This past offseason, it seemed inevitable that the New York Yankees would either sign free agent pitcher Cliff Lee or acquire Zack Greinke from the Kansas City Royals through trade. Of course, the Yanks whiffed on both. Lee signed at a discounted rate in Philadelphia and Greinke was eventually dealt to the Brewers for a bunch of solid, but unspectacular young players.

Fans and writers in New York, which are sometimes hard to differentiate, were quick to put on their pop psychologist hats when it came to Greinke, dismissing him due to his past struggles with an anxiety disorder and making the assumption that he’d be unable to properly perform in New York because of the extra media attention. It was obvious nonsense. And even if it was true, the writers putting these types of columns together obviously had absolutely no idea as to the specifics of Greinke’s condition.

Last night was the fourth appearance of Greinke’s career at Yankees stadium, and his first since being traded to the Brewers. It seemed like the perfect time to put those ridiculous notions, that he couldn’t pitch in New York, to rest. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well.

Greinke only lasted two innings, giving up seven runs on five hits and three walks while striking out none. Of course, it means little due to the miniscule sample size, but over his career batters have a 1.050 OPS when hitting against Greinke at Yankee Stadium. It was a strange blip on Greinke’s mostly great season for the Brewers.

As for the other pitcher that the Yankees targeted this offseason, Cliff Lee started the first game of the Phillies series against the Boston Red Sox. And for the third straight game, Lee pitched a complete game shutout. His stuff was so good that it was even fooling his own catcher.

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His final line looked like this: 9 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K, o ER and a 34.1% increase in his team’s win probability with a night high game score of 86.

Only the New York Yankees could fail to acquire their two offseason targets, and still get the performances that they need out of them on the same night. With their win and the Red Sox loss, the Yankees take a game and a half lead over Boston in the AL East standings.

And The Rest

Major League Baseball is at least weighing the possibility of filing a motion to take over the Dodgers from Frank McCourt before things get too out of hand.

Carlos Beltran would waive his no trade clause if he were traded to a contender.

Look for Adrian Gonzalez to start tonight’s game against the Phillies in right field as David Ortiz gets the start at first base.

Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson has scheduled a date with Dr. James Andrews.

I guess games aren’t enough, because Mariano Rivera is now saving churches as well.

I see that Donavan Tate is attempting the Matt Bush career arc. What is it with Padres prospects?

Johnny Damon is closing in on Ted Williams on baseball all time hit list.

Rich Harden will start on Friday for the Oakland A’s.

There isn’t much time left for Jacoby Ellsbury to catch Josh Hamilton for the third and final starting outfield spot for the All-Star game. Jose Bautista, meanwhile, has collected more than 5.25 million votes.

Mike Quade will replace Jim Riggleman as a coach at the All-Star Game after Riggleman resigned from the Nationals.

Dan Szymborski writes about how the standings might look if injuries didn’t play a factor.

The Josh Hamilton machine can only go full throttle:

From Big League Stew, we get to see the best arm at Wrigley Field:

Comments (11)

  1. Can you really say the Yanks whiffed on Greinke, when they didn’t even attempt to aquire him? It was the polar opposite of Cliff Lee.

  2. I think you mean Adrian Gonzalez, not Beltre.

  3. By “attempt to acquire him” (also fixing my spelling), I mean they never made an official trade offer. They obviously either bought in to the garbage about him not being fit for NY or thought the cost was prohibitive. Either way, saying they failed to acquire an off-season target in Greinke’s case is a stretch.

  4. Look for Adrian Gonzalez *** to start tonight’s game against the Phillies in right field as David Ortiz gets the start at first base.

  5. How much would BJ Upton cost? Seems like he would solve a lot of problems and stick it to those Tampa Bay “fans”…

  6. The Cliff Lee “discount” actually pays him about 2mill more per year than if he’d gone to New York. It will have only been a discount if he makes less than about 15mill per year at age 37 and 38 (which may happen, but is it really worth debating right now?).
    I know the whole storyline has him ‘choosing less money because NYers suck’, but only the latter part of the statement is clearly true.

  7. BJ Upton really isn’t that good. His most similar batters on BBRef are Mark Teahen and Rob Mackowiak.

  8. He’s good compared to other CF’s, though.

  9. He’s Donavan F’ing Tate!

  10. Perhaps you have, and it’s your site, but you should reconsider. Comparisons based on different units are bad comparisons, and here you have the opporunity to compare based on standard units.

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