Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TIM TEBOW IS FOR REAL


Tim Tebow isn't kidding about his pursuit of making it to the major leagues. And today he will have his showcase in front of literally every major league team... including the Yankees.

The Daily News has the story:

"Can Tim Tebow overcome his long baseball layoff and show big-league teams enough to get signed to a pro contract? We’ll begin to get the answer Tuesday in Los Angeles.


That’s when the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will hold a showcase for scouts in which he will run the 60-yard dash, take fly balls in the outfield, throw to the bases, take regular batting practice and live BP. 

One thing seems sure about it — the sports world will be watching, along with teams such as the Yankees...


Tebow will get his chance to prove he can play in a workout that’s designed to show evaluators different skills without being able to watch the player in multiple games over time. Cuban stars have done similar showcases in recent years before being signed."

 
Tuesday is today!

Now... no one sees this guy doing much because he hasn't played baseball in years, but I like his balls and I love his courage and him making an effort to do this.   Bottom line, you never know if you don't try.  I say try... see what happens.

Good luck Timmy.


THAT TIME NO ONE CARED ABOUT PAPI'S "TOP 3 YANKEES"


Do you care about Big Papi? I certainly don't.  I view the man as a selfish player, a guy that skated most of his Red Sox career under the cloud of PEDs.  In short, I guess he kisses the right ass.  Who really knows...

Now, I'm not sure how I missed this, but I did, and I wanted to bring it to your attention now at least so you can get as annoyed as I am.


Bleacher Report did a Big Papi All-Star Team of his era.  You read that correctly... they actually took the time to ask Ortiz who he would put on his 'All-Star' team.  Here's the Tweet:
I know, I threw up in my mouth too. He forgot to add Bud Selig as his commissioner... you know, the one who protected him all these years.

Any, I found the whole exercise to be ridiculous.  Never mind the fact that he didn't choose his friend Alex Rodriguez.  But the bigger question is why?  Why should anyone care about this?  NJ.com even expanded on it...

"Here's what the Red Sox star said about his Yankee picks: 


 Cano: "I thought Chuck Knoblauch was the one player who I thought was going to dominate that position for a long time. But once you got to see [Dustin] Pedroia and Robinson Cano play, they took that position to another level. Looking at Cano, you're looking at a third baseman playing second base with good range. He makes everything look like he's not even trying." 


Jeter: "The Captain was a champ. He was the guy you want to play for your team at shortstop for the next 20 years. He had consistency over the years. He may go down as the best shortstop of all time because he won so many championships. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. That's what it's about. To compete against Jeter was incredible. I played against him tons of times. It was a competition. You wanted to beat him, but you enjoyed watching him do his thing. There was respect."


Rivera: "He had one pitch [his cut fastball]. You knew it was coming, but it didn't make a difference." 


Interestingly, Ortiz didn't select Alex Rodriguez at either position that the the three-time AL MVP won the award at: Shortstop or third base. While Jeter's longevity at the position makes sense as the reason to pick him, Ortiz did admit that A-Rod was the better player at shortstop before making the position switch when landing in New York in 2004."


I also find it unbelievable that Papi picks Can over his own teammate  Dustin Pedroia.  Everyone knows that's wrong.

But let's be honest, this isn't Ortiz thinking hard and long about who should play were... this is Papi choosing his friends and once again getting unneeded press.  Either I'm in the minority here... or this guy is a big teddy bear.  Who knows, I just can't understand it.

Whatever the case, I missed it, I'm sorry... but now you see it.  Carry on.


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NOSTALGIA


No matter how many years go by since the last time I swung a baseball bat, every spring once all the snow has melted and the grass begins to grow, I get an itch that I think most people who grew up on the diamond probably experience. By this point, clips of your favorite MLB stars casually taking part in Spring Training exhibitions have circulated all over the internet and you begin to wonder how your team is going to shape up for this year’s campaign. You begin to prepare yourself for the roller coaster of emotions that come with a 162 game season, and wonder what the chances are that your team will make a run into October, extending the joy or perhaps simply prolonging the heartbreak. And then, if you experience the same feelings I do, you immediately want to get outside and take some BP, toss the ball around, or anything to help satisfy your craving for baseball.

Truth be told, I haven’t swung a baseball bat since 2009 when I finally hung up my cleats after my freshman year of High School, and that feels like a lifetime ago already. Occasionally throughout college, my roommate and I would run outside and toss the ball around when we got that itch that all former baseball players do, but looking back on it, I am sure we both wish we had played more when we had the time. I can remember that our baseball experiences came up as a topic of discussion almost every week, no matter what was going on in our lives. We’d talk about legendary moments, the people we met along the way, and of course, the equipment that helped to bring us so many memories.


Throughout my entire baseball journey, there was only one position that I felt comfortable in; I had to be a catcher. I took pride in being a reliable backstop, and I tried my very best to embody the play of my favorite baseball player, Jorge Posada. I studied his batting stance, his tendencies, his attitude, and of course, what equipment he used. Even though it was not allowed in little league, I so badly wanted to wear the classic catcher’s mask/ helmet combination that Jorge used, just so I could whip that thing off whenever a ball was put into play like he did. 


I can remember how overjoyed I was when I got my first catcher’s mitt- a black and tan Rawling’s Jorge Posada model with his signature stamped right on the palm. I can only imagine the amount of baseballs I caught with that thing, especially because I extended its lifespan numerous times by getting it fixed at a local shoe repair shop. From the first moment I got it, rubbed it with oil, and set it in the oven to break it in to bringing it to Yankee stadium with the hope of maybe catching a foul ball, that glove contained all of my most cherished baseball memories.


And then there were my bats. Growing up, I remember having three bats- one green Easton Cyclone for little league that was reminiscent of the hulk, one uneventful grey Easton typhoon, and of course, my DeMarini Vexxum that I considered the Lamborghini of all baseball bats. Hybrid metal baseball bats became popular during my transition from little league to the standard sized fields of junior league and naturally, I envied all of my friends who had them. I am almost positive that at the start of every season, I made some pitch to my parents about how I wanted a new bat for this or that reason, only to know that I probably didn’t need one. But, somehow I got the parents to give in every couple of years and I eventually must have presented a good enough argument to land that DeMarini.  Now I wish I could sit here and write about how many memories that bat brought me, but unfortunately, I was never much of a hitter. The bat never brought me home runs, or even got me on the varsity team, but it was a significant part of my baseball experience that I will always cherish. 

Baseball is fundamental in most of the lessons I learned growing up. From showing grace in both victory and defeat, to developing an unrelenting work ethic in all that you do, baseball was always the tool my father used to help teach me life lessons, and it is how I have developed into the man I am today. There is nothing more that I want than to go back in time and toss the ball around with dad when he got home from work while he tells me to not be afraid of the ball. Though simple, those memories are the ones that mean the most to me now.


Recently you may have read that the same Lamborghini of a bat that I used growing up met it's end at the hands of Casey's son. Read GOING FULL CIRCLE. I cannot think of a more perfect conclusion to this bat’s final chapter, building priceless memories between a father and a son while developing a young man’s skills in the game we all love.  I hope that at the end of the day, what meant more was not the number of hits, home runs, or walk-offs this bat contributed to, but rather the time spent together and the memories forged around baseball.

To Casey and his son,  I sincerely hope that this bat brought both of you wonderful memories, and that whatever bat you choose next brings you even more luck and opportunities to grow together. Hold onto these times tight, and enjoy every practice, inning, and game along your baseball journey.

It is one hell of a ride. 



--Matt Skinner
BleedingYankeeBlue.com Contributor





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Monday, August 29, 2016

MY KING OF COMEDY


This has nothing to do with the New York Yankees or baseball in anyway. It has to do with laughter. Laughter in our lives.

I am always reminded by just how important a person should live their life and it's a simple routine, brought to us by the great Jimmy V.

"If you laugh, you think and you cry, that's a full day."

Recently in my older life, I think about that line often and I follow that routine.  It's made me a gentler soul of sorts. I read and watch Jimmy V's his speech a lot and that portion sticks with me.



I believe in laughter, I'm sensitive guy, and I probably think way too much.  But I'll tell you something, I feel healthier because of it.  I try to be kind, I try to engage folks, I love my friends and I love my family more. And most of all, through all of it, I try to keep a smile on my face.


Gene Wilder was a magnificent actor, but I was always blown away by his comedy and comedic timing.


Mel Brooks was a genius in helping to make Wilder into a person I fell in love with, but it was his collaboration with funnier men and women like Richard Pryor, Cleavon Little, Madeline Kahn that gave him the perfect balance.


There was never a racial divide when they worked together and that's because the art of laughter took priority. They were human beings trying to make a great performance. You could turn on any of these films with any type of tragedy or turmoil going on in the world and for the next few hours, you'd be lost in utter brilliance. Wars, concerns and chaos didn't matter. There was entertainment. There were smiles, laughter, and while it made you think, you understood the goal. It wasn't to insult or pit folks against each other, it was to entertain.


Gene Wilder died today, and it's sad for me personally. But the art lives on forever and it's comedy gold. Wilder was brilliant at what he and his co-comedians put together and I just needed to take a moment and mourn and smile and reflect a bit.  Emotions are running deep on this one folks, the man was a genius. We've lost another good one.


But in the end, we all know that he's back with Gilda the love of his life, and ultimately that is what he wanted eventually anyway. She was his heart and now they are reunited. 

Rest in peace friend. You've brought me much joy over the years and I will continue to watch... laugh, cry and think.



 --Robert Casey
Head Writer & Chief of BleedingYankeeBlue.com
Follow me on Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu




LIFE IS BETTER AS A YANKEES FAN


It's been almost a year that my other half and I started dating. We instantly bonded over our love of baseball even though we have some very different opinions on things. Just like my love for the Yankees will never die there are certain things with us that have never changed.....yet.


Yes, the keyword here is "YET" because I am still not giving up. Almost a year ago I wrote HOW TO CONVERT A NON-YANKEE FAN and it really was the start of our story. Everything always would come back to how I would eventually trade in what he calls "prison stripes" for Angels gear. It still hasn't happened. In fact, last year we took a trip to Anaheim together. We were a few blocks away from Angels stadium and he didn't even take me to see his beloved Angels stadium. You would think he would want to show me where his precious Mike Trout plays but noooooo... there was no trip to Angels stadium for us.

This is where I have the upper hand. I may not have taken a trip to Angels stadium but this summer I did get him to go to Yankee stadium with me to watch a game. He may have worn his ugly Angels hat into the building but it was a step in the right direction. He won't admit to it but I am one step closer to converting him especially since we took pictures together in front of Yankee stadium. Those pictures have mysteriously disappeared since he says the picture "didn't save" BUT there are 12 other witnesses who were there and know that the picture happened. He also took home a nice souvenir back home with us. He now has a Didi Gregorious bobble head to add to his collection that is visibly displayed in the house. I pencil that as a "W" for another win!

Since we have come home he has admitted that Yankee stadium is "NICE" and must know that it is nicer than Angels stadium because he won't bother to make any comparisons to his stadium but he is very quick to say that both Citi Field and Petco are nicer than Yankee stadium. I've never been to either stadium, but you can't trust the judgment of an Angels fan.

It's been an interesting year. Both of our families insist that we won't be able to convert each other but I have made some serious progress! I have Yankee collectibles in his house and he has come to my territory. I have the upper hand here, it may take some time but I think I will have him wearing pinstripes soon enough.

I am a Yankee girl on a mission!



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


 

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