Monday, October 24, 2016


The Yankees miraculously held on to Brian McCann through the August waiver deadline but just because he is still here doesn't mean the trade rumors are over. If anything, it's only heating up. I am convinced now more than ever that McCann will be on the move this winter.

The Yankees are infatuated with Gary Sanchez and so is the rest of Yankee land. The Yankees have the next big thing waiting in the wings after a successful first taste in the big leagues. We want to get younger, and stop spending so much money and part of the remainder of the old Yankee equation is still on the team.

I have absolutely nothing against Brian McCann. I was excited to have him sign with us but he is the next player to fall to the youth movement. The Yankees have Sanchez waiting in the wings for a full time job and Austin Romine can easily be a back up. The Yankees don't need McCann to be a backup catcher or a designated hitter. In the meantime, other teams out there NEED a catcher and the free agent market this season is thin for catchers.

The Yankees were strategic this season. The Cubs and the Indians are going to battle it out in the World Series starring two former Yankees. The Cubs had an enormous hole in the bullpen until Aroldis Chapman arrived. Without him, who knows if the Cubs would've made it this far. The Indians have an amazing closer in Andrew Miller....and they have him on a very friendly team contract to continue to build around after this season. The Yankees know what they are doing....and McCann is up next.

The Yankees are sitting on a gold mine named Brian McCann. There are teams who really need a catcher out there and he has an impressive resume. Teams will call for McCann's leadership and his six silver slugger awards.

Aside from McCann, Wilson Ramos was the most interesting free agent but he will be out 6-8 months recovering from knee surgery. This leaves Matt Wieters, Jason Castro and Carlos Ruiz for free agents and they don't have the same skills to offer as McCann does.

So not to sound repetitive but BRIAN CASHMAN WINS AGAIN! He is going to sit back and let his phone ring all winter. He is going to get a ton of phone calls all asking about McCann and he is going to wait and pick through all of the offers until the best one comes through. The Yankees are going to remain firm on their price because they know they don't NEED to trade him away and they can wait until they get the highest bidder. I have never praised Cashman so much until this year, and he just keeps coming out on top.

In the end, I am not saying that I want to see the Yankees trade McCann away but I know at this point if and when we do the Yankees are doing so because it only helps us in the Youth Movement. The Yankees have a reputation for winning in the past and now the future. The Yankees have helped someone else win a World Series ring this year and soon it will be our turn again. Someone is going to come calling for McCann.....the question is who and what do we get in return? I know Cashman is ready and waiting for that call.

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

Sunday, October 23, 2016


(In Photo: Jacob Lindgren)
Over the course of the year we here at BYB have had the pleasure of speaking with Coach Steve Hayward from Baseball Health Network, Mike Cocco, a long time expert in baseball training and preparation and other very knowledgeable baseball minds regarding arm health and maintenance. Check out our stories in the SAVING ARMS Series:




Anyway, as we approach the end of the fall baseball season, I was able to speak with Coach Hayward again to discuss some fall and off-season maintenance for young throwers around the country.

Fall ball is a different season than the spring and summer. It is more of a developmental kind of season. Some players are making transitions from the 50x70 to the 60x90 diamond while others prepare for high school level ball or their junior and senior years where they could have college eyes on them. With that being more a developmental thing, Coach Hayward mentioned some points to focus on.

We, as coaches, have to assure we don’t overuse and abuse our young players. The Little Leaguers making the transition to the 60x90 field have to be monitored closely. Pitching from 46 and 60 are two very different animals. Many of the youngsters pitching on the big diamond for the first time likely pitched quite a bit over the spring and summer months on the 60’ diamond. They are going to struggle and get fatigued and we have to make sure we are vigilant of that. Their bodies are not accustomed to it and it can cause some arm issues. They just aren’t prepared to be worked like they were on the smaller diamond yet.

As for the older kids, we have to make sure we have good discussions with them. How much did they throw over the spring? What about the summer? If they threw a lot of innings, then in the fall they should throw less, bottom line! Coach Hayward suggests about a 30 pitch bullpen, followed by one inning. At that point assess the situation, ask how they feel and if they are up to it, have them go throw another simulated type inning in the bullpen. Seriously.

For the players who were, say, the number four or five starters on their teams and didn’t amass a lot of innings, the fall is a good time for them to get some work and continue their development as they try and earn more time going into next year. Coaches can be aggressive with these pitchers since they aren’t at the same risk due to a lesser workload over the course of the year.

For all pitchers, the fall should be a time to work on your weaknesses, not your strengths. Coach Hayward tells his pitchers to throw their fastball and their weakest pitch, whatever that may be, and that’s it. The fall is a great time to develop your other pitches. Just getting the feel for a pitch like the change-up in situations that aren’t as serious can help lead to confidence and effectiveness in the pitch for the next season and beyond.

As the winter approaches, especially for us in the north, we won’t be able to play outdoors anymore. At this point the players do need some rest. Bodies and arms need a break to recover from the long season. 

But that doesn’t mean stop throwing. In fact, throwing is good, but you have to know the intensity. Coach Hayward suggests frequent throwing but at a lower intensity. He compared it to walking, jogging and sprinting. We want to walk and jog, get loose and work on mechanics and feel, but now is not the time to ‘sprint’. The exception to this rule would be for players who are attending winter showcases. For the showcases they need to be physically ready so Hayward suggests letting loose once a week.

For pitchers, 50-75% intensity bullpens are good for maintenance. Hayward firmly believes in that and feels many players don’t do it enough. For many young players, they also play fall or winter sports. For those players, making 60-70 throws a couple times a week is good to keep the arm in sufficient shape for the following season. That could encompass simply 24 reps each of 30 foot throws, 40 foot throws and 50 foot throws. Coach Hayward also stressed ensuring the players use their legs and do four to five foot shuffles each repetition. Nothing too strenuous but repetition is important.

The winter is also a great time to hit the gym, especially for the high school aged players and older. For younger players 13 and younger, they should stay focused on being active in general. Coach Hayward takes his young sons to the park and sets up obstacle courses on a playground and has them have friendly competitions. They have fun and it’s competitive but it’s not in a gym. That’s just an example he used. Younger players lifting weights is not my expertise so I’d leave that up to the professionals.

A strong core and legs are essential to stamina for athletes, and in our case, pitchers. A solid workout regimen should be incorporated in the off-season to build strength as compared to in season which should be for maintenance.

For those of us who coach, we have to assure we are aware of injury risk factors and proper training for our young athletes. Coach Hayward and his partner Yankees team Doctor, Dr. Christopher Ahmad, have been working tirelessly to build their site Baseball Health Network. Personally I check out a lot of BHN material. A broad range of knowledge and preparation is key to preparing our athletes for the future.

By having the proper knowledge we can set our kids up for success by getting ahead of the injuries as Coach Hayward likes to say. Most of our players won’t go pro, many won’t play sports in college but all of the players we coach have long lives ahead of them and by keeping them as healthy as possible, we are being the best coaches we can be.

Thanks to Coach Hayward for taking the time!

--Dan Lucia, BYB Senior Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @DManLucia


Wow.  The history.  The excellence.  The bucket list. The World Series.  The unlikely duo who will take us out of MLB 2016 and into the off season is the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. What an incredible October!  And throughout what I am calling the Cubs Frenzy in Cubdom, I am remaining sane.  Usually this time of year, I feel sad about the Yankees not making it to the playoffs but this year, I am with the Cubs fans because its been 71 years since the Cubs got to the Series and 108 years since they won.  This is the perfect setting to an incredible World Series.

The climate for this historic night was so electric that in the second inning a random firework went off somewhere in the distance causing Joc Pederson to stand frozen at home plate.  This isn't Hollywood's The Natural exploding lights somewhere in the heavens.  No this isn't heaven, either.   It's real time, it's real life and the Chicago Cubs are headed to the World Series.

And to make my evening even better, I have muted Joe Buck and taken on Dan Schulman and Aaron Boone on ESPN Radio.  What a sigh of relief.  Unbiased, clearly articulated post season baseball, finally.  I am not alone, actually.  The Chicago Tribune published an article on Friday entitled, "Why are Cubs fans hating on Joe Buck?" 

Besides the fact that Cubs fans hate the way Buck gushes all over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers (who exited Game 6 very early by the way), this quote came about half way through the article sent to the reporter by a fan, "Playoff tickets $400. Parking $100. Ballpark food $38.75. Not having to listen to Joe Buck: priceless." Bahahahaha...Oh yea and there is now an official #DeportJoeBuck movement among Cubs fans on Twitter.  So, whether it's my new radio companions, or whether it was Angels in the Outfield that caused Andrew Toles to drop the ball in the first inning or just that it's the Cubs time to shine, it's the Cubs Frenzy that is keeping me sane.

As the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday evening just before first pitch, "Fans descended on the ballpark in waves, by "L" and yellow shuttle buses, riding Divvy bikes, and spilling out of ride shares and taxis. They pushed toddlers in strollers and walked their dogs, dressing both in Cubs regalia. Hundreds of Chicago police officers looked on."

Then if you could imagine what it would be like outside of Stan's Sports Bar at the mouth of Yankee Stadium on a night like this, "The line to get into the bars adjacent to the ballpark snaked down the block hours before the game started. Vendors on the streets hawked "Ain't Afraid of No Goat" T-shirts for $25 and a fan wore a "#WaitTilThisYear" shirt. Another vendor, willing to tempt fate, proclaimed that he was selling "World Series water."  Yes, it's the Cubs Frenzy that is keeping me sane.

I can't commit to watching a new television series or streaming past episodes on DVR, On Demand or on Netflix. I have to be with the Cubs, lead by the two-punch knock out of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, to the finish, with the first game of the series to commence on Tuesday, October 25th, my always faithful baseball assistant mother's 74th birthday.  She proudly acknowledged this event in baseball history with this comment to me, "World Series for my Birthday? That's awesome."  

Could this get any sweeter?  Sure, the Cubs could beat Cleveland in the Series and end their 108 year championship drought. But that's it.  This postseason has been incredible and if you didn't know it, it is the Cub Frenzy that is keeping me sane.  Maybe you can relate but if not, only 117 days until pitchers and catchers.  Let's Go Cubs! #GOAT

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist

Twitter: @suzieprof


There 's a ton of excitement surrounding Clint Frazier. You remember, we got Frazier from the Indians for pitcher Andrew Miller.

As you all know Miller has been rolling in the playoffs for the Tribe, and America is falling in love with him. That same love Yankee fans felt for the guy before we let him go. I mean, if he wasn't under contract with the Indians, I would re-sign him and bring him back... WITH Aroldis Chapman! Anyway... I digress...

I found this interesting. had an article about a scout that was pretty critical of Frazier, in a nutshell saying he's trying to hard to smash home runs and it will hurt him. I hate critics. Anyway,  read this from because the best part is when Frazier dropped the scout! writes:

"The scout's take on Frazier, a 22-year-old Loganville, Ga., native who currently is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 15th best prospect in baseball?

'I don't believe Frazier is going to be what some people think he's going to be early in his career,' the scout said. 'I think he's trying too hard to be too much of a power hitter instead of being an overall accomplished, polished hitter.'

Frazier hit .263 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs this past season in 119 Double-A and Triple-A games, including .228 with three homers and seven RBIs in 25 games Triple-A games after being traded. He thinks the scout is off base.

'To say I'm trying to hit home runs is completely wrong,' Frazier said by phone. 'I think it's been timing issues with my swing. My timing was off for a lot of Triple-A, so I tried to make up for it by speeding things up. And I speed things up by swinging harder. But I never went up there trying to hit a home run.'"

And add to that, what the hell does a scout know about what's going on in the dude's mind when he comes up to the plate?  Obviously with speed changes, a higher level of play, adjustment is apart of it.  And any scout would know that. That one didn't have a clue. I'm thrilled that Frazier went after him a bit. I like his spunk... I dig his emotion there!

Clint Frazier will be just fine.  The kid will look great and play great in pinstripes. That's because he already understands what needs to be done.

Anyway, I had to share it. I dig this dude!


Saturday, October 22, 2016


Was anyone rooting for the Dodgers today? Everyone I spoke to said they wanted to see the Cubs "go all the way".  Well, tonight, the Cubs made history and they are now headed to the World Series where they will play the Cleveland Indians Tuesday night.

Kyle Hendricks was incredible. I gotta tell you, I didn't know much about Hendricks before tonight because I just never thought about him, but the guy is just outstanding in every way.  I mean, the biggest stage and he just delivers with such calmness.  Truly incredible job.

Guys like Rizzo, Baez, Bryant... guys like David Ross, Arrieta, Lester.  It's one of those teams that has such balance and energy young and old.  So much fun to watch. So much excitement for the city of Chicago!

Seeing Aroldis Chapman close it out just gave me goosebumps.  I'd like to think that the Yankees had a part in that and us fans are all rooting for guys like Chapman and Miller of the Indians hard because we know them... we saw them in our colors and now they move on the bigger and better things! How do you not get romantic about this sport??

Watching the post game, seeing the energy from the fans, it is such a relief considering all the aggravation and stress of our Presidential Election.  For the moment, We all stand with Chicago and are excited together!   Thank God!

By the way, BYB will have an incredible piece coming out early tomorrow morning about the Cubs and this season by Suzie Pinstripe. You NEED to read it and you need to share it.  It sums the whole thing up beautifully.

Final: Cubs 5 - Dodgers 0