Archive for the ‘Misc’
Attaching a brand to Derek Jeter’s image is a tried and true approach to advertising. And everyone seems to be doubling down in his final season. We’ve already seen elaborate tribute commercials from Nike and Gatorade, and now Major League Baseball itself is getting into the act. Playing on Jeter’s influence on young players, MLB has released an ad that features young players ranging from the Angels’ Mike Trout to Little League standout Mo’ne Davis.
According to a league press release, the spot will begin running this weekend on ESPN, FOX, Fox Sports 1, TBS, MLB Network, ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes. It’s also available on MLB.com and MLBFanCave.com (and it’s embedded in this very blog post, so that’s nice). MLB will also run a print ad paying tribute to Jeter in various newspapers including USA Today. The print ad is scheduled to run on Thursday, September 25, the day of Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium. So go grab a copy of USA Today that day.
When Hiroki Kuroda pitches his final game at Yankee Stadium, there will be no pregame ceremony. Nike won’t put together a fancy video tribute, former teammates won’t come onto the field to wish him well, and the Yankees won’t wear commemorative No. 18 patches on their sleeves.
But during a three-year period of rotation upheaval, Kuroda has been a much-needed source of stability. And there’s a chance that his next outing won’t only be his final game for the Yankees, but might be his final game, period.
“The next outing, I may end my career there,” Kuroda said. “Who knows?”
Tonight’s 6.2 innings were fairly typical of Kuroda’s three-year run in pinstripes. He wasn’t overwhelming, but he was perfectly effective. He got off to a slow start this season, but he’s had a 3.25 ERA since the All-Star break, which is awfully similar to the 3.32 and 3.31 ERA he had in his first two seasons with the team.
He’s 39 years old now. Would the Yankees want him back at 40? Would he want to come back?
“I don’t think any of us know what Hiro’s plans are,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s a discussion for the offseason, but he’s pitched really well. … I think it’s definitely possible (he could pitch effectively in the Majors again). I do. It comes down to, probably, if he wants to pitch. But there are no signs right now that he couldn’t do it.”
And before that decision is made, Kuroda still has one more start this season.
“For now, I still have a job to do, which is to finish this season,” Kuroda said. “I don’t really put too much time on (what’s next). It’s something I need to think about once I finish my responsibilities here.”
• Jacoby Ellsbury is getting an MRI tonight and the Yankees don’t expect to announce results until tomorrow. The early diagnosis is a right hamstring strain, and with only nine games left, there’s at least a chance Ellsbury is finished for the season. “I think that’s a distinct possibility,” Girardi said. “Any time a guy comes out and grabs his hamstring, you’re always concerned. It’s not what you want. We just lost (Martin) Prado, and Jake had swung the bat extremely well tonight. He’s a huge part of our offense. It’s not what you want, but we have to deal with it. That’s all we can do.”
• Ellsbury hurt himself while beating out a double play in the fourth inning. Beating the double play — with help from a bad Jose Reyes throw — let the Yankees score two insurance runs. Ellsbury initially stayed in the game to run, but he came out when the team took the field in the fifth. “He wanted to try,” Girardi said. “I said, OK, I’ll let you try. I didn’t’ really like the way he ran off second when the popup was hit. That concerned me, and that’s why I took him out.”
• Here’s the way Girardi described the injury: “He said it grabbed. I’d be surprised if he’s a player tomorrow. I’m just hopeful that it’s not much, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
• Before the injury, Ellsbury had his first three-RBI game since August 25 in Kansas City. He hit his 16th home run of the season and he’s hit .328 with 12 runs and nine RBI in 16 games against the Blue Jays this season.
• Derek Jeter had his second straight multi-hit game. He is 4-for-8 with a solo home run so far in his final home stand.
• Adam Warren got his first save since June 19. He got the game’s final four outs. “I didn’t know I’d be the closer,” he said. “But I knew a couple of guys were down and they were going to count on me for some big outs tonight.”
• Because of recent workload, Girardi said he didn’t have Dellin Betances or Dave Robertson tonight. Betances didn’t throw many pitches last night, but Girardi wasn’t willing to use him three days in a row. “Just because he only threw a few pitches doesn’t mean he doesn’t get up (in the bullpen),” Girardi said. “He works.”
• Big out from Esmil Rogers to get out of the bases-loaded jam in the seventh. “Basically you can’t give in to Bautista,” Girarid said. “If you get behind, you got an open base. You try to make your pitches.. He got ahead of him, he just couldn’t put him away. And he did a good job on Edwin (Encarnacion). He got two of the big guys and then Adam came in and did a tremendous job.”
• Yankees starters have now gone nine straight games recording at least five innings with no more than two earned runs. That’s their longest such streak since a nine-game span in 2012.
• The Yankees have won three straight and 11 of their last 15 at home.
• Final word to Warren: “Almost playing like we have nothing to lose. Just going out there, not putting pressure on ourselves, and I think we really benefited from that. We put a little run together. We might get back in it or not, but at least end strong and see what happens.”
Associated Press photos
Ellsbury leads Yankees then leaves game • 09.19.14
Jacoby Ellsbury played half of the game and made nearly all of the difference. Before leaving with a strained right hamstring, Ellsbury played a part in every Yankees run during a 5-3 win against the Blue Jays tonight at Yankee Stadium. It was the Yankees third straight win. Ellsbury doubled and scored in the first inning, he put the Yankees in front with a two-run home run in the third, then he gave them two insurance runs when he beat out a double play in the fourth (a bad throw from shortstop Jose Reyes helped). Sprinting down the line, though, came at a cost. Ellsbury was pulled from the game with a strained hamstring and will undergo an MRI. His offensive production helped Hiroki Kuroda get his 11th win. Continuing his strong second half, Kuroda allowed three runs — two earned — through 5.2 innings. Esmil Rogers pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, and Adam Warren finished off the win with a save. Derek Jeter had his second straight two-hit game.
Associated Press photo
Game 153: Yankees vs. Blue Jays • 09.19.14
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-9, 3.81)
Kuroda vs. Blue Jays
BLUE JAYS (77-75)
Jose Reyes SS
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Dioner Navarro C
Danny Valencia 3B
Munenori Kawasaki 2B
Dalton Pompey LF
Anthony Gose CF
LHP Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.40)
Buehrle vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: Little bit chilly, but I like it. Feels like fall, and that’s a good thing.
UMPIRES: HP Laz Diaz, 1B Scott Barry, 2B Mark Carlson, 3B Jeff Nelson
DON’T LEAVE EARLY: The Yankees have eight walk-off wins in 2014, surpassing their 2013 total (7) and marking their most since 2009 (15). Seven of the walk-offs in 2014 have come after the All-Star break, matching Washington and San Diego for the most in the Majors according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Elias also notes this is the most post-All-Star walk-offs by the Yankees since 2009 (7) and the club last had more in 1988 (8).?Elias notes that all of the Yankees’ 2014 walk-off at-bats are from players in their first year with team (Headley-3, McCann-2, Beltran-1, Prado-1, Young-1).
STARTING BLOCKS: Yankees starters have recorded at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or less in each of their past eight games, producing a 1.46 ERA in that span. It is their longest such streak since a nine-game span from June 2-11, 2012 during which they recorded at least six innings and allowed two earned or fewer in each game.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Yankees have won 10 of their last 14 games at Yankee Stadium and have won 21 of their 33 games at home since the All-Star break, the third-most home wins in the Majors over the span.
UPDATE, 7:11 p.m.: Nice little play by Jeter to keep Reyes off the bag and get him into a run down. Could have been a runner at third with one out, instead it’s a runner at first with one out.
UPDATE, 7:13 p.m.: Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all. There’s a two-run home run by Encarnacion off the left-field foul pole.
UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Leadoff double for Ellsbury. Opposite-field single for Jeter. Runners at the corners for the heart of the Yankees lineup.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: Ellsbury goes deep with a two-run, go-ahead homer. That’s number 16 for Ellsbury. It’s now a 3-2 Yankees lead, and here’s Jeter. The crowd seems to like him.
UPDATE, 8:21 p.m.: Ellsbury beats out a double play, and the Yankees get two runs out of it. Now Jeter has followed with his second hit of the night. It’s a 5-2 Yankees lead in the fourth.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Ellsbury seemed to hurt his hamstring beating out that play, and now he’s out of the game as the Yankees take the field in the top of the fifth. Gardner to center, Chris Young to left.
UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: Esmil Rogers got the ground ball he needed to get out of the seventh inning with the bases left loaded and a 5-3 lead still intact.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Yankees announce that Ellsbury has a strained hamstring and will go for an MRI. With so little time left in the season, that could be the end of the year for him. Meanwhile, here’s Adam Warren to pitch with one on and one out in the eighth.
Pregame notes: “It’s a risk worth taking” • 09.19.14
When I got to the press box this afternoon, Masahiro Tanaka was already in the outfield doing long toss. He threw a bullpen yesterday, came through today’s catch with no problems, and remains on track to start Sunday. There’s a chance he could blow out his elbow in that start, which is oddly the point.
If the injection-and-rehab protocol has done its job, Tanaka’s elbow ligament should be good-to-go by now. And the Yankees need to find out whether that’s the case.
“Are you saying why not wait until next year?” manager Joe Girardi said. “Because we feel that if his arm is going to be OK, it’s going to be OK. And if it’s not, then we want to have (surgery) done so you don’t miss parts of two seasons, in a sense. Or it’d be three, possibly. If it was to (blow out) early next year, you miss part of this season, next and probably part of the following. So this way you know if it doesn’t work, you probably wouldn’t have him for next season. But if he would have had (surgery) in July or August, you probably wouldn’t have had him anyway. So it’s a risk worth taking.”
That was the idea from the beginning. Obviously the Yankees know they might be delaying the inevitable, but three different doctors recommended this approach, and Adam Wainwright is a notable example of a pitcher who put off Tommy John surgery for several years after showing a small ligament tear.
Giradi has explained the Yankees approach several times, but because of the player involved — and because of just how meaningless these last few games have become — the topic remains the source of much debate and plenty of questions. If this plan doesn’t work, the Yankees will have lost the opportunity to potentially have Tanaka past surgery and back in the rotation late next season. If his elbow blows out this weekend, he’ll surely be lost for all of next season.
But if the plan works, the Yankees just might postpone Tommy John surgery indefinitely.
“I think any time somebody talks about that area, there’s a high level of concern,” Girardi said. “There’s always the fear that they’re going to have surgery fairly quickly like Nova did. But so far, everything has been good in his rehab and we’ve been able to avoid it. So you hope that it continues. And I think you’re going to find out a lot more over the next eight days or whatever it is. There’s always concern when you see that.”
Girardi said he expects Tanaka to be available for 70-75 pitches on Sunday. If he comes through that game with no problems, he’ll make one more start this season before shutting down for the winter.
• Shawn Kelley isn’t very happy with the way Jose Bautista reacted to last night’s home run. I haven’t been able to find video of Bautista’s reaction online, but I saw it on MLB Network this morning. A lot of screaming and cursing, and then an emphatic slamming of the bat. “It’s a big situation,” Kelley said. “Emotions are high. If I get him out, I’d probably fist pump or something. That’s part of it. There’s emotions. But going back and watching the replay — because I was trying to watch the pitch, watch the video myself to learn from that — I kind of saw the reaction. Of course, I heard the cursing and stuff throughout running around the bases. I didn’t get it. … I didn’t understand the extent of that emotion, I guess. I guess I maybe took it a little bit personal like it was directed toward me. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but I don’t feel like that necessarily is the right thing to do in that situation.”
• Joe Girardi said he actually didn’t notice Bautista’s reaction to the homer, but Kelley said it left him feeling disrespected. “I was a little bothered by the way it went down last night,” Kelley said. “And I felt like it was OK for me to say something.”
• Here’s Girardi: “People are always going to take exception to when they feel that they’re being shown up. I understand that. Sometimes players do it intentionally, but most of the time they don’t. It’s become accepted in our world that you can do things when you do things well in sports. Years and years ago, it wasn’t accepted. So, the game has changed. But I’d have to see it to really understand it.”
• After losing his unborn son earlier in the week, Carlos Beltran is back in the Yankees lineup tonight. He rejoined the team yesterday. “I’m sure he’s out there with a heavy heart,” Girardi said. “I thought I’d give him yesterday and I would have used him yesterday if I felt there was a spot pinch hitting. But I just felt, you know sometimes, for athletes, for anyone, it’s good to get back out there, to doing what you’re used to doing and living that normal life. But obviously he’s got a a heavy heart, and we’ve got a heavy heart with him. But hopefully it helps getting him back out there.”
• The Yankees have eight walk-off wins this season, and Elias notes that each time, the walk-off at-bat has come from a player in his first year with the Yankees. Chase Headley’s done it three times, Brian McCann twice, and one apiece from Chris Young, Martin Prado and Beltran. “I think some guys have a knack for it, I do,” Girardi said. “Now obviously you have to be put in that situation, but again, I think it’s being able to relax in those moments to be able to do that. And some guys can really have a knack for it.”
• Probably the next-to-last start of the season for Hiroki Kuroda, which likely means the next-to-last start of his Yankees tenure. “He’s been the one constant that we’ve had (the past three years),” Girardi said. “And he’s been very good, and he’s had three good years for us. He’s been consistent and takes the ball on his turn. He’s been a big part of our rotation. It’s interesting. The oldest guy is the one still standing, which is kind of interesting. But he’s a true professional.”
Associated Press photos
Beltran back at DH • 09.19.14
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Brian McCann C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Brett Gardner LF
Stephen Drew 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
Jeter’s new commercial • 09.19.14
I really liked Derek Jeter’s cap-tipping “RE2PECT” commercial. How could you not?
I still like it better than his new Gatorade commercial. Yet this new one is rather appealing and well done as well.
It doesn’t sound like Jeter just made it to stuff more money in his pockets, that there was a sincere meaning behind the concept of walking down River Avenue to Yankee Stadium and mingling with the fans along the way (to the soundtrack of “My Way” after the fact).
“It was an opportunity, I felt, to thank people, which I’ve been pretty consistent with every time I’ve spoken, how much the fans have meant to me and my entire career,” Jeter said.
Here’s more on the Jeter commercial from my Yankees notebook, which also includes items on Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka.
Also, here’s my story on the beginning of Jeter’s final homestand, which included a solo homer by him in the 3-2 win over the Blue Jays Thursday night.
And here’s my feature story on Chase Headley, including his thoughts on coming back here in 2015 and on the aftermath of getting hit with that 96 mph fastball on his chin last week.
Chad will join you later. Thursday night was my last scheduled game for the season. You’re welcome to join me at Twitter @bheyman99 or check out Lohud.com or The Journal News, if you live in the area. As always, thanks for reading, appreciate it.
Photo by The Associated Press
The final regular-season homestand of Derek Jeter’s career began well for the Yankees thanks in part to The Captain, in part to Shane Greene and in part to Adam Lind doing his Bill Buckner impression at first.
Jeter went 2 for 4 in the 3-2 win over the Blue Jays after arriving at 1 for 30. He hit a solo homer to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the sixth, his first home homer since July of last year, snapping a 298 at-bat streak without one here and a 158 at-bat streak without one overall this season, dating to Aug. 1. So he’s up to .250 with four homers and 41 RBI.
“Obviously this year, up until this point, hasn’t turned out how I would like it to,” Jeter said. “But you’ve got to keep fighting. You’ve got to keep battling.”
The Yankees are five games back of Oakland for the second wild card with 10 to play. A rather longshot at this point. So Jeter keeps getting reminded that it’s his last homestand everywhere he turns.
“I’m trying not to think about it being the last homestand,” Jeter said. “We still have a week left. We’re trying to win games. I’m going to go out there and play hard like I’ve always done my entire career until we’re out of games.”
Greene should be back to pitch more games next season. The 25-year-old rookie has allowed three runs or less in 12 of his 14 starts, including no runs and three hits in 6 2/3 in this latest outing. Greene has a 1.06 ERA to show for his last three starts.
“This young man has four pitches he can go to and he has confidence in them, and he has the ability to throw strikes,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s been impressive to me.”
The Yankees won when Chase Headley’s grounder got by Lind for a walk-off error.
“It was a tough play for Adam,” Jeter said, playing defense for him.
Stephen Drew had an RBI double, snapping a career-worst-tying 16 straight games without driving in a run. He went 2 for 3 to lift his average to .163. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be the heir to Jeter’s throne.
Here’s my Lohud.com/Journal News story on Jeter and this first game of the homestand. And here’s my feature story on Headley after speaking to him before the game about possibly returning and about the aftermath of getting hit in the chin last week.
The photo of Jeter’s home-run swing is from The Associated Press.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Brian McCann DH
4. Mark Teixeira 1B
5. Chris Young RF
6. Brett Gardner LF
7. Chase Headley 3B
8. Stephen Drew 2B
9. Francisco Cervelli C
Shane Greene RHP
Blue Jays lineup
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Jose Bautista RF
3. Edwin Encarnacion DH
4. Adam Lind 1B
5. Danny Valencia 3B
6. Munenori Kawasaki 2B
7. Josh Thole C
8. Kevin Pillar LF
9. Anthony Gose CF
R.A. Dickey RHP
Umpires: Jeff Nelson HP, Laz Diaz 1B, Scott Barry 2B, Mark Carlson 3B
Weather: clear, comfortable, 73 degrees
TV/Radio: YES/WFAN 660, 101.9
Ellsbury on the run: Jacoby Ellsbury has stolen 15 bases in a row, giving him 39 for the season. He’s second in the AL and fifth in the majors. He’s also in a 7-for-43 slump.
Jeter watch: The Captain went 1 for 17 on the road trip and is 1 for his last 30, dropping him to .249.
Update, 7:18: Headley starts 5-4-3 double play to end the top of the first. Have a feature story coming out on him, spoke to him before the game about a possible return and the aftermath of his beaning.
Update, 7:22: Jeter beats out infield hit, now 2 for 3 after 0 for 28.
Update, 7:25: McCann strikes out and Jeter is thrown out stealing too easily on the play. Not sure what he was thinking there.
Update, 7:36: Greene puts the Jays down in order with two Ks in the second. He’s something good that has come out of this season, no matter what happens tonight.
Update, 7:42: Great diving catch by Pillar to rob Gardner and end the second.
Update, 7:51: Great diving stop by Teixeira, throws to Greene at first, and Thole is stranded in scoring position.
Update, 7:57: Cervelli singles off Dickey, now 5 for 6 against him lifetime.
Update, 7:58: Ellsbury pops to Reyes for the third out, 0-0 after three.
Update, 8:05: 1-2-3 fourth for Greene. I believe he’s at 64 pitches.
Update, 8:09: Jeter ripped a liner to left-center, but Pillar made another great diving catch.
Update, 8:11: The Yankees go down in order, no runs, two hits through four.
Update, 8:19: Shane Greene has allowed one single through his first five innings, retired the last nine.
Update, 8:26: Drew RBI double, Yankees up 1-0 after five.
Update, 8:35: Greene has his streak of 11 straight outs snapped by a Reyes single, but Bautista fouls out for the last out in the sixth.
Update, 8:41: Jeter snaps 154 at-bat homerless streak, 2-0.
Update, 8:55: Greene is done after 6 2/3, no runs, three hits, runners at first and second. Betances comes on to try to protect a 2-0 lead.
Update, 8:59: Navarro flies out to end the inning. Dickey is done. Brett Cecil is on.
Update, 9:11: Correction announced by the Yankees: Jeter’s homer snapped a 158 at-bat homerless streak. Accuracy counts.
Update, 9:12: Ellsbury strikes out to strand two. Kelley comes on to pitch.
Update, 9:21: Kelley throws 0-2, two-out pitch to Bautista that winds up in the left-field seats, 2-2.
Update, 9:30: The Yankees go quietly in the eighth. David Robertson takes the ball.
Update, 9:38: 1-2-3 ninth for Robertson.
Update, 9:51: Yankees win 3-2 on a walk-off error by Adam Lind.
Since six games back with 11 to go seems like a rather long shot for the Yankees, this homestand figures to be the last time we will ever see Derek Jeter play at Yankee Stadium outside of on Old-Timers’ Day.
“I just want to try to enjoy it,” Jeter said.
It’s a chance for the fans to say goodbye, with the home finale set for next Thursday night. Joe Girardi doesn’t expect an easy homestand for Jeter despite the love.
“I think it’s going to mean a lot, but I also think it’s going to be difficult, just because of what baseball has meant to his life and what the Yankees have meant to him and what he’s meant to this city,” Girardi said.
“I think it will be difficult for him emotionally. He’s probably not going to show a lot, but it’s hard to take this uniform off.”
It may be even harder on him come February.
“I think he’ll miss it in spring training,” Girardi said. “It becomes a reality that you’re not playing anymore, in a sense. I can’t speak for him and how he’s going to feel, but that was when it really hit me because I was used to doing something around February 15 and all of a sudden I didn’t have anything to do.”
Girardi said Carlos Beltran will be available despite the sad news that came Wednesday that he and wife Jessica had lost their unborn son, reportedly due to a miscarriage.
“My heart goes out to him, and obviously to his family,” Girardi said. “When guys go through this, I think sometimes people think we’re immune to problems because we’re professional athletes. We deal with things on an everyday basis and we go through issues, too. That’s the most difficult part. I just want to get a temperature of where he’s at when he comes in today and then we’ll go from there.”
Masahiro Tanaka threw 32 pitches in the bullpen in preparation for his return Sunday. We’re were told he had no pain.
“So far, so good,” Girardi said.
Photo by The Associated Press.