Yankees announce Brett Gardner as the 2014 Hank Aaron Award nominee

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Let’s add one more “I didn’t see that coming” moment to the 2014 Yankees season.

The Yankees announced today Brett Gardner is the team’s nominee for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award. The Hank Aaron Award is awarded to the top hitter in each league, in which votes are cast by baseball fans and members of the media. The award will be handed out before Game 4 of the 2014 World Series by Aaron himself.

Gardner hit .256 with 17 HR and 58 RBI’s in 2014.

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2014 Yankees: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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With the 2014 season now complete, it’s time to look back at what the Yankees have done this season. There were some good moments, some bad moments and some ugly moments. Let’s take a look back at the year and discuss ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

The Good

— It was a good offensive year for first-time Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury and seven-time Yankee Brett Gardner. Gardner’s average dipped from last season but the power numbers were there, hitting  a career high 17 home runs in 2014. Ellsbury was able to stay healthy for the most part and when it was too late, was able to slot himself as the perfect lead-off hitter.

— The Yankees faced injuries to the rotation, but they were able to plug the holes in with Brandon McCarthy, Shane Greene, David Phelps, Chase Whitley and Chris Capuano. For the most part, they did their job until Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda returned to the the rotation. Greene earned himself some consideration for the rotation next season and Brandon McCarthy has earned himself consideration for a multi-year contract with the Yankees.

— The Yankees played ‘Injury Survivor’ with their lineup last year, and this year it was with the pitching rotation. Out of all the players to survive the injury bug, it was the oldest guy in the rotation: Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda usually falters in August through September, but it was quite the opposite this year. The Yankees are unsure if Kuroda plans to retire, but if ..read more

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Joe Girardi has “end-of-the-season” address

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Brett Gardner‘s not the only one who had a “end-of-the-season” address; in fact he beat Joe Girardi to it two weeks ago. This afternoon, Joe Girardi held his press conference at Yankee Stadium and while you could sense disappointment in his voice, he was also optimistic about next year.

One of the biggest issues with the Yankees these last few years has been age; they’ve had a team where most of the players were at least 35-years-old or older. That won’t be the case next year since Derek Jeter has retired and it’s unlikely the Yankees will sign Ichiro Suzuki. Hiroki Kuroda is still up in the air; the Yankees want Kuroda back but Kuroda’s not sure if he wants to retire.

“I think we’ll be younger, and I think guys will be healthier.” Girardi said.

Health has also been an issue with the Yankees; Mark Teixeira has been in and out of the lineup and Carlos Beltran had been battling with a bone spur in his elbow. Teixeira is finally allowed to have a full offseason workout since he was limited with the wrist injury last year and Beltran is going to have surgery soon to take the bone spur out. Despite all the injuries, Girardi doesn’t believe the conditioning coordinator should take the blame since most of the injuries weren’t muscles.

“We didn’t have a lot of muscles.” Girardi said. “We had bones and ligaments. So to me those aren’t really conditioning (injuries).”

You also knew talk about Alex Rodriguez would pop-up during the press conference. Rodriguez will be at Spring Training ..read more

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Ready or not, it’s the “A-Rod Era”

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Yesterday marked the end of the Derek Jeter and the Core Four era and today marks the beginning of a new era: The Alex Rodriguez Era.

We’re still a few weeks away but once the final out of the World Series is recorded, Alex Rodriguez will be an active member of the New York Yankees and he will show up in Tampa this February, whether fans like it or not. Soon to be free agent GM Brian Cashman has been in contact with Alex Rodriguez as the team has been saying goodbye to their shortstop, and as long as Cashman and Rodriguez talk baseball, there’s no controversy and all is well.

“One thing about Alex, he’s always been a hard worker,” Cashman said. “That’s nothing you ever have to worry about with Alex. … He’s doing two-a-days right now. Last I remember, he said he was out at UCLA. Between that and his workouts in Miami, he’s (also) going to plan on working with our staff in Tampa at some point this winter. He looks forward to reintroducing himself in a positive way for us going forward.”

To say Rodriguez’s suspension process was messy is an understatement: it was pretty much a disaster, but all Brian Cashman cares about is getting his third basemen back on the field.

“The (suspension) process went through,” Cashman said. “It wasn’t a healthy process for anybody involved, but the process had finality and now it’s about moving forward. Simple as that. Alex has not not been talked to throughout this season. He’s stayed in touch with various members of the coaching staff, front office staff throughout the year. I talked to him earlier in the season regarding insurance stuff, and more recently, and then Alex texted me ..read more

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Yankees finish 2014 season and Derek Jeter’s career with 9-5 victory over Red Sox

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Derek Jeter took two at-bats, and two at-bats was all he needed to end his glorious career. On the final day of the season, the Yankees were able to come away with a 9-5 victory on Derek Jeter’s final day in the big leagues against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Yankees bats exploded for four runs in the third inning which started on a two-run triple by Ichiro Suzuki. Derek Jeter followed with an infield single and Mark Teixeira finished the inning with a SAC Fly, scoring Brian McCann. In the seventh inning Jose Pirela hit a two-run double, John Ryan Murphy hit a RBI single, Austin Romine hit a RBI double and Chase Headley followed with a RBI single.

In his final start of the season, Michael Pineda went 6.1 innings giving up a run on three hits and 10 K’s. Esmil Rogers gave up four runs on a hit while only retiring a batter, Adam Warren pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and David Phelps pitched a 1, 2, 3 ninth, ending the Yankees season and Derek Jeter’s career with a win.

What’s Next?

— Tomorrow is the first day of the Yankees offseason, but just because the Yankees are done playing, it doesn’t mean baseball is done. The postseason begins with the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday and the NL Wild Card game is on ..read more

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Derek Jeter finishes career after infield single

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Derek Jeter‘s career…is officially over.

Jeter drove in the Yankees third run in the third inning and after the hit, he was lifted for a pinch-runner, giving his teammates hugs and a wave to the fans at Fenway Park.

Jeter ends his career with 3,465 hits and he is a career .310 hitter.

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Derek Jeter takes BP one last time

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It’s Derek Jeter‘s final game and it’s the final game of the regular season. So what did Derek Jeter want to do on the weekend where he influenced all the decisions? He wanted to take batting practice.

“I asked him if he wanted to hit today,” Joe Girardi said. “And he said, ‘You know I always want to hit.’ So I said, we’ll hit then.”

So the Yankees hit, Jeter joked around, camera phones flashed and Joe Girardi looked on as the Captain took his last day in stride, feeling sadness but joy at the same time.

“One of my most enjoyable parts of my day is just watching his BP group and the stuff that he stirs up in BP,” Girardi said. “I’m talking about during BP, hitting and working. It makes me laugh every day when I sit there. I’m really going to miss that. Guys can take over that role, but I’m not so sure they can instigate as well as he has for the past 15 or 20 years. And I’m going to miss that.”

Some Notes

— After batting practice, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann decided to have a footrace on who was the slowest Yankees. If you were wondering, it was Brian McCann who is the slowest Yankee…and Mark Teixeira is still in one piece.

— Some of the Yankees regulars such as Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira are going to play but Girardi said they might not be in the game for long.

“I talked to them the last couple of days,” Girardi said. “They do want to play. These guys want to play in this game. I don’t know if I’ll ..read more

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Derek Jeter takes center-stage one final time

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If you had to ask a person to say one bad thing about Derek Jeter, they would realize it’s entirely impossible. If you had to ask a person to say one good thing about Derek Jeter, the list would be longer than any Christmas or Birthday wishlist a child could come up with.

There will be tears from fans, there will be sadness in the clubhouse and today is the day Jeter will leave everything on the field and walk away from the game he’s loved and cherished for the last 20 years. It’s Derek Jeter’s final game, and for manager Joe Girardi, seeing Jeter leave gives him sadness that baseball’s greatest fairy tale has unfortunately reached it’s final chapter.

“There’s sadness for me,” Joe Girardi said. “You never want to see great players leave. I’m never really good on the last day of the season anyway, because you have relationships with these guys, and you know that some of the guys aren’t going to be back, and that’s hard for me.”

Today will be a tough day for me personally; aside from writing about the Yankees, watching baseball provides me an escape when life gets difficult and you need something to remind you that there’s hope. Whenever I would turn on the television and watch a Yankees game, Jeter was always there and for three hours I would forget all of life’s troubles because Jeter and the Yankees would keep me occupied and bring me joy–and frustration when they’d lose.

It’s only a matter of time before Jeter’s name appears in the lineup one last time, and while we wait for that, let’s reminisce and thank Jeter for the joy he’s brought us for the last 20 years. Because once this ..read more

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