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Yankees plan to piggyback starters during postseason

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Tom Verducci of SI spoke with Yankees manager Aaron Boone about his playoff pitching plans:

“We’re going to be a little untraditional,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The only one we might use as a traditional starter is [James] Paxton.”

By traditional, Boone means a starting pitcher who goes as deep as he can into a game. Otherwise, New York is prepared to script each game with piggyback starters and six key relievers. That doesn’t make the Yankees vulnerable. It makes them smart.

We live in the age of The Opener and Bullpenning™ so this is not necessarily novel, but it is novel for the Yankees. At least in the postseason. Due to injuries and ineffectiveness of multiple starters they’ve been doing a whole heck of a lot of bullpenning in the second half and it’s worked out for them pretty well. The key to that is that Boone has been pretty good of not overworking everyone. Which, to be fair, is pretty easy to do when you have a massive lead in the standings and your offense is able to carry you.

The postseason is a difference beast, of course. Whereas in August or early September Boone can afford to leave Aroldis Chapman on the bench as the opposition threatens in the ninth in order to save his arm, you can’t really do that in October. Yes, there are off days for travel, but the higher-leverage of each and every postseason out makes it more likely that the relievers will be ridden harder. Having six of them, and multiple starters who can go on shorter rest due to shorter outings can work, but all it takes is one disaster game — and in the mega juiced ball postseasons we’ve seen the past couple of years, there are a lot of them — to mess up such plans. If that happens, Boone’s ability to improvise will be tested.

Race and Sports in America: Jimmy Rollins on impact of George Floyd’s death and BLM

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Former major league shortstop Jimmy Rollins was among a handful of professional athletes to sit down and talk with NBCSN about the intersection of race and sports in America. The nation hit a flashpoint on May 25 when George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The event sparked worldwide protests, including all across the U.S.

In the excerpt below, Rollins discusses gun culture as a Black man as well as what it was like to watch the video of Floyd’s death.

Race and Sports in America: Conversations is a one-hour show with two segments that debuts on NBCSN on Monday, July 13 at 8 pm ET. It will be simulcast on Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, and the regional sports networks. Along with Rollins, Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins, James Blake, Steph Curry, Charles Barkley, Ozzie Smith, and Jerome Bettis participated in the discussions.


DAMON HACK:  Is it exhausting, Jimmy?  How exhausting is it?  Chuck talked about it; it’s not new for a lot of people, but it’s new for maybe the majority of Americans.  But this is nothing new for the Black community.

JIMMY ROLLINS:  Nothing new at all.  We’ve seen video after video after video, usually resulting in someone getting shot for doing something they’re asked, because their color is their gun.  Being the wrong color in the wrong neighborhood means you’re an automatic threat.

But when you look at the majority of gun owners they aren’t Black men or Black people in general.  We shy away from gun stores.  We shy away from getting permits and licenses to carry because we’re not comfortable even when we walk in.

So going to a gun store, am I a criminal?  That’s the first thing you’re thinking they’re thinking.  Well, what do you need the gun for?  Who are you planning to go kill?

Yet, when we get pulled over or when we’re just walking down a street or doing just the normal things that any American or any person in this world is doing, we’re already a threat for doing it.  And if you’re in a wrong neighborhood, what are you doing here?  You have to be up to no good.

So it’s something that isn’t new.  George Floyd’s situation, watching a man being suffocated and choked out like that for eight minutes and 46 seconds, that was new.  We’ve seen people get shot.  It’s, like, okay, he’s going to get shot again.

When I was watching the video, not knowing the full story prior to it, I just pulled it up and it was there, I’m thinking, okay, he got up and he got shot.  But as it gets going, this man really is kneeling on his neck with no remorse.  It was kind of like, I don’t want to listen to you because I don’t have to.  So that part was new.

Here’s a guy actually being choked out with a man on top of him making a decision:  I am taking your life because I can ‑‑ over a $20 or a counterfeit $20 bill?  You don’t die over that.