Great hire by the Yankees hiring Omar Minaya he is a talented people friendly exec who knows how to build a great roster in many different ways
New York Yankees
Baseball fans in New York focus on your team do not worry about the new York team you do not root for as it is a complete waste if time.
Yes Cohen spent big time on his team and Yankees spent some as well. For Met fans it is a joyous time but remember proof will be determined this coming summer. Yanks won 99 last year and Mets won 101 games and both records were terrific. The playoffs which is equalizer in this sport did not go well but both teams are better equipped to handle that with the current rosters. It promises to be a terrific year of baseball in this town and let's focus on that. Plus off season is not done yet and more could happen with both teams. It is a holiday season let's he nice to.each other.
If I were Yankees I would be real careful with deGrom talks. Steve Cohen has proven he will not be outbid and who knows if Yanks piss him off he may re-sign deGrom and then make Yankees pay ultimate price by landing Aaron Judge. 1 thing last off-season proved with Scherzer signing is that what Steve Cohen wants (whether it is a player or a valuable piece of artwork) he will NEVER be outbid.
Coming into this series, I was surprised to see lack of respect for the Astros. They have been to 6 straight ALCS's and last year down 2-1 in ALCS to Red Sox and minus Justin Verlander who was hurt--they won 3 straight games in blowout fashion to win the pennant.
Last night all we heard is the roof is open and wind is blowing and yet the Astros with some subtle tweaks to the hitting approach got a win. First of all, Alvarez hit a double play ball which he beat out on sheer hustle giving Bregman an at bat. He knew Severino would try to bust him inside and he took that inside heater over the short wall in left. My question is how come Yankee power bats could not do the same? Stanton's final AB he looked clueless.
And lack of hustle from Yankees has been obvious in post-season--Torres not hustling on DP grounder in Guardian series leaving Judge without an at bat in that inning plus the comical scene where Donaldson was called out as both he and Yankee first base coach were trying to enjoy a Cadillac run around the bases on a hit that fell short of the fence. After last night's game the Yankees embarrassed themselves further by Severino calling Astros "lucky" and Boone blaming open roof stadium.
As we head to a 4PM start in Game 3 tomorrow should the Astros blame a potential loss on shadows saying this game should be played at night? No, they won't --they will employ best at bats possible in those conditions. And I can tell you they will hustle every moment no matter what the situation. And Baker's use of his bullpen could be the key in this series. It has already put Yanks in an 0-2 hole.
I hear NY Yankee fans complaining Judge shot would be a homer with closed roof. First of all, that is an MLB decision not an Astro decision and secondly if Yanks won the season series from Astros in regular season tonight's game would have been in the Bronx--you know the one with minor league outfield wall dimensions. Yankee fans pipe down and just get ready for games in the Bronx down 2 games to none.
These teams are evenly matched with one notable exception: the manager's chair as Dusty Baker is better in these close games than Boone
A Yankee loss like that was pretty hard to believe--but proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how valuable the right arm of Edwin Diaz is for the Mets--They MUST re-sign him PERIOD
I want to make sure I understand this--Yanks are 75-48 while Mets are 79-45 . And the NL East second place Braves are better than Yanks at 76-48. Mets have beaten Yanks 2 of 3 and last night's game is crucible NYY fans hang onto. If situation was reversed, NYY fans would be upset and rightfully so. Let's not forget the Mets won a pennant in this town in 2015 for Yanks u need to go way back to 2009.
Some perspective folks....
There is a plethora of bold talk coming from the New York Mets these days and sports in this town needs it. Aside from the fact that the NY Rangers and NY Islanders seemed to have revived an old rivalry this year, NY Sports has been as unexciting as I can ever remember it being.
Even the New York Yankees who seem to always get the headlines are having trouble appearing in our line of vision unless we are reading a handwritten apology or perhaps retiring every uniform number in their history. And then there are the New York Mets who have been down for so long that twitter followers have developed an art form criticizing them for everything from snowy weather to original sin.
But make no mistake--The New York Mets are the best chance New York has right now of reclaiming the national sports spotlight. That's right I said the Mets. Why? Pitching, Pitching, Pitching combined with the fact that 2 Wild Card teams gain entrance into the MLB's 2015 post-season party makes them a team that could win the hearts of New Yorkers in a time where NY sports fans have plenty of room in their hearts to adopt a team.
In the past weeks, the Mets have not run from the fact they have a chance to win NY. In fact they have boldly spoken that this is their time. Young pitchers like Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Zack Wheeler along with a bullpen that brings out hard throwers by the handful with no fear and a winning attitude have been very clear with their message to Met fans that meaningful games in September are not enough for them--they want games in mid to late October.
Even though I believe pitching is 75% of this game, you have to have offense too and the team did add Michael Cuddyer who along with Lucas Duda, a healthy David Wright, and a Curtis Granderson who is hell bent on being the old Curtis Granderson form the middle of the lineup. Daniel Murphy, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, and Juan Lagares round out a lineup that will never be confused with the '27 Yankees. But I will say this--it is better than it has been in the last 4 years.
You can debate the Mets should have done more or spent more but this team as presently constituted is a playoff caliber team. I can't say that about the team in the Bronx and we all know in this town if Met fans get a small taste of success they will hop on the bandwagon.
A bandwagon that currently only has the Rangers and Islanders on it and a vehicle that always has room for baseball fans. It is a great opportunity for a franchise that has sit in the shadows of the Yankees for quite a few years. If you don't think it could happen, you don't know NY baseball history. Twice in my life (late 60's to early 70's and 84-90) the Mets owned this town and that team that plays in the Bronx played second fiddle.
They had personalities that people gravitated to like Gooden, Seaver, Strawberry, Carter, and Hernandez. Matt Harvey fits that personality mold as he backs down from nobody and takes on everybody much in the way the Mets I just mentioned did. Think about this--those 80's Yankee teams had stars like Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Ricky Henderson, and Dave Righetti and nobody put them ahead of the guys who worked at Shea Stadium.
History in baseball repeats itself more than you think--Sandy Alderson's plans may have taken longer than he wanted them to but the time is now and the players inside that Met locker room know it. You can say the Mets need this or need that but recent baseball history has proven you could find offense to get to the playoffs but pitching is precious which was never better illustrated than in MLB's 2014 post-season.
It was also illustrated that division winners and wild card winners can flip report cards in a NY second. Ask the Dodgers about that one. Or more importantly ask the World Champion Giants or the pennant winning Kansas City Royals.
I hear from Met fans a lot via texting and Twitter and they all ask me the same thing--will Jose Reyes be back? I have never wavered in my viewpoint from early in the year and my sense is he will be back. That being said, the process has barely begun and as with any business deal, a myriad of factors can either catalyze the process or slow it down. For example, does the Ryan Howard injury make it more or less likely the Phillies might take a run at Jose? From everything I am hearing, the Phillies desperately want to keep Ryan Madsen who is a free agent and have to deal with Jimmy Rollins as well. Those talks with Rollins and Madsen could have a big impact on any pursuit of Reyes especially if, for instance, Rollins might cost less than they thought or Madsen cost more than they expected.
Then there is the CC Factor--if he opts out of his Yankee contract, I would expect the Red Sox to enter the sweepstakes which could preclude them from getting serious with Reyes. My hunch is they will look for pitching first even if CC is not on the open market and the Crawford 7 year deal might make them reticent to tip their toes into the Reyes sweepstakes. As far as the San Francisco Giants are concerned, my sources tell me that they would rather re-sign Beltran than go for Reyes for a few reasons. First of all, they traded one of the top pitching prospects out there for Beltran and secondly on the heels of that trade, to then lose 2 draft picks to the Mets might make them skiddish. In addition, they have to think about re-upping Matt Cain at some point whom I believe is a more important piece for them considering their team is built around pitching.
So, I consider the Red Sox, Phils, and Giants as long shots but I do think the Mets will get competition from both the Nationals and Brewers and I expect both teams to be serious bidders. In the case of the Nationals, they have some good young pitching both in the rotation and in the bullpen and could use another bat at the top of the order. Reyes could enhance their OBP which was really poor last year. The only fly in the ointment here is the Jayson Werth contract was criticized heavily and he did not really perform up to expectations and so if they do commit to huge dollars, it might be for a big RBI bat like Prince Fielder. Which brings us to the Brewers.
Milwaukee had a great season getting to the sport's Final Four with improved pitching and 2 absolute superstars in Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. Their payroll was around $93 million last year and I get the sense they might increase it to a little over $100 million this year. The big question is will they commit that money to Prince Fielder or more properly do they have enough to foot the bill? If not, they might enter the Reyes sweepstakes especially if Fielder goes to the Nats. Now, in Fielder's case there is always the chance a team like the Cubs might swoop in which case keeps Reyes in play for both the Nats and the Brewers. The problem for guys like Fielder and even Pujols to a certain extent, is first base is a position that most of the high spending teams like the Phils, Red Sox, and Yankees have great first basemen on the roster already committed to heavy dollars.
I do see this as a game between the Brewers, Mets, and Nationals with the Red Sox, Giants, and Phils as long shots. However,I do firmly believe that the Mets are the favorites at this early stage but I must warn you it is still very early and things in the off-season can move as fast as a Jose Reyes triple.