Monday, November 28, 2016

Eovaldi Released, Yanks Get Nothing For Him

In 2015, Nathan Eovaldi went 14-3 for the Yankees, leading the American League in winning percentage at .824.

In 2016, he went 9-8 before getting hurt, and requiring Tommy John surgery that would likely keep him out of action for the entire 2017 season.

Pitchers have come back from the surgery before and done well. And he'll only be 28 years old on Opening Day 2018.

The Yankees have now released Eovaldi.

You know, Brian Cashman is a confirmed jackass and a confirmed moron. But at least when he traded away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran, he got something back. Nothing that's going to do a damn thing for the Yankees prior to roster call-ups in September 2018, but at least it's possible.

We're giving up Eovaldi, and getting back nothing at all.

This is not a recommended way to run a ballclub.

Meanwhile, Boston, Baltimore and Toronto are still good. Outside our Division, there's Cleveland, Detroit and Texas. Houston and Kansas City tailed off a bit, but we can't count on them not coming back to Playoff capability in 2017.

The Yankees continue to regress. November 4, 2009 seems like a long time ago. So does October 12, 2012, when we last won a postseason series. Even October 6, 2015, our last postseason game, now feels like it was in another era.

What has Brian Cashman done to make it look like a Playoff berth is possible in 2017? Not a damn thing.


Russ Nixon died earlier this month, at age 81. A native of the Cincinnati area, he was a catcher with bad luck. He was on the Cleveland Indians when they finished 2nd in 1959, but fell short of the Pennant. He went to the Minnesota Twins after they won the Pennant in 1965, and lost the Pennant to the Red Sox on the last day of the 1967 season. He got traded to the Red Sox, but Jim Lonborg's broken leg doomed them to non-contention, and he never played in the majors again after that season. His lifetime batting average was .268.

He went into coaching, and was promoted to his hometown Cincinnati Reds in 1976, and got a World Series ring that way. In 1981, with Nixon still on their staff, the Reds had the best overall record in Major League Baseball, but because the strike that season caused a split-season format, and they didn't finish 1st in the National League Western Division in either half, they missed the Playoffs, in spite of it being the 1st-ever 8-team Playoff. They fired manager John McNamara as the team fell apart the next season, and Nixon couldn't turn it around. He lasted another season. He had now become a manager with bad luck.
He worked in the Montreal Expos' and Atlanta Braves' systems, and in 1988 was named the Braves' manager. Although he had helped break in Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery (Greg Maddux came later), the Braves were headed for a last-place finish in 1990, and general manager Bobby Cox fired him -- and took the job himself, with John Schuerholz being named the new GM. And the rest was history.

He later served as a coach with the Seattle Mariners in 1992, and worked in the minor-league systems of the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers as recently as 2008.


Dave Ferriss died last week, just short of turning 95. The Mississippi native, sometimes listed as Boo Ferriss, was signed out of Mississippi State University by the Red Sox in 1942, served in the U.S. Army during World War II, was discharged in February 1945 due to asthma, and made his major league debut on April 29, 1945, pitching a 5-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Athletics. He pitched 22 scoreless innings to start his career, a record that lasted until 2008.

He went 21-10 in 1945, and 25-6 in 1946, making the All-Star Game at his home field, Fenway Park, and helping the Red Sox win their 1st Pennant in 28 years. Had there been a Cy Young Award at the time, he surely would have won it that year. He shut the St. Louis Cardinals out in Game 3 of the World Series, and started Game 7, but did not figure in the decision, as the Cardinals beat the Red Sox thanks to Enos Slaughter's "Mad Dash."

In 1947, his asthma began to catch up with him, and arm trouble restricted him further in 1948. In 1949, he made only 4 appearances, and his last was just 1 inning on Opening Day in 1950. He was 46-16 before his 25th birthday, but threw his last major league pitch at age 28, finishing 65-30. He pitched 2 more seasons for the Sox' top farm team, the Louisville Colonels, but it was clear that he no longer had it.

He later served as the Sox' pitching coach, and in 1960 was named head baseball coach at Delta State University in Mississippi, a job he held (with a brief break in 1967-68 to be Mississippi State's assistant athletic director) until 1988, winning 639 games and 4 Gulf South Conference Championships, and reaching 3 NCAA Division II Finals.
He coached 20 All-Americans, 20 Academic All-Americans, and 23 professional players. A player who did not make his team was John Grisham, whom Ferriss cut in 1978. Grisham returned to the Cleveland, Mississippi campus of Delta State 30 years later, and thanked Ferriss for taking him off the path of sports, and putting him on the path to writing.

He was a member of the Mississippi Sports, Delta State University Sports, American Baseball Coaches Association and Boston Red Sox Halls of Fame. The baseball field at Delta State and the Mississippi Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year award are named for him.


Days until The Arsenal play again: 2, Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 (evening at 7:45, their time), at the Emirates Stadium, in a League Cup Quarterfinal against Southampton.
Days until the New Jersey Devils play another local rival: 13. Their 1st game this season with the New York Rangers will be on Sunday night, December 11, at Madison Square Garden. Their 1st game this season with the Philadelphia Flyers will be on Thursday night, December 22, at the Prudential Center. By a quirk in the schedule, the New York Islanders, a team they usually play several times a season, don't show up on the slate until Saturday night, February 18, 2017, at the Prudential Center.
Days until the New York Red Bulls play again: 86, on February 22, 2017, in the 1st leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal, home to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 2nd leg will be on March 2. The winner will face the winner of the Quarterfinal between 2 Mexican teams: Mexico City-based Pumas de la UNAM, and Monterrey-area team Tigres UANL. 

The 2017 MLS schedule has not yet been released. If schedule patterns hold, the 1st League game of the new season will be on Sunday, March 5, 2017, which is 97 days from now.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": Unknown. We may not see the 2017 MLS schedule for weeks, so we don't know when we'll next play New York City FC, the Philadelphia Union, D.C. United or the New England Revolution.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 116, on Friday, March 24, 2017, home to Honduras, at a venue and time TBA, in a CONCACAF Qualifying Match for the 2018 World Cup. Under 4 months. It will be the team's 1st match in the 2nd run as manager for Bruce Arena, now that Jurgen Klinsmann has finally been fired! Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty -- and U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati -- we're free at last! But is it too late to qualify for the World Cup?

Days until the Yankees' 2017 season opener: 125, on Sunday, April 2, at 8:00 PM, away to the Tampa Bay Rays. A little over 5 months.

Days until the Yankees' 2017 home opener: 133, on Monday, April 10, at 1:00 PM, home to the Rays.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 148, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 7:00 PM, at Fenway Park.

Days until the next North London Derby: 152, on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at White Hart Lane. Just 5 months. It could be moved to the next day, Sunday, April 30, to accommodate the TV networks. It is also possible that Arsenal could face Tottenham again sooner than that, through an FA Cup pairing.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 278, on Saturday, September 2, 2017, home to the University of Washington. The Scarlet Knights finished the 2016 season 2-9, losing last Saturday night, away to the University of Maryland.
Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the 2017 schedule hasn't been released yet. If history is any guide, it will be on Friday night, September 15, which would be 291 days from now. At any rate, they lost to Old Bridge on Thanksgiving again, 35-7.
Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 348, on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.
Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 360, on Thursday morning, November 23, 2017, at 10:00, and thank God it's at home at Jay Doyle's grove, rather than at the purple shit pit on Route 9.
Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 563, on June 14, 2018. Under 19 months. Now that Klinsmann has been fired, our chances have improved, but did he already ruin them?
Days until the 2018 Congressional election: 708. Just under 2 years, or 24 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 784, on January 9, 2019. A little over 2 years, or 25 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 1,136, on January 8, 2020. A little over 3 years, or 37 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 1,334, on July 24, 2020. Under 4 years, or 44 months.

Days until the 2020 Presidential election: 1,467. Just under 4 years, or 48 months.

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