Whether it’s Mariano Rivera drawing an RBI walk against Francisco Rodriguez, Nick Swisher pitching, Vernon Wells playing third base, or a fan running onto the field to nullify a possible final out, the Yankees have never lacked for unusual times. 2016 was no exception, so I asked the Pinstripe Alley staff about their favorite moments of bemused shock about Yankees baseball.
Tempers flared between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night as a beanball war between the American League East rivals resulted in two bench-clearing incidents in the second inning and multiple ejections.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and starting pitcher Luis Severino were ejected, as were New York pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bench coach Rob Thomson. No one from the Toronto side was tossed.
Third-base coach Joe Espada served as the Yankees' acting manager for the rest of their 7-5 win.
This. All of this in its entirety.
Prior to 2016, there were only three times in Yankees history where one of their pitchers plunked three batters in the same inning: Tom Morgan in 1954, Javier Vazquez in 2010, and Cesar Cabral in 2014 (who was promptly ejected for safety). Anytime someone joins this odd club, it’s worth noting, and that’s what Kirby Yates did on June 27th against the Rangers. It was already a bizarro game, as a three-hour rain delay forced Joe Girardi to turn to Yates for the save.
Instead, Yates imploded by drilling three of the first five batters he faced as the Rangers rallied to beat the Yankees, 9-6. It was a miserable night, and the 3 AM plunkfest seemed just about fitting.
Jacoby Ellsbury reached on catcher’s interference a record 12 times in 2016.
It's a tie:
2. Hideki Matsui hitting a home run off David Cone in the Old-Timers’ Day game. Love that Coney knows what we want to see when watching it.
The weirdest single thing about the 2016 Yankees' season was the Chris Parmelee Era. He had eight plate appearances, knocked four hits (two home runs), OPS’d 1.875, got hurt, and was never seen again. He might go down as the least memorable Yankee to have had a two-home run game. Did you know Parmelee actually played in six games? No, you didn't, you probably forget he existed. I did not and never will.
Ronald Torreyes. He had no business staying on the active roster for 162 games and he did. It's also the most impressive part of 2016.
First base was a disaster for the 2016 Yankees. They used nine different players to assist the ailing Mark Teixeira and absent Greg Bird. Billy Butler, Ike Davis, Rob Refsnyder, and Dustin Ackley had 292 plate appearances combined and just one home run. Refsnyder had never played first base before being handed a glove simply because all of Teixeira, Bird, Ackley, and Parmelee were injured.
in memory of 2016 Yankees first basemen... /three-finger salute/ pic.twitter.com/wgX2Fu0nFZ— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) June 15, 2016
The game in June against Texas where it was pouring and Girardi went to the umps to call it while Chapman was on the mound in the ninth. They did, but three and a half hours later, the game resumed, so Girardi had to ditch Chapman and watch Kirby Yates blow it.
Gary Sanchez's usage of hashtags on Twitter takes the cake. In theory, hashtagging yourself is an incredibly arrogant move, but #ElGary pulled it off. I say he should take it a step further next year and have someone write a song about him for his walk-up music, like Rafael Soriano.
I'll take the crazy thunderstorm that poured on A-Rod and his family during the ceremony before his final game. It was bizarre, awkward, emotional, and, on second thought, everything that we could've expected from the end of A-Rod's Yankees tenure.
In May, the Yankees couldn't get out of their own way. While facing Zack Greinke and the Diamondbacks, Chase Headley hit a line drive that nailed Didi Gregorius in the ankle. Thankfully, Didi was fine but this summed up the Three Stooges act the Yankees were doing early in the season.