A Month of Fundays

A New York Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers and other stuff blog.


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Saturday, December 16, 2017

This Week on the Blog

Altight, this week seemed to end with the Yanks ameliorating their need for a 6th starter, as the guy who would fit that role, CC Sabathia, has signed to be the 5th starter.  We'll see if they've learned anything.  The Knicks have been fun, the Rangers still haven't reached cruising altitude and the Giants have just three games left of this undexpected season in Hell.  Let's take a look.

Yankees: The Yankees still have all sorts of dry power.  CC's 10M deal doesn't even eat up Chase Headley's traded away slot. Plus they have their full farm, 3.5M to add new IFA's to it, and the ability to shed more salaries if needs be. They are sitting pretty, let's see if they can show some restraint, and only leap at great opportunities.

Giants: Three games left.  Everyone who is anyone is on IR. Still looking for a GM and a new coaching staff.

Knicks: KP is day to day with a sore left knee, which is fine.  THjr is more problematic.  It's been two weeks and he's still not close. Meanwhile, Melo is coming back tonight.  I don't care, but one thing that is very observable is that Knick players are willing to play defense, when they don't have a bad example showing them how not to.  Even without KP and THjr, they are infinitely more fun to watchn than the Rangers.

Rangers: Buch still isn't playing enough, but remains the sparkplug.  Nash, Hayes and Zucc seem to be coming around as they showed last night against the Kings. They still stumble at times, but it is getting closer.  The early goals given up thing, is brutal and must be cleaned up.  Lindy Ruff has not distinguished himself with the defense.  They play the Bruins later.

So there it is.  Yanks sitting pretty, Knicks entertaining, Rangers rounding into form - or not, and the Giants? Whatever happened to them?

Have a great one, peeps!


Yanks Sign CC

This is just breaking, but the Yanks have agreed with CC Sabathia on a one year 10M deal - pending a physical, which could undo it, but probably won't.  I'd think this means no trade for a pitcher, because they'd have to she more salary to make the necessary room with the raises and benefits they have to still supply. So this means the prospects are probably safe and the Yanks are back to having all the leverage.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Yankee Pitching

The Yanks went into the post Stanton Upgrade looking to trade for a young controllable pitcher.  Of course very few things are more expensive than such animals as we saw last summer when the Yanks traded for Sunny Gray.  And paying a lot for one of these guys does not guarantee results, as we saw when the Yanks traded for Sonny Gray. Also, when they traded for Jeff Weaver, and Javier Vaszquez 2X.  It hasn't been successful formula for us in this era, and Gray is a very fresh sample.

What is also true is that the Yanks are now more stacked with power armed pitchers than they have ever been on the minor league level.  So all they'd really be doing by packaging prospects for Cole, or Corbin or Fulmer is buying a little time.  And that would be much easier to achieve by just bringing back CC. Not many people expected Jordan Montgomery to do what he did last year, and the system is not out of candidates for a repeat.  So let them compete for 6th starter, and don't throw good prospects after costly but volatile contollable pitching.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Knicks Win a Road Game

Albeit it was in Brooklyn which is still home for many Knicks fans.  But it was on the road. The tough point is that KP had to leave the game early in the third quarter due to a sore left knee.  I'm hoping the Knicks were just over cauthious as I would hope they would be and he just needs some ice.  Frank once again showed that they are a better team with him on the coutrt than off.  He also made some beautiful feeds. Sure, he will have some turnovers, but he also creates them the other way, and at some point some of those turnovers will be seen as fouls.  KOQ was back to being his good self, after a few weeks of his not as good self.  Courtney Lee had a game high with KP out, but he should be traded as soon as anyone offers a 1, and is not part of the future.  Lance Thomas is playing too much and I'm not sure we have the right coach given the clear issue of veteraness.

The Machado Question

Michael Kay is apparently saying that Cash is going hard for Machado.  While I find this hard to believe at this juncture, when Cash goes sub rosa things often happening on the other side of it.  Everyone says the White Sox have the best offer, while others are saying the White Sox are part of a three team trade with the Yankees, so Peter Angelos doesn't have to deal directly with the Yanks.  If the Yanks are going to do this, I hope they are getting Manny to play SS not 3B and that Didi is a part of the package not Andujar, because an eventual infield of Bird, Torres, Machado, Andujar and Sanchez could be really special.

Also, troubling in all of this is that Manny will soon need a mega deal.  I'd rather only give out those big deals to our homegrowns like Judge and El Gary. In fact, I want to give those two big deals before they get anywhere near free agency.  We blew that chance with Jeter, and blew it another way with Cano.  We need to extend them to age 35 after next season, hopefully. So I don't want to complicate that with having a superbig deal for Manny on the books as well as Stanton.

UPDATE: Bob Nigthengale is now saying the White Sox have the strongest offer, but Baltimore is worried that they will turnaround and send him to the Yankees.

Post Winter Meetings State of the Yanks

The Yanks are a little undressed. Yes, they really improved their offense by acquiring Stanton, but they've also lost players and personnel that they have yet to replace.  Furthermore they have yet to address pitching whether through trade or re-signing CC.

Let's look at the player side first.  They traded their starting 2B and 3B and though they have prospects that could fit both positions, they are unlikely to go into the season without training wheels or temp starters for those spots.  They also haven't upgraded backup catcher which is a BIG NEED.

Beyond that, on the personnel side, they're filling out the big league coaching staff, but have lost some minor league coaches migration or in the cases of Reggie Willits and Carlon Mendoza, promotion to the big leagues.  So they have to be replaces as we as Josh Paul and their AAA manager.  They also need to replace Kevin Reese in the NYC pro scouting deptartment, and still need another brain or two in the minor league player development department.

So there's a lot of vetting, hiring, scouting, trading and signing yet to be done. But we got Stanton and are still way ahead of the game.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Yanks on Day 3

Slow day 3, and Cash is cypher mode.  They're still focused on pitching with names like Fulmer, Cole, Archer and others on the trade front and CC and maybe others on the FA front.  Some of the deals might include infield insurance, but if they don't the Yanks have also been connected with Nunez Redux or maybe a shocking run at Manny Machado. Who knows?

Cash did say they won't be picking anyone in the Rule 5 draft tomorrow, where the Yanks will get decimated.  The Rule 5 draft is sort of the bastard child of a letter Tommy Henrich wrote to Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis back in the 1930's.  Back then, teams were really starting to take over and make subserviet minor league franchises, and the Indians and Cardinals were sort of leading the way, and controlling hundreds and hundreds of players.  Henrich was mired in the Indians mega-system and getting older. As a result of the letter, Landis declared Henrich a free agent - who immediately signed with his favorite team - the Yanks.  The spirit of the decision was that teams should not control so many players that careers are lost or compromised.  Now, if tomorrow, all those kids became FA's with a chance to get bonused or something it might not be so disgusting.  Instead, bad teams will pilfer from the better teams.

Btw, had it not been for WW2, both Tommy Henrich and Charlie King Kong Keller would have made the Hall of Fame.  Henrich was a career 132 OPS+  and Keller was a career 152 OPS+.  Tommy lost his age 30, 31 and 32 seasons and Charlie lost his age 27 season.  And they both had big seasons after the war.   So when you look at those old DiMaggio teams, that kept kicking holy ass after Lou got sick, look no further than that regular outfield featuring three BEASTS.

Anyway, this Rule 5 horseshit is more welfare for the wealthy and it makes me sick.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The KP and Frank Show

What an exhilirating game!  When I was a little kid, Knicks/Lakers was the game. Not so much since then, but tonight, both teams lead by their young stars like Kristaps and Frank, put on an overtime show at the Garden that the Knicks ended up winning. Both teams probably made more mistakes than they will once they mature, but the energy was electric.  By the way, the only guy who can slow KP down without fouling him is Hornacek.  KP might have scored 50, instead of 35 tonight, if Hornacek didn't take him out when he was hot and let him sit till he was not.  Just the same, Frank came off the bench and added 13 of his own, and really pushed the ball for the team.  When he and KP play together, they are hard to beat, so it's odd that Frank is not starting.  Even with his uneven playing time, Frank is back on the upswing and hit some really big shots in the 4th.  But another fun night at the Garden, against an ancient foe. Good times ahead.

Yanks Trade Headley and Mitchell for Jabari Blash

The Yanks just created some salary and prospect space by trading Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash who at 6'5" is the Yankees third tallest right fielder.  Blash is 28 or will turn 28 this year.  He'll probably be used in another trade or released.  Nevertheless, I love getting rid of Headley, though he was a good guy and a good Yankee.  Abreu time!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Yanks Complete Day 1 at the Meetings

On Official Day One of the 2017 Winter Meetings, the Yanks officially introduced their new their latest in a long line of history sluggers, Giancarlo Stanton. He follows Homerun Baker, Ruth, Mize, Maris, Reggie, Winfield, Tartabull, Giambi, Matsui, Sheffield, Arod and Teixeira as mashers from outside.  And most of them have portended great things. Stanton will join them, becoming the new big brother to Judge, Sanchez and Bird. It's going to be amazing.

The Yanks also substantially established the new coaching staff. Not sure if they've named them all yet, but they've named an interesting bunch.

Finally, it seems like we're back to the era of the Boss. In those Hot Stove periods, more often than not, the Yanks made 2 big moves. Matsui and Contrera, Sheffield and ARod, Teixeira and Sabathia (and AJ Burnett!) And I think we're all expectinf another one now, though, I don't think Garret Cole fits the above category, and would not pay nearly as much as the Yanks ended up paying for Sonny Gray.

So lets see if they widen their nets on Day 2. They are loaded to the gills, but they can't become impecunious with talent.  That's cost them before and it has to stop costing.  Cole isn't worth Frazier plus. In fact, if Frazier is involved it must be Cole plus.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Josh Bard to be Yankee Bench Coach

Josh Bard, the onetime journeyman Catcher, and 2005 Aaron Boone teammate in Cleveland will be his first Bench Coach. Bard's been working for the Dodgers since his retirement, and was recently their bullpen coach.  It wasn widely expected that an old manager would be the bench coach, but Bard hasn't managed. Rothchild has, as both Cash and Boone pointed out, and it seems like he wil be relied on to provide some mentoring.  That could actually make sense, since the tricky part is switching pitchers and Rothchild can handle that.

Not only was he a teammate of Aaron Boone, but was also CC Sabathia's Cleveland Catcher. Who knows if that will mean anything. I'm now thinking Boone, who is only 44, might be looking for guys his age or younger for his staff.  Bard is 39.

Update:  And Phil Nevin will be the 3rd Base Coach.

Further Update: and Mike Harkey will be back as Bullpen coach.  This concerns me because both Chapman and Betances went through terrible periods last year and we're not changing the pitching coach or the bullpen coach.  I think if we don't win, we can trace it to this.

Giants Stuff

The Giants just got blown out in the 4th quarter of their Interim Head Coach's first game.  They did play hard, but super conservatively for 3 quarters, that included Darius Powe constantly making the wrong reads, and some ball security issues all around.  In other words, they are going to have a rare high pick come April, and before they can even think about making it, they have to get the right coach and GM in place.

They really can't blow this.  After Parcells jumped ship, the Giants went through 3 coaching regimes before finally finding one that could do what Parcells did. Right now they are through their Handley period, and they cannot afford another Reeves or Fassel era.  They have to find their next Parcells/Coughlin Head Coach, and the next young George Young to be their new GM.  They, really, really cannot have another 13 year free jazz exploration. This is completely on ownership...

Yanks to Introduce Stanton Monday

The Yanks just circulated the information that they will introduce Giancarlo Stanton to kick off the Winter Meetings tomorrow in Orlando. I assume they'll have their logo and other announcement package down there.  Wonder if the Marlins will have any part of it.  I seem to remember all the teams talking when the Yanks made the Granderson Deal at the WM's several years ago. By the way, he prefers that his name steart with the french Jean alteranate J sound, rather than the hard John J sound. I remember when he was in the famous ND HS program out here and then when he was outhomering Montero in the Sally League. Only guy doing it. Big day.