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Thursday, March 31, 2011

WHY IT WORKED

If there's one thing that makes me smile, it's that the tools we put in place over the winter, started taking shape today. While not perfect at moments, some were pretty much as advertised and we looked damn good.

The Bullpen: Dominant. I was exchanging notes with my pal Carlos who said it best about the bullpen "how about that back end of Joba-Sori-Mo, making it a 6th Inning game for the opposing offense!". He's right. The pitching looked great. RaSo is going to be something special if he fills that setup role with no adjustment problems. And Joba, well, I feel like the kids back, no one's happier than me.
(Photo: US Presswire)
The Leadoff: What did I tell you, anything you can do to get on base. Granted, Gardner bunted twice and didn't get on, but that's the exercise and he executed it correctly, in fact he sacrificed which was nice. Over time, Gardy will pinpoint that bunt exactly where he wants it. Personally, his speed would have carried him to first no problem if it was to the left of the pitcher instead of the right. Yes, I understand he wanted to tangle up the pitching so they didn't throw to second for the force, but proper placement would have done the same thing and he would have been on base with a man on second. No matter, it was well done. Practice makes perfect and Gardner will perfect it no doubt.

Pitching: CC wasn't dominant today, but it's Game 1. Over time, he will get up to speed. The best part of CC today was he kept us in the game.(Photo: Getty)
Defense: The Grandy man can! Nice plays in the field today and I'd say that oblique is feeling pretty good, huh Curtis? I'm not kidding, with the rain today, I was a little worried. He looked great though, and that homerun, well, that was just gravy. It was beautiful.
(Photo: AP)
Offense:
Nice steal by Russell Martin today second to third. That's heads up. And what can I say about Mark Teixeira, that home run was sweetness!

Yankee baseball is back Ladies and Gentlemen and as we work out the kinks, we're going to see even more improvement. Today's score, Yankees 6, Tigers 3.

Baseball, the best sport ever. You can thank the good Lord for that.

By the way, if you didn't see the Go Hard Today video exclusive to Bleeding Yankee Blue, be sure to check it out HERE.

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GO HARD TODAY!

Happy Baseball Ladies and Gentlemen. Opening Day is here and it's the greatest day of my life,but obliviously my family is first. If I didn't say that, there'd be trouble.

We made it through a brutal winter, weird Yankee moves, horrendous snow on the East coast and both bad and slapstick posts from Bleeding Yankee Blue.Thank you for reading, keep doing it, you are why I do it.

Today, I have one thing to say... Go Hard New York! The Quest for 28 is here and we need to get out there and kick some ass and prove the doubters wrong.

Please enjoy Bleeding Yankee Blue's video below. First rule of BYB club today... pass this link to a Yankee pal. Let's get Yankee land pumped!

Play Ball!

-- The Mighty Casey

video

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2011 YANKEES ROTATION: THE WOMEN FACTOR

When you were in school, didn’t you just hate it when you were the last one standing when the teacher made the class pick teams? I did. I wonder if Freddy Garcia feels that way, too.
Probably the most controversial issue that affects us this week, men and women alike, is the 5-man rotation the Yanks have for 2011. A lot of us are just shaking our heads, especially at the assignment of Freddy Garcia to the #5 spot. But I am going to say this: In the end, the main reason why our options fell apart was because of a... woman (gasp!)

Let’s face it. Freddy Garcia is anything BUT consistent in his pitching. He won 5 games between 2007-2009, and last year, went 12-6 in 28 starts with a whopping ERA of 4.64. That’s putting lot of pressure on the bullpen, especially when you’re relying on them to “clean up the kitchen” after Garcia burns dinner. This won’t be pretty when we face hitting offense like evil Boston has.
Now, remember when Garcia gave up 1 home run and four hits in six innings last week in that Triple-A game. Not exactly ace stuff, but apparently, it was enough to anoint him as #5 over Bartolo Colon.

I know many people are saying that you have to work with what you have. A brief poll of my fellow “Yankee Ladies” has brought to life some concerns that go way beyond this year’s Spring Training.
  • Issue #1- Brian Cashman vs. Kristen Lee: Remember I said the Yankee rotation problems are because of a woman? Remember Mrs. Lee? While Brian Cashman was busy putting all his eggs in the Cliff Lee basket, ace after ace slipped through our hands and went to other teams. It also seems that he was a little more concerned with making Lee’s wife happiness after the “spitting incident” that may or may not have happened. Look, if it happened, shame on the fans that did it. Boston fans do that, not Yankee fans. We all tend to forget that baseball karma is a powerful bitch, and not one to be reckoned with. And think about this, If Phillies fans did that "alleged" incident to Laura Posada…wouldn’t WE all be upset? Kristen Lee is their queen, Laura is ours. And did you know this? Cliff and Kristen were dealing with their child, Jaxon and his leukemia. Read about it HERE. They were consumed with fighting that fatal disease. So again, if you fans really did that...Bad. Think before you spit. As for Cashman, after Lee bolted, he was forced to go to the bargain basement for pitching. Hey Brian, give me a call. I’m the queen of bargain shopping, and you’re doing it wrong.
  • Issue #2- Joe Girardi: I love our skipper, but his timing is all wrong. It’s no secret that he’s a little slow with the hook when pitchers are out there struggling. That leaves it up to our hitters to go out and hit amazing for the rest of the game. When he’s NOT too slow with the hook, he’ll pull a pitcher out too soon, making the bullpen a “second starting rotation”. When you have guys like Joba that haven’t pitched multiple innings that never ends well. Look, we don’t have Andy Pettite anymore. He can’t fill in for another starter off the bench when things get rough. Plus, watching Swisher pitch is entertaining, but I don't think it helps us.
  • Issue #3- the Farm System: There are a lot of hot arms out there, as we’ve seen this Spring. The Yanks don’t pitch these new young studs that much. So if we need to call someone up, I say, let them pitch. Practice makes perfect. I know we’re all afraid of injuries but these guys are young, ready, and willing. I’d rather the #5 spot go to a kid with great stuff and work out the little kinks as they go. Hey, Whitey Ford did it…then he went and waited tables after the game.
These are only some of the issues raised by the women in Yankees Universe. I think they have valid points. When it comes to shopping, we know best. I think us girls just enforced some new “Cashman Rules”, or perhaps at least get him some training on “What Not to Buy”. The rules are simple... Look at all the options, don’t rule anything out, and look in the whole store before you focus on one item. Try things on, and give it a good look. If you don’t like it when you get it home, you’re for sure not going to like the way it looks on you.


--Christy Lee, BYB Staff Writer



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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WHY I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS

Today has been weird. I obviously have Yankees on the brain with tomorrow being Opening Day and I like to read all I can about them. Today, for some unknown reason, I noticed 2 nuggets that I can't seem to forget about.
(photo: Eduardo Nunez)
  1. Joel Sherman of the New York Post had a big full page description of the Yankees this year and what to look for. In it, I noticed a tiny blurb about something he "Wouldn't be surprised about". Read it HERE. It said that he wouldn't be surprised if Eduardo Nunez and Dellin Betances were traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this year for Jered Weaver. He went on to say that the Yankees could be worried about another Weaver brother (like when they had Jeff), but Jered is just way too talented to pass up. Then he moved on. There was no explanation. There was no "a source told another source, which told my mom this is true." Nothing. Just dropped the bomb and walked. My question is, did he just make that up or is someone else hearing that, because I hear and read alot of stuff and I've NEVER heard that one. I wanted to tell you all.
  2. Then, I just read the Bleacher Report. I like it. Some don't...whatever. Anyway, I noticed a piece that caught my eye about Andre Ethier from the Dodgers. Read it HERE. It turns out that he and the Dodgers are going to talk contracts and in the event the talks turn into a non-tender talk situation, the Yankees would "allegedly" emerge as some front runner for the guy. They then broke down how after 2011, the Yankees could clear $30 million off their payroll, so Ethier would be right up their alley. It goes on to talk about Swisher being a fan favorite New York, but that doesn't matter, because it's a walk year for Swisher anyway and the Yankees could use Ethier's talents. It then basically dismisses Swish, which you know, I hate when they do that. Anyway, read it for yourself.
So, I read that and I said, what?? It's the eve of Opening day. Is this an April Fools Day joke? Why are these unusual rumors popping up now? Is anyone believing this stuff? Look, I am all about talking about players and rumors and telling all of you...with my opinion of course. These are just out there, and I don't mean "strange" out there... I mean Will Ferrell "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills" out there. Look, I'm not going any further with these rumors until I find more information about them, but I wanted to at least show you all. What do you think? Please comment. I'd be curious to hear if you like what you see, I'm confused... then again, I usually am.

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WHY MLB DROPPED THE BALL

Thursday is Opening Day! Did you know that? Thursday? Of course you did. Yankee fans are the greatest fans in the game, of course WE knew it. But guess what? If I were to walk out to Sixth Avenue in New York City and ask 100 people, I bet close to 3/4's of them would have no idea when exactly Opening Day is? That’s an abomination.

Opening Day used to be huge occasion. Now, it just seems to be another day on the baseball's calendar and it sickens me. It used to be a Monday, sometimes a Tuesday. It was heavily promoted. It was one of those, “lets play hooky and go to the ballpark” days, and everybody knew about it. Now, I know the Stadium will be packed tomorrow and I wish I was going – the warm breeze, the sunshine, the smell of freshly cut grass... Oh, that’s right, chance of snow showers this year... March 31st. (For the sweet love of God, can winter be over already?)

Look, MLB has done a horrendous job of promoting Opening Day this year. That and it's also the THURSDAY BEFORE THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. Most sports nuts are quite engaged in the tournament this year to realize baseball is even here. Here's a brilliant idea MLB, why not make Opening Day the Tuesday after the NCAA championship game, this way you can steal their thunder like what you’ve allowed THEM to do to YOU.

Has anyone noticed there are only 6 games slated for Thursday? Six? Are you kidding me? Almost everyone should be playing... day games too. Now, I know they don’t make the Yankees & Mets open on the same day, I get that. But why? What Yankee fan is watching the Mets? I’m not even sure Mets fans are watching the Mets, now that I think of it.

Hopefully someone from MLB Marketing will see this and take heed next year. Let's go back to making Opening Day an EVENT, not just a day on the calendar. Everyone in the sports world is crying poverty, so here’s your chance to capitalize on it. Now let's Play Ball and go Yanks!


-- Lem Allen BYB Freelance Contributor

My email: bybcurmudgeon@gmail.com


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WHY MOOSE IS COMING BACK

The Yankees made a brilliant move yesterday, they decided to bring Mike Mussina back to the Bronx. He'll be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening day and there's nothing bad about that, in fact, it's going to be electric.

Mussina was never an outspoken Yankee. He was quiet and did his job. Moose never won a ring with the Yankees. It's hard to believe because he was part of some great teams, but year after year, Mussina, who was always quality on the mound, was pushed aside for heavily favored pitchers like Roger Clemens, David Wells, Andy Pettitte, even Chien Ming Wang. Mussina was always there though, and did what needed to be done, never bitching about anything.

Moose never complained EVER... all he wanted was the ball and he wanted the schedule to stay the way it was set up. He wanted to pitch. He didn't like the schedule to change. He didn't want rain, he didn't want to be moved from his rotation spot, he wanted his day and the ball on his day, that's it. For years, it made him successful. Ironically, he was the most effective in his relief appearance the night Boone cranked it out against Wakefield to take us to the World Series in 2003. Of all nights for Moose "not to be in his right frame of mind", that was supposed to be the night...but instead, he shined.
Mike Mussina is probably the most under rated former Yankee pitcher and it's all because he keeps it to himself. Never a big media guy, he did his duty and looked to get out of there.

I'm sure it wasn't just one phone call to Mike's house to get him back to the Bronx, in fact, I'm sure the guy fought them tooth and nail making up excuses on why he didn't need to do come to the Bronx. Can't you just picture it? That would be the Mussina way, wouldn't it? "Don't make a fuss, you guys are fine without me" is probably how it went. But in the end, no one is more thrilled about Mike Mussina coming back to New York than I am. Moose was a gamer, an amazing teammate and a winner.

Yanks, you made a smart choice for Opening day, Moose needs a standing "O" again, after all, think about it, the last time we saw him was the last day of his 20th win back in September 2008. It's been a while.

MOOOOOOOOSSSSSEEEEE! We've missed you pal, welcome home.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SWISHER AND CHAVEZ EXCHANGE TEXTS

Swisher: Bro. Ur in!! Like old timeS

Chavez
: psyched mofo!!!


Swisher
: quest for 28 will be sick, don't get hurt lol


Chavez
: trying I'm accident prone :)


Swisher
: you'll love this team

Chavez: its sick, love the guys

Swisher
: and we'll party like the Oakland days when we ran that town


Chavez:
whats yankee stadium like opening day

Swisher: remember oakland coluseum?

Chavez: yeah bro

Swisher
: NOTHING LIKE THAT


Chavez
: got chills lol

Swisher: yankee fans bleed blue. Mad sick fans

Chavez: and jeters king?

Swisher
: Jeters God lol


Chavez:
can't wait to see this


Swisher
: just have pride in the stripes and work!!!


Chavez
: damn what a ride. Got to stay healthy


Swisher
: yeah bro and sterling will come up with a HR call for u

Chavez: like?Swisher: chavez shaves one!! GONE!

Chavez:
that sucks lol


Swisher
: Sunday with a Chavy on top LOL

Chavez: what?

Swisher
: It's the Chavezator!! Chavez goes yard!!


Chavez:
not feeling it.


Swisher
: yeah, well get used to it, its the biggest stage ever!!! :)


Chavez
: love it


Swisher
: and don't look back


Chavez
: got it

Swisher: welcome to the best time of your career bro, game on

Chavez:
game on


(NOTE: THESE ARE FAKE TEXT EXCHANGES. THIS IS ME USING HUMOR AND MAKING A GUESS OF HOW THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WOULD SPEAK TO EACH OTHER VIA TEXT. THERE IS NOTHING REAL ABOUT THIS. IT IS DONE STRICTLY FOR LAUGHS. ENJOY) --------------------------------------------------------------------

Be sure to join the Swisher campain on Facebook WE WANT NICK SWISHER ON SNL

Be sure to check out the latest comedy from Bronx Goblin HERE.

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WHY 3000 COMES BEFORE 28

It's GO time for Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees. Not only are we about to start our Quest for 28, but Our Captain, Derek Sanderson Jeter is just 74 hits away from 3000 hits, the only Yankee ever to reach that milestone. He'll also be on the all-time list right behind greats like Cal Ripken Jr (3184), Ty Cobb (4189) and of course Pete Rose (4256).

Now Jeet can act like it's not on his mind. That's fine, let him... he's good at acting like it's more about the team than individual achievement and he maybe he's right. But, in my opinion, 3000 hits in Major League Baseball will make Derek Jeter truly immortal. My suggestion to Derek would be to focus on it, and when it happens, take it all in.Jeet, you are the King of New York, the Prince of all baseball. You have your lovely lady on your sleeve in Minka Kelly and you remind me so much of Joltin' Joe DiMaggio with his lady Marilyn Monroe. And everyone loves you...ladies and the kids for sure, they impersonate your stance, your swing and every play you make. They all want to be you, but mostly in New York, Kalamazoo and Tampa.

I say, Yes Derek, you are on a quest for 28, this is true, but 3000 is along the way, and when it happens, you need to celebrate, BIG TIME. Derek you need to crack a smile and cut loose
a little.

Ladies and Gentleman, Jeter grew up a New York Yankee, while it's good, he also looks like a stiff sometimes. But he truly knows the Yankee way. Yes, it's not about flash, although don't tell Reggie that, and it's not about ego... Don't tell Reggie that either. No no, it's about pride for the pinstripes. It's about never embarrassing the brand and always showing the bright side, to any situation. Oh, and do your job and do it well. That is why we love Derek, he truly walks the walk.

But, this year, Derek we need you to relax, and we don't mean in the batter's box, we mean with life as a New York Yankee. It's time.

As players grow more mature over the years, sometimes they realize all they have and soften alittle. They sometimes let their guard down, alittle. Derek, as a fan, let me be the one who tells you, this is the year you'll finally relax, this is the year, once you hit 3000, which is a monster feat, you let it out, you let your guard down alittle, even if it's for a brief moment. The 3000 hit club is an elite group, so when you get it, tip the hat, wave, and enjoy it. You've already done so much for the Yankees team and the Yankee fans, it's time for us to give something back. Just alittle thank you. You will hear it with our ovation...accept it, you truly deserve it. Good Luck buddy, good luck.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

WHY YOU NEED TO ROOT FOR PRIOR

Mark Prior wasn't cut today. Instead, he was sent down to Class A ball and Joe Girardi said he wouldn't be surprised if Prior makes it back with the Yankees this season. Now, for anyone who's a Prior fan, like me, you know that's great news.

Prior said about it:
"I think I probably surprised a lot of people that I can still kind of hold my own at this level and I know I can, I know my stuff is not what it was, and I don’t expect it to be, but I know it’s good enough to play at this level still.''

This spring was great for Prior, he only allowed one earned run in 7-2/3 innings and posted a 1.17 ERA. He was also able to show a good fastball and breaking ball.

Girardi said he was impressed saying Prior threw the ball good this Spring:

"If he stays healthy, I think he's got a pretty good shot.''

In case you forgot, Mark Prior signed a minor-league deal this winter. The deal had an opt-out clause in it, so, if you decides that he wants to get out of the deal if he never gets a call up by the Yankees, he can. For the moment though, that doesn't seem to be the case. For the moment, Prior is happy to be where he is and says he just wants to get back to the big show. We all want to see you there Mark, we all do.

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WHY MILLWOOD HAD ME AT HELLO


Kevin Millwood is in Yankees camp. He's ready and he was interviewed. This quote is courtesy of Wallace Matthews of ESPN.


“Now it’s just try to get ready, do what they want me to do and see where it takes me. If that’s all they’ve got, that’s all they’ve got…Obviously, I’d prefer to be a starter and go that way, but we’ll see what happens.”


For all of the press that hyped up Millwood and Boras as "holding out" for the Major League contract and all this press of Millwood's "ego demanding more", it all seems to have gone away at this moment. Kevin Millwood had me at hello. He actually sounds like a New York Yankee.


Look, I know what Kevin Millwood’s capable of and I like that the Yankees made the offer they did and he accepted. It was a smart offer as far as I'm concerned because Millwood's got to perform now. If he does, he'll get a job somewhere on the team...beautiful.


Millwood can and will be a helpful pitcher this season especially with injury prone guys like Garcia and Colon. The Yankees are clearly worried about how long Freddy and Dr. Chubby can last during a full season, so that's why Millwood arrived. Cashman played the waiting game correctly with Kevin. Hopefully it all pays off.


Now, I’ve always said stockpiling pitchers is what the Yankees needed to do this winter, especially because they lost out on the big fish, Cliff Lee. To me, it makes sense and it's a cheap alternative. I’m looking forward to Millwood making the team and contributing, I know he will, plus, his positive attitude just made me smile.


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WHY WE NEED TO STOP AND THINK

This is a baseball point more than a Yankee point, but listen up anyway because it's important.
I hate ESPN
. What should be a great family of networks that celebrates all things sports, it has become a self-promoting, propaganda machine. 99.9% of their “talent” hates the Yankees. FACT.

So with that said, to my amazement, this morning, Outside the Lines, a show that bucks the trend at the “all sports leader”, did an amazing piece on one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen, Tony Gwynn. Read/see it here.

Tony Gwynn is a cancer survivor. Mouth cancer he got from dipping tobacco, a disgusting habit. This product needs to be banned, nothing good has ever come from it. In the piece, Tom Friend says most players always think it’ll be the next guy. But lets face it Smokeless tobacco causes more problems per user than smoking ever will.

Now, I won’t get all righteous about dipping not being the Yankee way, because that’s bunk. Numerous Yanks have been dippers as well, and it's still NASTY, but in 2011 I think we all need to open our eyes to the hazards of smokeless tobacco use. Lets face it, cancer is horrible, not only to the patient, but to everyone around them. In fact, the first person that really made people aware of the dangers of chewing tobacco was catching great Joe Garagiola, who's friend Bill Tuttle another ballplayer chewed during his playing days and later was forced to have multiple surgery's to remove the cancer. Things turned for the worst for poor Mr. Tuttle. You can read about the disturbing details HERE. So you see my point.

Tony Gwynn seems like a smart man. He’s a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. If he can fall to the demons, so can everyone else. Let's try and rid the game we love of this disgusting and deadly habit.

Think about it. Think about the kids.


--Lem Allen, BYB Freelance Contributor

Email me at:bybcurmudgeon@gmail.com


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

WHAT I PREDICT FOR THE KILLER B'S

By now every Yankee fan should know who the "Killer B's" are. Die hard fans to casual fans know that they are Manuel Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Brackman.These three guys have had their moments this spring and could be very key into the Yankees success down the road. All of these guys could be future aces for the Yankees, so I'll tell you what you should expect out of these guys in the upcoming 2011 season and beyond. By the way, before I begin, let me remind you that BYB's Grant Cederquist touched on this when many of us had no clue who the Killer B's were. You can read his incredible post from February 15th titled ATTACK OF THE KILLER B'S. Read it. Anyway, back to my piece.(photo: AP)
Out of these three pitchers, Manny Banuelos is probably the most hyped, and rightfully so. At 20 years old this guy is called "a harder throwing (Johan) Santana," by Yankees play-by-play radio announcer John Sterling and many others. That is quite impressive, and quite frankly I agree with him. Banuelos consistently throws 93 mph plus, with a Johan Santana like change up, and he also has a wicked curve. His curve is similar to that of a Jon Lester or Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. Last season, in three different minor league levels, Banuelos pitched just 64.2 innings, but he pitched to a stellar 2.51 ERA. The most impressive stat is that the young left hander struck out 85 batters. So we know this kid is the real deal. But, Banuelos only pitched those 64.2 innings last year. In 2009 he pitched 109 innings, so look for the Yankees to start Banuelos in AA this year. We could see Banuelos pitch around 115 or so innings, maybe a little under and then expect to get around 150 or so innings in AAA in the 2012 season. If I were the Yankees, I would not bring him up until he can pitch around 200 innings a season. There is no reason to rush this prized talent up. The Yankees learned that with Joba Chamberlain. He'll be 22 years old by that time, and if the Yankees play their cards right he'll be ready. Thus far this spring, Banuelos has pitched 9.2 innings while just allowing two earned, good for a 1.86 ERA. He has also struck out 11 batters. Banuelos is still with the major league camp at this moment.The second member of the "Killer B's" is right hander Dellin Betances. Betances isn't as hyped as Banuelos, but is projected to be an ace like pitcher for the Yankees down the road. Betances is 22 years old, but didn't pitch much last year. He pitched just 85.1 innings in two different stops in the minors, including AA where he pitched to a 3.77 ERA in three starts. Betances has a very live fastball in the mid 90s, to go along with a big knuckle curve ball, and a developing change up. But, unlike Banuelos, Betances has struggled this spring, allowing four runs in six innings of work. He has struck out eight batters, but the walks have came back to haunt him as he has allowed seven free passes in the spring season. Since Betances pitched just 85.1 innings last year, expect him to be around the 120-130 innings pitched mark this season, then go up to about 170-190 in 2012. Maybe the Yankees bring him up next year if he pitches well this season. But, I wouldn't bring him up this year if it was up to me.The third and final "Killer B" is Andrew Brackman. The Yankees drafted Brackman in 2007 knowing he would have to have Tommy John Surgery. He struggled mightily when he came back from the surgery in 2009, going 2-12 with a 5.91 ERA, and, in his 106.2 innings pitched he walked 76 alone. But, Brackman made strides last year in high A ball and AA last year. In the 2010 campaign he had a solid 3.90 ERA while winning 10 games. But, Brackman's walk total dropped dramatically, walking just 39 in 140 innings pitched. Because he pitched 140 innings this year, I think he should have been a candidate for the number five starter. But, the Yankees would like to see him pitch in AAA. I suspect, if the Yankees need a starter in the middle of the year, Brackman would get the call up to the show.

Those are your three Killer B's and what to expect from them. I don't think the Yankees want to call up Banuelos or Betances because they need more innings under their belt. Don't expect them to be up until the middle of 2012 at the earliest. My opinion of course. I would be probably more towards 2013 they'll be up. This way their arms are built up to pitch 200 innings.

Brackman on the other hand, could be up this season if he deserves it. He can probably pitch around 190-200 innings this year, give or take a few. But, one thing I believe that all of these guys shouldn't do is; pitch in the bullpen. These guys are starters, not relievers. Barring injury, the Yankees do not need a reliever right now. All three of these guys are projected starters, so don't move them in and out of the bullpen. The Yankees essentially ruined Joba Chamberlain by doing that, and they got lucky with Phil Hughes. Expect these guys to be starters, where they belong.


--Jesse Schindler, BYB Guest Writer
My Blog: The Pinstriped Personality


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WHY BASEBALL IS ALIVE AND WELL

Me: "Buddy, time for your ball game."
My 8 year old: "Dad, I need eye black like Harper."
My wife: "Noooo. He's getting blackheads!"
My 8 year old: "Mom, Let me be a ball player."
This is a conversation that took place about 1 hour ago. It's all you need to read to understand where baseball falls in his list of life importance.

1. God
2. Family
3. Baseball
4. Hygiene

As far back as I could remember, I wanted to play for the New York Yankees. It wasn't like I was talented at 7. I was horrible on the field. That didn't matter though because in my backyard, I was awesome. I had the Yankee theme music on my cassette player and the yard had bases all around, the pitchers mound was usually a brick and home plate was a garbage can top. Didn't matter, it was Yankee Stadium. I used to make my kid brother sit and watch me throw the wiffle up and crank it. I went through the entire lineup and kept track of my stats.

When the other team was up, my kid brother had to be the opposing team, usually the Royals or evil Red Sox and I made sure he didn't hit anything. It was a "thrown" ball game every time, but it was MY game.
Today, my 8 year old is in his 4th year of organized ball. Silly right? It's much more competitive. There are Rec leagues, Summer leagues, Winter Leagues and the whole time I swore, there is no way I can be forcing this kid. It's not fair.

Luckily, it's happening on it's own. Baseball is consuming him, and all I'm doing is sitting back and enjoying it. Baseball, Ladies and Gentlemen, is STILL America's National Pastime, and I can gauge it by watching my kid. I don't care what debate you want to have with me. There is something more gratifying to many, about being able to hit a tiny ball with a stick over a fence, than kicking a ball into a net or catching a ball in an end zone. The skill is different.

I'm happy to report, in his little world, baseball is alive and well. Thank God.

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WHY THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT CAMERON

(Photo: NY Times)
Okay, speaking from a woman’s perspective, we’re not always THAT supportive of some of the women that our baseball boys hang out with. It’s not always easy to see the guys on our team being pulled away from what we think should be a top priority: Yankees Baseball. We’ve seen them in the stands, (sometimes) and in pictures with the guys off the field. Some of the arm candy just isn’t up to snuff.

I think we all feel that we went through the public humiliation right along with Alex during his breakup with Madonna, and then later with all the drama of Kate Hudson. Sorry ladies, anyone that makes A-Rod wear a Kabala bracelet is not approved arm candy. As a matter of fact, some of the most devoted Yankee women may have even let you know that, in our own “special” way, had you had to share a restroom with us.
(Photo: Getty)
But, let me be the first to say it. Cameron is different. Cameron is every inch of woman, but not the type to freak out if she breaks a nail. She’s no “butch”, but she isn’t sitting there in the stadium wearing $800 sunglasses, dressed to kill like she just walked on the red carpet to get to the game. She’s in jeans, a tee, and eating popcorn like the rest of us. Whoops... sorry my sweet Alex.

Have you seen this girl work out? Cameron is an athlete herself. We’ve seen her shoot hoops, play baseball and run. She’s not pulling Alex around 5th Avenue making him hold her purse while she shops for stilettos and leopard-print garb. She is working out with him on the field during Spring training. And I’m not talking Pilates… I'm talking strength training. Using a tire that looks like she just ripped it off of an 18 wheeler. This is what we like to see. Arm candy that will buff up those Gold-Glove winning arms, not someone who has to put on a show for the rest of the world. She’s there for Alex, helping him, supporting him, and in a way, that means she’s supporting us too.
So to Alex and Cameron, let me give you my sincerest blessing on behalf of myself and my Yankee sisters. But, a word of caution... if the batting average dips, we’ll take it all back!



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-Christy Lee, BYB Staff Writer


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WHY SPEED PROVES STABILITY

If you haven't read Daniel Barbarisi's Wall Street Journal piece titled EMBRACING THE STOLEN BASE, then you need to, because it's everything I've been talking about in my lifetime.Running will help you win, especially if you can do it well. You can't just assume you're going to get a stolen base every time. You need to follow the pitchers routine, know when the run, don't miss a sign and do damage with your speedy legs. You can't just steal home for example. That art form is strictly for the professionals. But yes, speed is key to winning ballgames and that's why I like Brett Gardner as the leadoff man.For years, the Yankees loved having speed at the top of the lineup... Rickey Henderson was my favorite and as you know, they tried players like Kenny Lofton, Curtis Granderson and Tony Womack. Unfortunately, those examples never really worked out, but again, the Yanks gave it a shot.
Other great players that have lead off are players like Wade Boggs, and Derek Jeter. This is the alternative, IF, in my opinion, you don't have speed on your side. Boggs always got on base, usually a hit, usually working a walk. Jeter subscribes to the same formula, although, is fairly quick, just alittle older now. Ultimately though, with a lineup like the Yankees have, I feel it right, that Girardi is concentrating on speed at the top of the lineup.

Barbarisi says: "In Girardi's three years at the helm, the Yankees have ranked in the top 12 in the majors in stolen bases, with a success rate of 77.38% compared to the MLB average of 72.58% over that same period."

Today I cracked opened the Record, in addition to the MLB preview, I noticed what is being thrown out there as the Yankees starting lineup for 2011. Now, I know this will change a dozen times before Opening day as well as through the season, But I like this lineup:

1. Brett Gardner- Owns the fourth-highest stolen base % (85.1) in the AL since 2008.
2. Derek Jeter
3. Mark Teixeira
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Robinson Cano
6. Nick Swisher
7. Jorge Posada
8. Curtis Granderson
9. Russell MartinBaseball is an interesting game. You can't win championships with bad pitching and homeruns. You can't win championships with no speed and decent pitching and you can't win championships with no homeruns and a shaky rotation. You need speed, power and great pitching. It all helps. It's the perfect blend, perfect formula. At this very moment, I like what my 2011 New York Yankees have become. Do you?

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WHY I SALUTE 2 FORGOTTEN YANKEES

I'm not sure why, maybe because I've been sick with the flu, but I was having several delirious dreams.One of those dreams involved me at Yankee Stadium, it was the House that Ruth Built, but it was 2011. The Yanks just signed 2 players. Dion James and Claudell Washington. It was a situation where the Yanks needed hitting stability and they knew the damage these guys did for the Yanks back in the 80's and 90's and they figured they'd be a cheap, "magic in the bottle" situation for the bench. Totally bizarre. I remember it like it was real!

Anyway, I woke at around 3ish, wrote it down Dion's name, took an Advil and went back to bed. But I never did fall back to sleep, I was achy, had a headache and all I was thinking about was "Dion James and Claudell Washington. What happened to those guys?" Don't ask me why, it's been a weird few days. But the story is true.DION JAMES: I remember when Dion James was with the Yankees, he was a decent ballplayer. He was never a home run hitter, but he was a solid athlete. The problem was he was already surrounded by great talent so he got lost in the shuffle. Greats like Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs, Paul O'Neill and an up and comer, Bernie Williams were there and people loved them.Dion signed with the Yanks in 1992. He was supposed to be a part-time outfielder but in 1993 he had a full-time gig with the Yanks batting .332. James left the Bronx for Japan after that season, but returned in 1995. By then, there wasn't much playing time for him. He did hit .287 with 60 hits in 209 at bats. He was also part of the 1995 playoffs, it was the first time in his career, but we all know how that ended. He was back in 1996, but that season was short lived and he was released May 1, 1996 before the Yankees won their Championship.

CLAUDELL WASHINGTON: Washington was traded in June 1986, from the Braves to the Yankees, along with Paul Zuvella. In return, Atlanta received Ken Griffey, Sr. and infielder Andre Robertson.
Claudell re-signed with the Yankees after the 1986 season, and spent two more years in the Bronx. The biggest Yankee highlight for Washington may be his April 1988 home run which was the Yankees' 10,000th franchise home run.

During Washington's career in New York, 4 total seasons, he has 26 home runs, 34 stolen bases and a .277 batting average. His best season was 1988 when he hit .308 with 11 Homers and 64 RBI's.

After the 1988 season, Washington became a free agent, and bolted for a contract with the then California Angels. Eventually he was traded back to the Yanks in 1990, but they later released him. That's where his career officially ended.So yeah, don't ask. Sometimes sickness brings out weird thoughts in me, many times it's baseball. One things for sure though, James and Washington gave their all in pinstripes and for sure have been forgotten. Whatever the reason, I'm not sure, but it's clear to me people needed to be reminded about these gentlemen, and where else would they be remembered most, than Bleeding Yankee Blue. A salute to some damn good ballplayers...Dion James and Claudell Washington.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

WHY BUSTER MAKES ME GO BALLISTIC

Two days ago, I received my weekly subscription of ESPN the magazine and it was the baseball preview issue. I was very excited to see how the experts predicted the Bombers would finish this year. After turning to the AL East section, I see something completely outrageous:

The obvious one was he chose the Sox to win the AL East. Big surprise, who hasn't done that?
Then, for the AL Wild Card, he chose the TAMPA BAY RAYS, that's when I vomited in my mouth.

Yes, that's right, the Friggin' Tampa Bay Rays. The team that unloaded half of it's roster and that is clearly in rebuilding mode. The Rays lost the following key players this offseason:
The Rays basically lost the whole middle of their lineup, their closer, and in my opinion their second best starter from last year, David Price was first or course.

So, really Buster Olney? Really? Do you really think the Tampa Bay Rays team they currently have on the field, the team that was downgraded, can beat out the New York Yankees, who won the World Series just 2 years ago and virtually the same core of players, like A-Rod, who's now at full strength, Jeter, who's bound to bounce back to .300 and Tex? Not to mention a hot as hell Cano?

I don't see it. Not even close Buster, come on! Even with the rotation the Yankees have announced today, we still have a better shot than what the Rays have, no doubt.
Do me a favor, don't you be a Yankee hater too, or am I too late?


--Will Cohen, BYB Staff Writer



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