Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ROBINSON'S RETURN: PART 2: A HARD KNOCK LIFE

It was like being excited to see a hyped up movie. The previews were impressive. I knew the cast and had always enjoyed their work. This would be entertaining for sure…and then, well... not so much. It was a letdown that made you wish you’d saved your time and money and caught the show on cable or as an in-flight movie.

That pretty much sums up how I felt after heading to the cold, rainy Bronx to see the return of Robinson Cano. It was a flop all the way around. The stories about the game won’t revolve around the wheels coming off CC Sabathia’s start. You won’t get much on the lifeless Yankee offense or the bitter cold and rainy, windy conditions. No, what you read about is how the “classless”, “spoiled” Yankee fans unfairly and unapologetically booed their former second baseman.


It’s true the fairly empty Stadium’s volume level went to “11” when Cano was introduced. The Bleacher Creatures gave Robbie a Roll Call-like shout out, only to shower him with a barrage of “YOU SOLD OUT! YOU SOLD OUT!” when the multi-multi millionaire turned to acknowledge them. Was it nice? No. Was it fair? I can’t say. Everyone has their own take on the messy divorce between the Yankees and Cano.

I myself threw Robbie slightly more than a “Golf clap” when he stepped up to the plate in the first inning. Cano wasn’t a good Yankee; he was a great Yankee in nine seasons in the Bronx. Yes, he didn’t hustle out grounders, but he did a lot of things to help the team win. I guess nobody’s perfect (aside from Derek Jeter). I felt, as I said in Part 1, that Robbie deserved a welcome back and thank you in his first at bat…and then nothing more. The constant and vicious booing was over the top to be sure, but is Robbie a victim? NO WAY, NO HOW, ladies and gentlemen. And unfortunately that’s how the baseball writers are spinning it.


Here is the bottom line in the saga of the Yankees vs. Robinson Cano. Neither side is absolutely innocent or guilty, but Robbie and Jay Z’s Company are doing their best portray themselves as disrespected and unloved. That is where I feel the boos were warranted. If baseball is a business then it is a business. That’s it. You can’t have it both ways, Robinson. You can’t say you simply took the better offer (the 10 year deal you wouldn’t negotiate on) and then say, “The Yankees hurt my feelings and I had to leave.” That’s nonsense. The truth is Cano wanted the ARod and Big Al type money and years. He wanted to be a Jay Z client and he was okay going wherever he was offered said deal. The fact is the Yankees have been burned on 10-year deals and they weren’t going to give anyone over 30 that type of contract. That’s fair. I also feel that the Yankees were never fans of dealing with Jay Z and his OUT OF HIS MIND initial 10 years/ 300 million asking price. That was the wrong way to start negotiations and the Yankees closed the book on being “warm and fuzzy’ with their homegrown star early on.

The Bronx Bombers and their fans will be the bad guys…because we are ALWAYS the bad guys. Vilifying the Yanks and New Yorkers sells papers and gets views. It’s easy and baseball writers dine out on it. So don’t get upset when you read the likes of Jon Heyman up on his soapbox telling you that the Yankee fans are wrong and unfair. Don’t lose sleep when a guy like Jimmy Traina takes a break from fantasizing that he and Erin Andrews are destine to be together to bash his fellow Yankee fans. He’s just better than all of us I guess. (Look him up and have a chuckle at that line.)


The game was lousy because the Yankees didn’t play well. They didn’t beat a team that they should have rolled over. The M’s are not a good team even with Robinson Cano and the Yanks played down to the competition. That’s it. If this team wants to be there in October they need to take care of business with teams they should beat. It’s not about Cano anymore. It’s 2014 and Robinson Cano is no longer our player or our problem. He was and is a great baseball player. He got what he wanted and is in no way a victim. The Yankee made their choice and Cano made his. That’s all there is to this story now.

I froze my butt off to see the Yankees beat the Mariners in the Seattle-like weather that had a choke hold on the New York area that night. I left disappointed, not in the fans but in the way the club played. The Mariners were better on this night…and Robinson Cano had little to do with it.

Will Robbie always be public enemy number 1 with the Yankee fan base? No. Playing out in the Pacific Northwest will make him a blimp on the radar twice a year. The story will fade as Spring turns to Summer and we’ll all move on. It was just business right? So file in the WINTER 2013 pile and forget about it. With Pineda and Nova injured and a ever tightening AL East, the Yankees got 99 problems and Cano ain’t one.


Goodbye Robbie.

** Here’s one for Cano. I don’t want him to feel disrespected or unloved. Gosh, you’d think he was orphaned by the Yankees and given a hard knock life…and NO I won’t stoop to taking Shawn’s sampled version. **



 

--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."


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YOU CAN'T DEFINE MY FANDOM!


I've learned a lot while interacting with other fans. Not just fans of the Yankees, but fans of any professional sports team. People become passionate and emotional over players, plays, moments... it really is a beautiful thing. Think for a minute, where were you when Mariano Rivera broke the all-times saves record? Or when the Yankees played their Grand Slam trifecta game? Or when Pedro Martinez flipped Don Zimmer because he felt threatened? Depending on which team you root for, your reaction to those moments may have been very different. But, more than that, depending on what kind of fan you are, your reaction may have been very different.


With Robinson Cano returning to the Bronx with his new team, the media has created this sort of circus of speculation. Would he be booed or cheered? Craig Calcaterra, who we really like around here at BYB, wrote a piece about booing Cano too. You can read it HERE, but in a nutshell, he was kind of reprimanding Yankees fans for booing Cano, or at least that's what we thought. His point is that it doesn't matter one way or another, so why bother? Calcaterra, I really enjoy reading your stuff, and I think you are awesome, but I respectfully disagree.

I have a great amount of respect for the contributions that Cano made to the team. In 9 seasons in pinstripes he hit .302, hit 204 home runs, and had 822 RBI's. He was part of the 2009 World Championship team. He is a golden glover, and arguably the best second baseman in the game. Look, I am the first to tell you that I am bitter over Cano having left the team. I think his representation handled the negotiations with the Yankees poorly. And I think Seattle was silly to buy into a 10 year contract. Cano is phenomenal at second base, arguably the best in the league. But no one, no not even Cano, is worth a 10 year contract. Sorry, Cano. Really, I adore you as a player, but I'm just speaking my mind on this. 


As I said before, every fan is different. Personally, I don't need to boo Cano. I'm bitter, and I wish he had stayed with the Yankees, but I don't wish him ill. I recognize his talent, and appreciate watching him play, even in Seattle. But, there are others who did boo him. Those who are angry over the way he left. And you know what? They can!

As fans, we invest not just time, but money, into our teams. You love your team. You are passionate about it. You boo and cheer whomever you so choose. I get Calcaterra's point. Either way it won't change what has already happened. But if you saw him out there, and you let a "BOO" escape your lips, then so be it! Trying to make someone feel bad about their natural reaction to something seems like bullying. You aren't a bully now, are you Calcaterra? I kid! Calcaterra really is a decent guy, I just happen to disagree with him on this one subject. To some people, booing him will make the difference. It will help them let go of the left over anger, and move on. Maybe it's what they need.


Bottom line, whether you booed Cano last night, or applauded him, or even ignore his existence all together, it really is your choice!  Not all fans react the same.  Some may even spit obscenities, and make harsh, cruel, if not a bit funny, comments about the whole thing. Don't let others, even a nice guy like Calcaterra, define your fandom.



--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

 
 


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"I OFFERED YOU A CHANCE... AND YOU BLEW IT!"

I am growing sick and tired of the "hurry up and wait" of Michael Pineda.


First, he comes over from the Mariners in a trade for Jesus Montero.  Then he gets hurt. Then he comes back and then he gets hurt again and surgery is required. Then he makes it back and the story is glorious. "Pitcher fights his way all the way back." I was excited for him. 

Then the world sees pine tar on his pitching hand against the Red Sox. OK. Fine, maybe we were seeing things...


Then he's got a giant hickey on his neck the next time we play the Red Sox. "No wait," says Red Sox Manager John Farrell, "That's pine tar." Then Pineda gets suspended for 10 days. Then he pitches in Tampa this week just to stay loose while he's serving out his suspension and suddenly, he's hurt.

I'm not kidding.

News is that Pineda has a Grade 1 strain of his back muscle. I mean, Unbelievable. That comes from Meredith Marakovits:

Wow, Meredith is good, ain't she?

God. I feel like Robert DeNiro on Copland. We keep offering Pineda a chance... and he keeps blewing it!


I hope we finally see Michael Pineda pitch consistantly after all this crap... how about you? He better not turn into a dud.

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MARINERS RAIN ON THE YANKEES PARADE


The media speculation over how Robinson Cano would be received on his return to the Bronx was put to rest Tuesday night. He received a number of cheers, but really was met with mostly boos. Are we at all surprised by this? Usually, when a player returns to face the Yankees, they get a respectful cheer. But the circumstances under which Cano left made it clear he would not be welcomed. CC Sabathia struck him out in the first, and the crowd was ecstatic. The Bleacher Creatures added him to roll call, but then started a "You sold out," chant. The boos would continue with the rest of his at bats, and even some of his fielding plays. The surprise for me came when he hustled hard to first base. Granted, he was beat there by CC, and still called out, but he hustled. Where was that the previous 9  years? C'mon, Robbie! CC made it a point to pitch in to him, where the rest of the league has been pitching away. Welcome back to the Bronx, I guess?


Anyway, on this rainy day in the Bronx, the Yankees started off pretty well. CC's mechanics seemed to be on point. Mark Teixeira hit a single homer, his third of the season, in the second. Brian Roberts scores after an E2 by catcher Mike Zunino. The Yankees were up 2-0, until the 5th inning.

Don't know what happened to CC at that point. I feel like I blinked, and he was suddenly in a bases loaded situation. Started with the Mariners challenging a play, and it being over turned, and it all went down hill from there. Seattle would walk away from the inning having scored 4 runs. Top of the 7th would see Seattle scoring two more runs, one by our old friend, Robbie.


In the 8th, Cano's check swing was called a strike by the 3rd base ump, Andy Hamari. It was clearly a check swing, but you know what? It's cold, it's raining. Everyone involved wants to go home. But then in the bottom of the inning Teixeira's check swing was not called a strike. Mariners first base coach, Andy Van Slyke, was not pleased. Decided to exchange a few words with the Hamari, and earned himself an ejection.

Frankly, the shift was just not working in our favor tonight. Seattle seemed to have no problem scoring on us. Bottom line? They out played us tonight. You can't win games, if you don't score runs. Seems a bit obvious, but true nonetheless.


Final: Mariners 6 - Yankees 3



--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

 




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WOULD YOU BOO ROBINSON CANO TOO?

Is the rain we are getting over the next few days symbolic of the tears we shed when our very own Robinson Cano defected to Seattle only a few short months ago?  Would you boo him if you had the chance tonight?  How about if you saw his life sized billboard in a New York City park?  Would you gesture at it? Scream at it? Boo Robbie Cano?


Many fans did boo Cano but then their true love for him came out when it was revealed that Robbie Cano himself was positioned right behind his pictured fa├žade.  “On Monday, Cano made an appearance on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,' where he hid behind a cardboard cutout of his face in a New York City park as fans booed the picture of him. Cano would then pop out from behind the photo and surprise the bitter fans, who suddenly became very friendly with the Mariners second baseman,” stated the New York Daily News.



One fan got really into it, adding a "you suck" to his booing, but did a complete 180 when he saw Cano by shaking his hand and telling him, "welcome back to New York." Another fan got up close to the cardboard photo as he gave a long, loud Bronx cheer before Cano appeared. The fan proceeded to laugh, shake Cano's hand and said, "Listen, about that…” 


I was up watching Jimmy Fallon last night and appreciated him having the pulse on an Achilles heel for Yankees fans like me.  I want to hate him, but I can’t.  He was our very own.  He is the prodigal son who has come back home.  He grew up and now he has a new team and a new life.  But something tells me he misses home and his fans and despite the jeers and boos he may get from fans tonight, I know what’s in their hearts.  They are hurt but bottom line, they wish him well, much like I do.


"Hopefully, I'll be treated nice by the fans," Cano said. "And I'm just looking forward to going back and playing on the field where I first came up as a young kid, where I learned and grew up. And getting to see old teammates, especially Derek Jeter in his last year,” stated Cano in an interview with ESPN.

Cano is hitting .301 with one home run so far for the first month of baseball.  He has the potential of being on the top of the batting charts for not only the American League but major league baseball.  Good luck, Robbie.  Don’t let the fans get the best of you, and if the game isn’t canceled tomorrow night, look for me in the stands.  Not sure if I will be booing or cheering, but I will admit to missing you and wishing you the best.  Just not tonight!




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



 
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DON'T BE JETER... BE YOU, KID!

I was coaching this past weekend and of course, some of the kids are talented, but they’re talented for them, meaning, they have the tools to be successful on the field if they were just being themselves, but like you and I did many years before… they pretend to be their idols. Don't know what I mean? Keep reading...


One of the kids skipped out to field a grounder, backhanded it, hopped up and tried to make the throw to first… it was circa 1996 Derek Jeter.  I knew exactly what he was doing.   Then, it poured out of his mouth...

“I’m trying to be Jeter!” I looked at him and rained on his parade immediately, 

Don’t be Jeter… be you!”

He nodded, walked to the back of the line and waited for his next one.  I wasn’t mad, I was proud. Proud of Jeter for all he accomplished in his life, and proud of the fact that ever kid wants to be him.  But my words were important, because in the end, you want these kids to do it their way.  The way that works for them.  Sure, over time, you can become that “Jeter type” player, but for now, the fundamentals need to happen.  You’ll get there, through practice… trust me.


When I was a kid and wanted to be Rickey Henderson, but I knew that I had to learn it first. I mastered the stolen base, but in the end, I remember I took my own credit. I accomplished it. Henderson was my role model, but Rickey wasn’t training me... I was.


Derek Jeter is the greatest role model ever, but that’s what he is, a role model. You learn by example, but in the end, it’s what the individual does for himself.  I tell me son the same thing.  I have hammered home, “Well, you have to practice.” He looks at me like I've been 42 all my life. It's funny actually, because, and  I tell him that distractions make it easy to NOT practice, but you should do it anyway and trust me, you will improve!

When you’re a kid, you're surrounded by a ton of other activities that are better than practice or “work”.  My son's included in that. But you know what? Once my kid is out there, there’s no one better on the field. It's getting him there that's sometimes tough.  My guy's instinctive and quick and knows what’s expected of him. But in the end, he also doesn’t want to be Derek Jeter… my son wants to be himself.  He’s got that Leo thing that I have. Sure, we like our heroes, but we want the recognition… we’re the lion! We want to be king!  We want to do it our way and prove that we’re the king of the mountain!  I get it totally, but at the same time, work needs to happen to be king, doesn't it?

So what’s this about? Working at being you. Climb the mountain because YOU want it.  Do it YOUR way. Train. Work. Practice and believe.  There is no one more inspirational, than a Derek Jeter, or a Mike Trout or even a Laura Posada (Read THE DETERMINATION & WILL OF LAURA POSADA) or her husband Jorge.  Fight hard, work hard, climb the mountain!  There is no better example of that than someone that my son has admired, Ty Hensley. Sure, Ty’s in the minors, but he was signed by the New York Yankees when he was drafted a few years ago.  It didn’t stop for him there. In fact, it was just the beginning.  Now he’ll work his way to the next level, and the next.  And if he goes to Trenton, guess who will be there? I will, with my son by my side, rooting him on.  Why? Because role models need to know just how important they are. 


Once a kid sees a hero, they strive to be that, but again, always remember to remind that child to not try to be someone else…try to be themselves! If they do that, they will always be successful.

I know, I know, it sounds like I’m preaching. I’m not.  It’s just this thing I have in the back of my mind lately.  Over time, I’ve learned it to, but it goes back to Henderson for me.  As I sat in my lawn chair watching my son play ball this weekend, I realized that while he loves the game, and the role models are there, he sees them, he knows what they’re about, but he wants it for him. Sure, there will be struggle, just like you and I struggled as kids, but I know he’ll get there. He'll get there through encouragement, through believing, and through being himself.  And you know what?  He’s got some balls too… and that makes me damn proud.

Go for it kid. Your breakthrough’s coming. You're doing it your way!

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ROBINSON'S RETURN: PART 1

Reggie Jackson once said, “Fans don’t boo nobodies.” No truer words were ever uttered in the sports world. “Mr. October” hit it right on the screws. As fans we rain down our venom filled best on the players we KNOW are truly the greats. It’s why David Ortiz is serenaded with a glorious chorus of “Bronx Hospitality” when he strolls to the plate. He is a Yankee killer. Papi and those like him are SOMEBODIES. They have the ability to ruin our day with one swing of the bat or a slider that paints the corner. They are the players we love to hate.


This week we welcome back Robbie Cano to The Big Apple. He is now a lot wealthier. He is now sporting a Papi-esq, manicured beard. He is now a Seattle Mariner.

There have been a string of articles floating around in advance of Cano’s return on why Yankee fans are wrong to boo the second baseman that helped them secure the 2009 World Championship. The overwhelming sentiment is that we would be petty to vilify Robbie for leaving. Sports writers, especially baseball writers, are so full of...blarney to say it politely. They act as if they are above feeling any type of emotion toward players and the game. And maybe that’s the price they pay for getting paid to cover the sport. Maybe having no feelings and seeing the game in black and white is how they function. I find many of them to be self-important hacks that should find another line of work. But hey, it’s just one man’s opinion.


When it comes to Cano I agree that we shouldn’t boo him when he is announced at Yankee Stadium Tuesday. However the reasoning behind my decision as to why is different from that of the self-righteous baseball writers looking down their noses at the fans. No, I think when Robbie is introduced we should leap to our feet and applaud him as a returning hero. We should show him respect and thank him for his time. And then never applaud or boo him again. Yankee fans have the opportunity to show the world we are a class act. That we remember the guys that played well in Pinstripes…and then we can show Cano that he doesn’t matter anymore. In fact the fans should give Beltran, Jacoby and McCann louder and longer standing ovations in each and every one of their at bats during the Seattle series. After giving Jay Z’s puppet his due we should show him that to us, at this point anyway, he is nobody.

I am heading to the game Tuesday night. I plan on thanking Robinson Cano for the days he patrolled second base in the Bronx. He was a great player during his time in New York. I was a fan for sure…but after that I won’t waste any vocals on him. He got his deal in the Pacific Northwest. He can say the Yankees never wanted him…what else would he say. It’s spin and we know it. Yes, the Yankees didn’t want to give one man 300 million. I can see it. Does the line up miss his bat? Sure. Will the Yankees be fine going forward? You bet. We got a brand new show DON’TCHA KNOW? And Robbie’s name is now longer on the marquee.


I understand that baseball is a business. I understand that Cano took a better deal and I don’t blame him for that. Where I do see Robbie at fault is when he blames the Yankees for not showing him respect. I think he wanted exactly what he got and now is looking to save face by blaming the Bronx Bombers. It’s a pretty weak song and dance, Robinson.

I will have more for you on what happens at the game (weather permitting). It’ll be hard not to, but I vote we cheer for Robbie one more time…because after that he’ll know Yankee fans have moved on. He'll have to think about it during that long flight back to the Emerald City from the City That Never Sleeps…and never forgets.

** Here’s one for Cano **





--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."


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!

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS


What do we talk about here at Bleeding Yankee Blue? Well, besides the New York Yankees, we discuss working hard, being successful and becoming a champion... in baseball, in life.  Work hard will give you success, but you need to want it for yourself.  No one is going to hand it to you.

I believe in drive. Many of us do.  I was recently taken by a young man named Shane Varga who is in his 3rd year of remission, recovering from cancer and living for his family.  His interview with BYB was titled THE FIGHTER.  This guy has the guts others dream of. He knew he had his back against the wall and instead of giving up, he literally fought for his life.  By his side was his family; his wife, his mother and his sister Lisa Varga.

(In Photo: Amy, Shane and Lisa Varga)
Shane, Lisa and I have since communicated regularly. We're fast friends and I appreciate that very much.  As far as drive goes, it must be in the Varga genes, because Lisa is just as energetic and determined as Shane.  I decided that because they both have an amazing drive to be the best, I wanted to share Lisa's story with you as well.  She's not only the sister of Shane Varga, she's a huge Yankee fan, an actress and a Sports show Host and trust me when I tell you... it won't end there.  You may not know Lisa Varga right now, but you will.  

I bring you our interview with Lisa Varga, a great gal with alot of spunk. Oh yeah... and she's a huge Yankee fan! 

Enjoy this, I did:

BYB: Lisa, first off, many of our BYB audience read about Shane and his cancer ordeal.  Tell us how often you hang out with Shane during his remission?


Lisa Varga: I hang out with Shane a lot! And if we're not hanging out it's probably because I'm traveling or working on a show. No matter what, we always talk on the phone and stay in touch. We have a blast when we're together. I can truly say he's my best friend. He's so special and I'm incredibly proud of him. He happens to be one of the funniest people I know and he makes me laugh all the time. We get so silly when were together. And he’s so smart.


If I ever need advice or someone to listen, Shane is the person I go to. We have a great brother-sister relationship and he has taught me so much throughout my life. He had a great impact on my life when he was going through cancer. I appreciate things so much more now and the experience has made my life more meaningful. My brother is a gift and I cherish our time together always. He's the best brother a girl could ever ask for...and a Yankees fan too! Plus he and his wife Amy just had a baby who is the love of my life - so now I have one more reason to visit and spend time with him!

BYB: As you know, I was taken by Shane's story, and you me and Shane continue to chat on occasion.  How important is it that people, BYB readers and regular people, believe in themselves? I ask that because I was so inspired by Shane and your story.

Lisa Varga: We all have to believe in ourselves!  If we don't believe in ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to?  So many people will let us down throughout our life, so it's important to develop confidence and independence at a young age. I think sports play a big part in that. It gives us the opportunity to succeed at something, to be challenged, to learn discipline and to know the meaning of winning and losing and it teaches us how to get back up if we lose and how to celebrate when we win.  If you're lucky enough to have family and friends who believe in you, that's huge!  Shane and I were fortunate enough to have an amazing family who loved us and who believed in us no matter what. They were always supportive and that built our confidence up. But not everyone has that luxury, so it's important to learn how to believe in yourself.  My faith is also what has gotten me through everything and I know Shane will tell you the same. There is someone even greater than ourselves who will always believe in us so that's a comforting feeling. I truly value family and friendships and it's a blessing when you hear someone say "I believe in you" but the real question is do YOU believe in you, and if you don't, then you have to  find a way to start trying. Nothing comes easy in life, but if we have heart and determination and we truly believe that we can accomplish something... then we will.

BYB: The Yankees and the Vargas. You are a Yankee family. Who was the first Yankee great you heard about in your household and what drew you to the team?


Lisa Varga: Oh, that's an easy one. The late and great Thurman Munson. He was my Dad's favorite player so his name came up quite a bit in my home growing up. Of course, I heard the names of Babe Ruth and all the other Yankee legends, but Thurman Munson was the name I remembered most.  Reggie Jackson was another family favorite. Remember when Reggie Jackson came out with a candy bar named after him - The Reggie Bar! 


That was awesome. I just remembered that. Haha.  We went as a family to a game one year and they were handing them out in the stands, and from what I can remember of that candy bar, it was pretty awesome; Peanuts and caramel dipped in chocolate. How can you not love that!  Sorry, I got side tracked,  but yes, I'd have to say Thurman was the Yankee I heard the most about. When he died so tragically, our entire family was devastated.  I remember crying and seeing my Dad cry too.  I remember that day vividly. We took the Yankees very serious in our house. Thurman was a legend.  I remember when they retired his number #15 in 1979 right after his death. 


I'm sure he's watching every game from Yankee heaven right next to Babe Ruth and all the other Yankee greats. There was a beautiful quote from Steinbrenner that said "Our Captain and leader has not left us today, tomorrow, this year, next...Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him." 


BYB: Have you ever been to a World Series game?

Lisa Varga: I have been to 2 Yankees World Series games.  The first one in 1998 against the San Diego Padres and again in 2003 against the Florida Marlins. I’ve been to the original Yankee Stadium, but never been to the new one. Hopefully soon!  

BYB: What drew you to BleedingYankeeBlue.com?  

Lisa Varga: Your love for the Yankees and the honesty and integrity in every story you and your staff writes.  I really connected with your words and thought to myself"This person is really cool and knows his stuff"!  Not only in baseball, but with life in general. You clearly love your family and that also grabbed my attention! It's just an all around great site!  BYB is loaded with information, compelling stories, fun pictures and of course awesome interviews with some pretty incredible people. 

BYB: Tell the audience how you and I met through Twitter and how important it is to network in this crazy world of the Internet.

Lisa Varga: We live in a day and age where social media is not only fun, but can be used as a very powerful tool in networking and making contacts with people of similar interests. Ours happened to be the Yankees. I've connected with some really cool people and actually gained some very good friends who I stay in contact with to this day.  I can't stress how important networking is, especially in my business which is entertainment and sports.  And every once in a while we find that diamond that impacts our life and changes everything.  I have actually gotten some golden opportunities because of relationships I have developed because of Twitter and also gained some life long friends. I consider BYB one of them! Twitter has changed my life and I've had so many great experiences. The only problem is that it becomes very addicting, but it's worth it!   


BYB: Lisa, you help out with the company True Rivalry, who you also met on Twitter. Tell me about their charity work?

Lisa Varga: True Rivalry is a sports apparel company that has a charity line of t-shirts. A portion of the proceeds go to the charity of the participating athlete's choice. The athlete agrees to help design the t-shirt, they choose their favorite charity, they get involved in social media and photo shoots and then the "True Rivalry" begins; that’s when the athletes compete with each other to try and raise money for their charities by selling the most t-shirts. Usually teammates join forces to make things more fun and interesting. It's all for charity and it's a really cool concept. I support True Rivalry however I can. We’ve became friends on Twitter and have kept in contact ever since.     

BYB: Tell the BYB audience about your career in front of the camera?

Lisa Varga:
I started off as a model at the age of 16, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television. I was in LA for 15 years and then worked in Florida and New York for a few years. I had a very successful career in front of the camera. 



I co-starred in some great movies, landed the starring role in an indie film, and was also on an Emmy award winning TV series. Then, I got into hosting. 


I loved it and had a lot of fun. After hosting for several years, I took up sports journalism and that's how I came up with my new series called "The Offseason".  I brought sports, entertainment and charity together in one show and now as the host, creator and producer, I can truly say that I'm living my dream. I had to come up with a way to reinvent myself and get back into the biz after my 5 year journey helping my brother Shane get through cancer. It's been a blessing and I'm having the time of my life. Now I'm doing quality work that I enjoy while giving back and helping to educate my audience on ways they can make a difference in the world.  


BYB: Besides Derek Jeter, what other New York Yankee would you like to interview for your show “The Offseason”?


Lisa Varga: Well Derek Jeter is definitely on the top of my list. Mostly because I love what he does off the field with his Turn 2 Foundation. And also because he has such a great reputation and fans everywhere love him. He also comes from a wonderful family and has great values. He has a positive outlook on life and is absolutely perfect for the show I'm doing. I think I have something very special and unique that fits his desire to get more involved with philanthropic work after he retires. Maybe he will read your article and give it a thought. As I said before, I dream big.

The other Yankees that would make my wish list are:




Jorge Posada - Not only because he's a legend, but because he also seems like an all around good guy and loves his family. Plus he has a great foundation that I think people need to learn more about . His wife Laura is also an incredible woman and would be perfect in an episode with him. What a great couple!



A few others would be: Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia.... Because they have the key ingredient to what my show focuses on along with what Jeter and Posada bring to the table.


BYB: Do you have anything you want to say to BYB?

Lisa Varga:  You should be proud of what you do! I know how time consuming writing can be, so to juggle family, work, life, and to make every Yankee story interesting, you deserve the highest praise, my friend. I hope everyone spreads the word about BYB and appreciates all the hard work you put into it.  

Lisa, thanks. You're the best and thanks for taking the time! The best of luck in all you do!  

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!

Monday, April 28, 2014

AN OPEN LETTER TO MICHAEL PINEDA

It's been quite a few days and the dust has settled.  We wanted to bring you something unique since the Pineda pine tar incident from our pal, BYB writer Steve Skinner.  Enjoy this... I certainly did. -Casey


 Michael, Michael,

I’m not going to scold you; God knows you’ve already been more publicly blasted than anyone since Sammy Sosa broke his bat and super balls spilled out.

No, I’m just going to ask you to be a little smarter and trust the gifts you possess.  You made the starting rotation without (I presume) needing to rub your body down with pine tar.  The coaches and team believe in you; so believe in yourself!


You are a competitive ball player, we get it.  As such, you are going to look for any edge you can get over your opponent – just as any hitter would do (stealing signs, using corked bats, etc.).  But, come on Michael, you have to be smart about it.

Did you really think that putting it out in the open for the world (and its cameras) to see was the thing to do?


In any case, you admitted you were in the wrong and we’ll move forward from it.  For what it’s worth, the first time cameras caught you using the substance (when you beat the Red Sox), the Sox players were really unaffected by the information.  As Rob Bradford of WEEI.COM wrote:

"Some other Red Sox players echoed Ortiz’s sentiments, suggesting getting a better grip might not be such a bad thing.

'I’m kind of on the fence with that where I would rather the guy know where the ball is going and have a good grip, for me, personally,' said backup catcher David Ross. 'As long as I’ve played there’s guys always trying to make sure they’ve got a grip when there is cold weather, early on. Maybe it’s cheating, but I don’t really look at it that way. Some guys might, but not me, personally.'

It was an opinion shared by Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, who came under fire last season for allegedly using a foreign substance for better grips on the baseball.

'Especially cold, windy nights, it’s tough to get a grip on a baseball,' Buchholz said. 'I had that instance last year in Toronto about having stuff all over my body. You can use resin, water, the whole sunscreen stuff, whatever. It’s either have a grip on a baseball and semi-know where it’s going or don’t have a grip at all and get somebody hurt. How hard he was throwing early in the game, nobody wants to get hit by that, especially up around the head, so I don’t think there’d be any organization that would want to do anything about it.'

He added, 'If you’re scuffing the ball, that’s one thing, but if you’re actually creating more control by throwing it where you want to, that’s the game of baseball. A pitcher is supposed to throw it where they want to, and hitters react and hit it. If it’s giving you any kind of edge, as long as I’ve been around, I’ve never seen any kind of sticky substance give anybody an edge. If it gives him an edge, that’s one thing, but if not…'"


So, because of your “openness” with the foreign substance, you’ll forever be part of the weird Yankees’ lore tied to pine tar.


In the meantime, you’ll need a thick skin (not covered in pine tar) for those in the media who will ride in on their high horses and look down upon you.  They’ll describe you as a stain on the game and a liar and cheat.  Those who so quickly have forgiven Ryan Braun and Barry Bonds will be less anxious to do so with you because you are a New York Yankee.


Just grin and bear it.  Know that if you can go through the rest of the season successfully, and without further incident, this will soon be forgotten, and in all likelihood, another villain will appear for those whose “shit doesn’t stink”.

In the future, we’ll put together a little fund to purchase hand warmers that will fit in your pockets and help you get through the tough Aprils to come.

If they don’t work, for the love of God during your 10 game suspension find a better hiding place, because in spite of what you might think, people do notice when it’s flashed in front of their eyes.


    

--Steve Skinner, BYB Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1




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!