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“Heroes Get Remembered but Legends Never Die”

For all the diehard baseball fans who got the reference in the title, prepare for a Sandlot-themed edition of PIP! As Spring Training begins wrapping up (one week left), the New York Yankees thought it would be fun to recreate one of the iconic scenes from the film.

Of course there were outtakes!

While we are on the subject of legends, RailRiders co-owner Grant Cagle spoke with Donnie Collins about the Legends Game coming to PNC Field this summer, Opening Night’s national anthem performer and more. Here’s the link to his story. Information on tickets and player participants for the Legends Game will be available at a later date.

The RailRiders also announced this week the return of their Adopt-a-Field program. Two youth fields (softball or baseball) and one high school baseball field will be renovated. More information on submissions and how the program works can be found HERE.

We’ve got a lot to cover and better get started. We gotta get home for lunch! So, it’s on with the news and notes!

Happy 24th birthday to 2014 RailRider Rob Refsnyder! He took to Twitter for the occasion:

Before Wednesday’s game, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman held court with the media regarding decisions for the club coming out of spring training. It appears SWB alumnus Adam Warren is in line for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation. While Alex Rodriguez appears to have locked down regular DH duties.

Chase Whitley had a breakout performance in 2014 and hopes to turn that into consistency in 2015. Whitley and Warren join two others in forming a four-headed race for the final rotation spot.

Former RailRider Jose Pirela had a scary moment earlier this week when he was injured trying to catch a fly ball in center field. The Yankees’ prospect crashed into the wall before tumbling onto the warning track. While he suffered a concussion from the impact, thankfully, it appears Pirela will be okay. Before Pirela’s injury, Yankees manager Joe Girardi weighed in on his chances of making the big league roster out of spring training.

The Yankees trimmed their roster down for a third time on Friday, March 20.

It’s been a nip-and-tuck battle between John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine for the backup catcher’s spot in New York. Romine, being out of options, knows the coming weeks will be big.

Feeling 100%, Tyler Austin could make the SWB roster out of Spring Training and add some bash to the lineup.

Donnie Collins began his Top 15 Prospects countdown earlier this week. Nos. 11-15 have already been revealed.

He also profiled local product Matt Wotherspoon’s rise up the Yankees’ ladder. The former Crestwood High School star comes off a special 2014 season with Staten Island and has SWB circled on his radar.

Want to cover the RailRiders? A third party is looking for a beat man in a role that has launched newspaper careers for others in the area.

Chad Jennings previewed the current working groups in the Yankees’ minor league camps.

Pace-of-play rules will hit the Double-A and Triple-A ranks in 2015. The Times Leader took a look at what you can expect at PNC Field this season.

Family Fun Day was a huge success last weekend. WNEP was there to chronicle the fun.

Would you like to meet the 2015 RailRiders in person, and before the first pitch is even thrown? You can. Learn more by clicking away here.

Remember the KRW Foundation’s Party with the Pros comes to PNC Field this Saturday.

As always, remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Do us a favor and spread the word of PIP across the globe. We’re off to make s’mores! Some more of what? No, s’mores! You’re killing me Smalls! Just listen to the “Song of the Week.”

Oh, the Madness!!

Between Spring Training ejections, MiLB team branding announcements, an office trip to Newark, N.J. and some basketball tournament we keep hearing about, it has certainly been a week to remember on Montage Mountain!

The New Jersey Devils were gracious enough to host the RailRiders front office staff on St. Patrick’s Day for their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here are a couple of pictures from the trip:

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We know. You’ve been curious about the ejection we hinted at. Well, here it is. Umpire Joe West tossed catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ Grapefruit League tilt with the Atlanta Braves. We present the link to the story: (VIDEO INCLUDED).

Now on with the news and notes from Spring Training:

The Yankees began trimming down their roster this week. Here are the first round of cuts, including Luis Severino and Aaron Judge. The club made their second round of cuts on Wednesday.

Alex Rodriguez has had a positive influence on one of the Yankees’ rising stars.

C.C. Sabathia took the mound for the Yankees for the first time since last May. The left-hander said there were nerves, but no complaints.

Minor League veteran Mat Gamel was reunited with his brother Ben when he signed with the Yankees. Lou Dipietro featured the two brothers for the YES Network.

Pat Venditte pretzeled hitters while wearing the SWB pinstripes in 2014. The ambidextrous pitcher continues his quest to make the Majors with his new team, the Oakland A’s. While he’s doing that, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian decided to reseach the phenomenon of pitchers using both arms throughout the game’s history.

There could be a Rodriguez playing for the RailRiders this summer. No, not him. We’re talking about Eddy Rodriguez.

With basically two weeks of Spring Training left, here are some early impressions coming out of Yankees camp.

Former Indians slugger, and the 1953 America League MVP, Al Rosen passed away at the age of 91. We at PIP would like to extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family of Mr. Rosen.

It’s Moniker Madness, baby!! Earlier this off-season, the Eastern League’s New Britain Rock Cats announced plans to relocate to Hartford, Conn. in 2016. On Thursday the club announced a name change in conjunction with the move. We present – without comment – the Hartford Yard Goats!

Okay, we have one comment. Actually, it’s a question. Was the new Hartford club inspired by Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” single?

More from Montage Mountain…

Reminder that single game tickets go on sale Saturday, March 21! The RailRiders will host a Family Fest at PNC Field that same day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information on the event, which includes an appearance by Curious George, can be found by clicking here.

Our friend Donnie Collins laid out our Family Fest and other upcoming events on his blog. Here’s more info on the Party with the Pros event. Tom Kelly spoke to the Times-Tribune about the event as well.

PNC Field will serve as host to Lackawanna County’s bike fair on Saturday, April 25.

As always, remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Do us a favor and spread the word of PIP across the globe. Our “Song of the Week” isn’t really a song, but it does feature our favorite college basketball analyst. Here’s hoping you don’t bust your bracket if you decide to call in sick this week!

Prospecting the Farm

With a ton of news and Spring Training notes to get to, we dive right in to this week’s edition of PIP. First, here’s a look at a breakdown of the Yankees’ top 30 prospects ranked by MLB.com.

You know, it’s always fun to hear former players’ prospective on the future stars of Major League Baseball and ESPN asked “Mr. October” Reggie Jackson his opinion on the next great Yankees. Aaron Judge drew comparisons to Stargell, McCovey and the like. Here’s more on the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect according to Baseball America.

Judge isn’t the only prospect to impress Jackson, however. Reggie called infielder Jose Pirela the best hitter in the Yankees organization. Pirela hopes to make the most of his opportunity, as Chad Jennings writes.

Chase Whitley, who had time with SWB from 2012-14, is experimenting with a curveball this spring. We hope he isn’t working with Phil Brickma.

Lou DiPietro of the YES Network believes the Yankees farm system is blossoming left-handed pitching depth with a dozen or more guys who could make an impact for the big league club this year.

The son of former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long continues climbing his way up the ladder.

Former Yankee – and SWB alumnus – Alfredo Aceves found a new home with the San Francisco Giants. Aceves was 15-3 with a 4.41 ERA in 69 games while wearing the pinstripes.

Reliever Nick Goody continues to climb his way through the Yankees system after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013. Wayne Cavadi believes Goody will open in Double-A Trenton, but fans of the RailRiders could see him soon.

WE INTERRUPT this blog post to bring you something amazing. Prepare yourselves. A New Mexico JUCO baseball team pulled a unique feat by turning a triple play. But not just any triple play. This was the strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out variety.

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Meanwhile, back on Montage Mountain…

The RailRiders held a ticket pick-up party with their season ticket holders last weekend. Former Yankee hurler Chris Hammond was on hand as part of the festivities. During the event, the RailRiders presented Hammond with a charitable donation to his Youth Foundation.

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And CHAMP was busy entertaining fans of all ages at the Pittston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

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The RailRiders also announced a Family Fest on March 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information on the event can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Finally, we here at PIP and the RailRiders front office would like to extend our condolences to the Syracuse Chiefs family on the of legendary executive Tex Simone.

As always, remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Do us a favor and spread the word of PIP across the globe. Our “Song of the Week” features the David Crowder Band. With the sun shining and temperatures on the rise, we thought an uplifting, bouncing tune was in order.

Sunshine, Palm Trees and Baseball

What is more glorious this time of year than the thought of baseball being played every weekend through November? Spring Training games began earlier this week with the New York Yankees opening up their Grapefruit League slate against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The future of the Yankees was on display Tuesday as the Phillies and Bombers tied in the opener.

The series shifted to Tampa for Wednesday’s action. Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi looked sharp in his Yankees’ debut. The Yankees lost to the Phillies 3-1. Alex Rodriguez singled in his first at-bat since returning from a 17-month layoff. The slugger finished the afternoon 1-for-2.

RailRiders co-managing owner David Abrams was a guest during the seventh inning of YES Network’s telecast Wednesday afternoon. You can view the interview here.

The front office staff were all glued to their monitors!

Abrams has spent the week down in Tampa alongside other members of the ownership group.. Here they are with Mr. October Reggie Jackson!

From L to R: Bob Mills, Grant Cagle, Reggie Jackson and Abrams.

Meanwhile, back on Montage Mountain…

The RailRiders announced the return of Pinstripes in Pink!

And it’s on with this week’s news and notes!

Donnie Collins continues his season preview as he projects the RailRiders roster. Here is Donnie’s in-depth look at potential starting pitchersrelief pitchers and infielders.

Former RailRider Jim Miller signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Another RailRiders alumnus, Pat Venditte is off to a strong start in his quest to make the Oakland A’s roster.

Before the Yankees opened Grapefruit League play, the team went up against The Machine. We wonder how John Connor would’ve fared?

Bobby Wilson, a catcher for SWB in 2013, is in contention for a job with his hometown team.

Here’s an update on the Yankees potentially using a six-man rotation.

Aside from our continued updates on the RailRiders and Yankees, we always like to offer thoughtful or interesting reads. Like this one about a future National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. Baseball players took to Twitter to debate the dress controversy among other things in this week’s Minoring in Twitter. And have you seen this pitcher’s leg kick?? It reminds us at PIP of a famous cartoon rabbit…

As always, remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Do us a favor and spread the word of PIP across the globe! Here’s your song of the week! We hear there’s a some baseball on TV….

 

 

 

 

 

Changing of the Guards

We open this week ‘s edition of PIP with our “Song of the Week.” We suspect David Bowie had the International League in mind when he released this song…

Or maybe not.

Anyway, as the RailRiders continue to settle in under new ownership, more changes are afoot around the IL. The Pawtucket Red Sox made headlines across the baseball world earlier this week when it was announced the club was sold to the Boston Red Sox and a group of New England business leaders.

The new owners also dropped a bombshell by announcing intentions to relocate the team to Providence, R.I. The move won’t occur before 2017, but it’s still tough to see baseball lose another historic franchise. All this talk of relocation got Donnie Collins wondering about the longest-tenured teams in MiLB.

You can read more reaction to the sale, courtesy the New York Times, by CLICKING HERE. You can also read the Boston Globe’s story HERE.

Staying with the theme of this week, the Louisville Bats also announced an ownership change.

At least one person has voiced their displeasure of all the teams changing hands:

You can read up on the RailRiders’ local ownership RIGHT HERE.

With Spring Training underway, it’s on with this week’s news and notes!

The RailRiders held their annual job fair last Saturday and WNEP had coverage of the event. You can also find more on the story by CLICKING HERE. The RailRiders are still accepting job applications. Information can be found by visiting the RailRiders website.  The club also announced the return of the Community Organization of the Game program earlier this week.

If you’re curious like we are about the potential makeup of the roster, Donnie Collins has started his yearly prognostications. Here are his thoughts on potential outfielders and catchers.

A “no fun diet” was at the heart of Mark Teixeira’s off-season strength program. The slugger is hoping to return to form in 2015.

Masahiro Tanaka has thrown three bullpen sessions and continues progressing in his comeback from injury.

Despite a substantial offer from the Yankees, the bidding war for Yoan Moncada’s services went to the Boston Red Sox.

Bryan Mitchell told reporters he would be disappointed if left off the team.

One former Yankee was given a second chance by the Pirates and could win a starting job.

Rob Refsnyder made some changes to his swing during the off-season. We respect Refsnyder’s attempts to improve his game, but that swing looked pretty good for the RailRiders last year.

Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Do your friends a favor and spread the word of PIP across the globe! That David Bowie song got us thinking about another great hit from the year 1971…

 

 

Tex(t) Message Delivered

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders  announced their new local ownership group on Thursday night as they entertained season ticket holders, sponsors and other special guests. WNEP was all over the local ownership announcement. New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was on hand to greet the fans and sign autographs as part of a fun, successful evening at PNC Field.

Teixeira met around 1,000 RailRiders and Yankees fans during the five-hour event. Everyone from children to the media clamored for just a moment of Mark’s time and the slugger was very gracious and patient throughout the evening.

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While meeting with the media, Teixeira was asked about his health heading into the 2015 season. The former MVP said he is good to go. Donnie Collins provided more coverage of the event in the Scranton Times-Tribune and the Citizens’ Voice. On his blog, he expanded upon the announced “Legends Day” and the pace-of-play changes coming to baseball.

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RailRiders manager Dave Miley was on hand as well. He spoke with Jim Coles of WNEP TV.

Teixeira also took a moment to speak with Jim.

Here’s a link to Eric Deabill and WBRE’s coverage of the entire event, including the announcement of the local ownership group.

The Times Leader’s Paul Sokoloski gave his take on the Teixeira appearance and the ownership reveal.

Pinstriped Prospects gave its take on the ownership reveal and Teixeira’s appearance.

Thanks, again, to all of our great season ticket holders and fans who braved the cold on Thursday night to come to PNC Field! We look forward to hosting more great events in the future!

Have a safe weekend!

Happy Returns!

Welcome back fellow PIP’ers! Mother Nature did her best this week to bring us down with arctic temps and more snowfall, but we won’t have any of it. Pitchers and catchers report in less than 24 hours! Let the celebration commence!

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Now that we have that out of our system…the RailRiders are busy this week in preparation of Mark Teixeira’s appearance at PNC Field. The Yankees slugger will be among several special guests – including the new ownership group – on hand to meet season ticket holders Thursday afternoon/evening. By the way, did you know Tex starred in his own show?

Here’s this weeks news and notes…

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told reporters that the Yankees may use a six-man rotation this year due to the club playing 30 games in 31 days.

The club signed RHP Jared Burton to a minor league contract. Burton is the 28th invitee, including Kyle Davies who was signed last week, to big league camp.

Bronx Baseball Daily examines the backup catcher situation for the Yankees.

Derek Jeter is interested in becoming an owner, though possibly outside of baseball. Something tells PIP that he’ll make a better owner than Rachel Phelps.

Although pitchers and catchers don’t have to officially report to Tampa until Friday, February 20, for the Yankees, several clubs began preseason workouts earlier this week. The renewed activity has caused several players to come out of their off-season social media hibernation. This includes the Yankees’ Gosuke Katoh.

Speaking of social media, The Omaha Storm Chasers and Albuquerque Isotopes got into a Twitter spat earlier this week over AMC’s new series Better Call Saul. This reminds us of another great Twitter spat by the Fresno Grizzlies and Sacramento RiverCats.

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Everyone continues to follow the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes. According to the New York Post and Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees continue to be a favorite to land the Cuban infielder’s services.

Finally, we at PIP and the entire SWB RailRiders organization would like to send our condolences to the family of local radio legend Mike Remish, who passed away earlier this week. Mike was a terrific broadcaster, announcing games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in the 1990s and later University of Scranton men’s basketball. He was a passionate fan of RailRiders baseball and his presence at PNC Field will certainly be missed.

Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Continue to spread the word of PIP across the globe! And, with that, we leave you with the Song of the Week!

Baseball State of Mind

Greetings from the base of Montage Mountain! Baseball fever continues to take hold around PNC Field as pitchers and catchers report to the New York Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa, Fla., next week. In preparation for the upcoming season, the RailRiders have announced their Job Fair will be held Saturday, February 21. For details CLICK HERE.

The team held national anthem tryouts last weekend and received a nice turnout of hopefuls for the O Say Can You Sing event.

Don’t forget Mark Teixeira will visit PNC Field next Thursday, February 19, to greet season ticket holders; one of the many perks to being a season ticket holder. By the way, season tickets are still available.

And it’s on to the latest news and notes from the Yankees…

Probably the biggest story line from the past week involved the embattled Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod met with Yankees brass to discuss his return to the club in 2015. It sounds like both parties are ready to leave the past behind and focus on baseball. Bryan Hoch as the story HERE.

The Yankees added pitcher Kyle Davies to the fold this week. The right-hander spent 2014 pitching for the Cleveland Indians’ Double-A and Triple-A clubs. Michael Axisa speculates that Davies is a name RailRiders fans should follow throughout Spring Training.

The 2014 season saw Luis Severino explode onto the season as the top prospect in the Yankees’ farm system.The soon-to-be-21-year-old jumped from Single-A Charleston to Double-A Trenton last year. While it’s possible RailRiders fans will see Severino at PNC Field this summer, Michael Cambria wonders if the right-hander will figure into the Yankees’ plans sooner than later.

Wayne Coffey of the New York Daily News weighs in on Rob Refsnyder and the possibility of him seeing time at second base with the Yankees in 2015. Speaking of Rob, don’t forget the RailRiders will be giving away a Refsnyder bobblehead on Saturday, June 27. For the full promotional schedule, CLICK HERE.

Axisa also offers some injury updates and Yankees’ pitching coach Larry Rothschild offered another update on Masahiro Tanaka. After missing most of last season, C.C. Sabathia hopes to make 30 starts in 2015.

Here at PIP, we are always up for a good off-field story and Bryan Hoch provides us with one this week. RailRiders fan-favorite Chase Whitley dazzles on the mound during the summer and spends his off-season mentoring/instructing young athletes in Oxford, Ala. CLICK HERE for the full story.

Here’s a nice piece on SWB alumnus Brett Gardner. Another feature on the Yankees’ outfielder can be found HERE.

Before we wrap up, we here at the RailRiders and PIP would like to step out of the world of baseball for a moment and send our condolences to the families, friends and schools on the passings of two iconic coaches in Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian. This past week’s news was a tough blow for any fan of college basketball. They were transcendent figures of the sport. They were innovators on and off the field. Here are a couple of tributes to these great coaches…

ESPN Tribute to Jerry Tarkanian

Thanks for checking in this week. As always, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and spread the word about PIP around the globe!

And with that, it’s back to an Empire State of Mind for us. Take us home, Jay-Z!

The Anticipation Builds

With the Super Bowl in the books, a snow-covered sports world now turns their focus longingly towards the spring. In two short months, the gloves will pop, the bats will crack and the smell of hot dogs will once again permeate the air.

Spring Training cranks up with pitchers and catchers reporting for the New York Yankees on February 20. For a complete Spring Training schedule, CLICK HERE.

With the retirement of Derek Jeter, the Yankees are left with a hole to fill on the left side of the infield. Who will be the Bronx Bombers’ new shortstop? Bryan Hoch of MLB.com WEIGHS IN.

Chad Jennings spotlights RailRiders alumnus John Ryan Murphy and discusses his potential candidacy as the Yankees’ back-up catcher. He also offers speculation on where Bryan Mitchell and Ramon Flores wind up on Opening Day. A busy man, Jennings also breaks down some possible role players for the Yankees in 2015.

Other news and notes concerning the Yankees:

Dellin Betances is excited for A-Rod’s return to the Yankees.

– Yankees shoot down talks of joining the James Shields sweepstakes.

Ivan Nova continues on the comeback trail from an elbow injury last April.

If you have some time today, read this incredible story about Chris Martin‘s journey from pushing refrigerators on dollies to pitching for the Yankees. Never give up on your dreams!

Meanwhile, back at Montage Mountain…big news this week as last week brought the announcement of legendary Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Marc Bombard‘s 2015 induction into the International League Hall of Fame! Congrats Bombie! Dave Rosengrant has more on Bombard’s induction.

And if you hadn’t heard, Mark Teixeira will visit PNC Field on February 19 to help the RailRiders kick off a new era.

Have you ever wondered what a RailRiders’ bobblehead of Derek Jeter would look like? Need to add some t-shirts to the wardrobe? Or maybe your curious about what life would be like if CHAMP turned to the dark side? Well, the RailRiders hope to solve all of those quandaries this summer with our 2015 PROMO SCHEDULE!

Here is the story on our franchise-record 29 giveaways.

That’s all for now. As always, give us a follow on Twitter, like us on Facebook and spread the word about PNP!

Before we go, let’s join the rest of baseball in wishing a happy 81st birthday to Hammerin’ Hank Aaron!

We hope you stay warm!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The most wonderful time of the year is here. Yes, the holidays equal family time and higher meanings beyond, but this is also when the biggest blockbuster moves get made in the sporting world’s greatest off-season – baseball’s hot stove.

General managers that get it right might feel a bit like Clark once his lights finally kick in with the whole Griswold clan watching.

Arguably the biggest and certainly (as of this blog entry’s creation) the latest huge move had Wil Myers moving again, this time from Tampa Bay to San Diego as part of a three-team, 11-player deal. Myers, you may recall, endured a difficult first season in the IL in 2013 before he straight crushed the RailRiders over two series from May 24-26 and May 31-June 3. He hit .438/.441/.906/1.347 with three homers and 12 RBIs in seven games against SWB to ignite his rise. As of June 18, he was in the bigs to stay the rest of the way and became the AL Rookie of the Year.

The third team in this trade was Washington and 2014 IL MVP Steven Souza, who led the IL in batting average (.350), OBP (.432) and SLG (.590), is now property of the Rays. Souza, for what it’s worth, did not play well against the RailRiders (.200/.333/.440/.773).

The RailRiders have added another utility man who recently played for Tampa’s team in the IL. Cole Figueroa spent the last three seasons in the Bull City of Durham and got big league time last season. SWB beat man Donnie Collins gave his reaction to the move and highlighted some of the others that may affect NEPA’s team including the re-signing of pitcher Jose Campos, the arrival of free agent catcher Juan Graterol and the earlier additions of the versatile Nick Noonan and Jonathan Galvez. Collins’ predecessor, now on the Yankees beat in the bigs Chad Jennings, gave his views while River Ave Blues examined Noonan’s numbers and threw out the possibility of a Yangervis Solarte comparison.

The Rule 5 draft came and went with zero impact on the Yankees. Nobody added, nobody lost.

MiLB.com released its list of Yankees minor leaguers who had the best 2014 seasons by position and five of the 12 honorees saw extended time with SWB including first baseman Kyle Roller:

In terms of pinstriped moves, the Yankees biggest recent splash had them inking Chase Headley to a four-year, $52-million contract. What does that mean for the young guys like 2014 RailRiders Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela? Joel Sherman gave his take in the NY Post while River Ave Blues calls it a positive for the up-and-coming prospects.

Per Yankees GM Brian Cashman, there’s no concern about a position battle at third base. A-Rod is now a full-time DH.

Cashman offered some other insights recently like: the Yankees don’t believe Didi Gregorius is a finished product and stated, “I don’t think Yankees fans will be looking at Max Scherzer”. Cashman also demonstrated complete confidence in first baseman Mark Teixeira.

One of the game’s great guys, SWB alumnus Dellin Betances, keeps on giving back to the community and spoke about the possibility of closing games for the Yankees.

The Yanks added some starting depth by signing Chris Capuano to a one-year deal.

What do these moves mean? Jennings gave his best guess with this organizational depth chart.

YESNetwork.com’s Lou DiPietro tossed out his ideas on possible trade chips that rest on the farm.

LINE OF THE WEEK: Braves GM John Hart has riled up some fans of his club by breaking them down to build them back up. His reaction to the criticism was blunt:

- “Let’s be honest: This team finished 29th in offense,” Hart said. “It’s not like I’m breaking up the ’27 Yankees.”

Read more care of Mark Townsend and Yahoo!’s Big League Stew blog.

Considered by some the greatest team in the history of the franchise, “Murderers’ Row” inspired a funny tale by one of the game’s true legends in Tommy Lasorda:

Best of luck to a name that still resonates in NEPA, Jimmy Rollins. The Phils traded him to Lasorda’s longtime club, the Dodgers.

As far as some other moves involving SWB alums: Scott Sizemore has signed with the Marlins while Antoan Richardson has joined the Texas Rangers.

Another excellent Breakfast with Santa took place at PNC Field last weekend. Several hundred folks made their way to the Mohegan Sun Club for food and pictures with Jolly Old St. Nick himself. Check out the pictures on our Facebook page.

Please follow us on Twitter and spread the word of PIP far and wide. Have a safe, happy, healthy holiday season and we will talk to you again in 2015.

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