Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE "TRADING EOVALDI" RUMOR


There's a weird nugget that is resurfacing about Nathan Eovaldi.  Do you remember when the Yankees hasd been attached to trading this guy in the offseason? Many don't remember, but there was a nugget by Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

"The Yankees also continue to have Ivan Nova out in the market. One rival executive said he inquired on Nathan Eovaldi. The talks did not progress far, but as validation of Cashman’s mantra that he is open to any discussions this winter, he did not take the righty off the table."


It made sense back in December because Cashman said that he'd be willing to do whatever to make a better team.  No one was safe, but at the time, there was a deep, deep buzz surrounding Andrew Miller and Brett Gardner, and so, no one really took the nugget from Sherman's piece seriously.


But everything comes full circle, and now there is word from NJ.com, who is quoting a tweet from "The Score" that Eovaldi may be on the market again.  The Yankees and the Cubs are talking apparently:
Now take from this what you want. Julie DiCaro said that talks are in the early, early stages and for all we know, they didn't even happen, but it is interesting.


Hey, we are coming up to the trade deadline.  There will be many, many wacky ideas coming down the pike.  Some are legit, some aren't.  Read everything and let's see what happens.

Stay tuned.

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ACKLEY HAS A TORN LABRUM & NO ONE CARES


Just a quick note.  Dustin Ackley, who hasn't exactly lit it up this season is now out with a torn labrum. He was placed on the 15 day DL. But there is more.

This was tweeted by Bryan Hoch:
Now sadly, Yankee fans aren't looking at this as a big deal.  I mean, as sad as it sounds, Ackley is batting .148 in 28 games.  He's not exactly helping the club.  And so many of us have already moved on.  I mean, the Yankees really have to decide what to do next.


Yes, the Yankees have called up Rob Refsnyder, but Pinstripe Alley and I both agree... this move is not the solution full time solution.  And where is Nick Swisher?

PA writes: "In a corresponding move, Rob Refsnyder has rejoined the MLB team, but probably won't be a candidate to play any first base. He will probably remain on the bench, but could see action in right field and at second base. If there was any time where Nick Swisher would be considered a useful major league addition, this might be the time, but the Yankees not bringing him up should be telling."


And it IS telling. Swisher is batting .250 with 4 home runs in 34 games.  But, while he may not be lighting it up in AAA, he's a great idea for a backup 1st baseman and willing to do whatever the Yankees want. But you gotta wonder why the hesitation?  Do the Yankees NOT want the buzz and annoyance of everyone rooting for the Bronx Elvis as he takes the field? What is the hold up here? Are they seriously looking at those numbers and thinking, "He's not ready?" I mean Swisher DOES have the experience. 


Many believe that the Yankees have no intention of bringing Swish up.  In fact, read Erica Morales's piece about Swisher in SWISHER'S WORLD.  You will like it.

And that comes back to Dustin Ackley.  He's out, but no one cares.  We are all quickly thinking about the replacement.  While Refsnyder makes sense... he's NOT the solution. 

I have news for you kids... Swisher IS.


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Monday, May 30, 2016

REMEMBERING BALLPLAYERS WHO GAVE THEIR ALL

 
As we head out to BBQ or hang at the beach, we have to be sure to remember why we have a three day weekend. Memorial Day, unlike Veteran’s Day which salutes all veterans of the armed forces, is a special salute to those who gave their life defending our great nation.
 
(In Photo: Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, Hugh Casey)
 
Most of us know many ball players served, especially during WWII. The likes of Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson all served but were lucky enough to make it out of the military in one piece. 
 
 
Many other ball players served over seas, some before their playing careers, some during and again, especially during WWII, many served during their careers.

But what this weekend is about is honoring the fallen. Since the start of professional baseball as we know it in the 1870’s, 13 Major League veterans have been died while serving, six from war related wounds or crashes according to a very cool site Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice.
 
 
Of those killed in action, the most prominent was Eddie Grant who died on October 5, 1918 after a shell exploded near his position in Argonne, France. Grant played in the big leagues from 1905-1915 and appeared in 990 games. On top of the 13 Major Leaguer’s, there have been countless minor leaguers, college and amateur players who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The total list can be found at the link above.
 
 
One player who’s name you probably don’t recognize is Army Major Stephen C. Reich. What you probably do know is a little something about the circumstances of his death in Afghanistan.
 

Major Reich was a star pitcher at West Point and is generally considered one of the best to go through the school. He is the all-time leader in wins at West Point and pitched just briefly for the Baltimore Orioles in the minor leagues. According to the Wikipedia page set up for him, Major Reich chose the service to his country over baseball.

On June 28, 2005 Major Reich was part of a team of 16 personnel on a rescue mission in Kunar province in Afghanistan. The MH-47 Chinook Helicopter he was in was hit by a rocket propelled grenade causing the helicopter to crash resulting in the death of all 16 members of the rescue team. The Chinook was on its way to try and save a four-man Navy SEAL team under duress from enemy fire. 
 
 
One of the four SEAL’s was Marcus Lutrell who penned the book The Lone Survivor, which many of us have read and seen the motion picture based on that fateful mission.
 
So today, while we are enjoying your day off with friends and family, make sure you at least take a moment to remember and appreciate those who decided to serve our country and make the greatest sacrifice. People from all walks of life serve, including some of the idols we grew up watching on the ball field.

Thanks to those who gave their life to our great nation. Have a fun and safe Memorial Day, from everyone here at BYB.
 
 

 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia





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THIS IS WHAT NO "PLAN B" LOOKS LIKE

"I feel strong. I feel good."


That's what Michael Pineda said this weekend after his train wreck of a start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He definitely doesn't look good.....or strong for that matter. He looks like a desperate pitcher looking to hold on to a job. He is supposed to be our number two not a pitcher that is a bottom feeder not only for his team but for the entire league. How can the Yankees keep running him out there every fifth day?

The short answer here is: They really don't have much of a choice. There is no Plan B. It would be nice if the Yankees had a strong pitcher stashed down in AAA like they have in recent years. Unfortunately this year, we don't. Wouldn't it be nice if we had signed Tim Lincecum right now? Not to go back and bring up "what if's" but the Yankees have traditionally been smart about stashing arms. Right now they have Richard Bleier a lefty who has never pitched in the majors before.


The Yankees have already tried this move once earlier this month with Chad Green and that didn't go very well and they have Luis Cessa in the bullpen. None of these options sound particularly exciting. Green pitched to 9.0 ERA in his only appearance and while Pineda certainly doesn't have anything to brag about he does have one thing that none of these other guys do and that is experience.

Pineda has been terrible. His 6.92 ERA is the worst among American League starting pitchers.His first inning ERA was at 13 entering into Saturday's game, but he tacked on three more runs to that now. He has started in 10 games and has yet to pitch into the seventh inning. It looked like he had started to figure out his issues in his previous start but was short lived.


I wanted to believe that Pineda was figuring it out, but he can't seem to keep the ball down and Larry Rothschild says he can't seem to keep the ball away from righties and inside to lefties. So basically, Pineda just can't locate anything. It sounds like Larry Rothschild has a lot to work on. He has to fix mechanics issues to resolve with Pineda and then when Luis Severino comes back he is going to have to give both of these guys a little confidence. The Yankees cannot afford to coddle either of these pitchers if they want to climb out of the AL East cellar.

Usually when I hear a pitcher say that he feels "good" even though he is pitching poorly I hold my breath because I am waiting to hear that he is hurt. Could Pineda be injured and he just isn't saying anything to the Yankees? Maybe, but even Rothschild doubts that an injury is to blame for all of this. It wouldn't make sense for Pineda to be throwing at the same velocity that he usually does.

According to Joe Girardi, they are going to stick with Pineda for now. They still believe in him regardless of his performance so far this season. He does have a minor league option left so even though they can send him down they do not believe it will benefit him and not only that....it sounds like they have even less confidence in anyone they could all up from the majors. This is a disaster. This is just going through the motions with no real plan....and it isn't going to help the Yankees climb back into the AL East race.

Again I ask....where is the accountability? Pineda isn't to blame, Larry Rothschild isn't at fault for two of his struggling pitchers. The players are to blame but not Alan Cockrell who is supposed to be the hitting expert on the team. Just like Yogi Berra used to say "It gets late early out there" and it is time to right the sinking ship before it's too late.


   
--Jeana Bellezza, 
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ 

 



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Sunday, May 29, 2016

WHO WANTS AN AMERICAN KISS?


For most Americans, family and friends gather together this weekend and celebrate just being together and being grateful to be together.  Across the United States, barbecues are fired up, burgers are being grilled and watermelon is being served on decks, in backyards and at the shore.  We celebrate because it's summer and we celebrate because we are free.  Baseball is a part of the American tradition too and players are paying tribute to our troops this weekend with a camo cap to remind all of us the price to be free.


"The good cause this time around is Welcome Back Veterans, an organization committed to helping veterans adjust back to their lives after returning home from service. This year's design features a camouflage pattern, licensed by the U.S. Marine Corps, all over the cap and also throughout the lettering in the jersey," noted SB Nation on Friday.


So when my five-year-old niece asked all of us gathered together for a family weekend, "who wants an American kiss?" as she passed out red, white and blue wrapped Hershey's Kisses to all of us, it got to me.  We are here at the shore, free to walk, swim, enjoy our great country because of the men and women who continue to protect us and keep us safe.  These are the bravest of the brave that say, "No one's going to hurt you; not on my watch." 


This weekend a class of more than 1,000 service men and women graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  The commencement speaker, U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter, said very eloquently about this year's particularly notable class, "You will provide the security that allows millions upon millions of people ... to be safe, to raise their children, to dream their dreams, to live lives that are full."


As we watch and listen to baseball this weekend and see our players dressed in their "military best", let's remember why they are paying tribute to these individuals who choose to protect us today and those who protected us yesterday.  If you have the opportunity, say thank you to a service man or woman when you see him or her, much like the Yankees and the other teams on the field this weekend, do it.  You will make his or her day and your own as well.  We have freedom and after all, that's what defines us as Americans.




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





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MATEO ON THE RISE


For those of us that follow minor league players, we all have a few favorites. We believe, and sometimes predict, that they will have a huge impact on the game when they reach the majors. Every year I have at least one, and Jorge Mateo is that guy for me.


I originally wrote about him during spring training (read THE YANKEES INFIELD IS WIDE OPEN), citing him as an outside shot at filling in at shortstop. His stats were pretty good and the scouting reports on him were stellar. That article had one critic that said that this kid was not getting anywhere near the majors. He might be right. Still, his improvement this year even exceeded my expectations.


As of now, his batting average (.307) is twenty points over his highest batting average in any season at any level. His OPS (.881) is almost 150 points higher than last year combined. His fielding average (combined .962) is over 30 points higher than last, and that includes his 45+ errorless innings at second base. Shortstop being his primary position, the Yankees have encouraged him to work at second base to increase his repertoire. I would say the plan  is working, so far.


Last year he was promoted from the single-A Charleston River Dogs to the class A+ Tampa Yankees. This year his numbers are on the rise, which is the surest sign that a player has outgrown his environment. We should expect another promotion soon. If we do see him in the majors, he would likely be a September call-up. Even that would put him ahead of schedule.

Jorge Mateo

With the Yankees middle infielders being the proud owners of batting averages between .250 and .270, a shortstop or second baseman who hits over .300 gets attention and sets things in motion. Assuming he can keep it up, of course. This kid is definitely one to keep an eye on.




--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon





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Saturday, May 28, 2016

WADE BOGGS & THE BIG F.U.


Wade Boggs was never treated fairly by the Red Sox.  I know, when he left the Sox for the Yankees, and then the Yankees won a championship in 1996, the Red Sox and Red Sox nation were pissed and I get that totally.  But this is baseball and when it comes to respecting players... it's just gotta be done.  The Yankees don't have any ill will toward guys like Robinson Cano for instance. He went for big money in Seattle and he hopes to win a championship with them. I mean, he won't, but he hopes to, and the Yankees understood that Cano was looking for more and they weren't willing to give it.  Again, it's business, and that's why Boggs went to New York.  Eventually Boggs won in New York, something he could never do in Boston.  Fans HATE that, and that's just part of being a fan, and how this game works.  Ultimately it's business.


I've always said that Wade Boggs should have had his number retired by the Red Sox years ago.  And Wade thought so too, but they have this Boston attitude about them and they hold grudges.  I get it, but they shouldn't.  When Boggs played in Boston, he was a monster there.  I have openly admitted that I loved watching Wade Boggs play as a Yankee fan, but I hated the damage he did against us when the Sox played the Yanks.


Now comes the story that pretty much let's Boggs have the last laugh... and I love this story.  Yahoo Sports writes:

"...there was Boggs on Wednesday, reassembled with members of the 1986 Boston Red Sox team at Fenway Park. The Red Sox were celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the '86 squad that won the AL pennant but famously lost to the New York Mets in the World Series. Boggs was there, as were Roger Clemens, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and many others. Even Bill Buckner.

It was all fun and nostalgia, but then the Internet noticed something peculiar. Boggs was wearing the World Series ring he won with the rival New York Yankees."

Now ultimately, this isn't a big deal, but it is a real dig.  The best part about the Red Sox ceremony was they did the right thing here.  They honored a guy that should have been honored a long time ago with him having #26 retired.

It had to be done.  And yes, while Yankee fans think this is a huge deal with the ring and all, but I gotta believe Boggs really didn't think much of it.  


Boggs winning a championship with the Yankees was part of his achievements in his career.  He put that ring on the day of the ceremony like he put his socks. Its part of his routine. For ballplayers, it's just business and him winning with the Yankees was just that too.

But we'll all look at that tweeted image of the ring on Boggs finger in Boston and laugh.  Because the rivalry was fierce for a long, long time, and so every time something like this happens... it reminds us of the good old days of baseball between the Yankees and Sox.

This, in my opinion is much ado about nothing... but maybe it was something. Maybe it was Boggs offering his big. F.U. to Red Sox Nation.  Maybe it was him saying, "What the hell took you so long?"

What do you think?



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RESPECT & WHAT IT MEANS TO ME


I'm a regular guy with a Yankee fan site and I have no idea how that happened.  Bleeding Yankee Blue is a lot of fun, and it's fun mostly because of how we can post our opinion and we don't hide behind it if you disagree... we interact and have a dialog with all of you.  We don't have empty message boards where you state an opinion it dies... we actually respond.  We don't think our opinion is the only one that matters. We talk it through.  Hell, I've actually changed my opinion having a debate with a reader.  It happens, but it happens because we are nothing more than a bunch of hungry writers trying to crank out solid content for all of you to read. Oh, and we like to talk about it! The others? They don't. They move on from their readers, because they really don't care what you say.

I'm not gonna lie... I never liked writing in the comments section of a Yankee of Baseball blog and never hearing from the administrator or author.  I felt almost like it was disrespectful. My thinking was, "Why are they putting this out there if they don't want to talk about it?" I felt like it was self serving and snobby.  Why write something just to hide?


Remember when Peter Keating of ESPN the Magazine tried to do to me? Remember when he tried to humiliate us here at BYB when he wrote:


Once my piece went out, Keating did his high horse response, which was fine, but when I asked him to have a dialog and not snipe me, I was ignored.   My point is, respect is a 2 way street. If you write something that's provocative, you better be ready for backlash and a difference of opinion, and if you get it, you better be ready for more of the same.  And you know what? That's OK.  The dialog is good, therapeutic, educational, and healthy.  Writing just to act like a snob is dumb.  Keating was a perfect example of that.


Maybe that's why the guy has 2000 followers.

It's all in how to communicate.  Writing can be very exciting for the author.  Sometimes it just flows from the fingers and you are passionate for hours as you work to craft your piece.  Once published, it's out there for the world to see, and for me personally, I'm HOPING for feedback.  The dialog helps a writer improve. Me hiding because it may rustle feathers almost feels spineless to me. Why do it? Talk with your readers... it's how you improve.

I respect our readers very, very much.  I respect my writers.  They spend countless hours writing for BYB, for free, because we love it. But respect goes both ways.  I never want to be accused of being hurtful, disrespectful, mean, dumb, disappointing and worse.  I don't deserve that because I don't dish it that way. I'm an open book. What you read is what you get, and you get more because BYB writers are ALWAYS here to communicate with our readers.  That, my friends is why you read us at BYB everyday.


Sure, we're bigger now than we used to be and we have shirts and tank tops and kids shirts and all of that...

(CLICK HERE TO SHOP), but the reality is, we like what we do, we do not hide behind our computer screens and we are happy to talk to all of you on any given day.

BYB was started because we were angry with the New York Yankees... but we're actually pretty kind and courteous folks over here.  Sure, I fight for what's right and I don't like when people aren't being treated fairly and so, maybe I become confrontational trying to protect people from being swindled... but ultimately, BYB is here, open and eager to speak to all of you.  We respect you, because you respect us... and my God... isn't  that wonderful?

I just had to get that off my chest. Happy Memorial Day weekend.  Be safe and be kind to each other. Most importantly though, be respectful.  It's a good thing!

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