Anthony McCarron

Anthony McCarron is a contributor to SNY

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (AP)

In the midst of gushing over Jacob deGrom's "unheard of" Cy Young season, John Franco echoed something that's on the minds of many Mets fans these days:

"Hopefully," Franco said, "they work something out to keep Jake around a long time."

And Franco, who spoke Thursday evening before attending the 16th annual New York City gala to benefit Joe Torre's Safe at Home Foundation, believes it's only a matter of time before deGrom and the Mets agree on a contract extension that will keep deGrom in Queens.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Anthony McCarron
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It's impossible to un-hear something. So what does Brodie Van Wagenen, the powerful CAA agent, do with the information he doubtless holds on his high-level Mets clients now that he's pulled a career change and is becoming the team's new general manager.

That's just one of the questions facing the man whom the club has picked to lead its baseball operations. There's plenty to wonder about any new exec, including the biggest question: Can you build a consistent winner? But Van Wagenen's soon-to-be previous life as an agent brings additional queries, too. 

With that in mind, here are seven questions Van Wagenen should answer as he begins his Mets tenure. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Anthony McCarron
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Chipper Jones almost sounds like a Mets fan as he discusses Jacob deGrom's magical 2018 season, gushing how the righty's performance was "Maddux-esque."

"I saw utter domination," Jones says. "I mean, you're talking about an all-time type season."

Jones, the Hall of Fame third baseman who tormented the Mets during his playing career in Atlanta, isn't trying to make up all that history to Flushing faithful with a few kind words. No, the former Braves' star is "a baseball fan. I'm a baseball realist and a baseball historian, to a certain extent...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Anthony McCarron
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August 13, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Tino Martinez is introduced as the New York Yankees honor the 1996 World Series team at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports (John Munson-Pool Photo)
August 13, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Tino Martinez is introduced as the New York Yankees honor the 1996 World Series team at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports (John Munson-Pool Photo)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Tino Martinez, the slugging first baseman on the all-world 1998 Yankees, sees a lot of his old club in this year's version of the Bronx Bombers.

"For sure," Martinez said before playing in the annual charity golf tournament that benefits Joe Torre's Safe and Home Foundation. "And I think it started last year a little bit, toward the end, that last run they had at the end of the year.

"The way they play every single game. They have a lot of fun playing the game and they play with energy and when they're down by two, three, four runs in the eighth or ninth inning, they find a way to come back. I think the teams in the past haven't done that. They kinda just gave into the loss."

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Former big-league manager Jim Leyland may have at least part of a solution for one of baseball's hot-button issues: extreme defensive shifting.

Leyland, who won 1,769 games as a big-league manager for four teams, isn't a fan of shifts. If he had his way, the strategy would be banned and teams would play defense more straightaway.

Barring that, Leyland suggests that shifting be limited so fielders aren't moving around the infield and outfield between pitches...

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Former big-league manager Jim Leyland may have at least part of a solution for one of baseball's hot-button issues: extreme defensive shifting.

Leyland, who won 1,769 games as a big-league manager for four teams, isn't a fan of shifts. If he had his way, the strategy would be banned and teams would play defense more straightaway.

Barring that, Leyland suggests that shifting be limited so fielders aren't moving around the infield and outfield between pitches...

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July 8, 2000:
		In a "true" Subway Series doubleheader, the Yankees defeated the Mets at Shea Stadium before sweeping the doubleheader in the Bronx. Dwight Gooden returned to Shea in a Yankees uniform and earned the win. (AP)
July 8, 2000: In a "true" Subway Series doubleheader, the Yankees defeated the Mets at Shea Stadium before sweeping the doubleheader in the Bronx. Dwight Gooden returned to Shea in a Yankees uniform and earned the win. (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Dwight Gooden, fresh off being released by the then-Devil Rays, was working out at the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa in 2000, eager to author a better coda to his career. Gooden was 35 at the time, knew his career was in its late stages, but wanted one more taste.

Billy Connors, the Yanks' "pitching guru," who had been tweaking Gooden's pitching mechanics, called Gooden into his office and gave him the "there's good news and bad news" conundrum:

"What's the good news?" Gooden recalled asking...

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga during media day at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga during media day at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's hard to project what the Yankees will get out of Jonathan Loaisiga on Friday night when the 23-year-old righty makes his MLB debut at Yankee Stadium. He's only got 35 games of pro experience, after all, none above the Double-A level.

But two talent evaluators who have watched the Nicaragua native say he's a highly-competitive hurler with what one calls "big stuff," including a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can jump a tick higher.  

"Chip-on-shoulder type," says Dan Greenlee, the Marlins director, player personnel, who saw Loaisiga when he worked for the Yankees. Greenlee further describes Loaisiga like this: "Pounds zone. Fastball has velocity and swing-and-miss life. Power curveball and serviceable changeup. 

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | The first time he pitched against the Yankees, Jacob deGrom was a sub, thrust into the 2014 Subway Series rotation because Dillon Gee got hurt. But deGrom surprised everyone -- including, let's be real, the Mets -- with a tremendous outing in his big-league debut, a bellwether of the brilliance to come.

And that kind of brilliance is exactly what the Mets need Friday night when deGrom takes the mound in the Subway Series once again. As one of baseball's best pitchers now, he'll never have another eye-opening stunner like his first one, and the Mets don't need a stopgap now -- they need a solution to their miserable funk.

Who better than deGrom to end a six-game losing streak and inject some relevance into a foundering season? The Mets (27-32) are 16-31 since their hot start. Some view this Subway Series as a tipping point for their entire campaign...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sure, the brawl in April injected some needed sizzle into Yankees-Red Sox. As rage coursed through Fenway, we got a new set of rivalry villains, a new chapter for the battle log, and a jacked-up anticipation for the next feud installment, which begins Tuesday night in the Bronx.

Real temperature, not manufactured buildup, is back.

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Brawl suspensions handed out 00:05:23
On Baseball Night in New York, the panel discusses the ramifications from Wednesday night's brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Rivalry had grown musty in recent years, tabloid hype or fodder for the loudest louts in the stands at Yankee Stadium or The Fens. But not much more than that. Not anymore.

Joe Kelly taking selfies with Derek Jeter as the Red Sox feted the Yankee captain in his last game in Boston a few years ago? Party in the Bronx for David Ortiz? Hardly qualifies as bitter. The teams, mostly, have not been juggernauts at the same time, not like the early-to-mid-2000s. The Rivalry super-villains faded from the majors and into Yankee-Red Sox lore. Relative peace settled over an old feud.

But thanks to Wednesday night's brawl in Boston, there's real heat between the Yankees and Red Sox again. The kind stoked by hard feelings and anger, blood and bruises. Maybe this next generation of the rivalry is going to be as passionate as years past. Thank goodness...

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Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets thrid baseman Todd Frazier (21) fields a ground ball and throws out St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dexter Fowler (not pictured) during the 8th inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets thrid baseman Todd Frazier (21) fields a ground ball and throws out St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dexter Fowler (not pictured) during the 8th inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | There was a moment in the Mets' victory on Monday in Miami when it was easy to dream on their defense. Amed Rosario dashed to his right to backhand a grounder and made a strong, nervy throw to second instead of throwing to third for perhaps an easier play. Asdrubal Cabrera made a smooth turn at second and a strong relay to complete a double play.

In their recent history, the Mets' glove story was mostly nightmare stuff. But that perhaps has changed during their quick start in 2018. Their fielding has impressed scouts, registered some solid numbers in defensive metrics, and set social media abuzz after slick plays such as that aforementioned DP.

"I would say it's improved," one opposing team's scout said of the Mets' defense. "Infield defense has improved with Rosario and Cabrera up the middle. (Adrian) Gonzalez handles himself well at first while (Todd) Frazier is OK at third. "

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New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka walks to the dugout after the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka walks to the dugout after the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Giancarlo Stanton's whiffs and the bullpen's surprising struggles are grabbing much of the attention for the Yankees' .500 start to the season as they enter a rivalry showdown Tuesday night in Boston.

But another facet of the club may morph into the trouble area that occupies the Yanks' braintrust throughout the 2018 season -- the starting rotation. Or, perhaps more accurately, the starters not named Luis Severino.

The Yankees came into the season with questions about rotation depth. Some wondered why they didn't add a frontline starter over the winter, especially in a market that contained bargains...

Tags: CC Sabathia, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Dec 11, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is introduced with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. (Kim Klement)
Dec 11, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is introduced with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Even fellow big leaguers sound a bit like goggle-eyed fans when talking about Giancarlo Stanton and the next phase of the prolific slugger's career -- calling Yankee Stadium home. And veteran baseball folks barely blink when producing outsized predictions about Stanton's potential in the Bronx, in that Yankee lineup, in that homer-friendly ballpark.

That, plus the intrigue over whether Stanton can avoid injury, learn to navigate the New York fishbowl, and cope with expectations as towering as some of his home runs, makes him a must-watch this season. The best home run hitter added to a team that perhaps surprised by getting within one game of the World Series last year? That'll draw eyeballs.

It all starts when Stanton reports to Yankee camp this weekend and the club has its first full-squad workout on Monday. While folks in Tampa will have an up-close look, the curiosity about Stanton in pinstripes extends to other camps and opposing team's corridors of power...

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 (Bruce Kluckhohn)
(Bruce Kluckhohn)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Frank Viola has vivid memories of what he calls "the get-together in Homestead" back in 1995. It was his chance to show teams that he was healthy coming back from Tommy John surgery.

 

"I was hanging on," recalls Viola, the former Mets star who was a 35-year-old free agent at the time. "Do I keep going? Coming off Tommy John, you don't want that to end your career. I wanted to prove to myself that I still had what it takes."

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BNNY: Plawecki on doubters 00:03:37
The Baseball Night in New York crew discusses Kevin Plawecki's comments about Mets fans heavily underestimating him and Travis d'Arnaud.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Kevin Plawecki knows there are folks out there who hold low expectations for the Mets' catching tandem. And, yes, he's aware that some baseball pundits have suggested this winter that backstop is still an area of real Met need, that it should be fixed by bringing in free agent Jonathan Lucroy or another catcher.

But Plawecki, who split duties with Travis d'Arnaud at the end of last season, believes he and his teammate are being misjudged. It's part annoying, part motivating.

"I think we're very underestimated," Plawecki said in a telephone interview with SNY.tv. "But that comes with the territory of playing in New York. They underestimate a lot of things...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | If you're handicapping what's next for the Mets now that they've celebrated returning free agent Jay Bruce with a Citi Field press conference, here's the way Sandy Alderson looks at the rest of the Met winter:

He'd rather sign a free agent than make a trade to improve the club. He says he could offer a potential free-agent infielder a "significant" contract. He doesn't agree with the hot takes that peg the Mets' farm system as mostly-devoid of desirable players, nor do he and his lieutenants believe the Mets need to add another bullpen arm.

Oh, and Alderson likes Brandon Nimmo's skill set an awful lot...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Anthony McCarron
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Jul 29, 2017; Cooperstown, NY, USA; The National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jul 29, 2017; Cooperstown, NY, USA; The National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Yes, I know. My Hall of Fame ballot is wrong.

Heck, the only person on the planet who thinks it's right is the one typing this. And even I acknowledge there are some things I could've changed. More on that in a moment.

My ballot's first imperfection, at least according to some, stems from the fact that I'm a Big Hall guy. I've voted for 10 players -- the maximum allowed -- every year since 2013. Some believe there should be fewer players elected; I say, "What fun is that?"

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The 2018 Hall of Fame votes 00:06:14
On Baseball Night in New York, the crew discusses the current state of Hall of Fame voting for 2018.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Yes, I know. My Hall of Fame ballot is wrong.

Heck, the only person on the planet who thinks it's right is the one typing this. And even I acknowledge there are some things I could've changed. More on that in a moment.

My ballot's first imperfection, at least according to some, stems from the fact that I'm a Big Hall guy. I've voted for 10 players -- the maximum allowed -- every year since 2013. Some believe there should be fewer players elected; I say, "What fun is that?"

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Seth Lugo pitches at Citi Field.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Seth Lugo pitches at Citi Field. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Seth Lugo can't quite get used to the idea that the kids now at his old high school sometimes call him "sir" when they see him at the gym. "Hey," Lugo says, "I'm still a player. Don't call me 'sir.'"

After a moment's reflection, though, Lugo admits, "Maybe I am 'sir.'"

The students at Parkway High in Bossier City, La. might be on to something, considering the Met pitcher's career arc. A former 34th-round pick, Lugo missed his first full pro season because of spinal surgery, made a splash as a surprise contributor to the Mets' 2016 run to the NL Wild Card Game, starred in the World Baseball Classic last year, and then faced a serious elbow injury that he knows he'll "have to stay on top of the rest of my career."

Tags: Seth Lugo, Anthony McCarron
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 (Jasen Vinlove)
(Jasen Vinlove)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

A friend phoned Bobby Richardson Saturday morning to tell him about the Giancarlo Stanton-to-the-Yankees reports, and Richardson couldn't help but think of the parallels to his own Yankee days.

Two epic sluggers in the same lineup? Sounds like the early 1960s Yankees to Richardson, who was the second baseman on those championship clubs. We'll see if Stanton and Aaron Judge can become the modern-day Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, but Richardson calls it "a good analogy."

 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Anthony McCarron
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Jun 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Jun 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Just for future reference, the Yankees' club record for home runs in a season is 245, set in 2012. With what the Yanks have just done, that mark - and perhaps multiple other longball standards - is in serious jeopardy.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Anthony McCarron
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season.

The ballplayer, "I feel great!" season.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Mets pitcher Matt Harvey delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: Associated Press Images
Mets pitcher Matt Harvey delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: Associated Press Images

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | No one could possibly know what Matt Harvey will bring to the Mets next season, certainly not with spring training still two months away and so much doubt lingering over the pitcher once known as the Dark Knight of Gotham.

Still, several teammates expressed hope Thursday that Harvey can rebound from the wreckage of two injury-ravaged seasons, including the worst one of his career in 2017.

"I'm rooting for him, always pushing for him," Noah Syndergaard said Thursday at the Mets' annual holiday party for kids. "A healthy Matt Harvey is pretty dangerous, so hopefully he can come back to (2013). I'm looking forward to seeing how 2018 pans out for all of us."

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Kevin Plawecki, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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BNNY: Aaron Boone presser 00:06:18
The BNNY crew discusses how Aaron Boone was able to successfully communicate with the media during his first press conference as a manager.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | It won't show up on any stat sheet. But maybe Aaron Boone got the first managerial win of his career Wednesday -- on a chilly December day, no less -- simply by not downplaying the "no experience" element of his hiring as the 33rd Yankee manager.

Even if you're one of those Boone skeptics, wringing your hands over the fact that he's never managed or coached in the Majors, you must give the man this:

He understands there are questions about him. He gets that he does not walk into the Yankee clubhouse with a free pass just because the front office gave him the gig. He knows he's got a few things to learn on the job...

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Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller (24) talks with manager Terry Francona (17) and pitching coach Mickey Callaway (32) (Ken Blaze)
Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller (24) talks with manager Terry Francona (17) and pitching coach Mickey Callaway (32) (Ken Blaze)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Steve Karsay is a Queens kid, born and raised in New York. He pitched in the Bronx cauldron with the Yankees, serving in the same bullpen as Mariano Rivera, and even subbed at closer for Rivera during a stretch in 2002.

So Karsay has a grasp of the New York market, its pressures and strains. And Karsay, who has worked with Mickey Callaway the last few years in the Indians organization, believes the new Mets manager is suited to thrive in it, mostly because "one of his strengths is, he's a great communicator," Karsay says.

"I think he'll excel at being a manager. He'll be a players' manager, but with the stern-ness and the growth for them to learn under him."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Anthony McCarron
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BNNY: Yankees' 3-2 series lead 00:05:05
The Baseball Night in New York panel discusses the Yankees' unpredicted offensive performance against Dallas Keuchel in Game 5 of the ALCS.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Might be time to call the Yankees what they are: The best team in the American League.

Sure, the standings didn't say so during the regular season, and the Yanks only got into the playoff tournament via the wild card. But they're playing like it now in this run of quality baseball that's been nothing short of spectacular, including their stomping of ace Dallas Keuchel and the Astros, 5-0, Wednesday in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.

To recap: The Yanks beat the 102-win Indians in the ALDS after Cleveland had its foot on their pinstriped necks. Down 0-2 after their manager blew the second game, the Yankees roared back to win the series.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, Chase Headley, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Anthony McCarron
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |: If you were one of the many fans howling at Joe Girardi earlier this postseason, livid over his no-challenge gaffe in the AL Division Series, you'd better be lining up to dole out kudos now.

It's only right.

Because whatever happens the rest of this October for the Yankees, Girardi has managed a helluva playoffs, aside from that brain lock against Cleveland. Sure, his explanation afterward was inane, so much claptrap about not wanting to break up Chad Green's rhythm, but Girardi backed off that the next day, admitted he blew it, offered a mea culpa.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Houston Astros, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |: If you were one of the many fans howling at Joe Girardi earlier this postseason, livid over his no-challenge gaffe in the AL Division Series, you'd better be lining up to dole out kudos now.

It's only right.

Because whatever happens the rest of this October for the Yankees, Girardi has managed a helluva playoffs, aside from that brain lock against Cleveland. Sure, his explanation afterward was inane, so much claptrap about not wanting to break up Chad Green's rhythm, but Girardi backed off that the next day, admitted he blew it, offered a mea culpa.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Houston Astros, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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BNNY on Yanks' keys for Game 3 00:03:10
Baseball Night New York breaks down how the Yankees can shift momentum as the ALCS moves to New York.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Everyone says the kids are alright, that the struggles of these playoffs haven't turned Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge tight. There's yet to be any real proof -- a few decent press conference quotes hardly qualifies as that -- but the Yankees better be right about their two young stars.

Because whatever hope New York has of remaining relevant in the AL Championship Series against the Astros probably hinges on Judge and Sanchez having an impact on the series, starting in Game 3 in the Bronx on Monday night. Maybe even more so than CC Sabathia, who is starting against the Astros' Charlie Morton.

Both Judge and Sanchez have struggled mightily and are a combined 1-for-14 with eight strikeouts in the series, which the Yankees trail two games to none after consecutive 2-1 losses in Houston.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Houston Astros, Anthony McCarron
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GEICO SportsNite: Yanks in ALCS 00:01:45
Eamon McAnaney gauges the energy in the Yankees' clubhouse as the team prepares to take on the 101-win Houston Astros in the ALCS.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

What in the heck is Joe Girardi doing with that ALCS rotation? Can't believe the Yankees manager set things up that way. Of all the harebrained…

Sorry, just had a flashback to the chaos that was Game 2 of the AL Division Series and its aftermath, when Girardi made several tactical missteps, the season looked finished and everything he did or said felt wrong.

Now that Girardi has redeemed himself with sharp managing during the comeback, helped by strong performances by the players who vowed, "This one is for Joe," we're on board with Girardi's moves, including how he set the rotation.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Beginning of a Yankees dynasty? 00:03:59
The Daily News Live crew breaks down the bright future for this young Yankees team and how they could be set up for another dynasty.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : After two games of the AL Division Series, the Yankees seemed primed for a blink-and-you-missed-it October visit. The winter would be devoted to recriminations over Joe Girardi's tactical meltdown in Game 2 threaded around hopeful talk of young players growing after a fine season.

But after coming back from an 0-2 deficit to beat the Indians, the Yankees have crushed anyone's timetable on the arrival of their looming juggernaut, including, probably, their own. Maybe they weren't supposed to be this complete, this fast, but here they are.

Watch out, Astros, beginning in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series, which starts Friday night in Houston. Watch out, the rest of baseball, now and in the coming years.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Anthony McCarron
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GEICO SportsNite: Yankees 00:02:18
Sweeny Murti reports live from Cleveland on the mentality of the Yankees as they prepare for a decisive Game 5 against Corey Kluber.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees have to win their fourth elimination game in just over a week to advance in these AL playoffs. The Indians must shrug off the ghosts of their blown World Series last year, in which they lost three consecutive do-or-die games to the Cubs.

Corey Kluber thinks he needs to correct, as he put it, "Everything," about the way he pitched in his Game 2 stinker. CC Sabathia is just glad to be working Wednesday night in Cleveland. Why? "Watching these games, you'll get an ulcer," Sabathia said at the off-day press conferences in Cleveland...

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Anthony McCarron
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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees seemingly own every shred of momentum in this AL Division Series after rallying from two games down to force a deciding Game 5. But is that, plus all the obvious grit in their team DNA, enough to overcome the Indians' momentum-killer?

Cleveland will send rested ace Corey Kluber to the mound Wednesday night at Progressive Field against the Yankees and CC Sabathia. In a series that's turned on Yankee redemption tales, the Indians could use one of their own in Kluber...

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, CC Sabathia, Anthony McCarron
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : They might as well have promoted Game 3 as "Pinstripe Redemption Night" with the way so many much-maligned Yankees, including the manager, thrived Sunday night against Cleveland.

Now the Yankees need another bit of refurbishment in Monday night's Game 4: A Luis Severino reputation makeover. Severino was the Yankees' best pitcher all season, but he was awful in his humiliating start against the Twins in the AL Wild Card Game, lasting only one-third of an inning.

Severino sagged in his big moment, but the Yanks rallied to advance to meet the Indians in this Division Series. Cleveland leads the best-of-five series, two games to one, after the Yankees won Game 3 Sunday night, 1-0, at Yankee Stadium. But the Yanks at least hold a shred of momentum, thanks to big performances by the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Greg Bird and Aroldis Chapman.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (second from right) talks to relief pitcher Dellin Betances (second from left) during the 13th inning in game two of the 2017 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Oct 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (second from right) talks to relief pitcher Dellin Betances (second from left) during the 13th inning in game two of the 2017 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Not so fast on that October wipeout for the Yankees.
 
Hear us out: Yes, they face extinction after their manager blew Game 2, the same game they led by five runs before their touted bullpen sputtered. Yes, their starting pitcher against the Indians in Game 3 of the AL Division Series Sunday night had nine - NINE! - starts this season where he gave up at least five earned runs. And, finally, yes, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius, three vital lineup cogs, have combined to go 0-for-24 in the series.

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Sabathia ready for Game 2 start 00:01:15
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia looks back at his solid regular season as he prepares for his pivotal Game 2 start in the ALDS.

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sifting through the pinstriped debris of Game 1 of this ALDS feels about as overwhelming as Trevor Bauer's snapping curveball must have seemed to the Yankees Thursday night in a 4-0 loss to the Indians.

It was an evening that made the Yanks appear destined for a quick October exit and crammed them into the uncomfortable position of hoping -- praying? -- that CC Sabathia, the veteran lefty who enjoyed a remarkable renaissance this season, can at least match Cleveland ace Corey Kluber in Friday's Game 2...

Tags: 2017 Yankees Playoffs, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Luis Severino, Anthony McCarron
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