A Blessing in Disguise: Reviewing The 1995 Yankees/Mariners Playoff Series

***Follow Joe From Yonkers on Twitter @FootballnHoops***

Another baseball season is in the books. We saw an exciting playoff run for the Yankees. They played a decisive fifth game for the eighth time in less than 25 years. Their series against Cleveland reminded me of some 90s baseball. Cleveland beat them 20 years ago. It looked like history was about to repeat itself. Perhaps the season is more like 1995. Buck Showalter was dismissed after a disappointing loss against Seattle. Fans were irate. Joe Torre came in. A newspaper headline called him Clueless Joe. Long story short, the Yankees beat Atlanta in 1996 and became World Series champs.

That 1995 matchup with the Mariners was crazy for many reasons. Baseball had a television deal that showed playoff games regionally at the same time. Only this Yankees-Mariners pairing went 5, so their last game was televised nationally. Boston and Cleveland played an exciting series. I couldn’t watch it. Anyway, it’s funny to look back on the Yanks-M’s series now. Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson played for Seattle. Those players helped the Yankees win a championship one year later. Luis Sojo also played for Seattle in 1995 and won with the Yankees in 1996. Derek Jeter was a rookie. Brent Musburger called game 5. He mixed up Bernie and Gerald Williams on the final call. Don Mattingly played well. That was his only playoff appearance. The Yankees had not been in the playoffs since 1981. They appeared to be headed for a playoff spot in 1994 until the strike ended play. 1995 would begin a streak of 13 straight playoff appearances. That year’s format was 2-3, and the Yankees failed in all three chances to wrap it up in Seattle.

One thing that I feel is misrepresented about the Seattle series in 1995 was Mariano Rivera’s role. Even this year I have heard that Buck could have kept his job if he knew what Rivera was and he had. This comes up a lot. Mike Francesa. John Sterling. I don’t think this is true. Buck gave Rivera a chance late in games. Even the last one. Jack McDowell tried to close out that game, but Rivera helped get them into extras. Mariano was not closing in 1996, either. Still, he clearly was an incredible bullpen weapon. If Buck had held Mariano for a save situation and pitched McDowell earlier, that game might have ended before Rivera ever appeared in the game.

It will be interesting to see where the Yankees go from here. If they end up starting another dynasty, we might look back at the failure of 2017 as a blessing in disguise. History might be repeating itself 22 years later.

I Will Never Understand Why Fans Throw Home Run Balls Back

By now, I’m sure you have all seen the viral clip from the epic Game 5 between the Dodgers and the Astros. Yasiel Puig hit a home run in the 9th inning over the left field wall. A woman named Sarah Head caught the ball. As she celebrated, she turned to her brother-in-law, Kirk Head, Kirk ripped the ball out of her mitt and threw the ball back. Hence, Internet gold was born.

What a SAVAGE move on the part of Kirk. To not only rip the ball out of his sister-in-law’s hand, but then throw it back on the field is a nuts on the ground moment. You definitely have a set if you can do that. Apparently, Sarah was only mad that she didn’t get to throw it back. When asked why he did it, like the savage he is, Kirk said “*expletive* the Dodgers.”

Now I have zero issue with the clip itself. It’s super funny. The best part is when Kirk looks at the guy next to him like he’s questioning if he should do it or not.

I can do this.

SCREW ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!

I’m not trying to be a sour puss or a fun sucker, but why do people throw back balls? I really don’t get it. You want to throw it back in a meaningless regular season game, ok fine. I’ll live. But Game 5 of the World Series in an EPIC game? You’re going to throw the ball back? You are 100% throwing money away as it slips from your fingers. If I’m Sarah, you have to slug your brother in the face after that. What are the odds of catching a home run ball? I’m not a stats guy, but it’s probably a good amount. IT’S THE WORLD SERIES. Yeah, you’ll get a couple of high fives from the crowd, but really? Do I need to be high-fiving random strangers for something that is so hard to get? No way

That ball could’ve easily been sold for a couple hundred of dollars. If Puig becomes a World Series hero, hell, you can probable sell it for over $1000. You throw a ball back because the crowd tells you too? What has the crowd ever done to you? Do they give you money when you need it? No. They just clog up the bathroom lines and take forever to buy a hot dog. Screw the crowd. Go for the dollar signs and cash in on a few night’s out to eat and bar tabs. Money > Glory

Don’t give into peer pressure, kids. It’s not worth it. Next time, bring the fake ball and do the old bait and switch. Works every time.

Joe Buck Hates The Yankees…And Every Other Team

***Follow Joey Backdoor on Twitter @FootballNHoops***

Fans of the Yankees have complained that Joe Buck is rooting against them. Apparently Astros twitter thinks he is rooting for the Yanks. This happens all the time. Buck has talked about how different cities think he does not like their team. I have heard that his football partner Troy Aikman supposedly is so biased against the Giants and saying good things about Dallas. Meanwhile, he is constantly saying that a Dallas penalty was the correct call or they should have been hit with a penalty when they were not called for one. Aikman often praises Aaron Rodgers, and with good reason. He is awesome. Some of his best and most memorable performances have come against the Cowboys. I have heard that people in Dallas now dislike Aikman because of his comments against the Cowboys.

Bob Costas had a great interview with Bill Simmons. He mentioned how Cris Collinsworth supposedly hates all 32 NFL teams. When an announcer called the World Series he would get letters from both cities. They were pretty much identical, but the names would be reversed based on where the letter came from. You are so biased against my team and rooting for the other. I can remember when Costas called playoff games involving the Yankees nearly 20 years ago. He grew up rooting for the Yankees. Huge Mickey Mantle fan. Costas even carried a Mickey Mantle baseball card in his wallet as an adult. I’m not sure if he still does to this day, but I think I’ve made my point.  People called WFAN to say how he was rooting against the Yankees and how bad his broadcast was. Bob had the nerve to say that many times whatever team had the best record did not win it all. Before we give them a championship, we’re actually going to play these games. Such venom. Nothing annoys delusional fans like facts and neutral commentary.

I would say 99 times out of 100 the fans are wrong and irrational. There might be one time where criticism is justified, but usually people are just crying wolf. I remember Josh Lewin calling Yankees-Tigers in 2006. This was a dumpster fire. A-Rod was slumping and hit eighth. Detroit won easily and wrapped up the series. Lewin seemed to focus on things like payroll. Maybe the topic can be addressed in between games or early on in a season. I knew Yankee fans would not want to hear this. Josh seemed biased to me, and he seemed to enjoy seeing a Yankee meltdown. I called WFAN and mentioned this, without knowing about his background. I’m the one who would rip fans for bashing Costas, so I feel like I’ve got some credibility when it comes to the subject. Funny how Lewin used to call Tigers games and is now a Mets broadcaster. I sensed something. Perhaps my hunch was right.

However, this was a rare occurrence. Just because an announcer does not scream when the Yankees win or shout that a home run is high and far doesn’t mean that he wants them to lose. People outside of New York always assume that the announcers and officials are cheering for the big market. Just enjoy these games. Mute it if you want. Maybe listen to the radio. You have a couple different radio broadcasts. Chances are you can find one person out there who doesn’t despise your Yankees. Have fun listening to John and Suzyn calling it down the middle if you so choose. With today’s technology, it is possible to sync up the sound accurately. Pause the TV. Use an app. Do whatever it takes. There is enough sadness and hatred in this world. Don’t let Joe Buck ruin your life and the happiness that comes with Yankees playoff baseball!

It’s Time For More Safety Netting In Baseball Stadiums

USA Today – A girl was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and carried out from the stands Wednesday afternoon, an incident that will likely spur more calls for the New York Yankees to extend protective netting behind home plate. 

Just six weeks after the Yankees said they would “seriously explore” extending the netting before the 2018 season following a similar incident, a girl was struck by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier in the bottom of the fifth inning. 

Horrible scene at Yankee Stadium yesterday. A gut wrenching moment. First of all, the girl looks like she’s going to be ok so that’s a blessing. You could see the players were all visibly rattled and emotional especially Todd Frazier. How can you expect a guy to step into the box after that?

This isn’t the first time this season that a fan has been struck with a ball at Yankee Stadium. In late July, an Aaron Judge 105mph line drive struck a fan in the head and that required immediate emergency assistance. You have the warnings in front of you on the seats that say to be alert for foul balls and other flying objects. However, how do you expect someone to get out of the way from a 100mph line drive? I don’t care who you are. You’re most likely getting hit.

Every Yankee said that they wouldn’t let their young kids sit in the unprotected areas behind the dugout. However, the Yankees continue to toy with the idea of extending the nets and they most likely won’t change it until next year (if they do anything at all). If a young girl being struck by a line drive isn’t a wake up call to change something, then I don’t know what is.

I hate to say it, but I’m afraid that the tipping point for ballparks to extend nets will be a death in the stands via foul ball / broken bat. Why do we have to wait until someone dies before the MLB takes action? Extending the nets is the right thing to do. I understand that there are warnings to be aware in those seats, but come on. Go to a game or turn on the TV and all you see are people looking at their phones. Are they really paying attention to the game 100% of the time? I’ll answer that for you: NO. You turn your head for one second and that could be the difference between life and death. It seems like an unnecessary risk to me.

Listen to the players. They are the ones out there on the field everyday. If they think it’s unsafe right now especially for children, why should we not listen to them? Putting up a net will not ruin the “fan experience.” In fact, I think it will encourage more fans with children to sit closer because it will be safer. I remember going to the stadium growing up and sitting in box seats. It was the coolest thing ever. You feel so close to the players and you almost feel like you’re apart of the action. I want more fans to feel that way and not have to worry about the 105mph line drive to the head.

Putting up more netting won’t ruin the game. It will save a life.

The Top 5 Moments In Subway Series History

ss-lockup.png

Crosstown rivals collided for the first time in 2017 last night, as the Yankees and Mets added to their laundry list of battles for the first of four Subway Series match ups. The Yankee-Met fan rivalry has dominated radio airwaves and sports talk conversations every summer since I’ve been a kid. As a New Yorker, sometimes we take for granted that our state has at least two teams representing NY in every major sport, which also creates for a divide in the local society.

After dropping 2 out of 3 to the Red Sox including a heartbreaking Sunday night defeat the Bombers bounced back with a 4-2 victory, as the 62-55 squad leads the AL Wildcard race by 2 games with a cluster of teams behind them. The Mets come into the Subway Series suffering a much different fate than most thought back in April. After a rash of injuries and selling off veterans at the deadline, the Metropolitans finally brought up prized prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith to give fans a peek into the hopefully bright future, while waiving the white flag on the 2017 campaign.

No matter the situation of the two teams, this series always brings out the best in the players with the intensity of a playoff game oozing out of the fans selling out both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field over the years. The squads have done battle each year in inter-league play since the Mets took game one 6-0 behind Dave Mlicki back in 1997. The Bronx Bombers lead the all-time series though, 62-46.

I was only 7 when the Subway Series culminated with the Mets and Yankees facing off in the World Series back in 2000, so my memory of the five game series is vague. I could only imagine how it took the city chatter by storm and if it happened again in the social media era, people would absolutely lose their minds. The Mets-Yankees match up has given New Yorkers some great moments forever ingrained in history over the past 20 years, so without further a do the top five.

5. Doc Gooden Returns To Shea Stadium – July 8th, 2000

After throwing for a decade in a Mets uniform, Dr. K finally made his way back to Shea Stadium in what would be his last season in the bigs on July 8th, 2000. This time things were different, as Gooden donned the pinstripes. Doc went 5 innings giving up 2 runs to notch the win against his former squad 4-2. It was a long but triumphant journey back to Flushing for the 1985 NL Cy Young winner.

4. Mariano Rivera Locks Down Save Number 500

June 28th. 2009: Enter Sandman. The final meeting between the Mets and Yanks in 2009 proved to be a historic night in the illustrated career of the best closer ever, Mariano Rivera. Mo came on in relief for the last four outs to secure career save number 500 (only the 2nd person to achieve the feat). 42 also helped his own cause drawing a walk to earn his first career RBI in the 4-2 win.

3. The Matt Franco Game

June 10th, 1999: Six lead changes took place as the Bronx Bombers launched six homers in the back and forth battle. The Mets were down to their last strike with pinch-hitting Matt Franco at the plate after a Mike Piazza walk loaded the bases. Franco’s base hit to right off of Rivera scored Henderson and Alfonso to cap off a thrilling 9-8 walk-off win that many Mets fans still talk about to this day.

2. Luis Castillo Drops A Can Of Corn

June 12th, 2009: Seeing this play probably still causes Castillo some PTSD, as the normally sure-handed infielder dropped a pop-up that would have ended the game, but instead the error went on to give the Yankees a 9-8 walk-off victory off the bat of none other than Alex Rodriguez. Moments like these signify the big brother-little brother dynamic in this town and the dysfunction of the Mets as an organization.

1. Mike Piazza vs Roger Clemens Rivalry – 2000 Season

June 9th: The Piazza-Clemens dynamic made for many memorable moments over the history of the cross-town rivalry so I just couldn’t limit myself to choosing one. Going back to June of 2000, Piazza who killed the Yanks, launched a grand slam off of Clemens to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.

July 8th: Roger wasn’t afraid to go after anyone and Piazza was going to be his next victim of retaliation. Clemens got to face the Mets catcher a month later and beaned him with an 0-1 fastball to the head, which made a groggy Piazza unconscious and knocked him out of the game. A scary sight indeed.

October 22nd – World Series Game 2:

With intensity at an all-time high, Clemens and Piazza faced off once again in the first inning of game 2 of the Subway Series. Piazza fouled off a 1-2 inside pitch that jammed him and ended up breaking his bat, careening the barrel right back at Clemens, which he then picked up and ended up firing in Piazza’s direction up the line. The over-reaction cleared the benches before umpires restored order. Clemens claimed after the incident that he “had no idea Piazza was running on the foul ball.”

 

 

Rain, Rain, Go Away. Sincerely, All Baseball Fans.

casey-stengel-athlete-there-are-three-things-you-can-do-in-a-baseball.jpg

Often I will write about how things were when I was growing up. There is a good reason. They were better then. We used to play ball at the local field or playground. When a storm came, we stopped. It was pretty simple. Until then, play ball! For the most part it was pretty much the same with professional teams, too. Unfortunately, MLB teams don’t do this today. There are a number of examples. One is the first Yankee game I went to at the new stadium in 2009. There was a delay at the start. It held up play for 40-45 minutes. No rain fell. I guess teams really want to protect starters so they can give a solid 4 2/3 innings or 95 pitches in today’s baseball.

The advanced weather projections or whatever they are called have not exactly been 100 percent accurate. Weathermen do not have a great reputation. There are times when different parts of Yonkers or locations that do not seem very far away are not experiencing the same weather. Certainly not at the same time. Predicting what will happen in terms of rain and storms (plus when) is what I would call an inexact science. Earlier this season a Nationals game was held up for about three hours. It did not rain at all for the first hour or so. Eventually a light mist started to fall, but the conditions were still playable.

Weatherman-secretly-loves-being-wrong.jpg

Recently the Yankees were scheduled to play an afternoon game at home against Detroit. That morning John Sterling came on WFAN. The Yankees often play night games for television when otherwise they would normally play an afternoon contest. Usually Sundays on ESPN. Players and broadcasters arrive in the next city overnight. John was excited to finish up early and get to Cleveland for dinner at a reasonable time. The game started about 90 minutes late. There was rain nearby. Not at Yankee Stadium. Later the game was nearing completion but stopped for a delay of over three hours.

Play resumed after 8, and ended a short time later. The Yankees could have been in Cleveland already instead of still on the field had they started at 1:05. They waited for a storm that did eventually arrive, but hours later. Play the games. When they are supposed to start. If rain forces a delay, fine. Just don’t sit around like morons when the conditions are fine. I want John to enjoy his dinner.

Follow Joe on Twitter @FootballNHoops.

The Case Against Aaron Judge By Joe Saponara

C_lV-mSUAAAS_Fb

*** The following statements by Joe Saponara are his own and not the feelings expressed by other DailyMixReport team members***

First let me start by saying I’ve got nothing against Aaron Judge. I like the guy. He really seems like a great role model. I’ve been rooting for him. That’s why I have been disappointed and frustrated when watching him play. I looked up the definition of overrated. There were some very interesting phrases. Think too much of. Attach too much importance to. Praise too highly. I heard callers on WFAN comparing him to Babe Ruth. Just because the guy hit 30 home runs in the first half does not mean he will finish with about 60. Gary Sanchez has not continued his pace from last year, despite putting up strong home run numbers.

170614_gma_bigboard_16x9_992.jpg

Look at clutch stats. As of July 20, he is hitting .275 when the game is late and close. Not terrible, but it certainly isn’t overwhelming. Especially when you take his stats as a whole and the reputation he is getting. Lately that late and close stat has been dropping like a stone. Many of his hits were during April and May. Also, early in games. During blowouts, too. Judge is batting .268 with two outs and runners in scoring position. Same average when the game is tied. However, he is hitting .424 when the margin is greater than 4 runs. There have been a number of strikeouts in the ninth inning. I remembered some, but was shocked to see just how many times he struck out in the ninth when reviewing games from the first half. I’m not even sure how many times it was. I lost count. Several games in a row at one point.

img_8505

Sure, he had some big hits. So did Gardner. Holliday as well. Add Gregorius to that list. Nobody is talking about building a statue for them. Now Judge is slumping mightily. Maybe it had to do with the home run derby. I don’t know. He broke a tie with an RBI single Tuesday night. Perhaps Wednesday’s off day will help him moving forward. I remembered a lot of his home runs coming with them up or down by at least four. Again, I was surprised to see just how many when looking it up. Honestly, I was just documenting the inning of each homer when I stumbled across all those strikeouts in the ninth and home runs in one-sided games. His recent nice defensive play had people talking. I also remember one earlier in the season against Tampa Bay. Great defensive plays happen. The one when he was robbed against the Red Sox. Earlier this season Houston beat the Yankees by a run when an outfielder fired home and made a terrific throw for the third out to finish it. We didn’t stop and celebrate just how valuable these players were to their team because of one or two defensive plays.

Another stat about late in games. He has 30 home runs. Just one in the ninth, or later. None in extras. Two in the eighth, which is also below the average if you figure he should have at least three per inning based on his total. Basically he should have about 7 or 8 after the seventh if you balance it out. Again, just 3. The Yankees have been struggling over the last six weeks. I’m pretty sure they could have lost 22 out of 32 without Judge. He has done very little to impact the team. No home runs since July 7, although I will be fair and again point out that he was robbed of a home run against Boston. I’ll also point out that his only hit in the first several games after their all-star break went about 30 feet.

Obviously Judge has no postseason record to examine. Maybe that should be the focus. There is so much more to see. Forget about the Hall of Fame and all that nonsense. Let’s just see what happens. He has done a lot of good things, but I still think he gets an incomplete at this time. No more discussing monuments. Even when he hits the ball there.

If You Can Believe It, This Is What Sammy Sosa Looks Like Today

I know what you are thinking. This picture is photoshopped. This is an imposter. There’s no way that this is possible.

Folks, this is Sammy Sosa.

Wait, what?

Yes, that guy with the pink hat is Slamming Sammy Sosa.

How is that even possible? What is going on here? I was floored when I saw this picture. This is the Sammy Sosa I know.

SI
Blackenteprise

I’m at a loss for words. Apparently, it’s part of a rejuvenation process for his skin. I have zero idea as to how that rejuvenates his skin by making his skin basically look like an eraser. AWESOME hat by the way. I love the Pink Panther look. The Internet had a field day so I’ll turn the comedic portion of this article over to them.

Stay safe, Sammy!