Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE "TRADING EOVALDI" RUMOR


There's a weird nugget that is resurfacing about Nathan Eovaldi.  Do you remember when the Yankees hasd been attached to trading this guy in the offseason? Many don't remember, but there was a nugget by Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

"The Yankees also continue to have Ivan Nova out in the market. One rival executive said he inquired on Nathan Eovaldi. The talks did not progress far, but as validation of Cashman’s mantra that he is open to any discussions this winter, he did not take the righty off the table."


It made sense back in December because Cashman said that he'd be willing to do whatever to make a better team.  No one was safe, but at the time, there was a deep, deep buzz surrounding Andrew Miller and Brett Gardner, and so, no one really took the nugget from Sherman's piece seriously.


But everything comes full circle, and now there is word from NJ.com, who is quoting a tweet from "The Score" that Eovaldi may be on the market again.  The Yankees and the Cubs are talking apparently:
Now take from this what you want. Julie DiCaro said that talks are in the early, early stages and for all we know, they didn't even happen, but it is interesting.


Hey, we are coming up to the trade deadline.  There will be many, many wacky ideas coming down the pike.  Some are legit, some aren't.  Read everything and let's see what happens.

Stay tuned.

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ACKLEY HAS A TORN LABRUM & NO ONE CARES


Just a quick note.  Dustin Ackley, who hasn't exactly lit it up this season is now out with a torn labrum. He was placed on the 15 day DL. But there is more.

This was tweeted by Bryan Hoch:
Now sadly, Yankee fans aren't looking at this as a big deal.  I mean, as sad as it sounds, Ackley is batting .148 in 28 games.  He's not exactly helping the club.  And so many of us have already moved on.  I mean, the Yankees really have to decide what to do next.


Yes, the Yankees have called up Rob Refsnyder, but Pinstripe Alley and I both agree... this move is not the solution full time solution.  And where is Nick Swisher?

PA writes: "In a corresponding move, Rob Refsnyder has rejoined the MLB team, but probably won't be a candidate to play any first base. He will probably remain on the bench, but could see action in right field and at second base. If there was any time where Nick Swisher would be considered a useful major league addition, this might be the time, but the Yankees not bringing him up should be telling."


And it IS telling. Swisher is batting .250 with 4 home runs in 34 games.  But, while he may not be lighting it up in AAA, he's a great idea for a backup 1st baseman and willing to do whatever the Yankees want. But you gotta wonder why the hesitation?  Do the Yankees NOT want the buzz and annoyance of everyone rooting for the Bronx Elvis as he takes the field? What is the hold up here? Are they seriously looking at those numbers and thinking, "He's not ready?" I mean Swisher DOES have the experience. 


Many believe that the Yankees have no intention of bringing Swish up.  In fact, read Erica Morales's piece about Swisher in SWISHER'S WORLD.  You will like it.

And that comes back to Dustin Ackley.  He's out, but no one cares.  We are all quickly thinking about the replacement.  While Refsnyder makes sense... he's NOT the solution. 

I have news for you kids... Swisher IS.


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Monday, May 30, 2016

REMEMBERING BALLPLAYERS WHO GAVE THEIR ALL

 
As we head out to BBQ or hang at the beach, we have to be sure to remember why we have a three day weekend. Memorial Day, unlike Veteran’s Day which salutes all veterans of the armed forces, is a special salute to those who gave their life defending our great nation.
 
(In Photo: Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, Hugh Casey)
 
Most of us know many ball players served, especially during WWII. The likes of Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson all served but were lucky enough to make it out of the military in one piece. 
 
 
Many other ball players served over seas, some before their playing careers, some during and again, especially during WWII, many served during their careers.

But what this weekend is about is honoring the fallen. Since the start of professional baseball as we know it in the 1870’s, 13 Major League veterans have been died while serving, six from war related wounds or crashes according to a very cool site Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice.
 
 
Of those killed in action, the most prominent was Eddie Grant who died on October 5, 1918 after a shell exploded near his position in Argonne, France. Grant played in the big leagues from 1905-1915 and appeared in 990 games. On top of the 13 Major Leaguer’s, there have been countless minor leaguers, college and amateur players who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The total list can be found at the link above.
 
 
One player who’s name you probably don’t recognize is Army Major Stephen C. Reich. What you probably do know is a little something about the circumstances of his death in Afghanistan.
 

Major Reich was a star pitcher at West Point and is generally considered one of the best to go through the school. He is the all-time leader in wins at West Point and pitched just briefly for the Baltimore Orioles in the minor leagues. According to the Wikipedia page set up for him, Major Reich chose the service to his country over baseball.

On June 28, 2005 Major Reich was part of a team of 16 personnel on a rescue mission in Kunar province in Afghanistan. The MH-47 Chinook Helicopter he was in was hit by a rocket propelled grenade causing the helicopter to crash resulting in the death of all 16 members of the rescue team. The Chinook was on its way to try and save a four-man Navy SEAL team under duress from enemy fire. 
 
 
One of the four SEAL’s was Marcus Lutrell who penned the book The Lone Survivor, which many of us have read and seen the motion picture based on that fateful mission.
 
So today, while we are enjoying your day off with friends and family, make sure you at least take a moment to remember and appreciate those who decided to serve our country and make the greatest sacrifice. People from all walks of life serve, including some of the idols we grew up watching on the ball field.

Thanks to those who gave their life to our great nation. Have a fun and safe Memorial Day, from everyone here at BYB.
 
 

 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia





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THIS IS WHAT NO "PLAN B" LOOKS LIKE

"I feel strong. I feel good."


That's what Michael Pineda said this weekend after his train wreck of a start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He definitely doesn't look good.....or strong for that matter. He looks like a desperate pitcher looking to hold on to a job. He is supposed to be our number two not a pitcher that is a bottom feeder not only for his team but for the entire league. How can the Yankees keep running him out there every fifth day?

The short answer here is: They really don't have much of a choice. There is no Plan B. It would be nice if the Yankees had a strong pitcher stashed down in AAA like they have in recent years. Unfortunately this year, we don't. Wouldn't it be nice if we had signed Tim Lincecum right now? Not to go back and bring up "what if's" but the Yankees have traditionally been smart about stashing arms. Right now they have Richard Bleier a lefty who has never pitched in the majors before.


The Yankees have already tried this move once earlier this month with Chad Green and that didn't go very well and they have Luis Cessa in the bullpen. None of these options sound particularly exciting. Green pitched to 9.0 ERA in his only appearance and while Pineda certainly doesn't have anything to brag about he does have one thing that none of these other guys do and that is experience.

Pineda has been terrible. His 6.92 ERA is the worst among American League starting pitchers.His first inning ERA was at 13 entering into Saturday's game, but he tacked on three more runs to that now. He has started in 10 games and has yet to pitch into the seventh inning. It looked like he had started to figure out his issues in his previous start but was short lived.


I wanted to believe that Pineda was figuring it out, but he can't seem to keep the ball down and Larry Rothschild says he can't seem to keep the ball away from righties and inside to lefties. So basically, Pineda just can't locate anything. It sounds like Larry Rothschild has a lot to work on. He has to fix mechanics issues to resolve with Pineda and then when Luis Severino comes back he is going to have to give both of these guys a little confidence. The Yankees cannot afford to coddle either of these pitchers if they want to climb out of the AL East cellar.

Usually when I hear a pitcher say that he feels "good" even though he is pitching poorly I hold my breath because I am waiting to hear that he is hurt. Could Pineda be injured and he just isn't saying anything to the Yankees? Maybe, but even Rothschild doubts that an injury is to blame for all of this. It wouldn't make sense for Pineda to be throwing at the same velocity that he usually does.

According to Joe Girardi, they are going to stick with Pineda for now. They still believe in him regardless of his performance so far this season. He does have a minor league option left so even though they can send him down they do not believe it will benefit him and not only that....it sounds like they have even less confidence in anyone they could all up from the majors. This is a disaster. This is just going through the motions with no real plan....and it isn't going to help the Yankees climb back into the AL East race.

Again I ask....where is the accountability? Pineda isn't to blame, Larry Rothschild isn't at fault for two of his struggling pitchers. The players are to blame but not Alan Cockrell who is supposed to be the hitting expert on the team. Just like Yogi Berra used to say "It gets late early out there" and it is time to right the sinking ship before it's too late.


   
--Jeana Bellezza, 
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ 

 



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Sunday, May 29, 2016

WHO WANTS AN AMERICAN KISS?


For most Americans, family and friends gather together this weekend and celebrate just being together and being grateful to be together.  Across the United States, barbecues are fired up, burgers are being grilled and watermelon is being served on decks, in backyards and at the shore.  We celebrate because it's summer and we celebrate because we are free.  Baseball is a part of the American tradition too and players are paying tribute to our troops this weekend with a camo cap to remind all of us the price to be free.


"The good cause this time around is Welcome Back Veterans, an organization committed to helping veterans adjust back to their lives after returning home from service. This year's design features a camouflage pattern, licensed by the U.S. Marine Corps, all over the cap and also throughout the lettering in the jersey," noted SB Nation on Friday.


So when my five-year-old niece asked all of us gathered together for a family weekend, "who wants an American kiss?" as she passed out red, white and blue wrapped Hershey's Kisses to all of us, it got to me.  We are here at the shore, free to walk, swim, enjoy our great country because of the men and women who continue to protect us and keep us safe.  These are the bravest of the brave that say, "No one's going to hurt you; not on my watch." 


This weekend a class of more than 1,000 service men and women graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  The commencement speaker, U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter, said very eloquently about this year's particularly notable class, "You will provide the security that allows millions upon millions of people ... to be safe, to raise their children, to dream their dreams, to live lives that are full."


As we watch and listen to baseball this weekend and see our players dressed in their "military best", let's remember why they are paying tribute to these individuals who choose to protect us today and those who protected us yesterday.  If you have the opportunity, say thank you to a service man or woman when you see him or her, much like the Yankees and the other teams on the field this weekend, do it.  You will make his or her day and your own as well.  We have freedom and after all, that's what defines us as Americans.




--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof





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