Thursday, October 30, 2014

New York Yankees: Five gruesome months of A-Rod talk ahead

As soon as the San Francisco Giants secured the final out of the 2014 World Series, New York Yankees third baseman (or first baseman, or designated hitter or dumpster fire) Alex Rodriguez was back on the club’s 40-man roster after fulfilling his yearlong ban from the game due to his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal.

Seconds after the Giants' celebration began, there were plenty of A-Rod supporters and detractors on Twitter reminding everyone how blessed quiet it has been without him. Now we’ll be subjected to five months of chatter about his health, his demeanor, his ability to play at a major league level and whether or not he is clean before he begins stretching out with his teammates in Tampa.

I’ve been very open about the fact that I think he will be worthless to the team in the end. I just don’t see how he’ll be able to overcome the year off, after having minimal plate appearances in 2012 (181) and reconstructed hips. Despite A-Rod’s work ethic, he's 39 and well I don’t care how much one works at it, once a player approaches 40, he’s not going revert back to his prime as many misguided souls believe.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What to look for in tonight's World Series Game 7

Is there anything better than a World Series Game 7? A marathon season that begins in mid-February and runs through the end of October, comes to an end with a winner take all contest.

After rolling through the first three rounds, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants will face off in Kauffman Stadium tonight with the winner securing a ring. The Royals are looking for their first title since 1985, while the Giants are attempting to grab their third in five years.

A certain contrast in drama. With a win, one team erases decades of misery for their fans and the other builds a reputation as arguably the best team since 2010 for theirs.

With a championship on the line, here are some things to look out for in Game 7.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Enough 'baseball is dead' talk

If baseball is dead, then I must be a zombie.

As the television ratings continue to get watered down with every new cable outlet, each ridiculous reality show, along with various dramas and sitcoms, combined with the DVR society in which we live, Major League Baseball’s national prominence has been brought into question.

It’s crap.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yankees finally reshaping organizational roles in farm system

As the Kansas City Royals are set to host Game 1 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night, the New York Yankees are knee-deep in organizational changes surrounding their farm system.

The Yankees, long scrutinized by farm system experts, have named former hitting coach and scout Gary Denbo their next senior VP of baseball operations replacing Mark Newman, according the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand. The Yanks also removed Pat Roessler who was the team’s director of player development since 1995. Newman was in his role for 15 years.

The Yankees have stated since last season that they would be taking a different approach where it concerned the farm system and this seems to be the first step in that direction. It is also believed that the Yankees will split the responsibilities into four distinct areas; pro scouting, amateur scouting, international scouting and player development as described by New York Post columnist George A. King III.

Splitting the responsibilities makes absolute sense. The fact that this was not the case is telling, considering the Yankees inability to create stars through their system, whether to place on their own roster or use as trade chips. It’s possible the team’s failure to structure the department Denbo is taking over caused overlap which reflected in poor decision making. Nothing is assured in scouting players but placing emphasis on a single aspect for one or two executives could help the Yankees gain some ground in each sector.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yankees should replicate Royals' bullpen scheme

The New York Yankees could learn something from the Kansas City Royals -- how to lengthen the bridge from starter to closer and make it as secure as possible.

For much of this season and particularly in the postseason the Royals have marched out a three-headed beast from the sixth inning on. The trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland have made manager Ned Yost’s job fairly easy. The hard-throwing combination has been lights out in the playoffs, virtually untouchable at times.

Besides providing a better chance to win, the Yankees have another reason to try to replicate the strategy. It would cut down on the innings pitched of their starters. The game has just a few players who can go end to end anymore and there isn’t one on the Bombers who necessarily can do that on a start by start basis.

Much of the issue is with the starters coming off injuries or simply trying to prevent them. CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova missed much of 2014 and both will try to come back from major surgery. Masahiro Tanaka is one throw away from Tommy John surgery. No one knows when his UCL will completely tear, but it is going to happen at some point. Michael Pineda missed a chunk of 2014 as well and has had his share of maladies in years’ past. Whoever holds the final spot in the rotation; Brandon McCarthy if the Yankees sign him, or one of the young arms in the organization, either would benefit from minimized innings.

So, if the Yankees want to develop the same strategy, who are the players they’d turn to?