What’s Going On With Masahiro Tanaka?

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Masahiro Tanaka has allowed far more than his fair share of home runs this season.

Coming into the 2017 season, the New York Yankees roster was surrounded by question marks. However, the one constant seemed to be that the team’s ace, Masahiro Tanaka, would continue his Cy Young-level performance and be the rock that the team desperately needed every fifth day.

Through two months of the season though, the reality has been anything but what had been prognosticated. The team has had a successful run with its other starters and the lineup has stayed healthy and scored runs, yet Tanaka has been nothing short of a bust.

Nine starts into his 2017 campaign, Tanaka is 5-3, but has a 6.56 ERA, has allowed 13 home runs (two less than he surrendered over all of his injury-shortened 2014 season), and is not giving the team any length out of his starts (average 5.1 IP/start).

So what’s wrong with Masahiro Tanaka? Let’s take a look and try and diagnose what’s ailing the Yankee ace.

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Yankees Outfielders Contributing at All-Star Levels

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Aaron Judge, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Aaron Hicks have been excellent so far this year.

The New York Yankees came into the 2017 season with lots of questions about their roster. Chief among those were concerns about the outfield. Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury were 33 years old and coming off of poor finishes to the 2016 season, Aaron Hicks hadn’t shown much of anything in his first extended chance last year, and Aaron Judge was a wild card.

However, the Yankee outfield has quietly been the most consistent part of the lineup this season. The steady contributions of the four Yankee outfielders has been a huge part of the team’s success so far in 2017, and the quartet has to keep it up if the Yankees are to make the playoffs this year.

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Around the MLB

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The 2017 MLB Season has been just as unpredictable and fun to watch as ever.

There are more than a few reasons why summertime is the best time of year: the weather is great, the start of vacation season is upon us, there’s the smell of barbecue in the air, and there’s baseball fever all over America.

Let’s take a look around the MLB two months into the 2017 season.

*This article was originally published in the May/June Edition of the AHS School Newspaper, the Nutshell*. Continue reading

Top 10 Derek Jeter Moments

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Fans of the game will celebrate Derek Jeter’s monumental career one more time this Sunday night on Derek Jeter Day.

Derek Jeter was the face of Major League Baseball for a generation of fans: he was the captain of the New York Yankees, a 14-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger, 5-time Gold Glover, and ultimately a 5-time World Series Champion. The way Jeter acted on and off the field set the precedent that ballplayers of today follow, and cemented his status as one of the greatest players of all time.

But today, we will have one more chance to celebrate and honor “shortstop, number 2, Derek Jeter”. The Yankee captain will have his jersey retired in front of a sellout crowd on Derek Jeter day. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 plays of Derek Jeter’s memorable career as we celebrate the greatest shortstop of all time. Continue reading

Yankees vs Astros: The MLB’s Next Great Rivalry

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The youthful cores that make up the Houston Astros and New York Yankees will ensure that this will remain a hot-ticket rivalry for years to come.

Part of what makes sports great is the impact that a rivalry can have on a fanbase. For the New York Yankees, familiar rivals include the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, and Toronto Blue Jays. But over the past few years, a new rival has worked their way into the mix of teams that Yankee fans absolutely hate: the Houston Astros.

Since the Astros moved to the American League in 2013, the Yankees have not fared particularly well against the Stros. Despite a 5-1 record in 2013, the Yankees have only gone 9-13 against their South Texan foes since, including a Wild Card playoff loss in 2015.

And with both teams getting stronger as the years go by, it is looking inevitable that the Yankees and Astros will face off in the postseason once again. They may be new to the American League, but the Astros will soon become the Yankees’ biggest rivals.

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Flyers Awarded 2nd Overall Draft Pick

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Centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the top two prospects in the 2017 NHL Draft.

In a bizarre, unlikely, and ironic twist of fate, the Philadelphia Flyers have been awarded the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Despite just a 2.4% chance at nabbing the second pick, the Flyers leapfrogged teams with far better odds, such as the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, and Vegas Golden Knights.

The New Jersey Devils also saw a dramatic rise, and will choose first in the draft. The Flyers have had a history of bad luck with the NHL Draft Lottery System in the past, but their karma finally bounced there way, as the team rose 11 spots and will have a chance to acquire a game-breaking player in either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier.

But who’s better: Patrick or Hischier? Let’s meet the two players who will become the new faces of the Flyers-Devils rivalry.

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Looking at the Flyers and the Expansion Draft

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The NHL’s newest team will have at least one current Flyer on its inaugural roster.

The Flyers may have recently wrapped up their 50th Anniversary season, but the Vegas Golden Knights are just getting ready to enter their very first year as an NHL franchise. The NHL’s 31st Franchise, their team will be comprised of players from each of the NHL’s current teams.

Each team will be required to surrender one player to the Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft, but teams will be able to protect certain players. For one, players with less than two years of NHL/AHL experience will be exempt from the draft. Teams will be able to protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender, (11 total players) or a mix of 8 skaters and 1 goalie (9 total players, but no position limits).  Also, players with no-movement clauses must be protected in the draft.

So who on the Flyers gets protected, and who will be left exposed for Vegas to take a gamble on? Here’s Overtime’s preview of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Expansion Draft Plan.

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Veterans Getting It Done for Youthful Yankees

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The resurgence of veterans like Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley has been a huge boost for the 2017 Yankees.

When one thinks of the 2017 New York Yankees, they usually picture all the young talent on the team. Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and more are the both the present and the future of the team. However, it hasn’t been the kids that have provided the biggest spark to the Yankee lineup this season (Judge notwithstanding).

Rather, the renaissance of several key Yankee veterans has been a principal reason for why the team has rattled off an 8-game win streak. Guys like Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley, CC Sabathia, Matt Holliday, and Starlin Castro have done more for the team than their younger teammates, and the result has been a winning product on the field.

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Analyzing the Yankees’ Opening Day Roster

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Joe Girardi enters his 10th season as the manager of the New York Yankees with his most unique club yet.

We’ve finally reached that time of year: New York Yankees Opening Day is just three days away. But before the club takes on the Tampa Bay Rays to kick off the season, the Yankees have to sort out the final roster. Obviously, the Opening Day roster is subject to change and will never be the same roster any team ends with, but the Opening Day roster can say a lot about a team’s goals for the upcoming season.

 

Here’s Overtime’s breakdown of the Yankees’ Opening Day roster.

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NHL Playoff Preview

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The NHL Postseason is among the best of any sport.

Hockey is often thought of as a cold-weather sport, but the best hockey of the year takes place in the springtime. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are fast approaching, and the NHL is ready to kick its season into high gear. Here’s a comprehensive preview of the NHL’s second season.

*This article also appears in the Spring issue of Allentown High School’s newspaper, the Nutshell.*

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