Tag Archives: Matt Bellantoni

Evaluating the Yankees Offseason Moves

The Yankees had quite an interesting offseason. It started with Giancarlo Stanton getting traded for basically just Starlin Castro and seems to have ended with trading for Brandon Drury. Let’s grade all the major offseason moves from November to February.

Acquiring Giancarlo Stanton: A++

Although Aaron Judge looks like the AL version of Stanton, it never hurts to have an NL MVP on the team. This was a great move because it not only brings another huge power bat to the middle of the lineup but it makes the Yankees the “evil empire” again. Also, Brian Cashman gave up NOTHING.

Enjoy this video of what the Yankees will be enjoying

Trading Chase Headley: A

This was another good move for Cashman; he was able to give away an expiring contract. The Yanks are very intrigued by the fact of getting under the luxury tax to prepare for next off-season’s free agents which include Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Headley didn’t have a spot on this team with Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar on the doorstep of the majors.

Re-signing CC: A

Sabathia was a huge part of the Yankees postseason run last year and it was only right to bring him back for this season. With the Yankees slim on 4 and 5 starters who are proven in the majors, CC made a lot of sense on a 1-year deal.

Acquiring Russell Wilson: B

OK, so obviously Wilson will never actually play for the Yankees ever but this was an interesting move. It wasn’t something the Yankees usually do but it makes sense. With such a young team, Wilson is going to come in and be able to tell the young guys like Judge, Torres, and Sanchez his success story and what he had to do to win a championship. Although this seems more like a Mets move, Wilson can’t hurt the Yankees, he can only help.

The Yankees future second basemen has smooth hands (Just kidding)

Acquiring Brandon Drury: C-

Drury is a solid player but Moustakas also made a lot of sense if Cashman signed him to a 1-year deal. That’s why I give this trade a C- because there were other options out there that maybe were a little more enticing. With a slow free-agent market, Moustakas could be looking at a 1-year prove-it-deal and the Yankees would’ve loved him at third with a short porch in right. Drury will be a good piece at a low price to play either third or second when Andujar or Torres either aren’t ready for Opening Day or start out slow.


Let me just say that I am not a big fan of the way the college football playoff teams are selected. I don’t even know how I would fix it but I just don’t like it at all. I would love to make it an 8 team playoff and just stretch out the games an extra week, it would be an easy fix. There are more than 4 teams each year deserving to fight for the natty. Look at Penn State last year or USC, both teams coming into the postseason red hot but neither of them could make it due to losses in September. Just pick the 4 best teams and don’t look so much into all of the other politics of it. Here’s my top 4 after this weekend’s games

1. Alabama

I don’t even see an argument here. Even when Georgia was at 1 it didn’t make any sense. Bama is so obviously the best team in the country. They have the experience, the best coach in history, and the most amount of talent in the country. Bama faces a tough test next week against Auburn but even with a loss, they probably get in. That won’t be an issue though. Alabama will wipe the floor next week at the Iron Bowl and get ready for another top 10 face off with Georgia in the SEC Championship. All that Bama really has to do over the next 2 weeks is win 1 game and they’ll be in.

2. Oklahoma

I think there is something to say in the rankings for a team with the best player in the country (excluding Saquan Barkley). They have 1 loss to a very solid Iowa State team who has actually been surprisingly decent especially after they beat Oklahoma. The Sooners might not have the best defense but Baker Mayfield is literally never out of a game. They get West Virginia next weekend at home possibly without an injured Will Grier which won’t be a problem then the Big 12 title game against TCU most likely. Oklahoma should win out and get into the playoff and get the respect they and Baker deserve.

3. Clemson/Miami

These teams are completely interchangeable for me because they play in the ACC Championship in two weekends. Miami gets Pitt on Friday after Thanksgiving and Clemson gets a solid South Carolina team. Assuming neither of these teams trip up next weekend the winner of the ACC Championship game will get into the playoff. Even if Miami loses the ACC Championship and that is their only loss they’re not getting in as a 1 loss team most likely. Clemson will get in even with a horrible loss at Syracuse. That’s the Dabo effect and some recency bias. I love Miami but something tells me they can’t be counted on. I could totally see them losing to Pitt but if not Clemson should take care of them. Clemson will be in.

4. Ohio State/Wisconsin

Yeah, I can’t believe it either but I think Ohio State will sneak into the top 4. Lets see how: Ohio State will handle Michigan next weekend and Wisconsin will finish at 12-0 after wasting their time next Saturday against Minnesota. Wisconsin doesn’t seem legit to me; they have played absolutely no one and you can say they beat Michigan but that’s the only ranked team they’ve played, they played them at home, and Michigan was only ranked because of Jim Harbaugh’s presence. I can see Ohio State as a double digit favorite against Wisconsin in Indy and when Ohio State beats Wisconsin, the Badgers will be out of the playoff with that terrible strength of schedule. I think everyone can agree that a 2 loss Ohio State team is still better than a 1 loss Badger squad. Ohio State needs Bama to beat Auburn which will knock them out, Bama to beat Georgia in the SEC title game which would knock them out, and hope the committee sees them as better than either a 2 loss Clemson team (which they will) or a 1 loss Miami team (still to be seen).

First 2 out with no chance

Above I have the teams that still have a possible chance. You can say Auburn does and Georgia does but I’m just assuming they lose to Bama because it’s Bama. I really only see a path for those 6 teams so here are the top 2 teams that don’t have a path to the playoff.

  1. Penn State

This Nittany Lion team is absolutely legit. They lost 2 games on the road to ranked teams by a combined 4 points. Just tough luck for James Franklin. They have the best running back that I’ve seen since Reggie Bush in Saquan Barkley and a very capable quarterback in Trace McSorley. They will not be playing in the Big 10 championship game like last year and will probably finish at 10-2. A 2 loss team that doesn’t win their conference title just doesn’t have a path and that’s the tough part about a 4 team playoff because this team is legit.

2. USC

The Trojans are in a very similar position to Penn State except they’ll have a chance to play in their conference title game. They have a top 5 NFL pick also in Sam Darnold and are an exciting team to watch. USC obviously wont get into the playoff but I’d love to see a USC and Penn State bowl game rematch, wouldn’t you?

Keep the Home Plate Umpire on the Field

The abuse of home plate umpires on their strike and ball calls has been a part of baseball forever. These humans that wear masks and pads to protect themselves from a collection of 102 mph Aroldis Chapman fastballs and 90 mph Noah Syndergaard sliders get strikes and balls correct over 90% of the time. Sure, calls like Jim Joyce on Armando Galarraga should not be a part of the game and it isn’t anymore. The current replay system has its flaws but all in all it has worked for the MLB. I simply can’t imagine a world where there wouldn’t be a human set up behind the catcher and calling the game. That is just how we have all grown up watching the game and playing it and the home plate umpire is part of the fun. Imagine if there wasn’t a human back there. Who would Bobby Cox have yelled at every night or Joe Girardi yelled at when A-Rod got drilled by Ryan Dempster. The human element should be part of the game for this reason alone. There aren’t robots calling holding penalties on offensive lines or offside penalties in soccer.


The only possible way that the automated strike zone would seem feasible would be for reviews. What happened when replay first came into the sport? The umpires on the bases didn’t leave the field and let a computer call safe and out. There were replays when coaches didn’t agree with calls. So why can’t the automated strike zone be implemented like this when it is ready. I can see a world where there is a human umpire behind the plate and coaches have a certain amount of strike-ball challenges per game. The call would be simple, replay operators would know right away if the automated strike zone was tracking each pitch. The umpire wouldn’t even have to leave the catcher’s box and a call could be made to him within seconds if a coach chooses to challenge a pitch. Just remember, the human umpire is correct on over 90% of strike-ball calls. There’s no need to change the game just yet, Rob Manfred.