Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TANAKA & YANKEES LOSE TO THE TWINS


Masahiro Tanaka pitched in what is no doubt his final outing of the Spring. According to MLB.com:

"Tanaka threw 76 pitches (56 for strikes) and permitted seven hits over 4 1/3 innings, including a homer, to finish the spring with a 3.07 ERA. Most importantly to the Yankees, he finished it healthy and with no setbacks after sustaining a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament last July. In 14 2/3 spring innings, Tanaka gave up five earned runs and 13 hits, with one walk, 13 strikeouts and two homers."

BYB's buddy Chris Martin was impressive today, retiring 6 batters in relief. He struck out 3.  Joe Girardi said of his outing: "good downhill angle, good breaking ball -- really good."  Remember, Martins stands at 6'8". He's a big boy. When we interviewed him about that, he said "Being a tall pitcher has its advantages and disadvantages. But the biggest advantage is the angle tall pitchers are able to produce when coming to the plate."  That's what Girardi's talking about.


Remember, we love Martin, read his interview with us HERE.

The Yankees didn't do too much offensively, only scoring 1 run which came off of Ramon Flores' bat when he was able to knock in a run. It was the 4th inning when he singled and Chris Young scored.  That was it though.

We're winding down ladies and gentlemen. It's almost Opening day. I can't wait.

Final: Twins 3 - Yankees 1

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GRASPING AT AROD STRAWS... OR SOMETHING


I've noticed no real Alex Rodriguez drama this spring.  None.  Zero.  Besides him come to camp early, allegedly angering Yankee brass for not giving them a heads up (That didn't really happen ladies and gentlemen), he's come, hit the ball, hit 3 home runs, played alittle 3rd, DH'd and even played first.  In other words, he's done everything right.


What will the media write about?  Well, the New York Daily News guy Bill Madden must be going crazy. He's always had a hard-on for ARod and his "Drug use". Ironically, Madden's son is having alleged drug problems of his own. Seems hypocritical. The point is, sports writers don't know what to write about when it comes to ARod these days. Well, I stand corrected. Leave it to Bob Raissman of the Daily News to come up with something really, really dumb:



" Anyone else wondering why Alex Rodriguez did not perform in the Yankees’ recent video re-enactment of the Babe Ruth scene from the 1993 movie “The Sandlot?”

Well as Jack Woltz, the big-shot studio boss in “The Godfather,” might say: “You don’t understand. A-Rod never gets that movie. That part is perfect for him.”

Indeed. An appearance by Rodriguez in the video would be tantamount to Yankees brass giving him their true stamp of approval and officially welcoming him back into the fold as a member in good standing. It would also further soften Rodriguez’s tainted image, placing him smack in the middle of a singular group of players the organization has left to market."


Hmm.  Or, how about this, Bob. If ARod did that video, he would have been further crucified by the media for "fooling around" when he "should have been working to get back into the good graces of the fans and Yankee brass."  You know that to be true, Bob, because that's what you guys do.


Raissman is grasping at straws here. I'm sure there will be more just like this in the days to come.  It's downright ridiculous.  Let's think; Anyone want to question why Masahiro Tanaka or Mark Teixeira or Garrett Jones weren't in the video? No question they could have fed Tanaka a few English lines... it would have been hilarious!  But no... it's ARod that gets heat for actually doing the right thing to stay out of trouble.


Let me guess, Raissman's theory is, "Alex Rodriguez could have played Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez... get it?"  Actually... I don't.


Look, I'm not an ARod guy. I never was.  I was always a Derek Jeter guy who admired the incredible abilities of ARod.  These days though, I'm disappointed in the man.  I am NOT however, a hater.  And when you look at the big picture, a guy who actually is doing the work and trying to better himself in pinstripes as he winds down the next few years, I see a man just doing his best to NOT be ARod.  You follow what I'm saying?  I see a guy who just wants to try to play ball and help his team win.  For many fans, the haters and non-haters... we just want the guy to help the Yankees win too.

That's what it's about these days, that's all that matters in that ARod saga.  No made up stories by Bob Raissman.  Just the Yankees, winning and ARod contributing.  Everything else... it's just crap.

Can't we get passed it already? Honestly.

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FREDDY GARCIA HAS STILL GOT IT


Quick note on a former Yankee that I've always appreciated.  Freddy Garcia just signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That news comes from Ken Gurnick who covers the Dodgers beat:
Well that's good news.  The last we heard about Garcia, he was pitching for the EDA Rhinos of Taiwan, and that was last year. 


Before that, he split time between the Orioles and Braves in 2013.  Great nugget from Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors on Garcia's time with the Rhinos:


"...it appears that he at least threw a full season as the Taipei Times credits him with picking up a Gold Glove award."

Hence... Garcia has still got it.

Good luck to Freddy.



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TINO: FIRST A PLAQUE, NOW AN INSTRUCTOR?

Tino Martinez is having a good run!


According to several outlets, but we'll use the Associated Press here, Martinez is joining the Yankees as an instructor:

"Martinez will be at minor league spring training until it ends this weekend. He is expected to continue the role at times during the season by visiting the Yankees' minor league teams.

The former Yankees star said Monday that he enjoys working with the prospects."

I love this for the following reason; remember when Tino was part of the Marlins organization and accused of being cruel and abusive?  We wrote about it in  TINO RESIGNS FROM THE MARLINS:


"...players complained he verbally abused them...Martinez apologized for his behavior, saying he got in trouble for comments to players he intended as constructive criticism. He conceded he became frustrated in his role with the Marlins, who have ranked last in the majors in batting and runs for most of the season." 

That was from a USA Today report from 2013.

Clearly the Yankees aren't afraid of Tino's "constructive criticism", and so, he'll be working with the kids.  I like it. Maybe he'll keep the prospects motivated.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

ASK A QUESTION TO PAUL O'NEILL!


So, you know my friend Lisa Varga, right? She's a mover and a shaker, an actress, reporter, interviewer and model.  She also strikes a pose for the BYB audience in my now, world famous Bleeding Yankee Blue Tank! 


Well she is going to be interview Yankee great Paul O'Neill this week and she wants to hear from you!

Here's the deal... it's a contest, exclusively for the Bleeding Yankee Blue Audience!  If you have a question for Paul O'Neill, send your question to my email.

One question will be selected for the interview and if yours is chosen, she will ask Paul O'Neill that question and not only that... You will get a BYB shirt or tank FREE!


Look... the season is about to kick off. Everyone is excited! What better way to kick it off with a question to the Warrior!

So put your thinking caps on.  Come up with a good, solid question and send it us here at Bleeding Yankee Blue! Again, send to my email.



And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... do me a favor and be sure to follow Lisa on Twitter. She's  @TheLisaVarga.  She has a lot of great stuff coming up, and we support her here at BYB because she supports us!

Note, we interviewed both of these fine individuals over the 4 years BYB has been alive. Be sure to learn about both Lisa and O'Neill here:

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: PAUL O'NEILL

And remember... It's a contest!  Deadline for the contest is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1st at 6pm eastern time.  Trust me though... this is no April Fool's Joke. It's the real deal! Good Luck!


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OUTTAKES OF THE YANKEES 'SANDLOT' BIT


By now, we've all seen the Yankees recreation of the classic movie 'The Sandlot'.  It was a fan favorite, that's for sure.


In fact, it's continuing to be a large portion of Bleeding Yankee Blue's traffic.  Just look at our trending list.


Anyway, now I have a treat for you. I found this on YouTube and it's pretty damn awesome.  Everybody loves a good blooper reel, right?


Well, here are the outtakes to the Yankees 'Sandlot' bit.  Enjoy this, as well as Brett Gardner's unusually odd shaped bald head. I did:



Almost as good as the completed project.


Be Read. Get Known.

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THE NEW (OLD), IMPROVED AROD?


As we all know, Alex Rodriguez is coming off his 2014 season-long suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal and, as expected, he has garnered quite a bit of attention this spring. The surprising thing however is that the attention he has generated has been for what he's done on the field, not off the field. There has been little coverage of all the nonsense from over the past 15 months or so and quite a bit regarding his success over the last month. So, is the nearly 40 year old ARod back or is it just a fluke?


Let me start by saying that most of my respect for Alex went out the window after all the crap he pulled with the denying and lawsuits and grievances and all that horse play. But Alex eventually tried to take the high road and stopped all the nonsense and dropped the suits and decided to quietly serve out his suspension. For that I commend him. It was sure late, but it was the right move. Now we are here in 2015 and I’m intrigued by what I’ve seen so far.

In 2013, ARod was dealing with lingering hip issues that eventually required surgery and caused him to be just a fraction of the ARod baseball was accustomed to seeing. Now nearly 18 months later, Rodriguez is seemingly healthy and well rested and appears ready for the season. So maybe a year off, after playing professional baseball all year for two decades, may have been just what the body needed… Maybe.


So far this spring, Rodriguez is batting .324, going 12-37. Now, that batting average can be deceiving, but Rodriguez has also launched a team leading three home runs, including this one that shut this obnoxious Red Sox fan up!


One thing that many scouts and analysts were concerned about as Rodriguez attempted a comeback from the year off was his ability to turn around Major League fastballs. Pitchers are going to pound hard stuff in on Alex and make him prove he can turn on a fastball. While he has, as has been the case over the last three or so years he was healthy, gotten beat by fastballs in, he has only struck out seven times on the spring which is pretty solid considering he hasn't had an at bat against big league competition in almost 18 months. Another good sign is he is tied for second on the team in walks with six, making his strikeout to walk ratio nearly one-to-one, all very positive signs. His OPS is also a very respectable .988.

While I’m still not going to go buy myself an ARod jersey or t-shirt and root him on like he is a long lost relative returning to joy and jubilation, ARod is still a Yankee and we are all Yankees fans. So we are going to have to cheer on the Yankees and cheer on Alex to help our Bronx Bombers make it back to October. While he will surely frustrate us and we will all yell four letter words at him over the season, he is part of the team, the locker room and the Yankee family. You know, kind of like the red headed step child, but still family.


So with Rodriguez reporting to camp healthy, quietly (a little too quietly as he pissed off the Yankees brass by showing up early unannounced) and with a chip on his shoulder, it seems like the Yankees will have a useful body out of him. At the very least that’s what they need, especially as Hal Steinbrenner signs his absurd paycheck on pay day. At the most the Yankees can hope for an everyday DH, fill in third baseman and veteran clubhouse presence who can hopefully provide 20 home runs, 75 or so RBI and stay healthy enough to be in the lineup for 130 games or so.

Maybe the year off was just what his body and mind needed to return to respectable form. I’m optimistic, but if I were a betting man, I would hesitate to wager my last dollar on it. But one can hope that the should-have-been first ballot Hall of Famer can have a successful comeback season and help out our beloved Yankees make a run at the storied franchise’s 28th World Series Championship.


  
Dan Lucia
BYB Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia

  



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THE YANKEES & THE RABBITOHS SIDE BY SIDE


A fun nugget here.  My buddies in Australia, Charles and Joey Moses (Read FROM THE BRONX, AUSTRALIA... WITH LOVE), not only love and respect the New York Yankees, but they turned me onto the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The Rabbitohs are an Australian Rugby Football Team that won the whole thing last year.  That sparked my interest and then, I read about them in People magazine.


That's when I knew they were going mainstream.  Then I found out that Russell Crowe owned the team, and then, when he retweeted Bleeding Yankee Blue's story about the Rabbitohs and their similarities to the New York Yankees, I was then convinvced of 2 things;


Me having my story retweeted by Russell Crowe was about as close as I would ever get to the actor, and that the Rabbitohs were in fact the real deal. (Read WHEN RUSSELL CROWE RETWEETS YOU... IT'S A GOOD DAY)


My buddy Charles just sent me this photo above of a shop in Australia just a few weeks ago. This window is from Mick Simmons Sport in downtown Sydney.  It's the Rabbitohs and the Yankees side by side.  If that's not a glowing endorsement for greatness... I don't what is.

And now maybe Russell Crowe will Retweet my story again.  We're buds you know...

Be Read. Get Known.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

NICE NATHAN NAILS DOWN A WIN FOR THE YANKS


I really like what I see in Nathan Eovaldi!  A great outing today, striking out 5 in 4 2/3rd innings.  I have a good feeling about Eovaldi in the Yankee rotation, which is now, 1. Masahiro Tanaka, 2. Michael Pineda, 3. CC Sabathia, 4. Eovaldi and 5. Adam Warren maybe?   Everything right is happening with this kid.


 It was also a nice day from our pal Chase Headley who went 2 for 3with 3 RBIs.  He had a solo homer today as well. 


Alex Rodriguez played 1st base today. It was his debut. Nothing earth-shattering... he played it with ease.


Not much more today.  It was a blow-out with the Yankees beating the Astros nicely. All good!

Final: Yankees 7 - Astros 0

An Evening With Coach K: General Admission

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READING IS POWER. HATE IS NOT


I think that what we have here at Bleeding Yankee Blue is pretty incredible.  We get to write about the Yankees, we get to incorporate family and we, as writers, have become pretty close over the past 4 years. The banter we throw around with our readers, all of you, is pretty great. Many times we agree.  After all, smart fans understand how certain things are handled in the Yankee clubhouse and over all, our opinions are usually common sense and similar. But there are times where we bring you an opinion and a light bulb goes off.  That's when you readers engage us.  Sometimes you love what we say.  Other times, it's not as easy and so, there's a conversation and we hash it out.  Bleeding Yankee Blue readers are the smartest in the world, and so working out the disagreements are usually easy. But there are times when we lose readers.  Not because of what we do... but because sometimes people just can't get past their own opinions.  Don't know what I mean?  Let me break it down for you.


A few days ago I wrote JETER'S BIG MISTAKE.  Now if you know anything about me, you know I like provocative headlines to keep the audience engaged.  9 times out of 10 there's important information in my articles and when you see the full body of work, with the title, it all comes together.  Sadly, a huge part of the reading audience on Friday did NOT read the article, and didn't think it was necessary either I guess. I know this because I was attacked through email for absolutely nothing.


Now, don't get me wrong. I received praise for my piece as well.  After all, what I suggested in my piece was that Jeter's website, the Players' Tribune blew a big chance to educate their audience on the dangers of PED use when they instead allowed David Ortiz to pen a piece about PEDs and his own denial...over and over again.  My thinking was simple, find someone to come clean, be it ARod or even "squeaky clean" Ortiz, and tell us about the dangers. After all, Ortiz acts like the poster boy for being clean... educate us... am I right?  Well, that never happened.  Instead, Ortiz wrote an entire piece denying PED use. Something that I found reckless and offensive. In short, I felt as though Derek Jeter blew it.  He made a mistake, a big one.

I first received this note on Facebook.


OK then. This one is mild, yes, but important to point out, because what I received after was not only shocking, it was borderline nerve racking.  Why? I'll tell you why. I am a writer, but I am also a father and a protector.  I have a family that I take care of, and when I receive scary notes, and trust me... there were worse, it makes me wonder if this writing gig is that important.  Here's one:

Now, in fairness,  I called my mom. This wasn't from her. I'm kidding.

Secondly, I don't get it.  Why?  Why am I an idiot? Because I wrote that Jeter made a mistake? Really? If this guy was a diehard Yankee fan, wouldn't he be praising me for writing that I thought David Ortiz SHOULDN'T have written a denial piece?  I guess he just wanted an Ortiz bash-fest.  Sorry to disappoint. Here's another and this one is closer to offensive than the last:


OK. WOP? Really? Now I know I mention that I'm Italian from time to time, but I'm not sure that was necessary. And yes, another guy who didn't read the article. Brilliant, right?  This is the stupidity that I deal with. Welcome to my world.


Here's the reality ladies and gentlemen;  Derek Jeter is not Jesus Christ.  He has never turned an empty basket into a basket flowing with fish to feed a village.  He was a great New York Yankee and will go down as being the ultimate in recent Yankees history.  He's a role model, even though this guy tells me ballplayers aren't role models.


And guess what else he is... Derek Jeter is not perfect... and that, my friends, is OK.

Now look, my commentary on Derek Jeter making a mistake allowing Ortiz to have an open forum on PED denial was 100% dead on. I'm right. Get over it.  You can hang on the fact that Jeter shouldn't be criticized all you want.  I'm here to tell you that you're way off.


I'm also here to tell you that I have been a supporter of Derek Jeter for years. I have praised his upbringing, his work ethic, his family and I appreciate that my kids can look up to this man.  That's what role models are about.  I can also tell you that even the greatest man can make a mistake.  Derek did this time around.  I stand by that commentary.

What I won't stand for is hate.  I gave you a few examples, but there were more.  I am handling them the way I see fit and to those people who thought you had it all figured out slamming me for your own stupidity, you are now on my radar.  Looking forward to what happens to you next.

To the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers.  There's a reason why my pages were relatively quiet yesterday. I needed to step away from it all for a bit and figure out my strategy.  I also needed to think about my next step.  Well, I put this together and it follows with this announcement... I'm not quitter and I do NOT tolerate bullshit.  I realized yesterday that people trying to knock other people down are usually not doing much with their own life.  Hence, those wonderful, pathetic emails.  Well, I'm not them.  I take care of my family, I work hard, I'm dedicated to my craft.  I like to make people smile, I like to do good things for people and I like to make sure that people know they earned my trust and love.  I also believe in confidence.  I have it, I reek of it, and those losers do not.  In this day and age, where hate is all around, it's nice to know that I won't fall into the trap.  And so... we keep going as a unit here at BYB.

I want to thank you all for being so dedicated to Bleeding Yankee Blue. You are all inspiring and motivate us writers in ways you will never truly know.  I love waking up to present something great for you.  And hey, sometimes we mess up and you tell us, and you know what? You get it. You get we're not perfect, and for that, I'm grateful.   Your support means the world to me personally.  That is why I won't stop being provocative and I won't stop writing pieces telling you exactly how I feel.  All I ask is that you read the God damn article.  Reading is power... not reading and forming an opinion based on a headline... is not only irresponsible... it's downright dangerous.

Be smart... that's the way I love ya!




--Robert Casey, BYB Chief





An Evening With Coach K: General Admission

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CC IS HAVING A ROUGH MONTH


By the time you read this, the bottom-feeding rags that some call news sources will have started a feeding frenzy on CC Sabathia dropping the F-bomb after another poor spring outing. Granted, he had just walked off the field from a minor league game where he gave up 4 runs in five innings. He gave up two home runs, to bring his spring total up to 5 over 9 2/3 innings. It’s not pretty.


Some reporters have observed that CC doesn't seem to be too upset about it. I think that’s na├»ve. He’s been the ace of the staff since he signed in 2009, with one World Series win under his belt. He is coming off consecutive seasons where his performance was down and time on the DL was up, and probably looking to reestablish himself as the anchor of the staff. So he goes out in his first start of the spring and gives up 2 runs in 2 innings. Nothing too crazy to worry about. Then, in a game against the Mets that got a lot of fan attention – as if the game mattered – he gives up a leadoff home run, followed by two more home runs, and leaves the game with an 11.57 ERA for the spring.


Then the off-the-field movements start. Masahiro Tanaka – deservedly – is named the Opening Day starter. In one felled swoop, he loses the title of Ace and Opening Day starter for the first time in his Yankee tenure. That could not have been easy to swallow. To his credit, he’s kept his chin up.


One could understand why he would be upset. Let’s be realistic about this. He is coming off a serious injury, and his primary concern has to be his health, strength, and durability. So maybe he is just focusing on his velocity, and the strength of the movement on his pitches. By all accounts, those indications look good. Brian McCann, who caught Sabathia on Saturday, confirmed that he looked strong all 5 innings. His velocity topped out in the low 90’s, which is good for this point in the spring. It’s especially good for someone coming off an injury to do so and feel good. Top it off with 7 strikeouts and only 2 walks in those 5 innings, and it should have been a good day. Giving up a pair of home runs tends to dampen things.


Listen, I’m not saying that there isn't reason to be concerned about CC. The Yankees owe a lot of their winning over the last 6 years to him. When he has faltered, the Yankees have faltered. When he has succeeded, the Yankees have done well. The Yankees and their fans owe him their loyalty for that. So when a reporter presses him after having gone through everything I listed above, he may say that he doesn't give a f—k what people put stock in. Give him a break. I, for one, give him my sympathy and support. As his legs get stronger, I would like to see him get to that place where his ERA is in the low 3’s and he’s putting 18-20 wins up for the season. Whatever happens, we’re pulling for him.



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




Be Read. Get Known.


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!  Also, don't forget to check out the BYB Hub!