Daily Archives: July 25, 2012

ESPN, StubHub Launch The Hall of Fans

ESPN and StubHub have teamed up to create The Hall of Fans, the first independent institution celebrating sports fandom across the country. The newly created institution will induct its first three fans after a nationwide campaign to identify the most remarkable, inspiring and dedicated fans. The three honorees will be inducted into a permanent Hall of Fans exhibit on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn.-based campus in September.

The Hall of Fans is open to fans of any sport who live in the United States and Canada.* To be considered, fans must submit an essay explaining why they deserve a spot in The Hall of Fans at TheHallofFans.com. Fans may also submit complementary photographs and video material to support their case.

A robust television, print, digital, social and radio campaign across ESPN platforms and on StubHub.com kicked off on Wednesday evening during the 20th annual ESPYs in support of the contest. “Many are Called; Three are Chosen” serves as the theme for the campaign.

“Everything we do at StubHub is designed to help fans enjoy the games, teams and athletes they love,” said Michael Lattig, Head of Brand and Creative, StubHub. “That now includes recognizing the most ardent fans with a Hall that is worthy of their fanaticism, and is on-par with the Halls the athletes they root for strive to end up in.”

“In different ways, ESPN and StubHub serve fans every day. Now it’s time to celebrate their fandom,” said Sean Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing Solutions, ESPN. “It is our hope and expectation that the Hall of Fans will thrive as a celebrated institution for many years to come.”

Submissions will be taken through Wednesday, August 1. Shortly thereafter, the top ten finalists will be notified and encouraged to campaign for one of the final three spots using their own social networks. ESPN will also produce video segments of each of the final contestants to highlight their extraordinary acts of fandom. Voting will occur on TheHallofFans.com between from August 21 through August 31.

The permanent Hall of Fans exhibit will feature three stadium chairs with engraved names of fan inductees added each year. The exhibit will be unveiled at the inaugural induction ceremony in September of 2012.

Fans can follow the contest on ESPN and StubHub social platforms and by tracking #HallofFans on Twitter.

Game 98 Lineup: Yankees @ Mariners

Lineup vs. Mariners:

Ichiro Suzuki RF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Raul Ibanez DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Andurw Jones LF
Russell Martin C

Ivan Nova RHP

Missing Jorge

One thing I’ll never forget about Jorge – the pine tar on his helmet.

As a Yankee fan it’s almost a requirement to honor the past and reminisce about former players who once wore the pinstripes. But my favorite position to play and most of my favorite historical players, are catchers. Whether it’s Yogi Berra or Jose Molina, name any Yankee backstop and I have seen their highlights and know their stats. I simply love the catcher position. Heck, even Sal Fasano started to grow on me during the ’06 season.

Yet my favorite catcher, probably since I grew up with him behind the plate, is Jorge Posada. Through thick and thin, this guy was a true warrior. Say what you want about his defense, I always thought he was a solid catcher, and was not doing the Yanks as much harm as people said he was in his later years. To me, pitching is 50% the pitcher’s duty, and 50% the catcher’s. And he was the catcher of five world champion pitching staffs. That has to say something.

Of course his glove was his trusty sidekick to the powerful bat he had. The reason why so many fans hate on Russell Martin is because he’s not Jorge Posada. That’s a fact. We as Yankee fans have been spoiled by generations of power-hitting, MVP-caliber backstops, and so Martin is clearly not that. Yet he’s a serviceable catcher capable of calling a game and playing above-average defense, which is what I like in a catcher more than anything. But Jorge did that and then some. Or that and a lot more.

His 275 home runs, 1,065 RBI, and .273 career batting average are stats that can go up against any great backstop in MLB history. I’m looking at you Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench. You too Bill Dickey. Jorge Posada was no Babe Ruth of catchers, but he was an Iron Horse of the position, catching 1,574 out of the 1,617 games he played in, and still hitting consistently and for power.

Another aspect, and maybe the most important, of Jorge Posada’s game, was that he was as true a  team player as anyone. Derek Jeter is the captain, but Jorge was the vocal leader of the team. He spoke up at team meetings, defended his teammates, and gave it all on the field every night. It’s a trait not too many players in baseball have, probably because they simply didn’t have the chance to be in Gene “Stick” Michael’s Yankee farm system in the early 1990’s. (When I talk about this, I don’t think of 2011. That was a lost year for Jorge and one where the Yankees treated him very disrespectfully.)

To conclude, this is no analysis or anything that has to do with the current Yankee team. But I love sports history, particularly Yankees history, and I was a huge fan of Jorge and still am to this day. Although the Yankees are doing just fine without him, there’s rarely a game that passes where I’m not thinking of #20 squatting behind the plate, with white-out covering his finger nails and his death stare behind the mask.

Hip hip, Jorge!

Morning Bits: A-Rod Injury & Mariano not coming back this year

What a bad day for the Yankees last night.   They lost both the game and A-Rod got injured and could be out 6 to 8 weeks.  Fishjam had a good article about it last night at what the Yankees plans could be now.  Scan down the page to read that.  Today’s start is 3:40PM EST.  On the mound for the Yankees is Nova and for the Mariners is Iwakuma.
Enjoy the game.  Now for some links…

David Waldstein of The New York Times has the quotes from the game about the loss and the injury to A-Rod.

— Here is Eric Boland’s of Newsday’s take on A-rod injury.

Star Ledger writer Steve B. has his say about A-Rod.

— MLB.com beat writer Bryan Hoch has tons of quotes from the A-Rod injury.

Scott Boeck of The USA Today has the write up where Cashman says again that Mariano will not pitch this year.

Jeff Fletcher of ESPN NY reports that Swisher is likely out till Friday.

Broken Hand for A-Rod

Broken Hand for ARod

by fishjam25

Alex Rodriguez got drilled by a Felix Rodriguez pitch tonight in the 8th inning and was in serious pain.  X-Rays revealed he has a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand.  No timetable for his return will be known until he sees doctors in New York today.  However, Eric Chavez said he had the same injury and was out for 8 weeks.  If that is accurate, he’d be looking at a late September return which is obviously terrible news.  Minor league seasons would be over so there would be no rehab games to prepare and I highly doubt he would be 100% for the post-season.

Chavez is the immediate choice to replace Alex and the Yanks also have Laynce Nix who could platoon with Chavez. However, Chavez has been playing a lot more than planned already and has been very injury prone his whole career.  Thus, it would be risky to let the trade deadline pass without making a move to bolster the position.  The internal options are as follows:

  • Ramiro Pena  – a total zero offensively hitting .253/.304/.320/.624 in AAA
  • Brandon Laird – solid D with some pop but hitting .249/.310/.408/.718 in AAA with 10 HRs/25 doubles
  • Eduardo Nunez – erratic D but good offensively. Just came off DL, has 6 minor lg games under his belt so could return soon however they have been using him at SS only.  Has made 48 starts at 3B in MLB with 9 errors for a brutal .920 Fielding%
  • Kevin Russo – AAA OF/2B/3B hitting .302/.365/.365/.731 could provide depth as a utility player
  • Ronier Mustelier – Ripping the ball in AAA but he’s been on the Disabled List, not sure when he’ll return
  • Corban Joseph & David Adams can both hit but are mediocre defensive Second Baseman who played 3B sparingly in A ball

On the trade market, Hanley Ramirez was just dealt to the Dodgers so the biggest name is Chase Headley who has drawn a lot of interest and would cost several prospects.  I really like Headley and he could be the 3B for the future for the Yank with ARod moving to DH next yr.  Headley also plays OF so he could play some LF/RF is ARod does come back healthy soon.  But I don’t think Cashman will be that bold.  Placido Polanco may be available but his offensive numbers have really gone down the last 2 years.  Marco Scutaro makes some sense as he could be a Utility Infielder/backup SS also but he hasn’t played 3B since 2008.

Headley is the best 3B on the market with a 121 OPS+ this year and it jumps to 143 away from pitchers-paradise PetCo.  He’s a switch-hitting 28-yr old under team control through 2014 and is a career .300 hitter away from PetCo so would likely cost 1 premium prospect to headline a package.