ALDS Victory Perspectives

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Wow!  That was amazing.  I have so many ideas and perspectives following what was an absolutely amazing five game series.

Let's start with Joe Girardi.  It's time to be fair and honest.  Girardi did an outstanding job.  Outside of the Game 2 debacle, Girardi actually out-managed Terry Francona.  I know it's hip to say what a great manager Francona is, but, if he was in New York - imagine the outrage now.  I felt that throughout the series, Francona made numerous questionable moves: Kipnis in center field, not starting Corey Kluber to open the series, using the entire bullpen in Game 4... Yes, Francona is an excellent manager, but he's not infallible.  I believe his record in his most recent "championship" games is 0-6, am I correct?

Also speaking of Girardi.  Let's say he doesn't come back for 2018.  Please tell me who you would like to see managing the team who is better than Joe Girardi.  Does anyone on the list of potential Mets or Red Sox managers inspire great hope?  For me, I hope Girardi stays.  I think his overall body of work as Yankees manager has been outstanding.

One last Girardi point - he deserves a standing ovation when the teams are announced at Yankee Stadium for Game 3.  A Standing Ovation.  

Moving Didi to the #3 spot in the batting order, breaking up the right handed bats of Judge and Sanchez, was a brilliant move (by Girardi).  Didi is fast becoming a New York superstar and legend.  He's happy, he's fun, he's full of energy, his Twitter posts are great, and he is one OUTSTANDING baseball player!  Didi is one of the leaders on the team.  The Yankees should extend his contract this off season.  Keep Didi in the Bronx.  He has become, in just a few years, a cornerstone player.  He's already knighted.  Might they make him the captain one day?

Brett Gardner has also cemented himself as a "True Yankee."  He has also been the heart and soul of this team.  The veteran.  The leader.  Full of energy.  Gardner does not give away at bats.  He battles.  And then he battles some more.  The 9th inning at bat last night was textbook great.  He battled until he could get a pitch that he could drive.  Those two insurance runs made all the difference.

I love Aaron Judge and think he's a super star, but the strikeouts are a HUGE problem.  We have to admit this.  His ALDS was a nightmare.  I don't think he should be ripped by fans or the media.  It's not like he isn't trying.  But, he had a bad series.  Legendarily bad.  It happens.  But, that being said, he's killing the Yankees in the #2 spot in the order.  It's time for a line-up change.

My optimal lineup goes Gardner (LF), Hicks (CF), Didi (ss), Sanchez (c), Bird (1b), Castro (2b), Ellsbury (dh), Judge (RF), Frazier (3b).  I could be convinced to flip Castro and Judge.  

I think Matt Holliday should be left off the ALCS roster.  The Yankees owe him nothing, there is no spot in which he'll be used, or so it seemed from the ALDS, so they should add a player who can play the field, just might hit, and can run (Clint Frazier).  

Who will DH for the Yankees?  The position gave the Yankees nothing.  Nothing.  Ouch.  Think about that, the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, got zero production from their designated hitters.  (And they still won the series!)

Back to the positive stuff...

Todd Frazier is full of positive energy.  He brings a lot to this team.  He's solid.  He's a smart player.  The run he scored last night, because he goes all out and is always thinking on the field, was gigantic.  It took the pressure off of the team for the bottom of the 9th inning.  It put the game out of reach.  I'm so glad he's on the team.

The Yankees pitching has been spectacular.  CC was amazing last night.  Nine strikeouts!  Girardi managed EXACTLY as I would have the way the game played out.  Chapman has been outstanding since September 1.  He fixed whatever was ailing him.  He has been amazing.  D-Rob, Tanaka. Severino, Kahnle... they were all lights-out.  Brilliant.  Man is that fun.  

What a joy it is to watch great baseball!

Yankees fans must enjoy the moment.  Today is a day to celebrate and relish in the joy that comes from unanticipated success.  No one expected this.  The joy of sports is in moments like these.  The Yankees Won!  The Yankees WON!  The season goes on.  And it is GREAT!  

Go Yankees!  GO YANKEES!!!!!

 

 

Podcast Episode 90: Masahiro Tanaka, Minor League Roundup

E.J. and Paul discuss what to do about Masahiro Tanaka. They then do a quick roundup through the high minors, covering Chance Adams, Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres and the other top prospects in the Yankee system.

This episode is sponsored by the Yankee Stadium Watch of Original Grain Watch Co

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Episode 86: Judge, Rotation, Minor League Roundup

EJ, Scott and Jim talk about Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, and survey the first month of Yankee minor league action.

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The Yankees 2016 Trade Deadline Sell-Off Almost Didn't Happen

Super interesting stuff from Terry Sawchik at Fangraphs:

In the fourth week of July last year, while hosting Baltimore, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman reached an agreement to send Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs. It would be the first move in a partial dismantling of the club, a rebuild in New York representing one of the rarest roster-construction projects in baseball. But Cashman, and Cubs president Theo Esptein, had to wait. They had to wait for approval from Yankees ownership.

With the framework having been agreed upon, Chapman was still a Yankee as he entered a game on July 23rd against the San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium. He pitched the ninth and 10th innings.

“Chapman went two-plus innings, not something normally [that occurs] if you are going to execute a trade” Cashman told FanGraphs. “[Steinbrenner] waited 72 hours to green light it as he discussed it with his family. It was not an easy decision. I was keeping Theo on hold, essentially. I told him ‘I will let you know if ownership says ‘yes’.’ I said ‘I am recommending it. We’ll see what happens.’

[...]

“It’s not the first time I’ve suggested that,” Cashman said of retooling. “It’s the first time ownership actually agreed to do it.”

At the time, I didn't think this was Hal's axe to grind. Rebuilding was essential, and the Miller and Chapman deals were too enticing. The Yankees very easily could be with Andrew Miller and without Frazier, Sheffield, Torres, Warren, and others now.

I'm curious about those other times that Cashman suggested selling to rebuild. I still think it is unforgivable not to have sold off at the 2013 trade deadline. Robinson Cano and Hiroki Kuroda were both free agents and the best hitter and pitcher available at the time. The Yankees were clearly out of it. 2014-2016 may have been a lot more exciting with three or four top prospects.

Podcast Episode 76: Spring Training Games Cometh

E.J. and Scott discuss the future of the Yankees at Center Field after Jacoby Ellsbury. Will Mason Williams, Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier, Jorge Mateo, or someone else be next? They also discuss discuss some recent New York Yankees news. 

We're sponsored by seatswaptickets.com, a great new website where fans can trade their unused tickets with other fans. Use the promo code "SWAP" to get $20 off your next purchase on Swap Seat's partner website, Seat Geek.

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Seven Yankees Make Baseball America's Top-100 List

Not bad:

  • 5. Gleyber Torres
  • 39. Clint Frazier
  • 45. Blake Rutherford
  • 85. Jorge Mateo
  • 87. James Kaprielian
  • 90. Aaron Judge
  • 91. Justus Sheffield

The big news here is definitely Gleyber Torres. BA is now the second major ranking to place Torres among the top-10 MLB prospects (Keith Law also had him at #4). The consensus opinion on Torres at the end of the season probably was more in the 20-30 range, but he impressed everyone by hitting .403/.513/.645 in the Arizona Fall League at the unusually young age of 19. 

Blake Rutherford is ranked 6th among 2016 draftees, which is pretty impressive for a recent 18th overall pick. 

For context, here are the top-100 Yankee prospects in the BA top-100 in recent years:

  • 2016: Jorge Mateo, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge
  • 2015: Luis Severino, Aaron Judge
  • 2014: Masahiro Tanaka, Gary Sanchez
  • 2013: Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin
  • 2012: Manuel Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, 
  • 2011: Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez, Manuel Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, Austin Romine
  • 2010: Jesus Montero, Austin Romine
  • 2009: Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, Andrew Brackman
  • 2008: Joba Chamberlain, Jose Tabata, Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson