The off-season begins with a look to the past and a look to the future

For my first off-season post of the year, I’m splitting my time talking about both the past and the future. I think the hardest part about off-season posts is that’s all you have to talk about — what was and what will (or may) be. It’s hard to believe it’s already November, but it certainly makes it easier to hold your breath until Spring Training. Thanksgiving is in a few weeks, Christmas just a month after that, the New Year, and then suddenly it’s February and the hopeful Baby Bombers roll into the Tampa complex with dreams of playing in the Bronx in 2015, sharing lockers and swapping stories with veteran Yankees. (By the way, season tickets for Spring Training are already on sale; single tickets will be for sale in January.)

Okay, looking forward first…

Yesterday was the Qualifying Offer deadline for those with a contract option for an extension on their current contracts. Two players had such an option — David Robertson and Hiroki Kuroda. Robertson was extended a qualifying offer of $15.3 million; he has 7 days to accept or deny this offer. (That number is set by MLB and the MLBPA, not the Yankees and is a 1-year deal and will allow the player to enter free agency following the end of the season.) Kuroda didn’t receive an offer.

Now, this is a tricky move for most players. If they think they can fare better on the free agent market (like a handful of players that made the postseason and offered yesterday), they will decline the offer and send their agents to the phones to wheel and deal. Should they be towards the end of their career or perhaps had a poor performance last year, they might choose to accept the offer and see if they can spend this next year improving their odds for next year’s free agency market. A declination of the offer (from either side) doesn’t mean the player won’t be playing for the same team next year, but rather it sends everything back to the negotiation tables.

Following that thought, there are some new developments on the free agent market, but the Yankees have already made it clear they aren’t going after many of the “big-ticket” players (for those interested, names like Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, James Shields, and Pablo Sandoval have all been crossed off the list). But I don’t hold much stock in rumors (as you know by now), so until all those guys have been signed elsewhere, anything can still happen. Personally, I don’t really see any of those guys playing in a Yankee uniform any time soon. I expect most of their current teams will try to negotiate contracts to keep their stars home.

However, two of last year’s players are in negotiations with the Yankees — Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy. Headley’s name has been tossed about for retention since he was picked up by the Yankees in the middle of last season, and his performance since donning pinstripes has been outstanding, plus he’s very interested in staying in New York and with the team as long as he isn’t used as a bench-warmer. Not that I blame him on that line of thought, but the return of Alex Rodriguez does add a wrinkle to Headley. Word came last month that the team wants Rodriguez taking fielding practice at 1st base as well, so it looks a bit more promising for Headley. Perhaps the plan is to use Rodriguez as a DH and then relief at 1st and 3rd (for Teixeira and Headley, respectively) until he is back up to a daily playing routine in his age-40 season.

McCarthy comes as no surprise either as he became a crucial part of the dwindling, oft-injured rotation this past year. But he is considered one of the better free agent starters this off-season, so the Yankees could be in for a fight to land him. Tanaka, Sabathia, and Pineda will all be back for Spring, with Nova’s Tommy John surgery recovery completed by mid-2015 at the latest. So the starting rotation come Opening Day is still a big question mark. “Aggressive negotiations” with McCarthy seem like a good idea in that light.

There are some other players’ names being tossed about in the rumor mill, but between these qualifying offers, free agents, and arbitration-eligible players, it’s still fairly early in the off-season. Every year that I dive deeper into the contract business, I still feel a little overwhelmed by all the different aspects of the contracts. There is no such thing as a formulaic contract in baseball, though they all follow a similar basic pattern depending on the initial signing of the player. However, once they hit free agency, it’s really left to the most creative agents and lawyers and GMs to craft unique contract terms for the individual player. It almost makes me want to go to law school and study contract law just so I can get a better understanding. Almost…

“This Day in Yankees History” — Wednesday, November 4, 2009 — Yankees defeat the Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium to claim their 28th title. Matsui was awarded the World Series MVP, for hitting 3 home runs, 8 RBIs, and going 8-for-13 during the Series. It was his last full season with the Yankees. It was the first year the Yankees played in the new Yankee Stadium, so this win was a great way to christen it. It was also the last postseason in which “the Boss” was alive; Steinbrenner would pass away the following July. In many ways, it was a send-off year for so many. But what I remember most is watching the Series with my mom at my place; my mom had just started liking the Yankees after I took her to her first Yankee game at Yankee Stadium that April. She and I intensely followed the team that year, something that was rather rewarding as they won 103 games and the AL East division that year. It was rather reminiscent of the late-90’s Yankees, except instead of my mom rooting against them in her Cleveland hat, she donned her new bright green NY cap and joined me in cheering on the likes of Posada, Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, and Swisher as they just plowed through to win it all that year. It was a very good year.

Go Yankees!

Game 157: BAL vs. NYY — You can’t say they didn’t try

Well, I can’t really say that the Orioles showed up to play tonight, but they did have one thing going for them — they proved they’re in 1st place in the AL East because they can hit. It’s like they knew how to hit off the pitching staff tonight, while yesterday, they just seemed baffled by the concept of baseball in general. I will say this though, without those key big hits, the Orioles would have easily lost tonight’s game. It’s going to be interesting watching them in the postseason, as they’re really not the team they were in 2012, where they really were a pretty decent candidate for the Series.

But before I dive into the stats of the game, the biggest stat and the one that stings the most is that hit total — 17. If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. 17 hits is ridiculous. I can justify 17 hits over a 3-game series, but 17 hits in one game is beyond ridiculous. The Yankees should feel very grateful those 17 hits only added up to 5 runs scored. That credit goes to the Yankee defense for keeping runners away (for the most part) from home plate.

Anyway, it was Brandon McCarthy’s start tonight, and McCarthy really struggled his way through his 5.1 innings and 92 pitches. Like I said, it was like the Orioles almost knew what was coming. They got 11 of their hits and all 5 of their runs off him, but he also struck out 8 of them. Let’s clarify something. Had 3 of those hits not been home runs, the Yankees would have won because McCarthy actually did a pretty decent job of keeping a hitting-monster of a team from absolutely slaughtering the Yankees.

In the 2nd, a former Yankee (Kelly Johnson) led off with a solo home run. Two outs later, with runners on the corners, McCarthy gave up an RBI single. Then in 4th inning, with a runner on base with a single, a home run scored 2 more runs for the Orioles. Adding in a lead-off solo home run in the 5th and the Orioles had their 5 runs scored for the game.

In relief, the 6th inning was split between McCarthy, Rich Hill, and Esmil Rogers to get three outs that inning. Rogers would then pitch through the 7th, and Betances would take the 8th (of course). David Robertson’s 9th inning kept the Orioles scoreless, but what everyone wanted to talk about was Robertson’s sole strikeout of the inning — it was the 1,319 strikeout of the season, a franchise single season record, beating the 2012 record by one. With a few more games left of this season, that bar will be set even higher. That says a lot for the Yankees’ pitching staff and their abilities to get those well-placed pitches to strikeout their opponents. In my mind, that is due to strikeout pitchers like Tanaka, Robertson, and especially Betances (who bested Rivera’s single-season record of strikeouts recorded just a few days ago).

Now, the Yankees weren’t going to let the birds steamroll over them entirely. In the 4th inning, Chris Young grounded out to score a waiting Headley on 3rd. Then in the 6th, it’s Stephen Drew’s sacrifice fly that scored the runner on 3rd, this time McCann. Then it would be in the 7th inning with Jeter on 1st with a single, and Brian McCann’s right field seats 2-run home run that put the Yankees within 1 run of the Orioles. The Yankees just ran out of inning, despite a decent rally attempt in the last half inning with Gardner and Jeter.

So it would be the Orioles to take tonight’s game 5-4.

Before the game, retiring MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was at Yankee Stadium to present Derek Jeter with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. Jeter is the 15th recipient of the award and joins the ranks of Ripken, Bonds, Griffey, and teammates Ichiro Suzuki and Mariano Rivera (Rivera was awarded his last year). The award is presented to those people who have a lifetime of impact on the sport of baseball. Selig had many positive things to say about Jeter in their joint and then his solo press conference prior to tonight’s game, touching on subjects like watching Jeter develop as a player under his time as commissioner, Selig’s personal feelings on Jeter and their coinciding retirements, and Jeter’s plans to own a team one day. Selig also presented Jeter with a check for $222,222.22 for Turn 2 on behalf of MLB.

And because I have to end this on a positive note, some creative genius somewhere put together a recreation of Jeter’s Top 10 career highlights using Lego figures. It’s the best thing I think I saw all night (with a few exceptions from tonight’s game). Enjoy!

Go Yankees!

Game 151: NYY vs. TB — An immaculate inning, a little vengeance at the Trop

Brandon McCarthy was at it again, pitching with the kind of ferocity and accuracy the Yankees certainly needed in their pitchers tonight. It was a good example that carried over to the back bullpen and ultimate allowed the Yankees to grab that much-needed victory. McCarthy threw 91 pitches over his 7 innings, giving up 4 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, and striking out 4 Rays’ batters. It should be noted that 3 of those strikeouts came in the 7th inning alone, in what was dubbed an “immaculate inning“, meaning it took just 9 pitches to get those 3 strikeouts. It was certainly something to see.

The Rays’ runs came as a result of a long 2-out solo home run in the 4th and a triple that scored on a ground out in the 6th inning. It would the only time the Rays even really accumulated much off the Yankee pitching staff, a nice turnaround after some rather odd games leading up to tonight’s.

Meanwhile, the Yankees took advantage of the Rays’ starter when he started to tire in the middle of the game. In the 5th, Young was hit by a pitch on the back (and oddly no one was warned or ejected or stormed the field) and then scored on Chase Headley’s double (nice to see him back after his scary hit-by-pitch, oh so much more than “just a graze“). Headley then scored on Brendan Ryan’s ground-rule double.

And just for insurance (something they certainly needed), the Yankees made the 6th inning rather interesting. Jeter led off with a single, snapping his 0-for-28 hitless streak (his record is 32 at-bats without a hit, by the way). Then the Rays’ pitcher loaded the bases with walks to McCann and Teixeira. I should mention there were no outs, so this should be a nice gift for the Yankees to jump ahead. One out later, Brett Gardner stepped up to the plate and ended up hitting a long ball that was just a few feet shy of a grand slam, caught by the Rays’ leaping right fielder, but scoring Jeter on the sacrifice fly.

That one extra run in the 6th was all the Yankees needed to cling to their 3-2 lead because the back bullpen was called on to make it stick. The back bullpen is referred to as the relievers that are relied upon to throw the last 2-3 innings of the game, especially in a tight game and keep their team in the win column. And if you’ve been following all season, I think you know where we go from here — Dellin Betances’ 8th (breaking Mariano Rivera’s record of single season strikeouts for a reliever at 131) and David Robertson’s 9th (and 37th save this season) gifted the Yankees with tonight’s win.

Also, tonight, our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with Carlos and Jessica Beltran and their two daughters, as they mourn the loss of their son. Beltran flew back to New York and was understandably given as much time as he needed to be with his family during this time. The Beltran family will not be far from our hearts and prayers for these next few days.

From Beltran’s personal Facebook page (translated):

“Life took away the blessing of having my first boy. I believe in God and I am thankful for all His many blessings, like my beautiful family, friends, fans, and career.

“Everything happens and will happen according to God’s perfect timing and my wife and I accept it that way.

“Thank you for all the love and messages.”

The Yankees are on their way home for their last homestand of the season to face the Blue Jays and the Orioles for 4 games a piece, before ending the season at Fenway. It’s hard to believe the season’s almost over. Today, I was almost certain it was just a few weeks after Spring Training. But then, I can’t wait for another Spring already. Maybe it’s because of the enveloping sense of hope and possibilities that linger every Spring. Maybe it’s the chance to see the Yankees and potential Yankees and dream of that elusive next Championship. Or just maybe I’m just missing Florida.

And I’m getting ahead of myself… there’s still 11 games to play of 2014. I mean, who knows what can happen in 2 weeks…

Go Yankees!

Games 145 & 146 — NYY vs. BAL — Doubleheader double-dropped

Today was the Yankees’ doubleheader against the Orioles . The first game was due to a rain out back on August 12. And the evening game was the regularly schedule game of the 3-game weekend series in Baltimore, the last time the Yankees will be in Charm City this season. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up being a very good couple of games for the Yankees.

In the matinee, it became a pitching duel between the Orioles’ starter and the Yankees’ starter Brandon McCarthy. Matching each other nearly pitch-for-pitch, they each threw 106 in 7 innings (though McCarthy threw to one batter in the 7th). McCarthy gave up just 4 hits to the Yankees’ 7 (and 2 walks), while striking out 6 Orioles’ batters (to the Yankees’ 7). But neither team could combine those base-running attempts to do more than threaten each other.

Betances and Robertson split the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings. Yes, 10th inning because the game stayed knotted at 0-0 into the 11th inning. There, and with 2 outs, Chris Young smacked a solo home run for the first run scored in the game. Then in the bottom of the 11th, the Yankees sent up Adam Warren to keep that precarious 1-0 lead, but things weren’t meant to be it seems. Warren loaded the bases with 2 outs and then allowed a 2-run double that had the Orioles’ walking-off with the victory (and just 2 hours until the next game time). It would be 2-1 Orioles.

In between games, Chase Headley made his appearance in the dugout. After yesterday’s scary event of getting a ball on your face, all x-rays and tests came back negative (concussions, fractures, etc.), which is a great things, instead needing just a few stitches and a couple of days rest. Derek Jeter’s name showed up on the 2nd game’s roster, starting at shortstop, because as well all know, “he’s fine”. And David Phelps was officially activated before the game, coming off the temporary stint on the DL with elbow issues. Phelps also pitched in tonight’s game, though during the game, he proved he is still a little rusty.

Bryan Mitchell got the start today, his chance to show off fort he Yankee bigs. And he didn’t do terribly overall — 84 pitches in 5 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, and just 2 strike outs. In the 4th, a walked batter scored on a nice double, and then that runner scored on the 1st of 2 Baltimore triples tonight.

Outman got the ball in the 6th inning to relieve Mitchell, doing his job quite effectively and modeling those old-fashioned stirrups, Then it was Phelps’ turn to return to the “away greys” getting 2 quick outs. But then he loaded the bases with 3 back-to-back walks so that a sharp single score 2 more runs for the Orioles. Hill got that final out of the 7th.

Then Chaz Roe gets the nod to pitch for the Yankees. Technically, he got a quick 3 outs, but a wild pitch on that 3rd batter actually allowed the runner to get to 1st safely (another strange rule I just don’t get in baseball). That batter would come around to score on that second Baltimore triple, pushing the score to 5-0 Orioles.

And there it stood. The Orioles swept their first doubleheader against the Yankees since September 24, 1984, where pitching greats Guidry and Righetti each took a loss that day. It was also the first road game doubleheader to be both swept and score 1 run or fewer wince July 31, 1966 against the White Sox. Not that any of that matters shy of the basic fact that the Yankees just lost 2 more games. Especially with the hope of something in October slowly drifting away with each passing hour.

Bummer…

Go Yankees!

{Note: media links coming this weekend for this week’s posts. Sorry.}

Game 140: KC vs. NYY — KC not so good at “Being Royal”; well, it’s better to be a Yankee anyway

Summer Saturday afternoons and baseball go together like cheap beer and hot dogs. Of course, it’s even better when it’s all four at once. The Yankees continued their weekend series against the Royals today, and after losing yesterday, it was high time for the Yankees to play like the Yankees. And as we all know, when they play like the Yankees, they win. I think you can tell where this is going…

Brandon McCarthy got the start for the Yankees today, throwing 105 pitches over his 6.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and just 2 runs, and striking out 4 Kansas City batters. In the 3rd inning, 3 singles added up to the first Royals’ run scored. Then it wasn’t until the 7th, with McCarthy’s outing coming to a close, a lead-off double advanced on a ground out and then scored on a sacrifice fly. Kelley came on in relief to get that final 7th inning out, before Betances and Robertson did their 8th and 9th inning dances we’ve all come to know, love, and rely on this season. Both Betances and Robertson only threw 9 pitches each in their respective innings. (If this were Sesame Street, the number of the day would be 9.)

The Royals weren’t so lucky in their pitching. Their starter threw 1 pitch in the game and was pulled due to extreme shoulder soreness, replaced by a recent call-up. He got 2 outs, but then Prado doubled and then scored on Mark Teixeira’s single that 1st inning. Then in the 3rd, Murphy doubled, Ellsbury tripled and scored Murphy, and then Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly easily scored Ellsbury.

And then there was a 4th inning with Headley and Murphy on the corners and 2 outs. Headley scored on a throwing error pick-off attempt; the Royals catcher (who is admittedly very good at his job, normally) threw the ball over the 3rd baseman’s head and into left field. And in the 5th inning, Prado (again, I know) doubled and then scored on Carlos Beltran’s double. Beltran later scored on Ichiro Suzuki’s single.

So if you’re keeping score at home, that would make the game solidly 6-2 Yankees. And that’s where it was when Robertson got that final strikeout. So as the New York area prepares for some “severe thunderstorms” tonight, the Yankees and their fans are going into their Saturday night with smiles and hope once again. Every win keeps that hope for October baseball in the Bronx. And isn’t that what we’re all hoping for this September?

Also, quick roster update: Francisco Cervelli is out of the line-up today due to some severe migraines. To cover their catching bases, the Yankees called up catcher Austin Romine. Anyone who’s suffered from migraines will tell you they’re not to be trifled with, affecting everything from vision to concentration to depth perception. I’m guessing as a catcher you’re going to need at least two of those things to function correctly. A wise roster move in the process, while we wish Cervelli a quick (and quiet and dark and peaceful) recovery.

Go Yankees!

Game 135: NYY vs. TOR — Sometimes it just slips away so fast, sometimes it’s those pesky home runs

Before the last regular game at Rogers Centre in Toronto, the Blue Jays presented Derek Jeter with his “not a farewell tour” ceremony and gifts. They gave $10,000 to Turn 2 and gifted the retiring shortstop with a private VIP vacation package to a Canadian Rockies Castle in Alberta. The parade of generosity, often kitschy or out-there or extravagant gifts, and various collectors’ dreams of memorabilia just continues. And to think, there’s still a few more teams left to continue “not saying farewell” to Jeter, including the Yankees themselves.  

Let me be up front about today’s game: the Yankees lost. But it didn’t happen until late in the game. In fact, for awhile, it looked like the Yankees were really going to take the game today. To lead off the game, Brett Gardner smacked a line drive into the right field seats for a solo home run. In the 4th, Prado led off with a single; 2 outs later, he was on 3rd for Headley’s single and then scored on Francisco Cervelli’s single. (Cervelli also netted a nice triple earlier in the game, as his hitting streak continues.) Then in the 5th, Gardner (another hot hitter as you can tell) hit a nice triple, and sliding into 3rd, they overthrew the ball off the playing field, allowing him to advance another base (home) on the throwing error; thus the triple that turned into a run scored. Certainly, an odd way to score a run, but I’ll take it.

So at the halfway point of the game (a full 4 1/2 innings of play), the Yankees led 3-0, giving starter Brandon McCarthy a healthy lead to carry to the win. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out so well in that area. McCarthy, who had cruised along until the 6th inning in what looked like a nice shutout, suddenly struggled. McCarthy would pitching 90 pitches into the 7th inning, give up 5 hits, 4 runs, and 2 walks, and strike out 4 Blue Jay batters.

With 2 outs in the 6th, McCarthy gave up back-to-back solo home runs. (3-2 Yankees) McCarthy came back in the 7th to give up another solo home run to tie up the game and then walk the next batter. The Yankees opted for “Old Reliable” Dellin Betances to stop the bleeding, getting 2 quick strike outs, but a single pushed the Blue Jays up over the Yankees 4-3. Betances’ 8th was flawless, getting another 2 strikeouts (seriously, this man is a machine sometimes).

But it was too little too late, and the Blue Jays thwarted any Yankee efforts late in the game for a rally. I look at the box score and see everything that should line up with a Yankees’ victory, including out-hitting the Blue Jays. But like I said recently, it’s not about the number of hits or how many players you get on base; it’s the number of runs in that little box that determine victory. And today, that fell once again in the Blue Jays’ favor. Too bad because technically the Yankees played a better game, only to be stymied by those pesky home runs.

It’s always those home runs, isn’t it? Just wish they were pinstriped instead of blazing blue… I mean, aren’t they the “Bronx Bombers”?

Go Yankees!

Game 130: NYY vs. DET — Delaying a loss, making memories

A storm was brewing over Detroit, threatening to stall or even cancel whatever outdoor activities might be planned in the area, including the Yankees-Tigers game. It lingered and rained, sandbags were placed by the dugouts to prevent flooding, the sellout crowd meandered Comerica Park with hopes still high of seeing a ball game this Tuesday evening. When suddenly, the rain began disbanding, and the tarp was removed and field dried out and readied for a game. One hour and eight minutes after the scheduled start time, it was “Play Ball” in Detroit.

Brandon McCarthy, fresh off his shutout last week against the Astros, basically had the complete opposite game, struggling from the onset. His 85 pitches took him 6.1 innings, giving up 9 hits, 5 runs, and 2 walks, and striking out 5 batters. In the 2nd inning, he loaded the bases with just 1 out and then walked in the Tigers’ first run. In the 3rd, he allowed an RBI single. The 6th was easily the weakest inning of McCarthy’s start. A single and a double scored on a single and a double play, respectively. And in the 7th, he gave up another RBI single. 5 runs was more than enough for the Tigers, who have been struggling as a club lately.

Esmil Rogers came into the 7th inning in relief of McCarthy and pitched through the 8th, striking out 3 batters and giving up nothing. Too little too late, it would seem.

Now, the Yankees actually matched the Tigers in number of total hits (9), but they weren’t able to cobble together the run support to do something more with it (you know, like win). In fact, both Yankee runs were off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury — a 2-out solo shot in the 5th and a lead-off solo home run in the 8th. Ellsbury seemed to really have the Detroit pitcher’s number, hitting 3-for-4 tonight and scored the only runs for New York. Again, too little too late (the story of the evening, I guess).

Here’s what I’m not going to talk about tonight: the Shawn Kelley horse head incident (is anyone else making a weird Godfather connection?); Derek Jeter‘s pre-game press conference, confirming the fact that he did actually grow up in Michigan and considers himself “from Michigan” (despite being born in New Jersey, which apparently is confusing to some people?); or Brett Gardner‘s bruised ankle and sitting out tonight’s game (because he’s not allowed to rest every now and then?).

My brother’s friends went to the Yankees-Royals game last night, taking their infant son to his very first baseball game. For the record, they are lifelong Yankees fans who happen to live in Kansas City. She took a million pictures to document the event and posted them on Facebook. I was shocked to see some of the comments her “friends” seemed insistent on making in regards to the pictures. “He looks bored.”, “Why bother with a night game when he’s so young?”, “It’s not like he’s ever going to remember this.” So negativity (from non-Yankee and non-baseball fans) aside, my mother pointed out the flaw in their logic. (She may be polite enough not to publicly comment on how rude, arrogant, and ignorant those “friends” are to ruin family night memories for the young couple and their son.)

Here’s what my mother posted as a response/comment on her pictures: “So cool! His first Yankee game! One day, you can talk about how he got to see Jeter play!! Will be a cool story for him!” [sic]

The friend’s response: “Isn’t that awesome? We’re so excited to be able to share that with him one day. We got video, photos and a few keepsakes from the game to remember the date.” [sic]

You see what her “friends” were so focused on was the now. But my brother’s friends were focused on making memories and creating stories for their son. I imagine it will be like when my grandfather and so many of our grandfathers told stories about seeing the greats of their day like Mantle, DiMaggio, Maris, or maybe even Ruth and Gehrig (depending on how old you/your grandfathers are). I get to tell my future children about watching the Core Four. They won’t get the “you were there but you don’t remember” stories like Peter will now (my brother’s friend’s son). But they’ll always get the stories.

It reminds me of what Jeter said in his impromptu speech after the last game at Old Yankee Stadium in 2008: “There’s a lot of tradition, a lot of history and a lot of memories. The great thing about memories is you’re able to pass them along from generation to generation… There are a few things with the New York Yankees that never change… We’re relying on you to take the memories from this stadium and add them to the new memories we make at the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them on from generation to generation.” And that’s what Peter’s parents were doing last night, and that’s what my grandfather and my mother did with me, and that’s what I will do with my future kids one day. Because it’s always about the memories and the stories and the legacy and the tradition. That’s baseball. That’s my Yankees.

Go Yankees!