Archive for March, 2016

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.

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees

Posted by on Tuesday, 22 March, 2016

March 19, 2016

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

The Atlanta Braves are 5-14-2 during Spring Training games of the Grapefruit League. To date, the Braves 14 losses are the most within the Cactus League of Arizona and the Florida Grapefruit League.

Of the fifteen Major League Clubs training in Florida, since 2015 Spring Training, the Atlanta Braves in 2016 have the largest turnover of Spring Training players. In 2016 the Braves lead the teams with a list of players gone-26, new Braves-11 and non-roster invitees-29. The team began spring with 70 players in camp.

The Braves have 12 new players from outside the organization on the 40-man roster this season, including five that were acquired by trade; INF Erick Aybar, OF Ender Inciarte, RHP Casey Kelly, LHP Ian Krol and RHP Jose Ramirez. Six were free agent signings; INF Gordon Beckham, C Tyler Flowers, RHP Jim Johnson, INF/OF Kelly Johnson and RHP Bud Norris. LHP Evan Rutckyj was selected during the Rule 5 Draft in December. On March 18th the Yankees re-acquired Rutckyj from Atlanta as Rule 5 return and assigned him to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

The Atlanta Braves are among the Major League Baseball clubs experiencing a rebuilding process during the 2016 season. The Braves reorganized over the off-season and are set for a promising future with a wealth of prospects. For many of the 30 Major League Baseball teams, the future appears to be about the Minor Leagues and all about youth.

This week the teams commenced assigning from Spring Training a select number of their non-roster players, their prospects, to their respective Minor League Baseball teams. Considering, this too will allow more playing time for the MLB teams 25 man rosters.

The Braves sent five top prospects to the minors. INFs Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, RHP Aaron Blair, RHP Lucas Sims, OF Mallex Smith.

Atlanta Manager Fredi Gonzalez said “These guys, when they come up, they’re going to be long-time Major League Baseball players.” “They have the intangibles, the work ethic and great character. I feel comfortable that if we need somebody, any of them can help the team”.

Atlanta vs. New York.

After thunder and rain, after an hour and seven minutes of delay, the tarp was removed off Steinbrenner Field and the game between the Braves and Yankees delivered its’ first pitch, to the satisfaction of a packed stadium sold-out with 10,972 fans.

Atlanta’s starting line-up featured three players with 10+ seasons of Major League experience; 1B Nick Swisher, 2B Kelly Johnson and RF Michael Bourn. Included in the line-up 3B Adonis Garcia (Ciego De Avila, Cuba) LF Hector Olivera (Havana, Cuba) second in the majors with 17 hits this spring and CF Ender Inciarte (Maracaibo, Venezuela).

On the mound pitching for the Braves, his second game of spring, RHP Julio Teheran is scheduled to be Atlanta’s Opening Day starter. The twenty-five year old native of Cartagena, Colombia was 11W-8L pitching thirty-three games during 2015.

Teheran gave up six hits over 4-1/3 innings, walked one and struck out two. At the bottom of the fifth inning, coming in on OF Jacoby Ellsbury with a 90 MPH pitch, he struck Ellsbury on his right wrist. To the relief of the New York Yankees, the X-Rays and CT scan were negative of injury.

The Yankees sent their charismatic starter RHP Michael Pineda to the mound. Pineda limited Atlanta to a run on four hits over four innings, as he completed his third appearance and second start. The right-hander struck out four of the 14 batters he faced, throwing 41 of 62 pitches for strikes.

Atlanta’s top of first inning saw Braves CF Ender Incarte connect a triple off Pineda. The second batter in the line-up RF Michael Bourn followed with a single to Yankees LF Chris Denorfia, who on a strong throw cut down Incarte at home plate. In that same inning, Jacoby Ellsbury made a terrific diving catch on the warning track in right-center field, to steal what would have been an extra-base hit for former Yankee Nick Swisher. Swisher, ever laughing, took off his batting helmet in recognition.

The Yankees got the fans started in the first inning when Denorfia threw out Incarte at the plate and Ellsbury made a diving catch against Nick Swisher.

Michael Pineda comments to the media; “I’m happy. I got into a little trouble in the game and I competed” “It was a good outing. I’m doing my work that I am suppose to be doing. I’m good.”

Yankees Notes:

PLAYERS IN CAMP ROSTER (52) Pitchers: 25 Catchers: 5 Infielders: 12 Outfielders: 9 DH: 1

Yankees to Minor Leagues:

RHPs Domingo German, Chad Green, Kyle Haynes, James Kaprielian, Brady Lail, Tyler Cloyd, Mark Montgomery, Vinnie Pestano

LHPs Jacob Lindgren, Tyler Webb, Richard Bleier

Cs Francisco Diaz, Kyle Higashioka, Santiago Nessy, Sebastian Valle

INFs Jorge Mateo, Deibinson Romero, Tyler Wade, Jonathan Diaz and Donovan Solano

OFs Lane Adams, Dustin Fowler, Aaron Judge, Ben Gamel

The Yankees are proud to announce the return of H.O.P.E. Week (Helping Others to Persevere & Excel) in 2016 for the eighth consecutive season. With the kick-off March 19th in Tampa, the initiative will run in New York June 6- June 10.

In the game: Yankees 24 players, including 6 pitchers. Braves 20 players, including pitchers


Yankees 3 Braves 2

WP: Michael Pineda (1-0)

LP: Julio Teheran (1-1)

Save: Kirby Yates (2)

Time 2:26

Rain Delay: 1:07

Attendance: 10,972

RTFR Radio – Stay Tuned

Rain Delay

Rain Delay

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues 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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Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka WINS vs. Orioles

Posted by on Thursday, 17 March, 2016

March 11, 2016

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

George M. Steinbrenner Field

Tampa , Florida

Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka WINS vs. Orioles

By: Rocky Julich

The fans who were lucky enough to watch the Orioles seasons with the Ripkins, Cal Sr., Manager, Cal Jr., and Billy Ripkin, remember glory days of the team of Baltimore. During the 1980s and 1990s, every game was special, especially with the run that Cal Ripkin, Jr. had on Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive game playing record. Those baseball seasons were awesome as Cal Ripkin challenged to became the new “Iron Man”. On September 6, 1995 he surpassed the record with 2,131 consecutive games played. Ripkin continued playing to establish a record of 2,632 consecutive games. A record that now will never be broken. The Hall of Fame shortstop retired from Baltimore in 2001.

Spring Training is another story for the Baltimore Orioles. It seems the team has experienced difficulty deciding where to call home. In 1954, they started training in Arizona, moved to Daytona, Florida in 1955 then back to Arizona in 1956. During 1959 they returned to Florida to train in Miami. Then during 1989 they started training in Sarasota; while moving to different locations in 1991, 1992. The team trained during 1995 St. Petersburg. In 1996, the Orioles moved into Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, which the New York Yankees vacated when they move to Tampa. During 2010 the Baltimore Orioles moved their Major League operations to the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium and Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex in Sarasota. They have never had a Spring Training camp built for their organization.

In a recent article, I wrote that during early Spring Training games the starting pitcher rarely gets a win. The reason, because the starter is limited to 2-3 innings and an under 50 pitch count.

Then came the visiting Baltimore Orioles to face the Yankees starting pitcher RHP Masahiro Tanaka.

The O’s posting a record of 0 wins – 9 losses – 2 ties. During Spring, in last place in the American League East. The Yankees spring record at 2 – 6 – 2.

Masahiro Tanaka limited the Orioles to an infield single with 3 Ks and a hit batsman with 30 of 40 pitches for strikes. It was Player Development at the Major League level as the Orioles were held scoreless for seven innings, until the Yankees third pitcher in relief RHP Vicente Campos gave up a hit to RF Nolan Reimbold who then scored a run with a sacrifice fly to left by 1B Christian Walker. It proved to be the only run by the Orioles.

Masahiro Tanana pitched 3 innings, gave up a hit, struck out 3 of the 11 Orioles he faced and received the rare early Spring Training win and remained at 0.00 ERA.

After the game, Tanaka said through his interpreter “I feel that I am exactly where I need to be at”. The most encouraging sign about Tanaka is that the Yankees can hardly tell there was ever an issue at all with his surgically-repaired right elbow. Tanaka expressed some hesitation upon reporting to camp last month about his starting on opening day. As of this date, He continues to be on track to start the Yankees 2016 season opener.

Pitching in his third spring start, Baltimore RHP Mike Wright in 2-2/3 innings was charged with 5 hits – 2 BB – 5 runs. The right-hander struck out six Yankees, including DH Alex Rodriguez and 1B Mark Teixeira. Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious got 3 hits, 2 runs scored and an RBI. C Brian McCann got a hit, a walk, scored a run and two RBIs. The defeat dropped the O’s to 0-10-2 this spring. After the loss, Mike Wright was quoted “that’s the game of baseball”.

Game Notes:

Orioles used 22 players – 5 pitchers

Orioles scored 1 run – 3 hits – left 2 men on base

Yankees used 23 players – 5 pitchers

Yankees scored 7 runs – 11 hits – 2 errors – left 8 men on baseball


Yankees 7 – Orioles 1

WP: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

LP: Mike Wright (0-1, 945 ERA)

Time: 2:27

Attendance: 9,743

RTFR Radio – Stay Tuned

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

Chapman Pitches to Birds

Posted by on Thursday, 17 March, 2016

A_ChapmanMarch 10, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

Cuban Pitcher Aroldis Chapman Pitches to the Birds

By: Rocky Julich

The 2016 Spring Training is Toronto’s 40th in Dunedin. They have trained at their Grapefruit League camp since their first season in 1977. Of the 30 Clubs in the Major Leagues, only three teams have been in their current spring training city longer than the Blue Jays (Detroit Tigers, Lakeland – Philadelphia Phillies, Clearwater – Pittsburgh Pirates, Bradenton).

The Toronto Blue Jays have outgrown their playing fields in Dunedin and as each spsring season ends there is talk of the team constructing and moving to a modern, luxurious stadium to satisfy their Major League team, also, provide spacious surroundings to accommodate their Minor League Player Development organization. Yet, the fact remains that Dunedin is the winter home to a large Canadian fan base and the Toronto Blue Jays are Canada’s team.

Last season, the Blue Jays led the majors in just about every offensive category to reach the American League Championship Series for the first time in 22 seasons. Toronto is serious about staying in contention during 2016, with a team intact for another October run with a clubhouse of veterans; key players with five-plus seasons of Major League experience: LHP Brett Cecil, RHP Jose Chavez, RHP R.A. Dickey, RHP Marco Estrada, LHP J.A. Happ, (Toronto native) C Russell Martin, 1B Justin Smoak, (new to Toronto) SS Troy Tulowitzki, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, OF Jose Bautista (10+ MLB seasons).

To note, ten year veteran RHP Roberto Hernandez of the American League Cleveland Indians is in camp with Toronto, trying out to secure a relievers role in the Blue Jays bullpen.

Toronto Blue Jays projected 2016 line-up:

CF Kevin Pillar

3B Josh Donaldson

RF Jose Bautista

DH Edwin Encarnacion

SS Troy Tulowitzki

1B Chris Colabello

C Russell Martin

LF Michael Saunders

2B Ryan Goins

Toronto’s bullpen is developing home grown talent; RHP Steve Delabar, RHP Drew Hutchinson, LHP Aaron Loup, RHP Roberto Osuna and their non-roster invitees from their Triple A team; RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Marcus Stroman, prospects #1-3B Andy Burns, OF Dalton Pompey, OF Kevin Pillar and RH/LH pitcher Pat Venditte. While on the mound, Venditte is the only pitcher who can switch pitching from right hand to left hand, depending on the batter he faces. A feat to behold.

The Game:

Yankees starter, RHP Nathan Eovaldi made his spring debut and was pitch perfect during two innings. He recorded a no-decision. It’s too early during training for a starting pitcher to record a win as the team starters are permitted 2- 3 innings (approximately 40 pitches) per game.

The Yankees future relief trio, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Dellin Betances and LHP Aroldis Chapman took the mound in succession for the first time. Chapman who is expected to be the next Yankees Closer was wild, as he made his first Spring Training appearance, pitching 2/3 of an inning, 2BB, 1K, 1 earned run and hitting 2 batters, including Toronto star OF Jose Bautista. Chapman faced 6 batters, threw 26 pitches/9 for strikes earning a 13.50 ERA.

At the top of the fifth inning, Non-Roster invitee RHP Diego Moreno relieved Chapman and recorded the last out of the inning. Moreno pitched the sixth inning and picked up the loss in relief. In 1-1/3 innings, allowed 5 runs/4 earned (3H, 1BB, 2K).

It was a game of hits (13) and runs(11) as the Blue Jays were dominant over the Yankees bullpen.

Game Notes:

Toronto 3B Andy Burns hit a HR and a double for four RBIs.

Yankees 2B Johathan Diaz hit a HR for 2 RBIs.

Toronto used 24 players, including 6 pitchers.

Yankees used 26 players, including 8 pitchers.

Final: Toronto 11 – Yankees 4

WP: Jose Chavez (1-1) 3.66 ERA

LP: Diego Moreno (0-1) 13.50 ERA

Time: 2:51

Attendance: 8,706

RTFR Radio – Stay Tuned

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

Yankees Shut Out By Astros

Posted by on Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

Non-RosterMarch 7, 2016


Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

George M. Steinbrenner field

Tampa, Florida


Yankees shut-out by Astros


By:  Rocky Julich


The Houston Astros traveled from Kissimmee down the I-4 corridor, the interstate that connects to Tampa, to arrive at the New York Yankees George M. Steinbrenner Field.  It’s approximately 130 miles, 1-1/2 hours of travel.  A long ride for some players by today’s standards.


The 2016 season will be the Astros final Spring Training at the Osceola County Complex in Kissimmee.  At the start of the 2017 season, the club is scheduled to move to their new complex in West Palm Beach.  Situated along the I-75 corridor The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, state-of-the-art ballpark will be shared by Houston and the Washington Nationals who will be vacating their Space Coast Stadium in Viera.  The Astros and Nationals will then play nearer to the New York Mets (Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie), St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins (Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter).


The moves are an attempt by the clubs to cut down on travel time for their Major League teams while playing during Spring Training and providing better Player Development complexes for their Minor League clubs.


The Houston Astros inaugurated the 2013 season as an American League club, after spending their first 51 seasons (1962-2012) in the National League.  The Astros are the first team in Major League Baseball history to move from the National League to the American League.


The Astros spent 139 days of the 2015 season in first place in the AL West before clinching the Wild Card position on the final day of the regular MLB 162 game season.  They defeated New York Yankees 3-0 in the AL Wild Card game.  #19-RHP Masahiro Tanaka was the Yankees game losing pitcher.


The meeting of the two teams marks the first time they play each other since the 2015 Wild Card game.  It is the only time the teams will meet during their Spring Training schedule.


During Spring Training games, the Houston Astros are 5 – 1.  The New York Yankees are 2 – 4.


While the Astros 2015 team remains intact, this game included just two players who were on the Wild Card roster; #6-CF Jake Marisnick. #18-2B Luis Valbuena.


The Yankees #35-RHP Michael Pineda (Yaguate, D.R) took the mound as starting pitcher.  It was Pineda’s first outing during Spring Training;  2 innings, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts.  He received a no-decision.


The Astros went scoreless until the top of the 7th inning.   The Yankees brought in their third reliever to the mound.  #68-RHP Dellin Betances.  Betances struck out the first batter he faced.  The Astros catcher #12 Max Stassi followed with a hit into the left centerfield gap which Lane Adams who replaced CF-Jacoby Ellsbury in the 7th inning, failed to make the catch.  It turned into a double for Stassi.  The next batter #77-RF Andrew Aplin doubled to right to score Stassi from 2nd base.  It was the only run of the game.


Game Notes:

Both Astros and Yankees connected 7 hits.

Both Astros and Yankees pitchers walked one batter

Both Astros and Yankees pitchers hit one batter

Both Astros and Yankees left 7 men on base.

Non-roster invitee #98-OF Lane Adams got two hits, twice stole 2nd and twice was left on base.

Marks the 2nd shut-out game for the Yankees (March 4th – 3-0 vs. Detroit)

The Astros used 22 players, including 5 pitchers.

The Yankees used 25 players, including 6 pitchers.


Final:  Astros 1 – Yankees 0

WP:     Cesar Valdez (1-0)

LP:      Dellin Betances (0-1)

SV:      Juan Minaya (2)

Time:  2:32

Attendance:  8,041

Official Scorer:  Nicholas Flammia


RTFR Radio – Stay Tuned


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

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.

A-Rod hits homer

Posted by on Saturday, 5 March, 2016

A-Rod_HomerMarch 3, 2016


Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees

George M. Steinbrenner Field

Tampa, Florida


By:  Rocky Julich


The A-Rod Home Run


The Philadelphia Phillies left their Bright House Field in Clearwater and crossed the Courtney Campbell Causeway to Tampa to play the New York Yankees second game of during Spring Training.


While the Phillies have been getting lots of media attention regarding rebuilding, at Steinbrenner Field, there was no real mention regarding the issue, “tanking”.


As expected from the visiting team, the Phillies put on the field and pitched a line-up of Rookies and non-roster players.  No matter, it was a 15 hits, 13 runs scored by Phillies game vs. the Yankees 6 hits, 4 runs scored.


During the first inning, the Phillies starter, Rookie LHP Adam Morgan faced his challenge with the Yankees starting line-up which included rightfielder Carlos Beltran, DH Alex Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixiera.  Morgan threw Beltran a good pitch to hit to get on base with a single.  The next batter was a Rookie pitcher’s dream come true, to pitch to Alex Rodriguez.  The first pitch was a ball.  The second pitch was simply in the right place for A-Rod to use his signature swing to send the ball flying near the 318” left field wall.


“It certainly was surprising” A-Rod said.  “That was the last thing I was expecting.  I haven’t taken a swing in live pitching, that was my first one.  It caught me by surprise.”


Rodriguez allowed himself a few extra moments to watch the homer clear the wall in left before beginning his homerun trot.  After coming out of the game and speaking to the media in the Clubhouse in front of his locker he said that he “enjoyed the trip around the bases”.


RHP Ivan Nova made is first start of Spring Training.  In his second year back from Tommy John Surgery, the 6’5” 235 lb. pitcher from Palenque, D.R., in his seventh season with the Yankees, is competing with CC Sabathia as the Yankees No. 5 starter.


It was the first opportunity for Gary Sanchez as catcher for Ivan Nova.  After the game Nova praised his catcher.  “He was good, I like the way he catch”.  “His return was real nice”.   “I told him “don’t be afraid to call the pitches that you want me to throw”.  “He was great”.


It was a typical early Spring Training game.  Philadelphia used 17 players, including five pitchers.  RHP Alec Asher, RHP Mark Appel, LHP Daniel Stumpf, RHP Edwar Mujica.


The most recognizable, non-roster invitee RHP Mark Appel.  The No. 1 selection by the Houston Astros from the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft enters his 4th professional season as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, this season showing with Philadelphia.


The Yankees used 26 players, including eight pitchers.  RHP Diego Moreno, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Anthony Swarzak, LHP James Pazos, RHP Branden Pinder, LHP Tyler Webb, RHP Brady Lail.

Jacob Lindgren was the loosing pitcher (0-1).


The most notable change in the line-up, DH Alex Rodriguez.  The Yankees have no plans to play the 40-year-old in the field and A-Rod has accepted his new assignment as a full-time designated hitter.  Rodriguez explained after his first game of Spring that he has modified his training so as to avoid wearing down late in the season.  He added, “the biggest thing is, I don’t have any distractions and understand my purpose on the team.”


It was a Spring Training game of Player Development at the Major League Baseball level.


Final:  Phillies 13 – Yankees 4

WP:     Alec Asher (1-0)

LP:      Jacob Lindgren  (0-1)

Time:  3:14

Attendance:    7,897


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.