Derek Jeter and Dellin Betances prepare for All-Star Game

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During tonight’s All-Star Game, all eyes are going to be on none other than Derek Jeter, the future Hall-of-Famer who is making his 14th and final start as an All-Star shortstop. However, Derek Jeter isn’t the only Yankee in tonight’s All-Star game; Dellin Betances who had an impressive first half of the season is making his first All-Star appearance in his rookie season. Betances is excited to get this opportunity, and he’s soaking it all in.

“To be a part of this is going to be something I’ll try to cherish and just enjoy the moment,” Betances said. “(Looking forward to) just meeting some of the guys, seeing what it’s like, and just try to have a good time. At the same time, just go out there and do the best you can.”

Obviously, Betances isn’t the center of attention tonight–that honor goes to Jeter. But if Betances gets his chance to shine, he could impress everyone with his stuff.

“I hope it just doesn’t go too fast for him,” Joe Girardi said. “(That he takes in) the things you get an opportunity to do, and he’s able to soak it in and enjoy what he’s been through in his career and the expectations and how he’s handled them and being able to burst on the scene. I hope he’s able to enjoy it, and enjoy it with his family, because it means a lot. And it means a lot for players to the people that have helped you out along the way. You can go all the way back to your first coach. You think about those people and you’re appreciative.”

Although tonight is supposed to be about Jeter, Jeter knows Betances also deserves to be recognized for his work–there ..read more

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2014 Yankees mid-season report cards: Starting Rotation

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Yesterday, I graded the Yankees position players and today is probably the toughest task: the starting rotation. I’ll start by grading the five original pitchers in the rotation and finally, I’ll grade David Phelps and Chase Whitley (I can’t really grade Shane Greene or Brandon McCarthy because they didn’t make enough starts for consideration. It also wouldn’t make sense to grade Vidal Nuno considering he’s not here anymore). Here are the grades for the Starting Rotation.

CC SabathiaCC Sabathia got off to a rocky start for the Yankees after an abysmal 2013 season, but he didn’t have a chance to turn things around when he went down with a knee injury after making eight starts. In the eight starts Sabathia made, he was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA, but because he didn’t make to the halfway mark, it’s almost impossible to grade him.

Sabathia’s Mid-Season Grade:

Hiroki Kuroda: Hiroki Kuroda got off to an un-Kuroda like start, but has since settled down and has given the Yankees decent outings. He’s not going to be vintage Kuroda since he’s 39-years-old, but a 6-6, 4.10 ERA is respectably solid in the American League East. The only complaint I have: the Yankees offense almost never gives Kuroda run support, so his 6-6 record is a little deceiving. On top of that, Kuroda is the only one who wasn’t bit by the injury bug in the rotation, so good for him. He wins the 2014 version of Survivor: Yankees Pitching edition.

Kuroda’s Mid-Season Grade:

Masahiro TanakaBefore partially tearing his UCL, Masahiro ..read more

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Yoenis Cespedes wins Home Run Derby

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The last time a player had won the Home Run Derby in back-to-back years, it was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998-1999. Tonight, Yoenis Cespedes joined Griffey Jr. in that club, winning the Home Run Derby for a second consecutive year in a row.

After getting off to a slow start, Cespedes was able to take down Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and finally Todd Frazier in the finals to win the crown. While Cespedes was impressive, the player that impressed me the most was Todd Frazier. Many fans expected a Cespedes vs. Giancarlo Stanton finals, but Frazier was the sleeper and scooted his way into the finals when he defeated Stanton in the National League semi-finals 1 HR to none.

The shocker was in the first round when Yasiel Puig didn’t hit a single home run; his pitcher was none other than Robinson Cano‘s father. Interesting fact: Cano’s father Jose Cano has a 0.00 ERA in his last two Home Run Derby starts; he last pitched to Cano two years ago in Kansas City.

What’s Next?

– Tomorrow night the All-Stars take the field with the All-Star Game taking place on National Television. The game will air on FOX and the pregame will start at 7:30 ..read more

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Video: Luis Severino pitching in 2014 Futures Game

For all of those following the minor leagues closely, yesterday was a huge treat: the 2014 Future’s All-Star Game was at Target Field. The stars of tomorrow shined and they took the field, representing their organizations. Yesterday, the Yankee had two players represent them: Pete O’Brien and Luis Severino.

Above is video of Severino pitching in the All-Star game and he is the prospect to watch. Between Charleston and Tampa, he’s 4-3 with a 2.41 ERA in 18 games. It was an impressive inning for him, but I don’t believe the video above has sound–it didn’t have sound when I was trying to watch it. Anyway, watch and enjoy and don’t forget: at 8 p.m. it’s the Home Run Derby!

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Video: Jordan’s sneakers releases Derek Jeter commercial

2014 is officially the “Derek Jeter Farewell Tour” and it seems the popular sneaker brand Jordan’s has their own gift for Jeter: a touching commercial.

The commercial starts at Yankee Stadium where Derek Jeter is stepping into the box against Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox. Before the first pitch is thrown, Lester tips his cap on the mound, which starts a montage of former Hall of Famers, Jeter’s family, Yankees fans, fans of opposing teams, some of New York’s finest and even a cameo by Michael Jordan tipping their caps to honor the Captain.

If anything, this commercial showed how much Jeter will be missed when he retires and it shows the impact he made on everyone around them. So watch the commercial, try not to cry and enjoy the last two and a half months of the season because after the season’s gone, Jeter’s gone for good.

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Derek Jeter will lead-off, play SS in All-Star Game

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Ladies and Gentlemen, here is your American League starting lineup for the 2014 All-Star Game:

Derek Jeter, SS (NYY) Mike Trout, LF (LAA) Robinson Cano, 2B (SEA) Miguel Cabrera, 1B (DET) Jose Bautista, RF (TOR) Nelson Cruz, DH (BAL) Adam Jones, CF (BAL) Josh Donaldson, 3B (OAK) Salvador Perez, C (KC)

Felix Hernandez, SP (SEA)

Adam Wainwright will start the All-Star game for the National League. After releasing the lineups for the All-Star game, manager John Farrell said this about Jeter, which influenced his decision to put him in the lead-off spot.

“A lot of people in the ballpark are going to remember Derek Jeter’s last ASG.”

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2014 Yankees mid-season report cards: Position Players

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I did something like this at the end of the 2013 season, but with the All-Star Break upon us, I figured it would have been a good time to grade the players on what they’ve done so far. Each day until the All-Star Break ends, I’ll post a mid-season report card for the Position Players, Starting Rotation, Bullpen and Bench Players. I figured splitting it up instead of cramming it into one big article would make more sense. So without further ado, Part One of the 2014 mid-season report cards: The Position Players.

Brett Gardner: Brett Gardner has had a very impressive season so far, and if the American League outfield wasn’t crowded with power-hitting outfielders, Gardner could have made the All-Star team as a reserve. He already has a career high in home runs, he’s been more aggressive at the plate, he leads the Yankees in runs, in WAR and he has the highest batting average with RISP. He’s been the most consistent for the Yankees and there’s no doubt.

Gardner’s Mid-Season Grade:

 

Derek JeterIt’s Derek Jeter’s final season, which means he’s going to the All-Star game to be honored. Jeter’s had an average year for someone in his final season, and while he only has two home runs and 25 RBI’s on the season thus far, there’s still a whole second half to go. He hasn’t been terrible, but he hasn’t been sensational either: he’s just been average.

Jeter’s Mid-Season Grade:

Jacoby EllsburyFirst off, I’m still not a huge fan of the Jacoby Ellsbury contract only because they paid him $153 Million to be a carbon copy of Brett Gardner. With that being said, Jacoby Ellsbury has ..read more

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2014 All-Star Week Begins!

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Well baseball fans, it’s the week we’ve all been waiting for–and personally, it’s one of my favorite times of year: It’s the All-Star Break. Last year, the story-line was saying goodbye to Mariano Rivera in Queens, New York as the Mets hosted the midsummer classic. This year, the story-line is saying goodbye to Derek Jeter who is going to his 14th and final All-Star game in Minneapolis, Minnesota where the game will be played at Target Field.

However, while the game begins on Tuesday, tonight it is all about the Home Run Derby which happens to be one of my favorite events. Last year was a must watch Derby with Yoenis Cespedes putting on a laser show, but I wonder if he could pull a repeat this year. Here’s the T.V. schedule for the next few nights:

Tonight: Home Run Derby – ESPN @ 8:00 p.m. Tomorrow: 2014 All-Star Game Red Carpet – MLB Network @ 3:00 p.m., 2014 All-Star Game – FOX @ 7:30 p.m.

I’ll have updates on the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game throughout the week, so stay tuned ladies and gentlemen. It’s going to be a wild ..read more

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