Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Autograph show features new Hall of Famers, 2000 World Series champs

2015-01-13-22.35.33This October will be the 15th anniversary of the New York Mets’ last World Series appearance… but not surprisingly, the folks at MAB Celebrity Services are only interested in the winners of the 2000 World Series.

Next weekend, they’ll hold “Pinstripe Pandemonium,” a celebration of the 2000 New York Yankees World Championship team. The show will also feature appearances by other Yankee “legends” and three of the four newly-elected baseball Hall of Famers.

Fans will have the opportunity to meet and get autographs from former Mets Pedro Martinez ($159+), Doc Gooden ($35), Doc Medich ($20+), Rick Cerone ($30), Paul Gibson ($25), Mike Stanton ($25+) and Shane Spencer ($20).

I don’t expect to get anything signed at the show – I already have all of the ex-Mets and cannot even think about paying the $199 fee to have Randy Johnson sign an 8×10 photo – but I plan to tag along with my friend who wants to see Martinez and Johnson. Maybe I’ll find an inexpensive card or two to add to my Mets autograph collection while I’m there.

Pinstripe Pandemonium will be held at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights-Meadowlands in Hasbrouck Heights on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, including the full guest list and prices, visit mab-celebrity.com.

Are you planning to attend the autograph show?

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Tony Franklin will be a “roving evaluator” in 2015

Tony Franklin (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Tony Franklin will be a “roving evaluator” for the New York Yankees in 2015. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin, 64, will serve as a “roving evaluator” in the New York Yankees’ minor league system in 2015, according to Trentonian reporter Nick Peruffo.

The Thunder announced last week that former major league infielder Al Pedrique, 54, would manage the team in 2015. During Franklin’s eight years in Trenton, the Thunder won three Eastern League championships.

According to Peruffo, Franklin’s new job will be focused more on the Yankees’ lower level affiliates. However, he expects to make at least one trip to Trenton and the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre during 2015.

That would be a nice time for Trenton to honor Franklin for his contributions to the franchise… let’s see what happens this summer.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

What does the Yankees’ lack of interest in this year’s top free agents mean?

Yankee Stadium (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Yankee Stadium (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

If I were New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, I’d be very happy if everybody got sucked into following the tawdry tabloid saga of Alex Rodriguez this winter. The more “A-Rod is the devil” stories come out, the less time anyone will have to pay attention to the multitude of problems Cashman needs to solve this winter to get the Yankees into the playoffs in 2015.

Right now, the Yankees’ starting rotation depth chart is Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Shane Greene and David Phelps (I guess), with Ivan Nova a possibility sometime later in the season. Cashman has indicated that he’d like to re-sign free agent Brandon McCarthy, who would slot in behind Tanaka and Pineda.

When healthy, Tanaka and Pineda are very talented. But every time Tanaka throws a pitch, you’ve got to wonder if it will be the last before he needs Tommy John surgery and Pineda has started just 13 major league games in the past three years. Sabathia is no longer the ace the Yankees thought they were adding when they signed him and his workload will always have to be carefully monitored due to a knee condition. Anybody care to bet that the three pitchers will each start 30 games next year? I’m not so sure I’d count on the trio combining to start 30 games.

The good news is that this problem should be relatively easy to fix. While their aren’t many quality free agent hitters available this winter, starting pitching is a strength with Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields all on the market.

Continue reading “What does the Yankees’ lack of interest in this year’s top free agents mean?”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Brad Halsey (1981-2014)

Brad Halsey, a former major league pitcher who also played for the Trenton Thunder and Long Island Ducks, died Friday in a recreational climbing accident, according to a USA Today report. No details about Halsey’s death have been officially made public – the news was initially shared by his former agent.

Halsey, 33, began his career in the New York Yankees organization and played for the Trenton Thunder in 2003 as a prospect. He later returned to the team at the end of his professional career in 2011 after a stint in indy baseball that included a season with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks in 2009.

One of Halsey’s claims to fame was being traded for Randy Johnson in 2005. Halsey was also the pitcher who surrendered Barry Bonds 714th career home run in 2006, which tied the San Francisco Giants’ slugger with Babe Ruth‘s career mark.

Halsey pitched in 88 major league games for the Yankees, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Oakland Athletics between 2004 and 2006. His career record was 14-19 with a 4.84 ERA.

While Halsey appeared on over 200 different baseball cards, I only have two in my collection: one from Upper Deck SP Prospects from 2004 and one from the Topps flagship set in 2006.

Brad-Halsey Brad-Halsey-B

Brad-Halsey-2006 Brad-Halsey-2006-B

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Afternoon links: the Japanese baseball hall of fame, Derek Jeter’s next venture, and more

Derek Jeter, during his final Subway Series at Cifi Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Derek Jeter, during his final Subway Series at Cifi Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Derek Jeter‘s MLB career is over, but we’re not done hearing from the New York Yankees’ star. He is launching a new online forum for athletes to express their views without the distortion that can be caused by the media or the limitations of current social media platforms. In an introductory article at The Players’ Tribune, Jeter writes:

“I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or “’ don’t knows.’ Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective…. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend. So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.”

While Jeter’s new venture seems unlikely to foster true connection between athletes and fans, it should give us an opportunity to see a different image of star athletes than the one we get from the traditional media.

Other links:

Continue reading “Afternoon links: the Japanese baseball hall of fame, Derek Jeter’s next venture, and more”