Friday, February 28, 2014

THE SPRING DEBUT OF MARK TEIXEIRA IS COMING...MAYBE


The news out of Yankeeland, Tampa... or... Joe Girardi's mouth, is that Mark Teixeira will be playing Spring training games next week. That comes for Jorge Castillo who covers the Yankees for the Star-Ledger.  He tweeted it...
Now, in Yankee-speak, what does this mean? Well, I'll tell you.  Look, there is no question that we'll see the guy.  In what capacity, who really knows?  Maybe a few at bats at mid-week, maybe it's pushed back.



The main thing is he get healthy. I would almost prefer Tex to miss most of Spring Training playing games and actually trying to strengthen that wrist.  Wrists... ankles, they are a bitch to heal and as you may have remembered from Tex about a month ago, he expects that wrist to be stiff most of the season.  Read MARK TEIXEIRA IS SETTING UP HIS "EXCUSE SEASON" The title was harsh, but true. Look, that at least protects him if he can't play at full capacity.  It doesn't help us, but at least he can say, "Well hey, it's the wrist."

All I'm saying is give it a week, maybe two before we get all crazy here.  Sure, we all want to see Mark Teixeira's bat in the lineup, but he won't do us any good hurt all year.

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JETER MUST LET US BREAK DOWN HIS WALL FOR A BRILLIANT FAREWELL


We all know that Derek Jeter gives you absolutely nothing when he communicates to the media.  He doesn’t talk out of turn, he will never say a bad thing about management, the club, an individual player.  He’s a team player… and that’s what you want.  No, you don’t want a robot, you want loyalty and respect.  That’s what Derek Jeter offers.


It didn’t surprise me that Mariano Riveradidn’t see it coming” when Derek Jeter announced his retirement.  I think that many of us Yankee fans have this perception that the Core Four literally text each other all day long and hang out "tooling around" New York City for the past 15 years going to clubs and across the white, pinstriped limo they drive around it, it reads "CORE FOUR" across the doors or something.  Truth be told, these guys all have lives and families and while they grew up together in the Yankees farm system, there’s a time for fun and a time for baseball.  They were professionals and while I’m sure they did their thing to blow off steam every once in a while, there was a code of conduct and they respected it and lead by example.  I don’t believe they were constantly lounging out in each other's pads day after day though.  And that’s why it didn’t surprise me about Mo not knowing… and by the way, it’s no big deal that he didn’t know. In fact, it makes sense if you’re Derek Jeter. He’s private. It fits in line with what he’s done for years.

In an ESPN piece earlier this week, Mo said, “I didn't see this coming at all. I didn't see it… For sure I was one of the guys that said they would have to pull his uniform off his body to take him out. But I was wrong, and this was a surprise to me.''

I guess it’s honesty right there. Mariano gave ESPN even more saying of now Jeter’s farewell tour and comparing it to his own:

"It will be better… He deserves it. He has given everything for the game of baseball, and when you have a player like that, he deserves that and more.''


God. I think about how amazing Mariano is with the media and how generous and respectful he is to the guys with their pens and pads, willing to give them a great bite to print, but it’s more than that.  He loved being a Yankee and he loves his brothers, Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Bernie Williams.  Those were his boys for years and there is something  to be said about a bond that tight… it can never be broken.


Mariano had an incredible “Farewell tour”, but Mariano is right… Derek Jeter’s WILL be better.  And if you asked Jeter about it, he’d tell you he wouldn’t want that at all, because of his love of Mariano. Jeter is never the type to overshadow any other player in the game, because he respects the game, but this year is something different. We need to force him to enjoy it. We need to help him break down his wall and help him take it all in, he deserves it.

It’s Jeter’s time to sit back and enjoy himself.  He’s done so much for the game, for the fans and for the team. It’s his time, and in his strategic and programmed world of never giving us anything, he’s going to have to just re-program himself this year and learn to enjoy it.


I hope he can, because we’ve had the priveledge to see great things from Derek Sanderson Jeter for 20 years… and now it’s his time, whether he’s comfortable with it or not.

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JOBA CHAMBERLAIN SAYS: HAVE A NICE DAY!


I love this and you know me... I want to see Joba Chamberlain succeed.  To be frank, it doesn't matter if it's with the Yankees, the Tigers or the Moondogs, the truth is, when you push yourself, you gain some confidence, jump some hurdles and climb the mountain of life. I want to see Joba do well with his clean slate.

That's Joba's Tommy John surgery scar with a tattoo to mask it above.  It's perfect for him and creative. This is courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.  Gotta love this.


And not that it matters, because exhibition games don't count... it counts to Joba that he pitched well in his debut. According to the Star Tribune, "Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain each pitched a scoreless inning to help the Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 5-2 on Thursday. Nathan and Chamberlain were brought in to solidify a Tigers bullpen that struggled last season. Chamberlain, who foundered with the Yankees in 2013, had a strikeout."

Keep going kid... and have a nice day.

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GUESS WHAT I'M GONNA HELP JESUS MONTERO DO?


I’m appalled.  I just can’t get over the fact that Jesus Montero is a fat load.  After I read the article posted on BYB last week, JESUS MONTERO IS A FAT LOAD, I just felt badly for him and frankly for me.  He was one of our guys and he had such a bright future in front of him.  What happened? How could anyone let himself get that way; especially an athlete like Montero who has the makings to be a great one.

My friend and I were at the gym, ironically, the other evening and we started talking about Montero and his recently reported forty pound weight gain.  While in Seattle last week, she resisted the urge to buy a Jesus Montero tee shirt but almost bought a Robinson Cano tee just to annoy me.  That’s a different story for another day.  As we were talking about how we were sad that Jesus Montero was traded a couple of years ago, she blurted out in desperation, “I love that fat slob.”  We both burst into laughter.  I immediately envisioned the big white bear who extinguished the flame at the recent closing ceremonies of Olympic games as I thought of Montero stumbling onto the field forty pounds heavier.  And then I had an epiphany.  How can I help Jesus Montero lose weight?


We’ve written stories here at BYB about the importance of being fit, of having a fit mindset and the success stories of our guys who got lean in the offseason so they could get a jump-start on the new season.  Guys like CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and even Derek Jeter have more spring in their step this year.  San Francisco Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval has reportedly lost 42 pounds.  I guess he gave 40 of those unwanted pounds to his west coast neighbor, Jesus Montero.


Now shy of joining NBC’s the Biggest Loser next season, Jesus Montero can make some quick changes to his diet and fitness regiment that can help yield him results on his waistline and his trips up the baseline this spring.  According to Men’s Fitness, some foundational changes like eating a protein filled breakfast, having three healthy snacks a day, cutting out the fries and chips, bypassing the soda and adding nuts to your diet to satisfy your need for something crunchy can have some immediate effects on your weight.  These changes coupled with a weightlifting regiment to build the muscles you need to “stoke your metabolism” and interval training to get your burn going can improve your core.  “Break your speed limits by boosting your speed with intervals. You'll not only get faster, but your gut with flatten in no-time,” according to Men’s Health.


I guess the most important ingredient to losing weight and getting fit is to want it.  He admitted to just eating after winter ball and gained much more weight than anyone anticipated.  But now it’s time to take an interest in conditioning and nutrition and frankly a work ethic much like Sabathia’s and Jeter’s to get back to where he was and to spring forward.  It takes dedication and will power.  I hope he finds some and heeds the advice from his trainers, general management and even us at BYB.  We wish you success, Jesus.  We hope you make it back, leaner and fitter. 





--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof



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Thursday, February 27, 2014

SEE JETER RUN


Our Captain, Derek Jeter, played 5 innings today in the Yankees exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates today.  He played the field, he hit, he ran and the world was perfect... well, almost.  He grounded into a double play and grounded out again his second time up... going 0-2.  I don't care about that... the game doesn't count.  In fact, you're really not going to see us talk about the exhibition games on BYB much, unless someone makes an outstanding play to try and earn their spot or something happens to impress us.  Scores don't matter right now... it's like T-ball.


Jeter left to a standing ovation and I tip my cap to the crowd for that... that's class.  Hopefully it's like that all season.  This guy needs to be reminded every game of what he means to us.

OK fine, in case you were wondering, the Yankees lost 8-2. But.. again, it doesn't matter. Chill.

The news of the day is Derek Jeter playing and playing with no pain or setback.  That's big... that's our Captain. Pass it on.

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I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THIS, MARK TEIXEIRA!


Some things I don’t mind hearing about.  I like to hear positive things.  If Ty Hensley was able to raise a ton of money for BeEdmond… I love that and I’m all in (Read NEW TY HENSLEY INTERVIEW: CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN).  When players like Bobby Abreu are able to come back to baseball and try to make a pro team again... like the Phillies, again, I love that. It’s a story about “the comeback” and I can’t resist to read and write about it.


I tried to stay positive all throughout Derek Jeter’s ankle injury and recovery last season, but whenever I’d find that positive nugget, there would be a setback and eventually, Jeet was put on a shelf.  I wasn’t misinforming the audience. I was looking for the positive nuggets, the accurate nuggets to keep the BYB audience encouraged.  It never worked out last season.  This season however, it’s different. Derek Jeter IS 100%.  Jeter is NOT worried. Brian Cashman is NOT worried…

Then I read David Waldstein of the New York Times and he has a quote from Mark Texieira… and now I’m worried again.  Don’t know what I mean? Read this:


“Teixeira sustained a similar ankle injury while playing at Georgia Tech. If Jeter’s recovery is anything like Teixeira’s, he may not fully heal until after he retires. Jeter has said 2014 will be his final season, and some of it may be spent compensating for playing through soreness or weakness.

'I wasn’t right for two years,' Teixeira said.

Teixeira was 20 was he was hurt; Jeter is attempting to come back at 39."


I know, I know... someone tell me I worry too much. Please! I hope and I pray that because Tex and Jeter are different players, this Tex stuff won't affect Jeter's progress.  Lets hope Jeter is 100%. He's got to be right?   There’s no question though that now this will be in the back of my mind.

Also, I tip my cap to Waldstein. Great piece today, great nugget… but you’re worrying me sir.

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DEREK JETER: FIRED UP & READY TO GO

The off season can be as relaxing as it can be anxious for many athletes who look to improve themselves from the previous season’s personal best.  As a runner, I partake in strength and conditioning routines, sprint workouts and even yoga to enter the spring racing season, stronger, faster and fitter.  The off season is also a good time to reflect on where you have come from and where you are headed.  What can be improved in your swing, your stride, your form, and your fitness?  Sometimes muscles, which have lain dormant or underused because of injury or routine non-use need to be re-fired up so they can support your body as it pushes itself beyond the accomplishments of last year.  And for Derek Jeter, it just like any other year, except maybe last year when he tried to push his body to do something it just wasn’t ready for yet.


Physicians from New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery, who incidentally cured Joe DiMaggio’s chronic heel pain that ended his career early, predict that Derek Jeter’s ankle won’t hold him back from the success he desires in his final season. “Unlike what turned out to be the case last spring, the doctors said Jeter's ankle has had more than enough time to heal, and it is now likely structurally sound after an off season in which Jeter has said he worked out more feverishly than ever before. While he may experience problems with the joint later in life, like arthritis, he probably won't feel much more than soreness between now and October,” according to a report from Sport Illustrated this week.  Although the doctors have never examined Jeter themselves, their years of experience in caring for foot related injuries, including the Yankee Clipper’s, bring some focus and validity to their take on Jeter’s ankle injury.  “Knowing the type of care he's gotten, I think he's going to come back very strong," Positano (one of the physicians) said. "He's going to shut a lot of people up. I think you're going to see a resiliency here that this person's always had. To have that type of success in professional sports requires unbelievable focus and dedication. He's going to apply that to his rehabilitation, to maintaining the strength and stability he needs to become effective again.


So does Jeter feel there is difference this spring versus last spring?  “There is no comparison because I had four months to only strengthen my legs. You can’t compare last year and this year. Do the math in your head and I had more time to prepare,” said Jeter to reporters according to the New York Post“I am always going to tell you I am fine. This year I mean it,’’ said Jeter, who explained the first full-squad workout didn’t feel any different, though this is his final spring training and he dropped five pounds and is down to 193, thanks to a better diet and the off season conditioning program,” according to the same article.


Yankee skipper Joe Girardi likes what he sees on the field from the comeback kid.  “To me it looked like he never got hurt. Just watching the jogging and stretching and running. His running looked normal to me, what I was used to seeing in the past,” according to the Post. 

 
Well, this is all good news- actually great news for not only Jeter who has had to endure probably one of the worst periods of his life over the last 16-months, but for us who love him.  He is the quintessential Yankees and guess what, he’s fired up and ready to go!




--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof



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YOU WANNA SEE A SLIGHTLY YOUNGER JR MURPHY?


My oldest son may have an opportunity to catch this season. A position he's played before, but it's not his primary.  I was doing some research, trying to figure out some quick tips to show him before the season gets underway.  During my research, I came across a terrific series of Catching drills and fundamentals, brought to us by IMG Academy.

Leading the charge is Andy Stewart IMG's catching instructor.  His assistant... was our pal, New York Yankee JR Murphy.



The 6 part video series on YouTube was quite helpful and I just wanted to share this with you because it's one of those things that makes you proud.  So many players go through the system of school, training and hopes and dreams of making it to the Bigs.  My son has those dreams, your kids do too... but so did JR Murphy.  Murphy made it!


From all of us here at Bleeding Yankee Blue, we applaud Murphy and his hard work... and we're glad he's with the New York Yankees.

I hope he's able to stay there for a long, long time.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

IT HELPS TO BE A YANKEE FAN IF YOU'RE ANDREW BAILEY

Terrific nugget in a Pete Caldera piece from the Bergen Record that I wanted to share with you about Andrew Bailey.  It just makes you appreciate the journey he's been through, and former Red Sock or not, you'll like him more after you read this:


Caldera had a piece this past weekend titled: "Yankees bullpen in flux, but Andrew Bailey wants to be part of it by mid-August" in which he wrote of Bailey the following:

"...Bailey grew up in Haddon Township, attended Wagner College and often took the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan and boarded a train to the Bronx to watch the Yankees play.

'Sitting in the bleachers, it's something special,' Bailey recalled. Now, 'I'm looking forward to being on that mound.... I'm excited to be wearing these colors and playing for New York... If I get back to being myself and help this team win another championship, [that's] what it's about for me.'"


I'm excited to see this guy work his way back.  Many believe he can, although I was watching Jack Curry's panel on YES the other night and Ken Davidoff suggested that you may have to bet against this guy being on the mound this season with the type of injury he had, he's concerned we just may not see him.

That alone should give Bailey some incentive to bust ass and get on the mound, but just reading his quote, knowing he was once a Yankee fan, well, I have a soft spot for that.  Plus, the dude's got drive.  Let's rally behind him Yankee fans.

Hey Pete... great job, great nugget as always!

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THE BLEEDING YANKEE BLUE STORE IS OPEN FOR 2014!

Ladies and Gentlemen... can I please have your attention!


I've just been handed an urgent news story! I need all of you to stop what your doing and listen!

Cannon Ball!

The Bleeding Yankee Blue store is officially open! I know you're excited. I know I'm excited.  Look, I was planning on releasing this announcement closer to Opening day.  Then my buddy Doug said something important to me and it stuck: "I want to wear that hoodie in Tampa on March 7th!"  I realized right then that I needed to put together the store quickly.  I realized that there are actual Bleeding Yankee Blue fans out there.  I can't believe it. I'm blessed.

So what have we done? I'll tell you. We've built a store of BYB products and there are many to choose from; Wristbands, Hoodies, Women's Tank Tops, bottle openers, baby onesies for boys and girls. Even a limited edition BYB Posada t-shirt.  That one ladies and gentlemen is my favorite


The back of the shirt above has our website, BleedingYankeeBlue.com with a #BYB hashtag!

And like I said, there are also other products.  The Women's tank tops are terrific and sexy looking:


The Hoodies are awesome as well and made with a great material. Plus, there are 2 types, Gray with Blue lettering and Navy Blue with White lettering...


We except the demand to be bigger than last season here at BYB, which means items may go quicker than you might think. Acting fast may be a smart strategy.

You want a onesie for your baby like this family did?


This kid's adorable, but he's cuter with that BYB onesie on.  His father's gonna punch me in the mouth for that, but hey, I need to make my sales pitch, don't I? I'm kidding, I'm kidding.  That kid needs some siblings though...  don't you think?

Anyway...


Look, there are plenty of products and hopefully something you want.  So what do you have to do? Well, go to the BYB Store.  It's one of the tabs at the top of BleedingYankeeBlue.com.

Or.... CLICK HERE and start shopping your ass off.  You want a bottle opener and a couple of wristbands for yourself ? You can do that? How about a 2XL hoodie for your uncle? Buy it! You can!

Oh, your sister just had a baby girl? Get the onesie with the pink lettering! Do it!! The point is I went out of my way to listen to your requests and we made it happen for you.

So now what? Well, according to BYB, the season has officially started!  Start shopping at BYB and once you get your items, do your best selfie and send them to us! We want to post pictures of you wearing Bleeding Yankee Blue gear!!!

 I leave you with this:



Now start shopping! It's the Bleeding Yankee Blue Store announcement... it's as exciting as a cannonball! I swear!

You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!

WAIT... JOEL HANRAHAN? MAYBE...


Yesterday, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that the Yankees are keeping a "close eye" on 32 year old righthander Joel Hanrahan

Now look, Hanrahan has not pitched since May 2013 after getting shut down by the Boston Red Sox and undergoing Tommy John surgery.  Martino wrote: "The Yankees also continue to monitor another former All-Star, Joel Hanrahan, who underwent Tommy John last year (the Mets have also watched him throw a bullpen session). 


If Robertson is successful, a player like Hanrahan would probably serve as a setup man. All of this might end up being due diligence, but it underscores that even internally, the Yankees understand their bullpen is thin, a potential weakness that could undermine some of their improvements in other areas, like the rotation and lineup." 


Now, before anyone belly aches with this as a possible "acquisition of damaged goods", ultimately the addition is still beneficial.  We need to build up the bullpen, that is a fact. This in no way means the Yankees doubt David Robertson can handle the closer role. The Yankees seem happy with their decision to make DRob the 9th inning guy.  And, I think most fans feel that way too. Stockpiling pitchers on the roster never hurts.  It's something all teams do.

If the Yankees were to sign Hanrahan, this could be a low-risk, high-reward move if he can come in and be effective for us right away.  But if not, then hey...  it's onto the next one.  I'm all for this move if the Yankees decide to go for it. Like the saying goes "You can never have too much pitching." This certainly applies to a team with a 'pen that is undergoing a serious makeover since Mariano's departure.

Stay tuned...

 
Rudy Laurens
BYB Writer


  



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TANAKA'S READY TO PITCH AND WE KNOW WHEN...


Good little piece by Brendan Kuty of NJ.com who writes that Masahiro Tanaka will be pitching in his first Spring training game on Saturday this week. That's pretty exciting.

According to Kuty, " Tanaka will make his first spring training appearance against the Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Saturday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda will also make their first showings of the spring.

Tanaka won't start — that duty will go to Sabathia, who hopes to rebound from a disastrous 2013 campaign. Each pitcher will throw around two innings and 35 pitches, Girardi said."

Not to get off topic, but let me state for the record that the word "disastrous" is a bit over the top when describing Sabathia in 2013. 2-18 is disastrous. Sabathia was 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA.  Disappointing maybe... not disastrous.

Anyway, it will be exciting to see Tanaka this weekend.


 Adam Berry of MLB.com says: " In the split-second between Masahiro Tanaka's left foot landing on the mound and Francisco Cervelli's glove popping, you could hear the rapid clicking and shuttering of cameras. It was just an early-morning simulated game taking place on a back field at the Yankees' Spring Training complex, but Tanaka once again proved that he will draw a crowd like few others can...

'I just feel that I'm pretty much ready to throw in a game,' Tanaka said through an interpreter. 'All I can say is I was throwing naturally out there.'" 

Excited yet? I know... me too.

You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THERE'S ONLY 1 "CORE FOUR", PATRICK MOONEY


Patrick Mooney of Comcast Sportsnet offers an interesting piece that many won't pick up on.  He connected the Yankees, and Mariano Duncan, to Derek Jeter.  Then he did something sneaky and sacrilegious. He anointed 4 Cubs' youngster as the "Core Four" in his title. I guess he was hoping no one would notice.  1 problem... I did notice, and it's just plain wrong.  There's only 1 "Core Four" and the Cubs don't have it, the Yankees do.


The piece was innocent enough at the start.  Mooney writes about Mariano Duncan mentoring Jeter, writing: "The Boss made sure Mariano Duncan got the message. The New York Yankees needed someone to look after the 21-year-old shortstop out of Kalamazoo Central High School.... Duncan remembered the conversation with Torre: 'Mariano, for now, you’re my starting second baseman. You know Derek Jeter is our shortstop and I want you to go ahead and take care of that guy.'

Duncan said Yankees owner George Steinbrenner also sent Mr. October: 'And then Reggie Jackson comes to me one day in spring training and says, ‘Mariano, I talked to George and he wanted me to tell you: If you go to dinner, you got to take Jeter with you. If you go out, take him with you. I want you to take care of that guy for us, because we want that guy to follow the right people.’” 


Then suddenly the piece changes gears and it speaks of Duncan's job these days with the Cubs and 4 kids who are "the next big thing."  Then, in the final paragraph he writes: "Whether or not the Cubs really have their Core Four, history shows elite young players can grow up fast."

Sure, you can backtrack now, but your title said it all:  "Cubs: After mentoring Jeter, Mariano Duncan connects with Core Four". You've tricked us, and while you're a "Cubs Insider", whatever that is, what you did was use a lot of buzz words to get the Yankee fans in.  But now I know and I'll be sure to not come back.  It was borderline irresponsible.

Now, to all the BYB readers... look...  I'm not asking you to go bash Patrick Mooney.  He was trying to be provocative and he was, he won.  But there are certain things that you just don't do....

You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't piss into the wind... and you don't... YOU NEVER EVER call another group of 4 ballplayers the Core Four.  That, my friends should never happen. There's only 1 Core Four...


And there will never be another.

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AN EXCELLENT INTERVIEW WITH JACOBY ELLSBURY


I wanted to share this because there isn't enough of this type of interview when it comes to the Yankees.  This is newly acquired Jacoby Ellsbury, a guy that we hated, much like we did Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs before him. But now, Ellsbury has a chance to help win a World Series with the Yankees.  If he does, he will be loved.

Jack Curry deserves kudos here. A great interview with Ellsbury.  Check it out. I really think you'll enjoy it:




Well done Jack! I've followed you, Pete Abraham and Pete Caldera for years and I'm so glad you're all doing your best work yet! I tip my cap!

Thank you to all the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers for continued success.  You've made BYB the fasted growing Yankees fan site in the history of Yankees fandom.  Thanks for reading, sharing and enjoying. Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue (Official) on Facebook, just type it in.

I JUST FELL OFF MY CHAIR IN HYSTERICS


No, I'm not in hysterics because Jon Heyman just wrote something on CBSSports.com.  I'm hysterical because Ervin Santana, one of the only top free agents still out there, suggested that he still wants a 4 year deal worth $50 million.

Heyman writes: "Top remaining free agent starter Ervin Santana's asking price hasn't dropped with spring training starting; it remains about four years and $50-million, according to executives with interested teams.

The market has shown that the going rate for better starting pitchers is $50 million for four years, with Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez signing for exactly that figure and Ricky Nolasco getting $49 million for four years."


Now, is it out of the question that Santana will get a deal like this? No, not at all. But I just can't imagine that this far into Spring Training that Santana would be asking for that.  It seems ridiculous to me.  Why not sign with a team for a 1 year deal, show them and the rest of Major League Baseball what you still have and then sign a big deal next year? I mean, Santana is still young, relatively... that's not an outrageous suggestion.


Anyway, I'm not gonna get on Santana too badly here.  I actually like the guy and I like his stuff.  Plus, he follows Bleeding Yankee Blue on Twitter, so, what's not the like?  All I'm saying is, baby steps. Especially this late in the Spring.

That... or take the season off and come write for BYB Ervin... we'll take you.

Thank you to all the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers for continued success.  You've made BYB the fasted growing Yankees fan site in the history of Yankees fandom.  Thanks for reading, sharing and enjoying. Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue (Official) on Facebook, just type it in.

PLAYING THIRD BASE... KELLY JOHNSON ?!?

“Who’s on first? I don’t know – third base!


Okay, we have all heard that a million times, one of the greatest comic routines of all time. But that line is starting to make you believe in the Oscar Wilde quote, that life really does imitate art more than the other way around, as you look at who is playing third base for the Yankees.

If you look at the playbook, Kelly Johnson is the guy at the top of the list to take over the hot corner. Can he play third base? We don’t know. As that line of reasoning goes through my head, I do the mental equivalent of Lou Costello letting out a high-pitch squeal of frustration, as this does not look like the best plan possible for the Yankees. In many ways, we are repeating some of the same mistakes we made last year.

We knew that Alex Rodriguez’s injury was going to keep him out for at least the first half of last year. Therefore, we signed Kevin Youkilis to take over at third. Then Mark Teixeira was injured, and Youkilis became the first baseman, before Youkilis had a season-ending injury himself. That left third base to the likes of David Adams, Mark Reynolds, and a cast of characters that made third base look like extended spring training for anyone who could fill the void. Does today’s roster sound familiar?


Maybe you are a Kelly Johnson fan, and you are wondering why I am being so hard on this choice. Don’t get me wrong – I do not dislike the guy. I just wonder why the Yankees would sign a 32-year old with a career .253 batting average and put him at third base where he has only played 16 times in his career. That’s right – sixteen career games at third base. To put it in perspective, Mark Teixeira has played more games in his career in right field (18) than Johnson has at third. To add to the comedy, Tex’s fielding percentage in right is higher than Johnson’s fielding percentage at third. So what am I missing?

What nobody is admitting to is that there is no plan for third base. The guy they signed to be the backup at second if the Yankees could not swing an Omar Infante deal, he is the guy who drew the short straw. It makes you wonder why an organization like the Yankees cannot do better. I know we cannot sign All-Stars to every position, and we have certainly put a few in the outfield, behind the plate, and the starting rotation. However, we should be able to do better than this.


We are all die-hards here at BYB, and we pull for our players. Kelly Johnson is no exception. I will be the first to admit to my error if he turns into a superstar. Nevertheless, the numbers do not indicate that.

The hope here is that he can perform decently. If he hits in the .260 range with good coverage on defense, and I think we dodge the bullet. Otherwise, we may see another rookie experiment or mid-year trade to bring some talent in. Let’s hope for the former.


 
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row



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