Archive for category NY Yankees


Posted by on Monday, 4 April, 2016

April 2, 2016

New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins
Marlins Park
Miami, Florida


By: Rocky Julich

As Yogi Berra would say “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”.

Spring Training. The New York Yankees 114th season in franchise history began their 33 total spring schedule with first game on Wednesday, March 2nd vs. the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The 2016 Spring Training season began with a camp roster of 69 players: Pitchers 33 – Catchers 9 – Infielders 15 – Outfielders 11 – DH 1 (Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez).

After an April 1st and April 2nd two game schedule vs. Miami Marlins, 2016 Spring Training is over. The first game was a Yankees win (3-2). The final game of spring was played under a domed Marlin Park Stadium, Yankees lose (2-1).

The Yankees 2016 Spring Training record: 14 Wins – 17 Losses – 2 Tied Games

The New York Yankees will officially open their 2016 Major League Baseball season at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx at 1:05 P.M. on Monday, April 4th vs. the Houston Astros. It is a rematch of the October, 2015 American League Wild Card game with starters Dallas Keutchel vs. Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees.

It will be the 114th Yankees Home Opener. The 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Following the game, Matsui will be honored with the “Pride Of The Yankees Award” at the Annual Home Coming Dinner. The Japanese outfielder played during seven seasons and two World Series for the New York Yankees.

Twenty-five players will start the 2016 season in The Bronx.

#22 – CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L-L)
#11 – LF Brett Gardner (L-L)
#13 – DH Alex Rodriguez (R-R)
#25 – 1B Mark Teixeira (S-R)
#34 – C Brian McCann (L-R)
#36 – RF Carlos Beltran (S-R)
#12 – 3B Chase Headley (S-R)
#14 – 2B Starlin Castro (R-R)
#18 – SS Didi Gregorious (L-R)

#43 – C Austin Romine (R-R)
#74 – INF Ronald Torreyes (R-R)
#29 – OF Dustin Ackley (L-R)
#31 – OF Aaron Hicks (S-R)
#66 – OF Mason Williams (L-R)

#19 – Masahiro Tanaka (RHP)
#35 – Michael Pineda (RHP)
#30 – Nathan Eovaldi (RHP)
#40 – Luis Severino (RHP)
#52 – C.C. Sabathia (LHP)

#68 – Dellin Betances (RHP)
#45 – Chasen Shreve (LHP)
#48 – Andrew Miller – Closer (LHP)
#47 – Ivan Nova (RHP)
#39 – Kirby Yates (L/RP)
#83 – Johnny Barbato (RHP)

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will open the season following off-season elbow surgery.
Masahiro Tanaka 2016 goal is 200 innings pitched.
Astros starter Dallas Keuchel will open the season with a twenty-eight scoreless streak vs. the Yankees.
Yankees 5th starter C.C. Sabathia will start the season continuing an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Yankees newest pitcher from Cuba, Aroldis Chapman under suspension until May for domestic abuse.
Yankees right-hand pitcher Bryan Mitchell will start the season on DL with a fractured toe. Out three months.
Yankees outfielder Mason Williams did not play during Spring Training.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi quote “The key to 2016 season is Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner staying healthy”.
*RHP Johnny Barbato was the recipient of the 2016 James P. Dawson Award given annually to the Yankees outstanding Rookie in Spring Training.

Kids presence in the Clubhouse
Follow-up of Tampa Bay Rays – Cuba game
Smokeless Tobacco Policy enforcement
New Domestic Abuse Policy

RTFR RADIO – Stay Tuned

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League baseball or its clubs.

NewYork Mets (7-9-2) vs. New York Yankees (8-9-2)

Posted by on Thursday, 24 March, 2016

March 22, 2016
NewYork Mets (7-9-2) vs. New York Yankees (8-9-2)
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

I-95 to I-4 “As Queens meets The Bronx”

By: Rocky Julich

It’s Tampa, Florida but the greetings between the Mets and the Yankees has almost the same fan fare as when the two teams play each other in the New York Subway Series. I should know, as I covered both teams for the better part of 30 seasons.

The Florida Spring Training games between the New York teams display a friendly atmosphere. It’s also a time for the media members of both teams to casually meet; print/TV & radio. We all look forward to seeing and chatting with the Mets legendary Vice President, Media Relations Jay Horwitz.
He has been honored with the Thurman Munson Award for outstanding contributions, dedication and hard work for the media community.

It is the second and final game between the New York teams this Spring. The first game was played March 9th to a 4-4 tie at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

The Mets and Yankees play regular MLB season games during four straight days in August; at Citi Field August 1-2 before the Subway Series shifts to Yankee Stadium for August 3-4.

As the Mets head into the final stretch of the Grapfruit League games, here’s a look at what the 2016 Mets Roster may look like for the defending 2015 National League Champions.

OF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
CF Yoenis Cespedes
1B Lucas Duda
2B Neil Walker
LF Michael Conforto (Questionable)
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Asdrubal Cabrera

C Kevin Plawecki
OF Juan Lagares (DH during Inter-League games)
OF Alejandro De Aza
INF Wilmer Flores
INF Matt Reynolds
INF Eric Campbell

RHP Matt Harvey
RHP Noah Syndergard
RHP Jacob deGrom
LHP Steven Matz
RHP Bartolo Colon

RHP Jeurys Familia
RHP Addison Reed
LHP Antonio Bastardo
LHP Jerry Blevins
RHP Hansel Robles (Will start 2016 season under two-game suspension for throwing near the head of Phillies Catcher Cameron Rupp, during a game in September, 2015)
LHP Sean Gilmartin

The Game:
RHP Luis Severino opened the game for the Yankees. He held the Mets scoreless first four innings until the fifth inning when back-up catcher/DH Johnny Monell connected the fourth hit charged to Severino. Ex-Yankee Curtis Granderson hit a double to drive in Monell and that was all for Severino who completed his four innings pitched allowing five hits.

The Yankees followed Severino with five relievers LHP Aroldis Chapman, RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Tyler Olson, and non-roster invitee RHP Diego Moreno, who together combined for an additional seven hits by the Mets.

LHP Steven Matz (top Rookie prospect) took the mound for the Mets. The Yankees bottom of the second inning provided Matz his second loss of Spring Training. Ten Yankees batters came to the plate. The first batter C Brian McCann ground out to first base. 3B Chase Headley, 2B Starlin Castro, SS Didi Gregorious, LF Brett Gardner, CF Aaron Hicks, DH Alex Rodriguez all consecutively connect for a total of six hits. With the exception of A-Rod, five recorded runs. To end the inning, 1B Mark Teixeira walks, RF Carlos Beltran hits a sacrifice fly to left field. C Brian McCann who started the second inning took his second at bat and struck out swinging, for the third out.

During the Mets subsequent innings, RHP Hansel Robles, non-roster invitees LHP Duane Below, RHP Zack Thornton and RHP Paul Sewald take the mound in relief, but the win was decided for the Yankees with the five runs in the second inning.

Ex-Yankee (1982) – Ex-Mets outfielder (1976-1981-86-89) Lee Mazzilli, Yankees guest Spring Training instructor was on hand to watch his son, L.J. Mazzilli substitute at second base during the eighth inning. During his one turn at bat he popped out to centerfield. L.J. Mazzilli was the Mets fourth round pick in 2013 from UConn. He plays at Double-AA Binghamton of the Eastern League and was a Mets non-roster invitee during Spring Training.

Game Notes:
Mets used 19 position players, including 5 pitchers – Yankees 24 players, including 6 pitchers.
The Mets connected twelve hits and left 12 men on base.

After the game, the Yankees optioned OF Slade Heathcott to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and reassigned him to minor league camp. The Yankees Players on Camp Roster (44) Pitchers: 21, Catchers 5, Infielders 10, Outfielders 7 DH: 1

Happy 28th Birthday Yankees RHP Dellin Betances (the Gentle 6’8”Giant)

The Mets are celebrating their 30th Anniversary 1986 – 2016

Tuesday, March 22nd, the New York Mets and the New York Yankees agreed with the Players Association to the ban on the use of smokeless tobacco by their players (Agreement awaiting to be signed into law by the Mayor of New York). A notice is pinned on the bulletin board in the Players Clubhouse: “Anyone wanting Nicotine Replacement Therapy Supplies (Gum, Lozenges, or Patches) please see the coach.”

Yankees 6 Mets 3
WP: Luis Severino (2-0)
LP: Steven Matz (0-2)
Save: Diego Moreno (1)
Time: 3:00
Attendance: 11,146 (sell-out)
Official Scorer: Nicholas Flammia

RTFR Radio – Stay Tuned


This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NY Yankees H.O.P.E Week initiative

Posted by on Thursday, 17 March, 2016
Shriners 1

Shriners 1

Shriners 5

Shriners 5

Shriners 3

Shriners 3

Shriners 4

Shriners 4

Shriners 2

Shriners 2

Earlier today, Yankees Manager Joe Girardi visited patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa.

Shriners 1 – Joe Girardi and Shawn play tee ball in an activity area at the hospital.

Shriners 2-4 – Joe Girardi joins Josiah in his hospital room and later gives him a signed baseball.

Shriners 5 – Joe Girardi gives Charlie a high five.


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Boston Comes To Town

Posted by on Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

Bosox_3.5.2016Boston_to_townMarch 5, 2016


Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

George M. Steinbrenner Field

Tampa, Florida


When Boston Comes To Town


By:  Rocky Julich


It’s a different mood.  No matter if it’s Yankee Stadium in The Bronx or GMS Field on North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.  When Red Sox come to play, the atmosphere is festive as the fans arrive early and the autograph seekers line three around the seats of the visiters dugout.  The fans are everywhere.


2016 – A Yankees first look at the Boston Red Sox traveling team: #50-RF Mookie Betts, #12-2B Brock Holt, #47-3B Travis Shaw, #5-1B Allen Craig, #25-CF Jackie Bradley, Jr., #64-DH Bryce Brentz, #31-LF Brennan Boesch, #16-SS Deven Marrero, #3-C Sandy Leon.  #35-RHP Steven Wright.


The traveling Red Sox Roster is a line-up of non-roster players, rookies and three players with one-plus seasons of Major League service.


#34 David Ortiz did not travel with the team.  This marks his 20th and final Spring training.  The Boston Red Sox will not play the Yankees in Tampa again this season.  A trip around-the-Grapefruit League during the final spring of David Ortiz career would have been welcomed by the fans.  Many fans in the ballpark will never step foot inside Yankee Stadium or visit Fenway Park’s Green Monster.  Why did Ortiz not make the trip?


The Major League Baseball players have evolved.  Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?


On a sunny afternoon at Steinbrenner Field, the Manager Joe Girardi listed on the Yankees line vs. Boston.  #22-CF Jacoby Ellsbury, #36-RF Carlos Beltran, #13-DH Alex Rodriguez, #25-1B Mark Teixeira, #34-C Brian McCann, #12-3B Chase Headley, #29-2B Dustin Ackley, #82-LF Ben Gamel, #93-SS Jorge Mateo.


Jorge Mateo (Santo Domingo Oeste, D.R.) is the Yankees No. 1 prospect and it’s exciting to watch his blazing speed on the field.  The infielder is 6’0”-188 lbs. and at 20 years of age, the youngest  player in camp.


Manager Joe Girardi lost no time in game strategy.  He simply let the Yankees play their game and he managed challenging Boston and entertaining fans by showcasing 9 pitchers, during 9 innings.

#81-RHP Tyler Cloyd (non-roster) faced 4 batters

#45-LHP Chasen Shreve – faced 3 batters

#50-RHP Nick Rumbelow – faced 3 batters

#75-RLP Tyler Olson – faced 4 batters

#83-RHP Johnny Barbato – faced 3 batters

#84-LHP Richard Blier (non-roster) faced 3 batters

#63-RHP Kyle Haynes (non-roster) faced 3 batters

#62-Mark Montgomery (non-roster) faced 6 batters

#73-RHP Nick Goody – faced 3 batters

None of the Yankees pitchers gave up a walked to a Boston player and only 5 hits were connected by the Red Sox  (2 homeruns against pitcher Montgomery).


Yankees Game Notes:

Jacoby Ellsbury – double, run scored

Carlos Beltran – single, run scored

Alex Rodriguez – 2 hits, BB (in two games 5 for 6 – one home run – 2 RBI)

Mark Teixeira – batted righthanded and lefthanded, one hit

Jorge Mateo – sprinted around the bases, lost his cap, connected first home run of spring.

Aaron Judge – 6’7” 255 lbs. (non-roster) Pinch hitter displayed his homerun trot in the 7th inning.

Rob Refsnyder – Pinch hitter connects first hit, run.



Final:  Yankees 6 – 10 hits    Red Sox 4 – 5 hits

WP:     Nick Rumbelow (1-0)

LP:      Steven Wright (0-1)

SV:      Nick Goody (1)

Time:  2:18

Attendance:  10,991 (As expected the game was a sell-out)


RTFR Radio – Stay Tuned


This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

Aroldis Chapman Suspended

Posted by on Saturday, 5 March, 2016

March 2, 2016

New York Yankees
2016 Spring Training
George M. Steinbrenner FieldTampa, Florida

Aroldis Chapman Suspension

By:  Rocky Julich

On March 1st, Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, using his jurisdiction under baseball’s newly adopted domestic violence policy,  announced that the New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman had accepted a 30-game suspension without pay for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.  The suspension will be effective on Opening Day of the Yankees’ 2016 regular season.

The suspension will cost Chapman about $1.8M of the $11.325M he was awarded in arbitration.  The loss of time will not affect his free agency status in 2017.  Chapman said that was a factor in his decision not to appeal.

“I accept the decision,” Chapman said of the suspension through an interpreter.  “I thought about it and I believe this is the best decision for me, my family and for my teammates.”  “I have to take responsibility for it”.  “I want to put this behind me, move on, help this team win.”

Aroldis Chapman becomes the first Major League player to receive a suspension of its kind under the new Policy.

Chapman’s girlfriend alleged that he choked her after an argument over some text messages on his phone.  According to police reports, Chapman then went out to a detached garage on his property and fired eight shots from a handgun, one which flew through a window and into an open field.

After a comprehensive investigation, the Commissioner found Chapman’s acknowledged conduct to be inappropriate under the negotiated Policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner.

Aroldis Chapman agreed to comply with the confidential directives of the Joint Policy Board established under the parties’ Policy to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future.

In the interim, Chapman will be allowed to take part in all spring training games and activities and he will be allowed to continue training at the Yankees’ minor league complex where he will be able to pitch in extended spring training and simulated games.  The lefthanded Closer will not be allowed to pitch in minor league games that charge admission.

The New York Yankees anticipate the alleged domestic violence incident is put behind him and media attention instead is focused on Chapman’s pitching.

Aroldis Chapman is from a different country, of another culture.   Under the confidential directives, did Chapman at anytime express that he was perplexed at all the media attention to his misconduct and did he agree to receive counseling?  Chapman has disclosed that he no longer owns any firearms.

In Chapman’s absence, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Andrew Miller would again serve as the team’s Closer.  It is expected Chapman will be able to take the Closer’s role when he is eligible to return on May 9.

RTFR Radio – Stay tuned

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its Clubs.

NY Yankees Spring Training 1st Game

Posted by on Saturday, 5 March, 2016


March 2, 2016

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

Opening Game – 2016 Spring Training

By: Rocky Julich

The first exhibition game of the New York Yankees Spring Training schedule marks the 21st consecutive season at Steinbrenner Field (1996-2016), formerly Legends Field.  It is the 114th spring season in franchise history.

Roll Call in camp 40-man roster and non-roster invitees total:  32 pitchers – 9 catchers – 15 infielders – 12 outfielders and 1 DH.  Numbers may change daily.

The youngest player in camp: INF Jorge Mateo, age 20
The oldest player in camp: DH Alex Rodriguez, age 40
Most tenured player in camp:  DH Alex Rodriguez 21 years, 11 days
Tall fact:  14 players on the Spring Training roster are 6’4″ or taller, all but three are pitchers.

The New York Yankees Spring Training Game Opening Program began with the customary pomp and circumstance.  The introduction of Yankees Legends Orlando “Duque” Hernandez, Hideki Matsui, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill, Gene “Stick” Michaels, Willie Randolph, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Ron “Louisiana Lightning” Guidry, “Mr. October”, Reggie Jackson.

A moment of silence was observed in memory of Yogi Berra who passed away September 22, 2015.  Catcher, #8 Lawrence “Yogi” Berra, the eternal favorite of the fans for 69 years.

Manager Joe Giraardi stood atop the Yankees dugout with his coaches and players as the National Anthem was sung.

Game start 1:05 pm

Luis Severino RHP (Sabana de la Mar, D.R.) starting pitcher for the Yankees was dominated by the Tigers during the 2nd inning.  He gave up 3 hits, walked 2 and surrendered a grand slam to catcher Bryan Holaday to start Detroit in the lead 5-0.  Severino was taken out of the game after 1-1/3 innings and received a no-decision.

Detroit scored runs in 3rd & 4th innings against RHPs Nick Rumbelow and Mark Montgomery.

Mike Pelfrey RHP, who pitched for Minnesota last season, made his first start of Spring for Detroit.  He pitched 3 innings, 2 strikeouts.  Pitching during the 4th & 5th innings, Detroit relievers RHP Drew Verhagen, LHP Blain Hardy, RHP Endrys Briceno gave up 5 runs which tied the game 7-7.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, a double by catcher Austin Romine and an RBI single by Chris Parmalee pushed the Yankees ahead 8-7.

Detroit scored 2 runs at the top of the 9th inning,   Detroit 9 – Yankees 8.

Not to be outdone by Detroit, during the bottom of the 9th inning, Yankees non-roster invitee SS Jorge Mateo hit a triple to start the inning.  Catcher Austin Romine drove in the game tying run with an infield single which scored Jorge Mateo from 3rd,  9-9.  What followed is in true Spring Training fashion, non-roster invitee, infielder Tyler Wade entered game to pinch run for Austin Romain.  With two outs, non-roster invitee, centerfielder Dustin Fowler reaches first on a fielding error by Detroit leftfielder Jason Krizan which in turn scored pinch runner Tyler Wade.  The error provided the Yankees a walk-off the field victory.  The first win during 2016 Spring Training.

Final: Tigers 9, Yankees 10
WP:  Nick Goody (1-0)
LP:  Joe Mantiply
Time:  3:08
Attendance:  9,023
Official Scorer:  Nicholas Flammia (Tampa Yankees broadcaster)

Spring Training – Player Development at the Major League level.

During the course of the nine-inning, 3:08 game, between Detroit and New York – 53 players were used in the game; including 15 pitchers.

Major League Baseball Spring Training starts as a slow, developing and observing game.  The Major Leaguers on the active rosters practice and play to “warm” their skills after the off season, to get back into a daily routine.  Some of the players are recovering from previous season injuries.

Non-Roster invitees:  While some are seasoned Major Leaguers vying for a roster spot, most of the invitees are young players, the best performers from the previous season in the Minor Leagues.  These players/pitchers are offered the opportunity to experience the game within a caliber of talented Major League players.  When Spring training camp breaks for the start of a new Major League Baseball season, perhaps one/two of the non-roster invites will outperform and be asked to join the starting roster of the Major League team.

RTFR Radio – Stay tuned

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.








No Big Story Here

Posted by on Tuesday, 23 February, 2016

The Fantastic 4

February 18, 2016
New York Yankees 2016 Spring Training


By Rocky Julich

He was born on February 28, 1988 in Holguin, Cuba. His dad is Jamaican, his mother is Cuban. He will celebrate his 28th birthday as a pitcher’s Closer on the 2016 New York Yankees team. The left-hander is 6’4” tall and weights 215 lbs.

During July, 2009, Aroldis Chapman defected from Cuba to the United States while pitching in a baseball tournament in the Netherlands. According to Chapman, he simply left his room at the Domina Hotel in Rotterdam and went down to the lobby “got in a car and left”.

Chapman was originally signed by the Cincinnati Reds on January 11, 2010 to a six-year, 30.25M contract, extending through the 2015 season. A National League All-Star in each of the last four seasons (2012-15). He is the only relief pitcher ever to be named to four All-Star teams while playing for the Reds. He tossed the ninth inning for the National League in the All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park, striking out all three batters faced.

In the home clubhouse at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, Aroldis Chapman most often sat quietly at his locker before games, perhaps because of a cultural or language barrier, he rarely spoke to anyone. He seemed to stand alone among the Cincinnati players.

While consideration was being made to bring Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees, he was described to the Yankees as very quiet and private. A quiet personality. Introverted. Very careful about the people he let into his life. An exceptionally hard worker, with a work ethic off the charts. And, all Business. While the New York Yankees where mulling on getting Chapmen, the Manager Joe Girardi was consulted and asked for his advise regarding the signing.

Chapman went 4-4 with 33 saves and a 1.63 ERA (66.1 IP, 12 ER) in 65 relief appearances with the Reds in 2015. His 15.74K/9.0 IP ratio led all Major League relieves, while his 116 K ranked second behind Dellin Betances (131). He recorded his 500 career strikeout on July 19 vs. Cleveland, having reached the plateau in 292.0 IP to become the fastest to 500 K be innings pitched in Major League history (surpassed Craig Kimbrel’s record of 500 K in 305.0 IP, set earlier in 2015.

Since 1901, 746 pitchers have thrown at least 300 innings. Chapman is not only the all-time leader in strikeout percentage (42.9%), he is also leader in lowest batting average against .153. Already establishing incredible facts, Aroldis Chapman may be the hardest throwing regular pitcher baseball has ever seen. For certain, the hardest thrower of the hardest-throwing generation of pitchers.

According to MLB’s Statcast, Chapman threw the 62 fastest pitches in the Majors in 2015, with a high of 103.92 mph on June 29 (fouled off by Minnesota’s Brian Dozier). He also posted the highest average fastball velocity in the Majors (99.96 mph) ahead of Kansas City’s Kelvin Herrera (98.46).

Over six career Major League seasons (2010-15), Chapman has gone 19-20 with 146 saves, a 2.17 ERA (319.0 IP, 169 H, 77 ER, 155 BB, 546 K) and 1.02 WHIP in 324 relief appearances. Since 2010, he leads all Major League relievers with a 15.40 K/9.0 IP ratio and ranks second on strikeouts, trailing only Kimbrel (563). He is the only pitcher in Major League history with four seasons of a least 30 saves and 100 K, having done so in each of the last four seasons (2012-15). Only Eric Gagne (2002-2004) and Billy Wagner (1999, 2003, 2010) have had as many as three such seasons in their careers.

Aroldis Chapman has more career saves than any other Cuba born pitcher, surpassing Danys Baez’s record (114) on April 10, 2015 vs. St. Louis.

Yet, while in Cincinnati he had a penchant for finding trouble or trouble finding him. Allegations of weapons misuse, driving violations, social behavioral pattern and domestic issues.

On December 28, 2015 the New York Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds with a one-year non-guaranteed contract thus, avoiding arbitration. In the exchange with Cincinnati were included Yankees RHP Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davies and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.

It is thought that Aroldis Chapman is a Yankee mostly because of his troubling off the field issues. To acquire him from the Cincinnati Reds, the Yankees took advantage of Chapman’s situation, which included the reliever’s pending free agency, by using a discounted Minor Leagues package.

It is questionable how the transition from a small market Cincinnati to the metropolis of New York will impact the phenom Cuban left-hander.

In the questionable transition, according to a police report, is the allegation that he choked his girlfriend and fired eight gunshots in the garage of his home in Davie, Florida. While the police decided not to charge Chapman, Major League Baseball, under its new Domestic Violence Policy, will make its own ruling. A suspension is possible, as it will be among the first rulings under the new Agreement in which the Players’ Association ceded authority to Commissioner Rob Manfred to make the final call and it is rumored that Manfred is being pressured to send a clear message.

Chapman has spoken to investigators from MLB concerning the domestic violence incident he’s alleged to have been involved in early in the off season and had nothing to clarify other than what was included in the Police Report. Through a translator he said “if disciplined by MLB, he would appeal any suspension”. “I understand everybody is worried about the issue, I understand everybody wants to know” Chapman said. “It’s something that is out of my hands and my main focus is to play baseball. I feel great, I’m happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started”.

RTFR Radio – Stay tuned.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

NYY logo

Posted by on Thursday, 8 October, 2015

NYY Wait until next year

To end the 2015 Major League Baseball Season the New York Yankees were eliminated from the AL Wild Card one game playoff by the Houston Astros 0-3.   A rare shutout during playoffs for the New York Yankees.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT IN PROGRESS the New York Yankees wait until next year.


Posted by on Wednesday, 26 June, 2013

June 25, 2013

New York Yankees
Himes Complex
Tampa, Florida

By Rocky Julich

It is early Tuesday morning. The sun is already shining brightly over the glistening green playing fields, with the promise of heat.

I have arrived at the Yankees Minor League Complex to observe a game of Player Development.

The team bus full of Gulf Coast League players of the Atlanta Braves is at the back gate of the playing field, slowly discharging the teen passengers. They are baseball players for a scheduled 12:00 noon game vs. the Gulf Coast League team of the New York Yankees.

As these players, fully uniformed in their Atlanta Braves baseball colors, walk through a fenced-in, long open air corridor, do they glance to their left at the playing field? Maybe not, as fielding practice may appear routine to them.

On the playing field, there are three Yankees players and their coaches practicing fielding and throwing from third base, shortstop and second base. Three players, dressed in navy blue shorts and Yankees insignia tee shirts.

I follow behind the twenty-five Atlanta players and watch as they enter through the security gate. I stop at the bench seating area. Entrance to the playing fields for Reporters will not be permitted until game time. It is a new security rule. A rule implemented to protect the group of Yankees Major League Players rehabbing at the Player Development Himes Complex.

I place my notebook and briefcase on a bench and lean against the tall chain link fence. I am immediately caught up by the sight. It is the first time I have seen Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez in person in over a year, since I left The Bronx.

He is tall, a big guy. In his player shorts and Yankees tee shirt, A-Rod displays hands as if molded by catcher’s mitt, strong even toned legs, muscular thighs, biceps and arms in proportion. He is bronze tanned. His hair closely cropped. Eyes focused on the ball. He smiles. This baseball player portrays a visual look of a perfectly honed baseball superstar.

He is seven and a half weeks into rehabbing his second surgically repaired hip.

Now after two successful hip replacements, could we next see an example of a bionic player?

I am taken by the ease of his practice. He fields the balls batted to him. He bends and scoops close to the ground and throws. He pivots to the location of the fielded ball and he throws. He does short sprints to the ball fielded to him and he throws, each time with accuracy. The throwing of the ball by the Yankees coach and the fielding by A-Rod is repeated over and over. And I watch, not wanting to miss a second of his practice. His stature exudes confidence on the practice field.

At some point, the famous third baseman of the New York Yankees looks towards the chain link fence, he spots me and waves. I send him an almost regal wave. I have watched him at practice his entire Yankees career.

All of a sudden, I wonder at the other two players alongside him. I am sent into disbelief. For approximately ten minutes I have been focused on the third baseman, not for a minute acknowledging the players at shortstop and second base. They are Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez.

I am not concerned at my oversight, as I recollect the effect the famous “A-Rod” has on the baseball fans and media. When A-Rod is on sight, no denying, he does overshadow the players around him.

I am not a fan, I am a Reporter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Posted by on Friday, 5 April, 2013

April 4, 2013

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

The Tampa Yankees returned to their playing field on Opening Day with a fresh crop of players for their Manager Luis Sojo. Eleven of the youngsters on the 2013 twenty-five player roster were with the Advanced Single-A team during the 2012 season.

By comparison, the parent club, the New York Yankees returned to their playing field in The Bronx with just two Major League players from the 2012 season. This was due to the number of key star players on the disabled list; Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers, 2012 Florida State League Champions, began the defense of their League Championship vs. the Tampa Yankees in their opening game of the 2013 Minor League Baseball season.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers have multiple reasons to celebrate during 2013. It is the 47th season for Lakeland as a Detroit Tigers affiliate, the longest affiliate in Minor League Baseball. Lakeland is in its 63rd season as a member of the Florida State League. During 2012 Lakeland captured its 6th FSL Championship in League history, their first since 1992.

Lakeland’s parent club the Detroit Tigers were the American League Champions in 2012. After defeating the Oakland Athletics during the American League Division series, they then faced the New York Yankees and took the League Championship series in a sweep. The Tigers went on to play in the World Series, matched against the San Francisco Giants but Detroit was swept in four games.

The Detroit organization completed the 2012 season with third baseman Miguel Cabrera becoming the first Triple Crown winner in Major League Baseball since 1967. The Triple Crown is one of the most revered achievements in all of baseball.

The start of the Minor League Baseball season is a real awakening. It is a new beginning for most of the twenty-five players on the rosters. To these youngest of players in the vast organization of baseball, getting the opportunity to play their first Minor League game holds a promise of possibly making it to the Major Leagues.

Today is the beginning of Player Development during a 140 Minor Leagues games season at which time each player will have the chance to prove his talent on the actual field of play.

The Tampa Yankees won their first game of the season vs. Lakeland Flying Tigers 7-4 with the contribution of Yankees outfielder Mason Williams. Catcher Gary Sanchez continues to impress with the hope of becoming the much needed masked man behind the plate at Yankee Stadium.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers Aaron Westlake demonstrated his defense at first base and his hitting power with a homerun and three RBIs.

Stay tuned.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.