Wednesday, September 2, 2015

THIS IS THE END!


Do you like Prince?  Seriously, are you a fan of the little, purple clad man from Minnesota?  I’m not.  I FULLY admit that he is extremely talented as a singer, songwriter, performer and producer (HE IS AN ATROCIOUS ACTOR).  He is just not my thing.


I change the station when I hear his music playing, and it's my choice to do so. I can see talent and still not be a fan.  Mark Teixeira is my Big League equivalent of Prince.


I don’t love Mark Teixeira.  That’s it.  There is nothing else to say.  I cheer for him when he is on the field because he plays for the New York Yankees.  I have absolutely admitted being wrong about his fading ability to hit the baseball with power.  I recently wrote a piece that clearly stated my faults in targeting Tex too soon.  I then stated that I have NO IDEA how much Mark is hurting.  


Apparently a reader named pethealer wasn’t a fan of my questioning Tex and needed to call this humble blogger an idiot:
"This injury is hardly a "boo boo' you idiot and you must be a real jerk to think that Tex actually wants to sit out these games during this important part of the season."
An idiot?  I’m not sure if that’s accurate, but I know I’m no coward.  You know the type the folks that take “brave” shots at people via the Worldwide Web.  Those guys are the best aren’t they?  Yes? No? What would I know…I just might be an idiot?  I wish him or her or whatever pethealer is, the best with their pet healing and all they have going on.  It’s not personal on my end that's for sure.


Many are aware that my favorite Yankee was Paul O’Neill.  Sure, he is an Irishman, but it was more than that.  Paul was the Warrior.  I have a friend who knew many of the guys on the 1996 and 1997 teams.  They all said that the hamstring O’Neill played on in Atlanta in the ’96 Series and in the ’97 ALCS game in Cleveland would have been hard to walk on let alone play on.  But Paulie did.  Is that to say that Mark Teixeira should be more like O’Neill and play through his bone bruise?  NO. I am not saying that at all.  Mark is clearly hurting.  But Tex isn’t like Paulie.  That’s all I’m saying.  If you disagree that is your right.  Do I need to call you an idiot?  Nope.  Why? It’s because the right you have your opinion.  Would anyone ever call Tex a warrior? I doubt it, but believe it if it floats your boat.


Why is it so insane to not be a fan of the Yankee first baseman?  Again, he has had a tremendous bounce back season.  I WILL NOT WRITE IT AGAIN.  He is STILL a defensive whiz! The best goalie in New York behind King Henrik, and I’d pay to see Tex between the pipes.  Tex is a really good ballplayer.  He has had tough injuries to comeback from, A LOT.  I grant him the wrist for sure!  What else can I give you to have you rest easy in the knowledge that Mark is great at what he does…when he is on the field.


Recently my friend Jenna Bellezza wrote a piece defending Tex and my right to blast him, though I have hardly been blasting him this year.  I appreciate that she is a fan of #25 and backs her guy.  If someone was taking O’Neill to the woodshed, I’m sure I’d do the same.  But Paulie never needed a “Lawyer”.  He didn’t.  He was there day in, day out.  He fought through injuries and slumps.  He was a leader Yankee fans won’t ever forget.  Is it unfair to compare the two men?  I don’t know…I’m no pet healing, master of the universe.  What I’m trying to say is that I just don’t think Tex is a that type of Yankee.  That’s all.  He is a really good player.


He seems to be a good person and a nice guy…but he’s not my favorite.  I don’t wish him harm.  Yeah, I like Greg Bird.  Should he replace Tex now? No.  Will he soon?  I think he will.

This is baseball.  We chat it up and go back and forth because it’s fun.  It’s not personal and it's not supposed to be, EVER.  We have our own heroes and villains.  We see the action on the diamond through our OWN eyes.  Nothing is universally right and nothing is universally wrong when it comes to the fan opinion. That's what BYB brings every day!


Baseball is the American Pastime and it truly is a grand game.  Grown men get to be kids for their whole careers.  We get to cheer and boo and watch the poetry of 9 innings like listening to our favorite albums.  We remember where we were and who we were with when one of the “Boys of Summer” makes history.  Baseball is a good thing, maybe the best of things.  It’s truly America in every way. It has ups and downs, wins and losses, defeats and comebacks and opinions. All of them passionate, and that is the good stuff.


I’m not going to write about Tex anymore this year. That's it.  You all know how I feel about him by now.  I hope he returns and helps the Yanks get back to the Post Season and beyond.  I will cheer for him to be at his best every game and every at bat.  Do I think Mark is a kin to the Yankees of old?  Nope.  And that’s just one man’s opinion…but I’m an idiot so take it with a grain of salt and enjoy your day.

Go Yankees.

** Here’s some Prince for my pal the Pethealer.  No hard feelings. **





 
--Mike O'Hara Senior "Features" Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21







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PACKING BAGS FOR NEW ADVENTURES...

But never letting go of their sports roots!


Last week, I took by first born to college.  He is a freshman at Syracuse University in upstate New York.  He is joining more than 3300 freshman representing 45 states and several different countries according to University statistics.  As I watched the college newbies pushing carts of their stuff from their cars to the dorm elevators, I couldn't help but take a peek at the sports teams represented.  Now with 45 states of kids converging into the different dorms across the vast campus, of course we are going to see a number of teams, we as Yankee fans, don't like, however what I do like is that even though these kids are leaving home, they have not left their sports roots behind.


My son, packed some key sports memorabilia, from Derek Jeter's final goodbye to fans given out at his last home game to his Yankee travel mug along with his Giants and Islanders pennants and his own baseball bag filled with all the essentials to try out for Syracuse's club baseball team.  It felt good to see him bring his sports roots and adorn his room with them.


Downstairs from my son was a son of another family who showed his pride for his home state of Maryland.  If you have ever seen the Maryland flag, you know its prominent and loud decor screaming "look at me".  This room was all decked out in Maryland flare and of course that means, Baltimore Oriole orange and black.  My son laughed, A: because he is a Yankee fan and B: because he isn't from Maryland but sort of gets a kick out of their flag.


My friends' kids, who are attending other universities across the Northeast, brought their favorite sports decor.   I saw shots of Phillies and Red Sox items purposely placed on the dorm walls.  No I don't like those teams, but yes, I like what they represent for these kids: Their Sports Roots.  At a time where things are so complex between fatal shootings of innocent people, economic "mood swings" and political big mouths clogging up the news feeds, it is nice to see simplicity and tradition in the way of kids keeping what matters to them close at hand as they start a new adventure.


These kids are our future and although they are starting a new chapter in their lives, it is good to know that have not forgotten the people and memories that these sports teams represent for them. Good luck to all of our students as they begin a new school year!



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




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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

YANKEES WIN, ORTIZ STINKS & THE JAYS WON TOO

Yup. I'm scoreboard watching, so sue me.


Yankees beat the Red Sox tonight. They played alittle better than last night, but I need to hand it to Rick Porcello. He struck out 13 Yankees tonight.  Pretty incredible job. 


Anyway, for the Yankees, it was Michael Pineda tonight.  He went 6 innings giving up 4 hits and 1 run.  That would be the only run the Sox would get.  David Ortiz struck out 4 times. 


Shove it, bro... I laughed at you all night.

The Yankee run scoring went like this:


In the 5th, Stephen Drew doubled knocking in 2 runs.  Then, alittle insurance, Brett Gardner cranked out a homer in the 8th. 

Andrew Miller then came in struck out 3 and got the save.  Save number 29. Atta boy.

So yeah, the Yankees win tonight... and the Jays did too.  Sooner or later though, something's gotta give. Let's hope the Yanks can advance soon.

Final: Yankees 3 - Red Sox 1

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TEIXEIRA SIDELINED


It's a quick note, a significant note and an important theory that I've always suggested about how the Yankees deal injured players and the media.  They never tell the truth... until they have to.  Knowing what we know about Mark Teixeira now... today it was revealed that they had to.

Today it was reported that Mark Teixeira, and we'll use Eric Boland and Bryan Hoch here is sidelined for a bit longer:

So here's the thing, and hear me out;  Every time the Yankees have an injured player, there are several steps that get the Yankees through it.  It's almost like a way for them to stall.  A player tweaks an ankle... he's day to day.  After those day to days, they'll hit the 15 DL.  Sooner or later the 15 day DL will end, and suddenly, things aren't improving and that player continues to linger... and then, POW.  They'll come back with "60 day DL", or "Worse than we thought."


Now look, we give Teixeira jazz pretty good here, but we love what he's doing for us in pinstripes in 2015.  But you can't take away from the seriousness of this.  The reality is, we need the guy. And so, what do we do... force the guy out there and risk no Tex for the playoffs? Or, babysteps... and we wait until he's fully healthy.  Whatever the case... the Yanks are fun like this.  They're also predictable.

Get well soon Tex.  This news today... it doesn't surprise me.

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I'M NOT BUYING IT


An interesting story in the New York Post that basically suggests that the Yankees aren't too jazzed with Aaron Judge since coming up to Scranton, and that's why he wasn't part of the September call ups plan.  I guess that's why Tyler Austin was DFA'd as well. 

The Post writes:

"Absent from this list is top outfield prospect Aaron Judge, whose numbers have lagged since his promotion to Triple-A.

Since being bumped up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late June, Judge is hitting .229 with eight home runs in 55 games...
To make room on the 40-man roster for the influx of depth talent, the Yankees... designated two players for assignment: infielder Cole Figueroa and outfielder Tyler Austin... (Austin) has struggled to make a dent at the plate since a breakthrough 2012 minor league campaign, when he posted a .322 average with 17 homers."


But what does it all mean? Well, for 1, it's speculation. Look, Austin's been handed a ton of bad luck along with his struggles, but nothing that he hasn't been able to work through. Sure, maybe it's slowly than normal, but he's doing it.  And sure, you can stare at Austin's .235 average and groan, and same with Judge and his .229 average. But are you really gonna sit here and make that argument when we have a guy named Stephen Drew on our roster batting .201?  Really?


Let's keep it real. Judge should be up with the Yankees this September.  Austin, well, he was a casualty along with Figueroa and probably unfairly too.  But none of these kids are no better than the other at this point.  What's important is they get up to the Bigs and learn alittle something. You know, get some at bats... get some confidence.

Whatever the case, trying to make an argument for low batting average being a defining factor for a September call-up is just ridiculous. Are you listening Mr. Drew?


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