His total of 144 RBI for that season is a Major League record for a switch-hitter.

In July of 2007 Teixeria was dealt to the Braves after rejecting a long term contract offer from the Rangers. His stay in Atlanta was short lived as he was only there for one calendar year as he was traded to the Angels at the trade deadline in 2008.

After the 2008 season Teixeria became a free agent and was being pursued by many teams as he was the elite hitter of the free agent class. The Angels and Red Sox were thought to be front runners in the Teixeria sweepstakes but the Yankees seemingly out of nowhere came in and swooped Mark and offered him the contract he was looking for. He ultimately signed with the Yanks and the rest is history.

In his 1st season in pinstripes Teixeria was worth every penny the Yanks gave him. He gave them an MVP worthy performance both at the plate and on the field. He finished 2nd in the AL MVP voting and won a Gold Glove. But the biggest accomplish was winning the World Series in his first year in the Bronx. Something his predecessor, Jason Giambi failed to do in his 7 years with the Yanks.

In 2010 Mark looks to repeat the success of 2009. Although as of writing he is still struggling to find his rthymn at the plate, he is still a force in the Yankee lineup on an everyday basis. He desire to win and gritty approach will get him to high places in the Bronx in the remaining years of his contract. I expect to see the same old Tex we're use to seeing, .300 average, 30 home runs, 100 RBI..that'll be there. Hopefully so will another World Series championship, when it's all said and done.
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October Rematch in the Bronx

Being the defending World Champions isn't easy. Everyone puts a bullseye on your back and does anything they can to take you out and make sure you don't repeat as champs. The Philadelphia Phillies know all about that, they were defending champs last season until they lost the World Series to the Yanks in 6 games. Guess who's back in the Bronx this week, yep..the former World Champs.

In a rematch of the 2009 World Series the Yanks and Phillies sent out their aces, CC Sabathia vs Roy Halladay. This had Game 7 of the World Series written all over it. Too bad it's only the middle of June and it's just another game on the schedule. Yankee fans wished it was Game 7 of the Series because the Yanks lit up Halladay by hitting 3 home runs and going on to win 8-3 at the Stadium. Home runs by Mark Teixeria, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson led the charge offensively for New York. Sabathia wasn't his dominant self but was good enough to get the win over Halladay.

In the second game of the series on Wednesday night the Phillies roughed up AJ Burnett for 6 runs and got a bit of revenge for Tuesday's loss. Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada homered in the losing effort for the Bombers, who were baffled by 47 year old Jamie Moyer.Moyer became the oldest pitcher ever to record a win against the Yankees. That's quite an accomplishment if you ask me.

The still remain with the best record in baseball despite the loss. They had their 9 game home winning streak snapped but there was a positive note coming out of the loss. Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup after missing the previous 4 games with his groin inujry. He had an RBI double in the 9th and appeared to show no ill effects from the injury as he was running to 2nd on the double.

Before the year began many people thought the 2010 World Series would be Yanks and Phils again, which is a pretty good pick but with the Phils recent struggles over the past few weeks, it puts that October rematch in doubt for the time being. Until then,we have this rematch. That's ok, it's still a series worth watching. Especially with Alex back in the lineup!

C800 Asks You: Do you think the Yankees and Phillies will meet again in the World Series this year? If not then who makes it to the Fall Classic? Share your thoughts on The Forum!
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